Christmas cheer and a facelift

If you’re looking at my actual blog rather than via a feed reader you’ll notice that my site has had a facelift. My weblog banner has been the same for a while now and it was time for a change.

Here’s the old one.

I decided to go with red/orange and green in keeping with Christmas type colours but I didn’t do traditional Christmas holly, decorations etc for two reasons. One is that I probably won’t get around to changing it after Christmas in a timely manner and, two, I’m not a huge fan of the ‘traditional’ Christmas decorations. In fact it makes me feel a bit alien (tying in nicely with my new banner). I used the brushes from Smashing Magazine’s website.

I also decided to change my ‘look’ in response to SueBlimeley’s spreading the Christmas cheer. I’m trying my hardest to get into the spirit! It seems every year I am dragged somewhat reluctantly into the whole thing. It’s kind of hard to escape so I can understand why it makes some people feel really awful.

Have you entered my giveaway to win a DVD? This is the first of three I’ll be giving away. Even if you don’t want it, it might make a good Christmas present for someone you know.

One concert down – one to go

Yesterday JJ had his school end of year concert. These things are always at an inconvenient time because of my work but I managed an hour or so off and luckily they were on second which made the whole thing fairly bearable.

It was also a non-Christmas theme as this snippet of video shows. (Click on image which will take you to the Flickr site to view. I couldn’t embed it directly here.)

End of year school concert

I recently found out that it’s only Junior Primary who have an end of year concert so I’ve one more year of this to go. When I went to primary school we had our end of year concerts in the local town hall and they went for the entire seven years of primary school.

This afternoon is his end of year circus school show. Clown costume is at the ready and I’m pretty pleased with what I managed to improvise. Photos to come of that!

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If you haven’t already don’t forget to take part in my giveaway. Details are here.

My guilty pleasures

I was going to comment at Kikolani’s blog with my guilty pleasures but I thought I’d put them here instead.

First off is Green & Blacks Organic white chocolate. I first heard about it via Loobylu and it wasn’t that easy to find but now my local supermarket stocks it. Fortunately they only stock this type in the 35g size.

My favourite

My other guilty pleasure is shopping at op shops or thrift shops. Much of my wardrobe is second-hand and it allows me to buy lots of clothes and not spend an absolute fortune. When I first started op-shopping (op is short for opportunity) it was to buy retro clothes but now it’s more for everyday wear. Retro clothing has become too fashionable and therefore more expensive.

Photo by Roboppy

My last guilty pleasure (I don’t want to give away all my secrets) is lying in bed reading. Now that my son is a bit older he can watch a bit of tv in the morning and because I can’t sleep in these days I read my book. If I can break away during the day and do the same I will, but that’s really rare.

Photo by Steffe

What are your guilty pleasures?

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PS: Don’t forget to enter my DVD giveaway. You just need to leave a comment over here.

Giveaway bonanza

The Ellen Show DVD giveawayMerry Christmas to my blog readers. I’m giving away The Ellen Show DVD. Go check out the details.

There will be more to come over the next few weeks.

Blogger meet

Yesterday in the early evening after a couple of other things I had to do, I attended my first blogger/social media meetup in Adelaide.

I was really nervous because I wasn’t exactly sure who’d be there and if I’d know anyone so I had someone to talk to at first. It didn’t matter because there were a couple of people I’ve met at Flickr meets and the others were very friendly so my nervousness was unfounded.

It was one of the rare parties I’ve been to where my son was one of the oldest kids and it was great not to have to supervise him too much around the water feature – not like the other parents had to do for their young-uns. I was surprised that my son didn’t want to go into the spa which of course was fenced.

I finally met Shai Coggins who I’ve been friends online with for a little while now and who raved about my banana cake recipe. If you haven’t made it yet, it comes highly recommended.

It’s kind of strange to go to a function where everyone’s talking about blogging, plurking, twittering, facebook and just about everything online, and everyone knows what the heck everyone means. The consensus at the end of the night was that JJ should start his own blog. I can’t remember how the subject came up, but should he ever want to blog, I’m all for it. I may have to censor it a little bit so he doesn’t incriminate me himself.

I didn’t meet everyone there but there’s always next time. I’m a bit naughty because I took my camera but didn’t take any photos. Again, next time.

Old and young

Jemma

Recently my sister’s dog had a short stay at our house. She’s not even one year old yet and our Monty is an old girl. I knew it would be an interesting time. Sure enough, when Jemma arrived, Monty barked at her for the first hour.

Barking

Jemma being the young and energetic one wanted to play with Monty but Monty’s a bit too old and grumpy for that now. She just wants to lie down and/or follow her humans around, not be annoyed by the young pup.

Jemma hassling Monty

There were a few growls, but overall they managed with each other. Apparently Jemma slept for the whole day after my sister picked her up and I’ll bet Monty did too.

Friday’s child

I started this blog post in my head tonight when I was reading Dr Seuss’s ‘The Big Brag’ to my son tonight. I realised that I was thinking about what I could write here, and reading at the same time. Once I found I was doing this I turned my attention back to the story – which I love – and reading Dr Seuss is a pleasure because it so easily rolls off the tongue.

I could have gone to my work Christmas lunch today but chose not to for various reasons. The main one is that I would have only been able to stay for a couple of hours before I had to leave to do the school pickup. The other one is that my Friday’s are very precious and I don’t want to have to think about work if I can help it.

Because there’s only a couple more Fridays before the school holidays start and then I won’t have a Friday to myself until school goes back in January, I made a date with a girlfriend and we went into town to have lunch – which was really breakfast – at the cafe we chose. They don’t do lunch till midday and we were early!

After lunch we saw a movie (can’t remember the last time I went to a movie without my child) called ‘Burn after Reading‘. I’ve never seen Brad Pitt like it. He wouldn’t have been out of place in our Australian Kath and Kim. Also George Clooney was really convincing as a manic Casanova and Frances McDormand and John Malkovitch were excellent in their characters. I loved Linda’s (McDormand’s) determination to get her surgeries, and it costs her dearly, but it’s funny along the way.

Today, after talking with my girlfriend at lunch, I’m starting to convince myself that my own business might not be such a bad idea after all. Am thinking I need some serious advice about this, but if it ever happens I wouldn’t leave the day job at first – maybe never. I’m also thinking if I write about it it won’t escape out of my mind so easily.

Oh, and the course I was doing, I finished and I came top of the class with my marks. It was like studying a subject at uni with the timeframe and the amount of assignments we had to do which included group work and a presentation – my two most favourite things! That got us 88% and I did a good assignment apparently and there was even an exam. Bloody hell I’m glad it’s finished and it’s made me realise that any longer term study is not for me at the moment. It’s also made me realise that if I do put a couple of hours aside each week to concentrate on something – like my own business – then I can find this time to do something else.

So after I publish this I’m going to sit back and give Crocodile Dundee a big miss on television, but watch some more of Mad Men Season 2. If you ever get to see this show do it. If nothing else, the outfits are fabulous and you’ll see how far women in the workplace, and society, have come.

Oh, and I am Friday’s child and hard luck is not my brother.