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Happiness

5 Things to be Happy About: November

Posted in Lifestyle
on November 6, 2017

We’re two days away from completely diving into the holiday season, and I couldn’t be more excited. At the same time, I can’t believe that there are only two months left in 2017. My goal is to make these last two months of the year count, and enjoy as much of the holiday season as possible. Let me know what you’re looking forward to this month whether it’s Thanksgiving, holiday shopping, food, or something else going on in your life that you’re feeling blissful about.

1| Owning a Home

As you’re reading this, we’re moving into our home this week! It’s unbelievable to think that just a few short months ago, we decided to make the largest purchase we will ever invest in. Needless to say, our lives are packed up in boxes, and we are working on making our house a home. If you want to read more about our home-buying journey, give one of my recent posts a read!

2| It’s Acceptable to Think About Christmas

And by acceptable to THINK about Christmas, I mean that it’s acceptable to start listening to Christmas music, begin Christmas shopping, and participating in all the winter-related activities.  (I know not everyone will agree with me, but i know there MUST be some Christmas-lovers out there!) Once we get through Halloween, my attention is slightly moving away from wedding planning and moving, and now is focused on Christmas, baking, and all the holiday things.

3| Focusing on Gratitude

You all know I’m a huge proponent of expressing gratitude as often as you can, which is why I’m planning a challenge for myself to express gratitude all month long with journal prompts, random acts of kindness for coworkers and strangers, and everything in between. Last year, I had a list of challenges for myself and I found that doing one every single day was a little difficult, so I plan to spread the challenges out throughout the month.

4| Holiday Shopping

I am one of those people that will most likely have their holiday shopping done by Thanksgiving. Especially with moving into the house, wedding planning, work, and life in general, I try to work ahead as much as possible so that I’m not rushing around to the last minute and feeling stressed during the holidays. This year, I want to be more conscious about spending money after purchasing the house, so I’m looking into DIYs. Make sure to share any DIY gift ideas you have!

5| FOOD.

Need I say more? November is the beginning of a two-month eating frenzy that we indulge in. From pies and all the food during Thanksgiving dinner, to holiday cookie swaps in the office, you better believe that this month is the beginning of eating all the best food. And I’m ready for it.

What are you looking forward to this month whether it’s related to the holidays or something else good going in your life? Make sure to share in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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Blissful Bits: October

Posted in Lifestyle
on November 1, 2017

 We can all use a little more bliss in our lives, right? 

That’s why I’m sharing a new series on Blissfully Brunette where I dish out videos, stories, blog posts, and everything in between that brought a little bit of bliss. Hopefully, these posts will give you the little pick-me-up you may need to get through the week whether you’re looking for new blog posts to read for inspiration, new recipes, workouts, funny videos and anything else that may bring you an extra dose of bliss.

1| 10 Steps to Declutter Your Mind Right Now

TBH when you’re going through a blogging rut, you lose your creative spark. It’s not a good feeling, and it brings on other issues like stress, self-doubt and more. Needless to say, I wasn’t in a positive headspace earlier this month because of it. After reading Erica’s post, I realized that I wasn’t giving myself enough credit. I am working full-time, blogging, moving into my first home and planning my wedding. I was stressed and burned out, and my mind needed some major decluttering. If you’re in need of a mental declutter, you’re going to want to check out her post.

2| Bath & Body Works Candles

Because who doesn’t get happy when they think of candles from Bath & Body Works? You all know I’m here for the fall scents like “Pumpkin Pecan Waffles, “Marshmallow Fireside,” and “Autumn,” but they having been bringing out the holiday collection—and it’s getting me excited for the next two months. So tell me, what are some of your favorite Bath And Body Work’s candle scents that you can’t live without during fall and winter?!

3| Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Because it’s all the wonderful things about fall in one dessert. (I know, except for pumpkin spice) So, I’ve been in a baking mood despite not having a ton of time to bake as of late, so I’m sharing this delicious recipe in case you’re looking to try something new.

Ingredients:
Crust:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
Cheesecake Filling:
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar , plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Apples:
  • 3 Granny Smith apples , peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Streusel Topping:
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
Drizzle:
  • 1/2 cup caramel topping for drizzling after baked.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender (or 2 forks) until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 9×13 baking pan lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 3/4 cup sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Then add eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over warm crust.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture.
  5. For the streusel topping: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. I like to really combine it by using my clean hands to thoroughly combine the butter into the mixture.
  6. Sprinkle Streusel topping over apples. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until filling is set. Drizzle with caramel topping and let cool. Serve cold and enjoy! Make 16 servings.

4| The Truth about Fear & Perfectionism 

Another post I’m sure many of you can relate to because fear is something we all experience. For me, perfectionism is something I have always struggled with, so I know how difficult it can be to have something go less-than-perfect, and you’re left feeling useless, and feeling like you failed. There’s a lot to uncover in this topic, but Rachel highlights some key points of fear and perfectionism that will make you realize you’re not alone in your thoughts. In turn, you’re going to feel blissful knowing other people ARE experiencing what you’re experiencing.

5| 20-Minute Pilates Workout

I love Pilates because not only are the workouts enjoyable and effective, but they also can work your entire body. Yes, even a 20-minute workout can leave you feeling sore the next day. And yes, it’s a wonderful feeling because you’re not sweating non-stop for over an hour. You can do this anywhere in your home, hotel room, or your office if you don’t have any other option. Trust me, if you want a simple workout that will five you great results, try this video below!

What has you feeling blissful this week? Make sure to share any blog posts, quotes, videos, or anything else in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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5 Things to be Happy About: August

Posted in Lifestyle
on August 2, 2017

Hey, July. You were the best month to date this year.

And no, I’m not only saying that because I got engaged. But, I will say that was a HUGE part of it! Today I’m sharing all the wonderful things I’m looking forward to this month, and I would love to know what you’re excited about now that it’s August! Make sure to leave your plans in the comments below!

1| Wedding Planning

So, if you didn’t hear the news on Instagram or Twitter, your girl got engaged! It has been crazy the last few weeks and I’ve been taking every moment in as we begin this new chapter in our lives. If you want to hear more about how my fiancé (still weird to say) proposed, leave a comment below, and I’ll share all the details and photos in a post!

2| AuGUEST

Who doesn’t love a good pun, #amiright?! So, I’ve been making a ton of plans in August to visit with family and friends that I’ve literally claimed the month of August to be AuGUEST. I’m so excited to see friends and family members in our home here in PA, especially with the recent engagement—there will be so much to celebrate and enjoy this month.

3| Focus on Fitness

Because #WeddingBod, right? I don’t believe in going overboard with not eating and working out seven days a week just to fit in a dress for a day. That’s not me and everyone knows it. I am passionate about healthy living and working out consistently, but I have been falling off track because of celebrating the engagement. So, it’s time to get back to where I was at a month ago. Do you have any workouts you’ve been loving on YouTube? Make sure to send them my way!

4| BRUNO MARS Concert

Because of all the excitement of getting engaged, I completely forgot about going to see BRUNO MARS this month! If you know anything about me, you know that I’ve been loving him since the beginning and his new album is FIRE. So I cannot wait to dance all night long without a care in the world! Have you been to any concerts recently? Which ones have you been loving or looking forward to?

5| Enjoying engagement

It’s so easy to get caught up in all the hustle and stress of wedding planning because there are so many expectations and Pinterest-worthy pins your friends and family are sharing. But, I’m simply looking forward to being engaged to my incredible fiancé and enjoying every moment of planning our wedding together.

So tell me, what are you happy about now that it’s August? What plans do you have this month that you’re excited about? Make sure to share in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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5 Things to Be Happy About: July

Posted in Lifestyle
on July 3, 2017

Wait, Fourth of July is TOMORROW?

2017, you’re flying by WAY too fast for my liking, and I’m sure other people agree. I can’t believe we’re more than halfway through the year. Although these next two months will be filled with work events, long weekends and so much more, I can say that I’m looking forward to the month ahead. So, I’m sharing five things I’m happy about now that it’s July.

1| Fourth of July

Hot dogs. Ice Cream. Backyard Games. Beer. Bonfires. Fireworks. And SO. MUCH. MORE. What’s not to love about celebrating your country all while enjoying time with family and friends? What are your plans for Fourth of July? Do you have a huge party? Or, do you keep it casual and hangout with some family? Do you have any holiday traditions around this time of year?

2| Weekend Visits

I had one of my best friends visit last weekend, and now I’m preparing for another friend to come later this month. Needless to say, we’re going to have a staycation and enjoy some local things in PA like visiting museums, touring beaches, take a boat tour, and more embarrassing tourist things!

3| Focusing on Goals

If you missed last month’s post, I talked about my six month update on my 2017 goals. Since then, I’ve been working to cross off more of my goals for the year, which I have done by reading 12 books, and focusing on my vision board, which you’ll see more coming next week when I launch my Vision Board series!

4| Living a Blissful Life 

Whether you need a reminder because you’re in a valley in life, or your high on the highest mountain—there’s always room for bliss in your life. I’m looking forward to adding simple forms of bliss this month by making time for family and friends, and focusing some of my time to self care. How will you add some bliss to your life this month?

5| Summer Bucket Lists

It’s peak summertime, which means there are a lot of things I want to do this month like kayaking with friends, go to the beach, go to a local concert, take a day trip with Josh, and so much more. Summer is all about enjoying the extra daylight for fun activities, and time with friends and family. What’s on your summer bucket list? Make sure to share in the comments below!

Do you have any trips or fun activities planned for the month? What are you looking forward to in Jul? Make sure to share what you’re happy about now that it’s July in the comments below! 

 

Ki Signature

 

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3 Reminders for Embracing Life’s Valleys

Posted in Lifestyle
on June 19, 2017

Life has peaks and valleys. There are times where we feel so high and on top of the world that we don’t ever want that feeling to stop, and there are times where life can have us feeling low and lost. There are many ways valleys can enter our lives that we have all experienced: rejection from a college, rejection from a promotion or job, or other unexpected changes that might interfere with previous plans (moving, changing jobs, beginning a relationship, etc.)

Some people see valleys as “bumps in the road” or a setback. While this is true, I think it negatively illustrates the value of valleys. I used to think a valley was the universe laughing at me struggling. Now, I view them more positively.

Yes, you may have gotten fired from your job; but you can use it as an opportunity to find a better job. Maybe one that pays more, or that offers more flexible hours, or where you can work from home. It’s still an opportunity.

You’ve plateaued after working hard for months on end to achieve your health and fitness goals. So what? Give yourself a week to relax and rest your body so it can work even harder. It’ll give you more motivation so you can get stronger. It’s an opportunity.

A few years ago, I experienced a “valley” when I applied to work at a local hospital. It was an opportunity I was excited about and had planned my entire summer around getting this job. Over a month past my “start date,” nothing progressed as far as paperwork or my medical clearance. Working at the hospital was my only plan for summer, and then I realized it wasn’t going to work out. I reached a valley I had no intention of being in.

Then I went through endless applications. I thought to myself, “I could go back to my old job.” But I didn’t enjoy my last job after four years. I decided to use this as a opportunity to find a job I loved. And I found it, and it paid far more than I intended. During the interview, they wanted to promote me to a higher paying position before I even began. It was a golden opportunity, and I said yes.

Fast forward a year later, and that same job lead me to my first, full-time marketing position that I’m currently working and loving today. I often think what would have happened if I ended up working at the hospital. Would I still be in a LDR with Josh? Would I have finished my Master’s? Who knows, but it’s incredible to think that begin rejected from something lead me to exactly where I needed to be. Every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being redirected to something better.

So how can YOU embrace your next valley?

1| Remember it’s temporary

If you’re going through a valley in your life, remember that your valley isn’t permanent. It won’t last forever. It’s a small stop along your journey, so treat it as such. Oftentimes, we get caught up with the negative moments in our lives that we don’t think about the positive things that could come from that experience.

2| There’s a bigger plan

You were rejected from your dream job that you’re more than qualified for. That’s horrible, and you’re probably feeling pretty sad about it, too. Take the time to go through the motions that come with rejection. But don’t let it keep you down. Remember that there’s a reason you weren’t hired for that job. You will be lead to the job you’re meant to work.

3| Opportunities are everywhere

Even in the midst of a valley and a negative situation, there is always room for opportunity.

But you have to remember to be open to the possibilities and the opportunities that could be presented to you in that season.

Think outside the box. Apply for something that is exciting and out of your comfort zone. You never know when an unexpected opportunity may present itself.

Even when we have reached a valley in life, it’s not necessarily negative. Sure, you might feel disappointed or confused on what your next step should be, but it’s easy to make a valley into a peak. All it takes is a little patience and time.

Have you experienced a “valley” in your life recently? How can you turn it into a peak? Make sure to share your stories and thoughts in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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