I don’t like doing resolutions. The energy on new year’s eve is too chaotic and drunken. It isn’t a good night for resolving to do things. So I’ve been considering what’s coming in 2020 for a while really and it isn’t going to be anything special.

My goals for 2020 in short are:

Self Care – The real kind, not the fun kind.
In 2020 I aim to do the things that support my wellbeing and continued growth as a parent, artist, creator and person.

I’ve has a rough year this year, physically and mentally, but I’m ending in a much improved place and my goals for this year, in line with the above, look much like last years:

  • Be a great mum – no more needs to be said. I have a bright, curious, little bug who will be 2 in a few weeks. We’re doing great. We will keep doing great.
  • Continue working on my health
    • Continue gradually improving my mental health with the support of my care team, gradually improving eating and self care that support it.
    • I’ve lost a little weight in the last few months by making small changes to my diet and I will continue that work. Slow, steady and sustainable.
    • Get moving a bit more. I started a little dancing this past few months and want to go back to classes and take up yoga again.
  • One goal I did hit in 2019 is FINALLY getting started on my weaving… and I enjoy it a lot so in 2020 I want to try making actual stuff, not just playing round.
  • I finished one of the 5 projects I was working on in 2018 that I put down as goals for this year so in 2020 I’m going to try and finish one more… Don’t hold your breath for this achievement.

Once again this post is necessary to read and reread over and over.

The beginning of the love affair…

Dark Chocolate Brownie Cheesecake – GF, LF

**I Drafted this in… 2016 and forgot about it. Here you go, enjoy**

Ohhh yeah, you heard that right. Dark chocolate brownie cheesecake that is lactose and gluten free, AND it’s gooooood.

So my mother, being the epic baker that she is used to make this gorgeous kitkat cheesecake. It was divine and I made it myself for a long time, but then fodmaps. Woo… not. I’ve been promising my friends I’d experiment with lactose free creams and gluten free bases etc for a while so here it is. One dark chocolate brownie base with delicious lactose free cheesecake.

BASE
I think this would be delicious with walnuts in it, but I’m making it for a party with a friend who has a nut allergy.

  • 150g dark, lactose and gluten free chocolate (read the labels, I found mine in the baking section)
  • 125g nutelex
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup gluten free self raising flour*
  • 3/4 cup gluten free plain flour*

*I’m being lazy and using Woolworths freeform flours.

Get your oven preheating. 160c for fan forced or 180c for conventional (Not fan forced?)

Melt dark chocolate and nutelex together either in the double boiler or in a bowl in the microwave – for the uninitiated put ingredients into a microwave proof bowl and heat in bursts of 30 seconds, mixing between. Then put to one side to cool off a bit.

Beat together egg and sugar, and then measure out your flours. By this point the chocolate should be still warm but not burning and you can beat the sugar and egg mix into the chocolate and butter mix. Finally add the flours gradually by shaking a layer of flour over the top of the wet ingredients then stirring it through. Continue until all your flour is in and the mixture is nice and smooth.

Set to one side.

Line a spring form pan. I do mine sort of like this, except I make the base too big and run it up the sides rather than doing the sides longer and running them onto the bottom: http://www.kayotic.nl/blog/tag/lining-a-springform-cake-pan

Pour mix into the lined pan. It’s quite thick so pour it all into the centre of the pan and then gently spread it to the edges with a spoon.

Bake in that now hot oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to one side. It won’t be cooked, it’s not meant to be. Don’t turn the oven off as you need it at the same for the next bit.

CHEESECAKE!!

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2x 250g packets of Liddells lactose free cream cheese.
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 large eggs
  • 500ml tub Liddells sour cream
    • OR 250ml Liddells sour cream and 250ml Liddells thickened cream (found with the longline milks)
  • 4 cubes dark chocolate
  • Instant coffee

Super easy process. This is easiest with a kitchen aid but can be done by hand. If doing by hand I recommend leaving your cream cheese on the bench for a few hours/overnight.

Mix together the cream cheese and sugar. I find putting the sugar in and then adding the cream cheese around 1/3rd a tub at a time is easiest. Start your mixer on the lowest setting and move up to the 3rd (beating) setting for each section. Mix it thoroughly, you want it nice and smooth.

Add the eggs 1 at a time, and then beat in the vanilla essence.

Grab your chocolate and throw it in a small bowl with a teaspoon or so instant coffee. Pour a little boiling water over it. By the time you’ve done the next two steps it should pretty much have melted the chocolate.

Fold in the sour cream on the lowest setting.

Pour mix on top the cooling brownie base, because your base isn’t cooked I recommend pouring it over a mixing spoon so it doesn’t disturb the base.

Give your chocolate and coffee mix a stir then use as much, or as little, of it as you like to decorate the top of your cheesecake.

Pop it all into the over for an hour. When you turn the oven off the cheesecake should move a bit like jello if shook slightly. Leave in the oven with the door partially open to cool slowly and set.

And you’re done. You can serve it with fruit as it will be quite sweet.

2019 in Review

So 2019 happened…

I didn’t blog much. There wasn’t much to say really.

I spent the first three quarters of the year wrangling my mental health. With the help of a holistic psychiatrist I improved my nutrient intake and dropped my medications. The final step down didn’t go well so I’m on a new medication that is working really well and continuing to work on the elements of diet and lifestyle that support my mental health.

My physical health has gradually improved. The germs that Rabbit brings home from daycare means that I’ve been sick a lot but it’s gradually improving. My Beloved on the other hand got pneumonia and landed their ass in hospital with an abscess is their lung. They’re ok now but they’ve lost about 10% of their lung capacity on one side.

I am continuing work for the little events company I’ve been with for the last year and am loving it more everyday. I will be incredibly sad when it comes to an end.

My beloved was made redundant in August. They are now working as a consultant and have an ongoing position lined up for next year. I am so incredibly proud of how they handled the redundancy so soon after being sick, and so very happy for them with the positions they’ve found. They are doing so well.

Rabbit grows at an insane rate. She’s bright, cheerful, inquisitive and fearless. Everything a shortly-to-be-two year old should be. Her big sisters are amazing, as always.

My disappointments for the year are few.

I didn’t make as much art as I’d like, but I did make art.
I didn’t read enough, but I did read.
I didn’t socialise enough, but my health is improving so it balances out.

Overall this year has been brutal but rewarding.

A Little Happy

Nothing huge or exciting here, just a small win.

I’ve been contracting with an awesome business for the past while and I’ve been asked to stay on a potential 12 more months working alongside the admin I’ve been covering maternity leave for as she’d like to go part-time for a while so she’s not away from her Little too much.

I am absolutely down for that.

Secondary win. They are chill about me needing time off when it’s time to finally go off my meds. They’ve been hugely supportive actually. It’s nice.

Pick one and start

It’s been a hard couple of weeks.

I’m dropping down my antidepressant medication which hasn’t been much drama in the past, but apparently this is no longer the case. I did know the last 2 doses (100mg to 50mg and then 50mg to 0) would be the hardest, but I wasn’t counting on my beloved being away for week 1 and extremely sick and bedridden for week 2.

I feel like crap. I am emotionally either completely checked out or wanting to cry and hide. This is not fun when trying to care for a toddler and a bedridden partner.

I also feel hopeless. I’m meant to be working on improving my health but all I want to do is crawl into a hole. Everything is just way too hard and I keep looking at all the (often conflicting) advice and information I’ve been given over the years and stalling

I’ve also been reading this book: Brief Lessons in Creativity by Tate. I haven’t finished it despite it being tiny which is frustrating, however it has inspired the sanest response to the diet thing I have managed to have.

Just start. Pick a spot, any spot, and start working. So I am. Simple spot to start with: Lactose and Soft drink. Neither get along with my gut so I’m starting with removing them.

I know where I want to be at the end of this. It’s something resembling a Paleo or Keto diet with a tiny bit more carbs involved (I need them evil carbs for serotonin uptake issues that influence my depression), but I can’t just ‘do it’ right now. So I’m starting with one thing that I can, and have previously, managed to do and working on it that way.

Wait… It’s June???? WTF!!!

It’s been hectic as hell.

Since my last post I started work, then we went to Confest, teething begun, Rabbit got sick, I applied to uni, then I got sick, then Daddy got sick, then we all got better, then we all got sick again and now we are right here….

Sick. We’re always sick. Goddamned Kindy

It’s been hectic. Really hectic, and to top it off I’m dropping another dose of my meds. Which brings me down to a quarter of what I was on in January. Today is the first day.

I feel like death.

Oops, it’s February

Crap, this year is just getting away from me. It’s already been a big one.

Word art 'January' in white with blue and gold decorative swirls around it on a black background
  • Rabbit had her 1st Birthday. They’re up and crawling and getting into mischief.
  • We went camping. It was a great three nights away in Central Vic just out of Little Desert.
  • I made the call not to return to study this year as I need to focus on my health. My leave of absence was approved without an issue.
  • I dropped down a dose of my antidepressant. Outside of being sick for several days it went very well.
  • M & J got their further study offers. M is doing an associate diploma in IT and J was offered a university place in law.
  • J moved back in.
  • B went to the USA and we survived!
  • We finally got a plan mapped out for the backyard. This includes building B an office out there so Rabbit isn’t under his feet when he’s working.
Image of 'February' in decorative text with vine like decorations around it on a pink background.
  • Rabbit has started standing on her own and attempting to walk. They’re not quite there yet, but soon.
  • Dropped another 50mg off my antidepressants with minimal fuss.
  • B and I have had 2, yes TWO!!!! date nights. One at the gorgeous Le Bon Ton and one, for my birthday, at Meat Maiden.
  • I decided to start putting together a folio to apply to RMIT fine arts and then got distracted and decided to add one of the arts institues to my applications. Big folio required.
  • Did an oil painting course and it rocked and suddenly I LOVE painting.
  • Turned 35.
  • Had a tarot reading with Ly De Angeles, who is fucking amazing. It was really interesting and I’m still digesting it and transcribing it days later.
  • B went to NZ.

And, right now, I’m butting heads with my diet. I need to keep improving it, but a lot of what is good for me is downright bad for J and not really stuff M will eat, so I cook two meals every night, or variations on one meal, or suck it up? I’m really fucking frustrated. I’m not able to just say cook for yourselves either, or I don’t feel like I can. *Sigh*

Images from Every-Tuesday blog by Teela. An awesome blog for those looking to get into or improve their skills in Lettering.

Oops I did it again…

Jan 1 roles around after a truly lovely New Year’s Eve with family and friends aaaaaand…

I wake up with a cold, and an additional resolution to add to my things for this year:

I will practice the art of only doing as much as my body and mind are actually capable of!

Seriously, every time I push myself I get sick again so I have got to learn to do this. For now though, tea.

2019, here we come

I thought I’d written this but apparently I accidentally deleted it.

So I did a redux, but I didn’t add a few very important things to it.

As 2018 closes I want to say thank you. Thank you to Nicole Field for her never ending patience with my cancelling of catch ups. Thank you to Amanda for her encouragement, advice and parenting support. Thank you to Morgan for persisting with our friendship despite how damned hard I make it.

And huge, epic, gratitude to my partner, my in-laws, my mum and partner, and my gorgeous step-daughters for the support, the love, the meals, the patience, the babysitting, the help cleaning house, and the acceptance of where I’m at right now.

It’s been a a fucking hard year. So next year my goals are small-ish.

  • Get Rabbit to things that involve other young children every week.
    • So far we’ve got Gymbaroo setup and I’m aiming for one or two playgroup gatherings. Someone mentioned Ceres also run a music thing for littles so I’ll look that up.
  • Finish my multitude of started projects. Off the top of my head I have:
    • Blue Blanket
    • Big Blanket
    • Rabbit’s blanket
    • Sal’s present
    • Fetch related things
  • Try intuitive painting and learn to weave.
  • Continue working on my health.
    • This one is a struggle. I just can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel at this point and it is making it so hard to look after myself. I’ve been self-sabotaging all over the shop, but I’ve done some good things. I have followed my psych’s intructions and I have ordered some pre-made meals so I actually eat real food.
    • I still need to work on exercise.
  • Witchcraft, because always witchcraft.

It’s been such a hard year for me that I am trying not to over commit myself with anything for 2019. My health and Rabbit are the priorities. Creative bits come after that, but as they tend to help my sanity I will try to work on something every day.

That’s it. The motto of the year is “Baby steps are better than no steps”.

Also this is going to be read, re-read and re-read until I get it through my thick skull.

One of those projects to work on.

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