Meaningful Holidays

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stopToday’s post is really a #repost from one of my favorite Podcasts, The Minimalists. I’ve talked about minimalism before, the theme being, “To Live a Meaningful Life of Less“. Or the intentional use of your resources (time, talent, attention), being deliberate with it. You decide what “less” means, for you. Your less looks different from my less. In this particular episode, Joshua & Ryan (the authors) talk about creating a meaningful holiday season. What does a meaningful holiday season look like for you??! I encourage you think about, then CREATE that!

12/15 update: Minimalism documentary is now available on Netflix!

As I listened, I answered the questions discussed in the podcast (in gray).

  • How do you get into the holiday spirit with all the everyday challenges of life, as well as the constant bombardment of holiday advertising? Getting into the holidays has never been a challenge for me. This is my FAVORITE time of year, mostly because I like the sparkle of the season. I’m that girl that wants to put her tree up super early. When it comes to advertising, I usually ignore it – that’s a skill. Not just during the holidays but in everyday life. Learn to ignore things that are a waste of your time or provide no value to you. Now, typically, if I see something I think I like/want, I always watch reviews on YouTube or read a blog post – it’s free advice! Or you can buy from Nordstrom and feel confident that you can return it if you change your mind.
  • How do you avoid succumbing to the overconsumption of alcohol amid all the pressures of the holiday season? Again, never really an issue; but, find something you can do to avoid putting yourself in this situation. Don’t hang around people who  you tend to drink around or worry around or think bad thoughts around. For the most part, you control your environment. Pick a new one. Looked at in another way, what do you overconsume? Lately my nmesis has been shopping for beauty products. I live it, breathe it, watch videos about it, read more reviews, etc. all day. Unless I find an alternative “thing to do.” I got out of this expensive rut by starting a new series on Netflix, Narcos. It’s sssooo very good and takes my mind off of my current short-term obsession with beauty products and skin care. So, the answer  for me was to find something else to do that’s just as fun!

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  • How do you discuss with your family that you want to replace holiday traditions that no longer add value to your family’s holiday season? This one is golden because this year my family is doing just that! I/We have been talking about taking a trip during the holidays instead of giving gifts for YEARS (so there was a very LONG warming up period). This year I decided to reduce one of the barriers for my family and also suggested we only buy gifts for kids (no adults). We discussed, they semi-bought in and then I began to build excitement around the alternative. Once your family buys in, then YOU can do the work to CREATE the experience that provides more value.

I encourage you to listen to the episode and answer these questions for yourself as well. Really think about what a #meaningfulholiday looks like for you and what adds value to your life. Own it and go after it.  #HappyHoildays

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The Ultimate Entertainment Package

Today I’m reviewing my ultimate entertainment package – a list of my must have services to keep you going while you wait, when you’re in between tasks or just when you need something to do! There are a lot of things I could have added, one-offs like TED Talks, but this list includes only things I do on a very regularly bases. In no particular order:

InstagramTHE best place to view (pretty) pictures. I mostly follow people who buy/display pretty things: handbags, shoes, jewelry, other accounts that post funny videos and travel-related things. I’m not on it to gain followers or friends. I also don’t care about likes.

TwitterMy goto for trending topics. At any given moment I can see the top 10 things the country/world is talking about. I also regularly use it when I’m watching shows/sporting events to see what other people are saying about the topic.

SpotifyMust have music streaming service. The music industry is becoming more and more fragmented everyday. From Beyonce (Tidal) to Drake (Apple Music), Chance the Rapper (Apple Music), Kanye (Tidal) and others – artists are striking deals that make their music available solely on one music service and not the others. But be patient grasshoppers, eventually their music will be available on your preferred music streaming service (usually ~2 weeks later) and you’ll be able to freely partake without spending more $. Until then, there’s always YouTube and VEVO. BTW: Mondays are for DiscoverWeekly and always Spotify while you shower.

Netflix – THE best movie streaming service. House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and MANY more. There’s not much more to say other than it’s awesome. (I also have access to Amazon Prime Video; but that’s only an added bonus of my Prime membership).

Overcast – This one is fairly new for me; but, I’m loving it! It’s the very best way to listen to podcasts on your iPhone. So far I’m into: The Read, Keepin it 1600 and Watching Thrones. I’m sure I’ll add others over time. Listen while you cook, clean, work or commute!

HBO – I love HBO. OMG, I can’t tell you how many great shows, (original) series and documentaries they have. Game of Thrones, Real Time with Bill Mahr, Silicon Valley, …. I could go on and on! In the past few days I’ve even been thinking about buying some stock. 🤑

Feedly – I’ve told you about this one before. It’s basically a news aggregator of things I like to read. Instead of having multiple sites (Lifehacker, The Every Girl, Mashable, etc.) flood your inbox with emails everyday, you can subscribe to their articles/posts and read them using the Feedly app – on/at your own time. Feedly creates of a pull situation – I have to physically go retrieve items when I want to read them – vs. a push situation where you are automatically notified/sent updates. Now, I do like the push approach for music i.e. when artists I follow release a new album, just not for news.

I know some of you may be thinking Snapchat, Periscope and Facebook are missing but honestly I’m just not into those that much. I do use them, just not on a regular basis. Also chat services like GroupMe and What’s App are not on my list. Yes, I have accounts with those an the apps are on my phone; but, I honestly don’t use them that much and I’m NOT a fan of group texts. I also sometimes will check Pinterest and We Heart It but those have also worn off over time… do what works for you!

So, here’s the thing: all of the services on my list are super convenient, easy to access and very affordable. Feedly, Overcast, Instagram and Twitter are free and you can get Spotify, Netflix and HBO for about $10-$15/month each$35/month gets you all in. I’d never have cable if my husband didn’t pay for it. Actually the extent of my relationship with Comcast would be internet service (that is, until Google Fiber comes to town). Happy Entertaining!!!

My Home Screen = Most Important Screen

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