How to Stay Present During the Holiday Season

by M.E. Gray
How to Stay Present During the Holidays
ShutterstockKatsiaryna Pakhomava

Despite what's depicted in Hallmark movies, the holidays can actually be a really stressful time of year. Not only that, but if you're not careful, added anxiety and pressure can cause you to miss the season all together. With Thanksgiving in the rear view and Christmas coming around the corner fast, how in the world are we supposed to stay in the present and enjoy what this season has to offer? While we may never regain the magic of the holidays that we felt as children (the whole no-Santa thing kind of ruins it, amiright?), there are ways to claim and nurture some new warm and fuzzy feelings. Here's how you can make the most of the season by soaking up the present.        

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Do This: Make Cookie Cutter Ice Cubes!

by M.E. Gray

Make These: Holiday cocktail ice cubes!

Sometimes I'll have an idea in my head for something I want to try, and that idea will just never leave. It was last Christmas that I wondered to myself, "Can one make ice cubes in cookie cutters??" The previous holiday season got busy fast, so I never got around to testing that hypothesis out. This go round, as I dusted off my holiday cookie cutters, I decided it was time. I tested my theory. The results? Success! Holiday ice cubes - oh yeah!           

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Holiday Gifting 101: How to Finish Your Christmas Shopping Without Losing Your Mind in the Process

by M.E. Gray
Christmas Gifts: A Complete Guide
Shutterstock /  WeStudio

A lot of us (myself included) are dealing with extra emotions during the holidays. Whether it's stress, anxiety, or sheer panic, the gift-giving deadlines that creep up at Christmastime can bring up all sorts of feelings. Maybe it's your nieces and nephews that are stressing you out because you have no idea what kids are even into anymore! Or maybe it's your mother-in-law who who already has everything she could ever want. Or maybe your husband, when asked what he'd like for Christmas, only answers with the not-so-helpful phrase, "Whatever you'd like to get me." 

Fortunately, you're not alone. We're all in this together, and we're going to make it through another Christmas season. So let's take deep dive into Christmas gifts: what people like, where to find it, and how to stay calm until the 25th gets here.          

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How to Decorate Your Apartment for the Holidays

by M.E. Gray
Apartment Christmas Decorations
Shutterstock / Halfpoint

Decorating an apartment for the holidays differs from trimming a home you own and have free reign over. In a rental, you can't haphazardly nail stuff to the wall. You're probably dealing with a smaller space or odd physical obstacles (like no mantel, or too many mantels!). And your landlord might even have restrictions on real trees or lighting candles. All these hurdles just means that the earned end result is far more satisfying. Personally, I think apartment Christmas decorations are the coziest of all, because you can really play into the quirkiness of a smaller space and the coziness of the season. So grab a hot drink, take notes, and get ready to transform your rental into a holiday wonderland.         

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Ho-Ho-Holiday Wallpapers for Phone, Desktop, and iPhone Case!

by M.E. Gray

Christmas iPhone printable

When it comes to the holiday season, I like to start small. I'll start by introducing Christmas socks into my wardrobe, playing Sufjan Stevens' holiday records on Pandora, and I usually change the wallpaper on my smartphone. This year, I'm sharing a festive design in a few color schemes, depending on your holiday preference! You can download them as a wallpaper for your phone or desktop, or, keep reading to find out how to print and use as a festive iPhone case.             

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Make This: DIY Palo Santo Holder

by M.E. Gray

Palo santo holder

As winter approaches, so does more required time indoors. All that time inside makes my home feel stuffy, cramped, and stale. In essence, my house feels like it's full of bad energy. I recently discovered palo santo, and I'm really enjoying the way it seems to cleanse the spaces around me, and even purify my own energies. Keep reading to find out more about this holy wood, and how to make a minimal palo santo holder.          

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Can You Gift It? Canning Gifts to Give in Bulk This Holiday Season

by M.E. Gray

Canned gifts to give in bulk this holiday season

A lot of holiday seasons go by where I am totally and utterly irresponsible with my spending habits. I think, "It's Christmas! I can spend as much money as I need to on presents. It's called the Season of Giving for a reason!" This mindset always comes back to bite me in January, because while it is fun to go shopping for gifts, it's not fiscally smart to blow your whole bank account. This year, I've decided to be more thoughtful in my gifting, while also trying to save money. Homemade gifts, if done well, are the best to receive. And what's more homey than a canned recipe? While I'm trying to decide what to can and give, I've found a lot of great recipes along the way, and I'm sharing them with you today! Keep reading for my favorite canned gifts to make and give in bulk.            

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How To: Arm-Knit a Blanket in Just One Hour!

by M.E. Gray

Arm knit blanket

Do you ever wish you could make a blanket yourself, but don't feel like you have the time to? Then a DIY arm knit blanket might be just the project for you! A chunky knit blanket can be completed in about an hour, and it's PERFECT for beginners. But what is "arm knitting," you might ask? Basically, it's regular knitting, but instead of using needles, you use your arms. As you can imagine, arms in needle terms are big. Really big. And that's exactly why we can whip up a DIY giant knit blanket in under an hour.

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