Every Sunday, I stop by to share with you a few raw and real stories from my week in The Sunday Edit. Stories where I edited struggles into strengths and found Gem moments when shining seemed impossible. In a world where everyone filters what they share online, I want you to see you’re not alone and I want to inspire you to have more good days. You’ll also find what products have been making my life easier, what new Gem finds I’ve come across, and the best sales going on right now!
**This post may contain affiliate links (which means I make a small commission when you shop from them) and sponsored items (gifted items are indicated with a [c/o] and sponsored links with an [sp]) because we all have to pay our bills, and I’d rather keep creating awesome content for you than get a real job. All opinions are my own.**
New Posts on The Gem:
- Cute Hiking Clothes for Braving the Fall Element
- Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for the Hostess
- Exploring Jamestown in Accra, Ghana | West Africa
- Monthly Planning Skills: How to Show Up for Yourself
Up Next on The Gem:
- How to Set Yourself Up for a Productive Day
- Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for the Traveler
- Exploring Volta Region, Ghana | West Africa
Life Update & Thoughts:
Hmmm… I’m not sure where to start with this one. I keep seeing everyone’s posts about how grateful they are to be spending time with friends and family this coming holiday season. I get it, I’m so grateful for my family, too, but I think social media leaves out the other side of family get-togethers and the fact that they’re not exactly easy. For some reason unknown to me and completely outside of my control, there’s a cloud of dread that collects in my stomach when we have a big gathering on the horizon. Even though I love them all, any time I have to handle more than like 3 of my family members at once in the same room, I’m completely overwhelmed. In fact, I’ve skipped out on countless birthday parties and Christmas gatherings for this very reason – soon followed by regret and guilt for not going. There’s so much noise (I have a hard time when I can’t hear my own thoughts). So many expectations (what if no one likes my chocolate chip cookie cheesecake bars and the bacon cheddar ranch cheese ball that I put hours into making?!). Tension for various reasons. Lots of people in small spaces. Messes. Unavoidable awkward questions (I personally fall victim to “when are you having a kid???” at least 4 times at every event).
Since my mom works on Thursday, we had my family’s Thanksgiving get-together today and it included all of those things. It’s weird to feel stressed out by the people you love and it can certainly feel very isolating. I think for me, I have this expectation that holidays shouldn’t be stressful because who doesn’t want everyone around them to have a wonderful time? Then, I feel weird for creating stress in my mind about something that hasn’t even happened yet. By the time the event rolls around, I’m already so stressed and then stressed about the stress I have, that I’m so far in my head and insecurities that enjoying the moment seems impossible. I walk into it already with a short fuse. I don’t know how to change that part yet, but I am working on my perception of the situation.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, every family is crazy. It’s easy to get caught up in what holidays “should” look like to the point that when anything stressful happens, it feels like it takes away from that. And it’s frustrating when something stressful happens in an environment or moment that’s “supposed” to be happy. I’m here to tell you that stress and joy can exist together. It’s important that you remember that this holiday season. You’re allowed to be stressed out of your mind while being completely uncomfortable in the situation and still enjoy certain moments and share in the laughter. Just because your family stresses you out does not mean your any less grateful for or appreciative of them. So, don’t try to fight the stress. It probably won’t go anywhere. But, don’t let it close the door for you to experience joy this season either.
If this landed with you in any way, please let me know in the comments. <3
- I hit 10K followers on Instagram! Now, blogging to me has never been about the numbers. It’s always been about the connections, which is probably why isn’t taken me literally 5 years to reach this milestone. This is a really big deal because now, I have the ability to add swipe up links to my Instagram stories so that you have easier access to my blog posts and the content I create that’s especially for you! The feature will also help me better monetize The Gem (despite what it might look like, it’s not easy to make a full-time income blogging).
- I’ve had such a productive week! I sent a ton of pitches, lined up quite a few partnerships for this year’s holiday gift guides, and stayed on track with the blog posts I wanted to publish. I also feel like I’m getting more and more organized. Bringing on an intent has been one of the best things ever because it’s forced me to put more systems and structure in place for my business.
- I’m always excited when there’s an occasion for me to back for. I love baking and the comfort that comes along with homemade sweet treats, but I feel like it’s not a good idea to bake when there’s not something to bake for because then I end up eating everything myself! For my family’s Thanksgiving, I decided to whip up these chocolate chip cookie cheesecake bars and they were SO good!
- The fact that Tuesday marks 10 years that I’ve lived in a world without my dad is surreal. I don’t know how all of these years added up. I miss him so so so much.
- I can feel the hustle of the holiday season trying to sweep me up and carry me with it. I’ve been really trying to put a lot of effort into cutting unnecessary stress from my space and mind. Sometimes I have success and sometimes I don’t – lol.
- I found THE sweater of the season at Target (thank goodness for Target – not sure how I’d survive life without this place) the other day. The eyelash material you’re seeing all over stores right now is lovely because it adds a cute texture to cozy looks. And, it’s just the softest thing ever. Get your wallet out because it’s literally not even $30!
- Holiday Gift Boxes – I’m not going to lie, I haven’t even started Christmas shopping and it is beginning to stress me out especially because it’s important to me that the gifts I’m giving are both thoughtful and meaningful. That’s why I’ll be leaning into the art of gift boxes this season. I love that with a gift box, you get a. With themes like Peppermint Perfection, Warmest Wishes, and All That Glitters and I’ve found the best selection at Luxe & Bloom. Their price points are very reasonable and the presentation is stunning!
- I’m honored to be working with Shari’s Berries for an upcoming and when the box of goodies for me to photograph arrived at my door, I had the hardest time not diving into them! Thankfully since then, my content has been approved and I’ve been indulging in chocolate covered strawberries and snowman brownie pops ever since.
- Shari’s Berries: Save 20% off all gifts that are over $29!
- Aerie: 40% off the entire Aerie Collection + all undies are 10/$35. I recommend stocking up on a few pairs of my favorite aerie leggings and also grabbing your Christmas jammies to be fully prepared for sleeping in style this holiday season!
- Nike: Use code THANKS to save 20% on select styles like these thermal “HyperWarm” pants and these everyday sneakers.
- Backcountry: Take 20% off one full priced item with code Take20November at checkout until 11/19. This is your chance to grab your new winter jacket!
- J.Crew: Use code TOGETHER for 40% off your entire purchase! J.Crew, hands down, has the best plaid pieces of any retailer right now like these tartan pajamas, the cutest ankle strap block pumps, and this cinched-waist plaid chiffon dress.