Thursday, 27 October 2011

7 and 15

Wow, what an amazing way to start a day, an email from lovely fellow blogger little random happiness awarding me a Versatile Blogger Award!!!

I must say, i'm just a tad excited and honoured, to think that my humble little blog is loved by someone a few thousand miles away (AND I must say I have a little reciprocal blog-crush of my own :)

I do admit, however, that I didn't really know about this little award before now, so i've clicked on over and found out more!  Basically, in the spirit of discovering new blogs, I pass on the award to 15 of my own fav blogs (and share them all here to hopefully get y'all over to their blogs to soak up the goodness), and to get to know me better, I tell you 7 things about me that you may not know!

7 things...
1. I have a MASSIVE phobia of spiders - all the plastic ones around for Halloween at the moment literally make me squeal and send shivers down my spine - I avoid the Halloween section at all costs!
2. I'm a sci-fi nut (Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, X-men etc etc etc... one of my favourite things when I was little was my C-3PO moneybox!)
3. Reading is my escape (especially on the tube) - but not any old tat, books must have a special story to tell
4. Love, Lilly xxx is how I sign off my letters, emails etc to family - hence my blog name was born
5. I spent my childhood riding horses and secretly hope that one day I can live on a simple little farm and ride every day (preferably near a beach and a city - asking too much?)
6. I LOVE the sun - I could sit out in it all day, every day!
7. I would love to live in New York - even just for 6 months - coolest city in the world!

15 blogs (and why)!

Emma Bradshaw - the very first blog I discovered - I love hearing her adventures with her "boys" and can't wait to (cyber) meet the new addition to their family

Gourmet Chick - another blog from the early days - a fellow Australian living in London (until recently :(  everyone's moving home), doing all the hard work of sifting through the good and the bad of the London restaurant scene - this has been my "go-to" site for MANY a gastronomic experience

Sarah Wilson - for all of the reasons in this blog post

City of Blackbirds - Eadaoin's photography is superbly dreamy - and she share's my obsession with Downton Abbey ;)

Explore. Dream. Discover - (formerly known as From Portland to Peonies) - I originally found Liz's blog via a wedding site, cause lets face it, that dress!  Liz has just moved from Portland to Amsterdam, does lots of fun stuff and has the cutest little pup named Henry :)

Paper Morning - coz Kae is creative and stylish and also has a husband who runs marathons :)

A Barefoot Day - because I like to walk barefoot too :)  [and wish I could more often]

The Daybook - cause Syd is funny and quirky in all the ways I wish I was - AND she's "this close" from welcoming a little baby boy into this world!

One April Morning - a relatively new find for me, via Sarah Wilson's blog - another blog that get's me thinking...

Anamu - a fellow expat who's just moved to London, a shadow of myself nearly 5 years ago

What Katie Does - a funky Londoner with retro taste and an uber-cute kitty cat! [and I hope one day soon I can ask her to doll-up Love, Lillyxxx]

Gossett Girl - Natalie had me at Hawaii! But I also love her crafty motivations and her awesome photo skillz!

tales of me and the husband - I can't find words to describe Bridget's story and now life - it's heartfelt and wonderful...

My Beat Boutique - Myrna is one incredibly brave fashion blogger, who pulls off the cutest outfits and is a savvy thrift shopper!

the lil bee - just love the "on my mind" columns each Monday - the power of thought (and 2 adorable little girls who love their visits to farms!)

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Distractedly, absent...

I must admit, I have been non-too-inspired with blogging lately - the cause of this? The discovery of a fantastic new blogger - an Australian "chick" by the name of Sarah Wilson!  I've written about my love of how blogging can connect you to people all over the world, but Sarah's blog has had a profound impact upon me since I "stumbled upon it" just over a week ago and i've been glued to it ever since.

Sarah isn't your average blogger, she has somewhat a "celebrity" status in Australia via various media outlets (although, i'm afraid to say I hadn't heard of her until just last week), and her blog, as you will see, is a journey of discovery - of the soul, body and mind. 

In short, Sarah used to live a high-powered, high-activity life in Sydney, until she discovered she had Hashimoto's (an auto-immune disease).  So in a drastic turn of events Sarah was forced to stop, drop everything and prioritise her health.  For the past couple of years, Sarah has been on a journey of wellness, finding the delicate balance in all aspects of her life to be healthy, and ultimately, happy.

Reading through Sarah's blog, it was interesting to see my own reaction to her story - I don't think it's a massive secret that i've been feeling quite uneasy with life of late, so to read through Sarah's posts to find someone who has similar thoughts, feelings and health issues as me is incredibly enlightening.  Which has made me realise that in a lot of ways I have lost a certain connection to my old "self", which I now realise is down to living in a hectic, toxic city like London. 

You see, i've always been more of a holistic, down-to-earth, nature-loving, chilling-at-the-beach, soaking-up-the-sun type of girl - and growing up in Queensland, I was free to do this as I pleased as all of the above were within such easy reach.  But i've been living in London for nearly 5 years now, and the closest i've come to "nature" in this time has been a couple of trips home to Australia and very memorable (yet short and long-ago) trip to the Amalfi coast a couple of years back.  For the most part, i've been living in a concrete jungle, working 9-5, becoming unwell, and rarely getting the opportunity to get back to nature, and ultimately, myself.

So I guess what i'm trying to say, is that Sarah has inspried me to reconnect with myself, take a good hard look and start changing the things that are bringing negative energy into my life and finding ways to improve these.  I'm not sure if i'm quite ready to take on her 8-week sugar free program (although maybe sometime in the near future I will be), but there is a LOT of information on Sarah's blog that is giving me the power to realise I can improve my "London" life for the time being.  Ultimately, I would still be on the first plane home to Australia, but alas, that's not where my life is right now, so until that day, I must embrace the here and the now.

My action plan:

1. Experiment with an Ayurvedic "Vata" diet (which "type" are you - take the test here)
2. Explore Ayurveda further via Deepak Chopra's book - Perfect Health
3. Start to change out toxic beauty products with safe, natural products (a visit to Wholefoods for this)
4. Learn to meditate
5. Start a yoga class (as soon as my back is better)

Something else i've taken from Sarah's blog is the discovery of being a SCANNER.  I had heard this term before, but never really knew exactly what it meant - I do now.  And with that in mind, I would like to tell you to "stay tuned" to my progress, but I guess i'm not quite sure how long this new motivation will last - I would like to think that it is life changing, but I guess you never know!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

It's nearly Friday!!!

Thank goodness - i've had a hideous week, topped off with Bronchitis and a super early start tomorrow for an MRI to hopefully diagnose my 5 weeks of back pain...

So, after all that, what can still make me smile?

This!  How cute!!!!

via here (but originally found on pinterest - where else?)

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Hunger Games

...i've just started reading the first Hunger Games book (I actually managed to read quite alot on my two and a half hour journey to work this morning - but THAT my friends is another story...)

...and i'm already addicted - even though I cringe to think how it has potential to be quite difficult to read(?) - I am sooooo incredibly intrigued to see how it all pans out.  Although given it's "teenage fiction" I can kinda imagine how it might end (no spoilers please!)

...and as with most books these days, it's being made into a movie, due to be released in March next year - I personally LOVE books that are made into movies (even though I will be the first to admit that the movie is NEVER as good), so i'm super excited at this eventuality!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

It's Sunday!

I have had a SUPER busy week, like SO busy i've hardly had time to even sit down at my computer - so i've been missing my usual blog catch-ups, but i've now finally got a couple of hours to sit down and indulge.

And I have those couple of hours because......i've FINALLY got my xmas cake in the oven! I used THIS recipe, which is the same one I used last year, but with a few tweaks this time, I added a little extra dash of our 2010 vintage Damson Gin to macerate the fruit (I also left this 24hrs overnight) and i've also added pecan nuts - so fingers crossed it works out just as scrummy as last year!  

Some points about making a fruit cake: (1) you need a REALLY BIG bowl to mix this in.  (2) You will have what seems to be WAAAY too much fruit for what will seem a small amount of cake mix - just keep mixin baby - it will get there in the end. (3) You must, must, must wrap it up good with lots of layers or else it WILL burn. (4) You must make this a few months in advance to give yourself lots of "feeding" time - the boozier the better I say!

Yesterday, my friend Chris and I checked out the very first Renegade London Craft Fair - lots of fun handmade things to look at, but disappointingly a large amount of stalls were held by American traders who had come over especially - which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I just thought there would be more talent in London/England to promote?

We also checked out the new Blitz Vintage Department Store which is basically just a massive building filled to the rafters with vintage clothes, shoes, furniture etc etc...

We had heard a lot of good things about Cay Tre vietnamese, so making the most of being in the East we decided to try it out for dinner.  I'm sorry to report that I didn't find Cay Tre very mind-blowing at all.  Perhaps we ordered the wrong dishes(?) - which I might add the menu we had last night was VERY different to the one on their website, so I really didn't get why there is always a massive queue to get into this place.

Luckily, to cheer me up, I discovered this amazing video (thanks Gourmet Chick for tweeting) and this documentary about The Ship Song Project.  If you're Australian, watching these will give you goosebumps, for everyone else, i'm not sure if you'll "get" it, but I hope you enjoy it all the same :)

Hoping this week goes REALLY fast to get my hands on one of these on Friday!

AND Crossing fingers I get my camera back from the Camera Doctor this week - I miss not being able to take fun photo's :(

Monday, 3 October 2011

My weekend

looked a little something like this...

1.  Lemon Frenzy - Lemon Cupcake, filled with Lemon Curd, topped with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

2.  Enjoying our weekend of Indian Summer

3.  Our picnic

4.  Up at 3.30am to watch the AFL Grand Final at the Aussie Pub - we lost :(