Pick Me Up (Recipe): Super Easy To Make Ice Cacao Drink with NO SUGAR!

Pick Me Up (Recipe): Super Easy To Make Ice Cacao Drink with NO SUGAR!

Ice Cacao Drink Recipe

A few weeks ago I went to this really cute cafe that was essentially a WALKING VIDEO AD for a wholesome lifestyle. By this I mean every single person that hung out there was clear-skinned, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I was grabbing a coffee for my mum and I wanted something nice to drink for myself, but not coffee since I’ve been off that since my 40 day practice  which was, gosh, ages ago!

Anyway, my beady eye spied the iced cacao drink on their menu and it turned out to taste exactly like Milo! I’m not going to lie, I have a soft spot for Milo where my childhood memories are. We don’t keep it in the house because we don’t keep sweets or snacks or any type of processed food. My Dad has a separate storage area for his snacks but that’s a different story. My Mum was always really strict about what I was allowed to eat when I was growing up and despite my Grandma’s best efforts to sneak junk food into me (like Swenson’s ice cream after ballet class!!!!!!!!!!) those habits are locked in. I’ll have the occasional sweet treat or fried food but I feel better when I’m eating nourishing foods. But MILO, yas, I remember the taste of Milo so when I had a sip of this cacao drink it blew my mind. BUT I was kind of weirded out by JUST HOW MUCH it tasted like Milo… how did it get to taste so sweet? Have you ever tried pure cacao? It’s BITTER. It does not tasteth like chocolate milk. Probably all those antioxidants in it. Methinks there was some form of sugar in it. I couldn’t tell from the menu. It’s like those chai lattes you get from some cafes. They’re made from a concentrate and have milk poured on top. So nice and easy to drink but I wasn’t going to regularly order something that was sweetened beyond my control.

Plus it cost a lot you guys! $5!!!

I did some mulling over and turns out, this is super easy to make and you can totally save your pennies. Buy me flowers to say thanks or something with the money you save haha.

And even though I didn’t use sugar or dairy, it kind of tastes like chocolate milk! Success!

Tip: This is a great go to if you’re trying to replace your coffee habits with something else. Just don’t go crazy and have 3 – 5 glasses a day ok! One a day is plenty!!

Ice Cacao Drink RecipeIce Cacao Drink Recipe

RECIPE

You’ll need:

Almond Milk – half a glass

Cacao Powder – 2 tablespoons

Honey – 1 tablespoon

Ice Cubes (unless you prefer a hot drink)

Boiling Water 

*If it’s possible, use organic ingredients. Make sure the almond milk is UNSWEETENED, that’s kind of the whole point of doing this, right? If you don’t like to use honey, try maple syrup. 

Ice Cacao Drink Recipe

Method:

All you need to do is heap in the cacao powder into a heat proof glass with the honey. Once you add in a splash of boiling water and mix, you have your concentrate. Super easy! I don’t like to heat up honey but I make an exception in this case.

Top up with ice cubes, or if you want your drink to be hot then fill the glass up 3/4 with hot water – you’ll want to have warm almond milk to fill the glass the rest of the way up. 

Pour almond milk over the ice and stir. 

DONE!!! (Keep the change!)

Ice Cacao Drink RecipeIce Cacao Drink RecipeIce Cacao Drink Recipe

P.S. I also like to add in supplements like magnesium oil. Since I’m drinking, right? Just do a quick scan of your supplements to see if they can be mixed beforehand, usually they just don’t mix well with dairy.

Anyway I hope you enjoyed that, if you tried it out, let me know what you think! x

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Ice Cacao Drink Recipe

Makeup Look for Early Morning Brunch – Yay or Nay?

Makeup Look for Early Morning Brunch – Yay or Nay?

Don’t you kinda wish you had somewhere to go so you could walk around with this kind of magicalness on your face? People might initially stare but then they’d say, “Oh yeah, she’s half unicorn,” and then everyone else would nod like, “I get it.”

makeup-look-for-brunchvia sconsey cider, one more 🙂 ig: thrashmakeup
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Video

How to Make Your Yoga Practice More Flowy : Easy Transition to Seated for Beginners

This is a simple but really effective exercise to learn how to build strength and understand the movement behind transitioning into a seated position from Downward Facing Dog/Plank.

Add this to your regular practice as part of working towards jumping through.

Let me know how you go and thanks so much for watching!
Have an amazing day!

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🍧🍉 Easy Watermelon Dessert for Summer Part 2 [Recipe]

🍧🍉 Easy Watermelon Dessert for Summer Part 2 [Recipe]

Easy 3 Ingredient Watermelon Sorbet for Summer Dessert RecipeEasy 3 Ingredient Watermelon Sorbet for Summer Dessert Recipe

Remember when I said I thought I could come up with my own version of a watermelon dessert? I did! I figured out how to make a watermelon sorbet. And it was really quite easy, just a bit of scooping, freezing and then blending with just 3 ingredients. And you don’t have to use an ice cream churner or put it in the freezer, take it out of the freezer, scrape, put it back in the freezer, scrape etc etc. ARGH. No, none of that. You blitz it once in a blender and you’re DONE.

Easy Watermelon Dessert for Summer with 3 Ingredient Sorbet

SO EASY! And it was so tasty! Really great for hot hot hot days like today. I ended up scrolling through the 4 month weather forecast to count how many more hot days like today I have to get through, hahaha. Apparently next week will be the last week with crazy hot temperatures and then things will be normal-ish. Phew. I can handle that. Especially now I have my watermelon dessert bowl that I didn’t fork out $20 for!

Are you ready?

Easy 3 Ingredient Watermelon Sorbet

Ingredients:

Juice of 1 Lemon

Half a watermelon (sliced or chopped into chunks), frozen

Honey

Ingredients for Watermelon SorbetIngredients for Watermelon Sorbet

Method: 

Put the watermelon chunks into a blender with the lemon juice and one table spoon of honey. You can have more or less honey to taste (or none!) if you like. I didn’t use any water to make this so that the sorbet can be as watermelon-y as possible. The lemon juice does a good job of helping the blender blades move through the watermelon and as the watermelon gets blitzed you get some more liquid that way anyway.

In the beginning you might need to blitz, then stop to scrape the contents around to help the blades but after a while it gets really easy and it won’t be long until you get your sorbet. 

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This is probably even easier with a food processor but use what you have!

To make it into a fancy looking Watermelon Dessert, just keep the halves of the melon after you have scooped out all the flesh. Freeze half the flesh to make sorbet and make watermelon balls with the other half. I froze my halves but that isn’t necessary. 

Frozen Watermelon Bowl

Scoop the sorbet into the watermelon bowl.

Easy 3 Ingredient Watermelon Sorbet Recipe

Easy 3 Ingredient Watermelon SorbetEasy 3 Ingredient Watermelon SorbetEasy 3 Ingredient Watermelon Sorbet

If you made a lot of sorbet you could probably fill the entire half up with sorbet but I wanted a mix of fresh watermelon and sorbet.

That’s all there is to it!

Watermelon Dessert with Sorbet for Summer

I think this is easily enough for at least 4 people. If you have a lot of sorbet hanging around you can pack it up and keep it in the freezer (but you’ll have to re-blend it again when you want to have it). Or it makes for a good addition to making frappes or smoothies.

Easy 3 Ingredient Watermelon Sorbet

I hope you enjoyed that! It’s SO SOOOOOO good and really worth trying out! Let me know if you gave it a go! x

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Watermelon Dessert for Summer with Easy 3 Ingredient Sorbet (Recipe)

🍧🍉 Watermelon Desserts for Summer Part 1

🍧🍉 Watermelon Desserts for Summer Part 1

watermelon love

We were walking past a cute dessert joint one night and noticed a huge poster of a watermelon desert looking thingy stuck outside. Basically it looked like half a watermelon with a few melon balls on top, a scoop of ice cream and a flag. Ours for the taking for just $20.

It looked really good, especially for summer time. When I got home though, I started thinking about that price tag. Maybe I could just make it myself? It’s not like I never have a few watermelons at home. I can’t even really have that much dairy or added sugar because they trigger me so that just leaves me with a $20 watermelon? I could save the money for something else, like a class or put it towards a pair of shoes or even better, just save it.

I looked it up online for some further inspiration after my meditation this morning. Honestly though, it entered my thoughts a lot during my meditation too. I hope I told you this before that it’s ok to have thoughts during meditation? It’s just a symptom of being alive! Just do your best to let them keep going as you get back to focusing on meditating. Sometimes these thoughts come out of nowhere and are even inspiring or creative!

Anyway I looked it up online and it didn’t even look like the melon bowl had been scooped so you’d have to work away at scraping the flesh out if you wanted to eat the whole thing. At least that’s what it looked like.

And the rest of it was just some watermelon balls, watermelon flavoured ice and ice cream.

watermelon all summerwatermelon for summer

I figured I could try making watermelon sorbet? I’ll see how I go. I was already quite happy with my watermelon bowl this morning. I have some watermelon freezing to experiment on later so I’ll let you know how that goes!

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watermelon for summertime

3 Minute Meditation for a Day of Bliss

3 Minute Meditation for a Day of Bliss

3 minute meditation for bliss

Here is a very simple meditation exercise you can practice this weekend.

  • Set a timer up for 3 minutes and sit comfortably.
  • For the next three minutes with eyes closed, practice the following:
    • As you breathe in, “I am peaceful.
    • As you breathe out, “I am glad.

You can say the words out loud in a whisper or with gusto or simply think them to yourself.

Anytime you realise your mind has drifted, come back to “I am peaceful. I am glad.

  • When the time is up, sit quietly for a few breaths before you open your eyes. 
  • Thank yourself for making time to look after yourself. 
  • Throughout your day you can even remind yourself that “I am peaceful. I am glad.

3 minute meditation for bliss

Peaceful and glad are a great combination for a blissful day.

Try it and see if it makes a difference to the interactions you have that day. Share your experience down below, I’d love to hear from you! May your weekend be full of bliss. x

3 minute meditation for bliss

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3 minute meditation for bliss

Gallery

Monday Morning Ritual: Getting Organised for Another Week

I plan my day in a way that flows.

This affirmation is perfect to start the week with! Here is a snippet of what my Monday morning ritual looks like.

Firstly I meditate. I do this immediately when I wake up and have had half a glass of water to drink. I keep a bottle of water next to my bed to refill my glass from so I don’t even need to move! I prefer to not leave my bedroom (my sanctuary!) until I have meditated so I can set my vibes for the day.

I write a little in my journal about anything interesting that popped up in my dreams and in my meditation. I always keep a few crystals nearby. They’re beautiful and uplifting to look at.

purple and rainbow crystal and diary planner

I keep my favourite affirmation cards in my diary so I can pull them out to look over in the morning after meditating. These small square cards are the Empower Yourself Affirmation Cards by Miranda Kerr. I have other affirmations that I note down in my journal too. I keep this particular card in my diary because it seems so appropriate!

affirmations for a well organised day over morning tea

It’s so hot at the moment here in Sydney that I have to have a cool shower to refresh. This might sound a bit odd but it’s also a great way for me to fit in a little exercise every single day without fail. Right after my shower, I do 30 push ups against the wall. Just like that, I’ve done some exercise! A word of warning: do not do your wall push ups in the shower where the floor might be wet – you wouldn’t want to slip and hurt yourself.

monday morning day diary entry

A new habit I have now is to moisturise my whole body after showering. I use either coconut oil or an oil blend that I make myself. At the moment I’m also using this lotion from Garnier, it smells quite fresh but isn’t too overpowering. I’m trying to get through it so I don’t have a whole row of bottles on my bedside counter like some kind of crazy lotion obsessed person but it’s taking me a while! Usually this would have been finished in a week if B was around because he prefers moisturisers to oils and he always loves using what I get for skin care since he knows how fussy I am about products I didn’t make. But I’m here and he’s still overseas so here I am with oodles of lotion to myself.

This jade bangle is from my mum. I need the moisturiser to help with getting it on. It’s a bit of a struggle but nothing like the kind I went through in Delhi when a very sweet bracelet maker rammed a handful of tiny bangles up my palm. I swear I felt my bones crack that time haha. They were SO beautiful but I nearly cried when I took them off.

Moisturiser and Crystal Jade Bracelet Bangle

After that, one of my favourite parts of the morning: TEA AND BREAKFAST! I like all the morning but that first cup of tea is lovely. I put ice in my tea because it is so hot, is that weird for you? I don’t know how normal that is in a lot of countries but in South East Asia this is extremely common. If Sydney insists on having tropical weather than I have no choice but to crack out the ice cubes.

Although you can get bubble milk tea all over town so I guess you’re probably used to the idea of ice in tea by now.

Mum and I bought these delicious date and walnut scones at the markets yesterday so as an extra special treat I’m having one for breakfast with organic butter. When scones are so fresh I don’t feel like I need jam or cream. That and a big tumbler of water makes the perfect meal to nibble on as I get on with business.

delish scone with morning tea

If it isn’t too crazy hot yet then I’ll duck out for a quick walk otherwise I’ll stay in the shade and head out later on in the day when things cool down. I used to be fine in the heat but now that I’m pregnant I just feel the effects so quickly and worse I know that however hot I feel the baby feels even warmer so it’s important that I don’t get dehydrated and stay cool. Another reason to avoid getting too much sun when you’re pregnant is you can get dark patches of skin because of pregnancy hormones. It’s called ‘the mask of pregnancy’ and usually fades after you give birth but personally it’s best to just avoid getting to that point. It’s important to get some sun every day but not too much. Moderation is the key, as usual!

2017 diary planner from Kmart
Watermelon tumbler (comes with lid and straw) from Kmart

I hope you have a lovely week ahead filled with little things that make you happy!

Let me know what your getting Monday morning ritual looks like! x

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On the Prowl for: Handbags > Diaper Bags!

I met up with a girlfriend for lunch a few weeks ago and was struck by all the prams being pushed around us. Each pram was loaded down with a ginormous diaper bag and pushed by a mum hauling her own handbag.

I had already made up my mind that instead of a diaper bag I’d just use one of my existing bags. Seeing those women just made me more convinced of this plan. And then I thought, I know! I’ll do that and GET A NEW HANDBAG instead. Bahahahaha. Stay with me: if we’re pushing baby around in a pram, there’s that little basket thing underneath where the baby goes that you could always store equipment in and if I’m breastfeeding (hopefully that works, if it doesn’t I want to know why did I go up three bust sizes for) then I don’t need to pack any bottles of formula. So what do I really need to bring?

  1. A few diapers.
  2. Ziplock bags for dirty diapers.
  3. A change of clothes. Maybe a top for me too just in case I get spit up on.
  4. Baby wipes.
  5. Nursing pads for me.
  6. A cloth I can lay the baby on for changing.
  7. Another cloth to use for breastfeeding time.
  8. A bib.

Anything else?

I feel like in my normal day to day I carry around way more than that LOL. So it wouldn’t be as though I can’t fit things into my bag. And I really don’t love the look of diaper bags. NO THANKS!

And that’s the story of how I decided I’d rather get a bag. I don’t take buying bags lightly, mind you. It takes me MONTHS to decide. Unlike my shoe purchases. But this time, I’ve decided that I’ll get something classic that I can pass on to my daughter. With that weird justification (in my mind I make very good sense) let’s get on with THE PROWL, eeeeeee, excited!

In no particular order:

Saint Laurent Classic Monogramme Bag in Large

saint-laurent-classic-large-monogramme-chain-bag

This is pretty classic. I like the mixed quilting on this YSL bag and the silver hardware. Most of my bags have gold hardware.

saint-laurent-classic-large-monogramme-chain-bagback

Saint Laurent Classic Large Collège Monogram Shoulder bag

saint-laurents-classic-large-college-monogram-shoulder-bag

A slightly different look with the handle but maybe this is too “schoolbag” looking? Hmm.

Saint Laurent Classic Medium Collège Monogram with Embellished Leather

saint-laurent-classic-medium-college-monogram-embellished-leather-shoulder-bag-in-nero-argento

Whack a few stars on it though and I’m digging it. Typical me! But then I feel like this wouldn’t be so much a classic as a one-off trend thing. Maybe if I were on the lookout for a baby sized handbag then I would get something like this in a small size.

Saint Laurent Large Monogram Matelassé Suede Shoulder Bag in Coffee

saint-laurent-large-monogram-matelasse-suede-shoulder-bag-in-coffy

I love a fuzzy bag and I have this thing for suede. What do you think of the brown? Very autumn?

Saint Laurent Medium Tri-Quilt Slouchy Leather Shoulder Bag

saint-laurent-medium-tri-quilt-slouchy-leather-shoulder-bag

Oooooh, grey looks good.

Saint Laurent Monogram Blogger Leather Shoulder Bag

saint-laurent-monogram-blogger-leather-shoulder-bag

“Blogger” bags. TEMPTING! And with the hearts on it, so cute! Maybe next purchase (in a few years haha)!

Saint Laurent Sac De Jour Baby Shoulder Bagsaint-laurent-sac-de-jour-baby-leather-shoulder-bag-coal-nero

And then I saw these Sac De Jour totes by YSL. So many colours!!! And shades of grey and black! And textures!

sac-de-jour-small-leather-tote-marine-nero

How do people decide on just one colour? I managed to almost eliminate navy bags because I have a navy Balenciaga that I’m very happy with. I said almost – pretty sure this one here is some shade of blue.

sac-de-jour-small-leather-tote-no-zip

They don’t close up the top though, do they? I was pretty set on getting this style in the ‘baby’ size but thought I’d juuuuuuuuuust look a little longer.

Saint Laurent Classic Small Monogramme Downtown Cabas Bag in Rose Antic

saint-laurent-classic-small-monogramme-downtown-cabas-bag-rose-antic

How cute are these? And I love the colours!

Saint Laurent Classic Small Monogramme Downtown Cabas Bag in Oyster Grey

saint-laurent-classic-small-monogramme-downtown-cabas-bag-oyster-grey

So chic.

Mulberry Small New Bayswater in Candy

mulberry-small-new-bayswater-in-candy

This Mulberry bag was the first bag I came across and considered getting. Such a happy colour!

Saint Laurent Medium Monogramme Sunset Bag in Indian Pink

saint-laurent-medium-monogramme-sunset-bag-indian-pink

This sugary pink bag caught my eye too. Less bright but very sweet all the same.

Mulberry Small New Bayswater in Canary

mulberry-small-new-bayswater-canary

And then I went back to the Mulberrys and saw this canary yellow one. Also a happy colour!

Céline Small Trapeze

celine-small-trapeze

I do like Céline bags though and this has some colour to it but isn’t over the top.

Chloé Drew Crossbody 23cm in Royal Navy

chloe-drew-crossbody-23cm-royal-navy

Hmm, this is nice too. Aaaaaaannnnndddddd we’re back to blue.

Miu Miu Soft Calf Shoulder Bag

miu-miu-soft-calf-shoulder-bag-nero

VERY ladylike with Miu Miu.

Saint Laurent Classic Small Sac De Jour in Blush

saint-laurent-classic-small-sac-de-jour-saint-laurent-in-blush-fonce

Since I’m looking at colourful bags, may as well go look at some more Sac De Jour totes. Like this one in blush.

Saint Laurent Small Downtown Cabas Tote

pale-pink-leather-small-monogram-downtown-cabas-tote

I feel like I already posted this one but let’s look at it again, shall we?

Saint Laurent Mini ‘Love’ Heart Chain Bag

mini-love-heart-chain-bag

Oh my goodness, a heart shaped bag WITH stars on it? If I were getting 2 handbags, or more like 1.2 handbags (for the same price as 2 bags though, hmmph) this might be one of them! But I’m not. So.

Another Small Sac De Jour from Saint Laurent

red-calf-leather-small-sac-de-jour-tote

Meanwhile, in Sac De Jour land… EVERYONE could use a red handbag, couldn’t they?

And Another Saint Laurent Sac De Jour Tote

pink-calf-leather-small-sac-de-jour-tote

But this shade of pink though. This one really tugs at my heart strings.

Saint Laurent Sac De Jour Baby Tote

sac-de-jour-small-leather-tote-marine-nero

Although black is always good. ARGH. Except this is blue isn’t it? *Squints* I can’t tell anymore!

What do you think of my choices? Some of these are too small to be practical but I had such an enjoyable time oohing and aahing over everything that I thought you might like to take a look at them too!

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Do you have any of these bags? I’d love to hear your experiences with them if you do!

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Aside

High Five to making it out of Mercury Retrograde and Sounds to Hear

Mercury Retrograde has been tough, more so for some than others. This was taken just a few days ago. You know, January.

Gosh! Majorly glad that Mercury has returned to direct. Did you notice how strange things got? For us, it was drivers on the road being erratic. We saw a lot of car accidents happen. Talk about holiday madness! Another thing that happened quite a bit was people complaining about miscommunications. So we just kept things simple and didn’t make any big plans. I’m thinking the local coffee shop here thought they’d just come back after the craziness. In October.

It’s not procrastination when you’re trying to mitigate for a Mercury Retrograde cycle. Speaking of, I came across this song today. It’s so soothing, I love it! It will be on repeat whilst I go DO stuff. What’s the opposite of procrastinate? Activate? Right, I’m off to go activate, starting by visiting the cafe to see if they’re open yet. What are your plans for today?


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Aside

Weekend Feels x Colour Palette 💗🌸

(My canvas on weheartit.com)

I love pink. Always have! It’s just such a pretty uplifting colour, don’t you think so? And those YSL bags! Those HEELS!

😍

But I also love all the other colours. All of ’em.

Including all these dancing colours on my ceiling. I came back to my room after a shower to this little light show this morning, excuse my messy hair, but how could I not be in the best mood after this gorgeousness? 

I hope you had something happen to you to make you smile this morning! x

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Video

Friday Pilates Faves – Bum and Legs

Here is a short video of my FAVOURITE (and coincidentally my clients’ LEAST FAVE) moves to tone the legs and shape the booty. After a few reps, I can always feel my bum and outer thighs getting warmish. Haha, SO GOOD!

All you need is a flat surface and 5 minutes MAXIMUM. That’s 2 minutes per leg and 1 minute to pat yourself on the bum afterwards. Do this 3 times a week and you’re gonna be very pleased with yourself.

I am 29 weeks pregnant in this video. If you are pregnant, you should have already gotten an ok from your doctor to exercise.

Pregnant or not, if something doesn’t feel right, stop and check.

Always listen to your body and be kind to it! 

Whilst you’re at it, maybe add a little triceps workout after this?  Go on! 

Let me know if you try this out and enjoy the rest of your weekend! xx

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🌸

✔️ The Great Vegan Waffle Experiment – Recipe

✔️ The Great Vegan Waffle Experiment – Recipe


So last night I was up late and HUNGRY and decided a good idea was to think about how to make vegan waffles. It made the hunger worse but that’s probably why I was up extra early and stuffing around with making different batches of waffle batter.

A few hurdles in the beginning:

  • Locating our waffle maker (haven’t used this thing in at least 5 years)
  • Blowing the dust off the darn thing and giving it a good scrub.
  • Plugging it in and having the entire circuit to kitchen blow out. WOOPSIES.

But we got our waffle maker working in the end! A lot of people in the house were highly motivated to make this experiment a success because that would translate to waffles for them. The carrot works better than a stick when it comes to adventures in waffle making.

Then came figuring out this batter situation. I came across a recipe that said any flour. Okkkkk…….. let me just tell you that COCONUT FLOUR WILL NOT WORK. Batch 1 was a total letdown. Coconut flour just sucks up any liquid and you just get this crumbly situation no matter how much liquid you add.

No good. Smelled great but hopeless.

So I decided to go with self-raising flour instead. I don’t go for gluten free flours because they sometimes contain random substitute flours that I’m not keen on. I’d rather just use regular flour but that’s ok for me because I can have moderate amounts of gluten without any issue. My main goal was to make waffles that didn’t contain eggs or dairy. I’ve had a few conversations with bakers of some prominent bakeries around Sydney who have said to just stick to the normal stuff rather than go gluten free unless I were a coeliac or otherwise gluten intolerant. One baker was saying he didn’t like the gluten free stuff but he had no choice but to bake it because that was what people were requesting.

Obviously if you need a gluten free waffle then PLEASE use your gluten free flour of choice. Just be warned about the coconut flour! Yeesh.

I make it sound like I went through multiple batches, don’t I?! Haha, I got lucky and batch 2 worked just fine. PHEW!

So heeeeeeeeeeeeeere’s the recipe:

The Great Vegan Waffle


Ingredients:

1 cup flour (NOT coconut flour) – I used self-raising flour, plain will be fine too since there is baking soda and salt in the batter but I just used what I had. You shouldn’t need to rush out to buy any ingredients. 

2 tsp sugar – I used 1 tsp of coconut sugar, use even less or none if you like! You can always add any sweetener of your choice after your waffles are cooked, you can’t remove sugar from a batter. Less is MORE when it comes to sugar.  

2 tsp baking soda – also called sodium bicarbonate

1 tsp sea salt – I use Himalayan pink sea salt

1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk – I initially wanted to use almond milk but that got used up in batch 1 (looking at you, Coconut Flour) so I ended up using just under a cup of coconut milk

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp coconut oil

(Options: 1 tsp vanilla extract, sprinkle of ground nutmeg or ground cinnamon) – I used ground nutmeg

Method:

Mix the dry ingredients first – flour, sugar if using, baking soda, salt, nutmeg or cinnamon if using.

Add the wet ingredients – milk, apple cider vinegar, oil and the vanilla extract (if using).

The batter should look like a gloopy fluid. Don’t worry about lumps. It should NOT look crumbly and dry (glares at batch 1). 

Heat up your waffle iron. 

Spoon the batter onto your iron, say half a cup. 

Cook waffle blah blah. 

Alternatively you can make this as a pancake instead. Don’t go running out to buy yourself a waffle maker, unless that was something that you’ve been planning to do. Just work with what you’ve got going on at home, ok? 

To serve: 

I had mine with berries and maple syrup.


These waffles tasted amazing, however after I took photos, I cut into my waffles whilst I updated my VSCO app, figuring I’d do whatever cropping I needed whilst I munched. As soon as the app was updated, I launched in and found my photos got wiped.

By the time I realised this the maple syrup had already absorbed into my waffles Noooooooooooo, whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy is this happening……..insert much overreacting. I had to dash back to where the light was good and pour even more maple syrup over my waffles to get a few more pictures. I love maple syrup though so I wasn’t even really all that mad. But STILL. A little heads up would have been nice VSCO guy! Sheesh.

They are super filling so even though based on the size of my iron, I got just two waffles out of that batch, I found one waffle was plenty for me.

Overall a success in my household. If you tried it, I hope you enjoy! And if you use a different flour, PLEASE let me know what you used and how it went!

Chat soon xo

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Happy New Year! 

Happy New Year! 

I’m celebrating the New Year with breakfast in bed and icy pops in total silence.

SUCH BLISS

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How was your New Year’s?

It’s been a really hot couple of days over here. Unbearably hot! I may have mentioned that I hardly sleep due to the pregnancy, did I? Well, I don’t sleep much, which is ok! But when the thermostat hit the high 30s the last few days and refused to drop back down during the evenings, I got so uncomfortable. Honestly I spent all night and early morning of New Year’s Eve Eve staring at the weather app on my phone haha. I’ve always run a little warmish, in Traditional Chinese Medicine this is known as having excessive internal heat, and that last night definitely finished me off.

I woke up on New Year’s Eve voiceless which was terrible timing since we had a whole bunch of people coming over. I figured I’d spend the day just listening but it seems that some days the more you want to listen to people, the more they want to hear you speak. This was even after B had gone around to everyone stating firmly that I had completely lost my voice and couldn’t speak. Oh well. The people want what the people want. I stuck everything drinkable in the chiller to keep my voice croaking on. I was so miserably tired from not sleeping, feeling so horrible with my painful throat and just completely under the weather that I felt like I might weep. That’s when I excused myself for 11 minutes to go meditate. I say to people all the time that meditation helps. Sometimes I forget that I should add, “But you need to keep at it.” So even though I had meditated at 3:30 am when the weather app said it was 34degrees (celsius so people who live in farenheit countries aren’t like, “What is your problem?” haha) I obviously needed to give myself some kind of boost. And it did the trick! My throat was still a little sore but my voice felt stronger and I had enough energy to get me through the afternoon until everyone went home happy with full bellies. Awwwww…..

In the evening time B and I just hung around at home nibbling on leftovers, watching the last bit of Home Alone. And staring at the baby bump. I don’t know if other parents are like this but we’re obsessed with staring at it. We watch it the way people watch movies. Also, is it Christmas if you don’t watch Home Alone?! B and I are the same age so even though we didn’t know each other back then we both remember watching Home Alone as kids thinking, “I’d so do that.” The weather was starting to cool down and even get windy so just before the midnight fireworks we drove down to the beach to hang out for a while. On the way home we picked up some icy pops which I had BIG NEW YEAR’S DAY PLANS FOR.

The oatmeal I didn’t even have to cook. Well, I cooked it the day before and because I never get the portions right, I just stored what was left in the fridge to have with fresh strawberries in the morning, cold. SO GOOD.

I’ve been asked a few times how to cook oatmeal. ??? Usually the packages that the oats come in will say something like cook for 5 minutes. There isn’t much to it but I know that a lot of people really have no confidence when it comes to anything beyond boiling water for tea. No worries!

Basic Oatmeal My Way:

Ingredients

Whole rolled oats – these days you can even get organic. Let’s say a handful per person.

Enough water to cover the oats in a small saucepan.

I like to add a good shake of ground nutmeg and cinnamon when I’m cooking the oats.

Method

Bring the oats in the water to a gentle boil, keep it on a low heat – oatmeal tends to bubble up really quickly and then spill over all over your stove when you turn your back on it. So keep the heat low so you don’t miss it. When the oatmeal starts to bubble, keep stirring so it doesn’t stick, you might add a little more water if you feel like it looks dry. Once you can’t see the water separate from the oats, that’s it. It should look like flaky mush. Makes sense? Let’s say it should be done in around 3-5 minutes. You can’t OVERCOOK oatmeal although it could dry out. 


To serve you can add honey or maple syrup and a splash of your choice of milk. You could cook the oatmeal in milk instead of water to make the oatmeal extra creamy. 

Like I said, if you made too much, it’s fine! Just put your leftovers in the fridge. Easy. 

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Do you have any resolutions for this year? I wrote something last year about having a Peaceful New Year’s Eve . I was thinking to myself yesterday that even though I’m bringing in the New Year not feeling 100% that everytime my baby kicks, it makes me smile and I have no complaints. There have been some moments in 2016 that were really, really tough and horrible but there have also been many moments of joy. Isn’t that just life though? I think overall I faced things as peacefully as I could and I’ll try harder again this year. Every year I get a little calmer and at ease with peace, I hope!  I think if I had just one resolution to make this year it would be to just focus on being the kind of person that I look forward to spending time with.

And that person would conveniently have messy hair and eat icy pops in bed hehehe.

White Cotton Knit Dress from Kmart;
Nail Polish from Essie in Pink Diamond 

Make that REALLY messy hair. I’m wearing a cheap cotton knit dress that I found in KMART for $6. So comfy for sleeping! Although as my bump gets bigger, the dress gets shorter. It’ll be a singlet by the time the baby is due.

Anyway, I hope you had a wonderful end to 2016 and that 2017 will bring you lots of peace.

x

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New Moon, Moon Club Names and Moon Day

All my favourite colours

This is just a bit of fun for Moon Day that I came across on the Instagram of The Numinous.

I got: Mystic of Ancient Moons. How fancy do I feel now? Very!

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(All credit to @the_numinous for the Moon Day fun)

What is your Moon Club name?

Do you have a ritual for Moon Day?

xx

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Thriving on Peace: The Yoga of Pregnancy. Beginnings

Thriving on Peace: The Yoga of Pregnancy. Beginnings

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A little chat about the mysterious inkling, hints and symptoms of pregnancy and some of my experiences in the very beginning.

“Did you know right away?”

No, I didn’t even know left away.

A lot of women I speak to say that they just knew when they were pregnant. Some dreamt of their baby within a day of conceiving. Others felt a twinge.

I just knew, you know?

No, I don’t know. I had no idea. Not a single clue. Ok, maybe there were clues, I just didn’t know them for clues.

If you have seen my Instagram posts you would perhaps come across one where I mentioned having been out of action because of this brilliant bout of flu I had been having.

[Bedhead] Even though I'm still incredibly worn out and can't stay up for longer than a few hours at a stretch, I feel, weirdly, FANTASTIC. B touches my forehead with his hand and it's turning into a joke between us. "How do you feel?" "To be perfectly frank, I feel so tired but also AMAZING." I croak as he ices his hand. "Well you look amazing." "Don't I just?" I've always thought of myself as a positive person but at the moment I'm experiencing some really great vibes. No, it's not the fever talking! I think it's the 40 day practice. (Details are linked in my profile) I'm still managing to do it everyday and combined with a lot of rest, and plenty of water, my symptoms haven't bothered me emotionally as much as they would in other circumstances. To those of you who have joined in already, welcome! Keep going, I think it will be totally worth it. 🔮✨💠🌿 #yoga#yogalove#tribe#sadhana#takerest#morninglight#loveandlight#magicalyou#selflove#viberesponsibly#uplift#inspiredliving#liveinthelight#myyogalife#goddessvibes#manifest#health#choosewellness#joyfulliving#spirit#peace#meditation#lifestyleblogger#consciousliving#mindfulness#practicewithme#justwokeup#bedhead

A post shared by Dominique🍃🐚🌊🌙☀️✨🌺🌴 (@yoganymph) on

Most of June and a lot of July had been spent attempting to sleep my way out of the thing. Shortly after I had recovered, it was time to bundle up for a flight back home for a few weeks.

Some women have wonderfully regular cycles, mine is sort of “flexible”. Travel is one of those activities which impacts on my cycle so it didn’t seem strange that there was a delay. I was a little softer around my edges which also seemed normal, being a combination of having not been very active lately due to the flu, just getting off a long flight and also because of the particular point in my cycle I thought I was at. As my cycle length stretched onwards towards infinity, a girlfriend urged me to test.
But I was starting to cramp, so I decided to leave it.

A week of cramping went by.

And that’s when I started to suspect something was going ON.

SLOW ON THE UPTAKE, right?

For those who don’t already know, a lot of the symptoms of pregnancy resemble the symptoms women experience prior to menstruation.  But CRAMPING, seriously?! Why on earth would I have cramps and think, “Yup, I’m definitely pregnant.

Of course I’m going to go pick up some tampons.

So symptoms are not always that helpful unless you own a “I just know” radar. Myself, I “just know” when women around me are pregnant, but apparently my radar only works on other networks not on my own. I remember being a little girl and walking towards my piano teacher one afternoon. As I walked towards her, I said to my mother, “She’s pregnant.“She totally was. The words just fell right out of my mouth. And then I proceeded to tell her it was a boy. It totally was a boy. Kids, huh.

Cut to me now.

You’re pregnant.

Huh?

I worried that this meant I wasn’t CONNECTING to my baby. Where was my awareness? Were we not bonding? After trying to take care of myself so that I would be as healthy for birthing a baby as possible, here I was, fluey and clueless. I remember hearing that from the moment a person has a child, they worry about that child until.. forever. My worrying had started from conception. Actually no, it started as soon as I peed on a stick.

And then I shook myself mentally. I realised I was completely missing the point! Here we were so so so lucky to find ourselves in this happy position, waiting on a baby. Was this how I wanted to spend my pregnancy?! I had always wanted a calm pregnancy and now it seemed that was exactly what I had on my hands. A calm and easy pregnancy.

Pregnancy is so synonymous with morning sickness. People constantly asked me, “Any nausea?

Nope.

A host of websites informed me that nausea was positively correlated with a healthy pregnancy. Crap! Where was my nausea?! I had aversions to a few things but when it came to nausea I had about two weeks of morning sickness, at most. And all in the afternoon and evening time. And it mostly felt like indigestion.

People with good intentions trying or genuinely interested in my pregnancy continued to ask me about morning sickness, not realising it would remind me that I didn’t have any of this thing that was associated with a strong pregnancy. I thought calm thoughts as best as I could and reassured myself that I was LUCKY. Much later, I was informed that in all likelihood, I wasn’t experiencing much nausea because of the type of food choices I made and because I was drinking so much water.

Other than that, I felt kind of ordinary although very sleepy.

VERY sleepy. I was constantly tired in the first few months. I’d wake up super early (to pee) and then I’d go back to bed, toss for a while, feeling RAVENOUS, and finally haul myself out in search of food. After that, I’d manage to stay up for a few hours before I took a really long nap (anywhere between one hour to five hours). I’d gone from being someone who struggled to nap to a total Nap Queen. I started thinking I might just sleep through the pregnancy.

Someone wake me up when my water breaks.” I’d say.

bump

I’d wake up and manage one or two conversations before I’d yawn. Oh, eight o’clock! Time to pee and get into bed.

Going to bed was a major operation. Before getting into bed I would go pee, so that I wouldn’t need to get back up again. I’d settle down in my nest of pillows and close my eyes with a happy sigh once I found the perfect position. A few seconds later I’d realise I needed to go pee again. FINE. So off I went. And then I would come back, have my sip of water, lie back down. Hmm. Was that it though? Better go back. FINE. Etc.

I probably walked a kilometre each night going between my bed and my bathroom all those times.

B was very kind and offered to get me anything I craved no matter what time.

Just wake me up honey if you get hungry and you want something.” His friends had warned him their wives wanted KFC and nutella pancakes at all hours of the night.

I’ll get back to you.” The thought of chicken made me feel green but I decided to keep the food delivery option open.

I never ended up using that wild card. Around three in the morning, B would wake up to a crunching sound. Turning on the light on his side he’d realise it was me and not some giant crunching on bones in his dreams.

Are you… eating?!

I’m just crushing apples with my jaws to make cider. Nothing to see here, go back to sleep.

A lot of women suggested keeping a box of crackers beside the bed. I disliked the idea of crumbs flying everywhere so I would chop up two apples and keep them in the fridge. When it was that time of the morning I’d go get them and munch happily away. After two or three pieces, I’d rinse my teeth and roll over for another snooze until it was time to pee again.

It’s the first time where I’ve truly felt hunger pains. Not pangs but true pain. It physically HURTS not to eat when I feel hungry. Just like it physically HURTS LIKE MAD if I don’t pee when I need to.

My body changed shape quite quickly in my eyes. I looked like I’d had breast implants and they entered the room a full half hour before the rest of me followed. Every top was a cleavage loving top. My rib cage became wider very early on and my belly which was usually a little firmer became rounded so I couldn’t zip up a certain dress that highlighted my waist. The first week I realised I was pregnant, I had two pimples on my face where I never got pimples and a small patch of dry skin on my face, eczema-ish in appearance. I have never had eczema. They all cleared after a week and I peered at my reflection wondering if I was glowing. Looked pretty ordinary to me. Aside from the cleavage. I mean, whoa. Welcome, sisters.

Oh, let’s see, what else?

Cravings! I had just two cravings. One was fresh orange juice WITH THE PULP. The pulp was very important.And the other was chilled watermelon. To be perfectly honest these are things I like to eat even pre-pregnancy but for various reasons I don’t usually indulge in them very often. I figured compared to all the other people with cravings for clay or tacos or fried chicken that at least I would get some nutritional value. Later I discovered that I may as well cut out the middle man and just eat oranges fresh. Worked just as well! As a bonus, when I went through my two minutes of nausea I discovered that the chilled watermelon really helped. You might like to try that and let me know if it helped!

Exercise wise I was too tired most days. I took a break from my regular yoga routine which a lot of senior yoga teachers suggest practitioners do in the first trimester. Just the thought of being up and MOVING for 45 – 90 minutes made me want to lie down. Instead, I did small 10 – 15 minute intervals of very gentle yoga and Pilates exercises to keep my body feeling mobile and my core strong so that I wouldn’t get too much back pain. That seems to have paid off so far. When I had the energy and the weather permitted I would go down to the pool for a short swim. A little walking. A lot of meditation.

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I think meditation has been one of the best tools I’ve had for adjusting to pregnancy and hopefully towards parenthood.

Due to some combination of meditation, yoga, a user-friendly batch of pregnancy hormones and loads of naps, I haven’t had any mood swings. I remember one day I was really tired. B had snored ALL NIGHT and I couldn’t sleep through the noise. By the afternoon I was so exhausted I felt really grumpy and I told B how I was feeling really short tempered due to my frustration. We got through the day without anyone getting hurt hahaha. Slept like a baby that night and we went back to being happy pregnant people. Aside from that day, my mood has been really stable. Phew! Friends would meet up with us and later message B to say,

Gosh, she seems really happy.

Towards the end of my first trimester my energy levels improved and I went back to practising slightly more active yoga. Initially I sought the guidance of my first yoga teacher who guided me with making adjustments and modifications. She is an Iyengar teacher and Iyengar Yoga felt like the best way for me to return to a safe and supportive practice. With the information I learned from her and a few other senior teachers,  I returned to my regular home practice. I’m almost in my third trimester now and have been doing this modified version of my regular practice for a few weeks now. It feels so good to be back to it!

back-to-yoga

By the second trimester the nocturnal toilet visits reduced, thank goodness, and my cravings which had gradually reduced over time went away. I’m still pretty interested in orange juice but it’s not a big deal if I don’t get any for days or weeks at a stretch. Also I stopped waking up at all hours of the morning needing food so the apple chopping operation has ceased. Now I just find that when I wake up in the morning, I want to have something for breakfast before I can meditate.

Pregnancy has turned me into a breakfast person!

perks-of-pregnancy

I’m now at the stage where I can balance my plate (albeit a smallish one) on my belly. Brilliant! Goodbye tables, I have my own built in, hehe.

That’s all I can think of to say for now about the first trimester. Hopefully that helps! If there’s anything else you wanted to know, just ask and I’ll share what I’ve experienced!

xx

Haul All The Cuteness: Unboxing GILT – Baby Wardrobe

Haul All The Cuteness: Unboxing GILT – Baby Wardrobe

A few years ago, B went to some outlet in LA and came back with three, maybe four, pairs of sneakers for himself and one pair of Converse kicks for the baby. We didn’t have a baby and I wasn’t pregnant.

*exchanges meaningful look with you*

THIS year, I found out I was pregnant. In her excitement my mum promptly went out and bought three pairs of shoes for the baby. During the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales this year, I saw the cutest dinkiest sweetest pair of baby shoes by Burberry on GILT. And instantly I understood why people keep buying shoes for babies. They’re just so darn cute! I hmm’d and ha’d over them for the longest time.

I showed my laptop screen to B.

OMG THEY’RE SO ADORABLE, GET THEM ALREADY.

Ok, ok. Well, whilst I’m here, let’s have a look-see what else these babies purchase.

And that’s how I ended up with a cart containing one pair of baby shoes, three pairs of organic pants, two sets of swaddle cloths, four rompers, one hat and a partridge in a pear tree. You get the drift. I lost my mind over all the cuteness. Ugh.

I mulled over the cart for a few more days, telling myself that if the shoes were still available online then ok, fine, I’ll get them. But NO MORE SHOES AFTER THAT. Newborns don’t even walk so why do they even need all that footwear for?

I checked back in a few days later, and the shoes sat there in my cart, patiently waiting for me. So I got them and along with them I picked up a few organic clothes for the baby. I culled most of the items I saved to my cart, keeping just the organic clothing that was reasonably priced and generously discounted. Who doesn’t add a ton of stuff to their cart and later laugh at the idea of actually buying everything? I’ve never heard of the brands aside from Burberry, I’ve never heard of most baby brands since my clients are always fully grown humans but I thought you might like to see what I ended up getting after several days of mulling.

Update: After I made my order I said to B, “OK! No more shoes for the baby for a while!” Minutes later we walked past a clothing boutique for children and he dashed in. Guess what he bought? More shoes. 

gilt-delivery

I’ve never been THIS excited to see a box full of items that aren’t for me delivered. NEVER.gilt-opening

genius-place-to-put-a-sticker
WHO puts the sticker on the TOP of a lid?!

Genius sticker placement. Well done whoever did that. burberry-box-lid

Those of you who, like me, love pretty containers and boxes, will probably heave a sigh of relief when I tell you that the sticker peeled off easily. But still, who puts a label on the TOP of a box instead of the side? So weird.

burberry-baby
If these came in my size…

Oh my goodness. I can’t stand how ridiculously cute these are. I showed them to mum and jokingly suggested I could turn these into key chains when the baby grows out of them. She immediately said, yeah, one for you and one for me. She sure took to that idea real quick.

cutest-mc-hammer-pants

Have you heard of Nui Organics? I’ve never heard of it but I like the pattern and the soft pastel colour. Texture wise it doesn’t feel majorly soft but it’s organic and I’ve found when clothes are super soft they get holes in them from washing quite quickly. for-the-baby-astronaut

This is from The Bonnie Mob and also says it is organic. I just love the bright colours and the happy print! Who knows, baby might want to be an astronaut! The clip buttons down near the diaper area will make logistics easy to navigate. more-pink

Another organic romper but with short sleeves in case things get too warm. I came across an old interview of Tom Ford and he was saying how he told his son that children don’t look good in black. “Ok, then I’ll wear grey” was the response he got. Kids are hysterical aren’t they?haul-all-the-things

So, that was my first experience shopping for tiny humans! What do you think of my choices? And do you know anything about these labels? Any good? Please let me know down below! collage

*This isn’t a sponsored post, I’m not connected to any of these labels or to GILT.

Friday Pilates Faves – Arms (Triceps) plus a baby bump!

Friday Pilates Faves – Arms (Triceps) plus a baby bump!

I’m trying to post ten things at once, so me being me, my update that I’m pregnant will probably upload LAST. But yes, I’m pregnant! Ta-daaah! I know, I disappear a few months and show up with news like this. Doesn’t it keep our conversations exciting though? No one can ever say my replies to “what’s new” are dull anymore. 

pregnancy pilates

Back to one of my favourite movements ever. Whilst I sleep A LOT, it also feels great to keep the body moving so I’ve been trying to work on strengthening my body to keep myself well for the remainder of my pregnancy, labour and then beyoooooond (LOTS OF BABY LUGGING). Cue a lot of Pilates exercises. Let’s get to it.

Triceps extension (top to match resistance band not needed!)

Baby bump not required – you don’t HAVE TO be pregnant to do this. Duh!

If you are pregnant, you should have already gotten an ok from your doctor to exercise.

  1. Grip one end of your resistance band in each fist. Rest on fist down by your side and take your other arm up overhead to cradle your ear and messy top bun. (See vid below)
  2. Breathing steadily the entire time, slowly extend the top arm straight without letting the elbow shift.
  3. Bend the arm to return to start and repeat.

☄️I do 10 – 20 repetitions of each side, 10 normal speed and then 10 verrrrrry slowly. You can start by doing 5 at a normal speed and then 5 a little slower, gradually building up.

☄️If you don’t have a resistance band, you could hold a can or a small water bottle in your top hand. Nothing too heavy! The point is to focus on engaging your arm muscles for both directions of the movement, especially pay attention to resisting the return motion. You’ll get loads of strength benefits just from creating your own resistance.

☄️Be safe! Keep the working side shoulder down and the side of the body long. Avoid twisting in the torso. Keep the belly gently drawing inwards to protect the back. Pregnant ladies can visualise “hugging the baby”. At no point should you have any pain in your back or feel tension in your shoulder-neck region.

pregnancy pilates

Let me know if you try this out and enjoy the rest of your day! xx

🌸

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Goddess Vibes x Drill Exercise: Be Kind and Stay Still = Strength.

 

“perhaps just get more kind to yourself and those around you”

— apt words from my June horoscope

Once in a while I’ll stumble upon a horoscope, article, instagram and marvel at how perfectly these small happenings are timed to lessons and themes I am currently working on. For instance, the last few months have been really focused on the concept of kindness and softness. They’re NOT easy! It has taken so long for me to break down my need to never show softness and never backdown to really embrace how being soft can be a different kind of strength. Life isn’t just about how good a smackdown you can give or how feisty you can be. It’s terrifying and exhilarating to find that within all that being gentle, deep down there is a reservoir of true strength to withstand all outside forces as well as all the inner crazy. The best defence may be a good offence in sports but in life the best defence is inner strength. 

Continuously working on the ability to stay perfectly gracefully still despite everything going on will build up your strength reserves mentally as well as physically. You’ll only get stronger this way and you’ll always feel centered, because your center is strong! Today’s drill is the perfect physical illustration of that wonderful kooky circular logic. You’re staying as still as you can, whilst working on strengthening your core and you won’t need to do a single crunch, hurray! It works for me and I hope it will for you too. Try it and let me know!

Enough chit-chat from me, let’s do this.

THE STAY STILL [Working title I’m sticking with this – besides aren’t we over ‘labels’ already?]

Repeat this exercise 3 to 5 times, several times a week and you’ll definitely feel stronger physically and hopefully get closer to experiencing grace under pressure, even if it’s merely during the course of a yoga class. It will be worth it – eventually that grace will translate to beyond your physical class! 

  1. Start in a kneeling position
  2. Place your hands either side of your knees
  3. Lean your weight into your hands and press strongly into the ground as you exhale
  4. Breathe your belly button in and up towards your spine
  5. On your next exhalation squeeze your knees towards your chest
  6. Hold as you breathe in and out for 5 rounds of breathing (something like the picture above)
  7. Inhale and squeeze your knees in a little more then 
  8. Lower down on your next exhalation. (Finally!)
  9. Advance this by squeezing one heel off the floor and hold. 
  10. Super advance this by squeezing both heels off the floor. You’re basically ready to levitate. 

If it feels horrible for the front of your feet then you can start off kneeling with your toes tucked under. As you press up you will come high up onto your toes. When you’re stronger you can try again with your feet flat. 

 

Tips

Your back will naturally round — go with that instinct. 

Use your midsection to pull your knees into the curve of your body. Squeezing your inner thighs together will help activate your core just that extra more. As much of your weight is off the floor, not just dangling into the fronts of your feet.

Even though your back is rounded, don’t hunch your shoulders into your ears! And don’t scrunch your face! All the work is deep, deep down in your core. The rest of you is to resemble the surface of still water. 

What it do?

I’m glad you asked. This will work your entire core as well as your ability to maintain your straight-arm strength. With your knees sucked in as close to your body as you can you’ll notice how hard your belly is working to keep that knees to chest connection going. The back gets a great stretch too. 

Alternatives for wrist issues

Just do the same thing but laying on your back and imagine your pressing your hands into the ceiling and pushing it away. You’ll still get all the benefits and you’ll have a great time curling your body away from the floor. NOT EASY. You’ll know you’re doing it right because you’ll just know

You can build up as you get stronger by doing the alternative in addition. Make the two versions part of your regular strength exercise.

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Friday Feels Groovy: Picnics at Sunset and Soulful Tunes

boatsandbrews tumblr post

(Image from Tumblr)

It’s starting to rain over here (which I love) but at the same time I can’t help wondering:

Who would like to go sit on the beach at sunset eating gooey pizza out of the box and talk about the universe and our souls and magic and maybe not talk at all because

everything is so

perfect

?

Prescription for Joy: Radiate Love and Light – 40 Day Practice

Prescription for Joy: Radiate Love and Light – 40 Day Practice

B and I started a 40 day practice this month. Usually we have our own activities we like to do in order to feel good: mine would be yoga, Pilates, watching old TV shows, and his would be basketball (REAL and XBOX). This month we decided that the New Moon would be the perfect time to start a shared daily practice for 40 days to boost our energy and spirit levels.

We are STILL doing our favourite activities, naturally!

Everyday we practice a set sequence of yoga postures, followed by mantra meditation and we drink a green drink that I labelled our ‘Elixir’. This last part is major because B has never been on board with drinking anything green although I feel like that’s being very picky since he is slightly colour blind anyway? For all he knows it could be pink? SUDDENLY he can tell it’s green. I mean.

Anyway.

The mantra we chant is personal to each of us but I’ll share mine with you below. We chant out loud and with confidence, 11 times and then we sit quietly and let things marinate.

Somedays we do our practice in the evening like last night when we came home from a wedding party. We showered, changed and stepped on our mats. Then we had our green drink. We slept like babies even with both of us recovering from the flu.

It feels wonderful!

To go along with our 40 day practice we also cut out coffee. I typically drink a lot of coffee, alarming amounts even, but I’ve never had any issue with stopping. I never even get headaches if I go without coffee but it’s that comfort factor that I like. I love comfort! So when I want a warm drink I’ll make myself a Coconut Maca drink. I’m having one righttttttt now. 

 
I’m very lucky I’ve never enjoyed soft drinks and I drink a lot of room temperature water. Even warm water in a mug can be comforting. I make a ritual out of heating the water up, choosing a favourite mug (B and I both like to hog the same mugs) and then enjoying the steam puff up. It’s all about the ritual and process! Aren’t humans funny?

We started out as a very small community of just two, but in just over a week a few of our friends have started to join in. One of my girlfriends asked for a shopping list so she could run out and grab all the ingredients for the ‘elixir’ the very next morning.

Which is great! The more the merrier, and slowly little by little we generate more good vibes. If you would like to join us (we’d love to have you!) feel free to come up with your own mantra, or use mine:

RADIATE

Be well and be radiant! xoxo

Easy Recipe: I don’t even like noodles but I can’t stop eating these. Plus Chinese Vocab!

Easy Recipe: I don’t even like noodles but I can’t stop eating these. Plus Chinese Vocab!

“These are amazing. What did you put in here?” he mumbled through a mouthful.

My childhood memories.

There are certain things that you can’t get at Chinese restaurants. You gotta go to someone’s home, sit in their kitchen and watch as wheat noodles are boiled, drained, tossed in sesame oil and then stir fried with some simple vegetables.

THE BEST.

You gotta.

I don’t even like noodles! So go figure. Ok that is a huge generalisation – I like rice noodles, spaghetti and those glass noodles made of green beans. But when my mum cooks noodles this way, I can’t get enough.

超级简单清炒面 | Ultra Simple Stir Fried Noodles

Vocab:
超级 (chāo jí) Super/Ultra
简单 (jiǎn dān) Simple
清炒 (qīng chǎo) Stir Fry
面 (miàn) Noodles! (the character doesn’t include the exclamation point but I just get really excited talking about food)
Doesn’t matter how many times I read the instructions on the back of the packet, I’ll always cook noodles for a small group of 10. Come over for dinner?
Or do it yourself:
1. Cook appropriate amount of noodles (ahem)
2. Drain noodles and toss with sesame oil and let cool, lift the noodles to let the steam escape. You don’t want the noodles to stick together. THIS TAKES AGES. Alternate arms and repeat. FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

lift and toss
3. Stir fry veggies – heat the oil, then add in your crunchy veg, the less crunch stuff and then your flavourings.

(OIL, CRUNCHY, LEAFY, SAUCEY or OCLS which is not helpful at all, sounds like some kind of college and actually makes things worse?)

I like using coconut oil and then for flavouring I add chilli, white pepper, sea salt. I like my food light but you can add soy sauce of course. Also, I can’t eat too much soy products. IF you were to use soy sauce, get yourself a good quality ‘Light Soy Sauce’. Don’t just grab that bottle of soy sauce with the red pouring cap thingy, there is an entire world of soy sauce out there. I used to take people on tours of Asian supermarkets and we stood in the sauce aisle for ages discussing all the different flavours you can make. A world of soy sauce.

Tip: When stir frying veg, you want the pan to be HOT and you want to move FAST so the veg still says crunchy and the colours stay vibrant. Leafy greens can be thrown in last as they will cook so quickly.

I love when I get a bit of char on my veg. Just a little, not too much. It’s either a sign of a good hot wok OR a wok that needs washing. Let’s all agree it’s the first thing, ok?

Another tip: When adding your liquid flavourings, such as soy sauce, pour AROUND the sides not onto the stuff. And don’t go crazy, you can check later when the noodles go in if you need to add more to adjust the flavour. You want to be able to taste the strands of noodles that you just spent forever tossing with sesame oil. Not a mouthful of light soy sauce. The noodles are THE MAIN EVENT.

Oh, my mouth just filled up with saliva. Man, I love food!

4. Hurl everything together in the pan and toss somehow. You may want to add more sesame oil. The sesame oil just makes the noodles SO fragrant and helps with movement.

Oh, remember that sauce aisle? Get yourself a good quality sesame oil too. You should be able to SMELL the fragrance wafting from a sealed bottle. And it should smell like nothing on earth compared to the regular cheapo version.

I’m not asking you to sit down in the middle of the supermarket and taste test all the different varieties of sesame oil. Just have a sniff, don’t get the bottle too close to your snoz because that grosses people out. Once you get yourself one that smells amazing you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about and you will look back at the cheapo one you used to own and laugh and move on to bigger and better and brighter things.

Confession: My noodles were still a tad clumpy, I was too slow to get them out of the boiling water and I needed to let them cool a little longer but I was HUNGRY and my arms were bored with tossing. So it was go time! Hahaha. They were still AMAZINGLY tasty. This is meant to be an easy fool-proof recipe for hungry/lazy anyway, and turns out, IT IS! Trust! You WILL be triumphant, no matter what!

H-H-Ha-Happy days.


5. Eat and eat and eat (ABOUT TIME!)
🍜

If you have leftovers, they taste so good chilled!

Here’s another version that my mum did whilst she was in town to visit me. She used shredded omelette with shredded carrot and a little bit of spring onion. Again all done with the above steps and it was AMAZING. I want my Mommy now. And I want those noodles back in my life right now. Excuse me whilst my heart and stomach have a quick weep. Pretty much the best meal of my life. (I know, could I BE more dramatic?)

Goes with everything

Those prawns were the size of my plate and they were so good and also they were about $10 each. I’ve never spent that much money on something that came wrapped up in A LEAF. But they were SO GOOD. Saving up my pennies to one day buy one more.Simple is best

Look how shiny.

*DROOLS ALL OVER KEYBOARD AND SHORT CIRCUITS LAPTOP*

Ok, if you think shredded omelette is a great idea but who can be bothered, just fry an egg and slide it on top. I love when the yolk is still a little gooey and it MINGLES with the noodles.
With fried egg

Or just you know, whatever. They’re good any which way.

Plainish; with shredded chicken (or really just one shard because I got really lazy and really hungry); or with a fried egg.

 

Super Easy Stir Fried Noodles

It’s 9:30 in the morning and I must go get myself some noodles for breakfast. According to TCM it’s great to have warm meals.

Don’t quote me, I WILL manipulate random pieces of information to suit my wants. (I call these my convenient theories, of which I have many)

And right now noodles: I WANTS IT.

Enjoy and chat later! If you tried making these, lemme know! xx

 

Yoga Posture Library: Finding Comfort in Your Yoga Pose and 6 Steps for Finding Your Compass (Pose)

Yoga Posture Library: Finding Comfort in Your Yoga Pose and 6 Steps for Finding Your Compass (Pose)

We are here

Vocabulary

Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana

Parivrtta = Revolved

Surya = Sun

Yantra = Instrument, usually a mystical diagram

Known in English as Compass Pose or Sundial Pose.

To get straight into Compass Pose (after an appropriate warm up), head on over to the the middle bit, we’ll catch up with you!
One of the most helpful lessons I learned in Yoga was how sometimes all I need to do is take another look. Different postures are often the same but placed differently in space. Rather than trying to learn each posture on its own and find comfort on that island, I realised that many of these postures could be grouped together. If I could only find the thread that connected all of them.

A lot of mixed metaphors! Forgive me!

Compass Pose is usually done seated. With the back thigh lifting off this becomes a modified version of the arm balance posture often referred to as ‘Flying Compass Pose’. In the flying version, the back leg is outstretched in the manner of a side plank. Keeping the back knee down makes the posture more accessible as the balance requirement is reduced.

I have also come across the flying version being referred to as Visvamitrasana, Pose dedicated to the Sage Visvamitra. From what I understand, in Visvamitrasana, the top arm reaches up to the ceiling. The posture is advanced by reaching the top arm to catch hold of the floating foot.

Ok, let’s go back to this idea of finding comfort. Asana refers to being comfortable and steady in a posture. But, but, BUT.How does one get comfortable in a posture that is simply not comfortable? You know what would be comfortable in Chair Pose? An actual chair to sit on. Not a pretend chair made of the steam that rose up from my burning thighs. How does one find steadiness when balanced upside down on two hands? Aside from taking the variation of face-planting, which is steady but distinctly uncomfortable, ow my nose.

Finding Comfort:

Different people will have different ways to seek out comfort and steadiness.

A good rule of thumb to check how you’re doing is to ask  yourself if you are breathing – slowly, steadily, with awareness or if you are holding your breath.

Another one is to check on your level of attention – are you focused, gazing steadily, or frowning hard at the current task.

You can also check how you are holding yourself – soft, relaxed but actively engaging your muscles, or tensing, hunching the shoulders around your ears, biting your lips and so on.

That last one will give you an idea of how okay you feel with the outcome of your practice. Ask: Do you have to nail this posture today?

Be calm and trust the unknown. For me, finding comfort means being okay with what is going on and feeling comfortable with my body and believing in the ability of it to support me wherever I end up. If I hold my breath I know I am fearful and tense. Knowing that being ‘successful’ in any posture won’t make me a better person, and ‘failing’ a posture won’t mean I am a bad person allows me to practice with detachment. I feel OKAY with the possibility that today may not be the day I get my leg behind my head or fly my compass, or leap like Hanuman into the splits. And I am then free to practice. 

Understand the difference between challenge and strain. There may be awareness of some intense stretching sensations or a serious amount of strength being demanded or that, “Do you smell smoke? Because I KNOW my quads are on fire” feeling but through all of that I understand the individual actions I am performing and I am BREATHING calmly. Maintaining a steady and calm breath means I am less likely to exceed my limitations for the day and end up hurting myself, physically and emotionally. It’s so important to practice with compassion! Yoga practice is not a torture practice. If I get my breathing under control, my thought patterns change from scattered, critical, irrelevant, tense to focused, precise, quiet and steady. And I feel okay, fine, maybe even peaceful. Despite the smoke signals.

Learning New Poses, like Compass Pose

I’ve noticed that people learning a sequence like the Sun Salutations would try to hurry through the current posture to get into the next and become breathless. If they are asked to focus on breathwork, they report feeling less frazzled, especially if instructed to allow the breathing to slow down. It’s the same for learning a new pose. This was my personal experience as well.

The first time I saw someone in the full flying version of Compass Pose, I remember thinking, “HOW did you get there?”

The first time I experienced being taught the full flying version of Compass Pose with the body in an extended side plank position, I had forgotten about that person and was thinking to myself, “Where is this going?”

Anyway, once we were there* in the posture (as close to ‘there’ as a first attempt could feel, accompanied by me calling out, “Um, something like this?!”) I didn’t feel great, I just felt awkward, weird, gangly, tired, sore, confused, frustrated, and EXTREMELY UNCOMFORTABLE. All my limbs were crying, “ARGH we don’t belong in this configuration.” My breath was erratic just like my thoughts. I didn’t recognise where I was and I was freaked. I had also forgotten about the idea of comfort and steadiness in my posture. I didn’t fall out of the posture but crashed, backwards on my bum.

You know how sometimes people learn a new posture and they seem so elated? That was not me. I was just bewildered. I couldn’t wait for naptime Savasana and then also lunch.

At the time of that class, I was familiar with side plank and had developed a healthy dislike of it. (I won’t pretend I like it much these days but I see the value in it and I appreciate it.) I had also experienced the seated compass pose. And although I knew how to add I wasn’t connecting the dots between the two postures and my current extremely uncomfortable mess of tangled limbs. I was so suspended in this huge reaction of being uncomfortable that there was just so much disconnect between my body and my mind.

But could I really claim to have learnt that posture that day?

Later on after a day or a week or let’s be honest, more like a month had gone by, I took a closer look at what went down. Ohhhhhhhhh heyyyyy…. that kind of looks like if I did that stretchy side thing with my top arm whilst balancing in a sideways plank. But how the heck do I get into it again? What leg goes with what hand? What does this foot back here do? If I go into side plank, I can’t get the front foot off the floor. If I lift the front foot off the floor, I can’t get into side plank. UGHHHHH. 

Over time as I played around with the different shapes, I sort of made friends with this posture. I wouldn’t call us bosom buddies or the kind of friends that need to be together all the time, more like a long distance good friendship. We’re happy to see each other when we can but if we don’t, that’s okay too, maybe another time, we’ll catch up and see what the other is up to.

THE MIDDLE BIT: Finding Compass Pose

Let’s see if we can’t get you two acquainted:

To enter (hover over each photo for detailed instructions):

Step 1
Step 1: Kneel on one knee, keeping the other leg upright, foot placed flat on the floor. Feet are roughly perpendicular: draw an imaginary straight line from the second toe of the foot out in front, down the heel, and intersecting with the ball of the back foot. The same hand as the foot in front threads through the inside of the front knee to the outside of the foot. Avoid sinking down into the back leg.

 

Step 2
Step 2: Wriggle the front shoulder so that the front knee rests against and even slightly over the shoulder. If you have long arms like me you’ll probably bend the elbows to get under.
Step 3
Step 3: Get lifted by pressing your hips away from the floor and strengthening that front arm. Think about how your torso and supporting arm behave when you are in a sideways plank. As your supporting arm extends, let the front foot start to float off the floor, or just the heel. Keep the shin pressing firmly into the ground and the upper body light.
Step 4
Step 4: Stay chill! If you need a little more stability, tuck the back toes under. Keep the front shoulder and the inside of the front knee close.
Step 5
Step 5: Ok looking a little determined here, haha! Ignore me and take hold of the front foot with the opposite arm. Notice the grip, hold the foot from OVER the front of the foot and then wrap the fingers around the outside edge of the foot. Alot of people get the foot in their hand but sink down into the back leg and struggle to get back up again. Stay lifted by keeping the back leg engaged. Alternatively, just stay here like this, or don’t reach for the foot and keep the top arm along the top side of your body.
Step 6
Step 6: Ok, if you’re still feeling pretty comfortable so far, hang onto the foot whilst you start to let the leg straighten. As that happens, let the top arm slide behind your ear.

Got it? 

Compass Pose

 

From here: Gaze upwards, or if that is uncomfortable simply look ahead. In this instance I just gazed directly forwards rather than up as my torso wasn’t revolving as far as usual. What I would go on to do is go back to opening my hips a little more and do you see how that back thigh may want to press forward a little more? I’d work on those and then revisit the posture again and see if anything has changed.

Alternatively:

  • Keep the front leg bent
  • Float the front foot off the floor and keep the top arm flat against your side or reaching upwards
  • Feeling really steady? Try again with your back leg stretched out in one line with the rest of your body
  • Practice the seated version of the posture, back leg bent or stretched out directly in front or half crossed
  • Stop at whichever step is most appropriate to you and stay there

Whatever variation you take, keep breathing and stay calm!

Inhale, release the foot; exhale, take a moment. Switch sides. Let me know how you went!

Note: I cannot stress how important it is to practice with awareness. The most important tool for me has been to learn to understand my body. Learn about your body, become aware of what conditions it thrives under and what conditions it does not. Do not force. Find a teacher you can trust to guide you.

Take care and be well! x

*what does ‘there’ mean anyway? In the beginning of practice I would think of ‘there’ as the place where I matched the picture in Light on Yoga. I currently think of ‘there’ as where I can go based on who I am on a given day but I don’t know until I start moving where I will get to.

Girl Talk: Team Huddle

Girl Talk: Team Huddle

[All images are on point and from weheartit.com]

B goes through these phases of having a current word that he loves to use. His current one is ’empower’. Not a bad one to have. He uses it in a work context, empowering this associate, that manager, this director, etc.

We all know that I love myself some weheartit action. Whaddya know, there is an inspiration gallery on weheartit called ‘Empowerment’! Hello, this is Synchronicity calling. Oh, it’s for us! So, this gallery on weheartit is girl-power focused but there’s some stuff in there to support all genders as well. The images that caught my eye the most were the ones that remind me that girls need to support other girls. You know the ones:

One of my favourite comedians is Dylan Moran and he made an observation about women in one of his standups saying we will never have the rights we keep demanding because we keep bitching about each other. You could hear the sucked in breath of the audience, the outright guffaws of everyone, all the head nodding and people going, “Haha! So true!”.

I laughed too but on the inside, I was all, “Dammit, Team!”

A very good friend of mine once told me something when I expressed hurt feelings after discovering that someone I thought of as a very close friend had been talking about me behind my back. He said, “Dom, one of these days you’ll learn that not everyone likes everyone and not everyone will like you.”

taste
Stranger things, hey. What are you gunna do.

Stranger things, hey. What are you gunna do.

I was like “Waaaaaaahhhh I don’t wanna learn” (The sound of me experiencing history repeating.)

Flashback to trying to introduce my different best friends in junior school to each other which felt like walking face on into a brick wall. Very painful. They all hated each other. For no reason that I could see. I liked them, we seemed to like similar things hence the bff-ness, so why didn’t they like each other? At least one of them explicitly stated, “If she’s coming, I’m not coming.” Tea parties and movie outings got very tricky.

My squads were more like Noah’s ark passengers and only came in sets of two. No chance of starting a girl band which is a shame because one of my bffs and I had this great dance routine down ahahahaha cue my #squadgoals gallery.

0F37802F-B8DC-4685-8AAE-8DBBCBC19E4E
It was actually a killer routine, ok.

It was actually a killer routine, ok.

This could have been us but you hatin’.

how amazing would this be

who dis
No, I’m not bffs anymore with those girls.

Another odd thing that I observed over time was the refusal of women to accept each other.

Have you ever heard someone say, “Yes but she’s ugly.” as a means to downplay that person’s competence or worth? Or if someone is being praised for an accomplishment, another person says, “Too bad she’s fat.” Or  about someone who has the figure of someone who works out alot, “She’s probably bulimic.” Or about someone who is beautifully dressed, “She’s a bimbo.” Or about someone who is just generally a lovely person, well off, doing well in her chosen field, beautiful inside and out, you might hear, “But she’s still single hey.”

?!

not nice
That’s super unchill and way harsh.

This hating thing seems to be something that has really picked up over the last couple of years. I’ve been the subject of some hate too: I have been fat-shamed AND thin-shamed, but then hello, who hasn’t had a little shade thrown at them by this point? There’s so much of it to go around.

i'm curvystudies show

snap!
Seriously, how much are we loving these images?! And also are those some kind of donut?

I don’t know if it has always been this way and I can’t speak to what guys talk about amongst themselves because I’m not a guy. But it feels horrible to me. This should not be the norm. Where have the compliments gone? I’m not interested in lip service and saying nice things that we don’t mean. But the more I see this sort of behaviour — and I know other people must be seeing this hence all the “Women empower each other” inspiration images — the more I think there seems to be this mindset that there is only a limited amount of beauty, brains, health, wealth, best friends, compliments, success, and other great things and it’s every woman for herself. We need to clear this misunderstanding up. There may be underlying issues like a feeling of lack (self-esteem, worth, value) and we need to deal with that too. Not that having issues is an excuse. We may not even be aware of any underlying issues. Although what kind of perfectly happy issue-free person walks around espousing hate? Happy people don’t kill people as Elle Woods puts it.

Hey girl, what lies beneath?

Dunno, but that won’t stop me from hating on other people. 

And “she started it” is definitely not a valid reason, either.

another woman's beautynot at all jealous

other womenwomen shouldbecause v66

The idea that a person may be deeply unhappy without even knowing suggests a general lack of awareness or cloudiness of mind. One of the Yoga Sutras talks about how to attain clarity of mind. It says, “Clarity of mind is produced by meditating on friendliness towards the happy, compassion toward the miserable, joy toward the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked.” [1.33]

I think of this as one of several keys to ultimate freedom.

What better freedom can there be than to have total peace of mind? To not experience jealousy when one witnesses the success of another but to feel happy? Rather than tearing each other down and belittling the hard work of another we can feel inspired to do more and be more. No, we don’t need to do the old “Girls rule, boys suck” chant either. There is no need for us to put down another gender to feel better about our own. We don’t need to belittle someone else’s life to feel better about our own. True strength doesn’t depend on highlighting the weaknesses of others and we need to be stronger.

True strength NOT brute strength.

what we need

All of us are in this together and we have our own challenges to get through. My approach? Well, basically:

can't seehalf the battlebe a queen honey!IFbe nice or else

For those of us who have been bullied and pushed around: hey, you need to know that you’re a valuable person.

you are validyou are notgood peopleif you can't find onep.s.

For those of us who have not made the best choice, let’s stop being so shady. I think kindness is a nicer shade on you.

So, if we really want world peace and universal love, let’s give ourselves permission to show each other kindness and find some peace. There are really important things happening out there, tearing each other down simply cannot be the way forward. This behaviour has become a bad habit but habits can be unlearned. It’s never too late to learn new tricks and bring about change. Change your thoughts, change your life.

orendapeople are terrificall the hearts<3

Ok, team, good talk. Go team!

xoxo

Gallery

Sunday Feels – The Healing Power of Taking Rest

Is there anything better than waking up to rain against the window pane at the end of a busy week? Not only a rainy day but a rest day for me. I still woke up hella early as usual but gosh, it felt like luxury to have all those hours. Today is a Moon Day and I am looking forward to taking rest from my usual morning yoga practice.

IMG_4223


The constantly changing weather seems to be wreaking havoc on my body and after croaking my way through teaching this week, I could feel my voice leaving me for a well-earned vacation. Somewhere warm, I imagine. There was an ad years ago that showed a couple discussing where they would go for a holiday. The woman decided she would go to Phuket or somewhere like that and then the man promptly said he would go to Bali. Kind of reminded of that right now. Plenty of warm water and an early night seem to have done me the world of good today. Rest is always the crucial thing for me. If I don’t get enough of it, my body reminds me soon enough and then it will MAKE me have to take rest. I made some goals for myself this year and my body seems to have come up with a goal of its own for me – to take more time to rest.

breakfast in bedWhat do you do when you get the day off?

I like to shower and get into my comfy home clothes, make a simple brekkie, perhaps apply a face mask, laze around reading books, think about a late lunch, more lazing, perhaps even take a nap?! Already I feel so much better than I have in days! It is so important to find time to rest. Later on I will do a little light stretching, some Pilates exercises. It’s still important to get the body moving! If it is to be a rest day like today, then I won’t do much in the way of chores, but I will wash any dishes and the towels. It feels better to know that the kitchen is clean and tidy. And later on I will be glad when we have fresh towels. Food will be the really simple kind. That seems to suit me best. Here’s what I ate so far:

Breakfast: Avocado on multi grain bread. I like to smear what is left in the shell on my face which as it dries seems to tighten my skin. Such an easy face mask, and afterwards when I finally remember to rinse it off my skin feels incredibly silky. I walked around with a green face for an hour before I remembered to go splash the avocado off. But not before I took the rubbish out and said hi to my neighbours. Nice.

Lunch: I’m avoiding anything oily or too salty so as not to upset my throat. And I am just crazy about turmeric in all my food so I steamed some rice with turmeric and garlic. After the rice was perfectly cooked, I lifted up the lid, threw in some green vegetables, cracked an egg, and tossed in some white mushrooms. I’m so chill right now I can’t recall what they are called exactly, possibly oyster mushrooms? Anyway, I close the lid so the steam doesn’t billow out and instead stays inside and perfectly cooks all those toppings. This is one of my favourite ways to make a meal and I’m glad my body seems to love this type of food too.

steam powered

A few years ago I was working as a lawyer for a construction company, and all of us, and I truly mean the entire legal department, went through a phase of being obsessed with the hot chips from the cafe downstairs. They were so delicious we couldn’t get enough! Of course we completely overdid it one afternoon and I went home with the most terrible headache. I was so thirsty and all I wanted was steamed broccoli. When I went back the next day I found out I wasn’t the only one with a hot chip hangover. Yikes!

Back to my lunch. So, after a few minutes of gentle steaming the white of the egg is glossy and opaque, that’s when I know it is perfect. You may like your egg a little more firm but I like the yolk to be slightly oozy. My grandma used to make me gooey eggs like this and she would tell me it was my mum’s favourite way to eat eggs, and she called it “suo suo dan“; “dan” being the word for egg and “suo suo” being the action you make when you try to slurp up the goo. I still describe my eggs like that to this day. As to flavour, I just dash a very small amount of light soy sauce and sesame oil over the top. You can add white pepper, chopped chillies, coriander, but I’m happy with this and so is my tummy. Can there be anything better than having a warm feeling in the belly when it’s raining outside?

What nice things will you make for yourself to eat this weekend? xx

 

Video

What’s for dinner? – Easy recipe for when you need a weekend to recover from the weekend

How was your weekend? We took it really easy, it’s my first weekend back in town so naturally we had loads of laundry and chores to catch up on. The last thing I want is to then have to drag myself out for dinner but I also don’t want to expend my remaining energy on making dinner but I want home food.

It’s all too “I know what I don’t want but I don’t know what I want but I know I want it now.” I KNOW! TIRESOME!

What then?

This Spicy Vegetarian Cous Cous Goreng has been a breakthrough over here. I always have a few random odds and ends hanging out in the veggie drawer of the fridge. When I make cous cous I can never make just the right amount there’s always an extra container of it. I keep a few spare packets of spice paste so all I do is just grab everything and throw it together and dinner is done! It’s so satisfying and warming, best of all you can just make it in the one pot and that’s as good as it gets, washing up wise.

So so easy! It’s my new favourite way to have cous cous. And you can sneak in all those vegetables.

Ingredients: 

Your choice of cooked grains: rice, cous cous, quinoa, oats, barley etc

A packet of spice paste (don’t be afraid to try other flavours too! Great ones to use are green/red/yellow curry paste)

Chopped veg (the softer the vegetable, like leaves, the less time it needs to cook)

Bit of oil, I like coconut oil, but use whatever you like

Options: fried egg, shredded meat, or leave out to keep it vegetarian

And yes, I am using my rice cooker to cook dinner. There’s no gas for my stove but I will always find a way hahaha.

Enjoy your Monday! xx

Peaceful New Year’s Eve

Peaceful New Year’s Eve

“Your strength is how calmly, quietly and peacefully you face life.”~ Yogi Bhajan

   
 
This year has blessed me with a rich bounty of joy, health, love, wealth, success, mistakes, pain, grief, change, challenges and many lessons; somethings I asked for and plenty that I did not. I learned a few things, promptly forgot my lessons, relearned them, forgot some, remembered some. Some challenges I faced calmly and many ungracefully. Some change I accepted and some I resented. This year has been like every other year but I turned to meditation more than ever to learn acceptance. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not at all. I learned just how highly I value peace. I am learning how to be strong enough to always remain at peace within myself and brave enough to trust what I cannot yet know. I am the only one truly responsible for my happiness. So much to learn! I will try harder next year to do better. I could not have wished for a better year.

And you, friend? How was your year? I hope you have a marvellous year in which you meet with unlimited joy.

Video

Yoga to Move into Stillness

So legend has it that when you can’t sleep at night it is because you are awake in someone else’s dream.

Please stop dreaming about me whoever you are.

Aaaaaaaahahahahaha allow me to cackle away merrily whilst you take the time to roll your eyes.

I’ve been struggling to sleep properly and it seems to be some sort of excess nervous energy from prepping to go home for the holidays. This time next week I will be back home and ohmigoshonlyafewmoresleepstogoooooooooooooosomanythingstodosolittletimetodoitin.

You know those jitters? 

Verrrrrry similar to the kind a kid gets the night before Christmas. Who could possibly sleep?! It’s just all too exciting. TOO being the keyword. Too much going on. Around us and inside our heads. Without an outlet to channel all the excitement into, those sensations spill over everywhere and amplify existing feelings. 

There is a lot happening during holiday season and all that change can be stressful on a body. 

Resisting the change causes friction which leaves me restless and kinda twitchy. Then as I lose sleep I become tired and cranky. The cycle continues on a loop. When I was younger I couldn’t figure out how to settle myself down and found myself buffeted along by the things that kept happening TO me no matter how hard I tried to avoid them or take full control. I felt so resentful and frustrated. Did I have a target on my back?

Now I kind of understand it is up to me to decide if I want to struggle and kick my way along or flow through change. But the way is always THROUGH the obstacles or the change. And whilst I can control some aspects there are many others that I can’t. Discerning what I can and can’t change, much like the serenity prayer, are key to giving me the space I need to regain a sense of calm.

Try reading the next two paragraphs out loud slowly and with intent:

I remember that I can control my breathing. I can inhale fully and exhale completely. I can move my body as I breath slowly and deeply. I can give complete attention to moving my body with my breath. 

And with that I feel my heart rate calm down, my stomach ceases to twist into knots, my eyebrows unfurrow and my mind quietens and I move into stillness. Then I can sleep soundly and deeply. I wake up feeling joyful and excited about my days. I will nourish my body with fuel so I have energy to go about my day. I will move my body because it feels good to be active. I look forward to anything that comes my way. I feel content with the present moment because it is perfect. 

I hope following along to this short video helps equip you with a sense of calm as you go about preparing yourself for this holiday season. Please practice safely and take good care of yourself. 

Processed with Rookie Cam

Namaste. 

 

Quote

Choose Joy, Always

Gold Foil Learn to be happy quote

Making happy faces at you from behind the screen. *Waves*

Currently editing a video which I described as for lazy bones (bonses?!) on my Instagram but maybe we should reframe that? What do you reckon? Lemme know?

Meanwhile this lazy bones hardworker is going to have some lunch (leftovers from a recipe I will also be sharing with you) and then will post those up.

See you later! xx

P.S. how has your week been? I want to know!

Video

Learning to Fly: Quick Tips – Yoga Arm Balance Workshopping

How was your cyber weekend? I tried to get into the sale action but I found myself overwhelmed by all the sale windows popping up on my ‘puter. And also we had some major blackouts so that just felt like a sign from the universe.

No shopping for you, specifically, you. You means Dominique.

I didn’t have anything I needed or simply wanted but tried to pass of as needed anyway. And I found myself thinking why don’t we just have everything 20% or 30% or 35% or whatever% off year round and we will buy it when we want to. The sort of “I’ll call you” type of response to an invitation to tender. You too? Yeah.

A girlfriend and I were chatting and figured if groceries had a cyber Monday though, different story. But groceries being groceries and economics working the way they do, that didn’t happen. So instead I saved my pennies and worked on editing a video I filmed just before my trip to Bali.

Oh yeah, haha, I went to Bali for a few days. And all I came back with was a lovely time, great memories, a full tummy and a tan. Tell you all about it another time, I really want to post this video first, if it ever finishes uploading though. A little tricky with all the power blackouts we have been having.

This will just take 1000 minutes
Be with you in 142 minutes. I kid you not five minutes later the little bar said it would take another 183 minutes. What’s with the strange math? hahaha

So let’s chat a bit more about what we’re doing in today’s video whilst this baby loads.

Itty Bitty Baby Pigeon

This is a preparatory posture. Some people will know the full version of this pose as Flying Pigeon Pose or One Legged Pigeon Balance. In Sanskrit this pose  is called Eka Pada Galavasana. People tend to drop the Eka Pada when referring to the posture and just say Galavasana although B.K.S. Iyengar listed Galavasana and Eka Pada Galavasana as two different postures with the latter being the one we will prep for here.

Gimme a second to squint and count, yep, got the right number of vowels in there. Sometimes one needs to check, you know?

Some Sanskrit here: Eka means one and Pada means leg… soo far so got it. Galavasana is the pose named after the sage Galava. The word for pigeon is Kapota. I know, I know, confusing! When I first started paying attention to the names of postures a lot of them just sounded like Something Something Blah Asana. I just couldn’t get a handle on the front part. And I got a whole lot worse before I got anywhere near better by the time I went for training.

Every second sentence out of me was, “Whaddjyamacallthis?” As soon as I managed to remember one name I’d promptly forget the previous one I had learned.

But a lot of people will know what you are talking about if you happen to mention flying pigeon. But you’d both need to be talking about yoga postures otherwise things just get really confusing obvs. The shape of that front bent leg leaning against your arms is the same as the one-legged version of the posture performed on the floor. Just know that the pose goes by more than one name. 

I am calling this version we are attempting Itty Bitty Pigeon Pose because that back leg is not yet stretched out as in the full expression of the posture, it’s still tucked in close to the body. This makes it a little easier to focus on locating that exact tipping point you need to get the balance going. And here we thought we’d never see the likes of Physics again after high school.

The video is pretty straight forward, but make sure you are warmed up before you launch. For example you can go for a 20 minute march around the block, or you can do a few rounds of Sun Salutations, or a few cycles of my easy to do 2 minute yoga sequence (here).

Yoga is all about expressing curiosity and learning new things. So once you are up, try stretching out that floating leg and see what happens! Fly, birdie, fly!

[gasp] I’m flying, Jack!

C’mon, if I didn’t say it someone else would have. What a line. And they totally could have both fit on that door. Move over Rose, blimey.

IMPORTANT: Please be aware that if you are not yet comfortable in a plank position, you may still need a little more time before you visit this. Don’t rush! In the Ashtanga practice for instance, this posture is in the third series. THIRD! There are people (cough, me included) who may or may not just stay in Primary for the rest of our lives. B.K.S. Iyengar rated the intensity of this posture as 21, the most difficult posture being 60. So take it easy, slow and steady. Taking the time now to develop a strong foundation, smelling the roses along the way, will save you the heartache of hurrying before you are ready and perhaps even hurting yourself. You need to be careful and practice safely. Be kind! Enjoy the scenic route! How often do we get the luxury of taking things slow?

Happy workshopping! 

Questions? Holla! Feel free to discuss down below any of the following:

Who B.K.S. Iyengar?

What Ashtanga?

Kapota what?

Is this still yoga?

What does Galavasana look like then?

What does it take to rate a 60?

Who Jack? (Where have you been…)

What door? (See above re: Jack)

Does anyone else feel terrified when they see flying pigeons IRL?

Aside

Learning to Fly – Update [Flight Delayed]

Friends,

if you follow me on Instagram and came here to check out my tutorial video on arm balancing, you have come to the right place.

The power is out at my place, it is that time of year over here. I’m typing this and rushing down to the coffee shop to finish this post.

Okay, not rushing because stairs. It will be ready in a jiffy, in the meantime please chat amongst yourselves. Have you all met?

BRB xx

Update: Ok the stairwell is pitch black with nary a creepy blinking exit sign therefore it is obviously filled with scary monsters that usually hide under the beds of children. Back inside folks. This will happen EVENTUALLY!

Yikes!
Gallery

A Well Spent Sunday

brings a week of content.

Quite so!

Actually I had a lovely time on Saturday as well so I’m in for a fortnight of wonderfulness. How grand would it be if each day we spent well gave us a credit for the week ahead? Like a sort of happiness coupon.

The more pragmatic of us would point out that we could alternatively just live each day well and forget the coupons already. Yes. Of course. That would be an easier way wouldn’t it? So how many of us do that?

Hmm.

If I had to say what exactly it was I did over the weekend that filled me with such bliss and contentment, I’d struggle to mention anything super exciting. It’s always been those tiny little moments that sort of creep up on me. Which is such a relief because that means during the weekdays I can just keep myself open to more of such treasures.

The heroine of a favourite book of mine had a ritual with her best friend called “White pebble or black pebble”. Each day they would fill an imaginary jar with white pebbles for anything wonderful that happened and black pebbles for anything not so. At the end of the day the women would ring each other and announce whether it was a white pebble type of day or a black pebble one. Ever since reading that book I keep a jar in my mind, a tad dusty as I don’t tend to it all the time, but I take it out more and more these days and check how many white pebbles I found during the day. The occasional black pebble shows up but I try to be less diligent with those.

Here are some of my white pebbles this weekend.

Usually I teach during the weekends, which I adore, but it was nice for a change to have my entire morning to myself to awaken very lazily with a coffee. After a huge yawn whilst shuffling these cards I drew (I kid you not) the Awakening card. Do you believe in coincidences? Or destiny? Can we have both?

Awakening
It’s important to be yourself!

I’ve gotten really fascinated with geometry, I’m always seeing these fancy circles and squares showing up on weheartit and so on. So I gave it a go this weekend. Let me tell you, there’s more than one way to join the dots. Like a zillion ways. Figuratively and literally. Aside from getting a little cross eyed at certain points it was really absorbing. An interesting way to meditate if you can’t stand not doing anything at all. I think there are still more dots to join.

More than one way to connect the dots

The power went out in our building, so we were trapped for a while. Luckily I had already made a coffee so fine by me. No harm at all. Until I felt ready for a second coffee. But then we figured out that the power inside the bedroom worked. We’re problem solving people. Hehe.

No I did not care to check if the washing machine had any power. Priorities.

Would you believe I have not had rice crackers until now since I was at uni?  The first time around? If you want the math for it, that would be almost 15 years ago. Far out. And after I merrily ignored the serving suggestion and made my way through just about the entire packet I realised why I didn’t buy rice crackers anymore when I wouldn’t stop bouncing off the walls afterwards. And then I was insanely thirsty for hours. No original flavour for me thank you very much. Gimme the BBQ. It weirded B out to see snacks in the house AND to see me eating them. I don’t buy snacks because that was how I was brought up. We only got them if we were having a party. I think I will revert to that rule. But it was a nice treat x 4 serving sizes.

Serving suggestions are not serving rules.

Oh, and I also had a visitor drop by during the afternoon to see how my drawing was going. Birds drop by from time to time and I always feel like it’s a good sign. My mood always lifts when I see the flutter of wings even for the briefest instant.

Eventually the power came back on and we watched a bit of The Other Woman. More than anything I think we like Leslie Mann’s voice. And I like the expressions Kate Upton makes, she seems so goofy. Oh and I felt really happy about the dinner I threw together. To counter ALL the rice crackers I ate. When everything is really fresh, not a lot needs to be done to make a delicious meal. And a cool salad is so good for balmy nights. And minimal clean up!

It’s pretty straightforward you just need to mix together a dressing, tear up some leaves, and add anything else you want to make it a filling meal.

Teevee Dinner
“What is up with your hot brother?” Yeah, Leslie, tell us.

So how was your weekend? I hope you had a wonderful weekend and a week ahead filled with magical white pebbles. xx

 

Video

Meditation for Beginners (Breathing) and a Zen Story

Good morning!

And I’m getting through that pile of videos to edit. *pow pow* If you had read what I wrote last week about procrastinating you would nod and be like *high fives screen* and then I would high-five you back and be like, “Thanks!”.

So there is an old story about a rich man who goes to the zen master asking how to become enlightened. He’s got the money, no sum is too big, how much. 

Hmm, free. Plus two years, if you meditate everyday for one hour so says the master. 

Whuuuuuuuuuuuuut. Okay, okay. How about if I meditate everyday for five hours? How long then, huh? 

Oh yes, that will be very good. Twenty years. 

HUH!$*&%#@$?! 

That isn’t exactly how the story goes, there are a few variations. That’s my take on it.

And how about this expression:

“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes each day. If you are too busy then sit for an hour.”

I love the humour in these stories and sayings. A person can interpret these stories in so many different ways. I’ll have to share with you some of the comments a few people made about one particular zen story I came across sometime, remind me? 

In the meantime, I have  a meditation video for you! It is thirteen minutes long but if you want you can skip through the introduction and chat straight into the practice portion. But it’ll take you twenty years.

Kidding!!!

I’m a big fan of the two minute format. Here’s the link to my two minute yoga video Hurrah for Yoga in Pyjamas. Big fan of anything I can do in pyjamas too.

If you’re all “Nah, I got time to hang” then stay tuned for the outtakes. There are many. I was waiting for my washing machine to finish before I started recording and it kept whirring promisingly as though it was wrapping up. And then I’d hit record and the washing machine was all “Haha no.” But it ended eventually. 

Ready? Here we go: 

Here is a quick starting point for people who want to get into meditation and have been meaning to but always say they don’t have enough time. One day, I will get around to meditating. Ha! Today is that day!! After my washing machine finished spinning hahaha.

If you’re anything like me, your daily to do list can stretch as long as your arm and then some. When it comes to actually tackling things you start to wonder where exactly to start. Too much happening so many feelings! This is the BEST time to meditate so that you can resume (or start) work feeling focused and calm.

A lot of us think we need hours set aside to get meditation right but sometimes a minute here a minute there and just quiet breathing is all we need to notice a huge difference. This is where we start today, the breathing, which is the most important part. If we can turn all our attention to our breathing, there is nothing else for our mind to do and everything becomes oh so still.

You can repeat this short breathing exercise as many times as you like, be sure to keep the body and face as relaxed and tension free as possible to really get the benefits. Anytime you feel as though things are getting too much during the course of your day, you can turn to this breathing exercise. I hope this makes a difference!

The exercise starts at 5:32 if you want to jump ahead, please do so. We finish with a very light bit of self massage to our brow area. When we first wake up the area can often feel quite heavy and puffy. This is also an area that often remains tense throughout the day without our realising. If you’ve been worrying about something this will be especially helpful in helping you to feel energised and ready to face the day. 

Thanks so much for watching. Please let me know if you enjoyed that and if you have any special requests, comment down below. X

Welcome to Procrastination, population: me. The exits are here, here and here.

Welcome to Procrastination, population: me. The exits are here, here and here.

I am the Emperor (self-proclaimed) of Procrastination with a capital P. It’s my kingdom (emperordom?) so I can capitalise anything I want. Taxes are extremely reasonable here, by the way, and the healthcare system is excellent. The education system is wonderful although my ministers and I are currently trying to address the issue of people putting off graduating. I asked for a list of recommendations but my ministers sure know how to delay handing their findings in. I’ll chase them up just as soon as I get done with thoroughly cleaning the house from top to bottom, getting all caught up on Gilmore Girls, perfect the art of baking croissants (I’m willing to put in the work no matter how long it takes), tidying up all my pins on Pinterest. Oh and after I learn two new languages for fun. THEN I will round them up and sit down with them and get that list of recommendations. Because that’s how it’s done. When I set my mind to accomplishing something, really set my mind to it, no force on earth can stop me, as soon as I jump through all the hoops I set up for myself and I get off this sofa. I’m even putting off getting caught up on Gilmore Girls. I need to be in the right mood for it you know? So maybe I’ll read a few books first to warm up.

The response to this is either *facepalm* or *intense head nodding*. I’m guessing alot of people experience delaying getting started on a task to some degree. Once you get started everything is fine and dandy. But maybe you got delayed somehow and now it’s hard to get started again. Inertia.

Did you ever learn about inertia in school? Did you get shown a video usually of a group of people in a vehicle, wearing seatbelts, the vehicle moves and then suddenly stops but the people keep moving until oooof their seatbelts pull them back?

Whilst we’re on the topic: ALWAYS wear your seat belt people!

But that’s inertia. Once an object is in motion, it will keep chugging along quite nicely until something stops it. When at a standstill it takes effort to get it into motion. Inertia acts on us in much the same way. Sometimes we were on track with a task and then we skidded to a halt because of events beyond our control. Sometimes we just feel so overwhelmed we end up flopping down on the sofa, uncertain where to start. Days go by, weeks and even months!

That’s what happens to me. I get started and if thrown off track, man alive is it hard to get going again. Or I have so many great ideas and dreams, it’s hard to decide which one to start on. Or the importance of accomplishing something is so great that I get scared I’ll make a mess of it, so I freeze instead.

WHAT.

Allow me to paint you a picture with my word salad:

Instead of studying for that physiology exam I would go defrost the freezer. Messy freezer means a messy mind right? Can’t get those great marks by being messy, I think, in my infinite wisdom.

You know how else you can’t get great marks in an exam? Not getting started on studying.

Oh. Good point. But now I’m tired from dealing with the freezer. It’s such a huge task. Better nap first. And when I wake up I’ll get on with world domination.

Instead of whipping up a project proposal nice and quickly since I have all my material ready to go, I go into microscope mode. When I get hung up on one small tiny detail and spend far too long researching it further. I turn into a complete perfectionist, acting like this is my Sistine Chapel. Except that was finished. (In 1512. I looked it up, naturally.)

Or the rut I’m currently stuck in involves editing videos. I finally grumbled and huffed my way to the computer to start editing footage. But then I lost my voice so I wasn’t able to record voiceovers just yet. Did I carry on doing what I could? No sir, I did not! I slowed right down to a complete halt. I still haven’t recovered fully but now I have even more footage to edit. And inevitably find myself wondering where do I even start. And this is something that I WANT to do.

So all of these things go on whilst layered on top is life. Of course daily life continues. I have clients and students to keep appointments with. I have catering orders. I have laundry. Dishes. B. Self care. My studies. Eat, sleep, repeat. The activities of daily life continue meanwhile I am neglecting to work towards fulfilling my goals. I got in my own way. Time to leave the kingdom of Procrastination. Sure, it’s safe and comfy and no one needs to worry about failing to achieve one’s dreams but that’s because no one is trying. Until it becomes harder and harder to get started. Before we know it we have run out of tomorrows.

It is not enough to dream and wish. We must do! Making life happen. After coffee. Oh, alright, WITH coffee.
It is not enough to dream and wish. We must do!
Making life happen. After coffee. Oh, alright, WITH coffee.

EXIT THIS WAY.

Ready? We’ll do this together. Deep breath, here we go.

Cue Goldmember voice "I love goldddddddddd!!!"
Cue Goldmember voice “I love goldddddddddd!!!”

ONE

Starting from the top, we need to take a moment to organise our thoughts. Clarifying our intention and setting ourself a goal. Just one goal. I found loads of really cute printables that listed space to write down five goals. Or at least three goals. For each goal, one would then write down three actions. So if you had listed five goals, that’s fifteen actions.

Phew.

That seems like a lot, to start with. Too much. Let’s turn around. I miss the folks back in Procrastination.

But one goal? I can handle that. Quick tip: A goal that is short-term; measurable; and reasonably specific is even better. I have great big goals and under that umbrella I have smaller goals which add up towards those great big ones. I’m focusing on the small ones first. These are the stepping stones towards the more long-term ones.

Ok, so one goal. Let’s start there. Babysteps. Ease into it.

STEP ONE: Write down one short-term goal you have. And add the words “Start working on” in front of the goal and at the end of the goal write “today”. Someday is not a day. Soon is vague. Let’s start today. 

Here’s mine:

Start working on editing one yoga tutorial today.

There! That wasn’t so bad, was it?

Notice I didn’t write “Start working on my entire backlog of videos today.” I’m setting myself up for success by making my goal as simple as possible.

TWO

STEP TWO: Think about the why behind the goal. Why this? Why is it SO important to you? What do you stand to gain?

That’s your motivation right there. And if you don’t go about trying to achieve this goal, this is what you stand to lose or miss out on. We may not lose anything at all, but we might end up wasting a lot of time wondering. Are you comfortable with all the ‘whatif’ moments?

Because we’re only thinking about one goal at a time, this isn’t too time consuming either.

THREE

STEP THREE: So what is stopping you? These are your obstacles that you need to muster the strength to overcome. 

For each obstacle, you can go take a look at your why section again for inspiration to come up with ways to tackle them. Tell yourself, “Today is the day I take action.”

FOUR

Today I take action

STEP FOUR: Now list three actions that can get you started on your goal. Just three, and make them really bite sized chunks.  

My three actions are:

  1. Select the footage to keep and to clip out.
  2. Add music and any annotations.
  3. Make notes for when I can record my voiceover.

Babysteps
 
Whilst I still can’t record my voiceover, I CAN make notes of what I will record so I am ready to go as soon as my voice comes back. That way I don’t lose any momentum. When I finish these actions, I can add another three actions. When I finish those, I add another three actions. And so on until I find goal achieved!

FIVE

STEP FIVE: Give yourself credit and a big pat on the back when you make it to this step! Nice going!!!

NEXT GOAL PLEASE! 

I hope that was helpful to you. If you’ll excuse me I have some video editing to do now. Chat soon, please let me know how you go with finding your way out of Procrastination! xx

Image

Predicting the future

If we wish to predict the future,

then we must create it. 

It is that simple. 

Life is very simple, it is just our habit to complicate things. 

You are powerful beyond all measure

The truth is that we are powerful beyond measure.

We are the decider in our lives.

We can choose where to plant our feet and where our footsteps lead us. 

Let’s start living in alignment with the life we dream of.

And then get read to watch our dreams come to life.

xx

Gallery

“Dear Friend” or “To Soup, With Love”

JOE (V.O.)
I am in Vancouver.

He stops… Hits the delete button and erases the message.
He starts typing again:

JOE (V.O.)
I was stuck in a meeting, which I
couldn’t get out of it, and there was
no phone.

He backspaces to erase “there was no phone.”

Screen now reads: I was stuck in a meeting, which I couldn’t
get out of it. Joe sits there thinking for a moment. Then he
starts typing.

JOE (V.O., cont’d)
The electricity went out in the building
and we were trapped on the 18th floor and
the telephone system blew too.

He stops and looks at it. Then he types:

JOE (V.O., cont’d)
Amazingly enough.

He sits looking at it.

Then he deletes the whole thing.

Sits looking at the blank screen.

Excerpt from 

You’ve Got Mail

by Nora Ephron & Delia Ephron

Based on:
The Shop Around The corner

by Nikolaus Laszlo
2nd Final White revised
February 2, 1998

I have lost count the number of times I have watched You’ve Got Mail. And the number of times I think of that scene with Tom Hanks trying to explain himself. Deleting the keys (two finger typing style) and then making a mawkish expression at his dog who is very much #judgingyourightnow. I have been Joe for the last, oh, however long it has been. I had drafted a whole bunch of things but stopped short of posting until now. I won’t go on much further in case I delete everything and am back to staring at a blank screen. But this is where I am today. Here I am, enjoying the familiar.

Catching up on laundry. Staring at these printable daily organisation template thingys on Pinterest. Wondering who prints all this out? And then uses them everyday? Wondering how people have it so together they can organise their Pinterest boards so neatly. Getting up every hour or so to stretch my back out on my yoga mat. In my bathrobe. Trying to remember if I took my vitamins this morning or if that was yesterday morning. Scratching my head over a Sudoku puzzle that just has me stumped. Scooping minestrone-ish rice soup into a bowl. Ah, the soup. Now, that’s good stuff. When my youngest brother was in preschool, I would pick him up after school and walk him home. He told me on one of these walks that his favourite morning tea snack was tomato sauce and rice, all for 40 cents from the tuck shop. I remember being his age and loving tomato sauce with rice as well. Tomato flavoured anything. I still remember the look of bemusement that flitted across my father’s face as he watched me merrily dousing my fried rice in tomato sauce. There was an Italian restaurant that my family frequented when I was little. An entire wall was covered with hooks and resting on each hook was a two handled stoneware soup bowl. My memory leads me to remember that each bowl had a name emblazoned across it, or perhaps just under the hook, only for the most regular of customers although my mind stops short of deluding me into thinking that I had one with my own name on it. Although considering I drank enough minestrone in that place…

I still love minestrone but perhaps times have changed. It never tastes quite the same as when I used to scoop it out from that scratchy stoneware bowl, always trying not to scrape the bottom, but unable not to, whilst my parents exchange greetings with the owner as he brings out the chianti.

Minestrone-ish Rice Soup to eat in your bathrobe

You need (the quantities are guessed, I will tell you now that I am absolutely terrible at estimating):

Passata, say 500ml or a tin or two of tomatoes, whatever you have

Knob of butter (or not)

Splash of cooking oil (I use coconut oil but olive oil is good too)

Spring onion, a stem, chopped, or an onion, chopped

Carrot, one or two, chopped

Potato, one or two, chopped, if you have any (or none at all)

One cup of rice, rinsed

Your choice of greens, rinsed to hurl in at the end

Basil, oregano, parsley – fresh or dried

black pepper

teaspoon of sugar (only as needed to counter the acidity of the tomatoes, I used coconut sugar)

Vegetable stock cube + 500ml or vegetable stock, 500ml

Method: 

Hurl butter into a hot saucepan with the oil so the butter does not burn.

Add the chopped carrots and onion in. If you wish you can sprinkle a little salt on the onion so that it does not burn but if you stir diligently you will be safe.

Sauté for 5 minutes or so then add the potato if you have any. 

A few more minutes and then in with the passata/tomato situation that is available to you. Be prepared for splattering. Add the water or stock (lucky you!). I had a half bottle of passata so I just filled it with water to get the last dregs of red pulp out into the pan. Bring to a boil. Throw in stock cube, pepper, sprinkle in dried herbs if using them. In with the rice.

In the end the sugar was needed so that went in as well. You may or may not need salt, I didn’t. Then simmer until the rice is soft. I like my greens just, just done so I turned off the heat and then stirred in English spinach. 

Chuck on the fresh herbs if you have any and black pepper. Dash of butter or olive oil on top if you’re feeling fancy/indulgent. 

Eat in bathrobe. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to hearts content. Avoid staining fuzzy socks.

Hours later, discover bathrobe needs to be soaked.

Video

Hurrah for Yoga in Pyjamas

Heyyy! How have you been?

I know, I have been away for so so so long. I missed you though! I will totally update you on what I have been up to one of these days. But, let’s get down to business, yoga business.

Please can we pretend I said that in a Morgan Freeman type voice.

Are you wondering if I was away doing a Masters in how to be even more cheesy? Maybe I was.

ANYWHO, I promised I would upload a yoga video for the Not So Flexible.

Let’s make it a series!

High five to those of you who, like me, roll out of bed and are almost deafened by the sound of creaking as you stumble around the place. And you also struggle with identifying the difference between words and grunting. Oh, aaaaaand you feel incredibly un-coordinated and any kind of activity that involves looking graceful and fluid just leaves you standing there on the spot, blinking with a thought bubble hovering over your head that goes, “NOPE”.

Enter: a very short session for easing into the morning. This little segment takes about 2 minutes so you don’t need to worry that you will lose your spot in the queue for the shower/someone will finish all the coffee. Well done, by the way, if you have a queueing system for who gets to use the bathroom next. We sort of have an “I’ll scissor-paper-stone you for it”/arm wrestle system.

So, ok, not really a system.

Shall we get moving? I didn’t bother with an introductory greeting (who can speak coherently in the morning?! besides, we’ve already met) so be prepared to just hop straight to it.

Super important: Please be kind to your body, practice safely and I really hope you enjoy! No judgement here if you head straight back to bed with your coffee/tea/cat/dog/human/all the above/etc afterwards. That’s just awesome!

If you’re already at work for the day, then just give this a go when you get home. Ixnay on the changing into PJs in the office, unless you work at home, then, cool, go nuts!

Chat soon X

Good morning!

If you’re anything like me, it doesn’t matter how much stretching happens at night, when you wake up in the morning you can just about hear everything creaking as you start to move around… into the kitchen to make coffee. Ha!

So here’s a really short easy sequence you can do to help you ease into the day. Whilst the coffee brews. No special equipment needed and you can do it in your pyjamas.

You can repeat this sequence as many times as you like just be sure to take it slow and gently to give your body a chance to awaken. Please please please listen to your body, practice safely and enjoy!

Thanks so much for watching. Please let me know if you enjoyed that and if you have any special requests, comment down below. X

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YOGA ALL DAY

Why am I shouting the title at you?

Sorry, I’m a little deaf these days, there’s constant hammering away in the apartment above my head since we last chatted. They’re doing it to drive me crazy renovating.

float

Hence why, I still haven’t uploaded that video I have been promising! I need to construct a sound proof room first which reminds me of the old music room at my school. I would go there every lunchtime for piano lessons. The entire room was wall-papered with egg cartons and painted blue to accord with the school colour. The effect was, uh, very crafty and three-dimensional. But aside from being quite visually effective the egg cartons really didn’t work very well.

Which brings me back to where I am seated right now. It sounds like the people upstairs are diligently tinkering away with teeny tiny hammers and chisels at the ceiling above my head. Which makes me imagine they are either chiseling a statue or they are trying to tunnel their way into my apartment.

Am I annoyed? Sort of, I guess I’m half laughing at the imagery and half wishing the noise would stop. I am distracted by the incessant tunnelling hammering. That’s what is getting me, that I am allowing myself to be distracted and affected by this external activity. It is beyond my environment so why is it having such a huge impact on me?

It is just like in yoga classes, if you have had the fortune to experience, when a person, perhaps on a mat next to you is a REALLY LOUD BREATHER. Really, really, really loud. There is silence all around, except a sort of hum of coordinated movements and breathing… then this fantastically pervasive rasping sound emanating from the person next to you. Has that ever bothered you?

Or how about if the lady next to you in her struggle to do any postures is blustering and swearing away. “Oh geez. Oh !@#$%^&*#@#@***” on and on and on she goes for the entire ninety minutes. She hangs in there for the full class. She has paid her entry fee and by *&$#@ is she gonna get every last #$@&* minute out of that @#$%^&* session.

What about the self-appointed class joker (hey, why did you look at me for?) on the other side of the room, who takes it upon himself, everytime the teacher claims says “One more breath here” to do a countdown “Five, four, three, two aaaaaaaaaand ONEEEEEEEEEE!!!”

EVERY. TIME. No one laughs after the first time. But he persists.

Or what about the person who is just too sweaty? Or the showoff? Or the two ladies who won’t stop talking in the back? Or the person who doesn’t smell nice? Or the person who is wearing hardly anything and you can see right up their bandha?

The list could go on and on ad nauseum.

Well? Do you recognise these people? Do you think to yourself, “What classes do you attend, and why haven’t these people been thrown out?!”

Well, these people don’t just go to yoga classes. They also show up in your life. They’re in the supermarket, at your workplace, at uni, they’re on the bus with you, the train. Yep, sometimes they’re in the guise of your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, best friend, mum, dad, or child or brother, whatever.

And they’re doing something and it just bothers the bejeezers out of you.

What is a ‘bejeezer’? You don’t even know. You’re just so annoyed right now you’re creating new words. Oxford Dictionary look out, coming soon your way, get ready to take notes.  

Oh, and of course you’re not being nitpicky. It’s them. Right? It’s always them.

Do they have to do that? And in that way?*

YES THEY HAVE TO. And the more that it bothers you, the more they have to do that.

If you have ever experienced this then my suggestion is below. It seems to snap me out of my egg-cartoned mindset quick-smart. What works for me, might work for you. If you have never experienced this, well done, I guess you can carry on reading for entertainment?

Here’s the solution: Change your mind. Leave the world alone. Your world will evolve with time to fit the shape of your mind. You can make it as easy or as hard as you like, as I like to tell my students about our yoga practice. The choice is yours. You can struggle, or you can float. You do get to choose. You always have a choice.

Take a good look at these supposed ‘challengers’ and be glad they exist. They’re your true teachers. You will learn more from them than a workshop with a ‘celebrity’ yoga instructor. These are the teachers that teach you how to live. And they do it so effortlessly.

“Look at

all your fellow

humans and name

them accurately.

‘Brother.’

‘Sister.'”

– Erich Schiffman

I have met all sorts of teachers in yoga classes and I have to say over the years I still catch myself feeling exasperated and yes, distracted! It happens less and less but it still happens sometimes! Sometimes it’s the small, seemingly insignificant things that trip me up the hardest. I forget and think, “I am beyond that point. I love life. I love everyone. I’m fine.”

And then bang! I totally walk on my floaty cloud feelings into that trap my mind has set for me. I’m no longer practising yoga when that happens. I’m in somethingsomething-asana but it’s just a shape my body happens to be in. Because at that point, I have chosen to be more important than anyone else, more deserving to be there than anyone else and have decided that my comfort is more important than the comfort of anyone else, there in that class room. How egotistical does that sound when said out loud?

Instead of saying, “Oh, they’re so ANNOYING” but instead to phrase that as “I’m more important than they are.”

Yeesh! No, we have left yoga at that point. We’re just sweating and bending and stretching.

No yoga there. Just ego.

Oh, beware the ego trap! It is there all day everyday. There will never be a day when you reach nirvana and the trap is no longer set for you. You need to be on alert at all times. Be present in the moment. Live mindfully and completely in each moment. Question yourself.

And so, this is what I mean by

YOGA ALL DAY.

You do have to shout that a little at yourself, to get it through, past that ego trap. It has egg cartons painted in a hideous colour to distract you to the point of rage from realising that you have fallen deep inside. You can hear the sounds of life around you, but all you can see are those cartons. You are blind to the lesson in front of you.

There is far more to yoga than just yoga as I say. Our ability to do the splits, to touch our toes with our legs straight, or to stick one leg behind our head or stand on our head will not insulate us from the lessons of life. The ability to do any of those things are just acrobatic.

The goal of yoga is to cultivate an attitude of equanimity and one of compassion.

We’re all in this together, some of us swearing away, some of us panting loudly, some of us excitedly talking, some of us silently and we’re all chiseling away at this unshaped rock to make sense of our life purpose and find our way. When we look to our left and right and see we’re all trying in our different ways to do the same thing, live our lives any which way we can, the scales fall from our eyes, and the sounds and activities of life become what they always have been. Just a soundtrack of life.

Don’t get distracted by the soundtrack to your life.

Breathe. Practice your yoga all day. Know your fellow humans by name. Thank your teachers.

And between you and me, I don’t know what it is, maybe the renovations have finished upstairs, but I can’t hear any noise anymore. It is perfectly silent. All I can hear is the sound of my breathing and the sound of my fingers tapping on the keyboard.

Thank you thank you thank you. x

*Sometimes we are those very same people. We may not think it, but someone somewhere may be looking at us with disdain and think, “Oh go somewhere else, will ya?” How hurt would we feel if someone said to us that what we were doing was supremely irritating to them? Did we even aim our actions at them? Nope! We were just doing our own thing, right? Funny, that. Hmm. 

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Monday Mornings in the Kitchen

How was your weekend?

Sometimes I’ll catch up with friends and they’ll want to know what B and I do for our weekends. In truth we do a whole lot of nothing. And we LOVE it.

On Saturdays I might teach a class or two in the morning time whilst B sleeps in. And then we’ll head out for coffee and a bit of lunch. Sometimes yum cha. Don’t be surprised, of course I get into yum cha. It’s been a while so on Saturday afternoon I whipped up some focaccia to have with some cold things for dinner.

Sunday mornings we lounge around in our baggy t-shirts, having brekkie, coffee (me), homemade chocolate milk (him) until one or the other of us decides it really is time to get off the couch. We usually spend Sunday afternoon at the market stocking up and then stop by the car wash before spending the evening at home watching whatever the Powers-That-Be decide to air on tv.

We watched Divergent last night and felt so lost (what’s going on? what mean Divergent? Abne-who? erudite, what it do? why does everyone only wear black? what happened to Jennifer Lawrence? oh, she’s not in this?), I kept expecting to see some zombies for some reason. At certain points in the movie, I’d turn to B and say, “This would be a perfect time for some zombies.” Meanwhile, both of us were googling the plot synopsis to figure out what on earth was happening. Thank you IMDB.

I don’t know if B and I are the kind of couple other people would want to hang out on the couch and watch tv with because of our running commentary.

B: Is his name Four?

Me: Yeah, like the number.

B: I need to look up this Divergent movie.

Me: Make sure you search for ‘synopsis’, plot summary tells you nothing.

B: On it.

Me: (looking up from IMDB) you know he’s from Sydney?

B: No, you don’t say.

Me: Yeah. Says so right here.

B: What website are you reading the story line from?

On the screen, Shailene Woodley asks the man named after a number if she can see his tattoo.

B rolls his eyes at me.

I roll them back and send mine after them.

Me: You know she drinks clay water too?

B: Really? Wow.

Now Shailene is saying to Four she has no idea who she is anymore.

Me: You’re Mrs Four.

B: You’re Divergent.

Both of us: You’re welcome.

B: Do you think I’m a Divergent? (perks eyebrows meaningfully, whilst retrieving his imaginary gun from his imaginary holster)

Me: Definitely. It’s written all over your face. (nods solemnly)

B looks pleased.

Later that night in bed:

B: What does ‘divergent’ mean, by the way?

Me: Um. Away from normal.

B: I thought so.

Et cetera. And that is how we watch tv in this household. Which might not be for everyone.

Also not for everyone is cooking fish. People can be so nervous about cooking fish. I know I was to begin with. It’s really quite simple – so don’t be scurred!, as someone once said to me in a nightclub. I must have looked petrified. And I was. Especially after they said that.

Anyway.

To begin, I’ll help you get started with what I made for B to bring for lunch today. It’s so so so easy, which is always helpful on a Monday morning when I’m stumbling into the kitchen still trying to identify my elbow from my knee.

What you’ll need:

Piece of fish fillet with skin on. We picked up some gorgeous salmon yesterday but white fish is fine too.

Oil of your choice (I went with extra virgin coconut oil)

Bit of butter

Parsley, good quality sea salt and cracked black pepper

Ready? Here we go:

Grab fish out of the fridge.

Heat up the pan.

Whilst the pan heats up, pat dry the fish fillet with a paper towel, sprinkle bit of salt/pepper each side of the fish.

Add a good glug of oil to the pan and let that heat up. If you’re using a nonstick sort of pan, you may use less oil.

Place the fillet, skin side down in the pan. You will hear some very satisfying bubbling sounds as the skin starts to schleeerrrpppp! and crisp up in the pan.

Give that about 5 minutes to do it’s thing, just have the fire around medium to high. This would be a good time to chop the parsley, rinse some tomatoes, tear up some basil. Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with cracked pepper/salt and throw the basil on top.

Back to the salmon: very gently, turn the fillet skin side up now. Depending on the thickness of the fillet this could do with just 1 minute or another 2 minutes. Don’t forget though that when you take the fillet off the heat to rest, it will still continue to cook through.

Now, this is a good time to throw in that knob of butter to melt into the pan. Sprinkle of parsley, maybe more pepper and you have a buttery sauce for your salmon. Although, I will just mention here that a good quality mustard (whole grain or Dijon) or just a squeeze of lemon goes very nicely. But I forgot about the lemon this morning because VERY EARLY IN THE MORNING.

Take the salmon out of the pan and let it rest to one side. To know if it is cooked you can do the loving squeeze test – squeeze the fillet gently with thumb and index finger. It should be firm but not rock solid (very cooked) or still squishy (bit raw).

If you find the fish is really overcooked, panic not. You can get two forks and just flake the fish and turn it into a salmon salad. Have no fear!

Anyway, you should be fine! When you’re ready to serve it up or pack it into a lunch box, chuck more parsley up top, drizzle some of that butter sauce over the top. I will admit to spending far longer than I liked trying to navigate how to pack everything in. Finally settled on having the avocado stand in as a makeshift bowl for the tomato and basil. And then I squeezed in a slice of focaccia for B to mop up any juices and smear the avocado onto. Clamped the lid down and took a victorious sip of coffee from a mug the size of my face.

Fait accompli! Just took me a while is all.

Waste not, want not. Remember that basil? After you rip the leaves off the basil stalk, plonk it into a glass of water. You will have the most gorgeous, refreshing infusion of water to drink.

Trophy please?

Never mind! B just texted me to say lunch was good. Awwwwwwww. Fuzzy feelings.

But please do try it, if it’s something you’ve always wanted to get on to, and let me know how you go! You’ll do great, I know it! Have you watched Divergent? What did you think?

Happy Monday! xx

 

Before You Begin – CAN You Do It? The Requirements of Yoga

Before You Begin – CAN You Do It? The Requirements of Yoga

Alright, alright, I hear you. Time to talk about yoga.

Let’s start from the top and talk about the REQUIREMENTS. Whaddya need and whaddya need to do. 

You need your body. Check.

And just enough space to swing your arms around you.  Check.

That’s it! You’re golden. Good to go.

There are no true requirements or criteria. Anyone can do it. You, me, Dupree, anyone.

People who learn that I teach yoga will usually say one of two things.

One: “Can you teach me? I’ve always wanted to learn yoga.

Two: “Oh… I have always wanted to learn yoga. But you know, I’m just not flexible enough,” sometimes with an added “and now it’s too late.”

Somewhere along the line, as yoga has become more known, this criteria of possessing existing flexibility has fluttered into existence. But is there such a requirement?

No, of course not!

You won’t be turned away at the doorsteps of a yoga class if you can’t bend over and touch your toes with your legs kept straight. There’s no secret handshake to gain entry. There is no audition to become a student of yoga. A teacher won’t ever say to you, “I’m sorry. There’s just nothing we can do here.

Over time with practice, one will start to see improvement in flexibility. But one does not need to be anything in particular to begin with. One just has to want to.

I remember when I was in primary school and failing miserably at a fitness test. Alright, timeout for a bit so everyone can have a good laugh. But no, seriously, I was really terrible at this test.

One component was the flexibility measure, and you had to plant your feet flat against a wall, and reach your hands along the floor towards feet whilst keeping your legs straight. I was truly a sorry sight. I will never forget it. I could not get my fingertips beyond my knees. I had the P.E. teacher trying to help me along, just about climbing onto my back to sort of wedge me closer to my feet. No one had ever seen anyone so hopeless. I mystified the entire staff. So young. So stiff. How is this possible? What does this mean? She is CLEARLY not trying.

Thinking about it now has me laughing so hard. The look on the teachers faces.

Some of us are born naturally flexible. I was not one of those. I have a reasonably bendy back but I still have those days when I reach for my toes and I feel like I have a metre extra of leg length that I could really have used in my torso area. So if we’re talking about candidates for yoga, I would not be what the general populace would consider ‘yoga material’. Have heart, friend.

Have you ever seen that cartoon of Batman and Robin? It pops up from time to time on social media. The one where Robin starts to say, “But I’m not flexible enough…” and before he completes his sentence Batman has slapped Robin so hard across the face his head must be spinning, yelling, “That’s why you do yoga!” It’s obviously a joke and completely not appropriate for any of us to walk around town responding to people Batman-style. We’ll talk about yoga and the practice of non-violence another time. Baby steps, hey.

I think it is great to encourage people to find what is good for their bodies but one needs to walk the line and not transform into a vigilante in the process. Health vigilantes can be especially tiresome. Especially when they have just made the transition into health-lover. Probably because they have all that extra newfound energy. Quite often, a person who has just discovered how incredible they feel after modifying their lifestyle to include working out, eating well, yoga-ing and so on, will then start to hound everyone in their circle to do the same. No one is safe. NO ONE. Everyone will be forced to listen to the benefits of spinning and kale smoothies.

If I had a dollar for everytime a pal of mine would bemoan their partner constantly nagging them to do whatever life-changing activity they have discovered, I’d have a quite a bit of money.

He loses 5 kg and now all day long he keeps telling me I should start running. UGH.

If she mentions the gym one more time…” (voice fades to ominous silence)

He just isn’t listening to me! I don’t want to!

That last one is especially telling. It’s about choice.

I learnt a long time ago that people will do what they will do when they want to and when they are ready to. And not a single microsecond before that. I’ve been blessed to have some incredible students, all of whom have heard some variation of the “You can’t make people do what they don’t want to do, no matter how good it is for them” speech. But it’s hard, I know, in the aftermath of a practice session, all those lovely endorphins and whatnot floating around. Sometimes one just can’t help wanting to share this little secret under the tip of their nose.

If only they knew!” I can just about read the thought bubble over their head.

That’s usually when I find myself wedged in that awkward conversational space between two people, one of whom is a student of mine, feeling glorious after Savasana (it’s the one where you lie down and look like you’re asleep) and the other, a friend of theirs and not a student of mine. Student will pipe up, apropos of nothing, “You should learn yoga from Dom!

By the way, my name is Dominique. Hi.

Non-student will look extremely apologetic and say,”Oh…. I would. I really would. But I’m not flexible enough.

Before I can open my mouth to express understanding and try to turn the conversation to some other topic, Student will exclaim, “That’s why you should do yoga!” Student then turns to me for confirmation. “Am I right? Right?!”

I can just about see the Batman light glowing in the distant skyline. We just need a cape, and a poor disguise and we’re there.

(Who is Batman even kidding by the way? I’ll just cover my eyebrows, and wear this pointy eared thing and I will look totally different. Him and Superman with the glasses. We are not fooled. We are just being polite and going with it.)

Where was I? Awkwardland, yes. Gah.

What my student heard was, “I have been given to understand that one must be flexible to practice yoga. I am not flexible enough, therefore, I cannot do yoga. Such is my life.

What I heard was, “I don’t want to. I’m trying to be polite and not offend anyone. Here is a reason so we can all move on. Away from yoga. Please. Let me live my life.

That’s what I heard. Should I take what the person has said at face-value? Possibly. But what I have learnt is that a person who has been wanting to do yoga, but felt they were not flexible enough, would have immediately turned to me and asked for themselves, “Can you still teach me? I’m not flexible.

If that question had been posed to me, then I would say this:

You do not need to be young, flexible or physically able. It is fine if you do not have a background in gymnastics or ballet. Perfectly ok.

It doesn’t even matter what shape or size you come in either. An acquaintance of B’s once turned to him, after meeting me, and exclaimed with relief, “I’m so glad she isn’t thin! I thought I was too fat to do yoga.”

So if you were thinking something similar, I hope that answers that.

You don’t even need to be fit. There is really only one requirement:

You must not, absolutely cannot, be lazy.

You just can’t.

” Every one can do yoga, young, old or sick people. Only lazy people cannot do yoga.”
R. Sharath Jois

And, as long as you aren’t lazy, you can do yoga.

We can even break the idea of laziness down to choice. A person who wants to and chooses to do yoga will never ever be too lazy to do something about it.

It is not so much can you or can’t you, or may you, but will you or won’t you. Do you want to?

If you read this, and thank you by the way, but if you read this, chances are very high that you want to do yoga. Chances are extremely high that you are not lazy. Therefore, you can do yoga. Please never let yourself worry about the need to be flexible enough anymore.

 

Are you still worried about the flexibility thing? Or the not fit thing?

Have no fear, I’m editing, hopefully in time for the weekend, a video of a short yoga practice you can do no matter how inflexible you are.

If I can get the spinning rainbow wheel to stop turning, that is. Talk about will it or won’t it.

Go edit yourself!
Yes, I am now at that point in video editing where I wave my wand and hope this video will edit itself. Maybe I should try the mouse.

 

For starters, here is what you can do. Hop up and walk to your mirror. Look into your reflection and say the following:

“I am clever and capable of doing anything I want to. I want to do yoga.”

By the way, the above works for anything. Not just yoga. You are never not enough for anything. You are just the right amount of you to do whatever it is you want to do.

Have an amazing weekend! We’ll chat soon! xx

 

 

 

Journal Series #1

Journal Series #1

Do you journal? I try to always keep with me something to write in for whenever I see or hear something interesting to me. If I experienced something that makes me laugh out loud. A random stray thought for a possible short story or just something I want to keep, an amusing voice that emerged from my internal monologue. Usually along the lines of what makes me laugh because aren’t those the things that make for the best memories?

A typical diary entry for me looks like this

I don't sneeze as loud as I used to. Still pretty loud though.
I don’t sneeze as loud as I used to. Still pretty loud though. Room to grow, room to grow.

Maybe think about giving it a go.* It’s a new week, why not? No pressure or anything, but you may find it interesting to have a look over the kind of things that catch your attention. Are they mostly positive or negative? Keeping a journal has been really helpful for me as a tool to practice mindfulness. You don’t need to be on best behaviour, just be natural! You don’t need to be cool.

What does ‘be cool’ even mean? I wouldn’t know.

Your scribblings are private, unless you post it on the internets like what I just did here, so you can feel completely safe about voicing and taking ownership of what is going on inside your mind. Observe your thoughts, without judgement, and just practise being a witness. This is step one in approaching stillness and calmness. These journals you keep become a crucible for your thoughts. And then eventually you can start to observe, whether or not, your insides match your outsides.

Journals don’t need to be extensive insightful works of art. This is where I lost focus and used to give up the exercise after a few days. The idea of having to produce fantastically clever essays in tidy journals used to put me off because I essentially gave myself performance anxiety. I was getting all angsty about making the leap from my 9 year old self who wrote things like “Today I had school. It was nice.” to Homer and writing the sequel to Odyssey. The pressure was just TOO MUCH and I was getting self-conscious with myself. I would look back on what I wrote a few weeks back and groannnJust don’t get too worked up the way I did, like most things, getting to know your internal voice takes some getting used to. Practice kindness! Be kind to yourself! Don’t get too serious about it!

(Now I remind me of my neighbour. Yelling words of kind encouragement. You KNOW I mean well.)

You might be able to tell sometimes my internal voice does not take me seriously at all. Sometimes meaning most times.

Oh! Speaking of exciting, something else I did today besides sneeze loudly: I learnt how to really, really get the tarnish off my silver jewellery really, really quick and easy. Because who has time to sit there really, REALLY polishing silver like an extra on Downton Abbey? Not us.

The results are very satisfying. I don’t mean to sound like an infommercialinfomercialinformercial, informmercialI GIVE UP, infommercial. If you’re interested, I’ll be posting the how-to up in the next few days. I’m heading next door to say hello to my neighbour.

My spell check insists that ‘infommercial’ should be spelt ‘informercial’ or ‘infomercial’. Mmm, I don’t know, you guys. I’m experiencing that face a person makes when a word looks wrong even when spell check says otherwise. Help me out?

*Hmm, realised after posting that the rules of grammar would suggest I meant sneezing loudly and then hiding. And then I found the idea that I suggest people sneeze loudly very funny indeed so not bothering. Can we pretend I was using a witty writing device?

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First Things First. Hello! But Firstest, Coffee.

Firstest? What.

Hello. Hi. Welcome to my world! So nice to meet you! It’s about to get even nicer for me as I’m about to get started on my pot of cold brew coffee. Have you ever had any? Give it a go! And then we can have a chat over our mutual love of cold brew. You just need filtered water and good coffee, soak the coffee for 12-18 hours and then strain, pop the liquid in the fridge to keep. It’s less acidic than the traditional method of brewing but it takes longer. I feel like this method can make even the worst quality of ground coffee I may come across taste pleasant. It’s not a miracle method but it certainly improves a situation of disappointing coffee. There’s a sweeter, rounder tone to cold brew and it keeps in the fridge for ages. Unless you finish it all. Then, no, it does not keep for long at all. I make a batch at night and by morning all I need to do is strain, pour and drink. That plus ice cubes and a dash of milk equals a really smooth ice coffee. Too easy ✌️let me know if you give it a go! xx

Precise recipe below.

It’s pretty straight forward, click on the photos to enter gallery mode if you’d like to really get in close!

It was only a matter of time before I discovered cold brew coffee. After I lugged my espresso machine all the way over here from Sydney first. That’s how I do. I’m all about taking the scenic route in life.

1 Hurl ground coffee into glass jar (I use my plunger but you can use a jar), I use about 3 heaped scoops plus 1 extra whattheheck scoop for good measure. Scoop away! Precision, precision, precision.

2 Fill her up with filtered water and stir the coffee enthusiastically so every coffee ground gets coated. Best to use wooden utensils not metal. There’s a fancy science reason for that. I guess, if you made me, I could go into that. (Your call! Let me know in the comments below!)

3 Option to wipe up mess, sip existing coffee.

4 Cover (I used a ziplock baggie, although glad wrap works too) and let stand for 12-18 hours. I leave my jar out on the counter overnight.

You could pop it in the fridge but I did some research and it doesn’t make much difference and not everyone has that kind of real estate in the fridge just hanging out. Certainly no such room in my fridge anyway. Would you like a tour of my fridge one day? I love peeking inside fridges. Oh, and wardrobes too. 

Confession: I haven’t always waited the full 12 hours. Hee. I was THIRSTAY. I’d say try to hang in there for at least 8 hours. You should be sleeping a minimum of 8 hours anyway so.. just stir, leave it alone and go to bed! By the time you roll out of bed, everything is ready!

5 Strain the liquid from the grounds, using a paper coffee filter or paper hand towel to line the strainer, although at this time of the morning I don’t always line the strainer. (I can’t lie, by that I mean I never line the strainer, it’s metal. In my mind the stirring with chopsticks is plenty of effort) So I just push down on the plunger and pour into a jar for storing in the fridge or straight onto a glass of ice for drinking. Usually the second thing.

6 Those with willpower can put the strained liquid into the fridge to chill whilst the rest of us can serve immediately over ice cubes, with rice/almond/soy/cow/goat milk or no milk at all.

Tadaaaah!

SOOO good, right? Let me know what you make of the cold brew method if you give this a go and tell me a little about yourself!

So nice meeting you! x

Pregnancy Update

Pregnancy Update

I am really lucky that my pregnancy so far has been really easy and I thought I’d share how things have been going in that department.

How far along? I’m currently 37 weeks pregnant, so not too long to go for me now, phew! I’ve loved being pregnant although oh my gosh, the constant need to go pee but I’m excited to see the baby at last. And to stop counting time in weeks.

How big is the baby? The size of a serving tray of madeleines according to my app. I feel like this is subjective depending on how much a person likes madeleines. Ooh, remind me to share my oatmeal cookie recipe!

How am I doing? Symptoms wise I don’t have any complaints. I just need to pee quite often and I feel the heat a lot more than before I was pregnant. Usually during summer I’d be charging down to the beach but at this stage of the pregnancy it’s just too darn hot for me. I’m also really aware that whilst I can sweat to cool down the baby can’t so I’m trying to be considerate at the same time haha. And yeah the not sleeping thing. If I’m lucky I can sleep for three hours in a full block but lately I’ve noticed that if I play meditation music I can sleep up to five hours which is awesome. I’ve been feeling really cheerful this whole pregnancy even though somedays I really am so so so tired! I think the meditation helps with that. And I’ve been super lucky not to have any back pain. I’m still doing Pilates and yoga on the regular which helps keep things strong.

How much weight have I gained? I don’t know. We don’t have any scales at home because we don’t weigh ourselves and when I go in for checkups no one ever asks to weigh me. I didn’t know how much i weighed before I was pregnant either anyway. The midwife measures my bump and at my last one my measurements matched the number of weeks I was so I guess everything is normal in that department. I know that in terms of clothing sizes, I’ve gone from a UK size 10 fitting loosely to a UK size 12 to 14 depending on the cut of the clothing. Most of the weight has gone to my boobs and obviously my bump so I went up a size so that tops and dresses would cover my bump haha. There’s one dress that I bought online in several colours and sizes because it was so comfortable. I’ve pretty much been living in that. At home I still wear my usual clothes because no one sees anyway.

Which brings me to…

I suppose partly because of what I do, I get a lot of people scrutinising my changing body shape and appearance but when I think back I always get that type of attention even when I work as a lawyer or way back when I was a teenager. From some people, not everyone. But enough for me to notice! This is a weird subject for me,  how people can be so fascinated by my body that they pay such close attention and feel like they can tell me what they think about it. My husband? My mother? My health provider? Sure, ok. People I see twice a year for lunch? I dunno. People I just met? I mean, really. I feel like there are more fun or important things we could chat about. It’s even more surprising that instead of less comments people feel like they can comment more about my body now that I am pregnant. WHY. When did we decide this was ok?

One day was particularly rough for me when I kept getting hounded by some women to say how many kilograms I had put on through this pregnancy and they wouldn’t believe me when I said I honestly didn’t know. B told me that they later asked him the same thing when I wasn’t around. As if he weighs me in my sleep?! It kind of hurt my feelings that time but I put my reaction down to having not slept a single minute the night before and fighting off a throat infection. There’s no question that I am big now, I’m due in just a few weeks! But I’ve been told that I look SO HUGE since halfway through my pregnancy and I got a few of the, “Are you sure it’s not twins, har har?” line. Would you believe I was told by the same person early on that I looked really big and then a few months later she said, “You look so big now. Before you still looked really small.” It gets really confusing if you take in everyone’s opinions. Sometimes I wondered because I got so many of those comments that maybe I am really big for how far along I was but then I went in to get measured as part of my checkup and was told that I’m perfectly on track. A few weeks ago a woman said really loudly in front of everyone in the group, “WOW you’re really big” and repeated it a few times for good measure. What she didn’t know was that a few days ago I had gone in for a regular checkup to be told I was measuring slightly smaller than I was meant to be. It was really worrying me at the time but luckily the baby is all caught up now and that is all that matters to me.

I just wonder about what if I was someone who had or still has an eating disorder or a less loving relationship with my body and was now hearing these things? What about my baby listening in on every conversation and hearing how focused people are on weight? How would all that make me feel about my changing body which is working hard at growing a human inside? What would that do to how I felt about my baby? Does it not occur to people that they might affect someone? But maybe they sense that I’m generally pretty resilient so they just give me all those comments instead of someone more vulnerable. I kind of hope so but unfortunately I don’t think that’s the case. One of B’s friends was saying that his wife HATED pregnancy because of all the comments about how big she was getting. That was her one complaint. How horrible to get so put off by what is supposed to be such an amazing experience!

I feel really good about myself so it’s not a huge deal for me. I can walk away from these comments and get on with having an amazing day. I love my baby belly and it’s so amazing to feel my baby swimming around inside all day long. I also get a lot of compliments too which helps with not feeling all that bothered. A lot of people are just excited to see and touch the bump and I totally appreciate that. You can see their whole face light up when they look at it. A friend of mine was saying it might be because everything else seems to be close to the same and it’s just this bump entering the room before I do that makes people say I look so big. Meanwhile I’m going to miss walking around feeling like I’ve got a golden egg on me. I really like it! It’s so round and shiny (especially after I’ve exfoliated haha).

Pregnancy update - baby in my belly

Something to remember is that these things can be really subjective unless the comments are coming from the people who look after your unborn baby. Also, sometimes people don’t mean to be hurtful, they just aren’t very careful or mindful with their words. Best not to assume anything about their true intentions and just let the words tumble off your shoulder like water. Some weeks you might feel like nothing is happening and other weeks it feels like the baby is growing faster. All the while people might just think you look big blah blah blah. Another thing is appearances could have something to do with your build and also your genetics. Some women don’t appear to look pregnant at all whereas others, like me, do. I have a short torso compared to my legs and arms so there isn’t much space for my bump to spread out and this entire pregnancy I have been carrying really high so it kinda just sticks out there. There are those women who have very small baby bumps even up to the birth of the baby and others who have really big bumps early on in their pregnancy. The only thing that matters is that you and the baby are healthy!

I still remember how excited I was when my bump finally started to show! Finally my bump was catching up with my boobs which were getting honestly, wayyyyyyyyy too much attention from randoms. I remember standing in a shop and hearing a guy comment on the size of my chest to the girl standing next to him and the girl smacking him and saying, “She’s pregnant you idiot!” Neither of them had realised I could understand their dialect. It wasn’t long after that that the baby in my belly was then big enough for me to feel the kicking. So much fun and no comment from anyone could ever take away how enjoyable the experience has been for me.

Anyway this all came out a bit jumbled and rambly but I just thought I would share my experience. If there was one ugh part to pregnancy that wasn’t to do with the constant need to pee and not much sleep it would be those comments. I’m lucky that I have been feeling really mentally and physically strong this pregnancy plus I have so much love and support around me. I felt the need to say something in case other women are walking around feeling bothered. I totally understand it’s not nice to experience! Just eat healthfully, drink plenty of water, exercise safely and don’t let those things get to you! Opinions like that don’t pay the bills and they won’t nourish your baby! Pay attention to what the professionals looking after your health and the health of your baby say. Some people just don’t consider that what they say can matter so in that case you can just tell yourself that they’re right, their words really don’t matter!!

Meanwhile if you aren’t pregnant but you have found yourself experiencing the urge to comment please pause and really think about the impact you could have on someone. What are you trying to say and what purpose does it serve?

Any cravings? Not really. I’m even ok with going without watermelon and oranges for days at a time haha. I’m still eating them although not because I crave them anymore but because I want to keep my immune boosted and watermelon was a good way to stay hydrated in this heatwave situation we were having here in Sydney. I’d be just as happy with ice water. I read somewhere that if your nutritional needs are well met you’re less likely to experience cravings.

Any aversions? Not really either. I’m really low maintenance, I think.

Have I got stretch marks? I can’t see LOL! I think they show up more if they are there once the baby is out. For now all I can see are blue veins. My veins have always been really easy to see through my skin and I can see loads around my tummy at times. My mum didn’t get any stretch marks having me either so we’ll see if the genes are strong in me! I was getting a wax with my beautician who I’ve been seeing for years and she commented that I didn’t have any. I asked her about my theory that they show up more after but she was like, “Nope, if they’re not there, they’re won’t be there on the other side.” HAHAHA she cracks me up. Anyway for now, I don’t have any according to people who have seen me naked.

But like I said, I can’t see for myself and in that sense I am going by what other women are telling me.

Does the baby kick a lot? The baby was kicking quite a bit before but lately as my bump has gotten bigger the movements feel more swishy and fluid like. It’s pretty funny to watch the skin on my tummy ripple around. I think the baby is just happy doing some tai chi style moves in there but the really STRONG kinds. This baby is literally pushing the roof and the walls out as far as they’ll go.

Baby bump with rainbow crystal

Do we have any names chosen? Yes we have a few we love but obviously we’d like to just wait until the baby is out before saying anything.

Am I planning a natural birth? Yes! But I am trying to stay okay with whatever happens.

Am I nervous about labour? Super nervous haha but oh well, hopefully I’ll be able to stay focused on breathing and it won’t take so long that I get hungry or something lol.

Have I got everything ready for the baby? Not yet, yikes! That’s what I’ll be busy doing for the next few weeks I figure. I’ve just been ordering things from online and I’ll let you know what I ended up getting. I’m currently doing loads and loads of washing of all the baby clothes I ordered, I found some really great websites so will share soon. Meanwhile, this is ONE BATCH. Yeesh!

baby-clothes-laundry-day

But omigosh if it even makes any sense, Mum and I both went nuts when I finished hanging these teeny tiny clothes out on the line. She’s still cooing over the cuteness and I agree. It’s ridiculous how cute they look.

Also. Is it crazy I totally wish this beanie came in my size? I mean. Lookatit.

bunny rabbit forest beanie from NEXT

That’s pretty much it. If you’re currently pregnant or have been pregnant and want to share your experiences, I’d love to hear from you! xo

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Valentine’s Blah Blah Let’s Order A Pizza Day [Moodboard]

Valentine’s Blah Blah Let’s Order A Pizza Day [Moodboard]

What is Valentine’s Day to you? Chocolates? Roses? Candle lit dinner?

I’m thinking pizza (haven’t had any in a year, can you believe???), sarcasm and The Simpsons. And some chocolates would be nice, actually. 

I hope you’re having a lovely day, whether you spend it with someone special, someone silly, all the above or just by yourself (also nice!). 

💋🍕

Mmmmmm pizza! 

Homer Marge Simpson You Love MePizza ValentineHomer Simpson ValentineLove Goggles Puppy Love Free KissesI heart pancakesCheap Monday Buy me pizzaBio Chemistry RomanceFlashing lights romance kissNeon red sign lightTen things I hate about you want you to want meCouple GoalsHey I love youBe my idiot valentineIf he loves you Nikkita GillTimberland true loveNutella solves everythingTrue love right here in my pizzaAttention pleaseI love your crazyYour love is safeWhen you're sad I'm hereKiss NeonLove me neon pinkPlease be naked neon pink lightsTacos Not Romance ActionsPeter Pan Wendy KissCuddly Marshal HIMYM(All images from weheartit.com)