Sundays at the Lake – October 2019

Hello, I hope this newsletter finds your heart and soul well.

Ahhhh, October….makes you think of crisp leaves, cool breezes, pulling out your cozy sweaters and jackets, and pumpkin spice EVERYTHING! 

Except if you live in Texas…..where we are still having summer. We are still sweating profusely, just walking to the mailbox. A friend and I recently had lunch and did a little window shopping. We admired the beautiful sweaters and jackets in warm fall colors on display, while still in shorts and sandals. Most of us still have not put away our swimsuits.

I just know the cool air is coming and I’ll be able to pull out my cowboy boots, the ones that don’t have dirt all over them, my sweaters, jackets, and puffer vests and sip hot chocolate as the leaves fall off the trees. I can’t wait. Fall is wonderful.

Here are 10 other things I think are wonderful and are currently bringing me enjoyment or value in no particular order.

1. The 5 Second Rule –  You guys…..this is a game changer. In this book Mel Robbins, explains WHY the 5 second rule works and how to incorporate it into your day to day activities. She gives a ton of examples of how it has worked for her and others. 

I’ve been using it to do the things I don’t feel like doing or am afraid to do and its working (most of the time)! I have started getting out of bed at 4:40 am. Yes, before 5 am! It’s not easy and many days I FEEL like sleeping in but I just count….5, 4, 3, 2, 1….. and pull off the covers and put my feet only floor. Doing this, I have almost 2 HOURS to myself each morning. My husband is usually just leaving for work as my alarm is going off. I use this time to enjoy hot coffee, write down at least 3 things I am grateful for, write in my prayer journal and read my bible. I start a load of laundry, get dressed, and put breakfast on the table. The result: Mornings this year are going much better than last year. I used to roll out of bed and scramble to get everything done and be ready to go on time. There was shouting and tears and we were usually late. I have found that when I start my morning early and in a relaxing way, I have plenty of time to get myself dressed before I wake up my son and we get out the door with smiles on our faces and time to spare! 

2. Using a timer to get things done – Sometimes the piles of laundry waiting to be folded or dishes that need to be loaded and unloaded seems just too much and I walk away thinking, “I’ll just do it later.”  However,  if I set a timer for 15 minutes, I am always amazed how much I get done. Most of the time, I beat the timer. A good playlist helps too.

3. The Roosevelts: An Intimate History on Netflix – This is not something I would typically watch. My husband, a big history buff, was watching it and I joined him. I soon became very interested and have gone on to watch more episodes. History was a dreaded class in jr. high, high school and college. Ken Burns has a way of presenting it where it is actually enjoyable.  

4. Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates on Netflix – I’m a bit on the nerdy side and love documentaries. This one has only 3 episodes so you don’t have to worry about loosing a week of your life if you binge watch. I was fascinated learning about Bill Gates’s childhood, early years at Microsoft, and current projects of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I was inspired to get involved in some cause to make a change. I might not be eradicating Polio in Africa or solving sewage problems in developing countries, but I know something small can mean something big to someone somewhere.  

5. Audible Original, The Mystwick School of Musicraft by Jessica Khoury – My son and I have really enjoyed this musical audiobook. It’s geared toward young readers, but I loved it. We listened in the car  on the way to and from school, but I couldn’t help myself and listened to the ending before my son heard it. I had to find out how the story ended! I’m definitely going to check out more books by Jessica Khoury. 

6. Carbon B&W Studio, Snapseed, and Enlight Pixaloop photography apps – After a very informative workshop on iPhone photography, I finally dusted off my DSLR and sold it. For now, I’m just going to use my phone. I feel new life has been breathed into my desire to get back into photography! I’m anticipating trading in my current phone for the new iPhone 11 Pro and lenses for it. I’m looking at these 2 brands: Moment Gear and Sandmarc. If anyone has other suggestions please let me know.

7. Sunday, our new baby foal. Last month, our mare, Ruby, had a baby. She was born on a Sunday, hence the name, Sunday. Although, she was not planned (sometimes your neighbor has a crazy stud horse that will jump fences looking for a lady friend) we are happy she is healthy. She is precious and soft, frisky, and curious. Like a human baby, she is mouthing everything and curiously checking out new things while staying close to mama. It’s quite entertaining to watch her explore. 

8. Rudy Ruettiger: The Walk On on Prime Video. Yes, another documentary! Like the Bill Gates documentary, this was entertaining and inspirational. I don’t know if you have seen the movie Rudy, but it’s one we have watched over and over and every time I get choked up and cry. What I love about Rudy is his determination. I’m getting curious and want to look more into what makes one person so determined and another person give up. My favorite quote in this documentary is this: “Your key to dreaming is confidence. People don’t care how smart you are. They wanna know how much you care.” 

9. Rodan + Fields – I have been avoiding buying this for years. Everyone I know who has tried it has given great reviews. So, when I met Cathy, a lifestyle blogger and R+F consultant in my writing group, I asked her for some samples and ended up purchasing the Redefine Regimen and Redefine AMP MD system. So far, I have been very pleased. I have been using it for one month and although, I have not seen any dramatic changes, my face feels smoother. Growing up on Texas beaches, I spend a lot of time in the sun, using baby oil to get a super dark tan, so my skin has taken a beating over the years. I’m not expecting to have my wrinkles vanish and look like I’m 20, just wanting to reduce lines and wrinkles and have healthier skin. I’m also enjoying the morning and nighttime ritual of self care. 

10. Scrivener – This has been a game changer for me as a writer. I have been toting around notebooks and scraps of paper filled with quotes, random notes, and ideas for blog posts, presentations and books. This software has helped me eliminate all the paper and organize everything in one place.

I’d love to know what you are finding enjoyable and valuable. Please share!  

Until next time……be well.

Lori

DNF: Did Not Finish

Have you ever jumped into a “classic” or “trending” book everyone is raving about only to find you just can’t get excited about it? You continue plodding through page by page even though it’s a little like torture. You find yourself thinking about all the other books you would like to be reading but you HAVE to finish! You make yourself keep reading. 

This has happened to me on several occasions, most recently with A Wrinkle in Time. I pushed and pushed and finally, about 100 pages in, I decided to call it quits. What is wrong with me?!! What is with the book guilt? Why am I feeling like a failure because I could barely make it through 100 pages of an award winning book?

I asked a Facebook group and received many responses that felt like the permission I needed to put down the book and move on to the next one. In a nutshell, they agreed, life is too short and there are too many good books out there to trudge through one that is not exciting on inspiring to you. 

I have a habit of reading more than one book at a time, so when I am forcing myself to read a book where I’m not tearing through the pages, I feel like I’m kinda robbing myself of time I could be reading a book I enjoy, one that I can’t wait to see what the last page holds but am sad when it actually ends. For me, two books where this was the case are My Sister’s Keeper and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

So if you are currently reading a book that is dull or uninspiring, here is your permission to put it down and move on to greener pastures! 

I’d love to know….What books have you not finished? What book could you not put down?

Until next time…..be well!

Just in Case

There are a lot of minimalists who will tell you “just in case” is not a good reason to keep something. I agree with this most of the time, but I have found a few items that are helpful to have extras of “just in case” an unfortunate situation arises. 

5 items that are nice to have just in case…..

Towels – When your child throws up, it’s nice to have extra towels for cleaning up and laying on the bed “just in case” it happens again. It’s also nice to have extra towels when your water heater leaks or a pipe bursts.

Black Dress/Sports Coat – These are nice to have when an event comes up suddenly and you need something dressy. The last thing you want to do is go shopping before a funeral.

Toothbrushes – Ever accidentally drop your toothbrush in the toilet or find that your child has taken it outside to clean his toys? What about when a guest visits and has forgotten a toothbrush? They don’t take up much space. I like to have extras.

Spare Umbrella – I can’t tell you how many times I have found myself sitting in my car reaching for my umbrella, only to realize I left it at home in a tote. I now have one that stays in the house and one that stays in the car. 

Spare Clothes in the Car – This is mainly for little ones, but I don’t think it would hurt grown ups to have some extras as well. Accidents happen…someone can’t “hold it” any longer, gets sick, has a bloody nose, spills food, etc. It’s so nice to have spare clothes, especially when your destination is not home. (It’s also nice to have extra plastic bags to store the wet/dirty clothes in).

What do you keep just in case? I’d love to hear about it.

Until next time…..be well!

Lori

Sundays at the Lake Newsletter – September 2019

Hello! I hope this newsletter finds your heart and soul well.

In an attempt to share information in a simplistic style, I am going to “steal” the format of Austin Kleon’s newsletter. Mr. Kleon is the author of Steal Like an Artist, Show Your Work and Keep Going. If you are a creative, I encourage you to check out his books. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Here are 10 things that are currently bringing me enjoyment or value in no particular order.

1. In my last post I mentioned Mel Robbins‘ Audible Original, Get Control of Your Life. This audiobook and printable workbook have given me direction and motivation to get moving on my goals. Additionally, I have found myself being far more productive. Next, I plan on reading her book, The 5 Second Rule

2. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on Netflix. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching Phryne Fisher, Australia’s leading lady detective, solve mysteries. Netflix describes her as a glamorous and thoroughly modern woman of the 1920s. I love a good murder mystery, a history lesson, and fabulous costumes. Here is a Pinterest page just about the costumes. 

3. hope*writers Tuesday Teaching – these mini-workshops with editors, agents, authors, and professionals in marketing, have been invaluable. To get information directly from professionals who are currently writing or in the writing business, has encouraged me and given me more direction than I think I could get anywhere else. I was so excited to finally to be able to tune in live last week with Jo Saxton. Looking forward to watching the ones I missed and tuning in to future teachings.

4. Water, fruits, and vegetables – When I make the good stuff easily accessible (cut up in a bowl on the counter) I will eat it! When I load up on the good stuff, there seems to be less room and less desire for the bad stuff.

5. Exercise – I am wanting to lose some pounds and firm up my muscles so I can be healthy and feel comfortable in my clothes. I started out walking, swimming, and doing water aerobics. I have also taken a liking to Jenny Fisher’s 15 minute workouts. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram. I’m trying a Pilates class next week. I’m not really sure what you do in Pilates, but as long as there are no choreographed dance steps I should be ok. I’m very uncoordinated. Long ago when I did Jazzercise, I was always about 4 steps behind everyone else and going the wrong way.

6. Playing Lego City Undercover with my son – This has been so much fun for both of us.  Two can play at once as you go undercover to hunt down an escaped criminal. If you are looking for a fun action game that doesn’t have cursing, sex, and gore, check this one out. 

7. My cast iron skillet. I love this thing and even though I have to wash it by hand and coat it with vegetable oil, I use it nearly every day. Cook, clean, repeat. It’s great for everything from chicken to cornbread.

8. Pilot Precise V5 RT pens – I’m a little obsessed with pens. Well, with office supplies in general. I first found one of these pens in my husband’s truck and although, I typically don’t like a fine tip pen, I love the way this one flows on the paper!

9. By His Grace Podcast – The multi-talented Misty Phillip interviews women who share how they were able to overcome seasons of adversity with God’s grace. I look forward to each new episode and have never been disappointed. If you are struggling, here you will find that you are not stuggling alone. Episodes are typically 30 minutes or less.

10. Jeff Goins‘ book, You are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One). This book is a quick read, yet chock full of information you will benefit from on your journey as a writer. It is a great resource for beginning writers. One of my favorite quotes from the book is, “Believe you are already what you want to be. And then starting acting like it.” Get your highlighter ready. I guarantee you will be taking lots of notes!

I hope there is something from this list you will find enjoyable or valuable. If you do please let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time, be well.

Lori

Be Well Heart and Soul participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. When you click on a link and make a purchase it allows me to earn a little commission without any cost to you.

Scale Down

“Whoa!! It seems my pants have shrunk! Why are they suddenly so hard to button? I bet I put them in the dryer too long.”

Nope. 

According to the scale I rarely step on, I have passed my “can’t go there again” number and need to make some immediate changes!

My body tends to stay in a range that I am satisfied with as long as I keep my exercise and eating at a moderate level. I’ve done great all summer and was feeling pretty good in my clothes. However, with back to school craziness and trying to adjust to a new routine it appears I have surpassed moderate and achieved extreme levels of eating and not moving. My previous work routine had something scheduled nearly every minute of the day. My new, more flexible, schedule has given me time to begin a love affair with junk food, my couch and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Now, it’s time to break up!

Luckily, I know exactly how to get this problem back under control. I do it every time I start getting closer to the “can’t go there again” number. This is the first time in years that I have passed that number. 

The solution is not rocket science, just 4 words: eat less, move more. Here’s the problem, I’ve been saying I’m going to eat less and move more for a couple of weeks but haven’t. 

While folding laundry, loading the dishwasher, and sitting in the carpool line waiting to pick up my son, I’ve been listening to Mel Robbins’ Audible Original, “Take Control of Your Life” and I’m learning WHY I’m not doing anything about my muffin top (it’s actually starting to look more like a souffle) and giving me strategies to get me moving. Kinda the same way she motivated me to get up earlier and stop hitting snooze. 

Yesterday, I took my first step. I actually took several steps. I walked over 2 miles and worked out in the pool for an hour and it felt great. Today, I walked over 2 miles again and tomorrow I’ll go to the pool. The number on the scale hasn’t moved much but I feel a sense of accomplishment and I don’t want to ruin that with cookies and ice cream. 

If you are feeling stuck or your life doesn’t feel like its going in the direction you want, check out Mel’s audiobook and printable workbook. It might give you some insight as to why you are not moving forward or why you are moving backward and give you simple steps to make changes. 

Until next time …be well!

Lori

Be Well Heart and Soul participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. When you click on a link and make a purchase it allows me to earn a little commission without any cost to the reader.

Musical Message

In my last post, I wrote, “I keep second guessing myself, but then remember that when God calls you to do something, it’s not necessarily going to be easy. Of course, then I second guess the calling!!”

Not long after I that, I was driving to the store and the song “Reason” by Unspoken came on the radio. I felt like God was sending me a musical message, a confirmation. I sat in the parking lot, downloaded the song, and read over the lyrics. 

“But God has a plan, a purpose in this. You are His child so don’t you forget.

He put that hunger in your heart. He put that fire in your soul.

His love is the reason to keep on believing.

When you feel like giving up, when you feel like giving in…..

His love is the reason, to keep on believing.”

I have to believe this burning desire to write is what I’m being called to do. 

I’ll confess, I’ve been somewhat reluctant and even embarrassed to tell people that I quit my paying job with good benefits to write for fear they will think I’m crazy. Also, because being a writer doesn’t seem like a real job until you actually get paid or can show someone a book with your name on the cover. (I’m working on that!)

Luckily, my writing group, hope*writers, lets me know I am not alone in my thinking. Additionally, there are several authors who have written books on this very topic…Jeff Goins, Anne Lamott, and Stephen King to name a few I’m reading now.

So, with God in my corner and fellow writers cheering me on, I think about a quote by Jessica Honegger, “When you’ve got a vision, you don’t have time to wait around for your fears to vanish before you start moving.”

So, I guess I’ll just tuck my fears away and keep moving and keep believing.

If you are in a similar situation, I sincerely hope that you won’t second guess yourself and quit on your vision. 

“Life is going by very quickly and if you’re not careful, you’re gonna be 80 years old and have spent your life wishing that you’d gotten your work done.” Anne Lamott

Until next time…..be well.

Lori

Be Well Heart and Soul participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. When you click on a link and make a purchase it allows me to earn a little commission without any cost to the reader.

Being Brave

In my last post, I talked about being brave and writing more authentically, despite my fears of feeling exposed and vulnerable. Sometimes writing the words seems hard and I want to quit because it requires stepping out into the public eye. My introverted self doesn’t like to be in the spotlight. I’m the person who thinks the background singer or the drummer has the best job….the one in the background!! 

I keep second guessing myself, but then remember that when God calls you to do something, it’s not necessarily going to be easy. Of course, then I second guess the calling!! 

Putting words on paper (or a computer screen) doesn’t seem exceptionally hard, but every single word is like a little piece of yourself, something you created being sent out there for people to read and judge. 

Luckily, I have come across a woman whose bravery is so big it makes me feel silly about my fears. Her bravery inspires me to move forward and keep writing. Her name is Lizzie Velasquez. Lizzie is a worldwide motivational speaker and author. She has a TEDtalk with over 9 million views and an amazing documentary. I don’t know Lizzie personally, but from what I have seen, despite her tiny body (due to a syndrome that keeps her from gaining weight), she has a huge personality. She is smart and funny and I’d let her come style my closet any day! Plus, she is a Texan girl like me.

When Lizzie was in high school, she came across a YouTube video entitled, “The World’s Ugliest Woman.” She clicked on the link and was shocked to see images of herself! She was crushed after reading hundreds of hateful comments calling her a monster, saying that her parents should have aborted her, or that she should kill herself! After many, many tears, her sadness eventually turned into anger and she fought back in a most brave way. She began her own YouTube channel! Talk about being in the spotlight. She should be called the BRAVEST woman in the world!

Lizzie decided not to let her outward appearance or negative comments define her. She said she would use those comments to fuel a fire and move forward to become a better person. She wanted to fight back with her accomplishments and use negativity as a ladder to achieve her goals. You know what? It worked!! 

I encourage you to watch her TEDtalk, her documentary and visit her YouTube channel. I have no doubt, you will be moved and inspired by her honesty and yes, her bravery. 

In the words of Lizzie Velasquez, “Brave starts here!”

Thanks Lizzie!  

Until next time…..be well and be brave!

Lori

Just wanted to let you know that Be Well Heart and Soul participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. When you click on a link and make a purchase it allows me to earn a little commission without any cost to the reader.