Nov 20, 2017

Changing my behaviour with Stefanie London

About 6 months ago I decided to overhaul how I "consume" clothing. This is something that has been building for a while, like a niggling thought about something I knew wasn’t right in my life. There are plenty of facts and figures on the way that we over-consume fashion these days, but this article is a good start: or here:

The upshot is that back in the 50's the average woman owned about 9 outfits. From the above articles, people have an "average of 16 items only worn once and 11 still with the tags on" in their closets.

The increase in consumption has much to do with fast fashion and the low cost of garment production by fast fashion companies. Why spend $100 on one top when you can get 5 or 6 for the same price at H&M, right?

The problem is, the cost cutting not only effects the quality of the garment (meaning they degrade quicker) but the wages and working conditions for people making the garments as well as the environment (watch this The True Cost on Netflix for more info on this. Ne prepared, having a box of tissues handy.)

What am I doing about it?
1.     I've put myself on a temporary fast fashion ban. No H&M, no GAP, no Old Navy etc. It's been just under three months so far. Ideally, I'd like to go a whole year. I've realized that I actually need a lot less clothing than I'd previously thought.
2.     Taking better care of the clothing I own, learning how to mend things instead of replacing them.
3.     Shopping more carefully and thoughtfully when I do buy something new. I’m trying to choose more sustainable fashion brands or at least buying an item of high quality that I know I will use lots and will last me longer than one season.
4.     I am now learning to sew and knit. This definitely isn't me saying we should all make out own clothing, but to me it was a natural part of changing my habits.

The easiest thing you can do to lessen your fast fashion impact is to simply buy less, buy thoughtfully and buy better

quality. I feel that this is one of those things where small behaviour changes across larger groups of people will have massive impact. Try “shopping your closet” by creating new pairings of items you already own, or making a promise to finally get those jeans hemmed so you can wear them out instead of leaving them unloved in your closet.

Is this something you’ve thought about? How have your shopping habits changed over the years?

Nov 19, 2017

Sunday Smooch with Amy Andrews

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from Amy Andrews but first.......the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is Linda Thurmond DeCristofaro who commented on Facebook which we are now cross posting to!

Can you please contact Kandy on kandy (at) kandyshepherd (dot) com to receive your copy of A Diamond In Her Stocking.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch fromPlaying With Forever

Country boy, Ryder Davis has the world at his feet. A stellar rugby career, a winning way with women and a beach view that keeps him in blue sky and bikini babes. He's living the dream. The last thing he needs is a Great Dane called Tiny destroying his feng shui.

Dog whisperer, Juliet Morgan is about to start living her dream and she's counting down the days. In two months she'll finally be moving to Italy and no man's going to stop her this time. Not even a rugby superstar with a badly behaved pooch.

But when Ryder skids into the animal shelter looking for help Juliet agrees to assist him with his canine issues. Pretty soon they're assisting each other out of their clothes and tumbling headlong into a sex thing with an expiry date.

Neither of them expected it to become more. But when for now starts to feel like forever Juliet hits the panic button. Ryder knows he has to play the long game and let her walk away. After all it's not over until the final hooter sounds and all's fair in love and rugby.
Blurb and Cover

Scene set-up
Juliet and Ryder are all but living together now with a Great Dane puppy called Tiny. But Juliet's not having a bar of it. Oh and they've just had a visitor during which Juliet was showing off her Italian language skills.

Amy says - there's some language in this excerpt so if that's likely to offend maybe skip the Smooch this Sunday :-)

Twenty minutes later, Juliet had showered and was in the bedroom hunting through her handbag for her travel toothbrush. She’d tossed it in there a few days ago when it had become clear she’d be spending a lot of time in Ryder’s gorgeous apartment. The fact that it popped inside itself, forming a compact unit, made it very convenient and portable.

She glanced up to find Ryder lounging in the doorway looking at her. He’d just come in from taking Tiny out for his last toilet stop. The dog was sitting obediently at Ryder’s side but his ass was hovering, waiting for the command to be allowed into the bedroom.

Ryder’s gaze travelled up her body, in no hurry to get to any destination. Her skin prickled in its wake, her nipples beading beneath the towel she had wrapped around her body.

“You speaking Italian is sexy as fuck.”
Juliet’s abdominal muscles quivered at his statement, his words smooth as melted chocolate. How could she want him again so soon? Sure, the man looked good enough to eat in his cargoes and T-shirt, but it had been less than half an hour since the last time. She could still feel him inside her.
His hot gaze was like a brand on her skin.
“Trying to Jedi mind trick the towel into falling off me won’t work. You’re a rugby player, not Luke Skywalker.”
He grinned. “I have a light sabre in my pants that says different.”
Oh he did. And he wielded that weapon of mass distraction well.
He let go of Tiny’s lead and made a kind of permissive noise which saw the dog shimmying into the bedroom and greeting her excitedly.
She laughed as Tiny nosed at the towel affectionately, loosening the tie between her breasts a little. She grabbed it before the whole thing unravelled. “Trying to get the dog to do it won’t work either.”
Juliet rolled her eyes as Ryder faked surprise. She turned her attention to Tiny, smooshing his jowls together. “Don’t let the bad man corrupt you.” The she grabbed her toothbrush and said, “On your bed.”
Tiny obeyed immediately, lumbering over to his bed, which had been placed at the end of Ryder’s mattress.
“Shame on you,” she tisked as she sashayed past Ryder. He made a grab for her, but she laughed and scooted out of reach.
He followed her into the bathroom, lounging in the doorway again, watching her brush her teeth. His gaze lingered on her neck, where strands of hair had escaped the loose up-do, before moving south, roving all over her body.
By the time she’d finished her teeth and retracted her toothbrush, her legs were like jelly. Who needed a Jedi when the man eye-fucked like Han Solo?
 “You should bring some of your stuff over here. I can make some room in my cupboard.”
She turned to face him, her pulse fluttering, the toothbrush clasped in her hand, strangely hesitant at his suggestion. “Why?”
He pushed off the doorframe and prowled toward her, whipping his shirt off and tossing it on the ground. “Because you spend half of your time here. It’ll save you going home for a change of clothes before work in the morning.”
She almost sighed out loud at the beauty of his chest but forcibly concentrated her brain on what he was saying, not what he wasn’t wearing. “I don’t have a problem with that.” She was awake early enough with his training schedule anyway.
 “At least leave some toiletries here.” He nodded at the slim case of the travel toothbrush. “Save you having to carry a bloody toothbrush around with you. I’ve got plenty of my stuff at yours.”
That was true. Even after a week, it seemed like half of his clothes and a bunch of other crap, from dog toys to sports mags to tubes of deep heat to beach towels, now resided at her place. Worse than that, it seemed to increase exponentially with each day. Like all his boy shit was breeding.
Clothes appeared and never left. She was starting to wonder if he was leaving her place naked in the morning.
“Yes, but…”
How could she explain it? Her toothbrush was her line in the sand. Otherwise it was a slippery slope, wasn’t it? It starts with a toothbrush, then a drawer is cleared then hanging space is made. Next all her crap would be here and plans for Italy put on the back burner.
She didn’t have an issue with his stuff at hers. That was just Ryder’s personality and men were, in her experience, generally sloppy creatures. But her stuff at his—that was a much bigger, symbolic gesture.
One she wasn’t prepared to make.
“This is supposed to be just sex. No getting attached. No commitments.” 
He reached out and relieved her of the slimline case she was holding in front of her like a shield. “A toothbrush is a commitment?”
Their gazes locked. His was amused but she was deadly serious. She felt unaccountably tense all of a sudden. This was a deal breaker for her. “Yes.”
For a moment, she thought he was going to press her on it, but then he held up his hands in surrender and said, “Okay,” placing the toothbrush on the vanity next to her hip and stepping back.
His hands slipped to his waistband where he undid his fly and stripped out of his cargoes and Calvin’s in one easy movement, kicking them to the side. His erection jutted out stiff and proud.
Bloody hell. Toothbrush? What toothbrush?
It was hard not to stare and Juliet’s breath hitched as her gaze snagged on the magnificence of it. Thick and long and veined to perfection. She wondered if there would come a time when her mouth wouldn’t go dry at the sight of it. Not in the time they had, surely?
Probably not even in a lifetime.
She dragged her eyes up and quirked an eyebrow. “That thing is always on, isn’t it?”
He just smiled and shrugged nonchalantly. Then, before she could blink, he reached out and tugged on her towel and it was lying in a puddle at her feet.
She gaped at him. “How’d you do that?”
“What can I say?” His gaze roved over her, eye-fucking her some more. “The force is strong with this one.” He grinned, taking her hand and tugging her closer, placing it on his shaft. “Have a shower with me. I’ll let you wash my Lightsabre.”
Juliet’s pulse skipped a beat as she glanced between their bodies to watch her hand wrapped around his girth. “It is very, very filthy.”  
Her hands slid to his balls and he sucked in a breath. They felt heavy as she rolled them between her fingers. Considering how many times they’d been emptied in the last week, she’d have thought they’d be light as air.  
She let him lead her into the shower, the tension from the toothbrush conversation rapidly dissipating as warm water enveloped them. Her hair was getting wet and the tiles at her back were cold but they barely registered as his wet lips descended on hers, his hot tongue sweeping inside her mouth.
When he pulled away long, drugging moments later, she was breathless, her eyelids heavy, her legs weak enough to be grateful for the wall at her back. She loved his mouth and the masterful way he used it to create a hundred different kinds of havoc in her body.
She wanted him again. Needed him.

For a chance to win a digital copy of Playing With Forever (must have an Amazon account) tell me are you a Star Wars/Star Trek fan?

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced and a smooch will be posted!

 Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver

Nov 17, 2017

Classic not Plastic.......

By Helen Lacey

Some of you may know that my hubby is a motoring enthusiastic. Or Rev Head. Or Hoon. When we first met I figured I needed to embrace the whole idea or be a Holden Widow. So, I learned to love. It was a long road...but eventually I got accustomed to things like engines revving in the garage, spanners clanging, wheels spinning, and the fact that the whole enterprise is something of a money pit.

And here she is....the mistress who lives in the garage....

So, in September, for five days, I put on my best Hoon Hat and we headed from sunny Queensland and drove south to Maitland (A long trip with no air conditioning) in a cavalcade with nearly twenty other like-minded Hoons for the bi-annual event called Toronafest. This is an event all about the  Torana...all makes and models, whether hidden or driven, and motoring enthusiasts from all over the country flocked to Maitland to celebrate their love for this Aussie icon.

I had my laptop and a writing deadline, so I figured I would hole up in the motel for a few days and let hubby do his thing with his peeps and I'd ignore the fact I was way out of my comfort zone. But as it turned out, the whole experience was nothing like I expected.

It was fun...

We met up with some friends and made new ones along the way. I empathized with other long suffering wives or partners, reminisced about my car back home with air-con, and looked forward to getting to our destination. Maitland is a nice town and the people came out in droves to see the parade of vehicles. Economically, the event is an important one for the town and thousands of people swarmed to see the 400 plus Toranas that were on show. On the Saturday there was a convoy through town and to the drive-in. On the Saturday night a gala dinner with several motoring celebrities (Although the only person I recognized was Bev Brock)  And on Sunday the main event - the showcasing of all the cars that had arrived - all polished and preened and presenting a colorful display on the field.

And the best thing - the event raised close to forty thousand dollars for charity.

And the trip home was a great way to relax. So, Toranafest 2019 is already booked into the dairy.

Happy travels! However that might look.