Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Spirit of Gratitude: July 28

It has been one of those weeks.  I must have somehow come into contact with a big allergy No-No over the weekend, because I woke up on Monday morning with one of my notorious allergy induced facial rashes. Fortunately, it was not as bad as some previous experiences - for which I am very grateful!  Much of the rest of this week has been a blur.  Perhaps due to the large quantities of antihistamines in my system.  Which also may explain why this post is late today, because I thought I had scheduled it to auto-publish.  But apparently not...

I Am Thankful For:

Taking the grandbaby along on our walk
Jogging a little and not being completely out of breath
Grilled steaks and sweet potatoes
An antihistamine cocktail that seems to work
Being married to an awesome guy
Repeat customers
The male offspring registering for his first semester of college classes
The offspring taking care of a big chore for their dad
Happy mail

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday Inspiration: Do Not Be Afraid

I have been having some vivid bad dreams recently.  Not nightmares.  Just sad or disturbing.  I think maybe my subconscious is trying to tell me I am feeling a little insecure or something. Which is probably why this verse spoke to me so strongly this week.  It has long been a favorite if mine, and was my verse a couple of years ago when my word for the year was Fearless.  Sometimes, I just need a reminder.

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Friday, July 22, 2016

The Big Apple is: Delicious!

If you're reading this expecting a review of many of the fabulous restaurants in New York City, you might be a bit disappointed.  I have to admit, I ate more... well... junk food.  Let's keep in mind that my one disappointment from my visit is that I didn't get my street cart hot dog.  That might help keep your expectations reasonable.

There was the now famous pretzel in Central Park.

The pizza loving Man of the House insisted we get a "slice" for lunch.  It was all I expected and more.  Large.  Greasy.  And yummy.

The one nice, sit down meal we enjoyed was at Da Nico Ristorante in Little Italy.

The staff was gracious and accommodating.  Especially considering we didn't have reservations.  They seated us outside, where it almost immediately began drizzling rain.  The Man of the House asked if we could move inside and they quickly prepared a table for us.

And friends...  oh. what. a. meal.  This was the BEST eggplant parmigiana I have ever eaten.  Y'all, I am still thinking about how delicious that eggplant was! The Man of the House also enjoyed his veal.

Just when I thought I couldn't possibly eat another bite, that's when they brought out the complimentary plate of zeppoles.  And I am not a gal who turns away fried pastries covered in powdered sugar!

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Spirit of Gratitude: July 21

I Am Thankful For: 
The female offspring's birthday
Eclair cake
Time to plan for the week ahead
Potential opportunities
Veggies from the garden
Stress relief
The male offspring putting his nephew down for a nap
Walks at the park
Beautiful sunsets

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Do You Feel Left Out or Overlooked?

I am super excited about the Upcoming release of Lysa  Terkeurst's newest book UnInvited on August 9th.  Everything I've read about it so far has resonated in my heart.  Lysa says everyone is either "trying to heal a past rejection, deal with a present rejection or fear that an unexpected rejection is just around the corner." If you can relate to that (like I did), you may want to check it out 

And...  the book is going to be the focus of Proverbs 31 Ministries' next Online Bible StudyOnline Bible Study starting September 6!

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Big Apple Is: A Place to Remember

Of all the places we visited during our day in the city, I have to say that, for me, the most powerful was without a doubt the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center.

Due to problems with the line we intended to take, we ended up leaving the subway well above our planned stop and walking through much of Soho and Tribeca to get down to our destination.  Along the way, every fire station you pass has a plaque out front with the names of every member of that company lost on 9/11.

The area and the memorials are beautiful.  Peaceful.  Respectful.

The new tower is stunning.

But it's not the pools or the structures. It's what you feel standing in that place.  All the emotions. Everything you felt that day.  It's all right there.  And more.  You can feel them like a physical weight in your chest.  I had to fight back tears at times.

I didn't take many pictures here.  It was more a moment to stop and take it all in.  To reflect, remember, and say a prayer for all those lost and those left behind.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Currently... A Birthday

24 years ago today, after 30+ hours of labor, we welcomed a beautiful baby girl into our family.  Our lives changed forever that day.  And we never could have imagined where they would bring us today.  So, Happy Birthday beautiful!!

Reading:  I am still trying to trudge through Serving Victoria.  And finding it more than a bit tedious.  I my have to set it aside for awhile to read The Nightingale and see about coming back to it later.

Eating:  Eclair cake.  Because that's what my girl wanted as her birthday cake this year.

Making:  Finishing up the rainbow baby blanket I've been working on between filling orders for Queen B's Busy Work.

Enjoying:  Catching people playing Pokémon Go  everywhere!   The park, the ice cream aisle at the grocery store, in my living room (don't worry... that last one is just my own offspring).

Anticipating:  Some evening walks with the Man of the House this week.

Feeling:  Worn down by the constant stream of violence and hatred which seems to be happening.  Just when it seems as if maybe... just maybe.., we can catch our breath - another senseless act knocks us down again.  Praying so hard for our country and our world.

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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday Inspiration: Conquer Evil

Dear friends, it seems as if we can't open our eyes every morning without being bombarded by the latest news of violence, terrorism, or hatred.  It is enough to make us scared, angry, and bitter.  That is when we must remember and hold onto the words of Romans 12:21...

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Friday, July 15, 2016

Four Ways To Have A More Productive Day

Confession:  I am far from the most productive person you will ever meet.

So what makes me think I am in any way qualified to write a post about how to have a more productive day?  Not because I am some sort of expert.  But because I have tried oh-so-many things to help myself become productive and these are a few of the tips that have helped me get my act (sorta) together.

Wake Up Earlier

 I know, I know... I can hear you groaning from here.  Very few people are excited about the idea of waking up even earlier in the day.  But before you click away to something less annoying - bear with me for a minute.  I really do find that if I get up a little earlier, my days seem to go better.  So, I do encourage you to set that alarm a little earlier. 15 minutes.  30 minutes.  An hour.  Whatever you feel you need and can handle.  But... Don't check your emails or your social media feeds.  Don't jump right into your work or chores.  Have a cup of coffee, tea, or warm water with lemon. Pray. Study the Bible. Meditate. Read a motivational book. Do some yoga.  Take a walk.  Tjis is your time to prepare your body, mind, and spirit for the Day ahead.

Make A To-Do List

If you know me, you probably saw this one coming.  I'm a list maker.  In my experience, I have found that if something isn't written down - it's probably not going to happen.  I personally make a list of goals for each month.  And a list of goals for each week, which is mostly comprised of steps toward meeting my monthly goal.  And then there is the daily To-Do list.  The things I need to do each day, including those which will move me closer to completing my Weekly and Monthly goals.  I'm not saying yours needs to be quite so detailed.  Just make a list of things that you need or want to accomplish for the day. 

First Things First

That thing on your list that you're less than excited about doing?  Do it FIRST!  Get it out of the way.  Otherwise it is far too easy to keep procrastinating; and at the end of the day you find that it's the only thing still on your list.  Leaving you with something you are less than excited about doing tomorrow.  

Set A Timer

This is one of the few tips I took away from my experiments with the FLYlady method of housekeeping.  For each task - set a timer.  The typical recommendation is for 15 minutes.  Sometimes I will do less, sometimes more.  Once the timer goes off - move to another task.  Or take a brief break for a cup of water and to clear your mind before getting back to work.  This keeps me from getting so wrapped up in one task that I get absolutely nothing else completed for the entire day!

What are some of your best tips for being productive and getting things marked off your To-Do list? Share them in the comments!

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

A Spirit of Gratitude: July 14

I'm tired today.  Super tired.  I need a whole lot of coffee.  Or a long nap.   And right now coffee seems like the option which is more likely to happen.  But, other than dealing with some lack of sleep; it's been a good week.

I Am Thankful For:

A few quiet minutes
My nephew's first steps
Dinner out with the Man of the House
Frozen custard
Starting a new order
Dinner at the house of the female offspring's boyfriend
The grandbaby playing with a cardboard box
Walking and talking
These two:

Meal prepping
Dark Chocolate
A baby deer in the backyard

What are you thankful for this week?

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Big Apple is: An Island (mostly... sorta...)

One thing the Man and I decided to do during our day in New York City was to take the 2 1/2 hour Circle Line Cruise around Manhattan.  And what a good decision it was!

The cruise is a great overview of sights from the waterfront. It takes you down the Hudson to the harbor where it gives you a close up view of the Statue of Liberty, then its all the way up the East River to the northern tip of the island, before heading back down the Hudson.  You see Manhattan from every angle.

Although the tour guide was difficult to hear at times, I did enjoy the parts of the commentary I was able to understand.

This was probably my favorite part of our whirlwind day on the Big Apple. (Other than maybe the food.  We'll get to that later!)

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Big Apple is: Sensory Overload

I know, I know... I am taking far too long to get through this whole "our day in New York City" story.  Sorry.  Other things keep coming along for me to post about, and well...  But, let's get back to it - shall we?

After leaving Central Park, we headed down Broadway to Times Square.

Talk about sensory overload!  Between all the billboards, the people,  the costumed characters, etc - it was almost more than one person can manage to absorb!

If you look really close - that's the New Year's Ball up there

I'm glad I got the chance to see and experience Times Square.  But there are many other parts of New York I much preferred over this.  We did get to see "Mickey Mouse" eating lunch with his head in the chair next to him, Buzz Lightyear and Woody, no less than 3 Elmos, and that dude with the guitar who wears only his tighty-whiteys.  So, there's that.

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Friday, July 8, 2016

How to Save Money When Purchasing Homewares

When shopping for furniture and homewares, owners are typically looking for ways on how to save money when purchasing homeware. It is possible; these are a few simple tips to employ when shopping, so you won't kill your budget for the purchases.

Online, outlets, and auctions -
Consider them. Even if you have always bought locally, from known retailers, consider online sites. Consider catalogue sites offering financing options, consider outlet retailers, and consider visiting a few local auctions or auction sites. You will be truly surprised by the savings to be found, and the items you can truly find out there, if you are willing to shop around for them. There are loads of catalogue comparison sites which can help you find the products you are looking for.

Consider second hand -
Many people don't like used, but more often than not, used typically means very light wear, and little to no visible issues. In fact, you can save more than 50% on second hand sofas if you know where to look for them, so add this to your list of things to consider when shopping for homewares.

Ask for it - 
You would be surprised at how many retailers are willing to negotiate on a price deal if you simply ask for it. The problem is most customers are content with paying the price marked on a label. Ask for a discount, ask if they can knock down the price, and if you are buying several items, inquire about deals or discount bulk pricing options offered. You might be surprised at just how much you can really save, just by asking for a cheaper price on items you are going to buy for your home.

Swapping items with family or friends, financing purchases, and even looking for free items through local community events, are all viable solutions to those who need to purchase homewares, but are on a budget when they are ready to make those purchases for the home.

*This is a sponsored post.  Compensation was provided by and the post contains links to their website.  Opinions expressed here may not be those of My Really Real Reality or the blog owner.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

A Spirit of Gratitude: July 7

It's that time of the week again.  Time to pause and take a look at some of the "good stuff" from the past week.  I know that for some of you, it may sometimes it can be difficult to find things to add to a gratitude journal. But i firmly believe that no matter how tough things are, the is always something to be grateful for in your life.  You just have to look around with an open heart.

I Am Thankful For:
Having the family home for a 4 day weekend
The Man of the House going out for soup, crackers and seltzer water
Feeling better
The grand baby's new game
A good temp job for the male offspring
A bunny in the back yard
Walking in the rain
Watching the lightning in the distance
A cool breeze

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

July Intention and Goals

June went pretty well when it came to goals.  There's room for improvement, but with the exception of tackling that pesky yarn stash I can feel good about the progress I made.

My intention for July is Better Health.  The Man of the House and I have plans to get back into a healthier eating routine, starting with a good old fashioned detox.  Eliminating most (all?) processed foods, no added sugars, no gluten, little to no dairy.  We've also been trying to get out for a good walk a few evenings a week.  I've been better about drinking more water recently, but I could do better.

My goals for July are:

Read 3 Books:  I'm a little behind on my personal reading goal for the year.  Time to kick it into gear!  I also have about 3 holds at the library which are all about to become available at the same time.  So... yeh.

Organize Yarn Stash:  Because I am going to get that mess under control before this summer is over!

Make New Throw Pillows for Living Room:  This has been on my To Do list for what seems like forever.  I'm tired of it haunting me.  I need to stop procrastinating and take care of it once and for all.

Walk 2 to 3 Times Per Week:  See above re: monthly intention!

What are your goals for the month of July?

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