Monday, 31 October 2016


"I wish it could be Halloween every day!" the Little One said to me when it was all over, her loot spread all over the living room rug. 33 treats in total.

Since she was 2 we've tried to embrace Halloween. Having been a fan of anything spooky and scary from a young age. Though she's finally growing out of that now. This year she asked to be "A Witch's Black Cat." This was the only photo i managed to snap before my phone died.

This year the local "village" near her dad's put on an event for the littlies hosted by the local independent children's bookstore The Little Bookroom.

Was gorgeous seeing all the kiddos dressed up and following the trail from the local cafe and bike shop up to the independent toy store popping into all the shops they usually shop in or walk past, bumping into familiar locals. Along the way they picked up a mini horn for their bikes from the bike shop, spider cupcakes from the bakery, glow in the dark bands from the bookstore, mixed lollies from the convenience store, etc.

When the event concluded we rescued her dad from work and went trick or treating in the streets. All the houses that were participating were decked out in fake cobwebs, skeletons, spiders, or had signs letting people know there were treats inside. We only did two streets before she complained of her bucket being too heavy to carry. I think I counted around 150 kids and that was just in 2 streets! It was a phenomenal turnout. The costume standouts were a mini Donald Trump with his own wall, a mini Darth Vader, and a zombie surgeon covered in blood.

In the week leading up to Halloween we prepared each night by settling in to watch old episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark? on youtube. Though they seemed to be more sedative than scary as she fell asleep during every episode!

After dinner I read to her the books we picked up at the bookstore. First up was 'What do Werewolves Do When It's Not Halloween' by a local author. Then we finished with a few pages from this irresistible edition of 'Picnic At Hanging Rock'.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

What i've learnt about myself from taking up boxing

I find a lot of stuff people do to keep in shape or get fit or tone up really rather boring. Running bores me, lifting weights bores me (and gives my body the wrong sort of shape), exercise classes both bore me and confuse me, yoga ... i don't even really understand the point of yoga except to just have a really good stretch which i can take or leave. In the past the only things i have enjoyed is hiking and hill sprints. Basically anything that involves a hill excites me. I grew up on a hill so perhaps it's muscle memory kicking in?

I had always meant to start boxing because the idea of being allowed to punch something was really exciting. But without a proper trainer i knew i'd just be wasting my time. Being able to hold the pads for someone is a gift, IMO. It takes a lot of skill to do it right. It was the Little One's father who introduced me to my trainer who, shall we say, is a bit of a character and i keep returning because he is, by far, one of the best in the biz.

I've flirted with boxing before. Mostly just doing circuit training (skipping, body weights, heavy bag, speed bag, etc) but i never stuck it out because to be quite honest it's one of the hardest most exhausting fitness regimes i've ever done.

When i started this year in late February i was about 54ish kgs and had hoped to drop some weight and tone up. It didn't quite work out that way. I also started with not being able to do 100 straight punches in a row, struggling to finish 3min x 3 of skipping to warm up, barely being able to get through a 45 mins without wanting to throw up/die/pass out/vomit.

    Mayweather style padwork (my favorite style)

Currently, as of Oct 18, i am 58/60kg, i can skip for 9 minutes straight and then some, i can do 100 straight punches followed by 100 uppercuts in a row without a rest, i can blitz through 18 rounds (2 min x 18) in a session going at maximum strength, i can spar for 3min x 3 with an opponent (by far the hardest thing of all IMO.) I have pretty much been turned into a machine.

And yet ... i've never been pudgier or more wobbly or, dare i say it, fat.

What i realised is, even though i am working out and probably burning around 500-800 calories per session 3-4 times a week, that doesn't afford me to eat whatever i want. My body is quite efficient and really doesn't need much extra fuel.

    Gennady Golovkin, my favorite of all boxers.

    Freddie Roach, training basics.

I have experimented with a lot with different food to give me the maximum amount of energy needed to complete a session. And what does it all come back to? 1/4 cup of oats and three dates. That's it. That's all my body needs to smash it out. Plus 100gms of lean protein post workout.

It's amazing as well as disappointing at the same time to know how little exercise affects my weight. That weight loss/body sculpting is 90% diet. That my trainer, who trains 6-8 clients per day, plus adding his own workout at night time, still struggles with the pudge. And yet, we're probably right now about as fit as we'll ever be in our entire lives.

If i want my slim size 6 body back for summer I gotta go old school in my approach: counting calories, watching portions, and keeping a food diary. Reminding myself that exercise is not a license to go wild with food and alcohol.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Spring Uniform

Can't say i've been very adventurous for spring. The weather certainly hasn't been inspiring. Seriously cold weather, rain, with patches of sun. The weather is absolutely all over the place. There's a reason why spring is my least favorite season and this is it. And the wind, oh the wind! My least favorite aspect of spring!

The Little One asked me on our way to kinder why the weather was so all over the place. I tried to make it sound really magical and explained that the wind blew the seeds and the sun and rain provided the perfect conditions in which they could germinate. So basically i embellished to cover Spring's ass.

Anyway, this is what i've basically been living in.

Outfit 1.

J. Crew sweater, Danni Minogue Petites for Target, Country Road pants, Manolo Blahnik lepoard flats (for illustrative purposes only - mine are Michael Kors)

Outfit 2.


J. Crew long sleeved cotton t, Country Road pants, Walnut canvas slip-on sneakers

I am pretty much obsessed with these Country Road pants. They are seriously comfy and hit right where i want at the ankle. They're the 'Side Pocket Sateen Jean'. I plan on buying a few more especially in white, black and charcoal.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Current Skincare Regime to Combat Dryness & Aging

It seems that no matter how much water i drink it doesn't hydrate my skin as much as it should. I'm getting to that age now where dry skin has become an issue and wrinkles are on the horizon. Not only that but the drier my skin the more prone to breakouts I am.

After getting some great advice from the therapist at Miss Fox, trialing some products, ordering some more from Adore Beauty this is my current regime to enhance moisture, tackle breakouts, target fine lines and burgeoning wrinkles and plump up my skin as best i can without resorting to treatments or injectables.

I bought this on a whim and though it's not amazing nor is it bad it's the smell i'm addicted to. It does the job, that's all that matters.
Aspect's Extreme B17 was recommended to me at Miss Fox and holy crap, I can't live without this now. It is incredible stuff for boosting moisture.

Though I can take or leave this it has helped in noticeably fading my pigmentation. Though it would take hardcore intervention to eradicate the majority of it.

By faaar my favorite over-the-counter daily moisturiser. In fact, i don't find the need for a big brand moisturiser when using this. My skin loves this stuff and it leaves it looking fresh and dewy.

Bought this on a whim after over a year of using Neutrogena's Anti Wrinkle night cream and I much prefer this. So far so good!

To be honest i don't think this stuff does anything. I just use it because it's fascinating to see how much oil comes out. So gross.

I don't love it and don't hate it but I won't be buying it again. I will go back to using the tried and true combination of Dermalogica's Gentle Cream Exfoliant (SO good) and their Skin Hydrating Mask. A combination that does wonders.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Not a baby anymore: Summer wardrobe

It seems we've reached that age in childhood with the Little One where clothes have become practical and utilitarian with more of a focus on not impeding movement rather than looking cute, quirky and pretty.

I can't lie i had a lot of fun dressing her when she was just a nugget in the cutest of get-ups. It was one of my favorite things getting to live out that fantasy of having a real life doll to dress up and show off.

Now it's all about running, jumping, swimming, cycling, hanging upside down on the monkey bars which means pretty dresses have mostly been relegated to special occasions or dress ups.

I started compiling her Summer Wardrobe List over the weekend and with the weather already turning and her complaining about being "too hot" plus a few items in her wardrobe getting shabby I felt I better get a wriggle on.

Country Road seem to be doing good things this season. They always seem to be on the money when it comes to childrenswear even if their womenswear leaves a lot to be desired!

T-shirts: Petit Bateau; Sweater: Witchery Kids; Denim Shorts: Country Road; Romper: Zimmermann; Navy Shorts: Witchery Kids; Bikini: Petit Bateau; Dress: Cotton On Kids; Glitter Espadrilles: Country Road; Canvas Slip-ons: Walnut Melbourne; Navy sandals: from Alex & Alexa; Trainers: Lacoste.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Boxing Diet

It's taken months of trial and error but i finally have my weekday diet down pat. This is what i eat on training days.


Soy flat whites
Protein ball

Lunch (2 hours prior to training): 

1/2 cup oats soaked in milk, dried cranberries, dried apricots, kiwi fruit.
1/2 bowl of Two:Bob's bircher muesli
Watermelon & pineapple juice
3 glasses of water

30 mins prior to training:

Gold standard pre-workout powder mixed in with 150ml water

45-1 hour boxing training

Post Training:

Protein ball
100gm Barossa Wagyu
1litre water


Green beans, steamed fish & cucumber and tomato salad.

Before bed:

100gm steak
Small roasted sweet potato.

On non-training days I omit the oats/bircher, pre-bed steak, and post training protein.

Sadly on the weekend I usually go out for dinner and all hell breaks loose. Need to get a grip on that though.

Starting soon i'll be incorporating a 5km run into my training days along with work on the heavy bag. Pre run i'll just be adding a banana to my diet and post heavy bag probably a protein shake or chocolate milk.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Sydney to Shoal Bay

This weekend just past the Little One and I went on a mini-getaway to Sydney then Shoal Bay, NSW to basically indulge, bond and visit her aunties and cousins.

We stayed in the ultra quirky QT on Market Street which is a very handy location for shopping (Muji was on the hit list this trip) and transport. Along with  walkable walk for the Little One to Circular Quay. Previously we had stayed at the Langham which, although is extremely child friendly and very special, is a little bit too far out of the way for what we wanted to do.

We dined mostly (for breakfast, lunch and dinners) at Gowings Bar & Grill because as a PGR black member i get 50% off in the restaurant (wooooot!)

Though Gowings is not exactly designed to cater to families and children - it's a pretty grown-up space which is what i like about it - staff are extremely welcoming and lovely and took the time to engage with the Little One and not just ignore her. They had two kids meals that they don't list on the menu which are $15 each. The Little One had the fish and chips which was a proper meal and extremely yummy. I totally pinched some.

Our room was spacious enough for the two of us. We shared a Queen bed. But the best part was a full sized bath. Essential in my opinion. The reason we chose this weekend to head up for our trip was because PGR was offering a book Saturday and get Friday or Sunday free. So we got our weekend accommodation for a steal!


Friday we arrived early and after a little rest and lunch we decided to meander through Hyde Park down to the Botanic Gardens before sharing an ice cream and a glass of sparkling for me at Opera Bar.

On Saturday, for funsies, we got super touristy for the sake of the Little One. We did whatever she wanted to do. That meant going on the ferry to Watson's Bay before catching the bus (she LOVES the bus) to Bondi Beach. There we had obligatory corn fritters & pavlova at bills and a morning cocktail for myself before heading to the playground by the Bondi Pavillion to meet the Little One's family.

On Sunday we skipped breakfast because we were booked in for the high tea buffet at the Sheraton on the Park. I'd always side-eyed the Sheraton. There always seemed to be something tacky about the brand. But there must have been a re-vamp because it was quite glam. The buffet was extensive and the food was fantastic. I overdosed on scones, drank Moet and finished with a teapot of Earl Grey (sadly no proper teacups or china.)

At 2pm we raced to catch the bus to Shoal Bay. I can't say i was looking forward to the 3 hour trip but the coach was comfy and the Little One slept the entire way.

When we arrived we headed straight to the Anchorage to watch the beautiful sunset. (I can't wait to stay here one day! Super nice.)

Monday we spent the whole day in Nelson's Bay. Sadly it was marred by seasickness when we decided to go on a whale and dolphin cruise. Still, aside from the crippling nausea it was extremely beautiful and relaxing. The water was pristine and gorgeous.

After the boat cruise we got our bearings and because of tummies were now completely empty (i think i myself went through 4 sick bags in total) we needed to refuel with lunch. Don't ask why, but i got the lobster. Maybe it's my comfort food? Or maybe i just don't see it enough on menus and eagerly ordered it out of surprise!

Later on we went for a drive checking out the Gan Gan Lookout and a few of the other beautiful little beaches in the area, scoping out the best place for an airbnb stay next time we come.

In the future i'll be content just to walk up Mt Tomaree rather than go on any bloody boat. Oh well. You live, you learn.

The following day we had a big sleep in then caught the bus from Shoal Bay to Newcastle Airport. It goes through all the towns in the area: Nelson Bay, Corlette, Port Stephens, Anna Bay ... but it's pleasant and doesn't take much more than an hour. The Little One insisted on sitting up the back of the bus with the high school kids. The highlight of the day for her.

This trip was great but if it's taught me anything it's; do not combine Sydney and Shoal Bay! They should be two separate trips. Hopefully we'll be back soon. Sydney in the school holidays and Shoal Bay in October if we don't go to Tasmania instead or in December for the Little One's cousin's birthday.

Can't wait!