Sunday, September 30, 2012

If -

I was reminded of this on the ever excellent A Cup of Jo recently - feeling worn out I was drawn to the post's title of 'Encouragement', and then had the joy of marinating in these great words all over again.  I first came across this poem when my high school English teacher printed out a copy for me in the last class my final year.  Funny that these words have found me again, at this turning point in my life.
The sunny calming waters over at my new favourite spot today.

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;

If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with triumph and disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,

And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch;

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds' worth of distance run—

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And—which is more—you'll be a Man, my son!

Monday, September 24, 2012

The non-critical

A hotdog from who knows where, likely somewhere open 24 hours.
Preparing for my move, there are so many mandatory things on my to do list at the moment.  As alluring as chasing up my VISA application is, I thought I might compile a list of completely superficial, non-critical things I can look forward to once I'm there instead (excluding the prospect of new friends and the general thrill of a new city):

1. Taking recipes from my US favourite food blogs will be a whole lot easier as I'll have easy access to all the ingredients and stores they describe.

2. In-n-OutSephora and Banana Republic (in that order).

3. If I mess something up I get to say 'I'm new here' and I won't be lying.

4. Baristas at the office.

5. If I read about something in most blogs I like I could realistically at some point go to where they've been.

6. Stores that I like often have a petite sections - here's to never taking up a pair of pants again and 'cropped' actually meaning cropped.

7. A long weekend in New York is not out of the question.  Actually, seeing New York for the first time period!

8. More yoga loving, raw food, pseudo healthy options (organic Mexican anyone?) for the days when I decide that I'm on a vauge health kick, like today.

9. The number of online stores that will ship to me free multiplies tenfold.

10. Being able to nest a home all on my own in prep for C coming (maybe I will get a Taskrabbit to help me).  

Ok.  Back to paperwork mountain.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Failsafe vegan gingerbread

Discovered this recipe via my brother, a once vegan with gingerbread cravings.  I have been known to fail at making a cup of instant coffee, so for me to say that I am yet to ruin a batch of these really proves them as failsafe.  As they store well they can be made in advance as a gift or in my case, for that baby shower you're going to on the weekend (yes, I know).
Over-index on the amount of flour you use to roll the dough out, and cover your hands with it too.
When they say 'chill for an hour in the fridge' they really mean that, it can't be replaced with 8 minutes in the freezer (so I found).
Look at all those little guys!  If they're super floppy and hard to transfer from your bench to the tray it's probably because you took that aforementioned shortcut when chilling the dough.  Come on admit it, don't blame the internet recipe.
Well hello there!  This one was a little cracked because I rolled the dough out thicker than it should've been - but again, I just left them to cool and the cracks just sort of melded together.  More importantly, it was no less delicious!

Other fun facts - molasses can be replaced with treacle, you can undercook them slightly for chewier gingerbread, or overcook them slightly if you want crunchy, and finally any time you lose the recipe, you can just google 'vegan gingerbread' and it's the first result.

Happy gingerbaking!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


"The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough. 

Nothing else really counts at all." 

Ted Hughes in a letter to his son.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bird and Bear

Tea and sunshine.

Finally made it to Bird and Bear after so many recommendations from friends, and it is just as delightful as described.

Wandered over yesterday for a tea in the afternoon sun, which was the perfect recovery activity post the half marathon.  The cafe sits squarely on the jetty open to all the elements, if you squint while looking out to the water you could convince yourself you're on holiday.

Will surely be returning just as soon as C is back to share one of their hampers on offer by the water.

Sunday links

Love Aesop, stocked up on a body scrub to shed my winter skin.
Sunday, Sunday.

Remember Roseanne?  "These are girls things, Darlene, as long as a girl is using them" - a great quote that I'm sure was lost on me at the time.

An interesting Q&A - what has your time as a police officer taught you about life and society?

Charles Darwin puts together an interesting list of pros and cons.  It does finish with marriage as the way to go, Q.E.D.

And one of my favourite teenagers on the internet - Tavi Gevinson on 'still figuring it out'.  She finishes with Steve Nicks, which got me listening to Landslide again.  Great Sunday evening tune.