Monthly Archives: May 2012

Back to the … gym

You may have noticed an absence of exercise posts around these parts lately. Well. It seems I have a daft knee injury requiring PRP injections (ouch). Tendon tears suck. This means that at the moment there’s no running, squatting or jumping for me.

Happily, I am allowed to ride my bike. Thank goodness! I’m also allowed to walk, which is also helpful. I have been instructed to keep it moving to encourage blood flow and healing, while simultaneously being careful and not antagonising it. Hmm.

My chance of getting a run with the Cats has unfortunately decreased considerably.

As part of my efforts to keep my fitness up and not go crazy, I have been joining Luke at our local YMCA gym a few mornings a week to sweat it out on the stationary bike and do a few physio endorsed exercises. It’s not my favourite outdoor cardio class, but it will certainly get me though and keep me fit and sane for the next few months while my tendon (hopefully) recovers. Wish me luck!

Do you gym it? Or do you do it outdoors?

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Chocolate cake for rainy days

On cold, wet, stay-at-home days, I want a cake that I can mix up quick, throw in the oven, carve a hunk off and eat in front of the telly.  This is that cake.  It’s not fancy, it’s a nice, simple nanna chocolate cake. I used a variety of gluten-free flours, the original receipe used regular self-raising flour.  Do as you will.

Gluten-free chocolate cake
Adapted from CWA Cakes

3/4 cup of almond meal
3/4 cup of brown rice flour
1/2 cup of gluten-free flour
4 teaspoons of baking powder
2 tablespoons of cocoa
1 cup of raw sugar
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 1/2 cups of milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons of canola oil

Mix the dry ingredients together, you most likely should sift them, but I never bother.  Very Nigella of me. Add the wet ingredients and mix well for a minute or so.

Pour into a greased and lined baking tin, I used a square one to great success.  Bake at 180C for 40 minutes or so.  I find that cooling in the tin for 10 minutes is usually necessary for gluten-free cakes, or they fall apart.  Cut into a rough square and shove in your face.

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Moments remembered

I love traveling. I love the planning, the prepping, the packing and arriving at the airport. I even like the flying. Growing up, we drove past the Launceston Airport every time we went from Evandale to Launceston and back again. I remember a friend’s mum driving us though one time as if she was dropping us off to embark on an adventure. Perhaps to the mainland! As a kid, this was an unlikely but thrilling prospect.

While some of my favourite travel memories are the ones you would expect, seeing the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China, the pyramids of Mexico, the Eiffel Tower, the Kremlin, the Mona Lisa, the Hollywood sign, the Berlin Wall … the travel memories that I treasure the most, that I remember most fondly, are the unexpected moments.

1) Sitting in the sun at the YWCA Hostel in Ooty, India after washing my hair for the first time in weeks. It was sunny but clear and cool, the sun had just enough warmth to dry my hair, and make me feel warm and glorious after being chilly for days.

2) Walking up the Metro steps into Paris with Luke. We’d be flying and travelling for what seemed like forever, and finally arriving after months of planning, years of dreaming, was a spine-tingling moment.

3) Hearing the ringtone of our guide’s phone in middle of nowhere Mongolia. Luke and I were a two day drive from Ulaanbaatar, surrounded by wild horses, cows and yaks, and yet, amongst the nomad gers in the mountains, was our 15 year old guide with a nokia, texting and talking to his friends. How small the world is after all.

4) Conversing to a taxi driver in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. The ladies and I were at the end of a six week trip and my Spanish was finally getting better! I caught a taxi back to the hostel (after a few cervezas), and low and behold!  I was able to have a coherent, meaningful conversation with the taxi driver about our lives.

I guess this is true of life, isn’t it? It’s often the small moments amongst the excitement of travel or the comfort of everyday tasks that make life meaningful.

PS. A big thank you to my travel buddies Luke, Monica and Lisa who helped make these moments special.

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A guide to a good day

I think that if you can achieve four of these in one day, it can be declared a good day. More than four, well. Congratulations are in order.

1) Get up early enough to see the sunrise. Exercise.

2) Eat a good breakfast.

3) Wear something outrageous to work. Or red lipstick.

4) Take a long lunch break and read a good book. In the sun if possible.

5) Cook dinner with a loved one. Give them the best jobs. Wash up in the morning.

6) Smile when you feel like complaining. Think of Mary Poppins. Congratulate yourself.

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I wish you well making today a good day.

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Lemony lemony slice

What our Sunday afternoon needed was this sweet, lemony, cakey, gooey slice.  Yum!

Gluten-free Lemon Delicious Slice
Adapted from A Beautiful Mess

For the crust:
115 grams of butter
1/4 cup of raw sugar
1 cup of almond meal
generous pinch of sea salt

For the filling:
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups of caster sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest, I used 2 small lemons
1/2 cup of lemon juice, I used the juice of 2 small lemons and some lemon squeeze to make it up
1/2 cup of brown rice flour
icing sugar for dusting on top
creme fraiche or cream or yoghurt or ice-cream for serving

Combine the ingredients for the crust in a food processor, then press the mixture into your greased square baking pan. Poke a few holes in the bottom with a fork. Bake at 180C for 15 minutes until nice and bubbly and golden. Allow to cool while you prepare the filling.  This is important!  Or your filling won’t sit on top of the base!

Whisk together the ingredients for the filling until combined, pour on top of the baked crust. Bake at 180C for 30 minutes, until the slice is set and golden in the middle.  Allow to cool a little before dusting with sugar and slicing.

We ate almost the whole pan of these topped with creme fraiche while watching Game of Thrones.  A highly recommended Sunday afternoon activity.

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Op Shop Saturday

Last Saturday saw my darling sister and I head out to the the ‘burbs for spot of op shopping.

I chose not to purchase this record, but maybe I should have?

We started in Nar Nar Goon, where I found these teaspoons and a pair of yellow eggs cups.

CWA and Girl Guide spoons. $1 each.

The kookaburra carving was a gift from a favourite Girl Guide, the patterned egg cups are replica Titanic crockery, and my new yellow beauties. $2 for the pair.

Next was Pakenham, where I indulged my penchant for manchester, and cheese and broccoli pies (not pictured).  We stood out to the lovely ladies working at the local Salvos.  They said they could tell we were from ‘the city’, and said that we looked very ‘chic’.  But she pronounced it ‘chick’.  Cute.

Crochet lap blanket to join my growing collection. $7.

I love tablecloths.  This Queensland one joins my favourite Papua New Guinea and Tasmania tablecloths.  $2.

Finally, I found crockery!  Johnson of Australia is always a favourite, and the kitschy royal treasures were a real find.

17 pieces (missing a side plate) for only $5!

Commemorative mugs, $3 each.  The cute jug was 50 cents.  It’s now holding my new spoons.

This has whet my appetite for some more op shopping.  While I love my inner city vintage haunts, the prices in the ‘burbs are where it’s at.  Worth braving the Monash for at least …

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Orange!

The title of this post is intended to be read in a French accent. Please take a moment to do so. You’re welcome.

Luke and I treated ourselves to a moment of shopping on the weekend. We suddenly found ourselves flush, thanks to Tru Energy. I know! Who would have thought it!? Not I.

Turns out we had been paying for the gas hot water for the ENTIRE block of flats the whole time we have been living here. Genius. Not that we noticed, until they sent us a ‘bill” saying we were $841.65 in credit. At first I thought it was an actual bill and started having heart palpitations, but I soon figured it out and rejoiced. It took a bit of convincing (and demanding), but they eventually sent us a cheque. Hurrah!

Luke treated himself to a gorgeous Jack London coat, I acquired a small selection of yellowy orangey items, and some other bits to be shared another time.

I bought this gorgeous lemon 70s shirt from Sheila Vintage, the brand is ‘Mischief’ which tickles my fancy. The mustard cardi is Miss Shop, but I bought it for a song at a oppy in Geelong last year. Lemon and mustard. Delicious.

Next up I bought these fuzzy gloves, or Handschuhen (auf Deutsch), made from angora and lambswool. They leave a fuzzy orange hue on everything I touch, but they are soft and warm and go all the way up to my elbows, so I forgive then. They are from a little shop on Gertrude Street, not sure of the name.

I actually ordered these online, they arrived yesterday. The best thing about online shopping is arriving home to parcels! We Love Colors is a treasure trove of coloured stockings. They have over 50 colours, choosing hurt my brain. Happy with my choices though, yellow will brighten up these grey days. Although, if you look around, often they aren’t so grey after all …

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