The Holiday Season

by Hannah Joyce

The Holidays are upon us. Thanksgiving has ended, and it will soon be Christmas. This time of year tends to be stressful for everyone. Family reunions are happening every other week, and for some, family gatherings are incredibly stressful.


For me personally, I have such a supportive and loving family, but like any family, we have our problems. We all are very strong in our opinions and beliefs, but there is so much love between us. Our intentions are always good, but sometimes it feels like one person is running the show.

Every year we have a family Christmas usually done before Christmas where we all get together, and the adults do a yankee swap while everyone buys gifts for the kids. You would think a yankee swap would be pretty simple, but my Aunt is very hands on and loves to be the one calling the shots. No disrespect to her at all, but at times it gets very annoying. 

Why can’t we just do a simple yankee swap? She is always making it more complicated than it needs to be. When we first began having the family Christmas’ we just set a price limit for it, and everyone would bring a gift. As the years passed, my aunt has changed the game. She’s moved it to a gift card and a small gift swap, that it relates to the gift card, so that we open the gift, but not the gift card. For me personally, I enjoyed how we did it initially, but she continues to try to change it.

My point in sharing this experience with you is that family is tough, but without them, life would be dull. During the holiday season, it is not only important to give thoughtful gifts to others but to continue to make sure you are taking care of yourself. Self-care does not go on hold for the holidays. Continue to take time for yourself and maybe you will find that the holiday season becomes just a bit easier when you are actively still caring for yourself.



It is never too late to be thankful

by Hannah Joyce

November is the month of Thanksgiving, a time to recognize all that we have to be thankful for. A time to spend with family and relax. To renew your soul for the cold winter ahead. Let’s take a moment to think about what we can be thankful for this holiday season:

  • I am surrounded by my loving family
  • I am continuing my education
  • I have a roof over my head
  • I have food on my table
  • I have love in my soul



Family is so very important. It is not always the blood relatives you were given by God but the people that stick by your side through thick and thin. People that know the good and bad about you but still love you despite that. We do not all have a loving family we were born into, but we can all form our own family in this world. Who is your family this holiday season?

School can be such a drag, but I am so fortunate to be able to continue my education in human services to hopefully one day become a victim advocate. We all have our own individual passions, mine happens to be helping others but what’s yours? What gets you smiling? What makes you warm inside? It could be anything from working at a home improvement store and helping a couple find the perfect color for their walls or running a multi-millionaire company. Find your passion and make that a reality.

With the recent natural disasters, many people have lost their homes. I am lucky to live in an area that is not affected much by mother nature besides snowstorms in the winter time. For those of us that are fortunate enough to have a roof over our heads let’s give back to those who are not as lucky as us. This can be anything from donating to the organization’s that help those that have lost their homes to volunteering your time at a food pantry/homeless shelter.

During this time of the year a lot of people give to local food pantries and volunteer at soup kitchens but here is an idea, what about doing this all year long? The food pantries and soup kitchens don’t need help just during the holiday season but all year around. Even if you just donate food to your local food pantry on a regular basis that would be a huge help to your community.

This year slow down, don’t worry about the Black Friday deals. Don’t worry about anything except enjoying your time with your loved ones.

From the We are all the same family have a very Happy Thanksgiving. 

Note: By the end of the weekend, some people are tired of being with their families, but we always should think about the meaning of this holiday, when you were so excited to see the dear ones, and celebrating all the love and gratitude.


via Monthly Series: An Attitude Of Gratitude -Challenge #1 — A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration

Let’s be positive.

Gratitude Challenge Post! Come in and see what the question of the day is and comment your thoughts. This challenge is in regards to you and others, others you may say? Yes, come find what it’s all about!

via Monthly Series: An Attitude Of Gratitude -Challenge #1 — A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration

via The Power of Reading: Readers Respond — Discover

I think we should do a book club and motivate each other.

Last week, we highlighted Ann Morgan’s amazing reading project, Postcards from my bookshelf. For each month in 2017, she’s selecting a book and mailing it to a reader somewhere in the world. Readers had much to say about Ann’s book-labor of love. Here are a handful of their responses. Ready for a custom domain, advanced […]

via The Power of Reading: Readers Respond — Discover

via Domestic Violence Awareness Month — Dee’s Dating Diary

The month of October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), an issue that affects women, children, and even men. History of Domestic Violence Awareness Month In 1989, Congress designated the month of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month and this evolved from the “Day of Unity,” which was conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic […]

via Domestic Violence Awareness Month — Dee’s Dating Diary

Pray For Las Vegas! — By Hook Or By Book

Too many bad news these days. My thoughts and prayers to those that are suffering in Vegas, Puerto Rico and any part of the World. We need peace. 

Running from the Rte 91 Harvest Country Music Festival near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas after gunfire was heard on Sunday. David Becker/Getty Images. What is now being described as the deadliest mass shooting here in the U.S. took place shortly after 10:00 last night. While approximately 22,000 country music fans […]

via Pray For Las Vegas! — By Hook Or By Book

#Harvey2017 ~ How To Help — By Hook Or By Book

I know many of you, like me, have been watching in horror as Southeastern Texas has been pummeled mercilessly by Hurricane Harvey. Here’s a quick list of organizations who are looking for donations of any size: American Red Cross – Looking for donations starting at just $10. Visit http://redcross.org Call 1-800-Red Cross or text […]

via #Harvey2017 ~ How To Help — By Hook Or By Book


USC Viterbi School of Engineering, IEC3 Summer Camp for Girls, and Tata Consultancy Services’ (TCS) goIT program are preparing middle school girls for STEM careers. IEC3 aims to lessen the barriers that have historically prevented Latino and African American women and girls from pursuing careers in engineering and computer science. In addition, IEC3 has also […]


Saudi artists reflect on sojourn to New York City for a groundbreaking residency — Women in the World in Association with The New York Times – WITW

Nouf Semari was one of three women artists from Saudi Arabia who spent time drawing inspiration from the sights and sounds of the Big Apple

via Saudi artists reflect on sojourn to New York City for a groundbreaking residency — Women in the World in Association with The New York Times – WITW

National Children’s Awareness Month


Image: Festival of Children Foundation

by Mariana Laviaguerre

Not all children have the wonderful childhood we all hope to provide for our own children. Many children live in fear and neglect, and each year, approximately 3.3 million children experience some form of domestic violence. Therefore, June has been established as the National Children’s Awareness Month to increase awareness about the vulnerability of children exposed to violence.
Domestic violence is the single most important forerunner to child abuse and 30 to 60 percent of perpetrators of partner abuse also abuse the children in the household. Child abuse may occur at any time between infancy and adolescence, and for every hour, as many as 115 children are abused.
Children who witness violent and abusive behavior in the home are the most likely individuals to become perpetrators of domestic violence in the future. Men who are exposed to domestic violence in childhood are twice as likely to abuse their own partner and children, while women experiencing abuse in childhood are more likely to become victims of domestic violence in the future.