52 Weeks of Gratitude – Week 2

Every time I come back to do my weekly gratitude challenge is an opportunity to evaluate the week and delve into some optimism for next week. Today is not only week 2 of gratitude, it is also Fathers day.

I am thankful for my father and the upbringing he and my mother provided me. My dad has always been there for me and supported me in the things I want to do.

When I think about my dad I think about watching football with him from the day I was born, being woken up at 4am to go fishing out on the lake every Summer, traveling for the family business with him, and always having projects to work on. Now as an adult I think of how hard he worked to run a business, spending countless hours doing whatever needed to be done at all times of day and night to make it. He never complains about work, whatever that work might be.

So my gratitude starts this week off for my Father, who is the best dad a girl could have.


Mini trampolines and rebounding

Last December my husband and I were in Chicago for a conference. This happens to be the place that the Bellicon company has a showroom for their exercise trampolines. Of course I insisted on visiting or a test bounce.
Naturally I ordered one. I got the mid-sized one which fits nicely in our living room. I do love it. If you want to feel like a kid again, bounce on one for a little bit. You can’t help but smile a little.
It is definitely a good workout if you use is correctly and consistently. That is my newest thing to add to my Summer schedule. If I’m going to get my life on track I’ll need to shed more than 10 years of kitsch and clutter.

52 weeks of gratitude – week one

Gratitude challenge


Week 1: Less is More


I have kept a written journal on and off ever since I can remember. It’s usually something that I start using when times are tough, but more recently I have been using it also as my planner. Anyone who journals knows the therapeutic benefit of writing down those things that need to stay just between you and the page.

I want to venture out and give myself the challenge of expressing my gratitude here once a week. Like most people I have had a life with a whole lot of ups and downs, but remembering to be grateful should always be a part of experiencing the good and the not-so-good.

So this week I am grateful that I have the opportunity to simplify and recharge this summer. I have two months where I’ll have an extremely flexible schedule with still enough work and projects to complete to keep me creatively engaged. Having the time to actually get into some better habits, it’s almost like a complete reset. I’m thankful for that, and I know that not everyone is in the position to be able to slow down things enough to re-evaluate what is necessary in life and what is not.

Most of this week has focused on cleaning out and simplifying my possessions. My husband and I took four carloads of donations to area charities. I am sure that there will be a good need for some of the things we donated in our community. Also, by clearing these things from our house there is a noticeable difference in the stress level in the house. It is just more relaxing without extra stuff. I’m thankful to have this time to do this.







This is not an epic day, but a good day

Joe and I headed out this morning to our local farmer’s market. It has been great to see the market expand from a few booths when we first moved to pensacola to the size that it is now. I picked up a jar of local gallberry honey as the one we had bought in December is finally almost gone. The crowd was pretty big today, so we didn’t stay that long.

I also whittled down some more of our clutter that is hanging around. I’m down to consolidating and making choices about giving away things that I actually still like. I am striving for only having those things that are essential to my happiness. Letting some things go will be an important step into doing that. So on the chopping block this week might be our record player and records, an xbox, and some neat decorative items that either don’t fit our decor anymore, or I just can’t find the right spot for.

I had other great plans for today, but mostly that was what was actually done.


More Clutter Milestones

Today I went through and cleaned out my closet again. This time I went through and eliminated even more. I started off by separating out all of my dresses, work shirts, and suits. I kept 5 dresses, 5 suits, and 5 pairs of dress pants. I kept 7 dress shirts. I whittled down my shoes a little more as well.
It was hardest to donate things that I liked but either had too many of (like 4 awesome black tops), or that I can’t wear at the moment (like a couple of my dresses from a decade ago).
I ended up keeping some of my Lily Pulitzer dresses. I just like the pattern so much that I couldn’t part with them…. yet.
Next I headed to my music/living room for another round of clean up. I had three art sets that I combined for when I get in the creative mood, that saved some space. Then I moved the screen that was separating my office area with the rest of the room and put it in the corner. I was able to stack a bunch of my ugly crates behind it, and the room looks huge again!
I took the curtain that was on the old shelf (oh yeah, I took everything off that and found it homes, either on our other bookshelf or the donation bin) and put it under the glass top I used to make my desk. I think it looks rather pretty.
After dropping another carload of stuff off, and a quick lunch I tackled going through the things that were under the bed. Not much really. Strangely, we had a clear tub filled with hangers. Another tub was my purses and bags (I ended up putting that in the closet so I remembered I have them), and a third tub contained some mementos, including a Barbie set which I guess is worth over $100 now. Pretty nice because the price tag on it says $15.00.
Up next will be some hard decisions. Knick Knacks need to be sorted through and decided upon if they stay or go.
After that I suppose it really is time to deep clean the house, and to finish painting some of the areas we didn’t get to yet.

Making things in jars!

There are many reasons why people start to make their own home products. For some the appeal might be saving money, or to save the planet. Some people may want to win the uber crunchy award.

Me? I’ve found meaning in those mason jars that are now spread about in my house. The detergent in the laundry room was soap in it that I grated outside on my front porch. It’s not about convenience, it’s about the opposite of convenience. It’s about having to work a little for the little things because we appreciate the things that we work for, even if it’s not that much work. I do appreciate my clean laundry more now that I’ve contributed a little more to getting it clean than dropping a pre-measured pod into the washer.


My fridge is filled with purple mason jars filled with salads and fruit infused waters. The salads are SO good! I am sure that I’ll be making these and taking them to work when I get back to school in the Fall. You simply layer your dressing at the bottom, then harder veggies (or fruits), followed by layers that make sense to keep everything fresh. There are so many things that can be done with these, and I haven’t had a salad disappoint yet.

With the infused water, I’m adding in essential oils with the fruit. I bought a topper for the jar that has a fruit infuser in it which works great. I also have a set of toppers to turn the lids of my clear jars into drinking jars. I made some infused fruit water with that too, but I prefer the water with the infuser built in. In any event, I add some essential oil along with the fruit and away I go for the day. Mostly right now I’m adding in a drop or two of geranium (geranium oil is VERY strong smelling) and 5-6 drops of Doterra’s slim and sassy oil. I can’t say that it’s making me slim or sassy, but it does seem to give me energy throughout the day.

In the past week or so I’ve also made jars of:

  • coconut/ castille soap face wash
  • a witch hazel/lavendar and geranium oil toner
  • nopoo shampoo
  • bug itch spray
  • natural cleaners

More pictures coming soon!

Time Travel

I once had a student tell me out of the blue that I had an old soul. I thought that was the nicest and truest thing that could be said of me. Maybe that’s why I chose to be a musician in the first place. I have a career where I can choose to go back in time whenever I wish. Making music from the past is having some sort of authentic connection to that past.

Music is rather like time travel, isn’t it? Just listening to it is like you going on a journey just for a bit, riding along and hearing stories and emotions or getting impressions from the time period or an experience. Your tour guide tells you a bit as time is filled with a melody which gives a picture of something in sound for a minute or ten. Maybe more. Sure he can’t tell you everything, but you get a good idea as you travel on through the song.

Musicians though, we get to be the Continue Reading →

Conquering Clutter

This has been my quest the past few days, and I must say that I’m quite happy with myself. I’ll put up some photos tomorrow.

Thanks to Pinterest and my husband  I (we) have so far:

  • Went through every room and eliminated 3 carfuls of donations of things that are just taking up space.
  • Took pictures of cards,notes, and mementos that had sentimental value to me. This was a big one, I’ve hung onto a lot throughout the years and the boxes of papers were getting rather large. Now I can just flip through pics of things that make me feel good whenever I want.
  • Used a mini cupcake pan to organize my jewelry into my dresser drawer, eliminating the need for one of my jewelry boxes (which of course I put in our donation tub).
  • Hung up our measuring cups on the inside of our kitchen cabinets.
  • Put cups in another cupcake tin and turned it into a pencil and supply organizer where I have all of my journaling supplies.
  • Donated our ironing board and instead decided on using the smaller over-the-door ironing board I had from my time spent on campus for my summer grad school work.
  • Bought an organizer for our medications.
  • Donated so much out of our kitchen that more things can be stored in the cabinets and not on the counters.
  • Donated a lot of clothes and shoes from my closet. I’m working on a capsule wardrobe next!