November was an absolute whirlwind of a month. I missed posting to the blog every week, which sucks because I had made a resolution to be better about posting four times a month. Oh well! Life happens.
Here are a few of my favorite things from the month of November:
Food – Will made his grandmother’s potato casserole for Thanksgiving and everyone that tried it adored it. Maybe I’ll have a guest post about it sometime soon? We’ll see!
Drinks – Recently I’ve been very into trying new wines and mulled ciders. I think it all started with Fran Acciardo’s vlog about Trader Joe’s wines. I miss having a Trader Joe’s in town, but for now the wines from Aldi will have to do.
Check out the video here: Trader Joe’s Cheap Wine Review Under $6
Books – While I wish I could say I’ve been able to read for fun during law school, I haven’t. My eyes are so tired at the end of each day that reading before bed seems like more of a chore than a pleasure. I do have quite a few new and noteworthy books in my TBR pile. You can check them out on my Goodreads profile!
I decorated my Christmas tree before I left for Thanksgiving break. I found some mini balloon dog ornaments at Walmart for my tree (which is basically a fluffier version of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree). I’m tempted to get these giant balloon dog ornaments for my parents’ tree at home. How cute!
That’s all for now. I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving!
People my age almost always ask for money or gift cards for Christmas. It’s easier that way. Mailing them $20 is less complicated than trying to fit an entire homemade chicken casserole in a FedEx flat rate box. That being said, there are some little things college aged kids could use whether they know it or not (and sometimes we know it we just would rather spend money on pizza than face masks or slippers haha).
I hope you and your loved ones are enjoying the holidays, staying safe, and taking advantage of all the warm fuzzies that are shared during this time of year.
Much love from my family to yours!
I try to do my holiday shopping year-round. I work a lot during the summer and tend to have a little extra money then, so for me that’s the ideal time to start getting Christmas presents. Another factor is the timing of University tests. Final exams happen right before Christmas and buying presents is the last thing I want to do after two weeks of exams. So not only am I short on money come December, I’m also short a few hundred brain cells and some patience (haha).
After two and a half years of college, I think I’ve got this Christmas shopping thing down pat. Here are my tips:
Make a list of everyone you need to buy presents for and brainstorm what you think they’d like. Keep this list with you (I save mine on Google Drive) so that when you’re passing a sale rack or have a coupon you know exactly what people might want.
Make an overall budget and a budget for each person.
Scout sales as early as possible. Nordstrom has their super discounted anniversary sale each fall. Macy’s has a half yearly sale. Lots of places have similar annual sales, you just have to scope them out.
Clearance bins are your friend. No one has to know you bought that super cute waffle knit sweater for 75% off. A brand new gift is a brand new gift after all, right?
Student discounts. There are more out there than you think. Here’s a list.
Happy gift giving!
I’ve found that getting a crap ton of stuff I don’t really need from a fat guy in a red suit makes me appreciate the things I already have. On Christmas Day, after everything’s said and done, I smuggle all my gifts up to my room and stow them away (neat, organized, either color coded or alphabetical). Sometimes I use them that night, but most of the time I pull out a CD or a book I’ve been meaning to get to. As I’ve gotten older I appreciate more of the simpler things, and since we are headed into 2016 I’m going to talk about the things I’m most grateful for in 2015 (shocker, right?).
6.7% of the world has a college degree. I am so so thankful to be able to go to college! I’m learning every day, I’m meeting new people, AND I get to be away from home. It’s like a vacation, but a really really expensive vacation with lots of books and essays and labs. But it’s still great! Go to college! Live life! Learn important thingymajigs! Yes!
2. My Health
Honestly, I take this for granted every single day. This year someone close to be had a big health scare and it made me realize how important taking care of ourselves is. I’m eating healthier, exercising more frequently, and making a point to take my medications in a timely manner (because when it comes down to it, I can and will put off just about anything).
3. Friends and Family
Bailey, why didn’t you make these two categories? Well let me tell you something, friend, my friends are close enough to be family and my family I sometimes treat like very distant friends (sorry guys, I still love ya). Even though we fight, my parents and brother get me through life’s struggles. And for the struggles they create, my friends come in to rescue me and save the day! I love them all dearly and certainly wouldn’t be where I am today without them.
A large portion of the world is still illiterate, believe it or not. I am enormously grateful that my parents instilled a love of reading in me at a young age, other wise I would not be able to sit staring at dead, sliced, tattooed pieces of trees for hours on end while hallucinating vividly. Uh, I mean, reading. Yeah, reading.
Like an eighties aerobics woman on a BOSU ball, clad in neon leggings, leotard, and leg warmers, I have obtained the up-most of stability in my life this year. Well, that’s a stretch, but I’m thankful for what I have!
Dad, this one’s for you. Even with ghostly household wifi problems, he’s our guru, and he hates it. Wifi is one of the many loves of my life, so thanks Dad for holding it together long enough so I can do my school work, surf through social medias, and update my blog.
7. The Bottom Rung of Haslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
That covers the basics, doesn’t it?
8. J.K. Rowling
Because what recent great article hasn’t featured her?
The best medicine. Unless you actually need a doctor, then maybe some antibiotics would work.
10. Life, the Universe, and Everything
I’m truly honored and blessed to be a part of the world. With its light, its dark, and its in between, I’m happy I’m here to take part in it’s marvelous misadventures with all 7.3 billion of you.
Everything gets hectic around this time of year. Between my birthday, my cousin’s birthday, family coming over, and the actual Christmas celebration itself, many of our holiday traditions have become lost over the years. Inadvertently, many more have been added.
When I was a wee little munchkin my mother would take my friend Andrea and I to “Bethlehem” (it was a church decorated like the city, complete with a stable, characters, and many crying babies and toddlers). That stopped when Andrea and her family moved away.
It was replaced by a short acting career (my parents have never been able to keep me out of the spotlight haha) in nativities and church Christmas musicals. I starred as many a sheep and choir angel, watching in horror as Mary nearly dropped Jesus or one of the Wise Men forgot his costume at home. Needless to say, that tradition only lasted about as long as my mother could make me do it.
When not acting in musicals my family hosted Christmas Eve parties for the entire family. My family is huge. I have about thirty five cousins all together, and I’m not entirely sure how many aunts, uncles, great aunts, etc. but all I know is that I still marvel at how all of us fit comfortably in the living room of my house. We fit comfortably enough that this is the only continued tradition I can remember, other than Santa coming of course!
Ho ho hope your holidays were merry and bright!
Who else is home from college? Just me? That’s a little bit how it feels right now.
I finished my exams early (fingers crossed for high grades this semester!) and came home last Friday. It’s a balmy 65 degrees in most of Western North Carolina right now and I’m starting to get the feeling that it really won’t snow on Christmas this year…
My family and I went to pick out our Christmas tree on Saturday and I’ve been at work decorating ever since! At UGA Christmas and Hanukkah decorations are everywhere, but my parents hadn’t strung a single light yet. I’m now determined to make it feel like Christmas, even though the weather makes it feel more like Easter.
How do you celebrate the holidays over winter break?
Christmas is right around the corner and my to-do list is getting wildly out of hand. Between exams, completing sorority service hours, psychology research projects, and papers I don’t have time for much else.
I tried to finish Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving break ended, but of course I had things come up and nothing really got done. So now I’m back at school trying to finish Christmas shopping without a car, or a mall, or even a remotely interesting shopping center. What am I supposed to do, buy everyone Kroger gift cards? No, I’ve come up with a better solution.
If you’re like me and either waited until the last minute or are completely broke, then have no fear – I have the answer.
Ornaments are a great Christmas gift! Not only are most of them inexpensive, but sometimes you can find them on sale with BOGO deals. Try to match the ornament to the receiver’s personality, or get one that matches the school they’re going to! Target has some great options, and so does Etsy.com. This is my favorite Etsy shop when it comes to ornaments!
The gift of music is also widely appreciated. I’ve made mixed CDs for my friends in the past and they’ve loved it!
Amazon is also fantastic for Christmas. If you’re in college, like me, Amazon will give you a free trial of Amazon Prime. This gives you free shipping, which is perfect for the holidays. Go ahead and buy all your presents on Amazon, they’ll be shipped to your dorm before finals end, giving you plenty of time for other things (like, ahem, studying).
Don’t forget that there’s always the option to make gifts! Mason jar cookie kits are great if you need presents for nine to ten people and, if you know how to knit, hats and scarves are perfect for this time of year.
But remember, the most important part about the holidays is being with those you love. It’s not about the presents under the tree but the presence of friends and family.
Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and good luck on exams!