Apr 30, 2020

Lovin' Life 30/4/2020: TikTok.

TikTok security flaw left user accounts vulnerable to hacks | Ad Age

I'm officially part of the cliche. 

February 2020 - 'what is TikTok?
March 2020 - 'I'm too old for TikTok..'
April 2020 - 'Tiktok looks like fun, I'll get it just to watch...'

It was only a matter of time before us #fortysomething #mums discovered these addictive and dare I say it .... boppy ... short-form mobile videos.

I didn't know what to expect when I pressed that cyan and magenta musical note for the first time.  Would I be assaulted by a slew of teenagers being drunk and disorderly to the beat of music that hurt my ears?  Would I immediately feel too old and underdressed to even be watching?  Would I 'know' the music?  Would I 'get' the music?'

I've been pleasantly surprised. 

Yes, there are a whole slew of teenagers dancing with a natural cool, grace and energy that I will never in a million years achieve but they are also fun and positive teenagers.  The kind who get their parents to join them dancing - and applaud said parents for their moves.  The kind who include their parents in their pranks.  My favourite are the 'Who is most likely to...' quizzes where parents are nominated as being the most likely to be strict / tricked / be generous with money....

Too old and underdressed?  That's where I was pleasantly surprised.  Toktok takes you as you are.  Track pants, uniforms, your Sunday best.  Whatever.  It manages to be a platform that embraces everyone who needs a laugh or a dance.

The music.  It's eclectic, it's infectious and covers a wide range of genres and decades.

For me, TikTok has proven to be fun way to unwind and have a bit of a dance and a laugh in the process.  I'm not game enough to upload my own TikToks. 

Do you TikTok?

Apr 27, 2020

Life This Week 27/4/2020: Life.....

A bin chicken stretching their legs in the front garden.

Words and pictures from the week that was.

This close to clocking off after a long week on at work.

And clocking on to a week of jobs around the house and garden.

An isolation splurge dinner from Domino's.

I won't lie, I was more than just a little surprised at how good our pizzas tasted.

Plus there were leftovers for a special school holiday breakfast the next morning!

The supermarket has pretty much become our link to the world outside of home and work.  This week, it brought the Easter Show to our doorstep in the form of a range of showbags.

To say the school holidays this year have been different would be a bit of an understatement.  There are, obviously, many things I miss about how we usually spend the break - trips back to Perth, staycation adventures around Sydney, special meals out.  And then there's the guilt about working through the holidays this year.

However, as with how life has generally been with Rona, the universe has provided.  I've met three wonderful women who've stepped in as nannies for me.  It's been such a positive experience for us all as Master SSG has been able to learn about different cultures and get in touch with his creative side while I've been able to stay at work with the peace of mind that all is well at home.

How has the universe provided for you this week?

Apr 23, 2020

Lovin' Life 23/4/2020: The Pilates Roll-Up.

So there's this exercise in Pilates and it's called the Roll-Up.

via catch.com.au
The first thing that came to mind when I first heard Roll-Up were these sugar overloaded snacks from Uncle Toby's.  You know the ones.  They look like sheets of brightly coloured plastic and taste mostly of sugar and reimagined fruit flavours if you're brave enough to unroll and eat one.

How to Do Roll Up in Pilates

But I digress.  This is how a modern-day Pilates model looks like when she executes the Roll-Up.  As you can see, she has a flexible, well-aligned spine

Roll Up - Aligned For Life Pilates
via Google images
Similarly, this gentleman from the archives of Pilates imagery demonstrates the same impressive amount of flexibility and alignment.

Which brings us to the plight of this fortysomething home Pilates student.  I can't even curl let alone fold and roll.  I think it's my lower back which has been rendered rigid by years of running, sitting and lounging.

This week, I discovered that the humble folded yoga blanket as a very effective prop for helping me get the feel of the roll-up.  All you need to do is line your lower back up to the long edge of your folded blanket and then lie back over it.  Perform the roll-up as per your Pilates instructor and voila!  The support from your blanket will help you over that initial hard bit and free up your pain sensors, allowing you to get the feel of your vertebrae articulating as you roll up and forward.

I know that it is technically 'cheating' but I've come to accept that I do need to work within the limits of my body.  But who knows, one day, I might just be able to do a roll-up on my own.

If you're struggling with the roll-up yourself, this video might help.  It's how I found out about the towel/blanket trick.

Apr 20, 2020

Life This Week 20/4/2020: 'I Heard....'

One of favourite sounds of the morning is that of my audio-guided Aaptiv fitness classes through my AirPods.

Unrelated, but my favourite thing to sip and hold of a morning is that first steaming mug of tea.  Which gets drunk as I prepare myself for said Aaptiv workout.   And the day's laundry.....

In this topsy turvy new world of ours, being able to exercise regularly while listening to the familiar voices of the Aaptiv trainers brings routine and familiarity to what are now often quite hectic days as I adjust to a new mum and work routine.

That protected time I have to myself each morning is a surprisingly enjoyable way to not so much 'ease into' but perhaps 'vigorously greet' the day ahead.  My Aaptiv coaches are always positive but in a realistic, doable way.  They have great taste in music.  But perhaps most importantly, they get me doing just that little bit more than I was otherwise prepared to do after I slicked my hair back into a pony and laced up my trainers.

As one trainer says, 'Once you start, you can't stop'.  Before I know it, my workout is done for the day and it's time to get the rest of my day started.  Which in these days of iso living sees me inhale a mug of instant coffee at home.  Complete with an 'extra shot'... Ah, we make our fun the best way we can with what we've got at home these days, don't we?

I like the accountability of having my fitness routine set out for each day on the app while also having the freedom to choose specific workouts for the day and possibly even add on some yoga or pilates later in the evening before bed.

I've been encouraged to try new things, be kinder to my body by stretching and deep breathing more and I've been able to do this all from the comfort of home.

Love your work, Aaptiv!

What's something you've heard recently?

Apr 14, 2020

Easter in Isolation.

I love the Easter long weekend for many reasons.  The religious context encourages me to reflect, find joy, practice kindness and express gratitude.  The pace of life in Sydney over the four days, the lack of traffic (and people) as well the quiet that descends on the streets make me love this city even more as I pretend I have the entire city to myself for the weekend.  Even staycationing feels luxurious and like a bit of an escape when you're only sharing the road with a handful of moving (!!) cars...

It's been the same but different this year.  We got the solitude and quiet as an early gift via a certain little virus that, you know, shares its name with a beer....

And I think that's the crux of Easter this year, the tone of this meme, I mean.  If you can't change it, live with it rather than fight the rules (because you think they only apply to other people).

This is how what our Easter in isolation looked like this year.

Socially distanced shopping at the supermarket where we parked next to a 'chook-mobile'.

FaceTime beverages and a bit of a gossip with a bestie.

Fish and Chips for dinner, ordered from a local takeaway.  It was delicious with the bonus of our being able to support a local business through these times which have seen so many businesses forced to close if they are unable to comply with the tough restrictions on patron numbers and the way their goods and services can be delivered.

We still hunted for eggs and bunnies.

I had a blast finding hidey holes for them all.

I'm such a mature parent...

Far too much chocolate for one child but I am pretty proud of my skills as a loom band artiste....

Twisting balloons into animals and flowers isn't a skill I possess but looping rubber bands together to make chickens and bunnies?

That's a life skill I've almost nailed.

The traditional two and bit hot cross buns for breakfast on Good Friday was savoured

before some extra long long weekend baking went down.

Nigella Lawson has an AMAZING recipe for small batch brownies, it's her Emergency Brownie recipe.  Mini foil roasting trays are the perfect size to make a batch that serves 6.

The batter is made up of staples you've probably already got in the pantry.  We substituted marshmallows for walnuts.

The batter all comes together over the stove and the end result is rich and buttery soft.

I can see myself requiring these Emergency Brownies quite regularly in the future.

Have you tried this Nigella recipe?

How was your Easter in isolation?

Apr 13, 2020

Life This Week 13/4/20: Share Your Snaps.

As I ease into the isolation life, I've found myself pleasantly surprised that there are still little things of interest to be found on my rather limited travels between school, work, exercise and essential services.  Or perhaps it's the shrinking of my physical, everyday world that's made my eyes keener to observe the unusual and the different.

A partially deflated basketball on a rain-soaked road that just missed the rubbish truck on bin day.  Deflated?  Us?  Bin day has become a creatively costumed event that's made people around Australian and the world smile.

Our Easter Egg Hunt still went ahead.  Just Master SSG and I and just around the house and garden.  I found this glass jar light at Woolies and gave it a test run ahead of the big day.

Phew!  My hairdresser came to me during the week.  With good hair and refreshed roots, anything is possible!

Our local cafes are selling their baked goods market-style now.  That's my hot cross buns for this year sorted.

The Brooklyn Boy bagel company opened a pop-up stall this week and I was lucky enough to grab one of their rainbow bagels for Master SSG. 

Which he ate with, wait for it .... CARAMILK flavoured cream cheese!!!!!!  That's right, Caramilk is now a cream cheese.  Run, don't walk.

Apr 9, 2020

Lovin' Life 9/4/2020: Five Things.

Well hellloooo.....

Here are five things I'm lovin' about this week.  Besides being off for its entirety :-)

Escaping the great indoors for my just over the legal one hour of outdoor exercise.  Ironically but not surprisingly, there were more of my fellow runners out than pre self-isolation.  Rest assured, readers, we all self-distanced.

This Cher meme that reminded me the right way to wind my clocks on Sunday made me laugh.  How good is it when you find a great meme these days .. and it's not about that virus?

It's not often an official letter from the Prime Minister makes it to my blog but I made an exception for this missive that gives The Easter Bunny a Special Eggs-emption.

I love a good three-ingredient sauce.  We're having chicken teriyaki for dinner tonight and the sauce recipe is another Recipe Tin winner.

If there's one good thing to have come out of this new world of ours, it's seeing the generosity and sense of community of my fellow Australians.  So many local businesses have gone out of their way to show their support of frontline health care workers.  Gifts of food to hospitals, special access to the supermarket to enable us to get that all-important toilet paper, waived fees from the telcos and support in the form of diverting their factories to produce much-needed PPE and hand sanitizer. 

The Bundoora Boat Upholstery company in Thomastown, Victoria have begun manufacturing and delivering face masks and shields across the country.  My order of face shield shields arrived on Monday and I have enough to share with my colleagues to supplement the equipment at work.  The shields are lightweight as well as being easy to assemble and wear.  Because they wrap around your head, you can still wear your glasses under them without getting too sweaty.  There's also enough room for your face mask. 

While I like everyone else working in the hospital system are touched by our community's generosity, it's also rewarding on a personal level to be able to give back by supporting local businesses and purchasing equipment from them. 

We are only doing the same work we did pre Covid-19 and very fortunate to still have our secure jobs while so many around us face financial uncertainty if not ruin as well as the fear of becoming ill. 

It's taken a virus to teach us how to be our best selves.


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