Reflecting On 2016’s Goals

It came to my attention that almost a year ago I posted forty somewhat pointless goals for 2016. As we’re approaching the summit of a brand new year, I thought it’d be a right old laugh for everyone if we go back and lol our bums off at everything I didn’t achieve last year. Here’s the 40 goals I set for myself on December 27 last year, and my thoughts on each.
1. Stop assuming every twinge in my body is the beginning of my journey to death. While my anxiety had improved slightly, I must confess to 3 blood tests, one transvaginal ultrasound, one denied MRI and about 7402746 leukaemia scares in the past year. Safe to say I’m still working on that one. 
2. Eat more grapefruit. Ate a few, decided the squelchy sounds I made when eating them was likely to render me single for all eternity so I stopped. 
3. Stop snoozing my alarm. If anything, I snooze my alarm more. Whoops. 
4. Devise a shorter response to the question, “so what are you doing now?” to avoid trapping people by having to journey back to “so I met this Australian guy” circa 2013. LOL nope. Still boring passers-by. 
5. Moan about Taylor Swift less. I think I actually achieved this one. Just. 
6. Never play beer pong when Captain Morgan is being added to the shit mix. I can confirm I can no longer even smell Captain Morgan without my mouth filling with warm sick, so no danger of this one. 
7. Try a different club on Chapel St that isn’t Revellers. Went to Attik and I cried. 
8. Moan about Metro Trains less. Achieved, though largely attributable to the fact we moved to the tram zone instead of the trains, and I seem to think anything less than 10km is walking distance. 
9. Actually decide whether or not to stick to soy milk. In true Emma style, I stuck to soy milk and cut out dairy. Then started panicking that maybe humans do need dairy.  
10. Stop buying specific individual items that I’ll never wear, just to recreate an outfit I saw on Pinterest. Still doing that. Hello Adidas Superstars.
11. Stop thinking I like baking. Still don’t like baking. Accepted it. 
12. Stop spending days baking and then throwing a tantrum that I can’t eat the cakes because I’m fat. Learned sugar free baking! 
13. Accept that Shapes aren’t a healthy snack. I’m 11 months Shapes sober. 
14. Remember that Kiwi fruits are a natural laxative before going into work. Duly noted. 
15. Learn when not to make jokes. ‘Fraid I failed on this too. Still accidentally offending. 
16. Remember to buy my passion pop in advance of wanting it so I bag it for the reasonable fee of $4.90 and avoid the tantrum in the local bottle shop upon seeing that they’re charging $10 for it.
17. Throw less tantrums – a newly added item after writing this list and realising I have them too often for a 24 year old. Been a little better, but Jess has created the term ‘fattitude’ for when I have attitude about being fat. So maybe not. 
18. Don’t try on new clothes after a big dinner and then cry about being a pig and storm off to the gym. Still doing it, still whining. 
19. Join a gym with air con. DONE. 
20. Actually do my posture exercises and try to sit up straighter to get off the road to being a hunchback. Took up Pilates and improved my posture so sort of. 
21. Try to accept that just because I have a headache, the chances are it’s not a brain tumour. This has happened less, but generally because I’ve had less headaches. The next twinge I feel will 99% be a miscellaneous blastoma. 
22. Stop telling people the story about how David Lloyd wouldn’t let me join the gym over Christmas. Now telling the story about how they DID let me join over October. Sorry. 
23. Accept that Starbucks in Australia tastes like crap and stop buying it. Turns out their long blacks are actually very good and better value when you want a large one because you’re a sassy bitch that can’t be tamed. 
24. Decide whether or not to buy an iPad. Did not buy iPad. 
25. Decide what type of writer I want to be. Still no idea. Recently wrote copy for a lean meat producer while contemplating going vegetarian. Solid. 
26. Take a digital marketing and SEO course. HAHAHAH no. 
27. Stop thinking that my financial management elective and my AS level in accounting is enough, and just get an accountant. Poached one in the lift of my building. Tax return remains unfiled though. 
28. Either stop telling people I can speak Spanish better than I actually can, or learn it properly. Still over using the phrase ‘solamente un poco’ 
29. Stop insulting Australians. Would be easier if they’d stop saying ‘veggies’. 
30. Accept that I’ll never be able to pull off “sick” as an adjective. Also duly noted. 
31. Find something new to be cynical about now that Downton Abbey is over. Enter Game of Thrones. 
32. Get more manicures. Did not do, but found out my boyfriend can cut my nails beautifully. 
33. Stop comparing how much things cost in the UK. Getting better. 
34. Tell more people about how cork hats were designed to keep flies out your face. Yet to drop this knowledge. 
35. Skype friends more. Fail. 
36. Mention my boyfriend’s dad in more blogs because as it turns out he bloody loves it. I think I did this earlier in the year. 
37. Actually use insect repellent. Still being devoured by half of Australia’s mosquitos unforch. 
38. Stop offering to bring a dessert to family dinners and then end up in tears after failed tart number four slides shamelessly into the bin. I am no longer on the dessert committee. 
39. Understand that it’s really not the right time to get a Corgi yet. We remain corgi-less. 
40. Stop boring people with talk about what visa I’m applying for. LOL nope, still conversation fodder. 

Better goals coming for 2017!

Love always,

Coco xx

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5 Podcasts That’ll Get You Into Podcasts

Podcasts. To be honest, my only knowledge of podcasts was when they were a menu option on my old iPod mini and I wondered what the hell they were. I’m pretty sure I concluded I didn’t give a shit, continued playing Greenday’s American Idiot album on repeat, and forgot all about them.

Then I moved to Melbourne the hipster capital of the world.

AND ALL ANYONE TALKS ABOUT IS PODCASTS. Well. And voting for the Greens. And coffee. And buying things from op shops. And AFL. But mostly podcasts.

After months of wondering what the fuck the fuss was all about, I started to think maybe I should be listening to them. Maybe this was the solution to my ornate ability to be so out of touch with music that I’m still listening to Kesha’s only two hits every time I put my headphones in.

And I walk A LOT, which means I listen to Kesha A LOT. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’ve OF COURSE got Ronan Keating’s When You Say Nothing At All in a safe seat (lol can you tell I’ve been getting right into the Australian election) in my recently played, but to be honest, that’s probably the last time I cared about music. I’ve said at least one hundred times ‘I don’t even know what the kids are listening to these days’, and I legit don’t. Taylor Swift got too cool for me, and the soul of my music-listening ears died at that moment. And never recovered.

SO. I thought I’d give podcasts a try. Though, to be honest, I was worried they’d bore me and my mind would wander towards dreaming of carbs and burgers and cheese and I’d miss what was being said, so I was apprehensive.

I got on with it, and look at me now. I’m hooked. I’m a proper little Melbournian. I’ll toddle along in my Zara puffer jacket, in my active wear, full to my oesophagus of avocado, clutching a coffee (in an eco-friendly Keep Cup I shit you not), on my way to KX Pilates, LISTENING TO A PODCAST.

Let’s get a woohoo for Emma. This is the most alternative thing I’ve succeeded at since my mesh wristband phase circa 2004.

I’m wondering if they’ve taken off in the UK in my absence, but given that 87% of England is as awkward – if not more – than me, I assume they haven’t quite reached the mass market yet.

It did take a little perseverance, but these are the 5 that pretty much got me hooked. Granted, I did hear about a couple of them while listening to a couple of other podcasts (the names of which I can’t remember), but these are the ones I’ve subscribed to and that stuck. Ready? Hipster initiation begins now.

1. Millennial

OH HOW GENERIC. Look, I said I’d got into podcasts. I didn’t say this list was going to be ground breaking-ly unique and game changing. But I’m sorry, Megan Tan, you’ve changed my effing life (she’s the host of the show). The tag line is ‘A podcast about what no-one teaches you: manoeuvring your twenties, captured in real time’, and that’s pretty much what it is. But in a good way. Like, my blog is about being in your twenties, but it’s more totally bloody standard. The part of your twenties that’s going on Tinder and deciding you’re the hottest thing on the market, and being sick on the street outside the club, and skipping Uni in favour of eating Chinese in your pyjamas and spending all your money on moving to London to piss the leftover 80p of your wages up the wall after paying 98.4% of your income on rent. That part. Millennial isn’t that part. It’s the other part. The part when you get spat out of Uni age 22 (ish) and suddenly you’re not on a plan anymore. There’s no feeder school, no next step. It’s that part. And Megan Tan tells it so beautifully perfectly. I won’t say much more because I don’t want to ruin it for you if you download it. But it’s so good, and you’ll fall a little bit in love with her. She’s empowering, motivating, and basically she’s the one that makes it all okay.

2. Flash Forward

This one’s cool for those days when you just want to not think about stuff that’s going on. Like the day 51% of my beloved homeland United Kingdom voted to leave the EU and everybody started hating on each other on Facebook and people started taking my jokes offensively (which is a day I’ve feared my whole life). Flash Forward sets the scene of a scenario that could happen in the future, takes you there for a few minutes, and then unpicks what life would be like if that happened. One of my faves was a life with no pets, where breeding animals or keeping them as pets was illegal, and a life without lies, where a 100% accurate lie detector test was developed and a bleeping sound went off every time someone told the tiniest lie – like “it’s great to see you!”. Easy listening and makes you think about something other than your own life.

3. Bowraville 

Okay I do love Bowraville, but I did fall victim to that zoning out and forgetting to pay attention thing that I was worried about. And with this one, when that happens, you miss shit out and have to go back. Good for when you’re keen to focus, but if your mind is likely to drift, save it. It unpicks the mystery of three aboriginal children who were murdered in suspiciously similar circumstances, on the same street in New South Wales. Gripping, and a welcome non-mainstream alternative to Serial, so you can get stuck in without feeling like a total sell out for being late to the party.

4. Modern Love

I’ve only listened to a couple of these, but I do really like them. They’re not love stories, they’re stories about love. Often heartbreak, often mystery, often grief and sadness. Some heavier than others, they’re sort of like a teeny tiny audiobook. But it’ll make you feel better about falling in almost love with that guy you met twice and stalking him via WhatsApp and Tinder’s ‘last active’ features for the most of 2012. Cmon, we all did it.

5. Women’s Health Live Better Radio

This one is for when I’m definitely not keen for having to listen hard. It’s just a radio chat show by the editors of Women’s Health Australia magazine – which I read avidly like my little chia seed/almond butter/amaranth/puffed quinoa/raw vegan bible. But the episodes are nice and casual, short and feature different topics, so if you do zone out, you don’t miss key info (like you would with Bowraville). Now I like this show because I’m one of those wankers people hate. The ones who annoyingly turn down cake because it’s fatty, and the ones who read the back of a packet and turn their nose up at the macros or ingredients. But I’m aware of it and I mock it just as much as you do. So i’m sorry. But this show might only appeal to wankers like me, so if you don’t love it I’m sorry. But maybe give it a try if you too love activewear and going dairy free for no reason.

BYE xx

 

Giving Up Dairy | Why My Body is Over The Mooooooon

Over the mooooon.

Get it? Get it?! Man, my puns know no bounds. My clients are lucky people.

This post is about my break up with dairy. I once read a book as a lovestruck teen, called ‘It’s Called a Break Up Because It’s Broken’. And broken it was. My relationship with dairy, I mean.

I think I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts about my love of coffee. I believe the exact words I used were ‘my morning skinny flat white is like a giant hug’. Interpreting a milky bev as an emotional gesture. Hashtag barrier issues.

But it was. And like any addict, each day I vowed that that one flat white would be my first of the day, and my last. But it wasn’t. That morning flat white soon became the first of two or even three a day on some days, and the purchase of my beloved Nespresso machine didn’t help matters. Shout out to the Aeroccino for making ma milk so effin’ foamy, you total babe.

There’s about 225ml of milk in my morning coffee. If I got to 3 a day, I’d find myself staring straight down the barrel of nearly a litre of the white stuff, 360 calories, 9g of fat and 37.5g of sugar. WHAT. I almost loosened the grip on my Keep Cup and fell unconscious when I discovered the amount of sugar in skinny milk. Like, if I’m consuming that much in milk, HOW will I find the room to justify the odd doughnut?

It wasn’t just the coffees. I don’t eat a lot of cheese since going healthy, but that’s not to say this girl ain’t partial to a humble triangle of brie every so often.

Let’s take a moment’s silence for brie, shall we?

…………………

Okay.

So cheese wasn’t a huge issue, but I soon had to face up to the fact that my love affair with Chobani Coconut yoghurts could be the problem. Don’t be fooled, by coconut yoghurt I don’t mean it’s made with coconut milk. I mean it’s a regular dairy laden yoghurt with oh-so-sweet-and-seductive coconut gooey bits on the bottom. Dreamy.

But not for my bloat, nausea and fatigue. One of those little huns every other day quickly pushed my dairy sugar consumption off the charts. I won’t lie, sometimes I had one daily, especially when Coles put on that babein 5 for $5 offer. Never forget.

So, I went cold turkey. DUM DUM DUM.

After a weekend of bloating and concluding I obviously had ovarian cancer (let’s all bow down in my calm and realistic approach to ailments, shall we?), I decided to cut out all dairy for a week. I didn’t just cut out dairy. I went back to basics. Breakfast was oats (made with water), lunch was salmon or chicken and greens, and dinner was salmon or chicken with greens and a complex carb (brown rice or sweet potato). And all coffee, was BLACK coffee (with a dash of soy milk on occasion). I KNOW RIGHT. If only I could eat like that all the time. Victoria might even tell me her Secret.

Aside from feeling a bit gassy from all the greens – hey there, broccoli – I felt SO much better. I wasn’t fatigued, I didn’t have tummy pain, hey, I didn’t even get that afternoon slump where you just sit at your desk and rest your chin on your hand and daydream about laying on an island eating brownies from the tray. None of that.

So come the end of the elimination week, I made the decision to make our breakup more permanent.

I started using coconut milk instead of regular milk, but I kept the black coffee rule. Over the week I’d actually started to get used to it, so now, I drink black with just a splash of coconut milk. So we’re talking between 12 and 40 grams of sugar from my old milk habits that are gone from my diet. MORE ROOM FOR DOUGHNUTS.

I haven’t tasted that silky smooth feeling of a whole milk flat white for over a month now, but I don’t miss it. I’ve created a new habit and I’m pretty darn pleased with it.

Yoghurt wise, I’ve actually switched to goat’s yoghurt, and I’ll eat goat’s cheese and feta cheese, too. There’s arguments as to whether these are considered ‘dairy’ or not. Obviously, in a vegan diet, yes, they’re banned. But I find they sit much better with me than cow’s dairy, so whether they are or not, I don’t really mind. I’m gonna back this up with a bit of science. Ready?

Goat’s products are much easier on the human digestion system because the fat molecules are far smaller than in cow’s products. Goat’s milk, cheese and yoghurts contain far less dairy sugar than cow’s (that’s the lactose that irritates a lot of people’s gut), and it’s naturally homogenised – so it doesn’t go through our processing to make it drinkable and uniform.

That said, I still don’t eat a whole heap of the stuff. A blob on some blueberries every so often, sure, but even though I’ve switched out the cow’s dairy, I’ve cut the consumption of the type of products in general. *Self five*.

Now, while this all sounds too good to be true, I’m going to be frank. Yes, I’ve made all these changes, and I can honestly say I have cut dairy lattes/flat whites out completely, in do believe in the 80/20 rule. Or even 90/10. At this point I’d say I’m 90/10 cow’s dairy free.

I don’t want to be that person that’s awkward when someone’s cooking for you. I don’t want Jess’ poor mum to have to accommodate non-dairy, and most of all I don’t want to cut anything out completely. Because if I do, if I’m not sensitive to it now, I will be eventually. Complete lack of exposure to something is bad for us, so yeah, once a week or so, I’ll have a slice of cheddar cheese on something, or some mayo, or a scoop of dairy ice cream. And that’s all cool. It can be done.

This lifestyle change comes in part of my pursuit of balance – something I struggle with. I’m an all or nothing kinda girl. People tell me my obsessions with healthy diet and exercise are dangerous, but to be honest, I wouldn’t have got to where I am without that little bit of addiction and obsession. I half-arsed health my whole life. Sure, now I’m tasked with finding a balance, but I’m not overweight anymore. I’ll find that balance one day, one chia seed at a time.

Ciao,

Coco xxx

 

 

Behind These Black Doors | Nobody is Ever as They Seem.

Walking into the lobby, fumbling for my key fob, I mindlessly stub my index finger into the button to call the lift, and stand in a familiar silence with a pretty blonde girl in office attire. No casual Friday, I thought to myself as I gazed jealously at her perfectly polished black-on-black silhouette. She must be a lawyer or something. When the comforting ding of the lift signalled its arrival on the ground floor, I trudged my New Balance shoes into the lift, tapping my key fob and pressing floor five with the same irritated attitude that I did it with every single day. The system never seems to cooperate with my key and it wound me up. Behind me, she glided into the lift in an almost ballet dancer like fashion, not a single one of her blonde strands shifting out of line for even a second. She taps floor five – the same as me – and the doors slide closed in unison.

The silence continued, the atmosphere marinated in anonymity. We exchange a forced smile through pursed lips as we ascend floor after floor. Level five. There’s a moment; it’s almost as though we bid one another a silent, faceless farewell. She bounced out of the lift and turned right, the tail of her neatly flowing trench coat engulfing her delicate frame. I hear her key slide into one of the doors. It sounded exactly like mine did – they’re all the same doors in this apartment block, so every entry to every door sounds harrowingly identical. In a flash, the familiar clunk of the closing door sounded, and she was gone. Her weekend had begun, just like that.

As I walked the opposite way down the corridor to my apartment, I took a moment to notice at each door. Black. All of them. A chunky, matte silver handle the only thing standing between me and what lay on the other side – only our human restraint adheres us to boundaries, preventing us from ever seeing beyond those black doors.

For a moment my mind removes itself from the building. My mind paints an imaginary blueprint of the building. Twelve apartments per floor. Seven floors. Three towers. 252 apartments. 252 capsules of life. 252 homes to probably double or triple as many people. Behind every one of those black doors is another story. Another answer to a question. Another ending to the book.

Some days I work for myself, from home. I’ll amble down to the coffee shop underneath our building, or nip out for a lunchtime run. I pass people by. I wonder what they think when they see me. I allow myself this moment of narcissism as I start conceptualising what I could be to them. Am I unemployed? Am I off work sick? Am I rich? Do I work nights? What do they think is behind my black door, other than the empty coffee cup they see me clutching, or the sweaty running shoes I wear as I pound past them in an unjustified fluster. That’s all they know of me.

Behind my black door is my one bedroom apartment I share with my boyfriend. Behind my black door is a pretty simple, contented life of two twenty-somethings in love. A good day behind my black door is a great episode of Masterchef, a new blend in the Nespresso machine, finding $10 in a pair of old jeans. A bad day behind my black door is a crappy day at work, the car running out of coolant, getting stuck in traffic, worrying about a family member near or far. I’m lucky the walls behind my black door have mostly happy stories to tell.

I never saw the pretty blonde girl again. But I still stare at her black door. And the others, wondering what’s behind them. I let my mind wander into an endless daydream of unknown possibility about what’s really behind those black doors, what stories the walls would tell. I take comfort from the fact I’ll likely never know. My hopeful fascination the only source of reason.

That pretty blonde girl. I hope she is a lawyer. I hope she’s happy. I hope she really does command my envy.

I never want those mysteries to be shattered by the real story. The heartbreak, the sickness, the bankruptcy, the loneliness, grief or emptiness. The stories I create behind those doors can’t be tainted. Everyone behind their black door remains nameless. All I can do is leave those black doors closed, each with their own ending to their own story. I just pray that their story is as happy as I painted it.

A wise person once told me, every man is an island…and it’s true. Everyone has their own benchmark for tragedy, their own pillar of happiness. Your bad day at the office, your broken ankle, that few thousand dollars you lost. Those things could be paradise to someone else. Every man may be an island, and in my case, every man’s black door hides a story I’ll never get to read the end of. 

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25 musings about turning 25 next week | Turning 25

Hello, hello

So in just five teeny tiny days time I’ll be turning a quarter of a century. Yep, twenty flippin’ five. How exactly has that happened? This, among other things, have been crossing my mind as this mini milestone has leered over my shoulder for the past few weeks, so I thought I’d condense them down to an appropriate 25 strong listical, cos, y’know, content.

  1. I’m starting to wonder if we’re now too old to still classify people into what year group they were in at school.
  1. I’ve seriously considered spending about $50 on a single candle, which is a sure indication of my progression to being stereotypically middle aged.
  1. I also now apparently give two shits about the thread count of my bed sheets.
  1. Instead of spending our money on gallivanting round hotels and restaurants, Jess and I now lust after couches, flatpack furniture and Le Creuset cast iron cook pots.
  1. People are beginning to ask me what my “partner’s” name is. So I’m either old and/or they think I could possibly be a lesbian. (Though the fun part is when I say his name is Jess. They must get their mind absolutely blown).
  1. I’m actually giving people younger than me advice. And they’re taking it.
  1. I’ve got a plethora friends’ of hen parties and weddings in my calendar.
  1. Turning 25 does now mean that I’ve made it 25 whole years without ever squeezing a spot.
  1. I’ve also learned that people instantly despise you when you say this to them.
  1. I’m wondering what the next form I fill in will be, and shuddering a little at the thought of ticking the 25-29 box.
  1. I’m feeling incredibly equipped for when I receive my ‘invitation’ to my first smear test, as I’ve already had one and am looking forward to explaining this to the clamp-bearing nurse.
  1. A small part of my soul dies every time one of my friends buys a house.
  1. My body has started actually needing herbal tea to function.
  1. The other day I got heartburn for the first time.
  1. I think at 25 I’ll have inched into the next age category in terms of breast cancer prevalence so there’s a little nugget of joy for my anxiety.
  1. People no longer seem to give me a judgey look when I buy pregnancy tests even though in my head I still feel like the stick is basically my audition for a potential appearance on Teen Mom. (FYI I only buy prego tests because I’m super paranoid and check every month just to be sure, not because I’m an idiot that still thinks risking it is cool.)
  1. If I don’t get enough water for like half a day, I seriously wilt like a flower.
  1. It’s becoming harrowingly apparent how far away I am from being the subject of Taylor Swift’s song 22.
  1. Apparently my body can no longer handle the ‘warm up’ cider I used to chug before a night out sponsored by heavy spirits. Mixing drinks ain’t cool no more, says my ever-aging liver.
  1. Chunders are no longer ‘tactical’.
  1. White bread consumption is now a one way ticket to guaranteed bloat.
  1. An exciting week is dictated by things like new accounting software to manage my invoicing.
  1. An intense and wrenching wave of nausea consumes me when I so much as think back to how I handled going out so much at uni.
  1. Things that I thought I’d know by now are still utter mysteries to me. This week I witnessed a conversation that I think was about some form of political unrest in Japan, and I’m ashamed to admit I had literally zero clue what they were talking about, and I just sat there wondering where they ever learned about this stuff.
  1. Everything we want to do is dictated by the two words I hate the most. ANNUAL EFFING LEAVE.

So that’s that. Here’s to another year of me spoiling you with perfectly pointless lists of shit that you probably didn’t want to know.

Over and out,

Coco x

 

 

Digital Detoxing | Wellness Loading by Andi Lew | How to Do a Digital Detox

Ah, detoxing. Juices, teas, cleanses… everywhere we look there’s an opportunity to reverse all the bad, undo your mistakes and ‘detox’ the crap out of your body. Problem is, all we seem to do right after a detox, is retox. No, you can’t undo years of bad eating with a 3 day juice cleanse. Shock. The key is repetition, and learning from your mistakes, and making new, better habits each time.

Last week I attended Andi Lew‘s Wellness Loading book launch with the lovely Zee from Insincerely Her.

Let’s take a quick moment to appreciate those times when you meet someone for the first time and you just click instantly. You might be completely different people, with different types of jobs and at different stages in your life, but somehow, something clicks. The conversation doesn’t feel totally forced, and you’re actually interested in what the other person has to say. Despite us being at a PR launch for a book advocating a digital detox, I’m grateful for the internet for bringing me together with people like Zee. 

Anyway, we slurped some vegan, sugar free ice cream (which was surprisingly good), mingled and heard a motivating and refreshing chat from Andi, about how stepping outside of our comfort zone, cutting off from the digital world and appreciating the world around us can be a total mind cleanse.

I’ve often wondered about giving up Facebook or my smartphone, for a period of time or even forever, but the nature of my work does command me to keep up with digital. I can’t manage brand’s social channels without an account myself, nor would I want to profess to be a social media guru if I was shunning it behind closed doors. But that doesn’t mean we can’t benefit from a digital detox.

Wellness Loading takes you through the benefits of a digital detox, and how to do one. Even if it’s no phones on date nights, or at the table, or after 8pm, or even turning off your 4G so your iPhone is just a normal telephone for a few hours. Cut yourself off. You’ll soon realise how accidentally addicted we’ve become. *sings accidentally in love from Shrek*.

I’m now trying to put my phone in another room overnight. That way, if I can’t sleep I won’t be tempted to check out snapchat, and I won’t waste hours before falling asleep on Instagram and Pinterest. Anything that needs to be done can be done by 10pm. I’ve recently got a sleep spray for my pillow with lavender in. I think it’s helping me sleep deeper and wake less during the night, and I notice an even better change when I cut off from my iPhone earlier the evening.

Sure, I’d love to say phones away as soon as I get in from work, particularly in my field, but without wanting to sound like I’m making excuse after excuse, my friends and family in the UK are all waking up around 6 or 7pm Australian time, so I do like to be on hand then to keep in contact. But, once that’s done, it’s night night phone. I’m finding it really refreshing, and hey, if nothing else, it makes Instagram a hell of a lot more exciting when you’ve not been refreshing it every few hours!

digitaldetox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image via APL Photography.

Have you tried a digital detox?

Coco xx

 

23 things that prove your school years were your sassiest.

Because life was well tough back then, it was no wonder you had an attitude, right?

1. Going full Kourtney Karashian on your Mum after she has the audacity to suggest that your last year’s Withit pencil case ‘will do’ for another year. Ummm, no Mum. 

kourt

2. Not being able to decide between your pink DCs or your black Duffs for your prime hottie outfit for mufty day, so nipping onto the dial up internet for a group opinion on MSN the night before.

3. Being sure to wear the correct number of shag bands on your wrists to reflect your level of uncompromised sluttiness.

shagbands

image via snopes.com

4. Whipping your flip phone out of your inner blazer pocket and feeling like a hot mix of James Bond cool and Lizzie McGuire swag.

5. Sticking dream catchers, mini mirrors and spare lip gloss in your locker to ensure you remain as Mary-Kate and Ashley as possible at all times.

6. …And assuming your parents want to see said locker at parents’ evening. FYI, they do not.

7. Leaving as many shirt buttons undone as you could get away with to not-so-subtly allow all the boys to sneak a glimpse at your raunchy M&S Angel bra.

Angelbra

8. And if the top of your Girl Boxers could peep outta the top of your boot flare trousers from Tammy, that’d be just swell.

9. Pouting your perfectly glossed lips in anger when the bell rang and class wasn’t immediately terminated like the American sitcoms let us believe it would.

10. Swagging round school for the entire week post-BCG jab showing off your war wound and making the lower year levels feel medically inferior.

11. Watching Skins and immediately deciding that the drugged-up-sleeping-in-your-own-sick life was so you.

skins

image via skinsmusic.co.uk

12. …And subsequently trying to make out like every sleepover was a mad rave by taking scandalous pics in your lounge.

12. Never being more than an inch away from your Dream Matte Mousse.

14. …Which was obviously about four shades too dark because duh nobody wants to be Ivory.

15. Making your Mum late for work because you’re busy applying Wella gel to get that perfect slicked back, bump free, skull exposing pony tail that brings all the boys to your yard.

sportyspice

16. Spending a good ten minutes perfecting your MSN screen name, making sure that you’ve 1) named your crush with a code name and 2) chosen the perfect passive aggressive/emotional song lyric to sum up your misunderstood life.

17. Spending all your credit on that awesome polyphonic ringtone so having to call your bestie on the landline before school to check whether you’re bringing lunch or buying it.

18. Making sure that Becca was aware she totally crossed a line today by rearranging your Bebo friends grid (and your ‘other half of me’).

19. Settling for nothing less than the chunkiest of shoes from the Bootleg section at Clarkes.

bootlegimage via amazon.co.uk

20. …And the ridiculously pointless free gift that came with them. #tbt to that weird purple box that was possibly meant for pens?

21. Carrying one of these hotties round like it was the new season Birkin.

Janenorman

image via femalefirst.co.uk

22. … And you got that bag from investing in one of these versatile little puppies.

cardy

image via stylight.co.uk

23. Walking around feeling totally irresistible in amidst a choking haze of Charlie So…Kiss Me, and never being surer that you were a solid 10/10. 

And now, all these years later, we look back and realise that between all the blue mascara, Charlie body spray and aspiring to be fictional drug addicts from a TV show, they were some of the best days of our lives. What are your funniest memories from your school days? Cmon, share your sass tips for future generations….

My Aussie-versary | One Year in Melbourne

So this week, my Australian life turns one. I’ve survived as an Aussie for one whole year. Yay me! I’ve tolerated temperatures of 46 degrees, cooked on barbecues more than I ever thought possible, developed a weird awkward mini Aussie accent and even eaten wallaby. Oh, and the word heaps is legit part of my daily vocabulary. For this I will be eternally sorry.

So yeah, this time one year ago I touched down in Melbourne with nothing but 27kgs worth of my old life, a working holiday visa and a heart full of hope that I’d done the right thing. If I’m honest, moving to the other side of the world for a BOY wasn’t exactly something I EVER saw myself doing. And by that I mean I was probably more likely to become a Jehovah’s Witness than succumb to that thing people call lurve. 

But somehow, here I am, one year on. And in terms of how the relationship is going, last night I chugged in excess of 6 glasses of champagne at a wedding and sang Horses by Daryl Braithwaite at the top of my lungs with my boyfriend’s entire family into my Snapchat camera, before preceding to adopt a ‘no sitting’ policy and physically DRAG said boyfriend’s dad and sister onto the dance floor because an Australian song I’d never heard had come on and I wanted moral support. So yeah, I think it’s going pretty well.

In all seriousness, yes, I completely did the right thing. Do I miss home? Of course. Did I cry when the song ‘Home’ by Michael Buble was played at the aforementioned wedding? PERHAPS. (No, you’re pathetic.) Do I have weird emotional days near-ish to my period when I get all freaked out at the future and picture us getting deported from every country and wind up living in a tipi in Utah on a ranch with nothing but tumbleweed to amuse us? Sometimes. But really, none of that matters because I know it’ll work out somehow, and even if we do end up in Utah, we’ll totally get an online Kmart order delivered and make it homely with some Pinterest-worthy photo frames and maybe a marble soap dispenser or twelve.

In no way is this meant to come across totally narcissistic, but if you’re ever found asking yourself, ‘do long distance relationships work’?, take a step back. Long distance relationships have such a bad rep, and I really don’t get why. For one, it’s totally outdated. Okay yes, if this was the 1920s and I had had to spend 2014 waiting for a telegram to clarify whether Jess was dead, alive or sleeping with a ho-bag from Uni, yes that would’ve been hard. But nobody has taken the chance to factor in Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Viber and the retained eternal magic of snail mail (hand sent Valentines cards are the best Valentines cards. Just sayin’).

If you really, really want something to work, it can. Sure, you have to live in this weird limbo life that’s just one amalgamation of the loneliness of being single without actually any of the fun parts, with a bit of tiredness from late night phone calls across time zones and a big phone bill thrown in for lols. Oh, and you’ll spend a fortune on postage. Did somebody say £55 to send some Christmas pressies? Oh yeah, those hot figures were part of a sweet December serenade I received from Royal Mail. Thanks for nada!

If you’re willing to commit 100%, your long distance relationship CAN work. And it can even be better than any other relationship you’ve ever been in. That’s right kids, you too could see the look on your friends and relatives faces when you tell them you’re dropping everything to move 11,000 miles for a boy (banter) and YOU TOO could spend $7000 on a visa just to be together. Oh it’s such a magical ride. Soz.

FYI, right before you plonk the $7000 on your MasterCard, it is also 100% okay to flick through all the hot clothes you could buy instead in your head, and all the hot islands you could prance around on, and consider sacking the whole lot in for about a nanosecond (sorry, Jess love you).

But the best feeling, really, is knowing you wouldn’t take any of that. The reality is, that person marks a start in your life, rendering everything prior a distant memory.

Sure, you might have to drop everything and move thousands of miles, you might put flight after flight on your credit card, you might spend money that was earmarked for a house deposit on trips just to be together.

Would I want it any other way? Of course not.

Never ditch someone or something because it seems too hard, or because someone somewhere once told you that they knew someone who knew someone who’s long distance relationship went down the shitter. For every LDR down the pan, there’s a thousand ‘normal’ relationships down there, too. Don’t blame distance for a decision you’ve made yourself, and don’t make distance question anything.

Get yourself a hot chocolate, watch Going The Distance with Drew Barrymore and everyones favourite weirdly-ugly-yet-somehow-still-hot dork, Justin Long, and repeat after me. Fuck. The. Miles.

I’m off to eat vegemite, watch Seinfeld and practice verse two of Advance Australia Fare and pray The Queen and the corgis can one day forgive me.

Toodles xxx

 

9 reasons why it doesn’t matter if you haven’t got your shit together yet

  1. Nobody ever truly has their shit together. You could be riding your unicorn down Old Brompton Road with ten trillian quid in the bank and you’d probably still be having a meltdown about what kind of brie to buy at Waitrose.
  1. Just like your tastes change with age and status, so do your worries. Just because you think you’ll have your job, finances and relationship ducks in a row one day doesn’t mean you won’t have other (likely more important) things to worry about. Can I get a ‘fuck no’ for mammograms, menopause and the three yearly treat from mr postman that is your smear test reminder? I think we all thought once we get that first one at 25 out the way it gets easier, but I’ll bet ya it doesn’t!
  1. It turns out your twenties aren’t what we thought they were in our teens. If you’re thinking SHIT I thought I’d have kids by 27 at the latest, you ain’t alone. But next time you start to think you and your aging ovaries will die alone, eggless and childless, toss on your heels and go have an espresso martini and ask yourself if you really think you’re ready to be at home playing with megablocks and arguing over who’s meant to be on pooey nappy duty.
  1. Even when you do start to get your shit together, you probably won’t even realise it. Tbh I’m not entirely sure when I stopped spending nights in clubs with my head over the toilet before rocking back out like a wounded donkey for one last chorus of I Wanna Dance With Somebody, and when I started working freelance and living in a beautiful apartment with my boyfriend that has a marble bathroom and an infinity pool (soz and that)…. And I’m still all over the place.
  1. There’s always somebody worse off than you. Whether it’s through fault of their own or not. Okay sure, so you’re actually considering paying for Tinder now instead of spending weekends at farmers markets in matching tweed like you dreamed it. So what? At least you’ve got a job and you’re earning a living. You’re not on the streets, and you’re lucky enough to have your health. That’s some metaphorical shit, metaphorically together, right there.
  1. The news isn’t necessarily true. Now this is a bold statement for me, as I am one to immediately vow never to touch something like blue tac ever again if there’s the slightest possibility that it’s been proven to be carcinogenic. But in my clear mind, the news really is scaremongering us about having kids. “Women who wait until they’re over 30 for kids are at risk”. YEAH YEAH okay but when am I like, meant to travel the world and find myself or spend all my money on Asos or pay a small fortune to live in London only to end up moving further out to commute on a stinky train every day. WHEN WILL I HAVE TIME FOR THAT? Now. Do it all now. My mum had me at 33, I’m an only child and I turned out just about okay – and she’s still kickin’ too. Having kids later in life might be more risky, but so was that 80th tequila at Freshers week, and you survived that.
  1. You just might be on the path to something you’re meant to do. You might be sitting at your desk at a job you hate, waiting for this ‘shit’ to be ‘together’. Trust me, just wait it out. I always say the worst paths lead to the best people – and the best things. If I hadn’t made some of the stupid mistakes I’ve made in my time, some of the amazing stuff wouldn’t have happened to me. I once turned town an amazing marketing job in London where I basically would’ve schmoozed with One Direction on an average Thursday, based on a gut feeling I shouldn’t do it. For a while I wondered if I’d made the worst mistake of my entire career, but I found my way and I’ve never been more sure I did the right thing.
  1. Other people probably haven’t got their shit together either. Much like my previous post on social image, we only really know the very best of other people – because that’s all they tell you. Everybody worries they’re not where they’re meant to be, even if they’re already there. That mate who’s up at the crack of dawn for spinning before high tailing it off wearing a Zara pant suit and power bun to her managerial role could be neck deep in Big Mac’s by 9pm and swiping right to anyone who’ll have her, for all we know.
  1. At the end of the day, things’ll probably never work out exactly how you thought they would. Stop wasting time trying to press the fast forward button. Just enjoy life on pause for a second. Unforch, Netflix don’t yet stream reruns of your twenties, so you’ll have to enjoy them live instead. Live? Imagine that. Chances are, wherever you’re at right now, is exactly where you need to be right at this very moment in time. One day, you’ll realise.

Until next time,

Coco x

 

Here’s why you actually CAN get good at running.

Think you can’t run? I feel ya, believe me. For years I chunked about thinking my size 14 curves were just part of who I was, and that my thunder thighs were incapable of transporting my body at a fast enough pace to call it a run.

I was the slowest runner known to man (and my PE teachers enjoyed pointing it out to me), and I seemed to get left behind even doing simple things like trotting across the road (true story).

I’d see people out running on Saturday mornings and literally feel the jealousy penetrating my bones. I’d always wanted to be a runner, but for some reason my wobbly legs said it wasn’t too be. I truly believe some people just have the ability to run and some don’t. For all my trying, I’d never been able to break the barrier, yet there I’d be, cowering in the corner of the gym sulking on the cross trainer when some newbie would hop onto a treadmill on her induction and casually jog for 15 minutes straight declaring she hadn’t run since before her kids were born. Like seriously wtf.

I’d been flumping around the school track for years and nada. I remember one year, year six to be exact, I thought I’d made a sublime escape when somehow my teacher managed to assign a sports day event to everyone but me. There I was fist pumping to myself in the assembly hall thinking HELL YEAH I can just sit on the sidelines like an untameable badass scoffing mini rolls and dairylee dunkers and nobody gon’ tel me no.

Nah.

Somehow she realised and plonked me on the 400m sprint. SPRINT. Ummmmm what? My poor Mum. The poor little lamb had to leave work early to come and endure sports day with all the other Mums cheering on their little Olympians while I was incessantly lapped by my fellow competitors. When I finally flopped across the finish line the entire event had practically been packed up and everyone sent home. No sticker for Emma. No trophy for Emma. No participation award for Emma. No, niente, nish.

I actually have a vague memory of being told I ‘just had to try a little harder’. TRY A LITTLE HARDER? Are you kidding? I can assure you I was trying so flippin’ hard I honestly felt like my thighs were going to pop out of my pelvis and continue running off on their own. Try a little harder. PLEASE.

(Personally I think this is bullshit because if I’d gone into the dumbo class and told the kids they weren’t trying hard enough at maths I’d probably have become very acquainted with a scraper and the underside of a gum-ridden table. But yeah sure I’m just not TRYING hard enough in PE. Okay.)

So yeah. That pretty much scarred me for life and I had a fear of running ever since. I sort of accepted that it wasn’t for me, and that my poor body just couldn’t haul weight around for longer than a few minutes.

Turns out, people like me actually CAN run. And so can YOU. I actually regularly get told ‘I wish I could go running too’. BABES YOU TOTALLY CAN. If anyone knows the feeling of not being able to run it is me. Need I tell you another of the school stories? I’ll save you the pity. But let’s just say when we went to high school and met the infamous 3500m part of the athletics term, well, I pretty much had to be called in from the depths of the track as I’d ‘miss my next class if I didn’t keep up with everyone else’. PE teachers, hey. WANKERS.

I’d actually love to rock up to my old school head to toe in Nike waving a giant flag (perhaps with a marching band behind me for emphasis) and say through a giant megaphone “To all my PE teachers that taught me here between 2002 and 2009, FUCK YOU. I just ran 10k.”

Yep, it’s true. I can run now. Some days it’s 3k, some days it’s 10k. But I can run. Like the effin’ wind (ish).

The key, I think, is to let go of all the reasons you think you can’t run. Whether you’re like me and you’ve been scarred by a lifetime of jibes about your sporting abilities, or perhaps an injury or weight loss/gain, let it all go. Forget the bad memories. It’s just you and the track now.

Start small. You can only run within your means. If you can run 1k, run 1k. If it’s 500m, run 500m. When you feel like you need to walk, walk. But always keep going back to running. Some of my favourite ways to get started are these intervals:

  • 30 seconds run, 1 minute walk
  • 30 seconds run, 30 seconds walk
  • 1 song of running, 1 song of walking (if listening to music)
  • run until lungs feel ready to burst, walk for 1 minute
  • 30 seconds comfortable jog, 20 seconds harder, 10 seconds RUN LIKE MO FARRAH (repeat 10 times)
  • 30 seconds easy, 30 seconds hard

It sounds lame but these little intervals actually build you up really really quickly. Run at least 2-3 times a week and you’ll see a difference so fast I promise. Oh, and get decent running shoes. I’ve learned the hard way that Nike Roshe’s (while totally babetown with a pair of ripped jeans and a striped tee) ain’t a runner’s friend. I’m now rocking the ugliest, chunkiest New Balance kicks (New Balance 1260 V5 Stability to be exact), but they give me the support and shock absorbance I need to not, well, shatter my knee caps.

The Nike + Running app is also my best pal. It shouts out when you reach a certain distance and tells you your pace at the same time, so you can monitor whether to kick it up a gear or slow it down to preserve energy while you’re training your endurance. Oh, and when you’re passing a group of onlookers scoffing a Nandos in the park and it shouts out that you’ve just nailed your 4th kilometre, it sorta feels like you’ve just won gold at Rio16. Just sayin’.

If you like to run to music, go for it, but I’ve actually learned I prefer silence. I can nosey into other people’s conversations in the park, let the wind catch my hair and sort of pretend I’m Delta Goodrem in a music video, or day dream about a load of fantastical shit that’ll never happen like winning American Idol or bumping into Richie off The Bachelor and having an impromptu coffee while gabbing about life. It’s a great mind cleanser, especially for the uptight like me for whom meditation and other relaxation techniques are pretty much useless. Haven’t heard about my meditation experience? Have a read here.

Trust me, you CAN do it. And it feels really awesome when you do. Let go of everything that’d ever stopped you, lace up your hawttt running shoes and stick your middle finger up to everyone that ever told you to TRY harder, BE faster or that you’re anything less than totally rad. RUN THE WORLD, GIRLS.

Peace,

Coco xoxo