Colour me in tight jeans

JANSALADADAY_LONG

This summer has been a bit pants on the weather front. Sure there has been some nice days but there has been a lot of super not nice days. Cold days in fact. Like 19 degrees in summer. WTF?

When I turned 40 in September last year, the spring weather turned on a fine 18 degree day and we were all sunglasses and look at this sunshine.

But on a 19 degree day in January, I am thinking about wearing jeans. Jeans in January suck because jeans in January are usually tight. Jeans that were not that tight before Christmas. Boo to you calories and your jean tightening ways.

Immediately after squishing the zip up on one of my jean wearing days I sunk into a state of miserable. My first response was that my self esteem and my happiness are 100% connected. Having said that, at the height of my anxiety I was at my skinniest in years and I still felt awful. So then what is it bout a tight pair of jeans that has forced me into a state of mild melancholy?

Reality.

The reality is that whilst I have been chomping down on rad salads, I’ve also been knocking back booze at an impressive rate. Plus potato crisps, dips, chocolate, cake, bread…whoa. I would stay stop but clearly I don’t know how to either. Talk about not taking my own medicine.

Reality bites hard, doesn’t it? What a bummer.

But I am not quite ready to be spurred into action. I wonder why.

Perhaps I need the slow time and the extra calories that comes with the holidays.

Perhaps I need the lack of disciplined exercise although I am walking several kilometres each day and planking and doing some Pilates work.

Perhaps my body is crying out for it to stop for a while.

Doubt it. I suspect my body is crying out for my digestive system to be given a break. It’s saying, “Yo Anna, lay off those calories would you and chuck down a green smoothie girl!”

Yup, THAT is what it is saying.

I’ll get back into the swing of things. Perhaps today is a particularly bad day in terms of feeling blergh. Tiredness and the lack of routine of the school holidays are a dangerous combination sometimes. And in the blink of an eye I’ll be craving it again when our over stuffed schedules explode between now and Easter.

But now, salads.

DAY FOURTEEN : roast chook | mesclun | red onion | red + yellow cherry tomatoes | nectarines | goats cheese | basil | {balsamic, honey + olive oil dressing}

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DAY FIFTEEN : iceberg | mango | prawns cooked in garlic + red chilli | parsley | guacamole {avocado, yellow cherry tomatoes + lime juice}

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DAY SIXTEEN : mesclun | roast chook warmed in coconut oil | 7 grain wholewheat sourdough croutons | yellow cherry tomatoes | avocado | goats cheese | {basil, lime juice + olive oil dressing}

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DAY SEVENTEEN : chickpeas | red onion | cherry tomatoes | spinach | parsley | feta slash fetta | olive oil

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DAY EIGHTEEN : shredded midi cos lettuce | cucumber | parmesan | {mint, lemon juice + olive oil dressing}

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DAY NINETEEN : quinoa | black chia seeds | toasted pistachios | mint | parsley | preserved lemon | lemon juice | olive oil

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By the way, aside from asking who stole summer I’d also like to know, who stole January?

Colour me snapped

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I do love this social media thang. It keeps me happy to be honest. I love taking a moment to escape from my frantic reality and focus on little bits of other people’s reality. I don’t worry myself with their perfect looking houses or children as some of my own photographs are deliberately styled that way. And if after a while, their little snippets of perfection become too much to bear then a simple unfollow is as easy as the follow. Social media is fickle like that but just like the ebbs and flows of reality, the little snippets of unreality will go up and down too.

But every now and then you make a connection with an online person that you genuinely want to hang out in real life with. And that is exactly what happened when I discovered the simple gorgeousness of Milk Please Mum aka Tahnee aka pretty fucking rad chick. {Tahnee likes a swear word too so that f-bomb is dedicated solely to her radness.}

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But Tahnee and I have both been busy in 2014. So busy in fact that it took from January to November for us to be able to meet up, photograph the chaotic Kemp gang and then now, for me, another month or more to share this wonderfulness with you all. Whoops. But, if the adage is true that good things come to those who wait, then our patience and life juggling has certainly been rewarded.

I don’t think my heart could love this any more than the deliriously beautiful capture of my little slice of happiness that it is. I think I constantly get caught up in the every day that I don’t appreciate the beauty in what the every day gives me…my family. The milk drinking, sandpit playing, netball throwing, tea making chaos of happiness. It is my chaos. Thank you Tahnee for showing it to me.

Check out what Tahnee has to say and share here

Then watch this. Please. And smile.

Colour my little family full of health and love.

Colour me full of yellow – happiness + optimism.

What a glorious finale to my #yearoffriendships2014. Amen.

 

 

Colour me feta slash fetta

JANSALADADAY_LONG

Welcome to #fetaorfettagate

There’s been a bit of debate about whether fetta slash feta has one t or two.

According to I Give You The Verbs, feta means to slice. Then Kimba Likes explained that the Greeks use one t and the Italians use two.

I asked, what about the Danish version and what if it is crumbled? We haven’t even discussed the Persian version.

Either way fetta slash feta had been featuring highly on my salads. As have giant home grown lettuces.

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I’ve also been thinking a lot about some things I’d like to do in 2015. I don’t set resolutions so these are kinda bucket list items. I wonder if I will do any of them.

In no particular order, among the intentions that I set here, I’d like to learn to surf. I don’t know why, it just looks like fun.

I’d also like to run a half marathon. This does not look like fun. I will attempt it this year with the River’s Gift crew. The Baker is joining me but he is thinking about running a marathon because, crazy. Anyone else keen?

And I’d like to learn an instrument. I am completely tone deaf so it could prove interesting. I would love to learn the drums but I suspect it will be something more accessible like the piano or guitar. I am hoping to pick up all the cool chicks. Oh, wait…

And you know what, if I don’t do any of them then that is okay too.

DAY SEVEN SALAD ONE : this guest salad is from the gorgeous Style & Shenanigans who collected her brood and visited us on the Bellarine | hopefully next time will be a longer stay | italian pasta salad | pasta | green beans | prosciutto | red onion | basil | {mustard, lemon + mayonnaise dressing}

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DAY SEVEN SALAD TWO : giant home grown lettuce | baby cucumber | avocado | shaved parmesan | toasted pine nuts

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DAY EIGHT SALAD ONE : greek yoghurt | strawberries | raspberries | blackberries | blueberries | coconut chips

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DAY EIGHT SALAD TWO : chargrilled zucchini ribbons | quinoa | red chilli | parsley | toasted pine nuts | goat’s cheese

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DAY NINE : broccolini | red + yellow cherry tomatoes | rye sourdough crumbs from La Madre Bakery | feta slash fetta

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DAY TEN : home grown salad greens | fennel | haloumi | pomegranate | 100 % spelt sourdough croutons from La Madre Bakery | fennel fronds | snow pea sprouts | {yoghurt, anchovy, garlic, lemon juice + lemon rind dressing}

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DAY ELEVEN : rocket | spinach | broccolini | quinoa | avocado | peas | feta slash fetta | {pistachio pesto dressing}

{this was made by my lovely friend Georgie who you can follow on instagram @lifestyle_thermomix }

{recipe link here}

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DAY TWELVE : roasted cauliflower with sumac | pomegranate | toasted almonds | mint leaves | feta slash fetta

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DAY THIRTEEN : the snack salad | strawberries | raspberries | blackberries | blueberries | honey + cinnamon roasted almonds for a touch of #saladwanker | mint leaves

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So there you have it. Intentions wrapped up in non-resolutions charading as bucket list items. Salads galore. And #fetaorfettagate

How do you spell feta slash fetta?

Colour me a salad summer-y

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You like that play on words huh? Summary. Summer-y.

Sometimes I outdo myself. Amazing literary skills right there. Stay tuned for more of that folks…there is plenty of dagginess behind these pages.

It seems that this salad thing is quite popular. This makes me happy. As does eating salad. So here is the week that was in salad eating…

You can check out my DAY ONE salads here.

DAY TWO : chickpeas {‘marinated’ in garlic, olive oil, lemon juice + chopped parsley} | shaved parmesan | baby spinach

{This recipe was featured in Marie Claire’s Off the Shelf by Donna Hay}

I am not a massive fan of chickpeas but this is a winner. And it tastes even better the next day.

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DAY THREE: chicken breasts cooked in coconut oil | vermicelli rice noodles | carrots | snow peas | mint | {dressing of fish sauce, lime juice, honey + chilli}

To make this even easier, I should have used a barbecued chook and then the only cooking would have been to boil the kettle for the noodles!

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DAY FOUR : iceberg lettuce cut into wedges | {dressing of feta, greek yoghurt, lemon juice + olive oil} | chopped chives

{This recipe was taken from a delicious magazine, published in February 2013}

I needed to add a little water to the dressing as the feta I used was quite thick. It would have made the dressing a little runnier.

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DAY FIVE SALAD ONE : breakfast salad | rocket | Christmas ham | scrambled egg with pesto | coffee

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DAY FIVE SALAD TWO : wombok cabbage | radish | peas | mint | parmesan | red chilli | lime juice | olive oil

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DAY SIX : roasted sweet potato | bacon | pine nuts | {buttermilk, lime juice + parsley dressing} | rocket | watercress

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So there is week one with a plethora of healthy eating for you. There is a definite correlation for me with self esteem and diet. I have been gobbling some ace salads but a fair few beers and sweet treats too. My aim in the next week is to curb the sugar cravings and refocus back on my gut health. Expect to see some fermented vegetables soon!

What salad adventures have you been getting up to?

Colour me a lettuce leaf

JANSALADADAY_LONG

It’s baaaaaack!

I started #jansaladaday a few years back in the wake of an overindulgent festive season. You been there too? Well I was feeling blergh.

What I didn’t appreciate was the connection between eating well and a clearer, calmer head. Seriously, the connection is phenomenal. If we feed our bodies healthy, nutritious food that tastes amazing the health benefits are far greater than our waistlines. If 90% of serotonin (our bodies feel good chemical) lives in our gut then it makes complete sense to look after that gut. When I talk for beyondblue I can often be heard saying, “if you eat shit you feel shit.” And it really is as simple as that.

I have been working on a whole raft of gut healing habits to give myself the best fighting chance. I’ve been drinking bone broth (I call it beef jelly – squirm!) along with fermented miso and nori sheets. I am not loving it but I am noticing a few things – my hair, nails and skin are improving as is my bowel regularity. There is a lot of talk of poo in this house!

I’ll talk this year a bit more about how I colour myself well. Little tips and tricks that have worked for me and may help you too. Does that sound like something you’d be interested in? I do hope so.

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I have also set a list of New Year’s intentions. I don’t do resolutions. Here they are:

In 2015, I intend to continue to nourish my body, heal my gut, exercise for my head, manage my anxiety, hug my kids hard, live in the moment and calm the fuck down. 

But first, salad! It is not all lettuce leaves and counting calories. It is actually none of that. It is about eating great food and making it fun. So today, and for the next month my Facebook page and Instagram feed will be full of salady yummity. Each week I will do a salad round up and share recipes. There will be guest salads and fruit salads and big salads and take away salads and even a deconstructed salad because, wanker. I will only promise one thing, I am not going to take myself too seriously. It is an intention. Plus I am not a food stylist, chef, nutritionist or photographer. I am a mum of four who is trying to eat well in January.

So here are not one, but two new salads on day one of #jansaladaday for 2015. Because you guys rock and I am feeling generous.

DAY ONE SALAD ONE : cherry tomatoes | lemon rind | torn mozzarella | torn basil

{Torn because it is both fun and sounds a bit wankerish. I throw a whole lot of avocado oil on the top and this is seriously the easiest salad you’ll ever make}

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DAY ONE SALAD TWO : couscous | goats cheese | toasted pistachios | pistachio dukkah | mango | snow pea sprouts | lime juice | avocado oil

{This would be equally great with quinoa for a gluten free version or roasted pumpkin instead of mango for a fruit free version}

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We are off, so it seems. Happy New Year and I hope to see you and your salady faces soon.

Colour me festive perspective

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Festive Perspective

Forget the tinsel around the tree

Or the gifts all wrapped up perfectly

Do not put the decorations in a pattern

Nor dress the children up in satin

Don’t worry about the twinkle lights

That will still sparkle on a summer’s night

But pause for a moment to reflect on our being

And take time out from disagreeing

Care not about silver that remains unpolished

For the Christmas pudding will soon be demolished

Enjoy the sound of the champagne flowing

And remark at the speed your children are growing

Who will remember the sparkling floors

Or that you exhausted yourself with chores

Don’t clip the dog before December

There is still time in January, if you remember

That person you missed on the social calendar

Will still appreciate your friendship and candour

Fret less about finding the perfect present

What you have will be more than pleasant

Do not lie awake at night stressing

Be grateful for life and all of its blessings

There are no perfect words upon a card

Don’t make the sentiment so hard

Concern yourself not with the ideal clothes

But delight in those you love the most

Fuss over the kids but give them perspective

Remember your words are most effective

Hug them hard as you tuck them in tight

For Christmas morning is a true delight

Lament not the early morning waking

But delight in the noise the children are making

Recycle the wrapping and clean the mess after

The delight is now so join in the laughter

Watch the children in wonder on their new wheels

And laugh in joy as you hear their squeals

Pop all the crackers and moan at the jokes

Wear paper hats with all the old blokes

Play backyard cricket and drop every catch

No one will remember who won the match

Sip on eggnog and nap on the sofa

Before too long the day will be over

Load up the car with children asleep

And file this memory as one you will keep

Bask in the wonder that is all love and kisses

And have yourself a Merry Christmas

Colour me back, baby. Maybe.

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There’s been a deathly silence here. It’s not that I haven’t been writing, in fact the opposite is true. I’ve been writing a lot. But I haven’t hit publish.

There’s been writing in my day job for GT Magazine and a bit for some friends’ blogs. Plus I have been emptying my head with my own words and feelings. Some days I want to share these and quite often, I don’t.

The truth is that emptying my head, baring my soul and sharing these often painful, confusing words here is both cathartic and exhausting. So sometimes I just don’t want to.

This is why, for the past little while, I haven’t shared. I’ve been content processing in my personal silence. This quiet space has been therapeutic for me.

I’ve always been a big sharer. An over sharer even. A great communicator. Perhaps I talk too much. Either way, I’m just being me.

But my head has been busy. My body has been reacting to some of the head stress I’ve put it under. There’s been the return of my adrenal fatigue and my sacral iliac joint pain meaning that my beloved running has been put on hold. Adrenal fatigue means my resilience is challenged so I’m less tolerant than usual and often unable to manage myself as well as I’d like.

Health wise, my Vitamin D fell through the floor so a quick trip to Bali and several months of drops should fix that. Plus I’m detoxifying excess oestrogen out of my body and boosting my GABA levels. It’s working but it’s slooooooow. There are days when I rock my own socks off and days when I can hardly get my socks back on.

A lot of this I can accept but it takes a lot of patience. I don’t think I was given a tremendously large supply of patience at birth. It’s not in my genetic makeup. But as they say, life isn’t meant to be easy. Some days it would be really nice if it was hey?

I’m gearing up for an awesome Christmas. I freaking love the festive season. But I do feel a bit like I’ll just fall over the finish line. It’s been a big year. They all seem to be big now.

We lost the Baker’s dad in January. I then spent two terms getting one of the kids through a tough personal battle. She’s blown me away with her resilience and I’ve learnt a lot about myself and parenting along the way. But it’s been stressful. Add to the mix a crazy sports schedule for the kids plus my own running. Then two kids had surgery in the past few months and one this week. I’m sure there’s more but I feel exhausted just listing all that.

So forgive my silence but it’s been great for my head. I’ll get back, baby but it’ll be at my own pace. In my own time. I can’t put deadlines on myself at the moment for my life is doing a fine job of that. I just want to manage my crazy well. That’s not too much to ask in my book. Managing crazy takes a lot of effort.

Colour me whatever colour you’d like. I’m not colouring myself today. I’m just grateful for a moment of silence for my head has it rarely. I’d like to sit in that quiet for a while.

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