Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Countdown to Christmas: 56 Days

How did last week go? Did you make any decisions about your Christmas cards? Did you make your photography session appointments? Are you writing a Christmas letter?

This week, let's get two more tasks out of the way.

First, start making lists of people for whom you need to purchase gifts. If you have any ideas, go ahead and jot them down, but don't get hung up on that. Make sure to list the budget for each gift. That way, if you are walking through Target in the next few weeks, you will have more of an idea of what you can keep a lookout for.

Second, start listing annual Christmas traditions and parties you usually attend. Do you need hostess gifts? New outfits?

Good Luck!

What is your favorite Christmas cookie??? Mine is the Andes mint swirl, which is like a chocolate Andes mint version of the peanut butter blossom.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Motivational Monday: Be So Positive

"Be So Positive That Negative People Don't Want to Be Near You."

So many people in this world are negative. We live in a world where we are bombarded with negative news, negative people and negative experiences. However, one thing I have learned is positivity breeds positivity.

The more you look at life and people with a positive light, the easier it gets. And the more positivity you release into the world, the fewer negative people seek you out.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Housewife Life: Squirrel!

I am all over the place right now and struggling to get it together.

Thanksgiving, Dog Training, Christmas, Work, Housework, Mother-in-Law, Cuddling with the Dog, Husband Travelling, Travel in General, Bathroom Remodels, Blogging, Nanowrimo, Planathon, the Last 90 Days challenge, Healthy Eating...all of these things are swirling in my brain all of the time.

And I know that all I need to do is sit down with my trusty notebook and make lists to get my brain together, but man, every time I start to do that...squirrel!

In fact, since I started writing this I have taken the dog out, talked on the phone, unloaded the dishwasher, made the dogs dinner, had a snack and had a fight with the dog...don't ask.

I don't really have any advice to offer today. So, who is "squirreling" a lot right now? Anyone want to commiserate? Share in the comments!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Recipe Review: Harvest Trail Mix

Last week, one of my favorite YouTubers, Blair Lamb, posted a video of a Harvest Trail Mix recipe that I decided to try!

This is easily one of the easiest, most fun recipes I have tried in a while. It is basically collecting ingredients, tossing them in a gallon bag and you are done. Its also easy to customize to your tastes.

I made half of the recipe. Here are two pictures of the process.

What is your favorite fall treat? Have you been eyeing a recipe that you would like me to try? Share in the comments!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Countdown to Christmas: 63 Days!

So, did you get your addresses together? I did! This is a fantastic list to use throughout the year to send sympathy cards, congratulations cards, get well cards, etc. If I hear someone has moved, I will make a note on my list that someone moved with the date. Then, every year, about this time, I pull out the list, check to see what updates need to be collected and it is really easy to just collect a few addresses instead of 60.

Ok. For this week, it is time to start doing some planning. I have two tasks that we need to work on.

#1. Plan your Christmas cards. Are you going to do a photo card or a traditional card? Are you going to get a picture taken or use one that has already been taken? Are you writing a Christmas letter?

If you are going with a traditional card, you can start shopping now and you can probably score some pretty good sale prices!

If you are doing a photo card and already have the photo, start designing your card...again, you can probably score some pretty good sale prices and miss the rush.

If you are doing a photo card and need to get the photo taken...schedule that photo now. Get the outfits together now. This will help you beat the rush and make the days leading up to the photo less stressful.

For the Christmas letter, just decide if you are going to write one.

We are going to do a photo card with a picture that we will be taking over Thanksgiving, so I need to work on outfits. My husband requested Christmas sweaters, so we will see what happens there. We will also be doing a Christmas letter. It has been a big year in our world, so its a good time to update the extended family.

#2. Start working on your Christmas list. Just yours. Pick something you need (I need waterproof winter boots). Pick something you want (This is usually where I struggle). Pick other things you will use...books on your to-read list, movies or TV shows you want in your collection, sports gear, etc.

Good luck!!!

What is your favorite Christmas movie? Share below!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Motivational Monday: Trust the Timing

"Trust the Timing of your Life"

I don't know about you, but I struggle with controlling the timing of the things I want. It's a constant marital struggle because my husband needs a lot more information before moving on something, while I am usually ready to just jump.

It is so difficult to have such a strong feeling that something is right for you, but to not have it pan out because the opportunity was wrong or others involved are not ready to take a leap of faith.

I recently got a lesson that timing is everything and sometimes the universe has a plan that you just need to trust in.

Last year, I tried to get hired as a travel agent with an agency that was just kind of right for me. I didn't get the job, but when the right agency started hiring, I got the job and am beyond proud to be a travel agent for this agency.

And to be honest, I don't think I would have been in the right mental or emotional state to take on something so big in my life. I was still struggling with a bout of depression and the responsibility of that would have been too much.

Have you had something not work out because the timing was wrong? Are you still struggling with something that you wish would happen, but hasn't? Share in the comments or over on Instagram @adventureswithjennie

Happy Monday Everyone!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Housewife Life: 68 Days to Christmas!!!!!

I know. I'm evil. Christmas is 68 days away and if the thought of that makes your anxiety creep up...YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

As a SAHW, it always falls to me to make Christmas happen. Gifts, decorations, festive events...none of it happens without me pulling the strings and staying caffeinated.

So what can we do now to make Christmas easier and more fun for us?

Follow along with me over the next 68 days and I will be here for you! Tuesdays are going to be dedicated to sharing a ta-da list from the week before and a to-do list for the coming week...fun right?!?

I know its already Thursday, which means I should have started you on this 2 days ago, but here is an easy Christmas To-Do to get started...addresses for Christmas cards and Christmas gifts. Start pulling them together or updating your list.

See you on Tuesday for more ways to get ahead of Christmas!

What is your LEAST favorite Christmas To-Do? Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Motivational Tuesday: Everything to Everyone

"It's not your job to be everything to everyone." - Anonymous

Wow. Every time I read that passage, it hits me hard. As a SAHW, I make it my mission to be all things to all people. Great wife, great friend, great daughter, great daughter-in-law, great niece, great customer, great neighbor, great dogmom.

And sometimes, I have nothing left to give. There are some days that I just hit a wall and feel like brushing my teeth is going to be this monumental task.

I'm sure I'm not alone...right? It's the conundrum of our generation...be Wonder Woman! Be a great employee, go home, make a nice homecooked dinner, throw a Pinterest worthy birthday party, have an Instagrammable book club meeting, send out the perfect cards, have the perfectly decorated home...it's impossible right?

As my happiness guru, Gretchen Rubin, says "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Sometimes, good enough is enough.

And it is completely ok to take care of yourself...in fact, it is a necessity, because you can't keep nourishing those around you when your well has run dry.

So today, I challenge you to take 20 minutes...just 20 minutes...and do something that feels luxurious. Get a hot coffee and sit in the sun while you drink it. Read a book. Light a candle and moisturize with something that smells decadent. Anything that makes you feel well taken care of.

Tag me on Instagram with what you did to take care of yourself today! @adventureswithjennie

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Housewife Life: Introducing Ellie!!!!

Flashback to a few weeks ago...

I had been dropping hints that I felt it was time to find ourselves our dog, but my husband was ignoring those hints. He wants us to concentrate on what we need to do. But after almost three months of being alone in the house all day, I was extremely lonely.

Finally, I got him to agree to go look at dogs on October 4. It was a tough day because three months before, we had to take Lexi to the vet for her last round of fluids because we had made the decision to let her go on Friday, July 6.

We went to see the dog I had had my eye on and it was not a great fit. On a whim, we went to the Nashville Humane Association just to look around.

In the first room we went into, there was Ellie. She was calm and quiet in the shelter. She was a beautiful, spotted Australian cattledog mix. We continued looking and went to the front desk because we wanted to meet Ellie.

The adoption counselor took us outside and gave us the rundown on Ellie. As a cattledog, she would need a ton of work. She needs to be busy, she needs to be exercised and she needs to be the only dog in the house.

We took her on a short walk and found that she listened well, she was sweet and she inched her way into Chris's heart.

We went back in and started the paperwork and excitedly got to bring Ellie home!

I drove Ellie home and Chris went to the store to get dog supplies. We investigated the house, walked around the yard and waited for Chris to come home with dog food and human food.

We learned that Ellie pees when scared and is super cuddly. She even wriggled her way into our bed.

A little about Ellie...
Ellie is a 2 year old Australian cattledog mix. She was brought to Nashville after Hurricane Florence damaged the shelter she was in in North Carolina. She HATES other dogs and LOVES cuddling.

Ellie has already been such a blessing. We have a few things to work on...not biting me when she is playing and sleeping in her own bed.

We have been taking walks, going on car rides, playing fetch and mostly cuddling.

So, welcome Ellie! We love you so much already!!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Trip Review: Destin

I can't believe it has already been 2 months since we took our trip to Destin! I want to share a day-by-day account of what we did and where we ate with you!

Day 1: Road Trip Day!!!
I love a good road trip! We started off at about 7 AM and headed south. For lunch we stopped at Peach Park in Clanton, Alabama for some delicious BBQ and ice cream.

We arrived in Destin in the late afternoon and began to make ourselves comfortable. We had dinner and then all spread out for the evening.

Day 2: Beach Day!!!
We started the day off with breakfast at Donut Hole in Destin. I had THE BEST OMELET I have ever had there. It was the Gulf Coast omelet that had Gulf shrimp and lump crab, cheese and scallions. It was seriously one of the top 5 breakfasts of my life.

Then we did a grocery pick up at Wal-Mart before going back to the house to get ready for the beach!

The water was so clear...even though it was a bit rough due to a storm off the coast. We spent the day jumping waves and relaxing in the sand before heading back to the house for tacos and game night.

After dinner, we walked over to an ice cream place and got some delicious ice cream!

Day 3: Deep Sea Fishing!!!
We woke up at 5 AM to head over to catch our boat, the Destiny. We went fishing for over 6 hours! We caught a lot of fish and had a lot of fun! But by the time we got back to shore, we were starving! While we waited for our fish to be fileted, several of us ran to the Winn Dixie to pick up a few things before going back to pick up the rest of our crew...and the filets.

We gobbled down some sandwiches before dispersing to shower and nap. Then, for dinner, we ate fish and chips and salad.

Day 4: Beach Day!!!
The water was so much calmer on our second beach day. We hung out in the water all day and ate sandwiches on the beach before heading back for a dinner of leftovers and a game night.

Day 5: Adventure Day!!!
We took a drive down through 30A, and stopped at Goat Feathers for lunch. After lunch, Erin and Ben went ziplining and we cooled off at Fat Tuesdays with some daquiris.

Then we headed back to the house to get ready for Ben's Birthday Celebration! We had a shrimp boil and cake. Then we played games.

Day 6: Beach Day!!!
We took advantage of another beautiful beach day. The water was gorgeous again and we just hung out in the water and relaxed in the sand.

That evening, we went on the Seablaster Sunset Dolphin Cruise. We saw a whole pod of dolphins and it was magical.

After the cruise, we stopped at Gilligan's for dinner.

Day 7: Beach and Packing Day
Notice the lack of exclamation points. We went to the beach again and then packed up to go home.

Day 8: Road Trip Day!!!
We packed up the cars and then went to The Pancakery for breakfast before hitting the road. We got back to our house around 6 and after settling in a bit, we went to our local Mexican place for dinner.

And that is it! We are planning our next beach trip for 2020 and can't wait to relax by the water again!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Flourish Update: September 2018

Whoa. September was like a blink. Where did that month go?

I started out the month in Akron, OH, then finished the bathroom remodel and finished off the month  with a quiet, normal week, that was sorely needed.

In Progress
1. Write Daily
2. Learn German
3. Use a Daily Gratitude Journal
4. Use a Daily One-Sentence Journal
5. Make a go of my blog
7. Daily Devotional
8. Read 60 Books (I just finished number 40)
12. Send regular updates to family and friends
15. Work out 2-3 times a week

10. Adopt. We are starting the paperwork!

6. Become a Travel Agent!
9. Buy a Shed!
11. Create my perfect planner!
13. Travel to a New Place!
14. Complete 2 Whole30s/100 Days to Destin!
16. Remodel Bathroom

Still to come...
17. New Bedroom Carpeting
18. New Kitchen Flooring

In Progress
3. Do Something New Every Month
5. Purge and Organize Entire House
7. Meditate Daily
14. Celebrate Small Holidays
16. Be Better at Sending Birthday Cards
17. File Monthly
18. Wash Car
22. Go to the Zoo Monthly
23. Gallery Wall in Hallway (Almost Complete)
24. Mask Thursdays
25. Go to 4 Major Concerts/Plays and 2 Community Plays
28. Text a friend everyday
29. Maintain Whole30 Lifestyle
31. Take More Baths
32. Weekly Power Hours
33. Organize Recipes
34. Digital Declutter
36. Visit Florence Three Times

1. Buy a Purse
6. Have Septic Take Serviced
8. Have Dryer Vent Cleaned
9. New Living Room Curtains
12. Take Chris to visit Owen
15. Update Dish Rags
20. New Mattresses
26. Go to a Dermatologist
35. Plan a Weekend Getaway with Chris 

Still to Come
2. Remodel Office
4. Volunteer Twice a Month
10 Girl's Weekend with E (Off the table)
11. Girls Weekend with T & G
13. Decorate Front Area
19. Update Bath Mats
21. Go to Frist 6 Times
27. Colonoscopy (Scheduled!!!)
30. Get more Involved at Women's Club

October. I think in October I am going to put some effort into getting the kitchen floor updated and remodeling the office. And I should start volunteering. I also want to get the bath mats updated.

This is also the month I start prepping for the holidays. I make my Christmas lists, order cards, plan the month leading up to Christmas, and maybe this year I will start shopping...not sure though.

What is your October shaping up to be?