A fond farewell to Windsor

A fond farewell to Windsor

After seven months Nick and I decided to move from Windsor, which was our first UK home after moving from Australia in March.

What made Windsor our first choice of location was simple; its bustling town centre was walking distance from our new home. Ryan was only seven months old when we moved, so my number one must have for our new home’s location was to have entertainment options that we could easily access.

So in honour of our departure from Windsor, I thought it only appropriate that I give it a proper send off, by talking about some of the gems that kept Ryan and I sane during our first foray into living abroad.

What to see

Windsor Castle
You can’t go to Windsor and not visit this magnificent Castle. It’s definitely the largest Castle I’ve ever seen. Everyday my sister and I would look for The Royal Standard flag, which signifies that the Queen is in the Castle. On our last day in Windsor the Queen was in, it was very exciting. Within the Castle walls lie The State Apartments and St George’s Chapel, which on their own are worth the admission. They’re stunning, spacious, and photo worthy.

A fond farewell to Windsor Windsor Castle

The Long Walk
Nick, Ryan, and I were walking here when I decided that Windsor was for me. It’s a 4.26km walk from the Castle to the 1829 Copper Horse statue of King George III, which you can see in the distance from the start of The Long Walk.

A fond farewell to Windsor the Copper Horse Statue

It takes about 45 minutes to reach the statue, where you’ll also walk straight past deer – it’s incredible. Just as incredible is the view of the Castle from the first section of The Long Walk.

A fond farewell to Windsor The Long Walk

Changing of the Guards
Keeping in line with Castle attractions, the Changing of the Guards is well worth viewing; this is something that Ryan loved. The Guards march up the High Street led by a Regimental Band, which adds a special touch to the ceremony. It only takes about five minutes and happens most days at 11am.

A fond farewell to Windsor The Changing of the Guards

Playgrounds
Now that playgrounds have become a thing in my life, I’m always looking for ones that are friendly for a crawling baby. One such park is located on Bachelors Acre. It has a playground with a soft surface, water fountains, a sculpture called The Windsor Lady, which is of the Queen surrounded by six dogs. Oh and there’s a café, where you can get a delicious soft serve.

A fond farewell to Windsor The Windsor Lady

Eton
Although not technically Windsor, it’s immediately next door and can be reached by walking over the Windsor Bridge near The Thames, where the Swans peacefully swim.

A fond farewell to Windsor the Windsor Bridge

Take a stroll up the High Street and you will come across Eton College, which of course is made famous by the attendance of Princes William and Harry. One of my favourite things to do was spot the students wearing their uniform of a black tailcoat, waistcoat and collar. This year on November 16th Eton will be turning on their Christmas lights, which will be a great night out for the whole family.

A fond farewell to Windsor view of Windsor from Eton

The Savill Garden
This garden has something for everyone. There’s a playground with a sandpit for the kids, food for sustenance, beautiful gifts for yourself or someone else, and spots to take a picnic.

Where to shop

Windsor Royal Shopping Centre
Windsor has an array of retail outlets, many of which are located in Windsor Royal Shopping Centre. This Centre has kept many of its original Victorian Station features including the Jubilee Arch, cobbled stones, and even Queen Victoria’s waiting room. Stores include Bobbi Brown, Crabtree and Evelyn, Pandora, and French Connection. Food options include Bella Italia, Bills, All Bar One, Café Rouge and many others.

Windsor Yards (formally King Edward Court Shopping Centre)
Immediately next to Windsor Royal Shopping Centre is Windsor Yards, I was here daily. Here you’ll find Daniel – an upmarket department store, Zara, H&M, Top Shop, Next, New Look, Costa, Nero, Pret A Manger, Waitrose, Paperchase, Smiggle, Lakeland, Swarovski and many more.

Where to eat

Meimo
This is one of Nick’s favourites and it’s where he took me for my birthday. Here you’ll find Moroccan and Mediterranean food from meat dishes, tagines, cous cous and burgers.

Marmara
Also serving Mediterranean but with a Turkish twist is Marmara. I went here with a friend and loved it. I had the Chicken Shish, which was so good. They also have Boreks, Köfte, Meze Platters and heaps of dips, all food that I love.

The King and Castle
For a hearty pub meal head to The King and Castle. I’ve eaten here a few times and taken both my family and Nick’s family here when they’ve visited. The burgers and meat platter are so tasty.

Sebastian’s Italian
Windsor has a lot of Italian restaurants; one of my favourites is Sebastians. I had delicious seafood marinara here.

So there’s my Windsor loves. I was extremely lucky to be part of such a close knit and collaborative community. I’ll miss Windsor for sure, but will always make time to come back.

If you have any Windsor news, must see’s, must eats or anything Windsor related please add them to the comments. Any excuse to go back is a good one for me.

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Life Lately October 2017

Life Lately October 2017

October was stressful, after living in Windsor for seven months we decided to move. We did countless car loads back and forth to our new home, it was exhausting. To top it off, Nick went away for work two days after we moved so I was left unpacking, putting furniture together, and tending to a sick baby. There were days where all I wanted to do was sleep.

Between moving from Australia to the UK, and then moving within the UK, I feel like all I’ve been doing all year is moving – it’s definitely something I don’t want to do for a long time. So here’s to not moving for some time, and here’s to Life Lately in October.

Eating:
I’m addicted to microwave popcorn. I eat a whole bag every second night. It’s so good! I bought my popcorn machine over from Australia but so far haven’t found popcorn you can pop yourself. If anyone knows where I can buy it please let me know.

Reading:
I finally finished Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell. It was fantastic and very different to the movie. It’s amazing how much Julie’s life changed just by doing something out of the ordinary.

Watching:
I’m hooked on The Goldbergs, it’s so funny and set in the 80’s so I remember a lot of the toys and games shown in the show. I’m very basic with my TV and movie choices, I love anything that’s easy to follow. I watch this every day and love it to bits.

Buying:
Furniture and containers. The previous house we lived in was furnished, and by furnished I mean everything was there. The landlord left all of his rubbish there and let his family store all their junk. It was infuriating. This time I wanted all my own furniture in the house we chose, which means we’ve had to buy everything from scratch and put it together! Storage is also limited so I have to find clever ways to make a lot of use out of little space.

Visiting:
This month Nick and I went to Winchester and had lunch at a little pub tucked away behind the High Street. It’s a gorgeous spot with castle ruins, cathedrals and a bustling town centre.

Feeling:
Like something is missing. Moving from Australia to the UK has been harder then I thought. I miss talking to my friends about their lives and not just about kids. I think I need to start doing things for me, which includes meeting people where I just don’t talk about kids. Maybe a book club?

Loving:
That Halloween is a thing here. One of our neighbours has put spider webs and do not cross signs in front of their home. I’ve bought lollies for trick or treaters, which I’m hoping come to our door. I always bought lollies in Australia but only had two kids come last year, and never any the years before.

Hoping:
That all furniture and unpacking is done soon so I can dedicate proper time to this blog.

Planning:
Blog post content as I want to blog way more regularly than I currently do, and mix my content up so all categories are covered. I’ve been doing some content planning in my bullet journal, which is something I’ve really gotten in to lately. You can read about my bullet journaling new found love here, it’s been helping me plan my days in a way that I’ve never planned them before.

Pinning:
I’ve been a bit slack on Pinterest lately. I’ve pinned a few recipes here and there, but need to get back into this.

Parenting:
Ryan has had a nasty cold and cough so has been a little clingy. This month has been about hugs, TV time, and getting him settled in the new home, which he loves. The fact that it’s carpeted and has lots of natural light makes him crawl around everywhere excitedly.

Well that was October, full of moving, stress, but also baby cuddles. At this point November is quiet, but with the lead up to Christmas who knows!

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What is a bullet journal and how to set one up

What is a bullet journal, and how to set one up

I’ve spoken previously about my planning dilemmas, in particular how I’ve gone back and forth between electronic and paper and pen planning. For a little while I was a keen Filofax decorator, although admittedly not a very good one.

Sometime ago I heard about bullet journals, and how effective they are in helping people plan.

When researching them I remember seeing what looked like a complicated system, which used bullet points and other icons to categorise tasks. It looked too confusing, so I dismissed it as an organisational tool.

However, my interest in them recently came back and I’ve decided to give the system an official go.

So, this post is about sharing what a bullet journal is, how I’ve set mine up, and providing steps that you can follow to set yours up too – if it’s something you’re interested in.

Firstly, what is a bullet journal?
The bullet journal system (herein referred to as bujo), was created by Ryder Carroll. It’s a fully customisable organisational system that can be used in anyway you want. It can be your appointment reminder, personal diary, list maker – anything. It’s whatever you need it to be.

Why should you start a bujo?
If you’re looking for a system to keep you super organised, and that allows you to write anything that crosses your mind without restrictions, then a bujo is perfect for you.

How you can get started
I’m super tempted to go through the ins and outs of this system, but there’s no way that I can make it sound as simple as it is.

Instead, here’s the link to the official bujo website where you can learn everything about the system in simple detail.

Upon reading this link, or doing your own research, please don’t get confused about the icons and what goes where. To avoid this confusion I recommend looking at one other website in addition to the official one above to complete your bujo research (a good one is from Cerries Mooney) then look at my how I started setting up my bujo below and jump straight in.

Lastly on the topic of research, if you come across some brilliantly decorated journals remember that yours doesn’t have to be. The reason why I ceased using my Filofax was due to the pressure to make it artsy week in and week out. It just wasn’t something that I was interested in.

As you’ll see from my bujo pictures below, my pages are super simple, which makes it a system that I find easy to use, which will motivate me to use it for the long term.

How I started setting up my bujo

Here’s how I started:

  • Create a key so you know what each icon in your bujo stands for. Here’s mine:

What is a bullet journal, and how to set one up key

  • Start your index and fill it in every time you write something. Here’s mine

What is a bullet journal, and how to set one up index

  • Draw your future log
  • Draw the current month
  • Decide if you’ll do a weekly or daily spread, or both, then once you’ve decided draw it up
  • Add all of these items to your index
  • Fill in your future log with dates you know about
  • Write the current month’s tasks from your future log onto your current monthly spread
  • If you’ve chosen a weekly spread, write down each item next to the current week’s dates from your monthly spread to your weekly spread, plus anything else that needs to get done that week
  • If you’ve chosen a daily spread, write down each item for the day from your monthly spread to your daily spread, plus anything else that needs to get done that day

The order of writing things into your bujo is:

FUTURE LOG – MONTHLY SPREAD – WEEKLY/DAILY SPREAD

Remember, your bujo is customisable so you can change anything at anytime to suit you. I did this very early, I went from weekly spreads to daily, which I’ll talk more about below.

Do you need a future log?
The idea behind the bujo is to plan as you go. You only have one month, or one week/day planned at a time.

For an over planner like me I thought that I’d struggle with this, but I have the right hand side of my current monthly spread dedicated to any tasks or ideas that I need to focus on in following months, so I don’t have to worry about them until I need to.

Plus, my future log also lists down future appointments or any other notes that I need to transfer to their relevant month, so for me a future log is fantastic, but remember, if you don’t want it, don’t have one.

Monthly log
I’ve been bullet journaling for only one month and I’ve already changed the design of my monthly log – that’s the benefit of this system, customise it to your needs.

Originally I had a calendar of the month on the left hand side, and a task page on the right hand side.

What is a bullet journal, and how to set one up old monthly spread

What is a bullet journal, and how to set one up monthly spread RHS

With this layout I found that I didn’t have enough space to write down anything in the monthly date boxes, so I changed it.

Now I have the same layout as Ryder’s concept on the left hand side, which is the days of the month listed vertically, and have kept the same layout on the right hand side above.

I will be changing this again in November so the right hand side is for a brain dump / tasks. It will list everything that comes into my brain that I want to do that month, or that can be scheduled to a following month.

Weekly vs daily spreads
A weekly collection isn’t part of the original bujo concept. However, I had a weekly spread when I first started and it looked like this:

What is a bullet journal, and how to set one up weekly spread

It was helpful for a few weeks. I loved how I could open up my double page spread and see everything I had coming up in the week. However, very quickly I realised that it didn’t give me enough room to make detailed notes if  needed, or plan my day out by time. So I recently went to the below daily spread and I love it so much better.

What is a bullet journal, and how to set one up daily spread

You can learn about the time tracker section of this page and get all sorts of massive help and inspiration from Boho Berry, who will soon become your bujo best friend.

If you choose to do a daily spread you don’t have to plan out everyday. Right now I’ve gone for a week without planning as I’m moving and knew that I wouldn’t be doing anything but moving (and sadly still am!!!).

Make planning a night time routine
Every night for about 5-10 minutes I set up my daily log for the next day, do my time tracker and weather, and then dot point each task I want to get done for the day.

Here’s my order:

  1. Fill in the time tracker
  2. Add tasks / appointments for the day from my monthly spread
  3. Add unfinished tasks from the week before
  4. If I think I can get more done, I’ll then add items from my task list on my monthly page
  5. I then prioritise the top 3 things that I definitely want to get done, so if they’re the only things that get done on the day, then I’ll classify it as a good day

How has a bujo helped me more than any other planner?

The fact that it’s totally customisable, there’s no need to decorate, everything is in one place, and there’s room to write as much detail as you can is the biggest plus of a bujo over any other planner I’ve used.

I still use my Google calendar a little bit, but want to decrease my reliance on it. I will put a post together soon explaining how I combine the two.

If you’d like some more bujo inspiration I have a dedicated Pinterest board here.

If you’re already a bujo devotee I’d love to hear any tips that you have to make your bujo your ultimate planning assistant.

If you’re keen to become a bujo devotee and need advice, or have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments.

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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

Image

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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