Tag Archives: Love

Peptalk: You deserve your love

You deserve love - Buddha quote | lizniland.com

…and Buddha don’t lie.

As part of the safety demonstration on a plane, they always tell you to fasten your own seatbelt/oxygen mask/life jacket first before helping those around you, even children.

Apply that to your life & love yourself first.

Without your own source of oxygen, you’re of no real use to anyone else!

x Liz

Photo note: Image from Death to the Stock Photo

Staying in touch with far-flung friends

Keeping in touch with far-flung friends | lizniland.com

Tonight is the last hurrah for a close friend who’s moving over to the United Kingdom indefinitely. She’ll be back for our wedding in October later this year but beyond that, she’s hoping she’ll be met with a top-notch job and her own Prince Harry.

I have quite a few friends & family members who have lived, or still do live, overseas or interstate and I honestly find it difficult to keep in touch with them as much as I would like to.

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (and the rest!) are convenient tools but I feel like they provide an illusion of connection: I can see where you’re working now (Like!), I know the name of your favourite coffee haunt (Retweet!) & I love the new boots you bought (<3 <3 <3) but I had no idea your grandma was ill and that the guy you were seeing was a dud and that you had a rotten day yesterday. Real connection, the kind that comes after a few sips of coffee and a mouthful of sweetness, is hard to recreate when there are oceans between you.

The long chats had while meandering through shopping malls are replaced by emails: Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply!!!

I struggle to share my love from afar but as someone who highly values loyalty, a close friend is never far from my mind, however far they slip down my must-respond email list. I’m an in-person connector, if that’s a proper type. The phone is for arranging catch ups, the emails always feel like the temporary fix. But what if they’re always going to live far away.

I think it’s different with the people you meet on adventures too. On my #PNTHAILAND14 culinary adventure, I met a dozen fantastic individuals who I still keep in touch with via social media. And that feels right. It feels like it works to just comment on fun photos and cheer on their successes. After all, while we shared a great trip, it was such a short time to get to know someone much deeper than their social media persona anyway. It’s so different to the people you’ve grown up with, counselled over silly boys, dressed up and danced away the night with so many times. A Like, a Retweet, a late email doesn’t do that justice.

Short of taking regular trips halfway around the globe, I don’t know if there is a solution. Become a billionaire or live with the slight discord of a friendship from afar.

x Liz

P.s. How do you go with keeping in touch? I’d love to hear any tips for someone that needs to get better at it!

Photo note: Original image from Death to the stock photo.

Thankful Thursday: April 9th

My list of love & gratitude for this week, as inspired by Gala Darling‘s old Things I Love Thursday.

Engagement photoshoot | lizniland.com

  • The bloke in the above photo. He’s a good Easter egg, that one.
  • Clever photographers. The above shot is the first taste from our engagement shoot with photographer Lauren Campbell and I can’t wait to see the rest!
  • 4-day working weeks. Thanks Easter. Thanks Jesus. Thanks Bunny.
  • Lifting weights. I’m loving the fresh eyes and different approaches of a new trainer. Still at the best gym in Newcastle but now doing strength-focused bootcamp sessions with Sarah.
  • Health of my family. There was a scare… but it has turned into a treatable scare.
  • Excitement for friends. New homes, new adventures & new babies galore!
  • Chilly autumn days. I say this now… Ha! #novelty
  • Inspiring individuals. I’ve been listening to Ted Talks and Marie Forleo during the afternoon at work.

Autumn feet | lizniland.com

 

x Liz

P.s. What are you loving this week?

 

Photo note: First one by Lauren Campbell, second one by me on my trusty iPhone.

Week of Eats: New Year’s cheer in Melbourne

Before we get into the ins and outs of the eats, I have an exciting announcement to make following our Melbourne trip…

We're getting married | lizniland.com

Yay! Michael proposed as we were strolling around Melbourne’s King’s Domain Gardens and I excitedly accepted! Stay tuned for further developments & planning 🙂 For now though, back to your regular scheduled programming.


 

While we still made it to our favourites, our eats in Melbourne on this trip took us to a couple of new spots. One of the standout new-to-us eateries was BARRY. A short tram or taxi ride (we recommend tram if your taxi driver smells anything like ours did *shudder*) away in hip Northcote, BARRY has a creative menu full of inspiring food and drinks which are well worth the 20-minute wait for a table.

Coconut cold brew | Week of Eats: Melbourne | lizniland.com

Living in the coffee hub of Newcastle, it takes some impressive bean work to get us excited but this coconut cold brew was a winner. With an accompanying bottle of coconut milk for a dash to taste, it’s a refreshing take on caffeine.

It’s not all about the coffee here though: once the food landed on the table, it’s easy to see why this place is packed to the rafters at brunch o’clock.

Eggs benedict | Week of Eats: Melbourne | lizniland.com

Benedict eggs, slow braised free range ham hock, apple cider hollandaise and granny smith apple on a potato hash brown; don’t mind if I scrape every last morsel of it from my plate! Anyone cafe can do an eggs benny but this one was next level – creativity and quality produce are a killer combination.

Cumulus Inc is a long-standing breakfast favourite of ours in Melbourne but, while we’d sampled the wine list in the classy-but-cosy bar upstairs, we hadn’t been in for a dinner service. With no room at the inn downstairs, Cumulus Up had four stools free at the bar overlooking the kitchen for us and our two friends – jackpot!

Duck waffle | Week of Eats: Melbourne | lizniland.com

Now I know how much I love duck waffle, foie gras and prune. We feasted on most of the menu – including (but definitely not limited to) the steak tartare, the ricotta dumplings, the roast potatoes – and loved every mouthful.

Another favourite is, of course, Movida. It was lovely to share dinner there with our uninitiated friends. We revisited a couple of dishes (the menu doesn’t change a whole lot over time) but this Ajoarriero – salted cod roe with potato and piquillo pepper – was a delicious tapa I hadn’t tried before. And you can bet I kept it all to myself.

Salted cod roe | Week of Eats: Melbourne | lizniland.com

We totally indulged with the dessert menu too. I managed to post the almond parfait with lemon curd ice cream on Instagram before we forked in.

Fun fact: Aussie model Abbey Lee Kershaw was dining with us at Movida. Sure, she was at another table, but we knew who she wished she was chowing down with.

Late breakfasts and deluxe dinners resulted in low key lunches most days. A picnic of (bun-less) Grill’d is always an easy option, especially when you’re trying to find food in bustling St Kilda on a sunny day! Mmm sweet potato fries…

Grilld Melbourne | Week of Eats: Melbourne | lizniland.com

And sneaking in as the last entry in this round of Week of Eats, we have takeaway long blacks from Brother Baba Budan (left) and Cup of Truth (right).

Melbourne coffees | Week of Eats: Melbourne | lizniland.com

Both coffees were quality but bonus points go to Cup of Truth for the hidden location – I had no idea where Michael was taking me when we were getting to it! It’s tucked away in the Degraves Street subway station so don’t rely on your GPS knowing where the devil it is.

Hope you had a fabulous festive season!

How do you… throw an engagement party?

Engagement parties, like weddings, are one of those events that everyone has an opinion on. I’m not engaged but it still doesn’t stop me being asked what I’ll do when the time comes.

You’ve probably been to plenty of such functions & I’m sure you have a pretty good idea of what you liked and what you would’ve improved! While you should obviously go for the option that best reflects you & your partner, there’s so much that goes into putting it all together that it’s worth doing a bit of research.

Do you have an all-in affair or do you just do a backyard barbecue with friends? Do you do speeches? And, do you really have to invite your Mum’s third cousin Bertha that you apparently once met, age 4?

I thought I’d grill a mate of mine Lee Isherwood (graphic designer & the bird behind Bluebirdmill) to get the behind the scenes scoop on her recent engagement party.

Us with the happy couple

Us with the happy couple

Being the wonderfully creative type she is, Lee quickly found a hall to hire, locked in a Mexican theme for the evening and then got to planning the important stuff – the decorations!

“I love decorations,” Lee gushes. “My favourite place to look for ideas was Pinterest. I allocated a decent budget for decorations but I shopped around to get the best price so I didn’t blow it all on a handful of things.”

“I also had a few friends & family members get in on some DIY projects too.”

The card-eating pinata was a definite decoration win!

The card-eating pinata was a definite decoration win!

Budgeting is always the elephant in the room with anything wedding-related. The optimal price range varies for everyone & how much you spend on each component of your night will always depend on your priorities. Be sure to think through what matters most to you & your partner & allocate your funds accordingly.

While Lee & her partner had chosen a budget for the party, the addition of catering pushed them beyond what they originally wanted to spend overall, let alone on feeding everyone.

“While we really wanted to stick to our budget, we decided to book a caterer to minimise stress on the night,” Lee said. “We also organised a couple of friends to make some Mexican-themed nibbles to go around before the catering was to start.”

“For the catering, we opted for canapé style food which, while it was tasty, I probably wouldn’t choose if I had to do it all again.”

“I spoke to a few people after the night & although they all enjoyed the food, some people just didn’t get enough of it.”

Lee found a picture of this cake on Pinterest & her sister-in-law had it made as our present.

Lee found a picture of this cake on Pinterest & her sister-in-law had it made as our present.

It can be tempting to try & do everything yourself but, when it comes to your engagement party, it just isn’t worth missing out on sitting back & actually enjoying yourself.

Lee said the most special part of the evening was seeing all the family & friends who had travelled to share the event with her & her partner.

“Most of my partner’s family live a few hours away & we have friends interstate so it was lovely they were all able to join us,” she said. “I really felt like it was important for me to focus on having a great night, no matter what, as everyone was there because they love me & my partner.”

“Keeping in mind that everyone was there to celebrate our love for each other also helped me not sweat the small things!”

Stunning bride-to-be Lee & her proud mum

Stunning bride-to-be Lee & her proud mum

Lee said she definitely couldn’t have done it all on her own & greatly appreciated all the help she got from her friends and family.

“My mum and dad were absolutely amazing,” Lee said. “They got up super early & spent the entire day setting up & then spent most of the night running around making sure everything was running smoothly.”

“Other friends made food & decorations, lent cars to transport the ice & booze, & my high school best friend even hit the early morning markets in Sydney to fill the hall with dozens of flowers.”

“If you’re planning an engagement party, I’d recommend getting over any fears you might have about asking for help!”

Lee's friend hit the early morning flower markets to decorate the hall with fresh blooms.

Lee’s friend hit the early morning flower markets to decorate the hall with fresh blooms.

As a reveller that had a fantastic time, I’d have to say Lee’s function was a success! Planning is obviously a big part of the night but I loved Lee’s sentiment that it’s so important to take the time to share the night with your family & friends.

Preparation is the key, as well as having a great support crew – having some trusted friends and family you can rely on to handle any problems during the party will help diffuse your stress levels & keep you smiling throughout.

A note to future lovers…

…Don’t go too hardcore on the hickeys:

“A woman was partially paralysed by a love bite from her amorous partner, a New Zealand doctor has reported… There was a clot in the artery underneath where the hickey was. The clot had gone into the woman’s heart and caused a minor stroke that led to the loss of movement.”

(via SMH)

Intense!

Things I Love Thursday

As inspired by Miss Gala Darling, here are the things I love, on this Thursday:
• Taking two whole days off from the gym & feeling so amped to get back first thing tomorrow morning
• Spending time with old friends – nothing beats that
• Knowing I’m back at work in four more sleeps! While everyone else around the place seems to hate being back at their respective jobs, I miss being in my office with my work people- I’m not very good at having time off to do nothing… Hence the increase in time spent at the gym!
• Moments of clarity
• The guy that plays the lead love interest in Burlesque. Hottt. (The movie was much better than expected actually. Aguilera has the greatest voice ever and, for a 307-year-old, Cher is surprisingly 40-looking. Note me down her surgeon & come back to me when I’m 63)
• Donating to the Queensland floods appeal. Do it.
• Chats with the grandmother
• Sleeping stretched out in your own bed

Love

“To acquire love, fill yourself up with it until you become a magnet.”
– Charles Haanel

My favourite things…

Sparkling fairy floss nail polish, tasty dinners, chats with friends, good tv, warm quiet nights, tired eyes, solid gym sessions that leave you sore & wanting more, the Thursday night anticipation that Friday is just hours away.

Damn you, Zeus!

According to Greek Mythology...

Explains a lot, really.