Saturday, November 28, 2015

Fashion Friday: playgroup

I'm definitely no style icon, and despite being an avid follower of fashion as a teen (I remember causing an uproar in year 9 because I had my latest copy of UK mag 'Clothes show' in my school bag and the cover image was a girl in a Dolce&Gabbana see-through blouse. Nips and all) I just really don't have the same passion now. 

But I still find it really interesting to see what other people wear, and to get ideas for things I can wear. I still like to have fun with my clothes, I just don't like expense or effort ;o)

So this is what I wore to playgroup at church on Wednesday. 

Baby N has been going since he was 3wks old and he absolutely loves it. I adore the ladies who go and it's a chance for me to relax and socialise! Sometimes we have to cut it really short due to work, or we arrive late but we still make every effort to go. 

Here's the view from the back. It's not the most flattering thing for my figure, but I wasn't out to impress anyone. Wednesday was quite hot, although the church has some really powerful fans. I find an open-weave or crochet jumper is a good way to basically wear a singlet yet still be covered up (more power to you if you're happy to let your bingo wings free, I'm not).

Here we are, about to leave. I wore some super comfy stretch jeans from Target and some funky red ballet flats, also from Target. The little pop of colour adds fun to an otherwise fairly plain outfit. My wardrobe tends to rely heavily on beige/black combos (even my nappy bag, haha) 

Another shot of the shoes. And this is why I wear jeans to playgroup, even on hot days. I spend hours sitting on the floor and playing with the babies. 





20/20 weightloss challenge

An old colleague of mine has embarked on a challenge to lose 20kg in 20 weeks. Being the good pal that I am (and the epic fatty that I am), I'm joining the challenge too. Officially it started on Monday but I'm going to be doing Wednesday weigh-ins. I'm not going to post my actual weight but will still post my progress. 

Starting weight: X
Current weight: X
Goal weight: X-20kg 

My approach will be the same one I used when I lost a lot of weight before Baby N was born, with some minor tweaking. 


1) Just like the 12wbt, aim for 1200cal in, 500cal out

2) breakfast is mandatory. Lots of protein, avoid loading up on carbs (i.e. 2 eggs, 1 slice of toast, not the other way around) 

3) lunch is salad or soup. These can sometimes be high cal or high fat but not always, and are still usually an good source of nutrition. Besides, you have to treat yourself sometimes. 

4) Dinner = whatever. Avoid loading up on carbs, have veggie frozen meals etc on hand for ease (I'm vegetarian, my family are not, so I often eat separately to them)

5) drink lots of water 

6) 'diet' products are okay for a craving but not for every day use 


7) Go for a walk each day (I used to get up early and go for a 3km jog at 6am every day, can't do that with a baby and it's hot in the middle of the day so this might not work

8) parkrun on Saturday, konga on Sunday

9) as much other exercise as I can fit into my day- a youtube step aerobics video, a bunch of push-ups etc

10) take all my medications and vitamins regularly and properly! 

Monday, November 23, 2015

my week 47/52

Happy Monday, everyone! 

I'm trialing a different blogging app this week, I'm not sure whether that will be apparent from the finished post. 

So last week was a bit of a wash. I hurt my neck early in the week and so I was limited in what I could do and the things I could manage, I did a lot more slowly. 

The layout for last week was really fun though. I decided on the zigzag pattern first and then realised that the other two washi tapes coordinated. They're all ones I picked up at Pavement about a year ago, I think they were only a couple of dollars each and are really great quality. I don't spend a lot of time on decorating my planner so I like using quick little tricks to make my layouts look different week to week. In this layout I just used the washi but I used it in a repeating pattern of alternate tapes and also used it to make some little 'hanging' flags. It packs a punch, haha! 

I hope you'll share your layouts, thoughts or ideas down below

Laura xx 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

green nacho salad recipe

As promised on Facebook yesterday, here is the recipe for green nacho salad (which I called green taco salad by mistake). 

- 1 cup shredded salad greens (cos lettuce, iceberg, whatever) 
- third of a cup of chopped parsley
- 100gm canned black beans
- 3 tablespoons jarred salsa
- 3 tablespoons Chobani 0% Greek yoghurt 

Basically, you just layer the ingredients in order. You can vary the ingredients and quantities to suit. 

Because of the parsley and beans, this dish is high in protein and iron. It's also low calorie yet super filling and tasty. It's quick to throw together with leftovers and staples and is a great alternative when, due to laziness or cravings, I feel like reaching for junk food. 

Lettuce doesn't offer much nutritional punch so you might like to replace or supplement it with these ideas; 

Other ideas for salad greens: kale, cucumber, spring onion, different kinds of lettuce, finely chopped raw broccoli, blanched runner beans, snow peas. 

In addition to the parsley, you could also add any other herbs or superfoods. I hate coriander but it would be an obvious match for Mexican flavours. You could easily slip in some amaranth (a great plant protein source), chia or stir some spirulina into the salsa. 

And speaking of salsa, if the high-salt processed kind bothers you, you could always make your own. You could also add corn kernels, avocado, whatever takes your fancy. 

As made above, this dish was only 200kcal, around 15gm protein and contained half my daily iron requirements. I know it's not pretty but you can't believe how tasty and filling it is until you try it! So I hope you'll give it a go. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Self love: 6 ideas to change your mood

I woke up on Wednesday with a sore, stiff neck. I expected it to go away in a few hours but here we are on Friday and it's still a problem. I've had two Chinese massages, taken anti-inflammatory painkillers and used a topical menthol/heat cream. Needless to say, it's kind of tainted my week and left me feeling bummed. 

I barely slept last night and after a few things went wrong at home and with work, I decided I desperately needed to turn my day around. Luckily my invoicing is finished and Friday is my housework day so I could afford the time. 

So, I took myself on a brunch date :) 

I needed to check my emails, update our business website, make two calls and plan out some things but all of those could be done via my phone at a cafe. 

Sometimes, just getting out of the house makes a world of difference. So does eating something decent, I'm guilty of skipping meals or eating junk when I'm having a bad day. And not having to prepare food or clean up afterwards can feel like such a luxury! 

So here are my favourite quick, cheap ways to turn my day around: 

* get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air. A walk, sitting in the garden with a cup of tea, even a drive around town with the window down (there's a row of mansions near me that I love to drive past and daydream about) 

* retail therapy Nothing major but I love, love, love getting new socks. The quirkier the pattern, the better. But a new set of incense sticks, a new cushion, a new headband, a new nailpolish colour or a new hand cream are also equally exciting and give me a boost. 

* time out. I'm not a big fan of TV but if the day allows it, I love to chill out with a magazine, watch YouTube videos or even listen to a podcast while I do my chores. If I had a different job, I'd probably add nap to the list, but Murphy's Law says that the minute my head hits the pillow, someone will call, so I don't tempt fate. 

* cooking Im not much of a baker but I enjoy making delicious meals for my family. Browsing recipes, gathering ingredients and trying out a new recipe is something that is really fun for me. 

* cleaning/organising. Im not talking about wiping down the kitchen bench for the 400th time that day. I mean the little things that you've been meaning to do for days... or weeks... or months. The things that stare you in the face every day, taunting you, like sorting out your tangled necklaces, or making a craft caddy, or restocking your first aid kit. Or even just picking up everything off the floor (which is always, like, 95% of our belongings. I must have so many empty cupboards, drawers and shelves) and then vacuuming and mopping the floor. The feeling of being productive is such an instant mood improver! 

* music putting on a favourite song always cheers me up! The usual suspects are Shake It Off- Taylor Swift; Hey Ya - Outkast (I know it's actually a sad song); Happy- Pharrell Williams; Must Have Done Sonething Right- Relient K; In The Meantime- Spacehog; or any kind of 90s compilations (there's a reason that R'n'b Friday is my housework day, haha) 

Monday, November 16, 2015

My week 46/52


Normally I'd start with 'happy Monday' or something to that effect, but it doesn't seem quite right, given the horrific events of the past week in Paris and Beirut. And of course, every news story and Facebook post spurs comments of "what about...." and lists other cases of human suffering occurring in the world right now.   A lot of people are annoyed with the attention on Paris when other places, people and causes haven't received the same level of attention, and I think the discussions they start are good. But I think we need to be wary of getting ourselves into a state where we're so scared of not having the perfect response, of not being able to show solidarity with everyone at once, that we show no solidarity or compassion at all. 

So, is it tacky of me to share my pretty, stickered planner when atrocities are happening across the world, including those happening on Christmas Island under the responsibility of my own country's government? Maybe, but I hope not. 

I hope that we humans, as complex creatures, can appreciate and enjoy life and not take it for granted while still having compassion for those who are suffering, and work to end their suffering. I hope that we don't get so overwhelmed by the desire to fix everything that we don't fix anything. And I hope that we feel our responsibility as global citizens and fellow human beings every minute of every day, a sturdy thread woven into the fabric of our lives, not just when the news puts up an emotive image or Facebook creates a profile meme.

So with allllllllll of that said, here is my planner layout from last week: 

Laura xx 

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Organised lists

I wanted to share my latest quick organising project because although it's kind of specific to my job, it shows how investing a few minutes or dollars into simplifying things can pay off. 

A little background info- we have around half a dozen pricelists at work, each one 4-5 pages long. They were all printed onto plain white paper with the name of the specific pricelist on the first page and were all stored in a standard plain black display file. I use these pricelists fairly regularly, at least several times a week and often away from my computer and it was annoying flicking through constantly. I'd always meant to do something about it but never carved out time to do it. 

So I was at Officeworks last week and saw they have a whole aisle full of funky new letter files and document wallets etc etc. I kind of wanted to buy it all and just look at it all day but I just bought this cute little 10-page display file and some coloured paper. Total purchase just over $10

So my best step was to re-format the pricelists. I changed them from 3-columns to 4 columns, added lines between the columns for clarity, removed superfluous headers and footers, changed the font and spacing and basically just condensed it down while ensuring it was easy to read. The result was two-page pricelists. 

And lastly, I printed the lists onto coloured paper (we have a kind of shorthand where different colours represent different areas so I tried to keep as closely to that as I could with the colours I used for the pricelists) and filed them. Now i can flick open to a particular pricelist, I don't have to double-check the heading to make sure it's the right one and I don't have to keep flicking back and forth as I go from the first item on the list to the last, they're all on the same double page. 

Honestly, it's one of those things where I'm kicking myself for not doing it sooner!!! 

Monday, November 9, 2015

My week 45/52

Hi guys, 

Nice and simple layout this week. I finally got to use the stickynotes I bought from Offficeworks. 

Lots of personal appointments this week and quite a few work things as well! 

I don't remember whether I've shared my work planner system or whether that was just in the FB group? I'll have to have a look back and see, if not, I'll share it here next week. 


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Friday, November 6, 2015

Part-time bottle feeding

A few weeks ago we made some changes to our feeding routine. Baby N and I had both been sick and as a result my milk supply dropped at the same time as Baby N wanted to increase feeds to soothe himself. There was often nothing there for him which would frustrate and upset him and then upset me. I know we could have just ridden it out and tried a few techniques to increase supply but honestly, with our busy lifestyle, I was already feeling a bit stretched. 

We introduced two bottles of formula a day: one at 9pm when Baby N is ready for bed (he's also sleeping a little better at night after this, often sleeping for 4hrs after his bedtime bottle) and one around 6-7am which is his breakfast bottle. Of course, the breakfast bottle falls when everyone is getting ready for school/work so it's handy that anyone can feed Baby N, it doesn't just fall onto me. 

Overnight and daytime feeds (mostly) are still me and I think that gives us the best of both worlds. One of my concerns, though, was having the milk at the right temperature. I decided to look for a thermometer that would work like a meat thermometer works, but for bottles of milk. And if one didn't exist, is invent it and make millions, haha. 

Well, they do exist! The link below is the one I bought.

Honestly, it makes life so much easier, not having to guess whether the liquid is a suitable temperature. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

5 minute nappybag tidy

Today is the Melbourne Cup.... the race that stops the nation. Apparently. Unless you have actual things to do! I normally host a kid-friendly heels-friendly lunch at my house, something where my mama friends can get dressed up but not worry about their kids having weetbix in their hair. But this year we had a 2 hour appointment. 

Don't I look thrilled? ;o) We had to spend a lot of time in that waiting area between stages of the appointment. Thankfully, the magazines were recent and there were kids books, including Frozen! 

At one point, I was grabbing a tissue out of my bag and I was struck by what a mess it was, so I decided to make the most of the waiting time and spend five minutes cleaning out my nappybag. 

My bag is an Il Tutto Chiara and if you know anything about this bag, you'll know that it has tonnes of storage sections to keep your bag organised. However because we've had a lot on lately, I've been pulling things in and out the last few days and not putting things away properly. And then cramming more things in because I can't see them in their usual spot. 

I started my emptying most of the contents out and then sorted them back into the nappy bag, throwing all the rubbish into a nappysack for disposal. 

Much better! A much more productive use of my time and it didn't take any time out of my day. 

Now, the Nov 3rd prompt for #paperlovestory30days is songs that remind you of something. 

'Tainted Love' always reminds me of my high school netball team, The Redbacks, because it was our theme song, we'd play it while running laps at training and before every game. Not that it gave us any extra edge. In fact we never won a single game. We came a draw once and lost every other game for two seasons. It's not that we were bad, they were usually close games. It's just that someone has to be the worst team and it was clearly us, haha. But we had fun!! And the other teams commented that they had a lot of fun when they played against us. So there's that :o) 

Monday, November 2, 2015

My week 44/52

Well I'm another year older but I think it's best if we just pretend that didn't happen ;o) haha.

The week was another fairly busy one, with lots of appointments and events. I think it's only going to get busier though as we lead up to the holiday season. 

I'm taking part in the Paper Love Story 30 days challenge and today's prompt is goals for the next 12 months, so here are mine (it will interesting to come back and look at them).

- weigh less than 80kg
- have at least $100k savings (saved in our mortgage account so it reduces interest but we can access it)
- have my shop back up and running
- have learned how to stay on top of my laundry 
- have our house finished 
- learn calligraphy 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Pretty Mug Swap

Hello friends!

Today is a busy day, I have to return some numbers to my accountant (luckily she's a patient lady! lol), pick up the new work uniforms for our employees, take my middle child to the dentist and do more paper filing than I like to think about. But today has been a very good day for several reasons. Firstly because I forgot to check my PO Box for 2 weeks and when I went there was a parcel waiting for me from the Bizzy Dayz Pretty Mug Swap!

Isn't she a beauty? There were also some beautiful T2 teas included. Thanks so much, Kendall!

I am *so* looking forward to sitting down a little later with a big cup of tea in this mug, and a slice of birthday cake.

Birthday cake?

Thanks Google! ;o) That's the other reason that today is a good day!! Lots of cuddles from my babies, family&friends visiting and checking in. Love it!!

Take care,

Laura xx