Monday, November 30, 2015

Book Store Magic

I could write about my weekend or maybe how my Thanksgiving went, but today I want to write about my trip to the book store. I know that may sound weird, but I went into a Barnes and Noble this weekend and it was like walking into a candy store as a child. Anyone else feel like that?


Me and R were running errands and I had this urge to stop in and browse. I didn't have anything in mind to buy, but it doesn't matter to me. Book stores are magical this time of year. It doesn't matter if you walk into a small private boutique book store or a large chain. They are all decked out for the holidays and feel warm and inviting.

I am a sucker for all of the little gifts and paper goods. Planners, journals, games, and books. It doesn't matter to me. They suck me in. I wandered around for what seemed like hours losing myself in all kinds of creative thoughts. I was amazed to see all of the adult coloring books and adult connect the dot books. These all made me smile and laugh at the same time. So many feel good memories coming out of these things. I began to make a mental wish list. Things I needed to have. Things I wanted to give as gifts.

The book store reminded me that the world is still a place of mystery. We can read books to help us discover some of these wonders. I enjoy escaping into these stories. They help me flex my creative muscles and remind me to keep on dreaming.

I left the bookstore reminding myself that books can help us. From readings someone else's story to reading a fantasy that doesn't really exist. We can relate to these stories and work them into our own lives. We can work on coloring books and relax our minds. We can write in journals and create our own stories. Everything is magic when you enter a book store. Do you agree?

Now I need to write about what I put on my mental wish list. That is for another day though!

Also as a reminder, when you pick up those new books, you mat want to have a big hot cup of tea..  Don't forget to get signed up for my 2015 Holiday Tea Swap! It's a little magical itself.

Happy Monday Folks!




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Friday, November 27, 2015

2015 Holiday Tea Swap!

Now that I have recovered from my food coma, stayed up WAY to late shopping online deals, and have a quiet house to enjoy, I figured it's time to get the Holiday Tea swap under way!


If you aren't familiar with my tea swaps, this is the 2nd annual holiday swap and the third total I have offered on my site.  I am a sucker for holiday teas and thought it would be fun to share my love with you all. The swap allows you to be partnered up with another tea loving buddy to swap your favorite teas.

Sign ups start today and will close on Saturday, December 5th. I will get all buddies emailed no later than December 6th.

There are a few rules (Only to make this a fun and fair experience for everyone!):

I am asking that everyone provides at least 4-5 bags of tea for your buddy to sample. You may include more.  You can do this in anyway you choose, but I ask that you include a little blurb about each so your buddy knows what it is they are sampling.

Please have packages sent out no later than Wednesday, December 16th.

Last year I asked everyone to include a Christmas card with their packages since this will be arriving right around Christmas. This is optional, but a nice touch for your buddy.

If you have any questions or concerns please let me know. As always use this as a way to have fun!

Sign up for the 2015 Holiday Tea Swap!

 

 Happy Sampling!


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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Eve + Announcement!

How in the world did it become Wednesday already? I am so not ready for Thanksgiving yet! Are you?
So much to do before the family is upon us. Do you cook or do you go to someone else's house? This year is our turn to do the cooking so we will be cooking our little hearts out starting tonight. Trying some new things this year due to my new found allergies to dairy. Should be an interesting day!

Anyways... Enough blabbering from me. Today I wanted to make an announcement. Seeing how it is that time of year again.. I thought I would bring back.. wait for it... 

The Holiday Tea Swap!

I am so excited because I love drinking tea and who doesn't love a good holiday flavored cup of goodness to get you through? On Friday I will have the official sign up form. Sign ups will be open for a week and you will get your buddies on December 5th. All packages are going to be due to be sent by December 16th. 

I will get into more details on Friday. But in the mean time start thinking about that you want to buy! I love trying new teas and this was a hit last year. Can't wait to see what everyone gets!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!





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Monday, November 23, 2015

Managing Seasonal Depression

The holidays mean different things for different people. Some people love the idea of shopping, parties, and all around cheer. Others dread it. Not because they are trying to be a Grinch, but because this is the time of year when seasonal depression rears its ugly head.

Seasonal depression can happen for many reasons. Remembering the loss of a loved one. Stress. Family issues. The list goes on. With the days being shorter and the temperatures dropping, hiding in our homes sounds like a great idea. I have a spoiler for you. It's not.



Now I am not a doctor or in any way telling you how to deal with depression, but I can tell you I have been in multiple situations with people from children to the elderly who have dealt with some pretty bad depression. Myself included. Today I want to tell you how I have dealt with seasonal depression and what has worked for me and the people around me. I am hoping some of the tips that have helped me in the past will help one of you.
 

Self love 

 

First and foremost, love yourself. When times get hard we tend to put everything else before our own health. Do little things for yourself. Enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning. Write in a journal. Smile at yourself in the mirror. You woke up today. You get another day to love yourself.

Limit Alcohol and Sugar

 

I know you are probably thinking this is impossible. Everywhere you turn there are sweets and parties with endless holiday drinks. The truth of the matter is, when you add sugar and alcohol to your diet when you are already feeling blue, it can give you a sugar spike and then bottom you out, making your mood even less desirable.

Exercise


Hitting the gym or a quick yoga session can really help bring you back to center. If you don't have time to do a full workout, sit quietly at night and meditate. Only 10 minutes of quiet can make the difference. If that is not your thing take a 10 minute walk during your lunch. Getting out into the fresh air helps boost energy and can help shift your mood to a better one.

Socialize


Accept invites. If a friend invites you to lunch, go. If a co-worker invites you to a party, attend. Getting yourself out of the house and connected with the world keeps you from being alone to your thoughts. You don't have to be a social butterfly or center of attention, but being around others can boost your mood if you let it.

Arts and Crafts

 

Running low on the dough and stressing about gifts? Working with your hands helps your mind stay busy. Not only will you be creating meaningful gifts for your friends and family, you will be saving cash and giving your mind some exercise. It's a win/win if you ask me.

There are so many ways to help beat the blues, but I hope these 5 ideas can help you out. Making time for yourself and letting yourself relax can make all the difference.

One last thought. Make sure you also check in on your loved ones. If you notice anyone having a hard time, don't be afraid to reach out. Maybe even offer them some of these tips if they are struggling. Most people suffering from depression is looking for someone to talk to at their own pace.

Make the difference this holiday season and take your life back. Happy Holidays all.




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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunday Rambles


I had every intention of writing a lot in November. I had ideas and things I wanted to get done. November has proven to me once again that life is unpredictable. You never know what is going to get thrown at you. Today is November 22nd and Thanksgiving is next week. I am already 2 weeks into my new job and 4 weeks past putting in that notice. Crazy huh? Where does the time go?


Last weekend I felt good about writing. I even wrote and scheduled 2 posts, which did actually get posted. On Monday I posted a little update on my life and Wednesday I had a fun post of Bachelorette Ideas for every taste. I really felt like I was back on the blogging horse. I had every intention of sitting down last week and writing up a post for Friday. A full week of scheduled posts. Well as you saw, it didn't happen.

Between the new job and a situation that came up at home that was unexpected, I failed to do what I intended to do. Again. Does this make me a horrible blogger? Am I allowed to claim human? Either way I am hoping as the holiday season comes and goes I will be more involved in taking this space back to where I started to go last month.

I really want to talk to you guys about the yoga class I am taking and how the new job is going. I want to fill you all in on my weight loss journey and how the wedding planning is going. I am excited to share with you all of my freebie tips and how to save over the holidays. Those are the reasons I started this blog. I want to get back to that and away from the fillers I feel like I have been posting.

Now I need to find that inspiration and motivation. I feel like I am seeing that a lot here in the blogging world lately. Lack of motivation. Burnout. Writers block. Must be in the air?

What do you all do to get past some of these challenges? I would love to hear what you are doing.

Now I need to get moving so I have some stuff to share next week. Have a great rest of your weekend!


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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Bachelorette Party Ideas

Wedding planning is fun, but what really gets me excited is what is going to happen for my bachelorette party. A part of the planning that I don't have to plan. I know my girls will do me right by this, but just in case today I decided to come up with a list of fun ideas.

There are so many ideas out there that don't have to do with going to a bar and getting drunk. Some people may appreciate this, but me personally have not been a big drinker, and would prefer to do something fun with my girls that will be remembered. Here is a list that I think can cover everyone. There are ideas of all kinds and tastes.



Paint and Sip

Who doesn't like to drink wine and paint pretty pictures?  Paint nights are popping up all over the place and area fun way to get together with your favorite ladies and have a good night of laughs and art!

Karaoke

Ladies, I know we all are secret divas who want to belt out a good tune from time to time. Why not rent a private room at a karaoke bar and have some fun? Most places provide props that will enhance your rock star moments!

Glamping

I am not a huge fan of camping but glamping is something I can get on board with. Spend a weekend with your favorite gals and brave the great outdoors in your luxury tent. Who said camping isn't luxurious?

Casino

Love is a gamble right? Head out to a casino and take a risk! A casino offers a lot of options. From fine dining, to shopping, to nightclubs, and of course slot machines! 

Spa weekend

Who doesn't love a good pampering session? Head out to a local spa or take it one step ahead and head to a resort where you will be pampered all weekend. Massages, facials, and mani/pedis sure sound like a good idea to me!

Wine tour

Living in the Finger Lakes, and getting married at a winery, I can vouch for this one. It is SO much fun to hop from winery to winery, sampling delicious wines. Depending on what time of year you are planning this, you can participate in a themed tour, which is always a good time!

Tea Party

Last spring I attended a real fancy tea party in my community. It was SO much fun! I enjoyed all of the little finger sandwiches and snacks. I think this would make a lovely bachelorette party or even better, a fun bridal shower!

Comedy club

Looking for a night of laughs? Why not go to a comedy club? It doesn't matter if you travel to a large city or something local. They tend to be a good time not matter the size or place. 

Road trip

What better way to fully get to know everything about your friends than to share a car with them on a road trip? You can make this a long trip or just a quick weekend trip. Visit someplace near by you have been meaning to visit, or plan out a route and play it by ear!

Bucket list night

Do you have something you want to do before saying "I Do"? Get those bucket list items crossed off in a wild fun weekend with your girls as your backup!

Pin up photos

Every girl wants to feel glamorous and sexy from time to time right? Hire a photographer or head to a studio that offers these photo shoots and have a good time with your ladies! It has been a bucket list of mine for many year!

So there you have a it ladies. Some fun ideas for your bachelorette party. Get to party planning!





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Monday, November 16, 2015

Howdy!

It feels a little foreign to be writing here today. Getting back into the groove of things this week for sure. Let me take you back 2 weeks so I can bring you all up to speed on what's been going on in my life.

The week of November 2nd was my last week at my old job. Not only was it a long week of training, it was also a very emotional week. This place has been my family since I moved to Central New York 4 years ago. Although I knew it was time to move on, it didn't make it any easier. My week was full of lunches and meetings. I had to rack my brain on all of my daily tasks to pass along to my boss. My job was a new position when I took it last year so I am really the only one who knew what I did.

I rounded up my week with send off drinks at a local bar. It was great to be showered with love and support. Something I wasn't expecting.

I took Friday off to get some things squared away. It was nice to have the house to myself. I got so many things done that I've put aside for other things. Saturday the 7th I started a new yoga class series. A nice beginners class to get myself back into the groove. My body was in desperate need of some quiet time to stretch and listen. I look forward to sharing all that I learn with you all here on the blog.

Sunday I went with a friend to a concert. We went to see Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox. It was AMAZING! I would recommend the show to anyone looking for a fun night of song and dance.

Now I will take you into last week. My first week at the new job. I was super nervous as anyone would be. You never know if you made the right decision until you jump right in right? I arrived at 9am and was greeted with flowers and baked goods. It felt good to be wanted.

I had an exhausting week of learning new things on top of adjusting on some new medicine for my stomach. I came home every day ready for bed. Blogging went on the back burner and sleep became my number one priority. Friday came and I was thrilled to see 5 o'clock. I needed some rest.

I settled into bed early when news starting coming in about the deadly attached in Paris. Just when I thought my stomach would finally settle down, it was full of knots again. This world is such a scary place anymore. We shouldn't have to be frightened to go out into the world. We shouldn't have to look over our shoulders or be suspicious of people around us. I wish we could all get to a place where peace was the number one priority.

Wouldn't that be nice?

With that I am going to leave you. This was quite mismash of a post, but I wanted to give a nutshell version of what I've been up to. I have a few posts written and scheduled for the week. I will see you all back here on Wednesday!

Make it a good one.




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Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday Happy Dance!

I don't know about all of you, but I'm tired! The past 2 weeks have been full of changes and they are sure taking a toll on my energy. I am hoping to get myself back to a regular schedule next week, but again I am not making any solid promises.

As most of you know I started my new job this week. Transitioning from one job to another is always stressful, especially when you try to teach as many people as you can how to do your old job before you depart. No fun.

I've spent this week learning my new job. So far I love it. So much information to learn. I feel like my new job has a purpose and it makes me feel good about going in everyday. I know its only been 4 full days, but I already feel at home there.

It's been a good change. I'm very happy with my decision. I am planning to write up a whole post about this next week. Stay tuned and have a wonderful Friday! Do a happy dance!


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Monday, November 9, 2015

Post-Sunday

I kind of feel like I've been leaving you all hanging. I really am sorry about that. I never realized how much work goes into wrapping up a job before moving on to the next one. Today is the day. The day I start a new chapter of my life.

I hope you guys stick with me as it may be a bumpy road. Getting acclimated to my new job may take me away from my normal posting schedule. I don't want to make any more promises I can't keep. I'm not taking a break but I want to forewarn that I may miss a day or 2 once in awhile.

I'm finally to the point where I can tell myself that it's okay to take time for me. If that means skipping a blog day, I will be okay with that. I hope you are too.

As we get closer to the new year I want to do more with the blog. I want to help it shine. I know my strengths on how I need to do that and right now I know those strengths are not there. As I work on me a bit, this space will also grow.

I suppose I should wrap this up and get myself ready for work. I hope you all have a lovely Monday. I'll see you all real soon!

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Tired Wednesday

Some days I am tired. Today is one of those days. Lots of tossing and turning and no sleep tend to happen more and more these days. Stop back tomorrow for a real post.

Happy Wedneday :)

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Monday, November 2, 2015

Let's get this party started: November Goals

When I got out of bed this morning I looked at my white board and it said " September: Write Everyday." It was at that moment that I realized that today is November 2nd. Part of me panicked for a moment. Where did October go? Did I even accomplish anything last month? The other part thought, "Today is my fathers birthday! I didn't even get him a card!" This has been my life lately. Breezing by with a lot of scatter thrown in.

Good news is, I DID accomplish some things last month and my dad isn't a card guy. I will call him later and he will be okay with that. Now on to what I did do in October:



Finish my writing class

Does it count that the class ends this Friday the 6th? I am on track to finish with a little catch up this week. I'd say this is a win. I am checking this off as done. 

Send out 2 pitches to brands

So I failed at this one. I kind of knew I would in a way. After I made the goal I decided to revamp a few things again. That made me hold off on pitching brands. I think I am going to hold off doing that until the new year. So many things to get up to speed before then.

Post more photos of myself

I feel like I did a good job with this. I did post a few photos of myself, including a halloween makeup tutorial. I want to call this one a win as done. 


November is going to be a weird one for me. I noticed last month I used the word transition as my theme but I feel like this month is going to be more of a transition for me than October was. I am going to have both personal and blogging goals because of this. I am starting my last week at my current job and will be starting my new one next week. That in itself will be a transition.

Personal Goals

Budgeting: This month I am going to make up a budget for 2016. R and I are getting married and are planning to buy a house in the next 2 years. Last night I paid off two credit cards due to budgeting and frugal spending. This was huge for me. I am so close to having all of my debt paid off. I have been able to do this with my lack of spending. I only spend when necessary. I do a lot of free offers so I do not buy a lot of my personal hygiene and beauty products. I also shot consignment a lot when it comes to clothes. I do not feel like I need to spend triple the cost on some of these items.

Wellness: I am signed up for another 6 week yoga class to relieve stress. This will help me both with my fitness and my stress level. Transition times like changing jobs can be really stressful. Having an outlet like yoga and meditation is super helpful. 

Reading: I put this on my list a lot, but I need to get more reading time in. I really enjoy getting lost in a good book, but I often put it on my back burner for other things. I have 2 books right now from the library and I am going to get them both done this month if my life depends on it!

Grateful: I know this is a weird thing to add to a goal, but sometimes like everyone else, I do forget to stop and acknowledge the things I am thankful for. I know even when the times get tough, I do have a support system. I am going to use this month to really reflect on that and get myself on a track to think about this daily, rather than set it as a goal. 

Blogging Goals

I have had a hard time with my blogging goals lately. I have let all the craziness around me get in the way of my focus on this space. I am hoping with the new job and changes coming in my personal life I will be able to really set some goals for December and into the new year. For now I am going to work mostly on those personal goals and hope they work into this space here. 

What are you planning for November?






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Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sunday Snaps

Happy Sunday. Did we all survive Daylight Savings Time? I know I was grateful for the extra hour of sleep I received this morning. Also welcome to National Novel Writing Month AKA NaNoWriMo. We also have a National Blog Posting Month AKA NaBloPoMo for us bloggers. Are you participating in either of those? I can't commit but I will try.. Now let's see what I accomplished this week.


ICYMI: Blog Posts of the Week


Monday I wrote about a simple Halloween craft that involved wine and glow sticks. Pretty cool right?

On Wednesday I was feeling a little dramatic so I posted about my friend "Zoey the Zombie". She totally plans to crash my wedding!

Friday got real. I completed my first week of my "two weeks notice" and felt extremely drained. What better way to describe it then with gifs?

Coming Up Next Week


On Saturday the city of Ithaca hosted a Wizarding Weekend that literally came together in 2 weeks. 1 week if you count the part where they realized they were expecting thousands of people. I was fortunate enough to attend and got there early to get some photos.  Stay tuned for my account of how that went down.

Also expect to see my November goals and maybe a fun post about thrifting!

See ya tomorrow!







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