Daily Inspiration: Perfection

This was one of the daily posts on one of my favourite bloggers, the Wellness Warriors, website a fe

He’s arrived: On having a baby

Caellum finally arrived early in February (not on time, but not too late to make us worried that he

Moving.

I’m currently writing this whilst nestled amongst a tower of boxes and packing paper.  This w

 

Daily Inspiration: Perfection

March 11, 2014 in Body & Mind, Mind

thought of the day

This was one of the daily posts on one of my favourite bloggers, the Wellness Warriors, website a few weeks back. Actually, I think it was during the first week after I had little baby Caellum. I remember sitting in the lounge room at 5am in the morning, feeding him, after perhaps getting an hours sleep that night, thinking it was the most ridiculous thing that I had ever read (actually, if I’m honest a few expletives might have gone through my mind and I might even have said one out loud).

But then I stopped and thought about it for a second (with the last bit of brain power that I had left after so little sleep). The sun was just rising so I could hear the birds chirping in the beautiful parklands opposite my house, Caellum was content for the moment, and backup in the form of my mum was only an hour away.

Maybe it was true, everything was perfect – right at that particular moment – if I didn’t think about the moment before or worry about what was about to happen.

I challenge you to try this next time you’re having a rotten day or you think the world is against you – think about the ‘right now’!

Eva x

He’s arrived: On having a baby

March 3, 2014 in Baby, Brisbane, Inspiration

Caellum finally arrived early in February (not on time, but not too late to make us worried that he might never come!).  I was in denial that I was actually in labour up until a few hours before he was born.  I really didn’t think it was happening, I had gotten used to being pregnant and just couldn’t imagine what it would be like having a newborn in my arms.
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I was pretty ready for the birth part itself.  I had read everything possible on childbirth and done all the courses. Enough that I nearly could have run a course myself!! And I had finally completed everything on my”to do list”, including things like rolling over my super and closing down old bank accounts (yes, I got down to the very bottom of the list – a place where you never usually make it too) so I thought I was ready as I was ever going to be.

I was probably a little less prepared for what being a mum actually meant, like most first time mums.  You have perceptions of course, but then I’d only ever got an aunties glimpse into life with kids – and that’s never really the same. Unless you have had first hand experience it’s so hard to know what to expect, and even then, every baby is different. 

To make it easier to understand for someone who has never had children it’s like having a job as a book publisher and then all of a sudden being reassigned a role as a flight traffic controller.  This may sometimes result in moments of sheer panic.  But little by little, day by day, you learn very quickly, (without too many accidents), with the help of the more experienced – until it becomes second nature… almost.  I say almost as I’ve been told that children like to mix things up, keep you guessing and on your toes.  Lucky they are super cute. 
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And my little one is pretty darn cute even if the only feature Sam tells me he got from me is my toes.  Some nights I may only get two hours sleep (the night before last) and others you might get six (last night – whoo hoo!!) but it’s really funny what you can survive on.

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And you learn all these great new skills like typing one handed while holding a nearly sleeping baby, how to get ready in 5 minutes (previously unheard of) and just how strong you can be.

I also have loved the support from others mums – those mums in the shops who tell me I’m doing a good job when my baby is screaming at the top of his lungs and those who give me advice at 2am when I need it the most. It’s like you become a part of a big community of people who understand and go out of their way to help you out.
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And as all mums tell me – it just gets better and better.  I know this is true – yesterday I got my first smile and it was priceless.

smile

Eva xx

Moving.

February 14, 2014 in Inspiration, Living, London

I’m currently writing this whilst nestled amongst a tower of boxes and packing paper.  This weekend we’re moving. Over the past 10 years in London, I’ve lived in 8 different flats (this being the 9th).  As you can imagine I’m getting pretty experienced at the practical aspects of moving.  I know the drill and what makes things a little easier and less stressful for me  (ie. hiring men and a van to help!).  

Whilst I’m excited at the prospect of a fresh start, what I always struggle with is leaving behind a home.  I’m feeling very nostalgic about our little flat.  It’s not perfect. It’s kind of small and the tiles are falling off the bathroom wall. But it has been perfect for us and we have settled in nicely. So although we only rent, there is still a small part of us that I feel we’re leaving behind.

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(Love this print!)

Over the years I’ve learnt that the secret to my home happiness is to ensure I feel that the space I live in has been influenced by me in some way.  It’s always hard when you’re renting to make your space as “you” as possible, (without upsetting the landlord).  Here are a few things that we love doing to make the space ours:

  • Hang pictures. Nail holes can be filled!  Or there are hanging alternatives out there. Don’t leave your pictures un-hung! It makes me sad.

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(Pinterest inspiration)

  • Rearrange the furniture layout. This usually happens multiple times until we get it just right. It can be hard in small spaces, but if you don’t try, you don’t know what could be possible.
  • Buy or update one piece of statement furniture or decor item. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it just has to be chosen by you, and fit the new flat / house / boat.  Furniture that you’ve had in the past won’t always fit in the new place – but that doesn’t mean you can’t adapt it.
  • Find a place for things. Nothing worse than unpacked boxes hanging around, it only makes it feel temporary (even if it is!).
  • Make it look lived in. I’m a bit of a tidy freak, so I have do this in a structured way, but I love putting my favourite nick nacks on display (oh! and my bf’s!).

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  • Burn my favourite candle. So when I walk in the front door I always have that familiar smell to make me feel at home.
  • Christen it. Invite your friends over. Make a yummy dinner and start making some new memories in your new home.

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What do you do in a rental property to make it feel like yours?

I’m looking forward to settling in over the next few weeks, perhaps I’ll give you a grand tour!

Joy xx

P.S. Eva moved last year, you can read about her experiences of it here.

Go to Melbourne (via Brisbane)

February 10, 2014 in Australia, Travel

In November we finally made it down to Melbourne. I couldn’t believe we had been in Australia for just over a year and hadn’t been to Melbourne, one of my most favourite Australian places. Finally, under the guise of a baby-moon I booked some flights and we were going.

I have to admit that I was very excited about capturing some of the lost ‘London-style’ adventures that I knew Melbourne could help me to re-create. In my view, Melbourne is a mini London with a bit of something for everyone, it’s edgy and cool and whether it’s a Monday or a Friday, you are never left wondering what to do.

Now, I know I mentioned in a previous post that Brisbane was recently voted the hippest place in Australia, but really do we have what it takes to beat Melbourne at its own game?  While I do have a soft spot for my home town, I’d have to say that it’s more “up and coming” than possibly the “hippest” place in Australia. Although this video on Brisbane did make me think twice .

Here are some of the things I loved about our trip to Melbourne:

Lining up

Yes, here in Melbourne, we had to line up to get into restaurants.  And I don’t mean the-waiting-the-5-minutes-for-the-waiter-to-wipe-down-the-table and seat you kind of waiting. I mean the inquiring-at-6.30pm-and-being-given-the-possibility-of-being-seated-at-10pm (if we were lucky) kind of waiting.

We first tried Chin Chin, on Flinders Lane, without any luck (what were we thinking trying this on a Friday night)…

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We had a short interlude (3 hours) at Madame Brussels for cocktails/mocktails. With the astro turf and tennis club design, where even the waiters are decked out in their finest tennis kit. You couldn’t help but feel like you were at some kind of 60s garden party.

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And then at 9.45pm, we finally got ourselves a table at Mamasita, the have-to-know-it’s-there-to-find-it Mexican place just around the corner on Collins Street.

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The all seasons weather

I have to say that on the first two days, I was pretty excited about donning my most favourite pair of boots, with jeans and my thickest jumper available, to hit the Melbourne streets. Sam raised his eyebrow at me for even packing them in the first place (it is summer in Australia!) so the fact that they were out and I was wearing them, gave me even more delight. But after day two, the sun came back out and my boots and jeans were quickly replaced by thongs and singlet top with skirt. In Brisbane, my bag was big enough as it was, there is no room for a jumper, thongs and umbrella, depending on which way the weather turned. I had never seen Sam so happy though, wearing jeans and a jumper for perhaps the fifth time ever (!) since he had been in Australia (including throughout the latest Brisbane winter).

Eating parrot

Ok, not quite, it was just the name of a drink. But still the menu at Gypsey and Musquito boasted items like crocodile sausages and made for some interesting ordering. The good thing here is that you can book (surely not, in Melbourne!?), but it was a nice relief to come off the well-known shopping street, Bridge Street, and straight into the cozy surroundings of this cafe (and straight into a seat).

Via the Home Journal

Via the Home Journal

There’s always a festival

There’s always something to celebrate here in Melbourne whether it’s comedy, culture, fashion, music or in this case, food. The Night Noodle Market, reminded me a bit of the food section of Glastonbury, with a much more famous line up of food venues. There were beer tents and there was also live music so you could chill out happily with your beef curry from Chin Chin (finally we got to eat there) and cider in hand.

Via Good Food

Via Good Food

Although it took me a week or two to recover from the excitement and 2am bed times, it was amazing to rediscover these simple joys of Melbourne.

What do you love about Melbourne?

Eva x
Chin Chin on Urbanspoon

Mamasita on Urbanspoon

Gypsey & Musquito on Urbanspoon

Recipe: Peanut butter chocolate balls

February 6, 2014 in Body & Mind, Health

Ok, so it might be that I’m getting a little bit too domesticated. Especially if my recent Christmas present is any indication. Welcome, the new arrival to our home, the food processor.

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Previously, I was a little dubious about how much I would use such a device. But if last week is anything to go by, it’s going to work off its value in no time. First came the tastiest corn breads, that we had at our (very belated), English version of Christmas (yes, it was 36 degrees and we still had a roast with all the trimmings). Next was the Chocolate and Nut Balls from the I Quit Sugar cookbook by Sarah Wilson. Such an amazing snack and you can make them in bulk and pop them in the freezer. (We are all over making freezer meals and making things in bulk pre-baby!)

The final recipe I tried was one given to me by my friend April. It is by far my favourite and honestly, it is definitely the most tasty, healthy snack/dessert that I have tasted. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind me sharing it:

What you need

1 can of chickpeas (towel dried)

2 tsp vanilla essence

1tsp baking powder

1/2 cup of organic peanut butter + a bit extra for good measure

1/4 cup of rice malt syrup (as we were out I substituted this for coconut oil and my new favourite sugar, coconut sugar)

Chocolate chips

What to do now

Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Add all ingredients (except the Chocolate Chips) to the food processor and blend until the chickpeas are smooth. Now add the Chocolate Chips and pulse or stir through.

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Roll them into balls and pop them into the oven for around 10 minutes (don’t let them burn).

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Or you could do what I did with half of the mixture, roll them into balls cover them with coconut flakes and crushed nuts and pop them into the freezer for tasty snacks later on.

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Yum. What recipes have you tried in your food processor?

Eva x

Snapshots: Byron Bay

February 4, 2014 in Australia, Snapshots, Travel

During our recent visit to Australia in December, we were lucky enough to have a long weekend in Byron Bay.  Oh Byron, you are such a natural beauty, I think the pictures speak for themselves.

byron accomOur cosy cottage for the weekend, only a quick stroll to the sea.

byron4The whitest, white sand you’ll see.

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IMG_3377Miles of unspoilt, rugged beach.

byron friendsLoads of friend selfie opportunities…

byron selfies…of all types!

byron food 2byron foodYummy food!

byronAnd stunning sunsets.

Take me back, please?

Joy xx

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