25 Days of Christmas: Day 4- Mental Health During the Holidays

As you probably know, mental health is something I struggle with, anxiety specifically. That’s part of the reason I’m behind on my 25 days of Christmas.

In general, this week was very busy for me. Aka I started going to the gym and I’m tired. Other than that, I’ve just been very anxious and a little depressed so I don’t really want to fake a smile for my blog writing. That’s why I should’ve gotten ahead like I originally planned, but hey life got in the way.

I’m sure it’s not just me that struggles with mental health during the holiday season. It’s when a lot of people’s seasonal affective disorders strike. For me, I think it’s combined with my period like it is every month, and then just the general idea that I’m supposed to be happy and cheery for the holiday season. This time of year I think is stressful for a lot of people, but that’s not why I’m anxious. I think it’s important to note that anxiety isn’t always tied to stress, sometimes it’s not tied to anything. Right now I think it’s really hormonal mixed with some stuff I don’t really overshare.

Hopefully, this ends with my period, and I can pick up with 25 Days of Christmas. If it doesn’t I’ll try my best but right now, I’m just going with the flow (lol). If you’re dealing with mental illness struggles during this season, just know you aren’t alone.

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25 Days of Christmas: Day 3

Last weekend when I was home wrapping Christmas presents I needed a Christmas movie to go along with it, I decided to go with the Netflix Original: “A Christmas Prince.”

This review may contain spoilers.

I am a firm believer that everyone loves a good Hallmark/Lifetime movie this year. It’s a great time of year to remember you’re alone and no prince is going to fall in love with you. Well, that’s exactly what happened in this movie. It was very much “The Prince and Me” but with the classic Christmas twist. They’re not in college, and of course, the lead is a struggling journalist. If you aren’t a struggling student, you have to be a struggling writer, that’s the classic plot of a cheesy romantic movie.

The new twist to this movie is that the prince’s sister is disabled. Unsurprisingly, the lead woman befriends the princess as she’s posing as her tutor. The princess is the first to figure it out, and the prince never really does.

As always, the relationship progresses relatively quickly and it ends happily. This is a perfect cheesy and romantic Christmas movie. On my scale, for good Christmas movie, I would give this a solid 7/10, if you’re a movie critic I’d give it a solid 4/10.

Let me know what you think!

25 Days of Christmas: Day 2

If you know me, you know I’m cheap. Spending money on things I (or someone I love) won’t use drives me crazy. Like yes, I make crazy impulse purchases, but I do use most of them. This is my first year that I’m really on my own, so I decided to make a Christmas card for Leslie and me. Rather than the traditional printed card you have to mail, that I’m assuming most people would just throw away after the holidays, why not save the money and put it on the internet? No one’s forgotten, everyone has it, it’s free and simple.

I decided to use Canva because it’s easy to use, especially since I already frequent the site. If you don’t use Canva (@Bloggers) use it. It’s how I make 99% of the covers for my blog posts. To edit the pictures I used Fotor, a Windows app that makes editing photos very quick and easy. The nice thing about Canva is that you have the option to scroll through their templates, some are free, some cost money. I decided to start with a blank slate.

I added grids which I could then just drag my pictures into.

We took about 30 pictures to come up with three.

This is what the final looks like in Cavna. To find the background and words, I simply typed “Christmas” into the search bar and both turned up, I thought they fit my brand.

So here’s my final card:

Enjoy :) Merry Christmas from Leslie and me.

25 Days of Christmas: Day 1

Merry 25 Days of Christmas! I know it’s a day late, but December snuck up on me. That just means that one day will have two posts! (Not today).

Today, let’s get into the holiday spirit with my holiday playlist. It’s based on nostalgia and iconic songs from my childhood.

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So these are the songs I would pick. Share yours with me- I’ll add them to the playlist! The ultimate collaborative holiday songs playlist!

12 Days of Christmas: Day 12- Christmas Traditions

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Merry Christmas and Christmas Traditions

Merry Christmas Everyone! This blog post is later than I wanted it to be for several reasons, however, the main one being I couldn’t open Google Chrome and I couldn’t login on Firefox. It was a trying experience.

Today was a day of traditions. Julia woke me up, but not really because I’m still jet lagged so I wake up by 7 everyday. Then we waited for my dad to be ready for us to go down stairs. I broke the tradition of cinnamon buns this year and made french toast casserole. It wasn’t that good in my opinion.

Anyway, we always open our stockings first, apparently that’s of some controversy on my sister’s bus, some people see them as an appetizer and some see them dessert, I suppose we are appetizer people. Then we go down to our second tree and open our presents.

I got a few books this year, which is great. I will be getting some fun reading done for once rather than all school reading.

We also always host Christmas dinner at our house. This year it was pretty early because of schedules and such but that’s fine, then I had the whole day to do nothing. I was going to do something but I didn’t. The jet lag has made me so tired. I had three cups of coffee and a diet coke today just because I’ve been so tired.

I know this post was just riveting. I should’ve done it earlier but I didn’t.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas/ any other holiday you may celebrate! Tomorrow I shall rejoice in the Lush sale (online because I have to work). How was your holiday season?

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12 Days of Christmas: Day 11- Christmas Eve OOTD

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Christmas Eve OOTD

Now I’m not a fashion blogger but every now and then I like to do a fashion or beauty post. Today is one of those days.

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What I’m wearing:

Dress: Zara
Shoes: Payless (in black)
Bracelets: Alex and Ani CLADDAGH and SAILBOAT (both in silver)
Necklace: Pearls from my grandparents

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On my face:

Lipstick: Milani
Eyes: Benefit They’re Real Liner, Almay black liquid liner, ELF Eyeshadow, Ulta mascara in the silver tube, Ulta Glitter
Earrings: My Mom’s
Glasses: Walmart

If you want more specifics I can give them to you. Obviously I can never take these posts too seriously.

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And here’s just a few more snaps of my Christmas Eve. First we have all of the cousins (minus Sean) trying to take a group picture. Then we have a close up of the tree, and then we have an out of focus shot of the tree as well.

Hope you are all enjoying the holiday!

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12 Days of Christmas: Day 10-My Favorite Christmas Treats

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My Top Ten Favorite Christmas Treats

Now if I had as much time that I imagined in mind I would have made all of these cookies or had pictures, but no. I’m just putting Pinterest recipes in because again I have bit off more than I can chew it seems. I did not account for jet lag in this equation.

  1. Hershey Kiss Cookies– A traditional favorite in my house.
  2. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cookies– Typically we wrap the Reese’s with cookie dough too.
  3. Chocolate M&M Pretzels- Salty and sweet the perfect combination.
  4. Puppy Chow– Make it. I never have it on Christmas but it would make a great addition to a cookie platter
  5. Ritz Peanut Butter Chocolate Sandwich Cookies– We’ve had these ever year for as long as I can remember, it’s amazing.
  6. White Trash– Strange name, but it’s the only thing with white chocolate that I like.
  7. Sugar Cookies– I couldn’t tell you the last time that I made these but they make me think of Christmas
  8. Gingerbread Cookies– I love ginger cookies and ginger bread is amazing even though I never have them on Christmas, just something that makes me think of the season.
  9. Chocolate Dipped Pretzels- Kind of inline with the M&M ones above but they are really good and kind of a tradition in my house
  10. Ginger Snaps– I have obviously run out of ideas and I need to go to bed so I’m writing ginger snaps because I have an unhealthy obsession and I ate like two packs a week in Dublin.

The ones I didn’t include recipes to are self-explanatory in my opinion, if you disagree, comment and I will give you my own recipe to go by step by step. Also let me know your favorite cookies that way next year I can have ten without cheating!

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12 Days of Christmas: Day 9- The Best Bits of Christmas

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My computer is currently resting while it waits for a screw so I’m using my iPad. Therefore, today’s post will be kind of short and simple because I hate typing on my iPad. 

  1. Seeing and spending time with  family. This year it is especially important to me because I missed Thanksgiving so I’m really missing everyone. 
  2. Lots of sweets. I like to try all of the cookies and other things that people bring for dessert. 
  3. Everyone is happy on Christmas. Everyone might be cranky leading up to Christmas but I feel like on Christmas everyone is happy. 
  4. Christmas Eve mass is just beautiful and celebratory and I love that it makes me feel festive every year. 
  5. The food. It’s a feast. 
  6. I love all the decorations. It just shows how much people care about the holiday which I think is pretty cool. 
  7. I find that people ar more generous around the holidays and I’m glad that they are helping and caring for more people.  
  8. The youthfulness it brings to people. I love that people have a childlike attitude at Christmas time. It’s like everyone wants to believe in Santa. 
  9. Festive wear. Holiday sweaters, need I say more?
  10. Love. Everyone loves and shows their love at Christmas time. 

What are your favorite parts of the holiday?

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12 Days of Christmas: Day 8- Salted Caramel Mocha Brownies

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So basically as soon as I got to Ireland I found this recipe for Salted Caramel Mocha Brownies on Tumblr, but I didn’t have an oven so I had to wait three months to make them, so that’s what I did yesterday.

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This is what you need to make the caramel. We had caramel sauce, which would have been the easy way out, I wanted to see if I could make it myself.

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The final product. It did turn out a little runny, it should have been thicker but I let it be. I didn’t want to mess with it too much.

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After you make the caramel you make the rest of the brownies. This is what you need.

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Then you have to melt the butter and chocolate together.

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Then you just mix everything together.

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This is where it gets a little different. You put half the batter in the bottom, then take the Nutella and spoon it out in sections, then put most of the caramel over it.

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So it doesn’t look that appetizing, especially since I didn’t drizzle the rest of the caramel over the top. Since it didn’t work out right, I decided that it would be too sweet and too runny to put more on top and I had store-bought caramel as well, I just was not in the mood to put more on top. All in all they were absolutely delicious. They are cakey but gooey at the same time and if you ask me that’s the best kind of brownie.

What’s your favorite baked good for the winter time?

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12 Days of Christmas: Day 7- Dashing Through the Snow Book Tag

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I was recently nominated by B from Getting Through Anxiety to do this tag and I thought it was perfect for my 12 days of Christmas!

Rules

Thank the curator (Astra @ A Stranger’s Guide To Novels). Thank you!

Tag five people to spread the Christmas joy

Have fun!

Questions

1. Name a book you would like to see under your Christmas tree.  Mindy Kaling’s Why Not Me– I read the first one last year and I really want to read her second one, she’s hilarious and inspirational in my opinion. 

2.) A book you’ll be reading over the Christmas season. I’m not sure, hopefully the one above, or maybe Grace’s Guide because I really need to learn how to be an adult. 

3.) Favorite Christmas movie. I’ll use this for promotion of my post earlier this week, but also I’ll answer it with probably The Polar Express. 

4.) Do you like snow?  No. I like when it looks pretty and I don’t have to go outside, however, there are very few times that I don’t have to go outside when it snows, therefore, I usually hate it. 

5.) Name a character you’d like to spend your Christmas day with. I think it would be fun to spend Christmas day with Harry and Ron when they stayed at Hogwarts, however, I would want to be the same age as them then, not the age I am now because that would be weird. 

6.) To give or receive. I love to give people Christmas presents, I think it’s because I like to shop. I also like to see the reactions when I get someone something they love. 

7.) What fictional place would you like to spend Christmas at? I guess I already answered this but Hogwarts. 

8.) Fondest Christmas memory? I just love spending Christmas Eve and day with my family every year. 

9.) Can you say Christmas tree ten times FAST in a row (pronouncing it correctly). Like B said I whispered it to myself and I could do it haha. 

I tag all of the Christmas lovers to do this post!

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