Thankful for the little things

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I switched on the dishwasher, after clearing away the breakfast plates on Christmas morning, and gave thanks.

Last year, on Christmas Eve after baking and decorating the last batch of cakes and cupcakes for my customers, I switched on the dishwasher and the thing wouldn’t work. It was too late in the day to call a repair man. I couldn’t believe it, on one of my busiest baking days for my business and preparing the family’s festive treats, I was caught short as one my kitchen’s assets went on the blink. I pulled on my rubber gloves and began to wash up (truly a first world problem).

It’s important to be thankful for the little things in life; especially the ones that make your life easier. What are you thankful for, in your home, today?

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Cosy toes and smellies

Cosy toes and smellies

I am so thankful for the gifts I received over Christmas:
• Cosy slippers and way too many marvellous products to pamper and preen myself.
• Scented candles to remind me to relax and recharge.
• Note books to plot, plan, scheme and dream

Thanks so much for my glorious gifts.

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Girl Time

Girl Time Blog
It was nice to have an afternoon, catching up with my daughter, last month. It’s great to view the world as an 11 year old; the things she is excited about (Christmas, test results), what she’s anxious about (friendships, puberty and her annoying little sister).
Her choice: Waffle and shakes. My treat.

Sometimes it’s good to listen to young people, what’s on their mind, what’s in their heart; instead of talking at them.

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It’s Friday, be nice…

Be Nice to yourself

Have a great weekend.

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Mums, indulge yourself a little…

I watched two programmes on television this week, where mums ended up putting so many people first, before their needs, the consequences were tragic:

• Depression
• Weight gain
• Burn out
• Panic attacks

Mums (and I’m talking to myself here too), we only have 24 hours in a day, and it’s the same daily quota for every person on the planet. No matter how much we cram into the day, we cannot gain an extra hour, but you may lose yourself along the way…
Make time to put yourself first once in a while:

• Read a book – when my children (and my husband, for that matter) see me with my specs on and a book in my hand; they know that unless it’s urgent, this is one of Mummy’s ‘Do not disturb’ moments.

• Sit in the library and read a magazine. As much as I hint to family and friends that I would like a subscription to Good Housekeeping, it has yet to happen. When I take my daughters to the library, I pick up the latest copy and have a good read.

• Get a manicure – My local salon does manicures for £10 and pedicures for £20. If this is still a luxury, you feel you can do without, save up for it. I’ve got a little treats jar, where I put loose change each week. When it builds up to £20, off to the salon, I will go.

Mani

• Get an early night, once in a while. The dishes can wait and so can the washing.

• Sometimes, just a coffee in a café on your own, is all it takes to unwind, gather your thoughts and get on with the rest of the day.

coffee

I am ashamed to say that I was once given a voucher for a day at a spa. The voucher was valid for a year; I kept putting off going, because I was ‘so busy’, until the voucher expired. I’ve recently been blessed with another voucher for another spa date. I’ve learned the hard way, so I’m booking a date in 2015, for a well-deserved treat.

I’d love to hear your tips for indulging yourself as a mum. The more creative and inexpensive; the better.

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Stay out of trouble lil’ bro

by Carey Muhammad

by Carey Muhammad*

There is so much negativity in the media around young people these days. So whenever I get a chance to celebrate the good things that young people are doing, I will champion them.

I was walking home the other day, when I saw a group of young men on the other side of the road. They were aged, anything from 14-17 years old. As the group gestured their goodbyes, one of them, slightly older, maybe in his twenties; crossed to the road and called out to the others “Stay out of trouble lil’ bros…I don’t want to hear that any of you are messing about and getting into trouble.” The young man continued walking until his step was in line with mine.
“Those are wise words,” I told him.
“I know what it’s like,” he said. “When I was their age, one of my cousins used to tell me the same thing. Sometimes, all you need is someone to remind you to stop and think.” I couldn’t agree more with him. “I don’t want any of them getting into trouble and bringing shame on my family.”

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Never assume that the young people you are connected to have ‘got it all together’, sometimes that word of encouragement is all they need to stop and think again. So which young person are you going to remind and encourage to ‘keep out of trouble’ today?

*’My brother’s keeper’ by Carey Muhammad

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Personal branding

It’s all about how you brand YOURSELF.

Personal branding

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