Ask a Cultivator: Jessica Burgess from Fantabulosity

Ask a Cultivator: Jessica Burgess from Fantabulosity

Since we launched the Celebrations Binder last month, we've been thrilled at how many of you in the PowerSheets Group and on social media have been using this new tool to use your time to intentionally love your people well.

One of our favorite things about today's Cultivator is how she prioritizes celebrating those she loves each and every day—in big and small ways! We're delighted she'll be sharing some of her best tips for celebrating with you!

Tell us more about yourself: I'm Jessica—a wife and a work-at-home, business-owning mom to two little, rambunctious boys. While that leaves very little extra room in my days, I do what I can to make what matters happen each and every day!

Why do you celebrate? I celebrate because I believe it’s important to acknowledge the big and small victories in life and to celebrate those we love and care for deeply. Without celebrating, we might never fully appreciate all that we have and all that we have accomplished.

How do you choose which occasions to celebrate? For our family, celebrating can be as small as a “cheers” for a clean house or as big as an annual event to bring awareness to the good that takes place in a community. I believe there’s a celebration inside every victory—big or small—and I choose them all!

Share a few ways you make people (family, husband, friends, kiddos) feel loved and celebrated: As a party-styling gal at heart, I could throw a party for every person that I love without thinking twice about it! Since this is real life, and my wallet nor my schedule would allow a party every day, I try to slip in small celebrations when I can.

We’ll celebrate with ice cream if I catch my boys doing something kind, or for a bigger celebration, you may catch us staying the night in the city eating at a new restaurant and swimming in the hotel pool!

Celebrating with my husband can look as simple as popping a bottle of champagne that we’ve been hanging onto for a special occasion or a quick night away alone where we can spend time on our relationship.

At least once or twice a month, I love surprising my friends by showing up on their doorstep with bagels and cream cheese from the coffee shop to let them know I’m thankful for them. Celebrating doesn’t have to be extravagant, and sometimes the smaller celebrations can make a bigger impact.

For bigger celebrations, I adore styling and throwing parties focused on the person of honor—their favorite foods, colors, themes. I love combining all their favorites in an atmosphere made for them! I want the guest to arrive knowing the event was planned with them in mind, and my hope is she leaves feeling known and loved.

Share a few of your favorite holiday traditions: I love traditions! I’m such a sucker for them, and I blame that on not being a fan of change.

After all the presents are unwrapped on Christmas Day, I make the biggest breakfast of the year for our family—bacon, sausage, eggs, biscuits, gravy, French toast, and pancakes! We invite my parents and grandpa over to celebrate the day in a laid-back way.

Each holiday, my sister and her family come to visit, and we camp out in my parent's living room for days! We spend the unhurried days shopping, napping, and watching sports on the television!

In 2015, I started hosting a Favorite Things Party around the holidays for my girlfriends. We dress up, indulge in delicious food, gift our favorite things to one another, and spend the evening laughing!

Share a few of your family's favorite everyday traditions or celebrations: Our everyday celebrations start first thing in the morning! We wake the boys up for school with a soft nudge and whisper that turns in to an excited “Good morning; I’m so glad that you slept well last night!” followed by a big hug. Celebrations and thankfulness look similar in our house because I want my boys to appreciate what we have and that God has given us a new day each day, and that's something worth celebrating.

My boys' love language is words of affirmation, so we celebrate with affirming words often in our home!

What are your best budget-friendly celebration tips? I’m a big fan of buying pre-made food and desserts for my celebrations to alleviate some of the stress of planning. That often comes with a higher price tag, so I find other ways to cut costs.

My favorite budget-friendly celebration tip is to use what you have on hand. Most people think you have to go out and buy all new items when planning or styling a party. In reality, you likely already have plenty of things on hand that will work perfectly! When you’ve determined a theme for the party, shop your house for baskets, vases, craft supplies, and home decor before heading to the store. You may be surprised at how much you already have!

Another budget-friendly tip for celebrating? Keep it simple. A celebration doesn’t have to mean expensive catering, fancy decorations, and party dresses. The goal of a celebration is to celebrate. As long as those you love and the person you care about is the center of the celebrations, it will be a success.

How do you fight the urge to compare your traditions, parties, or celebrations to other people? It’s so easy in the world of Pinterest to want what we see online—the beautiful homes, celebrations, and pin-worthy treats! Focusing on what truly matters is the key to any celebration! When we’re so focused on making everything picture-perfect, we miss out on the biggest piece of perfection around us—the people.

Uncovering why you’re celebrating and focusing on that instead of what it all looks like will win every time. Besides, some of those pretty, picture-perfect images we see online probably aren’t telling the real story behind what it took to get there.

What piece of advice would you offer someone who wants to celebrate more in the year ahead? Find a reason each day to celebrate. When we go through day after day without celebrating the small things, it’s easy to get caught up in negative self-talk and doubt. However, when we focus on and appreciate the blessings in life, there’s so much joy that can be found—and that’s truly something to celebrate.

You want to use your time intentionally to love people well—and we have the not-so-secret secret for you: A little forethought goes a long way! Our Celebrations Binder is a simple, intentional planning system for all your celebrations, and it will help you define the memories, traditions, and experiences that matter to you and prepare for them with ease.

What are your favorite celebration tips? We'd love to hear below! 

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