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When you live and learn...


I wrote on Instagram about how I am choosing to live with less these days and make a conscious effort to not waste my time with things that bring no value to my life.. in turn I am making a concerted effort to do more of what does.

For me that comes in the form of learning and growing. Learning and growing by listening to anyone that offers advice and reading and researching things I don’t know or understand.

I have had so many of these moments in the last year that I decided it was time to share the ones that have shaped me the most.

Honesty is hard but so worthwhile, hearing it or giving it to others takes pulling up those big girl panties but the weight lifted from your shoulders when you do so is so much more so that the pain it takes to do it or read/listen to it on vice versa.

Acceptance to criticism, to situations, to limitations.. sitting with them and allowing yourself to ease into the reality of what they bring will have you change for the better in such amazing ways.

Selfishness comes from sometimes leaving or saying no to the ones you love is what you have to do for the ones you love most.. its not like extended family and friends don't mean the world to me but my husband and kids are top and when you allow them to be your main focus it feels liberating and it feels justified.

Giving or being of service is beyond rewarding.. go seek it out.. something you enjoy but gives to others.. charity, school, friends or even just doing something that fills you with pride for your own little family unit.

Trust that things will all be good in the long run. Expenses spring up, relationships go, life throws you curveballs and leaves you so uncertain so many bloody times but what purpose does it serve to dwell on it or let it pull you down. There is rarely anything we can do to change the past or even dictate the future but if we just trust in the now and stay happy with where we are at that time then the future will always pan out to be good..
It is probably the toughest one but the most powerful one too.

I am living and learning each and every day but these are the foundations that have repeatedly felt the most important to me in the biggest way..

What are your biggest lessons you have kept with you year after year? 




Do you take your kids to magical places?

I was talking with someone the other day who was saying she doesn't take her kids places as she feels they won't appreciate or remember it until they are at least teenagers.  Now don't get me wrong, I think most of us will say they don't appreciate half of what we do or give them but no remember to maybe appreciate later in life? 

I know I wish my parents had spread their wings with us a little more instead of going to the same place each year. They spent good money and I have so many happy memories of those holidays but now as an adult I realise we could have done more of Europe than just Spain!.

I didn't take anything other than beach holidays with the kids in the early days but since they were 7 we have been trying to show them lots more and I don't know if they are unique but they remember lots of it, we share stories and we plan the next adventures.

Last week we followed Dad to New York for the 2nd (last time was 12 months before) and we ticked some serious bucket list spots. The kids had a blast and we mixed in more serious stuff with candy stops just to keep it interesting... I figured I would share them in case you or someone you know was heading that way with small people.


Brooklyn Bridge : The best view is walking it from the Brooklyn side so we walked Manhattan and took Brooklyn back. If you are there on a Sunday there are fab markets Brooklyn side that you could visit before taking the trip back across.


Food is EVERYWHERE : We were told by locals that people hardly ever eat in and often book dinner at 10pm. WTF?! I could never afford that but then again I have no want or need to spend all our wages on eating, lol. We are plant based so all ours were vegan or had options but my favourites were By Chloe, Le Botaniste, Dirty French. The Sprinkles ATM was a stop for the kids as was Dylans Candy Bar..


Ground Zero : We could not visit NYC without paying our respects and going through the tough but needed process of discussing this horrific event with the kids. I didn't think I would be all that emotional given the time that has passed since the actual event but I could not have been more wrong.
Seeing all those names, reading the special area for first responders, taking in the magnitude of what it did to the country and even the world.. It was huge, the sadness passed quickly but the memory of . my feelings will last for sure and I am so glad we went.


Empire State Building : The views are just amazing and it gives you such a solid geographical knowledge of the city. Its a wicked way to the see the city, full stop. You can buy a VIP Pas to skip to the front of the queue on each level. This will save you an hour on the less busy days and a few on the busy ones.. 


Around and about : You can't go past visiting Central Park, Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park.. The Flatiron is on the way alongside The Chrysler Building. We also went to walk The Highline which was fab but would be a billion times better in Spring Summer


Christmas Time in NY : If you are there for Winter just pray it snows before you arrive and you get there the day after, we were there for the snow AND the day after. One was freaking freezing and the next was magical


Statue of Liberty : It is a must see, just be ready to wonder why it is not humungous.. it is not like it is small but it isn't a touch on the Empire State etc. We got tickets to go just to the pedestal and that was high enough.. as it is not that high and also on an island away from the city I can't imagine any higher will give you any more of a view. I don't know for sure but that is my thoughts..


Subway : It seems weird to say travel the subway as its just a train huh? Well yes it is but it is quick, cheap and easy AND has amazing buskers, a few mad people and just feels pretty cool as the kids have seen them so many times in films.

Have you taken your kids anywhere awesome? Do you wait until they are older too? 

Sweet Potato & Tofu Veggie Balls with Creamy Cherry Tomato Sauce

Thats quite a title huh?!.. BUT it is so easy and the Veggie Balls are fab for lunch boxes, go with rice just as nicely and can even be frozen..



INGREDIENTS :

1 cup (220g) Brown Rice
2 cups (500ml) Water
2 Mushroom Stock Cubes

2 cups (300g) Sweet Potato

2 tablespoons Avocado Oil
1 Chopped Onion
2 Garlic Cloves
2 cups (200g) Cooked Brown Lentils
9oz (250g) Cubed Tofu
2.5oz (75g) Peas
3 tbsp Liquid Aminos or Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
1tbsp Tahini
1 tsp Ground Ginger
2 tsp Curry Powder

Sesame Seeds for Topping

2 cups (300 g) Cherry Tomatoes
1 tin of Diced Tomatoes
3 or 4 tbsp Vegan Cream Cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste



DIRECTIONS :

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (170 C) and lightly spray a baking tray

Cook the Brown Rice using the stock water until well cooked and boil the Potatoes until just cooked.

Saute your onion and garlic then add them to a food processor. Add in half the sweet potato, half the rice, half the tofu and half the lentils and blitz until well combined.

In a bowl place all your other ingredients.. the remaining sweet potato, rice, tofu and lentils alongside the nutritional yeast, liquid aminos, peas, tahini, ginger and curry powder.

Combine the blitzed stuff with the ingredients in the bowl and combine but don't make it all mushy.

Hand roll the mixture into 3cm round balls and place on the baking tray, sprinkle them with Sesame Seeds then cook for 35mins or until golden brown and firm on the outside.

For the tomato sauce just blitz the tinned tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and vegan cream cheese in a food processor then warm it to serve over the veggie balls and pasta or rice your choice. I love Edamame as it is light, gluten free and just darn tasty!


Life Lately..










: I met my first nephew by blood, Atlas. I had to fly back to Australia to do it and it hurt like hell to leave but I am so glad I went. It was my birthday present from Marcus and he managed the kids for nearly 2 whole weeks. I have never been away from them for more than 3 days and that hurt like hell too but again I am so glad I went. I miss my brother, I miss my SIL and I now miss Atlas but seeing the brilliant unit they are and their happiness reminded me of how important it is to do what you need to do for your unique unit and that selfishness sometimes breeds content.
: How have I lived in Australia for 16 years and never made it to Byron? The weather was shit when I was there but in between showers I ran the beaches and went walking with my nephew. I drank beetroot lattes and ate heirloom vegetable stacks and did all the things you are meant to do in Byron. I WILL go back and next time my kids will be by my side.
: U.S traditions. The Christmas Tree. We went to a Christmas Tree Farm and chose our very own. The kids played hide and seek between the rows and rows, Maggie went nuts for the smells then we selected our White Fir and chopped it down ourselves. The kids carried it to the car and we drove it home. Loved EVERY minute
: Nana & Papa came to visit from the UK. It is so nice to be closer for the while that we will be and we are so lucky they love to travel. I have never not worked when they have visited before so it was REALLY nice to have the time to look after them properly and actually have downtime with them where I was fully present in conversations not answering emails under the table at the same time!
: We are ticking off the US traditions one by one and loving it. Pumpkin patches for Halloween are just brilliant, picking your own from hundreds and meeting the farm animals on the side.. I mean what is not to love?
: I did a fly in fly out to Long Beach with my kids to support our friend Rod in his swim across the Catalina Channel. They watched him dive into pitch black water around midnight and swim for hours, they heard him negative talk and they saw him get through it. A chance of a lifetime to witness such bravery and an experience they will never forget.
: Training solo in the lead up to my 50k trail race, training with my man getting ready for Ironman 70.3 in Hawaii and training with the kids for our Spartan Race. Safe to say training is back in our life in a big way
: The Plant Powered Life continues.. being Vegan suits us just fine. We don't miss meat, its no hassle eating out. Cooking at home is easy as anything and our food bills are way lower. Its all a win, win so far and so far is well over 9 months now.

What you been up too? Been making up any new traditions?