November 2018 - Della Devoted

Living Your Best Life in 2019: Step by Step

Have your best year yet! Image via Pexels

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In the closing months of 2018, it's natural to reflect on how your year has gone and ask yourself if you could do better next year. With a clean slate in front of you, what could you achieve? Have you really been living up to your abilities and your own expectations and making the life you want a reality? The ability to undergo transformation is a gift, and with each new dawn we truly can make our lives into want we want - with a little effort. So if you’re dreaming of living your best life, get your head out of the clouds and start doing. Make a concrete plan so that you can hit 2019 running and truly make it worth remembering.

Boost Your Career

Whether you’re just starting out in your chosen field, or you feel you’ve hit a bit of a plateau, examine whether you need to revisit your career plan next year. It can sometimes be easy to coast along without really paying attention and find that you haven’t been making progress. Set yourself some easy small career goals for the beginning of the year, and you can build upon and expand them further down the line. Start by making over your resume - update the information, making it snappy and showcase your achievements. Then upload it to LinkedIn, where you can join some professional groups, get networking, and get seen. Find a few events to go to for your own learning and development, and the chance to make fresh contacts as well. Set yourself a goal such as attending one per month and see where it takes you.

Sort Out Your Finances

What sort of shape were your finances in this year? Things such as our personal budgets can slowly creep out of shape without us fully realising, especially at Christmas, so take the chance to re-evaluate. A budgeting app can show you where that monthly salary is really going, and illuminate areas of overspending you may not have been aware of Then you can work out how to start saving money. Define what goals you have for the next 12 months - it could be to pay down debt or save up money to go travelling or begin on the deposit for your own place. Be clear about what you want to achieve and how much it costs, then break the amount down into a manageable monthly target. Set this amount to automatically transfer from your account the day after you get paid, so you can’t accidentally overspend. You can make your money work hard for you by using price comparison sites for everything from utilities and insurances to clothes shopping to make sure you always get the best deal - and pocket the difference!

Overhaul Your Lifestyle

If you’re feeling run down, it could be that you aren’t looking after yourself and prioritising your wellbeing. Remedy this for the New Year by doing a quick assessment of your lifestyle and health concerns. If you have low energy, excess weight or bad stamina, it could be time to turbo-charge your mornings with a quick 15 minute High Intensity Interval training session. Using body weight exercises, you can achieve great results for your fitness without needing an expensive gym membership or lots of spare time. Find a good playlist of YouTube workouts and follow along at home. Overhaul your diet by picking out 5 healthy delicious recipes and learning to cook them in rotation. If you’re short on time, set aside a couple of hours on a Sunday to batch cook, bag up and freeze your portions so they’re ready to go. Try to include a rainbow of fruit and veg to make sure you’re covering all the bases with different vitamins and minerals, or buy in a supergreens powder to add to your morning smoothie or glass of orange juice. The right nutrition will help you to be more productive and feel more energetic.

High Five For Friday

Welcome to the weekly High Five For Friday link-up hosted by Tif @ Bright On A Budget, Becky @ BYBMG   and myself. We're glad you're here! High Five for Friday is where we come together to share five highlights or five favorite things from the past week each Friday. We would also like to announce that we now have another co-host joining us. Please help us give a warm welcome to the newest member of High Five For Friday which is Whitney @ Polka Dotty Place.

1) My family and I had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It was a great day filled with much needed family time and wonderful food. We truly are blessed.

2) Tif from Bright on a Budget and I went on our annual Black Friday shopping trip. We scored some awesome deals especially the Ryan's World Giant Mystery Egg for Raylan and Kane. That egg was number one on my list.

3) Tif, our friend Beth and myself along with all of our children had an Impromptu Friendsgiving at our local Pizza Stop. We all had such a great time especially the kids.

4) We went to see Christmas lights at two different locations and both places were decorated so beautifully. Going to see Christmas lights is one of my favorite Christmas traditions and memories. My parents would always take my brother and I every year when we were little.

5) Raylan and I had our first snow day this week and needless to say, we were very excited even though we didn't get much snow at all.

That's a wrap for my week. How was your week?

* Don't forget you can drop links for up to 3 of your posts each week and you can still drop your link for a Friday 5 post!

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to link-up below. Have a blessed and safe weekend!

Monthly Favorites: November Edition

How is it already the end of November? It's like I blinked and this month is already over. Other than a lot of sickness, this has been a great month. A lot of fun holiday happenings have taken place that I have really enjoyed. October through December is seriously the best time of the year! I love enjoying all of the fun festivities that go along with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. My favorite will always be Christmas though! I love celebrating the birth of Christ, the peaceful feeling that it brings, decorating for Christmas and seeing all of the beautiful colors. Anyways, here are my top favorite things that I have enjoyed during the month of November.
  • Seeing the beautiful Fall Foliage
  • Decorating the Christmas Tree with Raylan
  • Making an annual homemade Christmas Ornament with Raylan
  • Two Date Nights with my husband which is a very rare occurrence these days
  • Watching the new Grinch movie with my little Family.
  • Watching Hallmark Christmas movies
  • Thanksgiving with our families
  • Black Friday Shopping with Tif from Bright on a Budget
  • An Impromptu Friendsgiving
  • Driving around looking at Christmas Lights with my family

What are some of your favorite things from November?

Preparing For Christmas Dinner

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We all know that one of the major parts of Christmas preparation is the food, and that is
something that you need to put a lot of effort in if you are to make sure that the day itself
goes off without too much trouble. As it happens, there are many things you might need to
do to make sure that that is the case, and you might be surprised at just how much you need
to do to make sure that you are getting prepared for the Christmas food. It is not too early to
start thinking about it now, and in fact the sooner you get prepared at least mentally, the better off you will be on the day itself. As long as you have prepared in some of the following ways, you will find that you are able to enjoy the day for what it is much more, so this is definitely valuable to bear in mind. Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to make sure that you are truly, fully prepared for Christmas Day’s food.

Consider Everyone

You need to make sure that you are going to be able to provide for everyone, and that can be
a lot harder than you might think. Not only do you need to think about the numbers that
you are going to have, but you will also need to make sure that you are paying attention to
any particular dietary requests or restrictions which there might be. You need to therefore
ask around first and foremost, and make sure that you are fully aware of all of thee.
Even when it comes to friends and family, you might be surprised how often you don’t actually fully know someone’s diet, and it is always a good practice to ask. If you are extending your dinner table for the day and inviting people from beyond your immediate circle too, you will certainly want to make sure that you get definite numbers too. If in doubt, you should try to make more food than you think you will need, so that you know that you are going to have enough. But try not to overcook so much that it merely leads to a lot of wastage, as that is unlikely to be the way to go. Get this level right, and you can make sure that you are providing for everyone without any waste at all.

Save Money

We all know that buying food for Christmas can take a lot of money, and you might feel that
you need a little help to make it happen this year. If that is the case, the good news is that
there are always going to be things that you can do to make sure that you can afford all the
food you need, so you should make use firstly not to worry about it as much as is possible.
You can always keep the spending down so long as you know what you are doing, so don’t
worry about that. The truth is that you can save money on Christmas food by firstly buying everything non-fresh that you can now, before the rush starts for buying Christmas things.
If you buy it now, you will find it is much cheaper than just before Christmas. However, with
the fresh food you obviously can’t do this, and you will need to make sure that you are
keeping the food as fresh as possible. But in that case, what you can do is at least shop
around and try to find the best deal for whatever you are going to buy. In fact, if you
research it now, you will make the food shop that much easier when it comes around.

You might also want to consider making things a little easier for you this Christmas by looking into getting a credit card. If you think you might have poor credit, and you are not sure about whether or not you can even get one, it might be worth trying anyway, as you never know. You might be able to get signed up for bad credit credit cards if nothing else, and this could give you the extra spending capacity you need to just make sure that you can keep your money afloat this Christmas. Being able to afford the food is clearly very important, so make sure that you are strongly considering these options, and that you are starting to think about them now, as before you know it, Christmas will be here.

Providing Food For The Surrounding Days

It’s important to remember too that you also need to make sure you are providing food
not just for Christmas Day itself, but also the surrounding days. We all know that a lot of
food is eaten in Christmas week, and you need to make sure that you are providing enough
for the whole period, so that you can still have enough on the day and so that you and your
family can enjoy the feeling of having a full fridge at Christmas time. You can go for one big
shop close to the time and in this way hope to be able to provide as much as necessary, or
you can even go throughout the year and gradually build up on the dry goods and non-fresh
foods. If you have already considered this, then that’s great - if not, you might need to think
about what you can do to make sure that you are providing plenty of foods for your family throughout the Christmas season. It feels much more like Christmas when this is the case.

Plan For The Cook

You might also find that you benefit from planning out the actual cook on the day itself, as it can be a particularly monstrous cook for many people. If you have planned it out, it will be considerably easier to carry out, and you will be able to ensure that you get it all done on time as well. The easiest way to plan for this is to make sure that you get the timings written down - as long as you do that, you will have something you can go by, and you will find that it makes the whole thing much easier to deal with.

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