I know it’s been over a week since my last post. I’ve had some great ups in that time, but I’ve also had some struggles too. It’s been hard trying to adjust to life after college. In the last week, I’ve dived head first into a new job (which I love). I also finished up at my old job (which I also loved). As well as trying to keep up with the new responsibilities and challenges that come with a new job, I’ve also had to try and fit in what I usually do at home (cooking, budgeting/expenses/bills etc) as well trying to make sure I was still eating well and exercising.
And honestly… It’s been hard. I know plenty of people do this everyday and excel at it. And I tip my hat off to them, because I’m not too ashamed to admit that I really struggled this week. When I tried to focus too much on one section of my life, I neglected another. I had no plan, aside from my daily mantra of “I need to do everything really f*cking well all the f*cking time otherwise I’m a failure.” My days were all over the place, and so was my mind. I couldn’t focus, and my ridiculously high expectations of myself really only made things worse. How on earth could I have expected myself to transition so smoothly into such a big and very new stage in my life? I had no experience of how to handle such a thing, yet I was expecting myself to know exactly what to do without a second thought. I really could not have put any more pressure on myself!
I felt pulled in all directions, and was so mentally and physically drained most nights. I was also guilty of regularly putting myself down when I didn’t reach my own high expectations. It’s no surprise that by last night, I was just plain exhausted/angry/frustrated and in need of a rest.
So I figured today was a good opportunity to do just that. I had the day to myself because Jared was at work and I had nowhere to be. No plans, no work, no nothing. So what did I do? …I cleaned. Yep, cleaned. I know what you’re probably thinking. Cleaning isn’t exactly everyone’s idea of relaxing. But for me, I find it really therapeutic. The cleaner my apartment is, the clearer my head is. I know, it’s wierd! I’ve been meaning to clean up and reorganise our place for some time now as well, and it’s really been bugging me that I didn’t have the time. So why the hell not do it today, right?
I did make myself a nice breakfast before starting though! I made a simple scramble with 2 free range eggs, half a tomato, cracked pepper, a splash of tamari and a small handful of cheddar. I cooked it in a little organic butter, and served it up with buckwheat toast topped with a little more butter.
After that I pumped up the radio (Triple J, of course!) and got stuck into my cleaning! Now, before you scroll down to my before and after shots of our apartment, I do want to say… please don’t judge me on how messy it is. I love having a clean place, I really do. But sometimes life just gets in the way, you know?
So the first room I started in was our living room. The coffee table was the main problem. We honestly just shove everything under it and I was so sick and tired of things sliding off there all the time, and how cluttered it looked. So I got rid of/packed away everything there, leaving a few books (a design one for Jared, a Jamie Oliver one for me and a Russell Brand for the both of us), a few magazines (Gourmet Food and Ikea catalogues) and a box of tissues. I also added a decorative vase that my mumma filled for me and gave me the last time she was over. The original plant that this cutting is from, has actually been in my family since my she first migrated to Australia 30 years ago! It was the first thing she grew, and no matter where she moved, she took it with her. She keeps some of it in big pots in her backyard, and small cuttings in decorative vases like this one, all around the house too. When I moved out, she have me a couple of these vases, and despite my sister being all the way in Melbourne, she also has some in her place! I think it’s so beautiful that even though we all live apart from each other, there’s still a momento of home that we all share.
I also tidied up the side tables because like the coffee tbale, we had been shoving things under them too!
I love these Turkish tea lights! They were originally on top of the tv unit, but I never used them because I would forget about them. At least with them being down where I can see and reach them easily, I’ll remember to light them more often!
Next up was the tv unit. We had all sorts of things crammed into the panels, mostly random knick knacks and Jared’s architectural lego models. I love them, but I did not love them in our tv unit. If you follow me on Pinterest, you’ll probably have a fair idea of what I love. Mainly blacks/greys/whites for the colour scheme, natural wood and lots of splashes of greenery throughout. Over the last few months, my mumma has gifted me with some cuttings of her succulents and they’ve taken so well that they’re practically out-growing their large pots on my balcony. So I decided to cut off a few bits here and there and pop them in jars of water on my sunny kitchen window sill.
When they’ve grown more and sprouted new roots, I plan to do a little DYI project with them and line them up on the tv unit to add the greenery I’ve been wanting. For now though, the top remains empty. I also moved the models and things and replaced them with my favourite prints in simple black frames from Ikea and some jars of greenery, all of which I borrowed from my study table. I want to eventually replace the prints with framed photos, and add some more to the top of the unit as well. But until I have time to go get some printed, these will do just nicely!
I took a break at this point. Cleaning is hungry business! I whipped up a quick veggo pasta dish by sauteeing some garlic, chopped celery and kale and a tin of mixed beans in a little olive oil. I then added a tin of organic diced tomatoes, sea salt, pepper and a couple of fresh chillis and let it simmer while I cooked some brown rice pasta. I then topped it with cheese and for something so simple, it was was so good! It made two large servings, and I packed away the remaining sauce for Jared to take to work tomorrow.
The last thing I tackled for the day was our spare room. The best way I can describe this room is that it’s fairly similar to the Room of Requirement in Harry Potter (nerd alert). It’s just that there is not much reason for it’s existence other than to throw things in there, shut the door and forgot all about said items and room until needed.
We did set up a home gym set and put my yoga equipment in there not too long ago in the hopes that we would use it for a gym room. Which we did… for a week. Maybe two. It was during my last few weeks of college so things were a little crazy and I honestly just didn’t have the motivation and neither did Jared apparently!
As soon as you open the door, you’re greeted by a random pile of items – a clothes rack, hula hoops, weights, ;leftover Tiki party decorations etc. You turn to the left and there’s a large built in one on of the walls, the gym set, more weights, my yoga gear and random bits of clothing. See, what did I tell you? It was a hole. And I really wanted to make something of it! It was just a waste of space otherwise! So I decided to make it a gym and study. I already had a study desk in our bedroom, but because it was in my room, I always just ended up relocating to my bed. Comfortable? Yes. Productive? No. So I cleaned up the spare room and rearranged the gym set, weights and yoga stuff to make room for the table.
I originally thought to move the study desk into the space where the gym set was, so I moved all of that to the other side. Only to realise that if by placing my desk at the window, I had nowhere to put my corkboard that held my schedule and inspirational tidbits. So I moved the gym set and all the weights back to where to where they were begin with (talk about a work out!!!!!). In the end, I turned in to the side, and popped all the weights and yoga stuff on the wall side, where they looked more organised and were out of the way of the rest of the room. I then set up my desk on the other side. I haven’t put up a hook for my inspiration board up yet as I plan to save and get a large bookcase to put on one side of it, but I haven’t decided which side and I don’t know how big it will be. The bookcase will be able to hold our ever growing novel collection, plus all of Jared’s models and our knick knacks!
By the time I finished this part, Jared had come home and I was just doing some last minute tidying. He loves it so far! I think in the next couple of weeks I’m going to tackle the bedroom and kitchen. There are a few things we need to save to get (shelves etc), so it won’t be an overnight job! But I’ll get there!
As a reward, I’ve just now enjoyed a delicious dinner cooked for me by Jared consisting of steak, roasted potatoes and salad made from our very own homegrown lettuce! So good!!!
I’m also currently having a cheeky glass of vino, because you know what? I damn well deserve one I think, haha! As crazy as it sounds, I feel more relaxed today then I have all week despite all the lifting/moving/cleaning I did today! Amazing what calms the mind! Well, my mind anyway haha.
Tomorrow is another rostered day off for me, and I plan to spend it nourishing my body with good food and some yoga, then heading out to buy myself a diary to get on top of my budgeting/daily schedule! I actually can’t wait!
But for now, I’m off to enjoy the remainder of my hard earned glass of vino on the couch with my love!
Hope you all enjoyed your weekend!