A Tiny Christmas || Keeping Christmas 2018 Simple

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It’s officially our first “tiny” Christmas in the RV and, although I’ve always tried to keep the holidays simple and pressure free as much as I could, this year it feels like we’re taking it to new lengths, literally.

This season has, as it usually does, felt like a blur, but I’ve tried to keep my mindset on doing “less but better” be it an activity, buying a gift, or deciding whether to decorate or not. I’ll keep this post short and sweet, but I’m excited to share a few photos of our Christmas setup and a few (really simple) goals I’ve been sticking to over the past month or so.

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1. Keep Decorations to a Minimum

As much as I love to deck the halls, this year it felt overwhelming to try to add too much Christmas decor, especially when we’re still in the organizing and settling in phase of RV life. I stuck to setting up a mini artificial tree (reusable and easier to clean up than a real tree) and buying one pre-lit garland for the kitchen.

For the tree, the girls and I made salt dough ornaments and made a little garland using cotton balls and yarn and filled in the gaps with the few ornaments we already had (plus the addition of our RV ornament that I couldn’t say no to).

Our living area feels festive but not overwhelming and I’m not worried about where to put it all when we take it all down.

2. Focus on cultivating a sense of Christmas, rather than feeling pressured to do It all

This has been huge for me. We live in a very tourist-y area with LOTS going on over the holidays and although we’ve done a few of the events, I’m hoping to portray to my girls that the holidays can still be festive and exciting without having to be busy. So, we’ve decorated cookies, read Christmas stories, gone sledding and drank hot cocoa, and even went to the Denver Zoo lights, but I don’t feel pressure to say yes to every Christmas-y thing that comes our way.

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3. Keep gifts simple, but don’t stress if others don’t

Perhaps the most important tip for me this year has been to not stress about what I can’t control. I love gifts of experiences for my kids and meaningful things that don’t take up much space and encourage exploration and creativity. But. Not everyone else does. I can make my “wish list” for my family, pass it on to relatives with the note that we live in an RV so please don’t go overboard, and leave it at that.

As the packages for my kiddos arrive at our doorstep I try to appreciate the love that went into them, thankful for how many people love my girls. Instead of feeling stress about the new toys we will have to make space for, I’m working on controlling only what I can control.

How are you keeping the holidays simple this year?

Ethical Holiday || Gift Guide For Kids

Ethical Holiday  || Gift Guide For Kids

The last of my gift guides for the year has been the most fun to put together. It's possible that kids are even harder to shop for than men, especially if you're trying to do so ethically. Although I try to always keep our Christmas gifts (very) simple and affordable for my two girls, I went a bit over the top with this guide. I include gifts for a wide age range and an even wider range of budgets ;) 

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10 Products Made By Survivors of Human Trafficking That Support Their New Life

10 Products Made By Survivors of Human Trafficking That Support Their New Life

It's Dressember day three, and fittingly, it's also International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. 

Slavery is far from abolished. In fact, there are 30 million people worldwide trapped in some kind of slavery. That is more than any other time period in history. 55% of modern day slaves are women and children and 45% are men and boys. 26% of them are children under 18 years old. 

These stats seem hopeless, but luckily, there are many organizations working night and day to abolish slavery, both overseas and in your back yard. 

It can feel like there's nothing you can do, but supporting the brands who employ survivors and aid in rescuing those still enslaved is a small, but highly effective way to join in the fight. Each one of the products included on this list were made by a survivor of trafficking or someone who is at risk for being trafficked. Each product provides sustainable income, a safe workplace, and care as the men and women transition back into the "real world". 

Voting with your dollars is one of the easiest ways to take a stand and shopping with brands like To the Market and the others in this list makes a difference on so many levels.  

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Ethical Holiday Guide || Affordable Gifts For Her

Ethical Holiday Guide || Affordable Gifts For Her

She may not be hard to shop for, but she may not speak her needs as quickly as everyone else. She may seem to "have it all". Or, she may carry herself so gracefully with what she has that you have no idea where to start when shopping for her. Whether she is your mom, your girlfriend, your sister, your aunt, or your best friend (or, if you're gathering some great ideas for your own Christmas list), she deserves a gift that is as beautiful as she is, but won't compromise on ethics. 

All of these pieces are practical, can fit a wide range of ages/personalities/styles, and of course are made as ethically and sustainably as possible. Each of these brands have been hand selected (by me) for this guide with affordability and practicality in mind, things I've either personally used or think would fit well into a wide variety of lifestyles. 

Whoever she is, she is sure to appreciate one of these consciously beautiful gifts. 

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Ethical Holiday || An Affordable Gift Guide For Him

Ethical Holiday || An Affordable Gift Guide For Him

He may be low maintenance, but for some reason, Christmas shopping for my husband is always the hardest part of the holiday. I know him and what he needs, and yet, I find myself stumped each year because guys are just so darn hard to shop for. 

Adding ethics to the mix makes things even more difficult. It's one thing to run to Target and pick up a new set of steak knives or a new flannel, but when you're hoping to find conscious gifts for everyone on your list, things can get pricey really quickly. This gift guide focuses solely on items that are both practical and affordable- without sacrificing ethics. Everything is under $100 (except one splurge gift) and each piece is hand picked by me including brands I've personally worked with or researched. There may even be a discount code or two thrown in just for fun ;) 

Happy shopping! 

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