My New Blog!

Hi everyone,

Thank you all for following me for so long and my apologies for my disappearance from the blogging world. Life got a hold of me and dragged me down, aahhh  but I survived and I’ve emerged stronger and happier. Life is a funny thing and can really test you sometimes but I will always believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. It may only be a small speck, but it’s there. I’m glad to announce that I have started a new blog and would absolutely love for you to come check it out. I believe that I needed a new blog to represent my life as it is today.

So here it is  The Wholy Life

much love and sunshine,

Jess

x

A Feeling I’ll Never Forget…

On Friday the 8th June 2012 I finally graduated university!

I really struggled for 3.5 years balancing my work, uni & personal life (including friends/family/partner relationships)  so when I accepted my degree on Friday I felt a few things; I was relieved that it was over, I was feeling anxious about the future,  but most of all I felt like I had achieved something that I really didn’t think I ever would. I felt like giving up so many times during my degree as it all became too overwhelming trying to balance everything that was going on in my life, but I am so glad that I didn’t.

All I can say is,  getting a degree isn’t easy! Studying is hard work and for those still going through it, keep at it because when your graduation day comes, it’s a feeling you’ll never forget…

This is my brother Jaxon, he’s the tall one in the family…  Note: I am wearing high heels here.

 

Healthy Breakfast Smoothie

Now this is something that will help you feel healthier after all that Christmas and NY’s celebration food!  I received a blender for Christmas and I have been making smoothies with it every morning, it’s a low fat smoothie with plenty of fruit to help kick start your day.

Serves 1 (just double the ingredients for 2)

Ingredients: 1 cup of lite soy milk, 1/2 banana, 1 tbsp of honey, 2 large (or 4 small) strawberries, 4-5 mint leaves, 4 ice cubes, 1 tsp of ground cinnamon, 1 tbsp of LSA mix (this is a high fibre nutty mix found in the health food section of your supermarket, constituting ground linseed, sunflower and almond kernals), 1/2 tsp of freshly grated nutmeg to sprinkle on top (or you can use ground nutmeg but it’s not as good).

Method.

1. It’s as simple as put it all in the blender and blending it till it begins to froth.

2. Pour in glass and grate the fresh nutmeg (pictured next to the smoothie) on top.

Enjoy! It will make you feel super healthy and energised in the morning.

Tis the season to be jolly!

For the first time in 3 years I was home for Christmas with my family, I couldn’t have asked for more. There was food, sun, presents, family & fun this year and one of the most memorable Christmas’s yet. Here are a few photos I took on the day that I though I would share. This is at my mum’s property near the Blue Mountains, about 1.5 hours out of Sydney. It was just a perfect day with hardly a cloud in the sky and we just ate and sat by the pool the whole day. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas?

So  it’s New Years Eve and I’m starting to think about my NY’s resolutions….3 years ago I made a resolution that I will be smarter – academically and financially. Although it has taken me 3 years to fulfil that resolution, in that time I have completed a degree at University and I now have a fantastic start at a career that will help me be more financially responsible (as we all know, this is incredibly hard as a uni student). My new years resolutions (I have more than one) are to spend more time with family, save save save save (for a home deposit) and get outdoors more often, oh and to learn to relax again!!! Uni has made me so serious which seems so unnatural for my personality.

What are your NYE resolutions? I’d love to know :-)

Well Happy New Year’s Everyone! I hope 2012 brings you much happiness and good health.

x

Outpost – Cockatoo Island

A couple of weeks ago, I went with my boyfriend’s family to check out the  ‘Outpost- Project‘ on Cockatoo Island in Sydney. A festival celebrating street art, Outpost was a great but tiring day…let me just say a lot of walking and public transporting. The sun was shining and Cockatoo Island has the most amazing views of Sydney Harbour, so with a huge showcasing of street art it was the perfect recipe.

According to the best educational resource of the 21st century ‘Wikipedia‘, Cockatoo Island is ” a former imperial prison, industrial school, reformatory and gaol. It was also the site of one of Australia’s biggest shipyards during the twentieth century. The first of its two dry docks was built by convicts and was completed in 1857″.  So there is plenty of history to explore there and as I had never been there before nor did I know anything about the Island it was like playing tourist in my own city….which I love! If you are in Sydney or visiting Sydney before the 11 Dec (soon) I recommend visiting it and best of all it’s 100% free, although I recommend packing your own drinks & lunch because food/drink prices once you get there are ‘the catch’.

In other news, I started a new job 2 weeks ago so I am enjoying being a full time working gal.  This has been the reason I haven’t posted any new blogs over the last fortnight, as working full-time hours has taken some time getting used to (I know I’m a big baby!) but I’m in a routine now which is fantastic, so I will do my best to blog weekly! I swear blogging keeps me sane and makes me feel like I’m being creative. Also, I have lots of new recipes coming soon, so keep watch!

I hope everyone is happy and enjoying the festive season…I loved all the Thanksgiving blogs posts recently, we don’t celebrate it in Australia so it’s a holiday that I have always wished we had…oh and Halloween!

See you on here very soon! x

 

 

 

 

Lemon & Thyme Chicken Drumsticks

This is one of those dishes you can throw together in 10 minutes and just put straight in the oven, then wait. A no fuss kind of dish which is perfect for entertaining, as you can just put it in before your guests arrive and you’re not spending all your time in the kitchen. Also perfect for feeding a big family on a budget. This meal can feed 4 hungry people for under $15.

This isn’t the best photo to sell this recipe (I was in a bit of a rush) but I can assure you it tantalises the taste buds and is a perfect Winter or Summer dish.

Allow 15 mins for preparation and 1 hour for baking at 180 degrees Celsius. Be sure to preheat the oven before beginning the preparation.

Also, if you can’t get your hands on Thyme, you can use fresh oregano instead.

Ingredients. (Serves 4)

2 large lemons, 8 chicken drumsticks, 2 brown onions, a bunch of fresh Thyme (about 5-8 sprigs), olive oil, 6 potatoes halved (with skin on or off).

Method.

1. Peel and slice onions into rings then spread over the bottom of the baking dish. Just to make a layer of onions.

2. Place chicken drumsticks on top of the layer of onions.

3. Halve potatoes and spread them out amongst the chicken in the baking dish.

4. Cut lemons in half and squeeze over the chicken and potatoes. Then place the remaining lemon skins amongst the chicken and potatoes.

5. Sprinkle the sprigs of thyme over the chicken and potatoes, season with salt and pepper. Then drizzle some olive oil over the dish to finish off.

6. Place in preheated 180 degrees Celsius oven for about 1 hour, but this depends on your oven. You need to check after the first 30 minutes and the every 15 minutes after that until they are cooked. You can tell they are cooked when they are golden brown and the chicken is no longer a pinkish colour.

Serving Suggestion – a green salad to share, some green beans and a maybe a glass of Sauvignon Blanc to accompany.

Enjoy!

Simply Delicious.

O

Ok so this is a very simple dish but it’s certainly something you can whip up to impress a sweet something. Perfect for those lazy Saturday or Sunday mornings that inspire one to relax, read the newspaper and enjoy good food. I just thought I would share my own recipe but there are plenty out there, I mean everyone tweaks these simple recipes to their liking but here is a starting base.

Ingredients (serves 2)

6 eggs, slightly whisked                                                                                                                       1/2 cup of full cream milk                                                                                                                    4 Slices of thick bread – I used wholemeal as it has much more flavour                                      1 punnet of Strawberries                                                                                                                    50 grams of butter for frying                                                                                                              Some icing sugar to sift over the finished meal

Method

1. Slightly whisk eggs and then add the milk in a medium sized mixing bowl

2. Dip bread in the egg mixture till it is covered, but not too long that it goes soggy.

3. Melt butter in pan (I used a non-stick grate, or grill type pan), and fry on both sides till the bread is golden brown.

4. Half the strawberries & place on plate with french toast to serve, then shift over the icing sugar.

5. Serve with maple syrup – or golden syrup. Genuine Canadian maple syrup is much better though.

Sit back, put your feet up and enjoy the sweet sweet flavours of this delicious but simple dish. I can’t wait to make it again =)

Also, just wanted to let you all know that I will be finishing uni by the end of this week forever so my blog posts will be weekly from then onwards. I’m looking forward to taking more pictures and getting back in the kitchen for some serious cooking!  I’m thinking I will do 2 weekly sections on the blog, 1. featuring snapshots of my week 2. One new recipe that is my own or one that I bravely tried out.

Let me know what you think… Till then, enjoy this recipe and the rest of your week.

x

My home is a secret garden…Part II

I hope you have enjoyed the photographs in this nostalgic collection. This isn’t where I live because I live in the city but this is the place that I grew up in and one I still call home. My mum has a seventeen acre property near the Blue Mountains about 1.5 hours outside of Sydney, just a small rural family farm.

I have been feeling a bit lost in the city over the last year and have had a yearning for a change of scenery, this is a place that fills that yearning until one day I will have my own home. It’s funny because when I lived there all I dreamt about was getting away, my mothers eccentricities and creative flamboyance annoyed me (I mean what doesn’t annoy you about your parents when you are a teenager??) and I just wanted to run away to the city, where the I thought the real culture and high life was, but now all I long for is home like the one I grew up in.

I find myself growing to love all those things about my mother that annoyed me and I become more and more like her everyday. I notice this when I visit her and see the new little projects she has going on at home, always building, gardening, creating water fountains and garden sculptures etc, & what I  used to roll my eyes at and tell myself, ‘here’s another one of mums craazzzy creations’, I now see the beauty in every single one, I respect the expression that each object and creation of hers embodies. Everything in her garden tells a story, if not about how she was feeling when she made it, it’s about what we as children remember of each little addition to our home, what memories of that time come back when we walk through the gardens that we played in for most of our lives.

Living in a poky one bedroom apartment block makes me feel claustrophobic, and the lack of fresh air and privacy in the city adds to my longing for a home away from the place that I was once in awe of.  I don’t think I will ever call Sydney home because I have been here for just over 5 years and I still don’t feel as if my heart is here. Living here has never felt like a wholesome existence or a place that welcomes you with a warm hug. I believe Sydney is one of the most beautiful cities in the world with a lot to offer, but I also see it’s shallowness, and the longer I live here the more it eats away at me. My mother said to me the other day when I told her how I feel, ‘once you have the land in your blood, its very hard to get it out’ and her comments have resonated with me. But who knows what the future holds for me.  For now though, I cling to the memories of a magical childhood in my mothers secret garden.  One day I hope to provide the same for my children, a place they can forever call home and one they will return to over and over again.

P.s. ‘The Shady Rest Clubhouse’ (what is now the old shack in the photos) was built by my mum and stepfather for a Christmas present when we were about 7-8 years old and we loved it! It had bunk beds, a mini fridge, a fold out dining table so we could have dinner/tea parties, a mini kitchen (a real one with running water), a tree swing and patio out the front that we could play on. We thought we were real grown ups! Also, the smaller picture of them all is a wood fire pizza oven my brother built, yum!

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