May
05
2017

Family Life Friday

IMG_3684I have 2 daughters and I want more than anything for them grow up knowing they are strong, independent, and capable of anything they set their minds to. Sometimes that seems overwhelmingly difficult while raising them in a world that feels chaotic so often now. There are so many messages out there for them to take in, and many of them are not the ones I want them to hear.

So in an effort to empower them, and myself, I organized a self-defense class for mothers and daughters at a local TKD place. It was 2.5 hours of kicking, punching, learning out to get out of different holds, learning an attacker’s weaknesses and our strengths. At the end of the session, we all broke boards! We kicked and punched our way through those suckers!! It was incredibly fun and so, so empowering to know that we could do it.

Now both of my girls are interested in taking up TKD because they loved the experience so much! While that might be a possibility if I’m able to fit it into our after school schedule, I’m also thinking about other things we can learn together to better ourselves in different ways.

I’m thinking survival training! Starting fires with and without flint… How to make a shelter… What to eat in the wilderness… How to use a real compass! I think these would all be amazing skills to learn myself and to have the kids learn. I’m going to look into it for this summer!

If you could take a class in something new or off-beat, what would it be?

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Apr
21
2017

4/21/17 #FridayReads #FamilyReads

FridayReadsHappy Friday!! It’s been a long week and I’m heading into an even longer weekend with not 1, but 4 soccer games on the schedule. And 2 practices too! Yikes. As much as I love watching my girls run around on the field, each game means showing up 45 minutes early for a warm-up practice. The best part of the that is I get to sit sidelines and read until the game starts, so really, it’s a win/win for all of us!! WhooHoo! So what am I reading this weekend? Here goes:

My reads:

  1. Sand: Omnibus Edition by Hugh Howey — I love this author and have read a few other books of his. This one is also set in an alternate future, but this time it’s full of… Can you guess it?… Sand! It sounds lame when I say it that way, lol, but it’s honestly a really fun read. There are sand divers who are basically treasure hunters and the whole world is a giant shifting sand dune. It’s pretty cool and worth checking out if it sounds like your kind of genre.
  2. Red Rising by Pierce Brown — I’m listening to this one on Audible and it’s fantastic! It’s the first of a series. Hubs is also reading the series but he’s already on book 3. I’m looking forward to listening to all the stuff he’s been enjoying. The narrator has a great voice and the story is full of twists and turns that are completely captivating. I’d say, if the book doesn’t grab you immediately, give it to halfway before deciding if it’s for you or not. The story changes and develops so much that it’s sometimes hard to remember that the story I started reading at the beginning is still the same one now. So good!

 

My kids’ reads:

  1. Fablehaven book 4 — Oldest daughter is reading this series and loving every minute of it. She’s a huge fantasy fan and has read as many series as I can find her. This one is definitely holding her attention and she keeps telling me how good it is! If you have a reader who loves fantasy, then maybe these are worth checking out.
  2. Wings of Fire book 4 — Youngest is just starting book four of this series. My older one read these over the last year or two and totally loved them so I’m really happy to see the younger one take an interest in them too. We’ve also shared this series with a bunch of friends with kids the same age (late elementary/early middle-school) and all the books come back smiling faces! So far we haven’t found anyone who doesn’t like the series! I wish I could tell you more about this series, but I haven’t read it myself. All I know is it’s about Dragons, Dragons, and more Dragons!

What’s on your reading pile for this weekend? I’m always looking for recommendations and new authors to try!! Let me know what you’re reading in the comments!!

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Mar
22
2017

#WritersLife – The Planner…

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Last year’s planner is on the left, this year’s is on the right. I love that they are customizable!

Last year I started using a planner to help me organize both my home life and my #WritersLife, and the results are better than I ever hoped. Not only does the planner keep me on track, I look forward to writing in it each week, and every time I bring it out I’m more productive than I would have been otherwise! And it’s super cute too!!

The planner I fell in love with is an Erin Condren one, but there are a bunch of different options now.  This one just seemed to fit everything I needed and wanted in a planner. There’s a monthly view, weekly view, lined pages, blank pages, and even a pocket at the back.

Weekly layout spread. Love those boxes to keep life organized!

Weekly layout spread. Love those boxes to keep life organized!

I especially love that it has the different boxes for each day. Some could use it as a morning, afternoon, evening break up. However, I use mine as exercise/health, writing, and family. It totally works for me and helps me keep up with all of the demands on my schedule.

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Each week, usually on Sunday, I write my goals for the week down the lefthand side. If I’m in the mood to meal prep that week, those go along the bottom. And every day I fill in what I’ve completed. I love checking things off the list!

Stickers!!

Stickers!!

To make things even cuter, I bought myself stickers! I know, I’m old, but who doesn’t love stickers?!?! Plus they make my planner look even cuter. These stickers I bought on Etsy at Karolinaskrafts and PaperCut Design Co.

Erin Condren planner, carry case, and Frixion pens.

Erin Condren planner, carry case, and Frixion pens.

And let’s not forget these awesome pens. They’re not just any pens. Oh no. These are ERASABLE!!!! Yep, you read that right. I don’t know how and I don’t care why, but I love that I can make a mistake with these colorful pens and clean it up without making a mess of my beautiful planner. I couldn’t do it without them!

So tell me, do you use a planner? What kind? Any useful tips or tricks or goodies that you like to use with yours?

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Mar
15
2017

Living Fearless

Okay, not quite “Fearless” as in totally without fear. I mean, fear is a good thing. It keeps us safe and sound, and makes us question our choices so we’re sure we’re making the right ones. Of course, you don’t want to fall into the trap of being too fearful either, so I’ve been taking more steps to try and become more fearless in my life because more often than not, I fall to the fearful side of things. I tend to overthink, evaluate, speculate, consider all angles. It’s good sometimes, but other times, it’s definitely held me back.

Where did this all stem from? Well, this last few years has been challenging for my family. A few people have been diagnosed with serious illness and it’s made me reevaluate things. Life is too short to waste sitting around missing out on opportunities. Why not live while you can, right? Because you never know when your circumstances might change.

Last summer, we took the family to Banff Canada for a five days to get a taste of mountain living. It was amazing and beautiful and so relaxing. it was also a test of my living more fearlessly philosophy. I’m not a big fan of heights. I’m not a fan of places I can get trapped. I’m not a fan of letting my kids take risks where there is a possibility of serious injury involved. Call me crazy. But in Banff, I put all that aside and went with the moment. At no point were we in any real danger, but I did put myself in situations I found uncomfortable and scary…and ultimately amazing!

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I climbed a rock slide! And so did my girls!! But first we had to cross the floating logs at the bottom. Once we got to the top we were rewarded with an awesome view… and a pathway that would’ve gotten us to the same point but without the risk of falling! LOL.

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We hiked a trail to Constellation lake when there were bear warnings. Oh yeah. BEARS! But we went anyway. And it was awesome.

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Hubs and the girls even made an Inukshuk.

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And climbed across huge boulders without falling into any crevasses.

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If that wasn’t enough, I was even convinced to ride a gondola to the top of a mountain. Okay, so I might have had a small panic attack on the way up, but the view from the top was inspiring and so worth it. I’m glad I didn’t chicken out and miss seeing it with my family!

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This Christmas, the fun continued on a cruise. Remember that thing I mentioned about not liking hikes? Yes, well, I pushed that aside and did the ropes course on the ship. Now I know that wouldn’t be a big deal for many of you, but for me, it was pretty big. The ship is huge, and the ropes course is on top of it. Some of it goes along the side of the ship where you can see all the way down to the ocean below! Did I mention it’s windy up there too?!?!

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But I’m so glad I did it when I had the chance and got to create those memories with my girls. I would have regretted it if I hadn’t!

Do you live fearlessly? I’d love to read some of your fearless moments in the comments!

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Nov
15
2016

#NewRelease — THEN THERE WAS YOU

I’m so, so happy to see Then There Was You finally release!! For those of you who don’t know, this is actually a combined novel of my previously published prepper novellas: Escape To My Arms and Survive For My Love. Once I got the rights back to both stories, I re-edited them to make sure they were exactly how I wanted them, reformatted them to be a two part novel, and gave the whole thing a new cover, done by the amazing Kim Killion at Killion Group.

This book is so much fun!! It’s full of action, adventure, a strong heroine who isn’t afraid to kick some butt if needed, and a hero who’s alpha enough to handle her. I love Sara and Dane together!

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Buy your copy here for only $2.99! 

Sara’s been preparing for this moment her whole life—she just never believed it would actually happen. With her bug-out bag in her truck, her only goal is to meet her family at their hidden bunker and wait out the pandemic that’s hit every major cruise ship port in the US. 

Dane believes he’s safe in his cabin, off the beaten path and in the woods with his own source for water, electricity and an endless supply of food to hunt. After finding Sara stranded and alone, he’ll do whatever it takes to protect the girl who wandered out of the woods and into his life.

With the world in chaos, Dane believes staying hidden is their safest bet, but Sara’s determined to find her family, even if it means risking everything else. Forced to fight for their lives, they struggle to survive long enough to make a future together.

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