Red wine brownies & more: 3 of my favourite boozy recipes

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I have an alcohol problem.

I’m not an alcoholic or anything. It’s just that when I bake, I seem to always drift towards recipes laced with wine, vodka or something else only accessible to those of legal drinking age. – I figure if you’re going to go all out and indulge in loads of sugar and butter, you may as well spike it for good measure.

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This is why we CAN have nice things – why a JORD wooden watch is my new essential

How a wooden watch is making my life easier (yes, really).

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One of the reason I’m so big on improvement and development is that I’m actually a bit useless at the whole adult thing. I like being lazy, I’m pretty careless and I’m definitely not elegant – the phrase “this is why we can’t have nice things” could have been invented by my mother or partner to describe me.

When hiking I will scoot across a boulder on my butt and tear a hole in my tights.

I cringe when people buy me nice earrings, because I know there’s a solid chance I’ll pack them for a holiday and one of them will never return.

That’s why I get excited when I find something that is life proof (or at least Jessi-proof) but still looks sophisticated – letting me fool people into thinking I really have this whole professional adult thing down.

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Millennial Guilt

Millenial Guilt - how to be a successful twenty something

Millennial Guilt – Time To Stop Being So Hard On Ourselves

Guys, welcome to my first ranty post. It’s been coming for a while now, but one more passing comment pushed me over the edge. So strap yourself in and lets hope I make sense.

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Trust In Humanity Tuesday: The Luminous Lantern Parade

#trustinhumanityTuesday is a regular series which brings you the best feel-good moments to be found across the internet. Want to find out the back story (and why it happens on Tuesday)? Click here.

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Today, like so many other people, I’m bursting with anger and sadness.

For what was allowed to happen in Orlando, and for the recent tragedies in Syria and Istanbul. A lot of terrible things have gone on, and I think that this Tuesday more than most, we all need a little more Trust In Humanity.

I’m not going to pretend that focussing on the nice stuff will make all the bad go away – it’s going to take a lot more than a case of the warm and fuzzies to fix all this –  but it’s still important to remember that there is still so, so much good and in the words of John Oliver: “that terrorist dipshit is vastly outnumbered.”

So for this Trust In Humanity Tuesday I’m throwing it back to Friday, when I attended Brisbane’s LUMINOUS Lantern Parade and thousands of people turned up for a lovely evening to welcome Queensland’s newest arrivals and celebrate our diversity – check out the photos below.

Lifestyle blogger Brisbane

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November Goals: Learning to Slow Down & Stop Multitasking

My multitasking burn out and learning to slow down in November

I know everyone says it on the first of every month, but seriously, I can’t believe it’s November. I feel like yesterday I was drinking sangria and freezing my ass off for my birthday, and now the jacarandas are almost finished blooming and I can start planning my Christmas baking!

It’s also the first time in a while that I’ve been excited about a new month. From September to mid-October I had a few weeks of serious burn out. I won’t go into it in detail, but I couldn’t sleep, my mind was fried, my skin was a mess and I imagine I was a fking nightmare to be around.  A lot of this came from my inability to switch off – whether at work, on public transport or at the gym, my habit of always doing five things at once had gotten out of control.

Eventually I snapped (shocker). So in a daze, I came home early, had a cup of tea, went to the gym, read on my Kindle and went to bed – and the next day I almost felt “normal” again. I’ve always kind of laughed about my short attention span and lack of interest in “relaxing,” incorporating it as part of my identity, which it still is. But when I felt so much better after just one evening of switching off, I’ve come to realise that it’s something I should be trying to work with (and sometimes against) rather than embracing.

Learning to switch off and single-task

SO my November goals largely come back to that burn-out – trying to make ongoing habits out of slowing the fuck down and paying attention to what’s going on around me, so that it doesn’t happen again! Being busy makes me happy, but I’m learning to be busy in ways that don’t involve doing several things (at least two involving screens) at once. Others are there just for fun.

NOVEMBER GOALS & CHALLENGES

1. Stick to my new evening routine
Now whenever I get home from work, before I do anything else I have to make a cup of tea, and write down five things that made me happy that day. I still feel a bit silly doing it, but it forces me to slow down and single-task – usually for the first time since waking up that day – in a way that makes me happy rather than resentful of slowing down 😛

2. Have a proper conversation with 3 new people every week
This was inspired by this article, which came along just when I needed it.

3. No more mindless TV-watching
There is nothing wrong with enjoying TV, but I wasn’t enjoying it. I got to the point where I thought I was “bored” if I didn’t also have the TV on in the background while I was blogging/emailing/cooking dinner. The reverse was also true – I couldn’t watch whichever show I had lined up unless I was also cleaning, stretching or playing a game on my phone. I’d then get to the end of 3 hours and have no idea what had happened. New rule – no more than two episodes at a time, and no other screens going.

4. Write at least one letter or postcard every weekend
I still have a massive pile of postcards left from my trip, and I also want to get back into #moreloveletters

5. Go to the drive in movies
I know this was on my 2015 bucket list already, but a new drive-in has just opened a little way down the road from me, so now’s the time!

6. ACTUALLY make a start on my Drawing with the Right Side of the Brain book
Because now it’s just getting ridiculous.

7. Use Pinterest more often
For Christmas baking to-do lists and general inspiration.

Do you have any goals for this month, or tips on overcoming multi-tasking addiction?

xx J

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Trust in Humanity Tuesday #12

#trustinhumanityTuesday is a regular series which brings you the best feel-good moments to be found across the internet. Want to find out the back story (and why it happens on Tuesday)? Click here.

Image: Sarah Yockey via Today.com
Image: Sarah Yockey via Today.com

It’s been a while since my last Trust in Humanity Tuesday post, but today I’m back with your weekly dose of not-everyone-is-a-total-dick positivity! Here are a few wonderful things that caught my eye since the last post instalment:

  1. The little girl who spent her allowance on ice cream for state troopers who had just farewelled a colleague.
  2. The store I stumbled on in a bad area of my city that put their leftover food out the front for those in need to take for free (I know they’re not the first to do it, but seeing it in person makes me happy).
  3. The 5-year-old boys who planned a great escape, dug their way out of their kindergarten and tried to buy a Jaguar – way to follow your dreams, kids.
  4. The Maccas employee in Chicago who not only shut down his register during peak hour to help an elderly customer, but had the sensitivity to go around the corner and give the man some privacy.
  5. The legends at a zoo in china who gave a bullied baby monkey his own guard dog (admittedly this happened in 2008, but I only just found out about it, and believe they’ve made the world a better place by allowing that photo to exist)

Did any random acts of kindness make you feel better about the world this month? I’d love to hear about it!

Jessi sig

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Photo Diary: Rome

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And here it is, the first instalment from my recent getaway!

My time in Rome was really special for two reasons:

  1. I hadn’t mentioned it on the blog, but B had been working overseas, so we met over there after 5 months apart. Going on adventures with your favourite person is always amazing, but the reunion added to it, and there was something romantic (if cheesy) about being able to say “I’ll see you in Rome” and then meeting up on a cobblestone street.
  2. Until B arrived, it was my first time travelling alone overseas, and I loved exploring and wandering at my own pace. Even if the first day I was stupid enough to head straight out from the airport in jeans – no one told me Rome would be so hot!

We weren’t in the eternal city for very long (and we didn’t lug around the camera, so excuse the image quality – the rest of the trip was done properly!) but I did learn to always dodge ladies with budgies, that badly speaking Italian will still get you extra gelato just for trying, and that I have an impeccable knack for travelling to attractions when they’re under maintenance. I’d also like to note that these photos make it look like B didn’t change his shirt but I promise he did!

Below are some images of the incredible Piazza Venezia, failed selfies, Colosseum, a big ass seagull, Roman Forum, food and other loveliness, and below those are some quick details on what we saw, where we stayed, the food we stumbled on and more.

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The 14 Day Minimalism Challenge (and how I sorta succeeded)

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STILL don’t know what a good “minimalist” image is. So here’s me on a hill being mindful

As some of you might recall, I recently attempted a 14 day minimalism challenge.

I wish I could say this is the post where I share my successfully 14 day mindfulness diary and declare I’m now a thoroughly cool, calm and collected person. But I think the fact that it has now been 25 days tells you that this is not that post.

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