I just returned from a trip back home and this was one of the first trips in a long time that I haven’t had this negative vibe about being back there. Normally I have this overwhelming jumble of negative emotions just follow me around while I’m home, which normally leads to some sort of breakdown and me wanting to get on the first flight back to Melbourne. I guess I’ve finally learnt that I am who I am, no matter where I am. I am finally grateful again for the beautiful place I was lucky enough to grow up in. This did take me a few years though…
Three years ago, I had a moment. In this moment, I thought ‘my life has been on repeat in a vicious cycle. I need change and I need it fast’. I decided that I would move from a small city of 160,000 people to a city with upward of 4.6 million people. That city was Melbourne.
There were a few reasons that lead me to this decision and to be entirely honest, most weren’t good. I was in a habit of doing things that I knew I would regret, but doing them anyway and dealing with the backlash by pretending I didn’t actually care. In hindsight, I didn’t like the person I was and my solution for that was to change everything around me. Although, at the time I didn’t realise this; I thought it was all these other reasons that made me want to leave.
Once I decided I was leaving there was no changing my mind. I kept the decision to myself in the beginning while I planned how I was going to drive across the country myself, to a city I’d been to once, without a place to live. Most people where I’m from talk about leaving all the time, yet few people follow through with it.
When I do return home, I always have multiple people tell me how proud they are of me for leaving and achieving things. They will tell me again how this wish they could do what I did. How they would love to get out but ‘just can’t’. I simply keep my mouth shut and internally call BS.
This brings me to this post. I wholeheartedly believe that if you want to do something, whatever that something is, you WILL do it. No ifs, buts or maybes. And it honestly is frustrating sometimes, hearing people speak words that mean nothing and make empty promises. It’s frustrating because anyone can do anything! If you want to start a business, you can. If you want to live completely off the grid, you can. Even small things like wanting to talk to someone for the first time, you can do it.
All it comes down to is one simple thing: do you actually want to do what you say you want to do?
If someone says to me, I want to run a marathon, the first thing I will ask is ‘what are you doing right now to achieve that?’. If their answer is non-existent, or something along the lines of ‘well I want to train for it but I haven’t had time’, or ‘I wouldn’t be able to do it this year so I’ll start training later’, I don’t even entertain the idea of discussing it with them because I can already tell they most likely won’t do it. Steps towards something are what count, even if they are baby steps. Talking about taking steps isn’t the same as actually taking them.
Although this post is sounding a little negative, I promise I don’t mean it in that way. All I am trying to say is if you want something, go out and get it. It is totally okay if sometimes you think you want something and then it turns out not to be right for you, as long as you try it first. Just don’t be one of those people that others treat as the boy who cried wolf by continually coming up with empty promises and being in the same place all your life (physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally).
Work towards something, but most importantly, love whatever it is you’re doing because if you don’t, you won’t enjoy it and it will more than likely fail. Just step back, evaluate your values and work out what’s important to you, then go for it. Life is too short not to take risks and try new things.
On a final note, I consider moving away from home the best thing I have ever done. I have grown and changed so much, I am doing something I absolutely love as a career, I met my boy and most importantly, I have learnt to accept that who I was three years ago wasn’t a mistake. Where I was then was exactly where I needed to be at that time. Who I was then was exactly who I needed to be at that time. I will always be grateful for the good, bad and ugly aspects of my past as they made me who I am and brought me to this point in my life.
Just remember: being true to yourself will help you in whatever you choose to do. If you can live with your decision to do, or not to do something, then that is all that matters.
Ps. How gorg are the photo’s of my home town!
Let’s be real for a second…. LIFE IS HECTIC! Since when did we all turn into adults and legitimately need to say, ‘let me check my diary’ before committing to plans?!
I know I never thought I would need a schedule or alarms or future planning just to get through the week but I am 100% serious when I say I would be more lost than Nemo if I didn’t have my wall planner and diary.
Going to uni, living out of home, working, volunteering, exercising, having some sort of a social life, writing my blog and finding some ‘me time’ would not happen each week without a little organization. So, without further ado, here’s my tips and tricks to get me through this crazy life we live:
When I plan my weeks I usually look at things in order of commitment, so for example:
Work goes on the calendar first (I work the same days each week so that makes that easy)
Then days/times I need to be at uni (also the same days each week)
Time allocated to study
Work out times (this seems low on the list but that doesn’t make it a low priority! It’s not hard to find half an hour to an hour to work out each day so I slot this in where I can, depending on my other commitments that week)
Anything extra fits in around all of the above
I try and leave my weekends free. Not because I don’t do anything on weekends, I still go to the markets and clean the house on weekends, but because I like to use this time as my time to do whatever I want/need to do. Whether that be going to the beach, hanging with my boy or watching three movies in a row in a pillow fort (or being responsible and studying), I just like to have a day or two where I can wing it.
So there’s my three go to organization tips! I love being organized and knowing what’s going on, at what times and where… Having said that, spontaneity makes life exciting and fun, so as with everything I say, don’t take this too seriously and beat yourself up if one week your less organized than another.
I hope this has helped you in some sort of way in keeping your organization on point. Life can always be crazy but don’t forget that little bit of craziness is always a bit of fun.
I was introduced to the idea of making bone broth by a friend who was telling me that she was hearing more and more about it recently so was looking into making it herself. She was telling me about the benefits of making and consuming bone broth, as well as the nutritional benefits of eating more meat off the bone – basically for the same reasons, those reasons being that there are a number of super beneficial minerals in bones that you miss out on when you don’t cook with bones still in.
Within no time at all she had made her first batch and sent me a photo of her before and after broth that kicked my butt into gear to make my own as well.
Check out her inspirational broth coming together in the next three photos.
Bone broth is sort of like a stock that you can use in cooking as a base for soups or when slow cooking meat to keep it juicy and delicious (with the bone in is better remember!). But here's a plot twist... bone broth can also be consumed as a drink that is a quick way to get extra vitamins, minerals and amino acids into your bod!
A bone broth advocate and amazingly inspiring woman, Melissa Ambrosini swears by bone broth and encourages everyone to get into having bone broth daily to improve gut health. I have taken her bone broth guidelines to create my own chicken based bone broth that I plan to have daily – either in my cooking or as a drink.
Follow me through the timeline of this amazing broth coming together and see my version of a home-made, organic, tasty and super healthy bone broth below!
Your own private pilot flies you over Melbourne city, along the coast and lands your plane in a small grass field. Your pilot, who happens to be your boyfriend, then takes you to another grassed area where you set up camp for the night and enjoy a small cheese and cured meat platter and a glass of red wine.
Well, this (plus more) was the weekend I was lucky enough to share with my gorgeous partner and since it filled my heart with so much happiness and gratitude I wanted to share it with you all.
My boyfriend has been flying planes for about eight years and has almost completed his commercial license which will make him a ‘real pilot’ as some would say.
He asked me last year if I wanted to go to the Avalon Airshow in 2017 and since it’s only one every two years and he obviously loves planes, of course I said yes.
It was only a few weeks ago though that he came to me with the idea of flying there instead of driving, as well as camping there overnight so we could see the day and night displays. Once again, obviously I thought this was the coolest idea ever!
So we flew in to Avalon East, a temporary airstrip just for the airshow, in a small plane called a Piper Warrior and then headed over to our campsite. Originally we had planned to fly in on the Friday morning and go to the airshow that day and throughout the evening, but the weather didn’t agree with that plan so we had to leave later on Friday.
We decided to still fly in on Friday afternoon but go to the actual airshow on the Saturday so we had all Friday afternoon and night to kill some time. A quick trip to the supermarket and we had ourselves a platter and a bottle of red so we were set for some quality hang out time.
Our campsite wasn’t too far from the airshow so we could see some planes fly over every now and then, but as we couldn’t see a whole lot we decided to get creative…
I know that juice cleanses can be a controversial topic amongst the health industry and I’m definitely not an expert on the pros and cons or apparent health benefits. However, I do know that for the last week or so I have been eating some meals that I wouldn’t normally eat and I have noticed the difference in how I feel massively!
Indulging in a few pieces of pizza and then a creamy carbonara a few nights later was all fun at the time but now I don’t feel good at all. Feeling bloated, sluggish and tired are not normal for me and I’m really not enjoying these feelings at all. These feelings are what prompted me to try a single day juice cleanse.
I know I can just go back to my normal, clean diet, but I feel like trying a single day juice cleanse will help me to start the week fresh with no toxins or left over yucky stuff in my tummy. I will openly admit that I love a placebo and this may have a placebo effect on me but I see this as a positive – as long as I feel better and get out of the bad habit I’ve somehow started in the last week.
So I will break my day down into what juices I’ve had, what time I’ve had them and how I’m feeling. Please note that I’m not following a certain juice cleanse or any particular rules, I have never done a juice cleanse before so I’m making this up as I go.
Green tea – I’m not sure if I can have green teas on a juice cleanse since it’s not juice, but I love green tea so I’m still having my morning tea.
First juice of the day: Green smoothie – this smoothie has kale, cucumber, celery, parsley, ginger, one small apple, ice and water. I made enough for two smoothies so I’ll have this one now, then another later.
Second juice of the day: Green smoothie – I’m actually not that hungry but I felt like I should have this smoothie now before I do get hungry.
With Valentine’s Day having been and gone for another year, I started to think more about self-love. Sure, Valentine’s Day is a nice excuse to show someone how much you love them, and there’s no denying that it is nice having this feeling reciprocated. But why don’t we show ourselves that we love ourselves?
I read a quote on Instagram that really stood out to me…
‘If I were to ask you to list the things you love, how long would it take for you to say yourself?’
When I actually thought about what my answer would be to this question, I was horrified to admit that I wouldn’t even think to say ‘myself’ if someone asked me that. I would be listing things like sunny days, sushi, my dog, flowers and my boyfriend.
How is it that we don’t think of ourselves as someone/something to love, even though we are someone else’s someone to love?
I decided to change this for myself. Every day since Valentines Day I have started my morning with my usual routine; yoga, a short meditation, a cup of green tea or a glass of kombucha and a healthy breakfast. But I’ve added something that has improved each day immensely. I’ve added in some ‘self-love mantra’s’.
Just quickly, if you haven’t already, read part one of my kombucha making journey so this post makes sense…
Talk about a roller-coaster of a first batch of kombucha! I tasted my kombucha on day seven and liked the flavor, however I was away for the next few days (bad planning on my part – sorry kombucha) so I couldn’t stop the first fermenting process at that time.
Fast forward to day twelve and I tried it again. I did like the flavor, but this time my kombucha was a lot more bitter… actually, it tasted more vinegary than bitter (not bad, just not ideal for my taste buds). This week being a bit of a shamble for me I was only able to stop the first fermenting process and start flavouring on day fourteen – my flavours of choice were ginger for one bottle and mint and lime for the other.
Did I mention my kombucha grew a baby SCOBY?! Proud mother moment over here. Check out my babies in the photo below (if you’ve never seen a SCOBY don’t freak out, I swear they’re meant to look like slimy little alien mushrooms). In the second photo: The dark one on the right is the mother that I bought from someone off Gumtree and the round one is the baby that grew to the size of my brewing jar.
Let me start by saying rice paper rolls are one of my absolute favourite things to put in my tummy. The crunchy-ness of the vegetables, the Asian flavours, the herbs, getting creative and trying new fillings, making them with friends, literally everything about rice paper rolls I love.
They make for a fun and healthy dinner or lunch to make with others or on your own. People seem to think they’re hard to make but honestly, they’re so easy to whip up.
As you’re reading this blog I assume you’re already convinced (or at least partly convinced) that rice paper rolls are a good idea so let’s get into the good stuff.
I’ve listed my standard go-to recipe for vegetarian and non-vegetarian rice paper rolls, as well as a list of other fillings you can add and my Asian inspired dipping sauce.
You can add any crunchy vegetables like bean sprouts, capsicum, snow peas, sugar snap peas... even avocado. Depending on what you feel like.
Now to the fun part; rolling them!
Fill a round dish/saucepan (big enough to fit a sheet of rice paper in) with two-centimeters of water
Set up your rolling station with all pre-cut vegetables, cooked vermicelli, round dish/sauce pan, a wooden chopping board and a plate to put your finished rice paper rolls on. NOTE: to ensure your rice paper doesn’t stick to the surface you are rolling it on (the wooden chopping board), either wet the chopping board with some water or wet a clean tea-towel and place this on top of the board.
Soak one sheet of rice paper for 15-20 seconds
Place the soaked rice paper on the wet board/tea-towel and add fillings to about one third of the rice paper, towards the center and with the sides free (see photo’s). Make sure you don’t overfill as this can cause the rice paper to split.
Tightly roll the rice paper over the fillings, then fold each side in and roll – see photo’s.
Continue steps three to five to make more rice paper rolls until you’re all rolled out.
Enjoy your freshly made, vegetarian rice paper rolls (see dipping sauce ideas below)!
Anyone who’s ever been to uni or known a uni student will know one thing: we are always broke. No matter how much we work or how little buy, we never have money. So being at uni for two years and living out of home for two and half years (on the complete other end of the country to my family), I have become quite good at being broke.
I’ve learnt how and where to cut my spending so I save almost a third of my fortnightly income, every fortnight. Let’s begin with the obvious…
What are you are spending your money on?
My biggest tip to work this out isn’t just to think about it for five minutes and move on. Actually go through your last month’s bank statement and write it down everything you’ve spent money on (every. single. thing. No cheating because you don’t want to acknowledge that you spend $50 a week on nuggets).
Now, get your diary or a planner and write out anything that is direct debited out of and into your account for the next two weeks (think gym payments, private health insurance, loan repayments and even your income from work) on the days they come out.
Here comes the hard part…. Think of how much play money you want for that two weeks (for emergency coffee’s or whatever) and halve it. Yep. Halve it. Take that amount out in cash and stash your cards away for two weeks.
Now I know what you’re thinking; ‘but I need my card for emergencies’. Bulls**t (in the politest way possible). What actual emergencies are you going to come across where you need access to all of your money right then and there? None. Its comfort for you, that’s all.
For the next two weeks every time you go to spend your pocket money and you see it slowly dwindling with every purchase you will start to second guess your unnecessary purchases which is annoying to start with, but then you realise where your money is being wasted.
Do this for two weeks and see how you go. You might realise that your pocket money was actually enough for you which is great! Keep going. Or you might realise you only need another $10 to get you through a fortnight without going insane. Keep going. I promise you will save money.
Lastly! Try not to over budget just so that you 'don’t go over'. For example: don’t budget $400 for groceries when you’re a single person who only usually spends $80 a week on food. That’s just silly. Go as strict as you can to start with and see if you can do it. Then allow yourself more money where you need it.
I have become a pro at cutting out anything unnecessary. Seriously, I don’t get my nails done, my hair gets cut twice a year if I’m lucky, I probably go out for drinks three or four times a year and eating out is only for special occasions. If you want to save for something you really have to cut back anything that is unnecessary. The more you can cut back, the less time you need to budget so strictly so really try your best!
Another area I think I’ve mastered (in terms of spending as little as possible) is groceries.
When my boyfriend and I started living together (almost two years ago) I helped him with his budget. I told him that we could make our weekly food budget $100 between us ($50 each) and still eat health-ily (is that even a word?). Did he believe me? No. Did we do it? YES! Even better, about three months ago I decided to try and get that figure lower and increase our healthy food intake…. Do you think I was able to do it? Heck yes I was! And I still am doing it to this day.
Our weekly groceries now cost us $70-$80 between us (a tiny $35-$40 each a week on groceries).
For me (and for almost everyone else in the world), the Christmas period was all about overindulging in yummy food and a few too many drinks with friends and family. In the first few days or 2017 I heard of the ‘Microbiome Diet’ so I thought I’d do a bit of research to see what it was all about. I wasn’t actually looking for a diet to start, I think I just wanted to feel a bit healthier by looking into health related articles (slightly sad, I know). Through researching the microbiome diet, I learned about kombucha.
I had never heard of kombucha before and I wasn’t sure it would be as nice as people on the internet made out. Tea isn’t my thing at all - I’ve only just started drinking green tea and even that took me a few goes at convincing myself I liked it – so I figured I wouldn’t like kombucha. Plus, the whole idea of drinking something that ferments with a weird, mushroom looking thing that’s alive didn’t sound overly inviting to me at all. But the more I read about kombucha, the more I wanted it to be something incorporated into my diet for all the amazing health benefits… so I just prayed that it tasted good as I headed to my local health food store.
It. Was. Amazing. So deliciously light and fizzy and the one I tried had such a nice flavor. I knew I had to learn how to make it.
Fast forward a few weeks and I’m ready to make my first batch. I’ve bought a big glass jar, two glass bottles (one litre each) and tomorrow I’ll be picking up my SCOBY.