Coffee Break #17 (& Merry Christmas!)
Usually I pop in for my Monthly Coffee Break at the start of each month. But since I had a bunch of holiday projects I wanted to share in time for Christmas, I figured this week was a better time to catch up on life behind-the-blog and also close out before the holidays. Today, I’m going to chat a bit about our simplified holiday home, what I have coming up in 2021, and of course, answer a few of your Ask Megan questions. So grab a “cup of cheer,” settle in, and let’s catch up!
Catch up on past Coffee Break posts HERE!
Our Simplified Holiday Home
I recently shared in a Sunday Short Newsletter that I have of a “love/hate” relationship with Christmas decorations. As a gal who obviously enjoys having her home decorated, I certainly love the baubles and glitter and festive displays. But for whatever reason, all the extra “stuff” stresses me out. That sounds pretty silly; but over the years, I’ve genuinely struggled between my desire for a pretty holiday home and my love of clutter-free surface and spaces. In other words, I really wanted to love all the holiday decor around my home, but just didn’t.
No ornaments on the bottom half of the tree or presents on the floor because…the 1 year old! 🤪
When I was packing up boxes and boxes of holiday decor last year (some of which got put out, most of which didn’t), I finally decided it was okay not to have a super decorated holiday home; and then I gave myself permission to purge away about 90% of our holiday decorations. What remained easily fits into about 3 boxes (minus all the lights for outside and our nativity scene). I didn’t think much of it until we went to pull it all out this year. What is usually a stressful, laborious, and messy process was literally done in just an afternoon…including decorating the tree and putting all the boxes away.
At first, I panicked. It was done so quickly. It was too easy. And I worried our home wasn’t decorated enough. However, in the weeks since, that initial panic and doubt has shifted to “I think I actually got it right.”
I love the few displays we have set up, and I like how they work naturally with our existing decor. And now, because we’ve since added handmade paper snowflakes to the windows, and gingerbread houses to the center of the table, and countless Christmas LEGO creations on every surface…the house feels very merry and bright…even without all those items I got rid of last year. And for the first time in years, I am content!
The pictures throughout this post are of this year’s Simplified Holiday Home!
I can’t wrap up this year without sharing a genuine, heartfelt thank you to you, my readers, who so dedicatedly come around, read my words, share my projects, open my emails, and send along kind, thoughtful notes and comments. It’s a difficult situation to admit in a year that has been incredibly hard for so many, but 2020 has actually been my biggest and best year here on the blog. Yes, like so many, there are To Dos I didn’t get done and things that didn’t go as planned. But it was also the first year that I truly focused on and worked at my blog like a real business; and as a result, reaped rewards in ways I never, ever thought possible when I published my first post 9+ years ago.
I’m not a “big professional blogger” by any means, and I’ve done so many things wrong over the years. But I’m beyond grateful, especially in a year where employment was unsteady for so many, to have a “real” job that provides for my family while keeping me home, safe, and healthy. I don’t take any bit of it for granted; and I want you to know that every click, every share, every email open, and every affiliate link used is so noticed and greatly appreciated. Thank you, my friends. For your trust, for your friendship, for your support, and for giving me your time each and every week. Thank you for making an otherwise trying year a little brighter for me and my family.
So What’s Next For 2021?
More of the same!
One of my biggest successes in 2020 is that (almost like accepting my need for less holiday decor!) I’ve finally settled in to who I am as a blogger, what type of content I am good at, how best to help you, and where I belong in the big ol’ world wide web. I no longer feel this relentless desire to chase down every big, cool, new thing other bloggers are doing; nor do I feel buried under the guilt of all the things I “should be doing” and “could be doing.”
Instead, I am laser focused on doing more of the stuff you guys already love. Aside from a massive website re-design in the early part of the year, I’m planning on hunkering down and keeping on creating the smart, easy, and do-able organizing, home decor, and Cricut projects I’m known for! I couldn’t be more excited!
Each month, I spend a few minutes answering your questions about our life, day, family and more!
Q: How do you squeeze personal fitness or workouts into a busy day?
A: I shared in recent Coffee Break posts that my fitness regime wasn’t as formal, vigorous, or consistent as I’ve been wanting. But I am so excited to share that this has changed dramatically in the last 2 months!
Although I’m a certified personal trainer and group-ex instructor, working in a gym is not something I am planning on returning to any time soon. Not just because of the pandemic, but also because it’s not optimal for our current lifestyle with little kids at home and a growing home-based business. So we determined that setting up an at-home fitness space in the basement was our best option, especially as the weather turns cold and I can’t get out for my daily walks.
Back in October, we spent 4 long days cleaning out our unfinished basement with the main goal of setting up a basic fitness “studio.” It has everything I need (e.g., weights, step, ball, etc); and I subscribe to a streaming, on-demand workout service that gives me instant access to a wide variety of workouts. This setup now means getting a workout in is easier and more convenient than ever before.
So…how do I fit it in to my busy day? It has to happen first thing in the morning or it doesn’t happen at all. The 1-year-old is (finally!!!!) sleeping until 7am, so I now get up at 6am M-F to workout. Since November 1st, I’ve only missed one day, and I have been SO happy having exercise as part of my daily life again.
(If you’re interested, I’ll share more details of our home fitness space in the New Year!)
Q: Do you volunteer or make anything crafty for Cub Scouts? I am a Cub Master and really enjoyed the post you did on the popcorn stuff.
A: Not formally, but I definitely help out a lot! Back in San Diego, Greg was Cub Master. So I spearheaded the Blue & Gold Banquet and would step in to help him setup/run meetings as needed. Currently, he’s our son’s Den Leader, which requires a bit less assistance from me…although I did plan and execute our Den’s Trunk-or-Treat this year (you can see it here).
Scouting is super important to my husband; and as a result, has become something very enjoyable for our oldest son. So while I support Greg when he needs the help (logistically or with crafts), it’s very much something I gladly let him do with the boys!
Curious about something…anything? Ask away in the form below, and I’ll answer in a future Coffee Break!
NOTE: I’m running out of questions, so please chime in!!!
Alright friends, with that, I’m going to sign off until after the New Year! Next week, I’m going to be enjoying some downtime with my boys, as well as prepping some organization content for the New Year! I hope you have a wonderful holiday, and I’ll see you back here on January 5th!
Holiday hugs to you and yours….