Friday Favourites + Episode 50 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast

Hi all,

This week David and I recorded the 50th episode of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast!

50 feels like such a milestone and I can’t believe we have been recording for over a year now. Between planning, prepping, recording, editing, transferring and all the other little things in between, it’s not a quick task to pull together… but it is one that both David and I love doing. I hope that passion shows through on the podcast!

If you listen, thank you so much for being a part of this with us, and I hope you will continue. If you don’t listen to us right now why not download and give it a shot? I promise it’s fun! Some episodes are light, some dig deep into issues that affect us all but I guarantee you will find something in our back catalogue to tempt you to listen.Friday - chase the red grape

That really was a highlight of my week, but let’s check out some other Friday Favourites!

Favourite…Moment – David’s birthday breakfastchase the red grape

Every Wednesday when David and I go for our morning walk to get coffee, we pass a little patisserie opening up for the day. The smells are out of this world. So for his birthday breakfast David decided he wanted to go there and get something special. And oh boy was this breakfast special. I had an almond croissant and savoured every incredible mouthful and David had a cheese and ham croissant plus a piece of apple strudel. Pair that with a great coffee and we were in heaven.

Favourite… Feeling – Proudchase the red grape

David was a finalist at this years Subiaco Photography Competition and he has had his work displayed on an exhibition for the past month. Monday was the awards ceremony and although he didn’t come away with an overall win, he was a winner in my book. So proud. (Top picture by the way).

Favourite… Purchase – New shoeschase the red grape

I needed some strappy sandals to go with a new dress I bought and I thought the hunt would be easy… well not as easy as I would have hoped! I finally found the perfect pair in H&M with the ideal height of heel. Being 6ft 1 without shoes means if I wear high heels I go into that ‘too tall’ category. No one talks to you unless you are sitting down!

Favourite… Food/Drink – Birthday Lunchchase the red grape

David’s birthday was certainly a foodie one and we headed to one of our favourite restaurants in Fremantle, Gypsy Tapas House. We ate octopus, hummus, wild boar, homemade focaccia, emperor fish and baked feta, all washed down with their homemade organic rose wine. Food heaven moment number two!chase the red grape

Updates – 5TTT & Episode 50 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcastchase the red grape

This weeks 5 top tips looked at what social media has done to us, what has it taught us about the world and its position in it.chase the red grape

And of course episode 50 of the podcast is ready to download on iTunes, stitcher or listen here on the website. We did a fun get to know you episode… but all the questions were unknown and picked at random!

Weekend Plans – Tonight we are heading into town for some food truckin’ and the switch on of our main Christmas lights. Saturday – Weekly shop, food preppin’ plus an engagement party in the evening. Sunday – Pancakes and newspapers, podcasting and off to see Murder on the Orient Express (so excited, I’m a huge Poirot fan!).

Have a fab weekend folks!

When was the last time you felt proud?

What does your birthday breakfast entail?

Any films coming up that you are excited to see at the cinema?

What has social media done to you? #5TTT

Hi all,

Remember back in the day when the internet started being something we could have in our homes? If you were lucky, you had a massive ‘piece of equipment’ PC and you spent your evenings talking to friends on MSN messenger about the same things you had also spent the past 8 hours of school talking about.

Fast forward a few years and I was off to university. At this point Facebook was only available to people attending select universities, and it never really fussed me. Until a few years in and my university was accepted. Of course we signed up! This looked so cool! Still, it was only something you looked at when and if you were connected to the internet… and even then it was about posting when you were having a party… and revealing said pictures from party!

Fast forward 13 years and social media has just exploded. Everyone has constant access to the internet. Everyone is on Facebook, your mum, your auntie, all of your friends. And then there is Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and so on and so forth. Has the way we communicate as a society really changed so much in the space of 13 years? I don’t think anyone could argue that the answer to that has to be ‘yes’. 

What has social media done to you?

For this weeks 5 top tips, I dug deep to look at the relationship I have with social media and what it has done to me. What does social media reveal about the world around me? What has it brought to my attention? These are my thoughts. Maybe you agree, maybe you don’t, maybe social media means something very different to you. Let me know below what you think.chase the red grape

Connection

Social media will always be worth it’s weight in gold to me, simply because of connection. Being on the other side of the world from my family and friends has been tough but social media allows me to be a part of life over there still. It allows me to keep connected with my old communities and friends. I cannot imagine how hard it would be to have to disconnect from all these important people and places – thankfully I don’t have to.

Desire

Social media has enabled me to desire more than I ever could have dreamed of. Maybe for you this desire is a good thing, you see something you want and you figure out a way to get it. It pushes you, it drives you, you can see an end. For me, desire can lead to pressure, confusion and often unhappiness. Most of the time it’s about things or opportunities I never even considered or was aware of. Social media can make me feel bad for not wanting it or not having it.

Why not me?

Yes the comparison game. Why don’t I have this? Why do they have it and not me? What have I done wrong? Do I not deserve the same opportunities? Am I no good? We glance at something, take one look and that’s all we need to bring ourselves down and tear ourselves to shreds. We no longer live in our bubble. We can see every single bubble in the world. We feel judged, we judge others, it feels like there is no escape. (Unless we disconnect… but then face being left out!).

People can be cruel… but cruel people are not worthy of your attention

The ability to be cruel, cause hurt to others and bully has exploded throughout the evolution of social media. I see good people everyday being torn down by comments online. It’s horrible. However through trolling we have learned that both online and in real life we cannot tolerate people who are cruel, people who bring us down, strangers, as well as those we know, who believe it is ok to cause hurt with their words. As much as I wish no one has to ‘learn how to deal with trolls’, it has become part of our world. What counts is that we stand up to it and realise that trolls are not worthy of our attention.

We are stronger together

Finally, I believe that social media has made me realise that we truly are stronger together. We feel with others on the other side of the world. We can be a part of helping afflict change in areas where we used to feel helpless. We can be more informed, have a strong basis of knowledge, share because we care. Yes there is a lot of ‘fake news’ out there and so much nonsense but the more time we spend with social media as part of our lives the more we realise its worth, its power and its ability to help us do good.

Be the good, promote the good, share the good and all will be well.

Have you always had social media in your life?

What does social media enable you to do?

What has social media done to you, both positive and negative?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

Friday Favourites + Episode 49 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast

Hi all,

Well it’s here. As much as I really don’t want to be a broken record with the weather it’s the only thing anyone is talking about. The heat.

I expect this in late December/ January, but we are supposed to have 2 months of sunny, nice temps before we go into the pit of hell that is summer over here (just for reference as to how hot it is…). Gently being warmer and warmer so we can acclimatise. But no.

I feel like my body has been thrown into the jungle and has to be ready to fight aka cool down. Poor wee thing, it’s struggling. The realities of being an expat! Except even the born and bred locals are finding it tough… no hope for me! Ha!

But enough of my moans and groans, you all came here for some joy and I aint gonna let you down. Time for some Friday Favourites!Friday - chase the red grape

Favourite… Moment – Paint Subi

The area where we live are having a week where 4 street artists come and paint 4 murals around our neighbourhood. Seeing the work in progress is amazing, every day they come on so much and look fantastic! Can’t wait to show you some pictures when they are done!

Favourite… Feeling – Iced coffee timechase the red grape

My old friend is back in the game. French press coffee, chilled, then served over ice with milk… or chocolate almond milk if I am feeling flush. Sooths the soul!

Favourite… Purchase – Broccoli Chipschase the red grape

These broccoli chips are so tasty and although you don’t get many of them in the bag, are worth the splurge now and again!

Favourite… Food/Drink – Acai bowls from Acai Brothers in Fremantlechase the red grape

I have no words. But I think this picture says it all. Topped with coconut yoghurt, raw treats and my fruit of choice – yes please!

Updates – 5TTT + Episode 49 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcastchase the red grape

This weeks 5 top tips focused on the idea of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’… and how it’s all a heap of nonsense. Rethink the way you feel about this term… compare and wish all you want… just realise that others are doing that to you too.chase the red grape

Episode 49 of the podcast took at look at our daily non negotiables – those things we do in every day life because they make us happy and therefore are simply a must! I love looking at all the little quirks we have and embracing them because that’s what makes us all so awesome! Listen now on iTunes, Stitcher or here on the website

Weekend Plans – Saturday – It’s David’s birthday! Happy birthday my love! So we are heading out for breakfast then off to Fremantle for a stroll, lunch and maybe an Aperol spritz! Sunday – Pancakes and newspapers, coffee, food prep, podcasting and a tour with a local street art group!

Have a fab weekend everyone!

What’s your heat limit?

Do you like veggie chips?

What’s your summer cocktail?

F**k keeping up with the Joneses! #5TTT

Hi all,

Keeping up with the Joneses. Since the start of social media I think we all can agree that the Joneses are no longer just our neighbours. They are our Facebook friends, bloggers, celebrities, anyone that hashtags the same as us on Instagram. Yes you guess it, it’s the old comparison chestnut again!

But rather than write yet another blog post about how we are unique and we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others online, I’m going to get you rethinking the entire concept so it pretty much becomes obsolete.

You are a Jones. I am a Jones. Everyone wants to be a Jones but don’t you realise in some shape or form you already are.

I was having a moan one day about my work, or lack of it as I was moaning about. I looked at other bloggers and writers and craved for what they had. I looked up to them, then looked down at me. I wanted the status, I wanted the credibility, I wanted the break. But then I read a comment on my blog. Someone had mentioned how lucky I was to live in Perth Australia. To be that close to the beach, to have all the sunshine. She wanted it, she craved it. To her, I was a full blown Jones.

And of course to them, your life is perfect…. even if in reality it’s not.

We are all each others Jones. Everyone has something that another craves, desires, wants or looks up to. Below are simply 5 common ones (blown to the extreme for effect, as we do in our minds), but don’t let the stature of these points fool you, your desire to be like the Joneses can be big or small.chase the red grape

Career Jones

Career Jones seemingly got everything she wanted. Good grades at university, stepped into an excellent job with prospects and is now climbing up the ladder. Maybe she got promoted younger than you or got a ‘job well done’ bonus. Career Jones is also that woman (or man) who left their career behind to go where their passion lay. And guess what, it all worked out and they have made a successful business from it!

Body Jones

Body Jones looks stunning. Perfect hair, makeup (maybe even without makeup), toned, tanned and fabulous, right? Everything is so effortless from their style to how they fix their hair, oh did I mention that they have the time and money to get regular hair cuts, manicures and pedicures? No need for a spray tan, they seem to go from gorgeous to glowing whenever summer comes around. And who cares if someone takes a bikini picture, they will always rock it!

Travel Jones

Travel Jones jumped on a plane with her husband for a new life in one of the most beautiful areas of Australia without a second thought. She lives 10 minutes from the beach, which, is just an endless vision of crystal clear golden beach and sand. Every weekend is new adventures exploring and there are so many countries near by. Every day is wonderful, exciting and picture perfect…. right?

(Sound good? Yeah life is good, but as with everything, perfection it aint!).

Fitness Jones

Fitness Jones, gosh I see so many Fitness Jones that I simply want to be! They are so strong and fast and they make everything look so effortless. How does it come so naturally to them? And let’s face it they often are our Body Jones too. Everyone at the gym looks up to them, and everyone wants to be their friend because they are so cool and can do all these things I wish I could do too. Sigh!

Family Jones

Family Jones is happily married to the most wonderful man/ woman. They love each other deeply, give each other little gifts, especially flowers. They never forget birthdays or anniversaries. And why would they argue? Family Jones often has children, perfect, adorable children. Children that always behave and have their own cute wee style that everyone just coos over. We all want children like theirs.

Sound crazy but also familiar? Extreme maybe but I’m sure you have thought about someone else in this shape or form before.

As I mentioned above, don’t let the nature of the above fool you into thinking that no one sees you as a Jones simply because those 5 things aren’t on your lap. There are people who I want to be like because they can cook better than me, can sing or dance, have belongings I want, are more intellectual, heck sometimes I even want to be like someone because they are busier than me and I crave the buzz of deadlines! So don’t beat yourself up for looking up to someone else and wishing you were like them. Just simply remember than someone else is doing the same thing to you. Aspire to be a Jones by all means… but just as you aren’t ‘on a pedestal’ perfect, remember they aren’t too.

Do you have a Jones that you wish to be like?

What Jones like quality do you have that, if you were honest, you know others would crave?

Do you ever look at someone else’s seemly perfect life and blow it out to the extreme? Aka their whole world is effortless?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

Friday Favourites + Episode 48 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast

 Hi all,

I love the beach. The smells, the sounds, the general atmosphere…

I am super excited that we are heading there tomorrow for a nice long beach walk in the sun… heaven!

As much as I love the beach (or seaside as we call it back in the UK), is it odd that I am not actually that fussed with going in the water? I love to walk along the sand with my feet in the water, feeling the splash as each wave comes across my ankles. And it’s not that I can’t swim….

Maybe it’s the unknown for me that I don’t like. Sometimes you can’t see your feet, you don’t know what the next wave will be like… and don’t even get me started on sharks.Friday - chase the red grape

Actually come to think of it, my dislike of being in the actual water seems to make a lot of sense! Just being smart! 😉

But for today, let’s check out this weeks Friday Favourites!

Favourite… Moment – Feeling the heat from the sunchase the red grape

Well folks this week really has been the start of the sunshine here. The sweatshirts are being left at home, the shorts are coming out of the wardrobe pair by pair and slowly the duvet is being pushed off the bed every night. This weekend the temps are going to be in the 30’s (Celsius) and it looks like winter is finally behind us!

Favourite… Feeling – Nourishedchase the red grape

On Saturday David and I headed over to Victoria Park in the hunt for some street art. We found a few really cool pieces but the best score of the day was finding the most amazing Vegan café, The Loving Hut. We ate lunch there and it was just the epitome of good food. I love eating tofu on occasion and this combo of GF tofu spring rolls and turmeric veggies just made my tummy smile!

Favourite… Purchase – Wool dusterchase the red grape

Some of you may have seen me document my venture to Bunnings (the DIY store) on Instagram stories. For those who missed it, I was in the hunt for a good duster! I was tempted by the ostrich feather one but instead went for the lambs wool one and it works a treat. Honestly it makes dusting the house easy peasy. Why did it take me so long to get one!

Favourite… Food/Drink – Chocolate soft servechase the red grape

So after that delicious lunch, we saw that the café did Vegan soft serve (made with almond and coconut milk). I adore soft serve and knew we had to try it. Oh. My. Goodness. There are no words to describe how good this was!

Updates – 5TTT + Episode 48 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast5 words that guide your life - chase the red grape

This weeks 5 top tips looked at 5 words that guide your life. 5 words that you feel deep down in your core describe the way you live your life. I share mine and encourage you to start thinking about yours.chase the red grape podcast

Episode 48 of the podcast got us thinking about our ideal dinner party. Who would we invite and why? And most interestingly, what do we think this dinner party says about us? Download now on iTunes and Stitcher or listen here on the website.

Weekend Plans – Beach walk tomorrow with coffee and lunch out! Sunday – Pancakes and newspapers, coffee walk to a local festival, podcasting and chilling out whilst watching the CrossFit Invitational!

Have a fab weekend guys!

Do you like going in the water at the beach?

Have you ever been to a Vegan café?

Who would you invite to your dinner party?

5 words that guide your life #5TTT

Hi all,

Over the past year or so I have really been drawn to reading and researching about who we are as individuals. How do we work? What makes us tick?

Not only has it lead to a greater understanding of how other people work but it has also allowed me to dive into who I am as a person. Sometimes it’s in the form of a collective, like my tendency (as per Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies) but often it has me exploring the minutia of my core. What’s in my gut driving me each day, helping me make the choices I do?

Recently, I asked myself the question ‘what are 5 words that guide your life’?

By guide, I mean words that take you by the hand and help you make the choices you do, because they describe who you are. Initially I came out with 5 words that I thought I ‘should’ write. Those things that describe who I feel we should be. But then I looked deep into my core. Those answers were very different.

For this weeks 5 top tips I bring you the 5 words that guide my life. Most importantly though, I want you to think about what 5 words guide your life. What words have deep roots in your core, shaping you in and out each day?chase the red grape

Kindness

I know from a young age I was brought up to value the importance of kindness. Kindness to others in particular but more recently I have truly appreciated the importance of being kind to myself. My thoughts, feelings and emotions find it easy to pull me apart, to pick upon a perceived flaw and attack it. I know kindness is in my core because I couldn’t fathom doing this to anyone else. I just need to work on applying it to myself.

Hygge

You all know my pull towards the concept of hygge (check out my post on hygge for more information). I thrive when I am content, happy, cosy, in my own wee nook… however you want to describe hygge. I know that feeling, I adore that feeling, I crave that feeling. It just makes so much sense to me. I feel it’s importance in my life and I strive to have access to it always.

Generous

Similar to kindness for sure but for me being generous is the art of giving… and allowing yourself to feel good about how that makes you feel. We all have so much to give whether that be money, time, gifts, donations of clothing or even lending an ear to a friend. Being generous makes me feel good and the more I give the more I want to keep on giving. I feel drawn towards helping others and it’s no surprise to me that I grew up wanting to become a teacher.

Faith

Faith can mean so many things to different people. For me, I don’t speak of faith in terms of religion, more that sense of knowing, knowing that things will be ok. I have faith that I will do in life the work I am meant to do. I have faith that David and I will live in the place we were meant to live. I do not meant to say that I have no aims or goals and that hard work doesn’t create what I want. My faith is not in fate. My faith is in myself and the world that guides me.

Realistic

This last word for some could be seen as a negative but for me couldn’t be further from the truth. I am a very realistic person. Sometimes that makes me a glass is half full person, sometimes that makes me a glass is half empty person. However I take comfort in knowing the realistic outcomes or potentials in any situation, even if that means being classed as negative. But if it makes me happy and is who I am then I am going to embrace it!

Now, what about you?

What words guide you in life?

What do you think those words say about you?

Is there anything you wish you could be but aren’t?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

Friday Favourites + Episode 47 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast

Hi all,

Isn’t it sometimes just the little things in life?

I swear the older I get the more I believe this to be true. Take for example the area that we have moved to. We get two local newspapers delivered for free each week to our door. I’m sure most of it could be local gossip but I love it. It makes me feel like part of a community. I also love that we have roses growing outside right now and a resident wood pigeon who always looks rather elegant.

I love when I can put the washing outside to dry. I love it when we get a really early night. I love it when a film is on the TV (with ad breaks for getting snacks and the like) rather than watching on Netflix. I love it when the chicken we buy each week goes on sale.

Sometimes I just love that I can get so much joy from the little things in life.Friday - chase the red grape

And on that note, lets check out my Friday Favourites!

Favourite… Moment – Beauvine Food and Drink Festivalchase the red grape

We had a blast last Saturday at the festival and met many local distillers, wineries and breweries that we didn’t even know existed.

Favourite… Feeling – Streets of Perth Urban Art Talk

As many of you may know, David is a keen street art photographer and when we saw there was going to be a talk at our local library on urban art we grabbed (free) tickets straight away! Not only that, it was going to be presented by ‘Streets of Perth’ an Instagram couple whose passion project has them documenting street art all over Perth. It was fab to finally meet the guys behind it plus learn a little more about the art in Perth.

Favourite… Purchase – Body Shop Japanese Matcha Tea Maskchase the red grape

Ok so not technically a purchase because I got this as a free sample but it was pretty awesome. My skin was in need of some TLC and this really did the trick. Lovely smell, easy to put on and left my face soft and smooth!

Favourite… Food/Drink – English Tea Shop Christmas Teaschase the red grape

I spotted these in the store last week and had to pick them up for Christmas. All organic and naturally flavoured they will be really yummy for Christmas… maybe made into iced tea though… December is usually HOT!

Updates – 5TTT + Episode 47 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcastchase the red grape

5 top tips this week was a bit of a blunt subject – Jen, you’re a loser. How an ultimatum I placed on myself came to turn around my view on me and my competitive streak.Chase the Red Grape

This weeks episode of the podcast looked at what is in our self care kit. David and I listed our go to’s for when we have a bad day, week or month and encourage you to do the same! Download now on iTunes, Stitcher or here on the website

Favourite… Book – The Four Tendencies – Gretchen RubinChase the Red Grape

I finally got a copy of The Four Tendencies from the library and it was just as good as I had hoped it would be. In fact I finished it in 2 days! Want to know you and the people around you better? Read this book. Honestly it has changed how I view myself and others so very much.

Weekend Plans – Saturday – We are going to take a walk around an area of town we have never really explored before and hunt out some street art. Sunday – Pancakes and newspapers, coffee walk, podcasting and chill.

Have a fab weekend folks!

What are some of the little things you enjoy in life?

Have you bought anything for Christmas so far?

Is there a lot of street art where you live?

Jen, you’re a loser #5TTT

Hi all,

This has been a post that I have wanted to write for a while now. It may sound really abrupt, hard on myself, actually it’s downright bullying (me on me).

I’m a loser.

In my core I’m a very competitive person. I want to win. I want to be the best. I want to come out on top. I take pride and value on working hard and winning. I thrive from it.

But to tell you the truth, I very rarely win. I did well in school and university, but was by no means the best and never got the top grades. I moved into a job where I strived a lot more than I should have just to feel the sense of doing more and being more… but it never led to more. I created this blog and I fell into an even bigger hole of feeling like I was constantly losing.

Then I started CrossFit.

I realised that I was never going to win at this sport. I was never going to come first in the class, I was never going to lift the heaviest or pull a skilled move out of the bag that others couldn’t. I can’t ever win at this one – my body just isn’t able. But I love the sport. Something had to change. I needed to quit or really look at how I view myself in terms of winning, losing and competing. Otherwise I was never going to be happy. And I ain’t no quitter.

So what has happened in the past four years since I placed that ultimatum upon myself? I’m still doing the sport, but I am a lot happier in how I view myself – both inside and outside of the gym. I worked out ways on how to change my mind set around feeling like a loser if I didn’t win. And today I want to share them all with you. No one should feel this way.chase the red grape

Defining what a winner is

This was the biggest question for me – what is the definition of a winner? Coming first/ on top every time? Really?

Winning is so much more than getting that gold star. Winning means learning lessons. Winning means trying something new. Winning means doing what you can when you can. Winning sometimes means having a shower and getting dressed when you feel like all you want to do is curl back into bed and hide from the world. We win every day, we just don’t always have to compete against others to do so.

Defining what a loser is.

Someone who didn’t win right? But as discussed above, you probably already have won at being you today. So where is the loss? I understand, maybe you went for a job and didn’t get it. You feel like a massive loser. But often we feel the loss for something we never had to begin with. Mourning for that is one thing. Tying your personal worth into the loss however is not. You may have lost but you are not a loser. They are two different things.

My best has to be enough.

As I mentioned above, winning is doing what you can and doing your best. I give my all to everything in life, I can’t help but do otherwise. My relationships, my writing, CrossFit… So how can I ask anymore of myself? Your best (and that can vary dependant on days and circumstance) is all you can and should ask of yourself. Sometimes that may mean you come out on top but when you don’t it simply means that another persons best was enough for the prize that day. Don’t ask any more of yourself when you know you can’t give it.

Winning doesn’t make me a good person.

Getting the role, winning the trophy, getting an A plus… these things are great. But it doesn’t make you a good person. Yes you may get the glory, but people don’t want to be around you because you win, they are around you because you are a good person. A good person is kind, generous, friendly, welcoming. You don’t define a good person as a winner. They win in life because they are good.

Remembering what your priorities in life are.

One massive question I asked myself at the beginning was, why do you do CrossFit Jen? The answer, for my health. Health is my priority. Four years ago I was weak, I had lost all muscle on my body, I was skin and bone. I wanted to be healthy again. I wanted to feel strong. I wanted to feel human again. That was my why. Did I do that? YES 100%. Am I still doing that? YES 100%

I’ll never see my name at the top of the leader board at my box. But I truly believe that I am finally at the top of my own leader board now. So call me a winner, call me a loser, who cares. I’m doing a great job at being me right now and that’s all that matters.

Do you ever feel like you are a loser?

Do you place a lot of merit on winning?

Have you ever had to place an ultimatum on yourself?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

Friday Favourites + Episode 46 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast!

Hi all,

Today is a good day. The sun is shining, I’m sitting on my balcony while I write this and I can feel the warmth in the air.

As much as it always sucks coming back from holiday, it is always made infinitely better when a) the place you actually live is pretty awesome and b) summer is coming in!

Right now is the sweet spot, not too hot, not too cold and I know it will flip a switch at any time to ‘Oh my god this is so hot I never want to leave my air con’. So I intend to make the most of it!

As if I didn’t drink enough wine on my holiday, tomorrow we are off to the Beauvine Food and Drink Festival. We went last year and it was awesome. Collect your glass at the entrance and sample over 60 wineries, breweries and distilleries – all local business. Partner that with some entertainment, local food suppliers and stalls and you have a winning afternoon my friend.Friday - chase the red grape

So if you don’t already hate me enough right now, here are my Friday Favourites! And the past week has rocked!

Favourite… Moment – Sugarloaf Rockchase the red grape

I call our place we visit down south ‘Paradise’, because it truly is. David and I walked to Sugarloaf Rock and it was so beautiful. I know it’s going to sound kooky/corny/cheesy but I just felt so at ease and calm, like something had just waved over me. Kind of like a spiritual connection to myself, the nature around me and the view. It was breath-taking.

Favourite… Feeling – Holiday in Paradisechase the red grape

This really is an easy one. The entire time we were away we felt relaxed and calm. We got to know new people on a wine tour and visit new to us wineries. We explored new local producers and saw new sights along the Indian Ocean. I saw a snake, whales, dolphins, a blue wren and dozens of kookaburras and kangaroos (could do without the snake again though…). I spent time with David relaxing, talking, walking and collecting special moments.

Favourite… Purchase – Summer winechase the red grape

I only buy something if I really like it. Honestly, me parting with money is a mean feat. I knew we were going to get a few bottles of the above because it is the most amazing, small batch, cellar door only, summer wine. But what I didn’t expect was to pick up a few other bottles along the way. But I’m pretty happy to be stocked up, including picking up a special bottle to have on Christmas Day.

Favourite… Food/Drink – Rosemary infused G&Tchase the red grape

Ok yes more booze but this was really good. I don’t know if it was the company, atmosphere (the sun was setting) or this combo but this drink was amazing. I would never have thought to infuse my gin with rosemary but it worked so well and I actually loved the savoury nature about it. Obviously you have to be a big rosemary lover though!

Updates – 5TTT + Episode 46 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast

This weeks 5 top tips focused on why you should start thinking about the holiday season NOW. I guarantee even those who have their blinkers on about Christmas etc right now will agree with my points!chase the red grape podcast

There was no podcast this week due to our holiday but the one last week focussed on coming together. We got political and talked openly about how we feel right now, and how we can all make a difference if there are things we want to change. Download now on iTunes, Stitcher or listen here on the website

Favourite… Moment of training – I’m going to switch this up…

Yes I train 4 times per week but this question always has me thinking too hard. Right now I think I have too many thoughts about different aspects of my training, so from next week onwards I will change this to an alternating favourite. It could be a podcast, recipe, piece of street art… just see what takes my fancy!

Weekend Plans – Saturday – Beauvine! Sunday – Pancakes and newspapers, coffee walk, podcasting and food prep!

Have a fab weekend folks!

Have you been to a food/ drink festival?

Have you been anywhere where you felt that spiritual connection?

Rosemary – are you a lover?

Is it too early to start thinking about the holidays? #5TTT

Hi all,

‘Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Jack Frost nipping at your nose’. Well, not in Australia but you catch my drift! The holiday season is coming!

Maybe you are like me. Maybe you are already thinking about the holiday season – from both the excitement and organisational point of view.

Or maybe you aren’t like me. Maybe the thought of the holidays isn’t even on your radar… and seeing the decorations etc hitting the shelves of the stores doesn’t really put you up nor down.

Either way, today I want to bring you 5 reasons why right now is the perfect time to start thinking about the holidays. Trust me, if you want a stress free season, start thinking about the holidays now.

Family plans and commitments

This is the biggest one right here. Who is hosting Christmas/ New Year/ Thanksgiving? Do you want to join your family or have a simple celebration in your own home?

After a couple of years of marriage, David and I decided we wanted to do Christmas alone. We talked to our parents far in advance, letting them know what we wanted to do and suggested having a mini Christmas with them both earlier on in December. As much as they wanted us with them, both sets were happy and we managed to arrange mini visits. These mini visits actually turned into new traditions on their own. But my main reason for mentioning this was that this was a big shake up in our family celebrations. However, it had less of an impact as we made it known in advance and set up new plans to always make sure we had time together in the season. Know your plans and commitments. Get them in the diary ASAP!

Want to host a party? Book a date now!

Email already gone around about your office Christmas party? Not only is it because they need to book the venue in advance but, more importantly, they need to lock in the date with you! Weekends in December are precious, so if you want to host a party, lock in a date now and let everyone you want to invite know.

Present buying

You can easily work out two things right now. Who are you buying gifts for this year and how much do you want to spend. Even if that is all you do right now it will save time and money later. You probably only have two more pay checks left before the big day, maybe time to put some money aside? And if you want to go one step further, start looking for these gifts in the shops. Or at least brainstorming some ideas.

Expectations

What are you, your family and your friends expectations of the season? Are you expected to attend your spouses Christmas party? Do you and your friends want to meet up in between Christmas and New Year? Are you gifting with a spending limit? Do you actually want to go out for Christmas lunch this year? Have a chat with your family and friends and see what they are thinking. Usually a chat about this now leads to some revelations! But also it often means that the conversation can be had with less stress and emotion involved as the holidays aren’t imminent.

Needs vs wants

What is a need vs a want during the holiday season this year? This can be from the big to the small and often gives clarity to priority planning. Here are some of my examples. Need a turkey – Want to see the new Star Wars on Christmas Eve. Need a skype call with my parents on Christmas Day – Want to visit a Christmas market. Try sitting down with your partner/spouse/kids and listing three needs and wants each. Then make sure the needs are met and plans put in place and the wants are on another list for the second stage of priorities.

Keep the holiday season this year for simply having fun! Make all your plans and have all your discussions now so you can be mentally and physically ready for anything the season may throw at you!

Have you thought about the holidays yet?

Do you like to host?

What is a major holiday stumbling block for you/ your family?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape