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.
Another month down leaving us with only three months till the end of the year. Oh my goodness that seemed to happen quickly!
This is only the second edition of Life at Number Eight, but already I appreciate that it makes me review what actually happened in the last month rather than just letting the month fly by. I think a bit of reflection makes us more appreciative.
Also, the photos in this months post (with the exception of the food) are all taken randomly on my iPhone at some point throughout the month. I really need to get better at intentionally taking photos for this post!
Gratitude & Grief – Katie Noonan as part of Brisbane Festival
I love Katie Noonan. She is one of my favourite people. And when I heard she was opening Brisbane Festival this year with her Jazz Trio, an orchestra and Michael Leunig, well I just had to be there.
This was probably one of the best celebrations of live art that I have been to. Katie’s voice is incredibly beautiful and evokes so much emotion that time melted away and I found myself going ‘wait that’s it?’ after 2 hours.
The inclusion of Michael Leunig, the cartoonist, joining her and the band on stage performing spoken poetry which Katie would then sing while Leunig would draw, was something so different than I had seen before. His drawings would tell the story of the song and change in emotion really encompassing the title of this performance – Gratitude & Grief.
Space and Settling In
Last month I spoke about starting a new job. Well this month I finally settled into it and found my confidence. I really do hate the start of a new job so it is great to feel that I am past that and that I can now concentrate on getting stuff done.
Also for the last couple of years we have had my brother living with us and this month he moved out to his own apartment. We have been left with spare rooms and more space than we have yet decided what to do with.
I am thinking one of those rooms will become an office space for me to work on this blog. It will also give me the space to be able to store all my photography equipment and props, so maybe I will have moved in there by next month!
Most Popular Blog Post
Blueberry Almond Crumb Cake. I don’t blame you, this was my favourite too.
What I Read This Month
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (2014)
I think last year I was the only one who didn’t enjoy Celeste Ng’s second novel Little Fires Everywhere. Sure it had elements that were interesting and even clever, but the overall tone of the book left me underwhelmed. So when I was browsing for something new to read at the local book store I spotted her first novel and decided to give her a second chance. Maybe it wasn’t her style of writing that didn’t gel with me, just the story.
I still have mixed feelings. I enjoyed reading this book a lot more than Little Fires Everywhere but there were still the common themes of unlikable characters, secrets, and dysfunctional family dynamics.
I must say though that this book find itself on my list of kick-ass opening lines to get you hooked:
Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.
The story follows the death of 16 year old Lydia and the impact the police investigation and the unknowing has on the family. They try to piece together her life leading up to this moment and we go back in time to explore her childhood and the relationship with her parents.
Again however, I finished the book a little underwhelmed, but the story did keep me interested right up until the end.
You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero (2013) Audio
I have always felt a bit funny about books from the self-help section. But lately I have decided I am really in need of a bit of extra motivation and inspiration, and I find I want to work on some personal development. So I started my Audible subscription again as I find it much easier to listen and absorb these type of books rather than read them. In particular this book is narrated by the author who is also a motivational speaker and coach, so that helps greatly in the delivery.
I genuinely loved this book. I don’t really know if it was just that I was feeling really open to Jen Sincero’s brand of honest motivation telling you to truly believe in what you want to achieve. She seemed to bring common motivational thoughts to the front and call them out for what they are but at the same time ask you to take actionable steps to move forward in your situation, whatever you goals may be.
If you are open to hearing this sort of thing, then I think you can get a lot from this book, despite me feeling a bit lame about the book’s title initially.
The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape (2017 edition)
So this book is everywhere and when it was recommended that I read it, I decided why not as I like personal finance and thought it might be interesting to compare what I do with the recommendation of an expert.
Can I be honest with you guys? I really hated reading this book. The way Pape talks is extremely condescending and his perspective of women and their role particularly when it comes to money was just a little hard to swallow.
His actual financial advice makes sense, and I even already do a lot of them (yay for being financially smart) but it is his delivery that just caught me off guard and left a bit of a sour taste.
The other thing I didn’t like was that through the delivery of his advice, he expects blind obedience from his audience. An example being:
It is my firm belief that if you’re married you should be sharing the same bank account, and all of your finances.
Why Scott, why? Could you maybe take a moment to explain why I should change something in my relationship that has worked perfectly fine for 10 years? Hmm.
Read it if you want, hopefully you will get something out of it and see past his attitude which I clearly could not. But if you are saving regularly and have your debt paid off – probably nothing new for you to see here.
Where I Ate This Month
I don’t eat out a great deal, but when I do I want to talk about it. Here are my food highlights from the month.
Constantly named as the best ramen in Brisbane, Taro’s is an unassuming place on Racecourse road serving up the most delicious bowls of ramen I have ever eaten. We went early in the month with a friend who had never had ramen before. Plus it is getting warmer and the comforting ramen eating weather is getting less and less.
We all ordered the Tonkotsu Ramen and, needless to say, the ramen eating was a success.
This just might be one of my favourite restaurants in Brisbane. I love the food and the fast service. Both of which make up for that fact that it is located in the Casino. But in saying that, it is a beautiful building and a really great atmosphere.
This restaurant is owned by Luke Nguyen and while it has Vietnamese roots, it really embraces that modern asian fusion style.
We went during Brisbane Festival in which they were doing a promotion for a banquet meal which gave you 3 types of pork, peking duck, fried rice, asian greens, dumplings and 2 glasses of wine for $60. This was such a great deal with so much food! I think this might be the only place where you get your food before your drinks – it is just so efficient.
What’s coming up?
Thinking about Christmas.
I know, it’s still a while away and talking about it early tends to make people freak out and get uncomfortable. BUT I don’t have a lot of Christmassy recipes on my blog and I am really hoping to get some out this year and the planning starts now! So what are some traditional Christmas foods you would like to see?
I really want to embrace some of our Aussie traditions when it comes to seasonal food, so let me know what you think about when you think summer and Christmas.
A Final Thought
After reading Jen Sincero’s book this month, I am trying to focus on truly believing in the things I want to happen. I am working on a shift in mindset.
I think it is too easy to put things off, or to say that will never happen. The challenge is to be open to accepting that great things can happen if you put those positive thoughts and aspirations out there to the universe.
So think about what you really want, say it out loud for the universe to hear, and believe that it can happen. You might be surprised at what opportunities this opens you up to and how this shift in mindset will give you greater clarity when working towards your goals.
Until next month.