Friends, Conversations and Gratitude.

This morning I was talking to my beautiful and dear friend Shayla. We don’t get to connect as often as I wish we did, because of timezones and schedules both being pretty packed. So even the smallest of conversations I treasure. This girl is honestly the biggest blessing, she is so warm and encouraging, and a total light to the world. She is creative and passionate and on top of all that is raising the sweetest little girl with her husband. I am really blessed to have her in my life.













I mean seriously, how full of light is this woman!?

Anyway, we were talking about life, and how sometimes we feel like we are just waiting for someone
to call us out on the fact that we are doing all these adult things. She is busy being a mom and a wife and studying for her real estate licence and I am over here living in a different country with the love of my life, working a job providing strategic insight to a whole of state government law and order agency, earning great money and making all these plans for the future.

It is kind of amazing to think that only 6-7 years ago I was just starting university, I had no idea what I was going to do when I graduated let alone with my life, and now I am working in a job that actually relates to my area of study, I am running a business that is about to expand for the second time, and [albeit foolishing] I am even contemplating taking on some more academic study to further my career possibilities. I mean what happened to that kid who use to doodle in her notebook during her law lectures instead of taking proper notes? What happened to that kid who was too busy flying to a different city to go to an Alexisonfire concerts to finish her first year paper final exams? It seems like a lifetime ago. Honestly, I am not complaining. Life right now is pretty sweet. It is challenging, and it is scary sometimes, but it is so exciting to know that this world is mine for the taking.

It lead to me to think about all the reasons we have to be grateful in this life, and man, there really are a lot of them. I am thankful for my friends, even though many of them are in different countries, or travelling seeing different parts of the world. I am thankful for my family because even though sometimes they drive me nuts they are mine and are always there for me. I am thankful for my amazing boyfriend who loves and supports me, and his amazing family who have embraced me. I am thankful for my job, my home, and also my health. Tomorrow is the first day of my May challenge. I am pretty excited about that too. Its like after my conversation with my dear friend today, my mentality just did a little shift, and something clicked into place. I deserve all this adult stuff. I worked for it, and I worked hard. And I am going to work hard for my health, because at the end of the day, without that, what do we really even have?

The Brunch Diaries THREE

Part of what I love about this little project is that we are getting to explore around our area a little bit more. This morning we visited Lolo & Wren and holy heck are we glad that we did. This is the second time we have been here, but I wanted to include it in TBD because, if you are close by, or even if you are not, you should be going here at least once. Seriously.

We arrived and were seated at a little table outside by a lovely fellow Kiwi! [Instant points!] She took our drink orders and we were left to ponder the menu. Holy cow, guys, seriously, this menu is good. There is a little bit of everything, sweet, savory, and classic breakfast burnch food as well as some stuff that looks to push the boundary a little bit. It was so hard to pick what to get. I decided on the St Clements Brioche French toast, and Greg ordered the Crispy Croque Monsieur.

Even though it was super busy this morning it didn't take too long for our drinks to be bought out. Greg's coffee was a hit, perfect temperature, delicious taste, and it even looked pretty! He said he would go so far to say its the best coffee he has had since we have been in Melbourne. Tall call I know! Our food followed not to long after, and it looked so great. The presentation is a step up, and the plate just looked like it was filled with love [Ok I have been watching MKR... So what?] My french toast was accompanied with ricotta and lemon curd, candied oranges and raspberry compote. I am not kidding you, this was probably the best french toast I have ever had. It was good. Really really good. And it was the best last meal I could have had [because I am preparing for the May Challenge, by starting back on track this week leading up to may!] I ate the whole thing, and I didn't feel sickly sweet afterwards, it was perfectly balanced and just straight delicious.

Greg's brunch deserves a paragraph of its own. For those of you not familiar with a Croque Monsieur, it is sort of like a glorified grilled cheese toasty. But this, this is like a monster of its own. A delicious cheesy monster. Lolo & Wren's croque is shaved leg ham, swiss cheese, cheese and chive cream in bread, coated in breadcrumbs and fried. It was HUGE! Greg only ate half of it and took the other half home for lunch. He looked like the cat with the cream while eating it [or should I say cheese] and I could tell he would probably eat that every sunday for the rest of his life if I would let him!

Overall it was priced reasonably well, it was friendly and delicious and it feels like a cafe that we could certainly make our local. Will we be back? Hell yes we will.

Service: 4.5 out of 5
Atmosphere: 5 out of 5
Coffee: 4.5 out of 5
Food: 5 out of 5
Overall: 4.5 out of 5

Getting Ready for May

The 1st of May is a Thursday. It's just like any other day in the middle of any other week. Except for one little thing... It is the day that a group of awesome and motivated humans are going to get together and kick some ass. Some jiggly, squishy, and in my case, fatty ass.


Some of y'all will remember my pal Helen from her little interview that she did over here with me a while ago. You also will probably know then that she is a rad human, who is super encouraging and has provided me with endless support either personally or through her ridiculously candid and accurate blog. Well, Hell's has laid down a challenge... to officially kick May's ass. As soon as I heard about it, naturally I was in. It's no secret that I haven't been on top of my game lately [more realistically I have been closer to the bottom of it] and I have some pretty hefty goals that I want to hit, so kicking 31 days to the curb sounds right up my alley.

So, what does it involve I can hear you asking; basically all you have to do is identify one health and fitness goal that you want to achieve in the month of may, commit to it publicly and then get on board and work as hard as you can to get yourself there. For some of us the foal is obviously going to be losing weight, but for others it might be sticking to an eating plan, or committing to 30 mins of yoga a day, or even running 2kms without feeling like you are going to die. [who am I kidding, I want to be able to run 1km without feeling like that] Along the way, there will be little challenges to complete and Helen has even teamed up with Rapid Fitness to provide y'all with a discount code for their programmes if you want to eat along with us. There is also the chance to win some goodies from Skinfood along the way!

Sounds good right? I sure as heck think so. I have decided to give myself two goals, because one of them is really only for half the duration of the month. The first is to stick to the Rapid Fitness KickStart plan 100% for its 14 day length. [I have attempted this twice now and only ever managed to get to day 5] And the second one is to get my butt to the gym 3 times a week. I have free access to a gym at work, so there is no excuse about not getting there!!

If you want to join in with us, it is super super simple to 'enter' just go and check out the full blog about the challenge that Helen has posted and then get your butt over to her facebook page, let her know that you are in and get ready to kick May's ass with us.

The Brunch Diaries TWO



Easter weekend meant that we had a little bit of extra time on our hands... so we thought why not seize the opportunity and head to another little spot we had been meaning to visit, and throw in a little brunch diaries post at the same time!

We headed to John Gorilla, another little cafe just up the road from our little house. Talk about the cutest little spot. Old rulers make up the counter, and there are the sweetest little niknaks and some absolutely delicious looking cupcakes and take away treats. We were greeted by a sweet lady with a big smile and shown to a little table in the other room. The music that was playing was perfect, a good mix of old classics and some newer alternative tunes, I am pretty sure Robbie Williams also got a sneak in there. Greg ordered a flat white and the french toast [he loves his french toast] and I ordered a super naughty iced chocolate and a BLAT.

The coffee was tasty, not quite hot enough, but pretty decent. Gregs verdict was that the franch toast was tasty but the blueberry compote was sort of more just like slightly cooked whole blueberries and the Lemon curd was super sweet. My ice chocolate was a little bit disappointed. It was basically a glass of milk with a squirt of chocolate sauce and a small scoop of icecream. The first sip I took was straight milk, but after mixing it to death it was a bit better. My BLAT was tasty, although the side salad was twice as big as the sandwich, so I definitely wasn't full afterwards, and for the price, it was probably a little on the more expensive side for what we ordered.

Overall, it was a little pricey, but the atmosphere was nice, and the staff were friendly. Would we go back? Maybe if we were looking for something close to home.

Service: 3.5 out of 5
Atmosphere: 4 out of 5
Coffee: 3 out of 5
Food: 3 out of 5
Overall: 3.5 out of 5



The Brunch Diaries ONE


After a slightly unintentional hiatus, I'm back. Sometimes I think we need to step away from things and reevaluate and come back with a fresh perspective and a renewed sense of motivation. I'm feeling good about things. Hurray.

Anyway, I am pretty excited about introducing this new feature. Its pretty safe to say that my favorite meal of the day is brunch. I mean, seriously, think about it, its pretty great. Especially on the weekends, when you want to sleep in. Since we have been in Melbourne we have eaten some particularly delicious brunch. [actually, we have eaten some particularly delicious food in general… sorry waistline] and even though its only been 4 months, we have already found a few favorite places which we have begun to frequent. So, in the spirit of adventure and trying new things, I decided to start a little feature here on the blog. Enter The Brunch Diaries. Every weekend for the foreseeable future the mister and I are going to head to a new cafe, and eat some food, drink some coffee, take some photos, and tell you about it. Consider it a locals guide to eating food. Yip, I am calling myself a local and there is nothing you can do about it.
On Saturday we went to Miss Marmalade in Brunswick West. This cute little cafe is just down the road from our place so it was just a little walk to get there. We were greeted by friendly staff and were seated quickly at one of the tables inside near the counter. The main dining space is small, but didn't feel over crowded although it was a little noisy with saturday morning chatter. Greg ordered a Flat white [the mister will be in charge of the coffee reviews!] and the Buttermilk Ricotta Hotcakes and I got a freshly squeezed orange juice and the Eggs Benedict.

It wasn't long before the drinks were bought out and they were quickly followed by our food. Our drinks were good, although my juice was half the size I expected it to be for the price. Greg's coffee was good, he was happy. As for the food, It looked delicious! My eggs were perfectly runny, my homemade hashbrown was incredible and the bacon was cooked to perfection. The potato and rosemary bread was a little on the tough side, but was pretty dang tasty. The only thing that I wasn't completely stoked with was the hollandaise, it was very very thick which was a bit of a bummer as it was quite over powering, but it was still pretty tasty. As for Greg's, he liked his meal, but it was very sweet! The mix of lemon curd, vanilla mascarpone and chocolate made for a totally sweet breakfast.

Overall it was pretty damn delicious. We would definitely go back, in fact there were a couple of things that I wanted to try so we might just have to at some stage.

Service: 4 out of 5
Atmosphere: 4 out of 5
Coffee: 4 out of 5
Food: 3.5 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5

This week on instagram

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