I can’t believe that it is already November! Two months left and it will be a new year again (and the year I’ll turn 40…). And for the first time in ages I took the time to sit down and think about what I would like to do/achieve this month. I have to admit November has always been a bit of a stressful month for me the last couple of years. This is mainly due to my job – traveling a lot for work in Germany, organizing meetings and at the end of the months going to Sweden for almost two weeks.
So, to keep my sanity and not cramp all my errands into the last two weeks before the holidays, I sat down and made a list of what to do this month. I find that whenever I actually write down a list of instead just having it in my mind I get more things done. Especially in this season where I want to enjoy December and not be stressed out by the holiday season…
1. Christmas Shopping
Since I’ll be gone at the beginning of December, I want to get most of my Christmas shopping done by the end of November. I like to take some time to stroll the stores in Frankfurt and Wiesbaden before everybody else is out there trying to find something for their loved ones. Buying now also gives me the time in December to go to Christmas markets, long walks and spending time with friends and family instead of last-minute shopping. And if I’m really honest, I already git some present during the summer…
2. Send all my Christmas Cards
My trick: buy all your Christmas Cards on sale after Christmas! I have a full stack in my craft drawer and just need to take the time to sit down and write my cards. I need to send some to friend in the US so I like to mail them before December for them to be on time!
3. Organize my basement
I finally want to get my basement unit organized. It’s one of those places in my house that I keep forgetting about since I never really have to go down there. And I still have those IKEA basement units that I got from a friend in 2014…talk about being lazy!
4. Getting my Tax Returns done
Much like my basement this is something I’m not good at and always push away! And I haven’t done one in three years… luckily I won’t get into trouble here in Germany. I’m just thinking about all the money I’m not getting back that could be put to so much better use!
5. Invite friends for board games
What I loved most about the dark and gloomy winter time where those Sunday afternoons I went for a walk with my family and spend the rest of the day playing board or card games. When it comes to that I can be a really big nerd! And luckily I have friends who share the same passion – who is up for Junta or Talisman?
6. Put up my Christmas decoration
Nothing gets me more into the Christmas mood than putting up my Christmas decorations. I have collected some very nice pieces over the last couple of years that I love to take out during this season. It also gives me a reason to go and look for some new pieces and ideas. Before I start decorating I always take a look at my Pinterest board for some inspiration.
7. Host a Christmas cookies bake-off
Every year I get together with my friend Anette to bake Christmas cookies for friends and family. What I love about this tradition is the fun that we have and that I only have to bake two or three different kinds and end up with a full box with more than 6 or more varieties. I’m already stalking Martha Stewart and thekitchn for ideas!
8. Incorporate healthier life choices
When I think of winter time my mind is filled with all the Christmas sweets that will be around in the next couple of weeks. When it comes to sweets I have not been good this year. I tried several times to change my diet and exercise routine but only half-hearted. Now I’m my heaviest since I graduated in 2004 from university. Time to slim down and cut out the sugar and replace it with veggies and healthier meal options. Cardio is a must now and at least one yoga class per week to stretch and become more flexible.
9. Take a Spa weekend
While I was going through my emails I found an older one with a hotel coupon I bought at the beginning of 2016. I haven’t used it yet – can you imagine? Now I need to speed up to use it before the end of the year. At first I wanted to go with one of my best friends but she won’t be able to go so now I want to find some down time for myself to spend a weekend by myself and get a little bit pampered. Nothing better than to relax, take a swim, get a massage and some good food.
10. Learn how to make marmalade
Every year I try to give at least one hand-made gift to my friends and family. And this year I decided it should be something food-related again. One of my best friends is kind of the king in my circle of friends when it comes to making jam and marmalades. My mother and sister even had a business at one point selling all kinds of exotic flavors and combinations. I have yet not tried it put I think it would be a nice touch!
What are your plans for November? Anything nice or exciting you want to share?