Monthly Archives: June 2020

How to Make Holiday Magic

The holidays can sometimes feel like one long list of obligations. You have to figure out which gifts to get for whom and how much you can afford to spend. You have to write holiday cards/notes/emails at least to some people, once again figuring out what to whom.

You have to figure out which relatives/friends you have to entertain, spend time with, tolerate, try not to argue with. You have to travel at the worst possible time of year given weather, traffic jams and airport/train station chaos. You have to jam your ordinary chores in with all the not-ordinary chores such as when are you going to find all that time to go shopping? Not to mention dealing with demanding, unruly, hyper children/grandchildren all along the way…

Ah, the holidays! But here’s the thing: the more you come at the holidays with a “have to” “got to” approach, the more harried and stressed you will be. Instead, if you adopt a “want to” “get to” approach, everything will go much better for you.

So before you dash off into the rain/sleet/snow/traffic to do whatever it is, take a moment to sit down and reflect how you view the holidays and what they really mean to you. That’s the first step.

What do you want to do in terms of gift-giving? There’s a world of difference between “I want to get Aunt Julia something she’ll really enjoy” and “I have to get Aunt Julia something decent.” Which feels better?

“I want to get my 5 year old a present she’ll enjoy and I have $20 to spend on her gift,” versus “I have to somehow manage to get my 5 year old something she’ll like on just a measly $20.” Both are true statements, but one is likely to cause you anxiety and stress, the other will inspire you with positive motivation.

Second, begin to practice the “I want to” approach with anything and everything. “I have to cook” becomes “I want to make something delicious for my family.” “I have to visit 3 sets of relatives in one day” becomes “I want to spend a fun couple of hours with each set of my relatives.”

The more you practice the “I want to” technique, the easier it becomes. All of a sudden, lo and behold, the holidays become the magic they were always meant to be.

Furnishing a Holiday Home During Off Peak Season

When we head off to our holiday destination, we want to feel like we are at a home away from home. The best way to do this is to keep your décor preferences in mind whilst thinking about climates and themes to make it the ultimate holiday home. It is a good idea to do your planning and furnishing after the holidays during the off peak season. When the holidays come around again, your holiday home will be ready for relaxation.

  • Beach House

Humidity is a common factor close to the beach. When decorating or furnishing a beach house you need to make sure that you don’t have iron or steel furniture as these metals rust quickly with the mixture of humidity and salt in the air.

Many people love the nautical theme which consists of a ship, lighthouse and anchor décor because it relates to the sea. If you are not a fan of these items you can be more subtle with different shades of blue and white. You will create a serene atmosphere with a holiday feeling.

  • Cabin in the Woods

There are different forms of camping. Some prefer to set up a tent and make fires amongst other campers whilst some would rather go out into the forest and set up their own secluded cabin to get away from the world.

The ideal furniture to have in a cabin would be wood. Wooden furniture has the strength needed to last and it has a homely finish. Keeping colours neutral will also relax your mind. Remember that sometimes bright colours and tones will continuously keep a person’s mind active.

  • House on the river or lake

These houses will need furniture that won’t rust too. The humidity might not be as strong or dense as that near the sea, but you will eventually notice your steel furniture rusting. Wood is an ideal material for the frames but expansion of it will also need to be considered. Gauzed doors and windows will also need to be installed because insects might enter your home such as mosquitoes.

  • Mountain loft

Wherever you are in the world, any mountain you visit will be cold and possibly experience snow. Wood is also the ideal material to have in these types of holiday homes. Wood insulates and retains warmth. Cushioning is also a good idea for warmth and decoration purposes. Add a blanket or two over the couch as a decorative piece that doubles as a cuddle blanket. Cushioned couches and blankets add that extra comfort to your own winter holiday resort.

To be comfortable in a place far away from home you should have comfortable furniture. Whether you furnish a living area with a lounge suite or separate couches, make sure that the end result is something that you will enjoy for years to come.

12 Awesome Benefits of a Skiing Holiday

The decision we make to embark on a skiing holiday is not one to be taken lightly, but it doesn’t have to costs a ton of money, and you don’t have to drag the family halfway across the world to visit some of the most breathtaking scenery on the planet.

The perception of half freezing to death and having to lug a mountain of equipment is shattered by the reality of lots of sunshine, wearing the right clothes and being able to rent top-class boots and skis at the resorts is you want to travel light. The sense of satisfaction and achievement that you get from a skiing holiday is second to none and provides a positive outlook on life.

For skiing enthusiasts, there’s nothing more exhilarating than a change of scenery, time away from work and the feeling of freedom from the drudgery of work-life that skiing with nature gives us. Skiing comes with so many health benefits it ticks the ‘great for you’ box in so many ways. One of the things I love about ski holidays is that it is something the whole family can do together, or I can do by myself. And for me, nothing beats a winter ski holiday as an escape away from the drab, wet, windy, dark days and nights in the UK. Summer skiing holidays are just as fun and can physically and mentally prepare me for the winter months ahead.

As someone who likes to try to keep fit, I love the hours and days spent twisting and turning down the sunny, snowy slopes. I know this works most of the major muscle groups to provide an all-over workout, helping me to build strength and stamina. It can take me all week in the gym to achieve the same work out as a day on the slopes provides me with. Not only that but as someone who hates Cardio work in the gym, skiing gets my heart working faster and provides a fun cardio session that I just wouldn’t achieve in the gym. Especially if I combine it with some cross-country skiing and get a bit of walking in.

Skiing improves fitness and stamina. Imagine a month on the slopes: boy, I’d have had muscles like Arnie! Sadly my ski holidays don’t last more than a week. But in that one week, I can become noticeably fitter, healthier and happier, skiing really does tick all of the health boxes. When it comes to working hard and having fun, skiing is one of the best sports you can do.

I have listed some of the health benefits of skiing below to help you decide whether a skiing holiday is for you:

* Boosts mood – boosts overall happiness and well-being includes physical and mental health.

* Encourages social interaction – people naturally socialize as part of the ski experience.

* Promotes deep sleep – engages your entire body leading to a good night’s sleep.

* Promotes healthy eating habits – naturally be more conscious of eating the right fuel, more protein, healthy fats, less sugar, more fruits, and vegetables.

* Skiing improves proprioception – the ability to feel the position of different body parts and their movements.

* Improves Balance and coordination – need to be conscious of slight movements and positions of your body.

* Strengthens bones and joints – strengthens knees and bones become stronger through the weight-bearing impact on the legs.

* Strengthens lower body muscles – works your inner and outer thighs, hamstrings, quads, and glutes.

* Improves flexibility – building flexibility helps to avoid muscle strains and sprains.

* Increases cardiovascular endurance – works the heart and lungs and burns calories aiding weight loss.

* Improves balance and core strength – challenges your balance and agility and helps to build that six-pack.

For me, skiing is one of those activities that anyone of any ability can do and enjoy. Whether you are looking for a new hobby to keep you fit and healthy or are considering taking up a new sport to keep you out of mischief, skiing could be for you.

Whatever your activity or experience level skiing holidays can provide entertainment and fun for everyone.

A Fail-Safe Holiday Party Strategy

The holiday season is here, bringing Entrepreneurs and Solopreneurs opportunities to become their own Santa Claus and put some new customers under the tree. Holiday parties can be the perfect time to pick up the thread with colleagues from the past, nurture relationships with prospects you’ve recently met and get an introduction to customers you’d like to add to your roster in the near future. To make all that happen, you’ll need a strategy.

Step One, go to your parties alone. Under no circumstances do you need to drag someone along with you, unless that person is needed to get you into a party where you can expect to meet prospective customers, or that person promises to introduce you to a good prospect while there.

Even that arrangement can be risky— a few years ago, I was invited to what should have been a networking bonanza, except that my friend got very drunk and worse, he reneged on bringing me into a post-party meeting with someone who could have been very helpful to me.

Sep Two, confirm the dress code. A weekend party held after 6:00 PM will imply fancier dress and could be black-tie optional. If you are the +1, ask your contact to forward you the invitation. You do not want to show up improperly dressed, even if your contact claims that it won’t matter.

Men should wear a sport coat or blazer, if a suit would be too formal for the occasion. Women should avoid too-short or too-tight clothing and revealing necklines. Jeans or leather pants are out of the question for either gender, unless your host is in the arts or high-tech.

Step Three, find out who is on the guest list and Step Four, polish your elevator pitch. If you can access the Evite, you will see who has responded. You can Google names to get professional updates on those you’d like to reconnect with or meet and you’ll also know which subjects to “spontaneously” bring up.

However, be mindful that talking business could be a turn-off at a party, unless the other person raises the subject. Focus instead on scheduling post-party follow-up with selected people who would like to know more about your products and services.

While at the party, greet and thank your host straight away, before you visit the bar or the buffet. After that relax, mix and mingle. Have handy some friendly ice-breakers that will open the door to conversation (“How do you know [the host]?”).

Eating and drinking are party highlights, but take it easy with the drinking. I recommend that you have not more than one drink and then switch to a non-alcoholic beverage. You must be sober to successfully execute your networking strategy.

Furthermore, you’ll also need to master the drink and hors d’oeuvres plate juggle. Hold your drink in your left hand, so that you can shake hands easily and not give a cold, damp greeting. Likewise, eat hors d’oeuvres with your left hand, so you don’t offer a sticky handshake.

Finally, pay attention to the ebb and flow of guests. Unless you’re in a serious conversation, when their number begins to fade, find your host, thank him/her for the invitation and take your leave. There is an optimum time to arrive at and leave a party. Arriving 15- 20 minutes after the start time usually works. The next day, send a quick email to thank your host for a lovely time. After all, a good party is a wonderful thing and you want to get invited back next year!

Thanks for reading,

Kim

Nine Tips for Holiday Dating Safety

The holiday season is upon you. This can be a challenging time if you are single. Invitations to parties are flooding your mailbox. Various television channels seem to devote their entire lineup with movies depicting Santa bringing single women their true love. Jewelry stores are airing commercials showing husbands buying wives big shiny objects. Food companies are playing mind games too by showing how much fun it is to bake cookies with children and create enormous feasts for family and friends. Then there are the commercials showing you where to pick out the perfect ornament for your perfect tree. All this can send your head spinning and make you feel a bit down in the dumps if you are single. You may find yourself feeling isolated and alone. Oh and the final blow to your ego; let’s not forget your email is being flooded with discount offers from Match.com, eHarmony, Senior Singles and more.

From experience I have noticed this is the time of year that singles make dumb dating choices. I don’t want you to wake up in March with regrets. November through February are filled with events for couples. No one wants to attend holiday parties alone. No one wants to spend New Year’s Eve, the Super Bowl, or Valentine’s Day alone. This is the time of year when people settle for less than true love so they don’t have to be alone during the holidays. I want you to take an honest look at my tips below and see if you are guilty of committing any of them in the past.

Tips to Remember when Dating During the Holidays

  1. Remember: There is nothing wrong with being single during the holidays. It is better to be single than in a fake relationship.
  2. Watch out for the person that only wants a date during the holidays. Ask about past relationships. It is OK to ask the person what they want – do they just want a date for holiday parties or do they want a relationship.
  3. Don’t lower your dating standards during the holidays: Don’t let holiday party invitations cause you to act desperate and settle for less than you deserve.
  4. Don’t spend excessive amounts of money on your new date for Christmas presents. I recommend you don’t buy each other gifts.
  5. Actively listen: Pay attention to the little thing – like what he or she isn’t saying i.e. excessive drinking, selfish behavior, letting you pays for everything, complaining about child support etc… Don’t settle for the guy or gal that can’t or won’t say “I’m sorry” or that won’t communicate.
  6. Keep your eyes open: Actions speak louder than words. Watch out for the person that blames you for his bad behavior. This is the person that turns the tables and makes it your fault.
  7. It takes two people to make a relationship work. Don’t be the only one working on it. What is your walk away point? It is OK to end a relationship during the holidays.
  8. Don’t compromise your safety. Follow your intuition. Be careful of the person that immediately professes to be in love with you and then asks for money.
  9. Keep busy – whether it is staying home alone reading or writing or being with friends – no pity party allowed.

Now that you have reviewed the list and self reflected on past holiday relationships I want you to promise you will make wise choices when dating during the holidays. Singles can enjoy the holidays. When you implement my Nine Tips for Holiday Dating Safety you will have more money in your bank account, remember your self-worth, and have no regrets in March. Remember, there is nothing wrong with being single during the holidays.

Keep Your Kids Safe This Holiday

Trim the Tree Safely

The National Fire Protection Association calculates that Christmas trees cause 210 annual house fires. You could buy a fireproof artificial tree, but then your kids miss out on choosing and trimming a fresh tree. To prevent fires and other tree dangers, though, choose the fresh tree in the lot, place it away from heating sources and keep it saturated with water. Cut off low branches that could poke your kids in the eyes. Additionally, secure the tree from tipping over when you place it in a wide-based stand.

Decorate Safely

According to legend, German preacher Martin Luther added lit candles to the holiday tree in the early 1500s. Sparkling lights remain a staple in holiday decor, but exercise caution when burning candles. Place them away from the surface edges, teach your kids not to touch the flame, and remove flammable fabrics and paper from the vicinity of lit candles.

If you string lights instead of burning candles, use only Underwriters Lab-approved lights and cords. Inspect each strand for frayed or exposed wires and loose connections before plugging them in, and attach no more than three strings of lights per extension cord. Home insurance will include coverage for accidents, but keep your kids safe when you secure all cords and lights to prevent your kids from pulling or tripping on them.

You probably use other items as decorations too. Remember that small ornaments aren’t safe since they’re choking hazards. Likewise, resist decorating with marbles or anything else that looks like candy. Tinsel and ribbon could become twisted around your little ones’ fingers or toes, so don’t use those items. Place glass angels and crèches on high shelves where your children can’t reach them.

Bake Safely

Food Timeline shares that animal crackers originated in the late 1800s, while the decorative box was marketed as a Christmas tree ornament in 1902. If you and your family want to make your own animal cookies or other holiday treats, follow seven safety tips.

  1. Always supervise your kids while baking and cooking. You don’t want them pulling a mug of hot chocolate onto their laps.
  2. Store a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends you choose an extinguisher that’s comfortable to hold and is an ABC-type that handles ordinary combustibles, flammable liquids and electrical fires.
  3. Don’t let young children chow down on nuts, mints or popcorn. These popular holiday finger foods pose choking hazards.
  4. Store alcohol, alcoholic beverages and baking extracts with alcohol content out of a child’s reach. Kids can get sick if they ingest alcohol.
  5. Keep knives and other sharp cooking tools out of your kids’ reach. You don’t want your young children to reach for a fresh cookie and find a sharp knife instead.