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positively present picks: week of november 26, 2012



 "I like nonsense. It wakes up the brain cells.
Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living."

Dr. Seuss



8 Skills You Need for Running a Business : these really apply to life in general

10 Ways to Start Believing in Yourself Now : it's time to believe in you

Finding Balance Starts with a Positive Outlook : my Globe and Mail interview 

How to Stay Positive When a Relationship Ends : 5 very helpful tips

Marc Johns' new book : so excited about this! he's awesome. 

48 Joyous Christmas Quotes : just in case you feel like getting festive

What Would You Do If Money Were No Object? : always a great question

19 Signs You're Doing Better Than You Think : #1's a biggie

Note to Self's Holiday Gift Guides : really loving her hostess ideas

Elf Design : so proud of myself for making this in my design class

Paperfinger : love these pretty stamps + paper goods

100 Notable Books of 2012 : wonderful New York Times round-up


Check out this week's Positively Present playlist on YouTube

"Be Above It" –  Tame Impala
"Coming Down" –  Dum Dum Girls
"Novemeber Was White, December Was Gray" –  Say Hi
"Gone Gone Gone" –  Phillip Phillips
"Rill Rill" –  Sleigh Bells
"Liar and the Lighter" –  Gabrille Aplin
"White Winter Hymnal" –  Birdy
"Moonlight Hours" –  The Holidays
"Stay" –  Rihanna
"I Believe in Life" –  Jermaine Paul
"True Romance"  –  Citizens!
"Symptoms" –  Atlas Genius

Comfort & Joy
Kristin Hannah 


a december to remember & project life giveaway!



'Tis the season for giving! The Stay Positive giveaways might be over, but this week we have an extra special giveaway from Project Life -- just in time for the holiday memory-making. Thank you, Project Life, for offering Positively Present readers a chance to win a set of three fantastic products -- all of which I own and love. See the end of this post for details on how you can be the lucky winner!


As the end of November draws near, all around us are signs of the holiday season. It's the most wonderful time of year -- and the most stressful. With all the holiday tasks crammed onto already full to-do lists, it's easy to feel like the holidays are more stress than celebration. But don't despair if you're one of the many who feels overwhelmed by the hecticness of the holidays. Most of us do. 

But I've found a trick for taking some of the chaos out of Christmas: focus on memory-making.   

Memories made during the holiday season are priceless. Memories don't cost money. They don't (usually) need to be purchased and wrapped. They are the reason that, deep down, we come back to the fuss and frazzle of the holiday season each and every year. Memories that stay with us long after the tree has been taken down and the ornaments put away, and focusing on making memories will bring you back to what Christmas is really about -- fun, merriment, family, and friends.  

Focusing on making memories might not seem like a very present-moment-focused solution to combating holiday stress, but I've actually found that when I focus on making (and capturing) memories, I stay in the moment, enjoying whatever holiday-related activity I'm partaking in. Instead of worrying about what needs to be crossed off my to-do list -- or stressing about all the last minute things I have to take care before the holidays -- I'm focused on the moment right in front of me. And as a result, I end up creating a more memorable December. 

With all the holiday hustle and bustle, however, it's not often easy to stay in the moment (no matter how much I might want to!). I need some tips and tricks to make the most of the holiday season. Here are some ways I've tactics that have helped me create a December to remember: 


Pay attention to the present. 

During the holiday season, there is so much going on. Events to attend, gifts to purchase, and an array of over-stimulating holiday decorations everywhere! Amid all this commotion, it's easy to get distracted from the moment. When you find yourself overwhelmed by the chaos of the holiday season, pause, take a deep breath, and remind yourself to pay attention. Even the tiniest things -- a holiday display in a store window or a smile from a cheerful stranger -- can make staying in the present worthwhile. Take a moment to pay attention to what's going on around you and you'll be more likely to remember the wonderful parts of the holiday season long after it's passed you by.  

Embrace your favorite traditions. 

Holiday traditions are often where our holiday memories stem from -- and where they new memories can be created. Are there things you love to do every year? What traditions did you take part in when you were growing up? What can you do today to keep those traditions alive? Sticking to the traditions you love is one way to make sure the holiday season is memorable. Embracing traditions you know and love helps to make your holiday more memorable -- and creating new traditions is also a wonderful way to create seasonal memories. 

Be open to new experiences. 

A great way to make this December one to remember is by doing something you've never done before. Don't know where to get new ideas? Ask your friends and acquaintances what their holiday traditions are. Some might sound strange to you, but you're bound to hear one or two ideas that sound like fun. Trying something new is a great way to make a moment memorable. Doing the same thing over and over again can make December seem dull. If you want to spice up your holiday season and make this December memorable, don't be afraid to break away from the things you've always done. You might just create a new tradition -- and even if you don't, you'll certainly create some holiday memories. 

Capture your moments on film. 

Sometimes the most important memories aren't the ones you typically capture on film. We often look through the lens at the obvious "memorable" moments -- opening Christmas morning or sitting down as a family at the holiday feast -- but what about those not-so-obvious holiday memories? This year, pay attention to the moments that matter most to you -- especially those that aren't the most conventional -- and make an effort to snap a photo or two. The moments you capture don't have to be meaningful to anyone but you. Just make sure to have a camera or phone nearby because you never know when a truly memory-worthy moment will strike! 

Take time to write it down. 

Take some time this December to write about the moments that matter most to you. You don't have to be Plath or Woolf to put the pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) to record of what inspires you this holiday season. All you need is an open mind and a little dedication. When rushing from one thing to another this December, it'll be hard to pause and write down the memories you experience, but you'll be happy if you took the time to do it once the holiday season is over. Even if you don't have a ton of free time (and who does!), set aside a few minutes at the end of every day to write about your day. Focus on the (positive!) things that mean the most to you, and be sure to take note of what you're grateful for. Putting the moments in writing is a great way to remember each day -- and it also serves as a reminder to pause and stay present. 


Creating a memorable December is hard. Though it's the time of the year when we should probably be making the most memories and staying in the moment, it also seems to be the most difficult time of year to stay present. Hopefully these ideas will help you to enjoy the crazy, hectic month of December. And to help you keep your December memories documented for years to come, we have a very exciting giveaway today from Project Life. I've been using these products for a few months now, and I love them. Read on for details on how YOU can enter to win this awesome giveaway! 






  • Do one or more of the following: (each counts as one entry!) 
  • Post a comment below stating how you spread the word
  • Leave your email address (or another way we can contact you) 


  • Every post / tweet / like, etc. counts as one entry 
  • Winner will be chosen at random and must be a US resident 
  • One winner will receive: 
  • Winner will be notified via email on Monday, December 3, 2012 


positively present picks: week of november 19, 2012



Olivia for the Gratitude giveaway
Carol for the Happiness giveaway

This was the final week for the Stay Positive giveaways.
Thank you so much to everyone who spread the word
about the book and entered the contests.

You are all awesome! 



 "If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it.
If you don't ask, the answer is always no.
If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place."

Nora Roberts



Mr. Boddington's Studio : just a wee bit obsessed with the holiday collection

Gratitude is the Opposite of Fear : love this article on The Bold Life

Elf Cookies : my favorite movie + my favorite food. YES.

Free Design Tutorials : love Nicole's Classes so much!

10 Happy Habits You Should Start Now : yay for my favorite, #5!

Fionna Apple's Letter : she's cancelled her tour to stay with her sick pup 

 A Practical Guide to Stay Present : via The Positivity Blog

8 Tips for Dealing with Difficult Relatives During the Holidays

Check out this week's Positively Present playlist on YouTube

"C'mon" –  Ke$ha
"Rubies and Rocks" –  Thao + Mirah
"All You Need Is Love" –  Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
"Silver Lining" –  Jessie J
"Rewind" –  Skye Stevens
"Life Size Ghosts" –  Mt. Wolf
"In the Open" –  Benjamin Francis Leftwich
"Dazed & Confused" –  Iko
"Lover to Lover"  –  Florence & the Machine
"Connected" –  Caught a Ghost
"Something Inside" –  Jessie Ware
"Never Say Never" –  Tristan Prettyman
"Early Winter" –  Gwen Stefani

Secrets to Happiness
Sarah Dunn