Monday, April 30, 2018

And the world changes...

Hi everyone,
If you have been following us over at the Facebook page, you would know that some big stuff is going on in my world. It has been a while since I wrote last but I have not forgotten about you.

First of all, my hair was lopped off again recently. I have raised over $950 for Variety as well as donating my hair to them to be made into wigs.


You can still donate here if you would like to contribute to the cause. I am also loving the new Hair cut. Who knew it would take such small amounts of shampoo? And would dry super fast too? well... short haired people I guess!

But my BIG news is... I am moving far, far, far away from my home in Perth, Australia. 

You see, 10 years ago I moved to the UK to do the last four units of my undergraduate degree. I lived in Hull, England for a whole 5 months, then spent a bit of time travelling around Europe before returning home to Australia. Since then I have had a deep love of Europe and particularly the UK. I've even been back there several times since I returned to Australia. I have some amazing friends in England, Wales, Ireland, Germany... just to name a few.

For the Last few months I have been planning, preparing and organising my life so that I can move back to the UK. A few weeks ago I got my confirmation that I have a 5 year visa to live and work over there. Which is just so exciting and mildly terrifying at the same time. My family are super supportive, because they know this is my dream. However I Know they will miss me greatly.

My mum, whom I have cared for, for the last almost-decade, is safe and will be lovingly cared for. My sister and brother in law will have a room again to house passing visitors and unexpected guests (or Guests when I stop in for a visit). My niece and nephew are both devastated that I will miss the day to day stuff.  my niece beautifully told me today that she "didn't want me to leave, but she didn't want me to come back either" because she wants me to "live my dream". I thought that it was such a beautiful thing that she told me... I think she is also hoping to come visit me and see snow... but I will stick to her very adult perspective for a 10 year old. 

Part of the reason I want to go to the UK is because of the work opportunities there. I have trained to be an Archaeologist and even have my masters degree in the field but I have chosen that my mum and her health were more important at the time to leave to pursue my dreams of archaeology and adventure. For archaeologists, I know that the job is not all lost ruins, crystal skulls, and whole pots. I know it is not all adventure, it can be painful, cold and hard work. But for me ... I have never felt happier than being covered in mud in a trench on the English/Welsh boarder.

So what does that mean for now? I have no idea. I will be a little disconnected from my family and friends in Australia but only physically. There are so many types of technology that I am sure I can make keep friendships up. I have no solid plans for where in the UK I will end up yet. I haven't secured a job in the field, but as it is coming to summer I hope to find something soon.

What does that mean for 365 days of Kindness? Not much really. I will still write here when I can (sporadically at best) and my sister Vandra will help me manage the Facebook page as usual. I am hoping to add a few more Kindness Lovers/sharers to the Facebook page in the future so that we can all share our favourite kindness stories there.

I am still continuing with my kindness everyday. I will miss sharing with the family every night what kind deed they do everyday. However it has meant that we are all doing a version of 365days of kindness. I love that I am not alone in doing it.

However, you may notice my posts have a more travel orientated vibe or even a more a "British" slant to them, even though the Facebook Page will still have many Australian stories in it, it will continue to be a global acknowledgement of kindness.

So next time I write that is where I will be. Somewhere in the UK, celebrating kindness and living my dream. I want to thank everyone who has been encouraging me, supporting me, motivating me, pushing me even, to reach my dreams no matter the cost. 

I hope that I can live the dream and continue to live my life as an example of kindness and love. 

Love you to you all, 
Daena xx

Monday, January 22, 2018

The little book of Kindness

I am reading "The Little Book of Kindness" by Burnaderte Russell at the moment. I am just over half way through this easy to read book. 

I must admit it's taken me a bit of time because I had dropped it in a bag and then couldn't find it again for about 3 weeks. But I have it Back now! Yay! 

Im reading it to myself and had to share this little gem from the section about kindness in the workplace... 

"Don't underestimate the power of a nice smile. Or if you can't smile, the glower with a certain enigmatic allure." 

I found this hilarious! I have had days when I'm not in the smiling mood. But the funny thing about a smile is it is contagious! I remember a poem we used to have glued to the back of the toilet door. 

"Smiling is contagious 
you catch it like the flu, 
Someone smiled at me today, 
I started smiling too. 
I walked around the Corner 
and someone saw my grin 
When they smiled back I realised 
I had passed it on to him. 
I thought about the smile 
and then realised it worth 
A single smile, just like mine, 
can travel around the earth. 
So if you feel a smile begin 
don't leave it undetected 
Let's start an epidemic quick 
and get the world infected." 

I hope you have a wonderful day. Make your aim today to smile at 3 people on your travels. Let's get the world infected with smiles! 

Love Daena x

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Kindness Podcast

Last year there was a Kindness Podcast released that my sister Vandra and I have been thoroughly enjoying. Seeing as how we are both relatively new to podcasts we can get pretty passionate and excited about all the stuff we are learning.

I am so grateful to my sister who decided to share her most recent favouite Kindness podcast on the 365days of Kindness Facebook Page, because we were sent a reply from the Kindness Podcast! It feels like we have just gotten a message from Kindness Royalty! So funny how excited we both got! It made my day for sure.

Because we shared their podcast they  have offered to send us a copy of the book, Live Kinder By Barbara Hirsh, which is such a blessing.

I am so grateful to other people who support a kinder world. I love to support others as best I can when i find out they are giving this Kinder way of life a go. I've met a few brave souls doing 365 (or 366) days of kind deeds and I am so proud of their effors.

I am even reading a kindness book at the moment from someone else who did 366Days of Kindness a lady by the name of Burnadette Russell. Her book 'The Little Book of Kindness: Every day actions to change your life and the world around you' feels like a book I could have written.

Then she also deals so beautifully with things I would never have thought about.

I guess even after 6 years of kindnesses I still have so much to learn! That is why I support those I can to live a kinder life! I am always learning, growing, changing. I am blessed to have more and more inspiration, because when I was starting out there werent many people promoting kindness as a way of life... but now... I am continually blown away by the kind deeds done for others. YouTube, Facebook, Podcasts, Pinterests are all filled with Kindnesses and ideas if you just know where to look!

If you want to find us on Facebook just touch the link above. I am also on Pinterest with a massive board of kindness inspiration and kindness ideas.

Also, This year my big sister also organised some gorgeous Random Acts of Kindness Cards for me to give out, as a Christmas present!

So if anyone wants some I am happy to send them to you! As always I would love to hear your kindnesses or your own kindness inspiration!

Let me know,
Much love

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Goodbye 2017 - Hello 2018

Today is the day that one year finishes and another begins. Which doesn't mean much to others but it signifies a year filled with kindnesses, for me. 

(Picture from Pinterest). 

It means another successful year of: making people smile, donating to charities, giving something back, making cups of tea, spending time with the sad, broken or fragile in our community, sending notes of love and support to friends and family going through rough times, dancing in a giant crocodile suit to make a kid laugh (yes this actually happened this year), making mums at women's refuge's feel special by donating presents for them this Christmas, supporting and helping a community coordinator get things ready through out the year, learning lymphodema massage to teach family, dancing at a party so Tweens felt it was okay (& maybe even cool to do so), buying books for strangers, leaving cash in my favourite book at a store so that someone can buy it, singing for a good cause, driving for 8 hours with a friend so she could get to a town she wanted to visit in the countryside, spending 3 DAYS driving and travelling with my best friend to get her car to the other side of the country, paying for cups of coffee & lunch & dinners (maybe even a breakfast or two), hand making things for my friends, sitting with people and holding them as they cry, supporting friends who are doing their own 365days of kindness, giving away book marks to someone who saw mine & loved them, sending letters and postcards to a friend throughout the year so she knows someone loves her, forgiving people who made mistakes (sometimes this is the hardest thing to do), making food for people, organising events, doing the best I can, housesitting, dog walking, feeding pets (that aren't mine), leaving water out for wildlife, doing sustainable September and writing recourses so others can join me, being the best social justice advocate I can be, choosing love over hate, educating myself & others to choose love, lending music, DVDs & books to other people, making a fool of myself so someone else doesn't feel like they are alone or the only one who is clumsy, helping someone get their shopping into the car, giving hugs, putting away shopping trolleys for strangers, letting people in front of me in traffic, volunteering for charity organisations and events, running/walking 14kms to help my niece get to the end of a fun run like she wanted, talking to strangers and making them smile by the end of our conversations, staying up all night with a friend to talk because they were going through a rough time, learning another language so I can tell my friends in Germany that I love them and wish them a Merry Christmas and a happy new year, sending messages to friends all over the globe so they know I haven't forgotten them even though we are living in different places, liking & subscribing to YouTube videos & podcast of people who inspire me (so they know it), giving products and services I love good scores & leaving good feedback, giving my parking tickets (with lots of time & money on it) to strangers, and... well I'm sure there are more when I think about it! Hehehe. 

Next year, I want to do more. I'm still learning how to be a better person, friend, employee, family member, community member. There is still so much kindness I can do... so much we can all do. If you are looking for a New Years Resolution why not endeavour to be KINDER. 

I know I sometimes joke about how crazy it is... doing 365days of kindness! it's not crazy at all. It's often the simplest thing you can do that not only changes your life but the person you are being kind to! It doesn't have to cost money. I don't have a lot but I still make a difference with the little I have. I am often really busy and I still have a second to smile at a stranger or help some kids put chairs away after a school assembly. I don't have much but when I can I pass on the things I don't need to those that need it more than me. I occasionally have panic attacks but it doesn't stop me from treating everyone like they are people too. I've even learned this year to cook for my friend who is starting her life as a vegan (it is not as hard as it looks!). 

If you have money, you can support charities, or friend who are raising for charities or even give money to strangers in completely random ways. If you have time Volunteer to do something close to your heart, you might even make a friend or two in the mean time. If you have skills, put them to use and teach others or give your time to a cause close to my heart. If you have lots of stuff you don't need on a daily basis ask yourself what could you give away or sell that could make some else's life better (I know people who sold an almost brand new washing machine for a tiny amount to someone who really needed it - then threw in some extra bits too because the family was looking for those items. It was gorgeous).

There is so much you can do. We are only limited by our imaginations! 

So in 2018 365days Of Kindness begins again for me... 

What is YOUR New Year Resolution?

Monday, November 13, 2017

World Kindness Day 13th November!

For those who don't know, today 13th of November, is World Kindness Day! 

So I put out the challenge... to do at least one kind deed today! Stuck for ideas? 

- Can you smile at a stranger? It's free and takes a few seconds. You can even say 'hi' or 'good day'. A smile shared is a smile that keeps on giving. 
- Can you hold a door open for a stranger? Sometimes just waiting for someone at a door and smiling warmly can make the world of difference. You can even tell them it's World Kindness Day is you want! 
- Can you make someone smile? Tell a kids joke! Keep it clean and fun! Smiling is awesome. Or if you want send a cute meme to a friend of family member. Lost for joke ideas? "How do you make a Hanky dance? You put a little boogie in it!" Lol. "Where did the King keep his armies? Up his sleevies! 
- Can you call a friend or family member and let them know you love and appreciate them? If you are Not great on the phone, No problems. Write them a note or send them a card to tell them you love them. Tell them you are thinking of them and appreciate them being in your lives. 
- Can you take 5 minutes out your day and write a review? Do you have a favourite band? Or a favourite coffee shop? Or even a favourite blog? ;) maybe you just really love that new book by your favourite author. Well take a minute to write a review and tell them how much you enjoy those things! It makes them enthusiastic to continue! 
- Can you spare a few dollars and buy a stranger a cup of coffee (or a bottle of water here in Australia as its hot!)? You could pay for someone behind you in line or donate one to someone doing it tough with 'suspended coffees'. 
- Can you spare $5 (or £5 or €5)?  Donate that to your favourite charity! Every dollar counts. Most charity websites have a "donate now" button! 
- Can you cook? How about making an extra meal for a friend, family member or colleague, who lives alone or who has been sick recently! Can't cook? How about grabbing that persons favourite take away and take it to them! 
- Can you compliment a friend or family member? Maybe they have a new haircut, lost weight, done a great job at work, made you smile, laughed at a bad joke you made, or just been there when you needed to talk. Compliment them. A compliment goes a long way. Plus, it is a fun and easy Kindness to do!
-Can you drive? If you do, how about being kind in traffic. Be patient. Let people in when they need to merge. And wave when someone else does something nice for you! What is you don't drive but do take public transport? That's fine! Thank your driver or the transport security for getting you safely to your destination. 
- Can you think of other ways to be kind? Excellent! I want to see them below in the comments! 

If you can do just one of these things today (or in the next 24 hours), then you will be one of the millions of people performing kind acts around the globe today! Now that's something I want to be a part of!!!! 

Enjoy World Kindness Day! I sure will! Love Daena xx

Friday, September 29, 2017

Sustainable September 2017 - Day Thirty



Welcome back Sustainable September-ers. It is the last day of the month of Eco Kindnesses. What a crazy wild ride it has been.

One thing I have to say is that it is my Mums birthday today. It is always such a lovely way to end Sustainable September by honouring the woman who gave birth to me. 
my mum who's new age shall remain untold even though it's also in the picture! 😉
You, Mum, are the best, most couragous, genuine, compassionate, determined woman I know. You make other people see the best in themselves even when they didn't realise there was more to them. You have championed so many causes, helped so many people, affected so many lives and you have done so much of it quietly, in the back ground. You are a marvel. I am so blessed that I was put on this earth with you. Thanks for being my mum!

Back to the blog post now...

I love that every September I learn new and interesting ways to reduce my waste and make my life, and everyone else's lives a little better. I forget how much I have done and continue to do for this great planet of ours. It is like a journey I forget I am on. Iimpliment small changes that I forget about as they become normal. It is only as a result of doing Sustainable September that I realise just how far I have come in my journey to reduce my waste. I am a long way off being Zero waste but each year I get a little closer to living with no waste. It is by no means a fast swap. I feel like my small changes are sustainable though. I like it like that. After all this is Sustainable September for a reason. Small changes that can be sustained for a long time to come. 

Kindness is always my priority when it comes to this blog. Kindness to our planet equates to millions of people in poverty having support. People living in poverty are the first casualties as a result of climate change. Being kind to our planet is simply thinking more about our actions so that we can help those who need it most. So everytime you choose glass packaging over unrecyclable plastic... just remember you are doing a kindness for those less fortunate than yourselves. 

What is Sustainable September all about on the last day of the month? It is about FUN!!!

Two of my favourite ideas when it comes to being environmentally friendly...

Sustainable September Day 30 - Op- Shopping and Upcycling. 

The idea and the ACTIVITY are one in the same today. Go Op-shopping (go to the thrift store, buy second hand, even look up pre-loved or used items on ebay). or Upcycle something that needs new life.

Oh... how I love Op-shopping. Usually when I am looking for something specific now though. By now you will have figured out your Capsule Wardrobe and decided if there are a couple holes in your wardobe. I know that as the summer months come into it I have a few more holes in my wardrobe because I have changed shape and a lot of my clothes.

I went to a local op-shop today. My family and I have been blessed with the most amazing gift of a holiday away. My niece, nephew and I went into the local town and went to the local op-shop... like you do! We didn't buy anything but had a look around. My nephew was looking for something very specific, so when that something wasn't to be found, he was out of there. It was probably all of about 4 minutes in the shop, but thankfully it was just a look around. I thankfully didn't need anything and the only thing my neice wanted they didn't have either so we all left. 

Normally I probably would have spent more time riffling through the back rooms to find little treasures... but not today. My nephew is pretty determined when his tummy rumbles... I guess that serves me right for not feeding him BEFORE we went into the opshop. oh well. I wasn't really looking for anything and I don't need to add to my piles of stuff at home... a lot of which is already destined for the opshop.

This is what i look at when I need something new.... Use what i have first... borrow second, swap third, then thrift, make is the next option leaving buy new a final resort. It takes into account all of the Zero Waste principals too.

If you have nothing that you need when it comes to opshopping/thrift shopping, then look at your waste and think of creative ways to Upcycle some of that waste. Have an old flannel shirt with paint stains? then turn it into a couple of gift bags, some hand warmers and a Apron.

Or you can thing about other types of waste too. What do you often throw out that can be upcycled and given new life, without going to the tip? Can't figure out what to do with an old tyre? Turn it into an ottoman. or a swing for your kids in the back yard, or a planter box. There are so many ideas for giving old things a new life... and therefore keeping them out of landfill. It just calls for creativity.

If you are interested in Upcycling then there are a huge range of boards and ideas on Pinterest.

I know, for those of you who have followed this blog ALL month, that Upcycling is not a new idea. But tomorrow is a saturday when people are most likely to be able to do fun things like op-shopping and upcycling... so i thought... why not bring it back again! :)

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed Sustainable September for 2017. I always intend to do so much more stuff, be more creative and more informative... and then life gets in the way and you end up with a interesting shorter version of what i had planned in my mind. I guess living life and living this sustainable ecofriendly lifestyle is what the whole month is about so I guess that is part of the fun... not knowing what life will bring in a month.

I hope you will all continue to work to make this world better for everyone who lives here... make it kinder for everyone.
Sending love to you all.
Love Daena xx

ps. if you need a challenge for October starting on the 1st... it is "Buy Nothing New Month". Which puts another spin on reducing what you buy in Fast Fashion and also looking at alternative ways to help the environment.  Give it a go. I really enjoyed doing this last year. It was a little bit of a challenge but ultimately it was worth it. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Sustainable September 2017 - Day Twenty Nine



Making life a little kinder for our planet and all those who live here.

Welcome back to the last week of Sustainable September. This week is all about Fashion and Beauty.

It is simple the less we consume and the more we wear the clothes we already have the more environmentally friendly they become. However, there are times that it is impossible to keep clothes. They don't fit, they are unflattering, they are out of fashion, they are stained or ripped, they are thoroughly warn out.

Sustainable September Day Twenty Nine: Dejunk your excess.

This may seem a little strange to talk about Dejunking now after talking about waste this last 28 days. However consuming less and owning less is a massive part of reducing your environmental foot print. So I am here to talk about responsible dejunking and recycling.
If you are going to be creating a a capsule wardrobe (check out the last two days worth of blog posts for more information) it often involves getting rid of lots of clothes that no longer fit, aren't your style and are are stained or broken. Even though I will be talking about this in terms of clothing, some of these ideas apply to all the things you are getting rid of. 
Yesterday you would have started going through your wardrobe and putting aside the things that don't fit, are broken or stained, are too big, too small and aren't your personal style. Instead of just chucking all this in a bag and dumping it in landfill, I want you to look at what you have. 

DONATE: The things that are too big and small and aren't your personal style can be donated to a local thrift store, asuming they are in good enough condition to be sold exactly as they are (anything else is not going to be resold). You could also resell them yourself if you want to (to earn some extra cash). This means that anything with stains or breaks must not be taken to a thrift store, it is the same thing as throwing it in landfill because ultimately that is where it will be sent. 

First lets talk about REDUCING what you going to be sending to landfill. After all your resellable stuff is donated or resold you can then move on to the next group of things. The ones that are broken.

BROKEN: If they are broken, see if they can be mended. If they can be mended, can you rewear them? If you can rewear them, do they fit? are they stylish enough? do they go with more than one thing in your Capsule Wardrobe? The best thing you can do is repair them even though they no longer fit you, your style and dont match anything in your wardrobe. Then they can be sold or donated. I did this with a pair of shoes I owned at the beginning of the year. They were ones that i had worn to be bridesmaid at my best friends wedding, but i rarely wore them. The only times i did wear them, the straps broke on them. The straps pulled out of underneath the sole of the shoe. So I went to a cobbler and had them repaired. It cost me $10 to have 2 shoes fixed but then I was able to donate them as they were going to be useable/saleable for a charity thrift shop. It might seem silly to have something fixed to then give them away, but they were good shoes and I knew they would come in handy to someone sometime in the future.

Is something ripped or stained so badly that it can't be donated? Is it so bad it can't be fixed?  Then there are two options 1) Upcycle it into something that will be useful. 2) Rip it up and use it as rags.

I have done both of these.

UPCYCLING: For the first one I turned an old Flannelette t-shirt into a bunch of different things. Hand warmers, gift bags, a BBQ apron and more. I even had someone love the Apron so much they bought it off me and someone else loved it so much they commissioned me to make another one in Red! :) 

RAGS: Then there is those clothes that are stained so much that they can become nothing but rags. I had an old t-shirt that was so badly stained and holey that it would have ended up in landfill if I had decided to take it to an op-shop. Thankfully it was a cotton t-shirt so it could be ripped up fairly easily and then used as rags. I use it now in the shed for all kinds of things. From wiping up the paint from my projects to dusting, to using it for checking the oil guage in the car. I didn't realise how many tissues/papertowels I used that have been saved because I reused my own rubbish and turned my old clothes into scraps. I turned my old university t-shirts and promotional-shirts (one off t-shirts that no-one would buy from a thrift shop) into rags and now they have a use and have not ended up in landfill. I have been able to wash these rags over and over again. They are mostly made of cotton so they can be thrown into my compost once they are well beyond washing.

FANCY DRESSES: I have a bag of dresses at home that are waiting to go to a new home. And i have a plan for them rather than sending them to an opshop. There is a school not too far away from me that is looking for pretty dresses. They loan the dresses students whose families cant afford to purchase ones for school dances or School Balls. Everytime i find a fancy dress (in an Opshop) or I grow out of one of the ones id worn in the past, or ones my friends is getting rid of some of their fancy dresses, I put them aside ready to take to this school. There may be something like this in an area near you.

Those of you who want to donate your wedding dresses can either resell them, donate them to charity or even donate them to a cause where they will be Upcycled. What i am talking about when i say Upcycled is turning these dresses into Angel Gowns. "
"Angel Gowns Australia Incorporated ...provides services to bereaved families who have suffered the unimaginable stillbirth or death of their baby, families who are or have gone through the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or families who are impacted on by a child's life-limiting illness or special needs.From donated wedding dresses we lovingly hand craft Angel Gown garments which are then donated to hospitals, funeral homes and directly to families through special orders.
To bring a ray of sunshine into special children's lives we use the left over tulle from wedding dresses and transform it in to the most beautiful Tutus, which we also donate to hospitals and other children's charities all around Australia
Currently they have an over-supply of wedding dresses. They will be taking more dresses in the future, when they are work their way through their current supply. So donating your wedding dress to this cause would mean that you would have to hold on to it (in Australia at least). 
I am sure there are a lot of other things that you can do with your old clothes!
TOWELS, SHEETS & BLANKETS: If you want to donate old towels, blankets and sheets you can donate them to homeless shelters and pet shelters. The worse condition they are in the better they are for animals and less for human use. Donating these items can be a huge kindness particularly in winter times and when blankets and sheets are needed to keep people and animals warm. 
I hope this helps you with your donating and recycling of old clothes and fabrics. 
With Love,
Daena x