Live Your Best (Holiday) Life: Week 7

The holiday season is officially underway. I always love this time of year, but for some reason I feel like I love it more and more every year. I don't know if it's me getting older and appreciating it more, or the kids getting older and getting into it (well, Jona at least--Violet still doesn't care). Either way, bring on all the fun Christmas things.

December's Live Your Best (Holiday) Life challenge with Alexandra and me is still going strong, and as I'm constantly mentioning, I love seeing others join in and find ways to make the challenge their own! Here's a recap of last week plus the prompts for this week.

{What is #LYBHolidayL?}

Alexandra, of Simply Alexandra, and I created a challenge for the months of November and December to help us focus on self-care, contentment, and gratitude this holiday season. Each day we have a prompt to inspire creativity, organization, and a sense of peace during this often crazy time of year. 

Every Monday we'll each share the week's prompts on our blogs, with ideas for ways to incorporate them into your life. We'd love for you to join in! You can find the full list of prompts on Instagram, and also at the bottom of this post. Be sure to tag your posts with #LYBHolidayL so we can see them.

{Highlights - Week 6}

- To take a holiday stress off my plate, I chose simple wrapping paper and cute to/from stickers to make gift-wrapping as easy as possible. I also chose one paper for Jona's gifts and another for Violet's so we don't even have to write names on their presents. Oh, and Aaron is doing most of our gift wrapping, so how's that for taking something off my plate? (I do the bulk of the shopping though.) 

- Aaron and I talked about our holiday budget and set some realistic goals for what we have left to buy. I can't say that we've exactly stuck to our budget, but we are trying to be careful. I've been finding some great deals online (like a robot vacuum, Merry Christmas to us!), so that helps!

- I bought a planner for 2018 (which makes me oh so happy). I decided to try something new and purchased a Happy Planner from Michaels that was on super sale on Black Friday. However, since I did love having a bullet journal this year, I decided to make one that's dedicated to reading for 2018. And if all this planner gear makes me a total nerd, well, so be it. 

-  I tried this Balsamic Roast Beef in the crock pot, which was delicious! I also recently tried this Crock Pot Mojo Pork and we really liked it as well. 

- Aaron and I spent some time wrapping gifts together on Friday. While we didn't make it a "party", it was nice to just do something together that isn't sitting next to each other using our respective technologies, or taking care of our kids. 

- I picked up a gingerbread house kit from Aldi for Jona and I to make together. I did the gluing and Jona did all the decorating. The kit came with everything we needed, but I also pulled out some leftover Halloween candy to use up before I tossed it out. It turned out very colorful and cute. 

- Jona and I watched Claymation Christmas, which was a childhood favorite of mine. We didn't make a blanket fort, but we did snuggle up together on the couch. Well... Jona isn't much of a snuggler, but he did sit next to me and let me take a selfie of us. 

{LYBHolidayL - Week 7}

December 11 - Allow yourself a tiny impulse buy. I love having a prompt like this one on a Monday--that day can use all the help it can get, right? I'm thinking about stopping for a donut on the way to work, or maybe I'll pick up another puzzle to do since I need to return one to Hobby Lobby anyway. (Tip I learned the hard way: make sure you know your table's dimensions before buying a puzzle...) 

December 12 - Put on holiday music to get through work or chores today. I don't think I can listen to Spotify or Pandora on my work computer, but I'm hoping that I can at least stream a local radio station that is playing Christmas music. If nothing else I'll put it on when I get home.

December 13 - Make an effort to get outside, even for just a few minutes. I'm terrible about this. My job is very sedentary, and so are most of my favorite activities. This time of year all I want to do is snuggle up with a book under some blankets. However, I know I'll feel better if I make a point to get outside and walk around for a few minutes--maybe it will help that mid-afternoon slump and keep me from reaching for (another) cup of coffee.

December 14 - Plan healthy meals and snacks to counteract holiday treats. December and healthy eating don't always go together, but I do find myself dragging when I over-indulge with too many treats. I usually do my meal planning on Thursdays, so I'm going to try to find a couple of healthy go-to snacks to have on hand, as well as a lighter meal or two to make to balance all the heavy things I find myself craving this time of year (like mashed potatoes, pasta, chili, etc.).

December 15 - Drive around and look at holiday lights. This is always so fun, especially in neighborhoods where people really go all out. It's fun to choose favorites, or at the other end of the spectrum, the ones you weren't a fan of.

December 16 - Bake holiday treats (one classic and one new recipe). This is one of my very favorite Christmas traditions, and it's one I loved doing as a child. We always make frosted sugar cookies to decorate, but it will be fun to scroll my "For the Sweet Tooth" Pinterest board to find something new to try as well.

December 17 - Check in with a faraway loved one. While I have been making an effort to text regular photos to my mom, we still haven't had that FaceTime date I talked about last month. I'm going to try my best to make that happen!

It's not too late to join in for any of these that you'd like. Be sure to tag your posts with #LYBHolidayL so we can see them. Don't forget to follow along on Instagram too (@shealennon and @simplyalexandra12).

Also, plan to join Alexandra and me for our Advent Calendar and Holiday Traditions Linkup on Wednesday! More details here

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