Sunday, October 25, 2020

E' un posto accogliente.

If you are wondering what my title of this week's post is, when translated from Italian: "It's a cozy place."

That is the definition of home and all of the blankets we have here. It is getting colder and it certainly makes winter more bearable to have lots of blankets to keep us warm and cozy.

Although we would like "accogliente" to be a word everyone knows and uses, there may be a different word you come across each winter: hygge (say: "hue-ga"). This is a Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness with feelings of wellness and contentment through enjoying the simple things in life.

It is the wonderful pumpkin treats you all are baking this season. It is warming up by the fireplace with a great book. Relaxation, comfort, indulgence are all part of feeling safe, secure, and living hygge.  


To create more hygge in your life, be like us cats - turn down the lights, close your eyes, get out your softest blanket, and nap. Eat your most indulgent treats, focus on being present in the moment, and appreciate all the small moments of your life.

Embrace hygge this week - may you find you slow-down and destress because of it.

Purr & Paw,
-Stivali. 🐾

Get into the habit of asking yourself, "Does this support the life I am trying to create?". - Author Unknown. 


Sunday, October 18, 2020

Grateful for having a cup!

Last week, we offered an acronym to help us maintain optimism - PERMA. How did you do this past week displaying happiness and maintaining a positive outlook? We hope it was a week of being grateful for having a cup instead of viewing that cup as half-full or half-empty. 😸

Since you liked the PERMA acronym so much I thought I would share another one my mamma uses to foster a positive world. We all are going through so much right now - we need to let one another vent, and maximize personal connection by caring, actively listening, and creating transparency. We all deserve to be treated fairly, and connection happens when we practice empathy. 

Listen
Acknowledge
Understand
Relate
Act

Listen to your friends and family, acknowledge the emotional impact and their feelings, understand their needs, relate to them, and take action to make things better for them.

LAURA - it is that simple. 

Putting PERMA and LAURA together could truly help all of us, don't you think? 

Grigio's Fall Portrait.😻

                                                            When all else fails, nap! 😽

Every one is unique, and empathy is an important factor in adapting to someone and their current situation. Being empathetic creates positive friendships and relationships while reducing conflict and misunderstandings. Next time you are chatting with someone who you have a difference with, try out the LAURA technique, and see if the conversation is smoother than usual for both of you! 

Have a blessed week, Readers.

Purr & Paw, 
-Stivali. 🐾

"You only have twelve notes, do what you want with them." - Eddie Van Halen. 💓

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Learning Optimism and Displaying Authentic Happiness

Our mamma knows the world is troubled right now. She seeks solace in hunkering down with us at home during this global pandemic. She is very fortunate to work-from-home and be safe during the current state of our country. She is well-aware that not everyone is able to work-from-home, she talks to us all the time about how blessed she feels, and how she is in a constant state of prayer for people unemployed or people employed who have to be in the public and work in these trying conditions.  

Throughout the years, mamma has learned optimism and is constantly displaying joy. She jokes that she was born with a joy filled heart, but her life has not been free of negativity. Can anyone really say their life hasn't had their share of troubles? 

She is often asked how she can maintain such a joyful outlook in deep times of trouble, we have heard her explain many times that it is a choice. Some days are harder than others to display authentically happiness. Being happy doesn't mean there isn't pain or negativity faced - sometimes on the daily. 

For anyone wanting to hone in on optimism and happiness, and if you are needing a book recommendation for the winter, check out Flourish by Dr Martin Seligman. 

Dr Seligman uses the acronym “PERMA” to explain the five elements essential to lasting contentment:
    • Positive Emotion - can't we all strive to own this?! 
    • Engagement - getting busy in a project, a book, helps us be engaged. 
    • Relationships - research suggests those of us in meaningful and positive relationships are happier than those who aren't. 
    • Meaning - what matters most to you? Is it a cause for your community? What gives your life meaning? 
    • Accomplishment/Achievement - consistent intention to achieve gives life significance and satisfaction. What are you striving for to be better each day of your life? 
Us cats are pretty blessed. We can easily define each of these for ourselves to ensure our positive outlook. The squirrel who visits us each day to use the window bird feeder is one thing that brought us great happiness again this week. 

May your Sunday be filled with happiness and gets your week off to a great start! 

Purr & Paw, 🐾
-Stivali.

For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Was watching scary movies on your list of things to do this October?

We welcomed fall last week and in my blog I wondered what fall activities you liked best. A lot of mamma's friends let her know that they like to watch scary movies, especially in October!

So this weekend, she found a great one for us to watch: I See You 

Have you heard of it or watched it? The ominous music creeped me out - it was so loud that it was very hard for me to nap while the movie played. Mamma said it was a tense movie, with a lot of plot twists - an entertaining psychological thriller - if you are looking for one to watch, check it out.

If you need more movie recommendations, here is a list of 31 Horror Movies to Watch in October.

Get a comfy blanket and your movie snacks ready! 😸


Today is October 04. We would be remiss to not mention that today is a special day for animals. We recognize today that St Francis, who founded the Catholic Church’s Franciscan order, died in Italy on October 4, 1226. He is remembered for his generosity to the poor and for his love for animals and nature. Because of this, he is the Catholic Church’s patron saint of animals and the environment. 

A lot of churches in the United States celebrate each year on October 04 the Feast of St Francis of Assisi. The feast commemorates his life, and it is a popular day for pets to be blessed at church. Mamma had taken me and Stray Cat multiple times to be blessed at the church. This year, we are unable to go - so we hope next year, Pasqua can experience it with me.   

Blessings to all of you on this beautiful Sunday.

Purr & Paw, 🐾
-Stivali.

October had tremendous possibility. The summer's oppressive heat was a distant memory, and the golden leaves promised a world full of beautiful adventures. They made me believe in miracles.
- Sarah Guillory.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Welcome Fall!

Tis the season to watch the leaves change and fall. Bird watching is a must for most of us, too. The sounds and scents of fall are our favourite. 

There are so many things to do in the fall, that we wish mamma would buy us a stroller so we can join her on her adventures. Are you heading to the pumpkin patch or are you going apple picking? We would like to live vicariously through all of you! We hear that corn mazes and hayrides are super fun for the kids and adults. 

Our mamma likes to bake - a lot - and this season is filled with some of her best pumpkin and apple recipes. So what better way to start the season then by sharing one with you?!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Ingredients
:
2 cups canned pumpkin puree
2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
Vanilla extract (to your preference, ma uses 1 tsp)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (add more if you like it!)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
1 to 2 cups chocolate chips (your preference - semi sweet or milk chocolate)
+you will need cooking spray. 

Prepare it! 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray two 9x5inch loaf pans with cooking spray.

Mix pumpkin puree, sugar, eggs, oil, extract, and spices together in a bowl. Add flour little by little, and mix each time until combined. Add chocolate chips into batter. Pour into the prepared loaf pans.
Bake for one hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool a bit before removing from pan and eat!


Mamma saw this on her walk yesterday, isn't that a nice thing to do for our neighbours? 

Another nice thing to do in the fall is to reflect on our life and make a list of all the people we’re thankful for. Fall is the perfect time to let people know you care, why not send handwritten notes out to the people on your list? 

Hope you enjoy the last week of September, and that your October is filled with gratitude and good food.

Purr & Paw,
-Stivali. 🐾

Ah, September! You are the doorway to the season that awakens my soul… but I must confess that I love you only because you are a prelude to my beloved October. - Peggy Toney Horton.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

The Quickness of September

We cannot believe it is already September 20th.

These few months have really gone by too quickly for us. This past week, we celebrated Pasqua's second birthday. I am surprised I have put up with him for nearly two years.

For the most part, I tolerate him. Typically, we are in the same room together, and often, he wants to play or be too close to me, that is when I get annoyed with him. A girl needs her space. 

It has been a transition for me to go from being the baby to my big brother Stray Cat, to being the big sister to little Pasqua. There is a part of me that misses cuddling with a sibling, I just haven't missed it enough to allow Pasqua in to that part of my heart or blanket. 

Also this week, on the evening of September 18, 2020 we began the 5781st Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah). This is an annual reminder of our need to pursue enhanced behaviour. In the Jewish faith, the New Year ushers in ten days of repentance - a study of our moral values, a review of our past (as a way to avoid past errors), and helps inspire us to change our behaviour. The ten days end on Yom Kippur. 

As I reflect on the study of peace-through-strength, may it encourage me to love my brother better. 

For all our Readers of Jewish faith, we wish you Shanah Tovah Umetukah!

That's not a bird, Pasqua!

Purr & Paw,
-Stiavali. 🐾

Rosh Hashanah isn’t just about being new, it’s about a change. – Max Levis.


Sunday, September 13, 2020

Pasqua's Birthday Week!

Hello Readers, 

The week that just passed was filled with much sadness for all Americans. We do not take it lightly, instead, we focus on the good we know exists in humans. Every crisis has a silver lining. One deep thinker, Michelle Dean, said, "Crisis forces commonality of purpose on one another." 

Commonality of purpose. Such a great thought. A strong sense of purpose has a powerful positive effect on our lives. When we have a sense of purpose, we know exactly what we are doing, "on purpose", making life less complicated and less stressful. When you are "on purpose" there is less space for negativity to take over our lives.

You may remember last year, we celebrated Pasqua turning one with this post: Pasqua is one!

First Month photo with First Year photo.

This year on his birthday, we are once again reminded of the bountiful joys we receive from our family and friends. We are blessed to have so much love from everyone around us. 

Outtake from Pasqua 2nd birthday photo shoot.

We are thankful for all of the things we have in life, no matter how insignificant they may seem to be. Our mamma teaches us to have an attitude of gratitude and to be optimistic. So we are always hopeful  good things will happen in our future. She says both gratitude and optimism are advantages we have that improve our outlook on life, and it is why we are such happy cats. This is our "on purpose". 

We realize humans have lots of stress, which causes havoc on health, so an attitude of gratitude and an optimistic outlook helps all of us, feline or human, to be more resilient in times of crisis or calm. 

Pasqua is 2 on September 17, 2020!

Be "on purpose" with your attitude, and may peace be with you, always.

-Stivali. 🐾

Happiness will never elude you if you begin each day appreciating the countless priceless gifts that life has blessed you with. - Author Unknown.