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!

12 Days of Christmas: Day 5- Last Minute Gift Buying Tips

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Now, I’m not a last minute kind of person to be quite honest. However, there were a few Christmas presents that I couldn’t get in Ireland so I will be doing some last minute shopping when I get home. I thought maybe it would be nice to give my tips on the best way to do last minute shopping.

  • Go in the morning. The sooner you leave the more people are still running late, so get to the mall or Target or Walmart or wherever you need to go as soon as it opens.
  • Have a list. It’s too late in the game to try and wing it, you need to know what you’re looking for otherwise you will be stuck there forever.
  • Walk with purpose. Those pesky mall kiosk people are less likely to ask you a million questions if you’re walking with a purpose. I know they’re just doing their job, but you still have presents to wrap and places to be, get it done and get out of there. Unless you want to meander, then meander!
  • Only go into stores that have the things you need. If you’re shopping for your mom there’s no reason to go into American Eagle, instead you’re just going to end up buying yourself a sweater that you don’t need and spending the money you should be spending on other people.
  • Don’t give in to the impulse buys. If you don’t need it don’t buy it. I feel like those little stations of impulse buys are everywhere at Christmas time and that’s because they know people cave. Those are good stocking stuffers and little presents for friends, but if that’s not what you’re looking for, walk away.

What are your last minute tips?! I’m going to struggle with the not getting distracted part since I haven’t been to Target in months it’s going to be hard, but I can do it.

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12 Days of Christmas: Day 1

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Oreo Truffles: Christmas Movie Snack

Day 1 of the 12 Days of Christmas on my blog! This is the first day of 12 days of daily blogging leading up to and including Christmas. I find it quite fitting that on the first day I’ll be doing my first “cooking” post!

A few weeks ago Jenna (my photographer for a several of these photos) made Oreo Truffles. Now, we used an American recipe, so there was a lot of improvising involved, and also why some of the truffles ended up without chocolate coating.

These are the ingredients, in America you need a full package Oreos (the full ingredients and recipe are linked above).

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We did not have anything but a bottle of BBQ sauce to smash the cookies with, it made for an interesting experience.

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While we mixed everything on the stove, it was NOT on, this was just due to limited counter space in my apartment.

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This could have been one giant Oreo truffle, but it’s not.

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This was the most disgusting cooking process ever, rolling each of these into balls, ew!

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Jenna’s hands, what a mess!

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Ooo chocolate.

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This looks better the final product so I’m just going to leave this here.

Let me know if you make these! They’re great with Christmas movies, but they are very rich, I recommend something salty to balance them out. They would also make a great addition to a cookie tray!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving! To be quite honest, it does not feel like Thanksgiving, I went to class today. However, my family is almost back to Dublin! I don’t think I mentioned at all yet that they have been visiting this week which I’m so thankful for, it’s so nice to have them here for the holiday because it’s my favorite holiday and if they weren’t here I would be super homesick.

Anyway, I’ve been doing really good with blogging recently, I hope to keep it that way. I’ll be doing a LNBM for an update probably one day this week. For today I just want to share what I’m thankful for.

  • My parents. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be studying abroad, I wouldn’t have traveled nearly as much as I have been. They are so supportive and encouraging of me, and I would like them to know how much I appreciate and how grateful and thankful I really am.
  • My sisters. While they drive me crazy, I love having two sisters. They are so supportive and always there when I need them.
  • The rest of my family. I think I am very blessed in the family department. I’m really missing all of them today.
  • My old friends. I have the absolute best friends, from college, from home, from the internet. Every day I am reminded that I am so blessed for the friends that I have. It’s nice to know wherever I go, someone is always there for me.
  • My new friends. They have made my trip here amazing, the experience even more special than I expected it. Now I have friends throughout the whole US which is pretty amazing.
  • My corner of the internet. Whenever I’m having an off day I have this place that I can come and write my feelings out, not judged, with people who can relate.
  • My school and studying abroad. I know that I am extremely fortunate to be receiving a level of higher education, and more specifically this semester, to be so lucky travel abroad and see the world.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you have a great day with your friends and family. Even if you aren’t celebrating take a minute to remember what you are thankful for today! Hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

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Christmas Present: Part Two

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Merry Christmas everyone! If you don’t celebrate I hope you did something fun anyway. I didn’t actually take any pictures even though I got more camera stuff, I just kind of forgot and lived in the moment.

I had a really good day and I’m just going to take this post pretty easily just because it’s Christmas and my sister woke me up at 7:45 and I kinda just want to relax. I got some really nice sweaters, I don’t know if that’s my family’s way of telling me I need to dress nicer, but jokes on them sweaters and leggings go great together.

I got a book so I can finally read for fun which I feel like I haven’t done in FOREVER. I hate that I don’t read for fun at school but I had a lit class last semester so my free reading time was spent reading for class and then to be honest I didn’t really want to read after that, I just wanted to relax. I also got some lenses and filters for my camera so that will be fun to mess around with, I need to go on an adventure to try them all out.

I decided that I’m going to brave the mall tomorrow, the after Christmas sales might be worth it so I’m going to try my hardest to get in and get out. I have a few gift card to LUSH, The Body Shop, and Barnes and Noble, so I want to shop for me. I feel like I do that too much but not enough at the same time. Whenever I shop for myself it’s small things I either really want (then they’re usually cheap too) or things I need so I want to get some things that I kind of just want because I want them without reason. I probably buy too much for myself to be honest but I want to do it anyway with money that other people gave me. I do have to get my car fixed, well I don’t know if it’s actually broken we just have to see what’s wrong with the tire. I hate taking my car to the shop it’s so depressing.

What did your day entail? Is anyone else going shopping tomorrow and are there any sales I should know about?

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Christmas Present: Part One

Merry Christmas Eve everyone! And Happy Hanukkah since it’s the last day of that! I realized that I said I would do Christmas present but then I realized all of Christmas hasn’t happened yet and I don’t have any magical powers that will get tomorrows pictures here today so I just spent Christmas Eve with my dads family so here are some pictures from that!

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Here I am with my sisters, Sarah, me, and Julia. This was before we went to church.

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In case you are interested in what I wore for Christmas, I’m wearing a burgundy and white dress from Charming Charlie’s, nude heels from Payless, and a black cardigan from Forever 21.

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Here is an updated Christmas picture of all the cousins on my dad’s side of the family. In order from bottom to top (youngest to oldest) Chloe, Julia, Aaron, Jonathan, Sean, Sarah, me, Rachael, and Chris. This was very hard to organize and I felt very bad asking everyone to do this but I did anyway just for the memories.

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At first glance this may look like the other picture, but for this one my grandparents jumped in too!

Do you guys celebrate anything on Christmas Eve or if you celebrate Hanukkah or anything else what did you do today?

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Christmas Past

I’m 20 which means that this Christmas will be my 20th (I’m great at math) so I thought, why not share with you some pictures from a few of those 20 Christmases. In case you were wondering tomorrow will be Christmas present and then it will be Christmas future. I think it’s creative.

I would say this is the oldest Christmas picture I have on my computer from what I’m assuming is Christmas since we’re both dressed up. This is my cousin Chris and I probably when he was about 3 or 4 and I was about 2 or 3.

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This is more recent but not too recent. My guess would be that I was probably in the third or fourth grade here. Julia looks pretty little so I’m guessing it was before she was in school. I would guess that Sarah would be in Kindergarten or first grade, I could be very wrong though. We used this as a Christmas card one year.

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This is very old because I don’t think that any of the other kids would have been in school except for Chris and I , the tallest ones in the picture. I just saw the date which would mean that I was in the fourth grade so Sarah and Sean would have been in first and Chris in fifth. The order is Aaron, Sean, Me, Chris, then Julia in front and Sarah next to her. This is when we went to cut down Christmas trees. All of our families still use live Christmas trees which I think is pretty cool.

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This is my best friend Hannah and I after our fourth grade Christmas musical. She was a mouse and I was a grandmother. I could still be a grandmother with the exception of no grandchildren and no grey hairs.

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This is all of my cousins, minus Chloe who was yet to be born, my guess I was probably in the fifth grade. My dad’s side of the family always celebrates Christmas Eve together with dinner and presents. Chris and I are the chairs, then Sarah, Sean, Julia, Aaron, and Jonathan laying in the front.

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This is Christmas morning one year, not sure which. I don’t know if you guys remember Floam, but it was a really big deal one Christmas, like one of those fad presents and my Poppop got it for us so we of course had to play with it right away. I am the very excited one standing up, then Julia, and Sarah is just in frame. We are all very happy about the sticky substance. The second picture is Julia and I opening our stockings. My mom crossed stitched us each a stocking.

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This is very recently because I still wear that sweatshirt. I think it was probably senior year, maybe junior based on the fact that I got a Harry Potter travel mug and that would have been right after we went to Harry Potter World. I look very unamused at the fact that it’s morning. This was my sleeping stage, as well as my KNEX stage which you  can see featured in the background.

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This was when we went to NYC one year at Christmastime. I’m honestly not sure what year, I think senior based on my glasses. The first picture it’s me, my dad, Sarah, then Julia, the second picture is me, Julia, then Sarah, and then the last picture was a different year, and it’s Sarah, me, then Julia. We aren’t going to go at Christmas time again.  I think it’s one of those things everyone should see and then be like “Okay, I’m good now.”

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This is at Hershey park when I was in 5th. The first picture is Julia, Sarah, me, this is in the time where people would ask if they were twins and Sarah would get really upset because they’re three and a half years apart. The second picture it’s me, Julia, Santa, Sarah.

This is just a random assortment of various other pictures from the Christmasy times of my past. Merry Christmas Eve Eve everyone!

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Elf on the Shelf

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Okay so I’m not a parent or anything of the sort but I have heard a lot about this ‘Elf on the Shelf’ and it’s very interesting. Basically the elf “goes to see Santa” to report the behavior of the children every night and is back by the next morning in a new place. I’ve heard that sometimes it brings presents too. To me this is very strange, I never had this growing up, I was threatened with coal and no presents if I kept fighting with my sisters, I never had a creepy elf watching over everything I did.

It’s very odd to me that a toy is watching children and they’re believing it. I guess I believed in Santa for a very long time, but believing in a plastic toy watching you seems different. It’s also kind of creepy to me, like your mom and dad just stick this little guy on a fireplace, or the kitchen cabinets, or in your bedroom and he just watches you. What happened to Santa doing that? “He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake,” if that wasn’t creepy enough already now his helpers are in your home.

I don’t think that as a child this would have changed my behavior, and of course I don’t know because I didn’t have it, but I think the threat of coal was almost enough for me, then the threat of no presents was definitely enough.  I don’t understand why the elf enforces it more so than threats because the way I see it they’re probably just going to end up getting the presents whether the “elf’s report to santa” is good or bad, it’s just another way to have empty threats and if a kid is going to bad they will realize this.

I’ve also heard that some people leave toys or small presents with the elf everyday too, like an advent calendar with toys. I don’t understand that either. I got a piece of chocolate every three days with an advent calendar because my sisters and I shared it. I did not get a toy everyday from Thanksgiving until Christmas, the advent calendars don’t even start until December 1st anyway.  I just don’t get why children can’t just listen to their parents, or maybe that’s just my jealousy of daily presents getting in the way of this toy.

So how does this work exactly? Do you use one or do you refuse or what about in the future when you have kids?

I think that a lot has changed between when I was five and five year olds now, I mean I  had dial up and Aurthur games to entertain me at most, not tablets and iPhones, but there is nothing electronic about this elf, unless I missed something where it actually does record everything a child does, which I do not think it does and if it does parents need to reevaluate how they monitor their children but that would be a whole different post.

Elf on the shelf, I would love to see different opinions and same opinions in the comments. Keep in mind I am a 20-year-old college student with zero children and no plans to have any in the foreseeable future so maybe I just don’t get it. I just think that I’ve gone 20 years without the need for an elf to keep watch over me during the holidays, so what’s so different now that kids do? I’m really curious to hear other opinions so let me know!

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Does anyone find him to look kinda creepy though? Maybe it’s just the fact that he “watches you” but I think he looks a little creepy.

Furby: The Ultimate Present.

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A seemingly cute and innocent toy, Furbys have been around since at least the time I was about 4 or 5. That Christmas I really wanted, so I believe it was Santa who delivered. The cute toy turned into a nightmare. I remember being fairly afraid of the toy for quite sometime, leaving it at my cousins house in his closet for a while, and then at some point I got it back and it lived in my closet for a long while. By now you may be wondering why on earth this makes such a great Christmas present if it’s so terrifying? Well let me tell you it’s perfect.

  • Have an enemy? They get a furby.
  • Have a best friend that you’re annoyed at? They get a furby.
  • Your sister took all of your clothes while you were away at college? She gets a ferby.
  • Your mom said something she wasn’t supposed to? She gets a furby.
  • Your dad forgot your birthday? He gets a furby.
  • Your brother ruined your favorite sweater? He gets a furby.
  • A child you want to scare? They get a furby.
  • A baby who might be entertained? They get a furby.
  • EVERYONE GETS A FURBY.

Happy Holidays everyone! Go buy some furbies.

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