It’s ok to be sad and eat Healthy Chocolate Crackles

7 Apr healthy chocolate crackles

healthy chocolate cracklesSome people find running therapeutic. I don’t. It helps with stress, sure. It gets me into my body, and gives me time to ponder, helps me quiet the cacophony but it’s not particularly therapeutic for me.

I find my therapy in the kitchen.

I like the ordered routine of finding ingredients in the cupboard, measuring with hands or by eye, throwing into bowls or mixing or chopping.

It has a perfect order in which to do things and I find comfort in that. It’s like a I’m a machine simply working and creating something and it doesn’t matter what else is happening because I’m in the task.

We all feel sad sometimes, but the thing about the ‘negative’ emotions is we all try really hard to hide them. We paste that smile on our dials and get on with things with a stuff upper lip.

Tears in the car, tears in the shower, tears in the dark. Hidden sadness, because that’s what we do. Stash it away so we don’t feel uncomfortable that people know we’re sad, and they don’t feel uncomfortable watching awkward, burning tears trailing down your face and that one rogue tear that sneaks down your nasal crease, plummeting near your nostril and leaves question as to whether it’s snot, or it’s not (sounds the same, right?).

It’s almost as though allowing people to see you in the dark stuff is a weakness, and we must rise above to show how stoic and resilient we are no matter how badly shit may be crumbling around your ears.

I’m feeling the blues at the moment, bigger and bluer than an elephant’s arse in fact, and I’m right in the heart of it and to be honest even if I just tried to shake it off it’s sticking to me like shit in bear fur….. do you know that joke?

A bear is in the woods and a little rabbit hops past and the the bear says -

‘Do you have trouble with poo sticking to your fur?’

And the rabbit answers ‘not at all’ so the bear picks up the little rabbit and wipes his butt with it.

I never thought it was funny. Especially not for the poo stained rabbit.

healthy chocolate cracklesThe whys and the wherefores of my blues aren’t relevant right now, what is relevant is that you hear me (and I hear me say) say it’s ok to be sad. It’s ok to let your friends see you cry.

You don’t need to be strong all the damned time.

I was on couch yesterday being blue, doing blue – you know, big sighs, staring into space, having a wallow – for half an hour before I was well and truly over myself and I made myself go into the alchemy space and get busy in the kitchen.

I made a big pot of chilli for during the week but that wasn’t the thing I wanted to eat away my feelings with when I remembered my friend from Dynamic Fitness & Health talks about these cluster things she makes….. I never ate one of hers but I saw a picture and made this up by feel.

Mine is a fruit and nut chocolate crackle packed with good stuff.

What you will need :

  • a handful of puffed corn (health food aisle)
  • a handful of puffed brown rice
  • a handful of puffed quinoa
  • a handful of shredded coconut
  • a handful of chopped almonds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • a handful of sultanas
  • 5 pieces dark dark chocolate
  • 1 heaped tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon  golden syrup


What you will need to do :

Turn your oven onto 180C. Chuck your dry stuff minus the sultanas and chocolate onto a baking tray and toast it all up for about 5-7 minutes

Meanwhile, over a double boiler melt your chocolate, syrup and coconut oil together until combined.

Toss your toasted dry ingredients, and sultanas into the chocolate mix and stir until all coated.

Spoon into patty cases (I used small for small people and big for me) and refrigerate until solid and chocolate crackle like.


chocolate crackles



Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All head to the Holsby Shop right now.

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Portrait 365 : 93-97

5 Apr Gabrielle


I kinda keep to myself at the gym. I say hi to a few people but mostly I just do my thing. I’ve seen Haley around a bit, we often do the same classes and I find her really captivating because she’s really strong and focused.




“I just keep on going, because that’s what you do, right?”
Gab is one of my oldest friends and we’ve stood beside each other through about as much as you can, but I don’t doubt there’s more. We’d been having a long chat about grief and life. She’s a very strong woman.




Urban camouflage. I posted this on my Facebook, but it is freakin’ hilarious.



I approached three people to photograph this day. A gorgeous old lady in a floral dress and wonderful hat, a young Muslim lady on a bus stop in beautiful morning light, and an old dude who just looked like a crinkly old dude.

All three declined so I reckon three strikes and you’re out.




“I train every morning except Wednesdays”
“What’s the plan?”
“I go to Nationals next week.”
“How did you go at last Nationals?”
“I came third.”
Good luck, Jesse. You’ve worked hard, man.


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Milestones, tears and lunchbox scrolls

1 Apr scrolls

Kiki's first day of kindyKiki’s little body looked so tiny when her new pink and turquoise butterfly bag was hoisted onto her back.

She wouldn’t let me carry it for her even though with her water bottle and lunchbox it was kind of heavy. She was well chuffed to finally have a school bag to call her own. Maybe she’ll grow up to be lover of fine handbags, or kooky carriers that look like animals.

Or just a crazy bag lady.

Walking up the footpath, heading to her first day of daycare, my heart was as heavy in my chest as her bag looked on her shoulders.

Always fiercely independent Kiki wouldn’t even let me help her by taking some of the weight, so I left her because essentially that’s what this day is about.

The second cutting of the cord.

She’s been looking forward to this day for weeks, always sad when we drop D Man off, always wanting to stay and play with the kids. She’s ready. I have no doubt, it’s just that it’s come sooner than I thought and my heart is a little heavy.

This is a milestone. For Kiki and for myself.

Next Monday I’ll be starting a new job. My first day of work in four years. Technically, between writing books and blogs and scripts and stuff I have barely had a single day off, but now I’m GOING TO WORK.

Somewhere that will require pants and a bra.

Kiki’s first day at kindy is a turning point that marks the beginning of big changes in my life, and all our lives, and her smiling face as she was smearing Clag glue all over paper with more abandon than I would never allow at home reminds me that this the beginning of a new era and not just the end of an old one.

She’s only going two days a week, but right now that feels like a lot.

Kiki's first day of kindyI felt quite brave walking in but 15 minutes later as I kissed her little golden head goodbye I was quite shaky on the insides.

I gathered my things and called goodbye to her one last time, but she didn’t even turn to look at me as she was engrossed in something new and exciting.

It’s lucky, I suppose, because she would have seen tears welling in my eyes and a spectacularly wobbly lip as I severed that umbilical cord just a little bit further and say farewell to my baby.

I’ll pick her up after lunch. Just a short day on your first day, but I made sure her lunch was a special one, because she’s also mega proud of her new lunchbox. It’s just like her big brother’s, you see, and she thinks he’s pretty cool except when he’s licking her hair, sticking dinosaurs down her nappy or stealing her food.

scrolls2Cheesy lunchbox scrolls

Yield : 10 

What you will need :

  •  1 ½ cups plain flour (I used spelt)
  •  1 ½ cups wholemeal flour (I used spelt)
  •  3 teaspoons baking soda
  •  1 pinch Salt and cracked black pepper
  •  60 grams chilled butter, chopped
  •  ¾ cup milk
  •  3 tablespoons Mrs Balls Chutney (or whatever chutney floats your boat)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 rashers of bacon, diced
  • 2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs or thyme
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  •  1 ½ packed cups grated cheese
  • 1/2 zucchini grated
  •  Extra milk, for brushing (may require more)

scrollsWhat you will need to do :

Preheat oven to 210°C

Fry off your bacon until cooked and yummy. Set aside to cool.

Quick-whisk the flour (don’t forget my whisk trick, just whisk it! Place the flour into a bowl and give it a good whisk to aerate and remove lumps. My cheats’ version of sifting)

Add baking powder, salt and pepper and herbs in a bowl and add the butter then using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs. Toss in your chopped spring onion.

Make a well in the centre. Combine the milk with ½ cup water and pour the liquid into the well. Using a flat bladed knife, cut through the flour mixture until it comes together as a rough dough. If it’s too dry, add a little more water a teaspoon at a time.

Tip the dough onto a work surface dusted with flour and knead lightly until it can form a ball. Don’t overwork it. Roll out the dough to a rectangle approximately 30 x 40cm in size.

Mix your tomato paste and chutney together and smear over the entire surface, then sprinkle with cheese, cooled bacon and grated zucchini.

Roll up to form a big cigar. Slice the roll into pieces approximately 2cm wide and place scrolls so they are touching each other on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush each scroll with a little extra milk

Chuck them in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through and crunchy. If the scrolls start to brown too quickly cover with foil

Cool on a wire rack then break apart.

kiki's first day of kindy

Portrait 365 : 89-92

31 Mar Catherine


“Just keep pitching!”
Catherine has been instrumental in my learning curve at getting my freelance writing started. She is a features writer and a blogger whom I admire greatly. Her generosity is boundless and she’s just the right amount of naughty.
You can see her blog, Cup of Tea and a Blog here.




“Are you going to have a turn?”
“Are you too cool?”
“There’s no such thing as too cool for the Slip and Slide.”

‘Nuff said.



I asked him if he wanted to hit me with a line and he said -

“Stuck around till the end”
“End? Am I dying?”
“We’ve been meaning to all get together and tell you”

With friends like these…..I think he’s referring to the fact that we’ve been like family since I was and he was 19. I call him my brother.

Paul George, Tijuana Cartel

Paul George, Tijuana Cartel

I saw this gig and had me some fun…. also, I love someone with two first names.

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Portrait 365 : 84-88

27 Mar Jesse


This l’il guy is so adorbs. It’s all about those deep browns….. heartbreaker in the making me thinks.

Coach John

Coach John

‘I just love playing with kids
I have boundless admiration for Coach John. He is possibly the most patient man I’ve ever met. Coach John is the big cheese at our Little Kickers and we’ve built a lovely rapport over the past year and a half.



‘My husband and I are designing and creating leather handles. Sometimes people struggle to visualise how amazing they will be but I’m just going to make them and trust my instincts.’
I saw this beautifully dressed lady from behind in a car park and I walked up to tell her she look amazing. She spun around and we instantly recognised each other from a party a few months ago where we had clicked. Anyway, we’re catching up for coffee. Pronto.



No matter how many times I ask her not to blow bubbles in the milk……… I remember just how fun it was. Love the splashes on her face.

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Nude yoga? Put that away.

26 Mar source

Picture this, a room full of people, both men and women, gentle music playing in the background with waterfalls and soft pan pipes echoing through the Andes or something equally quasi-relaxing.

Blue and purple yoga mats adorn the floor like a patchwork quilt and the room full of bodies are all breathing into their sore spots as they contort themselves in a downward dog.

Just another yoga class, right?

Now imagine they’re all naked.

Bare butts in the air, secret starfish winking with exertion, dangly bits doing what they do best and breasts, well, it depends I suppose.

Naked friggin’ yoga.



I read this article about it and it was not tongue in cheek, or joking in the slightest.

I cannot stop giggling. Really?


People do that??

I’m down with a nude beach, hell, even nude volleyball if you want, but YOGA???

Even the grab quote makes me giggle like a 5 year old -

“When we’re naked, it’s like we’re all the same”

No, we’re not. We’re all beautifully different, and watching people do yoga at the best of times can be awkward. Penises doing a mini-Salute To The Sun is downright hilarious.

I dare say watching a magnificently formed creature do yoga would be quite something to behold (genitalia notwithstanding), but for the rest of the populace…. come on.

I realise that you’re probably supposed to be focused on your own breathing and stretching, but I confess I would not be able to concentrate in a room full of people putting the arse in Asana.

I’m no prude. Really, I’m not.

Skinny dipping, no problem. In fact I’m a fan.

Haven’t actually partaken in huge amounts of sober nude swimming, but after a tasty beverage or 100 I don’t take much convincing to waltz down the beach with my buns shining under the moonlight or dive into the neighbouring hotel’s pool as naked as a fish in the middle of the night.

(Safety warning – naked swimming whilst under the influence is not recommended by Bondi Rescue, particularly during daylight hours).

Changing in front of people? Well, depends on the circumstance.

If I know you, I’m pretty chilled. Almost every one of my friends will attest to that. Probably a little less overt now than I used to be though… but only just.

In a public change room I do the shuffle whereby I tend to poke my least embarrassing nude bits out at the public and turn the rest of me to the wall.  The result of moist, sticky skin and fuggy change rooms actually probably renders me looking somewhat epileptic.

Maybe naked yoga is just the thing I need to really bring me out of my shell?

It’s most definitely not a sexual thing. The Bold & Naked Yoga Studio openly stipulates on their website that -


That wouldn’t even cross my mind, to be honest.

During yoga I’m usually concentrating too hard on not falling over or farting to even consider arousal. What does cross my mind, however, is how could I ever scrub from my retina the vision of 20 starkers yoga fans doing the Frog Pose?



Arghhhhh, my eyes! MY EYES!!!!

Yoga has never really been my thing anyway. I’m more of a boxing/spin/smash my cardio type of trainer so maybe I’ll keep my eye out for Nude Spin.

That said, if Mister Dimples held a naked spin class I may require defibrillation before the class even started.

I’d dread to imagine what that would look like.

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Portrait 365 : 79 – 83

24 Mar Favorite Aunty Carol
Carolyn and Casey

Carolyn and Casey

“If I’m not talking about sleep I’m reading about it, researching it. I should just rest.”
I remember that feeling so well. You may remember these guys from my first few portraits. Casey was just a few weeks old.



“Today is an adventure for me. I don’t usually get the train but I put diesel in my tank instead of petrol this morning. I was distracted by a hot chick.”
Thankfully, it was a company car. Reckon he has Buckley’s of getting them to cover the cost of the diesel though.

Favorite Aunty Carol

Favorite Aunty Carol

“Never eat something you find in the crack”
She was referring to Kiki finding a sultana in the couch, but I think it’s a fairly poignant life lesson, no? This is my Favorite Aunty Carol. She’s been my Favorite Aunty Carol for as long as I remember. She and my Mama were BFFs at high school.



“I want to be an artist. I really love to draw.”
I returned some books to the library and walked smack into a Harmony Day soiree. There was a mix of people enjoying dancing and music and samosas.

Abe and Rose

Abe and Rose

“It’s a cruel trick to spring this on me before a coffee”
I’ve met Abe and Rose a couple of times, and I bumped into them at the markets. Abe runs organic veg/fruit/food delivery company The Vege Trail. If want awesome, fresh organics delivered to your door, check him out.

If you like what you’re seeing, why not like my Facebook page now as I have a little spiel there.

You can also subscribe via email, or follow me on Instagram and twitter at The Holsbys to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.


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