August

Hi! So again I’ve taken my darn time and not been updating these little tidbits into my life weekly… Oops! You may or may not have noticed that things look a little different around here, I’m one of those people that constantly likes to change up my blog design and it seemed to be that time of year again, so introducing the new layout/design etc. I’m actually really happy with how it looks and I spent more time on it then I have any other redesign. I still have a few other things I want to change but that will all come with time.

In some other news, I’ve just discovered Canva so expect more random graphic headings like the one you see above from me 🙂 It’s really handy for making those web graphics as it gives you a bunch of templates to work with. Loving it! I even made a Pinterest quote type thing which I’ll be adding to the bottom of this post.

What’s been happening via Instagram shots?

– Last night I made this pasta using a recipe from Pinterest… So happy with how it turned out. It was basically just salmon, spinach, lemon zest, parsley and cream and so easy! You can check the recipe out here if you’re interested in trying it to. I do think i’d like to use Smoked Salmon next time rather than fresh salmon.

– My parents puppy is getting big! He also loves Penny Lane and especially likes terrorizing her. When we visited on Sunday she was so exhausted on the trip home she slept the entire way back and only got up to have dinner that night.

– On Saturday night Shane and I went off to see the WWE, we haven’t been to a live WWE show in years and despite me not really being into wrestling as much as I was say 8 years ago, it was still fun and one of my favourites Shawn Michaels was there. Currently my wrestling viewing is mainly limited to Total Divas (love that show, and i’m not ashamed.)

– This doesn’t look appetizing but Ikea’s Swedish Meatballs give me life!

– Some pics of my dogs, of course. Last weekend I took them to Pet Barn for a wash (with the assistance of my mum). One hates it and one loves it… Can you tell which?

– DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE! So last Saturday night I saw Death Cab For Cutie for the first time, in the 2nd row at the mother fucking Opera House! Amazing! So amazing in fact that 2 mins after we left the venue, my cousin and I bought tickets to see them again on Sunday night at a different venue. My little Pinterest quote I did is inspired by that weekend.

– This isn’t really from last week but a couple of weeks ago, working on editing THIS video. It has taken me the longest out of any video i’ve done before.

– Not in pictures but last week my poor little car got rear ended, it’s still okay to drive but has a massive crack in the bumper. It should be fixed next week though :).

YOU'RE THE ONLY SONG I WANT TO HEAR, A MELODY

 

I don’t have any blog posts to share with you this week, i’ve been slack in favouriting them so instead I thought i’d give you a list of a couple of songs that have been earworms for me at the moment and worth checking out. All very diverse so perhaps something for different tastes!

The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face – Spotify Link!

Parkway Drive – Vice Grip – Spotify Link!

Rufus – You Were Right – Spotify Link!

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hearty winter soup recipeCurrently we’re in the midst of winter in Sydney, and what’s better in the cold weather than a hearty winter soup to warm the cockles. This is my go-to recipe mainly because you can chop and change it to use up veggies you already have in your fridge or just put in whatever you feel like (or is on special that week).

I like to use my slow cooker for this recipe and let it cook for 8 hours, you can still use a big pot on the stove top but my preferred method is slow cooker.

hearty-winter-soup-ingredients

 

I used the following for my soup, like I said before this soup is really customisable to your taste preferences.

INGREDIENTS

1L of stock, I use a combination of 500ml Chicken Sock & 500ml Vegetable stock

Vegetables – you can really use whatever you have but I always make sure to put 2 x sticks of Celery and 1 x Carrot because it gives such a nice flavour. I also added in another Carrot, Parsnip, Green Beans (fresh from the garden!), Swede, Sweet Potato & Kale (also fresh from the garden).

Beans & Legumes – I always put whole green lentils in, for this batch I used 1 Cup but I generally usually only use 1/2 Cup. I also like to add in some beans, this time I used tinned butter beans.

Pasta/Quinoa – I used Quinoa (trying to be a bit healthier) and I suggest using 1/2 Cup. I also really like using risoni pasta as well (carrrrrrrbs!).

Herbs – I always use a Bay Leaf or 2, Mixed Italian Herbs and some fresh garlic and pepper.

Smoked Ham Hock – If you’re a vegetarian, you can skip this but if you’re not you must add this in. I think the Ham Hock is the star of the dish, it gives all of the flavour and a delicious salty taste (don’t add any extra salt).

METHOD

All you need to do is chop up your vegetables (try and keep them a similar size so they cook evenly). Add all the vegetables to the pot but hold back on the Kale for now, you’ll be adding that later.

Add your Lentils and Beans.

Cover the vegies with the 1L of stock & add your herbs to taste (I generally just eyeball it and I probably use a lot more garlic than the average person… Love it!).

hearty-winter-soup-process

Give it a big stir and add in your ham hock, making sure that the liquid completely covers it. If it’s coming up a bit short just add in a little bit of water (trust me, there will be so much flavour in this soup you won’t even notice).

Pop the lid on and set your slow cooker to low. Keep giving it a stir every couple of hours (it’s not essential but I kind of like tasting it every few hours anyway to see if it needs anything else).

At around hour 6 check the Ham Hock and if the meat is falling away from the bone you need to take it out. Now you need to remove the skin from the ham hock, remove all the bones and shred all the delicious meat and put it back in the pot. Bin the skin and bones…yuck! If your Ham Hock is still resisting coming away from the bone, give it some more time and just check it every half hour (it’ll get there eventually).

At hour 7 you can now add in your Quinoa or Pasta & give everything a good stir. You can also throw in your Kale now or any other quick cooking vegetable you might be adding like Spinach, Cabbage etc. Taste again to see if you need to add any seasoning, or just so you can see how great your soup tastes by now 🙂

By the 8th hour it should be good and cooked, serve up with some delicious fresh bread. You’ll likely have leftovers for lunch the next few days (this recipe makes a huge batch). It tastes even better then next day.

hearty-winter-soup-cooked

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TWTWHeading

So I just looked when the last time I did one of these round up posts was…2 freakin years ago!

I’m planning on bringing these back, I personally love reading these type of posts from people to find out what they get about to in their day to day and see what’s going on with them.

twtw1

  • Slow Sundays, red wine and a bit of Netflix is how I enjoy winding down.
  • On Wednesday I usually go to trivia but because of the State of Origin it was cancelled, so Ange and I did something we’ve been meaning to do forever, film videos together! We got 2 done with a plan to get some more out there. Our videos should both be out this week hopefully 🙂
  • My parents Beagle, I took my dogs up for a play with him and we took him and Penny Lane out to a local market, both of them were exhausted in the car on the way home.
  • Minnie stealing the new toy mum bought for Penny Lane, she looks like a wino lol.
  • Thanks to Ange, I picked this amazing PJ top up from Kmart for $6. ALL THE SLOTH THINGS PLEASE.
  • I started training again today, we are doing little group sessions at my friends place with a group of us and doing Kettlebells (my favourite type of exercise). Doing this 3 x a week will hopefully whip me into shape again. 6 hours have passed since we finished and I’M SORE.
  • I found these little smoothie cups from Aldi, you get 2 in a pack and they come in a couple of different varieties of vegies & fruits. You just add water, blend and you’re good to go. They were $3.99 for 2 which isn’t too bad and good when you are in a pinch.
  • Slow cook Sunday, I’m making my hearty winter soup. Recipe on it’s way 🙂

On The Blog

A bit of a slow week on the blog this past week, in that I posted nothing… Really sticking to my July Goals there.

I did post a YouTube video though which I haven’t linked back here yet, it was an empties video. One of my favourites to do… Yes to throwing shit out!

Blog Posts I’ve Loved This Week

What has your week been like? Let me know below 🙂

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Untitled1

Something new i’m going to add to the blog monthly are my goals for the month, what I would like to achieve and then a round up the following month to see if I achieved them. I’ve seen these posts on a lot of blogs I read and they are one of my favorite posts to read so I am hopping on the bandwagon.

I’m going to put my goals in the same 3 categories each month, these have been picked because my main goal is to grow my blog and learn more. I’ve been blogging for so many years and have been really stagnant in my growth. I’ve been reading a lot of inspiring blogs and listening to podcasts about blogging and they’ve really made me want to kick my own ass into gear. I’m implementing changes and have so far noticed a small difference, I also want to share my findings with everyone at some point when I try different strategies.

JULY GOALS

LIFE

  • Get our passports in order – Shane and I are off on our proper honeymoon at the end of the year to the US of A and really need to get these done. July it will happen,
  • Organize my utensil drawers in my kitchen and get rid of things I have multiple of and don’t need.
  • Less takeaway, I was doing really well with this at the start of June but then work got busy (no excuse I know) and last week I pretty much got takeaway every night… eek! Back to the supermarket this weekend and planning out meals!

LEARN

  • This post on The Nectar Collective really got me wanting to play around with photoshop and learn a bit more about photo editing. These couple of tips are going to be my starting point.

BLOG

  • Consistency is key! This is what i’ve noticed and I need to keep it up, even if I sit down on a Sunday night and write out 3 posts to go up during the week. I need to get this happening.
  • Kind of related to above but I want to make sure I upload 1 YouTube video per week. I was initially aiming for Sunday nights but I generally film on a Sunday so it might not always happen so either Sunday or Monday I plan to have a video out each week.
  • More lifestyle posts, I claim in my title that this is a beauty and lifestyle blog but I’ve really let the lifestyle part of it down. Further to this I want to get at least 1 recipe post up this month, maybe 2…

That rounds out my goals for the month, I’ll be back in August to go back over these goals and let you know what I achieved, what I’m working on and what my next lot of goals are.

I’ll leave you with my life motto…. GET SHIT DONE!

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Colouring in is having a bit of a moment right now and so I thought i’d show you my stash of colouring in goodies and let you know what I recommend getting and what I recommend saving your $’s on.

I started colouring in last year, I’d read about how it was relaxing and helps you deal with stress so I asked my craft savvy mum if she knew where I could buy colouring in books. Turned out she had a stack already and we spent that afternoon on the verandah of their Blue Mountains house colouring in, it was bliss.

Books

The first book I ordered was the Gorgeous Colouring Book for Grown-Ups which is full of beautiful patterns to fill with colour. The paper on this book is a bit like the usual kids colouring books so it’s definitely not my most reached for. However it’s light so good to take with me on the go. I picked mine up from Book Depository and have linked to it if you want to purchase (I’m linking all the books back to Book Depository because they are well priced).

I’m pretty sure that I stalked every single bookshop within a 20km radius to my house looking for the Johanna Basford books. I eventually got my hands on the newest book Enchanted Forest and wow what a treat, the paper felt so smooth and much nicer quality than my current book. I got home and gushed to S about it… He really didn’t care; and started colouring it in immediately.

I still wanted to get my hands on Secret Garden and ended up asking a local bookstore to order it in for me, the guy was a bit confused about why I as an adult would want a colouring book, however, when it came in stock he said it was so lovely that he was going to order stock for the store.

I’ve put myself on a bit of a colouring in book buying ban for awhile so I can work on these ones, but I have discovered that you can find free printables on the net (score!). I suggest following Johanna Basford’s facebook page, occasionally she’ll put up free printables and also posts peoples work, which I find inspiring.

The other place i’ve found that is a goldmine for free colouring in printables is Pinterest and I have my own colouring in board where i’ve pinned a few of my favourites and ones I hope to do that you can check out.

Tools

I personally like using pencils, but you can also buy pens, textas and crayons. I’ve started a bit of a collection of coloured pencils and I thought I’d give you my rundown on what I own.

Faber Castell Classic Colour Pencils 48 Pack – This is the first set of pencils I bought and actually are still one of my favourites to use. The pack is under $20 and has a great range of colours. I like that I can press down on these and get a really good colour payoff (it’s sounding makeup-y now lol). They also work nicely with a light hand (which I don’t have). The pack I got comes with a free sharpener but I threw that in the bin, I’ll explain why later.

Jasart Premium Colour Pencil Sets – When I picked up Enchanted Forest I felt like I needed to up my pencil game and there was a Eckersleys store a few shops up. These were on discount with 30% off. Honestly, not really worth it. I reach for these the least from my sets and find they colour in way to lightly for my liking.

Derwent Studio Pencils 72 Pack – I remember when I was a kid and having your very own set of Derwents was one of the most exciting things (or was that just me?). I remember treating my Derwents like gold because they were so darn expensive. I had a birthday voucher and decided to pick up a set. I like them and the colour range is amazing but I still prefer to use my “cheaper” pencils for some reason.

Staedtler Noris Club Coloured Pencils 36 Pack – My most recent and cheapest purchase, and actually my favourite of the bunch. Who knew the cheapest option would be the best. This set has some nice colours (which I can compliment with all my other colours). Like the Faber Castell ones I can press down and get a bit of pigment out of these ones and it doesn’t bleed through onto the next page. These are my top pick for pencils to buy.

Coloured Pencil Sharpener – I didn’t even know this was a thing, until again my crafty mum told me that I can’t use just any pencil sharpener with my coloured pencils. Rookie mistake obviously. I’ve got this one from Staedtler and it does a great job and since I like to take my colouring with me when I go places it has the little barrel to catch my sharpenings.

Pencil Case – Totally not essential and I picked up what I could get at the time (I don’t really like it). It’s a good way to keep everything together. I do like to keep my fancier pencils in their tins though and the virgo in me comes out when I use my Derwents and the colours must go back in the same spot.

I hope this has helped you out if you are looking to get into colouring or has inspired you to go out and give it a go. I’d love to hear if you have found any cool new colouring in books (although I’m on that ban… shoot!).

P.S. Can you spot the sneaky Boston Terrier photobomb in my picture 🙂 Also how amazing is my chalkboard! This old frame was spray painted copper and my dad put a chalkboard backing on it for the wedding. Now it gets to live with me. You’ll probably see it as a prop background in a lot of my photos from now on 🙂

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