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Five Simple Things (January 28)


Here are five things this week.

1. This View.

A lovely view of downtown Portland, Oregon, we took on our way back from purchasing our Thomas school bus. You can follow along with our conversion progress at the link of the top of the blog, or by clicking here. We are thrilled to share the ups and downs of our skoolie progress.

2. These Scones.

We've been eating scones every morning this week and enjoying whipped cream and cream cheese frosting on top. Although I added the blueberries, and mixed the topping, the scone mix and cream cheese icing can be snagged below. Click the image of the scone mix and the frosting.
(All I did for the scone mix was add half a bag of organic, frozen blueberries to the mix and bake. For the whipped cream cheese frosting, stir the frosting to make it fluffy and then fold in the whipped cream. Add to the top of the scones once they are cooled.)

3. These Turkeys.

These turkeys are sort of "famous" in this city. They have literally covered the entire city from north to south and keep multiplying. This is the first time I've seen them on the main street through the city, but mostly everyone leaves them alone. They've shown up in front of our house a few times pecking at the grass, but end up moving along pretty quickly.

4. These Brushes.

I recently made a trip into the Dollar Store here in our city, because I haven't been inside the store in awhile. Skylar took off to the toy section and I headed down the makeup/bath/body area. A lot of the makeup in the Dollar Store is cheaply made, but every once in awhile we find some winners. These makeup brushes were the winner for this trip. They are actually made well and I've already used them a few times to see how my sensitive skin would handle the bristles. No breakouts and less friction and pressure on my skin. They are a plus, in my opinion. Although the ones above are sold out, here are some similar that are a bit more pricey, but contains the exact same shaped contour brushes as pictured above. 

5. These Boxes.

Kiwi Eco Box and Kinder Beauty, two of my current favorite subscription boxes. I love that the Kiwi Eco Box came with a seed calendar and I love that the Kinder Beauty box came with cream blush and face mask. This time of year it's important to keep the skin hydrated and I love that the Kinder Beauty box contains all cruelty-free products. You can snag the Kiwi Eco Box here and the Kinder Beauty box here.

Positive affirmations this week:

Some days I wake up and I'm overwhelmed with a spike of PTSD, depression, or a sense of sadness. I end up on those days laying in bed and crying. Not just tears, but a full on cry that actually hurts to let out. Some of those days I cry for almost an hour. I end up feeling the reason of why I am actually having that moment. My PTSD and depression seem to go hand in hand. I wasn't born with depression, or anxiety, but life sort of dealt that hand to me throughout my life. After the hard cry I got up, took a shower, got dressed, put on make up, ran several errands, baked some cookies with Skylar, made dinner, went for a walk, and the day seemed to correct itself and ended up being an alright day. Either a correction, or a moment that I gave to myself when I needed it. No one was there to comfort me during that moment, but I got through it. There is no shame in having those bad days. There's no shame in crying. There's absolutely no shame in having rough starts to your day. We deal with it, we press on, and we heal. We can do this!

Have a nice weekend.

Five Simple Things (January 21)


Here are five things this week.

1.  This Wreath.

This wreath has been many years in the making. We always pick up a few "treasures" when we go certain places and over time I wasn't sure what to do with them all, until the wreath. I shove whatever it is we found right into the wreath. It has changed so much over the years and right now I really like how it all fits together. I'm sure it will continue to transform as the years go on, and it will always be special to us. We call it our foraging wreath.

2. This Kid.

Skylar had his first week of work and the above pictures are of his first day. I took him to work and we had a good talk in the car about growing up and having to deal with the public. It makes me sad to know that my little boy is now 18, has a job, and graduating high school this year. His first week went well and he is looking forward to growing and learning from AutoZone. Working with the public is tough, but it's a good stepping stone of a job.

3. This Movie.


We went to the movie theater to watch the new Scream movie. I am a huge horror fan, and a huge Scream fan, but this one fell short for me. It followed the Scream movie line and a lot of the main characters were seen throughout the movie, but something was missing for me. I enjoyed the movie overall, but definitely save your movie and wait to see this one once it's out of the theaters.

4. These Masks.

We switched up our mask game this week and changed out our surgical masks for N95 ones from 3M. With the new variants and not really sure what is the truth we will continue to wear ours. Science, or not, as an introvert with high levels of anxiety I enjoy hiding behind a mask. You can get these same masks here

5. This Warning.

This warning scared me a lot this time. Although nothing happened, it still sets me on high alert. All these years of talk of The Big One, every time we get a warning, or even a slight change in the shifting, it worries me. I was on edge all day and into the next day because of this one. There were coastal warnings here that I've only heard one other time since I've lived here, because waves were up to 15 feet for a time. I am glad it didn't create anything significate, but because of the wildfires in 2020, we are always extremely alert to anything like this and have our go-bags ready. Hopefully, we won't have to use them anytime soon, or at all, but just in case. 

Positive affirmations this week:

Work on selfcare this week. Here are some of my own selfcare ideas to help get you started. Although not all of these need to be done every day, picking one or a couple a day can help you stay focused on your own self-improvement. You can edit these options, or copy them down for yourself. Keep in mind, you need to do what's best for you, overall.

  1. Meditate/Alone Time>>20 minutes
  2. Take a Break>>30 minutes
  3. Brain Idea Dump>>10 minutes
  4. One Task at a Time>>60 minutes
  5. Get Outside>>10 minutes
  6. Exercise/Move Body>>20 minutes
  7. Time with Support Network>>45-60 minutes
  8. Spend time with Pets>>20 minutes
  9. Spend time in Garden>>60 minutes
  10. Organize a Room/Area>>60 minutes
Have a nice weekend.

Five Simple Things (January 14)


Here are five things this week.

1. These Cardinals.

I've had these paper Cardinals for some time and came across them cleaning out homeschool papers. I think they fit just fine in the Cat Palm tree leaves, for now. The Cat Palm tree is looking forward to being able to go outside for the season, and we are looking forward to sunny days, too. 

2. This Kid.

This kid had his first job interview this week. He put out several resumes and applications and was losing a bit of his spirit from no one calling him back. Not sure why businesses post "help wanted," or "desperately seeking help," yet none of those businesses call back. The good thing is, this first job interview went well. He landed the job after five minutes into the interview, which I had zero doubt once a company interviewed Skylar they would hire him immediately. He starts on Monday and while those other companies "desperately seeking help" never called him back, they missed out on a great employee. As I told Skylar, "Not everyone gets the privilege to meet you. Those that do, don't regret it." 

3. This Camera.

After my car wreck this past June I have been still struggling with PTSD from the entire incident. I speak a bit about it here. Jeff and Skylar went in together and got me a dash camera for the front of my car and the back of my car to help me ease back into driving without getting overwhelmed with anxiety. They took the time this week to install it and we went for a drive to see how well it covered the surroundings outside the car. I like the fact that there is a second set of "eyes" on the road, but it will still take some time still to feel 100% comfortable behind the wheel again. Not sure the feeling will every go away given how most people drive, but we're looking for progress, not perfection, and I'm okay with that. One thing is for sure, these camera do help me feel like someone is always watching around me. Here are the models I have: Front and Back.

4. These Boxes.

I received a sample of Splenda and Splenda with stevia leave extract this week to try out. I enjoy the fact that the stevia leave extract sample was GMO-free, but the other isn't at all what my normal diet consists of. It's a great product if you're trying to cut back on your sugar-intake, but going with an organic, or even real sugar (in moderation) is a better option for overall health. I appreciate the opportunity to test these products and all views are mine when it comes to sharing my opinion. If you want to give these varieties a try, you can purchase the regular Splenda Zero Calorie Sweetener here and the Splenda Naturals with Stevia here.

And, this month's Mighty Fix was donut bag clips. I was a bit skeptical of these before receiving them, but they are amazing! I love the fact that they are solid wood and work for a variety of bags. I even used one on top of Eleven's cat treat bag. If you would like to sign up for this monthly subscription, you can sign up here.

5. This Moth.

This week Skylar's moth, Bear, emerged from her cocoon into a beautiful Isabella tiger moth (Pyrrharctia Isabella). She went from a Wooly Bear Caterpillar to beautiful species. We watched her from the time of her cocoon starting to her emerging. Unfortunately, she won't live long inside or outside. Her emerging too soon means it's still way too cold to put her back outside. We rescued her from the highway and kept her secure and safe inside of Skylar's snail habitat. She apparently was safe and comfortable and went into transformation. After reading more about Wooly Bear Caterpillars, sadly they only live one to two weeks, three if they are lucky. We hope Bear is with us for a long time. We love how she trusted us enough to transform, but we are disheartened that it was too early for the season and she has to stay inside. It's unfortunate because she won't be able to breed and carry on her own unique traits. We hope she enjoys her stay with us, though. We plan on treating Bear like the moth queen that she is.

Positive affirmations this week:

Set your intentions each week/day. You can either do this the night before and have your intentions for the following day be lined out, or set your entire month's intentions at the beginning of the month. A few ideas of intentions to set could include: 

  1. Hours of Sleep >8
  2. Morning Habit>Gratitude practice, journaling, stretch, or write your to-do list
  3. Hours of Working>********
  4. Exercise, or Movement>Stretch, walk, HIIT, gym, yoga
  5. Evening Habit>New hobby, read a book, call a loved one, have a bath/shower
  6. Winddown at Night>1 Hour, 2 Hours, 3 Hours
  7. Deep Work>1 Hour, 2 Hours
  8. Selfcare Days>Mon, Tues, [Wed], Thurs, Fri, Sat, [Sun]
  9. Electronics-free Day>Sat, Sun
  10. Me Things>New shoes, chocolate, fresh flowers, pedicure, alone time, etc.
Have a nice weekend.

Five Simple Things (January 7)


Here are five things this week.

1. This Sunset.

Sometimes the sunsets here are on fire. I like to refer to the pink/red sky at night as the Meirezsky.

2. These Beans.

Wouldn't be the New Year without a bowl of black-eyed-peas.

3. This Kitty.

Eleven helped me most of the time cleaning up from the holidays. She followed me from room to room watching and supervising. Even though she's not a kitten anymore, she still loves to play until she crashes out. 

4. This Wrap-up.

January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021 wrapped up with 1 Second Every Day. This app has helped me a great deal with remembering all the good throughout the month or year. It's such a good reminder to see at the end of each month all the good things that happened. You can get this app here and start this year with recording one second of your day all year.

5. These Gifts.

On December 25 Skylar opened his last advent calendar bag contents. We have been doing an advent calendar for the last three years, and it's become a big part of the Christmas countdown for him.

Along with the advent calendar for Skylar we also like to use the new year to purchase new shoes for us all. We also do a few scratch-its just for fun. The shoes here are Adidas Cloudfoam and you can snag them here.

Positive affirmations this week:

It's a new year and a new chance to set the year off right with positive intentions and things to create a better you. It is not selfish to think of yourself ahead of others when it comes to taking care of yourself mentally and physically. Here is a calendar from Action for Happiness for January 2022 to help get your started on a great month and a happier and kinder to yourself year. You can download the month-to-month calendars from their site here.

Have a nice weekend.