Project 333

A few months ago I wrote a post about Project 333 where you wear 33 items for 3 months. I finally decided to take part from October – December. I will wear only 33 items (excluding underwear, socks/stockings and gym gear) for the 3 month duration. The exception being that I have an engagement party and a Christmas party to attend so I will wear items that are not part of the Project 333 and will come from my wider wardrobe. I’m looking forward to it. Initially I thought it’d be easy but October through to December in Melbourne, Australia encompasses such a wide range of temperatures and weather types that I’ll need to make sure that the items I’m choosing are practical and can be layered.

Here are the items I have chosen for the experiment.

Bottoms

  • Black Cotton On jeans
  • Stone Cotton On jeans
  • Black Asos skirt
  • Blue Jeans West shorts

Tops

  • Black Decjuba semi-sheer shirt
  • Black and white Katies short sleeve top
  • Black and white Portmans long sleeve top
  • Black and white Only long sleeve blouse
  • Black, grey and white Wayne Cooper short sleeve top
  • Cotton On black long sleeve top
  • Cotton On black singlet
  • Cotton On black t-shirt

Shoes

  • Burgundy Wittner ballet flats
  • Black Innovare heeled boots
  • Black Rollie flats
  • Tan Wittner boots
  • Berry Haviana thongs
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Wittner flats, Innovare heeled boots, Rollie flats, Wittner boots, Haviana thongs

Outerwear

  • Black Seed jumper
  • White Staff by Maff jumper
  • Blue H&M jumper
  • Black Cue jumper
  • Navy, blush and white Temp jumper
  • Grey Zara knit
  • Black and white Staff by Maff cardigan
  • Black Target faux leather jacket
  • Grey Cotton On cardigan

Dresses

  • Black ASOS long sleeve dress
  • Patterned Witchery dress
  • Black ASOS sleeveless dress
  • Black and white Kmart dress
  • Black Atmos&Here zip dress

I don’t quite have 33 items. I have 31. But I’m going to stick with the 31 to start with. I’m going to allow myself to add 2 more items during the time frame if I choose to. I don’t feel like I will need to but we will see.  I may add some other bottoms as the weather gets warmer but I’m very happy with my choices. I already have a self-appointed wardrobe for work so I’m actually giving myself a bit more to play with now.

I’m on day 3 so far and it’s been fairly easy. Day 1 was spent in pj’s as it was a Sunday and yesterday I wore my Rollies, black jeans, black long sleeve top and the Zara knit. Today I’m wearing Rollies, black jeans, Decjuba shirt and Seed jumper.

Only 89 days to go!

How To Not Overthink Things

One of the things I’ve become really good at is not over thinking things when it comes to other people. I sometimes still fall into the trap but I’ve gotten really good at leaving a conversation once it’s done.

Here is what I do.

  1. Take everything at face value
    I’ve decided that I’m an adult and that the people around me are also adults. So when they say something to me, I simply believe it. I trust that if there was a problem that they would behave like an adult and have a conversation with me about it.
  2. Accept what others say to you
    In a similar vein to the above, accept what others ask of you. If someone asks for space, give it to them. If you offer something to someone and they say ”no” move on to something else. Treat others with the respect they deserve and allow them to make decisions for themselves. Again if they say no to something that you offer, trust that if they do want to take you up on it that they will ask.
  3. Assume the best
    There are many instances where someone says something and it can be taken the right way or the wrong way. Most of the time how you feel about the person at that point in time will dictate how you take it. For example, I was once at a New Years Eve party sitting in a gazebo where there were gaps in the palings. The owners dog peed on the gazebo and naturally some of it got on one of the girls. I said to her “there’s no one better for him to do that to” because she was a vet nurse and volunteered at rescue shelters and loved all animals. She assumed I meant that she deserved it and that it was a negative. At the time she and I weren’t in a good place which is probably why she assumed I meant it as a negative. I don’t blame her for doing that but it taught me to just assume that generally people mean things in the best possible way. And to be honest, even if they don’t it doesn’t matter. If you choose to take it as a positive it means that exchange won’t consume your thoughts.
  4. Communicate effectively
    Don’t beat around the bush. If you want to ask something ask it. It’s the best way to get your answer and that way you won’t have to think about what they meant when they said x and y. But it also helps to avoid misunderstandings. Last night I went to dinner with a friend and the restaurant we went to do take away pizzas. I sent my fiance a text asking if he wanted one. As I was out to dinner when he replied to my text I didn’t really read it and all I saw was if you can’t be bothered don’t worry about it. What he had actually written was if you can be bothered get some but if not don’t worry. If he had just said yes I would have gotten him some pizza and then we wouldn’t have spent 10 minutes when I got home arguing about who was right and who was wrong.
  5. Don’t dwell on things
    If you’ve said something that may have caused someone you care about to feel hurt and they aren’t responding to you, accept it – you don’t get to decide what hurts someone else. Ensure you have genuinely apologised (none of this ”I’m sorry you feel that way” bullshit) but move on. Allow them the time and space they need to work through their feelings. Don’t sit around thinking about it for too long. Allow them to come to you when the time is right for them.
  6. Be honest yourself
    It’s easier to not overthink things if you yourself are honest with those around you. It can also encourage others around you to communicate more honestly and openly with you.

It’s actually pretty easy once you get into this thought pattern of just assuming the best of each situation. I used to spend hours going over situations in my head, wondering what I said or did to cause (potential) offence to someone else. It was a ridiculous waste of time and wasn’t good for my mental health. These days I can say that more often than not, I say exactly what I want, depending on the other person I may have edit or censor myself but generally the meaning is clear. It saves misunderstandings, it saves time and it means that I can move on to other things without thinking back.

Why Being Polite Can Be Bad For The Soul

Ever since I was a little girl, I was taught to be polite. I learnt all about manners. I learnt to be quiet when others were speaking, to always say please and thank you, to address all adults by Mr/Ms Surname and to wait my turn. It’s served me well for most of my life. Growing up I learnt to work out when it was necessary and when it wasn’t. Unfortunately what I also learnt was that whilst it usually served me well, it could cause a great deal of anxiety.

Why anxiety?

Well, because being polite can translate to ‘being stuck doing what you don’t want to do.’ I’ve learnt to speak my mind with people close to me. When my fiance speaks to me about video games and I’m in no mood to entertain him, I simply tell him that I’m not listening or that I’m not interested. With friends, I can say the same if I really want to. If we have friends over and I’m tired, I go to bed. Sometimes without even excusing myself or saying goodnight. It works well. We can be honest with each other. With people who aren’t as close to you it’s more difficult.

I’ve found myself more often than not stuck in a conversation or a situation I don’t want to be in. I can’t tell you how often I’ve listened to my mother prattle on about my nephew, detailing every single minute of the last 8 hours. Don’t get me wrong, I love my nephew but he’s 1. His life is really not that interesting to me. I’ve spent countless hours listening to people go on and on about one of the things I really despise, travelling. It’s not that I hate travelling, I just don’t want to hear about it. I even wrote a post about it! But it’s so hard to get out of these types of situations.  And it makes me really anxious thinking about how long it’ll take or how I’m going to get myself out of it. Most of the time I’ve found that the other person doesn’t really give me an option before diving into something I’m not interested in so here is my question… why am I socially expected to stand there and waste my time on a conversation I couldn’t care less about instead of saying something? I understand that its not polite but is it not also impolite to trap someone in a situation they don’t want to be in?

I wish it were more socially acceptable to say no to these sorts of things.

So that’s what I’ve started doing.

My fiance’s mother recently ordered a photo book of every single photo on her Facebook account. Not only has she just uploaded everything without editing down her photos, but I’ve also already seen them when she initially posted them on FB. Of course she asked me if I wanted to see the book. She was halfway across the room to get it before she had even finished her sentence. I said no. Everyone in the room was a bit shocked because obviously social norms dictate that I should have said yes. But I just had no interest in seeing them.

So I’m going to continue that. I’m not going to be rude about it. I’m just going to say no if the offer does not interest me. People need to learn to accept it and learn that just because you want to share something, it doesn’t mean others want to be involved.

I want to stop having pointless conversations. I want to have deeper connections and whilst it seems counter-productive to have less conversations, I don’t want to resent those around me just because I feel trapped in a situation.

It’s a skill that I’m hoping to refine and extend. Refine by not allowing myself to be in situations that make me uncomfortable and to extend by extracting myself from those situations should I find myself stuck in one.

12 Ways To Make Yourself Feel Better In 10 Minutes Or Less

We all have days where our self-care game just isn’t on point. It’s ok, not every day can be a great day but there are ways to make the less good days seem a bit better.

I’ve had more bad days than good lately. I’ve been home sick a lot and I really don’t enjoy it. I had 3 weeks off recovering from surgery, was at work for one week and then off again for a week.

It’s the boredom that gets to me because I can’t manage to do much when I feel this way. If I do anything for too long I get a headache – sleep too long, read too long, watch tv too long, colour too long.  I still don’t have a lot of energy as it can take up to 3 months to recover completely from the surgery I had.

But I’ve found ways to make myself feel better, even if it is just for a short while.

Here are 12 ways to self care in under 10 minutes

1. Breathe

Its the easiest one that only requires you.  You can literally do it anywhere and no one will be any wiser because hey, we all need to breathe. There are many different breathing exercises that you can follow as well. I have a Fitbit Charge 2 that has a Relax mode and all you do is follow the breathing instructions for 2 minutes. It really helps when I need a me moment.

2. Freshen Up

Wash your face, have a shower, brush your teeth or do all 3. Feeling clean can really help your mindset if you’re feeling off. I know it’s tempting to stay in pjs all day but that can actually be counter-productive if you want to feel better.

3. Dress to Impress

But to impress yourself. Those days where I feel like shit and don’t want to do anything are the days where I know I need to get up and actually get dressed and not just in see through yoga pants dressed, I mean proper dressed.

4. Meditate

If you’re new to meditation or skeptical of the benefits, meditation will be really hard. It is called a practice because you need to do just that, practice, to benefit from it. There are apps you can use to help. Headspace have a 10 day guided intro to meditation but my favourite app is the Calm app. I use the free version and its great. My one complaint is that I wish you could buy certain features rather than sign up monthly but its a small annoyance. They have guided and unguided meditations where you can choose the length of time. I also use it a lot at night time as they have sleep stories to help you get to sleep.

5. Practice Gratitude

And not just the basic I have shelter, food and people who love me even though these are great. Something a bit deeper like ‘I’m grateful that I can buy a $40 umbrella cuz its raining and I don’t have to worry where that money came from’ or ‘I’m grateful that despite being caught speeding, I and no one else was hurt by my actions.’

6. Journal

Grab a notebook and write, draw or doodle for a few minutes. Don’t worry that its not all perfect. It doesn’t need to be. Just get out whatever it is you need to. It’s not about having an insta-worthy, perfect layout notebook/journal. It’s about having a space to let out what you need when you need to.

7. Write a to-do list

Even if your list literally consists of get up, have a shower, get dressed, eat something nutritious. I get it. Some days that’s all you can manage. And you know what? Its still an accomplishment. You did it!

8. Tidy something up

Whether its your room, your desk or your car, you’ll feel better once things seem to be in order. Plus it amazing how much you can accomplish in 10 minute slots.

9. Sing and dance to your favourite song

I have a playlist called Shower and its all the songs I love to sing and dance to in the shower. I play it at other times and it always puts me in a good mood.

10. Stretch

Its no surprise that when your body feels tense, you feel tense and when your body is loose, you feel loose. One of my favourite stretch/yoga sequences is only 7 minutes long but it makes a world of difference.

11. Water

Drink water. And keep drinking water. It can help with alertness and movement and has so many benefits to your body. Chuck in some mint or lemon too if you feel like it.

12. Physical Contact

Physical contact can drastically improve mood. It can foster greater intimacy and trust between two people and can greatly improve communication, bonding and health.

So there you have it. 12 different ways to improve your mood in less than 10 minutes.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Fudgecream

Whilst recovering from jaw surgery I’d had cravings for sweet, junky food. Because I didn’t have much in the house and to start with, wasn’t confident heading out on my own, I had to make do with what I had.

I ended up making a sort of banana/peanut butter/coconut oil/cacao powder ice cream that wasn’t frozen but just put in the fridge thing.

Here is my concoction

Ingredients

1 Banana
1/2 Cup Milk/Water/Some sort of liquid
2 Tablespoon Cacao Powder
3 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
4 Tablespoon Peanut Butter
2 Tablespoon Desiccated Coconut Shreds
1 Tablespoon Honey (or however much you like depending on sweetness)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Essence

Milkshake part

Blend a banana with a bit of milk/water/whatever liquid you want to use. I used my Kambrook Blitz2Go to do mine. Once blended pour into a bowl/large mug

Chocolate sauce part

Add peanut butter and honey into a saucepan and heat very slowly. My stove top options are burning hot or off so I heat up the element and once it’s hot I turn it off and then put the saucepan on the heat (side note, I can not wait to replace that damn stove top).
Add coconut oil and mix in.
Add cacao powder and vanilla essence and stir.

 

 

Once mixture is smooth, pour the contents into the bowl/mug with the milkshake part. The sauce will likely go down to the bottom so you will need to mix it. I find stirring doesn’t help so you need to almost fold it through.

 

 

Once mix is complete, pop in the fridge.

The great thing is that you can actually eat it straight away, or you can pop it in the fridge or you can freeze it so it’s like ice cream.

My mug normally holds enough for 4 snacks. I have eaten it for dinner before when I couldn’t be bothered cooking food as it’s quite yummy and filling. And most importantly, it does the trick to satisfy a sweet craving.

 

Ricotta Pancakes For Brunch

I’ve made a lot of lasagna over the last couple of weeks because it was the only food I could eat for a while that had some sort of meat in it. The lasagna recipe I use requires a fair bit of ricotta cheese and as it happens, I usually have some left over. I’ve never been a huge fan of ricotta, mostly because I’m partial to feta or goats cheese but I had a fair bit left and didn’t want to waste it. I’d been craving pancakes ever since I had some on Saturday so I decided that seeing as I didn’t go to work today I would make some ricotta pancakes.

I looked at recipes but to be honest most of them were far more complicated than I wanted them to be. I wanted something quick and easy.  So I whipped up a quick batch by sheer intuition and I have to say they didn’t turn out so bad.

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The plate size is between a bread plate and a dinner plate – I’m not sure of the official name but I assume there is one. If you know what it’s called, comment below and tell me!

Here’s the recipe.

1/2 cup plain flour
1 cup milk
1 egg
3/4 cup ricotta cheese

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and quickly fry in butter.

I made 4 pancakes with this recipe but you’d easily be able to stretch that to 8 smaller sized pancakes.  I added some honey and blueberries for some sweetness because the recipe doesn’t have any sugar in it.

I quite like cooking using guess work. I find it makes things a bit more interesting. The only downside is if something becomes complicated with lot of steps and you want to recreate it but can’t because you don’t remember all the measurements. But as this only had 4 ingredients, it was pretty easy to remember.

Jaw Surgery Update – 3 Weeks Post Op

So I’m three weeks post surgery today. I can’t tell you how good the recovery has been for me. I’ve had no bad side effects, no real bad days and I’ve been pretty good the whole time. I’ve been tired, a bit uncomfortable and swollen but nothing too serious.

I’ve had two check ups already with the surgeon who has been really happy with my progress. He even mentioned both times how well and how quickly I’ve managed to recover so that’s good news. I’ve had x-rays taken and I have so much metal in my mouth now. At this stage I only have swelling on my chin. My lower lip and chin are still pretty numb so I still need to be very conscious when I eat. I just have to make sure I keep dabbing my lip and chin to make sure there’s no food dripping down. I had a check up with the orthodontist this morning and that too went well. He has given me more elastics to wear because my lower front teeth still aren’t perfectly aligned with the top teeth. I’m not actually sure if it’s because my jaw isn’t sitting in the right place or whether I’m not sitting my jaw correctly because my teeth aren’t aligned. I’ve definitely overthought it all because I have no idea where my jaw comfortably sits.

Anyway here are a couple of pics from today. You can check out the recovery posts here and here.

This morning after the orthodontist

Food wise I’ve been eating a much more varied diet. I’m able to eat pasta so I’ve had heaps of pasta bake and lasagna. I can chew small bits of meat and I haven’t yet tried to eat a steak or piece of chicken in its entirety. My jaw does hurt with too much chewing so I’m taking it easy and just doing what feels comfortable. I had a fillet of salmon last night and that was really good.

So overall I’m really happy with everything so far. It’s been an expensive exercise but it’s been so worth it.