My Dog Who Chews

When my dog chews a bone, she chews it with so much gusto, I wonder, why?

What is it about this solid form that entertains her so much, and stops her chewing my trousers, my shoes, my sofa, fluff from under the sofa, my boots, my coat, the cat, her bed, my bed, me?

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She travels along the floor as she inadvertently pushes it away with the force of her chewing. She slowly travels in a zigzag line across the carpet. She is so focussed on putting things in her mouth to chew. That’s all she is doing.

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Chewing.

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Chewing.

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Chewing.

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Dogs have mindfulness sussed, I think.

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Turning the tables with Turmeric

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Ahhh dear, sweet coffee, you have been my constant companion for decades. For years we have strolled streets, sat in cafes, you’ve been the eavesdropper to many conversations and confessions, the giver of life, and a gift of love. But, we all knew it could not last and over the years, I have tried my hardest to escape you, to give you and caffeine the slip, to release myself from  your grip. And how catastrophically have I failed! But now it seems, I am on to a winner, a new boost, a kick in the right direction, with Turmeric. The golden latte of love.

I have long been drawn to Turmeric, it’s an anti inflammatory, and as someone whose skin seems to be in a constant state of flux, I have always sought the natural remedy route. For the last few months I have been adding Turmeric to my smoothies, and then I tried a Turmeric Cortado, courtesy of Burr & Co, in Edinburgh, and am sold on it’s buzz.

A long lover of Matcha Green Tea, I now swap my mornings with a cup of one of the other. Turmeric and it’s spicy, honey and cinnamon sweetened taste tempts me, more often than not and stirring the pan of golden loveliness is captivating in itself.

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There is enough mysticism in a cup of this eastern nectar, that you feel transported to the streets of the ancients, the age old medicinal benefits coursing your bones.

I make mine, (and I checked with Ozzie, in LA, teaching Yoga, again, on this!)

  • two teaspoons of turmeric powder
  • honey to taste
  • a grind of black pepper
  • a pinch cinnamon
  • 2 cups of almond or oat milk

Black pepper helps your body absorb the Turmeric, as it’s a heady spice on its own, so make sure you add it, or if you can’t bear it, make sure you ingest it on something else throughout your day.

Enjoy, the mysticism and the magic of the Golden Latte <3

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Raw Cacao – a hug in a mug

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My friend Ozzie, who lives in LA, teaching yoga, recently advised me to get on board with Raw Cacao. Of course i’d heard of it because I haven’t been living under a stone lately, but I’d never tried it.

I tried to source it locally to me in Edinburgh, (North) but failed and took to Amaze-on. As a prime account holder I am always amazed you can order something and sometimes have it delivered the same day! I mean, it’s almost like going into a shop and picking it off a shelf – Imagine!

I’m not going to lie, I was totally geeking out at the raw cacao arriving, not just because of the swiftness, but the goodness that was about to envelope me and my family!

Raw Cacao is packed full of health benefits including; promoting feelings of happiness, antioxidants and magnesium for a healthy immune system and heart and it is a source of iron and calcium.

Plus, did I mention it is chocolate? Oh boy, YES! Raw Cacao is the same beans used for all chocolate, but cold pressed and unroasted to preserve its natural nutrients. Cocoa, typically found in all chocolate, is roasted and heavily processed, adding in sugar to make it sweeter.

The Aztecs and the Mayans held raw cacao in such high regard it was considered liquid gold! I defy you not to run out and buy some now, and make it a store cupboard staple. Add it to smoothies, cakes, baking, or simply mix a teaspoon of Raw cacao powder into some almond or oat milk, add cinnamon and honey to taste, and enjoy. I raise my cup to you x

Overnight Oats

I was wary of overnight oats, mainly because I love oats, and didn’t want to fall out with them. If a cold oat isn’t in a sweet and buttery flapjack form, how on earth could they be good?

I’m a convert now though, it’s a case of finding the right combination of add ons, and letting them sit a little when you’ve taken them out of the fridge. Now, don’t quote me on this, but I’ve even heard of people warming them up the next day. That’s right. Warm overnight oats. It kinda makes me think they should have just saved their time and made porridge but hey, I’m not judging anyone, least of all someone who doesn’t want to eat a cold oat.

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The ones pictured had Pomegranate, Blueberries and Honey added in, but you can add in what you like, as long as you stick to the basic recipe. Mix equal parts of raw oats with any variation of milk. I used Almond Milk, because, well if you’re going to make something healthy, you might as well go all out. Now, some people add in greek yogurt, but I’ve never tried that, or indeed had to.

It’s important to stick to the basic recipe or you  will have too much excess liquid, but go nuts with toppings! You can add them the night before when you make the mixture up, or wait until the next day, the decision is yours!

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Writing – Is it the dream job?

When I was a little girl, aged around 5, our teacher asked our small class to write down what we wanted to be when we were older. It was a simple task, but I hadn’t given it any thought before that time. I can remember this moment vividly because it caused me so much distress. I chewed my pencil,  I got really, really upset, and I cried.

The world was so vast. While my classmates were scribbling down Fireman, Astronaut, Teacher, and the like, I stared at my blank page. I remember the teacher walking around the room, stopping by each child, chatting happily. This was supposed to be a light, easy task. There seemed to be so much pressure to choose right in that moment.

The teacher stopped by my desk, to help console me, “Why don’t you be a writer? You’re very good at that”, she said and patted my head. It was the days when teachers could pat your head. It was also the days when the Headteacher would give you a Cola Cube if you were sent to his office for good work. Incidentally, if the famous Cola Cube jar was empty, he would give you 20p and send you off to the local shops to replenish his supply. Being sent to the shops by Mr Dennington, was better than getting a gold star. It showed he trusted you, not only with the money, but the responsibly of leaving the school and picking up the sweets. These were such important life lessons, and for a scrappy little thing like me, cheeky to a fault, being entrusted with anything was a really big deal.

Anyway, the writer suggestion fell on deaf ears. I did not want to be a writer. Writing was boring. I could fly in spaceships, aeroplanes, travel the world, see the world, I was hardly likely to be a writer. Not when there were so many fabulous careers to choose from. As I couldn’t pick, and time was pressing on, I had to reluctantly write down “Writer”, but I did it with the heavy heart of a 5 year old. The same kind of heavy heart you got when the ice-cream van merrily scooted off down the road, just as you’d come back out into the streets with your 25p. IMG_2867

 

Now, years, ( yeah, okay, and years), later, I am a writer, I earn my living being paid to write and it is AWESOME! The world of blogging opened up writing to me, remember this post? Seems like yesterday.

Blogging has opened up writing for so many people, so many voices are heard through blogging and I think it’s wonderful! Writing has introduced me to so many different people and places, and I am so grateful to have finally succumbed to it.

Now I am writing films, as I said I would way back when I started my education in film. Wowee!

 

Ready Made Smoothie Mixes

Now, I’ve learned over time that smoothies are probably one of the easiest things to make, so you don’t really need a recipe. I’m a BIG fan of chucking the fruits and vegetables I like, into a blender, blitzing and drinking. I do know, however, that it’s nice to follow a recipe as a guide.

Carting home a truck load of fruit and vegetables can sometimes be a chore in itself, so I’ve reached out into the freezer cabinet and tried these two ready made smoothie mixes from Morrisons. (Not an ad). I was intrigued by these as I mentioned above, it’s hard to cart home boxes of fruit and vegetables. Plus, I’m a fan of putting vegetables into smoothies, not just fruit, as fruit = sugar. The Purple One had Strawberries, Blueberries, Avocado, and Spinach. Yum! The Orange One was Papaya, Carrots and Pineapple.

I’m happy to report that both were yummy. Unable to stop myself from chucking in things I like, I added Chai and Flax seeds to both, for those all important Omega 3’s, and mixed with Almond Milk, not apple juice as recommended. Now, I’m not telling Morrisons how to do their job, but do we need that extra sugar? No, we don’t. Less sugar, better you.  I also added blueberries to the Orange One, as, well, why not? Blueberries are a fantastic antioxidant, source of Vitamin C and Potassium. Yum!

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The first time I tried it, it was difficult to get the frozen fruits to mix, because i’d added in liquids, which made them solidify to the sides of the blender. Ouch! No amount of shaking, frustrating, and the like, could get them to budge, so I sat it out on the counter for half an hour to allow it to thaw. I had more success the next time I made one, as I started to mix with just a little liquid, which allowed the frozen fruits their own mixture time. Lesson learned!

All in all, I think these two mixes were great, they certainly tasted yummy, were easy to drink and, most importantly, filled me up. PLUS, they were super healthy. I’m watchful of the amount of sugar involved, and will be keen to add them to my shopping list for their ease of use.

 

Project Health – Living with Rosacea and Thyroid Disease.

On this day, May 26th, I have made a big decision. Let me share…

Last night I watched myself act in my friends short film, ‘Mute’, as part of the 48hour film project. When asked to do the role, my friend explained the character was a depressed woman, locked in her flat, no make-up, dark circles. “Great”, I said, “I won’t even need to go into make-up!”. I wasn’t kidding.

Now, most of you might think it was insane, to go on a big screen with no make up on. But I knew I had to do it. I knew I had to show myself, to myself, if that makes sense. I knew I couldn’t hide, I knew I couldn’t ‘put a filter’ on it, or put my head down, as I am fond of doing lately. 

And it was that moment, right there, that I realised a lifestyle change was due.  Okay, not right there, but definitely when the film was shown. There I was, on screen, on the big screen I might add, looking hideous. 

Now, I don’t mind, how I look most of the time. I grew up in the wonderful time we call the 80’s and 90’s, when looks were nowhere near as important as they are today. So, i’m all good with my chubby face, I’m even good with my ageing. But, I’m not as okay with my rosacea. Which, incidentally, was full on, angry red, on screen. And, that was the turning point. Seeing myself, on the big screen, full on ARRF (angry red resting face), made me think I HAVE to start making some better lifestyle choices.

Now, I have tried everything for Rosacea, but nothing has worked. I think this is because I have a Thyroid Disease. I’ve had this for 15 years, and my doctor thought for 10 years before it was diagnosed, so most of my life. I’ve been taking medication for 15 years, which has never affected me, but now it’s starting to show. Lack of energy, poor skin, nails and hair, and of late, my mind, urgh! When I take a lower medication dose, my skin clears like magic. Is this a coincidence? Unlikely. Now, I can’t not take the medication, so I have tried everything else instead.

I have have my skin microdermobrased, lasered, and PRP’d, but one thing I have never fully followed is a real healthy lifestyle. Monitoring what I put into my body, and how I function in my day to day. Staying away from stress, away from pollutants and standing firm with vitamins and exercise. 

It is time to take a good look at myself, and start to put project health in place. I have just finished a degree, have a wonderful partner, two grown up children, and a great new job. I have lots of ducks in a row, now, it’s time to put myself back in the room.

The best place to start any project, is to research, research, research. First, what do I have that I can use? The second thing is how will I do this? I’ve already outlined that below in bold.

  • I have a juicer, a blender and a freezer full of frozen smoothie mixes – I have to start using them. 
  • I have a gym 5 minutes from my house – I need to re-join and work out a programme. 
  • I have the internet and an Amazon account – I need to do my food research, buy the right books, follow the correct recipes and start making healthy meals and snacks. 

And this is where you find me now, I have pledged, I am ready. Watch this space as they say!

It’s Only Hair

Like most women, I know my hair very well, I know what colour suits me, what cut suits me, and how to style it. The joy I have in my hair is mirrored by the lack of experience some hairdressers have with it. This experience, I know, comes because they do not know it as well as I do. They do not wake up with it in a dishevelled mess every morning, they do not spend hours straightening that one fussy bit that just will not sit right. And, it is not their fault, it is not their lack of hair knowledge, it comes from the fact that I am a fan of spur of the moment new hairdresser visits. These hairdressers barely know me, let alone have time to acquaint themselves with my locks.

It’s a flippant side to my nature that often gets me in trouble, but more often that not provides a stream of hair anecdotes.

My hair is important to me. Yours is probably important to you too. Your hair being ruined would probably cause you a few moments of sadness. It’s our crowning glory after all, and when it’s not looking, feeling or sitting right, it can throw us off a little bit.

Currently, mine is causing me no end of problems. I know it’s hair, only hair, and that it will grow, but, still. Are you with me?

This post comes from my recent experience in not one, but two hairdressers.

The first hairdresser was a bubbly sort, who raved with me about the Midi cut, so much so that I booked in with her. I actually booked to have this done. And was left somewhat surprised by the very obvious, and very short, ‘pob’ like cut I was faced with in the mirror.

No worries, I breezed (and suppressed my tears), it will grow. It’s only hair.

A few weeks, one holiday, and a short film later, I was still studying the cut curiously. It did not suit my face. I have a chubby face, but don’t worry, i’m used to it. I put it to left, to the right, I shook it all about, but still no. Now, knowing my hair, knowing it will grow, I resolved the ONLY thing I can do to be able to live with it, was to have it lightened more to distract from the cut. Once again, I called to book an appointment, (different hairdresser) and happily went along.

I explained I wanted it platinum. Bold. Punky. More, me. We agreed. There was nodding, there was mixing, there was applying, there was removing, there was blow drying. There was the grand presenting to the mirror.  Once again, there were my tears, suppressed.

After all that chat, fuss, time, I had ended up with ‘Jen from the PTA highlights’. Was I just not explaining myself properly? What was it about me that said ‘Don’t do what I ask, or indeed, am paying you to do? Mess it up a little, I can live with it, it’s only hair!”.

That point in the chair when you’re presented to the mirror, and you’re not happy with your reflection, is the moment you feel like you really should say something, but most often, don’t. Instead, you fluff it up with your hand, almost strangle yourself trying to escape the gown, and dash home, head down, texting your friends on the way. If you speak out, you are committing the most hideous crime against humanit- oops, I mean, hairdressers.

But I was bored of this. Once could be called a mistake, but twice?

So, I spoke out! I was instantly met with, ‘You can come back and have it done again’. But why couldn’t they have just done what I asked in the beginning? Why did I have to take more time to come and have what I’d originally asked for? Why do I have to wait three months for my hair so I can feel it on my neck again?

I think a lot of hairdressers play it safe. They are so far behind all the colour and glam of You Tube tutorials from the world over. Or, are they? Maybe I am too immersed in You Tube tutorials, promising me all the colours of the rainbow. Only, this isn’t true. I do know some hairdressers who are bold, who are experimenting. Blow in Glasgow for one, and here in Edinburgh, carving out his own niche is Mathew Watt Hair. 

Why didn’t I just go there you might ask, and trust me, I am asking myself the same thing right now. I think it’s because I have an eternal hope that all hairdressers are out to make us look our best, to make us look bold, beautiful,  to inspire with their palettes and scissors! Come on, it’s not just Hair. It’s life!

Book Review: Sapiens

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I could just write, wow, and stop this post, but I think I owe to all of us to pen a few paragraphs on this fantastic book.

As a writer, slash, blogger, slash,, reader, slash, person, I love books! A few years back I turned to books that taught you something. This wonderful moment conveniently coincided with my studies, a time that I had a reading list. Being able to choose where my education came from was quite liberating. After disappearing for many years into the great, (and not so great, but albeit it entertaining), works of fiction, factual books came as quite a surprise.

Who knew books could educate as well as entertain?

I picked up Sapiens after Chris Evans recommended it on his breakfast show, the regular morning school/work run auditory choice. Moving to Radio 2, after many years as an avid Radio 1 listener has been a rite of passage. Banging house music at 8am does become tres drole in your 40’s, after all. We like the slower pace of Radio 2, we like Evans chatter, we like his nonsense, and his sense. We listen, and laugh, and sometimes sing along to the long forgotten tunes of our youth, (and sometimes, our parent’s youth). It makes for a pleasant trip.

Sapiens on the other hand, makes for an exhilarating ride through history. A veritable education on all things anthropology, human and habits. It poses the questions; Why are we here? Why do we want to be here? And answers brilliantly; THIS is how we became who we are today. It’s the best piece of research material i’ve read in years. A page turner of the highest order, gripping you with facts, and drenching you with knowledge.

I am a fan of Irish writers and can easily lose myself on a rainy day, sipping coffee, and slipping into life in Sligo. But this time, I found myself lost in a time machine of homo sapiens, neanderthals, animals, and lands long extinct. It’s the closest you will come to stepping into a dolorean.

Do you want to know why we have the society we do? Why we worship the way we do? Why we work the way we do? It’s all in here.

And the questions it poses – Why? Time and again: Why this? Why that? It gives you answers to questions you didn’t know you wanted to know. Or needed to know. And that is the point of this book, I find, You need to know these things, you need to look up from your laptops, cappuccinos, box sets, and daily grind, to find your answers. And you will most definitely find some within these pages.

To do anything with conviction, you need to be educated and well researched. So, research your humanity, research your life, research the Sapien journey. It’s a whole bunch of enlightening, humorous fun!

11/10 

Hello, again, hello..

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In an attempt to keep writing, I am going to attempt to inject some life back into this here blog. I’ve had dalliances elsewhere, I’m not going to lie, but, like a crazed lover, I keep coming back this little lady. Who I am now? I Am Karlie. Where it all began, all those years ago, with a review of Sex and The City 2, The Movie.  Then, it turned into a mix of movie reviews, a jumble of thoughts, dating advice and worries. Oh how i’ve grown.

To quote, myself, all those years ago – “Now we find our characters older and settled down, it’s not the same, but I can’t help but think if they were all STILL single and dating, just how depressing it would be. It’s comforting to know, we’ve all grown up.”

How time flies.

On this day, today, I have the first public screening of my first movie. One I have helped adapt into a screenplay, produce and direct. Tonight my University course convenes in Edinburgh’s The Filmhouse cinema. With our family and friends by our sides, we watch the hard effort and work we have put in these last few months, on the big screen.

If you had told me all those years ago, that this was the path I would have taken, then I would have laughed. But I wouldn’t have been surprised. I always said if I could go back in time, I would make movies. Heck, I started out trying to be in them, but soon realised acting was not for me. Then, after watching every movie there was to watch, I always thought I would make a good director. But it wasn’t a love of movies that brought me to studying filmmaking. Nope. It was social media. And, through a bizarre twist of events, everything that happens, some on these pages, some off them, I find myself, all these years later, in love with movies, a man, two teenagers, a pug called Poppy, and my life by the sea.

And, so here we are.

This film, The Admiral, forms part of a short film trilogy. The Admiral was the most ambitious, because it was the first. And, like a first child, we try out every technique we’ve learned, read about, spoke about, and can. We make all the mistakes – we waste money on the wrong things, we waste time doing the wrong things, and by the time we are on the second one, we’ve got a handle on it. I find i’ve filmed a few films that I haven’t put out into the public domain, and this one definitely has to go out, so it will. So, you, dear reader, will finally get to see what all the fuss about ‘I Am Karlie’ is about.

 

 

 

 

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