just a minute in july.

So far, this has been the most bizarre year of my life; although so many wonderful things have happened (our engagement, lots of friends and family visits, stability) this year has had more than its fair share of downs. But despite all of that, I'm in a very good place. Rufus and I are so happy, I've found a study strategy that keeps me feeling in control and on top of everything, my workload is consistent but not crazy, Jango curled up and fell asleep on me last night; which was adorable, and I have some amazing, wonderful, fun friends and an endlessly supportive, endlessly hilarious family. 
Life feels like it's in balance and I'm so stoked. I'm excited and grateful and just plain happy.
Eating: a lot cleaner. On a related note: I've started eating meat again (in small doses) to see if it alleviates any of my skin issues. I don't like it, but the scientist in me needs to know if my skin issues are related to something I'm missing from my diet (I'm (nearly) a nutritionist, so my diet is usually always in balance, except for the lack of meat). And of course, I'm only eating ethically farmed, local, happy animals. It won't last forever, so we'll see how it goes.
Cooking: some recipes from the Lorna Jane website. I made a stuffed sweet potato on Sunday night which was a bit bland, but absolutely delicious when some hummus was added. I also have plans to make a pumpkin salad this evening. Last night we had a chicken and soba noodle stir fry (not from Lorna Jane) - with soy sauce, sriracha, honey and sesame seeds. I love our wok.
Drinking: my favourite green and peppermint tea combo, as well as Cleanse tea. And lots of water!
Learning: The dog I walk on Mondays and Wednesdays is incredibly anxious. Some days he will literally lay down in the middle of the road and refuse to walk with me, and it's so easy to get frustrated. He's slowly teaching me patience. I'm learning that sometimes, you just need to stop, sit down in the middle of the road, cuddle a dog, and enjoy the warmth of the sun on your face and the peace of your surroundings. You can always (literally) pick yourself back up and try again next week, and the week after that, and the week after that. And those little cuddle sessions in the middle of the road week after week are building up a bond between us, that perhaps won't make next week's walk so laborious. 
Reading: After finishing Bringing Up Bebe (which I highly recommend), I read Gone Girl - LOVED IT! - and have now started Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell. I watched the first episode of the TV show with the same name, and now I can't help but picture the characters in the book as the actors. It's interesting so far - a period book about magicians - and I like to start a book in a different genre to the one I've just finished. I've met my '12 books in 12 months' goal for this year already! 
Wanting: tattoos, nature, travel, and time with my family. Our families. Our family.
Looking: inward but shining outward.
Listening: to records on our new turntable!
Wasting: same as last month - compostable trash. I need to get my butt into gear and start composting again. Save a tree, man.
Wishing: my Nanna a very happy 80th birthday. What a strong (and stubborn), intelligent, hilarious woman she is.
Liking: my increase in exercise! I've kept up with yoga three times a week for a couple of months and am now feeling ready to do more. I've started doing at least another one strength workout each week - a Kayla Itsines circuit, which is brutal (also, I don't believe in "bikini bodies"; in fact, the term offends me. I just have to put that out there) - as well as a cardio session. I used to be an absolutely gym bunny but lost the will during the last couple of crazy years - it's really nice to be excited about moving my body again (could I have more energy due to my meat consumption? Time will tell). 
Feeling: excited to keep planning our wedding. I don't think we'll be getting married next year as anticipated, but that's okay - I'm enjoying all the pinning and planning and daydreaming while it lasts!
Watching: in my alone time, I'm re-watching The O.C. Happiness! With Rufus, we've finished catching up on SHIELD and The Flash, and have moved on to iZombie- which is cute and fun - as well as King of the Nerds. And we're still going through the Key and Peele backlogs. Perhaps we watch too much TV. (Also, I've been loving these videos on Youtube.)
Needing: again, same as last month - to see the sea. Some time in nature in general.
Smelling: of roses. Literally! My friend recently bought me some of this rose perfume from Lush, and I love it! I'm so grateful for thoughtful friends.
Wearing: many, many layers. We woke up at 7am this morning and the temperature was -1C. We don't have heating. It wasn't fun.
Noticing: how quickly time is passing. It scares me! I found this page very interesting. 
Grateful for: the sunshine. We've had a few weeks of cloudy, gray days, and it's such a relief to finally see the sun again. My car was sitting in the sun after work last night and it was actually so warm that I had to open my window! To the outside world! For fresh air!
Loving: life. Every bit of it.

just a minute in june.

this is no makeup, sick as a dog, stuck on the couch.
Eating: today? Lentil meatballs with lemon pesto. It's a real good day.
Cooking: my love of cooking has returned! The fact I'm cooking at all should be celebrated! 
Drinking: green tea. Black tea. Ginger tea. Tea tea.
Learning: (still) the integral lesson - to listen to my body.
Reading: since last we spoke, I finished The Fry Chronicles, and also Pollen by Jeff Noon (one of my favourite authors), and am currently reading Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman. (No, there are no little Nancys and Rufus' on the way - I just find childhood incredibly interesting to read about!)
Wanting: to make date biscuits. I've had a craving for the past few days! I'm liking the look of this recipe.
Looking: forward to August! We're heading back to Adelaide for our family engagement party and I'm equally as excited as I am nervous. I get to buy a new dress! 
Listening: to the new Death Cab album. (Thanks Keren!)
Wasting: compostable trash. I need to get my butt into gear and start composting again. Save a tree, man.
Wishing: for a weekend away. 
Liking: my return to health. I've been quite sick for the last week - the bed-ridden, not eating kind of sickness - and I'm so relieved to be back in the land of the living.
Feeling: renewed, positive, hopeful, excited, and alive.
Watching: just finished Suits, now watching Person of Interest. Also recently finished Revenge (and am rewatching, for funsies) and Silicon Valley, which was hilarious!
Needing: to see the sea. Some time in nature in general.
Smelling: woodfires. 
Wearing: my trackies, a lot. 
Noticing: my lactose intolerance getting worse. Puppies. Fog in the mornings. The desire to journal. A slowing down.
Grateful for: my handsome fiance and his photoshop skills.
Loving: uni holidays.

just a minute in April/May.

Oh, man. How is it the end of May?! Life is very busy, often stressful, but things are good. I've had some sad diagnoses in my family, a blissful week away, and a really, really, really happy engagement. 

May 13, 2015, 11:23 AM | sweetnothings | VSCO Grid
Yup! We got engaged! Overlooking the Indian Ocean in Bali - the day after our 5-year anniversary and the day of my 24th birthday - Rufus asked me to marry him. We both laughed and cried and laughed some more; then drank some beers and danced in our hotel room. It was the happiest moment of my life. I'm going to marry my best friend!

Eating: I just finished a mini Snickers bar, and now I feel sick. Live and learn, right? (Or live and never learn, in this case...)
Cooking: Well... look. Admittedly I haven't been great at the whole cooking thing lately. I've been going with old stand-bys: sweet potato with kale and eggs, pasta with broccoli and chickpeas, stir fry with tofu and soba noodles.
Drinking: heaps of green tea and Berocca; I'm trying to get rid of a cold.
Learning: that I need to slow things down to enjoy life more.
Reading: Following my last catch up post (3 months ago!), I'm reading Stephen Fry's The Fry Chronicles. Since February, I've also finished the Maze Runner trilogy, which I really, really enjoyed, and Damned by Chuck Palahniuk (super strange: classic Chuck).
Wanting: my eyelid eczema to go away.
Looking: forward to heading home to celebrate our engagement! The girls I work with have been 100% amazing about making me feel special and loved... but it is a little sad that we can't celebrate with our family just yet.
Listening: Mostly I've been working to the sounds of my missed Uni lectures. 
Wasting: time trying to multitask.
Wishing: I was a better gardener... everything keeps dying! Partly because I'm lazy and inattentive, partly because I don't plant things at the right time and/or bugs.
Liking: pear season. :)
Feeling: unbelievably happy.
Watching: Rufus and I just finished the latest season of Dr Who (sah gahd). Also watching The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which is fun, and catching up on Suits.
Needing: a long hot-yoga session. 
Smelling: Sukin's Hydrating Mist Toner. My skin is super dehydrated this winter, which is fun.
Wearing: layers. Preppy layers. 
Noticing: the way my new ring sparkles in the sunlight. It acts like a disco ball, and that pleases me. 
Grateful for: the girls I work with. They've been absolutely amazing - decorated my office and planned a surprise morning tea and are genuinely excited for me. I'm so, so lucky!
Loving: my fiance. Naw, what a sap!

#ttt. (six)

This post is part of a little weekly feature to highlight some awesome things that happen during the week. Three thankful things on Thursdays... because alliteration is my jam.

March 7, 2015, 6:53 PM | sweetnothings | VSCO Grid

- Colder mornings and evenings; with enough sunshine during the day to go about in jeans and a t-shirt (check out my Pinterest board for more stylish autumn inspo). Autumn is my favourite! I'm looking forward to dirty chais at the farmers market (and with not a care about the blatant judgment from the barista), hot cross buns with butter, spaghetti squash with chickpeas and kale, and ankle booties 24/7!

- Cinnamon pancakes by Rufus on a lazy Sunday. 

- Radical Face.

- Renewed creativity and spark. My work and study are science-based, so it's important for me to get out of my left-brain space and explore my right-brain. I'm looking at doing a photo project (besides the self portrait one I'm already doing, as the latter is on my phone and doesn't count) in the next few days. Know of any fun ones that aren't too difficult to adhere to?

- I finally did the thing and purchased a new battery and power adapter for my laptop! Old faithful has had a dodgy power supply for the last couple of years (thanks to a certain somebunny who nibbled through the cables), and I've only just got around to buying a new one. 

- Festival season in Adelaide. A few weekends ago, Rufus and I went back home for a family function, and managed to fit in some friend time while we were there. We spent the Saturday wine tasting in McLaren Vale, eating in the Garden of Unearthly Delights, and dancing at the TREv artist's party (where we saw some pretty spectacular stuff...). We have some awesome friends and families.

- Olivia's Good Morning Journal project. 

- Instead of pie on Pi day, I made blondies and cookies. I'm cool with it.

- My little garden. It's small, it hasn't produced much, and I often oscillate between drowning and parching the poor things... but it's my space in which to nurture green things and I'm so grateful for that.

March 15, 2015, 8:53 AM | sweetnothings | VSCO Grid
Rufus made me pancakes when I was feeling blue. I ate them in my purple hiking socks and Malaysian genie pants.
March 11, 2015, 4:50 PM | sweetnothings | VSCO Grid
Hints of autumn.
March 4, 2015, 5:20 PM | sweetnothings | VSCO Grid
March 6, 2015, 5:29 PM | sweetnothings | VSCO Grid
Amazing - beers and meatballs (vegetarian, for me). And the most delicious garlic bread I ever did eat.
March 1, 2015, 9:59 AM | sweetnothings | VSCO Grid

#ttt five.

sweetnothings | VSCO Grid™

- Dancing with complete abandon (flailing limbs) with favourite friends at a wedding in Adelaide. I had so much fucking fun this weekend! Congratulations to Leon and Kate (and apologies for all the hideous photos you're going to discover on those disposable cameras).

- These blondies. A little too much sugar for my sugar-phobic tastebuds, but I'll adjust the recipe and they will be perfect.

- Breakfast with my Mum, Dad and Aunty this weekend. So grateful for the opportunity to be together - talk crap, talk science, talk personal.

- Live music. We've seen 24 bands this year. 24! It's only February! This equates to 2 festivals and 3 gigs; still impressive though!

- I'm feeling super grateful for my diary-keeping habits. I found the diary I kept in Malaysia (KL, Cameron Highlands, Penang, Langkawi) last night, and spent a good long while flipping through the pages; reminiscing with Rufus about things we'd forgotten. Such as the time that we were on a bus, and a huge, heavy suitcase fell on a European backpacker (she was okay - Rufus helped her climb out from under it), which had a tiny, ancient Chinese lady next to us in hysterical laughter for a good five minutes (which, in turn, had me in a gigglefit).

- Also feeling super grateful for lazy nights on the couch with Rufus - bingeing on TV shows and cuddling up against the unseasonably cold evenings.

sweetnothings | VSCO Grid™
(L to R) photo from DisneyWorld, tiny lucky pig, Buddah from Malaysia, copper candles from the market, Grimes album, crappy record player - already broken, love fern, alcohol bottles. 
sweetnothings | VSCO Grid™
sweetnothings | VSCO Grid™
I could pretend that I'm embarrassed about my clothing choices, but I'm not. I didn't get sunburned, and if the cost of that was looking like a dick in a stupid hat, I'm cool with it.