The love month is here! I rather call it appreciation month, though, because it’s a month to appreciate all the people you love.
February is a month to celebrate relationships and connection–whether you have a significant other or not. And you know what? I bet that there’s someone in your life that you can say “thank you” or “I appreciate you” to.
This month I’ve created a few illustrated and feminine wallpapers for you to dress up your phone. I hope they inspire to celebrate the people you love.
P.S. Stay on the lookout for some more fun freebies in coming weeks to help you celebrate Valentine’s day AND Galentine’s day. I think you should celebrate BOTH, just sayin’. 😉
To download the wallpapers, long press or right click on the images below.
Today is probably my favorite: National Plan Your Vacation Day. It is a day to commit to scheduling time off. Why is this even important? As I planned this post, I thought it might be too superficial.
But taking time off, to recharge is so important for our health. Essentially, taking vacation time should be a time to find rest, see the world from a different perspective, and learn about different cultures. Even if it’s in your own backyard.
I’m not one to over-spiritualize things, but vacation time can be a time to connect with God and hear from Him in a new way. And it can bring deeper connections with your family and friends.
I asked my husband to help me with this post, so shoutout to him! He is the planner and budgeter in our family. I learned a few things myself as I asked him how he plans for vacation.
Here are 10 Practical Steps For Vacation Planning:
2. Think of who will be going on vacation with you I’ve never really vacationed alone. I’ve traveled for work alone which can be really nice because I can choose what to do and where to go once I’m off of work. In those cases, I really don’t have to consult with anyone. But when you vacation with others, it’s good to keep in mind other people’s schedules. If it’s really a vacation you want to include others in, coordinate when to take time off together.
3. Write a bucket list Where do you want to go this year? List all the places. We usually pick 2 small vacations that we can do locally and 1 big vacation. Big to us has meant going on a cruise, taking an extended vacation with family at Disney World, and most recently, going to Hawaii. Not all years look the same. The year we moved to Orlando, we were closing on a house and could not afford to go on a big trip but we did weekend road trips and staycations.
4. Research, research, research The moment you get an idea of a destination or when you have created your bucket list, start researching hotels, flights (example: when is the best time to book flights for that destination), transportation needs, and things to do in that city. This gives you an idea of the cost and the type of activities you’ll be doing. And if it’s not within your budget or it’s not your ideal destination, at least you already have done some research and can use that for future vacation planning.
5. Envision yourself there This may seem kinda new age-y. No worries, this is not to help you “escape” from reality. This is meant to gauge what you desire to experience on vacation. Maybe this year you want to feel like you’re going on a retreat so a place where you can relax, sleep in, and take it slow works best. Maybe you want to be more active this year, so you envision yourself hiking or skiing or walking around a big city. I think you get what I mean.
6. Use Google maps Start looking for specific things to do in the destination of your vacation. Use Google maps to search for what’s around the area: museums, aquariums, theatres, restaurants, parks, historical sites. And if you see something you really want to do, find out the cost. You’ll get a really good idea of what you can do and what fits in the budget.
7. Think of what kind of transportation you’ll need It’s important to think of what kind of transportation you’ll need and how that will go into the budget. Things to keep in mind: will it be worth renting a car, is Ubering cost-friendly in that city, is public transportation accessible, can a family member lend you their car for a couple days?
8. Make an inventory of all the money and resources you will have for the upcoming year Write down how much money you can use for the year on vacation. And where that money is coming from. Is it from your paycheck, from your side hustle, from investments, birthday money, additional paychecks or bonuses, weekend jobs? And make note of the dollar amount that it all adds up to.
9. Go back to your research Look back at your research and bucket list. With all the information you gathered and the inventory of money you created, think of how far your money will take you. Which vacation can you realistically go on? Think about how you’ll allocate each vacation day and what you can do on those days. Will you take a few staycations and 1 big trip or 2 big trips? Last year, we knew we could only afford Hawaii if we reserved most of our resources and time for that trip. We only took road trips for family get-togethers and hosted a family reunion in our home.
10. Make it happen One of the best parts about vacationing is feeling a sense of accomplishment so really go for it! Truly commit to making it happen. Be disciplined with your savings and reduce everyday costs where you see fit. Something that can help you save monthly is to look at the services you use and ask about deals or discounts. Something that has helped us commit to taking our trips is to look for opportunities to reserve lodging with hotels or rentals that don’t require full payment or a deposit. Cruises, for example, can be paid on a monthly basis, which can help you save and budget easily. Finally, download alllll the apps and look for deals weekly. You’ll be sure to find something that meets your needs and you’ll probably notice trends for future trips.
I hope these steps helped you realize that you CAN and SHOULD take time off. Write that bucket list, stay committed by saving, and remember to coordinate with the people you love vacationing with.
So tell me… where are you planning to visit in 2019?
One of my favorite things in the world is receiving a note or letter from friends and family. For my birthday, I’d much rather receive a thoughtful card than a gift. I love words and I love paper goods.
The most wonderful thing about receiving a letter is that you can save it. It becomes a keepsake. And you can go back in time whenever you read it. It’s sorta like you’re transported to that moment, time, and place.
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner (can you believe it?!), you’ll most likely write a few letters to friends, family, and a significant other. But before you start writing to others, how about you give yourself a very powerful gift? Writing a letter to your future self.
Here’s why you should write a letter to yourself: 1. Motivation Six months, a year, or even in 10 years, you’ll want to see how far you’ve come. In moments when life gets tough, you’ll want and need a reminder of all the good that has happened and all the progress you’ve made in life. And you’ll be reminded of how strong you are. It will motivate you to keep going.
2. Thankfulness As you look back and hear your younger self, you’ll probably be transported to that time and place. You’ll read the struggles and challenges you were facing at the time. You’ll be reminded of answered prayers. And you’ll be thankful for the way God brought you through it all.
3. Laughter I have letters and journals of when I was in high school and man, do I laugh my butt off when I read my teenage words. Looking back at yourself, even if it’s just six months, may make you laugh. Specifically, at how dramatic you can be sometimes (I’m talking about myself here).
So have I convinced you?
If I have then here is what you can include in a letter to yourself: 1. Questions Ask yourself questions about your life. Where are living? How’s your job or career going? How is your family? Do you have any new friends? What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend? What are you praying for?
2. Life Lessons Write a few life lessons you are currently learning. Maybe you can give your future self some advice or a reminder to keep working on the life lessons that mean the most to you.
3. Prayer & Goals Make a list of the prayers you are currently bringing before the Lord. You can also include some prayers that have been answered recently. Also, make a list of goals or aspirations you are working on and asking God to help you accomplish.
4. Habits Include some habits you are creating and habits you are trying to break. Perhaps you can briefly write how you’re working on this. It can be your eating habits, morning ritual, or relational habits.
You can write a physical letter, put it away in a secure place you’ll remember about, and set a reminder on your calendar or phone to open it on a certain date. Another option is to do a virtual letter via FutureMe and you’ll receive the letter straight to your inbox on a specific date you select.
So, will you be writing a letter to yourself in 2019? What are you looking forward to reading about as your future self? Comment below!
Today is National Vision Board Day! Who knew this was a
Well, I’m glad it is because that means we can get our creative
juices flowing. And we get to imagine and envision our goals and dreams
becoming a reality.
There is so much power in painting a picture and creating a
world that isn’t here yet. Imagination and dream casting reignites our passion
for life. It helps up create our future.
You know, sometimes our routines and responsibilities make
us forget to dream, to have fun, to get creative, and to build our future. Being
present is necessary. Being responsible is necessary.
But once in a while, it’s good to become a kid again. Break out the glue, scissors, and glitter! Let’s imagine and pray over the goals and dreams God has placed in our hearts.
For some reason, when we start seeing it and creating it and putting it on paper (or board in this case), these things start to seem possible. What we’re basically doing with this creative exercise is fanning into flame the gift of God, which He has given to each and every one of us (2 Timothy 1:6-7).
So, what do you need to create a Vision Board for 2019? Very
Ribbon, glitter, fabric, anything you can find at home that inspires you
Arrange all the inspiration, printouts, verses, etc. on your board
Place it in a space where you can see it every day.
Bonus: brew a cup of coffee, pick your favorite mug, sip on it while creating. This is just to set the mood 😉 Some music may help too.
The most important thing is to be honest with yourself. Ask
yourself what you want 2019 to look like. Maybe that means fitting into an old
pair of jeans. Maybe it means finally having the courage to get that haircut.
Maybe it means starting a business (what does that look like?). Maybe it means
starting a family. Or maybe it’s refurnishing and designing a room in your
Whatever you see, whatever you’ve written down as goals, translate them into pictures and visuals, and put them on your board.