WILW ED #4 (Hot Cross Bun Bliss Balls)
Good morning everyone, I hope your Wednesday has gotten off to a great start. I'm back once again with another edition of WILW (What I'm Loving Wednesday). This past week has been pretty awesome, Easter obviously came and went and I was fortunate enough to spend the long weekend at home on our houseboat with my family. I also got to really relax and kick back for a few solid days, which doesn't happen very often in my life, and boy I enjoyed it! I hope you too had a Happy Easter, however you chose to spend it.
WILW ED #4
This week I am...
I stumbled across this article on my Facebook and my curiosity resulted in me reading it. Although astrology is not something I am really very aware of, I have always liked reading my horoscopes and am interested by the ideas underpinned by the study of astrology. This article simply detailed the numerous planets that are going into retrograde in the next few months (retrograde means the planets are not expressing themselves fully energetically) and the consequences of these simultaneous retrogrades for those of us on planet Earth. I found this to be just a generally interesting read, in particular the idea of retrograde not necessarily being a "bad" planetary period, but simply one in which we consolidate and methodically move through the things we need to do in order to prepare for when the planets next offer us opportunities for expansion and growth.
Listening to:Big Love by Ben Lee
I have loved Ben Lee for as long as I can remember (probably since I saw him on Sunrise when I was about 11). I have always enjoyed the upbeat and happy tones of his songs, which seem to contrast the 'doom, gloom and heartbreak' of other artists. His songs Love Me Like the World is Ending and Catch My Disease have been playlist favourites for most of my adolescence. Recently, having discovered the world of Spotify, I searched for Ben and found a heap of his new work, which naturally I loved.
Big Love is my absolute favourite from his new work, plus the film clip (click on the link above) and the story behind the song is enough to melt even the coldest of hearts. To me this song is just a reminder of the power of love and its ability to bind us all together as one. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
Watching:The School of Life (YouTube)
Whilst The School of Life is one of the most popular channels on YouTube, I only became aware of it thanks to a post by my good friend (and fellow blogger) Gabe. After reading Gabe's reflections on The School of Life I was naturally curious and decided to check it out. An hour long YouTube binge ensued... But it was worthwhile. There are videos on all kinds of topics, from love and relationships to history and philosophy, all packaged into bite-sized videos that are generally 3-5 minutes long. The whole concept is to educate people on the realities of life and cover all of the important topics that our education system seems to consistently ignore. I personally think that this is an admirable goal and I can see that by utilising YouTube as a platform The School of Life is perfectly positioned to open up people's minds to the realities and hard truths of life. Having watched numerous videos now I think the only point made by The School of Life that goes against my own beliefs is that we are all fundamentally flawed and messed up, even crazy. On the contrary, I believe we are all perfectly whole and complete, we just also have a lot of 'crap' that we carry around with us. Through self-exploration I believe we can learn to let go of this 'crap' and return to our perfect, whole selves. A small point, but one I felt worth making. Regardless, if you are curious, click on the link above and get watching!
Quoting: "The strongest relationships are between two people who can live without one another but don't want to." - Harriet Lerner
I took a screenshot of this quote from a Mind Body Green article (worth a read!) because it perfectly summarised what it is that I believe true love should be. In my journey to self-love I have come to realise that as much as I want to be needed by someone and perhaps even to need someone, co-dependency is not the healthiest way to form a relationship. In finding this quote I realised that it sums up what I really hope to find in a partner. But beyond romantic love, this quote can be applied to any relationship, whether it be a friendship, parental or sibling relationship or other.
Consider this with regard to the people in your life. Are you completely independent, or do you depend upon another? Do you spend time with your loved ones because you want to and because you enjoy their company, or is it out of obligation?
Eating: chocolate (come on, it was Easter) and Hot Cross Bun Bliss Balls
Easter is not complete without Hot Cross Buns. After making and devouring two batches of Lola Berry's Paleo Hot Cross Buns I had an idea to try making bliss balls that were Hot Cross Bun inspired in flavour. After throwing a mish-mash of leftover ingredients into the blender and a few minutes of mixing I had created these little beauties - Hot Cross Bun Bliss Balls. They were given the tick of approval from Dad, who I can quote as saying: "They taste just like Hot Cross Buns." If you aren't convinced, try them for yourself!
*Note: these are fairly high in fructose (naturally occurring fruit sugar) due to the sultanas, so as with just about everything - enjoy in moderation.
Hot Cross Bun Bliss Balls
1.5 cups almonds and cashews
3/4 cup sultanas/raisins (sulfate free and organic if possible)
1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1/4 tsp ground clove (it is really potent so don't go overboard!)
Method: place all ingredients into blender/food processor and mix on medium-high speed for several minutes. The oils from the nuts should start to be released and bind it all together, but if not simply add 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Roll into bite-sized balls and keep in the fridge.
Pondering: personal influence and impact
Last week I reflected on the positive feedback I had been receiving about my blog, and in particular these WILW posts. This feedback has not ceased and in the past week I have had even more lovely people let me know, via comments, messages and in person, how much they like my blog and the recipes and tips I share. When someone compliments me on my blog my standard response is "Oh, well thank you. I kind of forget people actually read it!". You see, for me this blog is my way of sharing my story, but also of keeping my own personal collection of recipes and a record of my journey. It sometimes slips my mind that other people read what I have to say and even act on it!
What I have come to realise and acknowledge over the past few weeks, without being self-centred or narcissistic, is that I do influence people. Not only through this blog, but through my personal interactions. Energy is contagious and so my energy influences the people who are around me. But I am in no way an exception in this, it is true for all people. Whilst I am becoming more aware of my influence on the people around me, I could go on endlessly about the multitude of ways people in my life have influenced me. Similarly, I am influenced and impacted by the energies of people around me.
Take a moment to consider the kind of energy you are putting out into the world and if you are being the most positive influential force you could be? Consider too the people you choose to surround yourself with and the kind of influence they have on you.
Influence is always a two-way street, so use your influential powers wisely and choose to be influenced by great people.
Moving: Barre classes/inspired flows
On Good Friday I attended an awesome Easter Sweat Sess run by my beautiful friend Katie Tankard and her sister, Jess. The class was run in a local park, under the glorious autumn sun, and incorporated a fitness class based around Barre movements and a yoga class. I LOVED it. I have been experimenting with Barre classes with Katie since the start of this year and I am definitely keen to try more. Barre is essentially a mixture of variations of classic ballet movements, as well as some Pilates and yoga elements, that aims to tone and lengthen the body. I love the Barre classes because they are challenging, but not so hard that you cannot fathom going back. What's more, the moves are so well designed and targeted that you definitely feel each and every little muscle that you activate for days afterwards. I would say Barre classes are definitely something you should try if you want to build lean muscle and tone up, but are not a fan of crazy, intense workouts. It is gentle and mindful movement to cultivate fitness and overall health.
Aiming to: be present
The idea of being present in every moment is a beautifully simple concept that can be incredibly difficult to actually practice. Over the weekend I found myself naturally being more present as I slowed down and relaxed, which lead me to enjoy myself more. It sounds simple but I think I, like many others, often get caught up in the whirlwind of daily life and planning and scheduling and as such fail to be present as much as I could. I've been aiming to practice presence by taking notice of simple things (such as my dogs play-fighting on my yoga mat), listening to people without distractions such as my phone or the TV and being aware of my breath throughout the day. There are so many ways to practice this kind of presence/mindfulness and doing so is infinitely beneficial for your mental and physical wellbeing. I believe it is something we should always be aiming to practice more often.
Grateful for: my family, home and relaxation
As I alluded to in my little "prologue" I have spent the last week at home. I always love coming home, no matter how much fun I have adventuring in the lively city that is Melbourne. I am so grateful to live in such a beautiful part of the world, and being able to spend time in nature on a regular basis when I am home. I am grateful for my family who I love unconditionally. And I am grateful for having the chance to completely stop, relax and just be for a few days - it was needed and so worth it!
Love Erica x