Life Lately September 2017

Life Lately September 2017

I feel like September wasn’t too hectic. I can’t even remember if anything significant happened. Looking back I think it was a month where I was getting my head around what I need to do for our move from Windsor, and letting people in the house for viewings.

Anyhow, here’s an update on life in September.

Eating:
Fantales that I bought back from Australia, which I am totally addicted to. Fantales are a square piece of hard caramel covered in chocolate wrapped in movie trivia paper. I’ve spoken about my wrapper connecting addiction before. I seriously miss my Aussie treats.

Reading:
I’m still reading Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell. So far unlike the movie there is very little focus on Julia, and more focus on Julie’s friendships.

Watching:
Homeland, which isn’t a show I’d normally watch but I love it. I’m very simple with my TV show choices and always go for something with an easy storyline so I can tune out. Homelands’ storylines are complex, yet easy to follow.

Buying:
Time at the hairdressers. I’ve been trying to go light brown, but all that keeps happening is my hair goes brown with red shades. This month I’ve had it died dark to loose the red shades, then the following week had it lightened as I didn’t like the dark. I think I’m now just going to embrace the red and get lighter highlights.

Visiting:
Bath and Brighton. I’ve visited both of these areas before. However, this time I made sure I saw the Roman Baths in Bath and the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, which made the revisits totally worth it.

Feeling:
More organised with my meal preparation due to making this task more time efficient, which you can read about here. I’ve also started bullet journaling, which I’ll write a more detailed post about soon.

Loving:
That the weather has cooled down, but there are still days that the sun is warm and there’s a beautiful breeze.

Hoping:
To get more organised in my blog life as well.

Planning:
What to do for Christmas in Munich, which is finally booked. It’s our first Christmas away from family in Australia.

Pinning:
Heaps of bullet journal ideas, Munich attractions, and of course meal ideas.

Parenting:
Ryan is now 13 months old! I love this age, his personality is really developing, he dances to music and TV theme shows, and is cheeky in a cute way.

Well that was September for another year, lets see what October has in store.

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How to make weekly meal planning easy

How to make weekly meal planning easy

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I spend way too much time planning my weekly meals. It currently takes me two days to plan and buy groceries.

This is before adding the time it takes to cook meals. As I cook from recipes, I often find that a recipe I’ve chosen takes longer to cook than planned, and has way too many ingredients.

I need to become more time efficient with this task. I love cooking, but the time it takes to plan meals, and then cook them is taking way too long, and turning my love into a dreaded chore.

So in order to streamline this entire process, this is how I will be making my weekly meal planning and cooking less time consuming.

Planning
To make my recipe search quicker, each day of the week will be dedicated to the following meal types:

Monday – Leftovers
Tuesday – Meat
Wednesday – Fish
Thursday – Chicken
Friday – Takeaway
Saturday – Pasta
Sunday – Stir fry

Planning will take place on a Tuesday night, and will consist of finding a recipe on my dinner Pinterest board and adding its link to a Google Sheet. This sheet lists every day of the week, and the food type that needs to be cooked that night.

So for example, on a Sunday I will add a link to a beef, mushroom, and greens stir fry as it’s a stir fry recipe, and only stirfries will be cooked on a Sunday.

I’m also going to make sure that the majority of recipes I add to Pinterest take less than 30 minutes to cook, and don’t have many ingredients so I’m not spending forever cooking.

Purchasing
Immediately after I finish planning I will order the ingredients for each meal online. All I’ll have to do is click on the link in my Google Sheet and I’ll be taken straight to the recipe.

Cooking
To carry on with my effort to become more time efficient, I’m going to start batch cooking!

On Tuesdays I will cook Tuesday night’s meal as well as chop and pre cook what I can for Wednesday’s meal.

On Thursdays I will cook Thursday night’s meal and also chop and pre cook what I can for the weekend’s meals.

Future planning
Each Sunday night I will stocktake all the ingredients I have in my freezer, fridge, and cupboard, and will ensure the recipes I choose for the next week use as many of these ingredients as possible.

Here’s what my meal planning week will now look like:

Monday
Groceries delivered

Tuesday
Cook night’s meal
Prep Wednesday night’s meal
Plan and order groceries for next week

Wednesday
Rest night

Thursday
Cook night’s meal
Prep weekends meals

Friday
Takeaway night

Saturday
Rest night

Sunday
Rest night

I really hope that these activities make my weekly meal planning tasks easier and more time efficient

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Life Lately August 2017

Life Update August 2017

August was a month where there was a bit of stress about my non existent blog (domain issues meant it was offline for over a month), but it was also a month of productivity in regards to the big UK move.

So here’s an update on life in August.

Eating:
I missed Pret A Manger whilst I was in Australia, so have been catching up on the gloriousness of the Chicken Caesar and Bacon, and Ham and Cheese Baguettes!

Reading:
I finished Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It was part motivating, part craziness. I do at times talk to my belongings, but this book takes that a little further and talks about making your belongings comfortable in how you store them etc. It was a very good book if you’re an organised neat freak, or need motivation to put your house in order, but it takes you through a very extreme way to do this.

Now I’m reading Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell. Julie and Julia is one of my favourite movies, so I’m hoping the book is just as great.

Watching:
Offspring – an Australian dramedy that I love. I’m about to watch the last episode of the season, it didn’t go for long at all.

Buying:
Lots of groceries.

Visiting:
Nick and I had a weekend away minus Ryan. It was fantastic to be non-parents for a short while. We went to Bristol, which was a much larger city then both of us expected. We also went to Salisbury, which was quieter but quaint.

Feeling:
More settled. In the first two weeks of August Nick and I found another place to live so we could move on from Windsor, got a car, and put Ryan in nursery TWO full days a week!

Loving:
That Ryan is in nursery TWO full days a week! I finally feel a little more like myself as I have time to do things for me.

Hoping:
To start doing yoga again. There’s a studio three doors from my house, so I should take advantage of the location whilst I can.

Planning:
What to do for Christmas, yes it’s already approaching that time!!

Pinning:
I’m starting a bullet journal, so in order to get inspired I’ve been pinning like crazy.

Parenting:
Ryan is learning how to play me. He’s working out what he can and can’t get away with, and how to create massive fusses at bedtime! It’s been getting hard to get him to sleep lately. I’ve had to rock him or let him fall asleep in his pram in front of the tv – bad habits which have to stop!

Well that was August, I’m guessing September will be just as crazy!

 

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Life Lately July 2017

Life Update - July 2017

Firstly a massive thank you for being patient whilst Love from Lisa was offline, for nearly a month!

I deleted an email account where my domain renewals were going so my domain ended up in redemption, which means either I pay a massive fee to renew it, or wait out the time it takes for the domain to become available again. I did the latter.

So lesson learnt, never delete an email account again!

July was quiet as Ryan and I were predominantly housebound, so we got to enjoy Melbourne whilst we’re here – despite the cold, cold weather!

Here’s an update on life in July.

Eating:
Nick was away for half of the month so dinners consisted of leftovers, and lunches weren’t much more imaginative with lots of noodles and tuna.

Reading:
Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I’m a bit behind everyone else who has already read this, but I love anything to do with organising, so this book is a winner so far.

Watching:
The last few weeks of MasterChef, which was great. Catching it at the last few weeks meant I didn’t get over the five day a week commitment.

Buying:
August is when everyone’s birthdays begin so I’ve been buying lots of birthday presents.

Visiting:
Friends as I’m trying to fit in as many as possible before I head back to the UK.

Feeling:
Like my life’s in limbo as all I’ve been doing is waiting around for things. First it was waiting in Windsor from March to June for Nick to come back and for his and my parents to come and go. Now I’m waiting in Australia to go back to Windsor as Nick finally got his visa. I just feel like I need to move on in life. Get Ryan into nursery and baby classes, and me into a new job.

Loving:
Being back in my house. I forgot how light and girly it is compared to the Windsor terrace. It’s also good to be back with Nick. Ryan was in desperate need of daddy time.

Hoping:
That Ryan behaved himself on the flight from the UK as we were travelling solo, and he did. He was a champion. In fact, the flight was a breeze compared to his jetlag, which lasted for over a week. I felt like I had a newborn again!

Planning:
A weekend away with Nick when we’re back in the UK as Mel has offered to babysit. I haven’t had a baby free night in nearly a year.

Pinning:
I’ve been adding pins to my Baby and Toddler Food Ideas (BLW) board. I deleted my Filofax Love board and added its contents to my renamed Organisation, Filofax, Bullet Journaling board. To view my Pinterest boards please click here.

Parenting:
Ryan has developed quite the personality. He’s very vocal, giggles uncontrollably, and can now sit from being on his stomach. It’s the best age ever. But his teething caused some bad nights this month, all of which happened whilst Nick was away!

Well that was July, filled with bits and pieces of not much, which was much needed after a hectic past few months.

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Out and about in Washington

Love from Lisa Out and About In Washington Washington Monument

After New York Nick, Ryan and I headed to Washington.

Apart from the Washington Monument and The White House I didn’t know what else there was to do there. However, it turns out that there’s heaps to do, and a lot of it centres around the National Mall.

Where to stay
We stayed at the Holiday Inn Capitol Hill, which is within walking distance to the National Mall at 550 C Street S.W.

It’s also walking distance to a small shopping centre, train station and the city centre, so it’s location was perfect.

Things to see
I was super impressed with the scale of the National Mall, and didn’t know that it contained so many monuments, museums and art galleries.

Ryan and I walked the 3.5kms from Capitol Hill to Lincoln Memorial, which is the entire length of the Mall. It was so hot that I actually got sunburnt!

Love from Lisa Out and About In Washington Capitol Hill

Love from Lisa Out and About In Washington Lincoln Memorial

I had no idea what to expect when I visited the National Mall, but it was a fantastic way to spend the day. There’s so much to see and do that you definitely need more than one day to do it all. I will definitely go back if I ever have the chance.

Love from Lisa Out and About In Washington Washington Monument from afar

Georgetown is another fantastic area with shop lined streets, food outlets, and a small waterfront. I had the most delicious cupcake at Baked and Wired. I went for the vanilla cupcake with chocolate satin frosting it was so delicious!

Love from Lisa Out and About In Washington Baked and Wired Cupcake

Places to eat
We struggled with dinner whilst in Washington as the Holiday Inn wasn’t near anything decent, and trying to find restaurants that delivered wasn’t easy. This means that we ate a lot of Asian, which is never a bad thing.

I would definitely go back to Washington and visit some of the museums, which looked amazing from the outside.

For more travel posts please click here.

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Life Lately June 2017

Life Update June 2017

Can you believe that half of the year is already over? Why is time flying so fast?

June was hectic, with an unexpected trip back to Australia and lots of site seeing from Windsor.

Here’s an update on life in June.

Eating:
Less cakes but my diet is still not great. I’m organised with breakfasts and dinners but really struggle with lunches. I tend to grab something quick, which doesn’t always lead to the healthiest decisions. Lets see if July is better food wise.

Reading:
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. When I first started this book I wasn’t entirely in to it. It’s very Groundhog Day, but I’m getting more and more interested to see where it goes.

Watching:
I was three quarters of the way through the new season of Orange is the New Black before heading to Australia. Now Nick wants to watch the new season with me. I haven’t told him I’ve already watched most of it, so looks like I’ll be re-watching it very soon.

Buying:
It got so hot in the UK before I left (us Aussies never thought heat there was a thing, but it is!) I even started wearing shorts in public – whoa. So many summer clothes were purchased to deal with this sudden heat wave.

Visiting:
My parents were with Mel and I for the whole of June so we took them to see some sites. We went to Oxford, Camden Lock Market, Cotswolds, Brighton and Windsor Castle. The most interesting of these places was Brighton. I had no idea there was a massive amusement centre on the Pier, or that there were so many quirky streets. I can’t wait to go back.

Feeling:
I constantly feel like I need to change my style. Since having Ryan I just feel like a dorky mum. I have a Pinterest board set up for fashion inspiration, so this is something that I’m looking to get more in to later on.

Loving:
Being back in Australia. I forgot how light and girly my Melbourne home is compared to the terrace in Windsor. It’s also good to be back with Nick. Ryan was in desperate need of some daddy time after having way too much Aunty Mel and mummy time.

Hoping:
That Ryan behaved himself on the flight back from the UK as I was travelling solo with him, and he did. He was a champion. In fact, the flight was a breeze compared to baby jetlag, which still hasn’t gone over one week later. I feel like I have a newborn again!

Planning:
Heaps of catch ups with friends; it’s been way to long since I’ve seen everyone.

Pinning:
I’ve been cleaning up my Travel – England board, added a Baby and Toddler Food Ideas (BLW) board, and adding recipes to my recipe boards.

Parenting:
Ryan has developed quite the personality. He’s very vocal, giggles uncontrollably, and can now sit from being on his stomach. It’s the best age ever.

Well that’s June, filled with outings and travel. I’m not sure how July will be as I have no major plans yet, but who knows what could happen last minute.

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Out and about in New York

Love from Lisa Out and About in New York Skyscrapers

I love New York, I’ve been there a few times and it’s always different.

The reason for this visit was to reunite with Nick. Prior to this visit he’s been away from Ryan for 5 weeks, which is way too long in baby development world.

New York with an infant means less shopping, but better opportunities to explore places by foot that I normally wouldn’t. So seeing New York in a quieter more peaceful way was really nice.

Where to stay
We stayed at the Andaz Hotel at 5th Avenue at 41st Street. It’s a gorgeous boutique hotel. Our room had a massive shower with three different head types! It was centrally located near Bryant Park, New York Public Library, Times Square, and Grand Central Station.

Things to see
Unlike previous visits, this time I got to really explore Central Park, which I’ve always admired but haven’t actually ever walked around for a decent amount of time.

It’s very easy to get lost in the quietness and serenity of this park, which is surrounded by busy streets and skyscrapers.

There’s plenty of parks within the park, a baseball field, old buildings, gorgeous squirrels, bridges, and plenty of food stops.

Love from Lisa Out and About in New York Central Park Squirrel

Love from Lisa Out and About in New York Central Park Story Bridge

Times Square at Broadway and Seventh Avenue is what I am pretty sure is synonymous with New York. It’s packed with tourists, cars, lights, and is a shopper’s paradise. This time around we just walked the entire strip to get to Central Park. Doing it this way was really nice as there was no pressure to push our way through lines of people to reach a particular destination.

Love from Lisa Out and About in New York Times Square

Places to eat
The Shop at Andaz Hotel is fantastic! I’ve yet to find a place in Windsor that has a breakfast anywhere as good as Melbourne. I finally found one at The Shop. I had the eggs, meat, hash browns and roasted tomato – so good!

For more travel posts please click here.

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Apricot Muesli Balls

Love from Lisa Apricot Muesli Balls

In an effort to stop eating cakes and eat something a little less chocolaty and indulgent, I recently made some Apricot Muesli Balls.

The appeal of these balls was that there were few ingredients, so I knew they wouldn’t take long to make. If you have a spare 20 minutes you can get this done easily.

Verdict?
Super sweet! The muesli I used had dried fruit in it, so this combined with the apricot and honey made for a super sweet snack.

However, the sweetness didn’t bother me as they hit my sugary cake craving on the head.

Here’s the recipe, which I got from Taste

Ingredients
2 cups toasted muesli
1 cup dried apricots
1/4 cup honey
60g butter, melted
3/4 cup shredded coconut

Method

Step 1
Place muesli, apricots, honey and warm melted butter in a food processor. Process for 2 to 3 minutes or until well combined.

Step 2
Place coconut in a shallow dish. Roll tablespoons of muesli mixture into balls. Coat balls in coconut. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

If you make these please let me know what you thought of them.

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Life Lately May 2017

Love from Lisa Life Lately May 2017

Where has this year gone? It’s nearly the middle of the year!

May was hectic in this household, with overseas trips, international visitors, and Ryan teething. I felt like it was all happening at once.

Here’s an update on life in May.

Eating:
Cakes! In March I moved from Australia to the UK and now live within walking distance to many cake shops. It’s a habit I need to cut down on.

Reading:
This month I read Lion and Big Little Lies and loved every page of them. Lion is the incredible story of how Saroo was adopted by Australian parents after becoming lost on the railway in India as a five year old. It details how he found his birth home by using online maps. Big Little Lies tells the stories of three women and how their lives intertwine before witnessing a death at their children’s kindergarten trivia night.

Watching:
The Middle and Life in Pieces. I’m fully up to date on both of these. I love The Middle, and now that the kids are older the stories are really touching. I have mixed feelings about Life in Pieces. It’s so stupid yet sometimes so funny. I’m not sure if I want to watch the next season of this one.

Buying:
A lot of my cookware is in Australia so I’ve had to buy duplicates. I’ve also bought some much-needed t-shirts. I am however trying to spend less, as my credit card bill since I’ve been to the UK has been out of control.

Visiting:
My poor Nick was only allowed to stay with us for one week before having to return to Australia to sort out his visa. So after 5 weeks of Nick being away Ryan and I went to the States for a family reunion. We then went to Dublin.

Feeling:
Mixed feelings. I miss my friends in Australia. Facebook makes this harder when you see occasions you’re missing, or when you get messages asking how you’re going.

Loving:
Blogging. I had a massive break but am happy to start to do something for me.

Hoping:
That Nick’s visa will be sorted soon because we miss him!

Planning:
Days out for my parents visit next month. They’re really excited to see R. He’s changed a lot since we left Australia.

Pinning:
Food ideas for R, he eats everything so I need to keep the variety up.

Parenting:
R is an easy going bubba, but this month was challenging with his bottom tooth coming through. Although it still wasn’t as hard as some other mum’s I’ve spoken to whose babies are teething. I hope he continues to be the cheerful bub he is whilst his teeth are coming through.

Well that’s May, busy but good. June is going to be crazy with my parents here, which means lots of big days out, which also means June is going to fly by!

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It’s been how long?

Love from Lisa It's been how long?Image

It’s been one and a half years since I’ve blogged. One and a half years! I can’t believe it.

So what’s been happening over the past year and a half?

I had a baby! A little boy – Ryan. I found out I was pregnant a month before I stopped blogging. This was probably the main reason why I stopped as all my energy was focused on growing, and now raising a little bundle of joy / bundle of crazy man

My love of travel continued with some trips within Australia, Europe, and the USA. Ryan came along to all (he did 20 flights by the time he was 9 months old, insane!)

In March this year I moved from Melbourne Australia to Windsor UK. I’m still getting used to being away from friends and family, but it’s getting easier

Actually this move is the reason why this blog has been on my mind, and why I’ve decided to start blogging again.

Being away from friends and family leaves me with a lot of time on my hands, and being home with R has made me want to have a little something for myself.

So here’s to not having a year and a half break from this little space of mine ever again, and to creating content that you enjoy!

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