What a fortnight folks! We had a busy week last week, and this week just gone Chris and I were on a stay-cation that involved a whole lot of walking Penny, watching movies, and generally just spending time at home doing nothing. It was brilliant. Here is my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2016 – Week 29:This week off with Chris was just what the doctor ordered. The last few months have been busy and both of us have worked overtime or on the weekends. We just needed a break with no plans or prior obligations. Chris spent a lot of time on his new computer, and I spent most of my time snuggled on the couch with Penny watching bad action or disaster movies, and eating a whole lot of homemade ice cream. I am grateful that Chris and I could take this time off together and give ourselves a break from the world. Last weekend I had the chance to meet up with my dear friend Jenny. We had a great chat and brilliant coffee under the sunshine beside the water. I was grateful to see Jenny and grateful that she has agreed to mentor me in a project I am working on over the next few years. This week I finished reading ‘The Handmaid’s Tale‘ by Margaret Atwood. Even though this book is over thirty years old it feels scarily contemporary. Margaret Atwood’s writing is always amazing, but this book about a repressive misogynistic society is one of my favourites, and I appreciate the lessons that this classic has to teach us about the marginalised and silenced populations in our contemporary communities. I have had the opportunity to have so many great meals with friends and family over the past fortnight! Caroline and I have met up for two wonderful dinners, Mum and Dad cooked me a winning breakfast, and on Saturday night my family joined Chris and I and our (adopted) brother Shane for a pizza and ice cream night where we argued and laughed long into the night. I am so grateful to be surrounded by these amazing people, and to have had the opportunity to spend my hours with them lately. The people in our lives are the greatest adventures of all. In some very exciting wedding news: I found my dress! Mum, Jess, my bridesmaids (Jess 2, Casey, Caroline, and Bree) all joined me on Saturday for the Great Dress Hunt Day 1 – and we found it! I told them all that I was determined to find my dress in one day, and in the second shop we visited it was just waiting for us! I cried, they cried, we all laughed as I twirled like a little girl in a fountain of tulle and spangles. It’s the one folks, and I am grateful that I had all my ladies there with me to celebrate and have some fun choosing a dress for the gigantic party Chris and I are throwing next year! And that’s all folks! Let me know what you are grateful for in the comments below or on Facebook!
Last week was quiet around here folks because I had some things to figure out in my offline life. I can see some exciting and scary changes on the horizon, but for now I’m happy to be back in my little online world for a while. And with that vague introduction, let’s get into my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2016 – Week Twenty-Seven.Chris’s sister Rosie stayed with us last week when she was on practicum at the RSPCA. It was lovely to have an extended stay with Rosie and I was grateful for the time we got to spend together in the evenings just chatting and showering Penny with attention (of course). Mum, Jess, and I went on another spontaneous wedding dress try-on trip. Man do I get nervous as soon as someone puts a big puffy dress anywhere near me. I am so looking forward to our wedding, and celebrating with all our friends, but finding a dress seems to be the biggest hurdle. It’s not because I’m super fussy, but I don’t want to not look like myself on the day I get married to Chris. So many of the dresses I have tried on try to make me into someone else, and I don’t want that. No resolutions on our last trip, but I did have the best lunch (pictured above) sauteed leeks, asparagus, kale, peas, roasted pumpkin, and a perfectly drippy poached egg. Now if I could get married in a dress made of poached eggs, I’d be fine because I’ve found plenty of those that I liked! I was in the midst of training for the Brisbane Half Marathon when I lost my oomph. Fellow runners know that oomph is as important as adequate carbohydrates, a sound training plan, and plenty of water and rest, to running a successful half marathon. So the last few weeks I have decreased my training substantially, which is just what my body needed. Now I’m ready to get back into training again, and I’ve picked a race that’s in September, and just happens to be down the road from my parent’s home. That means I’ll have an on-tap cheer squad, and Dad will make me scrambled eggs after I’m finished! Win! Win! Sunday was a quiet day for us this weekend. Apart from taking Penny to puppy training (see exhausted pup and fur-mum above) we had no plans. I took Penny for an extra long walk, then spent some time exploring a different part of our neighbourhood, and then I snuggled into the kitchen with plenty of veggies and whipped up some warming soup for the week ahead. I was grateful for a true day of rest and rejuvenation for mind, body, and soul. Chris and I attended a Canada Day celebration on Saturday night. I got dressed up in my Canadian Tuxedo (denim on demin, eh?) and we laughed the night away with Canadian and Aussie friends alike. I was grateful to see some friends I haven’t caught up with in a while, and meet new friends too. I am always surprised by the things you can find out from people when you really give them a chance to talk and take the time to listen.
So, tell me friends, what are you grateful for this week? Let me know in the comments below, or come and visit me on Facebook!
This week was all about unexpectedly delicious moments. Sometimes the chance to take a moment to look around breath and realise how lucky you are to be in this very moment just as you are is the greatest gift. This week was full of moments where I sat back and breathed in the gratitude of the moment, and my life just the way it is right now. Here’s my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2016 – Week Twenty-Five.
I am taking some big steps behind the scenes at the moment, and that means a lot of studying. Unfortunately the place that was supposed to be my desk had become a repository for all sorts of junk since we moved in last year. This week Chris surprised me by cleaning it all off, tidying up my stationery and making sure I have a clean and clear place to get serious about my study. I am grateful that he took the time to sort through all the paperwork and junk and show his support for my new endeavour by giving me somewhere to make the hustle happen. I made it to yoga twice this week! On Tuesday we had a packed class and we really focused on strengthening arms and core, and on Thursday we had a smaller class and really got our twist and stretch on. It was so nice to release the tension from my hips and calves because they get so tight from running. I am grateful for my yoga practice every week because it reminds me to take time to get out of my head and into my body. I really feel where I hold my stress and focus on breathing it all out. And my teacher is awesome too so that helps! My sister was busy on Saturday morning so I had a solo market date with my mum! It was nice to wander and gather and catch up. We shared a delicious gluten free bagel with chive cream cheese for breakfast with some coffees, and after we had stocked up on veggies (including the cute little acorn squash above) we treated ourselves to a macaron each (pistachio for me and salted caramel for Mama) and a cup of tea and sat enjoying the live music and chattering away. I was grateful for some time to catch up with Mum and have such an extended morning of fun!Chris and I treated ourselves to an impromptu movie date on Saturday afternoon! We took ourselves off to see ‘Warcraft: The Beginning‘ because we are both huge nerds. Neither of us play the game (I don’t game at all, I leave that to
the expert Chris) but we both enjoyed the fantasy story line and are hoping for a sequel. I was grateful for an afternoon date with Chris where we laughed, talked fantasy, and shared a huge bucket of popcorn. We were supposed to have Penny’s first training session on Sunday afternoon but we got rained out! I was actually grateful for an afternoon snuggled up on the couch with Penny and nothing to do but binge watch Friends. I rarely just lounge around for a whole day, but after a big morning walk with Penny, a 9km run for me, and a plate of pancakes for brunch, a day in my PJs with my puppy was just what my soul needed.
Also this week:
- A one tray dinner perfect for any season! Make extras for yummy lunches during the week.
- A new favourite quick bread perfect for chilly winter mornings.
Tell me, what are you grateful for this week?
Where did that weekend go? It was over far too quickly for me, but every moment was spent doing something I love so I feel like I got great value out of two short days. Last week was full of some revelations for me, and some golden moments that reminded me of the sweetness of an ordinary life. Here’s my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2016 – Week Twenty-Four, please share your gratitude in the comments below.
This week started with a celebration of my friends Lynn and Matt’s (almost here) new arrival, Joey. I am grateful these two bright souls came into my life two years ago, and that they have become real life friends too. I can’t wait to give Joey a snuggle in real life someday too!When I collected Chris from the train on Thursday afternoon he surprised me with a beautiful bunch of flowers. When his colleagues asked him what he’d done wrong to need to get me flowers, he replied ‘it’s not what I’ve done wrong, but what Amy has done right’. I love that Chris appreciates me and that we both bring our strengths to our relationship. I’m grateful that he still takes the time to surprise me with a bunch of flowers on an ordinary Thursday afternoon.We went out on a fancy date on Saturday! Chris got all gorgeous and I put on a dress and heels and we went out on the town! We rode the train in and talked non-stop the whole way. We sipped cocktails (tropical white wine sangria for me, a whiskey/honey/apple creation for him) and ate so-so Spanish food and stopped for excellent ice cream for dessert. No phones, just the two of us talking about anything and everything. I had those first date butterflies all over again. I’m grateful that three and a half years in, this gorgeous ginger man can make my heart do back flips at the same rate as our first meeting. We snuggled up side by side on the way home and watched the lights flash by. What a night. Rainy Sundays are made for rain-dodging walks with Penny the wonder dog, long brunches with your best friend, big trays of roasted vegetables and snuggling up on the couch for a movie night. And that’s exactly what Sunday was about this weekend. I walked Penny, brunched with Caroline, did some blog work, and Chris and I attended the first session of Penny’s dog-training class, which starts next weekend! I can’t wait to see what this little girl can do. Then we came home, I made Nigella’s Tequila and Lime Chicken for Chris for dinner and we snuggled up and watched Inside Out for our Sunday family movie night. I was grateful for being present in every second of the day and choosing to do exactly what gave me the most pleasure in each moment.
Also this week:
- My Journey to Intuitive Eating: June – Cookbooks
- Orange Hazelnut Cupcakes with Nutella Ganache – check ’em out!
Tell me friends, what are you grateful for this week?
This week I learned some things about myself and made some decisions. I can’t wait to see where these decisions lead us, and share the journey with you. Here is my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2016 – Week Twenty-Two:I had a great run on Saturday morning. I went out for a walk with Penny to warm up and then headed out for 10 kilometers. I love running at this time of year. The weather is just perfect and this weekend the sunrise was absolutely divine. It was a sweet reward for my exertion. I was grateful for the time out on the road and for finishing strong. I’m really enjoying my long runs out on the road for the half marathon I’m training for. I usually do the majority of my runs in the gym, but this time I’m trying it a little differently and I’m enjoying it!
There are exciting things afoot my friends. Exciting things that are going to require a lot of work, but for the first time in my life, I think I’m ready for it. For the first time in my life I think, I think…I have a PLAN. A grown-up, put-your-big-girl-panties-on, PLAN. And this one might just work. I can’t wait to share more with you, and this space is going to be intimately involved in the next stage of my PLAN. Okay, I’ll stop capitalising plan now, but you get it. I’m excited, and I’m scared, and I feel way too grown up, and yet, maybe I’m finally getting ‘it’. You know, what I was meant to do. I am so grateful for the journey ahead, and for the extremely patient people in my life who have been cheering me on every step of the way. There’s a hard road ahead, but I’ve got my hiking boots on and I’m ready to tackle the mountain, friends.A few weeks ago in yoga my teacher challenged myself and the other student (it was a small class that night) with some new poses that I had never attempted before. Including this death defying stunt (in my mind…) that you see pictured here. Never in a million years would I have ever attempted this with another teacher, or in another class. I am grateful to my yoga teacher (hi Julie if you’re reading) for challenging me and helping me accept the inevitable change that happens when you do challenge yourself. I am learning, in my yoga practice, that when I switch off the ‘I can’t’ part of my brain, wonderful things can happen. All of a sudden you’re upside down and the world looks so different. There’s hard truth in that, and hope too.On Saturday Jess and I took Mum out for high tea. This was her Mother’s Day present for this year, and we had a great time as always! We started out the day with a spot of shopping (and maybe I tried on my first wedding dress…) and then made our way to our favourite high tea spot for scones, finger sandwiches, teeny tiny desserts, and a pot or two of tea. I was grateful for a day with my favourite ladies and enjoying a few treats on a lovely winter morning. I had breakfast with Mum and Dad – and Molly! – on Sunday morning and then washed my car. I am grateful that I get to spend time with my Dad washing my car. It’s our thing, and the time is special to me because we get to hang out for an hour and just talk while we wash and polish.
I hope you all had a good week. What are you grateful for this week? Anything exciting coming up this week?
This week, and weekend, I have hustled like a true hustler. So this Sunday afternoon I am taking a few moments to lie on the lounge, digest the buttercream I have been ‘testing’, and snuggle with my pup while I reflect on all that I have to be grateful for this week. Here’s my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2016 – Week Twelve:My best friend at work, Jess, is on an amazing 5 week adventure in South America at the moment (so jealous, so happy for her) so I’m Friday lunching solo for a little while. This week I drove to the cafe near my house and treated myself to stupidly expensive avocado on toast and sat in the sunshine reading a book for a while. I’m grateful that I’m making the effort to get out of the office a few times a week for lunch, and for this beautiful spot so close to home where I can treat myself to a fancy lunch.This week was my third week at Tuesday night yoga class. I am seriously loving my hour of yoga once a week. The teacher is knowledgeable, friendly and funny, and the other three ladies in the class are lovely too. I’m grateful to take the time out to just be in my own body and for finding a yoga class that fits my personality. (Cue: gratuitous post yoga sweaty selfie. Yes I filtered the heck out of it…)This week I’ve started bringing Penny upstairs to snuggle in bed while I do some reading. She loves chasing her Mr Owl toy around the bed while I get lost in some pages, and then she loves chewing on my fingers. She’s teething at the moment, and while biting mama is not ideal I’d rather she does that than chew on our stupidly expensive lounge. Again. I’m grateful for the furry snuggles, and for our big soft bed where we can relax and revel in some puppy love.Have you ever been grateful for the absence of something? I’m going to be a little vulnerable with you here. I was sitting at the traffic lights one afternoon this week with the windows down and the radio on. I took a deep breath in and realised that the depression and anxiety that I have struggled with for years was absent from my thoughts. I was just…happy. All the way through, all the way down to my toes. For the first time in years I can say, without any reservation, that I am happy to my core. The shadows that lurk at the edges of my brain, that have haunted me since I was a teenager, have been driven out by the sunshine in my life. I almost wept with happiness and gratitude that my cup runs over with happiness at the moment, and that my lurking bad thoughts are just gone. This weekend Chris and I were absolutely free of any plans. Mum and Jess were both busy with other things on Saturday morning so instead of a market run I got up with the sun and went for a 10km run, then I settled in for breakfast with my book and Penny snuggled on my lap. I spent the rest of the weekend voting, visiting Mum and Dad, and testing recipes to share with you all next week. After a very packed schedule at work this week I was grateful for a weekend with only my whim to guide me.
Also this week:
Penny and I are currently lying on the couch, watching The West Wing, and listening to the rain coming down while the night comes in. Today was a lazy Sunday and I’m taking a few quiet moments to reflect on all there has been to be grateful for this week, so here in my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2016 – Week Eleven. This week Chris and I took some out one night to have a family movie night. Penny, Chris and I curled up on the couch and watch Vacation (hilarious by the way) and laughed and laughed together. I was grateful for some time together in the middle of the week, and for this movie, which is not my usual style, but that I ended up enjoying very much.I woke up on Friday morning to really surprising news – my Lemon Pistachio Zucchini Bread was featured on The Feed Feed’s Gluten Free Breads feed! I was so surprised and delighted by this honour! I’m grateful that The Feedfeed shared one of my favourite recipes with people – it really is delicious!This week has been a super awesome week for running. I have been flat out at work, so making time for my runs in the afternoon has been very important for my physical and mental health. I’m grateful for having a beautiful place to run, and for having time to spend out on the path when I need a break from the real world. To be honest, sometimes I don’t do the best job at self care, and I am one of the most easily stressed out people in the world. After a meeting on Friday afternoon I had twisted myself so tightly that I ended up in tears on the phone to my mother and sister for nearly an hour on Saturday morning. They know me better than I know myself and they had the following advice: cut yourself a break, spend some time doing exactly whatever it is you need to do to untwist yourself, and take a load off. So, I dried off my tears, went to the library and breathed in my favourite scent, bought the ingredients to make baked cheesecake, curled up on the couch for a nap with my dog, and then went for a run before Chris and I had a relaxed dinner, ate ice cream and watched a movie. Amy: untwisted. Firstly, I’m grateful for the sage advice of my mother and sister. Secondly, I’m grateful that I finally took the time to spend some time on me. Because we are all worth that time. It’s not selfish, it’s not self-centred, it’s not self-obsessed to take time out to nourish your self. It’s what we all need to make a priority if we are to be healthy, whole people. Spend energy on yourself so that you have the energy to spend on others.Sunday morning I slept through my alarm, and woke up 3.5 hours later. I shed the guilt. I relished the feeling of the fresh sheets I had just put on the bed the night before, and I snuggled more deeply into Chris’s arms. After that we clambered out of bed, hooked Penny into her harness and treated ourselves to brunch at the neighbourhood cafe. It was a peaceful, perfect start to Sunday. I’m grateful that Chris and I got to give ourselves that time together and have a special start to our morning.
Also this week:
- I made a big batch of soup so we could feed ourselves all week long
- Mornings got better with a handful of sweet and crunch granola
So, tell me dear reader, what are you grateful for this week? Share it here, or on my Facebook page!
Monday morning once again and I’m settling in with a cuppa and reflecting on all that I had to be grateful for in the last week. We had a very busy weekend so I’m enjoying this chance to sit down, relax and reflect. Here’s my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2016 Week 10:
I’ve started attending a yoga class once a week at a local physiotherapists. The classes are very small (4 students and a teacher) so it’s more like a private session, and there’s no pressure to be perfect, just to improve a little each week in your poses. I’ve always wanted to commit to a more regular yoga practice to help with stress and I think I’ve found a little place just for me. I’m grateful for that quiet hour once a week where I’m pushing my body to open up, to stretch into dusty corners, and to find stillness (shavasana is the hardest pose for me!).
On Wednesday night Chris and I attended a wedding expo at a venue we are considering for our wedding (we like to get ahead with things!) and after 20 minutes (we also like to do things at a fast pace) we looked at each other and nodded. We have found a wedding venue everyone! I’m grateful that Chris is so interested in helping me to plan, and that we can do this in our own hodgepodge way together. And I’m grateful that we are going to get married where we had part of our first date together!On Friday night after work Chris and I hopped in the car with Penny, some Sawbones podcasts, and a birthday cake strapped into the back seat and headed up to Toowoomba to see Chris’s parents. We celebrated Mum H’s birthday with a delightful dinner (feta stuffed zucchini flowers anyone? GF too!) and lots of Penny snuggles. I was grateful for a night away and sometime with my (nearly) in-laws. We had such a great time. On Saturday after we returned from Toowoomba/suit-fitting for Chris’s brother’s wedding/booking our wedding venue we got a lovely surprise visit from my sister Jess and her best friend Bree (who is also one of my bridesmaids). They were happy to talk wedding for a while and Bree got to meet Penny. I was grateful to relax in their company and just enjoy a slow end to a very busy day.On Sunday I woke up from the best sleep I’ve had in a long time, went for a big walk around our neighbourhood and then spent the morning grocery shopping and making two new and delicious recipes to share with you all this week! In the afternoon I met up with one of my best friends for coffee and big life chats. Chris and I collapsed on the couch in the evening to watch the UFC fights (not really my style but Chris loves them, and I love Chris, ergo…). I was grateful for a Sunday that nourished every part of my life and got me ready to step back into another amazing week.
Also this week:
- I made us grown-up Nutella cupcakes! You should make them too!
- This is a dessert for breakfast situation that we all need.
- I found interesting places on the internet that you might like to browse too.
Tell me friends, what were you grateful for this week?
It’s Monday morning, so I’m running a little behind with this, but I think the beginning of the new week is the perfect time to reflect on what just passed and how many little things there were to be grateful for. Here is my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2016 – Week 9. Chris’s sister Rosie has been staying with us this week while she does a university placement. It has been so wonderful having her with us, and we are so proud of her – she’s in her last year of study to be a veterinarian! I’m grateful we could open our home to her while she’s studying in Brisbane and for some extra girl hormones in the house!I set myself a reading challenge at the beginning of this year. In 2016 I want to read at least 25 books and I want to incorporate a few books from/about Japan to prepare for our honeymoon next year. I loved ‘Memoirs of a Geisha‘ and now I’m reading ‘Blossoms and Shadows‘ and I’m really loving it. I’m always grateful when I climb into bed at the end of the day and just relax for an hour with my book. It’s the perfect way to end the day. On Saturday night Chris and I had a gathering of a few friends at our house. It was lovely to sit around the table with such a mixed bunch of people and talk and laugh (and laugh, and laugh) into the night. I was grateful to catch up with these people who come from so many different backgrounds but who all made each other laugh. My best friend Casey sat some really important exams last week and this week we found out that (of course) she passed them with flying colours! I am so proud of her and grateful for all the wonderful things she is doing as an ER doctor. The weather is still blazing hot here, but I’ve been enjoying getting outdoors for a few of my runs every week. Chris and I enjoyed a beautiful sunset walk with Penny the other day too. We’re still trying to teach her not to go jumping after frogs and lizards but she’s learning how to walk on a leash very quickly (treats don’t hurt). I’m looking forward to longer walks and runs once the autumn weather arrives and the temperatures drop.
Also this week:
- There were baby shower donuts to celebrate Cate’s baby girl!
- Healthy tropical quinoa bowls were the best lunch since sliced bread
- I found lots of interesting places to lurk on the internet
Tell me, dear friends, what are you grateful for this week?
The dishes are done, Penny has had her evening constitutional and Chris is watching My Kitchen Rules while I pretend not to watch out of the corner of my eye. The perfect time to sit back and reflect on all there was to be grateful for this week. Here’s my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2016 – Week Eight:This week Chris found out that he got an internal promotion that he had applied and interviewed for in December. I am so proud of him! He has worked so hard at every step of his career and he is so driven. I am grateful that his hard work has been recognised and rewarded. This week Penny and I have been going for walks every morning and Chris and I have been walking her after dinner every night. She is learning how to behave on a leash so quickly, and it is such fun to wander around with her and see her enjoyment in discovering our neighbourhood. I am grateful that she has come into our lives to stay and brought us so much love.
We had a wonderful visitor on Friday night – Casey! She is doing a really intensive ER role at the moment, and she has some free time on Friday afternoon and came by to visit us! I was so grateful to see her after a separation of a few months. She’s an amazing doctor and brilliant human and I love having her in my life. Hopefully 2016 brings more time together!Chris and I went to visit our first potential wedding venue on Saturday morning. The lady was charming and the venue had a lot of potential for how we want to celebrate our wedding. I am grateful that Chris and I have the opportunity to celebrate the binding of our lives together, while so many others are still denied that right. We are grateful that we can have our families and friends gather to see us dedicate our lives to each other. On Friday afternoon Chris was finishing later than me so I went for a 6.5km run and then picked up Penny and we walked down to the train station to pick Chris up. We walked home together in the afternoon sunshine. I’m grateful for this little family of mine and the everyday happiness we find side by side.
So, dear friends, what are you grateful for this week?