Ladies who glamp – a night at St Jerome’s – The Hotel, Melbourne

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St Jerome’s – The Hotel
http://www.stjeromesthehotel.com.au/

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I am beyond lucky to have this woman in my life. My best friend and soul sister, one of the only people who truly gets me and accepts me completely as I am. Someone I have never felt the need to censor myself around (there are only, like, 2 or 3 of those humans in my life). We’ve worked together and travelled together, laughed together and cried together. Any time I’ve needed her, she’s been there without fail and without even needing to be asked. She’s without a doubt the most generous person I know, with her time and money and talents. I’ve never seen her hesitate to help anyone needing it. She’s stronger than you’d think, takes no shit, and somehow manages to keep her smile and optimism in tact even in the face of the most stressful, hurtful, heart breaking situations.

And this beautiful lady treated me to the most spectacular birthday present ever – a night at St Jerome’s roof top hotel in Melbourne   : )

The level 3 rooftop at Melbourne Central was converted into one of the most stunning camping ground in the world, where glamping is taken to the next level. The tents (with heating, air conditioning, electric blanket and electricity) are cozy little cocoons in which to spend the night with a favourite person. You have a perfect view of the old Daimaru cone, the old Myer building, and the stars… You also get all of the following:


* 24-hour reception and the ability to text the crew at any time if you need a hand with anything at all. And they are without a doubt the most friendly, helpful, lovely bunch of people you could hope to meet!

* Nice big bathrooms with all of your toiletries from shampoo to make up remover.

* Complimentary stocked esky with local craft beer, cider and water in your tent.

* Gourmet house-made breakfast box, delivered to your tent.
–– Butter croissants
–– Yarra Valley preserves
–– Fruit and nut granola
–– Banana and chocolate chip banana bread
–– Fresh seasonal fruit salad
–– Juices by Noah’s
–– Fresh milk
–– Coffee bags by Robert Timms
–– Fully biodegradable cutlery and crockery
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* On-the-house coffee for early campers from 7.30am to 9am.

* Sweet treats from Cupcake Central from 3pm to 5pm.

* Complimentary cocktail during Cocktail Hour from 5pm to 7pm.

* Complimentary Grill’d sliders (x 2) and chips, per tent (8:30pm or 9:30pm).

* Voucher for complimentary pizza at Slice Girls.
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* Complimentary bowling at Strike Bowling.

* Complimentary meditation classes in the mornings on weekends.

* Custom-made dessert from Gelato Messina delivered to your tent (1 per tent) – we got a Messina S’Mores kit, complete with blow torch! That was FUN!!
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* The General Store, where you can enjoy beer, wine, cocktails and an incredible platter of antipasti.
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We enjoyed a cocktail at The General Store and our Slice Girls pizza around the corner at Thousand Pound Bend. Then we made our way back to our tent and sat out the front in our fluffy white robes, eating our sliders and making s’mores and watching the stars. We woke up with a fantastic meditation class, had a tent picnic with a pile of pillows and our delicious breakfast box, then opened up our tent to the sunshine and snuggled under a blanket like kids. I left feeling like a new person.

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I am so thankful for having had the chance to relax and re-set and re-calibrate.
I’m thankful for the fact that I’m still here.
I’m thankful for the life I’ve managed to create for myself, the life that I didn’t even bother dreaming about because I never thought I’d have it.
I’m thankful for my stubborn streak that’s never allowed me to give up or give in.

Most of all, I’m thankful for the angels in my life who love me oh so much and share such incredible experiences with me  : )

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How my dog saved my life… Cook this: coconut matcha porridge

Summer might almost be here, but we’re still getting some cooler mornings in Melbourne, which means there are still a few chances left for warm breakfasts. But to get to that, let me first rewind a moment…

This weekend hasn’t been amazing. We were meant to stay in Geelong last night and take part in Run Geelong this morning, a 6km fun run husband and I entered together. It was not to be.

After 48 hours of vomiting, I took my fur baby to the vet on Friday morning. There had been a big fat storm the night before which meant the little guy didn’t sleep, I’d only had 3 hours myself, and was exhausted… I expected (hoped for) a check up and maybe some antibiotics for a tummy bug; he ended up staying overnight. After a physical examination found him to be in a fair bit of tummy pain, the vet said it could be anything from having eaten something he shouldn’t have (being part beagle, this was highly likely) to something more serious.


She couldn’t have been more kind and understanding as she gently explained that he would be sedated for his ultrasound, a drip inserted into his little paw to keep his fluids up, and through-the-night monitoring. I cried. Bless her, she gave me a box of tissues, a pat on the arm and the assurance he’d be ok. I just cried harder as she led him out of the consulting room with his tail between his legs, leaving me there with a hand full of tissues and a face full of snot and tears. I proceeded to bawl my eyes out for the next four hours until I had nothing left.

This may seem like a bit of an overreaction to a sick dog, so let me explain. He’s not just a pet, he’s not just family. Depression entered my life in my late teens; by the time I moved out of home straight out of uni, I was in a pretty shitty state. Having never been allowed a dog growing up because my mum doesn’t like them, the first thing husband and I did when we got our own place was to go puppy shopping. Enter little tiny Marley…


He was the best thing possible for my depression; he dragged me out of my bad states because I had to look after him. I couldn’t just sit in a corner and cry, because this little fur blob needed me to look after him. He was totally dependent on me, and I, in turn, became totally dependent on him. He saved my life. When I’m at home, he’s never more than a few steps away from me. When I’m sitting down, he’s sitting on my lap. When I’m depressed or anxious, he senses it and sits with me silently. When I cry, he nuzzles my neck with his nose to wipe away my tears. When I get home from work, the yelping is deafening. He’s my best friend and my shadow and my constant, loyal companion in every sense of the word.


So having to bring him to the vet and leave him there and imagining him waking up from his anesthetic scared and alone was more than I could handle. So I reacted the same way any rational, fully grown woman after dropping her dog off at the vet for an ultrasound; I cried my eyes out. And texted my dad, who called me immediately, and cried to him even harder. It wasn’t pretty.

Anyway, back on the recipe track, we were told we could collect him yesterday morning. It was cooler than it had been in a while and I wanted comfort food for breakfast, which meant porridge. Checking the fridge to make sure there was enough almond milk left, I noticed the matcha jar I’d brought home from Tokyo and thought I’d give that a try…

To make one bowl of porridge:
– scant half cup of rolled oats
– 1 tbsp chia seeds
– 1-2 tbsp shredded coconut
– 1 scoop protein powder – I use Amazonia’s raw vanilla protein (optional)
– 1 tsp matcha powder (more if you prefer a stronger flavour)
– 1 cup milk – I prefer almond milk for this

1. Put all ingredients except the almond milk into a tub and shake to combine.

2. Pour the tub into a small saucepan over medium heat, along with the milk, and bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat to a simmer, and stir constantly until it thickens to a consistency you’re happy with (somewhere in the vicinity of 4 – 8 minutes).

4. Serve immediately – enjoy 🙂

After that warm bowl of love, we collected our fur baby (with a bag full of medication) and took him home to rest. As you can see, he got real comfy, real quick… 🙂 here’s to a better week ahead for my poor little bug, and I hope everyone else has a great week, too! And if you need a warm, comforting breakfast at any stage, I hope this recipe helps! xo

It takes a long time to grow an old friend..

You know those friends who you feel like you’ve known forever? The ones that you don’t always notice, but you also can’t really ever remember them not being around? The ones who’ve stood by your stupid decisions as well as your good ones, who may have given you shit about the silly stuff you’ve done, but never judged you. They’re the ones who’ve let you cry on their shoulders when you’ve been really sad, and gotten drunk with you when you’ve run out of tears. They’re the friends who were right there beside you, growing up alongside you in the tough, formative teenage years. The rare friends you could be yourself with when you felt like everyone else was watching and scrutinising your every move. The ones you’d go to first with both the good news and the bad news. They are the ones who have always been your biggest supporter, and you theirs. You’ve tried together, succeeded together, failed together, and tried again together.

And then, you both grew up. You got to be “adults,” whatever that means. Life took you down different paths, but you stayed friends. Because deep friendships like these, real friendships, can’t be broken by distance or time. And even though we may now be leading different lives in different cities, catching up always feels like home 🙂

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