Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Most Posts of 2013

As we count down to the end of 2013 I am joining with Sarah of amongst lovely things to take a look back at my most posts.

I am not very good at looking at my stats so some of these may come as a surprise to even me, so lets see what I like and others have liked about what I had to say this past year.

Post with the most clicks

The Seven Petitions of the Our Father
This is definitely a surprise to me. I really liked it when I wrote it and still do although there is so much that I could to it now. It wasn't new to me when I had written it since I had read and heard much of the message before but it really stuck with me then and even now it has changed the way that I not only pray the Our Father but how I pray in general. I believe that my pray time has really grown and continues to mature.

Post with the most comments

Not Alone Series: Patience
Not Alone Series: Preparing for My Vocation NOW
Not Alone Series: What I love About Being Single
The Gifts in My Little World
This one is a tie and most are from the Not Alone Series, this does not surprise me. I'm new to the blogging world and have not really been a high comment blog. I have gotten some great comments along the way but with the start of the Not Alone Series (thank you Jen and Morgan) I made some blogger friends, found topics that were close to my heart, some that I had previously been afraid to share. I found encouragement and support that has really allowed me to open up in ways I didn't think I was ready for. A few of the comments made me cry happy tears, many made me think and all made me feel encouraged in some way.

Post with the best picture

7 Quick Takes Friday #30
This is NOT a picture heavy blog so I am just going with the post with the most pictures. Most of my blog pictures are also taken on my phone so quality is not always max.

Post that was the hardest to write

I should probably say this one since I have been writing it for a week now but keep having to put it down before I could finish to do something else. I can't actually pick just one because quite a few have been hard to put down in black and white. I have quite a few post in drafts because I struggle with sharing them. So I'm just going to go with the whole Not Alone Series for expediency, where I really have to reach in, get personal and put it out there for others to read and judge, there have been a few.

Post that was my personal favourite

The Wedding At Cana
I love this scripture (even more since I read Walking with Mary) and it is one of my favourite rosary meditations. This January when I read it to write something on it I saw so many things that I had previously ignored or simply didn't notice. It was a great reflection to start my year with and it really stayed with throughout the year.

I look forward to what 2014 will bring to my life and to my writing. It has been fun and interesting looking back and I hope some of you will move forward me to see what will come in 2014.

Merry Christmas
Happy New Year
God Bless

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Hosting As A Single

Now usually couples and families host the big events but there is no reason a single cannot. This will be the third year I'll be hosting (with my sister) for New Year's and it continues to grow in the number of people who show up. The first year it was small just one aunt, her kids, a couple older teenage cousins, my grandmother and mother. Last year we included some friends with kids and another family friend, this year we are adding even more people.

Now don't think I have some grand abode with space to spare, not even in my simplest dreams. I have a good sized kitchen which helps but my house is small. My budget and my time are not excessive either so these are just a few tips that I have employed and learnt along the way.

This is so important. Something will likely go wrong or at least quite not how you want it. Do NOT  let it become the focus.

Decide Time or Money
Which do you want to save, when and where? Spend the money and save the time by buying a bag salad. Spend the time and save the money making rolls from scratch. This year I am spending the money on disposable plates after two years of spending the time washing dishes I am over it. there are perfectly cute or event appropriate disposable plates that can easily fit a theme.

 There were even plates that said happy New Year, Merry Christmas and 2014. These looked close to real.

Plan to do only one or two dishes well
I do not follow my own advice here but a week ago my friend hosted her single friends for a dinner, she did drinks and d├ęcor well, while leaving the rest to us. I did an amazing and well loved tiramisu for the dinner, everyone brought something and we had a great time. I like the cooking and baking part of hosting so I go all out with that and leave the other details to my sister. Know your strengths and go with it.

Have fun
Don't get so caught up in the details that you don't get a chance to mingle and be a part of the whole thing. My first year I spent most of my time in the kitchen and running all over. Last year I set things up, I got a chance to mingle and if I just had to spend some time in the kitchen I didn't go alone I took a cousin or two with me.

Don't be afraid to go casual
I don't have a dinning room table. I have a coffee table in the living room and some patio furniture outside with a table. Everything is served buffet style, everyone gets to freely move around and mingle as they like. At my friend's dinner (she has a dining table which we didn't use) and sometimes at mine, the board games come out, stories are told. We don't miss the sit down dinner that much and I don't feel self-conscious with the mismatched plates, what I own came in sets of four but we are close to 20 in people who show up. It also helps when someone unexpected shows up.

Even a well loved relative or friend can get on your last nerve at the wrong time. It is easy to get just a little overwhelmed even when you try to relax. Let God be a part of the party.

Christmas doesn't end until after the 6th January, invite a few people over and spread some cheers.

If anyone has any other ideas feel free to share them.

Merry Christmas to my readers!!!!!

Saturday, 14 December 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday #53

--- 1 ---
It's Saturday and I'm now getting to this. It has been a busy week, leaving my wonderful, relaxing vacation, coming home, wanting to go back but happy to be here.

--- 2 ---
Today is the first day that I have cooked since I have been back, Wednesday was my first full day back. I don't eat out a lot, a couple times a month or if I go out with friends a little bit more. My sister doesn't cook (although she can do simple meals) so for the whole time I was gone she didn't so there was nothing in the house and I was not feeling a grocery run, since I was planning to eat out Mexican on Thursday anyway I just decided to let the other two days slide as well.

--- 3 ---
Last Sunday I got to visit the lovely Jen of jumpinginpuddlesisfun and Martha of shinyhappycatholics. It was so great, I never really thought I would ever meet up with other bloggers in real life but when Jen heard that I would be in Florida and really close to her she said that we just had to meet up

--- 4 ---
I had my first ever Thanksgiving dinner last Sunday, cooked by the lovely Martha. Awesome cook, and very sweet, very welcoming.

--- 5 ---
While I was in Florida during the few days that I felt really cold (I'm from the Caribbean, don't judge), I promised myself that I would never complain that it was too hot ever again. Home for less than a week and I'm really glad I only promised myself

--- 6 ---
Monday is the start of the O Antiphons and the Christmas Novena

--- 7 ---
A song to end the week.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday, 6 December 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday #52

--- 1 ---
I wasn't sure I was going to do a QTs this week but it's my 1 year blogiversary week and 52 weeks of QTaking so I'm doing a quick QT, I am on vacation afterall.

--- 2 ---
I was really happy on Saturday when on take off my ears did not pop but that only lasted through the flight since my ears popped on landing. I got a little cocky from the take-off.

--- 3 ---
Today is the feast of St Nicholas, and I attended Mass with the kids from the school this morning. The kids, I think from 2nd grade put on a skit before Mass to explain St Nick it was very entertaining. They mostly remembered the words but the actions and movements they kind of forgot.

--- 4 ---
I have been adopted by an Italian grandmother, she is very entertaining. I met her at morning Mass on Monday and she has since made it her duty to to speak to me and check on me everyday. How I am doing, am I enjoying my visit and all that.

--- 5 ---
I am enjoying my vacation although it is colder sometime than I like. I have learnt not to go out without a coat or something even if when you leave when it is very hot. I have no idea how I will ever be able to handle snow.

--- 6 ---
I am really looking forward to Sunday. That's all for now.

--- 7 ---
A song to end the week.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Swords Into Plowshares

The first reading from the first Sunday of Advent came from Isaiah 2:1-5. Fr in his homily focused a bit on verse 4 "...they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.

In the last few days I have really thought about what he said because it really stayed with me. There are many swords and spears that we wield to hurt others and ourselves. Weapons that we need to beat down and out of our lives. Vices that can be turned into virtues that can be useful tools for the Lord.

As we move along this Advent season as we prepare to welcome Jesus at Christmas lets do it without weapons.

Jealousy, bitterness, unforgiveness, unkindness, selfishness, lustfulness, pride, maliciousness, gossip.

Monday, 2 December 2013

It's Been A Year

Today marks one year since I have started blogging. It was the first Sunday of Advent and I was hopeful yet hesitant. I have always been a private and reserved person but I still wanted to share and connect. I also wasn't sure exactly who or what my demographic would be, I live in a country made up of two islands in the Caribbean that not many people has every heard of (show of hands all who have ever heard of Trinidad and Tobago before).

My very first post was part of a link-up although that was not part of my original plan but I discovered the little holy days link-up and it just fit my post. My very first comment was Molly of Molly Makes Do who was one of the three blogs hosting the link-up.

I've had lulls as I discovered what I wanted my voice to be and to say. Even though I had been blogging and knew that my Catholic Faith had to part of that voice I wasn't sure what else. I am a single, Catholic woman discerning my vocation so I was very happy to discover the Not Alone Series. It is a really great weekly link-up that was perfect for me. I didn't realise there were so many single, Catholic bloggers before, I knew there were a few and I read some of their blogs but many were new to me and I loved discovering them.

I have made connections and friends. I have discovered a few things about myself and have really grown in many areas of my life. This first year of blogging has been about learning, discovering and growing. I have learnt to balance blogging with other areas of my life which I didn't think would have been so hard but life gets hard, busy and overwhelming, blogging doesn't just get put on the back burner it get completely taken off the stove. Just to be put back on when the time was right.

It has been a great first year of blogging and I am looking for the next year to come.