IWSG #10


September Goals
Finish NYC planning.
Continue Egypt planning.
The Curated Closet challenge.

Additional Successes:
• Survived 4 nights in NYC, followed by 1 night at home, 3 nights overnight babysitting, 1 night home, then 1 night overnight babysitting.
• Got through 1 wedding, and 4 birthdays.
• Price Matches/Adjustments! Made returns as necessary. Got money back! YAY! Saved over $50 in clothing price adjustments and more than $200 in hotel price adjustments.
• Disputed a credit card on my Experian and Transunion accounts. (Long story.) 

October Goals
– Work on Egypt planning.
– Ideally, finish The Curated Closet challenge
- Dispute Equifax.

(Going light this month so I can focus on Egypt planning. I need to get hotels, transportation, tours, etc… figured out.)

IWSG Question: How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?

What a question for this month! … Major life events sllllllooooowww my writing down. I have lists and lists of blog topics, but are they getting written? No.

Actually, to be fair, minor life events slow my writing down too.

Writing helps me to remember. It brings me back to some of my favorite moments in life and helps me to essentially relive them. Of course, it can also do the same with some of my least favorite moments in life.

Your Turn:

How do you cope with life events? Is there a particular way you deal?


Click here to learn more and
link up with IWSG!

The Friday FIve #11: Changing of Seasons


With the start of Autumn last week, in this hemisphere, and Spring about to start in the other –

1. Do you have the urge to do a Fall/Spring cleaning as soon as the weather turns?

This year I've been doing something I'm going to call "continuous cleaning" or perhaps "continuous purging". My husband and I have been really trying to minimize the amount of space we take up within our house and it has taken all of the effort. And time. How far have we gotten? Not very. I mean – I've reduced four closets of clothing to one, so that feels like a success. I've gotten rid of clothes I've had for six years or more that I've needed to get rid of. I've also purged shoes, jewelry, and books. My biggest struggle? Craft supplies. (What if I need them in the future?)

But along with this "purge", we've also gotten replacement items. And items to "fix" things we aren't ready to part with. Like thread for sewing holes, Zout (instead of Shout) for getting stains out of clothing, and replacing old shoes and dresses with different sizes or better looking equivalents that will be more happily and comfortably worn, in the future.

2.What tells you that the season (a certain smell, a certain taste, that sort of thing) has changed?

Shorter days. The smell of bon fires, the taste of s'mores, the sound of the leaves crackling under your feet, apples + cider, pumpkins and cinnamon… the color of the leaves and the fact that they are falling.

So many things make autumn the season it is, but I think it all goes back to the changing and falling of leaves and the shortened days. If only those things changes and nothing else, I would still know it was fall.

3.What do you look forward to the most with the change of seasons?

With regards to fall? Cooler weather. Give me coats and sweaters, please.

When it is changing to summer, I look forward to beach time and longer days. For spring, I like seeing gorgeous flowers and getting tremendous (but not hurricane-like) rain storms, and in winter, I look forward to a continuation of fall + the added hope of snow.

4. What is something that you probably should accomplish but won’t this season?

To absolutely complete the deep cleaning process we began in the spring. To have organized within an inch of my life. I feel great about what I've done, but clearly it is not enough. When the husband still continuously fails to put things away at all, or when he does put them away, he puts them in the wrong place, you know you still have more organizing to do.

I also have to get my financial life in order and I would like to get my body in better shape than it is currently.

5. What is the most enjoyable part of the oncoming season for you?

If I haven't said it enough yet, it's the cooler weather. Summers are just too hot where I live. (But I'm not skilled enough at driving on ice to live where it snows more frequently than once or twice a year.)

Are you happy to move on from summer (or winter, depending)? What are you most looking forward to in the new season?

Join in and share your
answers for The Friday Five!


The Friday Five: #10 Severe Weather


Last week's Friday Five was all about the weather, unsurprising with the approach of Hurricane Florence.

1. Have you ever experienced a hurricane firsthand?

Yes and no. I live pretty far inland, so usually by the time the weather gets to me it's usually more of a tropical storm than a hurricane.

2. Have you ever experienced outside heat over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celcius)?

YES. Where I live, even if the outside temperature is under 100, sometimes the car reads 100. But yes, either way, I have experienced 100 degrees + whether in my day-to-day life or on vacation in Florida. Add humidity and it feels miserable.

3. When and where was the coldest temperature you have ever experienced?

I experienced my first blizzard in Quebec City, Canada. It was amazing and terrible at the same time. I don't know what the coldest temperature I've ever experienced is, though.

4. Is your household prepared for a possible power outage of two to seven days?

We could handle it.

5. Do you have a go bag?

No? As in if I have to leave in case of an emergency?

Have you ever experienced severe weather of any kind, whether that means hot or cold temperatures, hurricanes or tornadoes? Are you prepared in case severe weather strikes near you?


Year So Far…



January

NYC, NY (July 2016)

We welcomed the year in Washington DC with a few friends. It was exciting to see fireworks from the rooftop of an apartment complex. This was followed up with a visit to Boston where we saw my husband's great uncle, aunt, and uncle. As if our weekends weren't full or busy enough, I made a point to take my car in and get a recall part installed. While we were there, we also replaced a piece that had broken off from underneath the engine. Despite feeling broke, we made a point of paying for a rescue program so that I could get back my Hawai'i images in preparation for April A-Z. Overall, January was a busy month for us.

February

Brittany, France (July 2016)

Preparation for April A-Z began in February as I worked out blog post ideas and began editing and deleting more than 2000 Hawai'i images. Unfortunately, all that I did that month is all but lost, gone with my dead laptop, but I still wanted to mention it here, because it did take a good part of my month sorting through so many images! I also spent the month focusing on travel prep for our April visit to California. Obviously I did research on hotels, things to do, and restaurants, but we also did some wine tasting to get an idea of what types of wine we would enjoy in Napa Valley.

March

Brittany, France (July 2016)

March was just a continuation of February. I took on additional hours at work. My husband and I also laid low over the weekends while I researched California and prepped for April A-Z. If you are an A-Z participant, how many hours do you spend prepping before "the big month"?

April

Maui, Hawai'i (February 2017)

During April we traveled to California, Washington DC, and Alabama. I participated in April A-Z as best as I could completing more than 40 comments and responding to approximately half of the alphabet. I replaced my laptop (when my old one died) and iphone (the gps wasn't working correctly) before the month was over. Unfortunately, I'm still behind (months later) on replacing my back up drive where I was storing my Hawai'i images, so I still have not completed April A-Z or reviewing my travels to Hawai'i. Maybe one day?

May

Roussillon, France (May 2014)

By mid May, we became aware that my brother would be moving in with my parents and we needed to clean out my parent's house and basement. We helped to organize both my parents things and our things. It was an intense process spanning on into June. The end result was that we were a little more organized and we had a few less things.

June

Charleston, SC 

During June my focus was planning for a July 4th vacation to Florida. Relaxing by the pool? Swimming in the ocean? Eating delicious food? Yes, please.

July

NYC, NY (July 2016)

By the time July hit, I was ready for vacation. You can only read and plan so much before the excitement gets to you. Life didn't wait on me to return, though. My old college emailed me that they were closing my email account, a main one I use, so I had to devote a good bit of time to notifying people and companies of the address change. And then we cancelled Amazon Prime. $120 for 2 day shipping? No thanks.

August

Asheville, NC (May 2015)

With 31 days in August, I always find I am able to accomplish so much more than during the other months of the year.  We got caught up on house chores and returns that we needed to make, I got caught up on blog comments, and I'm knee deep in planning for our trip to Egypt for a wedding. I find long months to be both a blessing and a curse. If I have a lot that needs get done, it's great! But if I'm having a bad month, it can seem never ending.

The first seven months of the year have gone by super quick. And, to be fair, this year hasn't exactly gone how I expected it to. There's been more cleaning and less traveling. Less saving and more spending. Hopefully the next five months will see me getting back on track with my blog goals (Less time will be required at work), I'll continue to work on my 101 in 1001 list, and maybe a few surprises will be thrown in here and there!

How is your 2018 going? Are you on track to accomplish your goals? Are there areas you need to work on? Have your goals changed as the year has gone by? I'd love to hear!

IWSG #9


Continue Egypt planning.
  - contacted friends about whether or not they wanted to meet up
  - looked at/compared flights
  - contacted travel agent only to realize I preferred the flights I found to the ones they found for me
  - started my scarf collection solely for this trip
  - Learned how to wear a scarf a new way.
rotate truck's tires (also ordered new tires)
book another hotel night in NYC

Additional Successes:
• Replaced clothing with broken zippers. (Not all of them, but some.)
• Replaced worn-out/uncomfortable shoes.
• Bought a swimsuit I think looks cute on me. (Super hard to do!)
• Updated my jewelry (read: necklace) collection. Clearance items ftw.
• Got rid of bags I don't use. And shoes that I don't need.
• Bought things to help get my husband and I organized. (A necklace hanger, belt hooks, and a "scarf ladder".)
• Bought a wi-fi device for the garage so that we can open and close it with our phones! YAY!
• Planned more for our NYC trip.
• Paid for and put on the car tags.
• Got caught up on blog comments! (ongoing issue for me)
• Ordered some books to help me with the clearing out and cleaning up of my home. I somehow managed to finish one of the three this month. How long has it been since that has happened?
• Finally booked our flight to Egypt! (And extra legs.)
* Cleaned out more of my closet. Now there is actually room for everything to hang. WOW! I've only been working on this since April.

September Goals
– Finish NYC planning.
– Continue Egypt planning.
The Curated Closet challenge.

IWSG Question: What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?

I've never published, aside from blog posts. 😳As much as I would like to publish, at some point, focusing on my blog (or trying to find time to focus on my blog) is enough for me. I like interacting with my friends online, but I'm just not in a good position in life to do much more than that.

Your Turn:

If you enjoy writing, do you plan to take it a step further and eventually publish? Do you have dreams or goals that don't necessarily fit with what you are currently doing in your life?


Click here to learn more and
link up with IWSG!

The Friday Five #9: Foods

Relaxing and enjoyable way to start the day, don't you agree?

Last week's Friday Five was on an exciting topic: food! Don't you just love talking about food? I know I do! Join me in answering some of these questions and let's share our favorite foods. I'd love to hear about something I've never had and expand my palate. And maybe you'll discover something in this post that you haven't had too!

1. What is your favorite food?

Obviously it changes weekly. Right now I'm a little obsessed with Mexican street corn, but I also really love croissants. Burrata cheese has been high on my list, especially when served with field greens, tomatoes, a good thick balsamic and olive oil dressing. Anything with truffle oil is delicious. I mean … I could go on and on. :)

Dessert things? Mom's Makin' Cookies (vanilla with brown sugar, cookie dough) and Icing on Top of the Cake (legit pieces of icing mixed in with vanilla ice cream) are my favorite flavors at Baskin' Robbins (ice cream store in the US). I also love sour patch kids and sour straws.

2. What is your favorite food preparation method?

Quick and easy? I don't do much cooking since my husband has all of the skills.

3. What is your favorite cuisine or style of cooking?

I like so many different cuisines. Can I cheat and say American? I love that there is so much variety in the US. Cheap US Mexican is probably a strong go-to in my house. Italian is nice for a date night. I love going to the Greek Festival once a year for Mediterranean inspired foods. Cuban and Hawai'ian styles are super fun. I absolutely love all of the fruits. Give me passion fruit, mango, pineapple, and guava any day! And then there are French pastries…

I'm not a big fan of fish, Asian, or middle eastern style cuisine, but maybe I just haven't tried the right foods yet?

4. Do you have any dietary restrictions and if so what are they?

No, thank goodness! I'd be the most sad if I could not consume dairy, gluten, or peanut butter.

5. If you could introduce the whole world to one ingredient to improve their culinary experience, what would that be and why?

Burrata. Truffle Oil. Thick balsamic vinegar.

These are some of the things that have improved my culinary experience.

What are your foodie thoughts? Did I introduce you to a new food? Do you have any suggestions for me?

Pamper Yourself…

Asheville, NC (May 2015)
with beautiful flowers. Or maybe with an image of beautiful flowers. Don't you just love those purples?


* I'm participating in August Break 2018 by responding to prompts with pictures. Want to join in? Click the link and share a picture! It's that simple!