thirty six trips around the sun

Today is my last as a 35 year old.

While I don’t usually get philosophical about birthdays, I would like to reflect on my last rotation around the sun…

This past year has seen a lot of change in my life and realisation of what changes need to be made in order to reach my/our goals.

Jay and I moved from our beloved rented sky-home apartment in Pyrmont in order to knuckle down and save some money for a deposit to buy our own (overly-expensive) Pyrmont apartment! Seeing a financial adviser was a rude shock in my spending habits; and it’s been very difficult and a daily challenge for me to reign in my spending and not have the ‘I deserve it now’ mentality. It’s a work in progress…

My work has been a constant challenge; from coming out of a project which was a solid year on a client site working exclusively for them, to managing a multimillion dollar global project and then having to audit and remediate 4 projects back to back that were off the rails with hostile clients, it’s been very tough. Some days I felt powerful and confident, and others I would duck into the bathrooms and have a cry. Many sleepless nights on deployments or worrying about my workload, but when I sum it all up and take time to reflect, it’s been character building and has provided me with more experience to be better in my career. My career hasn’t taken the path I thought it would when I was starting out, but most days I like what I do and the company which I work for. I did some study too which was hard but rewarding.

My extended family has had a tough year; My cousins lost their Mum, who I hadn’t seen in years, but who I love and respect deeply.
My father-in-law is almost 2 years into battling cancer, which is terminal however he’s going through palliative chemo and it’s still working although there are good and bad days, like all cancer treatments.
My brother ‘walked out’ of rehab 6 months into a 12 month program and I’ve been so angry with him I haven’t spoken to him since February. I just had enough of all of the lies and manipulation. It’s hard because I just want to magically fix his addiction and the bad choices he makes with his life because of it, but I can’t. I can’t continue to bail him out and have my emotions manipulated. I love him deeply but after trying every way to get through to him, my silence is my last resort.
On the upside I have had a few conversations with my estranged father, which have been good. It’s obvious that our relationship will never be the same as it was, he’s such an oddity, but I have completely let go of the anger and hurt I felt and carried around with me for 10+ years. It’s not so much a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ but rather a ‘soft glow’ that I can see with our future relationship.
I didn’t get to see much of my most darling Mum this year, with her travelling around Australia, but we had a few days here and there which was nice. I miss her terribly and wish she just lived closer dammit.
On the upside, I have grown a lot closer to my sister-in-law this year. It’s always been hard for Jay because he is so much younger than his siblings so it was like they always saw him as “younger” but gradually over time that perception has been changing and this year we’ve had some quality time with one of his sisters and her family and I really love and respect them. As I get older I am starting to appreciate family a bit more.

Jay & I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary earlier this month. I continue to be in awe of my husband, who is just brilliant, kind, caring, funny, so smart and handsome. We’ve been together 19 years (high-school sweethearts) and he still gives me butterflies. I’m very thankful for him.

The dynamics of many of my friendships changed this year; I made new friends, reconnected with old friends and farewelled some too. One of my best friends said something to me the other day about how some people just come into your life for a finite time where your friendship is intense and has a specific purpose. Afterwards you stay in touch and you’re still friends but the need has been met and the intensity has faded. Other friends are always there, in the background, and you know your love and affection will always be constant no matter the situation. I think it’s true and take comfort in that idea.

This last year my fitness declined a little as different priorities took over, but I recently did the Whole30 which kicked off my desire to make my fitness a priority once again. Im going to do the 12WBT again in the lead up to the New Year; with the goal to drop a few kgs before summer and really just get back into a solid routine. I’m apprehensively excited about it!

I didn’t do much travelling this year; we had a week holiday in Byron Bay in April which was relaxing although the weather was disappointing for a beachside vacation. I took a week off in September just to chill. Jay was at work, so I had some alone time to do day trips out of the city, walk with Harley, see some movies and do some cooking. It was therapeutic.

Last night I celebrated my impending birthday with close friends Janine, Ian, Jared, Pete and of course Jay. We went to a fancy bar for cocktails and then to an even fancier restaurant to dinner. It was so much fun! Here’s a few snaps of our night….

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With all that in mind, it’s been a busy year but a good one!

Here’s to a better 36th trip round the sun!

#flashbackfriday

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husband & I circa 2007

my week in pictures

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my new fave tshirt; treś jolie is very happy

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Jay & I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary earlier this week and he bought me these beautiful flowers

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there’s just something about giant chess pieces! these are at Jay’s work

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Harley being the crazy hyper dog that he is!

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the new addition to my wall art collection; I call him El Toro and he is made of resin (not a real steer skull)!

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salad in a jar is a beautiful thing! you layer it with all your fave green healthy goodies and put the dressing on the bottom, then come lunchtime you tip it into a bowl and it’s fresh, crunchy & tasty! In other healthy food related news, I’m onto my last day of Whole30, which is super exciting because it means that (1) I actually stuck to the entire program (2) I learnt some great things about my relationship to food and the kinds of food I want to be eating and (3) I can’t wait to have a glass of bubbles tomorrow!!!!

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this is a photo I took when we were holidaying in Fiji, but I’m wanderlusting over a tropical holiday and getting all excited about our planned trip to Hawaii next year. It may be a full year away til that trip, but you can never tire looking at tropical beaches & turquoise waters….

hope you’re week was awesome 💋

whole30 | two weeks down

Jay and I are doing the Whole30 program.

What is Whole30 you might be asking?

It’s a revolutionary way to change your life; you’re health, your emotional attachment to food and your relationship to your body and exercise.
You can read all about it [here]

Basically we are doing away with alcohol, sugar, grains, legumes, dairy and healthy-treats (referred to as Sex With Your Pants On) for a full 30 days!
But don’t focus on what is being avoided, focus on the positive; whole food, healthy – as close to nature as possible – food, detechnofying (is this actually a word?!?) and simple movement for a month.

It’s been a little challenging. The no alcohol is what’s really got me. I usually have a glass of wine or a martini every night. And not snacking between meals has been challenging (snacking avoidance is also about temperance) although I’ve still been having at least one snack a day, like late-afternoon I have some beef jerky or a handful of nuts.
I’ve also gotten a little sick, Jay calls it the “carb flu” but Whole30 says its not unusual to get a little sick as your body is trying to rid itself from all the toxins in the first week or so, the immune system is a little overloaded. So days 7-11 I struggled with an ear and sinus infection which was not fun.

Today is Day 14. And you should see my skin and eyes; clear and sparkling! I’ve always had pretty good skin, but I can really see a difference. And my clothes feel a little looser. I am enjoying the food; eating naturally but all the cooking is pretty intensive! Last night was the first time we ate out since starting to program; we went to Mumu Grill which specialises in grass-fed beef & free-range pork/chicken. It was weird not having a glass of wine with the meal (especially on a Saturday night) but we made great food choices and left feeling satiated, not bursting at the seams and with dessert, wine & the other extras, dinner was so cheap!

Here’s a few pics of our food over the past week:

homemade paleo muesli

homemade paleo muesli

made with no grains; just seeds, nuts & coconut. I have this with coconut milk or homemade almond milk.

brekkie; bubble & squeak with poached egg

brekkie; bubble & squeak with poached egg

a great way to use left over veggies; bubble & squeak fry-up topped with a poachie

breakkie; scrambled eggs with hamburger beef pattie & kale salad

breakkie; scrambled eggs with hamburger beef pattie & kale salad

grassfed beef patties with scrambled eggs and a kale & tomato salad

lunch; mince fry-up & salad

lunch; mince fry-up & salad

super quick to prepare; grassfed beef mince & onion with a salad of kale, tomato, jicama & blanched broccoli

coconut chicken 'nuggets' with sweet potato sticks & waldorf salad

coconut chicken ‘nuggets’ with sweet potato sticks & waldorf salad

so yum! chicken nuggets made with freerange organic chicken mince, Thai spices & rolled in coconut then shallow fried, served with sweet potato sticks & waldorf salad (without the blue cheese and made with paleo mayo)

dinner; mushroom burger with sweet potato wedges

dinner; mushroom burger with sweet potato wedges

mushroom bun, grassfed beef pattie, salad & paleo mayo served with sweet potato wedges

steak, sweet potato & zucchini grilled on the bbq with salad

steak, sweet potato & zucchini grilled on the bbq with salad

grassfed scotch fillet barbecued with sweet potato & zucchini and served with a quick salad of blanched broccolini, green beans, pepitas & cranberries

meatloaf muffins & zoodles

meatloaf muffins & zoodles

grassfed beef mince with chopped veggies & herbs to make a ‘meatloaf muffin’ served with zucchini noodles and homemade basil pesto

#rightnow

Melly & Harley

Melly & Harley

#rightnow
raspberries
presents in the mail
aviator sunglasses
80’s music
short stories
sparkling water
concert t-shirts
daydreaming
freshly vacuumed carpet
happy memories
fresh cut flowers
new adventures
possibility
double espresso
smell of bbq
sunshine
driving with the windows down
gold aztec jewellery
driving nowhere
kanye west playing loud
the circus
breakfast as lunch
doggy cuddles

yeezus

on Friday night Jay & I went to see Kanye West for his Yeezus concert.

we had the BEST seats; two rows behind & slightly to the right of the VIP section, where a few actors, musicians (inc RedFoo) and Kim Kardashian were sitting. I was actually sitting next to Connie from Sneaky Sound System (who told me that I was a good dancer)!

celebrities aside, Kanye was amazing! I’ve been wanting to see him forever so I was super pumped the whole night
(even without alcohol because we’re doing Whole30)!

all about Yeezus

all about Yeezus

Jay, who isn’t a huge fan (and only came with me because he loves me), now has a new found respect for Kanye as an artist. after a while of nonchalant defiance he was up dancing with the rest of us!
to paraphrase The Big Lebowski, Kanye might be an asshole, but he’s not wrong.

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There has been some media coverage saying that Kanye was dissing people in wheel chairs, which is complete bullshit. The video footage and media reports were taken out of context. What actually happened is that Kanye stopped one of his songs and asked the crowd to stand up, that he wouldn’t continue until everyone was standing and dancing UNLESS people were in wheelchairs. He saw some people up in the nosebleed section that weren’t standing and asked if they were in wheelchairs. People around gave thumbs-up to indicate that they were in wheelchairs and he said ok they could rock-out in their chairs and then he went on with the set. I didn’t think it was disrespectful or rude. It’s unbelievable how the media twist actions or events to paint someone in the worst possible light. Tall Poppy syndrome? Controversial headline grabbing? Anyone?

those masks!!!!

those Martin Margiela ‘masks!!!!

Yeezy

Yeezy

I cant remember all his set-list, but it included the following songs:
On Sight
Black Skinhead
I Am a God
New Slaves
Bound2 (which he looked at Kim the whole time!)
All of the Lights
Runaway
Heartless
Love Lockdown
Stronger
Gold Digger
All Falls Down

Kim in white Givenchy (& RedFoo to the left with his giant hair!)

Kim wearing white Givenchy (& RedFoo to the left with his giant hair!)

Kanye is a true artist, his lyrics are brilliant, his stage execution stands apart from other rappers; it’s creative, emotive and groundbreaking.

In concert I’ve seen Snoop Dogg, Naughty by Nature, Dr Dre, Coolio & Eminem; all who use backup dancers, other rappers or video montages to grandstand their acts. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of all of them, but compared with Kanye, who’s performance is just him, ambitious & elegant, giving his audience his rap as art; his history, his love, his stories, his dreams, his blend of fashion and rap (Martin Margiela full-face masks are awesome).
Kanye is by far the bigger artist.

For people who don’t like him, they will always find fault; haters gonna hate! But then why drop a bunch of cash to see him? For everyone else, he is entertainment on steroids.

“Things we see on the screen are not ours,
I know it….
…They say people in your life are seasons,
And anything that happen is for a reason”

 

adventure day

I’m on holidays this week because there comes a point when you just need some downtime off work for no reason other than your own sanity’s sake.

Today Harley & I drove out of the city on an adventure for some ‘earth time’ and here’s what we got up to

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 The Stanwell Tops Lookout wasn’t busy considering it is a week day. A local hang-glider was waiting for some wind so we chatted while his dog Pup the cavoodle and Harley (the cavoodle) had an impromptu play date! I ate my little picnic overlooking the bluest ocean and lay on the grass breathing in the warm salty air.

We continued on into the National Park where the sun was shining, the spring air was warm and scented by wattle trees. We discovered a little river and spotted two water dragons sunning themselves.

Content with a day out of the hustle & bustle of city life, we started the hour and a half long drive back, Harley with his furry little head eternally hanging out the window and me singing my heart out to Coldplay on the stereo.

{bliss}