Friendship – Making your guests feel welcome!!

I recently was able to have a lovely weekend away house sitting and dog walking for some great friends Jason and Sarah at a wedding.  Originally I thought I was helping them, but it turned out that I was the one receiving all the love!!  I arrived to what felt like walking into a 5 star hotel, but it was their home with an extra bonus of a super fun dog, Sammy, who you can’t help but fall in love with, for company!!

The house was honestly immaculately clean and so welcoming after finishing the late night shift at work, one of those nights  where you want to drop your bags and blob!!

Their place is one of my favourite home away from home houses.  It’s so warm and inviting and they always have some fun new creative projects displayed that they have been working on to admire and be inspired by!  Sarah had written lots of fun Post-it notes all around the house, (was actually fun walking through all the rooms finding them and reading them! haha) She had a bag of cute gourmet mini Easter eggs laid on my freshly made up queen size bed with linens….luxury!! You can never go wrong with chocolate right!! They didn’t last long while watching TV!!

One of my favourite things though were the Bath & Bodyworks moisturisers and shower gels on the beside table.  I’m not joking…there were 6 options available to choose from and I was allowed to have 2 bottles!  I was wowed!!  If you haven’t tried this brand before you are going to want to! Seriously though after smelling it, you almost want to eat yourself it’s that good!!  (You have to order it from Canada or USA or just have amazing friends like I do, who are incredibly generous and have connections).  I highly recommend the Warm Vanilla Sugar and the Coconut & Lime Verbena flavours (oops…I mean scents) :)!

Jason and Sarah and Sammy, you rock!  Love and appreciate you guys heaps!

So, if you have family or friends coming to stay as guest in your place over the Easter break or other holiday seasons then hopefully some of these ideas will inspire you to make them feel even more special. I know I appreciate it so much!!!

Kirstie – Fit 4 Life Staff

Friendship – 21 Ways How to be a Good Friend

My Mum (Sue) spent her life loving and giving sacrificially into people lives, young and old, singles and couples.  One piece of advice she told me was to invest time loving into people around you, new ones and old ones, over time making life time friends, ones you can trust and lean on come what may.  You never know when you will be in a position where you need a friend to be there for you.

My family moved up and down the country and so it was basically forced on me as a child growing up to make new friends all the time.  I quickly learnt that the way to have friends is to be a friend. That all friendships are a priceless gift to be thankful for everyday!  So to make the most of my life, it became my daily goal to take the time to express encouragement and love to at least one person each day.  It doesn’t need to take long or be expensive to let someone know they are special and loved.

Below are a few tips on how to be a good friend.  Some of these ideas will depend on the type of person they are but over time you will learn what your friends respond to more and what they don’t appreciate as much.

21 ways how can you be a good friend:

  • Have a listening ear and genuinely show interest and try to understand their perspective and what they are sharing
  • Cry and laugh with them. Compassion and a good sense of humour go a long way!!
  • Show affection…give a hug or a high-five!
  • Fight for your friends.  Don’t be afraid to stand up for them and show that you believe in them.  Being a good friend means you respect and love them enough to fight for them!
  • Send flowers to brighten up their day
  • Practically serve them eg. Do their housework, wash their car etc
  • Bake for them or have them over for a meal/coffee.  Or shout them out for a coffee.
  • Participate in a hobby/interest they have
  • Celebrate and be there for the good and the bad eg. Graduations, occasions like weddings and funerals, anniversaries, surgeries etc.  Be genuinely happy and sad for them.  Allow them to be there for you too
  • Give a gift/voucher…this could be done anonymously. Don’t keep score on who gives what
  • Send a fun encouraging txt
  • Pray for them.  Sometimes things are out of your control to help and love a friend but with the power of God…all things are possible
  • Baby-sit the children so the parents can have some fun time out together
  • Be honest no matter what its about.  This will make you a trustworthy friend
  • Give a head, back or foot massage…(if its appropriate of course…if not vouchers for massages are always welcome and loved!)
  • Go for a walk/run in the outdoors.  Great way to enjoy creation and spend quality time together sharing in each others lives
  • Avoid judging them and be quick to forgive!
  • Pick up the phone and call them.  This doesn’t have to be a long conversation.  It’s the little chats about daily life that count over time
  • Be willing to help them out eg. Help with a project they are doing.
  • Write an encouraging or thankful card/note/short or long email.
  • Initiate doing a fun activity or experience together eg. Go to a concert, bike ride, road trips.  It doesn’t have to be expensive!

So I encourage you to be intentional and plan to do one of these things to love and build into a new or old friend and make some fun memories!!  Remember to be selfless and sacrificial, fearless and vulnerable. Try not to see them as competition or be jealous of them.  Everyone is on their own journey. You may not always know or see the impact you are having on others but I know you will enjoy the journey of loving others along the way!!  As a friend, how do you want to be remembered for?  What are you going to do today?

Kirstie – Fit 4 Life Staff

Dating by the Alphabet – Fun Ideas for Dating

Life can be hard.  Relationships can be hard.  However, life and relationships are also a beautiful gift!!  It’s a known fact that one of the best medicines in life is a good laugh!!  For me it’s important to make time for my family and friends, to build memories, have fun and a good laugh, even through the hard seasons of life.

One of my favourite relationships in my life is my amazing boyfriend, Coops!! We both lead very busy lives but we also want to prioritise our relationship with each other too.  So other than our fun spontaneous visits and hanging out with our families and groups of friends, we have a ‘date night’ once a week (or at least this is our aim…flexibility is our friend too!!)

Coops learned of this great idea for “date night” from his mentor – “Dating through A-Z!!” We took this on board in our relationship this year and it’s really helped us to be creative and make an effort for each other, showing we care for one another while having lots of fun in the process of organizing and being on the receiving end of the surprise date too.  It’s always fun to have something to look forward to!

So, what does this look like?  Well, we alternate organising the date and whoever organises the date, pays for the date.  This helps us both to be creative and it’s not overwhelming to organise all the dates!  It also helps our pockets too as we can make it as cheap or as expensive as our budget allows for each week!  It’s been fun to incorporate ideas/places that are meaningful and significant to us, letting us learn more about each other as we do life together.

A-Z Dates so far…

Awesome gourmet burgers in Albert Park (including my favourite “Avocado) and watched an amazing film…Avatar in 3D at Skycity Cinemas.

Balloon theme! Clues for each idea for the date were inside the balloon and had to be worked out in order to move onto the next part of the evening.  Lots of encouraging B words were put inside a bundle of balloons    too and the other person had to put together the paragraph! (This turned out to be harder than I thought!! So Baking and B treats were given to make up for this. (There always seems to be a chocolate bar for every letter of the alphabet.) Bike riding around the Beaches from Okahu Bay to St Helliers Bay and up Bastion Point followed with dinner at my favourite Bar and Bistro  – “Reservoir” . We finished off with Banoffie Pie and a movie.

Candlelight dinner followed by experiencing the amazing “Chocolate Boutique” store in Parnell.  We went “caminando” (a Spanish word meaning ‘to walk’). Coops lived in Argentina and speaks Spanish fluently so Spanish is often added into the vocab of our relationship! After all that Chocolate we went up North Head in Devonport and ended up relaxing back home on the couch watching a complete dud of a movie, so we found the good old Cosby show and had some good laughs!!!!

Dominos pizza and hitting it out at the Driving Range ending with a walk down in the Domain (having very interesting talks) and delicious Dunkin Donuts for Dessert!!

Eggs Benedict cooked by my personal handsome chef Coops, and thanks to the flexibility of my man he put aside other ‘E’ plans to help me study for my Personal Trainer EXAM!!!

Fondue at ‘Fit4Life!’ (This is cooking fish, chicken, steak and vegetables in oil).  We were given Flowers from some lovely friends/cousins to enjoy for our table setting!  Later we watched a Film snacking on Frozen yoghurt and Fingers (choc) for a treat!

You may like to try this idea in a different way.  For example, try it from Z-A or spell out a special word/phrase that’s meaningful to you both or use your names/surnames, Initials…the list is endless!!  Also this idea doesn’t have to be exclusive to dating relationships, it’s something you could do with your husband/wife, daughter/son, niece/nephew, granddaughter/grandson and even just with your best mate to have some fun and build great memories together enriching your friendships and life!

So my encouragement to you is to have FUN with it!!!