How To Tackle Christmas Financially | Blogmas Day Three

In all the fun of Christmas there are always some difficulties. One of the main problems is money and deciding what to get that isn’t over-priced. Today’s post is all about how to get high-quality products for less money and how to reduce how many gifts you have to buy.

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Secret Santa

remember – the clue’s in the title – secret!

This first one is to friend groups. If you have a collection of friends that know each other well then you could possibly do a Secret Santa. This means that you don’t have to buy for everyone but you buy for one person – it’s fun, inclusive and everyone else in the group won’t feel like they’ve missed out because a budget is usually set so no one can try to out-do eachother with the best gift. This is best for groups with five or more people. Otherwise you don’t really get any financial benefits.

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A Letter To Vegans

The few paragraphs I have written aren’t nessacerily from my personal point of view. I believe that being a vegan is about not taking things from other’s that belong on our planet, and about equalising the world. Being a human is a curse at the moment, but if we all pull together maybe we can make it a blessing.

I don’t care who you are, just be what you want to be and do whatever you think is right.

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To Vegans,

If you knew where your products were coming from such as eggs and milk would you use them? For example, I know this option isn’t available to all of us but if you had a hens or a friend/relative did would you use their eggs because you know where they’re coming from? Or would you still not because it’s shameful that those eggs aren’t fertilized and a child could’ve been born. If I were vegan, I would eat these eggs. I know that they have been forced out of the hen and that these chickens can roam around and have enjoyed their life. ‘Free Range’ on the label is just a way of making the brand look kinder, often this is not the case.

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Milk. If you had locally sourced milk, knowing it’s whereabouts would you still not drink it? Cows give birth 2-3 times in their lifetime (or less) before they are sent to market. Calves grow quickly, and need their mother’s milk only in the first couple of months (or less). So, when the cows are producing throughout the year with no intention would you buy and consume the milk? Humans are the most dangerous animals on Earth. We are not challenged to give up our milk to other species – and to be honest I think that no other animal can consume it (poisonous). Knowing that the cows aren’t forced to produce this milk – would you buy it?

Leather. I’ve done no real research but if a cow is killed for meat (which it is, the majority of people are not vegetarian/vegan) the leather can be used. If a cow is killed surely we can make the best of that loss of life and use as much of it as possible. Would you wear the leather? If it is produced in justice…

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Wool. This is a bit different, not all vegans give up wool as such. A sheep is sheared to keep it healthy, its body not overheated. And the sheep doesn’t have to be killed for this.

The few paragraphs I have written aren’t nessacerily from my personal point of view. I believe that being a vegan is about not taking things from other’s that belong on our planet, and about equalising the world. Being a human is a curse at the moment, but if we all pull together maybe we can make it a blessing. 

I don’t care who you are, just be what you want to be and do whatever you think is right. 

The Road Is a Forest

You know when you are driving down the road when the sun’s out and because of the trees lining the road you get flashes of shadows in the corner of your eye? Well that’s like life. Sometimes you need to stop the car and get out to see what the tree has to offer, and rather than hopping back in the car you should climb the tree no matter how high, or hard, because you don’t want the feeling of regret.
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Sometimes these fears are what makes life better. Show them wrong… climb your tree.
And before getting back in that car, think why you need to be driving when you could be walking or running down the pavement with fresh air tingling up your nose.
Take the walk in the woods. With the trees. With the memories on the leaves. Your forest is going to be so large by the end of your life. You will be planting saplings in other people’s forests and growing so wise and strong. Because those little things that help move the world along are you and your thoughts.
And you may be thinking about how the leaves with fall off every year. They do grow back – but you are an Evergreen Tree. Only the bad memories with fall onto the floor. You will not forget them, and they will be used to help animals stay warm and grow themselves. The bad leaves are what you are growing on, bear that in mind.
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As I am writing this I am in the car. I am not driving, I have stopped. I’ve just had my hair cut, and that gives more space for my hair to grow again…
Like a forest.
Don’t cut down the forest.

Random Acts Of Kindness | Key Ingredients To Living

Random acts of kindness: “…a selfless act performed by a person or persons wishing to either assist or cheer up an individual… There will generally be no reason other than to make people smile, or be happier.”

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Can you remember when I first started this blog and my catch line was “Here To Share A Smile”? Well, it has been one year since then I hope that I can continue to spread acts of kindness to each and every one of you.

“…Random acts of kindness are important to our sense of wellbeing. The discourage selfishness and encourage our loving and sharing nature.

Giving something without expectation of receiving anything in return is a powerful act of generosity.

Try to carry out one random act of kindness each day, and make it part of your life.

YOU ARE WHAT YOU REPEATEDLY DO.”

Kindness is sometimes overlooked. Sometimes, we carry on through our lives and are so held up that our business controls us. We shall try, every day, to remember that one little thing can bring on a smile, and as they say, a smile is contagious.

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‘…Friendship isn’t this big boulder, it’s a series of events that mirror kindness.’

Every day is a fresh start for you and your mind. Every day, is a new opportunity for spreading kindness. I would just like to say though, that forcing happiness isn’t a way forward. Smile like you mean it, if you don’t – someone will be there smiling already. Because if everyone spreads these little random acts of kindness, smiles will be there.

Here’s a list of little acts you can do: 

  • Make someone a cup of tea
  • Send someone a card
  • Call a relative/friend 
  • Buy someone a coffee
  • Pay someone a compliment
  • Help someone see the positive
  • Bring treats to work or school (handmade things are extra special)
  • Cook a meal for a friend
  • Donate to charity, donate something someone else would appreciate more than you
  • Let someone in your lane

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  • Make someone a playlist
  • Give someone a hug
  • Include everyone in the conversation
  • Listen intently
  • Smile at someone 😉
  • Encourage someone
  • Car share
  • Help someone with heavy bags

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  • Ignore negative voices in your head, you deserve kindness too (I know it’s hard)
  • Do the dishes when it isn’t your turn
  • Say thank you, and mean it
  • Forgive someone
  • Compliment someone to their boss/teacher
  • Hang out with someone new

There are many more random acts for you to conduct, but I would like you to know how easy it is to spread a bit of kindness.

‘Wherever you go, always leave happiness behind.’

Thank you for all the support over this first year of blogging, and many more to come!

I leave you with smiles, hugs and all the kindness…

The Philosophy of “Tomorrow” | Take Two

Hello Internet! (For ‘The Philosophy of Tomorrow #1″ please click here)

It’s Saturday afternoon and you have a big science project that is due on Monday. Your teacher told you about it weeks ago, but you saw no reason to get started right away. Now you are getting a little nervous. You only have two days to do the project and you should probably get to work. But where should you begin? There is so much work to do. Maybe a walk in the fresh air would clear your mind.

You had some great ideas on your walk and when you come back inside, you are ready to work. You sit down at your desk. My, your desk certainly looks messy. You would probably work better if it were neat. As you organize your desk, you find a deck of cards. You remember a fun card game that a friend taught you. Maybe you could teach the game to your little brother. He sure would like the game; besides, spending time with your family is important. Your project can wait a few more hours.

Now it’s Sunday night and you have not even begun your project. You are seriously worried. How did this happen? If you had only begun working on the project when it was assigned! Then you would be relaxing instead of rushing to do three weeks’ worth of work in a few short hours. Why did you put off doing it for so long?

Does any of this sound familiar to you? If so, then you are guilty of procrastinating—that is, putting off doing something even though you know that it is important. We have all done this at some point in our lives. In fact, Dr. Piers Steel, a professor at the University of Calgary, found in his research that 95% of people have procrastinated at least once. Most of us know that it is a bad habit, but we do it anyway. Why is that?

Some psychologists blame procrastination on something called the pleasure principle. The pleasure principle is a simple idea: human beings are more likely to choose to do something fun or enjoyable instead of something difficult, painful, or boring, even if this choice is bad for us. This is why most people would rather play video games than clean the bathroom. The problem, of course, is the bathroom needs to get cleaned. Putting off cleaning will only make your bathroom dirtier in the long run.

Procrastinating is giving in to the pleasure principle. Instead of doing something dull or difficult, we choose to do something fun. It is choosing instant gratification over delayed gratification. Instant gratification occurs when you get to enjoy something right away; conversely, delayed gratification requires a person to wait until the enjoyment can happen. Instant gratification may be immediately rewarding, but it is not always the best choice. For example, imagine that you are hungry. In your kitchen, you have both a bag of chips and all of the ingredients to make a delicious, healthy sandwich. The sandwich is better for you, will keep you full longer, and it even tastes better. But it will take time to make the sandwich. You will have to get out the bread, slice the ingredients, put the sandwich together, and then clean up after yourself when you are done. On the other hand, you can just open up the bag of chips, stuff them into your face, and then throw out the empty bag. Which should you choose? Choosing the bag of chips would be an example of instant gratification; your hunger gets satisfied immediately with minimal effort on your part. Choosing the sandwich would be an example of delayed gratification; you have to do work and wait a few minutes before you get to eat.

Of course, procrastination is not the worst crime in the world. However, procrastinating too much can have some seriously negative consequences. Even if you tell yourself that you “work best under pressure,” this is almost certainly not the case. A project that you have spent weeks working on will be much better than one you do in two hours the night before it is due. Procrastinating not only makes your work suffer, it can also be bad for you. Procrastinating can cause stress, anxiety, and feelings of guilt. Furthermore, if you procrastinate so much that you do not actually get your work done, then you are likely to suffer consequences.

If procrastination is a problem for you, there are some things that you can do to help. When author Herman Melville struggled to finish his great novel Moby Dick, he reportedly had his wife chain him to his desk. If this sounds a bit extreme to you, there are a few easier ways that you can help yourself stay on task. Are you putting off your project because it seems overwhelming or too difficult? Try breaking it down into smaller tasks. For example, if you have to clean your room, you could start by just organizing your closet. Once your closet is organised, then you can move on to the clutter on your desk. You could also start by doing the hardest part first—once that is out of the way, the rest will seem easy. If you procrastinate because you are easily distracted, try working in an environment that helps you stay focused. Find a place where there are no televisions. Turn your phone off. If you need your computer to do your work, download software that will temporarily block websites that distract you.

Perhaps the best way to beat procrastination is the simplest way: just get started. You may find that once you have spent a few minutes working, you will find yourself focused on your task. It may not work for you, but it cannot hurt to try. After all, you have nothing to lose but a bad habit!

Erin

P.S Do you realise how much research it took to write this? I don’t think you do. But it probabaly took up most of the time I was supposed to be doing homework.