Today I wanted to share with you a LL little secret a dessert I have up my sleeve for those weeknights when guests are coming or your family demands or deserves a little treat. I love a dessert which tastes scrummy, can be adapted and is a little healthier than a slice of cake. I got inspiration from Mr. Jamie Oliver (thank you) and modified it to suit what I have in my pantry at the said time. The idea can also made healthier if necessary. I love cheesecake and find the biscuit base the best bit (never understood NY cheesecake.) I do however in the week want to eradicate the butter required to make that crumbly bottom, so I thought what would work as an alternative and granola sprang to mind. Granola is so versatile, perfect for breakie or as a snack but this provides a great base, plus depending on the granola you bake or buy you can use one with nuts, seeds, and dry fruit. Next, I add a dollop of heavenly curd, and this can be of your choosing, this time I chose lemon, but lime, raspberry, rhubarb or any other fruit curd would be delicious. Curd works well with the granola and is also scrumptious with yogurt. Then I add fruit, this again is personal preference, but I would recommend something which compliments the curd of choice. The piece de resistance is the topping which I use mascarpone, but you could use crème fraiche. I place in a bowl add a teaspoon of vanilla essence, and a teaspoon of icing sugar give it a good mix and voila a yummy topping. If you were looking to lighten things up reduce the amount of topping or use yogurt. If mascarpone is not your desire, you could use clotted cream, cream or ice cream. The versatility of this dessert is what makes this a winner. It always feels more sophisticated to present these in martini glasses, it also means you have greater portion control, and if you have dietary requirements, you can make to specific desires. I have also made this in sundae glasses or mason jars; they always look super cute! You can make these ahead, and they can last in the fridge for several days. All which make them a Lifestyle Lady Love.
Happy Monday. Trust your weekend was good. Mine was lovely, Friday night was fun we had friends in for dinner and thank goodness my pizza worked. I can not tell how relieved I am, I have tried so many different pizza stones and baking sheets and finally Sur La Table came to my rescue, I see many a happy pizza night in our future. I also tried a new cheesecake recipe, this was not a baked, meaning I used gelatin. I have avoided gelatin like the plague because I have always been under the impression it was impossible to work with, I am pleased to say that is utter rot. I will now be making many a non baked cheesecake because I think they are delicious. Would you like me to share the recipe? Saturday was quiet, we took a trip to the park where Little L fell off the climbing frame and I tell you my heart stopped to see her fall so far, she was a little winded and her pride a little hurt but other than that thankfully she was unscathed. On Saturday night Mr L and I had a date night, we did our usual which involves a movie and dinner. We went to see Gold, which was super, Matthew McConaughey was first class, He really transforms himself. An added bonus is Edgar Ramirez and ladies if you do not know of whom I speak I urge you to google you will not be disappointed. A movie we both enjoyed, we grabbed dinner afterwards at Blue Fish, goodness I love Sushi so great night all round. Now if you are American and have not been living in a cave you will know that Sunday was Super Bowl day in the USA. More importantly it was being held near the city in which I live giving me all the more reason to go to ground.
Today’s post is to talk about my Sunday routine. On reflection I am wondering if this might be better as a video, if you think so please let me know and I will record myself. I am all for making life as organized as possible, I like to put in place systems which make my week run smoother. I often find how effective I am on a Sunday reflects how much “me time” I get throughout the week. I had never really thought about it as a routine until last week when I thought I am repeating these things each week, over time I have added more and I have found my weeks have run smoother, I thought I have to share this. Let me preface these don’t have to be done on a Sunday, it could be done in anytime that suits your lifestyle. If I am busy on Sunday I will just make sure I do it on a Saturday.
Put a washing load on first thing. This is usually for items that I do specifically once a week, Little L’s school nap blanket, my shower accessories, bathroom hand towels etc. Honestly all my laundry is usually done by Sunday as I do at least one load a day.
Do my ironing. Sunday is ironing day I usually do it in front of the TV or YouTube. I love to have my laundry pressed and put away for the new week. I iron my bed sheets, I then place them in the correct rooms ready to be changed for the week ahead.
Check and repack my daughters school bag. Self explanatory.
Lay out her uniform ready for Monday morning and polish her school shoes. This makes the Monday morning start much less stressful and we have invested in her shoes so it is important to take care of them and for her to see me doing so because one day she will be doing it. Have I ever mentioned how much I love a uniform?
Get my dry cleaning ready. I make sure the items are in the bag ready to leave by the front door.
Check and clean out my car. This is a habit I love to do, I take five minutes to open each door of the car reorganize, empty the trash, give it a dust, check stocks, and empty the boot, which is bound to have some drink or cleaning items I had purchased but not placed in the garage. I enjoy doing this and I like my car to look clean and together. I get it cleaned in and out about once a month. It also reminds me to put more credit on my Starbucks card if necessary! Priorities!!
Clean round my washing machine and empty the dryer lint tray. Very self explanatory.
Meal Plan, I love to meal plan mainly because I hate getting to the store and thinking what shall I cook? I have an exercise book where I write my list, this has proved useful when I am in store and not sure if I have purchased something in an earlier week. I also add to the book throughout the week as items need replacing.
Clean out my fridge. This is less regimented now since I have recently taken possession of a new fridge/freezer in my garage which has meant fridge real estate is at less of a premium, never the less this is a great habit to get into. There is nothing worse than a rotting avocado at the back of the fridge.
Sit and arrange my planner, I take five minutes to look at appointments, enter any important information for myself or my family, enter my meals for the week and try to schedule gym time and blogging. I can also check any impending important dates that I might need to order or arrange gifts/cards for.
Delete emails and check admin items. I have a confession I am very bad at deleting junk email, I let it fester. I have added this to my routine to ensure I keep on top of it. I also deal with any returns I may have, get them ready for the post office. I file any coupons I might want or need to use. I clean my electronics with a cleaning wipe, they get filthy especially with toddler fingers.
Clean out my purse and repack for the week ahead. I remember a woman once saying you could tell how organized her life was by the state of her purse, that has stuck with me and I will confess that sometimes on a Friday it can look like a black hole, but I do love taking the time to get rid of receipts and snack wrappers, removing toddler cups and making it look together again. I check it is stocked and ready for those emergencies.
Put a meal in my slow cooker. Often on a Sunday I will cook something in the slow cooker as our meal for Sunday with leftovers for lunch. If I have selected a non slow cooker meal I will make a soup instead. I love to have a home made soup on hand, either for lunches in the week or if a day runs away with me for dinner with toasties.
Tidying and restocking items. I go into each room tidying and restocking, I like to water and feed my plants, restock baby wipes, refill stain remover sprays (trust me we practically drink this stuff I am always spraying rugs or clothes.) I often wiz about refilling coffee pods, the sugar bowl, putting teaspoons near the coffee station anything that will make the mornings run more smoothly. I often try to clean my makeup brushes if time allows!
Bake something either for breakfasts or snack time. This can range from breakfast muffins to natural fruit flapjacks, anything my folks can grab or I can offer if people pop by.
I am aware that this list has made it sound a little laborious, I promise you depending on the size of my ironing pile it never takes more than a couple of hours and saves me so much time in the week ahead. Yes, it may allow me that extra thirty minutes to read a book or nap (no that is total BS I will never get to nap again but a gal can dream!) Do you have a routine? Something that you find makes life run smoother? I am always wanting to perfect it, I am considering adding laying my clothes out the night before and laying the table for breakfast but we shall see. Now I will confess I have weeks where I can not be bothered or we have plans and I don’t get through it all and my weeks don’t run so smooth, so I try really hard to make myself do these things and I confess it gets easier. I often will be doing the routine while wearing a face mask because I love to multi task and I do reward myself on completion with a hot bath and some well deserved me time!
So today I reach the milestone of another year older and wiser. Last year on my blog I wrote this blog post. It was entitled A letter of life lessons and learning for Little L, Little L is my daughter (Little Lifestyle.) This year I wanted to do something a little different and write about some of the things I have learnt in the past year. I feel this year has been a year of personal growth and development for me and before I sound like I have read the shelf of self-help books I will crack on:-
Life is not fair – obvious huh? Not sure who ever thought it should/would be? Bad things happen to good people and sometimes bad things can keep coming. If we didn’t have bad times how would we know to appreciate and celebrate the good times?
It is ok to be down and to ask for help! This is something I struggle with, I try to be everything to all and often to the detriment of myself. Things have happened to me this year which have made it difficult for me to pick myself up and carry on. I have learnt its ok to take time to get back on track. If you need help or if people offer TAKE IT! You win no prizes for being a martyr.
Laughter is the best medicine, having a good laugh, a belly laugh, you know the kind where your crying and your belly hurts is a fantastic feeling. Very little beats it. I am on the search for more of it.
You are what you are, of course it is great to strive to be “the best you”(vomit) whatever that means?! Whether you have to loose a few pounds, learn to be more patient or whatever, don’t waste so much time striving for perfection that you miss being you. Life is not a dress rehearsal. Learning to be comfortable in your own skin is an ongoing saga.
Not everyone will like you and that is ok. This is something I have been trying to explain to Little L as she starts school. It is like finding a life partner you don’t always have chemistry or things in common, that is ok, but always treat people with respect.
You can’t change what others think of you, so don’t waste precious time worrying about it. This is a very tough one, people form a view of you rightly or wrongly. A little like point one, it might not be fair or accurate but your unlikely to be able to change it, so why worry. Some people find this easier than others. Although I find as I age I care less, I can’t see a day where I don’t care but I’m working on it.
Don’t let your fear of others opinions stop you from living and following your dreams. Honestly I worry what people think of my blog and then I think if I get pleasure from sharing it with others, and others enjoy it, why am I wasting time worrying about negative ninnies?
Exercise does make you feel better, yes I did type this, let me tell you I am not a work out junkie, I have no aspirations to look like a Victoria Secrets model (secretly wish I could.) I do find I feel better if I work out this body a little bit. It is good for mind, body and soul.
Friendships, are so important and so different. I am thinking about writing a separate post on this. You have your friends you see and speak to regularly, then you have other great friends who you might not speak to or see for years and you pick up where you left off. Life is busy and time moves fast, we never have the time we need to tell those we love or care about we love and miss them.
Stop and enjoy, I remember a wise person told me on my wedding to stop throughout the day, turn around and take it all in. It was fantastic advice and something that should apply to life. I am trying now to stop and soak up where I am at this stage in my life. I’m embracing the chaos.
Nobody has it right or all worked out. There are those amongst us who might think they have, but I got news for you! There is no “one size” method, especially in parenting and raising kids. They are all different. So to those people amongst us who like to speak loudly in stores and restaurants and pass judgments on the parenting skills of others, I say this, JOG ON. Also I really hate these passive aggressive nimbies who are frankly cowards because they don’t express their view directly to you, they rather stand amongst friends being vocal (because that’s brave!!)
To be loved and have love returned is lucky. This is the ultimate goal, love comes in all forms, whether it is romantic or platonic. Nobody ever dies thinking I wish I had worked more, surely the greatest success is to have touched people and be remembered.
That’s it folks, it has been a really interesting year in terms of personal development. I don’t have all the answers. (Shock horror!) This year is going to be about taking the pressure off myself, enjoy being me and trying to love the world a little better. I want to give back a little more and I need to find a way of doing that, which fits in with my new schedule. I want to enjoy my little family and I want to thank you for reading this. If you want to do something for me on my birthday, take the implement you are reading this on, whether it is a phone, tablet, computer and send a text or email to a friend or loved one you haven’t reached out to in a while and say hi! I am never good enough at it!