Not-so-black Friday | The Day After Thanksgiving

Not-so-black Friday | The Day After Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Black Friday quoteIt’s funny how during Thanksgiving we’re thankful for what we already have, but then we practically trample each other for stuff we don’t have on Black  Friday. – Unknown

I know that Black Friday got its name because it is the day many retailers go from being “in the red” to “being in the black.” I know black can be sophisticated, timeless, and chic. But for me, the day after Thanksgiving is less about black and more about…well, orange.

Much as I love my family and the Thanksgiving get-togethers, I treasure the day after. For me, it’s a day to catch up with girlfriends, find out how my “chosen family” is, and appreciate the wonderful women in my life that share their friendship every day of the year.  The day after Thanksgiving is a time for shopping (or enjoying the quiet of not shopping), for relaxing without the pressure to have the Pilgrim-perfect day, for enjoying leftovers. It’s a day for going to the gym, seeing a movie with friends, and eating leftovers. It’s a day of indulgence in things around the house, getting to projects I’ve put off for too long, and eating leftovers.

I am grateful for so many things: health, friendship, family…the list is so long. One day is not nearly enough time for all this gratitude. So I carry it to the day after Thanksgiving.

Also, I really love leftovers.

What are you thankful for on this day after Thanksgiving? Will you join me in being grateful for girlfriends and take a few minutes for orange Friday?

More Thanksgiving inspiration:

 

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Pumpkin Muffins Recipe | A Thanksgiving Tradition

Pumpkin Muffins Recipe | A Thanksgiving Tradition

friendship thanksgivingWhat are your Thanksgiving Traditions girlfriends?

Feasting with family and friends? Are you carbo-loading for Black Friday shopping? Relaxing at home (in parisian pajamas)?

Our fave friend, JUDI COGEN, shares her Thanksgiving Tradition – making this Pumpkin Muffins Recipe!

I have never been accused of being the world’s greatest chef. I have never actually set the house on fire, but I have caused the smoke detector to go off more times than I care to admit.

There are a few recipes I manage to produce consistently and flawlessly. Some of these have turned into family traditions.

One family favorite is mini pumpkin muffins. This is a recipe my mom discovered someplace. It has the advantages of

  • Being simple (even I don’t get confused)
  • Having just a few ingredients (shopping is a breeze)
  • Yielding zillions (which is good because everyone eats them even before they’re cool)
  • Tasting fabulous (need I say more?)

Because the recipe makes so many, there are plenty to serve the family with enough left over to make little packages of Thanksgiving muffin hugs for my girlfriends. Sometimes I wrap muffins in a piece of fun fabric and tie with a ribbon. Sometimes I place them in bright paper bags to deliver them. OK, fine. Both of those happen in my Martha Stewart fantasy world. Usually, how I deliver them is far less important than the fact they are delivered.

I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Mini Pumpkin Muffins Recipe

1 can (30 oz) Pumpkin Pie Mix (you know, the stuff in the orange can that lines grocery store shelves this time of year)

2 packages (17 oz) Nut Bread Mix (personally, I prefer making it with Date Bread mix because I don’t like nuts in my muffins. I’ve also used pumpkin bread mix in a pinch.)

1 egg, beaten

1 Cup raisins

Mix everything together (don’t you love how simple this is? Definitely my kind of recipe.)

Put batter in greased muffin tins (you can use regular sized muffin tins but then they won’t be mini muffins. I always use mini muffin tins).

NOTE: Yes, the muffin tins really need to be greased. Not just before you start baking but before you refill the tins. And yes, they still need to be greased if you use the silicon type.

Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (use a heavy hand).

Bake at 400° for 8 to 12 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the muffins you’re making and the cooperative nature of your oven.

Remove from muffin tins (I generally use a spoon to help ‘scoop’ them out if they are sticking).

Find someone else to clean the muffin tins, and try not to eat them all at once.

Enjoy!

thanksgiving recipe for friendshipHappy Thanksgiving everyone!

Judi is the Chief of Pumpkin Muffins at Girlfriendology.com. She can currently be found snarfing muffins and trying not to burn dinner.

And here’s our Thanksgiving Recipe for Friendship!

More girlfriend inspiration on Thanksgiving: (check these out for great Thanksgiving quotes and videos to share!)

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Library Love Notes | Gather a Few Girlfriends and Spread Love!

Library Love Notes | Gather a Few Girlfriends and Spread Love!

playground artist guru love letters, prayer All that you hold in your heart, all that you wish and dream and long for, it is all beautiful. I believe in you.

Rachel Awes

Unexpected surprises. Random acts of kindness. Things that brighten someone’s day.

All wonderful blessings. Especially when you needed just that. Girlfriend Guru (and fabulous artist) RACHEL AWES and her friends shared this surprise blessing with book lovers in their home town. (Maybe you and your friends could do something like this …)

I recently gathered a few girlfriends and met at our local library. We came armed with various sizes of paper and lots of different colors of crayons and markers and scissors. With our secret mission in mind, we huddled together in the back and began writing our love on to little notes to place in books. Once ready, we found various books and left our anonymous girlfriend love mark. It was fun to choose which book. My favorite was leaving one in Judy Blume’s book “Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret”. Then we hugged good-bye and went on with the rest of our day.

This was both a joyful and meaningful way to be with girlfriends! Spreading love, like sending out notes in a bottle to an ocean. The big blue awaiting our hearts.

If you might ever do this, there are so many things you could put on paper! Here are just a few ideas:library notes, girlfriend get together

  • You Are Beautiful
  • You Are Loved
  • Your Life Has Deep Purpose
  • Your Dreams Matter
  • (A longer note): Dear Reader, All that you hold in your heart, all that you wish and dream and long for, it is all beautiful. I believe in you. Take that next step. Even if a little one. Anything of depth is made of little steps. That’s how we swim into an ocean. Harps and guitars play for you. Your heart beat plays for you. I am so glad you are here. Peace and love always to you.smiley faces, sharing friendship

Or maybe you’d prefer to meet your girlfriends at a bookstore and do this. Or a coffee shop. A magazine rack at the grocery store or Target or the place of anywhere.

Pretty soon, maybe we’ll find that we and our girlfriends can spread our love to the whole get klonopin online wide world.

RACHEL AWES is a psychologist, art playgroundist, writer, wife, mother & friend, who loves listening to the beauty in people. You can see more of her art or her artistic thoughts on Pinterest. You can also read more of her work on her blog

What are your tips for sharing joy, girlfriend?friendship,girlfriends

And check out Rachel’s other FABULOUS blogs(and her gorgeous art):

Girlfriendology believe in you, rachel awes, friendship quote

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Helping a Girlfriend Deal with a Terminal Illness

Helping a Girlfriend Deal with a Terminal Illness

How to be a Friend to a Girlfriend with a Terminal Illness

Learning that a girlfriend has a terminal disease can be a devastating experience. In this beautiful and insightful blog, Kathlene Mullens shares her experience and tips for dealing with an ill friend.

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  And boy, am I aware.  The issue of which I am aware, though, is of a girlfriend with a terminal illness that is not cancer.  Which disease she has is not important but nobody wants to hear that a loved one has a condition you’ve only heard of on House.  Her prognosis is sketchy beyond being horrible—nobody can tell her an expected timeframe for what “terminal” means for her.  But she cannot have kids.  Her mental and physical health will deteriorate in ways that are painful for her and for me to observe and contemplate.  In all likelihood, I will attend my friend’s funeral.

What do you do when a girlfriend comes to you with this news?  The answer is different for every girlfriend and every situation.  I can only share, with honesty and humility, how my girlfriend and I have handled it, and continue to handle it.

Know the stages of grief.  My favorite explanation is a cartoon giraffe in quicksand that illustrates the whole grieving process, which can take years, in under two minutes.  You’ll need to know the stages of grief to better understand your girlfriend, but also yourself.  As the girlfriend of someone with a terminal illness, you’ll have your own grief to which you must attend. Comprehension of the stages and their absolute normalcy will help you both.

Research. Knowledge is power, as our Schoolhouse Rock days taught us. As your girlfriend goes through her illness and decisions around it, you’ll be a more valuable friend if you know about the disease/condition, its prognosis and treatments, and ways loved ones can help.

Be realistic. In an effort to be supportive and positive, most people will adopt a focused “you’ll whip this, slugger” attitude towards your friend that in some ways denies her an opportunity to share the realities of what may be happening.  Being diagnosed with a terminal illness should color some of your life’s decisions and realities. There are challenges and issues that must be addressed. Refusing to acknowledge these is no help to your friend and will inhibit her in being able to confront her fears and disappointments and to take care of business that needs to be buttoned up.

Having said that, be supportive of treatments.  If my friend wanted to go to a faith healer tomorrow, I’d load up and go with her.  I am supportive of mainstream and alternative treatments that she wishes to try and talk over many of them with her, and have done enough research on her condition to be able to provide some intelligent feedback.  I believe in miracles.  My mantra is to hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

Accommodate the changes she’s going through to make life as “normal” as possible.  My friend, for example, has more trouble getting around and driving. When possible, we walk on pavement instead of hiking trails.  I drive a lot more than I used to when we are together—and more than half the time.  These are small tweaks that allow us to maintain the normalcy that we’ve enjoyed for so long.

Help her plan. Legal documents like wills, living wills, and other directives, funeral arrangements, care plans, and anything else that she needs your advice on—help her work through these.

Be honest about your emotions. She’s your friend—she needs to know how you’re doing with all of this and that you care about her. You will cry with her and for her.  This is okay.  It’s part of loving someone.

Don’t act like she has an “expiration date.” We don’t know when my friend is going to die.  We don’t know for sure that I won’t go first through some twist of fate. But we are not spending our waning days of life together in mourning.  More than ever, life and health is a precious resource not to be wasted. But we still make plans and talk about the future as if it will happen because, as far as we know, she’ll be around for a while.

Be prepared for Beaches to tear you up ever more than it used to.  The reason that movie is so powerful is how honestly it deals with friendship and death.

Laugh as much as possible. Find the humor and bright sides where you can and help her see them as well.  CC and Hillary showed us how in Beaches.

Should you find yourself in the unfortunate role of girlfriend to a girlfriend with a terminal illness, hopefully these tips help you both.  Remember, though—this is what’s worked for us.  Every friendship and every illness and every woman is unique—be honest, act in love, acquire knowledge, have hope and be pragmatic. The rest will work itself out. Peace be with you both.travel advice girlfriends terminal illness

KATHLENE MULLENS, MLHR, SPHR is the founder and CEO of Female Equality MattersTM, The “No Glass Ceiling” Certification/Brand©. With over a decade of HR experience in four Fortune 100 companies, as well as a master’s and senior certification in the discipline, Kathlene is using that expertise in diversity, recruiting, line HR, employee development, and technology to help leverage the power of consumer spending to yield more women, with more equitable pay, in the C-suite and board rooms. Check out Kathleen on Facebook and Twitter.

What other situations between friends are difficult? Let’s share our girlfriend advice for those. Thanks! & THANKS Kathlene!

As Kathlene mentioned – October is International Breast Cancer Awareness month. Here’s inspiration you don’t want to miss:

More girlfriend advice for tough situations …

That’s why we’re here – to inspire you to BE A BETTER FRIEND – even, and especially, when life hands you or a girlfriend tough situations.

COMFORTING GIFTS FOR FRIENDS: HEALING BASKETS provides gifts to comfort and support the broken hearted. From sympathy, and loss to cancer, get well, divorce and caregiving. These gifts encourage, comfort and inspire.

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Losing Your Best Friend – The Unthinkable loss of Friendship

Losing Your Best Friend – The Unthinkable loss of Friendship

Girlfriendology it is a good thing, friendship quoteThere are some friendship topics that are easy to think about, talk about, write about. And then there are friendship topics that are much more difficult.

Guest blogger DR. KAREN GAIL LEWIS helps us address one of the most difficult–losing a friend.

Best friends are so vital to our lives, yet we rarely talk about what it’s like when we lose them. We can lose them through death, but also through what I refer to as divorce. Divorce is when a good friend just drops you, a permanent falling out.

Losing a lover through death or divorce fits within our society’s understanding of loss and grief. But, unfortunately, we have no recognized guidelines for losing friends—the people who may outlive relationships with spouses and lovers.

“Linda and I have always had a long distance relationship,” explains Carla. “We talk at least once a week, sometimes more often. She’s on the West Coast and I’m here in Cincinnati, so we are always working on the time change. It takes some effort, but we’ve been doing this for the 11 years since she moved to Seattle. We make a point of getting together three or four times a year. I love my husband, but loving Linda is a different kind of love.

“She was the first person I called when Terry asked me to marry him, even before I called my mom and sister. Whenever he and I are at odds, she is always there to listen to me vent about Terry, to help me see the situation more realistically, and to walk me through the mess with him.

“We used to joke what would we do without each other.”

Carla’s voice breaks. She takes a deep breath as if gulping in the air would ease her pain. “I guess I’m finding out. Six months ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a quick decline. She was dead within three months.

“What makes me so mad is that if it were Terry who had died, I’d get time off from work; my friends would be calling on me, offering me sympathy. But Linda is ‘just a friend.’ Baloney. She’s my best friend, my soul, my stabilizer, my special another half, in a way Terry – as much as I love him – can’t be. But she’s just my friend, so life expects me to carry on.”

We live in a world with rigid ideas about love and affection. We have worked place rules and social etiquette rules. The inflexibility of these rules, though, ignores some realities. Carla would be able to get time off from work, or a reduced price plane ticket, for the funeral of her sister, even though they haven’t spoken in decades, but not for her best friend Linda.

In many communities, when there’s a death, friends and neighbors come with the proverbial casseroles and pies. The bereaved gets company, food, sympathy. Carla, though, did not have any of that. Most people don’t think about the depth of the loss when it is a non-family member.

“My boss did let me take the day off to go to her funeral, but he sure didn’t understand why I was so unproductive for the next few weeks. If it had been my husband, he certainly would have understood. How do I explain losing a best friend is like losing a part of myself?”

Chances are Carla’s boss has had a similar experience—because losing a best friend is so common; it’s just not often acknowledged, and the pain is rarely discussed.

The same lack of social understanding occurs when best friends have a permanent quarrel—or divorce.

“Mary just dropped me; I don’t know any other way to put it,” bemoans Laurie. “Although this was 10 years ago, I still get teary thinking about it. I have no idea why she just stopped talking to me, stopped returning my calls. We had been such good friends for years. After several months, I wrote her saying she, at least, owed me an explanation. Boy, that was a mistake. She wrote back tearing me to pieces.”

Laurie’s eyes water as she goes back a decade in her memory. “I don’t know what was worse. Hearing all the things she didn’t like about me or having no one to talk to about losing my best friend. You know, if Laurie were a Larry, everyone would understand why I moped around for months, but you don’t get sympathy for breaking up with your best friend.”

Carla and Laurie understand the power of best friends—having them and losing them. There are rituals for dealing with the death of a spouse and a family member, but there are none for the death of a best friend. People know how to respond if a friend gets divorced, but they have no idea how to respond if that friend gets divorced from a best friend – even though the pain can be just as intense and the loss just as big.

Moving the Invisible Elephant in your Life

With Barbara Baxter, ventriloquist, as we are doing a presentation at the zoo, on “Moving Your Invisible Elephant: Overcoming Obstacles in your life.” I’m the short one in the front row; my girlfriend, Barbara, is the one with the Ant (a direct descendent of the Ant who moved a Rubber Tree plant– speaking of overcoming obstacles!

There are other ways of losing a close friend. You can grow in different directions; after a marital divorce, friends may drift away, not wanting to choose sides. You can move and get so caught up in your new life, or work so much your friendships get left behind. And, too many women slip away from friends after an argument, rather than insist the friendship deserves their “fighting it out.”

No matter how you lose a best friend, it always hurts and leaves a hole in your life. The loss needs to be respected and given the same credence as the loss of any loved one.

So, if you know a friend who has had such a loss, reach out, speak up. Allow her to talk about the pain. Encourage her to share with you. You might even ask her boss to cut her some slack.

And if you are the one who has experienced the loss, don’t be shy. While there is no way to avoid the pain, there is something you can do that is a major step in healing. Talk to others about your friend; share your memories, look back over pictures, tell stories. Tell others what you need. If you don’t, they won’t know how much you hurt, regardless how the friendship ended. And, in the sharing, you may begin to forge a new friendship.

A final note: Some women are afraid to acknowledge how angry they are at their friend for leaving them. Don’t be. She may have had no control buy phentermine tablets over dying, but she has left you. Your love for her demands you be angry at her not being there for you. That is an expression of your love.Losing Your Best Friend, Girlfriend Advice

DR. KAREN GAIL LEWIS has 42 years’ experience as a family therapy, with a specialization in friendships, single women, and adult siblings. She is the author of numerous books on relationships, including Why Don’t You Understand? A Gender Relationship Dictionary. In addition, for 17 years, she has run Unique Retreats For Women – with specific retreats for single women and adult siblings. She has offices in Cincinnati and Washington, DC, and provides telephone consultations.

Thanks for the great advice, Karen!

 

[Tweet “Losing Your Best Friend – girlfriend advice from Dr. Karen”]

For more on how to be a friend when a friend is going through a Tough Situation …

That’s why we’re here – to inspire you to BE A BETTER FRIEND – even, and especially, when life hands you or a girlfriend tough situations.

COMFORTING GIFTS FOR FRIENDS: HEALING BASKETS provides gifts to comfort and support the broken hearted. From sympathy, and loss to cancer, get well, divorce and caregiving. These gifts encourage, comfort and inspire.

What other tough situations would you like us to cover on Girlfriendology? PLEASE SHARE below!

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A Gratitude Garden? Thankful for Spring and Friends | #ThankfulThurs

Gratitude-Garden-Thankful-ThursdayA garden requires patient labor & attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.

Liberty Hyde Bailey

I made a trip to the local big box home and garden store last weekend. So did about a million other people.

It would seem that everyone knew that April is National Gardening Month – no coincidence its timing in regards to spring. Where I live the daffodils are already up, the hastas are breaking through and the tulips can’t be far behind. Time to get to work.

I love perennials. Returning faithfully each year, they are the surest sign of spring I know, other than spotting the first robin in my yard. They’re always there for me. Something I can depend upon. I also love annuals; one trip – well, several – to the home and garden store and my home’s springtime wardrobe is complete.

I read somewhere that research shows that nurturing plants has a healthful benefit for us, mind, spirit and body. You can see it throughout your neighborhood, your town, your city. I’m sure the figures for the money we spend on this springtime rebirth are enormous, and in my opinion it is money well spent.

It’s no surprise that many, many literary parallels have been drawn between gardening and personal relationships. Especially in this season of rebirth and growth and blooming, it becomes an especially good time to tend to our own friendship gardens.

There are the perennials – long time, steady friends that you know will always be there, even if they are out of sight for long periods of time.

Then there are the shorter-term friendships you make through book clubs and kids events and other activities. These are the friendships that can brighten your day on a day to day basis. And while these friendship may not be as deeply rooted as those of your perennials, there is no question that they need to be nurtured and cared for as much, if not more than the long time friendships.

In any event, good friendships, like good gardens, take time and effort on your part to grow into something that you can truly enjoy. When you work at cultivating your friendships through a kind word, a helping hand (perhaps working with them in their garden) you are working toward a time when you can just sit in your garden, relax, and enjoy your surroundings.

Think of your friendships as a garden that you are solely responsible for. At some point, you planted the seeds and did the things you needed to do to make things grow. Planning and organizing is important, doing things in a timely fashion with a purpose in mind always yields a more attractive relationship both with plants and girlfriends.

Still, even the very best and visually beautiful garden may have some weeds. Weeding is simply part of the process, and that which does not make your garden healthier, more vital and more attractive should be directly addressed.

So where does the idea of “thanks” come into all of this? I’d say the easiest thanks of all would be to thank nature for each year, without fail, reminding us of the importance intending to our growth and the growth of our friendships. And thanks for having a store where we can get the plants we need already well on their way.

Sometime this week, spend a few minutes with your gratitude journal and write down the friendships you are thankful for, both old and new. Maybe describe your friends and your friendships in gardening terms. Give them nicknames like Rose, and Fern and Daisy. Remind yourself to cultivate and if necessary, pull a few weeds from your garden. It all goes toward making your friendship garden stronger and more beautiful, something that you and your girlfriends can find joy in.

So dig into your friendships. Get your hands dirty girlfriends. It will all be well worth the effort.

 

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<------- What's NEW in the Free Resource Library?

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