“Christmas creep” - what is it (and how can we navigate it)?

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Feeling the pressure to pull off a great Christmas this year? You could be falling victim to the “Christmas creep”

“Christmas creep” - what is it (and how can we navigate it)?

“Christmas creep”. It’s a phrase we’ve seen floating around recently, but what exactly is it and why might the phenomenon be putting a strain on our mental health?

In a nutshell, the phrase has been attributed to merchandisers and retailers introducing and advertising their Christmas-themed goods before the start of the typical holiday season, and it seems to be happening earlier each year.

For many of us, the passing of Halloween marks the beginning of the festive season but how soon is too soon when it comes to retailers introducing their Christmas goodies? Well, some argue that the Christmas creep is, in fact, putting people off their holiday shopping as it has been found to trigger early stress (and that’s why we’ve left it until now to discuss).

With still over a month to go until the ‘big day’ and in the current economic climate, it’s no wonder people are feeling the pressure to ‘nail’ another Christmas this year. In an attempt to motivate us to get spending sooner, the phenomenon is actually forcing us to consider that Christmas is “just around the corner” (when it really isn’t). This can be contradictory as many of us start to feel the pressure to spend and, instead, retreat in an attempt to delay our festive shopping.

The Christmas season is meant to be a time of joy - getting together with our loved ones and sharing fond, happy memories. But the desire for quality time with our nearest and dearest can become overshadowed by the thoughts, “what will I get X for Christmas?”, “Is so and so doing gifts this year?”, “If they’re getting me something, I ought to get something for them”, “How much do I spend?”.

Sound familiar? When we get held up by these consuming thoughts, it’s easy for us to be put off by the festivities and the Christmas creep certainly doesn’t help. Unlike the Grinch, retailers really can steal the Christmas spirit.

What effect does the Christmas creep have on our mental health?

Whilst there is little research on the subject, the Christmas period is generally a stressor for many people. It can cause feelings of anxiety, low mood or depression, and loneliness and may trigger past trauma, particularly for those estranged from their families.

There are a number of reasons why the season can contribute to poor mental health, and the Christmas creep exacerbates this.

Workload and stress

Typically, the ‘head’ of the family has to put in the legwork during the festive period, buying gifts, and doing the dreaded food shop, all whilst managing their own workload - in their job and around the home. Early school and work closures for the Christmas break mean less time to cram all this in, so the demands increase. Whilst some people might be grateful for the early start, for many, the Christmas creep only prolongs feelings of stress and overwhelm.

Managing expectations

When we traditionally think of Christmas, we think of a flamboya

Healthy Restaurants in Tucson

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Sharing a roundup of my favorite healthy restaurants in Tucson.

Hey friends! How’s the week going? I hope you’re having an amazing one. Today is packed with calls and appointments, but I’m looking forward to a long walk with Maisey to break up the computer time. What do you have going on?

For today’s post, I wanted to share a roundup of some of my favorite healthy Tucson restaurants! We love going out to eat, but many restaurants use flavorful yet undesirable ingredients, especially when it comes to oils/fats. Thankfully, we have plenty of places in Tucson where you can enjoy nourishing and delicious meals. For this post, “healthy” is defined as a restaurant that focuses on plant-based ingredients from the earth, with many of the items made in house with fresh ingredients, and accommodate various dietary requirements, like vegan and gluten-free options.

The best part about this post is that I’m going to have to update it in a year or so, because Tucson is FINALLY getting a Flower Child and a True Food Kitchen. BLESS IT. I’ve been waiting my whole life for this. Now if we could just get a Seasons 52, I’ll lose my mind.

Alas, here is my list of favorite healthy restaurants in Tucson (for now!).

20 Healthy Restaurants in Tucson

1) Tumerico

This is probably my #1 choice on this entire list. (The rest of the options are in no particular order.) They make everything in house, including the tortillas and salsas, and the menu changes daily. It’s a vegetarian Mexican spot with lots of vegan options. The Frida Kahlo plate is my very favorite, but everything is amazing. You won’t regret it… and now I’m craving it after writing this post. It’s located in the Sam Hughes area, which is in central Tucson.

2) Pure Poke and Prep

This is our favorite spot for poke in Tucson. We have it almost weekly! You go through it Chipotle-style and add whatever protein, base, and toppings you’d like. My go-to order is 1/2 salad greens, 1/2 white rice, salmon, spicy crab, edamame, avocado, furikake, broccoli, carrots, green onions, seaweed salad, lots of wasabi and ginger. (I add my own Tamari at home.) The girls go crazy for it, too, which makes it the perfect grab and go lunch or dinner.

3) Lovin’ Spoonfuls

Lovin’ Spoonfuls is a Tucson classic and for a great reason. The food is so delicious and fresh, and the desserts… you have to order at least one! This is where we get my bday cake every year �

Homemade Apple Pie

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Homemade Apple Pie

There might actually not be anything better on the earth than a warm slice of homemade apple pie topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Am I right? Or am I RIGHT? 

When I was a little girl I was a cookie lover. Quite a few of my very first memories involve being in the kitchen with Dad to make oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies and with Mom to make Halloween sugar cookies. Which is funny because I never really liked those sugar cookies. I remember Mom rolling out that soft, delicious dough (the dough was yummers, it was the baked cookie that lost its appeal to me) and me stamping out as many spooky shapes as I could. But those things are fading because as I get older I’m finding that I enjoy a slice of pie more and more. Especially this homemade apple pie.

In my experience, you are either an apple pie lover or an apple pie hater. If you read about Cade’s apple pie you’ll learn that my mom HATED apple pie which is why I don’t have a recipe from her. But that seems to be common, a lot of people don’t like apple pie while others adore it. I’m an adorer. ADORER? Is that even a word?

a photo of a slice of homemade apple pie with a golden lattice top and cooked cinnamon apples inside topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


What Do I Need to Make Homemade Apple Pie?

I think most people think apple pie is super complicated and involved, but it is really so simple and only takes a few simple ingredients. There are only 5 ingredients in the pie crust, and then for the filling, I love to use a blend of apples with some sugar, salt, spices and flour for thickening. It’s so easy! Anyone can do it! Here is what you will need…

Pie Crust: flour, butter, salt, sugar, and ice water

Pie Filling

  • Apples: a blend of Honey Crisp, Granny Smith, and Golden Delicious
  • Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Kosher Salt
  • Spices: Nutmeg, Cinnamon, and Cardamom
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Sprinkling Sugar (optional)

The measurements for all the ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post. I should also mention here that some people swear by adding a little lemon juice to apple pie filling. I feel like it messes with the pure apple flavor of the filling, but if you are fan of lemon in the filling, by all means

Italian Pork Roast with Red Wine

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Are you looking for the perfect pork roast recipe? Roasted all day, left falling apart and tender enough to cut with a fork; this Italian Pork Roast just might become your favorite pork roast with the very first bite.

pork roast with Italian herbs and red wine

Italian Slow Cooker Roast

The first time I made a slow cooker red wine roast beef (over ten years ago now), my husband requested that I please put that roast on the menu at least once a month. I was more than happy to oblige.

My family was still talking about that meal two days later. So, naturally, I decided to play with a pork version of that Italian flavor-inspired roast.

When I cooked that first five-pound pork roast, I expected to have a huge amount of leftovers. However, almost everyone went back for seconds and I wound up with far less than half of the roast left for another meal.

If you are fortunate enough to have leftovers at the end of the meal, they are delicious when combined with potato, onion, and apple to make this Roasted Italian Pork with Apples and Potatoes.

Italian Pork Roast

This Italian pork roast recipe is an absolutely hassle-free dinner. Less than 10 minutes are required to prep the roast; then just sit back and enjoy how wonderful it smells as it cooks through the day.

Cooking this roast in a slow-cooker makes it easier than you ever imagined to roast pork to perfection. This Italian-inspired slow cooker roast starts with a 7lb pork shoulder (shoulder blade is my favorite cut of meat for this roast recipe).

After layering thinly sliced onions on the bottom of a crock-pot, cook the roast with the onions, a blend of fragrant Italian herbs and spices, water, and red wine for 9 to 10 hours.

pork roast in crockpot with spicesRead more

Joe Sugg on growing through changes and starting a new life chapter

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Joe Sugg experienced a decade of extraordinary achievements, amassing millions of followers, and incredible career firsts, but in parallel he encountered phone addiction, anxiety, and overwhelm. Now, he’s starting a new chapter, sharing his love for a the great outdoors, a slower pace of life, and the vital role therapy plays in it

Joe Sugg on growing through changes and starting a new life chapter

Joe Sugg may have shot to fame as a YouTube creator, but today it’s the feel of his fingers in the earth rather than on a keyboard, and garden planning instead of filming content, that occupies his mind – and he looks incredibly happy about it.

Speaking from his home on a decidedly autumnal morning, Joe proudly shares that he’s entered a new stage in his life. He’s turned 30, moved to the countryside with his partner Dianne Buswell (who he met on Strictly Come Dancing in 2018), and he’s now actively immersing himself in the wonder of the natural world, and all the mood-boosting goodness it has to offer.

“The move has certainly slowed my mind down, and getting out of the busyness of London helped me to find a bit more clarity on what I wanted to do going forward,” Joe explains. “I’ve had an amazing 10 years on social media and YouTube, and I’m not going away anytime soon, but I’m starting a new chapter of my life.”

The couple’s big move was prompted by Joe’s new-found love of planting, which developed during the pandemic, and led him to consider the role the great outdoors has played in his life. Having grown up in rural Wiltshire, he knew that there was happiness to be found with the ability to reconnect with nature on a daily basis. “It’s a lot better for me,” Joe muses. “I’m more relaxed out here in the countryside.”

Joe documented the positive impact country life and time spent outdoors has on his mental health in his new book, Grow. He also shares his experiences with anxiety, burnout, and overwhelm, revealing that he struggled with phone addiction for some time.

“There was a period in my life where I spent too much of my time scrolling through what everyone else was doing, just constantly absorbing information,” he says. “By the end of the day, I’d go to bed and think ‘What did I do today that was actually productive or helpful?’ I felt like I’d wasted an entire day.”

Seeing people constantly using their phones around him could have given Joe a reason to ignore these concerns, but his gut told him that this behaviour needed to be addressed.

“I found it really hard to admit that I thought I was addicted to my phone,” he explains. “I’m not really someone who is addicted to anything else, so what was surprising is how it slipped under the radar. I was like, ‘Hang on a minute, if I showed someone my phone habits and how much time I spend scrolling, they would probably say it’s an addiction.’”

Joe Sugg on growing through changes and starting a new life chapter

Joe started to make changes by imposing