Holiday Dealings

 

I’m a winter holiday junkie.  The thought of Christmas anytime during the year makes my eyes sparkle.  I think I get jazzed about Fall as much as I do thanks to the fact that it means that Thanksgiving and Christmas is right around the corner.  I LIVE for the holiday season and always have.

There were a few difficult years for me to sort through in the past 10 years, though. My own family dynamics have changed drastically from when I was younger, and that meant I had to allow the meaning and experience of the holidays to evolve along with it.  I wish I came to that conclusion a bit more quickly, but I’m grateful to finally understand that pretending that you’re in picture perfect Norman Rockwell family painting on Christmas Eve just to appease others is not the best way to make the most out of this undeniably special time of year.

For those of you have no idea what I am talking about, and you can’t imagine feeling anything other than the warm and fuzzies when you think about your family:  You are lucky.  Hold onto that, nourish it, and thank whoever it is you believe is responsible for making that happen.  Some families are a real life shit-show tied up with a bow of bitter resentment, under the table issues that never get aired, or general disdain for each other.  It’s an unfortunate fact, and for a long time I believed that you spent the Holidays WITH all of that family as long as you had family to be with.  Well, not anymore.  And I’m happy to report that the holiday season has never been better.  Here’s how I did it.

  • Accept that every family doesn’t have their act together, and it’s ok not to spend holidays with them.  Send a text, make a call: only if you want.
  • Even if you’re going at this solo, don’t skip the holiday activities you love just because you aren’t spending them with the usual crowd.  Make the cocoa you always drink, cook the dishes that you always look forward to.  Keep the traditions alive, but tailored to your new plans.  What about making new traditions, too?  Invite your friends over for a Christmas movie night or plan a gift wrapping party.  Surround yourself with people that you love, and that show you love in return- whoever they are!
  • I spend Thanksgiving either with just my husband or with the family members of our choosing (meaning people that we know we are emotionally safe and stable around).  I’m one of 5 kids, but happen to be super close to one of my sisters so that is who we spent this last year with.  Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve I spend every year at home with my husband and our animal babies.  I grew up with 20+ people attending our family gatherings, so while you may think that sounds boring or lonely, it’s not.   It’s perfection.  Everyone’s happy place scenario will look different, so do what makes you happy, whatever that may be- you deserve that.
  • Don’t make boundary exceptions just because it’s [insert holiday here].  If you know there are toxic people in your life that you avoid at all costs, it’s more than likely best to honor that judgment call year round.  If someone reaches out, be gracious and compassionate. You can consider what’s been said, but don’t feel like it can’t wait a couple of weeks to address with more focus until your life and schedule calm down.
  • Don’t look to “send a message” when you deal with turning down family event invitations.  No time is the right time to hurt people with words or actions.  You don’t need to be hateful, crass, rude, condescending or any of that nonsense in verbal conversations, texts, or physical actions.  You make accommodations for a happy, joyful holiday season that fits YOU and YOUR LIFE.  You don’t need to take cheap shots to do so, I promise.
  • Expect to feel guilt and even excitement over the very likely possibility that you’ll have a drama free holiday season.  You may even feel a little bit of both, but just be open to the fact that it may initially feel a little odd to celebrate things differently.

Just remember that it’s ok if things aren’t what many call “perfect”.  You can make this time perfect for you and your situation.

I wish you a happy, joyous, champagne-filled (if that’s your thing) holiday season.  I hope it’s filled with laughter, and love, and people that make your heart sing, because that is exactly how you should close out this year.

XoX0- Kate

 

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Courage

Source: Pinterest

I discover more and more often as I get older how special it is to come face to face with strong, courageous women.  I say this as someone who will in absolute honesty admit that strength and conviction is something that I only truly got to understand and become intimate with in the past 6 or 7 years.  It’s the basis of everything that I value today.

Faith in one’s belief system, taking risks, being true to your word, having the ability to look at one’s self and work to remedy those parts that you know aren’t worthy of the space in your heart and head: it all takes this tremendous amount of courage.  Call it being brave.  Call it inner strength.  Whatever you want to name it- it is my foundation in a happier, fulfilled life.

It’s a hard feat to make the decision to live a life of honesty and courage.  It means ceasing involvement in relationships with people that you know in your gut are poison to your life and spirit.  It means telling the Debbie Downer that resides in our heads that she’s out of line when she tells you that you can’t succeed or you aren’t valuable enough to deserve the absolute best of everything you want in life.  It’s an even harder challenge to follow through with.  On a daily basis I do my best to weigh out decisions when it comes to what comes out of my mouth and what I’m thinking (Am I doing this out of love and respect for myself? Where is this knee-jerk response coming from?).  It takes time, discipline, and thoughtful training.  I am a self-proclaimed lifetime work in progress, and I love my truth.

Source: Pinterest

It’s important for me to communicate how fighting the good fight for yourself can literally change everything in your life.  It has changed the way I see other people.  It has changed the way I feel about myself.  It has changed the way I love.  All of this for the better.  I want to meet more women that have the fire in their eyes that comes from a life of honesty and love for themselves.  Every woman (and man) is capable of this courage.  You are capable of this.  It doesn’t matter how lost you’ve gotten in the past, how lost you were yesterday, or the “shameful” destructive behavior you did at 10 AM this morning.

You deserve a life of honesty, courage, and everything you ever wanted with zero limitations.  If I could offer you some of my own, I promise I would.

Product Review: Maybelline The Nudes and The Blushed Nudes Palette

Mabelline, The Nudes Eye Shadow Palette

Eye shadow palettes are one those things that really peak my interest when it comes to makeup.  I work at home most of the time, so wearing makeup is more of a luxury than a necessity at this point, but I adore having lots of options in my makeup drawer.  When it comes to multiple eye looks packed up in one pretty case- I’m in!  The sexier or more fun the packaging, the better.  I’m a huge fan of Too Faced and Lorac palettes because they continually deliver with beautiful colors and great value.

Mabelline, The Blushed Nudes Eye Shadow Palette

I still hear about the Urban Decay Naked eye palettes either online or from friends every few weeks, and these have been out for years.  I don’t know why I haven’t jumped on the band wagon, yet.  It’s not terribly pricey, but each of the color lines are just so sparkly.  I simply haven’t the jump because I have enough options for dramatic looks at this point.  What if there was a somewhat comparable, but more “everyday” look option at a fifth of the cost?

Enter the fantastic beauty blogger I Covet Thee.  On a somewhat recent vlog discussing her fresh beauty scores, she mentioned the Mabelleine The Nudes palette as an exceptional buy with colors that are incredibly versatile and workable.  I was intrigued, and picked up both The Nudes and The Blushed Nudes products.  After two weeks of play, I can absolutely give them my recommendation, as well.

Don’t expect incredibly highly pigmented, sparkle saturated powders in this palette.  The shadows are perfect for work or casual outing’s when you aren’t looking to be a total show stopper and just the refined beaut that I know you are. Plus, you can really build the colors up or down depending on your desired look.  They have staying power, and the color variances are on point. I can’t say I prefer The Nudes or The Blushed Nudes, as I’ve been using them both rather consistently.

Lastly, I always prep for my eye shadows with a primer of some sort- use concealer, eye shadow base/primer, white foundation or whatever works for you and your skin tone.  It will take your eye looks to a professional level that I know we all strive for with a very minimal product investment.  If you aren’t currently incorporating a primer in your makeup regime, do me a favor and give it a shot.  I want to know what you think of the change.

My Vows

No, this has nothing to do with love.  This has everything to do with why I registered this domain.

My hope is that this outlet will allow me to meet new people, provide myself with new challenges, and maybe even throw a few exciting kinks in my path.  With all of that said, I never want to compromise who I am in order to make this journey.  My vows are as follows:

I promise to never make excuses for not showing up.  I want to provide quality content, but not squeeze the life out of something just to make a post happen.

I vow to never tolerate assholes.  This goes for trolls online or people in real life.  I also vow to not be an asshole, because assholes are not, nor will they ever be cool.

I promise that I won’t promote something or someone just because they ask me to.  If you see an interview, a product review, or anything else on this site, remember that it is here because I think it is worth sharing and/or discussing.  If you hate what I have to say, I more than likely want to know your thoughts.  Just do me and everyone else reading a favor and remember the no asshole rule when your dishing your opinion.

I will more than likely edit this page as time progresses, but I do feel like this was the appropriate first post.  To the future Kate (me), thank you for finally making this happen.