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Best Gift Ideas

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  It's that time of the year again, we get to spend our hard earned money on our loved ones.  

I know some people get really stressed out about the shopping, and I have to admit that I do too.  I want to get the perfect gift like there is such a thing.  But I really love the opportunity to spoil the people in my world and the best way to do that at this time of year is to shop.

I also have to admit that the whole “retail therapy” aspect of things is really a large part of the process too.  I grew up in a house where my parents were very vocal about spending money and what to spend it on and what not too.  We were made painfully aware of how expensive we were to just eat and live in our house so I have grown up with what I think is a respect for my spending habits.  On the other hand, if I could spend a whole bucket load of cash on someone, I would.  We have tried over the years to save up money so that we could spend at this time of year, but as we all know, that never goes completely as planned.

cinch-sacs_fall-winter-2016-catalog-photo

This year, however, I have a few opportunities to spend where I hadn’t before.  And, I am trying to be fun and practical at the same time.  ThirtyOne has been that answer for me this year.  Without giving away any actual gift secrets, let me share a few of my favorite things that may just arrive under the tree in our house.

There is a large trend toward personalized items.  Things with inspirations, and messages. ThirtyOne is all over that, most of their items are personalizable.  

For instance these great pillows.  You can order them empty, just the cover, or include the pillow.  There are two sizes and the level of personalization is enormous.

My next item will likely be a cinch sac or two.  These are so cute, with so many patterns available and totally personalizable. And they are cheap.

 

The last item is the little carry-all caddy.  I have to admit, I have quite the collection already.  But the ones holiday-gift-guide-graphic-3-fall-winter-2016that I love right now are the Christmas patterns.  Little Santa pants, reindeer, and red with polka dots.  They hide my box of tissues but we have found so many uses for them.

 

So, please spend a little time doing some retail therapy with us here at Q4fit.com and buy some super cute, practical things for you and your fam.

 

 

I went window shopping today! I bought four windows. – Tommy Cooper

Smile

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Story time…
Did you hear the one…
So, this chicken walked into a bar…
Knock knock…
Do you remember the time…




So by now you hopefully have a smile starting, your eyes are starting to crinkle at the edges and you feel just a little less stress. Maybe not, but you at least you see where I'm going. Just smile.  There is too much stress out there and just small moments of a smile is truly enough to relieve you of some stress. I think it's important to try to be happy. It's too easy to get burdened with stress and feeling overwhelmed. I have talked about laughing before and I had been thinking a lot about again lately and it becomes more abundant every day that we all need to learn to relax and smile.  


There was this great little video that I saw where people were all sitting on a train and one person just started to laugh. No reason. Just laugh and the more he laughed the more people around him did too. In very little time the whole train was laughing and there was no reason other than someone started to laugh and the rest just couldn't help themselves.

Wow, that's really powerful!

Remember those times especially as a kid when you would just lose it in laughter and then you tried to tell somebody about what made you laugh?  Usually, two things happened.

One, you started to laugh again at the memory and two, it really wasn't that funny to start with but you were already laughing again.
It just goes to show how powerful laughter is. But also how contagious your outside emotions are. If you are in a great mood, other people notice that. On the flip side when you have a little black cloud hanging overhead people notice that too.

Today, a couple of day past the USA election, people are wearing their emotions on their sleeves especially if their candidate lost. Unfortunately, that is how the system works, somebody wins a and somebody loses. But as my last post stated, you do what you can, and move on. If the outcome was still that bad for you then do something about it in a positive way. Plan to get more involved in the process or  learn to accept the results. In the end, there is a new president that was democratically elected and it’s time to move forward. Make yourself happy anyway. Celebrate the fact that the systems works, that dictatorship is not in your country and flowers will still bloom, the sun still shines, babies are still adorable, and there will always be videos on YouTube with people falling down and we can still laugh for free.


Try a little experiment today, make yourself smile for just a few seconds,  now do it again. How do you feel? Now as you see people, smile at them. Did they smile back? I bet they did. Or they are wondering why you are so happy.

 

A smile is a facelift that's in everyone's price range! – Tom Wilson

Are You Playing the Blame Game?

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Hands isolated on white background pointing at the center of the image.

It’s time to do a little self-evaluation.  

Every once in awhile, we need to do this and lots of times we don’t want to do it because we know that what we will find is that we have not been honest with other people or even to ourselves.  

Who are you blaming for your situation?

So even if we have all of our monkeys under control, ducks in a row, loose ends tied up, we will still feel like life is not where it is supposed to be.  That is mostly because we have put a perfect goal or situation in our minds and feel that if it is not that perfect thing, then we are a failure.  True?  I sure hope not but most of us feel this to one degree or another.  So then let me ask again, who are you blaming?

But let me ask an even more difficult question, Who is to blame?  These are not the same questions.  They may have the same answers, but they may not. Hmmmmm.

There has been a quote in my mind that seemed appropriate:

 I once complained that I had no shoes until I met a man with no feet

Sometimes for us to see the difference in those two questions is that it is all about perspective.  Just because you have always wanted to be a football player and you never got the big break doesn’t mean that it was the coach’s fault for not playing you.  Maybe you were not up to the task compared to that other player who did.  Just because you wanted to get that management job and they gave it to someone else, doesn’t make it that other person’s fault.  Perhaps they had more schooling that you were unaware of.  Just because you are not the perfect size that you have always wanted to be, it doesn’t make it the fault of weight loss group that wasn’t there when you last went on an eating weekend.

We need to stop playing the blame game.  The truth of the matter is that blame is not important.  Just like in a car ‘accident’, it is called an accident for a reason.  Sometimes it just happens.  What shows our true character is what we do in those times.  I know people that blame everything on everyone and anyone except themselves.  This makes them very bitter people.  When you spend too much time looking for blame, you miss out on the opportunity to learn from things and become better for the next time.  Because there will be a next time.  Life isn’t meant to be slow and boring unless you hide in a bubble room and never try or do new things.

So stop blaming.  Even if there is someone to blame for whatever, who really cares.  Once blame has been handed out, what difference does that really make to us?  Usually, it makes no difference at all.  So what if that person had a cold, shook your hand and you now have one.  What difference does it make now?  Will blaming that person make you healthier?  Will it make you feel better?  Are you sure that you haven’t done exactly the same thing without even know it?  Move on!  Get something that will make you feel better and deal with it.  As my dad always says; “ a cold will last for seven days or a week whichever comes first.”

Also, you need to be sure that you don’t take the blame for other people’s stuff on yourself.  Most of us tend to fall into one camp or another, it’s all your fault or it’s all my fault.  No, it’s not!  Stop taking on other people’s stuff.  Again, blame is not healthy.  

Stuff happens, we are not perfect, there will be bumps in the road, our monkeys will escape, ducks will wander, loose ends become frayed ends.  It happens.  Just move on.  Do the best that you can and enjoy the victories that come with that, even the small ones.  Most of us will never come to the end of our journey where we planned.  Most of us will look back and think “Really? I never saw that coming.”  And yet the sun will rise, and set whether we assign blame or not, so just move on.

Blame is for God and small children. – Dustin Hoffman

Size Matters, Are You Getting Too Much or Not Enough!

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We don’t have the whole family together often anymore, it’s hard with everyone having such different schedules.

So when we do all get together, I try to spend just a few minutes looking at my kids, their significant others, and just admiring that we are all in one family, mine. Oh, the love.

The feeling shifts when I start looking at their plates. Our son really doesn’t like vegetables that much and now that he is an adult with his own family, I don’t hassle him, but sometimes his plate is simply meat and potatoes. His wife has some digestive issues, so her plate is quite often full of veggies because she can digest them and not the protein as easily. I have one daughter that eats like a bird but the other doesn’t. I look at my husband’s plate and it is full, he is always hungry, mine, I try to watch my portions. Not too much of this and more of that.

But, what should our plates actually look like? What are appropriate portion sizes?

The Canadian food guide is actually going through changes as we sit and read this very article. This is sometimes controversial with its content, but it is the guide that our kids learn about in school and most doctors use as a rule of thumb. But let’s be honest, when was the last time you actually served a properly balanced meal let alone went to a restaurant and got served one.

Whether you agree with the food guide or not, generally, and apparently, we need a guide to tell us how to eat in a balanced fashion. People will have their own spin on the details. If you are a vegetarian, nutritionally you still need the same balance, just with other options. And obviously allergies in some foods and whether you are over or under weight will play a role in quantities and alternatives. In this day and age we should all have no excuses about what we should eat to stay healthy, but here is a link to the guide as it is today.

Canada Food Guide

Not only should we be aware of what we should eat, we should be able to figure how much we should eat. Generally, restaurant meals are simply too large. And generally, there is very little balance. Too many carbs and not enough veggies.

Here is a simple way to judge your portion sizes without having to get a measuring cup or scale out at your dinner table.

  • The tip of your finger is approximately 1 teaspoon. The amount of butter for your toast.
  • The front of your clenched fist is approximately 1⁄2 cup. Which is 1 serving of pasta, rice, veggies, or fruit.
  • The size of your palm is approximately 3 oz. This is roughly a serving of protein for women per meal.
  • A clenched fist is approximately 1 cup. This is a double portion of ice cream.
  • Your thumb to your first knuckle is approximately 1 tbsp. Use both thumbs for a portion of peanut butter.

The other thing that most people don’t think about is how large is their plate. We really don’t need to eat off of a plate that could be a platter. The general plate size for most homes is larger than need be. If you were to fill your 9” plate vs filling a 12” plate, there could be as much as 500 more calories because we tend to fill our plates.

If you were to divide your plate visually by what you should be eating it should look like this.

  • Half of your plate should be veggies. Not starchy veggies, salad, green beans, asparagus, leafy veggies, veggies with generally great colour.
  • The other half of your plate should be divided in half again. One portion is for your protein.
  • The other for your starchy veggies, pasta, rice, or bread.

Keep in mind that these are guidelines so that you should be full or at least satisfied and your basic nutrition has been covered.

“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.” – Jim Davis