Public Holidays are the best.  It’s like having another Saturday in your week.

This long weekend my brother Trev, and my cuz Benny and I went to the Perth Royal Show.  It was amazing.  The thing I loved the most, was 6 hours of walking without even trying.  The worst thing was trying to find a lunch that wasn’t greasy.  Immediately I wanted sushi, or some of those Vietnamese fresh rice paper rolls.  Of course I couldn’t find anything.  So I settled on some calamari, chips and salad.   Trev ate all the chips, and the calamari and salad was just enough to fill me. PERFECT.  Better his hips than mine.


 I guess you could make your own lunch and take it with you.  But where is the fun in that??  There was so much fairy floss and hot chips I had to walk past.  It was like they were all jumping out at me EAT ME, BUY ME, LOVE ME.  Let me tell you, the trick, is to hold out until you find something that you absolutely want to eat.  For me, this was nougat, salami, cheese, and chocolate covered strawberries.  I got a little of each and savoured every bite.  I have to say that coming home and sharing the spoils with your cheese and salami addicted family helps quite a bit too.

Benny licking his lips over giant strawberries.

A shout out to Alex who we bumped into.  It was soooo good to see you there.

Catching up with Alex

A few more pics

On the ferris wheel
Me, Trev and Benny

Just as we were leaving I spotted the dim sum sushi house.  DAMMIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Well I guess I should own up to the damage the weekend salami’s and nougat did to me.  Absolutely nothing.  In all I have lost 4kgs now…and in this last week I seem to be maintaining that.  While its disappointing not to lose any more, it is better that I maintain rather than gain back.


Regarding last fortnights challenge:

Week 2: “Real” beverages! Beverages will be limited to water, coffee, tea, kombucha, almond, rice or coconut milks, and ACTUAL fruit or vegetable juice. This means fruit juices containing only fruits and water. No sugars or artificial sweeteners, concentrates, preservatives etc. I know this might seem tough at first but stick to it and it will make a big difference. For coffee, try and limit to one cup a day.”

Finally!! I have managed to stick with everything listed above.   Substituting Coffee for Milo/Hot chocolate.  But I had to do it otherwise this was going to be painful.  I find that I may not stick to this completely.  I think I will still have dairy milk but only sometimes.  I really think its important to keep some measure of dairy in your diet.

This weeks challenge:

Week 3: Meat – If you eat meat, try and consume locally raised and organic if you can. Meat consumption will also be limited to 2 – 4 servings per week, and will not be the “focal point” of the meal.”

It wont be too hard for me.  I think I mostly do this anyway.   I might see if I can hook up the slow cooker (aka crockpot) soon and dig out some recipes for dinners.  Mum was a Weight Watcher’s lecturer for 10-15 years and is always cooking figure friendly meals.  Making it a point to cut off the fat off of steaks and chicken.  So naturally this is a habit I have developed over the years…of course I would add mashed potatos with cream and cheese, and maybe honeyed carrots and garlic bread.  Now I have salads. Different types of salads and instead of relying on meat for protein, I find myself eating more eggs, and legumes.

Well I hope this will help me to shed another kilo or 2.  I find I want to see more of a change on the scales.  I want to see more of a loss each week.  I don’t know why I cant lose any more.  I have been just as strict, just as vigilant with my meal choices.  I actually find myself becoming annoyed that I am not losing weight fast enough.  While I know that losing weight slowly is healthiest, it is also the most frustrating.  I only see small changes in myself, and I’ve only seen the same small changes for the last few weeks.motivational-fitness-workout-quotes-61

I also want to thank my readers for sticking with me each week.  It is a slow progress, but I am sure with determination and self control I can continue to shrink.

Also, less than 60 days until TAIWAN!!!! So excited and terrified that I wont be able to control myself around all the food!!!!

See you soon!

A xo

Mason Jar Salads??!!!!!

Good Morning!!

Time for my weekly update!  It has been a disaster week for me.  Crook in bed for most of it was detrimental.  I thought that sleeping all day would totally get me a step ahead in my weight loss goals.  I was sooo wrong!  For three days I did no exercise, no planning, and no moving…Not to mention what I ate!!! 2 chocolate chip cookies, 2 banana smoothies with ice cream, aaaaand a very tall glass of some bubbly soda.  (there goes last weeks challenge)  So of course I gained a whole kilo back. Good job Manda, good job!!  But hey, its not the end of the world.  Just gotta keep on swimming!!


On Saturday I was feeling much better, and decided to work out in the pool with Kathy to do some Aqua-aerobics.  We managed to score a 1 week free trial pass which gives us access to all of the facilities available including, gym, sauna, spa, classes, and pool.  So tonight we are going again!!!  I’m hoping that all this exercise will be helping to accommodate the little luxuries I indulged in over the weekend…that banana smoothie…good grief.

While I definitely ate my share of things I shouldn’t, Kathy and I also managed to prepare  one of the best recipes I have seen.  The Sweet Potato and Avocado Burger.   It may look a little complex, but It really isnt.  I loved the taste of the burger patty.  Even my brother-in-law, the fussiest person I know, enjoyed them.  I thought they looked like giant ANZAC cookies as we fried them in the pan with a lil coconut oil.   We enjoyed the burgers with avocado, onion, cheese, kale, baby spinach, mayo, beetroot, and tomato.




On the topic of amazing recipes, I want to share with you this amazing new lunch idea I have found…which apparently took lunch rooms around the globe by storm…in 2011…and I am only now discovering it.   So for all of you who, like me do not know about these…may I present the MASON JAR SALAD…(dum dum duuuuuuuum!!!!)


I cannot believe I am just learning of them now.  There are so many different types of recipes and the colours are so vibrant.   These mason jar salads keep for up to 5 days in the fridge.  I think the best thing about these jars, is that they lock in freshness.  You can make a weeks worth of lunches in one hit!  Here are a few recipes which I cant wait to try.   I have already ordered my new batch of mason jars.  If you have already known about the mason jars for some time and have some good recipes you like, please share them with me.  Also BOOO YOU for not telling me sooner  😉



I am thinking I will need another week to master the beverage challenge from last weeks Double Whammy Post.  Wish me luck!! Hopefully next weeks weight check in will be a good one.

Ciao for now

A xo



Finally a lil Scrapbooking!!

Good morning!!

Finally I have got round to doing something creative.

Step 1: Photo Selection

I have been looking over the photos of this year and thought about the kind of album I want to create.  So I have decided to start by scrapbooking all of my major events this year so far.  It will be the 2015 event scrapbook.  I will think of a better title later.

So the first major thing that happened this year, was the church 2015 YSA (Young Single Adult) National Convention, which this year was held in Perth.  One thing you have to understand about me, is I am not at all a ‘go out’ kind of person…especially with large groups of people I dont know.  I dont feel comfortable because of my weight issue so I tend to stay at home or just stay in a close knit group of friends.  Dont get me wrong,  I would love to go out, be social and be 100% comfortable with myself.  But I’m not.  Which is one of the reasons I have started losing weight.

Convention was full of fun things to do, we had the silent disco, the trip to Rottnest, the waterslide day, the ball, and a bunch of other things, and while I attended most of these events, I didnt take many photos or involve myself too much.    So the pics I have chosen are pretty simple and in my opinion capture the essence of my experience at the convention.

Step 2: Layout.

I simply Googled a layout I wanted to use.  There are so many!!  I wanted a simple layout to hold 3 photos and leave enough room for embellishments and a bit of decorating.


Step 3: Materials

I have developed a bit of a fettish for acrylic stamps.  I love them. They are easy to use and you can store them easily in a file.  So of course I had to include them somehow.  I have also purchased a gold mist spray.  which I thought would look nice against a sky blue background.  A fine Messy Marker for the photo captions.  A few flower embellishments, a butterfly I cut out of some wrapping paper, Black Staz-On ink pad, sky blue 12×12 paper, acrylic block, star formation rhinestone, foam smiley sticker, green rhinestone, and double sided craft tape.


Step 4: Putting it all Together

First I spritzed the paper with the gold mist.  I thought it would be a finer mist than what it appeared to be… and for future note, try spritzing it on something other than your only page of blue paper for your first try.


You cant tell in the picture, but the gold was really quite shiny.  Next I layered the photos and paper and embellishments on the blue page.   I didn’t glue anything down until I was 100% happy with it.  Once I was happy, I glued it all down and added the title.  I cannot stress to you enough how important it is to invest in some alphabetical stamps.


Step 5: captioning Photos

I captioned the photos with the peoples names.  As time goes by names might be forgotten so I think its a great idea to put as many details in as you can.

Voila! The finished product.  Tell me what you think. This is probably the simplest form of scrapbooking I have seen but it still makes me smile as I look at it and remember the people I met and the fun times I had.


I love trying new techniques.  The technique I tried using today was using the ink spray to make the background more interesting.  I definitely need to find out if the problem was me or a dodgy spray head.  More practising required me thinks.

If you love scrapbooking and have any thoughts for improvement or a new technique I should try, please let me know.

Well finally a scrapbooking page!!!

On Monday I will update you on my progress with clean eating and fitness.  Busting out the aqua-aerobics this week.

Ciao for now

A xo

A Double Whammy Blog Post

Sooooooo I have to apologise for going AWOL this Thursday.  But I will definitely absolutely do the scrapbooking segment this week.

I do have some very good news.  I can say that this fortnight I have lost 2.2Kgs.  This means that I have lost a total of 3.7Kgs.  Whaaat??


It seems small to me, but any loss is good.  I cant see it yet, but I feel a lot better about myself knowing that I am eating healthier, and moving a lot more.  Also, my dress had a little bit more room this morning. WIN!!  I am so excited to lose enough weight that it becomes really noticeable.


On the weekend I actually bought a couple of T-Shirts with inspirational weightloss phrases.  I also bought a pair of expensive sneakers.  I think if I am financially invested in this, I will be more motivated to continue.  I NEVER thought I would be one to buy these kinds of T-Shirts…EVER!

The best thing that happened over the weekend, my lil sis asked me to go over to her place and help her organise her pantry to become more ‘clean eating’ friendly.  Its like people are coming to me for advice on how to eat better.  3 Months ago, people came to me for advice on which Krispy Kreme I would recommend (Original glazed and Kookies ‘n’ Kreme).


I find that when my family want to incorporate ‘clean eating’ into the weekly meal plans, I don’t have to ask things like ‘what did you use in the sauce?’.  At my sisters place for dinner on the weekend, she served pineapple and orange infused water.  LOVE THAT!!!  I was super impressed with the effort she put in to the super healthy meal that night.

I am getting a lot of support from friends and family, positive comments, encouragement, a new recipe,  helpful hints.  A shout out to Ash for introducing me to the Skinny Fork website.  The recipes are sooo good.  I am looking forward to trying the spaghetti recipe I found.

While making some great choices this week,  I haven’t been without my moments of weakness.  I have been quite naughty throughout the fortnight…a whopper at Hungry Jacks (sooo good!!!), salami in my sandwich, miss a day of exercise, and one night I ate after 8pm! *gasp!*  I just have to get back on the horse and keep going.   If you move your body more in a workout session or 20 minutes on the treadmill, its easy to recover from little mistakes that you will make.


Some things I have learnt:

  • Rolled oats boost metabolism
  • White bread slows it down, as does pasta, rice, and potatos… DAMMIT
  • Diet coke lowers metabolism for up to 5 hours!!! D-:
  • You use more calories chewing celery and carrots than what you consume. 😀
  • Always eat breakfast to kick start your metabolism
  • Always choose wholegrain wherever possible, these foods are slower to digest meaning they don’t slow metabolism.
  • Don’t under eat.  The body goes into starvation mode and holds on to as much as it can.
  • ‘Little Pickers wear big knickers’… FALSE…smaller, nutritious meals throughout the day helps to maintain your metabolic rate.
  • I am obsessed with boosting my metabolism

One of the best ways to boost metabolism is to eat healthy unprocessed foods (clean eating).   I found 14 steps to help me achieve this.  The first step I learnt this week was to incorporate 2 fruits/2 veg into each meal.  I can confidently say MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.  A lot easier than expected

My new challenge this week is:

Week 2: “Real” beverages! Beverages will be limited to water, coffee, tea, kombucha, almond, rice or coconut milks, and ACTUAL fruit or vegetable juice. This means fruit juices containing only fruits and water. No sugars or artificial sweeteners, concentrates, preservatives etc. I know this might seem tough at first but stick to it and it will make a big difference. For coffee, try and limit to one cup a day.”

I dont actually drink coffee so no problems there, and I have no idea what Kombucha is.  I guess I should probably Google it.   This will be a bit of challenge for me as I really really love my Milos.  Maybe I will substitute Coffee for Milo in the above text.  See how I go.

So that will be the end for the weightloss segment of this blog.  Of course if you have any good tips or recipes be sure to send them my way.  The best thing about this blog is it helps to keep me motivated, and I have an opportunity to share what I learn…who knows, maybe I can inspire someone to make a change.  Wouldn’t that be something?!



Ciao for now

A xo

Celebrate with Clean Eating

Good Morning!!

Would you believe, just as I start changing the way I eat, a Hungry Jacks fast food restaurant opens up at the end of my street?!!!!  Like seriously?!!!!!!


I feel like a whopper.  But strangely, I don’t feel like fries or my diet coke. I just feel like a whopper.  I am meant to be having smaller portions…so how about a Junior Whopper?  What I hate about dieting the most, is depriving myself of things I really want to have, which is why I refuse to do it.  My family are having Hungry Jacks for dinner tonight, just because we can…am I going to say no? HELL NO!!  I dont want to be one of those people who scrutinise the menu for something that fits in with their rigid diet.  Im having a whopper for dinner tonight!!!  I feel that as long as I dont make this a regular occurance, its definitely OK to have a little indulgence…and a little extra time on the treadmill.

Changing the subject…

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all the dads out there for yesterday!!

Our family had a fantastic dinner to celebrate Father’s Day.  It gave me an awesome opportunity to incorporate some of the new recipes I have found on Audrey Johns Blog.   One of the recipes was a Strawberry Spinach Salad.  It also had a great strawberry and orange vinaigrette to go with it.  If you look at the salad, you will see I used shredded chicken.  It was optional but we had it in the fridge so why not?  I thought Strawberry and chicken was a little funny, but I really enjoyed it and the salad was totally demolished by the end of the meal. Two thumbs up from me.  I didn’t use any cheese as the recipe suggests, but it worked pretty well without it.  Another plus to this dish, it was super easy to prepare.

Contained: Spinach, strawberries, shredded chicken, walnuts.
Contained: Spinach, strawberries, shredded chicken, walnuts.

The other dish I made was a major hit with the family.  Skinny and Tasty Spinach Cheese Dip.  I had seen this done before and it tasted amazing.  So I was a little apprehensive about the ‘skinny’ part.  In my experience, low fat anything never tasted as good as the real deal…NEVER.   I would avoid the phrase ‘low fat’ like the plague.  Take low fat skim milk for example…YUK!!! To me it tastes like milk flavoured water *shivers*.  There is just no comparison.  This  recipe has a different flavour, but it leaves you feeling just as satisfied.   The Sourdough Cobb was a great dipping bread and the crust held the bread bowl together for the whole night.

Contained: Baby Spinach, Greek yoghurt, almond milk, cheddar and parmesan cheese, wholmeal plain flour, and garlic.

As I have been adhering to my new self-created rules, I have been finding that it is becoming increasingly easier to make good choices.  😀  A new habit or way of eating I want to establish for myself and my family is to cut out processed foods as much as I can.  Reading up about it, I have found 14 steps that will help with the process.

Week 1:  Eat two fruits and/or vegetables per meal. By eating a minimum of two different fruits or vegetables (preferably organic) with every breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you will get your fruit and veggie intake up enough to begin hitting the daily recommended minimums. This will already start making you feel better.”

I find that I am already mostly doing this.  I think one more week to really master it will be the best thing for me and that way I can really help to integrate it into the family meal plans.

Its funny, I have family and friends who are making great choices in health and fitness and with their families, and I see inspirational quotes and amazing recipes from them all the time.  I used to gloss over it all and wish for a healthier me, but never actually getting serious about changing.  The motivation was sooooooo hard.  I never thought I’d be one to admit this out loud, but I have a dinkum fear of failure.  I guess that is what stops me from accomplishing a lot of things.

Doing this, and having friends and family encourage me to be better, is an amazing boost in the confidence I have in myself.  Not to mention seeing my results on the scales.

So this Thursday will see the return of my scrapbooking segment as I now have received my new items.

Have a good week and MAKE GOOD CHOICES!!  I will be!!

A xo

I will never DIET again!!!

Recently I have been thinking about the stuff I stick in my gob.  I love food, I’m not fussy and I have a real problem with deprivation.  I dont want to go to a friends birthday party and not be able to eat the cake.  That mega sucks!!


If I feel like I cant keep off chocolate or carbs or sugar etc, then whatever diet Im on, is doomed to fail.  I have tried all the diets before, you name it, Ive tried it.  Some of them worked great! I lost a bunch of weight and then when I felt good, I would come off my diet and eventually gain it all back…plus interest!!!!!  And that is my life story as far as dieting goes.


This is why I am sooooo totally against Dieting and instead making a Healthy Lifestyle Change.  So this week I am looking at moving my body more and finding at least 15 minutes a day where I do some sort of constant physical exercise.  It’s been hit and miss a bit this week.  But I did manage to get in about 2 hours yesterday as I was out in the city.  Im hoping that counts for something.

Recently while looking for ideas for my next challenge, I found a blog by Audrey Johns.   She is amaaaaazing!!!  Her blog…now pay attention…Lose Weight By Eating…HOLD THE PRESS, WE HAVE A NEW HEADLINE!!!!!!  Do I dare hope? or dream?   Indeed I do!!!

This is her motto


What have I just been talking about?!!!! NO DIET!!!!!!!!

Instead of limiting yourself to things…you should change what you eat…permanently.  She is talking about cutting out as much processed food as you can, aka Clean Eating.  There is so much trash in food these days.  Now I bow my head in shame because I have been told this by pretty much everyone…diet coke….is not really DIET.  Sure it has zero sugar, but it does contain other things.   A shout out to Roxy, who would tell me this every day at work if I came to the lunch room with a can or bottle of Diet Coke.   I am proud to say I am 5 days without Diet Coke…I pray that I will never feel tempted again.


My next challenge is pretty clear to me, and it comes with a 14 week step by step guide…woah now, no spoilers or I will have nothing to blog about next week. 😛  In the meantime I am trying hard to find my 15 mins a day, and drinking as much water as I can.  I am still trying to decide upon a juice infuser water bottle.  Audrey Johns swears by infused water, another reason I love reading her blog.  You should see all her recipes!!

This one is called the Apple Cinnamon Water Recipe…SOOO GOOOD.

She also says (and this is the best part) that if you decide to make a change, and eat healthy you need to find healthy eating lifestyle that works for you.

 Audrey shared her experiences “One of the things recommended to remove from my diet was coffee. Well, I LOVE coffee, I am a mother of a toddler… hello! By day 4 I decided to rebel against the plan and have one cup per day, and I am happy to say following the plan from then on was a cinch. Why was it easier to follow the plan? Because I modified it to meet my individual needs.


Anyways I thought I would share with you this amazing blog.  Im so happy I found it.

Enjoy the rest of your week.   Stay tuned for Monday!

A xo