Thursday, November 25, 2010

Livin' a Lovin' Lifestyle

Lovin' Scoopful Ice Cream is a delicious gourmet light ice cream and we very much want you to give it a try. Today, however, this blog is about a Lovin' Lifestyle. Our product was created to help empower the human spirit and I hope for this blog to do the same.

From some aspects it's been a tough year and now the holidays are upon us. Money's tight, tensions are high, guests are in, the house is a mess, and we just don't know WHERE to pull the money from to budget for Christmas gifts. If this has been your year, take a deep breath, close your eyes for a moment, and know that you're not alone. First, I've found that it takes effort to change your mindset so that you think of positive things before negative. Here are some things I've found that have helped raise my spirits over the long run. These have changed my life.

1) Live in the moment. When you're feeling horribly stressed and the world is crashing in, I ask myself "Am I OK right now?". Forget about what happened yesterday, last week, last month. At this moment am I OK? Forget about tomorrow, next week, next month. Right at this very moment I know that I'm OK. Love the moment that you're in. If you can love the moment that you're in, you'll find you can be happy most of the time.

2) Do what you can. We often spread ourselves too thin financially and let guilt drive us to buy more than we intended. Buying gifts on a tight budget is so difficult. Here are some things I've found to help ease the burden.
* Draw names rather than buying everyone a gift.
* Re-gift or give gifts you spend little or no money on. Now before you throw this one out completely, this has worked wonderfully in our family. If everyone agrees to do it, it's works like a charm. Rather than going and buying more stuff when we all have so much more than we need already, walk thru your own home and shop for others from what you have. This can be even more of a sacrifice than pulling out a credit card and spending money you don't really have. Do you have something of your Grandmother's that your sister always wanted? Do you have a talent you can share? If you're a great cook, gift catering a dinner for someone who likes to entertain. Can you babysit? Give 12 certificates for babysitting to allow a friend or family member some time out on their own. You get the idea. Shop from your own possessions and talents. You'd be amazed at what wonderful gifts you can come up with.
* Agree to exchange ornaments.
* Give each other time and attention. This can even work with the kids. It can be taking them to the park or skate park even and watching them play. Maybe you can even join them!
*Give lessons. Can you teach someone one of your talents?
* Barter! Trade some of your free gifts with others to expand what you have to give! Want to give your niece piano lessons but you can't teach? Is there a piano teacher in your life that you can barter with in order to take care of those lessons?
* Do a "Toy Exchange" with the kids. Within the family pair up the kids with similar interests and have them exchange a box full of toys that are in good working order. It's not about having something brand new. It's just fun to have different toys to play with.
* Do a "Movie and Game" exchange between the families. You can label them if you want to exchange back in a few months.
* If you can't afford to donate to the charity or non-profit that you support every year, consider volunteering your time instead. This is especially beneficial if you've lost your job. It's amazing how many potential job leads you can find, too, when you're out in a crowd and you're open to the possibility that you may meet someone who can change your life situation. Another good way to help non-profits is to buy products that support those organizations, especially if they give a percentage of sales or profits. At Lovin' Scoopful, we donate 25% of our post tax profits (a minimum of $50K annually) to Special Olympics.

3) Appreciate what you have. Look around you and see the good. Acknowledge it verbally. A positive attitude is contagious and most people enjoy being around others with a positive attitude. Do you usually call your friends when something bad happens to vent? Call them today. Wish them Happy Thanksgiving and tell them how grateful you are to have them as a friend. Be happy for your job, your home, your family, and each breath that you take. We are all very fortunate.

I hope you've found an idea or two that is helpful. Please comment if you have other ideas for Livin' a Lovin' Lifestyle and I'll include those in future posts. Now step away from the computer, go hug a family member (or pet) and have a very happy Thanksgiving.

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