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

 

 

 

 

I am cold. Very cold.

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Water colour painting by Wayne Roberts 

So here I am writing from my cosy room in my aunts apartment in Neuchatel, Switzerland. It’s raining outside and very much icey cold, but hey that’s what you expect when you choose to come to Europe for the winter months. I spent my morning with the usual yoga and meditation followed by a coffee (Americano style) & avocado on wood fire fresh dark sourdough. This bread is next level good, I literally haven’t had a bread better than this one in a very long time. God I love you Europe.

Due to these cold winter months, I will be cooking meals that compliment the season. Of course I will be enjoying meals with my family most of the time however when I find myself alone Ill be experimenting in the kitchen trying to come up with some nourishing oatmeals, spiced rice, dahls, stews and soups. Many, many soups. Oh and can’t forget the chai lattes that Ill be brewing myself in my aunts tiny kitchen. So stay tuned kids because Ill be posting the recipes up here!


If you’re interested in Ayurvedic medicine than here are some ideas you could implement in your diet in order to feel your best if you’re feeling un-steady and disconnected:

– Spiced basmati rice with raisons, cinnamon, nutmeg, fresh grated ginger and ground turmeric. Add a teaspoon of ghee just prior to eating.

-Coconut and sesame oatmeal. Cook you oats in almond milk and coconut oil, then simply add some toasted coconut and sesame seeds on top. Sesame seeds are beneficial for female hormones, so if any of you ladies have any issues in this area get onto the sesame seeds!

-Morning Poha. Either savoury with carrot and zucchini or sweet with coconut milk.

-Vegetable Dahs with brown rice.

-Coconut milk curries.

-Golden Milk (ground turmeric with pepper and raw brown sugar). Drink before bed to ensure a restful nights sleep.

-Kitchari. If you’re feeling slougish than this is the perfect meal to give your digestive system a well deserved rest.

You can find varying recipes of each of these dishes online if you suss out some blogs or reliable websites. My go to woman is Jody VassalShe knows her stuff.

I find myself researching Ayurvedic principles for hours as to me it’s extrememly interesting and I can personally relate to most of it, but hey its not for everyone. But I assure you if you start researching you will most likely become hooked, like sarah & I. I also recommend seeing an Ayurvedic practitioner if you want to take it that next step further.

Much love from my little corner of the world. Its now time for more coffee.

 

Spring Salad Series #6

Olive Oil Spelt Penne with Sautéed Greens 


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Who doesn’t love pasta? (no one…)

Spelt pasta teamed with organic greens and olive oil go perfectly together. This dish is super simple and takes only a few minutes to prepare, ideal for a mid week lunch or dinner

* Due to our gluten intolerance we tend to opt for spelt or buckwheat pasta as our bellies can tolerate these grains a lot better


Ingredients

Organic Spelt Penne (enough to serve two)

One small organic broccoli head

Three large organic leaves of silver beet

Half a cup of frozen organic garden peas

One tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

Pepper (to taste)

Himalayan salt (to taste)

Fresh organic parsley (to garnish)

One heaped teaspoon of nutritional yeast


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Method

Put on a put of water with some himalayan salt and bring to a boil

Once boiling add the pasta, we usually cook our pasta for around 10 minutes however this will vary on the type of pasta and how cooked you like your pasta to be. We prefer it more on the al dente side!

Meanwhile, break the broccoli head and finely chop the silver beet leaves. In a large wok add these vegetables and the garden peas with a dash of water. Sauté for around 3 minutes, our until the frozen peas are no longer frozen

Once the pasta is ready, drain out the water and put the pasta back into the pot. Add the olive oil, pepper, salt and nutritional yeast and mix all together. Then you can add the vegetables and give it another good mix

Separate into two bowls and top with parsley. It really is as easy as that kids! A simple, satisfying and beautiful dish that can be enjoyed at any time of the day

Now were off to enjoy this spring sunshine, Ciao!

Spring Salad Series #3

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It’s the middle of the week which means it’s Spring Salad time!

After a morning spent watching the french news, eating a version of our famous breaky boards and swimming laps at our local pool, we came home and made a ‘Herb Salad Party’. We call this a party as we literally added so many herbs from our garden! Well only parsley and mint were actually invited…

Anyway, in went these herb babies with the rest of our ingredients and the end result tasted like sunshine and gardens.

So good, so spring.

Oh and we leave for Europe in 10 weeks and we are so damn excited. 

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Ingredients 

Serves two hungry twins after a swim

-1 small organic avocado

– 1 cup of peas

– 1 cup of cooked quinoa (we cook up a big batch at the beginning of the week and store in the fridge for quick and easy lunches)

– 2 cups of shredded spinach

– 1/2 a cup of finely chopped mint (and a few extra whole leaves for garnishing)

– 1/2 a cup of finely chopped parsely

– 1 can of organic sustainably caught mackerel in olive oil

– 1/3 cup of fresh blueberries

– Himalayan Salt to taste

– Pepper to taste

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Method

1. Heat up the quinoa and peas either in a saucepan with a dash of water or in a microwave if you’re short for time. Again, as mentioned in the ingredients – we pre-cook our quinoa.

2. As the quinoa is heating up, start finely chopping your spinach, mint and parsley. Also, slice your avocado into small cubes.

3. Add the greens and the avocado to the warm quinoa and pea mix. Thoroughly mix with your hands and evenly distribute onto two plates.

4. Now for the toppings! Add half the can of mackerel to each dish and drizzle the oil evenly between the two. Finish with topping with the freshest and plumpest blueberries you can find!

5. Garnish with the last couple of mint leaves and a tad of pepper and himalayan salt.

All done, ready to gobble up.

 

 

Spring Salad Series #2

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We’re off to Europe in exactly 10 weeks. It’s no secret that we are completely, 100% obsessed with everything to do with the European culture. The fresh food, old buildings, their train systems, cute bakeries, red wine (lots of red wine), the coop (only a few people would understand this), friendly people and most importantly our family in Neuchatel, Switzerland.

Our love for Europe has come to a stage where we are trying to set up camp over there, permanently. This means a lot of research, visas, Italian passports, what do we do with our clothes?! how much money do we need? etc. It has been quite a headache. But so worth it.

Amongst this research, we have been taking our time in the kitchen, cooking and creating beautiful recipes to share with the world. As we have started our Spring Salad Series, this week we had to come up with salad number 2! Feeling a bit sluggish today, we opted for a lighter salad, bringing us back to our European summers.

Hope you enjoy this meal! Make sure to share it with family and close friends, no one likes eating alone.


Fennel, Celery, Rocket and Sardine Salad with black Sesame

Organic Ingredients

Serves two

Half a fennel

One celery stalk

Two handfuls of rocket

Two small oranges (we picked these from our garden)

One can of sardines in olive oil

One teaspoon of black sesame seeds

Few sprigs of fresh parsley

Two teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil

Himalayan salt (to taste)

Pepper (to taste)


Method

 Quite simple, no need for the stove or any other appliances

– Wash fennel and celery thoroughly

– Roughly (julienne) slice the celery and fennel

– Prepare two plates, and place one handful of rocket on each. Then top with the fennel and celery

-Peel the two oranges, and slice into thin circles (we’re not too sure how to explain this but we’re sure you will understand what we mean..). Place oranges onto the plates

– Divide the can of sardines in half and top onto the salads

– Sprinkle with black sesame, EVOO, pepper and salt. Oh and don’t forget the parsley!

– Serve with fresh dark bread (we had ours with some wholemeal organic spelt crackers)

– Bon Appetit!

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Cannelloni bean and Sardine Mash

BEAN MASH

Cannelloni bean and Sardine Mash with Chives and a hint of Lemon

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Ingredients:

– 1 can of organic sardines in extra virgin olive oil

– 1 can of organic cannelloni beans

– 1/2 juice of a lemon

– Pinch of pepper

– Pinch of himalayan salt

– Two teaspoons of finally chopped fresh chives


Method:

– Place all ingredients into a food processor. Easy as that! (You do no need to add the remaining of the olive oil from the sardine can, there will be enough flavour in the sardines themselves from soaking in the oil)

– Serve on toast, with a cheese platter, a side to a salad or simply as a dip!

– YUM