My Childhood Christmas Memories

My Christmas was quite different growing up from my children. I don’t know if it’s still the same back home in the Philippines.

To rejoice and anticipate the birth of Christ the King – we would make advent wreaths with 4/5 candles. Each candle is lit every week coming up to and on Christmas Day. No advent calendars with chocolates or treats.

light love winter table
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We also have Misa de Gallo (Rooster’s Mass/Midnight Mass/Christmas Dawn Mass) or Simbang Gabi. That is waking up in the wee hours of the morning to come to mass at 5am. It starts on the 16th of December to the 24th of December.

To my delight the local parish put on a similar mass and called it Christmas Novena Mass. 200 parishioners came the first night. We all followed covid restrictions / social distancing.

Today higher restrictions were imposed. Choir or any form of singing or chanting were banned. A guitarist played instead and the soothing strumming reverberate throughout the church.

It meant to me that my children decided to join me a few times to mass.

❤ Santa wasn’t a big fixture in the Filipino Christmas. The birth of Jesus Christ was the reason for Christmas. ❤

Decorating the Christmas tree was also fun when I was growing up. My mum is very crafty and creative with her Christmas trees.

Now here I am with my daughter creating Christmas tiktoks!

Earth Challenge 7 – Wildflowers for the bees

Earth Challenge 6 – Kids and Gardening

Willow and I will be homebound again because she will be having her laser surgery again. I am just looking forward to pampering her and giving her all my attention.

During this time, we spend a lot of time in the garden. We will plant lots of flowers and vegetables.

Please check out my instagram post. The blog comes much later! 😂

Earth Challenge 5 – Support Wildlife and Environmental Charities

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Support those that are actually fighting for change. It is sad to say that the Australian government are looking after the best interest of big corporations and their pockets rather than what is best of Australia – the people and the environment. Everything is easier said than done but if we have that mentality – we will never improve and evolve to something greater.

Donate to charities if you can afford, support them by sharing their work in social media and by giving them accolade.

I occasionally donate to Save The Bees and The Rescue Collective.

I bought some seeds from Save The Bees and I can’t wait to sprinkle them in my garden come close to springtime. I can’t wait for the bees to come. I have more flowers waiting for them.

During the bush fires 2019, I am glad a donated to organisations that are actually in the forefront of the calamity – The Rescue Collective. The money was actually spent where it is needed – not trapped in corporate policies and endless paperwork.

I also have donated against Adani litigations.

I’ve written to companies – Westpac and Greyhound Bus – involved with mining; pleading not to support Adani . I’m doing my absolute best to show disapproval for ransacking Australian outback for a buck. Do I have nothing else better to do? No! Is it better to eat cake and drink coffee? Yes. But all that’s gonna do is make me fat. I want to make a difference!

Do I use coal and gas energy. Of course. I have NO choice. We have installed solar panels and our bill has gone down A LOT. But prior to this we were conserving a lot of energy already by switching everything off when I can. I hardly use the clothes dryer. Am I making life harder for myself? Yes! I am reducing my carbon footprint? Yes!

There are no horns to toot. I am simply sacrificing a few coffees a week. I just give myself a big pat on the back; being a good example to my kids and those around me. I am hoping that my actions today will contribute to the global movement against fossil fuels and pro-sustainability.

Earth Challenge 4 – Reduce Gas Emission

Government bodies and corporations just have to shift their thinking to reduce our green house gas emissions. What happened to innovation, creation and progression. If it is obviously not working anymore, if it causes harm – why do we resist change for the better? Invest on renewable energy, do not hinder it? I know it is not easy. I know it doesn’t happen with a click of one’s finger. We need change for the better!

Earth Challenge 3 – Palm Oil Free Products

I am exercising my power as a buyer, to demand products that are environmentally friendly. One particular thing I focused on (cause there are plenty of earth-friendly product “categories”) – items that do not contain palm oil. Some companies would put “vegetable oil” to deceive buyers, but you have to do more research.

Long story short, massive deforestation in Indonesia (and Malaysia) to make way for Palm oil plantations. Outcome, animals displaced – particularly Orangutangs. I have seen some of the videos, it’s devastating, I’m in tears watching. We humans are the “animals.” We can do better! We will do better.

According to WWF, it is estimated that about 50% of packaged supermarket items contain palm oil. I just want to buy lollies or treats for the kids. Yet here I am, on the bloody computer reading company’s environmental sustainability policies and community programmes.

I have provided a link below of items that are free from palm oil – hazelnut spreads, soaps, margarine. I have included this SPECIFIC brand items on my shopping list so I do grab the right things off the shelves.

I have some links at the bottom of this post for further reading. The YouTube videos focus on farming and touch a tiny bit on deforestation towards the end. They are eye openers. They have nothing to gain except to tell the truth and are actually endangering their lives in doing so.

Please add your thoughts to the comments below. This can be a controversial issue so please be nice with your words.

Thank you for visiting my page.

Links

Shop Ethical – Consumer Guide https://www.ethical.org.au/3.4.2/get-informed/issues/palm-oil/

Article – Guilty Secrets of Palm Oil https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/the-guilty-secrets-of-palm-oil-are-you-unwittingly-contributing-to-the-devastation-of-the-rain-1676218.html

Helping you buy responsibly http://palmoilaction.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/palm-oil-free-list.pdf

FB Group – Palm Oil Investigation – 220K+ followers
We are a force in numbers. Let this number grow more! https://www.facebook.com/palmoilproductsinAustralia/

Planet of the Humans https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk11vI-7czE

The Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbV4t23YdwU

Earth Challenge Wk2 – Reusables

My blog posts work in conjunction with my Instagram account. In my account, I only mentioned re-usable coffee cups. But reusable we apply on everything! Please check my instagram account and if you like my posts, follow me!

Say ‘NO’ to plastic bottles
We do not buy bottled water anymore. We carry (rather I carry) water bottles everywhere even at parties. We can also refill them at water stations (bubblers) at the park or shopping centres. We reduce our waste and also save some money. No plastic bottled soft drink either.

My hard-hitting investigative journalistic uni years are unfortunately over …
I still have to do some in-depth research on this heavy subject – but water being bottled by corporations from our waterways to be sold to the people?! Drink tap water, get a water filter if that will make you feel better. Put some lemon in your drink, some mint – maybe cucumber? Don’t buy bottled water anymore.

Women’s Business
Yes, I have bought reusable period underwear and period pads. Inconvenient? Yes! Having your period is always inconvenient anyway. Expensive? Yes and no but you save money overtime. It’s for the greater good to use them. Our grandmother’s did; and our grandmother’s grandmother – they managed!

Cottonballs/Facial wipes
I will admit that I still have a stash somewhere – for cleaning the kids’ wound if they hurt themselves. I haven’t used it to take make-up off for a year now? Body shop has a gentle yet powerful make-up remover and cloth – it wipes your face clean. You can also gently massage it off with your special face cleanser and a facial brush. There’s are plenty of options to clean our face.
Call me hypocritical, we do use nappy wipes still to clean my daughters bum. She is 3 now, so we are almost graduating from baby wipes.

Reusable bags
This is the most obvious one of course. I TRY to use them all the time. Some days though, it wasn’t my plan to buy but I would walk pass the green grocer and remember I need fruit for the kids’ lunch. Yes, I should have a spare one in my bag. But I used it yesterday in a similar situation and forgot to put it back in my bag.

I actually line my bin at home (rubbish bin, garbage can) with plastic shopping bags and plastic packaging. So, I am repurposing the bag. But it still ends up in landfill. I get so many plastic packaging – my fruit is packaged in it, the vegetables, kids’ snacks … whatever I buy, it’s wrapped in plastic.

We need to demand Coles and Woolies to amp up their conservation game. There are minute improvements with the use of cardboard boxes but there is still too much plastic. Aldi is committed to reduce is plastic packaging by 2025. Well done Aldi!

Please tell me what you think in the comment section below.

Finally set-up the Compost Bin in the Garden

My compost bin sits proudly in it’s corner of the garden.

It was such a beautiful Saturday morning and what a way to spend it in the garden, setting up the compost bin. Proud of myself that I did all the hard work. The bin took me about an hour to put together. Then a good 2 hours of digging and transferring dirt so I can place the bin securely underground and let it do it’s magic.

Proud that I will  be reducing my landfill waste; and I will be producing fertiliser for my garden plants. Proud that I have a healthy garden and the worms are very happy.

Worms are my favourite animals next to bees. Worms recycle my food waste. When I stop dumping this organic matter in landfill, I reduce methane ‘production’ and leachate causing water pollution.

I urge you to do the same. Maybe everybody is already doing it and I just got in the bandwagon!

Please watch the video below of me setting up my food waste digester.

Please subscribe to my YouTube account and also hit the bell button. It will mean the earth to me! 😁🙏

Thank you for visiting my page. Tune in next week for another exciting day in the garden!

Earth Challenge

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It doesn’t take a scientist to know that we are exhausting our natural resources. We as the dominant creatures have caused so much devastation and calamity in this world in the name of greed and progress.

I will move on from whingeing to actually doing something about it. Will it really make a difference? Maybe not? But I can sleep at night. I can also stare in my children’s eyes and my children’s children’s eyes (in the future) and say I am making this world a beautiful place for you to flourish and thrive; for all creatures to flourish and thrive. That makes me happy.

So, once every week for 10 weeks, I will be writing and posting ways I can save the planet.

This week, I finally invested in a proper compost bin where I can put all food – cooked or uncooked; dairy, meat and even pet poo. The good thing is I don’t have to ‘turn’ with a shovel to help with the decomposing of  the food. I just chuck it in the bin and let nature takes it course. You can visit my insta account for the unboxing of the bin. It has also been uploaded in YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54O9rwTUBbc

I actually have several compost locations in my garden. However, being a family of 5, we do have a lot of vegetable scraps and it has been piling a lot. I also have limited time to collect grass clipping and brown leaves to add to them to help with the composting.

I can’t wait to put my compost bin together and get digging to install! I will upload that video soon enough.

I hope I have encouraged you to do the same. There are a lot of way to compost your food waste. You do not need at all garden nor a balcony. There are all kinds of bin for all types of living.

A new journey begins …

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I am not sure what has happened but since I became a mum, my outlook in life just changed. I had aspirations to become rich and famous. That’s how “you make it” in this world. I was also fearless and a fighter. I fought the struggle – like most humans do – finding that first job, finding my true love and everything in between.

So what changed? I look into my children’s eyes and a warm feeling grows and glows from my heart and flows in my every being. I look into their eyes and I sometimes feel fear, the world is tough out there – a “dog eat dog” world. How can I stop my kids from being hurt, rejected, humiliated and scarred. I can’t!

This is where my outlook changed. And I think it’s a song that my heart has always sang. There is sadness and hatred but there is so much beauty in this world. We cannot run away from the hate but we can promote KINDNESS and LOVE. It is cool to be KIND.

So, my success in life is not measured by the material things I obtained. It’s okay to have those too. But it I am most successful by the kindness I show and help I offer others.

There is a movement of acceptance amd kindness. Let us be a part of it. So this chapter in my life’s journey is of love and kindness – a loving mum, a loving wife, a loving daughter, a loving sister and a loving friend … 90% of the time anyways!