As I sat in the ballroom, my eyes heavy with sleep after waking up at 5 a.m. to ride almost two hours to a conference at High Point University in North Carolina, I wasn't expecting to learn much in the first hour or so.
Usually conferences like these start out with some mild life lessons many people have already learned, as well as a few announcements before we break off into small groups. I wasn't expecting to go to this conference to have myself challenged personally, but that's exactly what happened.
I have to say that I learned far more in that hour than I think I learned the entire day, which made it the best way to start my day. I want to share with you a few things that I learned, because they really sparked a change in me.
A FOOL SAYS, "I'LL DO MORE WHEN THEY PAY ME TO DO MORE"
CONFIDENCE COMES FROM COMPETENCE
There is truth to the saying "knowledge is power." When you know more, you can speak more confidently. You will have an air about you that will make people stop and wonder what got in to you. That's how I want people to look at me, and that is actually how many people want others to look at them.
SMALL STEPS MAKE BIG DIFFERENCES
NEVER SAY "I'M NOT CHANGING THE WORLD"
They have names of people and experiences lodged in their brains that helped them form in to who they have become. I bet you could ask anyone you know about their favorite teacher, and they could rattle off some touching and inspiring story on what their teacher said to them that changed their life.
You never know if you're communicating with the future president or some other person who will have great power and influence who can make that direct impact on the world. But it is your tutelage and your experience with them that may be a guiding force in making that decision.
Today's blog post is inspired by my two amazing rescue animals: my cat Rum Tum and my dog Maisel.
1. BE PREPARED TO CLEAN
2. DON'T SPEND MONEY ON THINGS YOU CAN DIY
3. YOUR PETS MAY NOT GET ALONG RIGHT AWAY
We've decided to give Maisel the house during the day and give Rum Tum the house at night. We also are slowly acclimating them to one another by letting them out at the same time under very watchful eyes. I think it is going pretty well. I really hope they will be best friends one day!
4. SCHEDULE A CHECK-UP RIGHT AWAY
We had to take her to a vet to get some medicine, and the vet did an exam on her. PetSmart and other clinics may offer a special general exam for your new animal. Have them checked out, especially if they will come in contact with other animals. Don't trust the shelter to have kept them up-to-date on everything.
5. PETS TAKE ENERGY
6. TRY TO STAY AWAY FROM CHICKEN PRODUCTS
7. GET TOYS THAT REPLACE THEIR BAD HABITS
Above everything else, be sure to love your adopted pets. Odds are, they were on the street or were surrendered by someone they really loved. They need the love and joy that comes with a new family!
Many of my friends will admit that they say two specific words a little bit too much: I'm sorry. It's become a sort of over-used phrase that we throw out there when we don't want to offend someone. But, those aren't the two words I believe we should stop using in 2019. You know what I think we need to stop using as often in 2019?
Because "I'm Sorry" has become a normal way to apologize or a normal phrase we throw out when we try not to offend someone, "It's OK" has become just as common. Why? Because we want to return politeness, or at least the idea of it, back to the person apologizing? Because it is a rational response to the question?
In today's post, I want to tell you why I think we all need to stop saying "It's OK" every time someone apologizes.
WHY YOU SHOULD STOP SAYING IT ALL THE TIME
You tell someone you love them or you are praying for them because you want them to feel loved or appreciated. The same can be said for when someone apologizes to you. Did they really mean it? Perhaps this is a bit of a cynical point of view. However, evidence shows me that most people are just concerned with what would be best for them. If that means avoiding an argument or maintaining a relationship that is beneficial for them, they will say whatever it takes.
The truth is, it is OK for something to not be OK. Everyone makes mistakes. But, perhaps if we were better about not saying "It's OK" after someone says "I'm Sorry," the power would be restored to the apology. It shouldn't be about just being polite. Some people are always going to be fine with inconveniencing you or hurting you to gain something for themselves.
- Your coffee has been sitting by the take out window for 10 or more minutes and the worker decides to walk off to talk to a coworker instead of taking 2 minutes to hand you your coffee so you won't be late for work.
- A company or venue goes against their own policy and thinks an "I'm Sorry" is good enough.
- A friend or family member says they are sorry for not liking someone you are in a relationship with.
- A friend or family member continually repeats the same action that hurts you and keeps saying they are sorry.
I could go on, but you get the gist.
WE ALL DO IT
I hope that today's blog post will help you to be more cautious is saying "It's OK" when someone does something they truly aren't sorry for. However, I hope it also helps you to be more conscientious of when to use the words "I'm Sorry."
The truth is, sometimes we aren't sorry. We should stop throwing around that word for the sake of politeness. Sometimes, you don't need to apologize for something, especially if it is out of your control. You don't need to apologize for something you aren't truly sorry for. But we all do it. It will take getting used to, but I'm determined to make it happen this year. I'm determined to restore the power of the apology by limiting my use of "I'm Sorry" and "I'm OK." I hope you are too!
- Jonathan and I took an impromptu trip to get ice cream when our power was completely out because of some wreck where the person ran into a power pole.
- We visited both of our families for Thanksgiving.
- Job responsibilities shifted at work and it made my life a living heck. I was (and still am) juggling a number of things and it is really difficult during the busy times.
Merry Christmas everyone! Hopefully you all had a relaxing and fun Christmas Day! I wanted to share with you what we are doing this Christmas. I'd love to hear from you as well, so please drop a comment below and let me know what you did for Christmas! Here are our plans!
WAKE UP AND ENJOY SOME FOOD!
HEAD TO JONATHAN'S GRANDPARENT'S HOUSE!
HOPEFULLY SEEING MY GRANDPA!
PRESENTS WITH MY FAMILY!
1. What is your favorite Christmas film?
My favorite Christmas film is probably How the Grinch Stole Christmas with Jim Carrey.
2. Have you ever had a White Christmas?
I can't remember, but I'm sure it happened at some point. I live in the United States in the south, so we don't get much snow around Christmas, but usually get some around January.
3. Where do you usually spend your holiday?
We usually spend holidays with our family in North Carolina
4. What is your favorite Christmas song?
I really like the Christmas song "So This is Christmas (The War is Over)" by John Lennon. It is really weird, but I like it because of the kids singing in the background because I just think it is so cute!
5. Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?
When I was growing up, we would go to our family get-together and Santa would visit. He always brought my brother and I a present and that present was always a game that we could all play together before we went to bed. We also always received Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve. Those are the only presents we opened!
6. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
Yes! Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph!
7. What holiday traditions are you looking forward to most this year?
I am looking forward to making some Christmas treats, watching Christmas movies, and enjoying time with my family and my husband's family!
8. Is your Christmas tree real or fake?
Fake. My mom always had terrible allergies, so we got a fake one. Now that I am married and have my own home, I still use a fake one. I worry my allergies will also flare up but, more importantly, I like that my fake tree is pre-lit so I don't have to bother testing Christmas lights every year.
9. What is your all-time favorite holiday food/sweet treat?
My favorite holiday food is sausage balls. They are sausage mixed with cheese and flour. We traditionally have them the morning of and sometimes the night before Christmas. I really miss my brother, who is in Thailand right now, but his absence means more sausage balls for me!
10. Be honest: do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts better?
I LOVE to give gifts and sometimes I get sad when I can't give people exactly what I feel they deserve. You can ask my husband, I will go into all out tears! However, I love to show people I love them and know what they love and show them that I listen to their needs and hopes!
11. What is the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?
I honestly don't know. I was really jazzed when I received an iPod touch when they first came out. I was kind of shocked my mom got me and my brother one because she is a single parent and they were quite expensive!
12. What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?
I would love to visit New York or somewhere similar during the holidays. I just think of all of the shops and lights and even snow would be so beautiful, even though I hate snow and ice (because it is slippery here)!
13. Are you a pro-present wrapper, or do you fail miserably?
I would say I have good days and bad days. I can wrap presents well, but I really struggle one some days and on some packages that are shaped strangely.
14. Most memorable Holiday moment?
Probably all of the baking and cooking with family!
15. What made you realize the truth about Santa?
My mom and grandparents told me! But, at that moment, I realized the truth about the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and Leprechauns at that moment as well.
16. Do you make New Years resolutions? Do you stick to them?
I make them sometimes and I try to stick to them, but I don't beat myself up if I falter.
17. What makes the holidays special for you?
The holidays are special because everyone is so happy and cheerful and I get to see my family and friends. I love giving and receiving is always nice too!
Christmas can be a tough time of year, especially for those who feel like they are crumbling under debt or just don't have a ton of spare cash laying around to buy super nice gifts. For someone like me, who loves to give gifts, I hate when I don't have a lot to give.
But, it is the thought that counts, and you can actually make a ton of amazing gifts that anyone would love to receive. In today's post, I'll give you instructions on six DIY Christmas gifts that most people would be happy to receive! Enjoy:
1. CUP OF CHEER HOT CHOCOLATE MIX
2. DIY CANDLES
3. SUGAR SCRUBS
4. DOLLAR STORE GIFT BASKETS
5. A HOME-MADE HAT OR SCARF
6. HAND-MADE JEWELRY
I absolutely love traditions when it comes to Christmas, and I've actually carried some of my traditions from growing up into my marriage and we will do them with our children one day!
So, sit back, grab a snack, and check out these five Christmas traditions you need to add to your Christmas celebrations this year!
1. ADDING A NEW ORNAMENT
3. READING THE CHRISTMAS STORIES
4. WHOLE FAMILY GET-TOGETHER
5. GO SEE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
I hope that you will try out some of these traditions. If you do, please take a picture and tag me in it on social media. I am @gemusiclover on Instagram and Twitter, and I'd love to see your versions of these traditions!
The winter season is a time to get together with friends and family to celebrate the year. So, you may find yourself planning a few get-togethers or parties that will happen closer to the holidays.
But, I wanted to inspire you to try something that may be new to you: a different way to celebrate. I hope you enjoy these unique Christmas party ideas.
1. A PAINTING PARTY
2. A BAKING PARTY
3. A CAROL-AND-KARAOKE NIGHT
4. WHITE ELEPHANT GIFT EXCHANGE
5. A PJ PARTY
6. CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD
I really love these Christmas party ideas, but I'm afraid I won't be hosting my own this year. Maybe in the future I will! But, if you're planning to host a party, I hope you'll consider these unique party ideas!
I don't know about you, but stocking stuffers are hard to think of for adults. You can put just about anything in a child's stocking and they will be happy with it, especially if it is candy.
But I've found that many adults, including myself this year, aren't too keen to get candy, as they are watching their waistline. So, keep reading to learn about 10 non-candy stocking stuffers ideas you probably didn't think of.
1. MAKEUP/SKINCARE ITEMS
2. STRESS BALLS
3. WIRELESS ACTIVITY TRACKERS
4. NEW WALLETS
5. A BLUETOOTH TRACKER
6. REUSABLE ITEMS
7. PERSONAL CARE ITEMS
8. A TOY FROM THEIR GENERATION
9. MINI CANDLES
10. MINI TECHNOLOGY
So, I hope this non-candy stocking stuffer list will help you get everyone on your list the best things for Christmas this year! If you have any other ideas, please share them with me. I still have time to pick up some stocking stuffers for this season!