Sunday, August 17, 2014

This Week ...

Hello :) These past few weeks have been quite relaxed - working a few days a week and filling in the rest of the time with ballet classes, doing the bronte to bondi walk, baking lots of gluten-free tarts, reading magazines in bed and booking accommodation for europe in november ... yep I am not complaining! It is so nice not being at uni, and not constantly worrying about assignments and exams. 

A few weeks ago I also stopped my little market stall at Marrickville selling teas and skincare - to be honest I wasn't making enough money for it to be viable. I could have worked more on signage etc to boost sales, but selling skincare is difficult - it takes so much energy and talking to just sell one product! And when you add in paying for the stall and all the setting up/packing up time … sometimes it just isn't worth it! Funnily enough I don't actually miss it (ha probably cause I've still been going to the market every week) so it must have been the right time to stop. 

So I have been working every now and again at a few other market stalls, helping out with food prep for a small catering business who also sell at the markets - just doing a few odd jobs here and there which seems to be enough for the moment. Well anyway … I thought I'd share with you some highlights of my week!

I made a batch of granola and gifted some to my friend (in an old sauerkraut jar!)


I went to west juliett in marrickville for lunch with a friend and had the slow cooked pork on sonoma miche - so good !! 


Then we had an afternoon coffee at brewtown newtown - and no that ain't my mustache wax!


I bought two packets of this haloumi cause it's the best (from a deli near north sydney station) 


I bought this cute english tea cup and saucer for $6


I splurged on a super warm mustard scarf from Uimi (at the shop funkis in paddington) and haven't taken it off since! I decided to purchase it for europe - and intend on wearing it everyday.


And today there was Sydney's first tea festival on at carriageworks! If only I'd known about it earlier the tea company I work for little china teas could of had a stall! We'll have to go there next year. Anyway it was a great venue and despite the rain there were plenty of tea lovers out ready to stock up and sip on lots of samples.


I bought some Australian grown green tea from perfect south which I am looking forward to enjoying in the morning, and also bought some raw urban honey from marrickville. 


Oh and lunch today - lots of local goodness from the markets including this yummy gluten-free turmeric potato bread from the irish soda bread stall at marrickville markets.


I hope you had a lovely weekend! Did anyone else catch the tea festival in sydney?

Hannah x

ps see you tomorrow for a mindful monday post!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fried Eggs & Sauteed Millet

Hello :) I think I'll start doing a few more shorter recipe posts. So here's what I had for breakfast this morning. I posted this photo on instagram (@hfong14) this morning as part of Heidi's #wednesdaybreakfastclub series - where each Wednesday she (and others) share what we eat for brekky. It's a pretty cool idea and there's lots inspiring dishes!

I was inspired to make this recipe from a new blog I discovered yesterday aptly named what should I eat for breakfast today? I love the layout and gorgeous photos from the blog ... I've already bookmarked a few more recipes - so check it out! Well I saw a recipe for millet cakes which I based this on- though couldn't be bothered to form the mixture into patties. So sauteed millet it is!

Fried Eggs & Sauteed Millet (serves 1)

1/4 cup millet (you could also use quinoa)
2 cups water

Rinse the millet and bring it to the boil, then pop a lid on it and let it cook through until the water is absorbed (around 20 minutes)

Once the millet is cooked, I sauteed it with the following ingredients -

garlic
chopped spinach and kale
leftover breadcrumbs
a little fennel and a pinch of fennel seeds

other yummy things you could add: chilli flakes, grated carrot, cabbage, zucchini or herbs.

Then I added the eggs to the same pan and let them cook for a while sunny side up! I have been adding fennel seeds to a lot of my cooking lately (for example a lasagne and osso bucco this week) - it's such a nice addition.


Now, I had quite a bit of time this morning so had time to cook the millet and everything. But if you don't have much time to cook brekky in the morning then I'd suggest cooking about 1 cup of millet the night before which will be enough for a few brekkies and lunches throughout the week - then in the morning you just need to fry it slightly with the eggs. Too easy! 

What have you been eating for brekky lately? 

Hannah x

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mindful Mondays: How Do You Want To Feel?

Hello :) Having an interest in food and health means that I'm naturally following people via blogs and instagram that are relatively like minded. It's nice to follow so many people that work in the health and wellbeing industry - and means I'm always reading posts and watching videos that I find interesting, as they pop up on my radar.

Well - the other week somehow I got to watching this video with danielle laporte who is an author (amongst other titles) of the desire map - a program about how to create goals based on how do you want to feel? Here's a quote from her website ...."what if, first, we got clear on how we actually wanted to feel in our life, and then we laid out our intentions? what if your most desired feelings consciously formed how you want to plan your day, your year, your career, your holidays - your life?"


Now, I haven't read through the entire program, but I do really like the idea of shifting the focus from just reaching a goal (or whatever it may be) to how you want to feel in that moment or day or week etc. I mean we all want to feel good somehow... that's why we jump out of bed to practice yoga or go for a morning walk or meditate. Sure, we might become more flexible or improve our strength etc - but if we dive a little deeper ... we also know how calm and grounded we will feel. So perhaps by focusing on the actual feeling such as joy or freedom - we can then change our behaviours and choices. Interesting ...

I'd love to know if you've come across the desire map before or ever thought about how the choices you make align with how you want to feel? For myself I think it's a great way of thinking - and a motivator for practising a morning or evening routine with the intention of feeling calm and grounded.

Hannah x

ps. I should probably rename this series mindful tuesday, haha sorry!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Favourite Coffee Spots

Hello :) I thought I'd do a post about some of my favourite places to get coffee around Sydney (mostly in the inner west). I have probably mentioned most of these in previous posts, but it's nice to do a collective post I reckon. Apart from great coffee, the vibe, seating etc is definitely important too. I usually drink piccolos (nice and strong!) or cold filters when it's warmer .... so here are some of my favs!

Black Star Pastry, Newtown
I love this tiny little cafe - especially after yoga when it's quiet on a weekday morning. Sometimes I'll grab a pie for lunch too, they're pretty delicious!

Gumption, Strand Arcade
Whenever I'm in the city, I like to go here. It only opened late last year by the lady who owns Coffee Alchemy in Marrickville (another great spot). If you love excellent strong coffee, this is the place to be!

recent coffee break at Gumption & sneaky chocolate from haighs

Fleetwood Macchiato, Erskineville 
A great little cafe in Erskineville that does a refreshing cold filer. They get bonus points for offering a 50 cents discount when you bring your own cup! It's a cafe that I'll happily sit in by myself with a good book.

Campos Coffee, Ashfield and Newtown
Living in Ashfield, I should probably mention the best coffee place! Campos coffee on the top level of the mall. And I should also mention Campos in Newtown cause it's another great one!

Brewtown Newtown, Newtown (of course!)
This place is always busy (though was lucky to almost have the long table to myself this morning!) and so it should be - excellent coffee, sparkling water as 'tap water', the loveliest tea cups by samantha robinson and the food looks good too (though I've actually never eaten there!)

piccolo sipping and magazine reading at brewtown newtown

212 Blu, Newtown
This cafe opened late last year and is on Australia Street, just up from Black Star Pastry. I like the nice Scandinavian layout and you get a free macaron when you order a cold filter, which is pretty sweet.

Plunge, Summerhill 
Summerhill is only a walk away and has so many lovely cafes! If I'm meeting a friend there, I'll usually sit in the courtyard of Envy, but lately I have been popping into this cafe for a takeaway on the main street.

takeaway piccolo from plunge 

Aaaaand some other places I like (but don't go to often) - the sensory lab in bondi, reuben hills in surry hills, toby's estate near broadway, bourke st bakery in surry hills and north sydney

Oh and recent discovery! I went to brighton the corner in petersham the other day with mum after her yoga class - excellent coffee and custard tarts (from luxe) ... will be back!


Anyone else love these cafes? Tell me Sydney peeps - what are your favourite coffee spots? 

Hope you have a great weekend with lots of coffee sipping!

Hannah x

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Mindful Monday: An Evening Routine

Hello :) Yesterday when I usually try and think of something to write for my mindful monday posts I just couldn't think of anything! And then in the evening it occurred to me that since I wrote about morning routines last week - perhaps this week it would be nice to look at evening routines! Funnily enough, I realised this quite late and thought it would be a little hypocritical to sit and write this blogpost when really it would be better to turn off my laptop, have my own evening routine and write the post tomorrow...

Here we are. Before I delve into the evening routine - I've come across a few inspiring links about morning routines!

- Sarah Wilson writes about the elegance of a morning routine (here) and her daily health routine (here)
- The ladies from Health Talks (not sure if I've talked about this youtube series, but it's great!) talk about their morning routine and the benefits (here)


So evening routines. Last week I was working at different market stalls three days in a row. Waking up around 5am and working for about 8-10 hours each day. The thing with markets, as much as I enjoy working at them - is it is a full-on day of talking to customers non-stop. You rush to go to the loo and run to grab lunch and eat it when there aren't any customers. Basically, you are always switched on. You don't get a designated lunch break like most other jobs. It is an exhausting day, especially when you're selling something that is expected to be sold out (for example I was selling bread for two days).

Working those 3 long days last week had me thinking how important it is to have some sort of evening routine and how significant switching off is when you feel wired and frantic after work, having been switched on all day - if that makes sense.

Ok! So what do I want my evening routine to consist of ...

- literally switching off. Turning off my laptop and phone at least half an hour / an hour before bed. We are definitely glued to screens these days (myself included)
- a bit of stretching/yoga/breathing exercises
- perhaps lighting a candle / incense / dimming the room
- writing in my diary for the day

I realise it's one thing to say something - but doing it is a completely different story (watch this to inspire you) ! My challenge this week is to actually create a calming space so I can wind down.

Do you have / or wish you had an evening routine to help wind down? Join me for a week and see how you go! 


Hannah x

ps. feel free to let me know if you have any ideas of other posts or what you'd like to read about ...

Friday, August 1, 2014

A Few Days in Melbourne

Hello :) Two weeks ago I was in Melbourne, visiting my friend Tara again - and this time with our other friend Renee too. We had such a nice few days of coffee hopping, sleeping in, cooking and walking around amongst other things ... 

Coffee at jellystone in brunswick


Relaxing at Tara's place ...


On Saturday morning we visited ceres where they had a really great local organic food market and community vibe. Coffees were a must ...



Baguette buying


... for some baguette and double brie snacking just outside queen vic markets.


We made a ratatouille one evening, and had some leftovers for brekky (& also added the rest in a nachos) - how versatile! 


Crazy pattern mixing 


Morning coffees at a lovely homely cafe acustico in Brunswick.



The BEST food at Yong Green Food in Fitzroy ... I shared a raw lasagne and dragon bowl with tempeh, sea weed, brown rice, veggies and a cashew cream sauce !! 


Coffees (so many!) - this one from a great little cafe in the city called kinfolk which uses volunteer waitstaff, and distributes money to various charities. 


Lamb 'n' chips souvlaki - how could I resist ... 


Happy :)


Hannah x

Monday, July 28, 2014

Mindful Monday: Morning Routines

Hello :) You know I don't know a great deal about mindfulness (though hopefully I'll learn a few things from doing this series!) - but when I think of being mindful, terms like being in the present moment or awareness or feeling calm and centred come to mind. And one of those things that can certainly help you feel a little less frazzled as you get on with the day, is having a nice, quiet morning routine to kind of set you up.

Twice a week I'll do an 8am yoga class, which I consider to be my morning routine on those days. It is definitely a great feeling finishing the class early at 9am, and knowing there is so much left of the day to enjoy. Despite it being difficult to jump out of bed around 6:30, I do it knowing that it'll be worth it afterwards. I think that's the thing with morning routines - it's only until you start one that you know how valuable and rewarding it can be. 

On the days I don't do yoga - I would love to wake a little earlier and find half an hour or an hour to do some simple things to feel centred and ready to start the day. It might include lighting some incense and sipping on tea, or doing some yoga stretches, or taking deep breaths or reading a magazine. I think everyone has their own way of staying mindful which doesn't always have to strictly be yoga or meditation. Sitting in the sun with a cup of coffee and taking a few deep breaths might work for you. 



So as with all mindful monday posts I write about things that I want to implement more in my life. And this week I want to start waking earlier and finding time to sit still and start the day with ease. Making time for some quiet morning moments to help with the busyness of the day. Do you have a morning routine? Will you join me?

Sipping lemon myrtle tea by the windowsill 

Oh and did anyone try the simple meditation I wrote about last week? I didn't do it everyday, but most evenings would wind down with a few deep breaths and the mantra let go. 

Funnily enough the phrase let go was something I really needed to hear last week. I had been doing a trial at a cafe which I enjoyed but was told on my second day someone more qualified had been given position instead. In my head I thought I already had the job as I was doing well, and told a few people - so I was a little annoyed. However the following day I received an even better job offer from a friend, to help out in their kitchen! It's a lesson in itself, some things are just meant to be! Have you had something similar happen? 

Well I hope you all have a great week! I have two more blogposts planned for the week, so keep checking back in. Tonight I have a fancy dinner date at Catalina which should be lovely ... better get ready!

Hannah x