This post has been sponsored by General Mills. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Oh, why am I wearing a gold sparkly crown in my backyard while sampling my favorite snack of all time by the fire? A) because it’s awesome and this right here is my happy place and B) because I’m celebrating, friends! In today’s post—with some help from the iconic, absolutely irresistible Cinnamon Toast Crunch™ and Albertsons—we’re making it our mission to convince you that you should be celebrating, too!
Just how are they helping me do that, you ask? Well, to start, they’re giving you guys the chance to win FREE Cinnamon Toast Crunch™ for a YEAR when you buy any one box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch™ at your local Albertons
or Albertsons family store, snap a picture of your receipt, and enter at YearofCTC.com! See the complete rules at YearofCTC.com.* Ok, free Cinnamon Toast Crunch™ for a year is, in and of itself, cause for celebration. However, today, we’re also taking a deeper dive into the idea of celebration to talk about all of the creative ways you can and should commemorate those achievements or the good in your life and freeze the moment!
As you guys know, my neighborhood Albertsons is my go-to for all of the home and grocery essentials I need for my home and celebrations of all kinds. Just a little pro tip: I use the Albertsons mobile app to score coupons when I stock up, so I’m always saving when I shop. How awesome is that?
Ok, let’s talk celebration. As you guys know, the entire existence of this little blog is based on the concept of sharing and celebrating the joy of the cottage lifestyle we love so much with you—our amazing readers. And when I think about where that love comes from, a large part of it is that “cottage lifestyle,” as we’ve lovingly dubbed it, is so deeply rooted in appreciation for the simple pleasures in life. Not things. Not stuff. I’m talking about those truly simple delights in life, like the sound of spring rain on the roof, the breeze ushering in the smell of citrus through an open window, toes in the soft sand, bare feet on a warm wood floor, a pitch black night sky on fire with stars as far as the eye can see, and any opportunity to slow down and freeze a great moment to celebrate the good in life with the people we love. That last one’s a big one. It’s everything we love in life and more, and it was kind of a pillar of my upbringing that I think made me fall in love with the “cottage lifestyle” so many years ago.
So, I hope you guys have your party pants on because, today, we’re talking about just that: the idea of slowing down to celebrate the good in life—whether it’s big wins or small, major milestones or tiny triumphs. As a family, we’ve always been huge proponents of celebration whenever possible, however possible. This allows us to not only appreciate and commemorate something great in our lives (no matter how big or small that something great may seem) but also to slow down and inject our lives with those much-needed bursts of happy energy. Those bursts help us grow and motivate us to forge ahead with the kind of positivity, passion, and enthusiasm that propels us to the next great moment in our lives or the realization of dreams!
I think so much growth comes from slowing down to celebrate, even if it’s something seemingly small or simple. In today’s busier-than-busy culture, I think we’ve become trained to think of celebration as frivolous or reserved for a moment or an achievement that’s bigger, better. We’re so quick to list the reasons an achievement or a moment in our lives isn’t cause for celebration. To undersell it. To leave it in our rearview for more productive pursuits than slowing down to actually relish in our happiness, no matter how simple the source. But, guess what? How many people do you know, in your orbit, that have recently expressed some level of burnout? Right. Soldiering on, constantly pushing the things that bring us joy to the background, underselling our achievements or milestones as unremarkable in the name of productivity, or the pursuit of that house on the hill is leading us to an epidemic of burnout. We need more fun—more celebration in our lives!
I know, I know. It may feel a little bit uncomfortable to stand up and clap for yourself (literally or metaphorically), but I promise that the juice is worth the squeeze here, guys! Don’t worry—if this feels a little foreign to you, you’re having a hard time wrapping your brain around the idea of celebration, and you don’t even know where to start or what that would look like, know that you’re not alone. What’s more, we’re listing 10 creative ways you can celebrate those small wins or major milestones in your life—just in case you’re in need of a little inspiration!
Grab Your Favorite Childhood Cereal and Enjoy!
Go ahead and grab your favorite cereal, the one that just makes you feel good inside. Cinnamon Toast Crunch™ has and will always be that for me—that cinnamon goodness just makes my taste buds burst with happiness. Now, I also rotate between Cinnamon Toast Crunch Churros™ and Chocolate Toast Crunch™ when I need a celebratory snack—and they never disappoint. Today, I’m slowing down to celebrate the fact that 2019 was the first year that I was entirely freelance for an entire year and I not only survived—I thrived! Now, that may seem like a small feat for some, but leaving my corporate job in 2018 to go it alone was a huge step for me personally. So, I wanted to whip up a little special occasion cereal party by the fire with Chris to celebrate the heck out of it because our magical backyard, and especially our fire pit, is my happy place. You can hang out in the kitchen, on the couch, or in bed for all I care! Wherever you love to kick your feet up and find your zen, do it there and love every single second. Sure, it’s a simple thing. An everyday thing for some. But in our house, those unforgettable cereals of our youth that instantly put a smile on our faces and make us feel warm and fuzzy inside are a treat. That’s why grabbing our favorite boxes of cereal at the store and diving into a bowl of sweet delight is one of our favorite ways to throw off the bowlines and celebrate the heck out of something. It just makes ya feel good.
Dress to the Nines and Dine at Your Favorite Restaurant
Throw on that super fun dress that’s been hanging in the closet since your bestie’s wedding five years ago. Tease that hair. Line those lips! Whatever getup screams “special occasion” to you, that’s what you should wear to head out to your very favorite restaurant in town and enjoy every single item on that menu that make your tastebuds sing. It doesn’t have to be the fanciest restaurant in town, it simply has to be your favorite. Yes, spend the cash. After all, what are jobs for if you can’t have a little fun with that money once in a while? Don’t forget to tell the restaurant that you’re celebrating a special occasion and always order dessert!
Send Yourself Flowers
Buy them at the grocery store and arrange them in a vase yourself or order a stunning bouquet from your favorite local florist and treat yourself to the wonder that is fresh flowers. Place them on your nightstand so they’re the last thing you see and smell before you shut your eyes at night and the first thing you see and smell when you wake up. Or, place them on your desk so you’re smelling and seeing something beautiful while you work!
Go to the Movies
This is one of my personal favorite celebratory activities because it allows me to sit back, stop creating and simply consume. To laugh, cry, or just get lost in someone else’s story and be entertained by someone else’s creative output. Go solo or wrangle a group of friends to celebrate with you at the cinema, and don’t forget the popcorn and candy to make the moment extra special!
I know this one might make people a little bit uncomfortable because it forces you to take center stage in your own life and acknowledge your greatness, but I want you to get over that and throw modesty to the wind! Capture a picture of yourself wearing your biggest, cheesiest smile or frame a memento of the moment. Whether it’s something as big as a diploma or as simple as a print-out you create that marks a small win, it’s all worthy of commemorating and serves as a front-and-center motivating reminder of the things you have achieved when you need it.
Head Out on a Self-Care Adventure
Leave your phone at home and finally get that massage or mani/pedi you always tell yourself is too indulgent or luxurious for your everyday life. Yes, this one might require you to spend a little cash. If that’s off-putting, my first inclination to tell you is, again, “Go ahead!” In addition to that, there’s also power in turning off your phone for an hour to give yourself a properly fresh mani/pedi at home in your favorite color. It all works! Also, if you say, “but I don’t like massages,” you just haven’t had a good massage before. They’re life-changing.
Grab a Cake, Top It With Sparklers
Make a cake, buy a cake, grab some cupcakes… whatever makes you happy! Just commemorate this moment in your life with the thing everyone absolutely loves but so often reserves solely for birthdays and weddings. Throw some sparklers on it, invite a few friends or family members over, and light those babies like it’s the 4th of July—calling out exactly why you’re celebrating as you do. You’ll always remember that moment!
Do Something, Anything, That Feels Like “Luxury” to You
Luxury is subjective. It’s different for everyone. So, simply go do something that you wouldn’t normally do because it’s too “luxurious” or frivolous for your everyday life or sensibilities. Buy the fanciest, most heavenly-scented shampoo in the aisle. Invest in the softest, most comfortable robe. Buy those slippers that feel like clouds on your feet. Or again, simple buy yourself that treat that you so rarely spend your money on—even it’s something as simple as an ice cream cone or, yes, a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch™. The only thing that matters is that you love it and you’re allowing yourself to enjoy it.
Call A Family Member or Bestie and Brag About It!
I know, I know… for so many of us, it’s just not in our nature or goes against every fiber of our being to brag. Just consider this me giving you permission to recalibrate your brain to believe that once in a while, the great moments in your life or the hard-earned wins deserve a little bragging! Humility is awesome, but this just serves as a way to share this special moment with other humans that can shower you with a little praise and help you freeze the moment. Please hear me when I say that we’re all deserving of praise once in a while!
Pop Some Bubbly
Whether it’s bubbles of the adult variety or a tasty sparkling cider, pop away, clink those glasses with friends or loved ones, and toast yourself, or simply enjoy this one solo while having a movie marathon on the couch on a Friday night! Just raise a glass to YOU and this exciting moment or milestone in your life.
- Gather a group of friends or family members, whether it’s a potluck at your house or sips and bites somewhere else, and invite… or force… everyone to brag about a win they’ve had recently, big or small.
- Do nothing. Nothing at all. Turn off your phone. Turn off the TV. Relax in the silence and stillness for an hour or two to recharge and relish in the hard work that’s behind you.
- Take a week off to do anything but work. Indulge in your hobbies. Find total relaxation. Whatever. Spend that PTO on yourself rather than saving all of it to only celebrate everyone else’s milestones or moments.
*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. Sweepstakes begins at 12:00 PM ET on 2/17/20 and ends at 11:59:59 PM ET on 5/3/20. Open only to legal residents of 50 US/DC who are 18 years or older. To enter without making a purchase hand-write name (no initials), e-mail address, street address (P.O. Boxes not accepted), city, state, ZIP code, telephone number, and date of birth, on a 31⁄2″x5″ card and mail it (in an outer mailing envelope) with sufficient postage to Cinnamon Toast Crunch For A Year Sweepstakes, PO Box 251328, West Bloomfield, MI 48325 and must be received by 5/14/20. Click Here for Official Rules, including how to enter, odds, prize details and restrictions. Prize of free Cinnamon Toast Crunch for a year will be awarded in the form of a $325 Albertson’s eGift. Void where prohibited by law. Sponsor: General Mills, Inc., 1 General Mills Blvd., Minneapolis, MN 55426.