Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves

That is Chris's alarm in the morning and it drives me nuts.

An update is due for my 8 week challenge. It is all thumbs up in the Brown/Grime camp, work has been stopping me from exercising me as much as I would like, which is so really the only negative I can think of right now. The funny thing is I really do notice the difference, in my energy levels and my attitude. Pretty amazing really. I have been moderately good with eating healthily and no drinking, which I am proud of!
I think the thing I am learning is that this is not just an 8 week challenge. It is a lifetime challenge. Things never just get to a point where it becomes easy and you don't have to try. Every single morning I wake up and have to make the decision to keep at it. The great thing about this is it a decision that makes me happy and feel good.
Chris's fiftieth Birthday Party is about five weeks away, and so I am starting to make all of the really fun decisions-what set up does the RSL have for the slideshow I have been secretly making? Where are we going to go out for tea on the Saturday night? How do we divide the games for the lawn bowls? What time will we pick up the cake? Etc etc. So FUN!
Anyway. Must go. Chris is home from work and I want to see how his day went. Will write a proper blogpost soon I promise. 
xx Tash

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

I can, I will, I am!

I am in week 2 of my 8 weeks to empowerment and I am feeling GOOD. I have been getting up when my alarm goes off, I have been eating much much healthier than I was before, (I have slipped up a few times, but that is ok!) I have been working out, and I have been giving myself lots of positive thoughts.

It is Chris's Birthday coming up, (This is Chris above. HOW GOOD is this photo? It is him with his sister.) so I have been making many exciting plans for his birthday. We are going to play barefoot bowls at a lawn bowls club on a Saturday afternoon. Man says he does not want a birthday cake, or a 'wall of shame', or speeches....but everyone knows that is what happens at big milestone parties! I have been talking to Jhanine from The Gallery, who makes the most beautiful cakes! She is going to be making a chef themed cake. I am a bit excited. I will of course be posting photos when I some! For the invitations we made CD's, with all of Chris's favourite songs on it. On the front was a picture of, 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly'. (His favourite movie) So far we have had everyone RSVP which is so great because lots of peeps are coming from interstate and we are a bit touched that everyone is making the effort to come out to a wee country town (Stawell) and play lawn bowls with us.

That is about all for now, I will pot again later in the week. Chris is having a very loud conversation with his brother who lives in Perth and I cannot concentrate. ;)
Night Night, Sleep Tight

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Old Times

Today I have been thinking about where we used to live.
Here are some nice pictures. Enjoy. x

Tuesday, 11 October 2011


Do-Re-Mi (Let's start at the very beginning) 

So I mentioned a post or two ago that  I am starting to concentrate on my health and fitness. My friend/personal/trainer/awesome kick ass woman Tash (see her inspirational blog here) and I are doing a new Challenge:
The 8 Weeks to EMPOWERMENT (yippee!)

This is Day 2. And I love it. 

Here are some details: 
I think each person that embarks on this would end up taking diferent things from the challenge. Because everyone has diferent things that they want to improve on. But mine are as follows;

1.) Happiness

(Photo found here)

2.) Fitness

(image found here)

3.) Health.

(image found here)
Since starting training with Tash I have realised these things. (Or am in the process of finding it out!)
Yes. I am happy. I have a very happy life-Lovely Chris, Matilda, Friends and a nice home where I can be myself.  BUT. I am really hard on myself. Judgemental. Do better. Worry what people think about me. that sort of thing. It is time to be nice to myself! to look after myself and tell myself I am awesome!
My fitness could definitely be improved. A lot. I want to be able to run! and jump rope without feeling like I may just curl up and pass out.
And I can definitely be healthier. If I am healthier I will find the things listed above a whole lot easier. 
What do you think? Sounds cool huh!

So. I am following Tash's lead and making myself a contract.
You wanna read it? Here it is....

TASK ONE: Write a list of goals that you want to achieve in the 1st week of the Eight Weeks To Empowerment. 1.) Get up in the morning when the alarm goes off. Don't press the snooze button! Get organised the night before you have to go to work so you can have a cup of tea and watch the news before you leave. 2.) 2x Personal Training Sessions a week. 
3.) 1 x Boxing class with Anna a week
4.) 30 minutes of high intensity exercise every day except Sunday. 5.) Keep my work schedule two days in advance so I am not stressed about what I need to do. Communicate better with my clients. 
6.) Spend Sunday doing something nice with Chris. 
7.) Keep my food diary and my mini challenges up to date
TASK TWO: Write a list of goals you want to achieve by the end of the 8 Weeks To Empowerment.

I, Natasha Brown agree to work towards a Happier, Fitter and Healthier Tash  during the next 8 weeks and beyond which in turn will give me a feeling of Empowerment. 
I promise I will do my very best to be honest with myself and stay committed to my goals and persevere even my mind is telling me I can't.
I will keep at this by congratulating myself every time I make good on a promise (Even just when I get up when my alarm goes off) because every achievement, no matter how small, all add up to big changes that I want to make in my life.
If I fall off the wagon, I will not lose courage! I will get right back on track and keep myself steered in the direction I want to go in. 
I will keep my blog updated for the period of this challenge and make myself accountable for my actions by communicating with Tash and Chris about how I am feeling and progressing. I will work through any challenges my mind presents with Tash and Chris and break through the mental barrier. 
I am on the way to becoming the best person I can be and I am committed to fulfilling every promise to the very best of my ability.

Signed, Natasha Brown 11/10/2011

The idea of this contract is from Tash. She got the idea from another one of her friends. I think it is a great idea. See Tasha's blog for the link.

Talk soon. I have a hot date with my boxing bag. X

Friday, 7 October 2011

New Favourite Things

I have discovered some new magazines which I thought you might like to discover too.
here  and here .
They have so many awesome ideas...my folder for craft projects I want to do is quickly becoming endless...

xx Tash

Teriyaki Chicken-The Best!

I made this for dinner a few nights ago, find the link: here ...
It is AMAZING! Thanks Pip for sharing this recipe....
Pip's Uber Famous Teriyaki Chicken
Serves 6

1kg skinless chicken breast fillets (free range if you can!) cut into rough 1" pieces
1/2 cup of potato starch (from Asian grocers and some supermarkets)

1/2 cup of oil (I just used canola oil)

Sauce :: Mix Together
1/4 cup of good quality soy sauce (like Kikkoman)
1/4 cup of mirin
1/4 cup of sake
1/4 cup of raw sugar
1/4 cup of water
2 teaspoons of sesame oil

To serve::
Short grain rice or sushi rice
Chilli sauce if you are into it
Chopped spring onions and any other chopped raw vegies you like 
(I like to use cherry tomatoes and I steam some broccoli to the right side of crunchy to have with it too!)

Let's Make It...
Tip the potato starch into a plastic bag and then dump the chopped up chicken in there.  Twist the bag a few times to seal it and then shake it all up to coat the chicken well.  We want the starch all over every piece.

Heat your oil in a large frying pan or wok over a medium high heat.  Fry the coated chicken in two batches, just until it's sealed and colouring a tiny bit.  We don't need to cook it right through yet.  Drain the sealed chicken on kitchen towel.  Now, tip out the oil leaving just a teensy bit in the pan.  There will be bits of fried stuff stuck to the pan too.  That is just fine.  Leave that in there.

Put the pan with teensy bit of oil and leftover fried bits back on to a medium heat.  Add all of your chicken to the pan.  It will be a bit crowded.  Stir your sauce mixture to distribute the sugar a bit, then tip it over the chicken and toss well.  It will bubble up and start to look pretty impressive and delicious.

Put a lid on for a minute or two to help cook the chicken through properly, shaking the pan every now and then to prevent things burning. Then take the lid off and toss the chicken for another minute or two, until it's lovely and glazed and caramelizing a bit. (If you don't have a lid, just cook for four minutes without the lid, tossing well to keep things cooking evenly.)  That's all you do!

Serve on top of a few spoonfuls of rice.  Top with spring onions and the raw vegies.  I always put a big dollop of chilli sauce atop mine.  

Serve with green tea and marvel at the amazing texture of the chicken!  SO so so so yummy.  Try it. You will be amazed. Honest.

Let's Get Physical

So. Something I probably haven't shared with you guys yet (well actually I know I haven't!) is that I am quite unhealthy and overweight. In the past month I have decided to get over the whole thing and get healthy and get empowered! I have started seeing a personal trainer ( Here Is Tasha's Blog! ) who amongst other things has introduced me to the AMAZING world of boxing, AND is also quickly becoming one of my very good friends!) Also on Monday I am about to commence with her, quite a big, scary, exciting project. 'The 8 Week Challenge'. Funnily enough, I am not scared- just pumped! I find out more details on Monday so I will put a brief description on here too... If anyone has any tips, pointers, etc please comment and let me know!

Also, Thursday Night I am very proud to say I SMASHED through a wall. Not literally. When I started training with Tash I could not even do ONE sit up. Now I can do THIRTY! Proper ones! 3-0. 3 x sets of 10. 29 + 1. Yep. GO ME! And while I am giving myself pats on the back I will give myself one more, I also ran around an oval. Well, jogged. And I had to stop to walk once or twice. But I DID IT! I felt amazing. In fact I almost cried.

My next aim is to run around Lake Wendouree. The Lake! Then the next step is to run from my house to the Lake, and then back home again.

I am so proud of myself I have given myself some scratch n sniff stickers.
Link for Picture Here
Enjoy your weekend. I am listening to The Waifs, and doing my housework. Matilda is outside getting gloriously muddy as she rolls around in the wet grass and the vegie patch.
XX Tash

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Stray Dog Found Home

I feel a bit flat. The last 24 hours have been filled with possibility. Last night, driving home from work I saw a stray little dog in the middle of the road. So I picked him up bundled him into my car and drove home lickety split. Upon entering my backyard he was very scared, espiacially when Matilda and Mia came bounding over to say hello, but soon it was all waggy tails and licky faces and smelling butts.

I was wondering what to do with this poor little creature ALL DAY today. He fitted into our little house so well, he fell asleep under the coffee table like he had been there for the past 20 years. I left for work today with mixed emotions, I knew I had to go to the pound....I didnt want to leave him there. I called every possible place letting everyone know I had a little lost dog and has anyone reported him? No one had. so secretly, the little shining ray  of excitement peeked his head into my working day. Perhaps. Perhaps we could have ANOTHER dog. An old, placid, quiet dog. The complete opposite to Matilda (Who is a big bundle of energy)
Don't get me wrong. If there was a sad family who were missing their little dog, I would hand him back STRAIGHTAWAY.  But no one had reported him. No one seemed to care. I decided to take him to the vet after work and see if he had been microchipped and then I could evaluate what to do.
The vets were so lovely. He did have a microchip. His name was Darcy. (I was secretly calling him Morris) He was 7 years old, and his tearful owner was coming to pick him up straightaway. Which was FANTASTIC. I am so glad he has a home.

But there were a few things I wanted to tell his owner. That maybe he should get him groomed often as he had a lovely long coat which was full of dreadlocks, knotty bits and he looked uncomfortable. And also maybe he should have a collar with a little name tag with DARCY and his phone number on it. And maybe he should be wearing his registration tags. Because there are some people who would not look for his owner. Some people would just keep him, and if you love your little pet you should make the effort to look after him very well and try to make sure he does not get scared and lost.

So that is why I am a bit flat. I almost had another dog who was a real beauty. But I LOVE Matilda. And I will do my best to make sure she does not ever get lost.
xx Tash

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Ruffle Butts, Birthdays and Roly Polys

Woah. What a month.
It was my Birthday (26!)  and also so many things happened, Chris has to go to Adelaide for a funeral of an old friend, and then he had to go back to Adelaide a week later for an annual doctors test. So I have been burning the home fires, and keeping things going until he came back. Also, we are babysitting a Cocker Spaniel called Mia, who is still a puppy and so needs lots of attention. And she gets into Everything.
I have also been busy sewing madly, my little baby sister (who is actually a grown up now!) is 12 weeks pregnant and so I am making her a big baby bath full of handmade clothes and other treasures. My latest are what I like to call Ruffle Butts. I also have had a big success in the garden,the first vegies from our recently (At the beginning of winter!) started vegie garden are ready to be eaten. We now have beetroot, spring onions, and snowpeas are almoooost ready. I am so excited! 
The very first carrots out of our new vegie patch-Roly Polys! They are going to be fantastic roasted whole. YUM.

Aren't these the CUTEST Carrots you have seen in a while? 

Mia. She is a Lot Of Work!

Best Friends. 

This is the back view of the Ruffle Butt. So Cute. I am going to ruffle everything from now on if I am not careful. 

After washing the Roly Polys, I was left with two bite size bits of Carrot. And I am proud to say they were lovely to eat. 

Birthday Flowers. 

I am still experimenting with Ruffle Butts, I am not sure yet what materials work best etc. I will keep this updated.

Have a good week everyone. xxx