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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New Blog, New Adventure

Howdy blogosphere. It appears I fell off the face of the earth due to uni, work, volunteering, and lack of inspiration. However, I am back, but on a new blog platform (same name!) and with a new journey. I am about to embark on a semester of university exchange in the Czech Republic, and am documenting my adventures on a blog for my family and friends. If you are interested, please take a look! Thanks for all your support on this past little blog.

Yes, there is meant to be two 's' after 'mountain'. Apparently someone else already took the name!

- Reanna.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Thrift Love: Recent Finds

I truly had the intention of posting these goodies a few days ago, but time seems to be slipping away from me ridiculously quickly. It was Valentines Day, I blinked, and now it's Wednesday the next week. What? When? How?
Once all the chaos that is currently overtaking my life (good chaos, I have a crazy amount of commitments right now and I love it) I endeavour to get posting a bit more regularly. However, I am turning 21 next week, so sorry if I completely fall out of cyberspace for awhile!
Here is a few op-shop finds that have entered our household recently:

Chris scored this Snoopy comic book last week. I personally don't find the Peanuts series overly amusing, but I am a fan of comic style artwork. But this book is not for reading: I actually have crafted this up (whaaaat?) into some decorations for Chris and my 21st this coming weekend. I'll be sure to share my creation next week!

And Chris hit a goldmine again. This time with a massive copy of Grimm Fairy Tales. He admits it was an impulse buy. We don't really need this giant book, but it was too awesome not to buy.

Finally, I actually bought something. I have already raved about this baby over on instagram. But oh my gosh. This, this is true thrift love. And at $2, how could I go wrong?

Have you scored anything awesome out thrifting lately?

Friday, February 14, 2014

On Valentines Day & Last Minute Gifts

Valentines Day. People seem to either complain about being single (and apparently sitting alone in their underwear and eating Nutella to drown their sorrows, according to my Facebook feed), gush over each other in public with far too much enthusiasm, or simply not care. Not exactly the most successful holiday of the calendar, is it.
Personally, I have been one of the people who brush it by the wayside. Chris and I have date nights every other week, so we don't feel the need to celebrate this day with anymore than a minor acknowledgment. Plus, the next two weeks of February sees both our birthdays AND our anniversary, so we aren't really missing out on anything!
Admittedly, we did go out last night for dinner and a show (meatballs on Swan St and Nina Las Vegas Presents, to be in fact). Tonight, Chris is at work, so I have plans for dinner, the gym, and starting a new tv show. 

Dinner at the Meatball & Wine Bar // One half of Cosmos Midnight // Nina Las Vegas
However, this morning I felt inspired to whip together a little gift of sorts for Chris. I have seen similar things online before, and it has always struck me as a sweet idea. So in a matter of ten minutes I was able to put this little guy together.

What's that Reanna? You did something creative AND tried to set up a photo?

All this involved was a permanent marker, a little bottle/jar, paper, a piece of string, and some coloured popsicle sticks (left over from when I made a Hobbit themed terrarium…). The idea is that whenever we feel like going out together, we can select one of the "ideas" I have already stored in here. It could be at random, or with a bit of careful selection (some ideas being a bit more pricey than others!). So far I have popped in a few bars and cafes we have always wanted to go to, some we have already been to but have been meaning to check out again, and a few less specific adventures we have always aspired to do. I'm going to encourage Chris to add a couple of his own when he gets it! Forever the ideas man.

Simple, but considering I made this about two hours ago, I am relatively happy with it.
What do you think about the whole Valentine's Day saga? Pro or against? 
Either way, I send love to you all!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lentil as Anything

If any of you lovely people have the misfortune of following my instagram feed (i.e. lots of #foodporn, photos of old buildings and my feet), you may have seen that I am having a bit of a love affair with Lentil as Anything, particularly the lovely restaurant down at the Abbotsford Convent.
In a brief summary, Lentil as Anything is a not-for-profit chain of restaurants in Melbourne with a "pay as you feel" philosophy. Food is prepared and served predominately by volunteers, is vegetarian and is as sustainable and locally sourced as possible. There is no prices on any of the meals. Rather, you come in and enjoy your food, then pay what you feel the meal was worth in one of the "magic boxes" on your way out. The aim of this is to focus on individuals, rather than money, so that those that can't afford to pay for a regular meal at a restaurant can pay as much - or as little - as they want without feeling looked down upon. 

I have been to both the Footscray and Abbotsford restaurants, which offer a communal eating atmosphere, and a self serve buffet of deliciousness. Simply grab a plate and load it up with what you will.

I am drooling looking back at this photo. Meals usually consist of curries, rice, salads, and often focus around a particular cuisine. I've had Mexican, Ethiopian (best injera ever) and Mediterranean. 
The two other restaurants I have yet to check out (emphasis on "yet" here) are in Preston and St Kilda, and offer a menu rather than buffet style affair. The philosophy behind Lentils is fantastic, and the generosity of volunteers and patrons is amazing. I am eager to see developments of this organisation in the future!

I love the chilled out atmosphere at Abbotsford restaurant, as well as the Convent itself. I could spend all day gazing at this beautiful old buildings.
Have you been to Lentil as Anything before? Or the Convent? It is such a beautiful part of the city.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Confessions of a Meal Planner

I always have mixed feelings about admitting that I am a meal planner to my peers. I'll be honest, I'm not really sure how many other 20-year-olds do this kind of thing. Is it dorky? Do I seem incredibly old and pedantic? But really, what does it matter. I love cooking, and I love meal planning and all the benefits it entails.

Back when I first begun here blog, I shared my weekly meal plans online. While I have currently stopped posting them, I have by no means stopped implementing them at home! Each week, usually on a Friday night - over the occasional bottle of wine - Chris and I sit down with a selection of our cookbooks and plan out meals for the week (I know, could we be any more hardcore young adults?). Chris is the ideas man, pulling recipes from everywhere, while I occasionally mumble something along the lines of "we could just do a stir fry or something…"
From my personal experience, the benefits of making a meal plan are boundless. We only go major food shopping once a week, which saves us money and time by cutting out numerous trips to the supermarket (though I'll be honest here, we always forget or run out of something during the week so we do often go back!). While we don't usually assign meals to specific days, we always decide in the morning what we are going to have, so we can know what we are doing upon returning home from the days adventures. On a sustainable level, we never have to throw out unused food because we only buy what we need. And in the year and a bit we have lived out of home, Chris and I have never bought take out - something I am incredibly happy about.

I bought Chris this blackboard for Christmas, to finally fulfil our dream of displaying our meal plan in a more aesthetically pleasing way. Plus, we are just really into decorating our little apartment.
Are you a meal planner? Do you love it as much as I do, or am I just an overly organised crazy person (some days, I really think I am!).

Monday, February 3, 2014

#100happydays Progress

This year is already going wayyy too fast for my liking. Can you believe it's already February? This month is already looking pretty busy for me. I'll be back to studying in less than a month, a have several volunteering opportunities on the horizon that all need several training days, and a handful of birthdays for relatives - including my own and Chris'. Oh, and Valentines Day and Chris and my three year anniversary is also meant to fit in there somewhere as well. And work. And the gym. And general day-to-day life. However, I am excited to take it all in my stride. 
Something that else that seems to be flying by is the #100happydays challenge. I am officially a quarter of the way through, and I am proud to say I haven't missed a day! I apologise to everyone who follows me on instagram for all my daily spam.
Here is a few more snapshots from the challenge:

My mum, brother and I completed an 8km fun run at Waratah Bay, I have never run that far in my life! // Breakfast photos, always // My favourite guy // I have developed a new found love for riding my bike around the city // Forever a tourist in my own city

If you are interested to find out more about the challenge, head on over to their page for a bit more information and to sign up! Sometimes I find myself at the end of the day realising I haven't even considered what I should post, but sitting down and reflecting over the days events is encouraging me to see little bits of happiness in my everyday life. Some days it is a bit more of a challenge than others, but there is always something there.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Musings: Self Acceptance

Something that has come up in conversation frequently in recent times between Chris and I has been the issue of self acceptance. The past year or so has been a massive leap forward for us in our lives, and has thrown so many new things at us. While numerous good things have come through, the testing times of living out of home, living together and university have also bought forward traits that we are not so fond of. Some of these we come to realise and can overcome with a bit of positive thinking, while others are traits that are simply just parts of our personality. At times, this can be challenging to accept - but hey, we can't all be perfect. It is no quick process, but I am coming to terms with realising that this is who I am, this is how I roll. Heck, it may not be elegant and fun all the time, but this is me. Talking about this with Chris - who is also going through a similar thought process - makes realisation a whole lot easier.

Studying Psychology at university has also helped me realise that this is completely normal, even if at times I feel like everything is wrong with me and self doubt is filling up my thoughts. Adolescence is a time of identity crisis and confusion, and I am coming to the end of that (I am in denial that I am turning 21 in less than a month!). Erikson's theory of Psychosocial Development defines the teenage years as a conflict of Identity and Role Confusion, with identity being something we must resolve in order to develop normally in adult life. Upon reading this and similar developmental theories, this whole 'self acceptance' deal has become a bit easier. And a bit more important.
As part of my summer goals I challenged myself to read five books. Somehow, I came up with the idea to read Eat, Pray, Love, after watching the movie a couple of years ago. I know, I am pretty far behind the times - this book and all the inspiration that comes with it has probably already come up in your newsfeed a long time ago! However, I am finding the author's approach to finding happiness, and henceforth finding herself again, is something that is echoing in my own life at the moment. And allowing myself to accept me as who I am, with all my faults and ridiculous traits, is a step in the right direction.
Another noteworthy piece of literature which I feel also applies in my current state of things is a quote from Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird:
"They are certainly entitled to think that, and they're certainly entitled to full respect for their opinions, but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself."
I don't know why I felt compelled to share this with the online world, but this has been spinning around my head a lot recently. I have read a few posts recently that have been along similar lines, so perhaps that was a bit of point in the right direction for me.

(Also, on a complete side note, I recently wrote an article for the fantastic UniMelb Adventures blog about my experience of moving out of home for university!)