Making kind choices in your everyday life.

eating out

Autumn

Posted by on May 15, 2016 in eating out, Eggs, Recipes - Savoury, Recipes - Sweet, Topical | 2 comments

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns,” ~ George Eliot.

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Image from www.earthporn.com

Where are you my beloved Autumn ? T’is but a mere 2 weeks away from winter and yet another t-shirt wearing Sydney day is just finishing up. Frightening stuff – and, scarier still that our politicians in their election campaign are steadfastly avoiding any climate change talk. It’s all “jobs and growth” but what kind of world are they expecting us to work in and grow into ??

My blogging frequency is about as lack luster as this balmy excuse of an Autumn we are having. I am keen to get back into the swing of addressing a topic once a month or so but, for now, it’s going to be all the brilliant, interesting and inspiring things which have been tickling my fancy or firing me up since I last wrote all those moons ago in Spring.

Inspiring people

  • Marc Ching from the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation in the US. His missions to save dogs from the meat trade in Asia (most recently in China, Thailand and Cambodia) are epic and heart wrenching to watch but ultimately heroic. He does what so few animal lovers could do or face. When he is not rescuing dogs under the guise of being  a dog meat buyer so he can infiltrate into the grimmest of world’s where dogs are tortured before being killed for their meat, he is rescuing animals from the worst cases of neglect and abuse in the US. Here is his facebook page which follows these incredible rescues.
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    Marc Ching : Photo from Hope and Animal Wellness Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whilst on this topic, please join Ricky Gervais and sign this petition against the Yulin Dog Meat Festival in China. Public opposition to this barbaric festival grows each year. Please add your voice. It needs to end.

  • Marianne Thieme. I went to see her talk a couple of weeks ago at the 2016 Voiceless Animal Law Lecture Series. This utterly impressive woman is the leader of the Dutch Party for the Animals. I felt like I was immersed in an episode of Borgen – watching a rare species of politician who is progressive, intelligent, compassionate and actually thinking about the issues that will make this world a better place for the people and animals living on it.

If you’d like to know where do our political parties stand on animal protection here is a handy summary provided by Voiceless. If you would like to see better protection for our most vulnerable members of society, you’ll see that the Animal Justice Party tick all the boxes. I know who will be getting my vote at the up and coming election.

Heavy topics over with…..onto some of my more pleasurable discoveries (which I am noticing are dominated by FOOD ) and a viable explanation for my increasingly gripping pants !

Eating Out Recommendations 

Gigi’s in Newtown continues to tantalise my taste buds with it’s mouthwatering array of pizzas and cocktails and other delights. Seriously, go there.

Gelato Blue in Newtown – have always found it to be the best gelataria in existence but it has now outdone itself by taking a leaf out of Gigi’s book and going completely animal product free.

Golden Lotus in Newtown – delicious and affordable Vietnamese food. Vegan Pho and the like.

Food

New vanilla and blue berry flavoured coconut, dairy free yogurt courtesy of Nudie. I hunted down the Vanilla one at Woollies and rate it big time.

All the new drool-worthy Over the Moo dairy free ice cream flavours, including Matcha Green Tea, Caramel and Ginger Ninja.

Successful Recipes

I have been on a biscuit / brownie making rampage of late with the following little morsels getting rapturous feedback…

As for savoury new discoveries……

This one pot Mexican quinoa dish has been on repeat in our household. Love it.

I’ve just fallen in love with a new cooking blog where every dish looks sensational, nutritious and uncomplicated. The Buddhist Chef – check it out. The Dragon Bowl is getting a run this week in our house.

Recycling etc

Like every second person seems to be doing, I have jumped aboard the house and contents de-cluttering bandwagon – albeit at the most snail like pace imaginable (we’re talking a drawer a week). The Slow Home Podcast and The Minimalists are my go to podcasts to bolster my enthusiasm levels. I am trying my best to rid our unwanted items as responsibly as possible – rather than just turfing it out the front for council collection as I know it’ll get chucked straight into landfill. So, there’s been a couple of handy discoveries I have made….

Terra Cycle. I have created a couple of boxes….one for all my old cosmetic containers, squirty gadgets etc which can’t be recycled via the normal council bins….and the other for all our tooth care regalia – so old toothbrushes, used toothpaste tubes etc. Once full, I just print off my label and mail it off (for free) to the creative Terra Cycle people who make it all into something new and functional. Clever hey ?They have a whole lot of different categories like rubber gloves, pens and coffee pods which run in a similar way. You can earn points too but I didn’t figure out how to do this. I just wanted to be rid of my loot.

H & M. Now this is an impressive move for a chain clothing store and sorted one of my dilemmas. What to do with all those sheets, old t-shirts etc lurking in your cupboards which have a little mark on them or are a bit old and threadbare so unsuitable for Vinnies ?? You take them into your local H & M store where they take them off your hands and do something constructive and worthy with them like making them into new products. PLUS you get a 15% discount card for your troubles should you wish to purchase something (which I did not as am trying to curb my consumerist ways too).

Good new app

If you do eat eggs, Choice have released this great, free app to allow you to avoid all the dodgy, so called “free range” eggs when you are at the supermarket. If you’re going to eat eggs, please pay a few more dollars and support the farmer who stocks the 800-1500 birds per hectare rather than those cashing in on the now legally allowed 10,000 birds per hectare definition, even when the poor birds can’t get outside. And, whilst you’re at it, you can let Aldi know that they are living in the past by supporting the continued sale of caged eggs.

Random nice things

I’ve discovered a new funny comedian who’s podcast I’m loving – the inappropriate, ballsy, sweary, hilarious Jen Kirkman. Her books are great too. Divorced and suddenly single in her 40’s, child free by choice, flying anxieties, weird Prince dreams….it’s all there. And, she’s vegan as I only recently discovered. So sad that I missed the boat and did not see her recently perform in Sydney.

Speaking of Podcasts…a new discovery for me is “Knowing Animals“. An informative learning hub for animal related advocacy issues. JJJ’s Lindsay McDougall was the most recent guest.

Movies – 45 years, Rams, The Daughter, Sherpa and Mia Madre are all fantastic, must sees in my humble opinion.

TV Shows – am obsessed with the UK police show “Happy Valley”. It is so engrossing and gripping.

Books -Nest by Inga Simpson, A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Simpson and The Anti-Cool Girl by Rosie Waterland. All great reads.

I sincerely hope that it is not in 2 seasons time until I see you again. I miss tinkering on my little blog but struggle with time management (obviously). I have no idea how many people read it, would not know how to view my stats to save myself but, for my own sake, it’s a way of gathering up everything I learn or discover and plonking it down in one spot. I hope you get something out of it too.

You can find me on facebook as well.

Ciao xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lonesome (but not lonely) in Launceston

Posted by on Sep 13, 2015 in eating out, Holidaying | 6 comments

“In solitude the mind gains strength and learns to lean upon itself” – Laurence Sterne

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View out my window (at Oswalds) with aptly titled book on display

A quick disclaimer here……I truly love and relish spending time with my partner, friends and family.

BUT………..I also love spending some quality time……alone. (You will feel less hesitant admitting to this if you’ve read the brilliant book Quiet).

I was lucky enough to have been able to tack on a couple of “it’s all about me” days on the tail end of a recent adventure to Tasmania.

These days were spent in a town I have fallen madly and deeply in love with…….of all the unlikely places on the planet……Launceston ! What a magnificent place. Here is a little run down of what I got up to during my couple of days of self imposed solitude:

  • I stayed at THE most blissful airbnb place. Oswalds. Affordable for my solo self. Peaceful, comfortable and, well, just perfect. Loved the cruelty free Sukin bathroom products too. The church bells next door (in the beautiful St Oswalds church) ring out every Monday to signify the plight of refugees.
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Pretty church next door

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Ate out. I do not have enough superlatives to describe how good the food was at Garden of Vegan. No wonder it (a vegan restaurant ‘n all !) rates number one on Trip Advisor for Launceston.
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Garden of Vegan – beautiful hey ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vegi cafe Fresh On Charles was pretty damn fine too. (How stunning are the wall designs ?)

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Fresh on Charles groovy decor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Coffee Place award went to Sweet Brew (the coffee was superb). A plethora of groovy mags like Frankie to immerse your solo self in. AND, the draw card for me was this sign….(the cafe owner’s 5 year old son sells lemons to raise money to release captive bears in Romania – he has already raised enough money to enable one bear to be released – read more about Tariku’s inspiring tale)

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Tariku’s lemons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

………suffice to say, I came home with a few lemons in my luggage.

  • Strode many of the thigh strapping tracks on the spectacular Launceston Gorge which was right on my doorstop.
  • Fossicked in a few very sweet shops – loved Inside and Den which were full of locally made lovely things.
  • Had a massage which, in my books is the pinnacle of some indulgent “me time” – I would highly recommend Tai Chi Chinese Massage.
  • Went to the glorious Saturday farmer’s markets (admittedly I did this the weekend prior when I was with friends) but I enjoyed my purchases (including a 3 pack of some local “Henry’s” ginger beer (including a scrumptious Wasabi flavour) during my solitary sojourn).
  • Read an incidentally apt book  – Neon Pilgrim by Lisa Dempster. A brilliant memoir about her solitary (and vegan) 1200 km pilgrimage on the Henro Michi in Japan. Really loved this book.
  • Did not enjoy the Japanese macaque enclosure in the Botanical Gardens. It was little more than a small zoo enclosure which left me feeling a bit sad (even though the macaques were undeniably cute).
  • Thought about going on a bike ride. Alas, it was a bit too chilly (and I was a bit too lazy) but there are free bikes available to wizz around on – available through Artbikes.
  • Stalked the neighbourhood streets eyeing off the beautiful houses whilst imagining myself (with ease) as a Launcest-eon 
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    Gorgeous houses abound in Launceston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I acknowledge that as a child-less person, it may be easier for me than some to have some one on one time with myself. And maybe not everybody would enjoy it ?? I however, have come to the realisation just how much I need and cherish a few reflective, self indulgent days to myself. Hence, each year I will be guiltlessly weaving in a few such lonesome days into the calendar. Try it out – you can ponder and potter, listen to whatever music you like and go to bed at 7.30pm without being heckled and called names (like nana).

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Hi Dawn….. View out of my bedroom window on my last morning (sob)

It is unlikely that I will be able to lure myself anywhere else for the forseeable future other than back to Oswalds to do all this again BUT, a couple of other good solo destinations I recommend are :

  • The Pittwater YHA in Sydney. I have been going there with friends since I was a young lass. They do have very affordable, single rooms though but you have to book ahead as it is so damn popular now that the secret is out.
  • Some shameless spruiking here but my mum’s airbnb place, in the inner west of Sydney. My mum has always been a very bold, intrepid, often solo traveler so she is sympathetic to the plight of the lone traveller and prices her cute place accordingly.
  • A tad more costly for the single traveler but Inspirations on Bruny (yes, Tasmania again, there is a bit of a theme going on hey ?) is another brilliant place to escape from the world.

Do you have any others to recommend ? Am I alone in my love of some alone time ?

 

 

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