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Monday, October 15, 2018

Give The Good Some Airtime.


I'd venture to say last week was a heavy week for almost everyone. The damage this hurricane has caused is truly awful. The political climate is  r o u g h. Just lots of heavy, hard things. 

I posted on instagram a little while ago about giving the good airtime. The general gist being that if you're going to call out the bad, call out the good, too. 

I used to think that focusing on little happy things when big bad things were happening meant you were being insensitive, or naive. Now, I think it means you're trying your best to survive the hard things. 

You know how when you spend time with a friend who is negative, you leave and just feel exhausted? Like when someone only says the bad things out loud over and over, it's so draining? I think we (unintentionally) create that environment for ourselves sometimes. 

We do a realllllly good job of giving the bad airtime. We complain (out loud) about things as simple as getting caught by red lights, our alarm not going off, the grocery store being out of something we needed. We say things like I'm so tired and longest day ever over and over. And you know, that's fine! That's life. But if we're gonna give the small, not so great things so much airtime, we owe the small good things the same. 

So, in the spirit of giving the good some airtime: 

It was 53 degrees when I woke up on Saturday. MAGICAL.

Fall TV is back on. Has anyone watched Manifest?! It's so good! 

I have some really, really good friends. A close friend of mine texted me on Thursday that she was having a bad day and just wanted to come over and sit in my backyard. So we did, and it was the best afternoon. And it reminded me of how much of a blessing it is to have people in my life that I can just sit outside with and talk about life and it fill me up so much.

It's pumpkin patch season.  AKA I'm in tears over how much I love Jack because he is SO DANG CUTE and something about kids around pumpkins just melts me. 

I'm in the middle of a hilarious good book. Like, I want to skip all my responsibilities today and just read it. That's how you know it's a good one. 

Your turn! Tell me one good thing (or seven good things or every good thing - just give them some airtime!)
 
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Thursday, October 11, 2018

10 Under $10: Earrings You (Maybe, Might) Need.


I mentioned yesterday that I can finally wear earrings again. AKA, Jack no longer sees something shiny in my ear and has the instinct to rip it out and play with it (Or maybe he does and he's just grown fond enough of me that he doesn't wanna also rip my earlobes off? The world will never know!).

I was meeting my friend at the mall a few weeks ago and got there before her, so I decided to take a quick stroll through Forever 21 while I waited. Turns out, they're totally killing the earring game. Which is nice, considering their clothes seem to get tinier and weirder by the day (do not you dare suggest I'm just getting old, no thank you).

Anyway, me and my earlobes' newfound freedom went a little crazy and bought way too many pairs, and I have zero regrets. I wore them all of vacation-even with bathing suits-and they're my new favorite thing. Don't feel like getting ready but still wanna look cute? Throw your hair in a bun and put some fun earrings on. Congratulations, you're done!

Here are 10 (okay fine, 12) pairs all way under $10 that you totally (maybe) need.



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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Date.


Good morning! I'm back after a (much needed) week by the beach. When I hear people say they don't like the beach, I truly don't understand. Nothing makes me feel happier, more refreshed, and more at peace than a day by the ocean. 

One of my favorite things about blogging is that I can sit down and write a bunch of random things I want to share (but that have nothing to do with each other) and call it a coffee date. So let's get to it!

Anyway, back just in time for a hurricane to come barreling through. We should be totally fine here, but we've been under a state of emergency for two days, which is confusing. My best friend is a teacher and they've canceled school for the week, which is so weird when it's not even raining.  If you're in the path of the storm, know you're in my prayers.

Speaking of pumpkin spice coffee, I've made it through September and the first week and a half of October without touching pumpkin spice creamer. I knew this would be the real test on if I could stick with my non-sugar filled coffee, and hey, I'm passing!

Today's my mom's birthday, so yesterday I spent the day teaching Jack to tell her happy birthday. He woke up this morning, popped out of bed, and yelled HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GAGA! Like he knew it was today. So precious.

On the subject of Jack, we are f i n a l l y  at a place where I can wear earrings and he will not try to rip them out of my ears because he thinks they're pretty. Naturally, I celebrated this by buying ELEVEN pairs of obnoxious earrings last weekend. I know my priorities, okay? 

I currently have approximately 92 fiction books checked out from the library, but I need recommendations for non-fiction books to download on audible. I love listening to a book while I commute or do things around the house, but I can't listen to fiction books (and, you know, I've got 92 of those already). Have you read any good non-fiction lately? You know I love a good self-help book, so if you've got any recommendations, send them my way. 

Your turn - what's going on with you? Wishing you lots of coffee and no bad weather today, wherever you are. Have a beautiful Wednesday! xo


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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Books I Read in September (And Whether or Not You Should Read Them).


At the start of this month, I finally paid off my EIGHTY dollars in library fees due to Jack "reading" (ripping) some books of mine. With my card back in action, I went through the library and tossed book after book into my bag. No method, no books I was looking for...if it looked interesting, into the bag it went. Which means the books I read this month were sheer "you look nice!" picks. 

Keep Me Posted by Lisa Beazley

Plot: The once-close Sunday sisters have not done a bang-up job of keeping in touch. Cassie is consumed with trying to make her life work as a Manhattan wife and mom to twin toddlers, while her bighearted sister, Sid, lives an expat's life of leisure in far-off Singapore. So Sid, who shuns social media, challenges Cassie to reconnect through old-fashioned letters.

Soon, the letters become a kind of mutual confessional that have real and soul-satisfying effects. They just might have the power to help Cassie save her marriage, and give Sid the strength to get her life back on track.

But first, one of Cassie's infamous lapses in judgment comes back to bite her, and all of the letters wind up in the one place you'd never, ever want to see them: the Internet . . .


My thoughts: I thought this book was adorable. It was lighthearted and snarky, but still covered some serious things that I really loved seeing in a book (like a stay-at-home mom who wasn't in love with being a stay-at-home mom, unconventional family bonds, and forgiving those closest to you). After a month of self-help books, this was a light, refreshing read!

Should you read it? I'd recommend it as a beach read! 

Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough

Plot: "Lisa is living a lie and everyone is about to find out.

Lisa lives for her daughter Ava, her job and her best friend Marilyn.
But when a handsome client shows an interest in her, Lisa starts daydreaming about sharing her life with him, too. Maybe she’s ready now. Maybe she can trust again. Maybe it's time to let her terrifying secret past go.
But when her daughter rescues a boy from drowning and their pictures are all over the news for everyone to see, Lisa's world explodes.
As she finds everything she has built threatened, and not knowing who she can trust, it's up to Lisa to face her past in order to save what she holds dear.
But someone has been pulling all their strings. And that someone is determined that both Lisa and Ava must suffer.
Because long ago Lisa broke a promise. And some promises aren't meant to be broken."

My thoughts: WHAT. A. RIDE. There's really no talking about this without spoiling it, but I did not see the twist(s) coming. Better yet, I thought I had guessed the twists, and was completely wrong. I love when that happens. *TRIGGER WARNING: Lots of rough content covered. I would definitely look it up first to see if you should read it.

Should you read it? SO MANY TRIGGER WARNINGS, but if you're okay with that, then yes. 

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Plot: "Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

    Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. 
    Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. 
    Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
    Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
    And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
 
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? 
 
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them."

My thoughts: Amazon described this as "Pretty Little Liars meets Breakfast Club" and that's 100% accurate. I loved it and didn't want to put it down, and even though I guessed the ending, it was still a good read. I'm a sucker for young adult books and murder mysteries, what can I say?

Should you read it? Yes! 

What books have you read lately? Do I need to add them to my list?

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Monday, October 1, 2018

Spending October: A To-Do List For Adventuring Through The Month.

HAPPY OCTOBER! The last three months of the year are my favorite...it's the moooooosssssttt wonderful time of the yearrrrrrrr...and it's here! Yay! Here's some ideas for how to spend these magical 31 days.


1. Make a decision to finish the last 90 days of 2018 strong. Because ready or not, here we are.

2. Make a fall "must-do" lists. Listen. The last three months of the year? They fly. So write down the things you really want to do and make them a priority, or they might not (probably will not) happen.

3. If you haven't yet, get some fall candles. It doesn't have to be pumpkin or apple, just anything that makes you feel cozy when you light it. 

4. Get your kid and / or pet a Halloween costume. Animal costumes will never not be funny to me. Jack and Gatsby both got dressed up in their costumes for months after Halloween was over. 

5. Go to Trader Joe's and check out their vast selection of fall stuff. If you don't live near one, it's worth a road trip. They really shine this time of year. So. Much. Pumpkin. 

6. Take your TJ finds on a picnic. Whenever it's cool enough to sit outside for five minutes without sweating (so, not here yet), I immediately think of picnics. There's something so nice about eating outside, no TV or distractions.

7. Make an "Autumn in New York" Station. I recommend this every year because it is just the best. Instant fall mood. 

8. Have friends over for a fire. Make s'mores. It's fall's version of a cookout. 

9. Go to a fair. Nothing says October like cotton candy and corn dogs. 

10. Go to a pumpkin patch. Take all the pictures. 

11. Sneak your pet into a pumpkin patch and take all the pictures. (Preferably in their costume).

12. Make caramel apples. PS: Does anyone know why this got labeled a fall thing? They're delicious!

13. Read a thriller. I read one every October...any recommendations for this month's choice?

14. Carve pumpkins. But don't leave them on the porch in the Florida heat, because they will rot and stain your concrete. Not that I know this, or anything.

15. Bake your favorite fall treats. 

16. Make a list of people you'll be buying Christmas gifts for. Trust me, it's gonna sneak up on you. Put a list in your phone so when you see gifts or have ideas, you can write them down.

17. Take advantage of cooler nights (whenever they come) and open your windows. It's just refreshing and let fresh air in your house. 

18. Get some mums for your front door. They're less than $10 at Home Depot and they brighten up any area.

19. Try a new soup recipe. I could eat soup for every meal any time, but fall makes me want soup allll the time. 

20. Rent a carpet cleaner. This might not seem like an exciting thing, but it totally is (or maybe I'm just getting old). We got a carpet cleaner on super clearance a few months ago, and it is amazing how much cleaner my house feels when I use it. Trust me. Try it.

21. Go to Goodwill. I am constantly amazed by the nice things I find there.

22. Get a coffee frother. I've been using this one and it makes coffee so much better.

23. Go through your summer clothes and sell or donate ones you don't wear. It's freeing to have your closet limited to-wait for it-clothes you actually wear.

24. Have a scary movie night. If you're like me and cannot do scary movies, have a thriller movie night. 

25. Spend more time outside. Going for walks, sitting and drinking coffee, whatever you like. Get more fresh air this month.

26. Get yourself a floppy hat. Or a beanie, or a scarf, or something that feels "fall-ish" and makes you happy when you wear it. 

27. Try this almond toffee coffee. If you need a break from all the pumpkin flavors, this one is delicious.  

28. Take some freakin' breaks. Seriously, we're heading into the busiest and most stressful (if you let it be) season of the year. Take care of yourself.

29. While you're taking a break, watch the sunrise or sunset. Don't forget how beautiful the world we live in is. 

30. Stock up for trick-or-treaters. And yourself, let's be real.

31. Celebrate Halloween! Please send pictures of your pets and kids in their costumes, thank you very much. 

How will you be spending October?
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Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Last 90 Days Challenge.


GUYS. October is almost here. The kickoff of the best three months of the year! Annnnd the kickoff of The Last 90 Days challenge! Ever heard of it?

My Rachel Hollis obsession runs deep, so when I heard about The Last 90 Days challenge, I knew it was something I wanted to participate in. You can read more about it here, but here's a snippet:

"What if you committed to living your last 90 days of this year as hard as you are committing to living the first 30 days of the new year? What if instead of a downhill slide into 2019, you are ramping up!"

Okay, YES. I am so guilty of treating the last little bit of 2018 like a downhill slide because, "it's the holidays" and also because the promise of January and fresh starts are hovering near. I eat like crap, I slack on my workouts and general self-care because of all the busyness of the end of the year, and I'm definitely not the best version of myself. 

Why? Why do I treat the last three months of the year - my self-proclaimed best three months of the year - like they don't really matter? That's so silly! But it must be something we all do, because let's be honest, when's the last time you heard someone say, "Alright, Thanksgiving is right around the corner - time to get in shape, ladies!" No! We save the best versions of ourselves for new years and summers. This is dumb. 

Not this year. I'm not doing it. Do I love the promise and motivation a fresh year brings? You bet. But you know what else I love? Feeling good today. Making progress today. Tomorrow's not promised, but today seems to be here, doesn't it? 

In a nutshell, the challenge is about doing 5 things. They are:

1) Get up an hour earlier than you normally do and use that time for YOURSELF || My sleep schedule is so sporadic (because 1) Toddler, and 2) Insomnia) so I'm gonna take this one and change it to wake up by ___ every day (which will not be hard) AND SERIOUSLY COMMIT TO USING THAT TIME FOR MYSELF (which will be hard). 

Normally, my morning turns into a rushed, jumbled few hours and all of the sudden it's 11:00 and I'm already exhausted. The next three months, I'm going to take the first hour I'm awake and use it for myself...drink coffee, read a book, read my Bible, meditate, breathe...no rushing. 

2) Workout for at least thirty minutes || While this seemed overwhelming to me at first, I'm going to do it. On the days I don't feel up to getting a full-on workout in, I'm going to go for a 30-minute walk. Getting outside and getting fresh air? It does wonders for my body and brain. 

3) Drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day || I already drink more than this on a daily basis, so I'm good here. But if you don't, GET ON IT. Staying hydrated is life changing, who knew?

4) Give up one food category you know you shouldn't be eating || I'm still trying to decide what to do for this one! Any suggestions? 

5) Write down ten things you're grateful for every single day || I've been doing this for the last month or so and it's seriously incredible...but I've gotten so bad about remembering. The days I do it, it shifts my attitude and mindset almost instantly. I'm looking forward to how 90 days of it will change me! 

So! What do you think? Sound like something that would benefit you? Let me know if you do it so we can cheer each other on! And, even if this doesn't sound like something you're into, I really encourage you to make a conscious effort to live the last 90 days of 2018 well. Take care of yourself, take care of your health, be a really good version of yourself. The holidays are truly the best time, but they'll be better if you're also the best, yeah? 

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

What September Taught Me.


To go to the freaking doctor when I don't feel good. || I had some weird pain last week that I thought could possibly be an ear infection or jaw issue (but was probably totally nothing), and it kept getting worse. Because I am stubborn and have a high pain tolerance I assume that if I ignore something/press through something long enough, it will go away. The throbbing happening on the entire right side of my face right now would suggest that is FALSE. Note to self: Go to the doctor sooner next time. 

That saying your goals out loud to someone is a really powerful thing. || Writing them down and thinking about them in the privacy of your own brain is good. It's a good first step. But saying them out loud? To your friends and your family and whoever will listen? Goodness gracious, it's next level. It gives those closest to you permission to join that part of your life, and that's pretty cool.

To not be so stuck that I won't try new things. || I completely overhauled my daily / weekly routine two weeks ago, and you know what? I LOVE IT. It created so much more room for productivity and removed a lot of the overwhelm I was feeling. It was a good reminder to not get so stuck on things that are good that I won't try things that might be great. 

With everything new, to take the good and leave the rest. || A few months ago, I started following this nutritionist on Instagram. She shared a lot of health tips that were super helpful to me, shared recipes I tried and loved, and really helped me view getting healthy in a new way. Well, last week she busts out with all protein, except for plants, is horrible for you. And not just like, hey, watch how much you eat! But, all of it is awful and it will probably kill you. Meat? It's the devil. Eggs? They will literally murder you. 

It was a bummer because I'm not personally vegan, and my first instinct was to just stop listening to her completely...but that's dumb, because I've gotten so many good things from her! The reality is, I'm probably not going to agree 100% with everything new I come across in life...but that doesn't mean I should just discount all of it. Take the good, leave the rest. 

What did this month teach you?




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