30 April 2011

Gathering Gratefuls - A Poem For Challenging Times


One of the greatest gifts that blogging has afforded me has been the special friendships and warm connections that I've made with the most incredible like-minded people.  These friendships are a constant source of delight for me and I'm truly grateful for the opportunity to spend time getting to know you which blogging has enabled.

Some of my dearest Blogerista friends have encountered major hurdles this week and like me you may have been grappling with ways to smooth a path as they begin to navigate the dark days ahead.

If this is you dear friend, or if you are helping someone you know and care for through a rough patch, I send you the following poem by Rudyard Kipling which has been a touchstone for me in difficult times.

I'm sure that you've read these heartening words before, but I sincerely hope that at this time they might be a source of inspiration and perhaps the advice within might bolster you as you begin to move forward.

When you read the last line please substitute the following .... you'll be a strong woman.


If

If you can keep your head when all about you 
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; 
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, 
But make allowance for their doubting too; 


If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, 
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies, 
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating, 
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;


If you can dream - and not make dreams your master; 
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim; 
If you can meet with triumph and disaster 
And treat those two imposters just the same; 


If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken 
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, 
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken, 
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;


If you can make one heap of all your winnings 
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, 
And lose, and start again at your beginnings 
And never breath a word about your loss; 


If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew 
To serve your turn long after they are gone, 
And so hold on when there is nothing in you 
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, 
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch; 

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you; 
If all men count with you, but none too much; 


If you can fill the unforgiving minute 
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run - 
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, 
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

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If you like me, you are truly grateful for the joy of friendship and would like to celebrate it, then pop on over to my friend Maxabella's place where she's gathering the grateful lists of people just like you.

29 April 2011

Six Senses Tours - Akimbo But Still Connected


Due to the unintended extension of my little bloggy vacay, our tour itinerary has gone a bit akimbo.
So as we sit in the 'Waiting Lounge' whiling away the time before our next tour is called, I thought that you might like to share some of your own travel memories and dreams.
After all there really is nothing like seeing someone elses enthusiasm for a place to pique our own desire to don adventure wings and scoot off is there?

To play along, simply copy the following 'Quick Quiz' into the comments section, pop in your answers, then return to the lounge to read what everyone else has shared. 
Personally I can't wait to see where you've been and look forward to spinning the globe when I read your responses particularly for number 4 & 5!
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1. The place I regularly visit in my dreams is

2. If I were to receive a huge gift of money, I'd love to spend extended time in

3. My most treasured holiday experience was when I went to

4. Without a doubt ... is the most exotic place I've visited

5. I've always wanted to visit [insert place] to [insert activity]

6. My ultimate travel companion would be

28 April 2011

Letting My Bluebird Sing - The Joy Of 'Regifting'

This segment is all about seeking and celebrating the joy in life and today it's all about 'regifting'
Inspired by my clever friend Jennie who was so enamored with yesterday's 'Word of the Week' that she requested a button for her own blog.
This brought a broad smile to my face not only because I love to create for others [and could fulfill this simple request], but because this is exactly what the WW segment is all about - sharing words that help you and your readers increase your vocabulary one word at a time.
I also like the idea that someone new might get a giggle from this word- true bluebird singing action indeed!
Well here it is, the "No bumf" button and if you cast your eyes to the right and you'll see it there also.


My bluebird will be singing brightly indeed if you decide to add it to your own sidebar.
Let me know if you do and please link back to yesterday's WW post so that anyone who clicks on the button will find out what 'bumf' means and perhaps add a new word to their own vocabulary.

Happy days dear friend, permission to 'regift' granted!
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Author's Note: 10 minutes after publishing this post I received a comment from Georgie which prompted this sign to be made.....
.....can you hear those mellifluous bluebird notes?  
She's singing brightly and I'm totally delighted with the cleverness of my Gifters!

27 April 2011

Word Of The Week - A Giggle Making Word


Do you feel like your vocabulary could do with a little zhushing? Then this space is for you!
Each week I unearth a new word to play with.  If you would like to join in, you can write a post incorporating this weeks' word, then come back and leave a comment with your post link so that we can all read your work.  
To make it easy for us to find your WW entry, please incorporate the button into your post.
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Tee hee! I'm guessing that some of you will be wondering if I've lost the plot entirely as the word this week and in the previous entry were....well let's just say a little 'unusual'. I can assure you that I'm entirely fine although giggling myself silly with this little treasure.
This word tickled my fancy a couple of weeks ago and I've even printed it onto cards and placed it on my inspiration board
The best thing is to say it out loud "Bumf, bumf, bumf!" and I bet you'll be surprised to learn what it means....


[noun] Unwanted or uninteresting printed matter 
such as governmental forms, legal documents, junk mail, promotional pamphlets, etc. 


When I first discovered this terrific little word, I must admit I was all abuzz to share it and sent a note to a few of my 'word zhushy' Gifters.  One of you [I won't name names to protect the innocent] wittily replied that you would be putting a sign on your mailbox that read "No Bumf Allowed" - priceless! 
Now I don't expect everyone to share my enthusiasm for this week's word but I would love to hear your thoughts - if you manage to put it into a blog post I believe you should earn triple WW points - whatever that means! Alternatively, grab the following image, print it off and give yourself the gift of a giggle whenever you see it or say it aloud - go on I dare you!




Postscript 28th April, 2011: Since publishing this post there has been a flurry of activity around this funny little four letter word. To find out what's been happening and to get a 'No Bumf Here' button for your blog or a sticker for your mailbox click here.

26 April 2011

Two For Tuesday - Tracy Lizotte

Hello dear friend, it's terrific to be back from my Bloggy Vacay and I'm so happy that it's Tuesday already and time for us to have our weekly fun with art.

If you're a regular visitor you will know that I love to play with art on Tuesdays and I choose one artist to feature each week. Welcome to my new 'Gifters' and hello to those of you who are just popping in for a peek.
If you're new to the blog you might like to have a look at the art which has been showcased on previous Tuesdays, this can be found in the 'Art To Enjoy' section on my sidebar.

Today we are looking at the work of Tracy Lizotte whose watercolour creations depicting children, animals and nature are imbued with such happiness I couldn't help but share them with you.

Now for the game, this is how we play - I present you with two pieces of art, then in thirty words or less you share a thought about how they relate to each other or to your own life.  Enjoy!



I can't wait to hear what you have to say about today's selections and I'm sure you will want to spend some time at Tracy's Etsy store where both of today's pieces are for sale.

Have fun, you'll make my day if you play along.

25 April 2011

Anzac Day Noosa 2011


As we do each Anzac Day, Captain V and I attended the Dawn Service and then made our way to the beach to see the sun rise and have our own private reflection on what this day is about.

To those valiant men and women who have served our wonderful country in the past and at this time and to those who love and care for them, I send you a heart felt thank you.

"They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."

10 April 2011

Bloggy Vacay


Hello dear friend.

Life has 'happened' as it's want to do, so I'll be taking a little bloggy vacay for a week.
I'm totally fine but a family member needs my help and unfortunately I won't be able to reply to emails and it just won't be possible to share any of the regular segments with you.

For this I'm sincerely sorry but I'm sure that you will find many lovely moments of serendipity to share when I return. Until then, keep your eyes and hearts open to receive the unexpected and lovely each day.

08 April 2011

Gathering Gratefuls - A Double Rainbow

You know of course that this space is all about celebrating the unexpected & lovely, the gifts of serendipity that present themselves when I least expect them. Well, have I got a beauty for you!

We have been experiencing a LOT of wet weather in my pocket of the world but the last week has seen some spectacular autumnal features shining through. Clear blue skies accompanied by a crisp nip in the air - it has been truly glorious....for the most part.

Yesterday for example, Captain V and I were taking our daily sunset walk with the Frankendog when an odd drumming noise interrupted our chat.  We turned to each other with a look of bemusement on our faces, and then suddenly it dawned...."Run!". Yep you guessed it we each arrived home drenched but laughing as Mother Nature giggled, presenting us with a glorious sunset sky after her splat of heavy rain.

This morning I'd just seen everyone off for their various activities and was returning home from my morning walk when I lifted my eyes to be greeted with this....what a treat!


Fortunately I had my camera with me and the sharp eyed amongst you may even be able to pick out some sneaky raindrops on the lens.  
This was a rainbow with a very special hum. Wanting to get a different angle and knowing how quickly these gifts can fizzle out, I scooted to our upstairs verandah to get a different perspective.


This monster rainbow was fairly bedazzling me with glorious colour and illumination & I was beside myself.
Then THE MOST AMAZING thing happened.  
A second rainbow appeared above the first. I was literally struck dumb.
But then, oh wow, I can hardly believe this myself, I looked down and could actually see where the first rainbow hit land, and it was in our yard!  Let me say that again for those of you who may have skimmed it...

THE RAINBOW'S END WAS IN OUR FRONT YARD!

Now I'm not going to get all Judy Garland on you but truly, how many times would you expect to experience something like this in a lifetime? Many of you will know the line about the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and the logo for our Lottery is a rainbow, so I was fairly annoyed that my car was out of action and I had no way to scoot into town to buy a ticket. 

I must say that I was wondering if the whole adage of "be careful what you wish for" could be true though because I've been writing the following phrase a lot lately...

"If the Lotto Gods decide to pay me a visit then....."  

....well maybe this was the sign that they had stopped by and I wasn't prepared! Or maybe I should put in a ticket for tomorrow night's draw? Either way I know that I've been given a truly special gift already.

Oh yes, here's the evidence. You will have to look closely, follow the really bright rainbow right down into my driveway garden. I guess that the saying 'you can't have rainbows without rain' really is true and and that sometimes we are in the right place at the right time to receive the most glorious gifts of serendipity. 
I felt truly blessed and was on quite a high for some time afterwards (in fact some of you received very excited emails so great was my need to share) & hope that you enjoyed seeing these treasures too.


For more wonderful stories of gratitude please be sure to click this link to meet my uber-cool and very clever friend Maxabella at her place where she's gathering the gratitude today.

And if you're looking for some more photos of nature at its best in the form of the ocean around Sydney, and would like to be privy to a secret that only the locals know, be sure to take Chantal's 'Six Senses' tour here.

Happy weekend dear friend, I hope that your eyes are open to the serendipity!

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May 1st - A little postscript - I didn't get to put in my Lotto ticket but Captain V did and had a couple of small wins. I did get to do a rather large piece of work which was very well received by the client and which may lead to more work so I guess the pot of gold was found at the end of the rainbow!

I'm linking this post in with Laura's 'Post of the Month'  club.  Click on the button to find more treasures and to play along.  Happy days!

Six Senses Tour - Northern Beaches Australia

Hello. My name is Chantal, I design and carve stamps and linocuts for art prints and stationery.
Today I'd like to take you on a 'Six Senses' tour of Sydney's Northern Beaches.

Sydney is a city that makes me happy all year round. I've had the fortune to live in other fabulous cities such as London and Melbourne but I've settled in Sydney because it is a naturally beautiful place with great weather for enjoying an outdoor lifestyle.  Through all of life's ups and downs, if I can get outside for a walk amongst the trees or sit on a beach, then my head clears and somehow everything gets put into perspective.
The most famous part of Sydney's Northern Beaches is Manly but today I'm going to take you to three beaches further north, Long Reef, Freshwater and Curl Curl.


SEE
Here we are standing at the headland of Long Reef Beach.
We're looking north towards Narrabeen, Avalon and a host of other amazing beaches and that's the Tasman Sea to the east. New Zealand is out there somewhere beyond the horizon.
Banksia trees line our pathway and dolphins & whales can be seen from the point, but unfortunately not today.


HEAR
It's a joy to see one of my favourite birds on the headland.
In addition to a few tweets and twitters out here, you will also hear insects buzzing past (lots of dragonflies), lizards rustling through the leaves and of course the crashing of waves on the reef below.

TASTE
To pleasure our taste buds let's head south to Freshwater Beach. I've refined our options down to three.
1. We can take it easy and grab a lovely coffee from the Pilu Kiosk.


2. At the other end of the spectrum, we could enjoy a fine dining experience at Pilu Restaurant overlooking the beach from a balcony table - hmmm sounds tempting.


3. Our final option is for you to join me on the picnic rug for a glass of Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region, New Zealand. Gone are my wine repping days when the selection was much broader. Nowadays we can share a bottle of Dashwood around the AUD $12 mark. It's crisp, clean and zesty.

SMELL
Nothing but fresh and salty sea air!


TOUCH
The current's a little strong today for a swim, but the sand is warm, fine and clean. Just getting your feet wet is still invigorating, actually at the start of April (Autumn in these parts) it's quite nice at 24 C (75.2F).

SIXTH SENSE - A SECRET

Now for a place you might only know about if you're a local from the Northern Beaches, in fact a friend only showed it to me late last year. We're off to the saltwater swimming pool at North Curl Curl.

The Northern Beaches are dotted with lots of saltwater pools (aka ocean baths).
I've found them to be particularly good when you have young kids learning to swim.
You can still enjoy going to the beach and being in the saltwater but without the fear of strong currents, blue stingers (stinging jellyfish which occasionally visit on strong north easterly winds) and sharks - joking, they rarely take anyone in Sydney!

This pool is a little different though as it's not easily accessible and is actually a large rock pool with a manmade retaining wall around half of it.


To access the pool you need to take the bush walking track just to the left of the entrance to the North Curl Curl Surf Life Saving Club. You can try getting to the pool at low tide via the beach, but if you're taking kids the path is easier and safer.  It take about ten minutes to walk.... then look there it is!


There are beautiful rock formations around the pool and a path to the side.  If you want to explore you'll have to cross a few large rocks and possibly walk through water if the tide is high - I've only ever been when it's low tide.


It's a gorgeous place and I've never had to share it with more than five people, so shhh don't tell anyone it's a bit of a secret.

On that note I'll say goodbye and hope that you've enjoyed having a look around Sydney's Northern Beaches. You're welcome back anytime, just let me know & I'll down tools and away we'll go!

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Wow, how was that?!? Thank you so much Chantal, it's hard for me to decide which part of this adventure was most delightful - the colour of the sea, the sand between my toes, the cold glass of Sav Blanc or the pleasure of swimming in such a beautiful ocean pool.

What about you dear Gifter, was there something that you particularly enjoyed on this tour?  Please be sure to write a note and let Chantal know.
There are many of you who adore stationery and as we gear up for Easter you will be thrilled to know that Chantal makes the most amazing bunny cards with twitching ears which you can find in her Etsy Store.


Or perhaps (like me) you were smitten with the sight of the Willy Wagtail doing his seaside dance. 
Well you're in luck because you can actually purchase your very own  hand carved Wagtail stamp too! 


I love that my Gifters are such a clever and creative bunch!
Now remember to share the love either here or at Chantal's place, I know that you will be inspired.
Next week we will be reveling in a land of colour and water.  Doesn't that sound delightful?

07 April 2011

The Art Of Living - Bluebird of Happiness


Happiness - it means something different to each of us but it's a state of mind desired by almost everyone. 

When my darling parents brought me (their firstborn child) into the world, I think that they must have been so filled with delight and joy that they decided to give me a name which means just that, happiness.
Of course I don't get called by my name very often (there are just too many syllables) and through my life I have had LOTS of nicknames - Flick, Fizz, Fel, Floss, Flicka, Fairy Floss, Fliss - you get the idea.


The thing about names though, is that they can be misleading.  Yes, I was a happy child and yes, I'm a happy adult but I have to work hard at it as I wage an ongoing battle with my dual nemeses anxiety & depression - or A&D as we'll refer to them from now on.
Some of you will be raising your eyebrows at this revelation because that's not how you would perceive me to be from reading my blog. Nor would you know it if you met me in real life - how I blog is how I am.  

Well except for when I trip into 'my cave', this is a dark space where the blackbirds A&D hold sway. 
It can take A LOT to draw me out and away from their negative, fearful lyrics.  
The times that I spend in this dismal space aren't pleasant but with the love and support of Captain V, my family, understanding & non-judgmental friends I'm finding myself there less and less often.
That's the thing about those blackbirds A&D, everyone lets them fly in different ways and like all afflictions they have to be managed by each person in the best way that they can.  
As I get older [and hopefully wiser] my desire is that the bluebird of happiness is singing the louder and sweeter tune in my life and the blackbirds find another place to roost.

One way that I do allow the bluebird to have its voice is through this blog.  
It's here that I want to celebrate the unexpected and lovely things that this great big wonderful world has to offer. I want to remind myself and you that there is much to be happy about.  

That's why I always try to start the week with something truly beautiful and then continue adding another special 'gift' for each day that follows. Whether it be sharing gorgeous art, interesting words or amazing places and people with you, my aim is to bring some fun, beauty and happiness for all of us to enjoy. 
And that is why I call you 'Gifters', because you bring me the gifts of insight, joy, giggles and delight whenever you leave a comment, send me an email or share your own moments of serendipity - thank you!


Speaking of which, if you missed the post where I shared my creative space you may not have seen my serendipitous 'Home of Happiness'
Those of you who may be unfamiliar with this terrific project will love it I'm sure. The inspirational Kellie creates little origami homes and sends them out in the mail. You then 'drop' them in a suitable spot, take a photo and blog about it. Hopefully you give someone an unexpected and lovely surprise in the process.  
I was lucky to be allowed to keep this one for myself but I have a couple more to send out into the world, so keep your peepers open for the posts that will follow. To the sweet Gifters who did visit Kellie last week and left such beautiful notes, thank you! You really made my bluebird sing loud and clear! 


Another friend who is actively seeking to recognise and celebrate happiness in her daily life is the dazzlingly gorgeous Naomi of 'Seven Cherubs' fame.
I know that many of you are fans of Naomi's blog and would have already seen her latest wonderful project but for those who haven't, here's the scoop.
Starting on April 10 and finishing May 10 a group of us are going to write one sentence [just one] to record what made us happy or that we're grateful for on that day.
After May 10, we're going to publish our lists and link in with Naomi to share the happiness.
How easy is that? What a great way to help each bluebird sing and keep those pesky black birds at bay!
Hey, I've just noticed that Naomi has a little bluebird singing on her family tree, give it a click to join the fun!

Another way that I'm giving my bluebird a voice is by participating in the Glimmer Project.
It has been created by a stunning dynamo by the name of Susan and the point of the project is simple: 
Do one nice thing everyday for someone.
Your recipients could be a family member, a friend or even a complete stranger.
The 'thing' that you do can may be tiny and almost insignificant or it could be huge and life changing.
There are no rules other than I have to do nice things, random acts of kindness - how wonderful is that!?!

If this is something that you think you could do, Susan sends you out 'Glimmer Cards' and you use these to share the project and hopefully encourage others to 'Pay It Forward'.  
As you can see from the card above, she has a website and blog and it's here that you can read ways that others have been allowing their bluebirds to sing.  I'd really encourage you to give it a go.
...............................

Well, this has been a long post so I'll stop now but it has made me think that I might have to change the name of this segment from 'The Art Of Living' to 'Letting My Bluebird Sing' what do you think?
I would love to hear how you let your own bluebird of happiness sing and any projects that you might be doing.

If you love the art at the start of the post as much as I do then you must visit 'The Legend of Now" to see more. The pieces featured here are titled 'Fly Blue Bird Fly' [how perfect is that?] and Return
Thank you to my dear friend Jane for introducing me to this gorgeous artist.


Before I scoot off, there will be some of you wanting to know the meaning of yesterday's 'Word of the Week' which was the mysterious Quidnunc. It means a 'busybody', 'nosey-parker', 'meddler' or 'gossip'.
Definitely a black bird squawking wouldn't you say, the kind that I avoid like the plague.

Let your own bluebirds sing loud and clear today dear friend, its voice is a special gift!

06 April 2011

Word Of The Week - Quidnunc (seriously it is!)


Do you feel like your vocabulary could do with a little zhushing?  Then this is the space for you!
Each week I will unearth a new word to play with.  If you would like to join in, write a post incorporating this week's word, then come back and leave a comment with your link so what we can all read your work. 
To make it easy for us to find your WW entry, incorporate the button into your post.
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Quidnunc


Are you blinking your eyes and frowning? 
Terrific! In an attempt t to mix things up a bit and to get our brains really working, I thought we'd change the format this week and instead of me providing you with the definition straight away, I'd have you guess it.

I will give you a pictorial clue but am going to trust that you won't consult a dictionary (or any other source) and have a good, honest guess on your own. By all means read other people's responses but don't be misled, trust your first inkling and go with what you actually think the word means. If you pop back in tomorrow I'll give you the definition and you can then have fun using it - believe me it can be a very useful word.

OK so here's your pictorial clue which I've sourced from the talented Diana Waldon's Etsy Store Copperinc.


That's a mighty big clue and because I'm feeling particularly ebullient I'll give you another....it's a noun.
Have fun, I can't wait to read your guesses!

05 April 2011

Two For Tuesday - Catherine Nolin

I love Tuesdays, this is the day of the week where I like to share a gift of art with you and to play a game.
With great originality (hmhm) I've titled this activity 'Two For Tuesday'.

Welcome new 'Gifters' and hello to those of you who are just popping in for a peek.  
You might like to have a look at the art which has been showcased on previous Tuesdays, this can be found in the 'Art To Enjoy' section on my sidebar.

Now for the game, this is how we play - I present you with two pieces of art, then in thirty words or less you share a thought about how they relate to each other or to your own life.  Have fun!
..............................................................................

There are some very talented Gifters in our midst and this week we are going to enjoy the creative work of the lovely Catherine Nolin.  You may have spied a piece of Catherine's art, 'The Living Tree' amongst the treasures on my desk last week, but because the light was reflecting on the glass you may not have been able to see it properly.  This would be a shame as I love it to bits and want you to enjoy the colours, the birds, the plants, the patterns. I'm not fibbing when I tell you that every day something new captures my eye and makes me smile.

The second image that I've chosen today is titled "I Never Promised You A Rose Garden" and again this piece is brimful of colour, pattern and movement. My eyes are mesmerized by the detail.



I can't wait to find out what you see in each and I'm sure that you'll want to explore more of Catherine's art. 
You can do this by visiting her online studioEtsy Store, Zazzle site or for regular updates of new art follow Catherine on her blog. Enjoy!

04 April 2011

My Oh My! - Gelato Art & The Jewel Recipients


Happy new week dear friend. Todays 'bling' is courtesy of a little visitor to our home. I hope you love the gelato happiness in her painting as much as I do.

The best part about using the downstairs concrete for our artists studio is that we get to paint the pet rocks holding our paper and 'palettes', but also the concrete, the smock, our hands and toes! 


A quick wash and we're ready for the next adventure.  Just one moment in the life of a future famous artist.


To keep the happiness flowing I think it's time to announce the lucky recipients of Jennifer's jewels.
Not being a fan of fiddling forever with the 'Random Org' doovalacky, I literally closed my eyes and drew names out of the hat. My favourite beach hat to be exact.






Yippee! Congratulations girls, please email me ASAP with your postal details so that Jennifer can pop your lovely surprises into the post.

For those of you who missed out this time, there's good news. Jennifer has more of her rhinestone earrings (just like the ones in the giveaway) in her store and is donating all of the proceeds from the sales to the Red Cross.  
These gems come in a huge range of colours and are very reasonably priced. The fantastic thing is that  not only will you get to own some lovely jewels but will be helping a truly worthy cause.

Until tomorrow, enjoy celebrating the serendipity!

01 April 2011

Gathering Gratefuls - My Expanding World View

Something that never really occurred to me when I discovered the world of blogging was how much I would enjoy seeing the world through the eyes of others. Whether it be the way someone 'feathers their nest' or how they solve a problem, I have learnt so much by viewing the world from many different perspectives.

Blogging has also helped me to hone my own tastes & preferences, clarify my values and enabled me to give voice to each in ways that I probably would never have done without it.

Something that I'm really enjoying and truly grateful for at the moment is the interaction between my gorgeous 'Gifters' [wow there's almost 300 of you now!] as we visit each other for our weekly 'Six Senses' tours.

If you've just popped in you may not know what this is about, so I'll give you a quick rundown.
Each Friday we visit a Gifter's home town and are treated to a tour which incorporates each of the five senses with the added bonus of finding out a secret that only a local would know.
If you have some time on your hands and would like to expand your world view grab your walking shoes and have some fun with my quality tour guides.
Click on either the place name or the image of the following destinations for an entry to each tour.

So far we have had an early morning beach swim at Noosa which is my home town....

Explored the streets of Hong Kong with their capacity for sensory overload...

Blissed out with the glory of nature in the Margaret River region of Western Australia....

Been mesmerised by a little place called Snow Pond in New Hampshire USA....

And enjoyed lots of fresh air and autumn treasures in rural New South Wales.....

I'm so grateful to each 'Gifter' guide for the quality tours that they've presented and can't wait to visit some more interesting places & expand my world view in the weeks to come.  Thank you girls!

If you have the urge to say your own thank you or perhaps share some thoughts of gratitude, then today's the day to pop on over to my brilliant friend Maxabella's place where she's 'gathering the gratefuls' for us.

A GENTLE REMINDER THAT IF YOU HAVEN'T ENTERED MY BIRTHDAY BLING GIVEAWAY, SNAP TO IT BECAUSE I'M DRAWING THE WINNERS ON SUNDAY & I'D REALLY LIKE YOUR NAME TO BE THE ONE THAT I PICK OUT OF THE HAT.