I am (not) ambitious

Ok. So maybe I was a bit ambitious with my whole “new year, new me, new posts every week” thing. Rewind. There was no maybe about it. We are now a whole month into the new year, and I’m on my second post. Ok, I have had my big *sigh*, I can handle one post a month, let us be realistic after all.

Thinking about my possibly impossible resolutions (and the pace at which January slipped away) suddenly had me thinking that I missed the point about the whole resolution thing. I don’t want a whole new me, or a completely different life. Yet each year I find myself staring at that page in the brand new diary, January 1, preparing for multiple changes that honestly never happen.

I know I am not alone. You might be thinking “what a quitter – we are barely two months in and she is making excuses already”, but I’d like to take a different bent. I am not a quitter, I am a realist. I work full time, I own a dog (read spoilt child), I’m trying to plan a wedding, trying to maintain loving relationships with my partner and friends, am supposed to graduate in November, and in all of that I want to slim down and maintain an online blog. I hate computers – but I didn’t think of that when I was writing my resolutions.

Having said that, with the craziness of the month that was January behind us, maybe we will all find ourselves with a bit more time up our sleeves. Hang on – they hit us post silly season with the shortest month of the year – how are we ever supposed to get these resolutions happening.

So I have made myself a new pact. Rather than set myself unrealistic goals each December and think of all the things I never did each new-year-count-down, I have resolved to abandon the resolutions and instead focus on making this year full of everything I love. And as long as I have my family, fiance, and friends; well then F me that sounds fantastic.

So I promise you, dear readers, I won’t be making any more promises about my posts (or lack there of) again. I like to think of it this way – I resolve to maintain the spontaneity of my posts – just to keep you all on your toes as the year goes on.

Next time, I’ll hopefully have recovered from the shock of February creeping up behind me and hitting me in the face with an unused gym towel (was that resolution 2 or 3?).

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Not letting my new year’s resolutions slip…

So, it’s a new year. And on this first Friday of the new year, I have decided what a better way to get my New Year’s resolutions underway than by dusting off my keyboard and telling the world all about them.

Jokes – my keyboard would never get dusty.

Step 1 to resolution success – be held accountable. Tick.

So I’ve been a slacker in the blogosphere. But new year – new posts. Of this, I can be sure. For at least a month anyway.

The last time I wrote, I was complaining about the first month back at uni post winter holidays. A LOT has happened since then (or at least it feels like it – but on rereading my post I am not so sure, maybe I need to suck it up).

If I were a VCR player with a good fast forward button (I just hate those stupid fast forward options on the DVD player, I always get the speeds wrong and end up missing my spot, normally spoiling the main plot line in the process) this is what I would play to get you up to speed:

I aced uni – ONE STEP CLOSER to being a graduate! I travelled on a whirl wind adventure to Hong Kong in search of wedding dresses and fake flowers (stay tuned for more on that one!). I became an aunty to the most beautiful bundle of love Hart Harper Sullivan who gets even my anti-baby bones mushy. I spent some quality time helping my mum out in the kitchen with her DELICIOUS new enterprise. And I spent a glorious Christmas and new year with my nearest and dearest.

It was a busy six months.

But now I have come back to my little studio and over a fresh espresso from my new coffee machine (a birthday gift from my beloved), the reality of the new year has started to sink in.

The wedding is in 10 weeks. Somewhere before then I have to go back to work, get back in mum’s kitchen, start uni, try to make up a good excuse for the personal trainer over my terrible post-christmas-fitness, AND try to sort out the shambles I feel I’ve made over our impending nuptials.  At the start of this whole process I had decided to blog the wedding planning adventure. Who am I kidding – TRUST ME that is not something anyone wants to voluntarily be apart of, let alone read about. But now that it is down to the wire – that is where the fun starts right? I guess we will find out… Some other night when I have a wine close by.

So while tonight I can’t leave you with some deep philosophical learning (those take at least three weeks into the new year to start emerging), I can tell you my new years resolutions. And I think I’m already off to quite a good start!

Trudi’s Resolutions 2013

– Nourish my mind, body and soul (blah blah blah – but at least it isn’t as generic as “join the Gym” – that was last year’s)

– Make time for me (I made this promise to a friend of mine – we are both keeping tabs on each other)

– TRY to be less critical of others, and be generous and kind

– Learn to drive (it WILL happen this year)

– Post a blog entry each week

and most importantly

GRADUATE.

So this blog will be my proof that it is possible to stick to your new years resolutions.

Happy new year!

*Note to self – delete blog when this all starts heading south*

 

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I am not a true gen-y-er

Uni started back this week and I found myself breathing a sigh of relief to be back in my normal student routine – sleep in, eat a long breakfast, think about going to class, not go to class, watch movies, catch up on Masterchef, avoid watching my lecture on line, stay up late and then do it all again.

I wish that’s how it went.

Instead I find myself studying full time, working nearly full time, trying to get my pre-Europe body back AND planning a wedding. Late nights… I’m lucky if I get any sleep!

So I am taking a wonderful subject called Convergence In The Media. Sounds incredibly interesting yes? And I am sure it would be – except the main subject matter is one I LOATHE: social media.

I have made such a good attempt to stay so far away from the twitter-ing, pin-boarding, tumbler-ing lifestyle  that when I sat down in my lecture  on Tuesday I realised I was way out of my depth (and no, I don’t think the fact I have a blog contradicts this).

Meme? Twitter sentiment? Trending topics? Delicious stacks? WHAT?!

The course is about what e-tools journalists and professional communicators can use to help them to not only navigate, but also analyse and understand whats happening on social media. Or at least thats what I gather it is about (I started having a panic attack after my lecturer used the word “screen-shots”).

Once I had recovered I tried to complain to my wonderful, incredibly concerned mother.

My argument went like this:

“I don’t understand why we need to learn about these tools, isn’t it much more important to develop good human relationships, get out on the street and talk to the community about what they think is important? I barely have time to make dinner let alone sit infront of the computer all night catching up on the latest 57 million different blogs out there. And I don’t even know how to take a screen-shot on my own computer. OH MY GOD my life is over.”

That got me this response:

“Well actually darling, there are so many amazing things – opinions, images, thoughts, issues – being spread over the internet through a plethora of social media. Just think about how much richer and diverse your world will be once you can navigate that properly?”

Even my own mother, who is no where near the gen-y bracket, is more switched on than me in this social media landscape. Last night she made a playlist on iTunes all by herself! Tomorrow she will be Tumbler-ing as good as the next true tech head and Instagram-ing her dinner!

I will put up a good fight, but with my first piece of assessment less than three weeks away, my mum has inspired me. Perhaps it is time I dipped my toe in the Twitter-sphere and made a Delicious stack… of pancakes!

I might be nearly a graduate, but no way am I a true gen-y-er.

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Everything in moderation.

I am not a graduate. We established that on the weekend, and that’s fine… It’s taken me some time but I’m in a happy place.

Today however, I had another realisation.

I am also not a gym junkie.

Returning from a three-month winter holiday in Europe, where I have no shame in admitting our main purpose in life for  three glorious months was to eat our way through 12 countries, I will admit I did seem to bring back some extra baggage. Thankfully they don’t have a carry on limit for saddle bags.

So since returning in February, my partner and I have had a crazy 4 months planning engagements, getting into the university semester (my other half is also not a graduate – I’m not completely alone), and settling into our new jobs. That’s meant late nights, big weekends, general laziness in our rare spare time, and a lot more take out.

In an attempt to make some healthy changes, I joined the gym and enlisted the help of a trainer. I like to live by the moto “EVERYTHING in moderation”. But today I realised my definition of moderate just isn’t cutting it.

So I suppose deep frying my sweet potato hash in duck fat was a bit more excess than moderation. And maybe that lug of mustard and olive oil in my lamb juice gravy was too. And the three bottles of wine last week… well enough said.

And boy did I face the wrath of the trainer today. The scales may hate me, but my lips love me.

And you know, what the heck – if there is any time to enjoy the fat it’s now right!

So while I am not a graduate, and obviously not a slave to the treadmill, I am an avid food lover.

So here’s one for others that need glasses to sharpen that blurry line between moderation and excess, and who frequently enjoy stepping over it.

Trudi’s full fat crispy skin duck with braised cabbage and sweet potato hash

Serves two hungry people that deserve a treat

Ingredients:

2 duck breasts, skin on (can you get them any other way?)

quarter red cabbage, sliced

1 onion, diced

a couple of cloves of garlic, squashed or diced

red wine vinegar

brown sugar

half an orange sweet potato

2 eggs

salt

pepper

Red cabbage

In a hot pan, combine a lug of olive oil, onion and garlic. Stir occasionally and cook until golden. Once the onion is nicely caramelised, add the red cabbage, a couple of tablespoons of red wine vinegar, and a tablespoon or two of brown sugar. Stir through and cook on a medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until the cabbage is nice a soft and the liquid is nearly gone.

Duck

Coat the skin in a good pinch of salt and pepper (you could also add chilli or garlic or any other condiment you may fancy). On a hot pan, cook the duck skin side down for 7-8 minutes, pressing down on the breast with a spatula to render the fat and crisp the skin. Flip and cook flesh down for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and rest until ready to serve. Leave the pan (and delicious ducky juices) on the heat.

Sweet potato hash fritters

Peel the sweet potato and grate. In a bowl, combine the sweet potato and 2 eggs. Combine well and add a good pinch of salt and pepper. On the hot pan with the duck juices, spoon a small amount of potato mixture into the pan and gently push down with the back of the spoon. It should hold well. Fill the pan with small, thin cakes and fry until the edges start to turn golden brown, which should be about 3 minutes in a hot pan/hot oil. Flip and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

You will probably want to pat everything off to remove the excess fat and oil, and then you are ready to serve.

Fresh steamed green beans and asparagus offer a light reprieve to this coronary feast.

Best yet – it should only take you about 30 minutes! So you can have your feast and eat it too before Biggest Loser starts.

Enjoy 🙂

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At least one thing is sure – I’m definitely not a graduate.

There are a few things in life I’m sure of:

My name, Trudi.

My age, 22.

My amazing family, amazing.

My occupation….

Guess that one goes on the other list – the things I’m not sure of.

Where I’m going, no idea.

What I’m doing, still no idea.

What I want… for breakfast?

But before I confuse myself, and you, even more, lets get the basics clear. My name is Trudi. I am a 22 year old living in Brisbane in a small flat behind my fiance’s parent’s house (enough said?). I’m studying a dual degree in economics and journalism – and have been for the last 5 years. Currently, I’m working at an inner-city mid-tier accounting firm, not in accounting. I’m a PA looking for a break in management. I think. Or maybe economic consulting, or maybe a job at a news desk, or maybe I’ll try my hand at eco farming.

And so we have this little creation. I’m not a graduate (yet), but I’d like to be. I’m not sure where I’m going, but I’d like to go somewhere amazing. And where ever that is, I have no idea how I’m going to get there. So  I am setting myself a task, to use my passion for writing to help myself work this little question out (AND ALL THOSE MILLION OTHERS), and perhaps give some other people a few laughs (yawns?) along the way.

Here goes.

When my fiance suggested I use a blog to help me work out what I wanted to do with myself, I was VERY skeptical. While I’m one course away from finishing the journalism component of my dual degree, I feel like I haven’t learnt a thing about how to be a good writer. What I have learnt is how to be a sore loser, have an attitude problem, and be overly picky. Qualities every employer looks for I’m sure (they keep telling us we will be highly employable on completion… did I miss a class?). But while I may not be able to write the most compelling feature on the airport link-bikie gang scandal, I can cook an a amazing crispy skin duck breast.

So with no certainty on my ability as I writer I embark on this promising journey of self discovery. Well, lets not get too far ahead of ourselves.

So the first big issue I’m going to tackle? I’ll sort that one out tomorrow.

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