Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Books to Read for 75 Hard


If you're taking on the challenge of 75 Hard, you know one of the daily challenges includes reading 10 pages of a self-improvement book. Here are some great book ideas to get you started. Good luck on your journey! 

2. Can't Hurt Me - View on Amazon

3. Atomic Habits - View on Amazon

4. The 7 Habits of High Effective People - View on Amazon

5. Discipline Equals Freedom - View on Amazon

6. Do Hard Things - View on Amazon

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Minimalism at Work

While I don't consider myself a true minimalist (I'm pretty sure my kids' collection of toys could confirm that), I value a lot of the ideas that minimalism can teach us. I've found minimalism especially helpful when applied to the way I work. 

1. An uncluttered workspace, provides space for a clearer mind. This doesn't mean your desk has to be sterile. When you remove the clutter, only the most treasured pieces are left behind. That photo of your family or the quote that inspires and encourages you are no longer buried behind piles of junk.  

2. Minimalism helps us to focus on quality, not quantity. Instead of doing a lot of things that are just good enough, wouldn't we all rather do a few things well? Some days it seems impossible to get everything on my list accomplished. Minimalism teaches us to say no to the things that aren't essential and pare down our to-dos to those things that really matter.  

3. It rejects the idea that we need to "keep up" with anyone else and gives us the proper perspective to focus on where we are now and where we can improve. As an author, it can be tough not to compare my own work to someone else's awards, sales numbers, or contracts. But I'm learning that energy is better spent on honing my craft. When we don't feel like we're competing with everyone in our field, it gives us the luxury of celebrating the successes of others. 

4. Minimalism strips away pretense. Your work is no longer about what everyone else thinks but about the actual work itself, which is freeing and inspiring. 

5. Relationships trump everything else. When it comes down to it, the reason minimalists strive to have less is so that they can pour more into the relationships in their lives. This can help build positive working relationships and can also help you strike a healthier work/family balance.  

Here are a few of the thinkers and teachers on minimalism that I enjoy:

Friday, May 22, 2020

Just for Fun - Family Theme Nights

I’m pretty low key when it comes to being a mom.

I don’t cook elaborate meals. Those amazing food bloggers lose me around ingredient number five. 

I’m terrible at creating scrapbooks, scheduling family photos, and doing all the things I’ll probably wish I had done when my kids are out of the house. 

If a craft involves anything I don’t already have at home, I skip it. I don’t even own a hot glue gun. Gasp! Maybe this is why God gave me boys. 

My family still manages to have fun doing other things. One of the activities my boys have been loving is having a weekly theme night for dinner. We choose a meal and corresponding costumes, decorations (stuff we already own, of course, because I’m cheap) and sometimes even music to go with our theme.

It all started when my husband was making Hawaiian burgers. I’m the odd person who loves teriyaki sauce and pineapple on her burger. To be completely honest, I'd had a stressful day, and I wasn't in a great mood. I was doing my best not to let my sour attitude rub off on the rest of the family. I remembered that in the cabinet we had some plastic leis and coconut cups from Dollar Tree, so we pulled them out.

My boys (11 and 6) loved it, so they took the idea and ran with it. So far, we’ve done:

Hawaiian (Hawaiian burgers)

Cowboy (cowboy stew)

American / red, white, and blue (burgers, hot dogs, and baked beans - like I said, I’m not a fancy cook. Apparently, we eat a lot of burgers.)

Sloppy (Manwiches) My 11-year-old came up with this one. We dressed sloppily to eat our sloppy joes. Ha! My mom, who lives with us, even let the boys put crazy lipstick on her. She's a trooper. 

Next week, is French. They want to wear black and white striped shirts and paint on tiny mustaches. My French food repertoire is limited, so my husband had the idea to make breakfast for dinner with French toast. Brilliant!

Weekly Theme Night is a simple, affordable (yay for cheap!) way to have some fun and make memories with your kids. 

Give your family a chance to come up with the ideas. That’s half the fun and they’ll probably surprise you with their creativity.

Monday, February 17, 2020

The Fear with Becoming a Blue Belt

Moving up from a white belt to blue belt has been one of the most fun, exciting times in my Jiu Jitsu journey. But soon after, insecurities started creeping in. Did I really deserve this? Do my teammates think I deserved this? Is there a target on my back now? 

I’ve spent the last two years as a light feather weight, master 2, female, white belt. I had every excuse to struggle with bigger opponents. Get submitted by someone new? Oh well. Struggle learning a new move?  It happens. Then, I received my blue belt, and I felt this pressure  (imaginary or not) to be better, and I didn’t want it to steal the joy Jiu jitsu has given me. So how do you make the transition with excitement and a growth mindset instead of fear? 

  1. Trust your coach. It’s not your job to decide whether you deserve a promotion. Someone else with more experience than you gets to make that call. Your job is simply to show up and put in the work. You’re at this gym for a reason. Do you trust your professor or head instructor? If so, believe that he or she sees you as a blue belt. This person promoted you for a reason. Your gym and instructors want to be represented in a positive light. You earned this. Be careful if you have a tendency toward negative self talk. Don’t listen to the lies. You deserve this. 
  2. Realize that people aren’t thinking or talking about you as much as you probably think. Sure. You may be the talk of the gym the day you get your new belt, but people’s lives are busy and their attention spans are short. If they are saying negative things, it’s because they’re dealing with their own stuff. People have their own hang ups and insecurities that can be placed on us. Don’t accept that baggage. It’s not yours to carry. Your success doesn’t equal their failure. Move on and focus on your own progress. 
  3. You now need to step up your game...but maybe not in the ways you might think. The step up your Jiu Jitsu game will come in time like it has from the beginning. Whether you like it or not, you’re now a leader to a segment of people in your gym. How’s your attitude? Are you complaining in front of newer members? Are you setting a good example for others? Are you showing up consistently? Now is the time to push through a difficult roll instead of giving up. Now is the time to have the courage to try new things and learn how to deal with being in uncomfortable positions. 
  4. You should roll out of a place of continued growth and learning and not fear of being submitted. I get it. None of us want to be the blue belt submitted by a white belt, but if that becomes our new goal in Jiu jitsu, we’re going to become another statistic about practitioners quitting at blue belt. If you’re submitted, your job is to learn from and demonstrate to others how to take it graciously and how to keep going because chances are they’ll be in the same situation someday.
  5. Enjoy it. This is what you’ve worked so hard for. Now is your time to take the basics and dive deeper into the art. Explore new facets of the sport. Try new things, push yourself, and have fun

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Best Christmas Gifts for Your Best Friend

A best friend is a special gift, and you want to honor that with a special Christmas present. Here are some ideas that are sure to make her smile.

*Disclosure - This post contains affiliate links, which means this site could receive a commission (at no cost to you) for purchases made. 

1. Customizable Ring

This ring can be inscribed with a sweet message or an inside joke.

2. Soul Sister Mug

This cute mug will remind her every morning that you've got her back.

3. Teddy Bear Sweater

It's stylish and trendy! If you wear the same size maybe you can even borrow it. :)

4. Taco T-Shirt

If your friendship is NOT based on hours spent together at this gym, share a laugh with this hilarious shirt.

5. Weekender Bag

When is the last time you took a girls' trip? This bag is perfect for a fun weekend away with your bestie. 

6. Trifold Vanity Makeup Mirror

Getting ready for a night out? This mirror is magnified and looks pretty on a vanity.

7. Boho Wall Hanging

Help her make her house a home with this unique macrame organizer.

8. Good Vibes Hat

You've got nothing but good vibes coming your way with this hat. Perfect for an outing with your friend.

9. Girl, Stop Apologizing Book

What's almost as good as a best friend--a great book!

10. Gift Card

You know your friend inside and out, and you know that she probably would love to pick out her own gift. You can never go wrong with a gift card.