Bees’ knees

Made a mess, but made something pretty too.

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I did a project!

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On my way to reducing my waste to as little as possible, I have made some beeswax wraps! Unfortunately I can’t give you a great method to do this, as I have not had the best results, but I do have some pretty great advice:

  • Use baking paper. I was so close to not using any, but thank goodness I did: without it, I would have had a massive mess. As it is, the mess was only mediumish. More particulalry, use more than enough – it can be re-used, and saves a lot of time afterwards in cleaning wax off oven trays.
  • Use a pretty material. For one thing, it’s pretty. For another, it will interest other people to think of doing the same or purchasing some ready-made ones.
  • Cut some different shapes, and don’t worry about the whole inches and measuring thing – leftover food doesn’t come in uniform sizes, so food wraps don’t need to either!
  • I used a knife to cut chunks of the besswax from my hefty blocks, which was good because I didn’t damage my awesome Microplane grater, but nearly caused a significant injury way too close to my tummy-button. Be careful if you do this.
  • This website falls into my own hobby categorisation: fun, pretty, eco-friendly, cost-efficient – How To Make Your Own Reusable Food Wrap

I hope that that helps anyone out there who wants to have a go! And please, send me your advice too!

Z: A novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

Recently I went on holiday to Merimbula. It was my first holiday with my boyfriend of four months. As someone who likes a bit of alone time (quite a bit), this was a bit of a struggle for me: spending every waking, and every sleeping, minute together; getting dressed and undressed in front of him all the time; conversing with him and only him; jut the way we do things differently.

I can’t lie, nor can I deny the fact that I had a wonderful time. The ocean, the aptly named Sapphire Coast of New South Wales, having nothing to do and nowhere we needed to be.

I did get  a bit of time to myself, in the mornings mostly, for I am an early riser and he is not. If I had wanted him to get up and join me I know he would have in a heartbeat, but I wanted that cold early morning air, the Sun rising over the east-facing balcony to myself. I did share it with a few good books, though.

The third of these I feel compelled to write about now. I finished the 360 page novel this morning, a few days after beginning. I am a slow reader and I don’t mind that: I read thoroughly, and pick up on details. I take the time to make sure I can hear the dialogue, and follow actions, and imagine scenery.

The dialogue, and scenes especially in Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler were especially beautiful. It was witty, and dramatic (when it needed to be), it explained and demonstrated ever-changing relationships, and told a beautiful, complicated story set over the European and American continents.

It was so bright at the beginning, but with delicate, dooming foreshadowing that made me nervous as to Zelda and Scott’s futures. The glitz and glamour couldn’t last forever, and it shows a terrible, twisted spiral of lives. Famous authors and other artists and name-dropped throughout, giving us glimpses into other lives and how other people coped (or did not cope) with the mad post-war world.

It’ll be fine. He loves me. There’s no real risk.

Although the glamorous scenes, so decadent, so wild, so elegant, so sparkly, are so different to how I imagine New York now to be, the themes of love, betrayal, forgiveness, mental illnesses, and more are universal and timeless, making this an exotic, yet relateable fictional biography. More importantly, it gives justification and a voice to Zelda Fitzgerald, forcing us to think of her as a person in her own right, not overshadowed by her husband, or other erroneous reports.

Book Chase: Z: A Novel About Zelda Fitzgerald

 

My list

If you don’t know from previous posts, I have an obsession with my hair.

First, I need to update you on my last haircut – it is a rollercoaster if ever I knew one. After a lot of discussion, which escalated to arguments, with myself, I got a cheap haircut on campus. And not just a haircut: a fringe!

Or bangs. For me it was more of an explosion, I was so excited.

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The hairdresser cut a very thin fringe that poked up every which-way, and highlighted my grey hairs, which stuck up above the rest somehow. So, when I got home I did a bit of research, then took my scissors and hacked maliciously at it. It was fun, rather terrifying, and, strangely enough, I am happy with the result.

I am still engaged in growing my hair out and I have challenged myself to grow it faster than my friend is growing hers. She doesn’t know this, but it will give me great satisfaction to achieve it. Being overseas and therefore without my stash of hair products (including kitchen products), my hair-growing habits have turned to researching how to grow hair long and strong (which, I know, doesn’t actually do anything except make me eager to do those methods suggested).

But, it is time to make my own list. I’ve done enough research, enough repetitive reading, to make my own list with my own needs. Hopefully, this gives a few clues to others too!

  1. Don’t use avocado. As a student (or normal human being), it’s hard to afford this kind of thing. There is rosemary and lavender in the garden outside, and I always have a bottle of eucalyptus oil on hand. I suggest using things close at hand, doing a bit of research on them, finding out if they will actually work (rather than harm), and use it to your advantage.
  2. Take time. Obviously hair doesn’t grow overnight. Well, you know what I mean. Little things, like brushing your hair slowly, and not scrubbing it to dry, are so useful and should be part of your routine – not only for long hair, but for strong and healthy hair.
  3. This is similar to the first but I find that I’m kind of running out of things already! So much for all the research. This tip is: while buying hair products is fun, look into homemade alternatives. Usually cheaper, and always healthier, and pretty fun to concoct, homemade alternatives are better than bought. I keep them in jars in my room, and feel good about the fact that it’s more environmentally friendly than buying packaged goods.

Honestly I think that they are all the tips that I have. They aren’t much, but I think that it is important not to get sucked into the big consumerist ideas. True, a lot of my hair products are bought but I will not be restocking them. I have a homemade dry shampoo (with coco and cinnamon, it smells delicious), and a hair mask of olive and eucalyptus oils. I use the rosemary and for a steam, and I use other herbs for facial steams.

So, enough talk about my hair! I hope that this is helpful to someone! Remember: don’t buy into all the fancy packaging, all the lovely smells (you can make your own though!), and have fun doing some experiments of your own!

Reinvent. Really.

The location for today’s procrastination location: WordPress.

I’m not even sure if that made sense but, hey, I like the rhyme. And, even though I am procrastinating, I feel as though this is important.

The other day I was feeling a bit bored and a bit stuck in my normal routine, lacking interest – this led me to looking up how to reinvent myself.

I guess that the almighty Google knows I’m a girl and my interest in make-up and that sort of thing, but I was still a bit irritated to find that the fruits of this search weren’t very nutritious: it was basically junk food. Artificial, dangerous, useless.

It was all about changing my looks: how to reshape my eyebrows, why I should change my lipstick and even my eye colour! As a fan of make-up and of fixing my hair up in braids and buns, I think that appearance is kind of important. For one thing, it’s just fun to play with.

But, on the other hand, it is just fun. It should not be how I reinvent myself. Beauty is only skin deep, and changing my look on the outside won’t do all that much on the inside.

To give a few of the articles I read credit, they did comment that looking good gives confidence. I kind of agree with that – looking good makes it easier to walk into a room. Ask anyone who has the bridge of their nose filled, or their eyelids lifted. Looks give you power.

Simultaneously, my interest in healthy and environmentally-friendly eating has been growing. A friend gave me a SCOBY – the key ingredient of kombucha – and lent me a book by Sarah Wilson in which a recipe is written. It’s so interesting, and I love reading about how she has incorporated this type of food prep into her life, and how it has changed her life. It’s quite holistic – a word and notion I love.

So, that’s what i’m starting to do. For me, food is a very non-artificial part of life. The way I eat shows my heritage, people that I meet. I make pasta because I love sharing it with family. I took over the vegetable garden at home because I can give vegetables and herbs to friends and family. Heck, I grow sunflowers to help the bees. (Guys, really, plant flowers for bees)

So this is what I was hunting for without knowing. Ideas that Sarah Wilson expresses so clearly were some simmering, unclear concepts that had been floating around my mind for years. She illuminated them.

So please, to anyone out there wanting to reinvent themselves – go beyond looks. Go for something that means something big to you. Do it for the real you.