Tag Archives: Thoughts

Reducing waste

For the last few months I have been thinking on possible ways that I could reduce waste in general personally, at work and for our household. I have done quite a bit of research on this, because you know… librarian. Whilst I am dedicated to reducing our waste in a number of ways I wanted it to be something (at least to start) that does not require massive sacrifices every day.

This has been an ongoing project for me. We started with our home. Whilst we still have all the creature comforts we could ever need we did consider a lot when building. For starters the house was supposed to have a fancy architectural void from upstairs to down which not only wasted power as far as aircon went, it also wasted usable space and the extra windows meant extra cleaning as well. So it had to go. Our toilets and two of our outdoor taps run off recycled water which I am so pleased about (even though it costs more and often doesn’t work for hours at a time) and our mailbox out the front is built from leftover bricks we have from our home. As far as air conditioning goes we have ducted air con in our house that is separated into zones, so on hot (or cold) days we can set the air con to only be on in the areas we are using which is awesome!

Image result for literary eco bags

I have been using eco bags for shopping for awhile, but I have been getting pretty slack with them to be honest. I have been recycling the plastic bags at the Coles supermarket REDcycling point though when we do our grocery shopping so that is something. For my Australian readers that are not aware Coles have a REDcycle program. You can drop off empty bread, cereal and frozen food bags, plastic shopping bags and other flexible plastic packaging and it is sent off and used to build outdoor furniture for Aussie primary schools and pre-schools. I have been making a much better effort with the eco bags though. They now always go straight back into the boot when we unpack the shopping. My aim is to stop using plastic shopping bags altogether.

One of the other big changes we have made is to stop buying store bought toilet paper. We now have a subscription to “Who gives a crap”. They send a massive box of forest friendly world helping toilet paper every 16 weeks to our door. The toilet paper is great and we feel good about the fact that 50% of the profits go towards building toilets for people who have access to none. Find out more about them here. Just now looking at their site I have realised that they now do tissues and paper towels too!

who-gives-a

Food wise to minimise waste I have for the past 2 weeks written a food plan for the week and stuck to it. This means I do not buy more than I will need which minimises the amount of food wastage in the house. The last two weeks the food wastage in our household has been almost nothing. Such an awesome outcome. Is it a bit of effort? Definitely, but I think it is worth it too. The flow on effect is monetary savings and rubbish savings because we are not buying all the extra junk we do not need.

Hubby and I have switched to paperless billing and statements wherever we have been able to. We have been using prescription services like STAN and NETFLIX and borrowing movies from the library instead of purchasing DVDs which has saved a LOT of money and as cheap as this sounds it means we can have a wine and popcorn night at home instead of going to the cinema which costs like $80 at Event these days! We are also planning to swap to rechargeable batteries for all of our remotes etc. We don’t have many items that require AA and AAA batteries anymore, but it would be nice to be able to reduce the waste these create.

 

Future plans:

I would like to have a veggie and herb garden up the side of our house as well as a passionfruit vine and a lemon and lime tree, but those will have to wait for a little bit. I am also considering a compost bin as this would help reduce the grass cuttings from our massive lawn. Currently we are not able to mow our front and back lawn in the same fortnight as the cuttings will not all fit in our council bin 😦

I plan to buy items like basmati rice and vegetable oil and cleaning products in bigger packaging so there is not as much waste.

Image result for carrying bulk rice bag

Well maybe not this big, but you get the idea. Buying in bulk reduces the packaging waste.

I have purchased a reusable BPA free water bottle. This encourages me to up my intake of water as well as not waste plastic bottles or drink as much soft drink or juice because I always have water on hand.

Cleaning wise I plan to do some research (AKA hit the library books) to look at some more cost and environmentally friendly options. Already I have swapped to microfiber cloth which often means that many marks on the walls etc. come off with just some hot water and elbow grease which is grand!

I would love to hear any suggestions that you have. I am pleased that so far my efforts have in general saved us money because we have some very good uses for that 🙂

 


Raw: Infertility

Warning: this is going to be raw. I am not going to edit it and I am going to babble. I do not expect my thoughts to be flowing perfectly because that’s not what happens to my emotions when I think about this. This post is about the struggles of infertility from my perspective and I’m not gonna lie, there will be swearing and talk some people might find uncomfortable. Oh and it will probably be long. How long? Hmm… as long as I need it to be hahaha. 

I’m just going to say it, I am going to say what we are all thinking. Infertility is BULLSHIT! It is a horrible, no good, low down, nasty bugger of a thing!

contentbullshit

Source: iaintskinny.wordpress.com

One of my fears growing up was that I would be barren, I have no idea why I had this fear. There was certainly no precedence for it, but have it I did and more than once I have wondered whether my fear somehow brought on my condition/s (AKA PCOS, Insulin Resistance and a slow as all hell metabolism). You know mind over matter and all that jazz. Obviously this is probably ridiculous, but you think a lot of strange things on the IF journey.

The IF journey has a huge effect on not only the women involved, but also their partners. If they are open about their struggles it will possibly also effect their immediate family, other children they have and friends.

I often feel as though the word ‘infertility’ could be used synonymously with ‘depression’ or ‘anxiety’ because in my mind there is no doubt it causes or greatly contributes to causing both. There is no way you could go through this process, this journey and not be affected by it, if I ever meet someone who says they aren’t I am going to ask what prescriptions they are on because I need to get me some of that!

Each month is this stupid mental and physical roller-coaster. Let’s have a look shall we…

From day one of your cycle (first day of Aunt Flo (AF)) you are cramping, in pain, yet dedicated to trying for a baby so you are already basal temping first thing in the morning and recording it down like a dutiful soldier (let’s not mince words here because you are fighting the war against infertility). For those who haven’t experienced this let me be more clear, we take our temperature and write it down, then chart it to figure out when we are ovulating. We do all of this first thing when we wake up of a morning before even sitting up in bed. We do this everyday of our cycle, which means we do this every day of the year, every year until we fall pregnant (or switch methods).

Once AF has finally disappeared a new game begins. Depending on how long you have been trying to conceive (TTC) you might be just basal temping, you might be using ovulation strips (you pee on them) to identify when you ovulate and there are many other techniques and/or medications you could be trying. Pretty much the further into the game you get the more you try. At this point I am more than 4.5 years into this baby making game… tenacity people 🙂 So here is what I do. I temp every morning, once AF finishes we then start the sperm meets egg method which involves having sex every two days, from the 10th day of my cycle I continue basal temping and back it up with peeing on an ovulation stick. Once I get a positive result we ‘try’ three days in a row, then skip one day and then have sex again. After that comes the wait, you’d think this meant a holiday which I would totally deserve as all the above is pretty exhausting whilst maintaining a full time job, house and eating, pooping and now apparently exercising and whatnot.

“The two week wait” – this sentence wets the eye of even the toughest of the infertility community. The two week wait is the space between when you ovulate and the end of your cycle. It is completely torturous and the whole time you are asking yourself if there was more you could have done to ensure pregnancy and you are praying and begging whoever is in charge up there to help you out. Trust me, it doesn’t matter how non-denominational you are, at some point you will pray. Naturally stress, anxiety and angst is probably not good for a developing embryo, but hey there is only so much chocolate one can eat and we can’t have alcohol because we are trying to get knocked up. ‘Knocked Up’ I used to enjoy that movie, now it just pisses me off.

The closer you get to the end of the two week wait the more anxious you become. You pay attention to every little twinge in your body, do you feel nauseated? You cup your breasts trying to figure out if they are bigger or sensitive. You have conversations with yourself convincing yourself over and over again that there is no point in taking a pregnancy test early because the results won’t show properly. How long can you hang out? This past month I made it to day 29. I had no indications whatsoever of AF, no cramps or spotting at all. So I tested, and… nothing. Big fat negative (BFN). Naturally I was upset, an hour later I go to the toilet and there is AF. Meanwhile what is this ‘Aunt Flo’ stuff? It’s a period. I HATE getting my period, but I love when my Aunts come to visit. It is a period in every sense of the word and the words it gives you when it comes are “You period Are period Not period Pregnant period Again period!”

2ww

Source: sachablack.co.uk

Then with the beginning of your period you are back to cycle day 1 and get to start the fun all over again.

You would think this would be enough to throw anyone off balance right? Right! But just for the heck of it, let’s add on some more stuff.

Amongst all of the above you will need to be seeing probably a GP and a Fertility Specialist (because we are all made of money too) and they might put you on Clomid which turn your ovulation cycles into overdrive, imagine if a normal ovulation cycle is a Nicholas Sparks novel inspired film like the Notebook, well Clomid and it’s awesome emotional side effects are the equivalent of Arnie taking on the predator. You will be WAY emotional, in fact on day 6 of my first round of Clomid I cried in the middle of a restaurant you can read about cycle 2 of Clomid here and here.

If you have PCOS and/or Insulin Resistance you will probably be put on Metformin which can also have some amazeballs side effects. Seriously you guys they are so awesome… not. In a post called ‘The Metformin Effect’ I discussed the fortunate and not so fortunate side effects of this medication and also have some very handy hints on how you can handle them until your body is used to it and settles down.

jelly_beans_shellac

What is your fave colour?

If you have a lazy ass metabolism you will probably be put on something like Eutroxsig or Oroxine. This can be hit and miss and definitely look up the side effects in case you have a bad one. I was on Eutroxig at first and all my hair started falling out. Then I finally got changed to Oroxine and thank god the hair situation has calmed down.

Then you have the surgeries. Convinced I had endometriosis the specialist decided to do a laparoscopy complete with a uterus clean out, tubal flush and ovarian drilling (which is exactly what it sounds like). For me this was not fun. I also got an infection in one of the wounds which made me very sick and I still didn’t get a baby.

Then you can move on to IVF. This is where you spend your savings, or take out a loan/second mortgage, dip into your superannuation or just spend your future kids college fund on a variety of medications and medical procedures where they give you lots of drugs through needles to send your ovaries into crazy egg producing mode, you have a bunch of blood tests (more needles), then ultrasounds where they stick a wand up your vajayjay, then they put a massive needle up and through your vagina wall and into your follicles to extract said eggs (apparently some women are knocked out for this, but I got to experience it all in HD! Honestly one of the most traumatic experiences of my life to date), then you get to be completely angry at your partner because all they have to do is have a date with a sample cup. The sperm and eggs are put in a petri dish for 24 hours for their own date and then the angst begins again.

sperm meet egg

Sperm meets Egg

For me it went like this.

Because I had done wayyyy too much reading into statistics I decided that 11 would be a good base number… we got 9 so that was already disappointing for me. Overnight 6 fertilised which is more than 50% which is good so then I was happy. Come day 3 and 3 were looking good, come day 5 and only 2 were looking really good.

They transferred 1, more tubes and what not up my vajayjay freezing the other and sending a sample for genetic testing. Then I was sent home to start the dreaded TWW yet again (see above). My TWW did not end as hoped and there were LOTS of tears to be had.

Meanwhile your first period after egg retrieval and transfer is a painful SOB!!! Seriously it was SO BAD that the cramping disturbed my bowls and I had to leave work because the bleeding and diarrhea was sooo bad I could not be out in public!

Then there was more waiting to see if the embryo we had frozen was normal… 4.5 weeks later we found out it was THANK whoever is upstairs!

I truly hope that one day my journey ends with my husband and I having a child, but to date I can summarise my IF journey as follows: waiting, perfunctory sex, all of the NEEDLES and going broke. Not to mention the fact that I feel like my vagina should be charging admission at this point, she’s reaching studio 54 numbers now. And then there’s breaking your heart once a month when AF arrives or you don’t see that second line on the pee stick. I just want to earn my stripes!

There is still much for me to figure out like how to do those pee sticks without peeing on yourself… so hard to pee on teeny stick when you first wake up in the morning.

I have terrible days, friends, an unhealthy obsession with chocolate, fellow bloggers and a sick sense of humour seem to get me through. What gets you through?

 


Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Harry Potter

2016

I have been a very, very naughty blogger. I have neglected you and I am sorry. Why have I abandoned you? Quite simply the crazy season was crazy and every minute I wasn’t committed to cooking, cleaning, celebrating, catching up or other such activities I was reading the Harry Potter series. I managed to finish the last book before the New Year.

I also realise I seriously owe you some 52 Books in 52 Weeks posts. I will get them done. Basically I am behind because I was reading too much and seriously surpassed my goal.

Let’s talk about resolutions… did you make any? I have done some over the past few years which were more like goals rather than resolutions and I will be keeping some of the ones from last year. So here are my goals for 2016…

  • 52 Books in 52 Weeks – yup, here we go again. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy this, but I need to get better with my planning and posting. I was doing well last year until about half way through and then it all fell to pieces LOL.
  • Try new things – I have really enjoyed this and haven’t done as much of it in 2015 as I should have so I am bringing this back with a vengeance. I do often tie this in to trying new foods (particularly healthy foods) which is a great thing, but I want to get some more activity things in there too in 2016.
  • Healthy lifestyle – This is something that one constantly works towards I think. It is a choice you make each day. Hubby was good enough to gift me the Garmin tracker I asked for so my first goal for 2016 health wise is to keep my steps up each day. I have also been chatting to a friend at work and may have talked her into joining the work gym and being my gym buddy… we’ll see what happens there. Sadly I gym better when my commitment has been made to someone else rather than myself. I am also going to explore more foods, ways of cooking and preparing and organising my meals better.
  • Get knocked up – This is probably my biggest goal for 2016. Someway, somehow I want to be knocked up by years end. I don’t think this is too much to ask really is it? This means more to me than pretty much everything apart from my family. Please let this be my year. Fingers crossed.

What goals have you set yourself this year?


I’m a Librarian… get me out of here!

Let me preface this post by saying that I absolutely love being a Librarian, I love it! It is important that you know this before reading this piece because now I am going to have a little whine about just one small aspect of my job.

Originally from http://www.outblush.com/ I added text

Originally from http://www.outblush.com/ I added text

This post was inspired by The Daily Posts Daily Prompt – A Tale of Two Cities – we were asked if we could split our time evenly between two places only, where would they be. For some reason what immediately jumped into my head was what if I could be two places simultaneously?! That would be quite awesome and perhaps even have the ability to put one body in auto pilot whilst my consciousness is in the other one. Everyone I am sure thinks this from time to time for different reasons, but when it occurs for me it is very specific.

As I said before I love being a Librarian, but there is one aspect that is present in most Librarian jobs that I do not enjoy… the food battle.

What is the food battle? Well it kind of goes like this… Librarian roving the Library sees someone eating hot chips smothered in gravy. Librarian explains to said someone that they cannot consume hot food in the Library and asks them to please take the food outside. Said someone apologises and starts packing up, Librarian says thank you and moves on.

At this point I need to let you in on an apparently well-kept secret… Librarians are smart you guys!

 

But are you Librarian Smart?

Don’t remember where I got this pic, but I added the text. If you know please tell me so I can give cred.

We went to University for quite a few years in order to become experts in research, social media, promotion and marketing, development of programs on varying topics and many other things – we know our stuff and have an extremely broad knowledge. Many of us are also mothers and fathers so believe me when I tell you that we know that you just wait for us to get out of sight then start tucking back into your carbs.

We know.

So we have to do a loop and come back around and have another chat to you about the food – often you don’t answer us because you are trying to conceal the fact that there are fried goods currently in your mouth – we know this – in fact we waited until you put that forkful in before we confronted you so you couldn’t use the normal defence of, “it is there, but I am not eating it”.

I totally believe you!

I totally believe you!

Let me tell you something you probably don’t know…

When we have to repeatedly approach you to ask you not to eat hot food – especially when there is a sign on your table next to the hot food that states ‘No hot food’ – it kills us a little inside. It feels like we are babysitting unruly children for $4 an hour instead of an Information Professional who is qualified to do research in basically any field. There are Librarians working for most film companies and researchers work on many TV shows, who do you think gets your iTunes music into all those nice little categories and easily searchable? Librarians 🙂 We do a lot more than you think, a friend of mine works at a radio station as a researcher and researches news items on the fly and feeds through information to the on air team.

Did you know all of this?

Here’s something we don’t understand… we don’t understand why you do it? Why is it so important for you to sneak eat all your chicken nuggets, smell out the Library and make the Librarians feel like you have absolutely no respect or regard for them as human beings?

WHY?!?!

The thing that kills me the most is that we have to be polite to you while you are crapping all over us. Because that is who we are, we are professionals and you are our clients. Don’t you worry though, because even though you disrespect us on a daily basis it’s not like we will remember your face and we will certainly do absolutely everything in our power to help you when you don’t know how to find information for your assignment that you only have five hours to write because you spent all your research time smuggling McDonalds into the Library.

Sure buddy that's gonna happen

Yup, sure buddy, no problem. I’ll be right there to help you with that…
http://www.reactiongifs.com/

So here is my wish… I wish that everytime that tell-tale hot food odour started wafting about, my consciousness would transport to my other body and my autopilot would handle the humiliation so I would not have to be aware of it. Where would my other body be? Anywhere but here 🙂


What a hot mess!

You hope for many things when you go through those first stages of setting up your blog, you hope it is a spicy hot roaring success, you hope no one boos you and you desperately hope that you don’t suck at it! Let’s be honest here… you want Tucker Max level fame. You want a blook, you want your blook turned into a movie… you pretty much wish for the stars because, well… why wouldn’t you?!

I am always interested in who visits my blog and how they find me so I check out my stats page generally once a day. So today as per normal I head on over to my stats page, generally my viewings don’t go up until later in the day as most of my readers are still asleep when it is lunchtime in Australia 🙂 so I wasn’t really expecting much… I was actually going to look at yesterday’s results. But before I could click on yesterday’s stats I got a little shock that I found under the “Search engine terms” area, please see screen shot below:

Umm... sorry... WHAT?!

Umm… sorry… WHAT?!

What the… WHAT?!?!

First of all… YUCK! Why is someone looking for that? Who wants to look at anything cut open.

Second of all… Wait… how the hell did they get to my blog by Googling that?!?!

So you know what I had to do right?

Seriously, it had to be done

Seriously, it had to be done

I had to! I had to know how and more importantly WHY that search brought them to my blog as I know I have not written about “smelly cysts” in… well… EVER!

So I hit the search button because at this point I certainly was not feeling lucky and held my breath. The results came back – 669,000 okay so that is not that high for a Google search, but maybe it was a fluke and I am buried way back in the results somewhere. Skim page one… SAFE! YES! Skim page two… SAaaa…oh shit. There I am… smack in the middle of page two.

Oh my god you guys!

Oh my god you guys!

The title that comes up really does not make things any better, no silver lining to be found in that unfortunate title at all. Just so I am quite clear… I do not roll with “grungy smelly cysts”. Grungy, smelly musicians… yes, but the smell is created by a fun day at a festival – not cysts.

What a hot (apparently smelly) mess! I am pretty much freaking out and thinking

So what do I do? I mean I am not about to delete all that content (which ranges across a few different posts) because I was happy with that content, so what should I do?

Then I realised that the only reason someone would be Googling “grungy smelly cysts” is probably if you had one and if you did have one you would probably be a bit sad.

So the only appropriate thing to do would be to write a post with a bunch of references to “grungy smelly cysts” so that my blog hopefully makes it to page one of the results next time someone Googles it 🙂 Let me know if I succeed if you dare to try it haha.

 

Loosely inspired by The Daily Post’s Ring of Fire challenge. I happened to be reading it just before I found this and got inspired 🙂


Finding myself in the Red Centre

Recently I read a piece called “The top 10 tips I’ve learned from minimalists”  on the blog The ExtraOrdinary Simple Life by Lara Blair. This post discussed how to find the parts of a minimalist lifestyle that work for you and provided some great tips on putting them into practice.

After having a comments discussion with the author regarding single socks and their attack on the minimalist lifestyle and the zen of the human race in general (it made complete sense to us and I may blog about it at a later date) I discovered a comment written by All thoughts work outdoors, part of which really struck a chord with me. The paragraph that particularly caught my eye was as follows:

“I found that a simple, yet very powerful tool for decluttering is to reevaluate one’s social life. A lot of people hang onto stuff because they wanna be prepared for any social situation, be acceptable to anybody and everybody who will judge them. But when you get hard-core-honest about who you really want to spend your life on, you’ll find it’s the ones who don’t give a rat’s ass if you have festive holiday napkins or the right hemline”. – All thought work outdoors, 2014

I loved this comment! I absolutely remember being this way, wanting to be acceptable to all, be a pleaser, I somehow believed that being part of the pack and being accepted and acceptable was vital to being happy. What the hell was I thinking?! How much time and energy I wasted being this way is quite scary to think about. When I was 18 I even drank the same drinks as my friends because lolly water alcoholic drinks were so in, they tasted like Bertie Botts’s every flavour beans, but they were in so I had to like them.

My wakeup call came when I moved to Ayers Rock at the age of 19, for those who haven’t been let me tell you, it’s hot, it’s arid, there is red sand everywhere and pretty much everything about it is not conducive to wearing make-up and sexy dresses. Basically it is about trying to stay comfortable and always being prepared for a sand storm and visits from unexpected wildlife 🙂 It was fabulous and I loved it! I learned so much and I met amazing people from all corners of the Earth and all walks of life, it was a completely unique experience that I value so much. Though I didn’t realise it at the time I now believe having this experience at that age really played a part in shaping who I am today.

While I was living at the Rock at one point I had 3 jobs, I worked full time as an all-rounder for a tourism company (which pretty much means you need to be able to do anything), I was a guide on sunset champagne tours a couple of times a week and I ran Karaoke once a week. I didn’t feel overworked because we had so much play time as well, I explored all the amazing things the Red Centre had to offer, there were many times that I truly felt like I was being paid to be permanently on vacation.

When I moved back to Sydney at 21 I really didn’t understand the friends I had from High School anymore; I didn’t get wearing teeny tiny dresses to go out in 15 degree weather, I didn’t understand them wearing more make-up in one night than I saw in 2 years at the rock and I really didn’t understand these women I knew to be very intelligent giggling and flipping their hair in an effort to get male attention.

Did I feel out of place? Yup. Did I feel like the odd girl out because when I went out I mostly wore nice jeans, a pretty top and flats? Absolutely. Was I always on the outer edge of conversations with my old bosom buddy friends from school because I didn’t relate easily to them anymore? Hell yes! The above coupled with the fact that my grandfather passed away not long after I moved back had me in a pretty dark place; I would try to talk to my friends about how I felt about his passing and found that they just didn’t get it. None of them came to the funeral to support me and after a while I started getting comments like, “are you still sad?” (I don’t blame them for this really as I came to the realisation that none of them had dealt with the death of a loved one).

So I trudged along, I still went out with the group, due to the alcohol education I had received living at the Rock I no longer drank lolly water, or anything else the girls were drinking… it was mostly beer for me at that stage. After a few months I discovered something thanks to a male friend of mine, one night whilst the girls were tearing up the dance floor and we were chatting he divulged that the girls in the group were really intimidated by me. I was shocked and asked why; he gave me the following reason:

  • After school rather than go straight to Uni I had moved interstate, lived and survived on my own and thrived whilst holding down three jobs – all my friends were living the Uni life, some working casual in bars, the others living off the bank of Mum and Dad and they all lived at home.
  • When I go out I have the confidence to wear whatever I am comfortable in and am happy to strike up conversation with pretty much anyone (pretty sure this came from 2 years in a town of 1500 people where you knew everyone so you talked to everyone) – the girls were nervous about approaching new people, particularly guys.
  • I hold my alcohol really well and can keep up with most guys – thanks Ayers Rock alcohol education 🙂 Although I must say that this trait does run in the women of my family for some reason.
  • Because I wear sensible shoes I can pretty much stay out all night without complaining of sore feet – no running around the streets in bare feet for me. It also means I appear to have more stamina.
  • I am able to talk to guys easily, I can hold my own at the pool table and drink with them – What can I say they had a lot of pool tables at Ayers Rock and I like the game. Pretty rusty now though.

It was then I realised that the girls were having as much trouble relating to me as I was to them. By moving interstate and living/surviving on my own, working and paying bills I had matured significantly. In high school we were all having the same experiences and because my friends then went on to Uni even though they were at different Unis studying different subjects they were still having similar life experiences whereas my experiences were completely different. The fact that we were still making such efforts to relate to each other was quite admirable.

It seemed living there gave me the independence to grow into who I was removed from the variety of influences girls in the city have at that age. I am quite thankful for that now, it helped me discover who I was and I don’t spend as much time trying to impress people by behaving in any way that is unnatural to me. Take me as I am world 🙂


52 books in 52 weeks

New Years Eve 2013 resolution time. We are all familiar with the almighty resolutions list we create for ourselves each year, most of us are also aware of exactly how long that list usually lasts, so this year I wanted to create a different kind of list. I didn’t want my list to limit me as much as previous lists have e.g. lose 10kgs – things like this on your list are not fun, they are a chore, for those who are successful with things like this I truly salute you, but I hate them on there. So, since this is my list, this year I put what I wanted on it rather than what I thought I should put on it and so far it has been a lot more fun keeping to the list.

The list

  1. Try new things – Challenge yourself.
  2. Lead a healthier lifestyle – you can combine this with trying new things – e.g. new recipes, new foods, new activities, have fun with it.
  3. “Home truths” – Don’t lie to myself or blame things on others that are all on me.
  4. 52 books in 52 weeks – read 52 books in a year – try new authors, things you wouldn’t normally read and finally read the Hobbit – you have had it for years!!!

It’s a short list, but I have stuck to it for four months and it has been great! Here’s some of my progress:

Try new things:

Done

Home made waffles – I have eaten waffles before, but never cooked them… so good!

Image

Salmon steaks with rocket and walnut salad – never had either before and cooked it all… I am now a salmon lover! (Not big on seafood generally)

Roast pork loin with roast apples, onion, zucchini and potatoes – I have eaten pork before, but not pork loin and never with roast apples – it was amazing!

Image

Tried my hand at cake decorating for my brothers birthday, he loved it!

Image

Until yesterday I had long hair… now… big change!

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Coming soon

I have the ingredients to make individual baileys cheesecakes… that’s going to happen really soon

I am currently devising an Easter activity for my nieces and nephews (oldest is 2.5) which will not cover them in goop whilst still being fun – will post my failure or success haha.

Nieces and nephews are still a little young for tonnes of chocolate so I am thinking decorated cupcakes for easter – watch this space.

 

Healthier Lifestyle

This has ended up being mostly food based, but it is interesting how slight changes have made big differences, where before I would maybe munch on some potato chips I now go for black sesame brown rice crackers – so good! I have a bigger lunch now, rather than just a sandwhich I have salad as well which keeps me fuller and sometimes I don’t even suffer from 3.30itis 🙂

The harder part has been soft drinks, whilst I never had tonnes of it – maybe a glass a day I am now trying to not have any. It’s weird, when you have not had it for some time and you have a glass it makes you feel thirstier than you were originally!

 

Home truths

I came up with this because – well it’s kind of complicated, but I just started seeing so much violence in everyday life and it really bothered me. When I say violence I am being extremely general, in addition to all the horrible events I see in the news I mean the discourteous way people deal with each other on a daily basis. People are so self-involved these days that nothing external seems to penetrate their tiny universe. I had already started thinking along these lines, but decided to include it in my resolutions one day after a woman at the shops was on her phone in her own world and smacked into my trolley (which had my 2 year old nephew in it), lost her balance and impaled my foot with her stiletto. I helped her up and asked if she was ok, to which she replied, “why don’t you watch where you are going you fat f*&#!” My reply, “I might be fat, but you are ugly inside and out and no amount of hooker make up or heels can fix that. Get your potty mouth away from us, I don’t want my kid exposed to your filth” I am not going to lie, that come back felt good. I felt I had managed to knock her down a peg or two without stooping to her level, but hobbling home I found myself reflecting and wondering if I could have done more to avoid that scene. I decided I needed to be more reflective on my behaviour on a full time basis to try and balance out some of the ugly karma in this world 🙂

 

52 books in 52 weeks

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS CHALLENGE!!! Please see progress below:

Number Title Author
1 –

Jan 1-5

Earthly Delights: a Corinna Chapman mystery (2004) Greenwood, Kerry
2 –

Jan 6-12

Heavenly Pleasures: a Corinna Chapman mystery (2005) Greenwood, Kerry
3 –

Jan 13-19

Devil’s Food: a Corinna Chapman mystery (2006) Greenwood, Kerry
4 –

Jan 20-26

Trick or Treat: a Corinna Chapman mystery (2007) Greenwood, Kerry
5 –

Jan 27 – Feb 2

Forbidden Fruit: a Corinna Chapman mystery (2009) Greenwood, Kerry
6 –

Feb 3-9

Cooking the Books: a Corinna Chapman mystery (2011) Greenwood, Kerry
7 –

Feb 10-16

Babies in Waiting (2012) Fiore, Rosie
8 –

Feb 17-23

Kushiel’s Dart(2001) Carey, Jacqueline
9 –

Feb 24–Mar 2

Kushiel’s Chosen (2002) Carey, Jacqueline
10 –

Mar 3-9

Kushiel’s Avatar (2003) Carey, Jacqueline
11 –

Mar 10-16

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire) Martin, George R. R.
12 –

Mar 17-23

A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire) Martin, George R. R.
13 –

Mar 24-30

A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire) Martin, George R. R.
14 – Mar 31 – Apr 6 Divergent Roth, Veronica
15 –

Apr 7-13

Insurgent Roth, Veronica
16 –

Apr 14-20

Allegiant Roth, Veronica

 

Let me know if you want information on the books I have read, happy to share thoughts or recommendations. If you have a recommendation for me to include in my 52 books in 52 weeks journey please recommend away 🙂


Social Media Addiction

So a little while ago I read this post http://kristenlynnwrites.com/2014/03/04/if-our-great-grandmothers-wouldve-had-facebook-and-twitter-when-they-were-young-mothers/ by Kristenlynnwrites and I loved it, it struck a chord with me, but in a different way than I would have expected when I started reading the piece. As I kept reading and giggling my way through the tweets I started thinking about the fact that because they didn’t have social media etc. they probably had a lot of time for other things. Then I read a comment by http://mrhairybrit.com/ that basically said exactly what I was thinking, “… the next generation is going to be a little lost in the world of social media”. I completely believe this in fact in some cases I feel like this is a bit of an understatement 🙂

Social media use is a little bit out of control, there I said it. Don’t get me wrong I use it, I absolutely use it and having lived in a few different places I find it a fabulous way to keep in touch with people I possibly wouldn’t be able to afford to keep in touch with otherwise. In fact I have done a lot of research and study into measuring and getting value out of social media technologies (which is likely evident from my last post) so I am certainly no Noob when it comes to the 2.0 world. What I have a problem with is the people that get so involved with their social media platforms that they basically spend more time posting their life on one platform or another than living it, that is where I think there is an issue. I believe we need a rehab clinic for social media addiction because trust me it is real!

So here are some prime examples of things happening on social media that drive me nuts:

  • Mums and Dads posting every breath of their child’s existence. Guys your kids want to make a connection with you, not the lens of your smartphone, put that down and play with them; you don’t need evidence of being a decent parent. In fact if all your interactions with them are through the lens you are not really exhibiting great parenting skills, stop observing and get in there! Someone doesn’t have to ‘like’ it on Facey for it to have meaning.
  • This next one was over the line and a totally legit reason to de-friend someone – recently the wife of a friend of mine had a bub, afterwards she posted photos of her C-section on FB… not okay! I wouldn’t want to see myself cut open like that, let alone anyone else… keep it in the family.
  • My husband and I got married 2 years ago – people were really surprised when it took us a month to change our relationship status to married (I don’t really know why they cared to be honest, but apparently it was a thing for them). When we were looking for someone to do our ceremony we kept seeing references to a Facebook inclusion, when I eventually asked what it was we were told that a lot of people after signing the register like to have an extra part where they update their status’ on Facey to say they are now married… ‘umm okay, no we won’t be having that. Yes I understand it is popular, we still don’t want it’. Since when was the ring, ceremony and massive party not enough evidence of the ‘I do’?
  • Selfies have gone too far! Yes I have taken them, yes I have posted them, yes I love the famous Ellen selfie, it is fabulous! But enough is enough… I do not need to see Belfies (Butt-selfies) which are just pure grot and who thought of that anyway?! The sheer amount of duckfaces I have seen in the past year have made me irrationally hate Daffy Duck a much loved icon of my childhood. And I have to say it… WTF is with after sex selfies?! How is this an okay thing to do? Vent, vent, vent, whinge, whinge, whinge. As a Librarian I have to admit that I do enjoy Shelfies, it’s a guilty pleasure to be able to have a perve at others bookshelves from the non-judgemental corner of my own home 🙂

So people go on with all these conspiracy theories about Big Brother watching and the government spying on everything we do, the thing is that if they wanted to they wouldn’t have to work very hard. I mean seriously, we are posting our entire lives to social media, all they would have to do is write an extremely basic program with some search terms and it would pull all of your information up. I can literally go onto my Facebook page right now and tell you everything one of my friends had to eat yesterday; seriously he posts every meal… I don’t even know what I had for breakfast yesterday, but I know he had a full continental breakfast in the lobby of a hotel near his work… does that not worry anybody else?

We have basically created our own strange version of The Truman Show; we have done this to ourselves. We are too quick to post stuff and we don’t think about the consequences, for example, did you know people Google you when you go for an interview? If you Google my brother’s name a certain way you will find a video of him setting off fireworks out of his butt from 5 years ago. Once the information is out there, you no longer have control of it.

What do your uploads say about your personal brand? http://www.brandnewmedia.com.au/blog/the-facebook-makeover

What do your uploads say about your personal brand? http://www.brandnewmedia.com.au/blog/the-facebook-makeover

So people please think before you upload and if you fit into any of the examples I have spoken about please seek a 12-step program in your area.


Brand New Year

2013 was a crazy whirl-wind for me. I honestly kept trying to get to writing Libraries of the future – Part 2, but every time I sat down to do the research for it I got distracted or called away (let’s be honest, sometimes I was doing the research and kept finding interesting things and got carried away in my surfing endeavors) either way it will be forthcoming… eventually (kind of like George R. R. Martin’s next book haha).

I have been finished my Professional Library cadetship for a year now so have been in the job market and I am recently officially graduated – hooray! I have to say after spending a year in the ‘I am awesome please hire me chair’ I have learnt so much about applications and interviews. I’ll be honest (and blunt) my first couple of applications were BAD, I knew I was right for these roles, but I wasn’t even getting to interview. I was completely frustrated and quite a bit desperate because who can afford to be out of work these days! Then one night as I was plugging away at yet another set of selection criteria I had a thought… what if I approached this like a Uni assignment. I looked at my previous applications and evaluated them, I found them to be at pass, maybe credit level – P’s might get degrees, but they don’t get you in the interview chair. Then I looked at the assessments I received HD’s for – BIG difference in language, layout, pretty much everything. So I wrote my next application as though I was writing an assessment and my goal was to fit as much vital information in there as possible in a small word count without waffle – I got to interview. The fit for the role wasn’t right for me or them and it wasn’t a Librarian role so it didn’t go ahead, but I was onto a winner. I contacted an agency that specialises in placing Information Professionals and I applied for one of the contract roles they had and was working a week and a half later 15 minutes from home!!! Dream come true! The contract which was initially 2 months was extended to 9 and I have had the time of my life here – even meeting a life-size working R2-D2!

R2-D2 and me!

R2-D2 and me!

With my contract ending at the end of January I had to get back on the application trail, the problem being as many of you would know that most people don’t do a lot of hiring at Christmas. So I set up all my alerts and RSS feeds for a variety of online job advertisers and one morning the tell tale *ping* of an email arriving held a surprise. The University quite close to my home (yes it is a good one) had a really good 12 month position available (long service leave fill – the role is retiring and will become available after this time). I wasted no time in applying using my new method, a week and a half later I was in interview, 3 hours after the interview they were calling my referees so I knew I had done well and 3 days later I have been offered the role of Liaison Librarian in a great University Library. A little side-note to this tale is that it was one of the Libraries on my ‘I want to work there’ wish list Woo-Hoo!

Now in my case with this role I got a fairytale ending, but it could have easily gone very wrong. Here is where the learning experience came in. Please make sure you know your referees extremely well, you need to know that no matter what is happening with them you can rely on them to give you a good reference. In my case I hadn’t spoken to one of my referees as they called so quickly after the interview and something was going on with them at the time (I have no clue what so I cannot comment on this, but their response was very out of character and I have never seen or heard of this person acting this way they have always been completely lovely!) and their response to the call was that they didn’t know what they were talking about and didn’t have time to talk. Queue the panel member calling me and asking what is happening, luckily I was able to contact another of my ex bosses and get her okay to provide her details within half an hour (she is a complete doll and totally saved my hide!). If they hadn’t have wanted me enough to call and advise me of what had happened with my referee (which most places WOULD NOT DO! I need to stress that fact!) I would not have got this job – because of my referee. When I called the person I apologised for not speaking to them before they were called, but they would not accept my apology and simply said, “I guess you have learned a harsh lesson today” – OUCH! Obviously they felt that after that I wouldn’t get the role either, while I understood that this person felt blind sided by the call I was also hurt that they were willing to cost me the possibility of a job (therefore an income) to teach me a lesson. This was someone I always looked up to as a boss – mental note: I never want to end up like that!

So here are my tips to ensure this never happens to you:
1. Contact the person you want to use and ask them if they would be willing to do it for you – most places require you to enter your references at the time of application now so you need their okay early.
2. If you get an interview, let the people you put down as referees know and send them the position description for the role you have applied for. This means that they will know the role you have applied for and will be able to talk to your strengths in this area.
3. After your interview, just give them a heads up. A quick email or message is fine, something along the lines of, “Just finished my interview, I think I went pretty well. Thank you for being my reference, I hope they contact you. Fingers crossed”.

Hopefully they will in turn let you know if they were called and how they felt it went. If anyone else has any tips in this area or applying for roles or wants to share their story please feel free!

This post didn’t really end up the way I had planned, but I think I like where it ended up. So in the spirit of ‘where the wind may take me’ I am not even going to go back over and edit this post before I publish it – this kind of makes me want to chew on my nails, but here…we…go…


Libraries of the future – Part 1

Libraries are constantly evolving, this we know. But into what? What is the end product? Or will we remain in a constant state of evolution for all time? It could take years, decades, millennia etc. to gain the answer to that last question, but it is great fun to ponder and give yourself a migraine with all the possibilities. But don’t we as Librarians or rather Information Professionals have to evolve with the Library? Are we doing that successfully and to the best of our ability?

Here’s my question to you… what do you want the next evolution of Libraries to be?

This is a totally open ended question, there are no marks or prizes and you don’t need referencing to back up your theories. They can be completely new! Feel free to debate also.

Personally I can see the possibilities to a shift towards running Library client services divisions more like a retail outlet. Staff aren’t hiding behind the desks, but actively out on the floor connecting with clients. Kind of a roving reference, but we teach them not to force themselves on students. Nothing worse than those staff in stores that hover and won’t leave you alone to decide.

Connecting with clients

In the way distant future (or possibly sooner who knows) I can see a move to something along the lines of ANZ mobile lenders. Rather than students/clients coming in for Research Consultations, Librarians go out to their homes and show them how to search from their personal computers at home. Librarians could show them everything from how to download and set up endnote (including showing them how to have a mobile endnote library),  to how to construct search strategies, identify important journals and set up RSSFeeds. This would also require Librarians to be much more technically minded which honestly I think is sorely needed anyway.

We must become Super Librarians!

I can also see a path for Librarians embedded within faculties and schools and even stay at home Librarians, which would work somewhat like stay at home IT peoples. You have your other work to do, but are also logged in to receive calls and IMs.