new years day

fireworks

Last year was a fun ride.

Last year was very interesting.

I deferred uni. I moved approximately fifty million times. I baked a lot of cookies. I turned twenty one. I moved into a really great place with really great people. I hosted a couple of parties.

I blogged some, laughed a lot, cried a little and went to two weddings.

Last year was a good one.

This year, I plan on studying, blogging, writing, running, sewing and baking. I plan on being kind to myself and others. I plan on having adventures and doing things that I love while making the world suck less.

I plan on reading a lot and thinking deeply about many things.

Happy New Years. May 2013 exceed your expectations.

life happens

When does one become an adult?

When can a young man or woman stand in front of their peers and older adults and declare themselves to be officially grown up?

What are the markers that show the world that you have left  that middle space between complete dependence and complete independence behind? And why the heck do we have to go through it in the first place?

What happens when we get to adulthood, and how do we deal with leaving our safety net behind?

Life happens to all of us, but only some people happen to life.

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almond plum tray bake

It’s the start of things! It’s the end of summer and the start of new beginnings. I’m excited. Are you excited?

I’m excited. I have a few tentative New Years resolutions. I don’t usually make them because I don’t like feeling guilty when they don’t work out. But I am putting out into the world some goals. Some things I would like to do this year, what I would like to happen in my life. At the same time, I’m going to be nice to myself if I don’t achieve my goals.

I know it’s almost February but now feels more like the time to be making goals and lists and plans. It’s the start of new things NOW. It’s almost the end of the holidays, the beginning of the academic year, the start of something new.

Here goes.

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day five – LBTL

It’s the last day! Whoohoo!

In other good news, I reached my fundraising goal (although if you’re still interested in fundraising, you are most welcome, and the link is here. Otherwise, you can donate to one or two of my friends who are also living below the line this week: Roberta or Miranda. Miranda’s going for two weeks on less than $2 a day AND no furniture. You go girl!)

Plus, Live Below the Line Australia raised over one million dollars in total for anti-poverty initiatives in East Timor, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia and in our very own country (since when were we the ones who needed help? More on that one later.)

Okay, so I think a recap of my week is in order. Here we go:

What I had to start out with:

750g pumpkin @ $1.98/kg = $1.48

Approx. 1.4kg potatoes = $1 at the fruit and veg market on the discounted table

Approx. 1.2kg tomatoes, approx 1/4 of which was mouldy by the time I got to it = $1, see potatoes

Approx. 1.4 kg of assorted nashis and I think they were royal gala apples = $1, see tomatoes

200 homebrand teabags = $1.99

500g large spiral pasta = $0.59

1 small head garlic = $0.49

1kg homebrand plain flour = $0.95

250g homebrand salted butter = $1.41

Total = $9.91

Day 1

Stewed apples and pears = $0.20

2 cups tea $0.02

Pumpkin and potato soup with flatbread, x2 = $1.70

Total = $1.92

Woke up late-ish, made soup and flatbread to take to work. Worked five hours, then took my soup to a TEAR group meeting, where two other people were also living below the line. We had much discussion on war and poverty, and didn’t really get anywhere with the hard stuff, just that it’s hard and we have to keep thinking about it and working out better ways to live and work for a better world.

Day 2

Stewed apples and pears = $0.20

2 cups tea = $0.02

Pumpkin and potato soup with flatbread = $0.85

Pasta with potato and pumpkin = $0.38

Total = $1.45

Woke up at 5.30 in the am to go to uni. Not recommended when you aren’t eating as much as you usually do, because I felt like crap pretty much the entire day. Not so much hungry as my stomach was getting used to having different things, and less than usual. Drank lots of water, because it helped wash the bile down that kept coming up. Not a great day overall.

Day 3

Stewed apples and pears = $0.20

2 cups tea = $0.02

Pasta with potato and pumpkin = $0.38

Potato and pumpkin soup with flatbread = $.85

Flatbread, munched on during the day = $0.14

Total = $1.59

Went to uni again today. I actually felt much better today, got some fresh air on my walks to and from the train station. My friends kept offering to let me cheat, but I held my ground. Ah, hot chocolate. We meet again soon! Also had some really interesting conversations with my classmates. One of my friends was arguing that we should be grateful for our position in life and be thankful for what God’s given us. I said that it doesn’ t count as God’s gift if we took it from other people. God made us all to be equal and we’re not living that way.

Day 4

Stewed apples and pears = $0.20

2 cups tea = $0.02

Tomato soup with flatbread, x2 = $1.28

Total = $1.50

Worked again today. Noticed much more than Monday my proximity to food. So glad that in two days, I get to drink coffee again. Also noticed I was more crotchety than usual. Either the lack of food/sugar or the constant reminders of my privilege were getting to me. gah! One day to go. Huge uplifting feeling when I saw that I’d reached my fundraising goal. Again, you guys are awesome!

Day 5

Stewed apples and pears = $0.20

2 cups black tea = $0.02

Pasta with pumpkin and potato, x2 = $0.76

Total = $0.98

Woke up at 5.30am again. And again, not a good idea. I almost puked on the train, and I don’t even have that much to puke! I’m really, really glad that as of tomorrow I get to put sugar and milk back in my tea. Sorry, Mum, black tea just doesn’t do it for me. I’m studying now and kinda wanting a snack but you can do this erin, pull through, one more day. It’ll be interesting to see how I go tonight; I have a birthday party! It’ll be fun regardless of the food situation, though.

I have to say, I’m already thinking about next year, how I can go better, fundraise more, change my lifestyle so that it’s not just geared around one time a year where I remember the 1.4 billion people living below the extreme poverty line but that it’s  a part of the direction of my life and my vision.

I want to thank each and every one of you, my readers, for sticking with me through this. I know a lot of you personally; I don’t know all of you but I really appreciate it. A special shout-out to everyone who donated. You guys are incredible!

living below the line

For the next five days, I will be living below the extreme poverty line for my food. This means I will be living on $2 a day.

I’m not sure whether I’ve mentioned this before, but now that it’s imminent, I’m freaking out just a little bit. I’ve got all my food together, my meal plan done up, my total figure totalled. I’m freaking out a little, to tell you the truth.

I will be eating a LOT of potatoes. They were on special at the fruit and veg market, so I have over three kilos of them.  I have lentils. I have tomatoes and I have some apples and pears that I’ll be stewing up for my breakfast, as well as the flat bread I’ll be making with my kilo of flour and butter.

I have teabags, so at least I won’t be without my caffeine. So no, my house mates won’t kill me. Yay! On the other hand, I couldn’t afford milk, or sugar, so that’ll be an experience. Mum, I know you like black tea, but I’ve never really gotten into it. Maybe this week I’ll develop a taste for it! Could do worse I suppose.

Freaking out a little… or, a lot… I don’t know how I’ll go on this food this week. I don’t know whether I’ll get super run down from lack of protein or lack of calcium. I’m hoping it’s ok if I forage, though. We have a veggie garden. At least I got given some mint a little while ago, so I can have peppermint tea.

SO my list of ingredients this week is:

Potatoes

Tomatoes

Apples

Pears

Lentils

Flour

Butter

Pumpkin

Garlic

Teabags

I’m kinda scared. But I’m also pumped. Pumped to raise awareness of poverty issues, pumped to raise money for people in real need, not in fake I-wish-I-had-a-pair-of-designer-jeans (or shoes, or socks, or whatever else… yes, I’m talking about myself here.) Pumped to do something, even this small thing.

So again: here is the link to donate to my live below the line campaign; it also includes some info about where the money will be going.

Please donate, and if you don’t, please at least read about it. And maybe when you’re done, check out how high you are on the global rich list. You might be surprised.

nectarines

What to do with a bag full of ripe nectarines:

1) Eat them. And then poop them out 🙂

2) Make nectarine jam. This tastes amazing and you can share it with your friends.

3) Stew them. And then eat them.

4) Make a nectarine brown butter buckle (what an awesome name!) just because it sounds awesome.

5) Saute them in butter and brown sugar, finish with lime juice and serve with crepes.

6) Make a nectarine galette because it’s easy and delicious.

7) Bake them with honey, orange, a cinnamon quill and cardamom pods; deglaze with rum and serve with marscapone.

8) Make a nectarine, marscapone and gingersnap tart to take to the new neighbours.

Unfortunately I did none of these things. Well, that’s a lie. I ate a couple. But my housemates made jam and stewed the rest, and next time I get a bagfull of nectarines I will be sure to snag some for one or all of the above recipes. Because they sound amazing.

P.S. I got some of the recipes from Gourmet Traveller.

P.P.S. I’m not going to bother apologising for missing my post a day commitment; I’m not doing it because I can’t be bothered, I’m doing it because our internet’s down. I know how committed I am. 🙂

of lists and things

I love lists. I make to do lists, things I have to buy lists, people to call lists. I have a list of music I would like to acquire, books I want to read, books I want to own. Movies I have to see. This here is a list of list topics.

What I would do if I won the lottery.

Cars I would like to own and/or drive.

Places I want to visit. Places I want to live.

I make lists of the pros and cons of almost every major decision I make. It doesn’t always determine the outcome, but it helps.

Annoying habits of customers (I’m a waitress/check-out chick. ‘Nuff said.)

Cafes I want to go to.

Breakfast places.

Things I want to cook. Gadgets/kitchen appliances/utensils I want.

Socks I love/want.

What I want to do with my life.

Who I want to be.

Habits I’d like to cultivate. Habits I’d like to kick.

Ways I want to make the world a better place.

Ways of worship in everyday life.

How to live with other people and not want to kill them (or have them want to kill you… anyone got any ideas? Because I’m terrified.)

Songs I would sing on Australian Idol if I could sing.

Reality TV shows it’d be fun to be on.

Guilty little pleasures (watching reality tv, anyone?)

Painting projects.

Party ideas to bring people together.

Playlists I want to make/listen to.

Now the problem with all this is, I can’t just sit around making lists all my life. No matter how much fun it is to play around with stationary (stationary I’d love to play around with. People I want to write to. Reasons why snail mail is better than electronic) I have to actually do these things if I’m ever going to be that person I want to be, to have those habits, to listen to that music. And so.

I raise a toast to getting off your bum, out from in front of the computer screen, and into real life. Happy Monday.