Tag: gifts

I am unique – and so are you!

 

It’s fascinating to think that with 7.6 billion people in the world there is only one of me.  I am unique and so are you.

We spend so much of our life conforming and trying to be part of a crowd, part of the gang at school, part if the it crowd that I think we forget to celebrate our uniqueness.

I often talk about authenticity, especially in terms of personal branding.  And I have been known to quote my favourite childhood author Dr Seuss – ‘Today you are you, that is truer than true.  There is no one alive that is  youer than you’.

It has taken me a very long time (the best part of half a century) to realise that I don’t need to conform and try to fit into a mould that has been created by the media, my peers or anyone else.  I don’t need to dress according to fashion and try to fit my curvy shape into a style designed for another form of unique that is slimmer than I am.

I dress to be me – I am unique

If I want to wear sparkles and leopard print I will do just that.  It doesn’t matter if I am staying at home doing the cleaning either.  How we express ourselves through our attire is part of our uniqueness.  In this busy world of mass production, social media, lots of people and lots of pressure, we need to carve out a place that is simply for us to be totally authentic and true to ourselves.

A unique gift

Today I received a gift.  I love it so much because it is mine and mine alone.  Joe Duff, a friend and fellow artist from Athenry has started making the most unusual jewellery ever.  You simply write out your name (or get a significant other to write it for you).  He will then hand cut it in sterling silver and polish it to perfection.  Each piece is different as each person has a unique handwriting.

I did a bit of googling there and apparently our handwriting is as unique as our fingerprints.  Even identical twins have different handwriting.  As Joe bases his pieces on this seriously individual trait, there is only one of these pieces and it is hanging around my neck!

Visit Joe’s facebook page to see some of the process in action.  It is really special to think that something is being carefully handcrafted for a specific person.  In chatting to Joe I found out that there is a huge demand for these pieces.  ‘People order names written by loved ones that have passed away as a way of creating a treasured memory and keeping that person close’, he said.

I bought one for my niece for Christmas, and she loved it.

Of course with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, there is no excuse for not thinking up a great gift.  Simply write down your loved one’s name and there you go!

Time to clear the clutter and make way for the special

This gift got me thinking about the huge volume of stuff we have in our lives, and how little of it is significant and unique.  January is traditionally a time when we clean, we clear clutter and feel determined to make a difference.

I am no different.  Over the last couple of years I have done a digital detox, embraced the Kon Mari method, and have felt the wonderful freeing feeling.

I subscribe to the idea that anything new that comes into the house has to be followed by at least one old or broken thing going out of the door.  The gift of this beautiful necklace has inspired me to do a jewellery clear out.  I will however keep those unique pieces that are filled with memories.

Thank you for reading.

Kerry x

The Art of Giving to Yourself

Over the festive season there is a lot of giving going on, but how much are you giving to yourself?

In January it is time to give yourself gifts and feel true gratitude.

If we don’t fill up our own cup, we will eventually become depleted and not be able to give to anyone at all.

This is not only about gifts that come wrapped in shiny paper with ribbons, I am also talking about the gifts that cannot be wrapped.  The gifts of time, indulgence and those that do not have monetary value.

The Little Book of Hygge

For Christmas I was given The Little Book of Hygge – The Danish way to live well by Meik Wiking.  This is published by the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen.  My grandfather was from Denmark and I am entranced by this idea and how Danes find happiness.  I am sure I will be writing more on this subject this year, but for now I wanted to quote the book regarding giving and gratitude.

Wiking speaks of hygge in terms of giving yourself and others a treat.  ‘It is about savouring the moment and the simple pleasures of good food and good company.

‘It is giving the hot chocolate and whipped cream the attention it deserves. In short indulgence.Hygge is about the now and how to enjoy the moment and make the best of it.

‘More than anything, savouring is about gratitude.  Gratitude is more than just a simple thank you when you receive a gift, it is about keeping in mind that you live right now and allowing yourself to focus on the moment and appreciate the life you lead, to focus on all that you do have and not what you don’t.”

He confirms that evidence-based studies show that practising gratitude has an impact on happiness.

The Art of Giving to Yourself – January Challenge

As a January challenge I am going to give something to myself every week – and perhaps take it through 2017.  I would love it if you would join me on this challenge.

I have put a quick list together of gift items you may consider:

  1. I recently visited the Seabreeze Beauty Clinic in Oranmore (very close to where I live). This is a wonderful oasis of calm.  The staff are friendly and welcoming and the treatments I had were sublime.  I am definitely going back for one of my gifts to me.  In January it might be small – a manicure perhaps, but I have a whole lot more on my wish list.  The day spa includes a wonderful relaxation room, seaweed baths, a sauna and of course all the wonderful treatment rooms. (This was event organised by the wonderful ITWBN)
  2. A good book and a big cup of tea. There is nothing quite like a good book.  I read on my Kindle a lot and you can pick up a great read for as little as 99c.  I subscribe to BookBub and find out about some great deals.  Why not make yourself a jumbo cup or better yet a pot of tea and give yourself a full hour to sit quietly and read.
  3. Time out to simply be. We live in a world where everything is rush rush.  I am not the worst but I remember when I was working full time and there simply wasn’t time to be.  Why not book yourself a holiday day (or take a Saturday or Sunday). If you can’t do a full day start with a half day.  Tell your partner and family you are having a me day and do exactly as you want.  It may sound selfish but it really is important.  But refuelling in whatever way suits you best you will be in a far better place to be the best you can be.  It may be a day shopping, or going to the gym.  It is a day for doing what you want to do and answering to only you.
  4. Have tea with a friend. I love a good chat – and if it is accompanied by tea or coffee and cake even better.  Taking an hour or two out of your day won’t cause stress, I promise it will reduce it.
  5. Take a class. I teach craft classes and I think I get more out of the class sometimes than the students.  Putting yourself in a situation where you are in flow is so good for the soul.  Although I am tired, I am also energised after a class.
  6. Eat well. I am a few kilograms up after Christmas and despite loving all the yummy Christmas treats I don’t feel great.  I intend gifting myself with some lovely meals.  I will make them, set the table and sit down and eat them.  I will savour each bite and know I am giving my body a gift.
  7. A good magazine – or if you can afford it a subscription. I love the Psychologies magazine – it is my one monthly indulgence and it feeds my mind as well as being a great read.  No matter what you choose – choose for you, and of course feel free to indulge in a cup of something while you read.

 

The most important thing – according to Hygge is to savour your gift to yourself.

If you would like to join me on this challenge I would love to hear your ideas and how you get on.  Feel free to comment here or on Facebook.

Thank you for reading.

Kerry x

Introducing the gifts drawer – the joy of planning and giving

The Gift  Drawer Fabuliciousfifty

 

I love buying gifts, I buy them all year round and then keep them in a very important place – my gift drawer.

It isn’t about the value of the gift for me, but rather about the sentiment, and the person I am buying for.  I get so excited when I find something that simply shouts out a name, and I know it is the right gift.

My gift drawer makes me smile.  It has some random goodies collected throughout the year.  It is lovely to know that when November comes and Christmas countdown begins, I can rummage through my drawer. I always find that I have collected lots of gorgeous goodies specifically for the special people in my life.

Not just for Christmas

Of course a gift drawer is not just for Christmas (although it certainly helps). It is also there for birthdays and those very important gifts – gifts with no reason.

Quite often when I am going to visit someone instead of buying chocolates or wine, I might have a peek in the present drawer.  This magical drawer often yields just the right thing to take along and make my host feel special.

I do love giving but I have honestly learnt the best lessons on giving from getting.  I think of the feeling I had when a friend arrived with a paper bag full of little gifts all of which show how well she knows me and how much she cares.

Lots of gifts at the ready

When I was a little girl I had a lisp.  Legend has it that when I was asked what I wanted for Christmas I replied Biths and Pieces.  I still think it is a great idea.  I delight in lots of little parcels – all with meaning.   Because of this, I rarely buy one large gift but prefer to collect up a little grouping of special things with great memories and thoughts.

I am blessed to have friends and family who think like me, and treat me to special times unwrapping little gifts all carefully thought out.

Home made treasures

I also make a lot of my gifts – upcycling common household items and of course raiding my craft supplies.  A personalised gift is a great way of telling someone who you really care.  For this reason I have a second drawer with items that fit into this category.  This year I am going to be creating some personalised jewellery using mini art works and photographs.  I am also determined to try the Sharpie oven bake idea for personalising gifts.

Wrapping and writing

The third drawer down in this magical chest is the wrapping and writing drawer.  The place where I keep wrapping paper, tissue, ribbons and cards.  And of course tape and scissors (as I am always looking for them!

My mom always takes so much time wrapping gifts.  I remember Christmas where each gift was wrapped in tissue and then in matching cellophane and then curly bows pulled with scissors.  These are the memories that make me smile!

Thank you for reading

Kerry x

 

 

Why I write in my journal every day

5 year diaryDo you remember getting your first diary for Christmas.  I think I was probably around 7 or 8.  I was so excited and planned on pouring my heart out to Dear Diary ….

If I remember correctly it was probably before the end of January that I gave up, and the diary languished among the other clutter in my bedroom.

I celebrated a significant birthday last year, and received the most wonderful gift that keeps on giving.  My sister bought me a Q&A Five Year Journal.

This is a diary with a difference.  Every day you are asked a simple question, and there are only a couple of lines for your answer.  The questions are random enough, but they do make you think.

My word of the year for 2014 was discipline so I made myself a promise that I wouldn’t miss a day, and I didn’t.  This chunky little book filled up with my thoughts and musings and then the exciting part started to happen. I entered my second year.  As I read the answers from the previous year I realised that in some aspects of my life, nothing had changed.  My ambitions are the same and many of the core beliefs remain consistant.  Some answers show how far I have come and in fact how much has changed.  Little notations reminded me of special people and special occasions.

Here are some of the interesting questions my diary has asked:

  • What are you chasing at the moment?
  • Write the first sentence of your biography?
  • What’s the last song you listened to?
  • What question makes you anxious?
  • Who do you need to call?
  • What was your last credit card purchase?

All bloggers are diarists.  I can honestly say that taking a few minutes of every day to write and read my little book has often promoted a blog post, or a thought process.  It is all a bit introspective, but sometimes that isn’t a bad thing.

It really is fun and can’t help but wonder what kind of read it will be when all five years have been completed.

I would encourage anyone who is looking for that special gift for a special person to consider this unique gift.

Tonight  sat down and read a few entries along with a good cup of tea, and a delicious Broderick Bros Road Rocking Choc Choc block from my ITWBN goodie bag.  Yum yum!  (By the way all geeky webby people should visit the website it is fab)

Thank you for reading.

Kerry x

 

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