Today I received a text from one of my friends back home.   We went to school together from elementary all the way through high school   We graduated together and went our separate ways, losing contact until the beauty of Facebook brought us together again.    When I’m home I always try to see her.  She is funny and beautiful inside and out.

We don’t talk often between my visits home, but we will send each other a text via iMessage on our iPhones on occasion just to check in and say “Hi”.     Today I had one of those texts from her and I couldn’t help but laugh when I read it.

It said:  Hey girl-  Just wanted to say hi and tell you how much I love your Snaps.  (On Snapchat for those of you who don’t know what a ‘snap’ is.)   You are always off on some fun adventure.

I laughed.    When I finished working I sent her a quick message back and said hi-  Wished them a great Christmas season and told her that sometimes my adventures are not in the ‘fun’ category, like a few days ago when we were stranded on the side of the road for 4.5 hours waiting for help in an area that was totally unfamiliar to us.

I told her that I didn’t ‘snap’ that, but if I hadn’t been trying to preserve my battery life-  I probably would have, as it would have helped pass the time.

It is another example of what we put out there is only a glimpse into what is really going on in our lives-     I take everything I see online with a grain of salt- because I know for the most part it’s the highlights of someones life as opposed to the daily ins and outs.    But when we seem to think that someone else’s highlights should be compared to our own lives- it’s when we are asking for trouble.

Remember-   Comparison is the thief of joy.  I can’t remember who said that, but there is SO much truth to it-    Shine in your own light-  you are brilliant and unique just as you are.    None of us need to be like another to be worthy.

Happy Holiday Season.   May yours be merry and bright!

A while back I saw something that said- Disconnect to Connect. I paused for a moment to think about what that meant to me and I realized that not only is being ‘connected’ all the time making us disconnect from those closest to us that we don’t often take time to disconnect from everything else and connect with ourselves.

It’s something I’ve been VERY guilty of. I love people, so I love interacting with them- be it in person or via technology a world away. It makes me happy. At the same time- I’ve also noticed that as great as this year has been on many levels, I’ve also lost a connection to myself.

I’ve known for months that I was on this threshold of ‘something’. I’ve had the strong urge to disconnect with pretty much everything and be fully still with myself. My head is constantly full of some sort of information, some sort of list I need to get done- but yet it’s all external stuff. I had forgotten 1- How to release the constant chatter in my head (by writing- something I’d gotten away from but I’m realizing the positive impact writing has on my life) and 2- how to disconnect from everything else and connect with ‘me’.

I started by disconnecting Facebook for a while. Outside of my business page, I have abandoned the FB world- and I really don’t think anyone has noticed, or cares. I spent some time away with my favorite guy- and plan to do some more of that at the beginning of the month.

A friendship that I thought was over is slowly being rebuilt.

I’m disconnecting in so many ways- but connecting on a deeper level not only with myself but so much more.

How do you connect with yourself?

Some friends of ours have been looking at a ‘possible’ development area in the Deep South. Whether it will actually become developed into properties will depend on the results from vapor mitigation testing that is being done. The land, which is a gorgeous piece of property to look at was once a dumping ground. Ironically, I remember going there as a child to ‘dump’ trash with my parents, and it became a huge landfill and once full, it was bulldozed over with dirt as though nothing had ever happened there. Eventually grass grew, trees grew and now it’s a gorgeous property, but the question is: What is lurking underneath?

The sampling should tell the tale of whether there are any toxic gases that could potentially cause problems for the residents once the land is approved to be developed. People would build their homes upon this land, their children would play at what was once a dump site. Whether there was anything toxic dumped, remains to be seen. I know there have been other soil tests done and everything has turned up fine, so I feel certain this will too, but I love the fact that there is technology out there which allows people to test for these type of potential hazards.

With all that being said- even if everything is A-OK, I am still not sure that I personally would want to build on what was once a dump site. It may be fine, but there is something about it that just seems odd to me. Our friend developers feel quite differently, obviously and see the potential for growth in that particular area, which would be great for the economy and those looking to move just outside of the city.

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear what you think.

Yesterday I spent the day out and about with a good friend. We had both been sick, but both feeling much better, so we were able to spend some time visiting some of our favorite foodie haunts, plus a quick trip to Ikea. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Ikea, but if you’re looking for inspiration for your home, it’s a great place to be.

I found several things I loved, but in the end I jotted down a few notes (read tapped them out on my iPhone note pad), and left with nothing. In fact, the only thing I bought yesterday was lunch. I actually think that could be a first for me.

Today has been one of those where I feel like a hamster on a wheel. Constantly trying to get things done and never feeling like I’ve made much progress.

One thing I did do was spend some time cleaning out the spare pantry closet. It had been on my ‘to do’ list for quite some time, but I finally did it. I also tossed quite a few things in the garbage, which cleared up quite a bit of space- which made me VERY happy.

Tomorrow I will tackle a few other things on my ‘to organize’ list. Have you noticed when you have several things that you want to get organized that if you tackle one thing a day- or even two things- that it goes much more smoothly ?

What needs cleaning out in your life?

There is something to be said about a sunny Spring day.   The birds singing,   seeing bumble bees appear and buzz from the hyacinths to the daffodils, watching birds settle into nest building so they can lay eggs and continue the life process,  longer daylight hours, and trees coming to life.

It tends to awake us from the winter slumber.   Our energy levels seem to rise and we find ourselves wanting to ‘do things’ rather than nest inside our homes and binge watch Netflix or Amazon Prime.    The same is happening here-    we are working on home projects and preparing from some amazing times that we’ll be spending with friends, plus some travel later in the year with my family.

Life- it’s  happening now.

 

What about you?  Do you find yourself more energized in the Spring?

 

 

I was browsing some of my usual blogs and haunts the other night when I came across an old friend from when I first started blogging, more than 10 years ago. (wow- that’s hard to believe) He was just starting out as a musician back then, so would write a lot about his gigs and also the excitement of starting out. Finding him and his current blog- was so great. He’s doing well and living his dream with concerts in small places usually with Limited availability, and he sells out every time. He’s actually going to be playing with his band a few hours from us when we’re home- so we may get the opportunity to pop in and see him play, and meet him for the first time in the process. That would be fun!

With our trip back home quickly approaching- and all of our flying ducks in a row- Marcel and I (mostly me) have been getting things ready for our trip. Since we fly and need a car when we are ‘home’, we need to make sure that we also get the best prices on everything, including going to this website – auto insurance. It helps that the Internet allows me to find all the information that I need, usually within a few keystrokes, and it has saved us hundreds of dollars. You know what that means? More cash for shopping, Starbucks and other fun.

I am SO ready!

Since I’ve had LOTS of time on my hands lately- I’ve been coming up with creative ways to keep myself entertained. After all, there is only so much Netflix and mindless reading one can do without the brain going into hibernation. So, aside from coming up with plenty of inspiration for my business, and sketching out baking and other ideas- I started thinking about ways to save money. I don’t mean in big ways, but little things that we may be paying extra for without even realizing it.

My first stop was our grocery bill. I’ve noticed that since Marcel has had to be the grocery shopper- we’ve started saving. Why? Because he is a stick to the list guy. If it isn’t on the list- it doesn’t land in the cart (with the exception of the occasional bottle of Mountain Dew, since we don’t generally have any type of carbonated beverages ‘in house’).

From there- I went to insurance policies, and realized that we were paying too much for a couple of things- We were way over-insured for a few things, plus we have had travel insurance for about six years that we’ve never used, once. So, scrap that. On the whole- we are now saving about 15 dollars a month, which isn’t much, but in a year, it’s close to 200! So yay, for savings.

What about you? What’s your best ‘easy’ money saving tip?

It is hard to believe that Christmas has come and gone, and we’re now entering the final week of this year. My thoughts have started reflecting on this past year, and what’s to come next year, but right now- this post is about Christmas.

It is a given that any year we don’t spend with my family and friends back home- I miss them. I miss the fun, the traditions, and everything in between. Over the years, the Christmases we aren’t there are somewhat bittersweet. Always good, but always missing that little ‘something’.

This year was different in a big way. Granted- I definitely missed my family and friends back home, but this Christmas was the best one I’ve ever spent away from my fmaily. It was merry, bright and filled with much laughter, joy and love. I am grateful beyond measure for those who were a part of this.

I was actually somewhat iffy about how Christmas would be this year. We had a long standing tradition that had ended due to unforseen circumstances, but rather than dwelling on that- I focused on the possibilities and potential, and boy was that the best thing ever! Being open to what could happen, ended up opening up doors and possibilities that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. It just increases my gratitude, plus the knowledge of anything is possible when are keep our minds open to possibilities.

My best friend’s daughter is working on her Masters degree in continued education and the truth is, I’m not sure how she manages. Her schedule has her constantly running from one class to the next, then off to the library to study, sometimes for two exams at a time, and now she has three essays due before Christmas break.

After realizing that it was all becoming a bit too much for her, she decided to get someone to give her a quote on custom college essays, so that maybe she could adjust her focus to one of the other papers. The great thing is having someone who is available to answer any questions that may arise 24/7, plus the assuredness that the paper will be delivered on time. That alone takes a huge weight from her shoulders. I know that if such wonderful services were available when I was in college, I would have definitely taken advantage of using them.