Life Turning Point and Living Minimalistically


Sunday is my bliss. When I reflect on the week that has been (indulge in Tim Tams sucked through a glass of milk) and ponder on the week that it will be. And what a week that was!!!

Living in the UK Tuesday: I picked up my passport with my new UK visa intact!! Yes peeps, I’m heading over to the isles on a 2 year long sojourn. This is what this blog has been building to be. A travel log and possibly a companion for when I am sooo far away from home! Queue the Kaiser Chief lyrics… “Oh My God I can’t believe it I’ve never been this far away from home” (or try this Lily Allen rendition).

Living Minimalistically WeekendThis is far easier said than done. How much STUFF do we accumulate? Really! I’ve spent the whole weekend just cleaning out stuff. I know it will be liberating when the process is finally over. In the mean time… late night of tidying up it is. I need to skinny down to nothing but about 30kg worth of luggage. Scary thought.

Living Locally Week: I read about these guys and this market at the Darlo Bar and decided to check it out. Have a look at the AMAZING produce I got! For $35, I got the single person sexy spinster hamper. It came in a cute calico bag and a pot of adorable pansies. All the produce are from within a 90km radius of Sydney so it’s super fresh! It has pushed me to be creative in the kitchen! Here’s my roasted vegetable couscous. I filled the kitchen with warmth on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Oh what a week! I can’t wait to tell you more and more about my moving out process! Peace out!

How I Start My Week: Running and Healthy Eating

I can’t pretend weekend excesses don’t happen. One drink on Saturday night easily turns into more glasses of wine, vodka sodas and even a tequila shot happened (at least I remember it). We shovelled along the night. Then I was in a multi storey nightclub squished amongst boys and girls with very little clothes on. The partygoers were wooed with flame throwers, acrobats and a champagne showering female DJ.

Twenties happens. Enjoy it (and I secretly really do).

Now, take a breath of non-vodka, non-cigarette infused air. I like to start my week with Positives with a capital P.

Running Around the Harbour

The weather is starting to cool down in Sydney. The mornings are more crispy cool and the days are shorter. It is time I starting running outdoors again!

And how can I not when Sydney has some absolutely gorgeous running trails along the harbour. I took these photos with my iPhone during my runs on Sunday and Monday.


Healthy Eating

I love kitchen gadgets. I have more than I use. I also suspect I am not alone.  One of my cheap and useful gadget is the humble citrus juicer. It cost me only $5.

It makes one of my favourite juice drink consisting of 1 ruby red grapefruit, 2 oranges and an upper body exercise.  I sometimes add a splash of soda water to the mix for a vitamin packed soft drink/soda alternative.

This isn’t exactly a detox miracle drink (and it will never counteract that tequila shot) but it taste good and I like to drink it on our patio, sitting by the shade of our tree.


Sydney Autumn coolness is the best.

Agnes xx

The Art of Giving – Hazelnut Shortbread Kisses with a Nutella Centre


My good friend Myra and her creative partner, Lamice, are hosting their first exhibition tomorrow at the RAW Natural Born Artist Showcase! I wanted to give them a little gift of encouragement, a physical pat on the back, without actually raising my palm. A generic card or gift voucher is not fitting for this fun and creative duo. I wanted to give them a sweet handmade present and straight to the kitchen I went to create these babies.

Hazelnut Shortbread Kisses with a Nutella Center!

This is a very easy shortbread to make. Only 5 ingredients are required. It only takes 12 minutes in the oven! The shortbread is crumbly and simply melts in your mouth. Waiting for them to cool and resisting not to eat them was hard.  Fresh cookies smell soooo good! And Nutella needs no introduction. I will see you in shortbread and chocolate heaven.

The recipe can be found here at

Agnes x

PS The recycled egg carton wrapping box fitted the shortbreads well (I am surprised too!). Then I decorated them with a Kikki K love heart note and ribbon from Typo. Pretty, girly, environmentally friendly foodie gift wrapped!

Hazelnut shortbread kisses with a nutella center

Yellow Squash, Hazelnut and Lemon Muffins with Cream Cheese and Coconut Icing

I just discovered blog “tags”. Yes, I’m super fresh to this WordPress blogging scene.

What happened afterwards surprised me. I #fitness and all of a sudden, my blog is being followed by names like Guns At Gym and Vic the Vegan (names have been changed to protect their identities).

While flattering at first, it is going to be so disappointing when I start #cake #chocolate and #carbs. And NONE of that, I am going to pretend that shredded vegetables taste like pasta, business*. I mean full fat milk type of serious business.

*Side note, if you are not into the healthy eating scene, you wouldn’t be aware that home cooks are now playing dressed up vegetables: zucchini as spaghetti, cauliflower as rice and asparagus as risotto. They are pretty clever and I love my vegetables so I love these ideas. But a zucchini is a zucchini and will NEVER EVER taste like carb loaded spag bol. Respect thy vegetables!

Now I have put that discussion out of the way, I can tell you about the yellow squash and lemon muffins. It’s the sort of recipe a well meaning mother might bake for her children. Be warned, health nuts. It is still loaded with real sugar, real oil and real gluten wheat flour. They taste good, period. They don’t taste like vegetables, period. The yellow squash just keep them super moist and even the day after. Sold.

Healthy yellow squash and lemon muffins with coconut cream cheese icing



yellow squash and lemon muffins

This recipe was adapted from a version in Coles Magazine.


Vegetable oil spray
1/2 cup of grapeseed oil (or olive oil is ok)
1/2 cup of caster sugar
1 teaspoon of finely grated lemon rind
2 eggs
1 cup of finely grated squash
1/2 cup of hazelnut meal
1 cup of self raising flour
2 tablespoon of milk
125g of cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup of icing sugar
1 tablespoon of lemon juice


1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C or 160 degrees C for fan forced oven. Spray a muffin pan with the oil. I used a silicon pan so it’s easily non-stick.

2. Use an electric mixer to beat the oil, sugar and lemon rind in a bowl until light and fluffy. I failed to see my oil mixture become light and fluffy like you would when using butter but it did get sufficiently pale and foamy. Beat in eggs one at a time until just combined.

3. Squeeze excess moisture from the squash. I omitted the really seedy centre part when I was grating.

4. Stir the squash and hazelnut meal into the sugar mixture.  Stir in the flour and milk until just combined.

5. Spoon the mix into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

6. Cool in pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Remember to let it cool in the pan because the muffins are quite crumbly and hard to take out if it’s not sufficiently cooled.

7. Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, icing sugar and lemon juice in a bowl until it is smooth. Spread over the cooled muffins. I added a special touch of organic shaved coconut. The juicy coconutty kind from the farmer’s markets, not the manufactured desiccated coconut from the supermarket.

8. Share with your friends and pretend that they are super healthy!

Antidotes to Sydney City Life – Juice, Cheese and Noodle Love




You know when you have those blah days and you dig into a tub of Ben and Jerry’s, family size no less, or start eating Nutella by the spoonful? No, not you? Well, nor I.

When I need a pick me up, I crave fresh juices. My favourite combination is pineapple and mint. Today I added beetroot too.

When work gets a bit blah I might indulge in a treat. Today I made myself an office size cheese platter. I had some gorgeous dolce gorgonzola with Maggie Beer quince paste.

When the weather gets a bit blah, I crave a warm supper. (What’s with the afternoon rain Sydney?) Today I made a simple bowl of warm noodles. Green tea soba, edamame, gently poached egg in a soya chicken broth. It takes about 15 minutes to makes and Tuesday dinner is done.

Now I have more time to be happy and blog on. All is well.

Agnes x



Mondayitis – protests, coconut water, quinoa salad and motivational quotes

Raining in Sydney is a drag. (I mean not literally like this man who was dragged into a drainage pipe by the rain and died, very sad).

But waking up to the sound of rain and you think to yourself, I just want one more snooze.

When asked by colleagues, ‘how was your weekend?’ I retell a few positive highlights like making a batch of tasty muffins for them just because #bribes. I airbrushed the details about dancing at a dingy dirty bar with sticky and wet floors, pumping retro music (AND knowing all the retro lyrics).

Monday’s are usually about reclaiming my week.

Hoorah! I box jumped into my HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) session.

Hoorah! I then re-hydrated with the latest fad and this time is organic coconut water from Sri Lanka. I suspect the organic aspect of the product is attributed to the local’s lack of access to powerful pesticides and the natural resilience of coconuts to pests anyway.

Hoorah! I embraced #meatlessmonday with an organic quinoa salad and instagrammed it.

Hoorah! I skipped home, head held high, feeling accomplished. So accomplished that I wrote a new motivational quote on my blackboard.

Hoorah! I will watch my healthy lifestyle descend over the week…