I grabbed a copy of Carve the Mark last week, before I’d read or heard a single thing about it. The Divergent series was something I read with my teenage girls, with all of us appreciating the fierce, flawed female lead character.

It wasn’t a perfect series by any means, but we all love a bit of dystopian fiction. That was enough reason for me to trust that Veronia Roth would deliver in this new duology.

 

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Am I a Neighbour Snob?

I know that  some people mourn the way we used to live. Remember when we knew all our neighbours so well? People miss the ease of making friends based on proximity. Relationships rooted in cheery waves and coffee invites. The comfort in knowing a neighbour will water the plants and check the post while you’re away. Every house with a “Neighbourhood Watch” sticker on the front gate and the implication that everyone keeps an eye out for each other. That whole close community vibe.

Personally, I’m not big on socialising with neighbours. I don’t mind a wave or nod but that’s about it. I’m not terribly shy but I do value my space and privacy. In the past, I’ve wondered if I should make more of an effort to get to know my neighbours. Am I a bit of a neighbour-snob? I’m not the only one in my household. Why are we so reluctant to get to know the people that live around us? The experiences we’ve had recently have only reinforced our feelings.

neighbours- scott and charlene

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Are you fed up with men who make women uncomfortable online? Sleazy comments and abuse are nothing new, though unacceptable, but what about when it’s something targeting pregnant women? Kylie from Kidgredients has seen a few guys engaging in such behaviour recently, with one particular stand-out. He’s been trawling Instagram, leaving his thoughts on pictures of heavily pregnant women.

Instagram: More than just pictures of other people’s dinner.

Kylie and I have discussed this guy at length, because he’s appeared on the Instagram accounts of more than one of our blogging mates! We’ve both been among those giving him a piece of our minds about his comments. We’re not the target of his sexually suggestive remarks but just reading them is enough to creep you out.

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When I was 14, I forgot to buy my boyfriend a Valentine’s Day present. So I did the only thing I could think of and told his mate to tell him he was dropped. Everyone who told me that was a little harsh got a lecture about how it was “just a Hallmark holiday, anyway!”. I stand by that bit of the story, though. In hindsight, the “Tell him he’s dropped” probably was a slightly dramatic way to handle the situation. As a teen, I was maybe a little melodramatic. Maybe.
I haven’t had the pleasure of too many godawful Valentine’s Day gifts, thankfully. A few cards so soppy the envelope was starting to disintegrate, though. And my share, of course, of the useless, clichéd and tacky.

Nothing says “I think we’re soulmates” like a $2 chocolate from Target. Source.

Cynicism aside, Valentine’s Day is a nice idea. Ignore the commercialism, materialism and sense of forced romance. It’s a good excuse to tell someone that you love them and maybe spoil them a little. And guess what- you CAN do it without the useless crap currently on display in every shop! In case you’re wondering, this is the stuff I mean:

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