Weekend: 27-28 February 2016

  • Finishing work and looking forward to the weekend.
  • Eating dinner and keeping an eye on the time.
  • Heading off to the movies to watch Deadpool.
  • Spotting an old friend at the movies and having a quick catch up.
  • Deadpool was AWESOME.
  • Heading home and having a nice quiet evening before going to bed.
  • Relishing the first proper sleep in since coming back to Sydney.
  • Having a cup of green tea.
  • Sorting laundry and tidying.
  • Playing Sim 3 (we have become addicted again…)
  • Doing some furniture shopping – our study needed a new bookcase.
  • Attending a friend’s housewarming.
  • Eating food and chatting.
  • Heading back to my mother in law’s house for tea and dinner.
  • Having a nice chat with our aunt, uncle and nan.
  • Heading home quite late and doing a further tidy up of the house.
  • Watching tv and relaxing with a cup of tea.
  • Complaining about the awful weather forecasts recently – they have been constantly getting the weather wrong.
  • Heading to bed looking forward to Sunday.
  • Waking up to find Cejay had caught a cold and was now with a sore throat.
  • Calling off our plans to go to the beach today.
  • Heading out quickly to the green grocer and to pick up a lamp we had purchased prior to Asia.
  • Heading home and cooking tortellini for lunch.
  • Watching the brand new episodes of The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Big Bang Theory and Modern Family to distract Cejay from his cold.
  • Playing the Sims as a further distraction.
  • Eating leftover tortellini for dinner (it was really yum)
  • Having a glass of red wine as I binge watched Season 1 of Gossip Girl (I have forgotten everything and I LOVE it)
  • Heading to bed looking forward to another week.

Back in Sydney

During most of February, I was travelling through Asia which is why I haven’t written recently. I’ve been back to normal life for just over a week and have finally started to settle back. We landed on the Sunday and went straight back to work the next day, so things like a trip to the market for groceries, laundry, a clean house and sleep were pushed to the side for the first few days as we struggled to get back to reality. Now that the washing has been done, the fridge stocked and the house (mostly) neat, we feel a lot more like ourselves. Phew.

Asia was amazing. I will post up more pictures and recounts of what we did soon. We travelled to Singapore, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau over 2.5 weeks. My favourite was probably Hong Kong, and I would go back in a heartbeat. Although Singapore was also very cool – I felt like I had travelled to the future with their amazing buildings.

Otherwise life has been very busy and there are incredibly exciting things on the horizon. I feel like the year has started just now for me, and that I am ready to get stuck into some hard work and achieve some goals.

One of the things I’ve really missed being away from home are all the home cooked meals. We have cooked dinner every night, and the nights we aren’t home, we are at our parents’ houses eating our favourites. I don’t see myself succumbing to a lazy McDonald’s dinner any time soon – I am so over it now. Over the years I have avoided McDonald’s because its appeal has been lost on me, however overseas, we found it was the ONLY place you could get Western food, which we craved amongst the many Asian dishes (which were all delicious but sometimes you just have cravings). It also didn’t help that our hotel in Guangzhou was right next to a McDonalds.

So no McDonalds for months I think. Although KFC and Red Rooster are looking pretty good…

The main thing that I’m craving is Italian. Italian food is a huge part of our diet, and that has been helped along by Cejay’s Italian nonna, who makes the BEST spaghetti. That was actually our first request when we got back to Australian soil. And my Spanish mother’s home made tacos (right down to the tortilla) was our other request.

And yes, we ate both of those meals the day we landed HAHA.

For us, food is a huge part of our family and culture. I asked my friend who we travelled with if she had requested any particular foods to eat for dinner when we landed and she said that they didn’t really have any particular foods or favourites. That sounds absolutely insane to me. To me that’s like life with no air. Food is everything in our family, it brings us together. When my mother was away overseas of a month a couple years ago, what made me miss her less was when I made some of her recipes (they were never as good). My younger brothers, who live at home, asked me to come over many times to cook them particular foods usually made by mum (they know how to cook and feed themselves, but there are just those special recipes that they missed – and I only know how to cook a very small portion of them).

But yep, that’s basically what I’ve been focussing on since coming back. Food LOL. After getting through my list of home made favourites, I’ll probably get onto my list of restaurant favourites…

Jess xo

Weekend: 30-31 January 2016

Had a good relaxing weekend, which was nice as we are going overseas on Thursday ūüôā

  • Slept in after a busy week
  • Got my eyebrows done (I have them threaded)
  • Waited for an eternity while my husband registered for soccer for the year
  • Made a last minute decision to skip out on a travel expo due to being too busy
  • Ran around doing some errands
  • Cooking chorizo and prosciutto pasta for lunch – we hadn’t cooked it for months
  • Relaxing and recuperating
  • Watching the women’s Australian Open final with friends
  • Chatted and watched some funny shows with friends until the early hours of the morning
  • Going to bed way too late
  • Waking up and getting ready for the beach
  • Feeling grateful for the gorgeous sunny weather – I’ve really been disliking the Summer weather we’ve been having. Way too much rain and not enough beach worthy days
  • Going for a good beach run with Cejay and dodging bluebottles
  • Going for a swim in the ocean
  • Collapsing on the sand and having a sleep
  • Taking some funny slow-mo and time lapse videos of Cejay in the ocean
  • Driving back home and picking up some groceries on the way
  • Making Cejay’s favourite pasta for a late lunch – chicken, mushroom and tomato and creamy pesto sauce
  • Relaxing at home and watching the Men’s Australian Open final
  • Going to bed and getting rest for a big week ahead.

Healthy Eating Tip: Tomato and BBQ Sauce – Sugar

This is a new series that I will be starting. I have a huge interest in healthy eating and after doing much research, I am shocked by how uneducated the general public is about what they’re actually buying from the supermarket.

The crazy thing is, almost everything on the shelves are your local supermarket is loaded with added sugar. That’s why we keep going back to those products, because sugar can be very addicting.

The reality is, no, tomato sauce actually isn’t really that sweet. That sugar is not coming from the tomatoes (some does of course) but it mostly comes from sugar that is ADDED. Have you ever thought about what tomato sauce actually is? Just tomatoes pureed right? Not at all. If you tried to make your own tomato sauce at home, it would taste awful. It would be sour. It would not be as red. Or as smooth. You can thank added colours and thickeners for that consistency. And don’t even get me started on BBQ sauce. That’s even worse.

Essentially, if you add a teaspoon of tomato or BBQ sauce to your hot dog, you’re essentially adding about half a teaspoon of sugar over your hot dog. Sounds a bit disgusting right? You may as well sprinkle some white sugar over the sausage. And that’s just one teaspoon. I know that I personally, prooooobably have a little bit more than one teaspoon of sauce over a hot dog. I love my tomato sauce.

It’s my belief that everything in moderation is ok. Don’t go cutting out tomato sauce altogether if it going to make your life miserable. But just be AWARE. Use less sauce. Or, make a conscious decision to look at the back of the labels of the tomato sauce bottles and choose one where the sugar count is less. EDUCATE yourself on what is in the food you’re buying. There are huge discrepancies between various brands. The cheapest are not necessarily the worst (in fact I have found this to be the opposite on many occasions) and the most expensive is not necessarily the best for you.

An other alternative is going to the health food aisle and choosing a sauce that is specifically lower in added sugar. This sauce can make a huge difference. I don’t think they taste bad, but they do taste different. If you stick with it, you will definitely get used to it. The fact is, sugar is addicting. Moving on from an addictive substance isn’t easy – it will take a bit of effort on your part, but as I said, I’m not saying cut it out, but I do urge you to have a think about what you’re putting in your body. It’s the little things that add up when you’re trying to lose weight, and I know that I personally felt cheated on when I realised that there are food companies who are freely able to sell these items with such high levels of added sugar to consumers without some sort of warning label. Because to be honest, the amount of sugar in 100g of tomato sauce is AS BAD AS COKE. That’s a fact. Go and look at the labels of tomato sauce and a can of coke and you will see.

I hope this has been of some help!

Jess

Monday, Bloody Monday

Today it is Friday! As we all know, everyone loves Friday because the entire weekend is ahead of you. You’ve just gotten through another week and you’re probably feeling proud and accomplished of the work that was achieved over the last 5 days, and now it’s time for a well deserved rest.

But everyone hates Monday because it is the start of another working week. Time to do it all again. However, what I’m trying to do is change my perspective of Monday. It is a new opportunity. It is a new chance. It means new beginnings. We all love new year don’t we? Despite the fact that we have to “do it all again?” Isn’t that essentially what Mondays are? Instead of it being a new year though, it is a new week. Why should that affect the way we treat Mondays? Sure it means you can’t sleep in until lunchtime, sure it means you actually have to get dressed for work and go into horrid peak hour traffic, but it still means a new beginning.

I want life to be lived. I don’t want to wake up after 20, 30, 40, 50 years and look back at how much I hated Mondays. In fact, back in my old job I only really started getting excited on Wednesday nights because it meant hump day was over. It meant there was only 2 days left being the lower end of the 5 day scale. In Sydney we have late night shopping on Thursday nights, so that meant I had something to look forward to on Thursdays, and Fridays were always good.

And to be honest, to get to that line of thinking where I actually felt happy on Wednesday nights took me some time. Before that I worked to feeling happy on Thursday nights because there was only one day of work left. Before that, I was only ever happy after lunch on Fridays because it was the last leg of the race. Only a few more hours till home time.

It’s all about perspective. And now, I don’t want to hate my Mondays. My Mondays are MINE. They are my opportunity in life. Tuesdays are always a bit better because, well, it was never a Monday. Wednesdays were sometimes hard because you were still dealing with¬†most of the week left. But I am going to work as hard as possible to at least appreciate my Mondays. I’m going to try to appreciate every Monday I have. Because who knows, it could be the start to an AMAZING week.

Jess

How Instagram is helping my Anxiety

Anxiety is a bitch. It really is.

I know a lot of people suffer from anxiety and they keep it bottled up. It’s something like a taboo. And I don’t know why. Because I think it’s a common problem in today’s age, where so much is expected of everyone and really, we’re all just kids in adult bodies trying to forge a path in this world that just doesn’t make sense.

I mean, in what sane world do you tell a 17/18 year old – hey, make a decision about what you’d like to do FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE right now. Like, now. You have a deadline of ¬†28 days to put in your university preferences. And if you’re good enough, you’ll get an offer. If you’re not, just choose something else.

That’s bullshit. I am 23 at the moment and I look back to when I was 17 and it horrifies me. I knew shit. But the scary part is – I THOUGHT I knew everything. I thought I knew myself and all my likes and dislikes. I thought I knew what made the world go round – money, of course. Money is all and money is everything. If I don’t have that house and car and Prada handbag by the time I’m 25 then I’m a complete and utter failure.

When I was 17 I thought I wanted kids by 25 because ew who wants to be an old mum (dude, no sperm is impregnating me at 25, not even close).

When I was 17 I thought pink was my favourite colour. I know that’s just something small, but it’s not. It’s blue. That changed since I was 17 and it’s probably one of the most insignificant things ever.

When I was 17 I thought I disliked red wine, that I would never drink alcohol in my life because drunk people are just nasty (HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHHAHAAHAHAHAHAH)

When I was 17 I thought that I’d never smoke. (Just for the record, I am not¬†and have never been a smoker. Doesn’t mean I haven’t¬†tried it though – and that would have horrified 17 year old me).

The point that I’m trying to make is you change. You grow up. You slowly realise that you don’t know shit. And just that fact, of actually having the penny drop that you don’t know shit and realising you have so much to learn, makes you wiser.

That penny is starting to drop for me. I don’t think it has fully. But it’s a realisation I had last year. And it threw my entire life out of whack. It amped up my anxiety, it made me feel lost, it made me question every single thing. It made me cry and scream and be angry at the social order¬†of our world. It made me go a little nuts at times and I’m sure I had like, a quarter life crisis at some point last year because I was all, what is life and what makes me happy and what do I want to do with my days?

I switched jobs last year from working in a law firm to running a business. It was probably the best decision I have ever made. But running a business isn’t a simple feat. It’s tough. I love it, but it’s tough. And it’s those doubts that drive up my anxiety. What if it doesn’t work? What if I’m a failure? What if I become homeless? Anxiety does that to you – it makes you envision the worst case scenario repeatedly. It’s makes you stand frozen. It clouds your thoughts. It’s something that is so hard to control and shove away in a box. It sucks.

I don’t want anxiety to rule my life. I don’t want it to make me cower in fear. I want to rise above and beyond it. I want to be innovative. I want to be FEARLESS. And I know part of reaching that means that I need to treat anxiety like a bad friend and cut off all ties, unfriend them from Facebook and surround myself with things that make me happy. This may sound weird, but Instagram (follow me @jessica_grundy) is helping SO MUCH. It’s forcing me to take pictures. It’s forcing me to look around and see the beauty in life to capture and share. It’s forcing me to think about the world around me rather than focusing inwards.

It means I am connecting with more people and getting inspired by more people. It means that I’m out there rather than holed up at home worrying about every scenario. So far, it has helped in 2016. I’m going to keep using Instagram to force myself to appreciate my world. It’s nice to see the likes and follows slowly pour in and know that others are appreciating the photos too.

I know anxiety will be a hard thing to over. I think I’ve had anxiety ever since I was young, probably 5-6 years old. It’s been with me ever since. Sometimes I forget that I have it. Sometimes it’s all I can think about for a day. But I am determined to not let it beat me. ¬†Because I’m much stronger than the red devil telling me everything is going to fall to pieces. This is me saying out loud that I have anxiety, I’m going to deal with it, and it’s going to be something that I defeat.

Recount: January 2016

zaracliffEttalong pool

So it has almost been a month into 2016. January is almost over! It feels like this month has been going for ages but quick at the same time. Part of me is like – it seems like it’s been forever since I was on holiday at that beautiful resort above. Part of me is also like – how is it almost February? Where is the year going? I feel like I haven’t done anything!

But when I really thought about it, there have been some slight changes that I have made so far this year which I am really quite proud of. In past years, I have always made resolutions. I was always that “new year, new start” person. I would resolve to get good grades and to be healthy. I would pride myself on my ambition and proudly state my new years resolutions. But this year, I didn’t treat the new year the same way. To be honest, I was feeling a bit lost. There’s no more university or weddings to have goals about. Last year I worked really hard to get back into running to increase my fitness again to where it used to be, and I achieved what I wanted by mid-way through 2015 so it’s all about upkeep now. So there wasn’t really a health related goal for me to focus on as I feel like I truly did make a change in regard to healthy living last year that has become a part of my lifestyle.

So, the new year came, and to be honest, I hardly noticed it.

I woke up on 1 January 2016 just like any other day. Had my breakfast and went on instagram (mine is @jessica_grundy if you would like to follow) and did my thing. I hardly gave the significance of the day a second thought.

After a month in 2016 though, I am definitely feeling a lot more focused. I am feeling like I am finding myself again after a few difficult and incredibly busy years.

For example, I started to read again.

Reading was such a major part of my childhood, and I lost reading when I entered university. I was forced to read all my textbooks, and doing a law degree, I was reading an average of 400 pages PER WEEK just to get by. That didn’t leave time to read anything for pleasure, not to mention the fact that I was all read out.

But I’ve gone back into it slowly. I am reading the Harry Potter series again. I have read Ella Enchanted which is a book that captured my heart as a girl, and to be honest, it still did reading it again as an adult (although I despised the movie).

After I finish reading HP, I’m going to read A Series of Unfortunate Events again to prepare for the new Netflix series (EEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! SO EXCITED) and THEN, I will start reading some new series.

But I’m glad I’ve started that again.

I’m also glad that despite going through Christmas and a couple of holidays, I have not gained any weight which was a slight fear I had. I lost about 6 kilos last year that I gained thanks to wedding stress, post-wedding honeymoon bliss, just plain old STRESSSSS, and Christmas fun times let us eat all the biscuits and cakes and I have to eat that piece of chocolate because its in the shape of a Christmas bunny. Throw in a couple mini holidays over the New Years and bam, the scales showed me numbers I had never seen before. I was surprised at first because I’ve always generally been fit and healthy. I was quite a skinny, gangly teenager growing up, so gaining that weight was a huge reality slap in the face that, hey, metabolism DOES slow down. Fun fact bro.

So I feel like I’m doing something right despite not have a focused “healthy living” goal. I still have eaten chocolate mousse, and cupcakes, and chocolate. I’m not exactly banning much – I am still enjoying myself and I am feeling good.

But I have had to focus on doing something this year, which isn’t really a resolution, but more a way of life. And that’s to let myself be happy.

I’m a worry-er. I get anxious. It actually gets pretty bad to the point of stomach aches, breaking out in a sweat and insomnia. I hate anxiety. I’ll speak about it more in a future blog post, but that’s something I’m still working on – just enjoying life and simply being happy. I’ve start to be a lot more active on instagram which I have actually found to be helpful. Just posting various little photos of the small things in my everyday life. Being grateful for all that I have. Health, family, friends, shelter, food. It’s helping.

Anyway, that’s just a quick check in of my first month of 2016. It was a pretty good one. I have high hopes for the rest of year. Positivity, love, and happiness are on the agenda.