Tag Archives: gifts

Celebrating Women

Today is International Women’s Day. It’s a day to honor women and the amazing creatures we are.  It’s also a day of inspiration and a time to thank those women who have made it possible for today’s women to be who she is meant to be.

Here are three of my favorite women who have made a difference in women’s lives. Anthony for her fight to secure women’s vote, Roosevelt who fought for civil rights, and Keller who became an inspiration for people with a handicap. Each one had a special gift to give, was passionate about it and set out to reach her dreams in service to others. Here are some of my favorite quotes from them:


“The older I get, the greater power I seem to have to help the world; I am like a snowball-the further I am rolled,The more I gain.”  

Susan B. Anthony Talks to Voters from the Grave

Susan B. Anthony Talks to Voters from the Grave (Photo credit: Occupy* Posters)

 Susan B. Anthony

 A courageous woman and Women’s Rights leader, Anthony played a pivotal role in the 19th century women’s rights movement to introduce women’s suffrage into the United States. We have her and the women who joined her to thank for the privilege we have to vote. Could we be like the snowball?

Eleanor Roosevelt: political activist, First L...

Eleanor Roosevelt: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The future belongs to those who believe in the

Beauty of their dreams.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

The First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945, Eleanor Rossevelt assumed a role as an advocate for civil rights. We owe her thanks for advancing the Civil Rights Movement. How beautiful are our dreams?


 The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched …

 They must be felt in the heart” 

Helen Adams Keller

Helen Keller

Helen Keller (Photo credit: Arabani)

American author, political activist and lecturer, Keller was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.

We can thank her for showing us that handicapped people are as capable and brilliant as those of us who have not been afflicted with such obstacles. What obstacles are we facing? What beauty is in our souls?


As you read through this article, you can ask yourself, “What gift do I have to give the world?” Start with your special talent, your passion, your love of something. It could be photography, art, music, a love of nature, a memoir, or simply the joy of laughter. Share your love, talents, passions to honor all the women you know and love (and even this article if it moves you).

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The Day I Gave Myself A Shower

Clearing some of my clutter last week included getting rid of some long-buried stuff I haven’t used in years. Among them was a set of placemats that I bought a long time ago. Maybe I’ve hung on to them because of the memories of the day I gave myself a shower.

It was a sunny day in April, my sons were doing their chores in the garden and I was puttering in the kitchen looking at how bad some of my utensils looked. It got me to thinking that although I’ve attended many kitchen showers for brides-to-be, I had never been given one. So I decided that I would give one for myself.

A beautiful new kitchen and bath shop had just opened in town and I had noticed the beautiful colors and arrangements of placemats, kitchen gadgets, towels and cooking utensils. Eager to explore this new business, I took myself shopping.

I picked out many of the shiny new objects, (including the now-worn placemats), some beautiful cloth napkins and various other goodies. The owner was so sweet. She laughed when I told her I was holding a kitchen shower for myself and decided to join in the fun. So she wrapped each item individually, using different colored ribbons for each package. I left with my shopping bags, picked up a cake and ice cream and headed for home.

Later that afternoon I invited my three sons and my husband into the family room, saying I was holding a shower that afternoon. They looked at me, and each other, believing I had completely lost my mind when I told them it was a shower for ME. Given that cake and ice-cream were part of the shower, however, they decided to indulge me in my craziness.

Photo of kitchen utensils

New Kitchen Shower Gifts

So amidst cake and ice cream, which they loved, I opened each gift and acted surprised and delighted with each package I opened. They laughed and laughed as I showed great excitement over each new treasure for my kitchen. As they left, I heard one of them remark, “I think our mom is nuts.”  But they were still laughing at my silliness.

Often we wait for others to make us happy or wait to be showered with gifts only to wait for a long, long time for something that may never happen.

Showers are a wonderful way to have fun while giving, even if it’s for yourself. Also, there’s no law that says you can’t give a shower for yourself.

Is there a gift you can give yourself today?  It could be something delightful as a new nightgown, new lingerie, or a bouquet of fresh flowers. You could also treat yourself and sign up for the new Sensational You Beauty Course.

Or maybe there’s a gift you can give to someone for no reason other than to make their day. Even a shower of compliments in gratitude for things you appreciate in your friends and family is a nice celebration

It’s April! There’s no better time than now to have an April Shower.

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10 Tips to Help You Enjoy the Holidays

Christmas Tree

Lighting the Tree in Puerto Rico

Do you enjoy the holiday season? Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. How about you? What I love is getting together with friends and family, the wonderful decorations, the music and the memories of past celebrations.

What I don’t like that last-minute shopping, too much food, lots of cleaning up after marathon cooking and spending too much money on things people don’t need or want.

Here are some tips that may help you enjoy every minute of this wonderful season. From all I hear, read and do, I believe that planning is the key to a stress-free season.

1.     It starts with a decision. Decide you’re going to enjoy every minute of the season, even the stressful parts.

2.     If you’re hosting a special event, create your plan and write it down! A lack of planning can be distressful. Plan everything…shopping, menus, seating, etc.  I love cooking with my daughter-in-law because she plans her menus, shops for the ingredients and always keeps the youngsters in mind. The best part is that if I’m assigned to make something; i.e., a pie, she has all the ingredients measured and set out for me so that it’s easy to put the ingredients together. She knows her kitchen and pantry and I don’t.

3.     Set a budget for gifts and stick with it. Some families draw names and have spending limits for gift-giving. Others buy gifts only for the children. It’s nice to have a package or two to open on the special day, so we do give small stocking-stuffer type gifts. I wonder if everyone did this, would we be able to stem the blatant commercialism that surrounds what are meant to be religious holidays?

4.     Buy the important gifts first…children, spouse, partner, etc., and then purchase the smaller gifts. Some you may want to make. Last year I gave a few friends who don’t really need anything, a jar of my special chocolate fudge sauce and attached the recipe for it to the jar. It was a big hit.

5.     Use cash and leave your credit cards at home when shopping. If you don’t like carrying around a lot of cash, your bank can issue a prepaid gift card and use that for your shopping. Not only will you limit your spending but you will have a record of what you have spent and what you have left.

6.     My least favorite shopping is looking for a special outfit for the holidays. If it was purchased much earlier, it can be a pain to shop when stores are crowded and service is not available. What do you have in your wardrobe that adding a bit of bling to will create a new look? There are lots of inexpensive baubles that will dress up the basic outfit to create a holiday flair. The truth is that most people don’t remember what you wore last year unless it was over-the-top spectacular. Do you remember what you wore last year? I certainly don’t, and if someone else remembers, well, they can enjoy it again.

7.     One of my favorite things to do is to carry around lots of one-dollar bills when I’m shopping. That way I can put money in the many Salvation Army buckets and I know that the money will be well spent. Maybe I’m selfish but I like to encourage these volunteers because I receive more joy from the smiles I get from the wonderful people ringing the bells.

8.     Give up the idea of being the chief ant and get help from your colony. Younger hands and ideas can fill in to make your tasks lighter. And remember, if you’re a guest at a daughter or son-in-law’s home, praise their efforts sincerely and nix the advice unless it’s asked for.

9.     Plan relaxation time. There’s nothing beautiful about being harassed and overwhelmed. Taking a brisk walk, indulging in a warm bubble bath or treating yourself to a pedicure will go a long way toward looking relaxed and sensational.

10. Finally, we can be grateful that we have the freedom to shop, celebrate, and give. Take the time to contribute a toy, canned goods, a bag of groceries, or money to your favorite organizations. I’m grateful that I’m able to give as well as to receive.

Here are some of my favorite resources for gift-giving.

Give a Gift. Change a Life.

Toys for Tots

Food Banks


When Ordinary People do Extraordinary Things

The big news this last week has been about Susan Boyle, the Scottish spinster who wowed a tough audience on Britain’s Got Talent show. So many people, including me, have a hard time holding back tears while watching the clip.

This will no doubt be the buzz for a long time and audiences will be waiting for her next appearance. Whether she wins or loses the final contest, her story will be in our hearts for long after the contest is over.

There are so many lessons to be learned from her. First, she is just herself. She has been given the gift of a beautiful voice and she was finally able to share this gift with the world. So many of us hide our talents because we feel less-than or because what we have to give is not in its perfected state.

Next, she is the complete opposite of the glammed up Hollywood star type. As you could see if you watched the clip, the expressions on the faces of the judges and the audience were quite telling. They absolutely were not expecting what they got.

The biggest lessons I got from this performance are that when you have a gift, it’s important to share it with the world in whatever way you can. Also, when we feel we’re not enough or think we’re too old, too short, too tall, too uneducated, too smart…whatever too-too we can be caught in, we can be inspired when we remember the courage it must have taken for her to get up on that stage.

Then there’s the principle of focus. Her only purpose was to take advantage of this amazing opportunity and do her best to win the judges’ approval. As she said, when asked how she felt about how the audience and judges reacted when she first walked on stage, “I only thought about one thing…doing what I was there to do.” How often do we let naysayers and critics stop us from reaching our goals?

Once again we are reminded that the humble shall be exalted. I don’t know about you, but watching her lifts my spirit and brings joy into my heart when I hear her wonderful voice. I believe it’s the true beauty shining through this woman who looks quite ordinary that has captivated world-wide audiences.

I’ll be the one of the first to buy her first recording.

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