My 5 Favorite Christmas Ornaments

My 5 Favorite Christmas Ornaments

It's not about the ornaments, it's about the stories.
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Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. All of the houses are all decked out with Christmas lights and everything is almost always covered in a thin layer of snow. One of my favorite things to do during Christmas is decorating our Christmas tree. Even though I wasn't home when our tree was being decorated, I still enjoy looking at all the various ornaments that we have acquired throughout the years. Here are some of my favorite Christmas tree ornaments and why they are my favorite.




1.) My Teacup Ornament

This little teacup has so many different memories attached to it. I first bought this ornament as a party favor for all of the girls who attended my fifteenth birthday party. It was at a tea house during the holidays, so I thought that it was the perfect little gift to give to each of them. (Of course I had to keep one for myself!)



2.) My Piano Ornament

Ahhhhh.....my piano ornament. I got this ornament when I was eleven years old. This was the time when I was obsessed with the piano and everything that had to do with music. I still love playing the piano and listening to music, but I have certainly calmed down quite a bit! This will always be one of my favorite ornaments to look at because it reminds me of how incredibly blessed I am to have gotten the opportunity to learn how to play this beautiful instrument.



3.) My Disney Ornament

I have always been obsessed with Disney. Anyone who knows me on a personal level is aware of this. Although I am the proud owner of many different Disney ornaments, this particular Minnie ornament was purchased during my sweet sixteen trip to Disney World. That was, by far, my favorite trip to Disney. I got to spend time with my whole family (that's very rare). The best part was when all of the male staff called me "Your highness" or "Your majesty"!! Now that is an experience that I will never forget!!



4.) The Christmas Pickle

This ornament has been in my family for many years. The Christmas Pickle is a German tradition that my family uses to decide who gets to open the first present on Christmas morning. When I was a little girl, my brother and I loved this iconic tradition. We used to throw elbows when we were searching the tree for this ornament. It was quite comical actually.



5.) The Snowflake Ornament

I absolutely love this ornament!! I love how the lights on the tree reflect off of the glass. It is probably one of the prettiest ornaments that we have on our tree right now (at least in my opinion)! This ornament also reminds me of how beautiful the snow really is. Yeah, it causes some troubles here and there, but all in all, it is one of my favorite types of weather there can be. It wouldn't be Christmas is there wasn't any snow!!

Cover Image Credit: Tech Blog Stop

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.
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I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Keep Your Wellbeing On Track This Summer With These 5 Health Hacks

Don't waste your time off, use it!

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Summertime is here, and for many of us, these three months of vacation mean more room for slacking off with our usual health routines. Between sleeping in through the morning gym alarm, and consuming too many tempting party foods and drinks, it is easy to fall into a euphoria of laziness and lose health as a top priority.

Here's the good news — believe it or not, summer is actually the easiest time of the year to get and stay in killer shape because of all of the extra time you have!

Here are some tips and tricks to get you started.

1. Try using the five-to-two rule.

It's easy to forget the difference between weekdays and weekends during summer when every day feels the same. But sometimes it is actually helpful to be aware of what day of the week it is. Just like you would do in school, try to stay on track during weekdays. Wake up at a reasonable time, exercise, find ways to be productive throughout the day, and be conscious of eating healthy. This way when the weekend rolls around, if you choose to indulge in sleeping in, or going out and having a few extra drinks, it's more acceptable than choosing to do so every single night. You will feel more in control, and trust me, your body will thank you for the moderation.

2. Skip the junk food and embrace the fresh seasonal produce.

Summer is the season where all of the nutrient-dense fruits and veggies are in their prime season. Take advantage of this! Skip the fast food, and try cooking since you now cannot use the excuse that you don't have time! Go to the grocery to stock up on fresh produce. There is nothing better than homemade, healthy food, and with so much time on your hands why not try some fun new recipes? Cooking is actually really enjoyable and rewarding. Here are some of my favorite healthy summertime recipes that keep my body feeling fresh and energized.

Healthy green smoothie

Quinoa Salad

Chia Pudding

Salmon and Apple Kale Salad

3. If you're tired of the gym, try alternative forms of exercise. 

Whether it is hiking, kayaking, swimming, or playing a family game of kickball, summer presents you with many more fun active opportunities than the colder, rainier months of the year. Take advantage of that if you are getting bored or unmotivated sitting in a stuffy gym.

4. Build a new routine.

During the school year, we all fall into a fairly consistent routine. We have classes at the same time every week, we have responsibilities, deadlines, and all of those other things that may seem pesky but actually, serve in giving our lives some major structure. For many of us, that structure is much needed. When summer arrives and suddenly we don't have those obligations calling us to get up and be productive, we fall into a slump of doing nothing. That's when it is helpful to set a new routine. Our bodies like routine and regularity and the best part about a summer routine is that you set it how you like it.

How do I build a new routine? Decide on a general bed and wake up time, at least for weekdays. Choose which days of the week you will exercise and stick to them! Plan out your week at the beginning of the week. I like to keep a weekly calendar. Before the week begins I write down all of the things I would like to get done that week and place them on the days I plan to do them. You can even write down your plans with friends or social events.

5.. In general, spend time outside.

Did you know that spending time in the sunshine and fresh air actually has an impact on your health? Nature can boost our moods, make us feel more energized and productive. And everyone knows that a healthy mindset leads to a healthier life. The great thing about summer is that we have endless opportunities to be outside because of the close weather. You can really take almost any activity you want and move it outside. Even as I sit here writing this blog I am sitting outside on our beautiful porch looking out over a lake.

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