Thursday, July 28, 2011

In case you missed the unemployed angst.

I've been having so much fun finding Australian bloggers to read. One of my favourites is The Many Colours of Happiness. One of her recent posts is about playing the victim card.  And particularly this week, this post was pretty fitting for me.

My job is nearing completion - maybe. And then I'll be back into the abyss that is unemployed land.  I watch as people around me get great jobs, great internships, and I know why it is happening for them - they worked really hard to make it happen.  They did other intern-y things, they volunteered, they did extra stuff that no one asked them to do, they motivated themselves to make it happen.

I feel like I've lost that drive a little.  I got two rejection letters this week from jobs that I was quite a good fit for. Not even an interview.  I take those rejections a lot better than I used to, I used to cry every time even if I didn't want the job.  My feelings would be so hurt that they didn't even WANT me that my only response was tears.  Now that I shrug them off, I wonder if I've become impervious and what that really means about me.  Of course, I don't actually shrug them off, if I was really apathetic I wouldn't be writing this blog post right now would I?

But I've certainly lost some of that drive and motivation to make this happen for myself. I'm exhausted from pushing myself to be a people person when I am not, to constantly make my past achievements sound better than they are, and don't get me started on how tired I am of worrying all the time about whether I'll ever make this happen for myself.

Internet, I need my bitches help.

How do you stay motivated and inspired and passionate about something that slaps you in the face time and time again? What are your tried and true methods to stop feeling like a victim and start making yourself go out there and do it (to quote the US - to be all that you can be).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Another cooking post? Yes. Yes indeed.

I've been feeling a little bit sick and a tad cranky, so sorry for the double up on the cooking front. But it's all I got going on in my life right now.  See, our new apartment is cold - this might be because we're too cheap (and too environmentalist) to turn on the heat - but it also means that having a super warm and feeling dinner is totally ideal. So last week, I wanted to make a super super yummy protein filled chilli! I used this recipe, but made some slight adjustments because Inspector Climate is a delicate flower and doesn't like spicey food.


So, below you'll see some of the ingredients that give the soup all the flavour.

You'll need.

1 chopped onion (not pictured)
2 chopped carrots
1 red capsicum (mine is turning red, but not fully red).
2 chillies (it certainly could have used more spice in my opinion)
2 normal cans of diced tomatoes
1 chopped potato
3 cups water
2 cans black beans
2 cans kidney beans
1/2 cup red quinoa (the recipe calls for bulgur but I can't eat that so I subbed in quinoa).
2 t white wine vinegar (I used rice wine vinegar because it's what we had)
5 finely chopped garlic
1/2 t chilli powder (again Inspector Climate is a delicate flower - it could have used more).
1.5 t cumin
1.5 t ground coriander
.5 t cinnamon
1 cup frozen corn

step 1. get a chopping!
 Step 2. heat some olive oil in a giant pot  and throw in all the veggies (except corn).  Cook into onions and capsicum are slightly tender.  Take a horrible picture.
 Add tomatoes, water, beans, white vinegar, spices, garlic and quinoa.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer. Cook until the quinoa releases its tendrils and the soup has thickened. About 20 minutes. Then add the corn and cook until defrosted.

Serve with some sour cream or grated cheese (OR BOTH) and use corn tortilla chips to dip into the soup when it's too hot to eat by the spoonful

I forgot to take a picture of the soup before we ate it because I was hungry!!! so here are the left overss about to go in the fridge
The soup was yummy. It was filling, could have been spicier and lasted for 3 dinners and two lunches (it was fabulous as beans on toast...I know, I've finally embraced beans on toast.) So if you're not into leftovers make a half recipe.

I realise it is like a billion degrees for a lot of you right now, but trust me, file this recipe away for the colder months and enjoy!

And if you're keeping track this makes recipe # 9 on my life list.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lemon curd is delicious, but the name could use some help.

I am afraid that things are going to be a little food heavy over the next couple of weeks around here. See, last weekend Inspector Climate and I went to visit his parents for the weekend. On the way there  we stopped at a family friend's house to say hi.  This family friend had a giant lemon tree outside and is a potato farmer. He offered to give us a BAG OF LEMONS and a bag of potatoes. How's that for locally grown produce?

We also stopped at another family friend's house and she offered us a bag of home grown kiwis.  Holy nom nom nom, ya'll. (I grew up calling the fruit pictured below, kiwis. Did you? Australians call them Kiwi fruits - as to not confuse them with their New Zealand neighbours, I guess? I certainly hate when this happens "do you have an kiwis?"  "No, I am out of New Zealanders today..."  AWKWARD).

 
Seriously, these are some incredible kiwis. So tasty and tiny. YUM.

And here are our bags of food.  Look at all those lemons!


I didn't want to fool you into thinking that I've suddenly gotten good at taking photos (I can't and my camera is a jerkface), so here is a behind the scenes shot of trying to properly light our goodies.


Having all these lemons means that I need to get my gluten free bake on something fierce.   So, today I decided to try out this recipe for lemon curd.

You'll need:

2 eggs + 2 yolks
I only used 5/8 cup of sugar because I assumed these lemons being freshly picked and all would be sweet enough, but the recipe calls for 3/4 cup.  I think I could probably have used even a little bit less to be honest.
80g or 1/2 cup of cold unsalted butter
Zest and juice of two lemons.


First you'll need to put your 2 eggs and 2 yolks and sugar into a saucepan and whisk until smooth and combined.  Then measure out your butter and juice and zest your lemons.


Next, place on a very low heat and whisk continuously until the mixture thickens.


This took an extremely long time of constant whisking, like 40- 45 minutes I'd say (this is a completely guesstimate).  After it thickens you can strain it and keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks, but I doubt it will last that long - and depending on your love of lemon, straining might be considered optional.

Even though my hands were red from all the whisking as soon as it thickened and I'd spread the lemon curd on two pieces of gluten free toast all was forgiven because DAMN, bitches, this shit is good.

Like seriously good, like I want to use that whole bag of lemons to make lemon curd and then I want to swim in it.  Yeah, that good.

For those of you keeping track at home, this makes my 8th new recipe for my life list.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My 7 Links

 I was tagged by Oneika and the titleless blog to participate in the tripbase meme My 7 Links.

You're not supposed to think about too hard which post goes with each category, but I found this strangely challenging. But here we go a trip down memory lane!

I am not sure that this is my most beautiful post, but it certainly makes me cry every time I reread it (today is the anniversary of his death).

My most popular post is the hot hair gauge.  Most of my google searches come from people wondering how to get Ted Mosby's hair cut. Or Josh Radnor's hair.

I tend to not really write about controversial topics so, this one was really hard for me. But my post about whether or not I should go to a job interview definitely turned up the most amount of mixed advice.

I think my most helpful post was probably educating the masses
tens of people who read this that city composting comes with friends, well, if you consider maggots friends, which to be honest, I don't.

When I first come back from a few weeks without blogging, I find that my blog posts don't get much of a response at all. So, when I wrote a little rant about human resources right after traveling around Australia, I didn't expect it to go ever well at all, but it did!

I was a little surprised at the lack of response to my post about how much Australians love to wear their flag. Of course, this isn't because it was so beautifully written. Or extremely moving or mind boggling. But I just find it to be an interesting cultural thing that Australian's like to wear their flag as a cape or sombrero.

The post that I am most proud of...this one had me stumped for a long time, so I don't think this is the post I am MOST proud of EVER. But it is certainly one that took me a while and I felt I added a bit more creativity to this meme.  For my 500th post, I wrote 100 things about me.

And so I'll tag: Crazy ShenanigansTime After Tea, Embrace the Apockylypse, and Teacher Girl.

Monday, July 18, 2011

mooove over, I need to get my paws on home.

A couple of weeks ago, I was messing around on twitter when I noticed that Ben and Jerry's Australia is on twitter as well. You can bet your bottom dollar, I was following them fast like lightening (and shockingly, they follow me too!).  Which, of course, is when I found out that they were hosting an ICE CREAM GIVEAWAY in Melbourne.  ooooh, yeah.

So on Thursday, I made Inspector Climate leave work a little early to come into the city to join me in the ICE CREAM GETTING.  To be honest, I was a little disappointed to find that to get a pint of ice cream you had to donate a dollar to OzHarvest - not because I have anything against a charity that brings food to hungry people, but because I felt I had been a bit mislead by the advertising.

I got there a little earlier than Inspector Climate, and I was nervous to see a HUGE line surrounding the Ben and Jerry's trucks at Southern Cross Station. 

As Inspector Climate and I waited in line, we talked about how strange it was that all these people, people who didn't know that Ben and Jerry's was a Vermont based company and that their pints of ice cream are shipped all the way from the US to Australia (they offset most of their emissions), were there.  They don't know that Ben and Jerry's uses Vermont diary - kind of like a co-op -  to make their ice cream.  And they certainly have never been to the factory. They don't really know that tie dye and VW vans are signature Ben and Jerry items.  And they have no idea of the plethora of ridiculous flavours with terrible punny names that are the shelves in the US.


So, why were they lining up in line that took about thirty minutes to get through for their ice cream?   The Ice Cream Give Away (for a dollar a pint - which is still majorly cheap since a pint is normally $13 in Australia) had been going on for over 5 hours by the time we got there, and they'd run out of most of their flavours. All that was left was Vanilla and Chunky Monkey (which the Ben and Jerry's staff kept calling "banana").
As a non-banana fan, I grabbed 4 pints of Vanilla and Inspector Climate grabbed one pint of Chunky Monkey.
So, now my freezer's chock-a-block with the tastes of home.  And I wonder how many expats, like me, left with a giant smile on their face as they cradled their creamy goodies?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Oh yes, of course, that thing that I am really passionate about.

Well, I know what you really want to see is pictures of my new digs. And I'll get to it, probably.

If you'll recall one of the main motivations for us taking this particular apartment was that it had an ideal outdoor area for our lemon tree and compost: two important components of how we're going to try and live more sustainable lives in a city.



Our lemon tree seems a bit traumatised by the move, but there are some signs of new growth soon.  I love having my tree near me, as opposed to the other side of the city living with Inspector Climate.  I say hello to it every day on my way to work.

But what I really want to talk about is something I've kind of written about before, but got a renewed sense of passion from my good friend Teacher Girl.  Last week, she blogged about a documentary she watched about the evils of plastic water bottles. And seriously, ya'll, they're not good. They're not good for you, they're not good for the environment, and they're not good for your pocket.

If we've learned anything from baseball it is this: three strikes and you're out! You hear me water bottles?

With looking for jobs sucking my soul out of me, and the stresses of knowing that know Inspector Climate depends on my income (or if my history is anything to go by, lack there of) too, I've forgotten why I got into this to begin with.  Sustainability is honestly what I get most excited about, sometimes so excited that I actually, on occassion, can feel my face begin to blush.

There are a lot of choices that we make every day. And there are choices that we can't control - Australia is finally passing a carbon tax, but what are American governments doing? If I could be a benevolent dictator, I would. Marriage for everyone!  No more factory farms!

But I am not.

But I can control what I buy.  I've made a promise to myself not to buy bottled (except of course if I'm in a country with seriously bad water, ie India) and to not use plastic bags.  They're little things, but they make a big difference.

So go forth, and stop buying bottles of water. Just stop. No Really.

Friday, July 08, 2011

The Mouse, the heart shaped Bucket, and the boy who talks in his sleep.


So, we’re basically all moved in. Sure, there are still a few piles of stuff on the floor, but that’s mostly because we have no furniture. Who would have thought that things like bed side tables, bookshelves, and a lamp would be useful items?  We don’t have internet yet, and as such I am posting from an internet cafĂ©.  I miss you.

I thought I’d tell you about the first week of living with Inspector Climate, who despite being seemingly incapable of hanging wet things up on racks, is a pleasure to live with.

As we first started to move in all our boxes last Saturday, we kept all the doors open because our new apartment smelled a bit musty, occasionally verging on rank.  We traced the smell back to under the sink where we thought since maybe the pipes hadn’t been used in a while the odour was probably emanating from there.  Or we joked possible a dead animal. Ha ha.

Exhausted from a full day of packing and moving, Inspector Climate and I went to bed in desperate need of a good night sleep.  Sometime in the middle of the night, Inspector Climate started talking in his sleep.  I’ve gotten pretty good at saying what he wants to hear and making him go back to bed. But he was persistent this time. “D, there is a mouse ON the bed”

“No there isn’t, I promise” I said, as I rolled over to go back to sleep.

“D, seriously, I can’t believe you can’t see it, there is a MOUSE on the bed…can’t you see it. D, there is a mouse on the bed.”

So I sat up getting genuinely alarmed because, hello, I am half asleep too! “can you see it, it’s sitting right next to me!” he said.

“No, I can’t see it.”

Inspector Climate started getting a bit panicked, “It’s sitting right there! I can’t believe you can’t see it! It’s right there!” there was a small pause and then he started shaking his head, “You’re the mouse….You’re the mouse.”  He sank back on to the pillows and fell back to sleep. 

True story.

The next morning, the smell was still persisting, but we had lot of unpacking to do, an Ikea couch to build and stuff to sort. So much stuff. That night, when I came back from yoga, there was a long pole with a fork taped to the end of it and Inspector Climate waiting impatiently by the door.  He had found the source of the smell, and I am sure you can see where this was going.  Under our stove, Inspector Climate – the natural detective that he is – collected clues using a flashlight and his keen problem solving skills. There was a smell. There was mouse poop under the stove. There was a dead mouse. A dead mouse being eaten by maggots that Inspector climate dragged out by the tail (the mouse, the maggots got away!) with a fork.

Inspector Climate insists that his dream of mice on the bed was a premonition of what was to come.  And that’s pretty hard to argue with.

The next night, we decided to test out our new washing machine after it ran for what seemed an excruciatingly long time and then finished with a loud DING. I looked in, thought everything looked pretty wet still, but opened the door anyway only to have water slosh out flooding our kitchen (first of all, who puts the washing machine in the kitchen?).  This is when we found out our front loading washing machine, couldn’t drain.

So there we were, using Inspector Climate’s seriously impractical heart shaped bucket and two Tupperware containers to try and catch water as we quickly open and shut the washing machine door to get the water out.  Our clothes, sopping wet even after we tried to wring them a even the slightest bit dry, have been sitting on the drying rack getting moldy because Australia has yet to figure out how to insulate buildings so as to keep them moderately warm in winter and moderately cool in summer.

Welcome to your new home?

Monday, July 04, 2011

WE HAVE A WINNER

This is only a quick hello (I am at work, and I think blogging at work is frowned upon, no?) we have a winner post...

Using Random.org, I picked Kim from Fill Your Well!  Congratulations Kim, you're the lucky winner of a pair of fingerless gloves!


Kim get in touch with your details and I'll ship out the gloves!

Kisses!

Friday, July 01, 2011

I'll be quick.

Hello my pretties,

I just have a few house keeping things:

My giveaway for some sweet fingerless gloves ends on July 1.  That means you still have some time to enter. Go ahead, I know you want to;

I am moving in with Inspector Climate tomorrow which means that until we get our internet set up, we'll be without. So don't be alarmed if I don't post the winner of the giveaway right away, don't fret none!

How are you spending your weekend?  Do you have any great tips for moving into a new place?