Sunday Special ~ Stop and Smell the Roses

Sunday, August 30, 2015

A Sunday Well Spent Brings a Week of Content...

I just really wanted to share some pictures of my beautiful roses. 

They make me happy :)

I have a super busy week ahead of me so I decided to take a moment to relax and recharge before Monday gets here. House cleaning, yard work and a family BBQ Monday. A baby shower for my cousin and then a Hawaiian luau dinner party Tuesday. Setting up, pricing and getting ready for a moving sale at my father-in-laws house Wednesday. Then the moving sale Thursday, Friday and Saturday. My sister-in-law, grandma, my mom, a couple of friends and I all have stuff to sell as well as my father-in-law. There is so much stuff it's just crazy! I sure we will have plenty of traffic and customers so we will be super busy!

So for now, I will take time to stop and smell the roses :)

Happy Sunday Everyone :)

10 Things You Can Throw Away and NOT Miss

Friday, August 28, 2015

Organizing, tidying, straightening, decluttering, or what ever you want to call it, used to be my life. It wasn't until I read a book, mentioned here and here, that I realized I could be happier with LESS. There were things that I could actually throw away and NOT miss, instead of constantly straightening them, moving them around, and tripping over them. 

After I finished the book and completed the KonMarie Method, I was left with so much less stuff, and everything I have gotten rid of, I have not missed once. Not a single thing. Honest. I have learned that there are certain things that you really don't need. Even though it maybe difficult to imagine getting rid of these things at first, you won't miss them when they are gone. You don't actually need more space, you need less stuff. At least that's true for me.

Here's a list of 10 things you can throw away and NOT miss... 

Paper. This includes receipts, pay stubs, credit card statements, bank statements, owners manuals. Most banks and credit cards companies offer online statements and you can go back 7 years to view them if you need too. I checked online here to see what papers you need to keep and for how long. Have a problem with your washing machine? Google the model number and find the manual online. A lot of my manuals were to items that I no longer own, like my first vcr, and I don't even own any vhs tapes! If you own your own business, I used to so I know, you do have to keep a lot more paperwork and keep your receipts in order for taxes. There are scanners you can buy and scan all of your paperwork into and it saves it onto your computer so that way you don't have to keep files and boxes of paperwork. *I of course kept 7 years worth of taxes.
Good bye paper!
CD and DVD cases. I didn't realize how much space these took up. Now I have them all in zip up binders and they fit nicely on one small shelf. There are other storage systems you can use that have sleeves and they fit into a box and it might be easier if you have kids. All the extra shelf and drawer space is awesome! I definitely don't miss those cases.

That's over 200 DVD cases!
Clothes. Ok not all clothes, I am talking about, ripped, stained, worn out clothes. Don't down grade your old clothes to lounge wear. Do you feel good about yourself when you wear things like that? Would you be embarrassed to answer the door while wearing them? Exactly my point. Get yourself proper sleepwear and lounge wear and throw away those stretched out t-shirts and ripped yoga pants already!

Boxes and cardboard. Seriously I know you have these lying around. You're keeping them 'just incase'. Old electronic boxes and shoe boxes take up so much space! And if you're thinking of saving them in case you decide to sell the item it came in, don't. That laptop, game station, or digital camera will sell all on its own, the box won't make or break the sale. 

Blurry photographs. These were all of my blurry photos that's were in albums! Three huge stacks! Why? I don't know why. I couldn't even tell what they were and who was in them. They were from my childhood, teenage and early married years, back in the 'olden days' when we used film, and you printed off every picture you took haha! I haven't missed them that's for sure! And now I have room in my albums for photos that's I love. 
Makeup, hair, skin and nail items. It was crazy how many things I was holding onto just because I spent money on them. Seriously?! I really don't know what good they were doing just sitting there, I was definitely not going to use them again. If it's expired or if you tried it and don't like it, just get rid of it. If it can't be returned, throw it away. You'll feel way better looking into your drawers and cabinets and only seeing only the items you love and that make you feel great. 

Photo Credit: Melanie Pinola from

Greeting cards. I did keep some special ones. Ones with special messages and ones from passed loved ones. But old Christmas cards, thank you cards, and cards with just a name written in the bottom were thrown away. I had stacks and stacks and stacks of cards. Now they all fit in a small bin and they all actually mean something to me. 

Magazines. I used to have a few subscriptions back in the day and I kept most of them for just an article or two, a how to project, or a recipe. Boxes of magazines that hadn't seen the light of day for years. Good bye! I didn't ever go back and read those articles that I thought were so important. There's this really awesome thing called the Internet and if I need something I can find it there :) Do you have piles that look like this?

Photo Credit:
Plastic. Cups from kids meals. Mismatched comeback cups. Plastic sour cream, cottage cheese, cool whip containers. I had over 30 of these in my cabinets. It's ok to get rid of them. Invest in some nice glass storage container so you can actually see what's in them and they are BPA, PET and PVC free and are safe to use while reheating food. 

Cords. You know that box full of cords that you have no idea what goes to what? Old computers, cell phones, tv's, toys and who knows what else. More than likely you have already gotten rid of what they belong to. Every time I looked into that box, it gave me anxiety, I didn't know what they went to but I was afraid of throwing away I might need. It took me a little bit of time but I went around to all of my electronics and made sure the cords that were supposed to go with them were with them. Then I finally tossed out that big box of junk and haven't needed a single one since.

Google Image, but mine looked very similar
All of these things took up so much room. Now after clearing things out, I actually have empty shelves! EMPTY! I highly recommend this book, if you need a little jump start to decluttering your home and freeing up to time and space. But these 10 things are things I definitely don't miss anymore!

What are things that you hang onto for fear that you might need them one day?

Thoughtful Thursday ~ My Happy Place

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Sometimes you just need a little break from life. 

A break from the crappy monthweek, day that you've had. 

A moment to breathe.

A moment to slow down. 

A moment to forget your troubles.

A moment to yourself. 

What better place to do this than Target, I seriously love this store, it's like a magical little getaway for me :) Starbucks, the cafe, they have those things just for people like me. I mean, who doesn't enjoy a little retail therapy? I know I do! And it's always fun to look around at the other woman with a caramel mocha in their hand and a big grin plastered on their face while in a 'Target hypnotic state' wandering up and down the aisles. I know I'm not the only one who notices this :)

Some people bottle up their frustrations. Some binge eat their feelings. Some drink. Some get angry. Some cry. Others shop. I fall into the last category. None of these are healthy habits really, but I'm not trying to fool anyone, I think we've all done at least one of these before. 

It's amazing to me how much better I feel after spending a few hours minutes wandering around this store. Pushing the cute red cart with a few new things in it. Nothing on my mind. No stress and no worry. I'm in my happy place! 

Happy Place
As soon as I see that red and white bulls eye, I feel better. Most of the time I don't spend over $10 and I usually end up buying essentials like dish soap, hand soap, bread, milk, etc. But that doesn't matter to me, it's just my little break in my favorite store.

If you've read any of my previous blogs here and here, you know I don't like to bring anything into my home that I don't need or love, so that really helps my not to spend money on extra and unneeded things. So window shopping and browsing are pretty harmless for me :) and luckily for me Target is the only store I do that in. Other places I go into, I make sure I'm in and out and on my way. I don't like to dill-dally. So, the 1 or 2 days out of the month that I do go into Target, it's quite the treat!

Plus, I get my 10,000 daily steps in for sure ;) Win!

So, technically, Target is my gym, Target is healthy for me lol! Win!

All I know is that I always feel better when I leave. Win!

Thank you Target for your retail therapy! I feel better :)

What do you do when you need a little 'me' time?

*This is not a sponsored post. I am in no way affiliated with Target. These are my own opinions.

Iced Pumpkin Bars

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

It's official y'all...I'm ready for fall! I'm ready for layers, sweaters, changing leaves, and pumpkin everything lol! The cooler evenings, that crispness in the air, I love this time of year. Almost every other pin I see on Pinterest is pumpkin related, so to kick things off, I'm joining the crowd, and making one of my all time favorite pumpkin desserts, Iced Pumpkin Bars. 

These are seriously SO GOOD! And it's such an easy recipe to make from scratch. I'm pretty sure you can't mess these up. I've been making these for a long time and always get asked for the recipe, and I am always happy to share it.

Here's the recipe for the Pumpkin Bars...

15oz. pumpkin, 4 eggs, 2 cups sugar, 1 cup vegetable oil, 2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 tsp salt

                           Mix together pumpkin, eggs, sugar and vegetable oil until combined.

Add in flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt and mix on low for about 30 seconds.

Scrape sides and mix again on medium speed for about 1 minute until batter is smooth.

Prepare 13x18 baking pan by evenly coating with non stick spray.

Spread batter into prepared baking pan.
Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 20-25 minutes

Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack about an hour.

Here's the recipe for the Cream Cheese Icing...

1 cube butter, 8oz. cream cheese, 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla 

Add melted butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla to the mixer.
Mix on low for 30 seconds and scrape the sides.

 Mix again on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes until it's smooth.

Spread the icing onto of the cooled cake.

Cut into bars and serve. 
These can be refrigerated and served cold too!

Yield: 40 bars

Ingredients: Pumpkin Bars
  • 1 15oz. can pumpkin ( I like Libby's)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Ingredients: Cream Cheese Icing
  • 1 cube salted butter, melted
  • 1 8oz. package cream cheese, room temperature 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar 
Directions: Pumpkin Bars
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Spray 13x18 sheet cake pan with non-stick cooking spray
  3. Mix together pumpkin, eggs, sugar and vegetable oil until combined
  4. Add in flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt and mix on low for about 30 seconds.
  5. Scrape sides and mix again on medium speed for about 1 minute until batter is smooth.
  6. Spread batter into prepared baking pan.
  7. Bake on 350 degree for 20-25 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back when lightly pressed down.
  8. Let the cake cool on a cooling rack for about an hour. 
Directions: Cream Cheese Icing
  1. Melt 1 cube of butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds
  2. Add melted butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla to the mixer.
  3. Mix on low for 30 seconds and scrape the sides.
  4. Mix again on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes until it's smooth.
  5. I use an off set spatula and smooth the icing all over the top of the cake.
  6. Cut into bars and serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator and serve cold. They are delicious both ways!

Enjoy with an ice cold glass of milk, or a delicious pumpkin latte :)

Life is Quiet...A Day in the Life of an Infertile

Monday, August 24, 2015

Sometimes it just helps to talk about it...
I wake up peacefully on my own. No alarm, just the early morning light and my body’s internal clock telling me to get up. Life is quiet. What would it be like to be awoken by a sweet baby’s cry? Or maybe an excited toddler bouncing on my bed in footie jammies and messy pigtails saying “I wan’t chocolate milk and pancakes Mommy!” Instead, there is silence.

I roll over put my glasses on and check my phone. I look at updates from Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest, the same thing every morning. I 'like' my friends posts that make me smile. I wish that I had an adorable picture of my kids sitting at the table with milk mustaches to post. I don't.

I get up, open my curtains and make my bed. I get dressed and put my pjs in the hamper. I walk down the hall and glance into the spare room where I always hoped a crib would be, and inside it, a chubby little bundle with a sleepy little face and a gummy smile waiting for me to pick her up. Instead a queen sized bed sits there, untouched, and the room looks exactly the same as it did last night when I went to bed. Further down the hall is the office with a desk and sewing table. No twin beds with giggly kids. No clothes on the floor, no books and no toys laying around. It’s the same as the spare room. Clean, orderly and empty.
I go into the bathroom and I wash my face, put in my contacts and brush my teeth. I have to smile a little when I look at my mirror. It’s water spotted. My niece and nephew were here last night and every time they leave my house my bathroom mirror is water spotted from them washing their hands. I wipe down the mirror and counters, clean the toilet and sweep the floor. Now the bathroom matches the rest of the house. No signs of a child here. No water spots. No toothpaste in the sink. No rubber duckies in the bathtub. Nothing. Just clean.

I grab my laundry hamper and put a load of laundry in the washer, 5 shirts, 5 pairs of panties a bra and a pair of shorts. I stay on top of my laundry so it really doesn't pile up. I don’t have mountain of laundry on my couch, with Disney princess shirts and dresses falling every which way. I don’t find bugs, sticks and who knows what all inside the pockets of little grass stained jeans before I put them into wash. I don’t get the frustration of matching 50 pairs of socks. And folding clothes, I actually enjoy doing that. My house work is minimal.

Next is breakfast and it’s is over as fast as it begins. A bowl of oatmeal and fruit. Done. I unload the dishwasher and then put my one dirty spoon and one dirty bowl into the dishwasher. I spray my counters down and look out my window at the neighbors in front of me. She’s already outside chasing around her 3 little boys in the front yard. Their ages are 1, 2 & 3. One is on a trike wearing a cape and riding as fast as his little legs will pedal. One is running around in his superman jammies with a water gun. And the baby is toddling around in the grass with a bottle trying to keep up with his brothers. I can’t help but smile. Her life is full of busy boys with endless energy. My life is quiet. I finish cleaning up the kitchen, and put the clothes into the dryer.
I sit down in my recliner, read up on a few blogs and then turn on Netflix. After an episode or two of Grey’s Anatomy, my current Netflix binge, I get the clothes from the dryer, fold them and put them away. What would it be like to have a little rosy-cheeked kid to help me fold laundry and then accidentally drop it and scatter it on the floor on the way to the dresser? I think of when I was little and would sit on parents kitchen table and “help” my mom fold washcloths, I loved helping her. I grab a microfiber cloth and furniture polish and dust my bedroom, spare room, office, my hall, living room, kitchen and dining room. It takes me about 15 minutes. 

Before I make my lunch I go outside and turn on the flood irrigation to water my backyard. I can almost hear giggling kids running through knee-high water, splashing and playing. I make myself a sandwich, and put pretzels, fruit and a multivitamin on my plate. I sit down in my living room in front of the tv and watch another episode of Grey’s and eat my lunch. Afterwords, I put my one dirty fork, one dirty knife and one dirty plate in the dishwasher. I wonder what it would be like to be wiping off dirty faces and cleaning peanut butter and jelly from the table, chairs and floors. And I’m sure there would be a few orange fingers to clean too after I catch them sneaking into the bag of Cheetos again. But the kitchen is clean and the table is clean.

I go back outside and turn off the irrigation water and then I pull a few weeds on the way back to the house. I look at my cute little flower garden and imagine sweet little hands picking flowers and handing them to me. I would put them in a vase and display them proudly. A rose, tulip or dandelion, it would’t matter to me, as long as it's given with love it will be received with love.
It's a beautiful day so I decide to go on a walk. I love the fresh air and quiet path that runs behind my subdivision. Just me and the sunshine, the ducks on the stream. I enjoy the peaceful time to myself and smile at the mom who jogs by me with a double stroller and a dog. Seriously, there isn't hardly a time I'm not reminded that I'm childless. I make my way back to my house with sunshine on my shoulders and a thankful heart, being infertile isn't the worst thing in the world. At times its harder to accept, but today I have peace.
I go inside and start prepping for dinner. I put potatoes in the oven, chicken in some marinade and start chopping vegetables for a salad. I need to go to the store to pick up some french bread. I get in my car and go. No kids to round up, no diaper bags to pack, no carseats to buckle. It's just me and my wallet and I'm out the door.

While at the store I see kids running circles around their mom. A kid begging his mom for a doughnut. A baby girl screaming in her car seat while her mom is quickly trying to make a bottle. Then I saw the cutest little boy sitting in the cart swinging his legs and singing to his mom, it was so sweet.

Kids and babies are everywhere, and once again I am reminded of how quiet my life really is. I could go all day if I wanted to and not hear a single word. No music, no tv, no phone, nothing. But I wouldn't choose that because that just seems depressing. 
I am back home with the bread 10 minutes later. I sweep my already clean floors, and finish dinner. My husband comes home from work and we sit down at the table and eat dinner. We talk about our day and then I clean up the kitchen and dishes. I didn’t have to say “you have to eat 4 more bites,” or “you have to try it, just take one bite,” or “come here, sit down, and finish your peas,” or “if you just take one more bite, I’ll let you have some ice-cream later.” No bargaining, no threatening, nothing. I put dirty two plates, two dirty forks, two dirty knives, two dirty drinking glasses, two dirty bowls and two dirty baking dishes in the dishwasher and run it. I wipe down the counters, take out the trash and then sit down in, you guessed it, my recliner in front of the tv.

My husband and I watch Netflix, and look at our phones. I check my social media and blogs again. I shower, wash my hair, dry the shower out when I’m done and put my dirty clothes in the hamper. I walk back down the hall towards the living room and look into the guest bathroom where I thought I’d bathe and dress my children. It has a huge counter and lots of storage, perfect for changing babies and storing all those baby related items. Instead it’s filled with makeup, towels, hair products, and Costco size bags of extra toilet paper. I go through the house and turn off all the lights and lock the doors and dry my hair.
I go back into our bedroom and pick up my husbands dirty clothes, put them in the hamper and wipe the shower down again after his shower. No matter how hard I try there’s just some things that he wont do! I guess he’s my giant man child haha! I brush my teeth, take out my contacts, put on my moisturizer and climb into bed. A quick smooch from my hubby and he’s snoring before his head hits the pillow.

I say my prayers and thank God for my health, my family and my blessings. I try not to dwell on the fact that I didn’t get wrestle wiggling kids into footie jammies. That I didn’t get to tuck them into their cute little beds and hear their sweet prayers. That I didn't get to read them a bedtime story and kiss them goodnight. That I didn’t get to rock a sweet baby to sleep. That I didn’t get to lay her down in her crib and look at what a miracle my husband and I made. Instead, I lay my head down on my pillow, feel a hot tear run down my cheek, and then I fall asleep and I dream of a life that isn't so quiet.
I am happy and content 99% of the time. I love the life that God has made for my husband and I. But there is that 1% that sneaks up on me and leaves me sad. Usually it's this time of year, when the kids are going back to school and the holidays are right around the corner. Pictures of excited little faces seem to flood my newsfeed. And it's easier to imagine my life if I had children, what they'd look like, how old they'd be and where they'd be in school. Thankfully these thoughts don't spring up and occupy my mind all the time. They used to and that was torture. I was a miserable person. I’ll say it again, I am so thankful for peace!
I’m not going to pretend that it doesn't hurt when I hear someone complain about their children or an unwanted pregnancy. Tears still sting my eyes when I hold a brand new sweet baby all swaddled up. My heart still aches at the thoughts that I won’t have any children of my own and that I won’t have grand children to love and spoil. I feel like a failure that I won't be able to give my parents little grand babies to love and spoil, they won't ever be able to know what it's like to be called grandma and grandpa. My life is so quiet and probably always will be.

I am lucky enough to be a stay-at-home-wife. My husband goes to work and I stay home. I have so much time to myself. So much time to think. Time to thank God for his blessings and my friends that I confide in. Time to pray for peace, contentment and for his will to be done. I am at peace with not having children. I have accepted that it’s just not meant to be. God must have other things for me to do, other things than being a mom. I am genuinely happy, and I am so grateful.
It has been almost 11 years since my husband and I began our life as husband and wife. We started our TTC journey as soon as we were married. We knew what we wanted and that was to be parents. It just wasn't meant to be. I still occasionally get my hopes up and I think that's normal. Miracles happen everyday, and I am not about to forget that!
I still feel like I’m 18, there’s no way I’m really pushing 30 right? Nothing big, or significant has happened. Nothing marks time for me. I know I’m aging the gray hairs and little lines on my face tell me so, but why don’t I feel any different? It could be that I do the same things day in and day out. I worked away from home for 7 years of our marriage so things used to be a little different. My house was a little messier. We ate out for dinner way more often and I was definitely more tired. But really everything feels the same. 

If you take anything away from this, let it be this. Please don’t take your children for granted. There are so many people who would love to get the chance to have a baby and be parents. People who would spend thousands of dollars just trying to conceive. It comes so easily for some, and others try and try and nothing happens.

Please be kind to people who are struggling with infertility. Questions like “When are you ever going to have children?” "How long have you been married? Wow you should have a litter by now!" or comments like “You know you’re not getting any younger!" "You're so lucky you don't have kids, It must be nice to do whatever you want." hurt, really hurt. We may smile, or laugh and seem fine, but it hurts. What you don't realize is the millions of tears and prayers that have been pouring from us, begging God and whoever might listen, for a chance. That "nice life" we have at times feels empty and so incomplete. The anger, the sadness, the bitterness, the isolation, the hope, the disappointment, the mind games you play with yourself, are devastating. There are so many emotions, it would make your head spin. So until you’ve lived it, you’ll never really understand. It's not a club I would ever want anyone to have to join. Just love us and pray for us.

101 Things To Blog About

Monday, August 17, 2015

Blogging is fun, coming up with topics to blog about, ahhh,  sometimes that's hard. We've all had writers block from time to time. Here's a list of ideas that hopefully will help keep you blogging and give you something new to write about.

1.  What was your favorite vacation? Where is your dream vacation destination?

2.  Top 10...this could be beauty items, hair care, fashion, places to visit, etc.

3.  Take us on a tour of your home and take lots of pictures.

4.  Just another day. Photo blog your day and what you do. Take a picture ever hour or so. This is a fun one!

5.  You're favorite recipes and cooking traditions.

6.  Most embarrassing moment. Don't leave out any details, we've all got one...or more ;)

7.  Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

8.  What are your guilty pleasures?

9.  Favorite shows and movies to watch on Netflix.

10.  Date night ideas. What's you're ideal date night?

11.  Do you have a special talent? Tell us about it.

12.  Favorite thing to do when you need a little me time. And yes vegging out in front of the TV counts!

13.  Travel tips. How about international travel? We all love tips and tricks to help make our lives easier.

14.  Cleaning and organizing. How do you do it?

15.  DIY tutorial about anything you're good at.

16.  Why and when did you decide to blog? Tell us all about the beginning.

17.  Favorite books and authors. Is there a specific genre you enjoy?

18.  Worst purchases and why? Help save us from making the same mistakes.

19.  Tell us about your significant other and how you met. We just love love stories.

20.  How does your garden grow? Take us on a tour outside of your home.

21.  Show us your fur babies. And tell us how they came to be yours.

22.  Write a letter to your past teenage self? What's the advice you would give yourself?

23.  If you could spend a day with a love one who has passed, who would it be? What would you talk about and do?

24.  Biggest regrets or mistakes. This can be painful, but it's real.

25.  Share your bucket list! And what you've checked off of it.

26.  Make a firsts list. Tell us about your first date. First kiss. First car. First job. Oh the memories...

27.  What's on your mind right now, just write it down.

28.  Tell us about the 5 most interesting people you know.

29.  Share with us your favorite blogs, or YouTube channels that you just can't get enough of.

30.  What are your favorite hobbies?

31.  What's the best advise you've ever received.

32.  Tell us about your favorite holiday, and how you celebrate it.

33.  Tell us about your favorite season and why you love it.

34.  Review a product, app, movie, book, etc.

35.  What is your dream occupation? Or are you living the dream?

36.  Have you ever met someone famous?

37.  What's the most random gift you've ever received.

38.  Write about what you're really passionate about. Let it come from the heart.

39.  Write a thank you letter to some one who has impacted your life and really made a difference.

40.  Make a list of other people things that are offered for free. For instance fonts, backgrounds, printables, etc.

41.  Tell us about your community and why it's great?

42.  Have a contest and give away a free gift! People love winning something.

43.  Write a motivational or inspirational post. It's nice to read something positive and uplifting.

44.  Tell us a secret or your bad habits. Just like the most embarrassing moment, we've all got them.

45.  Let your followers know you care. Thank them!

46.  Let us know what social media you use and how we can follow you.

47.  What are your favorite apps and why?

48.  If you could have a talent what would it be? Artist, athlete, entertainer, designer, etc.

49.  Share you're favorite posts and remember to give credit where credits due. When you use someones post, quotes or photos, make sure and give them credit. Thank you for the pretty free watercolor background that I used in this post!

50. Tell us about your exercise and wellness practices. What are your tips to get started?

51.  Make a list of the 10 best. For instance, exercises for a better butt, ab workouts, killer arms, etc. We all love a good workout.

52.  Make a list of things you want to do before your next birthday. For instance, 30 before 30.

53.  Give us photography tips. Everyone could use a little brushing up in that area, especially us bloggers.

54.  Tell us a funny story. This could be true or fictional. Really make us laugh!

55.  Gift ideas for a special someone. Teacher, nurse, co-worker, parent, sibling, etc.

56.  What are your favorite foods and restaurants to visit?

57.  Tell us about your dream home. What does it have that your current home doesn't.

58.  Trying to make a decision about something? Make a pros and cons list.

59.  Are you a successful eBayer? Give us eBay buying and selling tips.

60.  Tell us about a past project you've completed successfully. Renovation, home improvement, school, weight loss, etc.

61.  Make a 'I am thankful for ____' list. It's a good reminder.

62.  Write a list of 'creative uses for ____' list. This really could be about anything.

63.  Have you been on a fun road trip? Tell us the top places to stop and see.

64.  Before and after product review or makeover. Remember to take pictures.

65.  Who do people think you are? Who you actually are.

66.  Make a list of your top pins on Pinterest.

67.  Do you like to thrift and buy second hand? Show and tell us some of your best finds.

68.  Are you good at fixing things? Let us know and write a how to tutorial.

69.  Tell us about your favorite childhood memories.

70.  Do you have any fears? Irrational or not, they can really get to you.

71.  Are you good at mixing drinks? Give us tips and tricks along with your favorite drink recipes.

72.  Write a short story or poem.

73.  Rants and Raves. Just don't be too mean.

74.  If you won the lottery what would you do with the money?

75.  Write a list of items that you can live without. And what are the things that you can't imagine being without.

76.  Did you make any New Years resolutions? Have you kept them? I know I haven't.

77.  Have you ever saved someones life? Tell us about that.

78.  If we came to your town, what are the things we should do? What restaurants must we visit? What are the 'must do's' in your city?

79.  Write an in depth post about you, 'getting to know me'.

80.  Tell us about your best friend.

81.  Introduce us to your child/ren. Please don't give out personal information.

82.  Write about where you volunteer and what you do to help.

83.  Fails! Pinterest and other DIY disasters. I know I have a few of those :/

84.  What are your favorite go to paint colors? I'm always looking for a beautiful neutral gray.

85.  Make a list of how to be more positive and have a better outlook on life.

86.  Tell us about your morning routine.

87.  Give first time moms some tips. Must haves, tricks to survive the first 2 weeks, etc.

88.  I made us the things that you did yourself. We all love a DIY'er. Link the tutorials you used or write your own.

89.  Give out your best advice on something. Blogging, travel, shopping, etc.

90.  Ladies: what men should know about women. Gents: what women should know about men.

91.  What are your favorite sports and sports teams? Do you play or are you a die hard fan.

92.  Got a good story about how you got out of a speeding ticket?

93.  Do you struggle with a medical condition? Sometimes it helps to talk about it.

94.  Did you have a birth plan? Did you have a natural labor? Hospital, birth center, home birth etc.

95.  Tips on how to landscape. Make a list of your go to trees and plants.

96.  Have you traced back your family history? Do have any famous relatives?

97.  Let us know what's on your playlist. Workout music, what do you play at parties, what do you listen to when you need to relax, etc?

98.  Advice on how to have a strong marriage. How do you encourage each other?

99.  Are you athletic and health conscious? Give us advice on how to train for a marathon, info on body building, cycling, endurance, etc.

100.  Tips on building and designing a blog or website for non-designers.

101.  Make a list is blog topics. People really seem to like those ;) 

Hopefully this gives you some new ideas. Good luck and happy blogging :)

Thoughtful Thursday ~ Where There's Smoke

Thursday, August 13, 2015

My heart is hurting. My stomach is in knots. The mountains surrounding my hometown and where I grew up, are on fire. Over 220,000 acres have burned and it's still growing. Soda Fire 2015. A horrible inferno caused by lightening. It's one of the largest fires in the nation right now. It has been burning since early Monday morning. 
Photo by Frank Sorger view from Lake Lowell
Many of my friends and family have livestock that graze in those mountains. Ranches, homes and cabins have been threatened. Several people have been evacuated. Roads and highways have been closed. Buildings have been destroyed and animals have been lost. It's such a devastating thing to see.

Photo from Soda Fire 2015 Facebook Page
Photo by Dan Roeser
The firefighters are working hard to try and contain it and many of them are people I know fighting the fire and trying to protect their land. The air is thick, brown and so smokey. Ash is falling down. When you are on the highway you can't even see those beautiful Owyhee mountains, just a thick blanket of smoke. And those flames, they are visible for miles. 
Photo by Charlene Aycock view from Lake Lowell
Photo by lawde13
Photo by Debbie Cleaver view from Eagle, ID
Photo by Kallie Roeser at Roeser Ranch
I am normally an optimist, but I just can't seem to get passed this. I am so sad. I've been glued to my tv watching the news reports and live broadcast. Facebook is a constant stream of videos and pictures of fire, devastation and close calls.  

Photo by David Branin the Owyhee Mountains
I am praying for my community, my family and friends who have been affected, and for all those who are fighting this fire. Wind gusts and dry lighting are expected tonight. I just hope God sends us rain. Pray for Idaho. 

Photo by Toni Slack the mountains Monday afternoon before the fire grew to over 220,000 acres

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