Tag Archives: stress

Taking Time for Me – School and Other Things

I’ll be on a little hiatus currently.

Hi Friends! Since I am starting class for the next 2 months, I won’t be posting as much here and wanted to let you know some plans I have in the long run.

To those of you who are awaiting guest blog publishing, yes I am still going to publish your post! At this moment until I get a handle on online classes, I do’nt have any more scheduled to go out and will figure this out soon and let you know individually when I have some free time. Please do not worry! Since we rushed into Spring where I am, if you gave me a winter themed post, rest assured that I will be posting them this coming winter starting in November and will keep them on file! If you have any questions or concerns, please email me koraldawn@theunsanityblog.com and I’ll be happy to answer any questions!

Yes, I am still collecting guest posts. You may been seeing my tweets calling for guests. I am looking for spring/summer submissions, as my class is over April 26, and will be resuming guest posts then for a few months before the next class starts. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with anything you may need or any info you may want.

A bit of background – I am starting school again and attending SNHU online for a Business Administration degree. My ultimate goal? To create an online marketing platform/business where I can work from anywhere in the world and not conform to any set schedule anymore. I want to travel and I want to be able to work from a laptop on the road wherever I may be. I feel like getting to understand the fundamentals of business along with more marketing, will help me in the long run. It’s been 10 years since I’ve been in college and man it feels like ages ago. Probably because it was, but still… I’m just trying to get back into the groove of things and bang it out however long it takes.

The husband and I want to be able to enjoy our spring and summer since we really didn’t get to last year with being broke, and everything that was going on. We’re both employed now, and we now have weekends off together to do activities without needing him to request weekends anymore (we have NEVER had weekends off together except in WA when he was not employed, so this is going to be a lot of fun I hope.) The first 8 months of our marriage was bumpy, and it’s getting much better because we were both depressed with all the issues we had going on. I’m hoping our anniversary in May (wow!) goes better and his 40th birthday is this month! I can’t WAIT to give him his present for his birthday… he’s going to love it.

A little update on me as well – I started a new medication for my mental health and well-being a couple weeks ago and I think this one is helping much more than the other. So far it’s been good, and I hope it stays that way. My plan is to lose a bit of weight for summer/fall and go back to the gym with the husband (I’m making him come with me even if he says no) because I’ve hit my peak weight and I’ve been absolutely disgusted with myself. I’ve never weighed this much, and I want it to come off. It’s mostly thanks to medication and birth control from 2016 that I had… and now I’m ready for that weight to come off already. This is why (if you follow me on social media) I haven’t been posting many photos of myself and the husband recently, or much of me. I’m at the point where I just don’t think everything fits together anymore with the shape of my body, and I’m working on loving it more. I ordered a bathing suit for the first time in a few years… we’ll see how it fits now.

Money Stress and Budget – Hannah Coe

January is often the month that we’re skint and money stress is at its high. Overspent on Christmas and no money left for the New Year… December pay checks are usually paid before Christmas, which although great for the Christmas budget, isn’t as good for the bills. To top it all, January is also a longer month so it means longer to wait till payday.

It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom though!

By following a few simple tips and adapting little changes in your life you change it all.

Preparation is the key to success

It’s true! Have you ever heard that saying ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’?

I know what you’re thinking, this sounds like hard work… It really isn’t and just stay with me.

Create your budget

You don’t have to be elaborate with this, all you need to do is write down all of your incomings and outgoings.

I normally start with my income at the top and outgoings below. I split my outgoings into fixed costs (bills etc that I have to pay) expected costs (food etc) and then unexpected costs (random spends).

When I filled this in for the first time I used my spends from the previous month to get an accurate idea of what I was spending.

Income:

Wages:-

Outgoings:

Fixed costs

Rent:-

Gas & Electric:-

Water:-

Internet & TV:-

Expected costs

Fuel:-

Food:-

Subscriptions:-

Unexpected costs

Clothing:-

Household bits:-

Days out:-

Random:-

That’s a very basic example of a few things that I will include on my budget overview sheet. There will be more things on your overview and how you categorise them is up to you.

You may be wondering how this will help to reduce stress but it puts everything into perspective. By having everything written down in front of you, you can clearly see where your money is going.

Cutting your budget down

So, you can now see where you’re spending your money and some areas may have shocked you already. My food spend for example was A LOT more than I thought it would be. Because I just put everything on my card I hadn’t realised how much it was until it was staring me in the face!

Look at all your outgoings and think if you could reduce them.

Fixed costs like rent/mortgage will be harder to change but can you swap your utility bills to a better deal? Have you actually tried?! It’s actually loads easier than you think. And trust me, I do it every year! And you can cut your bills easily year on year.

Expected costs is an easy one to cut down, do you need that subscription that you’ve not actually used in the last few months? If not then cancel it! Set yourself a goal of cutting your food bill down by £10 a month, just do it little by little. There’s no point saying you want to half your food costs in the first month because it’s probably not going to happen. Hats off if you do though!!!

Unexpected costs are those random spends and do we really need them? Things like no spend months can be fab when trying to reduce these spends.

How to reduce your spending

Now that you’ve created your budgets for each category, you need to start actually spending less. It’s no good just saying you’re going to spend less, that will just increase your stress!

I’ve already mentioned a few things like switching your utility provider and taking part in no spend months. There are also fab challenges such as the 365 day penny challenge that encourage you to start saving more.  

How can all of this reduce my money stress?

Creating a budget puts YOU in control of your money. And yes, you may think you are already in control, but are you? Do you know, without looking, how much you spend on food every month for example. Write down your estimated spends first and compare this to your actual spends. I thought I was in control but was surprised at myself!

One tip that I use is taking my budgeted money out of the bank and having it as cash instead. By spending cash instead of card it feels more real. You see the money leaving your purse and how much you’ve got left. This is known as the cash envelope system by Dave Ramsey.

Does it work?

YES. In the 6 months or so that I have been actively budgeting I have cut my expenses by about half. By ‘actively’ I mean looking at my spends at the end of each month and reducing them for next month.

All of this motivated me to spend just £500 on Christmas this year, you can click on my blog to see how I got on!

I’d love to know how you find budgeting and if you’ve got any questions feel free to send them my way!!!

Author Bio: Hi, I’m Hannah, a 27 money and lifestyle blogger from Manchester. My site is focused on how I live my life in a frugal – some may say ‘tight’ – manner. It features some amazing freebies and bargains that I’ve found over time, including a page of live freebie
links so you can get your hands on them to! I also share my money saving tips and tricks that I have discovered through my own personal journey so far, I do work in accounting but have no financial training or expertise! Everything I write is my own personal opinion.
Social Media Links: blog twitter facebook instagram

Valentine’s Day and Holiday Coping – Lexie Wohler

When holidays such as Valentines Day come about, do you find yourself getting down in the dumps? Does the thought of being around a large crowd for Valentine’s Day or any holiday frighten you, or make you anxious?  Does decorating for the holidays stress you out? How about preparing for a family reunion with a dinner? There are some things you can do to make yourself feel better.

You don’t have to always host the holidays at your house. Try to limit having people over for any holiday get together, if having a party makes you anxious.

You don’t have to decorate extravagantly for each holiday either. Only put out the decorations that you have the energy and time to put out. Be sure to pick out some of your favorites so you get to enjoy them.

You can limit the number of people that you invite if you decide to host a holiday dinner party. The less people you invite, the less stress you put on yourself.

Make the dinner menu simple instead of extravagant. If you keep it simple, and make something that you enjoy cooking, it makes it more enjoyable to prepare. If people don’t like what you’re cooking, they will just have to live with it for one day, or they can leave if they don’t like what you’ve prepared. Leave the choice up to them.

If you’re down in the dumps about any holiday, specifically Valentine’s Day, do yourself a favor and treat yourself to a meal that you really enjoy.  Or make your favorite meal. Eat the meal in front of the TV or watch your favorite movie. Have a cup of your favorite wine or whatever drink that you enjoy, whether it’s non-alcoholic or alcoholic. Enjoy yourself instead of dreading the holidays. The holidays don’t have to bring you down. Remember that you are in control of the way you feel.

If you find yourself down in the dumps about not having anyone to spend Valentines Day with, don’t give yourself too hard of a time. Rather enjoy the time that you get to spend by yourself. Think of time alone as precious time with yourself. Enjoy the quiet moments that you get to have. If you learn to enjoy being alone and appreciate the time that you have, then you will learn to cherish the time that you could eventually have in a relationship. Finding love takes time, so don’t rush into anything that you’re not sure of. If it doesn’t feel right, then don’t rush it. Whenever the right person comes along, you’ll know.  

Take each day as it comes. Try to enjoy the holidays. Not everything about the holidays are bad. Just adjust your thinking. Instead of thinking negatively, try thinking positively. It will help you relax more. Take time away from the stress of the holidays to find yourself. Focus on yourself instead of focusing on how stressed you are. Make sure to find things that you enjoy doing that coincide with the holidays, so they can be more enjoyable for you. Don’t put pressure on yourself, just let things happen as they happen.

Remember, it is ok to feel down in the dumps during the holidays, just don’t stay in that place for too long. Don’t let it ruin your day, or your outlook on the holidays. It is ok to feel stressed, but don’t let it take over your thinking. Try your best to enjoy your life, no matter what holiday might be coming up.

Lexie Wohler is a repeat guest blogger with The Unsanity and you can find a few of her pieces scattered throughout my website. ❤

It’s About to be a New Year – Lexie Wohler

 

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As 2019 draws to a close, what things do you think about? Do you look back in regret over the things that you weren’t able to accomplish? Or do you look forward to new opportunities that will dawn for you on the horizon? Do you look forward to spending more time on the things that are really important or do you dread the do to list that the new year brings? How many times does another new year stress you out instead of excite you? Think about why the thought of the new year scars you, and figure out a way to combat the anxiety and fears that you have.

A new year can be scary in all of its aspects, and its okay to be scared and uncertain about what the year may bring. But don’t let the uncertainty and doubts stop you from accomplishing what you want to do in your life. Remember, each new day of the year is a chance to get out of your comfort zone, impact the world in ways that you never thought possible, and to impact others in ways you never expected.

Don’t let anyone talk you out of following your dreams. Follow your heart and your dreams.  Do your best at anything you do. When times get tough, turn over your worries to productivity and leave them at His feet while you continue to do His work. Don’t let anyone or anything stop you from finding your purpose in your life. Don’t let anything or anyone stop you from doing what your heart wants you to do. You will give the tools needed to face each new day this year, head on. Keep moving forward in 2019 and never let anything stop you.

Some people choose to go back to school and finish their degree or change their degree in order to get a better job, to make more money in order to provide for their families. While others may be offered a raise in their profession, others may not get a raise right away. Remember as you go through the year to be patient with yourself about the choices you make. Don’t feel as though you have to take on everything and anything all at once. It’s not healthy or achievable for you. Don’t lose yourself in the things you’re trying to do. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself that you literally become an outer shell of yourself. That isn’t ever worth it.  Don’t rush into things that aren’t what you really want to do. Instead, take the time to figure out what your passions are and really focus on them. If it’s writing, then go all in with it and take some classes at a school or online to hone your skills. If it’s painting, then take some painting lessons through YouTube or through a painting group like Painting With A Twist. Remember, no amount of education can ever hurt you in your quest to figure out what you want to do in your life.

If you’ve constantly been taking care of other people in your life, use this new year as a time to finally rest, recharge and focus on taking care of yourself. You can only take care of others if you are healthy yourself. Don’t run yourself raged trying to carter to everyone else’s needs. Remember, some of the people won’t be pleased no matter how much you cater to your needs. If someone gets offended by you taking the time for yourself instead of focusing on them, then you can distance yourself from them or completely cut yourself off from them. There is never anything wrong with taking the time to care for yourself, physically, and mentally.

Let this new year be your best one yet. Enjoy every part of the journey as best you can.

Lexie Wohler is a repeat guest blogger and you can find her first post and bio here.

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

Finding Peace This Holiday Season – Michelle Smith

Today’s guest blogger on The Unsanity is a new friend of mine who has personally helped with my stress and anxiety at the House of Care in rural central PA at the hospital we both work at. Michelle is a very wise individual, promoting balance and reminding everyone in her life to take care of YOU. You are number one, and you need to find your inner peace this holiday season.

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When I was a child, I did not understand why adults found the holiday season to be stressful. It was great. There were parties. There were family gatherings with presents. And the food was so yummy. There were trees to decorate, cookies to make, and maybe even some snow to play in. What in the world was stressful about these things?

Now that I am an adult and “life” has happened, I totally get it. When I was in my early twenties, my father died suddenly from a massive heart attack during the Christmas season. Each year, Christmas is a yearly reminder of my father’s physical absence. And, all those things that were so magical and enchanting as a child are now tasks to conquer on my list. Looking at that list can create stress and anxiety that can be difficult to manage.

Over the past decade of cultivating a yoga practice, I have come to realize that my practice is the doorway to finding peace during the holiday season and all year long. Yoga equips me with tools that help me find my true, higher, peaceful self. Yoga is so much more than a physical practice done in a studio. Yoga equips me with a set of tools that have a positive effect on my being.

Poses or the position we put are body in has an energetic effect. Through self-awareness, it is important to recognize when we are anxious and stressed. Responding appropriately during those first moments of realization is crucial to finding internal peace quickly. The longer we are stressed and anxious, the more time it may take to return to center and peace. Face-down positions have a grounding effect and are great for balancing anxiety and stress. You can simply turn your palms face down. If practiced over time, the subtle practice of turning your palms face down may yield large returns of internal peace. Or, you can lie on the floor or your bed face down for several moments and see if you feel a subtle grounding sensation.

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The breath is central to the yoga practice because it interfaces directly with the nervous system. There are simple breathing practices that we can employ to upregulate the parasympathetic nervous system, the part of the nervous system responsible for helping us rest and restore. We can be in a truly crazy environment and through some simple breathing practices stay relaxed. One easy thing you can do is lengthen your exhale. A basic practice for lengthening your exhale is to take a breath and count the length of your inhale and exhale. Then, for the next 5 breaths, keep your inhale the same count, but lengthen your exhale by 1 count each time. At the end of those 5 breaths, notice how you feel.  Do you feel more relaxed? You may need to repeat the practice several times to notice a positive effect.

Another wonderful tool for grounding and finding your higher self during the holidays is disciplining yourself to bring your concentration to one specific thing. This is mindfulness. Find something specific you want to bring your attention to during the holiday season. The more specific it is, the better. Maybe it is the sound of your breath? Or maybe you want it to be the sensation of air passing through the very tip of each nostril? Or maybe you want to visualize a color you associate with peace and visualize that color moving into your body as you inhale and out of your body as you exhale. Are you sitting in holiday traffic? Are you worrying about the weather forecast and how it will impact your travel plans? Or are you sitting in front of your bat-shit-crazy relative at Christmas dinner? Any of these mindfulness practices can be done inconspicuously to help you find your center, stay in control of the emotions and sensations arising, and know peace.

Knowing peace independent of what is going on around you and even inside of you is key to finding the magic and “child-like” wonder in this holiday season. Pick a tool that resonates with you and commit to practicing it. These are simple practices that can be done anywhere that, if practiced over time, will bring you the greatest gift of all: an internal fountain of joy and peace.

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About the Author: Michelle Smith is a program manager for Geisinger Health System, a rural health system in central Pennsylvania. She manages The House of Care, an outpatient home for adult cancer patients undergoing treatment, and the system’s Integrative Medicine program. Michelle uses the tools of yoga therapy, reiki, and vibrational sound therapy to help staff, patients, and family members know peace during very stressful circumstances. Additionally, Michelle teaches yoga at various studios in NE Pennsylvania. Michelle is the author of the book Always With Me: The Guide to Grieving Death through Integrative Medicine which is available on Amazon.

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!

How I Deal With Depression During The Holidays – Ruth

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“The most wonderful time of the year” is fast approaching. Although it doesn’t always feel that way. Especially when you struggle with depression. I know first hand how it feels to be in a really dark place around this time of year and it drains you. Having to deal with your mental health and the stresses of preparing for the festivities can get too much.

That is why I thought I would share a few techniques that I use to deal with this. Seeing all the happiness around during this time of year can be intimidating. However, these following techniques help to lift my spirits an awful lot.

Do Not Avoid Friends and Family

Around this time of year, you will start being invited to gatherings with friends, families or colleagues more and more. I know how difficult this is to agree too when you have depression but you need to try. Trust me, if you don’t show up to a gathering, you will only feel worse in the long run. You will feel guilty that you didn’t go especially during the holiday season. It is a time for friends and family. Spend time with them.

Let Them Support You

Do not hide your feelings just because “it’s meant to be a happy time of year”. Be completely open and honest about your depression with the people that you love. You will not be a burden and then they may be even more understanding when you don’t seem as happy as they feel like you should be.

Don’t Forget Self Care

During this hectic time of year, I know how difficult it can be to focus on looking after yourself. You are constantly thinking about others, and what perfect gift to get them for example. As a retail worker too, it is so hard to fit in self care when it is so busy!

Spend any days when you have absolutely no commitments, focusing on you. You need to find a healthy balance between not isolating yourself and finding the time to practise self care.

Personal Winter Self Care Methods

Whenever you get some free time, do something that you genuinely enjoy doing! Or even look up “Winter Self Care Tips” on Pinterest and try some out.  I thought I would mention a few of my favourite Winter Self Care methods:

  • Make yourself a hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows.
  • Turn on the fire, read a book or watch a film.

Get Thoughtful Gifts

There is one thing that is guaranteed to make me happy over the holidays. Buying gifts for others. It’s more the reaction from them that makes me happy. This is why I always put a lot of thought and plan into my presents and what I get for each person. It is definitely worth it.

If your budget is tight, you don’t even have to spend money. You can make or draw them something if you are creative in some way. You can just leave them a heartfelt note inside a card. Do this for your support system. Let them know how much you appreciate them and make THEM feel happy.

Attend Events

There are so many events going on over the holiday season. This sense of community and togetherness can really heighten your mood. Attend a Carol Service, a Christmas Market etc. Anything specifically on over the holidays that attracts your attention since I know my suggestions may not be everybody’s cup of tea. But it’s not even about joining in. For me, it’s about being in an environment filled with happy people.

Take the opportunity to absorb all of the positive energy around you. Treat yourself to as much of it as possible! You will be so focused on that and having a great time that you won’t have time to be depressed.

A Final Word

Do you have any ways  to deal with depression over the holiday season? Feel free to message me on any of my social media. I’d love to get to know you!

Ruth-GuestAbout the author: Hello! My name is Ruth, I am 22 years old and I live in the “always sunny” United Kingdom. My main goal in life is to help as many people as possible with their mental health struggles and give hope for a happier future. My hobbies include; Blogging, listening to music, spending time with my lovely cat and so much more! You can find me on other parts of the internet here: Blog  Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram

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.

 

Blogmas – The Ten Best Holiday Treats to Make This Season

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So, it’s Friday the 13th… in December… and it’s #Blogmas! I don’t think it could get any better than this for a sweet treat post for the holidays. I know alot of you may think Friday the 13th is meant to be bad luck, but I think it’s good luck because it’s in December near Christmas – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I’ve scoured the internet for the most fun, easy and best Christmas themed treats that you can make for a holiday party or co-workers this year. Anything from mini cakes, to Oreos, to fudge – alot of these in this list I have also tried myself in the past and have great sucess with recipes like these.

Sit down, put your Christmas music on, and take a read through these simple and fun recipes you can try at home this month. 

10. CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY CHRISTMAS MINI CAKES (VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE, NUT-FREE) For those of you wanting a vegan, gluten free and nut free option that (almost) everyone can eat, this is the recipe for you! These delectible little cakes are adorable and easy to construct with the help of the online instructions. (Photo from linked post with recipe.)

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9. CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIE BITES These delicious cookie bites will look pretty in a bowl at a Christmas Cookie Exchange or on your Holiday dessert table at your family dinner table. These simple and easy to bake sugar cookie bites are an easy way to get into the holiday spirit. (Photo from linked post with recipe.)

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8. CREME DE MENTHE CREAM PUFF TREE What’s better than normal cream puffs on Christmas? How about these tasty Creme de Menthe Cream Puffs that your family will destory in a matter of mere minutes? Now THIS screams holiday party to me! (Photo from linked post with recipe.)

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7. PEPPERMINT SWIRL FUDGE 1 and a half pounds of peppermint fudge? Sign me up! This simple recipe takes roughly 15 minutes to put together and then the hard part of cooling comes into play when it’s all done. But not to worry – you can hold out just a little longer for this delicious treat! (Photo from linked post with recipe.) 

peppermint-fudge

6. CREME Brûlée SUGAR COOKIES Now for this one, you’re going to need a kitchen torch. If you don’t have one, go out and buy one right now because you’ll be wanting to make dozens of these for every holiday party you’re invited to this season. Carmelized sugar? Creme Brûlée? What could be better? Oh yeah, adding in sugar cookie to the name! (Photo from linked post with recipe.)  

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5. CHRISTMAS POPCORN This Christmas popcorn has M&Ms, bits of candy cane, white chocolate and red and green drizzle all over! It’s a great alternative for Santa for Christmas Eve instead of cookies, or as a neighbor gift during the holiday season. It’s super easy to make and goes a long way. (Photo from linked post with recipe.)   

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4. EASY CHRISTMAS TREE BROWNIES With only six ingredients and lots of fun sprinkles, how can you say no to brownies that look like Christmas trees?! This cute fun recipe I found would be great for a holiday center piece of a dessert table, or for a work party (if you can make enough!) (Photo from linked post with recipe.)   

Tree-Brownies

3. STRAWBERRY MOUSSE DESSERT CUPS Another easy dessert for the holiday party at work you can make to please almost everyone! This recipe only calls for 7 ingredients and takes only 25 minutes to prep. Isn’t that magical? If you decide to make these this season, please let me know how they turn out! (Photo from linked post with recipe.)   

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2. REINDEER TREATS You’ve probably seen these all over the place around Christmas if you have children or if you have friends that have kids. This super simple yet adorable recipe can be completed by a 5 year old and they will be damn proud of themselves! If you need a break from baking, have them help make these with you to enjoy! (Photo from linked post with recipe.)   

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AND FINALLY

MY PERSONAL FAVORITE & NUMBER ONE TREAT…

1. OREO TRUFFLES I picked this specific recipe because this is almost identical to what I make roughly 6 times a year for friends and family. They absolutely LOVE them and always ask for more, especially my mom! These are the best damn things to grace this earth (oreos, duh) and whoever came up with this recipe deserves a prize! (Photo from linked post with recipe.)   

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