Sunday, May 30, 2010

Follow up to the last post...

Remember I said that I made carrot cake? Well, it turns out that getting the last tub of cream cheese for 50% off at the tiny little grocery shop at the corner is not a score, even if it does say it's good until July.
Yummy cake+bad cream cheese used for icing=carrot cake in the bin. Thank goodness the cookies turned out okay or I might just start to cry. Perhaps I'll just go back to doing nothing now...

Weekend in review...

We had a pretty busy weekend planned. We celebrated our anniversary on Friday night, we were invited to our friends' house for dinner on Saturday night and Steve was going to do a 5 hour mountain bike race today, with me cheering him on. That always means a very early start to our Sunday. Very early. Think 5 am, maybe earlier. Fortunately, cough, I mean unfortunately, we ended up having a very quiet weekend, with Steve getting sick with the cold that everyone living in Melbourne seems to have at the moment. I had it last week but was still very happy to take it easy this weekend. I'm exhausted these days and really run down. It was nice to have an excuse to just chill out! Poor Steve, he doesn't look well in this photo!
So, instead of being on the go, we ate pancakes...
...and sipped lots of lemongrass and ginger tea with honey. My current tea obsession.
Jesse was not happy with the choice of lazy weekend and decided barking at us non-stop as we tried to watch movies and relax would be the best option. It worked on Saturday, when I dragged my sorry butt off the couch and out for a walk but didn't fly today. Today, lazy won.
However, by this evening, I was feeling the need to do something productive and opted for baking a carrot cake and chocolate chip cookies. Oh, and a nice glass of red:)
Steve felt a bit better too and made us his signature Indian dish, which just so happens to be delicious. Jesse thinks so too, and since we didn't get him out today and I felt guilty, he got a few more tastes than usual;)

PS. Never ever watch the movie When in Rome. It was by far the worst movie I've seen in a very long time. Just so you know. Don't watch it. Ever.

What did you guys do over the weekend? Anything special?

Feeling loved...

Have you ever read the "When I Feel..." series to your kids? They are written by Cornelia Maude Spelman and talk about emotions ranging from "When I Feel...sad to angry to jealous, etc... They are fabulous books for teaching children that all feelings and emotions are okay, and how they can express their feelings in a healthy way. Plus, from my experience, the kids love them and seem to just soak them up! The other day at work, I read "When I Feel Loved" to my group of 4 and 5 year olds. As usual, it lead to a lovely discussion, and when I asked them when they feel loved, one little girl responded..."I feel loved when you give me a cuddle." Well, if that doesn't melt your heart, nothing will and ya know what, isn't it the truth? Who doesn't feel loved when they get a good hug or snuggle from someone they care about? This little moment helped to remind me to always make time for cuddles, because not only does it make the people in my life feel loved, but it makes me feel pretty darn good too!:)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Our 5th Wedding Anniversary!

Steve and I celebrated 5 years of marriage yesterday. As some of you already know, we take a picture every year on our anniversary, so over the years we'll be able to see how we've changed. Five years in now and we're already starting to look at the pictures and note how we've grown older, lost weight, gained weight, changed. I posted the past 4 anniversary pictures last year. Go here if you want to see them. We snapped this year's picture before going out for dinner at a really lovely steakhouse and then dessert at our newest favorite cake place. Thanks to everyone for the anniversary wishes! xo

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

So, it's hump day...

...but all I'm dreaming of is the weekend...
...and hanging with this guy...
...and chillin' in my pjs while pancakes cook...
...and taking walks in the park...
...and stopping for take-away lattes and sipping them in the botanical gardens...
...oh and eating weekend treats!

Looking forward to the small things is what makes life so special, don't ya think?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Thought of the day...

I took this picture on Saturday night when Steve and I went to glow in the dark mini golfing with friends. I've been to glow bowling but never glow golf. How is it everything is cooler when it glows? I swear laundry could make for a really fun night if only it could glow in the dark!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ironman Training Update....

It's been a very busy few months, lots of training and working. Winter is rapidly coming to Melbourne, both Saturday and Sunday I left the house at 7am for my morning ride and it was only 4 degrees. Brrrrrrrrrr.
I've started losing weight again, I recently started seeing a sport nutritionist, Alan at Recovery Sports, he has been a huge help with my recent weight loss. I plateaued in weight for about 8 months, I couldn't seem to budge off 187 pounds. I'm currently sitting around 181 pounds, 1 pound from my original weight loss goal I set for myself 3 years ago. To date I've lost 42 pounds.
My Ironman race weight goal will be about 172 pounds, so I still have some lard to lose.
My training schedule last week was a little on the insane side, 14 hours in total, 7 hours of that just over the weekend. By Sunday afternoon I was completely exhausted, the old legs were good and tired.
I'm following a pretty detailed training program that spans 9 months, each work out is broken down into different components, times and goals. Last weeks schedule went like this...

Swim - 45 min
Bike- 40min
Bike - 1hr 15min
Run - 45min
Swim - 45 min
Bike - 1hr
Swim - 1hr
Run - 1hr 5min
Bike - 2hr 30min
Followed immediately by...
Run - 45min
Bike - 2hr 30min
followed immediately by....
Run - 1hr 10min

All my rides during the week are done either in the morning or evening on an indoor fluid trainer. I find that I get a extremely good work out on the trainer, it's nice being able to spin and watch a good movie at the same time.

A new addition has been added to my triathlon arsenal, I recently purchased an Orbea Ora Tri bike. It is an awesome ride, handles great, is very fast and extremely comfortable.

Some time ago I signed up for the Capricorn Resort Half Ironman. The race is held in Yeppon Queensland on August 15th. Almost the whole race is held on the Capricorn resort property, for the first time in a long time Cari is excited for one of my events, I think she will enjoy hanging out at a resort while I race. This half Ironman will be my fitness barometer for my Ironman event that will be in Dec. Some pics of the resort below that I found on the net.

This weekend is the first race of the season for the Chase the Sun MTB series, which is a mountain bike endurance race. This event is the first of 4 that will be held over the next few months. I've signed up for the solo male category and am really looking forward to spending the day on my very neglected mountain bike.

Steve (should be swimming and not typing) Dickinson

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Work Party

My work had a little staff gathering last night. We brought our partners along and enjoyed a lovely BBQ and some Sing Star. I really like Sing Star, even though, let's face it, singing is not my hidden talent! I think I may have pushed my sore throat a wee bit too much and woke up this morning with no voice! Steve was a little bit too happy about that! Hm.

Steve got some great photos. Here's a few of my favorites...

It was nice to hang out with co-workers without screaming children hanging off our legs or interrupting every two seconds!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I was home sick from work today, or as the Aussies say, I took a "sickie". I have a sore throat and the start of another cold. I've been fighting it all week but woke up this morning feeling pretty yuck. I decided to take the day to rest, rather than push it like I usually do and end up on antibiotics again. Jesse and I spent most of the day sleeping, moving from the bed to the couch. It's nice to have a buddy to be lazy with when you're not feeling well. It helps too that he's warm to snuggle with!

The Ugly Truth...

I'm actually watching that movie as I write this post and it seemed fitting!
So...I have a confession to make. I think I may have accidentally given you the impression that I'm capable of making soup from scratch. You know, hard core scratch, like something grandmas and zen like mothers who sew all their children's clothes do. While, I do more than open a can and pour it in the pot, it's not the kind of homemade soup that involves boiling bones or even cooking my own chicken. It is yummy though and simple. I'm all about simple! So, if you are too, here's the "recipe" (I just make it up) that I make...

Step 1: Chop up garlic and brown onion. Throw it in a pot with a bit of olive oil and cook it until soft, mixing with a cute wooden spoon:)

Step 2: Add chicken broth. I buy a healthy, all natural one, with reduced salt. I throw that in and bring it to an easy boil. Then I add whatever I have for veggies and however many I want. The batch I just made had carrots, parsnips, and celery. I also chop up and throw in lots of fresh thyme.

Step 3: Add a little sea salt and fresh ground pepper. That always makes me feel like I know what I'm doing! A cute apron also helps!

Step 4: After the veggies have been gently boiling for about 5 minutes or so, I throw in about a 1/2 cup of rice. I let everything simmer for another 10 minutes or so, uncovered. Time will vary, I just kind of wing it.

Step 5: When there's about 5 minutes left to go with the cooking, I throw in the chicken. I buy one of those cooked chickens at the supermarket, chop it up in smallish pieces while it's still warm and voila! I told ya...simple!

Step 6: Test veggies to see if they're cooked the way you like. I like mine a little tiny bit crunchy-ish. I let it sit for a few minutes but to be honest, I have no idea why, it just seems like a professional like thing to do. Maybe don't worry too much about this part!

Step 7: Scoop soup in a cute bowl and enjoy! If I'm really feeling motivated I make homemade biscuits to go with it. That's where my true heart lies...baking!

Hope you don't think less of me now that you know my true culinary abilities!:)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Love you like crazy cakes!

Steve and I watched the documentary, Alone Across Australia, last night. It's about a guy named Jon Muir who in 2001 walked across Australia (2500 km) in 128 days, living off the land for survival. He was accompanied by his beautiful Jack Russell, Seraphine, with a population of only 100 people on the entire route. It's a very inspiring story of inner strength but for me, more than anything else, it was the relationship between him and his dog that still makes me teary eyed now as I write this. The love and loyalty they shared made my heart ache. Sadly, the devoted pooch didn't complete the journey, dying of what was thought to be poison left for dingoes. I seriously woke up every hour last night thinking about that dog and couldn't get her out of my head! I was devastated when she passed away in the film. Think really ugly cry. It's really unhealthy how emotionally attached I get to things I watch! Seriously though, I think any dog lover would understand. I'm so grateful for the loyal pup of my own, snoozing at my feet after our lovely evening walk around our neighborhood. He really does help to make gray days better. As I tell my kids at kindergarten, "I love my dog Jesse like crazy cakes!" xo

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


It's been chilly lately in Melbourne. Not cold enough to really complain but definitely colder than I ever imagined it would be living in Australia. We've been waking up to 5 degrees Celsius each morning and evenings get pretty chilly, as well. However, unlike Canada this is as cold as it will get and we will never see snow. Plus, the days are quite lovely with lots of sunshine and temps on average between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius. Winter here is basically like a very long Canadian autumn, which suits me perfectly, as autumn has always been my favorite season. So, while I'm not whining about the cold, I am doing cooler weather stuff, like making HUGE batches of soups to enjoy for lunches and drinking a lot more red wine than white! Lots of tea too and much, much warmer pajamas and slippers! I wouldn't mind of pair of these as well, to help keep me cozy. Luckily, unlike our house in Brisbane, this house actually has central heating, thank goodness! Because let's face it, if it didn't, then I would be complaining!
PS. I bought so many vegetables at the supermarket today. I was craving them like crazy! It's as if my body knows I've been feeding it all crap lately and begging me to smarten up!

Monday, May 17, 2010

My 30th birthday...

I've previously mentioned that Steve really spoiled me on my birthday, but I haven't yet given the details, so here goes! I woke up to a really adorable card (a monkey giving me a hug) and was told we'd be spending the entire day at a spa on the Mornington Peninsula (about an hour outside the city). Of course, I was ecstatic! That is just my-kind-of-thing!

We went to a spa called, Woodman Estate Day Spa, where we were treated like absolute royalty for 8 full hours. We were greeted at the door and shown to a beautiful table by the fireplace for breakfast, complete with a bottle of champagne. I've never had champagne for breakfast before, so that was exciting! There was a buffet and a breakfast menu. I ate from both!

It was pouring down rain when we arrived, which made my day. I love rain and a rainy Wednesday at a spa just seemed perfect.The estate grounds were beautiful. You can walk
around them, take a stroll around the lake, or just sit down and enjoy. It was such a serene place.

After brekky, we wandered over to the spa where we enjoyed a 30 minute sea salt scrub, a shower and then a 90 minute relaxing massage. Complete bliss. Have I mentioned that we were the only people there? It was so quiet and removed from the rest of the world!

Even Steve enjoyed it! After our massage, we were taken to our room, complete with a 4 poster bed and a gigantic spa tub, which they had filled with water and oils. More bliss.

After a swim in the tub, we opened the door to the room and found a lovely lunch table for two. The food was incredible! I had the risotto and Steve had the fish of the day. Dessert was just as yummy and just as fancy. Of course, they served wine too!

Then we relaxed. I actually fell asleep!

After a lovely snooze, we were escorted back to the spa room where we had the best facial I have ever had (wow!) AND an amazing hand and foot treatment. Steve fell asleep during the foot treatment and I almost did. I don't even really like having my feet rubbed, but seriously, this was fabulous!

After our treatments, we took showers, enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea on massage chairs and took a stroll around the property. I really liked the cows, but they weren't too crazy about me. Holy noisy cows! Crankypants.

The sun came out just in time for our drive home, dinner at a place just near our house that we've been wanting to try and of course...

Cake! Yes, this candle says "Birthday Boy". It was the only candle in the house. Boys don't think about candles and that's okay because he thought about everything else. Thanks Babe for making my 30th so special and one I'll never forget! xo

Did I mention that it was complete bliss? Just in case, I'll say it again. My birthday was complete and total bliss!

A big thanks to Steve's Mom for the lovely birthday card and gift I received in the mail. It was so nice to get mail from home for my birthday! Thanks again! Also, thanks again to those who sent facebook messages, emails and cards. It meant so much! xo

Sunday, May 16, 2010

New Camera!

Steve and I bought a new camera today. I love it! We've been having so much fun playing around with it! I'm planning to take a photography course soon, in hopes of learning more about taking photos. It's something I've always wanted to do and now, more than ever, I feel like I need to have interesting stuff to focus on and have fun with.

We decided to go with an Olympus E-PL1. I really wanted this one because it's still tiny enough to carry around or pull out at a party without everyone feeling intimidated. Suits our lifestyle and needs well. Plus, it looks old school, which I especially love!

I've also decided it's high time to put some extra energy into my blog. I really, truly love blogging and the whole blogging world in general. It makes me happy to read others' blogs and share on my own. So, naturally, I think making my blog all I dream of is just plain old common sense. I hope you enjoy the changes to come over the coming months. I have lots of ideas floating around my very busy head!