Sunday, January 31, 2016

Monthly Post: Nice things that happened in January

Sunday, January 31, 2016
I find it so hard to keep track of my days. Every year seems to come and go faster than the last, let alone every week. Sometimes if I think back on a week I find myself truly at a loss about what I actually did as the days so easily blur together into the same routine. I have been working extra hard as of late. When I'm not working at my paid job 3-4 days, I am undertaking an internship the other 2-3 days. It have been extremely rewarding and I love staying productive, but it has also been stressful. I count the days until my one day off. But in doing so, I fear that I am not living in the present and appreciating life's everyday pleasures.

In a bid to be more appreciative, therefore, I decided to document little things that made me happy on each day of the month. I actually got into this habit two years ago, and found it immensely rewarding, but somehow let it slide after a while. Picking it up again, alongside journaling more frequently, I feel I am achieving a sense of calmness and clarity of mind no matter how busy life is. Above all, I find that I approach each day more positively, because I feel that, whether consciously or not, I am always looking for little moments that punctuate an otherwise ordinary day.

Below is all my 'diary' entries from January. Typing them all up here was the first time I read through them all, and it was so enjoyable being able to relive some of the 'nice things' that happened over the course of the month. Before embarking on this 'challenge' I set for myself, I was almost afraid that I wouldn't be able to find anything good or worthy of note on any given day. But I've been surprised by how easy it is, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

01 Dinner and fireworks at a friend's. Met up with so many old friends and acquaintances. 02 Did a little boogie in the craft aisle at Spotlight and finished making a cement pot for Tom's birthday. 03 Tom's birthday. Went to Coogee beach to see the last of the sunset and had fun at 'fancy maccas' until the wee hours. 04 Went to the beach with Sabrina and Alexia. Water was a gorgeous crystal blue and refreshingly cold. Went to May St. Larder after for lunch. 05 Had breakfast with Ryan and saw Suffragette. Had cake to cheer us up after such an emotional (but extraordinary) film 06 Went for a walk in the evening around Fremantle: to the beach, to the harbour and the cafe strip. Found a cute new cafe. 07 Caught up with Ines and Christina to see Star Wars. Was quite enjoyable and I reminisced about my childhood spent watching Star Wars with Dad and Michael. 08 A full morning off before work and made a DIY gift for Nive's birthday. 09 Movie night with the family (a rarity) 10 Nive's birthday on the foreshore in the evening 11 Tea on the bus, first day of internship and tried my first matcha latte on break. 12 Much needed day off. Visited Opi (grandad) and cooked up my first meal from Anna Jones' 'A Modern Way to Cook'. 13 Coffee stop at my favourite campus cafe during break. 14 Met up with Janelle (a friend who went on exchange to the US) at long last! Had cocowhip and coffee. Dinner with family in Fremantle. 15 Chats with Kim and Alexia in the PM 16 Brilliant, bright pink and orange sunset walks 17 Went home from work early, listened to Vance Joy in the afternoon and made my second meal from 'A Modern Way to Cook'. 18 The cheery barista at The Tenth State (cafe near my internship) and golden afternoon sun streaming through the windows on my bus ride home. 19 Rain and thunderstorms brought a cool reprieve. 20 Half day at internship, ran into Nive on a deserted campus and Chinese for dinner with the family 21 Brunch with Nive and took a guided tour of the Aboriginal art section of the Art Gallery of WA. 22 Finding someone's wallet at work and returning it to a very grateful owner. 23 Stayed up late watching the Graham Norton show, basically. 24 Cake at work to farewell Virginia 25 Dinner with Ryan, consisting of a nutella pizza finale. After dinner, we sat on the beach and watched lightening strikes. 26 Four words: Triple J Hottest 100. Spent all day listening to the station and lounging around the house, then went out to dinner. 27 Got the newest copy of Womankind and found myself inside! 28 Felt like I was becoming more accustomed to the office and less of an 'outsider'. AND BOUGHT TICKETS TO VANCE JOY IN MELBOURNE! (caps totally necessary) 29 Breakfast with a beach view while listening to a guy strumming his guitar and singing before work. 30 It rained and it was GLORIOUS 31 Laughing fits at work, making the most of a crazy, hectic shift and staying up late knowing I have tomorrow off.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

My newest obsession: Homemade Macadamia Nut Butter

Tuesday, January 12, 2016
 
Let me introduce you to the current love of my life: macadamia nut butter. While it's really hard to capture a flattering shot of macadamia butter, the taste sure as hell makes up for it. I don't know why it took me this long-20 going on 21 years in fact- to discover that such a beautiful thing exists. Unlike other nut butters, I am yet to come across the macadamia kind in the supermarket. I love the good 'ol peanut and almond varieties, but macadamias have always been my nut of choice, so much so that it left me thinking how glorious it would taste as a butter. I was over the moon to discover that macadamia butter is an actual 'thing' as I had hoped, and as it turns out, is so easy to make. All you need is some nuts, a food processor and a dash of maple syrup if you so desire. From there, it's just a matter of blitzing the nuts until they miraculously transform into the most glorious smooth, spreadable butter that can be added to smoothies, on banana nice cream and porridge, used as icing or added on top of pancakes. Believe me when I say that you have not lived until you have tried macadamia butter; I didn't think it was possible to find a condiment that rivals Nutella. It reminds me a little of white chocolate, as I associate macadamias with one of my favourite maple, white chocolate and macadamia biscuit recipes. But the spread on its own is even better as it's without the extra calories!

I would warn against eating it straight out of the jar though, as delicious as that is! It's so addictive that it'll be gone in minutes. Instead, I like to treat myself and only blitz up about half a cup to one cup of nuts a week, which also keeps things a little more economical (if only macadamias were cheaper!).

Having now tried and experienced how incredibly easy it is to make nut butter, I'm thinking of trying out a few more and possibly even trying my hand at making nut milks. I can just imagine how velvety smooth and sweet macadamia nut milk would taste! 

Have you ever made nut butters/milks before? What are you favourites? 

 P.S Thank you so much for all the love and comments on my last post. It's good to know that I'm not alone in my opinions and it's inspiring to know people so passionate about their blogs.

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