Up for a cup of tea?


I am sitting enjoying a cup of Peppermint tea with my brother and chatting about how we plan to spend the holidays.

At my house we have been in the midst of a kitchen renovation and it has been hell.  If you have ever experienced not having access to the basics for an extended period of time you will understand what I mean.  Just to make a morning cup of tea can be tedious.  Anyway, this isn’t about the stress of renovations but more about how important it is to spend time with family over the holidays.

As a result of not having a kitchen, we sadly could not host Thanksgiving this year like we usually do.  In frustration, we decided to take a vacation and get away.  It just wasn’t the same.  There is something  about Turkey, noise, family and friends.  Back to tradition next year.   Anyway, we returned home and finally we have a completed kitchen.

celebrate with usTo share our happiness we had a few people over last weekend. It was simply fabulous.  My childhood  friend  Arlette who moved from the US years ago was back visiting from Amsterdam.  She always spent the holidays with us,  so I decided to have my brother and family to celebrate an early Christmas before she jetted off to visit her mom. It’s lovely that most of my friends know each other and over the years we have all bonded together.  We had a great time, cooking,  listening to holiday music, having wine, drinking tea and chatting…that is what the holidays mean to me.

All of this to say that the holidays are not about presents, but about giving of ourselves.  Make your holidays memorable with family, friends and giving.   Enjoy!







Up for a cup of tea?

I am sitting enjoying a cup of PG Tips tea with my brother and chatting about whether or not we have the traits of a leader.

You may surprise yourself and discover that you are a leader.  Keep in mind, there is a difference between those who lead and those who are leaders.   Shakespeare said, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them“  taken from Twelfth Night.  So here is  question for you, are leaders born or are they made?  Leadership does not come easy to some but believe it or not, we can practice and become leaders.  I just read “Take the Lead” by Betsy Myers, a very accomplished leader who explores this topic in detail.  A great way to expand on your leadership skills is to read,  but you can also listen to the TED talk series on topics of leadership.

Leadership is described as, “to guide or direct a group, to show the way, to influence.”  Being a leader starts with us as individuals, and challenges our ability to influence.    Here are some common leadership traits:

  1. Positivity, glass half full approach
  2. Ability and willingness to influence, engage and motivate
  3. Self awareness
  4. Inspirer
  5. Reader and explorer
  6. Accountable
  7. Shows Integrity
  8. Supports the team and recognizes them
  9. Decisive
  10. Visionary
  11. Patient
  12. Shows Courage
  13. Respectful and Shows Gratitude
  14. Authentic

Not all of these are innate but we can train ourselves and learn some of these along the way.  It helps to have a coach or mentor.

lead oon





      Lead on!

Lent  Up for a cup of tea?

I am sitting enjoying a cup of lemon ginger tea with my friend.  Gillian and I  are discussing what Lent means to us and what sacrifices we will be making this year.   Lent, a period of 6 weeks and signifies the observance of the liturgical calendar followed by many Christian sects.  It begins with Ash Wednesday and ends with Easter Sunday for most sects.  The Roman Catholic Church ends on Holy Thursday.  Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the 40 days  Jesus spends in the wilderness being tempted by the devil. 

It is a time when many people make a commitment to prayer, mediation, the practice of self-denial and finding ways to incorporate more spiritually into their lives.  It is a time of renewal.  I try to give up something that is difficult for me that will have real meaning, in addition to making a commitment to reading spiritual uplifting material daily.

So today. Ash Wednesday, I attended the children’s service at my church.  Our priest is great and is very engaging with the kids.  He involves the kids, explaining each step of creating and burning the ashes.  He then allows  the kids to administer the ashes to their parents and family members.  This is the stuff that has a lasting impression on us and our kids.  This is the way to help our kids want to observe Lent.  The ashes are made from blessed Palms  from Palm Sunday the previous year.   As the ashes are applied to your forehead,usually in the symbol of the cross, it is commonly stated,

Cross for ash wednesday“Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return”  This is a reminder that it doesn’t matter who you are, rich or poor, we are all the same when we die and it is up to us to accept the gospel and believe.

I read an article today about rituals as it relates to relationships but I believe that this is perfect time to incorporate  rituals into our life.  My daughter and I will be reading our daily devotions together and discussing them.  We will also practice our 10 Mindful minutes of mediation daily.

Whatever you do, regardless of how much or how little, do it with conviction.


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Theodore Roosevelt