Saturday, June 29, 2013

Taming thick, straight hair

I have thick, straight hair. I've been two things lately to tame it and weigh the ends down a bit more, so that it's a bit more sleeker. The night before I wash my hair, I apply a generous amount of jojoba oil to the ends (and sleep with a towel over my pillow case). I wash and condition as per usual in the morning. I then apply some Ichikami Essence to the damp ends (sent to me from Japan by my sister - a very thoughtful gift!).

I'd recommend this to people with thick hair, wanting to condition and soften the ends of their hair. Probably wouldn't recommend this if you have fine hair.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Age perception.

People, mainly young people (kids, teens and early 20s) THINK an age is old, until they meet someone that age. Especially a single person that age, cos anyone without kids is "younger" than anyone WITH kids. If they find out you are 35 or whatever, they can be totally stunned that you are SO OLD cos they thought you were like 25!!! But really, you aren't old, it's just that you have an old-sounding age number. Age shmage.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Closet dreams.

When I was young I read a book that had matching coat hangers in it. Now that little dream has come true. I have matching coat hangers. I kept the nice crochet padded coat hangers but I've thrown away all the wire ones and kept the sort-of-nice plastic ones to maybe give someone.

I also organised my sleeping bags. It's good to store them loosely apparently, rather than stuffed into their tight bags. Big IKEA skubbs.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bangladesh and Mr Thornton.
Last night I watched the 4 Corners on the garment factories of Bangladesh that make the clothes we buy from Target, Kmart, Rivers, etc. Quite a bleak story. Makes me not like my cheap thermal singlet from Target made in Bangladesh.

Recently, NPR Planet Money podcast did an interesting story on the bigger picture of cheap garment factories. Basically, when a country is moving from a subsistence farming economy to an industrialised economy, the first rung on the ladder is t-shirts. Bangladesh is now where China was a few decades or so ago, and now China makes electronics and everything and more people are climbing into the middle class. Go back a couple of centuries, and the West was in the same place. Which is where Mr Thornton comes in. I've been reading North and South (3rd read through), and it's pretty much a snapshot of the same struggle for safe working conditions and fair pay vs market forces. Bessie dies of "fluff on the lung". There's no compensation for workplace injuries. Children work instead of being at school. That's what Margaret Hale sees when she moves to Milton. That's the big struggle with the strike. And today we, in Australia, who happened to be born in the right place at the right time, are the ones indirectly putting the squeeze on the workers at the bottom of the ladder. Imagine THAT as an epic love story.

Thoughts on sleeping masks

Image from
  • They need to be made of breathable material, such as cotton, otherwise you will sweat while wearing them.
  • The side which touches your face should be made of dark-coloured material because light-coloured material won't block out enough light.
  • It's handy to own a few.
  • Wash weekly.
  • Sleeping masks are very precious to me, as are ear-plugs. I always have a few ear-plugs and sleeping masks around.

Hanging, laundry bags.

Elsie has a hat-stand. I am a huge fan of hooks behind doors. Half the doors in my apartment have hooks on the back. Stick on hooks or hang over the top of the door hooks or suction hooks, I love them all. They store umbrellas, scarves, aprons, clothes I want to wear again before I wash them. And as of recently, my laundry bag for "delicates". I sewed a ribbon to the corner of my laundry bag, and when I have finished wearing stockings or something I put it straight in the bag. Then when I wash I just zip the bag shut and throw it in the laundry basket. Easier than rummaging and sorting.

Monday, June 24, 2013


I've got a lot of respect for one of my colleagues at work, because he's doing young adulthood right. I respect him because:
  • He lives out of home, in share housing. He's dealing with the trials and tribulations of living with flatmates and is living independently of parents.
  • He lives on his income (i.e. not getting any additional support from his parents). He's learning to live on what he earns.
  • He's a migrant and I respect that he's making a life for himself in a foreign country.
  • He's got a real heads down attitude towards study. We've both studied for the same professional qualification, while working full-time, except that he's done all his modules one after another, without breaks and without whinging. Unlike me.
  • He cooks for himself and often packs lunch to work. This shows he's organised and can take care of himself.
  • He finds the time to exercise regularly even though he commutes to work, cooks for himself and has to study. I struggle and I live a stone's throw away from work.
Just google "young adults living at home smh" and you'll see a litany of articles on young adults still living at home, but my colleague has got his act together and for that, I respect him.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Thoughts on welcoming newcomers at church

  • Be warm, friendly and interested. 
  • Find out what brought them to church that day. How did they hear about our church? Do they usually go to church?
  • Show an interest in the person. Find out their story: where are they from? Where did they grow up? Do they live locally? Are they a Christian (if so, how did they become one?)? If not, what is their understanding of the Christian faith (probe to see interest levels and share the gospel if appropriate)?
  • What does their daily life look like?
  • What are their key relationships? Married? Single? Family?
  • What are they interested in? What are they passionate about?
  • If they're a Christian, and they're looking for a church to join, tell them about small groups and what usually happens at church. 
  • Invite them to join you for morning tea, supper, dinner etc etc after church. The regulars know that supper is in the church hall after the service, but newcomers don't know anything: that there even is a church hall, let alone where it is, and that supper is on.
  • Introduce them to other people at church, so they can start getting to know people and building relationships. It also takes the pressure off you for maintaining a conversation with a stranger. Also means that if they come back, other people will be around to say hello if you're not there.
  • Include them in conversations, and when in a group conversation, be deliberate in making eye contact, so they know you are aware of them, that you're interested in them being a part of your group. Find a way to include them in the conversation.
  • Find a point of commonality.
  • Talk less, listen more.
  • Be aware of what it's like to be new and a stranger. Think how you would feel and what would make you feel as if people wanted you there and wanted you to return.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Hope in a jar

Jess and I both suffer from ezcema, or as we both like to call it, xma rage. Whenever I pop into the chemist or walk down the grooming aisle in the supermarket, I see a lot of products claiming to relieve the symptoms of xma. As I look at these products, they make my hope soar. Maybe this one, will be THE ONE, the one to stop the crazy itching and dry skin. They're little jars of hope.

But they never work. Nothing makes the xma go away, and nothing beats steroid cream.

Speaking of steroid cream, let me make two tangential points:
  • Roid rage is when you can't find your steroid cream. [Road Rage is Catatonia's 90s hit. Such lovely Welshness].
  • A true friend shares her roid cream with you when you desperately need some.

Jelssievision Episode 2.

I've discovered the fun of taking unflattering stills. Ahhh lol.

Jelssievision Episode 2.

Or as I call it, Season 1 Episode 2. JEVS1E2. This time we had brunch at Scrummies in Oatley, they are SUPER friendly and accommodating and are known for their gluten-free menu. We had a some friends join us this time so there was a little more conversational input, which I think was nice.

In this episode:
  • How to pronounce things
  • How to wear perfume
  • Different opinions on leopard print
  • Flatmate conflict
  • Elsie is not descended from Chinese gold-miners
  • Jess on Cost Per Wear
  • Hmmooooo
  • A bit more indepth discussion of internet dating. And now we're done with it.
Without further ado, here it is!!!

Jelssie episode 2 from Bec Jee on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


I tend to get hormonal acne on my chin. I like to call them chinples. I'm convinced that there's nothing you can do topically to treat or prevent chinples. I've tried everything: cleansing, toning, exfoliating, benzoyl peroxide, drying lotions etc etc

They bug me because they're pimples (and who likes pimples, especially when you're an adult?) and they can be painful. I haven't done the research on how to "cure" or "prevent" chinples, but I'm putting it out there that you can't apply anything on it to make it better.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Nail polish joke for graphic designers.

Probably not many of you out there, graphic designers who collect nail polish. But this pleases me whenever I output a pdf from Quark.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Some free fun.

Scraping the bottom of the barrel to keep the posts coming.

First: I went to IKEA (with team jelssievision) for the first time. I planned to spend no money, and ended up buying 2 packets of coat hangers and 2 Skubb storage things. That is The IKEA Effect. Plan to buy nothing, buy 4 things. Plan to buy 1 thing, buy 5 things. Anyway I have wanted to have matching coat hangers since I read about them in a book as a child, so that's a childhood dream come true.

Second: A link to 56 things to do instead of spending money. I'm leaning towards deep frugality again.

Third: I have been having intense, crowded dreams recently. The scraps I can remember from last night are pretty good though. I dreamed, amongst some kind of camping in blanket fort situation I forget why, that a young possibly Benedict Cumberbatch who I thought had Aspergers was dating me by doing nice things but pretending not to care. Like he said "do you want to go for a walk? I've got a book called 'Pointless But Nice Walks'." That was how we were dating. And the walk included the Thames at Oxford and an Asian food court (that does sound like a nice walk actually), and then I woke up.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Cost per wear app.

It exists! Bec found it for me! For iPhone only, so it looks piddly on my iPad. I spent some time systematically photographing my clothes. Once I had half my clothes on my camera I imported them onto the iPad then into the app. The fiddly part is then labelling each item and recording the price (I've forgotten some of the prices and anything I've made is a bit of a guess). Clothes can be grouped in categories like skirts, work clothes, winter, handmade, whatever you want. You can also build outfits, and I am currently doing a set of outfits called 'Work - Winter'. These are my WW outfits, for example.

Then there is the calendar section. You can drop your clothes in each day, and it records it. So you never wear the same clothes to church 2 weeks in a row! And if you haven't worn something in a year, you've got proof you no longer need it! And then, the highlight for me is that when you look at a piece of clothing in the calendar it tells you how many times you have worn it and the Cost Per Wear.

There are other apps that have prettier interfaces, particularly ones that allow you to remove the background from the photos. But they are more about building outfits and sharing them on facebook, not about the serious jessenomics of CPW. Since in this app the photos all have their background, I think a nice plain background makes things a lot prettier. I stuck a suction hook on the wall and hung everything on a hanger. Laying things on the floor on a white sheet would also be good. So it is a couple of ours of fiddling around to get your whole wardrobe into the app, but it's kind of fun.

I've had a good 6 months of clothes shopping since my ban ended, and my wardrobe is full again, so I'm stopping shopping again, and will focus on using this app to get price per wear down and also remind myself of the clothes I already own. The only thing that saddens me is that I don't know how many times I've already worn things, so I will only have accurate CPW on my new clothes.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Apps begone!

On Monday night, I deleted two apps that were sucking up too much of my time and I didn't like how I was using it. They were Facebook and Pinterest.

I like Facebook, but I don't love it. I didn't like how I was addicted to new stories in my feed, even if I found them boring. I spent so much time checking it wherever I was: in the lift at work, waiting for public transport and so on.

Now Pinterest, I love, I love, I love! But it was too easy to get sucked into spending a lot of time looking at interesting things.

Both of them started interfering with my sleep. It was the last thing I looked at each night, and the first thing I turned to each morning. I realised that I could delete the apps from my phone and it would stop interfering with my life. It wasn't a hard decision to make - I like deleting things. As soon as I deleted them, I felt relieved and 'appier.

That's not to say I won't be using them ever again. I might, in the future, but right now, I need a break from the apps and more sleep.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Jelssie and the long weekend adventure.

After years of living in Sydney and being deeply opposed to going anywhere that involves catching 2 things (ie a bus and a train, or more than one bus) I have started breaking out of my Eastern Suburbs shell. This year I have started doing day-trips. Instead of packing up and leaving Sydney on a long weekend I have been getting a friend or two together and going somewhere for the day. Less hassle, less packing, don't have to miss church, etc etc. It's a bit of an adventure on public transport because we meet at Central and catch a train somewhere distant and exotic together. This is jelssie in Cabramatta yesterday, drinking interesting Asian drinks with friends. My drink is avocado and coconut, and the expression on my face says it all. It tasted funny.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Thoughts on self-assembly

General thoughts on self-assembly:
  • I find it painful.
  • After I buy and assemble an item, I vow never to do it again. But I do. I wonder if it's like giving birth; you forget the pain and go for more?
Thoughts during a self-assembly process:
  • Why do my contents not match the picture? How am I going to make these contents look like the picture?
  • I live in a first-world country. Why are we still self-assembling?
  • Why didn't they teach us this at school?
  • I can't do this! Self-assembly is the only thing stopping me from being an independent woman!
  • Guh, I'll just move on the next bit and come back to the bit I'm struggling with.
  • Hell hath no fury like a woman who cannot self-assemble.
  • Come on, you're smart and you have a lot of common sense, you can do this!
  • I'm blaming the company! I'm blaming the product! There are not enough drilled holes and they've done it incorrectly! There's nothing wrong with me - there's something wrong with the product! A good craftsman never blames his tools, right?
  • Hmm...what shall I say to the company without coming across like a frustrated woman who can't put things together?
  • I'm paying for a pre-assembled product next time.
  • Hang on, this thing is actually coming together! Gasp!
  • (Admiring my handiwork) I'm a genius.
Difficulty and solution:

I got to the point where I just couldn't attach the bottom ring with the supplied nails and pre-drilled holes to the bottom of the hat rack I was trying to assembly. Thankfuly, I had some velcro from Daiso.

It's like a velcro cable tie. I might get anal and buy white velcro but at the moment, I don't mind it. Reminds me of my resourcefulness :)

Saturday, June 8, 2013


I went slow cooker shopping with a friend, who's not really a friend. We know each other from mutual friends, we've seen each other at various things from said mutual friends and I used to run into him when we lived in the same suburb. He described our relationship very aptly: we were friends-in-law. Possibly friends now, after having bought slow cookers together, but I like the phrase: friend-in-law.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Isn't he lovely?

There's a colleague at work, of a senior position, who is just so lovely. He's polite, considerate, respectful, well-mannered and good-humoured. In terms of pecking order, I'm pretty much at the bottom, yet he speaks to me very respectfully and doesn't presume I will drop everything for him. (Actually, I know of two such men at work.)

My other colleagues and I gush regularly about how lovely he is and we share stories, "Oh, I ran into x and he did abc! He's so lovely!" or "x just said abc! Isn't he lovely!"

I'm sure one day I will be inappropriate and just blurt out, "Why are you so lovely???"

What's made him so nice? His upbringing? His personality? The cultures he's been exposed to? HIs values? How do you cultivate loveliness?

The world would be such a nicer place if we all made an effort to be lovely to one another.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

First world joy

Enough of this talk of first world problems. Let's talk about first world joys.  I absolutely love the Swype function on my phone. It's my preferred method of using the keyboard. For some reason it stopped working earlier today and I found it difficult adjusting to tapping letters, as most iPhone users would. I felt bummed because that how much I appreciate that feature. Thanks to Google search, I found a solution, and I am back to swyping :) Swyping and Google are my first world joys.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ladies maid.

Women are able to talk while they work. Today the office was pretty empty so the 3 girls in the corner barely shut up. Lots of jelssie inspiration. For instance, what I would like is a ladies maid. Who wouldn't want a ladies maid! We should bring them back. I want someone to do my hair, make my elaborate breakfast and lunch, and get my clothes ready for me in the morning—especially, to warm them up for me in winter by hanging them on a heater or in front of a fire, depending how rich I am. One of these days (in the real world) I'm going to get a heater, put it next to my bed, drape my clothes over it every night, and then in the morning do the Michael Scott thing (he does it with bacon) and wake up, turn on the heater, go back to sleep, and then wake up again and get dressed into toasty warm clothes.

Jelssivision Episode 1.

 Is it worth the internet download? A quick summary of 10 minutes of jelssievision:
  • Both our voices.
  • Jess's condescending face.
  • Elsie's dentist-numb face.
  • Both of us dressed in blue, without planning it.
  • Mulled wine is the chai of wine.
  • Are figs more like watermelon or passionfruit?
  • What is the best era for music?
  • Elsie eating out of the teapot.
  • What makes a nice chai?
  • Did Elsie get a phone call from Jeff Buckley? 
  • We should talk about internet dating.
  • A deconstructed plateful and a well-constructed forkful.
  • Bobby pin demonstration.
  • Elsie here: my favourite part is at 4:44, where Jess makes a face after I say oyster. 
Here it is:

Jelssievision episode 1 from Bec Jee on Vimeo.

We think it's funny, but that might be "look we're on vimeo!! hahahahaha!!!! My voice sounds so nasal. I don't remember saying that???", so maybe it isn't funny it's just weird, but we hope you enjoy it. If there is a rapturous response we will have brunch again. Well, actually, we like having brunch anyway.

Kind thanks to the cafe location Something For Jess in Chippendale. Their chai made on frothed milk was excellent and their menu was fresh and healthy and the service was delightful.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Announcing jelssievision.

Tomorrow you will hopefully have a jelssievision, aka the jelssie vodcast, to watch. I have watched it about 30 times today. The quinoa bit is probably my favourite.

Our wonderful and talented and lovely friend Bec has the filming and editing skillz. She thought it would be fun to practise them on us, ie put Elsie and me in a cafe and film us talking about all random stuff. It's a little bit embarrassing because we don't filter much. But the camera-work is really pretty and Bec managed to edit out most of the actual eating. She has done an amazing job!

So now I've seen myself on camera, I realise it's really impossible to know how you look to other people. I'm apparently bossy, opinionated, condescending and nasal, about 80% of the time, and the rest of the time I'm eating. Also, wow I am a lot like my sister Heather (not saying that she is bossy etc) and nothing at all like my other siblings. How did we get so many mannerisms in common? Freaky. Oooh, it would be interesting to do a jelssievision with Heather. Anyway I'm going to be more self-aware now of condescending monologues coming out of my mouth. Not that I'm not an accurate observer.