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    Christmas Family Traditions

    Christmas and holiday mood board.


    Christmas family traditions, this is one of my favorite things to learn about my friends. I love hearing what they do! Christmas is my favorite time of year (if you hadn’t gotten that already), so bring on the hot cocoa and let’s talk traditions!

    1. Secret Pajama Santa
      • At the end of October, or beginning of November, my family draws names for Secret Pajama Santa. This is just my immediate family, parents, siblings, and us! The pajamas always range from wonderful PJs you’ll love forever (thanks, mom), or insane ones you’ll wear Christmas morning and then never again (*cough* my partner in crime likes to gift these). We open them on Christmas Eve and then run to put them in the wash so everyone can wear them on Christmas morning. It’s hilarious because you wait in anticipation to see who your Secret Pajama Santa was… and then break out into nervous laughter when you open to see if you got some nice soft PJs you’ll love, or crazy panda onesies. #truestory
    2. White Elephant
      • We do this with both sides of the family and it’s always a lot of fun.
    3. Watch The Santa Clause movies, The Grinch, and Elf
      • These must be watched every year.
    4. Christmas breakfast
      • Always consists of homemade donuts or monkey bread, eggs (or an egg casserole), and lots of coffee.
    5. Take a picture in front of the tree on Christmas morning before we start opening gifts.
      • Kids
      • Mom & Dad
      • All of the above
    6. When you open presents on Christmas morning, you have to open one at a time.
      • And I mean, one person at a time. We go around in a circle so everyone can see what you got. We also don’t start opening gifts until at least 10am, because we are not a morning family. sorry babe. And we usually last well into the late afternoon. It’s fabulous.
    7. Big stockings!
      • We save them for last, and always take a short break to get some food because we’re always starving by that point!
    8. The dogs help us open gifts.
      • Until they get bored, then they fall asleep.
    9. Everyone has to sit on the floor when we open presents.
    10. Baking… all the baking.
      • Way too many sweets, that leave you craving green juice smoothies. But we just can’t stop baking all the things!
    11. Drive around and look at Christmas lights
      • You must bring hot cocoa with you, or drive through Starbucks.


    Things I love but we don’t always do: 

    • Decorate a gingerbread house
    • Bake cookies for the neighbors
    • Take pictures in the snow
    • Christmas morning pranks
      • Storytime: One year we (me, the partner in crime, and brothers) found over half of my sisters presents under the tree, took them out and put them in the basement. When morning came and we started opening gifts it kept getting harder and harder for my dad to find Jess’ gifts under the tree. (remember how we all go around in a circle and open one at a time?) Well, we kept getting to her and they had to dig and dig to find her gifts. My mom kept saying “this doesn’t make any sense” (because she always buys the same amount of gifts for everyone). Eventually, we were had, and crying laughter ensued.


    Tell me some of your Christmas traditions. I love to hear them!


    Hello, November

    Autumn-fall mood board.


    Some interesting things that have happened since I last blogged here:

    • I now live in an RV. (yes, by choice. yes, to travel. yes, I’m 1/2 crazy.)
    • I had a job and I lost it, and it still bothers me even though it wasn’t my fault. One day I hope to write an amazing story about how because of that xyz happened.
    • Thrive is getting ready for its 4th annual conference, and it’s growing to be an online resource.
    • Since we’re traveling full time, I’m not sure where we are going to live after the trip. As in – which state.
    • Freelance graphic design and Thrive are still where it’s at for me right now.
    • I became the Creative Director my second cousin’s print publication – I still do this, but it’s freelance.
    • I got a business coach and it has been one of the best things for my business.


    Things that haven’t changed: Read more


    Sometimes, you just need to write

    An update post of sorts. I have missed writing, a lot a lot. There has been so much going on though, and it makes it really hard to find the time.

    I keep a journal beside my bed, its a nice big one (shout out to Marshalls!) Big, faux leather, feels nice and soft in my hands, cobalt blue with gold foil and says “Big Dreams” on the front. perfecttt

    I am also a chronic notebookaholic. I have a problem, and I admit it. I want all of the notebooks. Other office supplies, not so much, I have a certain brand of pens that’s my favorite, and I stick with it. I have necessities that I use everyday for work like post-its, folders, and binder clips. But nothing shouts-out to me from the store shelves like notebooks. Anthropology, Target, Marshall’s, Paper-Source, honestly, I’m not picky. Read more


    Blog Design Review: Episode 1


    Hey everyone! I am really excited to announce a new series here on the blog & on my Youtube Channel where I review your blog’s design! As a graphic and web designer I have been wanting to be able to apply my skills to the blog world, and I love that I am able to help out in this way.

    I will walk with you through a blog and we will talk about the functionality, overall design appeal, and how to make the blog more professional. This is a friendly critique, I have no intention of hurting anyone’s feelings. I am excited to be helping out bloggers to become more successful! Design and functionality plays a huge role in your blogs success, and as a blogger and graphic and web designer I am excited to start this new series!

    So take a look at the video and be sure to let me know what you think! The first blog design I am reviewing is Read more


    Minnesota Summer Vacation

    minneapolis lake cabin
    Much Needed

    All those things and more, that’s how my summer vacation was. Hubs & I were counting down the days *quite literally* until we left for vacation. Work had been extremely stressful for him the weeks leading up, working long hours, and just exhausted. I felt like I had hit a wall with work and couldn’t stay focused on anything.

    Summer vacation was much needed! So we headed up to Minnesota, where the air is cleaner, the temperature is lower, and the pace is calmer. Read more