Tag Archives: presents

Blogmas – My Holiday Wish List 2019

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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I hope everyone is having a great holiday so far, even though it’s still early in the day. For this entry for Blogmas, I have decided to do my Personal Wish List.

This year was a difficult year, and is still difficult for myself and my small family. With moving back to PA from WA in the end of March, to our wedding in May, and to still not being caught up on bills from the big move… the second part of this year has been rough. Without going into too much detail, my husband and I were both sick twice with a cold already, we had snow 2 weeks before Thanksgiving (wtf?! it’s not even winter yet!), we both had a few serious episodes of depression and anxiety throughout October November and some of December, and we seem to just keep trucking on with no real reason at this point. We’re just trying to remain happy, calm and spend as much time as we can with each other to try and combat the depression we’ve been feeling. 

Because we’re still in debt from the move and catching up on payments and had sick spisodes preventing us from working a few days… I decided to share my Amazon Wish List with you and highlight a few things that we need for our apartment and home life and what’s on my Christmas List. Your Christmas List is supposed to be things that you would never splurge on for yourself, however, with the recent events of this year and being broke, it seems my list grew to be things that I or we actually need that we don’t have much money for sadly. 

  1. Rechargeable Fabric Shaver, Lint Remover  As most of my readers know, we have kitties… and this helps with removing lint, cat hair and fuzzies that may accumulate from the laundry. We also do not have a washer and dryer in the house because there’s no room and laundromats only can do so much for your clothes. This is something I’ve always wanted for our sweaters, too.
  2. Kinesiology Tape Precut My husband and I both have back problems. We love using this tape on our back for therapy and use it constantly, but it’s sometimes expensive to keep buying it for both of us to use, and have started to use it sparingly.

  3. Elevated Garden Flower Planter Bed We have a small yard, and with our back problems it’s sometimes hard to bend over for long and garden, and it’s usually me who takes care of all of it. Having raised gardens for our plants would be amazong and something my husband always wanted for each year because it’s easy to clean up, rake, harvest and saves garden space!

  4. DEWALT TSTAK Tool Box We have way too many tools. Way too many and the box we have everything in is just too heavy and we need an actual toolbox or two to fit everything. 

  5. Kitchen Island Cart We have very little counter space in our kitchen. So little, that I can’t even make cookies unless I clean off my kitchen table and take the table cloth off, and no room to put hot pots or pans that come out of the oven. We plan on re-doing some of the kitchen and making room for this.

Again, I know Christmas is supposed to be for things you really want that others splurge on for you that you would never buy for yourself mostly, but in our case, these are things that have been on my list and have wanted for awhile that we could really use. Instead of a new Urban Decay eyeshadow palette or new Apple Watch in order to upgrade, I’m chosing most of this stuff.

 

Be Present – Dawn Marie Beauchamp

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Be Present – It is the Greatest Gift this Holiday Season

The holiday season is full of glitz, glamor, and excitement. Around every corner are messages on how to make this holiday season bigger and better than the last. The drive to make things magical becomes exhausting and overwhelming. As a wife and mother of three, I look forward to the holidays and at the same time wait for the anxiety to take over and fill my waking moments with overwhelm and fear of disaster. Does this sound familiar? For the 2019 holiday season, let’s try a new approach. Instead of trying to be perfect this holiday season, let’s instead be present. How do we define present this holiday season?

Exchange “Perfection” for “Joy”

Do you search through Pinterest and walk down aisles at Home Depot in search of the perfect decorations? Do you once again land on Pinterest and your friendly Google search bar looking for the perfect holiday recipes? Perfection can be overwhelming. Perfection is an unattainable goal. Somewhere between perfection and disaster is real life.

Step back from the curated world of social media and decide what makes you happy. If, like me, you love to cook and searching out the perfect recipe gives you joy, then by all means do it. If the opposite is true and cooking gives you anxiety and feels like work, then find somewhere to cater your holiday meal or hand the meal planning over to another family member. Focus on what gives you joy this holiday season.

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Focus on People instead of Gifts

I love buying gifts. Spoiling my children is super simple. Walking through any store, I can fill my cart to the brim with toys, games, clothes, and gizmos that I know will bring my children joy. I noticed over the past several holiday seasons that my children start to become overwhelmed by all the gifts. The youngest ones especially are ready to play after opening one box and even become frustrated that I am stopping their play to open more gifts.

It is time for this momma to step back and focus on my sweet children instead of an overpowering list of must-have gifts. A friend of mine introduced me to the following formula:

Something they Want+Something they Need+ Something to Wear+Something to Read=Done Shopping

My goal for the 2019 holiday season is to stick to this formula and choose things that my children will love. The focus will be quality over quantity. Quality is more likely to spark joy and joy is our goal.

Be in the Moment More and Documenting Less

My cousin once told me, “If it is not posted on social media somewhere, it didn’t actually happen.” I believe it is easy to become so involved in sharing memories you are not truly making memories. Everything has its time and place and finding a balance is important. Step back from the camera for a minute and just be in the moment. See the smiles and hear the laughter through your own eyes and ears and not the screen of your cell phone.

By letting go of perfection, it is possible to find true joy. Taking time to seek out quality gifts over massive quantity will spark joy without chaos. Fully focusing on the moment with all of the senses instead of the curated lens of a camera will bring joy. Exchanging anxiety for joy allows one to be truly present in the moment. As the holiday season unfolds, your presence is a far greater gift to your family and friends than any gift, meal, or perfectly coordinated holiday display. Choose Joy, be Present, and Enjoy the holiday season with the ones you Love. Happy Holidays!

Blog PhotoAbout the Author: Dawn Marie Beauchamp is a wife and mother of three residing in the great state of Michigan. She and her husband own a small electrical company, where Dawn runs the office and her husband is the electrical master mind. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors and spends a lot of time enjoying the woods of Northern Michigan. Dawn also enjoys, cooking, writing, and all things DIY. She writes about her adventures at Controlled Chaos – Embrace the Adventure of the Everyday. (www.embracecontrolledchaos.com). You can also find Dawn on the following social platforms: Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest

Blogmas – Last Minute Stocking Stuffers

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Hello everyone and welcome to one of the last Unsanity #Blogmas posts for the 2019 season! I didn’t have the patience or time to write one blog per day, so I opted for 10-12 over the course of the month to give myself time to get them uploaded and scheduled.

I hope you’ve been enjoying them like I have been while writing them for you. There’s alot of good stuff in here, and it’s going to be hard not to want to duplicate some next year (yes, I plan to do it again! We’ll see how the year goes leading up to December haha.)

This post is all about Stocking Stuffers for you last minute shoppers who need small gifts for your co-workers or family/friends. All of these are under $10 USD too no less! (This is in no way an ad and I do not get any compensation for featuring these item’s on my blog whatsoever. These are items I have selected from personal interest.)

mad libs

Christmas Mad Libs to play with your family during the gathering.

sugar cookie

This caffeine free sugar cookie tea for the tea lovers to try during the cold winter months.

cherry bath bomb

Everybody loves surprises – give the gift of cherries and a surprise inside with this bath fizzer.

makers mark

Have a friend who loves Maker’s Mark? Get them this awesome sweater for their bottle you bought them for Christmas.

cake decorating

This Cake Decorating tip set from Baker’s Dozen should do the trick for the baking enthusiest in your friends group.

cremo

For the man in your life who shaves every day for work – this cream fights razor burn and nicks to keep him smooth.

salt scrub

Infused with Dead Sea Salts to give you younger smoother skin. Maybe stick with giving this to a friend vs a co-worker. They might get the wrong impression, lol.

unicorn slime

For the child on your list, or for a co-worker who needs something to occupy them on lunch.. this is the perfect fun gift to give!

Blogmas – Unique Gift Ideas for Anyone

BLOGMAS 2019

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With Christmas being less than 2 week away now, there’s still time to get unique gifts for everyone on your list from Amazon with two or one day delivery to most states. I’ve curated a list of a few, erm, strange yet useful gadgets and items that anyone on your list would appreciate this year. (This is in no way an ad and I do not get any compensation for featuring these item’s on my blog whatsoever. These are items I have selected from personal interest.)

910aPPf8uXL._AC_SL1500_Of course we need to start off with this shower/bathroom/anywhere wine holder for while you’re getting ready or relaxing. Made for those wine-os who just need a place to store their glass so they don’t spill it and lose their precious wine. “Finally… a little “you” time. Pull out that silky robe. Crack open a great book. Light a few candles to set the mood for the pièce de ré·sis·tance: a truly luxurious soak.” I’m just going to come out and say it: everyone on your list can use this even if they don’t put wine in it.

 

81ZP5qBBb-L._AC_SL1500_Even if you don’t like nature (which, I don’t know why you wouldn’t) this bird feeder can entertain you and anyone else in your household for hours including pets. Are you a photographer? This is the perfect gift to get some wildlife/bird portraits you normally wouldn’t be able to get. And guess what! It includes the suction cups that they guarantee are weather resistant and will not slide down on the window. Enjoy seeing wild birds up-close like never before.

 

81+gDVjidxLNeed a solid yet funny and comical planner/to do list to keep yourself organized during the day… Look no further. There’s a lot to be said for sloth philosophy, and this notepad says it all. And honestly, I added this little guy to my cart as I was writing this because maybe it will help me get my sh*t together a little… after my little naps. Get your to-do list out of the way so you can focus on what’s really important: relaxing. Take it slow and have fun without worrying that you’ve forgotten some obligation. Maybe indulge in a nap full of slothlike, stress-free dreams.”

 

 

61iz-7+DEUL._AC_SL1000_Now, you might not be into camping, but if you love the outdoors and have 2 poles or trees in your back yard, this portable hammock is definitely for someone on your list. With that price of only $25 or under, and a complete 5-star review of over 2,000 people, something tells me you can’t go wrong with this. This is a double hammock, and can hold up to (get this) 1,000 pounds! Something tells me I’m going to be adding this to my wish list today…

 

 

8130lg1zKQL._AC_SL1500_Trying to drink that water your doctor keeps telling you to drink daily to stay hydrated? Do you hate the taste of plain water though? Check out this leak-proof water bottle infuser to add your favorite fruits to. It is 100% BPA Free, comes with a carrying handle and it’s easy to clean for when you need a refill. “Water is plain, water is boring, and water is tasteless – and since we live in a sea of flavor packed alternatives (usually swimming in sugar and potential dangerous chemical additives), it’s easy to see why we skip the healthy option altogether.”

 

61r1l3Mg+WL._AC_SL1001_Picture it: you come in to your office in the morning and it’s warm because they had the heat on all night. This little fan will give you just the right amount of comfort at your desk to help cool you off for a bit. Did I mention that it plugs into your computer or laptop in order to work? How cool is that? It’s got 3 speeds, it rotates to fit your needs and is available in a few colors.

 

81LTiTxKdUL._AC_SL1500_Give the gift of cold to that beer lover in your family or friends list. “The HOPSULATOR TRíO keeps your drinks 20x colder than a standard neoprene can-cooler, so that your last sip has the same refreshing kick as the first.” Don’t have a beer lover in the family – fear not. This can also be used to keep your coffee and tea warm wherever you are with the lid attachment.

 

 

910ZdSN33oL._AC_SL1500_This cutting board is the perfect gift for the chef in your life. My husband and I actually have a cut out of Pennsylvania and we LOVE it, even if it’s just for decor half of the time. Just selcet the drop down menu and pick your state or your friends state and ta-dah! This fun, whimsical laser-engraved artwork calls out all the wonderful sights and places in the state of your choice. I mean, of course I had to choose NJ to feature, because I will always be a #JerseyGirl. Did I mention that this is bamboo? Bamboo is much gentler on knives than most cutting boards and won’t ruin them when you cut on this.

 

What If It’s Not A Happy Holiday? – Renata Leo

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The holiday season is quickly approaching, which means plenty of parties, family gatherings, holiday specials, and most importantly, pressure to feel happy and have a great time. When you suffer from depression and are constantly at war with your brain, it can be difficult to separate your emotions from how you believe that you’re “supposed” to feel. Every day is a struggle to understand how you really feel and to fight the impulse to force yourself into certain emotions. I can’t tell you how many vacations have been ruined for me because my brain was continually telling me that I should be happy even though I wasn’t, which made me even more miserable.  And there’s no time when societal pressure to feel a certain way is more present than the holidays.

Between all of the tv shows and movies with messages of love and good tidings, cheerful songs extolling all the virtues of humanity and family members talking about how wonderful it is when the family gets together, we are bombarded with the message that we’re supposed to be happy during the holidays. Gifts, love, and free vacation days, who can be upset with that?

The pressure comes from every direction! If you’re hosting a party, it needs to be perfect. If you’re attending a party, you need to be thrilled every minute. And due to this ever-present pressure, tensions at holiday parties can run high. With the hosts and party goers all feeling that everything needs to go perfectly, the smallest mishap can make tensions boil over. Family gatherings are constantly on the edge of contentious catastrophe. For an empathetic person, this atmosphere is really a minefield. Unable to escape this tense vibe, empaths can feel anxious and smothered by the forced merriment. All of this frivolity can be damaging for introverts as well. While interacting with so many new people and attending several parties can already drain an introvert, the added energy used by plastering on a fake smile and pretending to have a great time can be even more exhausting.

Then, there’s the pressure to take care of everyone else. The holidays are supposed to be a time when we think of everyone else instead of ourselves. Escaping from the festivities becomes a selfish and heartless move instead of necessary self-care. You don’t want to be a Grinch, right?  Self-care is an important part of everyday life, though, and it is especially important during the holidays when you are expected to attend to everyone else. You can’t take care of others if you’re too burnt out from neglecting yourself! Self-care is important, especially when dealing with depression, but when everyone around you is proclaiming that you need to be as selfless as possible, self-care seems selfish.

Make sure that you take care of yourself throughout the holidays, without worrying about everyone else. If you need to take a moment away from the festivities, confide in some people who would understand and make your exit. Don’t pressure yourself to feel a certain kind of way. This internal pressure only compounds on a heavy societal pressure to feel jolly and merry. Just let yourself feel. It’s okay if you’re not enjoying the festivities. It’s okay if you still feel sad and empty during the holidays. It’s okay.

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Author Bio: Renata is just an open-minded, overly-sensitive, optimistically cynical feminist millennial whose passions are people and words. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @renataoleo, or at her blog here.

Blogmas – DIY Gift Guide

IT’S BLOGMAS TIME!

Happy Blogmas everyone! It’s that time where we all get into the gift giving spirit, and go hunting for the perfect item for your loved ones. Personally, I love making gifts and DIY-ing alot of stuff. For my entire family last year (aunt uncles etc) I made them a simmering potpourri kit with directions using cinnamon, dehydrated fruits and spices. It was super easy to make and I found everything in bulk in my local Winco (out in WA – we don’t have one here in PA, so I’m going to have to find something different to do..)

I’ve spent some time researching and using my past experiences and DIY things I’ve made to curate this special list of easy DIY gifts for holidays that you can create. While I didn’t have time to create them all myself and take photos of them all like I wanted to, I have linked every single one I’ve used to give proper credit for creating wonderful tutorials to be shared. I hope you enjoy!

  1. Stove Top Potpourri I found this adorable set up of something I similarly did last year for my family, as mentioned above. While this tutorial is a bit simpler than what I used, that’s okay because it’s meaningful and easy to use for the receiver! (And can be used whenever you just miss that Christmas feeling.) Photos from post by Delia Creates.                                                                               stove-top-potpourri-69-of-711124
  2. Sweater Wine Totes  I came across this online because a few members in my family like to have wine at every party… including my mom and I haha. This tutorial is simple and easy to complete if you have left over or thrifted sweaters that are stretched out that you don’t wear anymore. The only thing you need to know how to do is sew! Photos from post.                                                                           DIY-Sweater-Sleeve-Gift-Bag-for-wine-at-thatswhatchesaid.net_thumb
  3. Christmas Tea Tree This is an awesome idea! Both my husband and I love tea and so does my best friend and mom, so I was thinking of maybe making one of these for them this year as well as little added piece for them to enjoy some holiday blends. This DIY tutorial shows just what you need to make these festive little trees. Photos obtained from tutorial page linked above. christmas-tea-trees-14-1024x1024
  4. Homemade Soaps Do you know anyone who loves soaps and is always constantly buying new smells, textures and kinds? How about you make them some this year instead! It’s very easy to do and the thought of personal soaps will strike their fancy. In this tutorial, we see how to make a Grapefruit Lavender soap and a Coconut Mint soap for the soap and bath lover in your life.Photos obtained from tutorial page linked above.                                                                                     grapefruit_lavendar_soap_DIY_a_house_in_the_hills
  5. Rose Hibiscus Whipped Body Butter Now this is something that I have also tried to do for family and friends for holidays and birthdays once or twice. It was a big hit (I tried different smells than this one though) and they always wanted more. This is a non-edible gift that will make someone feel like they need a pampering night or a home-spa day. Photos obtained from tutorial page linked above.                    021015_HB_PT_BodyButter-Step5

  6. Flavored Salts Do you have a food lover in your life? Someone that is always cooking no matter what? Here’s an easy tutorial from PopSugar that shows you how to make flavored salts to use in cooking! I’ve made some of these before myself, and let me tell you – it’s such a satisfying gift to give someone. Photos obtained from tutorial page linked above.6c0c478e6716d201_salts2EG.preview.jpg

  7. Compound Butters Another treat for the chef in the house or family, are these adorable recipes for simple compound butters. Instead of giving something sugary for Christmas this year, give them something they can use to cook their steaks or spread on bread to enjoy with dinner. This tutorial also comes with a free printable! Photos obtained from tutorial page linked above.                                                 Sweet-and-Savory-Butter2
  8. Peppermint Candy Cane Sugar Scrub This is actually one of my FAVORITE things to make for the holidays! I made this two years ago for friends and they absolutely loved it. It’s great for softening up winter dry skin and it helps moisturize as you use it. It should last up to three months in a sealed jar, perfect for the length of the holidays for you to enjoy! Photos obtained from tutorial page linked above.  candy-cane-sugar-scrub-theidearoom-10-1024x683
  9. Hot Chocolate Mix Ornaments This one is great for kids! I actually did this one about 3-4 years ago while working at a small company in PA and they were a huge hit, I actually ran out with people asking me for one. Best part is, you can add any type of powdered hot cocoa, sprinkles and marshmallows or peppermint bits for a great winter decoration and drink. Photos obtained from tutorial page linked above.  hot cocoa2

Christmas Traditions – Lexie Wohler

Christmas Traditions

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Christmas time is a time of celebration. It is a time to get together with family and friends. It’s a time to remember how blessed you are to have had another year of life. It is also the time to start buying gifts for your family and friends. Christmas light will be starting to pop up on your street and all around your neighborhood. There will be hordes of people trying to buy just the right gifts for their loved ones.

You’ll start hearing Christmas music. Do you start listening to Christmas songs in early November or do you wait until December? I normally wait until after December first to start listening to Christmas music. What’s your favorite Christmas song? One of my favorites is “On This Very Christmas Night” by the Tran Siberian Orchestra.

What are some of the traditions that you and your family celebrate during the holiday season? Do you go caroling with a group of friends or people from your church? Do you go help care for the homeless, or bring clothes to those who are less fortunate?  My family and I often go see Christmas lights around our city and then go see Christmas lights and decorations downtown. My dad often puts up our Christmas tree and the Christmas lights over the few warmer days that we get in late November, or early December.

My mom starts decorating the house in early December. Our praise team starts singing Christmas songs at church in late November, when we start preparing for Advent.  We lead worship at the 5p.m. service on Christmas Eve. Normally, the church is filled with over 200 people on Christmas Eve.

Some of my other Christmas traditions include listening to “The Time, Life and Treasury of Christmas” and “The Child of The Promise” CDs.

We also go to my grandmas on Christmas morning to open presents. Going over to her house was and is one of my all-time favorite traditions. We normally rotate who hosts Christmas every year. Sometimes we end up hosting it at our house two to three years in a row. Who hosts Christmas every year in your family?

The most important part of Christmas is celebrating Jesus’ birth. We get so busy with the rush of the holiday that we forget to focus on Him. We get so caught up in buying gifts and getting our house ready for Christmas that Jesus is often overlooked as the reason for the season.

Jesus’ birth paved the way for everyone who believes in Him to be saved and eventually go to Heaven. Unfortunately, the world thinks it’s all about the gifts and the decorations, when it’s all about focusing on how important Jesus is in all of our lives.  As much fun as it is decorating our homes and spending time with our loved ones, let us never forget the true reason for every Christmas season.

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Lexie Wohler is a repeat guest blogger with The Unsanity and you can find some of her previous posts here, along with her author bio and social media links.

40 Blogmas Ideas for This Holiday Season

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It’s that time of year again! Most would say it’s the most wonderful time of the year… Personally, I love the holiday season (minus the snow.) making people smile, festive recipes to test on the family and learning how to deal with new holiday stress.

I’ve never participated in Blogmas before, and I thought I would give it a try this year and do my own 12 days of Blogmas. I can’t really commit to 25 or 31 days of December at the moment, but I know I can at least do 12 of them and spread them out throughout the month of December!

If you don’t know what Blogmas is, it is a blogging challenge which consists in publishing a blog post either 12, 25 or all of the month of December. As its name suggests, Blogmas is the conjunction of the words ‘blog’ and ‘Christmas’ and anyone who has a blog can take part in the activity. This can give you consistent content, and help with daily views and publishing; not to mention to help you become a better writer than you already are. It’s good to have challanges in life, and a simple one like this can make the whole world of difference in your online presence.

Remember to have fun with this! It’s not meant to be stressful and if you find yourself not being able to keep up, you can always change the way you go about it like I am, and only committing to 12 days vs more than I know I can handle. Afterall, it’s YOUR blog and you can do what you want!

So on that note, I’ve decided to make a list of 40 Blogmas ideas that you may want to write about this holiday season. I’ve done a bit of research, and have curated this list based on what I personally would write about. 12 of these listed will be featured on my blog this season, you’ll just have to wait and see which ones! (These are in no particular order, I just wrote down whatever came to mind at the time.)

  1. Holiday Sales
  2. Home Decor
  3. New Years Resolutions
  4. Winter Self Care
  5. Gifts for Husbands
  6. Gifts for Wives
  7. Your Holiday Wish List
  8. Favorite Holiday Drinks
  9. Favorite Holiday Treats
  10. Favorite Holiday Dinner Components
  11. Winter Date Night Ideas
  12. 12 Days of _________ (gifts, giving, cookies etc.)
  13. Journal Prompts for Winter
  14. Gratitude Journal Prompts for Winter
  15. Gift Guide for Gifts Under $20
  16. Gift Guide for Gifts Under $40
  17. Winter Bucket List
  18. Christmas Day Routine
  19. Best Holiday Memory
  20. DIY Christmas Gifts
  21. New Years Blogging Goals
  22. Favorite Holiday Scents
  23. Gift Tag Printables
  24. Christmas Journal Printables
  25. Christmas Recipe Cards
  26. Stocking Stuffer Ideas
  27. How to Handle Holiday Stress
  28. Write Your Own Letter to Santa!
  29. A Guide to Christmas Events in Your City
  30. Top 10 Christmas Songs
  31. Holiday/Christmas Quotes
  32. Christmas Giveaway
  33. New Years Giveaway
  34. Unique Gift Ideas for Anyone
  35. December Goals/Blogging Goals
  36. Color Scheme Ideas for the Holidays
  37. Books to Read This Winter
  38. Top 5 Things You Love About Christmas
  39. Christmas Finances (with printable!)
  40. Top Unique Cookie Recipes for Christmas