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#bucketlist17 – Eat Out Alone

Today was another chance to tackle two of my #bucketlist17 items – eat out alone /go out for breakfast more often.  And to ease into it, I picked a café I have been meaning to go to for a while – The Eastern Bloc in Coburg – mainly as my dear friend now works there.

16507345_10155105111189875_1762713619_n.jpgThe menu made it hard to choose one dish for breakky (to go with my awesome coffee made by dead-set spunk).  I settled for the Stirling’s Crush….. confit green peas, mint, coriander, feta and lemon – with a side of bacon…. because bacon……

Normally, I would never consider peas for breakfast, but I am now thinking that it is akin to genius.  It looked beautiful and the taste was even better!

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Stirling’s Crush – a must-try from the menu

There were too many other items on the menu that I wanted to try for this to be an only-visit and that’s not even getting started on what goodies the display case held.

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Definitely a new favourite place for coffee and brunch!!!!!!!  The hugs were an added bonus! And as for eating out alone – crushed it!

The Eastern Bloc is located at 133 Bell Street in Coburg – right near Coburg train station.

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#bucketlist17 – first item ticked!

As part of my #bucketlist17, yesterday I ticked off my first item.

My friend (who is sharing some of the bucket list journey with me) had “go horse riding” on her list.  Horse riding is something I did when I was young whenever I had the chance and have only managed to go a handful of times as an adult.  My friend, however, had “never even touched a horse!”.

So this was our first item to tackle and it was perfect – a two-hour ride in the state forest about 80km outside of Melbourne with the chance to really let the horses have a bit of a run.  The novice LOVED it, once she got over her initial nerves.

 

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Just a few shots from our ride – Ryders Horse Riding, Labertouche

 

It was a perfect way to kick off the list for me – I hadn’t realised how much I missed riding until now, and somehow I think it will be something that I will start doing more often.

This ride was through Ryders Horse Riding in Labertouche.  Our guides were lovely and they took the time to help the first-timers feel more relaxed and to allow the more experienced riders to have a bit more adventurous fun.

AND as an added bonus, we finished it off with a platter for lunch on the way home that filled the spot (and addressed another item from my list “eat out more often!”).

 

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Tasting Board at Wheelers Hill Hotel

 

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#bucketlist17

Another year has come and gone, in what seems like a blur of stress and work.  So much so that there were times I would wake up and have to lie there for several minutes to remember what day of the week it was and which place I had to be that day.

This is all because I have two, well really, three jobs and whilst two of them are meant to be part-time, they equate to trying to juggle two full-time jobs.  When I have time, I consult on the side.  Which means, I don’t sleep….. much at all lol.  Any spare time I have, I seem to end up cramming in extra work, or trying to squeeze in time with my friends.

I have promised myself that this year I would do more for myself.  And work on reducing to one role (which is slowly happening).  Talking to a friend recently, she shared a “bucket list” she was writing.  And so the #bucketlist17 was born.  Some of our list is shared, some are items for ourselves only but the idea is that this year, I will have some fun and remember who I am.

my-bucket-list

These are just a few of my items….. and the list is still in progress.

  • Eat out alone / eat out more often
  • Go horse riding (a shared item with my friend)
  • Go to NZ (part of friend’s list item to bungee jump and no, I won’t be joining her on this one)
  • Go to a shooting range (shared with friend who has “fire a gun” on her list)
  • Go strawberry picking
  • Indoor rock climbing
  • Go bushwalking/hiking
  • Reduce down to one job!
  • Visit friends interstate and family

and many more………..

 

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Brace Yourself….

As I am sure we all do, in times of rapid or stressful change, the most profound and reflective thinking seems to occur for me.

I find myself analysing things, looking inward and wanting to make sense of the whys, how’s and the general “how the hell?” moments that make up our busy lives.

I have been itching to get back behind the keys and to blog more, and lately, the stream of things/topics I want to write about is constant and almost avalanche like.  Perhaps it is one of those rapid change phases of my life but I almost don’t know where to begin.  Almost lol (as anyone who knows me can attest, I am rarely lost for words).

So bear with me, this may require several sittings, and will surely include plenty of musings and random 3am thoughts on my part.  I have recognised that I am wanting to get away from the recent blog posts of little other than reviews of great places I have been (and massive gaps in posts for more than a year at a time) and to start getting back to the nitty-gritty of my blog and why I started writing in the first place.  To share anything I find on Hashimoto’s/Fructose Malabsorption and other conditions and to share things that I have read, thought or seen that strike a chord with me.

I am resigned to the fact that at times I may feel like it is a little self-indulgent of me – predominantly because  I am good at sharing/talking about personal things on a general level, but hate exposing too much of the closer to the bone truth.  But hey, if I can’t be self-indulgent on my little blog, then where the hell can I be? I am sure that this will be interesting ……

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Gratuitous Geek Reference

 

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The Accidental Cat

It appears I am destined to be the lady with cats, the one that lives on her own and whose house is the one that the neighbourhood kids dare each other to go and knock on the door of before running away (Life Goals!)

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Just when I thought things were perfectly manageable with two mental Devon Rexes (Marvin and Mabel) I accidentally got another cat.

I know, how do you accidentally get another cat?  Well, I happen to know a woman who breeds Peterbalds…. and they are relatively new to Australia and are the result of crossing a Donsky (Russian Sphynx) and an oriental shorthair.  And she was retiring two of her breeding queens, one of which ended up with my friend.  So of course, as soon as I saw her PB, I fell in love……….. and before I knew it, I was at the airport collecting the tiniest ball of fuzz with a rat type tail who would take over the house.

So this is Simi (short for Simples, like the Meercats in the Compare the Market ads here in Australia).  She is, to be honest, a complete antichrist of a cat.  She looks funny, she is the LOUDEST thing I have ever met, she rips open bags of bread if they are left out and eats her way through the whole loaf and has a purr that is a cross between a Velociraptor and Predator.  She has no concept of personal space, will not let me sleep (has to be ON my head swatting me to get attention) and is generally a challenge.

But I love her……. and she doesn’t take shit from anyone despite being half the size of her new siblings…… who are adjusting…. slowly…

So the house now contains a Trio of Terror………

The trio of terror

 

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Thinking about a Thermomix? I have succumbed….

I have been hearing the siren song of  Thermomix for some time.  I was always curious but had heard how much they retail for and dismissed it as I didn’t think I would use it enough.  Late last year, I asked my friend (who is a consultant) to come give me a demo.  And within the first ten minutes I had made my mind up, I had to have one.

Now, there are a list of reasons that people buy a Thermomix.  Some use them daily to cook  and/or prepare vast amounts of food with them when entertaining or for their children  but none of those reasons really applied to me.  However,  I hate cooking for myself and when you live on your own, you tend to open the fridge, stare at the contents and evaluate “can I be stuffed cooking?”.  More often than not, the answer for me is no and the results are toast for dinner (stop cringing Mum).  It became clear that purchasing a Thermomix would solve two problems for me.

  1. It would inspire me to do big batch cooking, to freeze portions so that I always had healthy home cooked food on hand for when the answer to my question “can I be stuffed” would have normally resulted in toast for dinner.
  2. I could make food that didn’t have hidden nasties in it that would set off my Fruct Mal.  Like my own concentrated vegetable stock paste, from scratch, in short amounts of time at the press of a button without evils like onion in it.

So when Trixie (as she has been named by my friends) arrived, I started my new love affair.  I don’t use Trixie everyday, in fact sometimes it’s once a week but I am loving being more creative and organised with my cooking.  And yes, these photos are things that I made!!!!!!!!! (not that I am proud or anything).

Yes, you will still need to use your oven on occasion.  And yes, it is expensive to purchase.  I was lucky to be able to take advantage of an interest-free offer and love that for a lot of the recipes that I create I DONT have to use any other appliance.  I can make custard in 10 minutes without stirring, I can chop 2 litres of veggies and herbs in seconds with the press of a button and anything that has inspired my lazy arse to cook again is worth every cent as far as I am concerned.

I will admit though, there have been moments when I look at Trixie and think “I don’t use it enough”.  But that’s normal apparently…. there are even sites dedicated to helping you fall back in love with your Thermomix (I kid you not, and they are GREAT sites – like this one here).  So when after the first month or so the initial shiny was wearing off the experience, I decided I would challenge myself to make things in the Varoma steamer (which I hadn’t used very much) and to make bread etc.  This helped a lot and got me inspired again.  The next phase for me is to purchase some new cookbooks to once again get inspired to try new things.

There are endless recipe forums, Facebook groups and blogs to keep you inspired – I highly recommend looking at them, joining in and asking questions.  If you are like I was, on the fence, and want to read more about other people’s experiences in purchasing a Thermomix there’s a great post here on Simply Nourishing about deciding whether a Thermomix is right for you.

And best of all, all of this cooking has meant I had to re-arrange and sort and label things in my pantry – so an additional win for OCD 🙂

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A long overdue and brief update

It’s now been 18 months since my last post – and I honestly could not begin to tell you where the time has gone.  I am planning on being more active on here again, to start posting more about Hashi’s and FructMal but in the meantime, here is the short version 🙂

Marvin got a little furry sister in January 2015 – Mabel is the polar opposite of Marvin, she’s ditzy, loud, boisterous and very, very bossy – and she definitely wears the pants.  Marvin tolerates her most of the time but to him she is the annoying black and white thing.  They have their own Facebook page (to stop clogging up the timeline on my profile with photos of them) –  and this is my fav photo of them – it shows their relationship.11073565_329216713938534_9130722473367892482_n

I have changed jobs and am back working at my first love – Early Childhood – my new job has me working from home (which is AMAZING).  Although the furry terrorists think it’s open season to annoy me ALL day long.

I have moved house twice – and have settled into a lovely house in the north with a courtyard and peace and quiet – I miss living in the heart of the city sometimes but not the crowds and noise.

I have had my ups and downs with both my Hashi’s and FructMal – but more on those topics soon.

I have had my ups and downs in my personal life… but life is good and there’s always something new to try, a place to go, people to see and the love of my crazy friends and family.

I am very much looking forward to getting back into blogging again – it has been way too long and I miss the outlet.  Stay tuned.