Three Things Thursday

Rain over the next hill!

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Rain over the next hill!

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In a slight change of pace from my usual things, this week, I have a theme!
As mentioned previously, I have been listening to books during my commute instead of the radio, but there are a handful of songs that I will listen to every time they come on the radio. Today’s three are my top three.
1. Fun. Carry On
This song makes me so happy! It’s a song of perseverance and hope.

 

We are shining stars

We are invincible

We are who we are

On our darkest day

When we’re miles away

Sun will come

We will find our way home.

 

It’s fun to sing to and so happy. Really, there are several songs by Fun. that make me listen, but this is, by far, my favorite!

2. American Authors Best Day Of My Life
This one is guaranteed to make me stop, listen and sing at the top of my lungs. It’s been out for a while, but my love for this song hasn’t waned a bit!

 

But all the possibilities

No limits just epiphanies

I’m never gonna look back

Whoa, I’m never gonna give it up

 

3. On Top Of The World

I can’t tell you how much I love this song. It’s the newest on the radio off of my list, but it makes me want to sing, even though I barely know any of the words! Actually, Imagine Dragons make me happy. I love their music, but the positivity that flows out of this song makes all my stresses melt away.

 

And I know it’s hard when you’re falling down

And it’s a long way up when you hit the ground

Get up now, get up, get up now.

‘Cause I’m on top of the world…

Been dreaming of this since a child

I’m on top of the world.

 

Did you notice the theme? The positivity and happiness radiating out of these songs speaks to my soul and makes me smile, even on the most stressful of days.  I could also list several songs off the Pitch Perfect soundtrack, but then it would be way more than three things!
What songs make you turn up the radio and sing?

*The links in this post are affiliate links, which mean I receive compensation from purchases, but your price is not affected. Thank you for your support!

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Three Things Thursday

I knew there would be weeks when once a week was all I’d post!  If nothing else, I’m working on fodder for Thursday every week!

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1.  In my real job I’m in outside sales.  Half of my customers are education facilities, like college campuses and K-12.  I love walking around the colleges on my way too and from appointments.  The outside air is so fresh, the sounds of students muffled and the sounds of vehicles almost non-existent.  It takes me back to my college days, which was one of my favorite periods.

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2.  We had a Martin build a nest under the eaves of our back porch and hatch three eggs.  I loved watching them grow over the two weeks they were in the nest.  On Saturday, they grew up and flew away.  I was able to get a few pictures of the last one to leave the nest.  He was really struggling to join his siblings, but finally made it to the tree they flitted off to.

3.  For the longest time we were hold-outs on The Walking Dead, but, finally, my daughter convinced us to buy the first season.  We watched it slowly, at first, but just finished Season 3 after binge watching it over a week.  Every opportunity we had we watched as many episodes as we could.  We finished Season 3 on Netflix last night, then realized Season 4 isn’t up yet!  The horror!  I purchased it on Amazon Prime, but our internet connection is so poor out here, we can’t watch it!  It’s devastating!  At least True Blood is starting back up on Sunday.  I would love for its final season to be better than the last two, but I’m not hopeful.  We’ve watched it from the start (R & I, not the kid!) so we’re just finishing it at this point.  We’re also watching Game of Thrones as we’re able.  We’re mid-Season 3, but it’s kind of dragging.  I really hope it gets better!

So tell me, what are you watching right now?  Anything I need to add to my list?

Three Things Thursday

I missed last Thursday, so, evidently, Three Things Thursday is not yet a thing.  I’ll get there, though.  I hope!

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1.  Starting a business, starting a blog, running a home all while being busier than ever at your real job is very hard.  Rewarding, but hard.  I’m so tired.  And I really hope nothing’s falling through the cracks. Oh yeah, something is…working out.  It’s too hot for that anyways?

2.  I love to read and go through spurts where I devour book after book relentlessly until I burn out.  Then I don’t read for weeks until something piques my interest.  I’m craving books right now, but cannot squeeze another minute out of my day.  I do, however, sit in my car at least two hours a day which leaves prime time for listening.  I can only take so much radio and songs played endlessly.  For a while I was listening to Dave Ramsey on iHeartRadio and Jillian Michaels’ podcast on iTunes.  Still love them both, but I needed a break.  I started listening to Dave Ramsey’s daughter’s book, Smart Money, Smart Kids.  I got it free for pre-ordering the hard back.  Loved it.  Loved listening to it.  Then I took a free trial of Audible to listen to The One & Only by Emily Griffin.  Now I’m “reading” Nora Roberts’ The Collector.  It’s not quite as good as reading the words, but it’s satisfying my need to keep my mind going all. the. time.  My main complaint, though, is the expense!  I was downloading books from my library through Overdrive last summer and was able to read all summer for free.  Audible is $14.95 plus tax for 1 book a month.  After I’m finished with this one I have until July before I can get another!  I don’t even know what I’m going to do with myself!  (Side note, follow me on Goodreads.  I’m trying really hard to keep it updated better than I have been.)

3.  We’re getting into Texas summer, which means beautifully long, productive days, sunshine, bright blue skies with big fluffy clouds, and heat.  I love three of the things listed.  Can you guess which ones they are?  (My Jeep declared the temperature as 101 when I got in it to leave the real job yesterday afternoon.  It wasn’t, I guess my Jeep is preparing me for the days ahead.  Bring it, I guess….)

Free Write

As I sit to write the first blog for Writing 101, I’m really unsure how to proceed. Stream of conscious is really difficult for me. I usually end up thinking of my to-do list. Things I need to be doing, not this hobby.
1. Write my second blog post for my back-up plan website. I have #1 written and saved in drafts. I really need to get two more written and scheduled. On that note, I need to make sure they are going to the right page when I hit publish and not my homepage. It’s WordPress, but I’ve not done a retail site before. I had someone else design this one, and I’m really glad I did. It was done much better and much more quickly than I would have done.
2. Answer emails for my real job. I have about 5 in the inbox.
3. Finish cleaning the kitchen. ‘nough said.
4. Write reviews for the wineries and restaurants we visited in Fredericksburg over the weekend before I forget. By the way, I loved the house we stayed in, but didn’t get any pictures. It was perfect for us and the two couples we were with. We didn’t get any group pictures, or any pictures at all really. Good job, blogger!
5. Unload the chicken feed and bedding in the back of my jeep.
6. Clean out the coop and lay fresh bedding.
7. Figure out how to remove the dad-blasted grasshoppers that showed up in my vegetable garden over the weekend. I can’t even tell you how frustrated I am about this. They destroyed almost the whole garden last year. I need hints for getting rid of them organically. I found a garlic spray that I’m going to try, and I need to replace my cilantro, so maybe those two steps will help? I used white flour last year, but it didn’t seem to help. I have a sprinkler that waters every morning, and I just can’t get out there before work to reapply. I don’t think the spray will work very well for the same reason. I know I should have worked the soil to get rid of the eggs over the fall, but I was so burnt out and disappointed that I just couldn’t.
8. Got my first NatureBox in the mail today. I need to put all those snacks away, too. Need to write my Birchbox reviews.
9. Need to get a glass of water. I’m kind of thirsty. I’m slightly dehydrated. I was putting all the groceries in my car this afternoon and my foot cramped up. While I was essentially standing there. Why do we have to get older? This sort of thing would never have happened even five years ago.
And now I have 7 more minutes left and I’m totally through my to-do list. Short term, anyway. There’s a longer list, but that’s just overwhelming. Wouldn’t it be nice if the list actually went as quickly as the typing did? Thirteen minutes to go through it all. But I have to admit that I extend my time outside as much as possible. It’s starting to get hot (hello, Texas summer!) but I still love the chance to be in the sun. I’m in an office or the car for the majority of my day at the real job, so the opportunity to be in the sun is welcome. Probably why I love my Jeep! Those Freedom Panels come off at every chance!
And now, the timer’s gone off. Time to get to work!
Thanks for stopping by! And, please let me know if you have any ways to get rid of the grasshoppers! If it’s something I’ve already listed and you’ve tried it, let me know how it went. (But I will not pick them off by hand. YUCK!)

Birchbox

I’ve recently been introduced to the new world of subscription boxes. For the longest time, I looked from afar, but really didn’t see the benefit. I don’t spend the money on these items now, so I wouldn’t be saving any money by subscribing. But, after reading reviews of StitchFix from Meals and Miles and KERF, I finally decided to make the plunge and order a box. For those who haven’t heard of StitchFix, let me fill you in. You pay $25.00 and fill out a questionnaire about your style. A stylist then selects five items for you and sends them your way. You can then choose to purchase items (one or two pieces or all of them). If you don’t like them, you send them back. The pieces I’ve seen are really more expensive than I like to spend, but my wardrobe needs some serious help, so I decided to try it. My first box will arrive in late July, after all of our summer trips are done and all I have left is work. I’m excited to see what they’ve selected.
I then saw that Birchbox was running a special: $5.00 for May’s box. That was half off! Thanks to Maskcara and How Sweet Eats, I have a new obsession with beauty items and makeup, so I thought I’d try this one, too! In this box, you receive 5 samples of new products and makeup after filling out a short questionnaire about your style and interests. I received my box yesterday and couldn’t wait to dig in. At first, I was seriously underwhelmed. I knew this was going to be samples, but I really thought they would be bigger than the samples I get with every Ulta purchase. And, again, to purchase the full-size of the products is probably more than I will ever want to spend, but it was worth a try! But the more I looked and studied the products, the more excited I got. There is some pretty cool stuff in that one little box!

First Birchbox
This morning I did use the spray, the eyeliner and the perfume. I won’t be reviewing until the samples are gone, to make sure I give them a fair shot. I will, however, say that I LOVE the perfume. I want the full-size, something I haven’t said about a perfume in years. The smell makes me so happy!
I will keep this subscription on a month to month basis. If there’s a month where my budget just can’t handle the $10, I’ll cancel, but who doesn’t love getting a gift in the mail every month!
Both programs, like most, have a referral program, and all links in this post are referral links. There’s also a link on the side bar for both StitchFix and Birchbox, as well as my favorite online shopping tool, Ebates. Don’t know about that one? I’ll have to tell you about it someday! The more referrals you get, the more points you get towards purchases, which may one day result in me actually buying something from these!
*Tell me all about your favorite subscription services. Food? Clothes? Pet Products? I’m all ears!

Living Intentionally

I’ve not really lived my life up to the recent past with intention. I’ve been very blessed to stumble my way into a very comfortable position. I did realize last year, however, that this lifestyle was not the best, and definitely wouldn’t lead my daughter to an intentional lifestyle.
Failure to plan is planning for failure.
So I’ve taken steps this year to begin living my life with intention. I do want to create a better life for my family and myself. The only way to spring us forward is to plan.
Budgeting

I found Dave Ramsey last year and was drawn to his methods and teaching. My favorite part is his instruction to give every dollar a name; to spend it on purpose, on paper, before the month begins. For the last year I’ve been doing that. I may sometimes be a little off in my planning, but I definitely have a much better sense of how I’m spending my money. And he’s so right, I feel like I’ve gotten a raise since I know what I’ve got and what I can spend. I no longer feel guilty about purchasing a pair of shoes or new makeup, because I planned for it ahead of time and know my bills will be taken care of. I’m being more proactive about spending, instead of being reactionary.

Planner

Whitney English Day Designer

I also found this beautiful Day Designer on Etsy. I can directly attribute the idea for my design business to the forms at the beginning. They forced me to examine aspects of myself and my dreams that opened my mind to the possibilities of developing and running my own business. Each day has so many opportunities for me to double check the direction my day is taking to make sure I’m working towards my larger goals. This planner is the epitome of intentional living and I’m in love with it.

Meal Planning

For more than a year now I’ve used Deliciously Organic’s meal plans to plan my dinners. Then, I found the Gracious Pantry’s meal planning forms to help me with the rest of my meals. Because of these two tools, I’m able to plan breakfast, lunches, dinners and snacks that are healthy, balanced and use the foods I have on hand. Not only have a I been saving money at the grocery store, I’ve also been wasting less food, eating out less and losing weight.

This may all seem like a great deal of work, but it allows for a less cluttered mind and a life that, I feel, is moving forward. I’m setting an example for my daughter, hopefully, a good one!

Who I am and why I’m here

Did you notice my last post was over a year ago?  Yeah, I know my shortcomings.

I turned 35 in December and decided this was the year I would finish something.  This little blog was the first thing that came to mind, so here I am!  I’m a working mother of one precocious 12 year old daughter and three lovely puppies.  The six of us live on 3 acres outside a small town near Dallas.  Six?  There is a husband.  We’re coming up on our 5th (I think) wedding anniversary.  He’s my best friend and oft reluctant partner in crime.  I can’t imagine life without him!

At this time, I’m working full time in outside sales, starting up an online interior design business, and trying to manage my small homestead.  With all of this going on, I need to write as my sanity.  You’ll get to read about my commute, my attempts at gardening and chicken raising, my family and our travels, and our many DIY adventures.  I may also write about my attempt to get into the best shape I’ve ever been in.

Basically, this blog will allow me to unload.  Hopefully you’ll get something out of it!