Lifestyle


Book Review – How to Win Friends and Influence People

As part of my 5 Values this year one of them being edifying my mind I am endeavouring to read a book a month and so here is my Book Review for January! This book was awesome in terms of helping me recognize things that I needed to work on in terms of working with people and communicating and understanding people.

There are so many things that I know I need to work on but here are the two main ideas that I know I really got from this book. The first idea is based on these two quotes.

“Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn—and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.”

“God himself sir, does not propose to judge people until end of their days so why should you and I”

I love this idea as it’s an awesome reminder those who don’t know how to control their tongue in the end is the biggest fool. It takes little to no self control to just blurt out criticism, complain and judge people but it really takes character to be able to try and understand other people and their prospective.

“A man convinced against his will Is of the same opinion still”

This is also another awesome idea that I am struggling with. Telling somebody they are wrong isn’t always the best way to help them believe in your prospective so learning how to express your views tactfully and helping them convince themselves of your idea is ultimately the best way. This means a lot of patience and perseverance and understanding.

Have you read this book yet? What were your favourite ideas? Would love to hear!!!!!

Keep being amazing, Keep learning, growing and becoming the best YOU!!!

 

Love

 

Tracy xo
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A letter to my First Daughter

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(I read this letter to her on her birthday, in hopes that she may stumble across this one day. Here is a summary of her first year milestones and photos.)

Today Aroha you turn a year old and while you wobble and discover the wonders around you with your new sense of mobility I read to you this little letter. To the eye you may seem distracted and uninterested, as I read this, but I hope your heart will capture a glimpse of the joy, love and yearning that my spirit has for your sweet soul.

You are only but a year old still untainted by the world’s filth and deception. Although physically you have experimented with many natural elements that this world offers from mud, rocks  to sand and soil. Aroha, this earth is filled with lots of opportunity to grow and experience many wonderful things, such as the time you took your first step and tasted your first sweet mango. But as you have already experienced life can also bring heartache and sorrow like the time when you fell down stairs, grazed your knee or when mummy had to sleep train you.

My sweet girl you have grown too much and too fast in this year we have been together. But I marvel and wonder with each milestone you reach, how Heavenly Father has enlarged my heart. How did he make my heart big enough to love and care for another human. Sometimes I marvel at myself that I have managed to keep you alive for this long!

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This one year that we have been together feels like I have known you for eternity. Although holding you when you were born I didn’t experience what most mothers did; instead I felt anxious and nervous holding a little stranger in my arms that depended completely on me….. It’s truly amazing what constant care for another human does to oneself. Not having a good nights sleep for the first few months, constantly changing your diaper explosions, making you food and caring for you every minute of the day has made my love grow more and more each day. I really do love you more today than I did the day when you were born.  When once we were strangers but now we couldn’t do without.

Dear Aroha I want you to know that we can only take it a step at a time. I’m learning how to be a mom and you are learning how to be my daughter. So there will be a mix of tears and laughter and we figure this thing out. Sweetie there are many memories that I will forever treasure, the time when you first followed me with your eyes, I realized that you also cared for me to; Or the time when your surgery was over and all I wanted was to hold you and hug you but all you wanted was my milk. 

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This first year I want to give you a piece of advice from your (still very inexperienced) mother, that you may one day want to come back to for a few laughs. In this first year of being with you I have learnt is to serve. Service to others no matter who they are will make you love them. You can’t serve somebody and not find an ounce of love for them. If ever you find somebody difficult to love serve them, serve them without a thought of reward, and your hard feelings will start to simmer away. Aroha I love you so much and although I know you will break my heart and drive me crazy in the years to come but I will still love you because I will continually be serving you as a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on and whatever you need me to be.

And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. – Mosiah 2.17

Lots of love your mum xo

But wait there’s more…  I am super excited to collaborate with these awesome mommas!!! They both have girls as well and share their insights at the different stages they are both at!! I love that we can connect and share insights from each others experiences and learn to grow and be better mothers and wives. So go check them both out!!!

Janet Anderson who is the lovely writer for MotivateMeMOMMY. She has 2 wonderful daughters and has written this posts on “Raising our Daughters

Kayne Pilling with her witty blog at pillingworth. She is currently pregnant and has written her experience in a post called “Carrying our Daughter

 

Hope you enjoyed this little letter from my heart. Did you enjoy this let me know! If you had daughters what piece of advice would you want them to know?

We would love to hear from you! Be amazing!!!

 


NZ Trip Part 1- Ahokava Wedding

The main reasons why we got to come down to New Zealand this christmas was due to my siblings weddings. They conveniently planned it round the same time so we and other family members didn’t have to make the trip twice in one year. I know they would have preferred to have had it separately so they could actually take time to enjoy the festivities and planning individually but they were extremely kind to do this so we could all be here to enjoy it with them. So in two weeks we had two weddings and the first wedding was my little brothers wedding.

It began at the Hamilton Temple early morning at 9.30am. With little to no sleep for most of the family as there were tonnes of decorations and food preparations the night before then we made the hour and a half drive to the hamilton temple, the rest of the family that couldn’t go in the temple stayed home to finish off the cooking for the reception. Our Temple weddings are slightly different as we get married and sealed in the temple and only those with a temple recommend can go inside. To understand more about our temples click here. Majority of my parents families are not members of our faith and therefore don’t have a recommend therefore were not able to go inside but they have full respect and understanding of this. My brothers wife (Stacey) is a recent convert and  is the only member of her family so she didn’t have anyone in the temple to see her get married which was extremely difficult for her and her family, but it was amazing to see all the support from her family and friends waiting eagerly outside the temple for her.  When we got to the temple my husband and I were told that our recommends had expired a few days before so this was extremely sad for me as I had been anticipating to be present, and we weren’t able to go into witness their ceremony. But we understood that the House of the Lord is a House of Order and we had to accept the rules even though it was a hard pill to swallow.

After the Sealing ceremony in the temple we went to their reception at Buckland’s beach. Had our typical Polynesian style ceremony with tonnes of food and dancing and craziness. Before we knew it the day was over and now this couple have begun their journey together as the new Mr and Mrs Ahokava. Here are a few of my favorite flicks of the day.

Photo Credit: Elder Reed Spencer

 


Sleeping Benefits

about-usThe irony in this post is that I am writing this at 1.40am. But don’t worry I always make up my sleeping time because anybody who knows me knows I love my sleep and will make sure I get it. I am also one of those lucky people who gets away with being able to sleep anywhere and everywhere public transports, public parks, airport floors, chairs and anywhere. So the other day I was telling off my mum for not getting enough sleep. Many of us wear not sleeping much like a badge of honor as if this means I am such a hard-worker. But if you are doing this you are being stupid and not being kind to yourself and giving yourself what you need to be at your best self.

 

Improve Cognitive Functions

Your mind is surprisingly busy while you snooze. During sleep you can strengthen memories or “practice” skills learned while you were awake (it’s a process called consolidation).

“If you are trying to learn something, whether it’s physical or mental, you learn it to a certain point with practice,” says Dr. Rapoport, who is an associate professor at NYU Langone Medical Center. “But something happens while you sleep that makes you learn it better.”

Allow Creativity

Get a good night’s sleep before getting out the easel and paintbrushes or the pen and paper. Sleeping allows your to have the clear mind and focus to perform at your best.  In addition to consolidating memories, or making them stronger, your brain appears to reorganize and restructure them, which may result in more creativity as well.

You’ll live longer

Studies have found people who routinely sleep for fewer than six hours a night have a higher risk of dying sooner than people of a similar age who sleep for seven or eight hours a night.

Improved Decision Making

We’ve all heard of sleeping on a problem, in the hope that come morning the solution will be clear. Well scientists have found that when you do this your brain still looks for a solution, even when you’re asleep. Even if you don’t wake up with an answer, a good night’s sleep will equip your brain to assess the problem afresh. I also find that if I go to bed mad at my husband I wake up in the morning with a more realistic understanding of the situation and am able to process the situation better.

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There are so many more benefits of sleeping from better skins, to performance in school, work and on the sports field. What are some of the ways you have noticed that a lack of sleep does for you? Or tell us how what benefits more sleep has done for you?

Would love to hear your thoughts and experiences!

This post was sponsored by Sleepy People. Sleepy People offer a fantastic range of luxury bedding from big name brands including Silentnight and Jeff Banks.  They have many duvets filled with generous layers  of fillings  in either hollow fibre, micro fibre and natural fillings such as duck and goose feathers.  They will ensure you blissful comfort and warmth. To ensure that you are warm and comfy this winter make sure that you check out their wide range of winter duvets
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My Favorite Healthy Snacks plus GIVEAWAY!

I am an all time snacker. I can snack on things and can miss out on meals by just snacking way too much which is not a good thing. So I love snacks and have to have them around the house otherwise I may get a little crazy. Today I have collaborated a few of my favourite snacks when I am trying to be healthy. It’s not always easy because I do have the tendency to want to run to the store and buy a chocolate bar or a packet of cheetos and eat in one whole sitting.

Cheese Sticks – Love this with crackers or pretzels or just on its own.

Granola/ Muesli Bar – Whether its packed with protein or got some chocolate in it, I love granola bars. It usually always satisfies my sweet cravings as well.

Toast with Peanut Butter and Raisins – This is really good if I am feeling pretty hungry. Its like having peanut butter and jelly without all the sugar in the jelly/jam.

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Guacamole – Yum but again with this portion control is hard I just want to eat the entire avocado and salsa with everything.

Kale Chips – This was interesting at first but got use to them. Healthy light and if you have salty cravings this can save you from demolishing potato chips. First time I made these burnt them to smithereens so make sure you follow a good tutorial.

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Fruit and Peanut Butter – Bananas and Apples go very well with peanut butter. These two fruits are our staples in my household because they are the cheapest. Although they aren’t my favorite fruits dipping them in peanut butter make them more a delight. I also love dipping apples in water with essential oils when am I feeling more adventurous.

Nuts – I wish I did this more often, but my budget doesn’t always allow it.I love them but with nuts I too may get a little overboard and eat more than the recommended portion. (not just peanuts!)

Sponsored Post by Eatsie Box where you can subscribe to get a surprise snack delivery every month. You’ll receive between 1.5 and 3 pounds of snacks each month, including full-size, snack-size, and sample-size items, plus a prize at the bottom. You’ll get delicious snacks like jerky, hard candy, popcorn, toffee, cookies, or even a treat for your pup – you decide and we’ll surprise you with stuff we know you’ll love. Head over to their website to see their fun selection. You can also join in on this giveaway TO WIN YOUR OWN BOX of yummy goodies!

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What are your easy healthy snacks that you like to make? Let us know in the comments below!


Hacks for Curly Hair

Hey if you are like me and have uncontrollable curly hair that’s hard to manage this post is just for you.  I tend to wash my hair on a weekly basis, when I tell most people they are like ewww gross. But it’s actually recommended (actually the recommendation is twice a week but I think I can get away with once) I use to straighten my hair all the time especially in high school, because I use to hate my curls but I guess you get to a point when you finally just stop fighting it and embrace it and the sad thing is you tend to only realize this once your curls are pretty much gone. :(

So if you want to revive those curls and save them from utter destruction I have collected a few of my favorites from brick and mirror beauty salon post.  Here I want to you to avoid your curls looking like this polynesian footballer to shakira beautiful natural curls.

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1. If it’s going to rain, don’t wash your hair! Humidity is your worst enemy when it comes to frizz. Avoid it by spritzing a combination of water and leave-in conditioner over your hair instead of washing.

2. Start from your tips when detangling. Brushing from the top down is a common cause of breakage. By starting from the tips, not only is it more gentle on your hair, but it’s a lot easier to get through badly-tangled knots!

3. Minimize brush usage. A wide-tooth comb, or even your fingers, will be a lot more gentle on your curls, meaning less breakage. This will also help you preserve your curls’ natural shape.

4. Have super dry hair? Skip shampoo and wash with conditioner. Do this once or twice a week to help repair and prevent fluffy hair. You should also be using a mask like Alterna’s Bamboo UV+ Rehab Deep Hydration Masque.

5. Comb your hair before stepping out of the shower. Make sure to do it while there’s still conditioner in your hair (be generous with your application). Waiting to comb your hair will only cause frizz. I love this one because it saves me from a sore head later on!

6. Create a cleansing conditioner with one part shampoo and three parts conditioner. Focus this mixture on your roots and allow it to sit for a few minutes before rinsing. This will allow you to wash the oilier parts of your hair without drying them out.

7. Dry with a t-shirt instead of a towel. Towel fibers will be too rough on your strands and promote frizz while a soft t-shirt will be gentle on your hair. Plus, it won’t soak up as much moisture which also helps prevent frizz.

8. Sleep on silk or satin. Doing this will help keep tangles from forming while cotton will leave hair knotted and more prone to breakage.

9. If you plan to let your hair air dry, gather it into a loose bun or ponytail on the top of your head. This will help give your curls more definition while preventing frizz. This works for me all the time, my curls looks so much better if I dry it like this.

10. Condition your hair with coconut oil before washing. This will leave them super soft when you step out of the shower.

11. Leave a little bit of conditioner in your hair. Your tips are the driest part of your hair, so they can really use the moisture!

12. Sleeping with your hair twisted in a loose bun. This will help give you more volume and  control friz and curl once you take your hair out.

13. Limp curls? Combine water with leave-in conditioner and spray it onto the ends of your hair, then style. This is excellent for days when you go without washing.

This post was sponsored by Brick and Mirror salon based in New Jersey. Based on hands on experience they share beauty secrets and tips to help you feel and look your best. They also have a wide selection of high quality salon products to create the perfect look for all occasions that you can purchase on their website. Go check them out and see what goodies you will find.


Gifts you can’t go wrong with

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With Christmas fast approaching, we all know it’s a season of giving and showing your love with special gifts. I myself am not the best gift giver. I think it’s because I just give anything just as long as I give them something and thought of them. And I don’t mind the same thing in return either. I also don’t like spending tonnes of money on gifts but don’t get me wrong I love love love giving gifts. I also don’t like watching them open it up because I’m scared of disappointment especially if it’s the one time I actually put thought and effort into it and they don’t like it. Then they have to give a fake thanks! For example if I find something around the house that I think my husband hasn’t seen and I think he would like, I usually wrap it up and give it to him as a fun random gift. But just because it’s wrapped up and he has hopes for something amazing and once he opens it disappointment arises as he just realizes it’s a pair of ear plugs. But it’s the thought that counts right..  What needs to be remembered was I was thinking about you, that I took the time to get this for you and wrap it up and present it to you!!! So be grateful! haha

Enough about my whole gift giving problems, I have compiled a list if you don’t want to get a disappointed look from the receiver, gifts that will always put a genuine smile on their faces.

1. Gift Cards: If it wasn’t for gift cards my husband and I would probably have never gone out to eat the during the first year we were married. I love eating at nice restaurants but if  we were to spend our money we would have most likely opted for wendy’s or mcdonalds, but getting gift cards to those restaurants made those meals a lot more enjoyable. Gift cards to restaurants work really nice especially if it’s not something that you know that receiver would love but wouldn’t spend money on. E.g My mum loves getting pampered but would she spend her money on it No. So that’s something I like to get her. It can  be given for places you know they go all the time . (But that’s not as special to me.. )

2. Candles – Every lady loves beautifully scented candles. For decor around the house or even in the bathroom. There is always room for candles. If you want to buy some homemade candles or sell your own for some extra cash visit candles.space . They have the biggest range of candles to please even the pickiest candle connoisseurs.

3. Edible Treats – Who doesn’t like yummy treats during the holiday season or for any special occasion.  This one’s a no brainer but will always  win! Food also speaks the language of love!

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4.Time: We all know love is spelt TIME. Last year I did some gift certificates to conners grandma we gave her a coupon for dinner with us. My husband gave me a massage coupon. This is probably the easiest of the gifts and you can get super creative. You can make coupons to take them on a picnic, bike-ride, music lessons, or anything really. Sometimes time is just what people want, you can give them all the gifts in the world but there is something extra special about being with those you love.

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This post was sponsored by Candles.Space. Where you can Buy or Sell all varieties of handmade candles. Check them out today http://candles.space. They also have some awesome tutorials so you can make your own candles to give as gifts just to add that special touch.


7ways to make Home a Sanctuary

Our homes are where we can protect our families from the world. Our homes are where our children can come for safety and security from all dangers and ruthlessness of the outside world. Our homes are where our husbands come to, for relaxation and enjoyment after a long days at work. Our homes are where we share meals, laugh, talk and even cry together. I am far from a tidy OCD person who has everything in the right place, I am the one to just stuff all my clothes in a cupboard out of sight and out of mind. (That is until I need to dig through all of them again) But I am trying to change my ways and trying to develop better habits especially because my husband is a tidy organized person. I thought I could write some ways to help keep harmony and a wonderful spirit in our home. Our homes should be something our kids and family should be excited to come to not something they are dreading.

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1. Avoid Toxins: Whether it’s through communication, words, harshness of tone, loud obnoxious music. Creating an ambience of peace and love is key to setting the tone for a sanctuary in the home.

2. Tidy and Clean: If keeping things tidy is a little more difficult for you, do what I have done. Just get rid of stuff. That means less stuff I need to clean or organize. Problem solved :) Avoid clutter can also help you be less stressed and relax more!

3. Remove Distractions: Set aside time where it’s no technology time. Its real face time talking to each other and communicating with voices, facial expressions, body and nothing in between.

4. Positive Messages or images: Throughout the house post up photos of the family, or inspirational quotes. Things that help build up positivity and love.

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5. Include Plants: Real plants in the home, add a whole new element of fresh in your home. They give you some fresh air and brighten your mood!

6. Simplify: Keep your house decor simple but beautiful. Just because you have space on a wall it doesn’t mean you need to fill it up. Keeping it simple but bold shows you are not afraid of creativity and space to explore and let your imagination fill the blank space.

7. Quiet Space: Ensuring there is a quiet place where you can go away from all the noise and distractions in your home is also vital. Especially if there are lots of people in one house you still need time away to yourself.

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This post was sponsored by purepranalabel. Pure Prana Label create unique organic eco friendly zafu’s and meditation cushions, Yoga posters and props. Each item is handmade and unique. A dutch designer specializing in meditation products and yoga inspired prints for the home or office.


Gardening Tips (Hacks)

***Sponsored Post by Jade Canopy***

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I am not your gardener that loves to go out everyday and play in the dirt. Only if I really have to once I see they are getting out of control and I am in a good mood I will go out and do some weeding. That is my gardening extent, pulling out weeds, and on occasion flowers that I have mistaken as weeds. Don’t get me wrong once I’m outside and in the dirt it does feel very good for the soul.

When moving to our house there was lots of work to be done! Garden beds all around the house but none of them had been maintained, peach, cherry trees, raspberry bushes and grapevines growing abundantly. But I knew spending my entire day or summer in the yard was not my thing so I am in the process of getting rid of most of the garden beds and just keeping the fruit trees. I know that’s sad because they garden makes the house pretty but I am going for the low maintenance route. I have compiled a list of somethings we are doing round the house for easy low maintenance.

1. Mow your Lawn- I know obvious This makes a world of difference.. if you want to get fancy you can do it cris cross so that there are fewer lines. The following week mow it in a different direction.

2. Take out what you don’t love. If it’s a dread to go out and look after that section of the garden get rid of it and if you don’t love it don’t waste your time playing around with it. There are many more things in your day you can fill it with that you actually love doing. Or you can plant something in that you really love.

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3. Water your lawn less, if you give our lawn tonnes of water it will drink more and be a lot dependant. Teach your lawn that it can survive on less water. Save you some extra pennies on your water bill.

4. If you want to get in the gardening scene and are struggling or don’t even know where to start you can head over to  jadecanopy.com where they do all the organizing for you. Each month they send you box full of goodies that will help you get your garden started. Each box is a surprise but has a theme to it, included in these fun boxes are…

  • An instructional piece: This will include month-by-month gardening to-do lists, as well as words of wisdom form the gardening master herself, Mom.
  • A Project: You’ll enjoy our ideas and products that we’ll bring you to keep that gardening gear well-oiled, even when you fear that there is nothing to be done and you’re simply bored with the gardening process. We’ll keep you occupied!
  • Seeds and Bulbs:From organic, heirloom, hard-to-find varieties, and everything in-between – we’ll have you covered.
  • Bonus: We’ll also be featuring a bonus item in your box that will be sure to lift your spirits and motivate you to get gardening.Box-3

5. Baking Soda as a weedkiller!!! Sprinkle it between cracks in the driveway to kill those annoying small weeds and prevent more from coming through.

What are your tips and tricks? Let us know we all want things a little easier!!!


The main concerns in over 50 dating

*** SPONSORED GUEST POST***

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We all need love!!!! Whether we are a few days old or 99. Dating over the age of fifty is a decision that needs many facts to be concerned. In this age, it is very important to know that what you actually want and what you cannot compromise with any condition. Here are some factors that most of the people consider in their over 50 dating and we are going to discuss.

Many singles have a preference that their partner should be healthy and there are mainly two reasons behind this concern. The first reason is the monetary needs and the second is care and attention that an ill person will need. People who have spent their whole life to earn money, do not want a partner who would use up their bank accounts for health expenses. But, if we see the other side of this issue, then it would be right to say that no one knows when he/she will get ill and need money for his treatment. So, what is right? It depends on the choice of the person that whether he can manage with an ill person who need regular care or he would prefer to choose another person.

Money needs are not only concerned with the health only, there are many other issues. A living man always needs money to manage his daily expenses where food, cloth and shelter hold the top place. So, a person, who has gathered money for his future in advance before his retirement or is still doing the job, wants a partner with the same financial status. Such a person who has spent his whole life in fulfilling the wishes of his family, does not want a person in this age who will totally depend on his money.

The other concern about join over 50 dating sites is physical attraction. Most of the people agree with the fact that physical attraction does matter a lot. According to them if there is no physical attraction, then the chances for a relationship to go long are very less. On the contrary, some people give more preference to love and care. If they find that their would-be partner is able to fulfill the emotional needs and they too feel satisfied with him, then physical attraction holds no place. There is another fact behind it, love and affection are such things in human life that they go on increasing with the age. Thus, the people, who have remained deprived of love and warmth in the previous years, don’t take physical attraction as a more important factor.

When it comes to using over 50 dating sites, most of the people are worried about that how they will find their partner. It is because that after retirement, many people stay at home and have no outings. But, in this era of internet, nothing is impossible. There are a number of dating websites which are specially designed for older people who are over fifty. So, finding a desired person is no more difficult. Once you register for any of these sites and you will be amazed to find so many single people as you can easily find the one you are looking for.

 



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