'Tis the season of giving. During this time of year, you may find yourself receiving a gift that doesn't fit your body or personality, you simply can't use, or you find that someone else could use more than you.
Some people likely were taught growing up that re-gifting something is tacky or rude. However, today I want to share with you five reasons why I believe re-gifting is OK. Let's get into it:
1: IT'S NOT BECAUSE YOU'RE UNGRATEFUL
2: SOMEONE ELSE WILL TREASURE IT MORE
3: YOU'RE USUALLY NOT RE-GIFTING A GIFT THAT WAS
Most of the time, if someone gave real thought and careful consideration into a gift for you, it won't be something you want to give away. In my experiences, re-gifting typically happens from office parties or when relatives you really have no relationship with always get you something you simply can't use. For example, I remember growing up that my dad's side of the family would almost always buy my brother and I
We usually had friends or people at our church who would appreciate those as little gifts.
4: IT CAN HELP THE ENVIRONMENT
5: IT SAVES MONEY
Last but not least, re-gifting can help you save some money around the holidays. You won't have to invest in purchasing as many presents. As sort of mentioned previously, this should be done with gifts that you obviously can't use. However, if you have a holiday white elephant party to go to and you happen to have a gift that doesn't work for you, wrap it up and put it in the exchange!
Today's post will go over four things you should remember when celebrating Thanksgiving:
1. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE AROUND TOXIC PEOPLE
To me, that part of my family was and is toxic, so I don't visit them anymore. You should never feel obligated to see anyone. It hurts my heart that some people even go to Thanksgiving dinners with their abusers because they're expected to. Do yourself a favor and address the concerns or hang back and celebrate on your own.
2. YOU DON'T HAVE TO ENGAGE IN DEBATE THAT YOU KNOW WILL RESULT IN ARGUMENTS
3. IF YOU DON'T HAVE MONEY TO CELEBRATE, YOU DON'T HAVE TO HAVE A TRADITIONAL THANKSGIVING
4. BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING MIGHT NOT ACTUALLY BE A GOOD DEAL
I have a lot I can say about Black Friday, so I might make a different post THIS Friday. However, let me just say that there are some good Black Friday deals and some bad ones. Be mindful that you are nearly trampling and killing someone a mere hours after saying how thankful you are for what you have!
So, I figured today, and Thanksgiving is nearing and it is, after all, a season of thanks, I would post a blog about the thirty things I’m thankful for this year. Be advised that I’m always thankful for these things, but ‘tis the season to share it with the world.
2: MY HUSBAND, JONATHAN
This dude is one of my best friends. That's how our relationship started, as friendship. For every person listed on this post, it will be hard to sum up in a few lines why they mean so much to me.
Jonathan loves me unconditionally and is always there for me to listen when I'm having a rough day or just need to talk. I thank God for him every day!
3. MY MOM, SUSAN
My mom is one of my biggest cheerleaders and confidants. She always listens to my problems, offers advice, and tells it how it is. I used to HATE it when she did that, but her words always make more sense as time ticks on.
She's also one of my biggest inspirations. She's been through so much physically and emotionally, and she's still standing. I can thank my mom for so many things, and she knows all about them. Love you mom! I'm so thankful for you!
4. MY BROTHER, TREY
My brother and I have always had an interesting relationship. We fought like cats and dogs when we were younger but, as the years have flown by, I always enjoy hanging out with him or talking to him. Even when we were growing up, he always stood up for me when someone did something mean.
Trey, I really appreciate all that you do. Thank you for taking care of Mom and Nana. I know you have the wanderlust spirit and I know you'll be traveling again someday.
5. MY NANA
My Nana is no doubt a handful and we often have issues with her. She has dementia but is able to still function on her own for the most part. While the years have made it harder and harder to be close to her, she has done a lot of me. From picking me up after school, watching Iron Chef with me, and even helping to pay for part of my college education, she's always been someone I've been thankful for.
6. MY IN-LAWS
Whenever you marry someone, you also marry their family. Getting used to how another family works can be tough. However, help from my father-in-law has saved us on more than one occasion. We always tend to leave their house with some fresh-grown veggies from my mother-in-law, and I always love hearing Jonathan laughing with his brothers!
7. MY FRIENDS
I have a pretty small friend group. Aside from Jonathan, my best friends are Jeremy, Lauren, Tyler, and Paige. I met all of them in college. I love that, despite having busy lives, living far from one another, and forgetting sometimes to message each other back, we all still love and support one another. I miss them all like crazy when they aren't around. I love you guys. If it wasn't for you, I never would have made it through college.
8. MY JOB
I usually like to keep work and my blog and content separate, but I don't think its an issue since I am BRAGGING about my job a little!
My job has given me so many opportunities. I've met people like Ruby Bridges and Cal Ripken Jr. I've had the opportunity to see concerts from people like Nick Jonas and T-Pain, Hunter Hayes, and B.o.B.
I love what I do and the amazing people I get to meet, plan for, and advertise on social media. This job lets me be creative. No job is perfect, but this one has really helped me develop my skills.
9. MY CHURCH
This photo is from Trunk or Treat this year. I love that we are finally a part of a church that gives us such meaningful and impactful sermons each time we are there. We LOVE going to church now. On top of it all, this church is super involved in the community and puts on free events throughout the year in an effort to assist the homeless and underserved people in our area.
I love that. I love that this church takes community and serving others so seriously and I look forward to growing with this church!
10. MY BLOG
11. OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL
If you didn't know, my husband and I have a YouTube channel together. I love posting videos (which are normally posted every Tuesday and Thursday).
I've had this channel for what seems like forever, but I'm finally posting consistently. Please go subscribe and let me know if I can support you in any way!
12-14. OUR HOME, CARS, AND FOOD
I adopted Maisel during a difficult time in my life. My Grandy was really sick and it was around Christmas. I knew that Jonathan always wanted a dog, and I thought it was a good time to get one.
She is still in her puppy phase. She tears things up on occasion and pulls when she's on her leash. But she is actually a really good girl. She seemed to be leash trained and crate trained when we got her.
Even though she can be annoying at times, it's all worth it when she curls up next to us in bed or when she rolls over for some tummy rubs. I love her lots!
16. RUM TUM
This is the queen of our house. She has been for years. I love Rum Tum. I always wished that she would be more affectionate, but she is a pretty mild-mannered cat. She will let you hold her and she doesn't bite. She likes to play with her toys and adjusted to the addition of a dog fairly easily. I love her, even though I share my office space with her liter box!
17. REMINDERS OF MY GRANDY
I am and always will be thankful for my grandfather, who I always have called Grandy. He was like my father. Unfortunately, we lost him this past April. However, he knew how much we loved him and we knew how much he loved us.
I love seeing little reminders of him. It's so crazy, but every time a memory creeps into my brain, I tend to see a Monarch butterfly. Sometimes it is when I'm letting Maisel out to use the bathroom, other times it is literally when I'm barreling down the highway!
18. THE MILLENNIAL ADVISORY COMMISSION
A few months ago, I and about 12 other millennials in my city were named to the inaugural Millennial Advisory Commission. That's right, ya girl is a commissioner at age 26.
I love this commission because it has ignited a passion in me that I didn't even know I had. I'm even considering writing an eBook on Millennial concerns and various topics. We are still in our beginning stages, but I'm so looking forward to making some lasting impressions on our community and in the lives of our fellow Millennials.
19. THE FAYNC BLOGGER NETWORK
I've had the amazing opportunity this past year to be connected with the Fayetteville NC Blogger Network. Basically, a group of talented local bloggers and YouTubers who cover area events, fashion, lifestyle, military spousal support, and much more.
This photo is from a photoshoot by the guy in the left corner, Tim Ellis. He is a hugely talented photographer who take the MOST BOMB pictures of his beautiful and inspiring wife, LaNatria Ellis! I've loved watching her being recognized by huge brands and I always enjoy her Monday Motivationals where she gives tips for growing artists. I always love the posts and support from TheMrsTee and all of the other bloggers in our Network.
20. MY READERS AND FOLLOWERS
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I could have so many likes and follows on a social media app.
Thanks to TikTok, I've gotten new subscribers on YouTube and I've been able to interact with a ton of great people.
If you have a TikTok, you should follow me. Drop your username in the comments and I'll follow you back as soon as I see it!
24. OUR MILITARY
Our military does so much to protect us. Sometimes I wish we didn't put our military at risk when they don't need to be, but I understand that we as a nation tend to look out for others as well, and that's not always a bad thing.
I pray for our military and the leaders of our government each and every day. Thank you all!
25. LITTLE SURPRISES
26. EACH AND EVERY DAY
27. MY MIND AND OCCASIONAL SANITY
28. FREELANCE OPPORTUNITIES
BLUE CHEVRON ZULILY ONESIE
My mom is still recovering from her ankle and foot injury, and she had purchased this adorable onesie from Zulily.
However, due to her cast, it was a bit hard for her to wear, but not impossible.
She wanted to give it to me, so I actually was able to wear it toward the end of this month. It was SO adorable, and I got a lot of compliments on it.
As you can see in the picture, the crotch area is baggy. It's like wearing PJs to work, which I'm always in favor of.
I liked the way it looked when it was paired with my jean jacket, although I'm sure a cozy cardigan would still look great with it! The biggest struggle was shoes, but I just paired it with some nude flats!
A WHOLE BRAND NEW OUTFIT!
My mom always kills it when she picks out birthday gifts for me. The accessories with this outfit were chosen by her.
The sweater is super comfy and I wear it pretty much whenever I can.
âI'm sad that you can't see the shoes very well, but they are tie up chunky heels that are beige with black dots to make them look like leopard print.
Lastly, I got the dress off of Rosegal.com for about $19. It is comfy and fits pretty well!
PRETTY THINGS AND FAIRY WINGS BRUSH COLLECTION FROM TARTE COSMETICS
I've been getting into makeup more and more lately, and I realized that I don't really use the brushes for what they're intended to be used for. For my birthday this year, I decided to get a proper brush set and I've been loving the results.
My favorite out of this set is probably the purple one, which is for highlight. I didn't actually have a highlighter brush in my small collection already, so I've been loving the look it gives when I use the right applicator!
A month or two ago, I trie dout the Shape Tape Hydrating foundation, but this time I wanted to try the matte version.
I must say that I like this one better. I think it would be best to know your skin type before you purchase, because I think that matte foundation works out best for me.
Like I said with the last one, I love the applicator, although it does make it kind of difficult to put the foundation everywhere easily. I still love it and it has a great coverage, in my opinion!
When Halloween was coming around, I knew I wanted to find a good (but cheap) black lipstick that I could wear for the holiday season.
I really like the Nyx formula, as it seemingly matted down, at least for me. I will say that, like a lot of darker lipsticks, this doesn't like to stick in the inner part of the lip, so you can have a pink rim showing on the inside. Not great if you're a fan of duck lips, for sure!
Still, for $7, it did the job and did it well!
Thanks to some good people, I was able to get to my destination safely and get home without a problem. So, let me tell you the story:
Around Christmas every year, my Sunday School teacher had a get-together at her house in the evening. At the event, we would eat food, play games, and exchange gifts.
I can't remember exactly when it had started, but I know that it was pitch black on the road whenever I was traveling. This was my first time riding to her house, and I was super afraid of being lost. Directions were still coming on my phone back then, but they weren't as accurate as they are today.
As I said, I was using my phone's navigator, but it wasn't as good and accurate as they are now. I saw on my phone that there was a road coming up to the right. According to the picture, I was right on it, so I started to veer to the right to make a wide U-turn.
However, when I had done that, I went off the road. I quickly whipped my car around in an attempt to make the U-turn anyway. However, when I did, I found myself stuck.
Now, keep in mind that it was pitch black. All I could see was what was illuminated by my headlights. I managed to make the U-turn, but ended up just off of the blacktop road and in sticky mud where my tired quickly began to sink. I was driving a van and it was winter. I was all alone, never having any car issues before.
I did all I could think to do and called my Sunday School teacher and my mom.
I heard my voice shaking when I told them that I was fine and that someone was going to come help me. They hadn't been sent by anyone, they were just passing by. I was on the phone with my mom and told her that two guys had approached and offered to help me get out of the ditch. My mom asked to talk to them and she agreed that they could help.
They were able to get me out and I was able to get to my Sunday School teacher's house without a problem. I told them about the men when I got there and they told me that some handy men who also do some towing lived around the area.
I think my family knew them, too. I hope that they didn't bill them after that, but, from my understanding, they were just helping someone in need. My mom reads my posts, and I'm sure she can clarify if I was wrong.
1: PUMPKIN DOG TREATS
Give your dog a taste of fall flavor with a deliciously soft and chewy pumpkin treat. All you'll need for this tasty recipe is some peanut butter, pumpkin puree, flour, and eggs.
You can make them into bone shapes easily with a mold! The treats, according to the original pinner, last about a week without refrigeration. However, if you want to keep them for a longer amount of time, you can always freeze them.
The best part about this and some of the other recipes on this post is that they are usually much cheaper to make than it is to buy more expensive alternatives from the store.
If you try this, let me know!
2: BAKED APPLE CHIPS
This is one tasty treat that you and your dog can enjoy together.
I didn't realize how much my dog Maisel liked apples until I started making apples and peanut butter one of my afternoon snacks. For this recipe, you simply cut up your apples into apple rings, sprinkle some cinnamon, and bake them at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour on each side until they are nice and crisp.
This will no doubt add a nice crispy snack into your dog's day, and you might find yourself munching on them throughout the season.
Apple chips or dried apples are some of my favorite snacks!
3: SKULL AND CROSSBONES FROZEN TREATS
I don't know how the weather is currently feeling where you live, but I live in the Southeastern part of the U.S. It's still pretty hot day in and day out.
One awesome treat from this list of 15 homemade Halloween dog treats are the skull and crossbones frozen treat.
This treat features a blend of yogurt, kale, and blueberries for a nice and healthy frozen treat that is completely on brand with this spooky holiday.
I know that my pup would love to enjoy a frozen treat after spending some time outside this season. What do you think? Would your dogs like this treat during the Halloween season?
4: PEANUT BUTTER, OATMEAL, AND BANANA DOG TREATS
Most of my family loves peanut butter, my dog included! Around the Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas seasons, I usually find myself making more and more peanut butter cookies!
I happen to know that my dog is just as much of a foodie as I am, so I know she will enjoy a treat like this!
All you need for this treat recipe is peanut butter, oats, and banana, believe it or not!
You can keep these tasty snacks in an air-tight container for about a week, but I doubt they'll even last that long! This treat is something I could see myself eating.
On a side note, does anyone have a dog who doesn't like peanut butter? If so, let me know in the comments or over on social media!
One thing I also love to do is pass out candy to trick-or-treaters. One of my favorite YouTubers, Grav3yard Girl, passes out massive amounts of candy each year. I love watching her do her candy and prizes haul and her “assembling the goodie bags” video each and every year.
So, to help you save money and time, I want to give you some things to think about when you start planning your Halloween night.
1: ARE THERE A LOT OF CHILDREN IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD?
One thing you need to ask yourself is if there are a lot of children in your area. Our first year in our neighborhood, we got maybe two trick-or-treaters the whole night. I was so disappointed, especially because I had purchased so much candy to hand out.
The truth is that most families will take their children to a number of neighborhoods during Halloween. It won’t hurt for you to skip out this year if there aren’t many children in your area.
2: DO YOU ENJOY HANDING OUT CANDY?
3: DO YOU HAVE OTHER PLANS?
SO, WHAT ARE YOU DOING THIS YEAR?
Are you going to be handing out candy this year? Let me know in the comments!
This week, I wanted to talk about haunted houses, my one memory, and how it affected me forever. I need to tell you up front that I love all things spooky. I myself have been an “actress” during a haunted house. My high school used to do a “haunted school” event where different areas were decorated in a theme. When I did it with my brother, we were on the “psych ward” floor (which is kind of offensive in my mind NOW, but wasn’t anything I thought of back then).
I love to scare people and to be scared in a less interactive way. I also know that some people will say that “I’m just being stupid” or “this happened when you were a kid and wasn’t serious, so just get over it.” I understand why you would think that way, but sometimes things in our lives can affect our abilities down the line. This did that for me.
BACKGROUND ON THE MEMORY
We were very clear with my grandmother that we didn’t want to go to any haunted house. However, our cousin wanted to go by, so she convinced my grandmother to go. I remember crying and saying “no, please don’t go there.”
HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED
I also sometimes wonder if that person was a part of the haunted house or not. I was pretty young and I think my grandmother knew the family. Surely they wouldn't have sent someone out into the road to tap on the window and scare a young girl. I could be wrong, but who knows what could have happened.
So that's the story. What do you think?
So today, I want to tell you the three places I shop for Halloween decor that is cute or spooky at the right price!
CHRISTMAS TREE SHOPS
Don't let the name fool you. This shop is one of the best places to find decor for all of your favorite holidays.
There is also a personal care section as well as an everyday home needs section for things like lamps, dishes, tablecloths, curtains, and much more! Here's a look at some of the selection!
OLD TIME POTTERY
Last but not least, I adore shopping for Halloween decor at Old Time Pottery! This store is a lot like the Christmas Tree Shop. There are household items and decor items.
I am happy with this place because I was able to find what I needed for my DIY Halloween decor here. This place is super affordable and the stuff is super cute!
WHERE DO YOU FIND THE BEST DEALS?
Tell me where I should look for awesome decor for Halloween!
GO ON A HAY RIDE AND PICK PUMPKINS
Last year, when I first started getting serious about my blog, we went on a hay ride and picked out some pumpkins to carve a few days later.
I really enjoy doing this, as it gets me into the spirit for fall. Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year, so I'm really looking forward to celebrating it again in October with a ton of interesting and fun content either here on the blog or over on our YouTuber channel!
DIY HALLOWEEN DECOR
I have already gathered some supplies to make some of my own DIY Halloween decor for my home. I love to decorate our house, and I love to DIY.
I also love to save money. One of the projects I plan to do is a few no-sew pillows made from these 1-yard precuts.
Our couches are red, so I wanted to make sure whatever we picked would somewhat match. Jonathan helped me narrow down to these choices. I believe this is set to be a video, so be sure to head over to our YouTube channel and subscribe for videos this October!
HOST A HALLOWEEN PARTY
I don't have a ton of friends in the area, but I'm hoping that I can throw a small party for Halloween this year. We don't get a lot of trick-or-treaters, so I feel like buying a ton of candy is just a waste.
Having a party will be fun, so I'm really excited at the possibility of doing that this year. Details are to come!
TRY NEW PRODUCTS
MAKE SOMETHING NEW
Black History Month
Civil Rights Movement
Drive Electric Week
National Women's Day
Save A Life
Stop The Bleed
The Ingham Family
The Opinionated One
The Pioneer Woman
Things I Love
What I Learned
Year In Review