25 June 2015

Francesca's Festa of Favourites: June 2015

Francesca Writes Here


I made it! I had you wondering, didn't I? I had me wondering too ☺

I know it was a long time ago, but there were 23 posts linked up to the May festa. Let's recap.


My favourite favourite for May was written by Jess at Essentially Jess.


As she says, kindness is cool. Jess suggests 30 ways to be kind in her blog post. Oh and if you happen to blog on Tuesdays, check out her brilliant #ibot link-up from which I have been absent for an eternity (sorry Jess).

So that was May. What have you all been up to in June? Tell me all about it ☺


Background

"Festa" in Italian means "party"(and, if you look around this blog long enough, you'll see that I'm a fan of throwing Italian words around). This is a place where you can add links to your favourite posts for May 2015, but here's the difference: they don't have to be posts you've written (but they can be). You can link to any post from June 2015, written by you or anybody else. 

Have you read or written something moving, funny, informative or otherwise awesome? Link it ☺

There are no rules here - it's pretty laid back. There is no obligation to read and comment on all the posts if you link up, but of course you can if you want to.

If you've linked a post or had one of your blog posts linked by someone else, you're welcome to add the Festa button to your blog. Hashtag is #frafesta for social media sharing.

Time to get linking. I'm looking forward to reading your June jewels.





13 June 2015

Just a Few Photos to Get You Through Winter

If the cold weather is getting you down, just remember, this was only a few months ago and in a few months' time, it'll be back.













12 June 2015

Book Club Twins

Okay so this post is waaaay overdue, but I would like to tell you a story.

There once was a book club called the Old Ducks Book Club. Its name was slightly misleading, as the members were not old, nor were they really ducks. Also, they quite often did not read the month's allocated book and rarely spoke about it (but if their husbands ask, it's a highly intellectual literary gathering!).

At one of the monthly gatherings in 2014 (I told you the post was overdue), the youngest *duck announced that she was pregnant. All the *old *ducks jumped for joy (some literally) with tears in their eyes. When the youngest *duck continued that she was pregnant with twins, the *old *ducks jumped for joy again (more literally), squealed and cried some more.

The young pregnant duck was new in town and lived very far away from her family. The *old *ducks decided that a surprise baby shower was very necessary. Not too soon, so that there was time to get organised, but not too late such that the surprise ... ahem ... started something.

The male/female identity was to remain a mystery until the birth, so we hedged our bets.



Needless to say, the young *duck was very surprised and very happy.

The twins (both girls) are now 6 months old and endearing us all to their lovely individual personalities.

Isn't life amazing?!!





10 June 2015

Having a Local Shop Stock My Book is Extremely Awesome

Having a few copies of Returning lying around, I thought I'd approach a local newsagency to see if they'd be interested in stocking the book.

Now this might seem simple enough, but I can be quite shy (no, really). The idea of putting myself out there in person and saying to a business owner not only: "Hey I wrote a book", but also: "You should totally stock it" seemed very daunting.

But after a few weeks of thinking about it, I motivated myself by telling me that if I didn't do it that day I'd be a chickeny chicken pants and could never whinge about not selling books again. I also made myself understand that the worst that could happen would be that they said no. And that's not so bad. (Some really interesting stuff goes on in my head, hey ?!)

So I asked. And guess what? They said YES! Not only did they say yes, but they said: "Yes and can you give us some promotional material so we can have a display for you. We love supporting local authors."

BRILLIANT!





Since then, other things have naturally had to take pride of place at the very front of the store, but the lovely people there have kept it at the front section of the shop for me.



If you're in the Lake Macquarie area, be sure to check out Warners Bay Newsagency. Tell them Francesca sent you!



On a related note, the Facebook post for this one went off the chart as far as reach is concerned, relatively speaking. Goes to show that sharing is caring!




06 June 2015

Birthdays are a Great TimeTo Evaluate Things


I've been a big ball of stress lately. I can feel it. In my chest. A big ball of stress, clenching, pulling at me, stretching me.

Right now, it feels as if every single facet of my life is putting pressure on me in some way. Some of these are only small and others seem quite substantial. There are so many things impacting upon me, but most of them aren't my story to tell.

I want to enjoy my life. I want to spend some time with my family. But I'm so grumpy. More than grumpy. Sometimes, left alone with my thoughts, I feel quite angry. And/or sulky. I love nothing more than to dance around the living room with the MissyMoos and when, we do this, it's great. But it doesn't happen often enough for my liking. Instead of appreciating all the awesomeness in life, I find myself rolling around in the sh!t life is throwing our way.

I want to hang out with friends, but I sometimes feel a little on the outer. I know this has nothing to do with my friends and everything to do with my inability to relax right now.

I'm trying to get rid of the word "should" from my self-talk. But eliminating the word " should" is hard to do when so many things in life feel like obligations. I think eliminating "should" is unrealistic as a working parent. But reducing "shoulds" is achievable and something I'm aiming for.

The trouble is, I know what I need to do for stress management. I've read all about it, I've got people talking at me about it, and those things are all beginning to sound like "shoulds" too. 

I'm sick of being told what to do.

I'm about to turn 34, why am I still "obedient" ... to my "should" thoughts, to other people, to life?

I appreciate kindness from others, I appreciate consideration and caring people give and share. I am sometimes (pleasantly) surprised by people's warmth, although I needn't be surprised, because there is so much good in so many people, particularly those in my life and community.

I know what brings me joy and what reduces my stress. Funnily enough, I know me. It's a great thing about getting older. I don't need suggestions. I don't need "advice". I need time and space to choose what's right for me. And recognition from would-be advice givers that what relaxes you might actually stress me out ... and vice versa! Like I said, one great thing about getting older is that I know me.

I don't like to be pushed out of my comfort zone all the time - sometimes is fine to help me "grow" but a barrage of challenges is just bloody hard work. I'm not fussed about going to the hairdresser or getting my nails done. Spending heaps of money on "stuff" makes me feel uncomfortable. I don't like being disorganised.

I like to stay at home and dance with the MissyMoos, or cuddle up with a story, or tell funny jokes. A bit of time away from calls of "mum" is nice, but I genuinely enjoy spending time with them. They're cool little people. I like to go to the shops to buy pretty house stuff (but not the try-hard Sydney-imitation shopping centres a 40 minute drive away - local is more my thing). I like to turn the volume up and belt out a few tunes on the drive home from work. I like going for walks. I like playing guitar. I like reading. I like knitting. I like writing. Praying works for me.

I haven't made much headway into making my house a home because I've been trying to keep my head above water. But that's a vicious cycle. Doing the little things each day which will reduce my stress levels are also, in part, going to make our house feel more like home. It's all about feeling comfortable.

So, for the age of 34, I am going to try to own my knowledge of me. To do what I know to be best for me and for my family. To enjoy and increase the comforts of home. To have some time out (but not so much that I feel disconnected from my loved ones). To spend time with friends. To pray. To write lists that help me, but not overwhelm me. To take charge of my wellbeing.









01 June 2015

Two Green Thumbs Up!

Did I tell you about the time I single-handedly turfed our yard?

No? Oh good, because it didn't happen.

What I actually did was, with Hubby, turf our front and side yards. It was a while ago - December 2014 - but every day I look outside and love that we did it. I appreciate it all the more knowing the time and energy that we put into it ourselves.

It made an instant difference to the place, crossing the line from a building site look to that of a lived-in house. It gave the MissyMoos somewhere to play outside and reduced the amount of dirt and dust making its way into the house.

Also, doing it was FUN! Often, when we're not used to physical work, doing some can seem like a big deal. But I actually really like it. It's great getting outside, moving around and having something to show for it at the end. I love being able to point at something tangible and say: "I did that".


It was also heaps of fun being sprayed by the hose afterwards, even if it caught me by surprise! Nice one, honey xx

Never in this universe can I say that I have a green thumb. But I'm hoping to change that as we slowly get our yard and garden started. Hopefully having two thumbs covered in green grass was a sign of things to come!


Just as an aside, looking at this photo, I am amazed at how quickly our surroundings have changed. Six months ago, when this was taken, we were the only people living in the street, with a couple of new houses nearing completion. Now, there are four houses occupied, another about to be this week, on the vacant block pictured next to us is now a house a few weeks away from handover, and two more blocks are starting their cut & fill. The good thing about all this progress is that, as we'll soon have neighbours all around us, we can get the fencing completed and shift our focus inward - to getting our yard the way we want it and enjoying the whole block as well as the house.




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