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I’m not using social isolation to better myself

That’s right, you’ve read that right. I won’t be using this time to suddenly work on all the things that need improving in my life. I don’t have the mental or emotional capacity at this point in my life, and especially during this COVID-19 self-isolation/lockdown break to suddenly work on all the little things in my life that need improving. I’m not about to start a new work-out routine so I can emerge 30kgs lighter or emerge a complete expert in plant keeping. I am in a period of grief right now and I don’t have the capacity to do more than my normal things. And if we are all honest with ourselves, we are all grieving together.

Continue reading “I’m not using social isolation to better myself”

Week Review 30 Mar to 05 Apr 2020

I got through this week, from working from home and doing my best keeping everything together to just figuring out my new normal. It’s quite strange to me that I can now easily separate my life to a before and after event. Regardless of what is going on in the world, I’m trying hard to see positives, so if that means I have turn off off my news notification and do catch ups in my own time during the day, then so be it. This week is all about surviving and looking for the happy things in life. I hope you guys found the time for those small things too.

Things I did and enjoyed

Continue reading “Week Review 30 Mar to 05 Apr 2020”

Week Review 16 Mar to 29 Mar 2020

It’s a two week review kind of post. With everything that is going on in the world it felt wrong almost in a sense to post about the things I have done, even if I followed all levels of social distancing. The more I though about it though, I decided I was going to share anyway. We can’t escape any news or any of the measures that the global pandemic brings. My life has changed, of course it has, so has yours, your mum’s and all your friends, but I still have my life and my health. I think more than anything we need to be honest with each other and ourselves. With all these posts and messages going around about how after the quarantine and self-isolation we should all emerge as the best, fittest, healthiest version of ourselves, we need to be realistic and realise that this is toxic positivity.

Toxic positivity I will get into more on Sunday, but just know this: you have no obligation to anyone to emerge from this time as a difference person. You have an obligation to yourself to take care of your mental health and keep your happy and/or content fuel box with love and with peace with yourself. Don’t force yourself into starting something where you do you not have the mental or emotional capacity to do so.

These two weeks I tried really hard to foster the relationships with those that are closest to me, so how about after you read this post you go and call a loved one.

Continue reading “Week Review 16 Mar to 29 Mar 2020”

Week Review: 09 Mar to 15 Mar 2020

It was such a productive week and I am so thankful for that. In times like now where there is a lot uncertainty, having a week where I made progress on my own projects and knocked back some obstacles meant a lot to me.

This week I focused on me and really knuckled down on the things that I love doing. Which for me, no surprise for at all, is all about cooking and spending time with friends. Those little moments of reconnection really calmed my mind and helped me remember who I am as a person.

Things I did and things I enjoyed

Continue reading “Week Review: 09 Mar to 15 Mar 2020”

Coronavirus: Tips and Tricks

WARNING: this is a long post. Sit down with a cuppa and learn some new things about keeping you and everyone around you healthy. All facts and symptoms are correct as of 15 March 2020.

There is a tonne of false information and fear mongering going around the world at the moment on Coronavirus that it is completely mind boggling. It stresses me out the extents to which this misinformation is shared, believed and acted on. Today, I am going to outline to you they ways in which you can protect yourself and others from the virus and disease in general

Before I get into this, I need to preface this with a disclaimer. I am not a medical professional. I studied genetics at university where my course was focused primarily on bacterial and viral genetics and currently I work as a senior microbiologist at a sterile pharmaceutical manufacturing plant. I am choosing to write this because a) I have been asked to by a couple people in my personal life because I have a background knowledge on bacteria and viruses and I seem to be good and explaining things and b) if I can reach at least 0.000001% of the population with some helpful information, than I feel I might see just a little less of the panic and there will be toilet paper back on the shelves so I can finally buy some now that my supply is low.

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Week Review: 02 Mar to 08 Mar 2020

It’s been a good breezy week, filled with a lot of things that just made me happy and smile and reconnect with the little parts of myself that I have been missing lately. Honestly, it really surprises me how little it takes for me to just loose a sense of being and who I am by neglecting the little bits that are a part of me.

This week was definitely about getting back to basics and just remembering to let go of all the hang ups and let myself enjoy myself. I bad habit of mine is that I’m really good at telling myself “I can’t do it”, whether that be at work, in relationships or getting back to things I loved and enjoyed but put them to the wayside.

Things I Did and Enjoyed

Monday night I went back to pole dancing classes since having a term and a half off. I was ridiculously nervous. I’ve taken up a terrible habit of not believing in my abilities and I was worried that I had lost a lot of strength and wouldn’t be able to do all my tricks again. Thank goodness I was wrong. I’ve been a bit insecure over my body lately and thought that because I had gained a lot of weight that swinging myself around a pole would end up with me flat on my face. Surprisingly I was wrong. I can still flip upside down, a can still swing to the floor. Was I little sore after a double session and just a little bit slower picking things up? Yep. But just that excitement and thrill that I could still do what I could do before filled me with so much joy. My body is probably the largest it has ever been, but I can still move it and shake it like there is no tomorrow and when I get into my zone.

The week ended with a trip the the Art Gallery of NSW to see the last night of Japan: Supernatural. I regret not going earlier. It was so busy! I could not for the life of me get close and really study the artwork in depth. So while I was a little disappointed with the exhibition, just sitting with Simon in the cafe having a coffee and sharing food was the best part of it for me.

Things I’ve Read and Listened To

I don’t know what exactly has gotten over me lately, but I am really getting into reading magazines. As a teenager I was never really into magazines, but I’ve just had this urge to settle in the mornings with a cup coffee out the back with a magazine. It’s strange how much I was conditioned to think that reading fashion magazines or women’s magazines were signs of “weak” mindedness and laziness. Funny how society teaches young girls that anything that they enjoy is frivolous and little girl like. Getting into magazines, more than anything, has taught me that there are so many voices that I have yet to hear yet and opinions and stories I haven’t heard yet.

I have Dua Lipa “Don’t Start Now” on repeat all. the. time. There is just something in the this song that sticks to my mind and has not left.

Things I’ve Cooked

Satay Zoodles with tofu, cabbage and capsicum

Satay Zoodles. I’m just going to let that sit here. This is one of the best things I have ever cooked. Partly because I finally got myself a wok and it has made making stir frys and any sort of dish that requires a wok 10 times easier, but partly because I just eyeballed the ingredients and made it up on the spot, which is something I don’t do often, but so glad I did. This one is staying on the menu for sure. You can find the recipe on my story highlights here.

And that was my week! I’m so bloody glad I had a good week. It has made all the difference to my outlook and happiness for the week ahead. Bring on Monday!

All the Podcasts I’m Loving Right Now

I consume podcasts like they’re going to disappear tomorrow. I would hazard a guess and say I listen to at least 5 to 10 podcasts a day. Obsessive, yes. Am I concerned, no. My day usually starts with a podcast and ends with a podcast, and in between I’ve got my headphones in ALL the time. I love learning about others stories and the little things I can incorporate into my life to better it, and since I can’t read on the drive to work, podcasts are a great way to slip into a whole new world. So in no particular order, the podcasts I have binged in the last few weeks:

She’s On the Money (SOTM)

From the Shameless Media, the same production company that brought out the awesome podcast Shameless, SOTM brings a strong focus to financial confidence, freedom and literacy to the women of Australia. This podcast came to me when I really needed just an honest a voice to explain to me the basics. At the end of the day, financial literacy is not talked about in school and money is often a taboo topic amongst friends, so this is a breath of fresh air to me.

I blitzed through Season 1 and I sit on the edge of my seat for the entire week before the next episode comes out for Season 2. If you’re like me and still struggling to get your head around financial basics, this podcast really helped me out and put me on the right path. Seriously, if there is anything on this list you’re going to listen too, make sure it’s this one, as women, we all need to put our best foot forward and rely on ourselves for our financial independence, no one is going to hand it to us.

The Eleventh

I love a political drama and the Eleventh satisfies that itch for me, and wonderfully for me, it’s all based on the eventual sacking of the Prime Minister of Australia, Gough Whitlam. Whenever someone mentions Whitlam, my brain automatically goes to that tongue biting speech:

Well may we say “God save the Queen”, because nothing will save the Governor-General!

– Gough Whitlam (1975)

And I always imagined one day I could deliver a history defining speech like that one day, alas I have yet to have an opportunity, but I do get hear the lead up to that fateful day on the steps of parliament. The awesome thing about this podcast is that it delves deep into the ABC archives and interviews that brings history right to the forefront that just grabs me right from the get go. If you love history, and you love politics, this one is for you.

Glow Journal with Gemma Watts

I love beauty – from skincare to makeup to haircare. Fashion never quite pulled me in because I was never fit into and probably will never fit into designer clothes, but beauty, any one can get into and it will always be a timeless pull. Glow Journal satisfies the inner beauty junkie in me that always gravitates towards the David Jones beauty counters because it goes behind the doors and interviews some of the greatest minds in the beauty industry.

I truly believe that there is a misconception that beauty and skincare is all about vanity and it doesn’t go any deeper. Glow journal goes beyond the surface level and really grills down into the nitty gritty with founders that have started from nothing, but built their businesses all from the ethos that when we feel good and are confident in our skin, whether that means we have a little bit of extra help from products, we are more confident to tackle our day. Some episodes that I really loved and really resonated with me are the ones with Zoe Foster-Blake, Lisa Patulny and Christine Chang.

My wallet may hurt after each episode, but I love now that when I buy certain brands I can hear the founders own words and wisdom as I use the products.

Notable mentions

There are so many podcasts that I listen to that I could go on for days, but these ones deserve a good mention:

  • Emperors of Rome: There are hundreds of episodes for this podcast and it makes me so happy because I absolutely love listening to all the little history facts about the rise and the fall of the Emperors of Rome. Would highly recommend to anyone who loves ancient history
  • Occult Confessions: Give some magic and a little bit of folklore and I am hooked, lined and sinkered! There’s not much for me to say but just give this one a go if you have ever been interested in the occult and the history of it.
  • Deviant Women: I haven’t been listening to this podcast for long, but let me tell you when I say this is an absolute treat to listen to! Any women that subverts the cultural norms of the time and makes the mark on the passage of time is a hero of my heart
  • Little Green Pod: These bit sized episodes are great because it means I get to learn little things I can incorporate into my life week by week and become a better person to the environment and to those around me

Woah! What a list of podcasts. I’m always dying to try new podcasts, so drop a line below on what your favourite podcasts are because I cannot wait to give them a go!

A month in review: February

Ooh I was a little lazy in February getting any posts up, but all I’m going to say is that it was one of those months. Who knows why. It could be anything from me lamenting about the hot weather and just waiting for autumn and winter to come through, maybe it’s because I’m just going through some sought of slump. Whatever is running through my mind at the moment, I’m a little bit pepped up with the idea of cooler weather coming in March and some exciting things I’ve got running in the background for the long run.

Things I’ve done

I was a little bit surprised that I actually managed to do quite a few things in Feb that made me laugh smile and have a whole bunch of fun. One of the best highlights was going to the Serbian Festival in Tumbalong Park. Now, I was a little bit hesitant because I had a feeling a lot of the food stores were going to be meat heavy and I wasn’t going to find many food options, but good ol’ Burek saved the day and to top it all off, a deliciouss Krofne that did not last more than 10 seconds before I wolfed it down. The best part of the day was getting over my sense of self-embarrassment and join in on the kola a couple of times. I don’t know the steps to the dance, but shuffling along and laughing along made it one of the best experiences I had this month.

To top the month off, I finally got a haircut and the mop is finally gone! I never realised how much my sense of self pride is connected to my hair. I’ve alway experimented with it and chopped and hacked at it as a sign of rebellion, but when it grows into a mess, I can’t seem to settle into myself, so I’m really glad I cleaned it up a bit. Thinking of doing some more experimenting before I grow it out.

Things I’ve listened to

I’m going to keep this short and sweet and be a little bit of a tease. There are SO many things that I have absolutely loved to listen to (podcasts mainly), and a lot from Aussie makers, so keep an eye out for a list and review of my favourite podcasts coming up.

What I’ve cooked

I kept it simple and easy this month. A lot of rice bowls were made with fresh veggies and some pasta dishes. This month was all about the getting as many greens in my system as possible because in all honestly, I ate a lot of pizza this month. Do I regret anything? No, not really. Pizza is my ultimate form of food, and I will never regret it in any form.

For a month review, it’s a little bit of a short one, February was just a slow down month. I’m very excited though for March, because cooler weather means I can bring out all my winter coats and rug up every. single. day. I cannot wait!

Sustainable Periods

A period cup journey

This is a long review guys. I go into depth for you. Hope you enjoy!

Periods. They suck. Anyone with a uterus will tell you that as soon as the cramping comes and the blood starts making itself known, it’s a quick trip to the chemist to buy tampons and pads and everything in-between. And you know what is worse than that? All that plastic waste. In all honestly and we all need to wake up to it, period waste is MASSIVE. Think about it, if you’re a tampon user, you’re going to use at most 4 tampons a day (roughly), now say your period lasts 5 days and you get them once a month and on top of that you’re probably going to have a period for roughly 30 to 40 years. So:

4 X 4 X 12 = 192 tampons/year

12 X 40 = 7680 tampons/lifetime

That’s a lot of tampons for ONE person. Putting aside the fact that most tampons and pads you buy aren’t even biodegradable and last basically FOREVER, the plastic itself is ridiculous. Plastic wrapping, the absorbent layer is usually some for of plastic polymer, the sticky part of a pad is plastic. Unfortunately for those with a uterus, it’s not something you can avoid if you use the traditional period wear. But hopefully I will be able to explore some options on your behalf and go through all the trials and leaks for you. The first one up – period cups

So some things to cover before I get into it:

  • I am on the Pill to deal with PCOS and on top of that, because I can essentially “control” when my period happens, I only get my period every 2 months
  • My periods usually last about 6 days, ranging from a heavy flow with cramping at the beginning to very light spotting at the end

My review below is a day by day assessment of my first time with a menstrual cup. I am going to be open and honest. If you don’t like talking about uteruses and labias, don’t read. This post isn’t for you.

The Lunette Cup (left) and the Saalt Cup (right)

Day One:

I noticed spotting on day one of my period (for me a Monday) and decided to finally get out my Lunette cup that’s been hiding in my drawer because honestly I am afraid of it. Getting it clean is easy enough, boil it on the stove top for about 20 minutes and wait to cool before washing it with the wash I bought with it and then insertion. At this point I’m just going to insert a bit of opinion here – I’ve seen a lot of reviews on cups and the user only runs the cup under hot water from the tap. Guys, please don’t do this. You are not sanitising your cup at all doing this. The water from the tap is not hot enough to kill any bacteria that may be on your cup. Don’t give yourself an infection from laziness or ignorance.

It was a little bit of a learning curve to get it in. It took me a while to realise I just didn’t place it high enough in my body and needed to twist it to make sure there was enough suction to keep it up. To be honest, getting it in was the hardest part on the first day, and I spent a long time in the bathroom taking it in and out until I felt comfortable.

One thing that really annoys me about this cup is the stem. At first it was way too long and I could feel it sitting in my underwear. Then I trimmed it, and trimmed it again and it drove me mad. When trimming, the edge isn’t sharp, but it definitely is felt inside and it’s not an uncomfortable experience.

I still wore a liner just in case. So far I haven’t had any spotting or leaking so that goodness.

Day Two

In the morning I felt a little bit uncomfortable from wearing it – I feel like in my sleep I must have been doing kegals or something because it slipped down a bit and I could just feel it. Liner is still clear of spotting so I must have been successful in getting the suction right. I’m going to ditch it today and see how things go.

Just a quick thought about the the logistics of wearing a cup. Peeing and generally toilet stuff. It seems like because there is a cup or something pushing against my urethra in a sense – my pee comes out slower? It could just all be in head, but definitely an interesting thought process. Also, the Lunette instruction does specify that when you do a number 2 the cup might slip down a bit, you are pushing down and using all those lower region muscles. Just wash your hands and push it back up.

I have finally discovered that the best way to remove is to squat, not over a toilet or anything but just squat down, pinch the bottom to break the suction and remove the cup for emptying and cleaning.

Some negatives (kinda) that I have discovered on this day is the stickiness of the blood. I forgot that blood coagulates so that was an interesting experience trying to clean it and realising the blood wouldn’t just pour out. Yeah, sticky blood, who would’ve thought. I also somehow managed to scratch my inner labia – I am in pain and taken it in and out is not fun. I have not idea how I did this, but I have a feeling it might be the stem from the cup that I trimmed. It’s been riving me mad all day and I am ready to just loose it.

Evening update: I caved in and bought the smaller, softer version from the brand SAALT. After some research this cup looks to be a lot softer and more comfortable to use than the Lunette cup. Hopefully it will be easier to take in and out without pinching my skin as will like the Lunette cup. I’m also begging the gods that the stem is more comfortable for the Saalt cup.

P.S. for my Aussie readers, order your cups from https://www.menstrualcupsaustraliaonline.com.au. Avoid that international shipping fee!

Day 3

I am not sold on the Lunette cup. Handy for the earlier days in my period when I am bit “heavier” but trimming the stem left a “sharp” edge that is bloody uncomfortable and I know I have complained enough about this every god damn hour but this thing is annoying. Lunette need to fix this because I don’t think I can go on another day with this constantly causing friction on my inner vaginal wall and then when it slips down (usually because I haven’t shoved it up high enough) my inner labia.

Not happy this day in and I can’t wait for my period to be over with.

On a positive note. I still haven’t leaked, which thank goodness, because in the past I have bled through pads and tampons before, through my pants AND onto my WHITE lab coat. A nightmare I will hopefully never have to experience again.

Day 4

The SAALT soft cup has arrived! I am in love. I don’t even hate the stem I am quite happy with it and will be keeping it in for sure. On another note my scratches have been healed – THANK THE BLOODY LORD. No more uncomfortableness. I got the smaller version of the Saalt cup because before doing this experiment I thought I had a heavy flow, but I never filled my Lunette cup to the top line. I know for sure now that pads and tampons cannot account for those who have any sort of above average period flows, and if I leaked and it turns out I don’t have that heavy a flow, what on earth are other uterus owners going through?

Lighter flow today and the blood isn’t as “fresh” – you know what I mean. The old old lining is now shifting so I am getting to the end of my period and the blood isn’t as red. I actually quite enjoy seeing my blood in all its glory. I honestly feel like I’m getting to know my body better this way.

Day 5

I’ve got a very light flow today. I could almost get away with free-flowing today but I don’t think today is the day. The SAALT cup is really comfortable and I am so into it. Insertion and removal is easier than the Lunette cup and I don’t feel it all when it’s inside. I would 10 out of 10 recommend this to EVERYONE. I’m recommending it you. Menstrual Cups are a god send.

Day 6

Such light spotting today that I didn’t wear the cup, I’m just going to free bleed this last day since there is literally nothing, just some drops.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot more pros then I thought with a period cup and it is honestly surprising me:

  1. You can leave it in for 12 hours. This honestly has saved me. I really hate changing pads and tampons at work and this just changes everything for me. I change it when I wake up and before I go to bed and once it’s in, unless I have cramping, I forget I am on my period
  2. My vagina doesn’t dry out or feel uncomfortable like I would with tampon. One of the reasons I dislike tampons so much is that they are just overly drying of that region and I don’t think that is good for me at all
  3. The cost, over time, of a period cup is far cheaper then buying pads and tampons. On average, per period, I spend around $10-$15 on pads (night and day ones) and tampons. For one one cup, it ranges from $30 to $50. So by about 5 periods, I’ve broken even and the cost just gets smaller and smaller each period. Win win for me!
  4. This may just be specific to me, but I feel like I was “cleaner” on this period. The blood never actually left my body until I was emptying the cup, and then I just hopped into the shower.
  5. You can put the cup in before your period starts when you can feel it coming. This is amazing because it’s washed and sanitised ready for your period and putting it in a day or two early isn’t going to mess with anything down there

There were some cons though

  1. You gotta be comfortable with your body to be prepared to stick your fingers all the way up there for insertion and removal
  2. Getting used to take it in and out is a learning experience and can be frustrating. If you’re like me and you end up scratching yourself, just be careful. If it really is too much, just move to something more comfortable then a cup
  3. For the squeamish, you will see coagulated blood AND your blood clots. I find it pretty cool, but I can see how for others how this might be a turn off

All in all, I will be using my cups again. They don’t leak, comfortable and unnoticable when put in correctly. They’re better for the environment than regular pads and tampons AND some are good enough to use for 10+ years. It’s win-win situation. Also, at the end of the cup lifecycle, there are ways to dispose of it that don’t harm the environment. Check out this post here on all the ways you can dispose your cup properly.

Have you used a cup? Are you thinking about it? Maybe you’ve go other hacks for a sustainable period – let me know! I’m really curious to see what else is out there.

A Week Review (03 Feb to 09 Feb 2020)

It’s been a pretty average week. And I am really glad for that. Sometimes it’s just really refreshing to have a week where there aren’t extremes highs and lows but moments of content and moments of reflections and small lows. All these little moments put together, I believe, give my sense of the world a sense of ease and calm.

This was the first week that I didn’t have a post on Sunday since bringing the blog back, and while I did preface when bringing the blog back that I wouldn’t post twice a week every week, I was a little hesitant not to have anything. But you know what? I loved not having the pressure of having to post anything, and that freedom was everything!

Things I did and enjoyed

Guys, why has know one told me about hot-pot and how awesome it is! Honestly, when it was first suggested by Simon I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it with everyone else because, well, I assumed it would be quite meat heavy, including the broth. In my head, it very much reminded me of Korean BBQ and I kinda worked myself up that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy in the main meal and just have my little sides. I was so wrong though. One, so many veggie options available (including the broth!) and I definitely ate my fill which was great. Ten out of ten would go again.

Things to Watch

Two things I watched this week, both one after the other on the ABC pushed me further in my quest for sustainability. The first was the Bushfire Special “Black Summer” and the second was the Q&A “Bushfire Special From Queanbeyan“. Was it frustrating to watch some politicians blatantly deny they believe in the science and evidence of Climate Change? Hell yeah. If I could throw common sense through the television, I would not hesitate. But I am quite glad to see that there are these conversation happening, and from the Q&A special, it’s clear the public are not happy with the governments ineptness in dealing with the bigger picture and their willingness to push reform onto the individual. Shame on them.

I just want to also acknowledge the absolute bravery for the individuals who went on the Four Corner special to open up about their story, especially the young teenager India. To defend your home against fire is dangerous, yes, but so admirable that she had the tenacity to protect her home and her father.

Things I cooked

Thank the Lord, my sad cooking spell is over! I finally made a good meal that I enjoyed! Crispy Tofu Bowls and a sticky soy marinade. So good, so fresh, so lovely. I mean, just look at all the different colour, it’s an edible rainbow and it was amazing (and I will toot my own horn because I’m just glad the cooking spell is over).

I could eat this colourful bowl of goodness every single day for a very, very, very long time

As usual, if you want a recipe, check out my insta story highlights, I save most of the stuff I’m cooking there.

Lows of the Week

I’m not going to talk about my emotional woes this week but talk about something physical that really angered and upset me. After hot pot we went to get desert, which duh, is more important than the main meal. We went to Loukoumades, which I was really excited for because I love sweets and sugary goodness. Do you know what I didn’t love? All the plastic that came with our loukamades. We ate in, but they gave as our meal in plastic, throwable bowls, gave us plastic cutlery wrapped in even more plastic and there was no facility to even separate waste and put at least one item into recycling. Disappointing and angering because all that waste is going to go straight to landfill or to the ocean.

I’m drafting my email as we speak. Companies that know better should do better and because this has angered and upset me so much. I’m not going to hesitate to let them know.

Let me know how your week went! I’m really curious to what everyone gets up to and what make you happy and excited.

A Week Review (27 Jan to 02 Feb 2020)

It’s been a week, and I am honestly shocked how quickly January has gone and went. I mean, I say this every year but I really do feel this week has gone ridiculously quickly and with it has come a sense of dreaded doom that I will have no time for anything at all. It’s something I need to work on though, and has definitely contributed to the overall mood of the week, but hey, another week is on the way.

This is a really long post, but I had a lot to say this week. Especially on the things I watched, which were two Netflix docuseries: Rotten and the Aaron Hernandez special Killer Inside.

Things I did and explored

I didn’t explore much this week, just a bar in Newtown called Kuleto’s with a high school friend. I was not 100% impressed with it. Was I quite pleased for the 2 for 1 cocktail deal that I just made after work? Yes. Did I enjoy the extremely slow bartenders that had a tendency to just ignore people at the bar so they could chat amongst themselves and flirt with the 18-something year olds? Nope. Not exactly a highlight but what can I say, you win some and you loose some.

Now, Kuleto’s was a bit of a flop, but what I did afterwards is what really made up for my night. So, my friend and I are both on a low budget when it comes to nights out now. She’s back at uni and I’m trying to save as much money as I can, so spending excessive amounts of money on cocktails just doesn’t really cut it anymore. So what did we decide to do? We did it the old fashioned, down and dirty way and just got some hot chips and a cheap bottle of wine and had an impromptu late night picnic in the park. I haven’t laughed or felt so free from judgement in a very long time. It made the next day’s hangover so worth it as I had just that little reprieve from life’s little challenges.

The highlight of my week was definitely hanging out with friends, both from high school and uni. On Monday, a friend from uni hosted myself and another friend to a Montenegrin brunch. And my god. The food. I feel so privileged that my friend and her mum spend the morning cooking for us and the food that they put out, that I really wished I had second stomach so I could really wolf it down because it was so good. I really wish I got a photo because when I say they served the thinnest crepes you have ever eaten, I mean they were the thinnest crepes ever! I am so glad I went, and I am so happy I have friends who are willing to share their culture and food and with me so I can learn more about the world around me.

Lows for the week

I am going to talk about my lows a little earlier in the post, because I really do not want this post to be all about negativity, but this week has been a massive struggle. I know when my mental is struggling and this week was a battle and a half. Usually I can get through things with a bit of meditation and a good night’s rest, but this week that just didn’t seem to be in the cards for me. I’m kind of struggling to see the positive in things, but hopefully that will all change soon enough.

I’m really hoping that next week I can get more sleep in and my mood will be a little better.

Things I cooked

Nothing I cooked really worked out for me this week. It’s like the universe is telling me to just relax and not stress so much about packing a meal with so much flavour or getting so fancy pants that nothing works out. I cooked three different meals this week (a little more than I usually) but nothing really clicked. Finger crossed that next week I’ll cook at least one thing that works out and tastes nice.

A quick review of what I cooked and why it didn’t work out:

  • Monday: roast vegies with quinoa and salad
    • Something just went wrong by Wednesday. Maybe something is wrong with my fridge but it just didn’t taste great after a couple of days
  • Thursday Sweet Potato Balls
    • Reheated tasted like dirt, could be something to do with the spinach I added into it
  • Sunday: Mushroom bologense
    • In my opinion would have been great, but I burnt it (I blame my easily distracted mind that went to Youtube)

Things watched

Man this already feels like a really long post, but I really want to talk about a couple of Netflix shows that made me stop and think about myself and the general world.

The first show was Rotten, and the first episode was on Honey. Now, everyone that knows me really well, knows that I love honey. Yoghurt for breakfast? Add honey. Weetbix? Honey. A good marinade? Just some good ol’ honey and soy sauce. I am, quite frankly an addict and I will be attending HA meetings from tomorrow. This episode, however, blew my mind right out the window. Somewhere in the back of my head, I knew honey was adulterated on some level and “supplemented” to some level with sugar syrup. What I didn’t know, however, that the consumption of honey far outweighs the supply. In order to meet such a high demand, honey is supplemented with everything from sugar syrup to rice syrup. The more savvy (or just plain evil and capitalistic) companies know exactly how to get their honey through the cracks and onto our shelves.

It’s definitely made me think about where my food has come from and how I will go about supporting local honey producers. For liquid gold I am willing to go the extra mile to avoid any sugar syrup imitation.

The next show was the Aaron Hernandez three part docuseries. I’m really conflicted on this one, because I really enjoyed (if you can say that about true crime) the podcast from Wondery entitled Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc.. However with the docuseries, I couldn’t quite pinpoint what route it was exactly going and I just didn’t find it an easy watching. The docuseries just couldn’t make up its mind on where it was heading. Was it following the man himself, the influence of football, CTE or his crimes? All of these things together is what the podcast I felt explored in a much better way than the docuseries. This docuseries just doesn’t sit right with me for so many reasons.

What I really didn’t appreciate was the the almost excusal tone the docuseries took for his actions. This is a man who has been convicted of brutally murdering his friend Odin Lloyd AND is linked to the gunning of two innocent immigrants: Daniel Correia de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. Do not try and justify to me his actions by blaming those around him for not recognising his violent tendencies and setting him on a straight path. He has real life victims and perhaps the docuseries should have done a better job and pointing out that it is this patriarchal society who quite willingly will accept violent, perturbed and vicious men all in the name of sport and lets them get away with almost everything. If this docuseries was really concerned with the powerhouse of the NFL (and all other codes of male dominated sports) and how it lets all these behaviours slide (and much more, because we need to be honest with ourselves how many sports stars accused of domestic abuse are actually convicted and excluded from these realms?), then maybe I would have appreciated it more. But Aaron Hernandez is not someone who deserves sympathy.

What also bugged me, and I really feel this Vox piece does more justice in what I am about to say, is that it does come off as blaming his actions on being a closeted queer man. Not the CTE, not the concoction of pain killers he was most certainly on while playing NFL and not the man himself. There is constant portrayal of queer men in the media of having something wrong with them, or not being quite right in the head because they’re closeted and it is something I am so sick to death of seeing. Why this docuseries felt the need to continue with this stigma and falsity, I will never know. Furthermore, all the docuseries did was spread rumours again on a matter it doesn’t really have an insight too. Its portrayal of Aaron Hernandez as a closeted, troubled, rage fuelled gay man is exactly the same as the outing of him that happened before his death. Way to go in showing other LGTBQ+ people that no matter what they do they will be hounded and outed by others obsession without their safety, well-being or consent.

And that is my week in review. Wow. What a week. Some highs and some lows but what would life be without that? So curious to hear your thought on your week and anything you watched or read. Leave a comment a below and let’s get this conversation going!

Sustainable Journey

Sustainable living is something I want to get into it – there is so much waste in the world that I don’t feel comfortable in contributing to it anymore in excessive amounts or unnecessarily. Every year, just one person in Australia makes 1.5 tonnes of waste every year! My little Yarris weigh less than that!

There are so many areas in my life where I can see just pointless waste that I really want to work on reducing as much as I can and as realistically as I can. Do I think I can be someone that has absolutely zero waste? Nope. Do I think that if I try and reduce how much I do produce, that that is more important? Hell yes. Going gun ho and trying to go zero for the average person is intimidating, scary and ideally not possible. It’s not about every doing zero waste absolutely perfectly. It’s all about everyone doing zero waste as best they can and as imperfectly as they can. The following areas, however, are the areas I think are the easiest to tackle in terms of waste. Every couple of weeks, I hope to have a little review on a category and how I tried to reduce my waste

Periods

This is a biggie. Every month for most women (in my case two) our uterus lining sheds and ensuing blood bath needs to be contained somehow. Unfortunately for us, pads and tampons are not only packaged in ridiculous amounts of plastic, but plastic is also a main part of tampons and pads themselves. All this plastic will take lifetimes to disintegrate and not be of harm to the environment. I am not someone who is really into free-bleeding, mostly because where I work, getting blood on my uniform would constitute a contamination to product. So in order to not loose my rights to enter the factory, I really want to explore period underwear and cups. Not only do I think this will help me reduce the amount of plastic I produce, but hopefully will mean I get to save some money along the way

Eating and Cooking

I recently made the decision to go vegetarian, part of the reason was because I have just lost interest in meat, but also reducing the amount of meat consumed is always touted as being something to help reduce waste generally. I don’t have the intention of going vegan because I do enjoy dairy product, but I will be making the choice to not only choose brands that support farmers but also from producers that are making conscious decision to reduce their environmental impact.

Im going to try my hardest to reduce the amount of packaging I throw out from food products. Recently I cooked dinner and took notice on how much plastic and unnecessary packaging some of my fruit and veggies were wrapped in. Like, why do you need to wrap mushrooms in plastic? They are perfectly fine in paper bags, and don’t get me started on potatoes WITH THE SKIN ON wrapped in plastic.

Something that really interests me though is working out where I can do my grocery shopping as ethically as possible, but also finding a way to support farmers and local produce makers as best I can. This aspect I am already struggling with so hopefully I can find something and places that I really like and are satisfied with.

General Grooming

I love skincare and makeup, I don’t not deny that. However I have an awful habit of always buying the bright new things without taking to account what I already have and if what I’m buying is actual useful. I already try and use Lush as much as I can because I believe in the ethos of the brand and I absolutely LOVE how much they are into sustainability and giving back. I feel like I will slowly introduce myself to natural beauty, I’m just reluctant because I don’t feel it is as effective as some other alternatives. I look forward to being proved wrong. Kinda.

Clothing

This is where I know I am going to struggle the most. I can’t be someone who owns the same pair of jeans year in and out because I fluctuate in weight so much that there’s no point. I am trying really hard to not go out and just purchase things for the sake of it, but I feel like I’m programmed to go shopping every time an event happens or something exciting happens. And to be perfectly honest, I’m really torn between buying secondhand or purchasing from sustainable brands. I went to tell brands with my money that I really appreciate them going sustainable, but there is already so much fabric waste out there already. Tough decisions

Sustainability I believe is something that everyone can work towards. It’s going to be a journey for me working out what I like and works best in my lifestyle, but I am really looking forwards to sharing in this journey with you!