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DIY Christmas Gifts

“It’s the thought that counts!” If this adage is true than for many gift recipients the thoughts might be along the lines of how stressful gift giving is and how expensive it gets. Most of us would love to be generous and give lots to those we love. However, money and fears about money can be overwhelming. To help lessen the stress and to add to enjoyment of this festive season, why not save some money and add some time.

Thanks to sites like Pinterest thousands of crafts, recipes and do it yourself ideas are at our fingertips. Even if you have never found yourself a very crafty person you could decide to make one gift for one person. There’s no need to over do this. Below are a few ideas of gifts you can make, while thinking nice thoughts about whoever will be on the receiving end.

Stone Mandalas

Supplies: smooth stones, paint, pens and an imagination. If mandalas aren’t your thing, then have a read at all the numerous things you could do with these when finished. Make them pretty or just add motivational quotes.

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Sharpie Mug 

Supplies: Mug and sharpie. You will also need an oven as the mug will have to be baked after drying out. But that doesn’t take any finesse. This is perfect for the hot liquid lover you know, or someone who often finds themselves wanting to make mug brownies.

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Coffee Sleeve

Supplies: felt, elastic (an old hair tie will do just fine), buttons, color-coordinating thread, a sewing machine, scissors, pins and a coffee cup to use as a model. Avoided this if you don’t have a sewing machine or sewing history. Let’s make this time of year less stressful, not more. That being said this gift is great for the coffee lover in your life. This looks lovely when finished and will be appreciated by non stinging fingers.

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IPhone Dock

Supplies: a drill/drill bit, sharp scissors (smaller ones work best), pencil, exact-o knife, ruler, metal files, binder clip, book of your choice and an iPhone charger. Don’t let the list of supplies scare you, the construction is rather straight forward. I would also imagine to purchase one of these at some hi-end boutique would cost a small fortune. If you want a little bit more of a challenge for a great pay off, give this a go.

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Bottle Stopper

Supplies: geodes with a flat bottom, cork bottle stoppers and craft glue. I love this simple little craft. If you know of any bottle connoisseurs I am sure they will appreciate these added touches. Although inexpensive to make they certainly don’t look it.

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These are just a few suggestions of things you could make. But gifts can be as simple as a framed photo of a memory that is cherished. This year why don’t you make the gift about the thought, not the price or stress. Think about the person you want to give a gift to and imagine what they appreciate about you and about life. That might help when you feel like you are just giving a gift for gift giving sake.

“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.” – Amy Wilson-Carmichael

International Women’s Day

Sunday, the 8th of March is international Women’s Day. A day where women from all over the world can come together and celebrate each other. It’s a shame that such a day only officially happens once a year!

Here in Dublin there will be many events in honour of the day. If you want to see what’s happening near you, click here.

I am very grateful that I have been asked to speak at an event. I will be talking about self care as I feel it is so important, yet many women don’t give it enough time. In many cases women are the carers and minders of the world. (Not to say men aren’t wonderful caretakers.) However, women more frequently take on the role of taking care of everyone else; often forgetting to stop and mind themselves. int-wd-posterfb

If you are interested in self care, hearing about wonderful women or the political experience for women, why not pop along. This Women’s Day event is taking place Wednesday the 11th, at the Loreto Centre in Crumlin, Dublin 12, beginning at 10am.

“How wrong is it for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself?”  – Anais Nin

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When was the last time you said how you really feel?

Myself and my friend Sinead Lynch at Silver Linings have made a video looking at how the Irish and Canadians can avoid their real feelings.

Although we attempt, (please excuse my exaggerated Canadian accent) to use humour to highlight how we all can cover our true feelings. I do believe it is important to talk to someone when you are having a hard time. Life is not always easy, for many people it can seem like everyday is an uphill struggle. Sharing your internal strife with another person can sometimes help lighten the load.

And remember that animals this cute exist. That can help too.

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There’s always time to talk.

“What does your anxiety do? It does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but it empties today of its strength. It does not make you escape the evil; it makes you unfit to cope with it if it comes.” – Raymond Cramer

Happy Christmas!!

To everyone far and wide I want to wish you a lovely holiday season.

Make sure you get some time to relax. I know the turkey needs to be cooked and potatoes mashed, but use this season to enjoy some family time. The dishes will get washed and the food will be lovely. If it’s not, at least there is a great story for next year.

If you feel like spending some time relaxing online over the holidays. I recommend you check out a website called Imgur. Full of images and funny stories it’s an entertaining time waster. Also, if you want to test your Christmas movie knowledge here is a quiz on how well you know Home Alone.

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Have a wonderful holiday season and new year. I wish all the best to you and yours for 2014, who knows what adventures lie around the corner.

“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?” – Bob Hope