Jan 072016
 

We have a lot of firsts in life and we don’t even realize it until we are thinking back. It’s amazing how our memories work, especially once you’re a mama. A ton of firsts that bring you so much joy and worry. The kids went back to school this week and my daughter has been falling asleep after getting home. I have been doing her hair while she is half conscious and her not remembering in the morning. It cracks me up and even though she is 13 this is a first for her. I suppose she partied too hard on her break and by party I mean she stayed up way too late chatting (I have no clue where she may have got that from).

She does a lot of the cooking now which is nice and we get to spend more time together in the kitchen. It reminds me of when she was a toddler standing on a chair to help me, only now I am often sitting in a chair while she does her thing and we talk. First boyfriends, first breakups, first real love for music, a ton of firsts this year and it in a lot of ways breaks my heart that she is maturing so quickly before my eyes. She will be traveling to Toronto for her school trip just before her 14th birthday and I am thinking to myself “does she even know how to cross the road and look without me reminding her?”

I am definitely NOT a helicopter mom but we live on 90 acres and she doesn’t do a whole lot of road crossing, she has never even been to a city so the Toronto thing has me anxious even though I went on the same trip at the same age. Somehow I was more mature than she is back then, right?

I suppose in the next week I will have to go out for the first time since December 23rd and pick up some groceries because we are seriously running low on everything. Tonight was a choice of boxed mac and cheese and soup, naturally we went for the mac and cheese, while my son had a sandwich that he announced did not have enough lettuce and then proceeded to add about two inches of the leafy green. Cracks me up to see him all over vegetables when it was like a minute ago that I was bribing him to eat.

A ton of firsts on this mama’s heart as we enter the new year and I am excited to experience even more! I think we forget once our child learns to talk and walk and eat that there are a billion firsts yet to come. I am happily surprised every day, though, I must admit, I would prefer if they slowed down on the aging thing!

Jan 032016
 
Kindle Edition, 204 pages
Published by Slogan Books (first published August 31st 2011)
ASIN: B005KKUVX6

Summary

In the exclusive enclave of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, a woman who builds custom guitars is murdered. A disgraced ex-cop turned private investigator is hired by the dead woman’s father and immediately becomes the target of a violent ex-convict. An enigmatic music star performs damage control on her links to the dead woman. And a professional killer who idolizes Keith Richards is brought into town by a mysterious employer.

My Review

Started and finished this book in a single day. I love when I get sucked into a book so quickly that I lose track of time! It has been awhile since I have really enjoyed reading and I am finding some awesome reads lately that are just sucking me straight in.
This was a suspense/mystery without much graphic so I consider it to be a fairly clean read. There was some moments but that was more than expected.
The story for me was quite unique having it be a private investigator rather than a police officer or another member of law being the one who is doing all the leg work and unraveling the mystery/story. I enjoyed the extreme use of humor in this book, it really made it feel like I was reading the thoughts of the narrator rather than just the actions, which was a lot of fun. I love that this story had me guessing as the pages turned. Definitely recommend it to anyone who is into crime novels!!

Jan 012016
 

It’s the new year already and I am still trying to adapt to the fact that we already had Christmas. I am fairly sure this is the quickest year I have ever experienced so I am hopeful that 2016 goes a little bit more slowly.

I have been doing a few things in the last few months as far as changes go. I don’t want to make a New Years resolution because they seem to be broken so easily, so I decided to make some changes that were placed on my heart in the last few months.

The first thing placed on my heart was to quit spending. I know that sounds cliché but it really isn’t. I paid bills this month and all but one was a credit card and it was over 600 dollars for my minimum payments. I only make about 1000 a month so as you can see this is ridiculous. I need to purpose to spend less, use what I have, love what I have and quit bringing more stuff into the house. Another reason I want to quit spending is because of my back. As many of you know I have degenerative disc disease and RA in my lower back and hips. Cleaning is hard on my body and I am sick of having to hurt myself to clean up. I feel like I live in a constant state of chaos and I really need to just clear the clutter out and spending isn’t going to bring me clutter peace, donating what I don’t love, getting rid of what’s broken and not bringing in more things is what will ultimately make my space more enjoyable and be the best for my health.

The second thing I am doing is reading through the Bible. I have done this a few times when I was much younger, but now that I am older it seems to be something I begin and never finish. It is hard to stay on track. I am using Bible Gateway’s Chronological reading plan and began it in December with the idea that if I could keep up during the most-busiest time of the year then I had no excuse the rest of the year. I did fall behind a few days but catching up has been relatively easy and reading through the Bible chronologically is actually a lot of fun!!

The third thing is reading more in general. I really love to read and while I reach my book reading goals each year I really want to read more books for pleasure. I have spent so much time watching nonsense videos and such over the past year while feeling sorry for myself from pain and really, I could have been reading and doing something to exercise my brain on the many days that I have been laid up on pain medications. There really is something extra depressing when someone asks what you did that day and you say you watched YouTube and nothing else. See what I am saying? I just want to make the time count. So more books of all genres are on my list!

Lastly, I want to get organized. Not everything is labelled organized, but rather have a schedule for posts and take more photographs and take the time to really put in the work for blogging and reading and maybe even some videos! I also want to share more about Plexus and my Plexus journey and how much it has changed my life.

I lied, one last thing. I want to pray harder for people who don’t believe in God. I want to pray that they will come to know God and be saved. I want you to join me in prayer and I want us to use the power of the tongue to bring about change. In a world that seems to be falling apart the one and only thing that we have as Christians is God and His amazing gift of salvation. I want that for so many friends and relatives and people who I don’t even know. I don’t want any of us to have to say goodbye to someone and us not know if they were believers. I want faith to pour out of everyone in a way that can’t be missed!! So, I am going to pray for atheists, and people who are of a different faith. I am not going to go and try and convert them unless God places that on my heart. I am simply going to share my faith and pray that they will be changed by the miracles I get to witness every single day!!

What has God placed on your heart recently? Do you have a New Years resolution or are you making some lifestyle changes? Would love to know how everyone else is ringing in the New Year!!

Dec 282015
 

Allergy Friendly

Essential Oils

Fitness & Weight Loss

Healthy Kids

Homesteading

Natural Home

Natural Remedies

Paleo

Real Food

 

Dec 272015
 

Picking a word for the year isn’t always the easiest task. Sometimes a bunch of words stick out to us. Two years ago Ann Voskamp touched me greatly with the word “eucharisteo” and that was my word for the year-without me even realizing it. I even bought the bracelet to wear to remind myself to give thanks and to live in thanks everyday.


Last year I had started so many things and never really finished anything properly. I was realizing that multitasking doesn’t always work and that I needed to finish things before jumping into a new one. I was creating chaos with unfinished projects and creating to-do lists a mile long that never got checked off. So, my 2015 word was “finish” as I just wanted to remind myself to commit and finish and to not over-commit to things because I want each project to get the best of me, rather than tiny pieces. My family deserves that, my pets deserve that, my home deserves that, I deserve that and most of all God deserves to be glorified by my actions -including my to-do lists!


For 2016 I have been looking around here and there trying to find the right word for me. I have seen so many awesome ones over the past year and I am always inspired by them. So, a few months back when I started to see the word “FOCUS” and remember that I had seen it I began to wonder if this was going to be my new word.


I have prayed over a new word and asked for God’s guidance and this word keeps finding me and sticking out like a sore thumb. I didn’t even realize that I was unfocused until recently when I was popping out of the #FMFParty chat and being sidetracked by everything from repotting plants, making snacks, and spending time with children. Over the past few days I have found this word in so many images and places and I have barely even been using any electronics because of the holidays. I am certain that this year God is telling me I need to “focus”.

Last year I also picked a verse for the year.

“All things are possible with God”
~Mark 10:27~

I haven’t picked a verse for this coming year yet. As some of you may know via Twitter, I began reading through the Bible chronologically about a month ago. I figure if I can stay relatively on track during the busiest time of the year than I have no excuse to quit during 2016. A TON of verses have been highlighted in my Bible already and I have also made several graphics that I have shared on Instagram and Facebook.

I am still praying about which verse I should really “focus” on for 2016 and have even wondered if my verse would stay the same!

Dec 262015
 

Do you spend more time planning your day than you do actually checking things off of your to-do list? Are you working from home and struggling to balance business and pleasure, or business and household tasks? With these 6 tips to staying on track you will be well on your way to being more productive in less time, while improving your overall health!

  1. A morning routine

    This is the cornerstone to having a productive day. Part of a morning routine is waking up at a designated time, if you are like me and you can sleep in every day then great, but don’t push past a certain time. Set your alarm for what works for you whether it’s 4am or 10am and GET UP when it goes off. Have a shower, breakfast, Bible time, and don’t slip pj’s back on. I’m not saying you need to get dressed in a suit but tossing on clothes you would be comfortable answering the door in is a great start, add in hair and a little makeup and you are mentally going to be ready to go.

  2. Important things first

    Getting your most important task done first will help you to feel accomplished and therefore encouraged to get on to the more menial things you need to tackle in a day. It is also an awesome way to know that if a child falls ill or something comes up you have already finished what was number one on the list instead of being rushed around and staying up late trying to complete it when you are weary.

  3. Schedule your time

    Another load of dishes or a basket full of laundry may be something you need to do each day while you are working from home. You would be surprised how much time it really takes to get these things done when you stop procrastinating. You can easily get all the dishes finished and put away in 15 minutes. Don’t believe me? Set a timer and get to work. When it goes off look at how much you have accomplished and take note of that so you can easily schedule it in and not be pulled down by procrastination. If something does take you a long time and you feel like there must be a better way, it may simply be that you have too much stuff. Decluttering, even a little bit, while you clean up, goes a long way to making regular tasks, like putting away clothes, go a lot quicker and more smoothly. And the bonus is when you get dressed the next day everything is in its proper place!

  4. Unsubscribe and turn off notifications

    If you like a Facebook page, follow someone on Pinterest or Instagram or are active on Twitter or Periscope schedule that in so you don’t get distracted. Don’t even open these time-stealing apps until you have time to relax for a bit. It becomes far too easy to be checking our notifications and replying to the next cute photo when we should be actively working. Shutting off notifications means we won’t be sidetracked by constant alerts on our phones, tablets or even PC. If you are getting trapped in the land of email take 5 minutes each day as you go through and purposely unsubscribe to emails you would normally not even open that are just making your inbox feel daunting. This may take you several weeks as every mailing is scheduled a little differently, but once you have finished your inbox should be full of things important to you and not full of time-bandits.

  5. Dedicated workspace

    The idea of a home office is often a dream that turns into a catch all and therefore more anxiety and less work. That said, do your best to set up a little nook in a room that you need to be in throughout the day. I have seen some ladies using a tool tote with their pens, planners and other papers in them so they have all of their office supplies in a grab and go bag that works anywhere in the house. If you are blessed with a desk keep it minimal. Scan or take photos of papers you don’t need to keep and then shred the hardcopy and save the digital. Any papers you do need can easily be filed away. If you can purpose to work in the same area each day and not use that space for leisure you are going to be far more likely to use the time in that space productively while saving the more fun things for later!

  6. Break things up

    If you are working from home then you need to treat your work as a job instead of as a hobby. Blogging can be either or both and sometimes that line can become blurred depending on your current season. Setting up a regular schedule for posts, putting them in your planner, coming up with ideas ahead of time and taking the time to work is all great but what about when we spend too much time doing research or working and the house crumbles? Well that’s why we need to break things up. If you are a work at home mom you need to schedule your work time smartly and schedule in time for household tasks too or you will fall behind and end up spending the late evening playing catch up only to wake up feeling behind. Depending on the ages of your kids this may be a lot easier to schedule than during other seasons. Setting a timer for how long you are going to spend working can be a great reminder for you to take a break and it can also show your children when it is okay for them to take a break too and get ready for lunch or playing outside, etc. And, don’t put in overtime on evenings and weekends!

Bonus Tip!

  1. A night time schedule

    Just as you see children thrive with routine, so do adults. Eat your dinner at roughly the same time each day and clean up those dishes so you can wake to a clean kitchen! It only takes you 15 minutes and will help you to start the day off right. Have a shower or bath to wash the day away, sit back with a good book, TV or check in on social media. Have a time set for bedtime and stick to it! You need to be getting around 8 hours of solid sleep each night, if you wake up at 6 each morning you should be going to bed no later than 10. If you are struggling to fall asleep, try reading a real paper book. The blue light emitted by our electronics has been shown to prevent our brains from realizing that it is as late as it is, so stepping away from the screen an hour before bedtime and getting into a book or your paper planner may just be the screen time detox your body needs to fall asleep when you lay down.

If you work from home or are a stay at home mom/wife/dad/husband, what are your tips to staying on track and getting things done? I would love to know your personal tips/tricks in the comments!!

Dec 222015
 

bugeraThe Bugera v-22 Infinium 22W 1×12 All Tube Guitar Combo Amp is a handmade amp with full function and control. It can switch easily between the channels with it’s heavy duty foot switch, meaning you don’t have to put down your instrument to make any adjustments and you can play and make changes easily, offering the writer or the more advanced musician a brilliant ease of use that encourages artistic creativity without limit!! While this amp is only listed as a medium-powered amp I believe it would be more than suitable for most!!

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