Wednesday Wisdom: Oscar Wilde

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“Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one’s mistakes.”

- Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Grey

Oscar Wilde. Was there ever a wittier person? Even on his death bed he famously said, ”My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One of us has got to go.”

I like this quote because I am chronically and habitually sensible. Oscar Wilde reminds me to take some risks and live a little.


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On the weekend: The Earth Events Raw Beauty Workshop

This weekend I trekked down the coast to attend the Earth Events Raw Beauty Workshop.

It was an epic day, crammed full of useful information. The workshop was hosted by eco-model Amanda Rootsey and included presentations from raw chefs Robyn Law and Lana Purcell, organic gardener Nicola Chatham and natural beauty therapist Dani Pepper. I also got to see the fabulous blogging babes Susana, Rach and Tara in the flesh, which is always a thrill.

Earth Events Raw Beauty Workshop

My two favourite presentations were from Lana and Nicola. Lana had a great stage presence and sense of humour – I was laughing all through her set. She gave us some innovative suggestions for making beauty products at home with ingredients from our kitchen pantries.

Nicola’s presentation was chock full of info about how to best grow a small garden at home so that you can harvest all your own herbs, leafy greens and other vegetables for home cooking. I now know how to prep soil properly, plant both seeds and seedlings, keep pests away naturally and how much water and sun plants need. I think I finally know why my plants die all the time!! Nicola made it all sound so easy and she left my friend and I abuzz with excitement about building our own home gardens. We’re planning a trip to Bunnings stat!

What I liked about Lana and Nicola’s ideas were that not only will they help me to be healthier and adopt more gentle and nourishing practices with eating and skin care, but that if I successfully implement their ideas I will save so much money on produce and beauty product shopping. Which never fails to light up a PhD student’s eyes, believe me.

The highlight of the day, though, was the drawing of the raffle tickets – when my friend won entry to Nicola’s gardening e-course!! We had just been talking about gardening and then when they were drawing the raffle my friend turned to me and said, “I have a good feeling about this” and then … winner! We were stoked. She will be bursting with even more good ideas about growing our own organic produce once she’s done with the course, and you can bet your pennies that I will be picking her brain often.

The workshop ended at 3pm. Afterwards, my friend and I went for a long walk on the beach before finishing the day with Mexican food and sangria. Perfection. Love weekends like this.


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Wednesday Wisdom: Helen Keller

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“I seldom think about my limitations, and they never make me sad. Perhaps there is just a touch of yearning at times; but it is vague, like a breeze among flowers.”

- Helen Keller

I’ve always loved the story of Helen Keller and her teacher, Anne Sullivan. As a baby, Helen contracted an illness that left her both deaf and blind. Consequently, as an infant she was also unable to speak, having no concept of sound and no ability to see lips, gestures or sign language.

Anne Sullivan taught a seven-year-old Helen Keller to communicate through the power of touch, by spelling words into the palm of Helen’s hand. Helen eventually learnt to speak and became a famous orator and author, particularly as an advocate for people with disabilities.

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I love this quote because if Helen Keller, who grew up in both darkness and silence, could live a life in which she seldom thought about or was hindered by her limitations, then what on earth am I whinging about, ever?


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June cooking club update

I’m starting to get back on track with my group cooking club project. This month I made the following recipes from www.101cookbooks.com:

 (1) Autumn Potato Salad

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This was a really great way to serve roasted veges (a staple in our house). The vinaigrette added a different and interesting flavour. Super easy and delicious.

(2) Sea Salt Baked Potatoes

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What appealed to me about this recipe was that I could have some winter-warming comfort-food potatoes, but stuff them full of nourishing greens. Win win.

(3) Sauteed Zucchini

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I cooked this on the same night as the baked potatoes, to give us even more vegetables and because we had some organic zucchinis going soft in the fridge. This also turned out really well and was probably my favourite recipe this month. I must say that I feel like I haven’t put a foot wrong when cooking from the 101cookbooks website!

Broccoli and Basil Mac + Cheese

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Confession: I’m a lazy cook. I rarely make things that take a long time to prepare and I avoid recipes with long lists of ingredients. This recipe was definitely the most involved of the month – with a few different things to do at once and a longer prep/cooking time than the others. It didn’t go over my laziness limit … but it approached it. The bonus was that this recipe makes a tonne of mac and cheese, so I could console myself that my time was well spent when I had leftovers on hand the next day. (It also reminded me of awesome times in New York at S’Mac - which Farenn dragged me to and turned me into a mac+cheese convert.)

 

(Top photo is my own, other photos from www.101cookbooks.com)

 

This is a year long cooking club project to cook as many recipes as possible from one source. Cooking club members post updates on the last day of the month, though there is no obligation to post every month. Other participants:

Lucent Imagery (cooking club founder) / Down by the Sea / Explody Full / Juanita Tortilla


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Baby Shower

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Soon, there will be a new tiny addition to our friendship circle. Two of our friends are embarking on a new chapter in their lives. Speaking to them, they are both excited and nervous about their baby’s arrival. They are a tiny bit terrified about what’s to come. In my eyes, this just cements their wisdom. Babies are big things, and big changes, wrapped in little packages. Parenthood is a serious endeavour. But I know my friends are absolutely up to the task. They will be incredible parents – loving, steadfast, strong and fun. I can’t wait to meet their little one.


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