Black Friday Shopping Frenzy

Black Friday Shopping Frenzy

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers!

We will be celebrating at home with just the five of us… missing our oldest daughter as she’s away at ministry school. It’s a new season in this household, one I’m still getting used to.

But I’m looking forward to turkey dinner with the fam and hopefully some board games and movies before the kiddos head out with friends for Black Friday shopping – which now begins on Thursday. **rolling my eyes and shaking my head**

I haven’t joined the frenzy for several years now. I prefer my laptop and Amazon.com for my gifts shopping as much as possible.

If you’re like me, check out this list of things I’ll be browsing and pondering the purchase of, in about 48 hours…

 

Minecraft is new to this generation but Legos are classic. There’s a whole selection of these kits worth checking into.

Boys and girls of all ages would have fun with this crafty loom to make cool rubber band bracelets.

My four-year-old has been asking for roller skates for months. They’ve come a long way since I was young!

One of my teen daughters has Disney shirts on her list. Amazon has lots of them!

We love TOMS! In fact, it’s the only brand of shoes that my husband loves to wear daily {read: comfortable}. They have come out with so many new and cool styles over the last couple years.

Books on the Kindle don’t add to an already cluttered home. 🙂 This one is sure to please audiences of all ages! Great read aloud to kids but profound truths adults will love.

Who on your list is organized (or maybe isn’t and needs a little help?) and needs a planner to start 2017 off right? There’s so many to chose from – with prices varying.

Looking ahead to Christmas break in a few weeks, board games and puzzles are a great idea!

Movies are always a hit! One of our favorites that came out on DVD this year is “Finding Dory”. What about you?

I’m thrilled that Amazon is a one-stop shopping place for people like me, that don’t love the frenzy of the crowds on Black Friday. Great deals on gifts but low stress on me. Maybe I’ll have my Christmas shopping done by Monday – without leaving my couch!

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Write 31 Days – Day 31: The Play is Over

Write 31 Days – Day 31: The Play is Over

“When the author steps on the stage, the play is over.”

~C.S. Lewis~

One more by C.S. Lewis that may not be “not-so-famous” but I needed to include in this 31 days because of the profoundness.

Honestly, I don’t know the context of this quote but I think of Jesus and His imminent return. But until He steps onto the stage, I have the responsibly to live my life well. To love well, to be a good steward of all He’s given me.

The play is not over, until He is on the scene.

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This is the LAST of my “31 Days of not-so-famous Quotes” – part of the #write31days challenge. To read all about this 31 day venture, please visit the overview page HERE.

Thank you for reading this month! Whimsy in my Cup will not run another article until Wednesday, November 16th. We’ll see you back here then!

Write 31 Days – Day 30: Too Busy or Prioritizing?

Write 31 Days – Day 30: Too Busy or Prioritizing?

“Instead of saying, ‘I’m too busy’, say, ‘That’s not a priority’, and see how that feels.”

~unknown~

I heard this quote a couple months ago and it’s profoundness has impacted me greatly.

I’m in a season of life being extremely full. I can’t do it all or be it all and some things I’m not able to get to.

I choose the things I will not let fall to the ground by holding them up to this quote. If I can’t in good conscience say, “That’s not a priority.”, then I shift things and create time to make sure that happens.

On the other hand, there truly are good things that I cannot get to, because, in the scope of life right now, it’s not a priority.

I encourage you to try this little assignment this month and see if your time gets managed a little differently!

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This is Day 30 of my “31 Days of not-so-famous Quotes” – part of the #write31days challenge. To read all about this 31 day venture, please visit the overview page HERE.

From Hopelessness to Dreaming Again

From Hopelessness to Dreaming Again

Many of my readers know, in the Spring of 2015, I miscarried a son at 20 weeks gestation. At that time, I had already oriented to what life was going to look like come that October. My oldest would be completing her senior year of high school at home, mostly self-taught. Our middles would be attending public school for the first year in a while and our toddler would be doing preschool with mom as teacher, while being big sister for the first time.

I was already preparing myself for life with a toddler and newborn, as well as three teenagers, and I was happy about it.

So, when my pregnancy ended abruptly and with no baby in my arms, my life was shattered, as well as the future I was already dreaming of. I had no idea how or when I would ever be able to dream of a different future.

journey through the door amazonBy mid-summer, though, the Lord was stirring an old dream in my heart. Write and release a book. By His extravagant grace, that book was completed and then released just four months later, in November 2015.

 

But at the beginning of this year, I knew there was more to my future and I had absolutely no idea what it was. Of course, I enjoyed being wife and mama and the ministry capacities I was already serving in, but I struggled with hopelessness, that bordered on depression, for months. Until the Lord met me once again and began to restore hope. And a dream.

Holy Spirit rekindled a dream from a few years ago, of a ministry to women, for women. Honestly, I am still dreaming of all that it will be. But, for now, I have little pieces, little glimpses of what the Lord has for my future – the plans and purposes He has for me – to impact the world around me. Specially the world of women.

Part of that dream and that future is the launch and continued development of a new ministry and community called Wholly Woman Fully Alive. 

Wholly Woman Fully Alive is all about empowering women with the tools they need to thrive in life and walking alongside them in their journey to wholeness and freedom – body, soul and spirit.

The first piece of this ministry is our Facebook page, Wholly Woman Fully Alive, that went live TODAY. Please go “like” our page and share it with all of your female friends!

The second piece of WWFA is our website and blog that will launch in less than two weeks, on Tuesday, September 13th! To make sure you don’t miss that launching or any future WWFA blog posts, please sign up for our WWFA mailing list HERE. Share this link with all your friends, gal readers!

A third piece of WWFA is still in the dream stage. That is the launching of a 3-session seminar, empowering women in finding wholeness and freedom, body, soul and spirit.

There is much more swirling around in my spirit for the future of Wholly Woman Fully Alive. And that, dear friends, is really the point of this post.

I went from having my future and dreams dashed to pieces that led to a season of “what the heck” and hopelessness to a season of the Lord breathing His hope and dreams into me once again.

No matter what season you may find yourself in today, He is near and He is faithful. His dreams for you and in you are beyond all that you can ever hope and imagine. Hold on tight, you may have no idea what is just around the corner for you!

Join the WWFA Community:

Facebook

Instagram

Website

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P.S. What’s going to happen with Whimsy in My Cup? Well, I will continue with my “Whimsical Wednesday” posts through September. In October, look for my participation in “Write 31 Days” for the third year! 🙂

 

 

August Challenge: Four Steps to Starting the School Year Right

August Challenge: Four Steps to Starting the School Year Right

The other day, while beginning to clean off my desk, I became painfully aware of the need for the “end of summer regroup”. It happens every year, about August or September, I become more goal-centered, organize-savvy, and just all around feel a need for a regroup. Last year, I called it Operation: Get My Sh** Together (read about it HERE).

This year I don’t feel as it’s near as drastic as that but I definitely feel the need for the re-organizing and re-evaluating on what’s up in my life right now. And I certainly need to get on top of my home management – finances, cleanliness and the like have been put on the back burner all summer.

I’m not too sorry about that, as we’ve had a wonderful family-centered summer but now that school’s about to start back up… it’s time.

Here’s what I’m doing over the month of August to start the Fall season off fresh and clean. Join me!

Clean out my space. My little office area consists of a desk and a few drawers right in the middle of the family living area. It collects not only my home, business and ministry things but often, everyone else’s too. Time to clear the clutter… most of which will hit the garbage can!

Dust off my planner. Most of the summer, we’ve been on the road so there hasn’t been much need for a planner to keep track of activities and appointments. But now, school open houses, dance lessons and youth activities are ramping back up,  and I’m not going to make it through the next several weeks without writing it all down!

Make my “kids are in school” to-do list. I don’t know about you, but any sort of cleaning or DYI projects I have on my list do not get accomplished when the kids are home. (mainly because if the kids are home – we’re on the road!) But now that all kids will be gone at least half the day, I’m ready to tackle our overgrown storage room – among a few other projects this fall and winter!

Create a dreams and goals chart. This is often a beginning of the new year task but I find this back-to-school season actually seems more fitting to goal-setting and dreaming. This summer, I started a new business so I’m ready to get my business goals on paper. I’ve been dreaming of launching a consulting/coaching business for years and I think this Fall is the time. Where’s the poster board and gold sharpie? “Write the vision, make it plain…” ** has been shouting at me!

Who’s going to join me in these 4 steps this month? What other tips do you have for getting life back on track after the summertime break? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

 

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P.S. The books linked below are catalystic in my life as I jump into this month of organizing, dreaming and achieving! If you order through the links below, your price will not change but, as an Amazon affiliate, I will receive a few pennies for your order. 🙂

**Habakkuk 2:2

 

 

How to Do Life Well: My Favorites

How to Do Life Well: My Favorites

I’ve come across a few tools that have had a huge impact on my life. Some have transformed my thinking, some have just made life a bit easier, all I have fallen in love with and really wouldn’t want to live without!

One note about the links, I’m an affiliate with Amazon which means…  if you place an order on Amazon by clicking my links, your price stays the same but I get a few pennies for your purchase! Thanks! 😉

BOOKS. They’re the books I quote over and over. The ones I go back to for reference and solutions. They aren’t just books I’ve read, but books I’ve underlined, marked in and spilt coffee on. Besides the Bible, these books have made the biggest mark on my life. I hope this list is a help to you!
Heart Made Whole. If you follow me on Facebook, you know how much I’m in love with this brand new book. Though author, Christa Black-Gifford, says it’s not a book, it’s a bomb! A bomb that goes off in your heart. True dat! What is within these pages will create an atmosphere for you to find healing for your heart and bring freedom to your soul!

 

 When it comes to doing relationship well, I haven’t read a better book than Keep Your Love On by Danny Silk. Amazon describes this book as one that will, “leave you with the power to draw healthy boundaries, communicate in love, and ultimately protect your connections”. Yes and amen!

 

Loving Our Kids on Purpose. To go along with KYLO, my favorite parenting book is also by Danny Silk. Again, he just knows what’s up when it comes to healthy relationships – including those between parent and child. I’ve taken a small group through this book and it is my go-to in parenting issues.

 

I could go on forever about books but life must be lived as well so let’s move on to the KITCHEN!
Coffee! I’m a fan of many different brews of coffee but while we’re here in the midst of summer, this Toddy Cold Brew System is beautiful! I could drink hot coffee all summer long, which I can do with this concentrate. But when an iced cold coffee is what’s needed on these 90* days, this is ready to go – smooth and delicious!
Magic Bullet was given to me around 5 years ago and it is used on a daily basis. Still rolling! I make smoothies, bulletproof coffee, guacamole, whipped cream and grind grains into flour with this tough cookie. Seriously, couldn’t live without it!

Oops, a couple more books in the kitchen too!

THM Plan Book and also the THM Cookbook . I’ve written a bit more extensively on this HERE , but my husband and I are huge fans of this eating lifestyle!

 

 

 

I love all the THM products but their Super Sweet Blend is the best for making ‘on-plan’ goodies!

 

Speaking of health, if you are a gym junkie, the outdoorsy type or just hanging at the pool this summer, check out these silicone rings. Keep a ring on your finger when you don’t want to keep your diamond on your finger, in fear of losing it!

 

Let’s move on to a couple office products and call it the end…

These gel highlighters are the bomb dot com. Especially if your Bible happens to have really thin pages. Not messy, not bleed-through, and I use them nearly every day.

 

 

OK, I don’t have this exact one but I. love. trays. I have one on my desk as a catch-all. Sometimes, I keep one on my bed – when I keep my house clean and beautiful. 😉 But my favorite is beside my couch on an end table that houses all my current reads and the above highlights and some pens. This one travels to any part of the house with me. Handy dandy!

There you have it – just a few of my most favorites to help me do life well! If you decide to start a shopping list from Amazon, remember to click the links to help me earn my coffee budget for the week!

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How to Win the Battle for Your Happiness

How to Win the Battle for Your Happiness

“The battle for our happiness begins

on the pages of our calendars.”

~Bob Goff

I’ve been looking at this quote every week for the last few months. It bears witness to me.

What goes on my calendar is what is priority. What goes on my calendar is what I am making time for in my life. If I am unhappy with the way my life is flowing, it’s time to consider my calendar. It’s time to make some adjustments.

I talked a bit about this a couple weeks ago. As June is beginning, I’m needing this reminder.

Just like my checkbook reveals where my heart is, my planner reveals truly what I value.

What does your calendar look like? Are you happy with how life is flowing right now? What adjustments will you be making this summer?

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How to Really Be More Productive

How to Really Be More Productive

Productivity. A big word among us humans. It is “the quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance or bring forth goods and services”. There are so many articles and blogs, books and ebooks, pins and posts out there to help you out in this area. One book that challenged my thinking and impacted me the most is “The Four-Hour Work Week”. Even as a non-business person, many of the tips and strategies in this book can apply easily to a normal, busy mama like me.

The thing about ALL the ‘helpful’ tips out there is that you still have to figure out what actually works for YOU. In an article with ’10 tips to have a more productive day’ – there may be only 5 that actually work for you. In a cookie cutter world, it’s important that we don’t force ourselves into someone else’s mold. There’s nothing wrong with discipline and hard work but when you feel like you’re working against yourself, the method probably won’t last long or at best, can make you unhappy and tense.

It’s obviously important that we are productive people in this life. We’re not on this planet to be idle, inert blobs of flesh. We’re here to be and to do and to get a sense of accomplishment by producing abundance and beauty in life. But, in all our striving to be the most efficient possible, we must only stick with the things that work for us. There’s all kinds of great ideas out there. Find what works for you and you’ll be the most productive YOU you can be!

I’ll mention just one mold-breaker for me. The get-dressed-as-soon-as-you-wake-up law of productivity. (Sorry Flylady!) I understand the idea. Jammies feel like sleep and lounging. Clothes make you think “get ‘er done”. But for me, when my mornings can slip right past me as I take my time getting ready – this works in reverse.

Usually, if I’m going to get some work done around my house, it’s actually better for me to grab a cup of coffee and then jump right in. No wasting time showering or putting on real clothes and tennis shoes. Sweats and bare feet, with hair pulled back, is my work uniform for being productive.

I can knock it out of the park with house cleaning, baking, laundry and paying bills when I’m in my jammies. I can curl up with my computer and get blogs written, articles scheduled and chapters laid out for my ebook when I’m in my jammies.

Most often, my most productive days are those that I don’t get my shower in until late afternoon.The days that my house is ready for company before I am. Those are the days that I’ve generated, created, enhanced and brought forth goods and services and come to the end of my day with a sense of accomplishment in my productivity.

What about you? What tips and tricks work for you? Or which ones don’t? I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts!

 

**Thanks to @lindsaylongstudio over at Instagram for spurring this blogpost!