Housesitting, Toscatarta, Shokupan & Savoury Mixed Boxes

Hey! a lot has happened these past two weeks. I've been house & dog sitting (only 5 minutes from home) and it's been a learning-experience. While I hate leaving Merlin and the change in environment hits me like a long-haul flight - I've grown used to it. It's shown that I do adjust (with time) to new environments/routines, and I'm more emotionally robust than I thought. While going between the two houses, giving two dogs a long walk each day & fitting in work/cooking is tiring - it's also a bit simpler. In a way my responsibilities are more set. I also have more quiet and more space.

I've been pretty productive since being here (that might be a coping skill hehe). There's a gas log fire which has been lovely to work by since it's been frigging freezing! I've got up to walk the dog bright and early, going to get myself a soy mocha (a social anxiety muscle I'm trying to flex - the ordering coffee part, not the mocha part haha) while seeing some truly stunning rainbow sunrises.

I've been writing. The Toolkits non-fiction writers program I mentioned a few newsletters back has a few weeks to go and it feels like its impact is really showing up in my work. My voice is taking shape and I'm also clearer on what feels good and sustainable to write about.

I have a piece on potatoes coming out with Baby Teeth journal soon. It's playful, romantic, nostalgic and I think stomach-churningly good to read. Will link here when it's out.

Maybe time away from home has helped me grow as a person some more. I'm feeling more autistic and gender-queer every week lol. I've had such shitty vivid dreams lately and (feeling a proactive, what can I do about this mood) I went and bought a vegetarian Brontosaurus dinosaur toy from IKEA that I've had my eye on. No regretto's, it's helped!

Every time I go home (usually after lunch) Merlin is so mOviNgLy excited to see me, our couch cuddle turns into a couch snooze, and then often a full on couch nap. It's the best.


I've been eating such good food because I've needed to plan ahead a lot more. Loads of super balanced nourishing bowls that are extremely digestively regulating (*wink wink*).

There's also a microwave here, and OMG microwaving shokupan (recipe shared this week) is the most delicious thing ever. As are microwaved cheddar chive scones, hot chocolates etc.


I fitted in another microbakery mixed box flash sale last week - this time with my savoury YAY feta & spinach parcels and cheddar chive scones. The box felt nice and seasonal. It was a gloomy drizzly day when I delivered them, and putting a fresh box of warm goodies on people's doorsteps over Melbourne felt like I was doing a little good hehe.

The little chef's treat snacks for the road make me so happy. It's at the point when the adrenaline is starting to wear off and I can TASTE  & ENJOY things again lol.

I kept the menu simple this time round and it paid off. I must have saved some energy here & there and with a seriously good nap afterwards I recovered quicker than any effort previous.


F*ck this show is good. I'd heard mixed reviews of season three, but honestly I think half-glass full work is harder to do & people love to talk stuff down for the sake of it. The character arcs and storylines in this series are SO satisfying. The good (deeply flawed) characters win the day, and the toxic characters become self-aware - incredible! Healthier, fruitier forms of masculinity are everywhere you look. And it's just so bloomin' entertaining!


Pageboy, By Elliot Page | Firstly, the cover slaps. After Janette McCurdy's I'm so glad my mum died, I'm not completely obverse to the odd celebrity memoir. Pageboy is entertaining to read. I sailed through it - enjoying the Hollywood critique, Juno contextualisation, and Elliot's generous insights on their journey with gender. I learnt more about myself through listening to it. It finished (timeline wise) essentially in the present day, and for such a personal work I think it could have benefited from a little grace period. So the past wasn't so... 6 months ago. It felt a little suffocating to read in spots - and maybe like this book was a tactical career boosting move. Still recommend. 6.5/10.

Brain Energy, By Christopher M. Palmer, MD | I don't know if I have a big enough brain to review this book. Yes it's meant to put the author's theory on "understanding mental health" in lay-mans terms and translate his findings into actionable steps - but I did not get that. Perhaps because just one mention of mitochondria turns my brain off. So to (try and) sum up, Palmer puts all mental health conditions down to a lack of energy at a cellular level in the brain. He acts like this is revolutionary - but in offering super known strategies (diet, exercise, sunlight etc.) as the vehicles to address it, I was left wondering - that's it ? And so what? People desperately still need help they can't access. Many of which are already doing all these things as best they can. He also used car analogies so frequently, my brain definitely suffered as a result. Maybe a good read for mental health professionals, but otherwise I'd say skip it. 3/10.


I've finally shared by Vegan & Gluten-Free Shokupan recipe - and have received some rave reviews on it already! It's the squishiest wonder white/sourdough-like bread that is made from just sushi rice, yeast, liquid sweetener, oil, salt & water!

This week's recipe is for Toscatarta (Swedish Caramelised Almond Cake)! A beautiful vanilla almond cake with cardamom notes and a stained glass caramelised almond top. It's a one-bowl, one-pot recipe I think you'll LOVE! The perfect afternoon tea.

Thank you for reading & supporting my work!

Phoebe (they/them) x

You can TIP MY WORK or ADJUST YOUR (free/paid) SUBSCRIPTION here 🖋️