Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Reflecting on the year that was

Well 2017 is nearly over, so I sit here and reflect on the year that it has been. 

When I entered 2017, I didn't know what the year would bring, but I certainly didn't expect to be faced with the challenges that it threw into my path. 

What I also didn't expect was how life changing these experiences would be and how much I would learn from them and grow. They say difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations and I truly believe in this. It's also true that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. 

Each year we are challenged to grow, learn and evolve and also have some fun along the way. Although this has been an emotionally difficult year, it has also been one with many unforgettable moments of love and laughter in all shapes and forms. 

It has been a year for new friendships and for being thankful for those that have been around forever. 

It was a year where I would finally say goodbye to a 16 year career in finance and follow my love for writing and helping others. To have a job that fulfills both of these passions is something I am very grateful for. Although it took a bumpy road to get here, I am thankful that it wasn't easy because it has made me appreciate it that much more. 

It was also a year of saying goodbye to someone very close to my heart. Someone that taught me that life is a gift and you have to give it everything you have. Someone that taught me that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Someone that taught me if you get knocked down, you have the strength to get back up and keep fighting. Someone that taught me it's perfectly ok to just be me. 

Although it saddens me that this person is no longer with us, it brings me great joy and happiness knowing that this person has helped shaped who I am today and so many others and has taught me not only to appreciate everything around us but has also opened my eyes up to a world that I never truly saw before. 

The greatest thing I learnt from this experience is to not be so quick to judge. Everyone has a story to tell and a path they have walked. No two people are the same, we are all unique and we can learn so much from each other. You can have a positive effect on someone's life by a simple smile, even if that person is a complete stranger. 

Life is too short to be anything but happy. So tell people how much they mean to you. Embrace them and let them know it's ok to be exactly who they are. Hug often and be the reason someone smiles. 

After all, it's the season for giving, so give love to all those around you and appreciate that you are exactly where you should be. 

Although I am very much looking forward to waving goodbye to 2017, I am also truly grateful for everything that it has been. 

I look forward to the challenges of 2018 knowing that I am a stronger person than the one who entered 2017. 

A very merry Christmas to you all and I hope 2018 is everything you hoped for and more.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Dear mumma


Dear Mumma,

Today resembles a very special day. A day where all four legged creatures should acknowledge the greatestness of their masters! 

Today is a day I would like to tell you how much you mean to me and how very much I love you. I know I let you down last year on Mother's Day and missed telling you how wonderful you are, and more importantly I missed it at a time when you needed to hear it most. And I am truly sorry for that and I promise, paw on heart, that I will never forget again! 

So, where do I begin? Let's start with the amazing amount of love you give to me. I often think of myself as one lucky pup! Had you not chosen me the day you did, out of all those puppies, who knows where I would have ended up. What I do know is that I wouldn't have ended up with such a loyal, dedicated, loving human being as my mum.

I know I annoy you at times and make you mad, but I don't reallllyyyy do it on purpose. But I want you to know that I appreciate everything you do for me. Ok, maybe not everything, I could really do without that weekly bath. But I'm never going to win that battle. 

I am so thankful for the delicious food you prepare for me every week, even when you are tired. I want to thank you for the daily walks I receive, the car rides, the belly scratches and of course the amazing cuddles you give me. And let's
Not forget the beach trips I've had this summer!! Thank you for turning me into a surf dog and making me realize the water isn't as scary as I thought. Even when I got dumped by a wave that time I body surfed into shore, I still loved every minute of it and can't wait for next summer! 

I also feel today is a great day to tell all the ladies in my life how much they mean to me! Nanny Deb, thanks for spending every Wednesday with me and looking after me
When mummy goes away. I love following you around the house and running circles around everyone the minute I step foot into your house! Thank you for the massive walks also. I'll be honest, some days they are harder than others, but for the most part I love them! There is also nothing like a nanny's cuddle! Love you Nanny Deb. 

Grandma Joan, thank you for all my pats and for sneaking me treats! I certainly know who to go to when it comes to food and you never let me down. Even when you know my mummy will growl at us! Love you Grandma Joan. 

So mum, I just wanted you to know that I love you very much and am very grateful for everything that you do for me. I hope you have a lovely Mother's Day and I'll be sure to give you plenty of tail wags and cuddles.

Love you to the moon and back. And then some.

Your Teddy Bear xo 

Monday, 1 May 2017

My Easter Emergency


Ahhhh Easter! The time of year when humans go crazy and over indulge in chocolate and us poor four legged friends are left smelling the sweetness through empty wrappers! 

I've certainly had my share of chocolate indulged moment a few years ago when I ate my nanny's Christmas present - a delicious box of maltesers! Let's just say it was a good idea at the time, but I was incredibly sick for a few days after that! And you'd think I'd learn my lesson from that experience right? WRONG!

I had spent the weekend seeing all these yummy treats but not being allowed to eat any of them, no matter how hard I begged for them. My mum did receive a little stuffed toy which I quickly claimed as my own. But then On Easter Monday, my family decided to step out of the house for a little bit. 

It wasn't long before I sniffed out a big chocolate egg that was sitting on the coffee table! Oh yum! So I attacked it as best as I could! But given the size of it, I couldn't bring myself to finish it off. 

Then my family arrived home and I knew I was in trouble. I ran and hid under the dining table straight away! I knew my mum would be really mad with me. My little belly was pretty swollen and I didn't feel all that great! 

After making some calls, my mum eventually put me in the car and took me to the dreaded doggie hospital. It was awful! They made me throw up all the yummy chocolate I had just eaten, then they fed me this horrible black charcoal stuff! The end result was me leaving with a very very black face but feeling a lot better! I was back to my normal self in no time!

What's the morale of the story?? Don't underestimate my sneakiness. If you leave food around, I will find it and I will eat it! 

Happy eating dudes! Peace out.

Mr Teddy Bear

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

My new obsession - hiking!


As you would be aware by now, I am all about living a healthy lifestyle. But for me a healthy lifestyle is more than just hitting the pavement and breaking out in a sweat. A healthy lifestyle is about challenging yourself, cleansing the mind, body and soul and quietening the internal noise that we all suffer from inside our head. 

I enjoy getting out of my comfort zone and really challenging myself. And there is something so invorating about being out in the open spaces, in nature and it's clean fresh air. 

I recently went on a hike up the You Yangs to Flinders Peak in Victoria. Having not been up there before I decided to take the "harder" track with the steep incline and 450 steps to the top! I jumped and climbed onto rocks on the way up and pretended to be the Queen of the jungle. The view from up top was amazing. It was calm, quiet and everyone seemed at peace. 

I watched many people come and go up there and even saw a little boy and his mum enjoy a picnic up there. 

I then moved out onto a rock and sat there for about 45 minutes, just admiring the breath taking view and all it's glory. The morning clouds were slowly parting and allowing the sunshine to beam down upon us. 

I then saw a girl climb out onto a bigger rock and thought "wow that's brave". I have a fear of heights you see, so for me, that was pretty gutsy! 

I was then challenged to step out there myself. My first reaction was "um no way". But with a little encouragement and holding of my hand and some very very jelly like legs, I eventually got out onto that rock. I may not have gotten as far as sitting down and dangling my legs over it, but I got further than I thought was possible for me. The adrenaline I felt in that moment was captivating. 

So not only did I get some exercise during this hike, I had many laughs, I cleared my head, I got fresh air and I challenged myself. So you see, exercising is so much more than burning calories. And I now have a new healthy addiction to hiking. I am already looking for my next mountain to climb and my next big rock to climb out on. And you never know, maybe next time I'll make it as far as sitting down on that rock and letting my feet fall freely beneath me........ watch this space! 


Thursday, 9 March 2017

Best. Mum. Ever!


Well it's no surprise that my favorite time of the day is meal time!! And today was no exception! 

My mum spends a lot of time meal prepping for me (yes you heard right, meal prepping for a dog.......I have a sensitive tummy ok), which I very much appreciate, but today's meal was out of this world! 

Seriously, I knew straight away that it wasn't my usual chicken, rice and veggies. My nose was going crazy trying to sniff the different smells, my tail was wagging and the suspense was killing me! Then when she put my bowl down in front of me, I knew all my doggy dreams had come true - baked salmon, brown rice and veggies! You beauty!!!!! 

Of course I demolished it in 30 seconds, I wasn't taking any chances. And the verdict? Delicious!! My mum sure can cook. She is the best mum ever!!! 

I was still so excited after my dinner that I did laps around the backyard and then rolled around on the grass. Life is pretty sweet right now. 

Stay tuned for the story of my latest beach trip where I surfed my first wave! It was totally gnarly! 

Peace out dudes
Mr Teddy Bear


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Not all things turn out as planned!

So I have been cooking for years, trying new things  and experimenting. Most of the time not knowing how something will turn out. When things don't turn out the way I had hoped, I get disappointed that I've wasted my time. But sometimes, with a little creativity, you can turn even the biggest of disasters into something surpringly great! And today was one of those days.

My mother and I have been wanting to try cooking a gluten free vanilla slice for a while. Who doesn't love a vanilla slice right? And it has been over four years since I've been able to indulge in one. We had all the delicious ingredients ready to go, instructions at hand and off we went! 

Step one, cook puff pastry in oven until crispy - sorted. Step two, combine cream and vanilla pods and heat to a simmer  then take off the heat - easy as, we've got this! Step 3, whisk egg yolks and castor sugar together until thick - check! Step 4, combine egg and sugar mixture with cream Mixture and put back onto the stove on medium heat and stir until thick - should be easy enough! UNLESS of course you didn't realize you were meant to let the cream mixture completely cool before combining with the egg mixture. EPIC FAIL! The hot cream ended up cooking the egg and it turned it's a lumpy mess. 

We realized we had made a huge mistake and that it was time to hang our heads in shame. We had failed this mission. But we did have plenty of giggles along the way and it's definitely a mistake we won't make again. 

Meanwhile, the gluten free pastry was cooked and anyone who has bought gluten free pastry knows it's not cheap to buy, so we weren't prepared to throw it out! 

Instead we smothered it with jam, heated it back up in the oven and served it with cream and icecream for dessert! The result?? Absolutely AMAZING!!! If you have not had pastry with jam and icecream, then you haven't lived!

So today I have learnt to not only let cream cool before adding egg yolk to it but that pastry with jam and icecream is not only a super quick and easy dessert to make (seriously, even Mr Teddy Bear could make it) but it is also beautifully delicious. So do yourself a favor and give it a go! 

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

My famous Greek lamb salad


Have you ever wanted to experience the exotic flavors of Greece but haven't quite ticked that off your bucket list? Are you short on time? Not very confident in the kitchen? Well look no further than this dish. It's not only super easy to make but it takes no time at all! And best of all, it will have your guests thinking you are some sort of Greek cooking god! 

Serves 2-3 

- 100g spinach leaves
- 200g cherry tomatoes
- Danish feta
- 300/400g lamb leg steaks
- chat potatoes (roughly 10)

- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic
- 1 tablespoon liquid chili
- 1 tablespoon of liquid oregano or Italian herbs

Step 1
- heat oven up to 180 degrees (fan forced)
- place baking dish with a little olive oil into the oven to heat up
- once oven is ready, roll potatoes in oil and bake for 45 mins.

Step 2
- cut cherry tomatoes in half and place on bed of spinach on plates 

Step 3
- place all dressing ingredients into a bowl and mix together. Add more herbs if required to form a thick dressing

Step 4
- when the potatoes have 10 mins to go, fry the lamb steaks in a frying pan until cooked to desired preference. For lamb that is slightly pink on the inside, cook for roughly 4-5 mins each side on medium heat

Step 5
- once potatoes are done, place on top of spinach and tomatoes, slice lamb and add to plate and crumble feta on top. Drizzle with dressing.