Welcome to Life at Number Eight! My monthly series that lets us recap the month and catch up with everything that has been going on.
April was a big month. It was a tough month at times and it was a fun month at times. Mostly, it was a month of being tired and trying not to be.
While I always want to be honest on my blog and share my real life stories, I also feel that sometimes it is easier to share the positives rather than the not so great moments because it forces you to remember the memories that you want to carry forward with you.
So while I had some fantastic experiences this month that I am excited to share with you, remember that what is shared on the internet is often only part of the story.
What Happened in April
FINALLY Seeing Book Of Morman. I have wanted to see this musical for years. With an unparalleled reputation I was so excited for it to come to Brisbane. Having booked our tickets so long ago and feeling like the whole population of Brisbane had already seen it in its opening month, it was so good to finally go.
And I loved it. It was outrageous and inappropriate as you would expect coming from the creators of South Park but it was so incredibly creative and well done I just loved every moment and I don’t think I stopped laughing. The individual performances were some of the best I have seen and the choreography was everything you could imagine a musical should be.
Sometimes the hype can ruin your expectations, but in this case, it certainly lived up to them.
Celebrating our 5 year wedding anniversary. It was low key spent at home, then the following night was Book of Morman, but it was nice to acknowledge the last 5 years.
Camping over Easter. Despite the forecast for a lot of rain over the Easter long weekend, we stuck with our plans and headed out to the mountains past Murwillumbah in Northern NSW with a few friends for a much needed escape.
And yes, it rained so much. We were at a private campground which had a main camping area accessible by sealed road, while the rest of it was 4WD only and the dirt roads quickly became mud. After driving around the mud in our 4WD looking for a camp site and getting the ute very dirty, we decided on a more accessible location to prevent getting stuck if the roads did become worse.
Not everyone had the same idea though and we witnessed many people getting themselves into trouble and having to be towed out. In the wet conditions a few people we spoke to had slipped off the road while we also watched a sedan drive down a steep muddy road that even the biggest 4WDs were having trouble getting out of. Needless to say, they stayed at the end of the road until a bit of dry weather provided a window for them to be pulled out by the caretaker for a $50 fee.
Despite the rain and the mud, the location was stunning and it was just the relaxing break we all needed. It really is a beautiful part of the world and we can’t wait to return, hopefully with a little more sunshine!
A whirlwind trip back home. After ANZAC day, we jumped in the car again and took off on the 5 hour drive back home to country NSW. This time to catch up with friends and family. We also made a quick trip to the New England area to watch a game of country NRL in Uralla and made the beautiful detour to Gostwyck Chapel as being so close I just had to get a photo.
The autumn colours in this area at this time of year are just spectacular.
Waking up to watch Notre Dame burn. I woke up, opened up Facebook and saw the news. I didn’t quite believe it, so I continued to scroll and saw multiple other posts about it. So I Googled it and opened the live stream. The spire had already fallen and there was talk that it would be completely lost. My heart broke.
I cannot quite explain my reaction but it was one of shock, disbelief and sadness. Notre Dame is more than just a building, it is a symbol of Paris, of art and of history. It is grand and powerful maybe in a way that can only truly be felt by being inside.
It was September 2014 when I visited and was humbled to be in the presence of such history. But this happens. In history, things burn. They are rebuilt. I feel like the Notre Dame fire of 2019 is just another part of its rich history and while it won’t ever be the same, it could have been much worse.
Most Popular Blog Post
As I mentioned last month, I knew it was going to be hard to keep a full blogging schedule this month with a few busy weekends in a row. I did manage to publish two new recipes and update one of my favourites from 2016, making a few changes to the recipe and including an all new blog post and photos.
The most popular new recipe this month was my vegan mac and cheese. This is something I have wanted to add to the blog for a while because I make it all the time – its just so good.
What I Read This Month
Well this month was a little underwhelming on the reading front and I only have one book to review. It was a month where I just couldn’t find my rhythm, but I am currently half way through two physical books and one audiobook, with 3 or 4 more already purchased awaiting my attention, so I am hoping that this section is quite full next month.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling (2011) Audio
Feeling as though I was in a reading rut, the single book I completed this month was this fun and light-hearted audiobook performed by the author, Mindy Kaling. As she is a writer, comedian and actor the book really is best consumed in the audio format as her performance and storytelling really gives the book life.
It is a short read and perfect if like me, you need a little break from whatever you have been reading and want something where you don’t need to think and you can just laugh along and really enjoy the stories shared.
The format of the book is in lists and personal essays that cover particular topics rather than a chronological memoir format which to be honest I really prefer. I enjoyed the stories and the interjection of at times random and funny lists all with Kaling’s personal brand of humor.
This is very typically Mindy Kaling, so if you are a fan of hers and looking for a light read, you will enjoy picking up this book.
What I Watched This Month
This Is Us
Gosh I love this show. It is probably my favourite that is currently running. Previously having only seen the first season, I powered through the second and third over a few binge sessions. And it was excellent. I really think the power of the storylines in this show have much more of an impact when it’s binged.
What gets me is the relationships. Maybe they are not something that you can directly relate to, but the emotion is, and it is captured so well. I loved the focus on the relationship between Beth and Randall in season three and slowly learning more about Jack – although I feel like its a more you know the less you know kind of situation.
Oh and I pretty much cry in every single episode. But somehow, it doesn’t make me feel terrible, it just makes me feel and that is damn powerful television.
I’m not going to talk about what happened in this movie – I’m not one to drop spoilers. But I have seen it so if you want to talk to me about it you can.
Also I thought it was good and I enjoyed it. I have watched all 21 other films and been invested since the early days, so it was quite nice to finally get to the point of this movie. Being a cult film with a ridiculous fan base, there are always bound to be critics but I think it did the best it could to get the franchise where it needed to be.
I’ll leave it at that.
What I Listened To This Month
I know when I introduced this section last month I mentioned that my musical tastes were not exactly mainstream. Well it’s month two and I am backtracking a little. While still on the alternative side of things, my song of the month for May is getting a lot of radio play.
And yes, this song came out in Feb so I am a little late to the party, but having heard many live songs from Halsey I have such great respect for her and her voice and this month I finally found myself intentionally listening to some of her music. But it was really the Like A Version on Triple J with Yungblud that lead me to finally listen to their collaboration.
Plus, Travis Barker from Blink 182 is drumming on this track which is excellent.
What’s coming up?
Now into May the year is really in full swing!
May is looking to be a much quieter month than April was so I am looking to spend more time here posting new recipes and spending more time on this little piece of the internet. April was my best ever month traffic wise so I really want to keep up that momentum!
Coming up we have Mother’s Day and I hope to share a few recipes in celebration!
On a personal level it is really about slowing down and focusing on the things that I enjoy and that feed my physical and mental health. So that’s keeping up with my yoga classes (maybe trying to fit a 3rd class into my week) and starting a Whole30 to break some bad food habits that have been creeping in (hello chocolate every night).
Also swapping TV for books is high on my agenda for the month of may! It’s really about focusing on the things that I enjoy and that make me feel my best – that’s my definition of self-care.
If you’re feeling a little run down or not 100% yourself, I hope you also take the time for a bit of self-care – whatever that means for you.