Tag Archives: health

HAPPY. CONTENT. POSITIVE. SHOULD BE STRESSED?

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Grey’s Bay, Bowen

Lately things have been kinda stressful, especially if I take a step back, looking from the outward in, but from my point of view, (especially or mainly due to the daily yoga practice I’ve been doing since January 1st) I don’t feel stressed, although I know there are some pressing matters that I should probably feel pretty darn stressed about.

Do you ever feel like you should feel stressed, like almost society says you should be stressed out by something and so you kind of play it out?

I haven’t done that so far, apart from acknowledging that I am in a potentially stressful place if I choose to accept it. I’m going to be brutally honest here.

16559132_10155123903552868_13656560_nI have less money in the bank than I am comfortable with, although I have no debts, no credit cards, no mortgage to pay off, so in many ways I am in fact free-er than the average home owner. (except I don’t have the joy of owning a home!)

Last year I earned more money than I think I have any other year of my life, I felt rich! I had a steady income, worked my butt off and was very happy. I’m glad for that as it helped me to make so many precious memories and journeys. I have lived work-free on and off for many months, living a life of luxury!  (Mainly because of lack of work not from choice!)

However, I have a visa to renew before November costing nearly $7000 aud.

It is looming over me.

I am working to a bit of a deadline, but there is a need that I must fulfil, I have to make it happen as no one else can. So, here goes, I’m gonna do my darnedest to create the life we want.

The biggest problem I’ve faced so far is that being on a working holiday visa, commonly known as a backpacker visa, means that any full time work I apply for is instantly rejected and so I am constantly applying for jobs, and if I get far enough then going to interviews and finally  being rejected when they find out my visa situation. It gets slightly disheartening, but I won’t stop trying!

It’s a catch 22 situation, no work because of my visa and no new visa applied for yet, because I don’t have the money to apply for it.

Anyway, my point is that I am trying out this new thing, called “Not freaking out about things.” I am just trying my best, staying positive, and taking whatever casual work I can to keep us afloat, which will hopefully lead to something more permanent. I have found that keeping tabs on my positivity levels and staying happy and thankful for what I have, makes me way more productive and likely to be able to get through any challenging times.

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Murray’s Bay, Bowen

After my visa comes through (Please accept me Australia!), we have big plans for the longterm. Buy a property to renovate eventually, (possibly where we are living now, in Bowen, possibly not) have our own boat and live in North Queensland with some beautiful dogs in a GORGEOUS place near to the beach that we’ve made our own. Our door always open to parents, siblings, friends and naughty nieces & nephews to visit.

Oohhh I can just see it all!

Side Note: (Say HELLO to ZEUS, the little puppy we are adopting, who will be ours on Saturday!)

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Our new family member, Zeus

So that’s the dream! We’ve found our little piece of heaven in each other and now it’s time to make it our home!

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Dingo Beach

Definitely a time to remember that making your dreams a reality isn’t always easy, but it’s worth a try.

You just gotta take it one step at a time.

My top five stress relieving tips:

  1. Daily exercise routine. No matter how much time you have to spare, take a little time out of your day even if it’s just 10 minutes to do a short relaxation yoga or meditation video on Youtube, or going for a short walk. You’ll often want to do more than you’ve planned on once there, and if not that’s okay. This will also help you sleep better as it really clears your mind and is a natural stress reliever. I highly recommend Yoga With Adriene’s videos.
  2. Following on from the last point, Sleep! I can be a terrible sleeper especially when I know I have something important to do the next day. It always seems to be once my head hits the pillow all of my worries crawl out of the shadows. I try to encourage a good nights sleep for myself by being productive during the day, keeping a notebook and pen beside my bed to jot down anything I remember I need to do and preparing what I’ll need for the next day – even just laying out my outfit and shoes, or re-organising my handbag helps me. A cup of tea also helps me to unwind and chill out. If I wake up in the night or can’t sleep, I go to the toilet, drink some water, write down whatever is bothering me and try again.
  3. Talk to someone. I find just voicing my fears or troubles to someone close to me can help to understand things from another perspective and it also helps to feel supported, receive suggestions and to help come up with solutions. It really helps to feel less alone. Everyone gets stressed out and if you meet up with a friend to do something fun such as go out for a walk or lunch for a chat, or have someone over for movies or drinks, then you can feel some clarity whilst having fun, which can help to eradicate negative emotions surrounding you. You may also realise that your positive friend has some stressful situations going on in their life and that can put your issues into perspective
  4. Tidy up your life. If you’re already stressed, it certainly doesn’t help to be surrounded by chaos, and I find that organising my clothes or even just hoovering and cleaning a little helps to make me feel less stressed out. You know where everything is and it feels calming to be in a nice environment and while that certainly doesn’t fix the reason you are stressing out, it definitely helps you to focus on what is important. Writing lists, making a bullet journal, buying a fancy new notebook to make plans in or even just pampering yourself a little can definitely help. I bought a new Doona cover the other day from Woolies on sale for $10, it has brightened up our bedroom and I definitely have been feeling happier and more relaxed from such a simple difference.
  5. Change it up. As Einstein said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results” I’m a big believer in moving out of your comfort zone, even if you don’t like it, at least you tried. If you are scared of flying then maybe book a fun trip with friends, if you  hate your job or where you live then why not go volunteer or teach abroad for a few months, if you are sad about being unfit why not join the gym or make up your own fitness regime. Sadly it can be easier to come up with excuses. Something that sometimes helps me, as strange as it sounds to say it, I think of life like a challenge. I don’t want the game to be over and for me to still be on level one. I want to have felt emotions, been places, met people, been scared, got stronger, pushed myself. There is a danger of living a slightly boring existence full of regrets if you don’t push out of your comfort zone. And remember that it is NEVER too late to start. Sometimes when life is frustrating and you feel you are getting nowhere, you have to light it up yourself. You’ll be waiting a long time if you expect anybody else to make a change happen aside from you.

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Thank you so much for reading, I hope it helps if you are feeling a little stressed out at the moment.

Lots of love,

Hippy Hoo Ha x

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Saying Yes and De-Stressing

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It has been nearly 5 months since my last update and there is so much to catch up on!

We left Darwin in late October for the Sunshine Coast and travelled down over the course of about four days. We left Darwin in a little bit of a hurry as Stu had a job offer down the coast and we needed to arrive within five days. He got the phone call at about 2pm that day and we packed up all of our belongings into the car and left the next morning at 6am to been our 3500km journey.

Here’s a video I created documenting that trip.

We were headed to Stu’s friend Simon’s home, which he shares with his wonderful wife Judy ( Who at this point I had never met, and now I consider a good friend) & their three children. They were kind enough to offer us their spare room in their lovely house in Currimundi near Caloundra, until we found our feet.

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Simon & Judy on Christmas Day

The feet didn’t take long to get found and we ended up only staying with them for one week, after we found a beautiful Queenslander on the gorgeous Bribie Island to stay in with the owner, a lovely lady called Chloe and her Kelpie cross Border Collie pup, Boris.

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Boris

The location was beautiful and it was handy to still meet up with Simon and Judy at the weekends as Bribie Island is only around an hour away from Currimundi. Bribie Island is a little piece of heaven, a beautiful island off the Sunshine Coast near(ish) to Brisbane, connected to the mainland by a large road bridge and easy walking distance to all your amenities. In fact the majority of Bribie Island is made up of National Park Land. The downside to this being that it is a very desirable place to live, especially for the older generation, and the people and houses are all compacted down to one end. In fact as beautiful as it is, it is known as an above-ground graveyard within the surrounding area.

It proved near impossible for me to find work, being a small place with far more people than job opportunities, plus the fact I definitely feel employers are put off when they see the applicant is on a working holiday visa.

I felt depression creep back into my life whilst living there, which is quite remarkable considering it was such a beautiful breathtaking place. I felt so blessed to have the opportunity to live there, but not being able to find work really took its toll on me. I felt like I had failed.

Eventually after eating into our savings for nearly a month,  Stu & I decided it was time to move on. He no longer wanted to stay working a job he didn’t like for a poorly run business  and to be honest I was happy and excited to hit the road again.

It was now mid-November, We spent around a week trying to find work somewhere new, basically anywhere in Australia, (although we really wanted to stay in Queensland if possible) and after searching all over the internet on every job website, dozens of emails and phone calls later we found a job working for Manbulloo mangoes who provide Mangoes to Coles (One of the biggest supermarkets in Australia). This job opportunity meant us driving from Bribie Island to a (tiny) place called Giru nestled somewhere between Ayr and Townsville in North Queensland, around a 1300km drive. With no idea where we would stay or what the work would be like we took a chance, packed our lives up into the car once again and took a big dive into the unknown.

I was looking forward to seeing a new place, and meeting some new faces, I was determined that I would make the most of this adventure and pull myself out of whatever rut I had started to fall into.

We decided this time to do an all-night drive, so we spent the day packing up the car, drank copious amounts of coffee and finally we left around 10pm that evening. Around about 5am the next day Stu was getting extremely tired and he doesn’t like me driving on long journeys, (that’s a whole other story though) so we pulled into a rest stop for an hour. He had a nap and I have to admit, I was so incredibly grumpy on this trip. I’m sure any member of my family could tell you that when I haven’t slept I am a very grumpy lady. Public apology to anyone who has encountered sleepy Morv! I felt like I had to stay up to keep Stu awake, so I consumed way too much caffeine and it prevented me from sleeping at all the whole trip.

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Leaving Bribie, crossing the bridge to the mainland.

At one point we were coming over a steep hill at around 3/4am and there was a massive road train behind us, he had been sitting right up behind us for  a few kms and then on a blind hill he decided to flash us (we were doing the speed limit), and then begin to overtake us not knowing if anything was coming the other direction. There was a steep drop off to our left, I totally panicked, and Stu slowed down, as we were pretty much forced to. This driver then pulled himself in front of us rapidly and his back end nearly whipped us off the road, I am not even joking, I thought we were gonna get swept off the road, we pulled back and he narrowly missed us by a hair, our hearts were racing as we came over the top of the blind hill and then see another truck coming on the other side of the road. If it had come a few seconds sooner, I swear we’d all have been dead.

How irresponsible. What a selfish act of driving. Maybe the truck driver has children, would they want people to do that to a car with their children or partner inside? He/she put everyones life in danger that night and we were shook up for the remainder of the journey.

Everyone makes mistakes though, so hopefully it was just an error in judgement.

Here’s a video I made of the trip from Sunshine Coast to Giru (via a one night stay in Bowen) where we lived and worked for a month.

We went via Bowen, where Stu grew up as it was on the way and he gave me a quick tour. As we had made good time, we arrived there around about 1/2pm we decided to set-up-swag in the Horseshoe Bay Caravan Park as you are not allowed to free camp anywhere around Bowen such as on beaches etc.

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Enjoying a beer at Horseshoe Bay after a very long drive overnight.

I absolutely loved Bowen! We stayed one night and then the next day we had to drive to Giru, further North. We sussed out where our new work place was and then called up places looking for some cheap accomodation for the upcoming month. The cabins in caravan parks nearby were charging ridiculous rates per week, for the same money you could have rented a 5 bedroom Queenslander near the beach. As Giru is in the middle of nowhere, it’s just off the main highway with a large sugar cane factory works (sugar cane processing stinks FYI) there’s not too many options unless we wanted to stay in Ayr which we did not and we definitely weren’t willing to stay at a backpackers hostel, no offence to  those who do, both me and Stu have done it before, but we value our own space and freedom too much now to go back to it  (plus, I’ve heard some horror stories).

We managed to find an absolute gem off the highway, a crumbly sign for an Eco-Tourist Park looked intriguing and was only 10 minutes from the mango shed. As we drove in, it was certainly eco – thousands of wallabies everywhere, a little run down but it sat under a beautiful mountain range and was lush and green and more importantly away from too many people. Here we met Fred, originally from Germany, a 90 year old man who had cleared this piece of land with his young family when he was in his 20’s. He was such a genuine, straight up, wonderful man. He told us many a tale of his past, showed us through old photo albums and told us that we were the most respectful, nicest couple he had stay in the park for over ten years.

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At nearby Billabong Sanctuary

 

He had only one caravan available on site, it looked pretty big and had a massive canvas annexe attached, as we stepped inside it was clear it had been empty for a while, it had a smell about it that I still can’t put my finger on, but hey, who cares we thought, we’ll take it! After a fair amount of Nag Champa had been burned, floors had been swept, everything cleaned and dinners had been cooked, it no longer smelt stale, and we had our own little cute pad for the next month.

We also made some pals in the park, all of which were furry. Possums regularly woke me up in the night climbing on the caravan, one of which had made his home between a tin roof and the top of the caravan, which I’m pretty sure is why he crawled inside the annexe desperate for water a few times. It got real hot here, and I’m glad we could help the wee guys. We fed the wallabies and possums mangoes that had gone too soft for eating, and they became regular fixtures at our front ‘garden’. We really enjoyed living here and Fred was excellent to have a chat with each week when we went in to pay our rent. Most of the other residents here were contractors we never really saw anyone to speak to them, everyone was doing seasonal work and was either working or sleeping, which made it such a beautiful and peaceful place. We took some time out after work one day to go for a local bush walk to the local rock slide, and that was amazing.

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One of our possum pals who came to see us for some water

We worked at the mango shed until around the 20th December by which time we were both so over it. At some points we were doing 70+ hour weeks and getting paid really awful wages, especially since the more you work the more you get taxed. One massive bonus of working there though was the amount of delicious mangoes we got to consume, and we made some delicious mango chutney to give as Christmas gifts, which went down very well with Simons family!

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Stu enjoying playing guitar in the spacious annexe

I painted this picture to give to Fred the Eco-tourist park owner, we had many chats about the commercialism of Christmas and as we wanted to give him something, I decided on making him a gift using up some of the paints and canvasses that we have been carting around Australia with us! He loved it. His eyesight is not great so I think he really appreciated the bold lines and colours.15665964_10154966618922868_1580557610874393212_n

We decided we would go back to Bowen for Christmas, so once again without knowing too much about where we would stay, we packed up our lives and headed to Bowen. Luckily I looked on Gumtree and I found an old advert from September still up, from a guy looking for a housemate in his four bedroom Queenslander. I took a stab in the dark, as it was the 23rd December at this point, I messaged him and he said he would be happy for us to drop in and see him.

Feeling a bit like Mary & Joseph, we did, and he let us move in that day.

We are extremely lucky to live with the aforementioned, Liam, we’ve been on a good few adventures so far, lots of snorkelling, bbq’s and a boat trip. It is so nice to live with someone and have that social aspect there too.

Thanks Liam!

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At Mother Beddick in Bowen

Stu knows his friend Simon from Bowen, as they were a pair of bloody terrors when they were kids, running rampant around the neighbourhood, or so I’ve heard, so Simon and Judy (who’s also from Bowen) were coming up for a big family Christmas. We were lucky enough for them to invite us along for Christmas Day with the whole family which was just lovely and so nice to see everyone again. We spent the day by the pool and the night dancing our butts off.

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Judy & I having a girly day eating lunch and drinking pints!

We organised to meet up with our awesome friends Anna & Trev, who we worked with at TFS the Sandalwood Plantation in the NT, for New Year, and decided to head to Hydeaway Bay. They brought one of their older dogs Buster, their teenage pup Boogie, and their new lil’ baby pup Trip. We had an awesome weekend with them down at the beach, snorkelling and camping.

A brilliant way to bring in a new year!

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Trip hitching’ a lift

We were sitting on the beach around 8.30pm on New Years Eve (Saying “Hogmanaaaay” was a running joke at New Years as my Aussie friends had never heard of it before) with a fire burning and two men began to approach us, we were the only people on the beach, so we thought maybe we would get told to put the fire out, but instead they asked if it was okay if they set off some fireworks near us. We were front row seat to a show of fireworks at 9pm, and luckily we had chilled Prosecco to pair it with.

It was so perfect.

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Happy to be here

Then I had another amazing surprise happen! My darling friend Louise who I met whilst travelling in South America, and with whom I ended up travelling with for three months AND who became a HUGE part of my life messaged me to say she was in Australia and could she come visit me. It was so lovely to have her stay for a couple of days, and really made me realise how many amazing people I have been lucky enough to meet and be able to call my friends.

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Louise is a beautiful mermaid

Stu and I are still currently loving life in beautiful Bowen, and awaiting the next adventure to unfold. I’ll keep you updated.

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NYE kisses

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Murray’s Bay, Bowen

My observations for 2016/2017

I have had an amazing start to the New Year, which kind of just rolled over from the whole of 2016 being so bloody interesting and exciting.

After we finished work at the Mango shed, I really wanted to get back into my fitness and so once we were back in a place with some reliable fast internet, I started doing yoga workouts with my favourite instructor Yoga With Adriene from the comfort of an air-conditioned spare room. I started to do around 3-4 sessions per week, and I also signed up for Bowen Parkrun, of which I have only done one (on Christmas Eve) as it is so hot even though they do them early in the morning, it was the hardest 5km run I think I have ever done!

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Feeling pooped after the Parkrun on Christmas Eve

Then, Yoga with Adriene created Yoga Revolution which is 31 days of daily yoga videos from the 1st to the 31st of January, I got really excited and signed up straight away. It has been so interesting to do yoga everyday. At one point in fact I wanted to go to India ( I nearly did & still do want to) to do my yoga teacher training. It’s had a wonderful effect on my mind and my body. I like to do it in the mornings and it really sets me up for the day in the best state of mind. Even when I don’t feel like it, I still turn up to the mat and never have I once regretted doing so (we’re on day 23 so far).

16266228_10155074686477868_874726978339231300_nYou can still do Yoga Revolution at any time, and just work your way through from day 1 to day 31. I really recommend it and you can go as hard or as gentle as you like.

I’ve noticed something that’s changed in my life in the last year too, I used to be a kinda messy/lazy person. I’m not really at all like that anymore, don’t get me wrong I have lazy days, but I love to keep everything clean and tidy, I get such satisfaction from a clean kitchen, a tidy room, a hoovered floor and organisation, it makes me feel more at peace. I don’t feel stressed out about where things are, I can find everything in its place and it’s all clean and ready to go when I need it. I wish I’d discovered that one a good few years ago! I like to be spontaneous, so if someone wants to do something last minute I can just say yeah sure give me 5 and I can easily have everything I need to go ready. It’s made a huge impact on my levels of stress.

I’ve decided not to make any New Years Resolutions. I just know I want to feel good this year like I did the last, I’m not going to define things too definitely by years either as I suppose really there is literally one second between them.

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Stu looking hawt

I definitely agree that it’s good to see your progress and track it somehow, so it makes me thankful to have this (slightly neglected) blog on which I can reflect on life, and see how things have changed over the years.

What are your observations of positive changes to your life over the past year? I’d love to hear other peoples points of view!

If there’s one piece of advice I could give, it would be to definitely do things that scare you. They are usually the things worth doing. Follow that little desire at the back of your mind, which seems impossible now, and make steps towards it becoming a real experience. 

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Much love and thank you for reading!

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Much love from my Wombat friend

Morv x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Vegucation

Since everyone is always like ‘Oooh, but what do you eat?’ when they find out I’m vegan, I just wanted to clarify that eating vegan is just like eating ‘normally’ I guess.

It’s very tasty ( in my opinion) you’ve just gotta be creative, but simple lunches such as avocado on toast which I have most lunchtimes ‘cos I’m lazy ( and it makes me happy!) are brilliant too 🙂 I think of being vegan as being less selfish to what I am told is tasty by advertising and taking hold on what I know is actually tasty and cruelty free food. If you don’t agree with people eating dogs then why is it okay in your mind to drink a mother cows milk (meant for her calves btw) and also to eat chickens and basically their eggs (or periods depending how you look at it). We have been taught from a young age that these things are okay but did you ever stop and question it? You can eat vegan and still be really unhealthy, many unhealthy highly processed foods are vegan, but for most vegans avoiding processed foods and featuring as many fresh, healthful foods is key!

Most vegans feel that by not eating meat or dairy, or buying any animal products they are making a sacrifice that has a somewhat small impact on the lives of other beings on this planet. Some people feel that vegans force their views on others. In reality most vegans are trying to support beings that have no voice. I can’t speak for every vegan out there but I know that, without forcing it on others, I feel that my choices do have a positive effect on the animals of this world and the environment. No matter how small one persons choices are, ultimately these build and DO eventually make an impact.

I’ve also noticed that there seems to be a massive divide between meat eaters and vegans, and I understand if you love your steak, as my boyfriend loves his meat, but he also accommodates for my vegan diet when we spend time together, and I respect his diet. We aren’t some mad race of lunatics who criticise other people who are different from us every move. I fully embrace people who just make a change that can make a difference. Cutting out dairy for instance can make a huge impact. Or even just lessening the amount of meat you consume. It’s better for your health, the environment too!

Please don’t hate us!

I am vegan because I love animals. I love my pet dog, Lola. I started to feel ill from consuming dairy products and I researched it and I realised what was going on. I stopped eating meat when I couldn’t see a difference between my beloved dog and a cow in a farm. Why is a horse better than a cow? Why is a dog better than a sheep? Why is a dolphin better than a whale or shark? Are we judging this on looks or what? I’m not sure but things need to change!

There’s this whole protein argument, but there are healthy natural ways to get protein rather from killing and consuming animals.

Please think about it next time you buy a steak, and when you buy a pizza, that cheese was made from milk meant for the cows calf which was taken from it just after birth. I’m not exaggerating,  this is TRUTH.

Why are we being hated on for being good people.

It’s time to stop being so selfish.

If you love bacon or eggs, then that’s okay give up something you find easy to at first.

It took years for me to become a full on vegan, you cant just become vegan overnight, as you’ll definitely stumble. Cutting out things as you educate yourself is the way I found best. I watched documentaries and found I no longer could stomach certain foods.

I consider myself an ethical vegan but I certainly reap the health benefits.

It takes years to learn, and adjust.

It is a little to give up for a lot of happiness worldwide.

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I thought I’d make some points:

  1. It’s very cheap to be vegan! A weekly shop for me will be something like: bread, avocados, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, squash, lettuce, cucumber, many bananas for smoothies, tomatoes, Vegemite, lentils, chickpeas, agave nectar, frozen peas, rice.
  2. You feel good: You are eating fresh unprocessed food, I’m pretty sure every diet book you ever read encouraged this!
  3. You lose weight: Your body understands the food you’re eating and can digest it well. It took a few months but I started to lose weight after keeping at it!
  4. You have more energy: As long as you make sure you take vitamin B12 every day( a necessity) and keep your iron levels high (that’s why its so important to not eat junk vegan food! You must eat healthy natural fresh food!) you will fell great, you will naturally lose weight and being slim is much easier than ever before.
  5. You feel closer to the world around you.
  6. You taste more: Plain simple foods taste amazing! You have less need for sauces and salt. I had a big bowl of mashed potato for dinner and it was delicious.
  7. Educate yourself and find your own path. If vegan-ism sparks an interest in you then explore it. Don’t be ashamed of it and follow your own path 🙂 Your choices no matter how big or small make a difference!

My boyfriend makes a mean Vegan Dahl

Jamie Oliver’s Vegan Shepherd’s Pie is outta this world and I’ve enjoyed this with many meat eating pals

Vegan Sushi is my go to easy meal

And if you can’t let go of your favourite junk foods, here;s a must follow for your needs!

Accidentally Vegan who bring you all of the foods you never knew but always hoped were vegan!

If you don’t want to be vegan or you think I’m talking rubbish, that’s okay and I wont take offence to it 🙂

Happy Tuesday!

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When did it become okay to tell someone you don’t like how they look?

NEVER.

It never became okay!

I’ve noticed a recent increase in people commenting on how I look and giving me their quite frankly unwanted opinions on my personal decisions.

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So let me clear this up: this is for all the unwanted hair-touchers, prodders and outspoken opinion makers who I’m sure we have all encountered, and maybe if you realise you have done this you can see how rude and inappropriate you have been.

Respect is the biggest lesson to be learnt here.

Here’s 5 things all arseholes don’t realise:

  • Touching a strangers hair is inappropriate & unwelcome attention.

I cannot really find anyway to make touching a strangers hair an appropriate way to greet someone, so first of all please don’t  do it on a whim because you don’t understand it, and second of all please just don’t ask to do it. Go home and Google it or something. Most people are happy to answer any questions you have, but please don’t interrupt my private conversations. The amount of times I’ve been interrupted by a random hair toucher is unreal! I would NEVER interrupt someone to ask a dumb question so STOP IT NOW!

  • Just because I look different doesn’t  mean I want to talk to you about it

You cannot comprehend how many times I have been asked ‘What do your tattoos mean?’

I don’t ask what your hairdo means or your clothes, really please just leave me alone.

To me it’s mainly decoration, and any that I have that do mean something, what do I owe to you to tell you?

It’s not a strangers business so back the fuck up.

  • People with tattoos think its a way to relate to me:

Okay, so you have tattoos, I have tattoos, that’s great, I still don’t want to talk about mine, so please stand here and tell me for hours about how and when and where you got yours and I can try slowly slither away out of earshot. Holy Christ. I don’t wanna talk about it.

(This one is probably the bane of my life.)

  • You don’t like my hair/tattoos/piercings/image/style and feel an unbearable need to let me know:

I don’t judge you or comment on your life, so please keep your thoughts to yourself. I have a partner and I am very happy and content. I don’t need your approval and I am very aware of my life choices. It doesn’t bother me if you don’t like something about me, but I would certainly never feel the need to tell anyone friend or stranger something about their image that I personally didn’t like. Keep it to yourself! How rude of you! Live and let live!

  • You need to let me know that I’m probably going to regret that:

Oh yeah, so I never realised until you mentioned that it’s permanent.

Yeah I’ll totes regret it.

I hate your face!

(jokes)

So, what I’m trying to say is that I don’t understand why people think its okay to comment, is it because they think I want the attention? I genuinely think that some people assume that if you have tattoos and piercings and ‘mad’ hair you are doing it for attention, well you are very wrong.

I along with most other people who are seen as alternative are just being who we are.

I understand why people ask about these things but most of the time I get asked in a very rude manner. I worded this post in a jokey manner to try keep it fun. I am never rude to people who do ask me about things, but I would live a simpler life without this hassle as I’m sure a lot of people would too.

I choose to live my life this way and I like to decorate my body, I would never dream of asking someone why they don’t have body modifications so please give us a break and realise that we don’t all live our lives  in the same way!

* as a back note I’d like to say that I understand genuine human curiosity and that I can respect that and I can tell the people who are genuinely curious from the invasive rude people! Most of you are just lovely, it’s just a small percentage that lets us down.

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“Use, do not abuse… neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.” -Voltaire

* I am just heading out to work & threw this together quickly in half an hour so excuse the briefness*

I’ve been meaning to write a new post for ages, but I just haven’t been able to gather my thoughts for the last month or so. I’ve had a load of topics I wanted to write about and somehow ended up doing none because I just couldn’t decide.  Life has been pretty crazy and a lot has changed. In a good way. In a really good way.

I’ve made some conscious changes to my life. If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know I’ve mentioned depression in some of my previous posts… It is something that I imagine most people are affected by at some point in their lives and for some it is something that will never go away, but you CAN find ways to cope with it. Ultimately these things make you stronger, and they contribute to life’s unsure nature.

Things are good, things are GREAT, and I can see (& others close to me have commented) that there has been an incline in my mood and general well-being from where I was at just  a month, two months, six months ago, a year ago.

One of the most powerful things that I have done recently is to stop drinking alcohol.

I think it is easy to fall into the accepted social behaviours of our peers and society and there is no doubt in my mind that excessive drinking is not only advocated, but encouraged.

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I am talking as someone who loves a party, I love to socialise, it is my favourite thing, but this always ends up in a good ol’ booze sesh. I think I realised that I was becoming comfortable with using alcohol as a crutch for coping, and scarily I began to believe that I needed to be slightly under the influence to enjoy myself and be interesting and seen as fun by others. You know, that way you think ‘Oh god, tough day, I NEED a wine.’ Thoughts and words are powerful things. You don’t need it, you want it. It’s best to keep it that way.

A year ago I couldn’t have dreamt that I would ever stop drinking, because well why would I? I wasn’t an alcoholic, I didn’t have a drink problem, I was just doing what everyone else was.

But it was negatively affecting my life.

The main things that I really despised about it was my lack of self respect for what I was doing to my body, maybe being a bit wild and then that sense of remorse in my stomach the next day even when there was nothing really out of hand that had happened the previous night. A deep sense of unnecessary guilt, it’s called  the booze blues, right?

The hangovers themselves, feeling dehydrated to the point no amount of tea could ever quench.  Feeling tired and uninspired at work, and layering makeup on my face to cover up the exhausted, dry skin crackling below.

It’s been nearly a month now, and my outlook on drinking alcohol has completely shifted.

I have still been going out as much as I used to: I am still, as much, if not more, fun to be around, my self esteem is much higher, I feel more balanced emotionally, more motivated and ambitious, I have saved loads of money (hello new tattoo), it has helped lift my depression, I have more faith in myself and I have a clearer understanding of WHO I REALLY AM.

The fog’s cleared.

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The strangest thing that I have noticed is how it seems to distress other people around me. Everyone wants you to drink, it’s thought of as really strange and I have experienced a lot of pressure from people around me who feel that I must be missing out on something. I gotta admit, I genuinely used to feel this way about people who weren’t drinking when I was too. It’s almost a bit edgy, like you are a sober spy on the occasion.

I have learnt that I am naturally very hyperactive, in fact I feel almost a bit over the top these days, and definitely not short in confidence. One thing alcohol definitely did for me was to make me doubt myself. To question who I was, what I did, whether I was really a nice person or not. I was never a nasty or sad person whilst drinking, but there was a bitter sweetness to it. I definitely made my fair share of bad decisions.

I’m not saying that I am never going to drink again, I’m sure I will, but this time out has really helped me to take a step back and re-evaluate what I want from life. My dream job is to be self employed and at the end of the day, if you are hungover and there’s no boss to tell you off for being late or tired or shit at your job then it really is down to you to provide the motivation for yourself.

In that sense, I feel like I am definitely moving in the right direction towards the life I want and deserve.

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Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it. – Greg Anderson

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Often we are made to feel that our achievements are merely the end result of our hard work when, in fact the most enjoyable,  meaningful and memorable parts of our lives are often not the milestones themselves, but rather, they are what we discover during the process.

“Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

I don’t know many people who would talk about the day they graduated as the best experience of their lives. On the contrary, I know many, many people including myself, who would talk about how much they loved their time as a student, the friends they made, the nights out, the partying, the laughter at their failures, looking back at the foolishness of leaving assignments to the very last night before they were due, the exam panics, their frantic love lives, nights in, nights out, the joy of student discounts, working out how to pay bills and wash clothes without mum, summer holidays, wearing the same (hoodies & jeans) clothes most of the time, surviving mainly solely on cheap pasta and lager, keeping fit by walking all over town up and down stairs from class to class, not worrying about too many responsibilities and just being happy & grateful to make it through to another school year.

Some things never really change, we keep going through the same challenges our whole lives, always hoping one day we’re going to make it. There’s no end though. What are we looking for? You could have the longest most impressive CV ever written, you could have climbed up snow topped mountains, parachuted out of planes, or cycled across the Arabian desert (that one would be really impressive)!

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If you didn’t live within that moment though, if you didn’t stop to take a deep breath, if you didn’t focus on the present, let yourself go and immersed yourself in it, with no flicker of guilt of what you did yesterday, and no worries of what could have happened tomorrow. If you spent your time dreaming of what else could be happening, wishing you were somewhere else, younger, older, fitter, kinder, meaner, faster, more successful, more like that guy you heard about, more like your mums neighbours daughter who’s jet setting all over the world on a huge wage for a successful company, feeling jealous, feeling like the grass is greener elsewhere, dreaming about “if onlys” then you really haven’t made the most of the present. It doesn’t matter. We should be trying to be bettering ourselves not trying to be better than others.

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We’ve forgotten that in fact nobody has reached their destination. Every body is on a journey. Focus on that journey. Trust me, its the best part. If you’re unemployed, spend your time wisely and make the most of your spare time because trust me when you have a job you will pine for the times you didn’t have to work, and will wish you had made the most of it. As is true from the other perspective, as money does not provide us with happiness, but quite often a unique purpose does and we are too often reliant on others to provide ourselves with a purpose in life. The most fulfilling thing you can do is to get up and give yourself a purpose, use your potential. It doesn’t have to be a massively impressive purpose. Feed it and it will grow.

Believing that “Once I have a baby, my life will be better” or convincing yourself that “Getting married will fix our relationship”,  that bagging your dream job, losing the last of that Christmas weight or winning a huge sum of money will make you happy will not help you to succeed in seeing the full potential in yourself. Of course there is nothing wrong with wanting these things, but if you are looking for these things to add more to your meaning in life without being already able to see the beauty in your life NOW then it is likely to be a short term gain. You will still have the same issues, and the lack of coping mechanisms. It is just as hard to be a failure as it is to be a success. You deserve to realize your potential now. Let’s stop worrying.

“Regain your senses, call yourself back, and once again wake up. Now that you realize that only dreams were troubling you, view this ‘reality’ as you view your dreams.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

 

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“Writing, someone said, is turning blood into ink. Whatever, the idea of suffering is so natural to both writers and runners it seems to be a common bond.” – Running and Being, Dr George Sheehan

A few weeks ago, my brother’s wife Sarah shared a link online about a challenge called 5×50. I looked up the website www.5×50.org to see what it was all about. This challenge meant signing up to a website and then agreeing to run, jog, walk (or equivalent) a 5 kilometer distance every day for 50 days. It sounded a bit overwhelming!

I didn’t want to sign up to the website, (that’s my inner rebellious streak showing) but I decided straight away that I wanted to do this challenge myself!

One of the reasons I didn’t sign up to the official challenge is because I wanted to show how it’s possible to challenge yourself and use your own progress as an incentive. I also wanted this to become a habit in my life, so if I was doing the official challenge maybe I would feel relieved for it to be over after 50 days, whereas this way, I can use my intuition  and I know that I am finding ways everyday to make sure I fit my life around my workout. Also the faster and fitter I get, the less time my workout takes up out of my life! Only around 2 weeks in and I already feel like I now need to get out for my wee run or a nice long walk everyday to function properly!

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I downloaded  the Map My Run app for my Samsung (Android) phone and I started using it straight away! The actual 5×50 challenge started officially on Sunday the 30th March, so although i started a week early trying and testing all the walks ahead of time to make sure I felt I could commit to it, I’m officially 13 straight days into it so far!

If you want to see my progress/ keep up to date/ join in then you can find my app uploads on www.mapmyrun.com by searching for Punk Morvs. You may need an account to access all the information though, but it would be great if you have an account, then add me as a friend! I’d love some running buddies, wherever you are in the world!

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I got my Nike running shoes, my super comfy and warm black leggings/ yoga pants ( with reflector detail) and my cute little training socks all at Sports Direct on Paisley High Street. My sports bras were pretty good value too from Primark. I usually wear any old t-shirt with the rest of my gear, plus I tie my hair up in a cute bandana so it’s outta my face. You don’t need to break the bank buying running gear and you don’t need to wear nasty sportswear ( I love my tacky pink and blue trainers!). You can still totally dress like yourself, which in my case is just a bit strange, but who cares! As long as you feel comfortable that’s the most important thing!

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Myself (looking very sleepy!) with some lovely ladies, including my sister Cat, just before we ran the Barcelona Half Marathon last year!

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I would never have thought I could run a half marathon, nevermind a marathon (which definitely seems more realistic now!) so it was a really fulfilling experience! If you just sign up to these things, even just a 5km race or 10km race with your friends you will get through it and feel so proud!

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I just recently moved house so it’s been great to get out and about to discover the local area, plus with the GPS function on my phone the app it shouts out tells me when I have completed each kilometer and it records it really easily afterwards, uploading it online to the map my run website with the simplest push of a button. It records a full map of my route, saves the route in case I (or anyone else) want to do the same route again, and records all of my splits too so I can see what areas of a workout need to be, well, worked on! Plus, if I ever feel lost I can easily work out on the map where i am and feel free to adventure knowing i can get home okay and vaguely how far away I am.

You can view some of my routes here.

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Lola relaxing in Barshaw Park after a long walk. Greyhounds are notoriously lazy!

Lola (my rescue greyhound) is excellent company during our long walks and she can certainly sprint when given the opportunity, but 5km+ runs are not her bag, so if I feel I need some quality time with my girl or if my legs are tired, I just walk with Lola for between 45minutes and 1 hr & a half to get in our daily walk instead of a run. Lola’s a major sniffer and stops a lot to do so, so she makes walks very slow, whereas a 5km run can take as little as 25-30 minutes out of your day when you are alone and focused.

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I think the other lovely thing is that it feels as if spring has sprung! The weather has been so beautiful and I hate sitting about in the house when its so beautiful outside!

It is hard. It’s really hard. The key is to stop thinking. Just put on your shoes, get excited about the breeze in your face and THAT feeling you get afterwards. It’s not about being the best. It is about doing the best for yourself. I read a really good article about the fact that it is hard or uncomfortable when you are running at times, but if you just keep going from that point and don’t give up, you realize it never gets worse than that, you just get used to the feeling, or it goes away/ becomes less important and then you lose yourself in the moment. It’s a bit like taking out the rubbish, after a run I feel like I’ve thrown all of my worries and tension into a bin and it’s no longer my trash to carry around!

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My sister Cat & I after the Nike Cursa Bombers in Barcelona a couple of years ago. It translates as the Fireman’s Run, where the firemen of Barcelona run the full 10 km race in their heavy fire fighting suits. They must have been boiling, it was so humid! I made wee silly fiery hair accessories for it and covered my face in glitter, so they would chase me ( justified this in my head that I would maybe look on fire and that they would chase me trying to put me out)!

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It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.”George Sheehan

The one other important factor for me personally that I am reluctant to mention too much, but which I think others may find helpful, is the effect on my mental health since I started making a real effort to spend time with myself doing physically and/ or mentally demanding things everyday. My self esteem has increased, as has my self worth. My symptoms of past problems have pretty much been shot out the water because i have no room in my life for silly problems anymore. I am full of natural highs and a feeling of being connected to nature, my old negative and unhelpful thoughts barely cross my mind anymore. There’s an awful lot to be said for losing your thoughts whilst running through nature. It’s about taking the bins out every day and not letting the rubbish mount up in your mind or on your shoulders.

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When I lived in Castelldefels near Barcelona, my favourite runs were either the run down to the beach where you were rewarded with the sea breeze and sandy feet or the cooler more secluded run through the forest with all of its hills and trees shading the sun.

Whilst in Barcelona, I also participated in a really fun session of Laughter Yoga during an Improvised Comedy weekend getaway with some pals. It was basically hours of full on playing like children and getting back to letting yourself be free of judgement of others, allowing your creativity to flow like it did as a child. It was brilliant fun, we were so sore from laughing so hard and absolutely exhausted too!

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Laughter yogis after a sticker fight.

I found it really fun and useful and I have found some classes in Partick, Glasgow, with a place called Joyworks. I’m not sure if they will be taught in the same style as in Barcelona but I’m definitely excited to try it!

There’s a class on next Thursday night (17th April) if any body is interested coming along with me?

The details of the event are here.

Leave me a comment or contact me through the contact page if you have any questions.

Thank you so much for reading and I really would love to hear if I’ve inspired you to get out and about in nature or just out and about more aware of the present moment.

I really hope that you’ve enjoyed reading my blog.

“It is never too late to become what you might have been” – George Eliot

 

 

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