Monday, September 30, 2013

Obsessed with lemongrass.

I really want to grow lemongrass. This is the take-home application from my holiday… I really like tea made from ginger and lemongrass.

And mint.

I think these herbs are pretty hardy/weedy, so I could probably grow them in pots in my own kitchen which hasn't got ideal gardening conditions, and then I could have my own supply of fresh tea.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Why delayed gratification works better than denial when not snacking.


I want the ice cream.


But I want it.


It's in the freezer. I need to defrost the freezer soon. I should eat the ice cream.


But when? If not now, when?

I don't know.

I'm going to have to eat it eventually, I might as well eat it now.

Good point. Might as well.

(Evil smile).

Delayed gratification:

I want the chocolate.

Wait until lunch time. That's only two hours.


Now to the untrained eye it looks like both outcomes ultimately end in eating the food. But I think delayed gratification does cut the snacking because if I didn't delay eating the chocolate I would probably eat chocolate both then and AGAIN at lunchtime.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Big Brother and love.

I found myself watching Big Brother nominations last night. I don't know why. The housemates have a very TV understanding of love. They nominate someone because they don't get on with them or they are jealous of their popularity, and say "I love her, but she acts one way to some people and another way to other people. She exploits her emotions. But I really love her!" "I love him, but he's such a manipulator." "I love them, but they are too nice." Love was literally just lip service, the preface for nastyness, like saying "No offence but". And then I beheld all the fake horror and sympathy when the evictees were named. Well, der, you all just nominated them like 30 minutes ago. The only one I liked was someone who nominated some girls for not doing their cleaning. Yeah, that's what evictions are ACTUALLY about in the REAL world. Not "love".

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Why must they be pink?

I have four Japanese BB creams (two of them are the same brand). Why must the packaging be pink? What is it with the Japanese and pink packaging for BB creams?

Friday, September 13, 2013


I heard the end of a panel discussion on the ABC two nights ago. It seemed pretty good. A pro-con chat with talkback, relevant to the Australian context. I was home schooled, but I'm not great at summing up a pithy answer when people ask me what it was like and would I home school my hypothetical kids. If you wonder about home schooling, you can listen.

If that link didn't work it's here.

Also an article George found recently,, which seems to be in favour of self-directed learning.

Horses for courses. Whatever that means.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

One dessert a week rule

Jess loves rules and habits. I think habits are great, and rules are only good if they serve you in achieving goals (rather make you want to do the thing you're not supposed to).

I have a friend who lives at college and gets fed three meals a day plus snacks and dessert. He told me about his "one dessert a week" rule, to keep his diet healthy. I think this is great rule, especially for me. Even though I don't live at college, I do eat out a lot and I do like dessert. So this is a rule I'd be happy to implement. But often, there are treats and cakes at work, and some of those things are equivalent to dessert, so hmmoooooooo.

An alternative dessert rule is: all desserts must be shared, so that helps with spreading the richness of dessert.


Further to my sunscreen post... hats are excellent sun protection. No chemicals or nano-particles or products to remember to reapply on your face. Keep the sun/glare out of your eyes as well. Yes, I know, hat hair. But still, the advantages are considerable.

Here is a beautiful lady dressed for the Australian sun this week. Broad brimmed hat. She isn't worried about hat hair, obviously.

Personally I find hat-wearing easiest when it's a soft scrunchable hat that I can carry around in a bag. They don't look as nice as a what Angelina wears, but the convenience means I'm more likely to have it with me for the day and therefore wear it when I'm out in the sun, but I can take it off and stuff it in my bag when I'm on the bus or indoors. The parasol, as we have mentioned before, is an excellent way to prevent hat hair sans sunscreen, but it's just not convenient.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

New acronym

I have a new acronym for life: NMP i.e. Not My Problem. It's not about not caring, but putting boundaries in life and realising that some problems are not yours to solve or fix. If I start to overthink things or get too involved, I remind myself: NMP.

The easy habit.

The most important thing about setting up a good habit isn't how wonderful the activity is, the wonderful exercise machine you're going to use for an hour a day. It is how easy it is. So the ideal exercise to do every day might be a 10km jog or something hardcore. The realistic exercise to do every day is probably something heaps less. You really want the bare minimum as your new habit, like 15 minutes of yoga before you have a shower (plug for the yoga studio app). Or 15 minutes walk around the block after dinner. Cos you can probably manage that, whereas 45 minutes of hard sweat is something you'll find an excuse to avoid, and the habit will die.

The other thing you might notice I've done there is ATTACH the habit you WANT to the habit you ALREADY have. So you don't have a shower until you've done yoga. The shower habit is already strong, you're just adding a step. It's only 15 minutes of yoga so it's not that hard to manage, and it isn't so much exercise as "prelude to a shower".

Habit's I've got are, whenever I need to wash my hair, I do Jillian first. Hair is half dirty so I might as well get a sweaty workout done and get value out of the hair-washing, and then be all clean for a couple of days. Also, with bible reading, I now use the Daily Reading Bible, which takes about 10 minutes so it's not hard, I find the questions really good, and I do it at lunch time because I need a break from screens and noise anyway. I used to scoff a bit at the idea of short devotionals when I could just read a chunk from the bible, but there is psychologically an advantage in having a short convenient reading.

The important thing is, sustaining it. When you start doing something, imagine yourself doing it for the rest of your life. Yeah, that's hard. So 10-15 minutes every day for the rest of your life works out heaps better than 45 minutes for two weeks.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The pessimist bachelorette: be prepared.

Yes, I'm watching The Bachelor, and I hate it, but I enjoy the shared experience of watching a TV show at the same time as other people and discussing it. That doesn't happen so much these day. I can't watch the trendy shows cos they aren't on free to air. I'm really enjoying Upper Middle Bogan and It's a Date, but I only know one person watching them. So segue The Bachelor into my singleness post. The thing in common is the odds of getting married, approx 25 to 1. Actually maybe those girls aren't so stupid after all because an exactly 1 in 25 chance of marriage to a handsome nice guy with a job is possibly better odds than in the real world.

Maybe I've always been a pessimist, or maybe I take a logical view of romantic things, but I've always prepared myself for singleness. I never assumed that I'd get married. I sort of hope I do, and I've generally admitted a slim chance, but I've made plans for my life based on the assumption of singleness. Apparently some girls (on The Bachelor and in cliche) plan their wedding in detail from girlhood. It's not that unusual to look around and all the adults you know are married so it's fair to assume you'll also get married, I know women like that, and maybe also they were more optimistic people than me, or they were more surrounded by potential husbands than I ever have been. I've had no boyfriends, and a number of dates I can count on one hand. Did I say hand? That's being generous. In these circumstances, assuming singleness is natural. But I'm possibly also just a gloomy pessimist. True, most people get married, but why ASSUME something you can't PLAN? You can't PLAN to meet someone at age 19 and marry at age 22 and have your first baby at 26, so what good is it to assume?

But even so, even if you're a really cute dainty fun girl surrounded by sensible yet amusing young men who ask you out, I think it's worth assuming singleness. Because you really don't know what is in your future, so make sure you're a well-rounded person with life skills and a savings account and a relationship with God. And then if you DO perchance get married, you'll have a bit more to bring to the relationship than your dream wedding. But if you don't, you'll be fine, and hopefully a little less disappointed. Things have worked out exactly as I expected so far.

Speaking of pessimism, on the weekend I mentioned that I assume singleness to some women from my church, and one of the married girls came up to me and said that she used to as well. Even when she was engaged she was pessimistic enough to keep her hopes checked a little bit in case her fiance changed his mind or died. So its probably a personality thing or an anxiety thing, as much as a wisdom thing. And they say that optimists are more likely to get what they want out of life. So don't listen to me! I shall assume I will have a four-poster bed one day.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Breathing through nose.

I am now an OK nose-breather. It was a big adjustment, it was hard to deprive myself of oxygen at first, and I can't do it at night, but I've got days under control and my hanky/tissue use has dropped 80%. I've been breathing through my nose all day, including when I walked to work and haven't used a single tissue, which is pretty unheard of, I'm famous for my nose-blowing at work. So if you are a sniffly person, it's worth trying.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Jane Eyre quote for resisting temptation.

There is baking in the office today. Fresh cinnamon scrolls and herman sourdough rolls. Temptation to snack! normally I would pounce. But now I have to wait until lunchtime. I am reminded of the quote from Jane Eyre that Emma Thornett used in her singleness Briefing article.
“Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation; they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be. If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth? … Preconceived opinions, foregone determinations, are all I have at this hour to stand by; there I plant my foot.”
There you go.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Why I don't need Twitter.

I have Elsie, my own private Twitter account. Any time a tiny thought pops in my head and I want to tell someone, I usually send it to Elsie.

To: Elsie
Subject: nails

I painted my nails pearly pink.  I normally like it but meh. It's highlighting all my xma damage bumps. I need to go back to a strong colour before engage.

To: Jess
Re: nails

LOL, I love this about you. That's how I think about lipstick. But at least you can wear a strong nail colour at Engage - a strong lip colour is just a bit woah for Engage.

To: Elsie
Subject: Re: nails

That's why I like emailing you! Obsessive details are nor
mal to you. Actually I think I'll take my stuff up there and do them on Saturday. I'll have more time.

What an insight into the daily unblogged life of Jelssie. Twitter isn't really missing out on anything.

Monday, September 2, 2013


I'm a swinging voter. I've swung about 4 times since the election started. And I'm in a marginal seat now so it actually matters! Woohoo!

I always decide on the day, and then walk in and realise there are TWO pieces of paper darnit, the little easy one I just decided and the big other confusing one that I always fluff. This time, however, I have gone to like a nerd and cleared up that big confusing sheet. I've made that decision in advance for the first time EVER! The little groups are very interesting. I feel so responsible.