Live Your Best Holiday Life Update

(or LYBHolidayL from here on out.)

Alexandra and Shea are hosting this wonderful, mindful, month-long challenge and I’m doing my best to slow down and participate. October was a hectic & rough month for me. I had fun, but it was at the expense of my patience and sanity. I’m determined to finish out the year in a better state mentally. Alex and Shea’s LYBHolidayL challenge has helped so much with that. Since we’re halfway through, I wanted to share an update!

November 1 – Make an effort to write down one thing you are grateful for every day or week

November 2 – Read this article about raising Thankful kids

November 3 – Do something to welcome the Thanksgiving season
I packed up the Halloween decor and brought out the fall and winter stuff (but nothing too Christmasy yet). We have some Thanksgiving-themed decorations so I’m letting those hog the spotlight for a while. 🙂

(also includes day 1 & 2 of gratitude!)

November 4 – Make pumpkin waffles for breakfast/brunch/breakfast for dinner
Kyle doesn’t like pumpkin flavor so he got french toast.

November 5 – Shop your closet and try to come up with a couple of new outfits from old pieces
I’ve seen other bloggers try this. It was fun to take the time to put these together!

November 6 – Give back this month: decide as a family how to “give back” to your community
It’s not much, but this year when Christmas shopping I will say “yes” any time a cashier asks if I want to round up my change or donate a dollar to xyz organization. Also, our holiday cards came from paper culture and they plant a tree for every order 🙂

November 7 – Schedule in 30 minutes to curl up with a good book
This was great timing. We left on the 8th for a business trip so I needed the reminder to just STOP and relax for a bit with a book.

November 8 – Take a Break: Get your Hygge on
I bought both the Hygge book AND this activity book a while ago. I worked on some puzzles during our drive to Indy since I couldn’t do anything in our home while on the road.

November 9 – Let go of one thing you feel obligated to do, attend, or complete this month.
There’s a Christmas tree festival in my town that happens every year during this week. I try to go every year and I feel like I missed a crucial party of preparing for Xmas when I forget about it or don’t have time to go. This year I’m just saying the heck with it 🙂 I don’t want to go so I’m not gonna.

November 10 – Treat yourself to a new, yummy-smelling candle
I had to postpone this one until we were home, but I finally lit my new Spiced Apple Toddy candle from B&BW!

November 11 – Clean out your fridge & get it holiday food influx ready!
I actually did this one early! Before we left I cleaned out the fridge for the house/dog sitter!

November 12 – Give someone an unexpected gift
We came home from Indy with extra stickers and lanyards so I took them to my grandma’s house and gave my cousins some of our new merchandise.

November 13 – For today, clear your to-do list of all the non-fun things unless they are absolutely essential!
Since we spent 5 days on the road with customers and clients we decided to nix the alarm clocks this morning. I consider waking up to an alarm to be very un-fun.

November 14 – Start making a holiday gift list
Already started the list AND the shopping 🙂

November 15 – Get started on an Advent calendar, or a similar project for another holiday celebration!
Stephanie shared some AWESOME advent calendars… so I think I might need one of those. I’m also brainstorming some other cute Advent or Christmas countdown activities!


At the end of November I’ll share a final post 🙂 Until then, I invite you to join in (even just for a day or two) and slow down this holiday season!

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My Wishlist (for friends & family & others like me)

I always feel like a brat when I make these posts but A) it’s a collection of cool stuff I think people like me might be interested in and B) when family & friends ask about birthday/Christmas gifts it’s SUPER easy to point them in the direction of posts like this…

SO without further ado… here are some things I wouldn’t mind getting for my birthday next month 😉 Also, the asterisks (*) are notes to family members.

Clothing.

Thanks to Erin, I now know of animalhearted.com

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More good stuff (all size lrg)…

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And these…

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Books.

First things first… the newest illustrated HP book! ⚡🖤
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (released 10/3)

Renegades by Marissa Meyer (pre-order for release 11/7)

Other stuff.

Kindle Paperwhite
Right now I use the Kindle app on my iPad sometimes, but it strains my eyes. I know Kindles have come a long way and I get a free book monthly with my Prime account, so I’d really like one of the middle-of-the-road tablets. *I’ve mentioned this to Kyle

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy
I don’t play video games as often as I used to… but I still keep my DS on my nightstand 🙂 I love these games!

Nintendo Switch
Have these been restocked yet? Lol. I’d also like this game 😁

Some may call it fate… Pottery Barn Teen just released their new HP line 😀

One of these and one of those and these, too! | *These prices are ridiculous. No one get me this stuff.

I mean… new house new decorations, right? I’m sure K will be on board 😉

ETSY for the win…

link | link (a+k, any color 🖤, and two paw prints)

I love these so-freaking-much:

In order of most-love to love: link | link | link | link

I am forever obsessed with artwork…

link | link | link | link

Ok, I’m done.

Actually… one more thing. A new president would be awesome. Preferably one that cares about equality, unity, safety, and people in general. Maybe one that tweets less and worries more about violence toward citizens, the health of citizens, and the overall lives of citizens (even the ones way out on an island THAT IS A PART OF THE USA).

K. Done.

*I just realized I could link up for Add It To My List with Lauren and Bre!

 

I’ll Be Home For Christmas…

Everyone’s posted a holiday home tour but me (or so it seems ). Let’s fix that!
(Check out other people’s houses, too! Mattie, Emily, Taylor, Michelle)

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Typically the decorations go up mid-November, but we don’t get our tree until December. This year we really procrastinated. I knew I wanted a smaller one this year (and we set up a larger one in K’s company office), but I don’t know that I was picturing it this small… Perks to buying your tiny tree the Saturday before the holiday weekend? We got it half off. Say hello to $10 ‘Ronald Trees-ley”:

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Yep, he’s real. Both of them.

Ok… on to the house tour.

No house light this year. Just my sled & fox.
No house light this year. Just my sled & fox.
Favorite holiday spot in the house
Favorite holiday spot
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K and I are the snowmen, Ly is the “woof”, & Enzo is the fox

Ronald, Enzo, & Ly

If you missed it on IG here's one of my favorite ornaments!
If you missed it on Instagram here’s one of my favorite ornaments!
I think we have five nativity sets in our house...
I think we have five nativity sets…
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I love this little cutout in our house

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What a Christmas wreck... ha.
What a Christmas wreck… ha.

Where all the magic happens ;)

And there ya have it. We only decorate the first floor, although there is a pine candle in the basement. Sorry my pictures aren’t high quality… that’s just life!

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I’m going to get religious for a minute.

I am a firm believer in faith by example. Rarely do I mention religion here on my blog, but I don’t shy away from identifying as a Christian. It’s my hope that through acts of kindness and openminded-ness toward others I get across what I believe to be the important parts of being a Christian. I think that being ‘Christian’ means knowing that you are flawed, seeking forgiveness and wisdom, and spreading kindness and love to the other flawed humans (and animals) on this planet. We’re meant to love and take care of one another. I don’t think Jesus cares if you voted Republican or Democrat (or Independent). That doesn’t make you a better Christian. I don’t think Jesus cares where (or if) you got an education. That doesn’t make you a better Christian. I don’t think Jesus cares about your skin color, gender, pay grade, criminal record, or hobbies. I think that Christianity is about serving Christ- and since we have no idea what He looks like or when He’ll appear, it’s best to serve one another with a happy, genuine heart.

All that to say, Merry Christmas, friends! (And if you celebrate a holiday other than Christmas, I welcome your festive greeting! I do not feel like there is a war being waged on me or the holidays I celebrate, and I hope you feel the same.) If you’ve ever thought about visiting a church you should slip into one on Christmas Eve and listen to the story of the birth of Jesus. If you live near me and you’d like someone to go with I’d be more than happy to have you along!

If you are not a Christian or you celebrate another event this time of year: Happy Holidays!  ❤︎

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Regardless of your beliefs, spread a little love and cheer and kindness this weekend, friends! Thank you for your friendship here in Blogland ❤︎

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Sending Christmas Cheer

This is what I was going to post on Monday… Instead it’s coming at you today 🙂  Also, I know a lot of blogger are taking holiday breaks (good for you guys!!) but I’m keeping the posts coming M, W, F this week and next so if you get bored or need a real life break there will be something here to read. Haha!

Typically I am that Christmas psycho elf that has her holiday cards addressed, stamped, and ready to send on December 1st. This year I was dragging my feet and I mentioned that in Blogland. When Alexandra from My Favorite Things caught wind of my procrastination she offered to design the cards for us!

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I like my Christmas cards to be simple and positive. (This was last year’s card.) Alexandra hit the nail on the head with her design!

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I am in love with the return labels she made, too!

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Check out her website and Facebook for more designs!

Thank you so much, Alexandra! We love them!

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*I wasn’t paid to write this  🙂 I purchased my cards at a discounted priced, but these opinions are 100% my own!

The Blogger Christmas Cheer Exchange

Through blogging I’ve “met” some pretty fun people. Two of those ladies are Olya of The Siberian American and Mattie of Northwest Native! When these ladies shared the details of their Blogger Christmas Cheer Exchange on their blogs I was all about participating.

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Similar to their Valentine’s Day swap, the exchanging was anonymous and conducted through elfster. A few days after I sent some goodies to Nikki in Texas I received a package in the mail from a nameless Elf! (Turns out it was from Jess of To Sparkle Punch!) I’m so glad I participated because I got exactly what I’d wished for!

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A week or so after the package came (and Mattie revealed to me who my elf was), I got a Christmas note in the mail from Jess! Since she’d sent the goodies via Amazon she wanted to get in contact somehow to wish me a Merry Christmas! So sweet!

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Thank you so much for the Christmas gifts, Jess! And thanks for hosting, Olya & Mattie!

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Dear Santa…

Per request of family members (I swear they asked for this), I came up with some Christmas swag that I wouldn’t be opposed to receiving. Some is off my birthday wish list, but most of it is new. For the record, I don’t need any gifts… I just want a pretty tree, some time off work, and a cup of coco.

*Alternative title: dear-santa

So here we go… (Nothing is affiliated.)

Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets – illustrated version.
I needs it, Precious. [Er- wrong fandom.]

Any of these books: Cravings by Chrissy Teigen, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, Pretty Happy by Kate Hudson

Sweatshirts.
I love a clever, witty sweatshirt. This one cracks me up. Also this one. And this one.  (Large)
(Seriously… I love sweatshirts.)

Taylor’s new dog shirt!
I have the original one but I love that this one alludes to more than one dog. (Runs small- XL)

Anything for the dogs… My brother and sister-in-law once gifted me a 3 month Bark Box subscription and I was more excited than the dogs to open it each month!

*Between gifts and donations and self-indulgences, I’ve acquired an electric griddle, a coffee maker, and a quality cookie sheet since my last wish list post 🙂

I started this post thinking I’d be able to list 100 things… but I really can’t think of anything I want or need. For family members that are frustrated with me over the short list: I always love books, candles, gift cards, and alcohol  😉

What’s on your Christmas wish list? Maybe it’ll give me some ideas!

EDIT: Erin just shared this website with me… And now I want this and this and this and this  😀 (Ladies t-shirt, sweatshirt, or racer back – probably a large)

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December Amazon Purchases 2015

This isn’t sponsored and I’m not being coerced. (However, if Amazon wants to give me a free year of Prime I won’t argue…) A while back I discovered that Rebecca Jo from Knit by God’s Hand frequently blogs about her Amazon purchases. (Here’s her most recent!) I think this is a crazy awesome idea!

Since Christmas is over I can finally share my recent December purchases!

Evelots Fleece Pet Blanket (grey)

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This was a Christmas gift for Lylee. I’m really bad about A) looking at dimensions and B) visualizing the dimensions once I know them. That said, the blanket is a little small, but I only needed it to cover the one couch cushion Ly-Bear frequents- and it does the job just fine! It’s fleece but it’s durable. Also, it’s was 3x’s less $$$ than a pet blanket from the stores!

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T-fal Ultimate Hard Anodized Durable Nonstick Cookware

Amazon 2

My brother & I (and our partners) decided to gift my mom new pots for Christmas. I had my heart set on Calphalon, but when I read the reviews I was really disappointed. After some research, I decided this T-fal set was the way to go. It says they are dishwasher safe, but I’ve firmly instructed my mom to hand-wash her pots. She’s been cooking with them and is quite pleased!

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Just Add Color: Mid-Century Modern Patterns & Mid-Century Modern Animals

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These were a gift for my brother-in-law and his wife! They’re actually both artists, so I was afraid coloring books might offended them, but they were pleased! The designs are a little larger than some of the teeny tiny floral books and pattern books I’ve seen, but that means you can do your own patterns in the larger shapes!

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Super Power Supply AC/DC Adapter Charger Cord Replacement for B&N Nook

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I couldn’t find my nook charger and I needed a way to read in bed when K wanted the lights off… I rarely use my Nook (obviously), but I decided it’s my best bet so I ordered a new charging cord. It’s a good replacement, though my original cord had an “n” on it that lit up when it was charging… I miss that. I guess that’s what I get for losing misplacing it.

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And those were my Amazon purchases for the month of December! I probably won’t do another post like this any time soon because I don’t shop frequently in spring/summer.

Did you order anything off Amazon for Christmas? Are you a prime member? I do love my free 2-day shipping!

** Off topic but… did you guys catch the (American) season premier of Downton Abbey??? Does anyone want to talk about it? Hahaha!

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