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Showing posts from December, 2017

Year End Review - Edition 2017

This is typically the hardest post for me to write.  You would think I would be used to it by now since I do it every single year, but it doesn't get easier.  I truly think they get more interesting though.  And believe me, 2017 was one for the books.  But let's get to how amazing this year actually was.  

First quarter of the year is always a bit interesting because I get to enjoy Winter and my birthday!  A new person was born into the family and she was absolutely perfect.  She still is and I just enjoy her so, even though I don't see her often.  But what makes her so great to me is that she was born on my actual due date.  Kindred spirit, maybe?  And in thrilling fashion, I celebrated my birthday an entire month...as usual.  It was fun times with my friends and I absolutely had a blast with my parentals.  
The second quarter was a bit quiet.  I finally came up with a blog schedule and I really needed that to happen.  That was also when I sort of regrouped and decided to t…

TPD - blogmas 25!

We are finally here!  Merry Christmas, everyone!  If you don't celebrate, I hope you are having a fabulous day!  All the hustle and bustle is over and this is it.  Lights.  Camera.  Action!!!  

I cannot wait to spend some time with my parentals, see a few friends, and hopefully get to see my godson.  Other than that, I'm just cool with hanging out in some sweats, enjoying some laughs, and loving the day.  

I hope you have the best of days and that the day is absolutely perfect.  

Thank you for allowing me to share in #blogmas this year.  I've truly enjoyed it, but I'm ready for a break.  You will still see me on Instagram and Twitter, but I won't be posting again until new years eve.  I have to let you know what has happened this year and let you know that it has been the year of.............

TPD - blogmas 24!

My mom loves shopping on today.  I hate it.  However, I don't mind driving her around and picking her up at the front door with her bags in tow.  I can't do last minute shopping.  Some people feed off the adventure, but others are like OMG!!!  If you are in that OMG crowd, here are some last minute gift ideas.  



There you go!  You honestly cannot go wrong with gift cards and cash.  People have particular styles and to ensure they get what they want, that is just the way to go.  Cash, well, I don't think there is anything else that needs to be said.  Handmade gifts are always fun.  I have fun making them and I love the look on their faces when people see that you've actually taken the time to make something for them.  Just another reason to love this season.  

What are you last minute gift ideas?  

Photo credit: TLB

TPD - blogmas 23!

Look, I live in the South.  If you want the honest truth, it's only been about ten days that I've started wearing warm clothes.  In my location, it's even supposed to be in the 70s this week.  Yep, you read that right.  On Monday, I didn't even have on a jacket to go to work.  

However, it was just two weeks ago that my hometown, which is two hours from the city I live in now, had snow.  They were supposed to only get a dusting, but by Friday night, they were past a dusting.  When I arrived, I was shocked - shocked by the amount of snow and the fact that it was still snowing!  What the what?!  
Since I grew up close to the mountains, my parents made sure I could drive in the snow.  It was either learn to drive in the snow or get on the school bus if school released early.  Needless to say, I learned how to drive in the snow.  

I love snow.  It was seven years ago that I had a white Christmas though.  Yes, I was an adult before I had my first snow on Christmas.  It was so …

TPD - blogmas 22!

Not everyone gets the pleasure of being off work on Christmas Day!  To those people, even if you think what you do is small, I say THANK YOU!!!  I appreciate you.  If no one tell you they appreciate you for working instead of being with your family and/or friends, I am telling you!!!

However, you can still enjoy the day.  When I was younger, my parents sometimes had to work holidays, including Christmas.  On those days, we broke tradition.  We changed it up a little and it was quite fun.  Sometimes, a break in tradition is exactly what it needed to refresh.  Don't get me wrong, I love my Christmas traditions.  I mean, I've already written about them.  On the other hand, we all need a break, right?
So, if you're working on December 25, blast some music, enjoy some treats, and take that opportunity to brighten the day of someone who can use a smile.

TPD - blogmas 21!

It's finally here!  Winter is finally here!!!  My favorite season has finally arrived!  Oh goodness, I have missed you!  Give me some cold weather, some comfy socks, a blanket, a hot drink and I'll be simply perfect.  Come through, Winter!  Come all the way through.  

I used to think Winter was my favorite season because I was born in Winter, but I think it's much more than that.  I love the stillness this season brings.  It's a perfect time to think.  Would I love some snow?  Of course...even though I've already had a little bit when I made a quick trip to my home state a couple of weeks ago.  But let's get back to this stillness thing.  



Other than prepping for Christmas, I don't really do anything this time of year.  I'm not planning a vacation, historically I don't blog as much, and my day job actually slows down because we are out of the busy season.  The stillness is perfect.  I get to enjoy my journal more and get those intimate thoughts down t…

TPD - blogmas 20!

This is going to be short, sweet, and straight to the point.  The holidays can be stressful and Christmas can bring out the best and worst in people.  However, there are a few things you can do this time of year to help release the stress.  


Self-care Self-care is important all year, but especially this time of year.  With all the hustle and bustle, it's easy to get lost and stop taking care of yourself.  Take some time to exercise and meditate.  If you are already on medication for anxiety, depression, or anything else for that matter, make sure you continue to take them!  Don't make yourself sick!
Smaller circle This is the time of year I start to evaluate the people around me.  I already know some people will need to be kept at a safe distance in 2018.  It's just how it goes.  Each year we grow and each year we know and understand that not everyone grew with us.  It's OK!  Don't feel bad for cutting people out of your life, especially if they are not adding any valu…

TPD - blogmas 19!

Family!  Blood family, friends that have turned into family, work family, or whichever combo you have.  Family, family, family...but in this post, we are going to discuss blood family.  

Let's get this one out of the way - yes, family can be stressful.  If you don't believe me, send me a DM on my Twitter and ask me about what happened in August.  However, they can be fun.  But with all relationships, people grow and that may mean people grow apart.  Yes, you can grow apart from family too.  You just have to love them from a distance.  On the other hand, all the stress of planning and prepping is all worth it because for some reason, the event always goes off without a hitch.  

It's just something about family.  So, if you are going to a family event, remember these things...


Be nice Be respectful to the elders Have fun
This time of year is just that - this time of year!  For some people, this is the only time of year they see some of their family and it should be a wonderful exp…

TPD - blogmas 18!

My mom always told me to make sure to take care of myself.  Even though she and my dad are happily married, my mom made sure I knew to not have to wait on anyone to take care of me.  I love that she instilled that value in me.  I take care of myself all year, and I keep it moving during this time of year.  

Before you start saying this is selfish or why are you not thinking of others, you need to know that I shop for all the people on my list before I shop for myself.  Honestly, this year, I haven't decided what I'm getting myself this year, but I want it to be great.  

Why is buying yourself a gift so important?  It goes back to what my mom said - always take care of yourself.  If you are like me and tend to take care of other people before you take care of yourself, this is a perfect time of year to start doing so.  Trust me, self care is so important!  
No matter how you decide to do it - whether it is one big gift or a bunch of small gifts, I hope you enjoy the time you have …

TPD - blogmas 17!

I love family Christmas traditions.  It's just something I love because, hopefully, I get to pass them on one day to my family.  Since I'm not married, I still go home and celebrate Christmas with my parents.  Since I'm also an only child, we three have loads of fun and it makes it feel like it is a house full.  It was so hard to figure out, but I picked my top three traditions I do with my parentals.  

Christmas Eve Dinner We call it dinner, but it's not dinner.  We basically have a family party and it is full of party favors.  Since we are going to be having a big meal the next day, no need to have a big meal the night before.  It's so much fun and this year, I get to cook some of my own healthy treats for my family to try!  I think I'm most excited about cooking!
Five Days of Christmas This is cool because we buy five small gifts and we open them starting on the 20th.  Yup, one a day.  Then on Christmas day, that is reserved for the big gifts!  But, since I'…

TPD - blogmas 16!

Personally, I love the office parties during this time of year.  Especially the way my department is set up, it's fun because you get to see different people that you really don't see (but have to email) constantly.  However, like all parties, there are some rules that MUST be followed!!!  


Seriously, have a good time, but behave! Remember, you don't want people talking about how you acted a fool or pointing/laughing each time you walk by! The RSVP is easy, just do it!  Nothing is worst than people just showing up and you not expecting them!  Grant it, you always prepare for people doing this, but it is rude!  Also, be mindful of other religions.  Grant it, most people will not attend if they are not comfortable.  On the other hand, I do like how my office did it - although we pray, we do have a moment of silence for the other religions to do their own prayer.  Personally, I think that is pretty cool.  Be all inclusive!  
Now, go have a good time at that party!  Enjoy yourse…

TPD - blogmas 15!

Christmas dinner!  A time for family to gather and then get so quiet because their mouths of full of delicious food.  Some families have a big dinner, some families just have to plan for a three person dinner.  No matter how many people you are expecting, you have to plan!  Here are a few tips I have learned along the way when it comes to getting ready for any holiday dinner!  

You must plan ahead!  If you are traveling for the holiday, you definitely have to plan ahead.  If you are traveling, make sure you know the location of grocery stores.  Keep in mind, your favorite grocery store might not be where you are going.  It's so important, whether you are staying or leaving, to have a menu planned at least a week in advance.  This is especially important if you have picky eaters.  
Ok, let's get this straight, picky eaters are not doing anything wrong.  Some people have dietary restrictions, some have allergies, and some just may not like something.  It's ok!  I'm one of …

TPD - blogmas 14!

Death is a hard subject to talk about at any time of the year. You can be having the best day and just like that, a memory comes to you.  Death is particularly hard during the holiday season, especially if you experience a death in the family during this time.  At the time this post was written (Sunday, Dec. 10), I was just returning back to my place from a funeral.  

My advice to you is to allow yourself to feel whatever emotion you need to.  If you're sad, go ahead and cry.  If you're angry, let out the biggest scream you can.  If you're hurt, think of a good time you shared.  Do whatever you need to do to get through the day, even if it means taking it second by second.  

In my experience, the first holiday without the person is the absolute worst.  However, I hope you find comfort in these words - it will get better.  I can't tell you when it will get better because we are all different, but that day will come.  Keep moving forward!

TPD - blogmas 13!

I love me a good Christmas movie.  Whether I'm watching something on Freeform, The Hallmark Channel, or something from my own collection, I am hooked!  I have a list of seven movies that I absolutely love to watch during Christmas and below you will find them...but not an any particular order.  



What are some of your favorite movies to watch during this time of year?

Photo credit: TLB

TPD - blogmas 12!

I think you already know this, but just in case your forgot (or you're new to The Plus Diaries), I do not have kids.  With that being said, kids are hard for me to buy for.  I have a wonderful Godson and if it's Christmas or his birthday, I'm always asking his mom what he's into at the time.  Kids are ridiculously honest, so you don't want to get them a gift they are not going to like.  But, just in case, make sure you get a gift receipt!  



These are my thoughts when buying for kids.  You can never go wrong with toys (but try not to get ones that make too much noise).  You can never go wrong with educational items (books, learning toys, kid friendly magazines).  And as previously stated, make sure you know what the child is loving at the time.  Yes, that will probably change in the next six months, but they will love it right then and that smile on their face is so worth it.  

What are your kid friendly gift ideas?  

Photo credit: TLB

TPD - blogmas 11

Disclaimer:  I wrote this post on December 6, 2017.  It's written like I wrote it that day, even though you will be seeing it on another date.  That date is important because of what I will be telling you in this post and the timeline.  Forgive me for getting so long winded.  
So, it's been a hell of a past couple of days. Who am I kidding, December 1 almost knocked me off this planet.  Not that I was suicidal or anything, but my anxiety hit me in a way that I had never experienced before.  I was actually writing my blogmas posts and when I got to this topic, I had to skip over it because it was just too much.  Well, it's still a lot going on, but I'm slowly and surely getting it back together.

I had an entire plan for this post.  I was going to talk about how having anxiety can be stressful during the holiday, about having social anxiety, and what it's like to be an introvert at all these wonderful parties.  Really, the draft was there...but I have to do something d…

TPD - blogmas 10!

This post is really important to me because this happened to me!  Since I only had to complete Fall semester to finish my college courses, my graduation ceremony happened in December!  It was such a great time for me - graduation and Christmas the following week.  What made it even better is that it actually snowed on my graduation day and when we went on Christmas vacation that year, I had my first White Christmas!!!  Oh wow, just thinking about it makes me smile!  

Winter graduation was fun for me because, at the time, tickets were not required and I could invite as many family and friends as I wanted to.  It was also fun because it's already such a great time of year and finally graduating from college was the best thing ever.  



I didn't really stress the job hunt.  I probably should have, but I didn't.  I was already working 3 part-time jobs in a great organization and I actually moved back to my parents' house to help save money.  So, when I got my full-time job in …

TPD - blogmas 9!

I love to shop.  There, I said it.  I know my truth.  I really enjoy Christmas shopping because I am shopping for other people.  I truly believe that it is better to give than receive...especially since I try to take care of myself throughout the rest of the year.  I have three pieces of advice to share with you when it comes to shopping.  


1 - Make a list!   I'm not saying you have to know what you are buying each person, but you really need to know WHO you are buying for.  Check over this list before you make your first shopping trip, especially if you are one of those people who like to get your shopping done all at one time.  It can get aggravating having to go back to a store because you forgot to add someone to your list.  Once you have the people, it's now time to think about what to get them.  Please keep your options open.  Personally, I like to come up with three gift ideas for each person on my list.  This way, if something is out of stock in the store and won't s…

TPD - blogmas 8!

We love buying gifts, it's the wrapping that gets to us.  Personally, I love wrapping gifts.  Seriously, if you would give me a chance to wrap your gifts (for a small fee, of course), I would do so.  I'm the person that just doesn't wrap one gift at a time though...as I am buying them.  I gather a bunch of my gifts, put on some comfy clothes, start a Christmas movie, and start wrapping.  It's a big event for me, even down to what paper I use for what person.  

I keep an array of wrapping paper.  All my Christmas stuff stays safely tucked away in crates until this time of year.  Needless to say, I cannot wait to bring it out!!!  I have to pick the perfect wrapping paper and the perfect bow for the person I am wrapping for.  Sometimes I even use newspaper, simply because it is different.  

When you are wrapping gifts, here are a few things I would like you to remember...


Don't use too much tape Using gift bags is absolutely fine Have fun
Yep, it's that simple!  Don'…

TPD - blogmas 7!

In my opinion, men are harder to buy for than women.  With my dad, I try to keep it simple unless he has actually told me what to get him.  My love, that's a totally different story.  One year I bought him office supplies because that's what he needed.  In fact, I think he is still using them.  So, here are my gift ideas for men.  



Yep, that just about does it.  What are you getting the men in your life for Christmas?

TPD - Blogmas 6!

As previously mentioned, I love to decorate.  I also love to decorate my office area.  Here is one important thing to remember before you start decorating your work space - know the rules of your office!  

If you are able to decorate, go for it!  However, don't go into the space of others unless you have permission.  Not everyone is going to be into the decor and definitely not wanting it around their desk.  My office space is a cube, but since my walls are higher this year (I'm only 5'2"), I might not do as much as I did last year.  

Finally, make sure you have fun and show your personality.  If you are new in your office, this might be a good talking point and help you get to know your new coworkers.

So, do you plan on decorating and if so, what will you be doing?


TPD - Blogmas 5!

It's time to travel.  For some of us, yep me included, it's time to travel again!  By this time, I hope you have already decided on how you are traveling, but if not, I have a few tips for you.

Airplane There is no particular science when it comes to air travel.  I have bought tickets early and saved.  I've also bought tickets a week before travel and got an awesome deal.  However, I can tell you this, arrive early in order to get through security.  Also, wear comfortable clothes.  Typically, I fly in a pair of sweats and a comfy shirt.  Since you have to take your shoes off anyway to get through security, I typically wear flip flops.  If it's cold, throw on some socks and call it a day!  Please pack carefully and if you can manage it, ship some gifts.  And for the love of everything, please check out the TSA website to make sure you are following all the packing regulations.  
Train I've never traveled by train, but it is on my bucket list.  My aunt used to travel by …

TPD - Blogmas 4!

I love me some Christmas music!  I don't officially start listening until the Monday after Thanksgiving because I believe in giving each holiday its moment.  So, here's a list of some of the things I've been listening to!!!  


What are you listening to this Christmas season?!

TPD Blogmas 3!

It's time for some holiday parties!  Getting all dolled up, hanging out with friends, meeting new people, and enjoying this time of year.  There are a few simple things we must remember when hosting or being the invitee to the holiday party.  

As a host, try not to be last minute with sending your invites.  As an invitee, please RSVP on time.  Ok, that is the simple one out of the way.  Let's get to the fun stuff.  
For any event, it is important to dress appropriate or follow the theme.  If you are not down with the ugly sweater theme, you don't have to attend.  Don't put yourself in an uncomfy situation.  That is the absolute worst.  Make sure you dress for the party and be comfortable in whatever you put on.  If you don't like wearing heels, do put them on just to have your feet hurting on the drive home.  
With most parties, there will be some alcoholic beverages.  Here is all I am going to say - be responsible!  
Ok, readers, tell me something - what are you plann…

TPD Blogmas 2!

Time for some gift ideas!  For some reason, I love the number 7 and I think that is how many options I'm going to give you.  So, if you have a wonderful lady in your life to buy for, keep these gifts in mind!  Also, please know that your wonderful lady doesn't have to be your significant other.  Remember to take care of your moms, little cousins, nieces, and other people you love!  



I am a sucker for a gift card!  I really love going to shop and I love picking out interesting pieces for myself.  When it comes to accessories, make sure you now what the person you are buying actually likes.  Want to get them an interesting print on a scarf? Go for it!  Clothing can be hard.  My dad never did and never does buy my mom and I clothing without us being with him.  Clothing is always great to get, but since no one has a lock on a size 18 (because it fits differently in each store), having the person with you is the absolute best idea.  Plus, how cool would it be to take your favorite l…

TPD Blogmas 1!

I absolutely love decorating for Christmas.  Since my favorite color is red, typically my holiday decor is based around that color.  So, for another year in a row, my Christmas tree will be red and gold.  However, I do need to find a new star to top my tree because I want one that has lights!!!  

Since I live in an apartment, I keep my decor to a minimum.  Not because I can't have any, but the putting up of my tree is a full body workout...since I'm so short!  Plus, dragging out all the decorations out of my other closet just makes me feel some type of way.  LOL!  


However, I do love me some decorating.  I cannot wait to make my Christmas wreath and deck what small halls I have with holiday cheer.  

So, decorating is not just about decorating - it's about having a plan.  If you are like me and doing a lot of this along, it is best to set some time aside to just get it done.  I personally love getting my tree, stockings, and other decor up at the same time.  I just puts me in …