This year, like probably most years, has been filled with ups and downs.
The ups have been pretty damn good including the fact that this year began with me being in Switzerland aka my happy place.
I had a little moment of clarity while in Switzerland, watching the snow softly fall outside my window. I decided I was truly ready to focus on this blog. You see, I love it. I also realised that I had been hiding behind a fear stemming from a feeling that I wasn’t good enough and this had lead me to not fully embrace food blogging and photography.
Sometimes I think maybe I’m not be a very good blogger as I don’t tend to follow the rules that everyone says you need to. Like finding a focus or a ‘niche’ and sticking with it. But then I think that I don’t really care about that and it’s my blog so I can write about whatever.
Call this blog what you will, I think I’m leaning towards being a food and lifestyle blogger personally, but at the end of the day I’m going to write content that makes me happy and that I would want to read. That is both useful travel information & recipes as well as stories and whatever these rambling posts are classified as.
So along with Switzerland, this years ups also included a very food focused trip to Tassie which cemented it as one of my ultimate favourite places. Seriously I would consider moving there if I could.
But while the ups are always the most fun to talk about, it is often the downs that truly shape us and our experiences. This year for me has included it’s fair share of family issues that have had a great deal of emotional impact. Together my husband and I have continued to take on board these downs and work together as we work to keep each other emotionally strong.
For me, I learnt that I needed to listen to my mind and my body which was telling me that I needed to slow down. That resulted in my having to cancel plans to go to New Zealand later in the year to meet up with a friend, something that I had been looking forward to. And what happened was, as soon as I made the decision not to go, I felt a weight of relief lift from my shoulders and I knew that it was the right decision. What I needed to be doing at this point in time was working on my own emotional stability and focusing on finding a rhythm again.
While it still might be a work in progress, I can feel the change starting to come and slowly I am re-strengthening and I know that taking the time to let myself recover, even if it took a little time, was something that I needed to do.
As the process continues, I know I need a good dose of nature and maybe a little exercise as while I was never that person who goes for a run at lunch, I have seriously reduced my physical activity down to consisting only of my morning walk to the coffee shop. So a trip to Lamington National Park is on the cards for the weekend and I hope to get the opportunity to bust out my wide angle lens as I haven’t done any landscape photography since Tassie.
I started writing this post as I wanted to share what had been happening the last few months because sometimes as I work to find a balance and a rhythm with what you can expect on this blog, I can tend to get caught up in just writing about the food and focusing purley on that side of things and then forget about writing the stuff that I just really like to write (and hopefully you like to read?!).
So here are some things that are not related to recipes and travel that I feel like sharing.
What I’ve Been Reading
I’ve been reading The Handmaid’s Tale again as it was a few years ago now that I first picked it up. I haven’t yet watched the TV series because I’m scared of being confronted emotionally. I don’t deal. However I have made plans with a friend to sit down and watch it this month which I plan to follow through with. It is my hope that by re-reading the book I will be more emotionally prepared to deal with the TV series.
Reading in general this year has been down. I have not been reading as much as I am used to. I found this happened in 2016, the year following the first time I completed the reading challenge. So I am just thinking it is probably just a natural downfall after a challenge year.
In saying that, I have read some amazing books this year including Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman by Anne Helen Petersen which I found so insightful and interesting and just overall good. I encourage every woman to read this and I challenge you to not walk away with a different perspective on how you view other women, particularly those in the public eye.
This year, I have also read a couple of books each by Khaled Hosseini and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie which I adored as their writing tells the emotional and heart breaking stories so richly and in a way that reminds me so entirely of why I love to read.
While I was determined to keep up with my book a week this year following on from my successful challenge, I somehow found myself just not in the reading mood. I am sure as the year progresses and maybe now we are in winter aka peak reading, blanket and tea time, I will find myself lost in a world of literature. Until then, the binge reading has been replaced with binge Netflix. Which leads me to…
What I’ve Been Watching
I guess after reading a ridiculous amount of books last year, I had some series to catch up on.
This year so far has been all about finally binge watching Brooklyn Nine Nine (all 5 seasons, and yes I purchased the 5th on iTunes as I couldn’t wait) and then going through the 24 hour roller-coaster of it getting cancelled and then picked up by another network due to the fan outrage. I get it, it’s awesome and it must continue.
This clip, I’m done.
I also finished the first season of Dynasty which was so terrible but so addictive and kind of good at the same time. I don’t know. It was trashy with ridiculous physical family fights and completely implausible with the majority of the plotlines, but also it is a classic soap and well, they have a formula that keeps people watching. Kind of can’t wait to find out what happens….
I am also well behind on the new season of Westworld so if anyone spoils that for me, we can no longer be friends. I have to be careful with how much I watch though as previously stated regarding the not being able to deal emotionally when confronted with difficult issues on screen. It can get a little much and I need break. I have a two episode max limit at any one time on Westworld, to prevent my mind spirling about the demise of humanity.
On a completely opposite note, I am currently in the middle of a complete binge of The Mindy Project which I think I love because it is equal parts ridiculous and colourful. It is funny and heartwarming all at the same time and I just like it.
Ohh and I also watched the first season of This Is Us this year. I started watching it on the plane coming home from Switzerland and I got totally hooked. Incredible profile on the human experience and it gave me all the feelings. I have yet to watch season two so again, no spoilers!
A Little Extra…
Other things that have made me happy this year include discovering rosehip oil and how amazing it is. Seriously I never knew that putting oil on your face could make it so smooth and soft and amazing. I am starting to realise that I need to be taking better care of my skin so this is my first step. Any natural skin care products you care to recommend, please send them my way as I get a bit overwhelmed when looking at all the options.
Ok so it’s me and I can’t possibly not talk about food. This month for me has been about me embracing my love of bagels with a soft egg for breakfast. Add some ham or some avo and we have my current favourite breakfast. This combined with the zero exercise is probably not ideal health wise, but it’s delicious, makes me happy, and I can start my mornings satisfied.
Also I have started to allow myself a few takeaway coffees a week, mostly because coffee = life. I decided to purchase a Keep Cup to cut down on the waste and it is seriously great. I had tried other reusable cups and hated them so I was a bit skeptical that I would actually use it, but I can say that since I purchased it, I have not used a disposable coffee cup. I got the glass one and I love how it feels and it is comfortable to drink out of. I’ve definitely become that annoying person in the office that tells everyone they should buy one.
And now we are all caught up! Thank you for sticking with me and reading this far.
I hope you enjoy these catch up posts as I would like to start doing them more regularly as it’s nice to just have a talk about life and what we are loving.
Feel free to keep the conversation in the comments below. Also book and tv recommendations most welcome!
A couple of the photos in this post are mine from Tassie, the rest are from Unsplash as I didn’t really have anything relevant…