7 Ways to Have a Not So Busy December

december

Is a Not So Busy December really a possibility? I believe your December, a month that many people refer to as “crazy” and “busy” and (you guessed it) “crazy busy”, can be a less busy, more enjoyable holiday month. Let me encourage you with these 7 ideas.

  1. Eliminate Gift-Giving                                                                                    Did I really just say that?? Yes, you can eliminate gift-giving or at least limit some of the gift-giving. Instead, consider options such as memory-making activities. For example, create a certificate for your niece that invites her to special evening out to see a movie and enjoy dessert at a local cafe. Spend a little less time running from store to store, and enjoy a little more time creating memories that can happen throughout the year.
  2. Shop online                                                                                                       If you are giving a physical gift that requires making a purchase, consider shopping online. You will save time and money when you are able to shop from the comfort of your own home. I created 2 gift guides that might be a good starting point if you are shopping for her or for the kids.
  3. Consider Your Calendar                                                                                Pull out your calendar and see what you already have scheduled this month. Consider very carefully your other options and leave many blank spaces for slow evenings at home or for spontaneous sledding with the neighborhood crew.
  4. Combine Activities                                                                                        It’s fun to try to come up with ways to combine various tasks and activities you both want to and have to do. Maybe you always spend a day baking cookies, and you also try to do a Christmas movie night with your book club each year. Combine the events. You could invite your book club friends over for a movie and cookie making evening.
  5. Make Do with What you Have                                                                          A lot of time can be spent running around looking for and buying various items you feel you need for December activities and events. Take a peek in your closet before racing through the mall on a hunt for the perfect office party dress. Before making a trip to your local craft store, step outside and gather some greens to put in a vase for a quick and free centerpiece.
  6. Get Help from a Friend                                                                                     You might ask a friend for childcare help so you can make the most of your time at the grocery store when shopping for Christmas Eve dinner. You might consider making cookies with a few friends (like your book club) so you don’t have to make them all on your own.
  7. Say “No”                                                                                                              This might be the hardest on the list. Saying “no” isn’t easy, but sometimes it’s just the thing you need to do. You might need to say no to the office gift swap. You might need to say no to the ugly sweater party at your uncle’s house. You might need to say no to the school fundraiser you always attend.

December 2016 does not have to be as busy as your December 2015. December 2016 can be more simple, restful and reflective. It can be full of family, fun and special memories. It can be a Not So Busy December.

What about you? How can you make this a Not So Busy December?

Until next time,

Charissa

A Cute Dress for the Not So Busy Mom

CYBER MONDAY- Dresses from $19.95 & FREE SHIPPING!

I wanted to share this great deal for those who might be looking to add a cute, reasonably priced dress to your wardrobe. Cents of Style has 20 different styles of dresses on sale today, sizes run from small-3XL. Dresses are priced from $19.95 and ship free with the code CYBERDRESS.

Take a look! Let me know what you think!

Until next time,

Charissa

(This post contains an affiliate link, so thenotsobusymom receives a very small commission if you make a purchase through this link.)

Gift Guide: 5 Ideas for Kids for Under $50

I’m guessing you have a child or two that you need to shop for this season. Make your life a little less busy and shop for these items from home. I rarely go to our mall and generally stay away from stores (other than the grocery store and thrift stores) as much as possible. I find myself easily overwhelmed when I am in a large store or mall, and I appreciate the time and careful thought I can put into a purchase when I do it online from the comfort of my own home. I hope these 5 ideas help you make progress on your gift-giving list!

The OrbFactory Plush Craft Pillow. Put a smile on a young crafter’s face with the gifting of this craft whale pillow. The OrbFactory sells a variety of these pillows so pick an animal or item that is a good match for the child in your life. We have gifted this pillow in the past (often for birthday gifts) and have received positive feedback.

LEGO kit. Legos continue to be a popular hit among children of many ages. We have gifted and received many LEGO kits, and this treehouse kit caught my eye. I know it would be a great choice for a special young one on your list.
Fun Pajamas. We are starting a tradition this year and giving our kids new pajamas on Christmas Eve. This is a simple gift they can open that evening, enjoy sleeping in, and then spend Christmas morning with the family wearing their cute pajamas. We have purchased many pajamas from Children’s Place over the last few years. I am particularly drawn to the fair isle print that seems to be quite popular this season.
pjs

Art Set. Is there an artist on your list? My daughter has this art set, and it is a winner in our home. There are 142 pieces, and they are all kept safe and corralled in a beautiful wooden box. This provides hours of entertainment in our home and might just be the perfect option for a special young one in your life.

Winter Vest. Like the pajamas, the winter vest falls into the practical gift column, but for some, this might be the perfect option. My children have winter vests that they love and wear in the fall, early winter and spring. Gymboree has a few cute options for the boy or girl in your life.
vest

I hope this list offers some inspiration and ideas for you as you consider the children on your gift list! If you still have some women to shop for, check out my other gift guide.

What about you? Have you found some great gift ideas for the kids in your life?

Until next time,

Charissa

(This post contains affiliate links, so thenotsobusymom receives a very small commission if you make a purchase through these links.)

 

 

Tasty Pumpkin Soup Recipe

tastypumpkinsoupPumpkin soup is one of my fall favorites, and I have been making this pumpkin soup recipe since before I was married. I would like to give credit to one of my roommates for this super tasty, very simple recipe….but I can’t remember who shared the recipe with me. Its origin is of less importance than its tasty goodness, so you might want to hang onto this one for not only the fall season but for the crazy, cold winter as well!

photo-6

Ingredients:

3 cups vegetable or chicken broth

1 cup whipping cream

15 oz. can 100 % pure pumpkin

3 Tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/8 tsp nutmeg

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

photo-1-2

Directions: Bring broth and cream to a boil. Whisk in remaining ingredients (except cheese). Reduce heat to medium/low and simmer until soup thickens (about 15-20 minutes). Season with salt and pepper. Place in bowls and garnish with cheese. Enjoy!

photo-2

What about you? What is one of your favorite fall soups?

Until next time,

Charissa

 

Satisfied with What I Have

satisfied

I think sometimes our busyness comes from a lack of satisfaction. We look around our living room (after looking at a bunch of living rooms in a fancy magazine or online), and we feel like it’s just not right. Our coffee table is scratched. We don’t have trendy pillow covers, and our rug has one stain too many. We feel the need for more, for something better. We spend a lot of time on the hunt for more. We busy ourselves with creating the perfect space.

Maybe it’s a different area of your life. Maybe you’re not satisfied with your activities’ calendar. Everyone else’s life looks like they are involved in so many great things…and they’re happy. You end up filling your weeks (and your child’s weeks) with non-stop activity in the hopes of filling that dissatisfied ache. You weren’t satisfied, you got busy, and wait, you’re still not content.

What if you started looking around your life, looking around your home, looking at the people in your life? What if you started looking around at all these things with a thankful heart, with a heart that is satisfied with what is before you?

Sometimes, at night, right before I go to bed (when the lighting is right and the main rooms of my house are tidy), I smile big. I’m so happy and thankful…satisfied. Later, just 12 hours later, my people are up and those same rooms, that same house looks, well, it doesn’t look as neat and tidy and lovely as it did the night before. I become a little grumpy, a little discontent…a little dissatisfied. If only my living room was a little larger, my rug a little newer, my kids a little less messy. How quickly our view point can change. How easily we can allow our thoughts and hearts to move us to that place of discontentment and dissatisfaction.

At this point in the year we take intentional time to pause and be thankful. Are you satisfied with what you have right now? Can you rest (and be just a little less busy) knowing that there are so many amazing gifts all around you? Can you be thankful for what you have and let go of the (often present) need for more?

May this Thanksgiving find you with a heart of gratitude, a heart that is satisfied with where you are and what you have.

thankful

What about you? Are you satisfied and thankful this season?

Until next time,

Charissa

Gift Guide: 5 Ideas for Her for Under $50

I am not someone who loves to rush any of the holidays, but I am someone who likes to plan head. Gift buying is one area in which you can plan ahead this Christmas season. I love reading gift idea guides, so I decided to create one of my own. Are you searching for a gift for your mom, your daughter, niece or best friend? Take a look at my 5 gift ideas for under $50!

1. Vera Bradley Triple-Zip Hipster Cross-Body Bag. I own a Vera bag right now, but I have been eyeing the triple-zip hipster. There are so many great designs, and not all are under $50, but this fun one is currently $37.99 + shipping.

2. A warm, comfortable blanket. I have a number of blankets in my home, but my favorite is at the end of my bed. I found so many different options when searching for ideas for all of you. Consider a fun color that might brighten a room….or a mood!

3. A cozy scarf. Scarves are pretty and practical, so they make a great gift idea. I purchased this scarf as a gift for a family member last year. The color options are endless and the price is right. I might just have to pick one up for me!4. An electric tea kettle. Tea is one of my favorite things in the world. I love boiling my tea water in my electric kettle; it’s fast and hot! I have had my electric kettle forever, but it is not as pretty as what I found for you. This $39.88 electric tea kettle has great reviews.

5. A good book. I love a good book. I have read many good books over the last year including this one. Do you have a reader on your list? Consider purchasing this book for her. I loved it, and I think she might, too.

I hope you are inspired to begin hunting for gifts, and I hope this post has given you an idea or two. Online shopping makes the process that much easier. So, plan ahead, consult my gift guide, and check off a person or 2 on your gift-giving list!

What about you? Have you started your Christmas shopping? Any good finds for under $50?

Until next time,

Charissa

(This post contains affiliate links, so thenotsobusymom receives a very small commission if you make a purchase through these links.)