Lifestyle + Travel

Currently Coveting

It is officially Fall at the Johnson's house because I finally finished my decorating!

I was a little behind this year for two reasons. Number one, after losing my Grandmother on October 1st, I honestly wasn't in the mood for it. I struggled to gain my fall spirit, but I tried REALLY hard because I know she would have LOVED my home decor. The second reason was our vacation to Maui and I honestly don't mind that delay one bit! I wish we were still there honestly. Hawaii is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. I'll do a travel guide soon.

Anyway, on to this fall decor post! Last year, I did a Fall Decor Ideas post and a lot of the things I did last year, I did this year as well. I just added a lot of extras for some added pizazz. :) One of my favorite additions was this door mat because it applies to my life so well! I'm always hiding packages from my hubby because I have a little bit of a shopping problem, haha.. no worries though, I usually get caught! Why am I never home when the packages are delivered?!

Now, come on inside my home! I'm super excited to show you guys my mantle, dining room table, and other 'knick knacks' around the house. I really enjoy decorating and I can't wait to just sit and admire all of my decor while one of my fall candles are lit. Enjoy! xo

It's my favorite time of year! I hope you guys enjoyed my decor! :)

Now that I've finished this decor, it only has me super ready to decorate for Christmas too, haha. Thanks so much for reading! xo

It's no secret that I am OBSESSED with the holiday season. Not many things make me happier than Christmas time because it means I get to see and spend time with my family. Although this is true, I understand why SO many people don't exactly share my same excitement for that jolly time of year. It's funny, I'm typing this blog post sitting in a beautiful villa in Hawaii and I told my sister that I was going to write this post and she literally rolled her eyes at me! She's so not ready to be thinking about the holiday season and I'm sure there are many of you who feel exactly like her and who actually want to stop reading right now, but DON'T FRIENDS! KEEP READING! :)

Let me be honest with y'all; I have already listened to Christmas music in the car (a couple weeks ago), I've begun my Christmas shopping, and I've even watched a Christmas movie or two. I can't help myself! However, even if you're the type of person who usually doesn't even THINK about the holidays until they are a week or two away, there's still so much preparations that can take place to get you extra prepared for this holiday season and I'm here to help you out.

The holiday season tends to bring a lot of STRESS to people. Why is it stressful? Simple. We all want to make it special whether we decide to do so a couple weeks before or months before, we want to make it memorable for the ones we love. So, if we are stuck trying to piece together last minute plans, running short on cash to buy the things we want to buy, or just completely overwhelmed, the holidays will not be a happy time. Let's do some things to remedy that, shall we?

SO.. here we go!

Things to Do NOW to Prepare for the Holiday Season

1. Develop a Budget and STICK TO IT!
This is very important to a STRESS-FREE holiday season! Think about everything you are planning on doing during the holidays what it may cost you (gifts, food, activities, etc.), and then stick to that plan. Make sure your budget is something you can comfortably afford and not be depressed looking at your bank account January 1st. 
2. Plan Your Family Photos/Christmas Cards
If you know you want to take holiday family photos, start that planning now. Think about the outfits you guys are going to wear, where you want to take them, who you want to take them, and all that jazz. This also goes right into your Christmas cards because most people use the family photos for the cards. Start thinking about what you want these to look like so you're not scrambling around later and stressing yourself, and the rest of the family out about them. :)

3. Plan the Gifts You Want to Buy
There's an app for that guys! I use an app called Santa's Bag and I SWEAR by it. It allows you to put your budget in, all the recipients for gifts, the gifts you buy, etc. You can sort them and it will help you to stay on track! I love it so much and it helps me stay organized and know what I still need to buy, order, or wrap!

4. Shop Ahead of the Crowds
This is pretty self-explanatory guys. Not much is more stressful than being in a huge crowd looking for that last doll your daughter wanted. Last minute shopping is absolutely no bueno if you're trying to stay stress free. Doing this early (I'm usually finished by Dec. 1st with my shopping) allows me to enjoy the holiday season without the stress of shopping for gifts.
5. Buy Your Turkey/Ham
This applies for Thanksgiving and Christmas! I'm probably going to order our turkey and ham for thanksgiving next week. It just ensures you have the food you want and aren't running around from store to store trying to find the main dish of your holiday meal.

6. Make Your Holiday Travel Reservations
The holiday season is literally the BUSIEST time to travel! In order to not get caught up in the craziness, plan your travel ahead of time and have all your plans associated with it solidified. Get those tickets to the show you really want to see or the game you want to go to early so your trip doesn't come up and you miss out.
7. Start On Your Holiday Cards
This kind of goes along with #2, but I'm taking it a step further by saying go ahead and address them and get them ready to be mailed. Not only do we send Christmas cards to family, but there's a lot of people in my husband's business he likes to send Christmas cards to, so starting this process early and doing a few cards at a time saves me time, stress, and hand cramps!
8. Plan Fun Events for Family/Friends
Even if you're not traveling anywhere for the holidays, I am sure there are plenty activities to do in your hometown during the holiday season, so plan those things now. Want to throw a Christmas party? Start planning now! You'll be so glad you did, I promise.
9. Buy Decorations NOW
Y'all who rolled your eyes at this post all together are probably rolling your eyes at this one haha, but seriously, get that decor now. Retailers put their Christmas decorations out SO EARLY that by the time December rolls around, most decorations have been picked over and you won't be able to find the things you're looking for. I went to the At Home store last week and there was literally one little section of fall/Thanksgiving decor left, and the rest of the aisles were covered in Christmas goodness! You have to get these things early guys.
10. Make Time for Self-Care 
This is probably the most important of them all. You HAVE to practice self-care during the holiday season and before or you will lose your mind. Take time to do things for YOU and always remember to breathe through any stressful situation. You can't be happy and jolly for your family if you aren't taking care of you first. You can see some ways to practice self-care here.

So there we have it guys! If you follow even just a few of these tips, I guarantee you a more enjoyable holiday season and if I'm lying, you can come here and spam me (not really, but really haha). I truly think these things will change your holiday experience.

Also, I had to share these photos with you guys because I am OBSESSED with this jumpsuit and I wish it was in more colors! This one has the most perfect colors to transition into fall and I could layer with a denim jacket and booties! Now, I'm going to go back to my R&R here on the beach in Maui, Hawaii. It is so beautiful here you guys and I definitely needed this escape from reality! Don't worry, I will share all the details from this trip very soon, but in the mean time you can check out some of my other travel guides here.

What are some things you love to do to prepare for the holidays? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below!

Thanks so much for reading lovelies! xo

Hi Friends!

I'm excited to be in October because it is finally FALL and y'all know that is my all-time favorite season. The weather here in Nashville hasn't really gotten the memo yet, but I looked ahead at the weather app and we should be getting some cooler days toward the end of this week. I just hope it stays that way. There's so many things to love about fall; the breezy weather, the layered clothing, pumpkin everything, the BEST TV shows, decor, etc. I mean, I love it all. Just thinking about it brings a smile to my face.

Now more than ever before, I have to constantly remind myself of all of my favorite things that have to do with fall because I am struggling right now. By struggling, I mean my happiness meter is low and y'all know that is NOT like me.. especially this time of year. I'm trying to have good spirits and be happy in this new season, but if you follow me on Instagram then you may have seen that I lost my Grandmother last week and I am honestly having a really hard time with it. I knew I would be sad whenever the time came, but I didn't know I would feel like a piece of my heart was ripped out of my chest and like... this emptiness inside that I cannot explain.

Y'all know me. If you have been following this blog for awhile, then you will know that I like to keep it real. I like to be transparent and share how I'm feeling and honestly right now it is hard to feel happy for long periods of time. When I'm alone with my thoughts, that's when the hurt creeps in the most. My grandmother was is my heart. I spent literally the majority of my life seeing her every single day because my mother, my grandmother and I lived together up until I went to college. I have memories for DAYS and that is something that helps to keep me going and when I think of the memories, I can't help but to smile.

I don't know if I ever talked about it on here before, but my Grandmother had Dementia which is a horrible disease I wish they could find a cure for. Although she suffered with it for years, she honestly lived a full and healthy life! My grandmother was 88 years old and up until about four months ago when she had stroke, she was still pretty healthy other than the memory loss so we were blessed to have her for as long as we did! Her birthday was in February and I have a video of her dancing and enjoying it. I also got an amazing gift a week before she died. She remembered who I was, embraced me, and told me she loved me. Everyone doesn't get so lucky, so I count it as a blessing and like I said, all of my memories help me get through my moments of sadness.

I honestly wasn't trying to make this entire post sad and about my Grandmother. I really wanted to talk about 'fall'ing into a new season and all the things I am looking forward to.. but I guess when I started typing, my mind and emotions went in a different direction! It happens, right?! Oh well. You know, when it comes down to 'fall'ing into a new season, my life without her is a new season all in itself that I am learning to deal with. It's a new season for my whole family as we lost the matriarch. She would want me to be happy though. She wouldn't want me to be sad, so I am trying my best to be normal! She would love this blog so much because I got my love of style and fashion from her. Even on days when she wouldn't quite know who I was, she would say "I like those shoes!" or "That outfit is cute!" when I would be at her house. She never lost that fashionable touch. :)

Anyone who has experienced loss knows how hard that can be. I'm just going to take things one day at a time and I know one of these days I will be able to cope a little bit better.
Now, let's talk a little bit about some of my favorite parts of fall! Or rather, some of the things on my fall bucket list.

I am looking forward to:
  • Visiting a Pumpkin Patch
  • Drinking a Pumpkin Spice Latte (or five lol)
  • Wearing Booties!
  • Watching the Leaves Change Colors
  • Decorating my House for Fall (this is coming this week!)
  • Making Pumpkin Flavored Desserts
  • Preparing for the Holidays
What are some things you are looking forward to doing this Fall? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below! Also, if you're reading this and trying to cope with the loss of a loved one, just know that you will get through it. I am speaking to you and myself. These times of sadness and heartache won't last forever and soon we will be able to be okay. As of my good friends told me, "be patient with yourself" and allow yourself time to grieve. xo

Thank you so much for reading!
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