5 Things To Do More Often

Adulting is hard! Bills. Jobs. Family. Friends. Housework. Bills. Who knew there was so much responsibility being an adult? Why didn’t anyone ever tell us?! Instead of learning about the quadratic equation, which I have never used in my adult life by the way, why wasn’t there a class on how to balance adult responsibilities with the little things in life?

From a reformed workaholic, I can tell you from experience that it’s so easy to get wrapped up in work  and forget about the small things that are really important. But learning to balance my work life and responsibilities with my personal life keeps me in a better place. Balance not only keeps me physically heathy but also mentally healthy. I’ve come up with five things that I need/want to do more often to keep the peace in my life.

Keep in Touch with Old Friends

Some of the greatest friendships I’ve had came from high school and college. I went to college out of state and then moved out of state a few years after college. It’s difficult to keep in touch because everyone is busy. My best friends live in Las Vegas and Los Angeles so the time difference alone is a big barrier. But, since reuniting in December for a wedding, I’ve tried to be more consistent with keeping in touch. Social media makes it easier but there is nothing like good old phone conversations or FaceTime.

Get Fresh Air

Having grown up in Montana, I have an affinity for being outdoors. I’m not necessarily a camping and hiking kind of person, but I find being outside in the wide open spaces to be very relaxing. Taking a walk or just sitting outside calms my mind and reminds me of a simpler time growing up in a small town with few responsibilities.

Slow Down

Nowadays, everyone is so incredibly busy with jobs, family, friends and volunteer work that we don’t take the time to slow down and enjoy life. Prior to becoming a preschool teacher, my job was incredibly demanding and I spent a lot of time at home, catching up on paperwork that I didn’t have time to do at the office. I burned out very easily and was incredibly unhappy. By switching careers, though a difficult decision, was the best thing I’ve done for myself.

Take More Photos

Part of slowing down is enjoying life more and making memories with those we love. I always plan to take photos of outings with friends and family but get wrapped up in what we’re doing and then regret that I didn’t get a photo of that hilarious moment of the night. I’ve been trying to make an effort to take a few snapshots, even if only with my iPhone, to remember the important, fun memories.

Me Time

More often than not, I spend time doing work related things or helping out friends and family, which I love doing, but I forget that it’s just as important to do things for myself. Not only do I need to remember to take time to relax for mental health reasons, but also for physical reasons. If I do too much, my arthritis is nice enough to remind me that I need to slow down and take care of myself.

What things do you want/need to do more often? Leave me a comment below.

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National Organ Donation Day

This post is a little different from others, especially considering that today is Valentine’s Day. But in a way, I am talking about love.

Organ donation is something that is very near and dear to my heart. As a junior in high school, my grandfather, who I’d only met a few years prior, fell sick and was in need of a new liver. He was never a drinker but his liver was failing anyway. I remember sitting in the hospital, just being with him while he slept, praying that someone gave him a liver.

For the first time in my 17 years, I was in danger of losing someone close to me. I’d been lucky and had never lost a family member. There I was sitting in the hospital, wishing that I had called my grandpa more often. I wished that I had gotten the opportunity to visit more and get to know him.

My grandpa was in the hospital for about a week before he was lucky enough to get a liver. I couldn’t believe it. I remember wishing I could thank the family for donating their loved one’s organ so I could have more time with my grandpa. Obviously, this wasn’t possible but I said a prayer for this mysterious person and their family for giving my grandpa a second chance at life.

Fast forward a few years when it was time to renew my driver’s license. I was asked if I wanted to be an organ donor. Sadly, I had to decline. I assumed that due to my arthritis and the medication that I was taking, I would not be able to donation organs or tissue to anyone. Turns out, I was wrong. I’ve never been so glad to be wrong in my entire life!

I am now a card carrying member of the organ donation club and I urge you to consider this as well. Don’t assume that just because you have certain diseases or physical ailments that you aren’t a candidate. Talk to your family, friends and doctors to decide if this is something that is right for you.

organ donor facts

Currently there are more than 120,000 people waiting for an organ transplant. More than 17 people die waiting for a transplant each day. According to the Health and Human Services a new person is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes.

Check out organdonor.gov for more information. Thanks for listening to my rambling today. Just felt moved to write about this today. Have a great week and Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Organize With Me

I am a huge planner/scheduler!! Let’s be honest, anyone with a chronic pain disease has to be a scheduler. Otherwise, the hundreds of appointments and medications get lost in the shuffle of everyday life.

I’m very picky when it comes to the type of planner I like though. At my last job, I lived for the planner with scheduled times (in 15 minutes increments). Sounds rigid but with my job, I needed the structure to keep everything running smoothly.

Now that my job is less rigid and scheduled and I use my planner for personal use only, I prefer a more flexible style. Last year, I came across Plum Paper Planners on Etsy and decided to order one. I absolutely loved it!

The daily vertical format was very different from my rigid timed planner but I learned to love it. These planners are easy to customize and decorate each month and individual week. The planners are constructed so well and for a base price of $31 before add-ons, these planners are a great deal!

I know a lot of people love the Erin Condren Life Planners but I couldn’t justify spending $50 on a planner. The Plum Paper Planners can be just at customized as the Life Planners and are almost the same size. I really like the lines on these planners where the Life Planners are just blank squares.


This year, I ordered another Plum Paper Planner but with a different weekly layout. I wanted to try something new and I really hoped that I would like it. I’m still getting used to it but I think overall, I’m really going to like it.


I was pleasantly surprised at the changes they made. The cover is a waterproof, tear proof cover that seems really durable. They’ve also added a Monthly Highlights page to each month to document goals, birthday, events and other important things to remember that month.


If you’re looking for a new planner this year, I highly recommend Plum Paper Planners. They have various customizable covers and multiple different types of planners; family planners, school planners, teacher planners, etc. Let me know how you stay organized in the comments below!

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7 Binge-Worthy Shows on Netflix

One thing you should all know about me is that I love Netflix. I’ve had it for years and could easily live without cable. Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that I tend to watch the same shows over and over again, intermixed with new shows and movies. I’ve watched these shows so many times that they are usually just noise in the background as I’m getting ready or cleaning up. In honor of Flare Month coming up, I wanted to share my list of binge worthy shows on Netflix.

Friends

This is an obvious choice but I still couldn’t leave it off the list. I never really watched Friends when it was on TV but in college, the reruns got me through some boring nights stuck in the dorm room studying.

Hawaii Five-O

This is one show that is still actively making episodes on TV that I’m watching. Strangely, I don’t watch the new episodes; I wait until they come to Netflix. But I still binge watch the first 5 seasons over and over again. The characters are hilarious and because it’s set in Hawaii, it’s different from other cop shows.

A Different World

I grew up watching this show. My sister and I would willing get up at 5:30 am to watch 2 episodes before my dad woke up and watched the news. It was originally a spin off of the Cosby show that followed Denise to Hillman College. However, after the first season, Denise left the show and it followed the remaining characters through college and into the real world.

Flashpoint

This is a Canadian show my younger sister introduced me to. It’s about the Canadian equivalent of a SWAT team. It’s so addicting! The story line is from a different perspective than most crime shows. These aren’t detectives or beat cops. They are simply SWAT that comes into defuse situations.

Last Man Standing

If you loved Home Improvement from the 90s, you will love Last Man Standing! The comedy is very similar. Tim Allen is gun toting, republican member of the NRA with 3 daughters, one of which is a liberal. Every episode makes me giggle. I highly recommend this show to anyone who enjoys comedies!

One Tree Hill

I watch this One Tree Hill for nostalgia purposes. I watched this show in high school and college. It follows a group of friends from high school through adulthood. I’ll be honest, the first season is pretty cheesy but that’s part of what I love about it. The characters are relatable, humorous and dramatic. There’s a little something for everyone.

NCIS

I know. I know. Another cop show. I’m sorry! I can’t help it. I love crime shows! Growing up, I had aspirations of wanting to work for the FBI in forensics. NCIS is a spin off of JAG (which I also love) and follows a team of investigators that solve crimes for the Navy. You wouldn’t believe how funny some of the characters are. One of the best shows on TV!

What are your favorite Netflix shows or movies to watch? I’m always willing to try out new ones. Happy binge watching!

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Weekly Inspiration #5

If you haven’t watched the videos of James Corden doing the Carpool Karaoke segment on his late night show, you have been missing out! It’s absolutely hilarious! He does interviews with singers while driving around listening to the radio. He’s done Carpool Karaoke with everyone from Carrie Underwood to Adele to Justin Beiber to Jason Derulo.

These videos will definitely get your week off to a good start. Check them out on Buzzfeed. Tell me which one is your favorite in the comments below! Have a great week!!

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DIY Valentine’s Bag

My niece and I have a tradition each year of being each other’s Valentine. This year was my turn to plan our activity. As she’s gotten older (she’s 11 now), this task has become harder and harder. I searched Pinterest for a solid hour before finding this adorable DIY.

Valentine Bag Pinerest

I love tote bags and being a preschool teacher, I knew that this was something that I would use over and over again. My niece is very involved in sports and extra-curricular activities so I knew that she would also use a fun tote bag.

Supplies:

  • Canvas Tote Bag: I found this tote bag at Hobby Lobby for $1.99. It’s very thin but for a trial run, it was the perfect price.
  • Fabric Paint: I purchased a pink and red fabric paint to make it a little more colorful. I found my fabric paint at Hobby Lobby for $2.99 each.
  • Pencil: The end of the pencil is the perfect size for the circles. However, you could use anything you have around the house.
  • Tape: I used this washi tape that I had laying around the house. It’s sticky but still easily removed from the stencil so I could use it again.
  • Stencil: I went online and found a picture of a heart that I liked and printed it off. You can use any shape you want.

Once you have all your supplies the process is so easy. Simply cut out the stencil and use the tape to adhere it to the bag in the position you want. Next just take the eraser pen of the pencil, dip it in one color of fabric paint and dot around the stencil.

Valentine Bag Stencil

Keep adding paint around the stencil until you get the desired effect. I’m a little bit of a perfectionist when it comes to patterns and things so I took my time and tried to neatly place the dots symmetrically around the stencil.

Valentine Bag Closeup finished

Once you’ve reached the desired amount of circles, simple peal off the stencil and reveal the design. If you decide to you add more circles or an additional color, just place the stencil back on the bag and keep dotting!

  
I absolutely love how it turned out! I’m going to do this with my nephew when he comes to visit in a few weeks. At 5 years old, he loves to do crafts! Let me know what you think below in the comments. If you have any ideas for a design for a 5 year old boy, leave that in the comments as well.

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Flare Makeup

My annual arthritis flare is upon us. Every year between the end of February and beginning of April, my arthritis decides to remind me that it’s present. We have a fun game going called, “How Swollen Can One Joint Get?” So far, my knuckles are winning.

During my flare ups, my hands are very swollen and sore. It makes doing simple tasks like buttoning pants or fixing my hair incredibly painful. I’ve worked out some simple hairstyles and plan clothing accordingly but makeup is something that I refuse to stop using.

I love makeup! I love watching makeup videos. I love looking at beauty blogs. I love shopping for makeup. I’m a little obsessed. Instead of giving up on makeup all together, because let’s face it, I would never be able to, I’ve adapted my morning makeup routine to be simple, quick but still pretty.

  Painterly Paint Pot | Urban Decay Blackout | Maybelline Fit Me Concealer | Loreal Magic Skin Beautifier | NYX Eyebrow Pencil | Benefit Roller Lash

I can easily do my complete face with this simple makeup.  I love the end result and gives me some confidence when I’m feeling my worst. Here is the finished product from a few days ago. 

  
What are your favorite products for a quick makeup look to feel more confident when you don’t have enough time or are struggling with a flare up? Leave a comment below.

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