#498 Food: Winter Warmers

I’m actually in the midst of writing a blog post about all the wonderful things YOU, and I, should LOVE about Winter.

Todays gratitude post is a sneak peak, and it divulges one of my ideas.

Winter Food.

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Curry just isn’t the same unless it’s eaten on a cold Winter’s night, now is it? It’s been way too long since I made my vegetable curry, in fact we think at least 2 years… and why the wait? Well this thing called having a baby happened. And when something so monumental happens, everything changes… life, when you sleep, how you go out, how you react to things, how many people you see, and oh, what you eat.

And what you cook.

Once baby girl was of a certain age to start experimenting with food, well of course I was going to be making fairly safe, baby-friendly inoffensive tasting food. Which meant the curry we used to eat so much and so often of in Winter, was gone.

Yeah, I could have made two meals. But you could get two jobs too, couldn’t you?

😉

Yep. So it’s been a while. And as we ate it tonight, Hubbie swore it was like we were in our old house in the Northern suburbs. I think that means it was good 🙂

And as for baby girl? Well she gorged on the rice that was underneath the curry, in fact she completely overdosed on it. Did I mention my girl loves carbs? She does. I’d rather she overdose on rice than chocolate, so massive parental win there.

Winter Foods… get yourself into some warming curry and feel the heat 🙂

#474 A fresh bag of beans

Coffee beans, to be exact.

(Sometimes I wonder why I didn’t name this blog ‘carcrashcoffee,’ or ‘coffeecrashgratitude’?)

Yes, I write about coffee, a lot. About the way it makes me feel. What I’m doing while I’m drinking it, which is usually enjoying life and taking a pause. How it tastes. Great coffee. What happens, due to coffee. Running on time and having a coffee (like it somehow made me early or something), or having coffee with a miniature figurine. It’s all here folks. And there is sooo much more to come, I assure you 😉

But one of the most amazing things about making your own coffee, at home, is that moment when you open up a new bag of beans.

Ahhhhh.

How can I not stick my head in the bag and inhale deeply? It is a sensory experience of erotica, through the nose. The scent of it itself, makes you high on caffeine, and that’s without ingesting any of it.

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The fresh bag of coffee I inhaled seductively today was from a local place we have already tried for beans, called Commonfolk Coffee. We are yet to eat there, but the place looks amazing. Industrial warehouse turned funky hipster café. I know, I know, EVERYONE is doing it. But when they are freshly roasting their own coffee, and proceeds are going towards a sustainable coffee making industry, it just puts them a par above any other dread-head recently turned barista.

The first bag we tried from there, the Progress Street blend, was not to our taste, at all. This one however, the Godfather blend (how can a name like that fail?) proved to be much better on my first try today, but the beans are probably a little mixed with the old ones, so we need a few coffees to go through the machine before we can accurately tell.

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I think I can safely say, the scent of fresh coffee beans, can never, ever disappoint…

#464 A new way to Write

I had it REAL good when baby girl was in fact, a baby.

I mean, aside from the not-knowing what the hell I was doing, second-guessing every decision, crying a fair bit, being sleepless and fatigued most of the time, and just wondering when this confusing and struggling never-ending stage would pass.

But then, came the naps. That’s how I had it good.

During her day naps, baby girl would sleep for hours. Sometimes her day naps combined, would equal about 5 hours of sleep time for her, and non-baby time for me, a day.

This was really good. At first it was all catch up on this, maybe I should meal prep for dinner, pay an online bill, make that important phone call I’ve been putting off for 3 months, and wash that pile of soiled baby clothes that will re-fill by the day’s end.

But then, she settled a bit…. while the naps remained.

And as she settled, so did I. I relaxed into Motherhood, and so began journalling again.

I really wanted to capture as much of parenthood and her early months and milestones as much as I could, and so recommenced a fave past-time of mine that I hadn’t done for quite a while, a past-time that I both love and loathe simultaneously. I feel like I HAVE to do it, and that is exactly WHY I loathe it. Because I feel it needs to be done.

And I can’t stop.

And then, I relaxed MORE into Motherhood. And I began to do some food reviews, here and there, read some books, start notes on them that would eventually become my book reviews… and hell, I even started my parent blog, SmikG.

And years later, that followed with this one.

Now as the years have passed, her nap durations, as her naps, have significantly reduced to just one a day. It’s still allowed me some great ‘me’ time, to do whatever I need to do, and yet I always try to do what I feel I need to: write in some capacity, however I can.

However recently, I’ve come to a realisation. With baby girl getting cheekier and cheekier at bed time, her hyper-activity shooting through the roof, I decided I had to do the only thing that made sense.

Drop the nap altogether.

It was doing me good, because it meant she was more tired (or so we hoped) at bedtime, since she hadn’t napped at all during the day, and would be ‘out’ quicker. Well yes. She is ‘out’ a bit faster, a bit less reluctant to drink 15 sips or water, go to the loo 7 times, jump on the bed 10 times, and then ask for a tummy, hand, arm, leg, foot and back massage, following her 3 books read to her by lamplight.

Yeah, a bit less.

But anyway, bedtime routines are somewhat better. She does go to bed slightly earlier now. But it means my writing time during the day, IS GONE.

R.I.P precious writing time.

Or so I thought.

She’s 3 and a half, I thought today. Often, she is quite happy to play on her own, build some blocks, or watch some Paw Petrol.

Surely she would let me do some writing. She’s not 2 and climbing over me to grab at the laptop as I pay a bill or buy the one concert ticket I’ll be going to that year.

A year and a half, makes a difference.

And so, today, I tried. We had had our coffee/babycino/cake break, she was fuelled, she had Nickelodeon shows on in the background, a whole family room full of toys including her new Sofia the First mini figurines, and I sat in the same room as her, and began to do what I started all those years ago, so tentatively, while she was out cold in another room –  I began to write.

Journalling in fact. And there were times I stopped, and she called my name, repeatedly, and I looked back over my shoulder. Repeatedly. And she left the room and came back, and even walked on over and yelled “O” multiple times after looking at the keypad. But after about 90 minutes, I had written 3 pages long.

3 pages! I was a bit surprised, yet pleasantly so. Had I just learnt a new way to write? Multi-tasking, with child in room, interrupting me every so often?

And I did it?

I did it. Yes it wasn’t smooth sailing, but it was done. My quiet writing time may be over, but that’s not to say, I can’t write if I don’t want to.

Where there’s a will there’s a way.

No excuses people. That’s what I take from this. No excuses. And I’m pretty chuffed with that 🙂

 

#390 Baby girl’s naps no.2 – catch-up

This post has very little to do with baby girl, and all to do with what I do when she is NOT around.

I’m lucky that at the age of 3 and a half, she still naps. About, an hour to 90 minutes a day, sometimes even 2 hours if we’ve been to the beach, or she’s been to kinder or run around heaps. And even then I start to make a lot of noise at the 90 minute mark, as I know that putting her to bed that night might be a tad difficult after a long nap.

She’s just like her Mum. She loves her sleep, and I’m fortunate to say, she always has.

Today she went for an hour 40 minutes. During this time, I plop myself in front of the laptop, and begin all kinds of writing tasks/passions.

Today it was personal journal writing; food review writing; and book review writing.

I’ve been behind in my food and book reviews for so long. Soooo long. You know when you are so behind in something, you start to consider giving it up?

‘It’s too hard. I can’t keep up.’

‘My life is too busy right now.’

‘This is getting out of hand.’

‘Maybe I’ll try this in 5 years time.’

I wasn’t sure, whether any of it was worth it. The reviews. The blog. Even the gratitude. I question myself on some days, when things are hard, when time is pressed, and I don’t think I’m going anywhere.

But, I am grateful for the stubborn Lion that I am.

Because I just can’t freaking give up so easy. It’s not in my DNA.

You shouldn’t either.

As hard as it has been in the last months/years/life since parenthood (!) I have still persevered. I have moved EVER SO SLOWLY. And I fortunately, have not given up. These moments I get when baby girl is napping, and then when she is sleeping late at night, I am able to move on, to try and catch up, to keep things going with my blogs, my personal writings, my passionate pursuits, as much as I can.

They are slow, ever so slow, baby steps. A snails pace. And there are days when I have to do other things. ‘Responsible’ things. I can’t write every day, and those days feel so wasted on me. But when I can, I try my damn best.

But today, after doing some more writing, and then taking a kind of step back to go ‘hmm, my food reviews are almost catching up,’ and ‘hmm, I’m heading through my current book review at a decent pace’ (with 3 more looming in the background but that’s not the point!) I felt, good. I felt like, I was getting somewhere. And I started to feel like, I might actually be catching up.

That was such a good feeling. And I am so grateful, I had it. More so, I’m grateful that baby girl’s reliable naps, gave me the opportunity for it 🙂

#334 Tabbouleh from The Kitchen Passport

It’s always a really satisfying feeling when you find a ‘keeper’ recipe. More so when it’s simple, fresh, healthy AND incredibly moorish.

I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to help a fellow blogger out a while back, who needed testers for a cookbook she wanted to publish of recipes that she had gathered and been inspired by from her around-the-world travels.

Back then with the help of my trusty assistant baby girl, we dished up the Chocolate Filled Donuts – to rave reviews from us all in the household – and only a few weeks ago did I receive the final cookbook edition in the mail, something I had been eagerly looking forward to.

Tonight I made tabbouleh, with my eyes on Jess’ falafel recipe for later on in the week. The tabbouleh was amazing, such a simple yet wow dish, and Hubbie could not stop going back for more.

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If you’re interested in purchasing the book, more details can be found here. I highly recommend it, and cannot wait to try out some more!

Oh. And page 23. Just sayin’.

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#278 Catch-up posts

Very simply, I am relieved that I have finally caught up on some posts that have been gathering electronic dust on my laptop, instead of here on my blog for all to see.

You see, right before we moved house, our internet connection was disconnected prematurely. This meant that I actually didn’t post in full for 3 of my carcrashgratitude entries: #230, #231 and #232. Instead I still wrote a little caption of what the entry was about, and kept the full-length post on my computer to publish once we had moved… (the only post I didn’t write in full was #232 – I did that only minutes earlier, now – but I maintain I didn’t cheat as I still placed my gratitude thought down for the day) however I didn’t realise how long it would take to actually get internet connection at our current house. Let’s just say, thank goodness for mobile phones, because that’s how I managed to maintain my gratitude blog for a good couple of weeks.

But, now they are up, and if you’re slightly curious over them, you will find

#230 is about the surprising nostalgia of leaving the place you’ve always wanted to leave behind,

#231 is about an awesome dentist, AND

#232 is about a perfect moment, found in the most insane of times.

I’m just rapt that for one of my many pending writing projects, for this one I can say –

Tick. Complete.

🙂

#270 Sunday market at Docklands

Me and markets, don’t go together.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE MARKETS.

But like I said, me and markets… DON’T GO TOGETHER.

Or maybe I should say my purse and markets, don’t go together…

Because a casual Sunday stroll while at work brings me pink shorts, a Spiderman towel, and a gigantic cinnamon scroll, while removing $30 from my wallet.

Me thinks not too bad?

😉

I was starting to feel a bit sorry for myself this morning when I got up to go to work. Melbourne was putting it on, in fantastic fashion. Without even peeking through the curtains, I could just tell by the amazing light filtering through that it was going to be a stunner of a day.

And it was. Is. Driving to work was a tad hard. Everyone was going to be out today. Everyone was going to be enjoying the sunshine. Everyone was going to be having the freaking time of their life…

And I was going to be alone, at work, in front of a computer screen.

But, this gratitude blog, is not just a blog. It is an online expressive means of A WAY OF LIFE. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, you should always try to look for something to be thankful for, and even on particularly difficult days, you may be able to find something little, still something worthy, if you look hard enough.

I know I don’t have any real problems here. I was just feeling sorry for myself on a sunny Sunday. So then I stopped, and decided to discover the Docklands Sunday market, a current Summer mainstay. I perused the stalls, and found some cute little pressies for baby girl – some pink shorts and a Spiderman towel, because this girl loves her trains and spidermen as much as she loves her hair accessories and beaded jewellery – and then because I had a coffee in hand I had to buy the biggest cinnamon pretzel I have ever seen.

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It’s a pretty cute selection of stalls, and though it’s nothing massive, it’s still worth having a look at if you’re in the area. You’ll find kids items, coffee, pastries, churros, cakes, jewellery, soaps, diffusers, gemstones, vintage-style binoculars, telescopes and compasses, second-hand books, and clothes, amongst many other things.

I now have something to be grateful for on my Sunday work shifts…

Or should I say, another thing to be grateful for 🙂

Check it out at: http://www.docklandsundaymarket.com.au/index.php