Manly Markets

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Manly Markets

Ah, if this is Autumn then I am in heaven. We woke up to a beautifully sunny and hot morning and headed over to Manly for breakfast and a little wander around the lovely market held there every weekend. I always enjoy seeing all the nik naks that people are selling and just having a mindless stroll around. Today we found an amazing stall that was filled with beach themed frames, mirrors and other housey items. I did, however, manage to keep keep myself under control (it was hard) and we came home with just one gorgeous beachy coat rack and a serious chilli jam craving (I knew we should have bought some when we had the chance!). We then spent the rest of the afternoon on the beach soaking up (hopefully not the last) summer rays.

Manly Markets

Manly Markets

Manly Markets

Manly Markets

Manly Markets

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Manly Markets
Website: Manly Market Place
Sydney Road & Market Place, Manly

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The Happiest Refugee

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The Happiest Refugee I have just finished reading The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do. Wow, so inspiring! When I read a book like this, it makes me realise how incredible some people are. To get to where they are today when life didn’t exactly deal them a good hand, is truly amazing. This was a lovely book, I found myself giggling in some parts and then having a little tear in others. It’s honest and written straight from the heart, all about love, sacrifice and laughing along the way.

It has made me stop and look at my “problems”. Isn’t it hilarious what we consider “hardships” when there are people out there living in a tin shack or a war zone, people who are starving, children who don’t have parents, homeless people… the list goes on. And I am bothered by a couch taking too long to be delivered? Hmm… First World Problems. It may be taking me a few weeks longer than I expected to find a job, but I am lucky enough to be educated. I have picked up a knee injury that needs surgery, but I have two legs. I am missing my husband while he is away with work this month, but I have someone who loves me. And then I look at the empty space where my couch is supposed to be, and remember I have a roof over my head and a bed to sleep in.

Even closer to my heart is my brother who is currently living in Brazil and works with street kids, take a look at his blog: Sao Paulo. There are people out there who have almost nothing and their lives are much harder than ours. I wonder who complains more?

Today I am going to be grateful for what I do have rather than what I don’t. Thank you to this book for reminding me of how lucky I am. For more details, check out the publisher’s website: Allen & Unwin.

Cowbell 808

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What a weekend we had in Sydney! It’s supposed to be Autumn and we spent the entire weekend sunning ourselves on the beach. It was just the little reminder I needed as to why we made the move to this beautiful city. I suppose I have been getting myself too wrapped up in the admin of finding a job and settling into a new place (our couch has still not been delivered almost 9 weeks later!!!). I think sometimes I just need to: stop. breathe. take a look around. It’s amazing what you see when you open your eyes.

I had a little wander around Surrey Hills today and came across a cafe called Cowbell 808. This place is cool. The walls are covered in posters (reminding me of my bedroom when I was 12!), there is a vinyl collection at the counter, Michael Jackson’s Thriller album was in full swing, boom boxes and roller skates on the wall and I loved loved loved the specials “board”: a roll of brown paper! I had a great “sambo” (Aussie slang is tough to master – I presume this means sandwich?! Also commonly referred to as a “sanger”) and my usual flat white (yet another great cuppa – haha me speaking Aussie). The waitress was really friendly and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Cowbell 808
Cowbell 808

Cowbell 808

Cowbell 808

Cowbell 808
616 Bourke St, Surrey Hills

Butternut, Spinach and Feta Salad

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Butternut salad

It’s Meat Free Monday again and this Monday I thought I would share one of our favourites. It’s really easy to make but tasty, filling and healthy as well.

Ingredients: Butternut
1 whole butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
Olive oil
Ground cinnamon
15g pine nuts
100g spinach leaves
Balsamic vinegar
30g crumbed feta

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Place the butternut cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with ground cinnamon and roast for 30 minutes or until tender and slightly browned. Toast pine nuts in a frying pan for about 2 mins, keeping an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn.

Toss the spinach leaves, warm butternut and pine nuts together in a large bowl, drizzling some balsamic vinegar over. Serve on a plate and top with the feta.

Wrap It Up

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brown paper wrapping

It’s time I get creative with all this spare time. At the moment, I really love the look of brown paper used for gift wrapping and today I purchased a new toy which has only increased my brown paper love: letter stamps. Since moving to Sydney, I have fallen in love with the shop kikki.K. The store is just filled with beautiful stationery and gift ideas, what’s not to love? Walking through the shop my eyes fell upon a letter stamp set – on sale! So, I bought it, obviously. Using the letters, I went about personalising my wrapping paper. It’s a very simple idea but I think it shows you have made an effort for the person you are giving the gift to and it looks great.

brown paper

letter stamps