Monday, 30 April 2012

Picnic Photos, More Presents & The Smell of Winter

I managed to get some picnic photo's from Mum. They are mostly of the kids (not that I mind!) There are a few of the rest of the guests! (I'm only teasing) Here are some of my favourites.


Getting a cuddle from Ivy

Jacob, rocking the croquet

Bestest ever Sis-in-Law Abby, and Bro Tim

I include this as one of my favourites because
I find it highly amusing. Am I breaking into song?

Corrina, not quite getting croquet

Dad, Me, Jesse, Bec, Matt & Grace

Best kids EVER!












































































































I headed up to my Sisters yesterday, and when I got there she had a chicken, avocado & mayo sandwich waiting for me, oh so delicious! And then (after cuddles from my nephews) I got another amazing birthday present. 


















And I opened the watermelon to find




















And I opened the orange to find




















A lemon! How beautiful is this set? I don't quite know how I'm going to use it yet (maybe a handbag?) but it is so adorable.


















At work, we have decided to move from salads to soup for lunch. We all put in some money and buy the ingredients for our lunches, then usually make the the salad here. But seeing as the cold weather is (kind of!) coming in, we are changing to soups. So I thought I would start things off with my most favourite soup. Lentil soup! 


This soup reminds me of winter and of home. As soon as I smell it, I'm back at my parents house by the fire. I absolutely love it, and as a plus, it's virtually no calories!


Ingredients


7 1/2 cups of water
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 1/2 cups of lentils (I use red)
1 stock cube (veg or chicken)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sweet paprika (if you can't find sweet, any will do)
salt & pepper to taste


Method


Bring your water to boil in a large saucepan. Add your onion, carrots, celery, garlic & lentils. Bring that to the boil and add your stock, thyme, oregano & paprika. Reduce heat to low, clamp on a lid, set a timer for 55 minutes (if you are lucky like me, you will have a cupcake timer)






















After 55 minutes, your soup will be ready! Dish up your soup, add some salt & pepper to taste, and serve with some delicious, fresh bread. 


This soup is so comforting and warming. I could live on it. 



Saturday, 28 April 2012

Birthdays Are Fun!

So, it was my birthday on Wednesday. I had the most fun day I have had in a long time. And, I want to thank everyone who helped me celebrate, and everyone who sent me birthday wishes. I was so spoilt! 

My celebrations actually started on Tuesday night, when my friends Jesse and Matt took me to El Publico for Tequila and Tacos! El Publico is a small bar in Highgate that specialises in tequila. The service was outstanding, the tacos were amazing, and the Paloma cocktails with house made grapefruit soda were so yummy that I drank 3 of them! I ate the Tasajo grilled cheese taco, which was a steak taco with grilled cheese. And the Fried Chickpeas with tortilla salt....I have no words. Here are some photos. (please excuse the quality, it was super dark!)























Then it was home to drink Calvados! Jesse and I bought each other half a bottle each for our birthday presents to each other (we are born only 9 days apart. He thinks that give him the edge, it doesn't).




















THEN IT WAS WEDNESDAY AND MY BIRTHDAY!!! I woke up early and made up a heap of food. Flutes & Brioche from Jean-Claude filled with delicious things, and headed to the park near my house for a picnic. This was the most fun picnic I think I've ever had. Heaps of people came, my dad made chopped liver and my sister made my birthday cake. This cake was seriously amazing. I got to hang out with everyone who is dear to me, I got lots of cuddles from my niece and nephews and I got to drink Prosecco from a plastic cup! I didn't get any photo's from the picnic :( If anyone has photo's from the picnic, please give them to me!!

But, the day wasn't over yet! After a brief rest at home, Me and Jesse and Mum and Dad headed down to Mojo's in Fremantle to see my brothers do their thing. Their band is called Mulder (yes, after Fox) and you can check them out here. Then a burger next door at Flipside, before settling in at home with a cup of tea (from my new kettle!) and the X-Files. It was an awesome way to spend my birthday! 

I also got some AMAZING gifts!

Cupcakes Abby made

Birthday Cake (Thanks Grace!!!)

Fluted pie dish

Cupcake ring Abby made (came with a matching brooch!)

GIANT CUP

Creme Brulee tea

Tea pot & cup set

Gorgeous handmade made trinkets

Ticket to see Atmosphere!

Space water bottle

Australian Recipe book - 1868-1950. Amazing!

Dita water!

New lover.


















































































































































































































































Plus! I got a gift card, a photo shoot session and a tumble dryer! I told you I was spoilt!



And! That's not even all!! Thursday I spent my voucher on a onesie! a onesie!! It's amazing. Butt flap and all! And I treated myself to a new tattoo! It's a cute little dinosaur on the back of my arm. I am in love, he is so adorable. 


My mum has told me she's got pictures from the picnic. I'll get them off her and put them up in a separate post. Wow, what an amazing few days I've had!


Well, I have a giant cup of tea in front of me waiting to be drunk, so I'm going to leave this post here. I'll add picnic photos as soon as I've got them. Thanks again to everyone who helped me celebrate!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

My First Birthday Present

Guess what, guess what, guess what!!??!! IT'S MY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW! I'm super excited about it. But, the most amazing thing just happened on my lunch hour. Well, it's been a day of amazing things actually. Firstly Mum and Dad arrive with oodles of goodies from Jean-Claude, including some amazing rolls for lunch. I had half of a duck one and half of a chicken one
























And then I was serenaded by my workmates. First by didgeridoo and flute. And then they sung my happy birthday.

























And I ate this amazing almond croissant. It was so amazing, and now I am so full.
























AND THEN THE MOST AMAZING THING EVER HAPPENED!! I got my first birthday present. And it was this
























Yes, that's right. Aaron bought me a cupcake timer. OH MY GOD IT'S SO AMAZING. You know how I feel about cupcakes, so you know how awesome this present is. I will have to bake cupcakes on my time off so I can use my awesome new cupcake timer!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Golf, Pancakes & Breakups

I went a whole week without blogging. It was very weird. But, I have quite a lot to say in this post. 


Friday afternoon, we went to play golf. I don't play golf. I don't ever want to play golf. But, I like walking and I like the people who were playing golf, so I went along for the walk. I also brought along some dinosaurs, because that's just what I do. I took HEAPS of photos, but I think these are the best. 












































Saturday morning I decided to make my buttermilk pancakes. I hate buttermilk. I don't know what it is about it, but it grosses me out. I can't look at it when I pour it. But, it makes these pancakes soooooo yummy.


Ingredients


2 tbsp caster sugar
2 cups plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups of buttermilk
unsalted butter, for cooking


Method


Mix  your sugar, flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Then whisk in your eggs and buttermilk. Mix until combined. You batter will be lumpy. This is good! It should look like this
























Heat your pan over a medium heat, and brush with some butter. Then pour some batter into the pan. I like to use a 1/3 measuring cup. I use 2 of these per pancake, and it gives a really good size. 






















Cook for about 2-3 minutes, until bubbles start to appear on the surface of the pancake. I like to lift mine up a little with a spatula, and if it holds it's shape, I flip it. Brush the pan with butter for each pancake, and keep them warm in a low temp oven until you are ready to eat them. Then smother them in your favourite pancake topping.
























Now for sad news. The boy and I are no longer in a relationship. This is sad. But, I decided that I need to spend some time with myself, and just be on my own for a bit. We are still going to remain incredible close friends. We are still talking and hanging out even now. It was an incredibly hard decision to have to make, because I still love and care about him very much. But, I know that this is right for me. 

Friday, 13 April 2012

The Brain is the Most Complex Thing in the Universe Apart From the Universe Itself

So, most of you know that I work as a NeurOptimal Neurofeedback trainer. But most of you, are probably going ‘yes Lucy, but what do you do? What does that mean?’ and while I’ve explained that basically I train your brain to be more resilient, to restore & return to optimal and efficient processing. You are probably wondering how on earth I do that, and if you are smart, you’ll all be thinking ‘can I have a go?’

So, if you came to see me, what would happen? You would sit in a super comfy reclining chair, I would put 2 sensors on your right ear, 1 on your left, and 2 on your head. These sensors record electricity, turn it digital and send it back to my computer. They don’t put anything into your brain; they only record what’s going on. Then I’ll put a nice big pair of headphones on you, and you’ll listen to your favourite music for 45 minutes. That’s it! How awesome is that? You can fall asleep; you can let your mind wander and daydream, and all the while be training your brain to process at an optimal level, and to repair itself. Every now and then you might hear some turbulence (basically sounds like a record skipping) in the music, this is cool,  this brings your brains attention to what’s just happened and gives it additional information. Your brain will use this information to restore optimal functioning. You see, the brain can heal itself. It just needs to be shown what it’s doing wrong.  For example, if you were cutting vegetables, and every time you cut, you hit your finger, if you watched yourself doing it in a mirror, you would see what you are doing wrong, and correct yourself. This is what the neurofeedback does to your brain.

So, who can benefit from training with neurofeedback? EVERYONE! Neurofeedback helps improve concentration, helps you cope in times of stress, improves your sleep, basically helps you operate every day at your best. Lots of people think it’s just to help with anxiety, depression and PTSD, and yes, it will help those things, but it’s not just for those issues. How will it help with my depression, I hear you asking. Well, by increasing your awareness, by helping your brain to heal itself. Don’t believe me? I personally know someone how went from not being able to leave their home, to leading a ‘normal’ life, with a relationship & completing a university degree. Medication just covers up the problem, Neurofeedback will show your brain what it’s doing wrong, and help it correct itself. It basically helps you be the best you you can be!
                                                                                                                                                                                                           
The brain likes repetition and it likes patterns. Any therapeutic change is replacing 1 behaviour with another. A new behaviour take 1000 repetitions. Most people will give up after 15. This will change and improve processing. Add adaptability, so it becomes easy to learn new behaviours. Your brain likes continuity, so when it hears an interruption in the music you’re listening to, it will naturally work to reduce that turbulence.

So, how long does it take to reach optimal processing? Well, that’s a tough one. Most people notice a change within themselves after just a couple of sessions, some people don’t notice it at all, until something happens that would usually cause stress or anxiety, and they don’t react like they used too. Between 7 -10 sessions should have you on the right track. But, if you are anything like me, you’ll love it. You’ll love having an hour totally to yourself to chill out, and get what I call ‘Neurorest’ and want to do it every week or every fortnight.

My own personal journey with Neurofeedback began a little over a year ago. Other members of my family had been coming, so I know about it and I knew what it could do. I was having a really hard time in life, I was a little depressed, and I was quite anxious, and so I decided to give it a go, what did I have to lose? After my first session I was in love. I felt amazing, the colours of the world seemed brighter, and it was a high. And, I slept better that night than I ever had before in my life. I started coming twice a week, I felt amazing. Even now I still have a session at least once a week. Its changed my life, not just by doing the training, but also my career. When I was at a loss as to what to do with my life, my dad asked me (my dad is a very clever man) if I was back at the end of year 12, and I had every possibility open to me, what would I do. It was easy ‘Be a Neurofeedback trainer’ and 6 months later, that’s exactly what I am and I have never been happier.

I fell in love with Neurofeedback, and I’m now building a business and career out of it. I love helping people and showing them what they can do and helping them heal.

If you want to give it a go (hey you’ve got nothing to lose!) contact me via email or facebook

For more info click here

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Teddies & Cheese Please!

As I mentioned yesterday, I was really craving a pasta dish. So I made my awesome low fat teddies and cheese last night. It's really mac & cheese, but I never use macaroni. In fact, I usually use dinosaur pasta, but I could only get teddies last night. So I made teddies and cheese. 


Ingredients


340g pasta
1/4 cup of plain flour
1 tsp onion powder
2 cups skim milk
250g extra light shredded cheese
1 tsp chili sauce


Method


Cook your pasta in boiling water according to the packet. Once it's about half way cooked, start your sauce. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and return to the pan while you finish your sauce.


Combine your milk, flour and onion powder in a saucepan over medium-high heat, and whisk until combined. Bring to the boil, whisking often, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until thickened.
























Add your cheese to the thickened sauce and whisk until combined.
























Then whisk in your chili sauce, and it should look something like this






















Of course you can use full fat milk and super yummy delicious cheese, but as you all know I'm dieting, and so I made a low fat version. 


Now, mix it all together in the pot, grind on some salt and pepper, and serve!












































It's also really yummy if you transfer it to a baking dish, cover it in some more cheese, and sprinkle some crisps on top, and put it in the oven for a bit.


This recipe make 4 very generous servings, or 6 more respectable servings. 


I can't believe it's Thursday already! I love a short week! I have a gathering on Saturday morning with other Neurofeedback trainers, so I thought it would be fun to bake some of my brain cakes to take along. So Friday night I'll be baking those in between refreshing my hair dye. So, look out for my post about my brain cakes next week!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

South Indian Vegetable Curry

So, did you all check out Abby's Etsy store after I blogged about it yesterday? I certainly hope that you did!


I had a hugely busy day yesterday. Lots of exciting new business ventures on the horizon. I'll blog more about what I do at another time, but basically I provide brain training for optimal performance, getting the most out of you and your brain, and making your brain healthy basically. But, I'll explain more another time. 


I braved pump again last night. It was good, I used less weight, worked a bit harder, and I'm not sore today. This is a good thing! I didn't end up getting home until 7.30ish, so I was really glad that I had made my South Indian Veg curry the night before! Again, this is a knock together dish, that's easy and yummy and hearty. You can use any veg you want.


Ingredients


2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 fresh chilli's, chopped. (deseed them in you don't want it too hot)
A few fresh curry leaves 
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 can diced tomatoes
3 potatoes, cut into chunks
handful of peas
1 bunch of broccolini
400ml can of coconut cream (or milk)


Method


I like to combine all my spices (except the mustard seeds and curry leaves) in a bowl, so that I can just tip them in when I need too.






















Heat your olive oil in a pan, and add the mustard seeds. Fry these until they start the chili, onion and curry leaves, and cook until they are soft. 






















Then tip in your spices and cook for a few minutes. 






















Then add your potatoes (add any harder veg here, things that take a while to cook)
























Once you've mixed your potatoes in, add your tomatoes and you coconut cream
























bring to the boil, and then let simmer, uncovered for about half an hour or so. Just until the veg is tender and cooked through. In the last 5 mins of cooking, throw in your broccolini and peas. Serve with steamed rice.
























See, I told you it was easy! 


I'm really feeling like a pasta dish. So I think I'm going to make my low fat version of mac & cheese tonight. 


I also want to get a new dress to wear on my birthday. I don't want to spend a lot of money, because I'm losing weight, and don't want to invest in something that isn't going to fit me in a few weeks time. So, if anyone knows of anywhere that's got cute, cheap dresses, let me know!