Ring In 2014 With Your Loved Ones!

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So eveyone’s getting ready to party as the clock ticks down to midnight, right??

Let’s be honest. Many times the moment is not what it’s cracked up to be. The anticipation of joyous celebration with large peer groups, all partying their asses off while hoping to make the next year great, falls flat on its face. What we get is a consolation prize of bordome, depression and a lack of resolve to make necessary changes.

But that doesn’t have to be the case! You can have a great time at home with a small group of friends or just your family. The important thing to remember is it’s not where you are or what you do, it’s the people you’re with and the memories you make. This post will help you prepare for a meaningful Eve so you can rock the night out and make some great memories. Have fun, stay safe and look forward to the spectacular experiences that lie ahead in 2014!

So without further ado, the TOP 5 Keys To Having A  Great New Year’s Eve!

1. Cook up an amazing meal: Nothing kicks the night off better than some great snacks and drinks. Bowls of chips and dip, veggies and ranch dressing, mini franks on toothpicks are some simple horderves that allow for easy grazing and encourage socializing.

snacks

If you are doing a main course, serve it family style so  people can build their own plates and continue mingling. If you’re fancy, bring the restaurant to you! Order some pizzas but add a little class by setting out your fine tableware and lighting some candles. I wouldn’t suggest cooking on new years eve but if you have chosen to bake something special, make it a family event!

  • Assign each family member a task and watch out for food fights! “Bam!”

2. Decide together on things to do. There are lots of opportunities to spend fun time together on New Year’s Eve, depending on where you live and the climate. Simply sitting down together and reminiscing over where the past year has taken you each individually and your family as a whole is a great way to spend one part of the night. Other ideas include:

  • Taking a walk together as a family. Sharing a walk together can be a great opportunity to share things that might not be discussed just sitting around the house. Confirming a new start. Example: If you’re moving cities, try going to a lookout over the city and saying goodbye, toasting and naming the great memories you’ve shared with it.
  • Tasting food or drink. Try various types of wines(juice for the kiddies), chocolates, cheeses, or meats. Have each party-goer rate each food or drink and compare scorecards at the end of the event.
  • Playing board games. Set up a major board games night, with some cool prizes for winners and delicious snacks and drinks. Have games suited to all ages so that everyone can join in the fun. board_games(1)
  • Playing physical games such as foosball, air hockey, multi-player video games, table tennis, shooting hoops; anything geared towards active group participation. Award prizes or just keep score; doesn’t matter, as long as there’s plenty of smiles!
  • Watching a movie. Watching tv can be a great family activity if it is done right. Choose a really good film, concert or tv show that will entertain and keep the attention of everyone. I prefer DVDs opposed to TV for no commercials and ability to pause for bathroom breaks. This is especially important if you may need to stop and put the kiddies to bed.
  • Make a New Year’s resolution together. In a circle, ask everyone to announce their New Year’s resolutions. Many people like to make challenging new goals for the coming year: this can be a good chance to make resolutions that require the help of others. For example, if you want to learn to fish and Uncle Bernie is an excellent fisherman, you could ask him to help you to learn. Or if you want to lose weight, you can ask your family to keep snacks hidden or to try serving healthy new meals.
4. Keep an eye on the time. Have a fantastic idea for the countdown planned well in advance. Choose something that rings in the New Year with a bang and let your neighbors know you’re having more fun than they are. Ideas for celebrating include: Lighting sparklers, drumming on bongo drums, yelling loudly “Happy New Year” together, tooting your car horn or cheering as you dance in the yard. Opening a bottle of bubbly to share with the rest of the family at midnight. A short toast or simple clang of glasses  will mark the moment. Other ideas to ring in the new year:
  • Sing Auld Lang Syne and hold the hands of everyone participating. Swing your arms back and forth in time to the song.
  • Watching fireworks. If you have fireworks where you live, pack some blankets, a small bag of snacks and stroll over to a grassy area under the stars. Friends, Food and Fireworks = Great Time!
Sydney Celebrates New Year's Eve

5. Don’t forget the all important kiss! Grab a significant other (or one you wish would be) and give em a big smooch! Mark the occasion with a bang and let the moment be a sign of good things to come.

New Years Eve Kiss
Things You’ll Need:
  • Board games, card games and any other group games. I love pictionary, scatagories, spoons, clue, yatzee, boggle….old school fun!
  • DVD of movies, concerts, or Broadway shows.
  • Light background music CD’s.
  • Delicious Grub: family style main course or finger food. Variety of drinks and sparkling wine. One year we bought some inexpensive wine glasses with the new year on them; also a great memento.
  • Noise makers, fireworks, new years hats or other decorations.

Remember, great memories are made NOT by what you do but who you share them with. 

–Breathe Easy–

A Christmas Gift

Christmas presents under the tree

There is nothing as exhilarating to an innocent child than waking up Christmas morning and running out to see what Santa brought the night before! This scene is so epically depicted in the film The Christmas Story.

When I was 8 years old I took ‘Storyat face value, not seeing the subtle humor. As I grew older and my perspective changed, I began noticing the similarities between the movie dad and my real dad. In fact, I have a vivid memory of my dad casually asking my brother and I “What’s that?…underneath the tree….tucked in back?” Anyone familiar with A Christmas Story remembers that ending scene. The beauty of the film is that all members of my family can relate to their character counterpart.

christmas-story

To me, now, the message of that scene is that a Christmas gift becomes not what’s in the wrapping paper but the joy seen upon family members’ face. So this year I made it my goal to focus my attention on my gift-giving list, instead of my “wish list” to Santa. As the old saying goes, “Things don’t bring a person happiness…” but it always feels good to give (and receive) a beautifully wrapped package. Especially when you know the gift is appreciated.

With Christmas only a few days away there are many people scrambling to buy stocking stuffers, organize holiday dinner parties and get those decorations just right. I’ve tried to do my shopping early but ever since the last thanksgiving plate was cleared off the table, people have been storming the malls as if they were the beaches of Nomandy! It’s crazy! Packed stores, long lines, impossible parking…making it difficult for someone to pull and maneuvor oxygen tanks quickly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_KwxvGnq5o

How can I, or someone with oxygen challenges, then bring joy to loved ones? 

Where can I turn that will allow me to order a wide variety of goods from home, at a discounted price?

There are many websites devoted to this idea but I use and would advise Ebay, any day of the week! Direct shipping. No hassle. Competitive prices. Save your time and energy which can be used for holiday cooking and decorating. Click-Click and it’s shipped to your door….just like pizza delivery!

Through a little listening and online detective work I was able to buy most of my family’s gifts around Thanksgiving. By December 10th, they were wrapped neatly under our tree….with 2 weeks till the big day! No stress:)

[Edit: OK, it’s December 20 and I have one more gift to buy. I talked to the guy on the phone today and will pick it up tomorrow. Then it’s just a matter of wrapping and placing it in it’s new home; under the tree.]

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~ Breathe Easy! ~

Be aware. Be healthy. Breathe.

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Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a good idea for everyone. But as one of more than 12.1 million Americans who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, you need to be especially aware of the ways in which your lifestyle, including your diet, affects your health. The proper diet, along with the physical activity recommended by your health care team, will keep your arm, chest, and leg muscles strong and your heart and lungs well supplied with oxygen.