Tag Archives: friends

A Letter to My Past Self

A letter to my past self to reflect on 2017 and start a new year with a new mindset.

A letter to my past self

Dear 2017 Raquel,

Being a fan of Back to the Future and Doctor Who, I am very aware of the consequences of interfering with timelines and spoilers. However, I was challenged by Aimee from Bold & Free Babes to write a letter to my past self, to you, and encourage you through 2017.

You know that thinking ahead has always been tough for us. We have a hard time making plans three months ahead because our lives tend to change pretty drastically pretty quickly. This year is no exception. You are in for a whole ton of changes.

It is amazing how many of those changes happen this year and how many we forget as time passes. I had to review my Facebook feed just to remember some of the highlights.

January

January starts off strong and social. You host two sets of family friends over for a family style dinner. You always enjoy expressing your love to others through food. What a way to start a new year! This might need to become a yearly tradition.

Building a Tank

In March, you build a tank! It isn’t quite life-size or operational but that doesn’t stop your son from having the most awesome army Nerf battle birthday party ever. Lots of planning and preparation pay off in a big way. The kiddo and all his friends have a super fun time battling around pallets and stacked tires in the backyard. The tank was all the kid talked about for months after.

tank

The Crash

I hate to tell you this but, in April your car of ten plus years is totaled… by your husband. Everyone is safe and that’s the most important part. Don’t worry, Buttercup, it isn’t all bad. You end up purchasing a new vehicle you absolutely love that better suits your growing business and family needs.

car crash

Collabs

Sometime during these early months, you decide to buckle down on the blog. You start connecting with other bloggers and creating custom recipes for them. This is a gateway to connections that continue to add value to your life and business.

You can check out some of these collaborations: Vera’s Peach Spice Cupcakes with Kiwi Sparkler Icing, Wonderwoman Egg Free Red Velvet Cupcakes, Baby Z’s Perfectly Pear Cupcake, Triple Chocolate Cupcakes, Beauty Bae Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes. Even the collaboration that introduced you to Aimee to begin with, Bold and Free Vegan Avocado Chocolate Cupcakes.

A letter to my past self concert

Concerts

This year you attend your very first “real” concert. We’ve been to punk shows in art galleries and basements but this time the band is on a stage. You go to see Third Eye Blind with your best friend. In fact, you don’t just go to one, but two this year. She takes you to Third Eye Blind so you take her to see Sister Hazel several months later. I am pretty sure going to a concert has been on our bucket list for awhile.

A letter to my past self concert

Friends

In an effort to be more mobile and get healthier, you begin going on adventures to local state parks with a friend. Your walks are therapeutic and do wonders for your mental and physical health. This actually becomes a weekly activity you manage to maintain throughout the year.

This year must be the year of friendships. During an Email List Building Challenge in July, you make your first blogging bestie. You connect over creative ideas. Something clicks and all of a sudden you don’t feel as lonely in the business anymore. You have a companion that understands the struggles and also celebrates the triumphs. She is great for accountability and when you desperately need a cheerleader.

July

This summer you have family visit you for the first time since moving to Florida (two years ago). It feels like a full house with six house guests but there is nothing to be nervous about. The kiddo loves having his family visit and he enjoys showing off where he lives and all the beaches and favorite places around town.

A letter to my past self boats on water sunset

BlogCon

By choosing to attend a blogging event in August, you shine as you meet lots of other bloggers and networkers. It is worth every penny and you end up making that money back in prizes. I am not even kidding.

A letter to my past self

You are able to then improve and grow your business through the connections you initiate. One of these connections has become invaluable to you and is currently working on your site right now as I write.

Always remember to follow up.

The Hurricane

After the stress of the wedding last year, you may hope to have a sweet romantic anniversary this year. You will not celebrate the way you hope. You will go through a scary but humbling experience as you survive a massive hurricane headed straight for your home.

During this experience, you will learn what matters most to you, how you handle a crisis situation and how your friends and family react to your crisis. I am impressed with your strength and grace during such a stressful time. Apparently, baking really is our coping mechanism. The fire department won’t complain though.

A letter to my past self hurricane box

You always imagined during the Zombie Apocolypse that you would be feeding the masses and creating masterpieces out of a bag of beans and canned beats.  Imagining yourself in a crisis situation and reality can be quite different. However, you really pulled through and baked your booty off. You can reminisce about this experience in the post for Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes.

Life Changer

Your big life-changing month comes in October though. After a year of stress and paperwork, the step-parent adoption and name change for the kiddo is finalized. You decide to make MsCupcakeasaurus a bakery and not just a blog. You reach your highest weight and decide enough is enough. You start a nutrition program that you are more than determined to stick with. That determination pays off, Girl. Keep it up! You get some disappointing but expected news from the doctor and realize your family planning isn’t going as planned. This does not stop your household from growing by one more member though. I promise you will love him and realize what all the fuss over dogs is all about.

A letter to my past self brindle dog

Your month is so hectic you don’t even write about it for a couple months. You can check out your October in Black As My Soul Chocolate Cupcakes.

Thanksgiving

Yearly, you visit your grandmother in North Carolina for Thanksgiving. This year she actually lets you help a bit. She isn’t feeling great but she does get better. Try not to worry too much; she is a feisty stubborn woman but that is what keeps her going. This is a great opportunity to bond with your aunt while she is in town.

Year-End Thoughts

By the time the year closes, you will have lost forty pounds! You are persevering more than I ever expected. You are thriving, making the changes you want to see in your life. I am so incredibly proud of you and all of the ways you have found to grow your friendships, your business and yourself for the better.

A letter to my past self

Hang in there, Cupcake, you’ve got this!

Love and Sprinkles,

2018 Raquel

Your Year

I hope you enjoyed this Letter to My Past Self. I am going to pass this challenge along to you. As we start a new year, try to take a moment to reflect on this past year and focus on all the ups and downs that you have survived and celebrated. I was reluctant to write this letter. I started writing what I wished I had done differently in 2017, and all of a sudden I was writing about all of the accomplishments for the year. I don’t expect that everyone has started a business or crashed a car but I know you have had your own ups and downs and I would love for you to reflect on those moments and acknowledge how far you have come.

A Letter to My Past Self

I would love for you to share your letters with me. Any method you feel comfortable with sharing, I am open to receiving.

In the comments below, let me know what you are most proud of 2017 You accomplishing and what you hope to do in 2018.

Today we are making life taste sweeter by taking a look back.

Five Ways to Say Thank You

Saying Thank You can be hard. It doesn’t have to be. Here are five easy ways to say Thank You.

Call this my post-Thanksgiving reflection on being thankful. Typically, I make a list all November long of all the little blessings in my life. This time, I think there are lots of people that could use a reminder of what gratefulness looks like in their relationships.

We have a village that helps make us who we are and taking a little extra time to show our appreciation can help improve our relationships and ourselves. Saying Thank You never hurt anyone.

5 Easy Ways to Say Thank You

My grandma is a classic woman. Raised during the Depression, she has very specific ideas about the way the world should be and what behaviors are deemed polite. A respectable woman would never have brightly colored hair or tattoos. I’m sorry Grandma, I guess I ‘m just not that kind of respectable.

However, some of those ingrained polite philosophies are not lost on me. She sends me Thank You notes for everything. I received a personalized Thank You note for her April birthday gift. I received another thanking me for her Mother’s Day flowers. She sent me Thank You notes for gifts I didn’t give a second thought about after I sent them to her. I love her and care for her and certainly do not require a Thank You note. Every time I receive one though, I think about her upbringing and how meaningful it is that she sends that extra Thank You.

These days, Thank You notes are really only routinely sent out for big events or big gifts.  Weddings get the most attention when it comes to Thank You notes. But then, weddings are a big event and usually include big gifts.

When my son, (LCRex), turned eight a few months ago, I helped him write his own Thank You notes to show appreciation for his party guests and the gifts he received. It didn’t take long to do but I think it was an important lesson to share with him about gratitude.

Thank You notes, especially for little things, can show your appreciation for the person more than just what the person can do for you.

 

How can you show appreciation?

5 Easy Ways to Say Thank You

1. Say Thank You

I know this is so silly. You would be surprised how often it gets overlooked and forgotten. Don’t forget those manners Grandma taught us. Say Thank You and mean it.

Sometimes saying “Thank You” isn’t always sufficient appreciation to show the gratitude we have for those that treat us well. This is especially true for those that routinely come to our aid.

2. Make it Easy for Them

Wondering what I mean? I mean, if someone is doing you a favor or performing a job for you without pay, the least you could do is make it easier for them.

In my kitchen, for example, Captain Cupcakeasaurus takes on doing all the dishes for me. To show my appreciation for this unloved chore, I try to make sure to keep the number of dishes low, and I take extra care to soak anything that may be stuck to the pan. This is just an example of common consideration.

When you have a last-minute sitter caring for your children, you can make the job easier in a few ways. You can write out important information about sleep and eating routines, medications and allergies, and any other emergency contact information.

You can also pack a bag for your child if they are being dropped off somewhere else. Anything you would pack in a bag for a road trip would probably be helpful to a sitter. Include a change of clothes, extra diapers or undies, a couple toys, etc. Providing everything they need to care for your child will show that you appreciate their time in caring for them.

5 Easy Ways to Say Thank You

When someone offers to help clean your house, you can make their job easier by making your bed and putting dirty clothes in the hamper. When someone offers to watch your pet in their home during your vacation, take the extra time to ensure your pet is flea free and healthy before you go. Again, these are just examples of common considerations.

These are ways that, if done right, can easily show your appreciation. If done wrong, or worse yet not done at all, these are all ways to quickly make a friend feel undervalued. Not only will they be less likely to help you out in the future, they will also no longer want to remain friends. No one likes feeling unappreciated or undervalued.

3. Give Them Breaks

This becomes super important for those relationships that develop sometimes where we find ourselves in a tight spot and rely on the help of others on a consistent basis.

Help is only considered help if you are the one doing most of the work. Click To Tweet

Try to remember help is only considered help if you are the one doing most of the work.

When someone is routinely helping you, there are several ways to show your appreciation. The number one way to say Thank You in a situation like this is to acknowledge their needs. Everyone has a breaking point and something as simple as a break can help show your appreciation.

Extended use of a friend’s services can wear on them. Little things, that under different circumstances would blow over, can start to fester and build into resentment. It is important, for the sake of the friendship, that you acknowledge their needs and provide relief sometimes. Just offering a break lets them know that you care about them and consider their needs.

5 Easy Ways to Say Thank You

4. Trade

This is one of the easiest ways to thank the people that take care of you.  Some may even call it Tit for Tat. When someone does a service for you, offer to do a service for them in return. Everyone has skills of some sort and even if you feel like you don’t, I’m sure you know someone who does.

I bake. That is my service. I bake cupcakes for all sorts of return services. You picked up my kid from school when I was running late? Here, have some cupcakes! You helped paint the front porch? Here, have some brownies!

Free Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet

A special home cooked dinner can be a great way to show similar appreciation for those you love. They feel appreciated and you get to enjoy a family dinner with them.

5. Gifts and Tips

You tip your waiter and your hairdresser. You tip service people you pay, why wouldn’t you tip someone that you don’t? It can’t hurt to give a little gift or tip to say Thank You to those friends in our life providing unpaid services.

Any service someone is providing for you is tip-able. Click To Tweet

Any service someone is providing for you is tip-able.

We are most familiar with the Beer and Pizza tip we give to those that have been roped into helping us move. Really any service deserves the same consideration.

When you have an early meeting and a coworker is covering it for you, bring them coffee! When your friend has spent the afternoon helping you build Ikea furniture, buy them lunch! A gift card for lunch works just as well. It shows you care and appreciate their help.

5 Easy Ways to Say Thank You

Saying Thank You doesn’t have to be hard. Many times showing appreciation just takes being considerate. Our friends are willing to take the extra time to help us out, the least we can do is take the extra five minutes to thank them.

I guarantee showing appreciation for the people that help us will improve all of our relationships. Everyone likes to feel appreciated. What better way to make life taste sweeter than by thanking those glorious sweet morsels that help get us here?

How do you show appreciation for the ones you love? Are there any other simple ways we can show consideration? Let me know in the comments below!