#13 A Simplicious Challenge: A very Simplicious Christmas

The Simplicious Challenge: I’m cooking all 306 recipes from Sarah Wilson’s book Simplicious, to see the impact it has on the way I buy, cook, consume and waste food. Read the first post here, if you missed it.

Another Christmas and New Year’s Eve gone! Isn’t it nice to be away from the weirdness that was 2016… Did you see 2016 made into a horror movie trailer?

I’m really excited about getting into a new year, but I did also have one of the nicest holiday periods. Not because we did anything particularly exciting, but just because I got to share in the magic of the holiday season with my kids, I guess. I enjoyed the lead-up during December just as much as the day itself – putting up the Christmas Tree with my boys, visiting the local Christmas lights (though I can’t help but wonder about their electricity bills!), and sitting down to our advent calendar. Each year, my grandparents send us a Jacquie Lawson Advent e-Calendar, which my kids love, and is a fun alternative to the chocolate calendars (not that I have a problem with those, but they last only a sugary second each day!). These advent calendars are set in quaint English villages, and each day the kids get to see a new ‘scene’ from the village, or decorate the village’s Christmas Tree, make a snowman, decorate a wreath; watching their creations gradually make the village more festive over the month. It’s cute, and a little magical. Continue reading

How do you develop habits? Plus, a Summer Mango, Maca, Macadamia Smoothie

I quite like personality quizzes. I’m curious about people, so I’m drawn to anything that helps me to understand my own and others’ behaviours. Sometimes, this can see me digress into doing useless quizzes like; ‘Which Harry Potter Character would you be?’ or ‘How long would you survive on Game of Thrones?’ (Not long. I’m not ruthless enough.)

A while back, a friend sent me this quiz, about the four tendencies of developing habits. I also recently listened to Brooke McAlary’s podcast with Gretchen Rubin, who designed the quiz. Unlike the Buzzfeed quizzes, this one is truly interesting – it helped me to understand why I’ve been successful at forming some habits but not others – and that this is inherently related to how I went about establishing those habits, rather than the habit itself. I came out as an Obliger, which essentially means I meet outer expectations and resist inner expectations, explaining why I’ve always been so terribly bad at exercising, unless I’m accountable to or doing it with someone else. Additionally, I also have rebel responses to this – periods of time when I become resentful and burnt out, and then stop ‘obliging’ altogether. Continue reading

#12 A Simplicious Challenge: My Ikea Moment

The Simplicious Challenge: I’m cooking all 306 recipes from Sarah Wilson’s book Simplicious, to see the impact it has on the way I buy, cook, consume and waste food. Read the first post here, if you missed it.

It’s officially been over a year since I started doing this thing! I’ve written before in this series about decluttering my house, in my seemingly-endless quest to reduce the amount of stuff I own; and I have to say that I feel like I’ve had a personal breakthrough in this area.

In… Ikea, of all places.

I want to apologise in advance, because this is probably going to sound a little wanky and self-righteous. Look, I quite like Ikea. We had a store open up in Canberra about a year ago, and I like that they tend to embrace smaller spaces in their furniture design, which are more realistic for the majority of us who don’t have dining rooms to fit lavish twelve-seater tables. I’ve admired their clever ‘storage solutions’, cramming items into spaces you didn’t even know you had. Their meatballs are pretty ace.

But. Continue reading

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