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THE CUISINE OF JAPAN

TRADITIONAL JAPANESE FOODS

Japan is known for its delicious, varied cuisine consisting of mostly fish, rice, and vegetables. What’s your favorite?

One of our family favorites. When we think of Japan, we immediately conjure images of quaint tea houses, sushi, geishas, kimonos, origami, bento boxes, and steaming bowls of rice and miso soup. Japan is known for its unique and delicious cuisine or “washoku,” which means “cooking.” What’s on the menu that you crave?

Sushi

  • Sushi is, of course, one of the most popular and well-known foods associated with Japanese culture. Raw fish served with specially prepared vinegared rice is the classic sushi combo. Other types of seafood (other than just raw fish) are served at a sushi restaurant such as crab, lobster, shrimp, eel, octopus, squid, sea urchin or “uni” (usually served with a raw quail egg on top), and fish roe. The most common types of raw fish include yellowtail, tuna, and salmon.
  • Popular side dishes at a sushi restaurant include miso soup, rice, seaweed salad, and other raw vegetables such as cucumber and avocado. Fresh ginger is also served with a meal to cleanse the palate, while wasabi is a spicy garnish used for intense flavor. Of course, soy sauce is also served on the side but is unnecessary with really good sushi. Don’t forget your chopsticks!
  • Sashimi is raw fish but, instead of paired with rice, is served with a vegetable (such as radish) or eaten plain.
  • Maki is a type of bite-sized dish consisting of raw (and sometimes cooked) fish and vegetables rolled together in seaweed or “nori.”

Other Favorites

  • Nattō is a healthy favorite made from soybeans and is usually served for breakfast. The dish’s name comes from “Bacillus subtilis var. natto” as this plays a huge role in how the soybeans are prepared: they are actually fermented in this immune-boosting bacterium.
  • Edamame is a salted preparation of soybeans while in the pod. One simply pops them out of the shell into their mouth for a savory snack.
  • Tsukemono are preserved or pickled vegetables and are used for garnishing a meal or eaten during a special course at a traditional dinner called “Kaiseki.”
  • Tempura is a dish of battered and fried meat and/or vegetables. The most common thing wethink of when we hear “tempura” is the famous flaky shrimp delight.
  • Tofu is also incredibly prevalent in Japanese dishes: whether it’s cut into tiny cubes in miso soup or fried and served on its own, there are a myriad of ways to prepare tofu and it’s a huge part of Japan’s diet.

Noodles

  • Ramen is a delicious and savory Japanese soup complete with, most often, pork as the main meat ingredient. Known for its broth and, of course, noodles, the soup is usually served with an egg, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, seaweed, and Naruto (a slice of cured fish with the famous pink swirl in the center) on top.
  • Udon is a thick wheat noodle and is usually served in soup.
  • Soba is a thin buckwheat noodle.

To Drink

  • Green tea is, of course, a classic, healthy favorite. Served before or after meals, it’s extremely prevalent in Japanese culture.
  • Saké is Japanese wine made from fermented rice and is a favorite among adults. Served hot or cold, it’s the perfect way for friends to gather and make toasts for the future. Children usually drink some sort of milk, fruit-infused or even red bean tea, coconut milk, or carbonated soda.

What’s for Dessert?

  • Anpan is a sweet roll filled with red bean paste.
  • Green Tea and Red Bean Ice Cream because who doesn’t love ice cream?
  • Anmitsu is an ancient dessert made from red algae. In the form of a jelly, this dessert is usually served in cubes with fruit as a garnish.
  • Mochi is a yummy rice cake that is smoothed and kneaded into a paste.

#nabilakhashoggi #khashoggi #lifestyle #explore #habits #nabilaK #spartanandthegreenegg #foodsaroundtheworld #letseat #japanesecuisine #sushi

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BEAUTIFY YOUR ROOM AND ENHANCE YOUR MOOD

EASY WAYS TO MAKE YOUR SURROUNDINGS BEAUTIFUL

Even if it’s just a bud vase with a single flower or a scented candle, filling your home with things you love will improve your outlook.

You’d be surprised what a lovely room can do for one’s mood. If your bedroom is comfortable and decorated with things you love, you’ll inevitably feel more at ease and probably even sleep better. If, from your desk, you can glance upon an inspirational photograph or a vase of flowers, you’ll most likely get more work done.

“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”― Franz Kafka

Embellish your Environment

(Roy Lichtenstein’s 1991 Pop Art painting, “Interior with Waterlilies”)
  • Tennessee Williams said, “A bedroom is just as nice as whoever sleeps in it with you.” This is undeniably true, but that doesn’t mean that some clean sheets, a fluffy duvet, soft pillows, and a vase of flowers are uncalled for. There are lots of little, inexpensive things you can do to turn your surroundings into a personal paradise.
  • First off, I cannot stress fresh flowers and potted plants enough. Any living thing is good Feng Shui and will immediately improve the look and feel of a space.
  • Good, natural light is optimal, but we all know that many homes (especially New York City apartments) leave a lot to be desired when it comes to lighting. End tables with softly glowing lamps are ideal for dark spaces. Skip the tacky fluorescent lighting (unless you live in a hospital) and keep the room golden with sconces, candles, and pretty lamps (always hide a naked light bulb).
  • A fresh coat of paint is something that is easy and fun! It’s like a facelift for your home. If you’re feeling really creative, try a bright, festive accent wall.
  • Running water is always wonderful; it’s so tranquil and zen. A small tabletop fountain is a lovely accent to any space and immediately adds a touch of the exotic.

“All I ever did to that apartment was hang fifty yards of yellow theatrical silk across the bedroom windows, because I had some idea that the gold light would make me feel better, but I did not bother to weight the curtains correctly and all that summer the long panels of transparent golden silk would blow out the windows and get tangled and drenched in afternoon thunderstorms. That was the year, my twenty-eighth, when I was discovering that not all of the promises would be kept, that some things are in fact irrevocable and that it had counted after all, every evasion and ever procrastination, every word, all of it.”

–Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem (from her essay “Goodbye to All That,” 1967)

  • Hang curtains: Window dressing really makes a difference!

    (Sigmund Freud’s study at the Freud Museum London)
  • Throw pillows and blankets can turn a lonely sofa into a cozy retreat.
  • Stacks of books always make a room more inviting.
  • Create the illusion of space with mirrors. Have you ever noticed that the Parisians use this trick constantly for tiny spaces?

Surround Yourself with Favorites

(Photography by Audrey Flack)
  • Small trinkets such as antique ashtrays (even for non-smokers), jewelry boxes, family photos in lovely frames, candle holders, reed diffusers, and other gewgaws are fantastic examples of personal effects to have in one’s home.
  • Let your vanity table speak for itself: with tubes of lipstick, pots of cream, bottles of perfume, hair pins and combs, a woman’s dressing table reveals all sorts of secrets and is a private sanctuary for getting ready.
  • Prints of favorite works of art are always inspirational, even if it’s just a postcard.
  • Light your favorite scented candle to fill your space with fragrance.
  • Bowls of fresh fruit are lovely to look at and make for a healthy, quick snack.

#nabilakhashoggi #khashoggi #lifestyle #explore #habits #nabilaK #spartanandthegreenegg

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DECLUTTER YOUR HOME AND YOUR HEAD!

“HOW GETTING RID OF EXCESS STUFF SHARPENS FOCUS”

It’s almost spring and that means time for cleaning and decluttering. If an object is no longer needed (or even wanted) and is simply collecting dust, toss it.

We are all familiar with the advice: “If you haven’t worn it in six months, get rid of it.” Yes, I know we’ve all mostly been living in sweat pants and dressing gowns for the past year and our clothes are begging for us to take them out on the town but, under usual circumstances, clothes we simply do not wear (that don’t have some sort of special sentimentality attached) would probably be better in someone else’s wardrobe. If that little black dress is in good condition but no longer fits, donate it! What else should you probably purge?
⦁ Those skinny jeans you’ve kept for years hoping that, one day, after a very long juice cleanse, would fit again
⦁ Any article of acid-washed denim
⦁ A pair of killer heels that slay…and actually kill your feet
⦁ The boyfriend blazer that, well, belonged to an ex-boyfriend you haven’t spoken to in years

 

We should also remember that buying well is always a good idea; if you invest in a classic piece—rather than fast fashion—you’ll wear it for years and get your money’s worth.

What about non-clothing items?

⦁ The more books, the better! Old newspapers and magazines on the other hand (unless they’re rare, valuable, and sealed in Mylar) should probably go. Nothing says “Crazy Hoarder” better than 20-year-old stacks of dusty newspapers.
⦁ Clean out that refrigerator and those cupboards: I promise you’ll find at least a few things past their expiration date that should be trashed.
⦁ Old makeup. Ditch that tube of dried-up mascara you haven’t applied since lockdown. Your eyes will thank you, I promise.

 

The Buddhist philosophy is that we would all be happier with less “stuff” for material goods do not bring happiness. If our possessions no longer bring us joy we should probably get rid of them. Remember not to just throw things away, mind you: donate the items that will be of use to others and recycle (or upcycle) the rest. This doesn’t mean that one has to become a Buddhist monk and embrace the minimalist lifestyle, but it’s a good idea to get some spring cleaning done.

Declutter Your Home and Your Head

⦁ With less clutter, we can concentrate better. When everything is in its rightful place, we are more productive and less harried.
⦁ When we have more space, we’re able to find things more effortlessly.
⦁ Having trouble finding what to wear? That’s an easy fix! With fewer clothes to choose from, getting ready becomes simpler.

But Don’t Throw Out the Memory Chest

⦁ Boxes of old photographs, postcards, and love letters are truly what life is made of: memories. These objects make the past come alive, so don’t get rid of those special keepsakes.
⦁ Take the time for a walk down memory lane. Think of it as a workout for your soul.
#nabilakhashoggi #khashoggi #lifestyle #explore #habits #nabilaK #spartanandthegreenegg #declutter

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Become A Foodie!

“People who love to eat are always the best people.” –Julia Child

We all know the saying: “Eat, Drink and Be Merry,” but when it comes to cooking at home, and our choices are limited (as far as eating out in restaurants), it can be tricky. It’s important to cook good nutritious food that can be done pretty quickly and with as little stress as possible. Are you ready to add some exciting exotic dishes to your repertoire without the headache? Try these recipes at home!

  • Middle Eastern Shish Kebabs: there’s nothing better in the summer than firing up the grill and preparing a delicious dinner for your family. The best thing about shish kebabs is that you can load them with your favorite vegetables. Add boneless meats and arrange a colorful kebab (with yellow squash, green zucchini, and bright red tomatoes). These can be plated beautifully and will literally look good enough to eat! Kebabs go perfectly with some freshly baked traditional naan (a flatbread popular the world over, especially in Western and South Asia).
  • Spanish Paella: Traditionally from Valencia, Spain, this dish is literally a one-pot wonder. With enough for the entire family, not only is it simple, but it’s also delicious and filled with yummy ingredients of all sorts and a lovely mélange of spices. With rice as the main fixing, one can add whatever they like into the mix: meats (especially chorizo sausage), seafood, and vegetables. Add some shrimp, clams, mussels, crab and—if you’re feeling extra fancy and decadent—an entire lobster!
  • Gazpacho: This traditional cold soup is perfect for summer. With the ripest, reddest tomatoes fresh from the garden, you and your loved ones will enjoy a sweet treat. Traditionally called “Andalusian gazpacho,” this Spanish dish is light and savory—perfect as an appetizer or even as the main course.
  • Crepes: Forget the usual pancake breakfast and try crepes instead! This French staple is versatile and relatively easy to make. Thinner than traditional hotcakes, crepes are a bit eggier and have fewer calories. Kids love them because they can be savory or sweet. Fill yours with fresh strawberries, a dusting of powdered sugar, and/or Nutella for the perfect Sunday morning indulgence.
  • Bouillabaisse: Speaking of delightful French dishes and exotic soups, a bouillabaisse is something that families love because, well, there are usually leftovers. It’s the perfect entrée. More of a stew than a soup, bouillabaisse is a famously fishy Provençal recipe. It’s filled with several different kinds of fish and shellfish (including rockfish, monkfish, langoustine, mussels, crab, and/or octopus). Just let it simmer and don’t forget the crusty baguette!
  • Lebanese Baba Ganoush: This exotic appetizer is not only easy to make but is also delicious. A concoction of mashed eggplant (pretty much a roasted eggplant dip), seasonings of your choice, tahini, a bit of lemon juice, and a drizzling of olive oil is perfect when served with pita bread or fresh, crisp vegetables. Garnish with whatever is preferred (such as parsley, pine nuts, and even pomegranate seeds).
  • Sabudana Khichdi: According to the New York Times, this is your new favorite comfort food! This Indian dish is made from tapioca pearls, peanuts, herbs, and potatoes. Customarily made during fasting rituals such as “Navrati,” it is served hot, can be plated with fresh coconut and coriander, and makes for a wonderful snack.
  • Caprese Salad: Simple even for those of us who don’t cook, the Italian favorite, a Caprese salad, is a perfect appetizer, side dish, or complete entrée. The colors (green, white, and red) literally resemble the Italian flag. The fresh mozzarella with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing is the perfect pairing with sweet tomatoes, fresh basil, a pinch of salt, and, of course, olive oil.

https://www.lifehack.org/332802/10-exotic-dishes-you-can-try-home-without-traveling-around
https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/bouillabaisse/
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/19/magazine/sabudana-khichdi-is-your-new-favorite-comfort-food.html?referringSource=articleShare

#nabilak #nabilakhashoggi #lifestyle #foodie #spartanandthegreenegg

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Traditions In Families

The Value of Family/Friends and Tradition

For many of us, friends and family members keep us grounded and give us a sense of belonging. For those of us who have supportive loved ones, we are secure in the knowledge that we can lean on them in both good times and bad. The value of family and friends is obvious, but we can also take it for granted. Do we think of them as often as we should? Do we spend as much time with them as we would like?

Making sure our loved ones are valued and finding reasons to spend time with them is part of what makes most of us establish, or carry on with, traditions within our family or friend groups. Traditions are any type of repeated practice. For example, gathering for a holiday meal is a time-honored tradition in most families. The following are some essential things to know about why traditions are important and the best ways to establish them.

Defining and Redefining Family
Before we can understand why family traditions are important, we have to understand what a family is. There is a problem with that, which is that our families are unique and ever-evolving. One technical definition of a family is a group of people who are related by blood, adoption, or marriage and living together. However, most of us would agree that family does not stop being family just because some of its members move away. For example, a child at college is still part of his or her family. Our families also expand as we move through life, such as through:

  • Getting Married
  • Having Children
  • Having Grandchildren

Another thing to consider is most of us think of our close friends as family. In fact, friendships can often be stronger than blood ties. We don’t usually get the luxury of choosing our family members. Our friends are different. We have complete control over the friendships we decide to form, and especially the ones we decide to keep.

Establishing Group Traditions
Between our own families, in-laws, and friends, it is certainly possible to have multiple family groups. When life gets hectic, it can be hard for us to spend as much time with each of those groups as we need to or want to. Establishing traditions helps us make plans together. When we can’t gather, it gives us things to do to honor our loved ones and keep them in our thoughts. But what happens when those traditions conflict? Sometimes it can be difficult for us all to choose between traditions, such as when we get married and suddenly have the traditions of in-laws to consider. After such major life events, it often makes more sense for us to establish brand new traditions in a manner that brings everyone in the newly expanded group together in the same caring way.

Being Willing to Adapt Traditions When Necessary
Establishing and following through with traditions helps us all maintain connections to loved ones who are currently alive, as well as to those who have passed. Even so, we must adapt and update traditions sometimes, such as when our kids go off to college. The 2020 Coronavirus is another perfect example of cause for such changes. The crisis has forced many of us to stay physically distanced from loved ones. Video conferencing has helped keep adapted versions of our traditions going in the meantime.

Building Bonds and Making Memories Last

The most important thing is not what traditions we create. It isn’t even keeping those traditions precisely the same from year to year. In fact, doing so is often impossible as we get older or the world around us changes. Instead, the sentiments behind the traditions count the most. Gathering frequently, enjoying spending time together, and remembering the past are common sentiment threads that run through a lot of family or friend group traditions. Whenever we can create lasting positive memories with loved ones, we’re definitely participating in traditions worth carrying on, even if they have to be adapted a bit as time passes.

#nabilakhashoggi #khashoggi #lifestyle #explore #habits #nabilaK #spartanandthegreenegg

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Self-Care: How To Relax While Staying Informed

On the Subject of Self-Care

“Pour Yourself a Drink, Put on Some Lipstick and Pull Yourself Together.”

-Elizabeth Taylor

Now, more than ever, it’s essential to stay informed of what’s happening in the world but, let’s be honest, how often do you find yourself “doom scrolling?” More than is healthy, I’m sure! Sometimes it’s essential to turn off the news and our phones and take a deep breath. This is critically important when it comes to self-care. Not only is self-care good for our own overall health but for those around us as well.

So, how can we remain aware while also taking a break, however brief, from the 24-hour news cycle? Here are a few ideas:

  • Take a long hot soak in the tub: There’s nothing better than a luxurious bath. Hydrotherapy has been proven to calm one’s nerves, so don’t hesitate to lie in the bathtub until your fingers start to prune! When preparing your bath time routine, turn down the lights, take deep breaths, light a few scented candles and play some soothing, tranquil music. Don’t forget to use your favorite Nabila K bath salts, bubble bath, body scrub, and shampoo.

  • Pour yourself a fancy cocktail! There’s nothing better at the end of the day than a chilled cocktail in a pretty glass. Enjoy while reading a book, while soaking in the tub, or even both!
  • Catch up on your beauty sleep.
  • Let’s face it: we all feel better when we’re well-rested. We’re able to focus better and we’re
  • more pleasant to be around! If you have the time, a nap during the day can be the restorative fuel you need to feel refreshed and invigorated. Also, sleeping in (and without an alarm—if your schedule allows) is one of life’s great pleasures so, if you get the opportunity, take it!
  • Try to focus on the positive. Even when the world seems like an extremely hostile, frightening place, it’s vital to try and find the good (and there is an abundance of good to find if you look hard enough!). This is beneficial not only for one’s psychological and emotional health but is also for those around us (especially with children involved).
  • Help others. Whether you’re checking in on a loved one, offering emotional support, spreading awareness of injustices, volunteering your time or donating to the charity of your choice, nothing feels better than helping those less fortunate.
  • Be open about your feelings. It’s always helpful to have someone to talk to and be honest with. Even if it’s just a quick phone call, we should all be able to voice our opinions and concerns. When we are able to talk about what bothers us, we’ll realize that most people have the same fears and anxieties. When we recognize that we’re all in this together, everything seems a little less scary.

 

#nabilakhashoggi #khashoggi #lifestyle #explore #habits #nabilak #spartanandthegreenegg

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Learning From Failures

It’s not always about winning. Failures are valuable lessons too.

We have all heard popular phrases that use “winning” as an adjective. Whether it’s a “winning smile,” a “winning personality,” or “winning at life,” there’s no denying that winning is emphasized in our society. We all want to be winners at something, and rarely do we relish the thought of losing. The objective might be a scholarship, a degree, a promotion, or a sporting trophy. As humans, we love to come out on top. But is winning really everything? That’s an important question we all need to ask more often.

In my own life, I have found that failing is not always a bad thing. Our failures are how we learn and grow. Common sense and history show winning isn’t everything. The class valedictorian almost never goes on to have the most successful career among all of the graduates. To understand why we can learn our most valuable lessons from failures, we first have to look a bit more at winning.

Society Loves a Winner
It’s hard not to take notice of how winners are treated in society. Usually there is a hierarchy, or a goal, multiple competitors are trying to reach. Sporting events are far from the only example. As humans, we all seem to compete all the time. It is our nature. As children and teens, we compete for popularity, as well as grades and accolades in school. As adults, we compete for jobs and promotions. Competing to have the best-looking home or the most material objects is common for some of us.

I have felt this and so have you: There’s an immediate mental boost that comes from achieving a goal. It’s part of why we feel good about things like earning a college degree or completing a self-defense course or just crossing an item off our to-do lists. There is a long-term high that comes from considering ourselves winners at life. We all want to be looked at positively while we are still here, and remembered in a positive light after we are gone. So it’s no wonder we place such a high value on winning. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we also need to remember that failing at something is not always bad. Often, our failures teach us some of the best life lessons.

But Obsessing Over Winning is Never Good
Of course, it is nice to win things or to rank highest among our peers. Some of us are able to bask in an occasional win without letting it go to our heads. In such cases, winning is absolutely a positive experience. However, for some of us, winning can turn into a negative obsession. As a society, our obsession with competition has led to more emphasis on winning than is sometimes healthy. An athlete who comes in second place did a phenomenal job, but the second-place finisher is often quickly forgotten. But in many ways that second-place finisher, or even an athlete who finishes dead last, is better off than the winner. That is because failure often leads to more future success.

Much Can Be Gained from Failure

When we fail, it can feel like the world is watching us and viewing us negatively. But, if we accept our failures, in the long run much can be gained from them. What we gain depends on the individual case, but here are some examples:

  • Learning the importance of character traits like humility and integrity
  • Using feedback to change poor habits and create later successes for ourselves
  • Inspiring others to greatness with our own failures

We can use failure as a motivational tool. Often, failure is like staring at an incomplete jigsaw puzzle. It makes us want to find the missing pieces to finally finish what we started. So we work harder and improve upon our skills. That can push us toward improved school grades, better social relationships, or performance at work. It can lead us in entirely new directions that wind up making us more well-rounded members of society.

Personally, I have found that, while failures can lead us to great successes if we learn from our mistakes, too often success can lead to complacency.

Famous Failures Turned Into Successes
Failure can lead to greatness. The paths we take after a failure may not be planned, but that doesn’t mean they are bad or wrong. In fact, many famous people had major failures before they achieved success. Without their willingness to forge ahead and learn from their failures, our world would be quite different today. The light bulb is a prime example. Thomas Edison said it took him ten thousand tries to create a light bulb that worked. Some other famous individuals who learned from failures were:

  • Walt Disney – He got fired from a job for his supposed lack of imagination when he was young.
  • Jerry Greenfield (Co-Founder of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream) – He applied to medical school but was rejected.
  • Oprah Winfrey – She was told she wasn’t fit to be on television.

How to Use Our Failures to Grow
Failure is only bad if nothing is gained from it. That is why, when we fail, we must always use the lessons learned to grow, improve, and adapt. One way to do that is by keeping an open mind. Another is by not obsessing about winning. The more we recognize the importance of failure, the faster our failures can lead us to successes.

 

#nabilakhashoggi #khashoggi #lifestyle #explore #habits #nabilaK #spartanandthegreenegg

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Using Manners

The Importance of Good Manners
We all learn from a young age that good manners are important. Simple things like saying “please” and “thank you” become second nature to most of us as we grow up. The Golden Rule and other similar behaviors are drilled into our heads both at school and at home. What doesn’t always make sense is exactly why manners are important. There are situations where certain words or actions are just expected. Growing up, Nanny drummed into us our manners…that it was important to respect one’s elders, look people in the eye when talking to them, keep our elbows off the dinner table… and so many others. However, we never necessarily understood why until we got older. We go through the motions, but what benefits do those motions actually provide?


I was very thankful for my first bike.
In 2020, good manners for kids, and especially adults, have never been more important. The COVID-19 virus crisis is causing continued stress for everyone. That crisis makes it easy for all of us to forget sometimes how a kind word or action can completely change the atmosphere of a situation. Even when there is no crisis, many standard situations can quickly go awry when we don’t use good manners and common courtesy. So, what makes good manners so important?
Good Manners are Socially Necessary
None of us are likely to intentionally surround ourselves with rude people. There is a reason for that. As humans, we are social creatures. We crave positive interactions with friends, family members, and even total strangers. Social cues are all around us, whether they are positive or negative. We all learn how to use them, as well as interpret them. Human beings also have certain ingrained chemical responses to them. For example, science has proven that the use of bad manners triggers pain receptors in the brains of people on the receiving end of rude actions or words. None of us wants to be in pain, so that is all the more reason to avoid inflicting unnecessary pain on those around us. You do this by using good manners as much as possible. Good manners are socially necessary to make day-to-day activities easier in all sorts of environments, including:

  • Home
  • School
  • Work
  • Dates
  • Job Interviews
  • Dealing Effectively with Tenants or Landlords
  • Getting Along with Neighbors

Good Manners are Social Building Blocks for Kids
Our kids are born as clean slates. They don’t know how to be intentionally rude. Children also don’t know how to be intentionally nice. Yet, even before they can talk, our kids can learn behaviors. For example, they can learn that smiling is a positive thing. As they grow, they expand on those concepts, such as when they first learn to share their toys.
Kids are constantly learning from the world around them. They are like sponges, which is often the problem. Kids can learn what we intentionally teach them, but they also keep learning, even when we don’t want them to. That makes practicing good manners as adults as important as teaching them to our kids. Poor habits learned early are all the more difficult to break, whether they are intentionally taught or not. They can negatively affect our children in social situations for years. The use of bad manners can even seep into their adult lives.
Using Good Manners Because “You Never Know”
We have all heard the saying “you never know,” and it applies to the use of good manners in multiple ways. For instance, there is no way to know what kind of day or week another person is having and what impact your words and actions will have on them. A simple thing like saying “thank you” might change their entire disposition. There is also no way to know when we might cross paths with certain people again. This is why leaving good impressions on those around us by implementing good manners is so important. If we practice good manners, it might not make the whole world a brighter place, but it could certainly make someone’s day a whole lot brighter.
So go ahead and say “please” and “thank you.” Hold the door open for someone. Acknowledge your appreciation for a kind gesture, word, or gift.
Ultimately, we are the primary beneficiaries of our own good manners.
#nabilakhashoggi #khashoggi #lifestyle #explore #habits #nabilaK #spartanandthegreenegg

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How to Discuss Coronavirus with Your Children

Discussing Coronavirus with your Child

At this point your child has heard about Coronavirus and is curious. What do we tell him or her? How much should we tell them? Most experts agree that discussing the Covid-19 virus and why precautions must be taken is important, and that telling your children nothing can be harmful. Without context, children who are witnessing the heightened concern and worry, the increased stockpiling of food, the inability to go to soccer games, dance classes, or school may become anxious, aggressive, or fearful. This can have long term implications. So how do we approach such a heavy topic, especially when the news about Coronavirus keeps changing on a daily basis? Here are a few ways, depending on the age of your child, to approach it.

The First Question to Ask

For older children, it is appropriate to ask your child if they’ve heard people talking about the coronavirus. Specifically, what have they heard? This gives you an idea of what your what they may know, and it gives you a starting point for the discussion. It also lets you know if they’ve heard the wrong information (and there is plenty of it out there.) It’s important not to force the conversation. If your child wants to spend time talking about it, fine. Otherwise, if they do not seem interested, or don’t ask many questions, that’s fine too. Some children like to think about the situation, and then may return later to discuss it with you or to ask follow up questions.

What Your Child Needs to Know MOST

To be a child is to be at the mercy of the adult world most of the time. Seeing a caregiver or adult worried or fearful makes a child afraid for their own safety. In your discussions, what your child needs to know most is that you are doing everything possible to keep everyone safe. If you are fearful and worried, save your meltdowns for behind closed doors and out of earshot of your child. When you discuss Covid-19 with them, speak calmly and honestly. When my children ask a question that I do not know the answer to, I tell them so. I take the moment as a teachable opportunity and we research the question together. A great place to get the latest up to date information is directly from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Empower Your Children

Your child wants to be part of the process, especially helping to keep the family safe. Give them an age-appropriate task, including washing hands. Older children should be encouraged to remain home as much as possible, even if your area has not enacted a shelter in place order. Impress on your older children and teens that this is a very serious illness and any of the heartless social media challenges that are currently cropping up are not only dangerous but could potentially land them in trouble with law enforcement.

When your children watch the news about the Coronavirus make sure you are there to place the stories in context for them. Listening to the death count reports are terrifying for all of us but especially so for very young children, so carefully consider your decision to allow them to watch these reports. Conversely, your older children may be getting conflicting, confusing, or outright wrong information from a variety of sources. Make sure that you check in with them often to clear up any misinformation they may have read or watched. Encourage your children to use video conferencing, SKYPE or Zoom, to check in with older relatives they may worry about. Explain that your family pet cannot catch it or transmit it.

Explain What is Being Done

Children need to know that their leaders, both in their local, state, and federal government, are working on ending the crisis. While children may not need to know all the intricate details, it is important to conclude most discussions about the coronavirus on a positive note. Share the fact that the country’s best scientists and doctors are working on a cure and that with everyone’s cooperation, it can be over shortly. While being confined may be inconvenient, it also offers you additional contact with your children, which is never a bad thing. Embrace some of the changes, speak clearly and plainly with your children, and keep the communication between you available. They may astonish you with their own insight and thoughts about the current situation. Mine certainly have, and they continue to do so.

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Seeing and Preserving Through Photography

Life is full of memorable moments — and a lot of us like to take pictures or videos of those times. Whether I have documented milestones like my two boys first steps or moments with my late father, I am so grateful to have them to look at. It’s critical to build memories that tell the story of your life so you can remember all those precious points in the years to come. And that’s where photography plays an important role in my family.

The Role of Photography in Documenting Your Life

In today’s world, we all have the power to take photos and create videos at our fingertips thanks to our smart phones. But what you might not realize when you’re taking pictures or videos is that you’re building a vast treasure trove of memories — not only for yourself, but also for your family.

According to Psychology Today, reviewing family photographs and videos can serve as a framework that facilitates conversations about the past with your kids. For example, you can show them photos of a grandparent who has passed away or share images of the home you

lived in when you were young. This gives your memories of the past a boost — plus, it can strengthen your relationship with your kids. And of course, seeing old pictures of loved ones who have passed away can bring you great solace.

That’s also why it’s just as important to take photos now that you can look at in the years to come. Just imagine how easy it will be to recall all the good times you had when you were in college, or all the precious moments you enjoyed when your children were growing up. Or how about the fun times you had on your vacations?

Gretchen Rubin writing for HuffPost advises that photos and videos of your everyday life can act as a diary. It might not be so interesting for somebody else, but for you, it can be a wonderful thing to document the little things that bring you joy in your day — whether it’s your dog frolicking in the park or a cappuccino at your favorite coffee shop.

At the same time, you can also use photography to document your hobbies. For example, if you enjoy baking, you can collect images of baked goods on Pinterest and add photographs of your own creations. Or if you’re an avid runner, you can take photographs of the races you’ve run or make videos of when you cross the finish line.

Creating Authentic Images

One of the most important things to remember about seeing and preserving through photography is that you don’t always have to look perfect in every image. We’re all unique, and although we’re inundated by images of celebrities and influencers, it’s critical to find the beauty in your own life. So, to make sure your images and videos are as authentic as they can be, try to really connect with the people and environment around you — instead of focusing solely on the camera — when you’re taking pictures.

 

Tips for Organizing Your Photos and Videos

Of course, taking lots of photos and videos is no use if you don’t know how to find the ones you want to see. Keep the following tips in mind.

  • Digitize analog images. If you have a collection of old printed photos stored away somewhere, it’s best to digitize them before they deteriorate. Lifewire advises scanning them to your computer, or simply taking photographs of them with your phone or tablet.
  • Save your photos and videos to the cloud. If you have all of your photos on your phone, tablet or computer, they’re vulnerable to hardware glitches. That means you could lose them all in a split second. To avoid this, upload your images and video files to the cloud. Once that’s done, you can either keep the originals on your device so you have two copies — or you can delete them to free up memory.
  • Make your images searchable. Now you have a cloud backup of your photos and videos, it’s time to make sure you can find them when you want to. You can do this by adding specific tags in each file’s metadata, as USA Today reports. For example, for photos of vacations, you can add something like “Paris, 2020.” Then later, when you want to see them again, all you have to do is type in that key phrase.

Remember to Be in the Moment

Regardless of the power of photos and videos to create memories, it’s also important to be in the moment. So instead of always seeing everything through a lens, take some time every now and then to simply focus on your loved ones and the world around you. Because doing so opens the door for more spontaneity — and that in itself can lead to even more memorable moments.

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