Getting Chilly, Gearing Up!

Fall has fallen on the foothills of the Rocky Mountains! There be snow in them thar hills! And, since this is Colorado, I can bundle up in the morning and tear 4 layers off by afternoon, only to replace them the moment the sun slips behind the mountains! It’s a great time for thick, creamy soup. And warm, gooey things. Potato stuffing.

NOPE!!! Not this chyck!

It is a bummer, on some level, to not enjoy that gooey cheese or buttery cinnamon goodness. But, something that has hit me this week (while I was extremely cranky from a lack of Plexus) is that food still somewhat controls me. That these are health choices, not predetermined programs. I CAN choose to walk the path, avoid the ______ that will give me tummy issues and throat issues and joint pain issues, etc., etc. Much of the ickyness has been my own bad choices, some purposely and some “spur-of-the-moment-I’m-aggravated-and-this-will-make-me-feel-better” types. No matter what tools you use (Plexus, work outs, etc.) YOU still need to keep that focus of health, that’s something I’ve missed all these years (slow learner, anyone??) Health is worth the sacrifice; and is it really a sacrifice to be healthy? I am the one, along with the 4 P’s, who makes these choices.

PRAYER
PERSERVERANCE
PATIENCE
Plexus

Let’s break it down.

PRAYER

Absolutely the most important priority. If I don’t have time to pray, I don’t have time for anything else. Unfortunately, I spend lots of time wishing I had MADE time to pray. I guess it’s just a fact of life, but I am going to be intentional to seek my Father’s Face and revel in Jesus’ Grace.

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

PERSERVERANCE

Oh, so hard for us lazier folks. We like to sit and watch as others sweat it out, work it off and find it hard to stay on task. How often am I scrambling to get my Bible study done on a Tuesday evening? (Class is Wednesday morning) I call to make the cable payment with 10 minutes to spare. This is not the way to go. Be in the moment; get the job done.

Romans 5:2-4 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice  in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope

PATIENCE

Oh, so elusive! I have never been a particularly patient human. I can’t wait for “what’s next,” no matter what it might be. I’m sure I wished away a billion things with my kids that I should have savored. I’ve stayed awake through nights reading books because, well…I needed to know what happened! I need to sit and know that HE is God. I need to rest in HIS will, whatever it may be, and especially if He’s not giving me great detail. I need to TRUST that He will do what is best, even if I can’t see or agree.

Romans 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

James 5:8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

Those are 3 P’s anyone can embrace. Scripture is full of examples of each one.

My 4th P is Plexus. I believe the Lord dropped these products into my life for this time and His purpose.

With the knowledge base that He has shown me over the past 3 years, I know that this is time to fight, to get strong and to live the life HE gave me!

What valuable tools I have in my journey to reclaim health! I have much to be thankful for. I plan to use them all, especially this next 6 weeks as I participate in a Biggest Loser contest online. I am 10 lbs away from my goal and I cannot wait to make my Plexus “Before and After” widget! I plan on adding my 4 P’s to that!

So, friends, what can you do over the next 6 weeks to work on reclaiming your health? Think on it. I know there’s something you can do!

Weekend Update

It’s a hot weekend here in the Denver Metro area. I’m sitting inside, nice and semi-cool, working on all kinds of neat stuffs (which, unfortunately, does not include a dinner item as of yet). The Youngest Scout is mowing the lawn before his week away at camp. A race is on tonight, and, boy howdy, I’m looking forward to a Kyle Busch sweep. Well, in reality, I always am.

I created our Community Bible Study children’s class craft/lesson schedule, a meal sign up and now I need to add dates to Sign Up Genius. I also, in a fit of technological prowess, made a Periscope and YouTube channel! Wow. I amaze myself sometimes.  Now, you can not only read my life adventures, you can actually hear them, in a full blown New Jersey accent.  I’m hoping in the next few weeks to have some vids about books, Plexus and my new planner up. I can even live stream, but I’m not sure you all want to listen to that craziness.

My new planner: yes, I did order a new one! I went with the personal-planner, and I used my graphics from the blog for the cover. I’m looking forward to filling it up. I think, for me, it was the most bang for the buck, plus I hit a 15% off code on Facebook (see? It’s worth it to follow these pages!) so my planner had a grand total of $33. That included shipping. I’m pleased. I’ll “unbox” it and post the video.

July is the month that I started 2 new home-based businesses. Rushing Wind Media and Plexus.

Rushing Wind Media is the result of my working as social media manager for a friend’s dive shop this past year. I hope to help other small businesses get their social media platform up and running. I had a friend’s very talented daughter create some branding graphics for me and I am just tickled with them. I’m still tweaking the website a bit, but if you want to share some luv, feel free.Blue BG-12

I had a minor kerfuffle with my initial Plexus order which my upline, Jess, fixed for me this morning. Let me backtrack just a second and say that I never, ever, ever thought I’d use the phrase “upline” in any sentence ever in my life. Just a few of the new things that are happening around here these days. It wasn’t even with Plexus, it was with my lame postal delivery. I won’t bore you with too much detail except to say that while I LOVE living in the Big Blue House, there are a few drawbacks to living on a school campus. And, these are only very recent drawbacks. I guess the postmaster likes me to come in and speak to him about my lack of mail delivery in my loud, NJ voice. (not really, maybe) All of that to say, I should have my products this week, and I am very excited to start this leg of my wellness journey. I do have a Plexus Facebook page, and you can follow along there if you’d like information on their terrific products.

In book news, I have a tentative schedule for the release of the next Lakeville books. Yes, books. If you hop over to my author blog, there will be some news on that soon. But, I’m excited to get this new project into print. It’s been rattling around in my brain far too long, now.

So, “excitement” seems to be the word of the day here. And, why not? The Lord has given me so many ways to serve Him and others. It’s an honor to be used by Him, for His glory. Though Community Bible Study, my books, my social media start up business or Plexus, I have equal opportunity to honor Him. And, if that’s not exciting, I really don’t know what it!

 

Planner-paloosa

“Hi, I’m Barb, and I’m a planner-holic.”

Here we are in July, and yes, I have been beginning to obsess about planners. Which is really sort of ironic in that I am more of the flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type of person. But as I get busier in my advanced age, I find myself needing a bit of structure: I am the Children and Youth director at my Bible study, launching 2 new businesses, need to keep two different school schedules for the boys, my hubby’s work schedule at yet another school, what days I watch MAG (Most Adorable Grandboy, in case you’re new around here), and a writing/book release schedule. I’m a bit tired and confused just reading all of that. I love anything (and I do mean ANYthing) to do with paper, notebooks, pens, Sharpies and writing, so I suppose it’s not all that unnatural for me to love planners.

My continuing mission to find the planner that is perfect for ME has landed a few good choices, a few yucky choices and, below, this year’s crop of choices. Past ones have been the $2 Walmart bargain bin options to the customized Erin Condren.  So, here are my opinions on what I have been using this past year and what I’m looking at for next, which I’ll purchase around November unless a really great deal pops up in the meantime. Or, I get impatient, but I won’t mention that possibility. Nope. Not. At. All.

Happy Planner: fun but totally not functional for me; in fact, I haven’t touched it but to move it from my table since April. These are available at craft stores (Hobby Lobby, Michael’s) or online

~ I do NOT like disc bound anything

~ I do like the size

~ Layout is okay, I suppose

~ TOO many extra bells and whistles

~ Price range: $25 for the basic planner, and you can use your Hobby Lobby 40% off coupon

Spark Notebook (which is changing names to InkVolt) which I’ve been using for work…I might like it better if I had a bound one, I’m using the sample that I was able to download from Kickstarter for supporting their campaign. Available online.

~ I like the layout

~ I like the monthly goal list, I think

~ Not crazy about their “inspirational” quotes and stuff

~ Price range: $40

Traveler’s Notebooks from YellowPaperHouse on Etsy. You can spend hours (and hours and hours) scanning all the choices of these Midori take-offs, and I like to support home grown businesses if possible. You need a few essentials with this type of system: a cover, bands and the inserts.

~ Too small, but that was my own fault; I didn’t accurately judge the sizes available

~ I like the daily tracker one, but don’t want to buy one every month or two (it’s probably 3, actually)

~ I hardly use the weekly or monthly ones

~ Price range: $3-$10 for each insert, depending on size chosen

What I concluded from using these is that I like having it all in one book, and definitely a BOOK, not anything disc bound, or 3 ring binder. I think I prefer spiral to bound. It needs to be that A5 size. 8×11 is too big and anything smaller than A5 isn’t useful for me. I like washi tape, and maybe a sticker or two, but I don’t want to, nor do I have time to create a special layout for each month. I don’t want to “create” one, I want it all there. Also, buying an 18 month planner was a bad choice for me.

I’ve been playing with the personal-planner, a UK company. Very easy to create your planner.

~ It’s way easier to design than the Plum Paper Planner, popular on Etsy (I’ve tried several times, I just don’t get it)

~ I like the little modules on the bottom of the pages

~ I love that you can upload something for the cover, and I like their choices

~ I like the extras you can add to the back

~ Nice size ranges

~ Option to add personalized dates/address

~ Price range: $30-$40

Ah! Just when I thought I had it settled, a friend posted about this nifty planner on my Facebook page:

The Hustle Planner and , wow, oh, WOW, does it have some neat features. It’s almost a better version of the Spark, with some extras that would be beneficial and not all that extra inspirational stuff that I didn’t want. It’s a hefty price tag, though, at $60. They do have a fancy ring bound edition (at $84, gulp) and a student version (affordable-ish at $38)

AND…

Brilliant Business Moms has a fabulous planner, with almost everything I wanted in mine, plus extras that I would absolutely use! Oh. My. Goodness! It’s a good thing I did that free webinar about Pintrest for Business 😉 This beauty runs about $50, and you can download the 2016 one now for $25 to see if you’d use it. They also offer free printables to add to the planner. Now, from the way it looked, unless Beth Anne is very tiny, it’s an 8×11 size. But…it’s another option.

I think I’m going to try the personal-planner for 2017. Unless I get the Hustle. Or the BBM. Or maybe…

Share, It’s Polite. TheSkimm “News” Letter

Wanted to share about a terrific little newsletter I discovered. I like to be informed, but frankly, the news wears me out. Or, maybe it’s my husband’s obsession passion about current events and Biblical prophecy that wear me out. In any case, this little gem is perfect for me to keep up with current events without the major news overload or annoyance with Megyn Kelly‘s disdain for non-vaxers and her flowing golden locks.*

theSkimm is all news, no spin. Sometimes a little sassy, but that’s all good. It will come to your inbox Monday-Friday. No plugs, pleads or anything else. Just news. You can sign up with my Skimmbassador link and help me get my tote bag, because, you know, I cannot have enough tote bags 🙂 This is the only referral link you will find on my blog, unless it’s on the sidebar.

Read more Skimm on their website or blog.

Info from their About Me page:

Two friends in our 20s, who hail from New York and Chicago.

Our startup romance is one for the books — we met on a rainy day in Rome while we were both studying abroad in college. We bonded over a mutual love of fried artichokes. What we didn’t know as we struggled to order in Italian, was that we’d reconnect years later working in our own country’s capital. By that point, we had become professional storytellers, as producers for NBC News — working in breaking news, political news, and documentaries. We clicked as colleagues, as friends, and as roommates, and it didn’t take long for theSkimm to take off from our living room couch.

News is not only our career, it’s our passion. Because of this, we have always been the go-to source for friends seeking the scoop on current events or breaking news. We soon realized three things: Reading the news is time consuming; Wanting to read the news is a hobby; lastly, not everyone has the time or interest.

In our spare time (which is rare) we can be found spooking each other with “Law & Order: SVU” marathons and trying to scheme our way into a free Equinox membership.

For two girls who grew up more “Morning Glory” than “The Social Network,” it took a lot of guts, and white wine, for us to make theSkimm a reality.

*DISCLAIMER: I do normally like Megyn and all, but completely disagree with her stance on vaccinations. That is all.

Amazon Goodies Arriving Soon

Quick THM report: I am losing inches and pounds. Not fast, and that is okay. As long as the numbers are going down, the clothes are fitting better and I am feeling great!

th_Yes20Smiley

I have been having so much fun with Amazon the past two weeks 🙂 Along with my very own copy of Trim Healthy Mama, I have some other fun stuffs coming.

Prince of Peace Oolong Tea, 100 bags. Perfect for those Shrinkers.

Vegetable Spiralizer kit. I missed this when it was on a lightning deal for only $3 or some ridiculously low price, but considering everything included, $14 wasn’t bad, either. I also received a freebie ebook via email.

Reditag Divider Notes. Yes, for all your office supply obsessive needs, you can now have divider POST IT notes. Yay, me! (I won’t even mention the newly discovered planner that Chautona posted on her FB page about. No, I absolutely will not.)

Speaking of Chautona, I won a $50 Amazon gift card from her when she held a contest for the release of Deepest Roots of the Heart. Wonderful, romantic historical fiction. I purchased my long awaited nail fun, a set of 7 gel polishes (base, top and 5 colors) and the UV lamp to cure them. Well, the lamp came within 3 days, but I am still waiting for the polishes to travel to Denver. They are due to arrive anytime between Thursday and March 13. Yeah. Hoping they get here before the weekend so I can give my nails a NASCAR manicure to celebrate the 2015 Daytona 500, which reminds me to add this:

Rowdy Nation

 

No, Kyle Busch has nothing whatsoever to do with THM, but I never miss an opportunity to give a shout out to my favorite driver! Maybe, someday, he’ll send me tickets to a race. One can only dream big, right?

I’ll toss in a quick, fun recipe, too.

Roasted Radishes. Yes, you read that correctly.

1 pound radishes, trimmed

2 TBSP good butter

A sprinkle of thyme.

Preheat oven to 375*F. Wash and trim radishes and place in a baking dish.

Melt butter, add thyme, then pour over the radishes.

Roast for approximately 45 mins, until the largest ones are fork tender. I started checking mine around 35. Deee-lish. Really.

 

Have a hap-hap-happy day!

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A Look Ahead

Inspired by some good online friends, here is my 2015 Dream List

 

Spiritual

~ up at 5AM daily

~ prayer journal, daily reading, Bible study*

~ nothing electronic before 8AM*

*inspired by a thirst to be closer to the Lord this year and the book Women Living Well by Courtney Joseph

 

Personal

~ use my planner/food journals daily

~ conquer my aversion/fear of budgeting and financial handling; be a good steward ~ stay on top of meal planning ~ learn the mysterious art of thrifting…we have so many GOOD thrift shops around here ~ make cards…I have too much stuff laying around to not take advantage of

~ learn to make sushi ~ hike to the Royal Arch and then a 10’er or a 10k http://alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/royal-arch-trail

~ ride a horse

 

Ministry

~ be the best Children’s director I can be 🙂

~ call each one of my teachers personally each month (3 per week)

~ evaluate craft tote contents and toss old/unuseable supplies (1 per month)

 

Reading

~ discover at least 4 new-to-me authors this year

~ reread some old favorites that I have been neglecting (Gone With The Wind, The Potter series and maybe some John Jakes.)

~ ONE spiritually focused book per month

~ get through the gazillion or so free Kindle books I’ve picked up

 

Writing

~ finish/publish By The Hand of His Grace

~ edit/publish Angels Unaware

My Pin board of books I am reading/have read this year

 

Do you have any plans/goals/dreams for 2015? If so, and you blog them, please leave a link in the comments! I’d love to see them and encourage each other this year!

 

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Perfect Planner Search: Introducing Life In Line

If you’ve been with me any amount of time you know that I am a “planner addict,” which is contradictory to my fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants outlook on life. Can one be both a control freak and a devil-may-care personality? *don’t answer that* What I do know is, I am NOT, in any way, shape or form, one of those “household binder” gals. Bless them all, it works for them beautifully. Not me. That just adds too much frustration to the FBTSOYP part of me that refuses to be contained.

Planners, however, have always held a fascination for me. Maybe because I like writing things down? I can’t define the illness, only explain the symptoms. I’ve gotten planners small, medium and large. Cheap-ola ones and fairly expensive ones. I’ve tried making my own with free printable pages. Usually, I have a mess of scrap papers in my bag, I try to transfer them into a bona fide planner and find I’ve lost a pertinent piece of info, such as when the camping trip is over and I have to go pick up my sons. My phone app just isn’t enough. I need to write. I’ve been involved in countless discussions via message boards AND real, live friends, about which planners are better than others. I am currently a member on 3 different Facebook “planner communities” after paring down from…well…let’s not worry about all that.

Those pocketbook ones are good for taking notes or taking up space, period. I like big. Legal sized big. I need to keep all sorts of papers in place. As you know, if you read my sporadic prose, a wonderful friend gifted me an Erin Condren planner last March. As you can see, I get a burst of planner-itis then it lays dormant for days or weeks at a time. This is the one reason the Uncalendar holds my attention. If I skip a whole month, well, I won’t have wasted any planner page, right?

Enter Kristi. She’s been an online friend for a decade, and I’m always amazed by her busy schedule and the ability to keep on top of many things at once. She home educates, administrates her local co-op/umbrella school, has ministry obligations, etc. She’s helped me refine several DYI recipes (my bulk taco and chili seasonings are thanks to her expertise in math 01chuckle ). What does Kristi do in her spare time? She created an organizational system!

Life In Line , which is still “in progress” as Kristi continues to tweak the site, seems to offer the best of all the planner worlds out there. First off, Kristi walks you through how the system works via on site video. Second, it’s printable. So, it’s not terribly expensive. You only print what you need. This is both really cool and terribly disconcerting to the average planner addict. I’ve had several conversations with Kristi, expressing my mania anxieties and we’ve come up with a conclusion. I’m willing to give her system a whirl and she’s willing to put up with my eccentricities and I’ll document the whole thing on the blog. I told you she amazes me!

My first step is to replenish my ink and paper supplies. *there always seems to be a step program involved* By virtue of my Bible study, a friend loaned me her paper binder (a neat little spiral binding tool) because I prefer that method. I could change my mind on that, but as of now, spiral binding it is. Now, I need to decide which pages I need to print and start using it as my year of Erin Condren winds down. I did purchase an 8.5×11 PlanAhead 2 Year See It BIGGER planner  (near bottom of page) at WalMart for a whopping $4.95. It’ll make a great base for building my own planner with Kristi’s pages.