Post-Christmas Winter Soundtrack

winter playlist, winter songs, after christmas songs

Well, we're here: January 7th. Christmas is officially over.

*cue a sad, single Lauren Conrad tear*

And there's still ten weeks of winter. Slushy, snow-melting but still frigid, dull, dreary winter. If you need me, you can find me hiding under a blanket reading the Prisoner of Azkaban for the millionth time.

You'll also find me doodling, listening to this Spotify playlist on repeat.

Snow Song - Ron Pope

This one is snuggly and hopeful, exactly what I want this time of year to be! Can we also take about what a fresh-faced baby Ron is in this video?

The Weather - Ron Pope

A little mournful and retrospective. This one is more what this season is, rather than what I want it to be. 

How a Heart Unbreaks - Evermoist

I needed at least one angst-y, girl power, pick yourself up off the floor-song to balance all these soft and soulful ballads.  

Sick of Losing Soulmates - Dodie Clark

I'm not gonna get into it too much, but this tune reminds me that despite the pain, some friendships need to end and that is OKAY. Also, this one isn't the best for little ears.

Let Her Go - Jasmine Thompson cover

I first heard this cover in the cold open of an episode of SUV. #DunDun A teenage girl dresses up for a night out, gets in a cab, goes to the bar, and ends up drugged and left in a suitcase in the middle of the road; she's then rushed to the ER. So... winter-y? In my mind, I guess.

Fire Away - Chris Stapleton

What a surprise; another sad song and tear-jerking music video. I've prayed with this one many times. I imagine Jesus singing to me, telling me to bring Him everything on my mind and "fire away." 

Hello My Old Heart - The Oh Hellos

I'm just gonna leave this C.S. Lewis here; emphasis mine.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”

Vienna - Billy Joel

Despite the melancholy melody, this one is extremely hopeful. To me, it feels like conviction as opposed to condemnation. Again, I hear Jesus--through Billy Joel which sounds super weird--saying Vienna waits for you. All the things you desire, they're waiting for you. Go after them, with Me.

What songs would you add to this playlist?

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Post Christmas songs, Winter Playlist, Winter Songs

Earworms still wiggling? More seasonal soundtracks 👇

A New Year's Giveaway

New Year's Giveaway, Powersheets

*These opinions are my own and this giveaway is not sponsored by Cultivate What Matters. This post contains affiliate links*

Happy 2018, y'all! I'm convinced this year will be a great one. Not to be super "woo-woo" about it, but my lucky number is 8. Between the fact I'm 24 years old (a multiple of 8) and the year 2018, I'm pretty excited.

I find that the changing of the calendar brings out a lot of interesting opinions and ideas about self improvement, change, goal setting, and intentionality.

I, like many, have never been great about keeping New Year's Resolutions. I kind of think New Year's Resolutions are inherently flawed. They are resolutions, and resolutions are based on decision-making but not necessarily decision-following. So this year, I had something different in mind to pursue my "New Year, New Me" goals.

That something? PowerSheets from Cultivate What Matters! I'll be sharing more in-depth about the PowerSheets, my 2018 Word (and Verses) of the Year, and my goals later this week. But for the uninitiated, here's how the Cultivate What Matters team says about the PowerSheets.

Our PowerSheets Goal Planner help you uncover good goals and do something about them. Our joyful, life-giving, energizing, time-tested process will have you making progress on your goals immediately.

Unfortunately, the 2018 twelve month, dated planners sold out last week! *whomp-whomp*

But it's all good because the 2018 six month, undated planners are still available. And I'm giving away a set to one lucky reader! 🎉

Yep, you'll be getting a copy of the Teal Six-Month PowerSheets, along with some of my favorite pens, stickers, and washi tape!

Got Q's? I have A's.

// Enter the Giveaway Here!

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PowerSheets giveaway for 2018! 6 month planner to uncover and meet your goals!

December Monthly Roundup

December Monthly Favorites

If you're looking for suggestions in categories like Food and Drink, Makeup and Beauty, Home Decor and Products, Entertainment, or Clothing and Accessories, stick around. 

This post contains affiliate links and/or referral links. This means the price of an item won't increase for you, but I may receive something in return. a small commission of the sale which helps keep my content free and my site up and running. Thanks!

Food and Drink

Swiss Miss, Simply Cocoa Dark Chocolate flavor - I am not a dark chocolate girl, but this hot cocoa is incredible. Probably because the first ingredient is sugar... Following directions we used hot milk--the packaging says "MUST USE HOT MILK" in like, five places--and it was so smooth and creamy.

Sugarfina Bourbon Gummy Bears - These little guys (and their Champagne counterparts) are hella bougie, which explains why I love them. Candy, good; liquor, good; adorable packaging, good. Don't worry, they are non-alcoholic so you won't end drunk on your sugar high.

Makeup and Beauty

Yes to Cotton Micellar Water - I love pretty much any product from the Yes To brand. Micellar water is a great triple threat: makeup remover, cleanser, and toner. While I don't have particularly sensitive skin, I'm not a fan of strongly scented beauty products; the Cotton smell is refreshing and certainly doesn't irritate my face!

Home Decor and Products

Nothing new here!

Entertainment

Pitch Perfect 3 and Soundtrack - This movie was very different from its predecessors... Like, it's Pitch Perfect-flavored? Don't get me wrong, it was funny and entertaining but don't expect classic Pitch Perfect movie.

HQ Trivia - This app is a live trivia game show. Each game features twelve progressively harder questions; once you get a question wrong, you're eliminated. Everyone left standing at the end splits the prize money, usually $2,000! Games are every day at 8PM CST and Monday-Friday at 2PM CST. Help me get an extra life when you sign up with the code: alleypepsi .

Clothing and Accessories

Target's A New Day line - Comfy, simple, affordable, what's not to love? I'm especially fond of this red flannel shirt and these crew neck tees.

Priceless

Christmas - Christmas Eve Dinner with the fam, Midnight Mass with Dad, Christmas Day with the cousins, the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us. Just everything. And it's not done, yet!

All the Coffee Dates - Quality time is my primary love language; nothing makes my heart soar more than a good conversation over mochas with a friend!

What were your favorites this December?

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December Monthly Roundup

Related Reading: More Monthly Favorites

Staying Informed without Losing your Mind

Stay Informed without going crazy

*this post contains affiliate links*

The world is a messed up place. Can we agree on that? The world is also a pretty great place. I think we can all be grown up enough to realize both realities aren't mutually exclusive.

As a young adult, I want to be informed about what's happening on this giant rock we call home. I also don't want to wallow in the often distressing, never-ending stream of breaking news. What's a striving to be responsible citizen to do? 

Limit your news sources and time.

This isn't about creating an echo-chamber to reinforce your own ideals. It is about finding sources you trust on platforms that don't steal your peace.

For example, I try really, really, really, really, rea--you get it, hard to not follow news from Facebook and Twitter. (Even though I *literally* follow the news in some of those places because I'm not perfect.) 

There's a few reasons for this but primarily: 

1. It's {potentially} never-ending.
There will almost always be updates to the breaking story's hashtag of the day. Following all those leads is exhausting and most of the time involves a lot commentary I could do without. Of course everyone has a right to share their opinion, but everyone--myself included(!)--also has the freedom to leave their two cents out. 

2. It doesn't provide the brain break I seek on social media.
I like twitter and facebook and instagram because it's where I laugh at memes and see cute pictures of my cousins' babies and discover a whole bunch of other warm and fuzzy things. When I let the "YOU MUST READ THIS ARTICLE NOW" world in, it sets a precedent that consuming is more than engaging.

This doesn't mean if you or I click through to noteworthy story, we'll suddenly stop interacting with loved ones in favor of hour-by-hour updates. I think we both know that! But it definitely feeds into *my* wound or identity belief that doing is more important than being.

3. Context matters.
I have very liberal friends and family; I have very conservative friends and family; I have friends and family dotted all along the political spectrum. Most of us do. (I find my individual positions I hold to be all over the board.) And to be honest, those views color how I will interact with what they've shared.

For example: Johnnie Doe, a more liberal friend from high school shares an article from the New York Times about the goings-on at the White House. Regardless if his commentary is flattering, unflattering, or nonexistent, and if the source material is trustworthy--I'm already unfairly judging what he's shared. Trying to determine, okay what's this really about. Is this an area I need to grow in? Absolutely.

But ultimately, it takes me away from seeking to understand Johnnie and the situation at hand. And it pushes me towards how do I respond and make this about me and my thoughts and ideals. 

"Okay," you say. "I still need to like, know things. I can't be blind just because what I see might be unpleasant!"

I know. And that's what makes this so. freaking. difficult. So...

Step one. Set an actual limit for time you spend following the news. This might be something like 45 minutes a day: watching the nightly news here, following pertinent hashtags there, etc. Or maybe on Sunday I read spend the afternoon reading The New York Times or The Washington Post for a few hours. Or maybe a little of both!

Step two. Actually stick to that limit! This is easier said than done but it has helped me settle into a nice rhythm/routine.

Step three. Schedule some decompression around your news limit. I recommend prayer! But meditation, a brisk walk, or some other whitespace will definitely help.

Step four. Try out TheSkimm.* What's that? It's a FREE daily (M-F) e-newsletter with "the skimmed" version of major stories. I take 10 minutes to read it every morning after Morning Prayer. TEN, yes ten minutes to get the low-down on what's going down 'round the world. It's still media and it definitely has "a view" that might not be a match for everyone but I highly recommendation just trying it for a week!

How do you stay on top of news without going crazy?

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How to stay informed without going crazy. Stay informed and sane

Adulting is hard. Let's do it, together.👇