List of Things to Do When You’re Bored

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Between writing blog posts, researching topics, planning out social media, doing housework and running errands, it feels like I have no free time. My husband actually needs to tell me sometimes to CHILL and unwind, and helps me keep my phone down once in a while. When I’m not constantly on my phone, I like to make the most of the small amount of free time I do have.

I’m not always in the mood to unwind in the same ways every time. Sometimes I like to go for a run and just get out of the apartment, while others I just want to cozy up on the bed with a good book or do a few pages of a word search.

It’s not easy to come up with ideas though. I think that’s why most of the time, I get more enjoyment out of working than taking time for myself. I just have no idea what to do and get bored so easily! Then it’s back to work.

So, if you’re anything like me in that way, and just need some inspiration on what you can do when you’re bored out of your mind but know you need to take some chill time after working hard all day, take a look at this list! I hope it helps you out.

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1. Organize Your Room

I love the feeling of having a clean, organized room. It seems like some days, our bedroom has an automatic  “get messy” cycle the day after we get everything spotless. I think the problem with those times is that we don’t bother to properly organize our things. And we don’t stay consistent with our organization. We just let things pile back up and cover our floor again.

But when we do organize, we feel SO much better. Everything just feels lighter and more free! Check around on Pinterest for some organizing tips. It’ll get you excited to get your room looking clean and cute!

For some ideas, here are a few awesome bloggers that share their tips!

Forever Free By Any Means

Organization Obsessed

One Happy Housewife

 

2. Make a Bucket List

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I’ve made quite a few bucket lists before, and most of the time I don’t end up crossing all of them off. But even the process of dreaming big and setting goals of things you’d love to achieve in your lifetime can be exciting in itself! So don’t be afraid to dream as far as your mind and vision can take you! If you end up crossing them all of in the end, that’s a huge BONUS! Who knows you may even find a new passion through writing down your ideas.

3. Watch a Funny Movie

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Usually I have to be in a certain mood to watch a drama or romance movie. But I find that I can pop on a comedy at any time and feel great at the end of it. Laughing releases endorphins, the “happy chemicals” in our brains, and who doesn’t want to be happy? So, put on something that’s going to not just make you chuckle, but I mean full on slapping the knee, can- -barely-breathe laugh. You’ll be so glad you did.

if you’re looking for some family friendly movies that will give you a good laugh, there are some really great ones on Pure Flix! It is a site that makes sure to have only family-friendly movies that you never have to feel uncomfortable watching. They’ve got thousands of options to choose from! If you’re interested, and would like to do a free month trial, check it out here.

4. Declutter Your Closet

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Ladies, most of us have more clothes than we even realize. Our closets are jam packed with tops we can’t match with anything and wonder why we even bought them in the first place, and jeans that don’t fit us right anymore, but we’re hoping that one day they will again so in the meantime they get shoved to the back of the closet it be forgotten another few years.

Basically, use the Marie Kondo method of cleaning. If it you look at it and it doesn’t give you a happy feeling, get rid of it! When you enter your closet, let it be that you have all of these amazing outfits and don’t know which one to choose from, rather than feeling like you have nothing and need to buy even more!

5. Go For a Walk/Run

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When I’ve been couped up in the apartment for a bit too long for my liking, the first thing I do is get dressed and go outside. Sometimes, I’ll just drive around and listen to worship music, thanking God for all the ways He’s blessed my husband and I. But then other times, I have so much built up energy that I NEED to go burn it off.

That’s where I’ll go to the nearby park and take a walk around in nature on the trails. Not only is it great to get some sun and fresh air, but it can help clear your mind of any stress from the day and help you sleep better later on!

6. Journal About Your Day

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I love to write. As a blogger, I get to write about the experiences I have that may be able to encourage someone else, or give advice on things I have learned about myself. Which I absolutely LOVE.

But journaling, at least in my case, can be extremely therapeutic in a whole other sense. It can become your “brain dump” place to just put every one of your thoughts on to paper and get it off of your mind. As a blogger, I need to be a bit more strategic with my material, so I don’t have that opportunity. So journaling can help incredibly with your mental and emotional well-being.

If you don’t like to physically write things out, use your laptop or tablet, or even just speak out your thoughts into a recorder. Or, a lot of times I speak my thoughts out to God in prayer. I give them over to Him and trust Him with it and end up feeling so much better in the end.

So, if you think this could be useful to you, give it a try!

7. Have a Home Spa Day

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Grab a facial mask of your choice, your favorite scented bath bomb and bubbles, a couple of candles for around the bath tub, and a book and go treat yourself to a spa day right from your own home! Or put on a playlist of your favorite songs and just soak in the moment!

8. Listen to an Inspirational Podcast/Bible Study

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There are SO many incredible speakers that you can hear from on podcasts. These are great if you’re busy and can’t look at a screen to watch a video, but still want to fill your mind with some self-development.

If you have the podcast app on your phone, just go into it and type in a subject you’d like to hear more about, and start searching through your options to pick who moves your spirit the most. Some examples of good Christian podcasts are The Way Home With Dan Darling & a great one for Christian entrepreneurs is God-Centered Success by Mia René.

9. Read Your Favorite Book

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Especially if you’ve left off on the biggest cliffhanger and just haven’t had the time to finish it! Go! Right now!

10. Start a Scrapbook

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I’ll be the first to say it, I get overwhelmed by the idea of creating a cute, perfectly put together scrapbook. When I see how other people do theirs, I think…I could never be that creative. Like, are they a wizard?

My husband bought me a little scrapbook album to put our things that we’ve kept for memories since we started dating. I love it so much. I decided it’s better to get started and just make it our own (no matter how messy it may look) because in the end we just want our memories to be with us forever and be able to share them with our children some day!

So don’t be overwhelmed by this idea, I swear, if you just do it your own way and not focus on how it will look, you’ll have a lot of fun with it!

11. Learn a New Hobby

Learning new things can get quite addictive, at least for me. I love the rush of learning all about something, putting it to practice and then seeing the outcome of something done by my own hands. I’m speaking of creative hobbies in this case. But anything new that you put in the effort to learn and apply can be so refreshing and exciting!

And it’s another thing that you can now bring up in conversation with people. Learning new things can help you relate to more people and even become a better conversationalist!

12. Go to the Library

My husband and I go to the library almost every week. Sometimes we go to check out books, but most of the time we actually go to get older movies that we haven’t seen in forever. Other times, we go into their quiet rooms and research Bible topics to talk about together later. It’s a great way to just be out of the house, and enjoy some quiet time to yourself or beside your partner. And you could come back with an awesome movie that you love or a book you’ve been dying to read!

13. Do a Wordsearch/Puzzle

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I am always looking for puzzle games to keep my mind stimulated and alert. They’re also just a lot of fun, and rewarding when you finish them.

Get yourself a book of word searches or crosswords from the dollar store, or a puzzle you’d love to put together and have at it!

14. Meal Prep for the Week

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Write our your grocery list according to the meals you’d like to have throughout the next week. Get containers to fit each meal into (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and get them all prepared ahead of time. This will save you SO much time and energy for the next week.

Put on some music or your favorite YouTube channel in the background while you get everything ready. Do what you can to make your meal prepping enjoyable!

15. Browse/Shop online

Have you been getting emails from your favorite store about sales going on, but haven’t had time to check them out? Now is the time! Get onto their websites and start browsing around and adding some items to your wishlist.

If you can afford it, treat yourself to something! You deserve it after working hard all week.

16. Paint Your Nails

I don’t normally paint my nails. I like to have them free of polish, mainly because my nails don’t look right with regular polish. But when I am super bored, I’ll occasionally decide to paint them. If you love doing your nails though, but are never able to with your busy schedule, NOW is the time!

17. Visit a Museum/Local Art Show

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Head over to one of these if you love learning about history or art. It’s so much fun being able to see replicas of ancient items or beautiful paintings/sculptures that someone did by hand!

18. Create a Music Playlist

Put together a playlist for each mood. Have a playlist of songs to listen to when you’re sad that you can relate to or will cheer you up. Have one for when you want to get pumped and motivated for the day, lots of upbeat songs. And one for when you’re just in a contemplating mood, just wanting to think about life, the past, the future. These will be so useful to have down the road!

19. Color in a Coloring Book

Buy an adult coloring book from Target and start bringing out your inner child! This is SO therapeutic for people. They have adult coloring books for every theme or subject you can think of! So pick one that stands out to you, dig into that crayon box and go for it.

20. Make a New Recipe from Pinterest

Now, I’ll throw this out there…I’m not a big fan of cooking. Thankfully, God knew this and gave me a husband that loves to cook! But whenever I see a new recipe on Pinterest that looks heavenly, I need to try making it myself. And most of the time I end up really enjoying making it. And they end up being recipes that we repeat down the road because we loved them so much. If it weren’t for Pinterest, I would be lost and my poor husband would never get meals made for him aside from pasta…

The bloggers that share their recipes on Pinterest are life savers! So, if you’re looking for some great recipes to impress your husband/wife with, check some out and try whipping them up! They’re much easier than you might think.

 

Well, that’s it for my ideas! I hope you enjoyed reading. Thank you so much for stopping by. Let me know in the comments, what are your favorite things to do when you’re bored and have free time?

 

(Featured Photo by Simon Matzinger from Pexels)

 

Fun Family Night Ideas

4C6ED82E-8EB8-4E41-9AD8-78A99531DDF1(I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post at no extra cost to you. This is to help support my blog and does not have any impact on my recommendations.)

My husband and I talk all the time about the many things we can’t wait to do when we have our kids. This may be an unpopular choice, but are going to set a certain age for our children to be able to get a smartphone or tablet. We don’t want them on electronics all throughout the day. Family nights are something we’d love to have as often as possible!

If you’re looking for some fun, wholesome ideas for your own family nights, look no further!

Here is my list of    fun family night ideas

1. Movie Marathon-

Okay, so I put this one first because I feel like we all love a good movie marathon now and again. It can difficult to find appropriate kid-friendly movies that are also entertaining for adults, so I did some researching and found a site that I LOVE! It is called PureFlix (Get it? Netflix but with PURE content :D) If you haven’t heard of it you are missing out. One of the things I seriously admire and appreciate about Pure Flix is that they strive to be the most trusted faith and family-friendly video-streaming source on the web.

They have a mix of family-friendly and wholesome entertainment including movies for all ages, kid’s animated titles, documentaries, how-to’s, hobbies, educational, health and fitness, sports, outdoors and travel plus many inspirational and devotional titles, all streamed directly to PC’s, iPhones and Androids, or download the app to your Smart TV and watch them there! So many options for movie nights!

If this sounds like something you’d love to try out, click here to sign up for a free month trial! Your family will thank you for it 😀

2. Ice Cream Sunday Bar

I used to be an ice cream fanatic! When I was younger, I loved adding all kinds of crazy treats to my sundaes. So, I can’t wait until we have children and they are old enough for this. You can go ALL OUT, the more colorful, the better! Now, I understand that not everyone is okay with giving sugar to their kids, and that is perfectly fine! This option won’t be for you. We will not be giving our kids a ton of sugar either, we plan to not even have many sugary options around the house, so it’s not a temptation. But once in a great while, I’d love to give them an extra special treat.

Throw in some fruit loops or their favorite cereal, maybe some oreos or peanut butter cups, drizzle raspberry sauce, hot fudge or marshmallow. And plenty of sprinkles! Just leave around some options for them to add and create their own Sundae masterpiece. I would recommend maybe doing this earlier in the day though (depending on their age) and in a very small cup…so you don’t have crazy hyper munchkins running all over the house at bedtime!

3. Stargazing

Lay down some sleeping bags in the backyard, and gaze at the stars. Maybe do a little research beforehand about some of the constellations so that you can all seek them out together and learn more about them!

4. Game Night

My family actually still does this. I used to LOVE our family game nights. We’d play all kinds of things from cards to charades to mad libs. Uno is our all time favorite game to play these days. It can get competitive, but it’s a ton of fun for everyone. Find which games your family is into, set a certain day that works for everyone’s schedules, and stick to it! From our experience, it keeps everyone close, even when they’re all moved away and starting their own lives. I just think it’s such a great tradition for families to start.

5. Backyard Camping

Set up a tent in your back yard, lay out a TON of comfy blankets and pillows, pop some popcorn or your family’s favorite snacks, grab the marshmallows and chocolate, and head outside for a night of camping. If you have a fire pit, roasting marshmallows and making smore’s is always a fun addition! If someone knows how to play the guitar, get them out there playing some campfire songs. Tell stories. Make this a no electronics zone like it would be if you were out camping in the woods. Just take this time to relax with your family and bond.

6. Glow Stick/Dance Party

If you have young ones, this may actually be a good way to get them tired out faster in time for bed! In the early evening, when the sun is going down, turn on some upbeat music that your kids will love, and break out some glow sticks. Turn the lights off and watch them be in awe!

7. Fondue Night

Because fondue is amazing.

8. Decorate Cookies

Buy a few cookie frostings and writers and sprinkles. Lay out all of the fun supplies, and watch your kids light up! This one will be a little messy…so just make sure it’s over an easy-to-clean surface. You and your spouse will likely enjoy the heck out of this one too. I mean, its cookies! Who wouldn’t 😀

9. Watch the Sunset

So beautiful!

10. Build a Blanket Fort

Hey, you can have your movie marathon in a blanket fort to make it that much more fun. Everyone help build it together. Try to use the longest blankets you have for this so they won’t keep falling down! This just kind of changes things up from just laying on the couch. And it’s super cozy!

 

I hope you enjoyed this list. Let me know if you plan to use any of these ideas for your family, or what other things that you and your family do!

Don’t forget to subscribe for updates and announcements on more family, marriage and faith related posts! Thanks so much.

 

 

 

How to Read the Bible When You’re Not Sure Where To Start

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When I first started trying to get into the Bible, I was looking up all sorts of videos and articles on what the proper way was, because going from Genesis to Revelation in order had me making excuses to not read 😳

I couldn’t get into the stories, because I didn’t feel like I had any real relationship with Jesus yet, so nothing was really standing out to me and I was more confused than ever.

I was then told to start my reading in the book of John because it gives you a better idea of what salvation truly means and shows us the Gospel wonderfully. So that’s what I did!

As each chapter was finished, I got to know Jesus a little better. I then went to Matthew and back to John again. Reading the Gospels helped me understand what had just happened to me through salvation and gave me a better appreciation for God and His Word.

So starting from here, I will share some ideas I have based on what I’ve done to get into reading the Bible when you don’t know where to start!

1. Start from the Gospel of John, then back to Matthew and on.

I feel that learning about Jesus and His life here on Earth is the best way to start. Looking at why we need salvation, the miracles He did while He was here, getting know His character better and the depth of God’s love for us is a sure way to develop our relationship with Him. The Gospels also show us how important it is to speak to God through prayer which is also incredibly important in growing our relationship with Him, because how can you have a relationship with someone without speaking to them??

2. Start with a version that helps you understand the best.

Some versions like King James can be extremely difficult for many people to understand because of the old English used and choice of translation. But there are a ton of more modern translations that are still accurate but much easier to comprehend and reflect on.

I know when I see tons of “ye”s and “eth”s all throughout, my brain likes to gloss right over, which is obviously not what we want. The point of reading and studying the Word is to get to know God better. So do the version that is best for you! We like to go with NLT (New Living Translation).

3. Download a Bible App

There are quite a few Bible apps out there that are super helpful and can be great tools when you don’t know where to start or how to study the Bible.

The one that I use daily is the Holy Bible app, which is available for both IPhone and Android users.

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One super helpful tool for my husband and I is the Verse of the Day. As soon as you bring up your app, this is on the home page. It gives a different, random verse each day that is helpful to reflect on. We usually pull this up together at night before he goes into work, and then read the whole chapter that the verse is connected to.

Another great thing about this is that if you are more of an audio learner, or if you’re just in your car or getting ready and don’t have time to read, they have an easy option to listen to someone else read it out loud for you. We usually do this, while also reading along together. You can pause and speak about each passage together as well.

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This app also has an option for Devotional plans. They have topics from Marriage to pray to Healing and everything in between. No matter what issue you’re going through or subject you’d like to know more on, they’ve got you covered. What’s great about Devotionals is that they also give ideas and things to reflect on that can be applied to your daily life. It helps you to connect and relate better with the verses that they give you.

4. Read Christian Non-Fiction Books

One of the things that really helped me understand certain Scriptures better was reading books by a Christian authors who give advice and examples from their own life that the Bible has solutions for. Normally in these books, the author will share experiences from their life that we can relate to and then show how God has come through for them. They will usually add scripture in to help us see what God has to say about our situations, which was SO helpful for me in the beginning of my walk.

Some great books that I started off with were:

Jesus> Religion by Jefferson Bethke

Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge

Kind is the New Classy by Candace Cameron Bure (This one I actually read not long ago but it’s so good!)

Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

There’s tons more that are just amazing and I’ve gotten so much amazing insight and wisdom from. Just take a look at the Christian section of any bookstore and you’ll find loads that can relate to your situation in some way. You can also check out Christianbook.com or even Amazon if  you just want to order online!

 

These are just a few of the ways that I’ve found can really get you started on your path to regularly reading the Bible if you’ve been having trouble. I hope these help!

Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these or have any other ideas!

Thanks for reading  😊

 

#Christian #Christianliving #Bible

 

 

 

 

 

Starting my TTC Journey and Fertility Diet

I felt a little nervous about making a post about this, because I’m not big on sharing personal things online, but I know that I’ve gotten some great tips and even just so much comfort from others on their TTC journey. So, I wanted to share mine with you in hopes that you might feel the same!

Stephen and I have been talking about children for quite some time now. We’ve wanted so badly to start our own little family, and it’s actually one of the reasons that we got married so much quicker than we originally planned. (If you want to know more about how our wedding went down, click here.)

With that being said, even before our wedding day, I was doing a ton of research on how to get our bodies healthy and prepared for when we started ttc (trying to conceive). I ain’t messing around when it comes to my future babies…

So, we started picking up groceries that mainly revolved around our new fertility diet. This was HARD. We were so used to just picking out all the goodies our hearts desired, but now we had to suck it up and be healthy. Ugh.

I also did a ton of research and got some opinions from mamas about good Prenatals to take. So far, every pill I take gives me a headache, so I can’t really tell you which one is the best just yet. However, I will tell you that if you plan to start yours anytime soon, I would recommend taking them at night. So far, I haven’t had any issues when I take a half pill before bed. So….there ya go.

I also take a Vitamin B12 supplement every day for now, but I will be checking with my doctor soon to find out any other potential deficiencies I might have. That is another thing I would recommend, check with your doctor if you’re lacking in any vitamins so you can start working on that as well, BEFORE you even start trying.

FOODS WE’RE AVOIDING

These are the foods that we’re going to start being mindful of avoiding from here on out!

  • Bacon, deli meat
  • Burgers (Goodbye weekly trips to BK)
  • White Carbs (We just swapped out all our white pasta and breads for wheat last week, and I’m actually not going to complain. Wheat tastes way better!)
  • Excess Dairy (We have at least 3 half gallons of chocolate milk and 1 gallon of white milk in our fridge at all times…)
  • Refined Sugars (All that candy we had piled up in the pantry…)
  • Caffeine (This one we don’t really have much of anyway)
  • Alcohol (My wine!!!)

Now, we’re not going to be perfect with this, and I am so aware that we will probably have our little cheat days. I personally don’t feel that we need to follow this 100% of the time in order to conceive a healthy baby, but I definitely don’t want us to overindulge like we used to!

FOODS WE ARE EATING MORE OF

We are doing our best to add these foods to our diet that are said to help with fertility

  • Dark Leafy Greens (Salad every day for me, spinach with our eggs for breakfast)
  • Fruits and Veggies (We just did a pretty big produce run at the grocery store the other day! Lots of Cara Cara oranges, and veggies for salads)
  • Healthy Grains (We switched over to whole wheat and brown rice!)
  • Nuts & Seeds ( I’ve got peanuts and Sunflower Seeds for us to munch on for snackage, and we will be stocking up on walnuts and almonds soon!)
  • Healthy Oils (Olive Oil in our salad with some lemon juice and seasonings is BOMB) Avocado oil is also a really good cooking oil as well.
  • Chicken and Eggs ( We had chicken in almost everything anyway so we’re good on that 😀 )

*Dark Chocolate is good for men!!!

AVOIDING ALL SLEEP AIDS/PAIN MEDS

On top of eating and avoiding certain foods, we are trying our best to stay away from taking a lot of medications. We both have allergies, so it’s not uncommon for us to take some Clariten or for me to pop some Benadryl at night. Also, this season has been rough on my sinuses, so I often get headaches and use Tylenol regularly.

But, since we started talking about trying, I am doing my best to stay away from any sleep aids or pain meds. I’ve done research on any medications I have taken and although some are said to get the OK for pregnant women, there are also those that say otherwise. And I’m someone that, when it’s something important to me, I’d rather not take that risk.

AVOIDING STORE BOUGHT LOTIONS/POTENTIALLY HARMFUL CHEMICALS

So, this is something I started doing even before we talked about TTC. I’m a big researcher. Like, I research EVERYTHING before I use a new kind of product or to find out more about things I have BEEN using and what could be better to use. The last couple of years, I have been switching to more natural beauty and cleaning products. I’ve just been more conscious of what goes in and onto my body.

So, once I found out how bad most of my lotions, face and even hair products were, I started switching them out and looking for those with safer ingredients. Naturally, I decided to check out what was in things like air fresheners and candles since those can have a direct effect on the air we breathe in. And wow…

Needless to say, we barely light candles or spray air fresheners around the apartment. If we feel it necessary or on occasion if we just really want to smell a pretty candle, we will light one up, but that’s maybe once a month. Otherwise, we diffuse essential oils. Which seems a much healthier option.

Again, I’m not trying to come across as that paranoid lady that throws everything away that could even be potentially harmful. I know that most things out there can be harmful to us in some way, but these are just the things that I have been more cautious about when working on TTC because it’s just so important to me. But it’s not something I am hardcore crazy about, I just like to be aware so I don’t overexpose us to things that could affect us long term.

CONCLUSION

Basically, our TTC journey is starting off with being aware of and doing our best to get rid of any bad habits we may have and making room for those that are healthier and will ultimately make us happier too in the end.  I am not going to be getting all TMI in this post about other things we have been trying and working on, because I don’t feel that it’s necessary since we just started this not long ago, but if you have any questions or even other tips on what you’ve been doing to TTC, let me know in the comments or send me a message!

Thanks for stopping by 😀

Not the wedding I dreamed of…

I honestly never used to picture what my wedding would be like until social media became a thing. All of those picturesque, fairy-tale like scenes on Pinterest. The big, flowy ball gowns with diamonds and jewels throughout, perfectly fitted on beautiful brides to look like princesses.

Every venue was just gorgeous, packed with hundreds (sometimes thousands) of guests, loads of decorations neatly and precisely placed, and professional photographers who could capture each moment perfectly.

The more I saw these pictures and heard the stories, the more I wanted it for myself.

I created my own Wedding board on Pinterest and got to work! I added the exact bouquet I wanted, the color theme, MY dress that I NEEDED to have in order to even consider getting married, and tons of pictures of rustic barns because nothing else could possibly do.

This was all before I was engaged. Before Stephen and I even spoke about engagement actually. But it was what I knew needed to happen in order for me to be a happy bride one day.

Once Stephen did propose to me, you better believe I immediately started planning all the little details of our wedding.

Ring pic

The thing I started realizing? In order to get the Pinterest wedding I always wanted, we would have to go into debt…a LOT of it. And, even while just in the beginning stages on planning, we were already getting extremely stressed out. I wanted to get married the next year, but with everything we needed to do and the money we needed to save, it would have to be put off for much longer.

I was so conflicted. I prayed every day about it. I wanted to have a beautiful wedding, something I would be happy with. This was MY day! But, as the days were passing, my desire to marry the man God had for me grew stronger.

Each day I prayed, it seemed that I wanted the big, fancy wedding less and less. I began to realize that maybe my desire for it was based on what society says is “ideal”, and not what I truly wanted after all.

I asked myself “what do I want right now”? All that kept coming to me was “To marry Stephen and start a family together.”

So, I thought about it..If we were to put this off and invest all of our money into a one-day celebration that will be over in just a few hours, then we wouldn’t be able to start our family for quite a few years. We wouldn’t be able to save for a house. We would probably be extremely stressed out during the planning and the day of, that we wouldn’t remember half of what happened that day.

We would be more concerned with our guests than our first precious moments as husband and wife.

Now, please don’t take this as me putting down anyone who chooses to have a big wedding. We still plan to have one ourselves one day as a vow renewal! If you have the money and patience to plan it, go for it! It will be amazing.

But for us personally, we are both very simple people. We don’t need much. Nor do we really want much more than what we have. And this was a realization I am truly glad God brought me to. I realized…this wedding isn’t about ME, its about Him and our coming together as one for HIM.

The crazy thing is, I didn’t exactly bring it up to Stephen. He actually brought it up to me. He threw out the possibility (he says he was half-serious, not sure what I would say about it), “what if we just got married this weekend”?

At the time, we had been having a bit of an argument because I was stressed about it all and we both just wanted to be married already. I wasn’t sure whether to take what he said seriously, but I honestly didn’t care anymore, I ended up agreeing to it. So, he said we would make it happen.

I was in shock that we were actually going to be doing this! But as time got closer and closer, it just felt right and everything fell into place perfectly.

I will say, it took a bit longer than that weekend, but each day we were taking care of something for our special day. We got our birth certificates, then our marriage license. Then the next day we went and got our wedding rings and told our parents. We somehow got the perfect officiant to help us with our vows.

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I found a beautiful dress that fit my personality to a T. And my family was able to make up some decorations to make our little ceremony special. We invited only our immediate family. This one was difficult at first since we wanted our close friends to be apart of our special day, but they were all very understanding.

So, we got our wedding planned out within a week and a half! Throughout that whole week, Stephen and I were praising God for His goodness and blessing our relationship. He was moving things along for us to make this happen. I knew it was all meant to be this way.

 

The ceremony was beautiful. It was done at a nearby park in front of an archway that my parents set up in the perfect spot, right near the water fountain. I asked my sister and sister-in-law to use their photography skills and capture each moment. We got to focus on our love and devotion to God and each other, while our family was there to witness it. Then after saying our goodbyes, we headed off to our gorgeous hotel for the night.

Not much about our wedding was traditional, or anything like what I thought I wanted years ago…it was even better! It was more “us” than anything else we could have had. To us it was genuine, elegant, simple, and not so crazy stressful! And now we can do exactly what we have been wanting for a while now, to start our own family and glorify God through our marriage.

I write this not only to share with you a bit about how our special day was, but for anyone who may be considering a small ceremony themselves, to know that it can be just as special and beautiful as any Pinterest wedding. Everyone is different, with unique priorities and desires for life. Go with what makes you and your future spouse happy. Don’t listen to what everyone else wants for you or thinks would be best. If you stick to what makes you feel best, you will have zero regrets and be so glad you did it!

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Thank you so much for stopping by and reading! I hope you enjoyed my little story and maybe got something out of it for yourself. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. What kind of wedding are you planning on having?

Feel free to subscribe to get notified on future posts!

 

 

Christmas Gift Guide 2018 FOR HER

 

Christmas shopping can be just downright stressful sometimes. It can be difficult to know what people would like or need! So we put off our shopping until the last minute, and get overwhelmed as the day gets closer!

And what happens when we’re out of ideas? We head over to the gift cards. Let me say now that there’s nothing wrong with getting gift cards for someone! Especially if you know they go to a certain place often, that could be a great gift. But, I personally feel that they are just too impersonal of a gift for family members and close friends.

So if you’re looking for some thoughtful, affordable gift ideas for the women in your life, then keep reading further!

 

  1. Bath Bombs

 

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What woman doesn’t love a good bath bomb? From the moisturizing oils that fill the tub, the pretty colors and fizzy show we get to watch, to our favorite scents that fill the air and put us in whatever mood we desire, there is something about bath bombs that say “this is me time”.

Women are naturally givers. Constantly doing more for others. Many times, we tend to put our own wants and needs to the side because of it. So, this is a great time to show the women in your life how much they mean to you, by giving them the gift of “me time”. I can assure you that a gift like this will be well received.

You can either DIY your bath bombs if you like getting craft, purchase them at the store, or buy them handmade and customized from sites like Etsy! Either way, you can’t go wrong with this gift. I personally love to get creative and make bath bombs to give as gifts. If you’re interested, click here and here to check a couple of them out. You can totally customize them for your loved ones and even add a tag with a message!

If you’re looking to make your own gift basket of goodies, keep reading on for more ideas!

2. Body Scrubs

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This is another great gift for any woman! If you don’t know what body scrubs are, they are a product used to exfoliate and renew skin. Normally they are made up of sugar or salts and oils that make your skin soft and smooth! You can also add essential oils and flower petals/buds for even more health benefits.

Around the Holidays, there are some really great scrubs out there geared towards those who love the smells of Christmas! Sugar cookies, candy canes, hot chocolate!!

I’ve also made some of my own scrubs and given them as gifts. Scrubs are always a big hit! I recently put up some Peppermint Patty Sugar Scrubs on my site that smell SO good! I love adding some holiday ribbon, a little wooden spoon for application and cute personalized gift tags. It just makes the gift that much more special! If you’d like to check them out, click here.

3. Hot Cocoa in a Jar

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If you’re not having hot chocolate on a cold Winter night, then you’re not doing the season right! There’s just something about the warmth and sweet aroma of hot chocolate on a bitter cold day that just makes sense. So, although it may seem like a simple gift, you can get creative with this one and I guarantee your loved one will be making use of this gift REAL quick.

Hot cocoa in a jar is such a sweet gift (pun intended), and this is another that you can personalize with cute packaging and gift tags or labels! Even if you’re not very crafty, you can purchase one! If you’re looking to find where to purchase, I actually sell them on my shop if you’d like to check it out! Just click here. But even just the set up of each ingredient being leveled in a jar makes for lovely decoration. Add a hand written card, package it up and you’ve got yourself a great Christmas gift that anyone will love!

 

4. Bottle of Wine

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This one is great for any adult woman (especially moms)! As long as she is of age, wine is always a lovely, and pretty practical gift. How many women do you know of that appreciate a good glass of wine every now and then to relax after a long day? Most likely, a lot. This gift is a safe option, especially for those that you may not know very well. Unless she is not able to have alcohol (which you should probably make sure of first), this is a great option for anyone.

You can even get a nice gift box or bag to wrap the bottle in. And if you order online, there are some sites that will personalize the bottle for you with a message or name of the recipient! Check out sites like this one if you’d like to go that route!

5. Tea Sets

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(From jtreelife.com)

If you know a tea lover, you’ve got to do this one! There are sites like this that offer quality tea for any occasion and they’re even able to gift wrap your package for you! Decaffeinated tea is always nice in the Winter when settling down for bed. There are a ton of health benefits from tea, and the warm steam is sure to leave your loved one feeling cozy and at peace. They’ll definitely remember that you were the one to give them such a delightful gift this Christmas.

6. Monthly Subscription Box

A monthly subscription box like Birchbox or FabFitFun are great for lovers of all things beauty. They are perfect for someone who enjoys makeup, skincare and haircare. Basically, each month they will get a cute box at their door with some different beauty products. You can choose to pick what they will send you, or be surprised! I love being surprised because it’s like Christmas every time you get the box from the mail!

7. Polaroid Camera

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This is a gift any teenage girl or young adult will LOVE. With social media taking over, everyone is looking into the best ways to make the pictures they post STAND OUT. Polaroids made a comeback a few years back and are still going strong! Along with their vintage feel, the fact that the pictures are printed out immediately are new and intriguing for young people who are used to their pictures being mostly digital and online!

8. Throw Blankets

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So this one is just a given. Every female ever loves throw blankets. We get cold. Easily. And there’s SO many comfy, fluffy throw blankets that make us feel like we’re floating in a cloud when all bundled up. You can get some ultra soft throw blankets at Walmart for super cheap right now! This gift is just needed. Like forget all of the others I told you about. Go get one of these for everyone and call it day!

9. Coffee Cup

For the coffee lover in your life, I can guarantee this gift will be a major hit. All of us love a nice cup with relatable sayings and quotes. They hold our favorite drink, and they’re Instagram worthy. What better gift is there?

10. Tumbler Cup

Like the coffee cup, tumblers are super popular these days. Everyone seems to have at least one. But it is a gift that never gets old! This is for not just coffee lovers, but really anyone who may have work or goes to the gym early and needs to take their breakfast to go!

11. Fluffy Pillows

I don’t know about you, but I am obsessed with fluffy pillows. If I could fill my bed with them and sleep like that, I would. Whether they are decorative, for sleep, or body pillows, this is a gift that will be used often! Keep in mind those that may have a significant other that works overnights (like myself), or a college student who is getting stressed from all their homework assignments and just needs to cuddle something. Fluffy pillows are always the answer.

12. Phone Ring Light

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It’s difficult these days to get your posts noticed on social media because of all of these new algorithms. As many of you probably know already, having bright, clear, awesome pictures makes a HUGE difference in how much traffic we get to our sites and pages. So for your fellow blogger, vlogger, small online business owner, or anyone else who uses social media for their work, a phone ring light is a serious life saver! They make pictures come out so much brighter and super crisp! If they don’t already have one, they have probably heard of it and have wanted one. So, this gift will be a pleasant surprise that they will appreciate for years to come!

 

Thanks so much for checking out my post! This is part 1 of my Christmas Gift Series! Follow my blog for more Gift Ideas! Coming soon.

I’d love to know what your favorite ideas in this list were and what gifts you’re thinking of giving out this year in the comments!

#Christmasgifts #Christmasgiftguides

A Letter To My 16 Year Old Self

So I’m doing this challenge: Write a Letter To Your Past Self, which is meant to help bring healing to your present life. I thought it was a really interesting, helpful exercise, so I had to try it out for myself!

If  I could write a letter to my 16 year old self and give her some insight on what is going on, or give her some advice on how to handle things, just stuff that I wish I could’ve known back then, this is probably what I would say.

Dear Dayna,

I know how things are going to unfold for you. There’s going to be a lot going on this year, but you need to stay strong. Your heart is going to get broken by the first guy you ever loved, and you’re going to want to jump into another relationship. But if you do, it will take you so much longer to heal. You won’t truly be able to love another until you’ve accepted and felt everything you need to.

So please, I know it’s going to be hard, but I think you’ve seen it coming. You two don’t belong with each other. You had great times but you’re still so young. As you get older, both of you will have gone in totally different directions, and you’d probably have to compromise your values to stay together. It’s not worth it, girl. You both have someone so much better in store for you. I’ve seen it for myself. So when the time comes, don’t hold bitterness. Let go of any guilt you have. It’s going to be a process. It will take a while, but not as long as it did for me..that’s why I’m warning you now. Don’t let your heart wander off to the next one to show you attention, as nice as it might seem at first, it’ll only make things worse for you in the end.

In case you decide to be your stubborn self any way, you will get close to another, and he’s going to be VERY different from the last. That’s why you’ll be drawn to him. He’ll be the adventurous, rebel boy who shows you new things and takes you to new places. I know it’s going to look like he cares so much for you. But please don’t be fooled by his words. You’ll know in your heart that he doesn’t truly love you, but remember what I said before about what happens when you don’t allow time for healing?  Well, it’s going to cause you to stay in this relationship because you don’t want to face your pain. You want to believe that THIS is what love is, and you’ll try to convince yourself that you’re happy, when you know you deserve better. It’s going to be a rough few years for you, Love. I wish that wasn’t the case, I really do. But just something to keep in mind during that time, you need to start learning to love yourself.

You act like you’re so confident with the people around you, but I know you don’t truly think you deserve much. You wouldn’t allow others to treat you the way they do. You wouldnt blame yourself for every issue that comes up. You wouldn’t keep trying to avoid TRUE love from others, because you think you don’t deserve it. You wouldn’t always think you’re a burden and shut yourself away or get quiet when you have something important to say.

I need you to see the beautiful heart and awesome personality that I see when I look back at you. There are so many days where I think of you and wish I could relive the next few years you’ll be going through. You’re going to change, a lot. After holding in so much for so long, and refusing to heal from the bad things that happen to you, your smile and laughter is going to lessen. Your excitement will be practically nonexistent. You’ll be a walking, breathing anxiety attack waiting to happen. That’s why I look back to you.

I miss you so much. You’re the part of me that I always wish but am not sure I can ever get back. The part of me that was innocent, and looking forward to every new day. Who had hope for humanity, for making a difference in the world. The Dayna who wasn’t afraid to be her crazy, random, goofy self, and didn’t care if people judged her for it.

This is why I’m writing to you, to help you realize how wonderful you are. To show you that even if you’re having a bad hair day, or you and your best friend are fighting about something stupid, or if your relationships aren’t always going so great, don’t forget who you are in the midst of it all. Don’t let any of that stuff change you. Don’t give up hope just because you have some bad days. People are going to screw up, you’re going to screw up, take the time to learn to forgive and move on. You’re going to need to do that MANY times down the road.

Also, the friends you have right now, don’t take them for granted. They really care about you. Don’t get so caught up in your relationships that you forget to show them how much you appreciate them. Because one day, you’re going to end up losing a lot of them, and you’ll hold a lot of guilt for that. So the ones you know are looking out for you, don’t just let them go and be mad at you when you’re in the wrong. Let go of your pride and make things better.

But also don’t let yourself get close to just anybody, they’re not all looking out for your best interest. Be wise about who you keep in your circle.

Just be true to yourself and do what really makes you happy. Don’t let the world rob you of your joy, there’s people out there that need it. I need it. Stay strong girl 👌🏻

 

While writing this “letter”, I was able to think back to how my 16 year old self felt back then and how untrue my negative feelings about myself were. I realized a pattern in my negative behaviors at that time and what may have caused such a change in me, a change I don’t like. This has helped give me a ton of insight. I’d definitely recommend this exercise to everyone!

Thanks for taking the time to read! I hope you got something helpful from it or at least could maybe relate to some of it. Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you 😊 xoxo

How I Went From 4 Cups of Coffee A Day Down to Zero, Cold Turkey

So when you saw this title, you were probably thinking one of 2 things. Either “Who would want to stop drinking coffee?” or “How is that possible?! I wish I could do that!”. If you were the latter, then this post is for you!

I did a poll on Twitter, and you wanted to know how I went from drinking 4 cups of coffee a day down to ZERO. I know, it sounds crazy even typing it out, but it’s true. So let me just get right into it!

If you’re anything like me, having any kind of synthetic caffeine gives you the jitters, anxiety, and you get hardcore crashes once it wears off. The feeling I got when I drank coffee was literally taking over me and making me miserable, but it was something I HAD to do.

See, I was working in an EXTREMELY fast paced, high stress environment, and if I didn’t have some kind of caffeine, I was always exhausted and feeling groggy, so I couldn’t keep up with the proper pace needed. So I had to force myself to go through these terrible feelings every single day, and then come home from work and crash, barely moving for the rest of the night. Let me tell you, I was not living at all.

And this went on for YEARS…

I knew I HAD to do something, or I was LITERALLY going to go insane. I was developing severe anxiety because of this pattern.

Meanwhile, I had been watching a friend of mine on Facebook posting about these products that she had been using. They changed her life, made her feel amazing, all that jazz. I was super skeptical about it, because I’ve heard SOOO many people claim that their products work and then you get stuck with some crappy supplements that you never feel working and you just wasted your whole paycheck. But I kept seeing her consistently every day talking about how she stopped drinking coffee after the first day of using these products, never had to take naps again, had crazy energy ALL day, getting SO many things done… It sounded like magic. Some kind of miracle.

So now I was even MORE skeptical. Like..how even?? But I had to try something, I couldn’t live like that anymore. So I messaged her one day and asked if I could try a sample.

I can’t even put into the proper words how much these products changed the game for me. On the first day, I felt insane energy flowing through me all day, and because it was all natural vitamins and minerals, it wasn’t that crazy, jittery crap you get from coffee and energy drinks. I just felt GOOD inside. Like gaps were being filled that I was never able to before with not only living off of coffee (which made me barely hungry through the day), but when I did eat it was always unhealthy snacks. During the 3 days that I took these products, I was literally buying SALAD when I went to fast food places, because I WANTED to. Like, my body was craving it.

My body didn’t need what coffee was giving it anymore. I had everything I needed flowing through my body, and like I said, it’s crazy to even say out loud, but I didn’t even think about getting one coffee the entire time. It’s happened with countless other people who tried them as well. It’s breaking addictions!

I really don’t think people realize how important it is to get the proper vitamins and nutrients in your body. That it can literally help you break bad habits and get your health to a place where you’re going to love yourself and your life again. I know it can be super frustrating to have a stock of 100 different vitamin bottles stored away because none of them even worked for you. Trust me, I’ve been there.

I’m someone that needs to see results quickly. But these products completely changed my outlook on health and how extremely important it is to get it in order! The great thing about these products is that it’s SO SIMPLE! There’s no taking 5 different pills a day, on top of having a strict diet, drinking gallons of water, working out every single day. No none of that. It’s 3 easy steps first thing in the morning and BOOM, you’re on top of the world all day long!

No more naps

No more crashing

No more jitters

No more anxiety

No more bad cravings

No more addiction

No more brain fog

If you want to know more about the products let me know! I’d love to see you CRUSH that coffee addiction and make the absolute BEST of your days!!

Regardless of what you use, I just want you guys to remember this: if you’re slacking on taking care of your physical health, that needs to become a priority. Because THAT is what is going to effect every other part of you going forward. If you’re not sleeping right, eating right, being active at all, you’re not going to see great results for yourself mentally or spiritually.

 

Take care of you, everything else will fall into place ❤

Inexpensive Hobbies To Try

 

Just a few years ago, my life was all about work and sleep. I didn’t have much free time on my hands, but when I did, I can honestly say I didn’t make good use of it. I usually spent my time watching movies or on the Internet. It never felt like I was getting much done. And on top of that, I had no idea what I actually enjoyed anymore because I wasn’t trying anything new.

So, I decided to step out of my comfort zone to find myself and what made my soul happy. If you’re having trouble figuring out things to do in your free time, and find yourself giving in to the Facebook-scroll addiction, I hope these ideas can give you some motivation to put the phone down and try something new! Who knows, it may even inspire you to start a whole new career!

(This post will be a List only. If there are any that you would like more info for, or ideas of how to start, I would be more than happy to make a series going into more detail!)

1. Blogging and/or Vlogging (Of course :D)
2. Making Your Own Bath & Beauty Products (Check Pinterest for Tips on How to Make Your Own. Research what Each Ingredient Does and Start Your Own Recipes!)
3. Designing Printables/Labels/Stickers On Your Computer (You may find you are more creative than you thought) (Super easy, free programs to use for this)
4. Try Out Different Instruments. (If one doesn’t work for you, that doesn’t mean you’re not musical at all, just try something else!)
5. Play Puzzle Games On of Offline (Sudoku, Crosswords, WordSearch, Hidden Object, Actual Puzzles)
6. Read Nonfiction AND Fiction (Fiction is actually extremely beneficial to your development)
7. Go Walking or Running in the Park and Take in the Scenery
8. Photography (Use Iphone and apps if you don’t have a camera)
9. Freelance Writing (for blogs, magazines, etc about topics that interest you)
10. Refurbish Old Furniture From Thrift Stores or That Neighbors are Throwing Out.
11. Cake Decorating (Cheap supplies from your local Craft store or Supermarket) (This is actually super fun once you get started!)
12. Journaling
13. Start an Instagram page and Share Pictures of Your Life and Passions (Use Editing Apps to Get a Clean, Consistent Look Throughout Your Feed)
14. Get the SkillShare App and Start Developing All Kinds of Skills That Interest You
15. Create Your Own Wooden Signs
16. Painting (It’s Actually A Lot Easier Once You’re Shown How To Do One Step by Step)
17. Smule: Karaoke App (If you love singing and would like to join others online in a duet to your favorite songs)
18. Bike Riding
19. Grow Your Own Indoor Plants

As I said, this was a list only post, but I will gladly share more info if any of these interest you! I hope you enjoyed. Make sure to leave a comment if you were able to get something from this!

My Favorite Family-Friendly Halloween Movies

I used to love watching horror movies in my early to late teens. I would even go so far as to say it was my favorite genre to watch! But in recent years, I’ve cut out Horror movies completely, and now even if I see a trailer to one coming out, I cringe and need to turn it off. My fiance doesn’t like them either, so it makes things much easier when it comes to choosing movies to watch together! We are all about keeping our movie choices family-friendly.

So if you are looking for movies to watch with your kiddos or if you and your SO are like us and are looking for some clean, fun movies to watch this Fall season, then keep reading!

1. Halloweentown 1 & 2

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This may be one of the most popular Halloween movies of all time. 90’s kids couldn’t wait for the Fall season to hit so that they’d start playing movies like this again on TV! I remember in elementary school, checking the TV guide all month and writing down in our calendar which days Halloweentown was playing so that I could stay up to watch it!

Such a fun one with a great story, engaging characters, and a deep message about fighting against segregation and intolerance. It’s slightly creepy with a ton of comedy and adventure. If you haven’t seen this one yet, I can pretty much guarantee this will be a new tradition for you every year!

2. The Scream Team

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This was another one of my all time favorites around Halloween time. This one doesn’t seem to be as talked about, but it was definitely a classic Halloween DCOM! With plenty of comedy and adventure, this movie is perfect for family movie night.

2 siblings team up with friendly ghosts after they find out that their grandfather never crossed over to the other side because his spirit was stolen by a vengeful, evil ghost (Zachariah). Now they must defeat Zachariah and help their grandfather finally cross over after 200 years!

3. Phantom of the Megaplex

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This is another one that is mainly for nostalgia value or to watch with your kiddies! I’m pretty sure if I watched it now as an adult, it wouldn’t be as enjoyable as it was back in the day. But your kids will love it!

The main character Pete Riley and his other coworkers are getting their megaplex theater prepared for a premiere gala that night. However, some creepy and mysterious things start happening. They start to wonder whether it is due to a haunting of the ghost of the person who was trapped in the theater when it was demolished, or if it could be someone much more familiar to them causing the chaos?

This one will keep your kiddos glued to the screen trying to figure out what will happen next!

4. Corpse Bride

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Our main character, Victor Van Dort, is set to be married to Victoria Everglot. But when things don’t go too well at their wedding rehearsal, Victor goes out into the woods to practice his vows again, to ensure everything goes smoothly. However, as he gets everything down perfectly, he soon finds himself married to a corpse bride named Emily. He then needs to find a way to get out of this situation and back to Victoria.

This is honestly a movie I’ve watched pretty much every year, because it’s just that good! As with all Tim Burton movies, there is this somewhat dark tone to the movie, but still completely appropriate for any age! If I had to choose one Tim Burton movie to watch around Halloween, call me crazy, but I would pick Corpse Bride over The Nightmare Before Christmas any day.

5. The Haunted Mansion

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I know Eddie Murphy is one of those actors you either love or hate. I absolutely loved him in this movie. Hilarious and engaging. Eddie stars as a real estate agent who takes his family to the creepy (like basically every old mansion) Gracey Manor, with the intent to help the owners sell their home. Little did they know what is really going on in the Manor.

With the help of a supernatural psychic, they must work to break the mansion’s curse before it is too late!

This is another one that has comedy and a story for both children and adults, making it enjoyable for everyone!

6. Ernest Scared Stupid

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If you don’t know who Ernest is, you are missing out! I would say he was like another Jim Carey. With the many faces, voices, quirks, and outlandish behaviors, it’s no wonder they’re both great at bringing originality to any comedy. This movie is set during the Halloween season, and has some eerie scenes, but also a ton of comedic relief!

I used to watch this movie every single year without fail, and even without Halloween being nearby! It’s always good for nostalgia, especially since it stars Ernest and actually this movie is the reason that I fell in love with the Ernest series!

7. Don’t Look Under The Bed

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This one is a must-see. Back when this movie first came out, there were parents that thought it was too frightening for their kids to watch. And for a DCOM, they didn’t feel it was appropriate. So, they stopped airing it on TV. I have to admit, there are some pretty scary scenes, I remember being totally freaked out as a kid when I watched this.

But, at the same time, the whole movie was done so well, and kids could relate to the “Boogeyman under the bed” idea, as well as having imaginary friends.

In “Don’t Look Under the Bed”, a teen gets help from an imaginary friend to deal with a boogeyman who has been pranking the whole town and trying to frame her for it. Back when it first came out in the 90’s, it was such a different concept for what would be considered a children’s movie.

If you’ve watched it before, you totally need to again as Halloween is drawing near! If you’re worried that your kids may be scarred after watching it, I’d say watch it yourself first and then decide!

8. Hocus Pocus

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I put this movie last in my list because, well everyone knows why it’s great and is a Halloween time must-see. But I had to add it because it’s definitely always been in my top favorites. Halloween just isn’t the same without it!

I hope you enjoyed going through the list of my favorites and must-sees for this Halloween season! If there are some of these that you haven’t seen yet, I’d love to hear which ones! And if you have seen them, let me know which are your favorites!

Now go set a date, get your family and friends together, get your popcorn ready and enjoy a Halloween movie night!!