Reducing Waste #2

Ok, step one: create a herb garden is complete, so whats next?

My own compost bin! I’ve wanted to create my own compost bin for a while now and have been pleasantly surprised at how easy the process has been. So, why compost? Well, not only does compost provide a rich natural fertiliser for your garden but it reduces your carbon footprint, the less waste you create the less green house gas emissions are made due to sending waste to landfill.

As it was dead easy and such a great thing to do for the environment I’m going to detail the steps I took below, please join me in composting and reducing the waste we create, tag my insta and hashtag #smallsoy with all your reduce, reuse, recycle and composting photos so we can all encourage each other to continue taking more steps to take care of the world we live in!

Tools:
Power drill or hammer and nail
Round bucket with a sealable lid
Compostable waste (veggie scraps, newspaper etc.)

Method:
To set up your compost bin all you need to do is make a quick trip to your local hardware store and pick up a round bucket with a sealable lid. Next grab your drill (or if you don’t have one you can use a hammer and nail) and make about six holes on the bottom of the bucket, eight on the top and eight rows of four holes around the sides of the bucket. This will ensure that your compost is getting enough air.
Next, START COMPOSTING!

I started my compost mix by adding a layer of soil to the bottom of my bucket and adding food scraps that I had collected to the top along with some torn up newspaper. In your compost mix you will need a mixture of green and brown ingredients (which I will detail below). you don’t want too many green ingredients or your compost will end up sludgy and you don’t want too much brown or your compost will be too dry and take too long to compost, the best way to manage this is to go by feel, run the compost through your fingers every now and then and adjust (more green or more brown) accordingly.

Green

  • Vegetable and food scraps
  • Tea leaves and tea bags
  • Coffee grounds
  • Soft stems
  • Grass cuttings
  • Weeds

Brown

  • Dry Leaves
  • Torn up newspaper
  • Egg shells
  • Egg cartons
  • Dead Flowers
  • Wood ash

To keep your compost aerated, every few weeks, make sure the lid is sealed and tip the compost container on its side and roll it, this will give everything a good mix and get fresh air ring into the heart of your compost.

Hit me up if you have any questions and happy composting!

Reducing Waste #1

Something I have wanted to do for a long time is reduce the amount of waste that I produce. Taking care of the environment and the world around me is something that I am passionate about and I believe that the first steps that we need to make to change the destructive nature of humanity is firstly, in ourselves and our homes.

Unfortunately, I let life get in the way and put the idea of reducing the waste that I produce on the back burner, as if for some reason it shouldn’t be a priority. When I woke up today I decided that enough was enough (as good as it feels to ‘boycott straws’ I knew I had to start doing more), it’s time to step it up and start taking steps to ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ (does this work here? I just had to throw that phrase in somewhere right?). Along with starting to compile a list of all the different ways I can start to actively reduce waste within my life I included a trip to Bunnings.

Todays little project was a very small step on the way to become waste free but an important one. Each week when my partner and I go food shopping we buy, on average one pack of fresh herbs. Not only is this a huge waste of money (have you seen the price of basil!?) I can’t help but think of every plastic container that these herbs are sold in is completely unnecessary and so wasteful, in light of this, my partner and I have decided to create our own herb garden in the back yard.

I was really surprised at how cheap and easy it was to set up. For around $60 (12 weeks worth of store bought herbs) we bought potting mix, 7 terracotta pots and 7 different types of herbs. In our backyard we now have; Rosemary, Thyme, Lemon Thyme, Mint, Coriander, flat leaf Parsley and Oregano. I know its such a small step in becoming waste free but it’s the first of many and one thats only going to make cooking at home that much better!

If you’ve got any tips or tricks in going waste free that you want to share, leave a comment or hit me up on insta. Peace x

Tapering

My experience with mental illness has been a long one that spans over a lifetime, I couldn’t pin point a time where everything started as my earliest memories of social interactions has me almost always paralysed with anxiety.
I was officially diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder six years ago and since then have been on and off of various medication, from heavy daily dosages of Valium to probably every type of SSRI that’s out there.

After unknowingly becoming heavily addicted to valium (thanks doctor) and experiencing the absolute hell that is coming off of it cold turkey, every time I have been prescribed a new type of medication I have taken to heavily researching the drug, focusing on what users have said about their experiences. I have found that it doesn’t matter how good your doctor is (and mine (new one, not the valium guy) is pretty fucking good) they don’t seem to let you know that you could be experiencing side effects that include extreme nausea, complete exhaustion, increased levels of anxiety and my absolute favourite; depression and suicidal tendencies.

After my most recent visit to my doctor we have come to the conclusion that my current anti depressants (150mg Zoloft) aren’t working for me, so, we need to move away from SSRI’s and get me onto an SNRI (which one? it’s still TBA, hold tight guys…). To successfully move from an SSRI to and SNRI I have started tapering off of my current medication. What does this mean for those of you who haven’t done this before? Well, for me it’s one week on 100mg Zoloft and the next week and a half on 50mg then a meeting with my doctor to work out which SNRI to jump onto.

When I found out I had to taper I was devastated. The thought of going through withdrawals and the another few month of sides effects is absolutely crushing. The first thing I did was jump on google and try to search for forums on peoples experiences tapering off of Zoloft but I could only find information on going cold turkey. I feel that the experience of tapering is something that really needs to be talked about and shared so upon finding next to no information I felt prompted to write this post explaining the process and what my body has (and still is) gone/going through.

SO, I am three days into the process of dropping down to 50mg and the immediate response to the question ‘What is it like?’ is; Its fucked.
Obviously the point of this post is to go into more detail so below I’m going to give a short outline of how much fun I’ve been having lately:

All the withdrawal symptoms that you get coming off of Zoloft cold turkey you experience while tapering, I would hope to a lesser degree because otherwise whats the point? (but in saying that if what I’m going through right now is a dulled version of what its like quitting cold turkey than that shit is just so fucked up.) Out of all the withdrawal symptoms my personal favourites have been; The consistent body convulsions, extreme amounts of nervous energy thats coursing its way through my body and the nausea thats so bad I barely manage to eat one meal a day. Coming in at a close second is the headache that hasn’t gone away for a week and a half and third place would have to go to the panic attacks that wake me up (sometimes multiple times) every night gasping for air. Honourable mentions (Or should I be giving out the participation medals? idk.) go to my delicate stomach that has had me dry-reaching every time I smell, well, anything. It changes day to fucking day, the brain zaps (OH THE BRAIN ZAPS) and the inability to use my short term memory which, I am so glad has come to the table right at exam time…
I know, I probably sound like I am having a bit of a whinge but honestly I didn’t know what I was in for so I believe it’s an experience I need to share. Stay tuned for the sequel to tapering; ‘Side Effects’. It’s going to be a roller-coaster (of mainly my emotions) ride so strap yourselves in!

What am I doing here?

Thats the big question right; What is my purpose? Why am I here? What is the meaning of my being here? Or any variation of essentially the same question.
Well, my answer to that would be very literal. It’s 2017. Doesn’t every white girl with a mac book (insert witty criticism about white girls using mac books and possibly drinking pumpkin spice lattes at the same time?) have some sort of a blog?

I mean, if you’re not online blogging about the latest vegan cafes, farmers markets, organic wineries and Kayla Itsines fitness routines who is going to take you seriously enough to offer you skinny tea promotional work?

The original idea behind my starting up a blog was to document books that I have read and my reviews of them. Being an avid reader (59 novels last year *brag) I do lose track of what all my thoughts and feeling towards a lot of novels are. Having a space to compile all my thoughts on the books I have read seemed like a great idea, I mean, isn’t blogging just the new age way of keeping a diary? The only difference being that instead of your little brother or sister finding the key you have (ever so secretly) hidden under your pillow and reading your innermost thoughts you’re broadcasting it to the world.
Only on here I won’t be writing my 7 year old crush in love hearts all over the pages. Wait! No, I never did that…

Having recently experienced a tough few years with my mental health and making the commitment to be more open about my experiences with what I am going through on social media, I thought, after such a positive response to sharing the more intimate details of living day to day with a mental illness that I would expand my idea about a book blog to include talk about mental illness and, what the hell; cafe and winery reviews too because as much as we don’t like to admit it, we have to unashamedly nurture that inner white girl in all of us. (because fuck it, if I want to spend an hour writing about Taylor Swift and why Marisa Cooper should never have been killed off of the OC then so be it!)

So, (how do you end a blog post?) to everyone thats (probably not even) reading, welcome, thanks for stopping by and enjoy the ramblings of yet ANOTHER 20 something with a laptop.

*edit hot dog leg photo added to display how truly basic I can be (it’s a culture we need to appreciate and embrace, I’ll talk more about that later…)