Santa Shoebox Project 2018: DO IT


One of the most rewarding things you can do.

If you are always wondering how you can make a difference, the Santa Shoebox Project offers the perfect opportunity to truly do that.
It’s pretty simple – pledge to donate a Santa Shoebox and choose your child (yes, your shoebox goes to the very child you choose).
Then get cracking filling it with very specific things.

• An outfit of clothing
• Stationary
• Toiletries
• Toys
• Sweets
• Something educational

Then you decorate your shoebox, print out your pledge sticker and stick it on the box, pop an elastic band around it and drop it off on one of the drop-off days. It’s really that simple.

The joy is in choosing the little outfit, toys and other goodies for your shoebox, carefully fitting it all in and making sure everything is there. Drop-off days are awesome too, because you get to see how people from all walks of life come together to make a difference in the lives of less privileged children from across South Africa. You cannot believe the vastness of the operation and the sheer number of people and logistics involved in making this once-a-year event happen.

For the kids of course, the day they are waiting for is the day the SSB vehicle arrives at their school with all their special shoeboxes. I was very lucky to attend one of the events where the shoeboxes were delivered to the children and let me tell you, it is nothing short of incredible how much joy these occasions and shoeboxes bring to these kids. They make a morning of it – with the whole school gathering to welcome the SSB team, each class’s boxes brought into the classrooms and each kid’s name called out as they come up to collect their special and unique shoebox. You have no idea how happy a young boy can be to see a tennis ball in his box; how delighted the young girls are to see a brand new dress! Even the toothbrushes and deodorant cans bring great excitement.

(All images belong to SSB)

Please go to the Santa Shoebox Project website and pledge your shoebox today. I can promise that if you do it once, not another year will go by without you putting together at least one amazing shoebox for one deserving child.

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Moody much?


So you sometimes find yourself in a crappy mood and you can’t really figure it out because nothing’s really wrong, but you just can’t shake it and find yourself sneering at your pet fish? Here are some easy, cheap and fun ways to improve your mood, very quickly. It’s not rocket science, but we sometimes forget in those dull, gloomy moments that there are things are that can improve our moods.

  1. Go to you tube and search “Funny kid”, “adorable”, “cutest thing ever” or similar. You are bound to find something that tickles your funny bone and makes you feel better… (Don’t do this if the reason you’re in a bad mood is related in any way to your wasting so much time online)
  2. Meditate. If you don’t know how, then just lie or sit comfortably with your eyes close and breathe easy for a while, trying at the same time to consciously concentrate on relaxing every part of your body. If your mind wanders, simply turn your focus back to your breathing and relaxing. Don’t allow negative thoughts to take hold. Breathe and let them go and think only about nice stuff, if you must think. Do this for 10 minutes and you will feel better.
  3. Watch a sunrise.
  4. Watch a sunset.
  5. Eat a hot fudge and choc-chip ice cream in a sugar cone.
  6. Have an orgasm.
  7. Have an orgasm while eating a hot fudge and choc-chip ice cream in a sugar cone.
  8. Play a song or CD you love dancing to and then… just dance! Crank it up, close your eyes, kick off your shoes, let down your hair and shake shake shake what your mama gave you.
  9. Watch a fantastic comedy or musical - something you know you love. My go-to’s are Romance and Cigarettes, Bridesmaids and anything with Kristen Wiig in.
  10. Get some sun. Even if you’re stuck behind a computer all day, just step outside for 5 minutes and feel that delicious sunshine on your face. (Unless of course you live somewhere super chilly and rainy. Like Scotland. In which case you’re kinda missing an item on this list. Ok your No. 10 is Have some Whiskey. Not a lot though.)
  11. Lie down on a fresh, soft patch of grass with your eyes closed and smile. It’s impossible to not feel better.
  12. Spend a few minutes or an hour with animals – if you have pets go and snuggle up or play or just connect with them. If you don’t have pets, visit friends who do, visit an aquarium or go the dog park and make furry friends. WARNING: Approach strange dogs with caution.
  13. Daydream. Visualise a perfect day you might be able to have sometime in the near future – if you have plans, or expecting visitors over December or whatever – imagine yourself on that beach or taking the road trip or even just being off for a few days and being able to sleep in. Let yourself fantasise about a totally plausible event… It’s powerful.
  14. Create something. Buy a R40 pack of clay and make a mini bust of Trump; or paint or draw something, make up a silly song, write a haiku… Being creative releases feel-good-juices.
  15. Exercise also releases serious endorphins, so you can’t help but feel better. If you are a regular exerciser, do your favourite form – yoga, gym, mountain biking etc. If you haven’t exercised for many years, don’t panic. There have been some advancements since the jumping jack and aerobics. I would suggest hot yoga; walking on a mountain; frisbee on the beach; surfing; pilates; hot yoga, indoor rock climbing, rollerblading, swimming and did I mention hot yoga?
  16. Find pretty things in nature – go searching for shells or pebbles or crystals or wild flowers. Seriously. You might think you’re not in the mood, but when your feet hit that sand and you start looking around, magic can happen!
  17. I was in a bad mood recently and then I drank my first ever Frankie’s Root Beer and my mood improved instantly. True story. If you’ve never tasted root beer, I can tell you that it tastes almost exactly like FUN.
  18. Do something nice for someone else. Bake cupcakes and take them to a children’s home, or make sandwiches for your local homeless peeps or just perform a random act of kindness towards a stranger. Creating a joyous moment for someone else will put you in a good mood. Unless you’re a real meanie.
  19. Slap asses. I don’t know about you, but slapping someone’s ass always makes me feel better. Sneak up on co-workers, chase the postman and get a good slap in there, surprise your housemate with a good one… use your imagination.
  20. Phone someone you adore – a friend, sibling, granny etc. and have a chat. Make sure it’s someone who is positive and happy and makes you feel good.
  21. Make a list of things to look forward to. You might feel like you don’t have that much to look forward to…but once you get going, there’s probably quite a lot! Examples: Christmas, payday, movie night, date night, a new season of Masterchef Australia, a friend’s birthday party, your New Year’s Eve plans, a sporting event you’re attending or partaking in, your Christmas Turducken, an upcoming festival, stuff like that.
  22. Think about all the things you’re grateful for. Once you start listing them, you’ll be surprised how many there are and it will be impossible not to snap out of your shitty little mood.
  23. Take a nice long drive somewhere pretty, play some singalong songs and wind down your window and sing like there’s no tomorrow!
  24. Breathe. Just sit somewhere nice and breathe – take 9 in and 9 out, three times, through the nose, with your exhalations and inhalations the same length of time. Feel that lovely stuff filling your lungs. You’re alive!
  25. Buy yourself a gift. It doesn’t have to be expensive or anything… Just work out your budget, think about stuff YOU love a lot or anything that’s interesting you at the moment or anything you might need to make your life easier or more enjoyable and then go out and buy yourself a present. “Because you’re worth it”. It could be mascara or a CD or a new pair of shoes or a Kinder Joy chocolate.

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I am a freelance copywriter and Reiki practitioner by day, dreamer and scribbler by night. I love dogs, sunshine, swimming pools, beaches, braais, good beer, dancing, delicious fresh food, gardening, books, movies, cooking, outdoor festivals, live music, cats, hiking, Cape Town, public speaking, psychology, animals, photography and lekker, conscious people. I try to always maintain a sense of humour, have a good attitude, and be nice to myself and others.

I am an ILS-qualified Life Coach and can’t wait to bring my life changing workshops to Cape Town and the interwebs early in 2019.