Friday, November 20, 2015

weekend reading

(Image credit John Freeman)

Champagne is a wholefood you knew that already right? So I thought I'd tell you about an event I'm promoting as part of my work with Cakes and Ale. Celebrate the festive season with a ticket to this upcoming Champagne Tasting - 17 champagnes, 7 champagne houses, canapes and complimentary champagne flute $100 per person - Saturday 12th December 4pm-6pm, presented by the Independent Wine Store at Cakes and Ale.
Places are strictly limited bookings through the Independent Wine Store ph. 03 5985 4346

BPA free is not all it's cracked up to be

I found Orangette via Pip and could have stayed up all night reading

And then I found Kate Christensen via Orangette and if it weren't for my new rule of going to bed before midnight I would have been up reading til sunrise!

If you're looking to up your professional social media skills, I've recently been recommended Tim Martin's courses...on my wishlist for next year

Am I the only one who hasn't seen The Dressmaker yet? Also on my wishlist

I'm looking forward to spending some time with my Nan on the weekend.

I hope you have something fun and/or relaxing planned. See you back here next week x

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

catching up

(mural Alice Springs. Pete, River, Sol silhouettes)

Finding time to blog regularly is proving a challenge at the moment.

You see I've made a few new rules for myself and one of them is I no longer go to bed at midnight most nights and let me tell you that makes a million miles of difference to so many things.

It is an easy habit to fall into staying up late while the house sleeps, just so you can have some quiet time to yourself but really nothing can replace good sleep.

Add to that drinking two litres of water a day and you have yourself a recipe for more energy right there!

So, now that I'm going to bed earlier and doing important things like you know watching Madame Secretary with my husband I have to find a new time to blog. And I will! And I'm serious about the watching TV with my husband thing. Spending time together is actually important obvious as it sounds!

The other thing I've done is set myself office hours. The key is, sticking to them. Which I'm doing. This sounds so simple but has been life changing.

Managing your time well when you work from home is one of the trickiest things about working for yourself and working from home.

In my case clearer boundaries needed to be set. There is a time to fold washing, a time to focus on work, time to drink coffee with your girlfriends and time to spend with your loved ones and if you feel like you're constantly chasing your tail it is time to make some changes.

Why am I telling you all this?

Because I just wanted to fill you in on what's been happening, where I've been and because I'm guessing there's a few people reading this who need to set some boundaries of their own. Do it!
It is easier than you think and it pays off in ways you can't even know about until you do it. And it is the small changes that make the big difference.

How is your week? Do you work from home? Tell us your time management tips in the comments. 
I'd love to know what works for you.

Friday, November 13, 2015

weekend reading

If you read one post in this list it must be this one from Veggie Mama about...superannuation eeek. It's good I promise. And fun. Yes, I said fun. (Only Veggie Mama could make superannuation fun).

How does she do it? A great series from Nic at Planning with Kids

My kind of cooking class

Please keep bay fish on the menu

What's not to love about Chocolate brazil nut truffles with figs and orange zest?

Matthew Evans has a new cookbook out and I love the look of his recipe for yoghurt and raspberry cake with elderflower syrup (for me maybe with a little less sugar and made with spelt instead of wheat!)

Anyone been to Nourish cafe in Bundaberg, Queensland? I'm hearing good things.

Onya Magazine is a good read

One for the bloggers

Happy weekending everyone. I hope you've got something fun planned. See you next week! x

Thursday, November 05, 2015

thursday recipe: emily rose brott's apple, oat, cranberry and chocolate muffins

Some of you may remember Emily Rose Brott from one of my previous posts, especially those who love Emily's mango sorbet!

I'm happy to share with you today Emily's latest book My Secret Ingredient - don't you love the tagline? 'delicious, healthy, achievable' Isn't that what we all want?

Emily is a Melbourne mum of four (!) and a passionate cook who loves to create nutritious AND delicious meals for her family and friends.

There are over 120 recipes in Emily's new book covering breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between. Emily's recipes do not contain refined sugar, white flour, or butter due to Emily and her son being lactose intolerant. You'll be pleased to know Emily's recipes require no fancy ingredients and are easy to put together.

Now, speaking of ingredients you'll notice in this recipe Emily uses rice bran oil and wheat flour. These are two ingredients that personally I don't use, I prefer to use coconut oil, butter or almond oil and in place of the wheat flour I use spelt flour or sometimes a gluten free flour option. You can read more about rice bran oil here and here.

I'm mentioning this to highlight the fact that every family is different and every family is at a different place in their understanding of ingredients, where they come from and how they are tolerated by family members. Emily's recipe is a great foundation to create some delicious muffins from scratch and you can substitute ingredients as you need to.

apple, oat, cranberry and chocolate muffins
2 eggs
½ cup (125ml) rice bran oil
½ cup (150g) honey
2/3 cup (75g) rolled (porridge) oats
1 ½ cups (240g) wholemeal (whole-wheat) self-raising (self-rising) flour
2/3 cup (165ml) orange juice
2 apples, peeled, cored, diced
2/3 cup (90g) dried cranberries
½ cup (65g) chopped 70% dark chocolate
Preheat oven to 170°C (335°F) fan-forced.
Whisk eggs and oil together until fluffy. Mix in honey.
Add oats, flour and orange juice, and whisk until combined.
Add apples, cranberries and chocolate, and mix through.
Grease muffin tins with oil, and fill each muffin case three-quarters full with mixture.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing the muffins from the tin and placing them on a cake rack to cool further.

Makes 14

My Secret Ingredient is available as an ebook for $4.99 or paperback for $12.95 Available for purchase here.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

weekend reading

(A desert flashback: Uluru)

The rain is falling here this morning. Thunder is rumbling over too. Seems kind of fitting for Halloween.

Do you celebrate Halloween? It seems to be catching on in Australia more and more. Despite people saying 'it is such an American thing' it is actually a Celtic tradition. There are a couple of aspects to the whole Halloween tradition one is the acknowledgement of All Saint's Day (November 1st) where the veil to the spirit world is said to be at its thinnest and the pumpkin thing is explained by it being a celebration of the end of the season's harvest. You can read more about the origins and traditions here.

I've recently been introduced to Terri-Anne Leske's blog Carrotsticks and Cravings and wanted to share Terri-Anne's new cookbook with you. Terri-Anne is an Aussie ex-pat living in Singapore with her young family. Terri-Anne is mum to 3, including twins! And somehow she finds time to create beautiful recipes and has put her first cookbook together. I'll be sharing one of her recipes in the coming weeks.

Speaking of cookbooks, have you seen Mamacino's latest ebook Chocolate Indulgence?  Beautiful recipes and photography all by Mamacino.

If you're looking for a little less indulgence and in fact would like to lose 'those last 5 kilos' click on over to Brenda Janscheck and Naomi Judge's BreakThrough program, enrolments close tomorrow night. I love the holistic approach of this program it is not purely about calories in calories out, it considers digestion, hormones, metabolism, the quality of food and basically the quality of life you are living! For all those reasons I am an affiliate of BreakThrough. Take a look here.

Broad beans and haloumi are a good match

So are sumac, roasted eggplant, lentils and cherries

If you're in the mood for a Halloween cocktail try this witch's brew

Excellent meditation tips from Veggie Mama

Meet Barbara Stanny she has some wise words about money

And on that note, I'm off to prepare a dinner feast for my little trick or treaters tonight and prepare for attending a house auction today eeek! Better find the rescue remedy. Fingers crossed there'll be cause for champagne. When is there not cause for champagne?

Happy weekending everyone xx

Friday, October 23, 2015

weekend reading

My rascals pictured here in Alice Springs.

Sorry for the lack of posting.

We've been brushing off the red dirt from the desert and settling back in to coastal life.

We've also been house hunting which chews up plenty of time! It is exciting, nerve wracking and would be a whole lot simpler if real estate agents quoted honestly. Anyway, enough of that.

Let's get on with today's list...

Last week I got to meet one of my online buddy's in real life, always fun to do

I've been working on my husband Pete's online gallery and growing his Instagram following come say hi @riverandsol and I want to share Pete's beautiful Summersalt print featured in this bedroom by Nathan + Jac

Who doesn't love RAW chocolate?

I'm revisiting some of the recipes from Georgia's great breakfast ebook Rise and Shine

And how beautiful does my friend Lucy's delicious wholefood ebook look?

I would have been eating lunch today at my fave Cakes & Ale but alas Sol has an ear infection :(

Powerful new movie addressing women's mental health

There's still time to enrol in my 2 part Blogging for Beginners course at Sorrento Community Centre next Thursday 29th October and Thursday 5th November 10am - 2pm $140 / $116 concession. To book phone: 03. 5984 3360

If you're looking for some kids art inspiration this weekend I love The Artful Parent

Ok. School pick up calls. Happy weekend to everyone. See you next week x

Monday, October 12, 2015

before & after

We arrived home late last week from two months in the Northern Territory to a wildly overgrown veggie patch and lawn.

After a family working bee that saw us spend a whole day weeding, shovelling compost and spreading out a covering of pea straw the veggie patch is ready. A shame the same can't be said for finding the bottom of the washing basket!

We've hit the ground running, in a good way, the boys are back to school "it was much better than I thought it would be Mum" said Sol. There's been a string of visitors welcoming us home, I've been costume hunting for a friend's 70's party this weekend, filling the fridge, feeding the family, trying to catch up on making a living, and did I mention the washing?!

A bit like the veggie garden there's definitely been a positive transformation in all of us since taking the trip to the desert. The people we met, the stories we heard and were part of, the desert landscape with its vibrant red dirt and resilient plants and animals, the long stretches of time spent together have all made a lasting impact.

I appreciate water in a whole new way. I appreciate that the food I eat here isn't trucked in from 700kms away or further, as it is from Adelaide to Alice. I appreciate my long time friends and my family. I am savouring catching up with my nearest and dearest one at a time.

I won't ramble on, I just wanted to say we're home, we're enjoying settling in and there are plenty of photos and stories to share from our adventures. I look forward to sharing them with you soon.

What's happening at your place? Are you planting a veggie garden?

Friday, October 02, 2015

weekend reading

This is our last Friday in Alice. Well, last Friday for this trip. I do hope we come back.

It's been a week of packing and sorting, of saying goodbye and of doing last minute visits to places and people we have loved meeting.

I like the line in the sand that traveling draws in life, the lead up to a departure is like having a deadline a clear time in which to get things finished and the things that don't get finished are low on the priority list and probably didn't really matter that much anyway.

Here are a few things that have caught my eye around the net this week:

I enjoyed discovering artist Alena Hennessy via Soulemama.

Closer to home I've been introduced to the art work of Minnie Pwerle

Have you seen Heidi's latest cookbook?

And Pete's?

One for the baby lovers. Brace yourself for Joan Scarlett. Huge congratulations Heidi & Ben x

We're stopping here on the way home. Can't wait.

Come say hi on Instagram. You can find me @wholefoodmama

I'm reading Kim Mahood's memoir Craft for a dry lake. A wonderful read for anyone traveling to Alice or interested in a first hand account of life in the outback with all its enchantment and complexities.

I took the boys to see Oddball this week. LOVED it. Highly recommend. Especially for anyone living in the desert needing a fix of ocean viewing! Beautiful footage of the wild Victorian coastline plus wonderful story to boot.

Happy weekend everyone! How did it get to October so soon?! x

Thursday, October 01, 2015

thursday recipe: smoked paprika almonds

I can hardly call this a recipe, it is a yummy snack though.

It came about when we were invited to have drinks with the neighbours and I didn't really have much in my makeshift pantry, this is what I came up with and they were a hit!

Only a few days left here for us in Alice then it is time to drive south. It will be bittersweet leaving the desert, we have made such good friends and memories. Many reasons to come back again.

Smoked Paprika Almonds

1 cup raw almonds
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
sea salt to your liking

In a bowl toss the almonds with the paprika.

Heat a heavy based fry pan with the oil in it over a medium high heat.

Add the almonds and the salt and toss until the almonds are nicely 'roasted' be careful not to burn them you may need to turn down the heat.

Enjoy! Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container (there won't be any leftovers).

Friday, September 25, 2015

weekend reading

Let's have a quick power catch up.

I haven't been able to post this week because for some unexplainable, frustrating reason my mobile modem and mobile phone reception have decided to stop working at the unit where we are based in Alice. I am taking it as a cosmic sign to have some down time from social media and the internet.

I've made it to the library today so I am powering through all things internet related so I can head home and meet up with Pete to go and view some Indigenous art at a local art buyers home. The buyers have had an on-going relationship with artists here for over 20 years. I missed the opportunity during the week to go and visit the community and meet the painters because Sol woke with croup which meant an all nighter staying awake to make sure he was breathing!! That's motherhood right?

Anyway, Sol is on the mend and I get to seeing the paintings and hear the stories tonight.

We only have about a week to go in Alice and it feels all too short. Every day is an adventure here. As one of my girlfriends at home said after telling her of some of our adventures, "How are we going to keep you entertained when you get home?!" Luckily I have a few colourful friends and a very unboring husband who keeps me on my toes.

It is looking like the boys will miss the first week back to school because Pete's project has run over time and we want to stop at Uluru on the way home. I had a little neurotic moment about them missing more school and wisely rang a good school teacher friend who put my mind at ease and reminded me to 'relax and enjoy the pace'. Enjoy the pace. Gee friends are good aren't they?

Time has run out but before I go, one link to share with you.

I want to do a more detailed post on this but I'll get started here. I've finally set Pete up on Instagram to showcase the beautiful prints from his online gallery. The collection of work was 20 years in the making, so great to be able to share it literally with the world now. You can see his gallery at RIVER&SOL and please follow on instagram @riverandsol.

Have a great weekend and if I go missing in action you'll know its not because I don't love you anymore its because internet access isn't easy. More soon x
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