Author: Jenna

There are approximately one bazillion ideas about the food we humans should eat. Food that is "in" and food that is "out" you may also hear it referred to as "good" or "bad", "real. On social media, we are bombarded with words like low carb, high protein, keto, paleo, raw food, gluten-free, dairy-free, pegan (yes this is different to vegan), vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, soy-free etc

Putting the Ed in Education today, folks. This week my fam and I went along to a waste-free workshop at New Plymouth District Council and it was a real eye-opener. We were even gifted an amazing starter pack by the council, you can see all of the goodies contained in the image above. Thanks, NPDC! I didn’t realise how much waste we (our family) are contributing to this huge global problem. Yes, we have a compost bin, we grow veggies at home, we recycle plastic & glass as well as collecting up and recycling our soft plastics at countdown once a month but we are still way off the mark in terms of taking responsibility for the waste we produce. The point of the workshop was to educate people about the waste they are producing. The main takeaway I came away with, which is absolutely true, is that’s it’s not good enough to buy something without considering the life of both the product and the packaging. If I purchase something then it’s up to me to know how to prolong it’s life and how to deal with the packaging in a sustainable way. It’s not up to the supplier, the rubbish collections, the government, it’s up to me as the consumer because we all know how supply and demand works. It’s simple economics. If I don’y buy it, and you don’t buy it, and no one buys it .. well then they stop making it because it’s not profitable. So vote with your hard earned cash ladies and gentlemean and say “no thank you” to all the waste! It’s not a blame game or a shame game. You don’t need to feel embarassed about what you have been doing in the past. It’s up to all of us to get educated and do better. Just become mindful of the things you see around your kitchen, bathroom, laundry, house and make good decisions about the need of your consumables, the lifespan of your consumables and the way you plan to part ways with your consumables. Landfilling everything is not the answer, we don’t have an endless supply of that.

Good friends are what makes life great 💜 This here is a picture of my most scaredy/uncomfortable face. On my happy activities list, I added “ride a horse” why? No idea. Think I’ve watched far too much Longmire on Netflix. Anyway, it turned out to be super terrifying and a not-so-happy activity. I had sweaty pits, full-on heart palpitations and crazy anxiety from start to finish. I didn’t even sit on the horse long enough for my celebratory pic at the end because I just wanted to get off him and social distance. Thank goodness I didn’t take this activity on alone and instead I went with a great and patient friend. I was allocated the “grumpy” horse who seemed extra agitated that day and was about 67 times taller than me. When they were saddling him up and told me how “he bites bums and stomps on feet” I wouldn’t even get within 2m of him. There was no way I was getting on him. I would’ve paid again just to sit in the car and wait. Happily.

Do you know what sucks? Food shopping, when you don't want to grocery shop. You are about to learn one of my GREATEST life hacks of all time. Grab a cuppa and pull up a chair, your life is about to change. So you grabbed my snazzy chore chart. You opted in for the cooking because you don't want to eat chicken nuggets and sausages every night. This means you want to be in charge of shopping. Partly because, control freak, partly because then you have everything you need (and want) to cook. I say you, but obviously, I mean me. This is how it went for me. Maybe it's the same for you? Ok, well now we are at the business end of the problem

Red, red, wiiine - you sang it in your head didn't you? No? Just me then. Right. Red wine has become my "go-to" choice of alcoholic beverage. When I was younger I didn't drink a lot. I went through the usual stage of sugary flavoured vodka drinks in my late teens/ early 20s, but not a lot in volume because I hated the feeling of being intoxicated. My friends would make fun of me going to a party with 2 Raspberry Vodka Cruisers - which would easily last me all night - if I even got through them both. I could drive home, had no hangovers, didn't waste money on booze or do reckless things that everyone else was doing. In my mind, it was brilliant. But then, as it does for many, In my early 20's I found myself in very stressful situations and life started to wear me down with ongoing family issues. Surrounded by people who were big drinkers, I entered a "beer phase" in my mid-20s and then I gave that up and found wine somewhere along the line.

What is a thought? It’s nothing, and it’s everything. It’s intangible, you can’t hold it in your hand, you can’t touch it, you can’t see it, you can’t show it to anyone. But, your thoughts are the entire system you operate on. Every single thing you have, every situation you find yourself in, every action, behaviour or emotion is triggered by the way you think. So, where do our thoughts come from? We spend the longest stint of time dependant on our parents, more than any other species. Human babies are entirely unable to care for themselves. We are not born with the same level of instincts available to us that other living beings are. Our thoughts are sold to us as beliefs from other peoples thinking. The thoughts of our parents, siblings, extended family, friends, teachers etc

We were in for a big Christmas this year, 13 people in total. Some of whom I hadn't yet met. I was given months worth of warning to prepare myself and I did all of the regular things to avoid an overwhelming rush of anxiety come D Day. The plan was that we were headed to a Xmas Eve party with family, which is an hours drive from our house, then to stay in a hotel the night, then to arrive back in the morning for present opening and Xmas lunch.

Knowing all of the answers is easy. I remember being younger and having an answer for anyone about everything. I knew a LOT back then, according to myself anyway. As the old adage goes; the more I learn, the less I know. I have always scrambled around looking for answers, looking for the right answer, more specifically. Believing that there is only one right and one wrong for every situation. I lived in a very black and white world. Now, I see grey. A lot of grey. Now I see the hurt that everyone wears and I realise that it's not just me that feels this way, it's not just me that doesn't have it all figured out. All of us are damaged in some way and no one is perfect. My dream of attaining some level of perfection shattered into a billion pieces, why? because It doesn't exist.

Fast forward a few years from my first brush with depression and it seemed like I had picked up the pieces and re-stacked them nicely. From the outside, all appeared well. Now a single Mum to my 7-year old I had purchased my second property which was a beautiful and spacious 5-year-old home in a semi-rural location. I had a high paying management role in a career that I had been steadily growing through over the past decade. I was travelling a lot for work, both nationally and internationally which I enjoyed but as a parent, it wasn't ideal to be working such crazy hours. The commute through Auckland from home to school, to my office, was a 1.5-hour journey, each way. The stress piled on and again I started to indulge in a little too much wine in the evening to "relax". It was less a relaxation and more a band-aid for the inner turmoil and desperation I was feeling.