Sunday 20 December 2015

First of the Month Fiction - Jan

Last post until Feb 1 (well, there'll be another First of the Month fiction, cos I like to keep you on your toes with random posting...)

Newbies, put a 100 word story (exactly) or one less than 30 words in the comments, then add your blog in the link, so we can check out your verbose awesomeness).

She was sick of her husband always working. Fed up with the lonely nights. It was worse at Christmas, magnified by the fact he'd sleep most of Christmas Day, when he was done for the year and finally spending time with his family. There was nothing special for her in the festive season.

The handsome young intern caught her eye and smiled. That magical grin of his. He wasn't perfect, a little short, but had a certain impish charm. One day she might succumb. "You're hair looks nice today, Mrs Claus." She flushed with pleasure, then busied herself with lists.

Happy Christmas to you all, and if you need help with New Years Resolutions, look at this article for some ideas (it's the one I posted before with all the F words, not suitable for work but absolutely suitable for easy changes to habits that could save the planet)

Linking with #OpenSlather

Thursday 17 December 2015

Happy, Shiny and Bright

May you all have a wonderful holiday season, celebrating however you see fit.
Drive carefully, stay safe and see you all next year for a more successful 2016, however you choose to measure success.
I'm off to the Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Lights Spectacular, so the ongoing Christmas festivities continue for the youngest believer in our family.

Last xmas link up for the year, and I hope to get First of the Month Fiction up next week - just need some time to write!

Enjoy the break and Merry Christmas!

Linking with #FYBF and #TheUltimateRabbitHole

Monday 14 December 2015

2015 - a good year?

2015 has been a difficult year, but I suspect the older you get, the more difficult life gets, so you need to learn to roll with the punches. However, that is just to preface the highlight reel to follow, because when I look at parts of 2015, it's also been a good year.

Little change workwise, but I was published again in the Hunter Writers Centre's Grieve Anthology and I was runner up in #SnapSydney (and thanks to Cannon, got a replacement camera for my beloved little point & click that was eaten in the surf).

We managed to visit the amazing Big Island & Kauai in Hawaii, and also sneak in a short trip to Krabi. I had fabulous 'me' time by going early and spending 3 days at the Singapore Grand Prix, though Kimi didn't win :(

In good news, I've decided to start backing myself a little more and working on my self confidence. I'm hoping 2016 means we've moved out of the tricky stage with one child (though there's a second child moving into that stage as we speak - eek!).

Lastly, for 2016 I intend to focus a little more on my happiness. Cut myself a little more time with friends or exercising, and noticing when I'm having fun.

I guess ultimately 2015 has been a good year, it just doesn't feel like a good year as I sink into the mundane waters of the day to day. Kids are hard, making an income is hard, juggling the two is, at times, difficult.

The amount of extra hours in the car since we moved to the apartment is physically exhausting (and it is hours a day!!) and leaving little time to do anything creative or worthwhile, however, with only one child to pick up next year, I'm hoping that resolves itself.

So I hope for an improved 2016, but will settle with finding the happiness where I can. Because it is always there, we just sometimes don't notice it.

May 2016 bring you all that you wish for.

Linking with #IBOT

Wednesday 9 December 2015

More Kris Kringle ideas, but these help the world

I dropped into Oxfam yesterday and was amazed at all the goodies inside, only to learn they would leave with me in a bag and I'd be $100 poorer, though my shopping is now done!

If you're looking for Kris Kringle gifts, they have chocolates under the $10 mark, or bath salts and soaps - all fair trade, often organic and helping local communities around the planet.

These teas in gorgeous canisters are under $20, and the hibiscus infusion is delightful. (It was meant to be a gift but #IMustConfess I decided I needed to try it).

Worry dolls at $5.95 are the perfect gift for any parent of a teenager, or there are plenty of handmade Christmas decorations.

These statement rings will please any female in your life, young or old, and only $18.95.

If you can't get into an Oxfam shop, you can order online.

One other item, worth a mention: I got this in the Bockers & Pony hamper, so I don't know the price, but these were amazingly delicious (I ate the whole tin! Opps!).

Lastly, the fabulous Industrie Grooming kits are on sale again (better pics of what's inside on this post here) for $19.95, with proceeds going to cure brain cancer (Dr Teo). Available at Industrie stores or David Jones.

Any other gift ideas?

Add your Christmas posts, old or new, below:
Linking with #ChristmasLinkUP

Monday 7 December 2015

Thinking New Year Resolutions? Think one that will change the world

I read this article, that unfortunately has lots of the F word in it, so not suitable for work, but a brilliant read on small steps we can all take to tackle the problem of climate change. Small changes here and there in our daily lives, when multiplied by many can make a tangible difference to the planet.

I urge you, when planning your New Years Resolutions, think about throwing in one or two ideas that not only make you a better person, but the planet a better place to be.

When not on a work computer, read this fabulous article (The title includes the F word, as does the URL).

Little by little, if enough of us start the wave of change, the tide will turn.

So let's start now, and let's start with ourselves. Isn't this worth saving?

Linking with #OpenSlather

Saturday 5 December 2015

Happiness is....

For those that have been reading me with any regularity, you will know half my world view comes from an intellectual crush on Messrs. Vonnegut and Bradbury. In the case of Happiness, Kurt Vonnegut sums it up perfectly. In the book, A Man Without A Country, he tells of his Uncle Alex who would interrupt them when they were all sitting around laughing and remark 'If this isn't happiness, I don't know what is.' By underlining the moment as it happened, you're highlighting the appreciation of a moment of happiness for everyone present. Bookmarking it, if you will.

I think it's human nature to enjoy the moment but not 'collect' it in our store of emotions. We remember the terrible slight and drama filled incidents, ready to recall them at a moments notice, but forget the daily moments where happiness is the reigning emotion - walking down a flower filled street on a sunny day, laughing with a friend over something inconsequential, watching a movie in cool air-conditioned darkness and so on. We don't see them as important enough to matter.

That's the trick to life, however. It's ALL important. The mundane is probably more important than the big events, because that's what we squander the most time on. In a way, laughing in the car on the school drop off is more valuable than the big birthday dinner or even a wedding...we spend a lot more of our life doing one than the other.

Happiness is a day at the beach.
Happiness is a swim.
Happiness is laughing with friends.
Happiness is smelling flowers.
Happiness is buying a new book.
Happiness is finding time to read.
Happiness is dancing. Anywhere.
Happiness is first cup of coffee in the morning.
The list goes on endlessly.

For the next week, when you're happy, pause and take a moment to acknowledge it. See if your mood lightens when you realise how happy you actually are most of the time. Start building that bank of happy moments.

"I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'" Vonnegut.

Fill in the blank. Happiness is....

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Wednesday 2 December 2015

Who gives a crap this Christmas? Kriskringle Edition

I'm in a number of groups - two book clubs, a mah jong group and a few others, and every Christmas, we get together for celebrations and I like to give little gifts - just tokens, like nice soaps, Christmas pasta, hand creams etc. This year, I'm giving paper - but not just any paper. Toilet paper.

It's festively wrapped, and all good things for the environment, and the best part, has a charity arm too. So it's win-win all round. I'm figuring my friends will find it funny, and I'm not filling up the world with more things they don't need. You'll find it at Who Gives a Crap.

I did manage to get these super cute decorations for $1.00 a piece at Papaya so they'll get one of those too.

Lastly, I've discovered the perfect useful Kris Kringle shop - The Chef & The Cook. They have a myriad of chocolates from around the world, plus the festive Freckleberry range, under $10. They also have spices, sauces and delectable delights you don't find elsewhere. One of the kids is mad for Christmas Crackers and they have the most amazing collection - from high end glamour ones of the 12 days of Christmas to these super cool magic ones that include magic tricks as the prizes.

Are you hunting around for a Kriskringle gift? What are you thinking of getting?
And don't for get the It's in the Bag toiletries are to be dropped off before the 11th.

Add your  Christmas posts, old or new:

Linking with #FYBF and #UltimateRabiitHole