Tag Archive | Hervey’s Range

Focusing on the firsts

Happy weekend, all! Can you believe it’s August? I for one sure can’t. But so far, I’m loving August, and especially loving our special visitors:
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They’ve only been here a few days, but we’re loving every second. It’s going to be a fun two weeks : –)

Anyway, I wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for your comments on my last post. It was difficult for me to write and express what I was feeling, and I truly appreciate the heartfelt words.

After writing that post, I got to thinking and I must admit I was getting sad, too.  August is going to be full of ‘first and last’ experiences for me in Australia. What I mean by ‘firsts and lasts’ is: ‘first trip here, last meal there, last dinner here’, etc.  I realize it’s a pretty depressing way of thinking, so I know I need to change that. Instead of getting sad over this, I’m making it a goal of mine to embrace each and every experience I have left in my two weeks here and focus on the ‘firsts’, instead of the ‘lasts’. This week’s firsts included:

My first rugby games (Go Cowboys!):
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First meat pie (it was actually roasted vegetable, but it was deeeelicious!):
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First official ‘winter porridge’ in Australia:
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First run in my new sneakers (I am loving these Nike Free’s!):
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First trip with B’s parents to Hervey’s Range:
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First fancy coffee’s with Sue at Jam Corner (flat whites and cappuccinos, yes please):
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First attempt (and a successful one, at that!) cooking potatoes on pizza:
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First time wearing my ‘Boston Strong’ tee (love you Michelle!):

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First attempt cooking Cauliflower Rice (my new favorite side dish, I think!)
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First hat shopping experience in Australia:

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First time wearing my starfish scarf (I seriously have an accessory problem addiction):
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(Sidenote: I am REALLY going to miss wearing t-shirts in the winter!!)

Well, I’m off to enjoy this beautiful Sunday. Have a special rest of your weekend!

Did you have any ‘firsts’ this week?

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A tough week calls for chocolate

Hey friends, how was your Memorial Day weekend? Just think, you only have 3 work days left! I don’t know about you, but I used to love the feeling of 4-day weeks in my corporate job. Waking up on Wednesday thinking it’s Tuesday and finding out it’s mid-week is nothing short of FABULOUS. Anyway, my weekend wasn’t a long one, but it was still a good one nonetheless! We had a fun Saturday that consisted of:
A walk along the water:
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(Such a nice pose he did for me  LOL)

Homemade scones from Hervey’s Range Tea Rooms:
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(Cinnamon apple for her, blueberry for him)

Tourist activities:
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Laughing like crazy at the movies:
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Source

Noshing on delicious pizza:
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(minus the olives!)

…and seeing the perfect sunset:
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Loving these unbelievable sunsets!

I loved everything about this day because it was just fun. I REALLY needed it before the crazy week I knew I was about to have/am having (last week of classes + exam preparation + work + studying =chaos).  Unfortunately, Saturday came and went too quickly and Monday began a tough week of craziness. In my opinion, tough weeks call for chocolate and this week is certainly no exception! When I’m stressed,  my favorite thing to do is bake (just like my Mom), so I figured a nutritious snack to get me through all of this studying wouldn’t hurt.  I loved the last protein bites I made but I’ve been wanting to experiment with a different kind, and I wanted to involve chocolate. So that’s just what I did, in the form of Chocolate Almond and  Coconut Energy Bites. My inspiration for these was this beauty:
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I was ecstatic when I read Kristy’s blog and found out that Almond Breeze Chocolate Almond Milk was available in Australia. I incorporated this into these bites, along with cocoa powder and chocolate chips to fulfill my sweet tooth. The protein in these bites comes in the form of oats, sunflower butter (or any nut butter) and quinoa flakes. Protein and chocolate? Yes please! These have been a perfect pick-me-up all week.  I’ve eaten them as pre-and-post work-out snacks, taken them to class and to work to eat on my breaks, and have thoroughly been enjoying a few for dessert each night. If you try them, I hope you like them!

Chocolate Almond and Coconut Energy Bites
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Ingredients:
1 cup oats (I used whole oats)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
3 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup slivered almonds (or your nut of choice)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey (I combined the two)
2/3 cup nut butter (I used sunflower butter)
1/4-1/2 cup Chocolate Almond Breeze Almond Milk

Directions:
1) Combine the oats, coconut, quinoa flakes,  cocoa powder, almonds, raisins, and chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl.
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2) In another mixing bowl, combine vanilla, syrup/honey, and nut butter. Pour this onto your dry ingredients and stir well, slowly adding-in the chocolate almond milk as you stir. (I needed a little under 1/2 cup of almond milk by the end to get the mixture to the right consistency).
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3) Cover and chill the mixture in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Then roll into ball formation.
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I rolled half of mine into shredded coconut for an extra garnish, but that is optional! 
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Store in an air-tight container in the fridge and enjoy!
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I think you could classify me as borderline obsessed with energy bites at this point, but I’m okay with that. Off to study and enjoy a couple of these gems on the side : –)
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What are your go-to de-stressing activities?
My top three are baking, shopping, and exercising!

What foods do you crave when you’re stressed?
For me, it’s chocolate and pizza!