Tuesday, 20 December 2022

How do we survive the festive season without getting stressed out? - a question to ChatGPT

Karen December 2022
Karen December 2022

A simple question, and I am sure the Internet is the virtual sphere full of advice. 

Open AI ChatGPT gave me the perfect answer, and I am copying here. Try a few questions yourself. It's fun, and surprisingly very accurate! 

How do we survive the festive season without getting stressed out?

The festive season can be a stressful time for many people, especially with the added pressure of gift-giving, social obligations, and financial concerns. Here are a few tips that may help you navigate the season with less stress:

  1. Set realistic expectations: It's important to remember that the holidays don't have to be perfect. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to create the "perfect" holiday experience.
  2. Plan ahead: Make a schedule or to-do list and try to stay organized. This can help you stay on top of tasks and reduce stress.
  3. Take breaks: Make sure to take breaks and make time for self-care. This can include activities like exercise, meditation, or simply taking a few minutes to relax and unwind.
  4. Be mindful of your budget: It's easy to overspend during the holidays, which can lead to financial stress. Make a budget and try to stick to it.
  5. Don't overcommit: It's okay to say no to social invitations if you are feeling overwhelmed. It's important to prioritize your own well-being.
  6. Seek support: If you are feeling overwhelmed, don't hesitate to reach out to friends, family, or a mental health professional for support.

Friday, 9 December 2022

The Path to a Life without Drama - book review of No Drama Zone

No Drama Zone book cover by Eric Thompson
Prt Scrn of book cover: No Drama Zone

Eric Thompson send me his "book of wisdom", No Drama Zone How to Life a Drama Free Life, in exchange for an honest review. Life serendipitously always gives you what you are searching for. I do believe it! Thank you, Eric. I got this book while searching for more reading material on leadership. 

This book will be next to me for many years to come. This is also a great gift to friends, family and colleagues. 

No Drama Zone: How to Live a Drama-Free Life - 5 Rules plus 100 Daily LessonsNo Drama Zone: How to Live a Drama-Free Life - 5 Rules plus 100 Daily Lessons by Eric Thompson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Eric Thompson send me a free copy of his book, No Drama Zone 5 Rules + 100 Lessons, in exchange for an honest review.

I am always surprised about how life gives you what you are searching for. I have consistently been reading up about great leadership, and here is some of the best advice collated in one book. This is a book any leader can keep on the desk/bedside table to regularly refer to. These pages holds years of wisdom, some learnt the hard way. But it is not only for leaders or people in managerial positions. It is for everybody who wants to take control of their life. It is a roadmap to a "happy" Life!

I totally believe that we can live life without drama. The book is short, concise and to the point.
I will be coming back for years to remind myself about these snippets of wisdom.

I don't want to share too much, but I love the "Whatever" dance advice for dealing with a bully, and hope I will be able to pluck it out of my arsenal when confronted with a bully. Also, a great coping mechanism to teach our children. Thank you, Eric. I will let you know what happens, because I am planning to use it. ;-)

This book is a great addition to any bookshelf, but keep it on top! Also, a very safe book to give to anyone. This will look good in the festive stocking, or as a corporate gift, or a very personal gift!

Thank you for the life advice, Eric! Much appreciated.

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Thursday, 3 November 2022

Baxter is hungry, by Emily Haupt - delightful children's book which gets a 5!


Baxter is Hungry - Emily Haupt
Baxter is hungry, by Emily Haupt 

We received this lovely book, Baxter is hungry, through the post. I had to pay import tax, but it was sent in exchange for an honest review. It is totally worth it, as I just know that my grandchild will love the cat Baxter through his wild antics, the colourful illustrations, and his hangry disposition. Thank you, Emily! It is available on Amazon. 

Baxter is HungryBaxter is Hungry by Emily Haupt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As a grandmother I am again looking at all the wonderful children's books that we can read to the little one. I think that giving them the gift of books and reading, is the biggest gift we can give a child.

Emily Haupt sent me her book, Baxter is Hungry, for an honest review. It seems that Baxter is a story based on their own cat, an Omani Mau (Mau means street cat in Arabic).

We as family know "hangry", and can so much relate to Baxter, who is always hungry. The book is an absolute joy, and can't wait to read it, again and again, to my granddaughter. Of course, the book would not have had the same impact if not for the illustrations. It is absolutely gorgeous. Hugo L Cuellar makes Baxter come alive. He is also responsible for the cover of the coloring book, Baxter is Dreaming.

It is extremely important to have pets in the house, and to learn our kids about looking properly after them. This book teaches also about the antics and peculiarities of cats. It is good to know what our pets are all about.

Well done for capturing Baxter so well, Emily Haupt, as well as Hugo L. Cuellar. I could frame each and every page of this book.

This is a joy for your child's bookshelf!

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Tuesday, 6 September 2022

The Messages: A Memoir, by Dawn Kohler - it's a 5

The Messages: A Memoir - Dawn Kohler. This is a jewel of a book. Especially for moms who have to deal with "monsters" from their past. To be able to be more fully present with their children. Dawn Kohler sent me a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

The Messages: A MemoirThe Messages: A Memoir by Dawn Kohler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dawn Kholer sent me a complimentary pdf copy, in exchange for an honest review.
I read her book within two days, which is a good indication of how much I wanted to get to the next page turner, and the interesting revelations.
The spiritual messages is not new, as people around the world receive the same messages, but it adds to the authenticity and truthfulness of the message.
She shares painful recollections from her childhood, and how she had to overcome it via therapy, and changes in her own life. While she and her husband had their own business, and three children who wanted attention. She was lucky that she could just focus on herself while her husband gave her the space to heal. Also, it shows the resilience of children, how they understood, and grew up to healthy adults with whom she kept a close relationship. She could heal to be the best mother possible! It is one of the biggest messages from this book; we need to address the past to be able to be fully available in our relationships.
It is not always easy addressing the past, especially if the past shows that the parental figures in your life let you down, and committed the ultimate horror. I admire the strength and resilience being shown. Thank you for sharing, Dawn! You rock!
You won't be able to put this book down.

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Wednesday, 16 March 2022

Turning Red - a movie of teenage angst, but also great joy (Review)

Turning Red poster
Turning Red (The Walt Disney Company)

Disney Pixar celebrate teens and their big feelings with new movie Turning Red - In theatres from Friday, 11 March 2022

Miss Fine and I watched Turning Red this previous weekend. We thoroughly enjoyed the awkwardness of the teen years being explored in the change of Mei Lee to a literal big red panda. We had such a smile at the mother Ming running around when she thought her daughter had her first period, and the total embarrassment of Mei Lee by all of this. Especially when Ming turned up at school. Another "smother" at work, big time!

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

Year 3 in a pandemic

Bitmoji You Go Girl!
You go, Girl!

Pandemic Year 3: Even now, we regularly forget our masks when running out of the house. Most of the times we have a back-up in the car or a bag. I told my youngest today that she will be telling her children about the pandemic she lived though one day. She told me not to worry, she is not planning to have any children... Okay! 😆 

So, I have to put down some memories for future generations. 😉

The husband had Covid in December. Part of the fourth wave. He had his jabs, so it was very mild. The worst was the inconvenience, and having to cancel plans and isolate. I tested negative in the same time, even while colleagues also tested positive. The inconvenience is the worst! We were lucky that we were all fine. 

The eldest is pregnant with her first girl, and we are all very excited! These are stressful times to have a baby. But, also very precious. She lost her first baby through miscarriage, and now we are even more excited (and scared) to meet this rainbow girl. She is much-loved already. Grandmother mode is loading! 

Also just for keep-sakes: We thought  and said it was a girl before my daughter got confirmation, and we were right! 👶

Schools are back, and Miss Fine has been slowly but surely getting used to High School. The teen phase is tough. For her! And for us! 😖 They have been back in class full-time, and full classes since the beginning of the year. The parents are also invited to meetings, and except for masks that dangle underneath our chins (the heat and suffocating), everything is going ahead full-steam. 😏

I am walking around with a constant fear of the sky falling on my head. I think most people feel like this, as the pandemic, and recent world events are taking a toll... One day I will laugh at this, but today I do not feel like laughing. But I will continue to search for joy each day!

How is 2022 treating you?

Tuesday, 1 February 2022

2022 Word: Joy


Snapchat Selfie
Karen 2022

2022. The first month is gone, dusted already! I need to grab hold of the reigns for this year, or it will go by as quickly as last year. 

I loved last year's word: Patience. I helped me so much to keep me grounded and sane. We were waiting and wanting for so many things to happen, but we had to adjust and wait. "Patience" kept me going. 

It looks like things are going to start to happen this year. I was planning to choose "resilience" as my word of the year, but realized resilience comes with patience. I am resilient as can be! I can do this! 

With patience also came the idea of being in the moment. Grabbing that tiny glimmers of hope and joy in each single moment. Joy was my word for 2014, but this year I am reclaiming it! There is so much joy to be found in every day, in every single moment. Taking step by step we will get there. 

Five things that's giving me JOY right now:

1. Things are going back to normal after the Covid-19 pandemic kept us stuck in so many ways. Fingers crossed!

2. My daughter is having a daughter in the middle of the year. It is so exciting, and I can't wait to be a grandma.

3. My youngest, Miss Fine, has started with high school, and she is really finding her groove. I love her personality and the lovely person she is! I love our talks. We can learn so much from the young ones, and she helps with a reality check every now and again.

4. It seems something is going to start happening with our long-term plans. Fingers crossed.

5. Love my life with my family. Love that we can do life together. I am thankful to them every single day. 

What is your word for 2022? 

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