Friday’s Favourites ~ 9 Dec 2011

On Fridays at 365 Less Things I share with you my favourite comments from my wonderful readers and my favourite web finds of the week. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I did.

You may have noticed a little change to the title of todays post. If not, the difference is that the five has gone. Some weeks I struggle to choose five favourites while others I struggle to keep it at five, particularly comments because my readers are such good contributors. So to make life easy for me I have decided to change this weekly post to Friday’s Favourites, with no numerical boundary. Hope you like the new format.

Oh, and don’t forget if you ever come across a web link you think my readers will enjoy please send me the link so I can add it here. You will get the credit and I will get it easy. I like easy. 😉 That goes for comments too, if you think a reader has contributed a particularly good comment please feel free to nominate them as Friday Favourite.

Favourite Comments. Enjoy!

I enjoyed this short comment from Spendwisemom. I sincerely hope she is right and that we are on the right track.

Gail C has been reading my blog for a while now but stepped up to introduce herself in this message this week. Great to have you on board Gail!

Ideealistin gives us a wrap up of here give-away-get-together in this comment. What a great idea and what a great success it was. Well done Ideealistin.

Lena has been reading through the archives and sent me this response to day 221. I don’t know if I have influenced her or she has been encouraged by other sources but it got me thinking about the contributions in Lynn Fangs new ebook about inspiring change. I know I am constantly being inspired to act more environmentally responsibly in new ways by the examples of others and I hope you all are too.

I really enjoyed this comment from Bec mostly because she agreed with me but then she topped it off with saying how much she loved my blog. One is allowed to indulge themselves occasionally when choosing favourites. 😆 Welcome to my blog Bec.

Favourite Web Finds. Happy reading!

Cindy sent me this great link and I love it. ~ The 5 best toys of all time 

Thanks again to Cindy for this link. ~ Why we can’t spend our way back to normal

Once again Cindy has sent me this link on ten uses for non-organic packing peanuts from I love a good recycling idea.

Give yourself some credit for the things you are already doing for the environment this Christmas ~ Mother Nature Network ~ 7 green things you’re already doing this christmas

Today’s Declutter Item

These Snoopy items didn’t sell on ebay so they were donated to the thrift store.

More Snoopy items

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow

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  • Friday’s Favourites ~ 25Oct2013 On Fridays at 365 Less Things I share with you my favourite comments from my wonderful readers and my favourite web finds of the week. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I […]
About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. I must say, those are some mighty fine links you found for this week. We had a good time at our house with the kids and Dan guessing one of the best toys of all times. Of course, no one guessed, but once I started reciting the list, they were all yelling BOX. I guess of those on the list, BOX is the favorite around here. Audra was just wallpapering one for herself with wrapping paper the other day and tucking inside of it to do their homework. Then, when they saw the box that my parents’ new bathtub came in…they went crazy!

    • Self praise is no recommendation Cindy. 😉 😆 I must say I had a pretty organic childhood, not through poverty but because we loved playing outside. So I managed to guess everything on the list before I scrolled down. I also immediately thought they they should have included water when dirt was mentioned because it is so much fun and goes so well with dirt. My kids, as you can well imagine had some fun times with boxes being as we moved periodically and always kept a few boxes on hand just in case. They came in handy especially during school holiday time to keep the kids occupied. A box big enough for a bathtub would be a whole lot of fun.

  2. This quote “I call this the materiality paradox: people buy more products and they discard them more quickly. The rates at which consumers divest themselves of yesterday’s must-have purchase has also soared, as disposal sites such as landfills, thrift shops and container ships full of used consumer goods bound for Africa attest.” from the “Why we can’t spend our way back to normal” -article concerns us who have simplified our lives by decluttering. We have to make sure we don’t just buy it all back. Sometimes I visit a flea market and it’s astonishing how much excess we all have. I look at the young people selling their clothes and shoes and whatnots and I wish they don’t just turn around and go spend the money they are making by selling their stuff, to buy newer, trendier stuff in replacement. I want to have what I need, and have an appreciation for the things I have, take care of them and repair them.

    • Hi Cat’sMeow,
      I share your concern and unfortunately it is only too real. I went the the flea-market up the street from my house one day and out of curiosity asked some of the stall holders why they were selling their stuff. One young women was selling up to go and start a business in Bali which I thought sounding adventurous but another was just doing as you mentioned, selling of todays castoffs to be replaced by new stuff. I am with you way of thinking and behaving, ~ “I want to have what I need, and have an appreciation for the things I have, take care of them and repair them.” Good for you.

  3. and again in your favourites. Thanks. oh and congrats to that lizard, isnt it always again amazing what special kind of nature you have right in front of your door? I love that.

    I have to admit, that it was a post several weeks ago that got me thinking. I cant remember, who it was, but she ordered her stuff at the counter in her own tupperware. Then you posted last week the link to bagless (where you count your disposable items you get over a week). And I got curious. I mean I still prefer plastic over non organic and local food, and I am not there yet to bring my own plastic containers, but then again: I try to cut down on plastic, and I am step by step getting more successful.
    It is your blog that improves my lifestyle, it is the commenters all over this world who give new ideas and tricks, new aspects and perspectives. And because it is almost on a daily basis that we get new topics and ideas (and reading through the archives helps as well), I always get reminded, and I dont stop thinking about my responsibility as a consumer.
    I do have other sources who get me informed and conscious about certain issues. But lately it is me who is informing them. 😉

    so thanks to all of you, you can be proud of yourself to make me a better person 😉

    • Hi Lena,
      my readers, Cindy and I only put our thoughts out there, it is you who are making you a better person. I know people who I passively try to convert from the dark side who I fear will never get it. They are content in their own little world because it might take a little effort to do the right thing or they would prefer to ignore reality so they don’t feel bad about their behaviour. They want what they want and reality may spoil that for them so they pretend there is no problem. People like us however realise that the world can’t go on like this forever and are making the effort to do the right thing. We are learning and changing little by little from other folks who lead the way for us. We can be happy with ourselves even though we aren’t perfect we are at least improving day by day.

      So give yourself a pat on the back Lena and keep doing what you can to be a better and better citizen of this planet.

  4. Responding to the Snoopy give aways. Today I was asked to gather some donations for children in Tijuana for gifts. I had a knitted scarf, a paintbox and a new water bottle to start the bag. Then I went through the sketchbook/notebook box, which is WAAAAY too full, and added some of those. Meanwhile, some stuffies were in view. I really dont have many left at this point, but these were NAMED stuffies, with history. When I asked who wanted to go to TJ and play, or stay on the shelf gathering a LOT of dust, almost all voted for the first choice. So off they are going. I am down to the real basics now. In that ONE category. Only several hundred categories to go. I know it is from reading your blog and the seed you have planted about sentimental clutter that enabled me to make this decision. Thanks so much and Feliz Navidad.

    • Hi Rachel K,
      it is good to hear from you. Last time we spoke you had just had your big give-away day in preparation for the big move. How did the move go and are you all settled into your new home? I figured we hadn’t heard from you in so long because you had nothing left to declutter after that experience. But here you are giving more stuff away to those in need, what a wonderful person you are. I read a great book recently written by an Australian comedian on her sentimental hoarding tendencies and how she finally came to let things go which I am going to share a review on soon. The book is called Lessons in Letting Go by Corinne Grant. Sometimes all the advice in the world is no where near as helpful as hearing someone else’s story. I really enjoyed this book. I don’t know how available it will be outside of Australian though. And Feliz Navidad to you too Rachel.

  5. Oh, Colleen, that was only the first of many needed give-aways. A top layer of the onion. I am not moving yet, likely in the next six months, and had basically gotten distracted from getting rid of stuff at all. But now needing to get back into it and develop a regular habit. Thank you for all the inspiration. I will look for that book, looks like my cuppa.

    • Slow and steady wins the race Rachel. Good luck. And I really did enjoy that book, I am going to write the review now because I have to return it to the Library by the 12th.

  6. Hi Colleen,
    The new name for Fridays postings is perfekt! 🙂

    I want to thank whomever it was that commented about giving three gifts at Christmas (like the Three Wisemen gave to Baby Jesus). My husband and I discussed this in detail, and we fell in love with the idea. So now we have three gifts for each child (already tucked away for the big day) and that’s it! We (husb and me) only give each other one gift. It is perfekt! So thank you to the person who put that idea on this post sometime back. I’ve decorated with lovely ribbons (about 2 feet long strands, large to small widths, red velvets/red-white checked/plaid colors) gathered and tied with matching bows and placed around the house. In my minimalist ‘mode’, those large and colorful bows/ribbons add just enough decorative charm for the holidays (and then VERY easy to store and I don’t have to worry to about anything breaking!).

    The links for todays fav’s were awesome! My favorite was about the ‘5 best toys for kids’. Our umbrella stand is filled with sticks that the kids found and play with outside (and store in the umbrella stand; plus the sticks actually make a nice natural ‘decor’, along with a few trusty umbrellas!). There are, however, no mud pies in my oven or refrig! 🙂

    • Hi Annabelle,
      when you go back to America you will have to learn to respell perfekt, I mean perfect. But then again be an individual, I get a dig every time I say candy, shopping cart and cell phone but I don’t care they know what I am talking about and they shouldn’t be so rude. 😆

      Your Christmas decorating sounds lovely, you should send a photo.

      I loved that 5 best toys post as well. Through a tree, a water hole and a couple of friends in with those five things and there is no need for toys at all.

      • I presented the 3 gifts idea, and I learned about it from a lady at church. Glad it’s working for you.

        I think my 5 best list of toys would be sticks, rocks (all sizes), boxes, cloth (various sizes), and one sister.

        Ok Colleen, if they’re not candy, shopping carts, and cell phones, what are they? Sweets, ???, and mobiles?

        • Lollies, shopping trollies and mobiles. Cart and cell are easier to say that trollies and mobiles. One syllable verse two, no competition. Not that I am lazy or anything. 😉

  7. And I add this…

    as a kid, my favorite toy in the entire world was a REFRIGERATOR box!!! It was hours of fun!

    Our goodies are being packed and shipped next week (we follow in 3 months). So hopefully, on the other end, the kids will be granted some lovely LARGE warddrobe boxes for endless hours of play time!

    It is quite interesting to see, even after months of solid decluttering, how much stuff WE STILL REALLY HAVE! I thought I was getting somewhere. AHHH, (light bulb goes on here), stuff has been COMING BACK INTO MY HOUSE (must work on this more w/ kids and hubbie and MYSELF, too!!!). Yikes. Well, in reality it is not THAT much stuff, but even then, ‘not that much stuff’ begins to ‘add up’…

    🙂 Oh well, live and learn, share and teach, one step at a time!

    • Hi Annabelle,
      Good luck with the move mate, I hope it all goes smoothly. Portarobes are so much fun for the kids to play in. My sure had some fun at different times over the years. Do you have a carton count or cubic metre measure of your stuff from when you moved to Germany to compare with the amount you are taking home. I am so looking forward to making that comparison. Are you going back to somewhere familiar or to somewhere you haven’t been before?

  8. Thank you for your Friday favourites!

    I’m happy to share with you that I’m making further progress in my ‘feeling well about my stuff’-progress. I mentioned my rather abundant china, I think (partly heritage, partly single items I bought because I fell in love with them). Well, instead of feeling bad about not being able to part with those items, though I don’t use them often, I figured, I’m going to take every chance to use them. Tomorrow, a friend is giving a big dinner and I’m going to lend her dishes and table cloths, as she’s not owning enough for all guests. Win-win: She’s getting dishes for just one evening and I get my dishes used. 🙂
    I think that the good old lending to and borrowing from friends and relatives got a bit out of fashion lately, but I’m trying to change that for the better.

    • Awesome plan Sanna. I’ve been scolded here for having Waterford crystal and Spode Christmas china that never get used. So when we has a party the other night, we pulled out the Christmas china and intended to get out the Waterford; unfortunately, Dan forgot to actually get it out, and my friends, knowing where things are stored in my house, got out the plain wine glasses instead. Oh well: one used, and one intended to be used is better than most years!

    • This is BRILLIANT. If I am not willing to get rid of something, Plan B is that I had jolly well USE IT. After all, what are things for? This has opened an entirely new room in my brain. Thank you very very much.

    • Hi Sanna,
      brilliant, this comment is going straight to next weeks Friday’s favourites. Good for you. One question, and this isn’t meant to put you off because I love what you are doing, but would you be at all concerned if something got broken? I would hope you would think c’est la vie but I just wanted to check. I think something is better off used and broken than left to languish unused.

      • No, I wouldn’t mind if something broke (after all it didn’t, all pieces returned safely to their home). I share your opinion on this topic.

        After all, I think, I’d rather have a photo of a merry get-together around a beautiful table with my beautiful dishes as a reminder of a broken piece than having the actual piece sitting in my cupboard but with no merry memories attached at all.

  9. Whether you share five or fifteen favorites Colleen, they are always good!

    Sorry I haven’t been by in a while. We are all sick here with colds. The only downside to living in a consolidated home, is that we sometimes share air-borne germs. My granddaughters are just getting over a tummy bug too, so we adults have our fingers crossed that we miss that one!!

    I understand your comment about having no words. It took me until late Tuesday to write what was supposed to have been my Monday post, because I couldn’t find the words either, only tears. There is nothing like seeing first hand the needs of the abused and unwanted children, as we do on a regular basis in our outreach, to put Christmas and “things” into perspective. My son and DIL have worked here for a year now, I came on board six months later, and it has transformed our lives. My son and DIL are young yet, and I can’t even describe what working with these needy refugee families has done to help them get a grip on their own true needs in life, and that of their daughters. They often have to visit in the homes of the refugee families to report back to the ministry of the needs, so food and clothing can be delivered. My DIL says many times they find only roaches in the cupboards! She comes away crying her eyes out each time. There is just something about seeing people with so little, without the hope of even the necessities of life, that can truly change one’s perspective about true needs.

    Betty Jo

    • Hi Betty Jo,
      I don’t know how you do it, the sadness of this situation must really get you down at times. It makes me a bit ashamed of the way we are so selective of which refugees we allow to stay in our country. But then again I don’t actually understand that process so maybe things aren’t so bad here. I am pretty sure our Government takes better care of them once they are here than most other countries do. All in all there is far less true poverty in Australia than I witnessed in America when I was there and sadly it isn’t experienced only by refugees over there. If anything our Government makes it too easy for our own citizens to receive welfare enabling some to bludge off the system for their entire lives. I thinks those people are in the minority though or at least I hope they are. We have far less in the way of soup kitchens and shelters here because they just aren’t as necessary. With government housing, payments and other assistance the call for other help just isn’t so high. We really do live in the lucky country here down under.

  10. There is a huge debate here in the US over which refugees should be allowed in, or allowed to stay. We are simply trying to be of help to the people who are here for whatever reason. Especially the children who had no choice and haven’t asked to be here. We simply try to see each person as a person of worth and give a hand-up wherever we possibly can.

    Some of the cases are so sad and heart breaking, but in the end it makes us more grateful for what we do have (or what we have left after downsizing) and has helped us to get our whacked out priorities inline. Seeing “true” poverty has helped us to focus more on what is truly important in our own lives, and in the lives of others.

    So true Colleen, as you say, all the poverty here in the US isn’t refugees from other countries, but many born-here-citizens. It’s pretty obvious the so-called “American Dream” hasn’t been a reality for all.

    I read in a September 2010 report: In 2010, 17.2 million households, 14.5 percent of households (approximately one in seven), were food insecure, the highest number ever recorded in the United States.