Friday, September 5, 2014

On Packing & Beating Jet lag

I'm leaving on jet plane tomorrow. The last time I did a half way round the world trip, was because I had spent a rather large sum on getting my pet back to South Africa. I decided to save some cash and get the cheapest flight back. It took me about two days and four flights to get back to Johannesburg. This time I'm off to the US of A via Dubai. I am a lot older than I was when I did that trip, so I wanted to see how I could make my flight there fun.
I want to go to there. :)

I like to think I'm good at packing. The last time my BFF and I went to Cape Town for a long weekend I only brought a backpack. Paulo Coelho describes the luggage you carry around with you as the "weight of your vanity" and I wanted to carry as little of that as possible.

So here are some ideas on how to pack lightly and beat jet lag. I'm writing this before, so will have to let you know afterwards if it was successful or you can just take my word for it. :) 


  • allocate a settling fund to buy necessities when you get to your destination. This means that you don't have to worry about packing everything for your trip. It also means that if you do forget stuff, you can just say that it was part of the plan all along.
  • pack the things you regularly wear and narrow it down, twice. We always end up taking way too many clothes anyway. 
  • roll your clothes. This saves so much space, you can easily see everything when you open your case and I have found this doesn't crease them either. 
  • pack a sarong or large scarf. You never know when this will come in handy - you can use it to keep yourself warm, as a headband, shawl or little blanket. 
  • take comfy shoes. Going abroad usually means you will be a tourist and will do lots of exploring. Make sure your shoes are comfy. Happy feet = happy adventures.

Jet lag is for amateurs

  • the most obvious is stay hydrated. Not with fermented grape juice or potatoes, but with water. As my Dad used to say when we were kids and complained that we were  thirsty, "Drink what the lions drink".
  • Walk around. Every hour or so get up and talk a walk to the bathroom or through the aircraft and see which unlucky flyers have the screaming baby. There is always one. 
  • Adjust your watch to the time at your destination. When you arrive avoid the temptation to go straight to bed, and only go to bed when it is night time there. 

Read more by Tim Ferris - How to never check luggage again

Monday, September 1, 2014

Time to unplug and read

So recently I've taken up a little social experiment. I try and switch off from the digital world after 8. That means no twitter before bed. I really think the medium affects our brains and I wanted to see if I would sleep better and read more real books. 

Although I work in the digital space and love spending time online, I really think it is important to unplug. See @AriannaHuff and her book #Thrive for awesome tips (which I got via Twitter). I don't always stick to this but since I have started, I've managed to read more and experience the thrill of having to finish a book to see what happens. That doesn't really happen when you read Twitter. 

Here are my two Young Adult (YA) novels I read last week which I highly recommend.

This book sounds weird and it is, but in a glorious way. It tells the tale of Nobody Owens, or Bod as he is affectionately known, who grows up in a graveyard among the dead.  As the book progresses, Bod has some great adventures and the reason his family were killed is revealed. A definite must read with great quotes like the one above.

Markus Zusak is best known for The Book Thief, and this is his YA novel. I remember always seeing this book among one of the few English books in my small Taiwanese town bookstore. I always read the back  but never bought it. I found this copy in my favourite second hand bookstore and once again it piqued my interest. It was as Jimmy Carr jokes, a page turner. (Yeah, I know how a book works.) An underage cab driver is sent an Ace with addresses on it and has to figure out how to help those people that live at those addresses. The plot thickens and it keeps you guessing until the end.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Healthy Chocolate Mousse Recipe

I have such a sweet tooth. Instead of giving up on my love for sweet things, I thought I would try and make "healthier" versions of the chocolate goodness that I love. Now before you judge this here Chocolate Mousse recipe, I urge you to try it. I did an office taste test and didn't tell people that the main ingredient was avo, and once I had told them, the were shocked. It tastes that good. 

avo chocolate mousse
A delicious chocolate mousse with a secret ingredient - avo.

A Healthy Chocolate Mousse Recipe for your Face

  • 2 large avocados
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 6 Tbsp. honey (change to agave nectar if vegan)
  • ¼ cup skim milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee 
Take all of the ingredients and place in a food processor. Blend it up and then place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 

 I got this from Oprah. 

Now feed your face! Yummy.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cool Stuff - Post It Notes

Whenever I have to use a post it I always think of Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, where she claims to have invented post its and everyone knows 3m did.  

Allow to me digress and share a little factoid: Post its were invented by accident when a scientist was trying to invent super strong glue but instead came up with a sticky tac type of glue that could be reused. 

The humble post it is an integral part of office life. Here are my 5 favourite post it related things. 

1. The Post It Pillow
So you wake up every morning but still forget to take that thing to work with you? Well forget no more. Also handy to remind your significant other to do stuff.
2. Better than a piece of string
This way you can see what you need to do and you won't forget because there will be something around your wrist. #ForgetMeNot

3. Post it art is awesome
Marc Johns is an artist and post its are his canvas. See more by clicking on the image.
4. More art and yes this is still art
The post it is the medium. Created by Russell Ellbert, this took 14,000 Post-it notes. You can make your post it art here >>> post it art creator
5.  Stop motion baby

The patent for post its expired in 1990.

Follow me on Twitter @galoobzzz

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Links Loved: July edition

Coffee order generator, 18 ways to say awesome, what's for dinner & what to read next.
Coffee order generator, 18 ways to say awesome, what's for dinner & what to read next. 

1. Get even with the smug hipster barista when you order your morning cuppa, introducing the most annoying coffee order generator ever.

2. So you've just finished reading a book and you don't know what to read next? Or you love a certain book and want to read more of the same? Look no further than The Book Seeker.

3. What the F*&k should I make for dinner? It's pretty self explanatory. 

4. Finally 18 awesome ways to say awesome.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Easy White Chocolate & Cranberry Cookie Recipe

The weekend is here and the living is easy. Time to unwind, relax and enjoy some good old soul food. This recipe is adapted from my friend's super famous and delicious Choc Chip Recipe. I decided to change it up with some white chocolate and cranberries.

White chocolate and cranberry cookies. Yum.

125g butter or marg * 1 cup white sugar * 1 cup brown sugar *
3 eggs * 1 tspn vanilla essence
3 cups flour * 1 tspn bicarbonate soda * pinch of salt
white chocolate  * dried cranberries

 1. Combine the 125g butter or marg and sugar. 

 2. Add the eggs and vanilla essence.

 3. Add the flour, bicarb and salt. 

 4. Add your chopped up cranberries and bit sized chunks of white chocolate. 

 5. Now for the fun part. Use your hands and mix it all up into a giant doughy ball of deliciousness.

 6. Grease your trays and set the over to 180C. Roll the dough up into tiny little balls, place on your tray and smash with a fork. Voila. 

7. Bake at 180C for 10 minutes. Allow to cool. Note that depending on how crunchy you like your cookies, you can add more (crunchier) or less (softer) bicarb. 

Feed your face. These cookies are best shared with friends. They make quite a lot, so you can freeze half of the dough and use it later. 

PS: Tim Noakes does NOT approve this recipe.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fun with Taxidermy

I saw someone retweet something with the twitter handle @CrapTaxidermy and knew that they had me when I read Crap Taxidermy. As the name suggests, it is a feed that showcases the worst (read best) of the taxidermy world. 

crap taxidermy
For some of the images I really wonder what people are thinking. Words fail me. You can follow Crap Taxidermy here.

Then there is this guy, who spent 13 days inside a taxidermy bear. 

13 days inside a taxidermy bear
Thanks Hello Charlotte for making me aware of such art.
PS: as a kid we would go on school trips to some camp where we would be forced to eat in a dining hall while stuffed wild animals glared us. It was creepy and to this day I still can't eat food around taxidermied animals.