Category: Diary

Community Volunteer Work

I really didn’t want to do unpaid work.

When I started going to the local toy library in 2015, I was like, “Yeahhhhh, no way is anyone going to get me to volunteer for here! That’s what devalues women! They’re always working for free and are always expected to work for free! They’re always the ones doing the unpaid, unacknowledged community work and it SUCKS!”

When I started going to the local community centre for kids’ music & movement classes, I was like, “Yeahhhhh, no way is anyone … [etc]”

When I started going to the local kindergarten, I was like, “Yeahhhhh, no way is anyone … [etc]”

Then they asked for volunteers. And hardly anyone put their hands up. And it was just to occasionally update the kindergarten’s website, so … how could I not do it? It would be so easy. And they needed someone to compare some old documents with some new documents, which would take more time, but I could easily do it with a service like Diff Checker, so … how could I not do it?

And then I go to the monthly volunteers’ meetings and I hear about all this other stuff that needs doing. And I see they’re designing their surveys in an ineffectual way. And the website design is outdated. And the sign on the front of the building is all faded. And they have no project management system, they’re just managing all their tasks via email, even though their volunteer staff often changes year-to-year. And I’m like, aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh.

So now I’m doing unpaid work. On top of my unpaid work as a carer. Hilarious. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it feels good to help out, and the organisation needs help, and I can fit it in, and I still want to be a full-time carer until the kids are in primary school. But 2016-Me would be shaking their head at 2018-Me, saying, “What are you doing?! Don’t do unpaid work damnit!”




Little Kids’ Books Recommendations

I’ve been meaning to do a post about little kids’ books for YEARS but it means gathering all the info about our books, ranking them, finding links and pictures, sorting them into age-groups… and the kids read new books each month so I was like, how will I keep it updated?!

But, as with so many things in life, the best place to start is a spreadsheet. (What?)

I’ve put all the books we’ve borrowed from the library or have bought/been given into a spready – KIDS BOOKS FAVOURITES – and have started sorting and rating them. It’ll be an ongoing project.

The five categories I’ve set up:

  1. Board books (age 0.5+)
  2. Sounds books (age 0.5+) – books with sound effects/music
  3. Pop-up books (age 0.5+)
  4. Story books (age 2+) – very simple stories for little kids
  5. No words books – the kids tend to loooove these

I’ve pulled out the clear favourites and given them a “5” star rating, but there are loads of books I haven’t even ranked yet. TBC!

Ideally I’d make blog posts for each category (board books recommendations, etc!), nicely written up with pictures and comments, but that’s too time-consuming at the moment .Maybe one day.

Gender Neutral Preschooler

I was doing face painting.

Preschoolers around age 3–5 were coming over and asking for…

A Butterfly, said the first little girl. She’d been a butterfly before, so she asked for what she knew.

A Bunny, said a little girl, who saw the pictures on my table (example face-painting pictures of bunnies and Easter eggs).

Then several little boys came over and asked to be a Bunny. I painted them exactly the same as the picture – pink and white ears, black whiskers, pink nose.

Then another volunteer sat down next to me, offering to help with the face painting, because the queue of kids was growing.

A Bunny, said a little boy. The other volunteer painted the pink parts of the bunny in blue, instead.

A Tiger, said a little boy who was in front of me. He’d been a tiger before, so he asked for what he knew.

The next few boys who came over wanted to be Tigers.

A boy wanted to be a Cheetah.
A girl wanted to be a Cheetah.

A boy sat down in front of the other volunteer and he didn’t know what to choose. She suggested a tiger, painted his face, and said, “Oh, you look so aggressive!”

It all starts here, baby.

2018 Resolutions

Oh, howdy!

I’ve been focusing on staring at my kids (not really), making videos, and messing around with pencils and paint. I haven’t prioritised The Bloog. But, I always like doing the resolutions thing! So here are my 2018s:




  • art journal
  • meditation
  • kindness


  • monaco video


  • 12 books
  • 12 movies
  • 12 travels


  • follow your curiosity
  • make the time to do it interestingly



I think I’ll find the “12 movies” the hardest one to do. I’m bad at watching movies and TV shows.

I talk more about my resolutions in the latest Monaco Video!



* 12? – well, that is to say, one per month. One book, one movie, and one travel (AKA “get out more!”) per month.