Saturday, July 12, 2014

Christmas In July

Is anyone else as excited about Christmas in July as I am?? I'm currently obsessed with all the Hallmark Christmas movies on T.V.  I LOVE everything about Christmas!!
Now I can go in several directions in talking about this holiday. The first, being a Believer, is my excitement about celebrating the birth of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I don't want to overshadow the true meaning of Christmas with some of my my secular traditions. But I do have many traditions instilled.
One of my favorite things to do around the holidays is decorate. I don't throw up decorations and a tree in one day.  I love to draw up a plan of which decorations go where and pretty much decorate every flat surface. Pinterest is one of my favorite go-to places to find decorating ideas and crafts to make. This year I want to add more Christmas inspired artwork, ornaments, and throw pillows. 
The advantage of getting the holiday bug in July is that you can start shopping early for supplies when they are on Sale or at least spread spending over a month. That's right, this girl starts the day after Thanksgiving! I'll share more posts on the specific crafts in the upcoming months.
Another benefit to planning for Christmas now is setting aside funds to use for the holidays. Do you throw a holiday party? Have a long gift list? Donate extra to your church or favorite cause? Now is the time, if you haven't already started, to set funds aside with each paycheck or find ways to earn extra income.
My last Chrstmas in July thought is planning to help a child or family in need this upcoming season. Call a local shelter for women and children or non-profit that helps vets.  These places can use extra help too. What items do they recommend? You can grab things at the dollar store (toiletries) or on sale anywhere over these months.
You can be sure I'll have more Holidays posts coming soon!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Time to take a Facebook Hiatus?

Have you ever just wanted to drop Facebook like a bad habit?  Do you feel like you have to scroll though too much drama, negativity, and vague-booking just to see some cute vacation pics of your best friend's family?  Do you post things just to constantly read comments and see who liked your witty post or pics of your dinner plate? If you answered Yes, you might need a little or long break to reset.

I went on my first hiatus this past January. I just wanted to unplug, but I wasn't sure see I could even do it. A friend (ironically on Facebook) posted something she was fasting with church for the month of January. That's when it hit me. I could fast from Facebook for the rest of the month. I was already into the second week and it didn't seem too long to commit to. So I started my hiatus right then and there. Alright, just after I posted to let everyone know I was taking a break.

What happened after, I wasn't expecting.  First I went through withdraw. I found myself constantly thinking "Oh, that would be so funny to post on Facebook!"  I had to reel in that feeling and get past it and it took about a week and a half to 2 weeks.  I couldn't believe how strong of a hold FB had on me for the reaction I was getting from people from my posts. Like just checking to see comments and who liked a post.  Mind you, I didn't even post daily before this hiatus, but I was blown away by its stronghold on me.

One thing I reflected on was my lack of anxiety. I found that what I was reading from many friends' posts was only the best news and worst news. What an emotional roller coaster I was putting myself on in such a short period of time. I truly care about the well-being of my friends and family, but there are other ways of communicating this info with people who can help or listen, not to the masses.

So some benefits I gained from being off the Book of Faces were: more uninterrupted time with my family, a better attitude, more patience, feeling like I'm enough - just as I am - without comparing myself to the facade people were posting of themselves on FB, more time for projects that make me happy (crafts, painting and decorating projects - I'll save my Pinterest obsession for another post), and reading for FUN.

My first hiatus lasted much longer than the rest of January. 2 1/2 weeks turned into 2 1/2 months.  Halfway through May, I started having the feeling again that I needed another break. I waited until the end of school and for a few other events to pass, and started my second hiatus on June 22. My phase of thinking of possible posts went much quicker this time. My clarity has returned along with more drive to accomplish more things. I plan to be off Facebook until school restarts in the Fall.  In the meantime, our family has more things from our "Summer Fun Checklist" to check off.  I hope this has given you some insight and recollection of what life was like before this social media boom!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Summer Fun is Here!!

Every season I love to list out fun things to do as a family. I usually decorate our chalkboard wall with seasonally colorful checkboxes and to-dos. I've seen a few other creative ways of displaying the checklist, whether writing each item on a wooden clothespin and clip around the edge of a sand bucket or even using a plastic hanging shoe organizer and putting each fun idea in its own sleeve. As a working Mom, my creativity feels zapped after coming home from the office so I need to get "the list" out of my head and displayed somewhere as an easy reminder!

I've made my Top 20 List and want to share with you.
- Make ice cream
- Make a mural
- Make concrete stepping stones
- Write letters
- Make a slip'n'slide
- water balloon fight
- Camping
- Fishing
- Canoeing
- Find a waterfall
- Make exploding sidewalk chalk
- Make stenciled t-shirts (blog to follow)
- Tie-dye party
- Have a Lemonade Stand
- Movie party in the backyard (I think the whole 'hood needs to hear the entire Frozen soundtrack sung at the top of little lungs! Scratch that, I know the adults will sing too.)
- Trip to the Zoo
- Go to the lake
- S'mores Night
- Make a movie
- Write a song about our summer fun

We'll be sharing more with you this Summer, especially in the crafty Department.
Now go have FUN!