Life's Sweet Journey

Friday, January 6, 2023

First Friday Favorites: New Blog Link Up Party

Cheers to a New Year and a New Link Up Party! 

Well, another year has come and gone and it's been another year of mostly neglecting this space. I always start the year off with a plan to be more active on the blog and every year seems to send the same. But, here's to trying again!

To help me stay more motivated I am starting a new link up to at least give me something specific to post once a month... so, I am starting a First Friday Favorites link up party. It's mix of concepts from two of my favorite bloggers, Christina at Carolina Charm's Five on Friday, and a Currently link up that used to be hosted by Anne in Residence (she no longer hosts, but I think someone else may). Basically, I plan to share a monthly recap (even just for my own reflections to look back on), and then a few favorite prompted things each month.

Each month will always include a favorite read, favorite find, and favorite quote (since the initial reason I started this blog 10 years ago- wow, 10 years!- was to share my love for quotes). Then, I may include a few other "favorite" prompts. You can join in the prompts each month or just share any favorites in the link up (favorite blog post you wrote that week, your Friday favorites, whatever your little heart desires).

So, here's my first First Friday Favorites edition:

Friday, November 25, 2022

Black Friday Finds on Amazon for 2022

Amazon Black Friday 2022 has commenced and the deals are WILD!

Black Friday finds on Amazon for 2022

I try to collect experiences over things, but there are always some needed items that are better to buy when on sale. Plus, I have my trusted favorites for making life a little easier. These tend to be big sale items and might help make your life a little easier too. Here are some of my favorite Black Friday finds on Amazon for 2022. 

Favorite Black Friday Sale Items

These are some of my regularly used, favorite Amazon items that are currently on sale for Black Friday. Most of these items are used daily.
I absolutely love my Shark robot vac (he goes by Steve!); we were skeptical about how good he would be, so we just bought the regular, but I would love to upgrade to one with an emptying base.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Non-Chocolate Advent Calendars on Amazon for All Ages

These non-chocolate advent calendars from Amazon are a great way to create some holiday cheer!

The holiday season is upon us! Even as an adult with no kids, I LOVE ADVENT CALENDARS! Advent calendars are a fun way to stay festive and savor the season, even amid the rush. Candy advent calendars are easy to find, but not everyone wants chocolate every day. Here are some awesome non-chocolate advent calendars from Amazon for 2022!

Harry Potter Advent Calendars

Non-Chocolate Advent Calendars on Amazon

Make the holidays just a little more magical with exciting treasures for those of us who love the Wizarding World! There are quite a few options for wizards looking to count down to Christmas. This 24-day countdown comes with fun Harry Potter themed trinkets. There is also a 12-day countdown Harry Potter charm bracelet set and a sock surprise box for those looking to free the house elves! 

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Best Fall Books to Read in October

It's my favorite season and I love breaking out of all the spooky, fall feel books to read in October!

I absolutely LOVE Halloween and fall and all things October! It also happens to be one of my favorite reading seasons. A few years ago I shared a post about Spooktacular books to read in October. I thought I would do a bit of a refresh with some of the books I am reading this fall. Here are some of my favorite fall books to read in October!

Fall Books to Read in October

The video shares a bit more in-depth thoughts (and a few small side tangents- lol) about the books I would recommend for October, but it includes: 

Mary Downing Hahn for Spooky Ghost Stories

Mary Downing Hahn writes middle grade fiction and her ghost stories are so spooky they even slightly scare me as an adult. I have loved scary things since I was a kid and her book Wait Till Helen Comes was the only book that actually kept me from falling asleep because it scared me so much I had to finish it before I could sleep. I love rereading these as an adult if I am looking for something I can read in one or two sittings. There's an awesome boxed set that just happens to include my three favorites of hers! 

Monday, July 25, 2022

Ways to Live More Simply

Living a simple life sounds refreshing, easy, and welcoming to most people, but it can often feel really hard to get there. In this day and age, is living a simple life even possible? Sometimes it doesn't feel like it, but I think it can be with a little work! Here are a few ways to live life more simply.

Ways to Live More Simply

Ways to Live More Simply

Invest in Self-Care

It's impossible to give your people attention, love, and care if you are not first giving it to yourself. Take time to do things that excite you, fill your heart, and renew you. At the end of the day, find a way to unwind and forget about it all- even if it is just for a little while. I know that it can be hard to just forget about the stressors in your life, but it's important to do something you truly love, the required no obligations elsewhere in order to pour back into yourself. 

I firmly believe that you can not pour from an empty cup, so before you can truly help someone else, you first must have something to pour from. Read a book, listen to an audiobook, write in a journal, drink that glass of wine, have that bowl of ice cream, and take that bubble bath. Whatever helps you relax is what you should focus on, which looks different for each individual. The key is to not make this a one-time occasion but to incorporate taking time for yourself into your everyday life. 

Put Down Your Social Media

We are SO focused on social media. It's hard not to be when we've become so accustomed to turning on the screen and scrolling. I am trying hard to put be more mindful of my social habits. To be honest, the longer I spend away from social media, the more present I feel. It doesn't have to be all or nothing, but finding ways to simplify social can make a huge difference. Take some time to declutter your social feeds. Unfollow anyone that does not bring you joy, encouragement, or healthy knowledge. You'll be glad that you did!

Ways to Live More Simply

Find a Screen-Free Hobby

Technology makes life easier in a lot of ways, but it has also seemed to encroach on every aspect of our lives. Where we once painted a picture, now we do "paint by numbers" on a screen. Blocking out part of the day for screen-free activities takes us back to a simpler time. Take up gardening and grow your own vegetables. Maybe get back into a favorite hobby from childhood, like puzzling, knitting, or getting outside for a bike ride. These are great ways to essentially turn back the clock and make life feel a bit more simple.

Clear the Clutter

Clear the clutter in your home by only keeping the best and most necessary clothing, home decor, and entertainment. Create a simple, comforting space that allows you to focus on connecting and spending time with the ones you love instead of having to devote all of your time to cleaning and moving around the clutter non-stop. 

What do you do with all the clutter that you cleared? Sell, donate, trash, or put it in storage. If you need help moving large items or storage solutions, MT. Zion Moving & Storage can help you. In fact, they can help with any moving-related need, especially residential moving services and Tampa long-distance moving services, too. They are fully licensed and bonded, have moved thousands of homes, and if you need something complicated done, try them - they've done it all with ease!

Make Sunday Prep Day

Eliminate the stress of a busy week by setting yourself up for more success. Plan meals for the week ahead, tidy up the house for a clean slate, write the week's tasks, and fill your tank up. Give yourself time to rest so that you are ready to go for a busy week.

Focus on Life's Priorities

Instead of worrying about every little thing, shift your thinking and focus on the priorities in your life instead. What is most important to you? For most people, it will be 1) happiness, 2) family, and 3) work. Find ways to prioritize AND balance your priorities so that you can make the most out of each day while living simply. Having too many priorities will just stress you out, and that becomes FAR from simple.

These are all simple way to, well, make life a bit more simple. And doesn't that just sound simply wonderful? I know it does for me!