Friday, November 18, 2011

Espresso Espresso

Finally visited a little gem of a cafe before work yesterday called Circa Espresso in Parramatta.

I had heard and read good things and seeing my Twitter gal Anita visited there confirmed it must be good!

Having worked in Parramatta for a number of years, I had given up hope of ever having a coffee that wasn't bitter, made with burnt milk, or resembling the contents of something squeezed out of a dirty mop.

This place is AMAZING.

First up, the coffee is good. Not the absolute best I've had but it's actually enjoyable to drink. Big tick! They also sell Little Marionette beans which is good to know, as I really enjoyed the coffee at Little Marionette in Balmain.

I had the French toast with rhubarb, labne, pistachios and cinnamon. It was so delicious and most importantly not too eggy (vom!).

It's a small place with a very laid back vibe, and wouldn't be out of place in a lane way in Melbourne. They make the food right along side the tables , you see it all. If you are ever in the area I encourage you to pop in!

Oh I should mention the prices are extremely reasonable.

Circa Espresso - 21 Wentworth St Parramatta NSW.

In other news, check out the chocolate counter at DJ's. I picked out a box as a gift and the longer I stood waiting for the lady to tie the ribbon, the more I wanted to jump the counter and gobble them up! I managed to resist. 


Have a good weekend all x

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekend Wrap Up

Had a lovely weekend!

Friday night I headed to Rockpool Bar & Grill with my girlfriend for some after work drinks and a bite to eat! Wish I could share some photos but I am afraid it is way to dark in there to take sneaky iPhone pics. Flash is out of the question! Finally tried the wagyu burger , sOoOoOo good. Have to admit, that was the first of many NoSugarVember slip ups this weekend, whoops!

Up bright and early yesterday to do my personal training session, did some dead lifts and let me tell you my hamstrings are feeling it today! After the gym I did my usual volunteering gig.

Casual Saturday outfit!

Hard to see in this photo, but I love these Zara pants. Black coated jean type pants with gold zipper detail as pockets and at ankle!

Today I had to get out of bed way to early when T went to work. I had to get my car cleaned professionally after an unfortunate incident last week when a bottle of balsamic vinegar leaked all over my passenger seat :/ :/ You can imagine how lovely that smelt , especially on a hot day. 

While I was waiting I walked to the local homemaker centre , the shops weren't open yet so  got a coffee ( my first all month!).

And then I stumbled upon the most dangerous thing I could have possibly stumbled upon..... CANDLES!

Ahhhhh can't believe I have to admit that I am now ADDICTED to delicious candles. But would you look at these Glasshouse special edition Christmas candles?!

Must resist.....must resist.......Oh I've already swiped my card? Fail. Smells so good though, NO REGRETS!

I brought two of these super cute sets ( also Christmas edition) to give as gifts come Christmas. At $39.95 they are pretty good value considering Glasshouse prices! In a pretty box too :)

My nice and clean car, now lacking a balsamic glaze. 

Came home and decided I had to tackle my hot mess of a room. Not just a usual clean though, my once a year ' get rid of sentimental crap' and 'clothes that you NEVER wear' super clean. 

Now tell me, am I the only one who takes forever to clean their room? It seriously took me all day. I just can't help it, I have to go through EVERYTHING and take a long stroll down memory lane. 

Like my Year 7 diary.....

Ok, I'll admit I loved Beau Brady but I don't recall loving Malcolm in the Middle's big brother hahaha?! EWW.

Found a picture of me when I got my photos taken one day when I was doing work experience at Jackon's on George in the city ( what a seedy dive hahaha). The question was "What is your favourite thing about summer?" by the way! I was 15!

Finally sorted all my little photos out and put them in a photo album. Some great memories here, whether it be me and the girls skipping school to go to the shops, being under the influence of a lot of wine at an engagement party, or the really old ones I used to stick on my bus pass.

I threw away photos for the first time today. Ok, they were really bad ones of a girl I was friends with in Year 8 and zoo animals but seriously, I've never done that before. Progress!

De-cluttering feels so good!

Are you the type of person who can just throw old cards etc or are you like me and keep holding onto them?

Thursday, November 10, 2011


So if you watched my November Goals video or follow me on Twitter you would probably know that I am currently participating in NoSugarVember. Yep, a challenge to cut out sugar for the month of November. If you are interested in learning more about the finer points pop over to Natalie Carter's blog and check out this post.

I thought I would do a post about my journey so far and a comparison of the changes I have made with my eating habits. 


THEN :- Toast with  butter and vegemite or avocado, two toasted sandwiches ( with plastic cheese, the horror), yoghurt with fruit and honey, left overs!

NOW:- Grilled bacon, avocado, tomatoes, lots of rocket, small amount of goats cheese fetta, youghurt with a low sugar fruit and cinnamon. Sometimes i will have a vegetable omelette if I am in the mood. 

Before Lunch:-

THEN:- A few coffees per week on skim milk, more than occasionally accompanied by a blueberry bagel with cream cheese and honey ( oh how I miss thee!). 

NOW:- A small handful of unsalted raw nuts. As much tea ( I don't like mine with milk/sugar) as I like. 


THEN:- Most of the time I would make salads to take to work, eat fruit or tuna with biscuits. Some days I wouldn't bring anything and would get Vietnamese salads or sushi.

NOW:- Two mountain bread wraps with a spread of ricotta, sliced cucumber, grape tomatoes, rocket and some protein like shredded chicken. 

Afternoon Snacks:-

THEN:- Any form of lolly I could find in the cupboard at work ( I slayed those Minties) or a low fat yoghurt from home. There is a RIDICULOUS amount of sugar in low-fat yoghurt. Carrot sticks, salted nuts.

NOW:- Small tub of natural yoghurt with half a pear. Another small amount of raw nuts. Carrot sticks. 


THEN:- Whatever we were having at home, or would make myself something to eat usually a salad or veggies with chicken etc etc. 

NOW:- Not much different, though I won't eat white rice or pasta with my meal. Instead I will have it with more veggies ( zucchini, broccoli, rocket being my favorites) or quinoa. 

What I have learnt:- 

Protein is key! I could eat enough salad to fill a swimming pool and will still be hungry 30 minutes later if I don't have some protein with my meal. 

I also don't actually miss sugar THAT much, I actually think about it less. I don't feel that I have had to sacrifice too much, and after this month's challenge is over I will let myself have a treat on special occasions. I wasn't drinking much soft drink before so not much has changed there. 

A sugar free diet isn't as boring as you think it would be. You can still enjoy two pieces of low sugar fruit a day. 

The hardest part:-

 Hidden sugar in sauces and condiments is something I need to remind myself to check for. 

Going to events like birthdays, parties etc is a challenge because that is when those little treats you never really get to have come out! No one likes passing up that kind of stuff, it's hard to resist.

Getting over the urge to get a coffee in the morning ( and sometimes a treat...). I don't dwell on it, just make a tea instead. Surprise surprise, life goes on without coffee! I am not a must-have-coffee-or-i'll-die type but I do enjoy it and this is the longest I've gone without any in a while. 

My tips:-


I like to do a small shop on Sunday night to get some things together for the week. I just take it all to work and leave it in the fridge and put it together for lunch each day. So much easier then getting up a little earlier in the morning to make something. 

Drink lotsssssss of water and tea. I find a lot of the time this helps kill cravings and gets you through a little longer to the next meal.

Use lots of herbs and spices to make your meals interesting. Nothing like some basil with tomatoes and avocado with breakfast, makes me feel like I could be ordering out at a cafe!

And now for the BEST PART EVER.

Since starting this challenge my stomach has been FLAT. HALLELUJAH! Since taking refined carbs out of my diet  ( white bread, pasta and rice) I have lost that bloated look and I am loving it sick.

ETA: I feel like I have lost a little weight, but I haven't weighed myself consistently as that hasn't been my focus. 

I also feel a little less sluggish, but my energy levels have not improved noticeably. Sleep and low iron is probably to blame for that. 

Well that was a bit of a long post, but I hope you found it interesting. If you've got any tips to share please do!

I'll do a quick update at the end of the month to let you know what a month without sugar feels like. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Beach Trip

Today I did one of my favourite things in the whole world, spent the day at the beach!

I love Freshwater Beach because it is not too hard to get to ( given I live out west!) , it's a beautiful place, it's not toooooo crowded and most importantly, you can actually find a parking space less than 6 suburbs away from the beach ha ha!

Beach trips call for bright nails and salt water friendly accessories!

I love this polish, it is Rimmel 'In Style Coral'. I brought it last summer, it was so cheap. I hope they still have the colour!

So this isn't one hundred percent compliant with 'NoSugarVember' but it was the best I could do. And I enjoyed every single bite. I've been going great, perhaps I should do a post on my sugarless journey as the month progresses. 

It was such a beautiful day, hot but not too hot, sunny, glorious!

There is something about the beach that completely recharges me , nothing beats getting out there in the waves and letting them wash away any worries or stresses. I know I feel completely zen floating on my back in the ocean.

I was appropriately covered in sunscreen at all times and had the hat and sunglasses going. I managed to avoid blinding the whole beach with my intense whiteness by hastily applying some fake tan on Friday night ha ha!

My hair goes so cray cray after a swim, dry and bleh! 

The best thing next to the beach, is coming home and having a cool shower to wash it all off!

Anyone else love the beach as much as me? Wish I could go more often, must try harder this summer!

Also, Sydneysider's hit me with your favourite local beaches please! I hear Balmoral is glorious!