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It’s bigger than a dress!

For the month of December I will be participating in Dressember because I believe in everyday advocacy. By wearing a little black dress for 31 days  I am raising awareness and funds for the millions of abused women and girls across the globe. The little black dress I am wearing (worn in rotation with another LBD I already owned) is made by and overcomer of sex trafficking who through Elegantees has been provided with secure source of income that reinforces independence, a healthy self image, and confidence that restores lives. You can sponsor my 31 day dress wearing mission to fight enforced labour and human trafficking by donating to the Dressember fundraiser page. The proceeds of the month long fundraiser support the work done by A21 and The International Justice Mission (IJM) who work to fight human trafficking and injustices against the poor on all levels, from top down policy work to bottom up rescues and rehabilitation of victims. Your dollar could help rescue children as young as two years old from cyber sex trafficking, as seen in this recent success story from the IJM. Please give even if you can only spare a dollar, every bit counts!

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Dressember 24-28

Christmas has been a great time to kick back and relax a little. As a casual employee I don’t get the luxury of paid holiday leave so there has been some work in my end of year break, but fortunately these hours are flexible and there has been time off. I actually took an accidental break from blogging the last few days. This sort of came about due to the public holidays and the fact I was enjoying some quiet family time. Never fear, there are outfit photos to make up for lost time. The weather is becoming increasingly warmer and incredibly humid so the novelty of the LBD is wearing off rapidly. I can’t wait to be in shorts and a tee in the very near future! The tag line of Dressember is #youcandoanythinginadress which is a statement to which I mostly agree but will dispute the idea of doing anything and everything in the official Dressember dress. Yes it’s incredibly comfy and attracts many compliments but truthfully the thing is VERY short (and I think it might of shrunk a little in the wash but I can’t be certain). It’s not indecent and is a hem-line length I would regularly wear, but for every day activities like grocery shopping, bending, lifting, and reaching, there is a little bit of cheek to be had! This made for a limited amount of movement on Christmas day with the nephews as I was trying very carefully to climb in and out of bench picnic seats and play Frisbee without lifting my arms (as doing so results in some flesh flash on the wrong angle). In the end I gave up and went to put my bikinis on under my dress so I was only flashing socially acceptable bits of fabric at surrounding picnickers. Can’t wait until the 1st when I can finally get about in some no stress shorts and not have to worry about being arrested for flashing my underpants at small children and the elderly.  When I start to feel uncomfortable with the dress wearing I remind myself of the reason why I am wearing this dress. That my month of mild discomfort in a LBD is nothing compared to the discomfort felt by the 4.5 million people victims of forced sexual exploitation, the 14.2 million people who are victims of other forms of forced labour (for example, in economic activities such as agriculture, construction, domestic work and manufacturing) and the 2.2 million people in State imposed forms of forced labour (in prisons or in work imposed by State armed forces or by rebel forces). Realistically if my dress being a little short is the key annoyance in my life then I’m pretty darn lucky!

 

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Christmas Love to All!

How did you spend your Christmas Day (please let us know in the comments section)? Mine was spent at the beach with my Mr. and his brothers family. It was nice to get away from home for the day and meeting in the park (halfway between our homes) with all our own pre-packed food and a portable BBQ made for a stress free and pretty much waste free Christmas. I ate way too many veggie burgers and salad and then floated like a beached whale in the Pumicestone passage to cool off when the sun came out. It was a blissful way to spend the day and I was in bed early reading a book that night with very minimal Christmas clean up. Pretty much a perfect and stress-free Christmas! We didn’t do much in the way of gifts aside from buying some body boards for the nephews. At home Ged and I got each other practical things that we have both needed and one non-essential but totally awesome Native Finger Lime tree (which is now happily potted up in the garden waiting to grow us some yummy finger limes). The days to follow have been hot and muggy which has made it a little difficult to get much done or keep accessories on for long, but we have successfully done a bit of a declutter of the garage and have been selling off unwanted items online.

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Hidden wonders in your backyard!

We were hoping to go away camping over this holiday break but unfortunately the dog boarding facility was all booked out which has resulted in adventures in the backyard along with the much- needed-but-not- so-much-fun decluttering. I’ve been asked regularly over the course of Dressember about the locations of my photos. While they might look like exotic and exciting locations they are mostly just little snippets of daily life.  The Sunshine Coast is full of natural beauty. Once a small scale tourist area, food bowl, and fishing village the Coast has now become a sprawl of housing development and homemaker centres due to it’s warm climate, easy living, and commutable proximity to Brisbane. It can be easy to get visually swept up in the emerging concrete jungle that makes up much of the Sunshine Coast daily landscape there are still snippets of the relaxed beach lifestyle of the past in most areas if you look close enough. The Day 24 outfit at the top was taken in the last little bit of farmland in the CBD of the ‘business hub’ of the Coast, Maroochydore. I’ve watched this area turn from farmland (with cows and orchards) to a housing estate. The section I am on hasn’t yet been developed but there is a big bulldozer around the corner just out of shot! While it’s frustrating to see this land go I would prefer to watch CBD farmland disappear than natural bush. Sadly there had been a huge clearing of habitat forest near the University of the Sunshine Coast for a housing development that has ironically been named ‘Habitat’. The super cool fig tree is hidden at The Big Pineapple, a tourist attraction that has some beautiful not-so-well-maintained grounds where I love to explore when attending their Saturday  farmers markets. The fig reminds me of my visit to Angkor Watt in Cambodia so standing next to it brings back some good memories and makes me feel like Angelia Jolie at Ta Prohm in Tomb Raider. In the final pictures you can see the pine forests that take up the majority of land between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. As a plant science research technician who has been involved in many forestry projects over the years I am in some way connected to this industry. Many of the projects I have assisted in have had a loose connection with increasing yields in forestry and in some cases have looked at pines. I don’t necessarily entirely agree with this type of monoculture non-native plantation but I much prefer to see trees than no trees and like that plantations like these reduce the need to log native forests (even though once-upon-a-time, prior to European settlement this was native forest) and act as a carbon sink.

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Dressember Drawing to A Close.

As the end of the month sneaks ever so much closer so too does the end of the Dressember fundraising mission. While the dream of reaching the team target of $1000 USD is still a little way off I’m very pleased to announce that Steph and I have nearly reached the halfway point at $426 USD (which is a whopping $585.00 in AUD) and that collectively Dressember has reached the lofty fundraising  heights of $618,000 USD. It would be awesome for the team to make it to the $1000 USD mark but even reaching $728 USD would be a victory as this equates to a thousand in Australian currency. Regardless of what the end total is I am personally very grateful for all the kind donations that have been offered up along the way. You guys rock! If you have a little spare cash after Christmas and want to do something good for the end of 2015 you can donate here.

My dream for the New Year is a World without injustices. A one where people and planet are treated with dignity and respect. What’s your dream?

 

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