My best friends & I love to get together. Sometimes we chat over a cup of coffee, sometimes we share funny stories. And sometimes, we just sit & enjoy each other’s company without needing to talk. We’ll put on a good crime show on Netflix, look at Pinterest on our phones, & just “BE“.
Crochet One Piece Swimsuit: Can you tell I love Aerie? I could be a spokeswoman… 😆 I haven’t bought a swimsuit in YEARS… this crochet-style one piece is definitely on my summer wish-list! The scrappy back is gorgeous.
I Might Lose Their Trust: “I can’t get out of bed… these blankets have accepted me as one of their own & if I leave now, I might lose their trust.” 😂 #weekendgoals (BTW, if anyone knows the source for this photo, I’d love to give credit where credit is due!)
Spending time together. It seems to be getting harder & harder for our current generation to have face-to-face relationships. We so easily get sucked into the swirling vortex of social media, smart phones, & whatever game happens to be trending. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with Instagram, or playing a game. My bestie & I love to look at Pinterest together, & will often send each other pins while we’re sitting in the same room! 😂
However: I’m attempting to re-learn the art of sitting with a friend… without feeling the need to check my notifications. For me, that “ding!” of a notification is just soooo alluring. I have a hard time tuning out my text message beep, & I’ve found myself holding a conversation with someone else (via text) when the whole point of date night is to grow my relationship with Hubs! Can I get an amen? Tell me I’m not the only one that struggles with this!
In my efforts to put my phone on silent & invest in some face-to-face relationships, I’ve started a list of ideas for connecting better with family & friends!
We’re almost out of time to get cozy & “hygge”! Snuggle up with your Hubs & your kids. Light a fire, some candles, & turn out the lights. Ask the kids fun questions, or maybe play a game by the firelight! Make hot soup, a pot of coffee, & eat in the living room. Now it the perfect time to enjoy all things cozy.
We all meet girlfriends for coffee, or have a dinner date with our Significant Other. But what about having breakfast out? Hubs & I love to get the (rare!) chance to go to the local diner & order a short stack or french toast. I tend to be a lot more energized & focused in the morning, & it’s a great time to connect, chat about ideas, or discuss our new business goals.
No good list is complete without a movie night. Even with all the technology talk above… I absolutely love sharing a good story line with Hubs. He’s not much of a movie fan, so if I can get him sitting down, it’s a treat! We love a good action-adventure, nature documentaries, & historic films. Movie nights are great for lot of snuggles, too. ☺️
There’s nothing quite as a nice as a good blaze, friends, & a few marshmallow sticks. Put your technology in “time-out” & enjoy some good ol’ fashioned community. Invite the neighbors that you’ve always wanted to say hi to, your best friends, & that guy who plays guitar really well. You’ll smell like campfire smoke & your face will have that warm, glowy feeling after the evening… & you’ll want to have another one.
We don’t get to do this very often, since Hubs usually works through our normal dinner prep time. But when we do get the chance to cook dinner together, we have so much fun! Hubs has a pun (or ten) every few minutes, which has rolling my eyes & laughing the entire time. After dinner clean up includes me washing dishes & Hubs dries. Life is good when you can make a mundane task fun!
I hope some of these ideas will get you inspired to spend more time face-to-face! I can get so distracted by all the bells & whistles on my phone that I forget to put it down. I want to put some effort into building my community, & watching it grow. I hope you’ll use one of these ideas as a spring board to help find ways to better connect with the amazing people in your life!
What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family & friends? I’d love to hear more community-building ideas!
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day ❤️. Let’s be honest: you either love it, or hate it. I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day… but mostly because it was a family affair in our home. I remember waking up on Valentine’s morning to a sweet card & box of candy from my parents. My grandfather brought me a bouquet of flowers when I was a teen. For Valentine’s Day this year… love on your family. (And remember; your family doesn’t have to be related by blood! You can bake some cookies for your sister-friends 😉)
Mini Cheesecake Cupcakes: These little things are SO tasty. Man, drizzle a little caramel sauce & add a pinch of salt, & you’re in heaven. They are a bit labor intensive, but I made a double batch, & froze most of them. If a friend comes over & we get a sweet tooth… these make the perfect treat!
The Art of Slow: This is an awesome list of 25 ways to slow down & enjoy the moment. In my search for slow living, I’m always looking for ways to find rest & peace in the middle of busy. This list has a bunch of great ideas for slowing down & simply enjoying each day more & more.
Atticus Poetry: Oh. My. WORD. I am so completely in love with these poems! This mysterious poet has an incredible gift for words… it’s like he has a window into the souls of people everywhere. Seriously. I’m getting ready to do a collaboration with an amazing photographer… while I can’t say much, I’ll give you a hint: “Atticus.” 😍
Last week I wrote about my views on Valentine’s Day. Namely, that it’s about more than romance, & that my family use it as a day to show our family & friends that we love them. This is the first year that the kids will be old enough to begin to understand Valentine’s Day festivities, & I really want to show our friends & family some extra love. It seems like there’s a lot of hate & violence going around in our world, in our country. We could all use a little bit of extra love, right?
I decided to bake some cookies. I went to my Mom’s (she has a fabulously large counter!), & we alternated watching the kids, switching from “Bob the Builder” to “Thomas the Tank Engine” episodes, & rolling out cookie dough. It was so nice to work alongside her. I even brought my essential oil diffuser & we enjoyed the spicy smell of Thieves, Black Pepper, & Nutmeg.
There’s something therapeutic to me about rolling out dough. I’ve always loved dough. I love the softness, how it moves in my hands. There’s something so relaxing about rolling it out, feeling the old rolling pin squeak a little as it goes back & forth, back & forth.
This is the recipe my Mom used when she was a kid. We ended up making “healthier” sugar cookies, because I forgot all I had was white whole wheat flour. They’re definitely a little more tan & have a more unique taste than your typical pure white sugar cookies. But they’re actually pretty good!
I colored the icing pink by adding cranberry juice (& a lot of extra powdered sugar to thicken it up!) It made a lovely ballet pink, & the flavor it added to the icing is absolutely delicious!
We’ll be delivering these to our friends throughout this week. We bought cheap little bags from the Dollar Tree to tuck the cookies in, & we might cut out little heart valentines to tuck inside. Mostly, I’m looking forward to showing Z-man & Miss T how much fun it is to love on the people we care about.
I’m interrupting the normal flow of things here on the blog, & throwing in an extra post today. Simply because I found a quote. I ran across this quote on Instagram, & it just spoke to me. (Do quotes speak to you, or is it just me?) Anyway. I scribbled it in my bullet journal. I knew that I just HAD to letter it on thick watercolor paper, in fine, scrawly cursive.
This hit such a chord in my soul. I often have a deep longing for something… MORE. Like there’s something deeper, something better & harder & more wonderful waiting for me on the other side of the next moment. It feels like the longing is always there, but yet I might somehow miss it. It’s indescribable, really. But I also desperately want to share it with others.
When I read this aloud to Hubs, he asked me “what does that look like to you?” (Yet another reason why I love that man.)
The longing for a sweet life…
it’s that feeling that reminds me to put down my phone, because I’m missing something funny Z-man says. To be extra thankful for the gesture of a dear friend. To rest in the simple things, Sometimes the longing is tied to a bit of fear that I’m not doing life well, but if I make myself deaf to that voice of fear, the longing is still there. It’s Deeply rooted. I want to enjoy the simple moments that I am blessed with, & learn to better record them, too. May I never take this sweet life for granted.
The longing for a wild life…
This is where my “gypsy” soul shines out. I’ve always loved going on adventures. Long drives, short weekends away… I’m always longing to experience new things & meet new people. I want to feel the wing blowing my hair, & spend hours in a museum looking at dusty old artifacts. I don’t want to miss the wild in the everyday, either. Because let me tell you: there’s nothing quite as wild as a toddler throwing a fit because she’s not getting her breakfast soon enough. Or the joy of changing your week’s plans so you can help a dear friend who just needs a ready ear to listen to Momma worries.
The longing for a deep life…
I am always desperately craving for depth. I don’t do shallow. I want to dive in deep into my friend’s hearts. If Hubs & I fall into the habit it of the “how was your day” conversation, & don’t take the time for deeper discussions, I begin to feel distant from him. I want to know what’s on your heart, what your dreams & desires are, & why. I want to help build dreams & find ways to get you from point A to point B. I want to know.
I feel all of these longings tugging at my heart strings. Often it’s when I see something inspiring or realize I feel like I’m missing something. I’ve wondered if it’s discontentment… that maybe I should root it out. Maybe I should try to ignore these feelings of wanting more.
What if they’re Holy? What if they come from a God who desperately wants me to connect with Him, & dig deeper into His truth? What if they’re a reminder that I’m not really a part of this world? What if they’re a gift, so that I can minister to those around me? These deep inner longings remind me to daily seek to enjoy the sweet moments… to never forget the wild dreaming & depth that was put in me by a sweet, wild, deep God. They keep me searching for a greater depth in my relationships, constantly learning what my friends & loved ones need. Most of all, they keep me dug down deep into Jesus.
For now, I used washi tape to put this print on the wall… a reminder that some of my deepest longings are from a Holy God. A reminder to let them grow, to let them be seen & heard. It’s a reminder to live out the things I long for.
You know when you meet someone & you instantly feel like you’ve known them your whole life? This quote just sums it all up. Like our hearts have known each other forever. “Kindred Spirits,” as Anne would say. I love it when I meet new friends, & they instantly feel like old ones. I have met so many dear friends that I have instantly felt a connection with… sometimes we share a favorite tea, & sometimes we both love the writing of a mysterious poet.
I’m trimming up my old “Inspiration Round-Up”, & turning it into 3 Things. Because; let’s face it… getting 10 links each week can sometimes be a challenge, & 10 links is a lot for you to click on. So, three. Yep, three is a good number. 👌🏼
Sarah & Duck. This is a British children’s show. The characters are so sweet & kind to each other, It’s so sweet & kind, & it’s the most imaginative, gentle show. The kids love it… heck; I LOVE IT.
Aerie Tie Back Tee. Oh my GOSH, I bought one of these after Christmas, & I need MORE. It’s incredibly soft & comfy, & I. LOVE. IT. In looking up this page, I realized that it comes in blush, white, blue, as well as heather gray.
Lemongras Spa Mascara. (<– link to my friend’s consultant page) I just got my first tube of all-natural mascara from Lemongrass Spa, & I absolutely love it! (TIP: add a drop or two of lavender oil! It will promote strength, thickness, & smell AMAZING.)
Valentine’s Day is almost here! I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day… perhaps because I’m a total romantic, but I think it’s mostly due to my family. To me, Valentine’s Day is much more than celebrating romance between couples. As a kid, the 14th was very much looked forward to… my sister & I always got a special card & box of candy hearts from our parents. (Of course, we giggled at my parents when they got all “mushy” & kissed.) I remember when my grandfather brought me a bouquet of beautiful flowers. Each year, my family reminded me that Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about having a significant other.
To me, Valentine’s Day is about showing a teenage girl that she doesn’t need a boyfriend to feel fulfilled. It’s about caring for someone that everybody else ignores. Bake cookies for the garbage pickup men. (Who ever thinks to thank them for the dirty job they do?) For the mail lady. The homeless staying in a shelter so they don’t freeze. Valentine’s Day should be about the forgotten people, the ones who need Jesus-love. You know, the unconditional, real-life kind of love.
Here are a few ideas for spreading love to EVERYONE on Valentine’s Day!
Use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to get out with your sister-friends & pamper yourselves! Get manicures, go for coffee, or just hang out & watch movies together. If you’re not in the mood for romance, then make Jane Austen off-limits, & watch a super-hero movie instead. 😉
Family Love Day:
Make the 14th an extra-special day where you show love to your family… include the kids! Bake special cookies, & make (or buy) the kids their own special cards. Make special decorations, & help siblings make cards for each other. Spend time as a family, & teach your children that Valentine’s Day is about showing love! ❤️
Love On Others Day:
Turn Valentine’s Day in a random acts of kindness day! Bake cookies & share them with friends & strangers. Take them to your local library, the post office, or even a local homeless shelter! Include your family or friends in the opportunity to share some love with others. ☺️
For Valentine’s Day this year, I’m planning on giving Z-man & Miss T a special cookie. (They’re a bit too young to care about cards!) Hubs & I may schedule a date sometime around the weekend, & I’m hoping to make some surprise treats for our family & friends!
Challenge: Create a Valentine’s Day celebration that will make everyone you love feel included! Share your ideas in the comments below!
Too often I say “I can’t,” or “I didn’t have time.” Really… c’mon. Somedays really are just that crazy. But other days? Other days I could turn off Netflix. Or stop goofing off on Pinterest. If I REALLY wanted too… I could do more. I often get discouraged because I don’t see much happening towards my bigger dreams… but the truth is, I’m usually lacking ambition. It’s easy for me to forget about the future plans & instead choose “fun” right now.
BUT. This year is a year for growth. I’m looking towards the future, & realizing that actually, I CAN. I can conquer the problem areas in my home. I can be consistent on my blog. I can work on improving our family’s health through our diet. Actually, I CAN.
Today, pick something & say “I CAN.” Share your “I CAN” in the comments below!
I’m 110% Type B. I’m usually super-chill, the don’t-worry-be-happy kinda girl with an eye for sniffing out fun, & avoiding anything boring. EXCEPT when it comes to making stuff. I’m a perfectionist. I’ve taken out an almost-finished sweater because I wasn’t 100% happy with the design. I’ve gotten half finished with something & then thrown it away because it wasn’t perfect. I’ve thrown artwork away because it didn’t look like what I had envisioned in my mind. A lot of times, creating something can become more frustrating than fun when I let perfectionism take over.
Enter: The Sweater Project. A few months ago, I wanted to knit myself a new sweater. But it needed to be perfect. (duh.) I hemmed & hawed about the color, about the style, I started it & took it out once. I started it again, & second-guessed myself. I set it down. I got mad. I’m NOT a perfectionist, for goodness sake! I’m the one that says “I’ll just wing it!” about something I most definitely shouldn’t wing. So, I started the sweater again, only I gave myself one simple rule:
I couldn’t take it apart.
Once I started & got the sizing right (I wasn’t using a pattern), I couldn’t take it out. If I made a glaring mistake, I could take out a few rows… but I couldn’t decide 2/3 of the way through that I wasn’t happy & rip it all out. I almost did. Luckily, I remembered The Rule & kept knitting. The only thing I allowed myself to take apart were the sleeves, which I accidentally made too short. I took the cuff out & added 3 or 4 inches.
Isn’t is interesting that we can let our fear of failures stop us from doing awesome stuff? The desire for perfection can stop us from ever starting. You feel stupid, so you don’t reach out to that person who seems totally awesome & smart & funny. You’re not a great chef, so you don’t think you can handle culinary school. You’re not the BEST writer, so you never send in your work to magazines.
Okay, back from the bunny trail. This sweater has been a challenging project. It’s really hard to shush the voice of perfectionism & let something just “BE“. I’m so busy trying to make everything perfect, that I forget to enjoy the process. It was a challenge, but this was also the most fun I’ve had making something in a while. It’s also my favorite sweater (for now)! Shush-ing the voice of perfectionism is definitely something I’m going to be doing more often.
Here’s a challenge: Pick something you love to do, & shush perfectionism. Then, see what happens!