The gifts to give yourself this Christmas #5TTT

Hi all,

Christmas is a time where we think about everyone else. Our friends, our families, our neighbours, colleagues, even strangers we have never met. We give generously. We want to make others happy. We want to make them feel loved.

All of this is wonderful and really is what makes the season so special. But have you ever thought about giving yourself a gift this Christmas? I can tell you now that one of the most deserving people in your life that you neglect every festive season is you. Who knows you best? You. Who can really give you what you need? You.

It’s not going to cost you anything. No purchase necessary. This weeks 5 top tips will show you where you can give yourself a gift this Christmas. One that will guide you through strong into the new year.Christmas

Time

We all know how precious time can be. We all find ourselves wishing for more hours in the day on a frequent basis. Over the holiday period clock in some time for you. Find an allotted time if need be! It could be having a lie in. It could be snooping around the holiday sales. It could be taking a solo walk with the dog. Time is there for you if you make it a priority.

Your wants and needs

Last week I spoke about traditions and I want to bring it up here again. Make sure this festive season that you also do the things you want to do. Make sure at least one activity is on your ‘must do/see’ list. Pleasing others and others wants and needs only goes on for so long until you rebel. And guess what, they want to do the things that make you happy too!

Rest to restore

This goes hand in hand with time and I know it’s something I talk about all the time like a broken record but it’s true. Let yourself rest over the holidays. If you are lucky enough to be off work during this time make the most of it. Lie on the couch and binge watch movies. Take some time of your usual exercise programme and go for a walk instead. Sleep in later. If you rest now, and restore your body over this time, you really will be rewarded in the long run.

Peace

Got kids? Yeah maybe this one might not be so easy! Ha! But peace, contentment, joy, calm… these words really are synonymous with the season, let’s not forget that. When I was younger, Boxing Day (the 26th) and New Years Day were always a day of calm in our house. Little to no plans, house bound, eating leftovers. No one had to do anything or be anywhere. It was peace.

Drop the guilt

Oh I really want a slice of Christmas cake… I shouldn’t. Oh I really want a cookie… I shouldn’t. Damn I ate those chocolates…. that bit of cheese…. that eggnog. STOP IT NOW.

This is once a year. Holiday foods are treat foods. We indulge once a year to celebrate. Food and drink isn’t something to fear. If you want, have, but do so without the guilt. Savour, enjoy, celebrate, experience those tastes and flavours with family and friends. Decide to you what you love and be happy. And for those who decide to eat/ drink etc differently to you… leave them be. You do you and let them do them.

As for the other forms of holiday guilt – forgetting a present/ someone not enjoying your gift, not being able to see a loved one or someone who expected you, not having time to bake x,y or z… the list could go on and on. But remember what the season is meant to be. You wouldn’t want anyone else to feel guilty this year… don’t place it upon yourself.

Now get thinking about what gift you are going to bestow upon yourself this year!

Do you find the season busy or quiet?

Where do you find peace?

Are you someone who feels guilty?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

Friday Favourites + Episode 52 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast

Hi all,

Have you ever heard of the festive period being referred to as ‘the silly season’?

I never have, until this year. Now I see it on adverts and read it in the media… where did it come from and why are we now calling our favourite time of year silly?

Fun, busy, flamboyant, jolly, all yes. Even stressful and chaotic, I get that. But silly?

To me silly means doing something stupid or something you shouldn’t. Something to potentially be a bit embarrassed about. I don’t really like my favourite time of year being referred to in this way.

But I have had my rant now and you sure as can be won’t be hearing me talk about the ‘silly season’. Never feel like you are being silly at this time of year if you want to do something different, wear a big bright jumper or decorate your house from top to toe with lights. Do it because it’s fun and makes you smile. There’s the Christmas spirit.Friday - chase the red grape

Now time for some Friday Favourites!

Favourite…Moment – Crown dinner, cocktails and smileschase the red grape

We went out for the night and had a wonderful time. A dinner of clam risotto with radicchio was had followed by cocktails and my love as seen below. It was just nice to relax in a swanky place with my favourite person.

Favourite… Feeling – O’ Christmas tree!chase the red grape

On Saturday we put up our tree and it’s always a special time for me. Every decoration we have has a story – bought from places we have travelled to, given as gifts by ones we love or are from my childhood. The living room in our apartment has never looked so beautiful.

Favourite… Purchase – Santa and Bobchase the red grape

Meet Santa… and his inflatable flamingo Bob. He sings and dances to ‘Stop. Christmas time’. I saw it in the shop and had to have it, it’s our Australian Santa! Click here for a link to David’s Instagram where you will see him sing and dance. It’s hilarious!

Favourite… Food/Drink – Laphroaig Whiskychase the red grape

Be still my beating heart. I adore Whisky, a true Scot. And when I saw they had my absolute favourite on the menu at The Waiting Room in Crown Towers I had to have it. I sipped. I savoured, I fell in love over again. A smoky, peaty Islay malt is where it’s at.

Updates – 5TTT + Episode 52 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcastchase the red grape

This weeks 5 top tips looked at evaluating the traditions in your life, especially at Christmas. Why do you do what you do? And most importantly, does it make you happy?chase the red grape

For the podcast this week we brought you part two of ‘How our lives changed through travel’ – focussing on our time spent in the Middle East. Download now on iTunes and Stitcher or listen here on the website.

What I am loving – Christmas FM

I know I tell you about Christmas FM every year but it is just the best! You can listen online for free, 24 hours a day and it’s full of all your favourite festive hits. Old, new, crooners, pop classics, you are in for a fab time. It’s all I listen to every day!

Weekend Plans – Saturday – Christmas shopping, food prep and more festive movies! Sunday – Pancakes and newspapers, podcasting, off to see The Man Who Invented Christmas and chill.

Have a fab weekend folks!

Do you think the holidays are a silly time?

What is your tipple of choice?

Is your tree up yet?

Evaluating Traditions #5TTT

Hi all,

I adore traditions. They make me feel warm and cosy inside. They bring an instant sense of comfort and joy, that everything is the way it is meant to be.

During the festive period traditions are heightened. I don’t know about you but my December is full of them, starting from the opening of my advent calendar on the 1st of December. It’s just the way it is done, right?

From advent calendars, watching Muppet Christmas Carol as we put up the Christmas tree, going out for a meal on Christmas Eve, certain decorations being in certain places in the home and on the tree, stockings on Christmas morning, listening to Christmas FM every day to making Christmas treats, I could list my traditions until my hands hurt from typing!

But when we moved to Australia things changed. For one the season changed! No more Gluhwein at the Christmas market. No more snow (or snowmen). No more Christmas Carol concerts. No more Christmas shopping down the British high street. No more family. And my heart still pangs the most with that one.

So we had a opportunity, change things up the way we want them. Introduce new traditions, ditch old ones, really evaluate which ones mean the most to us and which did not. For this weeks 5 top tips I bring to you questions that you can ask yourself regarding the traditions (holiday or otherwise) that you have in your life. Too often we find that there is so much to do and so little time, so let’s stick to the good stuff!Traditions

Why do you do it?

Ask yourself this simple question – why am I/we doing this? And no, ‘because we always have’ is not an answer. Can you imagine the season without it? What would happen if you didn’t do it?

Does it make you happy?

So you have a reason, but does it make you happy? Does it fill you with happiness/ a glow/ those little butterflies in your tummy? Does having this tradition in your life bring a big smile to your face year after year? I can also understand that maybe for you it isn’t a deal breaker but for someone else it is. And seeing them smile makes you over the moon happy. To those of you out there, this is perfectly fine!

Does it serve a purpose?

Sometimes traditions are more practical. Maybe it’s the Christmas dinner or going for a walk afterwards (we all know how much we need that… or a nap!). So it’s not so much a happiness factor but a sensible tradition that ‘get’s things done’. But do you have those traditions that you struggle to squeeze in? Ones you have to force into your calendar? Does your mind wonder towards your ‘to do list’ when you are doing them? Maybe time to rethink.

Anything else excite you?

Ever looked at someone else’s December and wish you could do that instead? Feel overwhelmed by the amount of current traditions with no room for new ones? What intrigues you? Going out for Christmas dinner? Taking a Christmas shopping weekend away? Going to church on Christmas Eve. How could you make this happen? Never be scared to try something out. If it doesn’t work or feel right you can change it up next year.

What about the others?

You know what you want. But what does everyone else like to do? Maybe other members of your family would like to change it up. Maybe they simply do what is always done because they think that’s what you want. Pose the question to your family – what is a deal breaker when it comes to our traditions and which ones could you take or leave? Then what would you like to try? Sounds exciting right?

I would love to hear what some of your traditions are!

Or maybe you know of a few new things you would like to try?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

Friday Favourites + Episode 51 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast

Hi all,

So it’s the 1st of December aka the first day of summer and I am feeling all the feels.

Longing for Christmas at home, yes (and I think it will always be this way) but mostly just a change of perspective. It’s Christmas time, and I can be happy and celebrate or be sad and suffer… I choose happiness!

So David and I have a long list of things we have planned to do over the next few weeks, festivals, parties, carols (which are rare here), shopping trips, movies and of course, decorating our home. Christmas is an amazing time to feel the embrace from tradition, but it can also open your eyes to many other methods of happiness we have never even explored.

So what if it’s summer here? So what if that is different? If Santa can adapt and bring out his festive Hawaiian shirt and board shorts when he arrives here then so can we. And I think I will leave out some cold brew for him this year… think he would appreciate it!Friday - chase the red grape

Let’s begin December with some good old Friday Favourites!

Favourite… Moment – Black and white pictureschase the red grape

My Auntie challenged me on Facebook to do one of the 7 day black and white picture projects. Photos to be taken on the day, with no people (or no one you know), simplicity at its finest. I didn’t think I would get so much pleasure from it. It has been wonderful to see certain things in another perspective.

Favourite… Feeling – The glow

Thanks to Jamie Oliver’s recent Christmas special, I have been feeling all the festive glowy feels. Christmas specials on the TV are really big back home in the UK and they feel like such a part of the season. Aussie TV couldn’t be more different, but they love Jamie here so they broadcast it… and I am so thankful. Oh and hungry… those recipes looked amazing!

Favourite… Purchase – Advent Calendarschase the red grape

Advent Calendars are so hard to find here but I was so happy to find these in one of our local shops (shipped in from Europe!). They are simple but they are perfect. And the chocolate inside transported me back to the chocolate of my childhood… it was such a dejavu moment!

Favourite… Food/Drink – Turkey. Get your Christmas turkey…

Name that movie!

chase the red grape

Our turkey haul from last year… enough for 2 right?

Yes we ordered our free range raw Christmas turkey this week from a local butcher and it makes me so happy. I adore turkey and all the trimmings and yes David and I still cook a whole bird for just the two of us, we have leftovers for days and it’s the best! The past 2 years we have ordered locally (Mondos) and it’s perfect. Pick up on the 22nd!

Updates – 5TTT + Episode 51 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcastchase the red grape

This weeks 5 top tips was a post for you guys to get to know a little bit more about me and my why when it comes to 5 top tips. I want you to help yourselves, after all the only person who knows what’s best for you is you! But if I can help by asking the right questions then I’m where I need to be.chase the red grape

Episode 51 was the first part of our series on travel and how exploring has shaped David and I into who we are today, making the choices we make. A reflective episode but also one filled with great stories! Download now on iTunes and Stitcher or listen here on the website.

Weekend Plans – Saturday– Putting up the Christmas tree, food prep and then off to Crown Resort for an evening of fine dining and cocktails! Sunday – Pancakes and newspapers, podcasting, coffee and a local Christmas street festival.

Have a fab weekend folks!

What snack do you think Santa would appreciate?

Do you put in a food order before Christmas?

What do you watch that gives you the Christmas glow?

My ‘why’ with the 5 top tips series #5TTT

Hi all,

I began writing my 5 top tips on a Tuesday back in September 2015  and I have rarely missed a week since.

100 articles later, I am still going strong, first and foremost because I love writing them. I love connecting with you all and hearing your opinions on a variety of topics. I love passing on any information I have to you and sharing my knowledge. I love that you might disagree with me. I love that you might know in your gut that what I am saying is or isn’t right for you. I love that you come back with follow up questions, stories or suggestions. I am proud of my content because it’s my way of saying you already have everything you need within you, sometimes you just need to answer the right questions to help coax it out.

Asking questions and getting you thinking about what you do, what’s right for you, or how you feel is my jam. No one will have the same two answers. It’s what makes us so amazing. It is also exactly why my approach has never been, and never will be, one size fits all.

For this weeks 5 top tips, I simply wanted to share with you 5 reasons why I am here, each Tuesday, sharing information with you all. Hopefully understanding my ‘why’ will help you all know me a little better and as a result see my intention each week.chase the red grape

Helping me helping you

I have never hidden the fact that sometimes I write these posts based on advice I need to tell myself. Often I know what actions to take in a particular situation but I just can’t do it for some reason. Writing advice as if it was for another person clears all of that. It gives me the drive I need, the proof if you will, to know I am doing the right thing. But I don’t want to do it alone. I know that most of the time my issues are shared by many. If I know I can help myself then I know I want to help you all to do the same. I may pose questions that we have different answers to, but the process of thinking is where all the magic happens so that you can do the best for you.

Cut through the BS

Being in the world of writing about health and happiness, I read a lot of BS. Not because the opinions differ to mine (although that does happen frequently) but because, as I mentioned above, of the one size fits all approach. We are different people. A diet that works for you doesn’t work for me. Same goes for exercise, hours of sleep, motivation, stress levels so on and so forth, The BS is in telling you what to do. No one can do that for you, you need to work it out for yourself. Ask questions, experiment, stop comparing. I never want you to feel that you aren’t good enough. You are always amazing to me.

Keeping advice short and snappy

I ain’t got time for endless reading. I want short, concise and to the point advice, help or motivation. I want a snappy read that will get me excited or gets me thinking. It’s also why we created the podcast. Got no time to sit and read? Listen to Chase the Red Grape instead. Although the topics will differ, the essence is still the same.

Questions to ask yourself and takeaway

Questions, questions, questions. What do you think? How do you act in this situation? What do you feel in your gut? I am always asking you questions. These questions reveal your answers, the real call to action (if necessary). I am just the facilitator bringing up a topic. You have the answer to any factor within your life. I want you to feel empowered. I want you to know that you can and you will.

Embrace the suck…view it differently… if it is even there…

Somethings in life suck. Somethings in life we feel bad about because we think we should. Sometimes we feel alone in our unhappiness. Sometimes we feel bad that we feel so good. I spent too long living in the suck. Figure out what you can control and spend your time on that, don’t waste time living in the suck. However, sometimes I want you to see that often the suck isn’t really there. Maybe it can be seen in a different way. Maybe it’s a problem you have just become too involved in or maybe it isn’t even worthy of attention. All realisations after asking a few questions.

Life is too short to feel down. I want to help bring you up. But only you know what is best for you. 

Want to read some of my 5 top tips? Check out the 5 top tips page on the header of the site. Or click here.

Do you like being told what to do or do you like figuring it out for yourself?

Has anything you have read (not just from me) lead to an ‘ah ha’ moment?

What ‘one size fits all’ piece of advice have you seen online or otherwise that would be so wrong for you?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

Friday Favourites!

Hi all,

Are you feeling Christmassy yet?

I am trying. But somehow Christmas excitement doesn’t feel right in November. I can plan and prep but those butterflies in my tummy seem to just be designated for December.

This time next week we will have begun opening our advent calendars and will start to be thinking about the tree and decorations… gosh even writing that makes me feel a little unsure…. are you really sure December is coming?

As I say every year since we arrived here, Christmas, heck December as a whole, is odd in Australia. Hot hot heat, sun cream and salads for dinner but still seeing Christmas trees, Santa and snowmen everywhere… it really blows your mind.

But I will try. We are heading to our local Christmas festival tonight and you never know, maybe the December bug will strike and once I start listening to Christmas FM again I will be all in. I sure hope so!Friday - chase the red grape

But enough Christmas chat, let’s get to Friday Favourites!

Favourite… Moment – Saturday coffee datechase the red grape

We had a chilled out Saturday morning planned with only the food shop to do so we decided to sit down and have a coffee. We sat outside, watching the world go by, chatting away until every last drop of this perfect flat white was drunk. It’s nice sometimes not to be so ‘go go go’ with a coffee.

Favourite… Feeling – Doing my own hairchase the red grape

My mum does the best braids ever. When I was home in June I got her to do my hair all the time. But can I braid my own hair? Heck no. David is learning but we aren’t quite there yet. So my mum sent over a tutorial for this hair style and I thought I would give it a go. Twisting rather than braiding. I felt so proud and so pleased with how it turned out.

Favourite… Purchase – Pupusas

chase the red grape

Not the best pic but it was dark!

We headed to the twilight hawkers market in the city last Friday night for dinner and I am so happy that my favourite food stand is back! Made with cornmeal and stuffed to the brim, one with cheese and spinach, the other cheese, pork and beans, they are so amazing. If you find them. Try them!

Favourite… Food/Drink – Mango salsachase the red grape

This salsa recipe from Nom Nom Paleo is easy, quick and so delicious. The recipe calls for pineapple but seen as mangoes are local and in the height of their season right now the fruit of choice was a given. In salads, over burgers, chicken, salmon, basically anything can be made incredible with this salsa.

Updates – 5TTT and Podcast updateschase the red grape

This weeks 5 top tips looked at why taking a time out right now might just be exactly what you need. It can be in one or many areas of your life but rest assured that it will result in gaining that much needed energy boost back!chase the red grape

There was no podcast this week but have you listened to our special 50th episode yet? We did a random Q&A where neither of us knew the questions beforehand – it was a hoot! ITunes, Stitcher or here on the website if you want to listen. 

Instagram love – Diane Sanfilippo

I have mentioned Diane and the Balanced Bites podcast many times on this site but when she asked for folks to spread the love on Instagram this week I thought I would go one step further. Diane gives so much inspiration that goes way beyond food, a successful business women, she gives many the guidance and kick up the butt they need to succeed themselves. Go give her a follow on Instagram and see what I mean. (Ps always watch her insta stories, this is where the magic happens)

Weekend Plans – Tonight – Our neighbourhood Christmas street party complete with switching on of the lights. Saturday – Watching a strongman competition then meeting friends for drinks. Sunday – Pancakes and newspapers, podcasting, food prep and chill.

Have a fab weekend folks!

Are you feeling Christmassy?

When was the last time you stopped to savour a coffee?

Can you do your own hair?

Why taking a time out might just be exactly what you need #5TTT

Hi all,

I don’t know about you, but I am tired.

The year is coming to a close, some are heading into the deep depths of winter, others the crazy heat of summer but no matter what, we can’t escape the change. November is always the calm before the storm. The reminder of all we have to do within the year before it ends. We all know December is madness. Our to-do lists are the size of our arms, weekends whiz past without stopping and before you know it, it’s the big day,

I can’t wait for Christmas and all it brings. It makes me feel so much joy. Right now though, do I even have the energy for it?

So how do I get that energy? How do I bring my mind and body into December with all it needs? What advice would I give someone else who was generally feeling a bit run down?

I would tell them to take a time out.

Yes, it’s as simple as that. Take a time out. We can’t be go go go all the time, it just doesn’t work, we don’t work, we don’t thrive. Below are 5 areas where I believe folks can benefit from taking a time out. Even just one may help and it may only take a couple of hours, a day or two, maybe even a week if you have the time. Figure out where you would benefit from a time out and get ready to feel like you have the energy and drive to party and celebrate the rest of the year.chase the red grape

Work

So you are probably holding on right now… waiting for your Christmas holidays, right? Urgh who isn’t feeling like they need a holiday right now?! But there are still several weeks left, how do you want them to go? Have any annual leave left? Why not take a day or two to chill out? Have a Netflix day, do some Christmas shopping, sleep even! If you don’t have any annual leave left see if you company has a policy where you can take a mental health day. Your mind needs a break too.

If you have no option to take time off right now make sure you are putting yourself first. Take all the breaks you are entitled to. Leave work on time and get home where you can rest. Get an early night so your body has enough sleep to tackle the following day. You are number one.

Exercise

Whatever you do for exercise, ask yourself right now ‘at this present moment, is it serving me’? I get it, the gym is community, it’s so much more than just movement. But putting yourself through intense exercise day after day and telling yourself it’s worth it because of what it does for your social life isn’t the right way to go. What is your body telling you? Is it sore? Is it tired? Does it need a break, a bit of TLC? Maybe cut back on how many times you go per week. Maybe drop those weights or intensity for a couple of days and see how you feel. Or maybe just stay in bed instead. Your body will tell you what’s best, you just have to listen to it.

Diet

I’m not going to preach on what you should or shouldn’t eat. If your not eating great, you know it and you know what you should be eating instead. Don’t deny yourself or restrict yourself, just maybe eat some more veg or pass on the pizza. Get your tummy happy for the holidays. If you do eat well then great but make sure you’re not going too far. Does your body need a little more? Does what you eat make you happy?

And if like me you are pretty happy food wise but want to just take a break from alcohol for a little while then that’s always a good choice. I think a lot of folks would benefit from a boozy time out, just to reset our bodies and give it a little break from having to work hard to process the alcohol.

Routine

Why not throw a spanner in the works? I get really tired from doing the same old same old stuff day in and day out. Although I thrive from routine, I also know, if I’m not careful, it can drag me down into a rabbit hole and it’s hard to get out. Do something different. Go for a walk after dinner. Switch up one of your go to meals. Attend a class or go to the cinema on a weeknight. Break your self imposed rules. Take a time out from the grind.

Surroundings

Last but not least, take a time out from your surroundings. Maybe you are a Mum and you just need that night off from the family to spend with friends. You and your husband could book a last minute cheap deal for a stay at a hotel in your city. Or maybe you need some alone time. Work from home instead of the office. Even walking home a different way or trying out a new coffee shop can make a big difference. I like going somewhere new at the weekend. Just switch up what you see.

Don’t let yourself burn out. Take a time out instead.

How are you feeling right now?

Where would a time out be beneficial to you?

Are you patiently waiting for the holidays or longing badly for them?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

Friday Favourites + Episode 50 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast

Hi all,

This week David and I recorded the 50th episode of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast!

50 feels like such a milestone and I can’t believe we have been recording for over a year now. Between planning, prepping, recording, editing, transferring and all the other little things in between, it’s not a quick task to pull together… but it is one that both David and I love doing. I hope that passion shows through on the podcast!

If you listen, thank you so much for being a part of this with us, and I hope you will continue. If you don’t listen to us right now why not download and give it a shot? I promise it’s fun! Some episodes are light, some dig deep into issues that affect us all but I guarantee you will find something in our back catalogue to tempt you to listen.Friday - chase the red grape

That really was a highlight of my week, but let’s check out some other Friday Favourites!

Favourite…Moment – David’s birthday breakfastchase the red grape

Every Wednesday when David and I go for our morning walk to get coffee, we pass a little patisserie opening up for the day. The smells are out of this world. So for his birthday breakfast David decided he wanted to go there and get something special. And oh boy was this breakfast special. I had an almond croissant and savoured every incredible mouthful and David had a cheese and ham croissant plus a piece of apple strudel. Pair that with a great coffee and we were in heaven.

Favourite… Feeling – Proudchase the red grape

David was a finalist at this years Subiaco Photography Competition and he has had his work displayed on an exhibition for the past month. Monday was the awards ceremony and although he didn’t come away with an overall win, he was a winner in my book. So proud. (Top picture by the way).

Favourite… Purchase – New shoeschase the red grape

I needed some strappy sandals to go with a new dress I bought and I thought the hunt would be easy… well not as easy as I would have hoped! I finally found the perfect pair in H&M with the ideal height of heel. Being 6ft 1 without shoes means if I wear high heels I go into that ‘too tall’ category. No one talks to you unless you are sitting down!

Favourite… Food/Drink – Birthday Lunchchase the red grape

David’s birthday was certainly a foodie one and we headed to one of our favourite restaurants in Fremantle, Gypsy Tapas House. We ate octopus, hummus, wild boar, homemade focaccia, emperor fish and baked feta, all washed down with their homemade organic rose wine. Food heaven moment number two!chase the red grape

Updates – 5TTT & Episode 50 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcastchase the red grape

This weeks 5 top tips looked at what social media has done to us, what has it taught us about the world and its position in it.chase the red grape

And of course episode 50 of the podcast is ready to download on iTunes, stitcher or listen here on the website. We did a fun get to know you episode… but all the questions were unknown and picked at random!

Weekend Plans – Tonight we are heading into town for some food truckin’ and the switch on of our main Christmas lights. Saturday – Weekly shop, food preppin’ plus an engagement party in the evening. Sunday – Pancakes and newspapers, podcasting and off to see Murder on the Orient Express (so excited, I’m a huge Poirot fan!).

Have a fab weekend folks!

When was the last time you felt proud?

What does your birthday breakfast entail?

Any films coming up that you are excited to see at the cinema?

What has social media done to you? #5TTT

Hi all,

Remember back in the day when the internet started being something we could have in our homes? If you were lucky, you had a massive ‘piece of equipment’ PC and you spent your evenings talking to friends on MSN messenger about the same things you had also spent the past 8 hours of school talking about.

Fast forward a few years and I was off to university. At this point Facebook was only available to people attending select universities, and it never really fussed me. Until a few years in and my university was accepted. Of course we signed up! This looked so cool! Still, it was only something you looked at when and if you were connected to the internet… and even then it was about posting when you were having a party… and revealing said pictures from party!

Fast forward 13 years and social media has just exploded. Everyone has constant access to the internet. Everyone is on Facebook, your mum, your auntie, all of your friends. And then there is Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and so on and so forth. Has the way we communicate as a society really changed so much in the space of 13 years? I don’t think anyone could argue that the answer to that has to be ‘yes’. 

What has social media done to you?

For this weeks 5 top tips, I dug deep to look at the relationship I have with social media and what it has done to me. What does social media reveal about the world around me? What has it brought to my attention? These are my thoughts. Maybe you agree, maybe you don’t, maybe social media means something very different to you. Let me know below what you think.chase the red grape

Connection

Social media will always be worth it’s weight in gold to me, simply because of connection. Being on the other side of the world from my family and friends has been tough but social media allows me to be a part of life over there still. It allows me to keep connected with my old communities and friends. I cannot imagine how hard it would be to have to disconnect from all these important people and places – thankfully I don’t have to.

Desire

Social media has enabled me to desire more than I ever could have dreamed of. Maybe for you this desire is a good thing, you see something you want and you figure out a way to get it. It pushes you, it drives you, you can see an end. For me, desire can lead to pressure, confusion and often unhappiness. Most of the time it’s about things or opportunities I never even considered or was aware of. Social media can make me feel bad for not wanting it or not having it.

Why not me?

Yes the comparison game. Why don’t I have this? Why do they have it and not me? What have I done wrong? Do I not deserve the same opportunities? Am I no good? We glance at something, take one look and that’s all we need to bring ourselves down and tear ourselves to shreds. We no longer live in our bubble. We can see every single bubble in the world. We feel judged, we judge others, it feels like there is no escape. (Unless we disconnect… but then face being left out!).

People can be cruel… but cruel people are not worthy of your attention

The ability to be cruel, cause hurt to others and bully has exploded throughout the evolution of social media. I see good people everyday being torn down by comments online. It’s horrible. However through trolling we have learned that both online and in real life we cannot tolerate people who are cruel, people who bring us down, strangers, as well as those we know, who believe it is ok to cause hurt with their words. As much as I wish no one has to ‘learn how to deal with trolls’, it has become part of our world. What counts is that we stand up to it and realise that trolls are not worthy of our attention.

We are stronger together

Finally, I believe that social media has made me realise that we truly are stronger together. We feel with others on the other side of the world. We can be a part of helping afflict change in areas where we used to feel helpless. We can be more informed, have a strong basis of knowledge, share because we care. Yes there is a lot of ‘fake news’ out there and so much nonsense but the more time we spend with social media as part of our lives the more we realise its worth, its power and its ability to help us do good.

Be the good, promote the good, share the good and all will be well.

Have you always had social media in your life?

What does social media enable you to do?

What has social media done to you, both positive and negative?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

Friday Favourites + Episode 49 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast

Hi all,

Well it’s here. As much as I really don’t want to be a broken record with the weather it’s the only thing anyone is talking about. The heat.

I expect this in late December/ January, but we are supposed to have 2 months of sunny, nice temps before we go into the pit of hell that is summer over here (just for reference as to how hot it is…). Gently being warmer and warmer so we can acclimatise. But no.

I feel like my body has been thrown into the jungle and has to be ready to fight aka cool down. Poor wee thing, it’s struggling. The realities of being an expat! Except even the born and bred locals are finding it tough… no hope for me! Ha!

But enough of my moans and groans, you all came here for some joy and I aint gonna let you down. Time for some Friday Favourites!Friday - chase the red grape

Favourite… Moment – Paint Subi

The area where we live are having a week where 4 street artists come and paint 4 murals around our neighbourhood. Seeing the work in progress is amazing, every day they come on so much and look fantastic! Can’t wait to show you some pictures when they are done!

Favourite… Feeling – Iced coffee timechase the red grape

My old friend is back in the game. French press coffee, chilled, then served over ice with milk… or chocolate almond milk if I am feeling flush. Sooths the soul!

Favourite… Purchase – Broccoli Chipschase the red grape

These broccoli chips are so tasty and although you don’t get many of them in the bag, are worth the splurge now and again!

Favourite… Food/Drink – Acai bowls from Acai Brothers in Fremantlechase the red grape

I have no words. But I think this picture says it all. Topped with coconut yoghurt, raw treats and my fruit of choice – yes please!

Updates – 5TTT + Episode 49 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcastchase the red grape

This weeks 5 top tips focused on the idea of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’… and how it’s all a heap of nonsense. Rethink the way you feel about this term… compare and wish all you want… just realise that others are doing that to you too.chase the red grape

Episode 49 of the podcast took at look at our daily non negotiables – those things we do in every day life because they make us happy and therefore are simply a must! I love looking at all the little quirks we have and embracing them because that’s what makes us all so awesome! Listen now on iTunes, Stitcher or here on the website

Weekend Plans – Saturday – It’s David’s birthday! Happy birthday my love! So we are heading out for breakfast then off to Fremantle for a stroll, lunch and maybe an Aperol spritz! Sunday – Pancakes and newspapers, coffee, food prep, podcasting and a tour with a local street art group!

Have a fab weekend everyone!

What’s your heat limit?

Do you like veggie chips?

What’s your summer cocktail?