Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. I was thinking today that I am thankful that I have two families to celebrate with. It’s important to live in the moment and appreciate the time we have with each other. Probably the thing I am most thankful for was getting home safely. I had thought about not traveling at all, but decided to go. We travelled about 3 1/2 hours northeast of where we live. We only hit lots of rain on the way there. When it was time to leave, my husband and the rest of my family didn’t think my daughter and I should head back home. We decided to try it and I promised I would turn around and come back if the roads were bad. Surprisingly, and contrary to what the online road conditions were saying, we had clear roads all the way home. It was amazing! I was elated every time we hit the next town and the roads were good. I told my daughter, “I don’t want to celebrate and get too excited, it might be bad ahead.” Fortunately, it never was. The roads were clear and we made it home safely. I was so thankful.
Alright, on to fun finds.
I follow this business on instagram. The owner is an artist and illustrator. She draws cute illustrations and puts them on products. You can check out her online store here.
Upworthy has a fun article: 8 Fun Things To Do During The Holidays That Have Nothing To Do With Shopping.
If it seems like I’m always posting recipes for cookies, then you probably have come to the accurate conclusion: I love baking cookies! Here is a recipe I made a week ago or so. The cookies were soooo good. The recipe is from Southern Living: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.
If you are looking for a good movie to watch, we rented “Mr. Holmes” and watched it Saturday night. I really liked it. The movie is about Sherlock Holmes as an aging, retired man who wants to finish one last case before he dies. He’s fighting dementia, and with the help of a young boy, he finds some answers he is looking for. Happy we rented this one.
Movies and books – two things I dearly love. I found this from the Parade magazine: A Book for Every Stocking. Check it out.
Have a great week! Tomorrow is December 1st. No way!
I picked this book up at a book store on my husband’s birthday. I mainly bought it because I wanted to read the introduction written by Lee Child explaining how he became a writer and how the Jack Reacher Series came to be.
I was also interested because Lee Child is a good writer and I wanted to see how is his first novel was written.
If you ever have a chance to listen to any Reacher audiobooks, do it. Dick Hill is the reader and he does a fantastic job! I have listened to several of these books.
Okay, so onto Killing Floor. I could definitely tell it was Lee Child’s first book. It was still good and fairly thrilling, but it was choppy at times. Also, I have a habit of thinking too realistically when I read. I analyze whether something could or could not actually happen. I found myself thinking several times that situations in this book weren’t plausible.
“ Ex-military policeman Jack Reacher is a drifter. He’s just passing through Margrave, Georgia, and in less than an hour, he’s arrested for murder. Not much of a welcome. All Reacher knows is that he didn’t kill anybody. At least not here. Not lately. But he doesn’t stand a chance of convincing anyone. Not in Margrave, Georgia. Not a chance in hell” (back cover).
Jack Reacher does get arrested, he does get released. He does find a few people who trust him and turn to him , and he does get deeply entrenched in the drama that surrounds this small town in Georgia.
I love Jack Reacher. He’s incredibly smart, intuitive, capable, fearless, and heroic. Lee Child is a very good writer. His later books are more developed and the flow is seamless. I’ll read more of his work and I’m glad I read his first novel.
Happy Thanksgiving a day early. I hope your holiday is exactly what you want it to be. However, since there are times holidays can be stressful, here is a video to make you laugh and remember to keep everything in perspective.
The meal doesn’t have to be perfect, your relatives don’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to be perfect. Just be thankful, count your blessings, and find joy where you can.
Watch this video for an instant stress reliever. It’s been circling around the web, and you may have already seen it. It helps if you have seen Adele’s new video “Hello.”
Have a happy day!!
Is it just me, or is anyone else having a hard time wrapping their brain around the fact that this Thursday is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving! Three. Days. Away.
We travel to the eastern part of the state to gather with both sides of our families. Today I realized that someday the time will come when we stop doing this and start having Thanksgiving at our house with our own family. When the time is right, I think that will be special, too.
On to some fun sites from the past week!
I dare you to watch this and not get a little happy tear in your eye. You may have already seen this video Christmas Man on the moon.
Q Editors offered this helpful list: 10 Podcasts to Listen to at the Gym.
Check out this post Five Books That Are Perfect For Fall.
I rarely meet a chowder that I don’t like. This shrimp and new potato chowder from Southern Living was delicious! I made it Friday night. It was easy to make, and I will definitely be making it again!
I have big plans to watch lots of movies over Christmas break. Check out these 23 Best Movies on Netflix You Haven’t Seen.
Whatever your plans are, have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Count your blessing, big and small.
I was originally interested in this book because I remember one of my sisters doing a comic strip for her university’s paper. Also, I enjoyed art as a child, so anything art related I usually think is pretty cool.
This book is really neat! In fact, one of my daughters has already asked if she can have it.
“Unlike other doodle books that leave you stranded, with no help at all, Doodletopia: Cartoons pairs fun doodle-based activities with the sort of insightful (and laugh-out-loud funny) advice and tips that countless readers have come to expect from cartooning master Christopher Hart” (back cover).
This delightful book is fun, creative, and entertaining. It would make a great gift for yourself or someone you know who enjoys drawing.
*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
What do you do when you have so much to do that you don’t know where to begin? Take a nap. I’m serious.
Yesterday I came home from taking one of my daughters to an orthodontist appointment in another town. I had about an hour before I needed to pick up my son from school. I had been out of town on a spur-of-the-moment trip and had gotten home the night before. It had been a busy day. I looked around my office at all I had to do, and I fully realized I needed a little break.
I set my timer on my iPad for 20 minutes and took a very restful, quick nap. The world just melted away. When the alarm went off, I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to conquer whatever needed to be done.
This is something I do quite often. When I hit that sluggish part of the afternoon, I pay attention. When I get tired, things seem harder and I often feel I have more to deal with than I actually do. If I can shut out the world, even for just 20 minutes, I gain a whole new perspective.
I have read several articles and studies that show the healthy benefits of cat naps or power naps. I know other people who do this as well. I am a firm believer we should all do what works for us. For me, personally, I am amazed at how quickly I can refuel.
So, next time you hit that low point of the day, give yourself permission to take a break, shut out the world, and go to a still, quiet place mentally and physically. You might just be amazed at how quickly you regenerate.
Happy Monday! Hope your weekend was wonderful and that your coming week is smooth and easy.
One of my sisters told me I might enjoy the lively show podcasts. I checked several of her podcasts out, and I love them!! Topics she covers include: simplifying, food, money, motherhood, style, wellness, relationships, design, career, blogging, and business.
For my writer friends out there, check out Freedom With Writing. It’s a resource that helps freelance writers.
Another resource for writers is FundsforWriters.
From AFAR Weekly Wander, Quiz: What’s Your Spirit City? (I got Cape Town)
Through an interesting twist of fate, I recently became acquainted with Kerry at Your Streamlined Life. Check out her website. She offers a free workbook to help you find your passion. She has great posts and many helpful ideas.
Have an amazing week!!
I can’t say enough good things about this book. Most of us enjoy feeling inspired. Most of us are aware of how important it is to be thankful. And, most of us love to experience joy. This journal offers 365 days in which to accomplish these aspirations.
This colorful, cheery journal was created by happiness expert Karen Salmansohn. She says her mission is to, “help you live your happiest life.” The pages are filled with “happiness prompters” – a range of motivational quotes, thought-provoking questions, scientific research studies, and soul-stirring philosophical thoughts. Each page’s happiness prompter is meant to inspire you to reflect and focus on where the most joy, appreciation, and love can be found in your day (and your life).
Each page has the word “date” and then a blank line. So you can start the journal any time of the year.
This book would make a great gift for yourself or anyone you care about.
*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
I’m a firm believer that many times in life less is more. I try to simplify as much as I can. There have been many times in my life where I have been stretched too thin. If I am honest with myself, a lot of times my situations have been self-created. They were the direct results from choices I had made.
In 2007, I made a conscious decision to scale back and simplify my life. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. It’s been eight years and I am still working on simplifying, decluttering, maintaining balance, and living in the moment.
I’ve learned to listen to my gut instinct – that little voice, the intuition that tells me I am starting to feel overloaded – that I am taking on too much. It’s powerful to listen to that voice. It saves me.
Recently, I was having a productive day and I was excited about some writing assignments and writing work I was doing. I felt very motivated and thought it was a perfect time to sign up for the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) project. Participants write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. I am already working on a book, so I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to push myself and finish it in one month. I went to the online site to sign up and was interrupted and not able to finish it that evening. Thank goodness.
The next morning I knew I needed to finish signing up, but I was starting to feel some pressure, and my gut was telling me to hold off; this was adding more onto my plate than I truly wanted right now. As soon as I gave myself permission to not sign up and participate, I felt instant relief. I felt more balanced and felt gratitude that I was listening.
I think the NaNoWritMo program is wonderful. It’s a nonprofit that encourages young and older writers. It’s free. You write a novel in a month, track your progress, get pep talks and support, and meet fellow writers. I believe I will participate in this program at some point. I just know for this November, it was more than I wanted to take on.
Every day we make decisions that create the way we live our lives. For me, it’s important that I listen to that voice that says there is too much going on.
First, I would like to thank everyone that reads my blog. I love my little blog. I enjoy doing it. I hope it brings a little joy to anyone that reads it. You probably already have this figured out, but here is the layout I do every week: Mondays are Fun Finds From the Web, Wednesdays are an original piece (article or essay I have written), and Fridays are Book Reviews.
So, on to Monday…….a few fun finds.
Once again from Happsters. Check this out from Happsters. (click on the “this.”)
Sometimes I try something new just because I am a little scared to do it. Yesterday I made vegan chocolate chip cookie dough. My kids are not impressed with the idea of cookies without butter and eggs. I will bake them later today, and will see if they taste good. Check out this “Most Genius Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Is Also Vegan” from Food 52.
I follow becoming minimalist on Facebook. I enjoyed this quote they posted last weekend. To me, it applies to physical and mental baggage we may have.
Check out this video from BuzzFeed Food. It’s spinach artichoke dip stuffed garlic bread. It looks simple to make and delicious!!
I’m on day 4 of the Fightmaster Yoga 90 days challenge. Today was a little challenging, but so far, so good!
Hope today finds you happy and well, and that everyone has a terrific week. Be sure when you are out and about to notice all the beauty that autumn brings.