Respect Artists – Stop Bootlegs

This has been cross-posted to my BJD Tumblr blog and private Facebook page. I normally keep doll-related matters separate, but the respect for artists (or lack thereof) is something very close to my heart. Artists matter to me, and they deserve to be paid for their time and effort.


Oh my gosh. I know not all of you are into expensive toys, but these dolls are made by small, family-run businesses who take pride and care in what they do. The dolls are made in limited quantities. Every doll is a work of art. I have the highest respect for these artisans. The dolls are not only very pretty, but some clever engineering needs to go in to make them pose-able too.

Kindness of Strangers

I did a good deed for an elderly man on Tuesday. But I’m not just here to brag about this.

He was confused and barely spoke English. I helped him find his way to the train replacement bus, and get off at the right stop, and he was extremely grateful for this simple act.

Because on first glance, the old man looked like he was mentally ill. He was wearing strange clothes, had a limp, and called me “missy”. So creepy, right? But I knew from his face, accent, and attire that he was recently from Vietnam and genuinely confused.

I never know what words to use around foreign people, so I nod, smile, and said “you’re welcome”. I waved and said “good luck” as he got off the bus, and he stopped and waved when the bus took off.

When I got off the bus at my stop, a young man (18-19-ish) approached me and said he saw what I did, and really appreciated it. I said, “You saw how grateful he was. Imagine how many people snobbed him off today.”

So, think how many people must have ignored him, because on first glance he looked like a weirdo. He reacted to me as if he won a prize. I didn’t think anyone noticed what I did, so I was surprised when I received thanks from another stranger.

Out of hundreds of people he encountered today, was I the only one who smiled? Let alone step up to help?

Despite having grown up around cliquish Vietnamese kids, the older ones seem like nice, genuine people.

Okay, I think I’ll end my rant there.

Star Wars Episode VII

So, this happened on Wednesday night, crossing over to Thursday morning, some friends and I went to the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. (And I didn’t get to sleep until about 4am.) Us being such big fangirls and fanboys, this, and dressing up was totally obligatory! (Except it was only the girls who dressed up.)

Box Opening: MooGoo Skincare

I was very exited to receive my parcel from MooGoo skincare today!

A couple of years ago, I sought out an aluminum-free deodorant, because of the apparent health risks associated with the aluminum. I did a quick online search and decided to give MooGoo’s roll-on a try. The deodorant I ordered online came with a sample bottle of their milk wash (cleanser), which I find very soothing to use after hair removal (especially shaving). The deodorant is nice because it isn’t very pungent, and doesn’t irritate after underarm waxing. And the bottle lasts a long time – I’m still using the same bottle of roll-on after two years!

At the time I’m writing this, the weather has been getting very hot – So that means frequent leg shaving for me – and skin irritation. So I decided to order a proper bottle of their cleanser, and a spare bottle of deodorant while I was at it, and they threw in a couple of goodies.

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The contents of my MooGoo box.

Usually they include at least one free sample in their order (I oped for the moisturiser), but they had a couple of seasonal specials: SPF 40 sunscreen, and face scrub (containing coffee!?) – So yay! This company is so awesome!

Also, I like what they did with their packaging…

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This way up (or I’ll churn into butter)

Overall I’m very satisfied with the quality of these products, and the prices are very reasonable! I’m also happy to be supporting a local Aussie business! I realise that there are stockists in my local area, but I only found that out after my online purchase – Plus I don’t think I can get the free goodies unless I order online.

Switching to Reusable Menstrual Products

Reusable menstrual products (or RUMPs) are something I’ve been wanting to try for a long time, but have been putting it off because I live with my parents, and my mum thinks it’s gross. But the guilt of throwing all these synthetic objects into landfill, and the dryness in the lady parts, have been getting to me.

I initially wanted to only try cloth pads, but I figured cups would be easier because there’s less work involved cleaning them, and I think I can be more discreet with using them. Precious Stars (Bree Farmer’s YouTube channel) helped a lot in deciding which cup brands to try.

Since I have no idea which size is suitable for me (according to Bree and Lunette’s guidelines, either could work for me) I’ve decided to get one of each size. I have a Lunette in size 2, which I bought online from their Australian dealer (and was on sale), and I’m currently waiting for a Ruby Cup size 1, which I ordered from Bree’s shop in the UK. I was also considering Juju cup (which is designed and made in Australia) however, I couldn’t go past the Lunette sale, and Juju’s shop didn’t carry cleaning products and other little bits I wanted. Also, Ruby Cup donate menstrual cups to girls in need – I think that’s cool!

I also have some pantyliners from Moon Pads, and some pads (which I think are from Boowiggie – I haven’t unsealed them), which I’ve yet to try. But as I said about mum’s ick factor, I’ll probably just try the cups and pantyliners, since I probably won’t have to soak them in a bucket. (Besides, I have literally nowhere to keep a bucket.)

High quality silicone cups cost around AUD$40-60, and pads average around $15-20. Which seems like a lot, but these items are hand made with lots of care, and/or are meant to last several years. The stash I have now is worth about as much as what I pay in disposables in one year – so I consider this a saving.

If you want to know more, then Bree’s website and YouTube channel are a good place to start.

I’ll be visiting this topic again once I’ve actually tried using these products on a period or two.

Also, random fact. I’ve never actually inserted a tampon before – but have no qualms about inserting a cup.

 

Liebster Award

I’ve been nominated by Karin for the Liebster Award. And it’s about bloody time I responded to this! I don’t think my responses to the questions are all that great, but I thought I’d give this a try.

Liebster Award Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you with a link back to his/her blog.
  2. Answer the questions given to you by the nominator.
  3. Nominate (and notify) other bloggers for the award that have fewer than 500 followers.
  4. Create 11 questions (or less) for your nominees.
  5. Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them.
  6. Display the Liebster Award logo on your page.
  7. List these rules on your post.

LiebsterAward

Karin’s Questions

Do you have any middle names?

Nope.

What’s your favourite Disney movie of all time? (I assume everyone has seen at least one Disney movie in their lives)

The Emperor’s New Groove

If you could have any pet you want, what would it be and what would you name it?

A dragon would be great; I’d probably call it Smaug. but I guess if we want to be realistic, I’d want a Shiba Inu and/or a black cat.

What does your living room look like? (Bonus points for pictures!)

I don’t really have one. :/

Best monsters: werewolves, vampires, or zombies?

Werewolves! Because vampires and zombies are too overrated.

Do you enjoy playing (video/computer) games? What types of games do you like the most?

I like FPSs, but I also play a fair amount of Minecraft.

If you could be a fictional character for one day, who would you be and why?

Probably Smaug. Because who wouldn’t want to be a dragon?

Can you tell us about the best birthday you’ve ever had so far?

Probably that one where I went bowling and had a chocolate pancake for dinner. I can’t forget having a chocolate pancake for dinner.

Where would you go if you could be instantly teleported anywhere in the world right now?

I honestly can’t think of a great answer to this question. I have plenty of vague, open-ended ideas of places I want to live, and countries I’d like to visit, but I can’t really nail down any specific location I’d like to be in. For instance, I’m keen to visit New Zealand, Japan, and (Karin’s country) Sweden.

I’m Nominating…

Hev, Erin, and Liz.

My Questions

  1. If you had to choose, would you prefer a vacation in very hot or very cold location? (You can’t pick “warm”.)
  2. Which is best: Pudding, jelly (jello) or frozen yoghurt?
  3. If you had a superhero power, what would it be?
  4. What one thing does the world need more of?
  5. What one thing does the world need less of?
  6. What is the last thing or person you took a photo of?
  7. Google’s new logo, love it or hate it?
  8. If you could be on TV for any reason, what would that be?
  9. If you could be granted infinite amounts of one food, resource or material, what would that be?
  10. What is the most recent song that played on your radio or device?
  11. If you were given $5000 to donate to a charity, who would you give it to? (You can only pick one.)

Okay, done! Phew!

Don’t feel like you have to answer this if you don’t want to. And if you’re not nominated, but want to answer the questions feel free!

Review: The Niddrie Pizza

Let me start by saying, I don’t intend to become a food blogger… But something must be very special about this pizza if I’m still thinking about it days later, and feeling prompted to write a blog post. (Maybe I should be leaving a public review on Facebook and/or Zomato.)

Niddrie is a small suburb north-west of Melbourne, and here you’ll find Pizzeria Antichi Sapori, a family-run pizza restaurant. They didn’t have many options on the menu, apart from pizza, but they had some delicious home-made aranchini which was like nothing I’ve had before! In other words, I usually find aranchini to be pretty bland, but this one was bursting with flavour! However, I think the “Niddrie” pizza stole the show here. Meaty eggplant, soft and melty (not sticky) cheese, tomato sauce that tastes like tomato, and a very savory base/crust with just enough crunch.

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Mouth-watering Niddrie pizza, and a tasty rocket salad in the background. Am I making you hungry? Sorry. (Not sorry.)

The staff were very friendly and responsive, and not all in your face, which I guess happened to be because we were there on a quiet night.

10/10. Would eat here again.

Know thy Enemy: Instant Coffee

Note: Caffeine is not the enemy. Caffeine is safe in moderation, unless your doctor has advised you not to consume it.

instant coffee

You are going to get mixed opinions on whether or not freshly brewed coffee is good or bad for you. In my mind, it’s about as nutritiously beneficial or harmful as chocolate.

I generally have no ill effects after consuming freshly ground or capsule coffee. (Capsule coffee, it’s bad, I know – I want to talk about this in another entry.) When I drink instant (freeze dried) coffee, whatever unpleasant thoughts I may think will become 1000 times worse. So I stopped. Because, I get really irritable, and find it difficult to fall asleep. Within 12 hours of drinking my last cup of instant coffee, I noticed about 95% of my anxious thoughts go away. Within 24 hours, I find my mood is generally better.

instant coffee (freeze dried), the enemyWhat’s in this instant coffee that makes it so bad? Unfortunately, I couldn’t find out because the product label has no ingredients list! This was such a shock! And it made me think: Maybe I shouldn’t consume it if I don’t know what’s in it! I could be drinking battery acid, or kitten whiskers for all I know!

Organic? “Organic” can really mean anything. It may have met the “organic” criteria at some point in its life, but then what happened during the process of turning beans into granules? What chemicals and processes were added to the mix? You could almost call it fossilised coffee! Yeah, I’m going to call it that from now on.

There is that factor that there could be less caffeine, so you need to drink more cups, and thus more exposure to weird chemicals. I didn’t feel like digging too deeply on the internet for information, but I found this:

Caffeine is not necessarily dangerous and in fact it renders a handful of health benefits. However, since instant coffee has considerably less caffeine than its freshly brewed counterpart, it’s easy to end up consuming more caffeine than is recommended, which can subsequently result in irritability, palpitations, and insomnia.

…Moreover, individuals with performance social anxiety disorder and panic disorder appear to be especially prone to caffeine’s anxiety-inducing effect.

Source: “Secrets of the Superhuman Food Pyramid: Negative Effects of Instant Coffee”, Superhuman Coach. Date accessed: 26 of July, 2015

So, fossil coffee, I think I’m going to eject you from my life. (Except on rare occasions when I’m at a friends’ house and need to drive home late.) I don’t think I will ever give up all coffee. I intend to drink it (takeaway, plunger, or pod) on some mornings when I need a perk up, or if I want a warm drink to go with dessert.


 

Photo of instant coffee grains by Chris RubberDragon

Australian Teabag Matcha!

Notice: I’m not getting paid to write this post. I’m just really excited to find matcha at the local supermarket!

Okay, it’s not 100% matcha, it’s a sencha blend, but it still has the bitter-with-a-hint-of-sweetness taste that I love. It also makes the tea a nice green colour.

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It’s Ito En Australian Green Tea!

It’s everything I love about Japanese green tea, in teabag form! I can pick it up at the local Coles supermarket, rather than having to trek out to a specialist tea shop or Japanese goods store. I also love that the tea plant is farmed in Australia (so it means Aussies get jobs!) and processed in Japan (so we know it’s authentically made!)