8 Free Gifts You Can Give To Anyone, Anytime of the Year.

chistmas bow

As the Christmas season heavily gets underway, and while we all rush to get that awesome gift for the special people in our lives, I wanted to share a few gifts that we all should remember to give each day of the year. These gifts are all free and won’t cost you a dime out of pocket. The only thing these gifts require is a heart.

So, just in case you don’t have the money to spread a lot of Christmas cheer. I’m sure these next 8 gifts will fit the bill for their cost is far more precious than anything you can buy out of a store, as a matter of fact their all PRICELESS!

Check below and see which one you would like to give to someone this month, next month or years to come for all of these gifts can be used every single day.

 

 

gift boxes

#1. THE GIFT OF LISTENING:
But you must REALLY listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response, just listening.

 #2. THE GIFT OF AFFECTION:
Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family,friends, spouses or etc.

 #3. THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER . . .
Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you.” Laughter is the best medicine, it heals in ways you can only imagine.

#4. THE GIFT OF A WRITTEN NOTE:
It can be a simple “Thanks for the help” note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life. While buying a card is nice, actually making one or writing a note is better. It let’s the person know that you actually took out time to care.

#5. THE GIFT OF A COMPLIMENT:  A simple and sincere, “You look great in red,” “You did a super job” or “That was a wonderful meal” can make someone’s day. The smallest of words hold the most value. 

#6. THE GIFT OF A FAVOR:
Every day, go out of your way to do something kind for someone else outside of yourself.

#7. THE GIFT OF SOLITUDE:
There are times when we want nothing better, than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.

#8. THE GIFT OF A CHEERFUL DISPOSITION:
The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone, really it’s not that hard to say, Hello or Thank You or How are you doing today?, sometimes people just need a smile or happy face to let them know, it’s going to be okay.

Well that’s it, sometimes the smallest things/gestures are the ones that are never forgotten, people will lose a gift or even forget what was given to them but making someone’s day; is a feeling that will last a lifetime……Because (see below)

Christmas 7

 

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud, Inspire More & Love Harder!

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EnSpired: Hey Beautiful, Hey Handsome – Can I take Your Picture?

photo above courtesy of triplepeasphotography.blogspot.com

Okay, so call me a little cheesy but this story or experiment, I should say – brought tears to my eyes but it usually don’t take much to make me cry; I cry when I see stories of military men and women being re-united with their families or the expression people have when they get a puppy as a gift……yes, there really is such a video; honestly….as Kevin Hart said “I can’t make it up” it was circulating around Facebook about 2 weeks ago, I clicked the video and about 2 minutes in, there went the water works…lol. I just love seeing good things happen for people, it does something to me – so, while I try to get some help for my water works problem – let me explain what’s going on in the two videos below.

A high school student by the name of Shea Glover conducted a social experiment at  school in where she convinced the teachers there to let her take pictures of random students as a project, her experiment which I called “Project Beautiful” involved her taking pictures of students; in which according to the video; some she knew and others she didn’t. Before Shay snapped their picture, she revealed to them that she wanted to take a picture of things she found beautiful and Oh My Gosh, the look on some of their faces were priceless. It really made me think about the power of our words and how a simple word such as “Beautiful” can have a major impact on someone’s life or their day; you can almost see the confidence these students gained when she said “I’m taking pictures of things I find beautiful”

I honestly thought the video was amazing, so amazing that someone in Eldorado, Arkansas decided to do the same experiment, this time it was the teachers whom got involved to take pictures of students. Before they snapped the picture, the teacher revealed to the student that they wanted to take a picture of someone whom made their day, someone whom made them want to come to school everyday, someone in whom they thought was important to them and again, there went my water works! each student was surprised and shocked to not only hear those encouraging words but the smiles that crossed their faces again, were priceless.

There’s a saying that says “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Both of the videos above goes to show that everyone involved will definitely remember what was said and how wonderful they felt, even for just that moment.

Oh, what a wonderful world it would be if everyone took out the time to let someone know just how special they truly are. Way to go Shay for starting such a “Beautiful” movement!!

 

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud, Inspire More & Love Harder!

 

 

 

Let’s All Fall In Love, With Pumpkin Soup!!

photo above courtesy of simplyrecipes.com

If you can tell from the other recipe posts I have done already, I love the word “simple” and this pumpkin soup didn’t disappoint as it fell in line with my other three favorite words: Good, Delicious and Quick!

I was done with this recipe so fast until it surprised me, I mean it literally took me no more than 5-10 minutes to complete, just in time to pop in a movie before 8pm. Now that’s my type of cooking!

YESS
My Face when something actually works! – Photo courtesy of Bing

If you’re like me after having a long day at work, coming home to find something quick to cook can be a chore but when you have simple recipes such as this one, that long day in the office doesn’t seem quite stressful as this recipe will make cooking for the night a breeze. This soup can be made for a party of one or a family of six. All you’ll need are these simple ingredients:

Pumpkin Soup
7 Ingredients are all you need! – You can use a real pumpkin but it was late, I was tired so I opted for the 100% pumpkin puree in the can.

This Super Easy Breezy Pumpkin Soup recipe goes as follows:

1 medium onion, grated on a box grater

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 (29-oz.) can pure pumpkin

2 (14.5-oz.) cans chicken broth (or 4 cups)

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

3/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, 3 minutes or until soft.

Stir in the pure pumpkin, chicken broth, cream, pumpkin pie spice, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or until soup simmers.

Put into bowls and top as desired. Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Below are my before and after pics:

Pumpkin Soup3
BEFORE: All ingredients mixed together – I did transfer this over to a bigger pot.
Pumpkin Soup2
AFTER #1: Topped with Heavy Cream.
Pumpkin Soup4
AFTER #2: Topped with Croutons & Sour Cream

I apologize for the different picture contrast variations, my phone was dying out – so I used my daughters phone for the last pic. While I used croutons and sour cream to top off this delicious soup, you can use pumpkin seeds, bacon or whatever you choose – it’s going to be good no matter what you put on top. This recipe was taken from Good Housekeeping in which you can view here

The soup is good for 3 days so you’ll be able to take some for lunch the next day and maybe share some with your friends and show off your amazing cooking skills!!

Next week, I’ll be cooking up the last two pumpkin recipes of the month – Something cheesy for dinner and a favorite treat in which everyone loves – ICE CREAM! So stay tuned as the YUMMY continues!

Did you hear about the giveaway??

To kick off the pumpkin festivities I thought I would do a giveaway – I love to receive things and I know you might too. I’m giving away a $25.00 gift card, here’s what you have to do and how to enter:

Follow @justsuminspiration2u on Instagram

Post a picture of you with one of the 5 recipes featured this month with the caption: “Pumpkins Up! @justsuminspiration2u is doing a giveaway! Enter for a chance to win at justsuminspiration.com.”

That’s It! That’s all you have to do – Remember, you have to make one of the recipes, follow me on Instagram, post your picture of you and the recipe of choice and include the italicized statement with your post. Good Luck!!

The Winner will be announced November 3, 2017 at 1:00pm on the Justsuminspiration blog, Facebook and Instagram pages. Winners will be selected randomly from the list of entries submitted.

See ya in the next Post!!-1

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud, Love Hard & Inspire Often!

 

If you missed the other recipe posts, you can view them here:

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

There’s a Pumpkin in my Oatmeal!

Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice, It’s Time for the Great Pumpkin!

 

Whose Your Bae? & Keeping God At the Forefront.

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Yesterday I did a Facebook poll that asked the question “Do you know what the word “Bae” means? I had listed several reasoning’s for what the acronym B.A.E supposedly stood for. If you look around social media and/or someone’s recent text messages, you won’t have an issue finding the word used frequently. But the question is “What does it really mean?

The term “Bae” has become one of the most popularest and well known terms that’s  commonly used in relationships. Its meaning is used primarily to describe the most important person in your life. When a man or woman is referenced as “Bae” then they immediately know their status level and where they ultimately stand in the love category.  It means that they’re considered to be number “one” or the “most valued” and besides them there is or should be no other. It’s amazing how we allow or automatically associate ourselves with wordings that we either don’t truly know the meaning of or even what it’s used for. If it’s popular, cute and in the latest trend on social media we assume it’s great and even use it ourselves in speaking or tagging it to others. But the truth of the matter is……..

Did you know that the word “Bae” in Danish means “Poop?”

Ricky-Ricardo-Shock-Hands-on-Head-I-Love-Lucy

However; you wouldn’t rightly know the true meaning of the word according to how the world plays up the word to sound.  And here I was thinking it meant baby, sweetie or honey. Although the word does mean something disgusting and smelly, to be honest the word “Bae” has taken on many meanings of its own; because in reality,  there is no true real meaning to it outside of “poop” that truly relates the word to anything special or meaningful. Bae can be used to really mean anything you want it to mean such as Bacon and Eggs, Big and Extraordinary, Bagels Apples Eggs, Business and Enjoyment or as Law Enforcement interprets it “Breaking and Entering.” Other sites are saying that the word means “Before Anyone Else”; I suppose this is why the word is used so so commonly around the internet.

Which brings me to my main topic – When I first heard the word “Bae” and inquired about its meaning, I was told that it meant Before Anyone Else (until I did further research) but let’s just say, that’s what the word really meant; so would you actually refer to someone as your “Bae” meaning that you are putting them before anyone else, including God? I think when it comes to “popular” and “trending” words, we immediately think their cute, catchy and relevant. Most of the times not researching their true meaning…but let’s get back to Bae and God. I feel that if we’re willing to make someone our “before anything else” then God should definitely be at the forefront, he should be our before anyone else no matter their relevance to our life, they should stand second to almighty God.

I’ve had my share of relationships (friendships included) and I must say, there were many times in where I was so caught up with the individual that I always put God on the back-burner but when those relationships hurt me; I found myself, suddenly humbled running back to God with a tail between my legs and head bowed down as I walked into his presence. Hurt, Ashamed and Betrayed were the feelings that I felt – not by God, but by the people that I allowed to be put before him…..until the next relationship.

I wasn’t thinking of the commandment “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me” Exodus 20:3. And that is what I was making everyone else outside of the main numero uno). When we place anything above God, you can expect a natural disaster to follow and affect you wherever you go. And it doesn’t have to be a relationship, you can put your job, house, career, family, child, dog, cat (okay, so I might’ve went a little far with the animals, lol) but, putting God “before anything else” goes for everything in our life, even the things we feel are so dear to us.

God wants to be your one and only, not to say that he despises relationships…not true; but he wants to be the first person that you put above all your business. It’s so easy to get comfortable with people and make them the one person in our life that we go to for everything. The world cannot spin properly and our day goes south, if we don’t talk to ______________ or hang out with _________________ or spend hours upon hours with __________________. God wants to be the first person that fills in those blanks.

So what tips do I have for you today? It’s quite simple…

  • No matter what’s trending or popular at the moment – don’t allow yourself to get so caught up with the latest word phrases that we forget about the one person who makes everything possible. No matter what relationship you’re in, always make sure God is number one and if you choose to change the word Bae to mean “Before anyone Else” then make sure that God serves as the CEO of that acronym and not as the Second in Command.

And second:

  • Be careful about the names you allow people to call or tag to you, at least until you find out their true meaning. I find sticking to old fashioned words such as sweetheart, love, honey or baby are good enough for people to use as a word of endearment for someone that you love, care about or plan to spend the rest of your life with. Sometimes simple is the Best solution.

 

So, Do you have a Bae?

 

Roshonda N. Blackmon

Creator of JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker and Encourager

 

Did you like the post above?, Comment below or shoot me an email at justsuminspiration@gmail.com and let me know your thoughts. I love feedback.

 

 

Don’t Doubt Anything! Be Optimistic About Everything, Because Anything can happen! Roshonda N. Blackmon

OH SNAP! Look Who’s The Leader…

I’ve been working since I was 15 years old. I knew from the beginning that I didn’t want to work in the fast food establishment for these very important reasons:

1) I’m not a great cook.

2) I’m not that fast or efficient.

3) I would have been terrible at the cashier station. #FreeMealsForEveryone = )

My first job actually was at a nursing home, I was a Nursing Assistant. I helped take care of ailing and/or sick veterans, Cool Right?? Yes, I thought so too. While that was a pretty heavy task for a 15yr old whom really never gotten exposed to such things; I really loved it. I was the type of person whom put everything into my work, I learned a lot and while there were many ups and downs in my long working career, the most challenging job for me was when I was asked to take the lead on certain projects within my job history.

You can say that I’ve always had a great opinion about things in which probably lead to an individual’s reasoning’s for wanting to place me in “Leadership” Roles. While the term “Leader” is quite an exhilarating word; full of empowerment and boldness, I have to admit – I didn’t take it seriously and probably let down the many people whom felt I would be good at it. In order to be a great leader, you first have to be a successful follower and listener. In my early stages, I had the attitude of “You can’t tell me anything, because I know everything” – I wanted to be the chief and lead the pack, but I didn’t have the humility to take out the time to become an Indian first.

“If you think you’re leading and no one is following – You’re just taking a walk.” 

If you can’t be a good Indian, then you’ll never become a great Chief. You see, I never took the role of leadership seriously because I didn’t understand what a leader really was. I had no prior knowledge or role model that paved the way before that was fully knowledgeable or could have given me advice, I pretty much winged it and went for what I knew. Listening and being fully committed to the leader role were my downfalls. I can’t possibly tell you how many good opportunities I’ve had that I totally bombed on, because I was using leadership in the wrong way. Now that I’m older and have supervised and had other leader roles, I’ve learned quite a bit and would like to share some of those tips with you, in hopes that you don’t make the same mistakes as I did. I’ve also included some of my favorite notable quotes from John C. Maxwell & Byrd Baggett.

Leadership Tip

Tip #1: You Gotta Have Love!

“You can love people without leading them, but you cannot lead people without loving them.”

In order to lead, you have to possess a great love for a diverse group of people. When you become a leader, you can’t focus on the people whom think, act and/or talk and walk like you. When you become a leader, you’ll be leading many people from all walks and circles of life. Having a Love for all types of people, is the first step in leading effectively.

 Tip #2: Turn the Power OFF!

“Managers hold on, Leaders let GO!”

Most people love leadership because it gives them power. Power in which they feel they can use to control other people and make them do what they want. You can’t have a power trip while being a leader. Instead, choose to lead because you want to make a difference in someone’s life. When you lead out of “power” you’re actually hurting the people that are looking up to you to make good, valuable, fair and honest decisions for their life and/or career. Think of it this way, the people that you lead, will eventually become leaders themselves one day; so you want to make sure that you’re putting forth a positive effort to be a good one, because they will need to look back on your leadership abilities to help them lead others. – So, what type of leader are portraying?

Tip#3: Shut Down Second Hand News

“Leaders bring out the best in others.”

I’ve been in leadership roles before where people brought me news about my constituents – it wasn’t good news, but riddled with negativity. Being new to leadership, this made me feel terrible, I went into my job with mixed emotions about whom I would be leading all because of news that other people were bringing to me. While it’s good to listen and take notes, you do have the right as a leader to shut those conversations down before they get started. When you become a leader you want to go into your new role with a blank canvas about everything. Trust me, in due time you’ll be able to form your own opinion about others which will be due to you getting to know them and not because of what someone else has already planted in your mind. Everything is not always what it seems, sometimes it is – but most times it isn’t.

Tip#4: Keep Your Cool – Everyone’s Not on Board

“Good leaders are like baseball umpires, they go practically unnoticed when doing their jobs right.”

As stated in Tip#2, your employees and/or followers are looking to you to make their work life easy, not hard. If you’re constantly on a power trip and not giving them the substance they need to be better, do better and etc. then you’re failing them (now I know everyone is not a receptor of learning and growing or wanting to do better) but just because they have that attitude doesn’t mean that you have to fail at your role. While they may not be a model employee, you still have to be a model leader.

Tip#5: What are you Learning

“Leadership is an action, Not a Position.”

As a leader you may feel as though your job is to always teach, instruct, or guide and yes, that’s true but a great leader is always receptacle of learning as well. Just because you’re a leader, that doesn’t make you perfect; we all have to keep our mind and heart open to learn from our employees or followers. Leadership is a two way street; you invoke learning with the expectation of learning and gaining the necessary nuggets you need to become an even greater leader. Be willing to have an open heart to receive knowledge from everyone. From the Doorman to the Janitor to the CEO, there’s great wisdom and knowledge that we can get from everyone, no matter their status or rank. Learning is a tool, that goes round and round but is only available to those whom are willing to accept it. So, what are you learning in the process?

** ** ** ** **

Lastly & Most Importantly. Keep your focus! – Leaders listen more than they speak; they choose their words carefully and they’re not afraid to admit when they’re wrong. They don’t get caught up in gossip and they don’t choose sides, they are fair and honest. A good leader is hard to find but shouldn’t have to be as we’re all leaders in some form, shape or another. You just have to choose which leader you want to be.

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