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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

A Career Journal...

Last month I purchased a Real Simple magazine and enjoyed reading most of the articles in it. In one section of the book, it had a 12-month to-do for 2019. One of those to-do's was starting a career journal.

I thought, hmmm a career journal? I currently do journal (see my blog post here if you missed it) but to actually have a journal dedicated to work goals? Honestly, I kind of like that idea. The article said this about the career journal...

Use a blank notebook or an app like Day One (free for the basic version; iOS and Android) to track accomplishments, note feedback you received, and list short-term goals. Ideally try to update it every day or once a week. “The more you visually see your goals and areas of improvement, the more likely you are to address them,” says Lauren McGoodwin, founder of Career Contessa, a professional-development site for women. It also serves as a source of proof points when you’re asking for a raise or promotion or looking for a new job.

I love the idea of making goals. I do have a few career goals and I am hoping that one of them will be accomplished this year. I have some extra journals in my nightstand drawer. I may have to turn one into my new career journal.

Now I don't know if I will update it every week but about once a month sounds good to me. I do loving keeping goals. It helps me keep my vision in front of me. One thing that I am changing this year is being open to things. At first, I had my set goals and NOTHING was going to change my mind. But a recent event last year in 2018 help me to change that and helped me to be more open to different opportunities out there.

So now I don't have my goals stuck on just one career move. Now I am much more open to exploring new adventures. So we will see what happens in 2019. I hope you all click on the link above and read the article. It is very insightful! Enjoy!!

(photos via Pinterest)

Monday, January 28, 2019

January Favorites

As you can imagine January has not been a good month. With all of the shutdown drama going on it's been pretty hard trying to keep my focus on what's important. But as I said in my post on Friday, I am just trusting that God has a plan for all of this.

Now let's get into some of my favorites for this month, shall we?

First on my list has been this ginger with chamomile tea. I can not stop drinking it! It is so delicious. It has been an absolute favorite for the entire month. I have so enjoyed this with some honey. It is marvelous in the morning with my breakfast! 

Second on my list has been my new Varidesk! Our office ordered these some time ago and some staff members have left leaving some leftover! I requested one about 3 weeks ago and I am loving it. It has been such a game-changer for me. I love being able to stand for a few hours. Working as a paralegal and sitting all day can have bad effects on your circulation. Trust me I am starting to fight a few varicose veins but this tool is sure to help me get back on track. Love it!

Third on my list has been my new turmeric gummies from mykind Organics. My local Fresh Thyme sells them. You can order them online for about $20. They test so well! I have one a day along with the multivitamins that I take in the morning. I don't know if I have any inflammatory issues (although I believe my varicose veins are one), I still take them to build healthy habits. If you find them you should try them. Absolutely delicious! 

Fourth on my list has been my new faux flower arrangements. There has been a world of difference in the way my home decor looks. Everything looks so fresh and beautiful. I have really been happy with the turnout. Read my blog post here if you are interested. 

And last on my list has been my spinach scrambled eggs. They are so good! I make these every weekend now. I enjoy this dish so much and it is so filling. So glad I tried it! See my blog post here about it. 

Well, that's it for this month. We will see what February holds. I am not sure. I know that I wanted to schedule a facial for the month of February. I have never had a professional facial! Can you believe that? I also have to begin plans for my daughter's 14th birthday! I can't believe my baby girl is going to be 14 in March! So scary. Well, I hope that you enjoy your week! 

(photos via Google and Mrs. Shockley)

Friday, January 25, 2019

Living During a Shutdown

It has now been 30+ days since the government shutdown and it has not been fun (my office has been affected by this). Sighing..... I really don't know what to think anymore. It's been so frustrating to watch and hear the news. I have been trying to take everything in doses. I don't want to overwhelm myself or become engrossed with what's going on yet I do want to still be informed.

During this shutdown, I have been trying to keep my life in order and trying to keep the right perspective. It is so easy to get caught in other people's life frustrations and situations. Sometimes you will find yourself absorbing other people's emotions and I don't want to do that. I am crazy on my own thank you very much! So what I have decided to do is remain grateful and enjoy as much beauty as I can.

First things first I have made it a point to enjoy flowers. The real and faux. In my office and at home. I really love flowers and have always used them as a source of joy and contentment. This is my faux arrangement at home. I love it next to my blue and white ginger jar. 

The second thing has been enjoying my breakfast in the mornings. I love coming into my office having my pumpkin muffin, fresh pear and a hot cup of ginger tea. Since the shutdown, I have been making sure that I take my time sipping my tea.

I have also made a point to enjoy my lunches. This fabulous salad was created by one of our attorney's in our office. It is a spinach salad with apples, feta, almonds, and cranberries. Absolutely delicious and it was free! So glad she wanted to share this with everyone. 

This past weekend my husband and I went furniture shopping. Now, of course, we did not spend anything but I think that it is okay to "window shop". I was able to find a nice dining room table that I wanted and was able to get a list from one of the sales reps. So when we are ready to purchase I know exactly how much we will spend. I love the table legs on this! 

Love these host chairs that I picked out too. 
( see my dining room inspiration post here

I have also been trying to find new delicious and inexpensive recipes too. I just shared my spinach eggs recipe this week and I have loved cooking that as well as eating it. Enjoying my meals has been another way to be grateful and create a beautiful life. This dish is actually from a restaurant. It is called the Napa Chicken dinner. I talked about it here. 

And the last thing that I have been doing is continuing to dress well. In spite of having limited funds and not receiving pay, I have made it a point to continue to dress well. Just because things are bad it does not mean that I should not continue to work and dress well. I am still working in my office giving it the same amount of effort as I would if things were normal. I believe the Lord will honor that. Keeping the right attitude during trials is just another part of our faith walk. I just keep telling myself, "the Lord has a plan". I don't know what it is but I am doing my very best to trust it. I remember a quote that I heard a Bible teacher say some years back. He said, "this is God's universe and God does things his way. You may have a better way but you don't have a universe". 

I chuckled when I heard that. I thought, "yeah you are absolutely right". This is not my universe. So just wait patiently. I hope that you all enjoy your weekend and continue to be grateful. 

(photos via Mrs. Shockley)

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

My Spinach Scrambled Eggs

I love my scrambled eggs on the weekend. I always look forward to them but this past week I saw one of my favorite Youtuber's Lisa Bryan create a wonderful scramble egg dish.

So I went to the store and purchased a container of spinach to add to my scrambled eggs. Now when you watch her video she adds a lot more ingredients but I know for me I just wanted to take it easy this time and keep it simple.

I sauteed my spinach with extra virgin olive oil and it did not take long. 

In a separate bowl I mixed my eggs (brown, I love brown eggs), butter, salt and pepper. Then I just added it to the spinach and let it cook for a few minutes. 

I kept a close eye on them and once they were done I plated them and it just looked delicious and yummy!

It was a breakfast that I truly enjoyed this past weekend and look forward to making it again. I also had some wonderful blueberries (they were on sale too), my teapot full of warm ginger and chamomile tea. This tea is turning out to be one of my favorites! I also used my tea cup and saucer from my mother in law. She purchased it from the Biltmore a few years ago for me. 

I do enjoy my breakfasts on the weekends. My husband and daughter are not big breakfast eaters and I have just given up on trying to convert them so now I just make my wonderful breakfast and enjoy it. 

If your family is like mine and doesn't like eating breakfast, don't worry about it anymore. Just make a wonderful breakfast for yourself and believe that you are setting an example. They will join in soon. Also, here is Lisa's video below if you wish to watch it. She has a wonderful Youtube channel full of healthy recipes and whole living ideas. Enjoy!

(photos via Mrs. Shockley)

Monday, January 21, 2019

The Paver Tote

I always try to make sure that I share a great find while it is on sale as soon as I can. This is another one of those great finds. This is called the pochette tote bag from Ann Taylor. It comes in two different colors. This is the paver grey color and I managed to get it for only $45! The original price is $148!

It has all of the features that an executive tote should have. It has the divider with a zipper, the cell phone holder and the inside zipper on the side. It's also very roomy and beautiful. 

Love the "purse feet" on the bottom. That is always a favorite feature of mine. 

Another great feature that it has is the removable pouch. It has a protection coating on it so you can put your tablet in it if you would like. Great feature!

It also has Ann Taylor on the inside of it. It is a lovely bag and will keep you organized. I also love the pink blush color on the front. A favorite of course. Another great feature is the gold hardware. I love gold hardware with pink blush. I just think it looks so timeless. 

Well I hope that you all enjoy this find and if you can click on the link above and take a look at that price! It's a steal, honestly it is. Enjoy!

(photos via Mrs. Shockley)

Friday, January 18, 2019

Quiet Dining on the Porch... Why Not?

I am so frustrated with myself. Last summer I made a goal to go on a picnic. I did not reach that goal so I am setting it again for this year. I would like to go on at least one picnic. I think that would be a nice way to spend a quiet Sunday.

One day this past week I was thinking about all of the porch sitting that my husband and I did this past spring and summer and I thought, "we should eat outside more this year". I don't know why we don't. Maybe the humidity but for the most part it gets pretty warm here and stays warm in the evenings.

I really just want a cozy small table that I can put on our porch. Something like the photo above. So beautiful, comfortable and most importantly quiet. I just want to listen to the air around me. 

Dinner for two or maybe one. Sometimes my husband has projects that keeps him away for a day or two. Maybe one night I could have a quiet dinner outside alone. Honestly, that would not bother me at all. 

Or maybe a lunch with my daughter. I love the tablecloth in this photo. 

Love this table setting! This would be nice for a ladies lunch. That is something that I have always wanted to do. A ladies lunch....

We were recently leaving the Cheesecake Factory and this restaurant has a lot of outdoor dining. I was thinking about doing that this year too. Eating outside. I think that would be great!

Well I am going to make sure that I put these ideas into my planner and we will see what this year unfolds. Enjoy your weekend! 

(photos via Pinterest)

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Cheese Plate ~ 2019

We are starting the third week of 2019 already. These years are going by so fast. I was checking past posts on the blog and I made my first cheese plate in 2017. I loved that one. I felt like a "grown up" that year.

My second cheese board in 2018 was delicious also. I loved the sweet french bread with the fig spread and brie.

This year I picked out my own cheeses with a little help from one of the reps. He showed me that they had a section with cheese for $5 and below. Great!

I love the dried apricots. I don't feel as guilty nibbling on these. They are so good and add just enough sweetness to the board. 

The other suggestion that he made was getting some nuts. So I ended up purchasing some honey roasted nuts. Also really good!

I grabbed a bag of green grapes and crispy crackers and we were ready to bring in the New Year!

We popped open our wine and sat and enjoyed the evening. 

Everything was so good and our daughter loves the smoked gouda. I couldn't get enough of the brie cheese with the fig spread together. Goodness, that was good! 

I hope that you all enjoyed your New Year and are looking forward to 2019! Cheers!

(photos via Mrs. Shockley)

Monday, January 14, 2019

Soft Face Cloths

It's amazing... some of the things I had to learn on my own when becoming a woman. My mother was not into beauty products when I was growing up so a lot of what I have learned has been from reading, asking questions, trial and error.

One of those things has been face cloths. When I was growing up we used the same cloth on our face as our bodies. Not a big deal back then but when you are a teenage girl and you realize where that cloth has been..... you don't really want to put that on your face.

I remember the day I realize this. I had just finished my bath and was about to start washing my face and I picked up that cloth and I was about to wipe my face with it and I said, ohhhh no this is a bad idea. I need to get some separate cloths for my face. I think I might have been in middle school. So I went to the store the next day and purchased some soft cloths for my face. So happy I started doing that.

I just had to replace some of my face cloths. I purchased these last week from T.J. Maxx and they are so soft. The price was excellent too!

Love all the colors and the elephants. Very different!

And look at that fabulous price! Only $2.99 for a soft great face cloth. 

I love using my soft cloths on my face and I actually love shopping for them. With the prices being so good it's hard not to buy a few. I am sure that many of you have face cloths. If so what's your favorite brand? Do any of yours have special features? Let me know in the comments section below. 

Have a great week!

(photos via Mrs. Shockley)

Friday, January 11, 2019

Washing my Jewelry

Along with house purging, flower refreshing and cleaning I have also been organizing my clothing and jewelry. I always try to keep my jewelry nice and clean. I love it when they sparkle but then again what woman doesn't. 

I pulled a few pieces out to wash last week. 

Honestly, the only thing I do is fill my bathroom sink up with soapy water and let my jewelry sit for a few minutes. You can use dish liquid soap if you want. All of the oils, dirt and hair come right out. 

Love it when everything is sparkly!

I place everything in the soapy water. My earrings....

Pins and brooches....

I rinse everything and just let it dry. 

I then just place everything back in my jewelry box and it's all ready to wear for the up coming weeks. Keeping your jewelry clean and up to date is just another way of making sure that you are organized and "pulled together" as a woman. 

Take care of your beautiful things. Enjoy your weekend! 

(photos via Mrs. Shockley)

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

A Flower Refresh...

Let the purging season continue. I have been getting rid of so many things in my home. It's amazing how much crap your house can hold. Honestly.... I have been going through all of the nooks and crannies of our home. Getting rid of things that we have not used since we moved into this home almost 6 years ago!

Next on my list is home decor. It's funny it seems like every couple of years my taste in home decor changes slightly. One item that has been changing has been my taste in faux flowers. I love them don't get me wrong but I have been desiring more simple arrangements. So I walked through our home and picked out certain arrangements that needed a "flower refresh".

This "flower refresh" was inspired by this bouquet that I found at T.J.Maxx. I thought it was so life-like and beautiful. 

I put the bouquet in one of my blue and white vases. Looked beautiful....

So I went back and got another one....

And began looking around more....

Faux flowers have come a long way.

I especially loved this arrangement. I was thinking about purchasing this one to replace the one I have next to my tub in the bathroom. 

But then I spotted this one and loved the vase that it was in. Plus it was only $14.99 and the one above was $39.99!

I decided to start with the arrangement in my office. I took a look at it recently and I thought, "oh my goodness, this is starting to look like a creature." 

It needed to be "refreshed". The flowers were starting to look dark and I have had them for over 6 years. Time for a change. 

So I put the "creature" in the bag for donations and decided to keep the arrangement simple. 

Better much better....

But then I thought of the other arrangement that I just made and put it there instead. Now I don't know which one I want. They both look nice. 

This was the arrangement in my bathroom sitting on my tub. See how the faux water looks yellow? Eewww, time to change that!


Much better....

I also change and threw away all of the old faux flowers in my office and purchased new ones. 

Looks wonderful....

I have enjoyed this "flower refresh" for my home. The next project is finding better ways to organize and utilize my laundry room. I have some ideas so we will see. 

I had to share this photo. This was from last week in my home. I could not believe that these were carnations. I picked them up at the grocery store. Stunning! I will now be looking into this flower more. 

Thanks for reading!

(all photos Mrs. Shockley)