Friday, March 28, 2014

Help Needed - Stop a Bully Parent

When you hear the word “Bully” what comes to mind?  

Most people typically think of the school bully, taunting younger kids and threatening to beat them up after school. But the reality is that bullying takes on many different forms and is common among adults too.

I know a parent who is a bully. It is hard to think of parents as bullies, but they can be. Parents, who are overbearing, constantly belittling their children or enforcing rules with a heavy hand, may actually be crossing the line into bullying behavior. I believe there is a difference between correcting a child's inappropriate behavior and constantly trying to control every moment of that child's life. 

First let me say that I do not have any children of my own; I've only been a stepparent to adult daughters.  So, I had to do some detailed research on this topic before I felt that I could even talk about this publicly.  I've learned that bullies thrive on the weaknesses of others. They have a distorted idea that if others feel powerless, it will make them more powerful. Bullies crave mental and emotional control and use fear and other tactics to help them feel superior.

Here are the bullying tactics I've seen the parent using:
  • Undeserved criticism and verbal manipulation. 
  • Having excessive and unrealistic expectations. 
  • Disproportionate punishment.
  • Favoritism towards some of the children.
  • Cutting Sarcasm. 
  • Repeated insults and threats. 
  • Unnecessary Yelling 
  • Controlling the child's every movement.
  • Violation of the child's privacy. 
  • Slavery - helping at home is reasonable, but having to labor before and after school until bedtime,  to keep up with the parent’s unrealistic expectations, is not reasonable. 

Here are the issues I see in the child that is bullied:
  • Constant anxiety that the parent will be “mad”.
  • Loss of self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Fearfulness of new experiences
  • Digestive disturbances

HELP!  I need help carefully addressing this issue without putting the child in danger of retaliation.  I feel that the parent lacks the emotional intelligence to maintain a sense of control without bullying the child. Nothing the parent has done is illegal or physically abusive, but mentally the child is being broken.  I just don’t know what needs to be done.  Do you have any suggestions?  Thanks

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Grown Up Spring Break…

Do you remember your college spring break?

Did it look Something like this...

I believe the wish to escape from frosty locales and cut loose for a week is one that never goes away, even for grown-ups. If there was any group that most needed a mid-season break from the daily grind, it would be those who have long since graduated.

Are you in this group; the individuals who have worked too hard to have their spring break ruined by a bunch of rowdy collegians who aren't your own? Like me, you've probably already been there, done that, and now you've earned the right to celebrate the rites of spring your way — a more tranquil way.

Is it possible to take the classic spring break experience and make it a bit more grown-up? The answer is…yes!  Turns out, there's more to spring break than just Girls Gone Wild— think luxury accommodations, soothing spa treatments, serene beaches, and handcrafted jewelry that you'll want to wear long after your tan has faded.

It can be a bit scary for grown-ups to imagine a vacation in a warm place during the peak drunken revelry times of March and April, but it’s by no means impossible—if you know where to go.

My picks for a “Grown Up” spring fling:

Savannah, Georgia
Historic Savannah is a beautiful and warm city to visit in the spring. Remarkable architecture from centuries ago mingles with trendy downtown boutiques, bistros and microbreweries. Visit the local art galleries and antique shops, stroll through the peaceful historic squares and parks, and sip sweet tea at a sidewalk cafe with your sweetheart. While not directly on the coast, the city does have a riverfront district that comes alive in the evening with street performers, many dining options, shops, and bars.

One hotel that I love is the Mansion on Forsyth Park, a grand 125-room restored Victorian Romanesque mansion. When you stay at the Mansion, you can stay busy or find a peaceful spot to relax. Instead of spending an afternoon tanning on the beach... you can be pampered at the Poseidon Spa, take a hands-on cooking class or simply lounge poolside. Throughout the Mansion there is an impressive art collection of more than 400 original pieces to be discovered.  Once you venture out, cross the street and explore the beautiful Forsyth Park and the surrounding Savannah Historic District.

The city is also filled with amazing bed and breakfasts which offer the best of her charm and Southern hospitality. Most of the inns are in the historic district and furnished with antiques and period pieces. Many offer romance and spring packages.

One word of warning – do not book your visit to Savannah on or near St Patrick’s Day; the city does have one of the largest green beer celebrations nationwide. 

Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
If you long for a week at the beach, Santa Rosa Beach may be your perfect spring break destination. Tucked away along Florida’s “Emerald” Gulf Coast, Santa Rosa has become a luxury escape for those looking for a vacation destination to unwind and indulge in a natural paradise without masses of spring breakers.

Known for its sugar white beach and beautiful turquoise water, Santa Rosa also has hiking trails, beautiful bays, and state parks to explore.  Or maybe a round of Golf at one of the many exquisite courses found in the area would fulfill your grown up spring break travel plan.   

With warm Southern hospitality, the intimacy of a bed and breakfast, and the fun of a classic beach house, the WaterColor Inn & Resort creates the ideal setting to relax and unwind. Freshly redecorated beachfront rooms bring the beach within footsteps of your door. From the soft linens to the spa-inspired toiletries, every well-appointed room has been furnished for the full comfort of its guests.

Offering everything from local produce and dairy to baked goods and other local specialty items like handcrafted soap, the Seaside Farmers Market on Saturdays is a fun way to get to know the locals. Instead of buying a “Spring Break 2014” souvenir T-Shirt or a Wet Willie’s Slushy Mug, you can pick up a locally handmade necklace, a fragrant exfoliating sugar scrub, or maybe some organic orange blossom honey to remind you of your grown up spring break in Santa Rosa Beach.

Ashville, North Carolina
Known as “The Paris of the South” Asheville is a good option if you are not looking for a warm waterfront vacation.  The weather in March is variable; you could be tubing downhill in the snow or relaxing in the same tube on a spring float trip down the French Broad River.  If you are weather flexible, Ashville has an eclectic downtown with 30-plus art galleries to explore. The town is framed by the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains which offer many opportunities for outdoor adventure.

If you enjoy touring castles, sampling local wines, or visiting spring gardens in bloom, a visit to the Biltmore Estate is a must.  The main house, built by George Vanderbilt, is America’s largest home. Designed to rival the castles of Europe, the 8,000 acre estate boasts an award winning winery, a working farm, amazing formal gardens and the Vanderbilt home. The estate is open daily for visitors.

Asheville restaurants run the gamut from Mediterranean to vegetarian, four-star cuisine to down-home cooking. The city's vibrant restaurant scene goes well beyond its Southern cooking and roots. You can expect the extraordinary in Asheville.  Instead of raucous upside-down tequila shots, order a tart Appletini or sparkling flute of champagne and be blissfully at one with your grown up spring break.

Notable accommodations in Ashville include the Historic Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa and The Inn on Biltmore Estate. The Lion and the Rose is a good choice if you are looking for elegant, B&B ambience; tell their friendly house pup Cedric hello for me.  

Tulum, Mexico
If you really want to get away from it all this spring, grab your passport and head to the sunny shores of Tulum, Mexico. It's quickly becoming the "it" beach destination for the stylish crowd, with its eco-chic hotels, fantastic dining, gorgeous beaches, and the only major Mayan ruins along the coast, but still remains less developed (less student appealing) than Mexico's other resort areas.

I can't imagine a more perfect beachfront hideaway than Encantada Beachfront Boutique Hotel. The small, intimate, family owned and operated hotel is situated on one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. It is an environmentally conscious hotel in a remote jungle location. The palapa style buildings were built by Mayan craftsmen incorporating the traditional high thatched roofs using hardwood from the jungle. The rooms do not have air conditioning but were designed to take maximum advantage of the natural ocean breezes through 3 walls of floor to ceiling, screened sliding glass doors. The friendly staff is dedicated to making you feel at home, schedule activities, provide bikes, offer advice on local restaurants, shopping, and yoga classes, or they can also help you schedule tours and activities to make your grown up spring break extraordinary.

If your perfect vacation includes cenote cave diving, sailing, off-shore snorkeling, fishing, golf, exploring a wildlife preserve or Mayan ruins, all are accessible during your stay in Tulum. If you enjoy listening to live music, check out the Luna Maya Hotel on Tulum Beach- Sit back and take in the sounds while enjoying tapas and a killer margarita.

No matter what your taste this season, there’s a stretch of sand, a tranquil mountain town or even a historic southern city that won’t be clogged with collegians. Yes, even during spring break.


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Friday, March 7, 2014

10 Ways to Welcome Spring Early…

I’m ready for spring!

This year the winter here in the Deep South has been daunting, bitterly cold lows and record breaking highs. In just one week we had temperatures below 10 degrees, snow, an ice storm, and a balmy 69 degree day. I keep thinking spring is on the way, but as soon as it starts warming up, another cold front passes through. The weather has been teasing me.

I have spring and all the things that it brings on my mind today. So, this weekend I am going to push spring’s arrival in my neck of the woods. 

Here are 10 ways to welcome spring early:

10 ways to welcome spring early

1.) Visit the Farmers Market for fresh strawberries – Do you have any smell memories? One of my strongest spring smell memory is fresh strawberries. Florida is at the peak of their season right now. Yummy! 

Birkenstocks with socks

2.) Wear Birkenstock’s without socks – Since there is no better shoe for shopping, visiting an outdoor festival, or trekking down to the campsite; I wear my Birks all year. It’s time to take the socks off and let my toes breath.

10 ways to welcome spring early

3.) Plan a “Spring Break” vacation – It’s been a long time since I piled into a car filled with friends and headed to the beach for a week. I’m going to do some research and plan a Florida road trip. Florida was my home for many years; it’s time to share that chapter of my life with my husband. There are so many memories and sites to see!

SUV Packed for Glamping or Camping

4.) Organize the camping gear – We love camping in the spring when nature is waking up from its cold winter sleep. The landscape is new and bright, the air is clean and crisp and new life is emerging. By sorting, cleaning, and organizing the camping gear now, we’ll be ready to hop in the car and head for the mountains on the first nice weekend.

10 ways to welcome spring early

5.) Put up a hammock in the back yard – Have you ever spent an afternoon with a good book relaxing in a hammock? It’s a wonderful way to relax and escape for a few hours in spring. Naps are optional, but highly recommended.

10 ways to welcome spring early

6.) Sit outside at a café – I love the atmosphere of a sidewalk café, a relaxed casual approach to dining. We seem to linger longer over the meal and people watch as the surrounding tables fill with interesting people. And why does a burger taste so much better when served at an outside café? It’s a mystery…..

10 ways to welcome spring early

7.) Visit the Flower Market for tulips and daffodils – The bulb flowers are just beginning to pop out of the ground. I think tulips and daffodils will brighten the house with the colors of spring.

10 ways to welcome spring early

8.) Take a hike and notice the trees budding – New life is emerging all around; a hike in the woods will bring me a little closer to the birth of spring.

10 ways to welcome spring early

9.) Plant Something Green – Last but not least, my favorite way to quicken spring’s arrival…dig in the dirt! It’s one of my favorite ways to relax and the results make me smile for many months and sometimes years if they are perennials.

Linen Closet

10.) Store the winter bed linens - Remove the down comforter and flannel sheets. They may have been perfect for the winter season, but during spring it's more comfortable to opt for lightweight covering, such as a duvet or a quilt.

Lori in Atlanta

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Yikes! My Etsy Shop is not ready….

Mr Yikes

FACT: There are fewer days to shop for holiday gifts this year.

Wait…fewer days…..How can this be?

Well, it turns out that Thanksgiving is extraordinarily late this year (11/28). Typically holiday shopping begins the following day on Black Friday, so there are only 26 days between then and Christmas. This is the shortest number of days between the two holidays since 2002!
Many Etsy shops have already considered this and are trying to respond accordingly with their holiday marketing and online presence.  It's going to be a very competitive shopping season, and I’m not ready… So now is the time to prepare for increased site traffic and shipping.
Seven steps to help get my Etsy shop on track:

1. Look Back: did you have any top sellers last holiday season or maybe something new that is selling now? Start planning ahead to make/create/prepare these items in particular.

One of my Top Selling items in my Etsy shop.
2. Take Inventory: of your stock, supplies, & time. Make lists of what you've got & what you need and go shopping now.
3. Clean Sweep: While taking inventory & planning which supplies need to be purchased...clean out your work bench and photo area for better efficiency. Store extra supplies and create a more streamlined creative space.  Cleaning the workbench always gets me inspired to work on new projects.
4. Fill Your Shop: Begin increasing your actual inventory now. You’ll have more to sell in the shortened shopping season.
5. Save the Date: Consider having an open house to show off (and sell) your designs to friends, family, neighbors, and whoever else shows up!
6. Post, Tweet, Pin…: Plan on making at least one social marketing broadcast each day. Get started now: write, revise, post, & get noticed.
7. Wrap, Label, and Send: Think now about packaging options for the holidays- in addition to your normal mailers, boxes, ribbon, etc. what do you needed for holiday wrapping?  I always put a pretty Christmas ribbon on my holiday jewelry boxes.
I need to get moving on these steps without delay, this is not the time to keep calm.

 The Madagascar movie tune "I like to Move It, Move It" keeps playing in my head.
I like to move it, move it...You got to move it, move it....

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Halloween Witch

If the broom fits...ride it! 

Come Fly with me....

Happy Halloween Y'all!

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween / Day of the Dead Blog Hop...

You may already know (based on past blog posts) that Halloween is my favorite holiday and we celebrate the Day of the Dead every year at Bone Garden Cantina. When I saw an invitation to join a Halloween/Day of the Dead blog hop, I immediately dropped everything and went to work on some ‘creepy’ new designs. 

Blog hop host Diana Ptaszynski asked that each design contain at least one Art Bead.  I dug through my lampwork bead collection and came up with several possibilities.  I also purchased a marvelous polymer clay skull pendant from artist Jenny Davies-Reazor

In celebration of the lives of my dearly departed, I’ve crafted this Catrina necklace using an Art Bead made of polymer clay, individually wire wrapped Czech glass flowers and round Howlite gemstone beads.  The Bali sliver links have been in my stash for several years, they seemed perfect for this design. I plan to wear the necklace to the annual Day of the Dead celebration at The Bone Garden Cantina in mid-town Atlanta.

Despite its macabre name, Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is a joyful celebration. It's a day set aside to remember, honor, and celebrate the life of loved ones that have passed. The day isn’t spent mourning the loss; it is spent celebrating the lives of the dearly departed.

Sculpture by Michael Benoit - Bone Garden Cantina
Sculpture by Michael Benoit At Bone Garden Cantina, Atlanta, GA

In Mexico on the Day of the Dead, families travel to village graveyards to visit their departed loved ones. Favorite foods and drinks of the departed are shared graveside during family picnics. The graves of relatives are decorated with sunny marigold garlands and candles. Some folks even bring toys for the children that were taken too soon. Families sing, reminisce, laugh, and tell stories. They are conversing with the dead, unafraid and happy. Death's morbid side is buried under music and remembrances; they are celebrating life during the remembrance of death.

El Dia de los Muertos is one of my favorite days of the year. I love the colors, vibrant orange, yellow and pink. I love Catrinas, the dressed-up skeletons doing all kinds of things, like dancing and cooking and getting married. I love the brightly decorated sugar skulls, and most of all I love the significance of the day.

Mural by Michael Benoit - Bone Garden Cantina
Mural by Michael Benoit - At Bone Garden Cantina, Atlanta, GA.

I had a few glass flower beads left after finishing the necklace, so I made a matching pair of drop earrings to wear to the celebration.

For the Halloween portion of this blog hop, I used a great lampwork bead of Jack from the Tim Burton movie Nightmare before Christmas. The bead was made by fellow lampwork artisit Melanie at Moonraker Beads  and I thought it would be perfect for this challenge.

I added several small lampwork beads, some freshwater pearls and several different sizes of black glass beads to compliment the Jack lampwork bead.  The bracelet is long enough to wrap around the wrist twice. I like the multi strand look.

Thanks for stopping by my blog to take a peek at my designs. If you have a few minutes, stop by some of the other blogs revealing today. Participants are listed below.

Have fun hoping around! Cheers!
Kathleen Breeding
Dianne Miller

Lisa Liddy
Toltec Jewels
Laura Medeiros
Veralynne Malone
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Stephanie LaRosa
Nicole Valentine Rimmer

Sarajo Wentling

Lori Dorrington   « You Are Here
Dawn M. Gallop

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