Weekend: 5-6 March 2016

  • Coming home from a busy week of work. I was absolutely exhausted on Friday. I was up since 6am and was going, going, going all day.
  • Making one of my mum’s signature dishes of mince, carrots, tomato sauce and rice for dinner, which Cejay specifically requested.
  • Cooking a very nice dinner, but it’s never the same as Mum’s.
  • Sending Cejay out for some red wine while the food was cooking.
  • Having a glass of wine and relaxing with dinner.
  • Knowing that friends would be coming over at some point.
  • Remembering that I had agreed to cut my brothers’ hair at 10pm on Friday night as that was the only time that fit all three of our schedules (Yes, I cut their hair. No, I am not a qualified hairdresser. No, I do not force them. Yes, they actually ask me to do it. Yes, they somehow prefer my haircuts to ones that actual hairdressers give them. And yes, I think I do a pretty damn good job!)
  • Hanging out with friends.
  • Setting up the hairdressing area.
  • Complaining about my current clippers and suggesting they buy me a really good set as payment.
  • Laughing at how picky my brothers can get in regard to their haircuts. They could never be this picky with actual hairdressers. Maybe that’s why they get me to cut their hair.
  • Watching funny youtube videos in the middle of cutting hair.
  • Feeling tired and happy when they both finally declared their haircuts perfect (dude, they’re both really picky – they’re lucky I even do this for them).
  • Smiling as they cleaned up for me.
  • Saying goodbye to our friends.
  • Having a good old chat with my brothers and Cejay which somehow took us to 2am.
  • Saying goodbye to my brothers and retreating to bed.
  • Sleeping in on Saturday morning, only to hurriedly get dressed in order to make a morning meeting.
  • Putting on a dress and doing make up in record time.
  • Relishing the warm Summer weather and spending time with my mother in law after the meeting for a few hours.
  • Coming home and having a nap for at least an hour – we lost track of time.
  • Waking up to a message from someone on Gumtree – we have been looking for gym equipment for a few days, and hit the jackpot with someone selling a treadmill, squat rack, full weights, bars, lat pull machine, dip machine and exercise bike for an insane price. We were delighted when we found out the equipment was still up for sale.
  • Agreeing to a price and being super excited about having a home gym finally!
  • Deciding to be spontaneous and pick up the gym equipment that very evening.
  • Asking my mother-in-law if we could borrow the van.
  • Picking up the van and driving an hour away to pick up the equipment.
  • Playing tetris as we loaded the gym equipment into the van.
  • Finally coming home after a long escapade of picking up an entire gym.
  • Having a sneaky KFC dinner as celebration – we will work off the calories in our home gym haha!
  • Heading over to friend’s house and watching the EPL game. Arsenal and Tottenham tied (we’re Arsenal fans).
  • Coming home at 2am, exhausted.
  • Collapsing into bed.
  • Enjoying a sleep in.
  • Deciding against our original plans to go to the beach to set up the new gym. We would need to return the van for Monday.
  • Deciding to swap out the current guest room for the home gym, and make the 4th bedroom the guest bedroom.
  • Taking apart the bed and cleaning up the room.
  • Loading the room with the gym equipment.
  • Enlisting my brother and his friend to assist in taking out the heavy treadmill and awkward shaped lat pull machine.
  • Feeling totally proud of ourselves when everything fit in the room perfectly. PHEW!
  • Heading out to buy mats for the gym, groceries and a roast chicken for dinner.
  • Coming home to slightly messy house – the mattress for the guest bed was in the hallway from the move.
  • Having a nice roast dinner, doing some laundry, and then deciding to tackle the bedroom because we knew that if we left it, the house would stay messy till the next weekend.
  • Going through the 4th bedroom which has become our ‘store room’ and finally chucking out a whole bunch of stuff.
  • Moving the bed back in and feeling the satisfaction of seeing two totally clean and organised rooms (the study is next – the floor is currently hidden by piles and piles of books. We have ordered a bookcase which should be available any day now).
  • Going to bed way too late for a Sunday, but feeling happy.

Exhausted – the life of a busy 20-something

I don’t know where the days are going guys. It feels like ever since we have come back from Asia, we have dove straight into work and being young 20-somethings just living their lives. We have spent nights with family, with friends, at games, at the movies, cleaning the house, working. We have tried to plan multiple beach trips but there’s always been something else taking us away from that (a party, being lazy, shopping, work). And suddenly I’ve been back in Sydney for longer than my holiday in Asia, which tbh, did feel quite long and I definitely experienced a bit of homesickness at some point (because, you know, I missed my bed and home cooking a lot).

I don’t think we have had one night of quiet since we have come back. We decided to build a home gym in our house, on a whim, over the last few days. That’s the sort of shit that we do. We get big ideas then we go out and do them. We get super excited about our ideas and dive into them 200% and we usually achieve what we set out to do which is always super exhilarating, but then on the other end I find myself saying:

“Why am I so bloody tired?”

And then I kind of realise it’s because I keep staying up till 2am browsing Pinterest for home gym decor, or I am watching another show, or I am working, or I’ve overstayed my welcome at mum’s house because I keep eating her food, or we have friends over on a Saturday night. The list is endless.

I feel like before I know it, I’m going to be 30, and the womb will be calling and suddenly I will be like, what the fuck? When did I become 30 and where did my 20’s go?

Cejay is turning 25 this year. Smack bang, mid 20’s. And it’s both excited and terrified me.  It’s a quarter of a century and we have achieved so much for our age. It reminds me that we have come so far yet have so much to live for. It reminds me that we are still so young, there is so much left to explore. And it also means that I will have known this man for a decade, a man I have watched grow from the teenager forever locked away in my memories.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m happy. I’m happier than ever. Life is truly amazing at the moment and maybe that’s why I’ve been able to go at full speed for almost 3 weeks now with literally – and I mean LITERALLY no rest. Like, here I am craving a night where I can just sit on the couch as soon as I come home from work. We have not had a night like that at all. We have spent less time in our house than I would like. I don’t think I’ve had a sleep that has lasted longer than 7 hours. My shortest so far has been 2. Yeah, I’m serious.

And that was last night. I had a total of 2 hours sleep. Then I woke up and went to work early. I didn’t end up taking a lunch break and will continue to be working tonight, which I will fit in with going over to my mother-in-law’s house for dinner. I think if I didn’t love my work, I would not be able to do this (which was the case for me last year when I was in a different field). But now, gosh I love it. So I don’t mind now.

Of course, that sort of thing isn’t sustainable. I can’t keep going the way I have for the last 3 weeks. The thing is, I like seeing our families. I like seeing our friends. I like going to the movies and we have made a pact to spring clean the entire house and tbh, I really like organising. I’m someone that loves to tick things off a list.

I spent a majority of last year, when I was in a job I disliked, being so dispassionate about life. I procrastinated and I felt incredibly lazy. Now I am feeling a lot more like myself, and I am someone who just loves to get things done FAST.

Maybe, just maybe, I’ll have some rest this weekend. But for now, I have a meeting at 7pm tomorrow and I am probably seeing my friends on Friday and Saturday, and there is a big family event day at the beach (yay the beach finally!) on Sunday (after one of Cejay’s soccer games at 9 in the morning) so um, Sunday night might be relaxing?

Jess xo

It’s the little things that make you happy

Over the years, I’ve been trying to figure out what makes me truly happy. A lot of it are the little things. Like a cup of tea, flowers, candles, food, strawberries, a glass of red wine. It doesn’t have to be big things all the time. I don’t need to be going on big trips or planning holiday after holiday.

After Cejay and I got married, I was a little worried about what life would be like after the wedding. For over two years, we were thinking and planning about the wedding. It was a process I mostly enjoyed. I think a big part of it was that big expectation of something big happening – the fact that there was something to look forward to.

Something I know about myself is that if I don’t have something to look forward to, I tend to spiral into a bit of a depression. I have been depressed a few times in my life at different stages, and it’s always difficult to get myself out of it. It’s something that’s taken me years and lots of trial and error to try and understand myself and the triggers, and what actually helps me in feeling better. Depression and anxiety are hand in hand for me. When the anxiety gets too much, the depression tends to set in. The fact is, anxiety, for me, is a normal fact of life. I have started to learn ways to control it, but I know that if I let it rule my life, it starts getting harder to face my day each morning, and I become an extreme pessimist.

So, over the years, I’ve learnt that usually I:

  1. Need something to look forward to; and
  2. Need to fill my days with little happy things.

1 and 2 above don’t necessarily need to be extravagant things. I am happy enough looking forward to going to my parent’s house for dinner. I am happy enough looking forward to reading a new book. Or watching a new show. Or eating a particular meal.

The little happy things are what I have already mentioned. They don’t need to be expensive. I don’t need to be going to Europe every year to make me feel happy.

It’s those things, that when done each day, contribute to my overall happiness and a feeling of peace in my life. This is not something I learnt overnight, but probably over a course of 10-15 years.

If you find that you’re struggling with anxiety and depression, find those happy little things. It could be something as small as walking your dog each afternoon, or enjoying a small block of chocolate each day. Those small things can’t be underestimated, and I feel like in today’s world full of Instagram photos of people with their Chanel bags and holidays to Ibiza, those materialistic goods and wants can really get in the way of just being happy with those little things that don’t cost that much, but provide you with a huge source of happiness.

Jess xo

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 🙂

  • 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!