Christmas Updates

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had an amazing Christmas and a relaxing weekend afterwards. Were you able to take some time off work to spend with your family? I had Christmas Eve and Christmas off, but was back to work on Saturday.

With Christmas being over, I can finally post all of my homemade cards on here (I was waiting so my family didn’t see their cards online before they got them in person). Along with those, I wanted to show you how well we did on the Christmas car scavenger hunt as well as where I am with my winter bucket list!

Christmas Cards

Here are a few of the cards I made this year! I got so many ideas form all over the internet, but gave each a little special touch of my own. My favorite one is the Among Us theme ;). Let me see your best cards in the comments!!

Snow mountain card
Among Us themed card
Scrapbook paper trees
Washi tape Christmas tree

Winter Bucket List

I have gotten to do quite a few things on the bucket list so far! Unfortunately, we haven’t had enough snow where I live to do a few of them, like sledding and walking in the snow. Have you guys had any snow yet, and if so, what activities have you done?

Car Scavenger Hunt

Here is everything I have been able to find (so far) in my car scavenger hunt! Have you done the hunt yet, and were you able to find more items than me?? I had to change the reindeer projector to a twinkling projector because I realized the reindeer would be too hard to find… of course I did end up seeing one! I am still on the lookout for the few things I have not found yet. If you can find an outdoor gingerbread house, please let me know!

Happy Holidays! Next time I post it will be 2021, and I could not be more excited! So stay tuned as I will be posting some new year bullet journal spreads next Monday!

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace

Merry Christmas Eve!

Have a wonderful day everyone! No matter what you’re doing or who you’re with, I wish you the best. And, for those of you who are having a hard holiday season, I am keeping you in my thoughts. My email is always open ❤

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace

How to Get Into the Holiday Spirit

Let’s face it.. 2020 hasn’t been the happiest or most festive year… to say the least. Not only has it been a rough year, but many people tend to get seasonal depression during the holidays for a variety of reasons. Even though it’s the “happiest time of the year,” sometimes it’s hard to get into the spirit. For me, I tend to get overwhelmed with making gifts for others. I love to handmake gifts, but I get stressed about having everything done in time for Christmas. I also tend to rush because I either don’t start on time or just try to do too many gifts. What I’ve learned is that I just need to slow down and make sure the gifts I do get done are perfect. It doesn’t matter the number of gifts, but how much heart I put into them. If I finish one amazing gift instead of five decent ones, that is okay. For you, there are probably other things that get you stressed around the holidays, and that is totally fine! Well, I am here to help. So, use these ideas about getting into the holiday spirit for yourself, or share them with friends who need a little pick me up!

1. Listen to Christmas songs

Some people listen to Christmas songs all year round, however, I prefer to listen to them after Thanksgiving. In my opinion, if you listen to Christmas music 365 days a year, it takes away the value. It is meant to be something you enjoy during the holidays, and supposed to be special. I love the happiness these songs bring to my life! What I love about music in general is that you can listen to it almost wherever you go whether it be in the car, in the shower, while wrapping gifts, etc! Christmas music is a sure way to reduce your stress and improve your mood. Plus, I think it might be the only playlist that is ALWAYS singing about something happy. Here is a short Christmas playlist I made to get you started! Feel free to listen to mine or make your own, and tag it in the comments.

EmmaGrace’s Holiday Playlist

2. Go shopping for others (and yourself!)

Maybe all you need to get ready for the holidays is to start shopping for Christmas gifts. I know that can be stressful for some people, but there are many ways to make it more fun. If you hate going to the store, you can online shop, and most places are doing curbside pick up right now as well. If it is the money aspect of shopping, there are many ways to give a great Christmas while staying within budget. Check out “December Spreads” for a budgeting bullet journal spread (I also posted the picture below) or read this blog! Another great idea is to handmake gifts, which people always appreciate. Also, don’t forget to get yourself a little something while you are out there shopping for others! You deserve to treat yourself. Plus, the earlier you start buying/making gifts means the earlier you can get in the Christmas spirit and the earlier it’s done. When all the presents are under the tree, I promise it will be a big weight off your shoulders!

3. Bake some holiday desserts

This is by far my favorite one because I love desserts… all kinds of desserts! Baking is amazing because you get to have fun of making it and eating it after. You can even share your creations with friends and family. To be honest, it feels amazing when people tell you how delicious your dessert was. My favorite thing to do is make and decorate sugar cookies, which I do for almost every holiday. A few other ideas are:

  • Chocolate covered Oreos
  • Brownie Christmas trees: bake brownies in a round cake pan and cut them into triangles. Then, decorate like a Christmas tree with green frosting. I did this in the picture below with this kit, but you can make it yourself with brownie mix, green frosting, and some sprinkles
  • Red Velvet Cake balls
  • Cranberry scone
  • Gingerbread cookies
  • Caramel apple pie
  • Peppermint bark (one of my favorites!)
  • Wreath cookies
  • Peanut butter snowball
  • Peanut butter blossoms
  • AND so much more!!
Brownie Christmas tree

4. Watch Christmas movies and snuggle by the fire

I have en entire list of Christmas movies I want to watch before the season is over! There is nothing better than a feel good movie when you want to get into the holiday spirit. Plus, if you can get cozy by the fire (and maybe drink some hot chocolate), it makes the experience even better. Christmas movies almost always have a happy ending that will boost your mood for the entire day. Whether you choose to watch one Christmas movie a week or one a day is up to you! I love to watch kid movies as well as the adult comedies, so here are some of my favorites for every age group! Or, just throw on the Hallmark Channel!

GPGPG-13R
Charlie Brown Christmas Elf Let it Snow Office Christmas Party
Polar ExpressThe GrinchFour Christmases The Night Before
Muppet Christmas Carol Home AloneNational Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Bad Santa
Santa Buddies A Christmas Story Daddy’s Home A Bad Mom’s Christmas
Miracle on 34th streetIt’s a Wonderful Life Scrooged Love Actually

5. Drink hot cocoa and cookies

Honestly, I love hot chocolate and cookies all throughout the year but they taste even better around the holidays. A warm cup of hot cocoa can make you feel all nice and cozy from the cold outside! A lot of places are selling hot chocolate bombs right now, which are balls of chocolate with hot chocolate mix inside them. When you pour hot milk over them, they slowly open up and release all the hot cocoa. They are somewhat expensive, so you can make them at home with this simple recipe! Pair it with a holiday cookie (maybe even a fire and a movie) and you will instantly feel more in the spirit.

6. Decorate the house (and a gingerbread house)

When you are surrounded by happiness in your home, how could you not feel happy yourself? So, put up that tree and the lights and all the decorations you have! I usually do this right after Thanksgiving so I have the house decorated for the entire month of December. Something that can really help is making your decorations meaningful (not just buying crap like I tend to do). For example, some people get a new ornament every time they go to a new place, some people collect nativity scenes, etc. That way when you decorate for the holiday season you can reflect on some amazing memories as well. Plus, nothing is more fun (and messy) than making a gingerbread house. You can make it yourself or have competitions with the rest of the family. Not only is it fun to make, but it also serves as a great decoration, such as a centerpiece on the table. Just make sure your cat doesn’t eat it… I have a naughty kitty at home! Here are pictures of mine below!!

7. Make gifts and cards for others

I love to make gifts for my loved ones because, as you know form this site, I love anything creative. Plus, it is a cheaper alternative that shows you really care for them. Anyone can go out and buy a present, but handmade gifts always come right from the heart. There are so many gift ideas online, or you can just draw/paint something! As you know, I am all about being creative. Making gifts will not only make others happy but can also help release your stress. So, take your mind off everything going on in the world, and just create. If you don’t have the time to make a lot of handmade gifts, start with a few cards. There are so many simple card ideas out there, and all you really need is paper, markers, and some scissors! After Christmas, I will post a few of the cards I made this year. Gifts.com has some great ideas for DIY Christmas cards!

8. Read classic Christmas books

Before he passed, my grandpa used to read me ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas every Christmas Eve. That was an amazing tradition that I looked forward to every year. Even now, I still love to read that book to remind me of him, and because it is a great, light hearted story. However, there are so many more classics you can read just for a little pick me up. Most of them are picture books that don’t take very long but can put you in a better mood for the rest of the day. Instead of waking up early to read the negativity on the news, read a Christmas story! Here are some books I found on Amazon:

9. Take a tour of the lights

One thing that can really get people down during winter is the fact that it gets dark so early. It barely hits 6 o’clock and looks like it’s midnight outside. However, Christmas lights always make the night feel so much better. To get rid of the seasonal blues, take a slow tour around the neighborhood, or do a Christmas scavenger hint, like the one from my post, “Another Christmas Blog.” The lights can really “light up your life”…. ha! I always try to find the house with the most lights and blow ups. There is one house in my city with over 140 decorations. Besides houses, there are many other places around the city that usually decorate for the holidays, such as downtown areas, libraries, etc.

10. DIY ornaments

Have you ever made ornaments in the past, or do you usually buy ones for the tree? Like I mentioned before, some people buy ornaments from every place they visit, and some people just collect them. However, making DIY ornaments can be a cheap alternative., and you can do it with the whole family. Plus, you can make them into whatever you would like. You could make a snowman themed tree, or a blue themed tree. There are so many types of ornaments to make, from the glass globes to a felt Olaf! There is seriously nothing better than a craft to get into the holiday spirit (of course I would say that:)). Country Living has a great blog of “72 DIY Christmas Ornaments” here! Also, I had an idea for a tree: you could make a few ornaments every year, and then have sections of the tree for each year. For example, the top of the tree might be from 2010, and by the time you get to the bottom, you are at 2020. You could use homemade and store-bought ornaments for this tree!

11. Do something for others

When you do something for others, it can put them into a Christmas spirit as well! You can start a chain of awesomeness. You know how amazing it feels when someone does a kind gesture for you, so why not give back the love? Whether it be holding a door or making a donation, every small action counts. For example, the holidays are a great time to get rid of items you dont use anymore and donate them to families in need. There are many places out there that will take gently used toys and give them to families who are struggling for Christmas. Chances are if you start helping others during the holidays, it may turn into a habit! Here are a few of the many ways to do something for others during the holidays (this is a broad list, but some ideas may be hard with COVID this year):

  • Start a toy/can drive in your neighborhood
  • Adopt a family
  • Volunteer at a retirement home
  • Serve meals at a soup kitchen
  • Volunteer at the animal shelter
  • Find virtual organizations that need help
  • Grocery shop: there are plenty of people who are uncomfortable leaving their houses right now. You could do their grocery shopping so they don’t have to! If you have a neighborhood group site, this would be a great place to find someone.
  • Put lights up for someone who is struggling to do it themselves
  • Smile!

If you have any ideas, please share them in the comments!! Happy Holidays!

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace

Another Christmas Blog

At the beginning of the month, I showed you all some gift giving bullet journal spreads. If you have not seen that post, you can read it here! Today, I am staying in the holiday spirit but focusing on something other than gifts: a holiday bucket list and a scavenger hunt that you can do in the safety of your own car! I know it’s hard to go out and do a lot right now, so these ideas are COVID safe to get you out of the house and having some fun. I also wanted to add that I will be linking my supplies in the END of the blog posts for my bullet journal spreads from now on. So if you want to see what I use, scroll down for the links:) With that being said, my first spread today is a bucket list for the winter months.

Bucket List

I chose to make this bucket list into a tic-tac-toe board! However, the goal is to cover the whole board, not just one line ;). Every activity is “COVID conscious” (most you can do right from your home, but a few are outside, such as taking a walk in the snow or having a car scavenger hunt). You can choose to make this spread yourself, or just use some of the ideas for a weekend full of fun. Either way, I hope you enjoy! If you have any other fun ideas for the winter months, leave them in the comments! I love being adventurous and trying new activities.

P.S. I posted my fall bucket list below to show you how I did. I wasn’t able to do everything on my list that I wanted, but I think I did pretty well! If you read the post with my fall spread, go to my Fall Spreads post.

Winter Bucket List
Fall Bucket List

Car Scavenger Hunt

I heard someone talking about doing a Christmas scavenger hunt at my work, so I knew I had to make one for you all to try! Do this scavenger hunt with just your family or have a race with a bunch of your friends (safely in your cars!). I love this because there are so many COVID safe ways to play, and it allows you to do something with others. Here are a few ways to do this scavenger hunt…

  1. Go with just your family: try to find as many of the items as you can. Either set a time limit (maybe an hour?) and see how many you can find in that time, or see how fast you can find all 25 items.
  2. Go with a few families (part 1): start off by making point values for each item. Harder items, such as an outdoor gingerbread house, have higher point values. Everyone goes in their own car and you give everyone a limit of one hour to find as many items as possiblele. At the end of the hour, everyone counts up their points to see who won. If you really want to be competitive, have everyone take pictures and show each other on a Zoom call so you have no liars!
  3. Go with a few families (part 2): everyone starts at the same time and the first family to find ALL 25 items wins!
  4. “Advent calendar” style: every day, you go out and find one item on the list (sorry, you will have to go a little after Christmas because it didn’t come out at the beginning of the month). There are 25 things to find, so you will have something to do for 25 days!

Just to clarify a few items on the list: the “projectors” category means finding the houses with projector lights. They have many different patterns, so you have to find all five. A saying would be a light that projects something like “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.” The outdoor gingerbread house will probably just be a blow up, same with the candy canes!

Thank you for reading! Let me know how you do with your bucket lists! And, if you do the scavenger hunt, let me know how it goes! I haven’t done it yet, but I plan to next week!

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace

Supplies

  • Dotted grid paper
  • Seasonal stickers-I bought it at Walmart, but I think they discontinued it
    • Happy Planner website (19.99, on sale now for 15.99)
    • <a href="http://<iframe style="width:120px;height:240px;" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" src="//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=lifewitheg-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B07YN3K1SY&asins=B07YN3K1SY&linkId=f74d0eac2fad3b25582f469fa23b4fd7&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=true&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff"> Amazon (16.41 + 5.08 shipping)
  • Calligraphy markers (fall bucket list page)
  • Brush markers (heading on car scavenger hunt)
  • Erasable pens (winter bucket list page)

The Background on my Blog

Good morning all! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are ready for an amazing week ahead! Now that school is done, I have a lot more free time and a lot more time to blog. However, I have to come up with some new ideas besides the College with EmmaGrace miniseries. I have decided to pause the miniseries until class starts back up again in January. I like to do the posts based on what is happening in school, which is difficult when you aren’t in school! So, if you have anything you want me to talk about, please let me know in the comments! With that being said, I wanted to take today to talk to you about why I started this blog, and what I hope to do with it in the future.

When did I start the blog?

I bought the website domain in January 2020. In December 2019, I started to use a free Google website builder but upgraded to this WordPress site about a month later. I wanted to really take off with my site, and I needed more customization than with Google Sites. However, if you ever want something free and easy to use, Google Sites is a great place to start.

(PS: we are coming up on the one year anniversary of this site!!)

Why did I decide to start the blog?

In the beginning, the blog was just a way for me to express my creativity. I did not mean for many people to read it (but I hoped that one day it would grow a lot) but instead just blogged for something to do. I love to bullet journal, so why not combine it with my other love of blogging? The entire blog was supposed to be dedicated to my bullet journals and the different spreads I made. In order to spice things up, I added the daily quotes (which I will talk about in the next question). I also hoped that people would be able to look at my posts and be inspired to start their own bullet journals.

Why do you do the daily quotes?

I started doing the daily quotes as a way to give inspiration to everyone reading my blog. With the quotes, you can log on to the blog daily and just have a little happiness to start your day. The quotes come from a quote book that my boyfriend gave me for Christmas last year. I’ll have to admit that I do forget to update sometimes, so I am very sorry about that! Anyway, I think the quotes are a great addition to the normal blog posts and and something I hope you all look forward to reading. If you cannot make it to the blog to read them daily, I also keep a log of all the quotes from each month. You can look up each month in the search bar, find each month under “Quotes from the Year” in the homepage header, or I have linked the December quotes here! Hopefully my boyfriend gives me another quote book for Christmas this year and I can continue to do daily quotes (hint hint;)).

How has the content evolved?

In the beginning, I was only writing about my bullet journal and posting daily quotes. I posted every couple of weeks and it was very inconsistent (besides the quotes, which have always been once a day). I just posted my bullet journal spreads whenever I got them done, or shared other posts if I had something really important to say. Over quarantine and the summer, I didn’t blog much but decided to get back into it when I went to school in the fall. In August, I decided to start my College with EmmaGrace miniseries as well as post twice a week. I wanted to really start diving into the blog and growing my influence. Each week, I usually posted once about the miniseries and once about something else, such as my life or my bullet journal spreads. In October, I decided to start posting only once a week so I could focus on bettering the content. Most of the time, I did posts for the miniseries. Now we get to the present. I still post once a week, and I usually post about anything and everything. I decided to pause on the miniseries until I go back to school. Also, at the beginning of each month, I post monthly spreads. Throughout the month I post a conglomeration of many different things. Also, I hope to start sharing my weekly spreads more in the future. Maybe do those twice a month? Let me know what you guys think by giving me an email or commenting below!

What would I suggest for others wanting to start a blog?

Do it! I started this blog with absolutely no experience and you do not need it. Whether you want to do a personal blog or share it with the world, it is a great way to express your thoughts while improving your writing skills. You can literally talk about anything you want! There are so many types of blogs out there and I know there is something for everyone. If you want to talk about really personal information like a journal, you could just make the blog for yourself. Or, if you want to write book reviews or talk about your experiences or anything in between, you can blog for the world! You will start off with a really small following, but make social media accounts to promote yourself. Let people know when you are going to post and get your voice heard. I would even send a message to your friends and family that you are planning on starting a blog and would love their support. Unless you dont want anyone you actually know to read your blog, which is that case for some. If that is you, no worries! You can start following and connecting with other blogs you like, and chances are they will connect with you as well. Also, promote yourself whenever and wherever you can!

What is your hope for the future of the blog?

Honestly, I really just want to reach and inspire more people. It would be amazing if thousands of people could read my blog and be inspired to start a bullet journal, a blog, or anything in between. Even though I do a lot more than bullet journaling now, that is still where I started, and would love if all my followers began their own! I love to bullet journal because it organizes my life as well as lets me be so creative. If bullet journaling is not your thing, I just hope to inspire you to be creative in any way possible. Furthermore, I plan to continue the miniseries once school starts back up and hopefully help some other students out there! One day, I would love to make a little money off of my blog but that is pretty low on my priority list. I blog because I love it and want to reach many people, so money doesn’t have a very big influence on me:)

Thank you all for reading this post. If you have any questions about my blog, always feel free to ask. Or, if you have any suggestions for the future of the blog, please let me know. I am always up for advice! Have a wonderful rest of your week!

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace