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We all try and play the game with the kids of one in one out, the mass donation post Christmas push, even the Garage Sale to create cash to buy more shit charade...

The thing is those are all just mini band aids as what we really want to teach our kids is not to hang on to all the crap in the first place. Better still would be to not bug the crap out of us to purchase it or let it enter the house post carnival store win/party gift bag/free advertising handouts at the local shopping centre.. you get my gist huh?

Soo.. I have been looking into a whole host of ways to live a more minimal life and not just by owning some Zen Style sterile looking abode.

I have been been clearing my own stuff for a while. I got the hassle but magical chance to clear half the house when we moved from Australia to the U.S but I really wanted to get the kids aware of how much junk they keep and attach value too when there really is none.

I have heard to the 30 day minimalist challenge where you get rid of 1 item on Day 1, 2 on Day 2, 3 on Day 3 etc, etc, etc by the end of a month you have 'minimalised' over 400+ items. Now this was a little much for me to ask the kids to do and I wanted them to be o.k with the process so I decided to just do 1 week every month. 

We made a rule that paper things like cards, leaflets and generally tiny items were 5 for the score of 1 item and as you can see the haul was a really decent one. Don't get me wrong, they still have way too much crap but we are getting there.

The other rule we have is that before they want to buy anything we have to have a discussion about how it will add value to their life. Lets just say it has ensured I have not been badgered for needless crap and the more big ticket items we talk about adding to Birthday or Christmas lists.

So what are the rules again?

Day 1 trash, donate or re gift 1 item
Day 2 trash, donate or re gift 2 items
Day 3 trash, donate or re gift 3 items
Day 4 trash, donate or re gift 4 items
Day 5 trash, donate or re gift 5 items
Day 6 trash, donate or re gift 6 items
Day 7 trash, donate or re gift 7 items

45 items MINIMALISED!!

By the end of the week they have de cluttered desktops or pin boards a little and got rid of some old things they don't use anymore.

I am going to share some of the other things I have done to literally reduce well over 1000 items without even noticing and am doing more each and every week.

So do you think you could do it? Would your kids be willing? 

Fudgy Plant Powered Brownies

I have a few recipes for Brownies in my pocket these days and I will share them too but this is the Fudgiest most Gooey version by far.. Just like my Magic Bean Cake this one has beans that give it a rich texture but these are accompanied by Avocado to make the texture more moist.

It is super easy to make, all in one bowl (or food processor), under 150 calories per piece and has the tick of approval from my two..


  • 1 Flax Egg (1tbsp of flaxseed mixed with 2.5 tbsp of water)
  • 15oz / 425g of Black Beans
  • Half an Avocado
  • 4 Dates
  • 1 tbsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 2/3 cup of Cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup of Coconut Sugar (you can use Brown Sugar, Honey or Maple Syrup if you prefer)
  • 1 tsp of Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 tsp of Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1/4 cup of Vegan Chocolate Chips
  • 3 or 4 tbsp of Vegan Chocolate Chips to sprinkle on top

  • Preheat oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit / 175 Celsius and Grease an 8x8 inch Pan
  • Make your Flax Egg then add to Beans, Avocado, Dates, Vanilla & Sugar in a Food Processor, Blend until smooth.
  • Add to same mixture the Cocoa, Baking Soda, Baking Powder and blend again.
  • Stir in the 1/4 cup of Chocolate Chips and then spread that into your greased pan.
  • Sprinkle your other Chocolate Chips across the top and put it in the oven
  • Bake for 23 minutes and then check that a knife comes out nearly clean.. not fully clean as that would be too dry but as long as the top is dry you are good to go.
  • Once cooled on a rack for 10 minutes they will cut easily into 12 pieces and melt in the mouth.
These Brownies can be stored in the Freezer if you wish and by all means double the recipe but be sure to do in 2 pans or they won't have the same consistency as these.

Gluten Free, Dairy Free and full of Fibre.. Happy Days..

Whats your favourite sweet treat? Maybe I can re make it in a healthier way for you?

July Lemonadelustloving

How do you like our new home? Same, same huh? 

I had to take a little time off #lemonadelustloving for personal reasons but I am back and back for good. For those who have been playing along over on Instagram, our tribe is growing. As I have said before, I love to help businesses get a little boost and by bringing the blog to my personal page the reach goes further so it is a win, win.

So.. to the July Round Up ...

We have (from top left clockwise) the cute as a button mini crowns from Le Petit Renard Rouge, Aztec style dangly earrings from Pop and Pop Design , Cheeky Alfy from Stephanie Buckman and the beautiful candlesticks from Dollma Design

.. as I will each month, I need to choose the winner that I will feature 4 or more times on the Insta Feed over the next month AND I will be putting them on my Pinterest Boards too...

I am digging the neutral tones of Dollma Design and can I girl ever have enough baskets? I think not so thats my pick for this month. Look out for my favourite picks on Insta and keep tagging #lemonadelustloving to be featured yourself.

Have you got friends starting a new business? Make sure they get tagging too..

I am back and with baggage..

I have been missing in action. I didn't let anyone know I was going and I sorta kinda didn't care because I was so busy with new things I had no time to worry about what anyone else thought.

So whats new? 

I will unpack it all over a few blog posts but a quick sum up is..

I have been training for a 50k Trail Run in August.
We turned Plant Based in April, Yes the WHOLE Family is now Vegan.
I raced a 30k Trail Race last month and came 1st in my age group!
I have done a full circle grieving for Dexter and Maggie the Blue is now 7 months old.
I am officially a full time Mum and making changes.
As a family we are moving towards a more Minimal life..
I have booked flights back to Australia for my B Day in October so I can meet my nephew
AND I have moved my other website Lemonade Lusts over to here so I can keep it simple

Our family has been making massive changes and I want to share the positive, negative and the reasons why with you over the next few months. 

I know for sure there are things we have been doing that everyone could starts to implement and see some great results. 

Sorry I buggered off with no warning but don't be mad.. there is good stuff to come.

Keep up with me on Insta here.. and lets chat.. I don't have many friends over here in the USA..

Puppy Training Tips that WORK

Ok so they key is consistency and using simple repetition in your wording.

The first things you really need are ‘sit’, 'stay' and ‘come’, along side toilet training..

In the house have a little plate of treats at easy access so you know where they are.. maybe every hour grab a treat and ask them to 'come' or 'sit' and reward them when they do.

Get them to sit every time you are going out to put the lead on and reward that also. Every street corner or crossing you can practise sit and stay as can you also if you pop in a shop etc. I reward if they have stayed put and not barked.

Whenever you are out and wherever you are have treats in your pocket or bag. Every sit or come gets a reward as does a pee or poo.. I use the wording ‘lets get busy’, 'do you need to get busy?' to cue and when successful ‘well done getting busy’ lots of excited praise and a treat. This can be further developed to adding the words 'wee' and 'poo' so they know exactly what you are asking for and what it is when they have done it.

Have everyone in your family use the same words and to practice recalling in different places with just a simple “ ****, Come”.

No jumping and no biting, just simply ’Off **** ’ as they approach anyone they might jump on and if on you a hands crossed and turn and walk away

Try and get them socialised with other dogs and any out of hand rough play where they get over zealous they goes back on the lead and are removed from the park by you.. they will soon learn to play nicely. Parks are also great for practising re call ‘****, Come’ as other dogs are the hardest distraction.

An now to toilet training..

No rewards for any messes in the house even if on a wee pad once you are initiating outdoor toilet training and even a disappointed ‘oh no *Insert Name*, we don’t get busy inside.. thats not good’.

Pee pad near the front door so they know that the pee pad is at least 2nd best or on deck if they have access to outside but again, no treats even if they go on it.

I set an alarm on my phone to take my puppy out every 1.5 hours between 6.30am and 8pm.. I do it no ifs or buts and then there should be no reason for messes in the house. If I get lazy and push an extra 30 mins I will always regret it. The older they get, the longer the gap can get.

Try and keep an eye on them and grab them if they looks like they are about to pee or poo but if you do the alarm thing and are regular at taking them out to the garden or for a walk then you should be ok.

If you forget treats then squeal your butt off very excitedly and cuddle and rub their head with praise..

Lastly if they steals kids toys, your shoes.. simply ’No *****, thats not yours’ and give them one of their toy to swap ‘this is yours, good boy/girl’

Dogs are easy to train as they love to please but you need to be firm and confident..

Life Lately.. Adjusting is the key..

So its strange. I thought we had adjusted to our lifestyle change within a few months of being here but it seems I was wrong. Well wrong for me anyhow.

I am still not fully adjusted but I really do feel I am getting there. I now figure you need a whole year to REALLY get there as you need to experience the full cycle of seasons, semesters, social occasions.. everything.

Loosing Dexter has certainly hit me hard and made our transition far less stable, but as you will see in this round up, I am adjusting in all my little life areas..

: I became an Auntie by blood for the first time.
I had assumed I would feel the same way as I do about my other nieces and nephews but the overwhelming pride in my brother and his beautiful partner was quite breathtaking and I am absolutely busting to get back to Australia to see him.
Welcome to the world Atlas Harrington

: I lost my Dexter, it was and still is heartbreaking and I wrote about it in that link back there..

: California is officially in Spring and thank fuck for that as I need sunshine in my life and the Winter was WET.. I don't mind cold all that much but I HATE rain. The warmer days mean I am back running and cycling and I can't tell you how much that does for my soul.
Exercising outdoors gives me Vitamin D, time to think, an opportunity to be amongst nature and the feeling that I am doing something totally selfish for me and just me.

: The one thing I have always loved walking dogs for is the opportunity to make them excruciatingly happy and to collect random flowers along the paths we walk.

: We are keeping the kids active and not just through school sports. We have decided that lazy days on the weekend are only allowed if it is pissing with rain or AFTER we have been out and done a few hours of getting the fresh air in their lungs.
Kitty is always keen, Harrington not so much but the minute he is out there he loves it.

: Miss Maggie has joined the family. We got her at 8 weeks and she is now 14 weeks. The training is a little tiring but the cuddles are amazing and she has really helped heal our hearts over Dexter.

: We did a 6 day RV Road Trip. Las Vegas to Grand Canyon, off to Death Valley the Sequoia National Park via Red Rock Canyon State Park then home.
They were all fantastic but if I had to pick one to visit it would be The Grand Canyon, it was breathtaking and so rich in history.. environmental history that is.

Whats been up with you lately? 

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Visiting Death Valley & Red Rock Canyon State Park

Holy Moly.. driving to Death Valley you really do remove yourself from normality.. in a good way.

Well o.k a lack of good coffee is not so fab but it is a small sacrifice for starry nights in pitch blackness and the vast open space with such unique landscapes.

I hear they have a marathon there, given it was still warm during the day in Winter when Yosemite and The Grand Canyon was snowing, all I can say is WHY?!

They have sand dunes and salty cracked earth.. its stunning to see and experience but unless you have a 4WD car you can't get out the The Racetrack or some of the further points so I would advise just doing 1 day and 1 night.

After Death Valley we went on to Red Rock Canyon Park we arrived late afternoon and I posted the image of the RV on Insta.. I was inundated on Insta and FB that it was like a scene out of Breaking Bad (which I haven't watched). I was later reading park info and it said that lots of films and commercials are shot there as it is more of a pass through location.. so maybe, just maybe?!

My favourite thing about it was the climbing for the kids was awesome and totally safe AND it had those cute trees that I adore and had yet to see in person. I am busting to get to Joshua Tree but these were perfect for now.. 

We have Yosemite, Tahoe, Palm Springs and San Diego all planned in the near future but if you have any stand outs please share.. 

We have no idea how long we will be here for but I don't want to come back to Australia and have missed out on a legendary U.S spot because that would be a serious waste.. 

Any places?
Speak now or forever hold your peace.. 

Does oversharing give you the shits?

I am curious as I feel I overshare for sure.

I overshare my feelings, the ones when I am flying high and the ones when I am feeling low.. heck I even share the in between mundane stuff..

Of late I wonder if it gives my friends and family the shits, Does it even embarrass them?

I know people think twice (on the shit days) because of my honesty but I do it for the people that never talk about how they feel.  The connections that need solidarity of knowing others are out there feeling the same.

Do they worry to much because of what I write as I am more open than many about my mental health and especially the downsides of it ? I do it is because I have so many friends that need to know that others have shit days too. Ironically I am sharing my shit to make others happy...

I have a fantastic life. I am happy and healthy with an amazing family.

Yes my kids give me the shits sometimes, yes I have crappy fat days, yes my husband and I have had some tough times with financial stress. Like everyone life serves up some major curveballs but for me not shutting down my negative or woeful feelings is so important.. I live them, process why I had them and then throw them away by focusing on my positives and reminding myself that they serve no use.

It's probably egotistical to think that me sharing my feelings is helping anyone but back when I was running DTLL and was high as a kite with success yet depressed as anything from insecurities about work life balance and stress over the future I wish I had been following someone on social media I knew had been there. Little did I know I was following many but no one talked about it. It was only once I started talking that they told me they were the same and had been for years.

So I suppose I am just asking, do I keep it up or is it too much? 

Do you overshare?
Do you even share at all?

Seven Magic Mountains was just what I needed...

I had pinned this art installation well over a year ago with no idea I would ever end up living in the U.S. We had planned to visit it before going to the Grand Canyon but we took so much time faffing getting food for our trip and discovering the RV that we had to leave it and I thought I would miss out as it is only up until May 2018.

When we got the news about Dexter  I insisted we had to go, I knew the colours and size at such a random location would life their spirits and I 100% knew it would mine!

It did!!. We all voted on our favourite colours and the kids ran around and burnt off some nervous, sad energy. I just felt happy.. there are so many things you see on Pinterest that are just a dream to think about visiting and this was one of mine.

A set of fluro rocks.. who gives? Well I did and on a day in which my heart was filled with so much sorrow this was the perfect, simple yet stunning display that serviced my need for pretty pictures to take me away from reality.

If you are Las Vegas way it is well worth a visit as not far from the city and just 'fun'.. you can find the full website here 

I lost my dog.. I didn't cope well..

I felt the need to write this post as whilst lots of people talk about losing a pet and how awful it is most are lucky enough not to have to loose them before their natural life ends..

I posted about our trip to the Grand Canyon last week.. well it was amazing but that was dramatically changed the minute we came back into cell phone range. I had a phone call from our vet to tell me that overnight we had lost Dexter.

We were sitting in a Petrol Station, Marcus was in paying and the kids were above my head pretending to spit on me from their bed.. He started talking and I told the kids to 'shut the fuck up' I don't swear at my kids but I couldn't hear and I knew from his voice the call was serious. By the time Marcus returned I had just hung up and was staring into space with my eyes all welled up. 'Whats wrong?' he said.. 'is it Dexter?', I nodded 'Is he sick?', I shook my head and burst into tears.. (and now they are flowing again).

'He's gone' I said and Marcus started to cry too.. the kids were shouting 'Whats wrong? whats happened?' for a second I thought I should lie but we never have and it appears I couldn't start and I looked up and said 'Dexter has gone, he is dead'.

He had died from a non bacterial and non viral form of meningitis..

We sat there in our RV all 4 of us crying really ugly uncontrollable tears. Harrington asking if when you are dead you can be made better again, Kitty spouting out classic lines of 'he will be ok' 'at least he is with Obi & Tyler' ' he is not in pain so that's ok'..

After well over half an hour we discussed how he would have loved to have been there with us and would want us to continue on and enjoy our holiday.. so we did..

The thing is, we couldn't truly.. every morning and night we cried as we were not distracted by the daily activities. Harrington cried when he saw a dog. Kitty couldn't eat for the pain in her tummy and she got so tired..

Why was this so hard on us when we had already lost dogs before? Because those dogs were 14 years old, they had become slow and grey, we had readied ourselves for their departing day and quite frankly their quality of life was obvious that a younger happier soul over Rainbow Bridge was welcome.

I haven't lost that many relatives or friends in recent years but I feel awful to say this feels like the worst grief I have experienced out of them all.. can it really compare to the loss of a human?

My relationships with my dogs have in some cases been better than with people, hey how could it not when they don't nag or ever tell you that you are wrong.. they just want to be fed walked and loved!

They say dogs just make you feel better about yourself and dogs seem to feel the same way about us.

I read an article that said 'Dogs communicate with us as no other animal does. They are skilled at comprehending spoken words and using their own vocalisations to communicate with us in return'

Have you ever heard a dog family member call one of the other siblings or kids the dogs name? It turns out that it happens often. The dog’s name is being pulled out of the same place as other family names showing how equally they rank in our thought process.

In loosing Dex I lost a few things. My constant companion, my youngest child who I trained to be the gorgeous guy he was and my source of unconditional love. He was so much part of my daily routine he has calendar slots on my weekly calendar which is not something most of my friends and family even have.

My friend Charlie on Instagram said 'I was once told during a time of grief that some souls are only meant to visit for a brief time, they come teach us to love selflessly to teach us to live life to the full now!!'

I could not agree more.. 

He was only in our lives for just under 3 years but he taught us so much, he showed us what undeniable devotion looks like and he had the best life. My favourite thing I shared with him was our walks.. he loved to be out and was grateful for 10 mins or 3 hrs.

He was Eckhart Tolle in a dog.. He believed in The Power of Now

Do I have the answer to fix it? No just the reason and rationale for why it hurts so much.
Do you get another dog? Totally up to you.. your heart will tell you..

Tips on visiting The Grand Canyon

The 7 Wonders of the World has been re worked a few times and whilst I have no idea if I will ever see them all I know that whilst we live in the U.S.A we plan to visit as many of the places that would come in the top 10 if they were all American and nature related.. 

We will visit Disney World and some of the more famous but man made ones but for our most recent road trip it was all about what Mother Nature has provided.

It was a real mixed bag this road trip and for so many reasons.. I'll split up the posts and add our school kid errors that we learnt along the way so that you hopefully learn a little if your planning the same and if not you can just see the pretty pictures and potter off back to your day :).

We were lucky enough to see the GC in the snow which is pretty rare but our first rookie error was arriving at campsite too late after sunset.. we couldn't see enough and got caught driving down a driveway that narrowed to much and had used wedged on a snowdrift... oops!!.

We dug ourselves out the next day and I reversed that big baby back where we had come from. The kids pelted snowballs, we discovered Deer and headed off to see what was what.

The GC is huge and you can drive to all the lookout spots or get a shuttle bus. Trekking wise there is not much chance of much in the snow but the Rim Trail runs around the top, goes for ages and is easy flat path.

For anything decent you are looking at a few hours plus so I would advise going in Spring or Autumn and packing snacks and water if taking kids. Adults solo? take a tent as there is an amazing spot Indian Garden but the return hike is a REALLY full day..

If you were not hiking then one full day there driving to each spot is enough to see it all. Stay 2 nights so you can start earlyish and see the sunset before moving on the next day.

The kids were bored of the views by the end of the day but Marcus and I certainly could have sat for hours at some of the spots.. We even witnessed a proposal at the spot where I was sitting on the ledge, they cleared us all out so they were all alone but I had to spy from up the path and it was as magical as expected.. can you imagine the pictures?!.

There is not much you can do wrong in The Grand Canyon except try and do it too fast as it is a really decent drive in and out with not much to do to break it up so cracking it in 24hrs or under will feel like a bloody long drive with not enough awesomeness in between to make the driving boredom worth it..

Have you been to The Grand Canyon? 
Any tips on amazing places in the U.S we MUST visit?

Life Lately

Anthropologie : Its like I can't seem to buy from many other places.. I TRY!! but all the best things I find to suit my style, both fashion and at home, are there and the quality and curation of their collections is just magical. As for the styling in store?!

Harrington : My little boy turned 8. I wrote the other day about how them ageing makes me feel old but seriously where do the years go? He has been having a tough run of late at a very strict school with a class of very strong personalities that are quite chatty and have older siblings that are a lot more 'wordly' than his big sister but his birthday was all about him. We went road tripping and I made the most ridiculous Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake.. decadent is the only word I can use to describe it.

Christmas : Ours was quiet and focused on relaxation, fresh air and just being together. We have had the biggest year as a family as we have possibly had since 3 became 4 so we just needed to chill. We played games, watched movies, went hiking and cooked good food. It was awesome.

Dexter : Our little guy has been lucky to have found a fab mate in Rudy and we keep swapping extended sleepovers when each family is travelling.. his family do amazing things like get invited to The White House by The Obamas.. we just go visit Dad when he goes away for work.. its our excuse to see more of the U.S!.

Clean Eating : I have always loved the idea of shopping totally organic but as we have only one worker bee in the family these days I figured I could chuck that dream aside for a while but I California Organic food is so much cheaper.. apparently people just stopped buying non organic as it wasn't labeled whether is was GMO free, so things got cheaper and the other week I switched all our pantry and fridge to organic!!

Kids : Moving countries has bonded them further. They were always similar in interests but having no support network here means as a family unit we have become closer and with the two of them playing the same sport 4 times a week together we are just together as a trio during the day.. a lot. They still fight but they are really understanding each other more and being far more kind and considerate rather than argumentative as they have been in the past.

Lemonade Lusts : I couldn't just do nothing after Down that Little Lane and I still love social media, I still adore helping small business and I still have a real drive to find stunning investment pieces or unique items at fabulous prices. I have started a blog to support that and share across Instagram, FB and Pinterest.

San Francisco Landscapes : Ok so I do find the chilly days here a bit too chilly as I am such an Aussie these days, in that I just don't do cold, but oh wow the landscape is stunning. I have climbed so many hills and walked to so many points and each and everyone rewards me with visuals I just want to frame. I am merrily snapping away so when I come back to Aus I can have a U.S.A wall to remind me of all the beauty when all I moan about was how cold it was!

What have you been up to lately? 

The Art of Ageing.. or not?

How old are you? I am 40 an really starting to feel my age..

No, its not aches and pains (although I, like most Mums have a few). Its the way I feel inside AND the visual changes.

Those moments when I am having conversations with my kids and they ask things  that I remember asking my Mum, the conversations that you know the answers are important as they show your kids what type of person you are and also what type of person you want them to be. These are no difficult, life changing questions but it is more that I have reached the age where my kids are old enough to be influenced for life by everything I say or do.. It makes me feel old.. you know.. mature type old.

I decided to go grey last year, that in itself is not making me feel old but it is making me own my age. Anyone that sees me will assume I am 40+ so its like I have chosen not to hide that fact. Being grey up top has almost spurred me to make the rest of me look even better and I am focusing on myself from the inside out.

I nearly collapsed in a Tone & Flow Yoga Class the other day..  when we all hit Warrior and the room turned into a bat cave with droopy triceps everywhere I almost lost the pose giggling.. gone are my days of 'how did you get those arms?' from lovely people offering me a compliment unless I maintain constant tension in my arms..

I should have paid attention when I was at the Chiro doing a shoulder rotation test and Harrington flicked the undercarriage of my bicep and giggled at the wobble.. Yep I truly am ageing visually but it is something that we all need to accept and enjoy.

When I decided to go grey I was inspired by Annika and I am still inspired by her but I have found another lady to admire possibly even more Yazmeenah Rossi.

Seeing her made me want to go back to modelling and just empower myself and my ageing process by owning it and showing it off. Marcus on the other hand said he thought I had enough on my plate..

Hmm defensive me thought 'don't tell me I can't handle something' AND 'but I need to be of value to the family?'.. (monetary value that is).. the fact is being at home IS of value and I just need to settle my vision on what value actually is and that it is not always tangible but that is another blog post!!..

How are you going with the ageing process? 
Going graceful or down in flames kicking and screaming? 

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