Precious Morning Moments

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We’ve blogged about our love affair with mornings a couple of times. We’ve mentioned on numerous occasions how much we just adore our morning cup of Joe and how ridiculously early we get up. Even on Sundays.

 It is also quite obvious how much we love breakfast. We take it so seriously. I mean honestly, who wants to rush out of the house with a stale piece of toast when you can take the time to enjoy warm buttery organic sourdough with avocado and parsley. I mean, really.

But since being out of home, moving house twice and adapting to city living, we’ve started to develop an even deeper love for the early hours. So many feelings about this topic. I’d like to share these feelings with you all so that you may feel inspired to create your own morning routine. A morning routine that sets you up for the day ahead.

 I’ve actually researched the power of morning routines. It’s quite a fascinating topic. Some people become extremely ritualistic with their early hours. Having a set schedule that you abide to each morning can become somewhat therapeutic, almost like a moving meditation. I know for me personally, if my morning activities are altered in any way I feel ‘off’. I am very pedantic about this time of the day. These hours are precious to both Mel and I.

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 So what do we like to do in these precious moments? Well, depending on whether it’s a work-day or a day off, we always wake up between 5:30-6:30 am. Upon waking, I’ve found it’s so important to rehydrate my body from a night of sleeping. We’ll drink around 750 mL of warm water. Usually out of a washed leftover sauerkraut mason jar. We are yet to own cups. Sometimes we take our water back to bed and do some reading. Sometimes we meditate. Well, attempt to meditate. I’ve found that reading or even just relaxing in bed is good enough for me. Mel likes to read magazines. Magazines are also nice. She says they give her a bit of inspiration for the day.

 Next up it’s coffee time. The best time. If it’s a work day, we’ll be out of the house around 7:30, even earlier, so our morning coffee will be of the stovetop sort and showering usually takes place beforehand. We buy our ground coffee from various places but recently it’s been from Wide Open Road roasters and we only buy organic unhomogenised full cream milk. Shulz, Demeter and La Latteria are great dairy farms that we love supporting.

 For us, stovetop coffee isn’t just regular coffee. It’s so much more. There is something so utterly special about having to wait for the coffee to rise. If I’m getting ready in my room, I just love coming down the stairs to the sound of the bubbling hot coffee. The sound and the smell both bring me back to the flat that our Nonna and Nonno use to live in in Switzerland. They made stovetop coffee daily. Mel and I were basically raised with the smell so each time we make it; it brings us back to the months we spent in Europe. Literally our most favourite smell.

 If it’s a day off however, we’ll usually skip on the stovetop and instead, we’ll walk down to a local café for a takeway. Extra hot flat white. Totally delicious. At the moment our go to local is Industry Beans in Fitzroy. Great coffee. They don’t use organic milk though. We feel a little funny about this. We are yet to find a local café that serves coffee with unhomogenised organic milk. The hunt continues. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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 Anyway. After coffee time is done, ‘The best time’, it’s breakfast time. Also the best time. Being creatures of habit, we tend to stick to the same sort of breaky theme. We eat a diet high in protein and fat. It’s satiating, nourishing and delicious. (It shouldn’t be news to anybody that the low fat diet trend is flawed, full fat is the way to go – will blog about this in the future). Eggs of some sort, either boiled or scrambled with turmeric and wakame, generous servings of avocado, organic butter, himalayan salt and home made buckwheat loaf (recipe by one of our biggest inspirations Jacqueline Alwill), sprouted bread or an organic sourdough loaf are staples for us. We also occasionally dabble in Ayurvedic porridge made savoury with plenty of ghee, carrot and spices. We’d also like to start making macrobiotic breakfasts with basmati rice, buttery fried eggs, sea vegetables and sesame – when we can be bothered cooking the rice that is. We never eat sweet breakfasts. Instead, we load up on healthy fats like butter, eggs, avocado, almond butter, olive oil, cheese and ghee. Obviously not all of these at the same time, we just pick and choose what we feel like on the day. Today for example, it was butter, almond butter and Himalayan salt on sourdough rye with half an avocado drizzled with olive oil eaten by the spoon.

 Whilst eating breakfast and drinking coffee, we’ve found that playing a soothing track on the CD player and burning a candle also sets a peaceful tone for the day. We’ve recently bought a candle that we’re completely obsessed. Like obsessed. Scribbling in our diaries and updating ourselves with the happenings of social media also usually take place at the breakfast table.

 We then clean up, possibly prepare lunch if we haven’t already got it organised the night before and then head out for our day. We both have to walk around 35 to 45 minutes to get to work so this is how we fit in our morning movement. It’s a lovely walk as well, through the Carlton Gardens. Long gone are the days of 5 am runs and yoga sessions. Now that a great yoga studio is literally down the road from us, we opt for the afternoon or late morning sessions. They’re normally ‘stronger’ classes where we can feed off other yogi’s energies. If you are into yoga then you would understand this.

 These precious morning moments are how we turn inwards and reflect.

 Honest feelings from me to you.

 I hope now you feel inspired to create your own precious moments in the early hours.

 Sarah

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Back to Basic’s

Mel+Sarah-Dean Raphael-9

Dean Rapheal Photography

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Sorry in advance about my vent. I just really need to write about this. 

So here it goes.

Mel and I have recently spent some time brainstorming ideas for Thymes Two and what has really got us thinking is what our Why is. What do we want to achieve, where do we want to go with it all, who do we want to connect with and who do we want to inspire. These are heavy questions that we’ve started to break down over early morning coffee and late afternoon vino. Typical us.

 Despite the fact that we’re still struggling with our why factor, we have managed to pinpoint the core of our values and actually how we’d like to live. We want to live a back to basic life. Live like our Nonna did. Consume less. Create more. Inspire more. Cook more. Cuddle more.

We also want to grow our own food. Support local designers. Collaborate with like minded people. Travel to beautiful places. Raise a beautiful family and live a beautiful life.

 Unsure of where our drive to live a basic lifestyle has stemmed from, Mel and I have slowly discovered that the older we become, the more obsessed we become with this idea.

 The idea of Basic Living.

 We are constantly striving towards a basic, local and organic approach to life. I can admit that this may sound really ‘wanky’ but we honestly mean it and we legitimately live by these principles as much as we can.

 I am now aware that this is all a direct reflection of our mum and the way she raised us along with dad of course.

 Mum has such a no fuss, minimalistic approach to living. She is the least materialistic person I know. She likes to spend her whole afternoons delving into books rather than going out shopping. She rarely buys herself new clothes and due to her sensitive stomach, she usually cooks for herself and dad rather than offer to eat out. She does however love Japanese food and the fantastic Melbourne cafes that this glorious city has to offer – like we all do! She has also recently started to make beautiful linen dresses, skirts and pants for Mel and I. I haven’t actually bought a dress or a skirt in god knows how long. When we do go out shopping, we either shop at opp shops or we spend a little more money seeking out local and honest labels.

 Mum’s lifestyle had quite an influence on our early years in life. Cooking rather than dining out, walking everyday to the park rather than driving there, spending afterschool playing for hours in our rooms, at the playground with our friends or in our garden rather than watching television and yearly visits to mum’s side of the family in Switzerland are the memories I’ve kept. Others that I keep close to my heart are those of our Nonna and Nonno spending hours in the kitchen making sauces, soups, slow cooked meats and pastas from scratch. They introduced us to the world of honest food, strong coffee and delicious wine. They were Italians after all. They cooked with ‘amore’ and that is one of the things I miss most about them. That and their endless encouragement and support. I don’t think anyone has encouraged or praised us more than our Nonnie. She was adorable.

 Anyway (wipe away tear). as the years went on, our form of friday night takeaway was home delivered sushi. I don’t think we ever asked our mum to take us to McDonalds or KFC (that came later, you know in those early teen drinking years…). Now for every family occasion we usually opt for a delicious feast at a fine dining Japanese restaurant. We all love the cuisine and it’s the kind of food that we wouldn’t normally cook at home so in my opinion the money spent is somewhat justified. As a family, and also nowadays living in Carlton with Mel, we rarely eat out, rather opting for home cooked meals prepared with local and organic ingredients.

 In terms of food, it’s quite obvious through our instagram, that we share a deep love for it, along with coffee and wine of course! With a lot of time and research, we’ve found, local, ethical and organic sellers to buy our produce from. We buy our meat, our fish and our vegetables from all separate sources and yes it takes a chunk out of our week but it is most definitely worth it. Knowing where your food comes from is the foundation of good nutrition. There is also something so special about it. When you’ve walked an hour to get to a sustainable fish monger, or carried 2 kilos of veggies in your backpack or spent your morning trekking all the way to a market to only by ‘off cuts’ of meat or bones, then you actually start to develop some what of an intimate relationship with your food. Cooking then becomes fun rather than a chore. It really is quite nice. Some say it’s a love affair.

Our basic approach to living also touches other aspects of our day-to-day including modern technology. Our (well ‘my’ – Mel is much more gifted in this area) inability to use technology is probably due to the fact that growing up we always had afterschool sport of some sort so we literally just didn’t have the time for hours and hours of television and video games. To this day, Mel and I still rent videos from the video store or borrow them from the library as 1. We don’t know how to download movies… 2. Isn’t downloading movies illegal anyway!? and 3. Borrowing movies from the library is so much more fun. Ditto with CDs! We play our DVDs on our laptops as we do not own a TV and instead of streaming music through spotify or ITunes, we have a little CD player. We’ve named it ‘The Egg’ – if that is of interest to anybody. Oh but don’t worry, we are able to use phones and love social media. Like many more like most people living in this modern society, we are slightly attached to our iPhones.

 Trying to live like our grandmothers did, we also don’t really ‘work out’. We adore yoga and have found an amazing studio literally down the road from our home so we enjoy between 3 – 5 sessions of yoga per week. This plus walking everywhere is how we currently choose to move our body. Although we grew up with sport, it was mostly gymnastics, dancing and swimming so it’s these sorts of movements we love. We no not love CrossFit, boxing, hectic gym sessions or marathon running. We do, however, certainly take our hats off to anyone who does enjoy these types exercise. Maybe in our next life we’ll have the motivation, endurance and mental strength for it. For now though, yoga and walking suits us just fine. It’s what our Nonna did too. She walked everywhere and also did weekly yoga. Again, she was adorable.

So that’s that. Basic and conscious living. Honestly just becoming aware of how we spend our time and our money and ensuring they’re in tune with our values.

 Well done. You made it to the end of my vent.

 Ciao,

 Sarah x

 

 

 

 

Rich Cacao and Espresso Mousse

For all you dessert lovers out there! And coffee lovers, and banana lovers…

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Ingredients  (will yield two large servings or 3-4 small servings)

– Two small/medium ripe bananas

– Two tablespoons of raw cacao (we use loving earth)

– One tablespoon of ground (good quality) espresso coffee

– Pinch of himalayan salt

– 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon

– Fresh blueberries or rasberries

– Dash of distilled water


Method

1) Place all the ingredients into a food processor. Blitz them until you get a smooth consistency, adding water if you feel as though it is a tad dry

2) Place in fridge for a couple of hours before serving

3) Top with the berries! Serve in small ramekins or just use a spoon and share with your loved ones

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Vegan madness at Monk

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Sipping on some vino lounged on our balcony this sunny sunday afternoon, is the perfect time to write about one of our absolute favourites.. that being Monk. Crammed up behind safeway in the beautiful area Balaclava hides this little vegan delight which we have got to know quite well.

We fell in love with this gem around a year and a half ago, while obsessing over their vegan granola served with almond milk and fresh berries. Monk definitely had struck us with their well known vegan spell, and we have been encapsulated by their meat free beauty ever since….

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 Squashed up on their tiny tables and their communal bench, you can’t help but feel a sense of community amongst your neighbours as you all devour Monks delicious vegan meals. To name a few of our stand out menu items… they would most definitely be the smashed avo and their mushroom dish. They are also known for their pancakes (which we are yet to try), and their heart warming chai lattes. But, our all time favourite feed would most definitely have to be their carrot cake. It is just so ridiculously good that we can not even begin to describe it. I MEAN.. HOW DO THEY GET IT SO SPONGY, CREAMY AND SWEET?! You simply have to go and try it to understand our feelings towards it.

You can certainly say that Monk attracts a crowd different from the norm. Vegan hippies, ‘clean eaters’ , yogis and the locals of Carlisle street like to sit and sip coffee at this room sized cafe.. oh and us the crazy avocado sisters of course.. You may see us there on sunday afternoons. We guess the crowd Monk attracts is what we really like about it. Makes it unique to the rest of the Melbournean cafes.

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Finally, this cafe would not be a stand out if it weren’t for their outgoing, chatty and uttermost friendly vegan loving staff. They can make your day. Like they have made ours on several occasions.

So please just for us, go and try Monk. You will love it.

202 Carlisle street, Balaclava 3183

Toorak’s Townhouse

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Still recovering from our wild friday night, here we are, stranded on the couch trying to find the words to describe our sunday morning ritual. Yes thats right, its sunday morning and we are still tired from friday night (…we have fatigue problems…)

For us, sunday mornings are dedicated to our 90 minute yoga practice at the One Hot Yoga studio in South Yarra. You heard right, we prefer spending our mornings in downward facing dog on our mats rather than in bed, like a normal person.

Today’s post won’t just be about Toorak’s Townhouse cafe, we’d like to briefly share a bit about our love for yoga. We stumbled across one hot yoga about 4 months ago when we were searching for the right studio to practice. One hot yoga fit us perfectly with its inspirational teachers, beautiful architecture and of course, their refreshing body wash (it just smells too good!).

With it’s temperature set at 37 degrees, studio one is the room for their slow hot flow. Studio two (where we were this morning), is built for their power flow, set at around 27 degrees. For us, we opt for the slow hot flow during the week and weekends, we usually dedicate to power flow.

It is rather difficult to find the words to describe why we love yoga so dearly, it’s one of those things that you have to try for yourself. But what we can assure you, a regular yoga practice will leave you feeling calm, strong, balanced and bendy. 

Anyway, lets get onto the topic of food.

Townhouse, located in Toorak village, is only a few hundred metres from the yoga studio, making it the ideal place for a post yoga nourishing feed.

Townhouse has that feeling of freshness reflected from its white interiors and open front window, allowing for maximum natural light. It’s this light that ultimately gives this cafe a sense of happiness. Oh and not to mention, their gorgeously welcoming staff, always with a smile on their diles.

This morning, after a gruelling yoga session, we decided on our usual of poached eggs on dark rye with a side of avocado and smoked salmon. Bliss!

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Every visit, without fail, our eggs are perfectly poached, our avocado perfectly sliced and our smoked salmon is perfectly fresh. Literally. They definitely set the bar high.

So, to all the one hot yogis out their (and everyone else of course), head over to Townhouse and make them your local.

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466 Toorak Road, Toorak

M+S xx

 

Marvellous Muffins at ‘Melbourne Street Organics’

 

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It was back last spring when we first discovered Melbourne Street Organics. This little hideaway use to be a gorgeous health food store but now, has transformed itself into an up and coming cafe, serving breakfast, lunch, vegan treats and coffee. Well done guys!

For us, this is the perfect place to snuggle down for tea and cake, watching the busy life of high street and gaining ideas for recipes using the stores fresh produce. 

This visit, we opted for the blueberry and chia vegan muffin with a peppermint tea. To be honest with you, we are actually writing this post sitting, crammed at a tiny wooden table, right next to the Kombucha and probiotic shots (definitely recommend the strawberry shot!). 

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Everything about this little nook screams cute, even their patterned plates and tea cups. Which, might we add, are colour coordinated. Today, it was a navy blue and white theme. Bless.

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In addition to all the delicious treats, they stock literally all possible ‘milks’. You can have whatever milk tickles you fancy

——– Almond, cashew, rice, oat, full fat, skim! ——–

When it all comes down to it, the utter most attractive feature of this cafe is its peacefulness. Sitting down alone comfortably reading a book is actually hard to achieve in many loud, busy and chaotic Melbourne cafes nowadays, yet Melbourne Street Organics definitely have this covered.

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So, grab a book and take a seat in this organic sanctuary with a vegan cake and your choice of milk coffee.

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1430 High Street, Malvern

M + S xx

 

 

Camden’s Cosy Cafe

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There we were, fresh off the plane, first day in London.

And what was the only question we had for our hostel’s receptionist? Did we want to know where all the big tourist sites were? Or how the underground actually works?

No, we wanted to know where are all the cafes were. Obviously.

Twenty minutes later, we found ourselves on a bus heading towards Camden Town. For all of you who are unfamiliar with London’s outer city hidden gems, Camden Town is definitely one of those “must see’s”. Not only is it home to many vintage markets and food stalls, it also has a very popular cafe culture. Thankgod!

So, completely jet lagged and ‘clogged’ (sorry about the use of this word, we just don’t know how else to describe that disgusting tummy-cramp-bloated gross feeling) from the flight, we were searching for somewhere to recover and replenish. Thankfully only after a few hundred meters, we stumbled across “M y V i l l a g e C a f e”.

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This family run eatery had an Eastern europe influence, yet also had all the characteristics that define many of Melbourne’s Fitzroy cafes. All of this awesomeness in humble Camden Town.

With a GF, vegan and raw menu, we were drowning in options.

Luckily, our decision was made for us by the ever so lovely owner, of this ever so lovely cafe. We were given the organic soy porridge and fresh mint tea. Very simple, yet delicious. The most comforting meal to devour after a 30 hour journey and definitely tummy approved!

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Naturally, the remainder of the day we spent exploring Camden’s markets, discovering a beautiful yoga studio and climbing hills. Ahh, if only we could rewind the clock…

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M + S xx