Sunday Selections @Snoskred 6

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It is garden week, lets check in on the Portulacas!

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The above shot was taken at the start of January – the seedlings had found their feet and begun to flower.

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Here is one a week or so later. These plants have been flowering up a storm!

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When I bought seedling Portulacas before Christmas, I put a few into a pot for my parents as their Christmas present.

My break is going super well, and I’m going to extend it another week. I’m really boring at the moment, just focused in on diet and exercise, and probably you don’t want to read about that. You might get a Fitbit post later this week, if I can manage it. :)

Sunday Selections Link Up

Link Title – The name you want to appear with your link eg Sunday Selections @Snoskred 1

Email Address – You can feel free to put in a fake one eg none@none.com – I’m not going to be emailing you, unfortunately I cannot remove this field.

URL – The link to your post.

No spam links will be accepted. Your post must contain at least one image. The linkup will remain open until I close it, most likely on the following Saturday.. You do not have to put a link back to this link up or to my blog on your blog, because adding your link here will make it available to everyone else.

Also Linking Up With

Sunday Selections @ Drifting Through LifeSunday Snap @ JibberJabberUK

photos, Sunday Selections

January New Feeds

I’m not seeking out a lot of new blogs at the moment. With my recent lifestyle changes I am not having as much time for reading blogs and commenting as I used to do. My apologies if I have been a bit absent from your comments sections, it is not you, it is me, focusing on me. I will be back soon, I promise!

If the lack of blog additions continues, I might only post new feeds once every two months for a while.

New blogs to the feed reader since 30th November –

A Girl Named Allyn
An English Girl Rambles 2016
Full Of Curves
lower your presser foot

Welcome to my feedreader, bloggers.

There are 4 of you. In my internet travels I found my way to your blog, often because I read a blogger who linked to you. I liked your blog a lot. While there, I probably read back about 40+ posts or so. Then I added you to my feedreader.

Most of you will know what a feedreader is, but in case you do not, click here for info. The quick run down – it is an awesome program which collects new articles that bloggers post. So when you post something new, I get a copy, and if I have the time and something to say, I will click through and comment.

If you want to get a feed reader, I highly recommend Inoreader, which I have been using a lot lately. I wrote this post – how to get started with Inoreader.

At the end of 6 months or so, if I am still loving your blog as much as I did when I added you to my feed reader, I will add you to my permanent blogroll. YAY!

A Note For Bloglovin’ People

Did I follow you this month on Bloglovin however you do not see your blog listed here? That means you followed me, I followed you back, but I did not add you to my feed reader. It is not you, it is me. It might be one of the following things – you use a partial feed – I did not love your content – your blog was not interesting to me – you use too many photos and/or gifs – your blog is written in a language I do not understand. If you want to know why specifically, you can contact me and ask.

June & July New Feed Review –

Did you notice I took a sneaky month off from new feeds in December? I have gone through the review process and the blogs which I am keeping are these –

June

Adventures in Weseland
An English Girl Rambles
Assholes Watching Movies
barbsbabbling
Blake Hill House
Cat Eyes—A Cat Woman’s Photos
Cathy @ Still Waters
Chickens Out Yonder
ChocolateSuze
Coloring Outside the Lines
CopperWitch
Cup on the Bus
FreakyFlier
The Gluten Free Alchemist
Kati Rose
Kayaking Seattle
KenjiSAITO
Life at Golden Pines
Life with Tweens
Merlesworld
Mitchell is Moving
Our New Life in the Country
postcards from the rain
Randomosity
Sarcastic Granny
Sue’s escape from Cancerland
The Hedge Combers
The Kay Times
The Occasional Nomads
The Randomness of Twee
The Run*A*Round Ranch Report
Things are looking U.P.
Things I Make (for Dinner)
thoughts & happenings
Voluptuous Chatterbox
[Farm-ily]

July

All About T
Booth #555
Buttons Thoughts
Curves & Curls
Curvy Wordy
Dkzody’s Weblog
Edwardian House Renovation
Fat Girl For Life
GreenComotion
HRH The Countess of Wessex
HRH The Duchess of Cambridge
It’s All About Purple
Lea’s Menagerie
looking for identity
Paul Zizka Photography
racheerachh eats
United Cakedom
Viewing nature with Eileen
Wanderlust + Sweets

Why did I unsubscribe from 19 of the June blogs and 11 of the July blogs? The reasons are as follows listed in no particular order – taken from my blog posts 14 Reasons and 10 New Reasons I unsubscribed from blogs.

Blogs With A Partial Feed. Where Are You? They Are A Wanna-be. I’m Overwhelmed. Too Many GIFS All The Time. The blog was deleted.

See previous new feeds posts by clicking here.

New Feeds

Sunday Selections @Snoskred 5

Short and sweet this week – some photos from the Booderee National Park Botanic Gardens –

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I love Botanic Gardens in general but this particular one is the spookiest one I have ever been to.

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I took my Chinese Cousins here when they visited nearly a year ago and the whole time, I was freaked out by skittering noises in the leaf litter.

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So I said to The Other Half, I would like to go back with him and see if I found it less spooky.

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For 95% of the time we were there, I did not find it very spooky, but then..

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I encountered my first ever snake in the wild, after 40.5 years of living in Australia. It was a red bellied black snake which was lying across the path we were walking on.

That whole stand still when you see a snake thing has been so drummed into me, my body acted without me needing to do anything. I was actually half jogging up a hill, and I stopped as soon as I saw it. I had to call out to the other half, who had turned to look at me when I stopped.

The little snake – it wasn’t very old I think, probably 6 months to a year – saw us and looked at us. Then it turned around and moved on top of a nearby rock. It sat there taking a good look at us, probably for a minute or so. Then, it quickly disappeared into a crevice.

I had my camera in my hand the whole time but not the mental capacity to take a photo. It was part shock, part awe, part wow. I remember seeing the eyes, and I remember how red the underneath of this snake was. It was a truly gorgeous snake.

The gardens were *extremely* spooky after that event, for both of us!

The Sunday Link Up

Link Title – The name you want to appear with your link eg Sunday Selections @Snoskred 1

Email Address – You can feel free to put in a fake one eg none@none.com – I’m not going to be emailing you, unfortunately I cannot remove this field.

URL – The link to your post.

No spam links will be accepted. Your post must contain at least one image. The linkup will remain open until I close it, most likely on the following Saturday.. You do not have to put a link back to this link up or to my blog on your blog, because adding your link here will make it available to everyone else.

Also Linking Up With

Sunday Selections @ Drifting Through LifeSunday Snap @ JibberJabberUK

photos, Sunday Selections

Fitbit – Part One

fitbit1a

Remember earlier this year when I posted about my main goal for 2016? I said I would write about the Fitbit once I had it a little longer. Today it is exactly one month since I got this nifty device and I am loving it.

There are a lot of different aspects to the Fitbit, so I am not even going to try and cover them all in the one post. I’ll start off by telling you a little bit about what the Fitbit is, then I will talk about some of the ways that the Fitbit has inspired me to get moving again, and then tell you what I love and do not love about it.

What Is Fitbit?

Fitbit is an activity tracking device. You wear it on your wrist. Depending on which model you choose, it can track other things as well. I wanted to keep an eye on my heart rate especially when exercising, so I chose the Fitbit Charge HR. It cost $124 to purchase in the Boxing Day sales.

Fitbit reports the data it gathers back to your smartphone and/or your computer. You have a dashboard, which contains many different fields, and you can move the fields around to get it looking how you want.

The wrist device itself has a very small LED display which you can tap to switch between the time, steps so far, heart rate, KMs for the day, and calories burned. You can set it so that a flick of your wrist shows you the current time. I deeply love that feature!

Fitbit Makes Me –

Park that bit further away.

When you know you have a daily goal of 10,000 steps, you begin to find opportunities to add them in to your day. There is this local meat place which has a carpark of evilness, so now I park in a street away from the carpark and walk there instead. I discovered that I MUCH prefer this to driving in and trying to find a park and negotiating every other person in the tiny and badly designed carpark.

Get on the treadmill.

I’ve had this treadmill sitting here next to me for over a year now. There were times when I was very disciplined and would get on it every day, and there were times when I ignored it totally. Now I am on it most days, even if only for 15 minutes to get those last few missing steps.

Get out and about.

I’d much rather walk out at Huskisson and Vincentia than on the treadmill. Since the start of 2016, I have managed to get down there on average twice a week, sometimes 3-4 times.

Be Less Rigid

In 2015, I would only get on the treadmill first thing in the morning, before my shower. This meant if I did not feel like exercise then, it would get skipped. Now, with Fitbit, I have all day to get my steps in. If I do not feel like it first thing in the morning, I’ll take a shower, do what I feel like, and get on the treadmill in the afternoon, then take a second shower if I need it. I’ve even exercised as late as 9:30 or 10pm, if I needed more steps.

What I Love About Fitbit –

Convenience –

It is so simple! Wearing this one item on my wrist gives me SO much information about myself and my health, from heart rate at different times of the day right up to how well I slept.

Reminder –

Fitbit is there on my wrist 24/7 reminding me to make better choices – whether it be move more or eat less.

Tap To Know –

Three quick taps at any time of day gets me my current heart rate. This is useful mid-treadmill when I want to see if I am pushing too hard.

Great Workout Tracking

Look at all the info Fitbit collected on my walk today!

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Above is heart rate and which zones you are in during your work out. The very low dips – the first one is where I stretch after doing my slow warm up 2 mins, then there are 2 drink breaks in there.

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Above shows calorie burn, and the impact of his exercise on my day.

Resting Heart Rate

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Fitbit tracks my resting heart rate. You can see it has dropped significantly since I started my journey to fitness on 29 December. You can also see it went back up a little – I had a cold which I was fighting at that time.

What I Don’t Love About Fitbit –

Fitbit Can’t Go Swimming

I have always loved the pool – swimming and aqua aerobics are my first two choices of exercise, even above walking and kayaking. However Fitbit is unable to join me there – which means all the information I rely on when I exercise, like heart rate and calories burned is also unavailable to me.

Fitbit Needs Regular Cleaning

Not that cleaning is a problem for this germophobe, but whenever I do it clean it – usually once a day, twice if necessary – I worry that I might accidentally murder it. Fitbit is splash proof but not water proof.

Fitbit Needs To Be Placed Correctly

In order to measure your heart rate, Fitbit has to be in the right place. Sometimes I have had trouble putting it in the right place or I have bumped it slightly and there goes my heart rate measurements, sometimes for hours because I did not know it wasn’t measuring it. I wish it would beep or flash when it wasn’t picking up my heart rate so I could adjust it.

Fitbit Took Some Getting Used To

wsleepdata

I found sleeping with it on extremely weird to begin with. However, I stuck with it and I got used to it, and I consider the data gained VERY useful – I’ll talk more about the data in another post.

Overall –

I love my Fitbit, and I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to get moving. Just remember what I said about lessons learned in my Main Goal post.

exercise, Fitbit, health, Making Choices

Room

room

This Thursday, the movie Room will be released into cinemas here in Australia. I’ve seen it. Ever since I saw it, I have been trying to think of the best way to write about it here, because this is a deeply haunting yet incredibly inspiring movie.

I did not want to spoil this movie for anyone, but then I saw the ads they are putting on TV and realised the ads themselves give away the one thing I did not want to mention. Plus, I knew the spoiler before I saw it and it didn’t change my reaction to it.

Room is the story of “Ma” and “Jack”. Ma was kidnapped several years ago and has since been held captive in “room” which is a small garden shed, sexually abused by Old Nick. At some point during her captivity, she becomes pregnant and gives birth to Jack, who has never been out of the tiny room.

Room is the only world Jack knows – and by extension, the world we begin to know, because we see events through his eyes and from his perspective. Ma carefully shields the realities of their situation from Jack and when Old Nick is due to visit, Jack is hidden away in a cupboard, where he sleeps.

Knowing that Old Nick has lost his job, foreclosure is imminent, and suspecting they will both be murdered rather than released, Ma comes up with plans to escape. After some failures, one attempt is a success. No more room. You can imagine how terrifying this is for Jack.

This is probably one of the best movies I have seen, ever. I loved these characters and I wished the movie was twice or three times as long, I really wanted to spend more time with them. I love the way they showed us how broken Ma has become but not showing us the abuse itself – there is no need, we understand what is going on.

This movie will make you feel all the feels. There were times I was laughing, there is one scene that had my heart feeling like it was trying to escape my chest, another scene where tears were just running down my face..

If you see only one Oscar nominated film this year, make it this one. ;)

Uncategorized

Sunday Selections @Snoskred 4

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Following on from last week, we are still on our walk from Huskisson to Vincentia. Last time, we were looking down a path to the beach – here is what you will find at the end of that path.

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This is where the kite boarders do their thing, if the wind is playing rough.

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Remember last week I mentioned the circle house? In between the circle house and another fancy looking house, this tiny shack exists. This poor house must feel quite shabby in between the two modern masterpieces!

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Here is another modern masterpiece that I like the look of. No idea whether it belongs to someone or if it is a beach rental type place. I love the wood stairs that seem suspended in space.

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Sometimes when you are looking the other way – towards the sea – you will get a surprise! This is the HMAS Canberra. I don’t know a lot about ships in general but this one made a big splash here last year when she first visited Jervis Bay, and she is quite recognisable with that big flight deck.

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Here is another view of her.

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This is a slightly less scary beach path. I followed a lizard up this path recently. On the day I took this photo, a small sparrow was dustbathing in the sand here.

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These next 3 photos were taken yesterday, on the Australia Day long weekend.

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You can see that even when there are a lot of tourists in town, you can still find your own place on the beach.

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Will I ever get tired of walking here? Probably not. There is always plenty to distract you from the fact that you are exercising. :)

The Sunday Link Up

Link Title – The name you want to appear with your link eg Sunday Selections @Snoskred 1

Email Address – You can feel free to put in a fake one eg none@none.com – I’m not going to be emailing you, unfortunately I cannot remove this field.

URL – The link to your post.

No spam links will be accepted. Your post must contain at least one image. The linkup will remain open until I close it, most likely on the following Saturday.. You do not have to put a link back to this link up or to my blog on your blog, because adding your link here will make it available to everyone else.

Also Linking Up With

Sunday Selections @ Drifting Through LifeSunday Snap @ JibberJabberUK

photos, Sunday Selections

Snoskred Snacks 9

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All of my “snacks” that I have posted are lunches I regularly eat. Those snacks take time to put together – especially if one has to boil the eggs first. I have got into the habit of boiling eggs regularly at night so I have them ready to peel for the next day.

There are some days when I just feel like nibbling on stuff for lunch. So this is what I normally put together when that happens, though I might swap out one of the items for something else – eg pickled onions for olives, or apple for carrot sticks. I might add some hummus or spicy capsicum dip to eat with the crackers. I might swap the vintage cheddar for feta.

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I want to tell you about these wafer crackers. I like them best of any cracker type biscuit I have tried – most of the others I find to be too floury for my taste. The wafer crackers are super crunchy and not floury at all. I love the ones with cracked pepper in them – that way I don’t have to add any seasoning at all. You can get plain ones as well. Here is the nutritional info –

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The pickled onions are a little high in sodium – for me that is not an issue, because I have low blood pressure and have been instructed to keep my salt intake at a decent level. If I were watching my sodium I would do some reading of jars and try to find an option with less sodium. I like the Fehlberg ones better than any of the other pickled onions I have tried, and Aldi had a 1kg jar of them for a very low price so I grabbed one – I wish I had grabbed a couple! ;)

Snoskred Snacks

Bristol Beach

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This past Sunday, we ventured down to Booderee National Park. We wanted to pay the park fees for the next 2 years for both of our cars. $99 gets both cars unlimited entry to the park. You get a sticker for your car window – very like a car registration sticker which we no longer use in NSW – so the rangers know not to fine you.

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We thought while we were there, we would do a hike. There are a lot of places in the park we have never been to and Bristol Point is one of them. We also did a loop of the camping area at Green Patch, to check out sites to book in the future. I personally do not camp but The Other Half does. He now has several optimal sites selected in his mind.

This is high tourist season here in Jervis Bay. The campsites were all full. And yet, when we got to the beach, we were the only people on it, for most of the time we walked there. There were a couple of boats out in the water, with people fishing.

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Imagine our surprise when walking along Bristol Beach to see a cyclist riding along the beach towards us! I am not a cyclist myself and I have never seen a bike ridden on a beach before. This was the only other person we saw on the beach.

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I should not be telling you any of this. The truth is, these beaches are some of our best kept secrets in the Shoalhaven. A lot of people go to Hyams Beach, or the beaches near Vincentia, Huskisson, Callala Beach and Bay. Not so many people go into Booderee, because they have to pay to enter the park. That is good news for us locals.

The water here is mostly crystal clear. It can be a range of shades of blue, sometimes a gorgeous shade of green. There is very little seaweed. Many of the beaches are very sheltered from wind and often the water here is pure glass – especially first thing in the morning – with a teeny tiny wave where the water and the beach meets. It is one of the few places I am happy to get in the water and swim.

You’ll be seeing a lot more Booderee National Park posts over the next two years. :)

Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay, photo blog country NSW