It is a Pugalier’s Life

So I have a new man in my life .. and I am in love … Puppy love after all is endless love.

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Posing in the sunshine !

 

Our wee Pugalier pup arrived all the way from his NSW breeders on the 8th August and our lives changed ! From the moment he looked at me calmly from his flight carry case ( Jet-setter already) and came straight  for cuddles, my heart skipped a beat. Yup .. I doubt I will ever again sleep past 6am, have good woolen jumpers, or a lounge room scented with anything other that puppy ‘fluffs’ – yet I’ve never been happier. Sam friggin adores him and in my book no amount of puppy poo under the clothes airier, can stop me from thinking he is the perfect pup.

Biggest challenge ? Our newest family member is a massive meat lover and so suddenly chicken necks, duck jerky and liver treats are a part of my plant based loving life. Doesn’t bother me one bit ?! Sure I’ve sneaked in a bit of veg and I am not sad he gobbles up sardines like they are a gourmet meal, but seriously I love just feeding my man what makes him feel good. Too his delight I  roasted him chicken and sweet potato in coconut oil last week ( to compliment his vet approved diet ) .. poor Sam just shook his head. I’ve never seen him so excited. There is something amazing about nourishing those you love and your pup should be no different !

Of course I  knew I’d love him, but I’ve been entirely surprised by the whole experience. He is after all my first puppy experience ! All the things I dreaded (poo, pee, chewing .. bath time ) .. I love .. cause this guy is just adorable. At puppy school he is the smallest and the loudest in the class. Through a tunnel ? No probs ..  Walk on my lead ?  .. Sure ! First day at the beach ? I can do that ! Again and again he has surprised us with his boisterous, outgoing attitude. He loves cuddles too and of course we aren’t sad about that.

Warning adorable photos to follow …

 

S0 what would I recommend in my 2.5 weeks experience … ? ha ha – you learn a lot fast !

Get the best dog bed you can afford,team it with a heatbag and you’ve got a pup that sleeps the night through. We love fuzzyard for doggy stuff full stop – style,quality and an Aussie company !

Enrol in puppy school – its been sooo helpful for us; even if Oscar just goes for the food and socialising. No seriously .. he ran to school yesterday .. the whole way. I swear he could smell the roast chicken awaiting him.

Work out what makes your puppy tick ( Oscar is all about roast chicken, sunshine and cubby holes ) and use it to your advantage.

Get a Puppy Kong ( without it I don’t think I could leave for work ! ).

Bath,  massage  and groom from day one. Oscar loves his ‘spa’ moments. Second bath yesterday was fun for all ( despite Mummies’ bad neck ! )  .. though ear cleaning may take a little longer.

Them eyes

First bath time

Last, but not least, expose your pup to your lifestyle from day one ! Oscar loves walks, outdoor cafes, the beach and our local national park already .. which means we can take him along with us when doing all our fav things. He loves Sam’s parents and their two pups as we introduced them early in … he is just one loving and adaptable pup ! can you tell we are proud ?!

A last note and  thank you to the Pretty Fluffy blog too .. seriously good info on loving your pup !

So life is changing .. and I am loving every moment. Now to wake my wee man up and enjoy some of that late afternoon sunshine ! Peace, love and dogs .. that is all anyone needs really !  x

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Depressed, down and ready to dog out.

10431363_10154392801640241_530075619341810444_oMy last post was in April. I’m sorry .. I say this to myself mainly as I stopped doing something I loved .. actually around that time I stopped doing a lot of things I love.

Here are the facts .. battling constant pain and illness wears you down  – a lot. Especially when there is no certain answer. On the short, Crohns sucks .. I’ve just always maintained within my mind there is so much that could suck worse, but finding a ‘good’ recipe … constantly trying to be ‘good’ only to find next week that was ‘bad’ got old .. very old. Crohns keeps you guessing thats for sure.

Yet …

Top that with having to break away from those  who are meant to love you – ( yer the parentals) and I  guess you get a far less happy Cheryl? Actually you get a depressed one.  Just like many others, there are times I want to sit on the couch, eat something fried, maybe twice fried  ( I am Scottish ! ) and follow it up with ice cream embedded with some sort of cookie goodness ( Oreo is the preference ) and Orange is the new Black.. accompanied with a vodka and Irn Bru ( yes .. Scottish .. ) . Unlike others however it makes me sick, very sick. Confession – I haven’t looked after myself properly since May. Actually from the moment in May I decided that I could no longer be a part of my parents lives .. everything else fell apart. IT HAS BEEN DAMN HARD.  I don’t think I have even gone for a walk, let alone felt I needed to look after myself.

I love my parents despite everything .. and trust me this simply ain’t the forum ( despite my love for FB over-charing) to share ‘everything’ ; but May, in fact a certain early May evening, where shit just got too much made me say, STOP enough is enough. It was the most selfish, bravest, scariest moment of my life. It is now the 13th July, how did that happen .. ?! I miss my mother, I miss .. having family .. but I don’t miss the heartache and truthfully, whilst I harbour guilt, I think it is the best decision I made in a long time.  Yet, yes I am depressed. It feels all wrong.

I am lucky .. I have a loving ‘man-child’  ( meant in the most loving way ) of a fiancé who knows just when to hug me, make me laugh or be a silly sod who makes me feel like the grown up. His latest purchase was a star wars t-shirt .. how can you not love that ? His family are incredible – truly. His Dad gives the best hugs, and his mother well .. I don’t even know where to begin .. she loves me and I know it. How lucky am I ? Thats without even mentioning my beautiful Canadian family .. and truly they are gorgeous !! Yet I am depressed still ..

Early June and I figured enough was enough  and so I had to ask for help from the Gp .. only to be give a tablet that doubled my seizures … thanks. So here I am again sans any medication, feeling sad and deciding that is not good enough.

Its time to remember I deserve to live a nourished life on so many levels. Its time to make more change.

So ?!!

We are getting a puppy from some wonderful NSW breeders .. its been 2 years talking about it and a day ( last week ) of just doing ! Dates aligned and suddenly we have the most adorable responsibility arriving  on the 9th August … a darling male pugalier at that. Name ideas anyone ?

To say it has given me something positive ( despite a recent flu .. yawn ) to concentrate on is an understatement. I feel renewed in my journey to good health .. but after reading some of the crazy ingredients pre-made doggy food it has given me a new challenge too ! Watch here for more !

 

Photo is of my actual wee man !

 

Here is too walking the dog, focusing on good health for our whole family and continuing to work with a wonderful group of people. Life just got a lot more whole. xo

 

Spring Envy and Seafood Cravings.

Autumn has truly arrived in Adelaide … and despite my normally loving this time of year, I am not ready for it ! The clocks went back one week ago and I am not in to the dark nights; the weather has been broody … and half of Adelaide with it ! A late Easter isn’t helping me in get in to the cooler weather either; despite having spent many of my years now in the Southern Hemisphere I long to see buds on trees, lambs in the fields and hoards of roadside daffodils at this time of year. Besides that, Sam and I have spent the last two Easters in the Northern Hemisphere .. so it just all feels a little odd ! I have a serious case of Spring envy … thanks Pinterest ! Just a few more sunny alfresco Sundays Adelaide and then I promise to dust of the knitting needles, pop on the slow cooker and settle down with a nice cup of Chai !

So it is the 12th April today .. and not only does that mean we are finally getting our Irish on in the way of seeing Mrs Brown’s Boys tonight ( it has only been an 11 month wait ! ), it also means we are more than half way through our vegetarian challenge. Thus far I have not slipped … though I cannot stop thinking about my pan roasted Salmon, or tuna salad … or stir fried prawns (you get the idea! Sam has had one set back in the way of lamb skewers at a friends b’day bash last week  … but he managed to say no to his Mum’s roast lamb and gobble up the quinoa salad instead .. so I’m pretty proud ! I am all over the fritter bandwagon and will shortly do a post on just that .. but we have some exciting soups, like GK Stories Roast Tomato and chickpea ( add some chilli flakes and fennel to the mix – you will thank me ), baked mushrooms with spicy fries, quinoa salads … and seriously a large jar of Broccoli pesto made a solid 5 days of meals that more special. This week is going to be all about the veg curries .. and boy am I looking forward to it ! Recipes to come !

Two stand out things I have learnt … vegetarians need to be super organised if they want to not consist on a diet of cheese and eggs … and surprisingly Adelaide does not have an abundance of vegetarian restaurants ! Sure we have a few vego friendly … but if you want to find something more inspiring than the filo filled pastry or pasta dish you have to look hard .. I highly suspect it could get rather boring. It being date night last night Sam and I thus happened on our old-time fave GoodLife on Hutt St.. where their kale, porcini and taleggio special made my eyes light up .. as did their roast veg. Despite it being a bit of a wheat and dairy overload for me the all organic produce seems to even the playing field. YUM 🙂  Seriously though if Adelaide’s full-time vegetarians want a bit of excitement and not survive on pizza and pasta it seems they need to head for the central markets in the way of Bliss Cafe or Let them Eat … or Sam’s lunchtime saviour Veggie Velo.  A lot more clean eating friendly just not very romantic however …

Thus next few days will be gardening .. gotta get that garlic in. Scouring my new Darling Lemon Thyme book and venturing to the Farmer’s Market to get some veg for the coming week. Hope to get a few more photos and recipes up here in the coming week also. Till then …

“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside that is greater than any obstacle.” Christian D Larson 

 

 

 

 

21 days to make a habit …

Yes it has been a while … but hey increased hours at work and the beckoning call of a milder Adelaide summer has had me a run a little ragged ! Not to mention some fun Fringe Festivities .. Really, I am in awe that today is the 1st of April ! How, may I ask are we in the fourth month of the year already? It feels like I just took my christmas tree down … well it did take a while to undecorate and dismantle all seven foot of it !

Seriously though Summer has been a mixed bag of new ventures, friendships, bumper crops of tomatoes, basil and zucchinis, booking loads of travel ( for others .. ) and a few relaxing Sundays with Rose and music. Its been up and down in the gut/joint department too (but I may be partially to blame here )… and thanks to further strata ‘levies’, I now simply refer to our savings account as the ‘s’ fund ! But hey I have had some fun in my absence from the blog. Yet last week, curled up on the couch and in the grips of a nasty flu, I realised how much I’ve missed it and hence I am back with a commitment to post each week ! Baby steps and all …

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But back to the fact it is now April… we are one month in to Autumn now, my absolute favourite month and in true Adelaide fashion we have had all sorts of weather … last week I had the heater on and was dreaming up pumpkin recipes and today is 31 and I’m thinking of raiding the rest of my summer veg patch to create a yummy vegetarian salad with help of the BBQ. Cause switching that oven on is just going to be too much !  And with that last comment finally I come to the point of todays post.

Sam and I are going vegetarian … for 21 days ! True this moment has been coming since I got my hands on GK Stories book last year, but its with great surprise that Sam is keen to join in .. almost excited in fact. True our diet over the last year has migrated to a much more plant based one … but no meat or seafood for 21 days, over 3 meals a day is going to be a feat, let me tell you. I confess I am not sure Sam will make it and I am already thinking of the best place for a seafood platter on 22/04 ! Yet I love goals, I love challenges and the idea behind 21 ? Well as the old saying goes, it takes 21 days to create a habit. No we are not going veg for life .. I couldn’t possibly give up my Salmon and Sam would perhaps wilt away … but the idea is to shake up our weekly meals and discover some great new recipes together.

Admittedly I had a small freak out Sunday when planning the weekly meals. After all I do most all of the cooking .. and what if I could not find fast, simple, clean recipes that are appropriately balanced and gentle enough on my stomach ?! In our house hold we love cheese .. it just doesn’t always love me … and Sunday morning all I was finding were cheese or gluten based vegetarian alternatives. GULP. I’d already put our challenge out there to friends, family and the universe ( since January ! ) .. so it was a commitment, but what to cook ?! Enter a blog I rediscovered just this morning … My Darling Lemon Thyme. One talented blogger and chef who has saved me, got me excited again and also given me an excuse to buy yet another cookbook ( released today .. ) !

Thus get your screens ready for the trials and tribulations of our 21 day challenge. My Pinterest page will be updated regularly with recipe ideas and I will pop even a few tried and tested recipes up here as well. We hope to discover as a few vegetarian/vegan friendly spots around Adelaide too. And last but not least, if you have any fav recipes or South Australian haunts for the vegetarian then I’d love to hear ?!

Till next time .. xo

 

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A Joint Affair …

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The blogging world has had to take a side step for me the last 2 months … as has the yoga and a lot of my experimental hours in the kitchen. I don’t mind telling you it has been one tough trot .. with a way to go. Still I am beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel and I am back writing, reading and learning new ways to reach my goals. Despite it having been an overly emotional few months full of financial and medical challenges I feel I have come out the other end more determined than ever to achieve that healthy, successful lifestyle. This too shall pass.

Like most I have my bad days and good days; those times when goals and dreams give way to self doubt and pity. Yet truthfully there are few things that truly terrify me and leave me wondering how to cope. My recent $800 electricity phone bill is one of them (!) , my sometimes apparent lack of control over my health can prove another, but mostly I dust myself off, pick myself up and get on with it. I put this down to a damn good read gifted to me many years ago in difficult times and the fact that I honestly believe that we can change almost anything in our own lives. Sure the washing machine will go at the same time as the mobile phones and epic strata and car maintenance bills will coincide. Such is life … scream, sob and then re-evaluate, set goals and regain perspective. If it is not life or death it is really not worth worrying too hard about.

But folks some times in life can be more mentally draining than others … and damn scary.

2 months ago my left elbow went dry, scaly and discolored (purple ) … then a week later my left elbow did the same and suddenly I found myself barely able to bend my fingers or knees … simple tasks like walking, bending down or even cutting a loaf of bread had me looking ( and feeling ) like someone much more my senior. There was a trip to emergency when so much as bending my left elbow left me in agonizing pain, there has been acupuncture, GP’s, blood tests ( and more to come ), steroids ( nasty ! ), anti-inflammatory drugs ( not good for a tummy as sensitive as mine ) and still we are playing around with the diagnosis. Viral counts are high, Vit. D is non-existent and after ruling out RA or Psoriasis it is back on the table according to the doctor.  It has proved a painfully emotional roller coaster that along with my digestive issues, has at times required a lot of that “chin up tiger” attitude.

The pain right now is manageable, and truthfully I am uncertain what has caused it to subside a little – god knows I have hit it with everything I have got. I’ve only managed one Yoga class .. but try for a daily walk no matter the pace. Exercise is so important to our well being and digestion after all ! The warmer weather here in Adelaide does seem to help a little – as does the epsom salt baths I take ( will share my ‘recipe’ here soon ). Sam and I still concurred our Sydney trip – despite my doubts and I cannot wait to share some of the pics and recommendations on here.

Yet for now I just wanted to say a big, HELLO – Blogging world I am back and despite a few battle wounds and a few more complications on this journey of mine, I am ok and will survive the latest too ! I will be focusing a lot on pain management and anti-inflammatory eating, and a newly found naturopath ( really what are nightshade vegetables … and Im a little scared of all this vega testing ?! ), but any advice, as always is welcome and received with gratitude !

Hurdles

Healthy, Happy and Energetic – these are the three words I would like to be able to use to describe my last week – and indeed myself in general.  They are three words which I feel lead to a life worth celebrating each day.

The last week however has proved an epic challenge and in many ways I have failed to aim and concentrate on the important goals I have set myself ! In conjunction with my return to work my digestion has not exactly played fair. Poor planning, a lack of focus and lack of exercise most definitely have played a part. Failure, like success, is a collection of smaller things that you do ( or don’t do ) daily which in turn cause an outcome. It’s also so much about mindset.

“The mind is everything. What you think you become.” – Buddha

My return to work stirred all sorts of emotions. I am so lucky to be working with a great bunch of lassies and creating a lot of wonderful memorable adventures for people, however the negative aspects of my job ( and all jobs have them ! ) stood out non the less; as did the blatant fact that my poor health is stopping me from achieving success in my line of work – or ever challenging myself to achieve loftier things. It is interesting I chose to take this outlook rather than celebrate the fact I was able to return to work at all. Sam flew out to Mexico to celebrate with all the high achievers in our industry this past week and I am certain that a quieter household and the fact I was unable to join him in celebrating success is why I chose to reflect in such a downtrodden manner. I found myself with less time to focus and inspire myself and so I subsequently I didn’t concentrate on my goals when I did have the time.

I almost decided not to put up this post, given that it is meant to be a positive space and the fact I wish to encourage and inspire others, but as downs are as much a part of any journey than ups, it seemed wrong not to share. It’s not easy for a perfectionist to admit all is not …   perfect ( for lack of a better word ) , but I truly believe without failure there is never success. I do not know who originally said it, but google positive affirmations and you will be greeted with a plethora of quotes that take a similar line.

It is not enough to accept a hurdle or kink in the road, but one must truly overcome them to move forward. Thus inspired by one of the books I am currently reading,  The Happiness Project,  I have decided to dedicate the next four weeks to improving my energy. Gretchen Rubin’s no-nonsense approach to achieving happiness by setting clear, measurable goals appeals to my nature and with more energy surely I can remain more focused on my goals and health. It ties in so nicely with my return to work and more hectic days .. I cannot believe I did not think of it sooner. Such is the purpose of hurdles !

So for now I am off to regroup, set some clear measurable goals based around improving my energy levels … and yes .. drop 70 squats ( ! ).

Wintery Inspirations

Adelaide the last few days has been cold, very cold and spontaneous showers make it that little more difficult for those lovely walks I’ve been enjoying of late. I adore walking around the areas around my home at this time of year as the trees cast spectacular back drops against the stunning wintry blue ( or stormy ) skies. With leaves strewn all over the foot paths it never fails to remind me a little of my time spent living  in Europe and of course Scotland. Walking gives me time to think, soak up some Vit. D and indulge in the fresh air !

Then the rain and wind comes and it all turns to mud and I crave wellies, hearty stews and a large glass of red in front of the fire. Well sadly our wee home does not have a fire just a poorly little heater that verges on the brink of extinction, I have indulged in a a few Paxton Biodynamic Red’s (heart health!) and practically lived off a fantastically healthy and hearty vegetarian stew (still tweeking the recipe – but will post soon )  and a creamy coconut  Broccoli Soup inspired by a recipe from Green Kitchen Stories. I simply love their recipe Apps and blog ! As for the wellies? Well I am in much love with the Kimono Olive Gumboots ( Laura Ashley ) and Gummy fleece socks available at Wellies and am hopeful they will arrive on my doorstep sometime soon given enough hinting. Sam take note ….

I digress .. ( as I so very often do) still a yoga beginner and  faced with fewer daylight hours and not so welcoming heavy rains keeping me in doors  ( though the garden is loving it ! )  I’ve struggled to find the motivation to get in daily exercise and not just curl up with a good read. Getting in deliberate exercise daily is one of my goals in reaching that happier, healthier life I so desire. It never fails to raise my spirits and is great for my digestive health on so many counts. I love my gym classes – but the times don’t always suit. I began trolling the internet looking for run programs thinking a challenge was needed and stumbled on the 31 day Squat challenge ! Lorna Jane clothing and her move, nourish, believe philosphy have been long time favourites of mine, but this 31 day challenge is pure gold. Even when short on time or with it cascading outside I can work towards doing 200 squats by the 5th August ( started 5 days in to July ). So with thighs already burning I encourage you to take on the challenge too ! Incidentally if anyone does know of a great run program or inspiring winter exercise ideas I am all ears …

Inspiring winter reading.

Inspiring winter reading.