Friday, March 31, 2017

Lent gifting day 31

Today I'm donating a book. 
 
A tiny book but a book nonetheless. It took me an hour to read so I recorded it on Litsy. I have a Litsy account which is basically an online booklist crossed with twitter. I wanted to record the books I've read and to create a wish list of books to read in the future. So many books to read. 

I wrote a short review so I'd remember what it was about. So now I can pass the book on. Books are something that give wisdom, transport you to other worlds, open your mind & can bring hope. So giving them to other people is really good.  Or at least it is in my opinion. 

I hope this finds you well & with lots of books to read! 
Much love, 
Daena 

Ps. What is your favourite book of all time? And do you have any to recommend here? X

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Lent gifting day 30

10 days to go until this lent gifting game is over. Which also means that there are only 10 days until Easter. What are you doing this Easter? How do you celebrate this season (or this set of holidays) if you don't celebrate Easter? 

I'm still not 100% sure what to do this year for Easter apart from make things or gift experiences. Or I could buy and or make food. My family loves food. Plus they all usually appreciate my cooking. So if I find something they like surely I can make it and give it as a gift to my family and friends and they will appreciate it. Fingers crossed. If you have any ideas... please pass them this way. 

Today's kindness for the lent gifting is actually more than one thing but I'm calling it one because it's part of a set. 
 
DVDs. More specifically Seasons 2-5 of Angel (the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Spinoff). I was kind of obsessed with this show when I was younger. I wrote one of my first fan fictions about characters from the first season of Angel (& I also wrote about the TV show "The Pretender" too) but that was a long long time ago. Needless to say these have been a part of my writing history. I love to write fiction stories, novels (all unpublished), romance novels and occasionally I write fanfics just to help me get over or to explain certain things in shows I love. And also... blog posts, essays & research notes. It's not all good writing. However I keep learning and growing as a writer. 
Hopefully my writing is getting better to you, my faithful reader, too! 

You might wonder why I am getting rid of a show I loved?! I realised that even if I don't have these DVDs I'm not going to forget how my teenage brain was obsessed with its shows characters. Or that I would eagerly wait for it to show on TV every week. Or how bad my writing was when I reread my fan fiction YEARS later, and it was bad. Hehehehe. I'm not afraid to admit it. I've still got so much to learn. But I've definitely improved since then. What I loved about the show was there were so many possibilities that made writing easy. Anything is possible in a world where demons & vampires exist. I have always been interested in ancient mythology so writing about demons and vampires wasn't really much of a step up or down from those ideas. 

Mind you demons are a fair way away from writing about kindness. Yet I am still passionate about writing and kindness. 

I'm most comfortable giving these away in the knowledge that I don't need them to be creative. I don't NEED these DVDs to write fun, scary, romantic stories. In fact by giving them away I'm opening up space in my room to be more creative. To have space to store my art supplies or my story journals (there are lots of these). I'll get around to finishing or rewriting the most interesting stories from the journals at some point. In the meantime I'll just keep writing. I'll write about thing that mean a lot to me like Kindness & being compassionate to one another on this big diverse world of ours. 
 I'm sure I've used this graphic from Pinterest before. I do love it though. I carry it with me always. 


Love Daena xx

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Lent gifting day 29

What skills do you have that you could use to help someone else? What talents do you have that you could use as a kind act for another? I am askin because today I realised that I've been doing some kindnesses for a while for my friends or family members. 

I have completed two degrees (undergraduate and postgraduate) and I'm currently working on a new one. In that time I've had to read hundreds of my own assignments, essays, talks, tutorial notes and referenced millions of books. 

This week my nephew, who is in year 8 (his second year of high school) has been writing a report on Tsunamis, particularly the one that hit Japan in 2011 and sent a nuclear power reactor into meltdown. Fascinating stuff! He writes a great report. 

The kindnesses I have done for him (& a lot of others) is proof reading and editing. When I was doing my undergraduate study in the U.K. I often helped my international ESL (English as a Second Language) friends who needed me to just make sure it was properly... English. 

My nephew on the other hand, whose only language is English, has dyslexia. I proof read and highlight what needs to be changed and then talk him through it. This means his assignments are better to read, have less errors (I'm sure I'm not 100% fool proof), and it gives him more confidence knowing that it's readable and makes sense. 

But doing the proofreading got me thinking how easy kindness is. I just used a skill I've honed in my academic life to help my nephew who is just really starting his academic journey. He wants to go to uni already. He has plans. 

I realised that this is in fact a kindness. Using my skills and helping someone else. It's what I do because I care for my friends and family. I want to see them succeed. I also know what I did to help many others could do too. Maybe you have skills in finance? or putting in a tax return? or using computer programs? Or hair dressing? Or dress making? Or baking? Each one of us has the most amazing and diverse set of skills that if we use to perform acts of kindness we can really change the world. 

I know we are on day 29 of the 40 days of lent challenge. What I wanted to share is how you can use what you already have to make a difference. Like your stuff. I also think talents and skills are just as important to give freely. Mind you I have a lot of stuff that I will happily pass on to the needy. So here is where I share the next thing I've given away. A bonds sports bra.  
It is usually "in bad taste" to show ones "smells" in public. But this is a fairly new purchase of mine that I'm passing on already. It's only a few months old but it doesn't fit and I feel not like myself wearing it. So it needs to go to a better home. So in the opshop bag it goes. 

Well that's all from me today. I hope you are well. What skills, talents and resources do you use to make a difference? What do you do to act kindly towards others? Yourself? The environment? I'm not just asking because I'm I'm curious... I would love more ideas people!!!! 😁😁😁

Much love to you all, 
❤ Daena 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Lent gifting day 28

Recently I talked about giving clothes to friends in a kind of clothing network. My gifting today is 3 pairs of jeans that I'll pass on to a friend (black, navy and purple). If she doesn't want them then she passes them onto people she knows needs them and so on and so forth. I'm so glad I can pass these on to a friend who will use them (or pass them on). They are good quality. and they will last a long time too. I don't need 4 pairs of jeans. 3 of the jeans of which are too small for me (just) so are never very comfortable to wear. Hence they are today's gifts. 
 
I'm slowly pairing down my wardrobe to be more of a capsule wardrobe. I've been following capsule wardrobes for a while on Pinterest mainly for travel. Or at least how my love of capsule wardrobes started because I only wanted to take a carry on suitcase around the world when I went (if you want to check the carry on travel wardrobes check my Pinterest board here). 

I'm falling in love with the idea of owning less clothes to take the problem of choosing out of my mornings. There is a project called 333. It's 33 clothes pieces for 3 months including shoes and accessories. It's a fantastic challenge. One I might have to give a go in coming months. If you want to see some capsule wardrobes check it my Capsule Wardrobe Pinterest  board. 

I hope this finds you all well. 
Love Daena 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Lent gifting day 27

Wow...27 days in and I almost can't believe how much stuff is going out of our house. There are 3 HUGE garbage bags in the hallway ready to go plus a few smaller bags to go to different friends and family members. We still have 13 days to go until Easter Sunday, which will mark the end of Lent and the end of this gifting kindness project. The hard bit is realising you can barely tell where I've been... mum at least has half a book case empty, which makes her gifting noticeable. I still have so much stuff! Maybe the next 13 days I can give more?! 

Today I went through my gift box and found a bunch of towels. Yes, towels. I thought I would get them embroidered and then gift them for wedding gifts or for housewarming parties but something always came along that fitted the people more. So I decided that the towels would be better used by a homeless shelter. 
 
So that's what I'm going to do. I've got them wrapped in a bag to take to one of the shelters or refuges that we visit in the next few weeks. Whoever wants them can have them. And usually they are in high demand. I may even buy some body wash, shampoo and conditioner and some combs or something to help the staff at some of these places make hygiene packs. CWA makes these up. Only last week I helped mum, as the CWA community coordinator, make up about 100 of these hygiene packs for donations to charity 

The lent gifts today are two black bath sheets, a black hand towel and a flannel, plus a cream coloured towel too. I'm calling this a single donation because it's going to one place (& really I need to give more of my stuff away if I ever plan to move). I bet you wouldn't believe how much space I now have in my Present box now that I've gotten rid of these out of it?! So much space!!! Soon I may even be able to repurpose the box to something more useful. 

Today also marks 3 years since my mum had both of her breasts removed because of cancer (it's called a double mastectomy). She is not over the long term affects and problems of having the surgery (& never will be over some things). But it's been 3 years since she got the cancer removed from her body. 3 years without cancer is a win! I am so proud of her. We are all celebrating life today! She has done so much & achieved so much in those 3 years since she had her surgery. None of us will be the same again. I like to think it's just made each one of us stronger. And I'm so grateful I still have my mum around to hug, talk to and just be around. She's awesome. I know... I am biased! 😁

Alright that's enough for me. What kindnesses have you been doing? What's the greatest kindness someone has done for you? 

Love Daena x

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Lent gifting day 26

 Sometimes the hardest things to let go of are the free things. Saying no to free things when you don't want them or need them can seem hard particularly when you think you "might" use them in the future. 

My family and some awesome friends have a system of distribution for getting rid of clothes. People pass things on to me to check out if I want it, then I pass those things on to other people. Sometimes they end up at the op-shop but more often than not they end up with friends of mine who are financially struggling which makes a difference to us all. 

Today's kindness is a dress that came through this system of passing along clothes. Something that I essentially got for free. 
 
I saw this dress and when I put it on I thought it was pretty good so kept it. It's been sitting in my cupboard for 2 months and I haven't even looked at it. I had face the fact that it was a great dress in theory but in practice I have other clothes I prefer. So I'm passing this one along to my little network of people who need clothes. So although this one is part of this lent "gifting" it won't be going to a charity but to a friend. 

On a different note, there is something wonderful about knowing that your family do kindnesses in their own ways. My nephew makes cups of tea for my mum (it's a real winner). My Brother-in-law volunteers time with scouts and donates blood (here in Australia it's a charitable donation you can't earn money from blood donations). My niece helps her friends in class by getting their chairs out for them. My sister volunteers her time as a Joey Scout leader even though she no longer has a joey scout in the house. My mum donates her time and effort to working as the CWA community coordinator. And well... then there is me. 

I often help mum in her role take deliveries of hand made & new purchased items to hospitals, nursing homes, homeless shelters, refuges, charities and to school chaplains. I am always amazed at the generosity of my fellow CWA ladies. It is always a profound privilege giving these things over to those need them. I get to play Kindness fairy and represent the women who did all the hard work at the same time. It's a lot of fun too!!! 

I'm so proud of my family who do their own acts of kindness. They give their time, money and energy to help other people. 

Have you noticed anyone in YOUR family, or close friends group, who is doing kindnesses? What are you most proud of them for? 

Much love to you all, 
Daena xxx

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Lent gifting day 25

Tonight was Earth Hour. One hour without electricity to show your solidarity with the earth. I've done it most years. 
 It's always fun playing cards in the dark with my family. Kindness for the environment tonight. Another kindness to tick off the list! 

Today's donation to charity is this waistcoat that I bought in England for a pirate party all those years ago (almost 10). I've used it for all kinds of things over the years. Usually to dress up as a pirate repeatedly after all It's an easy fall back costume. I do dress up a lot because I enjoy dressing up. 
 
It might also work for a hobbit costume too but sadly it's not what I want to keep anymore. It's never fit me properly. I bought it second hand (for about £2) and cut holes in the opposite side of the button holes, thread ribbon through it for a Halloween costume 10 years ago when I was living in Hull, Yorkshire, England, UK. As an international student studying at the university I had lots of fun adventures. Halloween was one of them. But shopping cheap was a necessity. At that time the British Pound was about 3-1. $3AUD for £1 British Pound. So it was quite painfully expensive to live there at the time. I did have a wonderful time though. 

The waistcoat has great memories but I don't want to keep it just because it has memories. I have lots of photos and other bits and pieces that I love much more than this one item of clothing. So I'm pleased to pass it on to someone else who can enjoy it as much as I did. Maybe they will be a pirate or a hobbit. Or maybe they will be a milkmaid or a streampunker. Anyway it is used it will be worth it. It has lots of life left in it. 

Hope you are well. 
Love Daena 

Lent gifting day 24

I drew graphs at the beginning of the month to get the kids in the family excited about colouring in and donating stuff to charity. 

Well I've helped mum go through her book case. She got rid of over 50 books in one sitting. All of which have already been donated to charity. She is so fast. And the coolest thing is the first graph that I posted she wasn't even assigned a colour yet. Now she's blue and her column is full!!! Go mum!!! So proud. 

 
The left side was a few weeks ago and the right side is the most recent. Pretty cool huh?! 

My niece and nephew are currently neck and neck on the donating schedule. They are seeing it as a donating competition between the two which is kind of amusing since my niece wasn't very keen in the first place. Hehehe. 

So today's gifts are two fold, or two blown, depending how you look at it. Hahaha. 
 
In my "gift box" I had two blow up beach bits: A ball and a swim ring. Sadly there aren't very many occasions when you can give these as gifts. So donating them still in their packets is a nice way to get them out of my life and into someone else's. Someone who has a pool and who can use these more than I ever would have. 

I'm doing my best to donate things that are good quality and could be resaleable. Like the two blow up toys above. This week I'm getting a few things mended to then donate them to an opshop. 

I have a pair of shoes with a broken strap that just pulled out from the sole. These shoes broke once before (the other shoe) so i know it will only cost me about $10AUD to fix. Considering they were shoes I bought in England and are pretty good quality (apart from the said "breaks") I want to be able to pass them on again. I also want to keep them out of landfill. The reason I'm getting rid of them is that the heel on these shoes are just too tall for me. They would be perfect for other people who aren't afraid they will fall over and break something- like I am. So to the opshop they will go when they get fixed. I'll show them when they at finally fixed!

Okay well... that's me for the day. And in the words from off my Kindness Pinterest Board picture... 
 
Much love to you all. 
Love Daena x

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Lent gifting day 22

Here is my day 22 entry to the lent gifting... 
minion leggings!!! With price tag still attached so you can see how often I wore them... Never. 
 
Minions from the Despicable Me movies do make me laugh and I hope they bring a smile to someone else! :) 

So... it's short and sweet today. 

I've been studying all day and my brain feels a bit mushy. I've picked up a couple university units just because I can. I'm Studying Human Rights through EdX and a local university in my home city. So I've spent today doing research for my first assignment which is due Sunday evening. 

It's been a long time since I did any uni. So it's been refreshing and challenging getting into the swing of things again. 

Anyway, sending love to you all. 

Love Daena x

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Lent gifting day 23

I have just come out from watching the musical Matilda from the Burswood theatre here in Perth, Western Australia. And it was fantastic. 

 
(Ps. This is the $3 dress I bought the other day... with pockets!!!!) 

I decided at Christmas last year that i wanted to give less stuff and focus more on giving experiences. Tonight was one of those nights that it came to fruition. The girls of the family went to Matilda. My niece thinks I'm the best aunt in the world, my sister was thrilled she got to see it and my mum...she just loved it. I am so blessed I was able to organise such excellent tickets with help from my BFF and her mum. Thank you!!!! So blessed. 

Above I showed you a picture and celebrated my new dress with pockets which I love. Sadly not every dress or skirt (with or without pockets) suits me, looks good on me or feels comfortable to wear. Like this pocket-ed skirt. For some reason it just didn't suit me so I decided that instead of it hiding in the back of my closet where I celebrated its pockety-goodness, but never wore it, it needed to find someone else to love it just as much as me. It's such a shame it doesn't look good on me but that's life. Not every style or shape suits everyone. 
 
Thank you pocket skirt. You inspired me to keep looking for pockets in fashion. You gave me hope that there was such a thing. I hope you find a new owner who can wear you and show off your pockets with pride! Hehehe. 

I guess I sound weird for saying thank you to my clothes. but I've discovered that if I say thanks and let it go I'm less likely to climb into the charity bag to get something out again. I don't need it so it's easier to let go of if I say thank you and goodbye to it. Plus I'm happily a little weird. 

I hope you are all well and healthy. 
Love Daena x

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Lent gifting day 21 + Endometriosis Awareness Week

Its Endometriosis awareness week and I thought I would share my story. The reason I want to share this is because it might help another woman know she is not alone. Alternatively it might help a friend or a loved one of someone suffering from Endometriosis understand how turbulent and confusing the disease can be. 

So what is Endometriosis? "Endometriosis is most often defined as a chronic gynaecological condition, where endometrial-type tissue grows outside the uterus...If a woman hasn’t fallen pregnant by the end of her menstrual cycle, the tissue lining her uterus sheds (the period). In women with endometriosis, it seems the tissue located outside the uterus also bleeds and swells. Lesions, cysts and nodules can develop, often causing severe cramping, bleeding and pain.

The condition can lead to infertility, although it’s unclear how this occurs.

Although contraceptive pills and, more drastically, removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) can sometimes ease the symptoms, there is currently no cure for endometriosis." For further information check out this awesome Article on a Endometriosis from mamamia.com.au

My story: I don't remember when I was first diagnosed with Endometriosis but I had my first surgery for it in 2008. The gynaecologist burnt it all out and removed a cyst on my ovary at the same time. In 2013 I had another lot of surgery to burn out what had grown back. Since then I've had a never ending string of complications and problems. I bled for 2 years straight after the surgery. I have had crippling pain that would have me curled up in the foetal position every night after work regardless of what time or the month it was. I would take copious amounts of pain killers and use heat packs to ease some of the pain. But it just didn't work.

One of the only things that had helped me is a change in diet. Because my bowel had adhered to my ovary post surgery and my uterus had shared the Endo with the ovary (such a sharing caring body), every time I eat gluten and most other grains it feels like glass shards moving through my abdomen. 

Thankfully I've learned not to poke the bear. It's easier to avoid grains than deal with Endo Pain. It's easier to be "fussy" at restaurants than spend an evening in the foetal position on the floor begging for someone to cut out my uterus. I think I've attempted to sell it at least a dozen times. But thankfully no takers. 

I want to have kids in the future. But doctors at the public hospital told me that by 2 years after my 2nd surgery I wouldn't be able have children... the deadline of which was 2 years ago. So I may have lost my chance to have kids, according to those doctors. 

Apparently I needed to have a baby to get rid of Endometriosis. I'm sorry but NO. I will not bring a child into this world just on the off chance that I might get rid of a chronic condition. Even then it doesn't always work. Plus that is a hell of a commitment to do on your own FOR LIFE without the support of a loving husband or even a loving boyfriend/Fiance. 

I am going to an excellent gynaecologist now who has told me that when I am ready to have kids he and an Endometriosis specialist will do surgery to remove as much of the Endometriosis as possible before I can even "try" for babies. Then I probably have a year gap in which to get pregnant before the Endo grows back. But I was also told that if I had 3 kids already they would have just taken my uterus out because its such a trouble maker. It doesn't help that every time I visit the gynaecologist he wants to know if I've found a good man yet because the sooner the surgery, the sooner I can get pregnant, the more chance it has of working (or at least that is what is implied). Which is so stupid and something I take with me into every romantic relationship I begin or want to being. I don't want to have the Immediate pressure of having children put on me and any special man in my future. How can love even bloom with that kind of pressure? It would feel like I was saying..."We need to have kids... AND we need to do it, yesterday! Either get on board or get out." It don't think so. It's not fair to ask for that. 

I don't want anyone to go through the kind of shit I went through/am going through. But I also know there are so many women out there that are going through a version of this. Women who haven't been as lucky as I have. And I know It sucks. It really really sucks!!! 

I am grateful that there are awareness campaigns going on at the moment because maybe then someone who is around a person with Endo might understand. They might have more empathy. Might be a little less agitated when it takes me 20 minutes to read a menu or have to change restaurant 4 times to find something...ANYTHING... I can eat to avoid ending up in pain. Or they might understand when I choose to eat something I shouldn't because it is the 5th restaurant and I'm just so darn hungry... even if that means for the next 2 -4 days I will be dealing with the consequences. 

It might help when I have to cancel on a friend or not go to a function because I unintentionally ate something that I shouldn't have. Or I should have double checked a food item when it was always fine before. I'm looking at you IKEA meatballs 😒. (It seriously broke my heart learning the hard way that the IKEA Meatballs have wheat in them). They might even understand when the gluten free thing they made with rice flower will still have consequences for me, so it's not intentionally a slight it I say no. 

Endometriosis. It's messy. It painful. It's complicated. 

What does Endometriosis have to do with the Lent Gifting game? Absolutely nothing!

But it does have a very tenuous link to kindness. You see, I was recently reminded that sharing your story can help other people deal with their own stories in life. It can help people know they are not alone. 

I appreciated knowing that I wasn't alone when I was going through my worst days. I knew there was always someone going through worse and I could help those going through better times too. We all support each other to stay strong when all you want to do is grab a carving knife, cut out and sell your baby making station on EBay. Not that I ever actually did it but I couldn't say I hadn't thought about it. I did. 

I also believe I have greater compassion for others going through chronic illness. I know what I was like during my worst times. It wasn't pretty. And compared to some people I know... I have it easy!!!!

I have friends with Colitis, spinal damage, Fibromyalgia, M.E., Diabetes, Depression, Morbis Pompe, Anxiety, Bipolar and that's just some of my closest friends and family. I have lots of friends with other diseases and conditions that affect their daily lives. 

I like to think that I am better equipped to communicate with my friends on a more genuine, compassionate and kind level. And if not, I hope they tell me so I can improve! But I know they will call me out if I really do or say something insensitive, as I have accidentally in the past. I'm human and it happens. 

But do you know what? Each of the people suffering these diseases have taught me so much about what it means to live life to the fullest right now. How caring for others is great but if you don't look after yourself you can't do anything for anyone else at all. I've learned that life is short and that we need to embrace the time we have. I've learned life isn't fair because the worst shit happens to the nicest people. I know that loving someone with a disease means you get to see how much they mean to you right now. They hurt, so you hurt. 

I have learned the true value of kindness. Checking in and making sure they are okay or sending a message to let them know they aren't alone. Looking for alternative ways to spend time with them so that neither of you wear out so fast (like just hanging out in PJs all day watching movies). Knowing that sometimes they just don't have any spoons left to make food. 

Spoons?! Why am I talking about spoons you might ask? Well I heard this amazing story about spoons when explaining chronic illnesses and I thought I would share a brief over view here. The link is from Pinterest and saved to my Kindness Ideas page 
The website at the bottom of the graphic can help you read the full story which is well worth it. 

So I am a "spoonie" along with many of my friends. But thankfully recently I've been having 20 spoons instead of 12 so I can get infinitely more stuff done. I'm so lucky to get given extra spoons. So lucky I've learned what my body needs to avoid to get more spoons. 

Oh... I almost forgot my donation for lent gifting. 
 This seems particularly appropriate today. I'm sending this photo to all those who need extra love today. No matter if you are a "spoonie" or not. 

Endometriosis is not something that will magically go away but I'm managing the best I can and I celebrate NOT having pain which is happening more regularly. It's awesome. I also know that there are lots of women with Endo who don't have that relief I do. And they haven't found something that works for them... YET. I have hope you will find something.  So to my Endo Sisters, here is a little love. Pleas know you are not alone! 

Much love, 
Daena xxx

Monday, March 20, 2017

Lent gifting day 20

Half way through lent! That means only 20 days until Easter! Yay! 

My nephew has his Easter plan ready. Go to church with Grandma on Easter morning and enjoy the massive breakfast that the church puts on after the service. That boy is ruled by food. But he is almost a teenager so it's completely understandable. 

What about my plans? Me? We I plan to go to church and enjoy the breakfast too but I've realised a little flaw in one of the things I've given up. Usually at this time of year I start buying stuff for Easter. Sometimes I'm already organised with Easter themed mugs or egg shaped chalks and chocolate eggs. However this year I've given up buying "stuff" so I've really been thinking about what to do for the kids and my family for Easter. 

This really has me thinking outside the box. I can buy them an experience, a food item or write a voucher for a future event, which means no "stuff" is bought & I stick to my own rules. Plus any food I buy,for my nephew, will definitely be appreciated. I think that's the same for my niece. 

I do like how I have to think more creatively. What can I do to make each person feel special? Celebrate with an experience or a special food item that the kids only get very rarely ie. like a packet of sweet potato crisps, a glass jar of pickles or olives and or a glass bottle of sparkling water (don't ask me how but this is a treat for them but it is).

I've also thought about doing a kindness on behalf of another person. So I do it and give them the credit. Alternatively I could record a little report for them so they know what I did and how I did it. 

Things like... lent gifting! Was that a good Segway? I'm working on it! Hehhehe. 

Today's kindness gifting is...

 
Roll on shimmer powder. It cost me $0.10 AUD. it's also a remnant of my "gift box". I think i bought it with the intention of giving it to my niece. She doesn't do well with lots of makeup though. She, my sister and I all have sensitivities to certain types of makeups. And a cheap brand isn't likely to be good for her or me... or anyone else in my family really. 

So donating to charity means someone else with different skin to us can use it and enjoy it. That makes me happy. I hate having stuff that's been sitting there for ages without being used. It will finally find a home that's not in my home. Which I also love. 

Hope you are well. 

What are your Easter plans? Do you celebrate at all? Do you eat chocolate? Do you have any fun traditions? I'd love to hear about them. 

Love Daena x

Lent gifting day 19

I've been unwell the last couple days. So I'm feeling a bit out of sorts. I did still want to post my progress with this gifting game. So here it is. 

The below photo is of a hat I've used many times. I used to help my BFF with Relay For Life. For those that don't know about it it's a 24 hour challenge that is usually done in teams. You have to run or walk around an oval and get sponsored to do as many laps as possible in 24 hours. All proceeds go to The Cancer Council and to fund cancer research. 

I used to volunteer a couple days each year & help out the ceremonies committee which my Best friend was on. I think I have even featured this event in my blog before, a while ago. I don't wear my Relay For Life hat anymore so I'm donating it to charity. 
 
Now my best friend has moved interstate, I'm not going to be volunteering for Relay For Life now. It's not because I don't like them or anything, I do!!! I love their work. It's because other charity groups and other priorities have cropped up. 

I thought I would say thank you to my purple hat! Thank you for keeping me safe in the sun and keeping me warm in the moonlight. This hat has served me well. I hope it does that again for someone else. 

I also know that if I ever want one again I can buy a new one and support Relay For Life with the money from merchandising! :) win win. Not that I expect to be needing another one any time soon but it's a possibility. 

Hope you are all doing well! Feeling well and happy is important too! Make sure you look after yourselves and drink plenty of water! This is as much advice for me as for you. Hehhehe 

Love & hugs to you all. 
Love Daena xxxxx


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Lent gifting day 18

The more I give away the more I find that I want to give. Has that ever happened to you? 

It is the same with kindnesses. The more kindness you bestow on others the more you want to do. It's boarderline addictive. Just with none of the bad side effects! Hehehe. 

Today's kindness and gifting is something that is still in its packet from when I got it back in 2015. This glass from Coca Cola was a freebie from McDonald's. 
 
It's been about 6 years now since I gave up coffee and coke (most strong caffeinated drinks) because of chronic stress induced insomnia. The fact I even own a coke glass is kind of funny. So donating this to someone who like the glasses or loves coke (I know a few) seems far more appropriate than me keeping it in my boxes of stuff in my cupboard. 

Have you looked at what you are using? Does it align with your current lifestyle? Does it align with your values? 

I know for me, owning a coke glass doesn't align with my lifestyle or values. So thankfully I can give it to someone who can use it and whos values and lifestyle aligns with it too. Yay for giving!!! 

 
(Check out my Pinterest board for Kindness Idea to find this quote and many other kindness inspired pictures). 

Much love to you all! 
Love Daena x

Friday, March 17, 2017

Lent gifting day 17

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!!! 

Today marks the 40th Anniversary of my Grandfathers (my mums dad) death. So we just celebrated this Scottish mans life by drinking his favourite Scotch Whiskey and playing cards on this traditionally Irish celebration of Saint Patrick's life. My grandfather had a healthy sense of humour too. Playing cards and raising our glasses to his memory...We had a lot of fun. 

I really wanted to start this Game of Lent Gifting to have fun as well as make my life easier in the future. So today's thing to gift was something that was fun to use when I needed it but it's also fun to give to someone else to enjoy. I love general knowledge. I know my friends and family have laughed sharing the stupid and random information that stays with all of us. So I'm glad I can share this with someone else.  

I often take life too seriously. I know it. But I also make sure I laugh a lot. In the weirdest and more complicated situations I often find something to laugh about or to share a giggle with a friend. 

My niece and nephew have also both found their niches with jokes and jokes books. So I can giggle with my niece and nephew over bad knock knock jokes. I really appreciate their humour. 

Sometimes laughter really is the best medicine. 

Make sure that, not matter what is going on in your life, you take time to laugh and make yourself feel good. Comedy shows and comedians are just a couple suggestions. Because honestly sometimes we just need to laugh our heads off and feel good. 

Sending love and kindness to you all. 

Love Daena 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Lent gifting day 16

Today I spent some time with my mum helping her get rid off few things. Making space for her to be able to do some of the creative work she thoroughly enjoys. 

Her graph piece (for those following at home) is not as long as mine but she's started getting rid of things to charity which is awesome. My niece is also well ahead of where she is supposed to be this time of Lent, which is awesome!!!! The best part is moving stuff that has been basically useless but has been in our lives for such a long time!

For example, I bought this under garment for a wedding I was involved in ages ago. Like decades ago (okay I'm not that old but it was (I think) for my sisters wedding which was 17 years ago now. So almost decades but definitely a decade a go. Scary. I don't feel that old. 
 
I think I wore it twice for the same dress. Sadly it's been sitting in my closet ever since. It's amazingly still in wonderful condition and it will be perfect for someone else. This cost me about $100 when I bought it all that time ago and if it gets sold at a charity shop they wouldn't ask for even half of that. Sadly it also doesn't fit any longer so I don't know why I've kept it all this time. 

How are your donations going? Are you playing along at home? Have you chosen a charity to donate to yet? If not then find ones close to you that do the most good in your eyes. Do some research to see if their values align with yours. 

Enjoy, 
Love Daena 

Lent gifting day 15

Simple and sweet today. 

My lent gift for today is probably highly offensive to some. And for that I am sorry. This magnet was another cheap thing that I found in the "gift box" ready to give to someone. After I bought it I realised just how UNkind it was. Even though I have a healthy dose of sarcasm and a good sense of humour, I just couldn't bring myself to give this one to anyone. 

 

I think the following picture that I (roughly) did from a Pinterest quote sums up my "gifting" perfectly (check out my Kindness Pinterest board for the original). 

 
 
I may have regretted buying the magnet but you will never regret being kind!!! Someone at the charity shop may have a different sense of humour to me. Fingers crossed it will be loved and enjoyed rather than remain hidden in my box of gifts. 

Much love,
Daena 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Lent gifting day 14

At the end of the year last year I watched Minimalism: a Documentary about the Important Things on Netflix. I learned a lot from this documentary. I thought Minimalism was all about stark bare walls and only owning a few things, or even just being about buying stuff that looked a certain way (Minimalism as in furniture or interior design). From the movie I learned that Minimalism is not just about having "less stuff" but is also about living an Intentional life. The documentary asks what can you contribute to society? Being a kindness ambassador these ideas of intentionality and contributing, more than "having less stuff", struck a cord with me. 

Living intentionally, and in my case doing kind deeds (contributing), resonated because I have been unintentionally doing kind deeds for ages. I've been doing kind deeds for my friends, family members and even the wider community but it has become so second nature to me that I've lost a lot of awareness of what I am actually doing. I have been hosting this Blog since 2011 which is One kindness a day for over 5 years. I do my kindnesses now without thinking. I feel like I've lost the intentionality of those kindnesses. Am I just going through the motions? In the beginning it was a struggle to figure out what I could do to be kind to someone else, the environment and even myself. I have created things like the Sustainable September Series to cover the environmental issues and I post kindnesses we can all do and inspiring videos and articles to Facebook regularly. But apart from that... I've kind of lost my mojo! 

It's partly because of the documentary and wanting to be more intentional that I've gone back to writing my kindnesses in a book. Recording each kindness to learn what works and what doesn't. Just because I've watched the Minimalism documentary doesn't mean I am going to become a minimalist, but I love the idea of intentionality (particularly combined with contribution)! When I was younger I was told to "try out every piece of advice (or piece of information) and see if it fits, like you would try on a shoe. If it fits with your beliefs and values then keep it, if not then discard it". This is how I decide how to live, learn and share. So if something here resonates with you, keep it... if not discard it. 

For me there were a lot of "shoes that fit" in the documentary. Particularly when it comes to consuming and using my purchasing power for good. If you saw my post on Sunday I noticed I "accidentally" bought a dress. So intentionality is becoming more and more important to me. I really want to change the way I relate to money and spend money. I want to be conscious of where I am spending my money and the companies and businesses I support. Simply put, I want to use my money to vote for the kind of future I want. A kind, environmentally friendly place where humans can come together and celebrate their differences and acknowledge their similarities and support each other through this sometimes hard thing called life. 

Side note: if I had decided to spend money on "stuff" this month, buying a dress from an opshop fits with my values and would have been okay to me if i had done it intentionally. If i'd purchased the dress in spite of my decision, consciously, I would have been okay with it. It was completely unconscious and unconsidered and that is what interested me. I have turned spending into an unconscious action when I want my spending to be deliberate. 

I've been listening to some interesting podacasts recently. I didn't really know much about podcasts last month when I discovered the app on my phone. I saw a recommendation for some on Pinterest that got me started. I have recently fallen in love with the podcasts: Optimal Living Daily; 10% Happier with Dan Harris; The Mindful Kind; Writer on the Road; TED Talks Audio; The Slow Home Podcast by Brooke McAlary; and my favourite at the moment is The Minimalists Podcast (by Josh and Ryan). I've been listening to The Minimalists back catalogue and they often speak of making a conscious choice to buy things and using our purchasing power to choose things to buy because we need them not because it is what is cool, hip, the "it thing" or cheap. I am aware that I buy things just because they are cheap not because I actually need them. Then I have this useless thing that I have to find a home for and I get overwhelmed with the stuff. I don't want to be overwhelmed. Life is hard enough without being overwhelmed too. 

Today's kindness Lent Gifting items I bought many years ago because they were cheap. I had no idea of where they would go or go whom. As a result they have NEVER been used and have sat in my "gift box" (the box of stuff I have to give to people when a celebration comes around). 
 
For years I have been hoping that the correct celebration would come around that I could give these trinkets to someone but nothing ever has. 

When I bought them (almost a decade ago) I had a very close Young Adult Church Group. Most of us have since moved on to different opportunities in different places, cities and countries. Sadly we don't often see each other. Most of us are still friends. Because of this distance, I am less and less likely to give this kind of gift to someone. Particularly that now I have a more diverse collection of friendships from all walks of life with a range of beliefs, many that differ from my own greatly. Our values are the same though and so we are friends.

I am even re-evaluating my need for a "gift box". If I don't have to keep a huge pile of "Just In Case" items that's got to be good. I can keep the presents at the store until I need them. No more keeping things I may never use or give to anyone else. Now they can go to someone who will appreciate them. They can escape my "gift box". 
I like that if I actually want to buy something for someone then it doesn't have to be cheap "stuff". I want the right thing for a person rather than giving them something they may not like or need. It also leaves me more money and time to give a person an experience rather than "a thing". I'm learning that experiences are far more valuable to me than any "thing" could be. The memories of those experiences are wonderful and take up lots less space. 

It's funny how giving away one item a day for Lent has me so introspective. For my Christian friends though, they know that that is what Lent is all about. For anyone playing along at home... how is your Lent adventure going? Have you got rid of anything that has made you reevaluate what is important to you? 

If you are just reading this for fun! Hi and welcome! I'm so grateful for you stopping here to read about my life and journey with living a kinder more intentional life. I don't expect you to live the life I live nor do I want you to do something that is against your values or beliefs. I want everyone to live lives they love and live them kindly. No matter what that looks like for you

I hope that my open conversations about my life and about how I have been living a kinder life might inspire someone to do more kind deeds for the people around them. 

Have a wonderful day. 

Love Daena 
. X

Monday, March 13, 2017

Lent gifting day 13

I got to talk to my best friend today who has recently moved interstate. It was so lovely spending some time catching up via Skype. 

One of the things I found in my recent dejunk Session was about 200 postcards from around the world that I've bought and never used. I think I've mentioned them before. I've started sending them to my best friend. Every couple days I've written one to send which is fun and I hope makes her feel special. 

I love the way that receiving snail mail makes me feel better. It is a pretty simple kindness to do too. Sending an encouraging letter or postcard to someone makes them know you have been thinking of them. Plus in my case, it used postcards that would other wise go to waste. In Australia it costs $1 to send a postcard anywhere inside Australia. Of course it cost more to send stuff internationally but I often like to send nice bits and pieces to my friends overseas. 

Kindness doesn't have to be expensive. A one off postcard (you can make your own) to a friend or family member and the cost of postage can mean the world to someone. Getting a card to know you care can be something that lightens a day. 

Back to the Lent challenge. 
 
I recently wore this dress out as part of a Tinkerbell costume. To a Disney themed night at a city nightclub... it was so much fun!!!! I danced for hours and hours. So good. And I'm so glad I had flat shoes not heels like my friend in the picture next to the green legs (which happened to be my green legs). 
 

My friend, who is the other set of legs in this picture, went as the fantastically Mad Hatter! We also had Megara from Hercules, Esmeralda from the Hunchback Of Notre Dame, The Little Mermaid (dressed as Ariel when she was voiceless and on two feet) and her prince, Eric! So much fun to sing loudly and dance to Disney Music. We also danced to other 90s music, a fun reminder of my childhood! :) 

Anyway... the dress. A friend had given me the dress a few months ago as part of a group of things to be gone through and then donated to charity. I pulled this out to keep in our costume box. Then I decided to do the Lent giving and I knew I was going to be donating this dress because I really didn't need to dress up as Tinkerbell any time soon... or so I thought. 

Then the Disney themed night club night happened so I decided to actually get one wear out of this before I would pass it on to someone who needs it. This one isn't actually going to go in the charity bag today but be given to a friend who needs it for another fairy themed event. I'm going to give it to her to keep if she wants or donate on to someone else who needs it in the future. It's a pretty good quality dress that was once longer and had been a bridesmaids dress. It makes a fantastic Tinkerbell costume. 

It was awesome giving this dress a last hurrah, for me at least. I will also have lots of fond memories to pass along with the dress. I won't forget the memories but I don't need to worry about keeping the dress. Plus someone gets something they need FOR FREE! Winning on all fronts! :) 

Here are some words on my favourite subject kindness... "My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who you are, to astonish a mean world with your kindness!" Maya Angelou. 


I hope you think of a whole range of simple kindness ideas you can do to astonish this world with Kindness. 


Love to you all, 

Daena x

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Lent gifting day 12

I spent today at a car boot sale selling some craft supplies that my family and I have been getting rid of. We paid for a car bay to support a charity and community group (kindness & dejunking seems to be a theme at the moment). We had a great day and I discovered something about myself too. 

What I haven't shared before was that when I decided to get rid of one thing a day during Lent I also decided to not purchase anything new either. I didn't want to buy anything that would bring more "stuff" in when I'm working to get "stuff" out. The weird thing is that because of where we were I wandered over to the op shop (which was in the building behind me) and found an awesome dress. It has pockets... so naturally I bought it. It cost $3 which was the change I had after spending $2 to get a hot cuppa because it was freezing cold here in Perth today. Plus TEA!!! In a big mug! Winning!!!

What I didn't remember at the time I bought my new polka dot dress was that I had made this promise to myself NOT buy anything new. I had only wanted to spend my money on food, beverages, experiences and bills. I did not want to buy more STUFF! And even though I love this dress and it was a complete bargain, it was also a completely unconscious and unconsidered decision. Don't get me wrong I'm keeping the dress... after all it has POCKETS!!!! But what I didn't realise was how unconscious my spending has become. 

I will work to be more conscious of what I am actually spending. Of the stuff I am bringing into my life. I will let you know if I slip up again but I hope I don't. 

 Today I'm passing on my old work shirt. Hardly ever warn but excellent at the time. I figure that I haven't warn it in 4 years and I'm unlikely to do so again in the near future. I know that if I really need a high visibility shirt I can get second hand ones for about $5AUD at any of the local opshops. So I'm covered if I need one in the future. 

This shirt could be what some person needs to get or keep a job and earn money. Donating this to charity is providing lots of possibilities for kindness. Kindness for charities or community groups or people who are in need. Kindness is at the foundation of everything I do. I am so blessed to be able to donate some awesome stuff to charity!


It's cool to be kind! :) 


Love Daena x

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Lent gifting day 11

Another day to give something away! This lent gifting is interesting. I'm over a quarter of the way there now!!!! Today's offering to the charity bag...
 This is a shirt I only wore a few times. I really liked it. That was until I realised the shirt was partly see through intentionally. It wasn't threadbare or anything, in fact it was excellent quality. It was just the style to show the shirt underneath. I decided that even though I could wear something under it, it didn't really suit me either, but because I loved the colour I wanted to keep it. I also knew that adding an extra layer would make it too hot for me to wear, which is a shame. I am so grateful for this clothing item because a friend handed this one on to me from their collection of clothes. I am so grateful for my friend who gave it to me because I don't enjoy clothes shopping and she does. I got to wear the shirt a few times and I hope that I exuded confidence in it even when I did know it was sheer! So thank you shirt for doing your best for me and I hope you find someone who will love you! 

How are you going getting rid of stuff? What could you give to charity? What could you donate to someone who needs it more? 

Giving up your excess and acting with kindness to others is awesome! Keep up the good work. 

Love Daena xx

Friday, March 10, 2017

Lent gifting day 10

A thing can remind us of a memory or a person. We can feel guilty about parting with it because it was a gift for/from a friend or family member. Sometimes it is a gift from someone who has now gone. I know I have a few things from my dad still that I struggle to think about parting with. What I need to remember is that my dad is not in that stuff. Sure he used it or loved it when he was alive but keeping it will not bring him back to life. I know in my heart dad is with me always no matter what I keep or don't keep! I also know that he wouldn't want me to be held back by "stuff". 


I must admit though that I am not yet emotionally prepared to go through all of it and get rid of the majority of that stuff. I only want to keep the things I adore and bring me joy rather than every little thing that was his. So today's lent gifting is actually two things that were my dad's... two little model cars. 

My dad always wanted a red E-type Jaguar (car) and we never could afford to buy him one or a kit/parts to build one. So when we would ask my dad what he would like for his birthday or Christmas he would always say "a red E-type Jag" and then he would laugh because he knew it was not possible. So a couple times we decided to get him one... just in miniature. After all he never clarified a size! And we could all laugh together. A joke between us all. 


I have never used these two red cars and I used to get angry with the kids for playing with them because I didn't want them to ruin dad's dream. But his dream was never these cars at all but a Life Size Jag. Sadly his dream of this kind of car died, long before he did, with the onslaught of his brain disease. 


These little cars were intended for use with kids. They were marketed to kids. We used them for our own benefit to make him laugh which they did. But they have long since been forgotten for their purpose of bringing joy to kids or to my dad. He's been gone for 3 years now. He didn't laugh much in the last year or two of his life. So these little cars have been sitting in a box not bringing joy or laughter to anyone for at least 5 years. 


I think it is time to say goodbye to these cars. I am grateful for the joy and laughter they did bring to my dad and my family when they were bought so long ago. I am grateful now that they will bring happiness to some other child or family in the future. 


I remember my dad not for the stuff he owned but for the love he gave me and the lessons he taught me. People are always more important than things. Laughter is the best medicine. Be kind to everyone you meet. He was always so supportive and generous with his time and his ability to listen (& talk). He was not perfect but he always did the best he could with what information and resources he had. I miss him. I love him still. But getting rid of two little matchbox cars isn't going to change any of that. He is with me always!!! 


Sending love to you all, 

❤ Daena Guest 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Lent gifting day 9

Getting rid of the extra stuff is often hard. Sometimes we have emotional attachments to the things that have been around for ages. Then there is stuff that has no attachment for us emotionally but keep anyway. I have been getting rid of stuff for this Lent kindness challenge that I have been keeping in my space "just in case". Even though I have kept it, I am unlikely to use it. I have bits and pieces around my house that I have not used in YEARS... maybe even a decade or more. It's not that I actually use these things but getting rid of them often seems harder than keeping them. Or I think that maybe one day they WILL be useful. 

In the near future I want to move either interstate or internationally. So getting my stuff to a manageable level to make travel easier is my End Game. Not everyone is wanting to get rid of as much stuff as I do and that's okay. It's the challenge for me now to challenge the "just in Case" mentality. Keeping stuff that I don't need now or that I haven't used in forever isn't making my life easier. All these things I have could be being used by other people right now. If I keep them am I just stopping someone else enjoying these things? 

It's a change in mind set for me. 

If the things I have are not being used but are clogging up my life and stopping my end game are they really helping me in the long run? Keeping them in my home and not letting these items be useful to someone who might need it, is that being kind to me? Is that being kind to the person who might actually be able to use the item? If I look at it as a kindness to both of us to provide something and to help myself get where I want to go then it is easier to say goodbye to objects that I don't really need. This shift in mindset is helping me get rid of more things because I know it will help someone else. I want my stuff to be useful. That way it's serving the original purpose it was intended for. And I can act with kindness to myself and to others.

In this the kindness is donating to a charity shop. They sell my stuff at a small price to support the work they do for the community. So donating my stuff is actually a kindness to the community. 

It is a kindness to the environment also. I love helping out the environment. I want my things to be used and not end up in landfill. So donating to charity shops is often a great way to help other people buy second hand and reuse items that might otherwise ended up at a rubbish tip. 

My lent gifting today is my little black dress. I don't wear it anymore and it's still good enough that someone else could love it and use it. It was also an item I kept because I've been told every woman should own a little black dress. If I don't like it, I'm not going to wear it. And if I'm not wearing it then it's not living up to the reason I got it in the first place. I wanted a dress that was versatile and I had hoped this dress would be that for me. But alas it's not. 
 
Additionally, I've changed shape a few times now and this one is casualty of that process. I also don't wear it because it was made of a warmer fabric. It's good quality, so someone can enjoy it for years to come. 

Maybe in the future I might find another dress that fits my requirements but not now. I'm okay with not owning a little black dress because I have lots of other dresses that I love. 

I wonder what challenges you are having dealing with your stuff? When selecting stuff to give to charity... Have you noticed any strong emotions? Have you started to feel better, lighter? Or have you gone out and bought new things to replace the old ones you are getting rid of? 

I'm noticing my emotions as I'm letting go. I do feel lighter. The more I remove from my space the more I see myself getting closer to moving toward my goal. It's a wild ride. I feel better for it. 

I hope this finds you all well. 
Love Daena x

Lent gifting day 8

Sometimes a colourful graph makes all the difference. My niece who is 9 has been resistant to the lent gifting game that the rest of us are playing. She reluctantly gave me some books the other day to be donated and mainly to fit new ones in that she got two weeks ago for her birthday. She told me flat out that she didn't want to play. Fair enough, I thought. 

I decided, today, to go through the bag of "stuff" that I have in my room from various family members. I wanted to figure out who was up to where on the donations. Mainly so I could remind them when they need to gift something. I made a pretty graph with 6 columns (for each family member) and coloured in the number of items to the family member who donated it. Basically colour coding so I could figure out who gave what. 

 

My nephew was so enthusiastic to play at the beginning he gave me about 7 items on day one and has been putting stuff in a bag in his mums room with glee ever since. My niece resisted until she saw my pretty coloured graph today. 

The column for me is mostly green with the most boxes coloured in. Like my nephew, I'm getting rid of things with glee. I have stockpiled about 30 days worth of items to gift to charity already. I have photographed them for this blog and for my own archives. My niece saw my graph, loved it and decided to get some more stuff so she could colour in some boxes on "her" column. 

It was no nice to see my niece go enthusiastically to her room and bring me back things that she knew she didn't like and that were too small for her. She did lament that she wasn't allowed to throw out her school uniforms (we have all been there). We laughed and she got to colour in more squares. "Does a basketball card count?" I nodded. "What about a book mark?" She asked quizzically. "Only if it had a book to go with it!" Two books and two bookmarks is pretty good for a bibliophile like my niece. I am just so proud of what she did today and the enthusiasm with which she did it. All because I drew some boxes on a page. Hers is the pink column! 

Just to clarify, I have only been through the bags in MY room. There is another bag or two in my sisters room to be coloured off on the appropriate columns for my brother in law and mum... more to be added to my nephews blocks too. 

Anywho...My offering today for the lent gifting game is a makeup kit. 
 
It has never been used and I got it for like 5cAUD as a discount at Kmart. 

I don't wear much makeup, mainly because my body is so sensitive to makeups & chemicals. I get a bodily reaction to so many different things so I'm not sure why I bought this kit. 

I can't think of anyone who it should go to who is either a friend or family member. My friends that love makeup spend their money on good quality stuff and don't bother with stuff like this. And the ones that don't like makeup (like most of my family) well... they aren't going to want it either. So donating it seems like the best idea for me. 

I now think it's crazy buying something I can't use or don't want to personally use just because it's cheap. Unless it's on my list for gifts (but I'm planning to give less "stuff" and more experiences). The makeup kit has become just another thing that's sitting around my overcrowded house and filled with great intentions. And I don't want to pass it onto someone who doesn't want it or need it. Donating it means i don't need to look for another home for it. Yay!!! 

It is International Women's Day today around the world. So I will leave you with a quote from one of the most inspiring young women Ive read about... Malala Yousafzai. 

 

Sending love & kindness your way, 
Love Daena ❤❤

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Lent gifting day 7

Today I've been a kindness fairy. I left a little thank you card at one of my favourite restaurants. Just a note to say thank you for being awesome, serving food I can eat (which is actually harder than it should be) and providing welcoming service. 

The food I ate was delicious!!!! Buckwheat vegan pizza with raw toppings & a delicious side salad. So good!!! I am not vegan but often vegan food and gluten free foods go hand in hand. I love it. 
 
I left the card under the cutlery tray on the table. 

That is how simple kindness can be. 

Simple like giving up some of your stuff during lent! For those who have been following this for the last week... Yes it is easy. Yes it is a kindness that is basically cost free. Almost all of us have extra stuff in our houses and homes in donatable condition that would make a difference to a person, charity or community group. Lots of charities and community groups use op shops to help fundraise for other community events. Which brings the community closer together. 

The lent gifts (40 days of stuff) I'm giving are gifting me the motivation to live a simpler life and live a life I love. 

Today's donation for me is: "firm wear". 
Now the reason I'm donating this is similar to the reason I'm giving away my pantyhose... it's like squeezing a scotch egg into a sausage wrapper and expecting it to work. For me it doesn't. 

I know several women who love this stuff and enjoy the look they get and I'm glad for them! I don't mean to put anyone down who wears this stuff. Forgive me if I have. For me the effort to get into such a thing is too much hard work. Hahaha. It did its civic duty for me and it's time to pass it on. 

Now the reason I'm happy to pass this on is that it was always worn with underwear so it's "safe" to pass on. Most opshops won't take underwear due to hygiene so when my knickers become holy I throw them into the rubbish bin (or compost if they are bamboo or 100% cotton). But this firm wear has lots of life still in it and will make another person very happy!!! So I kind of love passing on useful things! :) 

 
Thank you firmwear for making sure all my wobbly bits were contained and smoothed out to look less wobbly. You were a wonderful addition to my wardrobe when I needed you! Now I am happy to say goodbye and again thank you for your awesome service. 

It may seem weird that I have said thank you to my clothes/objects as I have given them away. Maria Kondo does this as part of her "life changing magic of tidying up" and I really love it. It helps me process the emotions and acknowledge the role that all objects have had in my life. By thanking them for their help, or physical support in this case, I feel completely okay with passing them on to someone else they can provide value to. All the objects I've gifted have done their job for me and now they can move on and be used for someone else. Instead of being stored unused in my cupboard forever. 

I hope you are well. What can you give up to be kinder? 

And in the words of my favourite podcast... "Love people and use stuff because the opposite never works" - the Minimalists (from www.theminimalists.com)

Love Daena xx

Monday, March 6, 2017

Lent gifting day 6

Hello beautiful people, 

My gift of stuff today is my Christmas shirt. You See I decided that I actually have about 3-5 other tshirts that are plain but could be festive & can be used every time of the year. So I decided that this one can be a donation instead of taking up space in my closet. 

 
I still have a Christmas hat somewhere that I figure I can use to dress up my plain red, green and white shirts. The hat takes up lots less space and is stored with my Christmas decorations. I am grateful for the shirt that has made lots of people laugh, including myself. It's part of the reason I bought it. 

Anyway, what can you give up and give to someone else that you really don't need? 

Love Daena x

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Lent gifting day 5

Hello my lovely peoples, 
How are you today? How are you really? 

I'm on to day 5 and it's going pretty well. Today's item to gift to the charity shop is these bright and brilliant pair of shorts. Even though they are wonderful to look at the cut of them doesn't suit me very well so I'm always very conscious of how they look. And the added bummer for me is that they don't have pockets. 

Now I'm not sure if it makes anyone else as frustrated as I am but this is a pet peeve for me. If you make clothes like shorts then you need to make them serviceable. Pockets people!!! I know this is mainly a problem for women's clothing but I know some guys who get mad about it too... usually because their girlfriends/wives/significant other, make them carry everything instead of doing it themselves. Hehhehe. So guys have a vested interested in this too (or maybe I hope they do because then it might mean women's clothing might actually be made more often with useful parts to it). I even love skirts with pockets. And I must admit I am a little jealous of my sisters amazing BALL DRESS that has pockets. It's about the pockets people... or lack thereof! Hehehe. Okay rant over! 
 
So yes... give away your stuff. For 40 days. 40 items to charity. πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ˜˜πŸ˜Š

And I'll end today with a quote by a friend of mine & I think I've used it before but here it goes "live simply, so others can simply live" ( by Trudi B). 

Much love to you all, 
Love Daena 

Ps. If you don't have someone to talk to if life is tough it can make it feel worse. So find a friend who you can share both the good and bad stuff with and then the weight of stress and troubles don't feel so bad. 😘❤❤πŸ’™❤❤

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Lent gifting day 4

Hi everyone, 
so it occurs to me that "dejunk" has a negative connotation when we are talking about kindness. Who wants junk in their house? I sure don't! 

When something is no longer of value to me but could be of value to someone else I'm going to give it to the person who can get more use/value out of it. I have a lot of stuff like that. So many bits and bobs. And whilst I refer to it as "dejunking"... the word "junk" has negative connotations and doesn't sound like it's going to be useful to anyone else. 

So I decided to start referring to this collection of posts as "gifting" to charity not "dejunking" for charity. I hope that makes sense. It's still 40 days worth of writing, gifting and kindness. It's also about passing on items that are not useful, being value to my life or do not bring me joy either. These are my bench marks for giving something to charity for Lent. Amazingly there are lots of things in my house that fit into this category! 

So what has a lot of value but isn't of any use to me anymore?! 

 

Last week I wore this skirt as part of a costume for a gold themed party. It kept falling down during the night & even though I have had it for over a decade now (wow... that's scary) and I've used it a lot, it's time to pass it on. It's still got life left in it! But thankfully because I've logs a bunch of weight it's no longer of value to me. And a skirt that falls off isn't going to be useful to me at all! 

So I send it off into the universe to find a better home than I can give it! 
 
And hopefully someone gets as much, if not more, wear out of it than I did.

Today I spent a chunk of the day with my niece playing lego & playing tea partieswith real tea and real china tea cups (which she got from me for Christmas). 

The other thing I spent the afternoon doing is delousing chickens. Our baby chickens have somehow ended up with a mite/flea so today we had to catch and treat every single one of the 10 chickens. 

 
Apparently it can be quite serious so hopefully all of our three baby chicks make it through this infestation. 

My amazing brother in law even went through and scrubbed, sprayed and cleaned the chicken coop, all their perches and anything else that could possibly be done. Including turning over the dirt in their coop with special nutrient dense soil. 

I must admit I ended up with scratches to my face and belly (the older chickens are not used to being handled or caught but we will have to rectify that now). My awesome sister had the job of covering the chickens with the flea powder which was both comical (I ended up wearing more powder than the chickens I was holding) and sad (we didn't realise that all of the chicks & most of the chickens have the problem because they don't let us close to them very often). So we worked hard to look after our birds and my sister, my nephew (who helped herd chickens), and I managed to get 10 feisty female chickens covered in the special flea powder ... we also got two human adults covered in it too! Thank goodness for hot showers and good soap! 

Anyway, that's a small insight into my day. Hope you are all. 

Remember: "Be Kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about

Love to you all,
Love Daena 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Lent dejunk day 3

G'day everyone, 

Are you surprised to see me back again so soon?! Well you have a point. I have been working to write more often. So with this lent game I figure if I can catalog it I have a reason to keep writing here. Plus you can see how easy it is to be kind without spending cash! :) 

So the game is to give away something every day for 40 days and then donate those things at the end of the 40 days and donate them to charity. My niece joined in the fun today and got rid of 4 books (4 days worth). Which was awesome. She is a bit like me when it comes to books. She's turned into quite the bibliophile. So getting rid of books is hard from her. Which makes me super proud! 

Lent day 3- farewell old boots!!! 

 

You have served me well! But alas it is time to make your way in this big wide world of ours! May you make someone else sing "these boots are made for walking"! May you also give them many good memories! Thank you for your service! ❤πŸ‘’πŸ‘’❤

Doing this challenge over the next 40 days hasn't stopped me doing other kindnesses either. 

Kindnesses I've performed over the last few days since starting the lent challenge... sharing my stash of chocolate (this is a HUGE kindness... hehehe), helping a friend with her new business, making cups of tea, baby sitting, chauffeuring, sending encouragement to friends both near & far, writing good reviews for apps and services I've used, said bless you when someone sneezed, made polite & engaging conversation with shop keepers, helped shorter people reach stuff (I'm not even that tall), smiled at strangers, made a baby laugh (she stopped screaming her head off whilst I played peekaboo with her), helped the CWA community coordinator pack up stuff for deliveries, Oh and Letting people in during traffic congestion (it would have been so easy to get mad at them pushing in but instead doing it gracefully and kindly made it so much better for everyone). I think that's all?! 

Seriously... kindness is easy & means a lot to those who are on the receiving end.

 "Spread kindness around like Confetti!"

Hope you are well. 
Love Daena x