The bright lights of BrisVegas

Life

I’m now 30 weeks pregnant and TOTALLY freaking out at the thought of having another human life in my care in less than 10 weeks. There’s lots I’m scared about – are we going to be any good at this, will we know what to do, will Keggy sleep ok, will I want to cry every five minutes, have we got everything we need, will I bond with my baby? And don’t even get me started on my anxieties about the birth – that’s a WHOLE other ballgame!

But I then remind myself how incredibly lucky we are to have Keggy and that we’re even able to be parents. So often we take this sort of thing for granted so I’m trying to keep this in mind and enjoy my pregnancy and take each day as it comes.

Baby bump_lifelovetravelfood
Bye bye feet! 29 week bump
@lifelovetravelfood

Until I freak out again next week over how to put nappies on correctly and swaddle a baby.

Love

I have officially fallen back in love with my home city of Brisbane. B and I left BrisVegas nine years ago and have been going back for visits every year since but never have I felt the urge to move back or felt like I missed the place. Sure, I miss the people who live there,  but I never felt like I really wanted to live there again. Until this trip. I don’t know if it’s the small person growing inside me that has made me reassess my priorities but now I am SO keen to move back and see Keggy grow up in the same city that I did.

I know it’s not where we’re meant to be at this very moment as Perth is currently our home, but the urge to move back is stronger than ever. In every place we’ve lived since Brisbane, we’ve stayed for a minimum of four years (Canberra and London) so I often wonder if the same will apply to Perth…

Brisbane_lifelovetravelfood
Postcard perfect Brisbane
@lifelovetravelfood

*

Being pregnant sure does have its perks. You get cool new nicknames (mine’s currently ‘Turtle’ from one of the girls I work with and it’s very appropriate cause I often feel like an over-turned turtle when lying on my back and struggling to roll over in bed) and people are extremely considerate and helpful.

I’ve noticed cars slow down to let me cross the road so I don’t have to run (waddle). People hold open doors for me even when I’m at the other end of the hallway. No one lets me carry anything heavier than a piece of paper. And cafés let me use their staff-only bathrooms cause they understand you should never say no to a pregnant woman who needs to pee.

*

Fruit! I am completely and utterly addicted to fruit at the moment. I consider it quite a blessing that my days of being obsessed with cheese and TopDeck chocolate are behind me and have been replaced with summer fruits. Watermelon was the first obsession, closely followed by pineapple, strawberries, blueberries and now mangoes. All day, everyday.

Fresh fruit_lifelovetravelfood
Current obsession. I get impatient when my mangoes take too long to ripen!
@lifelovetravelfood

I also love that I can blame anything food related on the baby (sorry Keggy). I saw a lady eating a packet of chips at work yesterday, and all I could think about for the rest of the afternoon was thinly cut salted chips. So that’s what I got on my way home #blamethebaby. ‘Needing’ a chicken schnitzel for lunch one weekend #blamethebaby. Eating two giant freddos in one sitting (and feeling absolutely disgusting afterwards and wholeheartedly regretting this) #blamethebaby.

Yep, pregnancy can be really awesome!

Travel

Ah holidays, how refreshing they can be! This trip took us back to the sunshine state for my best friend’s wedding. We arrived in Brisbane to see my parents for about four hours in total, before they headed off on a 4WD trip but I’m SO glad they both got to see my bump and Mum felt some nice
Keggy-kicks too.

I caught up with friends and even though it had been a few years in between visits, it felt like no time had passed – that’s true friendship! We also hosted an NRL Grand Final party – although calling it a party is a bit of a stretch considering there was no loud music, everyone left by 10pm and no furniture got broken. B is a MAD North Qld Cowboys fan and to say he was tense during the game was an understatement. I had people congratulating ME at the end of the game, cause they knew how unbearable B would have been if they’d lost. B also received copious amounts of Cowboys clothing and merchandise for his birthday and I have a feeling the collection will only continue to grow for both him and Keggy.

Baby Cowboys_lifelovetravelfood
Keggy will be a Cowboys supporter whether he/she likes it or not!
@lifelovetravelfood

After Brisbane, we visited family and friends in Toowoomba. My in-laws were wonderful, allowing me to have my laziest trip ever – I didn’t lift a finger! Keggy is stealing all my iron and this means I’m ALWAYS tired, exhausted by 8pm and yawning throughout the day. It was exactly the type of trip I  needed – to rest, relax, read and just be.

Farm life_lifelovetravelfood
How’s the serenity… farm life
@lifelovetravelfood

From Brisbane, we drove to the Gold Coast, via Beaudesert to visit a family friend and a quick coffee stop in Mt Tambourine, where we reminisced about the last time we visited the area on one of our first ever trips as a couple some ten or so years ago. I loved spending time on the Gold Coast – the wedding was in Tugun, a part of the Gold Coast I’d not visited for years, and it was great to get away from the touristy hustle and bustle of Surfers Paradise.

The wedding itself was beautiful. So relaxed, nothing too formal and just a whole lot of fun. I adored being bridesmaid and watching on as my Miss B married her very best friend. The bridal party was a great group, meaning the photos were an absolute blast. There were some interesting stories told which cannot be repeated on my PG rated blog with so many laughs and good times. Exactly what a wedding should be! We danced the night away and I think I danced Keggy to sleep cause usually the second I get into bed, he/she starts wriggling like crazy but this time, all quiet on the bump-front. It was a fabulous day and I’m SO glad we were able to be a part of. Congratulations B & C – love you guys!

Wedding_lifelovetravelfood
Playing bridesmaid at my best friends wedding
@lifelovetravelfood

For the rest of our trip, we caught up with friends, ate out at great little cafes and restaurants, visited a brewery, celebrated B’s birthday, went to Southbank, soaked up the glorious Qld sunshine and just had an absolute ball. I can’t wait to go back again in March when we have another trip planned for yet another wedding and Keggy’s first plane trip – eep!

FOOD

Eating out and about…

Inglewood Night Markets – Every Monday night, lots of little food trucks gather in my local area for foodie night markets. This was clearly a cheat day for me cause I had a mac and cheese toasted sandwich (which was AWESOME) followed by a pomenade – homemade traditional lemonade spiked with pomegranate, yum! B had a mixed grill with ribs, grits, salad and other spicy bits of deliciousness. He also tried a curry pie and we shared a seriously good woodfired pizza. Yes, we ate a LOT but there was so much choice, we could have gotten way more carried away. I’ve already chosen what to have next time we visit!

The plan at this stage is to go back once a month, including when J, Mum and Dad come over to visit. I love a good food market and love even more that it’s so close to home for us.

Grilled mac & cheese sandwich_lifelovetravelfood
Awww yeah! Carb with carbs with cheese – heaven! Plus a refreshing pomenade – gorgeous and sour
@lifelovetravelfood

Mrs S – after my gestational diabetes test (YUCK!) I met my sister L at Mrs S, a café I’d been dying to visit ever since I arrived in Perth. And I’m happy to say it did NOT disappoint – really good coffee, delicious fresh juice and my almond, honey and oat granola with poached peach and coconut yogurt was gorgeous. I’ve already decided we have to go back when my Mum and J come to visit in February. Yes, it does seem like their entire trip will revolve around food!

Mrs S_lifelovetravelfood
Almost too pretty to eat!
Mrs S, Maylands
@lifelovetravelfood

Bare Bones Society – Brunch with my girls in Brisbane at this surprisingly great little café… in a carpark! We all had the same thing – fritters with haloumi, bacon, rocket and tomato salsa. YUM! The serving was huge, but I still managed to get through a majority of it! It was too yummy to leave behind!

BareBonesSociety_lifelovetravelfood
Fritters, bacon, haloumi, salsa… what more could you want?!
Bare Bones Society
@lifelovetravelfood

Ground Up – A really cool, funky, hipster café in Toowoomba. Yes! In Toowoomba! I was stoaked to have my first EVER decent coffee in the Garden City (yes, I’m a coffee snob) and I was even MORE impressed with the lovely staff. I asked if they had a bathroom and the girl took one look at my bump and said, “For you… yes!” and she showed me to the staff bathroom. 10/10 for staff awesomeness!

Ground Up_Toowoomba_lifelovetravelfood
Cool coffee shop in T’bar – who wouldda thought?!
Ground Up
@lifelovetravelfood

One thing I have found really interesting in Qld is that my usual coffee order of a long macchiato topped up on almond milk gets me something completely different to what I get in Perth. B and I found it very confusing to know what to order to get exactly what we wanted as a long mac isn’t really all that long and the ‘topped up’ bit is just a dash of milk. Even when you ask them to fill your cup halfway with hot milk, they still won’t. I don’t get it…

Newstead Brewing Co – Unsure of where to go for his birthday lunch, B asked my opinion. He clearly wasn’t impressed when I suggested the Paleo Café or Pawpaw café (a health café) but was much more satisfied with my third suggestion of Newstead Brewing Co. We met up with a group of friends there to celebrate B turning 31 and our last day in Brisbane. Everyone on the table got different food and it all seemed to go down pretty well. B and I shared a pizza but the thing that stood out for me were the sweet potato chips. Oh my goodness, they were SO good! I think I nearly ate the whole bowl… and they weren’t even mine (sorry T!) Best sweet potato chips I’ve ever had.

Kalamunda Hotel – back in WA, we spent the weekend being very domesticated. We visited Kalamunda Hotel for lunch after doing our weekly shop at the local farmers markets. The food on offer here is your pretty standard pub food but done well. I had a chicken parmijana (taking off the ham to give to B, rather than asking for it without and have him miss out because apparently, ‘that’s how they getcha!’ This probably makes no sense to anyone who’s never seen an episode of Rules of Engagement) with salad and chips. There seems to be a running theme here cause the chips were awesome! I’m not usually a huge chip fan – I like them, but don’t love them. However these ones were so good, I ate the whole lot! B’s steak sandwich was also really tasty, the food came out quickly and the great range of beers on tap got B’s tick of approval.

Cooking at home…

Mango ice-cream – there was a conversation going on at work the other day about how ice-cream cannot be called ice-cream if it’s vegan. The whole team was involved and all in agreement when annoying little me jumped in to say, ‘but what if it’s made with coconut cream?’ Silence… it was then decided that if so called vegan ice-cream is made with coconut cream, it’s allowed to be called ice-cream. It was still met with skepticism that vegan ice-cream could be a good thing and I’m here to say it can be seriously delicious and I have the husband approved recipe to prove it.

Made simply with frozen mango and coconut cream and blended in my magical Thermomix, this stuff is heavenly.  I personally think it’s better than regular mango ice-cream cause it’s more mango-y and doesn’t make you feel sick afterwards from excess sugar. I think I might make some for dessert tonight…

Vegan mango icecream_lifelovetravelfood
Vegan, paleo, clean, healthy, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free… HUSBAND APPROVED! Wooo!
@lifelovetravelfood

Two types of birthday cake – I missed my Perth sister’s birthday this year as we were in Brisbane so when we got back, I promised to bake her a cake. As we were also away for B’s birthday, this meant two cakes were required. My brother in law and nephew had bought Uncle B a special robot cake tin for his cake so we had to go over especially so K could see the baked robot for himself. He was beside himself with excitement, announcing he wanted to eat the entire robot head – it was adorable!

Cake_lifelovetravelfood
Cakes galore!
@lifelovetravelfood

As for the flavours of the cakes, B wanted his usual… the same one I’ve made him for the past 10 years. He loves it and never wants a different one! White chocolate honeycomb mud cake with white chocolate honeycomb ganache. Think sugar, chocolate, sugar, chocolate, cream… it’s pretty epic!

L’s cake was a Nigella Lawson chocolate olive oil cake. I chose this one because she specify any particular cake and I ran out of flour after making B’s cake and this one was made with almond meal so it meant I didn’t need to go to the shops #lazy

Both cakes are super easy to make and really, really yum! And yes, I tried both – I’m all about everything in moderation and it’s not a birthday without cake!

Smoothies and smoothie bowls – current breakfast obsession. Every second morning we have a smoothie for breakfast cause they’re easy, quick and filling. Plus it means I can sneak spinach in to give Keggy more iron. I say ‘sneak it in’ but it’s kind of obvious it’s in there when the smoothie turns bright green. But B is totally on board and agrees you really can’t taste it so happy husband, happy baby, happy wife!

I’ve seen lots of people making smoothie bowls on instagram and didn’t really get what made them a ‘bowl’ and not just a regular smoothie. From what I can tell, it’s when a smoothie is really, really thick and too hard to drink, hence why it’s in a bowl and eaten with a spoon. Either way, they’re delicious and I made my first one on the weekend. It turned a murky pond-green colour so didn’t look overly appealing (even with a good instagram filter) but it tasted delicious and think they’ll be making a regular appearance at the breakfast table over summer.

Green smoothie bowl_lifelovetravelfood
Green smoothie bowl. Deliciously ugly!
@lifelovetravelfood

Turkey san choy bau – I LOVE san choy bau but B really doesn’t : ( Not sure why, but he’s just not a fan. I still make it every so often, and my latest version was a turkey and vege one. I got a bit carried away adding loads and loads of veges to it and I personally thought it was delicious. They’re not the tidiest things to eat and I certainly wouldn’t recommend making it if you’re on a date or with anyone you’re trying to impress or look elegant around.

Turkey san choy bau_lifelovetravelfood
Deliciousness in a lettuce cup!
@lifelovetravelfood

***

Coming up next on lifelovetravelfood. We’re going away this weekend, kind of our last hurrah before Keggy joins us. We’ve got dinner with L&G booked to celebrate birthday’s with ribs and beer (aren’t you impressed I still visit these types of places even though my beer days are over… for the time being!) We have our pre-natal hospital class to learn all about how not to injure our child. And I start pregnancy yoga – yippee! Good times ahead!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s