Well hello there!

How was your weekend? I hope you had a fantastic one. After having returned from Australia mid-week, mine was spent getting back into my usual routine – laundry, re-stocking the fridge, throwing out all the junk mail that has accumulated in our post box, and unpacking. Not the most thrilling of tasks, but I did enjoy a lovely massage on Saturday that I booked for myself prior to leaving on my trip. Nothing like a nice 1-hour spa treatment after spending roughly 20 hours on an airplane!

This post is a little late considering it’s already May 7th, but I couldn’t wait to start sharing my Melbourne recaps with you last week. There’s certainly more to come, but today let’s take a break and talk goals, shall we?

As is the case with most months, April came and passed before I knew it. I didn’t have time to finish up a few of my goals, but I’m playing catch-up now that I’m home. You’ve probably noticed that the font in my banners is a little different this month. This is because Picnik (the online tool I’d been using to create them) has shut down, so I’ve had to create a little work-around. Here’s the full report for April, starting with…

Although all my research and planning for this endeavour was done prior to my trip, sadly I didn’t get around to actually executing until this past weekend – hence the B-. You may remember Callie’s brilliant guest post from last week, where she gave a super-detailed tutorial on how to make a perfect plate of sushi. The tips she gave were very similar to the instructions that I found through Googling DIY sushi, and I’ve got a full how-to post coming up next week. Until then, here’s the proof that I actually succeeded with this adventure!

Not bad for a first trial, don’t you think? Better late than never!

Done and done! To celebrate my blog birthday on April 10th. I launched the Fresh Bites page, where you can preview my first recipe book and purchase it in either print or e-book format. At the moment, the provider that I used to publish the book only formats the e-book for iPad and iPhone, but I will let you know if they make updates for Kindle and other e-readers too. If you haven’t yet, click over to the Fresh Bites page and preview the book to see what’s inside!

I told you at the beginning of April that I was going to finish reading From Snapshots to Great Shots by Nicole S. Young, but I haven’t quite made it to the end yet. While I did make it to 3/4 of the way through, I think I actually learned more in a short but absolutely fabulous how-to session from Angela. Prior to the tutorial she gave me, I’d heard the words aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, but had absolutely no clue what they actually meant or how to adjust them on my camera. Thanks to her, I now know both! The plan is to finish the rest of my book this week, and now that I’m more familiar with the terminology used in it, Nicole Young’s tips make a lot more sense now.

Ever since Ange’s quick tutorial, I don’t think I’ve taken it off of manual once! I practiced a ton in Australia and am now very comfortable with my camera, but by no means am I an expert yet. (I’m alright with still things like food, but moving things aren’t quite as easy! There’s still plenty to be learned and I’m very excited to keep experimenting now that I’m back in my own kitchen. During my trip to Australia, ideas for recipes seemed to sprout up in my head like crazy. Using what I’ve learned over the past month, I hope to have some mouthwatering photos to show you soon! For now, a few more from Melbourne….

From what I’ve been told, I think I did a pretty good job of this one! Cynthia’s sister was her maid of honour, and there were 3 more girls including myself in her bridal party. Although I couldn’t do a whole lot to help her sister out planning-wise prior to my trip, I did as much as I could once I arrived. This involved visits to the florist, the wedding venue, and making sure the wedding planner had everything right on the day of the event.

For Cynthia’s hens’ night (or bachelorette in North American terms), we had high tea at her house and this involved lots of baking! I’ll show you the full spread in one of my upcoming Melbourne recap posts, but here’s a little glimpse at one of my masterpieces:

As I mentioned in Friday’s post, I was in Melbourne for 8 full days and my fitness regime in consisted of 3 runs, 2 Insanity workouts, and a whole bunch of walking around. There was absolutely no gym time, and I didn’t plan my workouts – I just sort of did them when there was time or when I felt like it. I ate when I felt hungry (as opposed to when my work schedule tells me it’s ‘time for lunch’) and woke up when my body didn’t want to lay in bed any more. (Ironically, this happened to be at about 7am every morning. I guess I’m an early riser no matter where I travel!)

With the exception of the wedding stuff, my time was pretty much my own and I used it to explore the city and walk down the beaches when the weather was warm enough. Going for walks isn’t something I do on a regular basis because as I’ve mentioned before, the type-A voice in the back of my head seems to think walks should have a destination or purpose. The only purpose of my Melbourne walks was to get out, enjoy the fresh air, and take a few photos of the gorgeous surroundings that we don’t have here at home. (Hello palm trees and pelicans!)

I checked emails occasionally to make sure there were no blog emergencies to take care of, but apart from that, there was very little computer time. My phone was switched off, and I didn’t even carry it with me for most of my outings. It was so nice to be schedule-less, unplugged, and to be able to do whatever I felt like doing. It’s back to reality now, but taking this break reminded me how good it feels to decompress and tune in to what my mind and body really want.

Alright, it’s your turn! Tell me…

  • How did you do on your goals for April?
  • When’s the last time you really gave yourself a break? How did it feel?

Have a wonderful day!