In the words of another…

…as to why I have not written a blog post recently, and a much needed re-prompt to myself. I have mentioned in the past that I am a bit of a fan of Annabel Langbein, and earlier this year there was an article about her in the NZ Women’s Weekly. It resonated strongly, and I wanted to share some of that with you, it has only taken me five months – says it all really!

There were so many points she made, that made me go, yes, yes exactly, it is not just me. Of course I cannot copy them all here. The four highlights from the article for me, and words we can all heed are:

  • There have been many nights where she found herself still working at 3 am and thought, “What on earth am I doing?
  • “I am lucky that I am blessed with a lot of energy, but doesn’t mean I should work 16 hours a day.” 
  • “When I first had children I thought I had to be superwoman and keep going – I thought if I got off the bus for even a short time, my life would be over”
  • “Now I know that being flat-out busy shouldn’t be the rhythm of your life. I like to take analogies from nature… plants don’t flower all year round. You don’t have to be on G for Go all the time”

It has been a little crazy busy on the work front for me of late, part time work with more life balance.. humph! I have lots of energy and have worked to the silly time in the morning mentioned above more than once recently. Anyway this is my reminder to get back in balance. If you needed one, hope this helps you.

slow down north melbourne


So what does freedom taste like?

Sweet! And pun intended I am afraid!  I have indulged in culinary pleasures with my new found taste of freedom. Perhaps like many of you, I have a list of things I would like to try but have either not had or made the time. Well that has changed, and I have knocked two things of my list – jam and ice cream – and I have even managed to combine the two.

I remember my Mum making jam, there was always loads of plum jam which was never my favourite, clearly we had plum trees. When we lived in the UK Dad and I would go blackberry picking – I have fond memories of Dad and I scrambling in and around bushes. More importantly blackberry jam was my absolute favourite.

When I was at the Queen Victoria Markets I noticed that I could buy three punnets of strawberries for just $4.50, and that triggered my thoughts and started me looking at recipes. I am now very proud to say that I have made strawberry jam; and it was not as complicated nor as time consuming as I imagined it might be, and it set (with some help from Jamsetta).

I have now also made ice cream for the first time in my life, and even the “hard to get a compliment out of other half” thinks it tastes like the real deal. I made strawberry ripple ice cream by hand, using my jam. Again not that complicated, I would make both jam and ice cream again. Making them myself has also reminded me that jam and ice cream are not health foods! I also made a strawberry cloud cake, definitely not a dieter’s special! My thanks to Annabel Langbein, it was her ice cream base recipe and strawberry cloud cake recipe that I used.

I also wanted to give a shout out to Bee Sustainable on Lygon St, I went there to purchase some Kleerview covers before making my jam, and at the time they did not have any in stock, but very kindly directed me to Fowlers Vacola– back in North Melbourne (asking if I was familiar with North Melbourne – just a little!) and in doing so giving up a sale. And thanks to Fowlers for suggesting the Jamsetta when I said I was making jam for the first time.

So what does freedom taste like? For me rather a sweet start! When you made a change, how was it for you?

Live the life you have always imagined

At the start of last year I shared the source of some of my inspiration – who said TV was all bad!  And continued to share quotes as the year progressed until about this time last year. Must mean I am now an uninspired soul!  Not entirely true, as I do call on more than one source for inspiration, and wanted to share with you another, the rather wonderful Annabel Langbein.

Probably two Christmases ago my mother-out-of-law gave me The Free Range Cook, a cook book by Annabel Langbein.  For some reason I went and purchased the associated TV series to watch and it is just amazing.  It is that really down to earth kiwi approach – great food, great friends, on the edge of the great outdoors.  I just wanted to step into that picture.  I highly recommend watching it almost simply for the enjoyment of delightful television.  Looking back now I am sure watching that series may have had a little bit of influence in our thinking to make that adventurous step and put a foot hold on a big change of life here.

I have always been a bit of a foodie, and do believe one of the true pleasures in life is yummy food enjoyed with others.  But with a busy life that has been squeezed out.  One of the joys has been that it has helped entice me back to playing in the kitchen – check out my Chocolate & Cranberry slice below, and here for the recipe.  At the same time as those TV ads became my mantra, I spied another Annabel Langbein cookbook, a summer edition with the subtitle a free range life – how could I resist?!   There is an awesome and easy pizza recipe in it that I highly recommend.

So to finish, I thought I would share with the you the last quote which is,

“Live the life you have always imagined because life is for living”

It is a timely reminder.  I have been making conscious changes to some aspects in mine, getting some wins, but also need to make some more adjustments.  While we may often feel that everything is beyond our control, that is frequently not as true as we let ourselves believe.  We often forget that much more is within our own control.  At the end of the day the most powerful person who can affect a change in our own life is ourselves. I am trying to get out there and life the life I imagine, I hope you are too.