Friday Favourites + Episode 37 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast

Hi all,

It’s my birthday!

I turn the grand old age of 32 this year and I cannot wait for the working day to end so I can start to celebrate!

It’s always hard being away from friends and family on days like these but I know David will make my evening super fun!

So today I want to take some time to relax and chill, so will get straight to my Friday Favourites!Friday - chase the red grape

Favourite…Moment – Signing the lease to our new apartment

Sorry I was so cryptic on last weeks Friday Favourites post but we were applying for an apartment that we really wanted and knew the outcome was out of our hands. Well we got it! We don’t move in until the 7th of September but I can’t wait. It’s in our favourite area of town!

Favourite…Feeling – Birthday excitement

Tonight we are heading to a bar that we have been meaning to visit for a long time. They do a whiskey tasting flight – 4 American whiskeys paired with… wait for it… bacon. Forget wine and cheese, this is calling my name!

Favourite…Purchase – Mandarinsmandarins - chase the red grape

Fresh, local, seasonal, the best thing about winter is citrus. And it’s in abundance right now!

Favourite…Food/Drink – Flat whitecoffee - chase the red grape

I love black coffee, I love cappuccinos but recently I have been getting into a Flat White. An Aussie creation (did you know the Aussies are known around the world for having the best coffee? I can attest to that!), that is prepared by pouring microfoam (steamed milk with small bubbles) over a double or single shot of espresso. It allows the coffee to shine first, milk coming in as a flavour to support it. So good!

Updates – 5TTT + Episode 37 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcastcreative mind - chase the red grape

This week we looked at creativity – what type of creative mind are you?crossfit - chase the red grape podcast

Episode 37 of the podcast is all about the CrossFit Games 2017 – location, athletes, movements, predictions… we discuss it all! Check it out now on iTunes, Stitcher or here on the web.

Favourite… Moment of training – Helen time

I took 1 minute off my ‘Helen’ (3 rounds for time – 400m run, 21 kettle bell swings (American), 12 pull ups) time this week – pretty chuffed about that!

Weekend Plans – Saturday – Food shop, lunch out then hopefully off to see Dunkirk! Sunday – Pancakes and newspapers, coffee and podcasting!

Hope you have a fab weekend folks!

What one thing is not negotiable on your birthday?

When was the last time you moved house?

How do you like your coffee?

A weird but interesting beast – Being a creative mind #5TTT

Hi all,

I spotted this quote the other day in a coffee shop and it got me the red grape

As someone who identifies with being a creative mind I definitely agree with this quote. In fact it’s accuracy really made me laugh.

Weird because you see things where others don’t.

A beast because you can’t control inspiration.

Interesting for some strange reason – yes because often we can’t pin point why we are inspired by something but we are.

When I was younger, my imagination was my creative outlet. Yes I loved drama in school but I spent most of my time playing in the garden or at my local park. ‘on the open seas’ or ‘being adventurous in the jungle’. Even to this day I can see a story play out from next to nothing (and I know exactly which areas of the house would make amazing dens).

Now my outlet is in my writing. Although I do not write fiction I still seek inspiration from many sources. I watch how people interact. I read about what gets folk fired up… which in turn fires me up. I try to bring you back into your own mind, asking yourself the questions that you need in order to develop a sense of calm.

Being a creative makes my sparks fly.

Have you thought about where your creativity lies? For this weeks 5 top tips we are going to look at just that! And remember, there is a creative in all of us. Just because you don’t get paid to do these things doesn’t mean to say you aren’t a creative in your heart.creative mind - chase the red grape

Outgoing creative

These are the ones we all think of instantly. The singers, dancers, actors. They use their body as their creative art. We can hear them, see them, feel them. They live to entertain.

Internal creative

Internal creatives are where your writers are. From fiction to fact, songs to plays, TV shows to lyrics, internal creatives are inspired and driven by their gut. They feel drawn and compelled to produce because of their internal instincts.

Visual creative

Textbook visual creatives are, of course, artists but also craftsmen and women, engineers, architects, even David who creates maps from data. Cooks who can make their food look wonderful and inviting, designers who make homes, fashion and all manner of products look amazing. Ever landscaped your garden or produced a mood board for a project?

Developmental creative

Outgoing, internal and visual creatives can also be developmental creatives. This is where your inventors lie, your entrepreneurs and even chefs who are inspired by developing the palate. They are often inspired and driven by meeting the needs and desires of others.

Life creative

The life creatives envision the life they want to live and then go out there and live it. They may travel and explore but they also can take pleasure from creating their ideal home life. What they want in life they do their best to go out and grab. They create what they desire from the world.

Please let me know where you think you lie in the comments below or let me know if you have a different creative side that I may not have mentioned!

5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

Friday Favourites + Episode 36 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast

Hi all,

How good are you at telling yourself ‘if it’s meant to be it will happen’… and actually believing it?

It’s something I tell people all the time, heck it’s something I tell myself all the time. I believe it… but maybe only 75% ish… Sometimes when you really want something it’s hard to truly believe that you have done everything you can and now it’s with fate to decide.

But seen as not believing leads to major stress and anxiety, I’m going to lean towards the former as much as possible… at least for now. Sorry if it sounds all cryptic. Will clue you in next week.Friday - chase the red grape

But for now I bring you what you came for, not a random mind dump but my Friday Favourites!

Favourite… Moment – Good Food and Wine Showfood and wine - chase the red grape

Yup it was just as good, if not better, than I had imagined. Great producers, both local and nation wide, were there to highlight their produce and it was wonderful. Over 100 wineries (we had to be picky) and amazing food from cheese, chocolate and coffee, to balsamic vinegars, stuffed dates, nut cheeses, and spice blends. It was just nice to be around so many people having fun, smiling and enjoying all the good eats and drinks! (Oh and wine ice cream was surprisingly tasty!)

Favourite… Feeling – Knowing that tomorrow is a day of calm

Do you ever get that feeling, where you know tomorrow is a day where you don’t have to be anywhere, do anything, stress out and can just be calm? Yeah that’s tomorrow for me… and I can’t wait!

Favourite… Purchase – Vanilla Rumrum - chase the red grape

We made one or two purchases from the Good Food and Wine Show and this was one of them. A small island in between Madagascar and Mauritius produces the rum and they flavour it on site with real vanilla. It’s not sweet, and you really have to like rum, but boy oh boy is it a delight to sip and savour.

Favourite… Food/Drink – Breakfast at Little LeFroy’sbrekkie - chase the red grape

I have found breakfast heaven! A small café that serves local produce highlighted to it’s best… what more could you want? It took me a while to decide on what to have but I was so glad I had what I did. Poached pear with sweetened ricotta and fruit toast. Oh and a side of bacon… which ended up being a genius choice of my part with the sweet and savoury combo. When can I go back?!

Updates – 5TTT + Episode 36 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcastjustified - chase the red grape

This weeks 5 top tips looked at the need for justifying every decision we make. Is ‘because I said so’ enough of a reason?chase the red grape podcast

Episode 36 of the podcast was all about macro counting. We both recount our experience and expand on where we are 6 months on, what we have learnt and how we continue to learn. Download on iTunes, Stitcher or listen on the website now!

Favourite… Moment of training – WOD’s where you ain’t got time to think

I love WOD’s where you have to be focused. Ones where you just simply do the job in hand, for both safety and speed. We had a few of those this week and it was great. Apart from this morning, where we had to do a crap tonne of running – leaving me alone with my thoughts. I hate that running does that – urgh!

Weekend Plans – Saturday – Off to a sneaker exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art and maybe a sneaky bit of lunch out. Sunday – Pancakes and newspapers, coffee, podcasting and chill!

Have a fab weekend guys!

What do you tend to have when you go out for breakfast? (Me? Anything I can’t cook myself at home)

Are you a rum fan?

What was the last exhibition you went to?

Does everything have to be justified? #5TTT

Hi all,

Why. Why have you made that choice? Why should you make that choice? The word why shrouds our day, every single moment.

Our brains help us to make the correct choices, those instant decisions like ‘don’t cross the road right now, there are cars coming’. It has already downloaded and rationalised the ‘why’, we don’t question it, we don’t think about it.

The world as a whole is a collection of justifications. Everyone needs a reason to do everything. But do we? Should our personal lives, our distinct choices have to be completely justified?

Does every choice we make in life have to be justified?

As always with my 5 top tips on a Tuesday, I have broken down this topic into different areas with various questions to ask yourself. Reflect on how you make your choices and have your own inner debate!justified - chase the red grape

Lack of action

Are we simply frightened to take action? Does the need for a reason mean we don’t actually have to take a leap, try something new, make a different choice. Do we use justifications to stop us from even trying?

Validation of your ‘why’ by others

Right now the question of why will most likely come from someone else. Sometimes you don’t even need a why within yourself to make a choice, it just feels right. Then when you talk to someone else they ask you why, making you doubt/ justify why you made the choice in the first place. Because you want to (or don’t want to in some cases) is enough. Because you say so is enough. If you make a personal choice that only affects you then you need to let that be enough.

Stepping away from spontaneity

For me, why always stops me from being spontaneous. It makes me question every decision I make too much. I never question others or their choices, simply my own, in my head, that niggling voice that makes you go stop. Maybe next time I think ‘screw it, I will just make nachos for dinner’, I should listen to that instant gut choice – I don’t need a why.

When is your gut and head not enough?

Sometimes we need to work things out. Sometimes we need to know why. Sometimes we need to discuss this with others to prevent us from going mad. But have you worked out those areas in life where your head and gut decision is not enough? Where you need your justifications validated by others? It may be at work, it might be decisions regarding your children, but knowing where your boundaries are will help keep things clear.

Happiness in justification?

Does knowing why make you any happier in your choices? Do you need to question why you are drawn to something or someone in order to smile? Often knowing that something simply makes us happy is in itself justification. Happiness is around us, we can give it, we can receive it, we just have to be open to it. Don’t justify happiness, instead let happiness be your justification.

Use these questions to help you understand yourself a little better. Maybe sometimes you really don’t always need to know why.

Are you a questioner?

Do you look to others for validation in your choices?

Are you spontaneous?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

Friday Favourites + Episode 35 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast

Hi all,

I am doing a little happy dance right now. One, because it’s Friday. Two, because I get to go to the Perth Good Food and Wine Show tomorrow… and I hear on the (grape) vine that there is going to be wine soft serve ice cream… amazing!

As if that isn’t enough there will be hundreds of vendors just ready and waiting for us to sample their products, chef demos and even free wine tastings – yes it’s foodie heaven for David and I!Friday - chase the red grape

Will keep you all up to date via Instagram stories so check out chasetheredgrape to join in on all the fun!

But first it’s time to hit up all the other happy points from the week in Friday Favourites!

Favourite… Moment – IKEA and homelinessplants - chase the red grape

David and I wanted to pick up a few bits and bobs to make our home more cosy – a little bit more hygge if you will. We got frames and printed photos from our travels, candle holders, a new throw and a few more bits including these two plants. They are so cheerful, bright green and most importantly, should be easy to keep alive! We named them Ortis and Ed (Brits my age will know the connection) and then genuinely make me smile!

Favourite… Feeling – Laughing in the AM

I listened to one of my favourite podcasts where they talked about news on the TV – do we really need to know about all the bad and hurt that happens to others? The big things yes but the small sad stories that beat us down each day and get in our heads? No. So instead we are now watching Nickelodeon in the morning before David heads to work – it’s fab, silly and it’s working!

Favourite… Purchase – Nailsnails - chase the red grape

Every time I get my nails done (aka like twice a year) I swear to everyone around me I should do it more often. This time I kept my promise, and I am so glad I did. A bit of self care and it makes me happy to look down and see them all nice – like no matter how much of a mess I feel I know my nails always look good!

Favourite… Food/Drink – Saturday dinnersoup - chase the red grape

Is there anything better than spending a Saturday evening in the kitchen with your hubby laughing, listening and dancing to good music, drinking good wine and making great food? We made Meg’s easy veg and bean soup, followed by a wonderful apple and pear crumble and ice cream. My head and tummy were so happy!

Updates – 5TTT & Episode 35 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcastlife MACRO COUNTING - chase the red grape

This weeks 5 top tips looked at the life after counting macros, 6 months on – what lessons did I apply?chase the red grape podcast

This weeks episode of the podcast was all about comfort zones. Are you happy in yours? We come to the defence of comfort zones but also take a look at what happens when you know you have to escape yours. Find on iTunes, Stitcher or here on the site.

Favourite… moment of training

I have a strain in my quad… boo! So in order to keep it happy I spent today upper body focused and it was great. Lots of fun on the bench press and ski erg – just nice to do something different… and not make this leg any angrier than it needs to be.

Weekend Plans – Saturday – Good Food and Wine Show! Sunday – Brekkie out somewhere nice, podcasting and chilling!

Have a great weekend folks!

Do you think wine soft serve would be nice?

What show would be your heaven?

What do you watch in the morning?

Life after macro counting… 6 months on #5TTT

Hi all,

Happy Tuesday!

So at the beginning of this year, David and I ended our experiment on ourselves counting macros. We had spent a little under a year focusing on our nutrition and our performance and had learnt a heck of a lot about ourselves, our bodies and what it needed to function, train and thrive.

At the end of the experiment, I wrote 2 articles about my experience titled ‘The Good’ and ‘The Bad and the Ugly’. (If you haven’t read these two I would recommend doing so first to get the full picture).

So as you can tell from those posts, the entire experience had its ups and downs, as does anything in life. But what about now 6 months on? Where am I at with my nutrition and was I actually able to put into place the lessons I had learnt to lead a comfortable life with regards food and what I need?life MACRO COUNTING - chase the red grape

I know what I need for my body

My body knows what demands I put on it. We train 4 times per week and I know how it feels to be at a point where my body has everything it needs to recover and restore. When we stopped counting I knew I didn’t want to loose that feeling so we basically carried on where we left off. With tweaks. I always kept in mind what I knew I needed and built my meals around that. I am a terrible decision maker, especially when it comes to food, so knowing I needed to make sure my meals included x,y and z makes life a lot easier. And we still use it. But sometimes ice cream, chocolate and a glass of wine is exactly what I know I need too.

Portion sizes

I know that if David has rice with lunch or potatoes he needed x amount of grams. I know that a good portion size of oats for brekkie is x amount. After a year of weighing and measuring, you know what those amounts look like. I still use my scale all the time, but at the same time when I am away and don’t have access to scales I don’t sweat it. Some times you will be surprised by how much of something you actually do need!

Less stress

But at the same time, if I’m not hungry, I don’t eat as much. There is no pressure to eat when I don’t want to or as often. Everything is more relaxed and we can do things like go out for lunch or dinner and not think twice about it! Yay! By the end of our experiment, the stress around food was small but that was because we were eating the same things day in and out. Now the excitement is back in food!

How is the training going?

I definitely felt that macro counting, in the beginning, lead to big gains at the gym. I became faster and stronger and it was such a great feeling. But I put this down to actually fuelling my workouts and recovery properly – aka eating enough food! After about 6 months the gains slowed down and became smaller – still progressing but at a smaller rate. As you would expect. All the progress I made still stands today, proving that fuelling right = reward.

And bear in mind…

So I have taken those lessons and implemented them into my everyday life. It has been quite an easy road for us and I am glad to see our bodies have responded positively, without needing to be so strict. However, I must mention that I am not one to crave or binge on food. I can eat a couple of squares of chocolate or a 25g portion of chips without going nuts on the rest of the bag. So being able to now choose what I want, when I want it, isn’t so much of a big deal. We also gravitate to real whole food and this makes up the majority of our diet.

Once again, like with my other posts on macro counting, I want to point out that I did this as an experiment on my nutrition with regards my training. It was not for weight loss and we went through an individualised programme. It was never intended to be for a significant period of time. If you have any questions please either comment below or email me at

In next weeks episode of the podcast (episode 36) David and I get chatting all about our macro experience, both during and after. Find out how we differed throughout our journey, what advice we would give and just have a good old chat about the process! Don’t forget to tune in!

Have you ever done something where you have been able to put into place the lessons you learnt?

Does food choice make you stressed?

Do you like to reflect back on food choices?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

Friday Favourites + Episode 34 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast

Hi all,

So we have been back just over a week now – nothing yet everything has changed.

Perth is the same, yet different. I feel I am me, yet different… and this is about a coherent as I get with regards what I am feeling right now. Maybe, eventually, I will be able to put it into words for you all, but until then I am ready to focus on what I know, love and what makes me smile!

Getting back into a routine has been one of them and this week was great for that. Back to writing, back to training and back to cooking in my own kitchen! Yay!

So let me send you some smiles for the weekend and share with you all my first Friday Favourites in weeks!

Friday - chase the red grape

Favourite… Moment – Sleep!

After some pretty killer jetlag it has been nice to get a good nights sleep again. Still tired throughout the day but I will take that if it means I don’t wake up in the middle of the night!

Favourite… Feeling – Hot Cappuccinoscoffee - chase the red grape

It is freezing in Perth right now. Proper hat scarf and gloves winter type weather. Ok not as cold as back home in winter but believe me when I say that houses here are not made for the cold. But hot milky cappuccinos have been helping to warm my insides and keep me smiling!

Favourite… Purchase – Pip and Nut Crunchy Maple PBPB - Chase the Red Grape

We picked this up in Whole Foods back in the UK and it’s so so good. My problem is it is so nice that I don’t want to eat it – instead keep it for special things. Who knows what those ‘special things’ are… actually I just need to go at it with a spoon!

Favourite…Food/Drink – Dubai Datesdates - chase the red grape

We sampled these dates in Dubai on the way to the UK. Bought 2 small bags. Then on the way home bought one huge bag to take back. Listen up – a huge Medjool date, stuffed with an almond, covered in chocolate and dusted with coconut… holy smokes they are good!

Updates – 5TTT and new episode of the Chase the Red Grape Podcastjetlag - chase the red grape

This weeks 5 top tips looked at jetlag and how to battle it and keep your sanity!chase the red grape podcast

Episode 34 of the podcast was all about our trip to the UK and our highlights! Such a fun one to record and a great way to check out what we got up to! iTunes, Stitcher or here on the blog!

Favourite… Moment of training – Community

We had some pretty bad WOD’s this week and I felt sore the entire time. But you know what, it was just nice to get back into a routine, see everyone and catch up. Those smiling faces at 6am each morning really do make my day.

Weekend Plans – Saturday – Coffee, IKEA, wine and food prep. Sunday – Pancakes and newspapers, recording the podcast and, fingers crossed, off to see Despicable Me 3!

Have a fab weekend folks!

What is your hot drink of choice in the winter?

What do you love to stuff a date with?

Let me know what the last film you saw at the cinema was – did you enjoy it?

How to battle jetlag #5TTT

Hi all,

I write this as I still recover from one of the modern worlds hidden gems… jetlag.

Ever flown East before? Dramatically changed time zones? Then you will know and understand what I am on about. And after our 21 hour trip back from the UK, we are shattered.

Brain fog, lethargy, muscle aches, sore heads, the desire to sleep every moment of the day apart from when you should actually be asleep… yep I could go on and on with the side effects.

So I thought this week I would bring you 5 top tips on how to battle jetlag- both before, during and after your flight. Some of these tips I know and love. Some of these tips are recommendations I have been given and some, well, some are simply things I wish I could go back one week and do myself as I just know I would be feeling so much better if I did! You know me, always open and honest with you!

So let’s get to it! jetlag - chase the red grape

Set your clock to the time of your destination

Mentally prepare your body for where it is going. Change the time on your watch so you can work around that. It may seem odd at first but it will help you acclimatise to your destination so much quicker.

Base your sleeping patterns off your destination time

In conjunction with the above, work out when you will be sleeping on the flight before you fly, applicable mostly to long haul. When your destination sleeps, you sleep. When your destination is awake, you stay awake. This can be very tricky to do but it is key to surviving the dreaded jetlag. We slept on the second leg of our journey only to arrive home in Perth, 2am, wide awake…

Bye bye caffeine and alcohol

Especially on the plane! This may sound harsh but let’s face it, airplane coffee tastes dreadful so you ain’t missing much here anyway and unless you are living the high life in first class, the alcohol (even the free stuff) isn’t much to write home about. Let your body work out what is going on naturally – sleep and sunlight are your friends.

If you are trying to recover from jetlag and are struggling to stay awake use caffeine in small amounts and only before midday. That way the caffeine can work it’s way out of your system before you try to go to bed and sleep.

Try and do some exercise when you land/ get out in the sunshine

Movement, and movement in the sunshine at that, will help revive you and keep you going. More so than pills, potions and coffee. Your body will respond to the sunlight, signalling that it is ‘time to be awake’ and the movement will help your blood flow, which will help with any water retention you have from your flight. Don’t jump straight into the gym though, exertion is not the answer! A simple walk will do the trick.

Routine, routine, routine

You may not want to get back into routine (hello sleeping all day…) but routine really will be your friend. Even if you are starting your holiday, rather than returning from, try and find a simple routine to stick to – a wake and bedtime is the best place to start. Help your body to help you by cutting it a little slack and giving it so normalcy to cling on to!

Do you suffer from jetlag when you fly east?

Any tips on recovery?

What was the longest flight you have been on?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

My trip in review!

Hi all,

How the heck are you all doing? Hope life is treating you well!

Yes that’s David and I back from our holiday to the UK – it was such an amazing trip.

This was our first trip back home since moving to Perth Australia almost 2 years ago, so a lot rested on this trip. I have so many thoughts and feelings after our time there but I think that’s a subject for another day. Today what I want to do is highlight some of the amazing memories we have built from our 3 weeks over there – linking up with Meg and ‘Week in Review’… (the last 3 weeks in review…).

So sit back and enjoy a small but good old photo dump (because I would be here all day if I also used words!) of family time, exploring new and old places, catching up with friends, good eats and drinks along with, oh yes, a good dose of sunshine! The British summer arrived for us!

ScotlandChase the Red GrapeChase the Red Grape

Chase the Red Grape

Puppy cuddles!

Chase the Red GrapeChase the Red GrapeChase the Red Grape

North East EnglandChase the Red GrapeChase the Red Grape

LondonChase the Red GrapeChase the Red GrapeChase the Red Grape

Chase the Red GrapeChase the Red GrapeChase the Red GrapeChase the Red GrapeChase the Red GrapeChase the Red GrapeIf you want to find out more about our trip then download this weeks Chase the Red Grape Podcast which will be released on Wednesday!

See you tomorrow for 5 top tips!

Have you ever gone home as a tourist?

When was the last time you had a family get together?

How have you been? Let me know what you have been up to!