Practical Gift Giving Advice

Here where I live, the first snow has fallen, Thanksgiving is a week from today, and I have started planning what to give my loved ones for Christmas this year. When I first started giving out gifts back in my early 20s, my go-to gift was a gift card. Over the years though, my gift giving style has evolved into trying to give gifts of time, gifts of donations, and gifts that get used up. These types of gifts are generally well appreciated because they show thoughtfulness and they don’t have to be stored. If you are used to picking out Amazon, Starbucks, and iTunes gift cards as your standard gifts, then consider giving a little more of your time and giving a more personalized gift. Sometimes, the more personalized gifts can be just as easy as a gift card and they’ll make you look like the awesome, gift-giving, thoughtful person you are.  Continue reading

Practical Advice for Talking to People at Parties…by an Introvert for Introverts

Over the next couple of months, there’s a good chance you have some holiday functions coming up. On my end, I have at least 4 work-related functions (both my own and my husband’s), extra church events, at least 3 friends’ holiday parties, and a lot of extra family time between now and New Year’s. That is A LOT of talking to people…a lot of talking to people I don’t know or rarely see. As an introvert, all that talking to people can be challenging. Having to talk to people at parties doesn’t just happen during the holidays – there are events all year long. The holidays are just concentrated. So, what are you to do? Thankfully for all of us introverts (and maybe some extroverts), there are some tips for talking to people at parties. Continue reading

Make More Merry This Holiday Season! 2 Guidelines to Make the Holidays Easier and Less Stressful

Welcome to November, my dear readers! The holiday season here in the US officially kicked off yesterday with Halloween and now we’re off for another holiday season! There is so much joy to be had celebrating the holidays with family, friends, and food. Between Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Diwali, Hanukkah, New Year’s and several more, there is a LOT going on! And, if you’re not careful, it’s easy to get swept up into everything, stressed out, burned out, and desperately counting the days to January 1 when you can start recovering. Just like with everything else in life, getting through the holidays is a skill that anyone can acquire – it just takes some practice. There are 2 main tricks I’ve learned that make everything go much easier:

  1. Guard your mental health
  2. Plan ahead

If this is your first year planning ahead, then good for you for getting started! This year might be a bit rocky as you figure it out, but it gets easier every year. I can’t promise that your holidays will be stress-free (because I don’t think that’s possible), but hopefully by sticking to these 2 tricks, your holiday season will go much smoother.  Continue reading

Getting A Cold? A Few Simple Steps Can Make All The Difference In Getting Healthy Again

Cold season is upon us with full force! It sucks getting sick and I have definitely spent my fair share of time getting sick and staying sick. In fact, I spent this entire past weekend and half of this week sick with the worst sore throat I’ve had in a long time. It was no fun being stuck in bed or on the couch feeling miserable, particularly because I missed my husband’s birthday! While it sucked missing his birthday, I am recovering faster than I ever have before (read: it used to take me up to 4 weeks to get over a cold when it should take about 1 week). It took me way too many years learning how to deal with colds, so please learn from my mistakes and read the following advice on staying and getting healthy from a cold.  Continue reading

Self-Improvement Isn’t Going Anywhere – It’s OK to Take a Break When You Feel Overwhelmed

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by how much self-improvement information is out there? There’s tons of advice constantly barraging us with how to be better at everything – how to be fitter, how to be a better parent, how to negotiate better, how to give back more, how to be more productive, how to go faster, how to go bigger, how to, how to, how to. There are books that can teach you how to improve yourself. There are courses and websites and lectures and conferences. There is so much information out there that information overload is a real thing.  Continue reading