I love breakfast but it wasn’t always like that. I used to eat the same thing every day (often cereals I thought were healthy but were actually full of sugar and evil little additives) and found it SO boring. Slowly but surely, I’ve introduced new, delicious recipes into my morning routine and now, it’s by far my favourite meal of the day.
This recipe was inspired by Sarah’s Day – a YouTuber who I’m a little bit obsessed with. It’s chocolately (let’s be honest, who doesn’t love an excuse to have chocolate for breakfast?!) fills you up and it’s healthy! So here’s my new breakfast fav for you all to try.
What you need… * 500g raw buckwheat kernels (see note) * 1 cup raw nuts – almonds, macadamias, cashews, walnuts
* 1/4 cup dried fruit – apricots, low-sugar cranberries, sultanas
* 1/2 cup mixed seeds – pepitas and sunflower
* 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
* 1 cup coconut chips or shredded coconut
* 2 tsp cinnamon
* 1/3 cup rice malt syrup
Now what… Pre-heat oven to 180o. Place buckwheat kernels on a tray covered with baking paper, and roast for around 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, roughly chop your nuts and fruit then place into a large bowl. Add the seeds, cacao, coconut and cinnamon. Add the cooked buckwheat and stir everything together until well combined.
Drizzle over the rice malt syrup and mix well. Give it a taste and add more syrup if you think it needs to be sweeter (keeping in mind you have the dried fruit and will probably serve your granola with berries or banana).
Place the mixture on two lined baking trays and spread out evenly. Bake for 8-10 minutes (be careful not to burn it) then allow to cool completely before placing into an airtight container and store in the pantry.
Serve with milk (I love almond or coconut milk) or yogurt (or even better, coconut yogurt) and fresh berries or banana. YUM!
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If you make my current breakfast obsession (that I will admit, I ate for lunch and dinner two days in a row!) please let me know, I’d love to see your creations! Tag me @lifelovetravelfood#lifelovetravelfood
Note: I buy my buckwheat kernels from Woolworths – it’s the cheapest price per 100g that I’ve found so far AND it’s organic! Win.
This blog is a little more serious than most of my food-filled, toddler-story blogs but it’s something I’ve been wanting to write about for a while now.
As many of you already know, we are incredibly excited and lucky to be pregnant with baby #2, due in July 2018. What many people DON’T know is that in late 2017, we lost a baby. If this is a topic that is too personal or upsetting for you, please stop reading now – I do not want to cause any upset for anyone, this is just my way of coping with losing our baby.
When we made the decision to start trying for our second baby, we were thrilled to discover we’d fallen pregnant straight away. Amazing! All was going well until one day, it just wasn’t.
I was at work and started to bleed. I tried not to panic, immediately messaged my sisters and asked if this had happened to them. They were my rocks, tried to reassure me but mine was quite heavy so deep down, I knew something was very wrong. To be honest, I should have gone home but I tried to make the situation as normal as possible so as to not freak myself out about it.
I continued to bleed through the day and in my heart of hearts, knew I’d lost the baby. To make matters worse, B was working away so I had to go to the doctor’s on my own and that was REALLY tough. My parents and sisters were amazing – they gave me so much support, as did B who cut his work trip short to get back as soon as he could.
The doctor told me it was likely that I had miscarried but would need a scan to confirm it. So my Mum came with me (there was no way I was going alone) and they couldn’t see anything. They tried to reassure me that because I was early on, it didn’t necessarily mean the baby wasn’t there, but I knew Baby Bun (the nickname we’d given to bubba) was gone.
It was hard. REALLY hard. It still is. It’s incredibly difficult to explain how you can be so attached to someone you’ve never met, and who you’ve only known about for a few short weeks. But that was our baby. A little person we created and he or she was gone in the blink of an eye. I immediately started to think about all the things I did wrong and what I could have done better. Was it the feta I ate in my salad or the drinks I had on our anniversary dinner when we didn’t know we were pregnant. But you can’t blame yourself and should never, EVER beat yourself up over losing a baby because it’s just natures way of saying, this wasn’t our baby. This wasn’t out time.
It took me a good few weeks to feel ok about it all and to ‘move on’ (which sounds incredibly cold) but I knew my body had told me this wasn’t right and our baby was still waiting for us.
One in four women will experience a miscarriage in their life but that doesn’t make it any easier. As part of my grieving process, I felt it was important for me to write about losing our baby but that’s very personal to me – I enjoy writing and feel it helps me create beautiful memories and ensure that Baby Bun will never be forgotten.
The next steps in our story are a lot brighter. When I felt ready, we decided to try again and were truly amazed that we fell pregnant very soon after. We are expecting baby #2 in July this year and I normally stay away from this phrase but feel we are so, SO blessed, grateful and happy. I am not taking anything for granted and trying to enjoy every moment of this pregnancy (which at times can be VERY hard!) because I realise how incredibly lucky we are. Not everyone is this lucky so we are counting our lucky stars.
So that’s the story of our Baby Bun and why Baby M #2 is our special little rainbow baby. Never forgotten, always in our hearts.
A recipe by request and this is one I’m more than happy to share. In high school, chocolate brownies were my signature dish. I made them so often, I got seriously sick of them and even back then, the amount of sugar and butter in them made me feel a bit ill!
Enter the sweet potato brownie – vegan, dairy-free, wheat-free (can be gluten-free too) egg-free and refined sugar free. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it… to give you an example, I made these for my Dad, brother-in-law and husband, and didn’t tell them what was in them until AFTER they all declared they liked them. And I promise you, none of them sugar-coat their feelings about my healthy cooking – they can all be BRUTALLY honest! So let’s get to it – if you make them, please let me know and tag me on Facebook or instagram cause I’d LOVE to get your feedback!
What you’ll need…
* 500g sweet potatoes (about two medium)
* 20 dried, pitted dates (or 12 medjool dates)
* 100g ground almonds
* 100g oats (use gluten-free oats for a fully gluten-free brownie)
* 6 tbsp x raw cacao powder
* 2 tbsp x melted coconut oil
* 3 tbsp x pure maple syrup
* a pinch of salt
for the icing…
* 2 tbsp x coconut oil
* 2 tbsp x almond butter (or pure peanut butter)
* 2 tbsp x maple syrup
* 2 tbsp x cacao powder
Pre-heat oven to 180oC (fan forced). Peel and chop the sweet potato into chunks and place in a steamer to cook for around 15-20 minutes or until really soft.
If using dried dates, soak in boiling water for 10 minutes then drain and discard the liquid.
Once the sweet potato is cooked, add to a food processor along with the dates and blitz to combine. Add the remaining brownie ingredients and blitz again until well combined (mostly so the oats have combined well).
Place into a lined baking pan and cook for about 40-50 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Check them after 35 minutes as you don’t want to overcook them.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for about ten minutes – don’t skip this step because the brownies need time to cool and stick together.
While the brownies are cooling, make the icing by simply melting the ingredients in the microwave and stirring well to combine. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes, then into the fridge for a further 15 minutes to firm up.
Remove the brownies from the pan and leave to cool completely before icing. Spread the icing on top, cut into squares and try not to eat the entire batch in one sitting.
* This recipe is originally by Deliciously Ella – I have just amended the recipe as I found the original too sweet but I definitely cannot take credit for these amazing beauties!
I am a label addict. I love my brands. Not clothes, shoes or handbags (although I wouldn’t say no to some genuine LV luggage or a Chloe handbag if one was on offer). Grocery labels. Yeah, my early twenties-me would be disgusted that I now spend more time perusing the back of tins than I do flicking through Vogue (of which I’ve had a copy on my coffee table for three months and haven’t even opened it).
Picture this – you decide to be amazing and make something from scratch so you know exactly what’s in it… until you realise all your so called natural ingredients are full of additives, stabilisers, sugar, salt and other random things. It kind of makes you wonder why you bothered cooking from scratch in the first place! Grocery shopping can be expensive and labels are SO confusing so it pays to know what you’re looking for when trying to eat healthy.
I have been a label addict for years now so I know which brands I love and which ones make me angry. Almond milk, for example, is one of the most overly processed things out there and often contains more added sugar than almonds – whaaaat?! I’m so passionate about it, once I even had a disagreement with a very snotty barista , who took offence when I asked what almond milk they used and it was a brand I didn’t like. But that’s a story for another time. And he was very rude by the way!
So, I’m here to give you just some of my favourite pantry brands and for the record, I am NOT getting paid by these brands (I WISH). I’m recommending these because I have done my research and read the labels to find the best, most natural options out there for a healthier, happier pantry.
Apologies some of the pictures are really small but if you want to read the labels in more detail, just click on the photo.
Oh and here’s some motivation to keep on reading, I’ve got a discount code for you at the end for one of my favourite brands 🙂
Tinned tomatoes – Annalisa: This is a pantry must-have for me. I am NEVER without a few tins in my pantry! Frustratingly, I have not found an Aussie brand that doesn’t contain salt, sugar or some kind of preservative so, I choose Annalisa and the best part about these is they often come on special so I stock up when they do!
Tomato paste – Leggo’s or Aldi organic: This should be 100% tomatoes. Nothing else. The brands I choose are Leggo’s ‘no added salt’ or Aldi’s organic range. Aldi features a lot in this post. Aldi is coming up with the goods!
Coconut milk and cream – Ayam: This is one of my absolute favourite brands. Just coconut and water – as it should be. I will admit, it is expensive, and have recently discovered the Homebrand version is just as good so I may be converted! And just for the record, I prefer to buy the full-fat version of coconut milk and cream – otherwise you’re just paying for more water! One negative on the Aldi front… I bought their coconut milk and cream and to be honest, I found the taste really awful. They’re good on the ingredients but not so much on taste.
Curry paste – Ayam: I wish I could say I always make my own curry paste. I know it tastes SO much better when I do, but honestly, I do NOT have the time! So, my brand of choice is again, Ayam. I can pronounce and understand all the ingredients, it does contain some palm oil and a little sugar, but all the other ingredients are herbs and spices and genuine curry paste ingredients, so I’m ok with that.
Noodles – Pandaroo: These brown rice noodles (I can only find them at Woolworths in the Asian section) are my favourite! 100% brown rice – how good is that?! I’ve recently discovered black bean noodles and sweet potato noodles – I just love when there’s only one ingredient!
Peanut butter – Sanitarium natural peanut butter: Step AWAY from the nasty peanut butters! Ugh, there are SO many additives in ‘regular’ peanut butter! Especially sugar – yuck! I make my own, however Sanitarium does a great 100% peanuts version. Yes, that’s all peanut butter should be! It’s usually found in the health food section, if it’s not with all the other disgusting sugar-salt-chemical filled spreads!
Coconut water / poppers– H2Coco: I love coconut water for smoothies and rehydrating if I’ve had… umm… a few too many drinks the night before. My
go-to brand is H2Coco, because it’s 100% coconut water and it tastes delicious. They also have flavoured varieties which are great if you like things a little sweeter (I’m not a massive fan, personally) again, all natural and no additives. I am lucky enough to be a brand ambassador for H2Coco but I PROMISE you, I was a fan before we started collaborating.
If you’re looking for kids juices/poppers for lunch boxes, H2Coco has just brought out a lunchbox range. I would never, and will never, promote something I don’t believe is good for my son, so I am happy to spruke their poppers range. H LOVES the H2Melonwater one (100% watermelon juice) and the little coconut water poppers. My personal favourite is the coffee coconut water, and for all you chocolate lovers out there, there’s a healthy chocolate one too – tastes like chocolate milk without the tummy ache afterwards!
Desiccated coconut – Aldi: Not exactly something you’d think you need to read the label of! But most supermarket brands have additives in them so I was thrilled to discover the Aldi brand doesn’t! It’s always in a bit of an obscure place, not with the flours and sugars – I usually find it on top of the freezer section.
Yogurt – Farmer’s Union or Tamar Valley: I’m a big advocate for buying plain, Greek yogurt and adding your own fruit/flavours too. Sugar is WAY too high up on the flavoured yogurt ingredient list for my liking. And this way, you’re not committing yourself to 1kg of one flavour! Add some pure vanilla, berries, banana, fresh mango – endless options and much healthier choices. The brands I’m recommending are my favourite for ingredients AND taste. Oh, and buy full cream – low-fat has nasty added sugar and natural yogurt is often very tart and not as enjoyable (but that’s my opinion!) I have recently started making my own yogurt and my clever friend T taught me how to make it without having to use the yogurt makers own packet mix so it’s cheaper and healthier – win!
Breadcrumbs: Let’s be real here. It’s just bread, blitzed up. Well, it SHOULD be. Have you ever read the ingredients for store-bought breadcrumbs? Some isn’t even vegetarian which is incredibly concerning! Take five minutes (not even) out of your day and blitz old bread in your food processor and chuck this into a zip lock bag in your freezer. Breadcrumbs on hand 24/7. Or, use oats! Oats make a great binder too.
Microwave packet rice: The convenience of rice cooked in 90 seconds is incredibly appealing. There are brands out there that are 100% rice (although most have stabilisers and salt in them), however for the amount you get in a packet, they’re expensive! So, next time you make rice for your curry, make double and once cooled, freeze it in a zip lock bag and pop it in the freezer. When meal time comes, break off enough for your meal into a bowl, add a tiny drizzle of olive oil (I do this with brown rice as it can get a little dry) and zap for 60-90 seconds in the microwave. Done!
Rice malt syrup – Pure Harvest: Probably one of my favourite supermarket brands. I LOVE their products (not sponsored, I swear!) because they’re all natural. When I discovered rice malt syrup, it revolutionised my cooking and my health. I substitute it in baking for golden syrup. I put it in baking instead of sugar (and use about 1/3 of the amount of sweetener). It is amazing.
Nut milks – Pure Harvest: I have nothing against dairy or cows milk. I buy it for my husband and for H (I never buy supermarket-branded milk as the farmer’s get more money from sales on the branded milks) however for me, it leaves me a little bloated and uncomfortable. So, I jumped on the nut milk bandwagon a good five years ago and throughout this time, have trialed a LOT of bad products. My preference is almond milk, but I also buy coconut milk as it’s delicious in my greeñacolda smoothie (I’ve linked the recipe here for you!)
As I mentioned above, SO many brands are one or two per cent nuts, they have added sweeteners, preservatives and other rubbish. Sure, it’s best to make your own but I do NOT have the time, patience or $$ for that! So my favourite for both coconut and almond milk is Pure Harvest. Yes, it has a little organic rice syrup in it (they do have an unsweetened almond milk, but it has less almonds in it… I don’t understand why!) but it has the most almonds and I can understand all the ingredients!
A few more tips…
* If sugar is high on the ingredients list, avoid it!
* If you can’t pronounce or understand most of the ingredients, don’t eat it.
* For the majority of your shop, try to stick to the outside of the supermarket – fish, meat, fruit, vege etc
* Stock up on your favourite brands when they’re are on special – I have a slight obsession when it comes to this one. To the point that when rice malt syrup was half price one week, B had to physically show me my ‘collection’ in my pantry and explain that I already had a six to 12-month supply and it would surely come on special again closer to when I run out.
* Fancy trying the H2coco range? You can get 25% off from h2coco.com.au by using my discount code ‘H2lunchbox’ – you’re welcome, enjoy and you can thank me later!
This is by no means a complete list so if you have any questions about what other brands I recommend for your favourite foods, drop me a message below, I would LOVE to chat pantries (had to make sure I didn’t forget the ‘r’ in that one!!) with you!
I’ve been a bliss ball fan for AGES now. They’re one of the easiest, quickest, most delicious snacks going round (pun TOTALLY intended). The following recipes are little people friendly, do NOT taste the least bit healthy and freeze perfectly (meaning tastiness is always on hand).
TIP. Wet your hands with a little water when rolling into balls – it makes a smoother ball (hehe!) and also stops the mixture from sticking to your hands.
Lime and coconut bliss balls Makes approximately 15 bliss balls, or 30 mini ones. Recipe adapted from Pintrest – sorry I can’t tag the original creator, I always try to where possible.
what you’ll need… 1/2 cup dried, pitted dates
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup raw cashews (can substitute any nuts)
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
juice and zest from four limes
1/4 cup desiccated coconut, for rolling
how it’s done… Pour boiling water over the dates and leave to soak for ten minutes. Place the almonds, cashews and coconut in a blender and blitz for a few seconds – I made mine quite powdery with a few nutty pieces so it was a nice smooth but with a bit of texture. Drain the water from the dates and add to the nuts with the lime zest and juice. Mix to combine then roll into balls. I make 1/2 tablespoon sized ones for grown ups and teaspoon sized balls for mini people. Roll in coconut – I didn’t do this with the mini sized ones, mainly because I was paranoid H would choke on it cause he inhales them so quickly!
Best kept in the freezer.
Choco-nut bliss balls (with an option to make these mocha bliss balls or slice) Makes approximately 20 bliss balls. This is a lifelovetravelfood original (which means I made it up as I went along… I really hope I can remember it!)
what you’ll need… 1/2 cup dried, pitted dates
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup almonds (again, feel free to use whichever nuts you prefer)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds and pepitas
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp instant coffee (optional – NOT little people friendly!)
how it’s done… Pour boiling water over the dates and leave to soak for ten minutes. In a blender, blitz the nuts, seeds and coconut for a few seconds. Don’t blitz for too long as you’ll blend again with the rest of the ingredients.
Add the melted coconut oil, vanilla and cacao powder. If using the coffee, add to the blender along with the drained dates. Blitz until combined. Roll into balls – I make 1/2 tablespoon sized ones for grown ups and teaspoon sized balls for mini people (H does not eat the coffee flavoured ones!)
I have also done this recipe as a slice – exactly the same method, I just stirred through 1/2 cup puffed brown rice cereal at the end and pressed into a lined baking tray, froze then sliced into squares.
The slice and bliss balls should be kept in the freezer.
Peanut butter chocolate bliss balls Makes approximately 15 bliss balls or 30 small ones. Recipe originated from Pintrest – again, not sure where I found this one, sorry! I also don’t have a photo of these… I checked back through my instagram feed and can’t see when I last made them! Must be a sign that I need to make these again soon!
what you’ll need… 1/2 cup dried, pitted dates
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup natural peanut butter (only use the one made from 100% peanuts – there doesn’t need to be anything else in it! Sanitarium does a good one, available at the supermarket – check the health food section and read your labels!)
1 tsp vanilla
how it’s done…
Pour boiling water over the dates and leave to soak for ten minutes. Drain the dates then place all ingredients into blender and process till well combined. Roll into balls and freeze. Couldn’t be easier!
Perhaps I’m writing this blog post in the wrong season but even during winter, I LOVE smoothies for breakfast. They’re easy, portable, quick, filling, healthy and delicious. So this quick blog post is all about sharing my three favourites that are on constant rotation in our house.
I prep mine the night before, placing everything (minus the chia seeds and frozen bananas) into the blender and into the fridge. That way, we just whizz it up in the morning and we’re good to go. You can add sweetener to these like 1 tsp of rice malt syrup, maple syrup or honey, however I find they’re sweet enough with just the banana. Yum – I hope you enjoy!
Greenãcolada serves two – the new kid on the block, I love this one, it tastes just like a cocktail for breakfast 😉 Recipe adapted from Ashy Bines.
what you’ll need… 2x cups coconut milk (the long-life milk kind, not tinned. I like CocoQuench by Pure Harvest)
1/2 cup coconut water (regular water is fine too)
2 x handfuls fresh baby spinach (frozen is fine)
4 x tbsp oats
1 x cup frozen pineapple (fresh is better if you have it)
2 x tsp greens powder (optional – leave it out if you don’t have it)
1 x tbsp chia seeds
2 x frozen bananas
how it’s done… Place the coconut milk, coconut water, spinach, oats, pineapple and greens powder into the blender and into the fridge overnight – not necessary, it just makes life in the morning’s much easier plus allowing the oats to soak means they’re easier for the body to digest.
In the morning, or when you’re ready for smoothie-time, add the chia and frozen banana. Blitz until smooth – YUM!
espresso banana smoothie serves two – I think this is my all time favourite smoothie! Coffee hit first thing… yes please! Recipe adapted from Move, Nourish, Believe.
what you’ll need… 2 x cups almond milk (I use Pure Harvest brand as it has no nasty additives. Regular milk is fine, just use what you’re used to)
1/2 x cup water
2 x tbsp peanut butter (go for one which is 100% nuts if you can, otherwise, reduce by 1 tbsp)
4 x tbsp oats
2 x shots espresso (or two tsp x instant coffee)
1/2 x tsp cinnamon
1/2 x tsp nutmeg
1 x tbsp chia seeds
2 x frozen bananas
how it’s done… Place the milk, water, peanut butter, oats, coffee, cinnamon and nutmeg into your blender and into the fridge overnight. Try to make sure the oats are covered by the liquid to soak to help make them easier for your body to digest. When you’re ready to make your smoothie, add the frozen banana and chia. Blend until perfectly smooth. The BEST!
mango and cashew smoothie serves two – the first ever healthy smoothie I made for B that he didn’t screw his nose up at. Winner! Recipe adapted from Deliciously Ella.
what you’ll need… 2 x cups almond milk (or milk of choice)
1/2 cup x water
1/2 cup x raw cashews
2 x large handfuls baby spinach (frozen spinach works great too)
1 x cup frozen mango
1 x tbsp chia seeds
2 x frozen bananas
how it’s done… Place the almond milk, water, cashews, spinach and mango into the blender and into the fridge overnight. It’s important to let the cashews soak so your smoothie isn’t gritty, and also again, to aid in digestion.
When you’re ready to blend, add the chia and banana then blitz till smooth. So delicious! And hashtag paleo too, if you’re into that!
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So there you go! Three of my favourites! We have a smoothie for breakfast once or twice a week, I LOVE them! And H is really into them too (not the espresso one, obviously!) So if you find you have leftovers, freeze into ice cube trays and either add to your next smoothie or defrost a few cubes in a cup for bubba to have (again, maybe not the coffee one!) Mmm!
Work life balance. Mum life balance. Life balance… everyone is busy, everyone seems to be looking for that magic tip to help make life seem a little less chaotic. I’m on the eternal search for advice on how to stretch my day that little bit further so I can have more time to relax and just enjoy life!
So I thought I’d share a few things that help make MY life easier since going back to work and balancing life as a mummy, working girl, wife, sister, friend, daughter, aunty, and any of the other names I go by.
My ‘sort it out’ basket
I have a basket that I keep in our main living area and anything that doesn’t belong in that room goes into the basket. My shoes from work, H’s jumper from daycare, toiletries I just bought at the shops to go to the upstairs bathroom, bills we’ve just paid that need to be filed.
At the end of the night, I empty my basket, making sure to put everything away properly (as in, not just moving it from one dumping ground to another!) Then I leave my empty basket at the top of the stairs and take it back down the next day. So simple but it’s such a great idea to keep the house from getting too messy. B has even started putting his stuff in it too (doesn’t empty it, but hey, it’s a start!) The novelty of checking what’s in the basket and emptying it out still hasn’t worn off for H so I do need to keep it on the dining table until he goes to bed!
I love cooking but after a long day at work, picking up H and doing the dinner, bath, book, play, milk, bed routine and THEN having to think about cooking dinner does sometimes wear a bit thin. I have embraced my slow-cooker – great for hearty winter meals like chilli con carne, pulled pork, curries and stews but there’s only so many of those I can handle so I keep those meals to about once a week.
Another idea is to pre-marinate your chicken (or pork). Not BUYING pre-marinated chicken (which are often full of sugar and other random stuff you don’t need in your life) I mean buying chicken in bulk and making your own marinades. Simple ones like honey, soy and garlic. Or smoked paprika, lemon, mixed herbs and oil. Pop your chicken in a freezer bag, add your marinade, mix it around then freeze. Then when you want chicken for dinner, take it out the night before and let it defrost in the fridge and while it’s defrosting, it’s also marinating. Perfect!
Also, amending your grown-up dinners to be kid friendly makes life a WHOLE lot easier. Not always possible but I will often cook a meal, take some out for H before adding salt, chilli or any other things I’m not keen on him having. For my spinach and ricotta triangles, I will pop the mixture in a wholemeal wrap and bake H’s in that while we have ours in pastry. I add chilli to my curries after I’ve taken out a serve for him. Taking those extra few minutes to make the effort means I don’t have to cook a separate meal for H. Plus it makes our meals healthier as I try to give H wholesome, healthy foods which in turn means we’re eating that too. Win!
My best friend the freezer
Embrace your freezer! Buy meat and fish in bulk when it’s reduced to clear or on special and freeze (saves you so much $$ too). Make extra dinner: taco mince, curry, lasagna, spinach and feta pie, san choy bau, burger patties. I TOTALLY understand not loving leftovers but making your meals in bulk and then having one night a week where dinner is pretty much done, I’ve come to appreciate them a lot more.
A little bit each night
Often we save up all the chores for the weekend which means our time off isn’t as much fun and can mean starting a new working week without really having had any down time. By breaking up chores into little chunks and tackling over the whole week, it means I can enjoy my weekend’s a whole lot more.
I might bake some muffins or cookies on Monday night. Do some washing on Tuesday. Clean the bathrooms on Wednesday. Make two dinners on Thursday and Friday I prep H’s meals for the whole weekend (and then it’s all about wine, tv and relaxing!)
I also take that extra half an hour each night to prep for the next day. Making H’s breakfast – I take something from my freezer stash, pop it in a container and let it defrost overnight. I make all his breakfasts in bulk and freeze – sultana pancakes, blueberry porridge balls, mango oatmeal slice, banana muffins, cheesy vege pikelets, healthy breakfast cake – just to name a few… I told you I love my freezer!
I make our lunches, prep breakfast (usually overnight oats or a smoothie – all the ingredients into the blender and then we blitz it in the morning) make up snacks and take out some meat for tomorrow’s dinner. This just means we’re all prepped and ready to go in the morning so we’re not rushing around madly trying to get organised when I’d prefer to use that time to sleep! Half an hour prepping at night = half an hour extra in bed the next morning. Yes please!
Lay out my outfits for the week
This one sounds weird and is something I’ve only just started doing but I love it! On a Sunday, I will pull out some outfits for my working week and set them aside. Then, each night I will choose one, grab some underwear, jewellery and shoes and lay it out in my bedroom, ready for the next day. It saves me standing in my closet wondering what to wear while B is honking the horn, cursing me for running late. It takes the guesswork out of my morning which can only be a good thing! Seriously, it’s been such a life/time/argument saver!
Keep a list
I love a good list. My phone is full of them! I also hate incomplete lists so by adding something to a list, I want to make sure it gets ticked off! Every time I think of something I need from the shops, an appointment I need to make, a friend I need to message back, I add it to my list. It saves me from having to keep everything in my head and I’ll often write myself a list of tasks for the week so I don’t get too lazy and conveniently ‘forget’ to clean the bathroom or water the plants. Even things like washing my hair go on the list with a scheduled day cause otherwise I put it off and then everything has to be done at once and I feel stressed out for being too busy to wash my hair and shave my legs! Lists make life happen!
I also write down meal ideas – when I flick through a magazine, watch a cooking show, scroll through instagram or just when an idea comes into my head. Sounds simple, but when it comes to meal planning for the week ahead, having some ideas already written down makes it a LOT easier!
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So that’s it! Small but (hopefully) helpful little tips to help get you organised and find a bit of balance in your life. They certainly help me so I I hope you find them useful! Let me know if you use any!