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!

Cultivating A Joyful Life | Spending Our Time Wisely

Cultivating A Joyful Life | Spending Our Time Wisely

My favorite time of day is the early evening. That’s when I get to spend time relaxing in my room after eating dinner with my family. Don’t get me wrong; I love eating dinner with everyone, but clean-up takes a while, since there are six people eating, haha! Anyway, once I’ve finished helping in the kitchen and I get to retreat to my room, I enjoy browsing my phone, reading a good book, or working on something on the laptop.

Sometimes, however, these evenings aren’t as productive or enjoyable as I’d like them to be.

It can be hard to relax when there are so many things I’d enjoy doing, to the point where I can’t decide on just one. Switching back and forth between these things works out sometimes, but more often than not, I get much less done than I would have liked, because I did a small amount … of everything.

Do you ever feel like you have too many things filling your free time?

Hey guys! I hope that you’re all doing well. 🙂 I have a post to share with you today that is very relevant to my life, haha! For this part of my Cultivating A Joyful Life series, I will be talking about, as the title suggests, spending our time wisely. We all have hobbies, interests, and activities we love doing, and when we attempt to do too many at once, it can be hard to accomplish what we set out to do.

I have found that dedicating large amounts of time to one thing at a time, instead of dividing an hour or so up among five activities, gets much more done and feels better than the variety. Sometimes, it depends on the day, or the activities themselves, but I’ve noticed how this occurs again and again in many situations for me. Basing what I focus on depending on my mood and inspiration usually helps me, unless I want to accomplish too many tasks at once.

Read More: Cultivating A Joyful Life

How do you regularly spend your free time? Do you feel satisfied with what you’ve done afterward? Or do you feel like me – uncertain if how you’re spending your time is really worth it? I have so many things I love pursuing when I’m able to that I struggle to decide which ones I should do, for how long, and when. Let’s figure out how we can spend our free time wisely in today’s post! Before we go on to the rest of this post, however, I’d like to share how this topic, just like the rest in this series, deeply relates to the garden of our hearts.

To properly care for a garden, whether that’s a real or metaphorical one, you must evenly divide your attention among all of the plants. Some need more care than others, but as a whole, they all require sunlight, good soil, water, and enough individual space to flourish. If, at some point, there are so many plants that the caretaker struggles to evenly care for all the plantlife, it’s quite possible that some will get more than they need, and others will be left behind. Balancing our priorities is a very important aspect of our lives.

Cultivating A Joyful Life |
Spending Our Time Wisely

The funny thing about my hobbies and interests is that at any given time, I am extremely occupied, or very bored. This is because I either have one or two hobbies, or so many that I’ve lost count. I’m quite finicky with hobbies this way, to the point that I have too much time on my hands, or not enough. For the majority of 2017, I have had many pursuits, from language-learning to blogging, to piano-playing to story-writing, and learning to balance these things has taught me a lot.

If you are interested in figuring out how to prioritize more wisely like I am, check out the list below!

1. Write down two lists: one for your hobbies/interests, and another for things required of you. You could include all of the main things, or break them down into sub-categories. For example, if “blogging” was on your interests list, you could also add what that activity consists of, like “writing posts,” “reading posts,” “browsing Reader,” etc.

2. Number the hobbies/interests list by how much those things mean to you right now. I really need to make a list like this, too. Whether you number them in order of your enjoyment of those activities, or by how important they are in the grand scheme of things (i.e. learning Spanish or playing the piano will last longer than a blog post I could work on, lol), it’s totally up to you. 🙂

3. Make sure that you’re completing the things on your important list before moving on to what’s on your interest list. I live by the saying “work before play,” except for in the case of simply needing a mental break. I feel much more relaxed and apt to participate in my favorite activities after I have completed all of the things required of me. At this time in my life, that’s usually schoolwork, helping around the house, and being with my family. While I wouldn’t say that the latter one is ‘required’ of me, it is definitely something essential in my life. 🙂

4. Consider dropping the hobbies that are last to be numbered. There may be a reason they’re not high on your list of favorite things to do. If this is the case, maybe you aren’t as interested in it as you thought you were, or you could simply need a break. Definitely take that into consideration!

5. Work your free time around these lists. I wouldn’t advise practicing this strictly, as that could put unneeded pressure on yourself to spend your time one certain way. However, I know that with writing and numbering my hobbies and interests, and by choosing which I’d prefer to do in what order any given day, it would give me much more peace of mind. It is very satisfying when you know you’re getting things that you love to do done!


Thank you so much for reading, guys! This post has really helped me. I’m working on balancing what hobbies I participate in and when at this time in my life, and this addition to Cultivating A Joyful Life is a reflection of that. I hope you enjoyed it!

Let me know in the comments below:

How do YOU manage your time?

December Photography Challenge || Week One

December Photography Challenge || Week One

Hey guys! I hope you’re having a beautiful Sunday. ❤ I am very happy to share with you the first photography challenge I’ve ever participated in! My lovely blogging friend, Gracie, started this and invited all of her followers to join in. Go check out the photos she’s shared so far here!

I’ve decided to post my photos from every day each Sunday in December, as that will make it much easier for me to participate. Since there’s a photo prompt for every day of December, I’ve taken two photos so far. Let’s see what they are!

Day 1 – Something Red

Our family’s tree skirt! I really like this one. We got it last year, I think, and it’s so pretty and festive. Very picture-worthy! (And I loved finding a way to make all the lines straight; I love symmetry in photos.)

Day 2 – A Wreath

I’m slightly embarrassed to say that this is the only Christmas wreath we have in our house right now, hahaha! I do like it – it’s a craft I made when I was five – but it’s pretty minuscule when juxtaposed to gorgeous nature-y wreaths made of real pine boughs and poinsettias. lol I’ll proudly continue to hang this on my bedroom door, though – it makes me happy (:

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!