2018 – My year of being accountable – reaching long term goals!

Hello everyone!

Welcome to Emma Frankie!

I’m setting up this blog to be accountable for achieving some long term goals I’ve had for the past 10 years.

So I thought this year, I’m going to have a go at project managing myself first and foremost, using tips and tricks I use professionally.

About me: 32, Australian, blonde, blunt.

Loves:  The three C’s: Chocolate, Coffee and Chip (my doggo). TRAVEL. Leaning, laughing, puddle jumping.

Other interests: Baking cupcakes, sewing, singing, having a good time. Comedy festivals.

Worked as: babysitter, volleyball umpire, sandwich maker, Starbucks barista, hotel cleaner, researcher, project manager, civil investigator, bartender.

Along my travels as a project manager, I’ve had great success from a work perspective as I’m very career focussed, but have struggled to look after myself first.

I also have a website called the travelling criminologist, where I blog (very occasionally) on crime prevention. If I blog on there more than here, my goal is failing and it’s your job to keep me accountable!

Without further ado, here is what I am working for in 2018:

  1. Learning a second language – working past my current level in Spanish asking for a coffee or a wine.
  2. Failling in love. Hasn’t happened yet. Gotta fall in love with yourself first, and this is my year!
  3. Travel the Trans-Sibierian Railway.

I realised it’s important to look back and reflect on wins and what you want to improve, so you can write a story that doesn’t go around in circles! Past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour, so to change the future, the best place to start is the past. So here is a list of what I achieved, and what I’d like to improve.

What I achieved in 2017:

  1. Successfully managed $10 million project budget.
  2. Dance! I learnt full dance routines and performed in front of others in dance class. I’ve always loved the idea of dancing, and consistency went for 18 months to get there. My results at dance weren’t as good as I’d like as I’d struggle to let go of work quickly enough for the day before going to dance. I’d then dance and couldn’t remember the choreography or be too tired from work. But hey, I kept going and now I have way more moves for the dance floor, and am in great shape!
  3. Accepted as Commonwealth Games 2018 volunteer.
  4. Lived by myself with my doggo. This was huge for me – very Sex and the City style (except in Brisbane haha), in a cool apartment walking distance to work and the city. It was great, but ultimately I prefer living with others.

What I didn’t do well:

  1. Didn’t put myself first – work always came first despite my best intentions.
  2. Took on board negative criticism too willingly.
  3. Changed too much too soon – I’d moved interstate, and due to a couple of injuries wasn’t able to rely on my usual social network of playing netball. I learnt dance instead but I love team sports, so it was hard being very isolated at work and also socially.

What next:

  1. Book travel. Conveniently I have a UK passport, so I’m hotfooting it until the UK to work and travel Europe before Brexit is fully implemented and it’s more annoying to travel the EU.
  2. Resign job. DONE. Moving back to Melbourne to rest up and take on a short term contract (hopefully) before going overseas in April. If the contract falls through I’ll be heading over in Feb.
  3. Focus in health. I’m putting my health as first priority every single day, as quite simply, my life goes better, I trust my gut and making the right decisions for me is easier as you are feeling and looking great.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you get something out of my journey! Please post any hints or tips you may have to keep me honest and accountable.

Til tomorrow!

Emma Frankie x




Putting my health first: Easy strategies backed by research

Hey hey hey!

In yesterday’s blog post, I talked about how I need to put my health first. I make better decisions when I am eating well and looking after myself. The older you get, the harder it seem to be to lose the kilos.

So like any good project manager, I had a terrific time having a merry google looking for an easy way to shift the mountain of Nutella I ate at Christmas when I had to go back to work early and no one was watching. Turns out the hot tip of putting ice cream into a near empty nutella jar tastes awesome. It’s just not something you can do every day.

In summary I need to:

  • Focus on 5 veg a day (not including the glorious potato)
  • Drink lots of water
  • Get 8 hours sleep
  • Count Calories
  • Eat Breakfast
  • Break a sweat at least once a day (60 minutes is ideal)

By Western Standards I’m a relatively healthy person – I exercise at least 60 minutes daily in some form, and get at least 3 serves of vegetables per day. However, this is not enough to look and feel my best. I am overweight, and have a BMI of 30.9, well over the recommended 25. The BMI isn’t the be all and end all, but it is an important marker.

Some studies say there is a ‘set point’ that your body feels comfortable at, and as a result, tries to keep you there. Therefore you need to continue eating less than the standard amount of calories to maintain the weight loss. 60 minutes of exercise is also required per day to maintain weight – however this needs to be done without an increase in calories. I’ve yoyo’d a fair bit, so this makes sense to me as I was overweight in primary and high school, then held very slim years as well as overweight ones. I’d like to focus on continuously staying at the healthy weight range as I just feel awesome there, I make better decisions and feel better about myself.

So, here is, according to my research, the things I need to do to lose weight now (again) and keep it off in a healthy way:

5 serves veggies per day – to have good overall health. Veggies are so good for you. Getting 5 veg can be a bit of a chore though – it’s really easy for me to grab a piece of toast instead of veggies due to the prep time. It’s worth it though, so to make this one stick I simply need to be prepared.

Drink lots of water: Stay hydrated peeps! Again easy for me as I love water and get a brain fog when dehydrated. If you don’t like it stick some lemon in there.

Eat breakfast. Studies show that people who eat breakfast maintain their weight loss long term. This is really easy for me, so I’m not going to bother brain space on it. I wake up hungry and breakfast is my favourite meal.

Sleep 8 hours. Again, very easy for me as I’ve never had trouble there.

Calorie count. This has worked really well for me in the past, and to be honest each time I’ve fallen off the wagon fairly heavily, it’s been because I am eating too much and not being accountable.

Interestingly, eating less is the most important thing to lose weight, not the quality of the calories in. Prof Haub did the Twinkie Diet – he ate a Twinkie (American cream bun) every three hours. And he lost weight. I won’t be following this idea, but it’s helpful if you fall of the wagon occasionally!

(CNN) — Twinkies. Nutty bars. Powdered donuts.

For a class project, Haub limited himself to less than 1,800 calories a day (for 10 weeks). A man of Haub’s pre-dieting size usually consumes about 2,600 calories daily. So he followed a basic principle of weight loss: He consumed significantly fewer calories than he burned.

His body mass index went from 28.8, considered overweight, to 24.9, which is normal. He now weighs 174 pounds.

But you might expect other indicators of health would have suffered. Not so.

Haub’s “bad” cholesterol, or LDL, dropped 20 percent and his “good” cholesterol, or HDL, increased by 20 percent. He reduced the level of triglycerides, which are a form of fat, by 39 percent. (Click here for the link to the full article)


I do exercise at least 60 minutes daily – I have a dog who I walk for at least 30 minutes every morning, and I do lots of walking throughout the day. However, I used to do weights at the gym really regularly, and that really helped. I’ve gone off it for some reason – but need to get this back in my routine to maintain and support muscle and bones as I age.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll be back tomorrow with other weight loss info. Why waste the research eh?

I’ll also be checking in weekly with measurements, and successes both in this health run and the Emma Frankie Project overall.

Emma Frankie x


Pursuing your dreams even when you’re exhausted – one step at a time

This is really relevant for me of late. I’ve done the same gig for the past 5 years, studied it for 4 before that, and did work experience for 2 years, unpaid. I really really loved it to start with, and then ironically, a year or so after I first started getting paid, I realised I didn’t love it so much anymore. Of course, I thought it was because I had moved work areas – while still working for the same organisation. That was part of it, but I had peaked a year in! Now, the work I did at the start of my career remains  some of the best of my career, and when I also most enjoyed the work.

So what changed? Was it my personal life, my professional life? Not taking opportunities? Trying to reclaim the glory after I first experienced it? And, what now?

I guess now it’s taking one step forward. I think it’s difficult, as a single woman, to look forward sometimes when your career is taking up too much of you. I don’t regret staying single and focussing on work – I regret not moving overseas instead, or taking up opportunities when I honestly had nothing to lose, I just was afraid of moving forward.

And now, I’m choosing life. My career seemed to peak as I stopped learning things that made me excited about life. As a criminologist, I think you always are trying to work towards a better world, even though what you see and work on can be so damn depressing. Humans are the worst, honestly. There is so much to cherish about the world, but some of the things I’ve seen I couldn’t have dreamt up in my worst nightmares.

I’m choosing to put one foot in front of the other – and motor on up to Queensland to try my luck there! This year I’m focussing on a good work/life balance, making this blog/website amazing and a great resource for criminology buffs, and getting great with money so I can utilise it to do awesome things in the world.

Hope your 2016 has gotten off to an amazing start!

Em x

BEST EVER AMERICAN COOKIES- the Neiman Marcus recipe in English cups!

BEST EVER AMERICAN COOKIES- the Neiman Marcus recipe in English cups!

Makes 120 Cookies – an absolute truck load! I halve the recipe usually, or freeze them to use in a cookie dough cheesecake 🙂
1 ½ cups butter
680 g chocolate chips
4 cups flour
1 ½ cups brown sugar
2 tsp. Bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp. salt
1 ½ cups sugar
500 g Grated Cadbury chocolate
5 cups oatmeal
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups chopped nuts (optional)

  1. Cream the butter and both sugars.
  2. Add eggs and vanilla, beat until mixed.
  3. Add all other ingredients (flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, chocolate chips, grated chocolate and nuts.
  4. Roll into balls, and place two inches apart on a lined baking tray.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes at 180 C.
  6. Anddd eat!!

Love Emma x