International Women’s Day on March 8th each year celebrates the social, economic, and political achievements of women around the world. The day also brings international awareness to gender parity. According to the World Economic Forum, global gender equality is estimated to be achieved by 2133.
Gender equality is the equal access to the same rights and opportunities regardless of gender. These rights and opportunities include:
- employment / economic gain
- protection under the law
- right to vote
- free from violence
Striving for Change
Holding Political Office
Just over 100 years ago, only .2 % of the United States Congress consisted of women. Actually, the 65th Congress was comprised of a single woman. In 1916, Montana elected Republican Jeannette Rankin as the first Congresswoman to hold a federal office. Fast forward to the year 2020 and women hold 23.7% of the U.S. Congressional seats. While that might seem like progress, according to United Nations statistics, the U.S. percentage matches exactly the worldwide average for women in political office.
In many parts of the world, women are less likely to own land, a business, or attend school. Education alone is a powerful tool leading to financial independence for women. Their children reap the rewards, often for generations to come. Additionally, but when the women of a community prosper, so does the community. Educated women and girls are more likely to educate their offspring. They also have a better understanding of healthcare and understand their rights.
According to the United Nations, more than half of the world’s poorest people are women. International Women’s Day strives to bring economic power to women who aren’t allowed to work for pay or work for low wages. And despite strides in industrialized countries, there’s still work to do there, too.
HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalWomensDay
Around the world, organizations, communities, and individuals organize events focused on the mission of gender parity, celebrating the achievements of women worldwide and education.
- Attend a lecture, seminar or festival
- Organize an event
- Speak or perform at a local fundraiser
- Participate in a march for women’s equal rights
- Learn about the women who paved the way for many of the rights and freedoms we have today
- Become involved in your local, state or national political system
- Invite others to join you, including other women, sons, brothers, sisters, and daughters
- Share your job skills at a local career fair
- Celebrate all month long. It’s also National Women’s History Month.
Use #InternationalWomensDay when posting on Social Media.
Besides tagging your photographs and post with these has tags, you can also do the following:
• Share content or retweet amessage that might be relevant to the theme of International Women’s Day 2020
• You can use thelogo of the international women day on your blog, website or on your Facebook’s cover photo. Alternatively, you can also use the IWD logo in your email signatures
• The official colour of International Women’s Day is purple. You can wear a purple shirt to work, use purple in your websites, blogs or social media. You can also make a video or presentation on the theme of International Women’s Day 2018 and post it on your social media account to raise awareness about the different issues that women from different backgrounds all over the world are forced to fight everyday.
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY HISTORY
International Women’s Day origins can be traced back to the early 1900s when women became more politically active and took an invested and vocal role in steering their course toward voting rights, fair pay, working conditions, and representation under the law
The last day of Carnival and the day before for Ash Wednesday, Fat Tuesday is the intertwining of a period festivals and feasts that lead to a time of fasting and reflection. Also known as Shrove Tuesday and Mardi Gras, this enduring celebration has many traditions and deep roots around the world.
Mardi Gras (French for Fat Tuesday) dates back to an ancient Roman festival honoring the deities Lupercalia and Saturnalia which took place in mid-February. When Christians arrived in Rome, they incorporated the festival into Lenten preparations.
For centuries, this solemn feast prepared Christians for the season of Lent and used up valuable meat and supplies they would be abstaining from in the days to come. Traditions surrounding the day have changed through the ages. Through time and culture, the practices of Lent and Carnival, Mardi Gras, and Shrove Tuesday have varied and become incorporated into regional customs.
In the United Kingdom, Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Day. Pancakes are the perfect menu item when the future includes abstaining from fats, eggs, and sweets! In Russia, they celebrate the entire week during Shrovetide as Pancake Week.
Carnival & Mardi Gras
While the French didn’t originate the medieval feast, they did put their stamp on it. From parades to beignets and colorful masks, the last day of Carnival is full of elaborate costumes and lavish food sure to hold the revelers over through a long fast. During the 16th century, their ancestors celebrated Boeuf Gras (fatted calf) which included a tradition of parading a bull decorated with flowers through the city. The decorated animal is followed through the streets by a retinue of colorfully dressed attendants and bands playing unusual instruments. There was even a Boeuf Gras Society in Mobile, Alabama at one time. (See history below for more information.)
New Orleans holds the crown for Carnival and Mardi Gras celebrations in the United States. While the city is filled with French flavor and style, its culture is an eclectic infusion of many cultures. Colorful King Cake and thick, savory muffuletta sandwiches only suggest the indulgence possible on Fat Tuesday. Regional specialties like Etouffee, Po’boys, and jambalaya all add to the atmosphere of the day.
And while we satisfy our cravings, let’s not forget our beverages. Signature creations from New Orleans hit the spot. Be sure to try the Sazerac made with absinthe or the citrus cocktail Arnaud’s Special. For a smooth drink with some punch mix up a Vieux Carré made with whiskey, cognac, and sweet vermouth. But you don’t have to have a cocktail to enjoy the feast! Fat Tuesday has plenty of beverages full of refreshing flavor. Coffees, sodas, and shakes of every flavor can be found.
HOW TO OBSERVE #FatTuesday
Join in festivals around the country or have your own Fat Tuesday feast! Share your favorite traditions by using #FatTuesday, #MardiGras, #ShroveTuesday
In Pensacola as we are so close to both Mobile, AL and New Orleans, there are lots of pardades, parties, balls, and more. Get ready for beads, dancing, and King Cake.
At the end of the fun try coming home to my Crockpot New England Calm Chowder. As today this dish is celebrated nationwide today too.
FAT TUESDAY HISTORY
The roots of the celebration have been woven together for centuries from medieval spring festivals and feasts that were based on the Christian calendar. Fat Tuesday is celebrated around the world in its various forms all of which harken back to these roots of spring festivals and religious fasting in preparation for the Holy day of Easter.
Credit for bringing Mardi Gras to America goes to French explorers Pierre Le Moyne Sieur d’Iberville and Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville. In 1699, d’Iberville reached the mouth of the river on Shrove Tuesday near what is now Louisiana and named it Pointe du Mardi Gras.
Thanks to their establishment of Fort Louis de la Mobile, modern-day Mobile, Alabama lays claim to the first Mardi Gras celebration on American soil in 1703.
When de Bienville established Nouvelle Orleans in 1788, Mardi Gras celebrations reportedly began immediately. In 1875, Louisiana declared Fat Tuesday an official holiday
National Margarita Day on February 22nd rims a glass with salt and serves up a beverage that tastes like the summer sun.
Known to be the most common tequila-based cocktail served in the United States, the margarita is a cocktail that consists of tequila, triple sec and lime or lemon juice. A key ingredient is the freshly squeezed lime juice. In the United States, the most common lime is the thick-skinned Persian lime. When margaritas are made with lemons, they have a much softer taste.
When it comes to sorting out the legends associated with the origin of the margarita, there are many. Two things are certain; the cocktail included tequila, and the bartender edged the rim of the glass with salt. In Mexico, when drinking straight tequila (especially if the quality was bad), the best course of action was to down it in one swallow, suck on a wedge of lime and lick a dash of salt off the back of your hand.
It makes sense that the salt followed the lime and the tequila to the margarita glass. Today, lime is not the only flavor of margarita, and the specialists behind the bar have gotten creative mixing dried herbs, infused sugars and exotic salts to enhance both the presentation of the glass and the flavor of the cocktail.
Margaritas can be served on the rocks (shaken with ice), frozen (blended with ice), or straight up (without ice).
There are many different stories and myths, beginning as early as 1938, as to how and when the margarita was created.
In the December 1953 issue of Esquire magazine, the margarita cocktail was the “Drink of the Month.” The recipe as printed was:
- 1 ounce tequila
- Dash of Triple Sec
- Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
Pour over crushed ice, stir. Rub the rim of a stem glass with rind of lemon or lime, spin in salt—pour, and sip. (Wikipedia)
The margarita was further popularized with the 1977 release of Jimmy Buffett’s song “Margaritaville.”
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalMargaritaDay
Mix up a margarita at home or as your favorite bartender to make you one. What’s your favorite flavor? Find your Margarita Day deals by visiting our Celebration Deals page.
Let us know using #NationalMargaritaDay to post on social media. Remember, always drink responsibly and never drink and drive
Valentine’s Day began as St. Valentine’s Day, a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. February 14th first became associated with romantic love during the High Middle Ages as the tradition of courtly love was then flourishing. During 18th century England, this day evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery and sending Valentine cards.
Mixed opinions prevail regarding who or what was celebrated in mid-February. Some point to martyred saints by the name of Valentine or Valentinus. The most popular story tells of the saint who defied a decree by Emperor Claudius II who outlawed marriage for young men because he believed single men made better soldiers. St. Valentine, preferring young lovers to be wed than have them sneaking around (or believing in the power of love), would marry them in secret. However, it may have been another Valentine who performed the marriages. Either way, at least two of them were beheaded for their actions.
Another possible origin for Valentine’s Day takes us back to a pagan festival called Lupercalia. As a way to discourage participation in the fertility festival, the Christian church placed St. Valentine’s Day in the middle of February.
Since the Renaissance, we’ve been exchanging Valentine’s cards. These handmade missives of romance grew into a more commercial venture by the Victorian era. Today, school children exchange Valentine greetings, too. They prepare for the day by making unique boxes to receive their many hearts, cupids, and pun-filled rhymes.
Chocolates and candy have also become a part of the celebration. While couples tend to be the focus of the day, singles celebrate being single, too. Friends take each other out or reject the overall notion of Valentine’s Day. Dinner and a movie, candlelight, and flowers also fit the bill for couples. It’s one of the busiest days of the year for florists.
HOW TO OBSERVE #ValentinesDay
You can surprise your special someone with flowers, chocolate or a card. Bring a smile to their face with an original poem or homemade meal.
Get Recipes that will impress without spending days in the kitchen. Many can be done at the last minute if needed.
Get something special for your Valentine and use #ValentinesDay to post on social media.International Book Giving Day
VALENTINE’S DAY HISTORY
Credit is traditionally given to Pope Gelasius for declaring February 14th as Saint Valentine’s Day around the year 496 to separate the church from the Roman celebration of Lupercalia, an ancient pagan fertility festival which occurred on February 15th.
Celebration of Life Day on January 22nd honors the children and grandchildren who bring joy to our lives. The day is a reminder that each child and each life is to be held as a precious gift with the highest respect and dignity.
Children grow up so quickly. They’re constantly learning new things and changing daily. Each day they delight us with their simple wisdom and observations. By spending time with children and demonstrating the care and love they deserve, we celebrate their life.
HOW TO OBSERVE #CelebrationOfLifeDay
Celebrate the children in your life. Share the day with a child, grandchild, niece or nephew. We’ve provided several suggestions.
- Read a book with a child.
- Get down on the floor and put a puzzle together.
- Build something with your child.
- Invite all the cousins to play board games.
- Bake cookies and decorate them. Even the smallest child will learn something.
- Make popcorn and watch a movie.
- Tell the story of how Grandma and Grandpa met.
- Get out the art supplies and create.
- Visit a museum.
- Show a teen how to change a tire.
- Give a driving lesson.
- Paint your fingernails together.
- Everybody give the dog a bath.
- Go swimming.
- Make balloon animals.
- Sing Karaoke
Use #CelebrationOfLifeDay to post on social media.
Happy New Year! If your bleary eyed and looking for Asprin, that was an energetic whisper instead of a yell…
Well 2020 is officially here. Now if I can just train myself to write that year, on important things like billing, receipts and checks. If you haven’t adjusted your organizer, calendars, and yearly to-do lists, it’s a good day to spend quietly preparing to rejoin the world. (If you’re lucky enough to have time off to do so.)
First make it a point if you’re not totally digital to transfer any dates, notes, or important information to this tears planner. Sync the digital, worlds of desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile so you have your information handy. You should do a complete backup of your contacts, calendars, and any other vital information.
For digital media burn real back up disks. I know, it sounds old fashioned today, but that thumb drive, external hard drive, micro sd card can all be wiped out. The wrong delete command can undo all your hard work. What would you do if you lost all those irreplacable photos?
Ok, like most of us I have cloud storage. So why do I need to do anything physical like a real disk? Cloud storage has gotten better but, experts still agree if you go with this method, you need more than one. A physical disk also lets me keep my private files…Private!
Data breaches happen all the time. Google, Banks, Stores where we shop, they appear in the news all the time. Sensitive information like credit cards, financial records, taxes, contacts, and any photos, you don’t want out there don’t store it anywhere that has network access. Yes, it makes it easier for you to get to your files but internet security is really only good until the next hacker breaks it. Do you really want to learn through social media that “That” photo is out there. With identity theft rates going higher, do not want to take chances with your sensitive information?
Staying on Track
As a blogger, and in charge of the family finances, I safeguard this information. I use a variety of both physical and virtual tools to make my life easier. To keep my days on track and remember appointments I still use a paper planner. Everything from holidays, birthdays, and planning for both my family and my blog go here. I find it easier to stay focused, complete tasks in a timely manner and use things like alarms on my phone for special reminders.
Outside of that and a secret stash of sensitive login information I’m fully digital. We use app named Prism to keep track of paydays, bills, credit cards and so on. It let’s me track and make payments easily with an easy to understand interface that covers everything. It reminds me when the water payment is due. Keeps my bank balance, tells me the car insurance is next week and keeps up with my automatic payments. With bank-level security and automatic locking features even if I lose my phone no one else can get in.
As today is also Make Up Your Mind Day, I have some fun and delicious ways to ring in the New Year! I took the initiative and made up this awesome menu to enjoy in style.
Pensacola, Florida drops a Pelican every year. So while I am no longer able to join the downtown crowds for the festivities ill settle for watching The Pelican Drop and fireworks at home. So our menu tonight will hopefully reflect the health, happiness, love, and prosperity, we are hopeful for in 2020.
Individual Beef Wellingtons made with tender ribeyes, Blue Chese, carmalized onions and Spinich. All wrapped in a delicate flaky puff pastry shell.
Winter Salad made with Bosc Pears, dried Cranberries, Pistachios, and fresh Parmesan. With mandarin oranges and a light yogurt dressing.
Followed by bubbly and my take on a Loaded Brownie. Chocolate chunks and chips mixed not the super fudgy brownies. Topped with Chocolate frosting, diced pecans, Reese’s chips, Salted Carmel Drizzle, and a touch of rich Hershey’s chocolate sauce.