Nov 20, 2012

#NaBloPoMo: Failed

I know. Another blog challenge failed. In hindsight, it was much too ambitious and foolish to take up in the first place. I'm trying to spend less time in front of a screen (outside of work) but blogging kind of necessitates screen-looking, no? This is especially true on the weekends where I would rather stare into space than look at my computer.

Also, my weeks are really, really busy with Spanish class 2 days a week so daily blogging was destined to fail.

Oh wellz. I'm not looking at it as a complete fail though. It's helped me enjoy blogging again. So don't worry my loyal readers (yes, all 3 of you) I will be writing - just not every day. :)

Nov 13, 2012

#NaBloPoMo - Paranormal Activities

Happy Diwali y'all. Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights (and fireworks). As a Bengali however, we celebrate Diwali as Kali Puja and simply put, is a festival honoring the Hindu Goddess Kali and her victory over demons.

I'm not one for religion but I'm definitely one for festivals. Indian festivals are AMAZING. Also, I love many traditions, customs and beliefs associated with Indian festivals. Anyway, I digress.  The day before Kali Puja (i.e. yesterday) Bengali homes usually light 14 candles to ward off evil spirits. While it feels nothing like Diwali here in Aus, I did do the 14 candles thing because I am paranoid and me no likey demons or ghosts y' know?

Then last night, we heard something scurrying on the roof. It convinced me it was something out of the movie Paranormal Activity (y'know that shit but totes scary movie about a ghost/paranormal being harassing the people living in the house). Anyway, J reckons its a possum but I had paranormal activity ideas in my head. It was the day before Diwali after all. I had blown out the candles. My line of defence was gone. The demons were out in full force and they were coming for me.

In bed I thought about the scene where she gets dragged out of bed by her feet (oops, sorry spoiler) and I struggled to fall asleep. Then I looked up and there was a strange orange light on the ceiling. Scurrying noises + strange light? Of course it was perfectly rational to shake J and ask him to look at the ceiling and figure out what it was while I stressed about being the star of Paranormal Activity Part 3.

It was a reflection of a light from outside, apparently. I laughed and let J go back to sleep. But I had managed to scare the shit out of myself. So, I did what I always do when I'm scared the ghosts might see me - I hid my head under the blanket.


*This post is part of the November NaBloPoMo blogging challenge.

Nov 12, 2012

#NaBloPoMo: Hangry

Got home and realised I'd forgotten to defrost the meat last night which meant dinner would take longer to prepare than anticipated. Cranky mode - On.

The last few minutes waiting for the oven buzzer to go off I totally had a little hissy fit. I was hungry and wanted food NOW NOW NOW.  I was, as we call it "hangry"

I bought this cushion for J because he gets very cranky when he's hungry. But the tables have turned and I'm easily the hangrier of the two these days.
In my defence...I did a Body Attack class after work and just a protein shake wasn't cutting it today. I needed CARBS and I needed it now.

My signature crankiness is always sleep related, but this is a whole new world of crankiness. I'm hungry, give me food or else....

*This post is part of the November NaBloPoMo blogging challenge.

Nov 11, 2012

#NaBloPoMo - Photo catch up

It's a Sunday and I'm seldom in the mood to blog on weekends. So I'll do a bit of a cheat post and summarise the last 10 days of photos for my other November challenge - the Photo A Day challenge.

Here we go.

Day 1: Something beginning with 'C'
Day 2: Colour
Day 3: Breakfast
Day 4: TV
Day 5: 5 o'clock
Day 6: A favourite thing
Day 7: Reflection
Day 8: Something you do everyday
Day 9: Small
Day 10: Can't {won't} live without
My instagram ID: @missrbit

*This post is part of the November NaBloPoMo blogging challenge.


Nov 10, 2012

#NaBloPoMo - Cleaning Day

I've spent half my day cleaning and inhaling fumes. Cleaning product fumes. And I'm feeling lightheaded and a bit woozy. I even vacuumed. I HATE vacuuming. It's usually J's job to do it but he had other exciting cleaning-related tasks to carry out so I had to (wo)man up and take charge of the vacuuming today. Yuck.

Exciting start to the weekend, I know. But the house is sparkly, neat and everything is in its place and I can sit back and enjoy the rest of the weekend :)

(Terrible excuse for a post I know, but it's the fumes...they've cleaned (pun intended) me out of ideas).

*This post is part of the November NaBloPoMo blogging challenge.

Nov 9, 2012

#NaBloPoMo - Life changing

Today's prompt is: If you could change one thing about your life right now, what would it be?

Where do I even start with this? Jokes, jokes. Life could be better but it could also be worse so I try to leave the negative thoughts out and focus on all that is good.

But if there is one thing I wish I could change with immediate effect, it would be being able to see my family more, being closer to them (in terms of physical distance) and just being able to be a more active part of their lives.

But nomads can't have everything can they?

*This post is part of the November NaBloPoMo blogging challenge.

Nov 8, 2012

#NaBloPoMo - My Dream Job

Today's prompt is: If you could have any job (and instantly have the training and qualifications to do it), which job would you want?

My dream job would be to have no job at all (me and the rest of the world, I know). If I had won the damn $100 million in the Oz Lotto last Tuesday (instead of $21.50), I'd be well on my way to achieving this.

I'm not one of those people who would be empty without a job. I'd be happy to be jobless and be a vagabond. I don't enjoy being idle but if I was a rich, jobless nomad I'd have the time to do plenty of things I'd love to but don't have the time for now. Don't get me wrong, I'm not lazy and I don't hate my job. I'm a hard worker, passionate about my career and ambitious. But my ambition is to work hard so I can be day.

When I'm a rich vagabond, I will travel to the moon and back, do volunteer work, play more scrabble, read unstoppably, hang with my family and friends and just generally while my time away being awesome.

Unfortunately, money still makes the world go 'round and I have a massive student debt to pay back so I'll just come back to reality...for now. 

*This post is part of the November NaBloPoMo blogging challenge.

Nov 7, 2012

#NaBloPoMo: Of compliments

Today's prompt is: Talk about the last compliment you received.

Compliments. I love them. Giving them more than receiving them. But receiving them is always nice.

I compliment people a lot (genuinely) but I'm very often blown away by how many people don't know how to accept a compliment. I was always taught to receive compliment graciously, with a "thank you" so it irritates me when people respond to compliments by laughing at the complimenter; by trying to out-compliment the complimenter or try to downplay it as if the complimenter is silly for even thinking it's worth a compliment. If you're being given a genuine compliment, it's nice to let the complimenter know you appreciate what they're saying. It's not hard - just smile and say thank you. Job done.

Anyway, this is meant to be about a compliment I received, so -

Tonight our Colombian Spanish teacher complimented my pronunciation. She said I sounded very authentically South American and I'm pumped. :)

We've only been studying Spanish for about four months and I know we have a long, long way to go but just to know I'm getting basics like pronunciation right is very exciting. I try to pay very close attention to the way our teachers pronounce their words and so to have a native speaker tell you that you sound authentic is HUGE. It motivates me so much to keep going and keep working harder.

And yes I replied with "Muchas gracias. Estoy intentando" (Thanks very much. I'm trying)

*This post is part of the November NaBloPoMo blogging challenge.

Nov 6, 2012

#NaBloPoMo: An (opposite of) Ode to Bras

I'm a bra girl. I am a firm believer of keeping your girls under control whenever you leave the house. I will put a bra on even if it's just to go pick up the Thai takeaway.

When I first started wearing a bra, I used to sleep in it. Can you imagine the horror of it? I was sure if I took my bra off for too long, my boobs would become ginormous overnight and I didn't want that kind of attention I decided. For a large part of my teenage years I wore a sports bra over my bra so I'd hide any hint of curves and look as flat-chested as possible. I know, I had issues.

I like my boobs now but they're still restrained in public. I will never buy a dress or top if I can't figure out how to wear a bra under it. I once fell in love with a dress with a very low back and questioned the bra placement. My friend said I'd have to go braless and that's where my love story with the dress ended. Braless? In public? Umm, no. I'm much too prudish in this regard. Some people do "no bra" dresses very well but I'm just not one of those girls.

This obsession with bra wearing isn't because I love bras. I loathe them. I wear them because of my aforementioned issues with Freedom of Breast-spression but the best part of my day is coming home and taking it off. Unhook, slide strap off and slither arm under, repeat with other arm. Grab bra from under sleeve and yank out. Bra gone. You know the drill. If you're in a strapless, even better - you can take the damn thing off in one swift motion! The pleasure of being unrestrained is unexplainable to a man. It's probably how they feel about going commando but it's not quite the same. Their privates aren't strapped in, they're simply held in place.

Weekends are good. You can be bra-less and 100% mark-free for longer. If we don't particularly have to be somewhere on a Saturday night, the decision making process often goes like this:

"Going out involves wearing a bra (and possibly heels too). Is the place cool enough/ is the food good enough to warrant giving up my bra-less state?"

Often, going bra-free wins over going out. Sad, I know. Old people like, I know. But honestly, sometimes it's really not worth the effort. Don't deny it ladies!

And then there's also the misery of washing them. Honestly, bras have been around FOREVER, so have washing machines. Why hasn't someone come up with a way to throw your bras in the washing machine without worrying it will come out mangled and shapeless? I have the additional misery of having to hand wash my sports bras as well. 2 bras per day, every day. Where's a maid when you need one?

Bra shopping? Don't even get me started. It's right up there with jeans shopping and bikini shopping. If you want your boobies well protected, you want to invest in a decent pair. But decent pairs are expensive. Plenty of cheap bras at Best & Less to choose from, I know. But then your girls will be more Less, less Best. Never mind that irrespective of price tag, finding a pair that fits just the way you want is just too much to ask for. I told you, don't get me started.

Dear "bra-burning" Feminists (forgive the cliched myth but it was necessary in this context), I totes get it. It's oppression and I want out. Literally.

And no, don't say it. I'm not going to wear an Ahhh Bra.

*This post is part of the November NaBloPoMo blogging challenge.

Nov 5, 2012

#NaBloPoMo - Oh to be loved.

Just a quick one today about my J because he's so perfect and I honestly don't know how I got so lucky. (sorry, I know. Monday Mushitis I call it)

He cooks and actually likes to clean  - which is enough to make him perfect.  But most importantly, he makes me laugh...big, happy belly laughs.

It's good to be loved.

*This post is part of the November NaBloPoMo blogging challenge

Nov 4, 2012

#NaBloPoMo - New Recipe Saturdays

We've decided we're going to try and cook a new recipe on Saturday nights. Saturday nights without plans that is. J and I both love to experiment with new kinds of food. Unfortunately there aren't too many new and yummy restaurants on the Gold Coast that excite me enough to want to go out every Saturday night. Besides, going out would involve wearing a bra which sometimes is more effort than it's worth.

Cooking is something we both enjoy. The weeknight menu isn't always exciting because those meals are more about what is easiest and/or quickest. Saturdays allow us the luxury of time so why not try a new recipe while we're at it?

I bought a book on Spanish food almost 2 years ago to cook a surprise dinner for J's birthday and it's one of the best recipe books I've ever bought. So last night, we cooked up a Spanish-themed feast - steak with chimmichurri, bean salad, prawns and haloumi. I know, I know haloumi isn't Spanish at all but hey, it was the perfect addition to the meal. Of course we had some vino tinto to go with.

I'm no food blogger so the pictures aren't great :(

The books I used.
The end result :)
All ingredients are easily available at Coles or Woolies. The steak however we bought at The Gold Coast Fresh Meat Centre in Burleigh and it was really great quality meat. It was cooked medium rare.

To go with the steak, we made some Argentinian inspired Chimichurri. We first had some at an Argentinian restaurant in Melbourne and have been wanting to make some for ourselves ever since. It's really easy to make and tastes absolutely divine on the steak. I used this recipe. Mmm...garlic!

The Haloumi is available in the cheese section (Lemmos..Lemnos?) and we fried it off in a pan until brown and squeezed a bit of lemon over it before biting into it. (Heaven!).

The prawns (also known as Gambas al Ajillo) were a tiny bit of a letdown as they didn't caramelise the way I would have liked (still yummy thought). But, I think that's more to do with my oven and less the fault of the recipe. I used a combination of this recipe and the recipe pictured below (from my Spanish book). I like the use of the sherry and the parsley in the recipe.
The recipe
The salad is a recipe from the salads recipe book pictured above. The recipe and a picture from the book is below. I'm happy to report the end product looked exactly like the picture from the book. I loved the mustard and lemon dressing as I'm not a fan of heavy salad dressings. 
The recipe
The salad.
It was a feast of a Saturday night and I can't wait till our next cooking adventure.

*This post is part of the November NaBloPoMo blogging challenge

Nov 3, 2012

#NaBloPoMo: In which I get a tad defensive

I exercise. A lot. Many of my friends don't understand it. They tell me "but you don't need to lose weight."

But when did I say anything about losing weight?

Exercising for me is not fuelled by the need to lose weight but by the fear my heart will stop pumping one of these days and I will fall off the face of the earth. You see, poor cardiovascular health is a multi-generational inheritance in my family. Fear is a pretty strong motivator. Also seeing the definition in my quads and shoulder muscles is an added bonus. ;-)

Obviously, eating is also part of the big "Beat the Impending Heart Attack Plan". I eat healthy, very healthy. (There, I said it) I look at the back of packets to see the fat content, % of sugar, artificial ingredients etc. I buy the wholegrain / low fat/ less sugar version of most foods. I eat "hipster" food like quinoa, buckwheat noodles, rye wraps and stoneground 85% wholemeal bread. I cook at least 5 times a week, if not 6 - mostly because I struggle to find healthy takeaway food that doesn't cost the moon and the stars.

This is where most people start rolling their eyes because this "healthy eating" translates to living off salad and veggies only. This is followed by feeling sorry for me and my deprived food choices and very often even judging me as vain.

But I don't understand it. If you know me even a little bit you will know how much I LOVE my food and live for it (see my Instagram for proof) so why do you feel sorry for me? Healthy eating is more than salads. Because food is so important to me, I cook really delicious meals that are also healthy. I have an emotional relationship with food so I always cook food I enjoy eating so please, don't worry I'm not depriving myself. I just know how to cook food that will not clog up my arteries and kill me.

I'm aware that I sound a bit like a privileged whinger banging on about health, fitness and other buzzwords. But I'm not. I don't normally talk about my fitness or my food with people because you see it's no one else's business. I don't try to get anyone to think the way I do and don't judge anyone for eating differently or for choosing a different lifestyle. But a few things have happened lately that have made me feel very…judged. So I figured I'd vent and defend my choices because hey you know what? It's my body so these are my choices and I'll get sexy thigh muscles if I want them dammit!

*This post is part of the November NaBloPoMo blogging challenge.

Nov 2, 2012

#NaBloPoMo - If I could live anywhere…

Today's Prompt: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

There are many countries in the world I would love to live in but instead of going into that I thought I'd share my idea of a dream home. If I could live anywhere, it would be in a home…

…with plenty of open space and a deck
Wooden Deck

…with lots of books.
…with wooden floors
…with a red and/or brick feature wall
…with a big kitchen
...with a low bed

…with dogs

One day, I hope.

I've recently started pinning and have a board on Pinterest with more ideas :)

*This post is part of the November NaBloPoMo blogging challenge.

Nov 1, 2012

#NaBloPoMo: My Favourite Quotation

Today's prompt is: Tell us your favourite quotation and why.

Tough one. I love quotes. I used to "collect" quotes as though it were some valuable hobby. By collecting I mean I have 4 (very thick) notebooks where I wrote down quotes for future reference (i.e. writing in cards). I even brought them over to Australia with me because books of quotes would obviously be very handy when writing my Masters thesis.

Also, I love words. They inspire me, make me cry and bring me a lot of joy. They are such beautiful things - some with lilting rhythms, others with dirty sounds; some with perfectly proportioned vowels vs. consonants, others just ugly in their obvious misuse of the alphabet. Ah words…

So you understand, yes? Quotes are made of words and I love words. Therefore I love quotes. QED.

Anyway, so how do you choose just ONE favourite quote? You don't. Instead, I picked a theme and decided to share some of my favourites that relate to the broad theme of happiness and self-discovery (because it's my area of interest/ obsession at the mo)

 "If you don't get lost there's a chance you may never be found" - Unknown

This has been my email signature for many years now. It speaks to me because for a long time I was really lost. I had lost all sense of self and was trying incredibly hard to be someone I wasn't and living someone else's life. But in losing myself, I also learnt many things about myself and the person I really am. Without trying to sound very cliché new age(y), I found myself.
"When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it" - Paulo Coelho 

I am one of those millions of people who swear by The Alchemist. I first read it as a 15 year old and really enjoyed it but obviously didn't have the life experience to understand some of the deeper layers of meaning. I have re-read it many, many times since and it always means something new depending on where I am with my life. This (much too) oft-quoted line from the book isn't inspiring to me by itself but it just works to remind me of the message of the book - that dreams are powerful and I shouldn't underestimate them or try to lock them away in the attic of my heart.
"This above all, to thine ownself be true" - William Shakespeare

I am a Shakespeare fan girl. True story. And no, stop telling me Shakespeare didn't actually write those pl…. La-la-la-la…I can't hear you! Anyhoo, this quote is Shakespeare's version of the ancient "Know thyself" and always reminds me to stay true to myself, my principles and my beliefs.
"Every form of happiness is private. Our greatest moments are personal, self-motivated, not to be touched." - Howard Roark (Ayn Rand)

I've spoken of my love for The Fountainhead before. Like The Alchemist, it's a book I first read as a teenager but has come to mean so much more with future re-reading. This quote I love because it always reminds me my happiness is my own, it's personal. What makes others happy doesn't necessarily define my happiness and I should remember that.

"It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." - Albus Dumbledore (J.K. Rowling). 

It's no secret how much I love Harry Potter and that Dumbledore sure said some wise things. This quote just reminds me that who I am and the direction my life heads in is up to me, is in my control, is because of the choices I make.

I have many more that follow the same theme but I think I'll stop for now.

Going by my long winded answer above, I don't think anyone will ever want to interview me. One question would take up a whole page. Why would anyone want to interview me in the first place? Well duh, I am going to be famous justyousee.

*This post is part of the November NaBloPoMo blogging challenge