Sunday, December 31, 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 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 take my blog in a different direction.  Change is a good thing, right?  Health wise, this part of the year was a a bit interesting.  After two weeks of allergy testing, I discovered that I'm basically allergic to everything environmental.  Allergy shots started and they are still going.  Not complaining though, just happy to finally have a handle on what was causing me to get so sick!  I also found a new place to get my mani/pedi.  I'm so glad someone recommended Alicia B Nail Bar to me because I haven't turned back and I'm going to carry that two week nail appointment schedule right on to 2018. 

Well, the third quarter made me put on my game face.  Don't worry, we're going to talk about the happy times, but something drastic sort of happened.  Ok, maybe not drastic, but it was quite telling of some folk.  Since I don't want to incorrectly put words in the mouths of others, I'll just use the screen shots!  And for legal reasons, I've blocked out the photo and name of the person who said what they said.  Just know that it is an older cousin I've decided to not be around until I'm ready and if that day never comes, oh well.  And since technically I was told to stay out of their sight, who am I to not give the people what they want?

Now, let's get to the happy times of the third quarter.  My love surprised me with a road trip, even though he did wake me up earlier than I wanted.  Definitely not complaining though because that day was an absolute blast.  Nothing wrong with an impromptu beach trip, right?  One of my besties came to visit me for the Solar Eclipse because my location was in the path of totality.  By the way, that was the absolute coolest thing I've ever been part of.  The entire weekend was absolutely wonderful because of all the events happening around my city and I tried to be part of a lot of them.  Then in September, my favorite cookout happened and it did not disappoint!!!  

And now we are here - the fourth quarter.  I finally got my blue hair!  I've been on two vacations and had the best Christmas that I've had in a while.  It was great to just be at home with my parentals and get in some good laughs.  I also purged a bunch of things out of my life (and closet) and I feel like I'm stepping into 2018 a bit lighter.  I'm a bit happier too and there is absolutely nothing wrong with finding your happiness.  

So, if I had to sum up this year, I would call 2017 the year of being thankful.  I'm honestly thankful for seeing the true colors of some of the blood family, but I'm absolutely thankful for how my friends rallied around me during that time.  As you can see, that happened all on Facebook and when people saw it, some chimed in, but a bunch of them called and sent texts checking on me.  For that, I'm thankful.  I'm thankful for the blood family that chimed in, called, and sent messages.  After that madness happened, my parentals and I became even closer.  My dad even called me super early one day and said "this family is going to be just fine" and that is when #ThePowerOf3 was born.  I've always been thankful for my parentals, but I'm truly thankful for #ThePowerOf3 in 2017.  I'm thankful that other than my allergies, I did not have any health concerns that took me to the ER.  I'm thankful that when Charlotte (my car) decided not the crank immediately, that it was only the battery.  I'm thankful that I'm closer to finding a church home.  I'm thankful for my interesting life.  I'm thankful that I am still standing.

When it comes to this blog, I'm thankful for you!  Every time you clicked this page, left a comment, shared a post, or told someone you need to go read this, you allowed me to be part of your life for a small moment.  For that, I am thankful.  

As I close out this year and enter into another, I have this to say - I wouldn't change a thing.  The growth and development that has happened over the past 365 days has blown my mind.  It wasn't easy and some days, I went along while kicking and screaming.  On the other hand, as I look back, I'm still thankful. 

Ok, 2018, bring it.  Here's to the next 365!  

Monday, December 25, 2017

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.............

Sunday, December 24, 2017

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 

Saturday, December 23, 2017

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 much fun.  But we also had to be careful.  We were on vacation when this happened.  That means we had to get back home!  

Here are some things you can do to prepare for Winter weather.  Keep a blanket for each person in the car.  Snow can come quickly and getting stuck is no joke.  Keep your phone charged.  If you start to slide, turn your wheel in the direction of the skid - I've had to do this.  It works.  And my last piece of advice is this


Now, ice is a whole different ballgame.  Personally, I enjoy just staying in and watching how pretty it looks until they tell me my presence is requested at my job.  

What are your Winter weather tips?

Photo credit:  Pexels

Friday, December 22, 2017

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.  

Thursday, December 21, 2017

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 that I can't share on this very public platform.  

As I've gotten older, I've learned to love being still.  I don't always have to be on the go.  Sometimes, it is just great time to slow down and do nothing.  Don't get so caught up in life that you let it pass you by.  Just be still.  

Photo credit: Pexels

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

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 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 value to it!  

New Year
Whether or not your make resolutions, a new year is a fresh start!  Start writing that book, starting working on that goal, start traveling more, etc.  Whatever it is, start it and enjoy the ride!!!  

Enjoy this time of year and have fun!!!  

Photo credit: Pexels

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

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 experience.  Let's make sure everyone has a wonderful experience with those they love.  

Monday, December 18, 2017

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 out shopping.  Enjoy this time of year and if no one has told you, you are absolutely awesome and deserve whatever gift (or gifts) you get yourself! 

Photo credit: Pexels

Sunday, December 17, 2017

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'm traveling, we will have to open gifts according to when I arrive.  I'm really looking forward to this, especially since I have a few ideas already up my sleeve. 

Family Shopping Time
I do all my shopping before I arrive to the house of my parentals.  My mom has always liked the hustle and bustle of Christmas Eve shopping.  Every since I've had license and could stay in the car, I will give her curb service.  However, our most favorite thing is when all three of us go out and shop.  This is Dad's Christmas gift to us.  He always has something for my mom and I under the tree, but he loves to take us shopping and let us pick out what we want...with a price limit.  We have so much fun doing this and it makes for some great memories.  

So, what are some of your family Christmas traditions?

Saturday, December 16, 2017

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!!!  

Photo credit: TLB

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!  

Photo credit: GIPHY
Now, go have a good time at that party!  Enjoy yourself and party hard...but remember, you want to still be employed by the end of the festivities.  

So, how have your office parties been this season? 

Friday, December 15, 2017

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 those people and I've learned to take my own stuff, if I have to.  However, since I'm typically with my parents, they already know!  

Finally, ask for help!  There is already plenty of stuff that will cause stress during this time of year and cooking should not be one of those things!  

So, simply because I am curious, what is on your holiday menu?! 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

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!  

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

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 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

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 

Monday, December 11, 2017

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 different.  Of course, we're still talking about anxiety, but instead of me telling you from the outside, I can tell you what happened to me December 1 to December 6.  

Time to decorate
Friday (Dec. 1) was pure madness that night at 8pm.  I had a wonderful Friday.  Work went great, my arm was finally starting to go down from the swelling from the allergic reaction I had, and my mani/pedi appointment went great.  On top of that, since I was running late, I just decided to have one of my favorite meals.  I got home and then my calmness went away.  When I walked into my place, it was immediately where I felt like something was off.  I couldn't figure it out, but something wasn't quite right.  However, I carried on.  We even put up my Christmas tree and some other decorations.  

All that happiness from decorating, the laughter, the dinner, and drinks - still something just wasn't making sense.  I knew it because I have a better handle on realizing when I'm getting in that slump.  I wasn't ok.  In fact, you can look at my sleep pattern Saturday (thanks Fitbit) and see that something wasn't too right. 

Didn't sleep well, but I was still cute
But Saturday came and I already had plans.  I couldn't cancel.  I refused to cancel.  I wanted to see my friends.  I wanted to enjoy myself.  I did enjoy myself, but I know it wasn't fully what it could have been.  Just because I put on a smile doesn't mean that I'm good.  The medication helps, but there are still some awkward days.  Sometimes, those days come one after another.  This time, that's what happened to me.  

Sunday, I decided to venture out.  I had some me time.  I did some shopping, walked around a little bit, and enjoyed one of my favorite holiday drinks from Starbucks.  I was getting back to myself, but I knew I wasn't all the way there.  Monday, I fought to go to work.  I made myself make that drive.  I made myself get out of the car.  I made myself stay all day.  And as the day went on, it did get better.  Plus I knew I was going to see some friends that evening.  A dinner, we talked and I played with a baby at the next table.  That night, I had to have a rather serious conversation with someone, but that was cool (and just in case you were wondering, it went well).  But it was Monday while sitting in the parking lot of the restaurant that I had a thought that sent me into a spiral of emotions. 


I guess sometimes you have to let that negative thought come out.  I think you have to let it come out because then you can deal with it...or at least start to deal with it.  When I let that thought finally fully manifest, I started to feel a little bit lighter.  And it was obvious on Tuesday morning.

Wednesday morning vibes
Tuesday, I felt more like myself.  It wasn't perfect, but it wasn't how I was feeling Friday and Saturday either.  Then today, Wednesday, something amazing happened to me.  I had told my friend Monday night how I was feeling and she was so willing to listen.  Yes, she listened.  She didn't give suggestions on what to do, she just heard me out.  Ok, back to today.  Today, she and I had lunch and when we sat down she simply asked me how is your anxiety?  Now, let me tell you what usually happens when I get asked that question - I'm really short with the people who ask because in the past, they have typically tried to fix me.  I don't need your help to be fixed because I have a doctor and medication for that.  However, today, I smiled and replied because I knew she was actually concerned.  Honestly, there are only a few people who actually get a reply because they don't fix me.  She's now added to the list of those people.  

So tonight, after throwing my original post to the side, this is where I'm at.  I'm here.  I'm working through last week.  I'm making it through this week.  And most important, I'm seeing the clouds break.  

In case someone has told you otherwise, it's OK to have anxiety.  It's OK to have a mental illness.  It doesn't make us bad people.  It just means we handle things a bit differently.  Is anxiety elevated during the holiday season?  YES!!!  It's stressful to people without anxiety.  But here is what I do believe, we are able to survive and see the day break again.  

Photo Credit: TLB

Sunday, December 10, 2017

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 my major (9 months later), I was so blessed to have some money saved up to help pay for gas.  Fun fact, I was driving 2 hours to another state for work for the first 3 months of my employment.  Filling up my car every other day got expensive, but when I look back on it, it was absolutely worth the trouble.  

Another reason Winter graduation is so great is that you have the peace of knowing that you don't have to return to college after Christmas, unless you started a new program.  When January came and I wasn't going to class, I felt so great.  

I know not everyone is going to have a graduation in December, so here is what I want to know - what is your favorite December memory, that doesn't have to do with Christmas?  

Saturday, December 9, 2017

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 ship in time, I have other options.  If you can't find any of the three items, I suggest giving a gift card or cash.

2 - Plan ahead!
This goes a lot deeper than making a list.  Christmas shopping takes planning.  If you are a Black Friday shopper, which has definitely passed, you need to have a game plan to not get ran over.  If you are a last minute deal shopper, you need to have a plan A - Z just in case the gift you wanted to buy isn't available.  If you are an online shopper only, make sure you shop wisely and do price comparing to make sure you are getting the best deal.  If you have to ship gifts, make sure they are going to get to their destination on time.  Please do what feels right for you, but also make sure to not stress yourself out too much.  Don't worry, we'll talk about that in another post.  

3 - Be safe!
I know there is safety in numbers, but I really enjoy shopping by myself.  However, I do take precautions.  I am very conscious of my surroundings.  I also don't carry a bunch of cash on me (at any time of the year).  Make sure you are parking in a clearly visible area and if you need to, ask for an escort to your car.  Many stores have security in plain clothes that are more than happy to walk you to your car.  If you are going to multiple stores, make sure you hide your packages.  When you run out of space in your car to safely hide things, it's time to call it a least until you unload your car.  As for unloading your car, be careful in doing that also!  Not everyone works hard to get things and will do anything to get gifts for free!

Well, hopefully I haven't freaked you out too bad, but I just had to be honest with you.  How was your shopping spree or are you still planning on one?  

Friday, December 8, 2017

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 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't let your hate for wrapping presents kill your entire Christmas mood.  And if you feel it starting to do so, take a break.  

What is your favorite way to wrap presents?

Thursday, December 7, 2017

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?

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

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?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

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.

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.  

I've never traveled by train, but it is on my bucket list.  My aunt used to travel by train all the time and she loved it!  Before she passed away, she was able to share some tips with me...because I was a curious kid.  Pack light!  She always stayed where there was a washing machine, so this was pretty easy for her.  Arrive early.  Trains are hardly ever on schedule and she even told me one of her trains left early - crazy, right?  Pack snacks.  If you get motion sick, getting up and getting a snack might not be the way to go.  

I love night driving, but if I am driving a long distance, I will try to leave in the morning to beat the traffic.  However, if you ask me, night driving is the way to go!!!  On the other hand, I also know people don't want to do that, especially when driving alone.  Make sure your car is road ready!  Make sure you are road ready!  When I'm doing a long distance, I schedule my stops.  I know certain places I like to stop on different routes because they have the snacks and drinks I want.  If you are alone, try to stop at a travel plaza and not just at a rest area.  Typically, travel plazas always have someone there and are always well lit.  

Well, that's about all the advice I have.  Safe travels to you!!!  How are you traveling this holiday season?  

Monday, December 4, 2017

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?! 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

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 planning this holiday season?! 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

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 lady on a shopping spree?! 

Ok, let me explain this self-care thing. A trip to the spa is always wonderful.  We love a good massage, a facial, and even waxing (for me sugaring) services.  This is a time of relaxation during the stress and this could be exactly what someone needs to get through the holiday season.  

Weird earrings? Check! Interesting ring? Enjoy going to find it!  That special necklace?  Go find the perfect one.  If jewelry is what this person wants, make it happen.  There is nothing like having someone cook for you!  Since you know that feeling, why not spread that cheer to someone else

I know the coupon book is cheesy, but hear me out!  Make it simple and something amazing.  Be creative.  A trip to the park, a day at the zoo, or anything else you can think of the person might just like.  Quirky and be epic with your creativity!  

So now, what are you thinking about buying?!  

Friday, December 1, 2017

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 the festive mood...along with having a Christmas moving playing in the background.  

Also, please think safety, during the decorating process and while Christmas lights are in full display.  Purchase a timer so that your lights turn on, even when you are not home.  Just that small step can keep thieves away from your door.  

What are some of your Christmas decor favorites?

Photo credit: Pexels