Erin Stanczyk | eat.move.rest.

hang-ups

How To Be Happy For The Holidays Series: Day 6

Design + Decor, Lifestyle, Mind + Soul, Rest, RelationshipsErin StanczykComment
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | HOW TO STAY HAPPY FOR THE HOLIDAYS SERIES: DAY 6

Happy For The Holidays

Yesterday, a friend dropped by a holiday package that I just had to share with you all, because it fits in so perfectly with today's Holiday Hang-up No.6: Busyness // Overworking + Overcommiting // Burnout! Melissa and her team at Blooms & Bouquets, an event production company (check them out--they rock!), put together this thoughtful and creative holiday spa gift package! There's no better way to unwind and decompress during the crazy-busy holiday season than an at-home spa experience with scents of lavender and rose wafting in the air!

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | HOW TO STAY HAPPY FOR THE HOLIDAYS SERIES: DAY 6

In other news, it was Beau's 2nd birthday on the 15th, and I just had to share an adorable snapshot I snagged! Again, it was a fitting event to tie in with this blog post, because Dusty and I made a point to schedule time in the evening to celebrate our baby's birthday with a big ole present (a look-alike stuffed Bernese Mountain Dog--he's a serious softy when it comes to toys) and shower him with lots of kale dog treats--because what other kind would I get my pet?! I put his gift in a box and filled it with dog treats and it sat on the kitchen island all day while he waited patiently for it--and you better believe he knew it was for him! Dusty and I love to make a big deal out of things that might seem silly to some, but it's one way to take time out of our busy, sometimes stressful days, to anticipate a fun night at home and enjoy each other's company!

*If you haven't already, check out Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4, and Day 5 of the series!

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | HOW TO STAY HAPPY FOR THE HOLIDAYS SERIES: DAY 6
Holiday Hang-up 6

You’re working longer hours to be able to pay for everyone’s Christmas presents, and short days make you overly anxious to just get home and get into something cozy. But before you get home, you have to swing by the grocery store to pick up extra food and a bottle of wine to bring to your friend’s Christmas party. Easier said than done! During the holiday season, it doesn’t matter what time of day it is or where you’re going, you can’t avoid lines. Traffic is backed up at every intersection, the grocery store is full of people with lists of ingredients they can’t forget to pick up to make that special once-a-year dish, and it’s faster to park and run into Starbucks than to go through the drive-thru! Your Facebook is full of invites to holiday shindigs that you don’t want to miss out on, and this year you have to go to your family’s and your in-laws for Christmas. When does life slow down?!

Simple Solution 6
Unwind with an at-home spa day!

Unwind with an at-home spa day!

Routine

If you feel like you’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off, my advice is to start penciling in some down time. It can be difficult to start a new routine without some discipline, so try setting yourself a reminder on your phone. I started a morning routine that I’ve been doing pretty solidly this entire past year, and nothing has changed me more! I’m saving my morning routine for another blog post, and I encourage you to come up with your own morning or evening routine! Do things that are truly important to you—draw, read, write, listen to a podcast, meditate, workout, pray, take a bubble bath, do yoga, get a pedicure with a friend. Self-care is not a bad thing—rather than thinking of it as being selfish, think of it as being self-full! Stress is going to creep in, but it’s important to decompress before it builds and becomes unmanageable, leading to anxiety and depression.

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | HOW TO STAY HAPPY FOR THE HOLIDAYS SERIES: DAY 6

Quiet Time

All of the chaos, noise, and running around can lead to chronic, low-grade stress that can end up wreaking havoc on your health if you don't take the time to slow down and unwind. I try to incorporate some quiet time into my day where I can just think, meditate, and pray. A phone app that I love to use is HeadSpace. If you're new to meditation, or just the thought of sitting still for more than 5 minutes, this app will do wonders for you! These guided meditation tracks are the perfect way to really get centered, weed through what's really going on inside, accomplish daily tasks more efficiently, and tackle bigger goals with less bumps in the road.

SANITY > MONEY

If you’re working extra-long hours by choice, but it’s just stressing you out, you’re eventually going to build up resentment and stress, and begin to dread Christmas time every year. If you set your budget or agreed with your family to make gifts (sage advice from Holiday Hang-up No.5), then maybe the extra hours won’t be as necessary! Check-in with yourself and evaluate whether it’s worth losing out on relaxing time at home—your sanity is much more important than money. 

When life gets crazy-busy, this is my retreat!

When life gets crazy-busy, this is my retreat!

BE SELECTIVE

If you’re like me, you feel like you’re missing out if you don’t go to every event you’re invited to. Recently, though, I’ve been getting really good at setting boundaries. Decide what’s important to you, and how you’re going to feel the next morning. Getting invited to go out with old friends for a night of bar-hopping may sound like fun, but you may get yourself into a situation where you’re out too late and it throws off the plans you had made for the next day. Try saying ‘no’ to that one, and make plans to go for brunch the next day.

On the other hand, that Christmas show at the event center downtown might actually be fun to go to after a dinner date with your special someone. This sounds like something to say ‘yes’ to, and the next morning you’ll be reminiscing about how amazing the show was and be happy you have energy and feel great!

ReTreat

Do Less! A lot of times, I love nothing more than just cozying up and watching a Christmas movie at home. Aah, the fine art of doing nothing! Trust me, you might feel like you’re missing out if you don’t go to every event, but you’re not! The next morning, you’ll already have moved on, feeling less stressed, more energized, and ready to take on the day. Remember, there is a difference between being busy and being productive—just because you’re always busy doesn’t mean necessarily mean you’re being productive!


Holiday Hang-ups Around Our Home

*Each day I'll also be sharing some "holiday hang-ups" around our home—because if there's one thing we love to do, it's decorate for Christmas.

Below is an up-close photo of Beau's birthday present that I just had to share, because wrapping gifts is one of my favorite pleasures! It's a fun way to be merry and stress-free! I used kraft paper, double-sided tape (a must), some white paper ribbon, a cute "Love" tag that I saved from last year (the hoarding comes in handy!), and tied some bells on, just to get the pup extra psyched! 

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | HOW TO STAY HAPPY FOR THE HOLIDAYS SERIES: DAY 6

Below is a birch log that I had Dusty hang above our couch in the basement shortly after we moved in two years ago, and it's stayed up ever since! I thought it would be a fun way to change up the decor with the seasons, and for Christmas I like to hang these cute paper snowflakes, pinecones, and glittery ornaments, and wrap the log in tiny, twinkling wire lights--perfect lighting for watching movies!

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | HOW TO STAY HAPPY FOR THE HOLIDAYS SERIES: DAY 6
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | HOW TO STAY HAPPY FOR THE HOLIDAYS SERIES: DAY 6

See that unpainted ceramic Santa below? That's what I'm talking about when I say Do Less! We've had a tote full of half-painted and some completely unpainted Christmas ceramics, and it stressed me out every year that we would never get around to painting them. Then I realized how awesome they actually look just as they are! Problem solved!

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | HOW TO STAY HAPPY FOR THE HOLIDAYS SERIES: DAY 6

POWER THROUGH

As much as we may want to be at home doing less, there are going to be events you're obligated to go to. Sometimes you just have to power through--but be sure and do it with a smile on your face! Make a deal with yourself to take a personal health day after the new year, say, in February, when winter really starts to drag. Better yet, plan a relaxing vacation where you can veg out and practice the art of doing nothing!

Stay tuned for the seventh and final installation of my 7 Holiday Hang-ups + 7 Simple Solutions. In No. 7, I'll discuss: Perfectionism // High Expectations // Let Downs.

Designed For Your Lifestyle,

Erin

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest.

How To Be Happy For The Holidays Series: Day 5

DIY, Design + Decor, Fashion + Style, Lifestyle, RelationshipsErin StanczykComment
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | HOW TO STAY HAPPY FOR THE HOLIDAYS SERIES: DAY 5

Happy For The Holidays

Well, here we are, 10 days until Christmas (and 4 days 'til my birthday)! A very fitting occurrence happened yesterday, when I woke up to a  delightful little surprise on the front doorstep! There sat a big package with a J.Crew label on it and "Fragile" stickers on all six sides. I felt like this was a scene from 'A Christmas Story,' and I was about to unveil a long, scantily clad leg lamp. When I sliced the box open and removed all of the fluff, my eyes were blinded by a beautiful neon pink acrylic shoebox—and then I knew—my first pair of #shinyponies had arrived! When I removed the lid, unraveled the several loops of twine, and tore through the tissue paper, I was like a kid on Christmas!

The very metallic loafers that I always thought I could "see myself" in were sitting right there in my hands! To fill you in, Jen Lyons, the president and creative director at J.Crew personally selected 5 winners for her #shinyponies photo contest, and one of them was somehow me! Needless to say, her impeccable taste really hit a home run with the most perfect pair of shoes! Talk about an early birthday/Christmas surprise! I am beyond grateful, and if there's two takeaways I can share, they would be: 1) Take Risks: If you want to win the lottery, you've got to buy a ticket! and 2) Be Bold: Don't be afraid to be spontaneous, creative, clever, witty, and unapologetically you—share yourself with the world! 

*If you haven't already, check out Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4 of the series!

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | HOW TO STAY HAPPY FOR THE HOLIDAYS SERIES: DAY 5
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | HOW TO STAY HAPPY FOR THE HOLIDAYS SERIES: DAY 5

The other reason I decided to fill you in on the free-shoes-for-a-year deal is because it oddly enough fits perfectly with Day 5 of my 7 Holiday Hang-ups + 7 Simple Solutions. In No. 5, I'm going to discuss: Spending Money // Credit Card Probs // Shopping ‘Til You Drop. Nothing solves a shopping and spending problem faster than free shoes for a year! These things don't happen that often, though, so I've got a laundry list of other quick fixes to help save your bank account this holiday season!

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | HOW TO STAY HAPPY FOR THE HOLIDAYS SERIES: DAY 5
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | HOW TO STAY HAPPY FOR THE HOLIDAYS SERIES: DAY 5
Holiday Hang-up 5

Every year you toy with the notion of what it would be like to do away with giving and getting gifts, and then Black Friday hits. The commercials on tv, the pretty storefront displays, the tiny ads scrolling on the side of your computer screen, not to mention everything is 50% off! You keep adding things to your wish list, and every time you run to the store you throw that extra something special in your cart, because you just know so-and-so will adore you for it! Before you know it, your bank account is empty and your credit cards are all maxed out.

It’s ironic how we all go around the table and talk about what it is we’re thankful for on Thanksgiving, and then hours later we’re pushing, shoving, and fighting over things that we think we still need. Many people spend the entire next year paying off credit card bills form Christmas alone. If the very thought of spending money you don’t have stresses you out, you’re going to be miserable during what should be the most joyful time of the year!

Simple Solution 5

Budget + Save

Exchanging gifts on Christmas is such a joy, from wrapping and making them look pretty, to placing them under the tree to 'ooh' and 'ahh' at while counting down the days--and, of course, that priceless look on the face of a loved one when they open that last gift that they’d been wanting all year long! I don’t know if it would feel like Christmas without opening presents! However, it might be helpful to set a budget for your spending.

This is another instance where you’ll need to have sit-down talk with your spouse, parents, siblings, or whoever else might be going crazy showering you with gifts. Dusty and I usually try to come up with some sort of budget for each other, that way we don’t expect too much, and also don’t have to stress about overspending on each other. Along with setting a budget, I also like to allocate a chunk of my savings to Christmas gifts. With every paycheck throughout the year, I add to savings, knowing in the back of my mind that a portion of it will go towards presents. This is an awesome way to keep from overspending!

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | HOW TO STAY HAPPY FOR THE HOLIDAYS SERIES: DAY 5

Make Gifts + Create Experiences

I know a family that decided not to buy into the consumer shopping craze, but opted instead to create gifts and experiences for each other this year. I really loved that idea, but wasn’t quite on board with no presents at all. Dusty and I talked about spending less and making something for each other instead. The two of us both enjoy working with our hands and like to get crafty—not only is it more cost-effective to DIY, it's also so much more rewarding. On top of that, it's a great way to create something with sentimental value and lasting memories. Get creative—write a poem, perform a song, paint a picture, frame a photo you took, get on Pinterest for inspiration!

Studies show that people remember experiences, not material goods!

Reason for the Season

As I get older, the hubs and I continue to think more about the true meaning behind the holiday season, and what we’re really celebrating. Being Christians, it’s important to us to worship, pray, and prepare for our Savior’s birth! Nurturing a relationship with God, especially during the holiday season, really helps me to reflect on what it is that I really need, and what I really don't need. It's a great reminder that we are on this earth to do more than accumulate goods, but to make a positive impact on those around us! We can't take our worldly treasures with us when we leave!

Donate + Give

Dusty and I make an effort to do more than just spend our money on frivolous things, but to also allocate a certain amount to charity and the Church. Being mindful of those that are less fortunate can really help to put things into perspective, and make it easier to spend less money overall. Especially during the holidays, food banks can use extra non-perishables, and shelters need to be able to provide warm clothing to those that don't have any. Be giving of your time and resources and the greed will begin to fade away!


Holiday Hang-ups Around Our Home

*Each day I'll also be sharing some "holiday hang-ups" around our home—because if there's one thing we love to do, it's decorate for Christmas.

I decided my "joy" hang-up needed to be accompanied by some "peace" and "love" the other day, and it just so happened that I was wearing a shirt that said love! I decided to jump into the shot to complete the trio, before I created my "love" hang-up!

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | HOW TO BE HAPPY FOR THE HOLIDAYS SERIES: DAY 5

For the "love" hang-up, I took a canvas that I had previously painted in neutrals that I knew I would end up finding a way to use! Guys, I'm kind of a hoarder, because I always eventually find a use for every little thing that I save! I love to recycle, repurpose, and reuse old crafty items! So, I took the canvas and clipped a couple of sprigs of pine from my live garland hanging on the railing inside, and used a wooden heart (it was part of one of my old spelling bee trophies from grade school) and made this cute "Ode to Love" to complete my trio! May PEACE, JOY, and LOVE be with you and yours this holiday season!

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | HOW TO STAY HAPPY FOR THE HOLIDAYS SERIES: DAY 5
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | HOW TO BE HAPPY FOR THE HOLIDAYS SERIES: DAY 5
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest. | HOW TO BE HAPPY FOR THE HOLIDAYS SERIES: DAY 5

Spend Less, Create More!

To sum it all up, save yourself the headache, and reduce your stress and anxiety levels by spending less money this season. Instead, opt for creative ways to express your love to friends and family! Use your hands and make, use your heart and create! The joy of the season is truly about shared memories and experiencing each other's presence!

Stay tuned for the next installation of my 7 Holiday Hang-ups + 7 Simple Solutions. In No. 6, I'll discuss: Busyness // Overworking + Overcommitting // Burnout

Designed For Your Lifestyle,

Erin 

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | eat.move.rest.