Grease and Oil Change

Back in February of this year, I ran a workshop in my hometown of Trundle that focussed on health and wellbeing for rural people. With a very rural sounding name for the day – ‘Grease and Oil Change’ – it was an idea that came out of last October’s Mental Health Week. I took on the concept of talking openly about mental health and created a workshop for people who live out west and might not have access to stories and experts to help when times aren’t so hot.

The Dept of Primary Industries helped out with funding, as well as a few contacts, and basically we all met up at the Trundle Golf Club (60 people turned up – how wild is that? And yes, I was related to a good deal of them!) But it was heartening to see that lots of people want to make time to look after themselves.

There were a few experts and a few people that were happy to spread their message without a lot of experience behind them (and aren’t they usually the best?) It was a very inspiring day.

Since the workshop I have been sending out a monthly (give or take) newsletter to the participants to share any self help tips. I am the Queen of Self Help – got a course, a book, a podcast? Then count me in!) I love learning new ways to be a better person and I spend hours during the week reading and becoming inspired. Look, it’s a work in progress.

So anyway back to the newsletters…

Rather than reinventing the wheel, I thought I might pop the newsletter content right here on this blog. It might be up your alley and it might hold something that tweaks your interest. Who knows?

Grease and Oil Change News #1

Thanks so much to everyone who came along to last week’s workshop. It was a great catch up and there was a fantastic energy in the room.

The plan with these newsletters is to keep you updated with relevant information from the workshop. (And I promise not to overload your inbox)

Today’s update is all about food (why not?!) and includes the recipes from the cooking demo, along with some other bits and pieces that you might find interesting.

Sausage making

The art of sausage making…

RECIPES
So here are the recipes from the cooking demo: Grease and Oil Change Recipes (click on the link)

AND SOME OTHER STUFF…
Recently on Triple J Dr Karl interviewed Professor Clare Collins, Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Newcastle. It’s a very interesting listen, covering a wide range of topics. Is a zero carb diet viable in the long term? Why am I eating more after quitting smoking?
Listen to it by clicking HERE

Here is the Healthy Eating Quiz that Prof Clare Collins refers to in the interview: Click on the link HERE

All ears

Eager participants…

Ruth and Gary

Ahhh, feeling the love.

Over and out…
Cherie

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For ALL of the Mothers

I think this might be one of the best Mother’s Day gifts going around.

And while I am normally not one for giving ‘stuff’ I am more than happy to make an exception this time. I started sending this out as an email attachment to all of the men that I know and then thought, hang on – why not put it on this here blog?

Happy Mothers Day to all of the ladies….wherever you are and however you might be travelling.

Two Good Mothers Day Campaign

Two_Good_02_0046

Cherie

Grease and Oil Change

We’re putting on a little wellness workshop out Trundle way on Thursday March 17, and ya’ll are invited. You don’t need to be from Trundle, you don’t need to be crook and you don’t need to pay.

This idea for a health kick came about after last October’s Mental As initiative, which was all over the ABC radio and television. I particularly loved the Saturday Night Crack Up – a comedy gala which so sensitively took the Mickey out of mental ill health. It got me thinking about the people nearest and dearest to me and how we are all often just keeping our heads above water – myself included.

And let’s face it, rural areas aren’t always privy to the best of services. We are an isolated bunch and while the community health groups and powers that be seem to be doing their best to help us out, sometimes you just have to bring the peeps to your place.

So from a simple idea (I was thinking a couple of hours, with a couple of guest speakers) we now have a cracking line up of professionals (and some not so professionals) and damn fine folk, coming all the way out to Trundle to share their ideas of how to get your mind and body in the best possible shape.

I really hope lots of people come (you know when you organise something, which in your head is a fantastic idea, and then as it looms closer you start to have doubts and imagine it’ll be just you and your mum and dad sitting up there in the audience?! That’s where I am at today)

So fill up the fuel tank and come on out to the Trundle Golfie. If nothing else you will get a chance to say hi to my mum and dad.

Grease&OilChange copy

PS, Sorry for the sales pitch.

Cherie

 

 

Bits and Blogs #2 (plus tips)

What have I been reading to, listening to, being inspired by this month? I’m so glad you asked…

A podcast that has me pumping: The Minimalists

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus are the minimalists and have built up a massive following via their blog. Just recently (as in 10 episodes ago) they started up a podcast. Their motto is ‘Love people and use things, because the opposite never works.’

The standout podcast so far: Stuff which is pretty self explanatory but very eye opening.

Podcast Tip: So when do I actually listen to a podcast? I squeeze in one or two shows each day – that said, it depends on the length of the podcast and the kind of day we’re having. I mostly stick the earphones in when we go for a walk, others listen when they are cleaning the house (I don’t really clean so that doesn’t apply to me) and of course driving is a great chance to tune in. I sometimes look for an excuse to mosey on out to Trundle just so I can lend my ears to a new episode.

Inspo from Instagram: Jetsetmamma

I have mentioned this mumma previously as being someone who gets me through the day. Her honesty about motherhood is so spot on that I sometimes blush when reading her posts. Mother of two boys and an intrepid traveller, Claire Alexander-Johnston is actually telling it how it is – broken legs and all.

Check her baby’s birthday post: You may well tear up.

Instagram Tip: You can check out public Instagram accounts without being an Instagram account holder. This was a game changer for me – now I can look and love images and posts without being sucked into the vortex of scrolling, commenting, checking back in & all of my mind games that go with it.

Best Blog: The Rare Pear

Our special guest on the show today is Shani Nottingham who lives in Cowra – our neck of the woods.

We asked her a couple of questions about her creativity & recent successes in the world of blogging. Yes, she is a winner! Shani took out the Kidspot Voices of 2015 Competition for Australian creatives in the ‘Home and Wellbeing’ section. Pretty amazing stuff.

Our radio interview was a bit of a muck up – I had originally told Shani the wrong day – so it threw us all. Mental note: I will take my time when writing emails and making sure I get the finer details correct. In the end Shani was able to make the interview and her enthusiasm and brightness shone through. You can listen to it HERE

If you have ever wondered if telegraph poles could be beautiful then you’d best check out Shani’s latest blog post to see how she has captured these monstrosities.

Wonderful images from our part of the world.

Telegraph poles

Cherie

 

My non negotiables

I am a stickler for a daily rhythm & regular habits. It’s definitely my personality type (the official title of which I am still figuring out but I recently took Gretchen Rubin’s habits quiz and I am thinking the label ‘Upholder’ might suit me to a tee.)

This title comes down to my tendency to meet both external (those of others) and internal (my own) expectations.

I take on new habits easily and with gusto. If I read or hear about something that is going to be of benefit then there’s a fair chance that I’ll be hooked…possibly by the following morning. I might stick with the new habit for the long term (lemon water first thing in the morning) or they might come and go (coconut oil pulling.)

My days tend to run more beautifully if I can manage a few simple habits. Yes, there are many days when I don’t get to some of them, but I am getting better in making substitutions where possible.

And if my rhythm misses a beat, then that’s not the end of the world.

Going for a walk: Sage advice from the community nurses when Lenny was born. I don’t do it to get the heart racing, but I do stretch the pins and I see some lovely people on my travels.

Cooking breakfast: I thrive on food that is hot – whatever time of the year, whatever time of the day. Eggs, sausages, porridge, leftovers…you name it I can (h)eat it.

Having a bit of quiet time: Quiet time has become a bit of a catch cry in this house if things are a bit off the richter. “I’m just having a bit of quiet time” while steaming out the back door is code for “I am about to have a nervous breakdown.” So I am trying to head this feeling off at the pass by succumbing to quiet time of my own accord. This might be called meditating in some circles, but I prefer to calling it sitting down with my legs crossed and listening to my breathing.

Light entertainment: I will generally squeeze in something to thrill the senses each day. At the moment it is a combination of the following:

Nashville Y’all do yourselves a favour & watch this.

The Slow Home Podcast This is how Gretchin and I came to ‘meet.’

All the Light We Cannot See Our bookclub read.

Jetsetmama Checking in with this lady is good for the soul & the laugh lines.

 

What are your daily non negotiables? I’d love you to tell me in the comments section (because there’s a fair chance I’ll go and give them a crack)

Cherie

Sleep Deprivation: The silent killer

OK, well I may have gathered that you don’t actually die from lack of sleep – or I would have been 6 foot under a few months ago – but boy does it mess with your system. One of the many words of wisdom I received when Lenny came on the scene included ‘Just remember, no one has ever died from a lack of sleep’ And that may be technically true, but I have often wondered if sleep deprivation has been responsible for people going close to dying  – or being responsible for someone else’s death at the very least.

I’m not sure what you call the phase that we are currently going through (I have an appointment with the community nurse later this month, so I’m hoping to get a formal diagnosis from her) but call it teething, call it a growth spurt, call it whatever the heck you like, but when sleep is hard to come by then everything else is hard. Real hard.

I don’t need to count up the hours of missed sleep on my fingers, I know I am sleep deprived when:

  • My creativity is sapped…and I feel like I’ll never have a bright idea again. The thought of sitting down to write a blog post makes me feel squeamish, along with the thought that I might never have a funny/ useful/ interesting/ productive thing to say to anyone again. Ever.
  • Relationships become strained…mainly with those that live under the same roof as me (I seem to be able to ‘bung it on’ if I have a visitor.) Mind you, my conversation skills are limited and I tend to speak in one or two word sentences. I prefer to be the answerer rather than the questioner when I am tired, and it’s amazing how long you can keep a conversation rolling with ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers.
  • The comparison trap is wide open…yep, and I start to slide in. Without decent sleep I start to doubt myself and invariably imagine other more capable ladies killing it. It’s not healthy and I have developed some skills to snap back out of it, but often if I am feeling a bit tender then I start to worry what other people might think. Which is not helpful at all.
  • Come night time, the TV is turned on…and I watch it recklessly, flicking from the new SBS food channel (I think Curtis Stone might have shares in that channel – he is on every 2nd show) to the cricket slash tennis or heaven forbid repeats of Grand Designs from 2010. Turn it off.
  • I overthink every single decision…actually I can’t actually make a decision to save myself. Should I put the pram into the car first? Will I turn the car on to cool down? Should I pop Lenny in first? Will I put my shoes on before I put him in? ARRGGH Who cares? Just get in the bloody car. Go barefoot, no one gives a toss.
  • We’re in a food funk…I know everyone is capable of falling into a slump when it comes to meal planning and cooking but I have gone through long stints of meat and 3 veg – ok make it 2, including potato – for days at a time. And not a skerrick of gravy or sauce to be seen. I’m telling you when I haven’t had sleep, things are B.L.A.N.D.

I’d like to say that it’s the complete reversal of these tendencies when I am loaded up on sleep. Not quite, but everything is brighter, there’s no doubt about it. And I can see past my own eyelashes…and even be helpful to others.

So it’s off to bed for me.

Cherie

 

 

 

 

Another January, another self help book

It’s like a drug. I am into my self help literature in a big way, and this year is no different. I am dosing myself up to the eyeballs in new ideas, courses, strategies, vlogs, blogs, books, podcasts and anything else I can get my mitts on to make my life (and ultimately those around me) a little better.

I tend to overload myself like this quite regularly – not just January – and annoy the living heck out of my sister and mum by sending them link after link of something ‘life changing’ (my overused words) every time I stumble across something that I think will be revolutionary.

I see myself as Santa’s little self helper. I have no qualifications, I learn from trial and error and I don’t mind sharing my new found knowledge with anyone who’ll listen.

And it looks like you’re listening.

So allow me to indulge in my top 3 self help concepts for January 2016.

Zen Habits: I am undertaking a 6 week Sea Change course on Daily Mindfulness practice. I can’t remember how much it costs (the perils of Paypal) but it’s been going since the start of Jan and so far I am sticking with it. Leo Babauta is a dreamy mentor and it has been the simple tricks that have kept me motivated. The time it takes is just a couple of minutes and there is a little daily challenge, as well as videos explaining the content. I just want my head to stop racing with thoughts and my heart to be calm. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

A Simple Year: I gave this 12 month course a crack last year but sadly fell off the wagon. A couple of friends I know (ahem) have let me have a peak at this year’s content and I feel like I could do it again, but this time with feeling. It’s a course designed to make life more simple and starts with the practical aspects of decluttering, what busyness is and how to combat it, through to simple cooking and travel (I will be tuning in in March for that one.) It’s still open for registration and like all learning it takes some dedication and time but is well worth it in my opinion.

Happiness Jar: I stole this idea from Elizabeth Gilbert and everyday before I hop into bed I write on a little piece of paper the one thing from the day that made me the happiest. I don’t have a jar, as such, but I am stuffing each piece of paper into my bedside drawer. And I might never read them again but it is such a nice way to get ready for sleep and to finish off the day. And there hasn’t been a day yet when I haven’t been able to think of something. Whipping both my husband and brother in ping pong may have featured for a few days running.

Of course regular massages, self care days, herbal teas, journalling and all of those other wonderful pursuits are on the list but I am trying to be practical here.

So to Self Help – here’s cheers!

Cherie