Favorite Youtubers

I do love me some Youtube!!

I find a ton of inspiration from here.  Whether it’s meal planning, parenting, cleaning, reading or working out, there are videos out there for everything.

I really started getting into Youtube when I was pregnant with my first baby.  I wanted to know all things about pregnancy and being a new mom.  It was so helpful!

Throughout the years my faves are still on my to watch list. Here are just a few!

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Way to Relax

When the world feels like it’s spinning out of control, and it will at times, the best thing to do is stop– just take a time out.  I used to think in order to really, “relax” I had to have hours on end or even a whole day.  While that is really, REALLY nice, it’s not that practical when you’re a momma of two littles, two crazy dogs, a wife to a hard working hubby and a business owner.

I have learned to ‘pause’ and steal away moments in my hectic day to relax.

One of my favorite moments was July 1st.  I woke up really early on a Sunday and told my husband I just needed a little quiet time.  I had no idea where I was going, but off I went.  I hit up Starbucks for my beloved Matcha Green Tea Latté and found myself at the beach watching the sunrise.  Being present in nature, especially with such a beautiful display of God’s creation, I was more than relaxed.

If I am home and can’t run off alone, I will sometimes make a cup of tea, turn on some quiet jazz music and put away/shut off the phone.  The act of making a cup of tea is so serene to me.  If I’m feeling lousy, a little English Breakfast Tea, half and half & tsp of sugar can cure pretty much anything.  A cute mug always helps!  I’ve got my eye on this one!

 

If it’s nice out, I’ll go outside to sip it.  Even if it’s only 10-15 minutes, just taking a little break helps me out so much!

Bradley doesn’t always nap, but if he does I force myself to sit down (around 2 or 3 pm usually) and take a break.  A healthy snack, some essential oils & tea are a perfect way to break up the day.

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I also will scroll through some uplifting quotes to try and straighten out my mindset.

I firmly believe what we think about, we bring about.

If you focus on what you don’t want, you will get more of that.

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I am the first to admit, sometimes I get too caught up in #goals and #hustling I don’t stop to appreciate the life I have.  I need the reminder to stop and pause.  It’s a must!

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Another way I love to relax is curling up with a good book.  This is my current read for my upcoming Book Club at the Wine Bar.  Feared: A Rosato & DiNunzio Novel

As per one of my last posts, I don’t watch a lot of shows on TV to relax, but I do have This is Us that I like.  (haven’t watched it much yet this season though!)

Blogging is a form of relaxation for me.

Pouring a glass of wine & cooking up a storm is pure therapy for me. It’s truly my happy place!

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I don’t do much crazy decorating, mostly because we’ll be moving soon and with two dogs and two kids, a lot gets ruined…but I do try to take time and make the house feel like a home.

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Cuddling with the kids is quite relaxing.  I also love snuggling with the pups when they aren’t too crazy, they too can be quite relaxing!

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Don’t get me wrong, a trip to the Spa for a facial, massage & pedicure are certainly some of my favorite ways to relax!  I just can’t afford to go there weekly, (darn!) so I find it so vital to sneak in ways daily to rejuvenate.  Filling my cup is so important to me.  When I provide self-care, everything runs a lot smoother.

What are your favorite ways to relax?

Do you have a book you can read again and again?

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I bet this answer will surprise some of you.

No!

I hate, no loathe reading books over again and again.  I don’t think I have honestly read a book cover to cover more than once!  I will read chapters or sections over, but I have never sat down and re-read books.  Can’t do it, won’t do it, don’t like to do it. (Although kids books don’t count!! I can basically recite most of our well loved childrens books! Especially, Go Dog Go.)

I also struggle with e-books.  I love the convenience of reading on my i-pad mini, but do not like feeling the pages turn!  It is such a struggle haha.

When I was teaching, I’d teach the same books each year (if I was in that grade level again) and still I could not bring myself to re-read an entire book.

Now that I’m older and have seriously limited time, my TBR (to be read) list is so long I can’t afford to read a book over and over!  Plus, I have set my lofty goal of reading 52 books in 2018 and I’m at 31…can I do it?!)

That said, I do have some favorite books that I certainly wouldn’t mind reading sections of.  I will forever love these novels and they hold a special place in my heart.

The Great Gatsby was a major turning point in my life.  I fell in love with literature my Junior year of High School.  The thematic elements, symbolism and imagery of this novel alone made me want to become a teacher.  Of course, it’s an excellent story and I certainly don’t mind that Leonardo DiCaprio remade the movie version.  Ol’ chap.

 

My favorite author of all time is Jane Austen.  If you’ve never read any of her work, it really is beautiful! I was slightly obsessed with her female characters and the intricate love stories of all those involved.  Oddly enough, I do not enjoy watching movies based on her novels!  Persuasion is my favorite book of hers.


I love love loved The Notebook! I remember being single, curled up in my big green arm chair, laughing, sobbing and wishing for a love like Noah & Allie’s one day… I loved this book so much I used a part of it during our wedding ceremony as a reading.

“The best love is the kind that weakens the soul, that makes us reach for more, that plants fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. And that’s what you’ve given me. That’s what I hope to give to you forever. Poets often describe love as an emotion that we can’t control, one that overwhelms logic and common sense. That’s what it’s like for me. I didn’t plan on falling in love with you, and I doubt that you planned on falling in love with me. But once we met, it was clear that neither of us could control what was happening to us. We fell in love, despite our differences, and once we did, something rare and beautiful was created. For me love like that has happened only once, and that’s why every minute we spent together has been seared in my memory. I’ll never forget a single moment of it.”

And as for a recent read, this one.  Wow.  Tara’s memoir was such an excellent read.  It was one where I couldn’t just ‘rip right through it’ like some of my other books this past Summer.  I wanted to slow down, savor each sentence, each paragraph.  Her writing style is simply beautiful and her story is like no other.  It really resonated with me for many reasons; it really shows that how we are brought up and taught to believe does begin to shape us. However, if you can escape the crazy, you can make something amazing out of yourself.  The stories Tara shares are gut-wrenching and more than anything she makes you feel like you’re going through them with her.  I highly recommend it.

 

Is there a book you can read again and again? I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

TV: Why I don’t Watch it

Yup.  I am one of the “weirdos.”  It seems like most people try to make small talk and ask what shows I watch and I laugh and say, I don’t have any.  (Ok, one.)

We actually have cable and to say that I never watch TV would be a lie.  I have nothing against it, but awhile back I realized I just don’t have the desire to get sucked into shows.  I feel like Steve Chandler’s 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself has something to do with it.  He said that when you watch TV, you’re watching others do what they love–they are living out their dream, while we basically sit like zombies. Now, I’m sure this post will get some eye rolls, but seriously, think about how much TV the average person watches…

l love a good movie and I do actually have one show left that I enjoy (This is Us), cue the tears– but long gone are sitting in front of the TV and watching episode after episode of The Real Housewives, or The Hills.  The kids do watch some TV, they actually prefer movies too lately which is funny.  They do enjoy Vamprina, Puppy Dog Pals & Fancy Nancy as of late.

So, what do I do with my time?  I’m usually just busy livin the #momlife #wifelife.  I cook a lot all day long, which then involves a lot of cleaning and dishes. While doing that, I try very hard to listen to books on audio, good podcasts, or catch up with friends via Marco Polo.  Sometimes I put on some music; lately I’ve been listening to country music.  (Getting ready for Luke Bryan later this month!)

I also love You Tube.  I just feel like I need to be learning things all the time so I’d rather be spending my time doing these other things.  I enjoy being inspired by other moms or women who decorate, cook, clean and enjoy life!

I also work on our Rent to Own business, read books for pleasure, play with kids, talk with my husband, walk the dogs, and honestly the only time I find to sit (or stand) to watch anything I’m folding laundry.

I also try not to watch the news.  I can’t even do the Today Show without rolling my eyes and boy I used to LIVE by that show.

I do check in here and there, but I try to fill my mind with really good thoughts, education or personal growth.  I know that we watch way less TV in the Summer because we are outside doing all the things.  Come cooler weather, we’ll throw on football games and cozy up by the fire…but even then I’m still usually in the kitchen with my jazz music going or something!

Like I said, I’m not anti-TV but I certainly think, like anything, everything best in moderation.  If you feel like you have “NO TIME” just take a look at where times goes.  I am guilty at falling down the FB or Insta rabbit hole and have to catch myself and such, but I just don’t have Netflix or find myself having that habit of being a couch potato.  Growing up I wasn’t much of a huge TV or video gamer, so I guess it may just be in my nature.

Instead of TV ideas…

  • read a book
  • go on a walk
  • cook a meal
  • listen to a podcast
  • write a blog
  • exercise
  • play with kiddos/pets
  • work on a side hustle
  • write in a journal
  • have meaningful conversations with my husband/friends/family

What are your thoughts on TV?

Boone Hall Plantation

While down in South Carolina this past Summer, Joe and I really wanted to check out a plantation.  We figured the kids would be too little and it just so happened that my mom (Grandma) and her new husband Mark (Grandpa) wanted the kiddos another night!

My mom said of all the plantations she could think of, Boone was the place to go.  It also happened to be filmed in one of my favorite movies, The Notebook, so I just had to see!

Obviously the home is stunning, and learning the history of what it’s been through the years was quite amazing.  You can’t help but just stop at the gate in awe.

The Avenue of Oaks was also quite breathtaking; I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

As much as we enjoyed our day together, it was quite a somber experience.  The deep history of slavery was all around us.  I swear I could feel something a little different in my soul.

It was such an odd feeling, admiring the gorgeous home and beautiful views, but my heart was heavy thinking of all the people who were considered property here.

The trees were so old and breathtaking.  The little smokehouse below fascinated Joe, since we love our little smoker so much, how crazy that’s how they used to preserve their meats etc.

I had a hard time even smiling while standing in one of the slave cabins; I still have trouble wrapping my brain around how humans treated other humans so inhumanely.

But I suppose that is why we teach history, so we can learn and not repeat past mistakes.  My favorite part of the day was the Gullah presentation.  A lady sang and shared stories of her people. I had no idea that when the slaves would go out into the plantations and work, they’d often sing a song; this song would many times tell a story of what would be happening later that night or day, like an escape.

Above you can see the water way; that was the main source of transportation back then as there were no roads.  Slaves would try to escape that way, but it was so difficult!

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It was interesting because I was just finishing up a book, Small Great Things and it delved quite deeply in racial issues, white supremacy and was quite fitting for me to be thinking about all of it as I walked the cabins.

When I got home, I started a fiction book on slavery, which was honestly quite hard to stomach at times.  Again, I felt the importance of reading it as it is part of our history and it’s history that schools don’t really teach…we definitely give the watered down version to our students, understandably so.

If you’re ever in South Carolina, I’d make time for a stop here at Boone.  It’s one of the memories from our trip that continues to pop up in our minds and hearts.  Joe and I have had many beautiful discussions about it and how grateful we are to be living in a time period like today.