Thursday, 1 February 2018

Where is the love?

What is the world missing right now?

The answer is one simple little word - LOVE.

There is so much hatred, arrogance, selfishness, bullying, pride, racism, slander, tearing apart present in our world today, that can leave you questioning "where is the love?"

It's there:

- when a baby smiles at the sight of their parents face,
- when a lover touches your shoulder as they walk past,
- when a friend lends a helping hand,
- when the cool breeze hits your skin and the sun warms your face,
- when you receive a text saying "how are you?",
- when a mum delays cooking dinner so she can read a few more books to her toddler in her lap,
- when you receive a handmade gift,
- when a flower opens its petals,
- when a stranger complements you on your outfit,
- when someone holds the door open for you,
- when you open your Bible.

It's everywhere, some days you just need to squint harder to find it.

Love isn't just reserved for lovers, it's for family, friends, children, work mates, strangers, pets, nature, and even to give to yourself (if you do this one first you can give more love to the rest).

As we head into Love month (thanks Mr Valentine's) keep your eyes peeled for those little love moments throughout the day and celebrate them, be grateful for them, meditate on them, give praise for them and pretty soon you'll start to spot them more often than anything else.

What do you think the world is missing right now?

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Tuesday, 28 November 2017

'Adore Your Cycle' Book Review & My own cycle story

I have always hated my periods. I still remember the first day I got them, I was 13 years old and I screamed the house down as I thought I was bleeding to death. I had never really had them explained to me, so I was completely clueless as to what was going on.

I got use to them, as a girl you kinda of have to. It sucked that I couldn’t go swimming when I wanted to (I wasn’t allowed to use tampons) and I was so sick and had the worst stomach pains. When I was about 16 or 17 my periods would last up to 12-14 days and then 5-6 days later start again. The doctor I was seeing at the time suggested the pill but my mum was a very vocal NO so the doctor suggested some Chinese medicine, I took the tablets and it fixed it I went to 28 days give or take a day or two. I wish I knew what the medicine was as it was a miracle worker.

As I got older the pain stayed and I dealt with it as I was always told it was part of the deal. I would curse those 4-5 days of the month every time, I’d hate my body for what it was doing and the way my emotions went all over the shot.

When I got married I went onto the pill as my husband and I didn’t want kids for a few years, after 5 years I went off the pill as I was told it could take over a year to get out of your system. So after a year we started trying and then 4 months later I was pregnant. Then I had a miscarriage, got very infected from the D&C and bleed for 3 months straight. Then a few months later I had a second miscarriage, thankfully I didn’t get an infection this time but after 2 miscarriages I hated my periods even more because every time I saw blood each month it reminded me of losing those 2 babies and I felt like my body had let me down. I did fall pregnant again a year later and had a healthy baby boy in April 2016. I loved not having my periods while I was pregnant it was one of the only things I enjoyed about being pregnant.

When I stopped breastfeeding after 6 months (not voluntary) it only took 1 month for my periods to return. Thankfully the pain I use to get is gone but they are much shorter now 23-24 days instead of 28-29 days, but I felt the same old hatred rearing its head again. I thought there’s got to be a different way, I cannot stand hating my body every time it’s doing something natural like it’s designed to.

Here’s where the e-book ‘Adore Your Cycle’ enters – I have followed Claire Baker on and off over the years and found her again through a post on Instagram someone posted about the women marching against Trump. Claire talks all things menstrual cycle and more too. But it’s her cycle work that really got me interested. On her Instastories she was doing some daily cycle updates and I found it so fascinating and comforting to know that this is not only a natural thing women’s bodies do but a magical thing (schools never describe it like that – if they describe it at all). I bought her ebook and joined her Adore Your Cycle Facebook group to learn more. I’ll admit it took me a few months after buying the book before I started reading it (thank you stupid depression and anxiety for holding me back) but once I read it, I want to share this book with everyone.

I actually now look forward to my periods, last cycle I even craved for them to come in the few days leading up. I now write my cycle days in my diary so I can planned around them better, I’m noticing when I’m more social and when I’m more withdrawn and I don’t feel guilty over that anymore I honour it actually. It’s helping me to better understand myself and in turn it’s actually helping me to be a better mother and wife because I now know when my moods will be higher and lower, what days are good to plan for catch ups and what days are better to make sure I’ve got little to nothing to do. I’m not crazy, there’s a reason my hormones are the way they are. The concept of seasons is fantastic. In Spring and Summer I’m much more up, productive, social, ready to take on the world. Autumn and Winter I’m more quiet, reserved, pissed off easily, slower. I’ve even been talking to my husband more about it and he has noticed a difference in my attitude towards my periods and it’s been good to tell him what day of my cycle I’m on and it’s helping him know how to interact with me better and understand me.

Thank you Claire for bringing this work to the world, it’s needed so desperately. We need to teach this to girls at the beginning, I wish I had this when I was a teenager. Claire (if you ever read this) I want you to know you are a gift from God given to all of us and thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me to Adore My Cycle xoxo.

To find Claire’s ebook and more click here.

This is not sponsored or anything I just needed to share this great work of hers.

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Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Stewards of Creation

I recently went to the Cruelty Free Festival in Sydney, I've been before (2 years ago) but this time was very different. Since I was there alone I decided to sit down and listen to one of the speakers, I didn't know who was coming up next I had finished looking at all the stalls etc and just wanted to rest for a bit before heading out. The speaker was Bebe from A Poultry Place talking about how roosters are the most disrespected and mistreated of all the farm animals. Male chicks in the egg industry are deemed useless and they are not sent off to be meat birds (as that is a different breed) but instead they are piled onto a conveyor belt and literally dumped into a grinder - still alive - this happens even in the organic egg industry (check out the video here). 

After hearing all this I was so angry, upset, nauseated and quite frankly pissed off. Why are we doing this to a live creature? Why are we killing 12 million chicks every year (just in Australia)? These animals can feel pain and we are throwing them into a meat grinder? What is frick is wrong with us? 

I have vowed now to never eat another egg as I cannot stomach the idea of being a part of that. I haven't even touched meat since, I just cannot bring myself to do it.  

When God created this world, he gave us the creatures of this planet to look after, to be stewards of, to care for and respect. Yes I do believe that animals were provided for us to consume both them and the products that they produce but I do not believe that we are meant to consume them the way we are now. We are violent, disrespectful, cruel, demanding, greedy towards them, we view them as a commodity and a profit to be had. That's not how God created it to be. Our modern way of life is so out of control and out of touch with how it was intended to be - creation is ours to protect, not squander. 

I have decided to start my journey towards veganism, I'm already dairy-intolerant so I rarely eat dairy anyway. I did consume a lot of eggs and I have a love for baking so that will need some adjusting. This is my journey and my husband and son can continue to eat what they choose as that is their journey to follow. I'm doing this for my faith, for my belief in God because I cannot stand by and be part of the mistreatment of His creation, of His glory, it just feels so wrong. 

If I could live the River Cottage life I would in a heartbeat but sadly we cannot all live like that anymore and with the demand for animal products the industry cannot live like that either without cutting corners (like it's doing in a shocking way). So it's up to the individual to work out what's best for them and their particular path in life. Everyone is different and has the right to make their own choice and this is my choice, my path, my journey and I will walk in my special way. 

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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Tryhards guide - How to be eco with kids

Having kids can be a minefield of plastic crap and mass consumption or so it seems. Birthdays and Christmas they get showered with presents, most of them with batteries that play the most annoying tunes that gets so ingrained in your brain that you don’t notice yourself humming the tune to sleep at night. So many ads target kids with the latest fad and trend and please don’t get me started on kids’ meals and the plastic shite that comes along with them.

So how in all this madness can we still give our kids some fun and excitement of childhood without killing the planet in the process? Is it even possible? I believe the answer is yes with a little bit of know how you can do it.

I will place a disclaimer right here, there will be times where you need to break the rules and do what is best for your sanity, you cannot win at everything just do the best you can (I’ll explain my breakage later on).

First up embrace, embrace, embrace – secondhand and hand me downs. Kids grow out of clothes so fast, so head up your local Salvos, Op-shop, Gumtree, Ebay, Facebook sell/buy groups for clothes, shoes, toys, etc. Ask any family members that have older kids for hand me downs. Secondhand furniture is great, we got given a change table, bassinet, baby swing, pram, car seat all free because people were no longer using them and most of them were still in pretty good nick. All we bought new was a cot and mattress. One of my brothers has 3 kids (2 boys and a girl) so whenever the youngest boy grows out of his clothes, my sister-in-law packs them up and hands them over to me for Star Boy, the only things I’ve ever had to buy for my son in the past 18 months (clothes wise) was a beanie (which I did buy new) and a pair of ugg boots ($2 from the Salvos) and that’s it. She also passes along toys the kids no longer play with, only last week we got given a Smart Trike that her littlest is too big for now.

If your budget allows you to buy organic, eco-friendly products online or in-store do that please as there’s so many great things available now but if it doesn’t don’t beat yourself about it, just do what you can with the resources that you’ve got.

Kids don’t need as many toys as we think they do, if they have too many they can get overwhelmed with choice and not even play with most of them. My son (18 months) favourite things to play with is cars (anything with wheels) and books (most of them secondhand) – he has one bucket full of cars and he’ll happily play with them all day (with breaks to disappear off into his books). Ask family and friends when it comes to birthday/Christmas not to give big presents or if there is something particular you want ask them for that, that way you don’t end up with mountains of presents. For Star Boy’s 1st birthday party this year we asked for no presents and asked for donations towards Compassion International instead (we raised $160) we were still given presents but it did reduce the amount he received.

Food wise if you are a cook/baker then making your own baby/kid meals and snacks is a great option but if you aren’t that way inclined or just don’t have the time, look out for healthy foods in little to no packaging or at least packaging that can be recycled (soft plastics can be recycled through RedCycle at Coles).

Love your local library, not only is it a great free place to borrow books, dvds, magazines etc for yourself and the kids (we come home with a stack every week) but most libraries have so many free activities for kids of all ages. We go to storytime and duplo club most weeks, there’s also baby rhyme time, kids crafts, bedtime storytime at night (where kids can come in their pjs and bring a teddy), so many school holiday activities, craft afternoons, lego clubs – the works, it’s amazing what is available for free. Your council rates help fund these programs so get out there and use them up.

The biggest thing is don’t beat yourself up if you do end up doing something that isn’t really eco. My biggest downfall has been disposable nappies. I bought the reusable nappies, we tried them for months, I followed the rules and regulations with them but no matter what I did, they leaked, they smelled, they left marks on his skin, they were such a pain to use. I persisted and persisted for months and months. By the time Star Boy was 11 months old I had to stop using them and just went full-time with disposables. I berated myself badly for doing it but I live with depression/anxiety and all the trouble I was having with the reusables caused my depression/anxiety to flare up big time. I was so stressed out, I was tearful all the time about it and it was just adding onto all the anxiety I was already feeling about looking after a very active/full on baby boy. So I did what I had to do for my sanity and for my health and just quit the reusables and went with disposables. There are some great eco disposable nappies out on the market now, unfortunately not within our price range (I don’t work currently), if I could afford them I would buy them, so I do what I can with the resources that I’ve got and I try extra hard in other areas to make up for this downfall.

There are so many options out there when it comes to buying for kids in all price ranges and budgets so keep your eyes open, check out garage sales, curb side finds, Facebook groups, ask friends and family, do what you can and along the way you’re helping to look after our amazing planet and also teach your kids some very valuable lessons.

Do you have any eco tips you’d like to share? Please I’d love to hear them.

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Monday, 2 October 2017

DIY Feather Wall Hanging

This post is sponsored by Stickeroo

October is my blogs 5th birthday and what better way to celebrate than with a lovely DIY and competition (more on that at the end of the post)

I've seen a number of these lovely feather wall hanging on Pinterest and have also wanted to try one myself. After I was sent some lovely feather stickers by Stickeroo I had the perfect excuse.

The things you'll need:

- a stick (I used a branch off a wattle tree that someone cut down in our complex)
- paint (you can pick up mistinted pots for only $2 at Bunnings)
- stickers
- feathers
- beads
- lace
- whatever you have lying around (I used a heart I made in a pottery class a few years back)
- bakers twine
- needle
- single hole punch (I used it for the stickers so I could thread them with bakers twine)
- sharp scissors (to cut round the stickers a bit more)

Trim the branch to the length you want, I used a hand saw for the first time. If you want to paint the branch give it plenty of time to dry, I left mine in the sun for a few hours, paint it any colour or design you like. 

Once the paint is dry, use the lace and make a double knot on each end of the branch to keep in on there securely. 

Using the bakers twine, thread on your stickers, beads, trinkets etc and attach to the branch in any configuration you care to create, making sure you double knot the twine so it doesn't move along the branch. 

Now find a place to display and enjoy. 

It's as easy as that. 

Stickeroo which has recently launched is an Australian Sticker Printing Company who are proudly Aussie owned and made. They do all their printing locally in Melbourne. They print a whole variety of stickers for companies and businesses, logos as well as custom designs for anyone. The stickers I received were of different types of feathers I found free online. The quality of both black/white and colour printing is amazing, super impressed by it. Their turn around is pretty good and they also offer free postage - can't get better than that. 

So to celebrate my 5 years of blogging, Stickeroo would love to giveaway a voucher for 50 free Die Cut: 5cm by 5cm stickers to one lucky person (Australian residents only) - all you need to do is comment below what would you do with your 50 free stickers. The winner will be picked at random, competition closes 16th of October 2017. 

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