Monday, September 8, 2014
This will be my last post on Tastes Like Love. I made the decision to jump ship and start a new blog a couple of months back, and that is what I've been working on. My new blog And Together We is where I'll be from now on. Thank you for reading along the past couple of years and for all your sweet comments.
Friday, July 11, 2014
I took my new sewing skills up a notch and made a scatter cushion cover for a friend
It was mine & Luke's 5th wedding anniversary
We celebrated our five years with a five course dinner
Romy kicked her ball around outside all week
And we spent most of our mornings and afternoons outside
On Thursday Romy slept in until 9 am (!!!) & we had a late breakfast at a new favourite bakery
Saturday, July 5, 2014
[ this corner ]
When decorating a space the corners can sometimes be the hardest part to work with. When you put certain pieces of furniture in them they can close the rooms flow and often sit awkwardly. I have been guilty in the past of just keeping bookcases and such in the corners because I didn't have the foresight to move them over a little and put something next to them to open up the space a little more. Corners don't have to be The Challenge in decorating your home and creating a dynamic space.
Friday, July 4, 2014
So far this year Luke & I have given ourselves a taste of giving old furniture a second run with a fresh coat of paint. We made cocktail jugs up on Sunday afternoons throughout summer. We spent more time outside together having afternoon picnics & playing in the park. We moved to Newcastle & our new place has a perfectly functioning oven so now I bake sweet treats and make an effort with dinner. Romy turned one! I cut off my ponytail that I rapidly grew during my pregnancy. Romy & I went to the Gold Coast for a Mother Daughter Weekend with my family. We celebrated a friends engagement (together AND on a Saturday night, which is an obscenely rare thing to do with Luke). My friend Ally & I have started a little side project together that has kept me busy for weeks now. And my mum started teaching me how to sew.
It didn't feel so long ago that I was thinking just how different things would be half way through the year. Well, it is now halfway through the year, and things are most definitely different to how they were from January, and last July seems like a lifetime (too dramatic?) ago. When I look back on the past six months I feel like I have wasted a lot of the year & that is something I want to keep in mind for the last half of the year - to keep focus and not waste copious amounts of precious time.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
[ source ]
2014 seems to just be passing me by! It is now officially the middle of the year and I have to shake that 'new year' feeling that I usually cling on to for as long as I can. I spent most of June quite focused working on new illustrations for a side project with a friend, and while I was really inspired with my illustrations I struggled to find/make the time to post on here. And I didn't even feel bad about it. Prior to moving back to Newcastle I was posting quite regularly and putting a lot of my creative energy into blogging and not a lot into drawing or design. So for me, June was spent sorting out my priorities and I'm feeling really positive about it. I don't want to keep saying to myself 'oh, I'll do that later', because later keeps getting pushed back farther and farther. And you know what they say - "it's later than you think".
This month I want to read two books, draw four illustrations, try out a new dinner recipe, bake a fruit loaf, post three times a week, print photos from the last few months & spruce up our blanket box with a coat of paint.
Monday, June 16, 2014
"a picture of my daughter, once a week, every week in 2014"
This kid likes to pull faces, let me tell you. This week Romy started to really refine her 'cranky' face with one raised eyebrow and all. It's the face she pulls at me when I go into her room first thing in the morning, and it is almost as good as a big cheesy smile. She knows we find her 'cranky' face funny and a sly grin usually comes straight after. Her cheeky personality is definitely shining through more and more each day.
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Lately I've had more of an interest in trying new recipes & experimenting with everyday ingredients in a different way. One everyday ingredient that I'm enjoying using & that is pretty darn versatile is apples. My favourite & first choice of apple is the Pink Lady apple, I like to grate it & add it to our coleslaw mix & salad wraps. I read in a magazine a few years ago that someone added grated apple to their spaghetti bolognase & while that seemed weird to me at the time I totally get it now! It also goes quite nicely in quinoa dishes and salads. Now that it's getting to the colder months I'm pretty interested in trying out the curried apple soup, I don't know how it would go but it sure sounds interesting!
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Reading: I'm finallllly getting around to finishing off the Sookie Stackhouse books, which I started reading way back in 2009. I got hooked on them instantly and even though I'm not usually into that sort of supernatural fantasy fiction, I couldn't stop reading them. Well, that was until I got swamped by my homework and distracted with the tv series adaptation and after season two of that my interest completely fizzled out for poor old Sookies woes. Until a couple of weeks ago when I was unpacking a couple of boxes I found 'Dead & Gone' and got stuck into it and finished it in a week or so. These books are super easy to read and so ridiculous that you need to keep on reading, plus I really look forward to the parts with Eric in them. I have just two more to go.
Watching: Luke & I just finished watching 'Breaking Bad', and holy smokes! After years of being told to watch this series I finally let my guard down about it and gave it a go. My bff sent me a copy of season one in the mail and Luke & I were instantly drawn into Walter White's wrong turn. We had a little break before watching the final 8 episodes, and halfway through them I just wanted it to be done because it was making me feel stressed out for the characters. I hated feeling like Hank was the bad guy and not wanting Walter to get caught, when if this was a situation in real life most people would be disgusted with Walter's actions. So the last episode was quite a satisfying end to Walter White's tumultuous journey.
Listening to: Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience. Every morning when Romy has her breakfast, and when she is being fussy at meal times. She loves it! She really seems to like Jay Z's rap in 'Suit & Tie', (I kid you not) she gets her little fingers in a pointing gesture and bounces up excitedly when it comes on. We're going to have to find something else for her to get hooked on because I'm starting to hear these songs even when they aren't playing.
Loving: The colder weather that has just started to kick in here & while I'm sure I'll complain about it if it gets really cold, for now I'm loving it. I put flannelette sheets on our bed a couple of nights ago and it was simply magical getting to sleep on them for the first night of winter.
Working on: A project with my buddy Ally. It's in the early stages at the moment but it's really exciting.
Eating: Scones with jam. Last weekend Luke's Mum & Grandmother came to visit Romy so for afternoon tea we made a batch of scones up, and a few days later when my parents visited they came with a basket of scones in toe. So we've been making the most of this scone run with cups of tea and it certainly has been the weather for it here.
Looking forward to: Season 5 of Pretty Little Liars, I mean, aren't you?
Monday, June 9, 2014
"a picture of my daughter, once a week, every week in 2014"
I set out to post a picture of Romy each week so at the end of the year when I get that end-of-the-year-nostaligia I can look back on how much she changed from week to week. I missed quite a few weeks on my blogging sabbatical so instead of taking a new picture today, I thought I would come back with a bang with this beautiful photo taken almost two weeks ago by Rikki Jones. Aside from being a 10/10 kind of person, Rikki takes the most delicately crafted memories without missing a single bit of detail. Seconds before Rikki snapped this picture of Romy she was mid-tantrum throwing the washer out of the sink because she didn't want to get out of the water, and then Rikki appears with her camera and all was forgotten. Romy loves having her picture taken!
Sunday, June 8, 2014
It was my choice this Sunday, & by the time Luke got home from work it was too late to go to the shops to get anything specific so I worked with what I had and decided to go with all green ingredients. This week I put on small florets of broccoli, capsicum, avocado, sautéed zucchini & steamed silver beet. I had to fight every urge within me not to put mushrooms on this pizza as I usually put mushrooms on everything.
It wasn't a horrible pizza, but the topping took on a slight packaged pizza taste and I think that was because of the raw broccoli. Next time I'm the pizza sheriff and use broccoli as topping I will steam the florets a little beforehand to see if that makes a difference. I would give it 5/10.
Saturday, June 7, 2014
Thursday, June 5, 2014
When we moved back to Newcastle I was by myself in our new house for the first few weeks while Luke finished up at his old job, and in that time I was forced to face my ongoing struggle with cooking decent meals for myself. Until recently I hated cooking dinner, and trying to think up something different each night that would require next to no cooking skills. So steamed vegetables are quite obviously a big staple in my dinner menu. I've always wanted to put in the effort to extend my cooking skills, but have never made the time to do so. Now, I am definitely not saying that I can now excel in dinner delights, but now I plan ahead during the day and have expanded on my steamed vegetable dinners. I'm the dinner sheriff a couple of evenings a week when Luke is working and for one night of the week I try and make something different and put a new go-to meal in the works, it might not happen every single week but I most certainly am putting in a hundred times more effort than I did four months ago. So I thought I would share my go-to dinner meals that are ridiculously simple, quick & easy to put together.
This is my first choice go-to meal, and something I have for dinner at least one night each week because above being quick & easy, it is delicious! I have chip sized cuts of sweet potato & white potato all ready to go in the fridge for steaming & baking for dinners & Romy's lunch during the week so this cuts down dinner prep time by a lot. I put a small handful in the oven to bake for 20 mins or so & season them with cracked pepper & sea salt. While the chips are baking I cut up a large silver beet leaf, a few large florets of cauliflower & broccoli and steam those. And when both of those are almost ready I sauté a couple of mushrooms and half a zucchini, and then you're done!
Steamed Veggies & Quinoa
Normally when Luke makes quinoa based dinners we always have a decent portion left over, & I found a great way to use it up in an easy dinner. I cut up whatever vegetables I want to have with it which is usually sweet potato, pumpkin, silver beet, cauliflower, broccoli, carrot, mushroom & zucchini, and steam them. Once they've finished steaming I chuck them in a sauce pan with a little bit of olive oil & moroccan spice to flavour and then your dinner is ready! If you've got quinoa boiled & ready to go this meal takes no longer than ten minutes to put together.
'Meat' & Veg
This is a great option for last minute dinners, or for when you just don't care what you're eating so long as its half decent. Now while I don't include actual meat in my diet I do keep vegetarian bbq sausages in the freezer for these types of meals. Before you pass mashed vegetables off as 'baby food' consider just have many veggies you're having in this one serve - half a medium carrot, a large silver beet leaf, a handful of sweet potato & pumpkin, and four florets each of cauliflower & broccoli. Not a bad amount for baby food. Some nights I have just a bowl of mashed veggies. I also cut up half a zucchini & two mushrooms and sautéed them in a hot pan, these two ingredients together are the perfect side combination that I almost put with most things.
Sunday, June 1, 2014
Vegetarian with spicy olives
This week I was in charge of the pizza making & much to Luke's dismay I did not put nearly as much cheese topping as he does & found I enjoyed it a lot more. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing better than a cheesy pizza but the spicy olives were the hero this week & leaving off the extra cheese sprinkle was for the best. It has been quite some time since I made just a basic veggie pizza, & it has been even longer since I added olives to the mix as I go through phases with them.
For this weeks simple vegetarian pizza I cut up cherry tomatoes, baby spinach, mushrooms, red onion, Danish feta, & spicy chilli & garlic stuffed olives from the deli. The olives gave this simple veggie pizza the extra kick it needed!
[ here ]Hey June, you're here already! Last month I took quite an extended break from blogging for a couple of reasons. I needed to take a step back & not have anything to do or worry about & while it was great to have free evenings to do as I pleased, I do like to be busy & this little blogging hobby definitely keeps me busy & keeps my creative mind ticking up ideas. As soon as I sat down to plan this months blog posts I came up with so many great ideas for all kinds of other projects, illustrations & new content. At the beginning of the year I spent a good amount of time planning new posts and features for this space, & while some have stuck I did let a few of the newer features slide because I just didn't feel like they were a good fit for me on this space. And thats okay, you have to try these things to know they aren't for you. Also at the beginning of this year my little family uprooted and moved back to Newcastle to start things afresh. And while we have been here since the end of March it has only been in the last couple of weeks that we have finally unpacked everything, made space for new furniture & found places for old knick knacks. We also recently switched our internet providers & now we have a much better internet connection, so that was another reason for my extended hiatus.
I have a couple of months worth of internet to catch up on so I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of things & reading new blogs. The few times I did sign into my blog I noticed my feed was flooded with sponsored content & outfit posts. While that is a really great achievement for those bloggers to be able to stock their closets with sent items & blog about it, I would really like to find some new blogs just about everyday life. I like reading about what you did over the weekend, and how you spent your days off. Don't get me wrong I also like seeing what you wore & what you're buying & trying, but I also read magazines so I can get my sponsored fill from those, ya know? Anyway, I'm looking forward to a new outlook this month & once again being focused on positive change & creativity.
Friday, May 2, 2014
It's been almost two weeks since I've posted anything & I could tell you its because I've been really busy, but it is mostly because I haven't really been inspired to. So many new changes have been happening offline that I wanted to take a step back & adjust in my own time. I have come to realise that I put a lot of pressure on myself to do as much as I can & I sometimes miss what is important. And the most important thing right now is to simply just be. No to-do lists, no expectations & no obligations. I've just been taking each day as it comes & watching Romy grow bigger & bigger by the second. Some mornings I feel extremely unsettled without a list of things that I need to do, or a daily agenda, but reminding myself that it's okay to just go with whatever happens during the day is where I'm at.
Just before we moved Luke & I talked about all the nesting projects we wanted to do after we were settled, & how I had so many things I wanted to accomplish within a certain amount of time as well as all the other mundane, grown up things that needed to be done. And that was when Luke suggested the most ridiculous thing to me, he suggested I take a break from everything & spend my evenings & Romy's nap times doing nothing. I remember quite clearly laughing at the thought of it because I find it hard to relax & switch off, but after two weeks of solid practice I think I'm getting the hang of it! I'm allowing myself another week or so before I kick back into gear & get going on a couple of things.
Monday, April 21, 2014
"a portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week in 2014"
Luke & I have been feeling quite nostalgic this week & have been looking back at every single photo we have taken of Romy since her first day. And it is extremely hard to believe that it has been an entire year since this amazing little girl has come into our lives.
On Good Friday we took Romy to the park
My parents, sister Ashleigh & brother-in-law Allan all came over for morning tea on Saturday, & Luke & I baked a fresh batch of scones for our family catch up. My parents just got back from an anniversary holiday to Thailand, so it was nice to hear all about their adventures.
On Sunday morning we met up with Ash & Al at the farmers market for a little morning market date. It was Luke's first time at the Newcastle farmers market, & he loved it!
And to finish our Easter long weekend off we celebrated Romy's very first birthday!
Friday, April 18, 2014
Things have been a little quiet around here because I still haven't got around to fixing our slow internet connection (guys, it's crazy slow), and Luke has officially finished up at his old job on the coast & is back with us full time. So we've been making the most of his spare time together before he starts at his new job next week. And for the first time in a good couple of years Luke actually has the Easter break off work, so we will be getting to spend a good couple of days together.
Today my sister Ashleigh was finally able to come visit again after being sick for a week, so we spent most of the morning with her while Romy was crawling around the place like a crazy nut. And when she went down for her nap & my sister left we made a cheese plate & had afternoon drinks while we watched the new episodes of The Mindy Project (I hate you Danny Costellano!), & then took Romy to the park after her nap. Normally as soon as we're outside at the park she wants to get amongst it as quick as she can, but today it took her a little longer to warm up to it all. She didn't crack a smile for the first half an hour we were there, and it wasn't until she saw a dog that she let her guard down & let some joy into her little soul! We took some of her toys with us so she could play with them, but our little darling doesn't seem to enjoy children's toys too much as she would much prefer to go through my bag & look at boring things like chewing gum & flybuys cards. It is little wonder though, she will be turning one in a couple of days after all! Happy Good Friday!
Monday, April 14, 2014
"a portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week in 2014"
This isn't so much of a portrait of Romy, but this picture really sums up her spirit this week. She has been into everything! We have the stairs barricaded off so she can't climb them, so she found another way to get onto the stairs through the sides. And she loves putting her head into the washing machine to either scream really loudly, or bang her xylophone stick on the inside because it makes a much louder noise than the xylophone keys!
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Pizza Sunday almost didn't happen tonight, I was so close to just ordering pizza and letting that be it but as a last minute decision I decided to not be lazy and just make something. I also took the opportunity to use a bbq sauce base as Luke isn't a fan of the bbq base and I do prefer it.
I kept it simple tonight, I just sautéed a couple of mushrooms in a pan with brown sugar & balsamic, sprinkled two handfuls of baby spinach, sun dried tomatoes & avocado slivers and put that bad boy in the oven!
It was a quick & tasty Pizza Sunday.
Friday, April 11, 2014
[ source ]
Luke & I moved back to Newcastle from the Central Coast two weeks ago, & for the majority of that time Luke has still been staying at the Coast finishing up at his old work. I've mentioned before that our move was sudden because finding a house was quite difficult at this time of year because there are lots of people relocating for school & work, so the rental market gets quite competitive. So we didn't have a moving date set in stone for Luke to give his notice, so he handed it in when we moved and agreed to stay an extra week so the head chef could take his holidays. Which was nice for his head chef, but extremely annoying for me! I wasn't too worried about being by myself for two weeks with Romy, I spend the majority of my time with her alone while Luke is at work anyway. However, Luke does the morning bath routine while I get ready for the day, & then in the afternoons I get an hour to catch up on some stuff during his afternoon break. Which make my days run smoothly, and now that our routine has changed significantly and I am doing everything by myself, it is dawning on me just how amazing single parents are!
I don't want to offend anyone reading this and compare our situations, because they are completely different, but this time by myself has been an inspiring, personal challenge. Those single parents that do this day in and day out are just amazing! It can be extremely challenging raising a baby on the best of days, even when I have Luke to come home and relieve me of my parental responsibilities so I can run some errands in the afternoon. But to not have that, & then to be solely responsible 100% of the time for your child's every waking need, making meals, looking after yourself and maintaining a household - I don't know how you guys do it! I am normally a bit of a night owl & use my evenings to do things like drawing, making things, blogging, reading & watching box sets, but the past week or so I've been calling it a day not long after Romy goes to sleep. Aside from my week in hospital last year, I can't even remember a time where I consecutively went to bed earlier than 9 pm.
I really shouldn't complain too much though, because while this time alone has been a challenge, & it has also been a much needed personal challenge. Before we moved I rarely made meals because I'm not too sharp in the kitchen & Luke is a chef, so if I wanted to try something Luke would happily make it for me. This was something I wanted to work on post-move & I definitely have made a start on my culinary skills & feel confident to try our new things with an open mind rather than chalking it down to 'I can't cook!'. On Luke's rostered days off he has been coming to Newcastle & this week I even made him dinner for a change without any of his help & it felt really good to be able to put together a proper meal that I used a recipe for. A couple of years ago I read somewhere that you should always try & take something from each situation you find yourself in, & I definitely feel that these past couple of weeks have been a reminder that I need to stop relying on other people so much & work on becoming more independent.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Monday, April 7, 2014
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Mini Veggie Delight
This week's pizza Sunday was a solo effort as Luke is still staying at the coast while he finishes up at his old job. I didn't want to make an entire pizza for myself so I bought some smaller pizza bases to stick in the freezer for this week and next while I'm without my pizza partner.
On my mini veggie delights I put spinach, mushroom, red onion, avocado, cherry tomatoes & red capsicum. It was nice to just have a run of the mill veggie pizza. It didn't really look that appetising, but it was pretty tasty.