Friday Favourites – July 1

Hi all,

Can you believe it’s Friday? And not just any Friday, the 1st of July!?

I know I talk about time flying A LOT but it really did feel like yesterday we were in Melbourne. Now the sun is coming up a little later, the light lasting a little longer in the evening and I see new flowers and leaves popping up everywhere. It’s like no season I have ever experienced!

Does it feel like July? Nope. Do I need to redefine what July is? Oh yeah. Living in a back to front world isn’t getting any easier. Maybe once I start to revisit the same months I have already experienced my body and mind will get in sync with the seasons. I really do hope so…

Until then, I have a good excuse for wanting to hibernate, drink mulled wine and eat mounds of sweet potato under a duvet. All while I look outside at the crystal clear blue skies…. Australia, you confuse me!Friday - chase the red grape

What I know for sure though are my Friday Favourites for this week! Let’s get on it!

Favourite… Moment – Finding Monopoly on salemonopoly - chase the red grape

Having a wonder around the toy department at K Mart on Saturday (as you do) and I came across my favourite board game, on sale, and it’s never on sale! Heck yes! I love a good board game and we are stocking up on them again now we are in Australia. I do get a wee bit competitive though…cough cough… massive understatement…

Favourite… Feeling – Right nowFriday - chase the red grape

Sometimes that ‘Friday Feeling’ just can’t be beaten. Got a weekend of fun ahead of me, some good coffee by my side and the sun is out – what more could you want!? (Ok maybe some wine…)

Favourite…Purchase – Mayvers Dark Roasted PBPB- Chase the Red Grape

This. Is. Amazing! I always want my PB to have a really strong taste of peanuts and due to the dark roasting process in making this PB, the flavour is on point. It really reminds me of the freshly ground PB I got in Melbourne. Thank you Kristy for recommending it to me, you were right!

Favourite…Food/Drink – La Zuppa Soupssoup - chase the red grape

Finding a range of ready made soups that a) are enough food and b) have an ingredients list that you would use yourself to make soup, is really difficult. That’s why finding these soups by La Zuppa was such a great find! They are ideal on a Saturday when we want something warm in our tummy, quickly after doing the weekly shop. I just add some leftover cooked chicken to it and serve it along side some corn chips and winner winner!

Favourite…Link – Buzzfeed – 22 Tweets About Families That Are Hilariously Real

This article is brilliant! And so true…!

Favourite…Workout – Accessory workcrossfit - chase the red grape

After every WOD we do some form of accessory work – building muscle, stretching, toning etc. I always really look forward to this because I can slow my body down after a tough WOD by keeping it moving whilst also focusing on set muscle groups and making them stronger. I enjoy it just as much as the WOD sometimes, especially when it includes some kettle bell work like farmers carries, stiff legged/ single leg deadlifts or high pulls.

Weekend Plans – Saturday – Farmers market and weekly shop, then off to ‘Nostalgia Box’ – a video game museum that has all the consoles from the past… that you can play with! As long as they have a game boy (with pokemon) and a playstation (with Crash Bandicoot 4) I will be happy… no pressure! Sunday – Pancakes and newspapers, beach walk, coffee, food prep and chill!

Have a great weekend, and a happy 4th of July to all my American friends – eat something red, white and blue for me!

What is your favourite board game?

On the flip side – what is your favourite video game?

If you could have a big bowl of soup what kind would it be?

Linking Up with Heather @LifeInLeggings

Exploring your talents #5TTT

Hi all,

What first comes to mind when you hear the word ‘talent’?

I don’t know about you, but I automatically think of talent shows with people belting out ballads or doing magic tricks… but do you ever think of yourself and your talents?

I find it hard to toot my own horn, as I have mentioned many times before, but a conversation with David the other day really got me thinking – what is my talent?

My first thought was to say nothing actually (I know, I know, talk about putting myself down). But when I really thought about it, I realised I have quite a few talents – writing for one, cooking being another. And I’m sure if I really listened to what others tell me, combined with what I find joyful in life, I’m sure I could think of many more.Exploring your talents - chase the red grape

Have you ever explored your talents? For this weeks ‘5 Top Tips on a Tuesday’ we can dive head first into what makes us shine, helping us identify and promote our amazing qualities.

Entertain them

In order to expose your talents, you really do have to entertain them. I started blogging 3 years ago. Did I know I would be good? Did I know I could write? Heck no! I just felt the urge to write and communicate with others and the skill developed. All of our exceptional sports men and women didn’t start out exceptional, they just had a spark, a knack/ way of doing things that made them stand out – they entertained their talents with hard work and boom, look where they are today. You may not want an Olympic gold but allowing your unique talent to grow can promote such self confidence and pride – it’s a great feeling.

Allow them to be your hobby… and beyond

It is perfectly acceptable to let your talent be your hobby. But for some their talent really does shine in their career. If I use David for example, he is super talented in his role at work. For him, the ideas that inspire him day in, day out to constantly strive to develop new products is mind blowing. He has a genuine talent and the lucky guy also gets paid for it! It’s ok for your talent to be found within your job – embrace it and be pleased that you get to let it shine every day!

Express yourself – be an individual

What your talent may be, is up to you, but chances are developing and engaging in it will allow you to be an individual. It will allow you to express who you really are and feel. It might be writing via blogging, taking pictures or pouring love into a recipe but let your own personality shine through. Own it!

Find time

Our talents bring us joy and help us to feel unique and special. It’s perfectly ok to want to shout about them from the rooftops if you want to – it’s allowed, you’re good at it! But in order to really honour your talents you must find time for them. As I have mentioned many times before, make what you love a priority and life will love you back.

It’s not always what you think

Really struggling to define what some of your talents might be? I hear you. We can often shower praise on others, but on ourselves is a different story. Asking a friend or family member that you trust often helps… but do we truly believe them?

Sometimes your talents are to be found in areas out with the norm. As with life, think outside the box. Your talent could be in your listening skills, working with children or the elderly, your ability to organise or even in lighter aspects of life – ironing, catching a ball, doing crosswords or finding good bargains at the store! They all matter. They all make you, YOU.

Tell me some of your talents!

What is the one talent you wish you had?

Do you have any little quirky talents? – I can make anything fit in a suitcase – gold star packer right here!5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

Currently – June

Hi all,

How’s the week treating you?

I’m currently in that odd phase – you know, the one you feel when you are back in your routine after a holiday. I’m not ‘down’ or ‘sad’, it’s more that I am missing that focal point, that aim and the little buzz in your tummy that looking forward to a holiday brings.

It’s a bit too early to plan another holiday right now, especially seen as it will probably be a small break, staycation style and therefore not really requiring a lot of planning. And I certainly have plenty on my plate. I think the problem is, when we go on holiday, break the routine and then return to it, cracks start to appear. We start to see those things we aren’t so happy with and therefore need to find the courage to change it.

So I’m working on it. Identifying what it is that is making me feel so ‘odd’ and making adjustments. First one on the list was feeling lonely whilst writing from home. So now I spend 3 out of the 5 week days writing in the library. Just for a few hours each of those days but boy does it make me feel better. The walk there and back in the fresh air helps so much too – it’s so easy to want to stay inside during winter. Making positive changes like this one really does inspire me to work on more, lets see how I go!currently - chase the red grape

For now though, I get to sit in my beautiful library and bring to you my ‘Currently’ post for June. Linking up with lovely Amanda over @RunningWithSpoons for ‘Thinking Out Loud’. Let’s hop to it!

Current…

Book – Harry Potter and The Order of the PhoenixHarry Potter - Chase the Red Grape

On to book 5! Thoroughly enjoyed re-reading The Goblet of Fire again but would I put it as my favourite one of the series now? I don’t know. Sometimes when you read things as you are older it changes your perspective. Now book 3 (Prisoner of Azkaban) that was more of a winner.

Obsession – The Sunrisesunrise - chase the red grape

We have some seriously amazing sunrises and sunsets here in Perth. I love seeing them most mornings as we return from CrossFit. This was my view on Wednesday, It was ruby red when I woke and by the time I got my camera it was like this.

Craving – Vietnamese Iced Coffeecoffee - chase the red grape

Had one in Melbourne and been dreaming of one ever since! It’s super sweet but just incredible in flavour…. maybe my body is just craving sugar… or coffee… or both!

Food – Freshly ground PBPB - Chase the red grape

We picked up this tub of freshly ground peanut butter from the market in Melbourne, and yes, took the rest of it back on the plane with us. We are almost finished it now, boo, but it has just been so delicious and flavourful – probably due to the dark roasting of the nuts before the grind. And it was super cheap too – wish we could get it from our market here. Sadly just ‘hipster’ nut butters at our one…

Drink – All the tea!tea - chase the red grape

I love coffee but sometimes I need a hot drink without the caffeine (or smaller amounts) – hello tea! We have a nice variety at home but I always keep coming back to the peppermint and liquorice, it’s so good. And really refreshing too!

Procrastination – People watching in the librarylibrary - chase the red grape

One minute I am writing, next minute I am watching people, it’s like ‘squirrel’ for humans! But I genuinely enjoy watching people, seeing what types of books they are carrying and thinking about what type of person they are.

Blessing – Health and Happiness

After various happenings over the past few weeks, it has become evermore clear to me how blessed I am to wake up each day in good health and to feel happy. We should never take this for granted.

Excitement – Cinema

Off to the cinema this weekend I think, and as it is due to rain I am happy at the thought of being inside. Now just the decision of what to go and see… We have different releases compared to those in the Northern Hemisphere but I do know that Independence Day 2 is out, and as a big fan of the first one, I think it has to be done.

(On a plus note it will probably be kid free too as they will all be off seeing Finding Dory, which is not one for me. I love Disney/Pixar but I did not understand the wonder of Finding Nemo at all.)

Bane of my existence – Winterwinter - chase the red grape

It’s not a ‘bad’ winter by any means here in Perth, but I’m just so over it now. Winter without Christmas is dull. Christmas always brings so much sparkle and delight in those darker months and we don’t have anything. Not even a public holiday until September!

TV Show – The West Wing

A chunk of the way through the penultimate series now… this programme just keeps on getting better and better. If you get the chance to watch it, please do. It is pure gold and the best thing I have watched in a very long time.

Mood – Happy and cosy

I’m writing which makes me happy and the library is super toasty warm. Win win!

Do you ever get that odd feeling after returning to a routine?

Are you a people watcher?

What is your favourite variety of tea?

Finding The Victories #5TTT

Hi all,

Do you ever find yourself unable to find the victories in everyday life?

A couple of weeks back I discussed defining progress. That notion of moving forward, onwards and upwards and how we often diminish our sense of progression. We are often the very person that holds ourselves back. We do the same with regards the victories in our lives.

Large, grand scale victories are awesome, but so are the small, every day achievements that we no longer strive for or acknowledge, viewing them as not being good enough. It’s tough for many of us in today’s world, surrounded by everyone else’s apparent success, making us feel inferior. But we do dream, achieve and succeed in so many ways, week in, week out. The ‘Week in Review’ posts highlighting just that.finding the victories - chase the red grape

I want everyone to go out there and find the victories in their lives. To relish in their achievements and those yet to come. To be proud of your dreams, goals and ambitions, small and large and to feel the passion beneath you to move forward. This weeks ‘5 Top Tips on a Tuesday’ helps you to do just that, focusing on how to find the victories in your world and really see the value and joy that they bring you.

Do what you love each day

Big or small, do something you love every day. You may be one of the lucky ones and love your job or thrive from meeting friends and working out every morning. You could love coming home to cook your evening meal or sit down for half an hour to pen a blog post or play the guitar. Find out what you love and find a way to work it into your daily routine. Even if it is for 10 minutes, it will brighten everything.

Take one small step

Have a goal or ambition? Just take one small step. You don’t need to quit your job, find hundreds of dollars or take a years leave to take a small step toward achieving your dreams. Keep it simple and move one small step at a time. Success is found in these small actions.

Let what you have be enough

Everyone has dreams and goals, and that is a good thing! But learning to be content with what you have, even on a small scale/ for a short period, also will help you acknowledge your victories. Find the good in your everyday actions, in your home, with your family… If you can see the beauty in what you have right now, it will give you the energy to seek your dreams without resentment of the current situation.

Review what happiness means to you

What is happiness to you? Finding your victories and seeking new ones will be difficult if you don’t know what makes you happy. This question also helps figure out what to prioritise in your day. We all have to work, some love their job, others don’t but please remember the time you have out with your working hours. How can you fit in those things that make you happy?

Stand by your convictions

A major daily victory is living life standing true to what you believe in. Everyone has different beliefs, opinions and views but be true to who you are and your courage will find you and move you forward. The world can be a scary place, and this past week or so has pushed this to the forefront of our minds. But for me, personally, this tip emphasises my view that love will always triumph over fear and keep us forever strong. And the world has responded in victory by showing the power of love over fear.

I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the above, so please let me know what you think in the comments below –

Please share some of your daily victories.

Name something you love to do everyday.

For you, what is happiness?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

Friday Favourites – June 17

Hi all,

It has been so much fun doing more blogging this week – I haven’t posted 4 times in one week for a while. Sometimes it’s just good to break from the routine when the motivation strikes!

I’m not one for ‘go with the flow’ – I like my routines and if I say I am going to do something then I will do it for sure. But that’s the beauty of a holiday, it breaks you out of your routine and forces you to do something different – and I liked it. Yeah we had a rough plan for Melbourne, but most of it was ‘wait and see what we fancy at that moment’. When you have to wait one hour before your meal? Cocktails! When you pass a cute looking coffee shop? Let’s have a cappuccino! When you had plans to visit the museum but would rather take a tram ride to visit an insanely good bakery? Do it! And I brought a little bit of this thought home with me.

Now by next week, I might slip back into a routine, and that’s not a bad thing. But knowing I have the ability to break it at any moment, enjoy myself and the world won’t collapse behind me… that feeling is powerful.Friday - chase the red grape

One routine that I adore though is kicking off the weekend with a bit of Friday Favourites action! Let’s get to it!

Favourite… Moment – Passing my exam!

Yes it is official, I am now an Eat To Perform coach! I passed my exam at the end of last week and it feels pretty awesome. I love delving into the world of sports nutrition and find it so interesting, I didn’t want it to end… so I decided to advance on and signed up for Level 2!

Favourite… Feeling – Melbourne Recapmelbourne - chase the red grape

This is what I love the most about blogging, connecting with you all. I had such a blast in Melbourne and seriously love writing my recap post on Monday and the WIAW (just for a little extra foodie love). I adore reading all your first hand accounts of when you travel, seeing those areas of the world I can only dream of, and wanted to share my experiences too. It brings those excited little butterflies in my tummy!

Favourite… Purchase – Chimes Toasted Coconut Hard Toffee with Sea Saltchimes - chase the red grape

Trust me, if you spot these in your local store, buy them! They are so good! Made to a traditional Malaysian recipe, these are warm and comforting, flavourful… and that hint of sea salt is just the icing on the cake! Have kept them as car sweeties though, too lethal to have in the house!

Favourite… Food/Drink – Lesser Evil Himalayan Sweet and Salty Organic Popcornpopcorn - chase the red grape

I spotted bags of Lesser Evil popcorn in a small organic supermarket in Melbourne and was actually surprised to see them outside of the states! I have heard good things about the brand and their products and the ingredients list is just spot on. So we picked it up… and it’s almost gone! The ideal sweet and salty mix and the perfect snack, yum!

Favourite… Link – Tinky Winky ‘Work’

I know I shared the Elmo version of this, but this version with Tinky Winky is so much better, I could watch it for days! I love the 90’s… and Tinky knows how to feel the beat…

Favourite…Workout – ‘Boulders for Shoulders’

20 minute AMRAP – 20 double unders, 10 shoulder to overheads (25kg), 150m kettle bell farmers carry (2 x 20kg kettle bells).

This was fun! My double unders are getting better, most done unbroken. The shoulder to overheads were tough as but I got through them in order to do my favourite farmers carries! I’m glad I went heavier and went for the 20kg kettle bells – I would quite happily walk for days! #freak

Weekend Plans – Saturday – farmers market, weekly shop, coffee and a trip to the wonder that is Ikea. Sunday – most likely, pancakes, newspapers, food prep and the beach for coffee!

Have a fab weekend guys!

Do you enjoy breaking a routine?

Are you a popcorn kinda person?

What was your favourite purchase this week?

Linking up with Heather @LifeinLeggings

What I Ate Wednesday – Melbourne Edition

Hi all,

Food was such a major part of our holiday last week in Melbourne – it really is the foodie capital of Australia and it did not disappoint.

Over the past few months I have been researching Melbourne, which resulted in a list of cafes, restaurants and bars that David and I were so keen to visit – although I reckon we would have had to have been there a month to really eat and drink everything we wanted to!

This holiday was an explosion of tastes, cuisines, cultures and flavours. I thought it would be hard to top London but I think I have a new winner! Around every street corner was something new – I particularly loved walking around when it was dark and you could peer into the restaurant windows and see the delicious plates of food that folk were tucking into or the dozens of windows in Chinatown where crispy ducks and pork belly were hanging to dry out.WIAW- chase the red grape

I could not let the opportunity pass therefore, to show you a whole days eats from my trip to Melbourne – linking up with Jenn and today’s delightful host.

Breakfast – 100% rye bread toasted with mashed avocado, rocket and 2 fried eggs.avocado toast - chase the red grape

David and I decided that as we were staying in an apartment with airbnb, that we would buy ingredients and eat our breakfast in house each morning. Such a good idea! So this day I had rye bread from the market with lashings of avocado, rocket and those 2 ooey gooey eggs – great way to start the day!

Lunch – Mixed gyros platter plus David and I shared the halloumi plate with grilled figs and tapenade (Ena Greek)GYROS - chase the red grape

Where do I begin. This probably was up there in my top 3 eats from this week. The lamb and chicken within the platter were cooked on a spit, juicy and tender and spiced to perfection. The greek salad was fresh and full of hunks of feta and powerful olives. The tzatziki was fresh and creamy and was the ideal accompaniment to the meat. The GF pita bread was fantastic, as were the fries, but I think I maybe ate about 3 of those. My priority on this plate was the meat and salad – so so good!halloumi - chase the red grape

And as for the halloumi… well I have been brought up on halloumi (my parents having lived in Cyprus for 3 years) and this was the best I have ever had. Paired with the figs, olive tapenade and a drizzle of honey – sheer perfection.

Mid Afternoon – Gelato Messinagelato - chase the red grape

I knew Gelato Messina had a reputation for being good, amazing even, but I did not expect to go straight to heaven with this ice cream. We must have tasted at least 10 flavours each (it was very quiet when we were there – bonus!) before we settled on our choices… and I do not regret them one bit. I went with my typical order from when we were in Italy – one pistachio, one hazelnut and it was just as good as any I ate in Italy. David went for dulce de leche and apple pie and was grinning from ear to ear afterwards. I will be dreaming of this gelato for months to come…

Snack – Hot Chocolate at Ganachehot chocolate - chase the red grape

On my to do list for Melbourne was to have a proper hot chocolate. For a variety of reasons, I haven’t had a hot chocolate since I was very young but I knew this trip was the place to reconnect. We found this delightful chocolatier called Ganache who had a little cafe in the back selling real hot chocolate made with his own creation and I knew we had to stop. It was like a little European cafe inside. The hot chocolate was incredible. Words cannot describe the happiness I felt drinking this… I was sipping and smiling like a little kid again. One of the best moments of the trip.

Dinner – Beef pho, prawn spring rolls and pork belly rice paper rollspho - chase the red grape

As you can imagine, we were quite full by this point in the day but looking for something comforting. So we headed back to the apartment, got changed into our PJ’s and ordered delivery Vietnamese food from Banoi. We were actually going to head to their restaurant but when we found out we could order easily and eat at home we knew that was the way to go. We spilt what you see in this picture and it was just right. Light fragrant broth, crisp greens and the most amazing Wagyu beef. The star was those prawn spring rolls though… I could have ate a meal of them!

Dessert – 2 squares of Madagascan Lindt Chocolate and some Pinot Noirlindt - chase the red grape

Well if you are going to indulge in a big glass of red you need some dark chocolate to go with it right? The local wine was perfect (seriously, try some Australian wines next time you are at the store, you wont regret it) and hunt out this Lindt variety while you are at it. It’s apparently quite rare to find but if you do, buy 3 bars – it is outstanding!

Well, there we have it! A grand day of my eats in Melbourne! And if you want to see more of the food I ate, check out Mondays highlight post for details on all delicious goodies!

Do you tend to eat breakfast in or out when on holiday?

How do you like your pho?

What was the best gelato/ ice cream you have ever had?

The Staycation Guide! #5TTT

Hi all,

Since coming back from Melbourne, David and I have entered into the obvious next phase – ‘when and were are we going on our next holiday’?!

We knew Melbourne would be our big trip this year so any holidays we take from now on will be close to home and probably day trips. But who doesn’t love a good old ‘Staycation’!?

Staycation (staying at home for your vacation/holiday) came around as a buzz word for a while, especially during the economic recession when folks couldn’t afford to travel/ travel far. But I think the notion should be here to stay – how often do we have visitors who often know more about our local area than we do? Have you ever taken time to ‘explore what is on your door’ and really get to know the beauty and hidden gems of your town, city, state, even country?

When I think about it, we used to staycation all the time when I was young, there just wasn’t a designated word for it!staycation - chase the red grape

Why not schedule in some holiday time this year for a staycation – and use my 5 simple and easy tips below as your guide!

Plan and make it special

Planning makes a vacation exciting and a staycation is no different. Planning your staycation makes it feel real and gives some bones to it, like a travel holiday. Also this planning stage means you can research and get excited about what is to come, rather than rushing around when the time comes. Within this planning stage you can also figure out what will truly make this a staycation rather than just an extra few days at home. When I was younger, it was the little things that made a staycation a real treat, like my mum buying the variety pack cereals!

Visitor Information Centres

Do you think you really know everything there is to see in your local area? I don’t think so! I am always so surprised when I pop into my local information centre or scroll through those tourist flyer stands and see all what is to offer. Many also offer coupons to local attractions or can give maps to help you find your way. Pretty much every single town and city has one or more of these centres, google your local one and pop in, the staff there are always a wealth of knowledge!

Free

Free is the place to be! What better than a whole days worth of activities free of charge, right? Explore what is on your door for the minimal cost of petrol/ public transport by heading to the beach, forest or mountains. Take a picnic with you and go the whole day without spending a single note. Once again the visitor information centres (or their websites) can help you with planning this – giving you a clear indication of where any money may be due (for car parks etc). Also remember that many of your local museums and galleries are free of charge and only charge a small free for travelling exhibitions.

What else have you always wanted to do?

So you have a week off, what else have you always wanted to do with some spare time? Go shopping? Read? Visit a spa? Go to the gym? Think about all those little things you often wish to do but never have the time. They can all be factored in to your staycation, meaning that by the end of the week, you can feel satisfied knowing you have done everything you wanted to do.

Rest

One of the best aspects of a staycation is the fact that it can be as stress free as you wish. No airports, limited travel – everything is within your control. So if you have been feeling tired, run down or just want some time to chill out, don’t forget to factor this in to your staycation planning. Even something as simple as only planning afternoon activities so that you can sleep a little more in the morning can make all the difference.

Remember your staycation is as unique to you as a holiday would be. Plan and figure out what you want out of your week of fun. Maybe some action packed adventure, maybe some home spa days or maybe a mix of both. Think about what is on your door next time you are planning a holiday and live like a tourist in your own city!

Have you ever had a designated ‘staycation’?

What would you like to explore that’s ‘on your doorstep’?

What little special treat signifies a holiday for you?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

Week In Review – Melbourne Highlights!

Hi all,

I’m back! Hope everyone is well and feeling good this fine Monday.

Melbourne was fantastic! What an amazing holiday we had – action packed, as always, but it’s hard not to be when you are in a city full of so much vitality and buzz!

My holiday pretty much took up most of last week, so I have decided to combine it with a ‘Week In Review’, linking up with vanilla gorilla mumma Meghan @CleanEatsFastFeets.week in review - chase the red grape

But how do you review a non stop, action packed holiday? I would be here for hours if I got you up to speed with everything we did (even this post is long enough! Ha!), so instead I’m going to do it ‘Favourite 5’ style – in no particular order….

Favourite 5 attractions

Immigration Museummuseum - chase the red grape

Amazing museum full of information on how Australia came to be and where most of their people came from and why. Fascinating for someone like me who has moved to a foreign country and become an ‘immigrant’ – being able to resonate with so many of their stories was breathtaking.

Street Art Tourstreet art - chase the red grape

If you come to Melbourne you MUST do this tour! Our tour guide was street artist Christopher Hancock whose work you can see all over Melbourne. His insight and knowledge of Melbourne’s street art and graffiti kept us engaged for well over 3 hours – ending with some cheese and wine, along with a tour of Blender Studios, where many of Melbourne’s prominent street artists are currently working. The highlight of our trip for sure!

Queen Victoria Marketqueen victoria market - chase the red grape

Cheese, wine, meat, fish, bakery, coffee, fruit, veg, pantry items, honey, chocolate, sweets, antipasti, liqueurs… you name it, they got it. One of the best foodie markets I have been to since the middle east. I could have wondered around here for many hours. There was also a general market, selling everything from football scarf’s to socks, nuts, kitchenware, handbags etc that was worth a good walk around too.

City Tramtram - chase the red grape

Melbourne is known for it’s tram system and it is such a good form of public transportation to simply hop on and off. The city tram however is an old fashioned tram that does a big loop of the city centre, with audio commentary, all free of charge! We ended up doing this loop on our last day but still managed to see and learn many things that we did not know about the city.

The State Librarylibrary - chase the red grape

Viewed as a ‘must do’ in most of the guidebooks, we headed to the State Library to view the reading room… and with a view like this you can see why!

Favourite 5 things I ate (a snapshot and just a few of my favourites!)

Fresh 100% rye sour dough bread with cream cheese and salmonrye and salmon - chase the red grape

Everything bought from Queen Victoria Market – so delicious. (FYI – Although I eat GF on a daily basis, due to the fermentation within the sourdough process, I am perfectly fine with eating this on occasion).

Ladro GF pizzapizza - chase the red grape

The best GF pizza I have ever had! Wood fired oven… fresh flavourful ingredients… I easily ate the whole thing. David and I split our pizzas to have half of each – one was the ‘J-Lo’ – tomato, bufala, speck, chilli and basil and the other the ‘Lazio’ – fior di latte, parsley, anchovy and artichoke paste and fresh lemon (my favourite!).

Musselsmussels - chase the red grape

Fresh mussels cooked with red wine, chilli and parsley… heaven!

Pumpkin and Tofu curry – Chin Chinchin chin - chase the red grape

We ate a selection of dishes from Chin Chin (seen as one of Melbourne’s best) but the stand out for us was actually the pumpkin and tofu curry. We actually ordered a side of rice just to soak up this incredible sauce! (sorry for the bad pic, really dark in there!)

Supercharger Vegan selectionsupercharger - chase the red grape

Who would have thought this was a food court meal from the mall!? On my tray I had – jasmine rice with shredded beets, a fennel and cucumber salad and kale purée. Tofu pho, split pea dhal and sweet potato, chickpea and green pea curry. Outstanding!

Favourite 5 things I drank

Coffee!coffee - chase the red grape

So much good coffee in this city – I was never disappointed.

Chin Chin Negronichin chin - chase the red grape

Fresh and tart cocktail before our amazing dinner at Chin Chin – cheers!

Pinot Noir local winepinot - chase the red grape

Picked this up at the QV Market – stall owner buys the local wine at a discount by bottling it himself. Really spicy and rich, just how I like my red!

Iced tea – Taiwanese dong ding oolongtea - chase the red grape

Picked this up whilst shopping, unsweetened and delicious ice cold. Very impressed.

Vietnamese Iced Coffeecoffee - chase the red grape

Whoever invented this drink was either a genius or pure evil. Vietnamese coffee brewed strong with condensed milk… I know… it was super sweet and so so damn good!

Favourite Melbourne moments

Seeing Hozier Lane for the first timehozier lane - chase the red grape

Hozier Lane took my breath away. It’s the one area of Melbourne where street art/graffiti/tagging is perfectly legal… anything goes. There are no rules, what is there one day has been drawn over the next. It’s so beautiful.

Exploring the hidden lane wayslaneways- chase the red grape

In between the grid of Melbourne’s CBD is dozens of hidden lane ways, full of coffee shops, restaurants, boutique stores and the like. It was so much fun ducking and diving between them.

Eating my first doughnut since…???doughnut time - chase the red grape

Another must do on your Melbourne list is Doughnut Time. I haven’t had a doughnut in at least 10 years so when we knew that Doughnut Time always had a GF doughnut up for grabs we knew we had to pay them a visit. Finding out it was a maple bacon doughnut… well that was just the icing on the cake. Heaven.

The view from our apartmentmelbourne - chase the red grape

I don’t think I have ever lived anywhere as high as the 43rd floor before, but our airbnb had the most incredible view of the city. Watching the sun rise every morning was beautiful.

Spending time with David exploringmelbourne - chase the red grape

We love having adventures together, and Melbourne was no exception. When your best friend is also your husband you know that holidays are going to be pretty darn amazing. And it was!

And there is so much more I wanted to see, do and visit but we will be back to Melbourne soon for sure. Melbourne is the complete opposite to Perth and exactly what I would want in a holiday destination (well, what I want when I already have the beach on my doorstep!). It’s like a little bit of Europe within Australia – kind of Amsterdam meets New York, a place to go and experience 10 different cultures in one day and walk down streets filled with a mix of modern, Victorian and Art Deco architecture. A place where whatever cuisine you feel like for dinner there is a place doing just that no more than a 10 minute walk away. As a tourist, it makes for one heck of an adventure.

Want to know more? Come back on Wednesday when I will be highlighting one of my holiday day’s eats in ‘What I ate Wednesday’! Some of the best eats are yet to be revealed…

Ever been to Melbourne?

What do you like in a holiday – beach, city, mountains?

What do you like to eat on holiday?

5 things I have realised in life that it is ok to do – without saying sorry #5TTT

Hi all,

How often during the day do you use the words ‘I’m sorry’?

There will always be a place for a sincere apology, those things in life for which the word has true meaning and should be used. But how often do you use it to apologise for who you are?

If you are anything like me, you use it quite often, and more often than you should. Saying sorry has become a reflex, we blurt it out in a conversation without thinking.

‘I don’t really want to go for a walk today – I’m sorry’

‘I think I would prefer coffee over tea – I’m sorry’

‘I really like those shoes – I’m sorry’

Its the association of guilt that comes along with saying sorry that I have a real problem with. Why should you say sorry for liking/disliking/feeling a certain way?

Food for thought maybe.5 things I have realised it's still ok to do without saying sorry - chase the red grape

Today for ‘5 Top Tips on a Tuesday’ I would like to celebrate rather than shame, embrace rather than feel guilt. 5 things I have realised in life that it is ok to do – without saying sorry.

Have your own comfort zone

With one caveat – that it makes you happy. As long as you are happy where you are, doing what you are doing then embrace that comfort blanket. Some people want/ need to travel. Some need to elevate themselves within their career. Some need to be a mum/ dad. Others don’t. Never say you are sorry for being happy where you are doing what you are doing – even if you think it makes you sound ‘uninteresting’.

Still need your parents

No matter how old you are, you still need your parents – and that is ok. When we grow up, we realise our parents are human beings, just like us. They make mistakes, they say the wrong thing, they feel the same pressures we feel and we can relate to so many things unlike ever before. Our parents are our structure, our guidance, our examples of what, or what not to do. Sometimes we need them to help us with the big stuff. Sometimes we just need a chat. But no matter what, it is perfectly acceptable to be proud that they are a part of our lives.

Wear make up at the gym

All you haters gonna hate but yes, I get up at 5am to train and put on tinted moisturiser and mascara before heading out the door. I don’t do it because I feel I have to, I don’t do it because I feel I will be judged if I don’t, I simply do it because it makes me feel good. For some, it’s wearing high heels every day to work, others it’s washing their hair every day. It’s not vanity – it’s happiness.

Not be ‘the best’

This one catches me out. Every. Single. Time. As a whole, in life, it’s ok not to be the best. Heck it’s ok not even to be average! Whatever you love doing, just do it. I’m not going to lie, I really struggle with not being on top or having success defined in everything I do, but as each day passes, I get a little better at realising that no one puts pressure on me to be the best, except myself.

To not be ‘happy happy smiley smiley’ all the time

To do, or not to do with regards this one! No one is fresh faced and happy all of the time. No one. So never feel guilty for having an off day or just not feeling quite up to your usual self. We are all human and this happens. Sometimes we need a good cry or vent. Sometimes we need to just be quiet and still. Just know it’s ok.

So next time you say ‘I’m sorry’ think about whether or not it was really necessary – should you feel guilty or, as I am pretty much certain, is it a- ok?

Do you say sorry often?

Finish this sentence ‘it’s ok to…’

Do you allow yourself to have downer days?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

Friday Favourites – June 03

Hi all,

Wahoo I am officially in holiday mode! Done as much packing as I can, snacks sorted for the plane (a must in my opinion) and I have a 90’s hits playlist on in the background! Life is good!

David and I are heading off to Melbourne for 5 days – a much needed time for some R&R and good food. Seriously, Melbourne is a culinary delight… and the coffee capital of Australia. Want to see what I get up to (aka my eats)? Follow me on snapchat – chaseredgrape! It’s going to be a blast!Friday - chase the red grape

Time to finally see what the rest of Australia has to offer! Before coming to Perth we had never even been in the country… which is HUGE btw. We have an OVERNIGHT flight just to get to Melbourne! Although the west, which is where I am is, is pretty much just Perth. Did you know Perth was the most isolated city in the world? There you go, a fun fact for you on Friday!

So lets jump on it! Time for some Friday Favourites!

Favourite…Moment – Getting my hair cuthaircut - chase the red grape

I have only been to my hairdresser Kat at Head Studio twice now but I completely trust her (so rare for me and a hairdresser!) – so whatever she suggested I just said yes to. And I am very happy with the results. Just need to learn how to blow dry my hair the way she does it – got good tips though!

Favourite… Feeling – Excited!

Can you not tell from above? HOLIDAY!

Favourite… Purchase – Street art tour

street art - chase the red grape

One of my favourite pieces here in Perth

One of the things we are going to do in Melbourne is go on a street art tour. David and I love street art and it is everywhere in Australia – even more so in Melbourne. Our tour is with an actual street artist and we get to visit their studio afterwards. How cool is that?

Favourite… Food/Drink – Cold drip served with sparkling watercold drip coffee - chase the red grape

On Saturday, after our weekly shop, David suggested stopping at a fab cafe near by for a coffee – good suggestion lovely! The Lion and Jaguar is an awesome spot for some very high quality coffee and their cold drip is second to none. Served with homemade mineral water for you to dilute as you fancy… I could have sat and sipped for hours. Reminded me of sipping on a good whisky, you take your time.

Favourite… Link – James Corden and David Schwimmer ‘Drop the mic’

I just happened across this video and it cracked me up. Oh America you are so lucky to have James (UK national treasure) – he is pure comic genius!

Favourite…Workout – Just when you think you are done…

We had a full blown chipper this morning at CrossFit – phew it was a burner. Then as soon as we were done coach told us we had to do an 800m run. I love surprising myself and before even catching my breath properly was out the door running. It wasn’t my fastest run but my legs kept me going and I got it done. Big smiles afterwards!

Check back in on Tuesday for a ‘5 Top Tips on a Tuesday’ post (it’s a good one!) and have a fab weekend folks!

Where are you heading on holiday (vacation) this year?

Where would you like to visit simply for its food?

Do you like street art?