Monday, 27 January 2014

Valentine's Day Lunchbox

I just love to celebrate any holiday I can get my hands on, I swear. Of course I adore Valentine's Day. I used to spend all day Valentine's Day waiting for a rose from a special someone. I never got one until I met Byron and then the next Valentine's Day he had 20 delivered to me at school. It was very romantic and it was more than anyone else got. I was swept up in the romance that day and have been ever since.

That was a long time ago though. Things are still quite romantic but we're not in high school any more! On Valentine's Day, Byron is usually working while I'm still on uni holidays. That makes it the perfect time for me to go the extra mile and put in some effort. I like to make Byron a packed lunch to take with him to work. I don't like to make things too over-the-top because I don't want to completely embarrass him in front of his colleagues (especially this year as he starts a new job!). And of course, I like to keep things healthy with maybe just a little sweetness thrown in to celebrate.

This year is no exception.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Healthy Apple Crumble Made From Juice Pulp

I have been on a real dessert fix lately. My body almost expects it an hour after dinner and if I don't get it, I go to bed cranky. I will not let my cravings undo all my hard work! To combat them I knew I had to make a healthy substitute that I wouldn't feel bad about eating after dinner. I've also been juicing a lot and have been keeping the pulp like some sort of mad woman in the hopes I will make something from the remainders.

Here comes the solution: healthy apple crumble made with leftover pulp from my juice! I used the apple juice in an apple, beet, carrot and cucumber juice and it was delicious.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Aussie Barbecue Salad

Barbecue season is finally here in Australia! A typical Aussie barbecue consists of meat, meat and more meat (sometimes of the shrimp/prawn variety) but it doesn't have to be this way. Heck, you can even make a grilled salad on your barbecue! And that's just what I did.

Monday, 20 January 2014

My Grief This Past Week

I've had a horrible week. I mentioned how we had 40 degree+ Celsius days lately. Well on the final day of the heat wave my two rabbits suffered heat stroke and passed away. They had a frozen bottle and weren't in the sun and I had intended on bringing them inside like I had every other day of the heat wave but a small visit to my landlord turned into a two hour visit. When I went to bring my bunnies in they already had too high temperatures and we treated them before rushing to the vet, who unfortunately could not save them. 

I loved Annabel and Hazel very dearly and only wish I could redo that day. They were a part of my life for over five years, almost six. 

Here they are:

I need to get out of the funk I'm in. I'm quite an emotional person so I've been crying every day and dreaming about them. I had their picture framed to put on my wall and my cat Winnie out of nowhere climbed onto the table and stared at the picture for a good minute. It was so strange but such a beautiful moment as she loved the bunnies too. 

I only hope that my story can be a reminder of just how fragile our bunnies and other pets are, especially in such extreme weather circumstances. 

This has affected me deeply. I still see their brand new hutch that my dad built just sitting empty outside. I cut up carrots for dinner and didn't have any bunnies to give the scraps to. I wondered if I would still buy carrots in bulk.

Each day gets a teensy bit easier. I'm waiting for my mum to get back from holidays so I can call her and have a good cry to her over the phone. Maybe after then the healing will begin. 

This post is dedicated to Annabel and Hazel (2008-2014). 


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Australia Day Party Ideas

Ah, Australia Day. Having a barbie, sipping something cool, trotting about in my thongs (for your feet, people) and listening to Triple J's Hottest 100. It's one of my favourite times of the year. And because I love any excuse for a party, I've thrown together a list of decorating, food and drink ideas so you can host a bloody good Australia Day party too!

Friday, 10 January 2014

Goals for 2014

With the new year comes the inevitable "what am I going to do differently this year" contemplation. I've had a good week to think about it, I don't usually rush to make a new year's resolution. 

So here's my personal goals for the new year. To achieve them, I'm going to break them up into smaller tasks that are easier to achieve. 

01. Finish my final year of uni
This one is scary. Final year of my Fashion Design degree. We have to do a collection and menswear and millinery! That excites me and terrifies me at the same time. Now to break it up into "bite-size" goals. 

-Don't be afraid to ask for help.
     Sometimes I struggle with this. I know this because my tutors point it out to me time and time again.                  Sometimes I just get overwhelmed in class because of the pushiness of other people but I do have a card up      my sleeve. One of my friends from uni who is particularly good at a subject that I am particularly hopeless at      is taking time off and as such, has offered to help me. I will definitely be taking her up on it this year!
-Take time to de-stress at the end of a day.
     I usually do this by reading, running, taking a bath or just sitting and breathing. But this year I will need to do      it way more often. 
-Get on top of everything from the start.
     I know every student says this at the start of the year and it's super hard to go from holiday mode back to uni      mode but I have to this year. Recognise what I find difficult and get the easy stuff out of the way so I can          focus on those other things. 

02. Be financially secure
I don't mean be rich but by the end of the year I would really like to be saving and not scrambling for cash every bill that turns up. To do this I will:
-organise my finances using a guide so I can recognise what bills come when and realise how every cent counts
-go out less, get less takeaway coffees
-try to make a bit of pocket money from the markets

03. Be organised
I seriously double-booked myself so many times last year! Before I go back to uni I want everything nice and organised. To do this I will:
-remember to schedule important events
-once I know my timetable I'll schedule everything around it including cleaning, homework etc

04. Blog more
Of course I want to blog more! I enjoy it! I'm going to try and get some posts knocked over in my time off because there is still so much I want to share with you. I'll never run out of recipes!

05. Read more
I consider myself a reader so I was very shocked when I looked at my Goodreads account and realised I had only read ten books this year. It honestly felt like so much more. That's less than one a month! This year I've got a few books lined up already and I'm halfway through 'Mansfield Park' now. I've also started downloading audiobooks to listen to on my runs. So far I'm a quarter of the way through 'The Fault In Our Stars' by John Green and I'm really enjoying it. This year there will be more!

And as always, I will try to be the best person I can be by living a healthy life and always helping others when I can.  

Do you have any goals for the new year? 


Wednesday, 1 January 2014

How To Maintain Your Healthy Lifestyle in 2014 and How I Did in 2013

It's officially 2014! The year passed so quickly for me. 2012 was the year I changed my lifestyle to the now healthy version (Grace 2.0) and this continued on throughout the entirety of 2013. 2013 was also the year that I started my blog so a lot has happened over this year and I couldn't be happier. Today I want to share with you my tips for staying healthy throughout 2014.

You all know I'm a Pinterest addict, I even wrote a blog post about using Pinterest to maintain a healthy lifestyle! But the main thing that I use Pinterest for is planning. I use it as a visual aid for myself when I meal plan. Now, Pinterest may not be your thing, in which case I encourage you to find another form of planning. Write down your meals for the week, your shopping list, schedule in your exercise time, write down when you're catching up with your friends and won't need a lunch planned! It takes a little bit of time each week but it sets you up for the entire week and you won't be left wondering what's for dinner or left without an important ingredient. 

    2. Don't Set Yourself Up For Failure

On Pinterest I make sure that I follow hardly any "bad" food boards. I fill my home feed with beautiful healthy foods and not bad ones that will entice me. Are you addicted to watching the food network? Maybe just adjust your tv schedule so that you're not watching around dinner time or only watch healthy food shows! 
When you go grocery shopping don't buy junk food. Just don't do it! Buy lots of healthy food or a healthy alternative- you won't go hungry and you won't see the packet of biscuits sitting in your pantry and think "Oh I'll just have one..." *twenty biscuits later*... is that just me?

  3. Know How to Handle Cravings

So you've been craving chocolate for the past couple of days, you've done what everyone says to avoid cravings but you just need it. Why not make a healthier alternative like dark choc chip cookies made without butter and sugar? They do exist, I've tried them and even gave them out as Christmas gifts! 

If you cook healthy alternatives to an otherwise unhealthy meal, you will beat the craving without the guilt. Try my baked sweet potato wedges the next time you are craving a pub meal or make these Garlic Roasted Pumpkin Seeds when you feel like buttery popcorn. No guilt here!

  4. The Wagon- How to Get Back On It

This one's a little difficult. You've stopped exercising for 2 weeks and the bad food is creeping back in. It starts to happen to me when uni gets tough but I handle it by planning. I know I'm going to be incredibly stressed for 2 weeks. I won't have time to exercise but I will MAKE SURE I eat healthy. I CAN take a half hour out of my day to plan my meals for the week. 

If you've already fallen off you need to dig deep. Ease your way back into it. Haven't exercised in 2 weeks? Do a gentler version of what you normally do. A runner? Walk your usual route. A HIITer? Do a bodyweight version or a shorter workout. 

Plan your meals for the week so that you are EXCITED about them and will want to eat them! 

  5. Recognise Your Achievements

This is a big one because for me, when I lost all my weight I hardly had anything to show for it. Every bad photo of my "almost overweight" self I had deleted. Every big arm- gone. Every picture of my rolls- disappeared. I deleted them all out of shame but when it comes around to it I don't have a "before and after" comparison. I worked really hard this year and was really proud of myself but had nothing to show. My trouble area is my stomach and I finally took a picture of it that I'm going to share with you today which is still hard for me but I want to recognise my achievement. 

So every kilo you lose, write it down in a journal or take a photo of yourself and DON'T delete it! 

And finally,

Smile more. This year will be the year. If you are willing to commit to planning, exercising and educating yourself about healthy foods and lifestyles then you will succeed. You will probably fall off the wagon at some point but everyone does. You have to grit your teeth and climb back on. Hold yourself accountable. Keep a food diary or tell all your friends about your newfound lifestyle even if some won't hear it! You are responsible for your own wellbeing- being healthy is a choice. I hope you choose it in 2014. 


P.s This is dedicated to my friend, Steph. Love you to pieces!

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