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Is it our duty?


Being a parent brings a whole host of responsibilities.

The simple duty of care to raise them and keep them healthy, to teach them manners and respect, to help them navigate right from wrong but then there is SOOOO much more..

The tiny, ridiculous things.

Recently I was taking a picture of the kids in a group and said 'Let's do a Boomerang'. They all jumped to action with glee apart from one kid who said 'What is a Boomerang?'. The other kids laughed at him and it opened up a conversation for me with his Mum about Social Media and just general online stuff.

She doesn't do social media, no FB, no Insta, hell she didn't even know her iPhone could shoot slo-mo video or how to screenshot.

It's not that she is an idiot on line, it is a choice. She is all over ordering on line and booking stuff, emails etc. She runs a successful jewellery business by word of mouth and has never thought to promote it on line. I have no doubt she could make more sales if she did (even though I wouldn't relish the challenge of building new traffic via any SM these days) but that is not my quandary.

My question is whether it is her parental responsibility to be across SM and all those other developing platforms.

Should she be 'in the know' and slowly teaching her kids so they are not left out?

Should she be aware of how they work so she knows the ins and outs for when her kids want to be on them?

Is it our duty to be current and up to date on all things current and modern as our kids age?








Vegan sources of Protein..


I get asked it ALL the time..

as in E.V.E.R.Y time I say I am plant based I get 'Oh wow, thats so cool. How do you manage the protein?'

So this is a short post of simple facts as really it is a simple answer with easy ways to do so...

AVOCADO
BEANS
BROCCOLI
BUCKWHEAT
CHIA SEEDS
CHICKPEAS
GREEN PEAS
HEMP SEEDS
LEAFY GREENS - ANY OF THEM
LENTILS
MUSHROOMS
NUTS - ALL OF THEM
QUINOA
SOY BEANS
TEMPEH
TOFU

I think I consume 7 or more of those items on a daily basis. Add a day with a salad or Green Smoothie and they possibly ALL get used.

So can we put it to bed?

Plant Based peeps do not suffer for protein...



One a month to keep forever..



We have been adopting new approaches to so many things in our little family of late and its has been pretty darn successful.

Do you know why?

We only do one change at a time, one habit a month.

We decide on a habit we would love to incorporate in our daily lifestyle and we commit to doing it for the full 30/31 days of the next month.

Not EVERY single one has stuck for good as an official daily thing but most have and the ones that haven't are certainly being done well over 50% of the time in the days and months following.

Anyway I figured it was worth sharing the idea and promoting you to do the same so I am going to post a new idea each month. One that is easy to accomplish but transformative in its results.

You up for it?

The first one to attack is so, so simple.

Everyday, the minute you wake, take 5 minutes to just sit. Stretch if you wish but be calm and think of a positive thought, maybe a little mantra, a promise to yourself for the day that makes you happy.

Don't rush into life, don't take a crappy sleep with you or a bad dream, don't let a previous shitty day travel over. Choose to start the day on a positive track and you will be surprised how well you manage to carry that intention throughout that day..

You can do that can't you? 

Live a Better Day, Everyday..



Zero - Ten in tips for a fabulous day, each and every day..

SPEND 0 CALORIES ON EATING PROCESSED FOODS
MANAGE TO GET 1 HOUR OF EXERCISE
DRINK 2 LITRES OF WATER
PERFORM 3 RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS
HAVE 4 MENTALLY UNPLUGGED MOMENTS
REMIND YOURSELF OF 5 THINGS YOU ARE GRATEFUL FOR
AT 6 AM MEDITATE AND SET YOUR INTENTION FOR THE DAY
LAUGH FOR AT LEAST 7 MINUTES
GET 8 HOURS OF SLEEP
DO 9 THOUSAND STEPS PER DAY
GO TO BED AT 10 PM

What do you think? Simple and do able?

The things that shape who you are...


The first thing I want to say is that it is never too late to change the way you are or the person you want to be.

The way you are spoken to and engaged with as a child has such huge effect on who you become as an adult. Its not to say that if you have an abusive upbringing you will become abusive yourself, nor need it turn you into a weak insecure character that fears almost anything, it is more a case of what you yourself do with those thoughts and emotions as you process them and age that will shape the person you become.

I personally feel the biggest thing I can do as a parent is not to force my thoughts and ideas on my kids, rather to show them what I believe in and explain why I say the things I say then let them decide if it resonates with them and whether they choose to take them forward in their own growth path.

If I look at my upbringing and then how I have shaped my adult life it is two fold. I split it between family and friends..

The things I admired or aspired to emulate in my parents I have developed and turned into my own passions. In the same breath the things I see that they made mistakes with or were not so great at I have made sure to develop for myself or just banish from my mindset.

My husband has shaped me in untold ways as he has been by my side since I was 21 years old and becoming part of his family and then creating our own gave me a renewed vision of what I wanted the future me to become. I am lucky to say he is an honest man that speaks his mind but is never mean. He supports me, as I do him, in every facet of life be it our career paths, sporting endeavours or the way we parent.

Friends are a huge impact on who I am today. The real ones bring out the best in you and tell you your faults. I can consistently count on one hand those that sit under that banner at any one time but some come and go taking those hands to two at certain times. Their truth has taught me to listen and learn, to not take rough words as an attack but as an opportunity to become a better me, a better Mum, a better partner and a better being.

Life is here for living.. don't let it be with regrets. If those who surround you don't support you in being the best person you can be then think about this.

You can't change the people who surround you but you can change the people who surround you..

Are you happy with the version of you that you are? 
What have you done to change yourself as you have grown up? 


Lemonade Lusts : The Crush List

Outside of my #lemonadelustloving post where I share small businesses that have tagged themselves on Instagram to get a little extra exposure I want to continue to share my personal lusts with you in Lemonade Lusts posts..













Whats on your crush list at the moment? 

Plant Powered Waffles for the Kids..



I have made these so many times with so many variations and they are always crispy on the outside and moist within. They have Coconut Oil in them and do taste of coconut but even the kids I have served them too that usually hate coconut anything woofed them down without blinking.


INGREDIENTS :

1 & 1/2 Cups / 360ml of Almond Milk
1 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar

1/4 cup of Coconut Oil
1 & 1/2 tsp of Organic Vanilla Extract
2 tsp of Maple Syrup (you can use agave nectar if you prefer)

1 & 1/2 cups / 240g of Gluten Free Flour
1 & 1/2 tsp of Baking Powder
1/4 tsp of salt
1/2 cup / 45g of Steel Cut Oats
1 tbsp of Flaxseed Meal
2 tbsp / 25g of Coconut Sugar (you can use raw sugar)

DIRECTIONS :

Add the Almond milk and Apple Cider Vinegar together and leave them to sit.
In a small bowl add the Coconut Oil, Vanilla, Maple Syrup and whisk then leave to sit also.
In a big bowl add your Gluten Free Flour, Oats, Flaxseed, Salt and Baking Powder and stir them all until combined
Add both sets of wet ingredients to the big bowl of dry and mix until all incorporated.
If the batter is a little thick add a drop more almond milk until it seems fluid enough.
Turn on your waffle iron and cook as per normal

OPTIONS TO ADD IN :

You can add Chocolate Chips, Shredded Coconut, Cocoa Powder, Nuts or Chopped Fruit.
If you do you will need to add more milk for sure as it will soak up some moisture, especially the cocoa powder. 

TOPPINGS :

We stick to Nut Butters, Fruit, Maple Syrup or Apple Sauce with Cinnamon but you can go savoury if you want as they are not super sweet.. I also make a massive fruit salad and just break up one waffle for my serving.

My little waffle iron is from here and is perfect for the kids to use (with you around) but there are loads out there to choose from. I adapted this from Minimalist Bakers recipe as my kids don't like things chocolate flavoured and prefer to add my home made Tahini Chocolate Spread and they find Rolled Oats a little too chunky so Steel Cut get no complaints






The Everyone Religion


ITS ALL A BLANK CANVAS...

BE NICE

THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS

LOVE ALL THINGS (not just cupcakes and cute babies)

LOVE LIKE THEY DO IN THE MOVIES (you know desert island, eyes shut, one foot off the ground. Knowing you will never know love like this again)

LOOK FOWARD NEVER BACK * (*unless reversing your car with no reversing camera)

SMILE AT PEOPLE (even grumpy ones)

REMEMBER THAT ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE

Do you have Mantra's you live by?

TEACHING KIDS TO LIVE WITH LESS

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..


INGREDIENTS :

  • 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

DIRECTIONS :
  • 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 every other 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