acing the holidays

I LOVE the holidays.
I mean, really , I love any excuse to decorate and celebrate; but the whole cold weather holiday season is a very exciting time for me, from about a week before Thanksgiving all the way through Valentine's Day. I think it's because there's so much love and togetherness associated with Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's and Valentine's Day!
Of course, it usually ends up being a very hectic time too; don't blink or you'll miss it!
There are definitely some things that help me sail through this time with minuscule stress and maximum joy though, and I thought I'd share them with you now that Christmas is a week away.

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1//Diet Coke. Some people need coffee to survive, some people depend on energy drinks, I love me some Diet Coke to help get me through the day! Let's not lie, this one applies all year, but especially during the holidays when sometimes I'm in my car running from one place to another for hours!
2//A fun scarf. I have recently fallen in love with thin cotton scarves. I know, I know, I'm late to the party, but give me a break, I grew up 2 miles from the beach, I've had to wrap my head around warm accessories! They provide fun accents for your outfits, and the lightweight ones really do help keep you warm, without too much bulk!
3//My Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom. Yes, this is my smart phone and my camera and it takes great pictures! I have had this for few months now and I have no complaints! It has a great optical zoom and lots of memory, I haven't run out of room yet, even with as many pictures as I keep on there! It has Auto, loads of special presets, and even the ability to take pictures using Aperture and Shutter Priority! During this time of year especially, I really need fast and easy access to a great camera!
4//Cute boots. Ever since we moved somewhere where there are actually seasons, I love wearing boots (my apologies to my southern California roots, I guess there actually are times of the year where flip flops are not the perfect footwear choice). I have found that a nice pair of boots can dress up pretty much any outfits and makes me feel more put together even on my most blah days!
5//My Franklin Covey Planner. I know everyone has got their favorite planner (or you just like to use your devices), but I have been using a Franklin Covey planner for, well, really basically since I graduated from high school. I have the compact size that easily fits in my purse/diaper bag and it doubles as my wallet. I have all my important dates in there, and of course plenty of note pages for jotting down gifts and stocking stuffers! If I ever lost my planner, I really don't know what I would do, especially during the holiday season!
6//Hot Chocolate. One of my favorite things in winter is when the kids are in bed, there's a fire going, and I have a mug of hot chocolate in my hand; whether I'm curled up watching a movie or wrapping presents.

When I asked Mike what some of things were that he relied on during the holiday season, do you want to know what he said?
"Working so I can make money."
Geez honey, thanks.
For those of you that know Mike, that answer probably comes as no surprise, which is exactly why my husband can be so hard to shop for!
Can I get an amen?!
Really, how many of you are in the same boat, just trying to think of something fun and unexpected for Christmas (and, oh yeah, following closely behind is Valentine's Day, then for me I've got Mike's birthday, Father's Day, and our Anniversary!) for the man in your life?

So what I really want to know is, have you heard of Man Crates yet? This is the perfect solution for those hard-to-shop-for men! Check out some of the awesome manly gifts they offer:

This Super Retro Gamer Crate would be perfect for Mike! I can just picture his face as he opens it now. :) Heck, I'd even like this!

When I saw this Exotic Meat Crate I thought it would be perfect for my dad! It's currently sold out, but they also have an Exotic Meat Jerkygram, which is basically just a smaller version and without an awesome crate. 

For my father-in-law I thought he'd enjoy the Outdoor Survival Ammo Can, which really looks like a great gift for anyone who is into emergency preparedness.

Other reasons why I think Man Crates is a cool company:

{I was approached by Man Crates with a fun idea for a post and I wanted to share their great products with you! I was not paid or compensated in any way and all opinions are 100% mine. Except for the statement about men being hard to shop for. That's just a fact.}

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