On the BBQ

It’s almost Summmaaaa’ time!!! And do you know what that means? BBQs people, BBQs!

I myself am generally in favour of frosty weather that calls for days spent huddling beside a warm fire or a sweet smelling oven. But when the warm weather rolls around, I get excited about three things.

2. Cocktails
3. BBQs.

On the very first day of 2014, we decided to copy Mel and Jay and buy ourselves a Weber Family Q. We’d been wanting a BBQ for ages but hadn’t got round to purchasing one. We bought it on January 2 and for a solid 30 days, we BBQ’d every single night. It was so nice to come home and end the day lazing on the deck with tantalising smells wafting from the BBQ.

Easy breezy, summer evenings = bliss.

I’m looking forward to repeating that behaviour in the coming months.

Our two favourite BBQ dinners?

1) …….Salmon with veggies. Before we had the BBQ, we’d bake fish a lot. However cooking outside means that the smell also stays outside and your house doesn’t smell fishy for hours afterwards.

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2) …….Bunless burgers.
Michelle Bridges has a recipe called Cheeky Charlie Burgers where you use a giant cooked mushroom as the base of your burger, rather than a bun. We make those often but also like this version which just uses lettuce. An easy paleo meal! And you can kind of make them look like faces (see below!)


Do you have any favourite BBQ recipes that you can share?

DIY craft projects.

When I’m scrolling through Feedly or Pinterest and I see the word ‘DIY’ I usually just keep on scrolling. Crafty minx I am not.

However I’ve recently come across a few thumb pausing projects that look easy even for me. And they’d all be such pretty gifts or lovely additions to your home.

>>>>>Tying cinnamon sticks around your candles would take no more than a few minutes. Once heated, the cinnamon would make your house smell amazing!

Candles and cinnamon

>>>>>Similarly, putting tea lights next to coffee beans would create an amazing scent as the warmth of the candles heats up the beans.

Candles and coffee beans
>>>>>These little candle holders look very easy to make. You just need a good gold texta! There’s some simple instructions on Creature Comforts.


>>>>>Make some dotty, spotty vases by following the instructions on The Crafted Life. You are meant to buy a special paint but I think I could do this with nail polish!

Spotty vase

>>>>>Moving away from candles and to the cake sphere, this looks like a beautiful but easy way to decorate. Just some fresh flowers, berries and mint. Oh and lots of pink sprinkles.
>>>>>And to make pretty gift wrap accessories all you need is some gold spray paint.

Maybe I’m on my way to being a crafty minx after all?

For the love of oats

Following on from my last post about breakfast, I’d like to say something about oats. And that is that I’m ahbb-SESSED with them! Especially bircher muesli. I have a deep, deep love for bircher.

The first time I ever tried it was years ago when Donna and I stayed with Tomas and Jones. Before we went to bed one night, Tomas got to work peeling apples and soaking oats for the next morning. Oh my yum, it was one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had.

After that, any time that The Don and I would breakfast together, we’d always get the bircher.

These days I have a paleo-ish diet. Oats being the ‘ish’ part of the diet. I’ll never give them up!

I like to think of myself  as the homemade muesli queen! I generally make a big container full of muesli every few weeks and that’s what I have for breakfast both days. My desk buddy Michelle has shared an Italian secret with me – eat your muesli with coffee rather than plain milk. It makes for a warm, delicious, winter brekfast.

Shall I share my favourite recipes with you?


1) Fit Foodie Finds has a version of bircher called Good for you overnight oats.
Coconut milk is used for the soaking which makes this a very refreshing breakfast. It’s gorgeous in summer.


2) On the same website, Lee also has a recipe for Coconut Chia Granola
I’ve realised that granola is the American term for muesli. I actually think granola sounds better. It feels crunchy, don’t you think? With this one, you have to make sure you add enough milk to your bowl. Because here’s a fun fact about chia seeds: If you eat dry chia, it will absorb water in your stomach, which can cause cramping if you eat too much. However, if your chia has already been soaked in a liquid, you will be consuming extra water, which will be released into your system as the chia is digested.


3) This is the WholeFood Simply version of overnight oats.
It involves berries, coconut and a smattering of macadamia nuts.


4) Eat, run & everything in between has a peanut butter & jelly version of overnight oats.
Except there’s no peanut butter or jelly in it. Which frankly seems like a good thing!

5) Toasted coconut buckwheat.
Thank you Veggie Mama for this ridiculously sublime recipe! Side note – do you follow this awesome chic? She is a most excellent home grown blogger and I highly recommend you add her to your reader.


6) Banana bread granola from Minamalist Baker.
This is so good it’s bananas! (sorry)


7) And lastly, my grand pooh-bah in muesli.
This cardamom hazelnut granola is from Naturally Ella. This is my FAVOURITE of favourites. I LOVE this granola. Do you hear what I’m saying? It is amazing! Make it! The cardamom gives it just that little bit of a spicy kick and by using hot coffee rather than milk, the combo is perfection.




If you have any of your own bircher/overnight oats/granola/muesli recipes to share – do so below!

Note – all images come from the blogs mentioned above.

Breaking your fast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day but if you ask me, it’s also the most boring. I always struggle to think of interesting and different things to eat at the start of the day. Whenever I do have something delicious to break my fast, I feel the need to photograph the moment.

Some of my favourite breakfasts from lately are:

1) Scrambled eggs (always scrambled because I hate runny eggs) with smoked salmon, capers and black grapes.  IMG_5991 2) Bacon, tomato and an omelette of sorts cooked on the BBQ.IMG_6022 3) Savoury muffins that preferably involve olives and basil like theseIMG_60624) Strawberry, apple and almond breakfast muffins from What Katie Ate.IMG_6116 5) Porridge with peanut butter and frozen berries. IMG_6916

And lastly, I need to mention this breakfast that Mel made me on the very first day of the year. Even though 8 months have passed, it is still the best breakfast I’ve had in 2014.
There was rocket, scrambled egg, guacamole, bacon, tomatoes marinated in olive oil and parsley and a whole lot of flaked, toasted almonds. Yum.


What do you eat for breakfast???

Listing it up

So I’ve been listing up a storm in the book Melly made me for my birthday. This book is MEANT to last until my next birthday. But I don’t see that happening. Once I start filling in one pretty page, I don’t want to stop and before I know it I’ve finished a bunch. I guess self discipline is something I need to work on :)

Here’s a few more lists from lately. And one page where my brain turned to mush and I forgot that I was meant to be making a list and instead wrote a few paragraphs instead. But it’s MY book so I can do what I want, yeah?

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A whole book for lists

For my birthday earlier this year, my gorgeous, gregarious, girl Mel made me the most delightful present. It’s a scrap book of sorts. But not just ANY scrap book. It’s a personally designed book for list lovers that she created especially for me. Mel made 52 headings, then themed up every page, leaving me to fill in the blanks each week for a year.

As you’ll see in the pages revealed below, the book is a lot of fun! The time and thought that went into this blew my mind.

You rock Melissa!

Here’s a bunch of lists for your perusal :) Excuse my hideous hand writing and also the quality of some of these pics.


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My old friend Carrie

I watched the original version of Footloose this week. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen it and I loved the crap out of it! But then I pretty much love anything that has dancing slash singing in it.

I was most pleased to discover that Sarah-Jessica Parker had a part. I’ve missed her. Carrie from Sex in the City is one of my favourite characters of all time. That show was nothing short of brilliant.

After finishing the movie, down the rabbit hole I fell into online Sarah-Jessica research. What’s she been doing since SITC? How are her kids? Does she have any good films coming up? Will there be any further movies?

I stumbled across this video that Vogue made earlier this year. Have you seen it? They give her five minutes to answer 73 questions. It’s clearly very rehearsed but I like what they did. She’s a cutie.

And now let’s look back at Marie Claire’s best Carrie Bradshaw quotes of all time. I wanted to pull out a few of my favourites and post them here, but then I realised that I was copying the entire list.

I miss you Carrie!


You know how sometimes you read something and it just sticks with you? Well these links below are those kind of pieces for me. Each article has been something that I keep finding myself thinking about and/or hearing myself referring to. They’re all really different and I hope you can take something from them too.


*** This first piece is a fascinating essay written from the perspective of a pig farmer who has started to believe that killing animals is wrong. I’m not a vegetarian and probably never will be but I also get frustrated with people who say ignorant things like ‘If we’re not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?’ I personally only ever want to eat animals if I know they have been killed humanely so this was a brutally interesting essay for me.

***This article is one of the best things I’ve read all year. It’s about dealing with grief and the support you can offer to people who have gone through a tragedy. I like the suggestion that in tough times, there are fire-fighters and builders. Fire-fighters are the friends who turn up when something terrible has happened and they help you through the immediate crises. Builders are the friends who maybe didn’t know what to say or do during the tragedy, but they come afterwards and help you rebuild your life after everyone else has gone back to their own world. Apparently very few people can perform both roles. I’d like to think that I could be both things for my friends if the time came.

***This post made me think of my friend Justine. We often talk about how we’re scared of offending or upsetting people, so we go along to things or spend time with people when we really don’t want to. The short article is about how making those kind of choices is all about fear and not about love. Good food for thought.

***Have you read this excerpt from Rob Lowe’s book? It’s about sending his son off to college. Rob is such a wonderful writer! He has the most beautiful way with words and now I really want to read his whole memoir.

*** This article reminded me that we must always strive to be kind and thoughtful. When I first came across this story, I almost didn’t read it because I found the first photo to a bit much. But what a beautiful story. It was a balm to my heart. In life, we all need to show up with open eyes and open hearts and reach out to people in different ways.

***This interview with someone who lives in a teeny, tiny space is something I found really cute.  I love how she says that safe and cosy small spaces have always made her feel safe. And it’s a good reminder that you can live in a small space and still have a big life.

Have you read anything lately that you care to share?


Neen hearts quinoa

Can we take a moment for me to tell you how much I love quinoa? It’s not a new love, I’ve been a fan since the rest of the world discovered that the Peruvians were keeping their super grain a secret.


No other food makes me feel so satisfied in a non full way. Does that make sense? 

No other food leaves my palate feeling so clean.I guess sushi comes a close second, but that’s a whole other love affair.

My favourite quinoa  combo is this one. You basically mix sautéed Spanish onion with either smoked or flaked baked salmon (or canned if you care for that, which I don’t) and a bunch of greens. Voila! The perfect lunch.

I also very much like this recipe because a quinoa/pesto match is one I believe to be made in heaven.

Do you have any recipes you can share? What are you eating and loving right now?


When you’re wanderlust like me, you spend a lot of time trawling the interwebs for travel related reading material. I’ve recently found a blog called I’m a traveller not a tourist and I’m addicted to it.

The posts are filled with cute infographics like this one.



And this. I’ve only been to 10 of these attractions. Clearly I nearly to spend more time exploring the world!


And relatedly, there’s a few other great travel posts I’ve read lately. Including:

– This piece on travelling alone. I know it’s easy to say this when you’re in a comfortable relationship and therefore have a built in travel partner, but I really think I could travel alone quite easily. It’s certainly a fun thing to do with other people but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easier than being by yourself!

These travel tips for Japanese people who visit the USA made me laugh. I don’t think we realise how strange our everyday behaviour is until we see it through the eyes of others.

– These NYC travel tips also made me laugh. Anyone who has ever lived in a city will be able to relate to these!

– And then there’s this fab post! This guy lists 20 things he learnt while travelling. My favourite is him pointing out that nobody but Americans care about America.

And now it’s time to head to TripAdvisor so I can start planning my next adventure…..