IWSG #11


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

Additional Successes:
• Was accepted and then prepared for Le Dîner En Blanc, Atlanta edition. (Lots of shopping, returns, and planning in two weeks.)
• Birthdays, parties. weekends out of the house. (Was it every weekend? 😳)
• Laundry every two days + sheets, towels, etc… (After exposure to pinworms. Ick.)
• Managing to somehow cook without fire a la camping style for Le Dîner En Blanc. (Heat packets and water if you are wondering.)
• Bought a baby gift for my niece and more Christmas presents for family and friends


November Goals
– FOCUS on EGYPT. PRONTO.

IWSG Question How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?

I have a book of writing prompts that I used to love. Recently it's taken a back burner. I think what I loved most about it is that it would push me to think about my writing in a new way. Example? Use alliteration when describing something; cover all five senses. Another? Write a story in six words, like the Earnest Hemmingway's short story "For sale: Baby shoes, never worn". Obviously not every writing prompt in the book is helpful for me, especially when I don't have time to think through a response that pertains to writing I am currently doing, but it can be helpful to give me just the tiniest of pushes to try a new way of writing or to reach my audience in a new way.

Your Turn:

If you are a writer, do you have any tricks up your sleeve that help you to write more creatively? Or does writing itself encourage you to think more creatively about your life?


If you aren't a writer, what tips and tricks help you to approach tasks from a new perspective? How do you push yourself to "think outside of the box"?


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The Friday Five #14: Halloween


1. With Halloween having been this past week, did you do any seasonal activities for the holiday?

A few!
• I took the kids I watch "boo'ing" around the neighborhood; we left candy and a note on the front stoop as a surprise for several of the neighbors with kids.
• My husband and I have a tradition of trying a new restaurant on Halloween night since we don't have kids. So … we did!

2. What is your favorite Halloween or dress up party costume you've had? 

My sophomore year in college, my husband (then boyfriend) and I dressed up as Guinevere and Sir Lancelot. My grandmother's friend sewed my dress using blue velvet. I wore gold ballet flats (before they were popular), a lace veil in my hair (super heavy!) and had my hair curled by a salon. Of course, then we went to a trashy fraternity party (regrets!), but I loved my outfit!

3. Which do you like better, apple cider or pumpkin spice flavoring?

APPLE CIDER!!!

4. What is your favorite scary movie and why?

I don't like scary movies. Either they are cheesy or they gross me out. Hocus Pocus is my favorite Halloween movie though.

5. What traditionally "scary" monster or fear do you think is the most overrated and why? 

Witches. Have you seen Wicked, the broadway musical? 😉Witches aren't too be feared; they are simply misunderstood.

Feel like sharing some Halloween love and memories with me? Do you enjoy celebrating Halloween, the holiday?

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The Friday Five #13: Autumn Apples


I think of citrus fruits in the summer (like lemons and oranges) and berries in the spring, but fall brings apples to mind. Oh – and squash and pumpkins. Are you a fan of apples? Do you have any fall/apple related memories?

1. Have you ever bobbed for Apples?

Maybe once when I was younger? I think I quickly realized how difficult it was and gave up. It's much better to watch others attempt it.

2. Do you like a regular or hard apple cider?

Regular. While I do drink on occasion, I just think regular cider tastes better. I do love Michel Jodin's (a brand of cider in Canada) Iced Cider (which is the term from cider made from apples that are picked after the first icing of the season rather than whether or not the cider is served with ice) though. Of course, even then you really can't compare any type of cold cider to hot cider. It's just not the same. ESPECIALLY if it's cold outside. Warm/hot always wins when it's cold.

3. Do you have a special type of apple that you prefer over others?

Pink lady, Granny Smith. I like anything that is a bit more sour than sweet.

4. Have you ever made baked apples?

In an apple pie with my husband, yes. (The pie didn't turn out well, but we tried.)

5. Who is the apple of your eye?

This question is ridiculous. My husband? The kids I watch? My nephew? My dog? So many people (and animals) I love so much.

When you think of fall, do apples come to mind? 

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The Friday Five #12: Compliments & Feeling Good About Yourself


The Friday Five questions I'm answering today are all about compliments and feeling good about yourself. I don't always feel like the most confident person around, so I had a hard time answering these. I guess that is all the more reason to try…

1. What was the best compliment you ever received?

I've been told I'm pretty, that I have pretty hair, that I look younger than my age (Is that a compliment?), that I'm good with kids, that I take good photos…

Nothing stands out as "the best".

My preference is always to receive compliments for my skills or intelligence over how "beautiful" I am perceived to be.

2. What are your five best talents?

A. I'm good with kids. Not babies though.
B. I'm Type A when it comes to planning (travel, for events, etc…).
C. I know more about photoshop/lightroom than many people.
D. My husband will fight for me. It's not really a talent that I personally have, but it definitely makes life easier. If I have a goal, I know he will back me. If someone makes me feel badly about myself, I know that he will set me straight. It's like being big Mario. Or having multiple lives in a video game. If you make a mistake, you have that back up that makes it easier to continue the game. Not everyone has that, so I'm counting it as a "talent booster". 😉(It's hard to think about 5 things, in particular, that you are good at. Know what I mean?)
E. Googling. If I need an answer badly enough, I usually can find my answer on Google.

3. What do you wish most people knew about you, and why?

I'm very quiet until I get used to you. My husband says if I practice talking to people on the fly, making small conversation, etc, I'll get better at it. From what I can tell, he lies. I'm not good at thinking on my feet and I never will be.

And words. They fail me. More often than not. Is that an early sign of Alzheimer's?

Anyway, if I say the wrong thing to you, or don't say anything at all, it's me, not you. You are cool. I promise. 🙂❤️

4. What has been your biggest accomplishment so far, and why does it mean so much to you?

Finding someone in life who truly loves me and would go to the ends of the world and back for me if I asked him to. It's not really an accomplishment since it didn't take any effort from me to "obtain" him, but still it is one of the aspects of my life that makes me proudest.

5. If you could achieve anything in your life, what would it be?

Travel as often as possible, see the world, open up my mind to new experiences, and fight for equality and love.

Tell me some things about yourself that you are proud of. What are you good at? What do other people tend to compliment you on? What are your life goals and is your confidence (or lack of) influencing how well you are achieving them?


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October Lookback


This month is going by super fast. I've been lacking inspiration and focus. In an effort to try and break the rut (though don't count on it until I get my trip to Egypt planned), here's a look back at the month, that is now halfway over, and what's been going on in my life:

Listening to: 

whatever is playing at Starbucks right now. (Easy listening? Jazz? soft rock?)

I kind of love watching and rewatching the movie Lady Bird. And listening to the Cat Stevens' song "Wild World".

Remembering:

last year exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway. Things have changed so much then! (Is that always the case? Do things always change drastically from year to year?)

Planning: 

DINNER EN BLANC:  I staked out the website two weeks ago to get tickets and found myself third in line (out of thousands); people complained it was harder to get Dinner En Blanc tickets than to go to a Beyonce concert.

SO what is Dinner En Blanc? Hopefully I will get the opportunity to write a full post on it. A quick overview though? It's a pop up dinner where everyone gets dressed up in white, brings a table, chairs, fancy dinnerware, and a fancy dinner then eats together. We won't know where the dinner will be held until the day of. 

I'm really excited about going, but I have no idea what to expect. Preparation has been intense with only two weeks to prepare. At least, if I enjoy it, there will be far less stress with attending next year.

EGYPT: Who am I kidding? I haven't really been working on this. Three months to go and I only have two nights (out of two weeks!) booked. I have got to get moving on this.

ALSO THIS MONTH was my grandmother's birthday, my husband's aunt's 50th birthday, a trip to North Georgia to see the Japanese Maples in bloom (YAY fall!), and early voting. (Are you registered to vote in the mid terms?)

Anxiously Awaiting:

My Christmas trip to Paris, Egypt, and Germany (Frankfurt)! WOOT!!! I mean I need to get the planning done, but Christmas in Paris is always worth it. And seeing friends makes my heart happy. ❤️

Interested to Know:

if my husbands plans for cooking/warming foods without a flame will work for Dinner En Blanc. Tonight we are going shopping for our cheese plate foods. It's been a lot of fun learning so many weird skills … like how to heat food without a flame and how to put together a decent looking (and appetizing) cheese plate. Who knows if all of this research will pay off?

Keeping A Secret: 

I'm wearing my husband's belt today. 😳I needed a thick black belt to complete my outfit. I didn't have one, but he did. Why not? It's not like anyone can tell! But it doesn't fit into the belt loops of my pants. Oops.

Of course does this imply that I'm fat? Or that my husband is skinny? Would it make a difference if I told you I'm wearing it on my hips rather than waist? 😳

Shopping: 

A few things I'm loving –

1. We The Free Free People January Tee

2. Patricia Nash Designs Verdura Rose Tapestry Scarf

3. Free People Oh Baby Mini Dress

4. We The Free Free People Laguna Thermal

5. Adrianna Papell Natalia ballet flats

Reading: 

Carry Her Heart (Words of the Heart) by Holly Jacobs. It's a kindle book I received for free from IHG. Who has time to read actual books? (Believe me I wish I did!)

I picked up A Man Called Ove and Tuesday With Morrie from the local little library. No idea when I will get around to reading them (or if).

I'm also still working my way through The Curated Closet. (Only I started adding to my closet halfway through reading. I have a problem. 🙃) I downloaded a few extra worksheets to help me pare down my closet. The problem? Cleaning takes energy and time. When you aren't home … 

A few more books to add to the list: Captain Underpants and Captain Underpants and the Purple Potty People by Dav Pilkey have been added to my "for work" reading lists. I've been reading them to the kindergartner and third grader I've been watching. Anything that gets them interested in books, right? In return, the kindergartner has been reading me A Perfectly Messed Up Story by Patrick McDonnell. Love that she is only two months into kindergarten and already reading full books/interested in chapter books. Can I take partial credit for that? 😉❤️

Want to share what is going on in your life? I'd love to read! What all have I been missing out on while I've been distracted from blogging?

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?


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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!