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!

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Image via APL Photography.

Have you tried a digital detox?

Coco xx

 

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Why you have to try this peanut brittle | The Australian Sweet Co.

Hey there,

So this week my pals at Australian Sweet Co slipped a morsel of happiness through my letterbox to brighten up my Friday. And by slipped through my letterbox I clearly mean I got a missed delivery card and had to head over to the industrial estate where dreams go to die to pick it up. But yeah.

I’ll be honest. I don’t usually like peanut brittle. Every time I’ve tried it in the past I’ve had to forage about for tools just to break it in half, and then wonder ‘hey, do calories even count when the entire thing is lodged in my molars?’.

But the Salted Caramel Peanut Brittle and the Chocolate Covered Peanut Brittle from The Australian Sweet Co was actually delish. It shattered easily so you can, you know, actually chew it, and the hint of salt was delicate and not at all overpowering. It’s quite sweet, but that’s actually pretty good for me because if something can be consumed in one serving, I will consume it in one serving – so having this little slab of joy on hand for an afternoon tea break was ideal.

Thank you Australian Sweet Co! (p.s. they do personalised rock candies too. So if anyones birthday is coming up, you’ve been warned.)

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This product was gifted but all opinions and brittle love my own. 

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

 

58 Thoughts I Had While at Meditation Class

So recently I went to a four-part meditation course with a friend. We both suffer from a bit of anxiety and stress so thought it might be a way to release the fears. Thing is, I’m in no way ‘woo-woo’. Or particularly capable of being something I’m not. What I learned on my Introduction to Meditation is that I don’t wish to read chapter two. I’m a runner. I relax by going for a run. That clears my mind. Sitting does not. I appreciate meditation is a great release for some people. The analogy of the water and soil in a glass, I get that (basically the soil cant settle until the water is completely still). But maybe I like a bit of soil in my life. Perhaps that’s what keeps me on my toes, maybe that’s how I thrive. I have always worked quite well under pressure. Basically, stillness is not for me. I like to move. I like to shake out the dirt, rather than let it settle. If you’re in any way like me – that is, somewhat uptight (though I like to call it energetic and passionate) – you might relate to some of these thoughts I had while meditating. And by meditating I mean being my usual cynical self while sat in a Buddah-like stature.

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  1. This is going to be awesome. Maybe I’ll stop being a stressed, uptight bitch all the time.
  2. Maybe I’ll be able to get a headache without assuming it’s a brain tumour. Or have an itchy finger without Googling ‘finger cancer’.
  3. Wow. I just paid $20 to sit.
  4. We’re all sitting cross legged on carpet. This feels like school.
  5. Ah school.
  6. Seriously, remember school. I feel like a huge giant overhead projector needs to be wheeled in.
  7. Wow I totally zoned out then. Am I nailing this meditation thing?
  8. “Don’t let your mind wander”. Oh shit. I’m not
  9. Wow, I don’t think I’m thinking about anything. Oh wait. I’m thinking about that.
  10. “Let your attention fall towards your jaw. Your ears. Your forehead.” Can anyone feel their forehead?
  11. God I feel like I’m swaying.
  12. I wonder if he’s looking at me swaying.
  13. Ok I’m actually not swaying.
  14. Maybe this is meditating?
  15. Nah don’t think so.
  16. “Walk yourself back through everything you did today”. Seriously? I can’t remember what happened ten minutes ago let alone the entire day backwards.
  17. WHAT DID I DO AT WORK TODAY.
  18. WHAT THE HELL DID I HAVE FOR LUNCH.
  19. Oh yeah salad. Fucking salad. Why am I reliving this again?
  20. God my posture is shit.
  21. I think I can hear someone hoovering.
  22. Gosh I must hoover the apartment.
  23. Focus.
  24. Well, focus on not focusing.
  25. Ommmmmmmmmm.
  26. God I need to sneeze.
  27. *sneeze*. This instructor now thinks I am an idiot. Zen people don’t sneeze.
  28. My nose has never been more itchy in my life.
  29. I wonder how long we’ve been sitting here.
  30. My leg is numb.
  31. Yep, and my foot.
  32. Yay pins and needles.
  33. I wonder if I’m meditating yet.
  34. “So you should now be reaching mid-morning in your journey back through the day”. Oh, really? Everyone else’s day was clearly more eventful than mine then. Reliving sitting in my desk chair chomping on a lettuce leaf didn’t take me long.
  35. “Think about how to be relaxed instead of stressed. For example, when you lose your keys. Just calmly walk your mind back through the day to when you last had them.” Seriously? If I can’t find my keys and Nando’s is about to close I’m gonna tear the house apart like a crazy ass freak of nature until I find them, okay?
  36. I’m definitely too uptight for this.
  37. I think I’m falling asleep.
  38. Wow I’ve never felt my vertebral discs before. But there they are. Individually burning one at a time.
  39. I’m definitely slouching.
  40. I’d do anything to open my eyes right now.
  41. Shit I’m meant to be meditating.
  42. Why am I out of breath?
  43. Oh my god we’re chanting. I’ll just mime along.
  44. How does everyone else know the chant and I don’t?
  45. This is nothing like Les Mills Body Balance.
  46. Please stop talking about my past life.
  47. “Just 2 more minutes”. FUCK YEAH nailed it.
  48. Though all I’ve done is think.
  49. Idiot.
  50. I’m hungry. I wonder if everyone can hear my stomach rumbling.
  51. WHY DO I SWALLOW SO LOUDLY? Nobody else is swallowing.
  52. He’s going to know I’m not in a state of zen.
  53. Why can’t I do this shit lying down.
  54. My bum is more numb than after a RyanAir flight.
  55. God this is a long two minutes.
  56. “Okay, open your eyes slowly”. How do you feel?”
  57. The same. Just with pins in needles in limbs I didn’t know could get pins and needles.
  58. I’m definitely not zen enough for meditation. I’ll just stick to swearing and crying every now and again.

 

Anyone else felt like this?! Tell me I’m not alone, would ya?! Until then, I’ll be, most likely, in a frenzy somewhere – though I truly believe that frenzy will set me on the path to the greatness to follow. It’s called being driven.

Over and out,

Coco x

40 goals for 2016

After my last post unveiling things that happened in 2015, here’s a bunch more shit that I’d like to achieve in 2016:

1. Stop assuming every twinge in my body is the beginning of my journey to death
2. Eat more grapefruit
3. Stop snoozing my alarm
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
5. Moan about Taylor Swift less
6. Never play beer pong when Captain Morgan is being added to the shit mix
7. Try a different club on Chapel St that isn’t Revellers
8. Moan about Metro Trains less
9. Actually decide whether or not to stick to soy milk
10. Stop buying specific individual items that I’ll never wear, just to recreate an outfit I saw on Pinterest
11. Stop thinking I like baking
12. Stop spending days baking and then throwing a tantrum that I can’t eat the cakes because I’m fat
13. Accept that Shapes aren’t a healthy snack
14. Remember that Kiwi fruits are a natural laxative before going into work
15. Learn when not to make jokes
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
18. Don’t try on new clothes after a big dinner and then cry about being a pig and storm off to the gym
19. Join a gym with air con
20. Actually do my posture exercises and try to sit up straighter to get off the road to being a hunchback
21. Try to accept that just because I have a headache, the chances are it’s not a brain tumour
22. Stop telling people the story about how David Lloyd wouldn’t let me join the gym over Christmas
23. Accept that Starbucks in Australia tasted like crap and stop buying it
24. Decide whether or not to buy an iPad
25. Decide what type of writer I want to be
26. Take a digital marketing and SEO course
27. Stop thinking that my financial management elective and my AS level in accounting is enough, and just get an accountant
28. Either stop telling people I can speak Spanish better than I actually can, or learn it properly
29. Stop insulting Australians
30. Accept that I’ll never be able to pull off “sick” as an adjective
31. Find something new to be cynical about now that Downton Abbey is over
32. Get more manicures
33. Stop comparing how much things cost in the UK
34. Tell more people about how cork hats were designed to keep flies out your face
35. Skype friends more
36. Mention my boyfriend’s dad in more blogs because as it turns out he bloody loves it
37. Actually use insect repellent
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
39. Understand that it’s really not the right time to get a Corgi yet
40. Stop boring people with talk about what visa I’m applying for

I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and are still yelping in physical pain on your sofa at the sheer volume of food you ate. Good job. New Year is coming, so drink to a brilliant end to 2015 and a year ahead of health and happiness to all.

Love always,

Coco xx

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43 things that happened to me in 2015

Wow, what a crazy year. I thought no year would fly by as fast as 2014, but hey there 2015, you’ve gone and trumped it. It’s been a great year for me – here’s some things that happened on the ride:

  1. I finally realised I’m too old to remain in love with One Direction. Zayn’s departure didn’t break my heart the way it should have done, and I came to the sad conclusion that I could’t really give two shits about them anymore.
  2. I accepted that a bowl of bran flakes and four Ryvita crackers is not sufficient nutrition for the day.
  3. I realised how much I truly hate winter. I used to sort of love the cosiness of it all – the jumpers, hot chocolates, fluffy socks and layered clothing. But at some point around July in Melbourne, rain-sodden and snivelling, I announced I could not go on. My search for eternal sunshine began in Northern Queensland, where I had two tantrums and shouted at my boyfriend declaring that the cloud that had appeared on our second day was his fault. Obviously.
  4. I ate wallaby… and enjoyed it.
  5. I gave up red meat (a very recent development – for those of you who are questioning whether or not you did in fact see me chug a burger two months ago).
  6. I stopped lying to myself about enjoying clubs less than I used to. I started to realise I was getting too old for it when I stopped recognising the music, and I’m now 100% certain that I am over the hill.
  7. I made my peace with Aussie television.
  8. I learned the truth about Australian winter. No. It absolutely is NOT like our summer.
  9. I learned to drive an automatic car without flapping my left foot about in search of a clutch.
  10. I learned that sucking tea through a Tim Tam has to be done incredibly quickly before it all goes soggy and plummets to the ibis that is the bottom of your teacup.
  11. Apparently having a headache doesn’t always mean you have a brain tumour.
  12. I become a professional writer after years of writing content for free (yay me).
  13. I allowed my boyfriend to see me removing my upper lip hair.
  14. I discovered I am truly dreadful at market research interviewing.
  15. I survived an 8 hour drive to Adelaide (and back) without a freak out (bar one tiny blip on the final 3 hour stint of the return journey when we were further from McDonalds than we thought).
  16. I realised I don’t actually like Victoria’s Secret stuff that much.
  17. I sent so much stuff home from Melbourne over the year that the man in the Post Office said “to England?” every time I went in with a parcel.
  18. I realised I need to know more about politics.
  19. I discovered the true need to wear socks with my running shoes.
  20. I found a hairdresser that actually cuts off the amount you want, and doesn’t ask me how I blow dry my hair when she knows the answer is I DON’T.
  21. I found that when you exercise a lot, your hair and beauty game takes a serious hit.
  22. It seems that 5k in a beachfront race feels a lot further than 5k on the treadmill.
  23. It turns out I don’t like chia seeds. Or cacao powder.
  24. But against all odds I do like courgetti and natural peanut butter.
  25. I finally found the perfect eyeliner brush.
  26. I started saying no to cream on my Starbucks Christmas drinks for the first time EVER.
  27. I learned both verses of the Australian National Anthem.
  28. And upped my level of defence and respect for The Queen.
  29. I discovered that working from home is not always the dream your 9-5 office job leads you to believe it to be.
  30. I realised I’m over Lucy Watson.
  31. But made my boyfriend follow her on Instagram.
  32. Despite having fallen somewhat in love with mine and boyfriend’s long distance, novel-worthy existence, seeing some couples popping round to each other’s houses for the evening and having mutual family gatherings made me realise I do sometimes wish it was normal.
  33. I found that I will forever compare every mode of transport to The Tube.
  34. Taylor Swift got too cool for me. Bring back the country pop, gal.
  35. I heard the phrase ON FLEEK and quickly developed a seething hatred for its entire being.
  36. When I was new in Melbourne I made conversation with someone by telling them I thought I was allergic to my toothpaste.
  37. I learned never to make conversation by telling someone you think you’re allergic to your toothpaste.
  38. I cried at The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.
  39. I also cried at Masterchef Australia.
  40. I realised how sad I am that the early-twenties stage of my life where you live with girlfriends is over.
  41. I realised that Corgis are my spirit animal. And that I must have one.
  42. I went to JB HIFI and Harvey Norman in excess of one hundred times with my boyfriend while he stared at the same TV for hours on end. That’s love.
  43. I discovered the reason I am so unhappy after going to Pancake Parlour is because I don’t actually like pancakes that much.

2015, you were pretty rad. Bring on 2016.

Coco xx

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