Autumn is officially here (even though it feels like Indian summer) … the holidays will be here before we know it. To me, the holidays are all about spending time with family and friends ~ near and far. You may already be checking airfares to find the best deal. When you travel to see your loved ones, don’t forget about pet care for your fur babies … they are family too! Who will take care of them? Continue reading
Tag Archives: holidays
Happy Holidays ~ Looking Forward to 2019
I hope all of you had a wonderful Holiday season. My Holidays were nice, but somehow a little different, even though Christmas is generally one of my favorite times of the year.
Somehow this Christmas seemed very rushed, more like work. The whole month of December seemed to fly by for me. I felt like I was always trying to play catch up to get everything done. For some reason, I don’t think I ever really got into the Christmas Spirit.
I feel like society seems to put so much pressure on have a perfect holiday. You’re supposed to take the perfect family photo for the annual Christmas card, complete with a letter updating everyone of the happenings in your life during the past year. The holiday parties start early in the month. It’s stressful trying to get together with all your friends who have busy schedules as well.
Don’t even get me started on my Christmas tree lights … ugh … just don’t ☹
Holiday baking didn’t go as planned either. On the plus side, I did get all my gift shopping and wrapping done before Christmas Eve ?
I received numerous wonderful gifts, I enjoyed delicious holiday meals, I enjoyed the company of family and friends. Yet, for whatever reason, I missed the happiness & joy that the Christmas season is about. I’m sure next year will be better. I won’t let the stress and business rob me of the true meaning and spirit of Christmas!
I’m truly looking forward to a wonderful 2019 for each and every one of us!
Handmade Gifts for the Holidays ~ Update
So, it is getting toward the end of November, on the very cusp of the Holidays. Back in the end of September (while it was warm & sunny ~ unlike now, when we have measurable snow in the weekend forecast), I wrote a blog post talking about making handmade holiday gifts. You can read that post here.
In that post, I laid out some goals for myself. So, I wanted to give you an update on accomplishing them. Sadly, I haven’t met all of them … yet. There, of course, is still plenty of time ~ it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. The perfectionist in me wanted everything to be done super early, but that perfectionist won’t be getting her way this year 🙁
Holiday Pet Care & House Sitting
It’s mid November, and the holidays will be here before we know it. To me, the holidays are all about spending time with family and friends ~ near and far. When you travel to see your loved ones, don’t forget about your pet care for your fur babies … they are family too! Who will take care of them?
Personally, I think in home pet care is the best option. This way, your pet stays in their familiar surroundings, even though you aren’t home with them. Another benefit of in home pet care is home security. Your home won’t appear vacant while you are away.
Pet care & house sitting is one of the many services that Tracy Helps You offers. I can come a couple times per day to feed and let them out to do their business ~ or ~ I can stay at your house. This has the added benefit of bringing in the mail, watering the plants, turning on/off lights and decorations, etc. A home that has someone coming and going throughout the day is less of a target for burglars. Plus, your fur baby will have company in the evenings … we may go for a walk, play fetch, or have a good belly rub while watching TV 🙂 Dogs especially are such social animals, I believe they feel lonely and really miss their owners when they go out of town.
You can also board your pet at a kennel while you are gone. Your pet will have their basic needs met, but will otherwise be spending most of their time alone. Most kennels don”t have the staff to offer more than food & shelter. I highly doubt there would be many good belly rubs 🙁
If you have plans to travel, please call me sooner rather than later. The holidays will be here before we know it. It will be a wonderful gift for your fur babies to have someone who will love and play with them, as well as, take care of their basic needs.
Happy Holidays … Call me 🙂
True Christmas Spirit
It is now less than a week before Christmas, and up til last night I had NO Christmas spirit – none 🙁
For those of you who know me, you know I love – love – love, Christmas ! For me, the weeks before Christmas bring back so many good memories. I love reminiscing on many memories of my childhood and memories of when my kids were young. Carrying on family traditions like baking cookies from my Grandma’s handwritten recipe cards ~ watching White Christmas while eating warm from the oven cookies with egg nog ~ going to the midnight candlelit church service on Christmas Eve.
I’ve always been good about balancing the “traditions” of the season with the “reason” for the season. This year, I was “out of balance”. I was putting too much emphasis on all the “commercial” aspect of Christmas, not on the birth of Jesus. Last night, I was being grumpy about having to go to choir practice when I still had so much to do. I am so glad I went – the lyrics of the songs really touched my heart and hit home. It’s not about presents and parties and cookies. Those things are nice, but they are not the “be all, end all” I seemed to be making them this year.
I woke up this morning with a renewed Christmas spirit ~ ready to finish up my to-do list and celebrate … I love it when life feels well balanced.
MERRY CHRISTMAS !
Book Review & Giveaway ~ Holiday Bliss
Holiday Bliss is book 2 in the Bliss series– It comprises three romantic novellas by three different authors–set in different era’s, in one home on the water called, Bliss.
Tending Her Heart by Kathleen Shoop
Julie Peters’ plans to modernize Waterside Hospital’s labor and delivery protocols are thwarted by old school doctors and brown-nosing colleagues. But a handsome doctor who understands her point-of-view has a fine bedside manner and a way of Tending Her Heart that has forever-after attached to it. Can a Thanksgiving stay in the regal home called Bliss give her the space she needs to right her future and fall in love?
The Christmas Miracle by Marcy Waldenville
Brenan Brown has a terrible secret. One his beautiful wife doesn’t know about. One that could destroy his happiness and his family. One he’d thought he buried along with his former identity in a grave in Ireland. But shady characters–terrorists really–from his past come to the stately mansion with blackmail and kidnapping on their minds. And with his family’s after at risk, his future in peril, all Brenan can hope for is The Christmas Miracle.
Holiday Wish by JD Wylde
Vaughn Jennings has one rule he refuses to break. Not even for Chelsea Chathford, the curvaceous master carpenter he employs. With just reason. But with every day that goes by, it gets harder and harder to follow his rule. Can he follow his heart? Or forever wish he had? Because Christmas comes but once a year. And with it, the only chance to have his Holiday Wish come true.
Holiday Bliss is a collection of 3 stories, each revolving around a historical home in Albemarle Sound, North Carolina, called Bliss.
Each story is set around the Holidays, but in different time eras. Each author does a great job of bringing the history and social injustices from that time to light.
In each of the stories, Bliss has featured role. We learn about the families who lived and loved there. This was a fun book for me because I have often thought about the people who live in the house where I grew up. I sometimes drive by and wonder what they are like … how the decorated my old bedroom, or what other changes they’ve made.
I liked the fact that although times change, Bliss was always a constant throughout. I feel all 3 authors did a great job at “connecting” 3 totally different stories of love.
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“Each story is vivid in historical and modern details and will certainly have you wanting to visit Bliss yourself. The characters come to life, making you fall in love with each and every couple, rooting for them to make it. I highly recommend this wonderful novel by five talented authors.” – Kristine McCaffrey – Amazon Reader Review on Bliss Series Book 1
“Loved the book! It’s my first anthology and I couldn’t wait to get to the next story for the continuation. Can’t wait to read these authors’ next books.” – review from Amazon on Bliss Series Book 1
Meet the Authors
Bestselling author Kathleen Shoop holds a PhD in reading education and has more than 20 years of experience in the classroom.
Kathleen has been featured in USA Today and the Writer’s Guide to 2013. Her work has appeared in The Tribune-Review, four Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and Pittsburgh Parent magazine. She lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.
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Marcy Waldenville knew she wanted to write at an early age. A firm believer in anything-is-possible, she is happy to be following that dream. Born and raised in a small town in Western Pennsylvania. She lives in Southern Butler County with her husband, Ken.
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A misplaced mountain child, J.D. lives in the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania with her husband of more than thiry years (and yes, she was a kindergarten bride). Their sons and one beautiful daughter-in-law live nearby. Ozzie, their neurotic dog lives a lot closer. And yes, she still roams wild and free, whatever mountains are currently in her path.<
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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.
NOW FOR THE AUTHOR’S GIVEAWAY
Three lucky winners will win a $15 Amazon.com Giftcard
Open Worldwide Ending on Friday 19th December at 11.59pm EST
Enter Below and Good Luck !!
Labor Day Weekend ~ Summer’s Last Hurrah
Time sure does fly … it flies really fast. It is already the last week of August. Many schools have started classes, but for the students and the parents, it still feels like summer. Somehow, school just doesn’t seem real until after Labor Day Weekend.
Labor Day Weekend is like the unofficial end of summer. Even though summer doesn’t technically end until September 23rd, when the Autumnal Equinox ushers in Fall. For all intents and purposes, Labor Day is the last big “Hurrah” of summer. The carefree days of summer are being replaced with schedules and routines.
Many people celebrate this holiday with outdoor picnics and parades. The American flag is proudly flown and/or displayed.
The actual reason we celebrate Labor Day is because in 1894, a national holiday was created to honor American workers. It gave workers an official day off (in most industries). During the late 1800’s, most workers were made to work 12-hour shifts; 7 days a week in deplorable conditions just to make a meager living. Numerous demonstrations were held to try to improve working conditions and how employees were treated. Labor unions staged strikes – many riots broke out all over the country. It was a dark time in our country’s history.
In modern day America, generally speaking, most employees enjoy healthy working conditions, an 8-hour shift, a 5-day work week, a guaranteed minimum wage and some type of benefits. The American workplace is a far cry from perfect, but it has definitely come a long way.
At Tracy Helps You, we usually work on the “workingman’s holiday”. I’m taking care of an adorable German Sheppard while her owners are traveling over Labor Day Weekend 🙂
Getting Organized ~ Tips For Keeping Your Filing Cabinet Organized
I don’t know about you, but I’m kinda glad the Holidays are over. Don’t get me wrong … I LOVE the Holiday season, but I’m the kind of person who does better having a routine. Part of me likes being in “vacation mode” ~ but the other part of me longs to get back to my routine / schedule 🙂
January is the perfect time to take a good look at your files. In the first couple of weeks of January, I like to purge and get my files organized. It’s a new year, and the perfect time to update your file cabinet.
I usually sort through and file my paperwork once a month, but I skipped November and December. You know how it is … decorating, baking, shopping, wrapping, going to all those holiday parties … so I spent a few hours last week trying to get caught up 🙂
First I updated my household management file box. I purged all of 2012 papers, then moved all of my 2013 files into the last year folder to make way for this year. For a more thorough explanation of my filing system, you can check out my previous blog post here. I then had quite a large stack of 2012 documents to shred.
Then I had to take my own advice, and get my paper clutter back under control. In just those couple of months, my paperwork and junk mail really piled up.
Now I have a fairly full recycle bin (lots of holiday sale papers). Unfortunately, I was only able get partially through my shred pile because my shredder died … so I’m on the lookout for a great sale price on a new one.
Are you making progress on getting your paper clutter under control ? Share your tips and techniques with us 🙂