Blogmas 2017

Blogmas Contest Winners

Before I announce the winner I would just like to say thank you to everyone who participated. You guys really did what I asked and engaged with one another in the comment section. I literally just sat here smiling while reading all the comments on one another’s posts. So thank you for being a part of this blogmas community this December!

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Now, to the contest!

There were many great submissions but my top three included:

3. Dreamer’s Outlet’s “On the Fourth Day of Christmas” for her humorous rendition of “Twas the Night Before Christmas”

2. T.Shaw’s “Christmas Gifts” because of all the Blogmas gift posts I read, I enjoyed hers the most.

 

And finally . . .

OUR BLOGMAS WINNER!!!

1. Tihpsy’s poem entitled “Twenty-Fifth”

“The angel wings flutter
A’top a tree so perfectly poised.
A rush of pine swirls aimlessly about the home,
Circling around the presents of toys.

The crackling fire glows embers of red
And the mistletoe swings low.
Family reminisces the events of the year,
While the kitchen smells of cookie dough.

Snow fades into the dark streets,
Sprinkling glitter around the town.
Cheerful carolers don’t seem to mind,
As the groups make their way around.

Rainbows of lights beam,
And wrapping paper rips,
Oh the joy of the holiday,
The beauty that is,
Christmas.”

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An Author Bio in the author’s own words:

”I have been writing since my small fingers could grip a pencil. As opposed to indulging in sleepovers and playing outdoors like a child should, I stayed in my bedroom writing stories about princesses and the traditional fairytale. At a young age I experienced the loss of a sibling and from that moment composed a 3-page long poem pouring out how I felt. I presented it to a few close friends and the feedback I received truly ignited my passion for poetry. From that moment on I wrote and wrote without end. I kept most of my work to myself, but only recently gathered the courage to share it with others. With every poem I write, I thrive to create a world individuals can empathize with and put words to feelings that seem indescribable.”

And with this post, I have truly concluded Blogmas! 

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Blogmas 2017

3 Steps to Combat Post-Christmas Blues

Well, Christmas is *technically* over as of midnight last night. If you are like me, a full-time Christmas lover, this might be a hard time for you. You are being hit with the Post-Christmas blues! I’m going to offer you three ways to battle the post-Christmas blues:

 

  1. Take Your Time Moving Forward

    • There are six days left in December so why rush? There is no reason to automatically shut off your Christmas music or tear down your decorations the day after Christmas. So take a couple more days to appreciate the Christmas cheer.
  2. Make Cleaning Up A Party!

    • Once it is time to clean up all the Christmas decorations make it a party! Turn up that Christmas music nice and loud, make some hot cocoa, wear that Christmas hat/sweater/socks one last time, and eat some left over sweets while you put away the decorations and prepare for the new year.
  3. Look Forward to the New Year

    • New Years Eve is on December 31st and as the New Year approaches take some time to remember 2017. What were your best moments? What have you accomplished? Be thankful for what has transpired. Then, looking forward to 2018. What do you want to accomplish in the New Year?

 

I hope these three tips are enough to help battle your Christmas blues!

Blogmas 2017

Christmas: Contests, Presents, and Family

I hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas!!!

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The Blogmas Contest is now CLOSED. If you have not yet commented on other Blogmas posts please remember to do so!

I am having a wonderful Christmas, I received wonderful gifts and was able to celebrate with my family ❤️

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Merry Christmas Everyone!

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Blogmas 2017

Merry Christmas

I hope that you all are enjoying your Christmas with family and loved ones! Indeed, this morning I will be having a pajama party with my large, extended family. Before I go, I want to wish you all a merry Christmas and hope that you take the time to read what Christmas is all about ❤

What must it have been like for Joseph? For Mary? For the shepherds and the wise men? One can only read and imagine. . .

Luke 2:1-20

The Birth of Jesus

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole empire should be registered. This first registration took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So everyone went to be registered, each to his own town.

Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David, to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped him tightly in cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

The Shepherds and the Angels

In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people:11 Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:

14 Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and peace on earth to people he favors!

15 When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”

16 They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the manger. 17 After seeing them, they reported the message they were told about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had seen and heard, which were just as they had been told.

 

Merry Christmas Everyone!

What will you be doing today?

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Blogmas 2017

Merry Christmas Eve Everyone!

Christmas is a very special holiday for me, especially because to me it is not just about the tree, the decorations, or the holiday fun. It is a time to celebrate the fact that God loved me enough that Jesus humbled himself to come to earth as an insignificant baby. Merry Christmas Eve Everyone! I pray that you all have a wonderful Christmas.

I cannot imagine what Mary must have experienced or felt! Can you imagine an angel appearing to you, at 15 (estimate age) and saying that not only were you pregnant but with God’s son? It is an incredible story. Please take a read.

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Gabriel Predicts Jesus’s Birth 

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was deeply troubled by this statement, wondering what kind of greeting this could be. 30 Then the angel told her: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will have no end.”

34 Mary asked the angel, “How can this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?”

35 The angel replied to her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 “And consider your relative Elizabeth—even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” said Mary. “May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel left her.

Mary’s Visit to Elizabeth

39 In those days Mary set out and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judah 40 where she entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped inside her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she exclaimed with a loud cry: “Blessed are you among women, and your child will be blessed! 43 How could this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For you see, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy inside me. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill what he has spoken to her!”

Mary’s Praise

46 And Mary said:

My soul praises the greatness of[g] the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 because he has looked with favor
on the humble condition of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations
will call me blessed,
49 because the Mighty One
has done great things for me,
and his name is holy.
50 His mercy is from generation to generation
on those who fear him.
51 He has done a mighty deed with his arm;
he has scattered the proud
because of the thoughts of their hearts;
52 he has toppled the mighty from their thrones
and exalted the lowly.
53 He has satisfied the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering his mercy
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he spoke to our ancestors.

56 And Mary stayed with her about three months; then she returned to her home.

 

Merry Christmas Eve!

What will you be doing this Christmas Eve?

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Blogmas 2017

Blogmas: Must-Watch Christmas Movies!

It’s December, it’s almost Christmas, it’s cold enough to cuddle with blankets, so you best believe that I will be watching my Christmas movies with pleasure!

So grab your own blanket, slip on those fuzzy socks, pop the corn, and take a seat with me.

5. 1970s Santa Claus is Coming to Town (Yea the animation can be a little unsettling at times, but it is a classic and it automatically transports me to my childhood)

 

4. 2003 ELF  (I’m not always a fan of Will Ferrell, but he nailed this role!)

3. 1990 Home Alone (Yes, he is a total brat in the beginning, but you gotta love his ingenious booby-traps and the humor).

2. 2000 How the Grinch Stole Christmas (I swear this is one of Jim Carrey’s finest roles! Plus, you have to enjoy the humor snuck in there just for the adults)

1. 1994 The Santa Clause with Tim Allen 

By far, this is the best Christmas movie. It deals with real life issues like divorce, it has holiday joy, it has snarky sarcasm, and it leaves me with a happy feeling inside.

Blogmas 2017

Blogmas Contest Update – Have You Submitted Your Entry Yet?

Hey Everyone! Just a reminder that the last date to participate in the Blogmas Contest is on December 25th!

I’m looking forward to going through everyone’s posts again and picking my favorite!

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Please be sure to read all the rules on the original post: Blogmas Contest. Only those who have followed every rule will be considered.

Participating in Blogmas has been so much fun and I’ve probably spent way too much time online, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

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Happy Blogmas Everyone!

 

Blogmas 2017

My Favorite Christmas Songs – What are yours?

Well here it is, I did warn you that I would be posting all about my favorite Christmas Songs! If you have the time, at least listen to #3 since I’m betting you haven’t heard it before! Here are my Top Twelve (I couldn’t narrow it down to 10 haha) Christmas Songs:

12. Carol of the Bells (It’s a classic!)

11. Let it Snow performed by Jessica Simpson (don’t hate on me just yet, I really love the upbeat feel to her version)

 

10. Do You Hear What I Hear? performed by Carrie Underwood

9. You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch (come on, it’s fun! The Duck Dynasty version is also hilarious with Uncle Si)

 

8. Little Drummer Boy by Pentatonix 

 

7. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy performed by Lindsey Stirling (I enjoy many instrumental Christmas songs, but I really love this song and Lindsey’s performance!)

 

6. Where are you Christmas? performed by Faith Hill

 

5. Baby, It’s Cold Outside (I prefer the Idina Menzel or Elf versions, but my boyfriend loves the Glee version)

 

4. The Christmas Shoes by NewSong (This song breaks me every time, but I love it!)

 

 

3. His Favorite Christmas Story by Capital Lights (if you have never heard this song, I beg of you, please listen until the very end. I promise chills and tears <3)

2. O Holy Night performed by Josh Groban

 

1. Mary, Did you know? by Pentatonix 

I have always loved this song, but their rendition is truly beautiful.

 

Let’s take a vote! Out of these Top Twelve Christmas songs, which one is your favorite?

Blogmas 2017

Blogmas: Historical Mission Inn

This year I decided to travel a bit to see the famous Festival of the Lights at the Mission Inn.

First, let me begin by saying that if you are claustrophobic like me, go EARLY, like 4pm early. That way you can possibly get parking somewhat close and see the vendors before the sun sets. At 5pm they turn on the lights! If you want to go inside the Mission Inn, I suggest you get there even earlier to get in line. Regardless of the crowds, it is truly beautiful.

Here are a few of the shots I got:

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This inside is also beautiful!

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They had an AWESOME GINGER BREAD REPLICA!

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Because I love researching things (#nerdalert), here’s some history on the Mission Inn:

  • It all began with the Miller family in 1874 when C.C. Miller opened a small boarding house in the middle of a small town named “The Glenwood Cottage”
  • Frank Miller, the son, bought the property in 1880 (changing the name to “The Glenwood Mission Inn”) and began enlarging the property opening the mission-styled first new wing in 1903
  • When sold to the Swig family in 1935, the hotel almost went out of business even after Swig sold over 1,000 historical paintings and artifacts.
  • In 1977, the hotel became a National Historical Landmark, successfully saving the hotel
  • Having purchased the hotel in 1992, Duane Roberts currently owns and operates the Mission Inn

 

Will you be going anywhere fun or new or exciting this December?

Blogmas 2017

Blogmas: Christmas Cookies!

Another thing that I love about Christmas (and any holiday) is the cookies! This year I’m doing my best to learn how to do make sugar cookies with royal icing.

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Here’s my nifty little station to work at 😀

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And here’s the end result! I’m still learning, but I think they came out alright!

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Sticky fingers and sticky hands

So much, for the best laid plans

To be honest though, I don’t truly mind

As long as our sticky fingers are intertwined