Resolution Round-up: 9 February 2015.

150209 pointe shoes

This week’s resolution-related internet wanderings.

Dance

I found these guides from Bloch and Pointe Til You Drop really helpful when sewing on my pointe shoe ribbons.  I highly recommend Pointe Til You Drop’s tip of running a flame over the ends of the ribbons to prevent fraying before sewing on the ribbons.  There is nothing quite like the irrational feeling that your entire pointe shoe is going to go up in flames before you even get to wear them.  If you are a scaredy-cat like me, painting the ends with clear nail polish is a less stressful alternative.

Marriage

It’s ok to hate your husband sometimes.

Nest

I’m thinking of signing up to Apartment Therapy’s year of bite-sized, weekend projects, aimed at helping you maintain all that motivation from your resolution to make your home a better, cleaner, more beautiful place.  The first project is to plan out your home maintenance for the year.

Language

The best languages to speak to influence the world.  Spanish FTW.

Life

RIP Carl Djerassi, the father of the birth control pill.

Resolution Round-up: 1 February 2015

150201 Beach

This week’s resolution-related internet wanderings.

Dance

I love how this dance crew have channelled their passion for dance to highlight a worthy cause.  Cookies, a 32-member dance crew from San Diego won this year’s VIBE Dance Competition with their heart-stopping performance with the theme of orphans.  They have donated their winnings to World Vision, which, among other things, raises funds to help children in crisis.

Marriage

14 February is looming.  I don’t really buy into the commercialisation, but I still like to do something to mark the day, whether it be make a card, or have a quiet dinner in.  This year, I think Boy Robin and I will celebrate by asking each other 36 questions.

Nest

After a bit of a housework blitz last weekend, I’m in a bit of a home improvement mood.  I wouldn’t mind trying these arched bookcases, although I have a feeling it will just be another notch on my never-ending to do list …

Language

The Great Language Game: how many languages can you distinguish?

Life

This did the rounds about 6 months ago.  However, I find myself repeatedly coming back to it and marvelling at how diverse the concept of beauty is around the world.  Or maybe it just shows how diverse people’s photoshop skills are?

Resolution Round-up: 25 January 2015.

Afternoon tea

This week’s resolution-related internet wanderings.

Dance

Ballet at the beach.  You can’t get much more Australian than that.  Although, I can’t help wonder how chafed they must be in stockings soaked in sea water.  Happy Australia Day for tomorrow!

Marriage

Beyoncé as a role model for a traditional marriage.

Nest

How amazing are these kinetic doors?  If I ever build a house, I am totally including them in the instructions to the architect …

Language

Good news for everyone who has resolved to learn a language this year: age is not a barrier!  No excuse now not to hit the books / classes / language app.

Life

Thoughtful underwear with hidden powers.  Such a great idea.

Resolution Round-up: 18 January 2015.

Sky

This week’s resolution-related internet wanderings.

Dance

This one is an oldie, but a goodie.  I bought pointe shoes this weekend …

Marriage

This also did the rounds a few months ago, but I still need to periodically remind myself that kindness and generosity are the basis of a good marriage.

Nest

Apartment Therapy’s tricks for dealing with an unexpected housing-related emergency are very practical.  On first read, they are pretty obvious.  However, I know from experience “looking on the bright side” is not the first thing that comes to mind when faced with a waterfall down your stairs.  Alternatively, you could just burn the place down for the insurance money.

Language

How to answer the phone in different languages.  Did you know “hello” was a telephone greeting before it was used in person?

Life

The Ebola crisis has huge knock on effects in the communities it is ravaging.  With Sierra Leone predicted to have 280,000 people facing food insecurity by March 2015 (i.e. having neither the food they need, nor the ability to buy it), the number of people in Sierra Leone who have died from Ebola (just over 3,000 to date) will be only a fraction of the number who will go hungry from it.

However, there is hope yet.  Health workers are learning how to engage effectively with communities and ultimately prevent a disease to the point of eradication.

Resolution round-up: 11 January 2015.

It's farm o'clock

This week’s resolution-related internet wanderings.

Dance

This week, my sister and I started our stretching regime to complement our ballet classes.  While the overall aim is to reach the strength and flexibility of our 17 year old past selves, we’ve also set the (somewhat?) more attainable and concrete goal of doing the splits.  So far, we’ve been following this video.  However, we also came across this.  I now dream about the beauty that is Lisa Maree’s feet.

Marriage

Do you know what your love language is?  Apparently, mine is receiving (and giving) gifts.

Nest

These homemade solutions reminded me to reach for the bicarb soda and vinegar rather than the industrial strength draino.

Language

I’m yet to book my classes (I know this does not quite gel with my “no more procrastination” goal).  However, I have been using Duolingo to reboot my Spanish memory muscles.  The gamification of the lessons makes is quite addictive.

Life

I love Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life Lessons, in which Justice Ginsburg talks to Ryan Park about her groundbreaking gender-equality cases, as well as what she has learned about marriage, family, and work-life balance.  Its companion piece, What Ruth Bader Ginsburg Taught Me About Being a Stay-at-Home Dad (also by Ryan Park), is a brilliant look at the challenges parents face when trying to achieve a work-life balance.

2015.

The archways at UWA, the university I attended way back when.

Some arches at UWA, the university I attended way back when.

Oh hi, 2015!  Where did you come from?  Once again, the new year is rolling in with quiet stealth.  It feels like I’ve just blinked and January is a fifth over already.

Last year’s resolutions were only partially successful, so this year, my resolution is to build on those successes, in addition to a general “live in the moment”-ness.

So, my resolutions have shaped up to be:

1.  Blog more regularly

I was doing so well for a short time … and then, life took over.  This year, I aim to make a rough editorial schedule and stick to it.  Hopefully.  Watch this space.

2.  Step up strength and flexibility

2014 was the year I started ballet again.  Oh, 17-year-old self, you did not know how good you had it, with limbs which flew every which way you wanted them to without complaint. (Legs: meet ears.  Please and thank you.)  Now, it is more of a case of my finger tips taking a trip to meet my toes and deciding to take an unplanned and unlimited stop at my shins.  While the weekly classes have left me feeling healthier and I love moving with the music again, this year I need to start pushing myself to improve.

3.  Learn (more of) a language

Last year, I completed Level 1 and Level 2 Spanish with a local language school, which is great, until I realise that basically, I can only speak in the present tense with an incredibly limited vocabulary (read: virtually non-existent).  Levels 3 and 4, here I come.

4.  Domestic goddess it up

I actually didn’t too badly with the keeping a tidy house in 2014, although there is definitely room for improvement.

5.  More time with Boy Robin

Or, more specifically, less nights on the couch in front of the tv, while simultaneously reading / playing games on our respective devices.  In 2014, I really improved my communication skills with Boy Robin, to the point where I hardly ever expect him to read my mind.  However, I’ve noticed that we’ve slipped into a really lazy pattern of couch potato evenings.  While down time totally has its place, there are probably definitely some better ways to relax together (rather than next to each other).  Now to convince Boy Robin that playing Just Dance 2015 (one of my favourite Christmas gifts) is a good way to relax together.

6.  Live in the moment

That is, a mish-mash of less procrastinating and more seizing opportunities as they arise, with some spontaneity thrown in for good measure.  I was made redundant at the end of last year and while I’m between jobs, I’m doing some consulting work.  It has the potential to be very successful, if only I could build up some will power to stick to self-imposed deadlines and be confident enough in my skills to take on bigger projects.  Working from home is hard and its so easy to talk yourself down (especially when you have no-one else to talk to).  But, living in the moment applies to life in general – not letting procrastination and self doubt be barriers to achieving goals, not least of all these resolutions.

Happy New Year.

The road ahead

Who I am and why I’m here.

In contrast to the cheers and fireworks (or, in our case, sparklers) of  12 midnight on the cusp of 31 December 2013 and 1 January 2014, the new year is rolling in with quiet stealth.  Already it is 3 January and before we know it, we will be wondering where the week / month / summer got to and how time managed to slip through our fingers while we weren’t looking.

It’s about this time you think “This year, I’m not let the year slide by, full of opportunity not grasped and achievements not achieved.”  Not that the year (or life) is a list of tick boxes, but we are alive so briefly in the grand scheme of things it seems utterly tragic not to make the most of it.  And yet, despite the start of the year stretching out like a road, full of promise and good intentions, all too often, we make New Year’s Resolutions to find out that six months in (or three, or two or one), those resolutions have fallen by the wayside.

I am a mid-twenties girl who is slowly easing her way into her late twenties (although I’m holding onto the mid-twenties as long as I legitimately can).  In May 2013, I married Boy Robin, the love of my life, and I am still trying to get my head around it, while we make our nest together.  I drink copious cups of tea and have an incredibly sweet sweet tooth.

I started this blog in part to navigate and document my newlywed life with Boy Robin, as we go forth into married life together and in part as a creative outlet with my work life does not fulfil.  Although I don’t really expect anyone to read what is basically a public diary, I figure that my writing will only get better if it is subjected to unbiased criticism (although, please make it constructive!)  There might be people who read and have that “aha! I’m not the only one” moment.  And as I jot down my wifely observations and thoughts, I might just make sense of it all.

So far, I have found wedded life to be complicated.  Not that I thought it would be simple – bringing two people together who had never lived together was never going to be easy.  But I thought it would be, as all those congratulatory wedding cards foretold, “one life”.  Spoiler: it’s not.  Or, more specifically, it’s like a rope.  A rope made up of all these different threads.  There’s a couple of work threads, multiple family and friends threads, threads of expectation, social pressure and conflicting ideas, of hopes, disappointments, agreement and misunderstandings.  Oh, and love – love winds its way through it all.

Sometimes it feels like Boy Robin and I are careering along those love and hope threads together.  Those are the nights we make dinner together seamlessly, perhaps with a glass of wine in hand, before sitting down to dinner together, conversation gushing like a waterfall.  Or when a song comes on the radio and we spontaneously get up and dance together.  Other times we split off onto our respective work threads.  They’re not exciting, but important if we want to keep paying the bills.  Other times still, we spiral down separate threads of disappointment and misunderstanding.  Those are the times when the rope seems to fray slightly.  Other times, we’re just on different threads – doing things without the other because quite frankly there is only so much cricket I can watch and only so much art gallery Boy Robin can walk through.

I think I still need learn that being on different threads is ok.  To have our own interests is a healthy part of married life – we made vows of husband and wife, not conjoined twins.  As long as we keep coming back to those love and hope threads together.

So, I think this blog has morphed into documenting my “threads in the rope”, for want of a better word, the ones that I travel with Boy Robin and without him.  And with that in mind, I have set out my New Year’s Resolutions below.  Hopefully, publishing them with that weird kind of indelible-ness that only the internet can give, it will be that little bit more difficult to let them fall away.

1.  Blog more regularly

There’s not much point having a blog if I am only going to post sporadically.  I already know maintaining the discipline of regular blogging, while hopefully keeping the posts interesting, will be a challenge.  Taking part in WordPress’ Zero to Hero project will make it a bit easier.  It might even make it a hard to break habit.

2.  Take dance lessons regularly

All through primary and high school, I took dance lessons most nights after school.  Not only did it keep me fit and healthy (a sports person I am not), but I loved the transcendent, expressive feeling of moving with the music.  Once I reached university, it became a bit sporadic.  And when I started work, it all became too hard.  This year, I want to change that.  I have already agreed with my sister to start classes together.

3.  Learn a language

Dancing will keep my body fit and learning a language will keep my mind fit.  At the moment, I am tossing up between French and Spanish … I will let you know how it goes.

4.  Keep a tidy house

This would be the “nesting” part of “Nesting Newlywed”.  Boy Robin does help and does the things I either can’t do (such as handyman-type things, reaching things on shelves I’m too short to reach, etc), or don’t particularly want to do (I hate taking out the rubbish and unpacking the dishwasher).  I’ve spent the past couple of days cleaning – scrubbing, wiping, vacuuming and mopping until I feel high on cleaning products.  Although the big clean leaves you feeling really satisfied, I’m sure having a tidy house most of the time (rather than letting it degenerate until you can’t stand it any more) would be even more satisfying.  You wouldn’t have to dash home and frantically tidy up before having people over, at any rate.

5.  Communicate better with Boy Robin

I absolutely adore Boy Robin, but I often get frustrated with him … only to realise that the only way to have avoided the frustration would be for him to read my mind.  What seems so obvious to me is not always obvious to him (and vice versa).  Although I don’t want to sound like I’m giving touchy-feely relationship advice, communication is key.

So, there you have it.  Nothing really ground breaking, but something to work towards throughout the year.  And if I manage to stick to No. 1, you are likely to hear about 2 to 5.

WordPress has set a Zero to Hero 30-Day Blog Challenge, giving bloggers daily tasks – sometimes writing, sometimes reading, sometimes tinkering with WordPress.com – to take bloggers from “What’s this blog thing?” to a blog they are excited and proud to publish.  Find out more here.