This time of year can be notorious for being rushed and stressful. While I have still been up until midnight too many nights these past few weeks, this Advent has been *slightly* less stressful than past years. Here are a few of the reasons why-- My Saving Graces:
1. The Blog: Efficient Mama
A few months ago, I discovered Rachel's blog, Efficient Mama. Rachel is a fairly new mom, but seemingly has a peace about motherhood that I could have only dreamed of as I stumbled through parenthood with my first child.
I love this post about leaving her son with a babysitter for the first time for several reasons.
First of all, I love the pictures of her hubby and her from their night out… I love seeing pictures of bloggers, it helps me know who is "talking." These pictures give me a sense of her personality… she is just too cute!!
Secondly, this post highlights what I see as a beautiful, "humble confidence," in her mothering. While she made a choice that many people disagreed with, she did what she felt was best for her and her son, and she was ok with that.
I often wonder what it is that connects me to certain blog. I think, more than anything, it's when they say something that continues to resonate with me and haunt my thoughts long after I've read it. Rachel's blog has been that way for me.
One thing, in particular, that she said, was in her "Advent Unplugged," post. She was talking about needing to cut back on using internet and watching TV and said, "I find myself hungry for the words of other adults during the day."
As a parent, I have had this struggle, but have never been able to articulate it. When I read, "Hungry for the words of adults," I immediately felt a sense of recognition, "Yes, that's it. That's what it is."
Knowing why I have become so dependent on the internet is helping me to, first of all, give myself a little grace, and secondly find more effective ways to combat it.
2. Promise not to judge? Paper Plates
|And yes, these are my beautiful used paper plates because as I went to take a picture, I realized we are "all out!!"|
And, nothing overwhelms me more than seeing a sink full of dishes. So…
"Guilt free," use of paper plates for breakfast and lunch, right now, are helping me to survive.
3. The Piano Guys
Not only have I watched it over and over, but I have watched many of their Christmas videos.
They never fail to ignite the Christmas spirit.
4. #31 Days of Yum
I am still new to Instagram and trying to learn to love it. Until I discovered #31daysofyum, I didn't see any use in at all. However, I've been really enjoying seeing the food pictures that other "Instagrammers," have shared and have even found inspiration.
Thanks to this "gram," from "goeatyourbeets," I realized that every dinner doesn't have to be a "recipe," and doesn't need need involved 10 different pots, pans, trays, and bowls.
It inspired this...
|Chicken thighs, veggies (I had sweet potatoes and carrots, so that's what I used) spices, broth, bacon--Bake.|
This one dish dinner was really easy, practically mess-free (one dish!!), and has become a new family favorite. I'm already making it for the second time in two weeks!
5. Online Shopping
Yes, this is a commercial (because I am an Amazon affiliate and do get a commission fee if you buy something after clicking an Amazon link at my site) but, honestly, I would be remiss, if I didn't mention that shopping online, specially, at Amazon has absolutely been a "Saving Grace," to me this year.
Every time someone asks me if I have finished my shopping and I say, yes, I realize what a blessing it has been.
Thanks to shopping on Amazon, my shopping is done. I didn't spend time chasing deals. I didn't see all of the things in the stores that may have made me question my decisions, or think that I needed to buy something that I hadn't thought of before.
I didn't have to return things that I bought and didn't need. I didn't overbuy. I thought about what I wanted to get for someone, searched for it on Amazon, checked the reviews to make sure it was all it claimed to be, and bought it. Done.
And, thanks to Amazon Prime, all of my shipping was free. I didn't worry about whether or not I spent enough to meet the threshold, I didn't buy something extra to "earn," free shipping. I bought what I came to buy, that's it.
Shopping this year, has been less stressful than it ever has been before.
As I wrote this, I thought about the fact that I still have one $5 Amazon card that I earned from Swagbucks sitting in my account, and I won't need to use it for Christmas presents… I am done.
Then, I thought about the $25 "gift," ($25 off of a $25 or more purchase) I received from Kohl's because one of the gifts I ordered from then arrived late (and by late, I mean a few days after it should have… I hadn't even noticed.)
This morning, I thought about spending both of these… I even spent some time searching Kohl's, and then I realized…
I don't need to. That gives me an amazing amount of peace, and I would like to share some of this, if I could. So, as I wrote this post today, I arrived at the idea of having a "flash" 24 hour giveaway to help someone else finish up their their Christmas shopping.
The Amazon card can only be used online, but if you have Prime, 2-day shipping should still get the gift to you in time for Christmas. The $25 Kohl's coupon can be used in store or online.
a Rafflecopter giveaway