26 Before 26 || October

life as unusuals 26 before 26 October recap

I’m at the point now where I’ll be glad when my birthday comes around and I can stop half-heartedly trying to achieve goals that are beyond my reach. Next year, I’m going with monthly goals, ones that are more achievable and involve an equal amount of food – hopefully.

Well, on to the goals!

New Recipes

Pancakes

vegan pancakes three ingredients

Who doesn’t enjoy some pancakes?! Better yet, pancakes that only need three ingredients to make.

We have made these twice now, the first time ended in a batter all over the kitchen floor incident, the second time was better. Although, I wimped out and only ate half, I blame the Belgian Lurgies that I’ve caught.Like September, that’s where our cooking ends. Lately, we are all about simple meals: roast potatoes with salad, pasta with tomato sauce, rice with stir fry veggies, and vegetable noodle soup. Plain and simple, warm and filling, that’s just how I’m feeling at the moment.

New Eats

Het Spaans Dak, Heverlee, Belgium

het spaans dak heverlee belgium vegan food

This was my first time trying fancy pants vegan cuisine. We went for a work dinner to celebrate a colleague leaving – by celebrate I mean, something nicer like congratulate them on their new job.

I contacted the restaurant before hand and they were kind enough to make me something different for each course, sort of. The bulgur wheat first course was just the regular main without the meat, the second course was a pumpkin risotto and the dessert was a fruit salad. Seriously lacking in its quantity of fruit.

The waiter did try to dress up by calling it a “selection of fruits with a caramelised clementine and crystallised orange peel”. AKA: a fruit salad.

The worst part, it wasn’t that great. It was fancy, but it was too much about the vinegar and seasoning and not enough about good hearty food. I’m a simple woman, I like me some taters.

Still, I’m not going to pass up my boss taking me to a fancy restaurant and not having to pay.

Dolce Vegan, Florence

dolce vegan food eating vegan in florence

There was plenty of vegan places to try when we went to Florence. One of the last places we tried was Dolce Vegan.

It was a simple place, they had this menu-card set up when you picked a base (ravioli, tagliatelle) and then you pick the sauce or flavour to go with it, I went with seasonal veggies and Kris went with a Bolognese.

They even had desserts, which have been hard to come by lately, but we didn’t give those a try. I know, stupid mistake.

BRAC, Florence

brac florence vegan food

This was the first restaurant we went to in Florence. From the reviews, it seemed to be the best vegetarian/vegan restaurant so we definitely wanted to try it out.

It was recommended to go for the Piatto Unico, which let you pick three options from the menu and have a little platter instead of individual dishes. Definitely my kind of option, since I always want to try more than one thing on the menu.

In true couple fashion, we both picked different options so we could share with each other. Is there any other reason to be in a relationship than to try more options from the menu? I don’t think there is.

Toto Atto II and Gelateria dei Neri, Florence

toto atto II marinara vegan pizza gelateria die neri vegan ice cream florence

Finally, when in Italy, it’s all pizza and gelato.

I realise this looks like the most boring pizza in the world, but it was so so tasty! The gelato was pretty darn good too: dark chocolate, soy vanilla, mango and forest fruits. Nom nom nom.

New Places

Provinciedomein, Kessel-Lo, Belgium

Provinciedomein kessel-lo belgium things to do in Leuven

New places were all the rage in October. A bit of local exploring at the start and a little Europe hopping at the end.

As much as I love seeing other countries, I love local exploring equally as much. Even though we live in a little town, I am always coming across areas that I haven’t been to, streets I haven’t been down or little details that I haven’t noticed before.

The provinciedomein, was one such place. But now I’ve been once, I’m definitely going again.

Fiesole, Italy

fiesole italy day trip from florence roman ruins

I’ve already mentioned our trip to Fiesole many times, so I will not continue to mention it here. It was very nice and well worth a day trip from Florence in my opinion.

Dublin, Ireland

dublin ireland travel blog

I’ve yet to write about our end of October trip to Dublin. It’s coming, so stay turned. I had to solve my my hard drive is over flowing with photos problem first, which is now sorted and I’m patiently waiting for my new external hard drive to arrive in the post.

We had the most glorious weather, saw many wild deer and took a hike to the coast. I didn’t fall in love with the city, but I had a fantastic time hiking and searching out wildlife in the fog.

The Audiobooks

I finished The Humans by Matt Haig. I liked it. I chuckled. Often. Currently, I’m listening to Gone Girl.

The Movies

We watched Gone Girl, just because I’m listening to the book and I like to compare movies and books.

The Museums

This was a good month for museums. Trips always equal museums so clearly to win at this goal I need more trips to go on and not less museums to visit. Actually, I’m scrapping this goal for next year. It was a bit too much and I have yet to fall head over heals in love with museums.

Since I haven’t shared too much about these museums yet, I’ll leave this short and sweet and talk about them more when I blog about them.

Oh the suspense. You’ll be back, I know it.

La Specola Zoology Museum, Florence

La Specola Zoology Museum florence italy things to do in florence

By far, my favourite zoölogy museum, although the one in Dublin gave it a little run for its money in the end. They had an amazing selection of birds, more than I’ve ever seen and this creepy, yet fascinating, wax exhibit on the human body. Pictures will be shared in due time.

Paleontology Museum, Florence

paleontology museum florence things to do it florence

Size-wise, this museum was pretty disappointing when you compare it to others we’ve been to but the content was good – they had a whole Mammoth exhibit, with multiple Mammoth skeletons and huge tusks. Again, photos and waffle to come.

Museo Galileo Science Museum, Florence

Museo Galileo Science Museum Florence italy things to do

Although this museum wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, I always expect things to be bigger and more extensive than they are, the one things about this museum that I loved, was its lack of interactive exhibits. You know what that means? No kids.

Natural History Museum, Dublin

natural history museum dublin things to do

This museum surprised me. There wasn’t much to it at the start, although I did appreciate that all the animal names were in English for a change. But when we walked into the second room (in the photo above) it was just all in your face, but in your face with gorgeous creatures and so much to look at that you weren’t quite sure where to start. I wish I had a wider lens to capture it with, but nope.

All The Other Goals

As always, there’s the forgotten goals of 2015. Less not talk about those.

So, yeah. That was October: Goal-style. One month to go!

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26 Before 26 || September

life as unusuals 26 before 26 september

Must. Write. Post. Before. September. Is. Too. Far. Away.

Must. Get. Arse. In. Gear.

Must write normally.

I sort of forgot about the goals in September and just hoped they’d complete themselves without too much effort on my part. I was more invested in thinking up new goals for next year.

Before I get started with this post, I should probably double-check what I completed last month, to make sure I’m not typing up a bunch of lies.

New recipes

Summer Garden Pasta

life as unusuals 26 before 26 september summer garden pasta vegan

One recipe. That’s all I cooked last month. It was all a bit of a fail compared to previous months, but still, something is better than nothing. It was a pretty good recipe too, although it looks quite plain in the photos, it had plenty of flavour and was light enough to eat lots–and lots. At least for me, it could be a bit too boring for people who like a lot of flavour.

I’m quite enjoying simple food of late. Simple and carb-y.

New eats

Vegan Pizza, Warsaw

life as unusuals 26 before 26 september vegan pizza warsaw

We had a bit more success with eating out last month since we went to Warsaw for a long weekend. Eating out is always easier when you’re away from home.

I can’t remember what flavours the pizzas were now though. I do know there were veggies involved.

We just happened on this pizza place and didn’t want to pass up a good pizza opportunity. It was the perfect way to end a day that started at 4am – or any other day for that matter.

Mango Vegan Street Food, Warsaw

life as unusuals 26 before 26 september mango vegan street food warsaw

Another place we just happened upon in Warsaw. It was late, we were hungry and Google told me this place had food.

Kris went for a tasty falafel burger and I went for mango sticky rice, which – for some unknown reason – I assumed would be hot. OK, the rice was hot but the mango and the coconut milk/cream concoction on top was cold. So the dish evened out at lukewarm and not really dinner-worthy.

It was tasty, but it was just not what I had in mind. It said rice in the name, I was not expecting dessert. Yet the fact that you can buy rice pudding, clearly indicates that rice can also be in desserts. I’m an idiot.

New place

Warsaw, Poland

life as unusuals 26 before 26 september warsaw polandlife as unusuals 26 before 26 september warsaw poland

Ticking off a new place and a new country last month with the beautiful city of Warsaw. I loved Warsaw, even though we didn’t plan much or get to do many of the plans, it was a just a lovely weekend away from the daily life and I can’t wait to explore more of Poland one day.

life as unusuals 26 before 26 september warsaw poland

Oud Heverlee, Belgium

life as unusuals 26 before 26 september oud heverlee

Two new places last month! Squeezing in a little Saturday bike ride exploring the area around where we live. Some of my favourite adventures are the ones just outside my front door, it’s the perfect balance of adventure and laziness.

life as unusuals 26 before 26 september oud heverlee

All those other goals

I think, I did OK at all the other random goals that I set myself.

I finished two audiobooks: Stiff by Mary Roach and The Child by Sebastian Fitzek, which was an Audible drama book. I’m still working my way through The Humans, as Kris and I are listening to it together. Plus, I also started reading a book too, rather than listening. I dug my Kindle out of the drawer, charged it up and am attempting to read more than four pages without nodding off.

Why it is such a struggle to stay awake when I read, I don’t know.

Movie-wise, I watched a bunch whilst Kris was away at the conference so I have bumped the goal up from 11/25, to 16/25. I watched: Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, Babe–I forgot how great that film is –Holes, One Day and The Spiderwick Chronicles.

Lastly, during our trip to Warsaw, we added another museum to our “visit some museums” goal: The Warsaw Uprising Museum.

And, we even took a couple photo on our trip to Poland! Pretty sure taking two couple photos this entire year means I’ve completed the “take more couple photos” goal. I even got the tripod out for this one!

life as unusuals 26 before 26 september
Despite was Kris’s face might say, he’s having a great time

That’s my September. Only two months to go before the goals are over and we tally up the failure. I can’t wait.

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26 Before 26 || August

life as unusuals 26 before 26 august

Better late than never I say, especially about blog posts that are best suited to the beginning of the month and not half way through the next one.

I should re-title these posts to “Things We Ate” because of all the goals I set, cooking and eating food seems to be the only one that can be considered a success. A pretty good success at that.

The other goals, well, they were just blind ambitions. Dreams of a reckless mind. Kinda stupid. Whatever you want to call them.

I know it’s only September, but I’m already getting excited for next years goals. I’m thinking monthly goals, set each month, specifically designed so I look like I’m continually winning at the goal achieving game.

I have priorities, and appearing to win at my own life is one of them.

Onto the food, I mean goals.

New Recipes

Up until the dreaded oven incident, we cooked a lot. It might be possible that I brought my oven crisis upon myself with all the cooking, but can you really over cook with an oven? I don’t believe it.

Still, that didn’t stop us cooking many new recipes!

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta and Oven Baked Honey Garlic Tofu

life as unusuals 26 before 26 august vegan recipes

I wasn’t sold on the roasted pepper pasta, it wasn’t as creamy and I still can’t get over the fact that nutritional yeast smells like feet.

The honey garlic tofu was a bit of a win, even if we’d roasted it within an inch of its life because of bad timings, it was still pretty tasty. I’d like to remake it though, without the texture of popcorn.

Moussaka and Avocado Pasta

life as unusuals 26 before 26 august vegan recipes

Moussaka win, lentil lasagna not so much a win. FYI, there is no photo of said lasagna, I still want to talk about it though.

The only downside to the moussaka was the slight overload of nutmeg. The only upside to the lasagna was it’s really tasty smell.

The avocado pasta, that was some weird shit. That’s all. I don’t mind avocados, but this was just weird. It’s hard to describe the taste, it was tasteless yet slimy and with an undertone of some other tastes. Weird stuff.

Tempeh Bolognese and Garlic Mac & Cheese

life as unusuals 26 before 26 august vegan recipes

The tempeh Bolognese was good. Sweet, saucy and very filling good.

The mac and cheese was alright. Cheesy-ish. Garlicky-ish. Alright-ish.

Spinach & Courgette Soup and Broccoli & Cauliflower Soup

life as unusuals 26 before 26 august soup

Panic not, soup was made once again. This months recipes are courtesy of fridge leftovers and free courgette.

I think spinach and courgette is my favourite flavour of soup so far. The Broccoli and cauliflower was a favourite of Kris, a little too much cauliflower for me.

New Eats

Vega Verso, Leuven

life as unusuals 26 before 26 august vegeverso

We have been meaning to try this place out for a while, so when our train was delayed and we had a spare hour, that was our calling.

Kris went for a soy-something sandwich and I went for a fancy breakfast. Mmm, it even had marshmallows.

New Place

Eupen, Belgium

life as unusuals 26 before 26 august eupen reservoir

We ticked off the new place of the month right at the beginning with a trip to Eupen Reservoir. After that, we went nowhere.

That Castle With That Moat

I’m definitely counting our excursion to the castle with a moat as a new place.

Two new places this month. Epic win.

Other goals

As usual, this is where all the goals go down hill.

I finished one audiobook: The Pale King by David Foster Wallace bringing my total up to 11/30. This goal is in goal-limbo, failure or success are both likely, so it’s a wait and see game. I’m currently listening to The Humans by Matt Haig, which is pretty funny and even Kris is enjoying listening to it with me, and I just finished Stiff by Mary Roach, but that’s for next months goals.

We managed to add some movies watched to the watch movies goal. With the end of Hannibal the TV show, it seemed fitting to watch Silence Of The Lambs and Hannibal the movie. The movie total is up to 11/25, which surprises me, this might not be a complete failure after all. But, we shall see.

I think that’s all the goals for August. Are you already thinking about next years goals?

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