Friday, 29 November 2013

Meal Planing Review.

This post is a little overdue (read: one week), but, better late then never right?

I'd probably call the meals this eek a 50/50 success. 50/50, because I only ended up making 50% of them. I am only going to write a review of the recipes that I did have the chance to make, but if you would like to view all that were on the plan you can find them on this post. Sweet Potatoe Casorole, Black Bean Burgers and Homemade Hamburger helperr will have to be moved and tired on another night. I think I get a little ahead of myself thinking that we can try new meals each night when we also work of a night too. But at least I am trying.

Pumpkin Chilli.
Oh man, this was pretty d. Like really good. I am a massive pumpkin lover though, I could probably eat it with every meal, so I as bound to love this one. Benn gets worried if he doesn't eat meat with every meal (typical male), so I also added some bacon in ours, along with; mushrooms, basil and coriander. I made up the pumpkin puree in the blender with the onions and herbs, just like you would if you were to make Pumpkin Soup.

One Pot Chicken.
Now this was AMAZING. Benn was in love and said that we MUST eat this once a week.  Everything in the recipe just works together and I could eat it everyday. It did take longer then 45-50 mins in the oven however, (It was closer to 90mins!), whether that is due to my silly oven or not I am unsure, but it was worth the wait. I finally got the chance to use the beautiful pot we were given from Benn's Grandfather. I love beautiful old items like this.

Quinoa Stir-Fry.
I don't have a recipe, nor do I have photos for this meal. But it was pretty simple. Basically I just chose a range of vegetables (pumpkin, sweet potatoe, capsicum, mushrooms, tomatoes, onion), roasted them in the oven with coconut oil and a variety of herbs, then mixed it all together once the Qunioa was cooked. I was kinda hoping that there could be enough flavour on the vegetables to be sufficient....turns out their wasn't and it tasted slightly bland. Better lucky next time I guess.

Now onto my favourite kinda "meals"....

Paleo Brownies.
I put these off for WEEKS, because I was so scared of cooking brownies with Sweet Potatoe. ...hang on, What did I just say? You heard right though, SWEET POTATOE. So strange. But surprisingly, so good and you don't even notice it! These brownies were SO scrumptious and fluffy that I still can't believe what was used to make it.


Chocolate Paleo Breakfast Cookies.
Although the brownies we delightful, these cookies are by far my favourite out of all I have cooked and I will be making a stock pile each week so that I never run out (ever). I am not the biggest fan of pecans, so I used walnuts and macadamias and I also changed the coconut flakes to shredded coconut, purely because that's what I already had - it still worked out fine! I am still amazed at how you store the cookies too... in the freezer. Put them all in an airtight container in the freezer and you can grab one on the go anytime and eat it straight away. They don't freeze 100%, and continue to soften up as they "thaw"out. Best. Cookies. Ever.

I am loving all these new recipes, I really want to buy a cookbook which you "hand write" in. Even though these recipes aren't my own, I'd like to have them written down to keep on hand and to pass on to my children one day eventually!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Sunday Seven.


I thought I would start some sort of a weekly-update post. "Sunday Seven" is a list of the top things on my mind for the week; whether it is what has been happening, what I am thankful for or what I am looking forward to. It is a weekly post giving you more of a glimpse into our life.

1. This week marked my first week of holidays after finishing my second year of University. As much as I love (really love) studying my degree, I am so keen for this break. I don't know whether it has been the financial stress we have had, or the fact that I studied maths this semester (not my strong point), but I am so done for the year.

2. On Thursday I had a job interview! It was for a full time Child Care Assistant position at a Preschool. I would absolutely love it and am really hoping I get it! Although it would mean a 12 month break from uni, not something I had planned to do, we really need to get on top of our finances. Plus I want to start marking a large contribution to our house savings, otherwise that dream keeps seeming further away.

3. I have started drinking "Green Juice" this week! I have been reading up about the great benefits of drinking this and to keep my motivation up I have made some pre-sliced fruit and veg bags, which I keep in the freezer ready to go. My latest favourite is; a handful of spinach, half a cucumber, half a pear, half an apple, 2 kiwi fruit and 1 cup of water. Yum!

4. If I am unsuccessful with the job, until another comes along, I plan to make my holidays into "12 weeks of DIY Projects. I have already found some great ideas with a few more to add. I will start this Tuesday, once I hear about the job. I will make a post with more detail if it goes a head, but you can find my current ideas on my Pinterest.

5. I don't think I have made a proper post, but Benn has since found another job. He is working at a manufacturing/production company building kitchens and bathrooms. The hours a slightly longer, but the pay is much better and he is alot happier there - which is the main thing!

6. I have really loved hanging out with my babies this week. It has been raining on and off and we have really enjoyed snuggling on the couch watching movies. I love my furry children.

7. I really need to get back into yoga! Hopefully this week I can kick my exercise but into gear and start my morning with Yoga again. I feel much better when I do, but I lack alot of motivation for exercise and it is so much easier to skip it. This week will be different!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Our new feathered family member; Storm

I realised I have not yet written about our newest addition to the household, a Rainbow Lorikeet named "Storm". Almost exactly a week before the fires, we had a large storm with heavy winds and some showers. It was in these storms that our little feathered friend dropped in to our life, literally.

We had just left for work on a Friday afternoon, when our neighbour across the road noticed something in our drive way. He was watching it hop around, thinking it would just fly back up after a few minutes. However, minor birds soon found the Lorikeet and began swooping and squawking. Our neighbour ran over and noticed that it was a small baby, not more then three weeks old. He scooped it up and put it in an esky to keep it safe. Once we arrived home he came and told us what happened, he already had a bird and had no clue what to do, so naturally e volunteered to take on the challenge.That night we kept him warm and looked up what types of things we could feed him until we could go to the vet the next day.

The next day at the vets he was deemed 100% healthy with no lice, which meant he was safe to touch/handle. We hoped to find out "his" sex, but with Lorikeets, the only way to tell is through a DNA test! Which of course costs $$$, so instead we have decided on calling it a "he", unless one day we find an egg in the cage.... We asked the vet what happens next, in regards to either returning him home or keeping him. She said that due to the fact he still cannot fly, it is best to hang onto him so cats cannot get their paws on him. His parents may show up, but unfortunately until he can fly he is grounded. She also said that we have the option of keeping him if we wish or his parents don't return.

Once returning home with him, we fell in love. After handling him, buying Lorikeet food and feeding him, there was no way we could give him up! We decided to see if his parents returned, and go from their. On and off his parents came to the window where his cage was, however, they have not returned for about 3 weeks now, but I believe he is very happy with us here now anyway. 

He is a very, very tame bird. To the point where it makes you think he was hand raised! He loves to nibble on your ears, prefers gold jewellery over silver, go crazy when you remove his food bowl to give him more, has a bath once a day (by himself it is the cutest!!) and really enjoys climbing through my hair - he literally starts at my neck and climbs up through it (very annoying! ha). 

The dogs love him and are very, very gentle. They have not harmed him in anyway and are very curious when he approaches them (Storm has no fear!). I will have to try and get a video of their interactions to upload, it really is so cute. Storm fits in to our house perfectly!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Meal Planning.

I thought I would make a brief post on what I plan to cook for the coming week (from tomorrow, Thursday), keeping in mind that I am trying to cut out my dairy! I have tried to also incorporate a few gluten-free type meals as well, with what I already have in the pantry. Other the past few days, I have been obsessively searching blogs for new recipes that I can incorporate into our diet. We don't always stick to our weekly meal plans, due to unforeseen changes in our routine that might come up, however, I find that by planning and writing a shopping list it helps me keep to our budget. 

Our meal plan is as follows, with linked recipes where appropriate. I am also making some sweets and snacks this week, to cure those sugar cravings! I have included those also. I will try to remember and take photos and upload reviews once eaten!

Thursday: Pumpkin Chilli with bread/wraps

Friday: Herb Sausages with Sweet Potato Mash
Saturday: One Pot Chicken
Sunday: Sweet Potatoe Casserole
Monday: Black Bean Burgers
Tuesday: Pasta Bake
Wednesday: Quinoa Stiry Fry
Thursday: Homemade Hamburger Helper

Sweets and Snacks 
Chocolate Paleo Breakfast Cookies
Paleo Brownies
Gluten-Free Sesame Snack Bars

Monday, 11 November 2013

Goodbye Dairy.

 Over the past few months I have been acquiring alot of new and interesting information regarding the types of foods I am putting into my body. I don't just mean cutting back on McDonald's, but every single thing I buy at the shops. I am talking about how it was produced and manufactured, and the consequences of this on my body. Many informative friends of mine have led me to read information regarding, organic healthy grown foods, new cooking ideas (with less sugar) and putting the right substances into my body. I haven't fully revamped my whole food pantry just yet, but it is a slow work in progress. Changing your lifestyle, diet and habits after 23 years of doing the same thing, does not happen over night. The two biggest factors in all foods and primarily the two I myself wish to focus on, is gluten (wheat) and dairy. I have already started eliminating dairy and gluten will be next. My goal is zero dairy and 90% less gluten intake by the new year.

Dairy. One of the most common and misleading things that we put into our bodies each day. I wish I had articles and such to direct you too, however, if you search on google, many will come up, highlighting the different reasons why you should avoid it. Yesterday marked one week without dairy and although I haven't seen any "massive" changes just yet, we had a creamy-based dinner last night and it was very heavy in my stomach and made me feel quite sick. An indication to continue with the whole no-dairy thing.  I don't have much dairy in my diet as it is, just milk in my chai tea and cereal. Instead I use Almond milk, which I have grown to like quite alot. So I haven't found it thaaat hard (although I wouldn't mind a snickers bar). Gluten however, will be another mission all together. I love my breads, pasta and rice, plus everything else it is in (which is alot). Next month I shall start Gluten elimination.

I thought I would leave you with a series of photos I found, which is an interesting take on the whole no-dairy thing. These photos is what put my plan into full force.


Thursday, 7 November 2013

Monthly Memories | October.

I was a little quiet on Intsagram last month. I put it down to business that university is in it's final weeks, assingment after assingment - it never ends! Although it will, next Friday the 15th of November. The end of my 2nd year. Two down, Two to go. Half way. I don't know what will happen next year, whether I will be working or continuing my studies, all I know is, each year seems to be going faster and faster, I mean is it really November already!? Christmas will be here before we know it, then it starts all over again in 2014. But first, lets reminice October.

1. Celebrating Aimee's birthday, one of my oldest and dearest friends since highschool. We don't see each other as often as we'd like, due to the craziness that life brings. But a night of dressing up, dancing and laughter was well needed and enjoyed.
2. Our newest addition to the family, Storm. I am yet to write a post about him, he literally fell into our driveway! I will be sure to update on that very soon.
3. The unpredictable bushfire that took us all by suprise, coming very close to home - literally. 
4. Red sky from the fires. You can read about what happened, here.
5. The most delicious lasange ever, you can find the recepie here.
6. A picinic at University with the girls for Emma's birthday. I have the best group of friends at university, we have been together since the beginning; constantly bounce ideas off each other, whinge about assingments/teachers and motivate each other to keep on going! 
I am very lucky to have found such great friends.