January 22 2018

Book Review: Do I Ever

This book has a refreshing assortment of believable realistic characters in numerous comedic situations. Drew and Andi Stevens, although both Christians, are on the brink of divorce and struggling over custody of a tuxedo cat named Tuck.

When good friends, Jonathon and Heather Hunt, who are also on the verge of divorce, come for a week-long visit to break it to their friends in person, everyone suddenly becomes an amateur actor or actress in order to keep their friends from knowing the true state of their marriages. Antics ensue due to these theater-worthy performances. Throw in Andi’s beautiful young assistant, BJ Diaz, who happens to be in love with Drew and also his best friend and there is no end to the complications. Discussions held in bathrooms, sneaking around to avoid the nosy neighbor and many other antics make this a fun read.

If you are looking for a clean, Christian book to read, this one is a great choice.

If you are interested in buying this book, please consider using the affiliate link below. It won’t cost you more and I might make a few cents because you did.

I was given a copy of this ebook by the author in exchange for posting an honest review. (Review also posted on Amazon.)

January 19 2018

Intentional (Five Minute Friday)

It is not intentional when I stay up a tad too late most nights. In fact, I tell myself almost daily that I will get to bed early or at least at a decent time. But I find so many things to occupy my time and it just flies by and before I know it I look up and it is midnight or even later. I usually berate myself for the fact that I just cannot seem to get my sleep or the lack thereof under control. I also promise myself that tomorrow will be different. Tomorrow I WILL get to bed early.

It’s not that I don’t want to sleep. I just want to do the other things I am doing more. What am I doing you ask, when I should be sleeping? Oh, lots of things. Tonight I was listening to an audiobook on my phone, GOD Speaks Your LOVE Language by Gary Chapman. It is great! I never thought of my relationship with God that way. I read the 5 Love Languages book years ago and even got hubby to take a quiz so we could figure out that we spoke different love languages. I’m not sure if it helped him much, it’s hard to tell with men, but it did help me to understand him a little better. The book I am listening to has me thinking about love languages and how God might use them to express his love to us. Some nights my brain is spinning and it just won’t settle down so I can sleep. So many thoughts to think!

Sometimes I am up late working on the blog or writing up a post. Tonight I just had to look to see what the Five Minute Friday word prompt was for the week. Making the graphic to use in the post was intentional. What I didn’t intend to do was actually sit down to write the post before going to bed. I just wanted to know what the word was so I could think about it overnight and while I work tomorrow and then sit down to write my five minutes when I got home tomorrow evening. Well…the best-laid plans…I think I should have waited to make the graphic until I saw where this word would lead me. I intended to talk about tea, but that will have to wait for another day. My squirrel brain went down a different path before I could stop it. Oh well, enjoy the graphic anyway. I think it turned out kind of cute.

I highly recommend both of these books. The links above and below for the books are affiliate links which means if you happen to purchase anything using one of the links, I might a very small commission at no additional cost to you. You can also just check them out of your local library, which is free and also highly recommended.

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Intentional
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience.
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January 18 2018

My 2018 SMART Goals

Here is the list of my 2018 Goals. I hope I did a better job of choosing SMART goals this year. I tried to choose goals I could track in my Bullet Journal. See the photos of the trackers below.

Spring Break Cabin Trip
College Avenue Stitchers (1st Saturdays)
FlyFests (2nd Saturdays)
Knit & Crochet It Forward (2nd Saturdays)
YarnSlingers (3rd Tuesdays)

Sleep (6 hours/night)
Water (6 cups/day)

Finish Cleaning Office
Backup Floppy Disks to Iomega Drive
Paint Table for Porch
Master Bedroom (work on it)

Pay Off Car Loan
Pay Off TAN
Pay ALL Bills on Time
Save $6,000 for London Trip

Donate 36 Crocheted Hats
Donate $ to NaNoWriMo
Gift Wrap for DAR (December)

Get Family Tree Maker (upgrade from 2006 version)
Update My Genealogy Websites
Setup a Way to Sell my Crochet Online

Read 100 Books
Complete Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge
Read 3 Personal Development Books
Update Resume

1 New Blog Post/Week (Thursdays)
Continue Five Minute Friday Posts

Continue to Add Content
Try to Film Bullet Journal Flip Through
Try Being On Camera with Someone for a Virtual Write-In

Complete NaNoWriMo (November)
Read 3 Writing Craft Books
Take 3 Writing Classes
Submit 3 Guest Blog Posts or Magazine Articles for Publication
Write 3 Contest Entries
Thursday Night Writing Group (see tracker near top of page)

I still have a couple more trackers I have yet to set up. I feel like I did a better job of setting goals or at least finding ways to keep track of the goals I set.

January 13 2018

Simplify (Five Minute Friday)

When I read the prompt (Simplify) late Thursday night, I just filed it in the back of my mind, to mull over as I slept. Friday, I decided to go ahead and get the graphic made while I had a minute and get it uploaded so it was ready to go when I write the post to go with it. Funny thing that. When I made the graphic, it said Simplicity. Today (Saturday), when I sat down to write and grab the correct links at the bottom of the post, I realized my error and had to go back and Simplify the word on the graphic. I got a good laugh out of my mistake and figured I now had a direction for my post.

How many times do we make something simple into something complicated when there is no reason to do so? This is the perfect time of the year to take a closer look at our lives and simplify. Are you overcommitted? Look at your calendar and make a list of the activities you regularly participate in. Are there too many? Could you take a minute to number the list in order of importance? Not importance to others, but which are most important to YOU? Could you cut the list down by just ten percent? That would simplify your calendar a bit. The next step might be to learn to say “No.” unless you are really ecstatic about a new opportunity that has been presented to you.

Now, how about household tasks? Do you find yourself perpetually behind on tasks like dishes and laundry? Have you considered the idea that you just might have too many clothes and dishes? Consider what you pack for a week or ten-day trip. If you have just ten days worth of clothes, even if all the laundry is dirty it won’t take that long to get it caught up. If you have enough clothes to last for weeks or months and you let it all get dirty before you wash it, you have a much bigger mound of laundry to tackle, don’t you? I bet you see where I am going with this. If you simplify your wardrobe even by just ten to twenty percent, you can simplify your laundry chores too. I can’t take credit for this idea, but there are famous people who basically wear the same “uniform” every day. If all your clothes were black, like the late Johnny Cash, laundry sorting would no longer taker up precious moments of your life. I use a multi-hamper system where the clothing gets sorted as it is taken off so I can always grab a load when it is getting full. This is how I simplify the task of laundry.

If you have a house full of kids and they are constantly grabbing a clean glass out of the cabinet with each drink they pour, consider getting each kid a different color of the same style of glass, then having them rinse it after each use and put in the dish drainer until they need it again. When you get ready to run the dishwasher, grab them all and load them in. If one turns up missing you know exactly which kid to speak to about it, which again simplifies the task of tracking down the missing dish. It will also cut down on the number of dishes you need to wash by hand or the frequency you need to run the dishwasher.

The more stuff you have, the more time you will spend taking care of your stuff or working/walking around your stuff. More is not always better. You can simplify your life by decluttering your excess possessions.

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Simplify
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

January 11 2018

My Year of Being FEARLESS

For the first time ever, I chose one word to guide me through the year. Never having done such a thing before, I wasn’t sure how it would work out. I am happy to report that it went very well. The word I chose to guide me through 2017 was FEARLESS.

In January, I chose to submit my first written contest entry. This was huge because I really hadn’t even been promoting my blog at that time and I rarely let anyone read my writing. I was fine with the idea of blogging because I know my posts weren’t being read by anyone and I saw no reason for that to change.

Enter February, where my idea of being fearless included not only blogging, but also committing to the purchase of a domain name and moving my Weebly blog that no one was reading to the WordPress platform. It was a huge commitment but I told myself a fearless person would do it in a heartbeat, so I did it. I also bought a blogging course so I could do it without embarrassing myself too badly.

As part of blogging and trying to do it well, I read that each blog post should have a graphic to go with it and grab the reader’s attention. I also read that it would be best to use graphics that you created or photos that you had taken. I take photos all the time, so no problem, right? So I heard a lot of bloggers were using PicMonkey to create graphics, or at the very least to add text to their photos. So I spent an entire Sunday playing around with it and taught myself the basics of using PicMonkey. I even used it to design myself some business cards and ordered them too while I was at it. If I was going to be fearless, I needed a business card, right? Continue reading