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Archive for December, 2009

Recycle Christmas

Thursday Thirteen

Christmas has been and the New Year is just over the horizon. Recently I read Shannon Lush and Jennifer Fleming’s Save which includes all sorts of tips to save money, time and the planet. I thought some of their tips relating to Christmas would make a good TT topic.

Thirteen Ways to Recycle Christmas

1. Strip the needles off a discarded pine Christmas tree and use them for garden mulch.

2. Turn the thin branches of the tree into a Christmas wreath for the following year. Cut the thin branches with secateurs to fit in a bucket and soak them in hot water for two hours. Weave the branches into a wreath for future use.

3. Use old Christmas cards for children’s craft projects.

4. Use old cards for decoupage.

5. Reuse old wrapping paper. Remove tape and fold ready for the next time.

6. Some charities collect old Christmas cards to recycle.

7. Cut shapes from old wrapping paper and stick them together to form new paper. You can also weave pieces together to make new paper.

8. Turn ribbons into bookmarks.

9. Spray pine cones with gold paint or sprinkle with glitter. Arranged in a pretty container they’ll make a good party decoration.

10. We always have pavlova for a Christmas dessert. It uses heaps of eggs. Egg shells are high in calcium. Crush them and mix with birdseed to feed the birds.

11. Take unwanted gifts back to exchange or donate them to a charity.

12. If your Christmas lights are past it, remove the wiring and use for tying things such as plants in the garden.

13. Use pictures from old greeting cards to decorate soaps. Cut out the image you like, dampen the surface of the soap with water and rub the picture on to it with your finger. Make sure you get some of the soap film over the top to help the picture stick. Allow to dry.

Do you have a Christmas recycling tip?

Fidgeting: It’s Good News

Most of the Wii Fitness games–Wii Fit, Wii Fit Plus, Active and Your Shape include fitness tips. One of the tips on Your Shape mentioned Fidgeting. Fidgeting is when a person is uneasy or restless and they move their limbs in a nervous manner.

Did you know fidgeting is good? If you’re a fidgeter, you use up to 700 calories per day. I’m not usually a fidgeter, but I think I might change my ways.

Do you fidget?

Don’t forget the scavenger hunt to win a blue Sony reader. Here’s the link to the contest details at the Samhellion blog. The contest closes on 31 December 2009.

Tap, Tap, Tap!

No, that’s not me writing, tapping away on my keyboard. That’s the noise I hear while I’m writing. Now that our trees have grown we have a lot of thrushes and blackbirds visiting our garden. At this time of the year they hunt out snails, cart them to the nearest concrete path and start thumping them to break the shells so they can dine.

I was going to take photos of all the empty shells, but Mr. Munro used the blower today and blew them away. The bird’s favorite killing ground seems to be under the clothes line. Every time I go out there during summer, I stand on the empty shells. It’s most annoying because I never remember to grab my shoes and end up standing on the sharp, snail shells.

Do you have any interesting wildlife at your place?

I’m Watching You

Camera Critters


Mr. Munro took this photo at the Auckland zoo. When we visited Africa we saw quite a few hippos. We stayed at one camping ground by a waterhole where they came out at night and grazed by our tents. The hippo is considered one of the most dangerous animals in Africa, and the worst thing you can do is to get between a hippo and water or a hippo and its offspring.

To see more animal photos visit Camera Critters.

Christmas Greetings


I hope you have a wonderful day with family and friends. Thank you to Calico Crazy who designed the beautiful Christmas ornament and sent it to me.

Christmas has almost finished here in New Zealand. I’m now the proud owner of a pink Asus netbook. Hubby gave it to me. I won’t have any excuse not to write now!

Merry Christmas!

For those of you who would like an e-book reader, the fourth and final Samhain Publishing scavenger hunt starts today. The big prize is a Sony e-reader while other readers will win e-books. Follow this link to the Samhellion blog to learn full details. The contest ends on 31 Dec 2009.

Captain Jack Harkness

Thursday Thirteen

I’ve been watching the first season of Torchwood this month. It’s the first time I’ve watched the show, and I’ve fallen in love with Captain Jack Harkness. He’s such a fascinating, intriguing character. My favorite bookstore is having a 25% sale, starting on Boxing day, and I’m heading straight there to purchase season two.

Thirteen Things about Captain Jack Harkness


Photo credit: BBC Torchwood

1. Sexy
2. Dark
3. Enigmatic
4. Bold
5. Mysterious
6. Leader of Torchwood
7. Dangerous
8. Confident
9. Has a past
10. Magnetic
11. Friendly
12. Not from this world
13. Can’t die

Do you enjoy Torchwood? Do you have anything to add about Captain Jack?

Just Add Water


The copy of NZ Woman’s Health I purchased (see yesterday’s blog post) had an interesting article about water and some of the myths people believe about it.

Here are some I found particularly interesting.

1. Bottled water is NOT better than tap water. In most cases tap water is safe to drink and contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium and zinc. It’s actually better if we drink tap water because it means fewer plastic bottles in landfills.

2. We should drink 8 glasses of water per day. No one is sure where this came from. The amount of water we require depends on our size and the type of activities we take part in during the day. Quite a few foods contain water as well so it’s not always necessary to drink glasses and glasses of water.

3. Tea and Coffee cause dehydration. Not true. As long as you don’t drink to excess, tea and coffee actually contain water along with the caffeine. Around five cups or less per day is considered okay.

I try to drink extra glasses of water during the day, but mostly it depends on my day and the availability of restrooms. What goes in invariably comes out!

My hubby often wakes in the small hours of the morning. Whenever he does, he has a glass of water and always brings me one too. I’m always thirsty in the morning so a glass of water is very welcome. Isn’t he well trained?

How much water do you drink each day? Do you like drinking water?

Seduced by a Magazine

Today I visited Newmarket (an upmarket shopping area not far from the inner city) and then stopped at Sylvia Park, one of the local malls. I was peering out the window on the way there and I saw it…

An ad for a magazine. I noticed one of the headlines on the cover and had to have a copy of my own. I was seduced. The story title?

2 Weeks to a Flat, Sexy Stomach.

I tell you, a little voice inside my head screamed, “Buy me!” so like the good consumer I am, I purchased a copy of New Zealand Women’s Health. I now have all the details at my fingertips: the quick, toning moves, the no-fail rules of flat abs and 12 fat-blasting foods.

Along with the flat, sexy stomach article there are ones on making love last, a guide to a stress-free life and motivational secrets for real women to get and stay fit. I tell you…I’m set for the holiday season.

Do you purchase or read magazines? If so, do you have any favorites?

Sleepless Night

I had trouble sleeping last night. I don’t know if it was because I read Margie Lawson’s guest post about sleeping at Petit Fours and Hot Tamales or if it was a sign of things to come. Margie’s post was very interesting and included suggestions about ways to aid sleep. It’s worth reading if you have a chance.

Normally, I sleep really well. Last night I was tired. I slept a few hours and woke. Unable to go back to sleep, I applied my brain cells to the problems I’ve been having with my current work-in-progress. Problem fixed! I know how to end my story in a way that isn’t as lame as my original idea. I must have drifted back to sleep and I woke about seven, feeling really tired. According to hubby I was grinding my teeth. I haven’t done that for a long time. It’s something I usually only do when I’m stressed.

If anyone has listened to a person grinding their teeth they’ll know what a horrible sound it is–way worse than snoring. I don’t know why hubby didn’t wake me up.

The good news is that I remembered all the plotting I’d done during the night–it didn’t fade away into dreamland. Here’s hoping I sleep better tonight, but if I don’t, I have another story I need to start plotting.

What do you do if you can’t sleep? Is anyone else tired of 2009 and ready for 2010 to begin?

Play Time

Camera Critters

This photo of two otters playing was taken at Bear Country in South Dakota. They were having a fine old time and enjoying the sun.


To see more animal photos visit Camera Critters.