A few years back, one of my first posts on lifelovetravelfood was about me freaking out about turning 27. I scoff looking back on that post now (what was I worried about, I was so YOUNG!) especially since I recently left my 20s behind and have hit the scary world of the big three-oh.
In the lead up to my big day, I was fine. Excited even! I was getting a Thermomix for goodness sake, what’s not to get excited about! Plus my family is notorious for awesome 30th presents and I had NO idea what mine was going to be. And then the day came.
B handed me my first card and then it hit me. I’m 30. THIRTY! And next decade I’ll be 40!! I have to start worrying about grey hairs and wrinkles, making more mature decisions and being sure to dress age-appropriately. ‘Young people’ (ie. Anyone younger than 30) will always do stuff that annoys me now and I’ll have to scroll down for ages to find my date of birth year on online forms (I know, first world problems right?!)
But then after a few deep breathes, an awesome breakfast out with B and a day spent visiting the beautiful Swan Valley and it’s abundance of great little breweries (and NOT being designated driver for once) I wondered what I was so worried about. Sure, the group of rowdy teenagers in the beer garden annoyed me, but I’m pretty sure I’ve been tutting at loud, obnoxious groups of people for a number of years now. Nothing new there.
Age is just a number. I’ve not wasted ANY years of my life and that’s the most important thing to me. At 30 years of age, I’ve married my best friend, lived in two different countries and four Australian cities. My group of friends has whittled down to just a handful, but I know they’re all amazing, TRUE friends that I’ll have with me for the rest of my life. I’ve travelled extensively and lived my life (so far) to the fullest.
So yes, I’m 30! I’m not sure I’m QUITE ready to say the ‘and proud’ bit, but considering I don’t even put my age on Facebook, yet I’ve announced my age on here is a big step (and in the blog post title no less). Here’s to the next 30!
Here’s what I love this month.
Oh yeah, I’m gonna talk about my Thermomix. Not for very long, I promise cause a certain sister continues to mock me for it but she’s just jealous. I can make almond meal in seven seconds and chop an onion in three. So THERE. I will just say it’s awesome, I love it and my husband ROCKS for buying it for me. Although whenever he wants to get out of doing something, he usually throws out the line, “But I bought you a Thermomix…” And I’m pretty sure he’s going to keep doing that for the next ten years until he’s convinced it’s finally paid for itself.
To continue talking about superficial things I love (hey, I’m only human) let’s talk about my beautiful, shiny, Michael Kors watch that my amazing Mumzie, Dad, beautiful big sisters, awesome brothers in law (x2) and gorgeous niblings (x3) bought me for my birthday. I. Love. It. I still don’t really understand what some of the buttons on the side do, but that’s not really important.
Exercise. I cannot tell you how excited I am to put this in the love category. I have NEVER loved exercise. Ever. I have always envied people who exercised daily and I honestly never thought I’d get to this point. But I have and it feels awesome.
For my birthday this year, I decided I deserved a present from myself (B did not agree but I only told him after I’d bought it). I bought the Lorna Jane Fit Challenge pack – which includes a three month fitness program. I was quite daunted at the idea of exercising every day and pushing myself to do things I wasn’t comfortable with but I’ve finished phase one, am up to week five, and it’s been the best thing for me.
Sure, there are days I get out of bed and think, “Ugh… I REALLY don’t wanna go to the gym this morning.” But because I’m already packed and my alarm has already gotten me up, I figure I may as well get out there and do it. And since people have started to notice a difference in me, it is SUCH a great feeling. I hope this is something I’ll be able to keep up for the long term because I’m loving it!
And finally, family. Since moving back home and to a new city, I’ve found the whole making friends situation kinda hard (I wrote a guest blog post about it on Amica if you fancy a look). A WONDERFUL friend of mine told me that when he and his wife moved back from the UK, they found the same thing and not to worry, it wasn’t just me! This made me feel so much better (cause there are times when you do begin to wonder if it’s you!) and he also said it just means I’ll get to spend extra quality time with B. And he’s so right. I actually adore spending time with B (which is probably a good thing considering we’re married) and also, my family.
My parents recently came over to visit and it was so NICE to be able to drop on over to my sisters place and catch up with them all. Even though it was only for three weeks, I loved every moment. Cooking them dinner (a full paleo dinner – see my ‘food’ section below!) going shopping, catching up for coffees or just having a day out… I love, love, loved it.
As I get older, I appreciate my family more and more. I’m so lucky to have such an awesome bunch of people I can call family. You guys are awesome, just thought you should know that.
Oh dear. I think I might be clutching at straws here. Since starting my new job, I’ve not really had an opportunity (ie. I haven’t earned any holidays) to take time off and actually GO anywhere. But finally, after weeks and weeks of staying in our new home city, we ventured out for the long weekend to the ever so beautiful Margaret River. Ok, so it’s not an overseas trip but those are gonna be few and far between now I think!
Stunning beaches, breweries, wineries, locally grown food, great coffee (with almost every coffee shop offering almond milk – woo hoo!!) we had an AWESOME weekend away. It was part of my birthday present to B, so I spent four days as designated driver, having just a sip rather than a proper taste of all the amazing wines and beers. But it meant we were able to explore far and wide and purchase enough alcohol to open a small pub. See, some things never change!
But instead of telling you everything we ate and drank and then feeling hideously guilty about it, I’ll just show you our weekend in pictures.
So what else can I count as ‘travel’. Well… we’ve been a few Wildcats games and got to sit in the Corporate Box twice. That was pretty cool. Erm… we went to the cricket twice. That involved travelling on a bus. And we’ve gone to the beach lots too, does that count?! Ok, think I might need to cut my losses and move on…
I will never be short of things to say in this section! Let’s start with eating out.
Atrium – the restaurant of choice for B’s very belated birthday dinner, this is a ‘fancy’ buffet in the Crown Casino. I have never been a fan of buffets, I just don’t get my money’s worth and I never like the look (or taste) of most stuff. As far as this one goes, it was pretty good. There was a lot to choose from and the majority of it was quite decent. Except for the line I was in, behind a little old man who proceeded to pick wax out of his ears while waiting to choose his next dish. Needless to say, I didn’t touch anything he did and proceeded to skip that line in favour of another. Seriously, it’s basic hygiene people. Gross.
The Old Crow – dinner with the family for an early birthday celebration for Mum, and a late birthday celebration for me. When you eat the way I do, and you take your family out to dinner at a restaurant you’ve chosen and the first thing you say is, “We have to get the brussel sprouts, apparently they’re awesome,” you’re bound to get some pretty skeptical looks. But they needn’t have worried – the food was great and the sprouts WERE awesome. With hush puppies, crispy pork bits and slow cooked rabbit on the table, the food was tasty. The only disappointment was the less than amazing wine list (how snobby do I sound?!) and that my flank steak with blue cheese sauce and spinach was delicious but in parts, SO rare I felt a bit ill even looking at it.
Millpoint Caffe Bookshop – I LOVE brunch. It’s my favourite meal of the day. This one saw Mum, Dad, B and I visit for a nice long brunch one Saturday morning. I had baked eggs with beans, chorizo and gluten free toast (I love places that have gluten free options) which was super yum, but the eggs were a tad overcooked. B had pancakes – he never orders sweet breakfasts, he’s a ‘big breakfast’ man which I find tediously boring so when he was being a typical Libran and couldn’t make up his mind, I made it for him and chose the pancakes. Which came topped with bright pink Persian fairy floss which he found embarrassing and I found hilarious.
Some of my recent home cooking adventures now!
Salted caramel chocolate slice – a paleo version of a much loved classic which I think tastes better than the real thing. I was SO excited to make this (in my Thermomix none the less) and the result was a super delicious slice that everyone loved. Although one girl at work told me that it wasn’t sweet enough but I don’t think I will EVER win her over with my paleo baking so I just chose to ignore that critique. B even asked if we had leftovers because he enjoyed it so much. Win!
My paleo dinner party – Ok, so it wasn’t really a party because it was just dinner with my husband and parents at our place. But for the first time ever, I attempted a 100% paleo menu. When I cook for others, I tend to cook ‘normal’ foods because I’m too scared to attempt my kind of food. Slowly but surely this year, my family have been my guinea pigs, taste testing all my paleo dinners and sweets, most of which have been a success (and a few fails… but I to keep those to myself!)
So I decided to cook MY kind of food for Mum and Dad, especially since Mum specifically requested I make her a raw cake while she was visiting because she was intrigued and had always wanted to try one.
Entrée – Coconut flour blinis with avocado and smoked salmon
Yum! The only part of the entire menu that I’d made before. Just baby pancakes, made with ‘hippy’ flour so that I can eat them too. Avocado and smoked salmon is always a winning combo so these went down a treat.
Main – Crispy pork belly with bacon and cauliflower bites, and lemon garlic greens.
I had a little trouble getting my crackling to go crispy but with B’s help and a bit of improvisation, we made it work. I love pork belly and the meat was melt in your mouth. Not too much fat which can sometimes be a turnoff with pork belly, the meat was really good.
The cauliflower bites were the ONLY thing that weren’t 100% paleo… I snuck a bit of parmesan cheese in them! They’re kinda like potato gems but made with cauliflower instead of potato, and baked instead of deep fried. Really yummy, I will definitely make them again.
The greens were fresh and crunchy and I managed to get away with adding in some kale with the usual sugar snap peas and asparagus and no one seemed to mind!
Dessert – Raw salted caramel paleo cake
I love a good raw cake! This one was SUPER smooth and quite rich but without being overly so. I wouldn’t have said it was ‘salted caramel’ – perhaps I needed to add a bit more salt but it was delicious all the same. I nearly fell off my chair when Dad said, “This is really good!” My sweet tooth Dad liked a RAW cake! To this day, I’m still amazed!! My favourite part about raw cakes is that the leftovers go into the freezer and this means I have yummy cake on hand whenever I need a sweet but not too naughty treat.
So I think my first attempt at cooking MY kind of food went down really well! I think as I get braver and more confident in my abilities to cook delicious, healthy foods, I won’t feel the need to make stuff that I myself don’t enjoy.