Making kind choices in your everyday life.

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2016 Over and Out

Posted by on Dec 30, 2016 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

“Now, as we close one chapter, the pen is gradually inking up, preparing itself to write the next.Mie Hansson

 

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As 2016 draws to a close, it is time to contemplate the year that was (including discovering how hard taking a 2 person and a licking dog selfie actually is !)

With no shortage of world wide tragedies and losses of amazing people (including one close to home – a much loved relative who succumbed to depression), I’m going to keep the focus on what made me happy this past year.

Favorite movies

An arvo movie, followed by an early dinner/natter with a treasured friend/mum/partner – is one of my favourite things to do. There’s been some good ones in 2016 – 45 years, Rams, The Daughter, Mia Madre, I Daniel Blake and Patterson. This list has made me realise what a “human interest” movie lover I am (OK, most of them had an animal or two in them too).

Engrossing TV

Happy Valley, Wentworth, The Night Of, Flea Bag, Rectify, The Fall, Catastrophe. All fantastic and either funny or gripping. Itching to get into the latest Scandi drama – Midnight Sun (SBS on demand)

Must read books

On par with a brilliant movie is an engrossing read. My recommendations from the year are : A Man Called Ove (Fredrick Simpson), The Anti Cool Girl (Rosie Waterland), Another Love (Amanda Prowse), A Little Life (Hanya Yanagihara), A Happier Hour (Bex Weller) and A Year in Provence (Carolyn Tate).

Inspiring people

My gutsy and courageous good friends Kylie and Alyssa (aka Alyssa Heath Manifesting Coach) – they know why ! Also these 3 amazing people……..

Jan from the Beet Retreat

I have yet to have the pleasure of meeting this wonderful woman but I do feel more than a touch of kindred spirit-ness with her. Jan spent a couple of decades in the Victorian Mounted Police before opting out for a completely different life, more in line with her values. Now in her almost mid 50’s (unfathomable when you see what she looks like), she runs a vegan B&B, The Beet Retreat, in country Victoria and does incredible things to advocate for animals (like running obscene distances). Jan is the epitome of compassionate, healthy and positive living. Her Facebook page and Instagram are fab ones to follow (her kelpie Mac is pretty damn cute too).

Mel Wojtas – The Hive Village Project

I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Mel at the Lucy’s Project conference. She is a young, single mum who has faced and triumphed over domestic violence. Her drive to set up a village of self sufficient homes for people escaping domestic violence (AND their animals – so desperately needed) is utterly inspiring. An enjoyable, simple way to support her project is a night out at the movies to see the documentary Call Me Dad on 6th Feb 2017 in Ryde, Sydney.

Zach Skow – Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue

From America, this man has made such a turn around in his life. From being at death’s door as a result of alcoholism and drug abuse, he is now healthy and investing his everything into saving dogs in desperate need. He also recognises the benefit of the human / animal connection in his prison programs (Pawsitive Change) where inmates are buddied up with a dog who needs some TLC before being re-homed. These stories are fascinating and heart warming to follow. (just quietly but…. Zach is quite easy on the eye too). Find him on facebook or instagram.

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Zach and some beautiful rescued hounds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cosmetics for my old lady skin

Cruelty free, not outlandishly expensive and effective- as far as is possible for my 46 year old skin anyway. Am loving…

La Mav – particularly their serums (Flora and Fauna are a great online shop to buy cruelty free products like this)

Lush – Skin drink facial moisturiser, Let the Good Times Roll scrub and Ultrabland facial cleanser.

New music discoveries

Profoundly lacking (aside from Sia’s new album – This Is Acting). Suggestions please !

Delectable (and kind !) eating out discoveries

Two Chaps (Marrickville, Sydney), Kindness Cafe (Darlinghurst, Sydney), Fina’s 2 (Fitzroy, Melbourne), T’s Tantan (Tokyo, Japan)

Finding my tribe

My last post was purely on this topic and I do not know enough superlatives to describe how outstanding I find this group. From sending off a little email inquiry a couple of years ago, the butterfly effect led me to the life changing Lucy’s Project. Domestic violence (and other violence related offences) and animal abuse – the link is clear. So much more needs to be done. This group of wise souls has had such a profound effect on me, my work and has brought with it new friends, direction and challenges. 2017 will hold great things for this magnificent group. I am thrilled to be a part of it.

Podcasts

Nitty Gritty Committee, The Slow Home Podcast, Mia Freedman’s No Filter & Freedom of Species. All are brilliant – they help me learn so much about all sorts of weird and wonderful things as I stride around doing my 12,000 steps !

Websites 

Louder Minds and it’s associated closed facebook group – have allowed me to be completely accepting and more understanding  of the way I am.

Head Space is gently easing me towards the year’s end too, one 10 minute meditation session at a time.

Zen Habits and all of it’s soothing tips to lead a calm, intentional life.

Best recipe stalking sites

These are about to get a massive workout (for my household’s Veganuary challenge) – there are endless fab ones but if I had to single a few out, they’d be…Vegan Richa, The Lazy Cat Kitchen, Carrots and Flowers, The Buddhist Chef and The Gentle Chef. Cook book wise, I adore my “Bed and Broccoli” cookbook (they have a gorgeous looking new vegan B&B in country Victoria too) and use it constantly.

Utterly random enjoyable things

Yoga with Adrienne, trying to get to 12,000 steps each day on my fitbit and making soap and epsom salt/essential oil bath salts

In 2017, I’m looking forward to……

  • Veganuary. I currently eat a few organic eggs a week and have the occasional bit of cheese and smoked salmon so…. I am so close to what I know is the kindest way to tread through this life. The real challenge will be my fella.. Post coming up just for this awe inspiring moment where the ultimate meat/eggs/dairy lover goes animal product free for 31 days.   I am totally proud of him – despite the  big time bribery involved ($300 is going to his favourite charity Medecins Sans Frontiere if he makes it through the month animal product free). There is still time to sign up and join us !
  • A sanctuary visit to Where Pigs Might Fly in the Hunter Valley.
  • FINALLY, after being an avid supporter of Animals Asia for well over a decade, we’ll be visiting the bears at the Chengdu rescue centre in China later in the year. Cannot wait. Which segues me into….
  • Decluttering my sea of stuff (and getting my buddies to as well) and selling the collective wares at a market stall to make lots of money for the beautiful bears at Animals Asia for Honey Money Days.
  • Some huge work aspirations – trying to create change from within (#lucysproject) ! Whopping project.
  • Lots more walking. Bundeena to Otford – coming soon !
  • I’d love to see if any creativity lies within and do a drawing / painting course. I love the look of the on line Lisa Congdon ones on Creativebug or a real life one from Shani (from the Rare Pear Studio) – who pops across to Sydney (from Cowra) a few times a year to do classes at Little Lane Workshops in Brookvale, Sydney.
  • Another mid year solitary sojourn – any suggestions ??

So from my little family to yours, have a wonderful 2017. I hope you will continue to tread kindly through it with me. Love Ing xxx

 

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What’s making me happy ?

Posted by on Sep 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | 6 comments

“I think I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. Part of it is just learning what makes me happier and doing more of it, and learning what makes me unhappier and doing less of it.” – Mark Frauenfelder.

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Cute Blue Mountains House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In our gallant efforts to tread as kindly as we can in this often frazzling, bewildering world, it is important to remember to be kind to ourselves and relish in the things which make us happy. The arrival of Spring, coinciding with my birthday, often makes me reflect on how my year is panning out, 3/4 of the way into it. I’m coasting along pretty well – tardy and sporadic blog posting aside, and there’s a couple of grand plans in the pipeline which have been occupying my thoughts. Stay tuned !

In the meantime, here is what is making me content, happy and optimistic right here, right now.

Cooking up a Storm including…..

I am doing a bit of an on-line Spring spruce up through Vegan Sparkles – specifically The Sparkle Project which is full of incredible healthy, plant based recipes (along with lots of healthy and inspirational “mind stuff” too). If your mind or kitchen creativity needs a bit of a revamp, I’d highly recommend it.

The Lazy Cat Kitchen, Love and Lemons and The Buddhist Chef are some other good sites to check out recipes – they consistently dish out easy, healthy, fab recipes.

Sourcing some new fab eateries in Sydney

Great Vegan Pho * at Eat Fuh and an entire vegi/vegan menu (as well as a “regular” menu) at Hello Auntie – both in Marrickville.

Vegan ramen * at Ippeudo in the surprisingly atmospheric Westfields Sydney CBD.

* Pho and ramen usually have pork in the stock – even when advertised as being vegetarian so to find some 100% vegan options for 2 of my favourite soups was a great find.

Coffee and sourdough to die for as well as a scrumptious all vegetarian / vegan menu at Two Chaps in Marrickville. I usually have a rule about refusing to line up anywhere to eat but the food here is far too good to keep to this rule (and the wait is swift).

I am thrilled to the core about the prospect of having a “pub feed” at Australia’s first vegan pub – The Green Lion in Rozelle, Sydney. Opened on 17th September. Oooh yeah !!

Finding a new Perfume 

I have been stuck in a pleasant Issey Miyake ground hog day experience for about the last 15 years – having not being able to find a worthy replacement. As I discussed in my post about perfume, the credentials of Issey Myake in the kindness stakes are a bit wishy washy. The good news is, I have fallen in love with a new scent – and it’s guaranteed cruelty free status – Vanilla Grapefruit by Lavanila. Divine scents are a massive thing for me in the feel good stakes. Which segues me into….

Bath Salts

My almost nightly bath ritual is paramount to keeping my mind even keeled  and content. I have invested in a massive 20kg tub of epsom salts and some essential oils ( from New Directions – fab warehouse) to keep me going for a while. I’ve found that this recipe from Hello Glow and it’s “uplifting / strengthening stress relief” description do just that for my mood.

The recent ban on greyhound racing

I am hoping that this recent ban in NSW leads to many conversations and changed attitudes in how we treat and view animals. We obviously have a long way to go but this is a positive start. We are strongly considering a new friend for Garp. See Greyhound Rescue to view some of the sweethearts (and their oh so human eyes) looking for their forever homes.

Lots of interesting and fun events coming up

My winter hibernation period is wrapping up so it’s time to get out amongst it again. There will be some culture on the cards at former refugee / pianist extraordinaire Hoang Pham and his performance at the City Recital Hall on the 16th October – all proceeds go towards saving the bears through the wonderful Animals Asia. Some learning and a little bit of networking is to be had at the Animal Justice Party Conference on 24th September and the Lucy’s Project Conference in Sydney on 5th and 6th November – a must do for all those interested in the indisputable connection between animal abuse and domestic violence. An interesting Sydney Fringe Festival dinner party event called Kale-spiracy  will be held on the 28th September with a panel debating vegan/vegetarian vs omnivore diets. And then there’s the Cruelty Free Festival which I always love on the 30th October.

Some new summer shoes

No leather here…..I present my massively comfy (and hopefully fashionable, I am never quite sure!) new summer flats from Mox’s.

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They come in many different colours too.

A new tooth care regime

Having been cursed with periodontal disease, care of my teeth is paramount. Having banished all the usual suspects (Colgate, Sensodyne etc) due to cruel animal testing, I have found Weleda salt toothpaste and Tooth Tonic treatment to be working well. Lets hope my perio thinks so too.

A 2017 diary has caught my eye

Being a devout Virgo, diary’s are crucial to my well being. List making, planning – it all happens in the treasured diary. Edgars Mission have just released a gorgeous diary for 2017 which I’ll be ordering very soon in a virgo-ish – still 3 months out from the years end -manner.

Getting into a yoga groove

At the age of 46, I have FINALLY worked out what I like to do fitness wise – yoga and walking and, I admit (with some trepidation due to aforementioned age), the odd boogy at No Lights No Lycra (OMG, so much fun !). I have gone through stages of thinking I should like certain activities like jogging or pump at the gym but, it turns out that I really don’t. I am still a beginner at yoga but I am loving  (for free !) my weekly outdoor class through Live Life Get Active (they are all around Australia) and the Yoga With Adriene series on youtube.

Reading and telly / movie watching

Ah, how immensely satisfying is it when you read a good book, see a great movie or discover a new series on telly. Truly life’s pleasures. My recommendations of late are :

Books – A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara and A Happier Hour by Bex Weller

Movies –  Truman

TV – Wentworth, The Night Of, Happy Valley and Catastrophe. All brilliant !

Birthday solititude

Now an annual birthday treat to myself, I recently fled the world for a few days on my own for some unadulterated introvert’s heaven. This time it was to Leura in the Blue Mountains in this cute little airbnb cottage. Long walks, lunches (love you Rubyfruit), nanna naps, list making, Spring flower gazing – ahhhh bliss !

I would love to know what is making you happy right now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Winter witterings

Posted by on Jun 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | 10 comments

Welcome, winter. Your late dawns and chilled breath make me lazy, but I love you nonetheless. ~Terri Guillemets

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Homeless (but snug) dog we spied in Osaka, Japan a few years ago

Aside from having to traipse to work in the chilling pitch black during the week, I adore winter – even this mild excuse of one which we have in Sydney. And I don’t mind a list. So, here we go, a nice winter obsessed list of everything that has been grabbing my attention of late.

Eating

* I made this ramen this other night and it was divine. I added corn and tofu to it – scrumptious.

* Can’t wait to make Lila Wolff’s Leek and Potato Soup or this Italian Orzo Spinach Soup.

* Just check out these drool worthy baked potatoes and accompanying dipping sauce thanks to the delightful Tassie Cabin Fever. Oh my lord !

* Victorian based Dairy free Damona Divine Brie is a magnificent example of how sublime vegan cheese can be. I hunted it down after reading this very funny review on vegan cheeses in general. I polished off the whole wheel in a week on some biscuits with quince paste. Can’t wait to try the entire range (easily found here in Sydney at The Cruelty Free Shop).

* This home made Chai is so easy to make and so tasty and warming on a chilly day. I make mine with coconut / almond milk.

* Being a porridge lover, this hot Apple Pie Oatmeal looks entirely up my alley.

* I am attempting to be a good, savvy shopper and buy seasonally. Thanks Cityhippyfarmgirl for your great guide to what we should be buying during winter. Sustainable table do a fab guide as well.

Wearing

* Yearning after these very suave little ankle boots from Vegan Wares in Melbourne.

* These articles, The Ugly Side Of Ugg and 18 Vegan Ugg Boot Alternatives are filled with cruelty free suggestions to keep your feet toasty in winter.

Skin Spoiling

* Avoid reptilian dry skin this winter by giving yourself a good ol’ rub with the scrumptious hot salt body scrubs by the ethical Australian company Mancine ( I’ve been using the Coconut and Vanilla scented one). Or DIY it up with one the many homemade scrubs out there – I like blah, blah, blah’s coffee body scrub.

Doing

* Despite being the “challenged” pupil in my recent learn to crochet class (complete with the indignity of being the sole member of the class to be given a gigantic, beginners crochet hook) I am still determined to master the granny square and beyond. When I am ready to purchase some wool, I’ll be going straight to EWE Ethical Wool Enterprises where the wool comes from loved, rescued sheep and alpacas. (Need a reminder on what is wrong with (some/most) wool ? My post here may help). I am far, far away from knitting / crocheting projects but here is a great way to share your skills (and keep a rescue dog snug) at the same time.

* Petition signing. This month, the growing surge of protest against the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, scheduled for next weekend in China needs your support too – you can sign here. Public outcry last year led to the number of dogs killed being 2000 instead of the previous years 10,000 so petition signing does help.

* Starting to de-clutter the shed. Today is the last day of the Tu-Share challenge but it is not too late to join up and rid yourself of what may be trash to you but treasure to someone else (whilst bypassing landfill) – plus, plus, plus !

* Gardening. Gardenate is my bible for finding out what to grow, next to what and when. Things to plant right now include asparagus, spinach and kale. A loved blog I follow “Think Big Lives Simply” provides a cute, printable guide when you subscribe (which you should, it’s a beautiful blog – particularly for tree change fantisizers like myself). My garden is currently chock a block full of weeds (really hideous, entrenched ones) and I have missed the boat for this winter so my aim is to prepare for spring by de-weeding and “green manuring” the soil – faba beans, field peas, oats and wheat are apparently good ones to use at this time of year to put nutrients back into the soil.

* Dreaming of a get away to The Beet Retreat which will become a reality next winter. Those misty Yarra Valley hills (and Jan’s food) are calling me !

* I’ve just finished reading “The Opposite of Loneliness” by Marina Keegan. Goodness, if you need a kick up the bum to make the most of your time on your earth (and marvel at the outrageous literary talent of this 22 year old), read this book.

What wintery delights have been tickling your fancy ?

 

 

 

 

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Liebester Love

Posted by on Mar 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | 7 comments

I feel most honored to be nominated for a Liebester Award by the very talented Pia from These Woven Words. Thank you Pia ! I adore Pia’s blog and her thoughts on social justice issues, book reviews and general life musings.

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The aim of the award is to share the love and give a shout out to some blogs which take your fancy and to share some tid bits *** of one’s life. For unknown reasons, the Liebester award centres around the number 11. So, 11 things to share about myself, 11 answers to Pia’s questions, 11 blogs I want to nominate and my 11 questions to them. So, without further ado –

11 facts about me

1. *** Until a couple of weeks ago, I thought tid bits was pronounced and spelt “tit bits” so I have used this saying in this manner for my whole life and used it in a work email recently which went out to my 100 or so  new-ish work colleagues.

2. I adore cold weather so am ecstatic that Autumn has arrived.

3. My favourite country outside of Australia is Japan. It encompasses everything I love – quietness (there is not a peep in those train carriages), mountains, snow, cold, outlandishly good food, politeness and punctuality (said like a true old fuddy duddy hey ?!).

4. I have loved U2 since I was 13 years old and have seen them play live 8 times. My partner finds this mortifying and thinks Bono is a tosser but, bless him, he took me to see them for my 40th birthday where I cried like a mad lady when I saw how close to the stage we were.

5. My perfect day would involve a massage, delectable food with friends and a great movie.

6. Speaking of movies, my top 3 would be : Life Is Beautiful, My Life As A Dog and Stand By Me.

7. I lived in London for 2 years in my early 20’s and loved the opportunity to live in another country.

8. I went to university in Wagga Wagga and studied Applied Science which is a million years away from what my career turned out to be but it was lots of fun going to a country university.

9. It takes me a good 3 months or so to feel I can be myself with new people I meet. I sometimes wish I could speed this torturous process up.

10. My Virgo-ish “to do” list never ends. I will need about 50 lifetimes to get through everything I want to do. Crochet, permaculture, meditation, soap making, vegan cheese making, trekking in Nepal…you name it, it’s on my list !

11. I worry way, way , way too much and would love to master the art of how to calm my whirling mind (hence, need to learn to do list number 3 from above).

My answer’s to Pia’s questions

1. What is the last thing I made ? I am guessing that means in a crafty kind of way – in which case, my offerings are thin on the ground but I did make some cinnamon scented candles a couple of months ago (they are so easy to make and help turn those old Vegemite jars into something lovely. In a non crafty way – vegan pesto with my bountiful basil leaves from my garden !

2. What is one of my fondest memories ? Hanging out with my fella in Luang Prabang in Laos about 6 years ago – it was one of the most romantic, atmospheric places I’ve been to and I’d gladly time machine whisk myself back there and peer down at the monks and their early morning procession through the cobbled streets.

3. Favourite thing to drink ? Depends on the time of day but the order would go… Coffee, diet ginger beer and Rose in summer or Pinot in winter….and a licorice Pukka tea as my dare devil night cap.

4. Best book you’ve read recently ? I am reading “Farmageddon” by Philip Lymbery and Isabel Oakeshott which is an interesting synopsis of intensive farming and the damage it does to the environmment, our health and, of course, to the lives of billions of animals – the content of which sends point 11 (above) into overdrive. Entertainment-wise, “The Death of Bees” by Lisa O’Donnell would be my recent good read pick. It is very quirky and enjoyable.

5. Is there a cause or charity that you feel strongly about ? Loads ! But if I had to pick it would be Animals Asia. They are incredible do-ers and I think that what is happening to bears trapped on bear bile farms in China, Laos, Korea and Vietnam is one of the worst (and pointless) things going on in the world. Animals Asia educate and rescue and enables transformed lives like these ones (sorry for upsetting image – and, yes, this is how many of the bears exist, often for decades. Unfathomable.)….

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Image from Animals Asia

(Please head on over to to http://halong.animalsasia.org/savehalongbears/ to add your signature to the nearly 110,000 signatures seeking the Vietnamese Prime Minister to release the remaining 9 bears held  near Halong Bay in Vietnam in dreadful conditions to Animal’s Asia’s sanctuary. The others have died from starvation and illness whilst waiting for this decision to be made.)

6. Favourite place to read ? In my bed.

7. What’s your idea of an awesome holiday ? Cold, snow, fires, nature, good company, sublime food, some form of exercise so food can be enjoyed without guilt and inches on my thighs and somewhere completely different from home. So, probably a skiing trip in Japan.

8. Best snack ?! Vegetarian Gyozas (I buy the brand KB’s from a big Asian grocery shop near by) and they take just a few minutes to steam or fry and drizzle with some sesame seed oil. Scrumptious.

9. What do you think your best attribute is ? I like to think that I am kind person.

10. What are you listening to this week ? My spotify playlist – lots of Sia, Morrisey, U2, Blondie, Simple Minds, Goldfrapp, Lana del Ray, Florence and the Machine, Sarah Blasko, Little Birdy, Lisa Mitchell……

11. Is there something or someone who makes you laugh every time ? I am lucky to have a very funny partner who makes me giggle everyday. He has recently introduced me to Shane Micallif on telly who tickles my funny bone too. I find Ricky Gervais to be hilarious too.

My 11 questions

1. What is your favourite song to boogey too ? (More than 1 welcome….I would love to build on my playlist).

2. Who would be your ideal dinner guests at a dinner for 4 (including you) if you could pick anyone in the world to be there ?

3. What is your greatest phobia ?

4. You need to buy a housewarming present for a good friend. Which online or real shop would you head to ?

5. Favourite series you’ve watched ?

6. Favourite restaurant or cafe anywhere ?

7. Have you ever seen or experienced anything which would make you believe in life after death ?

8. Best way to get out of a cranky mood ?

10. Most coveted job ?

11. Do you think the world will be a better or worse place to live in 100 years from now ? 

These 11 questions are now put to the authors of 11 favourite blogs of mine – in no particular order. I know some of you popular, talented souls have multiple nominations so please feel free to not answer, answer in a blog post or answer in the comments section below but, being the massive sticky beak that I am, I’d love to know your answers !

1. One Small Life

2. That Summer Feeling

3. Life With The Crew

4. Heike Herrling

5. Bear Loves Dove

6. Authentic Abundance

7. di Terza MaNo

8. A Wondering Life

9. Betty Rose and George

10. Gus and Ollie

11. A Zesty Life

Over to you lovely ladies and thanks again Pia for the nomination. It is a wonderful way to find other blogs and have a sneaky peak into the lives of those we admire ! x

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Garp’s wisdom and Ing’s lists from 2014

Posted by on Dec 28, 2014 in Uncategorized | 6 comments

“Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance” ― David Nicholls (from his book “One Day”)

I have been mentally salivating at the thought of doing this 2014 wrap up post for the year. I adore “best of” lists so here is my version. I want to share the things I have read, heard and experienced which have brought good things to my life so…..here we go…..my beloved list-a-thon, inter-dispersed with some very cute Garp moments from the past year.

First though….2014 was an up and down year for me but the highlights were a trip to beautiful snowy Japan in Feb, doing the fabulous Blog with Pip course, being brave and moving jobs which has been the best decision ever, taking a 7 week mini sabbatical (most of which I spent pottering at home), a trip to gorgeous country Victoria, making lots of candles to raise money for Animals Asia and keeping my little blog on the move.

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Beautiful, cold Japan

 Books

* “It’s Not You, It’s Geography” and “Get Well Soon” by Kristy Chambers. LOVED both of these funny memoirs. I wish that Kristy Chambers was my friend. She is a hysterical, self deprecating, flawed, honest, warts ‘n all real chick.

* “High Sobriety” by Jill Stark (another great memoir)

* “Rise” – Ingrid Poulson (one more memoir, from one brave domestic violence survivor)

* “Love In the Outback” by Deb Hunt (and another – I like memoirs, by ladies, it seems !)

* “The Happiness Show” by Catherine Deveney

* “Tiny, Beautiful Things” – Cheryl Strayed

* “The Husband’s Secret” –  Liane Moriarty

* “The Death of Bees” – Lisa O’Donnell (If you liked “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time”, this is a good one)

* “Bed and Broccoli…a very special vegan experience” – by Nikki Medwell (gorgeous cook book)

* “Us” – David Nicholls (not quite as brilliant as “One Day” but a great read all the same)

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Be a good listener

Movies

* Boyhood (my fave…it is a brilliant must see)

* Oh Boy (from the German film festival)

* Still Life (you’ll need tissues for this UK movie)

* Belle and Sebastian (about a boy and his dog)

* We Are the Best ! (took me right back to being 12 in 1982 – gorgeous “Stand By Me”-ish coming of age Swedish movie)

* The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (I was a late comer to this one but it was so worth the wait)

Series

* Derek (Series 1)

* Borgen

* True Detective

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Set yourself lofty goals

 Music

A bit light on here…..I need some recommendations beyond….

Sia’s 1000 Forms of Fear…..which I would have listened to about 1000 times this year. It is brilliant.

Thanks to Spotify I discovered “U2 Live in Milan.” Bono’s rendition of Miss Sarejevo  (make sure you listen to the chorus – Bono gives Pavarotti a run for his money!) is why I still love this man’s rousing voice after a devoted, slightly bashful, 30 years (eek).

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Sleep soundly in the crook of a loved one’s arms

 A few wonderful, random discoveries

Ecolosophy – an online shop full of delightful things. Lovely blog too.

Biocheese – an animal product free “cheese” which, finally, actually tastes like cheese. I am a convert.

Kinda Bacon – tastes just like bacon bits but it is made with coconut !

House Slippers – lordy, I am showing my age when such apparel  appears on my best of list but I am in love with my handmade New Zealand groovy slippers.

Sunburst – a brand new dairy free margarine which contains no palm oil (unlike Nuttalex) and 5 c from each sale goes to Orangutan Foundation International Australia. Sold at Woolies and IGA. Love it.

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Share and be generous 

  People who have inspired me 

Jill Robinson from Animals Asia and Lyn White from Animals Australia – permanent fixtures on this list. What these women have achieved, year after year, for animals is mind boggling

Rosie Batty – for her resilience and courage faced with the murder of her son by her ex husband.

Reverend Bill Crews – I have not a religious bone in my body but his organisation’s (the Exodus Foundation) feeding of 3000 needy people on Christmas Day in Sydney brought a tear to my eye !

Sam Simon – the animal loving Simpsons creator who is dying from incurable cancer and is giving away his fortune in the worthiest of ways. Take notes Gina Rhineheart !

Paul Watson and his Sea Shepherd crew for their no holds barred, courageous, politically incorrect approach to stopping animal cruelty in the oceans.

Nikki Medwell – for making her dreams become a reality. Her B&B and book are wonderful.

The beautiful dog rescuer guy in all the Hope For Paws videos. I implore you to watch one if you are having a bad day – they are all heart melting.

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Buy from nice companies wherever possible

 Blogs I Love

I am reluctant to make this list as there are so, so many great blogs to come out of the “Blog with Pip” course and I don’t want to leave anybody out but here are some of my faves…One Small Life, Life with the Crew, Heike Herrling, These Woven Words, Authentic Abundance,  dI terza maNo, Zinc Moon, That Summer Feeling, Sarah Hearts Writes, A Wondering Life, Naomi Loves, Miss Pippilotta, Betty Rose and George, Sewcraftygoodness, Made With Loops, Bear Loves Dove., Dig In, I Give You the Verbs…………so many clever, creative, funny and inspiring people. My world is a better, brighter place because of you guys (but you aren’t helping my worst of habits – procrastination !)

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Make time to hang out with friends

 Great Websites that I subscribe too which give me all kinds of living well lifestyle tips and recipes

1 Million Women

Consume With Care

One Green Planet

Otter

The Mindful Foodie

My Darling Lemon Thyme

So, now that 2014 is all but wrapped up, I want to say thank you to everyone who has read my little blog and to those who have commented and encouraged me along the way. You are lovely and I am grateful.

As for 2015, I aim to continue to tread as kindly as I can through this life – learning, doing and sharing what I can. A trip to Ubud and Tulamben in Bali is on the horizon as is a journey to north west Tasmania to see the Tarkine wilderness area before the Liberal Party get their mitts on it. More candle making, blogging (including sprucing up my blog’s rather wayward appearance), gardening, power walking, cooking, camping and learning to crochet await. I hope it is a wonderful, safe and happy one for you too xxx

Happy 2015 from my little family to you !

I would love you to share your favourite things of 2014 in the comments section – books, music, travel spots, movies, recipes ? Please tell ! AND, lastly, I am keen to build up my Tread Kindly audience in 2015 so I would love it if you could like me on facebook or subscribe just over there to the right of this page to ensure you never miss a post xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Cup of Tea with Me

Posted by on Jun 28, 2014 in Uncategorized | 14 comments

 

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Being a bit of a procrastinator and ditherer, I am so glad that I took the plunge and did the Blog with Pip course. As a result of my new found skills, my blog’s format will be new and improved at some point in the near future and I have made lots of new cyber space talented and entertaining friends.

My final “assignment” is this one – listing five things I am “loving right now”, over a pensive cup of tea (Japanese green tea from owl covered tea pot). This post is timely for me as I have been trudging through a bit of a hard patch for a while now so I like this gentle little reminder to myself that, despite some almighty hurdles – which I am still in the midst of dragging myself over, my life is pretty damn fine and here is my list….

Number One : Living in Sydney.

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I stalk country properties on Domain endlessly and yearn for a tree change – far away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Damn you River Cottage series with your rolling green hills and bountiful vegi gardens, have a MORE envy inducing lifestyle why don’t you ?!?  HOWEVER, the reality right now is that me and my fella have our city jobs, our city family and friends, our city house mortgage to pay and this fantasy will not be happening in the foreseeable future (it will happen though !). Until then, I am lucky enough to be living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. We have the best Japanese restaurant EVER (inclusive of Japan) in walking distance from our house. We can see wonderful exhibitions like the World Press Photography exhibition, like we did last weekend, for free.  A drink and snack by a glistening harbour is an easy thing to do and we were even lucky enough to indulge in “Roar and Snore” at Taronga Zoo (*) a few nights ago (birthday pressie to my fella). I have great places to walk my hound (and lots of lovely new-ish friends to walk with) and, overall, I am loving living where I do right now. * I have mixed feelings about zoos – more about that another day – but Taronga is definately one of the better examples.

Number Two : Having a bath ritual.

I recline like a princess in our generous sized, 1950’s bath pretty much every night. Candles, bubbles (Coconut Bathox), a book and sometimes a wine are included in this indulgence. My dog always comes in and stares at me. Whatever worry I have during the day (aplenty of late), feels not nearly as daunting or fearsome after my little contemplative soak.

Number Three : Winter Hibernating with good books and shows.

Winter is my favourite season and  is the perfect time of year for some good old fashioned, guilt free lurking at home rather than gadding out and about. I do have a bit of a hermit-ish inclination to my personality so it suits me just fine ! Thanks to Kate from One Small Life, I have just started a new book which, one chapter in, I know I am going to love – The Happiness Show by Catherine Deveny . TV Series wise, we have just finished the brilliant series of Borgen (who knew that Danish politics could be so engrossing !) and have started on series 2 of “Orange is the New Black” which I am loving. Pottering at home is massively under rated.

Number Four : A couple of successes in the garden

My beetroots, chilli plants and garlic are growing abundantly and I am learning how to prepare my garden beds for the next project of potatoes. I get a gigantic thrill out of cooking from my garden offerings.

Number Five : Fostering some resilience and courage from within

This is a big one for me at the moment. This very so apt card :

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sums up what is making my working life shitty at the moment. It is one of those “beyond my control problems” where only recently, after several months of way too many sad sack tears and feeling utterly morose and powerless, I have  felt myself turn the corner and I can proudly step back and survey all the things I have learnt (and put into action !) from this vile and testing time. I can finally see some silver linings emerging and feel positive rather than teeth grittingly resentful about the changes which I know I have to make.

Part of my “sticking it to the man”….(thanks Ashley from The Squee for this brilliant turn of phrase – courtesy of your unmissable “giving it to” Joe Hockey post), I will be taking some glorious time off  (thank you long service leave)…weeks and weeks of doing nothing much aside from the top four things mentioned above, along with meandering walks with my dog and, no doubt, you’ll be hearing from me much more often. So, the anticipation of being able to do all things “I am loving right now” for almost a couple of months in the not too distant future is a wonderful thing.  As is the new found realisation – that………..   saying

 

You can head over here to find some of the wonderful blogs from my fellow classmates and hear all about what they are “loving right now”.

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