Are we Snapchatting our self-esteem down the drain?

So unless you live under a rock, you know what Snapchat is.  A social media platform for the younger set, it is a selfie-based app that allows you to send pictures or videos of yourself with added text to your friends, or add them to your "Story" which is visible for 24 hours.

The thing that makes Snapchat different from other apps is the filters.  The dog filter by far is the most popular, although I'm not completely sure why.  (At 38 years old, I am not in Snapchat's target demographic!)

At first I downloaded Snapchat just for my kids to play with the filters - they love them!  But then I decided that maybe I would try to figure out this platform. It does have a certain appeal.  You can instantly chat with people in a visual format and convey what you are doing in a very real-time, real-life way.

However, the more I played around with the app, the more I realized that I didn't want to send a pic without one of the filters.  Why didn't I want to send my &…

5 ways to schedule your time to bring JOY and PEACE to your life

How do you spend your time?  

I'm not exactly sure how I would have answered that question a few weeks ago.  I am aware that I am a pretty big time waster . I also am aware that I spend a lot of time spinning in circles (not literally), filling my life with "busy work" and not actually accomplishing anything.  However, I never really knew what to do about it.

Enter a great book study on 168 Hours: You have more time than you think by Laura Vanderkam.

Reading this book forced me to look at the time I had, look at how I was spending it, decide HOW I wanted to spend it, and make some hard choices to make those 2 things match up.

So I'm sharing my newfound wisdom with you.

1.  Pick your top 5 values in life.   These are the things that bring you joy and fulfillment.  It might be family, faith, fitness, or a specific hobby.  Write them down.  It's okay to have less or more than 5, but don't choose too many.  My top 5 values are:  Faith, Marriage, Reading/Learnin…

Working towards a simpler life . . . baby steps

We live in a culture enamored with the idea of MORE.  More clothes, a bigger house, more storage, the newest gadget, more activities, and the list goes on and on.  Not only do we see our "stuff" as a badge of honor and as a part of our identity, but we brag about how "busy" we are.  Why is MORE and BUSY something to be proud of?

As I get older, I am realizing how much LESS I want.  I want less stress, fewer problems, fewer obligations, and less distractions from what is important to me.  However, simplicity (and calm in general) does not come naturally to me.  I am Type A all the way, driven, extroverted, and often feel like my worth is tied to my productivity.

So let me share with you my 5 baby steps to a simpler life.  Most of these have come from me (finally) listening to my husband, who is lovingly helping me in this process.

Make your bed.If the bed is made, my room looks nice and clean and I feel ready to tackle the day.  There is just something calming ab…

The Joy of Home Renovations

There's only one real joy in a home renovation . . . and that is FINISHING a project!  :)

We live in a fixer-upper, and there is a certain pleasure in making a home exactly what you want it to be.  There are many challenges and stressful times, but being able to say 'WE ARE DONE!' is an amazing feeling.

(Side note:  It is really my husband who is able to say that - as he is the one who completed this bathroom project - one that was MUCH bigger than we were anticipating!)


Our original plan was to scrape the paint and save what was there.  We love all things mid-century and thought we could make the pink and black tile work for us.  So we scraped.  And scraped.  And scraped.

After we scraped the paint off of the wall tile we realized that there was a reason that the tile had been painted.  It just wasn't in great shape, so Carlos decided it all had to come down!  

What I wore - Dresses

Frivolous post alert :)

So for the month of August I decided to wear dresses every day.  There was no real deep reason for that - I like dresses, I have a lot of them, and with it being the first month of school, it makes it easy for me to get dressed in the morning.  To me, dresses are more comfortable that anything else.  I did expand it to skirts during the month - especially when I wanted to wear my NASA shirt on the day of the solar eclipse!  I also cheated one day and wore pants to eat lunch at my parents' house.

So here are most of the days.  I didn't get a picture every day, because life happens.  :)

Life List

It's Wednesday.  Hump Day.  The day that once we are through it we are more than halfway to the weekend.   Working 5 days to enjoy the 2 days of the weekend.  That is how most people live, but is that what you dreamed of when you were a kid and wanted so desperately to "grow up"?  I doubt it.

I don't remember much about what I envisioned of my life when I was a kid, but I know what I want my life to look like now.  However, laundry and errands and 'stuff' just tends to get in the way sometimes.  Especially if you don't have a plan!

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” ~ Benjamin Franklin
Enter the Life List - things you want to do or experience in your life.  For most people (myself included), this list is full of exciting travel and big dreams  But what about the small stuff?  How do you want to spend your days?  If you don't think about it, your days can easily be sucked up by surfing the net, binge-watching Netflix, and going to bed t…

5 Ways to Build a Life You Don't Need a Vacation From

So if you have been on any motivational Instagram feed, I’m sure you have seen a beautiful photo with this text:  “Build a Life you don’t need a vacation from.”  Or the slightly awkward but grammatically correct, “Build a life from which you don’t need a vacation.”  

So how do you do that?  
1.  Find a JOB that you enjoy.  
Work is a fact of life.  You will spend much of your waking time at work, so you need to enjoy that time.  If you dread going to work, you need to look at your options. Maybe a different company or a different career altogether. Find a job where you enjoy your coworkers and enjoy your work.  Don't live life waiting for the weekend or vacation.  
2.  Live where you want to be.  
If you love to vacation because you love WHERE you vacation (the beach, the mountains, etc.) then look at whether you can move to that place.  Love the beach?  Plenty of people live and work in coastal communities all over the world.  Unless you work in a highly specialized field that is on…