The holidays and vacations days are over, it’s cold and freezing out there and for some of us, that means a lot of snow. Basically we all have the “case of the Mondays” for 31 days…
So I have compiled a list of ten ideas I found on the world wide web to help everyone get through this month:
1. Celebrate Winter - use the month of January to celebrate all those winter favorites. Such things may include snowball fights, tobogganing, building a snowman, hot chocolate at a fancy coffee shop, skiing, sitting by a fire. Get out and do them!
2. Book a holiday - I mean who doesn’t love getting out of town, if even for a long weekend. Even if you cannot go this very month, the sheer “planning” of an anticipated vacation will give you a boost in happiness.
3. Appreciate the norm - write down all the things you are thankful for. Health, a roof over your head, family, friends even a great haircut. Look to the small details that make up your life and be thankful.
4. Make an album - compile photos from the past year and put into an album (shutterfly or mixbook are great sites). You’ll remember all the fun you have had over the past year and it’ll put a smile on your face knowing what you have to look forward to.
5. Exercise - yes you read that right. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins. No need to run out and spend money at a gym. Even just adding a 20 min. brisk walk once/week and working towards more will start changing your mood. Fresh air will make you feel refreshed and energized.
6. Pick a day and say “yes” to all things - why not! It could be fun (a little tip - don't let the kids or your partner know which day).
7. Ask the kids and your partner not “how was your day”, but change (with enthusiasm) to “what was the highlight of your day?”, then listen with genuine enthusiasm.
8. Act of kindness - buying that coffee for the person behind you in line, or even just a simple smile goes a long way to all you meet.
9. Make your bed every day - it is a simple way to feel accomplished. Bonus - it will keep you from crawling back into it.
10. Go DRY - just kidding - DRINK WINE!
For me, it is a little simpler - I have a late January birthday and so I spend a lot of the month trying to figure out what my husband and kids are planning:)
Good luck and have a happy and positive 2017!
This blog from my highly talented sister (one of the triplet three) says it all … and sums up my vacation home to Canada this summer. Nine cousins all together, four families and Oma, all together for one fun-filled (and balloon-tossing) good time. There may have been some wine consumed as well :) Give it a read, but most of all, check out her amazing photography skills. Cheers!
Credit to Pamela VanBelle Photography
So I realize now that I never updated anyone on my Mother's Day and if you didn't read my previous blog you have no idea what I'm talking about. So moving on … it went well!
'If our walls could talk' is the next subject of our blog series. And by walls, I mean the eyes and ears of my house which is where you run an online store. Total tangent here, did you know that the Google definition of blog is "a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style"? Hmm, I might want to reconsider the name of this tab. Again, moving on ...
To summarize a few of the comments our walls would say if they could talk:
- "somebody else cleans me" (well at least they get cleaned right? - the reason I have a job is so that I can justify not cleaning myself, well that and a thousand other reasons)
- "you forgot to blog about Father's Day" (moving on …)
- "why did you just put that away when one of your kids is going to walk around the corner and take it out again?" (because I have a cleaning-obsessed husband, that's why)
- "you missed a spot" (wait, was that my walls or my husband?)
- "happy 10 years of marriage" (finally, something worth talking about!)
- "stop changing jobs" (that's a story for another day)
- "buy more wine" (nailed it!)
- "buy more wine glasses" (obviously, but i sell baby stuff too you know walls)
- "call, and actually listen to your sisters" (I'll call but do I have to listen? kidding, if you're reading this H&P!)
- "call your brother" (wait, I have a brother? kidding, I mean how else did I get a wonderful sister-in-law? love you George & Becs)
- "CALL YOUR MOTHER!" (please stop screaming at me, she has a phone too)
- "stop drinking so much wine" (um, I'm a mom. do I really have a choice?)
What would yours say?
So I asked my kids, and I asked my sister's kids, and I asked my husband, what do you think mom wants for Mother's Day?
These were their answers:
- A painted wine glass (clearly my daughter sees me spend a lot of time with these)
- Children to eat their food. (well yes, but I want that every day)
- Flowers (again, ALWAYS)
- Balloons (more for them?)
- Coffee (that's all)
- Leave mother alone (now we're talking …)
- Do what mother says (this day is going to be amazing!)
- Clothes (um, ok I guess?)
- When mommy talks, listen. (bingo) 10. Ran out of ideas … (uh oh)
MY SISTER'S KIDS
- Hugs and Kisses. (wait, why didn't my kids say this?)
- Scavenger hunt with clues that end with gifts for mom and the kids. (ok, how do they know what this is, am I missing something?)
- Charm bracelet with mom's name. (very thoughtful)
- Watch movies with the family. (always fun)
- Surprise activity that mom knows nothing about. (this could really go either way)
- Shoes. (bingo)
- Spend day with family and coffee. (a great mix)
- Mommy wants dresses. (not for me but a great idea)
MY HUSBAND (and what I might actually get)
- Flowers. (the ONE time of year he actually makes a point of it)
- Candy. (uh, I don't like candy? chocolate is my thing)
- Kisses. (can't go wrong here)
- Supper made. (I think this is a pipe dream, it will likely be takeout)
- Presents. (I like the plural on this one!)
Overall, I'd say my odds of a great Mother's Day are pretty good. In fact, I'd say my sister's odds are pretty good as well. Update to follow ...
Happy Mother's Day in advance to all the new, experienced and somewhere in between moms out there!
Apparently the stemmed vs. stemless wine glass debate is a real thing! Since arriving on the market, stemless wine glasses have created quite the stir. People either love them or can't understand them (and therefore don't discuss them).
The stemless supporters find these glasses easier to handle and more multi-purpose (think cocktails, juice or soda). And stemless glasses fit better in a lower height shelf and dishwasher (seriously, how do you properly fit a stemmed glass in a dishwasher anyway?)
However, those on the opposite side, who might argue they have a certain level of respect for everything wine (think my brother George) have something different to say. By holding a wine glass by the bowl, not only are you marking up the glass with unsightly fingerprints, but you are warming up the glass with your body heat. This is ok for reds that might taste better with a little heat, but not so good for whites that taste better chilled. Oh, and that swirl that looks really impressive? Not so easy with a stemless wine glass.
Like most things in life, it comes down to a matter of preference. Or, in my case, it comes down to the fact that I just want a glass of wine and that glass is clean. I may own every kind of painted wine glass in both stemmed and stemless varieties, but on the off chance that there isn't one clean (remember, hand wash only!) I have a back up stock of plain, clean, dish-washable stemmed and stemless wine glasses.
The end result is always the same. What's your preference?
According to Wikipedia, work/life balance is defined as a concept including proper prioritizing between "work" (career and ambition) and "lifestyle" (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/meditation). It does not mean an EQUAL balance.
Here is my analogy:
Work/life balance are like the two sides of a teeter-totter, starting heavy on one side, riding up to the middle and down to the other side. The trick is avoiding a bumpy ride by deciding what elements and/or who you want to include on the seesaw with you to give you the smoothest ride. Otherwise you will feel like how you look, wild and crazy and out of control. You want people to ride with you, not steer clear of you. And if one side falls off, well it's not really much of a ride then is it?
At this point in my life, I'm focused on different things than I was in my 20s and that will of course change in my 40s. I feel like I haven't quite figured out my direction in life yet, but I'm enjoying the journey to find out. However, what this means is that I need an extra day, somewhere, any way I can get it. I think I may have found it, even if temporarily, but it may turn out that the extra day just gives me more time to procrastinate. I certainly do get my best work done when there is a deadline looming and about 20 tasks piled on top.
I am not alone in this, I know that and I cannot change that. My personality has trouble 'resting' but I realize my reactions are choices, and if I want to complain about my life, I better be willing to make changes or stop complaining. So I am. Making changes. I really didn't have time to start an online store but I did. And it's certainly made me feel better :)
My best ideas need time to percolate … I know the best are still to come. So while I ride the seesaw of life, I'm planning to take my wine glass with me wherever I go. Did I forget to mention that's the key to my balance? At least in my 30s it is.
My bookends are my children. They are on opposite ends of the shelf, completely and utterly different. They succumb to every stereotype that exists for boy versus girl. My oldest is a girl, 7. My youngest, a boy, 5. They are 19 months apart.
Teaching him to be a graceful loser has been a work in progress for our family. Sometimes, to amuse us, my husband and I make sure he loses. Depending on our moods, a tantrum will actually make us laugh. This picture would highlight some obvious signs of their differences. My daughter dressed as I asked her to dress, with proper winter attire including hat, gloves, snow pants, winter jacket and boots. My son? Clearly he dressed himself in defiance of my strongly worded suggestions. Some things just aren't worth the battle. At least he put on a smile.
Do I love them just the same? Of course! Because, true to form and function, bookends just don't work right without the other half.
FYI - that snowman didn't last long. Guess who thought it should be destroyed while nobody was looking? That secret remains between me and my son.
Lady sports fans (primarily the pretend ones), this one's for you. If you're like me, getting excited for the game with your hubby or special someone is not your idea of an ideal Friday night (or Saturday, or Sunday, etc.). Even though you might be sitting on the couch, with a fire on and a glass of wine in hand, it's hard to snuggle in for fear you might take an elbow to the face at the next goal, touchdown or even a bad call.
For me, game day is the latest and greatest Montreal Canadiens hockey game (my inherited team of choice as I had no prior affiliation prior to meeting my husband). Moving to Nebraska has meant a whole new level of game day preparedness and rituals and gear. It's easy to get caught up in the Husker excitement and fill my closet and kitchen with red, but what if I'm watching another game? I need versatility in my game day 'outfits'. Without spending a fortune, this has been difficult. Until now.
Get your game on with a brand new design from Lolita for 2016.
Game. Day. Wine. Glass. (in pink!)
Gentlemen, take note. If your girl is not inherently a die-hard sports fan, try a different tactic with this game day gift. We're taking preorders now for this fabulous glass and we want to know if you're interested. Go to our website www.timeyourgift.com and add the item to your cart. Use code gameday10 to save 10% on your item. We'll ship when the item is in stock.
Game day never looked so inviting. And let's be honest, game day is probably going to be every day because watching your kids play an intense game of frozen tag in the backyard counts. Score!
I have to admit, writing a blog is about as appealing to me as getting up early these days. I always have good intentions, but by the time it comes around I lose my motivation. However, my SEO 'guy' told me that this is an important part of investing in my online business so I'm writing this now to find some truth in his words. I kind of feel like this is a session and he is my therapist who will analyze every piece of it. Here goes my first real attempt ...
Step 1: Find an interesting topic to write about (and always include a picture).
If there is one interesting thing about me, it's that I am a triplet. I have two identical twin sisters, not identical to me, and we all live in different cities. In two countries as a matter of fact. And I'd like to devote this blog to both of them, one still living in Canada and the other in Atlanta, GA. Here is a picture to give you some perspective (I am in the middle).
This recent separation has been hard on us. It first started when my sister (the one on the right) moved from Canada to Atlanta (circa 2011?) for her husband's job. We are used to doing everything together and we've had to adjust to a new normal of traveling long distances to spend holidays or even a night together under the same roof.
On the other hand, because our time together is limited, I do find that it is more quality time and I really look forward to all the plans that my sisters make, particularly the one on the right, who makes sure that if we can't be together for a special occasion, at least we will be part of it through phone calls, FaceTime and sometimes surprise visits. Who doesn't like to travel 14 hours through the night to surprise a sister at 7am, right Pam?
Both sisters have been very supportive of my new business and I suspect will likely remain my best customers forever. I mean, if they drink wine even half as much as I do, there will always be a need for more painted wine glasses!
And I'm not the only one who has started a new business lately. Both my sisters have ventured into their own creative markets, but I'll save those topics for another blog. TIME to go. Happy Shopping.