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5 Ways to Simplify During the Holidays

Posted in Lifestyle
on November 13, 2017

I genuinely feel horrible for the people who can’t bring themselves to enjoy the holiday season because they only associate this time of year with stress. Leave a comment below if you’re one of those people who doesn’t look forward to the holidays because I’m curious as to why you feel that way!

PSA: I’m here to help you DESTRESS during the holiday season because you deserve to enjoy this time of year without feeling overwhelmed. Here are 5 ways to simplify during the holiday season.

1| Make a game plan

Get an overview of all the things you want to get done during the next two months. The truth is that we say that we want to have weekends filled with all the holiday activities, but that’s not always realistic. Get an idea of what weekends you’ll have a ton going on, and make sure to plan a few days where there is a little less activity to balance everything out so you’re no completely overwhelmed.

2| Just begin

You can make a game plan and feel as organized as ever, but where people fail and get behind during the holiday season is they simple refuse to begin. They wait until mid-December to actually being holiday shopping, or they wait until the week before to wrap every single gift. Needless to say, your holiday season will be less stressful if you get started early and odn’t procrastinate on your entire to-do list.

3| Define what’s necessary

Do you have to do everything on that winter bucket list you found on Pinterest? Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t do anything at all, but go through all the tasks and outline what it truly necessary for you. Do you need to have six separate days dedicated to shopping with all different people? Do you need to watch a holiday movie every single night? Find a balance of what matters most to you and what’s essential.

4| Schedule down time

See point one. It’s just as important to schedule down time during the next two months as it is important to write down and schedule all your plans as well. If you’re in non-stop Christmas mode where you’re always working on shopping, baking, cleaning, going to parties, gift-wrapping and all the other traditions—you’re going to get stressed. Plan several days of down time for reading, relaxing, pampering and watching all those holiday movies with some hot cocoa.

5| Forget Perfect

One of the root issues people have with the holiday season is that it isn’t that Hallmark-picture-perfect-movie that we all think it’s going to be. Sometimes, you burn a tray of cookies, you break an ornament decorating the tree, and plans fall through last minute. To put it simply, that’s life, and it’s okay. Instead of looking for everything to go “perfectly,” just enjoy the moment without pressuring yourself to have these unrealistic expectations. Go with the flow, and enjoy the holidays. It will all work out.

Do you stress out during the holidays, or not look forward to the holidays because of everything that needs to get done in a short amount of time? What is the most stressful part of the holiday season for you? Make sure to share in the comments below! 

Ki Signature

 

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Practicing Minimalism During the Holidays

Posted in Lifestyle
on November 8, 2017

Let’s cut to the chase. The holidays begin pretty much anytime after November 1st. Once October is over, it’s fair game to begin holiday shopping, listen to holiday music and do all those bucket list items you’re itching to do before the end of the year.

Before we get too far into all the craziness that comes from this time of year, I want to share a little insight on how you can remove any unnecessary stress by practicing minimalism during the holiday season. Not only will this bring bliss into your life, but you’ll be able to enjoy this season without feeling overwhelmed.

1| Practice what you preach

I have touched on this topic in previous posts, but it’s important to practice what you preach during the holiday season. For example, if you’re buying gifts that aren’t useful, cause clutter, and don’t have any purpose for the person receiving it—you’re opening the door for those people to give YOU those same type of gifts. So really, you’re not doing anyone good including yourself. Instead of giving your sister another scarf and candle, give her a gift of an experience like a pedicure, massage, or wine tasting for a girl’s day. Being mindful of the gifts you give to others will be a direct reflection of the gifts you will receive. So don’t give useless clutter just because it was on sale.

2| Evaluate your traditions

Traditions are wonderful. But there are some things you do every year that cause stress and aren’t enjoyable at all like a cookie-baking frenzy with 10 family members in a kitchen meant for only three people, or packing too many plans in Christmas weekend. If something is causing unnecessary stress and making this time of year overwhelming, consider altering your traditions to work for everyone. You don’t need to remove these traditions altogether, but making them work for everyone so that you’re all enjoying your time together is important.

3| Focus on mindfulness

Oftentimes, we get so wrapped up in what’s coming next for the countdown to Christmas that we don’t enjoy the moment that’s happening. You’re already focused on decorating the tree that you don’t enjoy the process of picking one out at the tree farm. You planning next week’s gift-wrapping and baking session with your friends that you aren’t even paying attention to the Hallmark Holiday movie you’re watching with hot cocoa. Enjoy each moment as it’s happening without thinking about the next plan.

4| Practice gratitude 

Between holiday shopping, baking, preparing for guests, and enjoying a slew of holiday parties, it’s easy to lose focus on what is important during this season. During November and December, I make it a daily habit to practice gratitude. It gives time to reflect on all the good that has happened throughout the year and show appreciation for those moments. It also give time for us to be thankful for the little things we may take for granted. The goal of minimalism is to appreciate what you have and not think of gaining more, so no matter how big or small something may be—practicing gratitude is essential during the holiday season.

How else do you practice minimalism during the holiday season? I would love to know more about your experiences, so make sure to share them in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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12 Cookies of Christmas

Posted in Lifestyle
on December 19, 2016

It’s the season where baking takes up our time as we bake all different types of cookies for friends, family and coworkers. I don’t know about you, but baking Christmas cookies is one of my favorite traditions during the holidays. It brings me a little extra bliss as I get into the holiday spirit. So, today I’m sharing 12 different cookie recipes you should add to your list this month.

1| M&Ms Christmas Cookie Bars

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2| Sea Salt butterscotch Pretzel Cookies

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3| Peanut Butter Blossoms

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4| Hot Chocolate Cookies

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5| Peppermint Mocha Cookies

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6| Gingerbread Cookies

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7| Italian Ricotta Cookies

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8| Red Plaid Cookies

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9| Cherry Almond Tea Cake Cookies

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10| Vanilla Almond Cut-Out Cookies

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11| Christmas Wreath Cookies

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12| Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

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What cookies do you bake every year? Are there are cookies from the list that you’ve never tried before? What recipes do you want to add to your baking list this year? Make sure to leave a comment below!

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Holiday Home Tour 2016

Posted in Lifestyle
on December 14, 2016

It’s no secret that I love Christmas, which is why I’m sharing some of the holiday home decorations I have for this season. I love decorating for the holidays because it makes every night cozy and Christmasy. (Perfect if you’re watching Hallmark holiday movies like me every single night.) If you’re interested in seeing a little bit of my home, and how I decorated for the holidays, keep on scrolling!

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I didn’t want to go overboard with decorating. Although Josh would tell you that we have “the most decorations for anyone our age.” Clearly, he hasn’t met several of my favorite bloggers who love Christmas just as much as I do!

I hope you enjoyed seeing some a little peak inside my home for the holidays!

What are some of your favorite holiday decorations? Do you have any special traditions for the holidays? Make sure to leave a comment below!

Ki Signature

 

 

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10 Things to be Happy About: December Edition

Posted in Lifestyle
on December 9, 2016

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I cannot believe that it’s the last edition of “10 Things to be Happy About” for 2016. I’m happy to say that I was able to express gratitude all-year long with these posts as a simple way of sharing what I’m looking forward to each month. I think these posts were helpful for people because they put everything into perspective. It’s all about the little things that we need to appreciate in life. Hopefully, you were given a little bit of bliss, and were reminded of simple things to be happy about as the year passed by.

1| Cooking and Baking

I am no Martha Stewart by any means, but let me tell you that I still enjoy cooking and baking for the holidays. There are so many special dishes and treats that I’m used to having around this time of year, and now that I don’t live at home, I have to learn how to make them myself! Needless to say I’ll be spending a lot of time in the kitchen.

2| Time with Family and Friends

I’m all about family and friends. I’m happy to say I have two of my best friends coming into town before the holidays to finish up some last-minute Christmas shopping and to spend a little extra time with them before things got very busy for the holiday season.

3| Wrapping Gifts

Call me crazy, but I think wrapping gifts is arguably more fun that going out to shopping to find and buy the gifts. I make hot chocolate, blast Michael Buble’s Christmas album, and spend the afternoon wrapping gifts and organizing them for my trip home. Let me know if you hate wrapping, or if it’s something you look forward to during the holidays?!

4| Christmas Music

The best part about December is that there are radio stations that play Christmas music 24/7, which is why I’m in full holiday mode. You better believe that the only thing I’m playing in my car all month long will be the Christmas station. I only have one month of non-stop Christmas music, so let me enjoy it!

5| Winter Fashion

Layers, layers and all the warm and cozy accessories essentially sum up what the winter months mean for my taste in style and fashion. I’m essentially living in sweaters, blanket scarves, leggings, and boots. Although I don’t love the below-freezing temperature, and the horrible roads—I do love winter fashion.

6| Hallmark Holiday Movies

Aside from Christmas music playing non-stop in my car, Hallmark Holiday movies are playing non-stop in my home. I love the cheesy, romance movies that are playing all-month long on Hallmark. Yes, I know they’re very lame and predictable, but it’s all part of what I love most during this time of year!

7| Giving Back

One of the best parts of the this month is the idea of giving back and spreading a little extra kindness and bliss for everyone in your life. Whether you’re giving back to your in-laws or a stranger you’ve never met; be sure to think about how you can spread a little holiday cheer this month as a way to give back.

8| Traditions

Every family has their own set of traditions that are special within that family. This year, with it being my first holiday living with Josh, I want to make sure we begin creating some traditions of our own. That way, we can keep traditions from our families and also create our own that are special for us.

9| Christmas Cookies

I don’t know what I love more: baking and decorating each individual Christmas cookie, or eating them for a few weeks. I could live without cheesecakes and pies during this month because all I’m looking forward to specifically are the traditional Christmas cookies!

10| Prepare for a New Year

There’s nothing better than reflecting on the past year, and preparing for the new year ahead. This year, I’m hoping to a little extra time to sit down and really think about what I want to achieve for 2017. 2016 has been wonderful, and I’m hoping to take this bliss and bring into the new year.

What are you looking forward to now that it’s December? What are some holiday traditions your family has? Make sure to share in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

 

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