Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Opportunity Playspace

As it is currently school holidays for school kids here in Perth, I have been working more with my young client. Today we took him out to Rotary Park in Wanneroo.

Rotary Park has a children's play area called Opportunity Playspace. It was another great park in Perth which is good for kids with disabilities. We took our client there because there is a swing in the park called a Liberty Swing. It is specifically designed for children in wheelchairs. You put the wheelchair on the platform, secure it with chains which are provided and fasten on the seat belt which is attached to the swing. Then you swing away :) 

I didn't get much time to take many photos of Opportunity Playspace, but check out these blogs here and here which have more in depth descriptions and great photos. 

My client - one of the cutest kids I've ever laid eyes on :)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Woodbridge riverside play space

For over a year now, I've been doing support work for a lovely family. I work with a young boy and his grandparents. The other day, I told his nanna about my blog and she started telling me about all these new places she thought I might want to explore. 

It's so nice when people help me out with ideas for the blog.

On a side note, I haven't caught up on sleep from my trip to Melbourne and I'm so tired right now. I apologise if my words aren't so great today. 

So anyways, I went out to a play area called Woodbridge Riverside Play Space. It's a beautiful area made for both children with "abilities and disabilities". It's so great because there is some play equipment for children in wheelchairs and so my client was able to play too. 

Today was the opening day for the play area and it was so lovely to see all the children of different abilities interacting and socialising. 

The Swan River runs down right next to the play area and so the view was just lovely. 

The highlight of my day today was seeing children getting in touch with nature. While I was having lunch by the river today, I saw two young girls with nets down by the river bank catching tad poles. It was a sight straight from a painting of something. 

I also saw kids fishing, riding bikes, playing soccer and feeding ducks. It was so refreshing seeing these kids playing outdoors. With kids spending most of their time with electronics and what not, I had forgotten that there was anything else. What I saw was good old fashioned play. It just made me so happy. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Hey guys!

So this is one of the quickest posts I've ever written, but I'm off to the airport in about 5 minutes. I'm going to Melbourne for the weekend!

I've been to Melbourne plenty of times before, but this time it's with two friends I've never travelled with so it's my something new for today :)

I'm not going to be updating regularly while I'm over there but I'll still be doing new things everyday and I'll do a big long post when I return. 

Pray for us to have a safe trip! 

Have a lovely weekend everyone.


Theresa :) 

I really like this song, so now I'm making oyu all check it out too :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I turn 22 today! That's something new :)

It's only April, but I feel like I have been given a thousand and one blessings already. I'm looking forward to the year to come. I know that nothing can be perfect and although I'd like to think that the rest of the year will be a total breeze, I know there may be challenges which may bring me down, however I will always remain thankful for what God has given me already. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

90s Nickelodeon cartoons

When I reminisce about my childhood, it brings back a lot of great memories. Most of those memories include my beautiful older sister. We had a relatively normal childhood. We watched heaps of TV, played dress ups, played with dolls, stuffed toys, video games, and all kinds of activities in the back yard too. Whatever we did, we always brought our imagination along with us, and we always had fun. 

My sister knew that I've been wanting a new fancy pants camera to take pictures for my blog (and for photo taking in general). She knows a lot more about cameras than I do so she decided to buy one for my birthday. Not only did she get me a brand spanking new Olympus Stylus XZ-2 but she also bought me all the DVDs of some of our favourite childhood TV shows.

The DVDs included seasons 1 and 2 of the following 90s Nickelodeon TV shows: Rocko's Modern Life, Angry Beavers, Hey Arnold!, CatDog, Aaah Real Monsters and The Wild Thornberrys.

Not only did I love these shows as a kid, but they bring back all of those great memories that I had with my sister when we were young.

My sister and I decided to watch the first episode of all the different shows to give my brother some insight into how cartoons used to be. We had never seen the first episode of The Wild Thornberrys of Angry Beavers, so that was something new for today. Even though I love doing all my new things for the day, doing 'something old' today like watching cartoons with my sister made me feel happy in a way that only 22 years of being sisters can do for you. 

Mine is the black one :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Polenta with vegetable ragout and roasted radish, carrot and cauliflower

As I'm sure you all know, I love cooking. I love experimenting with new vegan recipes and ingredients I haven't tried before. It's even better when my friends get in on it too.

I caught up with Ruth and Nhi today for a blogilates session (I feel like I can refer to my friends by their names now because I've already mentioned them a lot in previous posts and I can assure you they will be along side me doing new things in posts to come). We also decided to cook up dinner using whatever was in Ruth's kitchen, plus some mushrooms Nhi brought along. 

We jumped on a great recipe search engine called Yummly. What I really like about this website is that it searches pretty much every recipe there is on the web. What I like to do is find an ingredient in my kitchen which I will make the star of the dish and then search this along side other search words like "vegan". 

We found some radishes in Ruth's fridge, and because none of us have ever cooked with radish before, we decided to do a search for "vegan radish" in Google which lead us to a search for "vegan carrot radish" recipes on Yummly.

We scrolled through the recipes and found a recipe for polenta with spring vegetable ragout and roasted radishes and carrot. We had to make some changes to the recipes because we didn't have all of the ingredients...and we really wanted to eat the mushrooms so we added those to the ragout. 

It was so much fun cooking with the girls, and before we ate the food we did some blogilates workouts. Abs, thighs and asses were on fire afterwards!

The reward for all exercise was a delicious meal. We really enjoyed the recipes and we were so proud that we were able to cook this recipe from what food was available to us. What also really surprised us was how good the radishes tasted! I've always thought they were a bitter tasting vegetable, but when it's cooked, it actually has a lovely earthy taste with texture similar to that of any other root vegetable such as cooked parsnip. So go on and give radish a try today :)

Polenta with Vegetable Ragout

Serves 4
4 cups light vegetable broth or water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup polenta or yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 garlic clove, minced
8 baby carrots (4 large carrots cut to desired size), trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
6 radishes, trimmed and cut into quarters
1/2 cup light vegetable broth or water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup slices mushrooms
1 1/2 frozen peas and corn
Any herbs (we used rosemary and a all purpose seasoning)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Additional olive oil and herbs for garnish

To make the polenta, bring the vegetable broth or water to a boil in a 2- to 3-quart pot over moderate heat. Add the salt and then slowly add the polenta while whisking. Reduce heat to low and continue whisking until the polenta is thickened. Cover the pot and continue cooking. Every 10 minutes, stir the polenta vigorously, scraping the sides of the pan. Continue cooking for 30-40 minutes until polenta reaches desired thickness and creaminess. Stir in the olive oil. Serve within 15 minutes.

Make the ragout while the polenta is cooking. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over moderate heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about a minute until fragrant. Add the carrots, radishes, vegetable broth or water, and salt. Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are soft. Add the frozen peas and corn, cover, and cook for another 5 minutes. 

Remove from heat, stir in the herbs and lemon zest, and season to taste.

To serve, spoon the polenta into a shallow serving bowl or individual bowls. Make a well in the center of the polenta and spoon the ragout on top. Drizzle a little olive oil on top and garnish with herbs.

Roasted carrot, cauliflower and radish

Serves 4

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes


1 bunch small to medium radishes, about 12
12 baby carrots
half head of cauliflower cut into florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon paprika 
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

Place the radishes, carrots and cauliflower on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, rosemary, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper. Roast until tender yet firm in the center, about 20 minutes. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Buddha Bar curry house

I will really jump on any excuse to eat like a pig. My nursing friends and I made plans to eat at the Buddha Bar curry house in Subiaco today to celebrate my birthday. So depending on which part of the world you live in, the price for the all you can eat Ala Carte menu may not actually sound like much of a bargain. It was $29 dollars for the all you can eat, which here in Perth Western Australia is pretty good; especially for the good quality of the food there. 

I have been to the Buddha Bar once before, but this was before I was vegan so I didn't try the vegetarian menu. For the entree (aka appetiser) I ordered besan battered fried vegetables and vegetarian spring rolls and for mains I ordered mixed veg curry, smoked eggplant curry, dahl and coconut rice. This was only what I ordered. I think everyone ordered at least two entrees for themselves and 3 dished from the mains menu, so there was lots of sharing around. I tried a lot of new items on the menu today. My recommendations are the coconut rice and the mix pakora (those deep fried veggies in besan flour batter and spices). Recommendations from my friends (who aren't vegan) were the butter chicken, any of the goat dishes, and the pistachio kulfi (Indian style ice cream)

The curries came served in cute little mini wok looking metal bowls. They had handles so it made it really easy to pass them around the table without too much fuss or mess. 

The restaurant itself had a really lovely set up with a few different sections all joined together. It was good in this way because it wasn't too loud.

I highly recommend this place to anyone who loves Indian, or for anyone who wants to try it for the first time. Go go go!

A very cool cluster of red fans right above our table

This was a giant Buddha opposite our table. It was seriously huge!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

30 Day Squat Challenge

Working out with my friends is the best motivator for me. They are always so encouraging and they help make it fun too!

At dinner yesterday Ruth was telling us about the 30 day squat challenge she started. So over 30 days, you gradually make your way up to be able to do 250 squats in one go. Day one starts off with 50 squats and you increase each day, with some rest days in between. 

I figured this would be a great something new to start today because not only have I never done any more than 20 squats in a row, but I've never had butt cheek buns of steel either :P

I'll continue to do other new things over the month, but at the end when I reach that 250 mark, I'll film it and post it up :)

Start the 30 day squat challenge today!

 Funny 30 Day Squat Challenge
My new jam. I'll be squatting to this :P

Friday, April 19, 2013

My night of new experiences

It's very rare to come by true friends. I can't remember if I've said it before in a past blog post, but I'm not one of those people who have hundreds of friends. I am however, one of the lucky few to have just a handful of really close friends. I think I prefer it that way. Quality over quantity right?

Although I never need to be reminded of how wonderful my close friends are (and how lucky I am to have found them), tonight the reminder was as big and bright as the sun itself. 

On my way home from uni, my friend Ruth called me and told me to "get my ass home". When I got there, a group of my friends jumped out and surprised me. And so began my night of one new thing after the other :)

My friends got me into the car and all I knew was that where ever it was we were going, we were late and so we gunned it down the freeway :P We were driving in the Fremantle area when I saw a big sign for Fremantle Prison. I had spoken to Ruth before about how I wanted to do a tour of Fremantle Prison when she saw my Day Zero Project list.

The tour was amazing! We did the Torchlight Tour which runs Wednesday and Friday nights. It was an hour and thirty minutes of pure spooky. The prison grounds was larger than I thought, and yet the prison cells were tiny and claustrophobic. I could hardly imagine what it would be like to be a prisoner there. Some of the stories that the tour guide told us were just horrendous. Prison life was anything but pleasant. We were told that the youngest prisoner was 8 years old. It's just too insane to imagine, and yet who knows how bad it currently is in other countries around the world. 

Fremantle prison was officially closed in 1991, the year that I was born. We just couldn't believe that some of the awful things that went on in that prison were going on up until only 22 years ago. I don't want to spoil too much of the tour, but if you are keen to go, then I highly recommend it. There are lots of different tours to choose from so I'm sure there will be something for everyone.

The next leg of the Friday night adventure was yet another surprise. My friends took me to a place in Frementle called Little Creatures Brewery. I had heard so much about it and mentioned it to Ruth and Nhi in passing many times so I was so excited to be finally going in. 

Little Creatures is a huge place. It is a two storey warehouse setting with a large stainless steel cylinder tanks. There are just so many great quirky things about this place that I just don't have enough blog space to explain. I just really liked the atmosphere of the place. On the way in, my friend heard some people say that they had been there for 6 hours, and after being inside I can see why. It's got a very relaxed feel to the place and the serving sizes are made to share. 

Some of the lovely art work on display...up on the walls of the corridor leading to the toilet

The menu was great and they were very good to make some of our orders vegan friendly. We shared between us a pearl couscous salad, roast pumpkin almond dukkha and sage oil pizza, mushroom and olive pizza and fries with aoli (the menu has it as "frites"...pronounced "frits"). My friend also got the barramundi which he said was good. 

None of us had ever had pearl couscous before, but this was one good salad! It had almonds and raisins too which is always a good addition to a salad. The pearl couscous was cooked perfectly. Not too firm and not too soft. It has a lovely starchy taste but nowhere near as heavy as pasta or anything like that. 

To summarise, Little Creatures is a great place to eat and catch up with friends. 8/10! :) 
Note: it is a little bit pricey though so make sure you're not broke.

Our last leg of the journey was dessert at my friends new apartment. Ruth made amazing vegan carrot cake muffins with raspberry sauce. She got the recipe from the website Oh She Glows, which I totally recommend you to have a look at if you're feeling like something vegan. The carrot cake muffins were so lovely and moist and tasted like caramel...**drool** They were very delicious and make for a really yummy anytime-of-the-day-sweet-treat :)

Every minute of my surprise Friday night adventure was forever memorable. By the end of the night my face muscles hurt from all the smiling and laughing and I was filled with such an intense feeling of love. One of the things I really love most about my friends is they they know how important this 'doing something new' project is to me and they all got in on it and gave me not only one something new for the day, but a whole night full of them. Ruth once told me that she prefers to have experiences over material things and tonight was a perfect example of how a new and fun experience wins over material gifts any day. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Vegetable juice

When I first decided I need a health kick and changed to a vegan lifestyle, I was so into the idea of juicing. All enthusiastic, I went out a bought a juicing machine. 

I use it every now and then, but what puts me off a little bit is the fact that all the left over pulp goes to waste. I didn't think of that at the time I bought it. Nowadays, I try and only juice things that will give me pulp I can use in other recipes. Fresh apple and carrot juice is always good because I can use the pule to make cake or pancakes etc. 

Today I decided to try a new juice recipe. Unfortunately there wasn't much I could do with the pulp so even though I was able to enjoy a nice healthy juice with my dinner, I felt bad scraping the pulp into the bin :( So please, if you're thinking about buying a juicer, don't buy it if you're going to feel guilty for wasting the pulp. 

Mixed vegetable juice

Serves 1

  • 2 carrots
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 1/2 beetroot
  • 1 green apple
  • 1/2 cucumber
Juice these bad boys!

Also, I watched a movie today called Deja Vu starring Denzel Washington and Val Kilmer. If you're anything like me and you like watching movies without any expectations, don't read the summary on IMdB. I think you'll like it more if you don't know anything about what's going to happen in the movie.

This movie was so good! I found it a real edge of your seat sci-fi/thriller movie. And I really liked the ending :) 

Now that it's coming up to winter (here in Australia anyways) save this movie for a rainy day. If you're into thrillers, this one needs to be on your list of movies to watch if you haven't already seen it. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Giver by Lois Lowry

I did my something new today in the wee early hours of the morning. I finished the book I have been reading called The Giver by Lois Lowry. This novel was very short in comparison to the 500+ page books I am used to reading, and yet because of my busy schedule it's taken me something like a month to finally finish it. 

The novel is about a young boy, Jonas living in a community which has been converted into "Sameness". There are rules for just about everything but people seem to be happy living this way. For one member of the community called the Receiver, they are given the memories of life before "Sameness". Jonas is selected to be the next Receiver and when he undergoes training from the current Receiver he discovers a lot about the world he thought he knew.

Even though it was a short novel, I found that the story went in depth enough for me not to be left with burning questions at the end.

The author Lois Lowry also has other books which follow The Giver and so I will definitely be sure to get into them.

One thing I really like about reading is that it's a nice escape from all the things happening in my world. Even though there is always a conflict in the novels I read, it's nice to know that there will be some kind of resolution at the end.

The talent of some authors leaves me totally in awe sometimes. I love a book that makes you laugh, cry and feel every other emotion in between, and best of all, a love it when a chapter is so good that I literally have put it down for a split second just to say "f*** that's good writing" ;) 

You won't know what I'm on about until you experience it for yourself, but one day when it happens to you, just remember that you're not the only one out there.

I love seeing all the different book cover illustrations (especially for all the Harry Potter books), so here they are for The Giver:
File:The Giver Cover.gif
Image from here
Image from here


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Herb and garlic purple sweet potato hash browns

I love breakfast. It saddens me to think that there used to be days when I would happily skip breakfast. I love breakfast because it is a meal that can be whatever you make of it. It can be simple, big, sweet, savoury, hot, cold, you just name it and breakfast can deliver. 

Everyone has their own view about breakfast. Some people are quite happy to just eat that one piece of toast with a smear of butter, others will literally feel sick if they eat in the morning and then there are those lucky few who get the time to make a huge breakfast with all the food groups. 

Today was one of those lucky days for me. Since starting this blog, I've found that I am pre-planning a lot of my meals. Last night I had a dig around the kitchen to see what I could muster up for breakfast today. I found some purple sweet potato, which is pretty much a staple food here in my house because we all love carbohydrates and sweet potato is such a good carb (as opposed to white rice for example). 

The purple (Okinawan) sweet potato (and the orange sweet potato for that matter) has far more nutritional benefits than your ordinary white potato (check out more info here and here). For instance, it is high in the antioxidant beta-carotene which is good for preventing cardiovascular disease. Best of all, it tastes great by itself! I normally just steam it and eat it as is. No need for butter or cheese (not that I eat them anyways) to make it taste better like you would for white potatoes. Purple sweet potatoes are filling and taste so good plain. 

With breakfast in my mind, I decided to check out Google for any recipes for purple sweet potato hash browns. Oh man, you think I love breakfast? Well my love for hash browns is just as great. I don't eat hash browns a lot though, because of how unhealthy they are. 

I found a great recipe for sweet potato hash browns from the website Like a Vegan which I tweaked. If you get the chance, check out this website because it has some really fantastic vegan recipes!

Herb and Garlic Hash Browns

Makes 4 hash browns

  • 1 large purple sweet potato, peeled
  • 1/2 cup wheatgerm or breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon mixed dried herbs (I used oregano, thyme, parsley and basil)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Egg replacer to replace one egg
  • 3-4 tablespoons flour (you can use any type. I used wholemeal spelt because it was the only one I had in the pantry)
  • 3-4 tablespoons of unsweetened soy milk
  • Oil for frying
  1. Grate the potatoes 
  2. In a bowl, mix in breadcrumbs, herbs, garlic powder, onion powder, nutritional yeast and salt.
  3. Add egg replacer and mix until combined.
  4. Add enough flour and soy milk to the potato mixture so that you can form a ball in your hands without it falling apart
  5. Evenly split the mixture into four and mould into the shape you want. I did rectangles.
  6. Heat 1cm oil in a frypan.
  7. Add hash brown patties to the pan and press down gently to flatten.
  8. Once golden on one side, flip and cook the other side.
  9. Drain on paper towel before serving.

The vegan breakfast I made for my dad and I. Normally breakfast for dad will be a bowl of oats, but today was one of those lucky days where I had enough time to whip up something special...and something new :)