Alternatives to Conventional Gifts This Holiday Season

Monday, November 30, 2020

The festive season is here, and it might just be one of the hardest ones in terms of gift giving. This is primarily because a lot of people have been out of work this year due to the pandemic, making buying gifts a little bit harder. Christmas might be harder to gift for, but it can still be a great one, you just might have to take a little longer to consider what to buy first. These tips can get you started with some alternative gifting ideas.


The Books I Read in October

Monday, November 23, 2020

I've got some catching up to do in the books department! As much as I enjoy writing these posts and looking back and reflecting on past reads, it's a lot of work to compile the information and present it clearly and concisely. There are countless times I've sat down to write these recap posts, and I've said to myself, "I'll come back to it after I read a chapter in my current book." Ha! A chapter becomes two or three and then it's time to make dinner or workout, and I never get to the post. So, I had to set a reminder on my phone and put it on my Must Do list in order to absolutely accomplish it today.

Here we go. Here are the three books I read in October.


Best Online Reads

Thursday, November 19, 2020

 The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. The coolest museum in each state via The Discoverer.

2. Twenty things you should never say to someone who just lost their job via Huffington Post.

3. What to do with your mask while you are eating, according to Dr. Fauci via Best Life.


Life Lately

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Hi, friends! It's been a while, so I thought I'd jump back in to blogging with a Life Lately post to check in and catch up. How is everyone doing? Anyone have COVID fatigue and burnout? 🙋‍♀️ I'm over here raising my hand for all of the above and then some. Sheesh. It hasn't been easy. Here in New Jersey, the number of cases has been steadily increasing, and further restrictions have been put in place. We aren't as confined as we were back in March and early spring, but limitations have been put primarily on restaurants since that seems to be where people have been gathering in groups sans masks and social distancing.

We just returned from a week in Florida, so we are in quarantine mode here at home, although I'm not quite sure why since our caseload and Florida's are probably similar. But, we just do what we are told. We had our annual trip to our timeshare in Captiva Island, Florida, and it was great to get away. I was very apprehensive about flying, but it was actually fine. All the passengers were very good about wearing masks and keeping them on during the flight and while in the airports. South Seas Island Resort requires masks indoors and social distancing both indoors and outdoors at the pools, beach, etc.

I posted only once on Instagram stories from South Seas while we were away. I was concerned about backlash for going away, and I thought is was best to keep a low profile while we were traveling. Plus, the weather wasn't great, and our trip was very low key. I took advantage of both of those to unplug and unwind and try to relax before returning to New Jersey. I usually take over 500 pictures in Captiva, but only have about 60 to show for this trip. 

This was the sunset our first night there. The clouds made it look like some sort of explosion. Sadly, there wasn't another sunset until our late night there (second picture).

Both are pretty spectacular though, and South Seas Resort never disappoints no matter the weather.

But now, we are back home and back to business. Harper is not permitted in school for two weeks since we traveled to a state on the quarantine list, so she is home working remotely until after Thanksgiving. When she returns, she'll now be there 5 days per week from 8 AM to 12 PM. I wonder how long that schedule will remain in place. Emma does all of her college work remotely, which has been an interesting college experience for her, and working part-time at a tanning salon. Tomorrow Emma has to have a COVID test in order to return to work next week. She'll be the first one in our family to have the test.

I've been doing a lot of reading lately and have tons of books to share with you (in separate posts). I read three books while in Captiva. I started the fourth season of The Crown last night. Anyone else watching? I've loved all the other seasons and am hoping this one is just as captivating. In other news, my gym opened last month, and I've gone several times. I had really grown to love my outdoor runs and walks, but on days when it's either been too cold or raining, I've gone to the gym. Plus, I've been taking a yoga class on Fridays and Sundays by one of my favorite instructors. I was never able to get into doing yoga at home via video during quarantine. I am thrilled to be back doing it and doing it safely with limited class size. For me, yoga helps to tame my anxiety (which, hello, has been at an all-time high lately).

Speaking of anxiety, how about the election? Whew! Glad that's over. I read an interesting article last week about the number of influencers who had chosen to remain quiet about where they stood this election, and that it has hurt them because they didn't take a vocal stand. I always struggle with how much to share when it comes to politics. This election year, I didn't hold back, which was evident in my IG stories, if you were following along. I'm happy to say that I didn't lose followers on Instagram. It's often hard to know what to share and not to share whether it pertains to politics or not.

I have to tell you. It feels good to sit down and write this post. It feels good to be getting my act together  to blog as well as pouring my heart out here. I always feel like something is missing from my life when I'm not keeping the blog updated.

I can't think of anything else for now. If you have something to share, I'd love to hear about it in the comments or via email at Sharing is caring!! ❤️

Until next time...xx

Splurge vs. Save: Snow Boots

Monday, November 2, 2020

The weather may be mild right now, but before we know it, we'll be trudging through snow and over ice. Not one of my favorite visuals, but it's a reality, and we should be prepared for it with a pair of warm and sturdy snow boots. For years, I've been wearing my Hunter wellies in the snow, but they aren't very warm, even when I wear a boot liner or a heavy sock. I've been looking around at snow boots and was surprised at the many styles and price points. Here are two very similar styles of snow boots that I came across with very different price points.