Quote Monday #147

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life Lessons From a 30-Year-Old

pink balloons in the sky text overlay: Life Lessons From A 30-Year-Old

pink balloons. text overlay:Life Lessons From a 30-Year-Old

Last year I turned 30, and in all that time I’ve learned quite a lot. Some of it important, like how to adult and some not so important, like the words to too many songs from the 90s. Most of these life lessons I learned in my 20s, but some are quite recent, like number 15. So here are my 30 life lessons from a 30-year-old.

  1. Have an outlet to relieve your frustrations; write, exercise, meditate etc.
  2. Prioritise by working out what is important to you.
  3. Stop spending your time on things you don’t enjoy. Hate a particular chore? Outsource it. Hate your job? Get a new one.
  4. Find your happy place. But be prepared, it might not be where you expect. My sister in law recently noticed that I really like it at the local strawberry farm. I feel comfortable there.
  5. You need to look after yourself before you can look after others. Sometimes you really do need to put yourself first.
  6. Get enough sleep, it really does make a difference to your day.
  7. Live in the moment and acknowledge what you are experiencing, especially if you have young kids.
  8. Really listen to people when they are talking with you. You don’t always need to say something in return.
  9. Never stop learning, whether it be for profit or pleasure.
  10. Give up judging people, it doesn’t do you any favours.
  11. Don’t be too afraid of making mistakes that you don’t even try.
  12. Learn from your mistakes, if you don’t you will probably continue to make those mistakes.
  13. Ask for help when you need it, you won’t get it unless you ask.
  14. What doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
  15. If something won’t take long, just do it.
  16. Celebrate the wins, even if they are small. Sometimes they can be few and far between.
  17. If someone means a lot to you, let them know.
  18. Be grateful, the things that follow may surprise you.
  19. Ask for what you want. If you want a pay raise, ask for it. Don’t wait until it’s offered to you. You might not be offered one or it may be much less than you think you deserve.
  20. Never stop saving your money. Even if you are only saving $10 a week, keep saving.
  21. Make time for family. Take the time to catch up with your family members. I go to pretty much everything I am invited to. We also arrange a family Christmas party sometime in December just so we can all catch up.
  22. Take all the advice you are given. People are going to give you advice whether you want it or not, especially when it comes to parenting. Take it and do what you want with it.
  23. Do it while you can. My husband and I spent a month travelling the US for our honeymoon. In hindsight, it cost us quite a bit but it was an experience we will never forget. It’s also something we may not have the chance to do again.
  24. Learn and know your body. Take the time to learn what your body is telling you. Also learn to track your menstrual cycle, the stuff they teach you in school is just not enough.
  25. Done is better than perfect. You can waste your life away waiting for something to be perfect. The perfect partner, the perfect time to have children, the perfect job, the perfect blog post.
  26. Don’t be afraid to let your guard down. The moment I admitted to my friends that I had experienced postnatal depression, I discovered some of my friends were the same.
  27. Put yourself out there. For years I have been really concerned about what others thought of me. This blog has helped me put myself out there more. I was absolutely petrified when the first person I knew in real life found this blog.
  28. It’s ok to change your mind about friends, partners, jobs and your health.
  29. Don’t be ashamed of your flaws. There are many people out there that are likely experiencing something similar. And on the contrary, wish for what you have.
  30. Always have a carton of long life milk in the fridge or cupboard as well as a loaf of bread in the freezer. Have you ever run out of milk and really don’t want to go out just for milk?

Quote Monday #146

How often things occur by mere chance which we dared not even hope for - Terence

Quote Monday #145

Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy - Guillaume Appollinaire

Box Cake Mix Tips

green's multi purpose cake mix text overlay box cake mix tips

I bought a giant tub of multi-purpose cake mix for my daughters first birthday last year. I made about three dozen frosted cupcakes for the party. But after that, I put it in the top of my pantry and forgot about it.
It’s getting close to the use by date and I feel that I need to use it up. The giant tub makes about 12 full sized cakes or about 144 cupcakes. I should get another three cakes or three dozen cupcakes from it.
There are so many simple ways to improve a box cake mix. From adding extra eggs, swapping oil for butter or adding chocolate chips, it is so easy to take a plain cake mix from blah to wow. Keep reading to find out how I made nut-free hummingbird muffins from this box cake mix.

Box Cake Mix Tips

Today I decided to make hummingbird muffins. Unbeknownst to me, they normally contain nuts. Which I didn’t have. And if I’m totally honest I made the muffins first, then looked up what goes in hummingbird cake! So I have decided to call this recipe nut-free hummingbird muffins. For me, the main thing that makes it hummingbird flavour is the pineapple and the banana. Both of which are incredibly present.
hummingbird muffins text overlay: nut-free hummingbird muffins


Nut-free Hummingbird Muffins

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 serves


  • 1 box vanilla or butter cake mix
  • 3 bananas
  • 432 g tin of pineapple drained


  1. Preheat oven as per box instructions.

  2. Add the bananas and pineapple to a stand mixer and mix until broken up.

  3. Add the contents of the cake mix to the stand mixer and continue to follow cooking instructions on the box.

  4. For muffins/cupcakes bake for 12-15 minutes.

green's multi purpose cake mix text overlay Box Cake Mix Tips + Recipe

Quote Monday #144

Habit makes all things bearable - Ovid

Quote Monday #143

Creativity is a combination of discipline and a childlike spirit - Robert Greene

The Easiest Meal Plan

meal planner with pen text overlay The Easiest Way to Meal Plan

dinner planner calendar text overlay: the easiest way to meal plan
notepad with white tuples text overlay: the easiest meal plan

The importance of meal planning is touted on almost every money-saving blog and is a priority for many stay-at-home parents. But I generally meal plan because I like to know what to expect. You see I am horrible with surprises and not that good when it comes to a change of plans. But I think I’ve come up with the easiest meal plan.

I only meal plan our dinners and I try my best to be flexible about it. Events pop up out of nowhere and there are nights when nobody wants to cook. Most of the items are stored in the freezer, so are put in the fridge the night before or the day of. If it doesn’t get eaten on the day its planned for, it moves to the next night.

Go shopping

Many will suggest you make your meal plan before going shopping. You can use the catalogues and the current specials to get great deals and work out what you are going to eat for the week.

I don’t do this. I shop pretty solely at Aldi and they don’t often discount their regular stock. So I just go shopping and buy what I think we might like to eat. I always have sausages, beef mince and chicken breast on hand.

Once I am home with the shopping, I divide it up into meal servings. The sausages I buy come in a pack of 24. Out of the 24 sausages, I get 5 meals: four meals of five sausages (two each for the adults and one for little miss), and one meal of four sausages. I prefer to store everything in freezer bags. I also don’t bother labelling it, nothing is usually in my freezer for longer than three months.

Write that list

Your fridge and freezer are now packed to the brim just waiting to be emptied again. Make a list of all the items you have that you can make the main meals out of. Then, next to the item, I list the quantity I have. So with the example of sausages from earlier, I have five serves. U usually when I do this, I end up with about 3 weeks of dinners!

The easiest meal plan

Now that you know what you have and how much of it you have, start allocating meals to days of the week. I try to mix it up so that we don’t have the same type of meat every night in a row. I also take into account what sort of activities we are doing during the day. Monday is usually something simple, as we are both at work. Wednesday tends to be the most extravagant because it’s grocery shopping day. So that means I can pick up anything that we need to keep fresh like salads or cold meats.

Let them eat cake! (if it’s in the meal plan)

The last step, which isn’t really a step, is to eat your way through the easiest meal plan! Hopefully, you won’t need to buy any meat for the duration.

I also like to have tins of baked beans or spaghetti on hand, as well as a tin or two of soup. They are great to have on hand for quick easy meals, plus they remind me of my childhood.

I have been toying with the idea of a certain type of meal on a specific night of the week. Like Monday is chicken night, Tuesday is sausage night etc. But I’m not sure I’m ready to live my life like that, although it would make it the easiest meal plan.

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Here are a few staples that I like to keep on hand in the freezer and what I like to make with them.

Mince – spaghetti bolognese, lasagne, meatloaf, meatballs, shepherd’s pie, chilli con carn.

Chicken breast- satay chicken, Thai curry chicken, orange chicken, crumbed chicken, BBQ chicken, shredded chicken.

sausages – sausage rolls, devilled sausages, BBQ sausages.

Quote Monday #142

If you’re trying to grow a business, make some choice rather than the perfect choice - Gretchen Rubin

Winter Bucket List

There isn’t a lot by way of fun activities to do during the winter, so I decided to create a winter bucket list. This list is a reminder that there is no reason to feel that you’re stuck inside with nothing to do during winter.

sunset over snow and trees text overlay winter bucket list

While it’s tempting to rug up under a blanket on the couch during winter, there are so many great things happening at public events. But if you don’t feel like braving the weather, this winter bucket list is sure to have some ideas for you.

RELATED: Autumn Bucket List

All of the items on this list are suitable for all ages. Most of them also make for great family outings or activities. The activities don’t require much equipment. And best of all, most of them cost next to nothing! You could make a day of it, and combine a few together. A day of board games in your pajamas, or taking homemade cookies to the drive-in.

Winter Bucket List

  • Borrow and read a book from the library
  • Plant something in the garden
  • See a movie at the drive in
  • Pajama day
  • Bake and decorate cupcakes
  • Write a letter
  • Play board games
  • Bake and decorate cookies
  • Visit a museum
  • Play hide and seek
  • Drink hot chocolate
  • Colour in
  • Go to a skating rink
  • Make a word search
  • Do a science experiment

So sign up to my email list to download the printable, stick it to your fridge, then cross off the activities as you complete them!

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What would you add to your winter bucket list?

Winter Bucket List