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Tis the Season. Will it Be Sensational or Stink?

7 Dec

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Many Christmas’s in my life and yours too I imagine, have been so amazing, filled with love and tinsel, a sparkly stream of fabulous family, amazing food, children’s squeals, handmade goodies, laden Christmas trees, thoughtful presents, shared stories, goofy games and loud laughter.

Some are sensational and some are far from it. Some are just stink.

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Brooches from SewEmSew

There are many reasons why some homes, some years, overflow with seasonal joy, and others not so much. Life can occasionally just fall apart at the seams. Illness, loss, geographical distance, natural disasters, conflicted family, depression, dementia, stress, divorce, addiction, lack of finances, not having a home, you name it, some years have it. People we love die and we miss them terribly. Grief can slide the glitter and magic right off the season.

Another thing that makes it stink, is people who just can’t help piling on a bit of pressure, mixed in with a dose of projected disappointment and righteous expectation, telling people how they should do Christmas and why. Trying to control what other people should do or say, or eat or not, or where they should go or who they should visit is never a good idea.

Here’s what to do if that happens to you: Continue reading

50 Reflective End of Year Family Questions.

3 Dec

How about introducing a new self reflective ritual into your family? As the year winds down it’s the perfect time to choose an evening or afternoon to gather together and consider things like: How was the past year? What worked and what did not work so well? What do I want to create in the year to come? 

Set the scene, make some popcorn, pour your drinks, ditch all interruptions and distractions and choose one person to ask the questions. Each one of you gets to answer one question as best as you can, without discussion, feedback, justification or defence, and then you move onto the next question. The rules are to listen and speak with respect, kindness and honesty. It’s not the time to judge or argue. Afterwards feel free to make notes for yourself and then, if you want, open it up to a great discussion and planning session for the upcoming year.

  1. What was the best day of your year?
  2. What was the worst or hardest day?
  3. What’s your fondest memory from the year?
  4. What filled you with wonder and delight?
  5. What if anything, may have consistently angered you this year?
  6. What do you wish had never happened?
  7. Name something that went really well.
  8. Name something that could’ve gone better.
  9. Who do you wish you could’ve spent more time with?
  10. Who do you wish you could’ve spent less time with?
  11. What is the best thing about being part of this family?
  12. What goals did you set at the beginning of the year that you achieved?
  13. Which goals didn’t you achieve that you still might like to?
  14. What was the nicest thing you remember anyone saying about you?
  15. Did you make any mistakes that in turn taught you something?
  16. Are there any areas where you feel stuck?
  17. What might you need help with?
  18. Which world culture is the most fascinating to you right now?
  19. What’s your best quality or super power?
  20. What has challenged you in the world of social media?
  21. How you feel about the boundaries you have set for yourself around screen time?
  22. What habits would you like to break?
  23. What might you need to do in order to take better care of yourself?
  24. What acts of kindness did you show towards others this year?
  25. Who was especially kind to you?
  26. What are you most proud of having done emotionally this year?
  27. What are you most proud of achieving physically this year?
  28. What have you longed for lately?
  29. What was your biggest achievement this year?
  30. What did you do creatively that you loved?
  31. What boundary did you set with yourself that you feel proud of?
  32. What boundary did you set with others that you’re proud of?
  33. What’s your biggest regret this year?
  34. What has caused you the most sadness?
  35. Is there anything you think you should/could let go of?
  36. Name someone you look up to.
  37. If you couldn’t fail, what might you attempt?
  38. What country would you most like to visit next?
  39. What skill or talent did you learn or master?
  40. What would you like to be better at?
  41. What might you need to do in order to be better at that?
  42. What would you like us to do to help you with that?
  43. What was the most delicious meal you ate all year?
  44. If you could pick something you would love to have made for you, what would you like?
  45. If you could have dinner with anyone in the world who would it be?
  46. Who would you especially like to thank this year?
  47. What is your favourite family tradition?
  48. What’s your best quality?
  49. What do you wish we understood better about you?
  50. If we could wave a magic wand and wish you the best year ever for yourself next year, what sorts of things might you wish for?

Continue reading

5 Things You Should Never Do On Valentines Day.

14 Feb

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1. Be a sour cynic.

But it’s so commercial, so American, so expensive, so stressful, so lame, so overdone you might say? People, it’s just for one day. Grinches don’t like Christmas, Cinderella might not like Mother’s Day but you know what? At the stroke of midnight whatever day it is, it’s over with a poof of magic dust and then it’s another calendar day. Or the same day on the other side of the world!

2. Think it’s only a day for loved-up couples.

Love is universal. Love is for singles, pets, children, the environment and couples. If you are looking for love and you feel it overly highlights your singledom, then read unique love stories to renew your hope, then go out and kick up your heels and be open to sinful desserts and guilty pleasures.

If you are single and happy, Valentine’s Day is an awesome excuse to treat and spoil yourself.

  • Book yourself in for a massage.
  • Eat your favourite food.
  • Unwrap your best, high cacao content chocolate.
  • Order a book you’ve had on your wish list for ages.
  • Catch a movie.
  • Or implement a random act of kindness like giving muesli bars to a homeless person.

Continue reading

Gruesome Twosome.

1 Nov

Zombie nephews. Photo by Hayley French at feijoadesigns.

Zombie nephews. Photo by Hayley French at feijoadesigns.

These two little treasures look iron depleted and could perhaps do with a good feed of spinach from our lush garden, but it’s Halloween and what they are really after is zombie brains and sweets galore.

Luckily their mother doesn’t belong to the fun police and nor is she a religious fanatic, both of which seem to push harder in the media every year to sanitize the darkness of Halloween. Why people continue to say it’s an Continue reading

Less Of The Big Bad Wolf.

21 Dec

With Christmas nearly upon us, I am mindful that extra stress, added pressures and a lot of time spent in each others company (often in confined quarters), can sometimes turn those already struggling to restrain their snappy selves, into snarling Big Bad Wolves.

Incredible art from Soju Shots

Incredible art from Soju Shots

Here’s my wisdom for you wrapped up in a big red bow:  If we continue to concentrate on the things that other people do to annoy, irritate or aggravate us, and if we highlight and chew over it long enough, it magnifies a problem and leads to more Continue reading

Thanksgiving.

19 Nov

I give thanks for having a beloved who never fails to surprise and delight me in the way he shows his love. Last birthday he gave me this cute “100 ways why I love you” card. It is just the kind of heart warming gift every Princess loves to treasure.

What one thing do you give thanks for in your relationship?