One evening in mid 2010 I had come home late from university and Mister was already home. He was on the computer and I could tell by the look on his face, he was very preoccupied with whatever he was doing. I asked him if he was alright and he replied simply with “Air Asia is having a massive sale and I have just purchased return tickets for us to go to London”. To say I was gobsmacked is an understatement. Mister had certainly won some brownie points! He had just purchased tickets for us to go to London and from London all other European cities are so cheap to get to, therefore we could travel anywhere. Mister was really happy to have found this sale as his brother, let’s call him JJ, had moved over to London and it was a chance for them to catch up. Neither of us was able to sleep that night due to the excitement that this time the following year in 2011 we would be on our way to Europe!It is now June 2011 and the day has arrived and we are about to make our way to Melbourne Airport. I said goodbye to my family (my grandfather was in tears, bless him) and we were London bound! We arrived in London around 11.00pm and were just exhausted so went straight to the hotel to sleep. We stayed around the corner from King’s Cross Station. The following day our European adventure began! We trekked to Emirates Stadium as Mister is a tragic Arsenal fanatic. I’m not really interested in soccer but I must say, this stadium is quite impressive! We took plenty of pictures, went into the gift shop and purchased tickets to do the official tour. The tour would take place in the following days and Mister could hardly wait!
From there we went on to a hop on/hop off double decker tour bus in London. These tours are great because you can get off wherever you like and every 15 minutes another bus comes to pick you up. We went right around Hype Park, Buckingham Palace, drove past Margaret Thatcher’s, Roger Moore’s and J.K Rowling’s homes. I was quite taken with Buckingham Palace; I told Mister that it will be our next real estate purchase. I have seen the palace plenty of times on television  and in pictures but to see it in front of you, it is really an experience. It is spectacular and huge! We watched the changing of the guard which is quite impressive because it actually stops traffic. Can you believe it? If your in a hurry to get to work, bad luck, the queen’s guards need to be changed!

After Buckingham Palace, we got on the bus again and went around the river Thames. It made me happy to see that not only Melbourne’s Yarra River is brown in colour. We went past Big Ben, the London Eye and London Tower. As I have mentioned I could still not believe that I was in the same vicinity of these buildings because I had seen them all before in pictures. London is a fantastic, beautiful city and the people are really friendly. And yes, I even did the touristy thing and had my photograph taken in front of a telephone box. Love London!

I really felt sorry for Mister as I am a huge history buff and I made him go to the British Museum. For me, entering the museum was an ethereal moment in my life. For so long the museum has been home to many treasures discovered from another time, another era. I had been waiting all my life to go to this museum and I was finally here. I certainly was experiencing an out-of-body moment. The pinnacle of the visiting the museum was viewing the Rosetta Stone. It was one of the greatest archaeological discoveries whereby the explorer who discovered it was able to decipher ancient Egyptian script for the first time in history. If you are a history buff you can certainly understand my excitement of seeing this stone. I purchased a replica of it from the gift shop and hung it in my house. There were also many other ancient Egyptian artefacts on display and the museum as a whole was simply mesmerising and not at all in a commercial way. It paid great tribute to many civilisations and cultures that once existed.

London is such a great city; don’t ever change who you are! Visiting the British Museum was certainly my highlight of London. Stay tuned for more great British and European adventures next time!

My official first day in London, what a beauty!

Mister at the front of Emirates Stadium, which impressed me as well!

Me in front of Buckingham Palace which will one day be my home!

River Thames with the London Eye in the background

Big Ben

Me at the entrance of the British Museum, a significant moment in my life

The amazing Rosetta Stone, what I have been waiting my whole life to see!

 

Fibre is one of those elements we need to consume but just don’t get enough of. And I usually find with myself, no matter how much fibre I think I’m eating, I should probably be eating more. Are you the same? If you are, well I may have found the answer.
Recently, I slept over my uncle and auntie’s house as I was babysitting my cousins for the night. Mister stayed at home and watched the footy all night long! In the morning, I was helping my aunt make breakfast for the kids and then for us. I asked her if I could have a fruit salad as I love having fruit for breakfast. I find it keeps me full all day long and I have the energy of 20 men, even though I’m only a little thing! My aunt gave me a banana, frozen blueberries, apricot and yoghurt. Then she asked if I wanted to drizzle some passionfruit over it. I’m a sucker for those passionfruit seeds so I said why not.And then she asked me if I wanted to put some Fibre Toppers on it. Fibre Toppers, what on earth is that? Well from Kellogg’s I give you All-Bran Fibre Toppers, these little pieces of fibre bran which is perfect with fruit and can also be added on salad’s plus it provides you with 33% of your daily fibre needs. They taste great and go so perfectly with fruit. When I went home that day, I went straight to the shops and bought it! Mister was unsure in the beginning but once he tried it, he loved it!

Thanks Kellogg’s!

From one fruit nut to another, make sure you purchase Kellogg’s All-Bran Fibre Toppers for a little more “kick” in your day!

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If you ever wanted to see a beautiful sunset, Bali sure is the place to go. I would purposely leave our hotel room and have an “early” dinner around 5.30-6 just to watch the sun turn the sky orange. It was the most breathtaking sight I have ever witnessed.
My Balinese adventure with Mister was far from over. We still had to trek to Ubud and go the volcano. It was quite strange because Kuta and the surrounding towns were hot, sticky hot, and then you visit the volcano on the same day in shorts and a t-shirt and its freezing. It’s a very different atmosphere there. We had also booked to go white water rafting. There’s nothing like water sports in Bali. Because they don’t have many rules and safety guidelines to follow, it is quite possible to have a dangerous water adventure. Nonetheless, I was always cautious. I have only have one life but I want to live it well. Fly fishing was amazing.

It’s not what you think and I certainly thought it involved actual fishing. Luckily for me, all I had to was hold on tight lying down to a sort of square shaped biscuit. It was attached by a rope to a speed boat and due to physics, which I am such a master at, as the speed boat gathers momentum, it pushes the biscuit in the air. Looking down, it makes you hold on tighter because it is a long way down into the water and you are not strapped into anything. I’m not scared of heights but this was the ultimate adrenalin rush.

When visiting Bali, do not miss out on Waterbom Park. Yes it’s another water park but a water park in Bali, so again, rules are a little relaxed. At one point before going down a slide on a biscuit with Mister, he was asked by the lifeguard if we wanted to go backwards. Mister “accidently on purpose” forgot to tell me and before I knew it I was going down a waterslide backwards in the dark and feeling my stomach turn. Luckily I wasn’t sick!

Sadly, our adventure was coming to an end but before we left we went to Uncle Norm’s Bar. Put this one on your Bali bucket list. Uncle Norm’s is a good-time place, where the music flows, customers can dance anywhere and the food and drinks just keep coming out. Uncle Norm is always there and will dance with you if you ask him. Such a friendly place and person, Uncle Norm will take care of your needs. The staff are fantastic! They will not only serve you your food and drinks but play card tricks, tell jokes and get involved in the good times.
The days following Uncle Norm’s, Mister and I took it easy as we were heading back home. It was a solemn feeling when we were boarding the plane. I truly had a fantastic time wanted to stay. That’s the thing about holidays; I never get over them and want to live everywhere. I haven’t been back to Bali, however, rest assured Bali I will return!

It's actually quite cold at the volcano site.

MIster and I getting our pose on before we go white water rafting.

You better believe it! Mister and I are lying down only holding on to rope and the biscuit is going higher and higher!

Mister and I going down a waterslide at Waterbom Park

Me with the friendly and hilarious staff at Uncle Norm's Bar. See the humour?

With the world-famous Uncle Norm, we had just finished dancing!

After surviving the first couple of night’s in Bali my birthday had arrived and it all started with my birthday eve. Mister and I created our own pub crawl throughout Kuta and you can imagine I was really “sore” the next day; however it was a fun night!
It’s amazing what you can buy in Bali. I had never heard of a “fishbowl” before and before you know it we were at The Bounty bar (again!) and Mister had ordered me fishbowl. Well it certainly was a fishbowl filled with some sickly-sweet alcoholic beverage that makes you think you can guzzle about 20 of them but you can only really drink about two. Somehow I managed to drink two and Mister drank three. In between drinking fishbowls we played pool and enjoyed the night dancing in various bars. It was a brilliant night.

The next day I was feeling rather seedy and it didn’t help that we had planned to ride an elephant! I love elephants. There’s something so pure and so genuine about an elephant, it makes you wonder how a poacher can someone kill them for their tusks, they are just gorgeous. Our elephant’s name was Orla and she was a beautiful 28 year old. Orla reminded me of me; queen of the castle and played by her own rules because she chased away other animals with us and her keeper on top! We got to feed her and take pictures with her, she was just beautiful!

Later that evening Mister and I were getting ready for dinner. That’s all I knew, I was going out to dinner. There was a lot of secrecy surrounding this “dinner”. When we were ready Mister even ran out ahead of me from the hotel and I saw he was talking to a man with a van. He later told me he ran ahead to warm the man not to tell me where we were going. At this moment I was thinking “he has either organised to kill me or this will be a lovely surprise”. I choose the latter solution. I said hello to this gentleman and was in the van on my way to “dinner”. We drove for about 15 minutes and then the van came to a sudden stop in front of a row of beach front restaurants in Jimbaran Bay. The restaurant Mister had booked our dinner was called Fortune, a seafood restaurant, and they organise a driver to pick you up from your hotel and take you back. Also Mister had booked the beach front table, also known as the Honeymoon table and some of the locals thought we were on our honeymoon, so we ate our food watching the waves of the ocean on the first row! And it gets better; the food is purchased by the weight and cooked to your liking. We had plates of fried calamari, grilled fish, just about everything! It was the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me! Bali was so amazing and Mister had given me the best birthday I’ve ever had!

The fun hasn’t stop yet so stay tuned for part three of this Balinese adventure!

 

Me with the infamous fishbowl the night before my birthday

Mister and I on top of Orla our elephant. She was just gorgeous!

Me feeding Orla

At the Fortune restaurant in Jimbaran Bay. This was our table, literally the best seat in the house!

The main point of visiting Jimbaran Bay is this beautiful sunset. Mister really went out of his way to make sure I had the best birthday in the world! Mission accomplished!

 

Is there no better pleasure in life than going out for a morning meal and ordering the big breakfast? I love ordering a big breakfast and if you can’t tell from my other pictures, I’m not a big girl. Usually a big breakfast will keep me satisfied until the evening and even then I’ll only have a small meal for dinner. However, eating a big breakfast every morning is not good and more often than not, if you are going to order it at a restaurant, sometimes it’s not cooked “healthily”.

So how do you make a big breakfast healthy? Well to start with, do you really need a side of sausages? I know, I know, if they are a staple in your diet at least eliminate it from breakfast.
I made Mister my version of a big breakfast and he loved it! I made him a hash brown, mushrooms, an egg and toast.

Hash browns can be purchased from your local supermarket in the deli section and they’re very cheap. Just thrown them in the oven and while they’re cooking you can prepare the rest of the food.
I just adore mushrooms, they are just little, light pieces of food and sometimes I substitute them for chips. Don’t judge me; they’re a lot healthier than chips, aren’t they? Steam the mushrooms, lightly fry the egg with cooking oil spray rather than throwing oil in a frying pan and toast your bread. And there you have it, Bob’s your uncle! A lovely big breakfast right at home, cooked healthier and cheaper than purchasing in a restaurant! Plus you can cook and eat it in your pyjamas!

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Chicken is a simple meal that leaves the whole family satisfied. However, having the same chicken meal can get quite boring and you don’t really want to be buying sauces packed with preservatives and God knows what else?

I don’t really know what to call it, so for the sake of this article I’ll call it Louise’s Chicken with Vegetables. Really creative.

Take a whole chicken breast and smother it in paprika and cumin spices until you can no longer see the natural pink of the chicken. Throw it in the oven until it is cooked. Next take all the vegetables you enjoy and chop them up and throw them in a separate oven-proof dish with a little salt and pepper and cook in the oven.

Once everything is cooked, cut the chicken on an angle for presentation and serve with the vegetables. Done! Enjoy!

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Stuck on what to make for dinner? I find that happens a lot to me and with both Mister and I having busy schedules, I can either opt for McDonald’s or satay chicken. While having satay chicken every night might sound appealing to some, and I am one of them, I don’t think Mister would appreciate coming home after a hard day’s work to yet-again the same thing we’ve been eating for the past week, chicken satay.

I love steak and veg. There’s no better combination. You get your iron from red meat and the power that comes from eating vegetables. I will post a picture of my version of steak and veg but feel free to add any other vegetables you prefer. The sky’s the limit as there is no stopping what vegetables to use!

I love my meat red, bloody and just juicy. I used to be anaemic and I refuse to take medication so my doctor told me to start eating a lot of red meat. My grandmother showed me how to cook it and for about three years I won’t eat it any other way.

I think in a past life I must have been an Irish woman. I love potatoes. Always have and always will. And I don’t discriminate; I eat all kinds of potatoes. Mashed, roasted, fried, you name it, I’ll eat it! Although for this dish I roast the potatoes with vegetables as it’s the healthier option. With potatoes, I’ll add capsicum (green, yellow or red, it doesn’t matter), carrot, onion and garlic. I just love whole garlic cloves roasted, they taste like butter! Occasionally I’ll add mushroom and corn, it just depends if I have bought it. And of course no Australian steak and veg meal would be complete with a fried egg. I love eggs, and again, cooked anyway I’ll eat them. All you have to do is cook the meat on a BBQ, throw the vegetables in the oven and just sit back and relax until they’re all cooked! A simple, yet delicious and healthy meal you can have 3-4 times a week (well for the red meat side of things!).

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