5 Ways to Get Over the Holidays (Yes, 10 days later)

Christmas seems to start in October these days. All the decor is displayed in the stores as if the North Pole itself threw up by October 15th. Let’s not forget the Hallmark movies beginning the weekend before Halloween this year. I am 100% a “start celebrating on November 1st” kind of Christmas person but for all the anticipation and excitement, it always feels like it was over to soon come January 2nd. People are taking down their Christmas decorations and here I am still absorbing all the nostalgia with the few houses still lit up and my tree. It may be January 10th, but I am still not over Christmas. It’s a new year though. 2019 is full of amazing things that have yet to come and I am genuinely excited. Yet, I need a little help moving past the festive season and felt that some of you might as well…

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Looking Back On 2018 & Towards 2019

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Tomorrow is my first official day back at a regular schedule and work after a two week vacation and I’m feeling refreshed and re-energized. Something that has been a long time coming. Every year, I like to start off or end with a post that reflects on the year past and looks toward goals and dreams for the new year. Have a seat and grab a cup of coffee because I have a bit to say this year. A lot has happened personally, professionally and emotionally. While I’m on board with everyone who complained about 2018 being a terrible year, I’m also grateful for it because it gave me the kick in the ass that I needed.

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2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Planning for the holidays is something I’ve exceeded at since hosting became a thing for me. Shopping for presents, however, has always been a struggle. I will give it an honest try in early November. I’ll write down everyone I need to shop for, write any ideas I have next to their names and feel okay. But come the week before Christmas...I’m still shopping! Why? I can’t tell you. The only thing I can think of is that some people are so hard to shop for that it holds me back with all the other gifts. With all the other preparations that need to happen, shopping just doesn’t feel like a huge priority until all of a sudden, you have three days left to ship by Christmas. With that said, I have a few ideas for you last-minute procrastinators in case you’re not feeling particularly inspired…

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What to Bring to Holiday Gatherings

Happy almost Thanksgiving! The laziness kicked in big time this week which is why this post is a few days late. Monday was productive but it all started to go downhill yesterday when I realized that the week was halfway over. I’m ready for overindulgence (again), Gilmore Girls marathons and the Broadway performances in the Macy’s parade tomorrow. Anyone else? On another note, do you ever notice that many of the people that host holidays are often the hardest to shop for? Unless your family goes potluck style with their holidays, it can be tricky to figure out what to bring to contribute or at least to thank the host…

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7 Small Shops to Support This Holiday Season

Now that we’re a week in to November, I hope you guys are finally accepting all the holiday content that’s infiltrating the blog! I don’t feel that bad, actually, at all. I got the Thanksgiving Food Magazine issue in early October and my personal inbox has already been bombarded with gift guides. Something tells me now is the exact time we should start talking about all things holiday. We’ll have a few more posts in the next month sharing gift ideas but it all kicks off with small online shops to support. I’ve pulled together a list of my favorite e-stores by fellow bloggers and entrepreneurs to shop from. Shop small and support the people you love. Instead of just hitting "like" the next time you see something from a shop or blogger you follow on Instagram, head over to their shop and see if there’s something you can purchase to support them and cross a gift off your list…

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Tips to Be a Gracious Host & Guest During the Holidays

The holidays are some of the busiest travel times of the year. It’s rare that families end up in the same area where everyone can go back to their own beds each night. With that said, it’s not uncommon for people to stay with friends or family members during the season. I have yet to host a guest that I didn’t want back but I have heard horror stories from other people. It inspired today’s post sharing tips to be a gracious guest AND host. Why host, you ask? I am sure most of us have experienced at least one home we’ve stayed in that was super uncomfortable. Not everyone is a great guest and not everyone is a great host. We could all use reminders on how to be better at both, especially during a time of year that’s more stressful than usual. Don’t worry, though. I’m not here to lecture on what not to do. I’m here mostly to encourage positive interactions and experiences so that everyone has a wonderful holiday…

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Preparing For the Holidays. Yes, It's Time!

1 week until Halloween. Less than 1 month until Thanksgiving. 40 days until Hanukkah. 2 months until Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and a scant week longer until New Years’ Eve. Whether you are playing host or not, it’s time to start thinking about the holidays. I love fall more than most people and I wish the season was longer but to avoid the stress of last-minute dinner planning, gift wrapping and cookie baking, now is the time to get started. I hear all the time about how people love the holiday season but hate it more because it’s so stressful. It doesn’t have to be though! Just because you’re planning for Christmas and Thanksgiving in October doesn’t mean you have to have all the decorations out to celebrate early. It means…

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The 2018 Fall Guide to Chicago

Fall in Chicago is a special time of year. The amount of time we have beautiful, brisk weather perfect for wearing cozy, chunky sweaters is limited as winter and summer fight over the milder season. The trees turn colors and the streets line with leaves of yellow, orange, red and brown. It feels magical and surreal at times that a city could be so gorgeous. If you’re visiting from out of town, hopefully you get to experience one of the more brisk days (like today). Experience what it's like to bundle up while roaming the streets of the Windy City. Whether you’re looking for a comforting bite to eat, need to warm up, or ideas for things to do...we’ve got the ultimate list for fall…

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