Saturday, April 15, 2017

Last but not least - day 7 of the gift bag

That's it. I've opened all the presents I was given in my gift bag from the ladies at mums church. It lasted me a week, as intended. Whilst I'm passing on most of the things in the bag, I know just how blessed I am to receive a gift of kindness like this. 
I was thrilled to have read all of this little book already (took me half an hour). It even had a lovely part in the book about Kindness. So I photographed it to share here. 
So cool. It's lovely how this group of women (who gave me the gift bag) unintentionally shared with me something so close to my heart. They shared, showed and expressed Kindness. 

I also took a photo of all then Little bible verses like I promiesed. If you wanted to use them, to make your own gift bag to give to someone, you can. Or you could come up with quotes that inspire you with kindness and generosity. 
I grew up in the Christian church and as I've gotten older I have met a variety of people from so many religions. I have also met many who don't believe in religion or believe in a god either. All these people have so much to offer me in expanding my horizons and I am learning what means the most to me. Kindness in all its forms to all people.

I've come to the conclusion that whilst I am most comfortable in the Christian faith (Specifically the Anglican Church as I grew up in its churches, & I have worked for the Uniting Church, and volunteered for the Salvation Army too), I find that the words of Dalai Lama most profound "my religion is kindness". 
I just wanted you to know that no matter who you are, where you are, what you believe, or who you pray to, that if you act with kindness and show love towards others ... we share the same values. Often this world is filled with separation, dividing us by colour, faith, country, sexuality, ability and so much more. We are all human. We bleed red blood. We have happiness and sorrow in common. We must breathe air and drink water to survive. We must eat to live. In our basic needs we are all the same. 

My want in this world is to make the world a better place. To bring kindness and understanding, hope and compassion to everyone of this earths occupants. I also know I am human. Sometimes I get it wrong, sometimes I judge people without realising, sometimes I fall short of the expectations I place on myself, or expectations others have of me. But I do and will continue to do my best. 

There is a quote I love: "Do the best you can. When you know better, do better" (Anon). That is what I am working on. Doing the best I can. Then doing better. 

Have a lovely weekend. For those when celebrate it... have a happy and safe Easter. For those who celebrate other religious holidays around this time (many of which have already passed)... may you have love in your heart and be shown great kindness by all you meet. 

Love Daena xx

Friday, April 14, 2017

Gift bag for a week

Another awesome gift was opened today. For those who haven't been following my daily unwrapping event, i had better explain what's been happening. Almost a week ago I was given a small gift bag with 7 presents in it. Each one had a day of the week labeled on them with a corresponding bible verse. 

It was given to me by some of the ladies at my mums church who knew I've been having a rough time lately. Which was such a lovely surprise. I was blessed with such a sweet kindness. It did the trick too. It's made me feel loved and supported. The church ladies have been checking in with mum seeing how I'm doing too. 

I got to open wrapper number 6 today. 
It was a spray bottle of moisturiser. I've never seen anything like it before. I am gathering a theme with the people who made the bag for me though. A lot of the toiletries have come from nutrimetics. I must admit I'm not usually a huge fan of their products. However, I feel so blessed to have received these lovely gifts. 
I want the kindness to continue from my little bag. I hope that I can pass this gift on to someone in the homeless community. I hope that someone who is struggling can enjoy this as a treat because they deserve to feel special too. I will give it to one of the shelters because they know who needs some extra TLC or a pick me up better than I do. 

I really love this kind of generosity. I feel so blessed and happy that someone thought I deserved this little bag of goodies. Kindness speaks louder than works. 

Tomorrow I will photograph the whole collection of quotes so you can use the bible verses (or quotes) for your own 7 day bag of kindness. 

I hope this finds you well. 
Love Daena x

The gift of joy

I didn't post yesterday, because I fell asleep instead. I really needed the sleep too so it was a win!!! What I wanted to share was the days 4&5 of the gift bag I got from the church ladies. If you read the last 3 blog posts you will be able to see the progression of receiving kindness. Love it. 

Day 4 was a gorgeous purple wrapped gift. 
It was the gift of perfume. I don't wear perfume so I will pass this on to someone else (or donate to the charity shop). I am blessed to have received a gift though. One that I have happily received, enjoyed opening and can now bless another with its contents. 

Day 5 was sweet too. 
  The little book and soap were very much appreciated. I will probably keep both, unless I see someone else has a need greater than my own, to which I will pass it on. I am so blessed to be given something so thoughtful. Someone  mwanted to make my day/week better and they have done that. 

Tonight I had the privilege of catching up with the lady who organised the gift bag for me. So I was very profuse in my gratitude because I appreciate all the well wishes and kindness behind the gifts. Sure it might not all be bits I'll use, but the thought behind it was wonderful. The love, kindness and consideration that went into a gift like that was very much appreciated. It makes a person feel very special. 

I hope you are all going well. A lot of people are on holidays as of now (Easter weekend here in Perth) so stay safe. Sending lots of love to you all. 
Love Daena x

Ps. I've gotten rid of 4 more items of stuff to go in the opshop donation bin. I didn't photograph them all but I'm pleased to have gotten more stuff out of my life to make more space for the activities and people I love. Xx

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The gift that keeps on giving

 I got a week long bag of small gifts from my mums church group because I've been having a rough time lately. I don't talk about the stuff that's been happening in my life but I was having a really rough time when I last saw the ladies from church. They gave me the gift. I went to church with mum and basically spent the whole time sobbing. 

It happens a lot when I'm in churches. When I was living in the UK and was away from my family I literally sobbed my eyes out any time I went to a church including on Christmas Day. Sometimes it still happens when I'm home in Perth, Australia. It's like I feel safe in church to let myself deal with the Grief, sadness and helplessness I feel in my life. Like the church is a sanctuary for my emotions. 

Needless to say the ladies who saw me last time wanted to be supportive and help me put a spring back in my step. So they gave me a goody bag with 7 gifts, with all kinds of things in it, opening a new gift every day. It's been wonderful. 

I wanted to share what I got today for day three. Why? Because it could give you an awesome idea of what you could do to support a friend, family member, coworker, community member or even a stranger (who could use some support). 

I know a lot of the people who support this blog aren't Christians or even religious, which is great. I am so blessed to be supported by people from all over the world, with varying beliefs, customs and challenges. One thing I think we all share in common is the value of kindness. Love makes the world go round and kindness is the tool that moves earth toward a better future. Or so I like to think. 

The reason I even brought up the differences was because this kindness gift bag idea can be adapted for any reason and for anyone. Use an inspirational quote, a memory, a dad joke, or a kindness challenge instead of a bible verse. Coming from a church group the gifts that I've already photographed (that I'm opening daily) have all got lovely bible verses on them to help me keep my mind and my heart focused on the right now instead of the past or future. 

Anyway, here was today's gift. 
By far this is my favourite. 
 Oh my goodness these socks are by far the softest socks I've ever owned. I can't wait for the super cold weather to give them a go. The strawberry jam looks pretty good. Shame I don't eat bread! 

I posted my 10th postcard to my best friend since she's been in the Eastern States. I shared a while ago that I had found a HUGE stack of unused, unsent postcards I've collected from around the globe. I decided that the way to best remind my best friend I haven't forgotten her (and won't), and to show her a measure of kindness, was to send postcards to her. So I thought I'd show you that in action (I even remembered to take a photo! Wooohooo!). 
I miss my gorgeous best friend every day, coz I can't just go over and hang out, or go to bootcamp with her every week. I miss her but I'm also so glad we have our regular Skype dates and with Facebook, messenger and every other form of communication available... she isn't too far away that I can't see her at all. Thankfully! 

Kindness is simple. It could be sending a letter or postcards in the mail or giving 7 small gifts to be opened every day for a week. It can be smiling at a stranger or saying thank you to people who protect you  like police & security officers, firemen, ambos and so many more. It can cost as little or as much as you like. So long as it comes from love.

Kindness is the gift anyone can give...Please give generously today. 

Love Daena x

Monday, April 10, 2017

Seven Day gift bag: a kindness.

Yesterday I talked about the gift bag I received from my mums church group. It was such a lovely kindness because it gives a recipient something to look forward to daily.   

I opened the second gift today on Day 2. And it was just lovely to receiver two little fancy lip balms. 
Even though I won't be using these I will pass on the kindness by donating these to a homeless shelter. 

I just wanted to share this because I thought it was a lovely idea. You could swap out bible verses for inspirational quotes or words of support and encouragement. It wouldn't even matter what you have someone like this because it makes people feel special to receive it. :) I love that I can pass on the kindness too. 

What brilliant kindness ideas have you seen or heard that you have wanted to do? 

Love Daena 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Lent gifting day 40

It's technically the last day of the 40 days of lent (even though technically Lent isn't over yet). And I have decided to give away 2 toys today. These are more pieces of memorabilia than toys though. 
These two toys were gifts to celebrate two of my three graduations. The left Owl was a hand knitted gift from my mum who gave this little cutie to me for graduating high school and the little professionally made koala (wearing Bachelor of Arts colours) was a gift for my undergraduate graduation. When I got my masters I didn't get one of the toysbecuade I didn't fly to the eastern states for my graduation. I did spend my actual graduation day wandering around in the mortarboard (from my first degree) just because I loved it. 

I am sure these toys will do more for someone else than they are doing for me at the moment. Right now they are dust collectors. They look pretty but they don't do anything for me at all. I love seeing my mums skill in the owl but the blanket that I photographed the toys on is one my mum made for me. I also have hundreds of other little bits and pieces that my mum has made, mended or imagined for me. Saying goodbye to these two toys isn't anything that I am sad about. I am pretty happy actually because I know they will make someone else smile. 

I wanted to share something gorgeous with you all too. Today my mum went to church and one of the church ladies (who have known both mum and I for years) gave mum a package to give to me. It's gorgeous. She knew I had been sick lately. The last time she saw me I was sobbing all the way through the church service. It was a bad day for me physically and emotionally. All kinds of bad crap has hit me all at once. So today she sent me a "care package". 
I love this kindness idea. It's basically 7 gifts, something to open every day,  for a week, to make you feel like you are love and appreciated. I wanted to share because it is such a gorgeous idea for any friend, family member or coworker who is sick or going through a hard time. We could all make little bags like this and give our kindness freely. 
The message you attach could be anything you want. Encouraging the receiver. The first parcel I opened, for Day One, today was the red package. 
 It turned out to be a gorgeous Vanilla Bean candle. I love vanilla so it turned out very well indeed. 
I felt really honoured that the little group of people at the church had thought about me enough that they decided to gift me one of these little care packages. It was beautiful. I feel very special. I felt like I had been seen and heard. I feel like I have friends at the church mum goes to because they knew I needed a reason to be happy and then they did something that makes me happy. They shared their kindness and generosity. 

This quote struck me today and I think it sums up this act of kindness perfectly. 
When you act with Kindness you are a HERO to me. ❤️

I hope this finds you all well. 
Love Daena 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Lent gifting day 38 & 39

Sometimes we have great plans and sometimes it just doesn't happen. 

I've been working really hard to post daily but it didn't quite go to plan yesterday. Yesterday I took my niece down to the park and when I was there I got the starting of a migraine. My sister thankfully was on her way from work so she was able to swing past and pick us both up and take us home. 

By the time I got home I was nauseous and by the time I had had a chance to fill up my water bottle and make sure I had an ice pack I was vomiting. Great topic of conversation, I know. Hehehe. I then proceeded to sleep from 5pm to 11.30am when I was taken to the doctor and then back to bed until almost 6pm. I had basically spent 24 hours in bed (excluding the time I was at the doctors). 

Needless to say, by this evening I felt much better, although not 100%. But I got sick and tired of being in bed so I got up. I Had dinner with my family, watched some tv (fairly quietly) with the adults in my family and played a game of cards with my brother in law. All with my sun glasses on! 

Even though I was sick I didn't forget I had to do two days worth of blog posts. I'm making it short and sweet today because I need to. 

Yesterday's giving was another toy. 
I've had this "baby" doll for as long as I can remember. But I don't need it anymore and I know there is some little kid out there who will love her like I did when I was younger. So I think she would be in better hands than mine where she can be loved and appreciated. 
Today's act of kindness and gifting is also a toy. A "Big Bang Theory" kitty cat called "soft kitty". When you press its paw it sings the soft kitty song that Sheldon makes Penny sing when he's sick in the TV show "Big Bang Theory". See the clip below. 

I was actually given two of these toys a couple of years ago. My niece loved one so much that she used to use it all the time when I didn't live with her. She would crawl into the guest bed with the Soft Kitty and play it over and over and over and over again. The batteries almost died in it from being played so often. She loved it and it apparently reminded her of me. So when she was feeling bad she would climb into the bed I used and hug my toy. Kind of cute. But since I've been living in the same house she has been hugging me and not the toy so it's time to give it up. 
  I gave one away a few months back. But I thinks it's time I pass this cutie off as well. If my niece got some much out of it when she was younger, someone else will love it too. 

I want to make people's lives better. If by giving away some of my stuff I can do that then I am thrilled to. 

My Lenten gifting is not my only act of kindness in the 40 days of lent (which ends on Palm Sunday) but it is one that I feel comfortable photographing and sharing. Sometimes I do kindnesses anonymously so I can't share them here without giving myself away. Sometimes I do kindnesses that other people know about so I can share them and I do here or on Facebook. Sometimes I don't tell anyone because it's not something that I could share without sharing personal information or share something that isn't mine to tell. Kindness is also shown in my discretion.

But the lent gifting I can share because I is mine. I can show you what I'm giving away because often I don't know who it will end up with. I have no attachment to who gets it or where it goes. It is also something that I am giving up for the benefit of another person, group or community. What better Kindness can I do that giving away something every day in Lent? And tomorrow is the end for this "game". Although technically each Sunday during lent isn't counted so it really ends on the Thursday before Easter. Tomorrow is Palm Sunday and the beginning of what the Christian church calls Holy Week. The beginning of all the events that lead up to the crucifixion on Friday and the resurrection on Sunday. 

Even though lent doesn't end until Thursday most people I know give stuff up until Easter Sunday. So it's really a choice to how far you go. I will see how I go tomorrow I may even continue to give things up for charity until Easter Sunday just to push myself. I still have Heaps of stuff in my home that I Could regift. But if you are playing this gifting game too... please feel free to finish whenever you feel you want to. 

Hope this finds you well. 
Love Daena x

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Lent gifting day 37

A few days ago I talked about getting some shoes repaired. I wanted to pass them on to the opshop during Lent but I didn't want to give away broken or unsellable things. Today I got them fixed and they will be added to the bag of stuff going to the opshop during lent. 
Those who are long time followers of this blog know that for the last few years I have been doing a thing called "Sustainable September". It's basically a month of environmental kindnesses. Often I feature "repair something" as an idea of what to do on one day. When I went to get the shoes repaired to give away I also took 3 other shoes with me to get repaired. A single Ugg Boot (sheep skin slippers) and a pair of multi-use canvas wedge boots that are basically tall boots that fold down to an ankle boot for a different look. 

I only just noticed the hole on my ugg boots where the top has separated from the sole of the slipper. It turns out that to get it professionally fixed it will cost me about $30 for the single shoe to be fixed (& if I need the other one fixed it could be another $30). A new pair would cost me about $50 (not the best quality but it would be about the same as I have already). Or I can hand stitch it myself because I have a lot of tools to give it a go. 

The second pair are apparently too far gone now to be repaired. Which is heartbreaking. I have been advised by two different cobblers to go to a bootmaker to get them recreated. I think I will do that too. They are the best designed shoes I've ever had. So even though I cannot prolong their life they will be used as a "pattern" to make a new pair of boots for me. So they will be used again. I guess that's something. 

My plan to be as environmentally kind as possible didn't work quite how I had hoped it would. A simple repair from a professional, in this case worked up for about 1 in 3 pairs. I guess I'll just have to stick to repairing stuff ready for donation. Or doing a dodgy repair job myself... for the ugg boots at least. Hehehe. 

For me, repairing things is a kindness to our planet and to those we are repairing them for (in my case it's the opshop). In terms of the nude wedge heels, I had the strap repaired on today, restoring them to their former glory helps them be saleable and raise money for charitable works. I help many charities by using my stuff, my time... not just my money (although I do that too). 

Remember to be kind to the planet, your self and those around you. 

Why is kindness so important? 
Check out this quote and others on my Pinterest Board.
Love to you all, 
Daena x

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Lent gifting day 36

It's not long until the forty day Lent challenge will be over and it's getting harder to say goodbye to stuff. 

Like my biggest stuffed toy penguin called Patience.
 Super cuddly, Patience has been with me through some rough times. And I just know how happy she will make some little person who needs support of their own through rough times. A foster care system could be one of those times. This is the penguin for the job. 

I have decided to keep only my three favourite stuffed toys with me. One of whom is "photo bombing" the above picture. My red Welsh dragon who will stay with me still. Dragons are signs of protection in some mythology. Weirdly since I've had the dragon I've slept better. 

I also have two bears: one is big and one is small. The largest toy is called AJ and is the teddy bear from my child hood. That big bear has been with me through it all. That bear has seen more salt water than the Dead Sea, in the form of tears. And also been there through some of the most amazing moments of my life. I feel like we have seen thick and thin together. Or better and worse. Hahaha. 

Then there is my new favourite called Cuddles who has been the bear I've had for the last 10 years. He was given to me by my mum in England when she was leaving me there to do my undergraduate exchange program. Cuddles was there for me when I needed a cuddle from my mum but she was too far away to give me one in person. As such Cuddles has been my "travel bear". He's been around the world with me a couple time now. 

You might think it's weird that a 31 year old woman would want to keep stuffed toys. I am just not ready to let them go to new homes just yet. But the idea of someone loving them as much as I do makes it easier thinking about passing them on. When I get rid of all the toys in the bigger toy collection of which Patience the penguin is a part I will see how I cope without having those cuddly toys for comfort. Then maybe one by one I'll give my favourites to new homes or maybe not. I guess it depends how I cope without them.

When I started my whole dejunking thing I just wanted to pair down what I had, not get rid of everything I own completely. One of the things The Minimalists talk about is that "Minimalism looks different to everyone because everyone is different." I agree. I want to get rid of the superfluous things in my life to focus on the most important things for me. My three favourite soft toys are bringing me joy and providing value to my life, so I will keep them. When they stop doing those things I will give them away. I want to  have time, energy and money to look after and enjoy the things i already have. So that I can enjoy them fully and appreciate them completely. Fingers crossed I'll get the balance of keeping and soccarding. I want to get my head & physical space clear so that I can achieve the things I want to most in my life. Like travelling. There is so much I still want to achieve in my life. I have barely even started! 

What are the things you would do if you didn't have anything to stop you (like money, time, etc). And would you do them today if those barriers didn't exist? If not, why not? 
What would you sacrifice to have those dreams become a reality? Could you give up a coffee out every week to put more money toward a holiday? Could you give up buying any new clothing for a year to lower your debts or save for the things you really love? Could you sacrifice Netflix or cable tv if it meant that that money and time could go to doing something else you wanted to do? 

I hope I've given something to you to think about. Rmemever to be kind to one other. 

Love Daena x

Lent gifting day 35

Today I say farewell to one of my stuffed penguins. 
His name is Walter and he is an adorable cuddly penguin looking for a new home. He is about 7 years old and loves children and cuddles. He spent some time living in a box under the owners bed so needs some love. Owner currently looking to give Walter a new home, possibly to someone young of heart who would appreciate lots of cuddles. Sleeps anywhere. Also he is a stuffed toy crossed with Fun Fur. 

Okay... so maybe I've been reading the pet havens pet listings a little too much. I was at a pet food store, getting supplies for the chickens we own, when I saw a pin board full of pets needing new homes. It's so hard to read those adorable adoption guides and not take home every animal on there. I saw one for a golden retriever who had failed guide dog school but he was still super happy. Such an adorable dog. 

I would love to have a dog...or cat! Looking at these Pound adoption listings is hard to walk away from but I had to. The problem is that my sister and nephew are allergic to dogs and cats. We currently all live together. One day I'll give that idea of kindness a go: Adopt a cat or dog. It's not something that I would go into lightly though. A pet is a lifetime responsibility. One day of kindness is actually the life of the animal. 

I'm not adopting a pet now so I've settled for looking after our obscure company of pets; fish, two guinea pigs and 10 chickens (3 of which are only 4 weeks old). I have grown most fond of the chickens. They have grown fold of me too. One of the newest hatchlings even decided to use me as a perch. 
She is the biggest of the three. The small one sitting beside me was just named Frodo. We think he's a boy. But he is a breed who has fluffy feet (like the Hobbits from JRR Tolkiens middle earth), eats every 5 minutes (breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, lunch, afternoon tea, supper, dinner, after dinner snack - like hobits too) and wanders off on his own a lot. Frodo seems an apt name for him. The smallest of the chicks (not pictured here) is possibly the most beautiful fluffy footed fluff ball and has been nicknamed "Princess". The one on my shoulder is still looking for a name. I'm sure it will come to us soon enough. She has a way about her and seems to love cuddles and patting unlike most of the other chickens. 

I love having animals around. They have a way of reminding me to take time to sit and just watch them and enjoy living in the moment. They are almost like a mindfulness practice. Like a meditation of sorts. It helps me get my head together just being around them. 

Then they provide me with a lot of laughs too. 

I've been told I need to reduce my stress. Meditation is something I've been using for well over a year to help me reduce my stress levels. And there are so many ways a person can meditate and that, I love. Including watching chickens scratch in the garden. 

I currently use an app to help me with guided meditations. An app called "insight timer" helps me every day to be more mindful, more focused and lastly to help me sleep. You could use a range of apps if you want. I have heard of both "Headspace" and "10% Happier" app. Not sure what they are like personally but I've heard lots of good things. But I'm sure there are millions of apps, YouTube videos and iTunes/CD or DVD meditations. It had really helped me. 

 Did you know there is a type of meditation called "Yoga Nidra" that is basically meditation to help you sleep. I think technically it's supposed to have your body sleep with your mind still kind of present but it puts me to sleep every time. For an insomniac this is bloody brilliant!! 

There are meditations that help me manage my pain. Meditations that help me be more grateful. Meditations that help me send more "kindness" out into the world. Meditation helps me remember what is most important to me in my life and focus on that. There are so many types of meditation that you can find one that works for you. It's not all "let your mind go empty and think of nothing for ages" whilst sitting on the floor with your legs crossed. I am so glad because I couldn't do that even if I wanted to. Hehehe. 

I don't know how I went from talking about a fluffy penguin toy to talking about animals and then to talk about meditation. It's kind of how my weirdly beautiful mind works. Hopefully you can follow it. Hehehe. 

Walter the penguin will be finding a new home with the foster care kids. Hopefully this little guy can let a kid know they are not alone. 

That's enough for me. I hope this finds you all well. 😘❤
Love Daena x

Monday, April 3, 2017

Lent gifting day 34

Karate was a passion of mine for a long time. Many of you won't know the I trained for 21 years, in Renshinkai, finally gaining my 4th Dan (4th level black belt) several years ago now. I trained at least twice a week for most of that time. I loved & hated it. I loved my karate family. The people I trained with for that time are still people I cherish even though we don't see each other much anymore. I loved the energy I had, the power, the strength. I hated the muscle pain and most importantly I hated giving it up. 

Because I have Endometriosis I had to give up my training & teaching because I was so fragile. One accidental punch or poorly placed kick and I could have ended up in the emergency room (assuming someone could have gotten me out of the foetal position). I got to the point where I couldn't stand up let alone run and fight. The fragility is what I really hated most. 

I miss training. When I get my health back I hope to go back to Karate. 

In the meantime I am getting rid of a small "graduation" gift mum hand knitted me when I went for my 3rd Dan Black Belt and of course survived and earned the belt! 
Part of the reason I am passing on this little guy is because he will fit in a shoebox (for the Christmas Shoebox appeal) but also he's a painful reminder of what I'm missing. He's been stuffed in the back of the cupboard for the last 4 years. Weirdly I don't have the same sadness when I look at my Gi (aka. Karate suit) or my black belt (with its 4 red stripes). I don't get that sadness when I look at my karate certificates or even my karate licence and grading book (I still have these things in the hope I can return to the sport in the future).

I love karate and I enjoyed doing it for so long. 

People assume that Karate is very violent and sometimes it can be (if you aren't trained well or are training for something else like MMA). I must admit I have broken a few bones from Karate but I've broken 4x as many from other activities like tripping over at school or falling out of a boat. What I did learn from Karate is confidence, respect (for myself and others), strength (physically and mentally), and discipline. All of things have helped shape me into the person I am today. 

What sport, hobby or activity have you given up? Or have you had to give up for whatever reason? Would you go back if you got the choice? 

Much love, 
Daena x

Lent gifting day 33

I don't know about you but Lent is flowing FAST!!! I feel like I'm only just getting the show on the road and it's almost over. Woweee. They say time flies when you are having fun! 

I'm sticking with the soft toys for now because I have so many of them. 
This little guy will be small enough to fit inside a shoebox. So I'll vacuum him thoroughly and then give him to a friend who collects small toys (in very good condition) and donates them in shoe boxes to kids in 3rd world countries around Christmas time. 

He was a free promotional Teddybear for a company that has since gone bust so there is no reason for me to keep it. It might bring joy and love to the life of a young person. I had a collection of soft toys that I've loved over the years so I know what one soft toy can do for the life of a child. 

So thank you to the teddy bears and fluffy penguins who I have loved over the years (I collected penguins in my younger life). Thank you for the kindness you have bestowed on me: Being there to cuddle when I was afraid of the dark or when I was scared; reminding me I am loved and am capable of love; letting me dress you up in stupid clothes; forcing you to drink/wear "tea" which may have in fact been toilet water; being there to hold when I cried. See, to a kid these seemingly inanimate objects come alive and support our younger selves in the darkest days. 

I am reminded of Toy Story 3 where Andy is able to pass his old toys onto a new generation of toy lovers. The toys are happy and Andy is happy because his toys are being loved by someone else who loves them just as much as he once did. 

Sending big fluffy cuddly hugs to all those who need it at the moment in honour of all the stuffed toys we have loved over the years. 

Love Daena 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Lent gifting day 32

The kids went to a scouting camp for the weekend. When we popped in to drop off some supplies this afternoon I had a moment to take a stunning photo and reflect on just how beautiful the country I live in ,and call home, is. So I thought I would share the view of my sunset with you.
This photo is to remind you to take some time to breathe deep today and take a moment to admire something beautiful in your life. Like this sunset. 

Apart from dealing with kids, chaos and scouting, Today I helped my sister sort out her and the families collection of books. I didn't take photos but let's just say we have a LOT as a house hold. I helped my sister  go through and donate about 200 books today to the opshop and about 40 cardboard toddler books to the local Cafe owner who has a 2 year old (kindness all around). So it was a super successful day in that regards. 

Today I decided that it's time to let go of some stuffed toys. The first one that I will say goodbye to is a stuffed Mr Potato Head toy that my sister and I won when we were in Los Angeles in 1999. So it's been loved & admired. 
It's still got its tag as though it is brand new. Now this soft toy won't go to the opshop like a lot of my other donations. I'm going to vacuum Mr Potato Head thoroughly and then donate him to foster kids. Mum, who works as the CWA community coordinator often sends stuff to the foster kids both here, in Perth, and further around the state. It's awesome. They are often looking for good quality new and very lightly used soft toys. So Mr Potato Head will go down nicely there. 

Any small toys I find in my collection (that will fit in a shoebox) in the next few days I will be donating to Operation Christmas Child. A friend of the family helps put together these shoeboxes, for kids around the world, that might otherwise receive nothing. 

There are so many places other than just an opshop that can take soft toys to brighten up a child's day anywhere they are. 

I hope this finds you well. 
Love Daena