Holly and Heather's Helping Hands

Inspirational Heartfelt Hints

Month: May, 2012

Holly and Heather’s Handy Hint: Memorial Day

This past week our country celebrated Memorial Day, a day to remember all of the courageous men and women who haved served this country honorably.  For us, it is a time to gather with family and give thanks for all of the freedoms we enjoy as Americans.  We like to participate in local parades either as spectators or marchers, fly the American flag at our homes, and show our pride for our country in what we wear and what we make on this special day (see below for Holly’s red, white and blue pie!).  We remember our many relatives who have fought in wars far away to protect us and those who have served locally with great admiration.  How do you celebrate Memorial Day?

Holly’s Red, White and Blue Pie

1 box of instant pudding mix (any flavor – I love butterscotch) made according to package directions

1 ready made graham cracker pie crust

1 container of cool whip

strawberries and blueberries

Pour pudding into graham cracker crust.  Spread cool whip on top. Place blueberries in upper left corner (“stars”) and strawberries in horizontal rows to the right and under the blueberries (“stripes”).  Enjoy!!

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Holly and Heather’s Handy Hint: Better to be Kind than Right

We are sure you, like most of us, would like a little more peace in your life. That can be affected the most by our relationships with others.  Sometimes we have little squabbles in our day to day lives: someone says something to us at work, we have a disagreement with a friend or family member that literally give us knots in our stomach.  That stress can really affect your well being. What can we do to instill a little peace in our lives when things can be so off-balance at times? We try to remember that, in many situations, it is better to be kind than right.  As we have mentioned before, being twins we were raised with most things being equal and fair, which gave us a unique sense of justice.  We strive for harmony and peace which isn’t always easy.  We often dispute this point with each other: when do you assert your truth and when is it better to just swallow the wrong for the sake of peace?  On the one hand, being honest in relationships is crucial for compatibility but what if there is no solution to a problem?  Instead of burying it, can you just let it go?  It can be difficult when something really bothers you, but are you bothered more by the unharmonious relationship? It’s hard to brush a problem under the rug but also hard to air your grievances and argue. Sometimes there is no easy solution.  Sometimes you can agree to disagree.  We like the idea of trying always to be nice to each other and honest, but not to the point of hurting one’s feelings. Reaching out to your friends and family in that way can be rewarding and go a long way toward your personal peace and happiness in relationships with others. What do you do to that end?

Holly and Heather’s Weekly Handy Hint: Start a Garden!

Spring is in the air and with warmer weather comes the urge to sit outside with a glass of iced tea and a good book.  But when you look around your backyard, do you see a whole lot of work to be done? What better way to beautify your space than to start a garden? Neither of us has acres of land for planting but we love to grow veggies so container gardening has become a big thing. Usually we start from seeds and there are companies that sell packets catering specifically toward growing in containers for small spaces. We like to grow cherry tomatoes and cucumbers and lots of herbs like basil, parsley and dill.  Food is so tasty when you grow it yourself and it’s free of pesticides.  We also buy some wildflower packets and put them in pots now so when the summer is here our backyards are in full bloom and pretty color! Consider planting a small tree in a corner of your yard for a boost to the environment as well as something else to admire while enjoying the outdoors. Give in to that urge to sit outside and relax, taking in the sights & scents of spring. That old saying “stop and smell the roses” is definitely true!

Holly and Heather’s Weekly Handy Hint: Celebrate Mom!

Mother’s Day is almost here and for us, it’s a great way to take time out of our busy schedules to get the whole family together and do a little something special with our mom. While we work with our mom and talk to her almost every day, it’s nice to acknowledge and say thank you for everything she’s done for us. As mothers ourselves, we can appreciate how much hard work goes into the most important job in the world.   Some of us have a lot of juggling to do on this special day; we have not only our own mothers to think of but our mothers-in-law, grandmothers, godmothers, step-mothers and ourselves!  There are lots of ways you can celebrate mom: call her, go out to dinner, send her a card, say a prayer for her.  For some this may be a bittersweet day because our mothers have passed from this world or may be very sick or far away.  Sharing fond memories can be a nice way to honor and remember your mother.

What do you do to celebrate Mother’s Day?

On a personal note, we would like to say thank you to our mom for teaching us right from wrong, how to work hard at our jobs, how to forgive & love others unconditionally through your shining example and for making our childhood loving and safe.  Some of our favorite memories with our mother are tied up with food/eating/cooking: that wonderful chicken with sour cream and chives that was waiting for us when we got home from school; rolling dolmades (Greek vine leaves) with mom and yi-ya for the holidays; and all of those Friday night Chinese food take-out dinners after dancing school.  We love you mom!!!

Holly and Heather’s Weekly Handy Hint: Justice for All!

Growing up twins, we were raised with a keen sense of justice and fairness.  Our mother always made sure that if one of us got a new toy, so did the other one.  If she purchased a dress for one, the other probably got the same dress in a different color.  Even our Christmas presents had to be equal in amount and size if not in content.  So when life turns out to be less than fair and equal, what is one to do with a background like ours?  When younger, we would protest only to be told in reply, “Life’s not fair!”  As adults, it is easy to recognize injustice all around us.  That old response to our youthful protests certainly rings true.  However, what to do about that lack of fairness aside from just walking away feeling hurt and defeated?  We like to stand up for what’s right, speak out even when it’s not popular to do so.  Or walk away when the issue at hand is really not all that big of a deal.  With this mindset, you can try to help those who are marginalized or mistreated.  Between us, we volunteer at our local homeless shelter and food pantry and give time to a ministry that makes blankets for the sick and injured.  You don’t have to fight every “good fight” there is.  Doing one small thing can go a long way towards balancing out injustices in our world.  It can also help to put things in perspective sometimes.  What are your thoughts?

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