Thursday, March 28, 2013

Bunny face lift

We're heading to the in-laws for the long Easter weekend tomorrow, so today involved creating (and then subsequently destroying) bunny cookies and flourless peanut butter kiss cookies. And of course since we won't be here for Easter, the Easter bunny dropped off our basket a bit early.

That sugar overload will be shared with the fam.

The best bunny/cat cookie looked like this:

Icing artistry work completed by the Hubs.

Unfortunately, the bunnies underwent substantial plastic surgery (literally when I tried to put the saran wrap over them). The bunnies are hopeful that the Hubs will offer free reconstructive surgery.  

I hope everyone enjoys a lovely long weekend and has as much fun as I plan to have with my favourite pugaliers - Molly and Charlie.

The Workout

I went to body pump and walked 6ks.

Off to read,


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Melting in the kitchen

Today was the highest day in March in Victoria in over 50 years, and I decided to do some baking. I definitely didn't think this plan through. The title says it all.

At the market the other day I bought a cucumber and tomatoes, so I decided to make a panzanella salad. I had some basil on its last leg (I can kill a plant faster than anyone I know).

I figured I could make a nice basil mix for the croutons - basil, oil, garlic. I thought I could use my vitamix to blend the mixture; I could not. I was able to use my onion chopper though (by the way, you need an onion chopper).

The croutons turned out really tasty (as in a few didn't make into the salad).

I moved on to my next baking adventure - biscuits. I served the biscuits with roasted veggies and the Hubs was a happy man.

Now I have to drag my bum to the laundry mat to dry my sheets after a fight with my washer and not enough time before bed for the sheets to air dry. Wish me luck.

Off to dry,


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Body pump

Body pump is my go-to for a good weight lifting session (okay, it's the only way I'm lifting weights these days). I first discovered body pump in law school in 2008 and since then I've had phases of loving it and hating it. I'm currently in a loving phase and try to make it twice a week.

Body pump involves working each body part for the length of a song - warm-up, quads, chest, back, triceps, biceps, hamstrings, shoulders, abs. It's always in the same order, which when I'm in the "hate" phase makes for a long hour session, but lately the class has been going by really fast. From the Les Mills website it states that you can do up to 800 repetitions with 70-100 per body part. 

What I love about the class is that you really start to notice increased strength with the moves. Lately I've been noticing that I'm getting stronger with the tricep moves and the lunges. Lunges are something I want to train myself to love (seriously, is there a way to love the ahh-it-burns?). I'm a fan of the squats and really like some of the super intense shoulder tracks. I dislike when the instructor sings.

When we move I'm not planning to join a gym, because the one in our area has really inconvenient hours. I'm hoping that I can buy some weights and get into a good home-based weight lifting routine.

The Workout

Today I went to body pump and walked 5ks

Off to clean the house,


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Week 2 Meals

I really enjoyed having a meal plan last week, although Friday ended up being takeout instead of the cauliflower wings (darn you Thai - you get me every single time!).

Let's see what we can wrangle up for this week.

Monday - Pizza and Juice
Tuesday - Summer pasta and juice
Wednesday - TLT and smoothie
Thursday - BBQ with veggie dogs, corn and tomato
Friday - Fridge scavenging / Take-out

This week should be entitled "I don't feel like cooking" (okay, I'm really just being lazy, but we're all entitled to be lazy sometimes). But meal plans, at least for me right now, are more about organising and budgeting than an amazing meal.

Today I went to the market to get some organic produce and decided to try another variety of carrot.

The golden carrot.

Obviously, I had to use these beauties in a fresh juice. I opted for a non-traditional juice (at least for us) and it included - golden carrots, oranges, spinach, lime, and sweet potato.

It was a delicious juice with a mild flavour.

We followed the juice with a healthy portion of summer pasta (this time I added crushed red pepper - yum!).

Now I need to come up with other uses for the basil bunch I have left (suggestions welcomed).

The Workout 

I walked 5ks and went to body pump.

Off to watch tv,


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Purple Carrots

Yesterday was an exciting day in house buying - we paid our deposit (it's starting to feel real). I also went to the Prahran market in search of some organic produce. I found lovely spinach and also a new-to-me veggie - purple carrots.

Purple carrots taste exactly like their orange cousins, but offer a different nutrient profile. It's important to eat a variety of colours, and purple pigments can improve vision, protect against heart attacks and help with memory functions.

We put ours into a juice.

The dinner plan said Mexican bowls, but I decided to change things up a bit by making potato nachos (which used mostly the same ingredients). The Aussie and I were pretty happy with the results. Slice the potato extra thin and toss with olive oil. Then bake on top of a cooling rack and top with whatever toppings you desire.

The Workout

I walked 5ks and went to body pump

Off to be productive,


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pinterest is Addicting

Today was not overly productive. I did some job searching and applying (Hi Potential Employers, hire me!). I also spent an unhealthy amount of time scouring pinterest in search of home decorating ideas.

Master bedroom potential:

Organised & bright laundry room:

I can't wait to call this "my" street.

It has such a welcoming feel.

For dinner tonight I modified the stacked enchiladas to regular rolled enchiladas, because we used flour tortillas instead of corn. The filling was zucchini, mushrooms, tomato, black beans, spinach, cilantro, and seasonings.

We also had a juice to start the meal with the usual suspects.

I really enjoyed having the meal plan in place, because I didn't have to think about what to have for dinner.

The Workout

Rest day. I made the mistake of pushing the workout to the evening and then by the evening I felt a bit "blah" (medical term). Lesson learned - knock it out first.

Off to spent time with the Hubs,


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

First Meal Plan

I've seen a few bloggers doing a weekly meal plan, and I figured it might be a way for me to curb my food spending habits. In the last few months the Aussie has been tracking our spending in preparation for buying a house, and we've sadly realised that food spending is out of control ridiculous - fancy ingredients (hello, coconut flour), eating out (Thai take-out), and poor planning. I accept that Australia is more expensive (heck, avocados were $4 the other day), but I think planning meals will help ensure I'm using everything I buy. Plus I can pair more expensive meals with cheaper meals during the week.

Speaking of buying, I plan to start raiding my pantry to see what I can come up with. I bought a case of organic canned beans awhile ago, so I still have a few of those. Plus the more we eat the less we have to pack.

This week will be nothing too fancy, but hopefully I'll get better as the weeks go by.

MONDAY - Toast with cream cheese and tomato (no food in the fridge)
TUESDAY - Tofu scramble 
WEDNESDAY - Stacked Veggie Enchiladas
THURSDAY - Mexican bowl with homemade salsa and guacamole
FRIDAY - Cauliflower wings with side salad

The Aussie was a champion and picked up 90% of what we need for the meals (I'll be picking up some organic produce from the market and a few odds and ends).

The tofu scramble was delicious. The key to the perfect scramble is to ensure the bottom browns with proper cooking (let it cook without flipping it for awhile). For my scramble, I use pepper and mushrooms and the tofu base is organic tofu, a ton of nutritional yeast, turmeric, mustard, black pepper and pink salt. I use a potato masher to mash the tofu and then add the ingredients with a splash of water. I cook the peppers and mushrooms and then add the tofu to heat and brown it.

Today's other excitement (perhaps only excitement, because seriously meal planning isn't that fun) was visiting a specialty store selling American food called Amazing Savings. When I arrived I was told that today was closing day, which meant super low prices. I was forced to load up on things the Aussie and I haven't had in forever!

The goods will need to be portioned out or else we'll be on a permanent sugar high. With that being said, I do believe breakfast will be a bowl of cinnamon toast crunch.

The Workout

I did a 5k walk.  

Off to read,


Monday, March 11, 2013

Family Mini-Vacation

It was a whirlwind of a little family vacation to the Great Otway National Park near Lavers Hill. We stayed at the Johanna River Farm and Cottages, which has 4 cottages and is located on a 280 acre farm. We stayed in the Blackwood and Teatree cottages - each had two bedrooms.

The first night was a mad race to get out of Melbourne (along with every other person in the city), and we didn't arrive until 11pm. There was also an invasion of crickets in the cottage, which freaked me out (umm, a lot). Luckily I barricaded our room and the crickets were few and far between on the second and third nights.

Saturday morning we did a walk on the farm down to the river (which in the summer it becomes more of a creek).

Then we went to the beach, which was 4ks away. The water was incredibly wild and I loved hearing it roar and seeing the waves.


The picture does not do it justice.

A highlight of the mini-vacation was that the pups could come.

I could look at those mugs all day. And I did.

 I *may* have stared a bit too long.

On Sunday we went on a treetop walk through the forest. 

We also hiked 5ks to a waterfall, which included steep inclines on the way in and out (my calves are killing me today).

When we got home we enjoyed a beautiful sunset and lots of card games. 

It was a lovely way to spend a weekend.

Off to bed,


Friday, March 8, 2013

Long Weekend Adventures

Today we're heading to spend the long weekend with the family down at the Great Otway National Park where my in-laws rented a house.

The house is about 3 hours drive from Melbourne. I'm looking forward to lots of long hikes with beautiful views.

I hope I see one of these non-bears:

Koalas are so adorable!

The house is pretty remote and not near any grocery stores, so we need to bring our own food. So I have made:

Veggie lasagna (with cauliflower cheese)

Granola bars

Pumpkin soup (key is to add a potato)

Chocolate chip cookies

 And I'm bringing some other odds and ends like trail mix and chips.

The Workout

I walked 8ks. 

Off to the Otways,


Thursday, March 7, 2013


Today the contract on the house was signed, and tonight the vendor will be signing. Very exciting and scary times. We settle in 60 days, which is right before my birthday (note to the Hubs - this can't count as my bday pressie).

I'm already starting to think up things to do to the house - redo the butt ugly kitchen, add a deck, and (if I can convince the Aussie that we need one) put in a water feature.

I fell in love with this one:

(note to the Hubs - this can count as a birthday gift)

I'm looking forward to decorating the house and believe I may form a pinterest obsession.

In contrast to yesterday, today I had an extremely pretty smoothie that was a lovely red shade (but I failed on the picture taking because the Aussie is a thief and stole my camera).

I also made Tofu & Broccoli (veg version of Beef & Broccoli) served with brown rice for dinner. Instead of using soy sauce as the base for the sauce, I opted for Braggs Liquid Amino Acids (which may or may not be healthier than soy sauce depending on who you ask).

Tomorrow I'm excited for an early morning walk with the SIL around a local lake. I will certainly miss being close to the SIL when we move.

The lake is such a nice walk with a sand trail and views of the city.

The Workout

Went to body pump and did an 3k walk. 

Off to watch tv,