Head and Heart #2 – August 2014

Head and Heart August 2014 1 Head and Heart August 2014 2

Head and Heart is “a monthly capture of my feelings and doings in the raw” it’s where I share a more personal side of myself on my blog.

So here’s my head and heart for August.

What I’ve been grateful for

A supportive family and boyfriend
Two days before my birthday I was made redundant. It was a shock, but not necessarily a bad one as I didn’t enjoy my job anyway. However, it now means that I don’t have a salary. My family has been understanding and my boyfriend Nick has been super supportive, giving me all the time I need to think about my next move and not pressuring me to get a job fast.

My sister’s coming back
This month my sister went to California to study, which was a great excuse to have a farewell dinner. Shortly after she left she emailed to say that she would only be away for 7 months instead of 11 so I was super happy. Then when it turned out the College she was to attend wasn’t what she thought it would be she decided to come home. Although bad for her, it’s good for me as I get to see her way sooner than expected.

What I’ve been thinking about

My next step
Losing my job means that I now have to think about my next job, which is something I resolved not to do this year. So now my new resolution is to not stress about being unemployed, and instead take the time I need to ensure that my next job is the right one. During the time I’ve already devoted to this I’ve been thinking a lot about how my expectations of work, money, and work life balance have changed since first leaving University, and I’m even happy to change directions if needed to suit my new expectation levels. More on this later.

Diet
This is an ongoing area of thought for me. I live to eat and lately have been eating a lot. Seeing as it was my brother’s and my birthday this month I spent a lot of time and all day on my own birthday eating bad food. I need to give more thought to eating in moderation.

What I’m excited for

Taking time out from life
As I’m going to Japan in October I have put the job hunt off until after I get back, which gives me time to be a lady of leisure. Normally I don’t feel comfortable sitting around not working, but I’m definitely going to make the most of it this time.

What I’ve been doing

Watching a lot of Brothers and Sisters
I love this show and now that I have the time I’m hoping to finish the series. I watched it when it was on TV but only in bits and pieces. Now I can sit and watch it all and enjoy it.

Taking a mini trip to Sydney
I took a trip to Sydney to get some sun and think about my next step job wise. It rained every day but it was still good to get away mid week.

What I’ve been reading

Blog, Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community by Joy Deangdeelert Cho. The first half of this book had great information on blogging as well as some fantastic tips and tricks. The second half was more suited towards someone who has been blogging for some time, so I’m looking forward to re-reading this at a later stage.

Your Dream Career For Dummies by Carol L. McClelland. I’m still getting through this but so far so good. It has a lot of worksheets to complete to discover who you are, what you’re looking for, and giving you insight into exploring work options that you wouldn’t normally consider.

What I’ve been spending money on

Shoes
I picked up some cream wedge runners from Camberwell Market for $10. I’ve never bought second hand shoes before but I’m really happy with these.

Skincare

For my birthday I treated myself to a facial and then purchased some recommended skincare as I’m desperate to get a good routine going. I’ve bought some serum, moisturiser, and eye cream from Ultraceuticals and so far so good.

Share to...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Chicken Tostadas

Love from Lisa Chicken Tostadas

Chicken Tostadas is a great recipe as it’s small, has tasty ingredients, and is Mexican, which I love to cook and eat.

Mexican is often my go to meal when I’m short of time. I tend to make beef or chicken burritos with salsa or sour cream. Nothing fancy like almond sour cream which this recipe has, which really appealed to me.

This recipe required a lot of slicing, dicing, and mixing but the end result was worth it.

They were crunchy and juicy at the same time, and were just the right size to classify them as a finger food. I can’t say anything bad about this recipe, it was easy to make and tasted great.

If you’d like to view recipes I’m thinking of cooking, or already have, then please visit my Finger food recipes Pinterest page.

Ingredients

400g chicken thigh fillets, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

Zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1/4 cup olive oil

Almond sour cream

1 cup sour cream

200g natural almonds, finely chopped

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Juice of 1 lime, or to taste

Sea salt, to season

Guacamole

2 ripe avocados

1/2 cup coriander, roughly chopped plus extra to serve

1 tomato, chopped

1/2 red onion, finely diced

Juice of 1 lime, or to taste

Sea salt, to season

Tostadas

1 pkt corn tortillas

2 cups vegetable oil, for frying

Coriander, to garnish

Step 1

To marinate the chicken, combine chicken, smoked paprika, lemon zest, oil and oregano in a bowl, mix well to combine. Cover with cling wrap and stand in the fridge for up to 30 minutes.

Step 2

Meanwhile, make almond sour cream: Combine sour cream, chopped almonds, smoked paprika and lime juice in a mixing bowl, or blitz in a small food processor. Season with salt, adjust ingredients for flavour balance if needed.

Step 3

Meanwhile, make the guacamole: Combine avocados, coriander, tomato, onion, lime juice in a medium sized bowl and using a fork mash ingredients until you have achieved the consistency you like. Alternatively blitz in a food processor if you would like a very smooth consistency. Season with salt, a squeeze of lime juice and extra chopped coriander.

Step 4

To cook chicken, heat a teaspoon of vegetable oil in a large frying pan. When oil is hot, add the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Step 5

To make the tostadas, use a 15cm ring cutter or the base of a glass and cut out circles from the corn tortillas using a sharp knife. Place deep frying pan over high heat and add vegetable oil. When oil is hot add tortilla and fry on both sides until golden. Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining tortilla rounds.

Step 6

To serve take a tostada, add a dollop of almond sour cream, a tablespoon of guacamole and then add a small amount of chicken. Garnish with coriander.

Share to...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Finders Keepers market

The Creative Canvass Finders Keepers market

 

I’ve never been a huge market fan, largely because when I was young my parents dragged me to trash and treasure markets. I hated looking at broken wares, used items, and products that were displayed on the ground.

However, after going to the Finders Keepers market last year I have discovered designer markets, markets where everything is intact and indescribably beautiful. A market that’s full of gorgeous, one of a kind items that you’d normally find overseas or in boutiques. For me it was heaven, and I never wanted to leave. So when I heard it was back this year I booked it in my diary in pen, a pen booking – now that’s serious.

When opening day finally arrived I was one of hundreds of others who lined up to get in. Apparently everyone loves designer markets. When I finally entered I was not disappointed.  The homewares, accessories, gorgeous wrapping paper and ribbons, garden products, clothes, jewellery – everything was so beautiful.

The designers who exhibit at these markets work extremely hard, often in conjunction with full time jobs and families. I learnt about this last year when a designer told me that she missed her daughter’s second birthday because she was exhibiting at another market. It really struck a chord with me. The designers spend so much time on their products, they miss family occasions, they put everything into what they do, and boy do they do it well. Going to these markets and buying what you can is a great way to support them.

Here’s some quick tips I’ve learnt about designer markets:

  • If you love it buy it immediately
  • If in doubt you will always find somewhere in your home to display it
  • You have to push through the crowds. I hate pushing but sometimes you have to
  • If you need to buy a gift designer markets are the BEST place to get them
  • Buy all your wrapping needs from these markets, they are gorgeous

I can’t wait for the next designer market to come up. Until then here’s the links to some of my favourite Finder Keepers market items pictured above:

1 Pop Plant this holds the gorgeous Cranula plant and looks so good on my coffee table. You can read more about this here.

2 & 4 The Mod Collective porcelain tableware and orb lights. Everything from this designer is gorgeous and I love their pastel colours.

3 Bespoke Letterpress coasters in not quite chevron and hearts. I bought these and plan on using them as gift tabs by writing my own special message on them. They also have gorgeous double sided wrap which I love. I also bought some pink twine from InkyCo. Both of these designers have the most gorgeous wrapping products I’ve ever seen. I’m really keen to jazz up my Christmas wrapping activities this year, so will definitely be visiting their online stores.

5.  Linnea Swedish Design Create print. I bought this online last year and saw it at the market. It’s my inspiration for my one little word of the year.

6. Days of August tropical punch colour wheel necklace. I bought this at last year’s market and love it to bits.

7. Entrance signage.

Share to...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

#100HappyDays. Days 91 – 100

So I completed my first social media challenge ever the #100HappyDays challenge. In fact this is the first challenge I think I’ve ever participated in.

I’m not really sure on the relevance, or improvement that this has had on my life.  I will think about it some more and write a follow up post, but here’s the last 10 days:

#100HappyDays Days 91-100

Day 91 Friday 25.07.14
Sorry Disneyland but The Finders Keepers Market is the happiest place on earth. I love this market everything is so gorgeous! Expect more on this market soon.

Day 92 Saturday 26.07.14
Spending the weekend in Gosford NSW for my boyfriend’s Niece’s 2nd birthday and enjoying some downtime.

Day 93 Sunday 27.07.14
Enjoying the serenity and warmth! Such a gorgeous location and the weather, dare I say it, shines all over Melbourne.

Day 94 Monday 28.07.14
I’ve eaten way too much as usual this weekend, way too much sugar in the form of birthday cake.  Should eat fruit like these gorgeous creatures.

Day 95 Tuesday 29.07.14
Painted nails I love them and need to do them more often.

Day 96 Wednesday 30.07.14
I love my new addition to the family. Low maintenance plants are the best.

Day 97 Thursday 31.07.14
Just chilling with Milka as usual watching the Bachelor and am so damn happy it’s Friday tomorrow.

Day 98 Friday 01.08.14
With a belly full of food it’s time to hit the couch.  I can’t believe it’s already August and am happy I’ve nearly made it through this challenge.

Day 99 Saturday 02.08.14
This is my last sister weekend for a long time as my sister is deserting me to study overseas.  A day of tattoos, Nandos, brownies and ice cream. Tomorrow it’s the market, shopping, and Maha. I’m very happy but also sad.

Day 100 Sunday 03.08.14
Finally I get to announce my happiest moment of all, I’ve finally launched a blog!

Since writing this post I’ve completed this challenge. Here’s the remaining days:

Intro

#100HappyDays days 1-30

#100HappyDays Days 61 – 90

#100HappyDays final thoughts 2 months on

 

Share to...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

#100HappyDays. Days 61 – 90

So my #100HappyDays challenge is heading towards the pointy end.

For this section the challenge was more #100RoutineDays instead of #100HappyDays, and ironically I really didn’t feel happy during this section.  In fact, a lot of the time I felt frustrated and tried to grasp anything I could to be happy for a moment.  It wasn’t the challenge that was making me feel frustrated, it was just my days in general.  I don’t know what it was that made me feel off maybe it was because I’ve been lacking motivation lately so haven’t been releasing my happy endorphins much, or my sister’s impending departure? Not sure, anyhow here’s how days 61 – 90 went:

#100HappyDays Days 61-70

Day 61 Wednesday 25.06.14
Today I started playing around with a great photo editing and design tool called PicMonkey. I highly recommend it and expect a lot of my time going forward will be spent on this site.

Day 62 Thursday 26.06.14
Currently waiting for my takeaway goodness to come home.  I always look forward to fast food Fridays.  I’m thinking pizza is definitely on the menu tonight.

Day 63 Friday 27.06.14
Tonight I had a great night with my old work colleagues. It made me realise how much I miss laughter and good stories with work colleagues, which is actually kind of sad.

Day 64 Saturday 28.06.14
Today is sister day, a whole day dedicated to my sister eating, shopping, relaxing, and movies, what we do best.

Day 65 Sunday 29.06.14
I finally have a clean cooktop! It’s not as clean as I’d like it to be but it will do for now.

Day 66 Monday 30.06.14
Just looking through old photos and found this goodie, a double bodied camel.  It made me laugh.

Day 67 Tuesday 01.07.14
Today I took a little visit to another of my food happy places Thomas Dux.  This place is amazing.

Day 68 Wednesday 02.07.14
Today I’m going to make some notes in my new cute little book, if this can’t inspire ideas then nothing will.

Day 69 Thursday 03.07.14
I got invited to an unexpected work meeting today which meant I got to leave early and sneak in the grocery shopping a day earlier. Now I can avoid the Friday grocery shopping madness!

Day 70 Friday 04.07.14
So something that has been part of previous happy days – my ducted heating has suddenly stopped working. Why oh why!!! Even Muffin was so cold she was sitting on it this morning waiting for it to heat up her bum. I also left my lunch at home as I wanted to get out of the igloo quickly.  The only happy I feel will happen today is my free coffee oh and it’s Friday yay!!

#100HappyDays Days 71-80

Day 71 Saturday 05.07.14
Tonight we’re going all fancy pants, a semi healthy snack for once.

Day 72 Sunday 06.07.14
Sometimes it’s the simple things that make me happy, like a car that’s finally been cleaned.

Day 73 Monday 07.07.14
After four years of owing tax I finally got a refund. I still owe a crap load of HECS (thanks Masters degree) but maybe I can buy some boots to celebrate/commensurate?

Day 74 Tuesday 08.07.14
I’ve started to think about getting shoes that will handle all the walking I’ll do when I hit the streets of Japan.  I think these will do nicely!

Day 75 Wednesday 09.07.14
I’m glad my boyfriend salvaged my apple pies from the bin where I put them to stop from overeating them.  Warm apple pie with icecream is one of the best ways to warm up on a cold night. I know this is kind of gross, salvaging food from the bin, but they were totally clean.

Day 76 Thursday 10.07.14
Just catching up with my boyfriend’s cousin and his wife from Canberra at one of my absolute favourite restaurants Borsch, Vodka, and Tears and having a naughty end of week drink.

Day 77 Friday 11.07.14
Today has not been a good day as I’ve been feeling really agitated and annoyed for no particular reason. The best happy I can muster is prawn crackers. I love them.

Day 78 Saturday 12.07.14
Paying up to 80¢ extra for soy at cafés is highly frustrating. Luckily Muffin Break is the only place I know that charges nothing for soy, and the coffee is great too.

Day 79 Sunday 13.07.14
I bought some walking shoes for Japan today. Not my first choice but I’m still happy with them.

Day 80 Monday 14.07.14
I was just in the middle of writing about my giant cookie happiness when I got the call to say my ducted heating’s getting replaced tomorrow morning. I don’t ever think I’ll be more happy during a work day then I am now, and even happy to spend my tax return on something aside from food.

#100HappyDays Days 81-90

 

Day 81 Tuesday 15.07.14
It’s all happening today, the ducted heater’s getting installed and my first shoe online purchase arrived yay!

Day 82 Wednesday 16.07.14
Tonight I’m seeing an early screening of Sex Tape with my sister as a mid week date.  I bypassed the free large popcorn I would have got from booking online as I’d have to eat it myself.  Possible but naughty.

Day 83 Thursday 17.07.14
I love sleep it makes me so happy, so tonight I’m turning in early.  I’ve already pre-heated the bed at the maximum electric blanket setting. Sweet dreams.

Day 84 Friday 18.07.14
Muffin here taking over mum’s #100HappyDays challenge. I’m super happy she works to pay for my food and heating. Warming my butt up as I lick my lips from the food my mum also works to buy me is the best life ever.

Day 85 Saturday 19.07.14
Today I’ve felt super sluggish, hoping a late night dig will make me feel better.

Day 86 Sunday 20.07.14
Finally after having her for three months I’ve finally used Madeleine! Made some jam fancies. Yep my Kitchenaid has a name.

Day 87 Monday 21.07.14
Lollies I love them!! The ultimate in happy moments. I’ve tried to ban them from my life, but let’s get real, that’s NEVER gonna happen.

Day 88 Tuesday 22.07.14
This is a quote I live by as the two things I live for and that make me the happiest are food and travel. I’ve been overseas every year since 1999 with no plans to stop anytime soon.

Day 89 Wednesday 23.07.14
I’m happy the Bachelors back even though it’s super corny and very cringe worthy I still love it.

Day 90 Thursday 24.07.14
Yep it’s food again, I’ve just discovered salt and vinegar popcorn. So good!

All that’s left now is the last 10 days, I can’t believe I’ve nearly made it.  Lets see how it all ends….

Since writing this post I’ve completed this challenge. Here’s the remaining days:

Intro

#100HappyDays days 1 – 30

#100HappyDays Days 31 – 60

#100HappyDays Days 91 – 100

#100HappyDays final thoughts 2 months on

 

Share to...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Head and Heart #1 – July 2014

Head and Heart July 1 Head and Heart July 2

The idea behind Head and Heart is “a monthly capture of my feelings and doings, in the raw” where you take time out once a month to reflect upon and share a more personal side to yourself on your blog.

So here goes, my first Head and Heart post:

What I’ve been grateful for

Ducted heating
You know the saying “you don’t realise what you’ve got until it’s gone” well this saying is spot on.  Our beloved ducted heating died this month, cause of death old age.  It died peacefully, waking up from sleep and doing its thing one morning.  Then not waking from its afternoon nap to do its thing that night.  It died right in the middle of the cold snap.  Having no heat made my nose run as I cooked dinner.  So a new one was purchased.  I am now very grateful for the heat and can appreciate the difference it makes to our home comfort.

Having time out
I really value my me time and try to have a me day every second Saturday. Sometimes this isn’t possible, so I try to maximise the amount of time I have to myself whenever possible. This month I’ve really valued my alone time and have used it to think about what I want to do with my time, and appreciate the quiet.  I will resolve to have more of these moments more often.

Spending time with my sister
Apart from me time, the other person I spend a lot of time with is my sister who I’m really close to.  She’s leaving me next month to study in California for a year! I’m devastated, so have been spending as much quality time with her as I can.

What I’ve been thinking about

My lack of motivation
I’ve been incredibly lazy this month and haven’t been going to the gym on a regular basis for weeks on end.  When the alarm goes off at 6.45am the first thought that goes through my head is NO! I’m one of those people who go over and over something in my head for ages if I’m annoyed with a choice I’ve made.  Like, I should have gone, why didn’t I go?  Then I harass the hell out of my sister with how I felt by not going.  The thing is I love going to the gym. I feel so happy afterwards and always regret not going.  So, enough whinging and more doing! I need to remember and replay in my head one of my three create goals for this year, which is to create a healthy lifestyle for a healthy mind, body, and spirit.

Choices
Sometimes I feel I am way to relaxed in making choices.  I was laid back when I agreed to buy a house with my boyfriend in an area I don’t love, laid back in accepting jobs I’m not totally passionate about, and laid back in doing things with my friends that I don’t have time for, or don’t feel like doing.  It’s time to start thinking about my feelings before making a choice.  I am going to start listening more to my gut, from now on if something doesn’t sit right, then I will sleep on it.

What I’m excited for

Japan
Japan has been a massive travel to do destination for some time.  The buzz, craziness, and overall coolness (is that a word?) is just somewhere that I want to see as soon as I can.  So finally in October I’m going and I can’t wait.  There’s so much to see and do! I tend to over plan my trips so much that I can never remember what I’ve done when I look back at my trips.  So this time I will be more relaxed, there’s still a plan in place but there’s plenty of room just to explore.  You can see the places I’m planning to visit on my Japan Pinterest board. Since writing this post I visited Japan, you can read about it here.

What I’ve been doing

Blog design
This is the first month of this blog and A LOT of time has been spent on playing around with its design – maybe too much time. I tend to get in to the nitty gritty of things but am now at a stage where I’m happy with it and need to get some posts going. You can read more about how this blog came about here.

Discovering blogs
It’s been all about blogs this month. I feel like this wonderful world has been happening in the background and I’ve only just stumbled across it.  I am really getting lost in people’s lives and adventures and I can’t wait for you all to get lost in mine.

What I’ve been reading

  • I’ve got your number by Sophie Kinsella. I first became a Sophie Kinsella fan after reading all of her Shopoholic books. However, I’m undecided on whether I liked this book. In Sophie’s books that I’ve read the main female character always escalates situations in her head and they often get lost in their own little fantasy world.  The endings are often at times very predictable.  Whilst still a good book, I definitely liked some of her others better.

What I’ve been spending money on

Jumpers
I need a wardrobe overhall says all girls all the time. I’m over my long cardigan and jeans look so have been buying jumpers to mix it up a little.

Shoes
I’ve jumped on the online shopping bandwagon very late I know! I’ve only just discovered how fun and easy it is to shop online.  I bought some black boots from Asos and did some shopping centre shopping as well buying Adidas shoes for walking the streets of Japan.

Coffee table books
Now that I type this I realise that I’ve spent a bit of money this month.  As well as jumpers and shoes I also randomly bought some coffee table books to jazz my living area up a little.

Pot plant
I love designer markets and when I discovered that the Finder’s Keepers market was back on I booked in in my diary straight away (more about this great market in a future post).  Something I bought here was a gorgeous little Cranula from Pop Plant it was exactly what I needed to place next to my coffee table books and the container is gorgeous.

Share to...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

#100HappyDays. Days 31 – 60

So my #100HappyDays quest continues.   I’m not sure how I feel about this challenge just yet.

Days 31 – 60 were not as easy as the first 30 days as I’m finding it harder and harder to find different things each day that make me happy. I know the goal of this challenge isn’t to find something different to be happy about every day, but I can’t really make eating chocolate and drinking tea my happy for every work day.  If that’s all that I’m happy about every day then I really need to evaluate my life.

So here’s what happened during the second portion of my #100HappyDays challenge.

#100HappyDays Days 31 - 40

Day 31 Monday 26.05.14
I finally got to use a homegrown lemon in my dinner tonight.  After much TLC lemon tree number one (which was a lemon) didn’t want to produce lemons so it went bye bye. Lemon tree number two was bought with lemons already on it.  Its lemons smell beautiful and squeezed really easily. Lemons definitely look and taste better when they’re home grown.

Day 32 Tuesday 27.05.14
I now have 1.5 hours of mummy and Muffin time, which means watching TV and eating this beautiful Zest of Lime Lindt chocolate which I HIGHLY recommend.

Day 33 Wednesday 28.05.14
I finally took the plunge and hired a cleaner to clean my floors and bathrooms – my least favourite chores.  Now I have more time to eat chocolate!

Day 34 Thursday 29.05.14
I finished reading The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body by Cameron Diaz.  It was really easy to read and I really enjoyed it.  It has simple advice on how to treat your body properly.

Day 35 Friday 30.05.14
Today I had a very full day both in time and stomach at the Food and Wine show. I ate way too much but it was so much fun!

Day 36 Saturday 31.05.14
Had a great day shopping picking up some goodies for the house.

Day 37 Sunday 01.06.14
Today I broadened my horizons and saw Nitro Circus, which I gave my boyfriend as a gift for our five year anniversary. This is something that I’m not at all in to but I must admit I was super impressed by the craziness of the flipping and turning on all sorts of machinery and bikes.

Day 38 Monday 02.06.14
There’s nothing like coming home to a heated house. Muffin loves it too as she has her bath while warming up.

Day 39 Tuesday 03.06.14
Today Muffin and I came home to a clean and great smelling home. The shower and spa are the cleanest I’ve ever ever seen them, even Muffin agrees. I feel lazy but great and couldn’t recommend a cleaner more.

Day 40 Wednesday 04.06.14
It took way longer than anticipated but today I got hosting and started the process of setting up this blog, just one small step into one of the big goals I have for this year as part of my one little word of 2014 – create.

#100HappyDays Days 41 - 50

Day 41 Thursday 05.06.14
My sister and I are total Nandos nuts, crazy for it’s goodness and of course CHIPPIES!!

Day 42 Friday 06.06.14
I feel like I haven’t bought anything for ages, so indulged in a little retail therapy today.

Day 43 Saturday 07.06.14
I can’t believe that all the main areas of my garden are now finally done! The different coloured mulch that got delivered today (which I was super angry about) was managed to be spread out so it blended with the old mulch.  Now if someone could please discipline my screaming cat and remove the mountains of dirt I now have it would be a great day.

Day 44 Sunday 08.06.14
I just had a shoulder massage at a place where the masseurs normally talk to each other so you can’t relax. Today they were all quiet.

Day 45 Monday 09.06.14
I love it when a public holiday falls on a Monday and you get a super long weekend. These are especially great when you start to make plans with your little sister who’s only around for a little longer (she’s going away to USA to study and I will not survive her absence). To make these plans I’ve started diarising them old school.

Day 46 Tuesday 10.06.14
Today I’m being one of those annoying people who are at the shops before they open so I thought I’d stop for a coffee. Lucky me I was up to a free one on my loyalty card yay!

Day 47 Wednesday 11.06.14
Hmmm today’s a hard one as it’s after work hours and I’m at a work cooking session which is a total waste of my time.  The only happy part is I will soon get to go home – after eating some of the glorious food of course.

Day 48 Thursday 12.06.14
I’ve been playing around with the vases in my kitchen for awhile not quite sure what to fill them with. Recently I bought blue, pink, and yellow stones to go in them which I had to hand pick to find the best ones in each packet.  I’ve now decided that I don’t like the stones so have bought cupcake holders which I finished picking today. So let’s see the result…

Day 49 Friday 13.06.14
I’ve been really getting into blogs lately and have found some great ones! It’s definitely an activity to do when you want some time out.

Day 50 Saturday 14.06.14
Wow the half way mark. Today I had a really bad dentist visit which has resulted in me deciding to finally find a new one.  My car radio is also playing up, and my boyfriend won’t stop aggravating me about Muffin’s screaming.  The light at the end of the tunnel was having dinner with a good friend.  It was fun, relaxing, and I got to eat dessert!

#100HappyDays Days 51 - 60

Day 51 Sunday 15.06.14
Today was a great day. I caught up with my sister for a massage in the morning, then had lunch with my boyfriend at a place that looked small at the front but opened up to a huge cafe with a waterfall.  I also finally filled up my kitchen vases, and am now about to have Mummy and Muffin time.

Day 52 Monday 16.06.14
Tea and chocolate time a very prominent feature of this challenge but one of my most frequented happy moments.

Day 53 Tuesday 17.06.14
Today I finally organised one of the kitchen cupboards that has been annoying me for some time.

Day 54 Wednesday 18.06.14
I did something really really bad to Muffin today, which involved throwing her off my lap so she landed on the floor on her side.  I feel awful and from now on will never stop her from going on my lap when she wants to. At least she’s happy now.

Day 55 Thursday 19.06.14
I find it super hard to get pants to fit me which is why I’m extra happy that I found some super comfy and cheap (only $40) pants from Uniqlo – they have an elastic waist band, does that make me an old person?

Day 56 Friday 20.06.14
I absolutely love these pendant lights at a restaurant that has amazing cakes.  I  really want to ask them where they got them from.

Day 57 Saturday 21.06.14
Today is not the most ideal weather to be doing this, but I am having a quiet stroll around a nursery for some garden inspiration before meeting my parents for lunch.  There’s nothing better to soothe a bad mood then looking at gorgeous garden ideas.

Day 58 Sunday 22.06.14
What a long productive computer filled day. Today my neighbour invited me over for coffee which was weird because a neighbour has never done that before. It was good to go and be social and meet some other neighbours as well.

Day 59 Monday 23.06.14
There’s almost nothing better than hearing the rain outside while the heaters running and Milkazoid and I can catch up on social media.

Day 60 Tuesday 24.06.14
I don’t know if it was the bacon or chicken skin but Muffin left me alone while I was cooking dinner and now it appears she’s put herself to bed. This makes me very happy as I can do some computer work.  I’m hoping I’ve found the magic quiet cat elixir.

Since writing this post I’ve completed this challenge. Here’s the remaining days:

Intro

#100HappyDays days 1-30

#100HappyDays Days 61 – 90

#100HappyDays Days 91 – 100

#100HappyDays final thoughts 2 months on

 

Share to...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Jam Fancies

Love from Lisa Edible Experiments Jam Fancies

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to get into baking.  Not just because I love sweet things (or savoury for that matter) but because of the way it can soothe a bad mood.

If you’d like to view other recipes I have in mind, or have already baked for this series please visit my baking recipes Pinterest page.

So here goes, here’s my attempt at making Jam Fancies.  The amount of biscuits you make with this recipe will depend on how large and thick you make them:

Ingredients

  • 125g softened butter
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 whisked egg
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup self raising flour
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam
  • Icing sugar to dust

Step one

Preheat your oven to 160°C and line 2 trays with baking paper.

Place the butter, caster sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Once this is done add the egg and beat until well combined.

This was my KitchenAid “Madeleine’s” first ever job. I’ve had her for over two months and only just put her on.  And yes, my KitchenAid has a name. Madeleine was chosen as it means to create a memory (which is what cooking’s all about), it’s the name of a sponge biscuit (appropriate as she’ll mainly and hopefully help me make sweets) and it’s an actual human name.

Step two

Sift both flours over the mixture and stir well until combined.

Form the mixture into two 3cm thick round discs.  Enclose each disc in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

I think I may have gone wrong with my thickness here, as you can see these are quite thin.

Step three

Roll one disc between two sheets of baking paper until 4mm thick. Repeat with the second disc.

The recipe calls for a 6cm round fluted biscuit cutter to cut 16 rounds of dough.  I didn’t have one of these so used one of those discs you use when cooking eggs in the pan (not sure what they’re called).  This is why I only got 9 complete biscuits.

Step four

Place the cut discs onto the prepared trays.

Step five

Using a 1.5cm icing nozzle cut a small round from the centre of the discs.

Step six

Bake the discs for 15 – 20 minutes or until light golden and cooked through.  Once baked remove them from the oven and leave on the trays for 2 minutes.

After this 2 minutes transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

The feedback I got here from my boyfriend, the baking expert of course, was that they were too brown.  I left them in the oven for 18 minutes, so next time I’ll leave them in for less time and see if they then meet his approval.

Step seven

The discs have now become biscuits.  Place them on a flat surface.

Put the jam in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 20 seconds or until jam is warm. Spoon 2 tsp of jam onto each biscuit (or whatever amount looks good).

Dust with icing sugar and eat!

Overall I was kind of happy with this experiment.  They tasted good but were a little too thin. So next time I will make them thicker when rolling the dough.

I’m up for some feedback on what I could do better or what fillings I could put in my next attempt.  Please feel free to share any comments below.

Edible experiment round one down, what’s next? Stay tuned….

Share to...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

#100HappyDays. Days 1 – 30

My first 30 days of the #100HappyDays challenge was quite fun. I tried to find something different each day that made me happy, although a lot of my happy moments were food related, which wasn’t surprising. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be to find something each day which made me happy.

Here’s my first 30 days.

Day 1 Saturday 26.04.14
I’ve been working on redoing my entire garden since last year. Finally part of the front is nearing completion. Here’s the before and after shots.

Day 1 (a) Day 1 (b)

 

Day 2 Sunday 27.04.14
Listening to Michael Bublé’s To Be Loved tour playlist in preparation for his concert on Wednesday whilst making Apple and Hazelnut Bircher was definitely a highlight today. Michael Bublé always makes me happy.

Day 2

 

Day 3 Monday 28.04.14
Chicken Tagine is a meal that cooks itself, which is the best. This means that whilst it’s cooking I can clean the kitchen so all that’s left after dinner is to clean the dishes we ate in, and then relax on the couch ready to watch My Kitchen Rules.

Day 3

 

Day 4 Tuesday 29.04.14
Chips! I really could just leave today as one word. I love chips they make me sooo happy. I could eat them everyday. I’m pretty sure food is going to be the majority of my #100HappyDays challenge.

Day 4

 

Day 5 Wednesday 30.04.14
Waiting for Michael Bublé I love him!

Day 5

 

Day 6 Thursday 01.05.14
Taking a moment before having to go to work.

Day 6

 

Day 7 Friday 02.05.14
My wall of trees has finally been cleared away, giving the snails more room to party.

Day 8 Saturday 03.05.14
Sister day! Today I’m spending the day with the little sister having breakfast, watching The Other Woman and shopping. Much deserved and looked forward to.

Day 8

 

Day 9 Sunday 04.05.14
My new toy!! Now I have no excuses not to get serious about baking.

Day 9

 

Day 10 Monday 05.05.14
On the couch with Milkazoid. I’ve eaten heaps of chocolate and lollies (naughty) and am now watching MasterChef. I haven’t gotten into the last few seasons so am happy and excited to see how it goes this season.

Day 10

 

Day 11 Tuesday 06.05.14
Morning yoga – so hard to get out of bed for but definitely worth it.

Day 11

 

Day 12 Wednesday 07.05.14
I’m very happy that it took only 2 Nurofens to get rid of the headache I woke up with. Usually it takes more.

Day 12

 

Day 13 Thursday 08.05.14
Today is my five year anniversary with my boyfriend who makes me very happy when I can annoy him. I came home to some gorgeous flowers and finally went to Longrain.

Day 13

 

Day 14 Friday 09.05.14
I’m happy I’ve decided to go back onto my FODMAPS diet that a dietician advised me to go on a couple of years ago for some health concerns that I have. Hopefully this will also enable me to achieve one of the create goals I set for myself this year. However, all bets are off after dinner so I can still eat freely at night.

Day 14

 

Day 15 Saturday 10.05.14
I never thought I’d be so happy to see mulch, I’ve literally been dreaming about this day. I’m finally going to finish the frontyard. Please Melbourne hold off on the rain. Hopefully most of its out of your system when it bucketed down this morning.

Day 15

 

Day 16 Sunday 11.05.14
Even though I’m currently feeling irritated for no particular reason, seeing Charlie today made me happy. He’s so cute and always greets you with a present, which is more than I can say for Muffin. Another year of no Mother’s Day present from her.

The Creative Canvass #100HappyDays days 1-30

Day 17 Monday 12.05.14
It’s such a beautiful day, I’m tying to delay the inevitable and enjoy the sunshine before having to go to work.

Day 17

 

Day 18 Tuesday 13.05.14
After a day of feeling angry I’ve finally calmed down and found my happiness for the day. This is my all time favourite Kit Kat.

The Creative Canvass #100HappyDays days 1-30

 

Day 19 Wednesday 14.05.14
Happiness is knowing you don’t have to work tomorrow so you can relax and stay up a bit longer watching TV.

The Creative Canvass #100HappyDays days 1-30

 

Day 20 Thursday 15.05.14
Happy time eating a pre dinner snack with the little sister after a day indoors at her Uni.

Day 20

 

Day 21 Friday 16.05.14
Marginally happy as I’m finally about to eat after 1 hour and 45 minutes at the hairdressers. If Milkazoid would shut up then if be totally happy.

Day 21

 

Day 22 Saturday 17.05.14
One of my ultimate happy places Nudle Knox!

Day 22

 

Day 23 Sunday 18.05.14
I’ve had an extremely productive weekend. The frontyard is finally finished with a marathon mulching, digging, weeding, and plastic matting 16 hour marathon. Now it’s time to relax.

Day 18 (b)

 

Day 24 Monday 19.05.14
Having some quality sister time watching Bad Neighbours in Gold Class at Village whilst eating away.

Day 24

 

Day 25 Tuesday 20.05.14
It’s an early happiness post, but free coffee at the gym today means early morning starts don’t get better than this.

Day 25

 

Day 26 Wednesday 21.05.14
I love leftovers they mean no cooking and no dishes so you can relax all night.

Day 26

 

Day 27 Thursday 22.05.14
I’m so happy it’s Friday tomorrow!! I’m also happy that I’ve eaten garlic bread with dinner as it’s been ages since I’ve had it at home. Now about to eat more in the form of a donut and ice cream. Bring on the food!!

Day 27

 

Day 28 Friday 23.05.14
The only benefit of having a job where no one really cares about you is the ability to take some time out and catch up on your magazine reading. This will make the day go faster.

Day 28

 

Day 29 Saturday 24.05.14
I just had lunch with one of my favourite people in the world, now off to relax in the beautiful sunshine.

Day 29

 

Day 30 Sunday 25.05.14
Despite having a good day in the city I’m really aggravated today. Here’s hoping this juice called Happy Juice will perk me up.

Day 30

Since writing this post I’ve completed this challenge. Here’s the remaining days:

Intro

#100HappyDays days 31-60

#100HappyDays Days 61 – 90

#100HappyDays Days 91 – 100

#100HappyDays final thoughts 2 months on

 

Share to...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

#100HappyDays

#100HappyDays intro

Last month on Facebook a friend of mine posted something about a challenge she was doing called #100HappyDays. I was intrigued so I asked her what it was. She told me it’s a challenge where you write about something that makes you happy every day for 100 days. It sounded interesting so I decided to give it a try. This is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this, so I was curious about where it would take me.

I headed over to the challenge website where they explain what the challenge is and why it was developed. The idea behind it is that it’s an avenue for you to take time out of your day to write about anything at all that made you happy that day. It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular, it could be catching up with a friend, having coffee at your favourite café, or spending time with your pet. The ultimate goal is for you live more in the moment, which will ultimately lead to longer term happiness.

The websites emphasises that it’s not about showing off, making people jealous, or making out like you have the best life ever and nothing gets you down. It’s about taking time out of your day to reflect on that one moment that made you happy, to realise that there is a lot of good in your life even if it’s just one moment during the day. Whatever the moment, it’s important to acknowledge it as it makes you appreciate your day /life more.

I undertook some further reading on the challenge and saw comments by the media and Psychologists stating that the challenge is impossible and unrealistic as no one can be happy all of the time.  I’m under no illusion that the challenge is about being happy 100% of the time for 100 days, that’s impossible.  For me, it’s about appreciating the small moments of each day that make me happy. Even if it’s just for 30 minutes, or 5 minutes, or even just a thought. It’s about appreciating the good with the bad, acknowledging that life’s not all bad, and each day brings different emotions and experiences, some of which are great.

I’m excited and a little curious on how I will feel after this.  I will be posting a summary of my days on the blog so stay tuned.  If you’re feeling inspired to join in here’s the challenge website http://100happydays.com/

Here goes….

Since writing this post I’ve completed this challenge. Here’s the remaining days:

#100HappyDays days 1-30

#100HappyDays days 31-60

#100HappyDays Days 61 – 90

#100HappyDays Days 91 – 100

#100HappyDays final thoughts 2 months on

 

 

Share to...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone