General Life Tips

Hair Care Advice | From Double Bleach To Kind Of Okay Hair

My oh my have I done so much shit to my hair these last few years. I’ve bleached it. I’ve colored it more times than I could even count. I’ve heat treated it to a point of extreme damage. My hair was falling out with handfuls at a time. I’m not even being over dramatic either. I was truly shedding like no other. My hair was dry and felt like grass. It wasn’t a pleasant look. Styling my hair would cause even more breakage. It came to a point where no matter what I did, I was having a bad hair day.

I’m not a hairdresser nor do I have a large amount of information on healthy hair and all that jazz. All I know is that once I started to incorporate these few things into my hair care routine, my damaged hair made a complete u-turn. It’s not 100% but every month it gets better. I do notice that if I’m less consistent with my hair care routine my hair quality decreases.

  1. Limit all heat

Heat is something that can truly damage your hair. Hair straighter, curlers and blowers WITHOUT any heat protection is definitely not doing any wonders to your hair. I read somewhere online for ultimate hair growth rinsing your hair with cold water just before your shower can work miracles. It closes the hair follicles. Something smart like that. I haven’t tried it but hey the internet get some things right? I saw awhile back Buzzfeed had some of their people shower in cold water for a month. They noted a difference in their hair. It’s worth looking into if you really want to grow your hair. Fast.

  1. Limit chemicals

Strong chemicals, as logic would tell you, are anything but healthy for your hair. So stay away from hair dye –avoid bleach like a plague- and strong products promising this and that. Read the back of the product and make sure they use natural products. This will make a difference.

  1. Limit shampooing

This is one can sound a little fun but you have to give your hair time to create its own natural oils. Study has shown the time between washes should be longer instead of shorter. Luckily dry shampoo and even baby power can save the day if your hair is just too oily. I grew up with the idea to wash my hair every single day. Now I wash it every four days. I feel like there has been a difference.

  1. Treat your hair

This one at first glance seems to be counter predicting my limit chemicals but the key here is natural hair treatment. You want to get products that feeds your hair the nutrients it needs to grow strong. From what I understand after damage, your hair doesn’t hold onto oils as it should so it is your job to supply oils to it. I’ve been treating my hair every four days with a massive treatment on the weekend for over a year now, heck I’m nearing the two year mark and I’ve noted that my hair is making its own oils. I don’t need to treat it every day for healthy looking hair. I’m making progress. I apply most of the product on my ends and the rest on my roots. I massage it into my scalp for the best result. I will go into that one more in one second.

  1. Massage your scalp

Massaging your scalp while washing and during treatment can make the worlds of difference. I read somewhere a long time ago, well when I was trying to grow my hair fast, that if you massage your hair for two minutes every single day while your head is upside down makes your hair grow super duper quick. I don’t know if this is ultimate bullshit. I’ve never been able to stick to it every time I’ve tried it. I saw a YouTube video once about someone trying it. I guess what I’m getting at I’ve noticed a positive response when I was massaging my scalp. Even if it doesn’t encourage growth it was definitely encouraging oil production. It was worth a try.

I’m going to insert a picture of my blond hair and my hair now. I doubt you can see a massive difference in the quality of the hair as the pictures isn’t of the best and I was treating my hair quite often back then so you couldn’t always see the damage but it was definitely there. Oh while I’m on the subject the bleaching broke my hair like a mother of all holy. The parts where it broke off takes ten times longer to grow in and is ten times more damaged than other parts.

Here is a few more pictures to really show how damaged my hair was from the blonde dye. Also it took me a hour of deep searching my computer for these images and using one just isn’t enough. I do have to add that this was AFTER treatment. It was just constantly DRYYYYYYY, brittle and well damaged.

I wish you all the best and see you in a click!

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Story Time

My Botched Tattoo

I’ve been meaning to write this blog for months. Heck I planned on writing this blog just after my website launched six months ago but well I don’t write a blog if I don’t feel like writing. Otherwise it feels forced and it’s not a nice read. I don’t know if that even makes sense but it just how my brain works when it comes to writing. It needs to feel natural and it needs to flow.

So enough about that. Let’s jump into the good things. I got my first tattoo when I was seventeen years old in March. It was a very impulsive decision but it’s something I will NEVER forget or regret. My step dad just left and on the day their divorce finalized I decided to get my tattoo. I wanted to get a butterfly. Placement or the entire tattoo wasn’t that important. I just wanted my butterfly on my body. For a very long time I felt like a butterfly trapped with clipped wings. The very next day we went to the tattoo shop and I spend 30 minutes picking out the design and then it was time. The session was two and a half hours and quite painful to start off with but getting through it felt so good. It was what I needed. I finally had freedom over my own body and getting a tattoo was the ultimate sign of it. The word elefthería forever showing the true meaning of my tattoo.

Here is a picture of the tattoo of the hour. The design or the job is anything but perfect but the meaning will always make it a great tattoo in my eyes. Sorry that the lighting is kind of bad. I had to wait till my husband got home to take the picture and well it was dark out and half of our lights are out. Oh and its pretty straight on my back. The picture is just wonky.

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However this blog post isn’t about my first tattoo, it’s about my botched tattoo. It was my fourth tattoo and although number three wasn’t the best job either nor did it look like it was going to be a success midway through. Even though the stencil rubbed away while the guy was tattooing and it just went downhill from there, it’s still not my botched tattoo. I don’t know why I’m building up to it but let’s just get to it.

My botched tattoo is my shoulder tattoo. At first glance it seemed like everything was going fine. Here is a photo of the tattoo so you can see what I’m talking about.

You will probably notice that the eyes are raised and bumpy. This is where everything went wrong. The first time around I tried glow in the dark green ink that the tattoo artist recommended. It didn’t take at all. For the first time my tattoo bled a lot and gave up a clear liquid the day of and the day after the tattoo. It took a lot longer to heal but after about two weeks the crust came off. However with the crust ALL of the ink in the eyes disappeared. I could feel the skin was raised and ‘inked’ but there was nothing. I immediately went back to my tattoo artist. He sat me down and inked over the eyes in ink that was donated to the shop. Once more it bled and gave of a clear liquid. My body was rejecting the ink. The actual tattoo park with the needle and ink was ten times more painful than ever before and coupled with the new painful healing process…well it took me six months to go back to the tattoo artist. After the eyes healed the second time around only half of the ink took. It didn’t look good but because the entire process was just horrible I wasn’t in a rush to get it done once more. Eventually my prom came up and my shoulder would be on display in my dress so I decided to get it done. Once more it was a painful experience but this time around at least I walked away with eyes that’s green. However after the three attempt the eyes turned out to be very raised, bumpy and well it doesn’t look good.

I’ve been thinking of getting it covered up for over a year now and I even saw a new tattoo artist with my chosen design…but the idea of a needle touching my shoulder makes me cringe in pain. I know it’s going to be beyond painful and I just haven’t got myself to just do it. I know I will get it done eventually…

I’m going to end this blog with the advice I mentioned on my blog post called: Think Before You Ink | Tattoo advice (Here is the link — https://fitcouchpotato.com/2017/08/13/think-before-you-ink-tattoo-advice/ ) What I did wrong with this tattoo was one I didn’t do enough research on my tattoo artist. If I even bothered asking around about him I would’ve found out there has been a lot of people who complained about his tattoos and some with the same problem as my shoulder tattoo. Secondly I didn’t give the tattoo enough time to heal and I should’ve never went back to the same tattoo artist after the first failed attempt in the eyes. I learned my lesson the hard way.

My first tattoo after the shoulder was at an actual professional company who got many good reviews and clearly knew what they were doing. I had to pay a little more but the end result was well worth it. It’s my ribs tattoo that I got in honor of my father. I got this tattoo in the Netherlands and the entire experience was completely different then my cheap South African tattoo artist. My first tattoo in South Africa after the shoulder tattoo is the tattoo dedicated to my husband. Once more I did my research, paid a little bit more and the end result was well worth the money. It did need touch ups and the tattoo artist made me wait three months before she would even consider touching the tattoo. My point is, there is a very clear difference in the quality you get once you’re willing to pay a little more. As I sit and write this, three of my tattoos (number two, three and botched number four) is tattoos I would want to cover up in the future. They’re not good quality and the design is anything but original.

Learn from my mistakes, spend more time and money on something you want to permanently ink onto your body.

I wish you all the best and I will see you in a click!

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Nutrition Tips

Healthy Cottage Pie Recipe

I grew up with cottage pie and it is truly one of my favorite dishes to make. It’s home. There is ‘unhealthy’ ways to make it and there is way to improve the dish and make it healthier. This is my favorite recipe that can be deemed the healthier version. Oh before we jump in, here is a little history or background lesson.

This next part comes straight from Wikipedia. Do with this information what you will. Shepherd’s pie (made with minced lamb or mutton) or cottage pie (made with minced beef) is a meat pie with a topping of mashed potato. The dish can vary widely within its basic definition, whether as a home recipe or on a restaurant menu. The defining ingredients are minced meat (beef for cottage pie, lamb or mutton for shepherd’s pie) cooked in a gravy with onions and sometimes vegetables, such as peas, celery or carrots, and topped with mashed potato. Whilst not traditional, a common addition to either pie is to top the mashed potato with grated cheese.

Wikipedia goes into so much more detail about the dish but basically it comes from The United Kingdom originally and it’s a meat and potato dish. Now that you know what it is let me tell you how I make it.

Ingredients

  • Mince (Depends on your family/portion size. For two people I use 500g. When I feel like spoiling my husband even more I will add some bacon to the mix.)
  • Tomatoes (Medium sized tomatoes. Six to nine. Depends on how I feel.)
  • Peppers (If I feel like there isn’t enough vegetables in the meal I will add one pepper. For me it doesn’t really matter what colour it is. I do tend to go for the orange, yellow and red mix.)
  • Carrots (I always buy the medium sized carrots so I use 5 of them but if you buy the normal large carrots it’s about two.)
  • Onion (I use one but only because I’m not that big on onion. This can go according to your taste.)
  • Garlic (I use one glove but again this can go according to your taste. Garlic can easily overwhelm a dish so keep that in mind.)
  • Bolognese Sauce (I don’t think the brand really matters. I just buy the gluten free one our supermarket has to offer. The bottle is 400g.)
  • Soya Cream (I always get the 250g cuisine soya cream the supermarket stocks but normal whipped cream should be ay okay. I just tend to stay away from heavy lactose products as my body sometimes struggle to digest it. Coconut cream will also get the job done.)
  • Seasoning (I use Rosemary herbs, salt and pepper. If I feel like a little sting I will add some cayenne pepper.)
  • For sweetness I add 1 generous tablespoon of apricot jam. (I use a 30% less sugar brand. I also heat up some water and dissolve the jam in it before I pour it into my sauce. Otherwise it can get clumpy and won’t spread through the entire meal.)
  • Extras: If I feel I need more vegetables I will add some spinach but I tend to stay away from that one. In my mind spinach doesn’t go with this meal. The green ruins the nice and pretty red sauce. Taste wise I don’t think it’s noticeable. I also sometimes add 3ml of vanilla essence for flavour and a squeeze of lemon juice.)
  • Potatoes (Good old normal potatoes. I always get medium sized potatoes. I go fifty-fifty with the normal and sweet potatoes but you can do this according to your preference. Sometimes I skip the sweet potatoes all together. Portion wise I guess is just make enough. It’s better to have too much then too little but if I have to give it a number it’s about 4-5 normal potatoes (only if there is a few small ones in between the mix. Really I go according what looks enough) and 3 sweet potatoes.
  • Sweet Potatoes (I always have the option between the orange skinned and the purple skinned sweet potatoes from my local supermarket. The orange skinned potatoes is orange when cut open and the purple skinned potatoes is a yellow normal potato colour. I don’t know if that even makes sense but all in all I haven’t noticed a difference in flavour although saying that if I have the choice I go for the purple skinned.)
  • Butter and (Soya) Milk (You’re going to need butter and milk to mash the potatoes. I use soya milk because well I’m sensitive to lactose products but I don’t think it makes much of a difference. I use 25g-50g of butter (depends on how I feel like that night) and the rest just milk. It’s better to add little by little as too much makes your mashed potatoes runny.)
  • Oven pan

Step by step

  • I always start off with preparing all of my vegetables for my sauce. I cut up the onion, tomatoes, garlic, peppers, carrot and then add it to my favourite large sauce pan. I then switch over to skinning to potatoes and cutting them up in small pieces (I want them to boil through quickly).
  • I place the potatoes on a medium heat and with some olive oil I just let it sit and boil.
  • I then switch over to my sauce. I add the mince and the entire sauce mixture like I explained earlier. The Bolognese sauce, soya cream and seasoning. I give it a quick mix (Over mixing it with raw mince breaks it up to a point of you feel like you’re eating baby food. I still want chunks of meat.) I then put a lid on it and let it boil for 20-30 minutes on a low heat. I will give it a stir about halfway through but otherwise I leave it alone.
  • The potatoes should be done in 20-25 minutes. I then mash it and please don’t forget to add your seasoning. I always just use salt and pepper. Nothing fancy. All the flavour you want is in the sauce. I saw somewhere someone using the water that they boiled the potatoes with for the mashing. I haven’t tried it yet but be my guess.
  • I now take my oven pan and I will up half of it with my mince sauce (If there is left great you have leftover for spaghetti tomorrow night. You can also freeze it for another night.) I carefully put the mashed potatoes above this. One big serving spoon in three different parts of the oven pan. The side and the middle. Ones I feel like the mince mixture and the potatoes mixture is even I will even the potatoes out with a fork.
  • For one last extra flavour I add a layer of grated cheese. You can also add a layer of crushed chips (original flavour) on top of the mashed potatoes and then add the grated cheese. It gives it a nice extra layer of crunch. It’s not the healthiest but it is oh so good.
  • Then you just pop it in the oven for 30 minutes (or till cheese is nice and crispy) at 180˚C or 356˚F for my Americans. (Sorry for all the grams. Google it?)

Annnddd that’s it folks! Here is a photo of my batch. If you make it and like it please let me know. I would love to see your response to it. If you don’t like it well hey we all like different things. Oh and sorry for the dark quality in the picture. It’s winter here and it’s pretty dark around dinner time. It also doesn’t help that half of our light bulbs aren’t working…

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Here is my husband’s review. I promise he is not lying for me at all (he is).

“Thinking back of this dinner on a Sunday morning makes me hungry, it’s one of my favourite meals! If you have not tried this you are definitely missing out. I especially like the variation with the chips on top, so the unhealthy one basically.”

Before I go the unhealthy version is basically no vegetables and using a lot of butter with your normal potatoes.

I wish you all the best and I will see you in a click!

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The Girl Writing In The Train

The Girl Writing In The Train | Chapter One | Writing Corner

Welcome to my latest category; writing corner. To catch up please go read this page — https://fitcouchpotato.com/writing-corner/  It will explain what this category is about. Now that you know what’s what, thank you so much for reading. This is my first story for this category and I’m beyond excited for this new concept. Please enjoy!

PS All of the chapters will be the first draft. If you see any mistakes (grammar and spelling mistakes that slips through) please comment down below. I want to improve my writing and I will take all the help I can get.

Chapter One

My routine is painstakingly ordinary. Every day is the exact same thing. I wake up five minutes before my alarm, get dressed and run to the train. I catch the same train every single morning and then spend seventy five minutes starring at my fellow passengers or out of the window wishing that it could still be the weekend. I’m anything but a social butterfly. I live alone in my little apartment on the seventh floor with my cat, Fluffy. I might not have friends or a partner but I have a sense of humor to get me through. My cat is a Sphynx cat or in everyday language, the hairless cat that looks like a large rat. I used to worry my parents growing up. I was that child who would lock herself in her room and spend hours reading or watching TV shows. I like my own company, heck I prefer it. My parents were convinced I would turn into some crazy cat lady or a serial killer. At the moment my boredom with life and hatred for other humans has yet reached the point of the latter. Contradictory to my mother’s belief, I get lonely. Just because I don’t enjoy social interaction doesn’t mean I don’t miss it. Well it applies to certain degree. I don’t understand myself sometimes.

Being forced to surround myself with strangers 75 minutes or 150 minutes in total every single weekday has been quite an interesting experience. I always find myself wondering; what’s their story? Where do they come from? What are they thinking? What are they feeling? Where are they going? As I seriously doubt they would answer these questions even if I somehow magically get the willpower to ask. I create my own world for them. I answer my unsaid questions. For 75 minutes I create their entire life; past, present and sometimes future. Once I reach my destination their stories ends. In my head they no longer exist. The train ride back home I will pick another fellow passenger that catches my attention to create a story for them. For the next 75 minutes their world is mine to shape. This morning was no different.

I wake up before my alarm and stare at my roof for five minutes, my mind reeling with everything but nothing in particular. Fluffy curls up in my hair and gives a little grunt. He always feels the need to voice his disappointment about my early rise. Finally my alarm blares its wake up call catching Fluffy of guard who in returns claws at my neck in fright. He then angrily leaves the bed while I use pure willpower to drag myself out of bed and fight the urge to press the snooze button. I get the usual sting in my eyes as I put on my bedroom light. I then begrudgingly proceed to pull of my layers of clothing only to replace it by another set of layers of clothing, more presentable of course. If only society and my work place would accept my singing cat pajamas as proper attire. Once dressed I drag myself to my bathroom to splash cold water in my face and to brush my teeth. I comb and style my hair and by styling I mean a side braid my left side and just leave the rest alone. I then moisturize my dry face with my favorite day cream. Around this time my second alarm for the morning rings. Before leaving the bathroom I give myself one spray of strawberry scented perfume. Once in the living room I hastily pull on my shoes, stock up my bag with my lunch and laptop, check Fluffy’s food and water supply before giving him one kiss goodbye and then I’m off. Putting on my usual morning playlist as I take the stairs down. The elevator has been broken for two years. I hiss like a cat when the cold air nips at my face before sprinting to the train station fifteen minutes away. I could probably time out my morning travel better but honestly my morning sprints is the only exercise I get and I have to balance out the pizza somehow.

I check in, slide through the herd of people to my train line, take the stairs and catch my train with one minute to spare. Luckily my stop is the first on the train route so without a doubt there is a chair available somewhere. Throughout the last two years I’ve managed to get the same chair every morning. At this point they should just reserve it for me. It’s at the back of the cabin in the right-hand corner. It gives me the perfect vantage point. It gives me the perfect opportunity to choose my next character.

It takes me one stop, five minutes into my train travel time to find the right character. This morning it’s a young women with long blonde hair. Her face is flushed – she must have ran for the train. A frown is etched deeply on her face. She is worried about something. I can run with that. I open my laptop, change my playlist to my usual jazz station, and just let inspiration guide me through her life.

***

It’s been a constant strings of downs recently. Something happens that completely knocks me off my feet and just as I think I can deal with it and start moving on from the blow, something else happens. It’s like I’m trying to swim against the current in the ocean. Just as I move two inches ahead, a wave or a strong currents knocks me right back. Heck sometimes its pulls me under and by pure willpower I manage to get back above water. With every knock my body grows weaker. I’m getting tired. How long I can keep swimming is completely unknown. I can feel that I’m close to my breaking point. A complete mental breakdown is in my foreseeable future. That’s for sure.

These past three weeks has been the worst three weeks of my short life. First my grandmother died. It didn’t catch my off guard, she was a very old and frail women but damn do I love her so much. I still can’t completely wrap my head around the fact that she’s no longer around. She’s always been there for me. I have to fight back the tears at her memory. She will be missed that’s for sure. Not even three days after she passed in her sleep, I got my test results. Five hundred and sixty seven points. I failed my exam by three fucking points. Three points. Yes that is three ones. The fact that it would take me three months to retake the exam and what this delay means for my job just finished the knock with a big red cherry on top of the shitty cake life is currently baking for me. I’m not a superstitious person but it’s safe to say that three isn’t my lucky number. Three days after my results came online I got post in the mail. The downstairs apartment heater burst. When repairing the pipeline the repairman discovered an underlying problem which would mean the entire building heater pipeline needs to be fixed. It basically means a month at best without any heat and construction workers throughout the entire day. They tried to lessen the blow by lowering our rent but it stills sucks. It’s fucking freezing and a proper heater is ridiculously expensive. It sure as hell doesn’t help that they need to put the electricity off in the entire building while working on the pipeline which basically means whatever food you have in your fridge will probably go bad. You would think because it’s so cold outside the cooler temperature inside the house would work as a fridge and keep your food cool. Unfortunately luck is anything but on my side.

Three days after this letter, I get another wonderful blow from work. The potential client who I’ve been breaking my back to win over the last month decided to go another route. Even though I did practically everything to please this guy, my boss still felt compelled to blame me for their choice. He was anything but pleased with my work performance. Not only did I fail a very easy test – his words not mine – I lost a big client. Thinking that hey life can’t possibly get worse, Sunday arrives with such a big knock that I nearly drowned.

I went out to see another client and although I meant to go back to the office to catch up on some extra work, I decided to head to Gareth’s place. With my crazy workload I haven’t been able to see my boyfriend in weeks. I figured hey I have a hour to spare. Let’s quickly pop in and surprise him with a early dinner. I go out of my way to stop at our favorite pizza place before begrudgingly speed walking through the rain to his apartment. I let myself in as I’ve done so many times before. I sit the pizza down on the kitchen counter and put the lights on as I walk through the apartment. Is he sleeping? A grunt leads me to his bedroom. What on earth is he doing? Before I could even brain storm what action is behind the sound, his grunt is followed by a moan. A women’s moan. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what he is doing. Pure hot anger runs through  my veins as I slam open his bedroom door. My best guess was correct. The piece of shit clearly doesn’t know the meaning of a faithful relationship. With a battle cry that could scare a bear, I use all my upper body strength to throw his most prized trophy above the bed. It goes straight through half of his wall and the sound halts their movements. He looks up and I take great satisfaction is the pure horror crossing his features. He jumps up and frantically covers himself spewing excuses over his actions.

“I’m sorry! It didn’t mean anything!”

“It only happened once!”

“It was an accident!” Oh yeah sure because you just tripped and entered her. I mean sure that happens in real life. I turn around, grab my pizza and slam the door shut. I kept my cool all the way to the station. It was only when I sat down that I started to cry. Full blown sobbing. A year of my life down the drain.

For the next three days I try my utmost best to accept what happened and move on from it but the fact that the piece of shit already changed his Facebook status and proudly declared his actions and new bae to our shared Facebook friends sure as hell didn’t help the sting. At this point I chant to myself that it can’t possibly get worse. It’s been two weeks of hell. It’s going to get better now however life felt like it hasn’t done enough to bring me to my knees. It throws food poisoning into the mix. A very bad case of it too. The whole nine yards; nausea, vomiting, watery and bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramp and a fever that made me hallucinates. The doctor booked me off work for two days but my boss being the complete and utter asshole he is send me work I can do from home while I deal with my heartbreak – his words. He also proceeded to take my two sicks days from my vacation days. Just as I recovered a great big red truck hit me like a ton of bricks. Figuratively of course although literally isn’t farfetched with how life is going at the moment. I’ve missed my period. Double checking the calendar tells me that I’ve missed my shark week by two weeks. I do the math and the color drains from my face. Oh god. I can’t. I just can’t. Realizing that I’m two weeks late at 9pm at night can really ruin things. Unable to rest, I detour out in the dangerous night at the nearby gas station. Hopefully they have it. I don’t know if you could consider it lucky but the gas station had the test – in a trusted brand as well – and I didn’t get mugged on my journey. Once home I pee on the little stick that could possibly change my entire life and waited the nail biting three minutes. The timer rang and I begrudgingly glanced down at the test. Two lines. Positive. No. No. No. I can’t be pregnant. After rocking myself for who knows how long on my bathroom floor; I’ve managed to accept or well wrap my head around the latest news. Twenty three, single and pregnant.

For the rest of the night I sit awake, browsing the internet about pregnancy, the joy of being a single young mother and how to magically grow a money tree. It doesn’t take me long to figure out that I’m going to need help. Although the idea of crawling back to my parents and begging for their help feels like another knock to the gut, I realize that there is nothing I can do about it. I can’t control life. Sometimes stuff happens for a reason, right? As my morning alarm goes off for work; I realize I never even slept and I have a ten hour working day ahead of me. Running to catch my train I begged life to just give me a break. Just give me four days to figure shit out. Please number three. Set me free.

***

I save the document before closing my laptop. Damn this girl had three weeks from hell.

“Arriving at Newcrest station in two minutes. This is the end station of the train. Please take all your belongings when you leave. Don’t forget to check out and have a lovely day.” I should probably give her a happy ending although giving all my characters happy endings isn’t my style. I put my laptop in its bag and start the process of putting on my coat. I glance in the direction of the worried lady and think to myself; ‘I hope your next three weeks goes by without a hitch.’

Find the next chapter here — (If there isn’t a link that means I have yet to update the latest chapter.)

General Life Tips

Nail Care Advice | From Nail Biter To Oh Mamma Mia That’s Sharp

My nails has gone through many stages in my life. They’ve been damaged. They’ve been brittle. They’ve been chewed at. They’ve seen it all. However thanks to these few tricks they’ve recovered into the beauties they are today. Let me just insert a picture so you know what I’m talking about.

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I can’t pinpoint the moment I started biting my nails but I can pinpoint the exact moment I stopped. I was at school on a very random day. I was about two classes in and I was walking to my next class. This girl in front of me, she opened the door so her hands caught my attention, was absolutely beautiful. Long –way too long for our school standards- and healthy. It made her fingers look dainty. I looked down to my own nails who were chewed to the point I was nibbling on skin. It was horrendous. I don’t have a picture but I’m going to see what Google has to compare. Wait my husband’s nails is basically how mine used to look like. I’m going to insert the picture now. If your squeamish please look away –or well scroll away.

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Okay his nails aren’t that bad. It used to be a hell of a lot worse but recently he has been better. I threatened to paint his nails if he doesn’t consciously try to stop. And by paint his nails I mean bright red that he needs to carry around for a week. Anyway I’m moving slightly off topic. You’re probably wondering how I stopped…how that one glance at a random girls hands made me rethink years of serious nail biting. It was quite simple really. I didn’t like how my nails looked and I vowed to myself at that very moment that I’m done. I’m not going to bite my nails anymore. And I did actually stop. After that day I never bit my nails again. It’s funny really. Before that moment I’ve tried so many things. That disgusting tasting nail polish you put on. That rub chili pepper on your fingers. It never worked. My conclusion is that it was all in the mind. Before I made the conscious clear decision that I won’t bite my nails anymore I only went into the anti nail biting things with oh it would be nice if I could stop kind of vibe. Is this even making sense? You won’t stop till you WANT to stop. You won’t change till you WANT to change. Sometimes you will need help from others but sometimes your decision alone to stop or change is ENOUGH.

I stopped biting my nails when I was about fifteen or sixteen. It was all hanky dory. I would get into trouble at the school for long nails and I would be forced to cut them. My nails were growing without any problems. They were healthy. Oh I should probably explain the whole school being an asshole about my nails. In South Africa all public schools follow a strict uniform structure. There was a large amount of rules of how you look and dress for school. The length of your nails was never allowed to be longer than your finger. So if you turn your hand and you can see nail bits sticking over, it’s too long. There was exception to the rule however. On special events if you get your nails done two days before you were allowed to wear the said pretty nails to school. It was only once and around our school prom. It was my second time getting acrylics. The first time was the year before in my summer holiday. It was a disaster. The job was quite bad as in it took literally two hours for the one nail to chip and ruin the whole look. Removing the acrylics was a disaster too because I was on holiday in the middle of nowhere. There was a professional at hand to remove the nails. So I did it at home and let’s just say my nails was in the worst condition I’ve seen it in YEARS. It was thin, brittle and just well brittle. It wasn’t a good look. It took my nails months to recover and return to its healthy self prior to the acrylics. So after the second time I went to a professional to remove them as I thought this time around my post acrylic nails would a hell of a lot better. It wasn’t. Same thing. Thin and brittle. I tried acrylics two more times in the next two years. It was the same old thing. Thin and brittle. The last time I wore it, I vowed to never touch the things again. It was extra thin and brittle. It took me a year to healthy nails again and I had to do a lot to get there. I will get to it in a moment. Just after my nails recovered I went to get my hair done and they offered a free gel nails with the package. As it was free I was all for it. The nail technician promised that gel is a hell of a lot better for your nails than acrylics. I figured it was worth a try at least once. REGRET. Post gel nails was thin and brittle. It took another few months of treatment to recover and as I sit today I can tell you I won’t be doing that again. Lesson learned. I will stick to the good old nail polish and my nails thank me for it.

Here is what I did to recover from all the shit I did to my nails and how I got it so strong, long and healthy today.

To treat my thin and brittle nails I would apply nail hardener once a week. I did this for years. Eventually the treatment had my nails strong and hard. Almost too hard. If your nails are too hard one wrong move, too much pressure will break your nail. My natural nails were growing in strong enough. I didn’t need to apply the hardener anymore. So I switched over to nail oil to moisturize and keep my nails healthy between nail polish applications and daily life. It worked like a dream!

My main piece of advice is to stay consistent with the right treatment your nails need at the time and be patient. It’s going to take time. Before I leave here is a video link to my favorite nail YouTuber and her advice on the matter. Her handle is Simply Nailogical and she is the holo mother to many. It’s a nail thing. Here is the link. It is a very helpful video and I would definitely recommend it if you’re trying to grow your nails.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Mn-5pWLErg

That’s all the advice I got. Best of luck and I will see you in a click!

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Nutrition Tips

What Happens To Me When I Get ‘Glutened’ | Celiac Disease

There is quite a large difference between my body’s reaction with a small scale gluten and a large scale gluten. Both events are equally uncomfortable and something I wouldn’t like to repeat.

Small Scale

What I mean by a small scale reaction is just what it sounds. I got a small amount of gluten in my system as in traces of another product –we didn’t wash the pan correctly or I used Onno’s spoon by mistake. It could also come from a product made in a factory where they handle gluten. It’s small amounts. Heck it could even be from we used a pinch of spices that contains gluten or I prepared food on a dirty platform so some bread crumbs was on the table and it got on my food. It really could be the smallest thing and it would be enough. Here is two examples.

I went to a football (soccer) game with Onno and his family and bought a glass of water. No food and water is allowed to enter the arena so you buy what’s available. As you can guess the first thirty minutes after the gates open and before the game begins all of the service counters are beyond the point of busy. They pump out drinks and foods left and right. The main drink being served is a beer. They pour the drink in a clear plastic cup. All the drinks all served in the small cup. I always get water that they pour from a water bottle into the same clear plastic cup. I got gluten in my system and started to feel the effects just as we pulled out of the parking lot. There was some beer in my glass. I didn’t taste it but that’s the only thing that makes sense. The second time we went I asked to buy a bottle as I don’t really want to go two hours without a drink but they refuse to sell it. So I have yet to figure out just how I can enjoy a game with something to drink without getting sick. Another example is the popcorn at the movies. It was something I had to confirm as normal popcorn we buy from the shop never gives us a problem but alas the spice mixture they use at the movies contains gluten.

So now that you get a clear idea just how small the gluten could be to make me sick, I can tell you just how sick I get.

  • Stomach pain
  • Heavy stomach bloating
  • Nauseous
  • Exhaustion
  • Dizziness
  • Foggy Brain

The recovery from a small scale attack take two to three days. The stomach bloating which is so large and uncomfortable won’t go away for about four days. I will have some stomach cramps but it’s bearable (sometimes). Sometimes I will have blood in my next number two bathroom trip.

Big Scale

I haven’t had a big scale attack in a year if not more. The amount of gluten needs to be an actual normal product as in a donut, muffin, pasta, pizza literally anything that’s the usual thing you can get. Big scale attacks are extreme and so painful. I can barely put it into words.

  • Extreme stomach pain and cramps
  • Extreme stomach bloating (nine months pregnant type of stomach in minutes)
  • Extreme nauseous
  • Extreme exhaustion
  • Extreme dizziness
  • Extreme foggy brain

The recovery time from a big scale attack can take weeks. The attack is anything but bearable. I ball into myself and sob from the pain. For the next few days, all of my number two’s have blood in it. I also lose all of my appetite. It is anything but pleasant.

The point of this blog is really just to show that although some people follow a gluten free diet because they feel it would benefit them in weight loss other are physically allergic to the protein. If someone orders a gluten free meal don’t give them an attitude about it. Be respectful because honey if you gluten me for shit and giggles (it has happened before) I will punch you in the gut so at least you can feel half of the pain I do. Okay wow that is aggressive but it really does anger me. How hard is it to respect others? I’m going to end this blog here as I’m really not sure where this is going.

I wish you all the best and I will see you in a click!

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General Life Tips

Education Can Be Free

When I was in high school I knew going to university to study simply isn’t an option. We were struggling to make ends meet so higher education was the last thing of our worries. Things in my life changed and I have more opportunities today than I could ever dream off.

I discovered this website a year ago and I would hundred percent recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more. It has almost anything you can think off. You just need to take the time and study. Internet connection would be a bonus but there is ways around it where it shouldn’t be a game changer. If you really want something, then make it work. Do yourself a favor and check out the company called; edX. This next snippet is from their about page.

*Quality education for everyone, everywhere

Our Mission: Increase access to high-quality education for everyone, everywhere. Enhance teaching and learning on campus and online. Advance teaching and learning through research.

Our Story: Founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012, edX is an online learning destination and MOOC provider, offering high-quality courses from the world’s best universities and institutions to learners everywhere. With more than 90 global partners, we are proud to count the world’s leading universities, nonprofits, and institutions as our members. EdX university members top the QS World University Rankings® with our founders receiving the top honors, and edX partner institutions ranking highly on the full list.

You, Our Global Learning Community: Our students come from every country in the world! Whether you are interested in computer science, languages, engineering, psychology, writing, electronics, biology, or marketing, we have the course for you!

Our Difference: We were founded by and continue to be governed by colleges and universities. We are the only leading MOOC provider that is both nonprofit and open source.*

Click on this link to learn more — www.edx.org

I’ve done one course through them and let me tell you, I learned so much! It is definitely worth it. I did however take the verified option as I thought it might be a smart move to take. This did cost money. I also feel the need to add that I was very disappointed when I got my certificate and it didn’t show my grade. Throughout the course I worked very hard to get a good grade. I wrote it in myself as life was just being an asshole in week 5. I needed to see my grade. I also want to note that I’ve seen a few courses that is not in fact free but do keep an eye out. It is very easy to see if it’s free and etc. It is very easy to join and enroll. I also want to add that I prefer to take courses from a verified school as I feel like the information can be trusted. I really hope this helped someone.

Here is the courses I’m going to take somewhere in the next year (or two, or three, its endless). I’m back to studying Dutch –insert a groan from pure frustration- so till that is behind me these courses will have to wait.

I’m going to take six courses in psychology offered by the university of British Columbia. Followed by many nutrition and human body related courses offered by many respected universities. I’m going to take course on human health and genetics. I’m also interested in a course on the science and practice of yoga. I’m also going to look into a lot of mental health courses and so much more. So even though I don’t plan to go to an university and get a degree I plan on learning everything I find interesting that will benefit and improve my way of life. I’m always eager to learn more, and more, and more. You get it!

I wish you all the best and see you in a click!

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Fitness Tips

Challenge: Push And Plank For 10min In 30 Days (Level 3: Third Wheel)

Do you like a challenge? This is a 30 day challenge where you start with a short amount of time doing the oh so dreaded plank and as you get stronger and more dead inside, you push the limits and plank longer the next day. All the way till you can stop and plank for 10 minutes.

This is for someone in the third wheel of fitness. So if you’ve been working out for a long time now and really know your way through the gym this is definitely something to space things up for you. It’s a great way to challenge yourself.

Happy Planking!

600sec plank 3

120sec – 2min / 180sec – 3min / 240sec – 4min / 300sec – 5min / 360sec – 6min / 420sec – 7min / 480sec – 8min / 540sec – 9min / 600sec – 10min

PS: If you complete or join the challenge use the hashtag #fitcouchpotatochallenge so I can get in touch with you.

Fitness Tips

Challenge: Push And Plank For 5min In 30 Days (Level 2: Middle Child)

Do you like a challenge? This is a 30 day challenge where you start with a short amount of time doing the oh so dreaded plank and as you get stronger and more dead inside, you push the limits and plank longer the next day. All the way till you can stop and plank for 5 minutes.

This is for the middle child in fitness. So if you’ve been working out for a hot minute and kind of know a thing or a two and just feel like a change than this is definitely something fun for you. It’s a great way to challenge yourself and build your strength.

Happy Planking! 

300sec plank 2

60sec – 1min / 120sec – 2min / 180sec – 3min / 240sec – 4min / 300sec – 5min

PS: If you complete or join the challenge use the hashtag #fitcouchpotatochallenge so I can get in touch with you.

Fitness Tips

Challenge: Push And Plank For 2,5min In 30 Days (Level 1: Beginners Luck)

Do you like a challenge? This is a 30 day challenge where you start with a short amount of time doing the oh so dreaded plank and as you get stronger and more dead inside, you push the limits and plank longer the next day. All the way till you can stop and plank for 2,5 minutes.

This is for beginners. So if you’re new and just decided to make a change in your life this is definitely something fun for you. It’s a great way to start and build your strength.

Happy Planking! 

150sec plank 1

30sec – 0,5min / 60sec – 1min / 90sec – 1,5min / 120sec – 2min / 150sec – 2,5min

PS: If you complete or join the challenge use the hashtag #fitcouchpotatochallenge so I can get in touch with you.