Monday Top 5 – 16th April

Here are the Top 5 things that made my Monday great:

1. My new issue of Frankie magazine arrived in the mail today

My lovely housemate Anthony bought me a subscription for Christmas, so it’s the gift that keeps on giving! He’s a keeper, my Anthony!

2. I purchased Lush’s face moisturiser, Imperialis, with the rest of my birthday money

I’ve been using the cleansers and soaps all weekend and watching my skin improve day-by-day, while slowly falling more and more in love with Lush. To top it off, I used my Cupcake mask last night in the bath, and I don’t think my skin has ever felt so soft (and I have used MUCH more expensive products in the past). After cleaning it with such beautiful products, I thought it only fair to my skin that I follow it up with a moisturiser to match, so off to Lush I went, and Imperialis is what I came out with. So far, so happy!

3. I started my day with a yoga routine

Simple, but so effective. It is easy to forget how good I feel when I start the day with yoga, and I haven’t been very devoted to it of late, so I’m very proud that I managed to motivate myself, because all day I felt blissful enough to get me through.

4. I cooked myself a delicious and nutritious dinner-for-one

Matt is away on business this week because he is a grown up, and Anthony sorts out his own meals at the moment, so for the first time in a long time, I cooked dinner just for myself. It was very easy; bbq chicken breast (the rest to be used in other meals) and stir fried veg in garlic, oregano and lemon juice. Quick, easy and oh-so delicious! And enough leftover for my lunch tomorrow.

5. I’m feeling rested

Yesterday we got back from my birthday weekend, which was a fantastic weekend in Anglesea, Victoria, filled with beach games, sunshine, canoeing, touristy times, board games and lovely mates, and I am feeling incredibly happy and better for having such a wonderful break.

So that’s my Monday Top 5. Have a wonderful week everyone!

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On Top of the World

In the spirit of my “Year of Adventure”, yesterday Matt, Alysia, Terri, Katharine, Sam and I hiked to the top of the tallest mountain in Victoria – Mount Bogong.

I grew up in a little town called Mt Beauty, at the end of the Kiewa Valley in North East Victoria. As the name suggests, it’s an incredibly beautiful place to grow up, surrounded by a gorgeous landscape of mountains, including Mount Bogong. A lot of people who I grew up with have already completed the climb, some of them (I AM NOT KIDDING) RUN all the way up and down the incredibly steep trail called the Staircase Spur. It takes these crazy people 3 hours up and back. So I personally felt that completing the climb was something that, as a local, I had to do, because for me, Mount Bogong was something I always looked forward to seeing, and how I knew I was nearly home.

Mount Bogong is 1986m tall, and from Tawonga, this is what it looks like:

Needless to say, I had no idea what I was getting into when I said I would do this climb – it was  incredibly difficult!

We decided to take the Staircase Spur, the shortest and hardest route to get to the top, but the one that most people that I know, take. We left Mountain Creek at 7.30am towards the Staircase and hiked as best we could to make it to the halfway point, the Bivouac Hut by around 10/10.30am. Alysia, Kath and Sam trailed behind Matt, Terri and I, but eventually Matt went ahead and Terri dropped behind me, so I was hiking for at least 1 1/2 hours alone. In the bush. With no sign of how much further I had to climb. Every corner I turned I was hoping would have a clearing on the other side that would have the hut, to no avail, but eventually I got there.

The strangest part of this climb was trying to figure out if I was hot, or cold. I’d just climbed at least 3km, so my heart was pumping and I was really sweating, but my skin felt cold as ice and I had goosebumps. But after a nice big rest, a feed, a stretch and wait for everyone else to catch up, we set off for the summit.

This part of the Staircase is exactly that – a freaking rock staircase! And boy, is it steep! This time, Terri, Matt and I stayed together for the most part and had a quick break at the clearing before the steepest part of the climb, and bumped into my mate Wilfred and his friend Luke who we completed the climb with. At this point, you can actually see the final destination, so even though it is even steeper, you know you are NEARLY THERE!!

We made it to the summit at 12.30ish and had a good hour long break eating tuna on crackers for lunch, waiting for the girls to catch up and taking some photos for bragging rights. It was absolutely amazing up there. We could see the Kiewa Valley, the Mitta Valley, Mount Buller and the Kosciusko Ranges to name a few. And the mountains spread as far as the eye could see in every direction. It was so beautiful, and we were lucky enough to have clear skies and minimal smoke from the burning off that always occurs around Easter.

I’m not sure if I have ever been so proud of myself as I was on the top of that mountain. I even struck a few yoga poses just so I can say that I did. But I couldn’t help but remind myself that although I was doing this to challenge myself, I did it in tribute of my Aunty Mae Mae, who took my sister and I on so many hikes with her family when we were kids.

When we left, we considered taking the Eskdale Spur home, because although longer, it was flatter. But with a strangers advice that we would likely get lost, we decided to go back down the Staircase and did so with our weak and wobbly legs the whole way down. For me, this part was the hardest. Tired and weak from the morning’s climb, I somehow found the energy to use an entirely new group of muscles, and in agony with shaking legs, made my way down with Terri and Matt. I couldn’t help but think of the line from the nursery rhyme, The Grand Old Duke of York, “when they were only halfway up, they were neither up nor down”, because we kept thinking that we were nearly home, but we weren’t. Eventually, we got back to the car at 5pm, and the three girls 30 mins later.

It was an incredibly big and unforgettable day, and even though I am very sore and a little bit sunburnt today, I am so happy that I managed to complete the climb. Despite doubting myself at moments, with the help of some incredible friends and family, we all managed to push through the pain and complete something that not everyone can say that they have done.

So, thanks to: Terri, who asked us to come along; Matt, who drove me home after the walk so that I could have a bath, then drove back to the track to wait for the girls; Ally, who gathered the troops and made our group a little bigger; Kath, who was our constant entertainment; and Sam, who kept a positive mind stayed with Ally and Kath when they were hating life climbing the freaking mountain.

All up, we hiked 16km UP A FREAKING MOUNTAIN! So I’m proud of us! To quote Sam, we are “winning at life”!

The girls are keen – this is the start of the hike

Making sure we don’t leave Terri behind

Matt and I stopping for a cuddle on the way up from the hut

The view of the Kiewa Valley from above – Hi Mum!

I know we’re close!

A cliff face before the summit

Matt getting close to the edge

We made it! The highest point in Victoria!!!

I’m a mountain climbing YOGA-MEISTER!

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In The Nude

Something that I have always wanted to do because to me, it just symbolises the spirit of adventurousness – skinny dipping!

Apart from doing it as a little tyke, I’ve never had the opportunity to take a spontaneous dip in the nude with a bunch of mates. In fact, the one time my group of old friends did go skinny dipping, I was elsewhere, and found myself really overcome with jealousy, because it sounds really fun. And I’m the sort of person who doesn’t like missing out on fun, especially if it’s with people I care so much about.

The closest I’ve come to a skinny dip was one New Years Eve with another bunch of lovely mates. We spent the whole night saying we were going to be brave and run around the block in the nude at midnight, then chickening out, repeatedly. When midnight came, only a couple did it completely nude, while the rest of us decided to run it in our underwear, in the pouring rain, while fireworks went off above us. It was the best NYE I’ve ever had, because we all lost our inhibitions, and got caught up in the moment. And let’s be honest, seeing a couple of penises jumping all over the shop is always entertaining!

Other than it being fun, I think it might help me build my confidence and be more comfortable with my body, especially if I can manage to do it sober. So, I’m just putting it out there to my mates, if you see an opportunity for us to get our boobies out and go for a swim, I’m up for it!

Speaking of boobies, I’ve found this cute video that is a light-hearted way for you to remember to check your breasts for any abnomalities, called “Touch Your Boobies”. Give it a watch and remember to touch your boobies!

I dedicate this post to my Aunty Mae-Mae, who past away early this morning after an 8 year battle with breast cancer. She was a loving, adventurous and inspiring woman, and I will miss her so much.

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