Monthly Archives: April 2015

Shepherd’s Pie amazingness!

Yes the title totally sounds like a year 6 project, but I don’t care because I am super proud of the tasty, tasty meal I made the other night!!!

Shepherd's Pie

I started out wanting to make a healthy Shepherd’s Pie for my family, originally the plan was to make cauliflower mash for the top, but Dad kind of 86’d that idea in a heartbeat. So on the way home I went to the fruit and produce market and bought a bunch of ingredients setting myself to make an amazing hot dinner to combat the cold nights we have been having.

Ingredients Shepherd’s pie:

  • 1 kilo lean beef mince
  • 1 jar of tomato based pasta sauce (I got a chunky one for extra veg)
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • TBSN mixed herbs
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes
  • TBSN BBQ Sauce
  • TBSN Tomato Sauce
  • Charisma Potatoes – these are low GI potatoes
  • butter and milk for mash

Ingredients bread:

  • sliced loaf of Pane di casa bread
  • margarine or butter
  • mixed herbs
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • grated parmesan cheese

What I did:

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  • Peel potatoes, place in a saucepan, add water until just over the potatoes then place on heat to begin boiling. Once the water is boiling turn down to half heat.
  • Dice the capsicum, onion and carrot and place in a hot pan with the lean beef mince, dice/break up the mince as it is cooking. Continue until meat is cooked.
  • Add pasta sauce, tomatoes, BBQ sauce, Tomato sauce and mixed herbs. Mince the garlic and add this to the mix too. Allow the mixture to simmer on a low heat.
  • Check potatoes, when they are done drain the water. Add about 2 teaspoons of butter and a dash of milk and start mashing. Add more milk as required to get a creamy consistency, try not to make it runny. I use New Milk which is lighter, but still creamy.
  • Grab a baking dish (it will need to be a biggish one) spoon your entire meat mixture into it and pat it down a bit so the surface is even.
  • Grab your mash and a spoon and spoon the mash on top of the meat mixture. Use the back of the spoon to smooth it to ensure distribution is even across the pie. I then like to texture the top with a fork and sprinkle some low fat grated tasty cheese on top.
  • Place in the oven for approximately 10 minutes (or until top is golden brown and cheese melted – do NOT burn the cheese 🙂 )
  • Grab a small bowl and mix up approx 2 TBSN margarine with 1 TBSN herbs and 2 cloves of minced garlic. To be honest I did not measure these amounts I just kind of felt it out and added what I felt it needed from the look of it. (Sorry – it’s how my Nan and Aunt cook and I kind of adopted the idea).
  • Spread the mixture on one side of the pane di casa bread and place under the grill on medium heat. Keep a close eye on this as different grills cook at different speeds and everyone has a different idea of “perfectly” toasted 🙂 So… toast it until you are happy then remove from the grill and place on a plate lined with all foil, sprinkle a small amount of grated parmesan over the top the wrap the foil over the top of the bread to keep the heat and moisture in as well as melt the cheese.
  • When you pie is cooked serve immediately with the bread.

Fertility Meditation

When I was in High School studying for my Higher School Certificate I was stressed and distracted because whilst I was studying my Nan was also suffering from bowel and liver cancer and we had been told she would not come through it. Suffice to say it was a horrible time in my life. I found a lot of balance and perspective through meditation, it helped centre me and make me focussed whilst allowing me to emotionally deal as well. I get that it doesn’t work for everyone, but it absolutely worked for me.

Recently with the new job, attempted house building and fertility issues I am oh so stressed, which is horrible because though I don’t mean to, I know it affects those around me. I find it easy to focus and do my job at work, but at home etc. I am kind of scattered. I also have had problems sleeping, I started listening to sleep enhancing meditation music and have found that concentrating on the music makes it much easier to shut my brain up and get to sleep.

So I started wondering whether the positive outcomes I got from meditation in my HSC and shutting up my brain at night could also help with day to day stress of my current life and maybe even help with my waning positivity in regards to fertility.

When I first started looking I was trying to combine one that I could listen to as I was sleeping that would also help me with fertility. I found one, but a lot of it was tones and a sound like leaky taps that just made me need to pee… not exactly the result I was looking for hahaha.

So I began looking around this morning and found some that sounded interesting. There was one that only went for like 5 minutes and it was a guided meditation. I was dubious, but decided I certainly could spend 5 minutes on trying to reduce my stress levels 🙂

I am writing this post just after having finished this meditation and I feel pretty damn good, kinda weird and floaty, but relaxed and not at all anxious which is great. I think part of me having such a good result was that I figured if I was going to do this I had to have a completely open mind about it and I did. I did everything the woman said. I think being able to find my centre and get in the zone was easier for me having done pilates before, but even so I think anyone could do this.

A lot of the ladies that are in our little online infertility circle here I imagine often feel as stressed out as I do so I wanted to put it on here and suggest that you guys take just 5 minutes and really give this a go. I hope it makes you feel as relaxed as I do because seriously right now I feel like I could languish in a bubble bath with a book until the water went cold… this is not something I have done in years!

Here’s the video:

Storms! Batten down the hatches!!

I have been pretty quiet lately and I have to apologise, we have been hella busy.

Meanwhile over the past few days Sydney and surrounding areas of NSW have been rocked by massive storms which have caused havoc and sometimes heartbreak in many areas. This morning driving to work as the guy on the radio is telling me that conditions are improving I was squinting to see through the heavy rain with my windscreen wipers on full. I saw something strange looking to the left and though I figured it was more rain, but instinct made me move to the right of my lane. Good thing I did too because a part of the road had erupted outwards and water was shooting out of it… what the hell.

So I finally get to within 100 metres of my work and there is a ton of very brown water across the road, where the hell has that come from? Thinks I. Well it turns out that the old canal that never has water in it (and by never I mean that Council actually grassed the area and kids play in it and families have picnics in it) has flooded and overflowed all through the park and onto the road. I just got into work before the entire road was covered and the police were called to close off the area.

This is about 100m from my work. Pic from the C91.3 website

One side of our car park was also looking decidedly under the weather…

Cat Thomas's photo.

You wouldn’t believe it, but people still parked there!!!

There is a hill running down towards that green fence in the background of the above photo… we now have a creek running through there too 🙂

If you are in Sydney and don’t HAVE to go outside then batten down the hatches, cue up some Netflix and stay indoors people!!!

Meanwhile, can you believe we still had people waiting to get in the Library? I have no idea how they got to our car park when the road was closed… magic 🙂 That is dedication people!

Spam broke my brain

Ahh spam… we all get it. Usually it is offers for a bigger penis or a longer lasting erection, both of which I obviously need because currently I have no penis so obviously more of one would be a good idea? The lack of penis obviously means I have never had an erection so I guess a longer lasting one would be a good thing?

I digress…

I received some spam on my blog yesterday in the form of some comments, usually they are pretty boring, things like, “Hey your post is awesome, for a bigger audience go to xxx” or for some reason I also seem to get a bunch where they have posted excerpts from books or something. The couple I found yesterday broke my brain. Seriously you guys, trying to read this had me going cross eyed hahaha.

Here it is: “Outset of whole I would same to articulate rattling blog! I had a prompt head inn which I’d care too inquire if you do non judgment. I was curious to have intercourse how you shopping centre yourself and straighten ouut your heed before writing. I accept had trouble clarification my thoughts in acquiring my thoughts stunned on that point. I in truth do takings joy in penning withal itt only seems corresponding the for the first time 10 to 15 minutes are skeletal  merelly fair nerve-racking to build knocked out how to set about. Any suggestions or hints? Thanks!”

Any suggestions or hints? Yup… DICTIONARY!!! Get one! PC “I was curious to have intercourse how you shopping centre yourself” – Uhh what?

I am not sure what is involved with shopping centre-ing oneself, but it sounds like it could be painful to either my person or my wallet. Neither of which is interested in pain right now.

The other one I received read as follows: “Its same you pick up my listen! You appear to empathize a caboodle almost this, so much as you wrote the guide on in it or something. I palpate that you just coulkd do with some percent to cause thhe subject matter household a bit, but former than that, ths is magnificent blog. A capital learn. I leave by all odds be endorse.”

What the hell is a ‘caboodle’? I Googled it (because that’s what I do) and it was decidedly unhelpful. Sigh, there is simply no Rosetta stone for deciphering my spam.

So apparently something is being endorsed, I am hoping it is me, but as I sign off from my post I remain completely confused by what I have read. Can you make any sense of it?

The Rescue of Johnny Depp


Last night some douche pants left this little prince in the library car park. He survived the night in spite of some terribly cold weather and was found under the bins this morning.

He is now in the capable hands of multiple library staff who are well versed in animal rescue 🙂 Or are really good at Googling.

Naming however has become an issue; our collections manager has started calling him Dewey which let’s face it is pretty awesome. However due to the fact that his natural colouring makes it obvious that he wears eyeliner better than any of us I am calling him Johnny Depp we are also considering Jack Sparrow. I also feel that Johnny Depp would be an appropriate name seeing as though he has captured the hearts of almost all the staff and thus is now a Library celebrity 🙂 He has already made it on to our Instagram account which means he will soon be stealing the hearts of our patrons as well.

Don’t worry about this little one’s future as many of the staff have already put up their hands to house him. The staff member who won out is well versed in raising kittens and has even hand reared them before. He will have a kind and loving home with her and her family I have no doubt.

Resolution re-commitment

Hi Guys,

I have realised that I am starting to fail a bit on the commitments I made to myself at the beginning of the year so I thought it was a good time to go over them again and see where I am at and re-commit 🙂

52 Books in 52 Weeks – I have been a very good girl when it comes to this. So far I am way ahead of myself and have already finished my reading for April 🙂 Also I have kept my promise and FINALLY read The Hobbit… look out for a post on that as soon as I manage to watch the 3rd movie 🙂

Try something new – I have been reasonably good with this. I am trying new kinds of books I wouldn’t normally consider. I tried Figs for the first time, I cooked Tahini slice which was my first time trying Tahini and agave syrup, I tried make your own banana ice cream (didn’t post on this), I created my own Easter Gifts and tags, I wrote my first Book vs. Movie post which was awesome!!! I intend to continue using this resolution to try new foods and healthy recipes because I have really enjoyed it. I would like to extend this resolution to more activities.

Health – Hmm… this still has a long way to go. I thought I was on track, but then everything fell all over the place and I plateaued for ages and I started forgetting my medication because I didn’t make time to sit down and organise it into the organiser. I know this is stupid and I am a complete moron. I need to do this again. I need to make time, 5 minutes once a week could help avoid this problem, I have no excuse. I need to recommit to organising my medication to ensure I am taking it!!!
I also need to get WAY more exercise in!! Like WAYYYYY more! Still figuring this all out, but it is a priority so it will happen.

House – Strangely (touch wood) this seems to be mostly on track if you can believe that. If there are no further ridiculous delays we should be in the house by the end of the year 🙂

Baby – we are one cycle away from getting all medicated and serious about the baby train again. Clomid is a-coming 🙂 Come on baby!!!


Let’s get moving

Hi All, I trust you had a great Easter. If you are like me you are possibly suffering some food guilt. I wasn’t as bad as I normally would have been, last year I would have tasted each one of the 4 deserts on offer and followed it up with a coffee, some rocky road and nut clusters. I took a small piece of mudcake and a little bit of trifle, after 3 forkfuls of the cake I couldn’t handle it, I also found the trifle just tasted like alcohol I couldn’t eat the cake part at all and just had some of the jelly and custard. I did eat quite a bit of chocolate over the day though. Last night I ended up with a monster headache, Advil helped, but I have had a low grade headache through today. Before you ask… no, I did not get on the turps hahaha. I also have had very bad heart burn.

I am over this you guys!

My weight has totally plateaued. I have never talked actual figures much here on my blog before and I think it is time. Perhaps writing it up here will make me more accountable or try harder or something. When I was finally diagnosed my weight was 129.9kgs, after a few months of being on Metformin I eventually got down to 122.7kgs and that is what I am today. I go down a bit from this and then back up. I always put weight on before my period and I am at that point now (sorry for the over share) so I am hoping that I am actually lighter than 122.7kgs, but I think that after this weekend it’s probably accurate. My job is very busy, but it is also sedentary for a few hours a day. I have to do more, I have to do something. Losing weight will make me healthier, let me lead a better and longer life not to mention that it will help raise my chances of falling pregnant. I had hoped to get under 220kgs before Easter, but that didn’t happen. That scale did not move at all. So frustrating. My pants and stuff seem to be fitting me better, but at this point I think that might be psychological and perhaps I am just stretching them because I sure am not losing any weight.


I have to do something.

And I have to start somewhere.

I am open to suggestion.

So I found this information on the My Fitness Pal website about a 30 day walking challenge. To be honest this will be hard to pull off because I have a stupid schedule and my fatigue sucks, but I have to do something more that the leg exercises and weights I have been doing.

So I figure I can make time for walking, cardio is something I haven’t been doing a lot of. Perhaps I should also pay more attention to my New Year’s resolution of ‘try something new’ and try to include more active activities 🙂

I have to do something 🙂

Tahini Slice

YAY FOOD! And food that is not too bad for you 🙂 This all falls under my whole idea of trying to eat better and trying new things resolutions for this year. I often suffer from 3:30-itis 🙂 For those of you that haven’t heard of this it is that time in the afternoon (usually around 3:30) where you get really hungry. The craving is usually for carbs or chocolate – it is the danger zone 🙂 Basically your body needs something to get you through until dinner. I often get it bad and it seemed the more I tried to not reach for carbs or something sweet AKA chocolate the more my brain would think of nothing else. Now, I love myself some muesli slice, however it is not exactly good for you depending on what you put in, it can have a lot of preservatives, sugars etc. So on my researcher hat went in search of a healthy muesli slice. I discovered Tahini slice 🙂 Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds (I found the consistency similar, but a little runnier than peanut butter) you can get hulled and un-hulled varieties, it is also a main ingredient in hummus so in buying it I will also finally get to try making my own hummus, yay for no wastage :). Tahini is a good source of calcium, protein and healthy fats. In my case I chose un-hulled Tahini because when I compared the labels there was less fat, sodium, carbs etc. Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup sultanas

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line a slice tin with baking paper.

Not only handy for the lining of the tin, but also great microphone for singing along to the radiop as you cook :)

Not only handy for the lining of the tin, but also a great microphone for singing along to the radio as you cook 🙂

In a large bowl, stir together the tahini and agave. Stir in the oats and sultanas.

Tahini slice mix

Tahini slice mix

Spoon the mixture into the slice tin you prepared and smooth it out with the back of the spoon. Bake for 10-15mins or until golden. Cool Completely before slicing to serve.

Cooked slice cooling down

Cooked slice cooling down

Please note that it is a sticky slice. It is not meant to have the consistency of cake 🙂 Mine kept for over a week in Tupperware and it was a huge help with my 3:30-itis 🙂 I cut mine into 12 biggish slices. It has a heavy nutty flavour (so good) and goes great with an afternoon tea or coffee. You get some carbs from the oats and tahini and sweetness (not at all overpowering) from the agave syrup and sultanas.

The finished product... so yummy!!!

The finished product… so yummy!!!

I found the recipe in a book called 4 Ingredients Diabetes by Diabetes Australia VIC.

Easter Delights

Hi all! Happy Chocolate Day for tomorrow!

I know a lot of people don’t do gifts for Easter, but my family does. The little ones are easy, I always give them a new set of play clothes or semi good clothes (because they go through them so quick LOL) and a small chocolate. My Dad normally gets a DVD (this year I scored The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies for $15!!) and a small chocolate and Mum’s changes each year. Where I struggle is with my brothers and their partners, one of my brothers is a complainer and has a whinge no matter what you give him (seriously, I am often tempted to give him nothing) and there is only so many times you can repeat the same gift for the others… sour lollies for one brother, peanut M&Ms for his partner and lollies for the whiny brother’s partner.

So this year I was kinda over it and decided to get creative and do something a bit different. So I went shopping and bought 4 masonry jars with lids and straws, I then bought a mix of all the stuff they like and filled the jars. This way I felt that they were all getting a little Easter treat, but also something they could keep and use for awesome beverages 🙂

I then did some Google image searches and found a vintage looking Easter-y pic I liked and created name tags.

The tags I made, the names were written on the reverse side. Sorry I don't remember where I got the image from.

The tags I made, the names were written on the reverse side. Sorry I don’t remember where I got the image from.

All that was left to do was a little dressing with some pretty purple straw packaging I kept from something IT related Hubby got delivered and voila… Easter presents 🙂

The finished product!!!

The finished product!!!

Thinking outside the box and inside the jar hahaha. What Easter creations have you made this year???