Laura Smiles Food

My favorite recipes

Original, I know. But come a new year, or any time really, I think it is always good to think about what you want to do next. Some of them are more long term goals and others are one offs, just fun things that I would like to do, a bucket list of sorts.

1. Workout more

I know, i’m sticking to the default things here. However, this is something that I really want to get better at. I do exercise now, just not as structurally as I would like. Sometimes, i’ll workout 4 times a week and sometimes it’s just one 30 minute workout. Which is better than nothing, but my goal is to peloton at least 3 times a week. Which i’m glad to say, I have achieved this week 😁

2. Blog more

At the end of 2020 I had a bit of a writers block and didn’t have a lot of inspiration to write. After speaking with my friends and family (and some google help) I have a bit more of an idea of what I can write about in the future.

3. More video’s

I asked a while ago on my instagram what types of video’s I should record, and I got round to filming all of 2 video’s. So starting next week I will be uploading some more to my YouTube channel, while also posting them to my blog. I think my goal is to do a video every 2 weeks (I need to put this in writing otherwise we both know that it’s never going to happen).

4. Drink Enough Water

There are definitely phases in my life that I drink water the whole day through and always have a water bottle of some sort close by to sip on. At the moment that is not the case and I really want to try and pick up that good habit again. I used to drink about a bottle before I even got out of bed in the morning – now, I don’t need to go to those extremities again, but some days I feel sluggish and then realize that I have not drunk a single drop of water yet.

5. Have a mini vegetable garden

Don’t think many were expecting that one, but I love food and every spring I try my hand at gardening. Some years it goes better than others – i’ll give you an update around June 😅. My host kid has also talked about planting seeds in the garden, so I am excited to do that together with him.

6. Keep my planner up to date

I am sure that I am not the only one, who always starts off a new year with a new journal/ planner and come week two, it’s already at the bottom of a junk draw. This year, I have made my own digital planner that I can use on my iPad and phone. So we’ll see if that is an improvement. I can at least say that I am still using it right now.

7. Travel back home

I would love to be able to visit my family and friends in June back home in The Netherlands – obviously a lot of things need to happen before I would be able to do this. Like the travel ban needs to be lifted, visa ban needs to be lifted, and hopefully I will have received the COVID-19 vaccine before then so I can be super safe when traveling.

8. Travel in the US – 5 states

I want to travel more in the US as well, see at least 5 more states that I haven’t been to yet. At the moment it is still a lot of road trips to stay safe, but I am hoping that at some point this year air travel will be safer again and I can visit the west coast, and other places further away.

9. Skydiving

I have been skydiving once before and as soon as my feet hit the ground I wanted to go up again and do it all again. America has some beautiful locations so i’m sure the view would be amazing!

10. Spend less money in Target

If you look at my bank statements, my money is either going to Starbucks or Target. And as I am not willing to give up my coffee addiction anytime soon, the next logical choice is to cut back on my Target spending. And 10 days in, I can say that it’s still going well, I have not been in Target yet this year! That is a great accomplishment in itself.

11. Herb garden

Yes. I know I already have a vegetable garden goal. But where am I going to get my basil and cilantro from? Well my herb garden or course! I am already looking forward to cooking with the freshest ingredients.

12. Keep learning Spanish

I know some Spanish, and I can understand a lot when someone is speaking to me or when I read it. However, I hate speaking it. I just do not have the confidence to talk back, so i’d like to get back into the habit of doing duolingo or something like that everyday. Just for a little bit to gain more active vocabulary.

13. Read (more) books

I am not a reader, never have been. But I have on occasion really loved a book and was able to get into it, to the point that I didn’t want to put it down. I really like that, so this year I want to find a few more books that I really love. I’m not going to set a goal like ‘1 book a month’ because I know that is not going to happen. And, I do not want the pressure of ‘I have to finish this book’.

14. Go surfing

Although I kind of failed the last time I tried this – read ‘completely failed’. I’m not giving up just yet! It looks like so much fun, and even if I don’t end up actually surfing, I love being in the water so it would definitely be a fun day anyway.

15. Bake more (with the kids)

Baking is one of my stress relievers – I can do it without thinking too much. My host kids love baking, I have done it a few times with them but not too often. So I would like to pick that back up again, and hopefully by the time I leave they will have the same enthusiasm for baking!

16. Cook a dish from a new country

As well as baking, cooking is also one of my favorite pass times. Using my love for food I would like to get to know other cultures more, maybe 1 dish a month from a new country. So that means a country i’ve never made a dish from before!

17. Go on a road trip

Driving is so much fun to me – you really get to explore and see while you are traveling. I have seen some beautiful, amazing road trip ideas in America, now I just need to choose which one I want to do.

18. Go skiing

I haven’t been skiing in ages, and I really mean ages! However, I remember that I really enjoyed it and loved the thrill of going down the slopes. From Raleigh there are places within driving distance to go skiing, although this goal will have to be fulfilled sooner rather than later in the year.

19. Go to Disney World, FL

The happiest place on Earth, who would not want to go here. Disclaimer; I have been there multiple times. But it just never gets old! I love the atmosphere, the rides and the overal experience. There is a reason why people say ‘it’s magical’.

20. Go to a Duke sporting event

I am currently taking classes at Duke to obtain the credits I need, and my host parents both work at Duke. I am being very optimistic about this one, and hoping that the world will be on a better place by the end of this year. I want to experience a college sporting event because we don’t have them in The Netherlands and you always see them on TV shows and movies. It looks like so much fun!

21. Go to a wedding

This may seem weird, but I’ve never really been to a wedding before. I have been to a Turkish one (which was amazing by the way) but I have not been to a classic wedding. I also may be slightly cheating on this goal because I have plans to attend 2 weddings this year. Nevertheless, it is still a goal of mine to experience a wedding.

Belgian Waffle Recipe

I love baking and cooking and 90% of the time you can find me in the kitchen. This means that most of the time while I was an au pair I was making nice breakfasts for the kids. Let’s be honest, they also did get cereal or oatmeal some mornings. Waffles Being from Belgium (kind…

Healthy Tomato Soup

You might be thinking, isn’t all tomato soup healthy? Well, probably, but this particular recipe is packed with hidden vegetables to make it even more nutritious. I grew up eating this soup, it has been a staple in my parents household for a long time, especially in the winter. It was one of the few…

Time for something new!

If you’ve been following the blog or know me, you know I was an au pair in North Carolina. My term ended in August and my stress level was through the roof of what to do next. This is still my most asked question ever! And I’m guilty of asking other au pairs to 😅.…

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