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Mark Angelo Askew is the author of "Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Guide Workbook and Keepsake" and the founder and director of the Family Reunion Planning Group that established November as Annual Family Reunion Planning Month.

Friday, February 26, 2016

What Goodness Looks Like

Goodness: A quality or act inspiring joy, comforting and putting at ease, rightness of heart. A helpful service rendered on behalf of others.

Ever wondered what goodness looks, feels, tastes and smells like? A child once said it's like freshly baked bread. Perhaps she meant the aroma of browned and buttered bread pulled straight from the oven. Or when it's served up with a warm smile and that bubbly joy you feel when family gather to feast at the same table?

Nothing comes close to that warm, lighthearted feeling you get when the moms are baking and cooking in the kitchen using recipes from their grandmother's mother. The guys are arguing sports stats in the living room and the kids are cackling and laughing while at play just outside the front door. You smile at it all. Put your feet up on the recliner and sip lemonade from a tall icy glass. A cool breeze blows through an open window and tickles your face. "This", you blithely sigh... "This is good."  This is family. How much goodness is in your life? Your parents? Your children? 

There was a study conducted over a 40 year time span by various social science study groups. The study centered on whether giving makes the giver happier. The evidence was overwhelmingly conclusive. It does. There is a certain happiness in giving and a deeply abiding joy when the giver sees the good results that meaningful practical gifts have on the receiver over an extended period of time. In fact such giving can actually cure deep emotional ills and improve health and the wellbeing of both giver and receiver. Who knew?

Somewhere along the way someone in our past decided to start what became an age old tradition. To impart goodness in the lives and hearts of those they loved most. Their motivation? An ancient promise... "There is more happiness in giving than in receiving."

The past has passed. But we can learn a lot from it. There is the present, and with that the ability to deeply impact the future for good once again.  This privilege falls on us. Why not make the most of it?  The question now is how? Keep searching and you will find.
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Isn't it about time for a family reunion? Find inspiring family reunion planning instructions, event organizing checklists and fun, meaningful activity ideas go here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Saying I Love You In Meaningful Ways

Love is the most often searched word on Google with 3 billion results.
"I Love You" is said to be one of the most sought after expressions in a relationship.

What Love Is

Love is said to be a feeling of strong constant affection for a person. Other say love is not a feeling but an ability. A popular belief is that when a persons forehead is often kissed it indicates that they are truly loved. Others say when you have an overwhelming urge to shout it out from the housetops you're most likely deeply in love.

Family is about love and love is about family. It's no wonder the procreative power center is triggered based on expressions of affection and love. When the welfare. affections and protection of a close friend is important to you they often become the initial part of the making of a new family.  That said, knowing how to say I love you may be the most important lesson of one's life.

Saying I Love You

The fact is true love is a deep and active concern for the lasting welfare of others. Such a concern is expressed every day in various ways. Take to time to convey your love for all your loved ones and most of all don't miss it when someone expresses that love without the spoken word.

"If you're wondering how to say 'I love you'... Just how it each and every day."
"If you're wondering how to say 'I love you'... Just show it each and every day."

Family reunions, a time to express love and honor to those that matter most. Get inspired. Get Fimark' Family Reunion Planner and find out how to plan your next most memorable and meaningful family reunion.

Keywords: how to say I love you, I love you
Tags; #ILoveYou,#HowToSayILoveYou,

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

How To Plan A Party Checklist

The key to successfully throwing a well planned party or special event has to do with good planning, organizing and management.

To start, write down the theme of your gathering and focus on fun and meaningful theme related activities. Next consider your budget. Write a shopping list with budgeted items. 

Create a Party Supplies Shopping List
Create a Decor Shopping List
Create a Perishable Foods Shopping List
Create a Stationery Shopping List

You find sample Budget and Shopping Lists using Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social web app. 

Take the time to compare prices online. You'll find a great place to start at Buy non-perishable goods out of season. January - March is a great time to buy bulk party goods.

Put together a timeline checklist with all the action items required to plan, organize and manage your event using the following format:


Put together your guest list and gather addresses and phone numbers.
Order or make invitations. You'll find lovely free printables here.

Plan Your Menu
Finalize the space layout and decorations.
Using Party Supplies Shopping List purchase decorations, paper goods, and other supplies, non-perishable foods and drinks.
Contact those who will help with the party.
Address and mail your invitations.
Write a list of your background and dance music (stick with the theme of yourparty). Remember to include the song title, artist, band and year of release


Confirm RSVP's
Confirm attendees and telephone, text or email guests who have not responded to your invitations so you can get an accurate count of attendees for food and space requirements.

Put together a music CD of background, mood or dance music

Make needed preparations for out of town guests such as guest rooms, hotel reservations.

Pick out what you plan to wear at the party and have it cleaned.


Party Linens, Dinnerware, Servingware and Flatware
See that table linens are clean and ready to go. Put the linens under a bright light for inspection. Remove all stains. Decide on flatware and serving items

Get locks put on your bedroom closet or lock the bedroom door itself. Don’t hesitate to secure all valuables.


Contact your decorating team to confirm dates.
Contact vendors and other event services.


Clean your house thoroughly especially if the party with be held there.  
Prepare for out-of-town guests to stop by before or after the party.

Make sure all appliances that you’ll be using work properly.
Touch base with contracted services.
Assign specific tasks to your committee members/volunteers.
Make preparations for cleaning up, returning equipment, etc.


There is plenty of time to get those items you may have forgotten.
Shop for any last-minute food items  and supplies.
Begin decorating your home or party facility.
Make some party foods and freeze them.


Using your perishables shopping add last minute items and purchase them early in the day.

Food Preparation
Make cold desserts and dishes that can be refrigerated overnight.

Decorate at planned. Move furniture and put away delicate items that could suffer damage.

Set up serving tables.


Lock up all your breakable and valuable possessions
Finalize the decorations and place settings.

Call all help together and give motivational instructions
Set up an area in or near the kitchen for returning used dishes and waste.
Clear dishwasher for use as needed.
Chill all cold beverages.
3-4 hours before event start cooking.


Turn on relaxing upbeat music
Light a candle and take a relaxing bath or hand shower. 
Enjoy the moment.
Put out your clothes and shoes.
Fill the home or facility with natural scented fragrances if desired.


Mix the punch and put out the punch bowl, drinking glasses and napkins.
Set out cheeses and non-perishable appetizers and snacks.
Prepare to greet your guests as each arrives.
Point out the areas of your home or facilities they can help themselves to such as the coat room, closets, guest room, bathroom or restroom, finished basement, etc.

Serve drinks on the top of the hour that your party is scheduled to begin.
Serve dinner at scheduled hour.

Happy Party Planning!