I have to admit I’m the worse at making new friends. Once I have a solid group of friends, I just don’t feel the need for more (that’s so selfish and self-absorbed. I’m working on it, guys). But moving to a new city has taught me that there are always people God wants to use to expand your life. Our motto should be, “There’s always room for more”, instead of “I don’t need the extra drama”. This Galentine’s Day is the perfect time to water those new found friendships by giving them a small gift as a gesture of your appreciation.
Nothing says I care like a handwritten note. And Galentine’s Day is the perfect time to send the gals in your life a note letting them know you care. It’s a good time to reach out to those friends you miss and haven’t heard from in a while. Snail mail shows you went the extra mile. You never know what a little letter can do to make someone’s day or make your relationship stronger.
For more Galentine’s Day downloads, stay tuned for gift tags coming tomorrow and a mini photo book coming on Monday.
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:
1. Plan your vacation at the beginning of the year
At the beginning of the year take inventory of how many days you can take off of work. Literally, count the days and look over your calendar to see where vacation fits best. I found this really cool online tool that helps you plan for each day you have off.
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?
This may seem kind of redundant year after year. But it’s an activity I really enjoy and sets the tone for my year.
If you’re choosing a word for 2019 as I am, I want to encourage you to let go of all the pressure to perform, be perfect, and meet every single goal.
It’s my mission through Styld by Grace to inspire you (and myself) to choose grace over perfection. We work our butts off to do our very best AND we let go of all guilt and shame when we fall short. Because guess what, we are human, we are are not perfect little robots. Remember that in our weakness, God shows off His power (2 Corinthians 12:9-11).
As I started to brainstorm how’d I pick my word of the year, my first step was to ask God to give me clarity and perspective for the coming year. At first, I thought of the word ‘Adventure’ but that just didn’t feel right.
So I decided to do two activities in my journal. The first was sort of like a retrospective of 2018 and a forecast for 2019. The second activity was a list of all the ways I will implement my word of the year.
I started thinking of the thoughts and behaviors that overwhelmed me in 2018. So many times I shied away from things, I became discouraged to pray big prayers, I fell into the mentality that what I’m doing is insignificant.
After thinking and doing these activities, I chose the word ‘BOLD’ as my 2019 word of the year. In 2019 I want to learn to live with boldness and conviction. Bold steps of faith, bold action plans, bold prayers.
Below I have listed tools you can use for these activities yourself. As well as the questions and prompts for both activities.
1. A journal
2. Pen, pencils, markers
3. Washi Tape
One Word Questionnaire:
1. What worked for me in 2018?
2. What didn’t work for me in 2018?
3. What would success look like in 2019?
4. Word dump (write down any and all keywords that stand out)
5. One word (choose one word as your word of the year for 2019).
How can I ______ in 2019?:
(Example using my word ‘bold’: “How can I be bold in 2019”?)
1. Definition of the word chosen
• Career / Business
• Dreams / Aspirations
• Health & Fitness
Add or remove as many as you’d like.
Simple, right? I’d love to know your word for 2019. Let me know in the comments below and if these activities helped.