Holly and Heather's Helping Hands

Inspirational Heartfelt Hints

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Snow Day Fun!!

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Here in the northeastern U.S.A., we get a pretty good dose of snow every winter. In our part of the country it’s not an every day or even weekly occurrence so it’s enough to enjoy without getting tired of it. On those really snowy days, things really shut down around our towns. We are urged by officials to stay off the roads and stay home as much as possible. When that happens, we cheer, “Snow day!”

When schools and work close for the day (or two!) we look forward to some honored traditions:
1. Sleep in!
2. Stay in pajamas most of the day (if not all)
3. Put on a good movie or tv show
4. Light the fireplace
5. Read a good book or magazine
6. Watch the snow fall from a cozy spot in the house
7. Make (and eat) comfort food

Here is a recipe just perfect for a snow day:

Slow Cooked Stew

Ingredients: Beef cubes, diced carrots. cut up potatoes, one beef bullion cube, salt, pepper, paprika, splash of: water, Worcestershire sauce, cooking wine, soy sauce, tomato sauce

Put all ingredients in a slow cooker on low for 7-8 hours. Serve with rolls or biscuits.

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Pick a Cause

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What are you passionate about? If you could take an action to help solve a world or community problem, what would it be? Every now and then we like to focus on a charitable endeavor that is near and dear to our hearts and there are so many that we care about.  Our father and uncle have Parkinson’s Disease and we will be blogging more about that in April which is Parkinson’s awareness month (this year we are hoping to find a local walk that we can participate in).

In supporting a cause, it is important to know if you are helping to raise money for research and/or a cure for an illness or disease, how much is going toward that effort.  Helping the poor is high on our list of volunteering priorities and there are big and small ways you can make a difference.  Our local churches collect money specifically for helping with heating bills, food and medicine.  You could donate clothes, cook or serve in a soup kitchen, or buy baby food and diapers for needy families with babies.

Even if you do one thing, once a year, you are making a difference in someone else’s life – and enriching your own.  What speaks to you?

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Continuing A Positive Mindset

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This week’s blog focuses on more helpful hints about how to achieve that positive outlook on a daily basis. There are so many negative stories out in the world; we need to constantly tell ourselves positive ones! Let’s think about our thoughts more closely. If we have two choices, 1. Dwelling on the positive or 2. Thinking about the negative, why would we choose number two?

If you feel your thoughts trending towards the negative, stop the trend.  Refocus your mind on something that makes you happy: a beautiful sunset, a peaceful song, a pleasant memory.  Wondering, “What if?” on an unpleasant thought pattern is like predicting a negative outcome in a world of possibilities that may never come to pass.

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Have a Healthy Mindset

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We are always exploring ideas for living a healthy life and striving for peace within.   Recently we heard the phrase, “Your thoughts are not facts.” If you have any anxiety in your day or find yourself ruminating on a problem or conflict, that is a powerful quote! How many times do we truly believe what we think even if those thoughts are not rooted in reality?  How many times do we get bogged down by our thoughts? Whether it’s running through to-do lists and errands or problems of the past and worries about the future, our mind can distract us greatly from staying present. The worst, for us, is rehashing bad memories, like an argument yesterday or one from ten years ago. Having negative thoughts are self-defeating.  What could possibly be productive about them?

Positive self talk on the other hand, can greatly help us stay healthy and present.  Being kind to our selves, thinking the best of ourselves and being aware of the moment increases our ability to be happy.  Constantly practicing being mindful, positive self talk and deep breathing will come naturally after a while – it’s like a muscle that you have to exercise and it gets easier with time and use.  This practice can help you become more prepared in moments of crisis that can come without warning.  It can help you cope with life’s inevitabilities and be more prepared for dealing with something you’re afraid of.  Practice a healthy mindset every day and set yourself up for great days ahead!

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Fulfillment

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Fulfillment is a great word for a positive mindset. We strive to be fulfilled in our lives emotionally, with our relationships, our spirituality, in our jobs and just in living our lives. Living with a purpose and staying present are great ways to be fulfilled.  So how do we get there? Start where you are and focus on the good in your life. Remember you are loved – by others, by God – and love back. Having love in your life is most important.  Love others, yourself, animals; love puts us in a great place. It’s what should fuel our lives!

Do you love what you do? To be fulfilled, think about what makes you happy. Maybe you enjoy certain activities that you can incorporate into your daily life.  Think of how you would like to spend every day if money were no object, what kind of environment would bring you joy? Focus on different surroundings – outside, inside; people – alone, a few, a crowd; activity – creative, physical.  Take your loves and incorporate them into your daily life.  It can bring meaning and happiness to your world.  One thing we love to do is focus on feeding our family good food.  It may seem trivial to some, but it really does bring a feeling of fulfillment to us to make nourishing dishes – happiness to taste something delicious, contentment to feed our families well, and joy to cook in the kitchen!  And it’s something that we can easily incorporate into our day.

Get fulfilled, remember it’s the month of everything good!  And focus on the love!!

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