No I won’t “suck it up”.

You see me whine on Facebook about being sore and tired. You sit there and smile knowingly or roll your eyes because you’re a gym-goer too. Or a runner. Or a crossfitter. Or an otherwise Tough Mudderfucker, but you’re not me. You know all about muscle soreness and recovery and optimal heart rates and that fabled exercise high.

You think you can say certain things to me that I will react positively to – because we’re friends.


I’ve just started back at the gym and back into regular exercise after watching my weight change eight kilograms in the wrong direction. For someone who was already around 102kg and has fought tooth and nail to get down from 152kg, that’s a scary number to see again. So I’m back at the gym. I’d love to go back to my personal trainer but even at $20 for a session (and I feel I need at least three sessions a week to be worth anything to me health-wise), I can’t afford it. So I do it on my own and try to do a good, honest job of pushing myself.

But you know what? This shit’s hard.

So, yeah, I complain.

Occasionally, like today, I write a mildly amusing-to-me comment on Facebook expressing my current hatred of whoever invented gyms and that I was sore and that I was going to make myself sorer by subjecting my body to yet another session of physical torture known as working out.

What I got in response, among other things, was being told to “harden up, princess” and “suck it up, cupcake”.

Ha ha, right? Really funny. Ren’s just whinging again. Let’s poke fun at her. She won’t mind.

She does mind.

OH BOY, she does.

Yes, she is whinging again but she just needs a little support. Sometimes she needs to be coddled because, heaven forbid, she’s feeling more than a little fucking delicate at that moment. She might actually need for someone to remind her why she am doing this when she hurts from repeated sessions of “sucking it up” and to keep going when tears of actual physical pain are mixing with sweat.

I do “suck it up”.

I am “hard”.

And you will hear/see/read me complain because that’s what I do when I’m feeling bad. Because, fuck you, I want someone to tell me that this IS WORTH IT.

What you don’t see or hear about is the way my hip joints grind so painfully the day after a particularly hard session of squats and treadmill work that I can feel the sensation of it in my back teeth. What you don’t see or hear about is the way my lower back throbs for days because I was stupid and just so happy to be moving that I forgot the “Ren can’t run or jump” rule but did burpees, star jumps and jogged in place on solid concrete for ten minutes.

So DON’T tell me to harden up. I do this shit in SPITE of how much I suffer for it in the days following.

I have to balance what I do in order to be able to walk the next day (if not the next hour) because I’ve got other shit I need to “suck it up” for and get done.

I love my friends but sometimes I really want to smack them up the back of the head.

With a shovel.
Words to live by.

Shit my dad says… on Facebook

My father’s been posting some absolute crackers up on Facebook recently. Just thought I would share a few of my favourites because he’s a funny bugger and makes me giggle.

Oh yeah… warning. Profanity and political incorrectness to follow. If you’re a sensitive type, come back on Saturday.

“Went to see my shrink the other day, Bitch told me I had a split personality then charged me $180 fucking dollars. Gave her $90 and told her to get the rest off the other fucken idiot.”

What they should really say on those cooking shows:
“Hello and welcome to ‘Pointless Cooking That Has Nothing To Do With Anyone’s Actual Life’. Today, we are making a very complicated recipe, using ingredients you don’t have, utensils you’ve never heard of, and in a kitchen that is bigger than your whole fucking house”

Women fucking drivers! I was behind one on my way home from work and she indicated to turn left and what does she go and do? She actually turns left!
How am I supposed to prepare myself with these fucking mind games?

“Good afternoon sir, how can I help you?”
“Good afternoon sir, my name is Skhjdfhjnhjgjnmmdjudigih Ghjgiotjiobbkweiobnmflmknvn.”
“Really. Fuck that. Think i’ll call you Fred Smith.”

“So, they have landed a washing machine size hunk of junk on a comet, I am so impressed. Not. Why would you want to study the origins of the universe? Simple. There was this big mother fucking bang, all the shit went everywhere… and here we all are.”

“New commandment.
At work, thou shalt not touch, move, sniff or otherwise interfere with [Dad]’s new chocolate flavoured Macona coffee! Because if thou dost, thee will get slapped in the back of the head with a fucking fire hydrant.”

“That’s it, no more fucking Mr nice guy from now on. Sat down near a guy who looked down and out, asked him if he wanted to share a souvalaki… Told me to fuck off and buy my own!” - Dad
“Yo, homies!”

Stan. Apparently the Biggest Deal in Entertainment.

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a sponsored post.

If you’re driving along any major roads at the moment, you’re bound to come across this billboard: - Stan. Review
The fabulous Rebel Wilson on the Stan billboard.

Yep. Welcome to Stan, the new Australian subscription video-on-demand service which is apparently our answer to the very popular Netflix and similar services that are so popular in the States (and around the world).

Now, it’s well known that Australians are the world dominating force when it comes to pirated films and TV shows. We’ve all done it. We all have our reasons. Whether we are tight-arses and tip rats who don’t want to pay for DVDs, movie tickets or the rip-off that is Foxtel (our only “cable” TV service) or we’re just so damned sick of having our commercials interrupted by a few silvers of popular television every couple of minutes – that shit is just not on.

Ideally, Stan is the answer to this problem. A cheap, easily accessible on-demand system that doesn’t lock you into any contracts and doesn’t cost an absolute bomb. At the moment they’re even giving folks who sign up a 30 day free trial and to be honest, for $10.00 AUD a month, I can’t say that’s it’s not a bargain deal. A tenner a month is (generally) easy for most folks. So by that fact alone, this should be a winner.

So why am I so underwhelmed?

Currently, Stan has the exclusive airing rights to the follow up to Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul. It also has the epic Aussie serial, Gallipoli. It’s using these two shows as it’s main draw card at the moment.

Unfortunately, I am not one of the masses who has enjoyed Breaking Bad… and I haven’t bothered with Gallipoli because well, I’m Australian. I KNOW that story.

What I think is bugging me about Stan is that there’s no real new content and there’s not a lot of what’s there. Most of what I have found is years old already with the exception of a few series and films like the Hobbit movies but as I said, most of it is old and, infuriatingly with some of the television series I am interested in seeing again are incomplete. I really am hoping that things like the original CSI will be made available in it’s entirety as opposed to starting from series 11.


Fuck’s sake.

Having said that, they do have a couple of old school favourite TV series like Drop Dead Diva and The Nanny  as well as gems like Star Trek (yes, ALL OF THE STAR TREKS) and there are a few cracking movies like Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing and Wolf of Wall Street available.

Anyway… the other thing that irritates me about Stan is the site itself. I hate the layout. I absolutely detest that I cannot access a simple list of all the movies and shows available, firstly because I don’t like relying on what other people believe certain things should be categorised under (um, Basic Instinct is NOT a romance…) and secondly, the current system doesn’t show all the films on the site or it re-tiles things I’ve already scrolled through. Films that are clearly in the collection aren’t showing up when I’m browsing and frankly, I hate being told what other people think I should be watching.

Anyway, that’s my whiny-arsed review of Stan.

To sum up…


  • Cheap – free for 30 days then $10.00 AUD a month (via credit card subscription).
  • No contract and pay monthly as you use – you don’t have to buy a block of time.
  • Fast even on a regular ADSL connection.
  • Accessible on multiple devices – Yes, you can get Stan on computers, tablets and smartphones. (Apparently, I haven’t tested this because my smartphone is not compatible with the Stan app.) This system also allows up to three different users on the same account on three different devices.  While it might be hell on your data usage, it might contribute to domestic harmony.
  • Unlimited access and streaming – you can stream as much as your ISP data plan allows.
  • HD streaming is available.


  • Limited content at the moment – most of what is there is VERY old.
  • You have to download software (Microsoft Silverlight on Windows machines) to stream media as it doesn’t stream with native software.
  • Very clunky menu/browsing system.
  • Stream only, you don’t get to download any content…. well… officially. We Aussies are good about getting around that sort of thing.

Little Lotte, let your mind wander…

“Little Lotte thought, ‘Am I fonder of dolls,
Or of goblins or shoes?
Or riddles or frocks?
Or of chocolates?'”

Introducing the newest member of the Renlish clan, Lottie Elizabeth, my new niece.

And I love her name.* - Lottie Elizabeth
Lottie Elizabeth. Already all classy.

She was born on February 18, at 10.22am, coming in at a respectable 8.51lb (or 3.86kg) and about 54cm long by c-section. Like her big brother, she’s long but will probably fill out quickly.

And the person probably the most stoked at having a new person in the family is my nephew, Phoenix, who has been wishing for a sibling for a couple of years now. - Lottie Elizabeth
A very happy big brother.

“‘No – what I love best,’ Lotte said,
‘Is when I’m asleep in my bed
and the Angel of Music sings songs in my head…
The Angel of Music sings songs in my head…'”

*Yes, her name is taken from Phantom of the Opera.

**Because I would have killed someone if they called her Arizona.

Pictures of You

Hey you.

I remember you. You may not remember me much, but you are never too far away from my thoughts. A day rarely goes by when I haven’t thought about you a couple times at least. Is that obsessive? Maybe.

It’s not the weird “bunny boiler” kind of obsessive.

I just miss you. It’s been so many years.

So much has changed.

I miss you. I miss you an awful lot.

I’m still here.

Still listening to you. For you.

I owe you a hug. I owe you lots of things.

You left an indelible mark on me – as indelible as the tattoo you had done of the pendant that I gave you. I found that picture last night. It made me smile.

Never fade
Never die
You give me flowers of love

–The Cure, “Bloodflowers”

Sims Saturday – The Sims 4 – Casa Del Vinoduo

Another Saturday, another Sims build. This one I have been working on for weeks. It’s the biggest house I have done to date. I just wanted to make something huge and extravagant. It is extremely laid back in terms of furnishing, though I personally adore the kitchen and the ensuite bathroom in the master bedroom. - The Sims 4 - Casa del Vinoduo
Front and rear of house. - The Sims 4 - Casa del Vinoduo
Floorplan: (T-B) Ground floor, middle floor, top floor. - The Sims 4 - Casa del Vinoduo
Alfresco views. - The Sims 4 - Casa del Vinoduo
Favourite room views.

You can find Casa Del Vinoduo in the Sims4 gallery online right here, or through the game. Just search the hashtag #renlish or my EA username, renlish, to find it.

Finally getting some Hair Help.

So last week I decided to do the brave thing and look into getting some hair help, or rather, “helper hair” as so beautifully put by a couple of hair folks I follow online.  My loss has been such a slow, emotionally painful process that I am really the only one who notices on a daily basis unless folks actually take the time to look at me properly. Then they realise, “Holy shit, Ren! You’ve lost your hair!”  It’s been a massive blow to my confidence and self esteem to say the least and has been the catalyst for some major depression and significant weight gain.

Well, no, the emotional eating due to the depression has been the catalyst to the weight gain. But the hair thing hasn’t helped at all with that.

Anyway, after spending ages looking and websites that sold wigs and toppers (in Australia), I settled on  I had contacted a couple of other sites in regards to help but never received a response. Seriously, NOTHING turns me off a site that supposedly “helps” people when they don’t respond to a simple query, particularly when they invite people to contact them for help.


While I didn’t bother to pre-contact easiwigs, I did find that they were the only hair folks that offered a colour ring loan scheme where you could purchase and return one and the money you spent on the ring is used as a store credit off a hair piece.  Works for me.  I have been having such a difficult time trying to choose colours that I realise that I really did need to see things up close and actually compare the shades available to what’s left on my own noggin. See, I am technically blonde, but I am literally the darkest shade of blonde before you could call me light brown. And I’m an ashy blonde at that. And you know what? That ashy-too-dark-to-be-blonde-too-light-to-be-brown colour is hard to find! ARGH!

So I was stoked when I got the colour ring in the post and rushed home to take a squizzy at the samples. I was actually really pleased to see these in person rather than rely on the computer screen. If I had, I would have made TOTALLY the wrong decision in colours. What I thought was a match clearly wasn’t. - Jon Renau Synthetic Color Ring
Jon Renau colour ring for synthetic hair.

Of course I had a Moment™ when I saw the hair. This was happening. This shit’s real. Cue tears. Again.

I don’t have to get hair. I really don’t. I just look like a person with thin hair. But I’ve always had a head full of the stuff (fine textured as it may have been) and to lose a third, possibly more, of it in the last year after having been through various effluviums over the past few years has been hard to come to terms with. Seeing the balding patch at the front of my hairline and my widening parting has been more than a little upsetting to me.

Fortunately I don’t need a full wig yet – I honestly have no idea if I will ever get to that point. I suppose that’s the lucky thing about having androgynous alopecia. I am not losing big patches of hair and ending up with bald spots. It’s diffuse and constant all over. So I really only need what is called a “topper” (a hair piece that clips in on top of ones crown) at this point just to add a little more coverage and volume.

There are a couple of Jon Renau toppers floating around that I quite like – the med-length layered look is my typical style and there are some pretty ones in the synthetic hair so it made sense to go and take a look at the JN colour ring.

My perfect match – absolutely perfect – is #14 on the blonde collection (the darkest blonde). At a stretch I can do #12 on the brown collection (the lightest brown).

But do you reckon the toppers I like come in those shades?



I can see that this little endeavour of mine will take a little more patience and perhaps some compromise, particularly since I have to stick to the synthetic hair for the time being. The human hair toppers, while easy to be customised to my desired colour and style are more than a little out of my price range.

I’m trying to see the fun in it. I can go crazy colours. I can dye my bio hair to match. This can be a fun adventure instead of a trial. The positives can outweigh the negatives.

I’m not dying – and I can finally be a red head.

Revlon Colorburst – Holy Grail of Matte Red Lipstick!

I found it!

OMG! I found it and it’s perfect.

I finally found the Holy Grail of matte red lippy to suite my skin tone and not make my teeth look yellow. It’s the perfect hue of red with pinkish blue undertones that compliment my odd warm-cold colouring. Thank you, Revlon for your Colorburst Balm collection! It’s so perfect that I spent the afternoon road-testing lipstick instead of getting screenshots for my latest “Saturday Sims” build yesterday. (I’ll do that later in the week.)

I stumbled upon the Revlon Colorburst range a couple of weeks ago at Priceline (our Australian equivalent to CVS in America) and saw the display with all the pretty colours. I am naturally drawn to those sorts of “your lips but better” shades, so I aimed for a pretty mauve-ish-pink-ish-red-ish-brown-ish tone. Yesterday I just happened to be in Chemist Warehouse and saw that they had a full stock of colours on the shelf, so I grabbed two more that had caught my eye; two matte balms and one balm stain.

I love balms – I wear Lucas Pawpaw ointment on my lips all the time and I have Burt’s Bees balms coming out the wahzoo. I prefer tinted balms over lipsticks much of the time because I do get dry lips very often. Balms also tend to be more forgiving in a rushed application and you generally don’t need a lip liner or brush to apply. You get the benefit of colour and conditioned lips at the same time. But sometimes… Sometimes you just want “HELLO! COLOUR!” on your face. Tinted balms are pretty but they really don’t have that intensity.

Not Revlon Colorburst. I was pleased when I did the swatch test but I was a girly-squeal mess when I tried the colours on mah face. The colours were perfect and the texture of the product is silky smooth and light and not at all sticky like lipsticks and lip glosses can be. In fact, I pretty much forgot they were there.

The balm stains aren’t a true “stain”. They do not set on your lips as a stain as they’re sort of an odd mix of balm and gloss. That being said, they do wear very well. The matte balms colour pay-off is brilliant, even coverage and not at all drying! Having said that, I’d recommend conditioning your lips anyway just to avoid any flakies. Both formulas are not sticky at all. They go on so silky smooth and are a pleasure to wear. There’s an oh-so-slight hint of a minty perfume to them and a slight cooling sensation for a few minutes which surprised me but was nice once I got used to it. - Revlon Colorburst Balms
Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain in “Adore” (550).

“Adore” (550) was the balm stain that I bought. In the bullet it looks like it would be way too dark. The balm has a dark red-brown hue which actually comes off as a deep orange due to the gold shimmer in the formula. It goes on very sheer. The photo shows a thick coat that’s been blotted and reapplied. Unfortunately the photo I took picks up very little of the goldish shimmer. It’s not overpowering and adds real warmth to the colour. Staying power of the balm stain is pretty good but worked much like any balm or gloss. It didn’t survive one meal though I did not expect it to. - Revlon Colorburst Balms
Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in “Sultry” (225)
Please excuse the wonky toothedness.

“Sultry” (225) is the mauve-ish-red-ish-pink-ish-brown-ish colour that is probably very close to the Pantone Colour of the Year, “Marsala” (which is much nicer than that freakin’ purple rubbish that “Radian Orchid” was) and wore a little darker on my lips than I thought it would when I swatched it in the shop. Either way, I still love it. It’s rich without being “in your face” colourful which makes it a very wearable shade even if you’re very fair like me.

And here ’tis… my Holy Grail… - Revlon Colorburst Balms
Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in “Standout” (250)

No words to describe how happy I am with this shade. It’s perfect. It’s HELLO RED! without making my lips look like a bee-stung mess. As I said at the beginning of this post, it’s that tone which is just right to not have teeth that look really yellow. This is “Standout” (250). I wore this shade for a good five hours straight. The colour did wear away a little bit at the corners of my mouth and faded slightly with wear but it does stay put. You’d need to reapply after a meal as it’s not a stain or similar to Revlon’s 12-hour lipsticks.

I love these to death and want more. I am clearly going to have to start wearing makeup to work so I can justify buying them.

You can get the Colorburst range for between $15.99 and $17.99 from Chemist Warehouse and Priceline.

See the full range on the Revlon website. Tell me which ones to buy next!

**Images taken indoors near a window, no flash.

No, I’m not getting pregnant. But thanks for asking.

So, Christmas. It really is that joyous time of year when family think it’s okay to get all up in yo bizznizz and ask inappropriate questions and say inadvertently hurtful things. The fact that I have not become pregnant yet or made any attempts at becoming pregnant in order to give my in-laws (or my own parents) grand-babies has officially been pointed out to me. This has not been helped by the fact that distant relations of child-bearing age have been popping out kids left, right and centre. Not to mention my own sister is up to number two. The traitorous bitch!

(No. Not really. She’s just a bitch. ;) )

I feel for the Outlaws. While my mother and father have come to accept that I am probably not going to be the one to give them babies to spoil (because my little sister is fulfilling that role spectacularly), my Outlaws, particularly the manbeast’s mum, are feeling left out of the grandparents stakes. They only had one child – adopted one, in fact, so I think that it makes it a little harder for them for them to come to terms with my childlessness.

I should really make it clear that the Outlaws have not said anything directly to me (or the manbeast, as far as I am aware) but comments around the topic have been heard. Comparisons between myself and another baby-bearer in their family have been made – within earshot.

This is not terribly new, though. The whispers of the possibility of hearing the pitter-patter of little feet started shortly after I married the manbeast and turned 30 – three days apart. Those comments were very occasional, most of the time in jest but even so, there was an underlying tone of “So… when are you actually going to have a baby?” Of course now, six years later, those whispers are turning into shouts of “You’re STILL not pregnant?!”

Outwardly, I can only smile and shrug. Inwardly, I cringe. And get a little annoyed. - Inigo Montoya

Let me say here and now that I love kids. LOVE them. I am not by any means anti-child at all. I would happily steal everyone’s kids. I’m the cool aunty who hypes up all small people under the age of 10 on sweets and evilly hands them back to parents at the end of the day just before the sugar crash happens.

Seriously, that ALONE is reason enough to never have children. Anyway…

I would love to be a mother. But…

I am anti-pregnancy. I am anti-gene pool. I am anti-starting a family in a turbulent marriage. And it’s not just my decision either!

Okay, so probably having my mate Inigo help me sum things up isn’t going to cut it…

Reason 1: Pregnancy is Gross

It is. I find the whole idea of carrying a baby abhorrent – and I am sorry if that offends anyone. And I know perfectly well that my feelings on the matter are totally irrational and stupid but that’s the way it is. No amount of trying to convince me otherwise is going to get me to change my mind. I know a couple of people who loved being pregnant, adored the idea of new life growing inside them, enjoyed the feeling kicks and sucker punches to their bladders. Most people I know who have kids didn’t like the pregnancy so much but it was simply a means to an end for them. They wanted kids, they had them. Of course you have to get pregnant to get the kids.

Me? I tell everyone “I want kids – I just don’t want to get pregnant.” The confusion on their faces as that sinks in is highly entertaining.


I find nothing endearing about the process, and no, contrary to what many people tell me when I say that I am anti-pregnancy, I am not afraid of giving birth. That can be virtually painless if I want it to be. It’s the nine months leading up to birth I don’t want to deal with. It’s the idea of this… thing… growing on me and in me. It’s the hormones which, in all seriousness, screw that! My hormones have been messing me around enough as it is. I am a physical and emotional wreck.

Reason 2: My genes suck.

No, I am not talking about appearance because I am gorgeous and the girls in my family get the maternal genes. No issues there.

How do I put this sensitively? I am a firm believer in the idea that mental dysfunction is hereditary. There have been studies which prove this – though I suppose there are studies which prove anything if you throw enough resources at any given topic. But I’ve found this to be true in the case of me. In every single branch of my family there are issues.

No. Just no. I cannot and will not deal with that possibility. I grew up with it.

Selfish much? Hell yes.

This is the reason why I have not take up a friends half-joking-half-serious offer of surrogacy for me. Yeah, she can have the baby but it’ll still be from my genes and NO. All of the no.

Reason 3: It’s just Not a Good Time

I know there are loads of people who’ve been unprepared for their pregnancy – who have felt that they’re not ready, but “Oops!” and they’ve dealt with it with aplomb. I also know a couple of people who HATE being mothers but love their kids and if they had their time over they would make different choices. I don’t want to be either one of those people.

I am however a firm believer in family units. Kids belong in environments where they have loving, supportive guardians who want them. My marriage isn’t wonderful at the moment. Enough said. I refuse to become pregnant and have a baby in this environment and I am definitely not going to get pregnant and start popping out kids just to please specific people or fulfill my destiny in the social norm.

And the next person who says I “don’t know what love truly is” until I have kids, I WILL punch you in the fucking face.

Reason 4: And, well, the MANBEAST doesn’t want them.

This is the one thing that irritates me the most. As the potential sproggin-bearer, I am the one who cops all the looks, all the comments and questions, and all the sideways glances. Does the manbeast? Rarely. Me? Not a day goes by when I am not reminded that my biological clock is running out of battery power.

But has anyone actually asked the manbeast if he wants children?

Guess what? I have.

The answer is no.

Though we both agree that I would make a great mother.

So there you go. If I thought it would make a difference, I would post this blog to all the people who keep asking about the state of my uterus, but I doubt it would make any difference.

I am going to grow old and alone.

And I’m okay with that.

Sims Saturday – The Sims4 – Building Me!

Well, it had to happen sooner or later.

I’ve tried to build myself in The Sims4. It’s hard work, particularly since you can’t get out of the “ideal” curvy shape in Sims4 like you could with Sims3. That being said, I tried to reference my own photos and get a decent look-alike. It looks nothing like me but at the same time has shades of me, but hell, I managed to give her good cheekbones and kick-arse makeup!

If the developers would allow you to super-impose a photograph of a person over the Sim face in game, I think it would make the “push-pull” style of editing much easier. I am hopeless at copying – even when it’s my own face and you would think that I would know my own face, right? Nope. The CAS (create-a-sim) machine also has it’s limitations. You can only make the mouth so big, the eyes so small, etc, before everything starts looking a little funky. At one point I looked like a weird Asian version of myself. Ack!


Age: Adult
Aspiration: Wants to be a famous author
Main trait: Creativity
Bonus Trait: Muser
Trait 1: (Emotional) Creative
Trait 2: (Emotional) Hot-headed
Trait 3: (Social) Good

Here is a direct link to …well, Me (!!!) in the gallery via the web. Alternatively, you can search renlish and find me in game. - The Sims 4 - Create a Sim - Ren

I have two awesome new house builds coming up for you soon. I would have been releasing one tonight, however due to a third-party MoveObjects mod I had installed before EA released the official MoveObjects cheat, it suffered all sorts of glitchiness that needed to be fixed. At the same time I ended up remodelling the house. (I’m a sad Sims nerd. Sorry.) I am also trying to figure out how to do one of those nifty fly-through type of videos so you can see a “live action” film of my houses in all their glory.