6 Reasons Why You Should Eat Seasonal Fruit and Vegetables

As autumn has arrived, I thought it a good time to go on a bit of a nag about food choices.

With globalisation comes convenience. We can now eat avocado and strawberry throughout the year and have access to exotic fruits which only grow in areas half the world away. As easy as it is for us to add these to our shopping bags (it’s only a few €), we should really take a moment to consider what we are contributing to.

The Bad:

  1. Your fruits and vegetables are not ‘fresh’. They have been refrigerated for long times (sometimes months), shipped, trucked, sorted and treated with wax and preservatives, then put as display. Doesn’t sound grandly appealing….
  2. Conflict. It is said that the drive for avocado has created the atmosphere for violence in Mexico, and in a Chile community, water use has actually taken away the water from its residents and instead provided that water for avocado growing. (Learning much watching Rotten on Netflix) There are many more stories of farming conflict because of increasing demand for food items. Just google.
  3. Your food has travelled more than you. Take a moment and process … I can wait. 🙂

The Good:

  1. Supports local farms. I am quite certain that you are not looking the country of origin when buying potato. When you are purchasing fruits and vegetables in the harvest season, there is high % that you are purchasing the food items from a local farm. Local farms are the markets most affordable option of sourcing foodstuffs. So you are contributing to your community, your own country’s economy and not having to take 2 hours reading packages in the market. 😉
  2. Cost.  This is simply supply / demand. When the supply is limited because your lychee is only available in one geographic area for a short time, you are paying gold prices from it. When its autumn, and root vegetables are being harvested widely, you will pay a much lower price for those.
  3. The environment. Speaking the truth, making the shift to purchase seasonal foods is one of the simplest tasks you can do to contribute to the reduction of actions causing climate change. (It took me 5 minutes of thought to write that phrase correctly….there has to be a simpler way to say that.) That mandarin you are purchasing in February, travelled a long trip to get there. If you are wanting to reduce your ‘carbon footprint’, making a considered purchasing decision with these items will help you to lower it. Or maybe it doesn’t (in some situations). Think then, that you are contributing to the ‘demand’ of these items, which continues to increase the production of them.

Why should we eat seasonally when we have access to a world of options? Food items which have been harvested in the current season are more plentiful and there is a larger possibility that you are purchasing locally / sustainable. Traditionally, people only had access to the locally available, harvestable items in that season. Specialty refrigeration was not available to extend the ripeness of the plant nor were special waxes that could make fruit look like something from a animated movie. Mis-shapen fruits and vegetables of varying sizes were the norm and ruler-regulated items like cucumbers would have been considered as an absurdity. Then, you did not put food as waste only because it was not pretty. It was grown, and you ate it. It’s food.

Autumn seasonal fruits and vegetables vary by geography, of course.  But some of the general autumnal harvest foods are potato, varying squashes, apples, carrot, onion, beetroot, turnip and cabbage.

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I do understand that eating seasonally could feel quite restrictive. It has been a long process to eating foods unavailable to us, and it will be a long process back to basics. In my mind, it does seem that we still have a small bit of ourselves that does connect to seasonal eating. In the summers, we crave fruit, berries, light foods. In the cold months, our bodies tell us that thick soups and dips are what we need. Most of these are based with seasonal harvest foods. We just don’t seem to think so much about it.

As with all consumer-driven changes, you must remember that we, as consumers, have the power. The power of purchase, which to companies = the power of money. Simply not purchasing these items will send a message in a very loud voice, that it is time to slow our food down again.

Have we lost the connection to our food?

-Mliae

Wealth In Friendship Is Wealth Indeed!

We live in a world where we are constantly competing. Pushing…for more. But, do you ever just pause during your day and consider how wealthy you truly are? Nooo, not monetary wealth. That is fleeting. And, in this day, is nothing more than someone’s typing in zero’s and one’s. No. I mean wealthy in friendships, wealthy in relationships, wealthy in the currency of luv.

I think that all too often, so many of us take for granted the fact that there are people who care about us. And occasionally, we realise how much we truly do appreciate those who care enough to deal with us. I don’t have millions of friends. Quite the opposite, actually. But those friends and family that I do have, are super! I mean really, think about it. We ALL have our special brand of weird. Every. One. Of. Us. Even if you’re ‘normal’ (ok, especially if you’re normal!) that’s so odd now that, that, my friend, is your brand of weird. I forget sometimes how easily annoyed I am at others perceived flaws. You know, the really difficult to ignore flaws. And then I have to remind myself that, my friends and family are just as annoyed by me. That’s not a great feeling and really makes one appreciate that fact that people actually like me enough to stay around when I’m being stupid. And when I complain. And when I eat cake like I’m a food deprived monster. Do I tell them that I appreciate them? No, of course not. I’m…worried I’ll be perceived as a complete basket case. So, I come here and I tell you.

I do think that we should tell the people who care about us, and who listen to all our crazy, that we appreciate them and that we’ll listen to their crazy too. After all, isn’t needing to be loved and cared about one of the basic needs that we all have in common with every person on this planet?

-Mliae

Penelope Chilvers

Getting to Know You 29.01.2019

I read an interesting blog post about 1 week ago (which, of course, I am unable to find so I can link to it now…) which was talking about the insecurity that particular blogger had. ‘Will you like this?’ ‘ Do I suck?’ ‘ Will anyone read this?’ and I had to comment. I comment that, well, we all suck! Hah. That I think that our real-ness is what makes blogs so popular. When we are reading a blog vs. any kind of marketing material, we all feel a bit at ease because we know (in most cases) that there is a real person behind it. A real person with real emotions, experiences, needs… Not a team of marketing professionals that are blending together the ideal persona for their particular branding needs.

This blog post, really made me think. There are basic needs that every one of us has. We all need to be loved. We all need to survive. We all need to feel like our lives are worthwhile. And I think that we, as publishers, all need to feel appreciated for putting ourselves out there!

So my question for today is: Do you have these same needs and insecurities?

I know I do!

-Mliae


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A Small Thank You

I really felt the need to thank you, my amazing readers, today. Thank you for taking the valuable time out of your lives to read what I write. Thank you for joining me on this journey and being sooooo supportive throughout! Thank you for fostering such great friendships here and in the comment section too! Thank you for making me know that I’m not alone when I feel like I’m not living up to the ‘best me’. Thank you for making use of my affiliate links sometimes (and helping me out whilst doing so)! Thank you for creating such a good environment here that I often refer to this as my ‘blog family’. Thank you for the Happy Birthday emails, the random ‘Hellos’ and ‘Best Wishes’! Most of all, thank you dear readers, for being you!

So much of what we do in the world goes un-noticed and unrecognized. There is no reason behind this. I’ve just been thinking about how far we’ve come in the past several years and it would not have been at all possible without you.  I just really wanted to let you know that I appreciate all that you do and I look forward to having such a great home on the blogosphere for many years to come!

You are Awesome!

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

“Whosis, Whatsis and Whatchamacallit”

I had to share this great post from https://www.srbottch.com
I have been following Steve’s blog for quite some time now and he never ceases to amuse! This post was just too good not to share. Hands up – who’s reached this level of telepathy in your relationship?

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ALERT: this story isn’t for everyone, just those in long term relationships, say 30, 40 or 50 years. However, you’re still welcome to read it…

“Honey, I’m home from, ah, whatchamacallits. Whosis was there, she’ll see us at, you know, whatsis place Saturday.”

“Okay!”

And with that exchange, we affirm our relationship is stronger than ever…again!

Do you recognize it? Sound familiar? I expect those of you in long term relationships are nodding in the affirmative.  You know each other so well that substitute words suffice in place of real words, the ones that escape us momentarily. Gibberish fills the void and, strangely enough, we understand each other. How does that work?

This behavior confirms my belief that as we grow older with our life partner, our spirits, habits and language meld, allowing us to behave almost as one. There must be a term for it?

With a certain…

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A Few Words About the ‘Haul’ Trend

Aaaahhh, the haul trend. This has been going on for too long now.

Sephora Haul, Topshop Haul, H&M Haul…. We’ve all heard it, seen it, thought about it. But I have to ask. I mean…WHY? Some of these hauls are the size of my entire working wardrobe. Now, I understand only if you have found yourself in a larger size and have nothing but pajama’s to wear to the market – then by all means, go get what you need to get through the week! Or perhaps, if you go shopping once a year. But if you already have a fully functioning wardrobe; why go buy more cheap fast fashion to toss in and then complain about 8 months from now that its taking up too much room, you don’t wear it & now are embarking on a minimalism challenge. I just don’t get it.

A little while ago, on our way back from Dublin, my seat mate handed me her fashion magazine if I wanted to read it. I think this was a British edition – which made my shocked face all the more obvious when I happened upon an article citing ‘Maximalist fashion’. REALLY?! WTF is that about? In a world where people are trying to make conscious purchasing decisions. When I have to walk the market from the far back up (I studied marketing, I know that the layout is quite purposeful to fill your cart with all things un-necessary) so I run the gauntlet backwards in order to avoid impulse buys as much as possible. Where we are bombarded with marketing 24/7. Is it really so that the next big movement is to have as much as possible hanging in our closets, crowding our vanities, piled in our homes – as opposed to the nice, tidy, thoughtful – possibly even being considerate of the other people/animals/ecosystems involved in creating our easily accessible belongings – that we are currently doing so well trying to adapt and making mainstream?

I think that my biggest issue with the ‘haul’ trend is that soooo many influencers seem to be doing it. Bloggers, Instagrammers and Youtubers are called ‘influencers’ for a reason. With that comes social responsibility. And I, personally, think that we should use our stations to try and encourage thoughtful consumption, not mindless consumption. But then again, that’s just me.

What do you think?

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

Overwhelmed in Bloggerdom

So, what happens when I’ve worked my ass off to get a ton of great content to write about? Well – this, of course. For the first time ever, I’ve found myself so overwhelmed that I can barely complete a thought.

I. Can’t. Believe. It.

I LOVE blogging and all the many hours of research that goes into it gives me some sort of super nerdy pleasure. So the fact that I feel like throwing a few things into a bag and running wherever the sunset takes me for a few days, instead of doing what I love to do on the daily (Blog, gardening, social media, learning, and ‘lunching’) baffles me.

I don’t have writers block. Quite the contrary, actually. But for some reason, the perfectionist in me has not currently been allowing me to sit down and write the way I want things written. So, instead, I have been focusing on some of my favourite light-hearted series’ and then multi-tasking. Multi-tasking meaning that I can’t focus on 1 thing, but am instead in the middle of 100 things and completing none of them. This is new.

What do you think? Is this being overwhelmed, or do I just have a major case of wanderlust with a side of ‘attention span of a fruitfly’?

No worries, I’m not flaking out on you guys. I just wanted to let you know what was going on in my world since I usually post every other day.

Happy Summer!

-Mliae

Significant Sunday – A New Theme?

Hello everyone 🙂

Happy Sunday! Well, maybe not for everyone…you know what ‘they’ say: Going to sleep on Sunday, results in Monday. Anywhoo…

I read a great post by Ali at the Mindful Gardener. In the post, the possibility of starting a new theme on WP is discussed. That theme being ‘Soulful Sunday’. Now, don’t cringe. This has nothing to do with religion. (Trust me, I get it. I was scratching my head too before I read the post.) No. This is about posting a photo and telling about something that kind of makes you all warm and fuzzy inside that relates to it. (Please, correct me if I am mistaken here.) However, due to the ease of misunderstanding – I’m switching up to ‘Significant Sunday’.

I, personally, think it’s a grande idea! I mean…why not. As bloggers, we discuss products, health, travel, love, gardening and all manner of technical things. But we never quite manage to make ourselves the tiniest bit vulnerable, do we?

So here we are; Let’s get personal.

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This is my nostalgia for the week. I know, it seems like I’m about to do a promo. I assure you, it is nothing of the sort. The reason this makes me nostalgic is purely because of thoughtfulness and a seemingly new tradition of sorts. You see, every December for the past 3 years, no matter where in the world I am at the moment, my mother sends me a Body Shop Advent Calendar. It has come to my home, my office, and at one point when I was unable to be pinpointed exactly, a local pickup.

Ever year she waits for them to be released. And ever year I get a different one. And every year, I do not have to go out and buy myself nice smelling items for a good long while!

The fact that she thinks of me so diligently (and also that she manages to find a way to get these to me) just warms my heart.

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Family is so IMPORTANT! We must take the time to appreciate every bit of thoughtfulness. Our schedules are never too busy for that!

What’s your Significant Sunday?

-Mliae

 

Today We’re Celebrating 3,000 WP Subscribers to Lifexperiment Blog! THANK YOU!!!

Hello!

I am soooo excited to announce that http://www.lifexperimentblog.com has reached 3,000 WP subscribers! *Clutches roses and wipes tears 😉

I have no badge or notification to share as proof. Apparently, WordPress does not think this a monumental enough occasion. But for me, yours truly, this is HUGE! I have been looking forward to hitting this enormous milestone for quite a few months now and I am SO EXCITED!

Honestly though, it would mean absolutely nothing if not for you! THANK YOU SO MUCH, really,  for taking the time out of your busy lives to stop by and show interest in what I write here on my own teeny tiny corner of the web. I have made so many friends here, and I feel that this is a very important part of my every day – to check in, blab away, and continue my incoherent blabbing in the comments section. BTW- thank you so much for your kind comments!

Many thanks and much appreciation! Until the next milestone (hopefully!)

-Mliae

You are AWESOME!

 

I Read a Great Quotable Phrase Today

While I was visiting some blogs today, I saw this in one of the posts. I thought it was so perfect, I had to share it!

You are younger now than you will ever be.’ That’s it. Simple. True. It really shines some perspective on the fact that most of us over the age of 35, miss the days when we were younger – had less responsibility – looked better in anything we wore, etc. It’s true though, that we will never again be as young as we are today. Years from now, we may look back and wish for this time to return. So how’s about we make the best of the time we have…now…and live with no regrets in our later years!

How perfect is that?!

-Mliae

The Time is Now! We are Decorating for the Wedding! :)

Here we are! It’s almost tiiiiimmmmeeee! 😀

We have been preparing for this day for almost 1 year! We opted for a version of a destination wedding. Basically, taking ourselves somewhere we thought was absolutely gorgeous and inviting those closest to us to join us. It will be small, but it will be ours! As you can see from the feature photo, it’s about time for this girl to waltz down the aisle! Not quite today – this is all laid out for the rehearsal. But this is the spot and exactly what it will look like! We fell in love with this waterfall. Trying to plan a wedding internationally is an ENORMOUS challenge, so we were fortunate to find an incredible local wedding planner who made sure everything we needed was taken care of. YES!

The waterfall is actually much taller than it appears in the pictures. For some reason, I have taken like 100 photos of this and I guess my camera is kind of smashing it down or something. Oh well, its awesome. You’ll be seeing more of this!

We have 2 reception spots: 1 outdoors & 1 indoors. We are decorating, decorating, decorating! Here’s what we’ve got for the outdoor spot:

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And here’s our indoor spot which is yet to be decorated and needs LOTS of TLC. You’ll have to forgive me for not waiting until all is said and done. I was just dyyyyyiiinng to send you an update!

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Now, like I said: It needs a lot of help. But I’m confident that if we can make outdoors that party-worthy, this is a possibility. Welcome yourself to my view for the rest of the day. We have tons of hangy-things to put in here, plus the same amount of tables that are outdoors. Dance floor in the middle and some tables that display our travels so far on the way here.

We’re so excited! It’s been a great journey and I’m looking forward to sharing all about everything upon our return to reality. But for now, this chic is signing off one last time as a Miss.

IT’S REALLY HAPPENING!

-Miss Mliae 😉

 

Back to Basics

In a world where we are driven to obtain the newest, the coolest, the best and most expensive items at an ever increasing rate, I’ve finally had enough.

One really can’t help to notice the discrepancies in society. People are living in war zones, being tortured, brutally murdered, starving, trying to escape in any way possible. And what do the rest of us do? We shop. We shop for the newest and most stylish furniture. We shop the latest trends and fashions. We buy cheap crap that does absolutely nothing but take up space. And why do we do it? Because we’re told we have to…for a multitude of reasons.

  • We need to ‘bolster’ the economy
  • We must keep up with the Jones’s
  • Little Johnny won’t understand an investment into his future, best buy him a toy he may or may not play with
  • We must surpass the Jones’s
  • To be successful, we must look successful. (My personal favourite & it’s true. However, we don’t need 200 ‘successful’ outfits that aren’t being worn)

It’s ALL marketing. Every last bit of it. We’re bombarded with marketing 24/7. Not just the obvious types: TV, movies, billboards, commercials, flyers and the like. But like, everywhere. The sugar in your childs’ cereal & the pictures on the box, the hot girl/guy walking down the street in a billabong T-shirt (This is a whole other post. I don’t understand why people pay so much to be walking advertisements for brands?) It’s the lady/gentleman sitting next to you in a bar sipping extraordinary brandy. It’s all extremely well researched marketing that tells you, that YOU are old, out of style, ugly, poor, dirty, basic. And it shows! But we can fix that with a newer & larger home, more modern furniture, the newest instagram worthy watch / diet fad /must-have cosmetics, a shiny new car, this fantastic food which is actually unhealthy as hell (but you’ll never know it), or this €/$ 2000 gown made from recycled trash bags. You need these things. Oh yea, and in 1 months’ time you’ll need all new things or you’ll be old, ugly & poor again.

Bolstering the economy is a joke. The only economy we are bolstering, is the 1%. True, there are jobs. But the ratio of jobs to spending doesn’t match in any accountants books. What we are doing is fulfilling the ever increasing profit margins that companies set that year. When a company declares a loss, in most cases, it is because it did not meet its profit predictions for the year. They over spent. But if you look at the stock history, you will see that the profit predictions are higher than the last. Every. Single. Year. No economy can sustain unbridled growth. The end result is the same globally: Financial crises.

Ever wonder how by the time you get your new stilettos or speakers home, there’s a new chunky heel trend or taller smarter speakers?! How lightbulbs used to last MANY years, but now they die on the regular? It’s called OBSOLESCENCE defined by oxford dictionary as ‘The process of becoming obsolete or outdated and no longer used’. This is a very real tool corporations use in order to maintain sales. There are 2 types of obsolescence. Planned obsolescence (lightbulbs) and Perceived obsolescence (fashion).

Planned obsolescence is when items are designed to break so that they must be replaced. I know, a lot of people think this is just conspiracy theory. But it isn’t. There are actually innumerable memos from the 70’s which are out there, openly discussing planned obsolescence. Why? Because it was considered a form of marketing and nothing more. Design a product so the life span is shorter, and your customers must replace it. Most of the memos discuss the ‘ideal’ lifespan of products. This took years of research because if a product died too quickly, the consumer would tell themselves that the company made sub-standard products & go elsewhere for the replacement. If the lifespan was too long, companies would loose their profit margins. So where’s the sweet spot? It used to be a decade or more for machinery. For example, my previous washing machine lasted 10 years. The one before that? Forever. This one lasted 3 years before it started to sputter. The time span gets shorter as we grow more accustomed to replacing our items. We are still saying ‘they don’t last as long as they used to’ a phrase muttered countless times in the past 60 years. And this is where perceived obsolescence kicks in.

Perceived obsolescence is when the consumer (us) is convinced that an item is old, out of style, no longer impressive to the outside world. Fashion is the largest of the arenas which employ perceived obsolescence to keep ever increasing profit margins. But, take iPhone for example. They can be both planned & perceived, but stick with me here. Raise your hand if you have purchased a new smart phone before the old one broke. Why do you do it? The never ending hunt for the newest and brightest affects ALL aspects of our lives. Even our relationships. Why do people cheat? There’s the perception that there is always someone better out there. There isn’t. There’s faster internet (which actually isn’t faster on phones, the old ones were just slowed down) there’s new apps (great, more gen pop ADHD) there’s a sleek new design. Just like fashion, which is now turning over at a staggering rate. In the 1930’s, the average woman had 9 outfits in her closet. We have hundreds of mix & match, spring/summer, fall/winter, going out, business, hanging in clothes and always on the hunt for more. In the 50’s -70’s, fashion lasted years. You could easily update your wardrobe with 1 simple piece. Now, its a complete changeover. Wedges are in (Yay! They’re comfy!) nope, wedges make you walk like a trucker. Stilettos are in. Not high enough, go skyscraper heel. Nope, those are too man-eater, go for a platform. no, not the 70’s ones, but they look like the 70’s ones. Oh wait, change of plan, Chunky heels are in. We can’t keep up! And because we are being told non-stop what the appearance of our person, our car, our homes are telling people about our personality, we feel like we HAVE to keep up. We don’t. Everything is so mixed up now that what’s out of fashion now, will be back in fashion in a year or two. Just enough time for us to toss all our out-of-date items into the bin….and then replace them. See where I’m going with this?

Do you realize that if we compare today’s economic index per household with 2 working adults with the 1970’s economic index per household with 1 working adult, the results show that we are actually bringing home LESS today than 40 years ago! The results are staggering. Of course, pay nowadays is much higher. But we are spending so much more. The average family in manyCountries (especially America, Canada & Europe) is up to their ears in debt. We are in debt because we hit hard times, of course. But mainly because of societal expectations. It’s the bigger house. A mortgage that should only take up an average of 28% of your pre-tax pay, but somehow takes up at least 70%.  The items to furnish the bigger house. The kitchen remodel of the bigger house. It’s seeing a suit you fall in love with & not having to save the money to buy it before it no longer exists. We impulse purchase without a seconds thought to the fact that we are paying 10-25% over the already sky high purchase price because we have to have it. It’s the newest phone that we don’t need. Look at us, our friends will be so jealous.

Now I am as guilty of credit card abuse as the next person. Nearly having heart palpitations at the thought of not having it (them) for ’emergencies’; Which seem to include that perfect 100% silk dress I can’t find anywhere else, instead of oh I dunno…maybe in case the pipes burst again or the walls start to crumble around me. Or if we find ourselves stuck in an airport overnight because the flight was cancelled. This happens all too often & I never have my ’emergency’ funds available for actual emergencies.

It’s a vicious cycle, really. We spend more to get more, then work harder to pay off our debt & find ourselves in a cycle of work-eat-sleep-cram all your home stuff that needs to be done in the weekends – repeat. What happened to a day of rest? What happened to our connection with nature? What happened to picnics in the park on a sunny day?!

I’m done. I’m done with all of it. Of course I like to look pretty, but I can handle a few options without needing to renovate my house for closet space. I’m done paying an exorbitant amount at the market for food I can plant in my own yard. I’m done buying electronics that I don’t need. I’m done spending my money on frequent nights out when I can’t even afford a dishwasher & spend all my time washing dishes. I’m done giving expensive gifts that people could care less about instead of making something special or giving a charitable donation. I’m DONE being told what is socially acceptable of me! I am what I am and those who love me, will accept that. To those who don’t: well, there’s the door. I’m taking it back to basics. Since we, the consumer, have the ultimate say; I challenge you all to think about your next must-have purchases. Do you really need it? Do you really love it? Why? If yes, go for it! But if not, I encourage you to leave it behind & give your wallet and hard working self a smile, for once.

Anybody else as frustrated as I am? Please, feel free to share!

-Mliae

Is it Possible to NOT Lie?

Hi there,

Today I got Busted. With a capital B, for ‘lying’. Not outright lying, or pathological lying, but white-lie lying. And when I tried to defend myself, the reply I received was ‘you lie all the time about this stuff’. I was gobsmacked. I mean…REALLY?! I’ve always considered myself a rather straight forward person, with no time for lies or games. So how did this happen?

I spent quite a bit of time thinking about this after this discussion. This is how my lying evolved. You see, I used to be brutally honest. Like Tourettes – type, couldn’t stop myself, HAD to say what I thought. I’d been raised better than that, but I didn’t have time for bullshit. Better to just say it and get it out there. Surprisingly, I had many friends and they just accepted it as part of my personality. Although I know for a fact that there were many hurt feelings left in my wake of honesty. It was only after I began traveling to far-flung countries and cultures around the world, that I learned that this was not a good practice. Asia is what finally cured me of my brutal honesty. I learned, that in the culture, people elude to what it is they are trying to say. People are supposed to be able to pick up on the body language clues as well as inflection and understand exactly what was being said. But you never…EVER say it straight. It is insulting and does not allow for the person – sometimes victim – to save face. And that, is just not acceptable. Especially in any kind of business context. How was I so stupid? This point, my friends, is where the little white lies began.

  • ‘How are you?’ ‘Lovely’.
  • ‘What do you think of this dish?’ ‘Delicious.’
  • ‘Our schedule for tomorrow is…(7 solid hours of events I don’t want to attend) Does that suit you?’ ‘Absolutely, can’t wait’
  • ‘Does my butt look big?’ ‘Nope, you’ve got a great ass’
  • ‘I will pick you up at 6 in the morning…ok?’ ‘Perfect!’

You can fill in the rest. We all do it. Which brings me to the question of….why? If we all tell the same lies, then we all know when someone is telling the same lies to us, which takes away from the ‘I’ll soften the blow’ basis of the whole idea in the first place. So why do we perpetuate these little white lies when nobody is falling for the bullshit anyway? I mean, come on. I know that when I ask my fiancé if my butt looks ok in a pair of pants, exactly what he will say. (Well ok, not always. He knows it’s a trap & avoids it as much as possible). But when he does reply, I know that he wishes to avoid my incessant follow-up questions so much, that he will tell me exactly what I want to hear. And THAT is what this is all about. We lie to avoid hurt feelings and conflict. (As a general rule. There are some folks who just lie for…well, for themselves I guess).

My next question is: If I don’t want to hurt people with the brutal truth, and I don’t want to lie…where is the line? I think the line is tact. But tact seems to be that part between colours on the colour wheel where the shades blend in with each other. So where is the line between tact and lying? At what point do you pull yourself back?

And what about lying by omission? I mean, ok. I understand that it is absolutely wrong if you forget to tell your SO that you slept with someone else. That’s just straight out lying. But, well… I have a nicolette habit. It’s awful for me, I know. But I’m not smoking cause that’s 1000 times worse. My fiancé knows that in stressful situations I run for the gum. But he forgot about it after a time, and when he found some I had stashed away, he was really upset about it. This is the best kind of example I can give for what I mean. I didn’t see the problem, because I hadn’t told him I wasn’t doing it, so therefore wasn’t lying. And I think it ridiculous to report that I am purchasing it, as I don’t give a full report of everything I purchase, basically …ever. Same with clothes. I see something pretty, I buy it, I hang it, I pay my other bills. So why does it matter? But I digress. I think he felt like I had allowed him to believe that I wasn’t taking it anymore because the whole subject just kind of died in the wind, as most subjects do. And because I had them tucked away, not just laying out on the table, I can see that he thought he was being deceived somehow. So what is the thing here? When does just doing what you do and not thinking it important enough to mention, turn into lying by omission? At what point and how do you know? Help me out here, because I am at a loss.

I’ve really been thinking about this so I’ve decided to challenge myself, and you too, if you’re up for it, to NOT lie. No whoppers – pathological ‘I’m a detective, I work for the CIA, no I’m a policeman’ lies (not a problem for me, but maybe for some people), no lying by omission – i.e.; just not telling someone something (this will be difficult for me because I have a tendency to just do whatever I decide to do and more times than not, don’t bother telling anyone about it because I feel it’s not a big thing if I bought a new shirt, or left to go somewhere for awhile.), no conflict avoidance lies – i.e.; telling someone whatever it is they need to hear to just make. it. stop. No little white lies either. (Eeeek! This will be so hard, and I’ve already got a list of friends I’ll probably loose.) No lying on Cv’s or credit applications either, folks. (This happens a surprising amount. You know who you are.)

I would love for you to share any advice or thoughts you have on the matter because my questions are genuine. If I’m trying not to lie, and I’d like to maintain my relationships with friends, family and a lover who gets the brunt of my opinions…how do I do it?

Who’s with me?

-Mliae

Yay! A reason to celebrate on Fri-yay!

Just a little health check in to let you know that I am doing so much better! I went in for one of my follow-up blood checks and I was told that I’m now running on levels twice as high as I had when I went into the hospital. I am so happy! 🙂

It seems like the transfusions and treatments have started to work and I am out of the woods. It’s only a matter of time before I’m at 100% normal levels again. WOOHOO!! And OK, I’ll admit it…maybe the resting helped some too 😉

So this chic is very happy on this Friday. I’m really hoping this means I can re-introduce onions, garlic and the occasional glass of wine into my diet again too. Oh garlic, how I’ve missed you.

Thank you everyone for your kind words, encouragement and demands that I take care of myself. It worked!

Have a great Fri-yay!

-Mliae

7 Weird Halloween Facts for a Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, all! I know that your feeds are bursting at the seams with Halloween posts. I will add to that 😉  So, I decided to do something a bit different and share some random or little known facts about Halloween. 

  • The original Jack O’Lantern was carved into turnips, not pumpkins. Pumpkins are used in the Americanized version because they were more plentiful in the USA than turnips.

Source

  • Samhainophobia is defined as the fear of Halloween

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  • Tradition dictates that if you want to see a witch at midnight on Halloween, a person must wear their clothes inside out and walk backwards

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  • Apparently, using  or selling silly string in Hollywood comes with a fine of $1,000 since 2004, in order to prevent vandalism of streets and neighborhoods

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  • Signs of a werewolf are said to be a unibrow, hairy palms, tattoo’s and a longer middle finger. (So, like half the guys I know…maybe minus the hairy palms.)

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  • This year, Germany, a country that usually enjoys wearing terrifying costumes for their Halloween celebration, has announced a ‘zero-tolerance policy’ regarding creepy clowns. This is due to the fact that the creepy clown phenom has reached Europe from the USA and following in excess of 30 attacks, robberies and the like, in Germany, the ministry doesn’t not really know how to deal with it, except to make it illegal.

Source

  • In 2007, Daylight savings time in the USA was actually changed, after many years of lobbying by the candy companies, to add an extra hour to Halloween for trick-or-treaters. It has been claimed that it was for safety reasons, as the hit and run statistics on Halloween are very high. But I think we all know it’s because adding an extra hour, means more time to trick or treat and an increased need for larger amounts of candy.

Source

I hope you enjoyed these weird Halloween facts!

Enjoy and save some candy for me!

-Mliae

Window to Another Dimension: The Art of Orna Ben-Shoshan #AWindowtoAnotherDimensionTheartofOrnaBenShoshan


A very cool and original book about the art of Orna Ben-Shoshan and the artist herself.

Her art is somewhat surreal and somewhat not. She is an artists in the 2000’s, yet her oil paintings contain almost cartoonesque medieval figures and colours. The appeal, for me anyway, is that in each painting there is something a bit off about it. Upside down sitters, spun hair and surrealistic wavy checkerboard floors all add to the appeal of her quirky, admirable artwork.

The artist is said to have had a life-long interest in metaphysics and mysticism which is clearly reflected in her artwork. Her works are fascinating, exhibiting a slightly twisted yet healthy sense of humor combined with a sense of fantasy and mysticism.

Most of her art is in oil. She does do digital art as well, which is pretty cool. My favourite is ‘The Jeweler, 2006’ and it doesn’t look like digital art at all.

Another super cool surprise with this book, is that when you open your kindle reader (if you get the e-book), there is a link where the artist has offered a complimentary copy of one of her works as a Thank-You for purchasing the book. We are putting ours up on our wall 😉

I would recommend this book for surreal art fans. It’s pretty cool! The hardback would make a great coffee table book. If you would like to check out Orna Ben-Shoshan’s artwork, you can find it here.

Thank you for reading!

-Mliae

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this e-book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

What’s with all the Turkey Posts today?

Good morning, all!

As I was scrolling through my email, instagram and followed blogs this morning, I began noticing a common theme: Turkeys.

Turkeys?!? Why? Did I miss something or somehow otherwise pull a Rip Van Winkle last night? You know, go to bed in October with all the ghouls and spooky stuff, Wake up in November with all things …Thanksgiving?

What’s with all the Turkeys?! Seriously, please enlighten me.

-Mliae

Update: Thanks to the very friendly blogger over at The Analyzed Life , I just learned that today is Canadian Thanksgiving! So THAT explains all the turkeys in my feed. Thank you for enlightening me 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!

Wedding guests confess: What happened at a wedding that tipped you off that it wouldn’t last?

I’ve heard some funny, and some totally horrific stories that tipped off friends and family that the nuptials weren’t made to last.

Reddit, also made a post asking this question and received approx 12,000 responses! If you want a good true-life horror, click here to read some of the reader responses! I am posting a few of the comments below:

  • destiny divided commented: ‘The groom looked drunk and the bride seemed incredibly angry. Then there was this woman walking around during the reception placing bets on when they would divorce. I later found out she was the mother of the groom.What are some of your wedding stories?’
  • jennygraham2012 commented: ‘Grooms mistress found out he was getting married and showed up at the wedding, in the middle of the i-do’s, walked right up on stage and smacked him in the face.’
  • vogelarcher15 posted: ‘At the rehearsal dinner, the groom’s mom is in tears, because “he looks miserable” and he was, we all knew it. During the vows they had written for eachother, the bride starts with “I know I can be a pretty terrible person, and I don’t know why you’ve stuck around, but that’s all going to change starting today!” They were divorced a year later.’
  • Owtlaw1 shares that: ‘The bride had the minister put “Til death, or divorce, do us part” into the ceremony.’
  • cricketino posted: ‘My cousin (the bride) told us, as she was going from table to table thanking the guests, that she didn’t think it would last. We were stunned. They lasted about a year.’
  • Sunkenloki commented: ‘Groom got caught getting frisky with a bridesmaid. That marriage lasted for about two hours.’
  • Conundrum1 says: ‘At the end of the reception the guys are sitting at a table away from everyone else talking and we ask the groom why he proposed. His answer? “Because she was naked.”
    Marriage lasted about a year and a half.’
  • And for a stranger than fiction comment, colonial chicken posted: ‘Holy shit. My cousin “Jan’s” wedding was basically just a preamble to an elaborate Dance of Divorce that we all knew was coming from the moment the engagement began. For context, this took place 15 years ago in the backwoods of NC. My family is just a generation or two removed from snake-handling in church, so some of the wackiness is the product of upwardly mobile inbreeding, and redneck gumption. Just a few things that come to mind:
    Her fiance proposed to her OVER THE CORPSE OF HER FATHER. He was over with the family watching TV when Jan’s dad collapsed on the floor. He died before emergency services arrived. Her boyfriend grabbed her hands as she was sitting next to her father’s body, pulled her up to her feet, and then asked her to marry him. He later said that he “didn’t want her to get away”.
    The fiance then disappeared for a month the week after the funeral. Nobody knew where to reach him.
    The bride’s white trash mother told Jan that she had to get married within 4 months because she (the mother, my aunt) planned to move to another state with her new boyfriend to avoid bill collectors.
    When Jan’s fiance showed back up, he was cagey and weird. Eventually, it came out that he’d been living with his ex-girlfriend because she insisted that he had to give her a month of his life, or she’d take him to court for child support that he was supposed to be paying on their infant son, but had never paid.
    Throughout all of this, Jan continued to insist that she wanted to marry him. My mother and I did most of the wedding prep and arrangements (Jan’s mom, despite insisting on the 4-month timeline to help pay for the wedding before her move, never contributed a dime.), and we were both pretty convinced that the wedding was going to be cancelled at any moment. But, the day arrived, and so did the principle players. At the wedding itself:
    The groom walked around drinking PBR out of a massive travel thermos with a novelty straw, and told everyone who would listen that Jan was a good “starter wife”.
    Jan threw several tantrums about stupid shit, including one in which she accused the groom of stealing her drink. He told her she was a “dumb whore”, but it all worked out because then she found her drink.
    The groom pulled the ring off of Jan’s finger during the reception and swallowed it “as a joke”.
    The groom picked a fight with his father because his dad had asked the ex-girlfriend to stay at home, and the groom had really wanted her to be there. Jan was in the dark about this invitation until the fight broke out.
    Epilogue: Shocking precisely nobody, except possibly Jan herself, they eventually did divorce. Eating the ring caused the groom some discomfort, so they had to cancel their honeymoon to the mountains so that he could go to the ER and get hospital-grade laxatives. They lost money on the cancellation and the ER visit, which they really didn’t have to lose. That resulted in some immediate debt problems, and they lost the trailer they’d planned to rent when they couldn’t come up with the deposit. That resulted in both of them moving into the groom’s parents’ home, into his old bedroom. Things went downhill from there.
    The groom’s ex-girlfriend popped back up less than 3 months after the wedding, heavily pregnant with his second child. She went after him for another “shared month”, but Jan wasn’t cool with it. The ex ended up taking him to court for child support. Jan got a second job to make ends meet while resigning herself to living with her inlaws for a while longer. One day, after he’d dropped her off at work, the groom sold Jan’s car. He then disappeared for several more weeks. She lost both jobs, and shortly thereafter realized she was pregnant.
    The groom accused her of cheating because he thought he couldn’t have more than two children in a lifetime, and his ex-girlfriend had already filled the quota. As I understand it, this is what ultimately caused the rift in their relationship.’

I am now officially horrified to see whats going to happen!

I would love to hear some of your wedding horror stories…Please Share!

-Mliae

Morbidly Mortal or Blessed by Time?

In light of todays’ bombings in Brussels, I decided to publish this post. We live in a world where it is becoming an increasingly common story to wake up, round up the family for breakfast, head off to work thinking of the days tasks ahead of us and never expecting the unexpected to happen. Sadly, the unexpected is now becoming an ever awakened subconscious warning system in the brain of the collective conscious.

In the heyday of bucket lists, world-wide conflict and poverty and big pharma CEO’s who skyrocket the price of life saving medications (I’m so glad that guy got arrested)…it’s difficult to not occasionally ponder ones own mortality.

Do you ever wonder how people who have spent their entire lives in conflict zones, deal with the knowledge that one day, the end will come? I did…and I’ve seen it while traveling. I can tell you, people in these situations deal with that realization much better than those of us who live in relative safety, comfort and health. In areas where the economy isn’t totally bust and people aren’t spending their days in hiding – they party, they eat, they laugh, they love! It’s the best living example of living each day as your last that I’ve ever witnessed. And it is awesome!

When I was a child, I was taught not to dawdle nor take advantage…to try and live every day as if it were my last, because one day it would be. Then, as the years past and I welcomed myself to the daily struggle of work, play, bills, relationships, and the hopes I held for myself, the days began to past with an ever increasing pace. Suddenly, the valuable time I had for friends and family – began to give way to the stressful day I had ahead. The money in my account, saved for travels instead of nights out with the girls. (Sometimes, we have to prioritize or nothing gets done.) Although still deeply caring for my closest and trying to make enough hours in the day to make sure they were taken care of and knew that they’re loved, somehow…habit began to take over. Work, dishes, laundry, hoovering, cooking, trash, post, maybe a quick get together…repeat. Don’t you ever just wake up and wonder; if today were my last day…would THIS be what I wanted to be doing??

If today were my last day, THIS is what I would be doing differently:

  • I would wake up early to watch the sunrise
  • I would wear my best jewelry
  • I would make the GOOD coffee – as much as I wanted. (Creme Brûlée press)
  • I would make sure my paperwork was in order so that my family wouldn’t have to struggle more than necessary
  • I would stop fighting for the ideal relationship, and start appreciating all the little things that make him perfect
  • I would make sure every member of my family knows how much I love them and why they’re so fantastic!
  • I would throw out or donate everything that wasn’t an absolute necessity or to be passed on so that nobody had to come clean out my home for weeks on end.
  • I would have a party by the lake with lots of live music and dance and laugh until the stars came out.
  • I would glam myself out to meet my maker and surround myself with those few which I hold closest to my heart to tell stories until my time came.

With adventure, comes age. With age, comes responsibility. With responsibility, comes exhaustion. With exhaustion, comes laziness…and the time starts to slide away.

So the burning question remains… If today were your last day, what would you do differently?

-Mliae

Senseless ramblings about love

Oh yea, here we go…A rambling, somewhat indecipherable post about love, chemicals, insanity and the like.

I guess we can start by asking ourselves: What IS love? (apparently the most searched phrase on google in 2012…some senseless trivia knowledge for you) Is it chemistry? Is it Hollywood? Is it a natural drive to reproduce and rear our young? Is it an Edwardian concept, poeticized and fantasized until it became our ‘reality’?  Infatuation in sheep’s clothing? A survival instinct? Or getting to know and appreciate those who surround you for most of your life?

Without fail, every single time I subscribe myself to a theory regarding love…just around the bend an exception to my new rule presents itself.

ROMANTIC LOVE v. ARRANGED LOVE

Take for instance romantic love. (Thank you Hollywood for setting mainstream standards that no human could possibly live up to…) I got on this bender in my early 20’s. Girl meets boy, boy falls head over heels in love with perfect girl, does everything in and beyond his power to get noticed, spoil her, respect her, be perfect to her family, makes (insert monthly paycheck here) amount of money, is willing to pay all the bills, pick his socks off the floor and indulge his girl in the occasional shopping spree. All the while, refusing to get upset when girl comes in at 4 am, drunk as a skunk with girlfriends in tow. Yea…right. Then, start thinking to yourself; if this is really love, then what about arranged marriages? With a higher than 50% rate of divorce in Western countries, how is it couples, for the most part, who are in arranged marriages (Just FYI- the divorce rate for arranged marriages is stated to be a whopping 4%) have, for the most part, managed to figure out a way to ‘love’, respect and co-exist together for the remnant of a lifetime. Of course, the statistics related to arranged marriage divorces are debatable since its culturally embedded that you wed, and stay that way. Divorce, although possible in many cases, is frowned upon and there are always other societal factors at work. But I digress. The question here is; When you see a couple who met just before approaching the altar, and they are happy together 50 years later…how does this happen? There was no romancing. Certainly no physical contact to blur up one’s brain with chemicals. Is it that both bride and groom (though nervous as knots) have been waiting for this pivotal moment all of their young lives and are determined to make it work no matter what? Is it a ‘love the one your with’ situation? Are these 2 people so utterly open-minded and accepting that fighting tooth and nail over trivial aspects of life together …just doesn’t happen? Or that there just exists enough self control to only go to bed grumbling under your breath about the things that annoy, but having enough respect for the life partner to not air grievances?

BIOLOGY

Drugs? Love drugs?? YES, PLEASE! Who says nature doesn’t have a sense of humor? Seriously! Our brains get so doped up from a rush of neuro-chemicals that we find ourselves bouncing around like a bunch of drunk college students doing really doofy shit.

There’s 2 stages to this. The ‘honeymoon’ stage (usually lasts about 3-6 months). Enjoy it, because it’s the only time in your relationship where you can do NO wrong…even if you accidentally take out his mailbox on your way out the drive. These are the GOOD chemicals. The morphine drip of love, if you will. This nifty little cocktail consists of phenylethylamine, norepinephrine (or noradrenaline),serotonin and dopamine. According to scientists, there is also another Love dose later in long term relationships which consist of oxytocin and vasopressin.

This is a continuing cycle. Dopamine starts this whole mess. The love based adrenaline rush cannot happen until there is a sufficient amount of dopamine. This chemical triggers the pleasure receptors in the brain. Resulting in a WHEEEEEE, Happy Happy Joy Joy- I want more of that, please. Seratonin levels drop in reaction to increased dopamine, and this is said to be responsible for the anxiety, nervousness and overall dating OCD that occurs. Norepinephrine comes into play. This chemical kicks off a chain reaction in the brain, to the nervous system which stimulates the receiver into feelings of joy and a suppressed appetite. (Just a side note: When this hits us ladies, the result is a slightly skinnier, happy, confident person! We think we’re completed by our lover which makes us feel so ….AWESOME! Truth is, we are. But could there be other ways to stimulate this reaction in our bodies so that we could always be so AWESOME?) Last but not least is phenylethylamine. This is good stuff. It creates our spinny – can do – happier than a puppy with a biscuit – must have more, moments. It also kicks off another round of dopamine and the whole process starts all over again. Hence, being ‘addicted to love’. Literally. This is usually the stage when we’re texting instead of working, friends get put out to pasture, house plants die, and we suddenly find ourselves with an over-run of lingerie and pancake breakfasts. Oh yea, and everything our partner does is cute. Even the horribly irritating disgusting habits, are adorable…or worse, fixable. (NEWS FLASH: Fixable doesn’t happen)

Oxytocin and vasopressin are said to create feelings of security and well-being which explains why this usually kicks in during a long term relationship. New question: Does this chemical reaction cause us to feel secure enough in our relationships to continue happily along, or does our happiness in the relationship cause this chemical reaction which encourages us that we’ve made the right move and carry on? (Which came first, the chicken or the egg?)

SURVIVAL

Okei, so survival and brains go hand and hand…sort of…not really. In order to serve my purposes here, I’m loosely defining the survival genre as our body’s involuntary drive to ensure its survival. Mate presence; here we go! Men recognize women’s hips and youthful appearance as a clue to how capable she is to procreate. Women recognize either facial/bone structure and agility (physically) – Someone must protect the cave and bring us dinner! OR The clothes, car, job and house – Societal ability to afford the same protection and welfare, but only from a modern day standpoint. This falls in line with Darwins theory on sexual selection; meaning that people will evolve traits that attract members of the opposite sex. Don’t knock it – it’s real. I’ve also heard of the mirroring phenomenon, where individuals subconsciously choose mates which resemble themselves in order to better insure reproduction or status. If you don’t believe in the collective conscious, here’s a little factoid for you: Did you know that stocks will always gain profit in the cosmetics and women’s clothing industries right before a recession hits? It’s true! Lipstick and mini-skirts. Years of micro economic research has shown that lipstick and mini-skirts drastically increase in purchases made proceeding a recession. The explanation for this? Women’s collective conscious somehow mysteriously know that hard times are ahead and invest in the 2 items which make us appear more attractive to potential mates. Shocker, huh?!

OUR BRAINS

Enter the three brain system theory. This is a fun one… I’ve been reading up on student research papers on this and it might explain a few things.  This theory is constructed based on an evolutionary form of animalistic behaviour. According to Dr. Helen Fisher (cited) there are 3 ‘brains’ or sections of the brain regarding love working together, or separately. These sections are “sexual arousal, romantic attraction and emotional bonding”. It is said that because all 3 of these are able to work independently of each other, it would explain why you can be in an intimate relationship with one person, have a huge crush on another and be emotionally bonded to yet another. If that’s how you choose to roll, then there you go. Apparently, the oxytocin and vasopressin which trigger feelings of security during long term relationships is the situation in which all 3 of the ‘brains’ work together as they are all needed.

SOCIETY and CULTURAL NORMS

Many societies, especially the west, subscribe to the theory of marrying for love. If you love them, give them something that you’ve given to none other  (or few others) – marriage. But to bring us back to the beginning…what is love anyway? What sets one person apart from the other? I do also think that the view of ‘he’s single, whats wrong with him’ comes into play unwittingly.

In some cultures, singles are seen to be outcasts. Somehow unfit, inappropriate, or otherwise unable to reach the social construct of acceptability. In Japan, boys are groomed for marriage. No mother wants her son to be a ‘bare branch’.

In some cultures, marriage and family is the lifetime goal. Take Russia, for example, where  new births are greeted with a financial benefit from the state. Another factor which comes into play is demographics, where the ratio of males to females is 86 to 100. Talk about competition! This is exactly opposite of Alaska, where there are approximately 10 males per every 1 female. Talk about choices! Or in China, where the ratio is approximately 106 males to every 100 females.

To wrap up this extra long read (sorry about that, I got carried away). Regardless of culture, nationality, chemistry, survival, or a simple desire not to be alone…love exists. For all of us. My advice is to take a deep breath, try to keep your wits about you and in 7 months, if you are still swooning, laughing, playing…and aren’t ready to kill each other over the dishes, then stick with it. If after a few months, you begin to realize your needs aren’t being met, you’re being ignored for the tv, used, cheated on or the like – move on. We all want to be loved and everything in us and the world is working in our favour to achieve this lovely goal.

What does LOVE mean to you?

Thanks for reading!

-mliae