First of all Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone! Wow this has been quite a week for us here at OH MISS.! With Gasparilla Parade last weekend, the cold weather-I know our friends up north it has been much much worse. The simple fact is, we live here in sunny Florida and we don’t expect it to get this cold. Most of us are going to have to wait a few more weeks before we will know how much damage has been done to our plants and landscaping.
But to continur on,, we corordinated a beautiful wedding yesterday at the beach. It was absolutely bone chilling cold but beautiful. It was a sunny day and other than the fact that it did not reach 60*, perfect. How could it not be? One of us had our anniversary yesterday and the DJ celebrated his birthday as well. All sorts of reasons to celebrate.
Now along that vein, did you know that besides being St. Valentine’s Day today, it is the start of the Chinese New Year-The Year of the TIger. A chinese custom is for married couples or the elderly to give AngPous (red envelopes) to the younger or unmarried. The envelopes usually contain money. The amount is usually $8.00 as the number 8 is considered a lucky number. They will also wear new clothes that day as to symbolize that they have plenty(or enough to go around) The Tiger is considered to be lucky,vivid,lively,engaging and have incredible bravery. Persons born in the year of the Tiger are said to have these characteristics-courage, vehemence,self-reliance,friendliness,hopefulness,resilience,vanity, and disregard. Happy Year of the Tiger!
Now tomorrow the 15th of February is Clean Monday. This is the Orthodox equivalent to the Christian Ash Wednesday. Clean Monday is the day that the home or living space is thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom, all crumbs and dust are cleaned away.
In New Orleans the Mardi Gras season that has been going on for a couple of weeks now,since the day of Epiphany or Three Kings Day is coming to a close. Most know only of the ending of the season with the parade and Fat Tuesday. Another custom that is held throughout this time is the custom of the King’s Cake. This is a cake that is made witha plastic baby inside and sometimes coins. The person that receives the piece of cake with the baby is supposed to hold the feast the following year. Fat Tuesday is when all the world is a stage and their is music and dancing , reveleryabounds as does the food and drink in a sense preparing for the time of Lent that will begin on Wednesday or Ash Wednesday. This is a time that Christians often give up something that is very meaningful to them-usually in the food category such as chocolate, chips, meat, something in that ilk in keeping withthe preparation for Easter Sunday. This year Easter Sunday will be the same for both Orthodox churches and Christian churches.
Ash Wednesday is this upcoming Wednesday the 17th and begins the preparation for Easter Sunday.
Oh and if you are wondering where the origin of the heart shaped box came from for the chocolates that are given at Valentine’s Day, you can thank Mr. Cadbury who in the mid 1800’s put his chocolates in a heart shaped box. Another factoid that even centuries before the cocoa beans were considered to be aphrodisiac
Again Happy Valentine’s Day, Fat Tuesday, and Chinese New Year!
Can you believe it? It is December 1st today. Where has the year gone? It is not like this doesn’t happen every year. It’s not that there were more days in this year-there weren’t . It wasn’t a leap year. So now the mad dash to January begins.
You survived Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Have you finished the Thanksgiving leftovers yet? Hit the food channel for ideas on that one. Did you get in enough watching of your favorite football teams? I hope that yours did better than my husbands teams. Every single one of them lost. Even when it looked like the team was going to win, they lost. He was very disappointed and not a happy camper. Thank goodness he likes the holidays and all the festivities that go along with this time of year.
Now getting back to December 01, that means 25days until Christmas if you count today. If you don’t then it is 24 days until Christmas. Hannakuh begins at sundown on December 11. You have probably received many invitations to holiday open houses and parties by now and are all ready feeling the stress of how am I going to get muy own home decorated this year, let alone gifts wrapped, that is of course if you have purchased them, Christmas and New Year cards to address and mail, not to mention the cooking, baking ,and the list goes on.
Being with family and friends during the holidays makes for memorable times. If you are caring for a parent or older relative, don’t forget to take some time for yourself. You could be doing yourself and your loved one a disservice by not doing just that. It is hard to overcome the guilt when it comes to taking some time but a little assistance now and then is not a bad thing. Holidays helpers are proabbly more affordable than you thought. Having one or two ertrands taken off the drudgery of the holiday “to do” list can be a boone to your enjoyment of the holidays. Not only will you enjoy them more, but those around you will notice how less stressed you are and enjoy the season with you.
Little things such as running to the grocery store, dry cleaners, the drug store or the mall, can save you a lot of stress not to mention the extra time you will have in the day. Maybe you will even have time to do something You want to do.
This is where a good concierge service can be a tremendous benefit. They can provide you with holiday helpers to do these errands, help you do the decorating or plan a party . OH MISS does background checks on all of their associates and preferred vendors. They are licensed, insured and bonded. This alone can provide you with an element of ease and comfort when hiring someone on a one time or regular basis. The party season is starting . Take time to enjoy it.
Friday I’ll be back with some helpful hints on how to take some stress out of your holiday. how to enjoy the parties and still fit in to your favorite Christmas outfit. Until then, live life outsource the rest.
If you are like many families, papers seem to multiply overnight. You thought you had it under control but something went wrong. You even went out and purchased the shredder, you thought it would be so easy. Once a week just sit down and shred the statements and papers with personal information on them to keep the counter top or desk clean. In a perfect world with strict discipline and good habits, this can work. For the majority of us, life is so crazy and hectic, one week becomes one month and so on. The papers that should be shredded are piling up. We can’t see the counter or the desk top any more. We begin to suffer angst and guilt. Are we really so bad that we can’t even take care of our shredding?
The Tampa Bay Professional Organizers are having their second Shred a Thon of 2009 on November 07, at the corner of Fletcher Ave and Dale Mabry Blvd in Tampa. We will have a professional shredding company on site who will do all the shredding for you and issue you a certificate of shredding. There will be members of the group ,who are all professional organizers, volunteering Saturday to help people with their boxes of documents that need to be shredded for security reasons. There will be a limit of 10 banker’s boxes per person. The group is asking for a donation of $2.00 per box that is shredded and the funds will go to a local charity. There will be prizes for the oldest document as well as the person who comes the farthest. Our last Shred a Thon we raised $2000 that was donated to Ronald MacDonald House. The hours will be from 9 a.m. to noon. Be early was when the truck is full of shredded paper, the shred a thon is over.
We at OH MISS are proud members of the National Association of Professional Organizers.and the local Tampa Bay Professional Organizers. We support the Shred a Thon by volunteering our services. We help people everyday with organization and when they feel overwhelmed by all the clutter around them.
If you need help with the paper overflow. If you feel that life is out of control and you are overwhelmed with paper and clutter , we can help. When you have an organized space, you can be more clear in your thinking and less stressed. We at OH MISS are comitted to reducing stress in all areas of your life. Call to make an appointment 813-636-9700. If you mention the blof you will receive a 15% discount on our regular fee. Don’t let stress and stuff get you down. Call OH MISS.
Now did anyone have to tell you that you have too much on your plate? Did you really have to have a designated week of the year to realize it? Fear not my friends, it is officially “Too Much On Your Plate Week”. For purposes in writing this, the week shall be called “TMOPW”.
We all try to do so much, whether it is on the job or at home, with families, friends, and oh yes don’t forget those volunteer hours. I was given a packet of cocktail napkins not too long ago that had a picture of a woman wildly waving her hand in the air and shouting”pick me, pick me, I volunteer., let me help.” This of course was noted to be caused by one too many espressos. This however is not always the case.
We seem to need permission to slow down, take a break, read a book, take a walk, etc. For some reason our backgrounds insist that we continue to plow through to the bitter end no matter what toll it takes on our bodies, minds, families or friends. We think we are doing just fine. That we have the whole situation and life under control, then pop something happens that is not on the agenda. We are thrown for a loop and hope that somehow we can recover. Our bodies and minds ae amazing and humorous as well. They have systems that will slow us down whether we want to or not. Make no bones about it, if you do not slow down and take some things off your plate, your body will help you with that decision and you will have No choice.
I recall as a young woman in my twenties and being the overachiever that I was and also figuring that there was no life after 30, I had to do it all. I had my own retail store, sold some real estate on the side and assisted my husband with his restaurant. This of course was all the while I was moving in to a new home and did I say my parents were moving to our communiity? Needless to say, I caught what I thought was a cold. No big deal, a cold, you get some pills, cough drops a little chicken soup and you are ready to roll,only not so fast. I lost my voice and thought I just had laryngitis. After my cold appeared to have resolved, my voice did not. I had to go to an Ear Nose and Throat specialist. He sat me in the chair and asked me what was going on in my life. I know it’s a funny scenario as it is like the dentist putting one of his instruments in your mouoth and then asking a question that requires an answer. Ha! So I wrote on a note pad that he had for this type of situatioin what was going on in my life. Frankly I was quite proud of all that I was doing and still be able to stand up and function. This man looked at me straight in the eyes and said”how much do you think you can do at one time?” I shook my head. I don’t know I said. When something needs to be done, I just do it. I needed to fix it.
If you haven’t figured out where this is going, it is that we can not do it all, or at least not all at the same time. I had a condition that is referred to as frozen vocal cords. It would be months before I could even get a squeak past my lips as I would try to communicate. As I said before, our bodies do make us pay attenttion and slow down whether we want to or not. Picture this. Have you ever tried to have a telephone conversation with somone when you can’t vocalize? Have you tried to tell a contractor what you need done when you can’t speak? Or better yet, how about trying to make a sale. Nope, it isn’t going to happen. I had to learn the hard way that I can’t do it all, all the time, all at once. I have been told that I am strong willed and stubborn, but then I guess you had already figured that one out for yourself.
This week, I give you permission to sit down and read a chapter of your book, or enjoy a beverage with your friends. Take that walk,go runing if you like the runner’s high, or take the yoga class. This won’t releive your stress but it will slow you down. Now as far as the stress of everyday life is concerned, taking that yoga class will do you no good as long as that “to do” list is still hanging over your head. This is where learning to prioritize comes in to play. Put what is most important at the top even if it is the one that is the most uncomfortable. Get the uncomfortable done first, then the rest is easier.
I was at a reception just about a week ago. As I stood talking with some folks that like you are professionals and occupy the executive suites around town, the basics of everyday life came in to the conversation as we talked about how we got our things done. What is the best use of your time? Is it standing in a line at the grocery store or the post office or returning the gift that you do not like at all? Or is it getting some of that paperwork off your desk talking to a client that creates billable hours for you? If I were to be so bold, I would bet that it would be a client for billable hours and not the grocery store, post office, or mall.
This is where a service like OH MISS comes in handy, For very little, an OH MISS associate can get that list done in a flash, throw in the post office if you like, the wine shop, the dry cleaners etc. What does this do for you? The answer lies in the fact that you are billing more hours=more pay. You are clearing the “to do” list by at least a fraction and eliminating some stress from your life. After all do you want to be the one that is thrown for a big fat loop and find out you have been knocked out of the game for several days, weeks, or even months? Do the math., It will be less expensive to have someone else do the errands that for you to pay a Doctor and lose those hours at work. Get the type of down time You want not the kind that is thrown at you.
With that I will say to all of our friends and aquaintances new and old-Happy TMOYPW! Wouldn’t you love that in a crossword puzzle?
Have an awesome week.
For all of you who have been following us for a while, you will soon some very positive changes to OH MISS. This is a result of our being names Best of the Bay by the DuPont Registry in the July/Aug 2009 issue. It is not only an honor which comes with a lot of hard work but also signals us to broaden our reach and do better than before. If you have FIOS for your t.v. reception you may see our first t.v. commercial. If you don’t not to worry, you can view it on our website under news or go to Youtube/ohmissconcierge. We hope to being you more exciting news in the next few weeks about what is going on behind the scenes. Until then we wish you a safe weekend. Don’t forget school is starting soon. Will have some helpful hints for that as well. Good habits start early and stay with us. Don’t give up if your report card reads “needs improving”, it is never too late to learn.