Friday, August 20, 2010

oh, blogther!

I've tried and failed. This grateful thing was great until I realised I wasn't always grateful about things that were interesting reading fodder.

Case in point.
Today I was grateful that my favourite woolen cardigan wasn't in the dirty laundry because it was cold, wet and windy.

Let's be honest, no-one wants to read about my favourite woolen cardigan, no matter how much I love it.

I've also got a couple of other excuses for my lack of grateful blogs:

1. My husband's been on holiday for the past week. Translation: I do nothing when he's around.
2. My daughter's been sick. Translation: she's had a temperature for a day and a half.

So, that's it for tonight.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

handmade gifts.

I met a friend for coffee this morning and she gave me the most thoughtful birthday gift - handmade fridge magnets with the word grateful written across them.

They're made out of beer bottle tops filled with some glue, glitter and small alphabet dice. The magnet is then glued to the back of the tops and stuck onto a piece of cardboard with a ribbon tied around it.

The idea is so clever and cute that I'm inspired to make some myself, time permitting.

That's the thing these days, we're so run off our feet trying to meet deadlines, be a good mum, keep the house tidy, catch up with our friends ... that often the most simple and rewarding activities go by the wayside.

This friend, who I'll refer to as Bec :), is the creative type so she finds inspiration everywhere. This was particularly lovely of her because she knows I'm blogging about being grateful and with these pretty reminders stuck on the fridge I've got no excuse to forget!

Thanks Bec!

Has anyone ever had a friend make a thoughtful gift? I'd love to hear your stories!

Friday, August 13, 2010

feeling a bit ungrateful today!

I'm struggling today (and yesterday, as can be seen by the absent blog) because it's been one thing after another...rude people, traffic jams, lost children...anyway, I'm hoping to post every other day now. Is this failing? I hope not!

I hope not because I do enjoy blogging about being grateful..some days are just harder than others!

Today I'm grateful for:

Good friends
New Farm Park (except for the miserable man serving coffee who couldn't spare a plastic spoon to feed my daughter...even after I bought a coffee!)
Great books....I've started reading Jodi Picoult's House Rules. She's an inspiring author!

I hope this makes up for my efforts (or lack thereof) over the past couple of days!

'Smile and the world smiles with you,' so they say! :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

midweek holidays

Today I was so glad to be waking up to the sound of rain knowing it was hump day without the hump.

It was the Ekka show day today. It comes around every year in August, just when the wind picks up and the flu season is in full swing. But hey, there's nothing better than a dagwood dog and a showbag with some influenza thrown in for good measure.

Actually, we stayed clear of the Ekka this year because my daughter is 2 and she wasn't able to get the seasonal flu vaccine (something to do with a bad batch!).

Anyway, enough complaining about the pitfalls of the big Brisbane show.

Today I was just so grateful to have a middle of the week weekend.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

oh dear, mondayitus strikes again

What is it with Mondays? I'm always running to catch up with myself.

So today, I'm blogging about being grateful for the excuse of Mondayitus! Isn't it terrific that for one day of every week you can blame every error of judgement, silly comment, over-indulgence and plain and simple laziness on the fact that it's Monday?

I'm telling you, it's because of Monday that I missed yesterday's blog!

Today I'm so grateful for rainy days! We don't see too many of them in Queensland, sunny one day perfect the next and all, and today it's pouring down.

Rainy days are the perfect excuse for sleeping in, drinking hot chocolate with breakfast and drying the clothes in the dryer, instead of the time-consuming line dry!

I really do love rainy days! But more than anything I love a good reason to make an excuse for bad behaviour.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

sunday lunches (& short blogs)

I had a leisurely Sunday lunch with my family at a gorgeous restaurant toady. It's at winery with the most spectacular outlook over a mountainous vineyard, and if that's not enough to take your breath away the food certainly will.

I had a few too many glasses of wine - so my blog is a little hazy & lazy today (apologies...). In fact, I shouldn't really be blogging under the influence. :)

So today, I'll just say I'm grateful for long lunches and loving families.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Perfume, please.

If there's one small luxury I'm grateful for every day it's perfume. It wasn't until I ran out, for the first time in forever, that I realised how much it meant to me. It's a ritual, night and day.

At the moment it's Burberry London, which is beautiful, but my all time favourite is Sicily by D&G - divine!

The power of smell to evoke memories is something I've always been acutely aware. Whenever I smell vanilla it takes me back to junior high school - because one of my best friends used to drench herself in it.

A study by Bruce Turetsky, a psychiatry professor, proves that smell can be more memory provoking than any other sense. He says different scents may "have a greater ability to bring up an emotional memory in you than seeing a picture or hearing a voice."

Here's hoping I'm not smelling of Sicily on an occasion I'd rather forget.

Has anyone ever had a memory evoked by a familiar scent?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Dark chocolate & red wine.

Last night I broke out the dark chocolate (Lindt!) and a bottle of red wine. These are a couple of guilty pleasures that I am so grateful contain something that's actually good for me! I'm talking about antioxidants.

Apparently, a natural antioxidant found in grape skins and red wine can help destroy pancreatic cancer cells (Science Daily). Yet another great reason to blissfully enjoy red wine without feeling guilty.

As for chocolate, it's rich in flavonoid antioxidants (especially, epicatechin). A human (in vivo) study reported in the Journal Nature found that intake of dark chocolate increased antioxidant capacity in blood plasma!


Thursday, August 5, 2010

The gift of a daughter

Today is my birthday. I received many beautiful gifts but the best one of all was my 2-year-old daughter's arms wrapped tightly around me this morning and her whispering, 'Happy birthday mummy, love you much...I have present you!'

I'm already so proud of who she's becoming. She's kind, gentle, thoughtful and so curious. I'm in awe of how much so already knows about the world and I'm loving reliving my childhood through her. Tiny teapots, Dora dolls, bags and plastic jewellery - so much fun!

My own mum gave me a beautiful book for my birthday called Forever My Daughter with inspiring quotes on the true meaning of being given the gift of a daughter. Here's my favourite one, which I think sums up this precious relationship perfectly.

Stronger than life ...
Like it or not, we are bound to one another
It is the lightest of links - so light that sometimes we forget it altogether.
But it is stronger than life itself.
One tiny tug will have me dropping anything I'm doing
- you are, above everything, the heartbeat of my life.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Memories kept.

Today I found a poem written for me by my Granddad. He was a huge part of my life even though he lived on the other side of the world. He was the one who inspired me to write. So today I'm feeling grateful that this was something I hung onto, because no-one expects their loved ones to die.

He was only in his early 60's when he passed away and it was such a shock to everyone because he was so vibrant, healthy and full of life. He was also the funniest person I have ever met.

They say people have three deaths. One is when they pass away, the next is when they're buried/cremated and the third is when people stop speaking their name.

So I'm publishing one of his poems so he'll never experience the third.

As last I've found my heaven
But it's right here on Earth
It's very far away
And not my place of birth
The land is rich and fertile
The sky is clear and blue
The sun shines on this heaven
Australia, I love you.

By Eric Longbottom.

- This poem is for the place I found and love and to my beautiful princess Haley whom I love dearly and miss terribly. x Always, your Granddad.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The power of grateful.

Lately I've been feeling a little low, which got me thinking about the power of feeling grateful.

I just got back from a walk around my block on one of the most spectacular days I've ever seen. The temperature was perfect, the sky a gorgeous blue sheet under which I, a healthy and fully able mother pushed her beautiful 2-year-old daughter in a pram.

A simple walk really put everything into perspective for me. If you have your health and you love and are loved then it seems quite selfish to feel anything but grateful.

I also discovered some research that proves writing about what makes us grateful increases our happiness. The research study, by Dr Steven Toepfer, an assistant professor of family and consumer studies, shows expressing gratitude through writing can significantly improve our feelings of happiness.

A similar study by James W. Pennebaker, a professor of psychology and author of Writing to Heal ($41.95, New Harbinger Publications), found those who write feel happier and less negative than before writing.

So I've decided to blog, every single day for the next month, about one thing that has made me feel grateful! If you've been feeling a bit sorry for yourself lately, join me and lets see if our happiness goes up a few notches!