The gifts to give yourself this Christmas #5TTT

Hi all,

Christmas is a time where we think about everyone else. Our friends, our families, our neighbours, colleagues, even strangers we have never met. We give generously. We want to make others happy. We want to make them feel loved.

All of this is wonderful and really is what makes the season so special. But have you ever thought about giving yourself a gift this Christmas? I can tell you now that one of the most deserving people in your life that you neglect every festive season is you. Who knows you best? You. Who can really give you what you need? You.

It’s not going to cost you anything. No purchase necessary. This weeks 5 top tips will show you where you can give yourself a gift this Christmas. One that will guide you through strong into the new year.Christmas

Time

We all know how precious time can be. We all find ourselves wishing for more hours in the day on a frequent basis. Over the holiday period clock in some time for you. Find an allotted time if need be! It could be having a lie in. It could be snooping around the holiday sales. It could be taking a solo walk with the dog. Time is there for you if you make it a priority.

Your wants and needs

Last week I spoke about traditions and I want to bring it up here again. Make sure this festive season that you also do the things you want to do. Make sure at least one activity is on your ‘must do/see’ list. Pleasing others and others wants and needs only goes on for so long until you rebel. And guess what, they want to do the things that make you happy too!

Rest to restore

This goes hand in hand with time and I know it’s something I talk about all the time like a broken record but it’s true. Let yourself rest over the holidays. If you are lucky enough to be off work during this time make the most of it. Lie on the couch and binge watch movies. Take some time of your usual exercise programme and go for a walk instead. Sleep in later. If you rest now, and restore your body over this time, you really will be rewarded in the long run.

Peace

Got kids? Yeah maybe this one might not be so easy! Ha! But peace, contentment, joy, calm… these words really are synonymous with the season, let’s not forget that. When I was younger, Boxing Day (the 26th) and New Years Day were always a day of calm in our house. Little to no plans, house bound, eating leftovers. No one had to do anything or be anywhere. It was peace.

Drop the guilt

Oh I really want a slice of Christmas cake… I shouldn’t. Oh I really want a cookie… I shouldn’t. Damn I ate those chocolates…. that bit of cheese…. that eggnog. STOP IT NOW.

This is once a year. Holiday foods are treat foods. We indulge once a year to celebrate. Food and drink isn’t something to fear. If you want, have, but do so without the guilt. Savour, enjoy, celebrate, experience those tastes and flavours with family and friends. Decide to you what you love and be happy. And for those who decide to eat/ drink etc differently to you… leave them be. You do you and let them do them.

As for the other forms of holiday guilt – forgetting a present/ someone not enjoying your gift, not being able to see a loved one or someone who expected you, not having time to bake x,y or z… the list could go on and on. But remember what the season is meant to be. You wouldn’t want anyone else to feel guilty this year… don’t place it upon yourself.

Now get thinking about what gift you are going to bestow upon yourself this year!

Do you find the season busy or quiet?

Where do you find peace?

Are you someone who feels guilty?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

Friday Favourites + Episode 52 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast

Hi all,

Have you ever heard of the festive period being referred to as ‘the silly season’?

I never have, until this year. Now I see it on adverts and read it in the media… where did it come from and why are we now calling our favourite time of year silly?

Fun, busy, flamboyant, jolly, all yes. Even stressful and chaotic, I get that. But silly?

To me silly means doing something stupid or something you shouldn’t. Something to potentially be a bit embarrassed about. I don’t really like my favourite time of year being referred to in this way.

But I have had my rant now and you sure as can be won’t be hearing me talk about the ‘silly season’. Never feel like you are being silly at this time of year if you want to do something different, wear a big bright jumper or decorate your house from top to toe with lights. Do it because it’s fun and makes you smile. There’s the Christmas spirit.Friday - chase the red grape

Now time for some Friday Favourites!

Favourite…Moment – Crown dinner, cocktails and smileschase the red grape

We went out for the night and had a wonderful time. A dinner of clam risotto with radicchio was had followed by cocktails and my love as seen below. It was just nice to relax in a swanky place with my favourite person.

Favourite… Feeling – O’ Christmas tree!chase the red grape

On Saturday we put up our tree and it’s always a special time for me. Every decoration we have has a story – bought from places we have travelled to, given as gifts by ones we love or are from my childhood. The living room in our apartment has never looked so beautiful.

Favourite… Purchase – Santa and Bobchase the red grape

Meet Santa… and his inflatable flamingo Bob. He sings and dances to ‘Stop. Christmas time’. I saw it in the shop and had to have it, it’s our Australian Santa! Click here for a link to David’s Instagram where you will see him sing and dance. It’s hilarious!

Favourite… Food/Drink – Laphroaig Whiskychase the red grape

Be still my beating heart. I adore Whisky, a true Scot. And when I saw they had my absolute favourite on the menu at The Waiting Room in Crown Towers I had to have it. I sipped. I savoured, I fell in love over again. A smoky, peaty Islay malt is where it’s at.

Updates – 5TTT + Episode 52 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcastchase the red grape

This weeks 5 top tips looked at evaluating the traditions in your life, especially at Christmas. Why do you do what you do? And most importantly, does it make you happy?chase the red grape

For the podcast this week we brought you part two of ‘How our lives changed through travel’ – focussing on our time spent in the Middle East. Download now on iTunes and Stitcher or listen here on the website.

What I am loving – Christmas FM

I know I tell you about Christmas FM every year but it is just the best! You can listen online for free, 24 hours a day and it’s full of all your favourite festive hits. Old, new, crooners, pop classics, you are in for a fab time. It’s all I listen to every day!

Weekend Plans – Saturday – Christmas shopping, food prep and more festive movies! Sunday – Pancakes and newspapers, podcasting, off to see The Man Who Invented Christmas and chill.

Have a fab weekend folks!

Do you think the holidays are a silly time?

What is your tipple of choice?

Is your tree up yet?

Evaluating Traditions #5TTT

Hi all,

I adore traditions. They make me feel warm and cosy inside. They bring an instant sense of comfort and joy, that everything is the way it is meant to be.

During the festive period traditions are heightened. I don’t know about you but my December is full of them, starting from the opening of my advent calendar on the 1st of December. It’s just the way it is done, right?

From advent calendars, watching Muppet Christmas Carol as we put up the Christmas tree, going out for a meal on Christmas Eve, certain decorations being in certain places in the home and on the tree, stockings on Christmas morning, listening to Christmas FM every day to making Christmas treats, I could list my traditions until my hands hurt from typing!

But when we moved to Australia things changed. For one the season changed! No more Gluhwein at the Christmas market. No more snow (or snowmen). No more Christmas Carol concerts. No more Christmas shopping down the British high street. No more family. And my heart still pangs the most with that one.

So we had a opportunity, change things up the way we want them. Introduce new traditions, ditch old ones, really evaluate which ones mean the most to us and which did not. For this weeks 5 top tips I bring to you questions that you can ask yourself regarding the traditions (holiday or otherwise) that you have in your life. Too often we find that there is so much to do and so little time, so let’s stick to the good stuff!Traditions

Why do you do it?

Ask yourself this simple question – why am I/we doing this? And no, ‘because we always have’ is not an answer. Can you imagine the season without it? What would happen if you didn’t do it?

Does it make you happy?

So you have a reason, but does it make you happy? Does it fill you with happiness/ a glow/ those little butterflies in your tummy? Does having this tradition in your life bring a big smile to your face year after year? I can also understand that maybe for you it isn’t a deal breaker but for someone else it is. And seeing them smile makes you over the moon happy. To those of you out there, this is perfectly fine!

Does it serve a purpose?

Sometimes traditions are more practical. Maybe it’s the Christmas dinner or going for a walk afterwards (we all know how much we need that… or a nap!). So it’s not so much a happiness factor but a sensible tradition that ‘get’s things done’. But do you have those traditions that you struggle to squeeze in? Ones you have to force into your calendar? Does your mind wonder towards your ‘to do list’ when you are doing them? Maybe time to rethink.

Anything else excite you?

Ever looked at someone else’s December and wish you could do that instead? Feel overwhelmed by the amount of current traditions with no room for new ones? What intrigues you? Going out for Christmas dinner? Taking a Christmas shopping weekend away? Going to church on Christmas Eve. How could you make this happen? Never be scared to try something out. If it doesn’t work or feel right you can change it up next year.

What about the others?

You know what you want. But what does everyone else like to do? Maybe other members of your family would like to change it up. Maybe they simply do what is always done because they think that’s what you want. Pose the question to your family – what is a deal breaker when it comes to our traditions and which ones could you take or leave? Then what would you like to try? Sounds exciting right?

I would love to hear what some of your traditions are!

Or maybe you know of a few new things you would like to try?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

Friday Favourites + Episode 51 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast

Hi all,

So it’s the 1st of December aka the first day of summer and I am feeling all the feels.

Longing for Christmas at home, yes (and I think it will always be this way) but mostly just a change of perspective. It’s Christmas time, and I can be happy and celebrate or be sad and suffer… I choose happiness!

So David and I have a long list of things we have planned to do over the next few weeks, festivals, parties, carols (which are rare here), shopping trips, movies and of course, decorating our home. Christmas is an amazing time to feel the embrace from tradition, but it can also open your eyes to many other methods of happiness we have never even explored.

So what if it’s summer here? So what if that is different? If Santa can adapt and bring out his festive Hawaiian shirt and board shorts when he arrives here then so can we. And I think I will leave out some cold brew for him this year… think he would appreciate it!Friday - chase the red grape

Let’s begin December with some good old Friday Favourites!

Favourite… Moment – Black and white pictureschase the red grape

My Auntie challenged me on Facebook to do one of the 7 day black and white picture projects. Photos to be taken on the day, with no people (or no one you know), simplicity at its finest. I didn’t think I would get so much pleasure from it. It has been wonderful to see certain things in another perspective.

Favourite… Feeling – The glow

Thanks to Jamie Oliver’s recent Christmas special, I have been feeling all the festive glowy feels. Christmas specials on the TV are really big back home in the UK and they feel like such a part of the season. Aussie TV couldn’t be more different, but they love Jamie here so they broadcast it… and I am so thankful. Oh and hungry… those recipes looked amazing!

Favourite… Purchase – Advent Calendarschase the red grape

Advent Calendars are so hard to find here but I was so happy to find these in one of our local shops (shipped in from Europe!). They are simple but they are perfect. And the chocolate inside transported me back to the chocolate of my childhood… it was such a dejavu moment!

Favourite… Food/Drink – Turkey. Get your Christmas turkey…

Name that movie!

chase the red grape

Our turkey haul from last year… enough for 2 right?

Yes we ordered our free range raw Christmas turkey this week from a local butcher and it makes me so happy. I adore turkey and all the trimmings and yes David and I still cook a whole bird for just the two of us, we have leftovers for days and it’s the best! The past 2 years we have ordered locally (Mondos) and it’s perfect. Pick up on the 22nd!

Updates – 5TTT + Episode 51 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcastchase the red grape

This weeks 5 top tips was a post for you guys to get to know a little bit more about me and my why when it comes to 5 top tips. I want you to help yourselves, after all the only person who knows what’s best for you is you! But if I can help by asking the right questions then I’m where I need to be.chase the red grape

Episode 51 was the first part of our series on travel and how exploring has shaped David and I into who we are today, making the choices we make. A reflective episode but also one filled with great stories! Download now on iTunes and Stitcher or listen here on the website.

Weekend Plans – Saturday– Putting up the Christmas tree, food prep and then off to Crown Resort for an evening of fine dining and cocktails! Sunday – Pancakes and newspapers, podcasting, coffee and a local Christmas street festival.

Have a fab weekend folks!

What snack do you think Santa would appreciate?

Do you put in a food order before Christmas?

What do you watch that gives you the Christmas glow?

Friday Favourites!

Hi all,

Are you feeling Christmassy yet?

I am trying. But somehow Christmas excitement doesn’t feel right in November. I can plan and prep but those butterflies in my tummy seem to just be designated for December.

This time next week we will have begun opening our advent calendars and will start to be thinking about the tree and decorations… gosh even writing that makes me feel a little unsure…. are you really sure December is coming?

As I say every year since we arrived here, Christmas, heck December as a whole, is odd in Australia. Hot hot heat, sun cream and salads for dinner but still seeing Christmas trees, Santa and snowmen everywhere… it really blows your mind.

But I will try. We are heading to our local Christmas festival tonight and you never know, maybe the December bug will strike and once I start listening to Christmas FM again I will be all in. I sure hope so!Friday - chase the red grape

But enough Christmas chat, let’s get to Friday Favourites!

Favourite… Moment – Saturday coffee datechase the red grape

We had a chilled out Saturday morning planned with only the food shop to do so we decided to sit down and have a coffee. We sat outside, watching the world go by, chatting away until every last drop of this perfect flat white was drunk. It’s nice sometimes not to be so ‘go go go’ with a coffee.

Favourite… Feeling – Doing my own hairchase the red grape

My mum does the best braids ever. When I was home in June I got her to do my hair all the time. But can I braid my own hair? Heck no. David is learning but we aren’t quite there yet. So my mum sent over a tutorial for this hair style and I thought I would give it a go. Twisting rather than braiding. I felt so proud and so pleased with how it turned out.

Favourite… Purchase – Pupusas

chase the red grape

Not the best pic but it was dark!

We headed to the twilight hawkers market in the city last Friday night for dinner and I am so happy that my favourite food stand is back! Made with cornmeal and stuffed to the brim, one with cheese and spinach, the other cheese, pork and beans, they are so amazing. If you find them. Try them!

Favourite… Food/Drink – Mango salsachase the red grape

This salsa recipe from Nom Nom Paleo is easy, quick and so delicious. The recipe calls for pineapple but seen as mangoes are local and in the height of their season right now the fruit of choice was a given. In salads, over burgers, chicken, salmon, basically anything can be made incredible with this salsa.

Updates – 5TTT and Podcast updateschase the red grape

This weeks 5 top tips looked at why taking a time out right now might just be exactly what you need. It can be in one or many areas of your life but rest assured that it will result in gaining that much needed energy boost back!chase the red grape

There was no podcast this week but have you listened to our special 50th episode yet? We did a random Q&A where neither of us knew the questions beforehand – it was a hoot! ITunes, Stitcher or here on the website if you want to listen. 

Instagram love – Diane Sanfilippo

I have mentioned Diane and the Balanced Bites podcast many times on this site but when she asked for folks to spread the love on Instagram this week I thought I would go one step further. Diane gives so much inspiration that goes way beyond food, a successful business women, she gives many the guidance and kick up the butt they need to succeed themselves. Go give her a follow on Instagram and see what I mean. (Ps always watch her insta stories, this is where the magic happens)

Weekend Plans – Tonight – Our neighbourhood Christmas street party complete with switching on of the lights. Saturday – Watching a strongman competition then meeting friends for drinks. Sunday – Pancakes and newspapers, podcasting, food prep and chill.

Have a fab weekend folks!

Are you feeling Christmassy?

When was the last time you stopped to savour a coffee?

Can you do your own hair?

Why taking a time out might just be exactly what you need #5TTT

Hi all,

I don’t know about you, but I am tired.

The year is coming to a close, some are heading into the deep depths of winter, others the crazy heat of summer but no matter what, we can’t escape the change. November is always the calm before the storm. The reminder of all we have to do within the year before it ends. We all know December is madness. Our to-do lists are the size of our arms, weekends whiz past without stopping and before you know it, it’s the big day,

I can’t wait for Christmas and all it brings. It makes me feel so much joy. Right now though, do I even have the energy for it?

So how do I get that energy? How do I bring my mind and body into December with all it needs? What advice would I give someone else who was generally feeling a bit run down?

I would tell them to take a time out.

Yes, it’s as simple as that. Take a time out. We can’t be go go go all the time, it just doesn’t work, we don’t work, we don’t thrive. Below are 5 areas where I believe folks can benefit from taking a time out. Even just one may help and it may only take a couple of hours, a day or two, maybe even a week if you have the time. Figure out where you would benefit from a time out and get ready to feel like you have the energy and drive to party and celebrate the rest of the year.chase the red grape

Work

So you are probably holding on right now… waiting for your Christmas holidays, right? Urgh who isn’t feeling like they need a holiday right now?! But there are still several weeks left, how do you want them to go? Have any annual leave left? Why not take a day or two to chill out? Have a Netflix day, do some Christmas shopping, sleep even! If you don’t have any annual leave left see if you company has a policy where you can take a mental health day. Your mind needs a break too.

If you have no option to take time off right now make sure you are putting yourself first. Take all the breaks you are entitled to. Leave work on time and get home where you can rest. Get an early night so your body has enough sleep to tackle the following day. You are number one.

Exercise

Whatever you do for exercise, ask yourself right now ‘at this present moment, is it serving me’? I get it, the gym is community, it’s so much more than just movement. But putting yourself through intense exercise day after day and telling yourself it’s worth it because of what it does for your social life isn’t the right way to go. What is your body telling you? Is it sore? Is it tired? Does it need a break, a bit of TLC? Maybe cut back on how many times you go per week. Maybe drop those weights or intensity for a couple of days and see how you feel. Or maybe just stay in bed instead. Your body will tell you what’s best, you just have to listen to it.

Diet

I’m not going to preach on what you should or shouldn’t eat. If your not eating great, you know it and you know what you should be eating instead. Don’t deny yourself or restrict yourself, just maybe eat some more veg or pass on the pizza. Get your tummy happy for the holidays. If you do eat well then great but make sure you’re not going too far. Does your body need a little more? Does what you eat make you happy?

And if like me you are pretty happy food wise but want to just take a break from alcohol for a little while then that’s always a good choice. I think a lot of folks would benefit from a boozy time out, just to reset our bodies and give it a little break from having to work hard to process the alcohol.

Routine

Why not throw a spanner in the works? I get really tired from doing the same old same old stuff day in and day out. Although I thrive from routine, I also know, if I’m not careful, it can drag me down into a rabbit hole and it’s hard to get out. Do something different. Go for a walk after dinner. Switch up one of your go to meals. Attend a class or go to the cinema on a weeknight. Break your self imposed rules. Take a time out from the grind.

Surroundings

Last but not least, take a time out from your surroundings. Maybe you are a Mum and you just need that night off from the family to spend with friends. You and your husband could book a last minute cheap deal for a stay at a hotel in your city. Or maybe you need some alone time. Work from home instead of the office. Even walking home a different way or trying out a new coffee shop can make a big difference. I like going somewhere new at the weekend. Just switch up what you see.

Don’t let yourself burn out. Take a time out instead.

How are you feeling right now?

Where would a time out be beneficial to you?

Are you patiently waiting for the holidays or longing badly for them?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

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

Thinking out loud for Christmas…

Hi all,

Well here we are – 3 days until Christmas and only just over a week away from the end of 2016.

This year has certainly been full of its ups and downs. On the personal level, I am thankful for a year of ups – making Perth our home, going on adventures, developing my skills and feeling more confident as a Health Coach and Writer. Oh and starting a podcast – a big leap that we are glad we took. On the wider level, the world has proved it is one crazy, fast developing and changing place, whether we like it or not.

I am always excited for a New Year and what it brings. Not because of any set goals or resolutions, more that it is simply a chance for us to grow. If we start to focus too much on what might happen in the future, it can bring a sense of fear and a hesitance to try new things. Instead if we look at 2017 as an opportunity and just the next chapter of our lives, that makes me feel excited and driven.

But Jen, don’t look to 2017 just yet, we still have Christmas! Hooray! (Hooray? Could I get more British?!)christmas-david-and-jen - chase the red grape

So for today, I am bringing back the classic ‘Thinking Out Loud’ – a random selection of bits and bobs as a light read before the big day. After all we all want things to make us smile at this time of year!

Speaking of things that make you smile…podcast - chase the red grape

This weeks episode of the podcast (episode nine) has been released and ready to download on iTunes, Stitcher or you can listen via the website on the podcast tab. It is a cracker of episode and it made us both laugh so much – a good old Christmas Q&A, with stories and other bits of advice thrown in for good measure. Got a road trip coming up or fancy chilling out for a little while with a hot (or cold) drink, listening to some friendly folks chatting away? This would be perfect!

So what does Christmas hold in store for the Fotheringham’s in Perth?

Christmas Eve we will be going to our 7am CrossFit WOD where we will be doing our box’s variation of ’12 days of Christmas’ WOD. Anyone who has done this will know the suck… but it’s the suck with good friends the day before Christmas so what could be better?

Then we are heading out to Fremantle for the day – a walk around the wee boutique shops and market. My first poke bowl for lunch (hopefully) and just a general chill out. Then off for a nice meal out for dinner to Long Chim – where we went for our anniversary and the best Asian food I have ever had!beach - chase the red grape

Christmas Day will consist of opening stockings first thing on our bed. Then a delicious breakfast followed by a long beach walk. Home for some Christmas cooking where we will make a small feast that would probably feed 6 or 8… for the two of us. #Leftovers. And of course bubbly!

Then pressies, Christmas Pud and an evening of Skype calls to home… just as they wake to start their day. I am smiling so much as I type this.

Movie Updatemovies - chase the red grape

You may recall at the beginning of the month I mentioned that David and I were partaking in our yearly tradition of seeing how many Christmas movies we could watch between December 1st and December 25th. Our count so far? 18! That means we have beaten our previous PB of 17. What an achievement. I expect more to come… One more for certain as we are 30 mins away from finishing Bad Santa.

(Btw, for those who read my post on Monday, still no luck with Scrooged…)

Baking up a storm!almonds - chase the red grape

On Tuesday I was baking up a storm in the kitchen! I made mince pies (it’s a British dish – individual pastry cups with spiced, boozy mixed dried fruit in the middle), a mocha cake and Meg’s candied roasted almonds! These almonds, combined with my crafting skills, made the cutest individual gifts for David’s co-workers. He handed them out today and said they went down a treat! Oh and sadly no pic of the mocha cake but it was delicious, GF and the middle of the loaf rose to a peak! It was a sight to be seen!

The Blog and Podcast – Now and in 2017

So this will be my last post of 2016. I am taking some time off to enjoy the holidays with David and to rest and restore. I will be back early January with a quick update with how the holidays went before resuming usual schedule. The same goes with the podcast – back early January.

With both the blog and the podcast I am excited for the year ahead. Most of all I want the content to be shaped by you so if you have any questions, topics or issues that you would like me to discuss please either comment below or send me a question at chasetheredgrape@outlook.com.

aussie-santa - chase the red grape

Say hello to Aussie Santa… who, yes, is holding a giant flip flop…

And to end, I want to thank all my readers and listeners for allowing me to be a part of your life this year. I hope you have the most amazing festive season and take the time out to relax, eat, drink and be merry with those you love.

Bye for now folks!

How are you spending Christmas this year?

How would you review your 2016?

What is the best Christmas Movie you have watched so far this year?

Week in Review – Back to paradise…

Hi all,

Happy Monday – the last one before Christmas – eeeeee!

Are you excited? Did you spend your last weekend before the big day shopping or chilling out? Maybe taking in a movie or having celebrations with friends?

The weekend feels like a blur to me. A fun blur but still a blur. We didn’t have much shopping to do but still ended up going to the mall on Sunday after out beach walk. Why you ask? To find Scrooged on DVD. It’s one of my favourite Christmas movies and I was convinced our streaming service here had it listed. But when we went to watch it on Saturday night, no trace of it. I was pretty bummed out but we decided to hit the mall for a quick look to find a copy. The store had 5 copies but could either of us (or the staff) find one? Nope. Sigh. But I am determined to find one before the big day! Ha!week in review - chase the red grape

As promised, I am here today with a ‘Week In Review’ – linking up with lovely Meg over at CleanEatsFastFeets – with a recap of the week just gone and my break away with David to ‘paradise‘ aka South West Australia.

My achievements last week –

From Paradise…

I explored caves, beaches, vineyards and bushland….beach - chase the red grapecave -chase the red grapedavid and jen - chase the red grape

I ate amazing food from local suppliers with amazing produce…acai bowl - chase the red grapeice cream - chase the red grapechoc - chase the red grapewine - chase the red grape

I felt a sense of calm, resting, relaxing and focussing on the present moment. It was very much needed…beach - chase the red grape

Out with our holiday, my achievements were –

Got us all up to speed with our banking

Did the weekly shop at the supermarket and famers market (cherries are back in season, woop!)

I published 2 posts (5TTT and Friday Favourites)5 TOP TIP - CHASE THE RED GRAPE

Episode 8 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast on the life of an expat was uploaded and ready to listen. Plus we recorded episode 9 – if you want a good laugh you will love this one!podcast - chase the red grape

We sent our holiday e-cards

We trained twice and went to movement class – oi that one was a burner!

I took a 2 hour nap on Saturday and proceeded to sleep a further 9 hours that night. Proof I needed the sleep!

I made a final choice with regards one of David’s Christmas presents – was either a silly or practical gift… I went for the practical!

It was quite a week! But I loved it and it was full of amazing memories. Sure my weeks aren’t always like this but it is always good to have the chance to sneak one in every now and again!

Have a good week guys! No 5 Top Tips tomorrow (catch last weeks round up if you missed it) – but I will be back on Thursday with a ‘Thinking Out Loud’ post to end the year!

When you go on a beach holiday do you go hiking, sunbathing or swimming?

Would you/ have you toured a cave?

How far would you go to score a copy of your favourite holiday movie?

 

Friday Favourites + Episode 8 of the CTRG Podcast!

Hi all,

Well that’s me back from my wee break away and it was so much fun!

We explored, we relaxed, we went on an adventure, we ate amazing food and had a few wee tipples of local wine… it was perfect.

If you can ever manage it, I would definitely recommend having a break away at this time of year. Yes it can be hectic, manic and you have to be here, there and everywhere but that’s exactly what makes it so special. You can break free from the madness, be with the one you love and just focus on you.

Being down by the sea, breathing in the fresh air and getting some sunshine made me glow inside and out.

But the best part? Even though our break is over, we only have 9 more days until Christmas! It may not have been a very festive holiday but it certainly made me feel so lucky and thankful for all that I have in my life… and that seems very inspirational to me as we head into Christmas and the New Year.

(Come back on Monday for more info on my holiday in ‘Week In Review’)Friday - chase the red grape

For now, we can bring in the weekend with some Friday Favourites!

Favourite…Moment – Breathing in the sea airDavid beach - chase the red grape

Stopping, watching, listening to the waves crashing, feeling the sunshine on your face and breathing in the sea air… the perfect moment.

Favourite…Feeling – Being happy, calm and immersed in the presentbeach - chase the red grape

I love that feeling when everything else in your mind seems to disappear… and all you can feel are the feelings of the present moment. Moments of happiness and calm, like everything just a lines. These feelings are so precious – cherish them when you have them.

Favourite…Purchase – Coffee from Albert and Nikola every morningalbert and nikola - chase the red grape

Apart from the purchase of the holiday itself, my next favourite purchase was treating ourselves to coffee every morning from a local coffee shop Albert and Nikola. Their blends are just wonderful – and I drink it black so I can taste every note. Ideal way to start the day!

Favourite…Food/Drink – The Wave Acai Bowl from Kona Joesacai bowl - chase the red grape

Kona Jones is an amazing little food truck serving up brekkie on the Dunsborough beach foreshore. Their special? Their acai bowls. I had never had one before now, I actually held off having one until I could try one from Kona Joes… and it did not disappoint! This one was blended with cacao and banana and topped with fresh crunchy granola, coco whip, blueberries, honey and coco nibs. Perfection!

Weekly Update – 5 Top Tips Roundup and Episode 8 of the CTRG Podcast5 TOP TIP - CHASE THE RED GRAPE

A great holiday roundup post this week for 5 Top Tips on a Tuesday – everything you need to know or would want to know for over the holidays.

Episode 8 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast is now ready to download! This week we are discussing the life of an expat, the good, the bad and the different. One for those who are thinking about moving abroad or are just interested on what it might be like! Find it on iTunes, Stitcher or the podcast tab!podcast - chase the red grape

Favourite…Workout – Walking, hiking, movingcave - chase the red grape

Yes I trained twice this week… but my favourite ‘workout’ if you want to word it that way would be all the exploring I did when down south. We walked and hiked through various terrain – sand, grass, rocks, dirt tracks, sea… and I loved every minute of it.

Weekend Plans – Saturday – Farmers market, mobility class, a trip to Aldi (woop!) and a chilled out afternoon with Christmas movies and firing up the grill! Sunday – Pancakes and newspapers, beach walk with coffee, record the podcast, quick tidy up and maybe another sneaky Christmas movie!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Have you ever been on a break away in December?

Do you like acai bowls?

What do you order from a coffee shop?

Linking up with Heather @LifeInLeggings