The best workout

This is all you need for the best workout ever:

  1. Rope (Primark, £1, clearly a steal)
  2. Bouncy shoes
  3. Bluetooth speaker (best purchase 2015, easy)

A timer of some sort is a bonus; you could do intervals. I usually do intervals for 15 minutes, work 45 seconds, rest 15, and if that’s not enough, I put on my favorite song and jump until I can’t breathe.

Tip: be extra witty and listen to In Flame’s Ropes. In addition to Bring Me the Horizon’s Throne, obvs, no workout is complete without Throne.

If anything could convince me of moving, it would be moving to a house with some sort if wooden deck, because it’s the best for jumping rope.

If you remain unconvinced of the superiority of rope jumping, maybe Popsugar can convince you?

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Who needs furniture anyway?

I’ve bought a quite large, new desk for the sole purpose of storing and applying makeup. So that I could sit down like a proper adult while applying my makeup – before, I was either standing or sitting on the floor.

Yes well. For some inexplicable reason I’m back to my old tricks. Apparently the floor beats sitting on a chair, at a table.

I’m an excellent adult.

Lots of love,

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No, I’m not moving

People keep asking me if I’m going to move. While my answer tends to be ‘Maaybee..’ I am well aware I’m going nowhere.

Reason 1:

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I can’t leave this wallpaper. It is the main reason I love my bedroom. Also, this bedroom is a bedroom. I.e. it’s for sleep only. The only furniture in there, except for my bed is a chair, simply because I’ve got nowhere else to put it, and my favorite piece of furniture, an old linen cupboard. What I’m trying to say is: I’ve made it so that you actually can’t do anything but sleep in there.

PS. This is the same wallpaper my parents had in the hallway when I grew up. Well, it’s the dark grey version of it, they had the green + gold version. And yes, I picked it myself.

Reason 2:

I have a black kitchen. BLACK.

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Even my fridge/freezer is black.

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If I move, I’d have to redo the kitchen because good luck finding an apartment with anything but a white kitchen. I never understood this white kitchen business.

Also. I have a porcelain sink. Why would I move away from a porcelain sink?

Reason 3:

Given the fact that my bedroom is basically a dark box, and my kitchen, well, it’s not bright is it? And, I’ve got a room painted entirely in this color:

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who’d want to buy my apartment?

Also. I put in new wardrobes when I moved in, so they’re nice a new and entirely to my taste.

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Reason 4:

I have a spare bathroom. Where I keep my washing machine. Most apartments don’t have a spare bathroom where you can keep your washing machine, not around here, never mind the option of having a washing machine at all. I don’t particularly want to leave it.

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I also have a dishwasher, tends to not be standard in most apartments here. I need my appliances.

Reason 5:

I’ve got my apartment tailored to me specifically. Isn’t a 2-hour commute a small price to pay for the perfect living space?

Course, it is possible I’ll be forced to move. I’m foreseeing a not-too-far-off future where I no longer work where I work now. I’m just hoping I’ll get to move somewhere more fun than Sundsvall.

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GRLPWR?

beauvoir

I stumbled on this quote in my social feed this morning:

Our generation is becoming so busy trying to prove that women can do what men can do that women are losing their uniqueness. Women weren’t created to do everything a man can do. Women were created to do everything a man can’t do.

Tagged as GRLPWR.

I’m confused.

I mean this text, it’s basically saying that women are the problem. As per usual. And this is what GRLPWR is? Pointing out women are wrong and need to change?

I also have a number of other issues with this text.

a) What do you mean our generation? And what do you mean “trying to prove”? There is nothing to prove. Women can and are doing what men do. We know of no limits. Didn’t you know?

b) Our uniqueness? And what exactly is this uniqueness, pray tell? I’m assuming it’s something innate? In which case, how can we lose it? And if not, then it’s something we’ve been taught, and if we can learn, I’m pretty sure men can too, so why do we need to be responsible for this supposed uniqueness, whatever it is? Can’t we just let some people be in charge of the uniqueness, on a voluntary basis, and regardless of gender? Do you suppose it could be done? Could we maybe look beyond gender for once??

b) What we were created to do? I must have been sick on the day they told us about this. Because I don’t know what this is. “[W]hat a man can’t do” is just not going to cut it as explanation. And I want proof; I want to see the piece of paper that says what it is exactly we were created to do. I also want a convincing argument as to why I should settle for whatever that is.

Maybe it’s vaguely phrased on purpose, i.e. if we do baking, men can’t do baking, and vice versa. So basically it’s just a way to make sure the world of men and the world of women stay separated. In which case I want to know who benefits from this division. Because I’m pretty sure the answer is not humanity.

d) What about men? I’d like to know what men were created to do. Seriously. What is their purpose? And also, very important, are they retaining their uniqueness? Is it just slipping out of their hands too? Should we worry??

I’m not going to ask if they’re doing everything a woman can’t do, because I know that as a general rule, they’re trying their hardest. Go men?

I would have thought this is not GRLPWR. I would call this misdirection. It’s a distraction from the actual issue at hand. The number one strategy of anti-feminists. Understandable, it’s clearly very effective.

But what do I know, maybe I’m just confusing GRLPWR with feminism?

Aren’t we done with focusing on women already? Isn’t time for a different approach? Maybe there is something else to focus on? Maybe the problem is not women?

It’s just a thought.

If you feel this quote is empowering, well then good for you, I don’t want to take that away from you. But from where I’m standing this is an insult. Where do you get off from thinking you can call us a problem, telling us we’ve got limits, that we should know our place?

Note to self: start day by reading Beauvoir, not social feed.

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What I eat in a day

I’m a breakfast kind of person. It’s my favorite meal; I don’t function without it.

My go-to breakfast is porridge. I sometimes branch out and have overnight oats, or just muesli and yoghurt (vegan of course), and for a while, while not vegan, I tried having omelets or eggs, and I’ve had the occasional avocado toast, but I always come back to porridge. This morning I had semolina porridge, cooked in almond milk, sprinkled with lots of cardamom and cinnamon, a banana and some blackberries and a few seeds on top. I also have three supplements: zinc, iron, and B vitamin.

Breakfast vegan

Semolina is so underrated.

A few hours later, I had a cup of tea while doing my makeup. This particular cup is a cup of Needwood, a black tea blend, sweet and spicy, there’s cardamon, cinnamon, strawberry and cream in it (and typing that out I realize it’s probably not vegan. WTF is with this putting dairy in EVERYTHING? Seriously ppl?).

needwood tea

Tried a new foundation, the Lumene Longwear Blur Foundation in the shade light ivory. I’m still at a stage where any foundation that is not cakey and not yellow, and not too dark, I’m just going to love it. So this is another winner, Lumene never ceases to impress me when it comes to base products. Eyebrows turned out pretty good:

eyebrows

And yes, they’re supposed to look exactly like that, i.e patchy. Seriously. Done on purpose.

A bit off track there.

Tea finished, all made up, Skyped with mum, I had a snack before heading out for some shopping at H&M—you know you can live anywhere as long as there is an H&M and an IKEA not too far away, this is a truth universally acknowledged. Er. At least if you’re Swedish. Good news is, living in the Glasgow area, not a problem! I’m getting off track again.

snack vegan hemp protein

This is oatgurt mixed with some hemp protein, cherries and almonds. The hemp protein is really an acquired taste. 

Bought too many things at H&M and got myself some bits at the grocery store, including another Lumene product, an under-eye concealer, I have such high hopes (in the words of Roddy Hart), made a quick lunch when I got home:

vegan lunch

Green lentils + raw rice + mixed veggies, straight from the freezer that I just microwaved for a bit. Some salt and sesame seeds on top and I’m one happy camper. Doesn’t look like much to the world, but I genuinely enjoyed this lunch. It’s all about listening to your body. If it says give me green lentils, give it green lentils.

A few hours later it was snack time again, this time, a rice cake and humus (not made from scratch, I don’t do that. Anymore. B/c lazy person here, HI.) Also an apple and a cup of green tea, a blend called Grönt och Skönt + a citrus flavored green tea. Actually had a small pot of it; green tea is supposed to be good for you, right?

snack vegan

Some language reviewing later it was time for dinner. I adapted a recipe from the River Cottage veg everyday cookbook, i.e. I basically used the spices from the recipe and some of the other ingredients, which left me with a sort of butternut squash stew + pasta and chickpeas. I regret not adding the spinach I was planning to. It would have been slightly more visually appealing, which is so important! Also had a glass of Sauvignon blanc. God I love the Sauvignon blanc. Oh. And another iron supplement. 

vegan dinner + sauvignon blanc

Any questions on that?

Lots of love,

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Let’s talk eyebrows

Unlike most people who grew up in the 90s, I don’t regret my overplucked eyebrows. Actually, I lean more towards no eyebrows than thick eyebrows. It is possible I’ve watched too much Manson. He was quite handsome when he had no brows.

Mostly, before I reach for that razor, I realize that

a) I’m not Marilyn Manson
b) I’m not even goth, or belong to any such subculture

and I just have to stop thinking about not having brows at all.

Thin brows work for me. Which is fortunate, because at this point there’s no other option. If there ever was. They were probably always sparse. Probably. I can’t remember that far back in time.

Another reason to not hate on the thin brow is that it’s quite versatile. You could easily fake no brows, if that’s your fancy, and, though not quite as easily, fake a thick brow. It can be done, but you’re not going to end up with the perfection that is Diamanda’s brows. Could be they’re a thing of the 80s anyway, could be not even Diamanda have these brows anymore, and anyway, it was never within the possibilities of your body.

Diamanda Galas
Diamanda Galás

Clearly, Diamanda was not what we aspired to in the 90s. Not sure what we were going for with the thin brows, was it Robin Finck ca 1994?

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The Finck

In which case, who could blame us?

For the moment, there is just one thing I aspire to, in terms of brows: an exaggerated arch. The bolder the arch the better. Thick or thin brow – egal. Equally egal; color or tool used to try to convince your brow of a certain shape. Always put on makeup according to mood, that’s the one rule I go by. Which, by the way, is an excellent rule if you want your makeup routine to be the exact opposite of speedy.

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Current state of brows: the more surprised you look, the better

Not that I’m sure why I care about brows at all; I’m as likely to have my fringe cover my brows as not. Clearly, despite everything, I take comfort in knowing they’re there?

Yours,

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PS. Can’t stop wanting my hair to do what Diamanda’s hair does on that picture. My hair remains unconvinced. It could be argued that “without fame, this hair just looks like mental illness” . Yes. And? Is that not how we try to make people stay away?

Food for lazy people (aka vegans)

Sometimes I’m less than sure that my recent veganism is not just an effect of being extremely lazy.

Point in case: my lunch today.

Not only do I not want to spend hours in the kitchen, I also don’t want to do a lot of cleaning up. This goes extremely well with being vegan, because you mainly eat that which does not need to be cooked. Unless you want to. Cutting is usually enough. Fewer pans = less washing up. And a less dirty kitchen. How could you not want that?

If cooking is required, it usually requires no skill. You just need to know what you like. E.g., who knows what the proper preparation of an eggplant is? OK, so maybe someone does, but who cares? All I need to know is I like it black so I’ll do whatever is required to get it as black as possible. There are numerous ways to go about this. I prefer to cut up + put in bowl with oil, stir + pour out on tray + stuff in oven on highest heat. Should be done in about 10 min. And if not, just leave until it turns whatever color you favor. Easy peasy.

For lunch, I used this method but a different produce; lots of potatoes roasted in rosemary and stock. I like to use stock sometimes, makes washing up easier than using oil. I don’t recommend using stock for eggplant tho. While the potatoes are getting ready, I poured boiling water over a bunch of asparagus (kettle + glass bowl + cut into pieces + leave for 5 min = nice and crispy), cut up half a cucumber and a few radishes and that’s my lunch. At least I’m a minimalist in one area of my life. This could be a reason why vegan food makes me happy.

Another reason to love vegan: the pretty colors.

So basically, vegan food is perfect for lazy people easily distracted by pretty colors.

 

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3 reasons I’m not madly in love with Plantronics Bluetooth earbuds

Plantronics bluetooth earbuds

The fit is terrible. I was hoping it was something you’d get used to. A month in and I’m hating them more than ever. Not only do they chafe, they have tendency to fall out of my ears. Unacceptable. (Aren’t they usually marketed as perfect for exercise? What
type of exercise would that be? The being still kind of exercise?)

They can only connect to one device (??!!??). I did manage to connect them to my phone and my iPad when I bought them. But now they just won’t connect to any device other than my phone. It’s sometimes a struggle to get them to connect to my phone too. Or make them disconnect for that matter. They just randomly reconnect after I’ve told them to disconnect. That’s. Great.

Four and a half hours of battery life. That will barely get me through the morning. To be fair, that is a spec I could have checked before I bought them. But who needs headphones you can use for less than eight hours?? I don’t even have playlists as short as four and a half hours.

And it seemed like such a good idea at the time. No more fighting with headphone wires. Minor problem compared to this.

Rant over.

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Hair rescue plan

My hair is in dire need of some TLC. It’s so brittle I’m at the risk of getting an unintentional haircut. As if intentional haircuts weren’t bad enough.

I’ve been hoping that coming off Cerazette would magically heal my hair. Cerazette managed to turn my once combination skin into proper dry skin, maybe it was messing with my hair too? Of course, my gynecologist doubted any dryness, anywhere, as a result of the hormones. I’m not sure I trust my gynecologist anymore. This idea, I got it from the woman who did my smear test, it wasn’t my own invention. Also. My skin is back to its normal combination self, so that would suggest she was right, unfortunately, my hair remains unaffected.

Clearly, other measures need to be taken.

I have been overusing the hot tools, I know that, but lately, as in the last year or so, I’ve used them less than half as often as I used to. And I’ve been using heat protection from the start. In addition, I don’t blow-dry, barely use a hairbrush, I don’t even towel dry, I don’t over-wash (anymore), and I always use conditioner, hair mask, and shampoo for dry and/or damaged hair. The extreme dryness that is my hair just doesn’t make sense to me.

WAS TUN!?!  as Blixa would say.  

Obviously, you devise a rescue plan.

Rescue plan for dry and brittle hair

  1. Get your hair cut by professional. With any luck, you’ll get a lecture and won’t have to make up your own plan. I was not that lucky. In fact I’m never that lucky. I’m guessing because the hairdresser just takes a look at my hair and thinks Dear oh dear what a sorry state we’re in, there’s just no saving this? Anyway. Good news is: despite not having cut my hair for 6 months, no split ends; my hair is just exceptionally dry and brittle. Swell.
  2. Update your shampoo + conditioner. Clearly, what I was using was not working. The hairdresser recommended Disp hydrating shampoo + conditioner. Bought and tried – it does seem better than my previous combination. And as a bonus, it’s cruelty-free.disp hydrating
  3. Stock up on treatments. I’ve got a leave-in treatment from Urtekram, a different leave-in treatment for hair growth from Lee Stafford (can’t see any ingredient list on the bottle so I’m not actually sure this will do me any good, but I’ll give it a go), and I need to get a new hair mask because I’m nearly out of the Maria Nila. Might just get the Disp argan oil. And surely, the Lush R n B is basically a treatment?hair treatment
  4. Get a wooden brush/comb. I’ve been suspecting that the tangle teezer is doing my hair no good at all. Why? Because of the plastic. Which produces static – which I’m thinking is not good for hair that is already dry.wooden brush
  5. Get hair elastics that do as little damage to the hair as possible. If I’m not going to use hot tools I need to at least be able to put my hair up, so I got some Blax hair elastics.Blax
  6. Review diet. I’m on a vegan diet and I’ve been excluding most fats. I’ve never liked fats much, with the exception of PB – which I love. It’s an unhealthy kind of love so I don’t keep PB in the house. Mostly. Conclusion: I need to reintroduce fats. 50 grams of nuts/seeds a day should do the trick.nuts and seeds
  7. Use styling products in moderation. The woman who cut my hair said it was fine to use products, just avoid the hot tools. But I’m not entirely convinced. A lot of the products have alcohol in them, don’t they? Can’t possibly be good for dry hair?

If this doesn’t work, I’ll blame the hard water and move. To a different city.

And once I’ve moved I’ll come to realize it’s a result of my PCO. I assume.

Reasonably yours,

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