NOW WHAT? REMEMBER WHAT YOU’RE GRATEFUL FOR…

I’m late with my post for Tuesday 11/8/16 for #NaBloPoMo. I’ll admit that I couldn’t tear myself away from the TV even after the election results were known.  This morning, now that the political  campaign circus has come to a conclusion and we’re all waiting to see where this goes, it’s time to focus inward and find center again.  Remember who you are and the good that you possess and what you can offer the world.  Also, be grateful for the gifts that you have.  It’s the little things that matter most and will help restore joy.

I love the exercise of focusing on gratitude in November – not just on Thanksgiving but everyday!  Since I missed the first few days, I will go back and reflect, then move forward from there through November. Feel free to share one thing you are grateful for in the comments or feel free to copy the list for yourself!

Day 1: What smell are you grateful for today?

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Yesterday Today and Tomorrow flowers. One of the greatest gifts from an apartment I used to live in was that somebody in the neighborhood grew these plants. At the end of any day, when the witching hour (after dinner, homework, procrastination, laundry, cleaning time) was upon us, a quick smell of their fragrance wafting by instantly sidetracked me to pause and wander with wonder.

Day 2: What technology are you grateful for?
I’m grateful for the technology that helps people quickly detect large medical problems whether it’s full-body scans for early detection or DNA decoding to educate people how best to care for themselves based on what they learn could be present in their genetic background. When you know better, hopefully you do better.

Day 3: What color are you grateful for?
RED! Usually the rest of my wardrobe tends towards black or white but I feel more energetic and powerful when wearing this color. As simple as a red flower in my hair to a bold red bag helps me shine internally! I also love editing with a red pen.

Day 4: What food are you most grateful for?

 

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Pioneer Woman’s – Roasted Garlic MMM, you won’t regret it!

Garlic makes me grateful because it provides such a wonderful layer of flavor to almost every meal as well as providing health benefits. It’s become a comfort food for my family and no matter how simple or fancy our meals are, we pour on garlic! It’s a bucket list item to get to the Gilroy Garlic festival one year.

Day 5: What sound are you grateful for today?

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My kids voices. I am grateful that they still get excited to share things about their day with me. I’m less excited about the voices they use to bicker – but to restore overall balance, there are the remarkable moments where they team up and share inside jokes that Mom would never get.

Day 6: What in nature are you grateful for?

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Coast lines. I always pause to reflect that standing with my feet in the sand with the waves crashing on my toes means I’m on the western most point of that chunk of the US.  I also turn my sights towards the horizon wondering if this will be the one time I can actually see all the way to Hawaii.

Day 7: What memory are you grateful for?
How in the world do I pick just one when on a daily basis I’m adding so many more to the memory bank?  I am grateful for my grandparents’ houses because, depending on which one I was visiting, there was a surplus of unconditional love, closets or shelves with treasures just for the grandkids, music pouring from the walls, and outside hideouts that we lit with lightning bugs.  I am grateful that as the oldest child, I remember them and not just the stories of them.

Day 8: What book are you most grateful for?

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Right now, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. Where the rest of my mind tells me to make practical choices, this book gives me permission and renewed drive to be creative! It’s one I return to frequently.

Here is the full list of Gratitude prompts inspiring me that I found on textmyjournal.com.. Even if you don’t commit to the whole month – what is something you’re grateful for RIGHT NOW?

gratitude journal prompts

 

#Healing #Gratitude #Journal #November

MY FAVORITE ADVENT CALENDARS

Christmas shopping

Updated for 2019! (Note: This blog post contains Affiliate Links which means I get a few magical cents – at no additional cost to you – if you decide to buy any of these magical advent calendars, but I only share the ones I’d actually want to have in my home!)

Now that we ate our way through Thanksgiving I feel like life becomes a game of Chutes and Ladders leading up to Christmas!  On the one hand, time slows down the hourglass a bit as your to-do list becomes filled with larger projects and many social gatherings. On the other hand, it always comes too fast for me. I always wish I had a few more paychecks between now and then to play, gift and donate to everyone I want to.

So let me start by leap-frogging to December 1st!  For me, anticipation builds my excitement for any holiday! For Christmas, my internal clock gets a break because Advent calendars builds my holiday spirit – one day at a time! While some people carry a traditional method of counting down, I love to mix it up a bit to keep my kids on their toes.

In no particular order, because my vision of the holidays changes annually, here are my family’s favorite Advent Calendars! 

 

2019 advent anna elsa

 

Frozen Anna and Elsa – Frozen 2 is the MOST anticipated sequel this year! The beloved characters will have us all singing into the next decade as we live our fantasies of snowy kingdoms and adventures through their eyes! Being a huge Disney-nerd who lives in So Cal and does not get real snow, this film will get me in the right mind for winter!

2019 advent funko marvel

Marvel 80th Anniversary Funko Pop – These collectible adorable blockhead characters take over someone’s room so quickly! But I’m just as obsessed with these as my kids and to have miniature versions is SO fun!  You get so many of the Marvel universe with this amazing calendar!

2019 advent harry potter

If Harry Potter is more your style, wave your magic wand (mouse) above!

2019 advent starwars lego

Lego Star Wars – After getting these calendars you may not need to do Christmas.  Lego and Star Wars tie for favorite toys with my children so the life of the daily toys lasts longer than the season. Plus these daily lego toys spawn creativity and the engineering side of my children’s minds which also goes a long way. 2019 starwars microFor younger Star Wars fans: Star Wars Micro Force Rise of the Skywalker gives a sticker or character every day to help introduce them to holidays in a galaxy far, far away!

2019 advent thomas

Thomas the Train – Back when my kids were young they traveled miles of imaginative journeys playing with their Thomas the Train set. Having a special calendar just dedicated to the land of Sodor would have been a dream come true!

advent-chocolate

Treat yourself!

Chocolate – Coming off of Halloween, you may not be as eager to rush out and get a chocolate calendar – until I tell you it’s made by Cadbury!  You may want to buy one for yourself (and a bottle of red wine) and treat yourself during the season where you’re considering everyone else’s treats!

advent-ring

For a how-to tutorial, click the picture!

DIY Paper Rings – I’d say most of us made these rings out of construction paper and hung them on the wall or framing our door to count down days for the holidays or vacations. Whether as a calendar or decoration, its a fun tradition to sit together and make these. During these still quieter moments, the fun stories of old come forth again.  

advent-mel-doug

Melissa & Doug Tree – This lovely calendar will become a family tradition as everyone remembers their favorite ornaments to hang on this wooden tree.  The whole family’s excitement will grow as the ornaments decorate more and more of the tree! Melissa & Doug products last long enough to be passed down.

nativity

Nativity Scene – As a beautiful reminder for the reason for the season, these calendars recreate the Nativity story with a new addition each day. This gives one plenty of time to ponder each new addition to the story and stop to really consider its significance!

 

2019 advent bathbomb

 

12 days of Holiday Bath Bombs – Your most likely the one organizing, planning, shopping, shipping and everything else to make sure everyone has an amazing holiday season. Don’t forget to take time for you to relax and recharge!  Again, the value of spending a few moments to yourself will outlast the holiday!

paper

I love the simplicity of this look from the allfortheboys.com blog!

DIY Grab bag – Who doesn’t love opening presents?  This way your family gets a small daily gift you can tailor to fit your style!  Go as simple as a brown paper bag with raffia, all the way to decorative cellophane bags. Gifts can range from Bonus tickets: Watch an extra Christmas special! to favorite treats, or notes to your family! To really torture them, give them 1 clue a day about some surprise that will come their way at Christmas!

advent-grat

Click thru to learn how to make the Gratitude Calendar (originally from pragmaticmom.com blog)

Gratitude – I saw this idea on another blog and LOVE it!  This idea is similar to the one above, only fill each bag with a random act of kindness to complete for others.  OR you can create a Gratitude Journal as they do in the blog post and write down the things you’ve completed – or write down one thing you’re grateful every day. Warms your heart better than hot chocolate and the memories are rich when you look back each year!

advent-alcohol

Alcohol calendar – To warm your hot chocolate one step farther – may I suggest Alcohol Advent calendars.  I found a company that creates a calendar for you featuring scotch whisky, bourbon, rum or vodka (to name a few). You can peruse their site like a kid in a candy store and custom make your own calendar.  You’re welcome!

2019 advent christmas scene

 

Classic Christmas Tree Decorations – or that relative who has everything, why not surprise them with this amazing calendar. I love that this calendar can be used year after year and it becomes part of the tradition to build excitement as you slowly decorate the tree with the little ornaments found in each drawer! The picture and the anticipation of a finished tree set the tone for a warm family and tradition-filled holiday.

2019 advent sweater

Ugly Christmas Sweater Winner – The perfect thing to wear around the Christmas tree, to your work party, to your child’s holiday school concert! …and it’s not that ugly!

What about you?
Do you mix it up each year or use an heirloom calendar?
Can you share other ideas for wonderful ways to count down to the holidays?
Feel free to share ideas or links!

 

(C) Disney

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