Stress for the Holidays

Here it is almost the middle of December. The full swing of the holidays is right around the corner. I am so not ready but I never am really. This year though it just seems different.

I can feel the stress slowly building. Work is picking up which only makes me wish that I didn’t work there. I want to write more and do my own thing. I shouldn’t let this stuff get to me but instead use it as motivation to do something about it.

The last time I had a running routine it was because of stress. Running helped relieve the anxiety I was feeling. I’ve joked with my husband that life has been too good and I don’t have any anger issues to work out therefore I cannot seem to get back into running. But that all may be changing as this past week has really taken a toll on me.

This weekend will be about relaxing (and possibly running) and just getting into the holiday zone. I will not stress about gift giving or anything else this December. It’s so much easier said or in this case typed than done.

Day 3 – Christmas Notebook

Advent ornament for day 3

The first year I bought gifts for everyone in my family I was in college. It was easy to keep up with the whole crew as there were my two brothers, four nieces, and a nephew. Years later and that number has significantly grown. My nieces now have kids of their own and there is also my husband’s family. So family gift giving has become way more joyously complicated. Now we just buy for the kids under eighteen but still that number is a glorious twenty-two!
I started keeping a notebook to make my Christmas list a few years ago. I would use one sheet just as a list of people I wanted to buy for. Then another sheet for a budget. On either of these sheets or even a third one, I keep up with what gifts I have bought and for whom which comes in handy the next year. Since we travel to during the holidays, I also keep track of when the gift was wrapped and packed as the last thing I want to do is shop a few days before Christmas.
A composition notebook is what I use, and it works just fine. They cost less than two dollars, and one notebook will last you for several Christmases. It’s an easy way to organize your holiday gift giving.

Day Two – Wrap it up

advent ornament with 2

After Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, no doubt you have purchased a few presents. Wrapping those gifts is always the hardest part to me. With a few small preparations, wrapping will be a lot less stressful.

Gather all of of your wrapping supplies in one place. Designate an area that you wrap gifts. This can be a spare bedroom or some other space that is seldom used in your home, My space this year is our kitchen table as we eat (when we eat at the table) at the dining room table.

When you are ready to wrap, all of your supplies will be in one place which will make the task go faster. Gift wrapping for me always starts out fine but by the time I get to the fifth present I am done. This is why I always try to wrap early and often instead of waiting until the last possible minute. I have done that, too. I do not recommend it at all.

Consider using gift bags for your presents and skip a lot of the wrapping process. It is so disheartening to spend five – ten minutes wrapping a gift only to have a child rip into it in less than ten seconds. While it is fun to see them rip the paper, gift bags are a gift in itself as the parents will now be able to use that bag to carry presents and/or to give their own gift.

So gather your supplies, have a wrapping station, and take frequent breaks. This Christmas wrapping presents could actually be enjoyable.

Day One – Holiday Baking

holiday ornament
Advent Day One

Get your baking on! Plan early for those holiday gatherings. Make a list and check it twice for ingredients to make all your signature dishes.

Buy a small magnetic notepad to keep on your refrigerator. Then jot down an ingredient you need as you review recipes. This way the list is handy and less likely to be forgotten when you do head to the grocery store.

There is nothing worse than having to go the store more times that you really need to. So make your holiday baking plans now and be prepared.

How I’m winning NaNoWriMo

No, I’m not close to 50,000 words. My total sits at about 17,000 words with six days to go. Will I hit 50K? I’m going to try but even if I don’t, I’m still winning NaNoWriMo. How you may ask? Well it’s simple.

To me, NaNoWriMo is about writing and I’ve written over 17,000 words. The past few years I haven’t written that much even though I’ve had plenty of ideas. I just cannot commit it to paper or computer screen. It’s been very frustrating to say the least.

With NaNo, I have been able to finally sit down and wrrite. I’ve never written 17,000 words on anything. That is a great accomplishment for me and hopefully one I can build on in December. This exercise is teaching me to just write and stay with an idea. I’m excited about writing which I owe to NaNoWriMo and and thousands of other participants. Knowing there are so many out there typing away on their story is inspiring.

I am going to try to get to 50,000 words; whatever my final word count will be an amazing accomplishment.

Sunday Roundup

Sundays are my favorite day of the week. Usually Saturday is spent running errands, but Sunday is just a day of relaxation. This past week has been a somewhat productive week. Every few months I like to rearrange our furniture. Our current rental is laid out in a way that furniture really only has one way it to fit into a room with a few exceptions – our bedroom being one of those. We moved around some furniture which I think makes more of our bedroom space usable. Case in point – I have moved a tabled into the bay window space for sewing and writing. It is a beautiful view, and it is finally nice to have a set up that takes advantage of it.

This week I’ve also discovered the CW television show Reign. Sure it’s a little emo for me but it’s fun and entertaining. Since I’m giving this writing thing a real try, I find inspiration everywhere. Being most interested in fantasy and history writing, Reign is perfect since it is based on history all the while exercising their creative license. Other TV watching included the season premiere of The Walking Dead. It was an awesome premiere. Usually premieres will wrap up the finale and then start setting up the next season – so it’s usually slow until about mid-season – which is what I had expected from the show since last season was a lot of talking.

My daughter and I have started a shared The Sims 4 household. It’s something she’s been wanting to do for a few weeks. She is planning to kill off her character so she can have a ghost. She watches a lot (probably more than she should) You Tube and is interested in trying it out. She is growing up. I remember a day not too long ago when she would have never dreamed of killing a Sim character because she would be too attached to it.

Other than that it’s been the same ole same ole. We are getting ready for Halloween, and I’ve been crocheting some gnomes to give out to trick or treaters. I will probably post more about that over at CrochetMae.com.

I’m taking part in NANOWRIMO this year and have a good idea for a story. I’ve been busy getting to know my characters and probably will begin outlining this week. I tried doing camp NANO this summer but ran out of steam only a few thousands words in. So for this attempt I plan on being more prepared – part of the reason I wanted to set up a work space in our bedroom. Now if I can just find a good amount of time that will be uninterrupted I might can get some serious word count happening.

One less blog..

There can be only one..or three in this case..

The moniker war is over and Raesmom was triumphant over Geeky Housewife. After the long fought battle that raged for weeks (ok more like an hour) in my mind, Raesmom just makes more sense. I am no longer a housewife. *sniff* I’m still the wife part but I have a full-time job outside of the home and will be employed for – regrettably – for some time. I will always be Rae’s mom, so it makes sense to go with the name that I love so very, very much.

All of the Housewife posts are here and I do plan to continue offering household tips, but there will be a wide mix of blog fodder here as well.

So now I will only have three blogs –

Raesmom.com – eclectic
CrochetMae.com – crafty
Questionablemilk.com – funny (hopefully)

Atomic Clock

Atomic Clock
Atomic Clock

One of the most useful gifts we have received is an atomic clock. We have had it for years. It is said that atomic clocks are the most accurate time pieces, so when it the clock starts losing time, I checked the batteries thinking this was the issue. So I changed the batteries and then waited for the clock to update since it receives electrical transmissions from somewhere magical ( I think Denver?) to set the time. This never happened so I set it myself.

I thought it strange I would have to set the time on an atomic clock that receives the ‘time’ (really it’s not the time but pulses or something like that..I could Google it but it’s not important to this story). But for a while we lived in an area that the clock seldom received the signal and would have to set the time ourselves.

After a little Googling of the issue (this I DID Google) I reset my clock and it picked up the time. The key for it to keep receiving the time is the little antenna icon displayed in the time. When you set the time manually, that little antenna disappears and the on-so-accurate time. So now I just let it set the time and not set it myself.

Game of Thrones References

Like millions of other around the globe, I enjoy ‘Game of Thrones.’ I watched the first season and then started reading the books. I am reading in tandem the latest two – A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. I even started a blog on GoT but didn’t post that much on it. Every few months I have an idea for a GoT post, so I will just add them to this blog that is much like ‘Seinfeld’ in that there really isn’t a premise.

For a while I was keep tracking of GoT references in other TV shows. At first there would be one every once in a while. Now it seems to be the thing to do. Most of the shows I watch that are set in the current time in history have mentioned GoT.

I am currently binge watching ‘Game of Thrones’ and am on season five. Ben(Adam Scott) is a fan of GoT. Leslie(Amy Poehler) makes a unity quilt that features their favorite things. For Ben, it’s a calculator with a heart on the display(he’s an accountant) and the Game of Thrones logo. It seems I remember another GoT reference but can’t remember it. I may Google it later if I remember, but I don’t want to spoil anything I haven’t seen yet.

It makes me happy that a show/book series I love is so freaking popular.