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Organizing your life with Google

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Confession: I am a digital hoarder. I have files saved EVERYWHERE with no rhyme or reason! This is definitely something I am working on. I know what I SHOULD do, but this is a time consuming task if your digital life is a hot mess like mine is!!!  

I am SLOWLY but surely organizing my life with Google apps.  For those with Android devices, this is done for you automatically; however, as an iPhone user, I like Google for several reasons:  
1) It's free, 2) It's accessible on all my computers (PC and Mac) as well as my phone (even though it's an iPhone), and 3) It's user friendly. 



So, what Google apps do I use to organize my life?  

Google Calendar

While I also use a paper planner (I have to have the pen/paper), our family depends on the Google calendar to keep us all in sync.  If I tell my husband (an staunch Android user) about an appointment his first question is always "Is it on Google calendar?"  This keeps us both on track and keeps us from overbooking our fa…

Road Trip Tips

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I LOVE to travel!  However, for most of my life, the fun was all about the destination!  In the past 10 years or so, I have learned (thanks to my much more laid-back hubby!) to truly enjoy the journey!  So now, traveling is not only about the destination, but about the entire trip from beginning to end!  
At this point in our lives, our main mode of travel is by car - we have 2 small kids and we haven't braved the airport with them, so for us it is all about the road trip!!!  
We take trips several times a year and so, while I am no expert, here are my 8 Road Trip tips!   Clean out your car before you pack it. Get all of the snack crumbs out of the seats so you have room for new snack crumbs!  :)  Related to #1, pack snacks!  You don't want to be completely dependent on restaurants or convenience stores for eating, as they might not show up when you are hungry!  Especially if you have kids, snacks = silence!  Pack the snacks you normally eat, along with a few treats from the &…

Wake up and Smell the Coffee!

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It's National Coffee Day, so to celebrate (in addition to drinking the deliciousness that is coffee), I thought I'd share some quotes about this nectar of the gods. Once you wake up and smell the coffee, it's hard to go back to sleep.                 Fran DrescherI have measured out my life with coffee spoons.  T.S. EliotWe want to do a lot of stuff; we're not in great shape. We didn't get a good night's sleep. We're a little depressed. Coffee solves all these problems in one delightful little cup. Jerry SeinfeldNever trust anyone who doesn't drink coffee.  AJ LeeAs long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be? Cassandra Clare, City of Ashes

Are we Snapchatting our self-esteem down the drain?

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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

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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

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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

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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!)

Before:  

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!