Monday, September 2, 2013


Another little thought from Louise L. Hay's book 'Heart Thoughts' to get you on your life path. It's incredible how interconnected we as humans are to our planet, our environment, the cosmos and to each other. Scientists say that every cell in our bodies came from an exploding star, and yet we rely on the water cycle and sunlight for plants to grow, which in turn become our food. Animals can sense our fear an calm, and human interaction brings us belonging and love. Relationships are everywhere. You're already connected to all life, even if you feel alone. You're not. You're part of all the life that surrounds you. Now, go be an active and beneficial part of it! 

Salute the Reuser and Get a KeepCup

I had a KeepCup ages ago, but I lost it in the spongiform staffroom at work and it was lost forever. I've only recently gone and gotten myself another, and not a moment too soon. I'd spilled scorching hot water all over my poor wrists and fingers countless times trying to walk my mugs of coffee or tea from the staffroom to my office, or a nearby classroom. I don't have the kinesthetic abilities needed to do so without slopping it everywhere, thus the KeepCup is the way to go. 

KeepCups are Australian made and owned, which in this day and age is a rarity indeed. You can choose from the colours already put together for you (such as mine below - large in "Aurora") or you can design your own, or design one for a friend. Very nice. 

So, check out their online store and grab yourself one. I even got my best mate's toddler a mini one, the same colour as mine so he can get his bubbachino to go. 

Check them out here:

And watch their promotional video 'Salute the Reuser' here: 

Vampire Weekend vs. Paul Simon Mashup

As my previous post mentioned, I'm an enormous fan of both Vampire Weekend, and their semi-step-father-of-afro-pop-rock Paul Simon. Someone by the name of "Gorillathrillers" on YouTube has put together a perfect mashup of 'White Sky' by Vampire Weekend and 'Crazy Love' by Paul Simon. It's literally amazing how well these songs combine. It's almost like they were recorded together. Wonderful. Give it a listen below. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Afro Pop Rock

Acapella is one of those dorky yet cool things in life - and is only tolerable when done really well.

But, I've found a group called Colgate 13 and I love them. They do a rendition of two of my all time favourite artists and songs - Paul Simons' Diamonds (On the Soles of Her Shoes) and Vampire Weekend's 'Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa. It's beautiful.

Their harmonies are amazing and their interpretation of the percussion is outstanding. Hats off to you boys. And three cheers for wearing a tux and bowtie with bat collared shirts, you really know how to put on a show.

Check them out below.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Chilled Parsley and Green Pea Soup

This is not a recipe blog, but it's becoming a health and wellbeing one. It's developing and evolving as I am changing in my own lifestyle choices and health. And with the changes has come a shift toward healthy eating and lean food. 
I was on Martha Stuart's side project site called Whole Living ( and I came across a link to a website based in Copenhagen called My New Roots, which is a not-for-profit website run by a woman known as 'Sarah B'. It is a wealth of knowledge, ideas, recipes and healthy eating inspiration. 
I've stolen (let's say borrowed) just one recipe and a couple of images to show you how incredible the whole project is. It reminds me a lot of Belle Gibson's 'Whole Pantry' app and website in a way because it is simply designed to get people healthier. No strings attached. 
Go to the website and have a look for yourself. Amazing stuff. 

Chilled Parsley and Green Pea SoupServes 4
knob of coconut oil (or ghee)
2 medium onions (approx. 375g)
4 cloves garlic
a couple pinches sea salt
500g / 1lb. shelled peas (frozen is fine)
2 cups / 40g flat leaf (Italian) parsley, leaves only
3-4 cups / 1 liter vegetable broth (depending on how fluid you like it)
zest of ½ lemon 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. cold-pressed olive oil
1. Roughly chop onions and mince garlic.
2. In a large stockpot, heat a knob of coconut oil. When melted, add onions and a couple pinches of salt, stir to coat, cook for 5-10 minutes until onions have browned. Add garlic, stir to coat, cook three minutes.
3. Add 3 cups hot vegetable broth, (reserving 1 cup for blending) add peas, bring to a simmer and turn off the heat. Add parsley and fold in to wilt leaves. When the parsley has wilted, transfer the soup to a blender and blend on high until smooth (add extra broth if desired). Add lemon zest, juice, and olive oil, blend. Season to taste. Serve as is, or let cool slightly, then place in the fridge until fully chilled. Keeps for 3-4 days in the fridge.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Vidais on Instagram

This guy is amazing.

He only has 64 posts, yet his photos capture what is great about the summer. With rhythmic waves, surfers out at sea, skylines, mountain ranges in the desert, fluffy clouds and sunsets, Vidais is one of a kind.

The other day I commented on the post above, requesting a large file version of the photo. I want to frame it. I thought he'd send me to a website or give me his Bpay details. But no, he just emailed me one that day and thanked me for liking his photos. What an absolute legend. This photo, when framed is going to take pride of place on a nice little wall somewhere. Thanks Vidais, you're a star.

Check him out, and follow him by searching for Vidais on your Instagram account.

The Power to Change

Just a little thought from Louise L. Hay from her book 'Heart Thoughts.' It's easy to feel stuck, or always a victim of others. Yet, it's in you to make the changes you need to feel better, to look better, to act better and to know better. You want it for yourself, but we can also feel powerless to change things. But that is not the case. You need to see the power you have, and use it positively to change your circumstances. 

If you're feeling stuck in a rut at work - look for new challenges, roles, or an entirely new career. If that seems too daunting, just take on a hobby or small business of your own on the side. Who knows, maybe you'll be your own boss doing that some day. 

Or, if you're unhappy with your health or fitness levels, join up at a gym. Start eating better. Go for a run or a walk. Do some sit-ups during the ad breaks of a tv show. Get outside and stretch. Make yourself a juice. Enjoy life. 

You and you alone have the power to make the changes you need and want to make. Go do it. For yourself. 

My Healthy Eating Ideas

This is how my 20/20 diet has been going. For updates or to watch my progress follow me on Instagram at landoftakewhatyouwant. Try some recipes! 

"Beet Your Cold" Juice

You'll need one beetroot, half a pineapple, one green apple, one small lime, three carrots, and several sticks of celery. Stick them in a juicer. Serve. Enjoy. 

"I'm At Work But Feeling Good" Juice

You'll need a jar with lid, half a celery, cucumbers, two green apples, a lime, and a piece of ginger root. Chuck them all in a juicer. Pour into jar. Bring to work and sip away your stress. 

"I Want to Give My Liver a Treat" Juice

You'll need several sticks of celery, some spinach (blended), a large cucumber, a large pink grapefruit, one or two green apples, a small piece of pineapple, and a piece of ginger root. Put them all through your juicer. This one is a little bitter due to the grapefruit, but the pineapple and green apple will mask some of it. Your liver thanks you. 

"Roast Vegetable, Spinach and Fetta Quinoa"

You'll need a beetroot, a large sweet potato, a butternut pumpkin, white quinoa, baby spinach leaves, and 200g Danish feta. 

Cook the quinoa in a pot, one cup per two cups of water and boil lightly until liquid is absorbed. Then cool. Next, roast beetroot wedges, cut up sweet potato and pumpkin in olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper in a hot oven for 40 mins. Stir the roasted vegetables through the cooked quinoa. Then stir through the spinach. The heat will cause it to wilt. Next, add the Danish feta, crumbed by hand on top. Serve. 

"The Stir Fry"

You'll need: broccolini, carrots, a beetroot, a bunch of radishes, a small piece of ginger, chicken breast fillets (hormone-free and organically raised), and garlic, a brown onion and olive oil. You may also need sweet chili, soy and oyster sauces.

Add olive oil, onion and garlic to a hot wok. Stir for two minutes to release flavours. Add chicken pieces if desired (breast fillets, chopped into six pieces). Add sliced carrot and beetroot and grated ginger. Stir and simmer for three or four minutes. Lastly, add broccolini cut into three pieces along the stalk, leaving the heads in tact. Add sweet chili, soy and oyster sauce if desired. You can also add some radish sliced using a mandolin slicer. Serve.

Getting My Wedding-Body On

The 20/20 Diet

So I'm getting married in 7 weeks. I know, that's exciting. But three weeks ago I was talking to some people and in conversation one man said, "Well, I'm not as fit as I was on my wedding day." And that made me think about my own health. I'm certainly not as healthy or as fit as I was a year ago. I used to go to gym three or four times a week. Now I'm lucky to go once. And even then I'm not consistent. Which made me take a long hard look at myself. I'd sort've let myself go. 

Once the shock and guilt had subsided, I decided I wanted to lose the little beer belly I was developing, trim down, shape up and get fit. But how? I then started talking to a friend at work, and she told me she'd just downloaded a book by Lola Berry onto her iPad and was thinking of starting the diet. 

I immediately didn't think I wanted to do it. I don't like the word diet. But I do like the word 'nutrition' and Lola is a nutritionist. She'd lost 20kgs in 20 weeks. I needed to lose about 5 in 10 weeks. Clearly I was onto something. 

So, what is the 20/20 diet? Basically, it boils down to three four things: 

- No grains (including wheat, rice, rye, spelt, etc.)
- No dairy (including milk, yoghurt, yellow cheeses, etc.)
- No sugar (no raw, caster, white, or cane sugar of any kind)
- At least four sessions of 45 mins of exercise per week. 

That sounds dreadful. I know. But it's actually not bad. 

The hardest part was cutting out the sugar, but that was even alright after three or four days. The headaches fade and you feel like you can really go a day without it. Fruit helps with that too. 

So, if you're stuck in a rut, or feeling sick often, or you just want to get a fresh start to your summer body, get into the 20/20 diet by Lola Berry. It's nutritious and you won't end up hungry. The nutrient rich vegetables, juices, meat dishes (if you're not vegetarian) and fruits will have you feeling fresh, healthy and glowingly well. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Circle of Life

I found this print during one of my incessant link-clicking exercises. The quote, " The cure for anything is salt water. Sweat, teas, or the sea," is brilliant. You can purchase this as a print on TinaCrespo's Etsy store -

Have a salt-watery weekend.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Whole Pantry

Guess what?

Belle Gibson, the wonderful and ever-positive @healing_onlybelle we follow in Instagram, has finally given us all a sneak peek of the upcoming App and online, interactive community. It's called The Whole Pantry and is devoted to wellness, good nutrition, collective knowledge, life guidance and the environment itself.

What an exciting project! It centers around the concept of restoring balance in your life, the healthy way. And to do this, it supplies the support, motivation and recipes you need to do so. With The Whole Pantry Team behind you, what's not possible?

Belle has for a long time been a supporter of clean vegetarian eating, and her own health has benefitted as a result. As my previous post mentioned, she has overcome so much internally to become the inspiration she is today. And she did it by exercising, eating well and being positive. You're capable of all three of those things as well.

So, the App isn't out yet, but I'll be on the watch for it. And in the meantime, follow Belle on Instagram ( and be inspired to make positive changes in your own life.

Can't wait to join the community movement. Check it out for yourself at

See you there.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Reynold Interior Decor

One of my best (and childhood) friends has just opened up her own online furniture store. As an interior designer, she'd in the trade. And if you're in the trade, you get trade discount. And she's so wonderfully generous and tasteful she's passing this onto us, the incredibly handsome general public.

Some people are just born with good taste in design and interiors. She's one of them. She has a limited supply of items online, but what she mainly does is source items for you. Give her an idea of what you want and she'll find it for you at a very reduced price. Sound good? Absolutely.

If you're in the market for a new lamp, chair, table, painting, rug, or an entire new room just let her know. And if you're in Melbourne she can come and consult with you about your space. She even styles commercial spaces. Very talented.

So, what are you waiting for. Head to and get in contact. 'Like' her page and keep your eyes peeled for bargains. You'll love me for it. So will your home.

Instagram Update

Follow me: @landoftakewhatyouwant

Literally Outraged

Two nights ago my nana, aged 81, had difficulty breathing and chest tightness and was then taken to the emergency ward of a major city hospital in Melbourne at 6:20PM by my mother. My mother was thus sitting with her when a man in the emergency ward asked her for money, and she became nervous and called me. It was getting dark. I drove over and joined them. I got there at 8:30PM.

My nana wasn't admitted or treated until 3:45AM. That's over 8 hours later. That is simply not good enough. Not only isn't it acceptable, it's outrageous.

The people we morally should spend extra care looking after are the very young and the very old. They need our help. Yet we let them sit in pain for almost half a day. Disgusting.

But it doesn't end there. Let me introduce you to a young couple with a baby who'd just turned one. The young mother had worked all day 'til 8:30PM and at about 9:30 had noticed her child's eczema had flared up to horrendous proportions. It had taken over his legs and chest as an enraged, lumpy and weeping mess. She'd quickly alerted the child's father and taken them to the same emergency ward I was in at about 10:00PM. She waited until 1:30AM still without being seen to and asked again at the counter if her child would be seen to soon. The reply was: "There are people in here who've been waiting for 5 and a half hours. So add 5 and half hours to your wait time. You'll have to wait 'til 7:30AM to be seen."

When she told me what had happened I couldn't believe it. This squirming baby who was trying to be good in a difficult situation had to wait. And wait. Let alone the fact this poor mother had to be at work again the next day.

She finally left without the poor baby being seen to, and opted for going to her own GP at 8:30AM when the clinic opened. Ridiculous. In this country it's simply indefensible.

But as if that wasn't enough, I sat next to young girl (about 20 years old or so) and her boyfriend. She was curled up under a blanket, he was sitting next to her trying to console her. She had evidently fallen near a barbecue and skewered her forearm with a rusty piece of metal, now lodged 4 or 5 centimeters into her flesh. She was given two measly painkillers and told to wait it out until a doctor could see her. When was that? 2AM. She'd been there since 6PM. She had to sit there with a rusty piece of metal in her arm for hours while she waited to have it taken out and stitched up. Incomprehensible. This isn't a third world country with limited resources. The hospital isn't hundred of miles away from a city in the desert. It's Melbourne, Australia; apparently the most livable, bounteous and one of the most prosperous cities on earth.

Now, wait for the most infuriating part of all. There is an entire new wing, complete with beds, which sits in the dark, unmanned and empty because the state government has withdrawn funding from hospitals and the Health sector. All of the people in the waiting room could have been seen hours before they were if it had been staffed and stocked full of life-saving supplies. Yet it wasn't. And still isn't.

That makes me mad.

I also witnessed a homeless man come up to a bin outside the window of the emergency waiting room at about 3:00AM and fossicked through it. He pulled out a few pieces of food scraps and half consumed cigarettes, popped them in his filthy plastic bag and limped off. Reminder: This is Australia.

I'm so annoyed that so many people that night had wait, or weren't seen to at all. I'm not mad at the nurses or the doctors one bit, they were the saving grace. But I'm incensed by the needless suffering of so many in this city. It's time the government stopped building lifeless, unavailing statues and started putting money where they, and we, need it most.

Maybe then rash covered babies, suffering elderly ones and people with corroded metal rods stuck in their arms won't have to sit for hours tarrying to be helped.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Words for Everyone

(Click on the image to read it clearly) 

I don't know where 'meggiewhipp' got this from, but it is just the sentiment I need to share with the adolescent teenagers I teach. Everyone is important. Absolutely. But we ourselves are not more important than anyone else. It's a hard lesson to learn, one I think many people learn too late. 

I especially like Principal John Tapene's words, "The world does not owe you a living, you owe the world something. You owe it your time, energy, and talent so that no one will be at war, in sickness or lonely again... Develop a backbone not a wishbone."

So pertinent. So true. I'm going to have to take this on board I think. I've always believed that the best way to help yourself is to help others. The Bible even teaches that there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving. I believe that, I truly do. So, go and help someone today. Be more of the person the you are and give. Not just 'someday', but now. 

"Someday is now and that somebody is you." 

Ray-Ban Resplendency

These are by far the coolest sunglasses I have ever owned, or even seen for that matter. They are a present I received from my wonderfully tasteful fiancé. How cool is she? I know. Cool as. I had to share them because I have owned many-a-pair of Bali-Bans and Faux-Bans in my time, but never a solid, sturdy, stylish real pair of the ever trendy Ray-Bans. Love.


Sometimes I forget how incredibly beautiful Australia is. I went to Lorne in March this year on a surf camp with my students and these were some of the photos I took. We stayed right on the beach at the Surf Life-Saving Club there, which has been there for over 150 years (which for modern-Australia is a really long time). The mornings were amazing. I'd fall asleep to the sound of the waves on the shoreline and wakeup and see nothing but a pink and blue hazy sky and turquoise surf. 

One of the days we took the kids for a hike up into the hills of temperate rainforest behind the town. At one stage there was a congregate of church-goers who would take the same hiking trail and congregate amongst the trees in an area of natural occurring steps, much like a sort of 'bleachers' made of stone. We got the kids to sit quietly on the ledges and do some deep breathing exercises, which they loved. It was quite a powerful moment; forty or so students sitting peacefully on the rocks surrounded by lush greenery. No iPods or Nintendos. No texting or YouTube. Just them and their thoughts. Amazing. 

If you haven't been to Australia, or Lorne for that matter, you need to come and see it for yourself. It is truly amazing, not to mention the Great Ocean Road you have to take to get there from Melbourne.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Bramble Sapphire

My fiance's sister came back from overseas with a big Litre bottle of my favourite liquor, Bombay Sapphire gin. You've heard me go on about it, I know. But I had a 'Bramble' the other day and you need to do yourself a favour too and have one. Pour me one while you're at it. 



 50ml Bombay Sapphire gin
20 ml fresh lemon juice
1tsp caster sugar
 15ml berry liquor (Creme de Mure/Chambord/Creme de Casis
1 blackberry
Wedge of fresh lemon
Crushed Ice 

Belle Gibson's Inspirational Health Journey

Her name is Belle Gibson, but on Instagram she is known as @healing_onlybelle. She has had intense brain trauma, cancer, and intestinal damage. You'd agree she has plenty to complain about. But, the inspirational thing about Gibson is her undeniable magnetism and positive outlook, mainly due to her focus on living a largely active, simple life where she can concentrate and consciously savour the life she lives. Through her healthy (and I mean healthy), nutrient rich, vitamin abundant diet she is curing her cancer and healing her body. 

I started following Belle when I wasn't eating as well I used to. I felt guilty and lacklustre. But when I would see her positive affirmations and bright green freshly squeezed juices pop up on my Instagram feed I would think twice about my choices. How could I improve the food I was eating? Could I get back into my vegetable and fruit juices in the morning? Yes. Yes I could. And Belle helped me do it. 

Here are some of my own Instagram photos: (follow me on @landoftakewhatyouwant)

The best thing about Belle is she follows my progress and even comments on photos and loves hearing feedback from her fans. So much so she's in the process of making an App for your iPhone which will help you get the nutrients you need and heal your body too. I'll let you guys know when her App is out as well.

She also has her own blog, which you can visit at

So, follow Belle and feel the positive difference.

Mojito, She Wrote

I'm a fairly fit, healthy person. I pride myself on that. Or else, I used to when I followed my strict regime of healthy eating and exercise each week. Last holidays however, I really let myself go. I didn't exercise once (not even for a brief walk or pushup session). Nothing. It was terrible. I was housesitting at the time and they had an enormous plasma T.V. so I just sat on the couch and watched about four entire seasons of Murder She Wrote (my guilty pleasure).

But out of all of this misery and lack of motivation came a wonderful discovery. At the time I was also desperately saving for my house deposit and thus couldn't really spend any money. So my lunches were very simple and I had very little extra cash to splash on 'luxury' items. So I would go doen to the local supermarket and find something to brighten my otherwise dull days and whilst doing just this I found the Lipton Ice Tea virgin cocktail range, in particular their Mojito.

If you do nothing else today, buy one. They're amazing. They're not cheap - sitting at about $2.50 for about 350mL but I recently learnt you can buy they in 1.25L bottles and just top up your little glass ones. Perfect.

I'd also like to add I did get back into my healthy lifestyle and I did so via Instagram. I'll post about that next. Happy Mojito-ing!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Building Bridges over Vampiric Waters

I know I've been bad. I haven't been blogging for so long I feel the blogger guilt rise up inside me like an awkward accumulation of heavy fishing sinkers. I know. It's terrible. But I would like to rebuild the bridge that I unintentionally burned, drained the lake it crossed over and built a mega mall of shame upon. Let's be friends once more. So much has happened (and is happening) that I just need to share it.

I'll start with some music news.

You all know that my absolute favourite band is Vampire Weekend. I am going to New York (all going according to plan) in 2015 and my soundtrack of the Uptown preppy quartet will be my inspiration. Well, they have new album coming out this month and I for one couldn't be more excited. I very nearly ran up a pole in my car when I heard the new album release news on my car radio. I could burst. Literally burst.

It's called Modern Vampires of the City and the three songs they've released as a taster of what is to come make my heart leap with joy already.

Their first pre-release was "Diane Young" - a much more grungy sound than you're used to hearing from them, but it works incredibly well with their African drums and Casio melodies. Amazing.

The next song they released was 'Step'. The song itself reminds me so much of 'Taxi Cab' from their second album 'Contra' in the sense that it is slower and is softer than some of their other songs. The piano/harpsichord and chimes with 1/4 beat bass makes for easy listening and the lyrics, as always, always suggest so much yet explain so little. Very Vampire Weekend.

The most recent release was 'Ya Hey', a fun and spirited take on their usual sound. The video is again reminiscent of their collegiate, neo-greco, preparatory selves. And the "Ya Hey" labelled champagne bottles (in the likeness of Verve Cliquot) add to the luxe and decadence of the. I would sincerely like to ask them about the meaning of this song, as the personage they are referencing isn't 'loved' by Babylon (often symbolic of false religion and paganism) or Zion (symbolic of Jerusalem and the Christian interpretation of God's Kingdom), or even America (symbolic of Western Capitalism and World Power).

So I'd like to know who the "you" is that they refer to. Very interesting indeed.

The album is released May 4 and will be a highlight of my year.  So, get yourslef together and pre-order one from JB Hi-Fi (If you're in Australia) or from you local music store, or on iTunes. Can't wait. At all. 

Another one of my favourite bands is Jinja Safari, the self-funded and independent band from Sydney, Australia. Their unique surf rock and jungle vibes have been off the scene for a while as they've been coming up with the much anticipated album they're due to launch May 17. I'm going to endeavour to see them at the Toff in Town in Melbourne as it's only $20 for a ticket and I'd pay more anyway, so in that sense it's a bargain. 

So, click here to check out some of their new songs from their new album and get tribal dancing in your lounge room. 

Okay, enough now. I'll be back soon.