Frantic doggy-paddling… Plus, a chocolate olive oil cake, and turmeric buttons

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve tried out a couple of recipes by my fellow Instagrammer/blogger mates, which I’d love to share here. One of them is by Sarah (@redladybird3 on Instagram). Coincidentally, Sarah also happened to comment recently on an old post that I wrote nearly a year ago, about how it had then been a year since I ceased taking anti-depression medication for anxiety (and depression to a lesser extent). She commented, ‘…it just shows that graceful swan image, stunning pictures, articulate & kind comments you make, gliding along beautifully can be accompanied by frantic paddling beneath still waters sometimes’.

Well, it was very nice of her to think of me as a graceful swan (no one else does, I’m sure!). I replied that I’m more like a puppy doggy-paddling. I might be less anxious than I once was, but I’m still doggy-paddling. Occasionally, someone uses the word ‘super mum’, mainly in relation to the number of things I do (part-time work, part-time study, part-time stay at home mum, home-cook, part-time IQS helper, blogger, and, um, Netflix binger). Although I appreciate the sentiment, it honestly makes me balk. I’m not a super mum. What is a super mum? (I do think my own mum is pretty super.) I do too much. I don’t want to do so much, but I find it hard to give anything up. I get easily overwhelmed and stressed. I angst about why it’s so hard to find balance. While wanting to do less, I also feel guilty that I can’t do more. I battle against my introverted tendencies, and feel guilty about needing time away from people. Continue reading

#9 A Simplicious Challenge: Decluttering my house (and my brain, a little)

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.

I spent July decluttering my house. I’d been intending to declutter ever since we moved in (last August!), when I simply moved all the clutter to the new house and then re-cluttered everything. I’m actually the opposite of a hoarder – is there a term for that? Since I was a little girl, I’ve always been inclined to regularly tidy and sort things out – back then it was my bedside table and my school bag, now it’s my ENTIRE HOUSE. But this hasn’t really equated to minimalism – in the past, I’d still buy heaps of ‘stuff’, and then just throw it out more often. Which is probably worse than keeping the clutter.

Physical clutter tends to make me feel mentally cluttered too – anxious and disorganised, especially if I’m already stressed. So I wrote myself a list (this would not surprise anyone who knows me), in my list book (this wouldn’t surprise anyone who knows me either, I always have several lists on the go!). I listed all the things I wanted to declutter – the bedroom cupboards, the laundry cupboard, kitchen pantry, kids’ clothes, bathrooms, my paperwork, my overwhelming collection of green bags, to name a few. Even my emails. Each week I picked a few from the list, starting with the big ones to get them out of the way, and got them done. I am one of those people who gets a huge sense of achievement from crossing things off a list. Continue reading

The Sugarfree Box won me over (I didn’t expect that…)

Full disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post. Stephanie from The Sugarfree Box sent me a free mini-box to review. She has also offered to provide readers with a $10 discount (code below), which I will not financially benefit from.

So in the interest of being honest, I have to say that I was a little skeptical about the idea of The Sugarfree Box. My sister and other friends have subscribed to various ‘sample’ style boxes over the years, especially for beauty products, and it seemed like they often ended up giving more away than they kept.

I’d seen promotions for The Sugarfree Box on social media and thought it would probably fall into the same category. When Steph offered to send me a box to review, I was hesitant. I don’t usually review products, and the current blogging trend to provide positive reviews in exchange for freebies makes me feel a little uncomfortable. I felt so conflicted about it, I consulted with my husband. After rolling his eyes at what he considers to be my ‘over-thinking about everything’, he pointed out that this particular product sits firmly within my blogging niche, with its focus on low sugar, and that hey – since it wouldn’t be a sponsored/paid review, I should actually just try it out and then write an honest review that others could benefit from. Continue reading

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