Tag Archives: happiness

January = wonder woman me.

So I’m doing The January Cure through Apartment Therapy. You spend the month getting some projects done and identifying housey-home* things that need fixing either this month or over the year.

If my desk area looked like this right now, i would be so happy. Planning to replace it with a cupboard big enough for the filing cabinet to go inside. Will just spin aimlessly on the chair in the centre of the room.

If my desk area looked like this right now, i would be so happy. Planning to replace it with a cupboard big enough for the filing cabinet to go inside. Will just spin aimlessly on the chair in the centre of the room.

So far, I have done things like: create a project list, vacuumed and washed the floors (ok, no I didn’t, Ben did because he said he would and they look awesome!), buy flowers, cleaned up the kitchen (but yet to tackle the pantry of dank, dark doom and forgotten corners. Doesn’t that sound like a Harry Potter book? Harry Potter and the pantry of forgotten corners…) and picked projects to tackle this January (fix the kitchen sink washers and re-hang my inspiration board which fell off the wall, oh I don’t know… 3 months ago?), choose a piece of art to hang (inspiration board). <– This is an appallingly long sentence. Sorry about that.

The lonely inspiration board that fell off the wall. Currently in that position because it hides a power point and cord nicely. Oh, and the fabulous lady in the photo is my Great Aunt, aged 92.

The lonely inspiration board that fell off the wall. Currently in that position because it hides a power point and cord nicely. Oh, and the fabulous lady in the photo is my Great Aunt, aged 92.

The 8th project is to plan a party or get together. Not sure on that one, although Ben’s birthday is coming up.

Another area I wish currently looked like this. it's far more crowded than this picture and the worst part is that I actually use it all regularly. Ben bakes bread, I like to bake everything else, we use random annoying foods like nutritional yeast, chia and spirulina and who doesn't like approximately 20 spices with which to cook?

Another area I wish currently looked like this. it’s far more crowded than this picture and the worst part is that I actually use it all regularly. Ben bakes bread, I like to bake everything else, we use random annoying foods like nutritional yeast, chia and spirulina and who doesn’t like approximately 20 spices with which to cook?

My Facebook status this morning was:

So I’m feeling quite superwoman today: I’ve jogged, I’ve eaten my raw chia cacao pudding with strawberries and homemade almond milk, I’ve yoga-cised, done at assortment on housey-home things and plan to go to Bunnings to get new light bulbs and washers for the kitchen. All I need to do is prison time for tax-fraud and I’d be a regular (granola version) Martha Stewart.

If I can get a handle on the desk and the pantry before I go back to work (whilst remembering to finish writing and editing an article and planning two more… sleep? what?) I will be a happy person.

Oh, and do my tax returns for the last 2 years. No really. I should probably do that.

 

*Housey-home came from this one time where Ben and I watched 100 episodes of Tobuscus playing Minecraft on Youtube. The term has stuck. No I don’t do drugs. Yes, I clearly needed a better hobby at that point in my life.

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New Year, New Job!

So if you’ve been following me for a little while you’ll know that in 2013 I went part time in pursuit of happiness. This was a tough, but fantastic decision. Did it increase my quality of life? You betcha. It was still a difficult year because Ben was diagnosed with a long term illness that compromises his life quality, but work improved through the roof. I can honestly say I’m happy and whole at work. I relaxed a lot and got to know the amazing (and frankly, fucking crazy) people I work with much better.

I ummed and ahhhed about whether to go back to full time this year. I decided part time, told the bosses, then found out I missed out on a short-term position because I was too hard to replace. Luckily, they’re awesome and let me change my mind.

I had a lot of good things lined up for 2014, it was tipped to be a good work year. Little did I know things were going to change before they even began. Just before we went on holidays for the year, I was asked (no expression of interest, I was just asked!) to fill a position for one year because a colleague is leaving. It will mean a busier schedule during the day, but much, much less take home work. It will mean more responsibility and decision making, will be amazing on my resume, is a very rare opportunity for someone in my field and most importantly, I will be working with people in an area I love and am passionate about.

To top it off, I’ll be doing some more academic writing, being a keynote at a local conference and hopefully will attend my field’s national conference to present a workshop- something I did last year when it was in Brisbane and loved.

I feel that my hard work is being recognised and am looking forward to kicking some arse this year- with work, with relationships and with happiness. Can you just feel the ridiculous happiness radiating from your computer?! Then go and have a green smoothie, because you’ve been at the computer too long ūüėõ

What opportunities are you going to make the best of this year?

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Happy New Year!

So this will come out while I’m still away at Hervey Bay but:

Here’s to good friends

Here’s to good food

Here’s to good health

Here’s to good work

Here’s to good love

Here’s to happiness in abundance in the New Year and beyond.

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Christmas Eve Update

So I’m often at my happiest when I’m pottering around. As a vego, no one ever expects me to do anything for Christmas lunch (which is good because I couldn’t do meat) and so, with my gift wrapping done and a fair whack of my friends caught up with, I have time between now and Christmas Day to relax.

So today I’ve:

  • Done more yoga badly on the balcony. This is one of my favourite things.
  • Gone for a jog. When will my face stop looking like a lobster?
  • Gone for a walk with Ben (see photo below).
  • Spent far too long trawling through apartment therapy just because I can.
I can't believe this little pocket of green is in Highgate Hill opposite the University of Queensland. Brisbane really is an amazing, natural city!

I can’t believe this little pocket of green is in Highgate Hill opposite the University of Queensland. Brisbane really is an amazing, natural city!

This year, for the first time in over 6 years, I will be spending Christmas morning and evening with my parents. We will start the drive soon. Ben and I have traveled a lot over the Christmas breaks past- to New Caledonia, to Europe (how I miss Christmas in Berlin!) and twice to volunteer at Woodford Folk Festival- not to mention Christmases we spend with Ben’s family, so this is very special to me! We are still spending Christmas lunch with Ben’s family but the change to spend time with my mum and dad is precious.

I will be taking a blogging break between now and the New Year, although I can’t resist scheduling some posts with seasonal photos plus a delicious savoury baked brie I whipped up when friends came over for Christmas Eve’s Eve. Look out for them over the next couple of days. I have a couple of great restaurants to review and some recipes that sure, should have been posted before Christmas, but it doesn’t have to be Yule time to enjoy chocolate bark and other goodies. I also have some musings about the New Year and what that will have in store. Ben and I are also going away for three days to Hervey Bay with friends. This is the first time we’ve had a holiday since Europe, unless you count last NYE’s camping disaster, which we don’t. We really don’t.

I know that for many, Christmas is a stressful time, so I hope you grab any quiet moments that come by, breathe deeply and enjoy.

Ben and I don’t actually celebrate Christmas, so I will wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy Holiday, a Super Solstice (summer, not winter down here!) and all the best.

See you in the New Year!

xo

Bris Vegas Vego

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Jacarandas. A Brisbane thing.

So there’s this tree that blooms up here in Queensland called a Jacaranda and they’re bright purple and you know you’re getting towards the end of the year/semester/term when they start blooming.

They’re blooming now.

IMAG2778There’s a park in Yeronga called Jacaranda Park (creative, I know) that for 10 months of the year is a boring, square park with trees around the edge but at the moment looks AMAZING because Jacaranda flowers fall and create a beautiful purple carpet on the grass.

I know they grow elsewhere, but to me Jacarandas are a quintessential Brisbane thing.

They’re beautiful, they’re everywhere and they make me very happy. If you’re a Briswegian, do you know of any cool Jacaranda pockets blooming at the moment?

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Oh Snap

Relaxing on the Gold Coast for the afternoon. Dumpers, surf club, sand in a ya undies*. Perfect.

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So Aussie.

 

*I’m glad to report that I didn’t get sand in my undies today. If you’ve ever been to an Australian beach, you might know what a feat that is.

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Pity Party, or a solo resistance to my bad habits.

‚ÄúLet food be thy medicine¬†and medicine be thy food‚ÄĚ. ‚Äē¬†Hippocrates.¬†He knew how to roll.

So today I was going to review a cafe, but every time I began, I just couldn’t get into it. I couldn’t recreate the dishes in my head and why they gave me so much pleasure. So I stopped. Obviously, otherwise you’d be reading a cafe review.

Instead, I planned to go the gym while Mr. Ben and his sister swam. I mentioned the other day that I went for a huge walk that resulted in mondo blisters. And they’re not better. Not by a long shot. You know those pictures of zombie makeup people make with oatmeal and food dye? Yeah. Like that! I nearly screamed trying to put my shoes on and looked on jealously when the other two popped off to swim. Bastards.

I went and sat with my feet in the sun because according to my sister-in-law, drying them out helps. I can’t find anything online to support this, but “Heck! Why not?”. I started researching foods that help our skins heal to remind myself what I should be boosting in my diet.

A lot of articles these days focus on the beauty element, such as this one (which admittedly I found in Glamour magazine) but I’m happy to report that not all are focused on eating well simply for skin deep results. This article in particular had the approach that healing your skin can be about your whole body, not just your face.

In particular, zinc, vitamin C, E and K as well as taking serious steps to reduce stress were good elements for healing.

Normally if I was feeling bummed (I really hope this expression “means down and out”/ “mildly depressed” as it does in Australia and not something else!) I would eat poorly, not get off the couch and spend a huge amount of time on Pinterest. Then I thought: Meh. Meh to that.

And I decided to distract myself from potato chips with much better food.

My Challenge: To fix myself a snack that would be packed full of skin-benefiting nutrients.

Zinc: Nuts (almonds and walnuts) and homemade yoghurt in a smoothie.

Vitamin C: Pak choy and mixed frozen berries in my smoothie (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries).

Vitamin E: Almond and walnuts

Vitamin K: Pak choy.

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Bonus smoothie ingredients: Frozen banana, maca powder, spirulina, protein powder, water.

Final product? Yo’ ugly, but delicious.

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Bonus BONUS round: One leftover vegan maple quinoa hazelnut muffin made by a good friend on Saturday. Not the healthiest thing in the world, but a little quinoa never hurt anyone (except the Bolivians who eat it which I why I don’t buy quinoa or purchase meals with quinoa in them, despite this food being super awesome and arguments for and against eating quinoa being many).

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This muffin is also a bit of an ugly blighter, but so delicious and as well as real maple syrup, quinoa and hazelnuts, bound together using chia seeds, the weirdest, coolest thing to hit health food shops in the last 10 years.

So I’m been slowly nomming on these all afternoon and apart from coming to the obvious conclusion that your feet are important (really really!), I realised that I didn’t have to fall onto poor eating habits and eat my birth weight in salty snacks just because my “get moving” plans for the holidays have been set back by zombie feet.

And I felt a bit better.

 

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Poverty In Paradise

With a blue sky and a camera, everything seems like an adventure.

So it doesn’t matter if you have less than $70 to last two people the next fortnight (after rent and that huge bloody bill, damn you car insurance), you can still have fun in Brisbane. I can still have fun in Brisbane. Or any city. For free.

Yesterday was gloomy weather so I got a lot of cooking and laundry done, but today dawned bright and early. I was supposed to do some research and writing, but after my computer died (really truly, I was given the blue screen of death) I decided it was too good a day to mope about lost time. Whether you have a Ben or not, there are lots of indoors and outdoors things you can do  without spending a cent.

Watch Ben make, then help him eat sourdough bread with a poached egg for breakfast. Ben made the bread only, not the egg.

Watch Ben make, then help him eat sourdough bread with a poached egg for breakfast. Ben made the bread only, not the egg.

Organise those thousands of jars I collect for jams, sauces and drinks.

Organise those thousands of jars I collect for jams, sauces and drinks.

Admire my free flower from Coles (they were giving them away because it was "market day").

Admire my free flower from Coles (they were giving them away because it was “market day”).

Water my spring onions, which have been growing in a vase (my best and only) for about 4 weeks, are going strong and provide a little bit of green inside.

Water my spring onions, which have been growing in a vase (my best and only) for about 4 weeks, are going strong and provide a little bit of green inside.

Do laundry. Hey, it's not glamorous, but it's a good free thing to do on a sunny day. I've never had such happy, pretty laundry.

Do laundry. Hey, it’s not glamorous, but it’s a good free thing to do on a sunny day. I’ve never had such happy, pretty laundry.

Play I-spy on our walk. I love this renovated church (which is now a house) with solar panels. One day I'll find where it is at street level and have a good look.

Play I-spy on our walk. I love this renovated church (which is now a house) with solar panels. One day I’ll find where it is at street level and have a good look.

Enjoy the roof of the Lithuanian Orthodox Church (ok, roof admiring is not everyone's hobby but this is MY blog and I'll admire if I want to).

Enjoy the roof of the Lithuanian Orthodox Church (ok, roof admiring is not everyone’s hobby but this is MY blog and I’ll admire if I want to).

Wonder at the beauty that is Brisbane city. The green and the built.

Wonder at the beauty that is Brisbane city. The green and the built.

Check out the Regional Flavours food festival at Southbank. Also, check out those crazy bean bag seats. Bad asses of ass comfort.

Check out the Regional Flavours food festival at Southbank. Also, check out those crazy bean bag seats. Bad asses of ass comfort.

For more info on the Regional Flavours festival, click here.

More Regional Flavours at the Courier Mail Piazza. So pretty.

More Regional Flavours at the Courier Mail Piazza. So pretty.

Eat a beautiful lunch of rosemary polenta chips with chipotle mayo.

Eat a beautiful lunch of rosemary polenta chips with chipotle mayo.

I’ve blogged about how I make polenta. The chipotle mayo was cheater’s version: mayonnaise mixed with chipotle salsa. I have, however, made a scrumptious aioli that goes beautifully with polenta as well, which is in the same post as above. To make rosemary polenta, stir through a small handful of cleaned, de-stemmed rosemary leaves at the end of cooking. I also add a teaspoon or dried oregano for oomph.

Best Sunday morning, and the price was right!

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Enjoy your Sunday! Share your frugal adventure ideas below.

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Perfection

 

If you have a library and a garden, you have everything you need – Cicero.IMAG1869Absolutely and completely.

IMAG1870Mind the toes.

 

 

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