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As we enter into the holidays soon, and we are likely to either be hosting or attending get-togethers with co-workers, friends, and family members, I just want to remind you that it’s okay to set boundaries on what you will or will not engage with during a conversation.

We’re nearly 2 years into a pandemic that has changed so much of our lives, albeit more dramatically for some than others, and I think we could all agree that emotionally and mentally we feel a bit taxed.

I’m *weary*. I’m tired of talking about the same thing over and over. Whether it’s the state of the world, or if I’m with a group of friends postulating about something we may never have a concrete answer to, my personality is not one that enjoys lingering in a world of hypotheticals and “what ifs”.

So for me, personally, I find it really helpful to construct a sentence or two to have “in my back pocket” in case I need to remove myself from a particular conversation.

“I can appreciate and respect that this is something that you want to talk about, but I am not interested in discussing that topic at this time”.

I cherish the pure delight in my children’s eyes during the holidays, and I want to lean heavily into that this year. My oldest will be 8 soon and it already feels like my kids are growing at the speed of light.

If I find myself in a potentially heated discussion about something that regularly sends me down a path of worry, despair, or feeling helpless/overwhelmed, it will inevitably affect my ability to be fully present and joyful for my kids and family this season.

So, prepping that sentence is just something I’m doing to prepare. I will feel more calm and able to handle a potentially disruptive conversation in a group if I have a sentence that I’ve already thought of to bow out with.

Because it’s the *internet* and I’m 100% ruined after being in the public eye for 10 years, I have to share a bit of a disclaimer here: I am not saying ignore everything, all the time, at all costs. I am sharing that this is a way I prep for potentially uncomfortable conversations (especially with people who I may not know well) that may come up this season.

Hope it’s helpful. And now back to regularly scheduled programming:

Added “change your life chicken” to my list of things to cook on a busy day!

I picked up some hand cream at Blue Mercury recently and have to say that this Bora Bora scent from Tocca is wonderful. I don’t like strong hand cream, and this one really is perfect.

Madewell is doing a 30% off promo right now with code “OHJOY”! See some of my favorites for this sale below:

Madewell Ainsworth Wash Perfect Vintage Jeans

Perfect Vintage Jean in Lunar Wash 

Madewell Ashcroft Sunglasses

Puffer Jacket

And here are a few things I mentioned on Instagram Stories recently that you may have missed: 

Esthetics by Sheila

Striped Apple Watch Band

Pretty Blue Dress from Walmart

Lineage Lip Sleeping Mask 

Natasha Denona Face and Eye Palette

Velvet Long Sleeve Blouse

Kitten Heel Pump

Purple Sweater

Merly Jacket from ABLE

Hikari Shears

Lululemon Align Leggings

Green Ribbed Henley from JCrew

Waffle Sweatshirt

Wegmans Grocery Store 

North Hills Shopping Center

Created Colorful 

T3 Airebrush

Splice App for video editing 

Herons at The Umstead 

This week’s discount codes (#partnerships): 

ABLE: Use code KATEBF25 for 25% off through 11/29

Rifle Paper Co + Summersalt – Code KATE20 for 20% off riflepaperco.com and $10 toward your next order of $95+ at Summersalt.com. Both codes are active until Dec. 31, 2021, and can not be combined with other offers.

Aera: KATE20 for 20% OFF Diffusers

amika: Use code SMALLTHINGS10 for 10% off your purchase

One-Third Clothing: Kate15 will give you 15% off

Bagging Rights: KATE10 gives you 10% off any items at BaggingRights.com

Miranda Frye: “Smallthings10” will get you 10% off and free shipping!

Spanx: Use code “KateXSpanx” for 10% off plus free shipping!

Beddy’s: Code “SmallThings” saves you 20%!

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Maddy says · 11.19.21

I have to be honest, this new website layout is super mobile friendly but I find it so difficult to read on an actual computer. I prefered the old layout 🙁

Reply
Toby says · 11.23.21

I am also having a problem on my home computer. Everything is SO BIG, for example this post’s picture is so large I can only see the top of Kate’s hand. I have tried changing my text size, display size, etc but nothing seems to work. It is very difficult to navigate and takes so long to scroll thru a post that I am not visiting at much as I once did. Shame, because this is the only beauty/advice site that I
visit.

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Kate says · 11.23.21

I’m sorry the sizing is wonky for you. Try clearing your cache to see if that’ll reset the sizes!

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Toby says · 11.24.21

Kate, thank you so much for responding. That worked for me. : )

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Em says · 11.24.21

No Kate, it’s your website that’s weird. It’s incredibly hard to read.

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Hildy says · 11.19.21

This post is so thoughtful and such a good reminder, Kate! I appreciate your openness in discussing boundaries and I’m stealing that idea of having a polite-but-firm sentence prepped ahead of any potentially uncomfortable conversations. I’m not good at speaking my heart clearly without some forethought, so this will be a lifesaver for me! Blessings on your family during the holidays!

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Barb says · 11.19.21

Hi Kate! Love you and love your blog. Just some feedback…when you click the links, could you have it take you to the site OUTSIDE of your blog? Like a new tab opens up with the link? It’s just easier to go back to your blog then when I want to keep reading or check other links. Otherwise, I am taken out of your blog entirely and have to go back and open it back up. Just an idea. You are awesome and I hope you have a great weekend. xoxo

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Samantha says · 11.19.21

This is just what I needed to read today! Thank you!!

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Lesley Delaney says · 11.19.21

I always appreciate what great tips you give and I hate that you have to offer a disclaimer to preface what I believe is sound advice. Hopefully there are many of us that support you with or without the disclaimer. Thanks for all the great content.

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Danielle says · 11.19.21

So many great things in this post sweetie!

Danielle | thereluctantblogger.co.uk

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DJ says · 11.19.21

Where was that perfect statement that I have needed in response to co-workers, family members and strangers over the past many years. At least I have it going forward. Thank you for this going into the holidays and new year!

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Glenda B. Locke says · 11.20.21

I would appreciate recommendations for places to get a lash and brow tint.

Thank you!

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Katie says · 11.20.21

Memorizing this statement! We are still a week out from Thanksgiving, and I’ve already found myself anxious about fielding questions and navigating discussions over the next few weeks. I talk through the important things with people that I trust to engage in a way that’s helpful, but spontaneous conversations at holiday gatherings are rarely fruitful. Thanks for the reminder!

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Kathleen says · 11.20.21

Well said ! I work with the public and I am amazed at some of the brazen questions we are asked by our patrons. They boldly enquire whether we are vaccinated or have we gotten the booster or flu shot. Those are the greetings we get after we say, ” Hello, how can I help you ?” . We are criticized for not being back to the same hours pre-pandemic.

Thank you for your thoughts, they are greatly appreciated. Yes, enjoy this time with your children. Mine are 11 & 16 and we are looking forward to some down time over the holidays, a visit to the zoo for the holiday lights, christmas movies, baking cookies and holiday band concerts at school !

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Caitlin says · 11.21.21

I love your opening advice, Kate! It’s spot on. Whether the conversations are with people who agree or disagree with your views, they tend to get people riled up and the joyfulness we’re gathered for tends to diminish. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving with your family!

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Cherries Jubilee says · 11.23.21

I think boundaries are great, but I feel your statement is a little off-putting and should be reworded a little softer. Maybe something like “Hey, know what? This topic makes me feel anxious and scared. Can we talk about something else please?”

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Kate says · 11.23.21

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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Rebekah says · 11.27.21

Hi Kate,

I’ve followed you for years and my sister and mom joined sometime along the way as well. It’s gotten to the point where we’ll talk about you like you’re part of the family-dad included-(“Kate said”…).

I love seeing your recommendations on hair, makeup and clothes, but I truly respect your comments like the ones above and the love you show for your family!

Happiest of holidays seasons and Merry Christmas! 🙂

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