Mood #102016

Bonjour! One more day until a new month begins so I have decided to put together my October mood board while I’m having my favorite snack -peanut butter and strawberry jam rye toast.

I didn’t have the best sleep for the past week. Instead of going to bed on time, I’ve been staying up doing some house hunting, trying to finish readings for the day and experimenting with GIMP 2.8, a photo editing software. Sometimes I get so absorbed with the task I don’t even realize it has passed midnight.

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Source: The Guardian
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Source: Pinterest

I’ve made a big decision this month but I wouldn’t be the only one to make it happen. I hope everything works out because I’m ready for change.

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Gritty Pretty // Dior (Paris)

Of course it wouldn’t be easy but then again nothing ever is. If this is what I want, might as well go for it and face challenges as they present themselves. One at a time. I like to think that challenges make life more interesting. Agree?

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Gritty Pretty // Georgia Fowler

I wish you all Happy Halloween and stay safe!

P.S. Some photos have been altered using GIMP 2.8. Original source is in the caption.

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Watch What You Throw P. 1

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Source: http://www.wastelandmovie.com

We tend to think that our actions have little impact on the environment. But I beg to differ.

Malaysia produces about 30,000 tonnes of waste every day and only 5% are recycled. Institutions in Malaysia sometimes run programs or seminars to educate students about the impact recycling and provide tips on how to get started. My family reuses plastic bags, glass jars and plastic containers. We also recycle our newspapers and magazines. Some of us try to do our part but it is not enough. Growing up in Malaysia, I realized that:

  1. A lot of Malaysians still don’t know about the benefits of recycling (especially the older generation).
  2. Surprisingly, there aren’t a lot of recycling bins around the city to make it easier for communities to recycle.
  3. Finally, I have a feeling that most people think that engaging in recycling activities won’t make a difference on the environment. Cameron Brick, a PhD candidate in Social Psychology from the University of California, points out that people look at the big problem and often decide that there’s nothing they could do that would create enough change to be worth the effort.

Well-run recycling programs cost less to operate than waste collection, land-filling, and incineration. National Recycling Coalition

In my opinion, an action, no matter how big or small, can create an impact. Every day, people around the world buy, consume and produce waste. If we all take responsibility towards our environment (or at least try to), do you think that will have an impact? Yes!

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Source: http://www.momjunction.com

Now, I’m not saying that the Malaysian government isn’t making an effort. In fact, I found out that the waste segregation law was recently implemented in K.L., Putrajaya and several other states with the goal to increase the recycling rate to 22% by 2020. Residents living in these states are required to separate waste into categories or they will be fined RM 50 for the first offence, RM 100 for the second and RM 500 for the third. For subsequent offences, court action will be taken. These punishments are certainly harsh but Malaysia still has a long way to go as most foreign countries have recycling rates between 50-60%.

Considering that the average person recycles (or composts) 1.5 pounds of municipal solid waste (MSW) every day, it can add up. Every ton of recycled MSW saves 2.27 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. How Stuff Works

One thing I really like about living in Melbourne is that recycling bins are easily and readily accessible. Unlike in Malaysia, most residents here have their own recycle bin. The Victorian government makes an effort to encourage recycling through a rewards program called GreenMoney. Although it was initially trialed in Southbank and Docklands, it has since been implemented to all City of Melbourne residents after its huge success. GreenMoney allows communities to gain points through recycling, which can then be used to redeem vouchers or get discounts on food, beauty products and more. When more people join the program (those living in the same building), more points will be gathered collectively. This encourages us to actively influence others to practice the habit of recycling.

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Source: melbourne.greenmoney.com.au

Besides that, GreenMoney sends out monthly newsletters (through e-mails of course) to alert its members of challenges and programs that keep the community engaged. Last month, Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) hosted a free screening for the documentary called Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story. Of course I had to check it out. I love documentaries!

Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story documents filmmakers Jen Rustemeyer’s and Grant Baldwin’s journey on uncovering just how much food is wasted across the supply chain (and why). According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, about 133 billion pounds of food is wasted each year in the United States alone. The staggering amount inspired Jen and Grant to take on the challenge to survive on discarded food for six months.

“Those date labels -especially the “best before” date – it’s really all about peak freshness, it has absolutely nothing to do with safety.” Rustemeyer

How do you think they will fare? I highly recommend that you watch the documentary to discover for yourself.

Documentary Just Eat It, part of the local Film Series by the South Cariboo Sustainablity Society in 100 Mile House
Source: iris.theaureview.com

Happy Monday and stay tuned for Watch What You Throw P. 2!

The {Other} Interestings #1

No, I won’t be talking about Meg Wolitzer’s book or anything else that relates to it (though it does look like an interesting read).

In the first half of October, I have gathered some links to articles that are either fascinating or helpful. They are usually bookmarked because I want to have a selection of topics to choose from when I decide on the content for my next blog post. Sure, I can expand and write about all of them, but I feel that it is better to choose one article that really excites or move me emotionally.

These other interestings didn’t make the cut. Nevertheless, they are worth mentioning:

  • I have heard so many people complain about not having enough time to eat healthily or read (I’m guilty of this one). Maybe Nicola Appleton can help you change this?
  • Have 5 minutes to spare? Read about the changes in a human’s brain and body during a digital detox.
  • I know we all suffer from this – comparing our lives with somebody else’s. Stop listening to your peers!
  • If you’re currently doing internships, the tips and advises shared on My Interning Life could be helpful for you. Start by learning how to be the best intern.
  • These two articles from my alma mater really taught me a thing or two about dogs and cats.
  • Where do you spritz your favorite perfume?
  • If you like taking long trips on a train, maybe this one will inspire you to pack your bags and hop on one soon.
  • Not your average eye candy.
  • I’m sure you’ve heard of the TV program called Shark Tank? If not, check out the interesting inventions put forward by former contestants.
  • I personally really like this one by i-D; when passion is prioritized over one’s safety.

Now, I’ll leave you with a list of things I noticed while I was paying attention in the digital world:

  1. Someone left a quarter of a watermelon on a tram stop bench. Still nicely wrapped in plastic.
  2. R told me there are rabbits loitering around the Royal Park but I thought it was quite unlikely as it is located close to buildings and the main roads. Last Monday, I finally saw one on my walk back home.
  3. A family of four busy getting on with their lives in a campervan (which makes me wonder if I will ever get the chance to travel in one soon).
  4. A Caucasian child in a pram spoke Mandarin with her grandfather. I was really surprised but I soon understand when I had a look at her guardian.
  5. Pokémon Go is no longer on everyone’s phone screen.

Have a great Monday and I hope you enjoy going through the links!

Les Nourritures // Food #092016

Before I start university in Melbourne, I’ve never cooked a meal for myself, my family or my friends. At 20, I can boil eggs, make instant noodles and prepare my own breakfast (which consists of two slices of bread and a cup of hot chocolate).

You can imagine how scared my parents were when they realized that their daughter will be living alone and have to cook her own meals because eating out every day is just too expensive. They told me to take it easy and said if I can’t figure out how to cook, I should just eat out until I learn to do so.

A few hours after they boarded the plane, I managed to make myself a decent dinner – a bowl of white rice with some stir fry vegetables and chicken. My parents were very surprised and proud as heck. For the next few months, I continue to cook my own meals and I think I did pretty well. The only issue I had was that most things were under cooked. No food poisoning was involved though. All those years of observing my mum cooking in the kitchen paid off!

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My first home cooked meal.

Since then, I’ve been documenting my meals on Facebook under the album called “Cooking up a Storm – A Newbie’s Version”. The meals I make are simple and I put in whatever ingredients that I think would work. I rarely follow recipes but when I do, it is usually because I am cooking for R.

Since I met R, we’ve been doing a lot of cooking and baking together. I remember I was really impressed when he told me he could make bread from scratch. I later found out that he knows how to make ice cream (!!!) and pancakes as well (he is THE ONE)! Not that any of these things are hard to make, but I grew up in a family where women do all the cooking. So to learn that R could make things from scratch just left me in awe.

Now that I have a blog, I will share the meals I had or made on this platform. Otherwise, they’ll be on Instagram. Let’s get started, shall we?

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I like to have small portions of different things for dinner. {Fruits, stir fry flat noodles with cauliflower, strawberries and peanut butter toast, sauerkraut and mustard on toast}.
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New Jersey Burger from New York Minute. {Really really good but the portion size is too huge for me}
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Home made turmeric “latte” (I use soy milk as a substitute).
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R organized a BBQ party to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day. We (with 3 other friends) had Spanish sausages, ribs, mushrooms and capsicums filled with blue cheese. Yum!
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J (R’s high school friend) brought back some candy from Mexico! They were all a mix of spicy, sweet and sour. I love them!
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I don’t know about you but I can have oatmeal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. {Berry oatmeal with warm soy milk and muesli for some extra crunch}.
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Brown rice topped with stir fry string beans and avocado. Papaya as a side dish.
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What do you do when you run out of milk in the morning? I cook my oatmeal in water and stir in two tablespoons of chocolate powder and add a pinch of cinnamon. I always top my oatmeal with some variety of nuts and fruits. Sometimes I’ll add some raisins and coconut shreds.
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Monday meal prep! {red cabbage, broccoli, carrots, chicken breasts, tomatoes, chopped almonds, black pepper and herbs}
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I made two huge batch of salad for the week (lunch). One with balsamic vinegar dressing and the other with spicy Miso dressing. I really like the latter. Will definitely make more in the future!

Mood #092016

Hello! How is your Wednesday?

It has been very windy in Melbourne for the past few days but today the weather is relatively calm. Of course I have to take the chance to go out for a long run. I really needed this cardio session because all I had over the weekend was pizza. For someone with high cholesterol, it is important that I take responsibility for my health and that means slotting in as many cardio sessions as I can for the next few weeks. And if you’re wondering – no, I don’t regret having 9 slices of pizza. They were so good.

Yesterday’s weather was the worse. The combination of strong wind and rain made it impossible to use an umbrella. There was even a tiny hail storm in the evening! Anyway, enough on the weather update. How about a visual representation of my state of mind?

New Habit {Tackling Sluggish Mornings}

Some fight sluggish mornings by doing stretches while others prefer an intense workout at the gym to get ready for the busy day ahead. Now, I’m the type who does neither of those things. If I get 8 hours of sleep, I usually have no problem getting started on my to-do list and I tend to feel positive throughout the day. If I stayed up late or had a restless night, I often have to force myself out of bed to try and get things done. In times like this I’m in a state of constant irritation, which affects my productivity and behavior towards others. That said, I had my fair share of slow and unproductive days but I never attempt to seek solutions to make my life better. Then one day, Taiso came into the picture. Continue reading “New Habit {Tackling Sluggish Mornings}”