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.
Yesterday I put up my Christmas tree. How did it become December so fast!? I cannot believe we are entering the last month of the year. But before I start pushing out the traditional end of year posts, let’s take a walk through the month that was November.
November was an exciting month on the blog. While I wasn’t super active with posting, the previous work with optimising my posts for search has started to pay off as I reached my highest traffic month to date! I am so grateful for you to be here reading my posts and supporting this platform and this news made me do a little happy dance, so a big cheesy thank you to each and everyone of you!
The month ended for me on a big journey across the country on the last day of November to Ballarat in Victoria to attend Spilt Milk Music Festival for work. It was a long day with a lot of travelling, but it was so much fun and a huge highlight to see Ocean Alley and Chvrches perform.
There were also a few challenges this month that I won’t go into, but when life hands you something so completely out of your control, it is important to understand what is really important.
I am really looking forward to finishing the year off strong and getting ready for 2020, I have a feeling it is going to be the best yet.
Most Popular Blog Post
This month was yet again another with only the one new post, but man was it a good one. And it seemed you thought so too with it getting more visits in the first month than what I would normally expect for a brand new post.
These 5 minute sweet and spicy noodles have been a cliched #gamechanger in my dinner world. I have made these countless times when I wanted something delicious with minimal effort. If you haven’t made these yet, do not wait any longer!
What I Read This Month
This month saw me reach a total of 33 books read for the year, a number I am really happy with, but one I know I could have increased had I prioritised more intentional reading. I am expecting to add another 3 – 4 to this number throughout December as my list of books to read inevitably keeps getting longer!
One of the reading goals I set for myself at the start of the year was to read more Australian authors. I haven’t been too great at this so far and it is something that I will carry into next year, but this month I am happy to say that both books fit that category.
Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee (2018)
I had seen this book spoken about so many times that finally after a prompt from Amazon, I decided to give it a read.
I loved picking up a book and instantly feeling connected to the setting. Not only is this book Australian, but it is set in my home city of Brisbane, making every location reference easy for me to picture.
This is a memoir of Lee’s experiences as a judge’s associate in Brisbane’s District Court of Queensland, and she chronicles the time she spent working here overseeing a number of sexual harassment and assault cases both in Brisbane and throughout regional Queensland. It is through her experience listening to survivors that she is able to acknowledge and report a crime that was committed against her as a child.
Lee then becomes the person on the other side of the court and walks through every step of the painful and time consuming process of seeking legal justice.
The perspective and insight of hearing what a trial is like and the phases that the Australian courts take were so interesting as often the most accessible stories take place in an American setting. I also found the perspective of how physically and emotionally damaging it was for Lee to be in this line of work while battling her own trauma and pain very insightful and I was grateful for her openness.
The Woman Who Fooled The World: Belle Gibson’s Cancer Con by Beau Donelly and Nick Toscano (2017) Audio
If you don’t remember Belle Gibson’s name, let me remind you. A beautiful young mother was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and given 4 months to live. She rejected traditional treatment and instead healed herself with whole foods and holistic medicines. She survived and told the world through Instagram how they could heal themselves too, making her one of the first wellness influencers. Building on the back of a growing following she build a successful app, and then published a cookbook.
She was successful and healthy and a role model for many. Except that she never really had cancer.
It fascinates me so much that someone is capable of this lie. I wanted to read this book, written by the journalists who broke the story in The Age, to get a bit of an understanding of what kind of person would do this, and also how she got away with it for so long.
It was such an intense story with so many layers. The more I listened the more I couldn’t understand how she got away with it for so long, but then again, you don’t question someone who has cancer. In the end she managed to build herself a successful business, but it was all on the back of praying on people’s humanity and people in the most vulnerable positions of society.
The book also looks at the wellness industry as a whole, and explores the lack of regulation around people who promise miracle cures for a premium.
This story was crazy, and while I remembered it from the news, this was a deep dive into all the evidence and was a really interesting read.
What I Watched This Month
Atypical: Season 3
I was so excited to see the new season of the coming of age drama about Sam’s struggle to move through life while dealing with autism. This season he started college and we went deeper into the relationships he formed, and those of the people around him. This is one of my favourite shows as it is just so beautifully made and I feel so invested in the characters.
If you haven’t watched it yet, please do it, it’s wonderful.
What I Listened To This Month
This month I listened to the She’s on the Money podcast as recommended by my hair dresser and it is so good. It is full of simple but actionable money advice for millennials designed to make money less scary and put you in control of your finances. If you are feeling a bit lost around money or just need an entertaining way to consume financial advice, then give this a listen.
What’s coming up?
CHRISTMAS! Can you believe it?
I am so excited for all things festive. It starts this week with a friends Christmas party, then I hope to spend some time baking, and also make time to drive around and see the lights.
As the month goes by I am looking forward to publishing my annual end of year content including my favourite books of the year, my most popular recipes and maybe a little blogging recap/reflection as I reach 5 years of publishing things on the internet!!
And finally, I have some Christmas recipes to publish that I didn’t get around to in November, so keep your eyes peeled for some last minute ideas.