Monday, August 30, 2010

Could it be...spring is in the air?

Ah, I reckon it's quite possible that spring has sprung! Jesse and I went on a lovely afternoon walk today and then relaxed in the park. We just vegged out on the grass and enjoyed the warm sun on our faces. It was sooooo nice!

Steve joined us after work and then we all vegged out some more. Good times.
Pretty things are blooming all over the city, everywhere I go. I definitely think spring has made an entrance...
...and I couldn't be happier! It feels like good timing to be job hunting and starting the next chapter in my life. A change in season always feels like the right time to make some lifestyle changes as well. Everything just feels so new and fresh and alive!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ah, finally feeling good!

I haven't blogged in a couple of days because I've been feeling so good this week that truly, I just wanted to enjoy it! So, instead of sitting at the computer, I've been thrift shopping, sewing up a storm, applying for work, walking Jesse, catching up with my sisters and friends on the phone and just enjoying living in general! It's felt oh so good!
Check out these adorable shoes I found at the op shop for only 8 bucks! They are slingbacks and have just the right size heel. Can't wait to wear these once the weather gets warmer!
And this adorable tea pot for only $3! It's funny that I've never had a tea pot before now. I drink a lot of herbal day each day but have never had a proper tea pot. It does a fabulous job steeping my peppermint tea and keeping it warm between half poured cups. I'd really like to get a pretty knit tea cozy for it, one that looks like a winter hat you'd wear in Canada in January! :)

I'll post more later about why I'm suddenly (okay, well maybe not suddenly!) feeling so much better later. It's a bit of a long story that rightfully deserves it's own post. For now, I might go back to sewing. I'm having such a great time catching up on my online sewing class, now that I actually have the energy to enjoy it!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Gardening 101

Yesterday was a really beautiful day. Perhaps Mother Nature heard I was longing for spring and gave me a little taste of it. I decided to take advantage of the sunshine and weeded the little garden at the front of our house. It was in need of some serious TLC.
I really enjoy gardening. Now if only something I planted would actually survive. I don't have a great track record! Now that it's all weeded and looking pretty again, I'd like to plant a few flowers, but I'm not quite sure what yet. I think I might try to visit a nursery this week and pick out something colorful.
I love the lavender! It smells really pretty and is right outside our bedroom window, which is lovely. That plant in the background has managed to grow back after being completely eaten away by snails at the end of summer last year. I'm worried they will come back for it when it gets a bit warmer.

Does anyone know a good way to keep snails away? Preferably something natural?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cari Confession #1

I *love* going to the car wash.

I do. I even blogged about it before. I have ever since I was a little girl. Of course, back then it was the drive through kind, where you don't do any of the work, way before the days of the do-it-yourself ones. Who doesn't love those? Yet still I love going. Perhaps I just like watching Steve do all the work ;)
I'm a bit of a slob when it comes to the car, which is funny because I'm just the opposite when it comes to my home. It drives Steve nuts. I've never been the type to baby a car. I'm a firm believer that a car just gets you from point A to point B and have never really cared much about having a snazzy car. As long as it's reliable, who cares what it looks like. Perhaps this is why I don't stress about keeping ours clean? This is a bit strange considering I grew up around many cars and my Dad was a car salesman!
Steve likes a clean car. I like having dirty dishes put in the dishwasher. I think we might have an unspoken agreement about what we let slide. It makes for a much happier marriage! :)
The soap smelled exactly like bubblegum and was green. I just wanted to lick it! Sorry, true story.
It does look better clean, both inside and out!
Um, and can I just say Steve looked pretty cute doing the washing? ;)
Bubble gum soap!
So, there you have it, a random Cari confession. I might do a few more of these. I have a number of odd quirky things about me and I figure if I share a few, then we get to know each other that much better!

So, do tell, what's a random confession you'd care to share?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dreaming about spring...

We woke up to a very chilly 9 degrees this morning. Even Jesse was cold and happy to cuddle under the covers! It's been really rainy and chilly most nights. I can't quite believe how much rain we get here in Melbourne! I know I shouldn't complain coming from Canada, but like Steve said this morning, when it comes to weather, we're definitely more Aussie than Canadian these days! All this nippy, rainy, gray weather has left me looking very forward to spring, especially after getting a taste of the warm sun last weekend in Queensland. I love that feeling of waiting for the next season to come and all the change and freshness it brings with it. I missed that a lot living in Brisbane and while I'm a bit over this Melbourne winter, I'm thankful to be feeling that longing for a change of season again! Ah, the things to look forward to when the days get longer and the sun gets warmer!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday night pizza!

Ah, a great way to kick off the weekend and spend a very chilly winter's evening...a Friday night pizza party with my boys in my pjs! This is without a doubt the best gluten free pizza with goat cheese I have ever eaten! If you're in Melbourne and on a restricted diet, Versachi's Pizzeria in South Yarra makes fabulous gluten free pizza and even offer soy cheese as a dairy free option. Gotta love that!


I started looking for a job today and felt so completely overwhelmed, discouraged and lost that I stopped and baked cookies instead. Job hunting is tough, but especially when you truly have no idea what you might want to do. Yes, I have a perfectly good degree that I'm sure could be put to a perfectly good use, but...I really don't know. I just know these cookies did help to cheer me up a bit. It's the easiest recipe in the world, gluten and dairy free, of course. Yes, I do know that jam has white sugar but I splurged and went for it. I haven't had the greatest week and figured I deserve a little treat! Here's the recipe:

Jam Drops

125 grams (about 1/2 cup) dairy free margarine (I used Nuttelex)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cup self-raising gluten free flour (I used Orgran)

Cream the margarine and sugar together. Add egg and beat. Then mix in flour. Scoop by a teaspoon onto a cookie sheet lined with baking paper, make a little hole in the centre and add your favorite jam. I used strawberry rhubarb, a treat I haven't tasted in ages! I also ran out of self-raising flour and used just regular gluten free flour and added baking powder and they seemed to come out just fine, so it seems to be a pretty flexible recipe. Also, if you're not feeling the need to indulge, I often bake these sans jam and they are still quite yummy. Bake at about 180 C for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown and ENJOY!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Resort Roos

There were several kangaroos hanging out around the resort we stayed at this past weekend (see hubby's previous post). They seemed pretty happy to just nibble on grass, hang out and watch the tourists. I think I'd be pretty happy too if I lived at a resort and spent my time eating, chillin' and people watching! There really are kangaroos most places we go, with the exception of the city of course, yet I never tire of watching them linger, munch or move. They are so strong and sure of themselves when they take off. It always makes me smile to watch them bounce along!

And for your viewing pleasure, a short little clip of the roos in action...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How to Be Alone...

Ah, I love this.

And, she's Canadian, living in Halifax. I googled her after hearing that accent and thinking, she has to be from the Maritimes! More about her here.

Found here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Capricorn Resort Half Ironman, done and dusted!

Combining a Half Ironman with a resort is just pure genius, stick that resort in northern Queensland and you have the making of a truly awesome event. The weather was beautiful, highs of 24 - 26, cool evenings and not a cloud in sight all weekend! We had an awesome time!
This is the second 1/2 Ironman I've completed and was a key race to determine the rest of my training for the full Ironman in December. I finished in a time of 5 hours 38 minutes, I felt much stronger during this race, especially the swim compared to the last half I did.

Swim - 1.9km - 43min 22 seconds,
Bike - 90km - 2hrs 49min 16 sec,
Run - 21.1km - 2hrs 5min 34sec.

We dropped Jesse off at the Kennel Friday morning, these guys where across the street from the kennel.
Chilling at the airport, the flight was delayed 1.5 hours.
Lots of fellow triathletes on the flight, I'm sure the ground crew loved hauling all the bikes on and off the plane...

My bike making its way onto the plane. I got the hard case from my neighbor Dale, he's done several full and half Ironman races so he has all the gear.
I was late booking a room at the resort so I ended up having to get a 2 bedroom ocean view room. It cost me more then i wanted but the view was really awesome and my bike. plus gear, had it's own room.
Did I mention that the race was held at a resort! How awesome is this....
Chill'in on Sat by the pool.
Saturday afternoon everyone collected there race kits, which includes bike/helmet numbers, a race jumper and some other odds and ends...
Lots of vendors where there to sell anything and everything related to triathlon...

The transition area sitting empty, weren't able to set up our gear until Sunday morning.
The finish line.
Morning of the race. I woke up at 4:30, ate, drank and got the last few things on my bike ready. The tranisition area opened at 5:30am. I showed up at 5;20 and was the first one there. Had a great chat with the officials and volunteers while I waited.

At 7am there was a brief race meeting in the transition area then we all headed down to the beach for the swim start. Just before the meeting I got into my wetsuit. I've lost weight since my last half so it fits me really good now.

The morning was a little cool (only 12 degrees) so the wetsuit was great for keeping me warm. You can see the tide was way out so we ended up having a long run from the swim finish back to the transition area.
The ocean was nice and calm, perfect for a 1.9km swim.
So we had to all walk 1.7km down the beach to the swim start. The sand was nice and hard so it was easy going, there was well over 800 people.
Cari was one of them.
Swim start area....

The guy I'm talking to here finished the race in 4hrs 47 or so minutes, a truly awesome time!
The race starts in waves, pro male and female go first then all the age gropies. the first wave started at 8am, my wave didn't start until 8:32am. Each wave is identified by swim caps. Below is the 30 -34 age group sporting our sexy blue swim caps.
And we're off! Only 113km to the finish line

Emerging from the ocean like an ugly mermaid on crack. We were told the day before that the current would be behind us, turns out on the morning of the race it changed and we were actually swimming against it. I felt really strong on the swim, lots of hours in the pool have paid off.
Nice long run from the swim finish to the transition.
Cari was only able to snap one pick of my bike leg. I've decided to let her go as my official photographer. In the below pic I've just completed the bike leg and I'm headed back into transition to start the run.
The bike course would have been really good if it wasn't for the fact that over 50% of the road was the roughest asphalt in the world. We had to do 5 laps and about 10km of each lap was rough. A lot of people had flats, my water bottle cage mounted on my frame vibrated lose so I had to jettison my water bottle on the second lap, and I think one of my kidneys disconnected from whatever the hell they're connected to. If it had been smooth asphalt the bike times would have been much faster.
Part of the run took us over the pool. The temperature at this point was around 26 degrees, I thought about taking a quick dip to cool off but was afraid I wouldn't be able to get out and finish the run. Kids lined the pool along the course and all wanted high fives. It took all my will power not to push a little screechy girl into the water, I saw her on all 3 laps and each time she was screaming at someone. Should have done it...its my only regret of the weekend.

The finish line was right beside the pool, so when I crossed it I jumped stright into the pool. Pure awesome.
After the race were the awards and prizes. As usual they have a bunch of random draw prizes and as usual I didn't win anything....
The male and female winners. The male winner crossed the line in 4hours and 4 minutes... .its just amazing how fit these guys and gals are.
That night we ate at a japanese restaurant that was on the resort....mmmmm tempura!
I'm taking a week off training then I'm back at it, less then 4 months until the full Ironman in Busselton.

Steve (2 half Ironman must make me a whole man?) Dickinson