Kindness its not just for Christmas

Quick Christmas appeal

Christmas is amazing I love Christmas. I love trying to guess what presents I’ve got and if my partner will like what I’ve got him. I love cooking and baking in the run up to the big day. I always try to save some money in the run up to Christmas so I can get something nice for Christmas day and New Year’s Eve.

In all seriousness though Christmas is a time for family, forgiveness and thoughtfulness it’s not just about the presents. Whilst many people are getting ready for Christmas day, worrying if they have bought the perfect gift for their children and if the everything will run smoothly or if there will be another argument over what to watch on tv, others just see it as another day on which they have to somehow make ends meet and survive.

Giving and receiving presents is lovely but there is no need to panic if your gift costs less than their gift. That is not what Christmas is about it’s about appreciating what you have and trying to share a little of what you have with others who have less.

This year I am supporting a Christmas charity organisation called the big give (link at bottom) who raise funds and co-ordinate their appeals to help you help the charity of your choice. You can choose from location and cause to decide where you want to spend your money.

I am also trying to make Christmas go further by trying to raise awareness of the need to help others and be kind not just at Christmas but all year round. This doesn’t have to be a financial commitment it can involve donating old items to charity or donating time or even just letting someone else get on the bus before you or holding a door when you didn’t have to.

I am collecting the stamps I receive on Christmas cards and giving them to charity. It’s a small gesture that doesn’t inconvenience me in any way and can help someone else.

Don’t just be kind for Christmas be kind wherever there is opportunity. The benefits include making another persons day and being aware that you have helped someone when you could have not.

I hope you all have a lovely christmas full of love and appreciation.

WARNING: over kindness can lead to a sense of fulfilment and the need to help strangers.

Links

http://www.thebiggive.org.uk/ -charity donations to location and cause of your choice

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Last minute Christmas chaos

Last minute Christmas chaos

Christmas is approaching in fact its only 3 days away. It’s a bit late to be suggesting ideas for presents, wrapping or organisation however many of us will still have last minute preparations to complete and people to visit before new year’s eve.

I have been asked to remind you by subject A that when in doubt there is always the option of the 24hr petrol station. Who doesn’t love a free bumper sticker or windscreen cleaner?

For those of you who still need gift ideas here are a few of my favourite easy to make pressies:

Personalised crokery -Anything from a mug to plate to bowl can be customised using a sharpie marker and 30 mins in the oven:

  1. To start you need a white mug some sharpie markers I use black for writing quotes but colours are fine too.
  2. Design- anything you want draw or write make it personal to you and the person your gifting
  3. Pop it in the oven whilst cold (it needs to heet gradually to prevent cracking)
  4. Turn the oven to 175C or 350 F
  5. Leave the mug in the oven for 30 mins
  6. turn the oven off leaving the mug in untill cool
  7. Gently handwash, dry and giftwrap.

Cake mix in a jar- put all the dry ingredients for a cake together in a jar make a handmade label with the recipe and instructions and wrap.  My favourite variation of this  which is bread rather than cake in a bottle can be found on messynessychic’s website (link below)

Links

http://lifehacker.com/5992703/use-a-sharpie-to-make-custom-coffee-mugs-personalized-plates-and-more – just one website with instructions for personalising your crokery.

http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Sharpie-Mug-DIY-Project-24955886 – another website with instructions and ideas for diy gifts

http://www.messynessychic.com/2014/12/17/this-diy-gift-guide-rules-cheap-last-minute-ideas/- some cute and quirky diy gift ideas.

http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/holidays-occasions/quick-bread-in-a-bottle            – recipe by messynessychic for bread in a bottle.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/23/8-diy-gift-ideas-20-minutes_n_4492789.html – 8 quick gift ideas

The mystery of the missing year

For those of you who have been dedicated to supporting my blog I have to apologise for my MIA status of the past year.

There have definitely been several major changes. I have moved house, finished university, started full time work and now have a SMALLER kitchen than ever before.

The least eventful of these was the finishing university. Although I have spent 4 years working and playing hard I have now graduated with a 2:1 BA in Religious studies. Leaving me more aware of religion in society but ill equipped to apply this knowledge to life outside university or the world of work.

Next was moving house, I have moved from beautiful wales to still not sunny Yorkshire. The move was the biggest thing I have had to organize in my life so far and for any last year students thinking of moving I suggest to start planning early.

There were several setbacks with the move itself. We had to be out of the house by June 28 and were going to hire a man and van however one of our friends suggested we hire a van and they would drive which was considerably cheaper. Unfortunately they fell ill with pneumonia and were unfit to drive a few days before the move date. This left us with a mad scramble to find a man and van or substitute driver.

We had several offers of friends who wanted to help however due to the short notice ended up hiring a man and van from www.anyvan.com to move the contents of our house the 500+ miles.

The guy who arrived was lovely he loaded everything into the van and helped with a few last minute jobs such as emptying the bins for the final time and vacuuming the stairs. He kept us well informed of arrival times making a stressful day that bit easier.

The new house is a two bed with a basement which has now been converted into a ‘gym’.

There is 3 of us sharing as well as two cats, two rats and a very lonely singular mouse (due to an unfortunate death).

Finally, the new job. Well it’s a job. AND I LOVE IT!

I’m working full time in a job I got offered whilst still at Uni. I walk to work most days and feel like it’s something worthwhile. I’m three months into my six month probation and looking forward to further training.

And that’s it. Here are some photos of things I have been doing over the past year:    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 054

Houdini

Houdini

Houdini

Houdini

Baby Houdini October 2014

Baby Houdini October 2014

Last years snow

Last years snow

Getting ready for christmas

Getting ready for christmas

My Easter Present from Lampeter University

My Easter Present from Lampeter University

Trip to St Davids

Trip to St Davids

Trip to St Davids

Trip to St Davids

Spot the kitten dec 2014

Spot the kitten dec 2014

Day at scarborough

Day at scarborough

View of Lampeter over the valley

View of Lampeter over the valley

Baby Echo jan 2014

Baby Echo jan 2014

Links

http://www.anyvan.com/view-profile/GordonF – profile for our lovely removal man.

http://www.uwtsd.ac.uk/lampeter/ – Lampeter University website

http://www.stdavidscathedral.org.uk/index.php?id=760 – St Davids Cathedral Website