Fresh Start with Nadia Lim – Review

Fresh Start with Nadia Lim

Fresh Start with Nadia Lim. The newest kid on the block from My Food Bag. We’ve had it for one week – here’s my review of Fresh Start, which, for the record, we paid for (this is not an advert of any form of sponsored post). However, before I forget, if you’d like to give a My Food Bag, err, bag a go, go to the bottom of this post: I have a referral code for you to use – we’ll both get $10 off our next order! 😊

First,  I’m going to assume, for the benefit of keeping this post as brief as possible (noting I always have too much to say) that you are all over the My Food Bag concept. If you are, in fact, not ‘all over that’ – read this blog post from a while back where I reviewed My Food Bag (long story short: I super complimentary things!).

My Food Bag’s newest bag, Fresh Start with Nadia Lim, is essentially, same, same but slightly different to other My Food Bags.  Fresh Start is the option for those wanting to get ‘healthy’ and/or drop some pies.  All meals are 450 calories or less per serve. Meals come with lean protein, a shit tonne of veges, and the meals are lower in gluten and dairy to boot. Check out  My Food Bag’s website for all the deets on Fresh Start here. 

Whilst I’ve been wittering on in recent times about the astronomical cost of groceries in NZ, potentially leading you all to believe we are poorer than church mice, we signed up for Fresh Start for the pricely sum of $200 for 20 meals. Why? I’m quite porky at the moment. Uncomfortably so.  Why I am porky is, to be honest, bloody boring and predictable. I’m not going there. I am, frankly, I’m sick of reading blogs/Facebook posts about curvy birds like me who have seen the light and have dropped 20kgs and are now a size 10 and lifting their own body weight at the gym. I AM NOT GOING THERE.  This is Not That Blog.  I am not aspiring to get crazy fit, nor be a size 10 (though I am joining a new gym opening up down the road)… Yes: I’m happy with fitting back, comfortably into my smaller size 14 jeans. I like my curves, albeit some of them are more like rolls at the moment.  Anyhoo, we thought give Fresh Start a nudge. There we go, rationale, done. #simple.

My Food Bag, as I’ve bleated on about before, is a winner in my view: It’s one less thing to think about in a week. No meal planning, no McDaddy grocery shop, just a quick trip to the supermarket to get breakfast stuff. Yes, I know, it’s not a huge task, but it’s one less thing to think about. If you are reading this and have a husband who takes care of all the groceries and cooking and you don’t have to think about it: Good on you. I’m envious. I’m not in that situation and frankly, I get sick of all the organising and planning that goes with running a family. I am not a naturally organised creature, I have to put a lot of effort into it and I find it exhausting. If I lived the single life I’d be the kind of person who would ponder all day what I felt like for dinner. I would pop into the supermarket every night on the way home: Sod that planning malarkey, I’d revert to type! So, scene set, the Number One reason I love My Food Bag is that they cater to my gourmet taste, whilst eliminating all that thought about meal planning and organisation. It helps my ENTP* Personality Type out, tremendously (using the Myers Briggs Framework, but I digress).

What does Fresh Start cost?

With Fresh Start, there’s two options, as shown below.

Fresh Start with Nadia Lim

I signed up for the Lite 20 option, so we had meals for two adults for dinner, with leftovers each for lunch the next day. Hubby had no say in the matter: He does as he is told when it comes to meals. If he took charge, he could make such decisions. He doesn’t.   We are, for the record a family of three, our 10 year old vege dodger has been eating separately from us (he’s cooking his own meals with my help, get ‘em in the kitchen early I reckon).

$200 per week, which sounds on the high side. However, this is just under what I spend a week on groceries anyway, so, being pragmatic, by the time I get breakfast stuff in: Our total weekly grocery cost is more or less the same. 

So, scene set, how have we found Week 1 of Fresh Start? Thanks for asking: Here’s a blow by blow.

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Lou Loves – June 2017 Faves

I was going to write a full on, full noise blog post for Lou Loves – June 2017.  But life in the last week has been CRAZY busy and I’ve been zooming around the North Island. Subsequently I had no capacity to sit down and write a post (well, I did, but I prioritised my family life)! So here’s a video. Again.

Now, I have worked REALLY hard to not say ummmm. I also tried really hard to look at the camera more. I tried really hard to not talk too fast. 

How did I do?

Products rambled on about in this vid

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Delhi Hut Rotorua – Review

Delhi Hut Rotorua

We had date night last night. The Boy stayed over at a mate’s place, which, when you have an ‘only’ means you are home, alone, in one easy sweep. Boom, easy! We thought we’d treat ourselves and go out for dinner (we haven’t done that for months) and go out to a movie. However, the weather was foul, I’d been complaining I was cold all day and the offering at the movies was ‘bah’. “What about takeout from Delhi Hut, that newish veggie Indian place we keep hearing about?” Offered hubby.

Wait, he’s offering to eat vegetarian? And Indian? Two of my favourite ways to eat (but not his?). Done. “Oooh, can we eat in front of the TV and watch a movie?” I countered? Done. Sold. We are old, but happy. Off we went to Rotorua’s Delhi Hut. We got a park straight outside. Off to a good start. I did have gumboots and track pants on just in case we had to walk a long way in the crapola weather:  I’m an old school puddle jumper. I over dressed.

Delhi Hut Rotorua

As quick background, Delhi Hut keeps sneaking up in my Facebook feed. This is always a good sign.  My buddy Cam, our slightly mad, enthusiastic, food-loving vegetarian friend, has been raving about their kai, as have a few other foodie friends. Frankly, I’m ashamed this was our first visit, we should have pulled our fingers out ages ago.

Exec Summary:  The food is fantastic, the service top notch, and, you know what a lover of a good deal I am: We got all of this food for $32 and it’ll feed us again for dinner tonight! So that’s $8 per head for four people (if your maths is a bit pants). Wowser. Last time we got takeaways, it was a Chinese takeout feast (amazeballs, but it was $75 for four peeps: That’s almost dine in bloody prices – so long as everyone drinks water). (more…)

See you in September Book Review

See You In SeptemberSee You In September is Charity Norman’s latest novel. I’ve been waiting for this book to be released for, ages. Now, just in case you missed the memo: I’m a BIG Charity Norman fan and I’ve been checking out stalking Charity’s Facebook page, so eager I was for updates on her writing process of her latest book! I knew that when See You In September came out I’d get it – and write a book review.

Oh. It was worth the wait. I loved See you In September.  It was gripping in a way that was, I must add, slightly disturbing, upsetting, heart-in-the-mouth, captivating, kind of way. Mum read it before me. She enjoyed it too, noting she also used the word ‘disturbing’ to describe it.

But first, some background. I fell madly in love with Charity Norman’s work when I read her cracking book, The Secret Life of Luke Livingstone. If you haven’t read this… Do. It’s the best book I read last year and, funnily enough I had a Facebook message from blog follower Emily, who is currently sunning it up on holiday in Fiji. Emily took The Secret Life of Luke Livingstone with her, on my recommendations. She’s been ignoring her family. She reckons the book is fab too. 

My Review – See You In September

See you in September is the tale of Cassy, a young and intelligent English girl, who is heading on a short break to New Zealand with her boyfriend Hamish, before returning home for her best friend’s wedding. Meanwhile, temporary escapism beckons for Cassy, who feels the the weight of her Dad’s expectations on her shoulders.  Cassy’s Dad Mike, who has his heart in the right place, simply wants the best for his beloved daughter and he is relatively forceful in his ‘encouragement’ of Cassy to achieve a high-flying law career.

Cassy, meanwhile, usual story: Has other hopes and dreams for her life and resents her Dad for putting his sticky beak in, because, you know: What does he know?  A tiff unfolds about this difference of views in the car, en-route to Heathrow Airport. Meanwhile Cassy’s Mum, Diana,  takes on the role of peacekeeper. Diana, incidentally, would do well working for the UN.  Scene set: Tension is rife as Cassy farewells her loving family as she boards the plane bound for En-Zed.

Cassy blew a collective kiss at them. ‘See you in September,’ she said. A throwaway line. Just words, uttered casually by a young woman in a hurry. And then she’d gone.

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Chicken Pie with Herby Cobbler Topping

I’ve been making this Chicken Pie with Herby Cobbler Topping recipe for so long, I’m struggling to count the number of years to tell you exactly how long I’ve been making it for.

I used to make it for my ‘first family’ which was the family in Wellington that I nannied for when I was at Uni.  It was a crowd-pleaser back then (read, no empty plates) and it still is now: I’ve been dishing this up to my own family (which has the grand sum of three people in it) for 15 years or so (well, hubby and I have been eating it that long… The Boy is only 10). Yeah, it’s an oldie but a goodie this recipe. It’ll be one that’ll go in Lou’s Cookbook on my death bed (in the event anyone is interested…).

This recipe has been pumped out a fair bit lately, as I’ve been doing #shopmypantry. Miss that memo? This was basically a life event (not a first either, I hasten to add).

What is #shopmypantry?  We ran out of cash in our everyday account… Well… I had some time-off due to a bereavement which means = no income (oh, the joys of self employment!). Then, I got paid, which was pretty meagre and then, Ed Sheeran tickets came up for sale.  “Stuff it I thought”. I got tickets.  After that, I realised funds were much lower than desirable, i.e. nearly at zero!  When it came to grocery shopping, I decided “No! Fark using our savings for that, or buying food on credit cards”…. So I did no grocery shopping at all.  None. Zilch. What did we do? We literally ate what was in our pantry and freezer, as it turns out, I’ve got hoarding tendencies and… There was enough food in there to feed us for a week past when I’d have ordinarily gone to the supermarket. I wittered on about this on Facebook and it seems, I inspired others to just eat what they already had.  Excellent!   For the record, we did #shopmypantry last week as well, but I didn’t witter on about it, least my faithful audience thinks “this again? Hasn’t she got new tricks?” (more…)

Avokado Bra Shopping – Gamechanger

avokado bra

Got big boobs? Been bra shopping in Newmarket, Auckland at Avocado? It’s a game changer. 

Such a game changer, one of my dear friends from my Rotorua neighbourhood posse waved a finger at my girls and asked “What’s up with those girls?” My girls, FYI, were proudly on display (if I do say so myself) underneath a particularly clingy t-shirt. Of course, I whipped up my t-shirt, flashed her and said “I’ve got a new bra and it’s ah-mazing”. I’m that kind of friend. No holds barred. No shame. I’ll show you my boobs.

But first, the background. Despite being a shopaholic, the notion of tog, jeans and bra shopping fill me with dread. Togs, nuff said. Jeans,well,  as a 5”1 curvy lass, finding something that fits my smallish waist, yet snugs my large ass whilst allowing me to sit down, and finish at the ankle sans hem amendment, was next to impossible (until JeansWest rescued me with their curve embracer range).

Bra shopping though, that’s next level soul-destroying. You seen I have big DD boobs, a small under-carriage, and I’m on an endless quest for bras with straps that aren’t ‘nana wide’ i.e. that don’t dig in and cause dented shoulders. Also, as someone who had a boob reduction, I have an overhanging bit of, erm, flab, under my arms. This, clearly, needs containing. Then there’s the bra trying on process: To be blunt, witnessing, first-hand my flabby tummy in full flight, knowing I should have gone for more early evening summer walks and turned down that second BBQ sausage… Yeah it’s not fun. Most of the time I’m content with my #inbetweenie* size, eyeballing my jiggly tummy at close range though: Not fun. (more…)

#shopmypantry – A worthwhile experiment

Who’s seen this?  Agh, the irony. Just as I come out of my May spending freeze, Farmers gets fully into bed with MAC: Now you can buy their goodness online. And I find this out in the same week that Kmart go online. Goodness. What a week for retail in NZ.  All we need now is Ikea and Aldi. Why go shopping in Melbourne for a weekend? 

Anyhoo, if you missed the memo, last month we were SKINT as a result of a bunch of unexpected bills and me needing to take nearly two weeks off work in late April, unexpectedly. I’m self unemployed: No annual leave, sick or, in my case, bereavement leave for me. No pity party: Life happened. Shit happens.

In terms of financial survival, I decided we weren’t going to dip into our (relatively modest) savings to live in May: Nope, we were going to live on what pingers we had coming in for the month. You know, like live with what we have got. Even though we all know that’s why God created credit cards. 

For me: I gave myself a stiff talking to: No clothes; No beauty (my two biggest spends); No trips for hubby and I to Liquorland  – a few bottles of craft beer here and there adds up, noting we are not pissheads, anymore. For the family: No takeaways, no coffees, no pub trips, no eating out. Thankfully, as it was hubby’s birthday last month, we’d booked and paid for a weekend away for just the two of us back in April and I had a small stash of cash for some meals out. We, cough, stayed in our motel room for the best part of 24 hours and had free entertainment, LOL. We had budgeted for dinner and breakfast out in Taupo. Dinner was shit (let’s not go there, I can’t even remember what it was called it was that bad) but breakfast was fantastic at the Paddle & Spoon.

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