Month: December 2016

Goodbye 2016.

Sometimes you have years that have so much change in them that personal growth is minimal and everything feels insensible.  That was my 2016.  Interstate move, four new hospitals, new hospital system, buying a house, another move, a new daycare – I’ll be honest and say I drowned in it somewhat.  Sometimes you look around you and wonder how other people do it.  Tidy houses, tidy children, stability everywhere.  And then you realise that most people live in the same place for most of their lives, sometimes even the same suburb.  For the last 10 years we have moved and moved and moved and moved.  Never mind that in medicine for the first 5-10 years of your career you change job every 3 months.  You can go crazy trying to be the person who lives a life of no change, or you can raise your tolerance to mess and hope that other people raise their tolerance for your temporary scattiness and disorganisation.

I’ve been late to lodge forms for so many things this year, bills, training stuff, other vagaries of life and I’ve also been very lucky in that for the most part, people have been more patient than exasperated with me, and that in spite of this, my current network gave me a job for next year.  Sometimes you want to scream at people “I swear this isn’t me!  The form is in a box somewhere but I’ve moved so much that it’s not in the box it was in, it’s in another box which has the wrong label crossed out and the right one written on it and…” and so on.  No one has an attention span that long so I just apologise profusely and say I’ll get onto it and inevitably do.  I mean I just posted my work contract a month and a half late.

Don’t even get me started on keeping a house tidy!  A house!  Aren’t I lucky!  I have my own house and a patch of grass and honestly, this makes me feel like a king.  Watch The Castle if you haven’t already.  But I’ve lived in apartments for ten years.  Houses are big.  And drafty.  And you can’t just leave the window open and go out, and you have to worry about homes security because there aren’t 3 locked doors and a building manager between you and the outside world anymore.  And I seem to get one room tidy but the others get all messed up in the interim.  And you have to sweep.  You know, just like your parents did.  There’s a driveway and it needs to be swept.  And mowing the grass!  Anyway, all this little, new things that houses require on top of all that change, I’m afraid I’m not very good at that either.  I get one ball in the air and all the others are shattering on the ground – that’s been my 2016, but at the same time I feel so lucky and grateful for it all.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from going through those exams, is that you have to be shit before you can be good.  All those people, living in the same places, doing the same things forever – they’ve had years to become that way.  Years to develop systems of living, and it does take years.  The exam also taught me that it’s okay to be a beginner and what it really really taught me is that it simply does not matter what people think of the way you do things, nor is there a ‘right’ way.  The best way is the ‘get it done’ way, whatever that looks like.  I’m afraid I’m not great at that either because oh, there’s just so many things to get done all of the time, and that’s just the ones you know about it.  Inevitably there turns out to be ones you don’t know about as well.

Anyway, 2016 has been a very very very hard year for me, but not an awful year.  No one I loved died (Carrie Fisher, David Bowie, and Prince notwithstanding!), my family is healthy, and we got our castle.  I stopped making resolutions a long time ago and have instead come up with themes to try and live by and improve on, and the theme for 2017 is ‘stay ahead’, which is kind of a testament to being more organised.  2017!!  Can you believe it?  We’re almost a decade into the 21st century.  There’s been modern science fiction movies made about times BEFORE now.

At any rate, I wish all of you lovely readers a wonderful 2017.  I can’t name a single person who hasn’t had a hard year, and this is the nature of things from time to time.  And to end my post, here are some photos of my structurally unstable 2016 gingerbread house I made for Christmas, and the Pinterest fruit salad I made that is held together by toothpicks, a large carrot, and half an apple.  Enjoy!

See how the side is bowing?

See how the side is bowing?

Funny story (not).  The whole thing slid apart when I put it together and the roof collapsed so the whole thing had to be fixed with skewers and terrifying amounts of royal icing.

Funny story (not). The whole thing slid apart when I put it together and the roof collapsed so the whole thing had to be fixed with skewers and terrifying amounts of royal icing.

How good is Pinterest?  It taught me how to make this!

How good is Pinterest? It taught me how to make this!

Here's a photo of some more gingerbread I made.  It's lemon icing and some FF-inspired gingerbread glamour.

Here’s a photo of some more gingerbread I made. It’s lemon icing and some FF-inspired gingerbread glamour.  The recipe is from the Barossa Vallery Cookery Book circa 1912 with a 16th century German gingerbread recipe renamed to ‘honey biscuits’ because everyone hated the Germans then and were very awful to German immigrants.  Sound familiar?

This is a platter that I wrapped after watching this video on Japanese gift wrapping. I modified the technique because it’s a circle (and it’s not as easy as it looks) but this technique is LIFE CHANGING.

Goodbye Christmas.  I got this decoration-organizer from Aldi in the spirit of my new years resolution.

Goodbye Christmas. I got this decoration-organizer from Aldi in the spirit of my new years resolution.

Goodbye Carrie.  You were the first female superhero I ever knew.  Your Leia was magnificent.  And no one but you could have done The Blues Brothers.  I'm sure when you got up there, John Belushi was wall 'well what took ya so long?

Goodbye Carrie. You were the first female superhero I ever knew. Your Leia was magnificent. And no one but you could have done The Blues Brothers. I’m sure when you got up there, John Belushi was all ‘well what took ya so long?”

Goodbye 2016, it’s been real.

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Soundtrack to 2016

I’ve been doing this on and off over the years.  Last year I didn’t because lullabies.  My entire Spotify top 50 was lullabies.  This year I’ve somewhat redeemed myself with a grab bag of good running tracks, New Order’s most recent effort (full of nostalgia), and random other things I’ve liked along the way – line it up to play at your Christmas party and enjoy the compliments you receive on your AMAZING taste.  Enjoy!

  1.  New Order – Restless
  2. David Bowie – Blackstar (listen to the whole song!)
  3. September – St Lucia (probably my favourite for the year)
  4. Get Home – Angus and Julia Stone
  5. New Order – Tutti Frutti
  6. Holy Ghost! – It Gets Dark
  7. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson
  8. Pretty Pimpin’ – Kurt Vile
  9. My Delirium – Lady Hawke
  10.  Lofticries – Purity Ring
  11. Not This Time – The 2 Bears
  12. Maribo – Mystic Crock
  13. Mountain at my Gates – Foals
  14. This Old Love – Lior
  15. Warrior – Kimbra
  16. Hurricane – MSMR
  17. Pretty Girls – Britney Spears & Iggy Azalea
  18. Cigarettes (ft Hue Blanes) – Illy
  19. Down the Road – C2C
  20. From St Kilda to Kings Cross – Paul Kelly

Winners of 2016

Time for my favourite products of 2016!  There are some ones from last year but a bunch of new ones too, in case you need ideas for last minute presents and yourself.  I’m not affiliated with any of these companies in any way, I just like to shop.

 

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

This has changed my life.  I read an article about the need for our scalp to be PH balanced and how most products are too acidic, leaving the hair cuticle open and how using products and heat to force it shut is really bad for it.  Long story short, I have fine, dry hair, that loves to create it’s own halo of frizz.  A tablespoon of this in 500ml in water (2 tbsp for long hair) after I’ve washed out my shampoo and left on for 2 minutes then rinsed out has done amazing amazing things – no more frizz, lots of movement.  Just use once a week.  I usually have some sort of semi in my hair and it doesn’t hurt it.  No idea if it works on blonde.

2. Benefit Benetint

I know, it’s been done to death, but I’m still doing it.  The colour is perfect.

3.  IOPE Cushion foundation

IOPE Cushion foundation

This amazingly magical product has consigned my expensive Chanel foundation to the back of my drawer – it transforms you from haggard mother of energetic non-sleeping two year old into a magnificent airbrushed Disney character who has never worked or slept a day in her life.  Every year the Koreans impress me with their commitment to reinventing makeup.  Sadly after only a year, they discontinued my shade, necessitating the biggest buyup of foundation I’ve ever done.  You can buy all of the other shades from Strawberrynet or Yesstyle and Reddit has a good colour matching spreadsheet here.

4.  MECCA Lip Deluscious

Nothing says sharp, chic, and on my game like pulling out an attractive pot of lip gloss, a sharp-looking lipbrush and applying it mid sentence – at the nurses station.  It smells like marshmallows and has a faint moonstone-like shimmer with superior moisturising abilities.  I’ve been in love with it ever since my sharp, chic and on-her-game friend pulled it out with a sharp-looking lipbrush over cocktails at a hip restaurant.

5.  Benebalm

This one makes the list again this year because I’m still on the same one, it’s that good.

 

6.  O&M No Knott detangling spray

When you have very fine and dry hair that likes to exist in a permanent state of frizz, you also find that there is not a product on this earth that will get rid of the frizz without making your hair look lank.  Even the lightest anti-frizz stuff makes it look terrible.  Shine oils make it look dull.  Enter this amazing spray.  After I shampoo and use apple cider vinegar, I towel dry and spray it with this stuff.  No conditioner because it also weighs it down.  My hair then air dries into amazing bouncy non-frizzness.  It also smells like a beautiful garden full of dancing fairies and highly attractive other sorts.

7.  Tangle-teezer

You will find me in my grave, buried with his magical invention that has ridded me of the pain associated with brushing my dry knotty hair.

 

8.  Seea surf suits

If you live in perpetual fear of the sun burning holes in you and at the bare minimum, giving you melanoma, or you just don’t like bikinis because you feel like you’re wearing your underwear in public, give these a go.  They’re beautiful.  I love mine.

9.  Meditation Oasis

Mary Maddux voice has been honed from years and years of running meditation classes, since before it was cool and before it had an evidence base.  There’s an app or you can listen to the podcasts on their website for free, all guided meditations on many topics, all magic.  And necessary at the Game of Thrones style onslaught that is Christmas these days.

10.  Sonos & Spotify

My husband told me about these when they first came out and being the awesome cool wife that I am, went straight out and got him one for his birthday.  I had no idea what it was and I’m pretty sure Sonos hadn’t counted on someone like me getting to know one of these things.  It’s a speaker but it connects wirelessly so you can play music from your phone, tablet, or computer and the sound will come out of the speaker without it having to be connected to an MP3 or CD player.  Even better it works with Spotify (an all you can eat music subscription library) so it’s almost any music you want, any time you want.  Which, when you’re a new parent, is lullabies.  Endless lullabies.  I don’t think Sonos really thought about that but the ability to call up lullabies on demand, at any hour of the day when you can barely spell your own name, is golden.  Also Michael Buble Christmas carols.   One day I’ll expand it so I can do music in the kitchen and the backyard, but even with just one speaker this setup is worth it’s weight.

I’d love to see everyone else’s lists, and I hope you enjoyed this one!