Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week Thirty-Five

We are back in our own home now. Mum and Dad returned safe and sound and full of wonderful stories from their two weeks in Singapore, so we have returned to Casa de Amy and Chris. Mum and Dad’s house will always be my family home, but returning to our own house has made me realise just how much this place has become home over the past two months. There really is, no place like home. Here’s my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week Thirty-Five:wk 35 cupcakesMonday: Today we celebrated the wedding of one of our managers at work! I made chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting and we surprised him after our morning meeting. I am grateful for these moments of celebration at work, and the happy occasions when we get to pause and share the great things happening in our lives.

Tuesday: Today I joined a group of workmates to celebrate the last day for one of our staff members. He is off to do great things and have adventures and I was grateful to share lunch with him one last time. Tonight after work Jess and I got our konga on and danced and cardio-boxed to to music. I think all the laughing counts as extra ab work!wk 35 breakfastWednesday: Tonight I headed to the gym for my run and ran into my brother in law while he was working out! It was nice to see a friendly face at the gym and I’m grateful that I live close enough to my family to have tiny moments of connection in my every day agenda.

Thursday: Today Molly and I were treated to the most beautiful sunrise on our walk. The sky was painted in vivid gold and pink and it was worth the early hour for such a gorgeous show. wk 35 sunriseFriday: Today I heard that one of my favourite authors loves my muffin recipes! What an honour to be fuelling the mind that brought me some of my favourite books! Tonight Jess and I had a big baking job on. We walked our respective dogs and then got into our work. I love watching Jess create beautiful fondant cakes. She is so talented at sculpting sugar into charming shapes and objects. Tonight’s project was for a dear friend’s daughter’s baby shower and we had a great time creating something marvelous for their special occasion. I’m grateful that I get to work with Jess on some of these cakes and create something special to help people celebrate. The stress is worth their smiles.

Saturday: This morning Molly and I headed out into the morning for our last walk together before Mum and Dad come home. Then Jess and I met up for a sister walk and talk (I think our mouths and legs move faster when we are together) and shared a cup of tea before we got on with our day. I was grateful to start the weekend with a sweat and natter session with Jess. Then I had a busy day of recipe testing and photography before indulging in an afternoon nap while the rain fell outside. wk 35 lunchSunday: A very special flight arrived this morning and Jess and I were there to pick up the precious cargo: Mum and Dad! We enjoyed a family breakfast together at home while they entertained us with stories from their travels. I am grateful they had a wonderful time. I love hearing all their tales and watching their faces light up as they relive the memories. I met up with my friends Caroline and Josie for lunch and we were joined by our dear friend Laura who is visiting from Canada! She hasn’t been home in two years, but just like it does with old friends it only felt like yesterday since we had sat across the table and shared our lives. I was grateful to get a moment with her while she is here. Come home soon Laura!wk 35 fruit market haul

Also this week:

Tell me, dear readers. what are you grateful for this week? Share it in the comments below, or let me know on Facebook, or Twitter!

Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week Thirty-One

The first week in our own home felt like finally coming home. Coming downstairs in the morning and realising that we own this little patch of the earth is still a little surreal, but as the boxes slowly disappear and the bookcases are stacked with volumes I fall more in love with our little house everyday. I am grateful for this place, and so much more in my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week Thirty-One:wkMonday: Today I had to go home early so that the builders could finish some painting and plastering re-work, and I had the unexpected delight of Mum coming over for a quick lunch. I was grateful to see her and to be close enough now that our family can come over for an unplanned visit.

Tuesday: I am so glad to have our own dining room table again! For the past week Chris and I have really been enjoying sitting at our table for dinner while watching something on TV and just chatting about how our day has been. The ritual of gathering at the table is very important to me and I am grateful to have this everyday ritual back in our lives.wk 31 bookWednesday: Tonight after work I headed off to the gym for a hard workout. 5km of intervals and a challenging full body weights circuit. It felt so good to challenge my body like that! I am so grateful to my body for stepping up to the challenge and letting me have some fun with my workout.

Thursday: Tonight Chris and I headed back to IKEA (one more time….) to pick up another bookcase (I’m thinking of opening a library branch from our living room) and some other house things that we forgot about. I also spent some of the night trying to untangle our electricity and gas providers issues. I was grateful for some really helpful people on the phone who sorted out our issues with not too much trouble.

Friday: Today my work friend Jess and I headed back to my house for lunch! We had a great time nibbling on some crustless quiche and talking before heading back to work. I am grateful to be close enough to work that we can have our Friday lunches at home sometimes. Tonight I headed to the gym before Mum and Dad came over for dinner. They were our first dinner guests! I am so grateful for all the help Mum and Dad have given us and all the thoughtful things they do just because. They have taught my sister and I so much about just being good people and I am grateful for those lessons. I made them prosciutto wrapped chicken, mashed potatoes (well, Chris made those because he is the expert), and broccolini followed by mixed berry crumble for dessert. It was such a wonderful night.wk 31 berriesSaturday: I started my morning with breakfast at the farmers market with Mum. The coffee was hot, the breakfast was sweet, and one our favourite performers was on the stage singing away. It was a great way to start the weekend. In the afternoon Caroline came to visit us and we had a great time showing her the house before Chris headed off to spend some time with friends. I went for an evening run and then made brownies (coming soon…) I was grateful for some time alone in the house just feeling myself settle in and the house welcoming our lives to its walls.wk 31 tulipsSunday: Today I slept in. Oh glorious sleep. When I woke up I enjoyed a long walk around our neighbourhood – so many new places to discover! And then I did some photography in our house, which I am grateful to say has fantastic light! In the afternoon Mum, Jess and I headed to Newstead House for high tea on the verandah overlooking the river. The historic house was the perfect spot to wile away the afternoon hours and enjoy some tea and sweet treats. Although the proprietress was rather rude about my dietary needs, the staff was lovely and the venue was absolutely perfect. I was grateful for a chance to dress up and play ladies with my Mum and Jess. wk 31 newstead house

Also this week:

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

 

 

Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week Twenty-Three

I just need to talk about last week for a moment before I reflect on last week, okay?

Sunday was one of those perfectly awesome days. I spent the afternoon on a great date with one of my favourite men: my Dad! He picked me up and took me out for coffee (and surprised me with a delicious gluten free brownie) and then we laughed and giggled and maybe snorted (okay, yes we snorted) along to ‘Monty Python and The Holy Grail’. Afterwards we tried out a new (to us) Mexican restaurant. It was the perfect Sunday adventure and father-daughter date. Such an afternoon to be grateful for, thanks Dad!

Now, let’s look reflect on my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week Twenty-Three:

IMG_8182Monday: Today was my sweet best friend Casey’s birthday. From the first lunch we shared at university, to all these years later, I am grateful that she stepped into my life in a whirl of bright smiles, long talks, and always fabulous shoes. I’m grateful for you everyday Casey T.

Tuesday: Tonight I was exhausted, and when I walked through the front door Chris handed me my pyjamas and then bundled me into the car to pick up sushi for dinner. He then proceeded to tuck me into bed to read my book. I wasn’t ‘allowed’ to do anything else, just rest. I am grateful for this man.

wk 23 yum magWednesday: Today my copy of Lynn’s new cookbook arrived on my doorstep! This was a bright spot in a rather dark and long day, and I am grateful to have such a talented friend and that the interwebs brought us together in baking/blogging friendship! I cannot wait to make these again, and try out all the new recipes too!

Thursday: Today was my Mama’s birthday! I am grateful for this woman every single day, and more and more as the years go by I find my heart filled with gratitude for all the love, sacrifice, and happiness that she has gifted to the world, and especially to our family. Mama, you are my best friend, and I cannot wait to see what adventures this year brings you!

IMG_8192Friday: Tonight on the way home from work I stopped in at the gym to clear the cobwebs from the week and ended up surprising myself by running 10.5km. I am constantly filled with gratitude at what my body can do when I trust it, challenge it, rest it, and truly nourish it.

wk 23 cookieSaturday: This morning started with a trip to the farmer’s markets with Mum and Jess and some much needed warm coffee and important talk. Then I joined Chris and Dad and we spent a pleasant morning looking for some of the furniture for our house! I cannot believe we move in next month! I was grateful for a morning with two of my favourites, we had a great time. Then Dad and I spent a few hours washing, polishing, and taking care of my car before Chris and I enjoyed a relaxing evening at home. I was grateful for a day filled with special time with all of my people.

wk 23 smoothieSunday: The day dawned grey and striking over the bay and I joined my friend Jenny and her pup Ellie for a walk to welcome in the Sunday light. I was grateful to catch up with Jenny and get my heart started. I spent the day relaxing in the sunniest spot in our house in the company of a book. I was grateful for a lazy day to warm my bones, my heart, and just truly relax. Tonight Chris and I went on a triple date with Mum and Dad and Jess and Trent for Italian and to see ‘Spy’ (highly recommended movie). I was grateful to finish the week on such a high note. Now, off to bed in my new PJs.

Also this week:

What are you most grateful for this week friends?

Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week Nineteen

I cannot believe it’s Monday morning again already! Last week was so full of celebrations and amazing things that the days flew past. I was reflecting on something I read recently ‘the days are long, but the years are short’. I think that reflecting on what I am grateful for everyday helps me to see what I have achieved each day, or a special moment that has brought me pause among the busyness of life so that I really see the day before it goes zooming past. So if you can, take a moment during the day when you can sit quietly, commuting makes this easy sometimes, and just let yourself really remember something good or special that happened to you during the day. Here is what I have been reflecting on, and grateful for, this week in my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week Nineteen:

sprinkle cupcakeMonday: Monday night power run tonight! I felt so well rested and ready to move that I got in 8km to start the week. I am always grateful for a run that leaves me sweaty, short of breath and smiling. I remember the days when running wasn’t high on my agenda and I am grateful for this body and the way it makes a celebration of movement now.

Tuesday: Today I had a big chat to Mum at lunch time while I was at work. I’m not always the best at picking up the telephone so I’m trying to make more of an effort. I was grateful to talk to her about this and that and all in between and just take a mental break from work.

big fat saladWednesday: Today was Chris’s birthday! Everyday I wake up next to this wonderful man and I am grateful for the day he came into my life, and all the days we have spent together since. He is my greatest adventure and best friend and I am grateful that his heart rests with mine.

Chris and Amy birthdayThursday:  Today I found out that a cinema in the city is playing Monty Python and The Holy Grail! My Dad and I love Monty Python so I booked us in for a Dad-Daughter date! I can’t wait to share some laughs with my wonderful Dad in a few weekend’s time. I’m grateful that I live so close to my parents so that we can spend moments like this together.

Friday:  Tonight Chris and I headed out the movies (Gold Class ooh la la) to see The Avengers: Age of Ultron. It was so so good! We lay back and enjoyed our fancy date night and laughed and wondered at the movies. I was grateful we could treat ourselves and enjoy a night out together at the end of the week and to celebrate Chris’s birthday.

sconeSaturday: Today was packed with great things! The morning started with a market trip with my ladies, and then a heart-racing 9.5km run. When I got home Chris and I headed out to get his beard all fancied up for his birthday party tonight (he’s a hipster, but in a totally not-ironic way…). We got home and I entered a cupcake making frenzy; when the icing sugar settled I had two successful recipes and lots of cupcakes to share! Tonight we headed to our friend Nick’s place to enjoy Chris’s birthday celebration. Laughter, board games, and frosting smiles followed. I was grateful that my darling had a good time with his friends for his birthday.

Sunday: This morning was not my finest hour as a human. I stressed myself way out and I was grateful that Chris calmed me down. After some tears and snuggles (I was one tired lady) we headed over to celebrate my Mum (and aunty and grandmother) for Mother’s Day. I will never be able to show enough gratitude for all this wonderful lady has done for me, and my greatest tribute will be to strive to live a life worthy of the love that has nurtured me. After morning tea we headed out to Chris’s parents place for a surprise visit to Chris’s Mum. Because they live two hours away we don’t get to visit as often as we would like. We didn’t tell Ruth that we were coming, but the rest of the family knew. She was so surprised and delighted by our unexpected visit that it was well worth the travel. I am grateful to my (kind of) ‘mother-in-law’ for making me feel so welcomed into and part of their family. I was also grateful to Chris who did most of the long haul driving despite our late Saturday night. When we got home we fell into bed exhausted but grateful for a love-filled weekend.

Mother's DayAlso this week:

  • We celebrated Chris’s birthday with Sprinkle Birthday Cake Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream – there were none left over, which is always a good sign!
  • Mum and Jess and I enjoyed leftover scones for breakfast on Saturday morning. They made the perfect market fuel.
  • My amazing friend Lynn’s cookbook is available for pre-order! More than 20 recipes for puppy chow! I cannot wait to get my copy!

 

Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week Sixteen

This week was all about radical self-kindness. I don’t deal well with stress, and I knew that this week was full of all-day meetings and that this is often a trigger for my stress levels to sky rocket and for my ability for kindness and patience towards myself and others drops. So this time around I chose a path of radical self-kindness. This might sound selfish, but the lesson I learned was that focusing on yourself and your basic needs allows you to approach the needs of others from a happier, less stressed, platform. As Gretchen Rubin said in her podcast a few weeks ago: sometimes you need to treat yourself like a toddler – a cranky toddler. The end of the week was full of sunshine and family, and throughout the whole week there was so much to be grateful for. Here is my Nourished Life Gratitude List Week 16:

cupcake projectMonday: Today I got a lesson in avoiding passive aggression. I get a demerit point in my fighting style because I am often guilty of being passive-aggressive when I feel like things aren’t going my way. Instead of directly communicating my needs I withdraw. Today I was grateful for a lesson in learning to communicate what I need to do my work, and having someone acknowledge that need. Living with active gratitude is often a humbling daily lesson.

Tuesday: Tonight was a late finish in our meeting and I was grateful that I had taken the time out in the morning for a run at the gym. When I messaged Chris to let him know we were having a late night I got this text message “You are not allowed to cook dinner tonight. Come home and I will organise something. Then we can snuggle and watch Kimmy Schmidt together.” I am grateful for the way he knows how to take care of me when I just need to be cuddled and coddled sometimes.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeWednesday: Tonight Chris and I met up with Caroline and Tim, and Michelle and Mani to celebrate Caroline’s birthday! We had delicious Indian food and lots of laughter. It was so sweet to see Michelle’s growing baby belly, and celebrate my oldest friend’s birthday. I was grateful for a night of heart warming time in the middle of a busy week. The lesson here: it’s okay to take a week-night off and just relax with friends for a night.

Thursday: Thursday was a blur of minutes, actions, and emails. I was grateful for my colleagues helping me out all week long by fetching lunches and setting up the drinks and plates for the lunchtime rush. They made my life a whole lot easier the whole week long. I am grateful to have thoughtful workmates.

Friday: Today our meeting finished early and Jess and I managed to head out for a late lunch. I was grateful for the time to decompress and catch up with Jess after a busy week. I also had the opportunity to leave work a little early and I made the most of my escape by going for a long run out in the setting sun. I watched the light bleed across the sky and fade behind the city skyline and let my stress drift away on the cooling evening breeze. I was grateful to capture those moments for myself and get into a great place for the weekend.

sunset runSaturday: This morning I woke up late, well, late for me. After a delicious sleep in I joined Mum, Mormor, and Jess to see Cinderella! Oh my it was fantastic. I am so glad that they didn’t make Cinderella into a wimp, and the story was just beautifully told. I was grateful for losing myself in a fairy tale for the morning, and being reminded that: firstly, there is magic in this ordinary world, if only we care to look, and secondly, the most important things in this world are to have courage and be kind. That’s a lesson we could all learn to live by.

toastSunday: Today I had another sleep in and then spent some time on a long walk up and down our hilly streets before Chris and I headed to Mum and Dad’s for our ‘family lunch’. When I sit next to Casey and we end up giggling about stoma bags (not really a laughing issue, but when you have a dietitian, a doctor, and a doctor in training at the table these are the things that come up), or watch Shane secretly devouring dark chocolate from the fridge, or see Dad and Trent talking about lawn care, or Chris and Mum sharing their latest TV obsessions, I am grateful for this family that has built itself around me. They are my most precious pillars of strength, and they feed me with their love. I am grateful for lazy Sunday afternoons, and all the nourishment they bring.

Family Lunch 19-4Also this week:

  • I made a small batch of cookies with a surprise ingredient from the garden!
  • My friend Lynn from Fresh April Flours is writing a cookbook! Full of delicious puppy chow recipes for every occasion. I can’t wait to start trying them all!
  • Jessica from Sweetest Menu created what might just be the best chocolate and cookie craving buster ever! Her Double Chocolate Cookie Layer Cake is on my list of treat foods to make soon!

Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week Twelve

Dear universe, I could use more Sundays like this, more weeks like this. Tonight the rain is falling over the bay once again, and this morning it felt like autumn was finally finding its gentle way towards us bringing with it more hours for reflection, relaxation, and a softening of our bright and brash summer world. I walked for hours today in the rain and loved every moment of it. Then retreated to my kitchen to test some recipes to feed us all very well over the next few weeks. Today was the perfect day to reflect on all I have been grateful for over the past week. Here is my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week Twelve.

sunday morning

Monday: Tonight Chris and I got to work taming the wild garden that surrounds the house we live in at the moment. We have discovered that we are very good at growing things (we must have the verdant vibe) but we are not so good at keeping everything tame. I am grateful to work alongside Chris and grateful that we work so well together. When a job needs to be done, we are both willing to buckle down and do it, and I am grateful that he is by my side.

Tuesday: I was up early for a run this morning and I am really enjoying the extra energy, and sense of accomplishment early in the day, that this small step in a few mornings in the week is giving me. Rather than having to stress about making it to the gym after work, I know I can come straight home and enjoy the evening with Chris. I am grateful that I make this time in the morning for myself.

chickpea saladWednesday: Today I came home and Chris and I got stuck in on the garden again. While I was picking up leaves and dragging branches I got a phone call from my sweet Casey and I was grateful to connect with her in the middle of a busy week. No matter how hectic our lives get (especially hers) we find time to talk or connect, and those moments are so precious to me.

Thursday: I love listening to podcasts on my drive to and from work, and my friend Matt has created an inspirational project that inspires me every week. The episode I was listening to on the way home tonight featured Bob Cirino, a young entrepreneur. He had a lot of wonderful things to say, but one thing that really stood out was his thoughts about love as an ecological thing, not an economical thing. That is, the more love you give, the more you have. Your love does not diminish, but grows. I am grateful for unexpected lessons, and reminders to give my love even more freely.

love isFriday: This afternoon I had the opportunity to visit a close friend and get my hair done at the same time. I was grateful to catch up with my ‘second mum’ and talk about life and leave looking just a little less wild woman, and a little more like Amy. Tonight Chris and I binge watched ‘House of Cards’, which is my new obsession – oh I just love Robin Wright in her role as Claire Underwood.

Saturday: This morning I met Mum and Jess at the markets for breakfast and I bought the most delicious red grapes (there are now none left) and then spent some time this morning talking to some special friends across the world – grateful for Skype! After a run, and some rainy afternoon baking, I crossed town for a farewell party for my sweet friend Megan. Chris couldn’t come as he had a previous engagement, and I was grateful to know that I can still be charming and make conversation in a room full of strangers!

cookies 21-03Sunday: I had the best sleep in today. In fact, all of Sunday has just been wonderful. After a sleep in, I went for a big walk in the rain and then warmed myself by spending the afternoon in the kitchen working on some new recipes to share with all of you. I was grateful for a slow, snuggly day. The rain has pulled a cloak over the world tonight, and we are warm and safe inside. I am grateful for my life. For its small pleasures, quiet moments, and slow Sundays.

sunday walkAlso this week:

  • I made us a ‘welcome to Autumn’ salad with some our favourite simple things.
  • Tofu isn’t very common on our menu, but this stir-fry is a new favourite and sure to be on high rotation for quick midweek meals.

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

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!

wicked

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: International Women’s Day Special Edition

Sorry for the lack of post yesterday. I was busy recipe testing (2 out of 3 successful), big walking (13.5km for a Sunday record), and afternoon-napping. This week my gratitude list is an International Women’s Day Special Edition to say thanks to those who inspire me to become the best woman I can.

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I am blessed with so many examples of strong, independent, smart, crazy, sexy women in my life who teach me everyday about finding strength; exerting my independence; using and celebrating my mind, body and soul; being vulnerable and open to love and experience; letting my crazy out; and enjoying the full meaning of what it is to be a woman in our world. I am so fortunate to have these constant reminders, and so grateful that where I live I am free to be, love, do, say, go, whatever, wherever, and whenever I want. All around the world there are women who live in fear, without role models or hope of growing into the phenomenal women we were all meant to be. I am grateful to be a woman.

To my Mum and Dad. My first examples of how to be in the world. You taught me that there are no expectations of how a woman should have to act, think, be, behave, dress, speak in the world. You lead by example and showed your daughters that a woman is just as capable of operating a power drill as she is of baking a perfectly fluffy sponge cake; that a girl can love playing with her Barbie dolls and her Tonka trucks; and that a rainy afternoon can mean a princess film or a hard-hitting action movie. I am grateful that I grew up with parents who never tried to squeeze me into a gender-specific notion of what a daughter should be. I am grateful that I had parents who let me wear overalls and princess dresses and play chef, teacher, racing car driver, architect, forensic scientist – and always helped me to believe that any of it was possible for a woman to do.

feminism 2To my sister and my amazing female friends. We have inherited the earth. We are the daughters and granddaughters of women who lived through change. No longer do we have to leave our professions when we get married. No longer do we have to fight to be allowed to control our own lives. We are the lucky ones. Yes, there is still some ground left to fight over, but there is much to be celebrated too. With our great fortune though, comes great responsibility. Responsibility to women who aren’t as fortunate as we are. Women without as much opportunity, choice, control, and freedom. I am grateful to walk with all of you down this path and find out what it means to be a woman today.

To my Chris who doesn’t see gender and who doesn’t expect other people to judge based on gender either. You are my rose-coloured glasses, my man who irons, my ‘Let It Go’ singer, and the one who argues with me (I love a good, evidence based barney) about gender issues. I am grateful that I have a partner who is strong and sweet and doesn’t see anything but people no matter what their coverings are.

To the movers, shakers, noisemakers, caretakers, the fighters, the lovers, those who stand firm and shout loud, those who whisper quietly and move deftly, to those who refuse to accept something less of their lives because of their gender. I am grateful for you. I am grateful to those who have come before and made it possible for me to sit here, with my own little internet space to speak. I am grateful for those who still fight. I am grateful for your hard work, tears, blood, sacrifice.  Malala Yousefazi, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Mo’Ne Davis, Caitlin Moran, Annie Lennox, Emma Watson, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Caroline and Cristen at Stuff Mom Never Told You, and so many more who stand up as examples for all of us.

I am grateful that I could study at and graduate from whichever university I chose. I am grateful that I can pursue my career and my dreams. I am grateful that I can travel. I am grateful that I can move freely and walk down the street on my own. I am grateful that I can have control over my own body. I am grateful that I can choose what kind of woman, what kind of person, I want to be.  I am grateful for the privileges and pains of my gender. I am grateful for standing here solidly knowing that I am built on a foundation of women who made sacrifices to get us where we are today, and I know that I am part of a sisterhood that must reach out and give a hand up to those in need. We are all Phenomenal Women.

I am grateful to be a woman.

“’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.” (Maya Angelou)

Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week Nine

My belly is happily full of crumble cake and sweet potato and spinach salad and I am sleepy from a day spent out under a tree canopy picnicking with my family. Now I am slow cooking some beef ribs for Chris and experimenting with a new eggplant recipe to share with you all this week. There has been a lot to be grateful for just today, and the rest of the week has been just as wonderful. Here is my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week Nine:

mango smoothie with granolaMonday: Today when I got home and got to work on a new project that I am working on, and that I will reveal soon. I was so grateful for the opportunity to take part in this venture and I can’t wait to share it all with you.

Tuesday: I had some cupcake making to do tonight! Even when they aren’t for me to eat, I do love making cupcakes and I am always grateful to have a chance to make something that is going to be part of someone’s celebratory occasion. And there were leftovers, so I got to make the guys at Chris’s work very, very happy with some chocolate cupcakes.

Wednesday: Today I was grateful for the morning hours. I woke up super early (I’m changing up my running schedule) and went for a 9km run at the gym, then came home and decorated some cupcakes for a job that I needed to deliver on the way to work. Even though my commute was awful this morning, I had a great start and some mad endorphins to be grateful for and to keep me smiling all morning through.

cupcake 25-2Thursday: Tonight we watched the final episode of Parks and Recreation (no spoilers I promise) and I still wish I could live in Pawnee, Indiana. I’ve never even been to Indiana, but Pawnee seems like a perfect place to live. It’s always sunny, there are lots of national parks to go hiking in, and there is a heavy emphasis on breakfast foods. Plus, who wouldn’t want Leslie Knope as a boss? That is one sassy and inspiring lady. I am grateful for all the laughs and ‘aaaawwws’ this show has given Chris and me.

pumpkin and brown rice bowlFriday: Today I went for another awesome long run before work. I am actually enjoying running on the treadmill at 5am because they show an hour of CBS ‘This Morning’ and I get to catch up on what’s happening on the other side of the world while our work is waking up. I am grateful for their company while I am running away. Then I made my way to work and had an awesome breakfast featuring my new latest creation ‘Pecan, Buckwheat, Coconut and Date Granola’. I was grateful for lunch out with my friend Jess. Friday lunches are the best weekend starting point!

granolaSaturday: Today I started my day off with a long walk by the water and then I headed over to spend some time with my Dad and Molly! Molly and I snuggled while Dad fixed the brakes on my car and then we washed my car until he was shiny and new. I am grateful for Dad’s help and expertise and that I got to spend such a lovely morning with him.

Molly helps with the carSunday: Sundays must always start with a walk, and it always gets the day off to a wonderful start. Then Chris and I joined my parents and Jess on a picnic with my cousin Carmen, her husband Colin and their gorgeous little boy Taj. I was grateful to see some of my family who I don’t get to see very often. We are planning more visits in the future, and I am grateful that I have such wonderful family close by. I was also grateful for the follies of some fellow picnickers and their attempt to barbecue about 4 kilograms of bacon. So much smoke, and seriously, who wears gloves to barbecue (they all had matching ones?) but it was good free entertainment for us 🙂

Also this week:

  • My friend Matt (married to my friend Lynn) has a wonderful new inspirational podcast called ‘Bent On Better‘. If you like interviews with everyday, motivating people who are trying to make their lives, and the lives of others, better, you will really love ‘Bent On Better’. Keep your ears open for someone you might know coming soon….
  • On Friday I finished the final cookie from the perfect dozen cookies I made last Sunday and they were still perfectly chewy. You have to try my Pumpkin, Oat, Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies soon. Chewy, gooey, chocolate chip goodness.
  • Need something exciting for breakfast tomorrow? My Pecan, Buckwheat, Coconut, and Date Granola is a quick and easy way to refresh your breakfast and bring a little healthy sprinkle to your morning meal.

Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week Five

So, I was supposed to be up at the Sunshine Coast racing today. But after some hard, heart-to-heart talk with Chris during the week, I just found that I wasn’t racing because I really wanted to. I was racing because I am hungry for some adventure in my life, and to just get out of the house. And, we weren’t going to be doing anything while I was away that Chris would particularly enjoy, and that at the essence is one of the most important things to me. So, I decided that I’m not going to race this year. I am still going to be running my little heart out – for the pure joy of just running. Sometimes the joy is in the journey, not the destination. Something I need to really remember at the moment. Instead of going away for races (getting out of the house and away from our usual routine was one of my main motivations for picking this particular race series) we are going to choose adventures close to home while we save and plan for our bigger holiday at the end of the year. So, from my long walk and pancake filled Sunday morning, here is my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week Five:

Monday: Holiday Mondays are the best! I started mine with a speedy tempo run, and then I headed down to the waterfront to meet up with Caroline. I had the most delicious chai latte and we talked up a storm as we sat in the cafe, and then walked along the water watching the world go by. I was grateful to see my oldest friend and grateful that even though so many years have passed, we are still standing side-by-side.

latte with caroTuesday: Back to work today. I was grateful for leftovers of my Thai Red Curry Roasted Capsicum Soup for an indulgent desk top lunch while I got lost inside ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. I can’t believe that I missed this book in high school! I’m enjoying it so much.

thai soupWednesday: I try to exercise in some way everyday, and this year I have a little challenge with myself to be active for at least thirty minutes every single day. That might mean a run, a walk, a workout DVD in the lounge room, or trying out a class with my sister. Today I just wasn’t feeling it. I was supposed to go for a walk with Chris, but he wasn’t feeling well and I was so tempted to head straight home, grab the remains of the red velvet cake sitting in our fridge and curl into a ball on the bed. Instead I found myself with feet on the treadmill and earbuds in my ears. I was grateful for the sweat once I finished. And grateful that I found my inner grit even if it was just for 5km.

Thursday: Both Chris and I woke up feeling pretty tragic this morning, and so we decided that a bed day was in order. We called it in and laid in bed all day together. I was grateful for an unexpected day at home with Chris, even if we weren’t feeling well. The quiet days like this are sometimes the best healer.

Friday: Today I was grateful for the patience and care of the pathologists at our local clinic. After two failed attempts to draw blood on Thursday, the two ladies I visited today persevered and managed to draw blood without hurting me. I have funky, ‘dainty’ (apparently) veins that move around and don’t like to give blood so when I find pathologists who can get it out of me I am exceptionally grateful. To recover (cough, cough) I spent the evening looking at recipe ideas, chain-watching ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ (love Viola Davis so, so much), eating sushi, and snacking on m&ms. I was grateful for a good Friday night.

looking for ideasSaturday: Today I started the weekend with the usual market run, and was delighted when my sister’s best friend came along too! I was grateful to catch up with these ladies and share some coffee and breakfast. When I got back home Chris and I headed out to do some travel planning (it’s so much harder when there are two of you to consider!) and then into the city for some lunch and to check out an exhibit at the museum. I was grateful to Chris for coming along with me. I know it wasn’t something he was particular interested in (it was a display of 350 years worth of underwear technology) but he came along anyway because he knew I would enjoy it.

sunday walksSunday: Today I started with a journey out into the blue – blue water out to the horizon, and blue sky stretching all the way to meet it. We were supposed to be at the coast today. I was supposed to be racing along a golf course track while Chris waited patiently for me to finish, but instead I had a sleep in and snuggle, and a long walk along the bay with my thoughts and some podcasts for company. I’m grateful we made the decision to stay at home and take it slow. I’m grateful that Chris takes the time to remind me sometimes I need to slow down, take a look around, and realise why I am making certain choices.

sunday breakfastAlso this week:

  • Hearty, spicy soup is just what the doctor ordered for summer – try my Thai inspired soup tonight!
  • Valentine’s Day is a fortnight away, and dessert is the most important aspect of the menu. Red Velvet Cake is a festive way to show some affection to your sweetheart on February 14 – or any day of the year!
  • Speaking of Red Velvet, you should check out my friend Lynn’s Red Velvet Crinkle Blossoms – adorable!

Tell me, dear readers, what are you grateful for this week? Let me know in the comments below, or join me on Facebook!