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A blog about life, travel and my entertainment

Spoiler Alert: The hero dies. By Michael Ausiello.

Wow. I have been in a bit of a book hangover following my read of Erin Watts Fallen Heir. I hadn’t been reading anything new. The last week or so I have gone back through my favourites. When I wake and Find you Gone, by Maureen McCarthy. The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta. I re read the Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons and American Hellhound by Lauren Gilley. Finally, a book came out that I thought may just pull me out of my funk. Spoiler Alert: The Hero dies by Michael Ausiello.

Front cover

I first came across Michael a few years back. To quote Wikipedia, he is an ‘American television industry journalist and actor.’ Michael was one of the Senior Writes are TV Guide and its companion website, TVGuide.com. Later he went to EW and blogged (Ask Ausiello). I came across him later – when I found his website http://www.tvline.com (which has his Ask Ausiello page!), I know he is a huge deal within his industry in the States, though probably fewer people over here in Australia have heard of him. I found him due to our mutual love of all things Amy Sherman Palladino (HELLO GILMORE GIRLS). I mean the guy had a guest spot on the show! (please see below photo of him and Lauren Graham. (and a few others that I grew up with).

Michael and Lauren Graham

I knew from the outset that this was not to be a happy book. (I mean, what gave that away? Could it have been the title?!?)  I also knew going into it that Michael’s husband Kit had passed away a few years ago, following a very short battle with a rare form of cancer. What I didn’t expect was such a raw and honest telling of this. There were several points throughout the book I felt like I was reading Michael’s diary. He shirked away from nothing. Kit cheating on him? It’s all laid out there. Them living separately and Kit having decided to sign a lease for an apartment without discussing it with Michael? It’s in there. Michael’s love of Smurfs and Kit first ‘horrifying’ discovery of it? It’s in there. Their therapy sessions? They are in there. His overwhelming grief and sadness and yet overwhelming love for Kit. It’s in there too.

Michael and Kit

I found when reading the book that there were times when I was frustrated with these people. Kit was occasionally an ass. Michael stayed with him despite multiple instances of infidelity. I know I am looking at through my own bias, but still.  There were other times when I laughed. Kit in Target is something I would have paid to watch. And then you have sick Kit. And I’ll be honest I wasn’t expecting to be as devastated as I was. Again, nothing was held back. The ins and outs of Kit’s illness. How Michael coped and what he thought, how he morphed from Kit’s husband to Kit’s caregiver. By the end, I was sobbing on the bus. It’s something I didn’t expect, but again, there were no holds barred. The poop, the pain, Michael putting Kit’s shoes on the wrong way round when they were taking his body away, it’s all there, and I loved it.

 

I don’t think that this book is going to be a repeat again book in my life, as it was too gutting, but that’s okay. I have now read it, and I think that’s what counts.

 

Much love,

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Kermonds Hamburgers

**Disclaimer** I have taken some of the shot’s from Kermonds FB page, as I didn’t want to get photos of random customers etc. I thought it was a bit rude.
This weekend just gone I went back to Warrnambool, Victoria to visit my Grandparents. A highlight of this visit, aside from seeing everyone was heading out to Kermonds.

Kermond’s was established in 1949 and has remained the same pretty well since then. I think that some of the furnishings may have changed, as the artwork looks particularly 90’s to me, and my Dad commented that a tv had been moved, but the bones of the place are still the same since it opened. My Pa has lived in the area since he was born, so tends to know everyone, or at least everyone’s family. He gave me a run down of the Kermond Family (Apparently they don’t own it anymore, and they used to race horses that always came last, for anyone that is interested). Back when it first opened, he also told us that it was perfectly positioned for the market, there used to be a factory next door, and the workers could come in at lunch and have their burgers. My Pa reckons that it looks the same since he was a boy, and Mummy reckons it hasn’t changed since Pa used to take her into Warrnambool as a child. When I first took Corporal Awesome there, he looked at me like I was insane and trying to kill him. He may have even taken a minute to do our McDonalds signal. He was wrong.

BeFunky Collage

Kermond’s is good. It’s so good that people travel down from Melbourne. I might not drive over from Adelaide for them specifically, but you put it as an option, and a girl may just detour. My pa gets the same thing he ordered since he was a boy a burger and a strawberry milkshake. There was a time when he used to eat two burgers, and if you I don’t know him better you would assume it just sounds like a good story. They are filling. My Dad also normally ends up with a burger and a milkshake, but his is Mars Bar flavoured. Me? I channel the 50’s and go for a burger and a glass bottled Coke.

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Now the menu hasn’t changed since day dot. I always order a plain burger (that comes with a meat patty, onion and tomato sauce). You can then add on from there. I added bacon, egg, cheese and pineapple. If I wanted to go true-blue Aussie, I would have added Beetroot, but honestly, I struggled to fit it all in my mouth anyway. And yes, I am the sort of person that has pineapple on a pizza. Stop judging. Afterwards, you pretty well have to roll home, but it’s always AMAZING.

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World Wide Fame: Kermond’s has been listed in the top 50 burgers in the world: https://matadornetwork.com/nights/international-cow-50-of-the-most-amazing-burger-joints-in-the-world/ and I can only agree, they are very damn good. They also have a bit of a cult following around the world, or at least their **Kermond Man** Mascot does. (I don’t know its name). People keep putting up advertising various places around the world. I follow their Facebook and have seen some from Ireland and Germany. I’m contemplating taking a flyer with me to the US, to put up somewhere because it’s remarkable and I love it.

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Are there any burger places that you can recommend?

Much Love,

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Fallen Heir by Erin Watt.

I was going to post about how my last weekend was lovely; the sun was out, we had a glorious 22-degree day in the middle of winter. Instead, I had something amazing happen. I woke up at 6.37 on Saturday morning and found out that I was selected for an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of Fallen Heir by Erin Watt, in exchange for a review. Now, for anyone that knows me, there’s not normally a snowballs chance in ANYTHING that I am voluntarily up at 6.37am, but hey. My Kindle had the book on it, and I was awake. I want to make a note here and let ya’ll know that it will be an honest review, I’m still going to be buying a copy on its release, the 28th August, so the Authors get my royalties.

**Warning: there may be spoilers ahead**

This is a bCoverook that I have been particularly excited for. Erin Watt is the same team that brought us Paper Princess, the story of the sparky Ella and Reed Royal. (Aka Jen Frederick and Elle Kennedy. Fallen Heir gives us glimpses of the characters that we know and love so well, from the previous books in the series, however despite this it’s purely Easton Royal’s story. And I have a massive soft spot for Easton. Maybe it’s because he is named after a Hockey brand. (Well, I don’t know this, but I love hockey, so that’s where I think it came from). Maybe it’s because he has issues and I love me a bad boy. But also could be that he’s just so lovable. He loves deeply and has great intentions, but he’s not a perfect hero. He says stupid stuff, he hurts people, and that’s okay. (well not for them, but you know). But you know he means well. I don’t know how this would work in real life, but it’s not real life (at least not anything resembling my real life), yet Easton strikes me as the most real Royal in the series.

Fallen Heir picks up where Twisted Palace leaves off. Like the previous books in the series, it’s set in Astor Park Prep School. The school and its attendees still remind me of the 90’s movie Cruel Intentions. But like Cruel Intentions, it gripping, and like the film, I get a sense of dread when I start the book, and it doesn’t go away. Reed has graduated and gone to College (Uni for us Aussies), but the rest of the crew is still around. Ella is there, the twins and Lauren are around. Gideon makes an appearance. Regarding new characters, there’s a new Quarterback Bran, who makes me smile from the start and Easton’s love interest, Hartley Wright. Throughout my read, I can’t quite put my finger on what is happening with her. I like her. She’s got guts; she’s the only person to tell Easton no, which I like. In this way she reminds me of Ella, she just has that spark. But something is happening with her, and I think it’s going to get deeper than I suspected from the start.

I will interrupt my synopsis with the note that I love that the author can get me to view the characters from Easton’s perspective. Often I find myself reading books, and my bias comes into it. For example in this book, I frequently find myself annoyed by Ella. She’s not doing anything differently from the previous books, but because he’s annoyed, so am I. It’s done very well. The authors change our perspective on various characters as readers throughout the book. I have concluded that I do feel as if I am watching these characters through Easton eyes which isn’t something that I find many authors can do, at least not for me, so I find this pretty damn impressive.

The first half of the novel does read like a teen romance, as in he wants her, she says no, and the ensuing story. And from where he starts the book, let me tell you he has a lot of ground to cover. She pretty firmly makes her mind up about Easton in the first five minutes when she walks in on Easton and his ultimate teacher fantasy. I like it. I will say that you need to read the others in the series, I don’t think this is one you can pick up half way through and roll with it. And like the other books in this series, Fallen Heir ends in a MONSTER cliff hanger. I don’t typically rate books, but this was a solid 4.5 stars. Perfect for my younger sisters, who love One Tree Hill etc., and anyone else who grew up with this genre. I also want to make a note that I love the covers that came with this series, and am really happy that the authors decided to continue with the theme.

series
The next book will be out in early 2018, and I can’t wait to get my hot little hands on it. Now to work out how to get over my book-hangover.

Much Love,

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Family and Enid Blyton

This last week I went to Canberra to see my Family.

CanberraFor those of you who haven’t been to Canberra, I will tell you. I am one of the few who loves it. It’s cold, bitingly so during winter and frequently sees 40+ degree days in Summer. (That’s 104F for non-Australians). There is more round about’s than I have ever seen anywhere else in the country, and there isn’t always a lot going on. For me? I get to catch up with my family. We do a few drinks, my Grandma comes to visit, my aunts and uncles come over, and it’s an enjoyable time had by all.

20170729_101558This time I had a hot date golfing with my father. Now I have never golfed before, and I was instructed that I wouldn’t be golfing this time, as it was a tournament. But I could drive the cart around. SOLD I tell you! As we were walking out the door, and I was all bundled up in my five layers of clothes, I was asked, are you sure about this? You may be bored. AHA! I responded. I have a book! As it happened, I didn’t need the book, but as we all know, you should always carry one with you at all times. I was carrying a book that Corporal Awesome had bought me in a set last week, The Secret Seven Adventure, by Enid Blyton. (Also the photo of me in the golf cart? That was after the sun came up!)

Enid BlytonI love Enid Blyton books. It takes me back to a simpler time, a time before I was born. Growing up, both Mummy and my Pa would read them to me, though I suspect that it was my Pa’s English background that set this love off. Pa even built me my very own Faraway tree, and I was very upset when the lands didn’t come by my tree as they did in the books. Growing up I wanted to be a member of the Famous Five (I named one of Pa’s car’s Georgina) and I wanted to go to either St Clare’s or Mallory Towers and have Midnight Feasts! My year two teacher wrote in my school report that I needed to read something other than Enid Blyton books.

The Secret SevenThe secret seven adventure was a book published in 1950 and is a simple story, and yes, you can tell it was written in the Fifties before political correctness happened. The Seven are playing a game of American Indians and are essentially playing a game of hide and seek, in full dress up mode. The group splits up, and Colin climbs into a branch of a tree. From there he can see a man climbing a fence to the nearby Milton Manor. Later on, they hear on the news that Lady Lucy Thomas’s pearl necklace has been stolen! Following some sleuthing carried out by the Seven, they believe that the perpetrator was an acrobat from a circus that is visiting their town. This leads to even more investigating so that the seven can crack the case.

The secret Seven booksRereading these books as an adult, it strikes me how small they are. I read the Secret Seven Adventure in about 45 minutes, and I enjoyed it. It is book 2 of the set, and I figure I’m just going to keep working my way through until the end of the series. They are all very similar (from memory) with the seven finding various clues and working to solve the case. I don’t remember these books as well as I do the Famous Five, and I think they are for a slightly younger audience (and younger than myself). I wish Enid Blyton had fleshed out her characters a little more, as I don’t feel like I know the characters very well, compared to her other books, but still, I love them. The style, the morals of the story. I think if you give them to a child of seven or eight they will probably be about the right target audience.

Are there any other children’s books that anyone else on here loves? I would be interested in hearing about them.

Much love,

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Jamie’s Italian – Adelaide

I was going to post last Friday, but I was struggling to post on the blog this last week. Nothing exciting has happened in my life. I’m reading a book about a young gay couple that escapes from the FLDS Church which is keeping me interested, but it’s not a biography or anything that I would normally post on. Rather it’s just something to keep me occupied. Corporal Awesome is home for another few days which is nice, but we have both been sick (in alternating weeks), so it has been pretty quiet at my house the last few weeks.

Jamie’s Italian (Adelaide).
Let me pre-face this with the note that I have been wanting to head to Jamie’s for a few years now and just never made it. A year or so back when it came out that Jamie’s was in receivership (at least here in Australia) I was devastated. Once it came out that it wasn’t going to close, I promptly moved on with life and never actually made it there.

 

Jamies

The building itself is beautiful; it’s the old Westpac building. But since we had a friend over from Port Lincoln, my girlfriend and I looked at each other and thought, right let’s get on this!
Jamies Meats

I scoured the menu the week before, so I had a rough idea of what I wanted….Which for me is rare. Normally I’m a wing it kinda girl, let everyone else order, and I’ll change mine at the last minute to whatever sounds the best. I also knew that Corporal Awesome might be difficult to feed, but went with the handy, well there’s always a steak option. For Entrée we split bread board as well as the meat board and let me tell you this made me happy. I love bread and Prosciutto (I may have bought 500gms of it last week and just ate it as I went). Everything was excellent quality, and I feel that we made a wise choice. The fact that it was served on top of tomato cans was a bit off, but hey. Also, don’t open the tomato cans and eat them, they were out of date.
Truffle tagliatelle

With my main, I walked in knowing that I wanted a pasta of some sort but figured I would leave the actual decision till the night. We used to be able to buy Jamie Oliver brand pasta in Woolworths, and it was phenomenal, but I stopped being able to get it a year or so back, which devastated me. Because of this, I was tossing up between a Tagliatelle Bolognese, and the Truffle Tagliatelle. Can you tell I love Tagliatelle? I wound up landing on the Truffle Tagliatelle, and it was… okay. Very home cooked style which was nice, but I wasn’t blown away. Corporal Awesome got the trusty steak, after several issues with dairy products on his preferred choice of a burger, and he was underwhelmed as well. The steak was overdone (plus I am 99% sure it was NOT the Rib-Eye he had ordered) and when it came out the salad had cheese all over it. They immediately took it away and replaced the whole thing, but never actually came back with a replacement salad. It was just the chips and the steak on the plate which was odd.

Jamies Bathroom

There were a number of items on the menu that weren’t available, so Corporal Awesome and I skipped dessert, but from the advice of our friends, they found them underwhelming also. It seemed to be the common theme of the night. The only thing that made me excited was the interior; The building was stunning. The toilets are in the basement, where the old safe’s/strong rooms were, and it is worth a visit. My advice? Pop in for a drink and snacks and skip the meal.

Have any of you had better experiences?

Much love,

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Winter weather…

Winter weather
Looking out the window at work at the moment is pretty grim. While I have a great view, we are in the Southern hemisphere, and so winter is here. This year I have attempted to keep my clothing choices pretty monochrome. I am buying black, grey and earthy colour tones to ensure that I can mix and match well. Plus whilst I hate winter, I do love winter fashion.

My purchases so far this winter have been:

Seed Heritage Classic Check Scarf:
seed scarf
It’s HUGE! And SO versatile, I currently have it wrapped around my knees as a blanket. I tend to buy one new scarf per winter. I make sure that they are enormous and blanket-like, and for the last few years, they have all come from Seed. Plus my last year’s one is still going. I will admit I am considering buying a second one this year when I am in the States for the second winter. (Tell me this just as amazing as second breakfast!) Currently $49.00 AUD but I got mine for $29 when they had a sale.
http://www.seedheritage.com/p/classic-check-scarf/4092128-59-OS-se.html#start=1

 

Nine West Haldene boots:

I ahaldane-wheatsuede-1dmittedly got these in black, but I believe they are now only available from Harbourtown and Nine West’s second stores. I love that my feet are toasty, and I LOVE a stacked Cuban heel. They look great with a pair of jeans, and I can slip ‘em on and off. Wheat colour Haldene boot image below: $129 AUD. I keep saying one day I will buy a pair of Lucchese’s, but I need to win lotto first.

http://www.ninewest.com.au/p/haldane/404004-nw.html

Jo Mercer Opio Boots:
Opio bootsIn case you missed the memo, I love boots. I only discovered them a few years back, and now I live in them during winter. What’s not to love about fashion letting me wear woollen socks and look great while I am at it? My last pair of boots died at the start of winter, and I was DEVASTATED. I have had them about four years, only paid about a hundred bucks for them and they were not repairable. The heel came off, the zip was dead, and my foot had pretty well come through the front. I finally bit the bullet when Jo Mercer was having a 30% off sale. (I wouldn’t have been able to justify these otherwise). I really struggle for find taller boots as my calves are huge, and these stretch really nicely. One day I might buy a brown pair, but I have to wait for that next sale. Maybe when winter is nearly over, I’ll pre-buy some for next winter. They are currently $349 AUD

http://www.jomercer.com.au/search?q=Opio

Bauer Hoody:

corehoodyI also bought a new hoodie (or two) this year. A few months back I signed Corporal Awesome up to play Ice Hockey. I love watching the sport, and he loves Ice Skating, so I figured why the hell not. Unfortunately for me, this has meant that I have been sitting in the cold at the Ice Arena over the last few months while he practices. Some of these tips have been better planned than others, so the last time we were there, we both got hoodies. They are incredibly warm, fluffy and I have been living in these throughout winter.

CA HoodyThe Zipped Hoody was $79 AUD, and my black pullover hoody was $69 AUD. And yes, I will wear the bloke’s hoody, no shame. In fact, I much prefer them!
http://powerplaysport.com.au/shop/bauer-fz-supreme-hoody-grey/
http://powerplaysport.com.au/shop/bauer-core-pull-over-hoody/

 

Review Barcelona Dress:
Barcelona dressI have had some formal events this year. And I know I have a few coming up. I splashed out earlier in the year when it was a bit warmer and bought a new dress from Review. Review is an Australian clothing brand that I adore, however, like most other things wait until there is a sale to buy. They are available in Myer, so I typically try to buy from there, just to maximise my Myer One points, any vouchers I have available as well as whatever sale they have happening. It is currently for sale at full price for $299 AUD, but I paid maybe half that as I waited till it was worth my while.
https://www.review-australia.com/shop/dresses/barcelona-dress.html

Otherwise, I am pairing all these items with my old jumpers, cardi’s, singlets and shirts that I bought from Sportsgirl last year. Long term my plan is to continue to buy three or four items during summer and winter to upgrade my wardrobe, but keep it pretty stable in the meantime and only replace items when they ultimately die. For example, I know I need to replace my sandals come summer, the heel finally came off a month or so ago, and as they were only $20 AUD, to begin with, and I got 2.5 years out of them I feel like I did okay. I also know I spent more on boots this year, but I won’t need to next year, so that’s okay with me.
I will admit there are times that I succeed with this overall clothing goal better than others, but overall it works out okay for me.
How do ya’ll manage your wardrobe?
Much Love,

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Audio Books: From Port Lincoln to Warrnambool and Places in between.

The last few weeks have been busy, but busy in my usual way. I have been to Mount Gambier for work, Port Lincoln for work, gone to see my Grandparents, stayed down south with some friends and I have a friend staying with me for a little while.

A few weeks ago a girlfriend of mine made an Instagram? (I want to say Instagram) Post about how she has found that after work she has just been sitting in front of the TV and not using her brain at all. She went back and started listening to some positivity books in an audio-book format. Now I tend to find that I sit and read in front of the TV, but I am finding that I am doing the same thing. I’m reading something light and not paying much attention to anything. So I have made a few changes:

I readily admit that I hadn’t done a whole lot of Audio books since I roped my Dad into listening to Harry Potter when I was about ten, but in the last few months, this has changed. This time on my trip to Mount Gambier, Warrnambool and Port Lincoln I invested in some Audible books and popped them on. I didn’t doze off or zone out. I have found that if I listen to books written by someone I am familiar with I tend to go better. I started out with a few Jack Reacher books, as I always like reading them, but it didn’t go so well. Following this, I figured out that I tend to enjoy non-fiction books or biographies, which isn’t normally something I always LOVE reading. So far in the last month or two I have listened, or am listening to:

Martin and Emilio

Along the Way. The journey of a FATHER and SON by Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez, which was written alongside a movie that the two of them made together. I then went back and watched the movie once I had finished it.
Lauren Graham

Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and everything in between)and everything in between) by Lauren Graham,

 

 

White House

Who thought this was a good idea?: And other questions you should have answers to when you work in the White House by Alyssa Mastromonaco

Hard Choices

 

I have just started listening to Hard Choices by Hillary Clinton. I like when I hear the auto-biographies read by the actual people that have written the book.

 

Scrappy little Nobody

I am also periodically listening to Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick, when I feel like listening to something lighter.

 

 

 

I‘ve found that for me I subscribe to Audible Australia, which works for me. I use this as a subscription service, so I pay $14.95 AUD per month, and every month they give me credit and I get a free book. I can buy additional books if I choose. However, I tend to go for bang for my buck. Hard Choices by Hillary Clinton is the unabridged version and would be $60 if I didn’t use my credit. I tend to find that I have come out in front. If the book I want is cheaper than the $14.95, I’ll either buy it on my Kindle, rent it via Kindle Unlimited, or just buy it outright on Audible.

I’ve also attached my favourite shots from Mount Gambier, Warrnambool and Port Lincoln below. They are places that I have already blogged about, and photo’s that are pretty similar from the last time I was there, but I thought I’d keep you posted.

BeFunky Collage

 

 

Much Love,

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Ten things I wish I knew when I was younger.

I have sat on this blog post for a few weeks, stewing about whether to post it, but over the past few weeks I have had a few phone calls from my two youngest sisters, and it got me thinking, what advice do I wish I had given my younger self and now my younger sisters? I finally decided to pull the trigger and post it, but here is what I wish I knew when I was younger.

weight gain1. It’s easier not to gain weight than it is to lose it. East healthy, be fit. I’ve heard this one over and over, but until recently never gave it a second thought. While I have never been tiny, I certainly haven’t been large. In the past few years, I have given that a run for my money. I am now officially someone who struggles with my weight. I still don’t exactly know how I feel about that, but I wish that I had had paid more attention to my weight before it became an issue, and then I wouldn’t have to worry about it now.

 

Pay Attention2. The next one is a little political, and has more than one point to it, but pay more attention to the world around you. When Donald Trump got voted in at the US Election, I, probably like the rest of the world, was paying attention. One of the first things I heard about The Donald, was that he was cutting funding to not for profit companies that help pay for or subsidise abortions. I had a friend at the time doing a secondment over in the US with Planned Parenthood, and I was outraged. She, rightly, pointed out to me that it was great that I was outraged. However, I did realise that abortions are still not legal in all states of Australia? No! No, I did not. Now I believe in a woman’s right to choose. Do you want that abortion for whatever reason? Good for you, I think you should be able to do so. You don’t want to have a baby? Brilliant. Good for you. I feel like I should have been paying enough attention to my world around me to work out that this is something I care about and want available should I ever need it here in Australia.

 

decisions3. Own your decisions. We all make decisions with our lives that other people aren’t going to like. Some are, admittedly, better than others. So I have made quite a few decisions where I look back and wonder what was I thinking? But, at the end of the day, whatever I have decided was my decision. And I’ll stand by it. Doesn’t make it right or wrong, it’s just what I did. Everyone makes mistakes. That’s just how the world works. I think that it’s how you deal with them that matters. My theory is if you make a call? You own it.

 

regrets4. Regrets. I have found that the things I regret are the things I didn’t do, rather than the things I did. Didn’t leave that ex early enough? You didn’t buy that car? Didn’t spend a year working overseas? I get it, in fact, I had a mild panic moment earlier in the year when I realised that in twelve months’ time I would no longer qualify for a visa to go work in a Canadian Ski Field. It doesn’t matter that I hate the cold, I regret not jumping and taking that chance while I was young and single and could have easily done it if I had the determination. I personally don’t think that money is ever wasted on travelling.

 

relationships5. Cut the dead wood and foster the positive. I’m not saying to ditch all your friends, but we all have that toxic friend or family member. When they start hurting people that you care about, sometimes it’s better and easier just to call it and go no contact. Are you in a relationship, which is causing you hurt? Leave. You are strong enough to do it, and there’s no shame in that. Sometimes it isn’t worth the drama. Following on from this – you are not who you are in high school. As you grow older surround yourself with friends and family, who are good people and push you to be the best you can be as well. Put your time and effort into these friends and family members and develop these positive relationships rather than the toxic ones.

 

beauty tips6. Random beauty tips: Eyebrows are sisters, not twins – they will not ever look the same. Similarly, when you are driving, keep some tweezers in the car. I guarantee at some point you will find a stray hair that needs to go. Less is more with makeup. You either do dramatic eyes, or lips, not both. Likewise, unless you are heading out for a night of clubbing, show off either your cleavage or your legs. Not both. Also Laser Hair removal. My little piece of advice is, if you have darker hair and shave or wax it, get it laser removed. It will save you time and money long term and hurts way less than waxing. Best adulting decision ever.

 

Project 337. Less is more: Buy fewer clothes, but buy classic clothes that you love. I tried an experiment last year where I culled my wardrobe down to 33 items of clothing, and I enjoyed it. The theory is you have 33 items in your wardrobe for a season, and you substitute them out when the weather gets warmer or cooler. I liked it, even if I was doing my washing more regularly. I fell off the wagon as the year went on, and to be honest I now have no idea how many items I now have in there, but I would suggest that the number has trebled. Despite this, I have kept my clothes fairly classic, blacks, or earthy tones so that when I do my next sort, they are all interchangeable, which is the objective. I’m planning a new clothing cull and arrange in the next few months, with the aim of eventually implementing this concept for the whole house.

 

Stop worrying8. Stop worrying what everyone is thinking. I took some pole classes when I was younger, and one thing I remember was a friend saying to me that they wouldn’t come with me because they were worrying that the other people in the class would judge them for the size of their ass. My theory on that is no one will be looking at your ass, as they are all worried about the size of their own. In the end, I couldn’t get her to come with me, and that’s okay. But it does make me aware now that I didn’t want to worry what people were thinking about me.

 

Expectations9. Don’t expect something from people that they don’t have to give you. This one is another Mummy expressions, and I can’t tell you how much it has helped me. Some people you know, if you call them at three in the morning, they will be there. Others? Not so much. And that’s okay. As long as you know the difference between the two and are happy to accept them as they are, brilliant.

 

be kind and happy.jpg10. You do you. I believe that everyone needs to do what is right for themselves, as long as it isn’t hurting anyone else. After all, as Mummy says, we are each the star in our own worlds. We all need to do what is right for us. Whether it’s gay, or straight, being in a relationship with one person, three people, or no people at all. Be kind, and happy, and that’s all you can want.

 

Clear eyes

These are the things I wish I knew ten years ago and in the words of the great Coach Taylor, Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Loose.

 

 

Much Love,

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Anne of Green Gables

**For some reason WordPress isn’t publishing this post into paragraphs, I do apologise if this one is hard to read**
A few weeks ago I was especially excited. In the space of 24 hours, I had learned that Anne with an E would be arriving on Netflix, and I found a copy of Anne of Green Gables to give to my niece. I had been looking for a copy for a few months for her, so it was great to get my hands on a copy finally. This book (and later Series) holds a special place in my heart. I have Anne (with an E!) as part of my name.  The deal was when I was born that if I were a boy, Mummy would name me, and if I were a girl, my father would. My Father called me something less ordinary for a first name and if you ask him the name comes from his Mother. Personally, I have a sneaking suspicion that Mummy may have had a little bit of a helping hand with this and it’s actually coming from a little red-headed orphan that we come to know and love. I also feel as if I should probably be grateful that I didn’t get named my first name with a middle name of Cordelia, the name Anne wanted to be called.
Anne-of-Green-Gables _ mummy
I hadn’t read my copy of Anne in years, so before watching the tele-series, I sat and re-read it. (This picture is the copy that Mummy had on her shelves my whole childhood).  I was apparently getting sick and emotional because I started blubbering from a few pages in. Nothing much had actually happened yet, but I knew it was going to. Corporal Awesome handed me the last Cadbury Crunchie Easter Egg and some tissues. Next thing you know I turned the page and started giggling. I think Corporal Awesome began to think I had lost my mind. But, for me, when reading Anne of Green Gables, it’s all about the journey.
Written in 1908 Anne of Green Gables is the first in the series of books about Anne’s childhood. The rest of the series goes on to tell the story of her adult life and her children. You, as the reader, are drawn into her world in Avonlea and Green Gables (and later the other places that Anne lives), and once you are in, I’m afraid there is no escaping.
In Anne of Green Gables Anne is an orphan of eleven when she is mistakenly sent to Green Gables to live with Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. Matthew and Marilla are a brother and sister, who I believe are in their sixty’s. They had initially asked for a boy, however eventually decided to keep Anne. Anne develops an instant closeness with Matthew, and I love reading the parts with the two of them together. Anne is plucky, talkative, imaginative and lovable and I have no idea how she manages to get herself into so many scrapes. But as Anne says ‘Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet’. I love reading as Anne entwines herself with the town, makes ‘bosom’ friends with Dianna Barry, and an antagonistic relationship with Gilbert Blythe.
Anne with an E
Later I watched the Netflix Take on Anne of Green Gables, titled Anne with an E, and I loved the first episode. Corporal Awesome did not. However, he sat and watched it, to make me happy.  Anne is exactly what both I am Mummy always imagined, but I was less satisfied with the following episodes. It deviated from the books, and that devastated me a little bit. It was good, however, and I will keep watching, but it just wasn’t the Anne of Green Gables and the following story that I know and love so well.
I wish I could get up to Prince Edward Island when I am in the States at the end of the year, but it’s horrifically expensive to get there, and I am the only one who is interested. But I know I will get there one day, to see the Lake of Shining Waters, Lovers Lane, and the White Way of Delight, as well as Green Gables. After all, I am the one with Anne, spelt with an E, as part of my name.  It is also a series that I have on both my Kindle and on my Bookshelf. I can’t wait for my niece to read this, in fact, I think that all young girls should. It’s so positive! I’m going to keep reading the rest of the series over the next few weeks, and I can highly recommend that anyone who hasn’t yet read it should. I’ll be keeping my eye out for the rest of the series for my niece, as well as Seven Little Australians and the Enid Blyton books.
Much Love,
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