Currently I am sitting outside on our balcony, drinking a coffee and enjoying the peace and quiet as Ella has just gone down for her nap. It's my day off, and I've designated my day off "food prep day" in an attempt to get organised now that we've gone back to work. I took Ella grocery shopping this morning (at Woolworths, always Woolworths, as they have free fruit for kids which makes the trip infinitely easier) and now I have a list of dinner things to prep and snack items to make before she wakes. But first a little rest and "me time" while I finish off this post.
Reading: Yes Please! by Amy Poehler. I started this book while in California. It belongs to my brother's girlfriend, who we were staying with. I only got halfway through before we left and had to leave it there, but I would like to finish it. I didn't love it at first, but it grew on me as I read it. Parts of it where she writes about people from Saturday Night Live and certain sketches (in particular Tina Fey's portrayal of Sarah Palin during the 2008 election) have made me go back and look up old episodes on YouTube. On motherhood, she has a motto that I love and want to apply to my life: "Good for you, Not for me". She also has a chapter entitled "Every Mother Needs a Wife". Amen! I'm looking forward to reading the second half at some point. I also read The Girls by Emma Cline for book club. I liked, but didn't love, this book. It's set in 1969, told from the point of view of a teenager that ends up getting involved with a cult. I found out later that it is a fictional telling of the Charles Manson murders, which I knew next to nothing about before reading this book. So that made it more interesting. I kind of wish I had known the context before reading it though.
Watching: The tennis! I love the Australian Open. We didn't go this year, because... Ella. But we watched a lot on TV. The Federer/Nadal final was intense. I'm not going to lie, I went to bed before the end as it was a Sunday night and we had to get up for work the next day (ugh). Either would have been a deserving winner, but I was pleased to wake up Monday morning to see Federer win. He is such a legend.
Drinking: My copycat 'cacophony' coffee from Barefoot Coffee in San Jose. I was obsessed with this when we were in California over Christmas and tried out my own recipe the day after we got back to Melbourne. I think I got the proportions ok: 1 tsp of cacao, 1/2 tsp brown sugar, 1/4 tsp cinnamon and a dash of cayenne pepper added to my Linizio Lungo Nespresso pod, topped with steamed milk. I've made up a big batch of the mixture and both Andy and I add it to our coffees every morning.
Realizing: That I actually don't like shopping anymore. Before our trip to California, I was really looking forward to shopping in America. I thought I'd find some great deals after Christmas. But it turns out shopping really wasn't all that exciting - it is certainly an activity I have come to enjoy less and less lately. Maybe it is just because I am missing my best shopping partner - my mom! But frankly our budget would be out of control if I shopped as much as I did when I was in my 20s!
Enjoying: All of Ella's words! I swear she learns a new word everyday. It's amazing. I'm loving how much she can communicate, although I'm not going to lie, she learned the word "apple" last week and now she constantly asks for apples, which can get on your nerves. But mostly its hilarious and great.
Wanting: Our house to be in order. We are very nearly there. I just want everything to have a place. My big pet peeve is a constant pile of papers on the kitchen table. You know, bills, mail, and things that you have to do something about so you leave them out to remind yourself, but that pile is just a constant, annoying reminder of some sort of boring life admin you should be doing. I long for a constantly cleared kitchen table!
I also want (Andy) to build this "Learning Tower" for Ella. It's so that she can safely stand up to the kitchen counter and learn more about food and cooking.
Considering: What my "rhythms" should be. I've been reading Allie Casazza's blog on purposeful living. One article talks about working out your rhythms. These are basically your habits that you do automatically in your day, that help make things run more smoothly. So some things I'm trying to build into my daily routine are:
- Meditating first thing in the morning (see more on that in my last blog post). I've done this nearly every day since we got back from holidays.
- Before leaving for work, making sure the kitchen counter and sink are clean and free of dishes. I normally do the cooking in our house while Andy plays with/distracts Ella. I really hate having to clean up dishes from breakfast or the previous night, before starting to cook. It just seems to make the whole process take a lot longer. So I've decided that taking an extra few minutes in the morning and being a few minutes later to work is totally worth it.
- Packing bags the night before. We were inconsistent with this last year, but both realise that the morning is so much easier if clothes are picked out and bags are packed the night before rather than the morning of.
Loving: Lots of things lately! My new yoga studio, Australian Yoga Academy in Northcote. It's a beautiful studio and I love all of the teachers. After trying out two other studios in the area I'm happy to find one I love as much as Kindred Movement to continue my practice. I'm also loving our new balcony furniture and plants which have made the space much more inviting - sitting outside on our warm summer nights with a glass of wine reading a good book is the perfect end to a day for me.
Hating: Trump. Nuff said.
Wearing: Lots of cotton summer dresses and flip flops (or thongs as they are called here in Oz). This last week I've had to start wearing work clothes again which is a bummer.
Planning: A weekend away in March, for Labour Day. We are leaning towards Bright, which is about three hours north-east of Melbourne. Two days into the school year and I'm already looking forward to the first long weekend!
Pic of the Month: This pic of Ella playing with her new kitchen. She absolutely loves it. She looks so grown-up in this picture, I can't even believe it!