Tuesday, May 31, 2011

World Smokefree Day

Today is world smoke free day YAY!! And that makes it a great day to give up on the old sticks, or at least a great day to have a day off them. I personally don’t smoke but I know many people who do and it does scare me to think that because they smoke they are in danger of dying early, as one in two long term smokers who don’t quit, will die early. It is a fact that in New Zealand smoking is the single leading cause of preventable death, and every year we lose 5,000 people from smoking related illnesses.

And it’s not just themselves who smokers are hurting. New Zealand research shows students who had at least one parent who smoked were three times more likely to be daily smokers, compared with those whose parents didn’t. Also every day one non-smoker dies as a result of exposure to second hand smoke. That’s 350 New Zealanders every year who die because they inhaled the toxins from someone else’s smoke. Sidestream smoke (smoke from the burning end of a cigarette) contains cancer-causing chemicals which are more highly concentrated than those in the smoke inhaled by a smoker.

So if you’re a smoker and you don’t plan on giving up anytime soon, make sure that when your about to light up you look around you first and ask yourself; Where are my children? Is anyone going to walk through my plume of smoke? And if you find that it may effect someone move to somewhere safe for others. It always disgusts me when I see a mother smoking in the car while her children are sitting in the back seat breathing in all of the smoke that’s drifting back to them.

So today I challenge all of you who smoke to either try giving up, even just for one day, or at least be more aware of who’s around you when you’re smoking. You won’t believe how good you’ll feel if you kick the habit. And it’ll be great on your pocket! Thus you can go buy those jeans you’ve been dreaming about…

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review: The Book of Tomorrow

The Book of TomorrowThe Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis: Tamara Goodwin has always got everything she's ever wanted. Born into a family of wealth, she grew up in a mansion with its own private beach, a wardrobe full of designer clothes and all that a girl could ever wish for. She's always lived in the here and now, never giving a second thought to tomorrow. But then suddenly her dad is gone and life for Tamara and her mother changes forever. Left with a mountain of debt, they have no choice but to sell everything they own and move to the country. Nestled next to Kilsaney Castle, their gatehouse is a world away from Tamara's childhood. With her mother shut away with grief, and her aunt busy tending to her, Tamara is lonely and bored and longs to return to Dublin. When a travelling library passes through Kilsaney Demesne, Tamara is intrigued. Her eyes rest on a mysterious large leather bound tome locked with a gold clasp and padlock. What she discovers within the pages takes her breath away and shakes her world to its' core.

I really enjoyed reading this book, the setting in rural Ireland with the old ruined castle near by and the leather book which gave Tamara a view of what could be gave it a magical touch. The book is heavy with tortured family themes, which made it more realistic and I liked that. After reading a lot of paranormal romance books and kind of burning myself out on them this was slightly refreshing in that sense.

Tamara is a messed up teenager trying to process the suicide death of her father; along with losing the mansion house she grew up in due to the debt he left them with and having to move far away from her friends and school and everything that was familiar to her. She also has to deal with the strange way her mother reacts to her father’s death, and the absence of a protective figure she feels from it. She is alone in a sense; in place she has only visited a few times, with no one to comfort her.

We learn though out the book that growing up Tamara was not a very nice daughter to her parents. She grew up in a world were she could have almost anything she wanted. Her parents were wealthy but they didn’t really give her the loving attention that children need. So she grew up without a healthy respect for them, but after being put in the situation she was, she learned that the way she had acted was wrong. The book that she finds manages to help her to understand what is right and what is wrong. And she makes some new friends along the way; ones that are not shallow like the old friends she left back in Dublin.

Cecelia develops a rich character for Tamara; she’s not exactly likeable, but that is what I liked about her. She wasn’t your usual protagonist character. But by the end of the story you can she that she has grown up a lot and that she will never be the same bitchy person she used to be. The diary helps her to change into this better person by giving her the option to do things differently and create a better outcome. Cecelia also does a great job with the other characters of the book; my favourite would have to be old Sister Ignatius, who is funny, witty and creative beyond how a nun should be. She is the most amazing character, who helps Tamara discover who she really is.

The cover of the book is just beautiful; this is what made me pick it up in the first place. It truly has everything this book, secrets, mystery, magic, romance, grief, comedy and lessons to be learnt.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wisdom for your Wednesday

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him.
If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought,
happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him. "
~ Lord Buddha

Monday, May 23, 2011

Autumn Song

Well we are well into Autumn in New Zealand and to celebrate this beautiful ( but cold) time of year I want to share with you all a poem by New Zealands own Katherine Mansfield.

Autumn Song

Now's the time when children's noses
All become as red as roses
And the colour of their faces
Makes me think of orchard places
Where the juicy apples grow,
And tomatoes in a row.

And to-day the hardened sinner
Never could be late for dinner,
But will jump up to the table
Just as soon as he is able,
Ask for three times hot roast mutton--
Oh! the shocking little glutton.

Come then, find your ball and racket,
Pop into your winter jacket,
With the lovely bear-skin lining.
While the sun is brightly shining,
Let us run and play together
And just love the autumn weather.

~ Katherine Mansfield

Now off you go and kick some leaves around, theres nothing better than jumping into a freshly raked pile of leaves...

Friday, May 20, 2011


I don’t know about all you guys but I love Marchesa dresses. It seems that on every red carpet you look, someone is rocking one of their unique dresses. They seem to be a staple for the young Hollywood gals; I guess you just can’t go wrong. Here’s a little info I found about the Marchesa team:

British born Georgina and Keren met at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London. Georgina, a 2001 graduate of the Wimbledon School of Art, began her career as a costume designer. Keren graduated from Brighton Art College in 2000 and subsequently focused on print and embroidery design. Georgina’s draping and design expertise paired with Keren’s textile creations resulted in a business partnership and the establishment of Marchesa in 2004. Elegant eveningwear, inspired by vintage and Asian influences, defines the Marchesa Collection. The beautifully crafted designs fuse high fashion with an eclectic aesthetic. Co-founded by Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, the company’s namesake and muse, Marchesa Luisa Casati, is the noted eccentric European style icon. Based in New York, the Marchesa collection is presently available in Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman in the United States, Harrods in London, and specialty boutiques such as Holt Renfrew in Canada, Podium in Russia, Alothman in Kuwait, Boutique1 in Dubai, and Joyce and Lane Crawford in Hong Kong.

Check out these celeb’s rocking Marchesa dresses…

And these are just some more Marchesa dresses I love…

“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” ~ Coco Chanel

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wisdom for your Wednesday

The Path

Best of the paths is the eightfold,
best of the truths the four;
best of the virtues is freedom from attachment;
best of the people is the one who sees.
This is the path;
there is no other that leads to the purifying of insight.

Follow this path, and Mara will be confused.
If you follow this path, you will end your suffering.
This path was preached by me
when I became aware of the removal of the thorns.
You yourself must make the effort.
The perfected ones are only preachers.
Those who enter the path and practice meditation
are released from the bondage of Mara.

"All created things perish."
Whoever realizes this transcends pain;
this is the clear path.

"All created things are sorrow."
Whoever realizes this transcends pain;
this is the clear path.

"All forms are unreal."
whoever realizes this transcends pain;
this is the clear path.

Whoever does not rise when it is time to rise,
who, though young and strong, is lazy,
who is weak in will and thought,
that lazy and idle person will not find the path of wisdom.

Watching one's speech, restraining well the mind,
let one not commit any wrong with one's body.
Whoever keeps these three roads of action clear,
will make progress on the path taught by the wise.

Through meditation wisdom is gained;
through lack of meditation wisdom is lost.
Whoever knows this double path of progress and decline,
should place oneself so that wisdom will grow.

Cut down the forest of desires, not just a tree;
danger is in the forest.
When you have cut down the forest and its undergrowth,
then, mendicants, you will be free.

As long as the desire, however small,
of a man for women is not destroyed,
so long is his mind attached,
like a sucking calf is to its mother.

Cut out the love of self,
like an autumn lotus, with your hand.
Cherish the path of peace.
Nirvana has been shown by the Buddha.

"Here I shall live in the rain,
here in winter and summer."
Thus thinks the fool, not thinking of death.
Death comes and carries off that person
who is satisfied with one's children and flocks,
whose mind is distracted,
like a flood carries off a sleeping village.

Sons are no help, nor a father, nor relations;
for one who is seized by death, there is no safety in family.
Understanding the meaning of this, the wise and just person
should quickly clear the path that leads to nirvana.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Yoga Update

Sri K.Pattabhi Jois

Last nights yoga class turned out to not be the usual Ashtanga routine we do. My teacher decided to tell us just before we were about to start that we would be doing 108 sun salutations in memory of Sri K.Pattabhi Jois who died on may 18th 2009. Sri K.Pattabhi Jois is the Yoga teacher who transmitted the Ashtanga system of yoga to the modern world. As you can imagine there were a few sour faces around the room at this announcement, but everyone got over it and we got stuck into our salutations.

Now doing 108 sun salutations takes quite a long time, 90minutes in fact. And a lot of this time you spend with your hands pressed into the mat. After about 27 salutations my wrist were starting to feel the impact. But after 54 I had to stop for a rest because my hands were positively aching! And I seemed that I wasn’t alone in my pain, quite a few other people had the same problem and had to stop for a rest. But I did carry on and get through the 108, only stopping about 3 more times to give my wrists and hands a break. I was really impressed though with the people who didn’t have to stop once! How they did it I really don’t know, because I thought my hands were going to fall off!

But doing the sun salutations made me realise how easy it would be for me to practise them at home. At the moment I don’t do any yoga practise at home because I can’t remember what I am supposed to be doing. But I can remember a sun salutation. So I have decided I am going to challenge myself by doing at least one home practise of just sun salutations. I don’t think I will go as far as doing 108 but I could definitely do a couple of dozen. And for anyone out there who is interested in trying some yoga but can’t afford to go to a class or is really not too sure about it all. I would recommend trying the sun salutation. See picture below for sequence of moves. You could start off by just doing 5, and once you feel more comfortable do more. When you are in the down dog pose (the one where your bums in the air and your feet and hands are on the ground- like a triangle) you take 3 breaths before moving on to the next move. And you do the movements as you breathe, and make sure you take long breaths. 3 seconds in 3 seconds out.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Wisdom for your Wednesday

This is the true joy of life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as i can live it is my privilege to do for it whatever i can.

I want to be thoroughly used up when i die, for the harder i work the more i live. I rejoice in life for it's own sake. Life is no 'brief candle' to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which i have got hold of for the moment, and i want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it in to future generations.

George Bernard Shaw

Monday, May 9, 2011

Where did it go?

Well I will start off by saying Happy Mothers Day! to all the mums out there I hope you all had a fantastic day on sunday. I had lunch with my Mum and Grandma for mothers day, and I gave my mum three framed photos which were of herself from when she was in her twenties doing some hair modeling. I found the photos in our photo box a few weeks ago and i had them fixed up a little and blown up a bit bigger. They look great as a series side by side. I will put a picture up of them once she has got them on the wall. What did you do for your mum?

And another thing I did on sunday was go to the library because I have almost finished reading The Book Of Tomorrow (which i am really enjoying), and I absolutely cannot be without a book. But when I went up to the counter to check out my books I couldn't find my library card! So of course they wouldn't issue me any books so I had to go home empty handed. I turned my bedroom upside down looking for it when I got home. But... I think it ran away. Where did it go?
I think I will have to do a  more extensive search, maybe tonight.

So I am due to hit the library again soon and am in need of some suggestions. I am looking for a couple of easy reads at the moment, something thats not too huge as I am quite behind in my 2011 reading challange of 100 books by the end of the year! hehe its harder than I thought, I don't have nearly enough time these days to read.
So please leave your suggestions in the comments!!

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.  ~Tenneva Jordan

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wisdom for your Wednesday

But the whole thing, after all, may be put very simply.
I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie.
I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave.
And i believe that it is better to know,
than to be ignorant.

Henry Louis Mencken was an American journalist, essayist and magazine editor among other things. He is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first half of the 20th century. He is known for writting The American Language, a multi-volume study of how the English language is spoken in the United States, and also for his controversial ideas. He was born in Baltimore, Maryland September 12 1880 and died in his sleep on January 29, 1956.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Yoga Update

Had my first session of yoga after two weeks off yesterday, and I can tell you, you really do feel it after having a break. The classes I go to have 4 terms a year and stop for two weeks at the same time as the school holidays. And me being me didn’t do any practice at home, mostly because when it comes down to it I forget what to do because I haven’t been at it for long enough yet.

My body felt like it had had a thorough work out afterwards, I was definitely looking forward to my bed on my drive home. And today my arms and shoulders are not thanking me, but it’s a good pain. Bring on next weeks class!

If you are ever felling stressed and tired and just need a break from it all but only have limited time, I wound recommend sitting in child’s pose (balasana) for a few minutes. When ever I do this pose I feel like I just let go of everything and relax, it’s such a nice feeling.

What to do: Kneel on the floor. Touch your big toes together and sit on your heels, then separate your knees about as wide as your hips. Exhale and lay your torso down between your thighs, and rest your forehead on the ground. Broaden your sacrum across the back of your pelvis and narrow your hip points toward the navel, so that they nestle down onto the inner thighs. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of the pelvis while you life the base of your skull away from the back of your neck. Lay your hands on the floor alongside your torso, palms up, and release the fronts of your shoulders towards the floor. You can also try the pose with the arms stretched out in front palms down.
To come out of the pose, lengthen the front torso and with an inhalation life from the lower back.

Remember to breathe deeply and slowly. Enjoy your little bit of bliss

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sorry Its been awhile..

I have been really lax on the posting lately (sorry!). Have been busy doing various things, including finishing the house renovations. Phil and I finished painting the front of the house on the weekend and it looks great! Apart from the rest of the yard haha! But it’s getting there and we will soon have a brand new white picket fence like a proper house!
Any who in between doing that and various other things such as scrubbing muddy kitty print’s off the floor (how do they get them everywhere?) and watching the royal wedding, (yes I had to mention it! wasn’t her dress great!) I finally finished reading the 4th Wicked Lovely book (Radiant Shadows). For some reason I struggled to finish the book even though I was enjoying the story. I strongly suspect that it’s due to an overload of reading the series one book straight after the other, so I am going to have a wee break before reading the 5th book, Darkest Mercy.
I am going to start reading tonight (after yoga class of course) Cecelia Ahern’s The Book of Tomorrow. And I’m quite excited! I have had this book for quite some time now, and I keep putting it off due to library books I have reserved. But I finally have no more books from the library as I purposely did not get any so I could get round to reading this. I will let you know what I think.

“So many books so little time” ~ Frank Zappa
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