Sunday Seven

Sunday-SevenEach month I will be sharing a Sunday Seven post, which will be a round of a few of my favourite things I’ve seen on the web. I like the idea of celebrating some of my favourite sites, along with new sites that I discover and find inspiring.

  • Seeing Kellie finish her black and white blanket has me inspired to get mine finished too!
  • This post on office supplies you can use in scrapbooking. I need to get my hands on some of the index tabs, but have used most of the rest before
  • I’m so in love with indoor plants at the moment, and have grown my collection by 8 in the last month. These fabric planters will be fun to make and keep some of them in!
  • A love letter to my body is such an inspiring read. It makes you think hard about how you treat your body, that’s for sure!
  • I love colour, and I love this post about how to add more colour to your life!
  • A year long weekly photo book for your kid’s final year of school? I don’t even have kids yet, but count me in!
  • I love travel and I love documenting my trips. This post from Kelly Purkey is right up my alley since it combines both on the go!

Have a good week ahead everyone :)

Project Life 2014 || Weeks 25 and 26

Week 25 ||

Project Life Week 25 || Inspired Life with Jess

Dates: 16th – 22nd June

What happened this week? I did plenty of knitting and watched lots of The Walking Dead. I celebrated my birthday with dinner and an ice show in Darling Harbour on Thursday, and zorb balls, merry-go-rounds, cocktails and fireworks on the Saturday. I completed my 27 recipes birthday challenge and started an unfinished projects birthday challenge. Overall, an awesome week! Also, we took a trip to Ikea for an Expedit and bed

Project Life Week 25 || Inspired Life with Jess

Anything special in the spread? Photo collages for my 27 recipes and fireworks photos. Also joining 2 spots together for fireworks photos

Project Life Week 25 || Inspired Life with Jess

Overall thoughts: I think so many recipes in a collage may be a bit of overkill, but it was fun to see them all together like this! Also, I’m hooked on the night photo of Darling Harbour and the fireworks photos!

Supplies used: Cathy Zielski’s Life Basics No. 01 Templates, Cathy Zielski’s Week in Review cardsMidnight full digital kit, RUKRISTIN’s “Currently” journalling card, fonts are Calibri and KG Second Chance Sketch


Week 26 ||

Project Life Week 26 || Inspired Life with Jess

Dates: 23rd – 29th June

What happened this week? I started unpacking my craft room, set up my Expedit and new bed, had some work celebrations including a trip to see 22 Jump Street, celebrated Mum’s birthday with Thai food and wine, tested out our new oven with homemade pizza and had a good week with commuting to work!

Project Life Week 26 || Inspired Life with Jess

Anything special in the spread? I didn’t have many photos so I got the movie one and the Opal card one offline. I also used a lot more filler cards than I usually do

Project Life Week 26 || Inspired Life with Jess

Overall thoughts: I decided to try making a layout with pink this week and I struggled to get it to work. Adding the orange helped. Apart from that, I kept things really simple this week and I’m glad I did because I like how it turned out.

Supplies used: Cathy Zielski’s Life Basics No. 01 Templates, Cathy Zielski’s Week in Review cardsKiwi full digital kit, RUKRISTIN’s “Currently” journalling card, fonts are Calibri and KG Second Chance Sketch


To find out more about Project Life, you can check out Becky Higgins blog here, which has lots of photo ideas and inspiration. You can see all of my Project Life 2014 posts here, and 2013 Project Life posts here. I also have this post of Tips and Ideas for Documenting Week in the Life, which has many ideas that can carry over to Project Life easily.

100 Happy Days Update

On the 24th March, I signed up for the 100 Happy Days challenge, where you take a photo a day for 100 days in a row of something you are happy about. As of 2 days ago, I have passed the finish line on this awesome project!

100 Happy Days 50-75 || Inspired Life with Jess

I’m still slightly in shock that I made it so far with this project! I suppose I shouldn’t be, since I’ve actually taken at least one photo a day each day this year, and I did the same thing in 2011, but it still surprises me each day that I stuck to this! You can see all of my photos together by searching the hashtag #j3ss1c4s100happydays.

100 Happy Days 76-100 || Inspired Life with Jess

More food photos, a couple of craft photos, some new house photos and moving photos, and random outing photos round out this project. It’s interesting to see how these have change from the first 50 photos I shared here. I will be turning these into an Instagram photo book, and will be sure to share an update here once I have the book in my hands. I can’t wait!

If you want to join in, you can sign up here. If you do, let me know in the comments so I can follow your progress! Also, you can see my first post about this challenge here and the second post here.

I Choose – July

I Choose || Inspired Life with Jess

I can’t believe it’s already a full month into winter! June flew by, but I managed to do pretty much everything on my list, except fully unpacking. It seemed like a chore compared to everything else, so I ended up going for the fun stuff instead!

During July, I will:

  • Finish up with 100 Happy Days (which you can see post 1 here, and post 2 here)
  • Celebrate Dad’s birthday
  • Try 2 new recipes (already have the stuff for pork gumbo and ANZAC biscuits)
  • Complete at least one Unfinished Project for my challenge
  • Celebrate my 5 year anniversary with Michael
  • Finish setting up and organising my craft room
  • Continue our weekend coffee date tradition (and the writing I do afterwards)
  • Knit 15 or so rows of my black and white blanket
  • Go to a photography class in the City
  • Finish watching The Walking Dead season 4


Choose was my One Little Word for 2013, that I used to help guide me throughout the year. It’s still relevant in my life, so I will continue sharing an “I Choose” post at the start of each month.

You can see my “Choose” posts here.

If you don’t know what One Little Word is, you can read more about it in this post from Ali Edwards. I will be undertaking Ali’s One Little Word class again this year, and creating an album about my word and the changes it’s manifesting in my life.

Happy Birthday, Mummy!

Happy Birthday Mummy || Inspired Life with Jess

To the best Mummy in the World,

Well it’s that time of the year where you have another birthday! I know you are still only 29 and all, and that I’m catching up to you at a rapid rate, but I hope you have had an amazing one all the same! You deserve it, after putting up with us girls (and by that I mean Bec and Samantha, of course!) all this time!

I wish you all the best for the year ahead. I’m sure it will be an amazing one, with your big adventure trip. I’m glad that you’re finally getting a chance to travel and do your own thing for a while, since you’ve always done everything you can for us girls, even when it means you miss out on your own things sometimes. You better stay in touch and send lots of pictures so that we can live vicariously through you for once! I’m sure you will see so many amazing sights and visit so many amazing places, and even though you have not left yet, I’m already jealous! I hope you get into plenty of mischief so that we can hear all about your amazing times over there!

It hard to believe that in 365 days, you will be celebrating the big 5-0… I can assure you that we will have a big one ready for you when you come back to visit us for your birthday! I’m not sure what it will be yet, but the 3 of us girls have a whole year to plan it! Any suggestions on what you would like? If not, your trusting leaving it all to us ;)

Everything I wrote to you last year is still true as well. Thank you for being such an amazing Mum and doing everything you possibly can for us girls. Happy birthday, Mummy!

Love always,




Scheming: Future surprise adventures for Michael. They may or may not involve hopping on a plane and flying somewhere exotic

Loving: Finally having a proper bed and an expedit after all these years!

Organising: Many boxes of craft supplies onto my new shelves. Love the extra space and that I have somewhere to put it all

Challenging: Myself with Zorb Ball adventures. So much fun, but such hard work to stay balanced and dry!

Enjoying: Knitting a blanket on cold nights, and the fact that it is long enough to rug up in as I go!

Planning: Some project catch up sessions so I can start making some good progress on my unfinished projects list

Listening: To the radio each morning and evening as I drive to the train station. Thinking I really need to get some other music I can put in the car, since the radio shows seems quite repetitive!

Making: Plenty of lists of notes. Projects, house ideas, to do lists, blog ideas, menu plans and lots more

Eating: Even more good food… Hurricanes for my birthday, Grill’d Burgers, Guzman and Gomez nachos, Thai… Still hooked on good food!

Working: On my black and white knitted blanket some more. So far this winter, I have already done another 8 rows, and I have another 29 balls of wool ready to go to complete it!

Reading: Lots of different blog posts that I keep bookmarking to read later as I run out of time for them! I’m even behind on the usual ones that I read each day. I love getting to spend plenty of reading time on the train though

Workspace Wednesday

There is still a lot of unpacking and organising going on around here after our move. While the bulk of the most used areas are done, my craft room has been sorely neglected, and I am missing my crafty time!

I have finally brought an Expedit though (which I have wanted for the longest time, but never managed to get my hands on), and now I am slowly starting to make some progress. There is still a long way to go, and I don’t even want to know how many boxes are left, but I know I will get there. It feels especially refreshing knowing that I am sorting and purging as I go.

Craft Room || Inspired Life with JessI also brought 3 sets of white draws for my Expedit, and 2 turquoise cupboard doors to use, which I set up tonight. However, I am now unsure as to where to put them in the unit, since I realised they actually get screwed into the spots, and I’m hesitant to do something so permanent as punching holes in it! Any suggestions?

Craft Room || Inspired Life with Jess

While organising my craft room has moved up the list to number one priority, I have also been working on my knitted blanket, which has grown another 20cm or so since moving. I have to say, for someone who used to hate knitting, I sure am hooked right now! It is awesome to sit back knitting while enjoying a couple of episodes of whatever show I am watching at the time.We still don’t have blinds here, which makes it rather cold at night here, and since my blanket is getting so long, it’s a perfect activity to do to keep warm, too!

Today I am also sharing on the currently creative link-up that Kellie from Give a Girl a Blog is hosting. Please come on over and check out everyone’s projects when you finish here :)



The Walking Dead


Anyone else out there love zombie apocolypse movies and TV shows as much as I do? I go through stages where I just can’t get enough of them! Lately I’ve been hearing a lot about The Walking Dead TV show. My sister, my Mum, my Dad, people from work, one of my favourite bloggers, have all been raving about it. Now it’s usually a pretty good sign I’ll like a book, TV show or movie if my sister recommends it, but I still held of starting it and I have no idea why!

In the last week or so I finally caved, and I’ve already finished the first 3 seasons. It’s an addiction, I swear! One of those shows that sucks you in so you have to keep watching to find out what happens next! I love shows and movies where there is a lot of action. This one definitely fits that category… There is always something new happening, another drama, zombie attack, or missing person to deal with. I love it!

For those who have never seen The Walking Dead, it follows along with the story of Rick, a cop who was shot wakes up from a coma in a hospital only to find out the world he knows is gone. Everyone he knows and loves has disappeared, and instead he finds himself faced with zombies who try to eat anything living that comes into sight. He takes off in search of his wife and kid, who he believes are still alive since the photos from his house have been packed up, and the show goes through his search to find his family, the people he meets and the misadventures they get into, and his role as the group leader where he is always trying to save everyone.

So good and highly recommend it to everyone who enjoys these sorts of shows!

The-Walking-Dead-2**Both images are linked to the original sources if you click on them


Thoughts on 27 Recipes

A year ago, I started a birthday challenge to cook 27 new recipes before turning 28 (which happens to be today!). My original thoughts were to include all sorts of recipes, such as meals and desserts, but as the year went on, I realised that meal ideas were the most fun, and I tried some fantastic new recipes! As of Sunday, I finished what I thought was the 27th recipe, and then as I went through my photos, I realised I had actually doubled up on recipe 17, so overall, I ended up with 28 new recipes and I completed this challenge quite well!

When it came to choosing recipes to cook, they came from all sorts of places… Some were from cookbooks or magazines, some were from blogs or Pinterest and some I scoured the Taste website for. I found some recipes I instantly wanted to cook and I added them straight to my grocery list. Other times, I had to search for ideas, and when this happened, I usually looked for recipes that use different ingredients to what I usually cook with.

I found this a great challenge to try new things (I’ve never cooked with pork, salmon, squash, eggplant, prawns, pear or leek before) and I made quite a few different meals that I would not have ordinarily made at all. I also tried a few different cuisines (Italian, Indian, Thai and Lebanese come to mind) and cooking methods (roasting and slow cooking).

From this challenge, I have managed to come up with a new list of recipes to add to my usual recipe rotation, and we have found a few new favourites! These include:

Over the last year, I have noticed that my food photography has improved a little, and I have quite a bit of fun taking my food photos each time. I’ve also come up with a fairly consistant style of shots that I take for each recipe. This was such a happy side-benefit of this project, one that was completely unexpected!

I started this challenge since I was in a rut with my cooking. I always stuck to my tried and true recipes, unless I was actively seeking out something new, which wasn’t very often. Over the last year, I have gotten into the habit of trying new foods and learning new cooking styles, and while I still have a lot to learn and improve, I am slowly gaining confidence in my cooking ability.

These are the recipes I have made over the last year, starting from the most recent going back to the first ones. You can click on any of the photos to take you back to the original recipe. These recipes also include my thoughts as to what I would change, and also Michael’s thoughts on the recipe, since he was the one who tasted all of my recipes!

Chicken, Leek & Mushroom Casserole || Inspired Life with Jess

Goulash || Inspired Life with Jess

Mexican Ham Soup || Inspired Life with Jess

Slow Cooker Pork Ribs || Inspired Life with Jess

Tomato Basil Chicken Pasta || Inspired Life with Jess

Tom Yum Soup || Inspired Life with Jess

Chicken Tikka Masala || Inspired Life with Jess

Squash Fritters || Inspired Life with Jess

Celery Soup || Inspired Life with Jess

Pork & Pear Bake || Inspired Life with Jess

Moussaka || Inspired Life with Jess

Creamy Paprika Chicken & Mushroom || Inspired Life with Jess

Pork Skillet Pasta || Inspired Life with Jess

Salmon en Papillote || Inspired Life with Jess

Sang Choy Bow || Inspired Life with Jess

One Pot Pasta || Inspired Life with Jess

Green Curry || Inspired Life with Jess

Butter Chicken || Inspired Life with Jess

Sweet Chilli Beef || Inspired Life with Jess

Noodles in Sweet Soy Sauce with Beef || Inspired Life with Jess

Hummus & Tabbouleh || Inspired Life with Jess

Minnestrone || Inspired Life with Jess

Cheesy Meatballs || Inspired Life with Jess

Slow Cooker Savoury Mince || Inspired Life with Jess

Honey Soy Marinade Chicken Drumsticks || Inspired Life with Jess

 Quesadillas || Inspired Life with Jess

Pizza || Inspired Life with Jess

Roast Chicken & Vegetables || Inspired Life with Jess

Sunday Seven

Sunday Seven

Each month I will be sharing a Sunday Seven post, which will be a round of a few of my favourite things I’ve seen on the web. I like the idea of celebrating some of my favourite sites, along with new sites that I discover and find inspiring.

  • Looking forward to this book by Shimelle and this book by Elsie and Emma from A Beautiful Mess
  • Love this post by Kellie of 20 things to blog about. Ideas galore!
  • This YouTube clip was good for a laugh. Glad my Mum was never that mean!
  • Craving ANZAC biscuits constantly at the moment. Looking forward to trying this recipe as soon as we have an oven
  • I found some fun new Instagram feeds this month, and a couple of my favourites are here and here
  • Thinking I like these album templates for a Winter Manifesto this year
  • I thought this post by Elise about promoting your business through Instagram was quite fun!

Hope you all have a great week ahead!