2017 goals

  1. Start 2017 off with a no-buy for 6 months.  No clothes.  No make-up.  It will have to be from today since I did a lot of unexpected shopping over our Xmas holidays, so lets say 17 of Jan to 17 of Jul.
  2. Sew more (continue using up my fabric stash!).  I made a pretty good effort last year, but there is still always more sewing to be done.
  3. Cook more vegetarian meals.  Meatless Mondays?
  4. Have at least $60k in savings by the end of the year (yes, it’s going to be a boring and frugal year).
  5. Be able to do 5 pull-ups.
  6. Skype my MN friends and family more often.
  7. Blog more regularly- try for 1 post a week [here we are halfway through January and I’m already behind!!].
  8. Make friends in the city we actually live in (all of our friends live in Melbourne – we haven’t made any local friends yet.  Yes, it is both shocking and incredibly slack of us).

So that’s all I can come up with for now.  I guess we’ll just see how I get on, won’t we?

2016 year in review

Hey all.

I know, you probably thought I’d given up on this blog.  Kind of?  I know I’ve been really bad about doing any posts.  Hopefully that will change next year.  But while I’m still sort of limping along, it’s time to review 2016.

Let’s be honest – 2016 has been a really s**t year.  I think this is possibly why, especially this second half of the year, I haven’t been able to post much.  You know the old mantra – if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all?  Well, I haven’t felt like I can say much nice stuff lately.  So I’ve kept silent.

It started out awesome – D and I did some amazing tramping trips in NZ – Rabbit Pass, Lochnagar and Ice Lake were the highlights.  We went to America for 3 weeks and did Las Vegas, The Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Arches National Park, and the Valley of Fire State Park all before heading to MN for about 10 days to celebrate our wedding.

Then in May, we moved to Australia.  But settling in over here hasn’t exactly been a breeze.

So in all seriousness, this has been a s**t year.  Celebrity deaths (I’m looking at you, David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Prince).  Brexit.  Trump.  Sometimes it’s quite difficult to stay positive about the future.  Jobs that used to be prestigious and ‘safe’ are no longer.  Especially if you, like me, hang out a lot with intellectual types who discuss economics, politics and solve all the worlds problems whenever they get together.  The constant discussion of automation, disappearing  jobs and therefore disappearing middle class, the need for a universal basic income (which will probably never happen), climate change.  Sometimes, the future looks really bleak.  This has been one of those years – where everything seems uncertain.  I haven’t mentioned it here before, but D has been unemployed since we moved over to Oz.  Luckily, he has just had an offer so 2017 is definitely looking up, but we’ve been living on one income for most of the year – it certainly hasn’t been ideal.

I have friends and family who I know have had an equally disruptive and tough or tougher year too (all of my siblings have shifted house this year – including one other who shifted countries as well – apart from one!).  I have friends who have, despite multiple emails and messages sent by me – just don’t respond – because they are dealing with their own problems.  It’s getting increasingly difficult for me to maintain relationships with my friends overseas (now in two countries, not just one!).

Suffice to say that here in Australia, I’ve felt more isolated than ever.

But back to reviewing the goals I set out for 2016.

  1. Sew more (start using up my fabric stash!).  Sew at least 1 swimsuit from scratch.  Do at least one “how to sew something” blog post.  Yes!  I have actually sewn a ton this year – including 1 swimsuit from scratch.  No, I haven’t done any posts on any of it, much less a “how to sew something” post.
  2. Cook more vegetarian meals (institute meatless Monday!). Yes!  I’ve been primarily eating vegetarian lunches.  Mmmm….  tofu.
  3. Read more journal articles – start with 1 a week. Nope, fail.
  4. Have at least $5k in savings by the end of the year. Did you see the paragraph above about D being unemployed?  Yep, super fail.
  5. Read at least 3 non-fiction books. YES!!  I read Edurance: Shackelton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing, and I loved it so much, I read another Antarctic book about Sir Douglas Mawson’s AAE, and D and I listened to an audiobook called Destiny of the Republic: A tale of madness, medicine and the murder of a president by Candice Millard AND we also listened to Over the edge of the world: Magellan’s terrifying circumnavigation of the Globe by Laurence Bergreen.  If you only read one non-fiction book in your entire life, read Edurance: Shackelton’s Incredible Voyage.
  6. Be able to do 5 pull-ups. No – still can’t seem to get past the 2-3 mark.
  7. Get my tattoo removed  (Melbourne, here I come!).  Nope – I looked into though and even did a test patch.
  8. Start cycling to work?!  Do more (any!) cycling…  I think.  Actually YES!  Out of all the goals, this is the one I’ve done best on.  D was actually incredibly surprised and impressed at how often I’ve been biking to work.  
  9. Do at least 1 touristy trip in Australia. Nope.  We did go to Fiji in September though.  Unfortunately, I had food poisoning for half the trip.   Also, Fiji is ridiculously expensive.
  10. Move towards a minimalist lifestyle.  Kind of?  Our home in Australia is pretty sparse if that counts?  That could just be because we’re poor.

Other, less specific goals:

  • Blog more – focus more on fashion.  Maybe even Melbourne street fashion?  Epic fail.  I’ve barely blogged at all.
  • Buy less make-up.  Get better at using the make-up I have. Nope.  Still bought some more make-up this year.
  • Skype my MN friends and family more often. Nope.  Pretty much as useless as ever.

Part of the reason I’ve been really bad at taking outfit photos the second half of this year is because I’ve been cycling to work pretty regularly since October.  This means I shower and get dressed at work, which doesn’t leave much time to take outfit photos.  Hopefully this will change in 2017!

The other unexpected thing that happened was we adopted a 2 year old cat from the local animal shelter in October.  He’s an absolute furry little monster, but I’m glad we’re able to give him a home.  We’ve named him Quill, after Peter Quill from Guardians of the Galaxy, and Lake Quill, the source of Sutherland Falls in Fiordland (New Zealand).

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So that’s how 2016 went.  How did you do for your goals this past year?

It’s all so quiet

Hey.

So it’s been real quiet here lately.  I know I fell off the planet for a while.  I’ve found it’s not really safe for me to post anything apart from fluffy fashion slightly soul-less posts (as I get criticized when I post anything else), and I just haven’t haven’t had the energy.

But I feel like I have to post something and acknowledge the craziness of last week – when the USA elected Donald Trump to be their next President.

Where do I even begin with this one (the racism, the mysogeny, the madness)?  I definitely did not vote for Trump.  I was one of those who was absolutely shocked and horrified that he won.  I am now coming to see how divided the US is – it’s bizarre to realize that you are one of the despised educated liberals- seriously, when did being educated and intelligent become something to be looked down upon?  I feel like I’m from bizarro land (Australia and NZ, thankfully, still appear to mostly value education).

I also dread the next four years.  I left the USA in 2007, when Bush was still our President, though obviously at the end of his term.  I spent the first 2-3 years discussing politics with everyone, trying to explain the craziness of how Bush managed to stay president for so long.

I suspect I’ll look back on those years fondly…

I suppose my experience is limited in that I’ve lived in countries that are actually quite far to the left of the USA – NZ and Australia.  But very few people here support Trump.  Generally everyone you meet says: WTF, America?  I’m already tired of this discussion.  But as an American, you have to engage.  You’re the representative of your crazy bizarroland country now.

I wish Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren had been on the ticket.  I genuinely agree that the US’s health care system is completely broken.  After living in countries with single payer systems…  again WTF, America?  Only drastic measures will be able to bring about the changes Americans desire.  And who knows, Trump is so unpredictable we have no idea what the next 4 years will bring.  But I strongly suspect we’re going to see things get even worse.  I hope not, but the changes he-who-shall-not-be-named is seeking to make seem scary, and I struggle to see how they will benefit those who voted him in office.  Seriously…  I look to the future and all I see is the Trumpacolypse.

This is my new official stance:

i-m-not-saying-that-david-bowie-was-holding-the-f

Original source here

For a while I was thinking how I couldn’t wait for 2016 to be over.  Seriously, it’s been kind of a rough year.  But then I realized that 2017 is when Trump will actually take over the oval office…