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?

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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?


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