Holly and Heather's Helping Hands

Inspirational Heartfelt Hints

Month: September, 2014

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: It’s OK to Wait

We were on line to check out at the supermarket the other day. The line was long so we took out our phones and began to check: our text messages, emails, phone calls, etc. When that took all of one minute because we are usually timely in responding to messages, we started playing games (Holly can’t get enough of Spider Solitaire, Heather loves Free Cell). Soon the line passed and it was our turn to check out.

We thought nothing of our activity at the time until the next morning when Holly noticed a young boy waiting for the school bus. He looked no more than 7 or 8 and had his phone out presumably checking, playing, or otherwise occupied just as we were at the market the day before. But for some reason, it looked odd. He was so young and flashbacks of bus stops from childhood took hold: playing running bases while we waited, chatting about what the day would bring, etc.

We guess people have always found ways to make the “waiting” go by more quickly but back then, it didn’t seem like waiting was wasting our time the way it does now. We seem to have difficulty just being, even for a short while. We were even honked at the other day when our red light changed to green and the car behind us was not even able to wait one second before we hit the gas pedal!

So what can we do about all this impatience? We try to make a conscious effort to slow down. We take time to read if only on a weekend or our day off. We also purposefully try to leave time to ourselves each week and not overbook our schedules with appointments and plans. Any other ideas from our readers?

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Have a Healthy Day!

Are you taking care of yourself? So often we worry about others so much – making doctor appointments for our kids, getting vitamins for our spouses – that we forget to do the same for ourselves. We all need a little exercise, a healthy diet, some down time.  Remember when you feel good you do good. So what have you done to have a healthy day today? Here are a couple of recipes to start your day off right:

Heather’s Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie:

1/2 banana, cut in chunks

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup almond milk

Put all ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth.  (Sometimes I use maple sugar peanut butter, it gives this smoothie a delicious sweetness)  This is a very satisfying breakfast!

Holly’s Mini Quiches:

1 small zucchini, grated

dash of onion powder

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

3 eggs

dash of dried basil

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray one 24-hole mini muffin pan with nonstick spray.  Mix all ingredients together and pour a tablespoon of filling into each hole.  Bake about 15 minutes.  Enjoy this “packed with protein” snack!

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Remember 9/11

As New Yorkers, we will always remember thirteen years ago on this day as one of the most horrific days in the history of our country, certainly in our lifetime. Our children were babies then and raising them in a post 9/11 world is sobering at times. Although they don’t remember the tragedies that occurred that day, we try to educate them as best as we can without instilling fear that this world can sometimes be a scary place.

What is worth remembering and talking about, we think, is the memory of all those who perished on this day and the resolve of all New Yorkers to come together and help one another in a time of crisis. While it is still difficult to watch the many documentaries that will air on television today, talking about the goodness in every day, average people in our communities and those who sacrificed so much on that day is important.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those families who lost precious loved ones that day.

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Doing Something Right!

As parents of teenagers we are in the last stage of the formative years, continuing to impart our wisdom and guiding them in the right direction. We don’t think it ever really ends, even as adults we still talk to our parents about life, problem solving, sharing the good and the hurts.

Recently one of our kids received accolades on a pretty important exam that was taken and as a result a whole world of amazing opportunities has opened up.  This teenager is extremely smart (as are all of our kids, love you guys!) and we would like to partly attribute it to “doing something right” as parents.  So often when our kids have difficulties or troubles the first thing we think is “did I do something wrong?”  But in this instance it was “how did they get so smart, what did we do right?”  The answer is a combination of many things, but one of the most important is early childhood decisions.  We are giving ourselves a pat on the back for not allowing our children to watch any television or look at a screen, in this case until age 3 (with the others we were not as diligent, though we did make it thru the first year or two!).  Another thing we both did was a lot of reading…reading, reading, reading! A story at lunch, a book every night & plenty of visits to the library. Also successful: plenty of outdoor time.  Good old fresh air running around the yard or playing in the park.

Of course many things later in life also contributed along the way towards education but we tried very hard when our kids were little, especially in those very early formative years when the brain is growing and developing so rapidly, to do right by them.  It was hard sometimes, the days can be so long but remember, the years are short.  And once they’re gone you’ve missed that crucial period of time when they’re learning, growing and bonding.

Of course our number one goal is always for our kids to be happy and healthy, why not give them a good educational start to their future too!

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