So. I’m completely against diets. I’m not into all the “health programs” out there. Which is really just another word for diet, right? I’m of a healthy weight (lighter than ever in my adult life) and have a healthy relationship with my body. I never thought having a baby would make me happier with my body but it’s true. 
However, I’m not fit
If you challenged me to a foot race, I can promise you you’d win. Even if I gave 100%. And I can promise you I’d get black eyes from my boobs. Ugh. I can’t even tell you the last time I did deliberate exercise. The only muscles that exist are in my arms from holding Olivia and next in line are my fingers from scrolling my Instagram feed non-stop. Seriously, I get cramps.
This part isn’t is my story to tell but the Hubby has battled weight his entire life. One night we went through his childhood medical records and found a hospital visit that had “obese” written on it… he was under 10 years old. Pretty disturbing. In his adult life he has done well to lose weight, get fit and start a healthy lifestyle. But it’s up and down, back and forth, for him. Life gets busy, time is short bla bla, we deal with the same excuses as everyone else. And he is still overweight and keen to shift it.
But when a kid is on the scene it feels paramount to have your weight and health in check. I mean, this little being in your care is looking up to you. You are it’s example, it’s light, it’s model. I know for the Hubby that he also wants to change for his own reasons – he wants to feel good, comfortable, confident. He wants to reach overhead and not have to worry if his gut is showing. He wants to prove that he can beat all odds.
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In the years we’ve been together we’ve tried lots of tactics. CSIRO eating plan, bootcamp, personal training, juice fasts etc etc.. Some have worked and others haven’t. And since Olivia was born we’ve really changed how we eat and live. We are pretty much vegetarian if not vegan. Just not strict! Come on, cheese is so good! We eat lots of raw food, lots of veggies, we avoid dairy, gluten and refined sugar. And while this feels like the optimum eating and health for me personally, my man is still struggling with his weight. I mean, we don’t exercise one bit so I’m sure that doesn’t help! But it was time we tried something else, for his sake.

And being the awesome supportive wifey that I am, I told him I am totally on board with whatever he wants to do. So that’s why in 5 days we are starting the 12WBT – Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation. I’ve heard about it before and seen a lot of success stories with it. I signed up because a) being in it will mean I’m more committed and will therefore be able to better support the Hubby and b) apparently it’s not just for losing weight but also for toning, getting fit and stronger. Turns out there are others on the forum who do not need or want to lose weight, so I’m not alone. And while it’s mostly women doing the 12WBT (I’d say at least 80%?) it’s been good to see other men have signed up for this round. You can check the website out here.
I’ll be documenting our journey through the next 12 weeks here on my blog. Wish us luck and success!

Taking Stock of January

This year I’m taking a leaf out of some fellow bloggers blogs (does that make sense?) like Nikki and Pip. At the end of each month I’m going to complete this not so little list and just take stock of the month that was. It’ll be good to look back on each of the months at the end of the year, don’t you think?


Making: love.
Cooking: these biscuits from the wonderful Adele of Vegie Head. I’m obsessed.
Drinking: smoothies. I’ve tried lots of new ones this year such as the ones photographed in this post and this post too.
Reading: all of the books in The Secret range.
Wanting: a new wardrobe. Getting desperate for some new clothes.
Looking: bloody sexy don’t you think?!
Playing: The Wiggles. Non fucking stop.
Deciding: how to secure some earphone on Olivia so I don’t have to listen to The Wiggles.
Wishing: for a sleep in.
Enjoying: my husband. 
Waiting: for Liv to sleep through the night. I’ve been waiting 16 months so far. Not giving up hope! Never!
Liking: summer. I usually don’t enjoy it but this year it’s been beautiful.
Wondering: where and when our next holiday will be. Def in need of one!
Loving: that imaginative play has started with O. So much fun!
Pondering: why some people like lacey underwear on men. Google search gone wrong.
Considering: going 100% dairy free again. I’ve been slacking off and having cheese and yoghurt this year.
Watching: lots of downloads because TV sucks. I miss Breaking Bad and Homeland!
Hoping: for a Valentines present this year, without having to hint.

Marvelling: my daughter. Her intelligence…! And how we all start out like this and grow and learn, so amazing to watch before my very own eyes. Parenthood is so rewarding.
Needing: sleep! Sleep sleep SLEEP!
Smelling: essential oils in the new diffuser. Wish the sleep blend was more potent for O!
Wearing: baggy tops because Olivia is dropping off the feeds a bit during the day and I’m still adjusting. Hello lop sided boobs!
Following: Miley Cyrus on IG. It’s like a car crash, I can’t look away!
Noticing: how sudden Olivia seems grown up after a developmental leap. Sob!
Knowing: that I’m actually very lucky and blessed in life.
Thinking: money money money. What you think and feel will manifest.
Feeling: happy and positive for the majority of the month.
Admiring: stay at home mum bloggers. DISTRACTIONS everywhere!
Sorting: out photos of our girl… only 16 month later. Order prints as we speak.
Buying: Instagram prints.
Getting: a headache from thinking of answers for this list.
Bookmarking: Project Life pages.
Disliking: people who can’t do the speed limit and then get upset when you overtake.
Opening: lots of new stock for my homewares store.
Giggling: at Scott Disick in The Kardashians. He’s a crack up!

Phew. That was harder than I thought!

Thankful Thursday #2

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1. Videos like this. Makes me feel so grateful for my baby girl. A friend lost her newborn last year, it (and videos like this) make me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Put down your phone, turn the telly off and really enjoy your kids. Take in every little detail. Say “I love you”. Appreciate them.
2. The rain. After a 4 day heatwave of 38 degrees and above, it’s now cool and raining. The fan is off overnight for the first time this month. Olivia is in a onsie, and I’m wearing socks! The land is getting a good soaking, my fruit and veg are loving it. Waking to the sound of rain will always be blissful.
3. My Dad. Photography is his hobby and Olivia is perhaps one of his favourite subjects to shoot. And I won’t complain! I have so many great quality photos of my daughter thanks to him (and not just my iPhone quality ones). Very very thankful for this!
4. Smoothies. I’d be twice this size and very unhealthy if I didn’t have a blender to create smoothies. It’s my go-to meal when I’m out of time or just can’t be bothered cooking. Thank god for smoothies, no excuse for junk food! Pictured below is a pear and kiwi fruit combo.
5. Cherry Tomatoes growing in my front garden again. Last summer I was getting almost 2 cups worth every day! The plant was there when we moved in, and I suspect it’s originated from a bird dropping. Who cares, they are the tastiest cherry toms I’ve ever had. We dug the garden up over winter but somehow they are growing again. Happy days!

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Every Thursday I’m posting 5 things I’m thankful for. Practicing the art of being grateful is something we should all be doing. Oprah Winfrey said it best:
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” 

Being grateful will bring you happiness and peace in life. It can turn a negative into a positive. If you don’t believe me, try it yourself. Join in on Thankful Thursdays by blogging your thankfuls or using Instagram (hashtag me!).

What are your thankfuls this week?

A Gift To You

The heat wave has broken and we are now in the midst of a foggy and rainy week. And it’s beautiful! After 4 days of 39 degree temps, this cooler weather is welcomed with open arms by me. I swear Olivia is sleeping better too, possibly because it’s so breezy in the bedroom now?

While I lay with her and feed her to sleep, I am often on my phone playing around on Instagram or having a go at my new hobby… making inspiring quote images (I have no idea what to call them lol).

I created the below inspiring images myself. I want to share them with you, so you can put them as your desktop, or save it as your phone lock screen, or share it on your social media. Looking at positive sayings and images every day is always a good thing!

Hope you like them 🙂

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{RECIPE} Cheats Pizza

Normally I would make a pizza base from scratch (next on the list is a cauliflower base) or at least use an actual base from the freezer department designed for pizza making. But… I’m human too. Shock horror, I know. I’ve been tired and run down lately (as my last whingey entry told) so I whipped up a cheats pizza for dinner last night.
To me, making a pizza from home is pretty basic, especially when using a prepared base. But I’m hopeful someone will find this inspiring or helpful.
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Cheats Pizza
Wholegrain wraps (or spelt, white, whatever you like)
Sauce base (I used pesto. Other options are pizza/tomato sauce, BBQ, garlic sauce)
Veggies (for mine I used pumpkin, pineapple, capsicum, mushroom, red onion and pine nuts)
Quality melting cheese (I always use Bocconcini)
Preheat your oven to 180C and line a tray with baking paper.
Chop up your veggies to desired sizes and shapes. If you’re using something like pumpkin or sweet potato, pop them in the oven while you’re making the rest of your pizza.
Place your wraps on the tray and spread with whatever base you want (pesto, BBQ…).
Arrange veggies on your base. Shred or slice your cheese (try not to go overboard, most people do!) and arrange on the pizza.
Pop it all in the oven for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and base is crispy. Slice it up and enjoy!
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Other toppings I often use: baby artichokes, pine nuts, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh tomato, avo (after cooking), prosciutto (my favourite, but naughty!), fresh herbs, rocket (love this fresh as a topping after the oven).
The options are endless. Have fun experimenting with what flavours compliment each other. I’ve found minimal is key.

Thankful Thursday #1

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1. Baby kisses. Olivia comes up to me, bends down and tilts her head so her face is into mine and smooches me. This happens multiple times a day, without any encouraging from me, and she’ll do it at the most random of moments. That element of surprise makes it all the more endearing I think. There is honestly nothing I love more in the world right now than these moments. What a beautiful little soul she is ❤

2. Nature. I live in a beautiful part of the world but I don’t appreciate it enough. The past two weekends have seen the Hubby and I stopping off at some lookouts in the region. I’ve lived in this area since 1992 (coming and going in my teens) and it still blows me away. The views are breathtaking. I’ve also been posting the images on Instagram lately.
3. Books for the soul. I feel thankful to be open minded, to have many teachers in my life, to read inspiring books and blogs… to open my mind to changing my mind, learning skills of the mind. I feel like others are missing out on some great secret I (and like-minded others) know. I’ve been reading books like Hero (by the same author as The Secret) and The Desire Map. Life changing stuff, honestly. I feel so lucky to even have the knowledge that these books exist! Get onto them, peeps.

4. Air conditioning. Holy shit it’s been hot. And it’s going to continue to be hot. How would I get my baby to sleep without the AC cranking? How would I breastfeed without her face sticking to my boobs? These are (thankfully) questions I won’t have to answer thanks to the beauty of air conditioning.

5. Mum. She only lives 10 minutes away and I’d be lost without her sometimes. Lately she has spent time with Olivia while I get things done and rest because I am feeling so drained the past 2 weeks. If she didn’t live so nearby, I’d have no one to watch Olivia. Imagine?! It may only be for 2 or 3 hours but it can make the world of difference to this tired Mumma. 
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Every Thursday I’m posting 5 things (or more) I’m thankful for. Practicing the art of being grateful is something we should all be doing. Oprah Winfrey said it best:

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” 

Being grateful will bring you happiness and peace in life. It can turn a negative into a positive. If you don’t believe me, try it yourself. Join in on Thankful Thursdays by blogging your thankfuls or using Instagram (hashtag me!).

What are your thankfuls this week?

Very Tired

I’m tired. Very tired. Olivia has tooth #7 coming through and therefore is not sleeping very well. Which means not only am I tired but I’m also sore because she insists on breast feeding all night. So I have nothing interesting to post today. So here is a load of recent pictures of my adventures in the kitchen.

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1. Tropical style smoothies are my go-to lunch right now with the heat being in the 30’s and 40’s. This one is topped with coconut and bee pollen. Easy to whack it all in the blender and tastes amazing. If only I was on a tropical island to match.

2. Was going to make a lemon meringue. Decided to give a clean recipe from IG a whirl and made a lemon tart instead. Tastes exactly the same as the lemon meringue (minus the meringue obviously) but the consistency wasn’t very pleasing – it was like half dried glue or as the Hubby said, “snot”. Delightful.

3. Scored punnets of strawberries for 99c each over the weekend. They were end-of-life quality so after making a smoothie, feeding them to the kid and having them on my breakfast cereal, I made this Strawberry Jalousie (recipe on my Instagram).

4. As mentioned above, the strawbs needed to be used, so in this smoothie went a big handful of them along with some blueberries, baby spinach, banana, black sesame seeds, coyo, bee pollen, maca powder and almond milk. Breakfast is served.

5. Healthy and “clean” flourless chocolate muffins via Teresa Cutter. I used raw cacao instead of cocoa powder which made it taste pretty bitter. Next time I’ll have to add more sweetener (agave, maple syrup etc). The recipe is here.

{RECIPE} Capsicum & Nut Dip

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Today I’m sharing the recipe for a delicious dip I made yesterday. It’s healthy and suitable for vegans, kids… everyone! I’ve had many comments on Instagram asking what nutritional yeast is. It’s great for vegetarians and has plenty of vitamins in it such as B vitamins, folic acid, selenium, zinc, and protein. It’s low in fat and often gluten free. It has a cheesy flavour so is often a staple in a vegan’s home. Olivia has air-popped popcorn with a drizzle of good quality olive oil  and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast on it every day. It’s her favourite snack and I’m okay with that because it’s pretty healthy!

Why do I love this dip? It’s easy and quick to throw together. It took me less than 5 minutes to pop it in my Cuisinart, blitz it smooth and transfer to a glass jar. And I usually have all the ingredients in my kitchen at any notice.
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 You’re going to need:
  • 1 cup pine nuts 
  • 1 cup cashews 
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • 1 red capsicum 
  • 1 lemon, juiced 
  • ½ cup ACV 
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast/savoury yeast
  •  Pinch salt 
  • Water for desired consistency (I use none)

Blend all ingredients in food processor or blender.
Store the dip in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

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I usually only make half the amount which is perfect for one person over a week or two. I also do a little less ACV than listed as I find it too overpowering. You can smear it on some bread, or use it as a dip for some crackers, or veggie sticks.
Tip: you could use salted cashews instead of a pinch of salt.
Not sure who to credit with the recipe as my Mum sent it to me in a Word Document a couple years ago. Hope you enjoy it, maybe it’ll be your go-to dip to take to your next BBQ!

Top 5 Current Lusts

It’s Wednesday today… also known as HUMP DAY. And boy am I struggling to get over the hump today.
Let’s be materialistic for a moment and look at pretty things I want to buy. That’ll cheer me up!

1. A ladder unit from Jumbled. Actually, I want everything from Jumbled. I love the mint colour and if I didn’t have a child with greasy little fingers that would pull everything off this, it would already be in my house. Actually, I can see Olivia sitting in this herself. Much like a cat would. I think it could make a great bathroom shelving unit too, while adding a bit of colour.

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2. The BRIMNES bedhead. It’s ingenious… bookcase bedheads are nothing new. But bookcase bedheads that still let you lean against it are. I’ve been crushing on it (and the storage bed base in the same range) for over 2 years now. The top of it is flat but with a lip so nothing will fall on your head, and it has a hole in it to feed through the cord for your lamp. I just love it!
If only they made it in King size…

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3. Bohemian. Bohemian homewares in particular. I’ve always associated the hippy, bohemian style with the smell of incense and that is something I don’t want my house to be like. Taking in the fact that the Hubby likes white, black, and modern designs, and hasn’t had a taste change in styling like I have, I’ve learnt to use some key pieces of bohemian homewares to stand out in my home without looking like a hippie from the 1970’s threw up in our lounge room. A medium sized rug under the coffee table, a dream catcher in the kid’s room etc. And this photo frame – it’s a little Indian, a little pre-school colourful but very me right now. Need. Want. Please?
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4. This bracelet. Technically I just bought this but I’m still going to list it. It’s so pretty. I’ve been getting into accessories and jewelry lately, something I’ve not been too interested in before. I was never a girly type, never cared for jewelry – I was always outside getting sweaty and dirty or riding horses. Oh motherhood, how you’ve changed me! I’m also loving Louun. I want lots of their rings, so dainty and fine. I’m half Italian so chunky jewelry just enhances the wog in me, especially if it’s gold. That’s why I made sure the Hubby got me a white gold engagement and wedding ring 😉 This bracelet is borderline, but something about it has captured my eye. I posted it on my Instagram asking for opinions and it was a divided response. Too bad, I now own one!
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5. Top Deck. Because this Hump Day sucks. Chocolate fixes everything, right?

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Letters to Liv #1

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Your Pa takes many beautiful photos of you, and you LOVE the camera.
Dear Olivia,
It’s now the new year – 2014. I officially can’t say “I had a baby last year”. That kinda makes me sad!
You’ll be TWO this year (okay, that’s 10 months away…). Time is flying and you are growing so quick. The last year of your life has been mind blowing. Watching you learn and grow is such a blessing. The feeling of pride in my heart is so over whelming when you work out a new puzzle or realize that you pressed that button and it did something. Cause and effect. You are very clever for your age, I believe. I love watching you do the simplest of tasks. Lately you’ve been climbing on the couch and sitting all slouched, playing with your legs absent-mindedly while you watch whatever I’ve left the TV on. 
Yes, you watch TV. Bad parenting, I know 😉 I’m selective about what you watch though. 
Educational shows: Yes. 
Grand Theft Auto 5: No.
Your Dad learnt that lesson pretty quick. Violent video games are to played when you’re in bed!
You mainly watch shows for dancing and singing and animal recognition. You love The Wiggles and Giggle and Hoot. You dance non stop to The Wiggles. You have some amazing moves, and it’s all natural, baby! You also like the theme for Charlie and Lola but your obsession with Peppa Pig was short lived. You really like the animals in Mama Mirabelle’s Home Movies.
Speaking of animals you are still obsessed with cats. You love Meeka and the poor thing has put up with a lot from you. You’ve tipped water on her, ripped chunks of hair out, and twisted her tail. You share her cat biscuits with her and you smack your lips, mimicking me when I call for her. You love to offer her all your food as you walk around the backyard – watermelon, strawberries, egg, and drinks. Sadly Penny hasn’t been the same since the bushfires and you never get to play with her any more.
You are such a hilarious kid. You’re unlike any baby I’ve ever met or heard of. You make me laugh so much every day. You sing and dance and have no shame! When we go shopping you talk to at least 3 people every time! You’re rarely shy. I love that about you as I have always been the opposite. You do things to make everyone laugh and you’re just a year old! You make yourself laugh too which is a great trait kid, don’t lose it!
Last year we didn’t really celebrate Christmas. On one hand I felt like a failed parent for that. You poor child, missing out on Christmas! But we just didn’t have the finances or the heart for it this year. It’s been a hectic year, lots going on Liv… one day you’ll understand that Christmas is sometimes just at the bottom of your priority list. Luckily you are young enough to not care. You didn’t even know it was Christmas. You did enjoy ripping paper off the presents that you got. The year before last you were only 12 weeks old on Christmas day so didn’t care about presents, only the wrapping paper. This time you were able to rip that paper off and ooh and ahh over the gift inside. Then you’d walk away and get over it!
This year your Daddy and I gave you a big wooden toy cube that has different activities on it. You also got a shirt for summer and 2 wooden puzzles. One has fruit on it that have been halved and you stick them together with velcro and pretend to cut them with a wooden knife. You recognize all the fruits (watermelon, banana, strawberry and pear). We also got you a new charm for your bracelet or whatever you decide to do with them when you’re older. It’s a promise we made for every Christmas – a new charm with a story behind it. This time it was a pussy cat. You’re just so obsessed!
You might care to know that I (your mumma) had a pussy cat charm on my bracelet when I was a teenager. 
I promise this year will be a magnificent Christmas. I just don’t want it to be all about presents though.
You have also been a pain in Mumma’s bottom over the last year. You’ve hurt my back and neck so badly that I take way too much pain relief and have to get pain relief treatments all the time. You need to feed to sleep still, while I’m standing and swaying. It’s not ideal but I know it’s not forever. You don’t realize that you’re almost 11 kilos! One day I will miss it, so for now I try to cherish having you fall asleep in my arms and snuggle me all night.
I feel so complete with you in my life. I know Daddy feels the same. For this year, I’d like you to start eating more foods. More variety and more often. I worry you’re going to vanish into thin air when you have days where all you will eat is 4 strawberries. I also want you to sleep better for your sake (okay and mine). I want you to feel refreshed and awake when you get up! I also want you to KEEP YOUR DAY NAP this year. Oh Lord, please!
Everything else will fall into place. I will let you be your own little person. You’ll develop your personality more and more. You’ll experience new emotions and situations. There will be plenty of tears, plenty of tantrums I’m sure. But you can bet your teddy bear there’ll also be plenty of love, hugs, laughter and kisses (something else you love to do – kiss people!). You are so dearly loved and I can’t wait to live 2014 with you by my side, little one.
Much love,
Mumma xx

*I could write so much more in this letter, but it would go on for hundreds of pages.