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Supermarkets “Ban The Bag”

Supermarkets have joined the environmentally friendly party by banning single use plastic bags. I love the new plastic-free system, but have trouble remembering my bags, so I thought I’d survey my family, friends and readers to see what they thought about the new initiative.

One of the rare times I have remembered my reusable bags

Before the ban, sixty percent of those surveyed said they sometimes took reusable bags when they went grocery shopping. Surprisingly, the no option got thirty four percent and the yes option was much less, which was surprising.

I was curious how people were transitioning to a plastic bag free shopping experience. An overwhelming eighty seven percent of those surveyed said they were finding the transition good. Eight percent of those surveyed said they didn’t notice a change.

I often get halfway to the shopping centre and realise I have forgotten my reusable bags and wondered if other people were struggling with remembering their bags as well. Fifty four percent of those surveyed said they sometimes remembered their reusable bags while thirty three percent said they were struggling to remember their reusable bags. Twelve percent of people said they always remembered their reusable bags, if you are one of those people, I am a tad jealous because I wish I could be as organised as you.

Would you support a statewide/nationwide ban on plastic bags? I know I would! An astonishing eighty three percent of those surveyed would support it as well. Woolworths recently said they are planning to ban plastic straws as well, which I would support wholeheartedly because of their effect on our environment.

I also was curious to whether people used their reusable bags when shopping for non-grocery items. Just over forty percent of those surveyed said they sometimes used their reusable bags when shopping for non-grocery items.

Because sharing is caring, I asked people whether they would like to share any tips for a better plastic bag free shop. Here’s what some of those surveyed said:

• “Remember your plastic bags!”

• “Always put them back in your car after you’ve brought in your groceries”

• “Embrace the change! Save the Earth! Next stop banning plastic straws!!”

• “Keep bags in your handbag and/or car”

• “I just fold one and put it in my handbag just in case.”

Life Stories, Life+Style, Uncategorized

Yoga: My Life On A Mat

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Me with my fabulous yoga teacher and creator of Yoga Loft Newcastle,  Cveta.

I started yoga back in 2015 because I hated the gym I was at and I needed to keep fit.  I was also going through a tough time with anxiety as there was a lot going on in my life at the time.  My friend,  Amy suggested yoga as it would help not only my physical health but my mental health as well.  Anybody who knows me well knows that I don’t stick to things, I do something for six months and then I quit, get bored or walk away.  Not this time, three years down the track and I’m doing the best yoga I’ve ever done.

Yoga is a form of gentle exercise, with a focus on stretching and breathing.  I am a proud student of Yoga Loft Newcastle and I attend the Yin class on Monday.  I don’t do any tertiary education so yoga is also a time for me to learn and grow, listening to our teachers talk about anatomy, chakras and how a pose helps our bodies.  I also do my yoga practice completely blindfolded so I don’t get distracted, but it deepens my practice because my sight is taken away so my sense of hearing and touch are heightened as I need these senses to do yoga.  I never knew how much I relied on my sight, no matter how shocking it is, until I tried to do yoga with an eye mask on.

My classmates are my Yoga family and for the first time in forever, I’ve found somewhere I feel I belong outside of my family and close friends.  I’ll explain, I’ve never felt like I belonged anywhere outside of my family home and I felt like an outcast wherever I went.  Now when I enter Yoga Loft,  it’s like a sanctuary, quiet, peaceful and comfortable,  and it’s like coming home.

My family has noticed a change in my personality and my day-to-day anxiety levels have dropped dramatically.  Both, Mum and Dad plus other family and friends, are so supportive of what I do and they notice when I haven’t done yoga! For Christmases and birthdays, I get yoga clothes and equipment that I need instead of typical presents.  I believe that is a sign that my family and friends love the way yoga makes me feel and that they want me to keep achieving great things on the mat!

Life+Style, Uncategorized

How To Make Awesome Instagram Stories

If you, like me, love Instagram, you would have seen people have upped the ante on their Instagram Stories over the past few weeks.  Sick of lagging behind with my own Instagram Story style, I searched the web for answers.   Nothing came up that I liked, so I did what Mama Cass Elliot told us:  You Got To Make Your Own Kind Of Music…

I recalled that there was an app that did collages and other cool effects called PicCollage.  So I redownloaded it and played around with it, to see if I could create my very own Instagram Story style.

Here’s a short video of how I use PicCollage to make awesome Instagram Stories.

Hot Topics, Uncategorized

Public Broadcaster Must Stay In Public Hands

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At a recent Liberal meeting, a motion was passed to look into privatizing the national broadcaster, the ABC.  The ABC prides itself on providing a non-biased, independent opinion on news and current affairs and is the leading broadcaster of children’s programmes.

Here in Newcastle, we’ve already felt the brunt of ABC cuts to local programming back in 2014, including the much loved Afternoon programme hosted by Carol Duncan. It’s like “Here we go again” for us if there are more cuts coming, will we lose the remainder of our local programmes and lose the ability to do emergency broadcasting when we have a situation like a bushfire or a flood?

When we had the April 2015 storms, nearly every household radio was set to 1233 ABC Newcastle to find out the latest news on the unfolding situation.  Although we had Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, the radio provided the older generation with the vital information plus a friendly voice to keep them company.

The television shows we see across the four ABC stations are quality and substantial, compared to what’s on the commercial television stations.  The thing I like most about the ABC television programming is the shows are majority Australian and focuses on delivering fact-based current affairs such as Four Corners and Australian Story. Play School is another quality show that has entertained children for over fifty years and is a staple of a toddler’s daily routine.

The question is if the government does privatize the ABC, will this change the quality of the programming that is delivered into Australian homes?  We don’t know what the pending privatization will mean but the ABC is Australia’s National Public Broadcaster, so it must remain in public hands!

Disney, Life+Style, Uncategorized

Disney – The miniseries: Part Four: The Future and 100 Years Of Magic

I often ask myself “will Disney be my life forever?” and it is mostly followed promptly by “It will always be a major part of your life but it’s your choice and yours alone.”.  I don’t remember a time when I didn’t obsess over Mickey Mouse and Disney, and this is why I still do what I do.

I have a nephew/godson named Oliver,  and he is the future.  Oliver is not even two and already he is shaping up to be another Disney fanatic.  I know this isn’t something to be celebrated but I feel so happy that somebody will be there to carry on my legacy once I’m no longer around.

Speaking of legacies, this year’s Disney On Ice celebrates Walt Disney’s legacy – one hundred years in fact.  Although Walt didn’t see one hundred himself, his life and body of work still inspire millions of people every day. 100 Years Of Magic was originally created way back in 1999, and this is the third time it’s visiting Newcastle. After numerous remodels, this version includes modern smash hits such as Frozen and the Disney Princesses to timeless classics such as Toy Story and The Lion King.

Making memorable moments is synonymous with Disney On Ice.  I know first hand how valuable these memories are and Disney On Ice has the ability to connect the young and the old plus lets the child in all of us roam free for an hour or two.

Disney On Ice – 100 Years Of Magic skates into the Newcastle Entertainment Centre from July 13-15, just in time for the middle of the Winter School Holidays!

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Disney – the miniseries: Part Three – Disneyland Bound

I eventually reached LA at the ripe old age of twenty five, on the back of travelling around the UK for three weeks. I’d just hopped in the shuttle bus and we hit the highway, a six lane heading south and it was peak hour on a hazy Friday afternoon. I had never been exposed to a major highway while driving on the left hand side of the road. I recall feeling extremely scared, I just arrived in a new country and here I was, sitting, thinking “Is this all worth it?” while tears welled up in my eyes. We hit Universal Studios on Saturday and shopped on Sunday, Monday was the day – the day I would realise my childhood dream.

I was excited but calm; I had to be able to think, as this day would be etched into my memory forever and ever amen, and I couldn’t afford to do something profoundly stupid that I will have burned into my brain for the rest of my life.

I went on nearly all the rides, but the main reason why I went was to meet someone who has been a significant part of my life since I was three years old – Mickey Mouse. I took my Mickey so he could share the spoils of meeting someone who is a God in my world.

We wowed everyone, I felt like every set of eyes in that room were fixed on me, my best friend and the most famous mouse in the world. It felt so good to see so many people take an interest in a kid from Australia realising a dream. My mother cried when I hugged Mickey, but I just thought to myself ”You did it mate, you realised your dream!”

In the final instalment of this miniseries, I will discuss what the future holds and preview this year’s Disney On Ice.

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Disney – the miniseries: Part Two – My Fantasy World

Most teenagers don’t like Disney, Disney is strictly for kids under ten. Not for me, I believe that Disney is for everybody regardless of how old they are.

I was just a lost teenager growing up in Newcastle in despair. I wanted to get to Disneyland at any cost – like any other kid. Disneyland was the ultimate dream. I cried when someone I knew went over, screaming in pain because it wasn’t me. I was distraught because it should have been me. Nobody had waited longer than me, so I virtually outranked everybody.

I didn’t have any other real interests besides Mickey, Disney and footy. I lived and breathed Disney. Lunchboxes, backpacks and clothes were just the tip of the iceberg. My favourite Mickey plush toy sat on my bed, pride of place surrounded by my other Mickey toys. I still take him to bed now, because again I know no different.

In the next instalment of this particular series, I will recount the most important week of my life – the week my Disneyland dream came true.