Thursday, October 15, 2015

Taking Stock

I'm in a bit of a blogging rut at the moment. I am doing the wonderful Blog With Pip blogging course and it is being immensely helpful in not only teaching me things but giving me strategies on how to be motivated and creative. 

So here's a little summary of what else I've been up to lately. 

Making: A new blog! (Shh!)

Cooking: My usual repertoire of boring dinners

Drinking: Coke Zero for life

Reading: The Long Mars by Terry Prattchet and Stephen Baxter. It's the 3rd in a very good series, loving it. 

Watching: The Walking Dead now it's back on. Also reruns of Burn Notice and Death in Paradise every night. 

Wanting: A holiday at the beach

Looking: At pretty things in magazines, trying to collate some Xmas ideas

Playing: I don't listen to much music but when I do Taylor Swift is my main gal

Enjoying: The gorgeous Brisbane spring weather 

Liking: Jacarandas starting to bloom

Pondering: Ways to promote our new small business cheaply

Loving: Collective Renegade magazine. Where has this been for me the last few years? Wish I'd discovered sooner. 

Buying: A new iPhone. It's an investment in myself - I got the 6S Plus so it's basically a mini tablet that can make calls. I want to run my online empire from it!

Hoping: For some leave at Xmas so we can do some travelling

Disliking: People who don't help others out

What have you been up to lately? Anything cool that I need to get across?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Geeking Out at Oz Comic Con

I've been feeling a bit like Austin Powers lately - that is, that I've lost my mojo. I know it happens to us all, but ultimately one learns that it was there the whole time, you'd just lost touch with it!

One way to rejuvenate your mojo and really get those creative juices flowing is to hang out with people who share your interests and be inspired by what they are creating. So it was very timely that Oz Comic Con Brisbane happened at the Convention Centre on the weekend!

The only pop culture/scifi/fantasy/geekdom con I'd ever been to before is Supanova. I found Oz Comic Con quite different - bigger, better and a more inclusive vibe. The cosplay game was seriously On Point too - I was just walking around in awe most of the time, feeling a bit left out! When you're not in costume and you're in the minority, that's a pretty odd feeling!

We checked out the interactive spaces (art, gaming, kids) and stalls for a while before grabbing a bite to eat. I was lined up between gender-bent Marty McFly & a steampunk lady explorer. 

We headed over to the big stage to war Richard Dean Anderson's talk next. He answered a lot of questions about both Stargate and Macgyver, was a funny guy. 

We could have spent oodles of money on cool things, from authorised merch to handmade crafts, but in the end we just got some stickers and patches. 

Oz Comic Con was a heck of a lot of fun! I highly recommend it to anyone with a love of all things cult and pop culture-y. 

*I was a guest of Oz Comic Con and received a free double pass to attend. Not a sponsored post. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Hustle and Flow: Finding Inspiration and Keeping Motivated

One of the downsides to going to conferences is they pump me up with ideas and motivation, but without the self-drive to follow through my best intentions to Do Stuff tend to fall flat. 

I've realised somewhere along the line, I've lost my hustle. Yes, I go through brief periods of inspiration and productive work, creating content and seeking new knowledge. Then good old Lazy Sarah rolls back in and starts questioning the point, preferring to Netflix And Chill. I get thinking perhaps average isn't so bad. That mediocrity has itsmerits. 

Every successful person, every high-flying entrepreneur, every salesman of the year or employee of the month tends to have the same ethic: they're always working hard. They set goals and hustle to get to them. They're insatiably ambitious and they have a drive to achieve that frankly I'm jealous of. 

When I take a frank look at myself, I begin to wonder if I ever actually had any hustle. Life up until entering the workforce was pretty easy, I achieved academic success without much effort but after entering the Real World I quickly learned that unless you're a trust fund kid, not much gets handed to you. 

I have read some commentary lately that some people feel like sites such as Problogger "dupe" folk into believing they can get rich by blogging. I wonder if these armchair experts have ever actually read any articles or attended a blogging event, because all I've learned over the past few years is that success in the blogosphere comes only from a lot of hard work. You have to put in the time to earn the dime, if you will. 

I'm determined to find my hustle. If I never had it after all, perhaps I just need to develop it. Work on saying inspired as motivated - goodness knows there are plenty of bloggers and high achievers to look up to and learn from. 

How do you keep yourself on track with your goals? Do you ever feel like everything is just too much hard work?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Treasures from the Past: Thrifting Today

Today's we have a guest post from Sue at Fifty Plus Travel. She's also my mum! Please make her welcome.


Every now and then while thrifting you come across something so precious it makes you pause and wonder how much it meant to the original owner. Last Saturday, I brought home the most beautiful Meakin soup tureen, a beautiful bowl edged with royal red and reminiscent of my mother's perfectly appointed table.

We would sit down for dinner with knives, forks and soup or sweets spoons lined up in order, napkins in their old worn silver holders, salt and pepper cellars and tablecloth freshly starched. I thought of the time when this tureen had been cherished and placed on the table filled with soup and ladled out to each family member sitting around the table! It speaks of love and long lost table manners!

I also collect gloves, handbags and oddments like my magnificent old trunk which has a mystery to it to be solved! I love the see through spotted voile wrist styled gloves I own and the long evening gold gloves like those my older sister used to wear to balls! I have some of my mother's worn gloves and also own another precious pair, carefully preserved in their original Dents plastic covering! Most of my handbags are from the 60's like Glomesh and Oroton - some being mine, some with a locked history from the past.

But my prized possession is bound for the curator at the Cobb & Co Museum in Toowoomba. I found this at an auction centre a few years ago. Nothing I have ever bought has been so evocative of the past and so mysterious as to its origin. I found it underneath a bench with many other vintage items, just waiting for me it seemed! It has hessian laid over timber and rusted steel bands over that. it is a traveling trunk of the type you would see atop an old stage coach....just the kind of trunk you can imagine a lady would take laden with her possessions - on her way to a distant destination in the 1890's!

Maybe I can hear the echo of the young boys rushing out to unharness the horse team ready for a fresh one, as she stepped down from the coach with the help of an outstretched arm of a gentleman traveller! This trunk was used by the photographers at my daughter's wedding on the farm to display her wedding dress.....those memories will overlay the history of yester year.

Layer upon layer, that's how thrifting builds upon the previous person's usage, what a wonderful legacy we leave when things are passed on and lovingly cared for by their new owner!

Have you ever been absolutely overcome by the history of an item you have thrifted like me? 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

More Things This Weekend Has Taught Me - a Problogger Training Event debrief

One of the common tips you read a lot in the blogosphere is to use popular past content to guide your future posts. Well, as one of my all-time most read posts is titled "Things This Weekend Has Taught Me", I thought I'd do a sequel.

That post was about a stormy weekend with a blackout. This post is about an awesome weekend away at the Gold Coast for Problogger Training Event, an annual blogging conference. This year it was held at RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast. 

To say the weekend was great would be an understatement. This was my second time attending the event and once again I was impressed by the quality of speakers, the networking opportunities, the venue and mostly the value for money. 

What was I taught? That blogging isn't always about monetization (though I did know that already). That for a lot of people, reader engagement and community-building is more important. Sharing stories, solving problems, bringing joy or comfort or happiness are worthy goals too. 

I met so many people that I have known online for many years, and everyone was so kind and encouraging. I cannot describe to you what it's like to connect meaningfully with people of your "tribe", who GET what you're passionate about. I hope you have experienced this before because it is the greatest thing!

After two days of sessions and excellent company, I was exhausted but reinvigorated about blogging. I have lots of strategies to implement and ideas rolling around in my head. 

But the greatest thing of all was experiencing the event with my mum, who has just started a travel blog. She had a fabulous time too, and it was extra cool to see how wonderful the blogging community treats it's newbies. 

Did you go to PBEvent, or follow along on social media? What's the most important thing a conference has taught you?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Oz Comic-Con 2015 Giveaway

I'm noticing a trend in 2015. And that trend is that being a geek is going mainstream.

In between a plethora of Marvel movies and the huge popularity of Game of Thrones, more and more people are getting into what was previously the domain of nerds - comic books, science fiction and fantasy, animation and cult movies.

Back when I was a young geek, it was a fairly lonely old life. It wasn't until I got to university and found The Internet that I discovered there were people out there who loved Star Wars! And Tolkien! It was like finding my tribe.

Flashforward a few years and now you can find geeks everywhere. They're at your work, making coffee and talking about why Jon Snow Knows Nothing. They're in cinema foyers, munching popcorn in their Captain America t-shirt.

And, joyfully, geeks can now congregate at conventions like Oz Comic-Con. We can dress up as our favourite characters, chatter with other like-minded folk about the latest fandom news; and most exciting of all... chat to our favourite actors, authors and artists!

Oz Comic-Con is coming to Brisbane in September and I've got 2 x family passes (that's 2 x adults and 2 x children) to give away. It's on at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre 19-20 September, enter to win! Each pass is for the WHOLE WEEKEND and is worth $160. Check out the con website to see what guests are expected. If you're a Stargate fan, you'll be particularly excited. Plus there's plenty of other cool stuff to see, experience and buy.

To be in the running, just leave a comment below (along with a way for me to contact you) and tell me - if you had an an unlimited Cosplay budget, who would you dress up as? [THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED]

Me, I've already been a Jedi, but if I had oodles of money and time I've always wanted to try the Kaylee's Layer Cake Dress from Firefly!

Terms and Conditions:
This is a game of skill. Chance plays no part. Open only to Australia residents. This competition closes 11.59pm AEST Tues 1st September 2015. Winners will be announced Wed 2nd September. Prize is not transferable and is not redeemable for cash.

Monday, August 17, 2015

C is for Caloundra - A-Z Guidebook linkup

Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast has long been a favourite getaway spot for Queenslanders. Offering four or five different beaches, there's plenty of sand and waves for everyone. 

When my husband and I first started dating we took a weekend away at Bulcock Beach and it's been a top spot of ours ever since. Facing Pumicestone Passage, there's no surf so the calm water attracts young families and people who just want to float around in the sparkling sea. 

Caloundra itself has changed a lot over the decades with more and more holiday apartments going up, but it has retained a lot of its sleepy seaside town appeal. 

There's not a lot to do unless like me you're a fan of late breakfasts, going for walks, reading trashy novels, eating ice cream, having a paddle and taking afternoon naps like me!

And at only 1-2 hours drive north of Brisbane (depending on traffic), it's close enough to home that you don't have to waste a lot of your precious holiday time getting there. 

Do you have a favourite beach holiday spot?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Conference Jitters

Tomorrow I'm off to a two-day conference. Yep. Like some puffed up self-important businessman. Except it's more of an "event" I guess. It's Problogger Event, the biggest thing in an Aussie blogger's calendar. 

I'm mostly prepped. I'm down to thinking of last-minute things. This is my second time and I think I'm less nervous because of that. 

I'm not great in large gatherings. But as I get older (and wiser?) I've realised that other people are mostly blundering their way through social interactions too so that's ok. And this time I will know two whole people in real life! Doesn't matter if one of them is my mum!

I'm also more connected with other bloggers in the online space this time around. There are people who I feel I will be able to go up to and say hi because we've interacted on social media, rather than me just being familiar with them from reading their writing. 

And I'm staying overnight this year, so it's kind of like a mini-holiday on the Gold Coast! It's even at a resort. 

But most of all I'm looking forward to hanging out with my "tribe" - a mob of people that just GET blogging, love blogging, live blogging. If you're going, maybe I'll see you there!

Do you ever go to conferences or industry events? Do you get a lot out of them?

Friday, August 7, 2015

4x4 Fun

I'd never been off-road with my husband before last weekend. When I was young I fondly remember my dad barreling the XF down dirt tracks to remote campsites, box trailer in tow. What fun. 

But I've never really been "4WD-ing" so when C decided he wanted to give another go to the mountain trail that I'd freaked out on a few weeks prior, I was a bit nervous. 

Lucky my husband is a prepper - he likes to be prepared for all eventualities. As he loaded a first aid kit, some "Max Trax" and a roll of loo paper into the back of the X-Trail my fears were somewhat assauged. 

The road we'd decided to take started at amount Kilcoy and ended Who-Knows-Where. We'd managed to find it on a Hema map but weren't sure where we would end up as there were multiple intersecting roads. I was having visions of the RACQ rescue chopper having to winch us out. 

I must admit, being completely alone in the Australian bush unnerves me. I was on Yowie-watch the whole time! The difficult parts of the road scared me, whereas C was having a complete ball tacking washouts and slippery corners. The scenery up there is stunning. At times over 600m above sea level, the bush changes from scrubby gums to semi-tropical rainforest as you go. 

In the end it wasn't a particularly challenging trail (apparently) but more than enough for my nerves! After a couple of hours I was ready for home and the promise of a hot shower. 

What I did like was taking the new camera and tripod and practicing our photography. And we even saw a kangaroo. 

Now we just have to decide where to go next! Any suggestions?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Travel Essentials You Can't Pack in Your Suitcase

These days, the average person will know the basics of international travel. Roll your clothes, take an emergency outfit in your carry-on, layering for the plane etc. But what about preparing your attitude like you do your luggage?

These are my favorite things to mentally pack when headed over the ocean blue: 

1. An Open Mind
Australians sometimes don't realise until they travel just how lucky they are to live in such a clean country with universal healthcare. Even if you're headed to another First World country, you should be prepared to see (and smell!) things that may shock or disturb you. Poverty, beggars, thieves, gypsies, garbage, sewerage - you'll need to keep an open mind and realise not everywhere is just like home. 

2. A Sense of Adventure
If you're not traveling for work, you're probably traveling to see new things, new places, experience the world - don't forget to bring along your sense of adventure! Being overly cautious can sometimes mean you'll make decisions you regret later. Try the street food! Visit that remote temple. Talk to the locals. You'll get so much more out of the experience. 

3. Common Sense
Point 2 should be tempered by point 3. Yes, be adventurous and take advantage of exciting opportunities, but always apply common sense. If that bungy jumping operation doesn't look like it's had any HS&E inspections lately, perhaps don't do it. Likewise give a miss to things like drinking the local water if travel guidelines say it's unsafe. And don't believe the taxi driver when they try to tell you that major tourist attraction is closed! I once nearly missed out on seeing Bangkok's Grand Palace because of a cheeky tuk-tuk driver!

4. Flexibility
I heard once there's an unofficial second motto of the US Marines:  "Semper Gumby". It's a joking way of reminding themselves to be flexible. When you're traveling, circumstances can change at a moment's notice. Connections get missed, weather ruins plans. Scaffolding happens.* Don't let these things ruin your day! Look for alternatives and make the best of any situation of possible. 

5. A Backup Plan
When things upset your itinerary or that museum you wanted to visit is closed on the only day you're in the city, it helps to have a backup plan. If you suspect a certain something you'd like to do might be closed/inaccessible/impossible, think of some alternatives. Don't go Clarke Griswald on everyone! Google is your friend, more so now than the large Lonely Planet tome we used to cart about. A good backup plan saves a lot of worry and anxiety!

With these tips in your mental kitbag, you're sure to have smoother travels. I've navigated my way though multiple travel disasters by using them!

This post is an entry in the Virgin Australia Problogger Event competition. 

*There's a Murphy's Law that applies to traveling in Europe - your favourite monument or cathedral is probably going to be covered in scaffolding. Old buildings need lots of restoration!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Zenning Out in the Japanese Gardens

A few Saturdays past on a trip to Toowoomba, we decided we wanted to do a photography walk. Foiled by lack of information about the street art I had heard abounds in the CBD and put off a walk up historic Russell St by the cold wind, we opted for the sheltered, calm and beautiful Japanese Gardens.

The gardens are a real city treasure and you can find them in the grounds I the Universiy of Southern Queensland. Just look for the big red gates!

A popular wedding venue, we found the gardens still well-attended on a cold Saturday afternoon. Plenty of people, including families, we walking about at a sedate pace, feeding the ducks and geese or just sitting quietly taking it the quiet beauty of it all. 

The main paths circumnavigate the lake but wandering of the beaten track soon take you into quiet woods or stands of bamboo. You'll discover a burbling brook or a gushing waterfall. Terribly photogenic red bridges abound. 

My favourite though is the Zen Garden. Beautifully raked lines of pebbles meander along a garden bed like a pale river. I wonder who keeps it so neat?

We even came across a group of cosplayers staging a photo shoot in the bamboo. What a wonderful public space!

If you're in Toowoomba, it is well worth the drive south of the city to see the gardens. Particularly of you're looking for a place to calm down after experiencing the unique displeasure of Toowoomba drivers! You can even leave a donation at the front gate for upkeep of the grounds. 

Have you ever been to a Japanese Garden? Do you find them as calming as I do?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

My Internal Jukebox

Ever get a song stuck in your head? I think it happens to us all sometimes. Earworms, I've heard this phenomenon called. 

I always seem to be humming or muttering songs under my breath, usually something I've heard on the radio, or tv. Working in accounts receivable, this can become hilariously inappropriate when that song is "Bitch Better Have My Money".

But I also have an "internal jukebox". This seems to be where my brain chooses independently of any outside stimulus (that I can discover) to start playing from its own stored reportoire. Songs I have not heard in years, or sometimes don't even know where I heard them. 

For example, last night when I went to bed I realised that I'd had a Bryan Adams song running through my thoughts all day. That song was "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman" and I swear I have not heard or even thought about it for over a decade. RANDOM. 

So in addition to the incessantly catchy ad jingles and latest chart-topping hooks that I am bombarded with daily by media, I seem to have my own little radio station inside my head that sometimes chooses what tracks to spin in my thoughts. 

I'm curious to know - does your brain do this? I wonder how it chooses what to play next...

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Top Tips to Save You Money on Car Maintenance

Today's post is brought to you in conjuction with the wisdom of my husband C, a mechanic who is passionate about people looking after their cars. We want to share with you a few easy ways to look after your car, and hopefully save you money down the track with preventative maintenance!

On to the tips!

* Regular servicing. It doesn't have to be with the dealer, but always use a mechanic who looks after your car for a fair price. A service usually includes engine oil change and a new oil filter. Sometimes it will include a new air filter if you need it. Some mechanics will also do a full safety inspection. A regular service ensures that any small issues are caught before they become big ones. Eg. a good mechanic will identify if you need a wheel alignment before you incur the cost of two new front tyres. You should have all your oils looked at at least once a year - for a front wheel drive the gearbox oil, a rear wheel drive will need gearbox and diff oils checked, 4WDs need both diffs, gearbox and transfer case oils. Even people who think they know all about home mechanics regularly miss these!

* Tyres. If you don't know how to check your tyre inflation and wear, ask your mechanic or learn how yourself from a knowledgable friend or YouTube. Under-inflation costs you in the long run as your car will use more fuel. Improperly aligned tyres will wear unevenly and quickly, costing you money to replace and are also dangerous. Bald tyres will aquaplane in the wet.

* Occasionally drive with the radio off and listen to the noises your car makes. Any clanks and clunks and pings that you may not have noticed before may indicate something is wearing. Don't be afraid to tell your mechanic about odd noises. Eg. a hard knock while going over a bump may indicate a worn bush or ball-joint.

* Pay attention to indicator panel warning lights. In modern cars, they only come on for a reason. Even if the car appears to be driving fine, take it the mechanic - something may be causing you to use more fuel or be causing wear/damage in a major part that can cost you later. If your car has a ABS brake or SRS airbag light on do not drive it anywhere except to a mechanic to get it checked.  Both these lights indicate issues that can result in major injury if these components fail.

* Wash your car with a proper car wash product. This makes your paint last longer because it prevents dirt scratching the surface and protects your top coat. It also gives you a chance to give your car a good once over. Look out for broken lights, bits falling off, leaks etc.

And lastly, a bonus list!

Top five reasons cars fail roadworthy checks 
(note some of these can get you fined if stopped and inspected by the transport department)

- window tint - a single bubble or haze is an immediate fail
- inside edge of tyres are bald
- low brake pads
- steering wheel damage
- bulbs or indicators not working

I hope these tips are helpful, and if you have any questions for the mechanic, let me know - he's happy to do an "Ask the Mechanic" Q&A post in future!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

B is for Bath - A-Z Travel Guide Linkup

I can't describe how excited I was to visit Bath. After a steady diet of Jane Austen in my formative years, of course I yearned to walk the streets of the place where her characters and she herself spent so much time.

The Pump Room! Where the Georgians went every day to "take the waters". The signs seemed magical to me, like books brought to life - but of course Austen was writing from life experience after all. 

The Pump Room is just one of many wonderful sights to see in Bath. Starting at the bottom of the hill there is the Baths themselves (interesting tour) and the Cathedral (many famous people buried there, and beautiful in its own right). 

Further up the slope is the Jane Austen Museum (spent a lovely time there!) and the Assembly Rooms, location of so much of the drama in Northanger Abbey. 

At the top of the hill is the Royal Crescent - one of the most beautiful examples of residential architecture you will ever see. I couldn't help but imagine the carriages coming and going and the people promenading in the afternoon in Austen's time. 

On my way back down I discovered paths through gardens and woods. How delightful! And then I stumbled across the very spot where Captain Wentworth caught up with Anne Elliot, I'm sure of it...

If it wasn't for the awful backpackers hostel I was in, Bath would have been 100% perfect. Even non-Austen fans would love its gorgeous sandstone buildings and deep history. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Dark Universe at the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium

Hubby and I are always on the lookout for interesting date ideas and after watching the TV series "Cosmos" last year the Planetarium has been on our list. 

Though both a bit geeky we don't know a lot about astronomy so on Saturday night - for the price of going to the movies -  we decided to go see the Neil deGrasse Tyson-narrated show "Dark Universe". It was amazing! The show was projected into the roof dome, and sitting back in chairs that are angled towards the ceiling you really feel like you are flying through space. Pretty trippy! 

And the show itself was mind-blowing, being focused on the latest developments in astro-physics and our knowledge of the universe. It went for about half an hour, and was followed by a look at Brisbane's night sky with one of the resident experts.  

The session was surprisingly popular and nearly full so I was glad we booked. I would recommend Dark Universe for teens and up, but the Planetarium has plenty of different shows that can be enjoyed by all ages. 

Have you ever been to the Planetarium? Do you ever think about how looking at the stars is looking into the past?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Pirate's Life For Me

On Saturday I spied a tweet saying that an old ship was going to be docked at Southbank for the weekend. 

Upon further investigation, I discovered it was the Notorious, a replica 15th Century Spanish caravel. 

As I'm a big fan of all things nautical, we headed in to the city to take a look. Apparently it has been part of the filming of the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie at the Gold Coast. 

It was so tiny! It blew my mind to think this is the kind of ship those explorers in the Age of Discovery sailed across the world in!

A guy from Port Fairy built it. Imagine that dream. One day waking up and deciding you're going to scratch-build a historical sailing ship!

There's a story there's a ship like this wrecked off the coast of Victoria. If so it would predate most Dutch exploration of this area of the world. What a good mystery! I'm going to have to find out more. 

Have you ever been on a sailing ship? Yo ho!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Crowdfunding Convert

Have you ever backed a project financially? Flashback ten years ago and this would have meant you were an investor with thousands to splash about on things like property development. 

But now, thanks to the magic of crowdfunding, you can contribute even just $5 towards something you think is worthy. 

I must admit I have always been a but sceptical about the begging-bowl aspect of people launching a crowdfunded project. I must have seen it as a bandwagon upon which every struggling artist and tech entrepreneur had jumped. "Give me money to make my amazing app a reality!" "Cash me up & I'll put on an exhibition!" I imagined them shouting. 

And sure, there are thousands of projects out there I wouldn't fund because of disinterest, but also because I judge that the person or group doesn't "deserve" my money. 

Last night, after watching a partially crowdfunded movie, I'm willing to review my opinions. Why? Because I'm always whinging about the lack of original content in film and on tv. Sure, I'll go and watch the lastest sequel in a big franchise but I'm also wanting to hear new stories, about new characters in new worlds. 

And the reality is, tv and movie studios just don't like gambling their money on things they aren't 100% sure will make a profit. Thus, we get a lot of stuff on our screens that has always proved to be a sure-fire hit formula in the past. 

The beauty of crowdfunding is people who normally wouldn't get a cent of studio backing can ask the general public if they'll pay for them to create their content. Genius! Especially when it's people who are already known good performers or creators. 

In this case, I watched the Veronica Mars movie. Previously a tv show that was canned, the star Kristin Bell got a big-screen sequel off the ground with the power of crowdfunding. Without this revenue-raising platform, the project would have been almost certainly dead in the water. Fans were willing to pay to have another story created for their favourite character. 

Another great crowdfunded project I'm looking forward to is Alan Tudyk's Con Man. This is going to be a web series - a medium along with streaming services that I think may eventually 
 kill commercial tv. Funded by thousands of dollars of Firefly (Alan's previous tv show) fans' money, the series is filming at present.

So, I'm a total convert. If crowdfunding can help creative people put great movies and tv shows in front of my eyeballs, I say we should put our hands in our pockets occasionally, instead of paying studios and watching advertisements. 

Have you ever backed a crowdfunded project? What was it? 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Scrapbooking Camp at Lake Perserverence

Regular readers (hello!) will know that every year in June my mum and I go to a camp in the bush for the weekend for a scrapbooking retreat. Why? Because we love it!

Not only is it an escape from the busyness of everyday life, who wouldn't like a few days breathing fresh air and being surrounded by nature?

On top of that; someone else does all the cooking and cleaning, you get to share a cabin with friends just like school camp, AND you can spend as much time as you like scrapbooking. And for most of us ladies (yes, it's all female, I wish there were more guys into this hobby), that's nearly every waking moment!

Mum and I like to go for walks in the early morning. It's usually quite brisk! The lake looks different every year. This year it was quite misty. 

We had an ace time again this year, I was genuinely sad to come home on the Sunday. 

Here's a pic of mum brushing up on her photography!

Do you ever "go away" for your hobby? Where and what's it like?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A-Z Guidebook: Ayutthaya

In 2006, I took off on a mad adventure. Inspired by my travels in Europe the year before, I decided a solo jaunt through SE Asia was in order. On my own. When I look back at it now, I can't help but think how worried my parents must have been. Heck, I worry just thinking about how crazy it was!

One of the highlights of my time in Thailand was a day-trip to the ancient capital of Ayuttaya. Never heard of it? Neither had I, but my parents had recommended it having been there on a previous trip. Google maps calls the area Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya.

After an early morning drive in a packed minivan from Bangkok, we arrived. What a place! The complex of ancient ruins is vast, and you could spend hours wandering around. As my tour guide kept repeating - "many stupa, many temple!".

I took this photo with the timer on my very new digital camera, and is one of the very few of me on this trip. The price you pay for traveling alone BEFORE the advent of the Selfie Stick! The headless Buddhas were damaged in one of the wars between the old kingdom of Siam and their neighbours the Cambodians.

Many statues are smashed and the heads thrown to the ground, but the Thai still venerate them by draping them in cloth and flowers. It was a hot day but I bought a palm fan from a roadside seller and pressed on, taking in the history and spending a lot of time looking up at tall ruins.

For the purposes of this post, I'm only sharing one photo but if you're interested in SE Asian history, I recommend googling some more. The city ruins and stupas are truly amazing, as are the massive statues, still standing after so many centuries have passed.

This post is for the A-Z Guidebook linkup on Tiffin Bite Sized Food Adventures. Be sure and check out the other posts!

TIFFIN - bite sized food adventures -

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Something to look forward to

Today I would like to impart some of the wisdom I've gained from my years as a cubicle-dwelling office drone. I like to think,however, that no matter whether you're a microscopic cog in a vast organisation or working for yourself or something in between, this may be of use to you!

Sometimes life gets you down. I'm not talking about depression, which is another issue altogether. I mean that the daily grind can sometimes wear thin. Positivity is harder, and you tend to focus on negative things. When this happens, it helps to have something to look forward to. 

For myself, I've always found that having some future annual leave booked helps. It gives you a sense of perspective when you're having a bad day. "Oh well," you mumble to yourself, "only X days/weeks until I'm on holidays!"

If holidays are not possible, you could also focus on an event. Like a birthday or even just the weekend if you're planning something interesting or fun. Small things can bring great joy, after all!

This last month I've been solely focused on battling through to this Friday, because I'm going on scrapbooking camp again. Regular readers know that every year my mum, my scrapping buddies and I go out to a place with cabins by a lake and just scrap the whole weekend. It's bliss. And it's a cheap holiday!

It has really helped me get through some tough days at work lately, having this to look forward to. 

What about you? What are you looking forward to soon?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...