It is not that exciting! Suburban living.

fullsizeoutput_15c8Just another ordinary day, with the highlight being a walk around the lake.  It is a fine Winter’s day, a coat day because it is cold outside. Days like today just are not that exciting.   As part of the Ultimate blog challenge today I am to share blogs that I am reading.  Well I am tired and want to go to bed so I have only one to share.

Today  I have decided to just let you know about a Suburban online  social network to connect with your neighbours and find out what is happening in your neighbourhood it is called Nabo 

Nabo is an Australian social network where you can sign up and is relatively new but is growing. I love that it is suburban focused.

A great blog post on the site  to check out is How to fall in love with your neighbourhood again.

I love its suburbia feel and how it focuses on suburban living.

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

 

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Photography Bliss : Alfred Nicholas Gardens in the Dandenong Ranges

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Wow! Magical, Picturesque, Amazing colours, these words all describe the Alfred Nicholas Gardens. These gardens are situated of Sherbrooke Road in the Dandenong Ranges. They are run by Parks Victoria now, and entrance is free.
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I went at the end of Autumn and the Autumn foliage colours were just gorgeous. It not just the colours it is also the ornamental lake and boat house with a couple of small bridges that just make this place so picturesque. Whilst the gardens are surrounded by rain forrest. It is a delightful place for a walking adventure with a camera.  I was in my happy place taking lots of delightful photo’s.
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This day was the perfect day, late afternoon and slightly cloudy for taking photo’s. I am a new hobbyist photographer and are still learning how to navigate the settings of my DSLR camera and take good photo’s. All I know is I need to get out there and practice and take a lot of photo’s. This place makes it easy to take pretty photo’s because it is just so delightfully beautiful.
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You can discover the Alfred Nicholas Gardens for yourself by going to Dandenong Ranges,  Sherbrooke Road, Sherbrooke, Victoria. Admission is free, and the photography opportunity is great. To find out more go to Parks Victoria’s site. 

This post has been inspired by the Ultimate Blog Challenge Day 11, which I have been encouraged to share some photo’s. This year I am also sharing a picture a day on Instagram, which are mostly iPhone photo’s, because that the camera I always have with me.

 

 

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

 

Fun Things To Do In Winter.

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Morning walk on a Winter’s Day!

Winter, you make it so cold and dark outside. Really all I want to do is curl up on the couch and keep snug and warm. Whilst that is nice for a little while, I know I could be enjoying life more. I have to push myself to enjoy these Winter’s Days. This is my question: What are fun things to do in Winter?

Here are some of my ideas:
1. Cooking Adventures: Winter is a perfect time, to put the music on, put the oven on and start experimenting with new exciting dishes.

2. Reading time: What better time to snuggle in bed reading a book, or to simply curl up in an armchair with your book. I only have a heater, it would be so nice to have a
fire.

3. Go to the movies, It is warm, snug and even exciting. I love movies they are an awesome indoor activity.

4. Going out to restaurants and cafe’s, just catching up with family and friends.

5. Make a commitment, it doesn’t matter how cold or wet it is, I go out in the evenings to attend my Toastmasters club.

6. Coats I love my coats, being warm is important. I good selection of coats lets me dress for different occasions and still stay warm. It also helps me to rug up and go for a walk.

7. Sunday drives places still look pretty in Winter, and you can always stop somewhere for a warm coffee.

8. Finally winter festivals, exhibitions, and events. I check out local papers, what’s on websites like Weekend Notes, and local council calendar of events to see what is on in my area.

9. Do an online course or class and learn something new.

However I know I still like to stay tucked away inside, hibernating on my warm couch with the heater on, and the warm cup of tea in my hands. Here I am in search of fun things to do in Winter, to bring more energy and excitement into those Winter Day’s.

What fun things do you like to do on Winter’s Days?

So what are some fun things you like to do on Winter’s Days? Please leave a comment. The more ideas we have the better our Winter Days will be.

Wishing you a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

Five ways to turn traffic time into happy time.

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Stuck in traffic, crazy that is what it is, crazy out there on the roads. Stop, start, beep, beep, surrounded by angry frowning faces in the cars all around me. I can feel my stress levels rising, and my frustration getting to me. I don’t want to be miserable for this amount of time. Time is too valuable to waste on being miserable.

This is my sucky current reality. The developers have gone crazy and there are housing estates going up everywhere. They are blocking roads and even closing some completely. It completely sucks, road works everywhere, dust everywhere, and potholes everywhere. The roads are a mess and the traffic is horrific and I am afraid I don’t know where all the extra cars are going to go. There are frustrated drivers, pushing in, beeping, and taking risks. I am a little over being beeped at, one even beeped me for stopping at an unmanned school crossing and letting some student cross the road. Seriously!  It should be ok to let children cross the road safely. I think this is the saddest part when people no longer are considerate of other people. The roads around here are crazy, and we are all struggling to get places on time or to get home. Yes, it sucks! It is the Traffic Jam paradise, and don’t bother riding a bike because that is too dangerous because of all the angry frustrated drivers on the road. Oh if you would like to catch public transport, good luck, you will need extra time for that too due to the rail works. Okay, that’s a big rant. At the moment you could describe me as the frustrated grumpy suburban chick.

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I have to live with it and somehow turn traffic time into happy time. This is why I have come up with five things to do when stuck in traffic.

1. Sing, sing, sing really loudly and bop away as much as you want. It feels good.
2. Listen to audio books, they can be entertaining or informative and it makes the time feel productive.
3. Practice speeches or presentations in the car, you can really work on remembering your content and practicing vocal variety.
4. Practice breathing exercises and try to relax.
5. Daydream,  about all the wonderful things you could be doing if you weren’t stuck in traffic.

 

Sometimes it is just really, really hard to be a Happy Suburban Chick. However, time is too valuable to waste being miserable and stressed. That is why it so important for me to turn traffic time into happy time.
Help! What are your tips for turning traffic time into happy time? Please leave a comment.

FRAN DISHON

( Day 3 of the Ultimate blog challenge, I am taking part of this challenge and will be blogging everyday this month of July)

 

Everything you need is close to home. So explore!

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Finding a place to journal write the things I need to write about. Finding a place to think about the things I need to think about.  My intuitive lead today was: Everything you need is close to home. Explore. Just take a closer look. Be careful not to dismiss the obvious.

Suburban living can often feel like everything is actually so far away. That I need to get in my car and drive, drive, drive to get to where I want to be.

Today I went across the road to the local shopping center, ventured into a small cafe, sipped on my coffee, and tasted a delightful lemon tart. I got out my little note book and wrote a few notes. Just a little suburban bliss time, in a little cafe that was like a suburban oasis. I often feel it is hard to find these places. However, my intuitive lead is probably right. I need to explore and take a closer look. So much of what I need is at this shopping center, it is where I get my food, it is where I get my hair done, it is where the chemist is, and so much more.

After this I went for an Adventure walk discovering a new park to sit in and enjoy. Walking down suburban streets admiring some of the beautiful gardens. It reminds me if I look closely I can see the beauty in suburban life. It certainly doesn’t need to be dull or boring.

Today, for just part of the day, I got to go out and enjoy some suburban bliss, and part of the day I got to stay home and enjoy some suburban bliss. Sitting in my arm chair with a cup of coffee and journaling, getting out into the garden, listening to podcasts as I did my housework, and even taking some time out to do a home yoga session. Now that I have picked my boys up from school I get to create a meal for us all to enjoy together tonight.

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Mr. Crow here caught my attention, he just looked so important that I had to take his picture.
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Found a place to sit, rest and contemplate.

What Suburban Bliss Can You Discover?

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

Your Home Is A Reflection Of Your Personality!

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My home is a reflection of me. It oozes the need for order and space, with a space for quiet reflection or play for each of us to go to and have our alone time. We are family of individuals who cherish are alone time and space, except for the dog, she needs constant companionship. It is light and spacious, with a relaxed furnished look. Traditional but comfortable. It is quiet, sometimes you wouldn’t know I have two teenage boys living here. It is so peaceful and quiet. It is not just quiet noise wise, it is also quiet in the way it looks, lightly furnished, clutter minimised, still it is filled with the things we love. Many rooms express the users personality, the study is all my husband the desk a working space with stuff everywhere. My youngest sons room all about animals, he loves animals. My older son clean and minimal, with clothes hangers on the floor, and the wardrobe open. He is the serious one and going through that teenage stage, he is in-between waiting to complete his space to reflect his personality more. My room is the lounge room its floral curtains and patterned floral chairs. The use of crochet blankets, and purple blankets, wooden furniture not all matching, my candles and the scattering of books, Ofcourse there is a tv sometimes l don’t like it, but I do enjoy my comfy space to sit with hubby and enjoy a movie in the evenings. Our home and living spaces are a reflection of who we are as a family.
I went in search of ideas to inject more of my own personality into my home, and these are the five strategies that found to be the most useful for me.
Yes I am still on that journey of making my home a happier place to be. So here are 5 tips for infusing your own personality into your home as follows:
  1. Fill it with things,  that make you happy.
  2. Use your favourite colours and patterns, scatter them throughout your house
  3. Choose furnishings that reflect your lifestyle.
  4. If you are a clean and orderly person, have some clean and orderly spaces in your home to hang out in, and allow other individuals to have their messy spaces. As long as each person has a space of their own that they are comfortable in.
  5. Start editing, get rid of the things you don’t use, and get rid of the things that you just don’t like, this will make room for the things you love.

 

What could your home tell you about yourself?
How can you inject more of your own personality into your own home?
Wishing You All A Great Weekend!
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Bookshelf Review~ Living The Savvy Life.

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I have books all over my house; I love the feel and touch of real books. I love the convenience and portability of my Kindle. I just love reading books, and learning new things. I also enjoy reading a book to simple relax, be entertained and to keep my imagination busy. This got me thinking, it would be fun to add my favorite readings to the blog, so this will be a new addition to my blog, which I hope to do on a regular basis. This already excites me so let’s get started.

 

 Review of the book: Living the Savvy Life by Melissa Tosetti and Kevin Gibbons

I am currently reading a book called Living the Savvy Life by Melissa Tosetti and Kevin Gibbons. It is mostly focused on money management for women. The Savvy women’s philosophy is “of saving money on the things that aren’t as important to you so you so you can afford to spend money on the things that are most important to you.” Page 30. An example of this in the book is cutting down on several average meals a week, by cooking more meals at home and then having the savings to spend on going out to a real classy restaurant and enjoying a quality meal and experience. I chose that example because I could relate to it. I notice that I often go out and end up having very average or below average takeaway meals. It would make more sense to pack a picnic lunch and have the joy of putting the money towards a really good night out or lunch at a restaurant. The book also gives examples of saving in other areas of spending, and using the savings towards a travel goal. So it is about making quality spending choices in the area of the things and experiences you really want in your life.

 

It also gives good quality advise like spending less than you make, saving 20percent of your income, paying yourself first, and paying your bills on pay day.

It encourages the reading to really look at spending habits by tracking their spending and take a realistic assessment of where they are currently. It encourages people to set some financial goals, for example savings, or big purchases like a home, or even travel. It is a good idea to set goals, actionable steps and to set a dead line time. The writer suggests we spend our money on the things we love. This is not always easy because we can be lured into buying things we don’t want or need by advertising and even by what we think we are expected to have like a new car, when all we need is a reliable car, and would much sooner travel somewhere each year.

There are also lots of tips on ways to save money in different areas. Some examples are as follows:

  1. Home: take care of what you have~ Finding ways to make cleaning more fun like playing your favorite music, turning it into a mini workout and rewarding yourself for completing the job. I also add make your own natural cleaners, which will smell, better and be more friendly to use.

 

  1. Entertainment: Take advantage of free community events such as festivals and music in the park, often even children’s or family days in your city . ~Check local newspapers, council web sites, and community boards for these.

 

  1. Wardrobe: If you love fashion you could set up a spending budget for it~ The idea of allocating a certain amount of money towards the fashion contents of our wardrobe. This can also include planning purchases and thinking about quality core basics that last for years.

 

  1. Food: Develop cooking skills~ This could be trying to make one new dish a week, and taking advantage of all the great free recipe resources that are out there. I like this idea because with practice cooking nice inexpensive dishes becomes easy and enjoyable. It is also a way to be creative in the kitchen.

 

It also provides a chapter with questions so as you can identify your own saving’s goals. This is a great book about managing your money, making savings, and taking charge of your own lifestyle by choosing to spend money on the things and experiences you love.

 

Personally I loved the mindset it encourages, which is you can afford to live the life you love, by being more mindful about spending plus more purposeful in how you manage your money. It has encourage me to think more in terms of quality and less stuff, saving for holidays, and saving for the future, and watching for those areas where I waste money on things or experiences that just are not that important to me. Mostly it reminds me not to compare myself to others, rather to focus on what my finance goals are to create the life for family and myself that we want to live.

 What have you been excited about reading?

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

Fran Dishon
Fran Dishon

 

 

Frugal Artist’s Dates

coffeeThis week I took myself to the local library for my Artist’s Date. Often my local library will have library talks and demonstrations. These talks are often free and part of the library membership. They will invite guests to come and speak about what they do or books they have written. Many different topics get covered. The talk I went to was all about coffee, and was super informative, and included a demonstration on how to make coffee. I have a coffee machine at home, and have been making yukky coffees for many years. Basically I have been doing a lot of the wrong things. However now I have been  creating tastier smoother yummy coffees. I have been practicing everyday since the library talk, putting all the advice into practice. Most of all I have been relaxing and  enjoying a delicious coffee every morning which was made by me for me!

Whilst one of my favourite things to do is go on an adventure walk. I just pick a place and walk parks and streets and admire all the beauty I see. I often find a place to just sit and relax. A place to simply sit and dream. Dream about what a wonderful day it is, and what a lovely life I live. I also dream about projects I want to start, places I want to visit, activities I want to do, even meals I would like to cook. Having a quiet place to sit allows dreams to appear. I also notice whilst I am on my adventure walk I am more observant and curious. I tend to see more and wonder more. Life seems more vibrant and alive in these moments. I love my adventure walks!

restandsitI have also been enjoying playing with photo’s.  I now wish I had a better camera, however the only thing I can do at the moment is make the best of what I have. I have also been working on an Artist’s Date Pinterest Board, that has been a lot of fun too.

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

Five Ways to Discover What Activity and Events are Happening in Your Suburb.

This weekend I have been stuck at home inside with a head cold. My nose keeps running, I have a rotten headache, and I am dreaming about all the things I could be doing. However I am just too tired and miserable to do much at all. So today I have chose to reblog an old post. I have found this post very useful in cultivating a more interesting and joyful life.

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Part of my journey to cultivate more happiness and live blissfully in my suburban area is getting out into my community and finding out what it has to offer. I first thought I could look up events to see if I could add more art, music and culture into my life without having to stray to far from home. After a little investigating I have found there is a lot happening in my area. There are art exhibitions and even galleries. Music in the library last Sunday of the month and monthly book cafe’s. Markets, from farmers market to clothing markets. Plenty of cafes and parks to visit. There is actually lots to do all of the time I just had to do a little searching. So the five ways to find out what’s on in your suburb that I found most useful are as follows:

  1. Local Newspapers: I have…

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Walking Adventure!

Where dose this gate way lead to?
Where does this gate way lead to?

Another walking adventure! Where does the footpath lead in my suburban streets? What places will I discover? Well it was a cold,crisp, sunny winters day. The streets were very quiet. Little Miss Popularity my walking buddy was so excited, her nose in a sniffing frenzy, her tail wagging away. I took a different path hoping to discover something new. Like always being willing to discover led me to a new place. I walked past different house, I discovered a variety of gardens. I enjoyed the beauty of many of these gardens, there are a number of suburbanites out there who can turn their front gardens into an artistic beauty. As I wandered down the footpath I came across a new park, another hidden beauty.

Hidden amongst the trees.
Hidden amongst the trees.

I imagine coming back here one warm sunny day and just hiding in this place, writing to my heart’s delight.

A place to rest
A place to rest

On the way I found a place to rest. To just sit and think. To just sit and take in all the beauty. I wondered why no one else was out and about. Why no one else was here, it appears everyone is too busy to come and enjoy this suburban park surrounded by houses. Or have us suburbanite’s lost our appreciation for the beauty that this park offers. It it were in the city, it would be covered with people taking time out to grab some sunshine and eat their lunch.

A shady place for mums to sit whilst children play in this hidden play ground.
A shady place for mums to sit whilst children play in this hidden play ground.

This treasure offers a place to sit, it resides next to a hidden play ground. I wonder what wonderful conversations parents could have with other parents. What wonderful concerts young children could perform. What beautiful relaxing quiet moments this place could offer. Such wonderful possibilities. For me, on this day it offered a wonderful quiet place to sit, relax and contemplate. A place I would love to revisit, especially since it is only a short walk away from home.

My walking adventures continue to show me what wonderful delightful beautiful public places exist that are practically right under my nose. However like many people I have spent years not willing to venture out of the box which is my home. My home is beautiful but an abundance of beautiful places exist just beyond its boundaries. My life is so much richer and abundant for discovering them.

I encourage you to go on your own walking adventures and make new discoveries in your neighbourhood.  I would love to here about what discoveries you have made on your own walking adventures.

Wishing you a wonderful day!