Happy Weekend!

I only wanted to wish all of you a very lovely weekend! I am quite excited, as the voting for the Annual Bloggers Bash best bloggers awards will be starting very soon!

I hope you had a nice week. I did. It was the usual things. However, I did finally get to make use of my random factoid series in a business context. I just tossed into conversation (at a well-timed moment, not just randomly) that bubble wrap was intended as 3-d wallpaper and it went well! Lots of conversation about it. So, that made me happy 🙂

Have a great weekend!

-Mliae

 

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When Does Comfort Wear Turn Into Frump?

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Comfort wear; We love it, we need it and sometimes – we live in it. But when does it become a bit too much…frump?

I’ve been binge watching ‘What Not To Wear’ and it seems that the one thing everyone has in common is that comfort wear turns into everything wear. It is very easy for this to happen, and I can easily see how. I love my comfortable clothing at home. But even then, I feel guilty for not looking my best for my husband. Isn’t that the most important person to look amazing for?!

Remember this?

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Now, before you riot, I am not requesting that anyone take themselves back to this. What I am wondering though is how did we go from this – making an effort with our appearance just because we woke up in the morning – to paint covered college pants that should have been discarded long ago? You may not be guilty of this. If it’s so, you are a better person than I.

With the relatively recent appearance of athleisure, the line has blurred even further. Now it seems that college-type pants/shirts are in fashion to wear everywhere. (Even with something looking remarkably similar to a sports bra as a top?!?) Perhaps I am showing my age, but I just cannot make myself wear it out of the house unless I’m in a gym.

I know that there is a line somewhere with this and that somehow we’ve just allowed ourselves to get so comfortable being comfortable that some people seem to no longer be bothered by their own frump (yours truly, included) until someone reminds us of it and then we are mortified. I mean, has this habit of frump become so commonplace that it’s now a happening that to look well put together makes one stand out? I can tell you that I feel that way sometimes. I love feeling that I look good. That you can see that I put thought into my appearance before going out in the world. But as fashions get more casual, I feel … out of place when I am in a dress and heels. That is such a strange feeling. To feel at least somewhat confident in my outfit, but then to be overwhelmed with self-consciousness about it at the same time. However, when I just throw on something comfortable that fits and keeps me warm and don’t think much else about it, I don’t feel confident in that either. (I do feel cozy though!) *That just went a bit off topic*

I was talking about frump. I don’t know, maybe it’s me. You see, I don’t really have a grey area with fashion. I either look like I put in some effort, or I look like I slept in my clothes. So maybe that’s why this is nagging at me so much. Some miraculous people can look perfectly coifed in comfort clothes. Me? Not so much.

I don’t know where you are on this spectrum, but for me, it has gotten my attention. After this post, at least I myself will be making more of an effort at home (as that is where I have gotten too comfortable being a slob) to look nice for the person who I truly want to impress. I mean, why should he get the mess when the rest of the world sees my best (or at least my ‘It’ll do’)? It just doesn’t seem logical, does it.

I do love being comfortable though.  Hmmm… What about you?

-Mliae

How Was Your February Declutter?

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We are now in the month of March. I have been actively decluttering/removing 1 item daily for the last 5 weeks. I have now arrived at the moment when I am starting to see the change. It’s much like the early hours of the morning when you can see a clear sky and just the tiniest rays of the sun climbing over the horizon. Like that. It gives me hope. It is also making me think. I have been doing this for more than 2 months. Many days, I remove more than 1 item. Some days, I only remove something small – like a broken ink pen. However, that should amount to minimum 80 items. How do we have that much stuff?! This set off a long time of self-reflection about what makes me purchase. (Another blog post entirely). But it’s something we should discuss!

I have set a schedule for myself. That one day, every week (until I am sorted through it all) I will go through 1 storage item. I have baskets, bags, boxes… I would like to be able to reduce these ‘storage solutions’ or use them for other clutter.  I do not have so many of these, but I do need to go through the contents. Perhaps I will discover my days’ items from here?

For the other 6 days, I will still be focusing on singular items each day. I read a comment which suggested focusing on categories. So, I think I will give this a try this month! (Thanks, ginger fluff!)

I would like to ask some of the awesome people who have been joining me in decluttering (either with this challenge, or on their own terms); How’s it going?

Through My Lens

Saguren

Chasing Rockwell 

Leggy Peggy

Elle Knowles

Ghost MNC

365 Days of New

Unexpected in Common Hours

Janet’s Writing Blog

Grubbing With Jess

Libby

The above listed are the bloggers that I am able to link to. I am happy to say that there are some incredible people here that have joined the challenge, which I am not able to link to. Please, let us know how you are doing!

I have found that doing this kind of challenge is ALWAYS better with friends! We keep each other accountable and sometimes that’s exactly what’s needed to get things done!

Who’s with me for the rest of March and April?!

-Mliae


February Declutter: Update

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Hello all 🙂

I just wanted to share a quick update on how my February declutter is going. Things are progressing quite nicely. Although I must confess that it seems so odd that I really can’t yet notice the difference that I was hoping to see. Except the bookshelf. My bookshelf makes me smile now!  I have a few theories on why this is. These last few weeks, I have been focusing on random objects. Products that have been used or expired, items that I notice and think to myself ‘I can do without that’, a plate or cup that has been chipped…. So I think that when taking one random item from somewhere and ridding myself of it, it is barely noticed. (This should be a big thing to consider when making future purchases. Is it important enough that I will actually notice if I no longer have it?) When I decluttered my books, I took away everything from the shelves and only replaced the items which I enjoyed, was excited to read or which have a function. Now it looks completely different! I think I need to repeat this process in another area for the upcoming 10 days of this month.

There is one are of the place that’s showing some big spaces. It seems that those electric cuts we had, managed to break some of our small appliances in the kitchen. So, we said goodbye to our coffee machine and microwave. Happily, we do have a press to keep the morning java monsters happy. 😉 In some way, I don’t so much miss the microwave though. Yes, really. I find myself wondering if we really do need to purchase a new one. It makes things easier and faster, of course. But…as we don’t eat ready meals (you know, the ones in the plastic boxes that require a micro), really everything we eat can be heated in the oven. Or that’s how it seems anyway.  *As I sit here thinking to myself….’am I missing something? There has to be something that we like that can only be made in the micro.’….’am I REALLY writing this?? People are going to think I’ve lost it!’*  So, there is that. And in a small space, missing something the size of a micro and coffee machine, well, that does show a big difference.

I am listing below some of the brave people who have joined me in this decluttering challenge (because EVERYTHING is better when you do it with friends!) I’m hoping they will let us know how it’s going and maybe even drop a link if they’ve posted updates too!

Janet’s Writing Blog

Unexpected in Common Hours

365 Days of New

Ghost MNC

Saguren

Chasing Rockwell

Leggy Peggy

Through My Lens

Elle Knowles

How is your February decluttering? Would you like to join us?! 😀

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay


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New Blog Series: The Broke Blogger’s Guide (To Life, Blogging & Other Weirdness)

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This post (formerly just accidentally published & emailed to all of you…sori about that!) is about a new blog series I have been thinking about.

I thought it might be nice to share some of my budget bending tips for all things. Living on a budget isn’t easy. Neither is blogging on one. But if there’s one thing I have learned, it’s how to live on as lean a budget as possible. Also some time-management, resource management & quick solutions. I know that I am not alone in this, so I thought, this might be a fun series to start here on Lifexperiment Blog.

I am a blogger, I am broke… I am the broke blogger. Hey, why not?

Any thoughts on this? Good, bad…indifferent?

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

Getting To Know You 05.02.2019

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I’m on a diet. A quite strict diet. Which makes me fantasize about all the rubbish food I cannot eat. So my question for today is: What is your favourite rubbish food?

Mine? Well, I do love nacho nite! But in this case, I have to say cake batter! I cannot bake a cake, but I will eat an entire bowl of batter! Gross, huh?

What is your favourite rubbish food?

-Mliae

 

Off – Days

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Do you ever have those off – days when you have the best of intentions but the worst of plans? That’s me, today. I find myself just walking in circles, thinking about all the things I should be doing but just can’t seem to manage actually doing.

How do you handle those days?

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

Keto – 0 / Holiday Food – 1

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I am an idiot. I decided that I would start a Ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting, 1 week before the holidays. I did great. I lost 2+ Kg in that week! And then, I ate. For 3 days I ate like a normal person. It was wonderful. Guess what happened? In 3 days, I gained back 3 kgs! GGGGGRRRRRR!!!

Quite necessary to say that I hit the diet again today.

My question today is: What good is a diet if you gain it all back over a bad few days? Or is there a point when you get kind of ‘safe’?

Back in the ‘fat pants’…

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay



When the Holidays Sneak Up on You.

This year has been a bit strange. I am usually that insanely excited person who decorates early for the holidays. This year, I’m late for almost everything. It’s like time is just flying by and I still haven’t worked up the nerve to go sort through storage and drag out our Christmas decorations. I mean really. It’s not like we have so much that it’s overwhelming.

Everyone’s happy that ‘oh, I got my decorations up last week’ and ‘I’ve just finished my gift shopping’!

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…and I’m over here like

metaphor-pixabay

Any ideas on how to banish my inner Grinch and get back into holiday beast mode are appreciated!

-Mliae

*Text photos sourced via Pixabay. Feature photo is my own.

 

 

Guest post: Ten blasts from the past that are making a comeback

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There are some things that fade in our memories, only to come back from time to time when we are reminded with a chuckle and a shake of the head. Then there are some things that come back in the kind of way that can’t be ignored – coming to real popularity once again. These ten things might send you deep down memory lane, but they’re also making a big comeback right now!

1. Resort shirts

Fashion right now is returning to the 80s and 90s, big style. Resort shirts are one of the select pieces that are coming back for the upcoming season, and they’re going to be everywhere really fast. Even if you haven’t been anywhere exciting, pick up one of these quirky, kitsch shirts to rock the style with straight-leg jeans and boots.

2. All-natural furniture

Wicker and rattan were materials you most likely associated with your granny’s house, but these days, you can expect to see them popping up in the homes of your peers instead. All-natural furniture is making a comeback, and that means these plant-sourced styles are going to be seen in a lot of modern homes.

3. Conversation pits

You might never have seen a conversation pit in person, as this 70s home design trend was short-lived – and quickly became so much of a turn-off that many homeowners did away with them in order to sell the house.  Now, they’re coming back: a recessed pit in the centre of your living area with connected couches facing one another, so you can’t do anything but chat.

4. Brutalist design

Brutalism came about after WWII in the first place, and uses the textures and colours of metal and concrete to make the home seem cold, stark, and even almost dirty. It’s a bit of a rebellious look, and it comes about for a second time now as homeowners go against the mid-century modernist trend we’ve been seeing in recent years.

5. Scarf dresses

Do you remember the scarf dress? Made from a mixture of textiles, often actually looking like pieces of cut-up scarves, the shape often includes a jagged hem that continues the theme. This style is back in for the season ahead, hitting on the gypsy trend as well as the current penchant for asymmetry in design.

6. Yellow

It’s funny to say it, but colours really do have a big rise and fall in the world of fashion. Sometimes they’re in, and sometimes they’re out. Rising hugely this season is yellow, coming on the coattails of the infamous Gen Z Yellow. For this trend, however, mellower tones are also acceptable.

7. 90s windbreakers

Those oh-so-stylish windbreakers that your mother made you wear in the 90s are actually now a thing again. It’s just a shame that your child-sized jacket will no longer fit!

8. Dad sneakers

Again, we have the 90s to thank for this one. Dad sneakers are so uncool that they’re cool again. Normally we’d tell you to avoid this type of shoe for looking so ungainly and unchic, but now they’re back in vogue for a while.

9. Crazy heels

Stick a few weird shapes into the heel of your shoe and you’re good to go with this trend. You saw those crazy heels in the 90s and again in the 2000s – and this decade’s turn has come at last.

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10. Western trends

We’re going all the way back to the Wild West for this trend: think cowboy-style boots, fringed jackets, and prairie chic with a vintage air.

All these trends are back in style, which really makes us wonder. Maybe we’d better hang on to everything we ever buy just in case it comes back!

Regards,

Anna

Anna Ashmore.jpg

AUTHOR BIO: Anna Ashmore is a woman of many talents. She is passionate about literature, sports, travel and education among many other things. She is also an amateur writer who hopes to make it big in the blog world. Professionally, Anna is a market research analyst at http://businesscheck.co.nz/ and loves her job.

*Photos sourced via Pexels & Anna’s own biographical photo

EXTREME Lifestyle Experiment…Can I Do It?

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Greetings all and thanks for stopping by! Today I’ve got a big one for you…

We just returned from our trip to the States, and it was so much fun! But now its down to business and I would like to discuss with you something I’ve been thinking about doing. I’d really like your input as to whether or not you think I have just completely lost my mind.

I’ve been rolling over in my mind how to explain this, but there really isn’t a good way to do it that I can find. So, here it is: I’ve decided to set a challenge for myself – starting today (this morning actually, and day one sucked) that I will do a complete 180  degree turnaround and live off the land – or at least locally. In all honesty, even though I’ve put some stuff to grow (fingers crossed) I really only have red currants and rhubarb growing and I’m smart enough to know that there’s no way I can last 2 days with that. I’m also kicking off a year (or thereabouts) of a shopping ban. No clothes, accessories shopping for me! I’ll explain all in the following paragraph. Please hang with me because there’s a lot of info – as this is a YUGE challenge I’ve set for myself. I have no idea how long I’ll actually make it, but we’ll see!

This whole post is surely a bit disjointed, but I do want to get all the facts out there so you can call me on it later. 😉 My motivation is this: I’ve been trying to get our accounting together and I realized that we are spending 100’s of Euros more a month than we should be, at the market. I’ve been thinking alot about how spoiled we (as several generations) are. I’ve been paying more attention at the market and it has started to stun me how easily accessible everything is due to globalization. I mean, I think its only in the past 20 years or so that its become commonplace to find summer fruits in mid winter or autumn root vegetables in the spring. This is not natural. Anyway, things got me thinking about how our grandparents lived. Although they were able to import/export items, it was nowhere near the level we have today. They had to eat according to natural harvesting seasons and also with wars, economic depression and the ration card. Despite all of this, many of them managed to survive and become what is actually one of our healthiest, toughest and most stable generations of the 20th century. And then I look at myself. I have been learning 1-2 ways of planting or preserving every year. But in the grande scheme of things, I’ll be 70 before I can actually live off what I’ve learned. I can’t bake – not for anything. I can cook, but it’s not in the realm of deliciousness – so I’m usually the only one who will eat it. And I need to learn. I have a habit of purchasing ready-made or easy to prepare food.  But the more I look at it, the more I want to prioritize my spending. As I would prefer to be able to pay off my debt (Or at least pay it down somewhat). Creating a life which is more on the self-reliant sphere has catapulted my decision. That and the fact that I really need to learn how to do this. It’s sink or swim time. And I hope I don’t sink!

So here’s what I’m doing: I am living off what I can grow as much as possible and what I can source from local farms and local small business (live fish farm -? I think it exists?, greenhouses and a small shop which sources dried herbs from the area). I am allowing myself gifts. As in, I will not turn down birthday cake if someone gets it for me. (My husband hates this clause because he thinks I’ll be begging people to buy me food ‘gifts’…he may be correct, but lets hope not!) I know that I will need lots of help from friends and neighbors to help me learn and direct me to local farms where I can purchase food items (which will fun to explain, as they don’t even know this blog exists).

I am allowing myself some purchases at the market, as I cannot cook without some things. The items I am allowing myself are as follows:

  • varying wheat flours
  • oil
  • sugar
  • cheese (& maaayyyybbe milk if I need it for casserole, but I think I can do without)
  • eggs
  • yeast
  • dried beans/peas
  • mustard powder (I’m trying to perfect a mustard recipe for gifts)
  • coffee
  • tea
  • vinegar

If I cannot make the items I need with these ingredients, I don’t get it. I have to learn to make my own bread, pastry, pasta and sauces. I don’t feel like I’m cheating with these ingredients, because they are necessary and even the cowboys had access to these items. Besides, I can’t preserve without some of it. So there. *sticks out tongue and wags fingers in ears.

Part 2 of this challenge is that I am embarking on a shopping ban. 1 year if I can do it. I have enough. Ironically, I looked in my wardrobe today and have built up my wardrobe to exactly 30 items. I find it so weird that some people consider 30 items for a season, a minimalist challenge. How? My wardrobe looks so….full!

I don’t know why my mind is so set on this, as it seems like a mission to disaster for this spoiled city girl. But I am determined to make it work. I can tell you quite honestly that I am already seriously missing fruit and mineral water.  I know that I will have troubles, challenges and frustrating days. I will be logging everything so that you can share in this journey with me as much as possible. I plan to do a vlog series about it as well, but no promises because I have no idea how weird I’m going to get.

So that’s my deal. Any thoughts on the matter?

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

Wifi Crashes, Everyone Panics

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What happens when the Wifi goes down? Life ends, of course. Or so one would think, anyway, if one witnessed the morose, nearly teary-eyed faces that are the result of a lost internet connection.

I realized after several hours, that, the struggle is real. This got me thinking; Are we really so dependent on our devices, that it feels like our world is crashing down around our ears when we can’t use them temporarily? That’s not OK.

How did we get to this point? How did we get so chained to our screens that the simple act of living life, going outside to play, throwing a snowball – takes so much more effort than zoning out on a video game for hours on end. You’ve all heard me rant about these things before. But more and more, it is becoming apparent to me that our complete and total dependence on the internet is becoming a problem.

Now, I’m not talking about googling recipes, downloading your workout regime or online shopping. Not even the occasional video game  and certainly not Netflix. These are all things that can be done in a relatively short period of time, downloaded & referenced later, or what have you. What I’m talking about is our drool-faced, empty staring, moved to tears because Instagram can’t be accessed – absolute addiction to a constant internet presence. This is not healthy. For any of us. Since when are we so important that emails must be received and answered immediately, regardless of the time of day? I’ve got news for you: 92% of us are NOT that important. (Random statistic created within the boundaries of my own skull.)  You get what I’m saying. We have kept ourselves in an on-call status for far too long now. More than ever, I think it’s time to force ourselves to unplug every now and then. Go out, live life, then come back and reconnect to the net.

What are your thoughts?

-Mliae

 

*Photo via Pixabay

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

Requiem For a Sweater

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My old friend.

How happy I was to pull you from the wardrobe today.

It was my horror to find a hole in the front of you.

We discussed sweater surgery,

but you were beyond repair.

So it was my sad news

to have to throw you in the refuse.

I will miss you my old, brown friend.

The warm embrace of your cashmere,

wrapped around me on a cold winters day.

The comfort of being stretched-out just ‘so’

as to rival the most comfy college Tee.

I will miss having a sweater that matches everything

My wardrobe ‘go-to’,

now a footnote in my style notebook.

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to replace you,

my favourite cashmere sweater.

A sad day in closet land,

-Mliae

Spontaneous Stop-off Results in Serious Smiles

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Greetings 🙂

Ever have those days when your spontaneity results in something super?? I did! I was really happy about it too because many times, my spontaneous shifts from schedule don’t exactly make everyone around me happy.

So here we are, driving through the country-side and I spot an old building with a museum placard by the front. I figure, hey, I love the odd museum and since this one is set back amidst tons of trees, lakes and fields, it might be very different from what I’m used to. Let’s go!

Firstly, it was free. I love that! The place was small and quite rural, but it really only added to the charm. There were 2 wooden planked floors in this historical building and the art it held really captivated me.

Here are 3 of my favorites:

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I’m not usually a huge fan for landscapes. But this one just kind of made it impossible for me to stop staring at.

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This one, I realized, is the evolution of the family throughout the past 200 years. A very interesting piece which really speaks volumes.

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And this one, I want on my wall. I know that the composition isn’t perfect, but I like that about it. The bright colours really made me swoon and I went back to this piece like 3 times!

What do you think? Success??

-Mliae

The Wedding Photos are Here!!

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I’ve been waiting until we got all the photos from people (and the photographers) to start posting about the wedding. Unfortunately, it has taken forever. Well, not too big of a surprise actually, considering international postal times.

Anyway, they are here! WOOOHOOO!! So keep an eye out because in the next day or 2, I will be posting all about the wedding and everything! I have also decided to post some vendor reviews because some were really awesome, some average and 1 who I feel should be put in jail.

Next post is all pics of the ceremony and reception + loads of details. It was lovely! We had a great time, the ceremony was all original and just for us! The spot was gorgeous and everything just fell perfectly into place.

Big Happy Hugs

-Mliae

Married Life Faux-Pas #1 (Of many…)

When you feel the iron pull and your heart drops a little.

I did this. Just now. Playing happy home-maker for the weekend, this stoopid chic decided to do a months worth of ironing in one go. This was my first item. Then I decided maybe a break was best, since the iron got so hot it burned my top in the first 5 seconds.

Mission aborted…Doh!

-Mliae

Getting to know you 15.06.2017: Fashion

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Why is it that even horrible fashion eras like the 80’s, keep repeating themselves in modern day trends? I mean, the whole Victorian era – gothic repeat, I totally get that. But I don’t understand, when those of us who managed to survive the 80’s nearly unscathed are still among the living to bear witness to the shoulder pad – hairspray nightmare, how this possibly continues to rear its head in modern day fashion.

You know what they say: ‘If you lived through a fashion trend once, you can’t rock it the second time around.’

What do you think? What fashions make you cringe?

-Mliae

5 Great Uses for Household White Vinegar

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When we think of vinegar, the image that usually comes to mind is cucumbers soaked in the stuff and an odiferous smell. Well, white vinegar is actually great for a multitude of uses. I am a big fan of having anything in my home which serves more than one purpose. Here are some of the great uses for white vinegar. There are hundreds, I’m sure. But I’m listing my top 5:

  • Preserving and Canning, of course: I think that just about anything can be preserved with a varying ratio of vinegar, water and sugar. This is something I love to do but need tons of practice to perfect.
  • Windows: My grandmother taught me this little trick. Add 25% white vinegar to 75% hot water (not much, a small dessert bowl will go a loooonnngggg way!) Take a balled up piece of newspaper, dip in solution and wipe windows. Use a dry balled up piece of newspaper to dry window and you shouldn’t have streaks!
  • Sunburn: Yes, you heard me – Sunburn. The acidity in the vinegar effectively sucks the burn out. If it’s really bad, you might want to do this several times. For a light or patchy sunburn pour a small bit of vinegar to the palm of your hand, place on burnt skin and rub in. (Yes, it smells bad…but it helps…A LOT). For a full-on I-fell-asleep-on-the-beach-for-four-hours burn, hop in the shower, run some cold water over yourself first, then pour (Yes, pour) the vinegar over your burnt bits. Try to rub in or just stand there and let it soak in. Don’t use the whole bottle in one go, but repeat several times. Rinse off, but wait until you feel the burning subside. (You will basically be dry by this point) It’s a desperate measure, but tried and proven.
  • To rid your home of odors: It actually works. Just a tad in a small dessert cup set out on the counter will help to get rid of weird food odors and the like. I’ve found that leaving it out for 6-8 hours is enough to completely clear the air and your home won’t smell vinegar-y either.
  • Smelly kitchen drains: If you’ve got that ‘ugh, what’s that fucking smell and where’s it coming from?!’ stench, its your drains. Pour a small amount of vinegar down the kitchen drains and let it just be there awhile before you turn on the water. It won’t eliminate it entirely, but it will give you a large degree of relief. Works well if you are in a rural area or have a septic tank and can’t use bleach or lye in your drains.

What are some of your favourite uses for vinegar?

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

Let’s Do This! Time To Say ‘I-DO’!

Today’s the day!

Time to pack our bags and hit the road! We had a hard time trying to figure out how to get our families to the same places, so instead made it impossible for everyone and chose a destination wedding!

Afterwards, we got a great honeymoon trip to the U.S.A.! We’re so excited! It will only be about 1 week, and I have scheduled a few small posts. I’ll tell you ALL about everything when we return!

I will, of course, be checking in from time to time because…well, I just can stay away too long!

Thank you for putting up with me during our wonderfulness and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Wish me luck!

-Mliae

Slightly embarrassing yet totally humiliating moment

When your speaking to your future father-in-law in English to avoid language confusion and you get tongue tied when wishing him good luck with a renovation project on his way out, and accidentally say ‘Good luck on your dick digging!’. There is no coming back from that. He left without a word & I almost cried.

Open mouth, insert foot.

-Mliae

Back to Basics

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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

Oh no! I can’t fit into my dress!!

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OMG, OMG, OMG…

I am SO MAD at myself right now! It’s been 6 weeks since major surgery and I am still not allowed to do anything. Seriously, nothing. At least until my physician gives me the green light. And with 6 weeks of minimal movement & the food that accompanies, I’ve gained at a rate of 1 kg (about 2 lbs) per week. 6 kg’s total. I cannot fit into my dress. My beautiful dress.

I spent almost a year last year, fighting to slim down and fit nicely in my swimsuit. Which I finally did, thanks to David. (who is going to be sooooo disappointed). If I could exercise, this would go away, I know it. But what does a person do when they are unable to run, lift, stretch, squat – and the like? I don’t want to go all eating disorder diet, but that baby food & cabbage soup diet is looking pretty good right now.  Help!

What do I do now?

-Mliae

I have to ask…

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Is it just me, or has anyone else gotten a front row seat to witness an otherwise almost normal functioning ex’s degrading mental health after the engagement was announced? If so, please share your story. Seriously!

-Mliae

*Photo from Pinterest

Is it Possible to NOT Lie?

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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

Health Nut French Macarons (Gluten-free)

I had to share this awesome Macaron recipe. It checks all the boxes: Sweet goodness, delicacy and gluten free for those of you who struggle with gluten.
Just FYI – A French macaron is a meringue based cookie (much like these beautifully colored ones you see all over IG), a macroon is more along the lines of a small sweet cookie, but not with the meringue center.

When your couples workout fantasy doesn’t go as planned.

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Yes, I gave it a go and found myself looking like a wimp.

My fiancé is a beast. The man works out and works out hard. Since we enjoy doing basically everything together, we had discussed how nice it would be to do a couples workout together every now and then.

I’ve really wanted to do this, but have been a bit shy to exhibit my lack of extreme workout skills in front of him. Now, please understand; It’s not like I’m incapable of exercise. I spent a large portion of this Spring/Summer working with David at Chape Personal Trainer, and he forced me to get used to some uncomfortable workouts. Luckily, I have managed a bit of stamina due to these sessions. However, I have gotten a bit comfy in my own skin recently, and my private workouts are more of a girl routine. I am not used to jumping, bending and sweating like a man.

Ok, so that’s where we were. Last night, I worked up the guts to tell my guy that I’m still interested in the couple workouts. Today, he started to workout and I watched. When I asked to join, I quickly realized that the skill level is a bit (OK, A LOT) over my ability. OK…

We started talking and I found myself exhibiting the exercises I do on my own. And then being coached. And having more weight added. By the time we got through, he was timing me, and forcing me to continue with a kettle bell 50% heavier than the one I’ve been using – and going full-on drill sergeant on me while I was doing my reps. I felt like such-a-girl…

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I must admit though, that even though our ‘couples workout’ really was him coaching and me begging to stop, I enjoyed doing it together. I also feel a twisted sense of accomplishment. To be continued tomorrow…or maybe Tuesday ;P

Walking like John Wayne tomorrow

-Mliae

 

 

Hello!

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Hi guys! Just checking in. I’m sure that some of you probably think I’ve fallen off the planet, since its been a couple days since my last post. My apologies.

I do have some updates for you.

I am working on my Recycled Book Reading Challenge book (from December! I know…Uuuugh). The book is ‘Hitman: Enemy Within’ by William Dietz. This is supposed to be the official book of the video game (which I have never played). The review will be posted TOMORROW!  The holidays ran away with my time and it took me fooooorrrrrrever to finish the book. My bad! I have been checking out your posts for the recycled book reading challenge and they are great! Thanks for doing this with me! 😀 😀

Also, I have some news. About the whole no-blood situation thats been going on for months now. They have found the problem (I’ll spare you the details) and I’m scheduled for surgery in about a month. So here’s the deal: It seems that I’m going to be in bed for several weeks afterwards. I’m not sure what kind of loopy-stuff I’ll be taking, so no promises that I’ll be drugged and blogging on the reg. I will, of course be checking in – because, well…blogging is my favourite thing to do 😉 But due to my no drinking & blogging policy: If the room is spinning, I won’t be typing. Because it wouldn’t make sense to anyone. Anywho, I will let you know when I go in for surgery and you can know that for a couple weeks blog posts will come when they come. The regularly scheduled posts will be there on the days they should be …I promise! Have calendar, will post.

Thank you guys for being AWESOME and I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

-Mliae

A Happy Start to Christmas Weekend!

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Happy Holidays, everyone!

It’s the Friday before Christmas…and what am I doing? Well, blogging at the moment. LOL But besides that, I’ve been cleaning like a squirrel on crack for the past 2 days. Seems like I got my energy back. Yay! And when I say cleaning – I mean cleaning! Scrubbing lamps, walls, windows – the whole shebang. And it’s festive 😀

Although I am usually quite conservative about the amount of holiday decor I put out, this year, I have completely lost my mind and it’s been a blast! It began with a small tree and a string of lights on a tree outside. It’s mutated into lots more lights everywhere (and in every window) with Christmas candles burning & Christmas tunes blaring – around the clock. I even put on a potpourri simmer today.

I don’t know why but there’s something about a 7 hour spotify Christmas music playlists and lots of twinkling lights that just make me lose my mind. In a good way 😉

I’m so excited and really in the Christmas spirit this year! How about you? How’s it going?Any Christmas nerds out there singing along to shop music with me? (Oh yea, I’m that girl. My Fiancé has been keeping his distance)

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Happy Holidays!

-Mliae

It’s here!

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I had to share this with you 🙂 I purchased this hand-woven rug during a trip to Morocco. It isn’t huge, because they were so expensive…more than I had on me, for sure! But the handicraft is beautiful, and since I limit myself to ONE purchase in each country, per trip (I’m not a souvenir ladened suitcase traveler…much to my friends dismay.) I was able to justify this little luxury to myself without too  much work.

It took a while to get everything in order and to have it shipped. Then have it shipped again. But now, it’s home! I hope you like it too…the photo colored a bit weird, but rest assured, its gold and blue tones are just beautiful 🙂

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What about you? What are some of your favourite travel souvenirs?

-Mliae