How we use social media could make or break us

I got a haircut recently, and my hairdresser and I had a big old whinge together about how Facebook has become a nasty place that sometimes makes us hate the world, a little bit.

I’m the first to say I generally enjoy social media. I use it and value it – there are clearly so many benefits; for connecting people and communities, for sharing a range of views and ideas, and even for supporting social change. Two years ago I wrote about how social media campaigns can have an impact, by influencing social networks on issues like same-sex marriage, through simple mechanisms like the rainbow profile picture campaign. How sad, by the way, that two years later we STILL aren’t there, Australia…

But it feels like a nastier place lately. The comments sections on Facebook particularly, have always been fraught, but now they seem soul-sucking, showcasing the worst of our tendencies towards blame, spite, and an inability to consider other viewpoints. It’s like the new outlet for road-rage. Continue reading

A winter dessert (or breakfast!): Pear, Ginger and Macadamia Crumble Pots

Come winter, I’m a bit of a crumble fiend. Especially with dollop cream. In the past, I couldn’t often be bothered to make it, because I found the process of rubbing butter into flour too involved and messy. I have this irrational idea that if I have to get the flour out of the pantry, it’s all going to be too much effort.

An earlier round of the IQS program introduced an apple crumble which used a combination of almond meal and oats in the topping, and it has revolutionised my crumble-making. Plus, the addition of oats makes it breakfast-friendly, in my book. πŸ˜‰ Rani from You Totally Got This also uses this topping in her baked apple crumble – check it out, it’s an easy and delicious family sized dessert.

These pear, ginger and macadamia crumble pots use no added sweetener at all – I feel that pears are sweet enough already. They are simple and quick to make, requiring very few ingredients. I opt for individual servings so I don’t over-indulge. (That’s a lie: it’s actually so my husband doesn’t eat more than his fair share!) Plus, you could double the recipe and make a couple of extra pots, to store in the fridge for breakfast. Continue reading

A restorative, turmeric-filled week in Byron Bay

I was incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to enjoy an entire week in Byron Bay recently, with my Mum. When we initially chatted about travelling somewhere together a few years ago, we settled on three weeks in Spain for her sixtieth birthday, which was in April. The reality of my budget caught up with me and we ‘downgraded’ to a week in Byron – which I think I enjoyed more, to be honest! Spain is still on my wish list for another time. It was the type of holiday that only she and I could have had: My kids would have been terribly bored by the slow afternoons, my husband would have been appalled by the lack of red meat, and my dad would have been horrified at the number of turmeric lattes consumed. Continue reading

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