The PR Fix for the Everyday Person

I've been through two hurricanes in my lifetime.  The most recent was Hurricane Iniki, which was a category 4 storm that devastated our island of Kauai, Hawaii in 1992.  Every year when hurricane season starts in June with the arrival of El Nino or La Nina seasons, we are reminded by media, utility companies, and government entities to prepare hurricane survival kits and become familiar with procedures in the case that this type of natural disaster occurs.  What my family has learned through our hurricane experiences is that in addition to those things, creating a Family Hurricane Plan is a critical component to preparedness. A Family Hurricane Plan allows for family members to consider and discuss where they will be and what they will need to do in this type of situation.  It also puts a system in place for how you will contact each other after the storm.  One of the most stressful parts of the aftermath of a hurricane is not being able to contact loved ones to either check to see if they're okay or to let them know how you are doing.  The Family Hurricane Plan is poised to make things in this type of difficult event as orderly as possible. My family's hurricane plan encompasses more than 30 individuals spanning five generations. There is no limit to how many individuals can be involved in one plan, and when I say "family" I don't mean that you have to be blood related to be included in a Family Hurricane Plan. Any group of friends or neighbors that care for each other can develop a plan together. 
Warthog_06-13There is always a way to graciously address any situation, no matter how uncomfortable. Plain and simple: ignoring the truth or being phony feeds into the discomfort of the most awkward situations and makes them worse.
CandlesThis may seem elementary, but it isn’t. The truth gets cloudy sometimes, and that’s what gets us in trouble. Most of us don’t intentionally lie or exaggerate the truth to hurt anyone. In fact, many of us get caught up in an occasional white lie or embellishment to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. You know what we mean. “I’m so sorry, I can’t attend your son’s play because I have another appointment at that time,” (even though you don’t).  In today’s modern world, we’ve become too accustomed to seeing media, paparazzi, and advertising exaggerate the truth.  Embellishment has almost become the norm, and we’ve become desensitized to it. What’s so wrong with a white lie to preserve a friend’s feelings? Well, first off, what would happen if they found out that you fibbed? How would they feel then? And what would your friend feel about you?  Besides that consequence, the fact is, when you tell a lie, your intentions are to deceive, and deception is never the right thing.  It’s just not good for the soul.
Families are busier now more than ever before.  As a mommy, my brain is overloaded with dates, times and logistics of my family's sports schedules,  school schedules, dentist appointments, birthday parties, and so on.  The list goes on and on and on.  It's impossible to keep track of everyone and everything without a little help.  Our family uses one electronic calendar to keep activities and appointments in order.  We find that it saves time, effort and importantly, our sanity. While wall calendars or bulletin board calendars can work well for a family calendar, I highly recommend using an electronic calendar, or e-calendar.  You can use the calendars built into your computer or phone or use a web based calendar, such as Google Calendar.  I find e-calendars are superior to physical calendars because:
IMG_1418I'm always looking for yummy, healthier dessert options for my family.  Chia seed pudding topped  with fruit is one of the easiest homemade desserts that my family loves to eat.  Not only is it tasty and refreshing, but the chia seeds offer a power-packed dose of fiber, omega-3s, antioxidants, protein and calcium.  Truth-be-told, I often make chia seed pudding the night before my son has a big test at school to get those omega 3s in his system and boosting his brain power (I like to think it helps).  
IMG_6708Have you ever been frustrated with your spouse because they forgot to do something that you asked them to do or been accused by your children that "you didn't tell me" about something that they missed out on (even though you told them five times)?  Does the following sound familiar? "You didn't tell me I needed to wear shoes!" or "You didn't tell me that today was Grandma's birthday!"  We've found that the majority of strife within families is attributed to miscommunication or no communication.  While the above examples are minor problems that can occur in families, ongoing miscommunication can lead to more serious issues, such as feelings of neglect and disconnect.  In these cases, family members may seek people outside of the family to fulfill their primary sense of care and understanding.   Strong families want care, understanding, respect and love to start within their unit.
3.10 131We've all had instances of things not going our way from mix-ups with a retail outlet, an incorrect credit card charge, poor service from a utility, etc.  Whatever it may be, we suggest that you work toward a solution in writing.  Written communication allows you to have a paper trail of your account so that you can refer back to it if necessary.  When writing to someone to express dissatisfaction, use this format: