Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week Eleven

Autumn mornings are blowing in at the moment, but we are still in for some hot days. This is the time of year I love the most: the changeling weeks between summer’s intensity and autumn’s slow fade into winter. I don’t usually say this but I am really looking forward to winter this year. Perhaps it’s because we’ve had a long hot summer, or perhaps it’s because we are moving into our house sometime in winter, but I am craving cooler days, and cold nights, scarves, jeans, long runs amongst the leaves, hot chocolate, and soup at the moment. I guess I’m searching for a little comfort. There was plenty of comfort, and much to be grateful for this week too. Here’s my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week Eleven:

sweet potato saladMonday: Today my body was just not feeling it. I was grateful to come home, defrost some cookies (sometimes, you’ve just gotta lie in bed with a cookie or two), and watch Top Gear and John Oliver Last Week Tonight with Chris. Sometimes I might yearn for adventure, but these quiet moments in the middle of a busy world are the most precious thing, and our life together is the greatest adventure of all.

Tuesday: Today I curled up in bed and just slept all day. I was grateful to be able to give my body the rest it needed and to hopefully prevent the change of weather flu that seems to be going around. I was also grateful to spend some time curled up with some old favourite cookbooks and get some new ideas for autumn and winter recipes. Bring on soup season!

Wednesday: Technology might be intruding in our lives in some ways that aren’t positive, but I am grateful for the connection it gives me to my family even though we can’t see each other every day. My 80 year old grandmother recently learned to text and its wonderful getting her little messages through the week (e.g. ‘Ross River Fever outbreak. Remember to be careful when you are running.). My Mum has mastered the photo message and today’s message will go down in history. After her orange tree sapling was reduced to a stump because of an unfortunate gardening accident (umm…Dad…) new shoots have started appearing. Mum’s photo of the new growth were accompanied by the speech bubble ‘I am Groot!’. Big smiles, thanks Mum.

Thursday: I started the day with a sweaty interval run and it set the tone for an intense, but worthwhile day. A friend from work and I even managed to sneak away for lunch in the sunshine where we chatted about life, musicals, and everything in between. I am grateful to have such a great friend at work, and someone I connect with on so many things.

sunrise 12-3Friday: I’m usually a ‘Fri-Yay!’ type of person, and I had a purposeful spring in my step this morning as a way of warding off the stress demons brought on by a truckload of documents to be delivered. My spring was noticeably less springy when at 4pm I had only been able to deliver a few of them… I was grateful when I finally escaped the cubicle and made for a hard, fast run at the gym to shake the stress of and get the weekend started.

Saturday: Autumn was in the air for a little while when I headed out for a long walk this morning, and after a busy day in the kitchen Chris and I headed over to Mum and Dad’s to enjoy a last summer evening barbeque (before we start the cool weather barbequing). Jess and Trent joined us, and it was a family evening of great food, excellent company, and so much laughter. Also, Jess made her famous chocolate caramel slice for dessert! I am grateful that I can call my family my friends, and that we get to share moments like this. Looking forward to so many more evenings just like this.

harbour walk 14-3Sunday: Today was the sort of Sunday you hope to have every few weekends – time with the ladies, some ultimate indulgence, and a truly wicked time. Today I was grateful to start off the day with a quick walk along the water before heading into town to have a lovely lunch with my Mum, Jess, and Bree (Jess’s best friend). We sat on the balcony of the restaurant and enjoyed some cool drinks and an escape from the heat before meandering through the markets and then settling into our seats for a matinee session of ‘Wicked’. I love, love, love this musical and I was so grateful to be able to see it again and have a wonderful time with some of the loveliest ladies. I was grateful to Mum for making us all matching green sequin scarves/belts as well. We were best dressed for sure!

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Also this week:

  • I made us a mushroom meal that celebrates our mercurial weather at the moment.
  • I was in charge of some side dishes for Saturday night and I whipped up this perfect summer pasta salad, and a sweet potato salad that is coming to you this week!
  • I got some exciting collaboration news that I can’t wait to share with you all!

Nourished Life Gratitude List 2014 – Week Twenty-Four

Happy Monday readers! Or Happy Sunday to you if you are still enjoying the weekend. I wish I could tell you that I was super busy on Sunday, by Chris and I were actually just having a super relaxing end to the week and I was making the most of spending some time unplugged. Here is my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2014 Week Twenty-Four:

Monday: Public holidays are the best. I don’t feel any guilt for sleeping in a little longer, turning off my alarm, and then just spending the day doing whatever I please. Today I woke up and felt like going for a long run. 12km later I had achieved my goal. Sure, there was some walking in there, but when you have gorgeous bayside scenery to enjoy you just need to stop and enjoy it sometimes. I was grateful for the beautiful weather and the smiles of the other runners, walkers, and cyclists who were out enjoying the day too. Later on Chris took me out for lunch and we talked about so many things while we dined on pumpkin soup and gluten free bread (me, and yes I did have butter – always) and grilled snapper with chips (him). I was grateful to be with my darling and just enjoy a relaxing lunch while we watched the world go by.

Strawberry Smoothie

Tuesday: Back to work with a rushed start to the day after my colleague called in sick. However, the rest of the day was good and my co-workers really enjoyed the banana muffins I brought in to share with them. I was grateful to go for a run after work, and then go home and snuggle in bed with Chris eating pasta for dinner and catching up on The Colbert Report.

Wednesday: Today I was grateful for a day of rest. I got home from work, kicked off my shoes and got down to some serious baking. I was grateful that I gave myself a rest day from running and enjoyed some time in, and delicious results from, the kitchen.

Peanut Butter and Millet Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Thursday: Today I am grateful that I spent some unplugged time with Chris in the evening. We headed down to the waterfront for a pre-dinner walk and talk and then continued our discussions at home. I need to remember the value of actively choosing to be offline for a few hours sometimes. Just put down my phone/tablet/laptop and just wander the world unbound.

Friday: Today was a busy one at work, but I had a great night to look forward to so it wasn’t that bad. Tonight I got in a heart-pounding run after work and then met up with my friend Josie for dinner. I was grateful to end the week on such a sweet note. Thanks Josie.

Saturday: Mum, Jess and I had an amazing day today. Jess and I started the day with a walk and then picked Mum up and took her into town for her birthday present: high tea at The Room with Roses and a viewing of Maleficent at the cinema (with popcorn of course). We had a delicious high tea featuring scones, egg sandwiches, and petit fours and wandered through the city looking at all the pretty things. Despite the rain it was a beautiful day to walk across the bridge and through the markets. Maleficent was an inspiring retelling of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale; Mum, Jess, and I all loved the way the myth was retold and the strong female characters. I was grateful for some quality time with the strong female characters in my life.

Jess and I high tea

Sunday: Today I slept in and just watched the blue sky shine outside the window for a while. Then I got up and went for a run before doing some baking and major sugar consumption. It was worth it. Chris and I also continued our weekend binge watching of ‘Parks and Recreation’; I think we have watched about 8 hours of this hilarious show this weekend alone. We are in love with Leslie Knope and the whole department. I am grateful for snuggling with Chris and laughing until we snort.

Sunday Salad

Also this week:

Nourished Life Gratitude List 2014 – Week Nine

This week has passed so quickly, but was filled with important and wonderful moments. I really felt like I took charge of my time this week and lived in the present. My interactions with the people around me were valuable as well and I was grateful to be able to sit back and enjoy the richness of conversation and the freedom of being the listener.

Here it is, the Nourished Life Gratitude List 2014 Week Nine:

Monday: I am grateful for my local GP office. I have two lovely, caring doctors that I see when I need to, and I am grateful that I have found people I trust with my health. The relationship you have with your doctor or any health practitioner is so important and finding the right one is essential.

Tuesday: This afternoon on my way home the traffic was awful. A trip that usually only takes 40 minutes took over an hour. I was grateful to have interesting podcasts to listen to (my new car syncs with my iPhone!), and to arrive safely home and into the arms of my beloved. It doesn’t matter how long the road home has been, stepping onto the carpet in my bare feet while Chris tells me about his day is guaranteed to relax me.

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Wednesday: I am grateful to have such wonderful colleagues. One of the ladies at work today walked up to me and told me how awesome she thinks I am, and that she had been speaking to a few other people about how awesome I am and what a great job I do and they all agreed. I am not trying to toot my own horn here, but merely say that sometimes you think that the work you do doesn’t get noticed or you beat yourself up for not being in the job you thought you would be, and then something like this happens and it makes your week. I am grateful that she took the time out of her day to make mine.

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Thursday: Tomorrow we are celebrating two birthdays at work and tonight I made chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting. I also started work on an ice cream for tomorrow night. It was a busy night in the kitchen but I was grateful to spend some time there and to try a new recipe that seemed a challenge to me (making the custard base for ice cream always scares me).

Chocolate Cupcakes

Friday: Today I was grateful to make it out of the office for lunch with a friend and have deep conversations over sushi. I was also grateful that my Irish Coffee Ice Cream (recipe coming up this week) worked out really well. Jess came over for an impromptu ice cream party and as we all sat around the table I realised how grateful I am for the rhythm of my family. It doesn’t matter that we aren’t all under the same roof any more because it feels like nothing has changed.

Friday

Saturday: I escaped to one of my favourite exercise spots this morning – our local wetlands, and I had a great workout in the heat of the sun. Afterwards Chris and I went out for a delicious lunch and then picked up the contract for our new home! I will share more details as we get them, but wow, things are getting real now! I am so grateful that we are able to make a home together and create our own little kingdom. Tonight Chris’s family gathered to celebrate a birthday and I was grateful to catch up with everyone and to meet some new and very fascinating people.

Saturday Saturday (2)

Sunday: Today Mum, Jess, and I are off to the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art to see some of the exhibits and to see Ladyhawke, which is playing as part of their ‘Fairytales and Fables’ exhibit. We are going to lunch alongside the river and enjoy each others company and some classic 80s cinema.

Also this week:

So, I better be off to get ready to meet Mum and Jess. Tell me, dear reader, what are you grateful for this week? 

Thoroughly Nourished Finds: February Edition

Thursday has long been my favourite day of the week. When I was little, Thursday was the day my primary school class would trek up to the library and listen to a story and then pick out our books for the week, which meant I had the whole weekend to read them. As a teenager Thursdays went through a difficult period (as did I) because I worked every Thursday night for about seven years. Then, I got a grown up job and realised that I never had to go to the shops on a Thursday night again if I didn’t want to! And so Thursdays regained their favourite day status. Tonight I will be baking for a local café and for a work celebration and while I do so, why don’t you pull up a chair and browse the Thoroughly Nourished Finds February Edition.

Reads:

Because I just can’t leave my ‘To Read’ list alone until it has whittled down a little, I was super excited for more recommendations when I saw that The Stella Prize Long List had come out. I am especially excited to read: Boy, Lost by Kristina Olsson; Madeleine: A Life of Madeleine St John by Helen Trinca; The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka by Clare Wright; and All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld. Have you read any of these?

Notes from a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider is on my birthday wish list (next month!). I love Tsh’s podcast and this book sounds like it has a lot of Nourished Life lessons for me to learn.

Eats:

Still hot here in Australia (Think 30C at 8pm last night) and this Coffee Ice Cream looks like a perfect weekend pick-me-up and this Roasted Apricot and Honey Ice Cream takes advantage of our summer bounty in delicious perfection.

I know these cups are supposed to be for espresso, but I think they’d be just darling for single scoop servings of ice cream.

I made a new blog friend and her recipes and photography are amazing. I am particularly smitten with this Olive and Rosemary Quick Bread; Leek, Crème Fraiche and Goat Cheese Tart; and can we pause for a moment in the wonder that is this Dark Chocolate Mousse with French Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Caramel Puffed Rice – uh huh.

Moves:

In celebration of the fact that I am allowed to work out properly again (yay!) I have been trawling through some new workouts that I would like to try. The road back will be slow and steady but I am so happy that I can pick up my weights again (also, I am going to need to work out to balance out the ice cream, mousse, and tarts that will be coming out of the kitchen soon).

I love workouts that use just one tool and this medicine ball workout from Lorna Jane caught my eye looks tough but quick and awesome.

Moving is my Medicine ball

I love me a home workout, especially in the colder winter mornings, and especially when the cost of a monthly pass is equal to a new handbag (the good type), so with my frugalness in mind I buy DVDs instead. I took an adult’s ballet class for a while and found it to be complimentary to my running so theses X-tend Barre and Cardio Barre DVDs will be finding their way into my DVD player soon.

Adventures:

While watching the Sochi Winter Olympics I have become completely enchanted by the idea of a holiday in the snow. Wouldn’t this Mirrorcube at the Treehotel in the Boreal Forest, Sweden be an amazing place to stay?

A little closer to home, I can’t help but get swept away by QAGOMA’s Fairytales and Fables exhibition. Mum, Jess, and I have a lady date coming up soon to view one of the films being played as part of the exhibition.

Thinks:

Becoming Minimalist has become one of my favourite blogs to read of late. This article on decluttering  your schedule so that you can live your desired life is an important message for someone like me who tries to do it all. I need to step back and simplify. (I think this is something that Chris tells me all the time…).

The Kauffman family’s story of helping their young transgender son on his journey to live in the world as a male was heart-warming, tear jerking, and a lesson in how to really love someone. Listen here.

Well, plenty to keep me reading, eating, moving, adventuring and thinking this month. Any Thoroughly Nourished Finds that you would like to share? Anyone stayed in a treehouse hotel? 

Nourished Life Gratitude List Week Thirty-Two

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

And Mr Fitzgerald was right. Life does feel like it is beginning all over again when the fields and flowers start to awaken and the land turns green and mustard gold under the endless hours of sunshine. This week I have been all over the place in this messy mosaic of moments and hours that we call life, and I am grateful for every minute of it. My Nourished Life Gratitude List for Week Thirty-Two:

Monday: I am grateful for the generosity of my colleagues in helping me raise money for breast cancer survivors at our Pink Ribbon Morning Tea. Through donation for a cupcake we made over $100 for a local breast cancer support group.

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Tuesday: I am grateful to Chris for cooking me dinner and downloading some of my favourite shows for us to watch while snuggled in bed. Tuesday was such a wonderful night, thanks to you Chris.

Wednesday: Grateful that I made myself get out of bed this morning and go for a short run (all my training plan required) around a new part of Chris’s neighbourhood – there were so many hills, but I know that’s good training for the course in Hobart. In the afternoon I was able to go straight home and make my family a delicious dinner and share some time with Chris watching inspirational, funny, and just mind-blowing videos on The YouTube. (Yes, I call it ‘The YouTube’ – mainly because it makes Chris laugh.)

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Thursday: I am grateful to all those who serve in our emergency services and keep us safe on our streets or help us in our worst hours. Today my brother-in-law joined the ranks of our state police service, and I am incredibly, incredibly proud of him. Congratulations Trent.

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Friday: Mexican for dinner and hokey-pokey ice cream for dessert were the perfect way to end the week, start the weekend, and celebrate Trent’s graduation with family and friends.

Saturday: I slept in this morning, and then Mum, Jess and I made our way to the markets to stock up on beautiful summer fruit (peaches and nectarines oh my!) and vegetables and share some breakfast. In the afternoon Jess and her puppy Storm let me share their Saturday walk – I was grateful for the chance to catch up with my sister. I am so fortunate to have a sister who is also one of my closest friends. Then Chris came over for dinner (I made homemade pizza) and a movie (we made it halfway through ‘The Lone Ranger’ before I fell asleep…oops). I am grateful he took time out from his busy study schedule to spend some time with me.

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Sunday: My Dad and I had a father-daughter date! We travelled into town to visit the ‘California Design Exhibition‘ that I mentioned a few weeks ago. We both share a love of exploring design concepts and so a Sunday morning date to Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art was perfect. After wandering through the exhibit and revelling in some mid-century magnificence, Dad and I had coffee and listened to a band performing outside the State Library. I am so grateful for the time with my Dad sharing something that we both enjoy so much. Thanks Dad.

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This week I have some yummy cookies to share with you, and a gluten free dinner for omnivores and vegetarians alike.

Tell me, dear readers, what are you grateful for this week? Any other design freaks out there?

Nourished Life Gratitude List Week Thirty-One

Earlier mornings and longer nights make me want to stretch out in the sun like a cat and just feel the sun on my belly. It isn’t time for holidays yet but already, in that great Australian way, things seem to be slowing down as we approach the holiday season. I want to sit out on a breezy verandah and sip cool lemonade with a good book in my hands and the sun on my knees after a morning run. I am ready for nights filled with the smoky scent of barbecue heat, good friends gathered around the table, and walks down by the harbour with Chris under the cover of stardust. I am so grateful for this time of year when everything seems defrosted, and we start to prepare for time with family and friends under an endless summer sky.

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Monday:  tonight I was grateful for an easy evening, discussions about more travels (and soon) and the Gouda, oh the Gouda. See – Monday nights don’t have to be hard. Also lying in bed with Chris after dinner and watching a movie together. I am grateful that we can talk about anything, and also spend quiet time just enjoying each other’s company.

Tuesday: I am grateful that we got a report out the door on time and with minimal fuss so that I could go home, run, and then spend the evening with my darling and my parents while I made donuts for Chris to share with his work friends.

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Wednesday: a local café asked me to make some Halloween cupcakes for them so I started by baking some black velvet cupcakes! And they worked – I am grateful that the great baking gods of chemistry and Martha Stewart came together for a successful outcome.

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Thursday: I have the best bakery assistant in the world – my Mama. As long as I pay her in cupcakes and hugs she will happily construct and fill cake boxes and hold the icing bag while I fill it with frosting. I may bake some sweet things in the kitchen, but nothing compares to my Mum.

Friday: I am grateful that being a grown-up means that I can decide what to make for dinner. Simple: Healthy Pumpkin Pancakes.

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Saturday: Today brimmed with things to be grateful for. I had my long run (Week 2 of Cadbury Half Marathon Training), then went to the markets with Mama and a neighbour-friend, and then met up with Casey, Cassie and Melissa for some Italian hot chocolate at a gorgeous little shop. The evening brought round some time with a hard-studying Chris (ugh, devil maths) and a great vegetarian risotto at a new favourite restaurant (so much gluten-free stuff and flexible for vegetarians too!). Thank you to The Roman Empire Restaurant for a great meal and wonderfully knowledgeable staff members. As Chris and I pulled into the driveway a fireworks show started down by the harbour and we stood together in awe as the sky burst into colourful flowers of flame. A perfect end to a majestic day.

hydrangeas

Sunday: Mum, Dad, Molly and I went for a walk around the wetlands – just what I needed to recover from yesterday’s run. Then it was home for banana bread and fruit salad for breakfast, baking for a Pink Ribbon Morning Tea tomorrow, and then a Sunday afternoon nap on the couch.

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Now, I can feel my tummy rumbling and I have a fridge full of delicious farmer’s market produce to satisfy my desires. I am also reading a captivating book that I can’t wait to share with you later this week.

Tell me, what are you grateful for this week? Any baking exploits? (I feel like I have spent the week covered in flour, butter, and sugar) Any plans for Halloween?

Nourished Life Gratitude List Week Twenty-Seven

I am loving this spring weather! Running outside is even more pleasurable (except when magpies attack), there is still some afternoon sunshine left when I get home, and the weekends are endless stretches of blue sky days and cool evenings. I love watching the people wake up as spring takes hold of the earth.

Monday: Started working on my summer muscles with a Jillian Michaels session this morning. Even though I spent the day copying and pasting (yes, all nine hours of the day) my day had a sweet ending with two leftover sandwich cookies, some baking for work, my new read, and snuggles from Chris when he got home.

Tuesday: Today was a long one at work. I am so grateful for Mum and Dad making me laugh when I got home from the gym, and for being able to relax with a glass of lemonade while watching Poirot. Oh, and I ate the last cookie. I needed it.

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Wednesday: I made myself some delicious dinner, and then got to share dinner table talk with my little sister! Jess joined us for dinner again and it was a mid-week happiness boost.

Thursday: The office was a hive of activity today as we all packed our desks in preparation for our big move (!) and after work I had a baking job that was made even sweeter with the company of Chris at our dinner table.

Friday: Today was exciting – I finally got a tour of all the company’s facilities (and geeked out over some science-y filtration ideas). Then I came home and relaxed into the weekend with a sunset run. A great way to wind down and welcome Friday night.

Mama at the markets

Mama at the markets

Saturday: I slept in. Then I marketed. Good morning? Check. Then spent the middle of the day “testing” butter cream for my little sister’s cake creation and watching ‘By the Light of the Silvery Moon’ with my grandmother. Good middle of the day? Check. In the evening, I collected my darling Chris and we met the family to watch Brisbane’s annual fireworks celebration Riverfire from a very privileged vantage point. Great evening? Check. Aware of my blessed life? Check.

Brisbane, you are looking lovely

Brisbane, you are looking gorgeous

Me and my lovely.

Me and my lovely.

Sunday: Grateful to catch up with a dear friend for a walk along the waterfront this morning and meet her gorgeous new puppy Ellie. I spent the rest of the day in the company of my extended family celebrating my cousin’s Sweet 16! I felt simultaneously ancient (I was there when she was born) and amazed to know such a gorgeous young lady.

Those lights, that bridge.

Those lights, that bridge.

I watched the fireworks light up the sky on Saturday night and burn away the darkness leftover from winter. Riverfire is a celebration of our city, but for me it was a celebration of how much brightness there is in my life, and how the winter days are brightened by the spark and flame of the love and laughter that can be found every day if only we remember to seek it. If we remember to nourish our life with the light, the darkness stands no chance against its power.

Baby, you're a firework!

Baby, you’re a firework!

Nourished Life Gratitude List Week Twenty-Three

The days are getting longer and warmer. Spring has been waiting impatiently around the corner for the whole winter, and this week it took centre stage. No longer happy to wait in the wings September swept onto the stage this weekend and with it came beautiful spring weather. Even though I know that the days only get longer by approximately a minute and a half each day, I can feel the hours of sunlight stretching out further with each week that passes. Somehow the heat reaches further every day, and soon my moonlit morning runs will take place as the sun is rising. I am a creature of the sun. I love the heat I feel down to my very bones, I love not having to wear so many clothes, I love feeling the relief as I step from sunlight into shade, and I love watching everything growing and green and lush. I love the searing heat of midday and then the cool relief of sudden violent rainstorms that rock this part of the world in the warmer months. I love spring for its gentle breezes and light sun showers that are the magnificent opening act to summer.

Hanging herb garden built by Dad, planted by me.

Hanging herb garden built by Dad, planted by me.

This week’s Nourished Life Gratitude List:

Monday: Grateful for a well-spent day. An early morning run, a productive day at work, and the chance to get all of the housework out of the way on Monday night, which means I don’t have to do too much for the rest of the week. It may seem mundane, but knowing that all the washing is folded and put away and the sheets are changed nourishes the little cleanliness demon that lives in my heart – and really, there’s nothing like crispy fresh sheets after a long day.

Tuesday: Midweek Scrabble match with Chris (he only beat me by 51 points this time! The man is a Scrabble Master) after a delicious dinner with my parents.

Wednesday: the simple things are what constitute a great life as long as we take a moment to revel in the blessings bestowed upon us. Blessings like: a stress-busting run after work, a bowl of spring onion-filled mashed potato for dinner, chocolate bought for you by the man you love, and an evening spent snuggling and watching a thought-provoking movie.

Spring nights in Manly, or a view from my window

Spring nights in Manly, or a view from my window

Thursday: After two major deadlines at work today, I left the office and had a really hard, fast run that busted any vestiges of stress. Then spent an evening baking for work and made delicious fritters for dinner.

Friday: Tonight we celebrated Friday by meeting friends at a new (to us) restaurant/bar – Cloudland – and eating wonderful Italian-inspired food and drinking and dancing and laughing – a great end to the week.

Chris and I at Cloudland

Chris and I at Cloudland

Saturday: grateful to be part of the community of my local farmer’s market. Mum and I had a very pleasant morning on the almost first day of spring eating breakfast, drinking smooth, locally-roasted coffee, and wandering the aisles of tables groaning with late winter and early spring produce.

Farmer's Market Caprese with Avocado Salad

Farmer’s Market Caprese with Avocado Salad

Sunday: Father’s Day today and a reminder to thank my Dad for all the amazing things he has done for my sister and I as we have grown up, and the ways he continues to show his love for us even as we grow older. We had a very family-oriented day starting with a pancake breakfast (recipe tomorrow) and ending with a roast dinner – and fabulous dessert provided by Jess.

This week I am looking forward to a few morning runs in the sunlight, another big baking job (an engagement cake for 60!), and sharing some yummy recipes with all of you.

Gratitude List Week Twenty-One

Firstly, I would like to say  a huge thank you for the response to my last post. It was wonderful that so many people read it, and some even passed it around. I have felt a bit of a block in my writing for a while, and I seem to be rediscovering my passion for exploring bigger issues. Expect to see some more posts like this in the future.

I feel like I’ve hardly been home this week, and that’s a good thing sometimes. I have been out having adventures, gathering inspiration, and connecting with the people who mean the most to me. I discovered a new look, a new cookie, and a new hobby this week – now that’s a thoroughly nourished life. So, here’s this week’s Nourished Life Gratitude List:

Monday: Grateful to see one of my oldest friends, Laura, who flew in from Canada and is home for two whole months! Let the gluten-free feasting begin.

Tuesday: A family dinner with plenty of laughter, and a cookie-gobbling feast. I am hoping that these will become a more regular fixture in my routine. Chris brought me flowers too! Such a lucky girl.

Wednesday: Public holiday! Late breakfast and snuggles with my sweetheart, a great morning out and lunch date with my little sister, a chance to visit my grandmother, and I got my hair done for the first time in eight months. In my hairdresser’s words: ‘You can tell.’ Point taken. Grateful for my grooming date.

Chunky Dunkers, Flowers from my darling man, sushi lunch with Jess, and his/hers breakfast

Chunky Dunkers, Flowers from my darling man, sushi lunch with Jess, and his/hers breakfast

Thursday: Another moon-set to sunrise run, busy day at work, and so grateful for really interesting dinner conversation with Chris, and his Nanny and Aunty Robyn.

Friday: Grateful for a thoroughly nourished night. I got an early mark at work, came home for a sunset run, and then made Parsley, Pea, Pecorino and Walnut Pesto and coated my vegetables lovingly with the tasty green paste.

Saturday: Morning farmers market session with Mum and Jess – I treasure these mornings so much and they are always a good start the the weekend. Chris and I had a midday gym date, which was a good thing because I proceeded to eat about 5 brownies at Jess’s Tupperware party. Then Chris and I headed over to a friend’s place for dinner and a catch-up.

Pesto, gluten-free Brownies, market breakfast, and jonquils at my favourite coffee stand.

Pesto, gluten-free Brownies, market breakfast, and jonquils at my favourite coffee stand.

Sunday: I met up with Jenny for yoga (I didn’t fall on my head!) and a great walk along the harbour in Manly. Chris and I met friends at the ice skating rink for a session on the ice! This was Chris’s first time and I hadn’t been on the ice in about twelve years, so we were slow and steady, but we only fell over once each! We will be back for more. It was nice to challenge ourselves and have a new adventure together. So much fun!

chCold and snuggly

Cold and snuggly

Coming up this week: catering job for a little girl’s pink and purple party, cupcakes for a big girl’s birthday, more morning runs, more gym dates, and some new healthy recipes to share with you all – I need a break from all those brownies and cookies!

Tell me dear reader, what are you grateful for this week?

Are any of you ice skaters, or maybe you’ve discovered a new hobby recently? 

Nourished Life Gratitude List Week Twenty

This week has been wonderful, and hectic, and exhausting, and wonderful. You definitely use different muscles when you go back to working inside full-time. Thank goodness for running and riding, and yes, even Jillian Michaels for helping me cure my restless legs and reduce the nervous energy of someone not used to sitting down so much. I have been very thankful for being able to take time to exercise over the past week, and for mid-winter weather that is cool and dry and perfect for early morning runs.

I have also found that even though I technically have less hours to do things outside work, I am more inclined to make time for the things I enjoy and maximise the hours I have to myself: Chris and I went on an exciting mid-week date, I have done some serious thinking about my writing, we went to a friend’s house for a house-warming party, I actually started working on the reading for my master’s thesis, and I got some good family time in as well. So much to be grateful for in a busy little life like mine.

Here’s the Thoroughly Nourished Gratitude List for this week (my twentieth!):

Monday: Grateful for my run this morning. I started under a moonlit sky and the sun was only just peeking over the horizon when I returned. I carried the peace and perfection of that night’s end sky with me all day.

Tuesday: Having time to make cookies in the evening and fill the house with smells of peanut butter and chocolate. Two benefits: treats for my loved ones, and a new recipe to share with you all. Keep an eye out for my Chunky Dunkers coming very soon.

Wednesday: Going out to dinner with Chris, eating gorgeous gluten-free gnocchi with basil pesto sauce at Vapiano, and watching a debate between two great minds. Nourishing to my heart and mind.

Professor Lawrence Krauss and Mr Christopher.

Professor Lawrence Krauss and Mr Christopher.

Thursday: Wonderful to have Jess over for dinner in the middle of the week – she was a very useful taste tester for some catering I was doing!

Friday: A house-warming party at Casey and Matt’s new abode was an opportunity to catch up with friends and eat absolutely delicious food: corn and leek soup, risotto with parmesan and truffle oil (Casey keeps it in a little spritzer bottle – great idea!), grilled vegetable skewers, espresso ice cream, gluten-free melting moments, and chocolate and coconut dipped strawberries. So full, so happy. Very glad I went for a long run before work!

(l-r) Chunky Dunkers, Sunday breakfast, Saturday dinner, Peanut Butter Lindt ball stuffed chocolate cakes

(l-r) Chunky Dunkers, Sunday breakfast, Saturday dinner, Peanut Butter Lindt ball stuffed chocolate cakes

Saturday: Went for a long, long walk while catching up some of my favourite podcasts (Can’t get enough Splendid Table and Talking with My Mouth Full). I felt like I had been racing everywhere all week and a long, slow stride was just what I needed to get some balance back in my life. My new walking spot is so beautiful and I even saw a wallaby and her joey bouncing back into the bush!

Sunday: Dad and I had a great talk over breakfast and then Mum and I went shopping! At Target!

Not a bad place to walk at all. Considering it is in an industrial estate.

Not a bad place to walk at all. Considering it is in an industrial estate.

Okay dear readers, time to share: what are you the most grateful for this week?

Do you find that you get more done when you have less time?