New Nightly Goals

I have two new nightly goals that I want to strive for, every single night. 

I know, I know. It's friggin' stupid how easy this is.

Let's get into why these are difficult for me though, and why they will make such a big difference.

Putting down the phone is hard for two main reasons: my husband and my mother.
  • My husband works long hours and it's always possible he will be several hours late coming home. It just happens in his job. I generally try to keep an eye on my phone so I know whether he has left yet, mostly for my own peace of mind and scheduling purposes (if he gets out at a regular hour, I can start dinner later and wait on him to help me give the baby a bath...if he's late I need to plan extra time for doing the bedtime routine alone, etc). 
  • My mom tries to Skype at least once a week...and I feel really bad if I miss her asking (this is not necessarily her fault- I accept this as my penance for living far away and gladly pay it to not be in my hometown).

I'm considering trying to hook up my bluetooth so I can hear specifically if either of these special people call or text, but this requires a few extra minutes and I need too ensure all other sound notifications are turned off my phone.

This will make a huge difference because I can focus only on what is actually physically going on around me. It releases some of the mental burden by taking one extra ball out of the air. 

Plus if I am focused on all the things I can do, I'm not sitting staring at the phone worried and procrastinating about what I might be able to do if no one calls or everyone calls at the same time, or just weeding out all the random not-at-all-a-priority notifications the iPhone sends. Both of these people will live if I take a few extra minutes to respond to them.

Basically I am a better mother, wife, and overall person when I am not constantly listening for the phone and mentally managing all the notifications.

On to goal #2: while I am ALL about my Bullet Journal during the day at work, I can often leave it in my bag at home. This is mainly because I'm scared to leave it at home by accident and not take it with me to work the next day. 

But I need it at night. I've always been a list/note taker, and the reason I have stuck with the bullet journal for several months is because it allows me to put ALL the random things I think of in one spot. Appointments, grocery lists, blog topics, whatever- it goes in the BuJo.

And my random thoughts don't stop just because Babycakes is in the room or I'm cooking dinner- in fact, those are the times I need it the most because there is no way a random thought will stick around longer than five seconds. 

Pretty much anyone who is not a solitary spinster can relate- you get home and your kids or partner or pet or parents or whoever inhabits your home with you starts taking up your mental energy and time. And that's FINE- it's part of the beauty of having a family. But it doesn't mean that tomorrow you won't be out of deodorant or need to email someone. So I want to note it in the BuJo and quickly get back to whatever I'm doing.

Yes, I could make notes on my phone. But truthfully, my phone does TOO MUCH. It is how I talk to people and how I keep notes and how I entertain myself. I don't want to be the parent who is constantly on her phone- I hate it when Tank is on his all the time. It's too easy to reach for it for a note and end up on YouTube or some other thing that should NOT be a priority over my child (or husband or homework or home).

Keeping my notes in my BuJo is faster and easier for me personally anyway, plus it allows me to better demonstrate to my child what my priorities are (our family and needs rather than Facebook- she isn't going to know the difference in what I'm doing on my phone, just that I'm on it). Plus, if I look at my phone for five seconds Hubs automatically looks at his and then we are two losers on our phone. NO. NO NO NO. I'm tired of it and my eyes hurt.

To be clear, if you do or don't do any of the things mentioned in this post- good for you. 

What works for one person does not always work for others. I get that. This is not me trying to make anyone feel guilty, or working from guilt that anyone else has caused me to feel.

I'm just trying to identify my priorities in life, and then identify what takes away from those and what enhances them. These two goals will allow me to weed through what I don't care about and remember the little details that I do care about.

Doesn't that sound lovely?

Add It To My List: November 2017

 Link-up creators are Lauren from Eat, Drink, & Be Lauren and Bre from Bre Writes. Basically, they are always recommending things to each other- podcasts, television shows, music, blah blah blah. And they figured- why not share even further?

Making a new attempt to eat different types of food- I've been doing monthly menus for almost a year but I'm stepping up my game. This month, each weekday was divided into a different category: vegetarian, beef, pork, chicken, and seafood. This is making me step out of my comfort zone regarding recipes but there have been some real winners lately!

Articles & Videos & Blog Posts


    • Kiwi Leather Instant Wax Shine
      • I feel like I go through work shoes SO QUICKLY. I'm tired of wasting the time and money to buy a new pair every other season- especially my basic white girl black boots and wedges that I wear I figured I would try something. This was around 5$ at Walmart and it made such a big difference! Not perfect, but my shoes will last at least another season. Maybe more if I do it consistently.
      • My mom is a products person and is always passing along hair and skin care products. I rarely end up actually using them and almost never asking for more. BUT- this stuff is amazing. I have suuuuuper thick and coarse hair. Basically, think of a horse's tail but like...a LOT of it. I almost never do anything with it because it's so hard to shape into anything other than long/thick/just wavy enough to not be straight but not wavy enough to be a style.  This is seriously the only thing in 20 years that has ever made my hair feel soft. Like, potentially pliable enough to style (although to be clear, I'm way too lazy and impatient to try it). I'll actually go buy my own when the bottle my mom gave me runs out (only 10$). I do it maybe 2-3 times a week, maybe a quarter size if that much, so it will definitely last a while and be fairly cheap to maintain.
      What recommendations do you have this month?

    Surround Yourself [Quote of the Month November 2017]

    I have been part of an all female workout group about a year and a half now, on and off. I went more right after Babycakes was born, which is when the group was first formed. I've taken weeks and months off at a time...scheduling is hard with working full time and having a baby and wanting to occasionally see my husband. But a friend has been going with me and we've gone at least once a week for a while now.

    We usually close with a prayer or positive quote, and the one listed above was shared recently.

    The group is very much about starting where you are at, and encouraging to yourself and others.  

    It's a really positive environment and I'm enjoying it.

    But it also makes me a little bit sad. 

    I'm so glad at this new culture that's been growing the last few years between women. I'm seeing women be more and more supportive and inclusive and it's amazing.

    But I'm also hearing a lot of "don't trust girls who don't like girls."

    And the truth is...I don't have a long history of female friends. I tried. But they moved or I moved or they partied or I got married or blah blah blah.

    Plus, I grew up being told that girls can't be friends...that they were competitive and catty- which I wasn't. And that's why I thought I couldn't be friends with most girls.

    So it feels like the script has suddenly been flipped and now I'm being punished for believing the crap I was told as a kid (to be fair, other girls believed this also and behaved accordingly). 

    I'm trying to correct that- I just hope other women give me a chance to do so. 

    There are lots of examples in pop culture where people found their tribe later in life, and as silly as it is I hold on to those (Leslie & Ann from Parks and Rec, Meredith & Christina from Grey's Anatomy who I think are still friends although I abandoned that a while back).

    My tribe is growing, little by little, and it will be the right tribe when it's fully formed. 

    ETA: just logged on to Twitter and saw a comment about how white people need to stop appropriating the world tribe. FML, being a non-shitty human is really fucking complicated sometimes, which is also why I sometimes stop bothering with having other humans in my life...but again, I'm trying, okay? I hope that counts for something.

    Current Thoughts [November 2017]

    • My number one work complaint is when people cannot take criticism or admit they made even the tiniest mistake. Humans are human, y'all. You are inevitably going to make a mistake. Throwing someone under the bus is not going to make you look good. Also...don't tell people you have a lot of initiative unless you are interviewing for a job. Once you are actually working the job, let your work speak for itself. Trust me, if you're as good as you think you are the rest of us will notice. 

      • Babycakes is going through...something. Teething- working on those last molars which are supposed to be the worst? Maybe just hitting the toddler tantrum stage. She gets super upset super quickly for seemingly no reason...sometimes I can calm her down but usually not. Daycare drop off has been basically traumatic for us both. There are definitely good times, but there's been some rough moments also. 
      • But on the plus side- no more pacifier!!! It really wasn't as bad to take as I thought. She apparently ONLY used it at home/around Tank & I anyway. She would go all day at daycare w/o it but then start asking for it literally as soon as I showed up to pick her up. So I had the feeling it was more psychological than physical need. The first night we tried nighttime without it, it was a fight and we gave in. But about a week later I just hid them all and she was tired and laid down without it. Once they were out of sight, it only took a few days to pretty much be done. 

        • We have gotten into the "screen time" thing with her though. She is now obsessed with this Baby Shark video...and while I feel bad sticking her in front of the's now what she does while I make dinner. Mommy's sanity is worth an hour or so of screen time a day, right...
        • Went to a local holiday shopping event and knocked out like 80% of my Christmas shopping list. Yes, I spent a ton of money...but honestly it was about on track for what I normally spend on presents and it was smaller local businesses. Plus I bought my OWN presents with approval from Tank- these are things that have been on my "Want" list for months and he literally just has to throw them in a bag...

          • It's our anniversary this month and we seriously cannot figure out what to do. I'm almost over it because I'm trying to hard to decide on something and neither of us can commit to the "right thing."

          What's up with you lately?

          Show Us Your Books Link-Up: November 2017

          Yay, SUYB! This month was a pretty good month...a lot of books that were okay-ish but a few standouts.

          This is really highly recommended in the foster care/adoption blogosphere. It was...okay. There was some helpful tips and coping mechanisms and information, but the presentation was a little dry and repetitive. I took some great notes but also had to force read parts.

          This has been sitting on my Nook app forever. It was good, a good thriller for October. Some points were a little on-the-nose regarding descriptions and feelings...I like a little more subtext. But overall a good read with some disturbing moments (I skipped some of the violent, sexual descriptions).

          This book is standard John Green in a lot of ways, which I personally love! 

          I know some people think John Green is over-hyped as an author; if that's you, I'm not sure this book will change your mind. I'd still go for it if you are really interested in an Own Voices depiction of OCD and anxiety, but much like real life a person is not separate from their mental's still very much his voice and style and story.

          Personally, I really enjoyed this slightly different twist from a favorite author and will re-read soon. I also got my signed copy which is always nice :) 

          This has been on my Nook app for ages...maybe a Nook Free Friday? It's a pretty typical supernatural YA novel, about a teen girl who is...basically a type of werewolf. It's okay, held the interest fairly well but I'm not in a rush to get to the rest of the series. 

          This is a somewhat standard self-help Christian book...but there is a reason these keep getting published. It was good to read and remember what my focus in life should be (and it isn't popularity). I'd recommend for the right person at the right time...basically if this sounds like something you'd like to read, do it. If not, you're probably not missing out.  

          What have you been reading this month?
          Link-up & share!

          Life According to Steph

          Erin's Reading Challenge 7.0- I'm done!

          I finished this challenge months ago, it seems, but didn't update. I really enjoyed almost all of theses books, which you probably know if you have been reading and seeing my Show Us Your Books posts.

          The Banned Book choice was Faulkner and as a good Southern girl I wanted to love it...but it was terrible.

          •  25 points: The ALA’s “Banned Books Week” occurs while our challenge is happening. Read a book from this list of the most commonly banned books in America (submitted by Christina)
          • 35 points: Read a book a Disney movie was based on OR a book based on a Disney movie (submitted by Kirsten- don’t forget to check that the book is at least 200 pages)

          So I guess I technically didn't complete the challenge...but I'm totally done.

          If you are doing the challenge, how's it coming along?

          Words are Weird

          I'm a reader, and a kind-of writer or blogger or whatever you call it. I tend to enjoy words. Not just words put together to form a book but words in general.

          Words can be super weird. The same word can mean different things, or change meanings over time. Or just mean different things in different countries- or different parts of the same country!

          In fact, while this post was sitting in draft this video about words that changed meanings was posted on Mental Floss and Amber from The Sensible Mama did a collab with a northern friend that resulted from confusing everyday conversations.

          This comes up a lot in the Facebook groups in I'm in for Bullet Journaling. It's hard to define a bullet journal for a lot of people. I think this is because it is a combination of several things, and each person can add or subtract or prioritize different aspects of it. But it came up in a conversation that the word "diary" means different things in the USA and the UK.

          Here in the US we typically use diary to refer to a journaling of thoughts, sometimes daily. Apparently in the UK is refers to what I would call a planner- a system of organizing events and dates usually following a calendar method.

          There's no real point to this.

's worth considering when having a conversation I guess.

          Semantics matter to a lot of people. It can affect things.

          It's hard for me sometimes- especially when "discussing" things with Tank. Or at work when I'm training people. I have forwarded emails to my supervisors with the apology "Hello, XYZ problem, but I have run out of ways to say this. Any suggestions or assistance would be greatly appreciated."

          I  can't do that with Tank...but sometimes I need to.

          I need to figure out how to use words and understand them better, even when they don't make sense.