Grateful for all we have

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My exercise and eating well regime have been going really well as my meal plans are simpler now with eating more salads and knowing how to balance it with protein and grains. Tonight’s¬†couscous salad of watercress, raw beets, grated carrots, radish, tomato and my new fave plant protein Beyond Meat “chicken” strips made from soy and pea protein topped with a miso chilli dressing so perfect for a meatless Monday. If I were to go vegan this is a perfect meal, one day I will get there! Still eating seasonal, local and organic adds so much variety to your diet and it is even better to get the vegetables direct from the farm.

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So I went out for Mothers Day celebrations on Saturday rather than Sunday as I am not a fan of crowds or people. I had a study break from my paper and went out for lunch to Terun on California Avenue in Palo Alto and afterwards, I went shoe shopping for my mothers day gift. Oh boy, what a treat to find such comfortable and beautifully made shoes, I saw these on a parent at the school I work at and said, “where do you find them” and she told me! These shoes are handmade in Israel and they are the most comfortable and light shoe to wear, I really had a hard choice choosing so I decided on the blue flats as I am looking for alternative shoes in my shoe collection to take over the Camper shoes that I have loved over the years. I get a feeling that from now on any spare $ I have will be spent on these Jafa shoes, they are the best! I mean the colours of the boots are stunning and that is what I have my eye on in the future ūüėÄ

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I enjoyed this vodka cocktail for lunch with beet gnocchi, eggplant balls, a Neapolitan style pizza with pear and gruyere plus a farro dish with calamari Рwhat an amazing feast!

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At work former students of 2nd grade built this portable see-saw at tinkering, it is super cool and I see the kids hang out at recess or during class time for some air time outside. It sways on a PVC pipe and a chunk of wood – superb design.

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This week after a week of being appreciated it was time to be grateful for the wonderful year I have had. At the end of last summer, I began a temporary substitute teacher assistant role which initially was going to be 6 months but carried on for the school year where I got to meet another two lively cohorts of children in Kinder and 1st. I am truly grateful for this opportunity of working alongside some incredible educators. Today I was notified they don’t have a role for me next year so I only have 19 days left in this role until Summer vacation. After that it is a holiday in Australia¬†to visit family and friends and then back here for one more year of student mama life and organising our move back home, it will surely be exciting!

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I usually go walking every week around the neighbourhood and it has been beautiful lately with all the spring flowers everywhere, I especially love the orange California poppies. This beauty is growing from a succulent and it is super tall and so pink it catches my eye each time I walk past РI managed to capture this in the evening light the other day, early morning would be best I think!

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Oh, and as I was cleaning out the classroom of library books to return I found this inspiring story and did a read aloud to the kinder kids. It is a story of Julia Butterfly Hill who lived in a redwood for over 2 years to see it preserved for all time. It was such an inspiring story inspired from the novel which I have to get my hands on sometime to ready over the summer I think! Which brings me to the Tarkine in Tasmania Рa place where I visited many moons ago with The Wilderness Society. Patagonia has made a film about giving this incredible forest sanctuary for all time World Heritage Protection. Heres to making that happen as I really would love to take my children there when we go home as it is such an experience for them to visit an ancient rainforest where you feel so small.

A tear in the fabric of humanity

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This week just gone had a huge impact, not just on the United States and the rest of the world are feeling the repercussions of the results of the US Presidential Election. Since Wednesday the feeling among my friends and I in California have been of complete despair. Still, my husband shared an article with me that sums it up and it all boils down to capitalist greed Рworth a read! Let us all feel the grief, and then we must get up and fight for the change that we want to happen.

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One of my main concerns is for humanity and the behaviors modeled by this so called President-elect of people thinking that it is OK to basically bully people, just to get what you want. The time is now for an uprising and if anything it will make us fight harder for what we all believe in, then we can finally stick it to the man through sheer grit and determination. Being trodden on by others can only give you strength to stand up for what you believe in.

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As an environmentalist, I am upset with is the destruction of well laid environmental policies that so many people have been put in place, only now to be destroyed just like a huge wave on a sandcastle. Again we will work together as a community and fight for what we believe in. And may the odds be in our favor (The Hunger Games, Trilogy).

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Still, the tragedy of this vast imbalance around the world of capitalist greed will create a dissident mass who are willing to fight for our rights. And in the words of Public Enemy let’s Fight the Power.

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On a final note, here is my booth from Saturday at the Holiday Bazaar at the local community center. People working together mostly women entrepreneurs creating their own businesses Рselling on a local level and supporting the community and those around them. In amongst the vendors I worked with a multitude of nations working together to create their own confident path to freedom in their own way.

What I believe is important as a community we work together as a whole to create a society where no one is left behind and we all support one another to achieve our goals Рmaybe this sounds quite romantic, though all is fair in love and war.

Peace x

A piece A Week :: Check Meowt Tee-Shirt

This tee has nothing to do with cats but a lot to do with checks! I found this check wool fabric at my fave place of treasure РFabMo, when they had their sewing sale. This is a tailors suiting fabric which I thought would make a great layering top. I found this Tee pattern in this great book The Great British Sewing Bee РSew Your Own Wardrobe. It is a perfect layering piece and a lot of fun to play tennis in. As you can see I was out on the court again last week chasing those little yellow balls around though my son and I did manage a rally of hitting the ball 6 times Рwe were so excited!! 
Getting Sporty in this checked tee! 
Last week I also had my class at the local library making some felt heart pins with hand sewing and hot glue. There is something about the hand sewing classes that I love with everyone sitting around crafting and chatting. In this day and age times like these are truly enjoyed by all, so I am happy to be volunteering and making this crafting community happen and seeing familiar faces every month. 
A finished sock monkey from January’s sock monkey class

The How To sheet and one of the students heart pins

A heart pin in progress with diamond buttons Рby a lady who recently moved to Mountain View 

The weekend was absolutely stunning and we got a taste of what spring will be like with some warm sunshine and blue skies! Saturday our family volunteered as part of the Boy Scouts community service with Save the Bay at Byxbee Park in Palo Alto. We were weeding out wild mustard and Ox Tongue Spiky Plants and planting in their place some native vegetation including California Poppies. We will have to visit or take a bike ride in the Spring time to see them in bloom.

A bike in the distance on this beautiful hill covered in telephone poles – I love the environmental art here!

Grown little Poppy grow!!

The kids playing after all their hard work weeding and digging

Sunday we had a planned family bike ride as it was Super Bowl weekend here in the Bay Area we enjoyed the peace of the trail and rode for a good 8 miles return trip. I picked up some spring blossoms on our way in my bike basket and enjoyed the quiet of the end of the trail at the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge, just a bike ride away.

I love my bike! With a pannier to carry the drink bottles

Digging deep in nature we found lots of ladybugs

My bouquet of local flora including a succulent from my garden