Life Lately December 2017

Life Lately December 2017

December wasn’t as hectic a month this year as it usually is in our household.

By this time of year I’m usually wrapping presents, baking, and packing for Christmas at Nick’s family’s house.

However, now that we’ve moved to the UK, the lead up to Christmas is much slower paced.

So, here’s life lately in December;

Eating:
I worked my way through my first advent calendar ever. I don’t know why I waited so long to get one. It’s the best excuse to eat chocolate everyday ever (like I really need an excuse!)

Reading:
I’m currently reading The Dying Game by Asa Avdic. It’s about 7 people who have been put on a remote island to compete for a top-secret intelligence job. Part of the selection criteria is to see how they handle a staged murder, but from what I’ve just read it looks like a real murder has been committed. I’m very intrigued.

Watching:
I finally watched the movie Lion, based on the book I read back in May. The movie was fantastic, and even though I knew what would happen it was still a tear jerker.

Buying:
I still love online shopping. This month I’ve purchased items for Ryan’s new buggy, a griddle pan, a bookcase for Ryan’s room, and a book called Your Best Life Yet, which I’m hoping will set me on a better mood track then I’ve been in this month.

Visiting:
Due to our Munich Christmas plans falling through, we decided to do a road trip around Oxford and Birmingham instead. We visited Blenheim Palace, and the Frankfurt German Christmas Market and Magical Lantern Festival in Birmingham. It was good to get away as just the three of us.

Feeling:
For the first half of December I felt really crappy. I started each morning in a really bad mood, and it wasn’t a good feeling. I have no idea what was making me feel so rotten. All I can think the cause was is the time of year. It’s been a hectic year with moving from Australia, moving within the UK, Nick being away a lot, and missing my friends terribly. Christmas is the time of year where you spend time with your loved ones, and this year I couldn’t as they’re in another country.

Loving:
I love the idea that I can start fresh next year and perhaps shake off this bad mood of mine. In the past I’ve used one little word to set the intention for my year, in fact it’s the reason I started this blog. My previous words of the year have been create, focus, and action.

Instead of one little word, next year I’m going to base my goals on a new book I’ve just purchased called Your Best Year Yet. I’ll let you know how this goes.

Hoping:
To treat my body better next year. This always seems to be a hope at this time of year. I don’t believe in diets, but everything in moderation. However, moderation hasn’t been my friend this year, so it’s time to incorporate more fruit and water into my life.

Planning:
This month was about planning our Christmas meals, which was quite last minute. We managed to get bookings in Birmingham, wherewe all ate ourselves crazy.

Parenting:
Ryan is throwing little tantrums, which involve putting his head on the ground and crying whenever we take something off him, whenever another child tries to play with a toy he has, or even if another child just comes near a toy he has. It’s kind of cute, but I feel like these tantrums are going to grow in size the closer to two he gets.

Well that was December; it wasn’t too hectic, which I’m thankful for.

I hope your December and holiday period was just as peaceful.

Have a fantastic 2018, see you next year!

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My top 5 favourite moments of 2017

My top 5 favourite moments of 2017

Lately I’ve been feeling very, very blah. And by blah I mean irritated, annoyed, and generally sad.

I think I’ve been feeling like this because the emphasis on this time of year is to spend time with those you love, and the majority of those that I love are in Australia.

In order to get over these feelings and appreciate the good in this year, I’ve decided to take a look at my top 5 favourite moments of 2017.

1. Watching Ryan grow

I’m very lucky to have a healthy, happy little boy (I hope this never changes!) This year has seen Ryan grow from a five month old baby who hadn’t started eating solids, to a 16 month old cheeky, adventurous, eating machine little human, who is the love of my life. I’m very lucky that I’m able to spend as much time with him as I do, and I’m excited to share with you our adventures in 2018.

2. Mel saying yes to the UK

There’s no way that I could have moved to the UK if Mel didn’t say she’d join me. Having her here was the biggest help I could have received in adjusting to this new life.

3. Checking out Amsterdam

Still on the topic of Mel, we got to spend some sister time in Amsterdam in March (well, sister and Aunty time as Ryan joined us). I’ll be doing a post about Amsterdam soon, but the highlights of this place were chips, chips, more chips, and windmills.

4. Living in Windsor

I was extremely lucky to live in Windsor for the majority of the year. Its shopping packed town centre was a massive drawcard. I also made a really close friend there, and I’m hoping that we, and our sons, will be friends for life.

5. Blogging – properly this time

Moving away from friends has given me a lot of spare time; time that I’ve decided would be best spent re-energising this blog. This year I realised that I needed to do something just for me, something apart from motherly duties. So, I’ve redesigned the blog a bit and will focus on four categories, which are life, parenting, organisation, and travel.

I still can’t believe that another year is nearly over, and what a year it’s been!

I hope I’m in a better headspace in 2018. Usually by now I would have set one little word to drive my intention for the year ahead, but I haven’t yet. (If you’d like to learn more about this then please visit here, here, here, or even here).

I’m still undecided on whether to set goals for 2018 or take it as it comes, so stay tuned for this one.

I’d love to hear about your favourite moments of 2017, and if you have any ideas on how to be more positive about the year ahead please let me know.

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Life Lately November 2017

Life Lately November 2017

November has been a month of sickness. Prior to having Ryan I rarely got sick, now I seem to get a cold every few months. This month both Ryan and I had a cold and cough for three weeks.

In addition to his cold, Ryan also had a molar cutting through, and he had a nasty viral rash on his leg, which looked like chicken pox.

There were many sleepless nights in the household, which Nick managed to avoid as he left for Australia for a couple of weeks for work.

However, it finally seems like our colds are on the way out, in the same way as November. So lets take a look at Life Lately in November.

Eating:
Chocolate – every night. I love that I can buy a whole bag of Kit Kats for £1! My new addiction is Cadbury’s Mint Oreo, it’s so good.

Reading:
This is the first month that I’ve started and finished a book, the book was Sunshine on a Rainy Day by Bryony Fraser. Amazon describes it as a funny, feel good romantic comedy, but that’s not how I saw it. It’s about a couple that get divorced a month after they’re married. It’s the only book I’ve ever read that I yelled at in annoyance at some of the fights the couple had, and I was annoyed at the ending that was unrealistic and finished very abruptly.

Watching:
I’m still watching The Goldbergs, and I still can’t get enough of it. I’m up to the current season, so I can take a break soon.

Buying:
Online shopping is so good here, heaps better than in Australia. It’s how I’ve been buying most things lately. This month’s purchases include a safety gate, a fold out bed, dummy holders, container labels, a lunch bag, and even a stroller.

Visiting:
Mel, Ryan, and I went to a Scandinavian Christmas market in London and it was so much fun. There was great food and really unique gifts. I love these types of markets; so will be on the lookout for more.

Feeling:
Like it’s time to blog more seriously. I’ve made some changes to my about page, and some aesthetic changes, but now it’s time to make content changes. I’ve added a parenting category, and am working on making content to inspire you guys to travel more, organise your lives better, and share the ups and downs of parenting.

Loving:
The way the leaves fall like snow whilst I’m driving. Autumn really is a beautiful time of year.

Hoping:
That the flat pack construction ends soon. I still have a bedside table, chair, and drawers to put together. We bought two sets of drawers, the one that I’ve put together took over four hours! On the plus side, no flat pack scares me anymore.

Planning:
I’ve been slack at planning anything this month as Nick’s been away, so there hasn’t been a great need to plan family days out.

Parenting:
I’ve finally put Ryan into some classes so we can have more of a routine. He’s doing music and gym classes weekly. He loves gym class, but is undecided on the music one.

Well that was November, it wasn’t too stressful and we laid low due to being sick. I’ve said this a thousand times, but the lead up to Christmas is fast approaching – our first as just the three of us.

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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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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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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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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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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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