Friday, August 28, 2015

Sydney Spotlight: Los Vida

For the last (nearly) six years I've lived in Sydney and had to subject myself to their substandard version of Mexican food.  When I first arrived here, the Mexican food was terrible. Disgusting. Un-eat-able.  I thought often: what is this hell I'm living in where the guacamole has sour cream in it and the tortillas are cold?! 

However, instead of deciding then and there that I would give up eating Mexican food in Sydney completely, I did the opposite.  I ate at every single Mexican establishment I could find.  There were some hits and many, many misses.  However, it seems these days there are more good finds then terrible ones. Has Sydney finally figured out that sour cream doesn't belong in guac? Have more Mexicans traveled to the land down under to open up shop? OR have my taste buds changed to accept sub-par Mexican food?! ...lets hope it's not the latter.

Anyway, all of this to say that today I stumbled upon a newly opened, Mexican Restaurant in Crows Nest...and oh my gosh it was GOOD.

I went to Los Vida with no real expectations. The logo looks really trendy, which sometimes can be a bad sign. Read: hipster best mates who visited Mexico once and decided they knew enough to open up a 'cool' restaurant. Barf. Needless to say, I was fantastically surprised when the tacos served were not only mouth-wateringly good, but also authentic.

There were radishes! and warm tortillas! The tortilla chips were made on site! What was this Mexican haven I had stumbled into?

I ordered just two tacos -- lamb barbacoa and one called Yucatan Fish. The rest of the table got an array of tacos and I was able to see what they all looked like.  The beef, pork and chicken were all shredded and looked run of the mill, but still delicious.  The original fish taco was beer battered and served with slaw; not so Mexican as much as it is Baja/Californian but it came with crunchy jalapenos on the top that made me want to order it for next time. The most interesting one had octopus in it, but I forgot to ask if it was yummy or not.

All the folks I dined with had nothing but good things to say too.

The place was decorated pretty kitschy as is standard in any Mexican restaurant in Sydney, but upon looking around it was obvious that those who designed it actually knew about real Mexican Culture. Which should be right, because the website boasts that the masterminds behind Los Vida are two Mexicans born & raised in Mexico City.

So there you go. That's why it was so good!

Should you visit Los Vida? Abso-freaken-lutely.  Do you need to travel all the way to Crows Nest? Not really, they have 2 locations in the City and one opening in Barangaroo this September. If you're going though, let me know. I'll meet you there. ;)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Resolution Check In

2015 is over half way complete! Can you believe it? I thought I'd do a little resolution check in to see where we are now that we've passed the half way mark.

For the first time in my life, I can honestly say that I'm actively working toward meeting my resolution. Now that we're passed the half way point, I'm actually shocked that I've made it this far.
I think that the reason this little goal has stuck with me for this long was because of the way I wrote it.

Instead of it being about weight loss, my resolution was about strength, endurance, power.

This year my goal was to run 5 kilometers in 30 minutes.

I know to some of you that may sound like a silly goal or easily attainable, but for someone like me running for any amount of time at all, was/is a big deal. I've always hated doing any major physical activity, especially running. In fact, I hated it so much that I used to have nightmares about running marathons where my legs would be so heavy that I would need to push myself against a wall to gain momentum.  I would dream about this so often, that eventually I started to believe that I actually had heavy legs. Freaky.

But my legs aren't really heavy and running isn't scary, so the resolution shouldn't be either right? So armed with this knowledge, I began to run.

At first it was really hard. Sweat and lycra and gyms are kinda gross. It was also hard getting a running routine going and staying consistent. I'll be honest and say there were a lot of weeks in a row where I didn't get any running done. But my conscience would always get the better of me, and I'd eventually get back to running again.

Seven months in, I still haven't met my goal, but today I reached a significant milestone which inspired me to write this post today. I'm running the farthest I've ever run for longer and longer stretches of time each time.

I'm proud of myself, really and truly because for the first time, I'm feeling fit and healthy and I'm making the right choices for myself.

Healthy living isn't always about the numbers on the scale. It's about living your life as best and as active and as happy as you can.

I'm excited to check back with you again in December to find out whether or not I've made or even surpassed my goal. Regardless of the results, I'll be sure to share.

How about you? Have you kept up with your resolutions?  I'd love to know.


Sunday, June 28, 2015


image via

I just want to take a moment to shout hooray for the beautiful decision made by the Supreme Court of the United States of America yesterday. It's such a joy to know that my LGBTQ loved ones back in the states now have the same rights to marriage that my hetero loved ones do.

Australia, here's hoping you're next.

The fight for equality is long and arduous, but when massive wins like this happen in the super power that is America, it brings with it a huge beacon of hope.

Here's to a better tomorrow!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Sydney Spotlight: The Grounds of Alexandria

Hey guys! I'm back with another installment of Sydney Spotlight!

This time around we're talking about The Grounds of Alexandria.  If you're a Sydney-sider than you need no introduction to this place.  In fact, you're probably rolling your eyes at me for even thinking about featuring this ridiculously popular space. Don't worry, I'm rolling my eyes too.

The Grounds of Alexandria is a lot of land amidst the warehouse wasteland that is the suburb of Alexandria. The Grounds are made up of a few restaurants, a flower shop, a meats and cheese shop and a tiny petting zoo.  On the weekends it gets ridiculously packed with young families consisting of hip mums pushing ultra cool prams and their bearded husbands.

That simple fact alone makes me stay far away from this place most of the time, but as you may recall, I was off sick for about 2 weeks recovering from a surgery.  One not-so-sore morning I woke up craving waffles like nothing else. I googled and googled and came up with nothing. (Sydney doesn't do breakfast waffles well.) So I settled for the next best thing -- pancakes.

The Grounds cafe boasted a Berry Hotcake, which sounded amazing.

The menu reads: BERRY HOTCAKE An instant classic, dishing up a berry hotcake with vanilla-infused mascarpone cheese, blueberry & raspberry salad, puffed quinoa, micro basil, edible violets and agave syrup. 

...and this is the reason I am spotlighting The Grounds.

This hotcake was the best I've ever had.  The puffed quinoa was surprising and did well to counter the softness of the hotcake and cream.  The berries and micro basil were fresh and lively and the agave syrup was the perfect amount of sweetness.

Also, I didn't feel guilty eating this at all.

I ate it all up.


Beyond the amazingness of the hotcake, everything else was pretty good too.  The waitresses were attentive despite how insanely busy it was for a Wednesday morning.  The coffee was nice, but it took about 15 minutes to get to the table.  Again, it was insanely busy. The decor was rustic, the seats were comfy and it was a good place for a solo diner to people watch.

After eating this beauty, I'm convinced that The Grounds surely has more delicious food to offer.  Going alone means I couldn't taste anyone else's food, so I truly have no idea. But now I'm thinking it might be worth braving the crowds and dodging the prams just to ease my curiosity.

Is The Grounds worth the hype? Was this hotcake a one off? I think I might have to dodge the mummy prams just to see. ;)


p.s. more Sydney Spotlights here.