Health(ier) Diner Food – Cheeseburger, Fries and Pie!

I’m trying to eat healthier and exercise more lately, but I still love my old favourite junk foods – which include burgers, fries and pie. Instead of going somewhere like McDonalds, I’ve decided to make it myself to save calories. I forgot to take photos of the end products though – sorry! Here’s the recipes I used:

dieting
Image Source: healthmeup

Recipe #1: Cheeseburger (serves 1). 

1.1 (RSPCA approved) Chicken Breast

2. 1/2 tsp aioli

3. 20 grams of mozzarella cheese

4. 1sp barbecue sauce

5. 1 wholemeal bread roll

6. Arugula to taste.

NB: I like my cheeseburgers very plain, with only meat, cheese, sauce and arugula. Feel free to customise this recipe to your tastes!

Cook the chicken, according to the directions. Once cooked, place on bread roll and top with sauce, cheese and arugula.

Recipe #2: Fries (serves 1-2). 

1. 2 small potatoes, cut into wedges and baked.

2. 1-2 tsp of olive oil, to taste.

3. salt and pepper to taste.

Toss the cut up potatoes in a bowl with the oil, salt, and pepper. Once thoroughly coated, place the potatoes on a baking tray and cook for 30-45 minutes, depending on oven heat.

Recipe #3: Caramel apple pie (serves 1). 

1. 1 apple, cut into small cubes.

2. sprinkle of sultanas

3. 1 tbsp diet caramel sauce

4. 1 tsp brown sugar.

5. 1/2 tsp vanilla essence.

6. 1/2 tsp water.

7. Shortcut pastry

Combine all the ingredients into a bowl, and then pour into a small oven-proof pie dish. Leave in the fridge for 1-3 hours. Heat up the oven according to the pastry directions, and sprinkle more caramel sauce into the mixture, before covering with shortcut pastry. Sprinkle brown sugar on the top of the pastry, before baking.

Tweet me if you make any of these recipes! What are your favourite not-so-healthy foods? What are your favourite healthy recipes? Let me know in the comments!

What’s Been A Happenin’? Jan Edition.

Why, hello there, my chums! Thank you for joining me for the first edition of ‘what’s been a happenin’! This is where I write a long, rambly, post, sporadically interrupted with random pictures which I think are funny but you might not, about stuff I’ve done in the last month. It could be interesting, it could be funny, it could be boring –  but you know what? We’re going to go on this journey together. Buckle up and (try to) enjoy the ride! Fingers crossed for a good outcome, but expect the worst, because I’d rather I exceeded your expectations than disappointed them.

So Janurary started with New Years Eve, in which I was ill and thought my lungs were going to collapse from all the coughing. I spent my rockin’ NYE watching Youtube videos and secretly thanking the powers that be for making me sick so I wouldn’t have to feel guilty about being a social outcast and not twerking at the clubs (is twerking still a thing?) and awkwardly wondering if the guys laughing in that corner are laughing at how I dance like a spoon someone has electrocuted, whilst also thinking of a socially acceptable reason to leave a club at 9pm so I can be tucked up into bed watching Cougar Town by ten.

cougar town
Image Source: Pinterest.

At some point during the month, a point I can’t remember because the only concept of time I have is the days I work and the days my tv shows air on, I took a three year old to see the Paddington  movie. This was a great strategy, because during the scary bits (YES I KNOW IT’S A KIDS MOVIE IT’S SCARY OKAY) I could grab her onto my lap, hold on to her tightly and pretend that I was comforting her (oh, who are we kidding, she wasn’t even scared) when in reality I was using her to shield my eyes from the “dark themes” (more like the stuff of nightmares) on the screen.

into the woods
Me, during the scary scenes. Image Source: rebloggy.com

At another point, I went and saw Into the Woods, which was great except for the scary parts – did anyone else find Johnny Depp especially creepy? I wouldn’t like to encounter him in my woods. Other movies I saw during the month: Annie, which I had conflicted feelings about (it was cute, though), especially when they changed the lyrics to all the songs, and I was not a fan of Jamie Foxx as Daddy Warbucks; and Wild which I absolutely hated. If I wanted to watch a two hour boring monologue of someone reflecting upon their life whilst walking, I would film myself walking to university everyday. Also, someone needs to teach that girl a swear word that isn’t the ‘f’ word. PS. the sex and drug scenes were disturbing.

Later on in the month, I was bribed $50 to go to a political debate between the two candidates for our election. It was filmed, and I was on TV, y’all! Here are some of the updates I sent out during the debate:

photo 2

photo 1

As you can tell, I’m really into politics.

Of course, I also hung out with friends during the month. Mostly I used these experiences as a way to break my healthy eating “lifestyle” (I’m using the air quotes because I don’t think you can call something a lifestyle that is more a way of eating when you only feel guilty about eating too much sugar and start thinking you’ll get diabetes) by suggesting we meet up at cafes which, oh no, have no healthy food on the menu (e.g. chocolate shops). What a shame.

diet plan
Image Source: Healthy Living Heavy Lifting

In all seriousness, I have been eating much healthier than usual as of late. I’ve also been working out 2-4 hours each day, which is mainly because they have more TV channels at the gym than I have at home, but hey! Whatever works, right?

Also, in a dysfunctional family update, my father and his partner might be buying the house my mum and I currently live in. Is this weird? Definitely. It becomes even weirder if you knew about my family history and the situation I grew up in, which I will explain one day, but that’s a post which will probably make me sad and angry, so I’d rather do it on one of those days that you need something to make you have a good cry.

single
Image Source: rebloggy.com

And, romantic entanglements, you ask? LOL. Doll, get with the program: this girl is single, and let’s be real, will probably be single for the foreseeable future. My idea of flirting is sarcasm and being even more awkward than I am now. In order to meet someone, I’m told, you actually need to leave your house, and I’m not really a fan of that. Netflix is a lifestyle, not a hobby, and it’s one that I maintain on a daily basis. The only ‘romantic relationships’ I’m in come in the form of serving a hot guy at work and awkwardly holding his purchase for too long so he’s forced to talk to me for longer.

ggs
Image Source: refinery29

Well, that’s pretty much my monthly recap. If you’ve made it this far, thank you! If you haven’t, well, I don’t blame you. I didn’t really do anything interesting this month!

Did you find this at all entertaining? Would you rather I never do it again? What did you do this month? Let me know in the comments!

Post Playlist:

Life When You’re Single – Lucy White

Skinny Love – Birdy

Jar of Hearts – Christina Perri

A Thousand Years – Christina Perri

Monthly Favourites: January Edition

Hi guys!

So I thought today I might share some of the things I’ve been loving this month. They’re all quite random, and, quick disclaimer: all of the products I purchased myself with my own money, and all opinions are my own. I’ve also been poor this month, hence why I have barely any favourites!

Beauty:

I can’t pull off a flower crown as well as Harry, though. Image credit: Tumblr
  • Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray shampoo. It’s brilliant, and my hair has never looked, felt or cooperated better. It’s also really expensive (excuse me whilst I weep in the corner and count my pennies).
  • Flower crowns. They’re adorable and I’m obsessed.

Entertainment:

taylor swift tumblr
Image Credit: nymag/  taylorswift.tumblr.com
  • Baby Daddy. I watched all four seasons in 2 days. It’s hilarious! (and I don’t have a life).
  • Pushing the Limits books by Katie McGarry. This series is so amazing! (Even though the covers are a little ugly).
  • Taylor Swift’s tumblr. It’s funny and she also gives really good advice.
  • Marie bitsandclips’ Youtube channel. If you don’t know who she is, go check her out. Her videos are relatable, she has a great way of telling stories, and her kids are adorable.
  • Music by Carrie Underwood. Love her songs!

Food:

emma stone
Image Credit: reactiongifs.com
  • Banana smoothies. Especially ones made on frozen bananas and only blended enough to make it icy and taste like liquid soft serve ice cream.
  • Maple butter on buttermilk pancakes. Mmmmm, so good!

Sorry I had so few things to share with you this month! Have you tried any of these things – what do you think of them? What are your favourites from Jan? Let me know in the comments!

Music playlist for this post:

Life When You’re Single – Lucy White

Little Toy Guns – Carrie Underwood

The Fool Proof Way of Effortlessly Cleaning Your Shower

disney princess
Image Found From

So, you guys, I don’t know about you, but I don’t like cleaning my shower. It tastes too long, and you can’t read a book whilst doing it (trust me, I’ve tried). Unfortunately, sometimes you just need to suck it up and clean your shower so when you have visitors, your visitors don’t judge you by having a shower covered in your own filth. When I did a bit of googling today, for ‘effortless shower cleaning’, Google completely failed me (how dare you not cater to lazy shower cleaners, Google!), so I had to come up with my own tactics. And, here, I present to you, my post on ‘How to be somewhat of an adult by cleaning your shower, yet not really because it doesn’t require much of an effort and you can just stand there dancing in your underwear whilst your shower cleans itself’. 

What you’re going to need: as many bottles of things that look like they would clean surfaces, clothes, bacteria, or might do some sort of job of covering up the grime. Personally, I just went to my laundry and grabbed all things I could, and decided to use them, consequences be damned. I’m not going to share exactly what I used, because some weird things were in there, and this isn’t supposed to be a product placement post.

channing
Image Sourced From

Much like a witch in Hocus Pocus, just throw it all in there and hope for the best. If the label says ‘never scrub again’ or ‘stain remover’ or ‘minimal effort needed’ than obviously you don’t need to do anything, apart from to throw large quantities in your shower, turn on the water and walk away right? And BAM, after as many times as you think you need, here you go, a freshly cleaned shower which smells like the combination of lavender (from the toilet cleaner), apricot (from the bottle of body lotion I accidentally split in the process),  eucalyptus (from the clothing stain remover), and bleach (from the bleach). All in all, I used twelve different bottles of things… 8 of which are completely empty now.

As long as you don’t start a fire, clog up your drains or break your shower,  it’s all good. And, besides, if you’re putting that much cleaning liquid in, it’s obviously going to clean itself right? Like the showers in the future will. Even if you don’t see much of a difference, just tell yourself you do. #positivethinking.

You’re welcome in advance.

PS. There’s a reason ‘professional house cleaner’ is listed on my resume, right underneath ‘got an A+ in maths five years running*’.

PPS. *in case you didn’t get it, that was sarcasm. It’s alright. Most people don’t get it. In reality I failed maths five years running.**

PPPS. **unfortunately that wasn’t sarcasm. As you can imagine, my parents were so proud.

PPPPS. This is actually how I clean my shower. I’m a really great adult.

PPPPPS. My shower actually looks really, really clean now. Like, for real.

Music Playlist:

 We Are Young – Fun

I See The Light (cover) – PetesJams and Carrie Hope Fletcher

Irresistible – One Direction 

Dance with Me Tonight – Olly Mums

You Sound Good To Me – Lucy Hale

What Makes You Beautiful – One Direction

All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor 

Save You Tonight – One Direction

Recipe: Health(ier) Fruit, Nut and Chocolate Chip Muffins!

Hi y’all,

So I was walking home from the gym today, when I had a craving for a really rich, really chocolatey, really completely – not – good – for me brownie. Instead of buying one from the bakery right next door to my gym (and oh, how I wanted to) I came home and made these muffins. Now, I’m not going to claim that these are totally healthy – because they’re not – but they’re healthier than a bakery counterpart. And because they have fruit and nuts in them, I claim (to myself) that they’re healthy, and I count that as a win. That’s how it works, right? 🙂

Note: the measurements are all rough. Mainly because I don’t like washing up and every measuring cup/ spoon I use means more washing up. So I just use my own estimates and hope for the best, and this time it turned out well!

healthy food
Image Credit: We Know Memes. The reason I’m not including a photo of the muffins here, is because I’m a terrible food photographer – seriously. Go check out the photo of the sundae in my last post. Also, because with all the cacao and the wholemeal flour, they just looked like brown blobs. Don’t get me wrong, they were delicious brown blobs, but they weren’t pretty enough brown blobs to go on the internet.

Ingredients:

– 1.5 cups of  wholemeal self raising flour

– 125g of butter (but, if you want to be healthier than I am, you could substitute this for honey or maple syrup… Probably.)

– a handful of cranberries*

– 2 handfuls of sultanas*

– 1 banana, cut up into small pieces*

– 2 teaspoons – 1 table spoon of vanilla essence ( adjust accordingly, depending on how much you like vanilla essence)

– 2 teaspoons of cinnamon

– 1 – 2 tablespoons of hazelnut meal (again, adjust accordingly)

– 1 tablespoon of walnut meal

– 2 tablespoons of cacao powder (I personally think that cacao powder tastes like the bottom of someone’s dirty shoe, which is why I put in a bit of ‘real’ chocolate, but if you like cacao, feel free to put in 3 tablespoons of cacao and cut out the good stuff).

– 1-3 small squares of the chocolate of your choice (I personally used Lindt dark mint chocolate, because it’s all I had on hand, and it tasted really good), roughly cut up into small pieces

– 1/2 a cup of shredded coconut

– 1 tablespoon of brown sugar

– 2 eggs

– 1 teaspoon of hot chocolate powder

*Note: these are only the fruits I had on hand that I thought might work okay. Other fruits that might work well: blueberries, apples, raspberries and dried apricot.

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180°C, and crease a 12 hole big muffin pan.

Combine the butter, sugar, bananas, eggs and vanilla in a bowl and mix well, then slowly add in the rest of the ingredients, leaving a small portion (about a tablespoon) of the coconut and one square of chocolate aside. Once these ingredients are mixed in well, place portions of the mixture into each of the holes (about a tablespoon of the mixture in each one). Chop up the square of chocolate into small pieces. Top each muffin with a sprinkle of coconut, and a small sliver of chocolate, then place into your oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.

So, there you have it! I’m going to level with you: it didn’t taste as good as a brownie, but it was still pretty darn good!

Let me know if you try this out! What are your favourite sweet treats? What about your favourite healthy recipes? Tell me about them in the comments – I’d love to try them out!

PS. Today’s playlist:

Tim McGraw – One of Those Nights

Luke Bryan – Drunk on You

Brantley Gilbert – More Than Miles

Taylor Swift – 22 

Peyton Rae – Dare To Live

5 Ways to Save Money on Food Whilst Travelling

Hi everyone,

I’m on a extremely tight budget for my overseas trip (leaving in just over a month!), and if it comes to it I’ll definitely choose new clothes (or a new Kate Spade handbag… Fingers crossed!) over food. To help my budget, I’m going to employ the following tips:

1. Loyalty Programs

Fast food restaurants often have loyalty programs which let you earn points for each purchase, and sometimes reward you just for signing up! The best way to do this, in my opinion at least, is to see the fast food places you’re most likely to eat at (for me, there’s an IHOP next door to one of the hotels I’m staying at, a Ben and Jerry’s at another, and a Dunkin Donuts near another, therefore it’s pretty much inevitable I’ll be going to those places at least once) and then see what loyalty programs they might offer.

I signed up for the Dunkin Donuts loyalty program, which gave me a free hot beverage voucher; Ben and Jerry’s, which gave me a free ice cream voucher; IHOP, which gave me a free stack of pancakes voucher, and Earl of Sandwich which gave me a free brownie voucher (from my recollection, I signed up before my trip last year) – all just for signing up!

If you happen to be travelling around the time of your birthday, these loyalty programs often send you free vouchers for your birthday, too.

2. Buy Somewhere Else

ghiradelli sf
Ghiradelli, Fisherman’s Wharf. The Mecca of all things good (chocolate) in this world.

I am obsessed with Ghiradelli chocolate, which you can’t get anywhere in Australia. Naturally, I will be stocking up when I go to America (…bringing back a full suitcase of chocolate is normal, right??). I’ll be visiting Ghiradelli on Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, and I’ll be visiting Ghiradelli at Downtown Disney in Orlando…. BUT, the likelihood of actually buying chocolate there is slim. Why? Because it’s cheaper elsewhere:

At Ghiradelli in San Francisco, the (amazingly supercalifragilisticexpialidocious-ly delicious) chocolate bars I like are $4.35 + tax. 

At Ghiradelli in Orlando, I’m also assuming they’re $4.35 + tax, if not more (I can’t find the exact price, because I fail at the internet).

At Walgreens in Union Square, right near where I’m staying, it is $2.99 + tax. 

Am I saving much? No, but every dollar counts. Check around for products you like – is it cheaper elsewhere?

3. Snack for Lunch

sundae
Brown bagging lunch for a few days may mean you can splurge on a treat later on!

If you can, have a late/ big breakfast, and then have a ‘snack’ for lunch. Buying a box of granola bars from a supermarket is always going to be cheaper than buying a lunch from a cafe. Options for a (relatively) healthy and filling lunch ‘snack’ are granola bars, nuts and dried fruit or trail mix, or otherwise, if you can, pack a sandwich that doesn’t need refrigeration – like peanut butter or nutella, which can be purchased cheaply at grocery stores – or even some hotel gift shops.

If you’d prefer not to have a granola bar or a PB&J for lunch, some grocery stores offer an inexpensive make your own salad bar, or a cup of soup from a department store food court (e.g. Bloomingdales) can run as cheap as $3.

At some point, I will post a list of cheap (and decent) places that I like to frequent for a cheap lunch when in America, so keep your eye out for that one!

4. Buy Kids Meals

Whilst portion size is inevitably smaller when you buy a kids meal (after all, kids have smaller appetites, right?) they often come with a drink, and in the case of Disney (I’ll be posting a separate ‘how to save money at Disney’ post really soon) and a few other places, come with sides. Whilst it may not be as much food, it can often be up to half the price of an adult meal.

Whilst I find that I can easily eat an adult’s meal, a kids meal does exactly the same job of quelling my hunger – and I’d much rather eat less food, and save money if it comes down to it!

5. Coupons

When you’re grocery shopping overseas, check out for coupons for local grocery stores. I’m constantly checking Coupons.com, Walmart’s coupons, Walgreens’ coupons, and the Food Emporium’s coupons. I also search for coupons for particular fast food places, just buy googling ‘(food place) coupons’. Sometimes, I’m lucky and there’ll be coupons for that particular place, sometimes there won’t be – but it’s worth a shot.

 

This post is getting massively long, and I have to go to the gym now (*sigh*… I’d much rather not), so I’m just going to leave it there, with my 5 best ways of saving money when eating overseas. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments!

How do you save money on food when travelling – or at all? What are your tips? What are your favourite places to get a cheap meal? Let me know in the comments!

PS. I often listen to music when writing these posts, so I thought at the end of each of them I might write the song/songs I listened to whilst writing. Today, I listened to ‘Beat This Summer’ by Brad Paisley on repeat. The video clip is so cute!

1 Day Magic Kingdom Itinerary

Hi everyone,

Similar to the way I made a Harry Potter/ Islands of Adventure/ Universal Studios centred one day itinerary, I also made one for Magic Kingdom at Disney World, because I am a completely obsessive Type A person when it comes to theme parks and not waiting in line for hours on end. Please note that these times are approximates, just based on my research, and this itinerary was created for myself and my friend, who weren’t really interested in meeting characters or the rides targeted towards younger children (that being said.. You’ll notice that Enchanted Tales with Belle and Peter Pan are both on the itinerary! He he 🙂 )

Also note, that I ‘scheduled’ a break at the Grand Floridian. I love the Grand Floridian and think it’s just gorgeous. I also think that my friend and I might need a temporary break from the madness of the Magic Kingdom, and might retreat there for a spot of calm and listening to music and pretending we’re Samantha and Nellie (yes, I do mean the American Girl dolls, and yes, that’ll probably just be me. I’m sorry, the Grand Floridian just makes me think of these beautiful old-timey things!).

Also note, that after lunch, things get a lot more flexible. I don’t know how long we’ll need a break for, and the rides I’ve allocated for ‘after break’ are ones I don’t mind about skipping (well.. as much as I would the other rides, at least!). You’ll also note that I haven’t scheduled the parades in; just because I don’t know if my friend will be interested in seeing them or not, and I am (attempting) to allow at least a little bit of spontaneity in our day!

Here’s the itinerary:

-Ride Peter Pan’s Flight: 9am – 9:15am

-Space Mountain 9:20am – 9:40am

-Ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train with FastPass+: 9:45 am – 10:15am

– Ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: 10:20 am – 10:40am

– Ride Jungle Cruise : 10:50am – 11:20

-Haunted Mansion with FastPass+: 11:40am – 12:00pm.

– Pirates of the Carribean: 12:10pm – 12:30pm.

– It’s a Small World 12:40pm – 1:10pm

Lunch

Enchanted tales with Belle FP+ 1:50pm – 2:50pm

Rebook Fastpass+ kiosks if needed. Head for break at the Grand Floridian.

-People Mover

– Carousel of progress

– Buzz Lightyear

Have you been to Disney? What’s your favourite ride? Do you have any tips for me?

Let me know in the comments!

1 Day ‘Harry Potter’ Focused Universal and Islands of Adventure Ideal Touring Plan

Hi everyone,

I am one of those people who get quite obsessive when planning a trip, and research the death out of activities, hotels, airlines, etc. I have also started an ideal ‘day plan’ for my days, including the day I’m going to visit Universal/ IOA in Orlando. This touring plan was created after reading a lot of material on ride lines and crowd levels. Just FYI, this touring plan is created for a day in off-peak season, and I’ve allowed for 45 – 60 minutes wait time for each ride, just for flexibility (there is absolutely no way I’m waiting an hour for each ride, though – I refuse not to wait anymore than 30 minutes for a ride 😛 )

Note: this touring plan is only for HP related rides, with a few exceptions. I’m not really interested in most of Universal’s rides, except for the HP ones. This touring plan was also created for an off-site guest (staying on site at Disney) in case you were interested.

Touring plan:

8:00 – 9:00: be waiting outside IOA.

9:15 – 10:00: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

10:05- 10:50: Dragon Challenge

10:50 – 11:45am : Hogwarts Express

11:45am – 1:30pm: Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

LUNCH

3:00pm – 4:00pm: ET ride

4:00pm – 5:00pm Amazing Spider Man Ride

5:00 – 6:00 Flight of the Hippogriff

6:00 – 7:00 final shopping

2015 Update

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the absence (I feel like I say that way too much – my own fault for neglecting this blog so much)! I work in retail, so as you can imagine, these last few months have been crazy busy with work, with 6am shifts, and overtime and so, so, so many Christmas carols (the thought of getting our radio to ‘mysteriously disappear’ went through my mind more than once). I really like my job, so it was fun as well as a little (… or a lot..) stressful.

In 6 weeks, I’m jet setting off to America for a month! One of my good friends is coming with me for the first two weeks (not going to lie, I feel a little worried that we may get on each other’s nerves by day two) and I’m travelling solo for the last two. I’m visiting LA, San Francisco, Orlando, New York and Boston. If you have any tips or must-dos, please let me know in the comments! 🙂

I’m going to aim to post more on this blog (I say that every time, I know, I know) and focus more on turning it into a ‘diary style’ blog.

Happy New Years!