Climate Change - Franny and Zooey's Tips and Tricks

The phrase ‘CLIMATE CHANGE’ produces many reactions in people. Some find it overwhelming, some deeply sad, some terrifying and some people just don’t seem to give a stuff, thinking that they can’t make a difference, so why even bother trying to? Whatever your reaction, the most destructive of these is apathy. If we want our children to grow up in a world that is prosperous and healthy, if we want to stop eliminating our endangered species at an alarming rate, if we want to protect our littered oceans, if we want to protect ourselves from the consumption of microplastics, then we all need to become aware, get involved, and make consistent changes in our day to day lives in order to minimise the destructive effects of climate change. 

This topic is way too big to cover in one blog, so we are going to break it down into two sections - plastic and air pollution. We want to share some extraordinary and scary facts with you, along with what we do to combat climate change! We find these tips and tricks super easy to implement into our day to day lives and with a little practice it becomes second nature.

We definitely don’t want this blog to come across as a lecture. We want to empower the individual so that feelings of helplessness and apathy can be combated. We truly believe that together we can make a big impact. 

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch - a plastic island the size of France

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch - a plastic island the size of France

PLASTIC FACTS:    

Let’s have a look at some numbers regarding plastics (sourced from The National Geographic): 

Soft plastic recycling!

Soft plastic recycling!

  • “Half of all plastics ever manufactured have been made in the last 15 years.” (Parker, 2019)
    WHAT?! If you think about it, that’s a ridiculously short amount o time to have created one of the worlds biggest global problems!

  • “Production increased exponentially, from 2.3 million tons in 1950 to 448 million tons by 2015. Production is expected to double by 2050.” (Parker, 2019)
    Can anyone else see just HOW UNSUSTAINABLE THIS IS?

  • “Every year, about 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the oceans from coastal nations. That’s the equivalent of setting five garbage bags full of trash on every foot of coastline around the world.” (Parker, 2019)
    And once that plastic enters the ocean, the effects this has on our beautiful marine wildlife are devastating! 

  • “Plastics often contain additives making them stronger, more flexible, and durable. But many of these additives can extend the life of products if they become litter, with some estimates ranging to at least 400 years to break down.” (Parker, 2019)
    Again, how is that OK? How is that in any way sustainable? Long after we are gone our plastic lives on! 

Franny and Zooey’s Tips and Tricks: 

Who doesn’t love some Who Gives a Crap TP!?

Who doesn’t love some Who Gives a Crap TP!?

  • RECYCLE 

It’s super easy to implement this at home and almost as easy to implement when you are out. If you can’t find a recycling bin, why not hold onto your rubbish till you can. 

  • SOFT PLASTIC RECYCLING

Any plastics that you can scrunch up can be recycled at any supermarket! We put them in a separate bin at home, and take them to our local Coles for recycling. 

  • WHO GIVES A CRAP! 

We love this toilet paper!! Its packaging is plastic free, and is made from 100% recycled paper. Also, 50% of their profits go towards improving improve sanitation in developing countries! Check it out: https://au.whogivesacrap.org/

  • REUSABLE PRODUCE BAGS

Most people bring their green bags to the supermarket, but some still wrap their fruit and veg in plastic bags. Most of the time you don’t need a plastic bag, but if you do you could try using reusable fruit and veg bags, or you could collect your veggies in the paper mushroom bags. Here’s what we use: https://www.onyalife.com/product/reusable-produce-bag-8pack/

All our sustainable goodies!

All our sustainable goodies!

  • NO GLADWRAP

We never use glad wrap. Instead we use beeswax wraps or suction lids to keep our food fresh. Check out the suuuppper cute designs! https://www.biome.com.au/809-beeswax-food-wraps

  • BULK FOOD STORES 

Plastic packaging and single use plastics are the main contributors to plastic pollution. Whenever we shop, we try to be mindful of the items we purchase and just how much plastic is used. This can be so hard. There are great bulk food stores out there like ‘The Source’, which make this so much easier. They are committed to reducing plastic packaging with the use of paper bags and glass jars. You can find SO much in their store such as pasta, rice, nuts, oats, cereal, coffee, tea, peanut butter, honey, cereal, even dish washing liquid and shampoo/conditioner! https://thesourcebulkfoods.com.au/

  • LITTER

Have a go at picking up a piece of rubbish or two next time you go for a walk. Imagine the difference this would make if everyone did it!?

We have keep cups for DAYSSS!

We have keep cups for DAYSSS!

  • KEEP CUPS

Unfortunately most single-use coffee cups can’t be recycled. Why not invest in a keep cup! 

  • MENSTRUAL CUP
    Think about all the plastic in the packaging used in pads and tampons. Menstrual cups are such a great, practical alternative. 

We recommend following ‘Take 3 for the Sea’ and having a listen to the ‘Health Code’ podcast episode ‘Truth About The Ocean and Plastic… Is it Really THAT bad!? - Tim Silverwood Answers’. It’s super informative and interesting! One point they make is if you consume seafood, all the microplastics that the marine life have consumed enter your body. 

AIR POLLUTION FACTS: 

  • Cars, planes, power plants and the burning of fossil fuels create carbon dioxide. “Humans have pumped enough carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over the past 150 years to raise its levels higher than they have been for hundreds of thousands of years.” (Nunez, 2019)

  • Livestock creates a gas called methane which is a significant contributor to air pollution. (Nunez, 2019)

  • “Air pollution has been linked to an increase in cancer, heart disease, stroke, and respiratory diseases such as asthma.” (Nunez, 2019)

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Franny and Zooey’s Tips and Tricks: 

  • DIET

Try going vegetarian/vegan or reducing your meat intake. Aside from the horrendous mistreatment of animals that takes place in the meat industry, livestock produce an extraordinary amount of methane gas every year! That creates a HUGE negative impact on our environment. If we reduce the demand for meat it will make a massive difference.

  • PUBLIC TRANSPORT/WALK/BIKE 

We are super lucky that we live in an area where we have shops, our work and our social life at our fingertips. If you need to travel long distances consider car pooling or catching public transport.

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  • HANG YOUR WASHING! 

Tumble dryers are the worst! They use an extraordinary amount of energy. Letting your laundry dry on a clothes horse or washing line is a great alternative.

  • GREEN ENERGY 

Investigate where your gas and electricity comes from, and consider switching to green energy. We recently made the switch and it turned out to be only $3-4 extra dollars a month. Switching to green energy helps to increase the demand for renewable energy in Australia.

The list goes on and on. It can be easy to get overwhelmed by all the things you could be doing to reduce your contribution to plastic and air pollution. Try implementing one thing at a time and slowly it’ll become second nature. If you want to investigate how much your day to day life impacts the earth you can calculate your ‘ecological footprint’. This can be very eye opening. https://www.wwf.org.au/get-involved/change-the-way-you-live/ecological-footprint-calculator#gs.1ke95t  

We hope you’ve found this helpful. Remember that you CAN make a difference. However small your contribution may seem, its effects do matter. If you have any other ideas we’d love to hear them!!

References:

Nunez, C. 2019. Air pollution, explained. Retrieved from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/pollution/

Parker, L. 2019. The world's plastic pollution crisis explained. Retrieved from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/habitats/plastic-pollution/

Snowden, S. 2019. 300-Mile Swim Through The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Will Collect Data On Plastic Pollution. Image retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottsnowden/2019/05/30/300-mile-swim-through-the-great-pacific-garbage-patch-will-collect-data-on-plastic-pollution/#13eebfb8489f

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The Pressures of Beauty Standards

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It’s probably most likely true that if you’re reading this, you, yourself, would have felt the pressures of societal beauty standards. Specifically looking at this from a woman’s perspective, we are trained to believe that ‘sex sells’ and that if we want to ‘feel more confident in our bodies’ we should invest in products that will help cover up that hideous blemish we have on our face, or those dark circles under our eyes, or minimise those wrinkles. Every day we are bombarded with images advertising (sometimes) heavily-edited women, looking flawless and confident in their skin. We are brainwashed to accept this standard as ‘normal’ and ‘ideal’ and we are taught to place value in it. This in turn can manifest into the dangerous idea that your self-worth is determined by your appearance.

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We really began unpacking these ideas together when we started promoting our music. To release our first single with The A&R Department, we were told we needed to provide promo shots. Being so new to the music industry, we hadn’t even considered promo work, album covers, music videos, etc. When we began exploring this new part to our music our instant thoughts were, ‘We have to look good, and in order to look good we need flawless makeup and perfect hair!’ Now, there is a difference between feeling like you NEED to look good and feeling confident in how you already look. We would research other bands and artists that we liked, and look at their promo work, album covers, and their music videos, and they ALL, in our eyes, LOOKED amazing! How on earth were we supposed to look like that? How were we going compare to them? That kind of thinking, and those sorts of feelings, are a huge hit to your self-esteem. And here is the truth… We can’t look like them, because we are who we are - unique and beautiful in our own ways. We don’t want heavily-edited images. We want images that represent us and allow our personalities to shine through. That doesn’t mean that we won’t do ourselves up for a shoot, but it means we know in ourselves that we are OKAY as we are, and we are not comparing ourselves to other people. Mind you, we are not perfect and of course we have moments of insecurity and self-doubt. In the moment of a shoot, we may still have those negative thoughts running through our heads telling us we’re not good enough. At the end of the day we remind ourselves not to place too much value in our physical appearance, and to be happy in our own skin. 

Back in 2014 when I was travelling through South America with Tomer - kept the hair natural and the makeup off and felt amazingly liberated!

Back in 2014 when I was travelling through South America with Tomer - kept the hair natural and the makeup off and felt amazingly liberated!

Franny:

It’s only very recently that I have stopped wearing foundation daily. I have worn foundation since I was 15 years old. I stopped predominantly because I found that my skin in recent years has started breaking out, and my thought was that maybe the foundation was part of the cause. I have gone without it for a month now and at first I was freaking out, thinking people would be looking at me wondering why I looked different and strange without it. In the end, most people didn’t even notice I didn’t have it on. I actually have received a few compliments on my skin, which was definitely unexpected. The next challenge I am setting for myself is to go natural with my hair. I have naturally curly hair which I have always disliked and for years I have been straightening it. I want to dedicate time with a hairdresser to learn about how I should be looking after it and eventually develop confidence in my bouncy curls!

For so long I have felt the need to hide certain aspects of my appearance from the world, only to feel a little hollow inside when I take my makeup off or wash my hair and let it dry naturally. I am SO hard on myself and am my own worst enemy (and seriously how sad is that?!) – something has got to change. Thankfully, my wonderful partner, Tomer, loves every aspect of me and LOVES my freckles and my curly hair. Whenever I am as natural as can be in my own home, he always comments on how beautiful I am. I don’t feel the way he does quite yet about myself, but I know that taking these small steps will eventually lead me to feel more confident in myself. 

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Already I feel a lot better without my foundation to hide my freckles and breakouts, and soon I want to feel the same way about my curly hair. It’s a journey I will make sure to document for other people who might find this relatable. I’d hate for anyone else to demonise the way they look, because of societal expectations of beauty standards, the way I have for many, many years. I especially wouldn’t want my future children to look at me covering myself up, hiding my natural beauty to meet a standard that is unrealistic and harmful. I would want them to see me happy and embracing life for what it’s worth and not for what my looks tells me I am worth. They won’t escape the curly hair – Tomer and I both have it – and I would feel so hypocritical telling them how beautiful they are the way they are, while straightening my hair and covering up my freckles. So, if I start now, hopefully, by the time I have my own little ones, I will be setting a good example and a statement that we are who we are - and screw you beauty standards. You have no place here!

Rocking my way through South America, makeup free!!!

Rocking my way through South America, makeup free!!!

Zooey:

I think beauty standards that are presented in media and advertising are absolute bullshit. If we think about all the little ways we are told to basically modify our bodies in order to fit into the mould of what is beautiful and attractive, it is astounding. Women should be SKINNY, they should also be HAIRLESS,  have a nice summer TAN all year round, wear MAKEUP, manicure their EYEBROWS and NAILS, tint their LASHES, get dermal fillers for their LIPS and botox for their WRINKLES. The ways we can modify our natural appearance in order to fit into this beauty standard are countless. Of course in saying all this, I am not in any way trying to shame people who do adhere to any of these standards. If you love getting your nails done, or love getting your eyebrows threaded, awesome - go for it! Do I adhere to any of these standards? Of course!! I’d be lying if I said I didn’t! I myself love getting dressed up for a night out, meticulously applying my makeup and straightening my hair! I guess the issue arises when people don’t do these things because it makes them feel good, but do them because they feel obliged to fit the mould. As mentioned earlier, I have found that it can be extremely damaging when you attach your self worth to your physical appearance.You are so much more than just that! 

Happy and carefree in Valparaiso, Chile.

Happy and carefree in Valparaiso, Chile.

Something that I have struggled with over the years is obsessive thoughts about my weight. Now this might be surprising, because if you know me, you’ll know that I am generally a pretty naturally slim individual! Even so, I have struggled. The images we see all over Facebook and Instagram, in advertising, and on TV shows, portray women with perfectly toned bodies, free from all traces of fat. The sheer amount of exposure to these images normalises this unrealistic ideal and teaches us to associate this with what is ‘attractive’. Do I have rocking abs and no fat on me? No! Over the years this need to become as skinny as possible has plagued me. I have gone through many phases of starving myself, weighing myself several times a day, and working out vigorously. This has worked wonders in the short-term, but has always been completely UNSUSTAINABLE and has NEVER EVER led to long-term satisfaction with the way I look. These days I still slip into moments of judgement and obsession, but have learnt how to control these negative thought patterns. I gather that I lead a reasonably healthy lifestyle, so why shouldn’t I be happy with however my body naturally reflects this lifestyle? 

Lazy days with the pup <3

Lazy days with the pup <3

Another big one for me is makeup. I started wearing makeup at a very young age, 12 or 13 I’d say. Over the years I became (and still am to an extent) completely addicted to makeup. I had become so used to my appearance with makeup on, that I thought I looked strange and unattractive without it. I could not even leave the house without putting some on! A huge turning point for me was when I travelled around South America with Charlie for 4 months in 2017. I made an active decision to stop wearing makeup on the trip. My initial thoughts were, “No one knows me here so it doesn’t matter if I look ugly!!” At first I thought I looked pretty tragic without makeup on and had to fight the temptation to wear it, but by the end of the 4 months I was completely used to my appearance and actually thought I looked nice with no makeup! I couldn’t believe the change in my own self-perception of my appearance. I met so many other travellers on that trip who did not seem to notice or care how I looked and this was a huge self-esteem boost for me. Charlie was the best!! He was so supportive of my decision to not wear makeup, saying he was “digging my blond lashes’”!! When I returned from South America I slowly started slipping back into the makeup habit, however these days I wear SOOOO much less makeup than I used to and can leave the house without any on. For me this is a HUGE improvement. It’s so important to remember that we are our own harshest critics... literally no one else could give a stuff what we look like!!

And then there are times when we love to dress up for a special occasion and that’s perfectly fine too!

And then there are times when we love to dress up for a special occasion and that’s perfectly fine too!

Diggin' the Giggin'!


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As you probably can tell from our insta stories and posts, we’ve started to focus on the world of gigging!

In the early days we did some Sunday sessions at a local pub, The Beehive, and we also did a bunch of busking. It’s only more recently that we’ve gone to some open mic nights and this has been great fun. Both open mic venues we played at asked us to come back and play a set which was SUPER reassuring and a real confidence booster, especially considering we are so new to the gigging scene.

Zooey:

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I’m so proud of Franny and I for finally getting out there and playing some legit gigs!! What fun! We’ve had two 45min – 1 hour gigs in the last couple of months, one at Elwood Lounge and one at Swamplands Bar… and I’m sure there will be many more to come in the near future. Both venues have been awesome - It makes all the difference when you feel relaxed and supported by the venue. So many friends and family have come on board and supported us as well which has been amazing, although it is ten times more confronting playing in front of people you know than in front of a room full of strangers!

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Although Franny and I have accomplished some amazing music goals (such as recoding an EP, releasing a single, and filming two music videos!) it still doesn’t quite seem real to me somehow. When we are on stage performing, I feel like something clicks, and I can really connect with myself as a musician. I do find performing intimidating and nerve wracking, but I also find it exhilarating, rewarding, and a whole lot of fun!! It amazes me how much better Franny and I get with each performance. It inspires me to want to practice more, play more, write more and get more inventive and creative with our music.    

Usually there is a stark contrast between Franny and I in the lead up to a gig. I am totally relaxed, calm, and collected, while Franny is in the corner pulling her hair out!!! It’s kinda’ good that we both approach a gig so differently as we can balance each other out. I think we’ve started to rub off on each other as well because Franny was pretty relaxed at the start of our last gig and I was the one who felt sick with nerves when we’d finished playing!!! Anyway, more on this in Franny’s segment.   

 

Franny:

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If you’ve read our blog about my mental health and fitness journey, then you’ll know just how hard I find performing. I have MAJOR performance anxiety. It’s such a strange feeling… in the comfort of our music room at home I can play all our songs with my eyes closed – literally! But as soon as I am on that stage looking out to a crowd of people whose eyes are all on me, it all of sudden becomes insanely overwhelming. When I look down at the keyboard, sometimes I don’t even know where to begin – the keyboard turns into a sea of keys and my hands won’t stop shaking.

This has been quite the process for me. And to be honest, it’s probably why we haven’t been out gigging as much as we would have hoped, due to the fact I would rather curl up in my bed and pretend it wasn’t happening. Zooey is amazing! She’s so supportive and has really given me time to come to terms with the fact that the only way I am going to overcome this anxiety is to perform, perform, perform.

On the other hand, I LOVE recording, making music and creating music videos. I get nervous but not the kind that is this debilitating fear which morphs into this ugly monster who keeps me hostage. I think the worst part is what happens inside my head. I literally have battles with this ‘monster’ who tells me ‘mate, you’re gonna screw it up’, ‘you’re not good enough’, ‘you sound shit’, ‘look out here comes that high note… don’t fuck it up cause’ you know you’re going to’! So, as these voices play around in my head whilst I am singing and trying to get the words out for the songs, here I am fighting that voice in my head with counter thoughts like ‘go away, I’ve got this!’… If anyone could hear what was happening inside my head, you’d think I was CRAZY! However, for the first time EVER, in our most recent gig, I was cool calm and collected right up until I started playing our first song. That’s a HUGE improvement. Usually I won’t be able to eat during the day of our gig and (sorry for the TMI) I’ll have to go to the restroom about 20 times in that day because my body thinks I’ve been poisoned!! WTF!! Why me?! Anyways, I feel like the more we perform, the more I am getting used to it.

It’s funny because when I go to see other musicians perform, they all seem to LOVE it! None of them seem to screw up (or at least they cover it up well), and they genuinely look like they are having FUN! I so desperately want that! I also think it’s important to be open and real about these things because we don’t really talk about it. We all like to look like we have our shit together, but I think more often than not, we all face moments of fear and doubt. So, if anyone’s reading this and can relate, I sincerely hope this helps in some small way, even if it’s just the feeling of ‘phew, I’m not the only one!’.

What's Involved in Organising a Release?

Stokes Bay, Kangaroo Island

Stokes Bay, Kangaroo Island

Lathami Lodge, Kangaroo Island

Lathami Lodge, Kangaroo Island

Stokes Bay, Kangaroo Island

Stokes Bay, Kangaroo Island

Lathami Lodge, Kangaroo Island

Lathami Lodge, Kangaroo Island

Warburton Redwood Forest - Ready to start filming!

Warburton Redwood Forest - Ready to start filming!

Lathami Lodge, Kangaroo Island  The sun decided to grace us with its presence… so we quickly put on our model faces and got two shots in before it disappeared again haha!

Lathami Lodge, Kangaroo Island

The sun decided to grace us with its presence… so we quickly put on our model faces and got two shots in before it disappeared again haha!

Lathami Lodge, Kangaroo Island

Lathami Lodge, Kangaroo Island

Our single is going to be here REALLY SOON! WE PROMISE! In the meantime we thought we’d share the ins and outs of what goes into organising a release!

WRITING AND CHOOSING THE SONG

Zooey:

Franny wowed me when she showed me the beginnings of Let the River Flow. I loved the strong and striking words, and the chorus tune got stuck in my head straight away! I knew it was going to be a ripper!! After workshopping the song together, rewriting the verse melody, adding more piano, altering the form and throwing in a bunch of vocal harmonies, the song was finally complete.

Franny and Zooey:

At the time of writing this song we had several other songs we could have chosen from for our new release, and we really struggled with this decision. The deciding factor was that we wanted to choose a song that contrasted to our last release – My Love. As much as we love a good love song - trust me, we’ve written plenty - we wanted to stray away from this theme and release a song that tackled a different issue. This resulted in us choosing Let the River Flow, a song which protests against the oppression of minority groups within society. This will be elaborated on further in a future blog, once the song is released.

 

RECORDING AND PRODUCING THE SONG

Before we went into the studio to record any of the instruments, we did a bunch brainstorming, explored mood boards, looked for inspiration from other songs, practised tirelessly and had a jam sesh or two with our BFF Amelia <3. Amelia came up with the amazing tribal-drum beat that we have running throughout the song. What. A. Legend. ;)

We finally went into the studio to meet with our expert producer - Luke August (would highly recommend!). We got stuck into recording the piano and also added our vocals to the mix. Then the real fun began! Over a few sessions we added in multiple instruments, recorded harmonies and played around with the jungle-drum beat. All of this really helped to shape and bring the song to life. It’s a feisty, fiery song and, by adding the guitar, a low drone, drums, strings, breath and more, we feel it only helped to express the mood and highlight the message of the song. 

PROMO SHOOTS AND SINGLE COVER

This time round we really dedicated time to capturing some awesome promo shots. Luckily, we have a pretty creative family and photography runs in our blood. Whilst we were at Kangaroo Island we really worked hard to capture some shots with the natural world. It’s a funny process to go through – naturally we are very energetic and smiley people, so taking some of the more serious candid shots can be quite intimidating. Thankfully, having people around you who don’t judge and make you feel completely comfortable really helped us through this new process. It actually was a lot of fun! We used the same outfits that would be used for the music video to create continuity and really focused on creating mood (again) to resonate with the mood of the song.

Tomer looking his finest!

Tomer looking his finest!

PLANNING, FILMING AND EDITING A MUSIC VIDEO

Franny:

When I first wrote this song, I had these visions of us making a music video with us drumming in the woods! I didn’t think we would actually be able to pull it off… but somehow, we did.

Franny and Zooey:

There is a lot of planning when it comes to creating a music video. Firstly, we needed to sit down and create our vision. The song itself is a protest, so we knew we wanted to have a group of people protesting as part of the music video. Then there was also the crazy idea of us drumming in the woods! To flesh it out further we decided to add another component and incorporate a sole person running, which would add a storyline element to the video. So that we had a solid idea of how this would all come together, we put it all into a storyboard and sent it off to our videographer – Ben Morgan (also would highly recommend).

And… ACTION! Why so serious?! You’ll just have to wait and see.

And… ACTION! Why so serious?! You’ll just have to wait and see.

Next we had to figure out locations. We decided we would film the group of protesters in a grassy, green area near home. We wanted to be a bit ambitious with the second location and scouted around for an epic forest. We knew we’d found the PERFECT place when we took a drive out to the Warburton Redwood Forest. What an amazing place! After organising our permit, we were all set.

Lastly, we had to consider costumes and props. We wanted our look to resemble the flowing of a river (to match the name of the song - Let the River Flow). We took a trip to Ishka and ended up finding our costumes – 2 flowy white dresses. We thought they would be an awesome contrast against the dark browns and greens of a forest. For props, we made a bunch of protest signs using lyrics from our song and somehow managed to find two reasonably priced drums off Gumtree!

We had a pretty dreary day for the first day of filming, but this just added to the mood and ambiance so we couldn’t complain! During the first day we shot all the scenes with the protesters. It was so fun having so many friends and family on board to help us out! Can’t thank them enough! <3

Editing with this legend - Ben Morgan!

Editing with this legend - Ben Morgan!

The next day we headed off to Warburton with Ben, our cameraman, Tomer, our “runner” and Charlie, our… number one fan!? (Isn’t that right, Charlie? :p). We were there ALL day filming take after take. The first half of the day was taken up filming shots of Tomer running. He was amazing!!! He managed to round up 20,000 steps in 4-5 hours! What a trooper haha!! During the second half of the day we fulfilled our crazy vision and filmed shots of us drumming in the woods! OHH YEAHH! So many people passing by were like umm… what!? Last shot was of us standing in a river which was BEYOND COLD… but we got some amazing shots, so it was definitely worth it.

Now we are onto the editing. We’ve done one initial look at the footage, and what Ben has managed to capture is just incredible! Can’t wait to see how it all comes together. STAY TUNED AND GET EXCITED <3

 

  

Franny's Fitness and Mental Health Journey FEAt. Zooey!

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My favourite frozen berry and banana smoothie! So simple yet so tasty &lt;3 Perfect way to kick-start your day!

My favourite frozen berry and banana smoothie! So simple yet so tasty <3 Perfect way to kick-start your day!

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Another favourite! A mango and spinach smoothie with peanut butter! You can’t even taste the spinach!

Another favourite! A mango and spinach smoothie with peanut butter! You can’t even taste the spinach!

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The hiking gang! This year has been a bit crazy but when we find the time, we all love to get together and go on hike. Amelia Allan is our hiking guru! Also known as   Meliaallan     on Insta!

The hiking gang! This year has been a bit crazy but when we find the time, we all love to get together and go on hike. Amelia Allan is our hiking guru! Also known as Meliaallan on Insta!

As you probably can tell from our Insta stories, Franny LOVES to work out. We want to share our thoughts on the importance of health, in relation to how you function as a person. For us, a healthy lifestyle helps to foster and nurture a mental state where music and any other creative endeavours can flourish. Hopefully, you might find some tips and suggestions from this post that are useful and which you can implement in your own life.

Franny:

It’s crazy for me to think about how I was before keeping fit and healthy compared to the person I am today. They are two very different people. This is a relatively new habit I have instilled in my day-to-day routine and something I notice holds tremendous value in how I feel physically, emotionally and mentally. I started to work out and maintain a healthy diet (minimising my fast food and foods with artificial preservatives in them) in order to keep my weight at its best. And though I am a little embarrassed to admit this, it was purely to do with aesthetics! I wanted to look good naked and to become lean and toned. I think we all tend to judge ourselves very harshly and although I know there are many of my friends who didn’t think I ‘needed’ to work out and that I was ‘fine the way I am’, I wanted to see what my body was capable of and, lets be honest, I wanted some toned glutes, LOL! But seriously, I think it’s hard when we are so bombarded with images of the ‘ideal’ body and what makes you a ‘real’ woman, that unfortunately, we do become brainwashed. I REALLY do not endorse the ideals these images promote and have suffered first-hand from the damage these images can inflect upon one’s self-esteem. I have felt inadequate and unworthy because of societal expectations and the constant bombardment of damaging images of photoshopped, fake women (when I say ‘fake’, I mean women who have been trimmed to look skinnier, filtered and made to look ethereal with their smooth, unblemished skin… Seriously? Come on. Let’s be honest. Flaws and flawed people - as we all are - make us much more interesting and unique… So why do we try to cover this up?!). So, yes, I began my fitness journey based on these feelings of wanting to look ‘ideal’ and though I knew it was impossible to LOOK like those women, I felt as though just maybe if I could look a little bit like them I would be HAPPIER. Little did I know, with this journey I would discover many, many more benefits of keeping fit and eating healthy. What I thought would bring me happiness, didn’t, and what ended up bringing me happiness was something I had not anticipated. These days, I don’t even think twice about weighing myself or how I look in the mirror naked – it’s essentially not about how I look, but rather how I feel. It’s become totally part of my routine and has become a LIFESTYLE choice. I LOVE working out! I LOVE seeing what my body can do and how it improves every time I push myself. I LOVE feeling strong and powerful! Now when I look in the mirror, I don’t think, “Hmm, I wish that flabby part there would go away” or “My butt jiggles way too much” or “Fuck off, cellulite.” Instead, I see a woman who is strong and has really pushed herself beyond what they ever thought they were capable of and… gosh, do I feel PROUD!

 

What are the benefits that I have experienced personally?

-          I lead quite a busy life… I work 4 days at my primary job whilst keeping on top of my musical projects and endeavours. I have just signed with an acting agency to pursue further acting opportunities and on top that I have my day-to-day ‘tasks’ that I need to get done. I know before I started working out, my mentality would have been, “Where the hell do I find the time to stay fit?” and I would have used that as an excuse to not move my body and to stay in a rut. For me, working out is ME time. I spend 30 minutes a day moving my body and letting that energy flow through me at the beginning of my day before going to work. It sets me up to feel energised and ready to take on the day!

 

-          Emotionally and mentally I am so much more stable! It’s crazy! I do suffer from anxiety and sometimes it does get the better of me, but since keeping fit and healthy, my anxiety levels have decreased and I feel a lot more in control and strong within myself.

 

-          Being creative is one of the MOST important parts of my life! When I am in a rut, the creativity becomes stunted. It doesn’t matter how many times I try to write a song, if I’m stuck inside my head, nothing tends to flow out. Keeping fit opens up my mind and releases endorphins into my body which help to nurture my creative side. This is incredibly important for me given my life revolves around my creativity.

What does my fitness routine look like?

-          I began my fitness journey at the end of 2017 and joined the Keep It Cleaner community at the beginning of this year to push myself further. It’s amazing working out with a community of like-minded women who help to motivate and generate discussions around all sorts of topics that help to keep me focused on my goals. I love being held accountable - and this group makes sure of it! If you like to work out at the gym or have sporty activities every week, that’s great, but if you’re like me and feel most comfortable in your home, joining a community like KIC is a great way to kick start your health/fitness journey.

 

-          Every morning before work, I spend 20 minutes working out. In one week, I do the following sessions:

·        High-intensity interval training (HIIT) x2

·        Strength x2

·        Boxing x1

·        Running x1

·        Pilates or Yoga x1

This way I am moving my body every day! I try to include small walks every day as well which I usually fit in when I walk to work.

-          After my workout I usually make myself a smoothie in the morning to kick start my day. Shortly after I have a coffee. For lunch, I usually buy myself sushi or have rice crackers with tuna and avocado. And for dinners, they range from all sorts of different meals. I like to cook in bulk and freeze meals for those days where I just don’t feel like cooking. I don’t usually snack throughout the day, but if I do, it will be on some KIC bliss balls or some fruit or a muesli bar and lots of tea! I love my tea! Of course I also eat out and have Uber Eats on days that I don’t feel like cooking or want to splurge AND that is completely fine. It’s all about balance and moderation!

How do you stay motivated to workout?

This is a tricky one, but essentially when you have something that is soooo embedded into your routine you feel almost out of sorts when you don’t workout.  For me, when I am feeling particularly unmotivated I think about the fact that it’s only 30 minutes of my day that is being dedicated to nurturing my body and that my body deserves this! I think about how good working out makes me feel during and after, and how much more switched on I am when I go to have a jam on my keyboard. When I feel those endorphins kick in, I seem to be able to create and be in the moment with my music. It’s also to do with confidence. When I work out I feel confident in my own skin. This translates to also feeling more confident in my music, which I have struggled with in the past.

Tangent time: To go on a bit of tangent, something I’ve really struggled with is having faith in my ability to create music, and having faith that it will be something others enjoy listening to. I have had an enormous amount of self-doubt and self-destructive moments that seem to still haunt me at times, especially when it comes to performing. I find, however, that when I do a yoga or pilates session, I am able to refocus my brain and the anxiety starts to decrease… It is still something I am really trying to work hard on.

So, knowing that moving my body helps with my performance-anxiety is a HUGE motivator! I guess, for me, I see keeping fit as a therapeutic approach for my insecurities.  You really just have to play around with it, and see the differences for yourself.

Before I started this journey, there is NO WAY I would have predicted how amazing I feel today. All I can say is I totally recommend picking up something like a sport or dance or a fitness program that gets you moving to see for yourself just how different you will feel within, I reckon, a month! For me, it has been so worth it! Go kick some goals!

Zooey’s two cents!

Alrighty folks. So working out isn’t really my thing. I’ve tried to incorporate it into my routine a few times, and have never been able to make it a habit. In saying this, I do admire Franny’s hard work (and her toned booty hahaha), and I can really appreciate how many health benefits working out can have, both physically and mentally.

In my defence, I’m not a total couch potato!!! To exercise, I love getting out of the house and doing an activity. I love playing tennis, and most of all hiking with my fave hiking buddies, Franny and Amelia!! I was also doing a lot of indoor rock-climbing last year and I’d love to get back into that!

So my theory is, if you want to exercise but can’t stick to a rigid work out routine, find a fun activity that you enjoy and go for it!!

My Love Lyrics

Franny+and+zoooey+cover.jpg

Welcome home my love

Dinner’s on the table

Tell me how’s work going

You haven’t been much around

You look kind of stressed

Your eyes are red and they look right through me

Tell me what’s going on

I don’t understand where we went wrong

Lost for words and fake smiles

My blood runs dry and now we’re built on lies

Welcome home my love

Would you like a glass of wine

Did you know I stay up late sometimes

Waiting for you to arrive

I cry alone at night to often

I wipe my own tears away and pick myself up and smile

Tell me what’s going on

I don’t understand where we went wrong

Lost for words and fake smiles

My blood runs dry and now we’re built on lies

And I don’t know how to say this to you

Without breaking your heart and my one too

But we were never meant to be abused

Tell me what’s going on

I don’t understand where we went wrong

Lost of words and fake smiles

My blood runs dry and now we’re built on lies

Welcome home my love

Dinner’s on the table

My Love - A Confusing Little Thing Called Love

Franny: Anyone who knows us knows we love to hike! It’s what we do whenever we travel - hike, hike and hike! It’s great when you find those mutual hobbies you can enjoy and share with each other.

Franny: Anyone who knows us knows we love to hike! It’s what we do whenever we travel - hike, hike and hike! It’s great when you find those mutual hobbies you can enjoy and share with each other.

Zooey: Finally dragged Charlie onto the dance floor! Love having a good boogie with this man (despite how unco we can both be at times!)

Zooey: Finally dragged Charlie onto the dance floor! Love having a good boogie with this man (despite how unco we can both be at times!)

Franny: Did I mention how much we love to hike? Haha! We also love to travel. In 2017, we travelled all around North America for four months in a small camper van we bought. It’s these sorts of experiences that really test a relationship and challenge the both of you. You’re stepping out of your comfort zone and navigating not only a foreign country but all the feelings and experiences that travelling brings. It can be super challenging… but also super rewarding!

Franny: Did I mention how much we love to hike? Haha! We also love to travel. In 2017, we travelled all around North America for four months in a small camper van we bought. It’s these sorts of experiences that really test a relationship and challenge the both of you. You’re stepping out of your comfort zone and navigating not only a foreign country but all the feelings and experiences that travelling brings. It can be super challenging… but also super rewarding!

Zooey: Charlie and I spent about 3 months travelling South America! What an incredible experience! It’s crazy travelling with a partner. You are literally spending every minute of everyday together, which in our case was 100 days, 2400 hours, 140000 minutes together!!! Holy crap, can’t believe we put up with each other for that long! People say travelling will either make or break a relationship. It definitely made ours (It was in Lima, Peru that Charlie proposed!).

Zooey: Charlie and I spent about 3 months travelling South America! What an incredible experience! It’s crazy travelling with a partner. You are literally spending every minute of everyday together, which in our case was 100 days, 2400 hours, 140000 minutes together!!! Holy crap, can’t believe we put up with each other for that long! People say travelling will either make or break a relationship. It definitely made ours (It was in Lima, Peru that Charlie proposed!).

Franny: Capturing beautiful moments like these helps put those bad times into perspective. You can always look back and remember how you felt in that moment. Here we are in New York City, taking a break from the hikes and livin’ it up in the city.

Franny: Capturing beautiful moments like these helps put those bad times into perspective. You can always look back and remember how you felt in that moment. Here we are in New York City, taking a break from the hikes and livin’ it up in the city.

Zooey: God I love this cutie! Here is us both looking chuffed the night before our wedding day… and what a day it was! &lt;3

Zooey: God I love this cutie! Here is us both looking chuffed the night before our wedding day… and what a day it was! <3

These lads are our goof balls! What’s not to love!? ;)

These lads are our goof balls! What’s not to love!? ;)

Post wedding kiss &lt;3

Post wedding kiss <3

Our cute little fam! We’ve been living together for a year now and couldn’t be happier!

Our cute little fam! We’ve been living together for a year now and couldn’t be happier!

How did this song come about?

Franny:

This song sort of came out nowhere! Both Zooey and I are in super healthy and happy relationships, so it’s kind of funny that I wrote this heartbreak of a song about a couple who is completely falling apart! When writing this song, there were these words floating around my head: “Be careful not to take your partner for granted”. These words have stuck with me and have translated into something I try to practice every day. I have Mumma Bear to thank for this - I have a vivid memory of her sitting me down at a young age and explaining to me how important it was to acknowledge your partner and never take them for granted. And some great advice it was!

So, when these words were bouncing around in my head, I was sitting at the keyboard and before I knew it this song bubbled its way out onto the keys, and quickly scribbled its way onto paper. It was one of the first songs I had written in over five years. I don’t know why I stopped writing. Too busy? Self-doubt? Scared? Who knows. But I am certainly happy I was able to pick up my pen and paper and dance my fingers over the keyboard to produce what is one of my favourite songs I’ve written!

Zooey:

When Franny first showed me this heartbreak of a song I was like, “Dayum, girrrl! Do we need to talk? Please tell me you and Tomer are okay!!?” She assured me they were more than fine and I breathed a sigh of relief! This song immediately resonated with me. Growing up with divorced parents instilled within me a determination to never raise a broken family of my own. For me this song is special as it really captures, and translates to the listener, a feeling of hopelessness and despair at a relationship that has lost its way. Working with this song helped me to reflect on my own fears and hopes about being in a long-term relationship, and helped to consolidate my existing belief of always doing what I could to nurture my own relationships.

The songwriting process – how does the magic happen?

Franny:

For those of you interested in my songwriting process, here’s a short explanation of what it is to me. Songwriting for me is not always the same. It’s definitely a therapeutic practice and an expression of what I am feeling in that moment, but sometimes, as happened with My Love, it pours out of me. Other times it takes days, maybe weeks to finish a song. It varies and is up and down like a roller coaster. Usually I will feel a niggle inside of me which signifies a light bulb moment that I should act on, and more likely than not, I’ll have a song, or at least the beginnings of a song, by the end of the day.

Break it down, sista’ - song analysis!

Franny and Zooey:

The song depicts a couple having a breakdown in communication over dinner, and we never hear the other side of the story, that is, what the partner is feeling and thinking. It’s as if the narrator is talking to a wall. This one-sided conversation almost becomes a plea to the partner. They have realised that the relationship is fractured, perhaps beyond repair, and are begging their partner to answer the question of where their relationship went wrong.

We don’t have any technical terms for what this style of writing is, but perhaps we’d call it a monologue-based form of writing, in which the lyrics are meant to convey the narrators inability to reach their partner. The lyrics used in this song are deliberately straightforward and to the point, painting a vivid image for the listener. This monologue-based style of writing is effective in bringing the story of this broken relationship to life. The emotive language within the lyrics also helps to engage the listener and make the song relatable.

The topic – Relationships! What is our experience?

Franny and Zooey:

This brings us to the overarching theme of ‘My Love’ - relationships. Boy, can they be confusing and hard work at times! I think when you find yourself in a truly happy and healthy relationship though, you just know it! We can vouch for this, both currently being in pretty long-term relationships.

Franny:

Tomer and I have been together for almost 7 years. I know… Crazy, Stupid, Love! The sort everyone wishes for!

Zooey:

I married the love of my life, Charlie, just over 6 weeks ago. Love him to BITS!

Franny and Zooey:

But let us tell you - it’s been no bed of roses (Queen anyone?Hehe.). Relationships take work and time to build, and sometimes rebuild. Our relationships didn’t happen overnight and there have been many ups and downs. It’s taken work and dedication to get to where we are now, and continues to do so.

We both know a lot of people who are in unhappy relationships and a lot of the time it does seem that each of them has forgotten to appreciate what the other brings to the relationship. It’s easy to see how that would come about – you’re in this long-term relationship and by this stage you’ve passed the stage of all those crazy chemicals and hormones surging through you. What you’re left with is a more real representation of who that person is and that can be totally overwhelming! We get that. But, if you have managed to build a strong foundation and a solid friendship, we really do believe you can move past anything. Now, in no way are we relationship gurus, but we thought we’d briefly touch on what a healthy relationship looks like (at least in our experience):

  • If you feel like you are undervalued, not heard or don’t feel like you can voice your opinion, this could indicate an oppressive relationship. You should not feel like you need to prove something in order for your partner to be proud of you or show you some attention. What you should be, and hopefully are feeling, is loved. If you feel like your opinion and ideas hold weight, and your partner takes the time to listen to you, then you know that’s a healthy relationship. If your partner takes the time to show you they value you through something as simple as a warm embrace, or a surprise date, or a thoughtful letter, then you know something is working. You should never feel like you are unworthy of your partner’s love and attention.

  • You are ENOUGH! If you feel like you are constantly being compared to others and you seem to never match up to your partner’s ‘ideal’, this can be incredibly damaging for your self-esteem. Everyone is their own unique selves, and never should you feel like you are not good enough, not attractive enough, not smart enough, not funny enough... the list goes on. We have both definitely felt this in past relationships and it doesn’t matter how many times you try to change something about you to fit a ‘mould’, you’ll never feel good enough because ultimately you’re not being accepted for who you truly are. You are you! And if your partner cannot see the beautiful person you are (inside and out), then that is their loss.

  • Appreciate each other! We believe one of the MOST important things to remember in any relationship is to appreciate the small things and voice them! Never take your partner for granted. They may be infuriating at times, (and do remember you probably are too), and you will have arguments, but remember to appreciate all those wonderful things that make them uniquely them. Not only that, but appreciate the things that they bring to the relationship and the efforts they go to when showing you they care and love you - whether that is cooking a dinner, doing the grocery shopping, making time for date nights, giving you a massage, etc. Remember the things you are grateful for and voice them!

  • Spending time apart is not always a bad thing! Having hobbies and social get-togethers doesn’t always have to involve the both of you.

    Franny:

    In fact, I love having hobbies and gatherings that don’t always involve Tomer. It’s nice to embrace some independence and have your partner be happy for you and be encouraging and nurturing of that.  

  • Tell your partner you love them. This is a big one for us.

    Zooey:

    Charlie and I say we love each other a ridiculous amount (maybe 100 times a day)!!! I seriously just love loving Charlie! I remember feeling so worried at the start of our relationship that he would be overwhelmed by my expressions of love, but it turns out he is just as lovey dovey as me…Shhh, don’t tell him I said that ;)

    Franny:

    I don’t think I have missed a day where I have not told Tomer I love him. I know this is not for everyone, but for me, this one is hugely important. I want Tomer to know that I love him and this really helps to ground us and take a moment each day to appreciate the other.

We’d love to hear your experiences, whether they are different or the same as ours and how/if you’ve managed to overcome certain challenges. If you have any suggestions about what you feel makes a loving and healthy relationship, comment below!

View our music video of My Love below: