Friday, December 30, 2016

Walk In My Week (December 2016)

Happy Friday! Today I'm spending the day doing some odds and ends on my to do list, cuddling with my puppy, and preparing my blog for a whole new year of posts. I cannot believe that December is coming to an end as well as the year 2016.  It seems like just a few months ago we were ringing in the new year.  I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas celebrating the holiday with friends and family.  Speaking of the month of December. I pretty much neglected my blog for the whole month. So where have I been when I haven't been blogging?

Student teaching-This past month I finished my last semester of student teaching.  The last few weeks were crazy as I finished teaching and planning an entire novel study unit on my own, finished grading all assignments, completed the last of my seminar assignments, wrote many thank you cards, gathered thank you gifts, and began to search for an actual job.  Student teaching was by far the academic highlight of my time as an undergrad in college.  From this experience I was able to get a realistic glimpse into what my future will look like.  In a few weeks I'll share more details with everyone, but for now I am still working on my full reflection!

Graduating- One week before Christmas I graduate from college with honors.  December graduations don't have the same excitement and emotion that spring graduations do. I think it's probably because less people graduate during the fall semester, the weather isn't as great, and the timing of finishing something in the middle of the school year is a little awkward.  Despite the timing, I made the best of it that I could. The week of graduation was filled with emotion and celebrations. During the week, I got together with a few friends to decorate our caps.  This was a fun task, but a little stressful too because you only get one cap- if you mess up you're stuck with it.  I'll be sure to add a cap decorating tutorial to the blog as we get closer to the month of May.   The morning of graduation I went to brunch with my family, and then after graduation my parents hosted a small gathering with friends and family. Now the job hunt and the attempt at adulating begins. 

Prepping for Christmas-This holiday season seemed less spirited than usual for some reason.  I tried to squeeze in some holiday festivities, but my efforts just were not enough this year. Next year I'm hoping to make December a month filled with Christmas vibes! I think I pushed Christmas off until after graduation, which gave me exactly one week to get into the holiday spirit. Luckily, I did just about all of my shopping online.  The week leading up to Christmas I wrapped a few gifts, worked in retail to help others prepare for the holiday, and participated in our annual gingerbread house competition.  Christmas day my parents hosted an open house with bottomless mimosas. It was a fun day sharing laughter and love with some of our closest family and friends. 

Playing with Puppies- I've had lots of free time since graduation. I've been taking advantage of the time by cuddling with our puppies. They are filled with energy and so entertaining.  Training them is still a bit of a struggle, but we are making slow progress.  They three and five months old, so their personalities are beginning to shine through.  They enjoy eating my socks, so I spend a lot of time chasing them around the house before they have time to a chew a whole in them. 

Planning for the new year- 2017 is just days away now.  I'm not a fan of new year resolutions because I think you can make a new goal and achieve it at any point in time. However, I do love goal setting.  I think lots of people break this ambitious resolutions quicker than they make them. This is why I'm more of a fan of monthly goals.  As 2017 starts, I am beginning to adult. Many of my goals for the upcoming month are related to entering this new phase of life.  I'll be sharing my January goals and a new 101 in 1001 day list with everyone on Monday. In addition to planning new goals, I have also been planning blog content and strategies to be a consistent blogger in the new year. 

2016 was a great year for me, but I think there are always room for improvements to be made. I am looking forward to 2017 and all the great things that will happen! Wishing you a fun and safe new year! I'll be back in 2017!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Oh Christmas Tree

The holidays usually involve family traditions for most people.  Today I'm sharing one of my family's holiday season traditions.  Each year within a few days of Thanksgiving, we head over to our local Christmas tree farm.  This year we headed out for a day of family fun with hopes of leaving with a tree and the picture for the family Christmas card. It's always a big debate over who can find the perfect tree for our home.  We all have different tastes when it comes to trees (short and fat, tall and skinny, medium, skinny and fat).  This year we were able to agree on a tree pretty quickly in comparison to other years.  There was something so festive about being at the tree farm. It was filled with lots of happy families. We had fun taking a mini family photo shoot while we were there.  

Did you get a real tree or fake one this year?

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Spreading Christmas Cheer

Can you believe that Christmas is only four days away? I don't know about you, but it definitely doesn't feel like the holiday season to me.  The Fall semester just ended several days ago, which is why I think I might be struggling to find the holiday spirit this season.  It seems like lots of people agree with me, so I thought it would be fun to brainstorm some ways to spread some Christmas cheer. 

Wrap Presents
There is something festive about wrapping gifts.  Make a fire, sip some hot chocolate, put on your favorite Christmas playlist, and spend a few hours wrapping. This combination will definitely bring you some holiday cheer!

Look at Christmas Lights
 Pick up your favorite seasonal beverage from your local coffee shop, turn your radio on to the network that plays Christmas songs, and grab a friend to go look at everyone's holiday decorations. Take a drive through local neighborhoods and towns to see the various light displays.  If you live in Southeastern Pennsylvania, check out the Herr's lights display or take a walk through Longwood Gardens

Bake Cookies
Baking cookies is always a fun holiday pastime. Turn on some holiday tunes, pour yourself a glass of wine, and get out your favorite christmas cookie recipes. If you can't eat all of the cookies, then put them in decorative bags and deliver them to friends and family to enjoy. 

Holiday Movie Marathon
Put on your favorite pajamas, start a fire in the fireplace, and pick out your favorite holiday movies to watch.  Spend an evening cuddled up watching some of the best Christmas movies. 
Movie suggestions: Christmas with the Kranks, The Santa Clause, Elf, The Holiday, Four Christmases, The Polar Express, Miracle on 34th Street, Charlie Brown Christmas, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story, It's a Wonderful Life, and Home Alone. 

Make a Gingerbread House
Get some friends together to have a competition to see what duo can make the best gingerbread house. Give everyone the same supplies and time limit.  The winners get a holiday themed prize.  We do this each year at my house.  My brother and his girlfriend versus Todd and I. 

How are you getting into the holiday spirit this year?