10 Things To Do When You (finally) Have Some Time To Yourself

Your time is your own. Bend it to your will. Peak Performance Day Wednesday Wisdom clock tiny clock take your time

Hello! This is going to be a quick one, but it is something I have been meaning to share for so long and just never did. I have a list of 10 things to do when you (finally) have some time to yourself. (Now, I am not saying this is only for the Mammas, but if you know a Mamma, chances are she could use this list. Please share it. If she says she doesn’t have time to “read some stupid blog”, she definitely needs this list of 10 things to do when you (finally) have some time to yourself! Believe me.)

You know how it goes? Thoughts of ‘Who would want to read that?’ and ‘Who cares?’ have a weird double life going on.

On the one hand, ‘Who would want to read that?’ gets a a flippant answer like, ‘Literally, no one.’ (sometimes with the added jab of a mumbled ‘you idiot’) and ‘Who cares?’ gets a ‘Yeah, you’re right. What’s the point? Why bother?’ in reply.

However, I have been silencing my inner jerkball and as an exercise in following through, I have decided that this teensy post on self care deserves to see the light of day.

Besides, I know for a fact that at least two-thirds of my tens of readers probably need this list right this very minute.

The Holidays are upon us and they can be so wonderful and they can also be so completely overwhelming.

I am hoping you remember to put yourself on your list. I am reminding you that self care is as simple as taking 5 minutes to yourself. You do not require a lot of money or stuff. You do not need a spa day. Maybe a nice hand cream slathered on in silence will do.

Oh, I am not saying I would turn down an escape to a Nordic Spa or Seaside resort. I mean. Let’s be real. What I am saying is that while spectacular, those things are not necessary.

So pay yourself a bit of respect, show yourself some love, and give yourself some good old fashioned TLC.

Not sure where to start? (This is why it is good to have your very own personal Peady*. Ha ha!)

I have thought about this a lot over the years and while I still have difficulty following through on some things, I am getting better at taking time for myself to cover basics and now and then, when something fancy schmancy comes along, I don’t let those opportunities pass me by!

Here you go!

  1. Have a glass of wine.
  2. Read a trashy magazine.
  3. Clean your brain out by reading one chapter of a very serious Oprah-type book. : )
  4. REEEELAX.
  5. DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT DISHES OR LAUNDRY.
  6. Go to the movies or rent a good one.
  7. Eat something chocolate.
  8. Order dinner in!!
  9. Have a long bubble bath with candles and good music.
  10. Do your nails!

How’s that?

By the way, this list of 10 things to do when you (finally) have some time to yourself is a list that I have e-mailed to friends in the past. Quite a while ago now. If you are one of them, I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment and tell me if you actually did any of the things. 😀

Now go and be nice to yourself!

big squeezy hugs

 

Don’t you *love Sandra Boynton?!?

 

5 (MORE) Worthy Causes For Your Kind Consideration on Giving Tuesday (orrrr … you know it’s time to update when an organization evolves into a whole movement!)

Giving a gift on Giving Tuesday, donate, double your impact, charitable organizations,

Hello! Today is Giving Tuesday! As promised (and, I feel, it’s very much required!), I am here with 5 (MORE) worthy causes for your kind consideration on Giving Tuesday! (I mean, if you go back to my original post the organizations are still all great, but Free The Children has evolved into WE Movement over the years and well, it just so happens to be one of my very favourite organizations. It’s about time I get some proper, super-fresh links up in here, so you can see just how amazing it is these days. (Not to mention all the gorgeous rafikis. Oh, the rafikis!! SO GOOD!)

By my calculation, there are about 4 more hours (give or take) left in Giving Tuesday in The Maritimes and about 8 on the West Coast, so there is definitely a lot of giving time left.

“Hey, Laur! Just a sec. What the heck is Giving Tuesday?”, I can almost hear you saying. I can’t take the time to explain it right now. We have to get giving! BUT! This handy dandy little video will explain it all.

So without further ado, I give you 5 (MORE) worthy causes for your kind consideration on this Giving Tuesday! (That was totally further ado. Hah!)

I promise I will keep this brief. (I’ll just wait while you get that laughter out of the way.) Seriously! I can be succinct when it is important. I can! I don’t wish to waste time that you, my dear tens of readers, could be using to donate to some deserving organization. Watch me now.

I know you all hear on a regular basis how much of a fan I am of WE, I have already linked them in this post and they are in my original post, too, so I won’t include them in my official 5 (MORE) worthy causes, but I will have you know that I donated to WE by buying a goat earlier this evening. They have amazing sponsors multiplying donations today! My single goat became a herd of TEN goats. Amazing!

Okay! This is it.

Drumroll please! (I kid. I kid. A rousing round of applause will totally do.)

I give you 5 (MORE) worthy causes for your kind consideration on Giving Tuesday.

Nova Scotia SPCA – As many of you know, this year we welcomed a sweet little black cat called Luna into our family. Oh, sure we rescued her, but she rescued us, too! Our family is better because of this little creature who was put in our path by the wonderful work of the NS SPCA. This is an organization that is very much worthy of your donation dollars.

Alzheimer Society Nova Scotia  – Alzheimer’s is a cause near and dear to my heart. My maternal grandmother had it and, as luck would have it, my 84 year old mother also has it. There is no nice way to say it–it stinks. My kids have been robbed of an awesome Grammy experience. (They never even had the chance to meet my father, but I digress …)(Hug your parents, people!) My mother would have been an on the floor, play in the dirt, pick all the blueberries, bake all the squares, sing all the songs Grammy. She did her best for as long as she could and she still can have a conversation with my kids, so we are grateful. Even if each “conversation” is literally a variation on a theme. (We call them loops. My kids take it in stride. It has pretty much been this way for their whole lives.) So, when I tell you Alzheimer Society Nova Scotia is worthy of your donations, I sincerely mean it and thank you for considering it.

Xerces Society – For the love of the almighty Bumble Bee (and other invertabrates), please consider donating to Xerces Society. These are the folks behind Bumble Bee Watch. (click the link to read more!) I think they are doing important work for our planet and have uploaded many a photo of bees to have them identified and catalogued. So fun! If you care for Earth, you simply must care for the bees!

Feed Nova Scotia – The Holidays are coming and plenty of food drives are taking place, but soon it will be the New Year and sometimes–fickle humans that we are–we forget that there are hungry bellies all year round. Sure it’s nice to donate a few canned goods and some non-perishable items, but if anyone knows how to stretch a buck it is the people who work behind the scenes at food banks. Cash can go very, very far. MUCH further than a can of tuna, some noodles, and some soup. Feed Nova Scotia is most definitely worthy of your donation dollars today. I guarantee they will put it to good use and make it go way further than you think possible.

Phoenix Youth Programs – I am the mother of teenagers. I was a teenager once and believe me when I tell you, I am not so far removed from teens today. It is hard to be a kid. Heck! It is hard to be human at all. But! Being a teenager in 2019 is really challenging. There is a LOT to process on any given day and trying to filter out the yuck when you are not at your best or without support from home can be downright daunting. I am so grateful my kids are healthy and happy (for the most part), that they talk to me, that they feel safe enough to say what they need to say (and hopefully temper it with kindness). This time of year, as the cold weather begins creeping in, I can’t help but get teary when I think of kids, just like mine, trying to make it on their own. Phoenix Youth Programs exist to support these kids and their families. This organization is on my list this year for sure. (If Giving Tuesday is not your jam, they often have lists of needs that can be met at other times of the year. Go check out their website by clicking the link I have provided.)

C’est tout!

I am hitting publish to get the word out STAT!

Thank you for reading and thank you times 2 for choosing to support a charity today.

Give where you live. It can make a world of difference.

*Credit where credit is due: Photo by Ben White on Unsplash (Don’t you love it?)

Get Me Through December … I Promise I’ll Remember.

Things that evoke Christmasy feelings orange slices winter berries pine cones December Christmas Holidays greenery

Hello my sweet, beautiful, kind, generous, funny, feisty, friends!

I am going to tell you something. I have considered that maybe, just maybe, my telling you things somehow stops me from following through on these things, but that is not really accurate or logical or fair. That weirdness is a complex algorithm in my own brain that I will one day resolve … or untangle … or nail down, but until then I am asking you to help me with something. Get me through December. I promise I’ll remember. Get me through December, so I can start again. (Seriously, how amazing is Get Me Through December? It is an Alison Krauss song. I seriously love it. I especially love this version with Natalie MacMaster. It reminds me of my mother … and of course Cape Breton. That is *always a good thing, even if it is a little bit of a sad thing. You know? Anyhoo … I am going somewhere here … )

I think–no, I know–that habits can be gained and lost and changed and adapted and the only factor that makes any of those things happen is a decision followed by some immediate action. I know this because this year one of the best things I did was to look myself square in the eye and say, “You deserve to be healthy and happy. Now it is time for you to do things to make that a reality. You know what to do.”. It became a habit. Now healthy choices are what I fall back to. Most of the time, even. Imagine that!

So, I have fallen out of some habits and I miss them. Writing used to be a habit. A habit. I did it all the time. Then a bunch of stuff happened and I suddenly felt squelched and silenced and it sucked (I would use a nicer word, but this word is as apt as any and as this is me using my voice, Imma choose SUCK y’all. Look at me bossing my throat chakras* around, will ya!?)

Anyway, I love to write. I think I am a good writer and I want to do more of it. I want to write here, there, and everywhere and I want to use my voice to make the world a better place. I know that sounds like a lofty goal, but what the hell is the point of having a goal if it isn’t lofty? I mean, we are trying to raise the bar here, right? We want to elevate ourselves … our health … our happiness … our situation … our impact … our financial freedom … our vibration in this world … right? So, lofty goals, it is!

I will be seeking opportunities to write more from now on and I will continue to use this space to share thoughts and things I feel are of value. I also want to write about things that you value, that you are curious about, or stuff that is just plain fun.

I will 100% be talking more about health and wellness. It matters to me.

I want to do a bit more video in 2020. Whether that comes by way of a vlog or “LIVE”s via Facebook or Instagram, remains to be seen, but I am no longer afraid, intimidated, or worried about what people might think, so I am going to do it.

I am very seriously considering starting a podcast. (WHAT?) (Yeah. I know.) I am though. Look, if my friend Mike (HI MIKE!) can have like, what?–73 podcasts all on his own, I am certain I can handle one. Maybe Mike will just give me one of his if I ask nicely. Hmm. (Ooooh! I wonder if Chip Off The Old Block comes with free salty snacks … but I digress …)

My point here is that I am not supposed to not do things just because not doing things is what I have had minimal success doing in the past … I am meant to do lots of good things. Aren’t we all?

We have ONE shot at life on this planet. Shouldn’t we make the most of that one shot while we have the chance?

No pressure. I don’t think all the people need to do all the things. I just feel like I am supposed to do more of the things I am good at and that NOW is when I need to start doing them.

What do you think of that? I’d love to know!

Now, seriously people! I am asking you to do me a favour. Get me through December. I promise I’ll remember. Get me through December, so I can start again.

 

*That was for my friend Tina in case she reads this. (HI TINA!)

WE WERE ON A BREAK! (and it was a BIG mistake)

This was 15 weeks ago.

I was elated. Happy. Proud.

I was Icharus.

Dammit.

What the hell was I thinking?

I am not the kind of person who can stop a thing. I am the kind of person who, in order to be healthy and happy, needs to follow through every single day.

I know I am not alone, but I am embarrassed and sad that I flew too close to the sun.

On the upside Wax Wing soup is scrumptious!

Okay. Okay. I didn’t actually eat Wax Wings à la Icharus, but it is one of the very few things I did not eat over the summer.

I planned to loosen the reins a bit and maybe adapt to an 80/20 approach (which works really well, by the way), but then I heard the ice cream call my name … and it was summer … and it was Friday … and we were on vacation … and when would we be all together in this place again?

And … and … and …

You can see where this is going right?

I’ll just wait here for your eye rolls to stop and your judgement to wash over me.

I KNOW! I know better. I know. It’s true. I do.

sigh

So now what?

Well, for one I am not starting all over again, so yay me. Secondly, I didn’t quite throw the baby out with the bathwater. I know what works and I know what makes me happy and guess what, people? It is not ice cream. (or potato chips) (Hmm. What’s that? I didn’t mention the potato chips? Gee. I was sure I did. looks down and kicks invisible pebbles)

As it turns out, I feel so much better–mind, body, spirit, soul, mood, attitude–when I stick to eating a variety of yummy foods (including a few sweet treats) that are gluten free (this is old news) and also mostly dairy free, corn free, and devoid of sugar. Oh yeah … just one more thing … coffee. Yup. Coffee is on the chopping block.

It sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? I know.

This is partly why (and how) I allowed myself to be stopped.

I am not proud of it, but I am honest, so I will tell you what happened–I let people, who (mostly) do not matter, get in my head.

How sad is that? How silly? How ridiculous? How ludicrous?

How sad.

I literally know hundreds of people who exercise, eat, live, and share their journeys to wellness. There are so many different ways to find what works for you as an individual and I know as well as anyone that it should not matter what anyone else does or says or promotes or buys or endorses.

Yet here we are.

I allowed doubt and fear and alright, maybe a bit of defiance and self-sabotage, thwart me and my efforts.

It isn’t the first time.

When I first went gluten free (or even low carb, waaaaay back when–remember “Protein Power” by the Drs. Eades?–you see.. I was onto something then, too!) I felt so much better, but I let the opinions of others convince me that that couldn’t possibly be what was wrong. I was just fat and Lord knows fat trumps all when it comes to feeling like hammered poo. Amirite? (I know for a fact that if any of you reading this have now or have at any time carried extra fat on your body you know exactly what I am talking about. Every medical anything. Every ache or pain. Each headache or tummy trouble. Anytime the baby nurse takes out the “fat” BP cuff to use on your happily pregnant arm–for God’s sake! Just stop that. Let the Mamma be happy for a half a minute, will ya?!?–the looks, the digging questions, the judgement. All cause a huge heaping helping of self doubt.

Really. Is it any wonder I (I just typed “we”, but this is on me, so here I stand, heart in hand!) doubt myself when for so long clearly any and all of my issues were essentially my fault and my fault alone?

Right?

Right?!?

excuse me for a minute while I take a few deep breaths and go to my happy place

Wrong. Humans are complex creatures and sometimes we carry burdens that we did not create, that we were never meant to carry. For some of us, that burden happens to be visible. When I have the wherewithal to have a sense of humour about it I think of it as my fat suit of armour. I know the truth.

Anyhoo …

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Be nice to people! If someone is doing something and they seem happy and excited or slightly anxious and excited (ANXCITED!) and they are brave enough or trusting enough to share that with you or be open publicly about it, support them. Ask if they are happy about it. Encourage them to go for it. Maybe check in now and then in a non-judge-y way and see how it’s going.

I don’t know.

All I do know is that when I am having doubts and someone swoops in to immediately say the worst of the stuff I am thinking about me (or it or whatever) or point out how difficult a thing is or how they could never give up x, y, z … well, let me get straight to the point (HAH! Have you met me?!) it isn’t helpful. Not even a little bit.

No one really wants to suffer for their art-or for their heart!

So, what is this all about?

Well, to sum up, be nice to people, not just nice–kind. Think before you speak. Certainly, be careful with your say-it-right-out-loud words. Listen more. Pay attention to what you are thinking. Maybe do a double check now and then when you think you have that internally screaming thought and/or eye roll under wraps, and make sure it isn’t written all over your face.

Mind you, if that’s 100% you, by all means, you be you. That is important.

You’ll understand, of course, when I don my eye roll deflector.

Oh, just one more thing–my break is over!

My Word for 2019. Or … ACTION – I Wanna Live!

ACTION, word of the year, my word for 2019, Happy New Year, Peady Powers ENGAGE, intention, intentions, will, do it, never mistake motion for action

Never mistake motion for action. ~ Ernest Hemingway

Full disclosure: I started this post on January 2nd (though it is currently January 4th) and because this is my blog I can change the date to January 2, so I did. Why? Well, the reason is twofold. a) See the aforementioned “MY blog” 🤓 and b) because I want to have a post for everyday this month and since I have been writing, starting something new, trying to learn a couple of new things, busy with back to school after a big break stuff, reading actual books, and if I may be frank, actually DOING things, I figured it was okay. Okay? Are we cool? Cool. Cool cool cool cool cool cool cool. 

In case you haven’t figured it out yet or didn’t see my official announcement on Instagram as I was ringing in the New Year (Are you not following me there? Why not?! I am pretty fun. Go follow me now. It’s okay. I’ll wait right here.) I have decided to choose another word for 2019. I chose two in 2018 and you know what? I never did make it back here to write about them, but I did take them to heart and I think they were helpful.

Last year’s words were “Focus & Flourish” (written just like that) and I would write them down in places I knew I would be glancing throughout the day. My awesome kitchen chalkboard frame thing? Oh yeah! It was totally written there. It stayed there for a good long time, too. I really needed the reminder.  It isn’t that anything magical happened, but in a way a lot of great things happened. They may have been tricky to see through a pretty big dose of ick, but if I am being objective (and I am) there were many fun, nice, practical, and people-centric things that happened last year, in real life, that were good.

So, in the interest of putting my new word to good use right off the bat, I give you my word for 2019. Ta daa!

ACTION, word of the year, DIY chalkboard photo frame, chalk, just do it, 2019, Happy New Year, New Year's resolutions, resolutions, intention, set an intention, good intentions, will

So …

Do you choose a word for the year? Something to help you focus on a goal or a more mindful way of living? I’d love to hear about it.

Feel free to share your word and your reasons for choosing it in the comments. (I love comments! AND! I love responding to them because I know what a rare treat they can be and I understand that commenters are choosing to spend their time here with me. I like being heard and I like letting others know they have been heard. It matters. You matter. Thank you for commenting.)

 

 

 

 

Fuller disclosure: It is now Saturday and I am about to hit publish. The post will still have a date  of January 2, 2019. C’est la vie! 

Credit where credit is due: Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

Summer Snack: KISS Edition

white chocolate chocolate dipped strawberries sweet

We just had an awesome and delicious snack and I am not exaggerating one bit when I tell you the kids can make it themselves. I whipped it up this time, but next time they’re on their own. Frankly, it’s just as well. I don’t think I can be trusted all alone with its deliciousness.

Have I piqued your interest? Are you curious? Are you sitting on the edge of your seat?

Well, okay then. I’ll tell you what our scrumptious afternoon snack was today. It was so simple you might just think I am silly for blogging about it. Then again you didn’t think to have this today, did you? Oh ho ho! I’ve got you there, haven’t I?

Okay, okay. Enough with the suspense already!

We had juicy, fresh, local strawberries dipped in white chocolate. Ta daa!

So easy! Right?

Here’s what I did.

Pick or buy fresh local strawberries. Ours were bought, but most definitely local and oh so fresh.

Clean them and remove any that might be iffy or mushy or underripe. Taste test 17 just to be sure.

Get some good quality, white chocolate. Today we used Baker’s, but white chocolate chips, white chocolate melting wafers, white chocolate chunks from your bulk food store, etc., would all work fine.

Break the chocolate into individual squares. Or if using larger blocks chop it up using a serrated edge knife. This will help it melt faster and also will give you a chance to taste test the chocolate to make sure it hasn’t gone bad. It hasn’t. Taste it anyway. You know, just in case.

Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. I used one of my trusty little square dip bowls from President’s Choice. (More on those later. It’s a very short love story.)

Pop the chocolate into the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir gently. You are not trying to whip it up, really, you want smooth, bubble-free, shiny chocolate. Place back in microwave for 10 seconds. Stir. This may be enough time, but if you need more melting time, be sure to use only 10 second intervals because you don’t want the chocolate to seize or burn. That’d be a shame.

Give the chocolate one final gentle stir and place in the centre of a platter.

Fill the platter with your beautiful, clean, fresh, local strawberries and stand back while the wolverines – umm – I mean children dig in!

See?

I bet you’re glad I suggested all that taste testing when you first started this little snack journey, now, aren’t you?

You’re welcome.

Five Fun Facts For Friday February Fifth

writing mother blogger plan SAHM WAHM

Hi!

How are you?

Missed you!

Love you lots!

What’s new?

I have been crazy-busy and I haven’t been managing it very well.

However, I am a smart person and one of my strengths is knowing my limits. That is a very good thing. In the spirit of self preservation I allowed myself to not post here. (I was still posting there, and everywhere else, mind you. What am I crazy?!? Of course I was still posting. You should just go ahead and follow me in all the places that way when stuff happens you will know where to find me. You never know when you might need a little dose of silly and I carry it with me wherever I go. Picture a little jar of glitter or cupcake sprinkles. Yeah. Like that! I am armed and ridiculous. So… find me. We have all the ways to connect. Connect, people!)

December was when my last post went live.

Suddenly that seems very, very, long ago.

Meh.

In the grand scheme of things it’s not.

Anyhoo!

Here I am. Hi! waves

It’s Friday and I am happy and life is good. I have lots to be grateful for and I am really looking forward to the weekend!

This is my Birthday Week and since Monday was kind of a ridiculous day (notice a theme?) we are having a bit of a do-over before next week begins. The plan is to go out for burgers with the Things and then maybe catch a movie. (Ooh! That reminds me. I have to pick up movie admissions at Costco. That is quite the savings, isn’t it? I love Costco.) I know we’ll have fun! Who wouldn’t have fun with M&Ms in the giant bag of popcorn?

All this to say, all’s well. I’ll write more. I will.

I have plans.

So, without further ado, here are Five* Fun Facts For Friday February Fifth!

  1. Once again, for the third (?!?!) time since starting Tempered With Kindness, I have a new blog host. (This, in part, is why I have been reluctant to publish here.)
  2. It is Black History Month and there is a new Heritage Minute featuring none other than Nova Scotia’s own Viola Desmond. You learned all about her here, remember? Check out the new Heritage Minute here.
  3. I still do not have my 2016 Mom CPU! Oy. Not good. I cannot find one anywhere. Someone suggested ordering one online in January and that seemed silly because how long would it take to arrive, blah, blah, blah… it’s just a simple calendar… I’m sure I’ll be able to pick one up. How hard can it be to find a big magnetic Mother Word calendar for my fridge?! Well who’s the silly one now?! Derp. You all must have the exact calendar I want because there are exactly ZERO in my orbit. harumphs
  4. I have once again resurrected my CD collection and this time I am on a mission to keep them in my space. They need a proper storage solution, mind you, and I am accepting suggestions on this front. Do you have a CD collection? How do you keep them? Are they out of sight, out of mind or welcome in your world?
  5. I was featured in a BuzzFeedNews listicle (Great word, Joe!) and I almost died laughing about it. You can check it out here and in 14-16 months you are welcome to come shopping with me at Halifax’s new IKEA and we can BUY ALL THE FLEUFEGNUUGEN! Deal?

Thanks for reading and sharing and engaging. You are all my favourite!

Happy Friday!

Have you read any fun facts lately? Have any to share? Feel free to leave a fun fact in the comments. I will respond to every single one with another fun fact. We will all be so smart by the end of these shenanigans!

*Bonus fun fact: I love Frente! (The exclamation point is part of their name. What’s not to love?) Best Bizarre Love Triangle cover ever.

**Extra bonus fun fact: That first fact up there just will not format properly and I want to throw a tantrum. I am going to hit publish instead. Grr! shakes fist in technology’s general direction

Five Worthy Causes For Your Kind Consideration On Giving Tuesday

Today is Giving Tuesday.

What’s Giving Tuesday?

Well think of it as the Black Friday (or Cyber Monday) of charity.

Giving Tuesday is like “opening day of the giving season.”

It is a day to think about others and to take advantage of a doubling of your dollars because many charitable organizations have a “matching” sponsor. This means that you literally double your donation in some cases.

Give $20 and your organization receives $40.

Donate $50 and voila $100 goes to your favourite fund.

How cool is that?

You can learn more about Giving Tuesday here (please do!) but I want to quickly share with you a handful of my favourite organizations, in case you want to make a donation before midnight!

Free The Children Free The Children is the brainchild of Craig and Marc Keilburger and you can read all about how they founded this amazing organization and the subsequent We, Me To We, and We Day awesomeness here.

David Suzuki Foundation – I have been a fan of David Suzuki for as long as I can remember. A few years back, he actually stepped down as the head of his own foundation to take attention away from his own struggles with a government that seemed determined to paint him as a radical. Oh! He’s radical alright! Radically awesome!

World Wildlife Foundation (Canada) – I hope you know about WWF Canada, for the love of our planet. This organization is famous for its symbolic wildlife adoptions (which make fabulous gifts for Things of all ages), Earth Hour, and many other initiatives. I wear my feelings for WWF Canada on my sleeve and I make no apologies for it. I wrote a guest blog way back when. I have written about it here on my blog and also here. We have one home. It’s the planet we live on. It’s time to show it the respect it deserves, isn’t it?

Because I Am A Girl – I am! You might be. Thing 2 is. My sister is. My mother, too. You either are one, have one or were made by one. Girls matter! Educating girls improves the lives of everyone. BIAAG Canada is taking this knowledge and sharing it around the world. You may have heard about their Pink Lemonade Stands and their using small actions to drive big change initiatives. How wonderful! We are big fans and my face goes all gigantic grin every time Thing 2 emerges from her room in the morning sporting her pink BIAAG T-shirt. “Girls’ rights are human rights.” Your darn right they are!

 

BIAAG, Thing 2,

Malala Fund – Oh Malala! What a wonderful human being! If ever there was a person with a higher purpose than she ever could have known, it is Malala Yousafzai. Malala is an education activist and a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. She was in school when the call came that she had won. She told her teacher she would finish her studies for the day. Malala is walking the talk. I am a fan. Her book is beautiful, the children’s adaptation is great, and now there is even a movie!

So, whether you donate, share, learn or do some small act of kindness today you have taken part in Giving Tuesday and you have made a difference.

What you do matters.

I, for one, appreciate it.

Thank you!

BB In The Bucket

BB in the Bucket, Advent fun, play

Sometimes I just do stuff, you guys.

True story.

It happens.

I don’t always share the stuff I do.

My kids get most of me, you know?

Oh sure! I share a lot of stuff online – here, there, and everywhere – but I don’t share everything.

I think this is worth sharing for two reasons.

1) It’s easily adaptable and anyone can do it.

2) It’s my way of celebrating what I love, without dissing something I dislike.

Ready?

Okay!

Ta daa!

BB scroll, BB in the Bucket scroll,

BB in the Bucket, day 1, hiding in plain sight, scroll

BB-in-the-Bucket

Thing 2 finding BB, BB in the Bucket, Advent, Christmas Countdown

BB explains it well, Thing 2, reading, BB in the Bucket

BB in the Bucket

It’s December 4th and look who is here!

It’s BB! But wait. What’s this I hear?

She’s wearing a hat with a sparkly ball

There’s a sparkly scarf too, but that is not all!

BB’s so festive, she’s ready to play

So you’ll have to find her everyday.

There’s only one rule, you must not forget it

Don’t skip it or shun it or you might regret it!

When you spot BB you give her a HUG

You squeeze her and keep her as snug as a bug in a rug.

Yes, Christmastime is the Season of Hope

It’s certainly no time to pout and to mope.

Imagine, you finding such a cute thing

and having to wait and just look at the bling.

Yeesh! That would be awful and terribly bad.

I just can’t believe in something so sad.

So people can keep their elf on the shelf

I’d rather have BB, her wonderful self.

Wouldn't you?, BB, BB in the Bucket, Advent,

Wouldn’t you?

So, there you have it!

Rumour has it that BB will have a sparkly red hat with a white glittery pompom this year.

No one knows for sure though.

We’ll just have to wait and see because as I said these things just happen.

How do you celebrate Advent?

Do you have a special ritual?

Do your kids enjoy the countdown to Christmas?

How do you spend the days leading up to the Holidays?

*I cleared this with the Things before posting it here. It’s late in the game, now, but this is something you could do at any time of year just for fun. Make stuff up, guys! It’s rad!

NaBloPoMo Deficit (Or I Intend To Finish What I Started)

intention picasso quote doing vs. intention

I am missing 11** days of posts out of the 28 days that November has had, so far.

Am I flipping out? Nope.

Do I care? Yes. Of course. I always care.

Am I in knots like I would have been last year? No way! Life is way too short to be in knots over a fictitious deadline of questionable importance.

What am I planning to do with this knowledge?

That is a good question. I am not quite sure what to do.

Should I try and scrounge up the energy and words to post a decent thing for the missing days?

Should I just brush it off and move on?

Can I find a compromise that makes me feel decent about participating in NaBloPoMo again this year? I am honestly not sure.

It is always good to challenge oneself. Of that, I am sure.

I suppose I am just not sure exactly what my goal, beyond 30 posts in 30 days, is – or was.

Last year it was a challenge that I felt I couldn’t possibly complete and, yet, I did.

This year, I knew I could do it and I was pretty sure I would, but here I am on November 28th trying to figure out what to do.

Mostly, I have written elsewhere. Other things for other people.

That is a really cool turn of events that might never have happened if I didn’t start writing a little bit here.

Can.

Will.

Did.

They are interesting words, aren’t they?

I guess what I am saying is that when the intention is clear the accomplishment often seems clearly attainable. The opposite is also true. I think I may have proven that this time.

Maybe the trick is to set a clear intention, no matter the task, in order to reach one’s goals.

Why then, does this not work in all the things I intend to do?

What am I missing?

Are my intentions not good enough? Are they not focussed enough?

Is there something pertinent I am overlooking?

Am I paving a road to H-E- double hockey sticks?

For example, take my weight. No really. Take my weight, please. Ba doom tsh!

Why can’t I intend it away? Wouldn’t that be something!? I wish I could. I really do.

Alas, wishing won’t make it so.

sigh

I am tired of it and I intend to do something about it.

I won’t be coming back here to whine about it. I promise. It’s just that I think I believe that a written intention has more power than one I secretly wish inside my head.

Just like I am fairly certain one spoken out loud is more powerful than one written.

Although, I am sure it depends on the person and the intention.

For instance, last Friday we went to see The Vinyl Cafe Christmas Show at the Scotiabank Centre, here, in Halifax. As many of you know by now, Stuart McLean cancelled the remainder of the tour because he has been diagnosed with cancer and was strongly encouraged to begin treatment right away. What many of you may not know is that the show ended with a “Hey Jude” send off and after the “Na na na nanana naaa nanana naaa” part we didn’t sing the words “hey Jude”. No. Instead, we were all singing “Next year” in place of “hey Jude”. We didn’t know Stuart McLean was ill. We did know that he was in fine form, that we were thoroughly entertained, and that we absolutely wanted the Vinyl Cafe Christmas Show to come back to Halifax next year. We wanted Stuart McLean to come back next year.

The phrase “next year” in and of itself isn’t all that special. In fact, it might be seen as a mostly innocuous or even negative thing. Kind of like the elusive “someday” we often utter when making plans to travel to an exotic location or treat ourselves to a fancy something-or-other.

But I am telling you, last Friday night in the Scotiabank Place the phrase “next year” was most definitely an intention. I felt it then and there as I sang it.

It was confirmed on Saturday when I read the news.

So, here’s hoping there’s something to all this intention stuff because I have things I want to do and seeing Stuart McLean is most definitely on my list.

So, tell me, do you believe in intentions?

Do you have a word you focus on to help you get through your year?

Do you set an intention?

How do you make your intentions a reality?

**And you can bet your britches I just changed that to 10.

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