Sunday, 15 April 2018

Improve Your Meal Plan Game



If anything makes me feel adult, it's making a meal plan, and actually sticking to it. I love that I can come in from work and know exactly what I am going to eat, and usually put it in the microwave to heat up. It means no food wastage, I'm spending less money in my weekly shop, and I know that I am getting some pretty good healthy meals. I have also started eating veggie which is a total game changer and makes me cook more things from scratch rather than reaching for a jar of sauce.

1. Plan ahead and research
Spend Friday night researching and planning for the week - obviously unless you have a much ore active social life than I do. I usually head over to Pinterest, BBC Good Food, or browse some supermarket websites (thrilling Friday night activities, I know), to think of inspiration and what kind of products are out there. Factor in cooking time, whether you'll make it in advance and freeze, or cook when you get in from work. A lot of the things I have are made in advance and frozen.

2. Write a shopping list and stick to it!
After planning lunch and dinners for each day, I write a shopping list and head off to Lidl early on a Saturday morning. I try to stick to it as much as I can, grabbing the occasional things if they are on offer, but I try and stick as much as I can to my list.

3. Make batches in advance
Especially if your meals include a lot of vegetables and to stop them from going off very quickly, I will make my meals in advance, probably on the Sunday afternoon or evening. Therefore, the vegetables won't go to waste before you get to use them, plus all you have to do when it's done is freeze it in freezer bags or pots, and put in the fridge before you go to work.

4. Have a few easy good recipes up your sleeve and basic ingredients in your cupboard
Know how to make recipes like a simple carbonara, a jacket potato or sweet potato fries. You can slot these into your week so you don't end up eating the same thing every night. I also make sure I always have chopped tomatoes or pasatta, oil, garlic (I use lazy garlic), pasta, pesto, and more recently, chickpeas in my cupboard.

My Go To Make Ahead And Freeze Meals
- Vegetable fajitas 
- Vegetable curry
- Enchiladas
- Chilli Con Carne

Go out and smash that adulting.


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Monday, 9 April 2018

The Graduate Diaries | Two Years On...


Maybe I should start calling The Graduate Diaries, The Adulting Diaries, but I still feel like I am trying to navigate life after university, even though it has almost been two years.

This stage of life is very strange, and no one really prepares you for it at all. There are some friends who are moving in with their boyfriends / girlfriends, some married, some pregnant, some still in university, some in amazing jobs and some who are still struggling two years on to find something permanent.

I have to remember that everyone has different timelines and everyone wants different things. There is no one size fits all for life after university. Not only are you adjusting to moving back home, or moving somewhere completely new, you're losing the safety university life. For me, adapting to the working world, was a massive step and is much harder than it is given credit for.

The last seven months in my second job have been an eye opening experience. I've had to grow up, take risks and speak up more than I have ever had to do before. I'm given real responsibility and have to bear the consequences if things go wrong. I have to balance working professional relationships, personal relationships whilst trying to eat healthily, fit in some form of exercise (because that's what adults seem to be able to do) and resist the urge to buy homeware I definitely don't need. So things could be a lot worse, I don't have a romantic relationship, a family or kids to have to think about, but even then, the thing with different time lines is that I see other people achieving different things.

Now, let's move onto social media in this life post-university. During university, posting selfies, pre-drink poses and club photos was seen as the done thing, to show everyone what an amazing time you are having. You don't post about all the times you were in the library, stressing over an essay or dissertation. I feel that with a lot of my friends, and even my self, you have to show yourself in working life that you can have it all, a relationship, friendships, eat healthily and have a job. Bonus points if your job is something really exciting. It's like we're all trying to prove that we can do it and function. It isn't until you see those people in real life where you realise that things aren't all as they seem. They're having problems living at home, they hate their job or they just broke up with someone and not taking it well.

I don't really know where I'm going with this, but talking to a lot of my friends who are graduating this summer and friends who I haven't seen for a long time, that there is no one way to navigate life after university. It's hard, you'll feel lonely, you'll feel like you're falling behind whilst simultaneously feeling ahead.  You'll sometimes crumble under the pressure of adult life and adult responsibilities, but you'll also thrive and grow more as a person. Start focusing on yourself - self care is so important in whichever way you find best, surround yourself with supportive people, but come out of your comfort zone every once in a while. Everyone's still learning. We can do it.







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Thursday, 5 April 2018

8 Happy Things This Week


I love reading posts like this. It always makes me feel happy seeing other people's good things that have happened to them lately. So here are some of mine - it really has been a brilliant Easter weekend.

1. Catching Up With Old Friends

For the long Easter weekend, I went to see some friends from university who I hadn't seen since I graduated a year and a half ago. It was such a lovely weekend filled with singing, laughing, walking and cooking. It was utterly perfect.

2. Hamilton Lottery

To top off my awesome Easter weekend, I won the Hamilton lottery on the app for Easter Monday. If you win, you have the chance to buy up to two tickets for £10 each. I jumped at the chance having already seen it in January (review here) and took a work colleague who really wanted to see it but couldn't get tickets. We ended up sitting in the front row which was incredible. I laughed and cried all over again and got the chance to see some of the alternate cast members (who were insane). It was the perfect weekend and I feel very very lucky to have seen Hamilton twice!

3. Baking Macarons

My latest baking attempt has been macarons. It has taken a few tries, but I think I have now figured out how to get them with feet - the crinkly bit around the bottom - and with flat tops. Watch this space for recipe and tips.

4. Work

Work is finally getting busy, I actually came home and caught up with some things which is so unlike me. I am also feeling crazy inspired at the moment having met some great people in the industry and generally getting excited for the future.

5. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

This book is something I wasn't expecting to like so much. The character and story was not hugely relate able and I didn't really like Eleanor as a character at the beginning, but the story was so cleverly written, covering aspects of living alone, navigating work and relationships, mental health and childhood. Definitely check it out if you fancy something a little different.

6. Light Evenings

Thank goodness Winter is over and Spring is here (well, except with the amount of rain we are having at the moment!). Light evenings make me want to be a lot more productive, which will hopefully mean I will start doing productive things - well, a girl can dream.

7. Netflix Binging

I am currently watching A Series Of Unfortunate Events, Ru Paul's Drag Race and of course, my favourite show, The Great British Bake Off - and I'm going to join in with all the internet by saying, how strange is the first series! I have actually been following Ed Kimble, who won the series, on Instagram for ages and din't realise he won the Bake-Off (sorry Ed), I clearly wasn't a huge fan of the show back when it started. It however is giving me a lot of inspiration for my next baking project, which I think is going to be bread.

8. 4 Day Working Weeks

Two in a row... fantastic.




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