31 Mar 2013

Jolly Nose, 4WD Day

We had a great Easter weekend with P's folks. On Saturday we had a fab day of exploring - both the bush and the car's 4WD ability! Gosh, the Port Macquarie area is such a beautiful place... don't you think?

Home now, ready to start a few weeks of resting before baby comes along. If it comes on time. Which it probably won't!

 Es ♥

29 Mar 2013

A Good Sort of Friday

Yes it's Easter and we're up the coast with P's parents; enjoying the fresh ocean air and some 4WD action up the mountain. Got some pics on the 'real' camera to share later, but here's a couple of snapshots from the fish markets this morning... at 5am no less!

Es xx

28 Mar 2013

Feels Like Friday


Today feels like the mother of all Fridays, and it's only Thursday. But being my last day at work, it's got an epic finality about it. It's time for a whole new phase of life to begin. Hopefully Part One will include a few weeks to relax and re-group before baby gets here, but you just never know with these things! We are in for a lot of surprises in the next few months, so we can't really do much except go with the flow. And the vomit. And the crying. And hopefully lots of laughs - maybe maniacally due to lack of sleep!

Heading up to P's family for the Easter weekend, so should be able to share a few shots of the beach and our general activities. I'm gonna eat the crap outta some hot cross buns and Easter eggs... Woot!

Es ♥

P in daddy-training with our friend's bub.
The ONLY clothing item we have bought for ourselves. Our friends and family have been so generous! (P tells me that the tiny pockets are for baby's small change. Haw haw haw.
P already had the grey shirt, and our friends bought us the baby version. Classic!

26 Mar 2013

Confinement - You're Doing it Wrong

I have been reading Anna Karenina, and the word 'confinement' comes up a lot, each time a character becomes pregnant. Being a novel set in the 19th century, and me being here in the 21st, it's a bit of a struggle to know what that means. I mean, technically it refers to labour, but it seems to be more generally used (in novels anyway) for just making sure you take it easy during the final stages of pregnancy.

It got me thinking how in today's society, we often do this really badly. Many people work right up until the due date, assuming their baby doesn't come early. In general we keep really busy, keep up vigorous exercise routines, catch up with people so we can 'fit it all in before baby comes'. All your body needs is rest. Sure, some swimming and walking has been proven to be very helpful for birth and recovery, but even just climbing the stairs can be a challenge depending on your size!

My not-quite-mother-in-law just texted me today to see how I was. Being that my partner is away, she was checking in and told me to call her Sydney-based-sister if I need help. My immediate thought was, "help for what?" I'm still at work, I have been doing everything the same as usual... Am I doing pregnancy wrong? Should I be somehow less capable? Should I be resting/sleeping at home most of the day? Are there some trashy movies I should be watching? Am I over-straining myself by doing what I think are normal everyday things?

Perhaps I should be more princess-y about it all. Make people carry my handbag and fetch my decaf coffees. Get them to drive me to work and pick up my shopping. But I can't! It's just not in my nature and more importantly, I FEEL FINE so I will keep on 'keeping on' as usual, until I get so baby-humongous that I can't move.

Still, I like the 'idea' of confinement. The concept lends itself to a certain feeling of elegance; like I'm being secreted away in all my round-belly glory; eating peeled grapes or chocolate icecream brought to me by servants.

Or how about this? We could take the 'confinement' idea for other times in our life. Make it a time to just shut-off from responsibility or social engagements just to 'be'. Health retreats are great for this! Really I think this concept is a good one all 'round. It makes me think of relaxing, taking stock, caring for health, sleeping and turning off the mobile/internet. Not a bad plan for any old day!

Es ♥

25 Mar 2013

Experiments in Ice-Blocks

I have seen so many recipes out there for home-made ice-blocks. I've been busting to try some out! At Ikea on the weekend, we found some super-cheap moulds so I snatched them up. I wanted bigger ones with the option of a wooden stick, but this will do for now (I want the larger, stick-ones so I can make grown-up pops for parties!). 

So flavour attempt #1 was raspberry, yoghurt, milk and honey. I blended it all up but left some raspberries whole for a bit of variety. Tasted pretty good! It was basically a simpler version of Jamie Oliver's 1-minute 'icecream' which is really delicious (the mint in there is amazing). Next I think I will try a chocolate-y ice cream/yoghurt one. Hmm, with all this warm weather (what the heck Autumn!), I might have to get onto this ASAP...

Es ♥

24 Mar 2013

6 Years!

As I was talking to a friend last night about my relationship, I realised that it was actually our anniversary that day. Yup, realised at 10pm last night. Neither of us remembered. Oops.

So as we left the birthday party, I took 2 matching cupcakes with hearts on them, and broke the news to P as we got back to the car. We both laughed 'cos we are clearly romantically retarded, ate our cupcakes, said 'cheers' for 6 years and promised to have a dinner date soon.

Ah, young love.

Es ♥

23 Mar 2013

A Note on Naps

I never really was a napper, but in recent times I can see what all the fuss is about. Previously, I had found them difficult to achieve (would lie there awake with too many thoughts) and if I need fall asleep, then I would wake up groggy and feel only half-awake for the rest of the day.

Now though, I can settle into bed in the afternoon with a book, wake up 45 minutes later and feel amazing. I think the key is to nap when you have a reason to, then it works like a charm. And don't make it too long. 30-60 minutes is enough - any more than that and you enter super-sleep-zone and wake up feeling like a truck hit you. Go forth and nap yourself this weekend!

Es ♥

21 Mar 2013

Fruity Goodness

I love fruit! I'm a bit of a health-nerd anyway (geez, lucky I'm a naturopath eh?), but I go through phases where I can't get enough.

Summer is a fantastic time to get your fix; nectarines, peaches, cherries, berries, melons, plums, grapes... yum! But even in winter, I love a crisp apple or a juicy orange. I usually stew green apples in winter for my porridge, which is always tasty.

As you can see, I'm trying to hold on to as much summery-fruit-goodness as I can, although in truth, this peach was not the best I've ever had.

Still! Onwards and upwards! Had a pear the other day and it was ace. Bring on new fruit options!

Es ♥

20 Mar 2013

Don't Mess with My Hot Cross Bun

I am a Hot Cross Bun Traditionalist. I love the smell of the fruit-and-spice-filled, sticky-topped, bready-bun. I'll have it cold or warmed up. I like it as it is, or maybe toasted with honey, butter, jam or even peanut butter (try it, it's awesome).

Don't give me any choc chips. Don't waste my time with 'fruitless' or 'coffee-infused' or with chilli (I know, weird). Just give me a plain ol' bun with all the old school recipe. And I want it on Good Friday like you're 'sposed to, but let me have a couple beforehand just make sure I buy the right ones for the day, OK?

Es ♥

p.s. This post would have been better if there was a picture of the hot cross bun I ate this morning, but it was gone before I could get my camera out. Pesky little thing.

19 Mar 2013

Living In The Moment

I won't lie to you, I'm not very good a living in the now/ the present/ the moment/ the gift that is this precious second we have together... I'm just a bit crap at it. I try to, but then my mind wanders to what I need to do that afternoon, what happened last night on that show I like, and how fit I will or won't be when I'm 60. My mind is like a super-highway filled with terrible, dangerous, erratic drivers who can't stay in the one lane for more than 30 metres. You know, those jerks who never use their indicators.

It's better than it used to be. A lot of life's anxieties have gone away now that I feel a bit more solid in my world and the path that I am on. But the basic framework of always 'being somewhere else' is still very much a reality for me. I often think that times when we are unwell, have an accident or something in our bodies just doesn't work right, it's often a good time to slow down and smell the roses. A bit of a silver lining to being sick maybe?

To play devil's advocate for a moment though, a lot of our survival is down to planning ahead. If I didn't plan my education, then I wouldn't be a Naturopath now. And more simply, if I don't plan out my evening meals, then I would probably eat a lot worse and have the resultant health issues associated with this (cue fatness). But there's a balance to everything, and I could surely do with some more time in the present.

One way that I try and combat some of this inability to live in the now, is by taking stock; appreicating what I have and how damn good it is. So, as this blog is turning out to be a bit of a year-diary to look back on (if I make it through year that is), I figured I'd have one of these moments to reflect on some of the good shit right now.

Great things as of THIS MOMENT
  • The imminent conclusion of work - 7 more days!
  • Change of seasons and the cooler weather - making sleeping easier and cuddles cosier.
  • Being able to eat lots and not get fat - the kinda stuff I usually restrict in my diet (pasta, sweet treats, bigger portions). Thank you pregnancy hormones, you are amazing.
There are lots of things, but let's not drag this out. It's just nice to reflect on a couple of things that are awesome. At least then I know that for about 3 minutes this week, I was totally in the moment. Better than nothing right?

Es ♥

18 Mar 2013

Real Men Make Craft

Saw this blog post today and I liked it enough to share. Meet Jamie, from the UK. He is an IT programmer, and a cross-stitcher! I thought his art and his ideas were cool. 

You can read it here if you wanna: Mr X Stitch

Es ♥

16 Mar 2013

An Idea for Holiday Snaps

When P and I went to Tasmania a couple of years ago, we took A LOT of photos. Tasmania is absolutely beautiful and before we knew it, we had taken about 900 photos in 10 days! It seemed a shame to let them sit, forgotten on a hard drive, so we went online to make them into a book.

We had a voucher for Mini Box and we made a 40-page book of about 80 selected photos. It only cost about $20 and it means we have a lovely record of our trip. We've just come back from Hawaii so we have decided to do it again. It's so easy to do and you can design the layout yourself if you choose to.

Our Hawaii book just arrived in the post today and it looks fab! Definitely more likely to look at the photos again when they're in a book, then look up a computer file each time. And showing friends or relatives is much better like this, rather than making them trawl through hundreds of picture files. Boring!

Es ♥

Photo Shoot

Well, we did it. We did that totally daggy, photo shoot thing. One hour with a photographer and lots of pictures of P, me and our bump at Centennial Park.

It was quite fun actually. I was worried that I would be really self-conscious, but when you have a bump to stare at, with true emotion, then it's a lot easier. P and I just laughed and joked through it all, so the pictures should come out well. Couldn't have asked for a better day of weather either. 

And, we didn't realise until she asked us how long we have been together, but today is 6 years to the day since we met. How bizarre! Should have some pictures to share in a couple of weeks :)

Es ♥

15 Mar 2013

Friday Punny!

Oh man, I'm hilarious. Probably not, but I do love a pun. Not necessarily a good pun either. Sometimes the really groan-worthy ones are the best. Anyhoo, saw these and thought to myself, what better for a Friday? Let your mind turn to soap as you read these. They're pretty bad.

Es ♥

13 Mar 2013

Is Fitness Training Embarassing?

There was an article on smh.com.au today where a fitness 'guru' describes outdoor fitness groups as embarrassing and very middle class (nice for those who can afford it). The bee in his bonnet is that they take over beaches, parks and sometimes children's play equipment with their training and apparently people do it to show-off rather than get fit.
Ok, so some groups definitely don't have the right permits to train where they do, and that's a council issue. But should we really be hating on people doing exercise; in any form or fashion? I mean even if they are showing off, for some people that's the motivation to get fit in the first place; to look good. And if that philosophy means they train hard and cut their risk of cardiovascular disease in half, well, who cares if they're a bit cocky with it?
Surely we shouldn't demonise those who are making time in their day (often at a very stupid hour of the morning) to get sweaty. Really we should be saluting them and aim to do something similar in order to have better energy levels and longer lives.
It seems a bit petty that's all. Am I wrong?

Es ♥

12 Mar 2013

New Stove-top Kettle!

Our electric kettle died. Well, it was dying. It would boil, then click off, but still keep on boiling the water. So you would have to turn it off at the power point and then promptly burn yourself on the over-heated plastic. Yikes!

I have always wanted a stove-top kettle. P immediately looked at some fancy ones, but I just wasn't sure if we should make the investment to that extent. I mean, what if I hate waiting for the water to boil? What if the whistling drives me crazy? What about having a new baby, where putting kettle on (and getting distracted) might be safer with an electric one that just shuts itself off when boiled?

Anyway, I found this Circulon one for $35 (thank you Victoria's Basement... always amazing specials).
First impressions? Water does take about 3 times as long to boil. More when it's full (obviously). Whistle on this one is more of an increasingly loud hum rather than a whistle. We keep thinking it's something on the TV! But I love the colour and the design. It's solid, everything clicks in nicely and there's rubber bits so no burny-burns on the hands.

As far as it taking longer to boil, well, at the moment I like it. I mean, it's almost part of the ritual of tea, right? Tea should take time. It's supposed to be part of the winding-down process for me, so it's like I'm forcing myself to slow down. But only time will tell how much I like this in the future! It's the honeymoon phase.

Let's be honest though. As I am writing this, I have just spilt hot tea on myself, so maybe my issues are more to do with tea-drinking than with tea- making.

Es ♥

11 Mar 2013

Sydney Skies

Sometimes Sydney just puts on show in the sky. Saturday night was no exception. 

As we were sitting at Opera Bar, sipping on champagne (yup, even a little for me!) at a wonderful Hen's night, the sky was just  peaches and cream. This is just an iPhone photo, unedited, and it still manages to capture a little bit of the beauty.

Good one Sydney. 

Es ♥

10 Mar 2013

Medical Advances... and Nappies!

Had our first baby class yesterday. Feeling a lot less anxious about everything really. Didn't think I was anxious, but it was certainly nice to hear that epidurals have less drug going through you these days and that cesareans have a really quick recovery rate now, and the cut is pretty small! So, no matter what happens with this kid, we'll be all good. Certainly going to try and get it out the regular way, but there's less concern now if that's not to be.

Got some super cute cloth nappies today too! The lady was super-nice and gave us lots of little extras for free. So, poo-plan is organised.

3 more weeks of work left... woot! Really enjoying all the social things too; a hen's night last night, a 30th soon, a girly dinner, Easter mini-break to P's folks, a wedding in Kangaroo Valley and just general catch up times with peeps.

Really just doing all I can to relax, sleep, enjoy the peace and quiet - perhaps the last time for a while!

Es ♥

8 Mar 2013

Tasty Steak

(not a picture of the ones we made, but just as tasty!)

Want a sneaky quick marinade for steak?

For 2 steaks, marinate both in a mix of 1 shot glass of balsamic vinegar and 1 shot glass of whiskey for an hour.

We had this last night and it was delicious!

Es ♥

7 Mar 2013

Love What You Do?

Ok, so some of these 'inspired' quotes get a bit of a yawn from me, but this one touched a cord. Have been thinking lots lately about the next phase of my life with work and it's a good time to take stock and carve out some plans. I have already embarked on a plan somewhat already, but will probably share that another time. What I will say is that these plans are very sensible, career moves and are certainly in line with my skills and interests. However, there is definitely room for some more passion projects, so this quote was timely. 
It seems to be a good place to start eh?
Es ♥

6 Mar 2013

China Doll

Not a doll made of china, but coming from China! 

Got this lovely little mum-with-baby doll from my work colleague who just returned from a 3 week trip. Going straight to the pool baby room!

Es ♥

5 Mar 2013

The Psychology of the Local Pool

I have always liked swimming. Always. Quite the water baby in my youth. And now that love of the water is paying off in dividends, being that I am not really able to do much else in the way of exercising at the moment.

But I have to say that over the years, I have noticed a few funny things about public pools and the kinds of people they draw in...

  1. The Serious Swimmers. Location: Fast Lane. These guys are often decked out in flippers, special snorkels (yes different to regular ocean ones), and generally an 'out of my way' attitude. The benefit if this though is that every one who qualifies for this lane understands THE RULES - i.e. overtaking, letting others overtake, lap consistency etc. If you don't know the rules, then get outta this lane.
  2. The Mixed Bag Swimmers. Location: Medium Lane. Still a clued-in lot, this lane has a mixture of freestylers and breaststrokers usually and most people know the rules. Sometimes there is the odd person who is way too fast and getting frustrated with the medium pace, but for some reason are not in the Fast Lane. Weird.
  3. The Gary Larson Swimmers. Location: Slow Lane. Ok, so Gary Larson (The Far Side) might be a bit mean, but honestly, this lane is home to the weirdest, slowest, most 'lane-drifty' swimmers known to society. And I have to say it, there are often people in there who are not just slow in pace, if you get my drift. Swimming in this lane (if you can swim) is infuriating. Not recommended for anyone who did swim school as a 6 year old. Even if you haven't swum since primary school, you still probably qualify for Medium Lane. Having said all that though, good on these peeps for actually getting in the pool.You can tell a lot of them are very new to swimming and it can be really terrifying. So, props for that.

We could go on the discuss the Psychology of the Public Pool Change Room, but I try to get in and out as quick as possible so as not to hover too long around the 'old-lady-nudity' and 'screaming shampoo-soaked kids' groups. Let's not dwell on this. Just get out there and swim. Generally there are no excuses as most pools are heated to some degree. Swimming loosens tight muscles, is great for anyone with an injury and still gets your heart-rate going. 

The other great thing about local pools is all the different shapes and sizes of bodies. I have seen pregnant ladies, tiny babies, the very large, the very skinny, the wrinkly oldies, and the gangly teens... you name it, they're there. So no matter how bad you think you look in swimmers, I say get out there and swim.

Es ♥

4 Mar 2013


This Chamomile blend from Simon Johnson is delicious! It was given to me as a sample and I love it. It  is a blend of chamomile, lemongrass and other yummy things I can't remember.

It made me realise how much a good herbal tea can make your afternoon, over a crappy supermarket one.

Now I need to go an invest some time and money into my tea collection again, especially as the cooler days come on.

2 Mar 2013

Whatever you do, you're always you

It's tempting to try and change yourself. Now if that's to be a bit more patient, or more fit or healthy then sure, nothing wrong with that. But trying to change crucial parts of yourself because you think it'll be a better way to do things, or people will like it better, then I think you'll have trouble pulling it off.

We all still delude ourselves that its possible to alter our characters, but our essential self still comes out - it's too strong! We know this because people tell us. We might think, "I don't really have a style" but then our friends will see something and say "Oh that's so you!" and they're right. So how come they know and we don't? Are we too close to ourselves to be able to be objective? Are we always just trying to emulate others we admire? Whatever the reason, I think we're often the last people to know ourselves. Which is weird really.

If you have good people around you and you are loved, then being unable to be anyone else but yourself is actually quite liberating. There's a certain inevitability about things. Your patterns of who you choose for friends, your level of intelligence, your style of dressing, your taste in music - it's all just, you.

And I can tell you, it's liberating when you're 'fat-with-first-child' thinking, "God I hope I don't mess this kid up" because in the end, you're going to parent exactly how you are as a person, no matter what. You'll react to things how you always react. You'll be patient sometimes and lose it completely at other times. You'll be a cuddly parent, or you won't. Some mums may sing to their babies, some would rather talk or read. And, as a friend pointed out to me today, your baby comes with their own essential self too. So they're going to be who they are as well. In fact, babies are the best at being themselves as they simply don't know any different way to be.

So relax I say. Do what you like doing. We can always improve our health or be kinder or more helpful to others, but essentially we are going to be just who we always were. Warts and all.

Es ♥

1 Mar 2013

Cars and Rain

Our car is on holiday with P for a buck's weekend, so I have stolen Dad's car for a couple of days. Fun! It's a super zippy VW so no complaints.

Raining lots today, this first day of Autumn. So much so, that we totally vetoed a walk/run at the park in favour of more bed-time. Hey, life's tough right? Extra hug time, extra snooze, lazy breakfast, comfy car, now insulated in an air-conditioned office.

After today, only 4 more weeks to go. And the last week is a 4-day-er!

Es ♥