Saturday, December 31, 2011

On the eve of a new year...

I've been thinking lately about the last twelve months, and the changes my life has seen.  Some were unexpected and others were long awaited. Mostly though these changes have brought about a new perspective and a longing for simplicity - again.

Today I bought a cork board.  It's going to become my 2012 vision board and on it, I plan to pin pictures, articles, ideas, motivations.... anything really.  Anything that will help me stick to my plan and stay focused to achieve what I want to achieve!

This year I am going to return back to basics again.  I kind of veered off that roundabout a little this year with so much going on in my personal life, but now that that part has stabilised to some extent, it's time to simplify.  I want to avoid purchasing unnecessary items (money is still very tight), and I want to return to my goal of hand-making as many gifts as I can in my limited free time. I'm starting soon to prepare for next Christmas! I want to cook from scratch as much as possible, and along with that, I am going to avoid too many packaged food products. I've been a bit slack with this!  Nothing I have set for myself is difficult, but it is going to take a bit of time to re-integrate these ideas back into my daily routine.  Bit by bit though, I say...

Our family goal is to be able to afford to spend Christmas and New Year in Louisiana in 2012.  I'm sure we'll get there if we can all stick to our guns. The kids are on board, my sweet man has said he'll do what he can, and I'm ready and rearing to go!

Stay tuned for our progress... oh, and if anyone has any suggestions for blogs or websites that might help me in my planning (food preparation, shopping ideas, handmade gifts etc), then please shoot them my way!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Some days are hard...

Really hard. So hard that I can't even talk about them.  To anyone.  Other days are not so bad. I get by and I get on.  Some days are wonderful and I thank the universe that I live the life that I live. It's on those days that I'm grateful for everything and everyone who is a part of my existence.

Today is one of those not so good days.  The kind that makes you want to retreat and hide from everything. The kind that makes you wonder how you'll get through until tomorrow.  The kind that you really just want to forget about.  

I remind myself though that it takes the bad to be able to appreciate the good, and that eventually I will be able to lay my head down and wake up to a new day.  And who knows what tomorrow will want to share with me?  

It might just be the best day of my life. 


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How the Big W Grinch stole Christmas...

Visit here to express your opinion!

I'm a single, working mother.  The idea of ordering my children's Christmas presents online and paying them off over a period of time, was extremely appealing.  I could budget and I could rest assured that Christmas was going to be relatively sorted.

I ordered in July and dutifully paid off my lay-buy every fortnight, making my final payment on the 28 October as was required.  Delivery was supposed to be completed by the 16th of December.  I went online last week to check the progress of my order as I was getting a little worried.  It just didn't feel like Christmas without toys hidden all over the house!  On the Big W online tracker, it told me that my order had been sitting in a warehouse in Brisbane since the 1st of December - 11 days! I called Big W to query this and was told that my tracking number was incorrect, and that I would receive a call within 24hrs advising me of the correct number.  48hrs later, I still hadn't received a call, so I called again.  This time, I was told that the tracking number was indeed correct, but they were unable to assist me. I was given the number of the courier company, but this number was wrong!  I had to call back.  Again.  I finally got the number and got through to a lovely lady who advised that the order was indeed in the warehouse and she would call me back within 24hrs to advise me of the status of my order.   24hrs later and still no call.  I called again.  I spoke to another helpful girl who told me that in fact, the order was now with their local shipping company and she would call me back within 24hrs to advise of a delivery time.

Can you see the pattern here?

In the meantime, I had sent two emails to Big W, as I refused to spend 2 to 3 hours of my precious time sitting on hold.  Neither of those emails were answered, until today when they emailed quoting the wrong order number, and advising me of the delay! Well, duh!  I called the delivery company again this morning and they told me that my four items would be 'probably' be delivered on Thursday.  My four items?  There were twelve items on my order!  And 'probably'?  What does that mean?  Will I get my items, or won't I?  Will my children get to have Christmas or not?

In fairness, I did receive a call today from Big W who told me exactly the same thing as the courier company.  This was after I sent them another email advising them I had contacted the media.  And boy, did I contact the media!  Every local radio station, local news stations and A Current Affair!  Big W made no offer of compensation, no apology, no offer of a refund or credit voucher, and certainly no guarantee that I would receive my order on Thursday. I'm certainly not the only one experiencing this though.  Check out the link underneath the picture above.  Some families have had their orders cancelled without their knowledge, and without promise of a refund in time to go shopping again!

I don't know what to do at this point. 
I can only wait and see what happens on Thursday.   I chose this method to avoid the mad Christmas crowds, and who knows if there will be anything decent left on the shelves anyway??  I've been a dedicated Big W and Woolworths shopper for years.  I'm not anymore.

I know that Christmas is not really about the presents but the point is that a multi-million dollar company has made empty promises to hundreds of families. People that have done their darndest to try to provide their families with the best Christmas they could, and who now may not have anything under the Christmas tree come Christmas morning.

Shame on you, Big W!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My year of living gratefully

I've started a new blog. I certainly won't be ignoring this little baby, but I've decided to try something a little different. One picture for everyday. Each picture will be of something that I'm grateful for - be it big or small.

I hope you'll have a look, and I hope you'll be inspired to count your blessings too.

You can find it here - My Year of Living Gratefully