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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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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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8 Tips to Get Your Life Together in 8 Hours

Posted in Lifestyle
on October 23, 2017

The Sunday Scaries are a real thing, friends.

Every Sunday, I’m hoping to enjoy the day, feel relaxed, and ready to take on a new week. Sometimes, that’s not always the case. Instead, I’m left feeling overwhelmed by the amount of things I want to accomplish in a short period of time before the week begins. So, I put together an easy plan that will help you get your life together in one day with these eight tips. If you’re looking for a little bliss on Sunday, keep reading!

1| Start Early

Okay, so I’m sure you’re not too happy about reading this one. The truth is, you’re probably up around your normal weekday time anyway (it’s how you know you’re actually an adult). Once you’re up—get out of bed, have breakfast and coffee, so we can make this Sunday blissful, productive and enjoyable. Start by throwing in a load of laundry, so you can have one thing checked off your list before the day fully begins.

2| Sweat a Little

But don’t go all out with an hour of cardio. Instead, do a feel-good workout like Pilates, Yoga or a 20-minute ab workout. Make sure it’s something easy and that it won’t take up too much for your time because you’ll need time and energy for other tasks. Working out first thing in the morning also increases your productivity, so you’ll feel ready to work through the rest of your to-do list for the day.

3| Make The Plan

What does your Sunday look like? Sure I know you want to relax while football is on all day, but this isn’t always realistic. So write down everything that needs to be done from cleaning to meal prepping to family time. It sounds silly to include everything, but I promise it will make your day run more smoothly.

4| Meal Prep with Ease

I love meal prepping two or three meals for the week because it helps us get through most of the week after adding in small meals you can make during the week like salads, wraps, grilled chicken, etc. I also try to meal prep something big in the crockpot for Sundays for the week because you dump everything in one pot and turn it on low for eight hours. Then the other meal will be baked chicken and potatoes, or something similar. While one meal is in the crockpot and the other is in the oven, schedule small cleaning tasks like collecting garbage, running the dishwasher etc. Use the timer on the oven as a race to see how much you can get down in 30 minutes. You’ll be surprised how much you get done. If you’re looking for easy meals, I recommend this chicken recipe or a hearty stew.

5| Schedule Down Time 

After you’ve made up some meals and are halfway through cleaning for the day, plan in small sections of downtime. An hour to read or work on one of your passion projects (whatever it may be). Then plan another two hours to watch a movie with the family or catch part of a game. Adding in pockets of downtime to your schedule will help you look forward to crossing off items off your list, so you can enjoy that time.

6| Prioritize Cleaning

What really needs to be cleaned on Sunday for you? I think we default to Sundays for cleaning because we don’t tackle many chores during the week. Instead, prioritize what needs to be done on Sundays like laundry, dishes, bathrooms, etc. Maybe you can plan an hour on a weekend to work on smaller cleaning tasks like dusting and vacuuming. That way, you aren’t spending hours cleaning everything in your home.

7| Look Ahead for the Week

It only 30 minutes, but it’s definitely worth it. Grab your planner, bullet journal, phone, or whatever you use to plan your life and make sure you have everything scheduled for the week from appointments, plans with friends, events, dinners, and everything in between. Taking the 10-15 minutes will save you stress the following morning, so you know what’s coming your way. Also pick out your outfit for Monday, and have your lunch ready to go for a stress-free morning.

8| Make Time for Family/Friends 

It’s SO important to make time for friends and family if you can’t do so during the week. I love Sundays and always look forward to them because we have Sunday dinner at Josh’s parent’s house, so it’s a tradition to watch football, eat dinner and spend time together. However you decide to spend time with family and friends, make sure you focus on your time with them and not cleaning, cooking or anything else.

I hope this post helps you rethink how you plan your Sundays. With a little planning comes a ton of bliss, so make sure to take the time to make a plan for the day and stick to it! You got this, girl!

How do you get your life together on Sundays? What is on your to-do list for Sunday? Make sure to share in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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5 Trends I’ve Never Tried + Don’t Plan to Wear

Posted in Fashion
on October 11, 2017

There are so many trends that have come and gone over the years, and there are some trends that may last for a several seasons. After writing a post on the different shoe trends I’ve never tried, I thought it would be interesting to talk about other trends I’ve seen over the years that I’ve never tried regardless of popularity. It has been refreshing to see how minimalism plays a roll in my shopping habits because I don’t buy the latest trends as they come out. Instead, I work with what I have, and if I truly love something, I will buy it. Make sure to let me know what are some trends that you’ve never tried in the comments below!

1| Chokers

I really thought I was going to change my mind on this one because I LOVE how these look on other people. I have a cross necklace I wear every day, and I never take it off. So pairing anything with the necklace that isn’t rose gold doesn’t look right. So, I decided to give up on the idea of buying a choker for a trendy, fall outfit. I’ll leave this trend for the fashion bloggers on the Internet!

2| Bralettes

I would love to be able to pull this trend off, but I know it’s not happening. I’ve accepted it and plan to move on. You know you’re becoming an adult when you stop buying things that aren’t practical for you. Most bralettes aren’t comfortable or supportive enough, so I know it’s not the most practical thing to buy and wear. Instead of fighting it, I know it’s not something I’ll ever find in my closet, and I’m okay with it!

3| Kimonos 

Yes, these were HUGE a few years ago, but I’m happy I didn’t jump on the trend because like most trends, they tend to fade out without a trace. Also, I don’t know how practical this would be in Western NY/PA where it’s below freezing for five months of the year. Again with making smart shopping purchases as an adult! If you know it doesn’t make sense for the region you live in, don’t buy it!

4| Overalls

Okay, I’m sure my mom put me in these when I was younger when I didn’t choose what I wore. Since then, I haven’t put on overalls, and I don’t plan to. Honestly, they wouldn’t flatter my figure, and I know I wouldn’t get use of of them like I would want. Nowadays, if I plan to buy something, I want to know that I’ll be able to wear it for work, errands, date night and every occasion in between. Overalls may be cute and trendy, but they are a trend I don’t plan to try.

5| Maxi Rompers

For two summers, I was all about rompers during my junior year of high school and my senior year of college. I wore the same few rompers over and over again without shame. But those rompers quickly faded, and I got rid of them all because I no longer wore them or loved them. This past summer, we were introduced to the maxi romper, which is combination of two trends I no longer have in my closet. So, this is something I don’t plan to wear anytime in the future because, like overalls, I don’t think I would get a lot of use out of it.

Have you tried any of these trends and love them? What trends haven’t your tried from this list, or any other trends you know you won’t be giving into anytime soon! Make sure to share everything in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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