Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Christmas Gift Guide for the Newly Weds

The holidays are upon us and one thing that always seems to stress everyone out is gift giving. It's not because we don't like to shop, it's because we never quite know what to get the ones we love. Today I wanted to focus on a gift guide for newly weds. I myself am a newly wed and this will be my first Christmas as a Mrs.

After the wedding is all said and done, we look around our homes and realize we will need some things Whether we didn't get everything we put on our wedding registry, or we simply didn't think about all of the practical things we would actually need.

The list is meant to be fun and useful. If you're shopping for a newly wed, or you're a newly wed yourself, I hope this list finds you well.

Newly Weds Gift Guide

This list at first may look confusing, but let me explain why I chose all of these items.

  • Measuring cups: For starters these are really festive and have really cute writing on them. We both enjoy cooking, so having measuring cups are really important and often forgotten as a gift idea.
  • Mr. and Mrs. stemless wine glasses: These are just for fun. No one really NEEDS these but they are fun to break out on special occasions. 
  • Fluffy bath robes: Have a romantic night at home and slip into a comfy plush bath robe. They are perfect for cold nights or when you just want to hang out on the couch all day together.
  •  Canisters: I am actually really sad I didn't put these on my registry. We have so many different things we could use these for, both in the kitchen and out. Maybe Santa will get the hint. ;)
  • Eye mask and ear plugs: Ladies (and gentlemen).. I don't know about you, but my hubby snores and loves to stay up reading his kindle. The honeymoon is over real fast when you aren't getting enough sleep. Black out those lights and noises early on. Your body will thank you.
  • Cooking utensils: This bamboo set is beautiful. Having spatulas and slatted spoons are real essentials in the kitchen. You miss them when they are missing. 
  • Kitchen scale: I cannot tell you how many recipes I have made that asked me to measure out something by weight. This is especially helpful when you are watching your portions. Get one. It's a game changer. 
  • Point and shoot Camera: Yes I know, we all have cellphones with camera's, but it's fun to go on little adventures with your significant other and snap photos along the way. They are pretty compact and can fit easily into pockets. Capture all your moments together.
  • Gift Cards: Sometimes people just enjoy purchasing their own gifts. Many people find this option a cop out gift, but really, sometimes this is really what someone wants. Besides you can use gift cards for so many things. I show you in this post. Check it out. 
  • Weekend bag:  It's nice to have a bag to be wisked away for a weekend with. It's purpose is to hold clothes for each of you for 2 days. It really comes in handy if it's hard to get away often but you take many weekend trips through the year. 
What would you add to this list? Anything you really needed but didn't get and hoped for as a Christmas gift from loved ones? Share below!


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Monday, November 28, 2016

A few thoughts for a Monday..

Just a few thoughts today...

I had a nice Thanksgiving and enjoyed 4 days off filled with family, cat snuggles, and yoga. I am very grateful for all of it. Family is always comforting, Hugging my kitties makes me happy, and yoga was a great way for me to get my head cleared.

Today is Cyber Monday. There are a lot of great deals out there if you are one for shopping online. I personally love to look for travel deals. A little tip I like to share is, follow people on twitter. So many great deals go live on there!

The Holiday Tea Swap sign ups close today at 11:59pm EST. If you are interested in joining in, please get signed up as soon as possible. I will have all swap buddies e-mailed by Wednesday. I really hope you will join us.

I have a few announcements coming up in the next few days. Stay tuned.

May your transition back into a work week be smooth and your week be full of love. 



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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

I just wanted to pop on here real quick to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. Even if it is a holiday you do not celebrate, take today to reflect on those things you are thankful for. We can never do that enough.

I wanted to challenge myself to write down as many things as humanly possible that I am thankful for, as to remind myself to not only dwell on the bad. Here goes nothing..  (In no particular order of importance)

I am thankful for my husband. Even though we don't always see eye to eye, we keep each other in check.

I am thankful for my mom and dad. They have been my rock this year when other outlets didn't seem to deliver.

I am thankful for the friends who have become family. The ones who will let you cry on their shoulder or scream until you feel better with no judgement.

I am thankful for Rick and Grace (my cats). They have offered so many laughs and snuggles in the short time we have had them in our home. They make this house a home.

I am thankful for my job. I work in a very rewarding position and even today, when many people are off with their families, there are amazing people tending to the animals. There is no holiday when you have live animals to care for.

I am thankful for this blog. As much as I have neglected it this year, it is still here when I need a place to release my thoughts. It has brought me some new friends and has taught me so much. I get to be my own boss here and have opportunities because of it.

I am thankful for my readers of this blog. Some of you have become friends. Some of you have become my cheerleaders. Some of you are strangers who comment just to put a smile on my face. I love that and I love all of you.

I am thankful for the medications that are making it possible for me to eat on a daily basis. My stomach has not been the happiest this month, and even though it's been rough, these pills have made it bearable.

I am thankful for all of our women and men in uniform helping to protect me on a daily basis. I am forever grateful for them and their sacrifices to their own families to protect us.

I am thankful for the home I live in and the shelter it provides me. I have more than many people in this world and I never want to forget how grateful I am for that.

I am thankful for the greater power, whomever that may be, who does show me from time to time that there is a bigger purpose to all of this. There is someone watching over us, even when we struggle.

I am thankful because I am alive. I woke up today, and I am breathing.

Happy Thanksgiving all. <3



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Monday, November 21, 2016

3 Holiday Stress Relief Options



Thanksgiving is in 3 days! Can you believe it? That means Christmas is only 34 days away. Are you ready?

If you're like me, you are already in overdrive getting everything into order. You see, this is my first holiday season married. We are hosting our families this year for both holidays. I made this request last holiday season, when we had to travel from house to house, day to day.

It was exhausting! I am cutting out my stress by staying home (Although I know for some, this makes people more stressed out, but for me, I love to entertain in my own home).

Today I want to share with you 3 stress relief options to get you through whether you are hosting or traveling to visit friends and family.

1. Give yourself a timeout: When I am feeling stressed I pull out a book and make myself a cup of hot tea or coffee. The book takes my mind off of anything that is chaotic around me and the hot beverage warms me up and brings me comfort. 

Taking time away from the stress doesn't necessarily make it go away, but can help you clear your head and get you back in the game. It may also help you see what is really stressing you out and get you more focused on the fun side of the holiday, rather than the stressful side.

2. Make lists: I know, I know, everything you read these days talk about making a list. So would it really surprise you to see that making lists really work? I find myself making lists through out the year, but around holidays, they become extra handy.

Anything from planning your menus, to buying gifts, to simple things like, cleaning the house. If you have it written down somewhere, you won't forget to do it. Just make sure the list is somewhere you can see it, so it doesn't become lost or an after thought.

 
3. Ho'oponopono: This word may sound weird, but it's meaning is so powerful. This is a practice of either sitting solo or in a group and saying (or singing) I'm sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you, and I love you. This may sound odd, but when I went to my first session as a group, it was so beautiful. Signing those words out loud, with a group was so healing. It brought tears to my eyes.

During this practice you are allowing yourself to forgive not only yourself, but anyone else who may have hurt you. You can do this by yourself, quietly singing to yourself or saying it over and over in your head. I would recommend doing this for at least 15 minutes in a quiet environment. It is so balancing and healing.

Bonus: Also, another way to be stress free is to meet new friends and drink hot drinks. This is the last full week to sign up for my holiday tea/coffee swap. Get yourself signed up so I can partner you up with your new friend next week!

What do you do to keep the stress at bay? Share you thoughts in the comments!


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Friday, November 18, 2016

High Five for Friday!

It feels like ages since I've done a H54F post! I feel like I  have a few things to talk about, so let's get to it..

1. R and I hosted a successful Friendsgiving on Saturday. We had, including ourselves 12 adults, 2 small children, and 2 energetic cats. We were able to squeeze everyone into 3 tables pushed together. It was pure amazingness! (Yeah I know, not really a word.. lol). We made the soup from our wedding (Mushroom Merlot.. to die for by the way), a 11 pound turkey, 2 kinds of stuffing, sweet potatoes, and a sweet potato cheesecake. Friends brought other sides and beverages. All in all an amazing feast!

She was helping and got worn out fast.. I did clean this off before the guests arrived..

2. LulaRoe announced their Elegant Collection this week and the pieces are TO DIE FOR. I can only hope to get my hands on something. If you aren't familiar with LulaRoe, you are probably living under a rock, because it is so hot right now. Not only is it comfy, but it is stylish. I feel like I wear something from their line weekly.

(Source)

3. I am celebrating my 1 year anniversary working for the SPCA. It is such an amazing and rewarding job. I get to be apart of saving innocent animals lives when they had nowhere else to go. The time and effort these amazing people put into these animals is overwhelming. I couldn't imagine a more rewarding career.

4. Being that it is mid-November, I wanted to do a small happy dance that the temperature has been pretty amazing. We have gotten some 60 degree weather and that is pretty great. I hear that may change this weekend, and we might get some of that 4 letter word that no one likes to say, but I will admit, we have been blessed with the weather we have had.

5. I want to remind everyone that I am hosting a tea (and coffee) swap. Sign ups are open until November 28th and all buddies will be announced by November 30th. It is a fun way to meet someone new and you get to sample some new tea or coffee. Sign up for the Tea Swap today!



In case you missed it...

Dear America, Today is Veteran's Day
Weekly Wins: Vol. 4
Wellness Wednesday:  Live in the present

Have a great weekend!


Linking up today with:

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wellness Wednesday: Live in the present

Sometimes we all need reminders to live in the present and tune into our own emotions. Someone posted this lovely little guide on Facebook (I have no real source to this, please let me know if it's yours). 

I felt like it was perfect for this week, as there are still so many raw emotions out there.  

Have a great Wednesday. Listen to what your emotions are telling you. 



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Monday, November 14, 2016

Weekly Wins Vol. 4

Today is a very special "wins" post. I am not only going to tell you my weekly wins, but a special win today as well. Might as well get right into it..

Special Wins


Last week marked my 1 year anniversary taking a chance on a new opportunity. It was an opportunity that excited me more than I could ever have imagined, and scared me on different levels. I left a cushy "corporate" job with good pay to work in non-profit. I took a leap in faith to try something new in hopes to de-stress my life. To help get myself away from the 50 hour work week.

Today I can look back on my whirlwind of a year and feel completely comfortable with the leap I took. My job is not only rewarding, but has some of the most resilient I have ever met. I get to help make a difference in my community and work with some crazy talented people.

I am so grateful. 

I am hoping to put together a post about what I have learned this year in a non-profit setting, and what you should know as a potential donor. I really can't wait to share this all with you!

Health Wins

 

I have been diagnosed with acid reflux. It doesn't sound so scary, but in reality with the stress I have been under lately with some family stuff, it completely set my gallbladder off on a rampage and I have some stomach ulcers. How is this a win you may ask? Well I am finally finding some relief with the use of some medications. I am not a big medication person, but I was in such agony, I needed to ask for help. I am on the mend and making some lifestyle changes to get myself back on a better track. 

Personal Wins

 

Me and R had a successful Friendsgiving on Saturday. We hosted 12 people and it went super smoothly. We had some great food with some great friends. Bring on Thanksgiving!

Blog Wins

 

The win here, is just posting regularly. I am also engaging more on my social media sites. I had some new followers through the week, which made me happy. Also, my annual Holiday Tea Swap is back. I would love if you joined us! Coffee is a new option this year! If you want to join and aren't into tea, we will partner you with another coffee lover! Get yourself signed up!

How was your week?



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Friday, November 11, 2016

Dear America; Today is Veteran's Day


*I took this photo many years ago while traveling over the George Washington Bridge in NYC. Today I feel like it represents what the country is feeling today. Nothing is clear, things are wobbly, and the flag is in limbo. It is eerily beautiful, and represents this post perfectly.

 I was kind of on the fence about what to write today. Today is Veteran's Day. Today is also the first day I have formulated a thought on what to write on our recent election. In sorts they both go hand in hand. Never forgetting why Veteran's Day is observed. Is it irony today?

Veteran's Day came into play at the end of World War I. At the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Formally Armistice Day, it was formally renamed Veteran's Day in 1954.

Today we remember all military veterans. We remember and thank them for all they have done to make this country great. Not great again. Great now. They risked their lives to help make this country a safe place to live for all. I still believe they will do this, even in our times of darkness.

We cannot forget the wars they have fought to make us a great country. To turn our backs now on America would be a huge disrespect to our veterans. When we are in our darkest hour we need to all stick together and put out into the universe all the love, light, and positive thoughts we have in us. All the beautiful souls will come together and make America shine when the world sees us as broken.

We may be broken, but that means we can be fixed. We can dance through this storm to see the rainbow.

It's been 2 whole days since the world learned who the 45th president of  the United States of America would be. Donald Trump has made it into our White House.  Are we all still in shock? Yes. Can we get through this? Absolutely. We can't turn our backs now.

WE MUST LEAVE OUR HATE BEHIND.

I don't care what your reasons are for hate, but at the end of the day, the only person who can change your ways is YOU. Please see that and be the change we need. Every day opens new doors to correct the wrong in our hearts, our communities, our states, and our country.

Be the change we are all seeking. 

Please start today.



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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

How I Wore My Lularoe: Wedding Edition

To help forget the election results, I bring to you a fun post! I get to look back on all of my outfits through my wedding "season". I didn't realize until the other day that I wore LulaRoe for all of the events leading up to my big day. Today I am showing you how versatile LulaRoe is and how they have many pieces that are not only stylish, but also very comfortable.

I jumped on the LulaRoe wagon back in July and I currently own more than I want to admit. Everything I own, I wear regularly, so I don't feel guilty for my purchases.

For my bridal shower I wore my Amelia. A comfy dress with a zipper in the back. You can also turn this dress around and wear with the zipper in the front. I paired this with bride socks.. Nailed it!


For my bachelorette parry, I chose this flirty get up. I paired a salmon top with my lovely Cassie. A stretchy pencil skirt that works on any body shape. And let's not forget that pink tiara veil to bring it all together! (Yes I am holding a VERY large stein with water in it. Blame October fest!)


For my rehearsal I word this Fall patterned Carly dress. Its a high low design that feels like you're wearing pajamas, while looking stylish. Now wearing those 4 inch heals were NOT like wearing my PJ's but hey, it was for the wedding right?


I felt very comfortable through all of my events. Are you a fan of LulaRoe? What are your favorite pieces?

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Monday, November 7, 2016

2016 Holiday Tea Swap

It's that time of year again! The weather is getting chilly, it's getting dark at 4:30pm (I hope you turned your clocks back this weekend or you're early today!), and the holidays are right around the corner. I can only think of one way to make that better, and that's with a big cup of hot tea! Today I am brining back my holiday tea swap.


If you aren't familiar with my tea swaps, this is the third annual holiday swap and the fourth 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.

New this year is adding the option of coffee. It is not required, but you will see on the form you can check if you are open to receiving some coffee as well with your swap. You may also sent K-Cups in any form if your swapper indicated they have a Keurig.

Sign ups start today and will close on Monday, November 28th. I will get all buddies emailed no later than November 30th. All packages must me mailed by December 12th. If this will be a problem, PLEASE let me and your swap buddy know.

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.

If you are not going to meet the deadline or have any issues, please send me an email ASAP. I want to make this an great experience for everyone involved.

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. You may also include anything else that you feel either goes with your tea choices or you just feel like putting a smile on your buddies face.

If you have a blog, I am going to host a link up at the end of this. It would be fun to see what everyone gets! If you post about it, use the hash tag #TLTeaSwap2016

That's it! Have fun with this! Let's get the holiday season started off right! Please fill out the form below to get signed up! Happy sampling!

----> 2016 Holiday Tea Swap <----


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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Weekly Wins Vol. 3

It's that time again. Talking about my wins of the week. It's such a positive way to identify good things in life rather than focusing on all the bad.


Health


  • I have identified a problem with my health, so now I am working hard to get things better. Even though it was a tough week when it came to the foods I chose and the way they made me feel, I have been able to set myself on a better path to what needs to happen this week.

  • I attended my 2nd yoga class in the 7 week course I signed up for. I love it more and more each time I go. My body is happier and I am starting to feel less distracted. Such a win for me.

Personal


  • This week I posted some photos from my wedding. It was nice to take time out to remember how great the day way, even when things aren't going great in other areas of my life currently. Any little moment or event can pull us out of that bad place we go when we worry, and my wedding photos reminded me of that.

  • I kicked ass at work this week. I kept up with everything and was able to leave my desk on Friday afternoon clean and nothing sitting to deal with on Monday. This is an ultimate win for me.

  • I am working on a plan for 2017 to keep myself focused and motivated on getting my life back to a place where I am happy. I have identified what things need to change and how to do it, now I just need 2017 to get here so I can implement them!

  • I FINALLY caved and bought some new pants and a few other items for the winter. The win here was I got a pair of jeans, a dress, a sweater, a cardigan, a jacket, and a belt for about $17. Gotta love thrifty shopping!

Blogging


  • I blogged 4 days during the week plus today, so 5 times! This is probably the win I am most proud of. I have been more consistent lately and my stats are proving it. I am seeing more traffic and more engagement. Now I need to keep it up!

  • I have decided to host my 3rd annual holiday tea swap. Last year wasn't the greatest turn out as I got the information out later than anticipated and it fell right in the middle of the holiday swing. I am going to put that announcement out this coming week, so if you love tea, come back and get signed up!

All in all I had a decent week. I am working on time management and organizational skills this coming week. I have really lacked in these things lately and that can make all the difference. Can't wait to see what the week holds.

What were your wins this week?





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Friday, November 4, 2016

Friday Happiness

Happy Friday Y'all! I hope it was a great week and an even better weekend. I'm going to leave you with the cutest picture ever. Okay I may be biased, but how happy does this sweet girl look? Grace is one spoiled kitten!



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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A Winery Wedding Story

Today is the day.. I get to share with you my most exciting day to date. My wedding day. If you have been following along in this series, you know what's gone on up until this point. If you haven't, I suggest you read my engagement story, and follow right on through until you get back to this post.
I'm going to jump right in... These are just a few of my favorite photos! Maybe I will do another post down the road with more detail..  Non professional photos first.. then the professional :)

Wedding Date: September 24, 2016
Wedding Ceremony: Private lake house on Cayuga Lake
Reception Venue: Knapp Winery
Photographer: Tom Mizzoni Photography and all my friends!

Morning mimosas!
The beautiful bouquets! All done DIY minus mine on top
Creeping on my guests..

The most beautiful background for a wedding ceremony!
We did! We're married!

I was IN LOVE with my centerpieces.


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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Weekly Wins Vol. 2

First and foremost, I wanted to say, happy November! We made it. We are in the last month of Fall and with that, it brings Thanksgiving and the beginning of the food season. Lots of yummies coming our way.

Today I wanted to bring my weekly wins because I did not get them up this weekend. I was a little under the weather, and I just didn't get it done. Womp womp.

Health

I had mentioned last week that I wanted to get back into going to the gym. I did get back to the gym one day and it was that day that I realized how sick I was. For the better part of the week I was absolutely miserable and not feeling great.

The silver lining and win in this statement is, because I was so sick I was able to finally get to the bottom of a year long problem I have been experiencing. I was able to be finally diagnosed and I'm on my way to healing. Today is the first day in awhile that I am feeling good. Not great, but good. I'll take it!

Personal 

I continued on the trend of reading. I am finding more joy in reading and noticing myself more and more picking up a book rather than jumping online. This is a major win for me as I really do spend to much time wasting time online.

I went back to yoga. I know this could probably go under health, but I feel like it was also a very personal choice to get back on the mat. It is both physically and mentally rewarding, and with this series I am taking it incorporates meditation within the yoga practice. The series is called 'Come Home to Your Body'. I left feeling more at ease than I have in a long time.

My parents came to visit! I have not seen them since then wedding and we got to celebrate my dad's 60th birthday. This brings so much joy to my life.

Blogging

I am so happy to have found my motivation again with this blog. I have been working outside my comfort zone with my new fashion posts. I am not by any means trying to be a fashion blogger, as I love being a lifestyle blog, but I am finding so much happiness in putting together an outfit each week. I hope you will check out my Halloween inspired outfits and what I dressed as for Halloween posts.

How are you winning?


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