Making Mondays Better: Chaos and creative urges

19 Mar

Happy Monday everyone! Here’s a selection of goodies to get you through the week:

Have a great week,

Clare

xx

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Making Mondays Better:80s-tastic cartoons and lingering

12 Mar
  • As a child of the eighties, this really resonated with me. Except for me it was Coco Pops – they turn the milk chocolatey!
  • zenhabits discusses the 5 habits that keep you unhealthy. While this is focused on physical health, I think these tips can be applied to any area of your life. Especially number 1 – just start!
  • Reclaim the lost art of lingering. I love lingering in book stores – there’s something about all those books, all those stories I could dip into (if I wanted to) that makes me want to tuck myself away for hours and just indulge. Indulging is important – indulging our dreams, our loves… our selves.
  • Little things make a big difference.
  • One more reason to strive to be your unique self – trying to be liked is just too damn hard.
  • Don’t Panic! Douglas Adams would have turned 60 this weekend.

Have an awesome week my lovelies!

With love,

Clare

Happy International Women’s Day!

8 Mar

Today is International Women’s Day, a day when we celebrate the economic, social and political achievements of women in the past, present and future. 2012 marks the 101st anniversary of IWD – and it is both wonderful and heartbreaking that the occasion has been marked for so long.

International Women's Day

Why wonderful? The history of IWD allows us the luxury of looking back at and being inspired by the women who have gone before us. Women like Emmeline Pankhurst and Susan B. Anthony who campaigned for women’s rights and suffrage.

Why heartbreaking? Because even after over one hundred years of discussing these issues, there is still so far to go.

The distance we still have to travel is vast for so many reasons. I am lucky to have been born in the time and place that I was; I had access to education, health care and good nutrition. Many millions of women in the world don’t have that luxury, and that needs to change. 

But even in environments like Australia, Europe or the United States where, in theory at least, women have the same rights to access health care and education as men, we have a long way to go. Millions of women are not safe in their own homes thanks to domestic abuse and violence. When a woman reports a sexual assualt or rape to the police, it can be a lottery as to whether her case is treated with the respect and sensitivity it deserves.

Then we have the constant media commentary that seems determined to undermine a woman not matter what she does. She either has too many children or not enough. She either works too hard and earns too much, or she decides to work in a female dominated industry and then dares to ask for more money. She’s either dressing down and not making the most of herself, or she’s asking for it.

We can’t win. And sometimes our worst critics are actually other women.

So what can we do? As always, I believe change starts with ourselves. Yes, lots can be done at a political level in both developed and developing countries. But even more can be done through shifting our own views and attitudes.

Start within yourself. Challenge your own assumptions and prejudices. Are you always fair to your fellow women? Or do you judge them for their life choices and condemn them as selfish/stupid/unworthy?

Be honest.

Today, take the time to really think about how wonderful the women in your life are.

And then, tomorrow, do it again.

Awesome stuff for the super-keen:

I love this article by Annie Lennox, published for last year’s IWD.

Here are 21 inspiring women. Why not make your own list of female inspiration?

Making Mondays Better: Last bites and happiness

5 Mar
  • I have been told many times by Mr L that the way I eat pizza is just plain weird. Why? Because I start with the crust and move inwards towards the centre – my reasoning being that the centre is the best bit, so I want to save that to last. Now I know I’m not alone.
  • Making positive changes is hard. I know this thanks to the list of failed New Year’s Resolutions that grace my desk every February. Usually this is because I try to take on too much too soon – I want to start my own business, write the next NY Times bestseller, be the most bendy yogi in existence and have a perfect relationship with Mr L…. and I want it RIGHT NOW! Thankfully I’m (slowly but surely) starting to realise that small steps done are better than big steps ignored. Check out Courtney Carver’s guide to starting small, including some fantastic excuse busters. Now just get out there and take a step!
  • Remember: happiness is a choice. Make that choice today.
  • Want this. In Melbourne. Now.

How are you putting a smile on your dial this Monday?

 

 

Making Monday Better: Thunderstorms and gratitude

27 Feb
  • I love a good summer thunderstorm! Melbourne has sweltered through a horribly humid weekend, and we were well overdue some serious cloud action. Last night the lightning started about 9pm, huge flashes turning the grey clouds gold from within, but it took a while to really break… by 1am all hell had broken loose though, and we had the most magnificent summer storm. I woke up to cooler air, a fresh, green garden and the wonderful smell of rain. (Source of photo: Jayne Moberly)  
  • The meaning of life according to the ancient Egyptians. Lovely!
  • I’m getting the urge to get rid of stuff right now. There’s something about having a lot of things around me that can make me feel off balance – like I can’t think straight thanks to all the objects that are crowding me. The last really big clear out I had was when I moved from the UK to Oz, but that’s six years ago now, and it’s time for more clarity. So I was delighted to see this pop up on my Google reader. Granted we’re nearly two months into the year, but it’s never too late to start, right? Watch this space for my decluttering tales.
  • Saying thank you is a wonderful thing to do. So wonderful that Leah Dieterich does it everyday. Check out her blog  for reasons to be happy and thankful.
  • I love having 90s-tastic moments thanks to youtube, and this is one of my favourite songs from my university years. Doesn’t matter how many times I listen to it, it’s fabulous.

What’s going to make you smile this Monday?

Making Monday Better: Tea and lols

20 Feb

Ahh, poor Monday. It gets a bad rap you know -it’s the day of the week everyone hates, and it takes all that animosity without even a whisper of complaint.

Therefore in the interests of helping Monday out, I’m starting a weekly Making Monday Better post, with some great links to help you get through the first 24 hours of the week.

  • It’s one of the greatest conundrums to face the obsessive tea-drinker – what should one do in the afternoon? Breakfast is clearly taken care of with the ubiquitous English Breakfast Tea. But after about 11am, when you really can’t claim to be eating breakfast anymore, drinking EBT doesn’t seem quite right. Earl Grey and green tea just don’t do it for me. So I was delighted to find this in my local supermarket.  The clever chaps at Twinnings have created Australian Afternoon Tea (AAT from here on in) – problem solved! Sadly it’s a limited edition, so if you hear reports about obsessive AAT purchasing in Melbourne, you know why…
  • I’m a recent iPhone convert, and I’m loving the iCloud service that comes with it. What I’m particularly excited about is the fact that any photos I take with my phone just magically appear on my Mac – no more hunting around for cables to do a sync once a month (more like whenever I remembered…) like I had to do with my old phone. This is especially valuable when I get pictures of my nieces and nephews MMS’d to me from the UK. I know they’re safe and sound on my computer should anything happen to my phone. Mr L hasn’t upgraded to iCloud, but he uses dropbox to do the same thing.
  • Diving with dolphins or sharks seems to be on a lot of people’s bucket list. If you want to stand out from the crowd, how about diving with… crocodiles? I particularly love the advice about only going near crocs that look friendly towards divers!
  • Still with the BBC, one of my favourite parts of the website is their Day in pictures section. Featuring a few pictures each day, it brings home the human side of the incredible, the amazing and the humbling. My most recent favourite is the little girl sitting on her mum’s lap in the European Parliament, taking part in the vote. Hopefully this little girl will grow up knowing that having women in positions of influence is good for everyone.

Enjoy your week everyone!

With love,

Clare

What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you as a result of procrastinating?

22 Oct

Hah! I love the little prompts wordpress comes up with to help inspire your next post. I actually have a few posts ready to go, but this prompt really got me thinking.

You see, I’m a very good procrastinator. I’m an expert at it. In fact, if there were ever awards for procrastinating, I’d be up there on the stage. It’s a safe be that will never happen, as me and my fellow procrastinators wouldn’t be able to get around to organising it.

But the worst thing that’s ever happened to me? That’s a toughy – I don’t think I can distill it down to one thing. So here are (gulp!) my top three procrastinating moments.

1. Paying a whole lot more to fly – the dollar cost of procrastination

Last year I flew back to the UK for a family wedding. The date was set well in advance, I knew I wanted to be there because I hadn’t seen family and friends for ages, and the holiday came at the end of a really frantic period at work – perfect timing. And yet, for some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to buy my flights.

I knew who I wanted to fly with, the flights were available on their website, and yet I just kept hesitating when it came to hitting the buy it now button. I’d log on every day and check availability, but wouldn’t buy.

End result? I left it too late, and while I still managed to get home for the wedding, it cost me several thousand more dollars than it would have done if I’d just bitten the bullet earlier.

2. Working ’til 4am – the time cost of procrastination

This one has happened a few times, mostly when I was a student, but the most recent occurrence was only a few years ago. I was responsible for preparing a document to a deadline, but I just kept putting it off. It was a large, complicated document that required input from a lot of people, and the task just seemed too big somehow.

End result? I was working ’till 4am to finish it, and worse still, the people responsible for other inputs had to work that late too, just because of my procrastination. Not one of my finer moments.

3. Missing out on a night with friends – the personal cost of procrastination

This last one happened when I still lived in London. A friend planned a great night out for NYE, but we needed to get tickets. Everyone confirmed early – except me of course. I saw her email every day, but kept putting off replying.

End result? Everyone got tickets, except me. One very quiet NYE followed for me.

You see? Procrastination is bad kids, it makes you miss out on things. Just do it!