What Defines You?

What’s defining you?

I have found myself looking for the latest fad diets and personal trainers almost every night this week. My weight is something that often consumes me.

We laughed over a picture a friend shared last night that said: Lord, if you can’t make me skinny, at least make my friends fat overweight, and I jokingly said, “that’s my problem- all my friends are quite thin.” However comical it was said it is the truth. I can almost hear the thoughts running through you head- why doesn’t she just get a gym membership, why doesn’t she just stop eating junk food and actually try to be healthy.

While I don’t eat drastically unhealthy I have to admit eating food that is healthy is not my forte. In my culture and society food is the thing that brings friends and families together. “Do you want to catch up for dinner,” “why don’t you come over for dessert,” “Let’s all bring a plate and meet at so-and-so’s house.” We have turned food into an activity (that doesn’t burn calories). Food is what we do when we’re stressed. (Fast) Food is where we go when we’re running late or can’t be bothering standing in the kitchen for the next half an hour. Food is what we think about, what we plan meticulously, depending on your age it’s what you give the most money to- Food is an all-consuming issue and I would venture to say that a lot of people find it very hard to manage.

Unlike your personal finances, where you have a clear income and expenditure, a particular item of food is made of many ingredients that all contribute to this “income.” 20 dollars is 20 dollars, a simple muesli/granola bar is in fact not a simple granola/muesli bar. You need to look at the fat content and the carbohydrates, and then glance over the sodium content… I don’t even know where to begin.

Protein only diets, low dairy diets, FODMAP, Atkins, Paleo- some of which boast to be “lifestyles” rather than quick fix diets.

How do you learn to have a better relationship with food?

I have digressed quite a bit as I was supposed to be talking about identity, but that’s just it I guess, I felt like my identity was in the way I externally looked. I am not skinny. That is who I am- no matter the character traits I have inside. Where did (for those of us who struggle with this) lose our way? High School? Maybe even primary school where we were first called fat? Or maybe it was the first time we bought a fitness magazine or Vogue and saw these “idealistic” women?

We were sitting at dinner a few weeks ago and I mentioned to a friend that I looked fantastically thin at my wedding (I was on a very stringent diet), and she (whether realising it or not) said “yeah you did, you looked great!” I told my husband about the comment a few days later- it really stung people! I’m sure it wasn’t targeted or even thought through before it was said, but either way it definitely got me thinking.

What is really making up your identity and how you feel about yourself? This morning it was like a light bulb going off. I started to realise that my struggle really isn’t with how I look externally, but rather the thoughts I had of myself. It has pushed me onto a journey to examine the defining parameters I use for my identity.

2015- You’re here!

fea9eb24b70804fb3ac131f9f38871e9With the turn of the clock from 11:59pm to 12:00am, the New Year was welcomed and praised. Another year, another chance to make something of yourself, another year to accomplish the resolutions that fell to the way side so miserably last year.

Our schedules are quite hectic the first week of January, so the 1st of January doesn’t seem to get the accolades it deserves. I remember a few years ago the sense of apprehension and excitement I would get for the 1st of January, but unfortunately the feeling hasn’t yet made its way around.

Resolutions, Smesholutions- no just kidding. Between my husband and I we pretty much put on a thousand kilos between January 1st and 7th. We have gone on a “healthy kick” (which consists of me wanting McDonald’s for every meal, followed by a donut and a piece of pizza). He says I am only craving the food because I know I can’t have it, but it is as if McDonald’s KNOWNS I’m not eating there anymore! (On a side note- McDonald’s have a new ad campaign where they have pictures of fries at bus stops, no words, just fries…OF COURSE)

So, my smesholutions are as follows:

1. Lose Weight (chart topper every year…..at least I’m consistent!)

2. Spend more time with the husband

The husband and I do A LOT together. We attend the same church and are involved in many of the same departments, his friends are my friends, his family are overseas so my family is his family, we go to the same gym, we drive to work together but I don’t feel like we really spend time together. Here’s to more dates/breakfasts together!

3. Catch the Baby Bug (Hopefully)

When we were first married I wanted 10 children immediately. After waiting a year, I felt the baby ship sail away for a 10 year world tour. I love children, don’t get me wrong- but committing to having your own is so final and daunting! After 5 years of marriage I’m hoping the boat decides to dock sometime over the next 351 days.

I am truly blessed to be able to live the life that I do with the people I love!

Here’s to the next 351 days…let’s make something of them!

(source for main photo- 2015 calendar)

Before and After (Dining Room and Living Room)

I have been fairly patient when it comes to renovations. We put a lot of effort into downstairs when we moved in- this is where we spend the most time so of course it received most of the attention.

On Saturday I had a brain snap and decided to actually take photos of our living room/ dining room. We don’t have a massive house but it’s perfect for the two of us at the moment!

photo 222BeforeIMG_6014After (Set up for Christmas)

photo 122BeforeIMG_6020After

We’re still working on little things here and there but for the most part it’s HOME!

Watcha’ make of it!

I am not a watch person. Well, let me clarify, I don’t wear watches. I own two watches and have worn them maybe a dozen times (I have child size wrists). They are beautiful watches with little faces, but they still look like they are growing legs and taking over my arm!

The lack of wearing watches hasn’t stopped me from pinning some beautifully designed and detailed watches though.

Below are some of my absolute favourites at the moment! I’m on the hunt for a few budget friendly versions of the below- these are break the bank beauties!

Untitledone | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight



Gift Boxes!

1Christmas is my slightly-second-favourite time of the year!

(slightly beaten by my anniversary).

There is something almost euphoric about giving gifts..and a lot of them! I love it.

(I have major plans for when I have a million dollars and can buy certain families we know cars and homes and give them large sums of money!)

For me, Christmas is more than just the giving, it has been a time for relationships to be rekindled, a time of year when my mum has no-choice but to sleep over my place (this year at least..it’s normally at her house because of her precious bed (I’m assuming)), and a time to see Mia (my niece) light up like a Christmas tree from the rambunctious nature of the entire family cooped up in a house for 12 hours (6 of the 7 people are women….)!

It’s a special time in our family.

I always struggle around this time of the year though, as to the appropriate amount to spend on friends. It’s pretty clear-cut for us when it comes to immediate family and the husband and I’s closet and dearest friends- but then you have those that are friends, but not besties. The following DIY gift boxes are fantastic for these kinds of people! You can customize the boxes as to what you know the recipients love. Below are some of my favourite (more feminine) gift box ideas:

Gift Boxesone | two | three | four

source for main photo

The Fudge


Over the past 15 days I have been running an advent calendar…The recipient is my husband! I attempted to have an advent calendar for him last year- we survived a week and a half before it fizzled out as I had to re-shuffle gifts and change days etc

This year I was determined to stick it out to the end and it has been fantastic!! Apart from the husband getting a gift every.single.morning, I also get to give a gift every.single.morning and that by far has been the best part!!

I’ll do a wrap up of all the gifts I  gave him and the process behind finding the right gift in the new year, but for now I want to share with you this amazing fudge recipe. Saturday’s advent “gift” was a date night by candlelight. After scouring high and low for a restaurant that actually had candles on their table (to no avail) I decided to do dinner at home, of course by candlelight. I put some ribs in the slow cooker and made mashed potatoes earlier in the day so I can could simply just heat them up when it was dinner time.

I skipped the entrée (because honestly- who has time for that) and made dinner and dessert. As you can probably guess the dessert was Peanut Butter Fudge. It was amazing… (It’s like the gift that keeps giving..because you get SO MUCH FUDGE from just the one recipe).

If you, in any way shape or form, are trying to watch your weight DO NOT even go there with this recipe. The sugar content alone is enough to send you into cardiac arrest!

For those brave people out there who do want a little sweetener to end your night or start your morning enjoy!!

Peanut Butter Fudge
by Kamran Siddiqi of Sophisticated Gourmet via A Cup of Jo


½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
1 lb light Muscovado sugar (you can also use soft dark brown sugar)- I used Regular Brown Sugar
½ cup milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup extra crunchy peanut butter
2 ⅓ cups powdered sugar- I recommend sifting it
⅓ cup dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)- I used these…
sea salt for sprinkling (optional, but recommended)- and these..

How to:

1. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a large saucepan along with the ground nutmeg.
2. With a wooden spoon, stir in the brown sugar and milk, removing any lumps, and bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes without stirring.
3. Remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla, then the peanut butter.
4. Put the powdered sugar in a large heatproof mixing bowl. Then, pour the hot peanut butter and sugar mixture on top of the powdered sugar, and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.
5. Pour into an 8-inch square baking pan, cover the top with parchment, and press down to smooth out the top (I use another 8-inch pan to do this). Set aside to cool slightly (10 minutes should do), then place in the fridge to cool completely.
6. Turn the fudge out of the tin onto the parchment and cut into 36 squares (or smaller, if you prefer).
7. Melt the chocolate, and add a thin layer to top of each piece of fudge. Allow the chocolate to set, and sprinkle each piece of fudge with a few grains of flaky sea salt.

Store in an airtight container.