Friday, 9 January 2015

Nails, nails, nails

I used to bite my nails. I used to bite them until they hurt and they bled. And  now I don't.

I kicked the habit about a year ago now because I was so sick of not being able to wear beautiful polishes and lovely rings. I can't even remember what I did to stop. I am pretty sure I just stopped and it got easier not to bite them as they grew because they started to look so lovely.

The only problem is, I have very weak nails. I don't know whether it is from years of biting, or having to wash my hands continuously at work, or from the nail bars I frequented that would grind my nails down. Yes, I once had a lady pull out what I could only describe as a grinder and grind my nails (not the ends, the whole nail).

I am a bit of a sceptic about those nail bars now, mostly since I have been going to a lady who is an absolute legend at nails. She uses disposable files and buffers, and never cuts my cuticles (I once had a lady at a nail bar who cut my cuticles until they bled.. that story is for another day).

Yes, it does cost a little tiny bit more but it is worth every cent.

My nails (photo credit bellamiabody)

My nails have not been healthier and stronger since going to a certified nail technician. No bleeding, no rush, no trauma to my nails and clean tools.
I think you pay for what you get, and if you want your nails done properly, go and see someone with qualifications.
I personally won't be going back to a nail bar.
Love Bettie xx

Thursday, 8 January 2015

One of the best days of my life

When I was 22, I went overseas for 6 weeks. I travelled to the UK, Ireland, and countries throughout Europe. It was amazing. Of course.
I had just broken up with my ex boyfriend of 4 years, and so had a girl I worked with so we had a common ground. We decided "eff it, lets go overseas together". It was such a great experience and that girl is one of my bestest friends to date.
There was a lot of drinking, making new friends, seeing the sights, and hangovers. We saw the Eiffel Tower, kissed the Blarney Stone and visited a German Beer Hall.
But, there was one day that stood out to me the most. It stood out as one of the best days of my life (besides being born). It was when we went to Lucerne, Switzerland, and went up Mount Rigi.
I had no idea what I was in for on that particular day. All I knew is that we would be sledding and catching a train-type thing up a massive mountain. 
We embarked on the train and started taking the journey up. Before our very eyes the scenery started to resemble something I would imagine in the most perfect description of 'christmas'. I was honestly breathless. I had never seen something so amazing in my whole life. 

On the way to the top
At the top of Mt Rigi

Look at all that beautiful beautiful snow

And the best thing ever? Sledding down that mountain. Oh that glorious mountain. I would give my left leg to do that again. It was like being in Narnia. So beautiful, so white, so bright and so quiet. It was one of thee best days of my life. And I laughed and laughed all day we were there. I hope to get back there again one day.

This is where we stayed. Can't remember for the life of me the name. It was the most comfortable bed. I have ever slept in. 

Lucerne, Switzerland. A truly beautiful place.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

My new year goals

I always make a resolution for the New Year. And it is usually to lose weight. It never happens. Ever.
So, this year I decided to set myself some goals for the year, and if I accomplish them- great! If not, I haven't lost anything (?literally).

Trying to be more positive I am a somewhat negative person, and worry about things incessantly. Things that more than likely won't happen. So I ruin the 'now' by worrying about things that could happen in the future. I tend to envision the worst case scenarios, too.
Example- We have been trying to fall pregnant. For four months. And I am convinced that I am infertile and will be baron and have to adopt 5 cats and my career will be my 'baby'. Likelihood of that happening? Small, yet possible. But if we do have fertility issues, we are fortunate enough to have access to help. And we aren't even at that stage. Even close. But mind you, I have already googled infertility clinics and can tell you the in's and out's of IVF. I can't help but think it will never happen. Especially because x and x fell pregnant within one month of trying, oh and y wasn't even trying! But Bettie, it isn't a race. And everyone is different. And I am a shift worker. And so is Mr Bettie. Perhaps we have missed the egg so far? I have endometriosis, and my Gynaecologist has performed surgery and has assured me that there will be no issues from that point of view. So why do I feel like this?
My goal is to stay busy, and stop looking on bloody forums! And to stop obsessing over charting, and mucous, and a little twinge that means I must be pregnant. It will happen. Let it be. You are only 26 DUH

Take up some hobbies I hate talking to people who ask me "What are your hobbies?". Um. Shopping?
I have set myself the goal of learning how to use my beautiful Nikon camera I got for Christmas a few years ago. It has so much more potential than I am giving it on the "Auto" mode. These days, there are so many tutorials and step by step instructions on how to do it, I am sure to nail a few basics. A really good introduction to using a DSLR can be found here.
Plus, we are going to the USA in 2(!) weeks, and I want to take some great pictures.
I also was contemplating writing a book. I was inspired by my very bestest friend whom has just finished writing her first draft novel (Hi A.A). However, I had no idea what to write. I found I had a lot of different ideas based on my life, but none fluid enough to go into one book. Which led me to starting a blog. So I can add 'writing' to my list of new hobbies (not that I am a great writer, but enjoy getting my thoughts and things out on paper).

Start being nicer to myself I am very negative towards myself. I know I am a good person, and need to start to appreciate myself way more than I do.

Save more money Eh, I know how to do this. So I better try my hardest. Wish me luck.

Just because it is a new year, doesn't mean that goals should be set then. I try to set new goals for myself all throughout the year.

Reaching them, however, is a different story.

Love Bettie xx

A bit of Southern inspired cooking... in Australia

So I absolutely love the idea of Southern food. I trawl through pinterest looking at Southern inspired recipes, salivating over the delicious artery-clogging food.

One of my good friends is from the south (Pensacola, Florida) and I absolutely love hearing her describe all the lovely food that she has grown up on. Surprisingly, she is very thin! (I would be severely obese if I was to relocate!).

Her mother was over last year and bought a suitcase full of jars, bottles and sachets of all things delicious. I was very happy to accept the offer to come over for a "Southern" breakfast one morning.
After a cup of sweet tea (I didn't want to know how much sugar was in it), I was served some delicious French toast(?) which had been seasoned with some kind of yummy sugar, drizzled in calorie laden syrup. Ah-mazing.

I am always on the lookout for recipes to make, but it is made hard by not having a lot of the ingredients available here in Australia. So imagine my glee when I was shopping at Harris Farm Market and found a stand of Sweet Baby Ray's Gourmet Sauce.
Yoink. I threw a bottle into my trolley and sped home (ok, I finished my shopping and drove home adhering to the speed limit).
After perusing Pinterest and Google for some recipes, I found a few for a slow cooked style BBQ chicken. I decided to slightly take a pinch from one recipe, a pinch from another recipe and a pinch of my friends thoughts, and managed to produce some delicious chicken for dinner which was No fuss, cheap and required no heavy duty cleaning.

Delicious Southern BBQ chicken Adapted by an Aussie*
*I am in NO WAY saying this tasted anything like Southern cooking (because I have no comparison) but enjoyed making it into my own :)

Firstly place two chicken breast into the slow cooker 'bowl'. Of course, defrosted. No need to slice or pre-cook.
Season with salt and pepper. Just enough to lightly coat
Mix, in a separate bowl, 1 cup of BBQ sauce, 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing, and 1 tsp worstershire sauce. I used "Sweet Baby Rays hickory and brown sugar BBQ sauce".
Coat chicken breast with mixture. Ensure that both breasts' are covered well
Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours. Every few hours, I gave it all a bit of a 'mix'.
Shred chicken with fork



We enjoyed the piping hot chicken on fresh rolls with some crunchy coleslaw. Accompanied by home grown sweetcorn and butter.
We also had lots leftover for lunches.
Quick, easy, and absolutely delicious. A must-try!
Love Bettie xx

Friday, 2 January 2015

Visiting the beach as a pale gal with lotsa freckles

Living in this gorgeous beachside suburb with the same name as a large lake bird, a lovely swim is only a 3 minute drive away (for the beach), or a 3 minute walk (for a swimmable part of Lake Macquarie). We are truly blessed to live here.
Which brings me to my next point being sun smart. I have extremely pale freckly skin, and as much as I would love (and love to think I can) to get a lovely tan, I can't. And I have tried. 
On a recent trip to Hawaii, I was thrilled to see that they had actual sun tan oil in the ABC shops (those who have visited Hawaii would know all about these shops). I squealed and put it in my basket. About 1/12th of a second later I heard some laughing and looked up to see Mr Bettie shaking his head at me. "No no no". 
And he was right. I. do. not. tan.
I do however turn a bright shade of red, and become extremely more freckly. Nothing sexier.
Here I am. Sans makeup. Sans filter. In all my pale freckly glory.
I really enjoy going to the beach to swim and relax. So I have to be smart about it.
Especially since my Nan passed away from melanoma when she was only in her early 40's, and unfortunately I don't remember her.
I have been burnt so badly I have blistered and peeled. And I am sure that every Australian can say the same. There is nothing more Australian than going to the beach and running across the boiling hot sand to the water. Then floundering around in the surf, with the occasional dunk from a wave causing you to choke on the salt-water. Sounds bliss, doesn't it. Oh and of course the 'easy' lunch of hot chips with chicken salt and tomato sauce still in your wet swimmers. Bliss.
Not so bliss that night when you are literally on fire. Gone are those days.
These days I am smart about it. Here are my products that I use to protect myself from getting burnt.

QV day cream with SPF 30+.
This is very cheap and lovely and thick, and lovely on my sensitive skin

I love this Neutrogena sunscreen, as it is a fine mist spray which is easy to apply
A beautiful Kaftan-style cover up to feel like a goddess and to hide flabby bits when walking to destination spot on beach. Also helpful for popping to the shops on the way home from said beach (secretly jealous of those gorgeous people who walk around the shops in bikini)

What a sight- on the way to the beach. Note the ship on the horizon. You know you are near the ocean in Newcastle/Lake Macquarie when you see these lining up

Beautiful. Stunning. Struggling to take picture whilst carrying beach chair, bag, umbrella

I love the plants and trees around the water. I don't know how to put sounds on this blog, but picture this tree with the sound of crickets and a fly buzzing in your ear. How Australian is that hey!

My set up! I do love stripes. Umbrella complete with some kind of mark on it (presumably bird poop).

Hi there! Enjoying the beach I am.

Hat- from Santa Claus. Sunglasses- Fendi (purchased in Venice after one bottle of champagne during gondola ride. I'll be wearing these until I am 87).
So my must haves include big hat, sunscreen, big sunglasses, umbrella, cold water, and swimmers (cozzies, swimsuit, bathers). Confidence (to wear the bikini on the beach), and a book!
Reapply sunscreen every hour.
Feel good about yourself in your bikini ........ until a real life barbie and ken camp up right next to you.

Now home on the lounge, with the air conditioner on watching Puberty Blues. My favourite movie of all time. If you haven't gotten to watch this movie, it is a must see.


Love Bettie xx

DIY terrarium (maintenance free)

So, I am a biiiig browser of homewares blogs, and like to source ideas for DIY home furnishings, decorations etc. I have always wanted to make my own terrarium (which is pronounced terra-ree-um, not ter-rar-ri-um as I was pronouncing it). I was a bit put off though by all the materials needed, the cost, and the (low) maintenance.. because I know that it would most likely end up 'breaking' or dying. Anyway, I got a beautiful large glass jar for Christmas from Mummy Bettie, and was stumped as what to do with it. Then like a light globe moment "EUREKA" I can make myself a terrarium..
Fast forward to a week or so after Christmas and this little brainwave hadn't yet gotten started.. mostly due to cost (I am a tight ass).
So here I was, browsing through K-Mart looking for things to spend Mr Bettie's gift card from his work (bloody coal mine) and I came across some REDUCED fake plant-things. AHA!!!! My terrarium! I could somehow do this!

I purchased the said plant-decoration things, along with some polished stones (the lot set the gift card back around $13 or so) and I rushed home to start on my project

Step 1 Gather your materials
Stones, jar, artificial succulents (these succulents were 'embedded' in a small dish full of that lovely spongy stuff that flowers come in. They were easy to just reef out for my purposes. Sorry, I didn't get a picture of the original, but I am sure that K-Mart has many more available)

 Step 2 Gently place stones into jar
Easy, right? I only purchased one bag but I think that two bags would have been better. Be careful with these stones as they can easily chip your beautiful jar... and leave scratches on your white furniture...
Step 3 Position your succulents
The fun part! You can't stuff it up. Try to hide the wires that the plants are attached to, for the obvious reasons

Step 3 Admire your beautiful terrarium

So easy and there is NO UPKEEP. No watering/spraying and it looks very realistic. And all for the fraction of the cost of a real-life terrarium.
But, if the real life one is your life goal, pinterest have lots of tutorials on how to.
Love Bettie xx

My first ever blog post

How to start? What to write? What will this blog even entail?
I guess whatever I want, as it is my blog. Will anyone even be interested? Perhaps, yes. But if not, what have I lost.
I don’t find myself as entirely interesting. I am a girl (obviously), OR should I say I am a woman. I hate that term. I am a “woo-man”. Like a feminist. Feminists ey.. I prefer a brazillian wax, to wear a bra and think that I should cook and my boyfriend should take out the trash.
I am I suppose what some people would call successful. What defines success? Wealth? Health? Happiness?

I graduated from Newcastle University when I was 20-and-a-half with a Bachelor of Nursing. I wanted to be a primary school teacher, but didn’t get the marks. My plan was to get into something ‘easy’ and transfer over. I never did. And I would never say the Bachelor of Nursing was ‘easy’ either. Perhaps that it was because I was only 17-and-a-half when I started? And was mostly interested in drinking, and hanging out with my then emotional-abusive boyfriend. And have absolutely no idea what I wanted in life. That just seems like yesterday, except it feels like a very long time ago if you know what I mean.

I have been working at a large trauma referral hospital in Newcastle as a Registered Nurse for coming up to my 8th year. I am 26 and a half. And I am a bloody good nurse. I am caring, and passionate. I am honest and a patient advocate. I have days where I want to throw it all in, but what else would I do? Nursing is what I have been made to do.

I live in a quiet lake/beachside town that has the name of a coastal bird. It is bliss. We have horrible shaggy carpet that makes me feel itchy, and has to be vacuumed all the time (but doesn’t as much as it should).

I am on Lexapro. Lexapro is a medication used to treat anxiety and depression. I have anxiety which in turn made me depressed. It made me depressed because I felt so anxious and worried all the time, it caused me to become depressed. “But you are so happy all the time Bettie” (pseudonym). I have been on this for coming up to 5 years, and I am doing very well at the moment.

I have some endometriosis. I have had two laparoscopic surgeries for it.

I am not perfect, and have many many flaws. I hope to update this blog regularly with whatever inspires me.
Introducing myself. The one in the stripes. Always in stripes. Taken NYE 2014.

Happy New Year all

Love Bettie xx