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Accepting a compliment

Do you find it easy to give compliments to others?

Oh, I like your hair! What a pretty dress! That lipstick looks great on you! Yes, they roll off the tongue quite easily.

How do you feel about accepting compliments?

What, this old thing? Oh, I’ve had this for ages. Yes, but I’m having a bad hair day.

Why do we try to downplay the nice things that people say to us? Why do we feel obliged to point out the things others have obviously overlooked – the bags under our eyes, our scuffed shoes, the coat in need of a wash, etc.

NOT accepting a compliment insults both you and the person complimenting you. It can make that person feel worse than if they’d said nothing at all. My friend Judy who works as a cashier at a Home Improvement store said she makes a point of being friendly and complimenting most every person that comes through her till. She says its surprising how many people do not know how to accept a compliment.

What should you do?

1. Say thank you! End of story. You don’t need to provide the place you bought  your purse, how much it cost you on sale, or anything else. Just say thank you.

2. Try a compliment back. Say, “Funny, I was just admiring YOUR shoes!” It could be a great conversation starter.

3. Say something nice like, “Oh, you are so kind/sweet/lovely!” You may not agree with their compliment, but at least you haven’t insulted the person.

4. Smile! It may not be necessary to say anything at all.

Last summer I headed out to do a little shopping. It was a beautiful day, and I decided to take it up a notch and put on a T-shirt dress with a matching cardigan. When I got out of the car, a woman in the parking lot yelled out at me – “YOU LOOK VERY NICE!”. Even though I felt slightly embarrassed, it was a good feeling. I had tried a little harder with my appearance and someone had noticed. I can still remember how the compliment made me fee leven though this  happened months ago. Say something nice to someone today!


“Everybody likes a compliment”

~Abraham Lincoln



For Mother’s Day

The author as a toddler with her mother

If you are among the fortunate majority, you probably grew up with your mother. Or maybe a female relative was like a mother to you. Lucky you! My deepest sympathies for those who did not know their mothers or had them for too short of a time.

She is often our primary caregiver and role model. A person you may wish to be like … or someone you may not wish to be like. Or both! A person who shaped our lives, our beliefs, our faith – almost everything about us. Our mothers!

My Mom was a stay-at-home mother and I always remember her freshening up before my Dad got home from work. She changed her dress, washed her face, put on lipstick. A nice idea!

She made our clothes, and matching ones for our Barbies. She made our meals (Shake ‘n’ Bake, anyone?) and taught me how to bake. Mom taught me how to sew, knit, write thank you letters and do laundry. She wouldn’t let me wear jeans or pierce my ears. She made me take piano lessons and practise daily. She bought me round toe brown oxfords because they were good for my feet. She also bought me these amazing pearlized leather pumps for my wedding day thirty years ago …

My mother – My Friend, Globetrotter, Social Butterfly and Shopper Extraordinaire! Maddeningly self sufficient with energy to spare and in excellent health! I want to be you when I grow up!

Twenty nine years ago I became a mother and its a role I always wanted. I am fortunate to have both a son and a daughter and even though they are adults now, its true what my mom always said – You never stop being a mother! Its one of the strongest bonds between human beings and vital for our survival. It will be interesting to hear what my children think I taught them someday, but truly I probably learned as much from them! Thank you Mike and Shannon for letting me be your Mom!

Contrary to my own popular belief, Mother’s Day was not started by Hallmark Cards – its roots trace back to ancient Greek times. Mothering Sunday has been celebrated in the UK since the 1600′s. It does not need to be a huge commercial celebration. Most of my friends who are moms appreciate time with their grown children – and moms with little ones underfoot generally appreciate some time with themselves! However you celebrate it – enjoy your Mom, your kids and your day!

Happy Mother’s Day! And thanks Mom!



Getting Organized for the New Year

Getting organized - your key to success!Many of us vow to make changes to our behaviour each January. Typical resolutions are eating better, getting fit and becoming organized. The desire to be better organized is genuine – we know we can be more productive and effective when our belongings and our information is at our fingertips.

Here are 13 areas to organize for 2013

1. Under the kitchen sink – always a horrible catchall for cleaning products, recycling and garbage. Edit items and stack on a tiered shelf. Lock cupboard if you live with small children.

2. Passwords and website addresses – I just received a nice “Little Black Book.  It has space for snail mail addresses as well as websites and passwords. Just be sure to store it in a secure location.

3. Care tags for clothing – I purchased an inexpensive photo album with sleeves at the Dollar Store. In each pocket I am storing washing and care instructions for garments that require special care. One pocket per garment. I’m also jotting down what the item cost for future reference.

4. Spices – toss the contents and run the containers through the dishwasher. Refill with new spices. Discard spices older than two years or that you no longer use.

5. Medicine Cabinet – collect expired medications and vitamins and take to your nearest pharmacy for disposal.

6. Daily Medications/Vitamins – purchase containers to separate pills by day and/or time of day. Refill weekly to save time and help keep track of when you’ve taken them.

7. Monthly receipts – purchase small 13 folder accordian file to store monthly receipts while awaiting month end reconciliation.

8. Photos on your computer – create folders for special people. occasions, trips, etc. Download pictures regularly, or at least monthly and file in folders.

9. Your inbox and folders – again, create folders for infomation you need to keep. Sort through your folders, deleting old messages you no longer need. Red flag important messages as soon as you read them. Delete junk as soon as it arrives.

10. Monthly bills - Even if you pay your bills on line, there are still receipts that need to be kept for a variety of reasons – proof of purchase, warranty, income tax, personal information, etc. Use an accordion file to store important papers that you need to keep. Be sure to label the pockets.

11. Unmentionables – new year, new undies! Toss anything stretched, pilled, faded, stained – you get it.

12. One for one – as you put away holiday gifts, donate or toss a similar item. If you received two new ties, give away one or two older ones.

13. Memory box – this time I’m recommending keeping things! Small notes written in a loved one’s handwriting are priceless treasures to keep. I have some great notes written by my kids when they were little. Store in a pretty cardboard box or hat box.

Happy New Year and Happy Organizing!