Category Archives: Top 5

Top 10: GIF resources, obstacle racing, home-cooked food and more

I’ve been doing a bunch of ‘Top 5’ posts recently to practice more gratitude and appreciation of cool/exciting/nice things. I’ve not posted in July so I’ve now acquired TEN awesome things that I want to share.

1) GIF Search and Reaction GIFs
Are you looking for that perfect GIF to express yourself? Check out the Giphy search site and the Reaction GIFs site for ideas!
Happy Dance
GIF taken from Reaction GIFs

2) The Futility of Comparing Yourself to Others
Just an all-round, excellent post by Leo Babauta. He gives the example of running in a park, and comparing yourself to another, obviously better, runner. BUT, when we compare ourselves to others, we don’t have all the information, so making comparisons is useless.

3) Sunrise clouds
If you aren’t a fan of clouds and you don’t follow me on Instagram, consider yourself lucky. Coz I adore ’em.
Sunrise clouds

4) Warrior Dash & Urbanathlon
If a year ago you’d told me that in a year I’d be doing things like the Warrior Dash or running for 12kms without stopping, I would have said, “YES, DAMMIT I WILL BE!”

It’s an incredible feeling to achieve goals that once seemed unattainable or scary. I was nervous putting myself up for a 5km trawl through mud and obstacles, but it was fine. I was nervous about 12kms and 10 obstacles through the city, but with some focus, training and team support, I can tick it off the list.

Shoes after Warrior Dash
There are many others to add to the ‘to-do’ list, including:

Or check out the Obstacle Racers calendar for a list of upcoming events.

5) Quinoa porridge
Quinoa Porridge
This is a bit of a treat breakfast, but healthy enough to not be too naughty! Perfect for Winter and tastes like it should be sinful. I make mine in coconut milk and a bit of water, by bringing the quinoa to the boil then simmering gently. I add raw cacao and some honey and serve with banana and cinnamon. Variations: cooking in almond milk, serving with berries. Delicious.

6) Rarotonga
In early June I visited Rarotonga for the third time. The first time was in November 2008, the second time was November last year, and this time was for a dear friend’s 30th with a great bunch of friends.
Rarotonga is in my Top 5 favourite places in the world. Check out my November post to get a better idea of why this is.
Rarotonga

7) There are so many paradises, you just have to pick one
I really enjoyed this lovely little post by Paola Parsons. Beautiful in its simplicity, it address the fact that life is never perfect, and often things can be in a state of disarray. But amongst the chaos, there is calm.

Paradise and happiness are what we make it. I choose my current paradise, it’s quite nice.

8) Sydney home-cooked food companies
I’ve already harped on about Hungry Mondays, but they’re not the only ones providing delicious, home-cooked goodness to Sydneysiders. Check out Arthur Street Kitchen and The Soup Stone for more!

Honourable mention: Auckland’s Jess’ Underground Kitchen
The Soup Stone
Harriet from The Soup Stone

9) The Ricky Gervais Guide to a Successful Career
Ricky Gervais – funny, opinionated and now, career advisor (not that he knows it!). In this post by Louise Fletcher we’re alerted to Ricky’s career/life tips, including:

  • Be true to yourself in order to achieve great work
  • You can’t please everyone, so please the right people
  • Worrying about how you’re perceived doesn’t get you anywhere, but worrying about how much value you add does

Check out the post for the full article.

10) Mark Grist on Girls Who Read
A man who speaks admirably about girls who read. In prose. #saynomore

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Top 5: Kraftwerk, Blood Service marketing, Archibald Prize, ice cream & kale chips and no time for a nap

Last week’s ‘stuff to be grateful for and admire’ includes music, marketing, art, food and an appreciation for not having enough time for a nap. Here are last week’s Top 5:

1) Music: Kraftwerk at Vivid Sydney
Kraftwerk are a German electronic music band that formed in 1970. This show had amazing sound and 3D visuals. It was so much fun, I had a sore face from smiling!

Kraftwerk

2) Marketing follow-up material from the Australia Red Cross Blood Service
I received this material a few weeks after donating blood for the first time in Australia. From a marketing point of view, I love it! It’s brought me right into the story, it’s given me accountability and made me feel a little bit spesh. However, there’s a slight flaw in this because I’m not allowed to give blood in Australia – I’m only allowed to give plasma so with this first ‘trial’ donation, unfortunately I didn’t save three lives. Still, I like this material so I’ll let it slide!

Australian Red Cross Blood Service

3) Art: Archibald Prize
On the 26th of May I went to the Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW. The portraits were talented and wonderful, but the portraits that spoke to me the most were those by the kids. Most of them chose to draw or paint one of their parents, siblings or grandparents and their commentaries of why those people are special to them brought tears to my eyes.

Love Face by Vincent Fantauzzo

Love Face by Vincent Fantauzzo (Source: Art Gallery of NSW site)

4) Culinary creations: banana cacao ice cream and kale chips
Word on the street is that kale is totally in. It’s actually been the word on the street for some time now, but I’ve only just attempted kale chips and they are delicious! I mixed torn pieces of kale with coconut oil, garlic and smoked paprika and baked them for about 10 minutes.
Another treat that I made last week was banana cacao ice cream with my flatmate. This stuff is too easy and sooooo tasty. We blended 3 frozen bananas, cacao and a dash of water to make what you see here. Next time I’ll make date caramel sauce to drizzle on top 🙂

5) No time for a nap
Last Saturday I was struck with a strange thought. I’d been out late the night before, got four hours of sleep, went to a boxing class in the park, had brunch with the good people from the class, and then took a walk to buy produce from the markets. I had a few key tasks to tick off the ‘to do’ list before meeting a friend in the city for a gig that evening. Feeling pretty tired, I was hoping to take a nap before the show, but I didn’t have enough time. And that’s when the thought struck me: I had an amazing day with friends, fitness, sunshine and fresh food, and my biggest ‘problem’ of the day was not having enough spare time for a quick snooze. Not having enough time to nap because the day held so many great experiences and people to enjoy them with? Now that’s a thought to be very grateful for indeed.

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Top 5: Tim Tam Slam, start a business checklist, Melbourne sunrise, food blog, Australian Writers’ Centre

Came across some delicious, pretty, funny and useful stuff this last week. The world is pretty awesome!

1) Tim Tam Slam
How did I not know about this? Maybe because I don’t habitually enjoy biscuits, but had to make an exception for this. You basically bite off little bits from diagonal corners, use the Tim Tam as a straw until you can taste your hot drink, then EAT! I’m going to have to try this again because I was laughing too hard from excitement the first time. Thanks Kimmy for introducing me to this wonder in Melbourne last week!

Image from Baking for the Office blog

2) Starting a Business  – The Great Big Checklist of Everything
Came across this fantastic post on docstoc.com. It lists off everything you need to know about starting a business, including:

  • Ideation and Protecting Ideas
  • Forming your Entity
  • Identity and Branding
  • Financing and Business Planning
  • Operations
  • Financial Planning and Accounting
  • Business Mentors
  • Building a Team
  • Human Resources
  • Sales
  • Marketing and PR
  • Insurance
  • Legal
  • Service / Retail / Online

The ins and outs will change for each country, but the pointers are a great place to start. Read the post here.

3) Sunrise in St Kilda, Melbourne
I was in Melbourne last week for work and enjoyed a jog in St Kilda during sunrise. Say no more!

4) We Call Him Yes! Chef! – food blog
I love this blog – it’s written well and has wicked photos! Although I haven’t yet made any of the recipes, I’ve taken many ideas from this blog and I have certainly got some of the meals on my ‘to try’ list. YUM.

Photo from the They Call Him Yes! Chef!

Photo from the They Call Him Yes! Chef! blog

5) Australian Writers’ Centre 
I’m 3 weeks into a 5-week Screenwriting Stage 1 course, and loving it! I’ve been a fan of good script for a while, but I didn’t realise that this course would give so much insight into effective storytelling. In turn, it’s a course that I’d recommend to anyone who needs to tell stories (or is in marketing/advertising/PR).

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Top 5: TEDxSydney, make another person’s day, VW Golf advert, Le Creuset, Here is Today

The clear ‘Top 5’ highlight this week was TEDxSydney. It was a day of inspiration and ideas and I’m probably still a little high from it! Here’s this week’s Top 5 things I’ve enjoyed:

1) TEDxSydney
I was stoked to be accepted as part of the live audience for TEDxSydney 2013. The whole day was incredible – the speakers, the setup, the attendees, the food! I loved every part.
TEDxSydney name badge
Some of the best bits included:

  • The opening talk, by Ron McCallum, on ‘The Blind Reading Revolution.’ A must-watch.
  • Danny Kennedy on solar power.
  • A video about how crowdfarming was used to feed the attendees.
  • Lawyer Jennifer Robinson on ‘Courage is Contagious.’ She made everyone in the room want to become a human rights activist.
  • Tasty Video Bit by Saatchi & Saatchi: “The First Taste” – a slow-motion video of kids trying new foods.
  • The performance by beatbox extraordinaire Tom Thum was AMAZING! Here’s a video of him jamming backstage with John Butler and Jeff Lang.
  • Joost Bakker’s talk on sustainable and zero waste buildings was rad. He’s doing some awesome things. Check out his website.
  • This Tasty Video Bit by The Projects and Paper House Productions was adorable. Hank and the Pink Balloon.
  • Meeting a woman called Alison Covington at afternoon tea. Alison is bringing Good360 to Australia. It’s all about matching corporate “waste” with charitable need and I’ll be heading along to this event on the 5th of June to learn more.
  • Spending the day with some of the awesome crew that organises TEDxAuckland. Aucklanders, keep an eye out – the 2013 event is happening in a few months and I might just see you there!

2) Make another person’s day in unexpected ways
This post on LinkedIn by Jeff Haden made me smile. He highlights 6 great ways to make another person’s day. In summary:

  • Use your free time to do something nice for someone else, not because you’re expected to, but because you can
  • Compliment someone for something they did a long time ago
  • Point out when you’ve been referred, and who referred you
  • Compliment people for something they don’t expect
  • Notice when someone does something out of their norm
  • Let someone know that you see something in them that they don’t see yet – even if you can’t quite yet see it, either. Give them hope and show them you believe in them

Very happy dog
Oh, and there’s this really cute picture of a dog. ‘Nuff said. (Source)

3) VW: The new Golf advert

There are so many crap ads, so it’s nice when you come across one that can hold your attention. Anyone with a sibling can relate to the kid at 0:13, and I like the divorce proceedings at 0:27. The only thing that’s a bit silly here is how close to a cricket game the guy in the last scene has parked his beloved Golf, but I’ll let that slide. All in all, this is a solid advert.

4) Le Creuset store
Now in Sydney: Un petit bout de France! The beautiful cookware of Le Creuset is now in its own stand-alone store at 106 King St, near Pitt St Mall. I believe I’ll be spending a fair bit of time (and money) in there….

Le Creuset

5) Perspective: Here is Today 
This clever site is a nice reminder of the fact that we’re ultimately here for a fleeting moment. Click through to see how small one day in the grand scheme of things. Damn well, make it count.

Here is today

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Top 5: Gifs, slow food, startup ideas, recorder intro and Daft Punk

In an attempt to express more gratitude and awareness of all the good things in life, I’m embarking on a little project. Once a week I’ll post my ‘Top 5’ of the week – things that made me think, smile, marvel, laugh, appreciate or reflect. I hope you’ll enjoy them, too.

This week’s Top 5 are:

1) The Great Gif

Great Gatsby gif
After Titanic came out I had Leo posters covering my walls for several years. He is divine, and I’m looking forward to seeing him in action again in The Great Gatsby. Put Leo in a gif, and a Great Gatsby gif at that, and I’m yours. Thank you to @kingnivin for spotting and sharing this – check out Nivin’s post here. He writes about how gifs could be the next big thing in movie promotion. I agree.
Gif from The Great Gatsby promo Tumblr.

2) Hungry Mondays deliciousness
Hungry Mondays is delicious, slow cooked food that I buy pretty much every week. A group of chefs slow cook two different dishes every week and sell them for $9 a portion (if you pick up from a few handy locations). One of last week’s dishes was my favourite so far: 16 hour pork and beef chili con carne with a house baked corn bread. It doesn’t hurt that whoever runs the Facebook page has an impeccable way with words, e.g.: “House baked corn bread comes fresh out of the oven, gets cooled and sliced. It comes as a side with El Capo’s chilli con carne, the sweetness of the bread compliments the chilli of the chilli, which is mild to medium, depending on how soulful you are.” They’ve captured my heart with both food and words.

A Hungry Mondays dish

A Hungry Mondays dish – image from the HMs Facebook page

3) What are the best ways to think of ideas for a startup? 

I enjoyed this answer by @startuprob on Quora. He lists some absolute gold ways in which you can generate ideas, such as:

  • Look through your bank statement to see where your money is going. (Could you be doing any of those tasks better? Cheaper?)
  • Ask yourself, “What type of business would you want to run if there was absolutely no chance of failure?”
  • Look through the customer service sections of websites and find out what people are complaining about.

Thank you, Rob! Read his full answer on on Quora.

4) 20th Century Fox intro on the recorder

It’s a couple of years old and completely ridiculous but brings back memories of failing miserably on the recorder (didn’t we all have a crack at primary school?) and it certainly scored LOLs. Thanks Jayde and Nick for the heads up!

5) Daft Punk’s new track, Get Lucky

The French boys are back and I’m loving this funky 70s vibe track. Get on it!

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