Sunday, October 31, 2010

October Trading Up

October has been a great month for trading up...

Out: Natio Eye Cream
In: Trilogy Eye Contour Cream

Out: Artistry Essentials Soothing Crème
In: Trilogy Age Proof Replenishing Night Cream

Out: Mr Sheen, Windex, Spray & Wipe
In: Project Green cleaning kit, I purchased the Glass & Stainless cleaner, Shower & Bathroom Cleaner and Disinfectant - each came as a concentrate with an empty spray bottle for mixing my own. Best thing - it's made right here in Seddon! I went to work on my stainless steel oven and stove straight away with brilliant results - I think this stuff makes me actually want to clean!

Out: Lots of plastic containers, silicone bakeware and our old non stick wok
In: Saving my glass jars for food storage and a new carbon steel wok!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Spring Challenge Day 14 (14 days to go)

Departure: 8:15am
Arrival: 8:55am
Conditions: warm, sunny and still
Attire: black capris, t shirt and sandals 
Did you see the numbers? I'm at the halfway mark!
What a stunning morning, I find myself breaking into a huge smile on Pashley these days - what's not to love? The air is filled with the scent of spring and there's just nothing to worry about. I had some precious cargo on board today - a bottle of Sparking Salmon by Geoff Hardy - all ready for our Friday night drinks. I had my camera with me but absolutely forgot to use it on my journey! Darn it! I'll make sure I' snap a few shots on my way to Bakerlite this evening...

Carpe Diem: To Seize the Day: Birthday Skirt

Carpe Diem: To Seize the Day: Birthday Skirt: "For my brithday last weekend I wanted a skirt that was both stylish and comfortable. I did a little inspiration searching and grabbed a few ..."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Pashley!

This time one year ago I couldn't wait to get home so I could catch the bus down to Yarraville and pick up my precious new wheels. I remember the weeks of saving, and months of waiting as the shipment was forever delayed.Good things are worth waiting for aren't they!
Fast forward to today and I've got so many happy memories of life with Pashley, she is as strong as an Ox and so comfortable to ride. I feel free and safe when we coast along on our journeys together. Today marks our 1st anniversary but unfortunately we'll miss our ride together. Still, I'm very content that I've been sticking to my Spring Challenge, and glad that this habit is now a part of my life.

Another thing that's been well and truly worth the wait is the grand opening of the new Bakerlite Trading store in Bay Street Port Melbourne - this is the only Melbourne importer of the Pashley range and I've been invited along to attend the launch tomorrow evening. I intend to arrive with Pashley and I hear that Stephen has some more exciting brands up his sleeve, can't wait to fill you in!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Have you met Miss Organic?

I bumped into Miss Organic on one of my many travels through the vast land of the interwebs and identified with her immediately - you see, she also has learned everything she knows about health from her dog, who was diagnosed with cancer and not expected to live. After Rocky's diet was changed over to a completely organic, natural raw diet some amazing transformations took place - and the rest as they say is history. Apart from her offerings of fresh, organic fruit and vegies delivered to your door, Nicci's online store also offers a range wholefoods, home products and gifts.
Last night I was fortunate enough to attend a free presentation by Sherry Strong, presented by Miss Organic at the Tivoli Club in Windsor. The presentation was titled A Return to Food: How Going Back is the Way Forward. Sherry is a truly charismatic speaker, and she kept us all enthralled with her philosophies on food and health for about 2 hours. Sherry's approach isn't the typical 'You Must...' but she presents the information, tells us what is in the food we eat and what it does to our health - then asks us to make our own minds up.
There were so many wonderful things to take away from the evening but here are some main things that have stuck in my mind,
  • The most toxic thing you can give to someone else is Judgement - and it reminds me of a quote I've heard: 'Don’t Judge others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.' This sounds so basic but it's so important, when we judge someone we compare them with ourselves, and decide how much we value them and the things they say and do. This is so often done without knowing the whole picture and is so often hurtful to others.
  • China are pursuing the Western lifestyle but it would actually take 3 more planets of resources for them to achieve a European lifestyle, and 5 more to achieve an American/Australian lifestyle, the fact that humans are the only species on Earth that create waste and landfill only contributes to part of this problem - how many products in your house were made in China?
  •  'What's good for your body is good for the planet, and what's good for the planet is good for your body' - this resonated with me so much - you would have heard me say that when I've improved one thing for myself, this has also had positive effects on the planet - take bicycling to work as one perfect example!
  • Stick to Seasonal, Local, Organic produce as much as possible - and if you can even grow just one thing in your own garden, this really will have a profound impact on not only yourself but also the planet. Take our tasty Backyard Salad that accompanied our fabulous breakfast this morning, filled with snow peas, wild rocket, beetroot leaves, radicchio, peas and pea shoots, parsley and spring onions and topped off with a superbly ripe red pepper - this is as fresh as it comes, picked minutes before eating it has held onto most of its nutrients, unlike those limp vegies you'll see in your local supermarket that have been sitting there for who-knows-how-long? I'm halfway through reading 'Never be Sick Again' by Raymond Francis and when he wrote that vegetables lose a significant percentage of their nutrients just by slicing them up for a salad I recognised the true value of starting with the freshest, healthiest organic food you can find.
Mmmm our Backyard Salad
  • Sherry's philosophy focuses on Love as the other Absolute in this world. She is confident that love can be just as nourishing as food and some relationships actually have an unhealthy effect on our bodies. I agree with this completely and have felt the draining effects of 'toxic' relationships. Sherry would rather eat a greasy hamburger with her closest friends and family than the most nutritionally rich meal with a group of angry people. She recited a French Proverb that is now firmly in place on my fridge at home 'When a table is set with love, food will taste its best'.
Thank you so much Sherry and Nicci for such a fantastic evening! Opportunities like this remind me how far I've already come on my journey to a Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability, my 30th birthday gift is going to be the biggest lifechanger ever!

My Leading Man

Hi Trav!

For the man who has everything the only option was to push the boundaries.
So I created a special 30th Anniversary Issue of Leading Man magazine 
and asked our friends and family to honour you within its pages.
It's been so much fun putting this together and everyone has been really excited about it. 
I hope you find it full of great memories and reminders of how much you mean to all of us.

Happy 30th Birthday Babe!

Love Christie xxx

Monday, October 25, 2010

To market, to market

This week's market day held another lot of surprises - I learned my 'no list' lesson last week, and this week I got to exercise my 'open mind' as some of the producers on the list weren't there - nevermind - my King Valley Pork bacon became Pacdon Park Apple & Cider Sausages and the Chai Teacake became Plum Brioche and Apple Turnovers. Can't go wrong really!

The sweets were for afternoon tea with our friend Jeannine and I had no idea what to do with the rest of the food yet!
Total spend this week $108.87

Spring Challenge BONUS Day 13 (15 days to go)

It was Sunday morning and without a car I had to take Pashley along to the Farmers Market. It was such a good ride that I thought it definitely counts towards my Spring Challenge.
Departure: 9:15am
Arrival: 10:45am
Conditions: warm, sunny and mild
Attire: jeans, t shirt, cardi & sneakers - it's all about comfort on Sunday!

I rode along the Maribyrnong River which I haven;t had the chance to do until last summer, it was really peaceful and then my journey lead me up Smithfield Rd (bike paths) and along Epsom Road and Langs Rd to the market. It was a suprisingly quick trip - even with the slight incline up into Ascot Vale. I knew it would be a lot slower on the way home!

After 40 minutes I'd loaded up my 2 panniers and basket and wobbled my way out of the gate and down Langs road towards VU. I rejoined the river path and took the long way through Yarraville home so I could stop in at Chalk and Wattlebank Nursery So it was a 50 minute trip home and after carefully unpacking all my goodies I actually weighed them to see just how much I'd carried all this way...6.5kg in total!

Anyway I'd happily do the ride to the market again, it's just a shame you get limited to how much you can carry - I wonder if I could convince Trav to bring Rossi's trailer next week?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Everybody has a dream car...

... except me! Until this year...

Tamra's got her eyes on a green mustang...

The motor of a GTR-XU1 Torana rev's Trav up...

And now I too long for a big, strong, 'real metal' beauty, behold the 1947 Chevrolet Fleetline! I first spotted my baby when I was doing research at the Ruffled blog. The red suits me just fine but I also like the look of this gunmetal grey, I wonder if it's because that's the colour it was the first time I laid eyes on it - and it gives that impression of living in the age when everything was black and white.

Spring Challenge Day 12 (16 days to go)

Departure: 8:00am
Arrival: 8:40am
Conditions: 16 and a BIG BLUE SKY!
Attire: 3/4 pants, t shirt, sneakers

Today was just beautiful! I found myself pushing quite hard and decided to take it a bit easier - afterall this bike was made for cruising! There were so many delicious scents in the air from gardens beginning to bloom. I managed to leave 10 minutes earlier today, and if I can leave a further 10 minutes earlier on each of my rides next week - I'll be at my goal of 7:30am! Nothing like a new challenge...

On the way home... ahhhh Friday afternoon. We enjoyed some wine and cheese at the end of the day and although the temperature read 27.9, it was slightly cloudy with a breeze. I was in no hurry to get home tonight and left at 5:20. I quickly got into my speedy pace until I resolved to cruise the whole way home, even if it took an extra half an hour. I had to check myself a few times - and I also had to push against the headwind from time to time, but I still conquered both inclines and arrived at home in 45 minutes. I distracted myself all the way with my plans for the evening, and my little sister's wedding plans...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Spring Challenge Day 11 (17 days to go)

Departure: 8:10am
Arrival: 8:50am
Conditions: 11 , mild, still.
Attire: 3/4 pants, t shirt, sneakers

After a week of illness and another week of inclement (OK normal Melbourne Spring) weather, I'm back on the bike! And not a moment too soon. With a lingering cough I saddled up and really enjoyed my ride in. It was nice to be in short sleeves and sans gloves. Pashley felt a bit heavier initially but soon I was gliding along like I'd never stopped.
Now I need to play catch ups so I can achieve my spring goal -  6 weeks and 17 days to go.
Let's make it happen!

This week - 2 rides
Mon 25th week - 3 rides
Mon 1st week - 2 rides - remember it's Melbourne Cup week so Tuesday is out of the question!
Mon 8th week - 3 rides
Mon 15th - 2 rides - day off on Friday for La Dolce Vita!
Mon 22th - 3 rides
Mon 29th - 3 rides

It's going to be a good Spring!

On the way home... it was a brilliant 25 degrees with a nice breeze! It felt a lot harder so that's my 2 week break catching up with me, by the time I got home I remembered the hot sticky days of last summer - bring it on!

Monday, October 18, 2010

First rule of farmers markets...

... don't make a list. Whatever you do! I had the best intentions and a very well thought out menu plan but of course half of the things I bought last week weren't there this week! So - budget yes, list no. This week I spent over $40 on meat, $7 on sorbets and about $30 on vegies and considering I'm still on my own this week it seems a bit much but some of it was for making Rossi's food - and I'm not touching those yummy sorbets until Trav gets home. There, that's better.
Bella Pasta & Dolci are from Rosebud, they bring along a delicious selection of fresh pastas - so fresh they're even making them at the market and an amazing range of sorbets and ice cream. Almost everything was gone by the time I got there so I snapped up little Lavender & Strawberry and Orange & Basil cups to hide in the freezer. Their other flavours include Chocolate & Strawberry, Apple & Honey and Lemon & Mint. And on top of their fantastic range of products they are just wonderful people too!
Another new face was Peninsula Fresh Organics, apart from the gorgeous little breakfast radishes I picked up, they have a wide range of other vegies including heirloom cabbage and baby kohlrabi - but again - you've gotta be quick!

I'm already looking forward to next week - I'm learning so much!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

il dolce far niente

Well. It's been a hell of a month and I've been in hibernation for the last week. But the sunshine this weekend has restored my energy levels and I had the opportunity to take some more happy snaps, you know I only get to do this when I'm enjoying the sweetness of doing nothing...

 My trip to the friendly Melbourne Showgrounds Farmers Market - $56 plus $3 parking for all this lovely goodness (and the smiles are free!).

  Maureen's orchid doing it's thing

 The beetroot are now 7 weeks old and looking nice and strong.
 Soon I'll snap off some of those gorgeous leaves to add to a salad 
and allow the stronger beets to keep growing.
 Peas are happily climbing up towards the sun
My wild thyme

Monday, October 4, 2010

Spring's Bounty...

Aaah finally a proper spring weekend, more than anything I appreciated two full days of sunshine in a row!
Yesterday was the much anticipated return of the Melbourne Showgrounds Farmers Market - let's see how simple it really is to make a healthy difference in you life...

This bounty of goodness cost $125 (inc $3 parking) and I received one of the silver beet and cauliflowers for free! All the vegies you see are organic except the cos lettuce, the eggs are from free range hens courtesy of Kaz's Googs, the chicken is from Yapunyah Meadow Graze Chicken (a whole lot better than free-ranged) and the beef is all Victorian grass fed from Family Farmed Meats. That's excellent value and my weekly shop was done in less than an hour. I love the fact that you're face to face with the producers and they're ready to answer any questions you might think of - try that out in your local supermarket and see how far you get!

My point is that it doesn't cost the earth to eat organic and well, and like so many other things I'm discovering, it not only benefits yourself, but the greater community and environment as well.

My final thought for the day is yet another thing I learned from my dog. His diet has changed dramatically over the past year - and in recent months as we improve our own diet we keep bumping into his! This time it's the benefits of Celtic Sea Salt over regular salt - it's a good salt that helps carry minerals throughout your body and can prevent cramps among other things - so from now on we're going Celtic too!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Early Bird Challenge Day 5

The plan

Rise: 6:30
make tea & breakfast
Red Dress: hand-sew hem. Done!
make lunch
Ride to work: 7:30

Well you might have noticed that this didn't happen. It went more like this

6:20 alarm
7:15 up, shower, dressed
7:40 breakfast
8:00 chatted to Trav, fed rossi, packed bag
8:25 left for work.

This week has been a very strange one, I realise that I could have put all other pressures aside and kept to my plan but it just didn't to bother me very much. Not a habit yet. Next week I'll be aiming for a short walk with Rossi each morning, no other extra tasks.

Spring Challenge Day 10 (18 days to go)

Departure: 8:25am (WHOOOPS!!)
Arrival: 9:00am (only 35 minutes!)
Conditions: 11 , sunny, mild, still. Spring is here!
Attire: skinny jeans, sneakers, t shirt, hoody

Can only attribute this to a complete drop in motivation. Not only did I sleep in until 7, but I was in no rush to get to work. It's a shame as it was a beautiful morning and that would usually do the trick. Well next week I'm aiming for Mon-Wed-Fri rides and will make sure I have renewed energy to make it happen.
I have to say that as soon as I got on my bike I felt great, and a bonus was seeing Tamra on her morning walk as I glided down Pilgrim Street.
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