Monthly Archives: December 2016

Wanna sell more stuff? Offer gift wrapping.

 

I used to always be on time for everything, and procrastination was never part of my vocabulary. Then I had kids. Everything changed. Now I’m frequently late and I tend to leave things to the last minute. But I’m working on it, and I’m certainly getting better. For now, I’m thankful for services that help people like me. Although I seriously procrastinated on some Christmas gift-purchasing, I didn’t have to worry about running out of time to do wrapping. I think Mastermind Toys gets some serious business because of their free gift wrapping year-round. But here’s a little known fact: Chapters also provides gift wrapping – you just have to go to the children’s area. They’ll wrap anything purchased in store. So, today’s nice thing is free gift wrapping for the procrastinators, lazy, non-crafty, harried, busy, or all of the above.

Another nice thing: homeschooling friends. Today the kids played all day at their friends’ house while I got some work done. Tomorrow friends from New Zealand are coming for a playdate before heading back home – they were here for 6 months, and it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long! It’s so nice for the kids to have friennds that they can play with anytime.

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I’m not that bad at math!

While I was growing up, math wasn’t my best subject. Well… that’s putting it lightly. I sucked at math. In middle school, I just didn’t “get it,” and in high school, I managed to pass, but math and I still weren’t very good friends. If it weren’t for that pesky “C” in math, I’d have had a 4.0 average – and I’m not exaggerating, either. I made straight A’s in everything else. I got an A in Junior English after learning English 2 years prior (man, could I BS my way through an essay). But math just wasn’t my strong suit.

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Deep Cleaning and Finding Long-Lost Items

 

You know when you put something away in a very specific spot so you’ll be able to find it later… and then you can’t remember where you put it? Yep, I’ve done that a million times. I used to be hyper-organized, and then I had kids. I’ve been living in chaos since, but it’s so worth it. Having said that, I’m kind of done with living in a mess. I can only stand it for so long. So I’m working super hard and trying to purge and organize my house before the new year hits.

I started today, with the dining room. I deep cleaned in there – and when I say deep cleaned, I mean deep cleaned. I washed the walls (good news: they’re somewhat cleaner. Bad news: they’ll never get clean enough. We need to paint). I cleaned the inside of furniture and under the furniture. I organized the drawers in the buffet. I literally moved everything out of the dining room to clean the floors, walls, and baseboards.  It was intense. And then, while I was putting something completely random away, I happened upon our extra external hard drive! You know, the one that’s supposed to hold our backup files? And that I’d put away in a very specific spot… you get the idea. The nice thing for today is a clean room (at least one!) and finding long-lost items. I’m actually looking forward to purging and deep cleaning the rest of the house. It’s liberating!

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Remembering loved ones

Today marks 3 years since a friend was killed by a distracted driver. Although this may not seem like a good way to start a “things to be thankful for post,” there’s a reason I’m mentioning this. Firstly, because I won’t allow society’s misguided view of grief to dictate my actions. I firmly believe that there’s no time limit on grief, and that it’s good to remember our loved ones who have passed away, no matter how long ago they left us.

My “nice thing” for today is the memory of Tim that encourages me to keep pushing through hard times. About a year before he passed away, he had had colon cancer and gone through chemotherapy. I remember seeing him at the gym, and asking him how he was doing. He seemed utterly disappointed in himself when he said “I feel fine, but I’m so weak.” The thing is, you could tell he was working really hard at his workout. But he wanted to do more. I remember this encounter when I feel like things are getting too hard. I remember that I once knew someone who wouldn’t let things knock him down.

Today, I’m thankful for friends who inspire me to be a better person. Rest in peace, Tim. We miss you.

Alone Time and a Full Fridge – Who Could Ask for More?

 

Yesterday, Sunday, December 18th, was a good day. Because our youngest (M-girl, who’s 2) had thrown up the night before, we decided to keep her home from church. We’re pretty sure it was just something that she ate that didn’t agree with her, but better safe than sorry in a church full of much older sisters. Well, the problem was that I was on for reading yesterday, so I couldn’t skip out. I also could’t bring my older two with me to church, because there’d be no one to watch them when I went up for my reading/did the processions with the book. So off to church I went, all by my lonesome self. Hubby stayed home to watch the kiddos.

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Gingerbread Houses and Snuggles on Couches

Today was a great day.

We procrastinated (as usual) on getting our Christmas photos done, but we have a great photographer who turns in photos within a week of taking them, so we’ll still get them before Christmas. We started the day by getting ready for picture day, and I’m really excited to get the photos back later in the week. The kids looked so cute in their pretty outfits, and I even wore heels and make-up.

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Friends and Babysitters – there’s a lot to be thankful for!


All the nice things!

I’ve made a commitment to write “all the nice things” that happen each day of 2017. I figured, why wait? So here I am, writing about the nice things that happened on Friday, December 16th, 2017.

Yesterday, my neighbour’s daughter returned from her first semester at university in North Carolina. She’s a talented golfer and she’s adjusting well to being a student athlete at the post-secondary level. It’s so weird… we met her when she was 10, and now she’s at university. How time flies. She used to babysit for us casually, and she contacted us before coming home to ask if she could babysit the kids again, because she missed them. I thought that was really sweet.

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How to stay motivated to exercise in 2017

Although I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions, there’s no denying that come the last week of December 2016, #resolutions will be everywhere on social media. “Losing weight” and “staying fit” top the charts for the most popular New Year’s resolutions. Yet, very few people who make resolutions of any kind actually see them through to the end of the year. If one of your resolutions is getting fit or exercising more, here are some ways to stay motivated to keep that goal going all year-round. Continue reading

Your New Year’s Resolutions? They’re just not gonna happen.

I’m not fond of New Year’s Resolutions. I never make them, and with good reason. Every year-end, about 50% of the US population makes New Year’s Resolutions, hoping to accomplish everything from weight loss to debt repayment. Yet, only about 8% of resolution-makers actually fulfill their New Year’s resolutions. The reasons for these failures are many, but one of the main problems with New Year’s Resolutions is the lack of planning involved in making them. When people do make a plan, it’s often not well designed. And when it is well-designed, there’s often a lack of commitment to making it happen.

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Great Christmas Gifts for the Writers on Your List

This year, I’m on top of things. I had all my Christmas gifts purchased before December hit. I finished my handmade stocking gifts well before Christmas eve. But of course, in typical Mariana fashion, I can’t remember where I put one of the gifts, and chances are, I’ll still be scrambling to get ready for Christmas Eve, even though I had planned everything well ahead of time.

If, like me, you’re not always on top of things (even when you think you are), you might still have some gifts left to buy. Do you have a writer on your gift list? Or someone who would love to pursue their writing more seriously? Here are some ideas that’ll make their faces light up. The best part? You could buy some of these on Christmas Day, and
they’d still get to enjoy them on the same day (ah, the joy of membership communities).

Here are some awesome gift for writers.

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