ten things i love about being a grown-up

I often do things out of spite of my Mother. 

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my Mum; we’re the best of friends, talk most days and have a great relationship but as an adult I get to defy (some of) her rules that were imposed on me as a child.

You know those rules that just don’t actually mean anything morally or ethically? Those rules that just seem to slide off a mother’s tongue like silk or hurled at you one after another like a dictator’s bullets?

I know that seems a little harsh and I’m definitely exaggerating as my upbringing was certainly far from a militia regime!

But here I am…thinking of the things I get to do as an adult that I didn’t as a child living with my parents. And so I’ve compiled a list…of top ten things I love about being a grown-up.

  1. i can wipe my dirty hands on my clothes if i feel like it!
  2. i can drink straight out of the bottle while standing in front of the open fridge
  3. if i wanna pay $5 for the sewing lady to sew my buttons on my jacket i can!
  4. i can eat cereal for dinner
  5. if i forget to take the DVDs or library books back on time i wont get grounded
  6. i can stay up to 4am on the weekend watching teen sitcoms
  7. i can buy breakfast, lunch & dinner all in a single day without anyone telling me i’m wasting money!
  8. if i get spanked it’s because i asked for it in the bedroom!
  9. i can go out with my friends on a “school night”
  10. i can use whatever grammar i like without anyone telling me off

So, what do you love most?

creative popcorn | recipes

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Plain popcorn or popcorn garnished with spice mix is one of my favourite low-cal snacks but flavoured popcorn typically isn’t a huge favourite in Australia.

I’ve scoured the interwebs to find some amazing recipes, that while aren’t low in cals, look amazing & fun!

  1. Cat Cora’s Party Mix with cereal, pretzels, peanuts and, of course, popcorn, this classic snack with a spicy twist has something everyone will enjoy. Recipe found via queen Oprah online [here].
  2. Pretty Princess Pink Party Popcorn won’t taste s sugary sweet as it looks. Made with white chocolate & red food colouring its perfect for princesses young & old! Recipe found via Erin Cooks [here].
  3. I don’t think there’s anything better than S’mores Popcorn! Recipe found via Nest of Posies [here].
  4. Sugar & Spice Popcorn gets its name from a hit of cinnamon and nutmeg…delish! Recipe found via Creative Culinary [here].
  5. Here’s something for the health nuts; Popcorn Trail Mix with seeds, nuts & dried fruit. Recipe found via Good Life Eats [here].
  6. A super fun hit of caramel & chocolate with Poppin’ Popcorn Brittle! Recipe found via Ready Set Eat [here].
  7. Fit for royalty this Gold-dusted White Chocolate Popcorn will definitely impress made with cranberries, white chocolate & edible gold dust! Recipe found via Southern Living [here].
  8. For a more decadent caramel popcorn try The Best Nutty Caramel Popcorn. Recipe found via Not Quite Nigella [here].

Time for a movie night, don’t you think!?!?!

felix bistro | restaurant review

In 2007 in Trocadéro, the 16th arrondissement in Paris, I ate one of the best meals in my life.

Jay & I had discovered this little bistro after hours of walking and sight-seeing. To sit at this quaint little restaurant with latticed seats facing the street, aperitif in hand, perusing the menu and using our broken French to order the salade de homard followed by assiette de fromages while the Tour Eiffel sparkles in the distance was just the most wonderful end to the day.

When entering Felix Bistro, one of the several restaurants at Sydney’s premier The Ivy precinct I am transported back to the bistros of Paris. The decor, the wait-staff attire and of course the menu is distinctly Parisian. The majority of the wine list is from various regions in France and many of the waiters themselves are French. Head chef Nathan Johnson & the Merivale crew have done a wonderful job in bringing authenticity to this venue.

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My dining companions consist of two of my most favourite people; mon mari Monsieur Jay and mon meilleur ami Mademoiselle Grace.

Having started the evening with an aperitif at The Ivy Bar (for the most amazing ‘Eden Martini’ made with Plymouth Gin, Licor 43 vanilla liqueur, fresh watermelon, lemon juice and rose syrup), we order a bottle of 2009 Château Riotor Côtes de Provence – it’s a blush pink rosé and it’s subtle, not too sweet but delicious.

Entrée

Gracie orders the Citrus cured kingfish, watermelon, avocado and lime marinated cucumber which arrives looking very creative and sophisticated. She has to put her fork down in between each mouthful to ensure she’s properly experiencing and prolonging the joy!

Jay orders the Smoked chicken, frisée, onion compote and crispy fried poached egg. The onion compote layers the base of the dish and is smooth, sweet & slightly tangy. The chicken is warm & smoky and the egg crispy from being deep fried. He is in heaven.

I revisit the 80’s with my Prawn cocktail which is simple and delicious with plump prawns, sweet liquid bursts of salmon-roe, minimal creamy dressing and a sweet crunch of diced apple amoungst the finely sliced iceberg lettuce.

Mains

Gracie orders the Seared tuna niçoise salad and Fries. It’s a beautifully presented and traditional take on the niçoise and the fries are thin, crispy slivers of potato with a light sprinkling of salt.

Jay orders the “Steak frites” Rangers Valley sirloin and herb butter which is a pre-cut steak cooked perfectly medium-rare and is served with the heavenly crispy fries, herb butter and a little pot of red wine reduction sauce. 

I order Pan roasted barramundi, French style peas with bacon and cos lettuce which is a beautiful fillet of fresh barra on a bed of delicate peas and little salty morsels of bacon hock in a creamy consommé decorated with snowpea tendrils. 

We share a side of Spinach and rocket salad, Spanish onion, feta, croutons.

Dessert

It’s so hard to choose just one dessert from their menu, so we all (begrudgingly) agree to share a little of each of our dessert!

Grace orders the Peanut parfait, dark chocolate mousse and salted macadamia caramel which is delicious beyond words. The vanilla ice-cream-like parfait with smatterings of peanuts, the deeply rich & creamy chocolate mousse and the finger of crispy salted macadamia brittle with drizzles of caramel toffee. 

Jay orders the Selection of profiteroles with vanilla bean icecream, creme anglaise and pistachio cream. They are light and fluffy and drizzled in a rich chocolate sauce.

I order the Passionfruit Souffle with coconut sorbet and pureed pineapple. The souffle is airy and beautifully risen and only slightly tangy but it’s the coconut sorbet and pineapple that is exceptional; the coconut sorbet tastes of real coconut not an imitation and the pineapple is juicy and sticky sweet. 

Menu: classic French cooking with flair
Wine list: extensive mostly French with a small selection Australian wines by the glass, carafe and bottle

Service: attentive but not intrusive. Some waiters could scrub up on their knowledge of the menu though.
Atmosphere: bustling, lively, good background jazz music, beautiful decor
Price: $$$ mid-range expensive

Felix Bar & Bistro | Ash St, The Ivy Precinct, Sydney (enter from George St entrance) | website [here]

emergency petition to save our oceans

Have you seen the documentary The 11th Hour?

Much like visiting a battery hen farm will likely turn you vegetarian,
watching this doco will shock you into taking positive action to minimise your own environmental footprint.

I’m one of the 17 million (current) Avaaz members who recognises the need for a global voice to draw attention and ultimately impact positive change regarding social, economic, environmental and political issues

“Avaaz empowers millions of people from all walks of life to take action on pressing global, regional and national issues, from corruption and poverty to conflict and climate change. Our model of internet organising allows thousands of individual efforts, however small, to be rapidly combined into a powerful collective force.”
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Today I received an urgent call to arms from Avaaz & Leonardo DiCaprio to support the campaign to stop certain world governments from opening sections of the marine sanctuaries of the Antarctic ocean (Ross Sea & East Antarctia) to industrial fishing.

Will you support this campaign too?

SIGN THE PETITION [HERE]

34 things I know now I’m 34

Today I turn 34! It’s not a big deal milestone but it still gets me thinking about my year gone past and what I want to achieve during the year ahead, and for reasons unknown it also causes me a little anxiety.

Instead of writing an reflective account of my highs and lows of my year as a 33 year old, I’d rather take an irreverent approach by expelling some anxiety and imparting some wisdom!

here goes…

  1. there are no problems, only challenges. 
  2. see & admit your flaws (then work on them). mine? I’m impatient, have ridiculously high expectations, am often unforgiving,  say ‘yes’ too quickly and sometimes back out after I’ve had time to think, Id rather express my emotions than talk about it, the expression “foot in your mouth” refers specifically to me. 
  3. always mean what you say. don’t f*ck around with mind games because you end up either hurting yourself or someone else.
  4. life is too short to wear or own bad underwear. the moment it starts sagging, losing it’s elastic or has wholes in it, it’s life is over. repeat after me. over.
  5. no matter how loyal you are to a company (unless it’s yours), their bottom line will always come first. remember at the end of the day it’s business.
  6. if you think a bug/spider/unholy-creature is crawling on you, then it probably is.
  7. always take advantage of an open bar. losing your shoes/shirt/purse/dignity is an optional extra.
  8. dancing & giggling uncontrollably make you feel 1000% better no matter what the situation.
  9. quantum entanglement is what binds humanity. not god.
  10. dead ants have a particular smell and there are alot of things that often smell like them.
  11. if someone cares about you, they’ll make time for you, but if they don’t they wont. however no-one can make time for you all the time.
  12. no matter how busy you get, time with your girlfriends is a must for your sanity & your soul
  13. always try and find something good about someone, no matter how much you may clash in personality.
  14. you’re going to fall/trip over in public. it’s going to happen, so when it does, just pick yourself up as elegantly as possible (I know it can be hard when you’re skirt is over your shoulders and the entire contents of your bag is strewn around you) and just move on.
  15. a smile goes a long way in diffusing a volatile/awkward situation.
  16. forgiveness is a gift you give yourself
  17. friendships come and go; they ebb and flow. if someone’s not in your life, it’s for a reason.
  18. never trust a newly divorced man at a party
  19. my Mum always said ‘you get more with sugar than you do with vinegar’. it’s so true; asking for a favour is all in the delivery.
  20. at one point you’ll realise that someone in your life that you love is toxic. it’ll hurt but you’ll have to let them go.
  21. having 500 friends on Facebook doesn’t mean you have 500 real friends.
  22. don’t go too long without having sex. ever.
  23. it’s imperative to know how to change a tyre, hang pictures, change the gas cylinder in your kitchen blow torch & deliver an attacker-stopping punch.
  24. gossip is all fun & games until you’re the gossip. then it sucks.
  25. always open a door or give up your seat to the elderly. having manners is cool. being disrespectful is not.
  26. people who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.
  27. pick a simple, beautiful dish and learn how to cook the sh!t out it – that way you’ll always have something amazing to bring to a pot-luck or impress a date/partner, their parents & your friends!
  28. karma is not real. as much as I’d like to believe it, people don’t get their just desserts.
  29. someone somewhere once said ‘a person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person’. this is indeed very true.
  30. owning a pet gives you untold joy & hours of fun antics
  31. you should always dress for the job you want, not the job you have.
  32. working out 5+ days a week is non-negotiable. embrace it, don’t hate it, learn to love it. it’s with you forever (unless you don’t mind dying from a coronary when you’re 55)!
  33. never let a day pass without kissing your partner passionately and telling them you love them
  34. the sun will still rise, the stars will still shine, the tides will still roll and the world will not end, if I don’t clean the house. (for those that know me this is a huge admission and a realisation that I struggle with daily!!!)

So there it is! My finite babble wisdom in all its glory! Ha ha!

Now I get to start my birthday with a Body Combat class and end it with dinner at Felix restaurant at The Ivy!

obstacles | wednesday workout

A couple of week’s ago I lost my Polar heartrate strap. It literally blew out the kitchen window never to be seen again (I live on the 10th story of a large apartment block, so it is literally lost forever). I’ve been feeling weird working out without my Polar tracking my heartrate and calories. It’s like I have no evidence!

Yesterday’s workout was sparring in the park with Jay. 

  • 1km jog warm-up
  • 3 x 150-count fast punches; straights, hooks, uppers
  • 5 minutes random number call-out combos
  • 7 sets x step-ups with high knees & ascending/descending punches (20/40/60/80/60/40/20 reps)
  • 5 mins reactive sparring (blocking and punching 
  • 7 sets x push shoulder block combined with ascending/descending punches (20/40/60/80/60/40/20 reps)
  • Abs
  • Bear crawls

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two birds with one bullet

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I love Modern Family. I watch laughing so hard tears roll down my face! Every single character is hilarious but I think the best lines come from Gloria.

Here are my top 11 fave Gloria quotes aka Gloriaisms aka

the world according to Gloria Delgado-Pritchett:

  1. Manny: “I wanna be home schooled.”
    Gloria: “Really, Manny? Do you want me to learn you English?”
  2. “It tastes bad in my mouth. It’s like a fish and a turkey beat themselves to death with a pepper.” (Gloria is referring to Jay’s favourite diner sandwich)
  3. “Jay won’t let me help with his business, and now Manny won’t let me help with his homework. It’s so frustrating. I have all the answers!”
  4. Claire: “None of you believe me so I got proof. You should all be sucking it right now!”
    Gloria: “Claire, please, enough with the sucking it! They’re children!”
  5. Jay takes Gloria to a mausoleum to look at burial plots: “Ta-da is for when you do a flip or where the magician cuts the pretty lady in half, not when you show someone where you want to shove their dead body.”
  6. Gloria is advising Phil on his fight with Claire: “You didn’t do one thing wrong, you did everything wrong! I wonder how she still talks to you. A woman is never okay with this. We wait, and when you least expect it, we make you pay.”
  7. “In Colombia, you can’t go to the hospital for every little sniffle or dislocated shoulder.”
  8. “In my culture, mothers are very clingy to their sons. In fact, the leading cause of death among Colombian women is when their sons get married. But I’m not like that.”
  9. Gloria hates Manny’s poncho: “The poncho by itself is fine. The poncho plus the flute plus the stupid dance? My son will die a virgin.”
  10. Gloria is talking about the phrase dog-eat-dog world: “That doesn’t make any sense! Who wants to live in a world where dogs eat each other? Doggy-dog world is a beautiful world filled with little poh-pees.”
  11. Haley hosts a party at Jay & Gloria’s house and complains when Manny is announced as the chaperone. Gloria replies that it’s like killing “two birds with one bullet”

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