blogmas, Collaberations

Romanticizing The Holiday Season: 3 Things I Love

Truth be told – the winter season is not my favorite & Christmas surprisingly isn’t my favorite holiday. Regardless, I’ve been trying to romanticize all seasons of my life because life is too short not to enjoy it. It’s quite easier for me to romanticize the autumn season besides the cold harsh winters. But I shall force myself to brainstorm a few aspects I love about winter & the holiday season so I feel less of a Grinch. I’m pleased to say, this post is in collaboration with a few other bloggers who I absolutely adore. Be sure to read until the end to check out their posts & blogs.

Here are 3 Things I Love About the Holiday / Winter Season:

Snow

If it’s going to be cold, it might as well look pretty! So, I’m a sucker for a cozy snow day in. At our home, I love opening the windows & admiring the woodsy views as the snow falls & covers the ground. I also love cozying up on the couch with a warm beverage & a good book. My husband & I will also bundle up & take a walk around the neighborhood, especially if it’s a weekend or a day off. And as the Christmas holiday approaches, the more a snow day feels even more magical.

Family Time

My love language is for sure quality time. I would much rather spend money on a fun activity to do with family & friends than buying a bunch of gifts to sit under the tree. This year, my side of the family is boycotting material gifts all together. Instead, we plan to fill that time & energy on experiences. A few things we’ve done in the past include – getting dinner somewhere with festive decor, taking a trip to NYC & see the Rockefeller Christmas tree or going to Hershey Park, PA & enjoy all that’s offered at the sweetest place on Earth. I also love spending more time with the “family I’ve chosen” a.k.a. my closest friends. I love grabbing lunch & catching up for hours or visiting cute boutiques or walking around historic towns. And for the friends at farther distances, I love sending Christmas cards or little notes the old fashion way to show my appreciation.

Going to the Mountains

I love driving to the mountains & spending the weekend or week skiing, tubing or simply relaxing in a cabin setting. My husband [ back when we were dating ] we booked a cabin getaway & enjoyed nature hikes, good food & evenings in the hot tub. The only thing is you need to be on the look out for bears in those parts! I would love to go again this year for the holidays. I just find the atmosphere to be so relaxing & a great way to unwind. I think one of the best forms of self care in the winter is having those moments to let go & be at peace in a cozy setting. It allows us to have a balance of

what are some things you love about the winter season?

This post is in collaboration with a group of lovely bloggers I highly recommend you check out. Head to their blogs / collaboration post & show them some love.

Jessica Lasa

Katie of Dating Bitch

Caroline of Flourish with Rose

Natalie of Examine This Moment

Headphones Thoughts

Hope you all have a wonderful winter season / holiday!

-B

Self Growth

Why Rebranding Doesn’t Stop At Your Blog: How To Reinvent Yourself

I’ve gone through personal “rebrands” throughout my life – from switching what sport I was playing, to becoming a dancer in high school [ with no prior dance experience ]. I would change my clothing styles or hair color & hope those small tweaks would lead to a new life for myself. And as I’m in my 30’s now, that rebranding or reinventing myself hasn’t stop & I’ve been itchy for a change. The rebranding process is so crucial in the blogging world & sometimes makes the biggest difference in stats & popularity. It got me thinking, the same results could happen if I continued this with my personal life.

For me personally – going through an extreme loss this past year has changed me a lot. In a grief standpoint, it is quite normal & I’ve spent some time focusing on my healing process & being extra kind to myself. Although they say you don’t want the trauma to change you a ton – I’m actually really happy with the person I am today, regardless that the heartbreak of a loved one passing [ my dad ] was the cause. I’ve became quite the reader these days, I am trying to balance a more realistic lifestyle when it comes to living with intention & I’ve gained a much needed backbone.

If you are also looking to reinvent yourself in some shape or form, here’s where you should start:

Determine Your Why

Why are you looking to make a change in your life? Are you striving for better routines? Are you wanting to cut a bad habit out? Or are you just wanting to help yourself reach specific goals? Determining your why will initiate this game plan for your life. For me, my interest in a rebrand was looking in my closet, & not liking anything I had in my wardrobe. Since the pandemic, I became lazy when it comes to my style & now – I’m looking to rediscover that love for fashion & beauty. And then from there, I wanted to make some personality changes without losing the essence of who I am. I can honestly say, I’m the most sure of myself than I have ever been.

Change Up Your Habits

Are there certain lifestyle habits that are holding you back? For me, I am striving to be the healthiest version of myself, so four months ago, I decided to venture into living an alcohol free life. And ever since than, I’ve been able to take back control of my personality. If you are interested, I can definitely go more in depth on why I choose to live an alcohol free life going into my 30’s. Another habit I’m striving to break is spending far too much time starring at a phone screen. To replace that time & energy, I’ve been spending more time reading actual books which in term, helps me relax & maintain a more calm presence.

Create a Morning / Evening Routine

Morning & evening routines are so popular these days – usually filled with aesthetic concepts. But there is truth in having routines & how they can help ground us. Now, I tend to think of routines in a more simpler way. For instance, setting your morning alarm for a set time, making some form of beverage [ my favorite being chai tea lattes ] & in the evenings – setting aside time to read. Slowing down & creating these rituals can really transform how you take on the busier ends of the week. If you are interested, I can go more in depth on my morning / evening routines lately.

Appearance Can Make a Difference

As superficial as it sounds, changing up your outer appearance can actually make you change internally as well. I’ve been looking through my fall wardrobe & have decided I want to expand my style & add a few new pieces. At the moment, I’m loving neutral shades with mixes of textures. As much as I love athleisure wear, I’ve also fell into a rut where I want to dress much cuter.

Determine Your Goals

These can be short term or more long term goals – but I love planning out goals for myself [ especially with the new year approaching ]. Whether it’s wanting to start a family, adding a pet into the mix or looking to purchase a new home – it’s fun & inspiring to brainstorm on our lives. I think sometimes we tend to just go with the flow & let time pass us by, when there is always something to strive for. Even if it’s a small goal of waking up a little earlier during the week, or trying out a new workout class. Not only do goals make us feel accomplished, but it also allows us to romanticize our lives again.

-B

Minimalism, Self Growth

11 Things I Intentionally Say No To

As someone who has been a chronic people pleaser / yes person for many years, I went into this new year with a different perspective. Saying no more often has been such a powerful tool in gaining back freedom & growth in my life. This mentality has encouraged me to choose what I do, listen to, & even say wisely. Here are 11 Things I Intentionally Say No To…

Being Bothered If People Don’t Like Me…

When there are 7 billion people on this planet, chances are you won’t vibe with all of them. Once I learned to let go the heartache that came from someone not liking me or not wanting to be my friend, the more at peace I felt with myself. I turned the statement more inward & discovered there were people I didn’t particularly like either. And that’s ok. It’s actually really freeing when you stop expecting every single person you cross paths with to like you. You ultimately learn to love yourself more & find the people who are meant to be apart of your lives.

Believing Everyone’s Life is Perfect

I actually deleted my Instagram for this very reason. I was tired of comparing my life to other people’s highlight reels. They are just that – highlights. Or even purposefully curated photos to hide the normalcies & downfalls of life. Nobody’s life is perfect. We all experience ups & downs on our own timeline. Photos are still moments in time. We have no idea [ unless the person tells us] if they had a breakdown before the selfie was taken. We don’t know if that person received bad news in the middle of an event. Or the event wasn’t as wonderful as the photos showcase. I’d rather stick with my own life, power through the rollercoaster moments & create one that suits me. No more, will I ever want to have someone else’s life.

Responding Immediately

This is a habit I’m really trying to break. I’m so used to replying to my phone so quickly regardless how busy I am. I used to think it was a talent to multitask that well. But having this habit, only allows people to think you are always available to their beck & call. On purpose, I’ve been retraining myself to reply to texts or phone calls a day later or even a week later if I’m THAT busy. I’d rather be intentional with my time & reply to something when I’m fully ready. In the world of technology, this has been rather difficult. I don’t respond to emails or notifications [ I actually have notifications turned off of my phone completely]. I let phone calls sometimes go to voicemail & get back to them later. I have even let people in my life know they don’t need to reply right away / respond when you have time. Let them know, they can also be intentional with their responses. By practicing this new way of responding has helped me gain control of my busy life.

Being Authentic With My Feelings & Conversations

It’s so easy to say to someone you are doing fine when they ask how you are. But I’m tired of not being authentic with how I’m feeling & telling it like it is. If I’m having an off day, I say it – unapologetically. I don’t care if me being true to myself makes others feel uncomfortable. I think if you are more real with people in this way, you actually create better relationships because there’s no hint of fakeness. Not only this, but you are becoming more comfortable in your own skin in the process. Being vulnerable, sharing in depth conversations instead of staying on the surface, is where those authentic relationships lie.

Impulse Purchasing

I’ve been wanting to be more intentional with my purchases. Instant gratification only satisfies you in the moment. Most of the time, when I instantly buy something, I end up wasting money & donating said item a few months later. I’ve recently been purchasing quite a few items for our wedding & new outfits for certain events. And on one hand, I’ve allowed myself to replace my old decluttered items in my closet with updated ones that showcase the person I am now. But I also want to get ahold of retail therapy. The things I bring into our home need to hold a purpose in some way. If I do see something I like, I delay the purchase as long as possible. If I still want the item, I will know I truly want / need it.

You Might Also Like: How To Save Money The Intentional Way

People Who Drain My Energy

I’ve learned it’s healthy to have a balance of alone time & community but with the right people. If you are surrounding yourself with people who ultimately drain you of your energy, it’s not beneficial. I’d rather spend my time alone in these cases. But over the last couple of years, I’ve really curated a group of people who truly add to my life & it has made a difference in my individual growth.

Having Too Long of a To-Do List

When you expect yourself to complete a to-do list that is pages long, I personally immediately lose interest in it all together. Instead, my to-do list on my phone usually holds a max of 3 tasks per day. Whatever I want to complete in that direct moment, I will have on my list. It’s not to say I don’t have other tasks I wish to complete later, but only seeing 3 tasks visually is more motivating.

Hectic Mornings

I’ve been adamantly establishing slow living into my routines. Regardless of my busy schedule, I have learned slower mornings, routines with fewer products or steps really make a difference in my mood. On the weekends, when I’m not busy with work or other obligations, I take those mornings to sleep in a little later, make a warm beverage or smoothie & sit in my chair in silence or reading a book. This has also has taught me the importance of “me time” & prioritizing relaxation into my routine regularly.

Having High Expectations

I struggle with being heard & taken seriously in situations. With that, I tend to lean on the side of controlling a times. When things aren’t going the way I planned or people are just not listening, I get frustrated. Lately, I’ve learned to have lower expectations on people & situations. It’s not that I’m giving up exactly. But I’ve found when my expectations are high & they aren’t met, I’m only hurting myself. I’m learning to go with the flow & let things play out. The only person & reactions I can control are my own.

A Perfectly Clean Home

Instead of calling our home messy, I like to use the term “lived in” because we are doing just that – living! So many minimalistic homes are seen perfectly clean & organized. And the reality is your home won’t be like that 24/7. I will say, when you properly declutter you will ultimately have less to clean up. But don’t get yourself down if you have toys all over the living room or clothing all over your closet floor. We are imperfect humans just trying to live our lives.

People Adding Unnecessary Problems To My Plate

Setting boundaries & saying no go hand in hand. My life is busy enough & when other people throw obligations into the ring sometimes, it just adds to my stress. Going back to the first point in not caring if people like me, saying no to their requests or “favors” is a lot easier. It’s not to say I won’t ever help someone out or agree with a suggestion at some point. But I’ve learned sometimes, it’s not mentally help to add anything else on my plate. As you know, I like to keep things relatively simple.