September 29, 2016

Book Challenge Update {3}

In all honesty, reading has been a struggle for me. I thought it would help me get over that hump I'm still stuck on and while it does help, I am still struggling. However, I am not giving up and I am working hard on finding that reading groove back. Is this just me, or has reading become a super difficult task lately. I don't want to schedule in reading time because I think that is ridiculous. I want to be content with the time I spend reading a book. It shouldn't be this hard, or dreadful. Maybe I'm reading the wrong books?! Yet, looking at my books...they're not boring and quite interesting and fascinating, so I don't know. Either way, I'm struggling but let's look at what I read in the past three months...and possibly why I read them!

Start by Jon Acuff - For months I have been a huge fan of Jon Acuff. I don't really remember how I came about finding one of his motivational speeches but I did and it intrigued me. The way he talks is so smooth, so easy to understand and relates to pretty much any aspect in life. In my small group someone mentioned this book, and while I had this in my to-read basket for months, I finally gave myself a pep-talk and purchased it. Oh I did not get disappointed. I believe that we are all responsible for our own actions, for our decisions, and what not...this book justifies this. He talks about stories, and I kept nodding and laughing throughout. Some things did not apply to me but that is okay. My mind has a great imagination {and aren't books there to help our imagination?}, so I could easily apply this to my other know, my imaginable Selma. Ha!

The Third Wave by Steve Case - Our broker sent us this book. He thought it was a great read for us. Well, B doesn't read...or doesn't feel like reading as he is reading too much for his classes anyways, so it is all me! I'm fine with that. It's not a book I would have chosen to ever read but it gives a great insight on today's world. Our "love" for the internet, social media...and how it does influence us. How it has changed and what will possibly happen in the next few decades. It's a more raw read, but I enjoyed it because it is a different kind of book...not the cheesy novels I sometimes read. Ha!

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins - Always wanted to read this. Finally got a chance to read it, and that before the movie is coming out {early October, if you're interested}. Yay! I was gifted this book. A friend of mine is moving to another state and she was giving away books to lessen her moving load. Needless to say I was beyond exited. Why did I choose to read this? I love novels that are on the "must read book" list of every year. It's a way for me to check in with the world and have a conversation topic going. My Godmother got me into this. She said to read at least one book per year that is THE you get to talk with like-minded people...etc. I just never got around to read it, let alone buy it. And well, here I am. Having read this one and I liked it a lot. I usually don't read these kind of books but heck, a crazy story you can't put down...sure thing!

I have a few more that I am currently reading but since I haven't even come close to have read half of those books I won't list them here. I used to read at least two books per month. Not anymore. This is not failure on my side, this is merely me finding enough strength and willpower to read one book per month! Here's to a few more months left of this year! Can you believe it!????


September 28, 2016

Will My Story Inspire Others?!

Will my story inspire others?
I don't know.
It might, or it might not.
I hope it gives hope, inspires someone out there. I sure would hope so.
The point of life is to live it to the fullest; to live it so we feel satisfied, happy, and accomplished. Right? Or am I dreaming of the impossible?!

Now regardless how we look at this, and what we want in life, and how we want to live it this question always returns to me. It's knocking on my door asking me what will you do today to inspire others?! What will you do to make the day feel GOOD?! What will you do today to make others feel GOOD?! Will you find inspiration not only lifting you up, but also others?!

My answer is different every time but my goal always is the same. 
I want to inspire others, I want to help women feel better about themselves, I want to feel better about myself, and I want others to feel motivated, give them a feeling that they belong. Yet at the same time I always want to focus on myself because in the end my life is mine and no matter what I do or what you do, my life will be lived with me as the main person in that story so I want to make it the best show ever. I want to live my life to the fullest and best possible. I want to be the best version of myself. Every. Single. Day.

So, will my story inspire others?!
YES. Even if it is a flicker of inspiration or motivation...yes!!!

How are you working on your Wednesday today?
Are you inspiring others?!

September 26, 2016

Weekly Hopes {60}

For the past few weeks I have kept quiet on the blog. I have not had the urge to write, share, name it. I guess this is my season to slow down, to stay more mellow and relax and not worry too much about when I post and what I post. In the end it is my time and my ideas and posts that I choose to share with you. I thought a lot about it all and while I will not stop blogging I will try to post at least twice a week. Three times would be ideal. I don't want to lose this part of me because it is part of my life, part of who I am and what makes me happy. And one should never give up what one loves and finds happiness in, am I right?! So having said this I am closing today with my Weekly Hopes. I still believe this to be the best way to look forward to any week. Here we go...

1 - Summer/Fall clothes switch
2 - Buying new walking/running shoes {HELP!!!!}
3 - Create a Christmas Shopping list
4 - Wash the car
5 - Date night on Thursday? Maybe? {because it is needed}
6 - Massage
7 - {Re}Connect more with friends
8 - Finish watching Army Wives
9 - Make more foaming hand soaps
10 - Maybe go fall outfit shopping

It's going to be a boring week, but all in all entertaining. I wish I had friends close by so I could meet up for a drink or a chat. Believe it or not I have no friends here. None. I feel lonely. It's the weirdest feeling ever. Yet, well, I hope this week despite my loneliness is going to be fun. I'm looking forward to washing the car, and getting my massage. My back cannot wait for its massage. And yes, you read right...I'm about to go Christmas has to be done. Can you believe that October is practically around the corner????!!!!

What are your Weekly Hopes for this week?

September 23, 2016

Currently {12}

Thinking about: My mom. Her birthday was a week ago.. I love birthdays; she hated them. So I don't know if that was already a sign she wasn't doing well or knew her life would end a lot sooner, or if it was just her. Either way, we were both very different when it came to the big day. I wanted to make sure I got distracted around her birthday and in a way I was getting distractions in...yet it still stings knowing I couldn't celebrate with her. I just hope she had fun. 

Watching: Dexter. Yes. I know it's an old show. I had to find a show B hadn't seen {which is very easy to do} and that would interest him. Voila. Dexter it is. Also, the new fall shows or new seasons are about to start or have already started so I'm sure we will have plenty of TV dates together! Ha!!

Reading: The Girl on the Train. I just got it and I'm reading it so I can add this to my reading challenge. Oh, and I'm also reading my free magazines{yes, free! And no I don't steal them. I'm a subscriber. For free though. Say what?!}. I'm a huge home magazine lover. So, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day and all those lovely magazines with home improvements, decor inspiration, recipes, and wellness are my go-to reads...every day. Every month. Whenever I need to get inspired. :) 

Loving: Connections. I have learned over the past few years, but months really, that connections are very important. 

Cooking: At least one new recipe every other week. I tried every week, but I am also budgeting our grocery budget. When it doesn't fit in I'll try to at least cook a new recipe every other week to spice things up a bit. This week I tried two recipes though...YES...I felt inspired and we had most ingredients already at why not!???? I'm cooking this quick recipe tonight, and I tried this one two days ago...YUMMY!!!

What have you been up to lately?!

September 19, 2016

Weekly Hopes {59}

Everything happens for a reason. This is a saying one of my very best friends used a lot. She believed and I am sure she still does that things in life happen when they happen because they were meant to happen right there and then. Simple as that. Truth be told, looking back at what life had in store for me I truly believe so, too. I would not be here writing to you all if I hadn't left my old job behind in hopes to find something new in life. It took me a while but I did find something and someone new. It all happened when I least expected it to, and it worked beautifully.

With this week starting off very differently than usual...I know it's because it needs to happen this way! One day I will know why, but for now...let's see what I am hoping to accomplish or happen this week...

1 - Meetings with a Staffing Company {finally, after oh-so many months of agony!!!}
2 - Visiting a friend who moved to NorCal this weekend {helping him move some more & settle in}
3 - Cooler temps {we are still having 99-degree weather and I am not even kidding!!}
4 - Changing our decor from spring/summer to fall
5 - Donating summer clothes
6 - Send out happy mail
7 - Jacuzzi nights

Not much happening this week or wishing for to happen but it looks all positive, and positive is all I need. Hello new week, I am so ready for you!


September 14, 2016

The Ever Returning Enemy: Grief!

Grief is like the unwanted relative visiting you or bugging you, or the friend you cannot let go off, or the boyfriend your heart longs for but your mind knows better. Grief stays. Unwanted. Unloved. Bothersome. And especially making one long for someone or something that no longer is. 

Grief is the enemy to our happy soul. It arrives mostly announced and out of nowhere. Sometimes it lets you know ahead of time that it will arrive but oftentimes this is not the case. Worst of all, the enemy to our happy soul, the unwanted one, stays forever! Rude.

Personally I have had my fair share with grief. I got different visits, at different times, and not one has hit me as hard as the one last year. It took me over a year to come to terms that yes, I have this visitor eating all my joy and motivation and that this visitor will probably not leave. Ever. So I fought back. Slowly. I kept it a secret because, well, grief couldn't and should not know what I was up to. It worked. Granted, I had to accept that this visitor will be yet another part of me. So I decided to fight back on a daily basis. I cannot let this enemy of mine win. I am the only one who can win and I should win. The other times I dealt with loss I had hardly any issues. Yes, I mourned. I cried. I wept actually, for days and weeks. But then, it was over. Grief nestled in a corner and stayed there. Easy.

Last year though, grief was not quiet. Grief was loud, obnoxious, ridiculous, and especially annoying. I wanted to fire grief. If it were this easy I would have done it. The enemy stays, and needs to find a place to stay and settle somewhere. So while grief tried to do just that I was perplexed, frozen, in pain and mad. Fighting back took time because, just like my enemy, I had to be slick. So how did I do it?!

I took time off!!!
Off of everything!

Now, not everyone can do this. I was blessed. I wanted to get back into a routine, follow my dreams, work, do things that would distract me, but I was in pain. Physical pain. There were times I couldn't move my arms or legs. My neck was a totally different story. My body was in constant shock. I worked hard on getting this part of the process fixed, and today I can say that I haven't felt this good in over a year. Not all distractions are good, you know. You may think they are, but they aren't. I still have issues going out and meeting new people, or attending conferences, or a simple birthday party. My body tenses up and then I can't breathe and well, we can guess what follows next. It's freaking annoying and disruptive. So, taking time off was the only option for me. Luckily, I was okay being around B, his family, and occasional visit from friends. I remember walking back home after my friend dropped me off and I felt relieved. Crazy. Love my friend but seeing her and her family after a few years and meeting up should not be intense. I loved seeing her, my body didn't agree. So taking off, avoiding some events, laying low {on the couch with reruns of old shows}, focusing on me and my body was the only thing that worked for me. It's the most bizarre thing ever because I always thought I'd be okay when I get distracted. I was before, just not this time around. I guess, it is very true...people change. And we change at the most impractical times.

Last week I learned of sad news. It hit home for me once more. I was so perplexed that at some point I had to go back to some texts to check and see if I dreamed it all. I didn't. It was real. Needless to say, my body decided to cramp up again. Holy cow!!!! I did however sleep a lot better at night. So, what changed?! My constant and unwanted visitor let go. This ever returning enemy of mine still sits in a corner, arms crossed and all, but the enemy decided to loosen up the knots. I felt one loosen up last night. It cracked. Literally. I felt so much better this morning. It's incredibly crazy how one reacts to dramatic events. Seriously. It's crazy. And what I have experienced will most probably not be what you have experience {or will experience one day}. It's one crazy roller coaster! 

Despite the sad new, the few hours I cried my heart out for my friends, life, love, family, and what not...I found a way back to reality; a way back to the NOW.
The ever returning enemy can visit but it cannot put me down. It can shock me, but I will fight back. I will find a way back to my own person, to my own personality. I let my passions go, I let my desire to be a great friend, daughter, cousin, and wife vanish...but no more!!! I want to reconnect, I want to discover, I want to experience, I want to help. I want to be me again. I need to be me again in order to fight back; even after 16 months. I am ready, and grief can kiss my well-shaped behind and stay in the corner; heavily sulking I hope. 

September 12, 2016

Weekly Hopes {58}

Happy Monday!!!!
I hope you are having a great day, and are ready for this week. I am. I am more determined than ever, especially after this very sad weekend. Let's get started with my Weekly Hopes this week:

1 - chiropractor appointment {oh-so needed}
2 - date night
3 - strength
4 - grief online counseling
5 - movie day?
6 - distractions for the 17th
7 - beginning of my 30-day hustle month challenge

This week is going to be very simple. I like simple. I need simple. We all do I guess. I'm looking forward to my chiropractor appointment because my neck has gotten a bit more stiff in the past few days. I decided to visit once a month now, compared to when I started with three times a week. I have improved greatly; my posture is better, my digestion is better {yes, I have no shame, it's life after all}, and my shoulders feel less heavy. I have decided to attend an online grief counseling this week due to two factors: my mom's birthday is on the 17th and while it is not the first it is a date that brings back more sadness. Also, my best friends' mom passed away Friday unexpectedly. The news didn't get to me at first because I thought it was a joke, but I know it is not. I had to pull myself together while we were skyping. I loved their mom. She was such a sweet, warm and welcoming person. I'm still in shock, and I wish I could be there and give my friends a huge hug and support them in any way possible. My heart broke a little again. So, yes, that's why this online grief counseling is happening. Also, we are having the day off on Tuesday and Tuesdays here are movie days...which means movies are either $5 or $7. We haven't been to the movies in months so it may be fun to go since we are both off. Hoping there's a good movie playing?! 

Other than that, this week will be simple. B's best friend is moving to our area this upcoming weekend, so we are planning on meeting up soon. It's great to have friends close by. We cannot wait to spend time with him as he will be new to this area...and we are already pros. Hahahahaha! Wish us luck!

With that being said I hope you are doing well and enjoying life to the fullest! Hope your Hopes are coming through, or at least you get to make a list and accomplish at least 50% of it.


September 9, 2016

Dear Luna and Lilee

Dear Luna and Lilee,

How are you two snuggle birds doing? I hope you have found a warm spot, preferably with a view, and feel cozy and happy. I hope you are happy. What I'm trying to say here though is thank you!

Thank you Luna and Lilee. You two have no idea how much you enriched my life in the past 11 months. You have given me hope. You have given me love. You have shown me life continues no matter what happens. You have helped me get over that slump, that disgusting black hole I tried to jump over. You have helped me so much. You may not know this but you were meant for me, for us. I'm so glad we found you when we almost lost hope, and I'm so happy we decided to get you despite people telling us not to.

Life with you has definitely changed my mood. Your two very different personalities make me smile every time. One of you {you know who} is such a food whore {yes, I said that word!!}. You want to eat eat eat all the time. You think it's food time when we walk into the kitchen. You won't shut up until you get your wet food. Yet, despite your loud and may I add annoying voice {sorry you will never be an Opera singer} you are the sweetest and most loving cat ever. You know how to push my buttons, and you know how to make my heart melt. Thank you for not scratching anything, and thank you for being the cat you are because your curiosity is the funniest and most adventurous ever. And well, there's my love bug. Thank you for being the cutie pie you are. Your smile and cute voice always makes me weak. You are the total opposite to your sister. You are quiet, patient, and you know how to wait. You and I have a morning routine and I cannot express how awesome this routine is. I love our morning snuggles, and the fact that you are mommy's girl. Thank you. 

Yes, my lovely fur babies. This post is for you. Thank you for being a part of my life, of our life that is. You have definitely enhanced our dull life, and have helped us define who we are. Yes, believe it or not you did help define our life. Thank you for loving us.

We love you, too.


P.s. I'm sorry I took photos of you girls stretched or are super cute when you are sound asleep so I had to take a photo and share it with the world. 

September 7, 2016

Pet Peeve Alert

Pet peeves. We all have them. Some of us are very vocal about them, and others aren't. A year ago I posted a few of mine, because, well, it's part of my life and quite frankly it felt great to share this. A lifestyle blog can be filled with outfits, decorations, and what not...and mine also consists of random ideas, things I like and things, yes, I dislike!!! It's time for me to become vocal again. ;-) 

1. Random shopping carts in the parking lot. Hmmmmm, seriously people. You grabbed the cart, you shopped, and put all your items in the car. Lock that car and put your car away. It's that easy. There are so many aisles available to put the shopping carts back, and a few extra steps have never hurt anyone before. Thinking about this drives me nuts.

2. Tables that are set wrong. Yes, I get it. Not everyone had a grandma who taught them how to properly eat or set a table. Google it though. Fork goes to the left, and the knife goes to the right. Not the other way around. It bugs me. I might be spoiled but heck, it bugs me big time.

3. Toilet paper rolls that are backwards! Do I need to say more?! There's two worlds out there. Rolls that roll with the paper facing forward, and then there's the backward rolling. This is a conversation piece, my lovely readers. There's two worlds there. Which one is correct?! Who knows. For me, it has to be forward rolling...never ever backward!!! Just saying. 

4. When people repeat the same story, over and over and over again. I get it. It was fun, or you had fun. I loved hearing the story once. I was genuinely happy for you. Yet, I don't need to hear the story again the next day, or the next time I see you. Now it's either them having forgotten that they told the story or they think I have forgotten about it. Either way, very annoying and time consuming. 

5. Unfriendly people. That's a logical thing, isn't it? Yet, what I mean here is people who cannot say a simple "hello". When you work in retail, or in the hospitality industry, or are a front desk clerk of whatever business dealing with people coming in and out...have the decency to say "hello" and "bye". That's all. Acknowledge someone came in, it won't kill ya! In this business {and yes I have worked in this business, and hello, have my degrees in it too} you gotta fake it. Yes. No matter how you feel or what happened in your life, if you have to work you show up and have a great attitude. Fake it. I know I had to. We all do at times. You don't need to make small talk, or tell your life story to everyone {heck no!!} but be adult enough and say hello.

6. When people refer to me as Swedish. First, get your geography right. Second, know that Swedish is for Sweden, and Swiss is for Switzerland. HUGE difference. Not the same country. Not the same language. Not even neighbors. Americans don't like to be called Canadians either, or English. Or Armenians, or Argentinians. Nope. Nope. Nope.

7. Slow drivers. Don't get me wrong. I am a great driver. I don't speed. But when the speed limit is 45 and you drive 25....I get peeved!! Worse is when it is a one lane street. Someone help me!

8. When people refer to McDonald's or Chipotle as a restaurant. Granted, yes, you get food there and you won't starve. A restaurant to me is not a fast food place or a place you get in line to receive your food. A restaurant to me is a sit-down place, with a server and a menu that is handed to me. A bonus here is a non-chain place. Mom'n'Pop places are my favorites. Yes, I'm a snob...hahahahaha!

9. Dirty dishes in the sink. I get that we are busy, and sometimes it is not possible to clean the dishes right away. I hate to see the sink piled up with all kinds of grossness. YUCK. At least make an effort to get rid of the dirties before you go to bed so your new day can start fresh.

10. Chipped nail polish. I know it happens. It's annoying. I can't stand it. I hate when it happens a day or two after your manicure. Oh, and it has happened with gel manicures too {yes, how outrageous!}. So, when it happens to me I get antsy. I need to get the remainder off. Immediately.

It feels great to write this down. We all have pet peeves. Some we share, and some we don't. And that is okay. What may bug me is very normal to you and you may not even recognize it at all. It's fine. What may bug you will probably not be an issue for me, who knows. This is what makes life interesting. I love it. One of my friend's pet peeve is that she must make sure all her notification number symbols on her phone must be unseen, also known as checked immediately or as soon as possible. So those tiny numbers bug her?! Not me. But I get it...knowing you have 1438 unread emails would bug me, too :)

Have a wonderful day and try not to get peeved today! No one needs a pet peeve alert at all.


September 5, 2016

Weekly Hopes {57}

Happy Labor Day, America!! This is my first Weekly Hopes in September. It's incredible; fall is here. To me it starts September 1, so we are almost a week old. Wow. What have I done this whole week?! No idea...but I do know it is Monday and time to make my list for this week, so I can look forward to anything I have on that list.

1 - Spending time with my man!
2 - Date night after a very long time..."insert eye roll here!!"
3 - Preparing myself for two challenges beginning this month
4 - Applying each day to ten different places {specifically selected places; 70 in total}
5 - Going through our cabinets and getting rid of unused toxic items
6 - Organize closet to be fall ready
7 - Finish one book
8 - Watch two movies released in my birth year {that will be fun and weird at the same time}
9 - Finishing up my Christmas wish list
10 - Working on my essential oil recipes for the fall {cold & flu time is approaching and I want to be prepared!!}

This week will be fun. I will hate applying again {yes, still looking} but it will click one day and make me happy. Also, date night is a must. It has been a long time. I tried to squeeze one in every week {and mostly failed due to schedule conflicts} but this time I want it to be a real date like it once used to be. A "let's go out and dress up" kind of date. Wish me luck. :) Also, as you know I use essential oils. This is not a hobby, it is a lifestyle. It's like eaten vegan or being a vegetarian. It's not a hobby. I love it and it has helped our bodies and home so much. I always thought it was all about the scent and that is it. Well, I wasn't very off. I have experienced it, and so has B. We are thrilled to see and feel results. Plus, we have not gotten sick during the winter so we are prepping ourselves more for this winter so we won't get sick. With that I am putting together diffuser recipes we will need and have to try as well as combinations to use topically on us. Most of it is very logical as we have been using them for over one year, but some of it will be new as I want to try something new. It's going to be an exciting time. Knowing it will benefit our health and our future only encourages me to work on this. So glad I chose to go this path. :)
And yes, watching movies made in my birth's always fun to see oldies. No? 

Happy Monday!!
Hope your week starts off beautifully and you have a Weekly Hopes list ready as well! :)


September 2, 2016

Happy Friday & Happy September!

Happy Friday everyone.
Oh, and yes, happy September, too. To me, fall has officially started. I know, I know it is not official until close to the end of this month but to me fall starts on September 1. That's it. I can't wait for cooler weather, rain, pumpkins, wearing scarves, wearing socks, layering up, and drinking hot drinks without getting hot flashes. It's still warm here so I am only dreaming about fall but I know it is slowly approaching.

Today, I decided to finally link up with some awesome bloggers again. I haven't done this in weeks, or months?! Life took over and sometimes it is just not fun to schedule posts ahead of time because they won't reflect what's going on in my life. So, here I am today...sharing with you what made me happy this week and linking up with Krysten, Lindsay, and Charlotte. Join the fun and say hello!

1 - New semester began {meaning, B is closer to the end of his ordeal}
2 - Eye infection is slowly coming to an end {hallelujah!!}
3 - No more cable fees
4 - Projects
5 - Evening walks to walk off dinner
6 - Our loud next door neighbors have moved out!
7 - Red nail polish
8 - Found two new recipes
9 - NingXia Red
10 - Blush

This week wasn't very spectacular. College finally started again and B had to attend his classes. Poor guy is so over school. That's what you get when you choose a field that requires so much work and so many classes, and hours, and what not. Almost done. Almost. We had a setback in that department though as one class didn't let him in. Graduating or not, they do not care. I won't get into this but man, the school system is oh-so flawed!
In other news, it has cooled down which allows us to sit on our patio and walk at night again {or in the morning!}. I don't want to jinx it but we are out of the triple digits. This also means cooler days are coming our way, and with school having started, the cold and flu season is around the corner as well. I am helping my whole body be prepared for what may come our way. Prevention is everything. I've been drinking my morning antioxidant immune booster for weeks, and I am loving it and can feel a huge difference to the days when I forget to drink it. I have more energy, don't get that afternoon slump anymore, and my joints don't hurt as much either. Oh, and my gluten belly is taken care of as well...heck, my issues are barely noticeable. I'm a much happier girl, trust me. And happiness is all I want in life. How can one be happy when the whole body is sick? Exactly, not! So, I'm taking care of that on a daily basis. Hope you are doing the same!

With that, I'm ready to tackle Friday and the weekend!! Blush always makes my rather pale self cuter {I have a tan I swear but it's literally unnoticeable}, and a glass of wine for dinner is always a great choice! :)

Happy Friday, happy September, and happy early Labor Day!



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