365 in 2011

Oh Darling 365

Sunday: apples and lemons
Apples for the newly-off-sugar wife and lemons for the head-cold husband.

Monday: heading to the train station at dusk
Mr Man took the day off work so under a darkening sky I made my own way home.

Tuesday: dawn through drapes
Golden dawn as seen through half-open blinds.

Wednesday: beautufl book, beautiful cover
I picked this book because of the beautiful cover. Thankfully, as often is the case, judging a book by the cover paid off.

Thursday: tattly fake tattoos!
My design-y fake tattoos from Tattly arrived. I cannot wait to try them out.
Including the knuckle tattoos. Especially the knuckle tattoos*.

Friday: Grafitti in Wellington
Work drinks were relocated to the Matterhorn. I saw this graffiti on the way.

Saturday: soft tree soft hills
The day was soft and warm. The lichen and the clouds and the soft soft light.


Early morning reflection

* because I’m pretty certain that any traditionally “job-killer” tattoos – neck, hands, face, etc – are not in my future.


Pa Pa Paleo. My Dinosaur Diet

Dinosaur! Bert.

I am terrible when challenged. My competitive streak comes out and … I find it hard to resist.
I have to prove I can do … pretty much whatever it may be.

This time I am taking part in an office-wide diet challenge. Paleo.

One of my lovely coworkers has been eating Paleo with her rowing club for 5 weeks now and has convinced slightly less than two-handfuls of other coworkers to undertake the same challenge. It’s not based on losing weight or gaining muscle or anything like that. It’s just … eating weird.

Perhaps weird is the wrong word.

According to that font of all knowledge, Wikipedia, Paelo is

known as the Paleolithic diet (abbreviated paleo diet or paleodiet), also popularly referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet, is a nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various human species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era—a period of about 2.5 million years duration that ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture. In common usage, such terms as the “Paleolithic diet” also refer to the actual ancestral human diet.
Centered on commonly available modern foods, the “contemporary” Paleolithic diet consists mainly of grass-fed pasture raised meats, fish, vegetables, fruit, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils

Maybe it’s a little weird.

Essentially it seems like a stricter version of the Atkins diet? Which would, normally, have turned me off the whole thing.
But in the weeks before and since the gauntlet was laid down I have found out that 3 different people-who-blog and 2 different people-I-actually-know have been secretly eating Paleo and loving it.

Even the original coworker, the coersive one*, the genesis of all of this is signing herself up. She is finishing her rowing 6 week challenge and then heading straight into the office challenge.

We gauge accomplishment not by losing weight or gaining muscle but on a points based system. Everybody starts the day with 30 points and then points are gained or lost by eating paleo food or not, by sleeping 8 hours, by exercising, by drinking water or alcohol, and by taking fish-oil capsules.

In essence, the main points are:
x No grains. This includes bread, rice, pasta, corn, oatmeal (also any gluten-free pseudo-grains)
x No sugar of any kind, real or artificial
x No dairy. This includes cheese, yogurt and milk (natural clarified butter is allowed for cooking)
x No legumes. This includes beans of all kinds, lentils and peanuts
x No preservatives, processed or packaged foods (as much as is practical – look for ones without sugar or soy or dairy)

I have even managed to convince Craig to go along with this hare-brained scheme. I don’t remember HOW exactly I managed to do it. But I did. Perhaps with the promise of bacon and eggs for breakfast.

Yesterday I brought home a paleo recipe book in which I had flagged the recipes I thought sounded good. Miracle upon miracle, he liked them all too.

AND! Because this is so outside the realm of our usual fare this weekend I am going to get my organisation on and plan out the meals for the week and the food we need to buy and all that mishigas.
I can’t wait.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

I have to admit I am a little worried. Not so much about the refined sugar and the dairy, I’ve given up sugar already, and I don’t eat much dairy to begin with, but the carbohydrates! I’ll miss bread and pasta and rice.
Also the fake sugars – Craig and I drink unhealthy amounts of diet soda. I think cutting that out will be hardest of all. But probably be the best for us.
If it goes really well, I might even share some of the recipes.
Only time will tell.

* Actually, I blame the coworker who said he would totally waste [us] all. HE I MUST BEAT.

365 in 2011

Oh Darling 365

Sunday: oreo studded brownie
I baked oreo-studded brownies.
By the end of the week I will have given up sugar completely.

Monday: Mr Man built our bed
Our new bed arrived – Craig got his manly-man on and built it.

Tuesday: Petrol Run and a Terrible Mood
We made a petrol run at the end of the day – I was in a terrible no good mood.

Wednesday: uh-oh Paleo
A cookbook for our office Paleo challenge.

Thursday: comfort food after the dentist
We stopped for burgers after my horrible horrible dentist visit.

Friday: no more sugar
Snacking on almonds and dates now that I don’t eat sugar. Sigh.

Saturday: taunting lollipops
Crystal earrings and lollipops from Beginning Boutique. The lollipops were taunting me. But I just moved them away. I will win.


Curly Hair

Motherfuckers, every one.

Damn teeth

Tonight I found out I need about $3500 worth of dentistry.
Multiple fillings and something like three root canals.

I did, however, surprise the dentist. I’ve managed to get to this point completely pain free.
It’s just more proof that I am a complete bad ass.

Soon to be a very very poor bad ass.
Anyone want to buy my stuff?

Tinkture by Le’Esscience – a review


Today marks four weeks until my next tattoo.

I’ve met with the artist, we’ve discussed my plans, I’ve started saving, and now I’ve started to consider how I will approach the healing of my tattoo.

Usually I wouldn’t give it two thoughts. I healed my first two tattoos were healed with Bepanthen. But when Dan did my Rose tattoo I tried http://www.afterink.co.nz, it was there in the shop, Dan recommended it, and when I considered it, there were two things about Bepanthen which I didn’t like: the smell (not bad but not good), and how it left your skin really quite sticky.

Matches my Tattoo

After Ink was a disappointment. It smelled better than Bepanthen for sure, but the consistency was a little odd, it was more expensive for a smaller tube, and it still left you sticky. I liked it enough to fully heal my tattoo with it but I haven’t used it since.

My next three tattoos were all Bepanthen babies.

Cutieface Healed Jitterbug
In Omnia Paratus. Done for now.

Around the time I had my first sitting for my St Paul’s Cathedral tattoo I heard about a new product for healing tattoos – all natural, smelled amazing, not-at-all sticky – and I was immediately interested. http://www.tinkture.co.nz by Le’Esscience* but seven million things came up and I ended up sticking with the Bepanthen I had in my cupboard.

Then I read Rochelle’s review/interview with Gillian.
She seemed lovely. Rochelle seemed to love the product. I was in a highly caffeinated mood. Before I knew it, I had ordered a bottle. I was taken in by Rochelle’s tale of no bruising, no scabbing, no itching, and the speed at which it healed.

All wrapped & gross looking

And I figured, what better way to test a product than on two sittings with the same artist, on the same tattoo.

Friday: My tattoo is scabby and tight. Blech.

I did not like Tinkture.
I made my comments known on Twitter and Gillian responded to me – managing to rebut my complaints in such a way, in 140 characters no less, that I felt like anyone watching her feed would assume that I did not know what I was talking about. I am not so good at the keeping salient points within 140 characters. Shocking, I know. The next morning we had an email exchange.
Gillian was lovely in her response to my email and seemed to take my points on board. I have been consistently impressed with her customer service.

My issues with Tinkture are as follows:

Scabbing & itching & tightness, oh my
The “scabbing” was minimal for the first session of the tattoo. This time? Not so much. In all other my other tattoos the outline and colour alike “scabbed” into light layers and appeared like pencil erasing. There has been itching but no tightness, and the scabbing was minimal. The one session I healed with Tinkture my skin felt taut and when the scab formed they felt thick and strongly attached. They lasted a lot longer than any other session. A week since the colour and the scabbing was still … I won’t say extensive, but it was definitely apparent.
This might have been down to the artist or the machine. However it was similar enough in size & type of tattooing to my other sessions done by different artists on different days with different machines for me to consider the greatest variable to be Tinkture.

You pay more and get less
Tinkture costs more than Bepanthen. Admittedly, you are getting high quality oils (I’m taking Gillian’s word on that one, I don’t know) which are hand blended by an aromatologist (Not sure that’s a word, but that’s what Gillian calls herself) as opposed to chemicals from a factory. You get Tinkture in a little bottle with a dropper and instructions to apply enough drops to cover the tattoo several times a day but at least three times a day. With Bepanthen you apply a thin layer twice a day.
I had to carry my bottle of Tinkture to work with me. I used 10 drops at a time, 4 to 6 times a day. The number of drops was enough to easily cover the whole tattoo, and the frequency was over the “at least three times a day” but under the “several times a day” requested. If I had used more than 10 drops I would have had oil left running down my leg.
I wanted to prefer Tinkture to Bepanthen, I really did. I prefer the smell and the lack of stickiness, it certainly made it easier getting dressed.
And in regards to the price, I know I was paying for high quality oil, hand blended by a professional, I recognise this. I also recognise that spending $600 on permanent artwork should not be marred by cheaping out on the upkeep. It was the combination of having to spend $30 and then use so much of the bottle (I was halfway through at a week) on one session of this tattoo. I doubt the bottle would have been sufficient for both sessions.

But perhaps it was just because of the position?
Yes, my St Paul’s tattoo is on my thigh. A part of the body which moves a lot. Gillian mentioned that my issues with healing may have been due to clothes rubbing on it.
However – I didn’t wear anything heavier than pantyhose or light pyjama pants on my tattoo during the healing process. I was asked to not wear jeans for a few days and I gave it a week. During the work week I’m kind of dissuaded from wearing denim – so even after the initial week, the time I wore anything heavier than pantyhose or pyjama pants was minimal.
Additionally – my side tattoo? runs from just under my bra strap to the top of my hip. A part of the body which moves a lot. I was asked to not wear jeans or anything that might rub, just like St Paul’s. Unfortunately due to the position of the tattoo I couldn’t restrict myself to only-pantyhose so wore a light singlet and non-clingy clothes for the week. This didn’t affect the healing. I don’t think my issues with Tinkture can be put down to the position of the tattoo. But it could be part of it. Again, the greatest variable was Tinkture.

I wouldn’t recommend AGAINST Tinkture. Certainly not.
I don’t think that one less than stellar review should mar all the glowing reviews it has received. I don’t know why, and Gillian couldn’t think of a reason (besides my artist being heavy handed in the second session but not the first) but I do not think that Tinkture is for me.

I had considered a combination approach to healing – Bepanthen in the morning and evening, with Tinkture during the day – but days after the email exchange I gave up on Tinkture and reverted to Bepanthen. All my complaints cleared up and my tattoo did, finally, eventually, heal beautifully.

I think Bepanthen’s just the best for me. Tinkture did smell really good though.

All healed

* Don’t even get me started on the fake French company name.

365 in 2011

Oh Darling 365

Sunday: Cawfee <3
I do love my coffee but even I think this Gravity espresso is getting a bit too friendly.

Monday: a chunk of crystal from Beginning Boutique
My Rumer necklace from Beginning Boutique arrived. A giant hunk of crystal. I love it.

Tuesday: freaking winter
This week has seemed seven times longer than it was. I spent most of Tuesday thinking it was Thursday.

Wednesday: waiting for Craig
A new routine? I am out of Tuesdays and Craig is late on Wednesdays.

Thursday: hair twist
I wrangled my hair into a twist thing which stayed all day. I haven’t been able to replicate it since.

Friday: caffeinated day
Friday required a lot of caffeine.

Saturday: clean up clear out
I continued on in my endeavour to own half as much stuff as I currently do – I cleaned out my jewellery, nightclothes, shoes, handbags, hats, and scarves.


Early Wednesday

365 in 2011

Oh Darling 365

Sunday: Carrot Cake for Mama
I spent most of Sunday afternoon in the kitchen – making a carrot cake for my mama’s birthday.

Monday: Winter? Walking to Tattoo Machine
It was beautiful in Wellington – perfect for walking the waterfront. I had an appointment with my tattoo artist.

Tuesday: Late, & drunk, at Petone Station
At Petone station, very late and rather drunk. On a Tuesday.

Wednesday: Threading my scarf
Vintage fur stole, deco jewellery, and my meadowlark bone ring. A usual Wednesday.

Thursday: Craig is late.
Craig was late. Two minutes after I took this photo the storm started. One minute after that, he arrived.

Friday: Post-Storm clouds
It stormed all night and most of the morning. These clouds were all that remained at 11:30am.

Saturday: Bed Shopping
My lovely husband in the bed store. We are finally replacing the bed that was second hand when Craig got it in 2002.


Glasses & Beret

1 Face, 30 Days, 3 Seconds

Oh, Universe, I have another Photo Project on the go.
Not satisfied with taking a photo every day and a self-portrait every week; I have started using the Everyday App which prompts you, every day, to take a self portrait.
The app shows you the ghost of your previous photo and grid lines so you can match the positioning of your features.

So far I’ve only managed it for a month but … we will see how it continues.

I like noticing when I have my fringe swept out of the way – they tend to be weekends as the alert is at 10am, and yes, I am usually not looking my best that early in the morning.

365 in 2011

Oh Darling 365

Sunday: sleepy Rowan
The new Mrs Thompson Darling, my husband, and I visited our cousins. Their house was warm, the coffee good, the people lovely, and the puppy was sleepy.

Monday: the light, the light!
I was taken by the light. It was beautiful. Such an everyday scene but the light? the light!

Tuesday: cabbage or flower? Who cares.
This was in a bouquet. It looks like a cabbage to me. Is it? So strange. But beautiful.

Wednesday: dying flowers and bunnyheads
My flowers from my director were gorgeous – even as they died.
I just happened to like the tableau with the Mr & Mrs bunnyhead.

Thursday: go go Kiwi dude!
In PNG, a kiwi dude was shot by arrows while saving his girlfriend from a vicious attack. Hardcore.

Friday: exhausted but the show must go on
A terrible day. I was exhausted.
The show must go on.

Saturday: new print from Devon Anna Smith
Craig and I braved Craft 2.0, I met the mega-cute Dear Colleen and Devon Smith. I spent my hardearned cash at their shared stall – a lemony tea towel and the above print. SO pleased.


A month off.