Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Super busy day today getting stuff organised for Christmas. Looking forward to having a relaxing break. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Adding More In - Friday

This morning's cardio was a jog/walk in the park with Rob and TJ. My glutes and middle/upper back have been feeling a bit tight the last couple of days, so this afternoon I did some foam rolling work on my glutes, and used a bak ball on my back

physio supplies

I leant against it on the wall, and also lay on it on the ground, so that the ball parts were pressing on either side of my thoracic and upper spine. Felt SO good.


Breakfast: crushed oat brits, lactose-free yoghurt, cinnamon, mixed berries

mid-morning: green tea

Lunch: salad with romain lettuce, cucumber, tomato, red onion and tofu, dressing with olive oil and lemon juice. Toast with avocado

Snack: pear, lactose-free yoghurt, walnuts and almonds

Dinner: gluten-free wrap with sliced rump steak and chimichurri sauce. Mashed cauliflower.

Snack: hot chocolate

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Adding More In - Thursday

This morning started with a walk in the park with Rob and TJ. The first circuit of the park was a 'warm up', then on the next two circuits Rob and I used some of the exercise equipment dotted about the place. It was lovely to be exercising outside in the sunshine.

Breakfast: mixture of crushed oat brits, oats, lactose-free yoghurt and cinnamon. Red grapefruit

mid morning: green tea

Lunch: salad with chickpeas, romaine lettuce, beetroot, carrot, cucumber, celery and water chestnuts, dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Avocado on toast.

Snack: lactose-free yoghurt, LSA, hazelnuts and blueberries

Dinner: salad with sliced extra-lean chicken sausage, romaine lettuce, cucumber, tomato and red onion, dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Rice.

Snack: hot chocolate

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Adding More In - Wednesday

This morning I tried out a different cardio machine at the gym - the treadclimber. It's like a cross between a stepper and a treadmill:

I could feel it in my glutes straight away and it got my heart rate up much faster than the treadmill usually does.

Did 40 minutes on that first thing this morning, followed by

Breakfast: crushed oat brits, lactose-free yoghurt, cinnamon and mixed berries

mid-morning: green tea

Lunch: salad with romaine lettuce, roma tomatoes, carrots, yellow capsicum, artichoke hearts, pistachios and canned tuna, dressed with lemon juice. Toast with avocado.

Snack: lactose-free yoghurt, cherries, walnuts and almonds. Green tea.

Dinner: leftover chicken and asparagus risotto with added spinach. Sliced red and yellow capsicum with salsa as dip.

Snack: hot chocolate

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Adding More In - Tuesday

Feeling LOTS better today. Rob even commented on how chirpy I was this morning.

Started the day with a green tea, then a walk with Rob and TJ.

Breakfast: oats, lactose-free yoghurt and cinnamon, topped with chopped plums off our tree

Lunch: dahl, salad with baby spinach, tomato, cucumber and sunflower seeds, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. Avocado on toast.

Snack: lactose-free yoghurt, peach, almonds, pecans

40-minute hill walk on treadmill

Dinner: salmon, mixed veg, sweet potato

Snack: hot chocolate


Got a head start on the Christmas food shopping today. Went to the Bertocchi factory shop (in Thomastown, Melbourne if anyone's interested) and got a leg of gluten-free ham, a cooked gluten-free turkey breast and a fillet of beef. A friend is dropping off a freshly caught snapper tomorrow.

At this stage we are planning to have a 'cold' lunch of ham and turkey and a 'hot' dinner of whole barbecued snapper and barbecue garlic beef fillet.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Adding More In - Monday

My sore glands are gone but I'm still feeling quite tired. Today I've been focusing on adding more antioxidants into my diet.

My day started with walk with Rob and TJ, then

Breakfast: oats, lactose-free yoghurt, cinnamon, blackberries

Lunch: salad with romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, sunflower seeds, turkey and ham, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. Toast with avocado.

Snack: peach, hazelnuts

afternoon nap

Snack: peanut butter on oat toast, green tea

Dinner: chicken and asparagus risotto

Snack: 'hot chocolate' (lactose-free milk, cocoa, low GI sugar)

Lemon water throughout the day.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Exercise is poisoning my body

I exercise because it's good for me, but it actually makes me feel sick.

When you exercise intensely, your body produces free radicals. I have a gene that causes a 50% increase in free radical production. Free radicals can attack and chemically alter DNA, and free radical damage can potentially lead to cardiovascular disease, chronic inflammation and accelerated ageing. Usually the body converts free radicals to non-harmful molecules, but my body lacks the required detoxification mechanisms to remove free radicals.

For the last six weeks I've been exercising regularly, mostly hill walks, pump classes or gym workouts. This week I've upped my hill walks to run/walks and replaced my weights workout with a high intensity circuit. How does my body reward me? Swollen glands and no energy.

I'm having the day off today, and am going to pick up some GliSODin tomorrow, which helps stimulate my body's defence against free radicals. And I'll have to keep a closer eye on what I'm eating to make sure I'm getting plenty of antioxidants, cruciferous veges etc to help combat those free radicals.

This happens to me every time I start exercising regularly. You think I would have learnt by now. Frustrating!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

TM training days 1 and 2

Yesterday I started training for the Tough Mudder obstacle course.

According to the website, I need to work up to runs of at least 8-10 km, be able to do 15-25 push-ups in a row, be able to bang out 6 pull-ups in a row, and be able to swim 45 metres without stopping.

At this stage I reckon the swimming wouldn't be a problem but I'm definitely going to have to work on everything else.

Yesterday I ran outside for time (40 minutes). Well, it was a run/walk actually. I'm just starting out slowly so I don't burn myself out (I'm good at doing that).

Today I did a modified version of a circuit suggested on the website. Each exercise is related to an obstacle on the course, and is done for 60 seconds with a max of 15 seconds rest in between:
- T push-ups
- single arm db swings
- forward lunges
- bent over db row
- db side lunge
- push up and row (renegade row)
- lunge and twist
- db squat and press
- push up (knees)
- mountain climbers
- assisted chin ups
- plank
- side plank
- dips
- squat with pause at bottom

As I get stronger and fitter I'll add more weight or change the exercise to a harder variation.

Monday, December 12, 2011


I was doing some cleaning this morning and heard a knock at the door. When I answered there was an older lady there. She said that she'd noticed we had some little yellow plums on the tree out the front of our house and would it be OK if she took some. I said that she was welcome to take some, thinking she would just take a couple of handfuls, and went back to my cleaning.

About five minutes later I noticed she was still out there, reaching over the neighbour's fence to get the ones she couldn't get from the footpath. A few minutes later I looked out again and she was still there, and then I noticed she had someone helping her and they both had plastic bags and were plucking plums as fast as they could. Then I realised there were hardly any plums left on the tree. At that stage I opened the window and said "Excuse me! I said 'some', not strip the tree bare!". They quickly gathered their things and left, and I stomped around the house for a few minutes afterwards, muttering about the cheek of some people.

Bah, humbug!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

New Challenge

Over the last few weeks I've been thinking about doing some sort of event next year. Vague thoughts of a marathon or half marathon have entered my head. Today Rob and I were at a friend's place and he was talking about doing a 20km obstacle course next year. He showed us the website and I started getting interested. It's on Sat 31st March and Sun 1st April, so I've got time to see how my body copes with the training.

Will start on Monday and report back!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pumpkin Salad

My favourite meal this week

Pumpkin Salad
Roasted butternut pumpkin, sliced spring onions, goat cheese and halved grape tomatoes, drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

Served with lamb chops and baked potato.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November on the Web

Thought I'd do a round-up of my favourite blogs/posts for the month of November.

Desire to Inspire
As well as featuring great interior design, this blog also has a fun Monday's Pets on Furniture post featuring pics of readers' pets on their designer furniture. While a Parisian balcony doesn't technically count as furniture, this pic is beautiful nonetheless.
Desire to Inspire

This blog usually feature recipes that contain 5 ingredients and can be made in minutes. A recent post on how to master the art of gift giving caught my eye. Here's a brief excerpt:
1. The gift of experiences
This includes things like tickets to a concerts or a show, vouchers for meals in restaurants, or offering to cook dinner for the recipient and their friends.

2. The gift of consumables
Mostly, this tends to be wine related. Champagne is always a winner, or a good bottle of red. It helps to know the favourite tipple of your recipient.

Flowers are another go-to when booze isn’t really appropriate.

3. The gift of something home made
It could be a favourite cake or pie. But more often than not it’s something with a longer shelf life like chilli oil (recipe below), preserved lemons, my homemade BBQ sauce, custom spice blends or infused oils. This year I’m planning on including little recipe cards with each gift to give ideas how to use each item.

The thing is, home made gifts are really personal. And in the age of cheap factory produced goods, the love that comes with a hand made gift makes all the difference.

Not to mention that it’s heaps of fun!

House of Turquoise
An interior-design blog featuring all things turquoise! It's a great source of inspiration, whether you're into turquoise or not. At the moment I'm still deciding on whether to do an island bench in our kitchen or just put our dining table there, like these pics that featured on the blog recently:
House of Turquoise

Love the bench seats and wingback chairs!

The Minimalists
In complete contrast, this blog has essays about minimalism and living a meaningful life with less stuff. A recent post called the UnAmerican Dream was thought-provoking:

The American Dream…
The white picket fence. The large suburban home. The nice car. The big-screen TVs glowing in multiple rooms. The safe, reasonable nine-to-five. The corner office. The suit and tie. The white collar pride. The blue collar pride. The weekends off. The paid holidays. The occasional vacation. The fringe benefits.

In exchange for…
The daily grind. The nose to the grindstone. The rush-hour traffic. The punching the clock. The cubical farms. The spreadsheet eyestrain. The much-anticipated lunch break. The inbox overflow. The arbitrary goals. The late nights at the office. The empty platitudes. The office gossip. The “productivity.” The downsizing. The “doing more with less.” The mounds of bills. The second job. The credit-card spending. The debt. The second mortgage. The beer gut. The mid-life crisis. The retirement at 65. The volatile stock market. The retirement at 67 or 72 or 75. The death before retirement. The unyielding tiredness. The emptiness. The depression. The unshakeable discontent.

You can keep your American Dream. Give us back our time, our freedom, and our lives.

Do you have any favourite blogs you'd like to share?

Monday, November 21, 2011


A couple of new items for my wardrobe:

Lululemon Let it Loose Tank and Turbo Run Short.

They're super comfy and I'll probably end up wearing them a lot on hot days.

My old shoulder injury was still a bit cranky today after 'posing' for this photo on Saturday (silly me) and it was a lovely evening out so I decided to do some fast walking/jogging instead of swimming.

Do you have a favourite brand of exercise gear?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Program or No Program?

So this week I ventured back into the gym for the first time in a long time. On Tuesday I did lat pulldowns, seated rows and bicep curls. On Thursday I did bench press, shoulder press and tricep pushdowns. I expected to be sore afterwards. And I am. In my biceps, of all places. I can barely straighten my arms today (Friday).

What I most enjoyed about this week’s workouts was just going in and doing what I felt like, until I’d had enough, which ended up being about 4 sets of each exercise, in the 6-10 rep range.

Do you follow a training program, or just do what you feel like?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Recipe Books

This week I've been working on two recipe books. Most of the week I've been proofreading a book on Street Food for Lonely Planet (which I think is due out in March next year). My days have been filled with food from around the world, including India, Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam. I was warned to 'eat a good breakfast before starting on this book - it will make you very hungry!'

Speaking of breakfast, today I've been editing a book full of breakfast recipes for another publishing company. Here are the recipes I've been reading today:
Blueberries and Yoghurt
Layered Fruit with Yoghurt and Bran
Bircher Muesli
Mango and Orange Smoothie
Poached Eggs on Toast
Fried Eggs and Bacon
Boiled Eggs and Black Pudding
Creamy Scrambled Eggs
French Toast with Strawberries
Sausages and Grilled Tomato
Breakfast Mushrooms
Breakfast Feast
Asparagus Omelette
Basil and Feta Omelette
Fluffy Omelette
Vegetable Frittata
Pan Frittata
Smoked Salmon Bagel
Skinny Eggs and Ham on Bagels
Bacon and Egg Melt
Bacon, Avocado and Cheese Melt
Ham and Mushroom Melt
Baked Bean Muffin
Avocado, Spinach and Tomato Wrap
Chocolate Hot Cakes with Raspberry Coulis
Cinnamon Pancakes
Buckwheat Pancakes
Hazelnut Pancakes with Strawberries
Jumbo Pancakes with Blackberries and Honey
Chocolate Breakfast Waffles with Maple Pears
Waffles with Grilled Banana


Have you got a favourite recipe book? If so, what is it?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Morning or Evening?

So far this week I've managed to fit in a swim (Monday) and a back & biceps workout (Tuesday) and am planning on another swim today. All in the evening. After being at work all day. A few months ago it wouldn't have happened. I'd either do something in the morning or not at all. I'm not sure if it's the extra light at night, or having more energy from the B vitamins I started taking again on Monday, but it's nice to 'want' to exercise again. And I've noticed that I'm not super hungry all day like I usually am after exercising in the morning. Instead I exercise in the evening, have dinner and a hot chocolate then toddle off to bed.

Do you prefer exercising in the morning or evening?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Splish Splash

I got up too late to go swimming this morning, but was still feeling keen this afternoon so after arriving home I gobbled a banana and a few nuts, did a couple of things around the house then headed off for my swim. Go me!

Don't know if I'll go at that time again though - between the kids playing on one side and the swim lessons on the other side, there were only two lanes in the middle for swimming laps, and one of those ended up with overflow from the swimming lessons, so all the lap swimmers ended up squashed in one lane. Luckily we were all pretty slow so weren't on each others heels. I didn't appreciate sucking in splashes of water from the 'play' side every time I took a breath though.

Have started taking my vitamin B tablets again last night after a six-month break from all supplements (including protein powder). It's the only thing I really felt I was missing. I've been a bit depressed lately, and I know including vitamin B supplements always helps with that. I've been feeling a lot more relaxed and energetic today (hence the willingness to go swimming this evening).

We are getting our hot water cylinder replaced on Thursday (our electric one stopped working and we are switching over to gas). Looking forward to having hot water in the house again!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Location, Location

One of the main reasons we bought our house was its proximity to things: train station, shops, library, recreation centre and parks. It does mean we get a bit of road noise but at the moment I'm loving being able to get up in the morning, put on my togs, cover up with a hoodie and towel, slip on my jandals (flip-flops), then walk to the end of our street, cross the road, enter the recreation centre, hop in the pool and start swimming. When I'm done, I cover up with the hoodie and towel and walk home again.

It's a nice way to start the day - and it doesn't really feel like exercising, even though my heart rate gets up there!

Does exercise feel like a chore to you? What activity wouldn't/doesn't feel like a chore?

Friday, November 4, 2011


Yes, I think a black hearth will work. Something like this
Hecker Guthrie Interiors via Desire to Inspire

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I was planning to do some gardening this weekend but it was a bit wet out so decided to do something indoors instead.

When we bought this house it was painted with a lot of browns and greens, and I'm slowly trying to lighten things up. This weekend I attacked the fireplace area.

Before, with taupe walls and brown fireplace surround

After, with cream walls and white fireplace surround

I'm still undecided about the little bit in front of the fireplace. I'm reluctant to paint it white because it'll be too hard to keep clean, but I don't think I want to leave it brown. Might get a sample pot of some black paint to try.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Home Office ideas

I'm spending more time working from home at the moment and I'm bored with my bland little office under the stairs.

I spotted a pic today that I liked the look of:
Elle Decor

It's got wooden floorboards like I have, and I like the idea of the glass-topped desk - it seems to take up less space. TJ could stretch out on the couch while I'm working (at the moment he jams himself under my desk), although the couch would have to be leather - I'm over getting dog fur off fabric. The window is in the same spot as the window in my office, but to suit the orientation of my space (ie avoid cracking my head on the stairs when I get up from the desk), I'd probably lay the furniture out like this

Not very practical (no storage!) but pretty all the same.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Southern Italy

I'm proofreading a book about Southern Italy at the moment and it's bringing back lots of memories of my trip there in 1998 - can't believe it was that long ago! My sister, her partner and I stayed in Sorrento (south of Naples)
Hotel Loreley, Sorrento

From Sorrento we did day trips to Pompeii and Mt Vesuvius, the island of Capri, and down the Amalfi Coast to Positano.

I studied archaeology at university (among other things) so enjoyed visiting the excavations of the town of Pompeii, which was buried under a layer of burning pumice stone when Mt Vesuvius erupted. After that we trekked up Mt Vesuvius to look down into its crater.

On Capri we had a fantastic pizza with lots of fresh garlic, and insalata caprese, a salad of fresh tomato, basil and mozzarella bathed in olive oil.
My sister and her partner at lunch

The chairlift to Capri's highest point, Monte Solaro (589m), wasn't operating the day we were there, so we decided to walk up. The views were worth it!
My sister and I at the top

Positano was very picturesque, but there's no sand on that beach, just pebbles!

Hmm, I can feel the travel bug coming back again!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How I Drink Enough Water

I've posted several times about my efforts to drink enough water. I've always been terrible at it, to the point I'd end up dehydrated with a headache. Water just doesn't interest me, unless I'm exercising or really hot. I've tried giving myself a 'target' of a certain amount of water to drink a day, but I usually end up with a whole lot of water to drink just before I go to bed - not ideal! I've also tried drinking water with slices of lemon or lime or even mint in it, but the novelty wears off pretty quickly.

What I've been doing lately is a bit unusual, but it's been working for me. When I was doing a lot of interval training I bought a Gymboss timer

Instead of using the timer for intervals, I'm currently using it as a buzzer to remind myself to drink water. Every 15 minutes it goes off and I have a sip of water. I've been doing it for a couple of months now, and I've actually started to anticipate when it's time to drink - my mouth starts to get a bit dry just before the 15 minutes is up! My hydration levels are much better, my hair isn't as dry and my skin is softer.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Functional Leg Training

Take one section of garden filled with weeds and rocks. Spend most of Sunday afternoon squatting down to pull out weeds and pick up rocks and carry them to the back gate

Set up a string line, then dig along it and place bricks to create a border. Dig holes and start planting lavender and seaside daisies.

Collapse in a heap with a quarter of the garden bed to go. Have a couple of well-deserved gin and tonics while admiring my handiwork.

Wake up on Monday and Tuesday feeling stiff and sore like I'd done a leg workout.

Hope to be blogging a bit more frequently from now on!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Crockpot Menu

With the job I'm doing at the moment, it's at least 10 hours from the time I leave the house until the time I get home again, and the last thing I feel like doing when I get home is cooking. Last week I tried putting something in the crockpot before leaving work, so when I got home I was able to dish myself up something straight away. It worked pretty well, so I'm doing the same again this week. Here's what's on this week's menu:
- "Roast" Whole Chicken with a Spicy Paprika Rub
- Devilled Sausages
- Spicy Lamb Shanks
- Beef Stew
- Pork Chops with Peaches

Monday, August 29, 2011

Relaxing Weekend

I've been doing some really long hours lately so it was nice to get out of the house over the weekend and visit our old neighbours for a barbecue on Saturday. We took TJ along and he enjoyed catching up with his friends too. Here he is with Angel (the greyhound) and Ollie and Zoe (the west highland terriers):

We ended up staying the night and went out for breakfast in the morning. On the way home we picked up some sample tiles for our splashbacks. We chose a couple of different colours to try (white on the left in the pic below; cream on the right) and a few different sizes:

Our rangehood is being installed on Friday so am looking forward to having that done.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Year without TV

We moved into this house a year ago. The TV aerial connection was old and we weren’t able to receive a signal through it. We could have arranged to have it upgraded, but we decided not to bother. Instead, we’ve been watching DVDs from the local video store or library, or borrowing movies from friends. Rob bought the entire collection of M*A*S*H and watched every season; he’s just starting watching it for the second time.

I haven’t missed TV at all - I used to get sucked in by reality TV shows (especially on the Lifestyle channel) and would stay up watching them when I should have been sleeping. Rob has missed watching sport a bit and has been making noises about getting Foxtel connected for the rugby world cup. We’ll see, but it’s been great to know that we can manage without it.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Laundry Organisation

We have a tiny laundry and one laundry hamper for all of our dirty clothes. I got sick of emptying it out and sorting the laundry into piles on the floor before washing, so today I tidied up our laundry cupboard and put in some containers to pre-sort the dirty laundry:

(the bottom shelf is just temporary until I can get a piece of timber cut to size)

So now we have a tub for whites, one for towels, one for dark work clothes and one for dark 'home' clothes, which inevitably get covered in fur, especially when your dog likes to get this close to you:

Friday, August 5, 2011

Eight Weeks!

That's how long it's taken to get our new oven handle replaced and our kitchen wiring finished off.

The oven handle was delivered with a dent in it, so I asked for a replacement one. I rang last week to find out what was taking so long and it turns out the guy I was dealing with doesn't work at the store any more. I spoke to someone else at the store and ended up having a new oven handle fitted in the middle of this week.

I also got sick of being put off by the electrician who started our kitchen wiring eight weeks ago. He didn't return my phone call earlier in the week, so last night I rang another electrician, who came out this afternoon and finished off all the above-bench powerpoints, and the powerpoints for the dishwasher, rangehood and oven. So we've had a new oven sitting in our kitchen for eight weeks with a bent handle and no power. I'm so looking forward to using it this weekend! And now we can get the rangehood installed and have the splashback done. Yay!

Related Posts
Exciting Plans
Kitchen Benches and Cabinets
Visiting the Kitchen Designer
Second-Hand Kitchen Cabinets
Cabinets - tick
Preparing for New Kitchen Colour
Test Colour
Taking the Breakfast Bar Out
Taking the Pantry Out
Taking the Rangehood Out
Recent Work on the Kitchen
Slowly Coming Together
Delivery Damage, Plumbing & Heating
Wiring, Plasterboard and Benchtops
Plumbing Complete
Painting Started

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Shopping Day

Here's what I've come up with for dinners for the coming week. Bit of a curry-fest!

- chicken coq au vin, mashed potato, beans
- grilled lamb rump, baked potato, peas and carrots
- pumpkin, chickpea and banana curry, rice
- Thai red curry with chickpeas, pumpkin, broccoli, capsicum, mushrooms, bok choy & rice
- Thai green curry with fish, zucchini, capsicum, green beans & rice

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Experiment in Exercise Minimalism

I haven't done a lot of exercise lately, what with the kitchen renovation, being busy with work, injuring my lower back, then getting sick. In fact, it's been about two months since my last gym session (although we walk TJ every day). The last week or so I've been thinking about going back to the gym but wasn't sure about how to fit it in, so when I read this post about Exercise Minimalism, I thought it would be a good place to start: 32 minutes a week - I can fit that in! So after walking TJ this morning I headed for the gym and busted out five rounds of close-grip press-ups, inverted rows and kettlebell swings. My upper body is feeling it now, but I'm glad I've done something!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Five Meals

On Saturday I did something I haven't done for ages - planned the coming week's meals in advance. I'm trying to eat more legumes and fish for dinner, so I chose a few of my favourites plus something new I wanted to try (the fish cakes). Here are the meals I've planned for Sunday to Thursday (in no particular order):

- roast, sweet potato, veges
- Thai fish cakes, rice, cucumber salad
- Moroccan chickpea and pumpkin stew on rice
- salmon stir-fry, rice
- chilli beans and rice

Looking forward to these!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Clothes Shopping

Thought I'd post something else apart from the kitchen renovation :-)

I very rarely go clothes shopping. The last time was probably at the end of April last year when I did my winter clothes shopping, and got 10 items for $83 at my local op shops. Recently I was inspired by this pic I found on the Herringbone website:

Their retail prices are a bit too pricey for me, so my eBay shopping began:

Total for 5 items: $148.50 (not including postage).

Now I just need some new shoes...

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cold Prevention

I haven't had a cold so far this year *touch wood*, but I've come close a few times. When I start getting a scratchy throat, like I did yesterday, I do two things: megadose on vitamins, and have a spicy stir-fry.

I don't take any vitamins at the moment, but if I do feel a cold coming on, I immediately start taking Cenovis Echinacea, Garlic, Zinc & C
I usually take two with each meal (approx six per day) for two to three days after I start feeling yucky. Apparently if echinacea is taken at the onset of a cold it can help reduce the cold's duration - works for me!

Spicy Stir-fry
My meal of choice is a Thai basil beef and chilli stir-fry. It all started about five years ago when I was feeling unwell and not up to making dinner. I bought a basil beef stir-fry from our local Thai takeaway, and the chilli and onions helped to clear out my sinuses. Since then I often make one when I start to feel a bit sinus-y. The last couple of times I've used Marion's Kitchen Thai Basil & Chilli Stir-fry meal base. The first time I made it according to the instructions on the packet (with red capsicum and beans as my vegetables), but found that the meat needed longer cooking time than 1 minute at the end of the stir-fry process (although I am cooking with an electric frypan at the moment) and it came out quite tough as a result. Last night I cooked the meat as I usually would for a stir-fry: browned it in batches at the start of cooking, removed it from the pan while cooking the other ingredients, then returned the meat to the pan when everything else was nearly ready. Much better!

And I'm feeling fine again today.

Do you do anything special to prevent a cold?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Painting Started

The electrician still hasn't come back to finish off the wiring (which means no oven or cooktop). Luckily we still have two working powerpoints in the kitchen so the electric frying pan and microwave have been getting a good workout. Rob has been making our espresso coffee on the wok burner on the BBQ.

In the meantime, I decided to make a start on the painting. You might remember that we originally had one green wall in the kitchen, with the adjoining wall a 'taupe' colour

Way back in April I put some prepcoat on the green wall as I was planning to paint it a lighter colour. This weekend I finally got around to painting the walls at that end of the kitchen. The first pic below was taken Saturday afternoon, with painters tape applied to the cornices so I didn't colour outside the lines. The second pic was taken on Sunday afternoon after the second coat of Dulux Clotted Cream.

The paint was still wet when I took the second pic, so it looks a bit patchy. It should look better once it's dry. I haven't painted below the windowsill as the splashback will cover that area. Speaking of windowsills, that's next on the list to paint.

Related Posts
Exciting Plans
Kitchen Benches and Cabinets
Visiting the Kitchen Designer
Second-Hand Kitchen Cabinets
Cabinets - tick
Preparing for New Kitchen Colour
Test Colour
Taking the Breakfast Bar Out
Taking the Pantry Out
Taking the Rangehood Out
Recent Work on the Kitchen
Slowly Coming Together
Delivery Damage, Plumbing & Heating
Wiring, Plasterboard and Benchtops
Plumbing Complete

Monday, June 13, 2011

Plumbing Complete

We have running water again in the kitchen - yay! The novelty of washing dishes in our teeny tiny laundry wore off pretty quickly.

So here's our new sink and tap. The sink is a Domsjo from Ikea. The Aquaport tap has a lever on the left side for filtered water, and a lever on the right side for regular hot and cold water

The dishwasher and gas cooktop have been plumbed in too but won't be operational until the electrician does his bit.

Related Posts
Exciting Plans
Kitchen Benches and Cabinets
Visiting the Kitchen Designer
Second-Hand Kitchen Cabinets
Cabinets - tick
Preparing for New Kitchen Colour
Test Colour
Taking the Breakfast Bar Out
Taking the Pantry Out
Taking the Rangehood Out
Recent Work on the Kitchen
Slowly Coming Together
Delivery Damage, Plumbing & Heating
Wiring, Plasterboard and Benchtops

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Wiring, Plasterboard and Benchtops

Edited to add a pic of our new benchtops

On Thursday I finally ordered our new rangehood

The electrician also came in and disconected our old oven, put in wiring for the dishwasher and rangehood, and added wiring for a couple of new power points. We now have little holes all over our kitchen...

We discovered that area behind the old splashback was held together by...
masking tape

No plasterboard, just masking tape then the exterior brickwork. At this stage I realised I didn't have the time or resources to put in new plasterboard before Stuart came to install our benchtops, so I rang him and asked him if he would be able to put in some new plasterboard for us as well (he is a carpenter by trade). He agreed, so in the meantime I began fixing cabinets to the wall that had good plasterboard.

This morning Stuart came and took out the rotten board and masking tape and put in new plasterboard

Once that was done he modified the sink cabinet to fit our new sink, fixed the remaining cabinets to the new plasterboard and installed the wooden benchtops he made for us.

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Exciting Plans
Kitchen Benches and Cabinets
Visiting the Kitchen Designer
Second-Hand Kitchen Cabinets
Cabinets - tick
Preparing for New Kitchen Colour
Test Colour
Taking the Breakfast Bar Out
Taking the Pantry Out
Taking the Rangehood Out
Recent Work on the Kitchen
Slowly Coming Together
Delivery Damage, Plumbing & Heating