gleeful grandiva

creative living for big and little kids

HOW TO MAKE THE SWEETEST SUCCULENT TREE FOR CHRISTMAS 

 

succulent tree picture

Welcome to another Wacky Workshops project – how to make a succulent tree.

One of my favourite things about Christmas is the tree. From setting it up with tiny treasures I haven’t seen in a year and enjoying the twinkling lights each night, to opening presents around it on Christmas day.

Did you know it was the Germans who thought of celebrating Christmas with a tree? They actually brought large pine branches into their homes and decorated them with cookies and candles.

These days, Christmas trees, from farm-grown pines to artificial trees, have become a booming industry.

Whatever type of tree you prefer and whether or not you celebrate Christmas, this little succulent tree is sure to put a smile on your face.

These sweet little living art forms are so much fun to make and they don’t require any special skills and only a few materials. But you will need to use a lot of plant cuttings.

 

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AWESOME GIFT GIVING – HOW TO SAVE WITH STYLE 

 

awesome gift giving picture

Gift giving occasions can set off panic attacks in the toughest people.

Concerns range from how to find the perfect pressie to how to pay for it.

This can happen any time of year but reaches a peak at Christmas. It is estimated one in four Australians experience fear instead of cheer.

Here are some tips for awesome gift giving, any time of year, that won’t blow your budget.

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THE HEALTH TRAP OF SUCCESS AND HOW TO AVOID IT

trap of success picture

 

There but for the grace of God, go I.

Hard to beat that quote when it comes to putting things in perspective. Do you agree?

It’s virtually impossible to go through life without being witness to some kind of suffering.

Sometimes, we take the time to realise how lucky we are. Other times, the things we think make us more fortunate are those that stop us being truly grateful and happy.

We become so caught up in our desire to maintain what we have and build on it, that we are caught in a trap of success. It’s a trap that threatens our physical and mental health as it allows stress to be our controller.

Here’s a story that shines the light on where true happiness lies.

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6 MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN CREATING ART WITH CHILDREN

creating art with children picture

Children are natural creators, inventors, explorers and artists.

They do these things automatically and with confidence.

Somewhere along the line, they receive messages that make them lose that confidence and this can destroy their desire to continue creating. This can be disastrous for the world and for them.

There are a few mistakes to avoid doing if you don’t want to be one of the people transmitting those confidence sucking messages.

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HOW TO SOLVE THE KINDNESS CONUNDRUM

kindness conundrum picture

 

You may be wondering what the kindness conundrum is. I’m wondering what the problem is with being kind.

All the evidence points to the fact being kind not only helps the receiver, but also the giver. So, why doesn’t everyone hop on board the kindness caboose?

While there are many intense areas of kindness in the world there also seems to be areas where it is nowhere to be found.

In a world that should be united to save our suffering planet, we are still facing horrendous stories of cruelty towards each other and towards nature. That is the kindness conundrum.

How do we solve it?

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HOW TO USE NATURE IN ART TO OPEN MINDS AND HEARTS

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nature in art picture

 

Nature paints us the prettiest pictures day after day. So why is it artists feel compelled to create their own impressions, using nature as inspiration?

Surely, no one can imagine they can improve on the divine art forms that nature provides.

Yet, since cave man times, we have been inspired to record our stories using nature as our stimulus.

Perhaps we have always understood the deep connection between nature and art.

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FIGHTING FEAR – HOW TO RECLAIM YOUR POWER

 

fighting fear picture

 

I lay on the bed, careful not to move a muscle in case it alerted the intruder to my presence.

Breathing was difficult. I wanted to take huge, terrified gulps of air, but that would have made too much noise. The trespasser was right outside the door.

My heart was beating so loudly. Could she hear it?

I was sweating, yet I was chilled to the bone.

I wanted to scream out for help. But knew that my antagoniser would get to me before anyone else. And my voice was gone.

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GRAND RESPECT – HOW TO TEACH OUR KIDS THE TRUTH 

grand respect picture

 

Not getting enough respect from others?

Ask yourself two questions.

  • Have you earned it?
  • Have you taught it?

 

A lot of people bemoan the lack of respect there is in this world. For parents, teachers, law enforcement, their gender, position, race, culture – the list goes on.

The word is bandied around a lot and has come to mean different things for different people.

When used in its guise of manners and courtesy, then everyone should feel the warmth of its glow.

In any other form, it is something that should be earned and taught by each individual. It’s the truth we need to share with children, even when it threatens the power of our status.

 

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GRAND RESPECT AND MANNERS

It’s essential to teach our kids to respect the rights of others. Even those they don’t respect. Everyone has the right to exist peacefully and safely. The right not to be hurt by unkind words and actions. This is just basic manners.

It’s also important to teach children to respect the authority of various positions. They may not like a teacher for instance. Maybe they don’t even respect that teacher. But they need to respect the authority that goes with the position because there are consequences if they don’t.

The same goes for law enforcement.

There is a big difference between respecting someone and respecting their position and how it relates to you.

This is an important thing for parents to remember because, though they have ultimate power in the early years, it fades quickly as children grow.

Parents can resort to all manner of punishment when children don’t do as they are told.

When the child becomes an adult, the punishments are trickier for parents, especially if their kids are financially independent.

They can no longer be sent to their room or grounded and parents often resort to emotional punishment to regain their authority

Often, it works for a while, but eventually, it builds a wall of resentment that shuts out all of their influence.

Parents who demand respect because of their position, rather than earning it because of who they are and how they behave, risk having their adult children turn against them completely.

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF EARNING GRAND RESPECT

grand respect picture

When my kids were young, one of our biggest fears as parents was stranger danger (simpler times, right?).

There were a lot of stories of people misusing their positions to harm children (some things don’t change). I told my sons that there is a difference between having respect for a position and a person and the two don’t necessarily go hand in hand.

Of course, by not demanding respect (other than the basic rights mentioned above) just by virtue of being their mother, I risked losing whatever control I felt I had.

Fortunately, I understood that to have a lasting influence, I needed to gain their respect not by demanding it, but by earning it. From what they have told me, I achieved this. So that’s good. 🙂

True respect, earned respect, is a lasting thing that creates a bond of trust and admiration. And it is grand.

Forced respect is not lasting and is a form of bullying that shows the parents have not appreciated what a blessing and honour their role is.

GRAND RESPECT IS RECIPRICOL

grand respect picture

Respect is a two-way street. It’s something you must give, in order to receive.

You must respect your children as individuals with their own hearts, minds, souls, desires, and ambitions. You cannot expect a return on a non-investment.

Some parents may claim they have invested. They’ve fed, clothed, educated and cared for their children. I say that goes with the job.

The teacher who turns up for work each day and does the hours without compassion or passion is doing the same job as the one who goes to work full of commitment and concern. One will have respect. The other won’t.

The parent who feeds and shelters their child with a goal towards controlling their actions as adults is doing the same job as the parent who brings up their child to live an independent and fulfilled life. One will have respect and the other won’t.

It works the same for other groups. Cultural groups may claim they are not getting enough respect for their beliefs and traditions. Are they respecting the different beliefs and traditions around them? How can they demand respect when they refuse to give it?

THE IMPORTANCE OF TEACHING GRAND RESPECT

grand respect picture

It is equally important to show kids how to teach respect because, in the end, you teach people how to treat you.

While you cannot force people to respect you if you haven’t earned it, you can let them know when a lack of respect, especially for your basic rights, is unacceptable.

When you allow bad behaviour, unfair demands and expectations to go unchecked, you are virtually telling the other person that you are OK with being treated that way. You are teaching them how to treat you.

The amazing thing about this is, by teaching people how to respect you, you are earning their respect. That’s the truth.

Wishing you lots of respect and a gleeful week, Tamuria.

 

 

 

HOW TO AVOID FOOD WASTE – A RECIPE FOR DISASTER

 

food waste picture

If food waste was a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gasses.

In Australia, we waste about 20 per cent of the food we buy. Around half of all fruit and veggies we buy gets tossed. Around four million tonnes of food ends up in landfill.

That’s a recipe for disaster for sure.

If climate change isn’t enough incentive to avoid this waste, consider this; the estimated cost of food waste in Australia is $20 million.

The cost of food waste for EACH New South Wales household is estimated at $3,800 per year. It’s like throwing away one in every five bags of shopping you buy.

Want to save money and help save the world? It’s easy, don’t waste food.

Here are some tips and a few recipes to help you save food, money and the environment.

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CRAFTING A HAPPY LIFE – WHY KIDS NEED (AND LOVE) TO CREATE

crafting a happy life picture

 

 

They file into the studio and choose their seats.

They are the latest Wacky Workshops students (aged five to 12) and they’re drawing a picture of their favourite toy.

This was the first activity in a toy making workshop. A way to keep them busy and get into a creative groove while waiting for the others to arrive.

Almost all of the students drew iPads on their sheets and began to talk to each other about their favourite games. The perfect icebreaker.

Friendships were made. The conversation was enthusiastic and joyful.

They discussed the challenges of getting through complicated stages in a game they all knew and loved.

I wondered how today’s activities would stack up against the lure of technology.

It was more curiosity than concern. I’ve never had an unhappy student.

I also knew that during that three-hour workshop, amazing things would be happening inside their brains. Things that don’t happen while in front of a screen.

 

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