Category Archives: Blogging

Mindfulness…

I have been reading my little book on living the mindfulness life.

I have enforced a few changes into our home life to try and make it a little more calm.

A big one for me is social media and our phones we are always on them. Now when we get home we make a effort to have tea at the table and when we sit down to watch a show on the TV no phones. I personally love it cos when I do speak to MK then I get a focused response and not a grunt and also works the other way.

 

All so made a effort to pick a show and watch it together and I had to work on not watching mindless shows that don’t have any content. This mainly involves not watching reality TV. Even at work I have stopped listening to podcast while I work as am focusing on being present at the task on hand. It does work I feel a lot more focused at work and I feel at home I’m more productive and really enjoy the TV show we choose to watch. The conversations with MK are no longer ones while one is looking at their mobile.

It is incredibly hard to break the habit of a life time and this is what its about. Your first thought in a morning is more then likely a negative thought… so trying to change that to a positive thought sounds easy but its not. I am enjoying the book and what I am learning I believe is the right way for me to live so I am training myself to change the way I think to have a more positive and calmer approach to life. Yes I do still get stressed but I will learn to manage it in a better / productive and not destructive way.

I have started Yoga twice a week to work on inner core strength. I just do it at home for half an hour when I gt in from work. Right now i feel no benefit apart from I have 0 balance and its hard work!

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Dirty …3-0

I just turned 30…and I have done a lot of thinking about the past and what I have done. I spent a lot of time measuring my experiences and what I had accomplished over the last 30 years… that I forgot to look towards the future.

Don’t get me wrong I think reflection is a great exercise but you cant get to caught up in it. I became a little obsessed listing everything I had done to try and justify to myself that it was okay to turn 30…When I should have been thinking wow I’ve done a lot of things I wanted to and have amazing memories, I am also so happy right now and looking forward to the next 30 years of adventures life has in store for me.

From my mindfulness reading I have really focused on the being present in the moment. I need to reflect on what I have achieved at the right time so I don’t miss the moments happening now.

The blog is the perfect time to reflect and below I have added  a few of my favorite photos of my favorite memories over the past years.

 

Zip-lining through NSW

On our last day over the long weekend we went to Illawarra Fly Treetop for the afternoon.

We drove up from Kiama which is a scenic drive. It is a lot cooler up there so make sure you take a sweater to pop on. We had signed up to do the zip lining which included a ticket to do the Treetop walk.

At the entrance there is a cafe and lockers. Make sure you have your camera or phone on a strap you are allowed no loose items on the zip line. They do sell covers with a string for phones at the ticket office.

You go into a hut for a safety brief and to have all your equipment fitted. I am really afraid of heights and I have been working on this. The safety talk really helped calm my nerves…plus seeing 6 year old children in the group helped me think I could do this.

You walk to the start of the course which is on the side of the valley. The course consists of 3 zip lines and 2 suspension bridges. The bridges were my biggest challenge as I had to look down to get across. There is someone at each station to help you set off and someone to help you land safely from the zip line.

The course goes across he valley and you are at one point around 35 meters high. The views are great and flying over the trees is a lot of fun. The zip lines are clamped on to the tree to prevent damaging it. They also have people out to make sure nothing is damaging the forest. It goes across the valley because they didn’t want to move any trees for the course.

After the zip-lining we did the Treetop walk which has the most amazing views. If you are brave enough you can walk up the tower and to the end of the suspension walk which does move around in the wind.

Unfortunately we didn’t have anything for our camera to be attached to us so we have no photos….just one of the trees on the drive up!

Camping Season.

Summer is starting to appear which means… camping season is here!!!

We have already dusted off the tent and went away the long weekend at the end of September.

Having left it last minute we really struggled to find a campsite…FYI long weekends in Australia book up so fast don’t do what we did. Luckily our friends who are also tent warriors went camping to Kiama and let us know about a site they stayed on and it so happened to have a few spots left on the long weekend.

The campsite Killalea is in a national park which is home to two Surf reserves. It’s only a hour and a half drive out of Sydney. Perfect for a weekend escape out of the city. There is a locked gate if you arrive late at night and your access code is in the confirmation email ( we did not figure this out and tailgated someone in) don’t tail gate as you can get a fine. The sites are all marked out with logs and have a fire burner on each site. The reception sells fire wood. There is also a kitchen and a bathroom block. We didn’t use the kitchen apart from the kettle and the sinks to wash up. But the grills were always busy so must be in good working conditions.

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You can walk to both beaches. We walked to Mystic beach and then drove down to “The Farm” beach. The beaches are beautiful long stretches and obviously the sea is full of waves and surfers. It is not a swimming beach but its great to go and lay out and watch the surfers. You are provided a map and there are also signs to the footpath for the beach. You are a 10 minute drive into Kiama which is the nearest town.

Kiama is well known for the blow hole (also Kiama is aboriginal for blow hole). It is a small coastal town very pretty and has old style shops. There are lots of places to eat. We ate at the Hungry Monkey for breakfast – great food and great service. Ritzy Gritz for dinner – the food was okay nothing special but we did have good service. Thai @ Kiama – we had our last dinner there which was really good Thai and good service. You just need to book on a weekend in this town. We didn’t on the first night and struggled to get in anywhere.

We spent the day on the beach at the campsite on one of the days. Sunday we explored the area. We walked over to Cathedral Rocks which are a jagged rock formation on the coast. There were lots of fisherman  on the rocks so watch out for there catch of fish in the rock pools. To get to the rocks we walked through Boneyard Beach. We tried Bombo Beach but again it was rough seas for surfing not made for a dip. We decided to head back to Boneyard beach as the water was calm and we could lay on the grass. Added bonus there were loads of dogs around. MK was brave enough for a dip and did a but of snorkeling. He said there were a few fish but it was to cold to stay in there for to long. The shops in Kiama are full of vintage treasures, home made food, English treats (yes there is a English shop), candles, dream catchers and many more well being hippie type of shops….which we love!

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We will be back down in Kiama in November with the surf board and hopefully warmer water 🙂

 

$$Budget Sydney-when it doesn’t work out$$

This weekend was a lot of ups and downs. I wanted to cross another activity off my list …camping. I had everything ready Thursday night so we could make a quick escape after work. MK decided he didn’t want to leave that late on a Friday and I didn’t think there was much point going Saturday morning as the campsite was 3 hours away…we were once again in Sydney for the weekend. 
I was not to happy about this but Saturday turned out to be really productive and a lot of those things on the to do list got crossed off….we were adulting well for a few hours 🤜🏼
I did go out for lunch at a cafe in Marrickville called Roastville cafe. It does a amazing breakfast but I tried the lunch options. I had the chicken waffles and a coffee. The portion sizes were massive so you leave very full and the food tasted unreal …I was one happy customer!

That evening we caught the bus into Newtown and went to Dendy to finally see I.T

I am the biggest fan of scary movies. I loved I.T it was scary, smart, funny and charming. The storyline was brilliant and the young actors in the movie did a great job of not making it cheesy. 

Walking back to the bus stop we decided to stop off for a drink and try a new bar (favourite hobby). I got to pick and I chose The Midnight Special…it’s a small bar blasting rock and roll / blues music. The place is covered in retro posters and spray paint. I only took one photo of the toilets. It had a chilled atmosphere and great music. Nice little find on the way home.

As I spent a bit of money on Saturday I wanted a low key Sunday. Since as I didn’t knock off camping this weekend we decided to try knock going for a hike off the list. We found a hike around Hornsby that was 6K. We drove out to Hornsby but you can get there by train. 

We walked to the start of the trail according to the map and could not find the entrance to the track at all. We did come across Mountain biking tracks which looked a lot of fun and new. We came to the conclusion the walk did not exist and the biking tracks must have replaced it. Bit of a failure on the hike front. We did grab a coffee in Dee Why though and sat on the beach with our big walking boots on. The sun was out and it got me excited for summer!


Cost

Lunch $25

Cinema Ticket $21

Two Beers $18

Coffee $4
Total weekend spend $68 probably around $75 with transport fees as well. 

$$ Budget Sydney $$

I stayed in last weekend and it was okay. I decided on Sunday to knock off one of the items I listed in my last blog about budget. I got the train to St James. Then I walked up to the top of Botanical Gardens and through the park to Mrs Maquire Chair. MK has been in Australia for 5 years and had never been so I decieded I’d show him one of the top tourist attractions in Australia. On the way I stopped at the Pop of Bar in there Busby’s for our Sunday treat. I had a gin and tonic looking over the Opera House and the harbour bridge. 

After our drink we made it to the chair area which was surrounded by tourists. Then we decided to head back around the Opera House to see if we could spot the seal. There is a seal that likes to sunbath at the Opera House stairs. Unfortunately the seal was not home when we got there. We continued to walk round the Opera House and to Circular Quey where we joined the Yes Rally which was going on in the CBD. We stayed and listened to the speakers and watched everyone in there colourful outfits and amazing signs. We decieded to go home via Wynyard as Circular Quey was packed! 


The sun was out all afternoon it was beautiful. It was very calm and relaxing afternoon taking in those beautiful city views I feel we take for granted. 

Spent…

Train to St James: $2.56

Train from Wynyard $0.16

Gin and Tonic $ 10
So in total for the weekend I spent $12.72 
Believe me it was so tempting to sit there all day and have some Sunday drinks…but for now this will do ☺️

Cooking School Sydney

I had been gifted a voucher for Sydney Cooking School from my dad. He had in fact got my sister, her boyfriend, my boyfriend and myself a voucher for Christmas. We have just got around to using it!
We all decided on the Middle Eastern course. Last Saturday we headed to Neutral Bay to the school. Parking is a bit of a nightmare round there. We parked in the shopping centre opposite the school. The first two hours are free and we used three so it cost $8 in total.
Paul was our instructor for the morning. Once the aprons where on he began explaining what we would be cooking. All the ingredients is prepped only a little bit of chopping to be done. The tips we received from Paul about salt, oil, BBQ and cooking fish were very useful and stuff you would use at home.

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I am no cook and I don’t enjoy cooking as I find it stressful. I really did enjoy the morning because it was all laid out in front of you and minimal knowledge was required. If you are into cooking then you learn a new dish and also can ask any questions to your instructor you may have.
After we had our main dish cooking we went through to the back which was a outside area covered by a wooden terrace. There was a huge table and a beer from the fridge for us. Paul finished off our food on the BBQ. After enjoying the amazing food…and it was mouth watering we were all given the recipe. Paul also mentioned if you attempted any dish and it didn’t work…simply email the school and within a week they would contact you and help you work out where you went wrong.

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What I did learn which is key to my issues cooking …’time and temperature’. I always try to do everything at top heat and as fast as possible. Last nights tea was a lot better then normal, everything was cooked slowly and on a medium heat.

I would never have done this unless I was gifted it…I would recommend this as a gift for anyone. It’s a different start to your Saturday morning and you get lunch and dinner for the day!

Thanks Dad!

Click here for the Sydney Cooking School website