Free Download: The Veggie Mama Meal Plan + 50 Meal Ideas

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A little extra note today to let y’all know I’ve got some freebie subscriber downloads if you want ‘em! A simple meal planner in the style I’ve always wanted: plenty of room to write the name of the dish, notes for anything that needs to be done in advance (which is my downfall!), and a space to write anything I need to get for it. Also no specific days because I don’t choose which dish goes on what day at the start. I write 5-7 ideas and just work with whatever I feel like doing on the day.

I’ve deliberately kept it simple as I loathe wasting printer ink, and this one can be easily printed or photocopied in bulk.

And to go alongside, I’ve got a printable with 50 meal ideas, which you can keep in a folder somewhere or as a file on your desktop, as it has links to recipes I recommend.

If you’re already a newsletter subscriber, you should have received an email in your inbox with the link to download. Didn’t want you to miss out!

If you’d like to sign up to the weekly (sort of) news around here with things to read, things to eat, things to win, and things to do, enter your deets below and you’ll be directed to the download page.

Join the crew!



Thank you! And enjoy.

 

Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

Kick Ass Chicks: Lorraine Elliott of Not Quite Nigella

Not Quite Nigella's Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches because WHY  NOT.

Not Quite Nigella’s Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches because WHY NOT.

Lorraine Elliott barely needs an introduction, particularly if you’re in Australia, you eat, or you blog. A very talented lass who cooks, travels, loves cake, and tells entertaining tales all day long on her blog Not Quite Nigella.

When I first started blogging five years ago, I was blown away by how professional she already was. Here I was stumbling around Blogger and Google Friend Connect and wondering what a Twitter was, and Lorraine was travelling, eating, reviewing restaurants, and making things from fancy salt she had bought in some exotic country. Her photography was stellar, her recipes flawless.

I was so surprised when she would come to leave a comment on my blog if I had taken the time to visit her and leave a comment. I couldn’t believe she had the time, or cared. But she kept coming even though my photography resembled an accidental pocket-dial film of someone on a week-long bender in Vegas. I’m ashamed to say, internet, that although I read her blog often, I took to only commenting when my own post that day wasn’t ugly.

Read More

Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

Happy 5th Birthday Veggie Mama! Readers May De-Lurk Now

A couple of months ago an email dropped into my inbox congratulating my little Tumblr blog on turning five. Five! Five years since I made Joel Birch a fail-filled vegetarian lasagana in exchange for designing me a little home on the internet to talk dribble and share good food.

Realising all the cool kids were blogging on Blogspot, I moved all my posts over on March 21, 2010, and declared Veggie Mama open for business. The following year I had a baby on that day, so it overshadows my blogiversary somewhat, although I always have a moment somewhere during that week where I go “huh. would you look at that. This bloody thing’s still around”. And believe me, I’ve tried to quit it. Several times. It appears I can’t.

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Sorry, internet. You’re stuck with me.

But it’s not my fault. It’s yours. If you all weren’t so funny and awesome, I’d have walked away long ago only to remember nostalgically now and then about that one time where I wrote a diary on the internet heheh those were the days.

Since you’re single-handedly responsible for keeping the VM Mothership afloat, it’s only fair you tell me who you are. Who is it that reads here, shares these posts, laughs at with me, and whips up veg goodies for their family? Who are the people who never say a word? Look, I’ve made you a cup of tea, the least you can do is sit yo’ ass down and tell me some stuff.

green tea with lemon myrtle veggie mamaWho are you? Where do you live? Do you hate singing reality TV shows as much as I do? Would you eat a cupcake or a toasted cheese sandwich right now, given the opportunity? Do you have kids? What song is stuck in your head right now?

If you can remember, I’d love to hear how you first found this here blog. That would be fun!

Meanwhile, thank you.

sally

(Well, most of you anyway!)  xo

Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

Best of Veggie Mama 2014: Food, craft, and weary indignance

It’s usually around this time of year I have a look at what have been my most popular posts, and I’m usually always surprised. Posts I wrote years ago are still the top picks, although I have forgotten them over the years. It seems you guys haven’t! A couple of my all-time favourites made it, too.

FOOD

The top three food posts this year were also the top posts overall. All of them written pre-2014!

food 2014

The Secret to Making Fluffy Banana Pikelets

Homemade Vegetarian Sausage Rolls

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

 

CRAFT

craft 2014

Tutorial: Knit a Simple Cushion Cover

Free Crochet Pattern: Little Handbags for Kids

Free Crochet Pattern: Baby Girl Hat

 

Bad Shit that Happened so I Complained About it On the Internet

stuff 2014

This actually isn’t a category I set out to fill, but it seems my top posts of 2014 written in 2014, were actually these. They appeared to have hit a frustrated nerve with you!

How to Recover a Document Saved to Office 2011 Autorecovery.

That one time the computer lost my article, and I had to Google for half a day to get it back. Surprisingly popular with very, very grateful strangers.

Check Yo Self, Internet

That one time I got sick and bloody tired of my friend copping so much crap from an entitled and nasty audience. Seems lots of people felt the same way.

The One Blog Post the Whole Internet Needs to Read

Put down those smug avocados. And if you’re feeling a bit judged, be reminded of this. (Also wins for best reader comments of the year, there are some real corkers in this one!)

 

Food of 2014

PicMonkey Collage

Kid Food: Mini Yogurt Pancakes 

Laura Bush’s Texas Governor’s Mansion Cowboy Cookies

Caramelised Apple and Cinnamon Scrolls

 

Do you have a favourite? I like Check Yo Self, that one I wrote about learning big life lessons and sorting out your priorities, and that one I wrote about burning all my food and wanting to punch half the world.

Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

The Planning Frenzy and The Important Question

Veggie-Mama-Planning

 

A little while ago, we did a survey here on VM, and we asked you a million and one questions. The ones I was mostly interested in were the ones about content – what do you come here for?

One day I will show you the results (I had 200 respondents, blew my mind!) because I find them utterly fascinating. It seems most of you come for the recipes (70%), and just over half of you come because it feels like a chat with a friend, and/or for a giggle (53.5), and half of you come to hear about someone else’s life (50.5%), just like why I read blogs! I was pretty interested (and slightly confused) to see 19.5% of you coming for parenting advice, because I’m not sure I’m qualified to hand that shit out! I’m such a rookie, but we seem to be doing ok. And last but not least, 15% come for home advice (usually me telling you to put things in washing baskets and forget about them), and 3.5% come for beauty tips (get microdermabrasion and use Cosima skin care but hey, you’re gonna get old anyway).

So in the interests of actually being useful, I wanted to run this by you:

What would you like to see here?

What can I help you with?

What sorts of recipes do you like?

And finally, can you do my laundry?

veggie-mama-planning-2

I love you long time, and am always grateful every single goddamn day that you choose to spend some of your time with me xx

 

Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

That time I wrote a confession a day for 31 days

taking a drive big kid swing

This time last year, I was well underway with a writing challenge. Myquillyn of Nesting Place had a thing where you wrote every day for 31 Days in October , about one topic. I mixed that up with 50 writing prompts from Fat Mum Slim and came up with a confession a day.

Y’all, I will never write every single day for 31 days ever again.

But it is hilarious to look back on it. Enjoy and do please laugh at my expense. It’s what I’m here for, after all.

1. That thing that happened in high school that pretty much changed my life forever.

Where I discuss being a high school dropout.

2. The day I left home.

Where I get confused.

3. That lie I told that I got away with (or didn’t!).

I’M FINE. I wasn’t fine.

4. The hardest thing I’ve ever been through.

Breakup = life lessons

5. 9 things I just can’t handle.

Where I explain what I hate and it gets reprinted by news.com.au and I get abused.

6. My most excruciatingly embarrassing moment.

It’s every goddamn day.

7. The story of my first kiss (not skipping all the awkward details!)

The guy with the ferret!

8. The day I started blogging – what was I thinking?

Can this thing make money?

9. The most difficult decision I have ever made.

A stranger in the street gave me permission.

10. 7 things I learned from being a kid.

CHRISTMAS IS COMING!

11. The last thing that made me cry.

Fuck you, Ricky Gervais.

12. My earliest childhood memory.

I swear it was a blue dress.

13. That thing that really gets my goat.

The arrogant ignorants.

14. The worst Christmas I’ve ever had.

Oh it’s so pathetic it’s funny! My poor cat.

15. What I am addicted to and why.

Old shit.

16. My obituary.

I still LOL at this.

17. A DIY on something I know nothing about.

How to Be an Astronaut. It’s riveting. (No really, it actually is).

18. What I’ve learned about life so far.

Thank you Dr Phil and Oprah.

19. Brain dump: what’s on my mind right now.

I think it was the X-Files, from memory. Painting shit white / decluttering / other Veggie Mamas / loud cats.

20. Something I lost.

I actually still want it back.

21. My worst habit.

I’m sitting on the couch as we speak.

22. Thank you to a thing that I love.

It’s about to get upgraded!

23. What I want to be when I grow up.

I fell asleep reading this.

24. Something I found.

Fwends.

25. A review on something I’ve used, watched, eaten, or read lately.

The Green Kitchen cookbook. It’s a good one.

26. An update on my most popular post – where are we now?

Thinking of doing an update on the update!

27. Set a goal and a plan on how to get there.

To my surprise, I’m doing even more than that now.

28. Top 5 blogs I’m loving right now.

Top 5 of all time. Nearly all the same as how I feel now!

29. I ask advice on something that is troubling me.

The P-Word!

30. A menu for my last meal ever.

Truffles, truffles everywhere.

31. I share a secret I’ve never told anyone until now.

Hi Shaun! *waves*

 

Could you write every day for 31 days?

 

Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

I had Lunch with Seth Godin and This is What he Taught Me

Seth Godin is an entrepreneur and marketing guru. He encourages people to think outside the box. To eschew the restraints of society and authority, and be creative in your endeavours.

As we all know, I’m not particularly creative. I also rarely think outside the box. Not because I don’t want to, but because it doesn’t come naturally to me.

So when I had lunch with 500 other people in Seth’s presence last week, I was intrigued about what Mr Godin could bring that I already didn’t know I should be doing.

Seth is a great speaker. If you haven’t seen him, you should. He really is pretty motivating, but not in a cheesy way. In a way that validates the choices you’re making, the dreams you want to get off the ground.

While he was speaking, we each had a little bingo card to cross off words as he said them. The first to get a row could yell bingo and get a free book. Being the competitive little brat that I am meant I paid more attention than I probably normally would have as I usually have a short attention span and my brain wanders off a lot. Sandwiches. But a couple of things stood out to me.

The first was to stay on my current path. While Seth speaks marketing, and in terms of selling goods or ideas, I have to revert that back to blogging. Because, like it or not, that has somehow become my actual job now. So in a sense, what I’m “selling” is me. And I’m a complete wanker. But some people get a kick out of it, and as I evolve, so does my blog. That definitely means that people unfollow or unlike or whatever as they realise I’m not a hippie preaching about natural living (I think the name Veggie Mama confuses people), or my sailor mouth offends some, or they don’t have small children any more and can’t relate, or they are upset I don’t post as many recipes as I used to now that I only do one a week.

I don’t mind the unfollows, I’m a rabid unfollower. We all go through different phases in life and fall in and out of love with things. I’m more than happy for people to fall out of love with me, or cull their input so they can go out and live their actual lives. As Seth said, you don’t want to be for everyone. The makers of Harley Davidson motorbikes don’t create bikes for all people, they create bikes for certain kinds of people. Don’t like Harley Davidson motorbikes? That’s ok. They’re not for you.

I’m not for you.

Ok maybe not you, because you’re here reading (hi!) but I’m not for everyone. I don’t want to be. And Seth says that’s OK (thanks, Seth!).

The other thing he mentioned that stood out to me is something I’ve long believed but of course, he could put it into a snappy phrase and I spend half a day trying to explain what I mean. He was talking about the levels of photography skill, and said that lots of people can produce beautiful photos. Some can produce photos that others don’t think are attractive (but that’s ok, it’s not for them). But everyone has access to the same camera.

If you don’t take that literally (please don’t, I can’t bear explaining this to you once you tell me some people can’t afford cameras), everyone has access to their ability to make their own agenda. As a result of the choices you make, of the jobs you take, of the people you meet, of your personal motivation. Everyone has the ability to do different things with that. I like to make my life the way I want it wherever possible. And yes, that sometimes means doing stuff I don’t like (remind me to tell you about that one time I worked cleaning colonoscopes to earn a living) to get to stuff I do like (travelling). Some people stop at doing stuff they don’t like and refuse to do it. But that usually means they never get to the stuff they really want to do. That’s not for me.

Mr Godin gave me permission that day to continue the way I was going. To go slowly because I’m not for everyone, and there’s no doubt that’s the long way round. But to do it how I want to because though everyone might have access to a blogging platform, what comes out on the other side is what you make it.

Seth Godin No Free Lunch

When I rocked up to get my book signed, I told him I almost won the bingo, but was pipped at the post. He asked my name and turned around. He walked over to the book table and signed the same poster prize the winner had received, so he also taught me trying but not winning is sometimes good enough. People like that you care enough to try hard. And when I asked him if we could take a picture he almost wasn’t going to, even though he liked my gumption enough to give me a poster. There was a lot of people still waiting, and his time was running out. At that point, if I was him, I would have said yes because I have remnants of the People Pleasing disease and I still find it hard to say no. He found it easy. I need to work on that.

But I got my photo anyway. And I did it myyyyyyy waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy.

Seth Godin SelfieWhat ‘wrong’ thing are you going to choose to do today? What will people say you’re ‘wasting time’ on? What will you be ‘blamed’ for? Go and do it!

 

Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

Your First Blog Post

I am seeing a lot of anguish on the interwebs lately from people who are hemming and hawing over their first blog post – they want to get it just right. They want to get it so perfect that they’re not even starting. I’ve heard of people writing and re-writing… I even talked to a gal at PBEVENT who has held off for a whole year because she’s just so scared.

Darren spoke over the weekend about just getting started, and then building up something you love. Taking that first step.

I never worried about what my first post on Veggie Mama would be – I already had a blog and I knew there were only two people besides myself who ever saw my first post. Lots of blogs go out into the internet without fanfare and glitter. They just sit there.

This is mine.

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 3.04.35 pm

It has been on the internet for almost five years, and it has had 52 views. 50 of them was probably me refreshing every time I added a new widget to my sidebar.

It doesn’t look like that any more, because I’ve had plenty of site designs over the years. But it’s still there, in it’s crazy web-archived glory.

I’m quite fond of it, looking back. It’s quite nostalgia-inducing! I was having a lot of fun, and this looks so like Blogspot in early 2010, because it was Blogspot early 2010.

Get started. Who cares what it looks like? What it sounds like? You’ve got all the time in the world to tinker with it.

And for all y’all who have a blog – link up your first post ever. Get nostalgic with me! You can even use the Internet Archive Wayback Machine and show us all what it looked like way back when.

 

Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!
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