Sunday, November 29, 2015

13 Christmas Candy Recipes

Now that I'm single, I am having to be creative when it comes to generating income.
For thanksgiving, I sold platters of homemade candy, and I'm going to do the same for Christmas.

It was a great way to earn some money, and I had so much fun!

I've been sifting through recipes online for ideas for my Christmas platters, and I thought it would be fun to share some of them with you.  

I obviously won't be using them all, but they're still adorable and delicious, none the less.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Finding Peace & Quiet in the Hustle and Bustle of the Holiday Season

Carols.... parties.... shopping.... parades.... traffic.... airports.... 
Noise is abundant in the holiday season....
Some noise is pleasant, some makes us wish we could turn the volume down.

Today I am sharing five tips that I've implemented this holiday season to give some peace and quiet, even in the midst of the hustle and bustle.
1.  Create a peaceful retreat.  My "spot" is in my bedroom.  I've created a very serene space where I can go, shut the door, and relax.  Even though your home may be filled to the brim with guests, if you find yourself anxious and needing a break, retreat to your space.  Even if you only hide away for a few minutes, it will often help you de-stress.

2.  Tuck Ear Buds in Your Bag.  Most smart phones come with a space to connect ear buds.  In the super market and trying to find everything on your list, while being serenaded by screaming kiddos and grumpy folks?  Tune them out by putting in ear buds and playing a calming station on Pandora.  Don't have a smart phone?  Take along your iPod or other listening device.  Scared you are going to tune out things you need to hear?  Only put in one bud.  You'll be able to sift through the white noise of the supermarket, but also hear your calming tunes!

3.  Exercise.  Exercise boosts endorphins ("endogenous morphine"), which are natural pain and stress fighters.  I know it is hard to carve out time to exercise, but it is definitely worth the hassle.  Whether it be a quick walk around the block, or a trip to the gym, you will be thankful you incorporated exercise into your holiday routine (and, you're getting a jump start on your New Year resolution).  We have a fabulous walking park in our town..... it is great to take your little ones to, dogs included!  They have lighted Christmas structures sprinkled throughout the park, and a Christmas train that makes its rounds during the evening hours.  It is magical.  It certainly gets me into a happy mood!

4.  Learn to say, "NO".  This is something I am working on.  You'll find that people love to delegate their stressful obligations to anyone who is willing to take them on during the holidays.  If you do not learn to stand your ground and say no, you'll find your list is impossible to complete.  Make sure that you don't overextend yourself to the point that you sacrifice your happiness for petty tasks.

5.  Plan Ahead.  Procrastination is one of the biggest holiday bummers there is.  Completing your shopping tasks, preparing foods, etc., ahead is a great way to ensure that the days surrounding Christmas are not hectic.  Freeze meals, wrap presents, send out cards, etc., before things are crazy, and you'll be able to move at a slower pace and enjoy your holiday!

I hope these tips help you enjoy your holiday season and de-stress!