Monday, 24 June 2013

My Burgerlicious Booty!

I don’t mind winter all that much. I like to think it gives me an excuse to stay on the couch, drink hot chocolate and indulge in a bit of a carbo-overload. It got me thinking as to what my favourite food is. It’s not an easy question, in fact ,it’s damn hard!

I’m quite a foodie. You name it, I like it. Thai, Pizza, Italian, Chinese, Greek, Moroccan, Indian and Middle Eastern all rate quite highly. However, it may be the Aussie in me, but I keep coming back to the same thing. A burger and chips!! Simple, but oh sooooo delicious.
I must admit, I like my burgers with cheese, bacon and beetroot. Oh...and thick, homestyle chips are the best. So divine!!
I even try to tell myself they are healthy. Well.....they can’t be that bad now, can they? Sure they have some carbs, but there IS meat and salad. Cheese is calcium, although the only bit which may be in question is the bacon. Yeh, I’ll admit, that is the fatty bit, although if you cut the fat off then no problems, right?

I was recently in Hawaii and my ultimate favourite restaurant is Cheeseburgers in Paradise. The name says it all. Lots of burgerliciousness and well....Hawaii is paradise! I frequented there several times. I especially loved their sweet potato fries. I think I even started to develop a burgerlicious booty!!
But you know, my dribble is well and good, however the most important question needs to be asked....

Tell me about your favourite burger! Toppings, sauces and chips....
Where can you get the best burgers around??
Jen xoxo

Bad habits beware, can't help myself!

It’s an interesting topic this week. Talking about my bad habits. I’m sure if I lived with someone, they would be able to rattle off quite a list. However, given it’s just me, myself and I that live together, I’m claim to be somewhat blind to what you might call a bad habit. Why, well because it’s just me. What is a bad habit to one person, may not be to another. It’s weird like that. So, I’ll dig deep and see what I can come up with.
Of course, I’ve scratched the surface and have found a few. My top three bad habits complete with a life lesson and words of wisdom at the bottom. Enjoy:-

1)      Not making my bed in the morning

 I would love to be one of those super neat people, who manage to get everything done regardless of what is happening in their day. Reality check, it’s just not Jen! If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know that mornings are certainly not my best time of day. Making it to work on time is on most days, an absolute miracle. Or rather, a chaotic miracle. The fact that I am at work on time, is a miracle. However, actually getting to work on time results in a chaotic trail of mess and untidiness right through-out my apartment.

 It’s fair to say when the alarm goes off, I am very happy to snatch a few more minutes in bed. Especially on these cold mornings. When I make it to the shower, the hot water blasting down on me is so wonderful, I even stay there longer than I should. Sometimes, I manage to eat some porridge for breakfast. Sometimes, it’s a case of grabbing toast from a cafe as I am hurrying to the office. But every morning without fail, the bed doesn’t get made. I’m at the point where I’m not even apologising, it’s a fact and unless the domestic fairy is going to make it, this is one miracle that won’t happen.

 Although, it is weird that I am able to have time for a coffee every morning, isn’t it?

2)      Magazine mounds

I love magazines. I’m not even sure what it is about them that I love. I can’t resist a good headline, latest diet or celebs without make-up feature. There are regular ones I buy every month such as Super Food Ideas, Healthy Food Guide and Good Health. Love them. Only problem is, they do seem to stay around for quite a while. Yes, I can be somewhat reluctant to throw them out. I have this growing pile of magazines in the lounge room, on the dining table and in the study. It never quite gets completely out of control, but I’m sure it goes close.

3)      Not washing my hair

Now, this one may sound gross. But don’t just screw your nose up, just yet. There is a story here and it’s important to hear.
I don’t like washing my hair. It’s curly, so I get away with washing it only a few times a week (and that’s at a push). This isn’t something that’s developed from childhood. This came about because I lost over half my hair several years ago.
I was completing a uni degree part time, working full time, a part time fitness instructor on the side, going to the gym regularly and having a social life topped off with ensuring I gave my family some time as well. It was a recipe for burn out and that’s what happened.
I always had thick, gorgeous curls that were the envy of most girls. Especially when I was a teenager, perms were all the fashion and girls were spending a fortune to get what I had naturally. Everyone commented on my hair.
I was always driven and pushed myself quite hard. Too hard. I started to develop health issues and wasn’t listening to my body. I ignored signs of how I was feeling and pushed even harder. When I wasn’t listening to my body, it screamed at me even louder. As hair isn’t a critical function in the body, it diverts the nutrients to other areas where it’s more needed and hair misses out. My hair was falling out in handfuls and handfuls. As the handfuls of hair came out, the more I stressed, the more I stressed, the more handfuls that came out. I cried and cried, till there were no more tears to cry. I tried doctors, naturopaths, trichologists and dermatologists. I hide inside, learned how to wear hats and struggled to socialise. I lost alot of my confidence. The worst part was people. Some people were dreadful with their comments and remarks.
I began to hate washing my hair. I learnt by not washing it and very carefully combing it, I could minimise what would fall out. So that’s what I did.
To this day, I still struggle now to wash my hair. I even struggle to sit at the hairdresser. I can’t stand people touching my hair or playing with it.
It’s still getting there and slowing growing back. I hope that one day it will be back to the thick maine that I once had. It was a hard experience to go through, but it’s taught me alot. I’ve learnt to stop, breathe and relax. I’ve learnt that nothing is as important as I am and my health. I’ve learnt that taking time out to do what I love, is actually okay. In fact, it’s more than okay, it’s essential for me. I’m no good to anyone, if I haven’t made time for me. I’ve also learnt that I’m much more than my hair. If people can’t see past that, then I have no time for them.

My parting words of wisdom this week are to ensure you take time for you. Don’t get to such a point like I did. It wasn’t living. It was a stressful existence.

Grab your diary or calendar for this week and block in some time for you. Time for you to do what you want to. Let your partner, husband, mother, sister, brother or friend help you out. Insist they do. Do not feel guilty. Repeat after me, I WILL NOT FEEL GUILTY.
Drop me a line and let me know how you spent your “me” time! I’d love to hear all about it!

Jen xoxo
Linking up with Kristy of My Home Truths for I Must Confess.........


Monday, 17 June 2013

Age is only a number

I spent the day with my grandmother on Saturday. It was her 91st birthday. She looks good for her age. She has always looked after her skin and stayed out of the sun. She was a yoga lover and has passed this passion onto me.
My dad, auntie and I took her out for lunch to celebrate. As we were eating away, Nanna asked me if I would take her to Yoga with me. I nearly choked! I bluntly said, “no”. She then said defiantly she would take herself. I then explained that she hadn’t done yoga for years. About 20 to be exact. I also explained that no instructor would teach her as their insurance wouldn’t cover it.

I did admire Nanna. After two knee reconstructions, being legally blind and at the age of 91, she wants to do Yoga. Clearly her mind is strong and willing. But her body simply isn’t?
Every day of our lives we age just a little bit more. But it’s only a number. It shouldn’t define whether we can or can’t do something. It shouldn’t mean we are supposed to have done something or be at a certain point. It is simply a number which quite factually tells us how many years we have been on this earth.
I get frustrated when people state their age and then loudly complain of all the pains and aches as if they should have those given their age. If you let your age be a mental roadblock you’ll miss out on being in the moment. You’ll miss out on having fun.

As we travel along our life journey, we need to take what experiences are given to us, enjoy them and learn from them. Age doesn’t define where we should be or what we should be doing. We just need to do whatever makes us happy at whatever point that is. Sometimes our journey takes us to places and experiences we never thought we would ready for, no matter what our age.

It’s easy for people to say at 37 I should be married with children. I’m not. I’m not even close. I’m not worried because I’m quite content with where I am in my life. If it happens, then wonderful, if not, then it wasn’t meant to be. I’ll just take the road and see where it takes me.

Nanna wasn’t going to let her age stop her from doing something she was once so passionate about. Maybe I was ageist because I wouldn’t take her. The pot calling the kettle black.
Tell me, have you let age hold you back? Does age define you?

Jen xoxo

Embarassed Driver Coming Through!

Linking up with Kristy of My Home Truths for I Must Confess...This week it's all about embarrassing moments.

Embarassing moments are a plenty with me. It’s almost difficult to choose one. It's even embarrassing to let you know that there are quite a few. I’m just that sort of person. However....there is one I will share with you.

My dad was involved in motor racing and when I reached 18, I started to take an interest as well. I would go with him to all the race tracks and take my place in the pitts surveying all the action. I loved it. It was soooo much fun. Not to mention it was heavily male dominated and at 18, it was a wonderful smorgasboard for me to look at. I proudly wore the team uniform. Now, don’t get too excited, it was a pair of overalls covered with sponsors’ badges. Male overalls, in case you were wondering. King Gee didn’t make a female pair back then. I remember having to go up a size because overalls weren’t quite made for hips. Hippy hips at that.  

As we were always based in the pitt area, Dad always drove in and parked next to the team’s area. With any motor racing team, there is an amazing amount of equipment and vehicles. Trucks, buses, mobile workshops, trailors, this car and that car. Given the huge amount of vehicles, they were parked in like sardines. It was always inevitable that some vehicle needed to be moved. Remember that conversation from The Castle,
Darryl Kerrigan: Ay Steve, can you move the Camira? I need to get the Torana out to get to the Commodore.
Steve Kerrigan: Sure thing Dad, but I'll have to get the keys to the Cortina if I'm gunna move that Camira.
Darryl Kerrigan: Alright mate, just watch the boat

On this particular day many years ago, out at Oran Park (now a housing estate), vehicles needed to be moved and rearranged. Dad asked me if I could move our white commodore station wagon and park it under a carport. I particularly hated it when Dad asked me to do anything like moving the car out at the track. Every one watches and it feels like all eyes are on you just waiting for you to make a mistake.
I grabbed the keys and got into the car. Adjusted the seat and mirrors and started the engine. I put the car in reverse and proceeded to move the car backward and turn it into the new spot undercover. I didn’t have to move it far, the same distance as reversing out of a car spot at the shopping centre. Reverse out, turn and reverse a little more. It really wasn’t a complicated manoeuvre. It’s just I probably wasn’t completely concentrating and I was probably a little anxious from all the eyes watching me.

It’s embarrassing to say but I didn’t see the pole in the middle of the car port and reversed straight into it. I didn’t just catch the rear headlight or rear corner of the car, it wasn’t a little bump or dent but I clearly misjudged the WHOLE thing and the pole hit the back of the car, right in the middle. Everyone was watching. I mean EVERYONE. All our team which was about 20 members. There were also members of the public walking past. (I didn’t mention our team’s location was right in the middle of a main thoroughfare, the public had, HAD, to walk past.)
I wanted to die. Really!! Curl up and stay in the car forever. Evaporate into little particles and float out of the car then put myself together a million miles from there. Anywhere but be where I was. Of course, I still needed to get out of the car. Worse still, a million times worse was I had to face Dad. He even looked embarrassed as well. The most cringe-worthy part was he then told me off in front of everyone and asked me how I could I not see the pole. To make matters worse, I didn’t tell you but the pole was fairly small. If you join your thumbs together, join your pointer fingers together, they should form a circle, that was the size of the pole.

So...the only saving grace from this embarrassing situation is at least there was only a small dent in the back of the car and having a Dad that repaired race cars (considering the crashes they have) meant it wasn’t really all that bad. Dad was over it by the time we got home later that night. pride was very dented for weeks to come. It’s fair to say I missed the next race meeting, I think something important came up. Or did it?
Do you have an embarrassing driving story??? I’d love to hear it!!!

Jen xoxo

Monday, 10 June 2013

Hot Under The Collar About An 8.30am Start!

Linking up with Kristy at My Home Truths for this week's, I Must Confess. It's all about Pet Peeves and those things which really get you hot under the collar!
There's so many pet peeves that I could talk about but I've decided to keep it simple this week. I'll talk about my top 3 things which really get me fired up.
So from my least pet peeve to my top pet peeve, here they are:-

3. Complicated Recipes
I enjoy cooking. I really do. It’s therapeutic and fun. I like marvelling at the end result and get a sense of pride from what I have created. I especially like the eating part. That's probably my favourite bit. I'm not someone who can throw ingredients together and they just taste amazing. I need to follow a recipe or else it actually does taste like ingredients thrown together.
However, I am a simple gal, so the recipes that I usually cook from are fairly short in their steps. You see, any more than about 5 steps and it’s not pretty. I get agitated, frustrated and if something takes too long for me to make, then I lose interest. it's probably safe to say I would never go on Masterchef given those challenges seem to have super complicated recipes that make my head hurt. I think I’m best suited to being quality control and tasting the final products. Look out Matt Preston! Otherwise, keep it simple for Jen. Please!

2. An 8.30am start time at work
I’m not a morning person. I won’t apologise for it. It is just not in my DNA at all. I hate getting up early. I avoid it at all costs. I don’t usually really wake up until about 10.00am and that's after a very strong coffee to charge the batteries up. So having to get up at 6.00am each morning to get ready and catch the train to go to the city, is just not fun at all!! I love the weekend, when I can sleep in and relax. It would be perfect if the work day started at 10.00am. My body even agrees. It naturally wakes up around 9.00am when there are no alarm clocks. Morning people make me sick. It’s not something that I will ever be. Sleep-ins and 9.00am wake up calls are perfect for me.  
And it number 1 Pet Peeve............
1. Taxes
Yep....I hate paying tax of any sort, but more specifically, income tax. I’ve worked hard, damn hard. It’s my money and the government takes it away without my consent. I don’t think I signed anything or we mutually agreed. It's fair to say this arrangement was purely one-sided. Nope...the government just takes and then they go and spend it without consulting me as to how I would like it to benefit the economy. I don’t think I consented to mining taxes, Julia!
I also hate doing my tax at that dreaded time every year. It’s bloody annoying. I hate the whole thing. Making the appointment, going to the accountant, sifting through what I have earnt, receipts to claim and then .......(drum roll)....I either have to pay or get a ridiculously small amount back that will barely cover the groceries!! You know the old saying, ‘there’s two certainties in life, death and taxes.’
There you have it. My top 3 Pet Peeves! I have no doubt you can relate to them.
So tell me, how do you cope with early morning starts? How do you survive tax time and the trip to the Accountants?
Jen xox

Monday, 3 June 2013

I'm Famous but please call me Jen

Linking up with Kristy at My Home Truths for 'I Must Confess'. This week it's about baby names.

My mother always loved the name Julie. If she had a daughter, she was going to be called Julie. So when I arrived into the world, I was Julie for the first few days of my life. That is until she didn’t like how it sounded with my middle name. As I have her name, Barbara as my middle name, the fit needed to be just right. So she changed it. Jennifer it was. And still is!

There’s my confession. My mum changed my name. Crazy really. I’m not sure being called a Julie would have made any difference to my life. Let’s face it, people get used to a name. People would have gotten used to Julie being my first name. They wouldn’t have cared less whether it sounded good with my middle name. How often does anyone mention their middle name?

So given that I have lived my life as a Jennifer, it’s been fine. Well...sort of. You see, I hate my first name being used. Yep.......don’t ever call me Jennifer. I think it’s the weird psychological association with my parents using my full name when I was in trouble. So if you call me Jennifer, I think I’m in trouble. Stupid brain. Even at 37, that’s the connection my brain makes. Jennifer – Trouble.

Trouble aside, I’m fine with Jenny, Jen, Jen Jen, Jen Wren, Jenster or Jenna. Call me any of those and I’ll answer. Call me Jennifer and that might be the last time we talk. Ouch!!
I know I shouldn’t have an issue with it. But it’s the damn conditioning from my childhood. There are many Jennifer’s who proudly use their full name. Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Hawkins and Jennifer Lawrence. They don’t seem to have any problems with the name in its entirety. It’s just me, I guess.

I’m even famous. Yep.....enter Jennifer Hale into Google and there are quite a few entries. Okay.....way more than a few.
 I’m even famous! So famous, I'm in Wikipedia. I didn’t realise I was a famous American Actress best known for voiceover work. I’m also a model. Who would have thought? Best of all, I am a reporter with Fox Sports and was voted number 16 in ‘The 20 Sexiest Sports Reporters of 2012’. Well....that would certainly help with the fellas, wouldn’t it!


Maybe being a Jennifer and more importantly, being Jennifer Hale, isn’t all that bad. case you are thinking you can use my full first name, just for the record let me make this clear, call me Jen. It's healthier for both of us.
Do you hate your full first name being used?

Jen xoxo