Awesome shit that you should think about gifting to the people you love #4 – Your time. Or someone else’s.

Jan. 23 - life practice

We’re getting down to the wire with LESS THAN A WEEK TILL XMAS. But there is so much we can offer just by being there. Yes that sounds incredibly cheesy, but it’s also true facts. So if you still haven’t figured out what to give, why not use your biggest commodity. You.

Here are some ways to spend your time doing something useful:

* babysit * clean * house sit * take care of animals * send a blogger some guest posts to give them a break * be a chauffeur * garden * sew * give massages * give a lesson on that annoying computer related thing your family keeps asking you to do *

If you really must give something physical then feel free to make up and print some redeemable vouchers.

And if you really must spend money then pay for some of these. There are plenty of talented individuals out there ready to help. At a pinch you can pay for these last minute gifts as well:

* blog hosting * domain names * the power/phone/gas bill * phone apps *


Extras for experts: A plain silver or gold chain is perfect even for people that like wearing colourful pendants and plastic charms. Reuse that “VHS your Aunt sent you” and share one of your favourite TV shows or movies. Be romantic and give someone your favourite book.

Gingerbread Houses

Last weekend I was lucky enough to participate in a tradition totally new to me & not at all new to the boyf. Every year since they were youngins he & his sisters get together to make gingerbread houses.

It was pretty obvious it was my first time unfortunately. I’ve not yet mastered the roofing weight limits or the decorative sugar cement placement. I did however create a gummy bear fire pit scene. (The fire was a jaffa!)

The real masterpieces came from Brend’s sisters (and boyfriend) with decorative shutters, flake gravel roads, chocolate button tiles, and jaffa baring apple trees. There was even a chocolate car!

Brend’s house was less ‘perfectly pretty’ and more ‘all the colours & all the candy’. Closer to what our real lives are like instead of the lives in magazines.

We elected to keep our gingerbread house at Brend’s parent’s until xmas. Lest I start trying to sneak the bits no one will notice till the house is bare and crumbling.

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gingerbread car & tree
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Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving: A holiday celebrated in The States that has nothing to do with me, or my history.

Nevertheless, the idea of remembering to be thankful and sharing a meal is one I can get behind. Much like xmas for me has nothing to do with remembering Baby Jesus and everything to do with remembering baby cheeses.

This year I’ve gone from never having celebrated Thanksgiving to having 2 celebrations in the space of a week. The first being at Mika’s on Sunday. Her place was crammed full of people and we ate an assortment of salads, vegetables, birds, and pies. Delicious.

Tonight, Brend, Kate, and I are going to share a chicken and cook all the vegetables in butter.

A few things I’m thankful for:

Technology:

When I was a child, before DVD players were a thing; back when owning a computer was a big thing and Encarta was one of the best things I had ever seen; I remember distinctly wishing out loud for two things.
1) A device which would allow you to have more than one CD on rotate. Stereos that could do this were awesome and eventually discmans that could play MP3s came along so you could have a couple of hundreds songs on one CD.
2) That TV ads would go away. “Wouldn’t it be amazing” I mused, “if you could somehow download all of the days TV and fast forward through the ads.”
Every time I think back to these moments my minds blows up a little. We live in the future and it’s pretty great.

Friends:

I have the best little group anyone could ask for. We’re all pretty different while being exactly the same. I especially like that as the group grows bigger and we find someone we want to join the group we kinda work together to lure them in and trap them. Um. Yeah.

Suffrage:

On Saturday New Zealand votes for its next Government. Whether it changes for the better, or remains a festering pit where an ex Merrill Lynch trader trades our country into the ground, we will have come to that conclusion through a democratic process. Yay democracy. Vote Green.

Modern Medicine:

The immunosuppressants and anti inflammatories that stop my guts from exploding daily. And the steroids that bring me back from the brink of almost wishing for a colostomy bag. :/

Science will always be better than a fairy tale.

My Privilege:

I’m thankful I’m in a place in my life where I can recognise my privilege. I’m thankful I have the luxury of deciding when to have children, if ever. I’m thankful that I can easily earn enough money to live on. I’m thankful I have a supportive Mum and Step Dad and siblings.

I’m thankful for my body, though it is sick with colitis and all the facets of life that affects, it still carries me the places I need to go.

Good men in my life

I have a lovely boyfriend who supports what I do and is interested in the world around him. I love him very much.

What are you thankful for?

Nine Things #1

I’m following the lead from a few of my favourite blogs to share some of my favourite things!

  1. The number 9.

    + / + / + / + / +
  2. Unusual light fixtures. Chandeliers made from mason jars and tea cups. Yes please!

    + / +
  3. Parks and Recreation. One of those shows I watch that I find so funny my laugh changes. It’s weird and probably pretty annoying for everyone I live with (sorry!). Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson should be everyone’s idols. I’d like to live like Leslie and Ron by eating breakfast foods at all times of day.
  4. Bright pants. And everything else on the Wear Color Tumblr. Wear Color was recommended to me when I complained, once again, about pastels, and about wanting the pastel trend to die and be replaced by brights. Success.
  5. Cake. Forever.
  6. Shop Sweet Lulu.
  7. Coloured keyboards.
  8. MIA swinging above New York.
  9. Super bright art in all of my favourite colours. I must have the iPhone case!

Sunday evening cute

Ducklings - Waitangi Park
Puppy in a sweater Wellington SPCA
Kitty Wellington SPCA
Puppy & Jo Wellington SPCA
Puppies Wellington SPCA
Ducklings Hamilton Gardens

There’s quite a bit of cute to be had at this time of year with all the puppies, kitties, ducklings, lambs, and whatever other cute baby animals get born in spring.

About a month ago I took a trip to the Wellington SPCA and spent some time cuddling the puppies and kitties. It breaks my heart to see so many animals there, but it’s very nice to know they will be looked after as long as it takes to rehome them. LOOK AT THOSE PUPPY DOG EYES.

I spied the first lot of ducklings in Waitangi Park and bottom lot in the Hamilton Gardens. Squee!

Fuck Yeah: Blended Fruit

While in Asia I discovered a secret. One that has been hidden by juice makers all over the country.

The secret is this: You do not need four different fruits, two fruit juices, a tub of frozen yoghurt, and $9 to make a smoothie!

We drank so many blended fruit drinks while we were traveling and we watched while they were made. We watched while nothing but one type fruit (or two if you’re faaancy) was put in a blender with ice cubes and water and maybe a little sugar syrup sometimes, and blended. We drank so much fucking watermelon.

I cannot wait till watermelons are back in season. But for now I’m blending bananas (discounted ones because they’ve gone a little spotty!), and pineapple from a tin. Or a cup of frozen berries, and a banana. Or oranges, and berries, and a banana. Bananas are cheap and filling ok.

What are your favourite fruits for blending?

Not your Grandmothers cross stitch

Brand new obsession of approximately 6 hours: Embroidery.

The chance to pack all my mess away and start afresh again has sparked something in the way of creativity. Much like the big plans I had when I moved to 361 I’m scheming workspaces and looking forward to decluttering both my possessions and head space.

A clear mindset however temptation for one more thing to take up residency. And tonight that thing is embroidery.

Spurred by ModCloth’s interview with Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching, and in particular the amazing tattoo style ‘mom’ design she’s holding I realised that this new style of Subversive Cross Stitch combines everything I love.

Pretty dainty patterns? Check.
The ability to add swear words and skulls to those dainty patterns? Check.
A wide range of colours, patterns, and suppliers to work with? Check.
Being generally subversive? Check.

Previous cross stitch experience involves plastic mesh, wool, a large plastic needle, and a pre printed pattern of a house. I was very young so it’s understandable that Nana would start me off small. The love never took off though and I doubt I could get away with stitching like that at my age. Not cute.

This is not your Grandma’s cross stitch though.

A slew of patterns are available on the net from places like Subversive Cross Stitch, Sublime Stitching, Miso Funky and Needles and Pins. All I need now are the tools.

For Fuck's Sake
Heart with dagger

Exactly.

Life is great

What a great day today!

  1. I just secured a huge new house with some of my favourite people in the sunniest area of town.
  2. I have a temping job that pays well, is easy, and keeps getting extended. On Friday we’re going for a long xmas team lunch.
  3. My jewellery business picking up because of xmas which spurs me to spend more time on it.
  4. Tomorrow I’m going to the Harry Potter midnight screening and crossing something off my 101 in 1001 list.
  5. The boyf has a new job lined up for the start of next year meaning he gets to work with people he loves rather than dreading going in every morning
  6. I paid my part of our bach rental for New Years. 5 days of beaching with friends!

What’s good in your life?

A Few Of My Favourite Things

Sneakers and Candy

Sushi, and candy, and cupcakes galore
With The Boy and internet I never get bored
T shirts and sneakers with bright white shoe strings
These are a few of my favourite things

Tattoos, and ponies, a cute baby kitty
Eyeliner, glasses, that make me more pretty
Eating and drinking with friends in the night
These are a few of the things that I like

Seeing my family after a long road trip
Singing for hours and never taking shit
Writing and crafting and not cleaning up
These are a few of the things that I love

When the rain pours
When I feel sore
When the trolls attack
I simply remember my favourite things
And then I attack right back