Thursday, August 27, 2009

"No coffee coffee, no teachee teachee"

Jess and I aren't coffee drinkers. So I assume she feels the same way I do: that is, I don't really understand people when they say they can't function without coffee in the morning. Is it the ritual? Is it the drink? Or is it sitting down and allowing your body to wake up?

I tried to think of an equivalent for me, something that would make me understand. I can't function in the morning without drinking water (I wake up super thirsty, at least I do nowadays). I can't function without a 30 minute sleep in (or a 30 minute struggle to awaken, if you will). I love love love listening to the radio in the morning. I can function without breakfast for an hour or so (I have to be distracted though!).

So what is it about coffee that enables addicts to function in the morning? What might be a non-coffee example to help me understand?

Bonus points to anyone who knows where my title comes from!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Check Your Theory theory.

I was telling Emma about my banana bread this morning. She voiced her desperation about being unable to find a recipe for really thick, moist, cafe-style banana bread, and I sympathised because mine had turned out too light and fluffy, and also I overbaked it because I forgot to turn on the timer.

Also I mentioned that my baking powder was out of date, so I had doubled the amount to compensate for a decrease in effectiveness. Emma informed me that No, you don't have to. Baking powder is one of those things that is like salt, and doesn't really expire or lose it's magic power.

I remember forming the idea that expired baking powder lost it's magic power two years ago, when I baked something and it failed. It made sense to blame the expired ingredient. And yeast expires, so it was logical that other raising agents must also expire. I've repeated the explanation to people. But apparently it's not true.

So it was a reminder to me that not every clever theory is true. Just like when you're a kid and you figure out how TV works, but it's not how it really works, but your little brothers and sisters believe you.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bread v. cake.

I bought some delicious Pear and Raspberry bread from the bakery at Rosebery. I like this bakery because they are good bakers, and they are nice people. I was waiting at the bus stop one day after a visit to the dentist and it poured with rain, and the old man came out of his shop with a big piece of plastic for me to use as a rain coat. So I like to buy something there.

Back to the topic - the Pear and Raspberry bread was so delicious, that I wondered why it wasn't called a cake. It's just cake in a bread shape, really. That's the only difference I can spot between Banana bread and Banana cake or any other fancy bread.

But then I realised! You call it bread so that you can butter it. Cake—toasted, buttered, and totally legitimate.

Going home to cook Banana bread.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Benefits of going to bed early

This is to motivate those of you out there who struggle with going to bed early, or at a reasonable hour.

Save money
Going to bed earlier means you will save money in electricity bills because you're not watching tv, not using the computer and not using the lights.

Weight-gain prevention
The longer you stay up, the more likely you will get hungry (usually about four or more hours since you had dinner) and eat a snack. If you were in bed, would would sleep through the hunger and not need the snack. You'd wake up and then it would be breakfast :)

Monday Motivation

I have stuck it on my wall at work to brainwash myself out of mess and lolly-cravings.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Not where, but who?

A colleague shared with me:

A friend of mine wanted to be a missionary. She asked me, "Where should I go? Where should I go?" I said, "You've got it all wrong! It doesn't matter where you go. But it matters who you work with. Go find someone you can work with."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Newspaper subscriptions in red-brick blocks of flats; the joys and sorrows.

I live at the top of a 3 story block of flats, and took up a weekend SMH subscription on special. I sometimes found that it was missing when I went down to get it, but would reappear later in the day neatly placed on the table just inside the building door. Which was kind of considerate, but kind of annoying to have made the trip down 6 flights of stairs for nothing. I wrote a note one Friday asking politely if people would please not 'borrow' my newspapers, and happily the borrowing stopped and there is now another weekend newspaper being delivered to the building.

However, now I always have to open my own newspapers—they have that pink glad-wrap around them and you can't find the end and then you can't unpeel it cleanly because it is stretchy and shredded. It was almost worth the inconvenience of having the newspaper borrowed just to have someone else unwrap it for me.

A bitter-sweet victory.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fruit/Smoothie Theory.

On Saturday I had a most enlightening conversation with Jess K. She observed that banana smoothies taste nicer than mango smoothies. I think this is mostly true. Conversely, it is a truth almost* universally acknowledged that mangos taste nicer than bananas.

So I conclude that smoothies make bananas better, but ruin mangos.

* There is a type of person who doesn't like mango, and while I despise their taste, I wish there were more of them so that there would be less competition for the mangos.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Offset Dieting Update:

The fundraiser chocolate is a special case of Offset Dieting. A normal Freddo is Bad, but a fundraiser Freddo is offset by the Moral Good of buying it for mission.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bearing the Heart of a Woman

Jelssie has kindly allowed me to write a guest post for their blog. What a privilege!

Recently, a couple close to me have announced that they're expecting a little bundle of joy. As I move from one age bracket to another, I've noticed that I also move from attending 18th birthday parties, to weddings & then baby showers.

This has brought up a few questions for me on motherhood. As single women, how are we to think of motherhood as a good gift from God? If we don't get to personally experience what motherhood is like, do we somehow miss out on God's plan for us as women? How do we fit into God's plan as single women?

I wrote a post on my own blog about this earlier on this year. Would love to hear your thoughts.

"Wow! I can't believe I'm on Jelssie!" -- Jess Jo

Friday, August 14, 2009

Random Rant.

We're all starting to get a bit tired of cynicism, I think. Cynicism is an excuse for laziness. Criticism is annoying and conspiracy theories are a waste of time. Show some appreciation for the efforts of others! Making fun of things isn't funny any more. Maybe we should all be more mature.

Except for TV Burp.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Buttons push my buttons.

I bought some new buttons for an old brown cardigan that lost one. They are a lot nicer than the old ones, they give the cardigan a lift.

Then yesterday I noticed that my blazer has 2 buttons and they are faded and boring... I want to replace them, too. I could change the whole look of the jacket by replacing cheap beige plastic buttons with nice wooden buttons or shiny red buttons. I think I'm getting obsessed! I shant rest until I have taken every button-up piece of clothing to Lincraft.

Anyway, buttons are a nifty wardrobe updating technique, perfect because it is cheap, you feel crafty—actually I feel like Mrs Proverbs 31—and it is easy to sew on buttons (but it's annoying enough to put off indefinitely when you need to repair something).

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Singles Seminar Suggestion

I have finally come up with a seminar topic for singles that would really interest me: if, as a single woman, marriage and babies aren't in the foreseeable future, should you pursue a career as an alternative? The underlying motivation for that would be to provide for yourself since you have no husband to provide (or co-provide) for you.

In other words, what should be the "default" position if marriage doesn't head your way?

Any thoughts?

Annoying sticky-outy splinters of fingernail.

I have lots those annoying sticky-outy splinters of fingernail. Catching on my stockings, scratching and hurting. I get rid of one and another one pops up. Is it the dry weather? Is it seasonal? Is it just me?

Sorry about the name of this post.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Paying more for less

I am frustrated by how much more expensive colour-free and fragrance-free products are. You'd think logically they should cost less, because they have less ingredients in them. Colour and fragrance are potential skin irritants and I'm keen to avoid them because I have sensitive skin on my hands.

Shampoo and conditioner
The "cheapest" shampoo and conditioner that I can find at the pharmacy is Simple (which sells for about $8 for 200mL) and Dermaveen (about $15 for 500mL). That's just too expensive considering you can get a good supermarket brand on sale for about $3 for 300mL (I use $1/100mL as a guide for a good price). Another option is to buy the raw shampoo ingredient itself from a place like New Directions, where you can get shampoo for $9 for 1L.

Skin care products
Its slightly easier finding a cleanser. In the past I've used Cetaphil. Currently, I'm using Olay. A toner is harder to find. I'm using Nivea Visage, where "parfum" (i.e. fragrance) is the last ingredient listed (so it's in the smallest quantity). Simple does have a skincare line, so maybe I should try them out. Paula's Choice also has a range of skin care products, but it is a bit more expensive than your supermarket brand. I'm using Vaseline Lotion as a body moisturiser. For body wash, I'm using Redwin Sorbelene Wash.

The one fragrance-free and colour-free washing detergent I can find is OMO Sensitive, and its the most expensive one on the shelf. I have noticed a fragrance-reduced dishwashing detergent, but again, it was more expensive than the rest.

The problem is, women love fragrance and colour in their products. Think about. What's the first thing you do when you test a new skin care product?

The Zig-zaggy Red Line.

I have many accomplishments, but perfect spelling isn't one of them. I have a grasp of the basics, but there are some words I can't spell no matter how much I retype them. I'm confessing here so that I don't have to be bothered googling them. Now you know. Here is a quick list of some words I don't get.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Jessenomics: Friendship Float

In general, we should not rely on others for money or favours. If you go out for dinner with friends, be prepared. Or order to your budget. If you get caught short, pay your friend back. Scabs aren't cool.

Same with housemates. Make sure everything is shared equally. Don't let small things build up til people resent you.

The only exception I make to this general rule is the Friendship Float. Sometimes friends come to a sort of understanding about such things. You cover their occasional small costs, and they cover yours, and you promise to shout them a coffee next time, and so on, and it all evens out.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Uni-tasking is the way for me

Multi-tasking is overrated.

Look at driving a car. That's a situation where multi-tasking is very bad e.g. driving and texting.

In my work situation, I have learnt that uni-tasking is much more efficient than multi-tasking. I can put my full attention into one task, make sure I'm doing it properly without being distracted and complete it faster rather than being interrupted. By having your mind on different tasks, you can forget to do certain parts of your individual tasks.

From an anti-clutter point of view, but working on one task at a time until its completed, you have less clutter on your desk and in your mind.

However, multi-taking can work well in the kitchen (e.g. put the rice cooker on, heat pan on stove while you chop up onions).

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

An exercise in patience

(A lunchtime post!)

The time from when I buy a pair of pants to when I can wear them out is an exercise in patience.

You see, I can rarely wear pants straight off the rack. I usually need to get about 15cm chopped off the hem (out of curiosity, does ANYONE wear pants straight off the rack without alteration?).

And my mum is of the school of thought that you should wash your newly bought jeans and warm tumble dry them, so they shrink (a bit) to their "real" size" before you hem them (rather than hem them -> wash & dry them -> shrinkage -> pants too short).

Once they are washed and dried, I take them to a seamstress on the other side of the Harbour Bridge (she only charges $10 and she does a great job). She usually takes a week.

The timeline is:
- buy pants
- wait for next wash cycle
- once washed and dried, wait for next trip over the Bridge
- once hemmed, wait for next trip over the Bridge to pick them up.

Shortest time frame: one week. Realistic time frame: two to four weeks.

I could just get them altered locally :P

I have found that drying my Bonds trackies in a hot dryer shrunk them nearly to the right length. No hemming required!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The wonders of modern science.

Seedless mandarins should be next on the list of scientific breakthroughs.

Seedless grapes have improved my quality of life no end.

On the other hand, seedless watermelon has made life a little less fun.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Jessenomics: Keeping Up Appearances

I am a low maintenance woman. I do not use a hairbrush more than once a day. I'm from the school of thought which sees too much personal grooming as vanity and superficiality. But it has started to occur to me that I could see it as a discipline, and aim for a higher standard of neatness in my person. Don't want to get too carried away, but I could take it up a notch.

I have observed that there are some things I can do which require relatively small effort but achieve a massive result. Trinny and Susannah wrap everyone up in belts to create 'waist definition', to great effect. However, I only own one belt and it's the sort to hold up your trousers, not the sort to create 'waist definition'. So, I suggest paying attention to your hair is a great way to start. We all have hair (all girls, anyway, who are the majority of Jelssie readers).

To that end, I am now using my hair straightener for 10 minutes, every couple of days. A small time investment. The impact of my newly tidy hair has been surprising, with comments ranging from 'have you had a haircut, it looks nice today' to 'have you lost weight'. Well, perceived weight-loss is a very nice reward for having straight hair, so there you are. Personal grooming—give it a red hot go.