Things to Remember in December

December is the time to celebrate everything you've learned in the current year, and prepare to make the upcoming year the best ever. As we say goodbye to 2014, I wanted to share some of the things I've learned and currently have on my mind.

1. Love Your Lips- A lot of you are going to be standing under the mistletoe this holiday season, so make sure your lips are on point! I found this great recipe for an all natural lip scrub that requires only three ingredients: brown sugar, honey, and coconut oil. Emma from "Crafting &" even includes an adorable template for stickers to add to your final product.

After getting rid of the dead skin, make sure you're keeping them moisturized. I currently can't get enough of my Burt's Bees Lip Balms in their regular sheer shade as well as their tinted variety.

Don't let your lips get dry and flaky. Show them some TLC, pucker up, then you'll thank me! ;)

2. File or Fail- Have you accumulated paperwork, bills, receipts, manuals, etc throughout the year? While I've mostly gone electronic, I still have a lot of things that need filing. As I sit here at my desk, I see a pile of paperwork that needs a home. I am pretty good about throwing away things I don't need, so I need to make the time to get all that remains into my filing system. 

If you haven't already invested in a shredder, this is the perfect time to add one to your Christmas list. Identity theft is at an all-time high, protect yourself.

3. Prevention is Key- Has it been a hot minute since you've been to the doctor? Don't feel bad, I'm on the same boat. I've been putting off the dentist, the dermatologist, and the gynecologist. Life gets busy, but you need to make your health a priority.

Many health plans allow for one full checkup a year, and it's December folks. Get those appointments in and ensure you're in tip top shape.

4. Don't Wait for January- Get a jump start on your health resolutions. Ugh...I know. That's another thing I totally slacked on in 2014 that I will not allow to continue. Life is busy, time is limited but it's important that everyone take some time for themselves. If it means waking up earlier, set that alarm--- and two others as reminders that you need to be out of bed.

I gave you some tips in my November post, for getting your fitness in. But with all the new year resolutions, there will be a lot of great deals out there including free introduction classes and sometimes even as much as a week free trial at a local gym.

If you rather stay indoors, I just visited a new T.J. Maxx location near home and found some great home equipment. They had yoga mats, resistant bands, kettle weights, and all kinds of other random things that can help you get a great workout. Check out stock at Marshall's and Ross as well.

Affordable and easily available. No more excuses.

5. Wash My Face When?- Speaking of exercising, I learned something pretty interesting today. Self Magazine posted an article about the most important time of the day to wash your face, and how it's not when you think it is. I would have guess it would be morning, but I was wrong.

“You’ve got to wash your face before you work out because if you don’t, then you’re sweating against all of the oil and dirt on your skin which can lead to clogging,” says New York-based dermatologist Dr. Neal Schultz, M.D. “And more importantly when you work out and sweat, you wipe your skin. Well that just grinds all of the oil, dirt, grime and dead cells into your pores and makes you break out.”

Who knew?! I'm currently using Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Cream Cleanser but I keep a pack of facial towelettes in my gym bag in case I don't have time to wash my face properly ahead of a workout.

6. Pay It Forward- I saw a story over the weekend on the news about these caring "layaway angels" who are going to stores and paying off balances owed on accounts. How amazing is that?! People who put items on layaway normally can't afford the items, so they make small payments towards their bill until they're all paid up. I wish these layaway angels could see the reactions they bring to people, because many times, this act can be life changing.

If you don't have that kind of money, there are still things you can do. One of my favorite acts of kindness during the holiday season is to donate toys for needy kids. Grownups can live without getting gifts but kids should never be burdened with financial woes.

I was raised by a hard-working single mom, and it was hard to make ends meet. I'll never forget one Christmas when things were really tight, we received a letter from the Miami Beach Police Department inviting us to visit. When we arrived, they had this enormous room filled with toys I could only dream of. My brother and I were allowed to pick any one item we wished for. There's no way my mom could've afforded that Cabbage Patch Doll I wanted so bad!

So many stores have great deals on toys right now. I've bought Barbie dolls for $5, and you can't imagine how happy that will make a child.

One of the biggest organizations is Toys for Tots and you can donate new items fairly easily. Check out their website to find a location nearest you.

What things are you guys working on this month? Any priorities I might have missed?


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