Cheesecake Layer Cake 

This is a cake with a middle layer of cheesecake. I made this recipe about a year ago, it turned out great. One of the times the recipe looked like the picture, even after I made it myself.

Source: Red Velvet White Chocolate Cheesecake Layer Cake w/ Cream Cheese Frosting | Yum! Therapy

Today I found more ideas for the cheesecake cake idea. One for St. Patrick’s Day and the other a Christmas theme. I’m sure both would be great. The recipe is pretty simple and would be easy to adjust for birthdays, other events and holidays.

I’m planning to adapt this recipe and make a turtle cake (with chocolate, caramel and pecans) for my sister this month.

Which Ancient Religion Does Your Spirit Belong To?

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Exotic and Bold, your spiritual connection to patterns aligns you most with the Egyptian ways of religion. With a spiritual mindset that wavers between monotheistic and polytheistic, your spirituality is more about grasping the patterns, mechanics, and meaning of life in broad scope – rather than adhering to any specific ideals. For you, great importance is placed upon the quality of this journey – this life – and what it will lead to for the afterlife and beyond.

“The Egyptians saw time in the present as a series of recurring patterns, whereas the earliest periods of time were linear. Myths are set in these earliest times, and myth sets the pattern for the cycles of the present. Present events repeat the events of myth, and in doing so renew maat, the fundamental order of the universe. Amongst the most important episodes from the mythic past are the creation myths, in which the gods form the universe out of primordial chaos; the stories of the reign of the sun god Ra upon the earth; and the Osiris myth, concerning the struggles of the gods Osiris, Isis, and Horus against the disruptive god Set.” – Egyptian Mythology via Wikipedia

via Which Ancient Religion Does Your Spirit Belong To?.

This is Me Today – Making Myself Crazy

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Being a perfectionist is a vicious circle of events. Nothing is ever good enough. So we (or I) end up keeping endless stuff because I feel I have to finish it, get it right before I can let it go. I feel obligated to the stuff and myself. I’m letting myself down if I don’t do everything and do it right. I can’t just let things go so they pile up.

Ironically, the piles of actual stuff make me feel pressured and I can’t deal with all of it.

On top of that, no woman is an island. I get request from others who want me to do things for them. They even have deadlines and complain when stuff isn’t done, for them. Then I get annoyed because they expect me to just drop everything and put them first.

The joke is on me. I’m getting so little actually done that things are piling up (of course). In the end – I am the one on the bottom of the pile under all this stuff.

So, the plan is to wait until sometime in November when I will have the house (most of it) to myself and I can move things out of my work room and into other rooms. This will give me some space and maybe clear my mind a bit. If I feel I have some space to work in maybe I can actually get to work and get some of this stuff done.

Of course, we come back to the perfectionism issue.  Is making the space enough? Can I let things be imperfect? Can I decide to just get rid of some things, undone, not completed? Can I give up on some of the things which I thought mattered so much? That will be the hard part. It isn’t the stuff or the lack of space so much as feeling I am losing parts of myself and who I think I am and should be.

If I get rid of everything which makes me feel like I’m someone, what will be left of me? Once I am clutter free how will I know what to do with myself?

Alone for the Holidays

You can be happy being alone over the holidays, even your own birthday. Avoid being alone if you want. Or enjoy being alone if you want a break from being social.

So many of the big family holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas and of course New Year’s Eve) arrive at the end of the year. If you are single, not dating anyone or a single parent with kids to celebrate for and with, it can be a bit lonely – if you let it.

I am single, divorced and don’t have any children. I do look after my sister’s children but it’s not the same. I kind of look forward to being alone. Maybe it’s because I’m not alone very often. I share a house with my Mother for half a year. The other half of the year I have a brother and two sisters who keep in touch. It’s all good. But, I crave alone time sometimes. So, I may not be the prime example of being alone for the holidays – because I’m happy to be alone and do whatever I want to do.

Avoid Being Alone

Accept invitations from family, friends and co-workers.

Find other holiday orphans and get together somewhere. Have a great evening out.

Attend events like the office Christmas party.

Invite people over to visit you too.

Go to church. Even if you don’t attend usually, churches will have people and host their own events during holidays.

Go somewhere you know there will be people, like a shopping mall, a coffee shop, a restaurant, and strike up a conversation. Even a short chat can make you feel connected to the world again.

Host a party or get a group together for a day out.

Make the Best of Being Alone

Create a new holiday tradition of your own. Have Chinese food delivered on Christmas Eve. Enjoy a taco salad on Valentine’s Day. Find your own personal way to celebrate.

Plan an event for each day of the holidays, or those coming up to it. Give yourself something to look forward to every day. You can always visit the museum, art gallery and buy tickets for the theatre.

It may feel pretty self-indulgent but, buy yourself a gift or a card for the holidays. Have a Valentine card you sent yourself. Get yourself something you know you really want for Christmas. Send yourself flowers on your birthday.

Write a holiday journal about your adventures.

Be an artist, even if you can’t draw, take along some paper and pencils/ pens and draw some holiday scenes.

Enjoy some alone time to think.

Whatever the holidays and season you can still decorate the house for the holidays: St. Patrick’s Day, Valentines Day, Halloween, Christmas… all the holidays can be an excuse to indulge in a little excess cheer around the home.

Rediscover a creative talent. Become a baker, or a film maker, or take up crochet discover a new creative outlet.

Eat out somewhere new you have wanted to try.

Eat in – cook yourself a wonderful dinner with new recipes and unusual ingredients or go for all comfort foods, the foods you love, cooked the way you like them.

Buy something from a fancy bakery but get just one slice, one piece, one square you can enjoy all by yourself.

Put together a holiday emergency kit for yourself. Stash it with the things you really want like a few chocolates, coffee beans, pick a great wine, a fresh book, candles, bubble bath, gift cards and coupons for a restaurant.

Have some special plan of your own. When others talk about their holidays you will have something to talk about too.

Redecorate your bedroom, your kitchen, find something new and great for the house and make it fresh, shiny and new.

Pamper yourself with all the little luxuries, like a real soak in the tub. Have a spa day at home.

Use the time to catch up on reading, rent movies you wanted to see and anything else you have let slide while you were too busy with other people or a full schedule.

Work on little home repair projects you just haven’t gotten around to yet.

Indulge yourself. Go to the unfashionable, geekiest, nerdiest movies, events, and places you’d love to go but would never ask anyone to attend with you.

Be of service to others. Be a volunteer for a day. Phone or write to relatives and acquaintances you seldom think about. .

Take a road trip, a bus trip, a train trip. Plan a day trip and be home before midnight or plan an overnight away. Look for great tour packages and travel even farther.

Book a room in a downtown hotel and spend your time indulging in downtown holiday events, tourist places and all the holiday decorations.

If you’re single, try a few dating sites, look into a dating service, something where you might find someone new to meet over coffee.

Revel in Being Alone Don’t be SAD

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) creeps up on people during the winter holidays. I think we can feel the same SAD feelings around our own birthdays too, but that doesn’t seem to have a name yet.

If you are feeling alone and neglected let your family and friends know so they can make sure to include you in their events and get togethers.

Avoid being SAD. Use the time alone rather than letting it drag you down into feeling alone around the holidays.

If you need other people around – get them. Make plans with others but understand that plans around the holidays change a lot and last minute things pop up. Have back up plans if you are planning to meet a friend, that way you still have something to do if the friend can’t be there.

Find yourself a patch of sunshine somewhere and sit in it awhile. A great place to try this is a coffee shop window where you have some sun and people watch while you read a book and enjoy a great coffee too.

Not Everyone Alone for the Holidays Needs Cheering Up

People who don’t want to be alone for the holidays are more likely to be upset or feeling down about the holidays.

Some of us, like myself, LOVE having some alone time. For me being alone during the holidays is great. I spend time with family and I make arrangements to meet up with friends and co-workers. I attend the office/ work parties. But, I really enjoy the days I am alone and I can do just what I want to do.

I feel empowered when I am alone. I soak up the holidays: the good cheer, the lights and decorations and the excuse to be self indulgent. Being alone for the holidays is like having an extra birthday – the day that is especially all about you! Make being alone for the holidays all about you.

A Few Links

Join The Holiday Project – Local chapters visit people confined to nursing homes, hospitals and other institutions and enriching the experience of a holiday for everyone.

Are You Sure You’re Pagan?

dark pentacleIs your Faith Misplaced?

One thing I seldom see in Pagan writing are posts about world news and current events from a Pagan perspective. (Unless the events actually relate directly to religion/ Paganism).

I also don’t see people talking about taking comfort in Paganism or Wicca or Witchcraft the way some other religions do. Is our religion a fair weather friend? Something we take out when we intend to, or want to, but other times it’s just not there.

These are the things I’ve been thinking about lately.

When you have a personal tragedy, do you turn to your Pagan beliefs for comfort?

I’ve seen people talk on and on about what they believe, defend it, teach it and promote it. But, is it still so personal to you that you could turn to your beliefs when you really do need something to believe in – not for a cause but for your own heart? You might perform a ritual because it’s the thing to do. But, is your heart really in it? Is this giving you real comfort? Or are you just doing what’s expected of you as a Pagan/ Wiccan/ Witch?

When did you last think of something in the news from a Pagan perspective? I don’t mean news about anything religious. When did you hear the news from the perspective of being Pagan and think to write about how this made you feel, as a Pagan?

Not all news is relevant to being a Pagan, yet, if you are a Pagan shouldn’t you see the news from the perspective of your beliefs rather than adding them in later?

Do you wear Pagan jewelry, collect Pagan tools and magical items? Does each one have real meaning to you or are they just part of your collection? Do you wear black because that’s what Witches do or because you actually like wearing black?

When you ‘Go Green’, do you stop and think about how you are helping the Earth or do you just recycle because that’s the right/ popular thing to do?

If you work with spells are you really taking into account “Harm’s none”? Or do you just like creating a spell because it makes you Pagan and special. Are you a Witch because spellcraft makes you feel special and important?

When someone talks about Pagans in a negative way do you need to spring up and rush to counter them? Why? It’s not for us to convert anyone and you are more likely to change their mind from your actions, not your words.

Do your Pagan beliefs reach right down to your soul? Are you satisfied with what you believe will happen when you die? Not about being gone and death itself, few would be satisfied to leave life. But, do you get comfort from the beliefs you have about what happens to your soul after your body dies?

Is being Pagan a fair weather friend for you or is it in everything you do and feel and believe? There’s no rule that says it has to be. Being Pagan is about making your own choices and decisions, finding your own values and ideals. Have you taken that to heart or are you following the popular path without really accepting it on that deep, personal level?

After reading this are you going to leave me a comment to prove how Pagan, Wiccan or Witch you are? Are you already listing your Pagan credentials, ready to type them all out? Stop and think about why you need to prove how Pagan you are.

Could you be Pagan and not tell anyone, ever? Could you be Pagan and not need to prove it to anyone?

Being Pagan, Wiccan or a Witch is a choice of religion, spirituality, beliefs and faith. Do you have faith in your choice?

Have you looked at enough of the other options? There are endless choices inside of Paganism itself. Find the one that really speaks to you, the one that reaches your heart and soul, the one you want to live and grow with. Don’t settle too easily for what looks shiny and new or popular.