What I ate Wednesday! (Dec 23)

Hi all,

Well well well, here we are 2 days until Christmas and my last post before the big day!

So how do I like to celebrate? With food of course!

Everything is a big manic with Christmas and my parents being here! So I thought I would snap my eats from yesterday to share with you all – ‘What I ate Wednesday’ style. Linking up with @peasandcrayons and today’s host!what I ate wednesday - chase the red grape

Yesterday was a day of tidying, baking, sorting and shopping! So a bit different to the usual (apart from our 6am CrossFit sesh) – but I had David to help me so all was good – and I love him being home!

So here we are, my eats from Tuesday 22nd!

Breakfast – His and hers chia pudding!breakfast - chase the red grape

I like to make things all nice and pretty for David so his was in the bowl… I kept mine in the pudding tub, and dumped all my toppings on top – strawberries, nectarine, yoghurt and a nut, seed and raisin mix.

Lunch – Leftover Bahn Xeolunch - chase the red grape

After doing the Christmas grocery shop and picking up the turkey – all in 39C (+100F) heat – we were ready for a fuel! Leftovers for the win!

And I want to share my baking with you all! Shortbread, mince pies and fudge – all gluten free and some paleo too! The shortbread and mince pies are for Christmas and the fudge I shared with the folks at CrossFit this morning! It went down a treat!baking - chase the red grape

Snack – Iced coffee for both – a wonky bit of shortbread and nectarine for me and apple and fudge for Davidsnack - chase the red grape

Snack x2 – Still hungry, hunk of biltong for the win!biltong - chase the red grape

Dinner – Cauliflower shepherds pie (made with ground kangaroo)dinner - chase the red grape

Was glad to have this bad boy in the oven ready to rock for when my parents arrived!

Pre-bed snack – an Advocat liqueur that my parents brought over with them – heaven!

chocolate - chase the red grape

My blogging schedule may be a bit wonky over the next few weeks but I intend to make the most of being with my parents and soaking in some family time. Will check in with you when I can but in the mean time follow me on snapchat (chaseredgrape) or instagram (chasetheredgrape)!

From Perth Australia, to everyone across the world, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas full of happiness, cheer and love!

What did you eat yesterday?

Excited for Christmas?

Have you ever tried Advocat?

5 Top Tips on a Tuesday – How to make the best of leftovers!

Hi all,

Hope you are excited!? I certainly am, not only for Christmas but also due to the fact that my parents arrive in a few hours! I literally cannot wait – it’s going to be amazing showing them around Perth and all the areas that I now call home.

What really excites you the most about Christmas? Family, presents, the food, Santa? If you take away the obvious, aka spending time with family, the next best bit for me is the food! I love everything about a Christmas dinner and am replicating my Scottish traditions here in Perth. But you know what is even more exciting to me? Figuring out exactly what I am going to do with the leftovers! Its a blank canvas, normally full of the most amazing flavours and I really enjoy pairing them together to make one off meals.

Leftovers not your thing? Well never fear! This weeks 5 Top Tips on a Tuesday is all about leftovers – ‘How to make the best of leftovers’!leftovers - chase the red grape

Eggs

Eggs are definitely a blank canvas for so many dishes – so don’t forget to stock up on them during your Christmas grocery shop. Omelettes, veggies with poached eggs on top or hash or simply big meat/ veg scrambles – the seasoned meat and veg works so well. My favourite has to be Brussels sprouts and turkey crisped up in the pan and then popped inside an omelette. Cranberry sauce at the side to serve.

Salad

Feeling pretty full from all the festive food but still want a delicious meal? Never fear salads are here. Just make sure you have some staples in the house like lettuce, spinach, tomatoes etc and everything you serve on Christmas day can make an amazing salad. Try mixing some of that leftover cranberry sauce with some olive oil to make a fab dressing too. My favourite is a turkey, apple or pear and blue cheese salad with some cranberries on top!

Blank meal canvas

Instead of looking at all these bits and bobs as ‘leftovers’, try thinking of them as meal ingredients. Leftover meat and veg? Well you have all the makings for a tasty curry, chilli or stir fry! You don’t need to have your Christmas dinner over and over again – or you can if you want to!

Bubble and Squeak

Ever heard of this one? Its a British favourite! Take all your leftover veggies and potatoes and mash them up. Add a couple of eggs and mix. Form into patties and then pan fry until warmed through! So simple yet so tasty! Want to take them up a notch? Add cheese!

Donate

Cant stand the sight of another leftover or over all those cookies? Or simply want to help someone else out? Why not donate your leftovers/ unused food. Take a tray round to an elderly neighbour/ friend/ relative, give to your local homeless shelter or a family you know are in need. Spread the cheer – what one person doesn’t want often another needs.

Most of all enjoy your meal! Whether that be with family or friends, the day itself or surrounding. Just spread the cheer and don’t let anything go to waste!5 TOP TIPS ON A TUESDAY

5 top tips on a Tuesday will be taking a small break over the festivities (summer holidays here in Australia) but keep posted and I will be ready for more tips in a couple of weeks.

See you tomorrow for a final post before Christmas day!

Do you like leftovers?

What is your favourite dish/ combo that uses leftovers?

Have you ever donated your food?

Friday Favourites! Dec 18

Hi all,

Gosh it feels like ages since we last spoke! I guess because the days are so busy busy right now! There is so much to do before next week but I’m sure I will get it all done and enjoy it in the process… especially wrapping presents, that’s my favourite pre-Christmas thing to do! You should have seen the amazing wrap and accessories I had to pass on to my mum before we left Scotland… totally lusting after it now!

I have been hoarding most of my wrapping until this weekend when I hope to sit down, with some sangria (the southern hemispheres festive drink of choice), get the Christmas tunes on and simply enjoy! Haha!

But instead of daydreaming over wrapping gifts I will instead focus on the task in hand, sharing my Friday Favourites with you all!Friday Favourites - Chase the Red Grape

Favourite…

Moment – Special Christmas movie evenings!

We have only been able to watch Christmas movies this past week due to needing a cable for our DVD player (and delivery in Australia is not fast and we don’t have amazon to fall back on!). So this past week has been so lovely – every night we have watched a different festive movie and I have gone to bed smiling! Last night was Jingle all the way (‘Put the cookie down!’) but a highlight was definitely The Santa Clause – so good – and this bit is my favourite! (sorry for the poor video! ha!)

Feeling – Poochie kisses!

Oh my goodness I was in puppy heaven this morning! Our coach’s dog Fritzl paid us a visit and he is just adorable. And that feeling you get when you are being covered in slobbery love kisses… amazing! You can’t help but smile and laugh!

Purchase – Snapchatsnapchat - chase the red grape

Ok so snapchat is free, but I like to think of this as a purchase of my time! Haha! Yup I decided to bite the bullet and sign up to another form of social media!

I’m liking it so far and enjoy being able to post off the cuff, no filter, random images throughout the day. Please come on over and join me and add me as a friend – chaseredgrape.

Food/drink – Christmas coffeecoffee - chase the red grape

David and I picked these two coffees at the Fremantle market the other week and they are pretty good. They are a local company who roast and naturally flavour their beans = winning. The winter wonderland is the best hot and the salted caramel mocha is amazing iced with some egg nog – you just know that’s good! 😉

Recipe – My appetiser platter!apps - chase the red grape

I loved making this platter for my IIN meet up and these two dips went down a treat! Everyone was raving about them.

The sweet potato hummus is from Erin over @TheAlmondEater (I just skipped on the kale and roasted chickpeas on top and used a bit more sweet potato)

The salsa is from Michelle @NomNomPaleo (I used mango instead of pineapple, as it’s in season and Michelle recommended it, and skipped on the cucumber).

Workout – Fight gone bad

We did the CrossFit benchmark workout today but instead of the usual 3 rounds it was 5 rounds… I am toasted! But I do love a good ol’ fight gone bad!

Championship Fight Gone Bad – 5 rounds for total reps

1 minute wall balls

1 minute sumo deadlift highpulls

1 minute box jumps

1 minute push press

1 minute max cal row

Rest 1 minute

Weekend plans – Apart from wrapping and a little boozing? Do the weekly shop, finish Christmas shopping, go out for lunch and a bit of grilling on Saturday. Then after brunch on Sunday we are off to see The Night Before (literally the ONLY Christmas movie showing at the cinema!).

Linking up with Heather over @LifeinLeggings

Do you like wrapping presents?

What is your favourite flavour of coffee? Or do you like au naturel?

Are you on snapchat? Let me know and I will follow you too!

5 Top Tips on a Tuesday – How to organise your Christmas dinner!

Hi all,

Not that I needed to remind you or anything but –CHRSITMAS IS NEXT WEEK!

The past couple of weeks on ‘5 Top Tips on a Tuesday’ we have spoken about Christmas cheer and gifting with a twist – so hopefully you are all feeling sufficiently festive and have your gifts thought out, bought, made etc.

So what’s left to think about? The meal! Yep that one big celebratory meal each year which brings family and friends together – so much happiness – but yet is the source of stress, worry and panic for so many!

If you are hosting, have you created your festive meal plan yet? If not or would like some more ideas on how to streamline it, check out this weeks ‘5 Top Tips on a Tuesday’ on ‘How to organise your Christmas dinner!’Christmas dinner - chase the red grape

Before I go into my tips, I want to highlight my one overall Christmas tip – whether it be food, events, gifts etc – KEEP IT SIMPLE. Simplicity is the key to a stress free holiday season and, after all, aren’t the simple things in life often the best. Don’t overcomplicate things – life is too short!

Let’s get cracking with my tips!5 TOP TIPS ON A TUESDAY

Decide your set courses

The options – appetisers, starters, main, dessert, after dinner. Realistically look at what can be done/ how much food a certain amount of people can actually eat! A small gathering of your immediate family? Stick with a main and dessert. A larger spread of people? Try appetisers, main and dessert.

The main course

Decide on your protein – turkey, ham, duck, goose, chicken even! Do you have any vegetarians coming? Talk with them beforehand and ask what they would like to eat. Often they are more than happy to stock up on side dishes, taking another task away from chef!

Decide on your sides – again be realistic and keep it simple. Stick to 2/3 veggie dishes, 1 potato dish and cranberry sauce/ gravy. This may sound like a small amount to some (hello where are the bread rolls!?) but why not stay simple this year allowing you to really focus on the dishes you have and make them sparkle! You could make 4 types of potato or stick with one and this year try a gratin or a dauphinoise or spruce up your brussel sprouts with bacon and chestnuts!festive feast - chase the red grape

Combine the courses!

Usually do appetisers and a starter? Why not make your appetisers the starter this year – making a more relaxed surrounding and letting people chill out a bit more before coming to the table (and giving you a little more time!).

Dessert and after dinner? Why not create a buffet that you can leave out for people to come back and forward to depending on when they feel like eating again. So you can lay out some dessert dishes, some treats like cookies and brownies, a cheese platter, fruit, nuts and veggie sticks along with some paper plates and napkins. Then they can help themselves, allowing you to simply relax.

At the table entertainment

As an adult I love seeing everyone sitting at the table – I know sometimes the kids want to just play with their toys, the ‘Dad’s’ want to go watch TV, everyone’s phone keeps going ‘ping’ with another ‘Merry Christmas’ notification but sitting down to eat brings us all together. And sometimes we think that having all the different courses will prolong this special time. But this year why not keep people seated with some good old table entertainment!

Try a guessing game, would you rather…, a small quiz, Christmas crackers, or getting your guests to all bring along a Christmas joke together to share at the table.

Delegate, delegate, delegate!

And last but by no means least – delegate!

You may be hosting but that does not mean you have to do everything! It is perfectly acceptable to ask everyone to bring something along with them – maybe your guests all bring along the appetisers or desserts, drinks or nibbles. Or ask them to come up with some table entertainment!

So often Christmas dinner can end up being a one man job but believe me when I say that most of your family/ guests would be happy to help – just ask them!

And there we have it! I hope this has clarified some potential scenarios for you that you might have coming up, if you are hosting. And if your not hosting this year and are lucky to be a guest, why not call up the host and ask if you can do anything to help!

Planning = organised. Keep it simple = stress free Christmas!

Are you hosting Christmas this year?

What’s your plan for Christmas dinner?

How many side dishes do you make for the main meal?

Week in Review! Dec 14

Hi all,

Another Monday closer to Christmas! Are you excited yet? I think this is the only time of year that I am happy when Monday rolls around – haha!week in review - chase the red grape

But Mondays are also great for planning the week ahead and remembering the week just gone. Time for another ‘Week in Review’ with the beautiful Meghan over @CleanEatsFastFeets! A link up which gives us all the opportunity to give ourselves a big pat on the back and double high fives for all our achievements from last week – big and small – ordinary and extraordinary. Reflecting in a positive way, as it always should be!

So lets get to it!

The norms….

Wrote 3 blog posts.

Caught up with the blogs I follow and responded to comments.

Meal planned for the week

Did the weekly shop and trip to the farmers marketfood prep - chase the red grape

Food prepped for the week

Cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner for David and I

Trained at CrossFit x 4

Got new books from the library for over Christmas

Did the washing and ironing

Managed to fit in a few meditation sessions – a couple being better than none at all

The extra sparkles….

Got all dressed up for David’s works Christmas party… and danced for hours!christmas party - chase the red grape

Went Christmas shopping twice and did quite well. Hopefully only one more trip needed – very good considering I am shopping for us but also on behalf of my mum and dad!

Got our plans for Christmas Eve sorted – Star Wars tickets bought and I emailed our favourite restaurant to make sure they were going to be open!

Put up our Christmas tree and decorationschristmas - chase the red grape

Wrote our Christmas cards and got them sent along with our Christmas e-cards.

Made 2 dishes to take to my IIN Christmas meet up (a collection of graduates from IIN who live in Perth) – Feta, beet and butternut squash salad along with some appetisers – sweet potato hummus, mango salsa (David’s wonderful addition) along with carrot sticks and chips.salad - chase the red grape

apps - chase the red grapeMade mincemeat for our mince pies! Plus extra for eating!

Watched 4 Christmas movies!

Listen to a lot of Christmas tunes… and loved every minute of it

It’s been a busy week but also a pretty darn awesome one too!

Let me know some of your weekly achievements below!

How’s your Christmas shopping going?

Favourite Christmas movie?

Friday Favourites – Fluidstance Review!

Hi all,

How are you this fine Friday? Is there anything better than a Friday… yup a Friday in December! Hope you have something great planned for the weekend and if not I hope you take that time to indulge on some Christmas movies and maybe a few cheeky wee tipples/ nibbles!

Coming at you this week with a quick ‘Friday Favourites’ to let you know about a product that I have been testing over the past few months – The Fluidstance Level!

(This is not a sponsored post. I was gifted the Fluidstance to review and all opinions expressed are my own)Friday Favourites - Chase the Red Grape

As you may know, I have a standing desk which I absolutely adore. It makes such a difference to me to stand whilst doing my work and I have noticed such a benefit from it.

So when the guys over at Fluidstance got in contact with me and asked me to try out the ‘Level’ I was more than happy!

So what is it?Fluidstance - Chase the red grape

The aim of the Level is movement. Sitting down all day is not good for us but neither is standing in one position all day – movement is the key. By standing on the Level, you can constantly be moving below your feet, shifting back and forth, front to back or to simply balance. Not only is it a great mobility tool but you actually want to use it because it’s fun!

My opinion…

So what did I think of the Level? Well I think from the above you can tell I loved it. It’s easy to use and get in the habit of using and I love moving while I’m standing. It’s very relaxing to use too, with a slight bend in the knee there is a sense of ‘flowing’ rather than the rigidity of standing. Also when I stand I tend to, without realising, lean on one leg and slouch slightly – the Level eliminates this.The Level - Chase the Red Grape

As a sporty girl, I can already see the difference using the Level daily is having on my technique at CrossFit – I am more balanced and tend to stand straighter – helping my upper body during lifts.

The Level is also a beautiful addition to my apartment! It’s sleek and stylish and blends in with our wooden floor.

If there were to be any negatives I would have to say that you do need a semi sense of balance in order to be able to use it easily – I am lucky in this regard but others may not be so fortunate. Also as it raises me off the floor, my standing desk height needed to be adjusted – great if you can but frustrating if not.

Where can I get one from?

If you like the sound of what you are hearing, or simply want more info, you can head on over to the Fluidstance website – I must also add that this would make an amazing Christmas gift!

Happy Friday everyone!

(Linking up with Heather over @LifeinLeggings)

Do you use a standing desk?

Ever thought about getting one?

Does the above intrigue you?

Currently – December 2015

Hi all,

Hope you are well and having a good Thursday! Can you believe we are 10 chocolates, oh I mean days, into December already? Time always flies when you are having fun!Currently - Chase the Red Grape

Anyhoo, time to catch you all up on what’s going on in Jen’s world with my monthly ‘Currently’ post – linking up with Amanda over @Runningwithspoons and ‘Thinking Out Loud’!

Current…

Book – Better than before – Gretchen RubinBetter than before - Chase the red grape

The book centres around habits – what are they, how we form them and how we can use our own personality types to our advantage when trying to adopt them. Fascinating as I’m learning more about myself and how to best work with other people. Gretchen is also a fab writer – it’s such an enjoyable read.

Music – Christmas FM

Non stop Christmas music… what more could you want! I love this and the guys in Ireland who are broadcasting 24/7 are just fantastic. Download the free app and see what I’m raving about! My favourite song so far is this one by Straight No Chaser – 12 days of Christmas…wait for their spin on it…

Obsession – Continuing traditions

I’m trying not to be too crazy about this one – I mean I’m living on the other side of the world, maybe it’s time for some new traditions! But there are a few I want to keep going – like our special decorations on our Christmas tree that we shipped over and ordering a larger than needed Christmas turkey! Gotta love them leftovers!

Guilty pleasure – Eating this straight from the jarchristmas  - chase the red grape

I made a batch of my home made ‘mincemeat’ for Christmas (Mincemeat is actually dried fruit marinated with spices, zest and brandy and used in mince pies!). The reason this is my ‘guilty’ pleasure is that I cannot stop eating it from the jar and I should be keeping it for making mince pies! And yes I may have staged this picture just so I could eat some….gah!

Craving – Coco Whipcoco whip - Chase the Red Grape

It’s hot out and I would adore a bowl of coco whip right now to cool me down!

Food – Bahn Xeobahn xeo - chase the red grape

I would make this for dinner every day if I could right now! Those rice flour pancakes are crispy and so yummy!

Drink – Iced coffee with a splash of eggnog

Iced coffee is a given right now but with a splash of eggnog it is taken to perfection! This combo goes together so well! Try it out – it’s also good in hot coffee for those on the northern hemisphere!

Procrastination – Finding recipes

I want to make some goodies for Christmas but my problem is there is now too much to chose from! I know where I stand with Christmas dinner but desserts, pies, cookies etc not a clue! I want to make everything from my favourite bloggers and sites.

Blessing – My parents arriving in 12 days!family - chase the red grape

I cannot wait for them to arrive! I am so glad that David and I moving over here will give my parents their own adventure! (Also feels like a lifetime ago that I had short hair!)

Excitement – Star Wars

Who else is with me? The trailers look amazing!

Bane of my existence – Straightening my hair in crazy heat

So I come out of the shower, blow dry my hair, then straighten it… by the end I have sweat so much I need another shower… #aussielife

TV Show – Christmas movies

Now that David and I have the cable we needed to watch our Christmas DVD’s we have a lot to catch up on! Christmas with the Kranks last night (my favourite) and Muppet Christmas Carol tonight (David’s favourite!).

Mood – Excited

Our first Christmas in Australia, my parents are coming, reflecting on the most amazing year… yeah I’m definitely excited! 🙂

Any good Christmas baking recommendations for me? (Gotta be GF!)

Are you an egg nog lover?

What are your favourite Christmas traditions?

5 Top Tips on a Tuesday – How to feel and spread holiday cheer!

Hi all,

Another week closer to Christmas and I am finally fully immersed in Christmas spirit and cheer!

It took me a long time to really ‘feel’ it this year – Australia seems to do Christmas a little differently, more relaxed, less ‘tradition’ based than the UK. Not a bad thing, just different. But David and I have brought our own wee traditions with us and spent the weekend focusing on Christmas fun!

So for this weeks ‘5 Top Tips on a Tuesday’ I wanted to write a little something for those out there who like me, may be struggling with feeling festive. Or for those who just like to embrace the sense of cheer and wish to spread it to all! How to feel and spread holiday cheer!top tips holiday cheer- chase the red grape

Volunteer/ donate

So many charities out there need some extra special help at Christmas – gifting to kids who otherwise would receive no presents, reaching out to your local homeless shelter/ food bank, visiting an elderly neighbour. There are many ways that you can help other people this holiday season and there is no shame in admitting that this makes us feel good. Volunteer your time if you can spare it, donate needed gifts or simply make a donation. A little goes a long way.

Gratitude

Sometimes we all need to stop, chill out, forget all the madness and chaos that the holidays can bring and focus on what we are grateful for. Think of 5 things that you are grateful for that bring joy into your life. Think of these people/ items/ roles etc during the holidays. Why do you gift? Because you love. Why do you sing? Because you feel joy. Why do you cook? Because you want to celebrate togetherness with family and friends.

Gifting

Gift to those you love this year – I know the best part of Christmas for me is watching others open their gifts. But remember, as mentioned last week, it doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming – just gift with love. Make your own cards/ gifts, create a hamper, give the gift of your time.

Celebrate

As mentioned above, the holiday season can be a stressful time of year. There is so much to do and so little time to do it! But why not gift yourself some time to enjoy and celebrate!

Allow yourself to fully relax over the Christmas party… Take Christmas Day to eat what you want rather than what you think you should have… Allow yourself an hour at the end of Christmas shopping to go look at the lights and relax over a cheeky hot chocolate with lashings of cream. Remember the holidays don’t have to be perfect, they just allow us to have fun.

Sing!

Ok this last top tip is more of a personal one! There is nothing that makes me feel more festive than singing along to my favourite Christmas songs (poor David! Haha!). I love the tunes and really listening to those lyrics which truly encapsulate what the holidays are really all about. Why not find a local carol service or, like me, download the Christmas FM app (a radio station based in Ireland, and my number 1 app right now!) and listen to awesome Christmas tunes all day!

And in case you missed last weeks ‘5 Top Tips’ – click here to view my 5 top tips for gifting with a twist!5 TOP TIPS ON A TUESDAY

What makes you feel festive?

How do you like to spread holiday cheer?

What is your favourite Christmas song?

Friday Favourites! (Dec 4)

Hi all,

Another Friday and another week closer to Christmas! Update on the ‘Christmassy-ness’? Still not there yet, but I am super excited for Christmas as it means I get to see my parents!

You know I think it’s because we used to have an early Christmas (or Christmas number one) with David’s family each year around this time – so I would have to be prepped with gifts and goodies, would already have the wrapping paper out and festive jumpers would be worn. But this year, obviously, we are missing that. I think that’s why it’s maybe taking a bit longer to feel festive… the tree is going up tomorrow so that should do the trick!Friday Favourites - Chase the Red Grape

In the meantime, shall we check out some ‘Friday Favourites’!?

Favourite…

Moment – Rocking out to ACDCACDC - Chase the Red Grape

Ah that ringing in your ears, that feeling of whooping and singing so loudly you think you might lose your voice… gotta love a good gig! Doing it all in Australia with David as the sun goes down and suddenly it’s pitch black – priceless!

Feeling – Community

I think one of the pillars of happiness has to be having a sense of community around you. Moving to the other side of the world and knowing no one has been tough. But joining our CrossFit box has been amazing and it’s so brilliant to see everyone day in and out. It was particularly fantastic on Saturday when we all had a wee jaunt to the vineyards together – meeting more people that we don’t usually WOD with at 6am. Sometimes a sport can be so much more than just the fitness.

Purchase – Advent Calendarsadvent - chase the red grape

I had given up hope of finding a good advent calendar here. They are very hard to find and the ones I did find…well… let’s just say I would rather be without one than with one!

However on the 2nd I spotted these ones in Target! Yes they are vegan and in all honesty a small amount of dairy does me no harm, but they also had really good honest ingredients! Yay! And I tell you, don’t snub dairy free chocolate… it’s damn tasty!

(And yes this is David’s one… and it says ‘keep off’! Haha!)

Food/ drink – Artichokesartichokes - chase the red grape

Artichokes aren’t really a staple in the UK, and I don’t get the impression that they are here in Australia either, although at least you see the fresh ones in the supermarket! But for me, my favourite is having them all ready to rock in a jar! I love adding these little nuggets to salads but I would love to make a dip sometime… any ideas?

Recipe – Cotter Chili aka Sweet Potato Chipotle Chilicotter chili - chase the red grape

Another winner from Lindsay! It immediately jumped out at me when I read ‘slow cooker’! I subbed sweet potatoes for butternut squash and cauliflower for cabbage as that is what I had to be used up but the flavours worked so well, and it was even better the next day!

Next time I think I will just cut back a bit on the liquid… but I drained some of that out and now I have a tub of the most amazing flavoured broth in the freezer!

Workout- The WOD of deathCrossFit - Chase the red grape

Ok so this isn’t my favourite workout but definitely the most memorable… any CrossFitters out there will understand why. Oh and RX was 80kg for men and 60kg for women... yeah I know!

Every 2 minutes for 16 minutes

5 squat cleans

10 burpees over the bar

30 double unders

Weekend Plans – weekly shop and putting up the tree tomorrow then in the evening we have David’s works Christmas Party (at the yacht club!!). Sunday we are off to a Christmas market! It’s supposed to rain all weekend here but I am sticking to what everyone keeps telling me ‘Oh but it never rains in Perth’! Haha!

Are you going to a Christmas party this year? Looking forward to it?

Know any good artichoke dip recipes?

Do you feel that sense of community?

Linking up with Heather over @LifeinLeggings 🙂

5 Top Tips on a Tuesday – How to gift with a twist!

Hi all,

Christmas time allows me to indulge in one of my favourite traits – being organised! With it being the 1st of December, there seems like no better time to start planning for the big day. The aspect of Christmas that I love the most is giving – I love seeking out a gift for someone, selecting the perfect wrapping and then watching their face as they open it – it makes me smile so much just thinking about it!

But let’s face it, sometimes finding the perfect gift for someone is really difficult – either the stores you shop at has nothing to offer, or you have exhausted every gift option you can possibly think of to that person!gift - chase the red grape

Well have no fear! This weeks ‘5 Top Tips on a Tuesday’ is going to give you a helping hand – how to gift, with a twist! Giving you some inspiration on concepts for gifts that you may never have thought to give before!

  1. Books

Sure we have all given a book to someone at Christmas – from the chart, an annual or such like. But have you ever thought about the other types of books you could give?

I love giving cookbooks – especially my favourite ones like Nom Nom Paleo!

Children’s books… to adults! – I remember when David was given the set of ‘Where’s Wally/ Waldo’ books from my parents one year, he spent the whole day glued to it! They bring back so many happy memories – Mr Men books are great stocking fillers, the Roald Dahl collection is an incredible read or even new classics like The Hunger Games can keep us all entertained!

Oh and a special touch is to write a message to the receiver on the first page.

2) Board Games

What could be better than a gift that doubles up as entertainment for the whole family?!

Try classics like Monopoly, Cluedo, Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit and Game of Life.

Go reach your inner child with Mousetrap, Buckaroo or Guess Who.

Or stick with games like Cards Against Humanity… after the kids go to bed!

3) Hamper

One of gifts I love to receive the most is a hamper – and it is so easy to compile!

Find a theme – foodie? Drink? Bath/spa? Cook ware?

Buy or source out a basket/ gift box or simply wrap a box with some funky Christmas paper.

Work out how much you want to spend.

Then head on out to fill your box/ basket with the goodies, keeping to your budget.

And it doesn’t have to be too fancy – I love receiving my favourite chocolate that’s $4 a bar, or some seeds to plant herbs.

4) Experiences

For the past few years now, David and I have favoured buying ‘experiences’ over physical gifts. These gifts are special because they create a memory and will forever be with you. As you can imagine, they will range in price but here are some ideas…

$$$ – A holiday, weekend away, spa day, cookery class.

$$– Theatre, concert, sporting event tickets, a tour (wine, coach trip, museum/ gallery).

$– Massage, cinema tickets, afternoon tea.

5) Home made

Receiving a home made gift sends out so much love. Knowing that someone has put time, energy and thoughtfulness into your gift speaks a thousand words. Search home made Christmas gifts on Pinterest for some fantastic ideas – but remember, keep it simple, keep within your comfort zone and within a time frame that won’t get you stressed out!

My top ideas include – baking (cookies/ muffins/ gingerbread men), confectionery (truffles, fudge, gummies), hampers (see above), candles, Christmas cards, garlands, tree ornaments…5 TOP TIPS ON A TUESDAY

So get your thinking caps on, get organised and find those special gifts! It doesn’t have to be expensive to have so much meaning and worth – just remember to gift with love… and with a twist!

If I was making a hamper for you, what would I put in it?

Favourite children’s book you would like to read again?

Have you ever made any home made gifts?