My New Year Blogging Thoughts

My New Year Blogging Thoughts

Hey guys ❤ I hope that you’re all doing well! For this post, I have a bit of a blog update / thoughts post to share with you. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking over the past couple of months, and I’m still thinking about exactly how I’d like to blog in 2018.

Let’s both grab a cup of coffee and settle in for a blog chat. ❤

If you’ve been following along with my blog posts for a while, you’ve probably noticed that regardless of when I’m posting, the mood of the posts are pretty much the same – happy and upbeat. I enjoy writing like this, don’t get me wrong, but it can be deceiving when I share a happy post when I’m actually going through a tough time.

Like several other bloggers, I pre-write posts. Yes, I’m in a good mood when I write those posts, but by the time they’re posted a week or two later, things have changed in my personal life.

One huge example of this is when I shared a few pre-written posts at the beginning of August, ones that I had written before I got strep throat. I was reading the responses those posts received while laying on the couch or in my bed, extremely groggy and feeling awful, which my readers could not have gathered from the posts I was sharing.

I’ve made it hard at times for bloggers to connect with me when I don’t share posts that are relevant to how I’m feeling the day I share them. In one way, it’s a nice escape when things aren’t going well to have nice comments to read, but I can’t really respond back correctly when I’m sick, irritated, sad, or worried.

Pre-writing posts is a wonderful way to blog with minimum stress, but I cannot tell you just how important it is to make sure the posts you share are an accurate reflection of how you are currently feeling. Even a few days’ difference can make a big impact on how you feel about life.

These past few months have been very full for me. From the various doctors appointments we’ve driven to (sometimes multiple times within a week), to the different struggles my family and I have gone through as we make the transition to welcome a new baby into our family this winter, most (if not all) of the posts I’ve shared in this time of my life weren’t all that relevant. There was little to no talk of the stress, anxiety, and fear I’ve faced, and looking back now, I regret not being more open.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to talk to you guys; I simply didn’t think of it. (Except for when my mom was in the hospital, as you read about here.) In my desire to have all of my posts be upbeat, I haven’t been current. They were relevant to my life, but not by the time I posted them.

*takes a long swig of my imaginary coffee*

In today’s post, I hope to make up for a bit of lost time. In the posts that I do now, I’m going to strive for accuracy over comfort. Being real is so important, making it easier for me and my readers to connect and relate. 🙂

The other blog-related topic I’ve been struggling with for a long time is exactly what posts to write, and how to maintain a post schedule. That has been difficult for me, because I really like consistency … but with the new year quick in coming, I’d like to write a bit about a concept that’s new to me, which is blogging comfortably. It will help me immensely, give me peace of mind, and enable me to receive feedback on what I’m currently thinking about, going through, and maybe even obsessing over. Let’s take a look at what this consists of below. ❤

  • Writing posts that truly mean something to me. While I wouldn’t say that I was always sharing posts this past year that I didn’t care for, I was only thoroughly excited about sharing a small selection of posts throughout each of those twelve months. I’m not upset by this, as sharing ones that matched my blog’s focus and ones I knew readers would enjoy made me happy. However, I need a definite shift of focus now. That practice hasn’t brought me joy for months – I want to write and complete posts that make me grin while working on the drafts. I want to race to my laptop and get the ideas that excite me down on my dashboard before I forget. I’d love to share posts that were started because I thought one day, “I should write a post on that!” Instead of writing posts to fill my calendar, I want to pencil in the best ideas … when they come to me.
  • Sharing pieces that I love, and ditching drafts that I don’t. There have been way too many times where I went ahead and finished a post because, for example, “I need a post for Tuesday’s spot.” Don’t get me wrong, keeping up with a set blogging schedule is an epic motivator, readers love it, and I’ve done it myself at times, but that’s not how I’m able to blog at the moment. When I now see a post in the drafts that I would’ve went ahead and finished even if I didn’t want to, I’ll trash it.
  • Focusing on blogging with purpose. Whether I’m inspiring myself, others, or both (that’s always awesome!), I don’t want to share a post just because it’s a good post. Why did I decide to write it in the first place? Many posts have lost their pizzazz for me shortly after making the draft because my initial inspiration for it had rather fizzled out, leaving me to cover the main points as best I could. Why go to that trouble when the post wasn’t working for me as I had originally hoped it would? For me, blogging is a beautiful side hobby. To keep it this way, I don’t need to treat it as a part-time job.
  • Not worrying about the time of day. If I completely finish writing a post midday, I should go ahead and post it! I’ve been scheduling posts for the early morning (EST) for a long time, but it would make me much happier now to share a post when I’ve just finished it. (Just like I’ve done with this post!) This would make all the posts I share extremely current and relevant.
  • Letting inspiration come, and then writing [a post or two] once it’s there. Throughout 2017, I’d surf the web (my, that’s an old term haha) and scrounge around for inspiration anywhere I could find it when it came time to write posts for the following week. I’d write additional parts to older posts, reblog something, continue with an old series, compose a short standalone – anything to fill my cute blogging calendar. I enjoyed this blogging style for a while, but I quickly grew tired of it. I need to sit down and write posts when they’re there, not sit down to find posts to write.
  • Not worrying about the consistency of my posting. It’s tempting as a passionate blogger to write and post as often as possible to be fairly consistent, but this is not something I desire to strive for in this new year (for now, at least). Focusing on writing more standalone posts is something I plan to cultivate in 2018.

Those are my thoughts on blogging at the moment! If you have anything to add, whether it’s a word of encouragement, etc, I’d be so happy to hear from you. This was quite a lengthy post for an update, but I’ve been needing to write it for months, so it has been so wonderful for me to finally express how I’m feeling.

I’d love to talk to you about blogging in the comments below! ❤
What have you been thinking about blogging lately?
What struggles have you overcome?

— Maggie

A Year of Skies

A Year of Skies

There are few things I love to photograph more than the sky. I never cease to be amazed by its vastness, beauty, and extravagance – it reminds me of my Lord and Savior, Whom I love so much. ❤ It is both of these loves that has inspired this post! I went back through all of the pictures that I took in 2017 and found twelve different photos of the sky which were taken over the months. With these pictures, I found scripture from the Psalms to accompany them. ❤ I hope you enjoy!

“So will I bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.”
– Psalm 63:4

“Blessed be the Lord, because He has heard the voice of my supplications.”
– Psalm 28:6 

“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness of it, the world and they who dwell in it.”
– Psalm 24:1

“For You, O Lord, have made me glad by Your works; at the deeds of Your hands I joyfully sing.” – Psalm 92:4

“Your name, O Lord, endures forever, Your fame, O Lord, throughout all ages.”
– Psalm 135:13

“May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in His work … “
– Psalm 104:31

“May my mediation be sweet to Him; as for me, I will rejoice in the Lord.”
– Psalm 104:34

“The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all.” – Psalm 103:19

“O give thanks unto the Lord, call upon His name,
make known His doings among the peoples!” – Psalm 105:1

“Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and let Your glory be over all the earth.”
– Psalm 108:5

“The works of the Lord are great, sought out by all those who have delight in them. His work is honorable and glorious, and His righteousness endures forever.”
– Psalm 111:2-3

“The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the peoples see His glory.”
– Psalm 97:6

Thank you for reading! Have a blessed weekend ❤

A Few Of My Favorite Things – December 2017

A Few Of My Favorite Things – December 2017

Hey there guys, and happy Tuesday!! I hope that you all had a beautiful Christmas. My family and I did! 🙂 ❤ How did you spend your holiday? What were the highlights? You’ll have to let me know in the comments below!

For today’s post, I decided to sum up my month of December with my favorite pictures and memories. I was going through photos on the computer last week and couldn’t help but notice all of the wonderful things that happened this past month.

I am in great shock of the fact that this will be one of the last posts I share in 2017! I’m serious, where did the time go? However, it’s been a fantastic year for me and my family. We went through some tough times, but we had the Lord and each other through it all, so everything turned out beautifully. ❤ I’m so stoked for the new year, but at the same time, I keep thinking back over the last twelve months.

What will the next twelve have in store?

For today, though, I’ll just talk about these last few weeks! ❤ Hope you enjoy!

Favorites of December

— (Featured image) Admiring The Great Outdoors.

Yes, it did rain quite a bit this month, lol, but that’s winter for us in the southern US. There were showers, sunshine, dense fog, and wildlife to watch. The trees shed their leaves as the temperature steadily dropped over the days and weeks, and I managed to get some beautiful shots of the last leaves of the season at the beginning of the month.

— My New Succulent Greeting Banner.

While Christmas shopping early in the month, I found this at a good price in the decor section of a local store and immediately knew it belonged in my room. I couldn’t just leave it there, considering it goes along with all the decorations in my room, haha! Its current residence is my windowsill, where I’m sure it will stay until we move.

— Our First Ever December Snowfall!

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ve lived in the southern US my whole life, and it has not snowed once before January in our part of the state. That’s rather sad, since I love snow and dream of one year having a white Christmas, but GUYS! Check out the pictures below. We finally got to experience snow around Christmas!

— Rediscovering The Beauty Of Reading.

My love of books went on a hiatus this whole year, as I’ve been too busy occupying my time with other activities to the point where reading books wasn’t included in my free time anymore. It often made me sad, as I didn’t have enough of an attention span to enjoy a good book, but I’m finally back. Haha, I’m a book nerd again!! My goal is to read 50 books in 2018, so we’ll see how that goes.

— Finishing The First Semester Of My Senior Year.

It’s so foreign to me to be nearly done with school! I can’t get my mind around the fact that I’ll be finished with it all early next year. I’m excited, but it will still be strange, hehe

— The December Photography Challenge.

Taking pictures to go along with the prompts for Gracie’s photo challenge was an absolute blast! Some of them were definitely a challenge, haha, when I couldn’t get just the right angle for the photo, or I didn’t have anything present to match the prompt, but it was still fun. I ended up participating in the first three weeks of the challenge, which was so enjoyable to do.

— Admiring Our Christmas Tree.

One of the highlights of every December for me is getting out the tree, decorating it, and then enjoying how pretty it is all month long! It makes everything so much more festive, which I absolutely love.

— Dressing Festively.

When I have a reason to dress up for something, whether it’s a special occasion or a nationwide holiday, I thoroughly enjoy it! Christmas sweaters, patriotic tank tops, dressy casual ensembles … that’s the usual yearly round-up for me, haha. This holiday season, my favorite things to wear have been my awesome red Christmas sweater, soft gray and white pj pants, and my jingle bell ring.

— Trying Tea And Planning Things.

I’m always brainstorming post ideas and moving dates around in my planner, so this is applicable for any month. However, the addition of trying tea (chamomile and peppermint, separately and respectively) was totally new for me! I won’t enjoy chamomile unless I find the perfect blend of flavors for my liking, but I did enjoy the taste and soft twang of peppermint tea with a bit of milk and sugar. It was very festive and made me happy.

— Reaching High Scores On My Favorite Games.

It has been said that I am a competitive person (actually only my family says that, lol), so it’s not uncommon for me to play a game obsessively until I come out on top. A few weeks in a row, I attained the highest score in my league on Subway Surfer, and I was quite proud. I’ve also been playing a game called ‘Plumber’ (a mini-game on a multi-game app), and I completed every single level in record time. haha

my fun, in-game badge haha

Thank you sooo much for reading! December was a beautiful month, and I am definitely looking forward to January. ❤

Let me know in the comments below:

How was YOUR December?

December Photography Challenge || Week Three

December Photography Challenge || Week Three

Hello guys! I hope you’re having a wonderful Sunday. ❤ This is week three of the December photography challenge! My lovely blogging friend, Gracie, started it and invited her followers to join in. You can go check out the photos Gracie has shared on her blog here! I’m happy to share with you this week’s pictures. 🙂

Day 10 – Fun

The fairy lights I have up in my room! They’re very fun, haha, and make my room so cheery. ❤ Do you have little lights like this in your room? I really recommend them if you’d like to brighten up your living space! White/gold ones aren’t exclusive to Christmas time, which is nice 🙂

Day 11 – Today’s Temp.

I took the photo immediately after reading the prompt for the day, haha, so it was still pretty cold outside that morning. I think the high was in the low-50’s that day, and it has also been quite windy recently. 🙂 Also, you can see our ‘countdown to Christmas’ board behind the thermostat!

Day 12 – Christmas Tree

You can see some of the different ornaments we’ve decorated our tree with in this pic! We made those little paper snowflakes last year, I think – Samuel likes putting them on the tree. 🙂 ❤ Also, you can see Plankton (from SpongeBob) in the middle right; my brothers insisted that he be perched on our tree this year, haha

Day 13 – Christmas Card

My family and I haven’t had a chance to drive to the post office yet, so if any Christmas cards have arrived for me yet, I don’t know it, haha! For this reason, I was sadly only able to take a picture of a beautiful holiday card my mom bought last year. It’s so pretty and sparkly!

Day 14 – Joy

Elizabeth has been being so cute lately!! She loves exploring the outdoors, trying new foods, playing games with us, and dancing along to the shows she watches. ❤

Day 15 – Christmas lights

I love experimenting with lights and the blur effect for certain photos, so I thought it would be fun to do this with Christmas lights! I just waved my phone camera all around near the tree while taking photos, and this is the one that turned out best, haha. It looks pretty neat!

Day 16 – Ornaments

This little guy is one of my favorite ornaments! My brother and I each made one to hang on the tree back in 2007, I think it was, and they’ve been ornaments on our tree every year since.

Thank you for reading, guys! I’m excited to get to share more photos next weekend. Until next time, I hope you all have a beautiful new week!

9 Awesome Ways to Write Better Blog Posts

9 Awesome Ways to Write Better Blog Posts

Hey guys! I hope that you’re all having a beautiful day. (: I have some more blogging tips to share with you! I’ve really been enjoying coming up with these tips, because I’ve learned a lot in this past year of blogging. ❤ Knowing I can help my readers and other bloggers makes me so happy!

Over the past couple of weeks, I have written different posts with tips on growing your audience, and staying organized with blogging, too. For today, I have nine tips for you on writing better blog posts! These are meant to encourage you to stay inspired, find when/how to write posts, and also decide on the best atmosphere to blog in. Timing, space, and inspiration are three of the most important things to consider when starting work on a post! 🙂

I hope you all enjoy!

9 Awesome Ways to
Write Better Blog Posts

1. Write posts in the same place/s.

I have found that it inspires me immensely to write in the same one or two places in my home whenever compose a blog post. At the moment, the two I enjoy most are my writing desk and our dining room table. Anywhere else (i.e. the couch, the den) is distracting. Just like I once read somewhere, when one gets in the habit of regularly writing in a particular place, it trains your brain into being in that zone every time you sit there.

2. Have a basic idea of what you
want to work on each session.

If you know what you’re wanting to work on in the blogging world each time you get on your laptop, phone, or whatever platform you use to blog, that will really help you to get things done. Instead of simply having “blogging time,” where you set out to accomplish whatever comes to mind, make a mental list. What posts do you want to start writing or finish working on? Does your blog dashboard need some work on regular upkeep? Decide on a handful of things you could get done in the amount of time you have to work, and you will be much more successful.

3. Listen to music that keeps you inspired.

Whether that’s your favorite band’s newest album or some awesome instrumentals, choose what works for you! This is always changing for me, as my favorite songs change and alternate weekly, so listen to whatever inspires you in the moment. After a while of listening to the same songs / track, find something new to blog to. It will keep things interesting and creative!

4. Create post templates for your blog series.

This tip has saved me so many times. It is an essential if you regularly keep up with post series! Keep template/s in your drafts which you can easily customize and add to whenever you feel like writing an addition to those series. It saves time, and can even save your inspiration, as well; when you don’t have to worry about formatting and choosing a picture, you can write freely!

5. Come up with good titles before working on posts.

My mom taught me this one early on when I began blogging on Dreaming of Guatemala. I have been so thankful for this bit of advice again and again! It can be tempting to write out a post, and then pick a title, but it’s way easier in the long run to have titles and then write posts that go with them. Acquiring titles before posts helps lead the way the post will go. I highly recommend practicing this! (Also, if you realize after writing a post that you have a much cooler title than the one you first gave it, don’t worry about changing it. Simply having an original title is something to keep in mind.)

6. Write when you have the inspiration.

There have been days when I was planning to write at a certain time, once I finished up with whatever I needed to do … but then the inspiration fled. When/If this happens to you, don’t stress it; don’t force the inspiration. You can’t force creativity; it doesn’t work. However, when you have a time of dead inspo like this, it may do you well to write down ideas, or read others’ sites; I’ve done this from time to time. Planning whenever works for me, but with writing the posts themselves? You have to be happy, inspired, and in a creative mood. It matters. ❤

7. Break post-writing into steps.

For example, this could be to find the pictures you want to use, take notes on where you want the post to go, start the draft, brainstorm some more ideas, then begin writing the actual post. You could combine or skip some of these steps – it depends on your preferences and the post. For me, I really appreciate working on posts in increments. It saves time, which makes it much easier. 🙂

8. Keep your posts fresh.

For a while, I covered basically the same thing every week on my blog. I had certain types of posts I put up every day of the week, and I usually got those posts written. Before long, however, the weeks were beginning to blend together. There was minimal variety, and it wasn’t long before I moved on to other series and post focuses. If you ever feel like you’re writing too much of the same thing, seek out post inspiration! Browse Pinterest, read posts from others in your niche (my mom suggested this one – it’s a great way to become re-inspired!), bring back an old post by writing an updated version or a part two – get creative, be original. ❤

9. Proofread thoroughly.

My mom and I both agree that this is a crucial tip for good writing. Once you’re done writing a post, read it back through again. And again. Check for spelling and grammar mistakes, make sure you’re allowing your point to come across the way you desire it to – make your writing the best it can be. ❤

Thanks for reading, guys!! Have these tips helped you? They have really helped me to become the blogger I am today. 🙂 ❤ I hope you have a beautiful day! And let me know in the comments below:

What has helped YOU
become a better blogger?

5 Christmas Tags!!

5 Christmas Tags!!

Hey there, guys, and happy Tuesday! I have a crazily-awesome post to share with you today, haha – it might be quite long, so be prepared! In the past few weeks, different lovely bloggers that I know included me in their nominees for various holiday tags! There are at least five of these in circulation right now, which is so awesome. lol I’m very honored to have been tagged in all of these! To celebrate this festive month, I wanted to write about all of them today! Let’s get right into this!

The Christmas Tag

Thank you so much for tagging me, Gracie!

  • What’s your favorite thing about Christmas? Spending that time with my family on Christmas morning, as well as on the days leading up to the holiday, is such a joy to me. Watching everyone open their presents, eating our Christmas breakfast together, and spending the day playing games, then helping with Christmas dinner – it’s a beautiful celebration.
  • What’s your favorite Christmas memory? I truly couldn’t pick just one! There have been so many wonderful ones that they all blend together, so that when I think of Christmas, I’m reminded of all the beautiful past Christmases.
  • Are there special traditions your family has for Christmas? Yes! We love having Christmas breakfast (and then dinner) on the day of, as I previously mentioned, but we also enjoy driving around throughout December, admiring how others have decorated their homes for Christmas. (Many people are SO creative!)
  • What’s your Christmas wish? (Can be personal or general) Well, I’d love to have a white Christmas where I live, but I wish for that literally every year, lol. I don’t think that will happen until we move farther north!! Aside from that … I’d love for my whole family to feel well, emotionally and physically, on Christmas Day. There have been many stresses we’ve been going through lately, and it would be a huge blessing to all of us to have a day of such joy. ❤
  • What’s your favorite Christmas dish? This may seem crazy, haha, but I honestly love having cinnamon rolls (as well as orange rolls!) on Christmas morning. We don’t usually have them the rest of the year, since they’re so sugary, but I love them so much.
  • What’s your favorite Christmas decoration? I love admiring our Christmas tree throughout December! It’s so festive, pretty, and bright.
  • What’s your favorite Christmas song? Once Upon A Christmas by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton has always meant a lot to me.
  • Where do you usually celebrate Christmas? My family and I always celebrate at home. The years we’ve gone to parties with friends and family is earlier in the month, never on the day of.
  • What does the ‘Christmas Spirit’ mean to you? The feeling of such joy when you choose a present for someone, and then get to watch them open it on or around Christmas! It’s a magical feeling that I wish we could experience more often.
  • Who out of anybody in the world would you want to spend your Christmas with? I can’t imagine spending it with just one person, so I’ll have to pick the group I’ve always spent my Christmases with: my family!

Nominations: My Blessing By Grace, Invisibly Me, and Amelia in Hull!
All three of you are amazing bloggers!

The Ultimate Christmas Q+A

Thank you for tagging me in this, Grace!

What is your favorite Christmas film? Honestly, The Muppet Christmas Carol! I’ve already watched it a few times this December, but I can never get enough of it. I love the acting, the characters are so funny, and the songs are great. It’s very entertaining; I definitely recommend that you watch it if you haven’t yet!

Have you ever had a white Christmas? Haha, no. 😥 One day, I hope!

Where do you usually spend Christmas? At home with my family! ❤

What are your favorite Christmas songs? You can see a good amount of them on this post!

When does your family put up your Christmas tree? Usually on December 1st, but some years it will be a bit delayed into the month if we’re too busy.

Do you open presents on Christmas Eve? Well, my brother does, haha! That’s his birthday (: My family and I did open a few Christmas presents on Christmas Eve, but that never became a tradition for us.

What holiday traditions are you looking forward to most this year? Driving around and admiring Christmas lights! Otherwise, Christmas Day is always exciting to me.

Who decorates the Christmas tree? Everyone! My brother and I assemble the fake tree, then Joshua, our mom and I separate the branches. My mom usually does the lights, and I only did this year because she wasn’t feeling well enough to. Once that’s done, everyone helps with putting on the ornaments.

Is your Christmas tree fake or real? See question above.

Do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts? I do love opening presents, because that’s such an exciting feeling, but I’d much rather watch someone I love open a present I got them that I know they’ll love. ❤

What is your favorite holiday treat/meal? Like I mentioned in a past question, I love eating Christmas breakfast and dinner with my whole family!

What is the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received? I loved getting the collection of Poirot short stories last year!

What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season? Somewhere where it snows. Not too much; just enough to cover the ground a few inches. Maybe Tennessee or Kentucky?? haha

Are you a pro present wrapper? I like to think I am, haha, but wrapping oddly-shaped presents (especially toys!) is a huge struggle for me!

What’s your most memorable holiday moment? I can’t think of a specific one, as each and every Christmas morning over the years has been so magical!

Do you make New Years’ resolutions? Ooh, a new-year question! I do some years, but usually, I just set out to further pursue things that I already love or want to do. It’s a season of greater determination to get things done, but as for actual resolutions? The whole thing doesn’t work very well for me.

What makes the holidays special for you? Getting to spend so much time with my family. ❤

Are you a late Christmas shopper? No; I tend to get all my present shopping done with plenty of days left in the month to spare.

Do you like having your Christmas gifts kept as a surprise? Yes!! It’s so nice to not know what I’m getting, because then it’s a wonderful surprise. Sometimes, it’s nice to get a present I’ve been wanting, but I appreciate surprises more.

Have you ever peeked to see what your present was? No, I don’t think I have. I’ve been tempted to when I was little, though, haha

Does your family have a special holiday recipe that you make every year? I don’t think so; we do much more baking and cooking for Thanksgiving!

Have you ever gone Christmas-caroling? No, I haven’t. If you have, let me know if it was fun!

What tops your Christmas tree? A beautiful star!

When do you start getting excited for Christmas? December 1st. haha

What makes Christmas special for you? Spending Christmas Day with my family!

Why do you celebrate Christmas? My family and I celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The typical Christmas traditions of buying presents for family and friends and baking delicious food are both very fun, but at the heart of the holidays for us is a beautiful reminder of what our Lord did for us. 🙂

Nominations: Through the Eyes of Gracie, Oxria, and Life of Angela!
Girls, you all have beautiful blogs,
and I love reading your new posts! x

The Wacky Christmas Challenge

Thank you for including me in this tag that Lizzy created, Gracie

1. What is the strangest thing you ever got for Christmas?

Different years, I received bits and bobs that would eventually come in handy for crafts I was wanting to try. For example, cheap toothbrushes, which my dad helped me turn into DIY porcupines, haha!!

2. Do you eat turkey for Christmas dinner, or something else?

My family and I tend to give our Christmas dinners variety every year, but we most commonly have chicken as the main dish on Christmas, not turkey. We love having a fancy turkey just on Thanksgiving, usually.

3. Have you ever eaten fruitcake? Do you like it?

I tried it a few years ago and I wasn’t the biggest fan. But I didn’t hate it!

4. Do you prefer real or fake Christmas trees?

I really couldn’t say, haha! My family and I have always used a fake tree, but I LOVE how real trees smell. Since I’m used to it, though, I’d have to pick fake.

5. What is the strangest gift you’ve ever given someone?

I’m not sure. I can’t think of a specific one right now; most of my gifts are quite ordinary, hehe

6. What is the most you’ve ever spent on a gift?

I don’t usually have much money for buying expensive gifts, but I do know that I spent going on $17 on a special edition of my dad’s favorite magazine a few years ago. I was very happy that he liked it! xD

Nominations: Bekah, PrincessBlabbermouth, and Day Dreamer Teen!
All three of your blogs are so much fun!

The Holiday Tag

Thank you sooo much for making this tag, Lindsey!

  • What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? My Bible! It is definitely my most-loved possession; I have no idea what I’d do without it. ❤

  • What’s your favorite Christmas carol or song? I love Baby, It’s Cold Outside! Really, though, any Christmas song I hear on the radio or find on YouTube I’m bound to hum along to haha
  • Do you have any favorite Christmas traditions? Yes! I love looking at Christmas lights, decorating the house and my room for Christmas, and spending Christmas day with my family. ❤
  • Do you have any special Christmas ornaments or decorations that have special meaning? We have a few ornaments that are from and remind me of my great-grandma whom I miss dearly, so those mean a lot to me. 🙂
  • What’s your favorite COZY outfit to hang out in when it’s cold outside? Ooh I like this question! Cozy clothes are my favorite year-round, haha. I love wearing any pair of sweats I own paired with two different cozy red tops I have worn most of the month already. It’s comfortable, pretty, and definitely great for hanging out in when it’s below and around 32°F outside!
  • Does it snow where you live? Once in a blue moon 😥 Truthfully, haha, about every other year. And barely even that. #iwanttomovenorth
  • What’s your favorite Christmas movie? I love Elf, and The Nativity Story!
  • If you could have any gift, what would it be and why? As a matter of fact, I already received the gift I really desired this year, which is my own laptop! Aside from that, I love opening my stocking and seeing what little goodies my mom put inside on Christmas morning. I don’t need or really want anything more. ❤

Nominations: Hopeless Wonderer, lissa tissa two shoes, and Life With LaToya!
You guys’ blogs are absolutely wonderful. x

The Snowman Tag

Thank you for creating this, El and Cos!

  • (Body) How many snowmen have you made? Only a few over the years, since we hardly ever get enough snow to do so! Actually, though, I was able to make two little snowmen this past weekend, since it finally snowed in December where I live! As a whole, I’d say four or five, maybe?
  • (Head) What’s your favorite Christmas memory? Every year, I love going downstairs with my siblings on Christmas morning and seeing all the presents under the tree! It’s so magical (:
  • (Carrot nose) What’s your favorite vegetable for Christmas dinner? My mom makes green bean casserole, and it is SO good!
  • (Buttons) If you have a Christmas jumper, what does it look like? Sadly, I don’t have one, but I totally should! *adds one to my mental wishlist*
  • (Stone smile) What makes you smile the most at winter? All of the festivities and holiday cheer!
  • (Stone eyes) What do you watch at Christmas? Our collection of Christmas movies! We have different family and adult Christmas movies, but for the most part, we have kids’ Christmas movies which I still love because they remind me of how magical I felt Christmas was when I was younger. ❤
  • (Twig arms) Have you ever made a snow angel? Yes, and it was a big mistake, hahaha! The outcome was alright, but it soaked my whole back and pants. Seven-year-old me was very sad that day haha
  • (Gloves) What’s your tactic in a snowball fight? Making sure no one throws any snow at my face/eyes. Once that defense is taken care of, I sneakily throw little snowballs at the opposite team when they’re not looking!
  • (Hat) What kind of hat do you have? I have different beanies, and a baseball cap or two. I don’t usually wear hats, though.
  • (Scarf) What’s your favorite Christmas preparation? Wrapping presents throughout the month of December! It’s so much fun, and I love thinking about how happy the people will be when they open those presents.

Nominations: Maysa, Beyoutiful, and Southern Lights, Atlanta Nights!
I love all of your blogs so much!

Thank you SO much for following along on this extremely long post, guys!! I had a blast writing it, and I hope that you enjoyed reading some of the answers. I know there were a lot, so I totally don’t mind if you skimmed through it!

If I nominated you for one of these tags, know that I love your blog so much and appreciate that you’re part of the blogging community!

Let me know in the comments below:

Why do YOU love Christmas?

Happy holidays!

Be Happy, Get Happy

Be Happy, Get Happy

Hey guys, and happy Monday! ❤ This morning, I wanted to share with you a beautiful, inspiring post that my sweet blog friend, Cherylene, shared with her followers today. If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration to start off your week, I highly recommend that you read this post and check out the rest of her blog! Happy blogging! ❤

Be happy, get happy Right now in this moment, Right where you are I dare you! Near or far shine bright Like the star that you ARE!!! Be happy, get happy Because it may be your last chance When you walk out that door You don’t know how your day will go Those who…

via Be Happy, Get Happy — LivingvsExisting

December Photography Challenge || Week Two

December Photography Challenge || Week Two

Hey guys! I hope you all had a beautiful week. 🙂 ❤ This is week two of participating in my blogging friend Gracie’s December photo challenge. You can check out the photos she’s shared so far here!

As you saw last week, I’m posting my photos for each prompt on the Sundays in December. Let’s see what pictures I took last week!

Day 3 – Family

Because there are so many people in my family, it’s a challenge to get everyone in the same place (also in the same mood, haha) at the same time. However, Samuel was enthusiastic about posing in front of the Christmas tree with me! He’s looking a little beat-up right now because he lost his first baby tooth recently (he was so happy!), and he has a scar between his eyes from falling last month.

Day 4 – Angel

A birthstone ornament of my brother’s! I love the green of its robe, and the detail of the tree lights reflected in the glass of the angel’s body is just beautiful. I’m very happy with how this picture turned out!

Day 5 – Sky

The beautiful sky above our house that afternoon! Our weather has been pretty scattered and varied recently; some clouds, a bit of sunshine, lots of rain, a bunch of fog – and it’s slowly getting colder. I love when the clouds look like they do in the above picture; they appear to be a huge cotton ball blanket, or something. It’s so pretty!

Day 6 – Something Gold

You can see our Christmas tree reflected in a few of the bells! I love seeing this little decoration up in December; usually we have it on a door, not the wall, so that we know when someone goes in and out of the house / room. lol

Day 7 – Something White

My snowman mug! I’m not using it as a drinking cup currently, since I really like it as a decoration. It’s such a nice addition to my other Christmas / winter decor!

Day 8 – Under the Tree

Some of the beautiful presents we have wrapped! Samuel has really enjoyed getting to wrap all the presents he bought / made for us this year, and I love wrapping presents, too. It’s fun seeing these under the tree all month! (Well, until Christmas morning, hehe)

Day 9 – Something Green

This is Samuel’s favorite little elf stuffed animal! My mom got it for him last Christmas, and he was very happy to be reunited with it this year. It has such a cute little face, and it used to sing ‘Deck the Halls,’ but quit working when we got it out last week (which made Samuel very sad). Still, we all think it’s very cute 🙂

Thank you for reading, guys! I’m excited to get to share more photos next weekend. Until next time, I hope you all have a beautiful new week!