Happy Weekend!

I only wanted to wish all of you a very lovely weekend! I am quite excited, as the voting for the Annual Bloggers Bash best bloggers awards will be starting very soon!

I hope you had a nice week. I did. It was the usual things. However, I did finally get to make use of my random factoid series in a business context. I just tossed into conversation (at a well-timed moment, not just randomly) that bubble wrap was intended as 3-d wallpaper and it went well! Lots of conversation about it. So, that made me happy 🙂

Have a great weekend!

-Mliae

 

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Wealth In Friendship Is Wealth Indeed!

We live in a world where we are constantly competing. Pushing…for more. But, do you ever just pause during your day and consider how wealthy you truly are? Nooo, not monetary wealth. That is fleeting. And, in this day, is nothing more than someone’s typing in zero’s and one’s. No. I mean wealthy in friendships, wealthy in relationships, wealthy in the currency of luv.

I think that all too often, so many of us take for granted the fact that there are people who care about us. And occasionally, we realise how much we truly do appreciate those who care enough to deal with us. I don’t have millions of friends. Quite the opposite, actually. But those friends and family that I do have, are super! I mean really, think about it. We ALL have our special brand of weird. Every. One. Of. Us. Even if you’re ‘normal’ (ok, especially if you’re normal!) that’s so odd now that, that, my friend, is your brand of weird. I forget sometimes how easily annoyed I am at others perceived flaws. You know, the really difficult to ignore flaws. And then I have to remind myself that, my friends and family are just as annoyed by me. That’s not a great feeling and really makes one appreciate that fact that people actually like me enough to stay around when I’m being stupid. And when I complain. And when I eat cake like I’m a food deprived monster. Do I tell them that I appreciate them? No, of course not. I’m…worried I’ll be perceived as a complete basket case. So, I come here and I tell you.

I do think that we should tell the people who care about us, and who listen to all our crazy, that we appreciate them and that we’ll listen to their crazy too. After all, isn’t needing to be loved and cared about one of the basic needs that we all have in common with every person on this planet?

-Mliae

Penelope Chilvers

When Does Comfort Wear Turn Into Frump?

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Comfort wear; We love it, we need it and sometimes – we live in it. But when does it become a bit too much…frump?

I’ve been binge watching ‘What Not To Wear’ and it seems that the one thing everyone has in common is that comfort wear turns into everything wear. It is very easy for this to happen, and I can easily see how. I love my comfortable clothing at home. But even then, I feel guilty for not looking my best for my husband. Isn’t that the most important person to look amazing for?!

Remember this?

retro-1291608_960_720.jpg

Now, before you riot, I am not requesting that anyone take themselves back to this. What I am wondering though is how did we go from this – making an effort with our appearance just because we woke up in the morning – to paint covered college pants that should have been discarded long ago? You may not be guilty of this. If it’s so, you are a better person than I.

With the relatively recent appearance of athleisure, the line has blurred even further. Now it seems that college-type pants/shirts are in fashion to wear everywhere. (Even with something looking remarkably similar to a sports bra as a top?!?) Perhaps I am showing my age, but I just cannot make myself wear it out of the house unless I’m in a gym.

I know that there is a line somewhere with this and that somehow we’ve just allowed ourselves to get so comfortable being comfortable that some people seem to no longer be bothered by their own frump (yours truly, included) until someone reminds us of it and then we are mortified. I mean, has this habit of frump become so commonplace that it’s now a happening that to look well put together makes one stand out? I can tell you that I feel that way sometimes. I love feeling that I look good. That you can see that I put thought into my appearance before going out in the world. But as fashions get more casual, I feel … out of place when I am in a dress and heels. That is such a strange feeling. To feel at least somewhat confident in my outfit, but then to be overwhelmed with self-consciousness about it at the same time. However, when I just throw on something comfortable that fits and keeps me warm and don’t think much else about it, I don’t feel confident in that either. (I do feel cozy though!) *That just went a bit off topic*

I was talking about frump. I don’t know, maybe it’s me. You see, I don’t really have a grey area with fashion. I either look like I put in some effort, or I look like I slept in my clothes. So maybe that’s why this is nagging at me so much. Some miraculous people can look perfectly coifed in comfort clothes. Me? Not so much.

I don’t know where you are on this spectrum, but for me, it has gotten my attention. After this post, at least I myself will be making more of an effort at home (as that is where I have gotten too comfortable being a slob) to look nice for the person who I truly want to impress. I mean, why should he get the mess when the rest of the world sees my best (or at least my ‘It’ll do’)? It just doesn’t seem logical, does it.

I do love being comfortable though.  Hmmm… What about you?

-Mliae

Just A Bit Of A Personal Ramble

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I’ve been writing quite often about minimalism, the need to declutter, and my own attempt at saving my sanity in a world seemingly filled with chaos.  This post is just me putting my thoughts in words and trying to understand what drives me in this…what drives you in this.

Today, although a day full of laughter, was also a day filled with much stress and anxiety over situations which I have little control. I noticed that my way of dealing with such matters, is to clean. To clean and declutter. But something odd happened today that made me stop and have a word with myself. I realised that the chaos in my environment is creating chaos in my mind (and that works the other way also!). I also realised that I am also mindlessly scrolling through online shops (& badly tempting myself to break my shopping ban) as a tool to escape my stress. To just…not think.

None of these is a good habit.

Window shopping online, though mind-numbing, is a horrible habit. I found all manner of lovely items that I never knew I needed, but am now fantasising about. Not the best idea for me at the moment. Because for some reason, when I am really anxious about something, those new baubles feel so….necessary. More necessary than that pile of bills waiting for payment. And how twisted is that?! Of course, I do have enough self-control to fight the urge to make those purchases. It’s the fact that I’m even considering it, that truly disturbs me. What is my problem?! Why am I so distressed that all logical reasoning seems to have left me? Uncool.

Cleaning. Cleaning isn’t a bad thing. Of course not. Except when everyone around me gets very nervous because I am cleaning with such vigour (? Is that the proper word?) that the people around me are trying to find out what’s wrong. Crazy cleaning. Yea, that’s it. Crazy cleaning. That’s not OK.

Declutter rampage. I understand that I am running the declutter challenge. Today, I was so… overwhelmed, that I truthfully had the feeling that I could happily live with about 10% of the stuff. I don’t actually have so much, so that’s actually quite a small amount. Most of my clutter is paperwork, bills, more papers, printouts, instruction manuals (all things which must be kept for what, 10 years?) random ‘what-if’ items (like empty plastic boxes that I will never use as food containers), photos from everywhere & everyone, expired sauce mixes that I don’t like but feel wasteful to toss out, and sentimental items. These are the items which are consistently moved from place to place, but never find a proper place where they are organised and away.  I took the time to sit and think about why I was reacting this way. I considered many possible options. 1 of them being that there is an actual term for people who just purge their items obsessively. I think the term is anti-hoarding, but I cannot remember. There is a whole thing with it, although it is not so common because minimalism is good, but hoarding is really bad. (OK, I am not saying that minimalism is a behavioural problem. I’m saying that people who purge everything including their bed, is beginning to be seen as a problem.) This is not my situation though because our place is a ‘work in progress’…let’s say that. And then the thought came to me. OMG now I understand why I’m so strange about this sometimes. I have spent so much of my life living like a nomad. One in which I could fit all of my possessions in 2 large luggages, that just being in a normal home with average stuff (like dishes, spices, pictures, open cabinets, paperwork & exactly 5 nic nacs) overwhelms me completely.  It isn’t my environment that’s causing a problem. It’s me.

Once I had finally completed my self-analysis, the stress and anxiety had left me. Presumably to go find someone more fun to annoy. But now I am really thinking about these things. Although I may have discovered the reason for my clutter craziness, it doesn’t mean that it will stop bothering me. True, I have to be able to compromise and not force my husband to live in a stark environment. But I also have to get things organised (and yes, continue some decluttering) so that I can put myself in a happy mind.

I will surely be over-analysing the purchase-purge cycle that so many of us find ourselves in. I have already been considering this quite a bit because I am on the shopping ban for many months now and have spent a large amount of that time analysing the purchasing decisions I make. This came up today because of the time spent on the net dreaming about items of clothing I would feel fabulous in.

So I guess for you this means: More strange analytical blog posts upcoming.

Do you do this?

-Mliae


How Was Your February Declutter?

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We are now in the month of March. I have been actively decluttering/removing 1 item daily for the last 5 weeks. I have now arrived at the moment when I am starting to see the change. It’s much like the early hours of the morning when you can see a clear sky and just the tiniest rays of the sun climbing over the horizon. Like that. It gives me hope. It is also making me think. I have been doing this for more than 2 months. Many days, I remove more than 1 item. Some days, I only remove something small – like a broken ink pen. However, that should amount to minimum 80 items. How do we have that much stuff?! This set off a long time of self-reflection about what makes me purchase. (Another blog post entirely). But it’s something we should discuss!

I have set a schedule for myself. That one day, every week (until I am sorted through it all) I will go through 1 storage item. I have baskets, bags, boxes… I would like to be able to reduce these ‘storage solutions’ or use them for other clutter.  I do not have so many of these, but I do need to go through the contents. Perhaps I will discover my days’ items from here?

For the other 6 days, I will still be focusing on singular items each day. I read a comment which suggested focusing on categories. So, I think I will give this a try this month! (Thanks, ginger fluff!)

I would like to ask some of the awesome people who have been joining me in decluttering (either with this challenge, or on their own terms); How’s it going?

Through My Lens

Saguren

Chasing Rockwell 

Leggy Peggy

Elle Knowles

Ghost MNC

365 Days of New

Unexpected in Common Hours

Janet’s Writing Blog

Grubbing With Jess

Libby

The above listed are the bloggers that I am able to link to. I am happy to say that there are some incredible people here that have joined the challenge, which I am not able to link to. Please, let us know how you are doing!

I have found that doing this kind of challenge is ALWAYS better with friends! We keep each other accountable and sometimes that’s exactly what’s needed to get things done!

Who’s with me for the rest of March and April?!

-Mliae


The Blogger That Doesn’t Love Social Media

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Good evening all,

Social media is a thing. A big thing that has really made itself a ‘must’ in our modern world. So what do you do when….you aren’t just loving it? Is it even allowed to not be a huge fan of social media? Or must we all be living by our smart phones 24-7?

I’m not averse to all social media. Twitter I check on sometimes. Vero I have actually found myself liking, but still maybe on a bi-weekly basis. But when it comes to things like Instagram or Facebook, I’m just not that interested. I’ve been thinking about this quite often. As in, why? I did, formerly, spend quite a bit of time on social media. But then I seem to have hit a time in my life where I just began wondering if it really is as important as (the mysterious) they say. I think that the reason may be a combination between the impulsive need to overshare every aspect of ones life with the world with the fact that people’s lives on social media are, for the most part, complete falsehood.

I’m a blogger. I love blogging. This is my happy place. Which is what makes this so weird, because I love oversharing about my life, here, on the blog. But I do not like sharing my personal world with social media. One would ask themselves, what is the difference between sharing your personal life on the internet, and sharing your personal life on…well, the internet? And that person would win, because I do not know.

Having said that; While I do try to keep this blog as realistic to my life as possible, I do not share every small strange thing that happens during my day either. I am certain that if you, my readers, realized what a boring person I can be, that on some days I forego the heels/designer/makeup all together and opt for a rather ‘do you have a hangover?’ look,  or how hilarious I find fart jokes, you would abandon me all together in search of someone a bit more ‘presentable’. (I really hope not!) But I feel like you know me, here. You know my interests, you know that I am camera shy, you know that I stumble in heels sometimes, that I am a fail with domestic duties and that I cannot seem to be able to follow a proper recipe. And yet, you still create a community with me here. (Thank you!!!) So, I can be me here.

However on social media, especially Instagram & FB, its all about the image. Yes, we can all take a 1 second photo of ourselves in perfect hair and make-up and heels, before life makes us normal people again. But is that really the healthiest version of ourselves to share with the world? And what about the pressure to continue the performance once our 1 second photo becomes old? Oh, you want another one? A different location? I’m a traveller now, no, I’m a glamour mom, oops, I’m a pilot! And once that gets old? Lunch…here’s my lunch! Let’s be honest people: Does anyone actually want to see what kind of food blob I have on my plate?? No. I didn’t think so.  And I just cannot keep up pretense.  This puts me in a difficult position because I love my blog and the internet says I need to be as active as possible on social media because I want people to read my blog. Hmph. I think I will just stay with blogging, thank you. (Also, thank you to those of you who do share my blog posts on twitter!)

In a world where it is becoming increasingly unpopular for one to be themselves & hold their own thoughts, wouldn’t it be nice to just be boring, weird selves?

-Mliae


February Declutter: Update

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Hello all 🙂

I just wanted to share a quick update on how my February declutter is going. Things are progressing quite nicely. Although I must confess that it seems so odd that I really can’t yet notice the difference that I was hoping to see. Except the bookshelf. My bookshelf makes me smile now!  I have a few theories on why this is. These last few weeks, I have been focusing on random objects. Products that have been used or expired, items that I notice and think to myself ‘I can do without that’, a plate or cup that has been chipped…. So I think that when taking one random item from somewhere and ridding myself of it, it is barely noticed. (This should be a big thing to consider when making future purchases. Is it important enough that I will actually notice if I no longer have it?) When I decluttered my books, I took away everything from the shelves and only replaced the items which I enjoyed, was excited to read or which have a function. Now it looks completely different! I think I need to repeat this process in another area for the upcoming 10 days of this month.

There is one are of the place that’s showing some big spaces. It seems that those electric cuts we had, managed to break some of our small appliances in the kitchen. So, we said goodbye to our coffee machine and microwave. Happily, we do have a press to keep the morning java monsters happy. 😉 In some way, I don’t so much miss the microwave though. Yes, really. I find myself wondering if we really do need to purchase a new one. It makes things easier and faster, of course. But…as we don’t eat ready meals (you know, the ones in the plastic boxes that require a micro), really everything we eat can be heated in the oven. Or that’s how it seems anyway.  *As I sit here thinking to myself….’am I missing something? There has to be something that we like that can only be made in the micro.’….’am I REALLY writing this?? People are going to think I’ve lost it!’*  So, there is that. And in a small space, missing something the size of a micro and coffee machine, well, that does show a big difference.

I am listing below some of the brave people who have joined me in this decluttering challenge (because EVERYTHING is better when you do it with friends!) I’m hoping they will let us know how it’s going and maybe even drop a link if they’ve posted updates too!

Janet’s Writing Blog

Unexpected in Common Hours

365 Days of New

Ghost MNC

Saguren

Chasing Rockwell

Leggy Peggy

Through My Lens

Elle Knowles

How is your February decluttering? Would you like to join us?! 😀

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay


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Sooo…Magazines.

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This month, I set a challenge for myself to do a bit of a clean-out. Magazines (leafs) are being found in crazy numbers here. This seems to be difficult for me to put in the bin, so I thought a small rant might be OK.

I used to love reading magazines. I would thirst for it. People would send me the leafs from overseas. I wanted to read about the newest fashion. Try the newest recipes. Contort myself according to the most lust-worthy exercises. Read about the glam travel destinations and see if I could get there myself. But then….. oh then…. the marketing came.

Now I understand that any publication (yours truly included) must pay the bills. But there was a tipping point. A point where 80% of the publication was advertisement. This happened quite trickily. For awhile, the fashion ads were incorporated into the newest fashion trends. We all knew it was advertisement, but loved looking at the photos nonetheless. However now, its just ad after ad after ad. Why should I pay 10€ to look at commercials? I can see them for free every where I go. As a matter of fact, I cannot get away from them!

So it seems to me that alas, magazines have had their heyday also and are now a thing of the past. So sad….

Is it just me?

-Mliae

* Feature photo sourced via Pixabay


New Blog Series: The Broke Blogger’s Guide (To Life, Blogging & Other Weirdness)

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This post (formerly just accidentally published & emailed to all of you…sori about that!) is about a new blog series I have been thinking about.

I thought it might be nice to share some of my budget bending tips for all things. Living on a budget isn’t easy. Neither is blogging on one. But if there’s one thing I have learned, it’s how to live on as lean a budget as possible. Also some time-management, resource management & quick solutions. I know that I am not alone in this, so I thought, this might be a fun series to start here on Lifexperiment Blog.

I am a blogger, I am broke… I am the broke blogger. Hey, why not?

Any thoughts on this? Good, bad…indifferent?

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

Getting To Know You 05.02.2019

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I’m on a diet. A quite strict diet. Which makes me fantasize about all the rubbish food I cannot eat. So my question for today is: What is your favourite rubbish food?

Mine? Well, I do love nacho nite! But in this case, I have to say cake batter! I cannot bake a cake, but I will eat an entire bowl of batter! Gross, huh?

What is your favourite rubbish food?

-Mliae

 

Getting to Know You 29.01.2019

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I read an interesting blog post about 1 week ago (which, of course, I am unable to find so I can link to it now…) which was talking about the insecurity that particular blogger had. ‘Will you like this?’ ‘ Do I suck?’ ‘ Will anyone read this?’ and I had to comment. I comment that, well, we all suck! Hah. That I think that our real-ness is what makes blogs so popular. When we are reading a blog vs. any kind of marketing material, we all feel a bit at ease because we know (in most cases) that there is a real person behind it. A real person with real emotions, experiences, needs… Not a team of marketing professionals that are blending together the ideal persona for their particular branding needs.

This blog post, really made me think. There are basic needs that every one of us has. We all need to be loved. We all need to survive. We all need to feel like our lives are worthwhile. And I think that we, as publishers, all need to feel appreciated for putting ourselves out there!

So my question for today is: Do you have these same needs and insecurities?

I know I do!

-Mliae


VEGAS Movie Studio

Getting to Know You 22.01.2019

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If you could get in a plane/train/bus and go anywhere in the world, today. Where would you go?

I think I would run to someplace peaceful & warm. It’s so cold today! I’ve been seeing a lot about Bahamas recently. Maybe I would go there!

-Mliae

Taking The Weekend Off The Diet

So, I’ve been doing kept and intermittent fasting. So far, it’s going great! I have lost the holiday weight. Yay!

I have also been torturing myself. As you can see, I have spent A LOT of time reading food blogs recently. And it’s making me hungry. But I love food blogs, so alas, I read. But hey, food bloggers, could you maybe not put such amazing photos of your delicious dishes? If you could just make your creations look ugly, that would really help me out. Thanks ;P

Add all those drool-worthy recipes to a massive dose of daily stress and guess what you get? Me, on a comfort food weekend. That’s what. And it’s going to happen. So, we’ll see on Monday what kind of damage I have done to myself. In the meanwhile, I will enjoy every moment of it!

Chips down the hatch!

-Mliae

Project Make – Candles

via Project Make – Candles

Hello there!

I wanted to share this great post via My Colorful Life. As you know, I have been searching for ideas on things I can make for gifts, instead of spending a ton of money on gifts people may or may not actually like. I have been trying to get the mustard situation down, but I just cannot allow myself to make it strictly by the recipe. Time to try something new. Candle-making is such a super idea and Suzi makes this seem so…possible!

I hope you enjoy this post as much as I have. Thank you, Suzi, for allowing me to share this!

-Mliae

*This post was reblogged via Press, so you need to click the link to read the full post


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Horrifying Statistics

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STD’s, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, those moments when you are glad to be in a monogamous relationship…. this is the not so delicate topic I would like to talk about today. Allow me to rephrase that: This is the not so delicate topic no-one wants to speak about, but I now feel as though there is no option but to discuss this…today.

I’ll begin by saying that I am a numbers person. I’m a nerd, this I do not deny. I enjoy looking at annual statistics and thinking about them in relation to the times that we live in. So, I was doing some stat surfing since we’re in the new year and I happened across something quite terrifying. That something was the Center for Disease Control statics on STD’s. How I found myself here, I have no idea, as I was actually looking at economic data. But then, the rise in healthcare costs per household and I found myself here.

This is the following data for the USA via the CDC and world Gov websites:

  • ‘1,7 million cases of Chlamydia – a 22% increase since 2013’
  • ‘555,608 cases of Gonorrhea – a 67% increase since 2013’
  • ‘30,644 cases of Syphilis – a 76% increase since 2013’
  • ‘918 cases of Congenital Syphilis – a 154% increase since 2013’
  • According to HIV gov, there were 36,9 million people globally living with AIDS in 2017.

Doesn’t this scare you? It should. It scares me.

I will spare you my puzzlement on the matter, as I am sure you are asking yourself the same questions I am.

Now look, I get it. It’s baffling. It’s frustrating. And with all of the information available around the world about how to prevent STD’s, it is mind boggling that there is a constant increase in the number of cases in this day of instant global access to information. It’s also tricky. Given that the ‘S’ in STD is the abbreviation for Sexual, we tend to automatically make the assumption that these diseases are spread by sheer carelessness in that moment of passion. Not necessarily so. There are actually STD’s than can be contracted without unprotected sexual contact. For instance: Hepatitis, Mulloscum contagiosum, Trichonomas v, trichomoniasis, mono, scabies and those ever-feared creepy crawlies can all be contracted without direct skin on skin or bodily fluid contact. (oh yea….can you feel the anxiety level changing? Amazing how that happens…)

I remember, many years ago, when I helped at a charitable donations center. I would spend my Saturdays sorting donated clothing for people in need. All good. However, the problem arose when every once in awhile a hastily packed bag would find itself in front of you. You would find serviettes in the pockets, needles, medications and all sorts of interesting items crammed in along side business suits and dresses. Now that was a panic mode for me. We kept a bottle of vodka on hand for those types of ’emergencies’. (No, not for drinking, but for disinfecting.) And it was at this time that I realized that I should test regularly, just to make sure that nothing unexpected came my way. And I did. Many of us did; 1-2 times annually.

Although the statistics are horrifying in their intensity, it is possible to help keep those numbers from climbing further by being proactive and aware.

Please, I cannot stress this enough…. Even if you are in a monogamous relationship, please remember to get an STD screening at least once annually – just to make sure all is well!

Thank you for reading!

-Mliae


*These Statistics are based on 2017 information. 2018 stats have not yet been released.

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

Off – Days

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Do you ever have those off – days when you have the best of intentions but the worst of plans? That’s me, today. I find myself just walking in circles, thinking about all the things I should be doing but just can’t seem to manage actually doing.

How do you handle those days?

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

Skype… WTF?!

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Skype. I’m not a big fan. However, this application does prove useful for certain blog and business related scenarios. Or, it did. But guess what yours truly did…

I opened my computer to research a few things and I realized that Skype was running. Not just running, but, still on a call, running! Apparently, when we were having the storm that kept cutting the electricity, and I was on a Skype conference at the time the electricity cut, the call somehow never fully disconnected and I had been LIVE BROADCASTING on a Skype call for more than 3 days! OMG! How this is possible, I do not understand. When the electric cut, everything went off. But there it was – Skype – still running from my last call! IIIIIKKK!

I think I am done with Skype.

To say ’embarrassing’ is just not adequate.

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

Technical Difficulties…

We have been having a bit of a storm here which is causing occasional power disruptions, so I don’t trust that I can get a full RBRC post up today as I had planned. I will be posting again as soon as all systems are trustworthy again.

Thanks for understanding and enjoy your day!

-Mliae

Happy New Year 2019!

Today is the first page of a 365 page book. Write it well, live it well!

As so many of us seem to make unrealistic goals for ourselves during the New Year, I would like for all of us to think in manageable steps, as opposed to grande schemes this year.

As I, personally, have been trying to manage the clutter in my life this past year, I would like to challenge you to a simple 1-month exercise in eliminating clutter with me.  Don’t panic, you will not find yourself in an empty room for February.

The challenge is this: to rid yourself of only 1 item every day for the 31 days of January. It can be anything. If you are a beauty hoarder like myself, if you have multiples of an item, which won’t be replaced after use, that item counts as well. (Example, I have lots of eyeshadow. Almost every container counts except for the last 3 – because I will replace them with 3 new ones.) Same goes with multiples of lotions, shampoos, etc – when the total tally is reduced. Clothing, accessories, housewares, random dishes. Every item counts. And at the end of the month, you will find yourself with 31 items of less stress, less cleaning time and less clutter.

Whatever you decide to do for the New Year, I hope that you find much success in your hopes and dreams this coming year!

Who’s in with me?

-Mliae

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I Found This Last Night: What Do You Think?

Hello there 🙂

Hope you are all recovering nicely from the holidays!

I was sorting through some items last night and found an envelope full of newspaper articles that had been sent to me about 10 years ago. I keep these things because they are from a beloved person who always thought to send me good recipes and interesting articles from around the world.  She is dearly missed.

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This article states that researches have found some evidence that fidelity is in a persons genetic blueprint. However, as I read it, it sounds to me like ‘dad was loyal, I am loyal’. This makes me ponder the age-old question of whether or not something is genetic or environmental? I mean, those who have grown up in families where both parents are in love, loyal and know how to work through their problems are more likely to exhibit similar characteristics.

So, what do you think: Genetic or environmental?

-Mliae

Keto – 0 / Holiday Food – 1

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I am an idiot. I decided that I would start a Ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting, 1 week before the holidays. I did great. I lost 2+ Kg in that week! And then, I ate. For 3 days I ate like a normal person. It was wonderful. Guess what happened? In 3 days, I gained back 3 kgs! GGGGGRRRRRR!!!

Quite necessary to say that I hit the diet again today.

My question today is: What good is a diet if you gain it all back over a bad few days? Or is there a point when you get kind of ‘safe’?

Back in the ‘fat pants’…

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay



Is Alexa Recording Your Conversations Without a Wake Word?

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I know, I know. I sound like on of those paranoid nuts in a sci-fi film. Unfortunately, it seems that I am not. Having stumbled upon an eye-opening article on Reuters that was recently published, I wanted to do a bit more research.

Amazon has sold in excess of 10 MILLION Alexa Echo devices worldwide. (Levy, Nat, 8 May 2017, Geekwire) That figure alone is staggering! We are told that Alexa has a wake word. Mainly calling it by name ‘Alexa’. This will start a recording and you can gain information from the device. However, as many people assume that the device will cease all functioning and sleep completely when it is done with the task at hand. Not so. Amit Ashbel, director of product marketing for a research firm, told CNET that there is “a flaw in Alexa that allowed the device to continue recording indefinitely.” (Kosoff, Maya, 24 May 2018, Vanity Fair)

It seems to be common knowledge that Alexa is recording at times, but people seem to just dismiss it as a glitch. Maybe Alexa misunderstood, etc.  Unfortunately to say, I have spent some time reading about Alexa online. Only on reputable news sites. And I can safely say that yes, Alexa is recording you – even without your knowledge. And those recordings are accessible to others.

Below are a few straightforward quotes that I found:

“..The privacy implications may be even messier. Consumers might not realize that some of their most sensitive conversations are being recorded by Amazon’s devices, information that could be highly prized by criminals, law enforcement, marketers and others. On Thursday, Amazon said a “human error” let an Alexa customer in Germany access another user’s voice recordings accidentally.” (Dastin, Jeffrey, 21 December 2018, Reuters)

“How are the privacy concerns surrounding Amazon Echo different than those involving, say, smartphones?

Traditionally, the home has been the apex of 4th Amendment privacy protection in respect to law enforcement. You know, a man’s home is his castle, that sort of thing. You always need a warrant to get into someone’s house. The tricky thing about a device that’s recording data inside of your home is that you may be transmitting that recording in such a way that the government can directly collect it, or, as in the case we have in Arkansas, it may be that the data is sitting on Amazon’s servers.” (Q&A excerpt, French, Agatha, 5 January 2017, LA Times)

 

“We’ve invited these systems into our lives in ways that we are only beginning to see the negative consequences for,” Gillmor said. “There are situations where we don’t need to have these things. A lot of people got the Echo because they feel like it’s this magic thing. Maybe the magic isn’t worth it.”  (Gillmor, Daniel)

So it seems to me, that if everyone knows that Alexa is recording us in our homes, sales would not be what they are. This is where I get a bit baffled. I mean, who would violate their own privacy in their own homes just to….what, have easier access to information that’s already easily accessible at the touch of a button?

What do you think?

-Mliae

*Sources:

Reuters article (linked)

French, Agatha, 5 January 2017, LA Times

Kosoff, Maya, Vanity Fair, 24 May 2018

Levy, Nat, 8 May 2017, Geek Wire

Soper, Spencer, 24 May 2018, Bloomberg

I Almost Had it Together This Year….Only Not Quite.

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That moment when you realize that you’ve been invited to holiday parties but realize that you don’t have even one hostess gift. You have 1 day to shop, again, for those – and today is that day!

So this is what I’m doing today, people. Going out to get the obligatory ‘Thank you for inviting, imbibing and feeding me – here’s ________’ gift. I hope the stores aren’t full of people. Otherwise, my hostess gift may be a bag of bird food.

Arrrrg!

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

A Small Thank You

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I really felt the need to thank you, my amazing readers, today. Thank you for taking the valuable time out of your lives to read what I write. Thank you for joining me on this journey and being sooooo supportive throughout! Thank you for fostering such great friendships here and in the comment section too! Thank you for making me know that I’m not alone when I feel like I’m not living up to the ‘best me’. Thank you for making use of my affiliate links sometimes (and helping me out whilst doing so)! Thank you for creating such a good environment here that I often refer to this as my ‘blog family’. Thank you for the Happy Birthday emails, the random ‘Hellos’ and ‘Best Wishes’! Most of all, thank you dear readers, for being you!

So much of what we do in the world goes un-noticed and unrecognized. There is no reason behind this. I’ve just been thinking about how far we’ve come in the past several years and it would not have been at all possible without you.  I just really wanted to let you know that I appreciate all that you do and I look forward to having such a great home on the blogosphere for many years to come!

You are Awesome!

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

When the Holidays Sneak Up on You.

This year has been a bit strange. I am usually that insanely excited person who decorates early for the holidays. This year, I’m late for almost everything. It’s like time is just flying by and I still haven’t worked up the nerve to go sort through storage and drag out our Christmas decorations. I mean really. It’s not like we have so much that it’s overwhelming.

Everyone’s happy that ‘oh, I got my decorations up last week’ and ‘I’ve just finished my gift shopping’!

christmas pixabay

…and I’m over here like

metaphor-pixabay

Any ideas on how to banish my inner Grinch and get back into holiday beast mode are appreciated!

-Mliae

*Text photos sourced via Pixabay. Feature photo is my own.

 

 

Product Review: Ozeri Serafino Hand Blown Glasses

 

Hello there 🙂

I purchased these glasses last month and I love them so much that I really wanted to write a review for them. Why? Well because I hate clutter and I know that you do too!  I always try to make good purchasing decisions and deciding to buy these was a very good decision. Whenever I buy a product, I try to find the best options that will serve as a multi-functional item. Multi-functional items drastically reduce the need for multiple items, and therefore, drastically reduce the clutter. Kind of like buying a dress that can be worn for work, drinks with friends and to a birthday party…instead of buying that party dress that sits in your wardrobe for all other occasions.

So this is what happened. Many of you know me well enough to know that I have minimalistic tendencies. Well, once I got married and we combined all of our belongings, it became overwhelming. It was hard enough dealing with my ‘stuff’. Now our stuff was too much for my taste. Dishes were broken in the move (& chipped during daily use) and we didn’t have a complete set of anything. Just random plates, salad bowls, glasses and coffee cups.  So, I went online and started searching for cohesive sets for our kitchen items so that we could begin the process of turning ‘mine’ and ‘his’ into ‘ours’.

It took quite awhile to find what I was looking for. I am selective to the point that I annoy my friends. My husband is also, but he left me to find what I liked. So here were my must-have’s:

  • Must be multi-functional
  • Must be unique
  • Must be a good material (glass, stone, clay or copper)
  • Must be high-quality (hand crafted and/or from a highly reputable company)
  • Must be an item that I’m proud to display (We have an open cabinet plan in the kitchen)
  • Must be cohesive
  • Must be able to withstand temperature variance
  • Hopefully dishwasher safe.

As you might well imagine, the search did take awhile. And these beautiful glasses came along at just the right moment. The words hand blown and all glass are what really got my attention. After much deliberation, I purchased a pack of 2 – 12 oz glasses. They came straight to our door and we started testing them out immediately.

Speaking the truth, my husband was not as excited about them as I was. He liked the design, but he wasn’t sure about the actual multi-functionality of them. Until, that is, he had his first cup of hot coffee.

IMG_0068

It was at this moment that he decided these might be his new best friend. The glass doesn’t even get warm to the touch! But the coffee inside was boiling. He was sold. If it keeps colds, cold and hots, hot – without affecting the outer glass, it was good! We immediately ordered 4 additional 12 oz glasses. We also began cleaning out our mismatched glasses and mugs from the move. Which felt soooo good! We had our first set.  And now our ‘cup shelf’ looks like it should. No clutter, no random items, just a tidy display of glasses which we can use for everything. 🙂

We are collecting these now. We would like to get a set of the smaller size in the future, so that we have some for entertaining. And that will maintain the cohesive look in the shelf.  Not to mention, these are a great conversation piece – especially when we mention that it’s all handblown glass.

So that’s how that happened.

This is a relatively small company, which sells on amazon. I know that small hand craft companies do have a struggle in today’s Walmart society, so I really wanted to share about this with you. There is a direct follow link at the bottom of the post if you would like to check them out.

 

ozeri glasses

They have 12 oz and 8 oz glasses, as well as different designs, which can be found by clicking here to visit the store.

What do you look for when you buy new drinking glasses?

-Mliae

Bacteria, Virus, Influenza …Oh My!

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It’s that time of year again….the time when the floating crud hits hardest. And yes, I’ve got it. Oh boy, do I have it. This year its a virus. I’ve been fighting this off for at least the past 1 and ½ weeks. I went to the doctor and he told me not to worry, it only lasts about 2 weeks. I live in the land of 24 hour sicknesses. Two weeks seems like two years!

The physician gave me large bottle of cough medicine and sent me home to sleep-it-off, so that’s what I’ve been doing these past few days. I didn’t actually write this to whine about feeling blahhhh, but to check in with you and let you know that in reality, absolutely nothing has been going on in my world recently. I have, however, developed a new respect for the happy power of being snuggled in on the sofa for a prolonged netflix binge watch 😉

Stay healthy out there!

-Mliae

“Whosis, Whatsis and Whatchamacallit”

I had to share this great post from https://www.srbottch.com
I have been following Steve’s blog for quite some time now and he never ceases to amuse! This post was just too good not to share. Hands up – who’s reached this level of telepathy in your relationship?

Guest post: Ten blasts from the past that are making a comeback

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There are some things that fade in our memories, only to come back from time to time when we are reminded with a chuckle and a shake of the head. Then there are some things that come back in the kind of way that can’t be ignored – coming to real popularity once again. These ten things might send you deep down memory lane, but they’re also making a big comeback right now!

1. Resort shirts

Fashion right now is returning to the 80s and 90s, big style. Resort shirts are one of the select pieces that are coming back for the upcoming season, and they’re going to be everywhere really fast. Even if you haven’t been anywhere exciting, pick up one of these quirky, kitsch shirts to rock the style with straight-leg jeans and boots.

2. All-natural furniture

Wicker and rattan were materials you most likely associated with your granny’s house, but these days, you can expect to see them popping up in the homes of your peers instead. All-natural furniture is making a comeback, and that means these plant-sourced styles are going to be seen in a lot of modern homes.

3. Conversation pits

You might never have seen a conversation pit in person, as this 70s home design trend was short-lived – and quickly became so much of a turn-off that many homeowners did away with them in order to sell the house.  Now, they’re coming back: a recessed pit in the centre of your living area with connected couches facing one another, so you can’t do anything but chat.

4. Brutalist design

Brutalism came about after WWII in the first place, and uses the textures and colours of metal and concrete to make the home seem cold, stark, and even almost dirty. It’s a bit of a rebellious look, and it comes about for a second time now as homeowners go against the mid-century modernist trend we’ve been seeing in recent years.

5. Scarf dresses

Do you remember the scarf dress? Made from a mixture of textiles, often actually looking like pieces of cut-up scarves, the shape often includes a jagged hem that continues the theme. This style is back in for the season ahead, hitting on the gypsy trend as well as the current penchant for asymmetry in design.

6. Yellow

It’s funny to say it, but colours really do have a big rise and fall in the world of fashion. Sometimes they’re in, and sometimes they’re out. Rising hugely this season is yellow, coming on the coattails of the infamous Gen Z Yellow. For this trend, however, mellower tones are also acceptable.

7. 90s windbreakers

Those oh-so-stylish windbreakers that your mother made you wear in the 90s are actually now a thing again. It’s just a shame that your child-sized jacket will no longer fit!

8. Dad sneakers

Again, we have the 90s to thank for this one. Dad sneakers are so uncool that they’re cool again. Normally we’d tell you to avoid this type of shoe for looking so ungainly and unchic, but now they’re back in vogue for a while.

9. Crazy heels

Stick a few weird shapes into the heel of your shoe and you’re good to go with this trend. You saw those crazy heels in the 90s and again in the 2000s – and this decade’s turn has come at last.

pexels-heels-aa

10. Western trends

We’re going all the way back to the Wild West for this trend: think cowboy-style boots, fringed jackets, and prairie chic with a vintage air.

All these trends are back in style, which really makes us wonder. Maybe we’d better hang on to everything we ever buy just in case it comes back!

Regards,

Anna

Anna Ashmore.jpg

AUTHOR BIO: Anna Ashmore is a woman of many talents. She is passionate about literature, sports, travel and education among many other things. She is also an amateur writer who hopes to make it big in the blog world. Professionally, Anna is a market research analyst at http://businesscheck.co.nz/ and loves her job.

*Photos sourced via Pexels & Anna’s own biographical photo

Guest Post by Sleephelp.org : Boost Your Productivity at Work by Napping

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It’s mid-afternoon, and your eyelids are starting to droop, but you’ve still got a good three hours before the end of your workday. As much as you want to give your employer 100 percent for a full eight hours, mental and physical fatigue can get in the way. But, there’s a simple solution that’s been used to help humans get through a long day for centuries – a nap. A growing body of research suggests that naps aren’t just for children.
Nap for Alertness
Whether you work the day, swing, or night shift a quick nap can help you stay more alert while on the job. A study conductedamong air traffic controllers on the night shift found that a nap mid-shift let to quicker reaction times, better alertness, and fewer signs of sleepiness. While participants didn’t enter the most restorative stage of sleep, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, they still reaped benefits from a nap.
Nap for Improved Memory and Creativity
Naps not only keep you more alert, but they can also enhance your ability to learn and think creatively. A team of researchers explored the relationship between sleep and memory consolidation, which is essential for learning. Participants answered a series of questions first thing in the morning and then again later in the day. Those participants who did not have a nap showed a predictable deterioration in their answers. Participants who napped used information from the previous test to answer more creatively, with greater accuracy, and increased mental flexibility in their thinking. It was estimated that anywhere from 40 to 73 percent of the performance increases resulted from the memory enhancing effects of sleep.
Nap for Better Health
Naps also have a secondary effect that goes beyond work performance. Sleep deprivation, which is anytime you get less than seven hours of sleep, causes hormonal changes that lead to an increase in appetite, depressed immune system, and slowed mental acuity. But guess what? A 30-minute nap can counteract or even reverse some of the hormone changes caused by sleep deprivation. Nobody likes to get sick, but if you’re looking to convince your boss that a 30-minute nap is a great idea, you can use the evidence of fewer sick days due to better health.
Tips for Better Sleep at Night
Improving your productivity is important, but better sleep has an impact on more than just your professional life. It stabilizesmoods, metabolism, and helps your body heal and recover from stress and injury. While a nap is a quick solution when you’re running behind on sleep, the best thing you can do for yourself long term is to get better sleep at night.
Good sleep starts with a high-quality mattress. If your mattress has lumps and valleys, you wake up achy, or you’ve had it for over nine years, it’s probably time for a new one. Check your local store or online for mattress discounts or sales to save money, but make sure the mattress supports your sleep style and weight. A sleep trial may give you insight into how well a mattress suits your needs.
You can also enhance your sleep by:
  • Maintaining a regular sleep schedule on weekdays and weekends
  • Developing a relaxing bedtime routine to help you wind down from the day
  • Turning off screens and electronic devices two to three hours before bed
  • Stopping the consumption caffeine early in the afternoon
  • Keeping your naps under 60 minutes to prevent sleep problems at night
You don’t need to feel guilty about napping. In fact, if anyone asks, you can tell them you’re giving your creative juices a boost.
Have a nice nap! –

My Souvenir From the USA

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So, a girlfriend of mine goes on holiday to the USA. When we all get together to hear about her trip, this is what she gives us.

DONALD TRUMP CHOCOLATE BARS!?!!

This livened up the conversation a bit, as you might well imagine. We all had a good giggle.

I did not even know this was a thing.

-Mliae

Overwhelmed in Bloggerdom

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So, what happens when I’ve worked my ass off to get a ton of great content to write about? Well – this, of course. For the first time ever, I’ve found myself so overwhelmed that I can barely complete a thought.

I. Can’t. Believe. It.

I LOVE blogging and all the many hours of research that goes into it gives me some sort of super nerdy pleasure. So the fact that I feel like throwing a few things into a bag and running wherever the sunset takes me for a few days, instead of doing what I love to do on the daily (Blog, gardening, social media, learning, and ‘lunching’) baffles me.

I don’t have writers block. Quite the contrary, actually. But for some reason, the perfectionist in me has not currently been allowing me to sit down and write the way I want things written. So, instead, I have been focusing on some of my favourite light-hearted series’ and then multi-tasking. Multi-tasking meaning that I can’t focus on 1 thing, but am instead in the middle of 100 things and completing none of them. This is new.

What do you think? Is this being overwhelmed, or do I just have a major case of wanderlust with a side of ‘attention span of a fruitfly’?

No worries, I’m not flaking out on you guys. I just wanted to let you know what was going on in my world since I usually post every other day.

Happy Summer!

-Mliae