Thursday, November 19, 2015

You're all Murderers...

You’re all murderers…

Is one thing you WON’T hear me say.  In this blog.  Or ever.  Let me start again…

I recently decided to try a Vegan diet and it’s been an interesting two months.   I first kept my decision to myself like a personal project.  During this time I did a lot of reading online and asked myself a lot of questions.  For example:  Cows produce milk because they have babies that they need to feed, but their babies are taken away from them so that the farmers can milk the mothers  and us humans can drink the milk.  Am I okay with that? Does that sit well with me?  For the last three years I thought I was doing the right thing by buying free-range eggs and now I find out that male chicks are killed and hens over 18mo are slaughtered regardless.  How does that make me feel?  Do I think eggs taste good enough to support that?

It’s pretty boring inside my head.  But these are the sorts of things I pondered quietly for a few weeks.  Until I told my husband, the meat-eating, carb-loving man that I love.  That’s when this whole thing got interesting.

When I say “meat-eating” and carb-loving”, I really should be more specific: hubby eats meat, carbs, and that’s the end of the sentence.  So you can probably imagine how he took the news when I gingerly said to him “I think I might be a Vegan”… Whatever you’re thinking right now is probably wrong!  He looked me in the eye and said “I’m proud of you, I think what you are doing is noble, I love you and I support you in this”.  One week later he surprised me with an epic sleep in followed by breakfast in bed: homemade, vegan, mixed berry pancakes.  I can’t (and wouldn’t!) make this stuff up.

It gets better, weirder, and more interesting.

Somehow it came up in conversation at my parents’ house that I was taking on a Vegan diet.  Neither of them really cared one way or the other, except of course “as long as you’re still eating something” because that is literally the most parental thing that any parent can say (and don’t parents say this to their kids at least once a week anyway?).  And then this happened:

“As long as you don’t lose your sense of humour”

“Ummm, what do you mean?”

“Well, a lot of Vegans tend to lose their sense of humour and don’t know how to take a joke.”

“…… Okay…”

It took me a full 24 hours to respond with (to myself, because no one is ever around when you have the best comebacks) “how many Vegans do you know!?”  I know the answer to this is ‘none’, until now.  In fact, I’m pretty sure if anyone in my family has to fill in any medical documents with questions like “does anyone in your family have a mental illness”, they will respond with “yes, my sister is a Vegan”. 

The final instalment of my two month journey thus far is having my beautiful and amazing and Godly and inspiring and hilarious and kind-hearted friends from Australia visit me here in NZ*.  Hubby thought it was necessary to tell them about my new eating habits, while I did not.  

Once the V-word slithered its way out in bits and pieces, I got the obvious “why?” question.  If you haven’t figured already, I’m pretty shy and keep to myself on almost everything, and assume at all times that no one cares about anything I have to say about myself.  Ever. 

Do any of you watch Parks and Recreation?  If you have, you would have already picked up on one small homage to the show in this blog entry, but here’s another one:  I’m like Jerry after more than 20 seconds of talking.  I’m not used to talking for that long.  I’m definitely not used to talking about myself, and I absolutely hate being different  or noticed.  So, when hubby wants to tell people I’m a Vegan, I go red and bashful, when people ask me about Veganism I feel judged and embarrassed for being different, and then I feel paranoid and guilty for being a “picky” eater… the list goes on.

So, the point of this post is not to tell you that you’re a murderer, it’s not to try and convert you, and it’s definitely not to make myself feel superior in anyway (seriously, did you read the previous paragraph!?).  It’s to tell you that I’m a Vegan…and to unashamedly practice telling people why.

Here goes nothing… I’m a Vegan. 

I’m a Vegan because I love animals but I don’t love how they are treated in the meat and dairy industries.  I’m a Vegan because I want to live a healthier life.  I’m a Vegan, but I’m still me.  I still love eating at restaurants, my sense of humour has not changed, I still love, feel, live in the same way I always have.  If you want to know more, just ask, be genuine, don’t judge.  Being a Vegan doesn’t make me better than anyone else, it just makes me a better version of myself. 

I stole that last line from the interwebs, but it’s true.  And beautiful, don’t you think?

*Those friends are Kate, wonderful and brilliant Nurse and author of this blog, and her husband.  When Kate heard I was Vegan, she said “Whatever you do, don’t post an angry rant about meat-eaters on my blog” and I couldn’t agree more with her!  I’ve been eating meat (and cheese *drooling*) for the last 24 years of my life, and most vegans probably have too, so why hate?  I wish the extreme Vegans wouldn’t make the rest of us look bad.  Imagine the world we would live in if everyone treated animals and fellow humans the way Vegans treat animals… Kate, the title of this blog entry is just for you.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Chocolates, a Highway, or...?

Life is a funny thing.  It can be many things to many people.  A box of chocolates, a highway, or as I have recently decided, a random combination of three things.

It can be a thing you cannot change, a thing *think* you can change, or a thing you *can* change.  Let me explain ... 

Things you cannot change are things that have already happened but you dwell on them.  Unnecessarily.  And for a long time.  I got married just over three years ago and it still annoys me that I forgot to tell the photographer that we were going to high five instead of kiss (whoops).  It was an awesome moment not captured on film.  Then, at the other end of the day, hubby and I both forgot about the traditional carry over the threshold thing (whoops again!).  But who cares!  I can't change that, and even if I could, would I really bother with the hassle of it all.  I've seen a lot of time travelling movies, there are way too many risks and rules involved.  A thing I cannot change.

Growing up I remember stumbling upon scrapbooks that my Mum made.  Scrapbooks that were actually scrapbooks, not these awesome, amazing, crafty things that they are now.  But actually books with pages that look like they were made old scrappy paper and you just cut and paste things onto them.  The scrapbooks that Mum made were just filled with cards that she had received from people at various milestones.  I always looked through the ones from my first birthday or my baptism.  There is something bizarre and heartwarming about reading something that someone wrote to you 10 years before you even understood how that person fitted into your life. 

Naturally, when planning my baby shower last year, these scrapbooks came to mind.  I am a sentimental person.  But I am also a ruthless, crap-hating non-hoarding person.  My husband likes to remind me of this every now and again by saying “Remember when someone gave you a present that you hated so much that we dropped it off at the op shop on the way home?” (Yes, I’m actually that ruthless, but no…I waited until the following day to op shop it).  Anyway, I knew that if I got a million cards from people that I wouldn’t be able to throw them away, but I also would hate keeping them.  So, I decided that this was something I could change (first mistake!) and came up with this brilliant idea that instead of people wasting money on a card (honestly, guys, you can pay like $10 for these things that are literally just pieces of cardboard folded in half) they could buy a children’s book and write their inscription/well wishes on the inside cover.  I wrote an awesome, cute, rhyming poem (second mistake!) explaining my simple request of a book instead of a card and included it on the invitation.  Problem solved.  Nope.

What I actually ended up with was a RIDICULOUS amount of books, like SO MANY BOOKS I might start a library.  Which is great, my girl Lou is going to be a book worm just like her mama.  The amount of books isn’t the problem.  The amount of cards that I also got is the problem.  So, I spent the afternoon after my baby shower writing on the inside cover of every single book who it came from and the date.  And then, I just stared at the pile of greeting cards feeling defeated.  Those over-priced, glorified pieces of card with their fancy matching envelopes bested me.

Some things you think you can change but you can’t.  Or maybe you can, but using a cute little poem isn’t the way to go about it?

But this is the best part.  There are things in your life that you actually can change.  Like, for realsies.  I’ll prove it with one simple word: oils.

Eek!  Even just saying that makes me so excited.  And I think I deserve to be excited by it.  Oils, guys!

Since the start of this year hubby and I have been trying to buy cruelty-free AND chemical-free products.  It’s hard.  And expensive.  And exhausting.  Then I discovered essential oils.  Now I don’t have to waste time staring at labels and Googling company after company in the middle of a supermarket aisle trying to figure out who owns what brands and whether or not they test.  And what the heck is formaldehyde!?  And then once you finally get it all sorted, you are left with 100mL of natural, organic, NZ-made something-a-rather that costs twice as much as everything else that comes in a bottle three times the size.  I wasn’t kidding when I said its hard, exhausting and expensive.

But then I discovered oils and changed my shopping experience completely.  I can make my own window cleaner.  I can clean countertops with things I keep in my pantry.  Because essential oils (EO) are amazing.  And the best part is that it doesn’t end there.  I love how I got into the oils, to find an easier, safer, cheaper alternative to harsh chemicals and animal-tested products, but I’ve stuck with them for so much more.  Just today, I have enjoyed grapefruit EO in my smoothie*, I’ve fought off sickness by using a beautiful protective blend of EO on the bottom of my feet, I cleaned my grapes with water and lemon EO before eating them*, I used tea tree EO and lavender EO in my shampoo and frankincense EO in my moisturiser.  Essential oils are versatile and allow you to take control over so much in your life.  I’m not helping companies unnecessarily test their products, I’m not filling my home with a crazy amount of chemicals that I know nothing about, and I feel healthier and happier.  Oils, you guys!

Life is a random combination of three things, the unchangeable, the unchangeable disguised as changeable, and the changeable.  But all of these things are great, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

*I need to add in here that not all oils are created equal.  Please do NOT ingest essential oils unless they are pure, therapeutic grade and safe to be ingested.  Haha, you thought I was going to leave you with a link to go buy oils from me, didn’t ya!? :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


I've decided I must blog more.

I was just reading some of my previous blog posts. Is that weird or vain?

Anyway I was and realised, not only did I not majorly suck at writing, but I realised, it was really nice to be able to revisit the stories of my life. Almost therapeutic.

For example, I was just reading the post where I was about a month away from doing placement in September last year, and during the lead up to placement's, performances, worship leading, assignments, exams, tests, and generally entering places or meeting people that I'm unfamiliar with, cause so much anxiety and worry in me. Even when I try to think about something else, or convince myself that I'm over thinking things or being ridiculous, it's like my body doesn't believe me and does things that make the anxiety even worse!

But rereading that post reminded be that almost a year has passed since that time. That I got through placement, I got through my exams and successfully completed my second year of uni, that mum is so much better.

It also became incredibly real to me that I am about to begin my final year of university. I should be graduating in less then six months, I may possibly, God-willing, have a job for next year as a Registered Nurse!

Boy am I... freaking the hell out!

Anyway, enough about that, my plan was to really create a space for a journal type thing, with help from my bestie Rach.

One thing that is very prominent in nursing is reflective practice journals. I never got the grasp of these journals and couldn't figure it out until someone explained it to me like this, "tell me how you felt during that time, instead of listing all the tasks you did".

So that's what I shall endeavour to do.

This week I have another two days of work, one day off to enjoy as my final day before uni and essentially the beginning of the rest of my life. I have to play piano for church on Sunday and I picked a song that needs a bit of help in vocals, thinking I may be able to contribute.

Pray for me that I stay sane, and not worry, pray for my voice, and that I can give praise to Jesus without being proud.


Hello, it's probably not me you're looking for

Hello, I'm Rachel.

About a week ago I got a text from Kate asking me to be a writer on her blog.  I've always wanted to be a blogger, so without hesitation I said yes.

I've been considering since then what my first official post should be about, and inevitably I decided on introducing myself:

I'm a nerd.  Just an absolute dork.  This means I'm awkward.  About everything.  Kinda like a living, breathing oxymoron.  I love red lipstick, but would never EVER wear any.  I love to read novels, but find myself flicking through magazines way more than I should.  I love the Marvel cinematic universe (thanks to Hubby), but I have never picked up a comic book which, yes, makes me one of those annoying Marvel fans, the kind that no one likes to see show up at Comic Con coz all they really care about is RDJ and Chris Pratt.  I like to cross stitch (but haven't since 2013), love to colour (while eating lollies) and love to listen to music (you didn't hear this from me but sometimes me and Hubby binge watch Glee just for the songs.  And yes, the title of this blog is a terrible play on words, referencing a Lionel Richie song.  I am so, so sorry).  

I go to church.  Every Sunday.  I believe in the power of prayer.  I try to do good things for others as often as possible and be kind to one another, which either makes me sound like a "good Christian", or a huge Ellen DeGeneres fan.  I like to think that I'm both.

I have been married for three years.  Three amazing years.  There has never been a dull moment with Hubby and I often find myself wondering how the heck I got so lucky.  I think God was multi-tasking the day we met, because it was also the day I met my bestie, author of this very blog, Kate!

Last, but certainly not least, I'm a mummy.  I have been for a little over six months so still very new to the role.  However, it doesn't take long to fall in love with a job like this.  My daughter, Lou, is just the darn cutest wee thing.  Motherhood changes you (that's another post for another day) and I know this because I opened up a nappy last week and saw Lou's first ever solid poo, and I got excited.  Noone.  Not ever.  Gets excited about poop.  Unless they are a parent.

That's me.  You can expect lots of nerdy, churchy, wifey, mummy blog posts from me.  But don't be surprised if you find yourself reading a whole lot more.  In the meantime...

So nice to meet you,

xx Rach

Saturday, January 24, 2015

An Original Masterpiece

This past week I have been at a christian youth camp, with a leadership camp just before that. So I've been at camp for 7 days and I am relieved and saddened by it being over.

Camp can be incredibly energy sucking, mainly because we have to be alert all the time, helping out with campers, some of who are quite young and can be a tad on the irritating side, thought I'm aware that most 10-11 year olds are this way.

I was also the first aider and played in the band, played piano which was fun and also tormented my nerves the whole time, by the end of each set my face would be burning red and hot to touch. 

I am always rejuvenated and my passion for God and His works and people after camps. Being in a community of like minded, christ centred people is an amazing experience. Singing songs of praise and worship, watching young men and women of Christ lifting there hands, with closed eyes, thanking and worshipping a present God that loves them so deeply!

So deeply that He went to hell for me (you), so that He didn't have to be in Heaven without us. Thats His love.

We also watched a short clip by 'the skit guys'. The skits guys are two actors from America who do funny and serious clips that can be used in worships services, to lighten the mood, or set it.

You can find them on youtube, they have videos for all occasions, mother and fathers day, christmas, easter, I highly recommend the easter skits.

The video we watched on camp was called 'Gods chisel'. It's based on Ephesians 2:10

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10.

"Compare yourself to others instead of me - God' 

"When you look in the mirror who do you see" - God
"I see me" 
"Ok, then I need to keep chiselling, because ultimately you and others need to see my Son" -God

"In this relationship, I hold you up - God"

Just a few things that I found spoke to me personally.

Jesus is so important and yet so many people throw his love away. There are so many places in this world that people go to and try and find fulfilment, but it never last, it fades away, like this world will. We are not perfect, but Jesus makes us perfect.

God made us, and God doesn't make junk. We are God's original masterpiece.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Reading Writes

So I've been sorely lacking in the reading department the last few years, which just will not do.

This year I have read 4 books and am half way through my 5th. I know right, how bad, and I don't even have kids!

Thats no including the textbooks plus the many journal articles I've been reading for uni!

Not too long ago I wrote a post (you can read it here) about the books I had currently read, two being from Francine Rives.

But recently, I am half way through 'the fault in our stars' and I'm pleasantly surprised by it, its taking a little long to get into it, like I said I'm half way through and not much has happened, besides a budding romance, like all good young adult books usually have.


Despite this, the book is really well written. I usually skip paragraphs that just describes things, in order to get through the book quickly but I have to stop myself with this one because it's those paragraphs where most of the funny things are written.

And some of the more thought provoking moments are.

So as soon as my last assignments are done I will finish this book hopefully, and tell you if the book maintained it's good start.

Which will probably be next month anyway, as I am on placement for the whole month of September!

Anywho, linking up with big sis for her first 'Reading Writes'.

And also over at Essential Jess for IBOT

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Stories Brought to Life

Being busy is slightly less boring than not being busy.

But it also allows for me to run through the weeks and can't figure out where 5 weeks disappeared.

I have my Nursing Assessment by simulation on Thursday, plus a science test on friday while trying to work 20 hours in the next three days... Somewhere I'm going to have to drop something in the next three days.

Recently it's just been about uni, working, and making trips to Sydney, and socialising, which takes up quite a bit of time. In fact it has been taking up all my time.

I haven't touched my cross-stitch or knitting or crocheting in a few days now and probably wont be in the near future.

I'm learning to make the most out of my days, to be productive and disciplined. Which sucks, but I guess that's a part of growing up, and God is teaching me all these things, slowly and with a bit of (well a lot of) resistance on my part.

Despite all the general busyness of uni, work and life in general, I have managed to pick up two books and read them. Both books by Francine Rivers, first was 'Lineage of Grace' and "Unfailing Love'.

The first was a compilation of stories of women in the bible, in a narrative form, subjective to what the author believed the thoughts and emotions were behind the stories, despite be subjective, as all things this way are, I do believe that she stayed at true the story as possible. It helped me to take the bible stories that I knew so well, the stories of Ruth and Naomi, of Rahan, and Tamar, Bathsheba and Mary, mother of Jesus. These ladies came to life through this story and became more then just symbols of strong women, because it brought their reality and their emotions and struggles and failures into a real, tangible, experience that I can relate to. 

It showed to me that it is not us that is the focus of those stories but the way God worked in them. He worked because these ladies new who God was, and they trusted in His never failing love that one day, whether what they wanted or believed would happen, it was in God's time, His impeccable time to know what we need instead of what we want.

The second story was about the prophet Hosea and the prostitute he married, it wasn't exactly like the other ones. This one followed the premises of the story of Hosea and the prostitute he married but in the 1800s and it follows a christian man who see's the woman he believes he will marry, walking down the street, only to be informed she is the most sought after prostitute in the area. It shows the never ending love and acceptance God has for us, Jesus gave us our freedom to be fully loved and forgiven by God, and this book shows that no matter how many times we leave, turn our backs on God, because we think it's right, God will always be there, waiting for us to return so He can love us again and we can love Him.

Anyway, they are great books and I really enjoyed reading them. Due to uni and work I've stopped myself from reading the books that I bought last week, one of which included the 'fault in our stars'.

Also if you hadn't noticed my blog got a make over a while ago. Thanks to my big sis Kylie who designed it and all kudos to her awesome ability!

Linking over for IBOT with Jess

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