Monday, 28 October 2013

Cheap work out clothing

I know every blogger and his or her dog has done a 'where to find affordable workout clothing' post but here I am about to do one. Sorry not sorry! I had planned on writing a post about my first Cross Fit experience that I had yesterday but I need more time to research it, because I care about my readers and would hate to give out false or misleading information. (For the record- I loved it!)

So I find that I tend to search for long periods of time online and in stores on where to find quality yet non costly workout attire. It's a hit and miss endeavour and one that can be frustrating at times. I don't want to read about where certain 'famous' bloggers get their workout clothing as I know that said blogger has been sponsored by a particular brand, or a brand sends them free clothing to review or they just earn a lot more money than me and you know they're not buying from the Target clearance rack. I sound jealous and that's because I am. I wish I could afford every new item of Lululemon or Lorna Jane but I can't. I'm a student. I work part time. And I have bills and rent to pay.

I look HARD when I'm searching for workout clothes. Some deals are one day only offers and you have to be quick while stocks last.

Catch of the Day, for Aussie readers, is a great one for snap sales. They usually have top brands (Asics, Nike, Reebok etc) at a fraction of the cost. But as I said be quick or you will miss out on those mint colored Nike Free Runs *sigh*.

Budget stores such as Cotton On , Target and Big W are also good stores to find fashionable gear. They are very much 'on trend' with fitness clothing and will cater to a range of exercise needs. Here are a few of my current faves from Cotton On:

Active Wristband (source)

'Inspired' Active Tank (source)

'The Body Down Under' Shortie (source)

Active Ankle Socks (source)

'Work It' water bottle (source)

Lastly you can always search the big brand stores. My favorites include Running Bare, Rebel Sport and The Iconic. Some of them have online only sales which is great for plebs like me who live out in the sticks and can't run to the nearest store at the drop of a hat. Their return policies however may not cover online purchases, so always check before you buy. I'm sure they're fine but I'd hate for anyone to be stuck and unsatisfied with their new purchase.
So there you have it. A quick and current blog post on how to get the most bang for your buck when shopping for workout clothing. I hope to include many posts like this for those reader who, like me, are on budgets, or for those that are just thrifty in general. Hope it helped!

-Tahlia XO

P.S I was not sponsored by Cotton On to do this post I just really really love their clothes. Really. 

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Professionalism and Social Media

Hello again readers!

Before I was here writing this post, I was having my post workout morning coffee and doing the usual social media check. Its a little morning ritual that I have going on and helps me keep in touch with the people in my life and to see if there are any breaking news stories that I should be paying attention to (My thoughts are with the firefighters in New South Wales <3).

I'm sure most of you reading this have an Instagram account. Its a social media outlet that lets users share pictures and videos of just about anything. Mostly food, Starbucks lattes, hot bodies and cute animals. I follow a few accounts that focus on eating healthy and exercise. These accounts are run by women who share with us their daily workouts, eats, motivation and inspiring images that might help to motivate us, their followers and fellow Instagram users.

While mostly the pictures are just pure fluff about their daily smoothie or an exercise they show via video, sometimes there is a picture thrown in there that makes me think 'probably not the best place to share that thought...'
I will give you an example. One well known, local South Australian trainer had the following picture:

And then she proceeded to describe one of her clients in a negative way. She didn't name the client but the fact that she was talking negatively about someone who has placed their whole trust in her sends out a warning flag to me. Number one rule in personal training is YOU DON'T TALK ABOUT YOUR CLIENTS. She may have been using her client as an example about what not to do to other potential clients. And I get that. You want people to understand that you're dedicated to helping them, and that you're knowledgeable. I feel that the trainer could have presented this in a better light, without mentioning her 'askhole' of a client. As a professional trainer you are going to get clients who want to get fitter, stronger and healthier. You are going to get some clients that are in a pretty desperate time in their life. They have come to you to loose weight and improve their self esteem. It comes as no surprise that they might do some pretty shocking things to try and loose weight such as doing a 'detox', taking diet pills, taking laxatives, drinking only diet shakes and drinking special 'weight loss' or 'metabolism booster' teas. They will do whatever it takes despite warning from yourself and health professionals telling them not to. All you can do is warn them of the dangers and refer them to professional help if you feel that they are struggling with these behaviors. 

What I'm trying to say is professionalism matters. As a personal trainer you are SELLING yourself. You are selling your body, the way you look, how you present yourself and how you conduct yourself in a public setting. The above example is just one of MANY I see daily on Instagram that reflects poor conduct of the user posting it. You have to remember that with so many people having instant access to social media then there will be a few feathers ruffled if you say something with seemingly good intentions but it comes out completely the wrong way. 

 If I was looking for someone to train me, personally, I would want someone who is encouraging, positive and would keep all sessions private and confidential.  It doesn't matter that in the above example there were no names of clients mentioned as the post came off judgmental and negative. If it were me and I saw that posted on a popular Instagram account I would be mortified that my trainer thought of me in that way. And I would promptly fire her. Some people might think that I'm 'butt hurt' and have over reacted to something that on the surface seems harmless and may be beneficial to some. But guarantee there are more people like me who would get offended. I'm all for stirring the pot and opening up somewhat controversial topics to debate, but not at the expense of another person.

Think before you post, as you don't want to put off potential clients or loose current clients over something as silly as a picture posted onto Instagram.

-Tahlia XO

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Why I Do Pilates

Hello again friends!
Thanks for stopping by at Puppies and Pilates. I really appreciate anyone who takes the time to read what I have to say, even if its for a couple of sentences until you realize you couldn't find the answer you originally searched for on Google. We've all been there. Its OK :)

So I'm writing this before my workout of the day. I don't usually plan my pilates workouts I just pick something from the Blogilates YouTube channel and go from there. Even though I really should practice composing my own routine, I just want to put something on and follow instructions. And have something to swear at when it gets too difficult. 

Cassey I love you, but sometimes you are MEAN!

It occurred to be last night before bed that I haven't really talked about why I do pilates as my major exercise. I have touched on the fact that pilates has helped my back issues but there is a lot more to it than just improving my posture. 

For anyone who has no idea what pilates is and how it works, I'm going to enlist the help of the Better Health Channel. This website is very informative and factual so you don't have to worry about it being completely bogus *cough Wikipedia cough* (no offence, Wikipedia) 

A lot of people confuse Yoga and Pilates. Which is understandable. There's a mat, you bend and twist your body into poses, controlled breathing and often there is some sort of music involved. They both have their similarities and they both have their differences.

This diagram illustrates the similarities and differences of yoga and pilates

Pilates focuses on all major muscles groups and aims to help lengthen and stretch your muscles, using your body weight to tone them at the same time. There are two types:

Mat based exercises

or the Reformer:
I promise these are not torture devices!

It was actually invented in the 1920s by a man called Joseph Pilates (hence the name!). He used it to help bed ridden patients gain muscular strength by attaching pulleys and ropes to their bed and manipulating their limbs. He also became popular in New York by training ballet dancers (source).
Each movement is precise, based from the core of the body and performed in conjunction with controlled breathing in order to execute each move. For example in a crunch, you would breath out while exerting the force and breath in when you relax. Doing pilates doesn't mean that you will grow a few inches and become a lean and toned supermodel, but it will help with your posture and make you stand taller. 

Yoga on the other hand, while very similar in the aspect that it help to tone and lengthen your muscles and makes you more flexible, its more of a mind and body practice. Some people describe it as a lifestyle- incorporating breathing, meditation and various asanas (poses) of increasing difficulty to help relieve stress and connect yourself to your body. 

There are quite a few different types of yoga classes such as Bikram and Ashtanga, each with their own properties. Benefits of yoga, in general, range from cardiovascular, to digestive and nervous (source). 

One could argue that Pilates is a lifestyle too, and I have definitely incorporated it into my own. It depends on what you put into it in regards to effort, and what you want to get out of it. Some people want a toned beach body. Some just want to walk around without suffering chronic pain issues. Some people might even do it for the social aspect and go to classes with their friends. There are so many reasons that I could list. Pilates has helped me become more connected and in tune with my body. I'm more focused on how each muscle moves, how I stand and walk and even what I put into my body. When you're more connected to your body you don't want to do it harm by excessively drinking or eating too many bad foods. I'm not obsessive (as seen in my previous post) but I'm more mindful of what I do and don't do to my body. I appreciate what it does for me every day. *self hug * 

As you can see there are benefits to both Yoga and Pilates. I choose pilates because it focuses on improving your core strength and posture, thus improving the pain issues I had with my back. I never thought that it would impact me so much and that I would be in fact writing a blog post about how much it has changed my life. I encourage everyone to incorporate these type of exercises into their workout routine as not only will it make you fitter, stronger and more flexible, you may find yourself being more intuitive towards your body and letting it speak to you. That's some pretty deep shit right there and if you knew me in real life you would think 'who is this person and what have you done with the cynical, snarky Tahlia that we love'. Trust me in that if you let it, Pilates (and Yoga) can change your life. 

-Tahlia XO

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Clean Eating

*sheepishly pokes head in*

'Sup guys.
You know how I promised that I would post about my job, like, the day after I announced it. Yea. I know. I suck. The good news is I have a more 'meaty' post you you today that you will thank me for and lavish me with flowers and chocolate. The last bit was optional but ya know, feel free to. Or whatever.

Anyways, MY NEW JOB GUYZZZZZ!!! OMG!!! LOL!!!11!!
I'm a little bit excited. The actual job itself its not that exciting. And I wouldn't call it a 'career'. But it will help to pay the bills and doesn't make me feel like I'm just lounging around the house being fanned with palm leaves while a tanned, muscly man feeds me peeled grapes. 

Basically, I now stack shelves at the supermarket. Its something that wont give me a massive head fuck (hello previous hospitality job) and its all at night which leaves my day free to do important things like walking the dogs, chores and what have you (I adore that expression, it needs to be said ALL THE TIME)
I have my work training session this week, as well as my two practical classes and online assignments so it might take a while for me to figure out a system on how I'm going to juggle that after being so long out of regular employment. I'm sure I'll be fine, but it will probably frustrate me that I can no longer work out whenever I feel like it or have a leisurely morning in bed (I know, so lazy, so privileged). 

I wanted to focus on today the concept of clean eating.

 Its something that has probably been around for longer than it seems, but with the help of social media such as Pinterest and Instagram it has really EXPLODED all of a sudden. It seems like everyone is eating 'clean' or 'raw' or 'vegan' or 'paleo'. And here's me just finishing half a bag of corn chips and salsa for lunch. 

What do I think of this concept? I think its great from a nutritional standpoint. People are more aware of what they are putting into their bodies, they're moving more, feeling great etc. Do I think its good to follow this strictly day to day? No. If you want to eat clean 7 days a week, 365 days a year then good for you. I'm jealous that you have found something that you love to do and its pretty damn good for you. Speaking from a mental point of view, I think that if I tried to follow a 'clean' diet every day then it would make me go insane. If you follow any regular clean eaters on Instagram you know what I'm talking about. They're the ones with the gorgeous, colorful meals and inspirational words. Meanwhile I've just polished off a bowl of ice cream (it happens more often than you would think).

 I think you can live this lifestyle every single day, but I tend to go by the 80:20 rule. If you're moving your body regularly and trying to include many fruits, veggies, lean proteins and grains into your diet then you can have that cheeseburger you've been craving. And I mean a REAL cheeseburger. Not one made out of flax seed and quiona. I'm talking ones that you can get in a drive through a-la McDonalds. Depriving yourself is not healthy. Its your body telling you that you need something, that you're lacking in something. 

Like I said before if eating clean 100% of the time makes you incredibly happy and healthy then I applaud your life choices. If you find that you have to continuously justify that glass of wine or serving of fries, then maybe you have to evaluate the choices you're making in regards to being healthy.

That's just my two cents and if anyone wants to chime in with their own opinions feel free-I would LOVE to hear them.

-Tahlia Sobko

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Happy Dance

Oh my god you guys!!!

I got a job!!!! Aw yeaaaaaa boiiiiiii!!!!!

I am so tremendously excited about this. Currently writing this post on my phone as I'm just about to head out for celebration drinks.

I promise to give you the info tomorrow when I get off cloud 9. 

Right now I need to wrap my lips around a very large wine glass and enjoy this well deserved drink.


Tahlia xo

Monday, 14 October 2013

Case of the Blahs

Hello again readers,

Its been a while since my last post. I feel the need to apologize for my lack of posts to anyone who is genuinely interested in my haphazard and unskilled ramblings about pilates, my dogs and my life. Luckily, I don't think anyone is reading regularly and I can continue to amble along in the blog world, posting whenever I feel like it. But I do apologize to anyone who is frustrated over my sporadic posting schedule. I have the time to post more regularly, but I haven't been in the right frame of mind. The no job situation is probably starting to get to me. Although I'm still positive about my future it does suck having to be REALLY tight with my money. A girls gotta have some pocket money to play with right? Shopping withdrawals are a bummer.

 I've had so many job  interviews but haven't  heard back from anything yet *sadface*. Job hunting is a lot more soul sucking and motivation draining than I thought it would be and although I try to keep my thoughts on the happy side, sometimes I just can't be fucked. I sit around. I watch too many You-Tube videos. I procrastinate. I try new hair do's, make up and outfits. I chase the dogs around the yard. I obsessively clean the house. I can't think of anything interesting to post about because my life is so incredibly boring at the moment. 

I'm being honest in saying that because there really is not a lot going on for me right now. And I wouldn't want to bore any readers with the same old posts about my pilates exercise for the day or pictures of my dogs because even though that's the name of the blog, I hope to include more interesting and thought provoking content than 'today I did such and such' posts. So stick with me, invisible readers, and I will really try and keep things more varied. 

So what's new? As I mentioned last time my parents visited and they were very impressed with how clean my house was (I fooled them yeeeesssss). There is not much to see in my town apart from the beach and the botanical gardens so after checking out those two locations my parents went for a ride to the next town over and had a look there while I got some much needed study done at home.

While I haven't gotten into any of the practical side yet  I'm quite enjoying my studies in becoming a qualified personal trainer. It was a tough and $$ decision to make, but I knew that if I didn't make up my mind then and there I would miss the enrollment block and would be regretting it for the next 6-12 months. I'm so glad I did as its something that I'm genuinely interested in and am passionate about. This blog 'aint called puppies and pilates for no reason. The course won't entitle me to become a pilates instructor from the get go but I hope to undertake more training to professionally teach mat classes. One day even pilates reformer classes- those are the classes done on the complicated looking machines. I am currently fascinated by how intimidating they look. 

What the course does qualify me in, as I said in a previous post, is certificate 3 and 4 in fitness. That allows me to be a personal trainer in a gym or similar setting. I am really into boot-camp style fitness at the moment- I love me some burpees, jumping jacks and sprints, so I hope to be able to teach those kinds of classes and to help my clients become faster, stronger and healthier. I love fitness and exercising so much that I want to infect everyone around me with its ability to make you addicted to the burn and those wonderful exercise endorphins that you get after a particularly tough session. Its the best natural high in the world. So far I have dragged my boyfriend along with me, forcing him to do squats and push ups. He says its torture but deep down I known he secretly can't wait until our next session.

For today's workout I was in a legs and bum mood. My butt is pretty flat so I'm constantly trying to get that nice, perky bum look as seen on the girls of Victoria Secret. Or like Jessica Simpson in her Daisy Duke period. Unfortunately I love chocolate and wine a little too much but that doesn't stop me from working out my legs and bum as often as I can. Progress never perfection is a saying that I hear thrown around a lot in the fitness world and that definitely applies to me.

I tried to search "Daisy Duke Gif" and this is the best I could get... (source)

I did the Pop Pilates Butt Blaster and it was an effective 25 minute workout that really blasted my butt. 

No joke, my legs were burning and shaking. I even worked up quite a sweat, which indicated how tough I was working out. I felt strong and motivated during it with Cassey's encouragement and for pilates beginners there are modifications to the exercises so that its not too hard. Any one can do it. Even YOU

That was the only exercise I did today. As soon as my butt hit that mat after the last pose I knew that my legs were like jelly. Probably should have done some cardio first. Ah well lesson learnt. When Cassey says its going to be a tough workout then you better believe it!
I better log off now as I accidentally mentioned going for a walk to the doggies and now they won't stop crying until I take them on one. They sure know how to tug my heart strings those furry little manipulators.

It is unbelievably hard to get these two to sit still enough for me to take their picture. Never work with animals.

-Tahlia XO

Sunday, 6 October 2013

The mothership has landed

My parents are coming to visit! Cue throwing all the clutter around the house into the spare bedroom and shutting the door.

I will try and update on my weekend and happenings on Monday because I don't want to become one of those bloggers that bring their camera everywhere and shove it into people's faces. I want to be in the moment and not thinking 'oh this will make awesome blog content'. Because life is not about doing something to please others. It's taken me a while to realize this but I now can live my life without worrying if it's interesting enough or if it's cooler than someone else's.

Yes I'm broke. And jobless. And my life is pretty boring and not busy at all. But what makes it so special is that it's my life. My own. No one else's.

I am just blessed in knowing that while I love doing exciting and different things I can appreciate the 'down time'. I'm ok with sitting in at home, reading a book and watching crappy TV. I love that just as much as I love going out.

I guess the moral of this post is to live your life the way YOU want to. Not what someone tells you.

Pretty flowers make me happy :-)



Walks with the puppeh also make me very happy

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Just A Quick Life Update

Hello Friends!

Firstly, I apologise for the blog absence, but things have been BUSY in Tahlia land. This post is going to be short and sweet (you hating on the writing cliches yet?) until I get some time to get further into the details on what has been making my life so busy. 

Did you all see my new blog header? For someone who has no interest or any particular talent in web and graphic design I think I did a pretty banging job if I do say so myself. Created entirely in picmonkey because I'm not throwing away money for photo editing software when I can do it for free online. Sorry not sorry. 

Regarding the job situation. None yet, but I remain hopeful as I have been having interviews and surely someone will hire me in the future. Project optimism and positivity is still in full swing over here.

So what has been taking up so much of my time? As much as I would like to say sleeping, eating and walking my two favorite fur babies it has in fact, been due to me signing up to a PERSONAL TRAINING COURSE. WHAT?!? I know. Its the Fast Track program from the Australian Institute of Personal Trainers. Basically, its a quicker way to get your certificate three and four in fitness, which will ultimately lead me to being qualified to train people in a gym setting or elsewhere. Its legit guys, I did my research. What makes it better than the other programs I looked at was (a) it was done right here in my own town and (b) its a combination of online and practical learning so it can be done at my own pace. You have a whole year to complete it which gives me flexibility on how and when I choose to do my assignments. So far I am loving it as its keeping me motivated and giving me an excuse to plan a schedule which I force myself to stick to. No slacking around will be done in this house!

Where do I want to go with this certification? Having something I love doing as a career is my ultimate goal in life. I get excited shivers down my spine when I think of all the opportunities I will have upon completion of this course. I would like to train clients as a personal trainer and construct workout regimes which will help them achieve their goals. Eventually I would love to become a pilates instructor but I feel like I need a few more years of practise under my belt before I can start teaching my own classes.

That's whats been going on in my life and why I have been absent. I will try to make updates more often as I do really enjoy the process of blogging and putting my thoughts out into the world whether anyone is reading this or not. And if anyone IS reading this then I hope that you will continue reading as I will endeavor to update with interesting things that are happening in my life.

Until next time,

-Tahlia xo

P.S You can see in the header that my much anticipated running bare crop top and booty shorts arrived safe and sound. I am loving them to pieces, probably the most comfortable yoga/pilates attire that I own. 

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Things That I'm Obsessed With: Workout Attire

Hello again!

I got to bed a bit late last night. I'd like to blame the Doctor Who marathon that I had going on but I'm an adult and should take responsibility for my own actions. It was the David Tennant era and I just cannot take my eyes off that gorgeous man. Sorry not sorry.

After a lazy morning I did a couple of Blogilates workouts.

Your Royal Hotness. This I had never done before and it was A LOT harder than I anticipated. I was SHAKING. I would recommend it to anyone who wants a quick total body workout.

I also did a video from LiveStrong for Women, another fitness channel I suggest you take a look at if you want some more variety. Not that Cassey doesn't include variety in her videos, there's just a different range of workouts from a few famous fitness gurus such as Tara Stiles and Ashley Borden. I'll touch more on this channel in the near future.

 The workout I did today was Cassey's Sleek and Sexy Arms for Beginners.

 IT. WAS. HARD. I have terrible upper body strength and it's something I'm continuously trying to improve on. I probably wouldn't recommend this video for people who have never worked out before but for people who would like a little challenge then go for it. 

The title of this post is pretty self explanatory. I'm going to share with you a few things that I have been really into lately. This post isn't a shill for free things, nor am I getting paid to do this post. I have a lot of spare time lately due to joblessness and its really given me more time to try new and different things. So here is what I'm obsessed with currently.

Running Bare. I am really into bright and colourful workout clothing lately. I never used to be, black was always a staple in my workout wardrobe (slimming!).
But I've seen so many fun and colourful prints on Pinterest that its converted me. I now love lots of colour, especially a combination of wild prints and neon hues. Running Bare, an athletic clothing label, has really been hitting the nail on the head in terms of style and uniqueness in fitness fashion. I am currently coveting the following:

And lucky for me, my boyfriend saw a couple of the items of clothing I had bookmarked and he bought them for me! I am so spoiled by him its not even funny. This is what is coming to me in the mail:

Kabbalah Bikram Bra AND

I CANNOT WAIT to do a pilates workout in these babies. 

I am also obsessed with any kind of Nike Free shoes. They come in such funky colour and patterns that it makes me want a pair of all of them in every possible combination. For outfit coordination of course. And a woman can never ever have enough shoes (no matter what my boyfriend tries to tell me).

I am currently loving this pair of Nike Free 4.0 V3 from the Athlete's Foot


I have a thing for pink and grey colour combinations. Don't ask me why, but it always looks 'pleasant' to my eyes than either of the two colours on their own. 

 I am also eyeing off a pair of the Nike Studio Wrap shoes seen below.

I probably don't need them as all my workouts are done at my home in a carpeted living room. But If I ever decide to do a class in a studio these would be good for keeping grip on the hardwood floors when your feet get sweaty. I imagine they would be particularly useful in a hot yoga class!


Nike is a tried and true fitness brand that I absolutely love. I have always incorporated their clothing and shoes in my workouts, sports and every day clothing as I have found their attire is both comfortable and on trend. 

But as seen above and in my last post, I'm happy to wear a mixture of clothing brands as there is always something new and different in each one. I must admit though that Running Bare is slightly in the lead with their more 'out there' and colourful attire. But until they come out with an exclusive line of shoes I will always choose Nike over any other brand.

I will try to include a few more 'Things I Love' post in the future that cover a range of categories including foods, beauty, workouts and anything else that comes to mind. Generally, if I find myself thinking about it a lot then I'll probably write a blog post about it!

Until next time,

-Tahlia XO

Monday, 16 September 2013

Slacking off!

I've been a bad blogger and have been SLACKING OFF majorly with the blog posts recently. I haven't even gotten to part 3 of my birthday weekend! I apologise to anyone who wanted it straight away- but I am positive that no one reads here so I guess I can slack off from time to time.

Today I was feeling usually energetic. Maybe its all the job interviews but I feel like I'm actually doing something with my life instead of just going to work and going home. I have met up with so many friends, gone to a few more parties and have been generally enjoying life at the moment. It's been sweet.

My workout today was a mixture of Blogilates videos.

I did the Hiitilates video Beautiful Burn

Pop Cardio Summer Sweat Fest

100 Burpee burnout  

AND the Call Me Maybe Squat challenge. 

(All videos are from Cassey Ho's You Tube channel, Blogilates. Her website is here)

I know. I don't know where all the extra energy has come from but I've really been enjoying my workouts and pushing myself recently.

I just got a new Lorna Jane tank too, which also helps with the energy (thank you to gift cards!). I always workout harder in cute clothing :)

So back to my birthday weekend.
I had dinner with my parents, parents 'in law' and my boyfriend at The Balcony restaurant, mentioned a couple of posts back. I of course got the seafood stone grill and everything was fresh and delicious as it always is. My dining companions also raved about how delicious their meals were, so I highly recommend booking for a function at the Balcony. It gets pretty packed out though so book a table!

Now, remember I mentioned loosing my phone? I was trying on some shoes in Cotton On and must have left it on a stand there and just walked out the store. This is why I cant have nice things-I am the biggest scatter brained person in the whole world. I have even just lost one shoe before. Yep. Just the one shoe. And no, I was not drunk at the time. I also left one of my gift card presents at the restaurant but the lovely staff there mailed it back to me when they found it. Thank God for the kindness of strangers. 

I did manage to get a picture of the frozen yogurt I ate before loosing my phone. Healthy it was not.

I then met my friends in the bar downstairs from the restaurant and at that point on the night was a bit of a blur. Too many shots of tequila were downed, although I did manage to stay away from the dreaded jagerbombs so I call that a win! I'll let a couple of pictures (from Facebook) do the talking.

My friends have been threatening me with a lot of embarrassing ones which I hope do not see the light of day! UNTAG! UNTAG!
I woke up a bit worse for wear the next day and decided to go see a movie. The boyfriend and I saw Kick Ass 2, which was OK. It was a lot darker and more crude than the first one. And a some of the fight scenes were gruesome but if that's your kind of thing then you will probably enjoy it.

For eats I was craving something fatty and cheesy and ended up getting a burrito bowl from Salsa's Mexican grill. With Chips. And a water. It was exactly what I was craving and definitely helped my hangover to be less intense. At least my stomach thought so.

The next day we picked up the dogs and left fairly early as I had a job interview later that day. All my job interviews have gone well so far, so here's hoping I hear from someone in the very near future. And now for a dog picture because you all know you want to see a picture of the two cutest fur balls in the world. Admit it. 

-Tahlia xo

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

My Birthday Part 2

Hello again everyone!

I had FOUR different job interviews today, so here's hoping that I hear back from them soon. I'm so impatient. 
Today I made pancakes for breakfast. I have it memorized from all the times I used to make them as a kid from my mum's personal recipe journal. Here it is if anyone was interested: WARNING: they are't protein pancakes or filled with any kind of super food so please feel free to skip if this isn't your thing. If you however love carbs and sugar then keep reading:

For one serving (makes about 3-4 pancakes)

1/3 cup of self raising flour
1/4 cup of whole milk
1 dessert spoon of sugar
1 egg

1. Whisk the egg and sugar together until combined
  (You can sift the flour for less lumps but I don't usually bother for such a small amount)
2. Combine half the portion of flour with the eggs and sugar, stir
3. Add half the portion of milk, stir
4. Continue adding flour and milk step by step like above until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps. I do it this way so that there are no lump whatsoever but you can add it all together at once just make sure you stir it well!
5. Heat up a buttered frying pan on medium heat and add a small amount of the mixture. Heat one side until it bubbles all over and you can lift it up slightly from underneath with the spatula.

6. Flip it over and brown on the other side.
7. Repeat above two steps with remainder of the mixture. 
8. Enjoy your delicious pancakes with whatever topping you desire! I used raspberry jam in the below picture.

you can add or subtract to the measurement of milk for thick or thin pancakes. I like mine on the slightly thick side but for thinner ones maybe use 1/3 cup instead of 1/4.

They don't look pretty but they tasted amazing!

Now, back to my birthday weekend.
On Saturday we woke up fairly early so I could go see how my babies were going at my mums house. I'm such a sook that I can't go several days without seeing my two little fur children. My boyfriend thought I was being silly but I couldn't help myself. We took them for a walk in the forest just down the road from my mum's house. Gemma really enjoyed herself but I think poor Gypsy struggled with the hills a bit (OK, I did too!). 

We then went back to the hotel and dropped the car off with the valet before catching a taxi to the Adelaide Show Grounds to go to the Royal Adelaide Show- an event that has a strong agricultural focus with lots of rides, show bags and side shows thrown in for the people like me who go for the 'carnival' aspect. 

I didn't go on any rides (too expensive-some of them were $20 for one go!)  but I did try some nice wines in the TasteSA tent. I bought a bottle of sweet white for something different- usually I go for more dry white varieties but I thought it would be good to have as a dessert wine. I also visited one of my best friends who was showing sheep. Hers won in all their categories but I wasn't surprised as their stud farm clean up every year.

 I of course had a cup of cider to celebrate in her honor. 

After a few hours of wandering around the grounds we decided to call it a day and head back to the hotel room for a shower and to rest our feet before the evenings festivities.

This will be a short post today as I just realized am running late for dinner plans! I promise to finish the (best) of the weekend recaps tomorrow!

(The above picture is from my birthday last year but I recently learned to make gifs and had to include it!!)

-Tahlia xo

Monday, 9 September 2013

I'm baaaaaack!

Oh my gosh what a whirlwind weekend I had.
I even had to stay an EXTRA day because I was just having so much fun. That's totally the reason, not because we were so hungover that the three hour drive home would have been unbearable.

Where to begin?
We got up bright and early on my birthday (yay!) on Thursday last week. My alarm was actually set for 6 am but I ended up sleeping through it and my boyfriend thought I looked too peaceful to wake me up. Love him.

We made good time and ended up getting to our destination, my previous home town, Adelaide South Australia, in about 3 hours. Give or take a few minutes for toilet stops. We took the fur babies with us because Lord knows that if we had left them to their own devices for several days we would no longer have a garden.

Gemma loves sitting on my lap the whole way down which is really cute but annoying when I want to do things like drink coffee or judge my boyfriend's reckless driving.

We dropped the dogs off at my mum's house then went to check in to our hotel, The Rendezvous Grand Hotel on Waymouth Street, Adelaide. I didn't take any photos of the room, but I assure you that it was comfortable and great walking distance to everything (being a five star hotel you'd hope so!). I was a little embarrassed that the concierge and valet saw my messy, dirty car surrounded by shiny Lexus and cute Mini Coopers. By the time we had dropped off our bags and played with all the light switches and tried on the fluffy robes  it was well past lunch time and I was HUNGRY. We went to Sushi Train on Grenfell Street, which is essentially Disneyland for my stomach and I was very very happy.

After that we had a few hours of shopping to do before I met up with my bestie for dinner and drinks. My boyfriend was so kind to buy me a new blazer and some shoes to wear. He saw me eyeing them off in one of my favorite stores, Cotton On, and insisted that I get them.
Dinner and drinks were at my favorite restaurant in the city, the Balcony Restaurant in the Strathmore Hotel, opposite the casino and train station. Here you can get Stone Grill, a big slab of scorching hot stone on which you cook your choice of protein from the menu. I always get the seafood one, but I have heard great things about the steaks and the 'Aussie Fare'- crocodile and kangaroo anyone?
For my meal though I went for something from the main menu, the kangaroo medallions. Sorry any foreigners reading this, I have no qualms about eating Skippy. He is delicious. I didn't take a picture because once I tried a bite of it, it was just too delicious and I couldn't put my knife and fork down. I wanted to lick the sauce off the plate but remembered that I wasn't at home but in a nice dining establishment. I assure you that it looked just as good as it tasted. The drinks were flowing a little too well and at some point we went to the casino and had some delicious and fancy cocktails. I woke up the next day just a little seedy.

There were no specific plans for Friday so we (the boyfriend and I) took a walk down to the Adelaide central markets, which is, cliche as they all come, a foodies paradise. I didn't get any pictures (I know I'm a terrible blogger) because it was very crowded and I was paranoid about dropping or loosing my phone (which I did manage to do anyway, more on that later!). If I lived in Adelaide again I would do all my produce and grocery shopping here. They have everything, and I mean everything. Bakeries, butchers, produce stands, coffee, cheeses, dips and olives, dried beans and lentils, nuts, small goods, pastas, home made sauces, oils, peanut butter, flowers. I kid you not. Everything is there.


Its all under cover so if the weather is a little inclement you can still go and get everything that you need. And if you get hungry while you shop, even with all the free samples, you can have something to eat either at the various stalls, the cafes or the extensive Asian food court adjacent to the markets. China Town is also next door if yum cha is something that is up your alley. I had salt and pepper squid from a cafe called 'Charlies Place'. I went there in search of coffee and the nice man serving me managed to convince me to get it. It doesn't take that much convincing for me to try food though.

The batter on the squid was a little thicker than I normally like, but it was still very flavorsome and the squid was extremely tender. The fries were amazing too but come on, who doesn't love fries?
After walking around for several hours we got tired and went back to the hotel room to relax and decide on our next move. That move ended up being back to the casino where I had a few pints of ciders and listened to a guy on a grand piano do cover songs. He did the new Daft Punk song, which was unexpected but awesome!

On the way back to our hotel we got peckish and stopped into the 'Felafel House' on Hindley street to grab a tray of meat, salads, tabbouleh and some fries.

 I requested extra garlic sauce to dip my fries into and, as you can see by the picture, I got my garlic sauce. It was very strong and lucky my boyfriend loved it as much as me because no amount of brushing my teeth could get the taste of garlic out of my mouth!

That is part one of my birthday weekend- I hoped you enjoyed reading. If you were interested in seeing more pictures just head to my instagram page: @tahlia_renee
Part two will be posted tomorrow :-)