Monday, September 30, 2013

Decison Making Made Easier

Today I wanted to talk about decisions.  I think that everyone has – at some point – had to make one or two decisions that would change the direction their life was taking. And if it’s one of those crossroads that you are actually aware of – that you absolutely know what you resolve to do will affect everything you know, it can lead to slight anxiety. No, wrong. It can and often does lead to a full blown panic attack. Or perhaps this is just me.

Source: here

I was recently presented with one such Awfully Big Decision and I can tell you, the process of making a choice is not a fun roller coaster ride. But here I am at the end of it and I have a few points I would like to share with you in the hopes that they may help you in some slight way with whatever crossroads you may be facing in life.


Pros and Cons

I am a list maker. I live off of Pros and Cons. It is my go to method of making a decision. Writing it all out can make you more aware of the balance of things. It may not be the all deciding factor in the end but it is helpful to see, to read, why you feel something would be a good fit or why it wouldn't be. It’s also easier to prioritize about what’s really important in your decision making and what just might be an excuse to go in one direction.

Have A Chat

Go to a friend or companion and just have a talk out. Don’t expect that their opinions and thoughts will somehow enlighten you to making a “right” decision. The reason for the chat it to simply talk it out. Here it aloud. You can get a new perspective. By vocalizing your fears and worries, thoughts and musings it can make some of it seem a bit easier to understand. You might come across an “Ah-hah!” moment. Or that simple chat can simply ease anxiety. Release the tension that might have been building up and loosen you up a bit to have a clearer conscience of thought.

Accept Your Gut Feelings

Rolling around my own huge decision left me with tummy rumblings and a heavy panic. It was only when I allowed myself to embrace these feelings and get to why I was having that reaction that I saw things with a clear head. It wasn't just fear of making a wrong decision; I truly did have a bad feeling that, once reflected on, I found came from the simple truth -  I didn't really want the opportunity I was presented with. There were many pros to saying YES but I didn't feel that it fit me no matter how much I tried to convince myself I could grow into that fit. Just because something looks good doesn't mean it would be good for you.

Don’t Look Back


Boy can I say that I am Queen of WhatIfs and IWonders. Too many times in my life I have thrown something around and around in my head wondering, praying, hoping that it was the right thing to do. Those thought-moths in the brain can be quite chaotic and my advice to you – and to myself – is to grab your net and start catching them. Snag them before they grow out of control. Safely place them in a jar somewhere off to the side of your thoughts and leave them be. Regrets. Looking back. Worrying about the path you’ve chosen… it’s unhealthy and unhelpful. Move forward. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and pretty soon those moth-thoughts are forgotten and you can come to embrace and be thankful for the decision you made. Understand that these decisions are part of your journey of growth. Some might not make sense for a very long time but in the end, they will. Trust your inner compass.  Trust yourself.

and if all else fails....


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies


This recipe belongs to Chef-In-Training.com. IT IS FANTASTIC. You can find the original post here.

Note: It can be a treasure hunt to find pumpkin spice instant pudding mix. I found mine at Wal-Mart but I have heard of others having luck at Publix and Target.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup butter softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 small pkg. pumpkin spice instant pudding mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1-2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate chips)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Cream butter, brown sugar and sugar together in a large bowl.
  • Add in dry pumpkin spice instant pudding mix and beat until well combined.
  • Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  • Add flour and baking soda and beat until well combined.
  • Stir in chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
  • Roll dough into 1" balls. Place them on a greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.


As it happens with all great cookies, these aren't very good for you but your taste buds will thank you, I promise. These cookies are super yummy and so rich! Also, a snap to make. My housemates engulfed them. Which, obviously, makes me feel like a 5-Star Ace.

13 Autumn Crafts

Merry weekend, everyone!



I have compiled a list of Autumn crafts that I look forward to trying this season. Weekends, I think, are the perfect time to have a "down time" and have a go at one - or more - of these. I hope that some of these grab your interest and that you have fun in creating them! Also be sure to browse around the linked blogs where you will no doubt find an amazing assortment of other crafts and activities. So enough of the chatter, let's get crafting!

{1}
Ginderellas

{2}
Todd & Lindsey

{3}
Eclectically Vintage

{4}
Life is a Party

{5}
My Hearts Desire Blog

{6}
A Diamond in the Stuff

{7}
Turtles and Tails

{8}
Good Housekeeping

{9}
Auntie Lolo Crafts

{10}
Make Life Lovely

{11}
The Moffatt Girls

{12}
Naptime Decorator

{13}
The Space Between Blog



Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thankful Thursday #1

This week I am thankful for . . .
  • Coffee
There's just something about having a fantastic cup of coffee on a chilly morning on your way to work. It makes going to work bearable. I can't enjoy coffee during the summer months. It doesn't seem to belong. So it is with great delight that the days have cooled and I can once again create my perfect mixture of hazelnut and vanilla coffee.
  • Clean Sheets
Honestly. Is there anything better than when you switch your bedding for clean sheets? They are crisper. The heavenly scents from your detergent or softener still clinging to the cotton. They make the bed seem softer and the pillows fluffier. I always have the best sleep that first night on new sheets.
  • The kindness of others.
This week hasn't been a good one. In fact, pretty stinky with difficult situations popping up at both work and home. But with a heart bursting from thanks and warmth, I have received unexpected kindness from both strangers and family alike. People who have appreciated my work, that care for my well being, that helped when I never would have asked. People that have helped me. People that I have helped. There is goodness in the world. It's really there though often times I forget.
  • Being safe and healthy.
I have seen and heard about a few people who have been involved in wrecks. Or ran into health issues this week. I often take it for granted, my safety. Driving about. Freak accidents. Health scares. I considered myself, a few times in the past days, lucky. And maybe I am. But whatever it is, I am thankful for being here safe and sound on this day. And hope tomorrow sees me through as well.
  • The Husband
Who, this week, drove me around to three different stores at 9 in the night so I could have my craving for a Choco Taco satisfied. Without complaint. Who has done his share and a good deal of my share of the household daily cleaning list. Who sneaks about in the AM so I can get that last hour of sleep before I need to wake up, long after him.

What are you thankful for on this Thursday? Please share!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Going On An Adventure

I like to consider myself and adventurer of sorts. A mild adventurer, perhaps. I love travelling and exploring new areas. A place I've never been to before can spark all sorts of excitement and awe. My eyes feasting on anything new to learn, to see, to taste or smell.

Source: Pinterest

I do like to explore new places and at times in my life I had the fantasy of becoming nomadic. Live in one city for a while, then a small place deep in the forest and wilds. I still sometimes think about moving away. Mostly because this will happen for me. With Husband's Plan of Action (Super Secret Squirrel stuff), we will be starting anew somewhere else in one to two years. And this new place can be anywhere we set our minds to but most probably in a mountain range up North. Don't you love how secretive I am being?

Now. I love the mountains. For a good deal of my life, I have wanted, badly, to live up there. To actually have snow in the winter. To have an Autumn season that lasts longer than a few weeks. The air, the scenery, the many activities that are available! Yes, it has been a dream. But the more real this option becomes, the sadder I find myself becoming at the thought of this place here, where I have lived and set roots for 20-something years, not being my home any longer.

You see, I think of myself as the sort of person that can go, "Oh yes! An adventure would be quite nice! Let us have some fun." all the while knowing that the comforts of home and the known will be waiting for you on your return. Like the closest friend, it welcomes you back with open arms and a spot of tea. "Tell me your stories. Share you encounters." And I will snuggle into my pattern once again and remember.

Source: Pinterest

I live on the coast and so all of my life I have been surrounded by marshes and egrets. Shrimp boats. Majestic oaks with hanging moss. This scenery is as part of me as my thumbnail or my accent.

I think we all have dreamed of living some place else. It's natural to ponder life on the out side of our pastures. But of those who have accomplished this, how many dream of going "home", back to their roots? I am uncertain which category I would fall within. The one that moves elsewhere and just blooms, that falls right into things naturally and feels that yes, this is where they belong. Or the other ones, the ones that finally move to a place they've always wanted to be and realize that it's only the excitement of newness that appealed to them deep down.

So which do you feel you belong to, dear reader? Do you have any stories of your own to tell?

Monday, September 23, 2013

What About Second Breakfast?


Monday has come around once again and this can mean... back to work or school! One issue I always have a hard time making a decision on is lunch. In an attempt to eat healthier (processed foods!) and save money, I have been trying to brown bag as much as possible. 
Source: Pinterest

Brown bagging used to be an uncool word when I was younger but thanks to the internet, I have found the many wonders of Bentos and Pinterest and people with amazing ideas to help you find a lunch that excites you. So today I am sharing just 5 of those many pages out there to give you a nudge in making a better lunch for you or someone you love. I hope you find inspiration and please share any lunch ideas you may have!

Homemade Lunchables

31 100-Calorie Snacks

Healthy Grown-Up Lunches

20 Non-Sandwich Lunch Ideas

30 Unique and Fun Lunch Ideas

Take care and have a happy Monday!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Falling Into Autumn

Happy Autumn! 

Source: Pinterest

Well. It's amazing how a simple date can make my heart sing but there it is. First Day of Autumn! In this moment, on this day, I am truly happy. My favorite season, finally returned. 

 I wanted to share an Autumn Bucket List with you all. Maybe you can grab a few ideas to celebrate the season! If so, I hope you embrace it and enjoy the moment. 

  • Pull on a cardigan. 
  • Wrap your hands around a warm mug. 
  • Tell stories around a crackling fire.
  • Enjoy the crisp wind swirling around you. 
  • Carve a pumpkin. 
  • Give Thanks. 
  • Cozy up to one you love. 
  • Roast marshmallows. 
  • Take long walks. 
  • Warm up with a bowl of soup. 
  • Hear your boots crunch over fallen leaves. 
  • Spend your time outdoors. 
  • Open windows. 
  • Find the perfect pumpkin at your local pumpkin patch. 
  • Bake apples. 
  • Roast pumpkin seeds. 
  • Go trick-or-treating. 
  • Get into the spirit of the season. 
  • Light a scented candle. 
  • Dress up for Halloween. 
  • Read under a canopy of falling leaves.

What do you enjoy doing during these cool days and magical nights? Please share your activities with me so that I can expand on my list!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bath & Body Works = Love

Today, while out and about, I decided to stop by Bath & Body Works as they were having a County Fair Event Sale. Who doesn’t love a sale? And Bath & Body Works always has great ones! I didn’t splurge very much but I did purchase a new scent that I thought to share with you.



I would like to say that I have this odd quirk of wearing one scent for each season. For the past two summers, I have worm Coconut Lime (BBW) and Princess by Vera Wang. Spring? Love Spell (VS) and Paris Amour (BBW). In Autumn, I have always stuck with a pumpkin scent as Autumn = All Things PUMPKIN. This year, I decided to venture out of my comfortable pumpkin shell (hah) and try something new. The sale gave me a wonderful shove in that direction.

Aspen Caramel Woods is such a gorgeous scent! By its description, it teases you with “juicy plum, white Aspen woods and whipped caramel wrapped in Bourbon vanilla and jasmine blossom”. It has a fantastic mixture of warmth and sweetness to it which seems to balance perfectly. I am not a fan of “bakery shop” smells so I was hesitant to even try this as it has caramel in its name. In fact, I wouldn't have even sampled it if not for the fact that I was feeling adventurous. Goes to show you to look outside your box in all things!

Having bought the fragrance mist and body spray, I will most definitely use these well! I only wish Bath & Body Works had body sprays with longer staying power. I had spritzed myself twice over the course of the day to keep the scent going. But it’s such a treat when I do! I think this may be my favorite new scent in a long while.

And by the by, with the sale today, I bought the fragrance mist and body wash ($25 value) for a total of $10!

Do you have a favorite perfume/spray that you like to wear during this time of year? Please share, I’d like to hear from you!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Bloglovin Fun

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Best Wishes!

Summer Joys

Well hello!

Source: Pinterest

Here I sit on a lovely, crisp September night. The excitement of Autumn being  just around the corner is nearly overwhelming. But as our calendars slowly say goodbye to Summer, I had thought to share what I shall miss about that finicky, blastfully hot season. (Which isn’t much, actually, because Summer is my least favorite month. Hah!)

Barefoot Walks
Before the acorns start falling (which has already started!), my absolute favorite moments of summer are when I can go around barefoot. I find pleasure in the feeling on the warm earth underneath my feet. The soft dirt of my driveway. The tickling grass on my lawn. It brings back the freedom of childhood and a sense of oneness.

Lemonade
To me, lemonade has a certain taste in summer that it can’t hold to in any other season. Crisp and tart with a slightly sweet coolness. I go wild in the summer with my lemons – everything from desserts to flavoring my tea. But lemonade? Lemonade can be summed up to a  simpleness of life. A throwback, in my life, to Southern Charm.

Butterflies /Dragonflies
They are everywhere during the summer months! There hasn’t been a single day where I didn’t see one.  Their bright colors breezing past you. Dainty selves alight with busy charm.

Fresh Fruits
Watermelons! Strawberries! Peaches! Oh the joy of their sweet smells and juicy delights. I have appreciated every one that I’ve eaten this year. The way they feel in your hands, the light but tempting smell that is the perfect summary of summer.


So however you enjoyed your summer, I hope that you found appreciation and happiness there. Is there any particular thing or activity that sums up Summer for you? Let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts.