Confessions of a Curious Mind

January 30, 2010

We have moved!

Filed under: General — Ms Curious @ 7:55 am

The new home of this blog is here.

Please come and visit!

January 18, 2010

Food Diary – 12 to 17 Jan

Filed under: Food Diary — Ms Curious @ 4:39 pm
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It’s hard when you lose momentum with blogging. I have memory of a goldfish so I can’t remember half of what I had in the last few days. Below is what I can savage from my brain.

12 Jan lunch – Ipoh Hor Fun at Malaysian House, Hunter Connection. Ipoh Hor Fun is a soup noodle with chicken and prawn.

Ipoh hor fun

I found a recipe whilst searching for the above picture. I may give it a go … I wonder if I can just use chicken pieces rather than a whole chicken?

13 Jan dinner – lamb kebabs marinated with mint, rosemary and honey.

14 Jan dinnerPork chops with baked apples. I used Granny Smith instead of red apple as suggested in the recipe but it is equally tasty.

I really like the comments section of the Taste website, I followed their advice to bake the apples for longer and it is much better. A hint to anyone interested in trying this dish – eat the pork and the apple in the same mouthful, their flavours really complement each other.

15 Jan lunch – Seafood paella from Ministry of Food on Bligh Street. Paella is one of those dishes that I will never make myself, it’s just too much work!

16 Jan lunch – lunch at Ripples Chowder Bay to celebrate The Little Guy’s first birthday, I will blog about it separately.

16 Jan dinner – Lamb chops, coated with wasabi flavoured olive oil and lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, cooked medium rare. Simple but so good.

17 Jan dinner Fast chicken tagine

Quick chicken tagine

Are you detecting a trend on where my recipes come from?

This is my second attempt. I forgot to buy green olives the first time and the dish wasn’t as good without them. Also, I used slivered almonds rather than flaked almonds and it was an improvement, gave the dish a nice crunch. I mucked up the cooking of the couscous though by putting in a bit too much liquid.

There were a fair bit of leftovers so this is likely to be dinner tonight as well.

The definite lowlight in the last few days was that I finished the box of Guylian shells. It was a failed attempt in portion control. In retrospect I should have known better!  Also I didn’t eat as much vegetables as I’d like.

Overall, my food intake was not as good as it should be. I am going to do some research on GI because I am running out of energy on days when I’m at work (like today).

I am late for my weigh in and measure as well. I may have to postpone that to Wednesday when I am not working.  I don’t think there will be much change.

Running behind schedule …

Filed under: General — Ms Curious @ 2:44 pm

Please be patient – I will be writing new posts soon. There are so much to catch up on because last week was busy – The Little Guy’s first week at child care, as well as his first birthday.

January 12, 2010

Food Diary – 11 Jan

Filed under: Food Diary — Ms Curious @ 11:11 am
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Breakfast: 2 pieces of multigrain toast with butter and plum jam, skim cap
Morning Tea: A handful of dried fruit and nuts
Lunch: Lunch with friends at Verandah Bar. I had “Lamb Kebabs with a Garden Salad on Grilled Pita Bread topped with Tzatziki”, which was very nice except that the kebabs were cold. A skim cap at 2pm.
Early evening snack: A piece of Guylian seashell
Dinner: Bacon and Cheese Chicken. Mr Curious cooked so there were potatoes only for vegies! It was yummy but yes, not the healthiest dish.
Evening snack: I couldn’t resist the siren call of ice cream with Ice Magic.

Not a stellar day. It will be interesting to see what my weight is at the next weigh-in (how The Biggest Loser!). Maybe this is the control weigh-in where I can see what happens when I do not make major diet changes.

As an aside, I went on the treadmill briefly Friday afternoon and my fitness level is zero at this point. Must try to work in exercise in my schedule somehow.

Tidbits from our Launceston trip

We had a wonderful time on our holiday. Below are some highlights and observations.

1. The Little Guy was (mostly) great on the plane. I took him for a walk down the aisle on the flight back. His wonderful smile charmed all the passengers into playing with him. He had a great time playing with a young woman’s bracelets with hot pink rose beads.

The one time when he was unhappy was the descent on our way to Launceston. I forgot to take his sultanas out of his bag in the overhead locker and he cried the whole time until the plane landed. I will not forget again!

2. We stayed at the Country Club of Tasmania. I was expecting a posh establishment with immaculate greens and ladies sipping tea. Instead it is the premier gambling establishment in Launceston! I’m not a gambler so I didn’t try my luck on the pokies, the grounds are very nice though (there is an 18-hole golf course and a beautiful lake).

Lake at Country Club of Tasmania

3. The locals can make or break any holiday. On this front Launceston really delivers. Staff at the Club and all the people we came across were warm, friendly and extremely helpful. Another visit may be on the cards.

4. This trip was for a conference ran by Mr Curious’ employer and we only had an afternoon for sightseeing. We went to Cataract Gorge which was lovely. We didn’t go on the cable ride (a bit dangerous for the little guy as there was no belt, although there was no restriction to take babies on it), instead we had a pleasant walk on the trails. I was enjoying the views so much I didn’t even take a photo! The gorge is only 10 minutes’ drive from the CBD – it is wonderful to have a beautiful spot so close to the city.

Cataract Gorge suspension bridge

By njellis on www.panoramio.com

I found it interesting to see many people climbing off the fence and heading down to the rapids, swimming or relaxing on the rocks. Somehow I can’t see that happening in Sydney – there will be “No Climbing” signs everywhere. I really liked the sense of freedom and adventure I experienced there.

5. I didn’t maintain a food diary on the trip. My food consumption was OK given it was a holiday. I probably had too much carbs and dessert though. On Sunday we had a picnic lunch at the lake near the golf course. It is nice to have a picnic when someone else prepares the food and we don’t need to clean up afterwards!

It was a lovely trip and I felt recharged. Now it’s back to our regular scheduled program … until we head down to Melbourne for the Australian Open on the 23rd. Looking forward to it!

January 7, 2010

Holiday time!

Filed under: General — Ms Curious @ 9:03 am
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Cataract Gorge, Launceston, originally uploaded by stephenk1977.

This blog will be on hiatus until Sunday. We’re off to Launceston today to attend a conference (read: paid for holiday) that Mr Curious’ employer organised.

We’re hoping to visit Cataract Gorge. Let’s hope the weather is nice and we get to enjoy the great outdoors.

See you all soon!

Food Diary – Jan 6

Filed under: Food — Ms Curious @ 9:02 am
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Breakfast: A bowl of Uncle Toby Plus Antioxidant Lift with skim milk
Lunch: A club sandwich and a mango smoothie with skim milk at Bitton
Afternoon snack: Late afternoon – soup with carrot, corn and pork
Dinner: 1 sausage sizzle with onion and tomato sauce, salad with spinach, sun dried tomatoes, bocconcini cheese with a dash of olive oil as dressing.
Evening snack: I did avoid ice cream! Had a piece of Guylian seashell chocolate as planned

Back on plan in terms of avoiding bad food, but I still need to work on portion size.

Well we’ll be away for the next few days. It’s so easy to over-eat on holidays. Must be strong!

January 6, 2010

Food Diary – Jan 5

Filed under: Food Diary — Ms Curious @ 9:03 pm
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Breakfast: A bowl of Uncle Toby Plus Antioxidant Lift with skim milk at home, then 2 pieces of raisin toast with butter, and a skim cap at work
Lunch: Little Vienna Mojo Beef sandwich with brown bread (beef rissoles, tomato, lettuce, jalapeño, mayo), Coke Zero
Afternoon snack: Handfuls of fruit and nuts, skim cap
Dinner: Maple Mustard Pork Cutlets

This is one of my favourite dishes because it is so easy to make and so tasty. The baby spinach and bean mash works surprisingly well.

Evening snack: That’s when things fell apart …

Mr Curious gave me an enormous box of Guylian Sea Shells on Christmas.

I was planning to give myself a small sweet treat each evening by having one piece of seashell per night.

Well that didn’t work. The box was sitting there, calling for me, tempting me. And I succumbed. I ended up eating about 8! And that just made me want to eat more things, and I had gingle ale and some Jatz! There were no fruit left at home, only bad food 😦

So yesterday was a bad day. I bought some strawberries and mango today so I have something to snack on. I bought a big tub of ice cream and I’m not going to have any! *resolve*

January 5, 2010

Returning To The Rat Race

Filed under: Mothering,Work — Ms Curious @ 4:56 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I’ve been back at work since mid-December from maternity leave.

I worked for The Company, a large multi-national organisation which will remain unnamed. It is in a very demanding industry and staff usually work long hours, but are rewarded well, at least monetarily.

I took 12-month maternity leave to look after The Little Guy, and I was happy to forget everything about the corporate world for a while and enjoy motherhood. As the end of my leave drew near I had to think about my return to work. My preference was to work part time which The Company is likely to accommodate, but I also want to work “family friendly hours”, which is not typical around here. There are several mums working part time in The Department but they work long hours on the days that they are in the office, and they are often on call during their days off anyway. That wasn’t what I want.

I didn’t like my chances and I told Mr Curious that my requirements were not realistic, but he told me to ask for it anyway. “What do you have to lose?” he said.

So I did. I met up with our HR manager around August the told her my thoughts. She said she would speak to the head of The Department and see what could be done.

I didn’t hear from her for a while. When I got in touch with her eventually, she said that they could only think of one area in The Department where I might be able to work, and even then they were not sure if that team wants a part time person.

I was expecting the worst at that point, but I wasn’t necessarily unhappy. The reality is that I wasn’t happy with the role in the first place. Whilst HR and management have been very supportive, I find the actual work of The Department depressing. I never connected with the work, it was a stressful role with lots of deadlines, and it was dragging me down.

I half-hoped they would offer me redundancy, so I get a nice payout and can look for work in the new year.

A month before my maternity leave finishes, I was asked to come into the office. I had a meeting with the head of The Department, the HR manager and another manager. They have found a home for me. I would work on projects to improve team efficiencies and effectiveness, and since these are internal projects there are no demanding deadlines. I would be working for a manager who works part time herself (she has a 15 month old girl).

I was very grateful – I can tell that they tried very hard to accommodate my needs. So I said yes to the role. There will be a review in 3 months’ time to see how things are working for both parties, which I am happy with.

As the start date drew near, a part of me was looking forward to spending time with adults only and not being a mum only 24/7. Thankfully The Little Guy is not too clingy so it was relatively easy to leave him. My mum and MIL are taking turns looking after him until childcare starts next week.

It was good to go back to work around the Christmas period because it is quieter and it gave me a chance to ease back into work. Also my manager is on leave until the end of the month so I don’t have a lot on my plate (I’m writing this at work right now).

Yesterday, as I was reading some work documents, I was reminded of how much I dislike the nature of the work. I feel immense loyalty to management, but I think working in The Company is not healthy for me in the long run. So whilst I’ll do my best whilst I’m here, I will start looking elsewhere soon. As to what I will be looking for – that’s another topic completely!

Food Diary – Jan 4

Filed under: Food Diary — Ms Curious @ 11:14 am
Tags: ,

Breakfast: 2 pieces of multigrain toast with butter and strawberry jam, and a skim cap (I was at work yesterday, definitely needed a coffee to be awake!)
Lunch: Was trying to be good and brought in tuna salad from home – tuna in olive oil, mixed lettuce, grape tomatoes, red onion and capsicum. Also had a piece of toast and a Coke Zero. The salad was yummy but I was hungry by 2:30pm and bought a small smoked salmon wrap.
Afternoon snack: A skinny hot chocolate and another skim cap, was dozing off at the desk
Dinner: My MIL came over to look after The Little Guy and she made some macaroni cheese. Naughty food but I didn’t have to cook which is a plus. Had a side salad of mixed lettuce and sun dried tomatoes
Evening snack: A ginger ale

An OK day. The hunger pangs were very distracting in the afternoon. I don’t think I over ate though.

2 soft drinks a day is not a good thing, I will bring Berocca to work next week so I can have a healthy fizzy drink when needed.

Astute readers would have noticed that I didn’t start a exercise diary, that’s because I didn’t do any (besides walking a fair bit). Still haven’t worked out how to fit it today my schedule yet. I’ll get there soon!

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