The Holidays

The holidays are fast approaching! I absolutely love this time of year, but it seems like every year it’s harder and harder to get excited for this special time – what with all the huge corporate sales, celebrations starting before Halloween and the ever-increasing pressure to spend even more money. It’s absolute insanity. I decided to write this post as a reality check for myself: to remember the real reasons my family celebrates the holidays.

‘Tis the season..


To celebrate family & friends,


To introduce new additions to our old traditions,


To watch the amazement and wonder in a child’s eyes,


To decorate a tree with new memories,


For giving gifts of time, love, laughter and peace.


‘Tis the season for tradition and family, holding your loved ones close, celebrating the little things and remembering where you came from. This holds especially true for me this year, being away from family during the holidays for the first time. But it’s time for new traditions.

What do the holidays mean to you?

Christmas in a Jar

Nothing says Christmas like cinnamon and cloves. There’s just something about that combination that gets me in the holiday spirit, no problem. So today I’m sharing with you guys my favorite recipe for Holiday Potpourri, aka Christmas in a Jar.


Gangsta Wrappa!


This shirt was made for me. I’m the weirdo who loves to wrap come Christmas time, even volunteering to do others’.

I think I’ve got a pretty good system going, so I thought I’d share with you guys!

12/4: Wrapping

12/3: DIY Spa Ornament

I know I said I’d be posting the DIY photoshoot workspace today, but I’m going to save it for later so I can feature someone special 🙂

Today’s Shine Bright idea is a DIY Spa Ornament!


Aromatic Mint and Ginger soothing salts to melt away the coldest winter blues. Use the salts in a hot bath and then hang the ornament on your tree!

Nine of them for under $20 and made within an hour!

Bonus gift box too!


Enjoy 🙂

12/2: 3 DIY Tripods

If you love DIY projects and saving money, I’ve got you covered!


Three options to remember this holiday season when the group photo comes up: toilet paper, clothespins and business cards. Impress everyone with your MacGyver skills 😉

3 DIY Tripod Tutorials

Tomorrow I’m going to show you how to DIY a table top photo studio, so don’t put away that tripod just yet.

Shine Bright, Day 1

We’re starting off simple: Mood Music.

It looks absolutely nothing like winter here in Arizona, so I’ve been tricking myself into the spirit with my favorite Christmas songs. I like a good variety, so I’ve got Jazz, Christmas Rock, and A Capella topping my list! A little Christmas inspiration for your Monday 🙂

Also, I’ve added a new drop-down list to the menu bar at the top of my page. Simply click on “Shine Bright” to see a full list of links, or just roll your cursor over it for a drop-down of the pages posted so far.

Coming up tomorrow: Tripods and Self-Timers, how to use them to your advantage, and even a DIY option!

It’s December!?

Holy Cow

I can’t believe December is here already! It’s going to be a huge month for my honey and I. We’ll be moving across country – twice! Not to mention Christmas and New Years squeezed in there somehow.

It’s going to be a challenge to feel Christmas-y this year. Starting with the desert weather here in AZ, then moving cross-country twice, and being away from family for the first time during The Holidays… Oy.

But I have a plan!

‘Tis the season of sharing, so I’m going to share 25 Holiday-themed tips and tricks to help make your season shine bright. From family recipes, to camera tricks, to decorations. A new post every day to inspire even the scroogiest of us! Stay tuned this afternoon for the first one.

If you have an epic tradition you’d like to share, please do! 🙂 All faiths are welcome, don’t be shy.