Why I Chose SiteGround Hosting

Why I Chose SiteGround

(This post contains affiliate links at no additional cost to you. All products are products that I use and would recommend to my friends and family. To see more on my affiliate policy, view my disclaimer)

 

Click HERE to see if SiteGround is right for you!

 

Hey everyone! I just wanted to spend a little bit of time talking about the main reasons that I chose SiteGround Hosting. Please keep in mind that even though I am going to be posting my affiliate link for SiteGround, I wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t love it and think that it was worth sharing with you guys. Without droning on, here is the list, enjoy!

 

 

  • Easy To Use- I found SiteGround while I was looking for self-hosting platforms. Basically, I didn’t know if I was really cut out for this “whole blogging thing”, but I knew that I wanted to set myself up for success. Success in the blogging world means monetization and outreach, which essentially means that you need a platform that will set you up for success when you have no clue what you are doing. While researching around, I kept seeing SiteGround pop up and figured it would be worth looking into and I’m glad I did. They had everything broken down in terms that I could understand (I’m not all that tech savvy, so having a start up plan really helped me figure out what I was doing). They made it so so easy for me to get started. They have three plans set up for starting up, growing, and “web geeks”. Of course, I went with the StartUp plan, and began my journey. Their 24/7 tech support was a life-saver when I was struggling to figure out this crazy web world on my own. Truthfully though, I didn’t need too much support because they walk you through everything while you are setting up.
  • Money Back Guarantee- One of the things that I really liked about SiteGround, was that they had a 30 day money back guarantee. That right there put my mind at ease in a major way. I had never done anything like this, and while I knew that I was feeling the call to blog, I didn’t know if I would be any good at it. The thought of being able to get my money back if this thing didn’t work out, made me feel a ton better. The thing is, I have loved SiteGround since the beginning and never thought about backing out once I got started.
  • Price- If you are like me, then you work hard for your money and the thought of spending it on something, like a blog, can seem scary at first. I remember pouring over tons of different platforms looking for one that had the best prices for the best plans. I remember jumping from site to site until I landed on SiteGround. They run special prices all of the time and the amount of stuff that you get is crazy. Like I said earlier, they have 3 tiers of plans; StartUp is “crafted for a great web start and suitable for 10,000 visits monthly”, GrowBig is “crafted for your web growth and suitable for 25,000 visits monthly”, and GoGeek is “crafted for real web geeks and suitable for 100,000 visits monthly”. The best thing about it, you can start with StartUp and switch to other plans as your blog grows. If you want to check out more on their prices and plans, click here to visit the SiteGround hosting website.

 

These are the three main reasons that I chose, and love, SiteGround. They have been an absolutely amazing company to work with, and I would highly recommend trying them out! Thank you for taking the time to read and, as always, God Bless!

 

Click HERE to see if SiteGround is right for you!

 

If you enjoyed this post, check out my post on 5 Things You Need To Know About Blogging or Why I Blog

I Choose Happiness

I Choose Happiness

I choose happiness… in a world that chooses money.

I choose happiness… in a world that focuses on the negative.

I choose happiness… in a world that chooses material things over people.

I choose happiness… in a time that there seems to be little of it.

I choose happiness… in a world where it’s not part of the equation for success.

I choose happiness… even though others think it’s silly.

 

I choose happiness… because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much money I have, how much stuff I’ve bought, whether I’m successful in other people’s eyes, or what others think. When my life is said and done, I want to look back and know that I have done good works, and that I chose happiness over the things of this world. Something my grandma has always said (that used to drive me crazy) was that ‘only you can make you happy’. The thing is, the older I get, the more I believe it. Things are nice, but the ‘nice’ fades after a while; same with careers, cars, hobbies, etc… Pure happiness comes from your outlook on life.

Yes, it is much easier said than done to be happy in the face of every situation. I struggle with it greatly, more than I’d like to admit, but it’s true. I have seen people go through some of the toughest situations, and their positivity towards what was happening, and their trust of God,  just absolutely baffled me. It left me thinking “How can I feel bad for this person, when they don’t even feel bad for themselves?”. It completely changed the situation from something terrible, to part of the life that they felt joy to live.

I would say that there are only two things in your life that can provide you with pure happiness, yourself and God. Having a right relationship with God will fuel you with more joy than you could ever imagine… and when He sends you through a valley (I know, we don’t like it, but it’s part of His plan to shape us into who we are meant to be), your outlook on life and God’s plan for you will be what keeps you feeling joy until you are back on top of the mountain.

Lately, I have had a lot of people asking me what I want to do with the rest of my life, and if I’m being honest with you, I don’t know. I don’t feel like I have found my purpose for life yet, but I know that God will reveal it to me in time. So, even though I am feeling a bit lost right now (you know I have to be honest with y’all), I am going to keep telling people that I choose happiness. I don’t want to look back on my life and have all of these regrets because I chased the things of this world, so I will wait patiently until God tells me to move towards purpose and in the meantime, I will keep choosing to be happy.

 

Hey guys, I know that this wasn’t a long post, but I felt like I needed to write it. Truthfully, I needed to hear it myself right now, so I’m sure that there are others who need to hear it as well. It’s okay to struggle and feel lost, just hang on to choosing happiness and hang on to God. Psalm 30:5 says – For His anger lasts only a short time. But His favor is for life. Crying may last for a night, but joy comes with the new day.

Always remember that your happiness, your joy, comes in the morning and that the hardships of life won’t last… even when it feels like that’s all you’ve been having. Keep your head held high and your prayers sent higher. If you ever need to talk to someone, know that you can always talk to me. Thank y’all so much for reading and God bless!

 

If you enjoyed this post, you can visit some of my others by clicking on the titles below:

From Rock Bottom To Rock Solid (A Story Of Renewed Faith)

From Rock Bottom To Rock Solid (A Story Of Renewed Faith)

Everyone has, at some point in their life, heard the phrase “when you hit rock bottom, that’s when you start looking up”. I had heard it plenty, seen it plenty, and read it plenty… but it was really nothing more than a cliché inspirational phrase. I certainly never thought of it as a “faith phrase”. I had heard it said as a faith phrase, but I truly never saw a connection from the saying to my life. Until I hit my rock bottom.
Now, before I go any further, everyone’s rock bottom is different and yes, you can have more than one in your life, but this happened to be the roughest patch that I have personally been through.
My back went out, not a little, but a barely-able-to-move blowout. One day I was hurting, but functional, and the next I was unable to put my own shirt over my head. Even little things like sitting down/standing up were difficult at best. All I knew was that something was very wrong and I didn’t know to what extent. After a trip to the doctor and several days of rough and unexplained pain, they found that my spine was curved the opposite way and it was causing nerve and muscle pain/problems. After a few months of rehab split between a chiropractor and a physical therapist, I was feeling much better and finally functional again. The thing is, this was a very trying time for me, physically and mentally.
At that point in my life, my faith seemed to be at an all time low (even though I was in denial about it at that time) and my back going out was the icing on the cake of rocked faith. You see, at first diagnosis, they didn’t know if I’d ever be able to go back to my job (nail technician) again. That’s not a big deal for a lot of people, but those of you that know me, know that I trained to be a nail technician straight out of high school and my husband is in his senior year of college (yes, he works, very hard, but he has to go to part time during his school months). We make enough to live happily and have money for some of the things we want, but having one of us out of work for an extended length of time was not good and the thought of not being able to go back to the only field I’m really trained in was even worse.
We made it through (thank you God for help and for letting us have put back money). I was out of work for almost three months and had to baby step back in for a while after, but I was able to return to the career I had been building. So, I tell you guys all of this, not to get pity, but to prove that “when you hit rock bottom, that’s when you start looking up” is one of the truest phrases there is. During my time out, I spent a lot of time on the couch – on my phone. There wasn’t much else I could do (I could barely walk). One day I came across a video on Facebook of Pastor Michael Todd from Transformation Church. He was preaching a series called Relationship Goals, and after about a minute I was hooked. I proceeded to watch about 3 of the videos from that series (1 hour long each) and I was in tears by the end of every one. The next day I watched the remaining sermons from that series. The following day, I started another one of his series. This continued and is still going on now (his Grace Like A Flood series just ended and let me tell y’all, it was life changing). I had started to find faith like I had never had before. It was like everything around me changed and for the first time in years, I was getting in my Bible again and praying with my heart, not just my words.
In a time where I felt helpless, hopeless, scared of the future, and downright worthless, I realized that God was with me. I had help, hope, a future, and worth, through HIM! Y’all, I am just going to be real with you, I went from crying everyday from anger and sadness, to crying tears of joy! From that moment on, my faith had been renewed. Looking back, I needed that time out to reconnect with God. Now, I’m grateful for something I once thought was the worst point in my life.
Our God is so good, when I felt at my lowest, He put his hand down and was ready for the exact moment that I started looking up. I’m not perfect by any means, and I still have days that I struggle with frustration at not knowing His plans for me, but I haven’t doubted his love for me since. I make it a point to put God first and have him be the center of my life. I make it a point to trust His plans for me more than my own, and I don’t go a day without thanking him for everything that he has done for me.
If you are at rock bottom, whatever your rock bottom may be, please please please realize that God is still with you, all you need to do is start looking up.
Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

If you enjoyed this post, check out my post on 5 Christian Must Haves

5 Ways To Prepare For A Great Year

5 Ways To Prepare For A Great Year

Hey everyone! Today I want to talk to y’all about 5 ways to prepare for a great year. These are things that I do and things that the people in my life do to set themselves up for another wonderful year. I hope that you enjoy this list and keep on reading for 5 simple, and effective, ways to have a great year.

1) Set Goals

There are so many benefits to setting goals for yourself. The big thing is, these goals need to be healthy. Let me say this again so that you remember this THE GOALS THAT YOU SET NEED TO BE HEALTHY. Now, I’m not talking about setting goals about your health (which is completely okay to do, and a positive way to become healthy)… I’m talking about setting goals that are supportive, not destructive. This is absolutely essential in having a great year, because goals are motivators and motivation leads to action.

So, you’ve set goals and that’s a great start! Where do you go from there? Easy, put your goals on paper (or anything that you can write them down on). Don’t overlook this step, it’s important. Once you have your goals written down, display them somewhere that you will see them every single day. Please do this; it will serve as a reminder and a motivator for the days that you just don’t feel like doing anything. As you achieve your goals, mark them off (cross through them, put a check beside them, write yay). Watching yourself succeed will make you want to complete the next goal even more.

 2) Declutter

Okay y’all, this is something that is going to take a good bit of time, but it is going to be so worth it. I struggle with this, personally, but I have started 2018 by beginning to tackle some of my clutter and I’m already feeling better. Clutter doesn’t really seem like it’s a negative thing until you start getting rid of it. Trust me though, clearing out even the smallest bit of clutter seems to open up a space on a major level. Now only does the space around you feel cleaner, but it’s almost like it gives you more breathing room.

Here’s the catch, decluttering applies to more than just your home or office space. Declutter your home, your computer (get rid of files/photos/software that you don’t need/use), your office, and your friends list. That’s right, I said your friends list. So many of us are “friends” with people that are either not relevant in our lives, or people that are toxic for us to be around. You don’t need that type of clutter keeping you from developing new/healthier friendships. Starting the year off without clutter will leave you feeling refreshed and accomplished.

3) Focus On The Positive

This is pretty much a no-brainer, but I feel that it’s still worth talking about. Getting rid of negativity (at least the things within your control) will make a huge difference. Now, I’m not going to say that this is the easiest thing to do, because most of the time it isn’t. I can tell you the best ways to go about doing this though. Start with yourself first. Become a more positive person by changing your outlook on the world around you. Instead of criticizing people or being mad/upset when something small goes wrong, try to adopt the thought that everyone has something to offer the world (it’s not up to you to criticize them) and that if something goes wrong, it’s better to have it be something small than something big.

After you have adopted a (fairly) positive outlook on life, now you can begin making the world around you a little more positive. Spend time doing things for others to make their lives brighter. Pay for someone’s coffee that was in line behind you, donate clothes to a homeless shelter, spend time with a family member that doesn’t get to see you much. Little things make big differences and you can spread positivity so easily in your day to day life.

4) Set Yourself Up For Success

Here’s a biggie, setting yourself up for success is the key to having a great year. To set yourself up for success, you will need 3 things; Jesus, balance, and patience. You already know that to truly succeed in your life, you need help from God. Pray about everything. God has a plan for you and all you have to do is trust that plan.

Find balance in your life. I know that at times, it seems like balance is about the farthest thing from our reach, but if you work towards it, you can achieve it. Finding and having balance (even if it’s only a few minutes of balance in a crazy hectic day) is essential for getting yourself composed and focused. Getting a second burst of focus during the day will normally give you another wave of motivation. Like I said earlier, motivation leads to success.

Okay, you have your Jesus and you have your balance… why in the world do you need patience? Sit back and listen to this, PATIENCE PUTS THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE. That’s right, patience will change how you look at certain situations. When something goes wrong, the typical, knee jerk, reaction is to be upset. After all, big or small, something wrong is something wrong. That being said, a lot of times if you wait before reacting and really assess the situation, giving it a little bit of time to sink in, it’s not that bad. If it is very bad, patience gives you the ability to handle it better by allowing your reaction to be calculated to avoid further issues. Don’t overlook the importance of patience, it really does change a lot of things for the better.

 

5) Try New Things

While this might be a bit cliche, trying new things is a must for every year. I once heard someone say, “if you aren’t moving forward, you’re going backwards”. I know, you’re thinking “no you aren’t, you just aren’t moving”, but that’s the catch. If you aren’t moving forward in life, it will pass you by in a heartbeat. The world around us is ever changing and ever growing. To do nothing for any amount of time is to be going backwards as the world around you continues without waiting for you.

So, I’ll stress it to you again, try new things. They don’t have to be crazy, scary, or expensive. Just go somewhere new, try a new food (be careful if you have food allergies, of course), try on a piece of clothing that you would have never picked out for yourself before. Experiencing new things might lead you to a world of incredible things that you would have never known existed, otherwise.

 

Alright y’all, those are my thoughts on 5 ways to prepare for a great year. Of course, everyone is different and while these things work for me and a lot of people that I know, they may not work for you. Read through, find things that you would like to use in your year, and go be great! I have a feeling that this month is going to go by before I can share all the things that I’m wanting to with y’all, so keep your eye out for bonus posts just in case. I can’t wait to see y’all in my next post and as always, much love!

 

If you enjoyed this post, check out my post on New Year – Same Me

Christmas Gifts To Get The Person Who “Has Everything”

Christmas Gifts To Get The Person Who "Has Everything"

This post contains affiliate links at no additional cost to you. I only recommend things that I do/would use/give to family and friends. See my Disclaimer for more info.

Hello all! Today I want to talk to you guys about something that time is ticking down on… That’s right, Christmas is coming. This week is going to be gone in the blink of an eye and Christmas is going to be here. Among other things, this means that if you don’t have gifts for everyone on your list, time is running out. If you’re racking your brain and coming up with nothing more than a card with money (which, I believe, is always a good gift) then worry no more. I’m going to give you the easiest  way to decide what to get for the person in your life who “has everything”.

These people are hard to buy for because they either have everything that they say they need/want, or they say that they don’t need/want anything. First you have to determine which type of person they are.

Person one is someone that goes out and buys everything as the year goes on and it’s near impossible to think of something that you could get them that they wouldn’t already have. These are the people that you have to kind of think in terms of “what wouldn’t they buy for themselves”. Now, this is probably not a long list, but if you think hard and long enough, you can come up with something that they may have never even thought of.

For the food-loving men in your life, that have it all,  you can get things like crates of exotic jerky (click HERE to view) and crates of BACON (click HERE to see the bacon sampler crate). I mean you really can’t go wrong with bacon and jerky! These crates come with an assortment of mouth watering jerkies/bacons and I am drooling just thinking about these. This is such a great gift for the guys in your life that gravitate towards meat more than anything else. This will let them try something new while allowing you to get them a gift that they most likely would never think to get for themselves.

For the women in your life that have everything, you can get something for pampering. That’s right, spa gift baskets! There are a couple of ways you can go about getting an awesome gift basket. You can get the “Premium Deluxe Bath and Body Gift Basket”, which contains 19 Lavender and Chamomile items! I’m going to put the list of what this comes with just because I am blown away by this basket… It has,

Stress Release Bubble Bath, Body Wash with Shea Butter, Hair Replenish Shampoo, Skin Loving Hand Cream, Skin Repairing Body Butter, Aromatherapy Bath Salts, Shea Butter Bath Caviar, 3 Fizzy Bath Bombs, Handmade Essential Oil Soap Bar, Lavender Chamomile Body Mist, Hand-poured Aromatherapy Candle, Wooden Reflexology Stick, Pumice & Brush Combo Stick, Spa Bath Mitts, Luxury Comfort Spa Slippers, Extra Long back scrubber loofah, Mesh Bath Pouf

I mean holy crap! This would be such an amazing gift for a special woman in your life! That being said, it is a bit on the high end for price, but it’s completely worth it (click HERE to see this crazy awesome basket). If you don’t want to spend quite this much on a present, you can always get the “I Think You’re Wonderful Gift Basket” that has 10 items. This basket is packed with HANDMADE and NATURAL products; yes please! I mean, this is just an awesome gift, hands down (click HERE to see this super cool basket).

Okay, I got slightly sidetracked with really cool gifts, but I’m back on point and ready to get to the next person. So, person two is the first person we see that doesn’t necessarily have a WANT for gifts. I would suggest asking them first, but a lot of times these people end up valuing EXPERIENCES over tangible gifts. This type of person is so easy to get for. I know, you are probably rolling your eyes at me right now, but I am so serious. Just take them somewhere that you know that they love or spend a day with them going to different stores that they enjoy. If you give them the gift of time and memories, you pretty much can’t go wrong.

The last type of person doesn’t WANT gifts for themselves; they want for others. Let me explain, they want you to take the money that you were planning to spend on them, and spend it on someone else instead. This type of person typically would rather you donate to a charity that they support or give a gift to a family/person in need  than get them a gift.

That’s the three type of people that are labeled “difficult” to shop for because they “have everything”. If you take anything away from this post, I hope that you have learned to think outside of the box with your gifts and if someone says “I don’t want anything”, instead of just dismissing their statement, talk to them about why they don’t want anything. I am a combination of the person who would rather have an experience, and the person that would rather see the money spent on a person/cause that needs it more. Now, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate tangible gifts on a major level as well. In my opinion, every gift and every type of gift is great because someone took their time, money, and energy to do something nice for you.

Finding gifts doesn’t have to be a hard process. Just let loose, have fun, and get gifts from your heart instead of your brain. As always, much love and Merry Christmas!

5 Things You Need To Know About Blogging

5 Things You Need To Know About Blogging

Hello lovelies! Today I want to talk to you about the truth about blogging. Yes, I am a life and faith blogger, but this is part my life and it stemmed from my faith…. So, I’m going to pass on what I know about blogging (which admittedly is not a lot, but I feel that it’s important). Without me rambling on too much, here is what I have put together on the 5 things you need to know about blogging.

One: So, I am still very new to the world of blogging (like around a month’s worth of knowledge new). With that in mind, the things that I’m going to tell you are those that I’ve seen/experienced so far, and how I’ve felt during this time. One of the first things that I noticed about blogging is…………. wait for it…….. okay, not as noteworthy as I made it seem; it’s that we are a community. This is HUGE. Let me tell you, if you are someone that is looking for support, you will find it in the blogging community. We are a ton of people, on all different platforms, that help out each other. Whether it’s answering questions, helping to share the content of those around us, or finding friends and potential business partners in those that do what we do; we are here for each other. While there is a level of competition to what we do (we all want views, it’s just the truth of the matter), for the most part, we all try our best to promote those around us. That’s part of the magic of blogging. No matter how long or short of a time that you’ve been doing this (or even if you are just thinking about starting a blog) the support of your fellow bloggers will always be overwhelming.

Two: Here is a fact that most people hate hearing about blogging… It is LOADS of HARD work. Now, it isn’t (typically) a physical job; so yes you aren’t doing “back-breaking” work (though I have a ton of respect for those that do), but it is difficult mentally and emotionally. You will (or should) spend HOURS if not DAYS creating quality content for your blog. Notice that I said QUALITY, not quantity. You need to be putting your best out there, not something that was slapped together to meet a deadline. I, personally, would rather see a missed deadline than to read/produce a piece of work that isn’t good and true to the author. You will also need to pour in time with networking. This is how you will grow and hopefully how you will flourish, so it is worth the time. Do things the right way from the start, and you won’t have to go through and spend more time fixing it later. Set yourself up for success and don’t stop until you’ve achieved it. The work will be worth it, trust me.

Three: I have heard this so many times, and it was never more true to me than when I started blogging, myself. Treat blogging like another job and not like a hobby. Even if this is your hobby, or you’re thinking about blogging as a hobby, still blog like it’s your job. Don’t make yourself hate it by treating it like a 9 to 5. What I mean by “blog like it’s your job” is simply put your all into this. Treat your blog like it will take you far, put the work in (yes, sometimes 40+ hours a week), and make your blog all that it can be. Doing this will do one of two things; either you will quickly figure out that blogging isn’t for you, or you will find a passion for something that you once thought would just be a hobby. Treat blogging like your job, even if it doesn’t feel like work. It will hold you accountable for your networking, it will keep you posting new content, and it will make you do the things needed to be successful in the blogging world.

Four: Something that I wish that I had known in advance, is how vulnerable blogging can make you feel. At least for me, with lifestyle and faith, every time I post, I am putting a piece of myself into my article. There are things that I feel compelled to write about, that I don’t tell anyone but my closest friends and family. For me, this is part of my blog; I am part of my blog. How I think and feel, my honest opinions, and my heart is poured into what I write because I want to connect with other people who need to hear what I feel the need to write. So, I am open and honest which, at times, makes me feel almost exposed. Not in a bad way, but in the “here is all that I am” type of way. The plus side to this, is that not only are you more relatable when you write with this type of transparency, but you also learn more about yourself than you ever thought there was to know.

Five: Don’t be afraid to tell those around you about your blog. Like I said earlier, it can be hard to reveal things that you wouldn’t normally tell those around you… and it can be even harder to tell those around you that there exists such a place where this information is kept. I struggle with it myself, but I have found that some of the very same people that have never shown me the time of day, have visited (and even shared) the content on my blog. The very same people that I was worried about sharing my inner-thoughts with, have shown me support on one of the biggest journeys of my life. Support comes in all different forms and when you start out (really through the entire time that you are blogging), you need all that you can get. You’ll never know who it will help you connect with, who you can help, or who will share your content and help you grow. If you’re blogging, you have something that you feel like you need to give to the world, so share it with everyone and don’t limit yourself to only those that you don’t know. Your message may very well need to be heard by someone that you already have around you.

That is all for today’s 5 Things post. I just felt compelled to write the things that I’ve learned so far on this crazy blogging journey and, hopefully, help someone that is thinking of doing the same. These are both things that I had seen before, and things that I felt were the “learn it the hard way” type. All in all, blogging (for me) has been amazing. For all of the bad (and the bad really isn’t bad, it’s just difficult at times), nothing compares to the happiness that it has brought me. If you are thinking about blogging, talk to me or others in the blogging community and use us as a sounding board for your ideas. I want you to be successful, plain and simple. Don’t hide behind your computer; shine from it. As always, much love!

If you enjoyed this post, check out my other 5 Things posts by clicking here.

5 Reasons To Keep Your Christmas Spirit Going Strong

5 Reasons To Keep Your Christmas Spirit Going Strong

Hey y’all! This week’s 5 things is ‘Tis The Season’ themed! I know, Christmas music has been playing non-stop since before Thanksgiving and it tends to get a little more bothersome than enjoyable. Stress is setting in, and it seems like the next few weeks are taking forever to get here. So, to keep spirits bright, I have compiled a list of 5 reasons to keep that Christmas spirit going strong.

Get into the holiday spirit: I know that this can be hard when you hear the same 10 songs over and over again, but getting into the mentality of being “jolly” really can help. Even if you hear the same songs over and over again, turn up the volume and sing along. Try using funny voices, different accents, or karaoke style it with your friends and family. Take the boring and repetitive aspects of Christmas and make them fun by infusing your style into them. For instance, have a Christmas party where you invite friends over to help you decorate your house and have fun instead of feeling like you have to do it like normal (provide snacks because everyone loves snacks). Go all out; make themed snacks, play music (try to find Christmas music that isn’t played as much), and maybe even get everyone to design an ornament for your tree. Make it fun and you’ll be back in the spirit in no time.

Don’t let money get in the way: This is so much easier said than done, but it truly does make a huge difference. Christmas is a time of year where it seems we pour out money to get gifts for people that we don’t see any other time of year. For those of us who don’t have much money to spare, it can be overwhelming to spend this money and it causes more stress than joy. The way to beat this is simple; don’t let money get in the way of you enjoying your Christmas. If money is stressing you out, opt for different ways of gift giving. Give experiences and handmade gifts instead of expensive store bought items. You’d be surprised at how many people enjoy handmade gifts more than any other type. Plus, experiences lead to memories that can’t break or go old. They’ll stay with that person forever and it’s a win win. Less money = less stress = merrier Christmas.

Don’t wait until the last minute: Again, this is another thing that is much easier said than done. I’m in the same boat, trust me. Every year I say that I’m going to start getting gifts early so that I don’t get hit with everything at once, but every year the time slips by without notice until I’m stuck scouring leftovers at the shops and spending hours online searching for the perfect gifts. The way to beat this seasonal slump is to actually start getting your gifts ahead of time. Grab items as you go throughout the year and keep them in a hidden place for Christmas (very important that you don’t forget where you hide these gifts). Having most of your gifts already purchased before you NEED them will also relieve some of the usual stress that’s tied to the season.

Do something for yourself: Normally I’m all about doing things for others (and I still am) but during this time of year where we tend to get so focused on others, it’s nice to take a break and do something for ourselves. Have a spa day, go to the range, spend a day at home with your favorite movie/ tv show. Do whatever it is that helps you de-stress and enjoy some you-time. Taking a step back from the Christmas “chaos” will help put the merriment back in and take to hectic out.

Remember the reason for the season: Yes, everyone says it, but it’s true. It’s so important to not lose sight of why we celebrate Christmas. While presents and time off of work is nice, they are not the reason we should be celebrating this joyous holiday. Now is when I tell you that you need to think about Jesus and celebrate him instead of glorifying the presents and this is when you read this and you skip over it because you’ve heard it a thousand times before. So, instead of just trying to remember Jesus this time of year, actually do something about it. Whether you spread the gospel to others, talk about his story with your family and friends, or choose to celebrate in a different way, just don’t ignore the real reason for the season.

That’s all for this week. I hope that you enjoyed this post and that it will help you de-stress this Christmas. Keep your Christmas spirit going strong and make the most of the holidays. As always, much love!

If you enjoyed this post, check out my earlier post on Christmas Cheer by clicking here.

Christmas Cheer

Hey y’all! I hope that your Thanksgiving was filled with food, family, and friends! I’m sorry I didn’t post last Thursday like normal, but I was stuffing my face with all sorts of yummy foods. That being said, I’m back to my regular posting schedule again (New Pay It Forward Challenge and More on Life every Monday and a 5 Things every Thursday). So, today I want to talk a little bit about Christmas cheer. What is it? Why is it? Why should you care? I’ll tell you what I think.

What Is Christmas cheer? So simple, Christmas cheer is that feeling that (a lot) of people get when the Christmas season rolls in each year. You either know the people that I’m talking about, or you are one. To me Christmas cheer is turning on the Christmas music as soon as the radio stations will play it, decorating your house directly after you put up your Halloween decorations, and delighting in the stores Christmas displays “finally” (sometimes before Halloween, but not going to say anything) being put out. Christmas cheer is having these Christmas songs provide nostalgia and trigger memories of Christmas tree decorating and the smell of sugar cookies baking in the oven. Christmas cheer is a feeling that is unique only to this time of year and can’t be duplicated with any other season or seasonal holiday.

Why is Christmas cheer (yes, I realize that question doesn’t look like it makes much sense, but trust me on this)? In other words, Why does this feeling of cheer run so rampant through our biggest holiday? The answer to this is one that differs for everybody. To me, it is a big time for my faith, it is a big time to be with my family/ friends and those I don’t get to see often, and it is a time where the chaos of life seems to die down a bit and allow me to focus on the things that I find most important. Put these things together, and I have a joy that surpasses the joy that I’ve felt throughout the year. Beyond this, it’s unexplainable. The combination of cold air and Christmas everything bring out old memories while making new ones and I can’t help but smile at the way life changes over time and how the people around us do too. I’m not saying that every waking minute of the Christmas season is the best thing ever, but I do believe that it holds more happiness than any other time of the year (even summer… shocking, I know). I also think that the Christmas season tends to bring out the “giving nature” of those that don’t seem to possess it any other time of the year. Something about everything that’s going on just makes your heart pull a bit more to help others, and I think that it’s wonderful.

Here’s the big one… Why should you care? The reason that you should care about Christmas cheer is not complex in the slightest. You should care because it gives you the opportunity to do great things. I’m not talking about super powers or the ability to skyrocket your career (though how cool would that be); I’m talking about the ability to do great things for others. If you have spent any amount of time with me, or if you have read any of my posts/ Pay It Forward Challenges, you will have noticed that I want the world to be filled with a little more Jesus and a little less meanness. While ugliness is unavoidable in life, we have the ability to spread a little kindness and give a little faith to those around us. As I mentioned earlier, something about the season tends to bring out this nature in more people and it is a wonderful thing. You should care about Christmas cheer because it helps to motivate more people (myself included, and hopefully you too) to make this world a truly better place even if it’s only for a couple of months. New Year’s might think that the phrase “new year, new me” applies to it, but I think otherwise. I see the most change in people during Christmas. While joy runs rampant, kindness grows, and people that wouldn’t speak normally share a conversation, there is so much to care about.

During this Christmas season, my hope for you all is that you take Christmas cheer and you run with it. I hope that you make new memories while thinking about the old ones and that you spread kindness every chance that you get. So many people need a helping hand and a generous heart to impact their lives; this time of year is perfect for getting that ball rolling. I hope that you do things not for recognition, but for betterment of the world around you. To all who read and those who may never see it, I hope that happiness is abundant in your Christmas season and I hope that you spread the happiness to others. As always, much love!

 

If you enjoyed today’s post, check out this week’s Pay It Forward Challenge by clicking here.

Pay It Forward #5

Pay It Forward #5

Hey guys! I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! To bring us back to the “real world” after a little bit of time off with family and friends, I have a new challenge for this week! With the Christmas season quickly approaching, there are so many things that we can do to spread kindness.

This week, I challenge y’all to do one act of kindness a day. It can be anything from giving someone a compliment to helping someone in need. One simple act of kindness every day will impact someone’s life majorly and it only takes a few minutes. Make someone’s day, spread a little cheer, and start this holiday season off in the right ways.

I hope that y’all are enjoying these challenges and that you are having fun with them. I’m always open to suggestions and I love getting comments from you guys! I know that this week’s challenge is on the short side, but it’s fairly straight-forward and didn’t seem to need much explanation. Thank you to all who are reading and, as always, much love!

To check out other Pay It Forward Challenges, click here.

Confessions Of A Wife

Confessions Of A Wife

Hey everyone! Like always, I want to keep things real with y’all. So, today I want to talk about being a wife. Oh yes, I’m talking about the struggles, the great times, and the insecurities. Everything out in the open, no lies, no fluff, all 100% real life. Wives, you can (most likely) relate; husbands, y’all might want to read for additional information. To all who read, let’s do this. The real starts now.

First, I want to talk to y’all about the insecurities. I think that everyone at some point in their lives will feel insecure about something. For wives, I think that insecurities are very much the same as high shcool girls. I don’t care if our husbands tell us how beautiful we are 10 times a day or 100 times a day, we will always find flaws with ourselves. I can almost guarantee that you, as a wife, have looked in the mirror and thought “Well, maybe if I lose 10 pounds he would think I looked better”. I know this, because my husband always tells me that I’m beautiful(I hit the jackpot, he’s amazing), but the minute I get alone with myself in front of that daggone mirror, I start telling myself that I should look better, for him. Now, I am all about self betterment; I think that you should want to be a better person for your spouse. That being said, I think that half the time, we are inventing things to not like about ourselves that our husbands don’t mind one bit. Again, we always add the I should be ____ for him. I truly believe that we just add the “for him” so that we don’t feel as guilty for downing ourselves. Because, if we are wanting to better ourselves for our love, clearly that can’t be a bad thing. Yet we are the ones who are unhappy with ourselves, and instead of facing that head-on, we pretend that it’s our husbands who find fault with us. Then, BOOM, insecurity formed.

Another big point of insecurity is “another woman”. I’m going to tell the honest truth now. I have never, in the (almost) 5 years that we have been together, thought that my husband (boyfriend back then) would cheat on me. I still don’t think that he would. I just don’t see that happening with him (cue the women saying that he can and that all it takes is the right woman to come along… but he truly just isn’t like that). Even though I 100% DO NOT think that he would EVER, in a million years, cheat on me… I still get jealous when we are out and another woman looks him up and down (or worse, tries to flirt). It’s like it’s hardwired into me. Even though my brain and my heart both know that he’s not going anywhere, I cannot stand when women try to flirt with him. Even though I know that he is a handsome man and women are going to look at him, I still bristle up at the mere thought of another woman batting her eyes at him. Even though I know that he thinks that I’m beautiful, and he loves me more than anything, I feel insecure whenever I see (what I believe to be) a prettier woman look his way. It, again, is one of those things that has absolutely nothing to do with my husband, but in the way that I perceive myself. Because, again, how can he think that I’m beautiful if I don’t feel that way about myself.

Insecurities are things that just are. They develop for many reasons and it takes a long time and a lot of self-love to get rid of them. It can be done though, and every day my husband makes me feel better about myself by telling me how he sees me instead of letting my focus on how I see myself. Wives, tell your husbands about your insecurities, let them help you. Your husbands are your biggest supporters if you will let them be.

Next, I want to talk about the struggles of being a wife. Now, this is different for every wife out there. Maybe you feel like you do more of the housework (I was thankfully blessed with a man who helps me with the housework and often does most of it before I can even get to it). Maybe, you have a husband that you feel like doesn’t listen to you. Maybe you are in the same boat as me and you feel like you just don’t get enough time with him. Let me explain why we don’t get time. My husband is a full time student for Mechanical Engineering and he works part time. When he gets home, we eat dinner together, and then he has homework until we go to bed. When he doesn’t have homework, he’s so tired that he can barely keep his eyes open. That’s just the reality of marrying young while one of you is still in college (I went to a secondary school and got my training to be a nail tech, so I am able to work full time). Then, with all of this, he helps me with life and with the house, and the cars. I’m pretty sure he’s superman… anyway, there are many things in life that can pull you and your spouse away from each other. The trick is to turn it around and use these hard times, or use your struggles to grow closer together.

It’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination. There are times when you will fight for hours just to realize that you were fighting for no other reason than you were both tired and needed to yell. There are times when you will feel as though there is nothing but distance between the two of you and you don’t know how to fix it (usually fixed with a very long talk and a bit of time spent together). That’s what marriage is… it’s going through these struggles and facing hardships, but doing so together and coming out stronger that before. If you’re in the middle of a rough patch in your marriage right now, talk to your husband, talk to a friend (not the shady one who always blames your husband and tries to get you to leave him, but an honest one who is going to help you through it and give you healthy ways to fix the problem), or even talk to me (I’m always here to talk, by email or by snail mail through my P.O. box)… but know that the rough patches don’t last forever.

Lastly, I want to talk to y’all about the great times. In marriage, for every struggle and every insecurity, there is a great time to counteract it. Marriage itself is having a partner for everything and a support system to get you through any situation. Marriage is having the person, that you love most in this world, help you navigate life. I really think that marriage is one of the greatest things that a person can experience; you are one with your other half and it makes everything so much better.

While it’s not always easy, it always levels out to the great again. If you love your husband with all of your heart, and you know that he feels the same way, nothing can ever break the bond that y’all share. No insecurity, no struggle, and no person, can ever take away the love that you have. Even the small moments are great moments; everything from when he strokes a piece of hair out of your face, to when you finally see him (and can’t help but to smile) after a long day of work. Great times come in many forms and always leave you happy and at peace. So much easier to explain, the great times are whenever you don’t let the struggles and the insecurities cloud your marriage and keep you from remembering how much you love your one-and-only.

I feel like you need the balance of the good and the bad to make the good times seem great and the bad times seem insignificant. My husband is everything to me, he is my support system, my rock, and my love. Treat your husband well and appreciate the things that he does for you. We often don’t thank them enough for doing all that they do for us. Hug them, kiss them, and let them know how much you love them.

This is everything, the raw and honest confessions of a wife. I hope that y’all enjoyed this post and a huge thank you to everyone that takes the time to read it. I encourage you to share this with other wives and I encourage you to comment/reach out to me and let me know what you think. As always, much love!

If you enjoyed this post, check out my post on The Truth About Marriage by clicking here or my post on the 5 Steps To Keep Your Marriage New by clicking here.