What does adventure mean to me?

I’m an adventurous girl. I’ve lived in every territory and most states of this beautiful country, Australia, and I know that it’s important to always look after yourself when you’re on the road and conquering new trails!

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this is a photo of alyce in sunglasses

The 7 things that are really annoying me today

Some things are annoying me today. I have been having a fat day for the last few days. I have even written a post about this called 7 ways to fix a fat day. Some days I wake up and feel really blah. Blah blah blah. There could be many reasons why I feel blah today, so I thought I would share them with you.

1. My undies are too tight and are very uncomfortable

I know, I’m sorry to over-share like this, but you know how it is! I am not a fan of wearing underwear. I always, always have to wear a bra because I have big knockers and it’s uncomfortable not to but I do not like to wear underpants. However, I have recently started to do this and I feel that my life has improved. However, on days that I am feeling pestered, a pair of undies makes me feel more constricted.

2. It is windy

Ugh. IT is really windy in Sydney today. Being an air sign, I get really annoyed if there is too much wind. When I was young and dumb, I lived on the Gold Coast in Australia, this is sort of like Australia’s answer to Los Vegas or Jersey Shore. It is where you will find sun, surf, sand and plenty of blonde, tanned chicks, drunk dudes and car enthusiasts. I lived right on the beach which was nice, but too windy. I came to really hate the wind as it was a battle to get out of my house every morning. I felt like I was on the edge of the earth.

3. I had a bad night’s sleep

Blergh. I miss The Boyf when he is not at home with me and often I wake up drowsy and wonder where he is. I sleep a lot better with someone next to me, and many of us are the same. I have one dear girlfriend who used to get extremely anxious sleeping on her own. I think she was able to sort out the issue after some counselling which made her stronger. I have a male friend who used to be anxious at night but he had a good reason as his house has previously been broken in to. I am tough, so I don’t worry about it. Plus I own nothing valuable and I bite when scared.

4. My muffin was stale

Despite being constantly told by people that I am on death’s door because of my food choices, I still enjoy my McMuffin every morning. However, today it was stale and dry and served to me by a cashier that asked me too many questions and had a broken coke machine. These first world problems can really bring you down.

5. One of my friends is being annoying

It’s one I don’t see very often who I have previously written about. The post was how to deal with hurtful insults from someone you love. This person is constantly on my case about not being a good enough friend. I have loads of responsibilities at the moment, including family responsibilities so I don’t appreciate being pressured by someone who should know better.

6. I have bad hair

Well, it’s not that bad today but it’s not that great either. Paired with my jeans and boring shirt, I am not happy with my hair today. Plus as it is so windy – the hair is even worse. Bleeeeeergh – I hate having bad hair.

7. I am not feeling very creative

Grumpy, grouchy and blurry. That is how I am feeling today. I have lots of work to do (as always) and lots of people to see (as always) but I am not feeling like doing it because I am so grumpy. My head hurts a bit too. I don’t really need you to feel sorry for me – but thanks if you do. I’ll be OK. It’s hard to be creative every day and my work pretty much calls for that. Yesterday I couldn’t sleep very well because I couldn’t decide which I preferred:

Do’s and don’ts

OR

Dos and don’ts

Technically, the second one is correct but it bothered me for hours yesterday. HOURS. OK –that’s enough out of me. Thanks for taking the time to read this post!

pink hat

What it means to dream of being held hostage

To dream that you are a hostage indicates that you are feeling victimized or powerless. You feel limited in your choices or physically immobilized. Perhaps this dream is paralleling some situation/difficulties in your daily life or relationship. Alternatively, to dream that you are a hostage suggests that a part of yourself is not fully expressed. (source)

Last night I had the most awful dream. I was being held captive by a scary man and I was trying to escape. The whole night of my dream, I was trying to get away and I was very, very frightened.

The 3 ways I tried to get away

As far as I could see, I had three methods of escaping:

First: Break through the walls with my body

I was trying to break though things: I was trying to bust through walls or windows with my bare fists to get away and this wasn’t working. My body was not strong enough to break through the harder material surrounding me.

Second: I tried to run away

Every time I would run, my captor would follow me. It was terrifying. I would get a few paces away, and I would be caught again. I simply was not fast enough to get away. My weak body had failed me again.

Third: I tried to get other people to help me

In the dream I would call out to passers-by and neighbours. “Won’t someone help me?” People I ran into were not able to understand that I was in danger and before I could explain to them what was happening, my assailant would again find me and capture me. In my dream I was even trying to ring the police but I didn’t know where I was and they couldn’t help me.

I think this is a spiritual dream.

I think that this symbolises how I feel at the moment – that I am bound by things and I cannot escape. I guess I have been feeling really trapped as a human being lately – I feel spiritually trapped. I feel that I am stuck here and I don’t know where to go or what to do. I feel so frustrated with my human body, gravity on this ball of rock and the death sentence looming over my mortal shoulder. I get so frustrated and trapped. I feel like my flaws pursue me wherever I go.

So, what is wrong with me?

Change is so frustratingly slow. Some days I am not even sure what to do with myself. I have to breathe in and out so many times and conduct myself through all these banal activities. Wake up, work, eat, go to sleep, repeat. Searching for happiness is banal. Change seems impossible. Taking weeks off to meditate is unavailable to me at the moment.

So who or what is keeping me captive?

Well, it can only be me.

A friend just posted this picture on her facebook feed.

star

 

It affected me so much that I felt like I needed to cry. I was about to dash to the ladies bathroom (because we all know that  strong women don’t cry publicly) and I was trying to “hold it together”. I heard a voice behind me.

“Alyce, Alyce….wait!” I turn around to see a different friend.

“You forgot to wear pink today! Don’t you remember it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Day and you are supposed to wear pink?”

I mumbled that I had forgotten and that I was very tired and disorganized as I didn’t have a good night’s sleep.

“Well! You can wear this!” and she gives me a pink novelty policewoman’s hat. So now I am wearing a bright pink policewoman’s hat. This reminds me of my dream – I couldn’t find anyone to help me, not even the police. Now I seem to have been made an honorary policewoman in my waking life – a pink one no less.

The only thing I can do is to save myself. There is no one else who can do it for me. I am only a hostage to myself. 

this is a photo of a fashionista

5 of the best bloggers at Fashion Week

The fashion world is shifting and changing. Now it’s no longer just the established paper giants that are making names and waves at Fashion Week. It’s all about the fashion bloggers: these renegade style mavens and doyennes are the people to check when it comes to honing a unique look that is on trend and off the hook.

Garance Doré

Why this blogger has a distinctive style: She is French and has the typical French style that seems so effortlessly chic and understated with its simple lines and perfectly-carved silhouettes. Think minimalistic makeup, a fresh face with tumbling curls or sleek locks. She advises people to make sure that they don’t over-do their looks. Keep things simple and stylish. Clothes should fit you perfectly.

Their style aesthetic: This lovely lady blogger carries her camera everywhere! At the moment, she is rocking her fave pair of ballerina flats and always carries the essential “big bag”. If not in her flats, peep-toe or mary-jane shoes, you’ll find her in wedges this season. She particularly loves her Chloé ones!

Key style ideas: Experiment. Don’t be afraid of making a fashion faux pas! Mix things up, get things wrong, jam old and new together. Make sure you look to the trends of London, Paris and New York to nail your style. Don’t naval-gaze.

Bryanboy

Why this blogger has a distinctive style: Autumn is his season, he loves the cool, crisp temperatures and loves Parisian style notes juxtaposed with New York attitude. At the moment it’s all about luxurious thick sweaters and his favourite leather booty shorts. This blogger mixes conservative style with punkish nods to trends-now.

Their style aesthetic: He loves Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, Preen, and Altuzarra. He says he doesn’t like to dress his age and feels like a giant, overgrown kid sometimes! At other times you will find him in a sharp, conventional suit, sometimes with a pop of colour at his feet, his lapel or his neck, with a statement tie, socks, cufflinks or similar.

Key style ideas: Eccentric, eclectic, fun, and frivolous. Bryanboy never takes fashion too seriously and likes to laugh at himself (and others!). Lately he is obsessed with the colour grey. Men want to be him, women want to be next to him!

Keep It Chic

Why this blog has a distinctive style: Bloggers at this site practically live with their Canon PowerShot SX200IS cameras, Flip HDs, and iPads.  Often featured on this site are everything from the designer Valentino to J. Crew and other favourite influences are Celine, Chloé and the ever-classic Louis Vuitton. If you love all the high-gloss, established brands that finish a polished look, check out this awesome site.

Their style aesthetic: OTK for the sexiest boots in town, A.P.C. for statement dresses, the designer Pologeorgis that recently made an awesome fur sweatshirt, Prada and its signature look 2013 tote, Current/Elliott for the perfect pair of jeans.

Key style ideas: Going for resort pieces right now, keep your look current by street-watching and happy-snapping. Do you love studded sandals and in winter, warm, cover-all wraps? A smoky eye and dead-straight hair finishes off your look. Make sure you pout, showing teeth is not the way to go for a burgeoning blogging fashionista.

Laia Garcia, Geometric Sleep

Why this blogger has a distinctive style: She is from New York via San Juan, Puerto Rico and her American style oozes with her Puerto Rican ethnic roots. Like the Seinfeld character George Costanza, she says she dresses for her mood everyday and doesn’t plan too much ahead. An original fashion neurotic!

Their style aesthetic: She is a self-called “minimalist witch”. She loves the look of Olivier Theyskens, citing the Theory collection as one of her favourite design influences of 2013/14. She also loves Proenza Schouler and Rodarte.

Key style ideas: Think a re-tooled version of New Kids on The Block. It’s shredded denim and luscious, heavy eyebrows and under-styled cool. Finish a casual look off with a hot designer piece. Label sunglasses, a statement bag, and flawless heels.

Meaghan Mahoney Dusil, The Purse Blog

Why this blogger has a distinctive style: Never trying too hard, making the most of the understatement. Carries a Hermès Birkin bag and a Leica M9 camera everywhere she goes. This blogger looks very street and doesn’t ever over-dress.

Their style aesthetic: Contemporary and chic yet comfortable. Think about style icons such as Proenza Schouler, Marc Jacobs, and Alexander Wang. It’s New York meets street chic.

Key style ideas: Leave things a loose and unstructured for last-minute inspirational light-bulb moments. Change your look by focusing on key accessory pieces and dressing around them. Make your style count for something every day. Let people notice you. Be brave!

Who were your favourite bloggers at fashion week? What looks did you love? 

this is a page of writing

The most important blogging trick you need to know

I work fulltime as a copywriter, which means I spend most of my day composing text. I have learned a few tricks on how to make text more readable. Often when I see other writers’ work, I notice two main problems with it.

I use Grammarly’s plagiarism check because being original is very important to me as a writer, and I’m sure it is to you too!

Problem number one: not writing with a story arc

Often writers don’t have the reader in mind when crafting text. Your writing needs to have a point, even if that point is banal. Often when I see other writers’ writing, it drifts here and there in a sort of “stream of consciousness”, “diary-style” writing, usually without a beginning, middle and end.

Any piece of writing needs to have an arc and a point to it, unless it truly is a diary entry that you don’t intend to be read and loved by others. When you write, ask yourself “What is the point of this piece?” and when you re-read it, make sure that the writing communicates the point.

Is your writing intended to sell something, highlight and idea, argue a point? Is your writing supposed to describe something from beginning to end? Is it supposed to summarise a piece of research or explain something? Is it a collection of ideas that add up to a new idea? Often when I see unexperienced writers’ writing, they write selfishly. They write for themselves and make the reader dig through their work to get something from it. People are busy. Make it easy for them.

Problem number two: not making use of sub headings and bullet points

This is particularly relevant for people who write for the web. It’s really important to make your writing ‘scannable’ so that a reader can get the idea of what you are talking about easily. Another technique to use is to make good use of bullet points and numbered lists. These are easy for the eye to fall to and can get your point across more simply than via sentence-strung text.

The Oxford Dictionary says: “Bullet points are visually attractive and make it easy for a reader to locate important information. Nevertheless, you should try to use them sparingly: too many bullet-pointed sections in the same document will mean that their impact is lost.”

Alyce’s favourite writing tips

  1. Write with a story arc
  2. Write with your reader in mind
  3. Make sure your writing has a point, and that this is communicated
  4. Make use of bullet points
  5. Use sub headings to separate information

Why sub headings are so useful for bloggers

Subheadings help you to sort out your own information and ideas into blocks. They also help the reader locate information on a page. When I read a book, I have a slightly photographic memory. I am not special, in fact, there are some reports that up to 20% of people have an eidetic memory and that this is more common in girls than boys.

Do you have a photographic memory?

There are other reports that most of us have this skill as children, and that it fades by age 6 or so. Mine is quite weak now, but ever since I was a teenager I have felt confident that I can remember which section of a page a piece of information is located on, which really helped as back in the 90s we studied from books, not the internet.

I can look at a page of text in magazine or newspaper (perhaps I’m looking at thousands of words) and I can ‘remember’ where a particular line or block of information is located on the page. Can you do this too? It’s pretty common from what I’ve heard. I had a great memory as a kid. These days I find it hard to remember what I did yesterday!

Sub headings break up information

If I don’t have time to read a whole document, I scan it. I am a busy reader and every day I take in tweets, articles, papers, blogs, posts and books. If I’m not reading, I’m usually writing, having sex or eating. It’s a bloody good life, I tell you. I need writers to make their writing readable for me – and when they break up the information with sub headings, I can get though a piece of writing more quickly.

Helen Reimer has said: “By using subtitles in your writings your readers will be able to see at a glance whether you have the information they are looking for. But if you have one lengthy article, they will have no way of knowing whether or not you have the information they are looking for, unless they read the whole article.”

My best piece of advice for writers and bloggers

Just write with a reader in mind. Make your writing about your reader, not you. Really, I guess, this post has kind of been all about me, but hopefully you were able to get something from it too – please let me know your thoughts.

If you would like to read more about ME, I have some selfish posts for you here:

Thanks for taking the time to read this, I appreciate it and look forward to you stopping by again soon.

30 irrational things I do when I get PMS

Here is a list of irrational things I do when I get PMS. I get very bad premenstrual syndrome. I get this every single month. I feel that this has been getting worse as I get older and at age 34 I find myself quite irrational and hyper-sensitive for about one and a half weeks every month. If you are one of my male readers – I urge you to push on with this post. Come on, man up! It’s just a little blood, right? Shouldn’t scare you if you’re a big, strong dude.

There are lots of resources that point to the idea that periods do get worse as you age. This seems to be because of changes in hormones. Great, so I am not going crazy. For your amusement, here is a list of crazy stuff I do when I am experiencing PMS.

  1. I like to be squeezed, even harder than usual.
  2. I get very impatient, even more than usual.
  3. I like to eat a lot of bread, pasta, rice and potatoes.
  4. I will eat Nutella with a spoon from the jar.
  5. I will cry at TV commercials.
  6. I will start to get mad about stuff that happened ages ago.
  7. My back really, really hurts.
  8. I wear my stretchier jeans because I’m too impatient to pit on my tight ones.
  9. I get extra hungry and eat nearly twice as much as usual for about a day and a half.
  10. I crave salty things like miso soup.
  11. I crave spinachy things and dark green vegetables.
  12. I think about eating a steak but I never do.
  13. I get tired and worn out. I need extra rest.
  14. My fingers swell a bit.
  15. I wear bright colours to cheer me up.
  16. My hair looks tired.
  17. I crave sex, even more than usual (in a committed, loving relationship, that is!)
  18. My boobs swell and get bigger.
  19. I get very grumpy for next to no reason. Life begins to annoy me. Did I just drop my pen? GRRRRRRRR!
  20. My skin looks a bit different. I never get pimples but a few little ones appear now.
  21. I want to lie down. Right now.
  22. I decide I want new clothes but get really annoyed when trying them on.
  23. I might yell at someone (not about clothes!)
  24. I get more annoyed at work. I wonder why there are no napping pods
  25. I get more hungry in the morning, less hungry at night.
  26. I want a cheeseburger.
  27. I want cuddles now. Right now. Oh I feel so sorry for myself.
  28. I get very thirsty. I like watery juice the best.
  29. I imagine what it would be like to be a man. I would like to have a penis for one day.
  30. Then I remember why I prefer being a woman.

Anything I’ve missed here? How does PMS effect you? Men (if you’ve made it this far!) can you share your experiences too?

this is a photo of condiments

A Perfect Day of Eating? What Bollocks!

I found an article online, talking about The Perfect Day of Eating. To read the original article, go here. It was written by a bloke, so it doesn’t surprise me that it’s very unspecific and completely omits portion sizes. Plus, I think it’s quite unrealistic and assumes the reader to be some sort of angelic health nut, rather than an actual person who likes food.

Here is The Perfect Eating Plan and My Critique of it.

(Please note, I am not a nutritionist, but I bloody well should be.)

Morning: Wake with a green tea.

Comment: Where’s ma coffee? Are you serious? Why torture me for no reason. Coffee is calorie free you dimwit, plus it curbs appetite. Your green tea can go and get stuffed.

Breakfast: Wholegrain toast with avocado spread on top, ground black pepper, and a boiled egg.

Comment: As I have mentioned, how many calories are in a slice of bread? There is no answer. What bread should I be eating? Can’t you be more specific?

Avocado? “With avocado spread on top”. So how much? A quarter, a half? This is a potential calorie minefield. One whole, medium avocado has 330 calories. A large one has 412 calories, according to famous calorie site, Calorie King. (I recommend calorie king because they have sites specific to my country, check for yours). Without clear instruction, this ‘perfect’ breakfast could cause me to easily go 100-200 calories overboard without meaning to.

Plus – this breakfast would take about 10 or 15 minutes to prepare, particularly if you do not have a microwave or toaster (hey, I told you I am a minimalist!)

Lunch: Wrap filled with capsicum, cucumber, rocket, tomato, with lean slices of lamb (if no protein leftovers from last night, choose slice of cheddar cheese or a can of tuna) and a yoghurt and dill spread.

Comment: cold lamb for lunch. Blergh. No one wants to eat that. And I have had it up to here with wraps. Awful, pathetic excuses for real bread if you ask me, and no fewer calories in them at all. Eschew wraps! Embrace the loaf! Reinvite white bread to your table. Live a little. Again, here the author doesn’t mention the size or amount of the lamb or tuna. Again, it would be really easy to overeat here.

What are the portions of this meal? Without portions, I estimate that this meal could fall somewhere between 250 and 450 calories. And what the hell is a yoghurt and dill spread? The author writes it like it’s a thing we should all have in our fridges at home. The only spread I have in my fridge at home is an old jar of tandoori paste that someone left there, years ago. Can I use that instead? No?

Snack: Cucumber slices and carrot sticks dipped in hummus.

Comment: Again – how much hummus? How many cucumbers? 1 medium cucumber has 60 calories. Can I eat 3 of them with my hummus? I’d probably want to make up for the crappy lack of taste in this snack. If I eat 3 cucumbers and 2 tablespoons of hummus, I may as well get a McDonald’s cheeseburger. In fact, I am getting one right now.

Dinner: Tasmanian salmon on a bed of organic quinoa mixed with finely sliced cooked broccoli and raw spinach, mixed with cherry tomatoes, and dressed with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. The quinoa is spiced with turmeric, garlic, and chilli powder.

Comment: Again – how much salmon, how much quinoa? How many movies has Quinoa made and which was the one he starred in opposite Brad Pitt? So many unanswered questions…

Late night snack: Two dark chocolate (+70% cocoa) squares is OK and is actually good for you. Or try a small bowl of unsalted popcorn mixed with walnuts and sultanas.

Comment: Finally! Some portions. Thank GOD I can now estimate my calories. The chocolate would give me about 75 calories and the popcorn would give me 27 calories on its own. But how many walnuts? How many sultanas? Why would I want walnuts in my popcorn? Are you MAD? Have you gone crazy? You put SALT on popcorn not walnuts. Who writes these things? Do they live on the same planet as us?

Sigh.

I think you all know by now that I have become frustrated with these sort of eating plans my whole life. In order for a diet to work, you need to be given calorie-controlled amounts, particularly if you have a lot of weight to lose. This plan is completely useless and very over-complicated. It may have made you feel good reading it – but you won’t eat like this.

I am in bed now

Plus, to eat like this, you’d need fifty bucks in your wallet and about 4 spare hours to shop, cook, prepare and pack. While you are doing this I am still asleep, in bed, thinking about my next McMuffin. Sucker.