Jordan 2018 Video

wadi rum

This is shaping up to be a good week for me finishing things, right? As you may have been able to see on my blog last year, I made my annual trip to Jordan.

The main difference with this trip was that Topher’s sister Emma came with us. She’d never been to the Middle East before (unless you count a stint in Abu Dhabi’s airport) so she was keen to cross it off the list.

As I did with the last trip, I made a video. I love doing them and it’s a great way to look back on the memories. You can check out the finished video on Youtube here:

If you want to read more about our travels on this trip check out my posts:

Dead Sea

Wadi Rum

Petra

Amman

Have you ever been to Jordan?

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Florida Scrapbook – I finally finished!

So it finally happened. I finished my Florida scrapbook. The one I started in 2016. For a trip that happened in 2015. Procrastinate much? Why yes I do!

I think it may have been because I put it on my 19 for 2019 list that made me bite the bullet and get it done. It’s not my best work by far but done and good is better then perfect but unfinished.

Check out my latest pages. Btw half of these I already did a couple of years ago but forgot to show you. Oh well.

If you want to see the previous pages check out my first post and my second post.

We tried every type of butterbeer!

A stupidly simple spread but I had too many photos of everyone in their Hogwarts robes.

There were so many details I wanted to remember about Halloween Horror Nights at Universal hence all the little notes!

This spread makes me laugh so much. It has the whole story of Adam discovering an American “salad” bar and loading up his plate with spaghetti and meatballs only to be reminded that he ordered a burger for his main.

Now this is actually where I restarted the project in 2019. You might be able to tell as it’s all a little rushed!

And here you’ll be able to see why I was still pretty damp when Topher proposed to me, ha ha. Gotta love a water ride.

This photo of the guys makes me laugh every time I see it. I loved their posing under the Betty Boop sign so of course added in some girly stickers to match.

I had these patterned cards picked out for a long time now so it was nice to finally get them stuck down. I can’t believe how much Animal Kingdom has changed since we visited. Can’t wait to visit this year!

Another park that has changed loads since we went. Can you tell I kinda just gave up on the right hand page?

I only had these two photos left from the trip so they got their own pages and I’m not mad about it. Especially the one on the right because that makes me smile.

Though this trip was a few years ago now the memories are still fresh as it was such an amazing holiday. It was already the best holiday every and the fact that Topher and I got engaged on it was just the icing on the cake.

I’m so happy that I finished this scrapbook as not only is this the first one I’ve ever completed but that it was for something awesome that I want to be able to look back on.

So there’s something ticked of my 19 for 2019 list!

Have you ever made a scrapbook?

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My 2019 Bullet Journal Setup

After falling out of love with my bullet journal last year I was finally ready to jump back in for 2019.

For inspiration I treated myself to a brand new bullet journal. Which I now realise I didn’t take a photo of. Oh well. It’s red. Use your imagination. Or look at it here.

Last year I found that even when I tried to make my spreads super minimal it still didn’t make me want to fill it in any more than when I recorded every little thing. So I decided to find an in between. Here it is.

I had some cute stickers I wanted to use!

I love making Year at a Glance spreads and this one was no different. This time I used some skinny washi tape to mark out different things like holidays etc. Pretty!

Of course I had to display my 19 for 2019. I’ve even managed to tick one of them off already!

Topher and I both love our food and the food scene in Manchester is great, but we’re always stumped on where to go. So a restaurants to try list was a must for this bullet journal. I also added in my usual running to do list for general.

My next couple of pages I dedicated to targets. Firstly my target weight tracker. As I mentioned in my 19 for 2019 post, I want to get to my happy weight this year and stay there. My goal is to get to it or as close as I can to it by the time I go to Japan. Firstly because a scary nurse told me to or she’ll switch my meds and secondly because I want at least some hope of being able to buy something from Harajuku that will fit.

The second page is for savings for Japan. We’re a little behind savings as we borrowed some for some super cheap flights for another big trip this year but we’ll get there. I definitely borrowed this design from my last bullet journal.

I want to actually keep track of the books and films I consume this year so plan on keeping this spread up to date. The book one I just roughly sketched out and will make it prettier as I go along. And the films one needs my film strip washi tape adding to it and it will look way better.

And now for the monthly spread. Unlike previous bullet journals, I’ve tried out doing a double page spread instead of stretching it across a few pages. I’ve included spaces for key dates, my goals, memories, trackers for specific goals (yeah not doing so well on a couple of those so far!), steps and a motivational quote. I like the way it looks and will probably continue sticking to a double page – though I may switch up the layout itself in future months.

Another change from previous journals, I’m now doing a weekly spread across two pages instead of a day per page. I like the layout but I think I might use my skinny washi tape in future to make the lines a bit cleaner.

And that’s it. If you’re interested in other bullet journal posts I’ve written, check them out here.

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Operation Getting More Organised

organised
Source

There is still time to get 2019 off to a productive start. Rather than committing yourself to unrealistic aims like running 20 miles per week or giving up booze, why not focus on getting organised?

After all, a greater sense of organisation will enhance virtually every aspect of your life. Here’s how to take greater control in 2019 by incorporating a few simple ideas:

1. Organise your home with a thorough decluttering session. Unwanted goods can be sold online to raise some much-needed funds. Moreover, personal storage facilities allow you to think about things while redesigning the home. If possible, you should look to go paperless with various bills too.

2. Get your finances under control. Poor financial management is easily the most common form of bad organisation. Take a look at your bank statement and see where you’re wasting money. Whether it’s ditching the morning trip to Cafe Nero or changing broadband provider, those changes are huge.

3. Make a list of aspirations for the year. It’s impossible to follow the smoothest pathway if you don’t have one eye on the destination. My #19for2019 will hopefully give you some inspiration, but it’s ultimately about organising your life to help you lead the life you wish to lead.

4. Learn to organise your foods. Keep the items that are nearest to their expiration date at the front of the cupboard and you should see your food waste fall. This will also enable you to avoid buying too much of an item before it’s needed. It’s great news for your budget, space, and waistline.

5. Start using technology to aid your life. Using your calendar, reminders, and various downloadable Apps will force you to be organised. Perhaps the best thing you can do, though, is set a screen curfew. Stop using your phone after 9 PM, for example, and you will see positive outcomes.

6. Unsubscribe from promotional emails that you don’t want and quit any tasks that are wasting your time. Time is the most valuable resource at anyone’s disposal, which is why you must ensure that it is being spent in the best way. This one simple change can transform your world.

7. Find a good work-life balance. Your career is important, but it should not prevent you from enjoying special moments with loved ones. This is particularly pertinent when you’re self-employed or a business owner. However, even those in traditional employment must take note of this.   

8. Try to think ahead. Whether it’s planning your meals for the week or being ready for your child’s schedule doesn’t matter. Thinking beyond today lets you put the most logical plan and strategy into place. This will inevitably work wonders as you look to make the most of your time and resources.

You might not want to incorporate all eight of those ideas, but there should be something for everyone there. They’re all manageable, realistic, and destined to make a positive impact in 2019. What more could anyone ask for?

This is a collaborative post

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By Heck, It’s Veganuary!*

Ey up! So with it being January, naturally the world and their mother are trying to watch what they eat. Whether that be trying out Veganuary, Dry January or simply watching themselves eat more cake (nom!), you’ll be hard pressed to find someone not talking about it.

As a person who doesn’t eat pork, I have found myself trying to find sausages in this country that I can eat. Other meat types do exist but they don’t seem to be well stocked. So over the years I’ve found myself trying more and more vegetarian sausages.

If you haven’t heard of Heck, then where the heck have you been? #sorrynotsorry. Heck are a British food company who believe in making unique, healthy and delicious sausages – among other things these days! Having been a fan of Heck since I tried some of their chicken sausages a few years ago at a food festival, I was super excited when they offered to send me some of their vegan sausages to try.

Though I won’t be participating in Veganuary, Topher and I have been actively trying to eat less meat in the last few months. At the moment we’ve narrowed down our meat eating to outside the house only. So home cooking is all veggie for us now. I couldn’t wait to try the four type of vegan sausages that Heck offer.

So that we could compare but not overwhelm ourselves, we decided to try out a new kind each night for four days. Here’s how it went:

Day 1: Bollywood Bangers

These are the ones I was most excited for. The package describes them as “Indian-style veggie bangers with cauliflower, green lentils, pulses and seeds. All spiced up with chilli, ginger, cumin and turmeric.”

Since I’m not the best at coming up with recipes (I’m a follower, not a creator) so I headed to Heck’s website and used their Bollywood Bangers Roasted Cauliflower and Lentil Dahl recipe.

So…this isn’t my photo. This looks a whole lot better than my photo. I’m good at following recipes but not so good at making it look pretty. You want to see the real thing I made? Well you asked for it…

Complete with chipped plate that I am sneakily hiding with my thumb, I digress. Anyway, you must be thinking, please tell me this tastes better than it looks? Yes. Yes it does. In fact it tasted so good that it ties for joint first place for me. I’ll tell you which one with in a bit! The combo of the sausages with the dahl and the cauliflower was just delicious. If you’re a fan of Indian food then I definitely recommend these.

Day 2: Super Greens

Filled with quinoa, spinach, kale & ginger – I have to admit these weren’t at the top of my list of the types I thought I’d like. Blame it on an entire childhood of hating anything green. But I’m happy to say that these were my joint favourite with the bollywood bangers. Especially the way I served them. Loosely based on this Heck recipe, we ate the super green sausages Mexican style. Mexican is my second favourite type of food so it’s not that surprising that I loved the flavour of this.

So I was hoping that this would look a little prettier but that idea went out the window when the sour cream, salsa and guacamole glooped onto the top. Not particularly arty but tasty as well. We paired the taco boats with paprika wedges. I’m so pleased I saw the Heck recipe because I wouldn’t have thought to go in this direction with this particular sausage. Another meal I would definitely have again!

Day 3: Sweet Fusion

“Veggie bangers made with fragrant thai pesto, sweet potato & sticky rice” i knew straight away that Topher would love these sausages. Following another Heck recipe that would be perfect for BBQs in the summer, I have to once again state that it tastes better than it looks dammit!

My suspicion was correct and these sausages were Topher’s favourite of the whole bunch. An easy meal to throw together and something a little bit different from a plain old hotdog. These would also be lovely in a stir fry!

Day Four: The Beet Goes On

Now I’ll be honest and say I was pretty apprehensive about these sausages. I hate beetroot. I always have. So my plan of action was to give them a fair shot by finding a recipe I could hide them in. Yes I’m a child. Since jambalaya traditionally has pork in it I don’t get to have it I figured Heck’s jambalaya recipe would be a winner.

Ooh look another pretty picture definitely….not taken by me. Thanks Heck. Here’s what I actually made:

Unsurprisingly these were my least favourite but they were edible. I actually finished the whole thing and took some to work the next day. Topher does like beetroot and did agree with me that they had more of an earthy kind of taste so weren’t as nice as the other sausages we had this week. But to be honest the bar was pretty high in the first place. If you can’t get enough of beetroot then these are certainly worth a try.

Overall…

I’m a big fan of food experiments and this one was a successful one. I’ll definitely be hunting some more of these down in the future. It’s so nice to see more veggie and vegan food appearing in stores – especially when it’s so delicious!

Heck vegan sausages are available to buy in Asda, Waitrose, Booths and Ocado

Have you ever tried Heck Sausages?

*Sausages were sent to me by Heck free of charge in return for an honest review

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