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Thursday, December 27, 2018

What December Taught Me.

Happy week after Christmas, friends! The weird week where no one really knows what to do with themselves. I hope you had the very best Christmas. 

This year was a little weird in the sense that I feel like December has been months long. I feel like Christmas flew by, but December lasted approximately six months...does that make sense? 

Anyway, this month taught me a few things. Like: 

In the words of my friend, Steph: "You can perspective and gratitude the F out of your life and it will not keep bad, sad, devastating, hard as hell things from happening. So important to have the right people next to you when they do." || Perspective and gratitude are my jam. But hard things? They still happen. And when they do, you cannot lean only on yourself. Thankful lists are wonderful (and have been lifechanging for me), but they will not hold you up in rough seasons. 

Faith and friendships are two incredibly important things to me. They're both things that require work and effort on my part. But over the last month, I just had to lean into them. Fall back on them. No effort to give, just jumping in hoping they would catch me. They did. 

That Christmas is truly the least about what we tend to make it the most about. || I am BIG on traditions, especially around Christmastime. Christmas Eve, specifically. Ever since I can remember, it's been my favorite day full of tradition. This year, Jack woke up so sick on Christmas Eve. Instead of running around and doing traditional Christmas Eve things, it was spent at home with a very sick bub. No last minute gifts were bought. No cookies were baked. And you know what? Christmas was still amazing. 

That fresh starts are always going to fill me with hope. || I am truly giddy at the thought of the new year. Though I believe fresh starts can happen on any day, there is something magical about the start of a new calendar year. I'm so excited for 2019. I'm so hopeful for 2019. I'm so ready for 2019. How about you?

What did this month teach you?
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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Thankful 5.

As the year starts drawing to a close, I've been thinking a lot about what 2018 looked like for me. It was full of some really good things, some really bad things, and a lot of in-between things, as most years go. 

As far as my personal life goes, the best thing I started doing this year is thankful lists. I started doing it after listening to a podcast about how we can train our brains to focus on the positive things in life.

The theory behind it is that if you know you're going to have to name five (or more) little things you're thankful for, eventually you will subconsciously start looking for little things to be thankful for. So where before you may have hit three green lights in a row and not even registered it as a good thing, when your perspective is one of gratitude, your brain notices those three green lights and flags them as something good to write down later. I was intrigued by the concept and decided to give it a go for myself. 

It. Is. Life. Changing. 


And the biggest reason I know it really is life changing is that when I got overwhelmed by all the ish hitting the fan a few weeks ago, I stopped doing it. And I could tell a big difference in my perspective and how I viewed my day. 

Here's the deal - I'm an anxious person. It's something I'm working on, but anxiety is a part of my daily life whether I like it or not (spoiler, I do not). Because of this, I'm a person who lets the little bad things have a WAY larger impact on me than they should. At any given point, I could have a panic attack over being at a red light for too long, because the way my brain works, that means I'll be late, which means whoever I'm meeting is going to be mad at me, which means when they take a minute too long to respond to my text next week, I'll have to try to figure out if they're ever going to speak to me again. Is this logical? No. But it's life.

Calling out small things in life to be thankful for has changed my perspective in the sense that if I'm going to let the small bad things completely change the way I'm feeling (and sometimes even completely change the course of my day) then I should let the good small things do the same. 

A small (and slightly dumb, but roll with me) example of this is soup. If I go out to eat and order soup and they bring it to me cold, I'm gonna be annoyed and probably send it back. But if I go out to eat and order soup and it's hot, I don't really think about it, because soup is supposed to be hot. BUT, if I know I need five little things to be thankful for, my brain will be like, YES, hot soup! This is amazing and it's going on our list!

If you're thinking about 2019 goals/resolutions/intentions, this is a really good one to have. So simple, so impactful. It's both doable and can change your life. 

Get yourself a notebook, or start a note on your phone, and at the end of every day, write out a list of five things you're thankful for. Not the big things, like family and friends, but little things from THAT day, like green lights and hot soup. It can be surprisingly difficult the first few days, but that's kind of the point. Train your brain to be happily surprised and thankful for those tiny little things. 

I promise, you won't regret it. 

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Monday, December 17, 2018

Christmas Coffee Date.

Happy Monday! We're ONE week from Christmas Eve...are you in the stressed about this camp or the excited about this camp? Maybe a little bit of both? 

If you're anything like me, you and coffee are going to be BFFs this week. So it felt like an appropriate time for a little coffee date! 

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you...

That half of me is so jealous of people who have been done with their Christmas shopping for weeks now, but the other half of me loves getting out and shopping in the chaos of Christmas week. 

We went to Universal yesterday for Grinchmas and Jack ABSOLUTELY COULD. NOT. HANG. He was in my lap for the actual show, and he was not about it at all. When he started screaming "NIGHT NIGHT, MUSIC" I got up to take him out, but it just so happened to be during the quietest song of the show and the stairs just so happened to be metal and there was A LOT OF NOISE, OKAY? I will never again be able to hear Cindy Lou Who sing Where Are You, Christmas? Without thinking of all the noise I made trying to get out of there so everyone could enjoy the show. 

That I am a baby when it comes to cold weather. Florida has ruined me and I am not sorry. It is 44 degrees here at the moment and I AM NOT OKAY. While it is nice that it makes it feel more like Christmas, I'm not going to lie, I've been daydreaming about the days when the pool will be back in my life again. 

That I've been having the BEST luck with Amazon finds lately. Especially when it comes to sweaters! I have a few Amazon posts I can't wait to share after Christmas, because it just blows my mind that shopping is this easy now. Bless you, Amazon. 

Your turn! What's going on with you? Wishing you love and joy and peace and COFFEE this week!
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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Your Yearly Reminder to Stop & Savor.

I write some version of this post every year, and just like always, it's just as much for me as for anyone who may read it. 

Here we are, less than two weeks out from Christmas. Things tend to start to get a little hectic around this time, so I wanted to drop in with my yearly reminder for you to slow down and savor.

'Tis the season for gifts and parties and lots of plans, yes. It's also the season for joy and gratitude and wonder. Don't lose those last three because you're so caught up in the first three. 

Joy and gratitude and wonder are all free, but you have to look for them. And, in my personal experience, it's a lot harder to find them if you're running around at light speed trying to do all the things. 

So this week, slow the heck down for a minute or two and just savor the good things around you. Listen to your favorite Christmas music. Actually look at the Christmas lights in your neighborhood instead of just rushing to get home so you can rush to the next thing. Don't run yourself so ragged that you arrive at Christmas day exhausted and stressed over how much money you've spent. That's no way to start the new year. 

This time of year is beautiful and special for so many reasons other than what you can buy or what you have to do. So don't miss that! 

Have the best day today. Do yourself a favor and savor the week, okay? Love you, mean it. 

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Monday, December 10, 2018

Happy Festivus! An Airing of Grievances.

My friend Lindsay (who, side note, is one of my favorite bloggers. Like, I'd continue to read her blog even if I was no longer a blogger because it's just the best) does a yearly Airing of Grievances post inspired by Festivus. When she announced it early this time, I knew I had to join her this year.

So, without further ado...things that have disappointed me this year: 
Paying for Amazon Prime only for two-day shipping to turn into five-day shipping that may or may not ever actually get there. 

People who try to corner me into an argument about things that cannot be argued with logic. 

The fact that I so often fall for it and get sucked into these arguments. 

Clothes that no matter how careful I am to wash in cold water and not dry, will shrink the second they're washed. 

How in some brands I'm an XS and in some brands I have to get an XL to even maybe be able to squeeze into it. 

The fact that, of all things, SHOES cannot just be universal sizes. It's supposed to be INCHES. HOW DOES IT VARY SO MUCH BRAND TO BRAND?????
People who can't let you say something without pointing out how they are more ___ than you. If you are cold, they are COLDER. If you say you're tired, they're like "LOL YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT TIRED IS UNTIL YOU HAVED LIVED THESE EXACT SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES I AM LIVING." 
The fact that vegetables just do not taste as good as unhealthy crap. They just don't. 

People who slide into my DMs trying to sell me something by being rude. "I couldn't help but notice you could use my help losing those last few pounds." BYE, SUSAN. 

People who say, "must be nice!" 

The fact that my phone autocorrects "Mondays" to "Monday's" even though I have literally never typed out a sentence about something belonging to Monday.

People / bloggers / brands who label clothing as "Mom friendly."

Meetings that could have easily been emails.  

Unsolicited parenting advice. 

When someone texts me and says "Call me." No, you call me. And if I don't answer JUST TEXT ME, OKAY?

Whew, I feel better. Your turn! What grievances are you airing today?
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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Things That Should Be on YOUR Christmas List.

It's that time of year where the internet is brimming with gift guides and I LOVE it. My friends Lindsay, Jordyn, and Kait have some great ones if you're looking to buy gifts for your friends! However, If you're anything like me, when someone in your life asks you what you want for Christmas, your mind looks something like this: 

"Christmas? Gifts? What are those? What are my interest? Do I even like things? Have I ever had a hobby?"

Or, you know, something like that. 

So, to help you out, here are some ideas of things to put on your Christmas list. And not like, I saw these online and think they would be good gifts, but I actually own these and love them and would be thrilled to get them as gifts kinda gifts.

Under $10: 

A beanie with a hole for your ponytail. || Can't stop, won't stop wearing this. Also it was $13 when I bought it and it's currently under $5!

A frother for your morning coffee. || I truly think this was the best $6 I spent in 2018.

This nail polish that dries within 60 seconds. || I seriously can't use anything else anymore now that I know this exists. 

These silicone reusable straws that help you drink more water. || They're also the perfect width for a smoothie straw! 

This ice roller to make all your face puff disappear. || File under "Things I had no idea existed but not can't live without."

This sleep mask you can put in the freezer. || Block out all the light and get rid of puffy eyes all at once. 

Under $25: 

A facemask that will last you forever. || Cheapest, best face mask ever. 

This magical zits-be-gone potion. || You know what 2019 doesn't need? Breakouts. This stuff is magic. Put a tiny bit on your zit before you go to sleep, wake up with it basically gone. 

A natural way to sleep good without any crazy dreams. || Melatonin puts me to sleep, but gives me nightmares. I put up with it (because ya girl can't sleep to save her life) until I found this. 

This lotion that smells like vacation and tightens everything up. || It's technically for your bum, but I put it everywhere! It smells like summer.

These blender bombs that will take your smoothie to the next level. || These simplify making  smoothies AND they taste amazing. 

This planner that fits all your notebooks into one pretty binder. || The planner to end all planners. 

Under $50:

This One-Step hair dryer & styler. || If you're anything like me and find it difficult to hold a brush and a hair dryer at the same time, this is for you.

This plush robe. || I wear this allll the time. It's the coziest. 

Treat Yo'Self:

The Spanx Leggings. || If someone wants to buy you a splurge kinda gift, these are SO worth it. 

The Beachwaver. || I can't say enough good things about this. It takes the guesswork out of curling your hair. It takes me less than 10 minutes to curl ALL my hair with this. 

What's on your Christmas list this year?

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Monday, December 3, 2018

Spending December: A To-Do List For Adventuring Through Your Month.

It's the most magical month of the yearrrrrr! And there are 31 days of magic we get to choose how to spend. I have a few ideas of how you should spend them. 

1. Start an Advent calendar / reading plan. Yes, we're a few days late. Yes, you can still do it. 

2. Donate to those in need. There are most likely things in your kitchen that you could donate to a local food pantry and not miss at all, but they could make someone's whole holiday so much better. 

3. Make a playlist of your very favorite Christmas songs. Blast said playlist as often as possible. 

4. Decorate for Christmas! Whether you go all out or get a mini tree from the dollar store, do whatever makes you happy.

5. Watch Elf. Not in the Christmas spirit yet? We can fix that. 

6. Mail someone a Christmas card. Bonus points if it's someone who wouldn't expect one. 

7. Look up festive things happening in your town this month. 

8. Get some holiday coffee. Highly recommend the Archer Farms candy cane and gingerbread flavors, both at Target.

9. Declutter. Especially if you have a kid who will be receiving toys for Christmas. Toss/donate old toys.

10. Give someone a gift in secret. LOVE Secret Santa in real life. 

11. Bake Christmas treats. 

12. Watch your favorite Christmas movie.

13. Watch a Christmas movie you've never seen before. 

14. Go take Santa pics. Take your kid or your pet and then please share these pictures. I have two years of priceless Santa pics with Jack, really hoping for a third funny one. 

15. Get dressed up. There's just something about getting dressed up in December. You can get fancier than normal and it just feels right. 

16. If you live in driving distance of Orlando, go to Grinchmas at Universal! I mean, I personally think it's even worth getting on a plane for. It's my FAVORITE. 

17. Do something that has nothing to do with your to-do list. Take a break and check in with yourself. Don't get so busy doing all the things that you don't enjoy this season. 

18. Have a Christmas dinner party. Whether you invite over the whole neighborhood or just cook your favorite festive things and watch a movie, both are perfect. 

19. Make hot chocolate. Get fancy with it! 

20. What's the one thing that always makes it feel like Christmas to you? Do that one thing. 

21. Make your last-minute Christmas shopping a festive celebration. Last minute shopping used to stress me out to NO END. But the last few years, I've made it into a celebration...Christmas music, peppermint mochas, enjoying all the store's decorations. 

22. Go to a Christmas service. Regardless of your faith, there's something incredibly peaceful about Christmas services. 

23. Go look at Christmas lights. 

24. Celebrate Christmas Eve! My favorite day of the year! 

25. MERRY CHRISTMAS! Make it the best one ever! 

26. Have the MOST lazy day. Yesterday was probably crazy, take a break today! 

27. Spend some time reflecting on 2018. What do you hope to be different in 2019?

28. Write 2018 a letter. 

29. Write 2019 a letter. 

30. Set some goals! Whatcha gonna do with this new year headed your way?

31. Celebrate New Years! 

How will you be spending December?
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