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Last minute Christmas cake


I’m finally posting a Christmas cake recipe and it’s not for a traditional Christmas fruitcake, but I thought it would be also great for Christmas day celebrations.  Although there are many fantastic elaborate Christmas cake recipes, I decided on something that could be whipped up fairly easily and didn’t require too many ingredients.

The recipe is Nadia Lim’s tropical fruit and almond cake.  There is dried mango in the recipe (yum!) but I used an extra half cup of dates instead, as I still had plenty of dates left over from the packet we bought.  We also didn’t have any flaked almonds to put on the top, but it still looks pretty good (if you ask me).

I hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful time over the holidays and all my very best wishes for the new year 


Back to Basics Series: Final Update

Hello!  I hope you are doing really well.

This is the last update in my Back to Basics Series.  The intention of the series was to introduce one new habit each week that would help set a solid foundation from which to start working towards my goals and to track how it all went.  The habits I covered were sleep, meditation, meal prepping, exercising, and a deep-cleaning housework routine.

Last week meals were organised and prepped on Sunday and Monday morning for the week ahead.  I meditated almost every day, went for one short run.  However I really fell down with going to bed early last week, and we have completed one housework zone during the last two weeks (as the previous week I was sick with a cold).

We were on school holidays last week so we generally had a different schedule to term time, but in the future I will rethink how to reschedule some activities to fit into our holiday routines.

Overall I feel happy with the habits I’ve been developing during this Back to Basics series and I’ll continue to keep going with them.  I’m still loving The Last 90 Days Challenge and really recommend it, and I also watched this recent How to Achieve Your Goals video by How Jen Does It which was great too.


Update on Back to Basics Series


I hope you have been having a fantastic week!  The last five days I have been sick with a cold so I missed some of my goals last week and earlier this week.  But I’m feeling a lot better now and I’m looking forward to getting stuck back into them this week.

The Last 90 Days Challenge started on 1st October and I have been thoroughly enjoying participating in it.  I would really recommend this challenge if this is something that you think you would like to join the challenge.

There is also a new free 21-Day Meditation Experience Energize Your Life: Secrets for a Youthful Spirit starting on 29 October that looks great, I’m registered for that too.

I would love to know about any courses or other resources that you’ve found to be helpful in meeting or working towards your goals.

Next week I’ll post another update on how my new habits have been progressing.  Hope you have a wonderful week.





Week Five: Back to Basics – Housework


Housework, there’s so much of it!

Although we do our daily housework, we do need to have some sort of schedule to consistently complete deep-cleaning tasks.

A while ago I searched online for housework schedules and stumbled across the How Jen Does It YouTube channel, and it’s my favourite channel for house related videos (and she has other great videos too).  Jen divides her house into different zones and completes a 15-minute deep-clean of one zone each day for a week.  Another more recent video is this weekly cleaning routine for general weekly tasks.

This seems pretty do-able for us, and my husband and I are going to each deep-clean a zone on alternate days.  This is my (or rather our!) goal for this week.  Because I’m writing this post on Monday (instead of Sunday) our deep-cleaning will start on Tuesday, and on one day we’ll complete two 15-minute deep-cleaning sessions.  Wish us luck!

Hope you’re having a great week.

Update on Week Four

Last week I completed my two short runs and meditated every day.  We shopped on Sunday for this week’s meals, and I did some meal prep on Sunday evening and finished off our meal prep today.  I tried to choose quick and easy to put-together meals to save us time in the evenings, but it also has saved us time meal prepping!  I went to bed early three nights last week.





Week Four: Back to Basics – Exercise

Hello again!

My focus for this week is to increase my current level of exercise.  My exercise routine doesn’t involve any sort of formal exercise program, I generally just dance (a lot!) at home, do a bit of yoga and go to an outdoor gym once a week near my parents’ house.  Looking after my little ones keeps me pretty active too.

Sometimes I think about employing a fitness instructor to help work out a more effective exercise program, and I think I might do this one day in the future.  At the moment though I’m happy to just start slightly increasing my exercise activities.

I’ve decided to include two short runs (which will increase in length over time) each week to my existing exercise routine. Eventually, I would also like to include an online workout session and start using more active modes of transport when out and about.

Please note I am not a health or fitness professional and the above is for informational purposes only.


Update on Week Three

Because our young ones are waking up earlier, I did wake up early (6 am or earlier) almost every morning last week.  I also meditated most evenings last week, however, I only made it to bed by 9 pm approximately half of the week.  Two nights I did get to bed around 9.30 pm though which is a vast improvement on my previous bedtime (10 pm – 10.30 pm each evening)!

Week Three: Back to Basics – Meal Prepping



My next priority to help achieve my goals is to consistently meal prep every weekend to save time during our weeknights.  Having a system set up and sticking with it every week without fail is my goal.  We are lucky that my husband is paid on a weekly basis (on a weekday) but this doesn’t marry up with when we find it easiest to meal prep (on the weekend).  We talked a bit about it, and he suggested making our next shopping trip cover a week and a half worth of meals until the following Sunday, a great idea.  So we’ll start weekly meal prepping the following week on Sundays.  Seems pretty simple, but unfortunately, we weren’t doing it!  We usually do some meal prep during the weekends but not enough to avoid at least a couple of nights scrambling around for meals or getting take-out.

I know that some people may struggle financially and not be able to meal prep for additional days so if you’re keen to meal prep but can’t do more than a week, or a full week, just do the best you’re able to – every little bit of meal prep helps.

Also, part and parcel of meal prepping are first writing a meal plan and grocery list, and if possible try not to shop on an empty stomach.

Some of my favourite meal prepping videos/sites are:

I also get a lot of slow cooker and other cookbooks out of the library.  Some of my go-to slow cooker and grocery shopping books (I own a couple of these too) are:


Update on Week Two

I went to sleep early (3 nights) and meditated (4 nights), approximately half of last week.  We had a couple of events and there were a couple of nights where we just didn’t get to bed early (I think a lack in meal prepping influenced how these nights went). Hopefully next week I’ll do a bit better!



Week Two: Back to Basics – Meditation


Hey!  Welcome back.  I’m fresh into week two, and this week I’ve decided to tackle meditation.

I’ve been meditating on and off for a while, but it’s something I’d like to do consistently every day so that it becomes part of my daily routine, as essential as the other things I do on a day to day basis.

Finding time in the morning can be extremely tricky in our household, as we’re basically trying our best to just get out the door on time.  As I keep working towards getting up earlier in the morning, (my goal is 6 am and I’m currently getting up at 6.30 am), my plan is to meditate in the evenings and then eventually add in meditating in the morning as well.  At the moment I think my best bet for having a consistent meditation practice would be to meditate just before bedtime.

For a while now I’ve been meditating to one of Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra’s meditation experiences/challenges similar to this one (affiliate link) and I’ve found it to be really great.  There is a variety to choose from so you can choose the one that best fits you if you are keen to go that route.  They also offer free 21-day meditation experiences/challenges from time to time so if you’re interested, but would like to try one first, then here’s a link to the Chopra Centre Meditation website to sign up and have a free 21-day meditation experience.  They also have a store available on their website.


Update on Week One

Week one actually worked out to be pretty successful, I went to bed by 9 pm five nights out of seven, but our sleep was often disturbed by our little ones in the middle of the night.  So it worked out well that we went to bed earlier just to get a somewhat decent sleep!

I haven’t set my alarm as yet, although I’m now waking up at the earlier time of 6.30 am most mornings which is great.  I’ll start setting it for 6.30am this week as my set ‘wake up’ time as I continue going to bed at 9 pm each night, except for one night each week when I have an evening club meeting to attend.

I did review my daily schedule and re-jig it a bit, re-arranging things to fit in with our kids’ new routines.  It does seem though my general daily schedule has the ability to fail pretty easily though if things get hectic during the day.  Perhaps I’ll have to look at doing some tasks early in the morning before everyone wakes up if my new schedule doesn’t fare so well.  We’ll see!

I hope you are going really well with your goals.

Do you meditate or do any other mindfulness exercises?  

Do you have any meditation/mindfulness websites or apps that you would recommend?



Welcome to Progress With Goals.

I hope to help you achieve your goals as I work to achieve my goals, sharing the interesting information and insights I learn along the way.

No matter what your goals, I hope this site presents you with some interesting and informative content that you can apply to the goals you have set for yourself.

I appreciate you taking the time to view the information on this site and I wish you all the best with achieving your goals!

Best wishes,
Progress With Goals.