Currently-October

General- Our house is completely restored! Our floors are completely done after spending most of the month being out of the house in order to let the guy work in peace. My living room, kitchen and dining room all look fabulous and I’m just all heart-eyes over it. 

We are still adjusting to our changing schedule. I think for this month, we’ve had two different schedule changes. With hubby’s new job I’m really learning to put the theology of “go with the flow” into action. Every week has something different with hubby’s job so his schedule is always changing. 

Continue reading “Currently-October”

Sugar, Spice, & Everything Niche

This website is my fourth attempt at blogging. It has grown into more than a blog. However, I started with the idea that I wanted to write and I wanted a blog to write these things at. Complete control and creative freedom to publish what I wanted, when I wanted.

Over the years in my attempts at blogging I’ve done a lot of research and read all the resources from my favorite bloggers about what they do to make their blog successful. Everybody has different techniques and tactics but one message united all these experts and their resources. The thing that united them? The message that you find your niche and stick to it. 

Every successful blogger I read about in my research said something along these lines. Find the thing you love the most and talk about that. Find the thing you are best at and talk about that. 

I think my previous attempts at blogging were failures because of this message. I didn’t have a niche, I didn’t know what I was going to talk about and I struggled with creating content because I didn’t have a niche. My third attempt at blogging I decided that I was done and I didn’t need a blog because I didn’t have a niche. I wasn’t an expert at anything so therefore I cannot talk about anything.

The desire to start a blog didn’t go away. I started working on my book which is a journaling devotional and I realized how much I loved journaling and I wanted to share that message with people and how journaling is good self-care. I found conversations with God in my journal and I wanted to share that. That is how WritingOutLoud was born. Through my desire to share my message of journaling with people.

This was supposed to be my niche. I was supposed to talk about writing and journaling and just let that exist out in the internet world. As I am coming up on a year of this blog, I’m realizing that I’ve talked about a lot more than just journaling and writing. I’ve started a podcast and I’ve added weekly devotionals. My blog posts though, the content is constantly changing based on what is happening in my life. Sometimes, I want to talk about adjusting schedules, because my schedule hasn’t been consistent my entire life. My normal is adjusting to a new schedule. Maybe someone wants to hear about it, maybe it will be helpful to someone. 

Despite knowing I talk about a variety of things on my blog, I still felt like I had an overall message- journaling. 

I was listening to a podcast the other day, where the guest on the show was talking about how she had one type of blog, got pregnant and when she had her baby she lost a whole bunch of followers. She was afraid of talking about her baby because she didn’t want to lose more followers. The overall message was her owning her new season of life and her new identity but listening to this podcast made me realize I very much dislike the message of blogs need to have niches.

Believing a blog must have a niche or that one person can only talk about one thing on their website is putting people in a box that says they are only this thing. 

I am more than a woman passionate about journaling. I have an eye for decorating and making things pretty. I am an organizational genius and all about less stuff and open space. I’m the complete opposite of a hoarder and sometimes, you have to convince me that we need to keep something in order to keep it in the house. I find freedom in letting go even when I am clinging to control like a life line. I am made up of a lot more than a niche message that I feel like I need to stick to on a blog. 

Which is why I dislike this niche blogging deal. The person I go to for examples on decluttering and minimalism, has also built up a huge successful business, why wouldn’t I want to hear what she has to say about building a business? I’m great with journaling and I love writing, but maybe you’d like to see how add fall decor to my house when I’m all about less stuff on surfaces. Maybe you want to know how I juggle a a job, my husband, my son, my blog and school and get on the President’s List. 

My point is that things that I’m going through might be relatable to you but you would never know if I stuck to the niche message of journaling for self care and to build a deeper relationship with Jesus. 

I read and I love sharing what I read with people. I love talking to authors and shooting my shot to see if I can do a Q&A (that shot was successful) and maybe you found a new author you have not heard of yet. 

We, as people, do not fit into one thing. I am more than a writer. We all wear many hats and since I can control what happens on this corner of the internet, I’m going to talk about all my hats. 

Currently- September

General- If you follow me on Instagram, you might have heard about our little flood that happened when our washer machine broke and created a small lake throughout my downstairs. Well, the guy came and tore up the damaged flooring and baseboard and now the fans are gone and we are waiting to fond out if they are able to match our current laminate or what the deal is there. In the meantime, we replaced the damaged things and I wrote about how to make your house work for you. You can check out that post, along with how I used the small lake as an opportunity here.

We are undergoing schedule changes as hubby got a new job and for the time being, our schedules are very different than they used to be. We’re rolling with it though! I get a lot more time that is just me and Little Man so I have been working on creative ways to keep us both occupied and not outside. We are still rocking 90’s here and I cannot wait for cooler temps. 

Reading– I’m technically still reading Bookish Boyfriends. I actually haven’t picked it up in a while. I started reading The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter (again). I just really love this book and the entire series. I recently took a mythology in literature class and I spent a majority of that class referencing these books so it made me want to pick them back up. Maybe I’ll get back to Bookish Boyfriends one day. 

Listening– I actually went back and re-listened to Uninvited by Sophie Jordan. Gosh, I love that book! I just need to read the second one. I started listening to The Elite by Kiera Cass. I loved the Selection and since it is a series book, I promptly forgot that I had more books to read so I grabbed the audiobook from my library to listen to. I didn’t finish it in time but I struggled with the audiobook. I wonder if the performer can ruin a book for you. I think I might grab the book to just read it and see if the main character doesn’t annoy me as much. 

As for music, I went back to my high school glory days and started listening to all the bands I listened to in high school and now I don’t listen to the same 20 songs theses days, hahaha. I think I realized why my parents listened to the stuff they loved in high school well into adulthood. Music is constantly changing so when you find something you love, why are you going to try and keep up with the new stuff? (I don’t particularly LOVE the new stuff out there, some of it is good, but I get why my parents didn’t like the stuff I listened to.) 

Watching-We are COMMITTED to the show Younger. That show has me feeling all types of ways and I don’t know what to do with all the emotions. I might be slightly overreacting but oh well. Younger is what we are binge watching. But it is the end of September which means all the new seasons just started back up! So far we got the Masked Singer and I am waiting for some free time to catch up on the premier of Gray’s and Single Parents. 

Writing– I am currently working on a script for my screenwriting class that I am taking this term. Screenwriting is HARD, guys. Seriously, I didn’t realize how different screenwriting is from other types of writing. I am also writing blog posts and journaling a lot. I am working on a journaling challenge for October on Instagram! I decided I am going to do my book for NaNoWriMo this year so I’m just going to write an outline and then come November 1st, write it every day.

Other– There has been a lot of work going on with my Cricut and home stuff. It has been fun. Maybe I’ll post my projects on the blog so you can see all the stuff I work on. If you’re curious. 

What did you spend your September doing? I’d love to hear about it! 

Currently- August

General- Have I talked about the fact that I live in a dessert? Seriously, the past three weeks have had half of the week holding excessive heat warnings. Check on your dessert friends, they are burning up. This month has been very quiet around my house. We’re trying to stay home more and do more family time. We get plenty of family time, we are just trying to stay home while we do it. When we leave the house, we end up staying out way too long and spend money we didn’t intend to spend. Hubby and I have also been working on a lot of projects together. We made him a workstation in the garage (and reorganized that garage and go rid of SO MUCH STUFF) and he is building shelves. He made me a board so I can keep track of upcoming blog posts. I also made bible tabs for my bible and I’m in LOVE with them. They are so cute.

Reading– I’m still reading Bookish Boyfriends. I actually haven’t picked it back up since my trip to Washington. I started reading some business books and books along those lines. It is a struggle to read those too. It’s been a struggle to read lately. It makes my heart a little sad. 

Listening– I quit the Saving Quinton I started listening to. I just couldn’t get into it the way that I did the first book. I might look up what happens because I’m curious but I could not keep listening to it.  I listened to the first books in the Program series. That was very interesting and scary. It reminded me a lot of Uninvited by Sophie Jordan where the government is scared of something and doing whatever they can to prevent it but since they handle teenagers they don’t care what happens to them. Although, in the Program, the program that is supposed to cure depression isn’t ran by the government, just has a lot of power. They were good books. There are a lot more in the world of the program, different story lines and what not. I’m good with what I read (listened to.) 

I’ve been struggling with music lately. I feel like I’ve been listening to the same 20 songs and I need new ones. Tell me what your favorite song is lately! 

Watching– We cancelled Netflix in favor of Hulu Live (heck yes, sports!) so I am no longer watching West Wing or Criminal Minds. We just started watching Leah Remini’s series on Scientology and WOAH. Scientology was always a weird religion to me. A sci-fi writer wrote the textbooks for a religion? Really? And I’m supposed to believe he knew what he was talking about? I’ll stick with Jesus. We’ve also been watching a lot of Cats, the musical. My son loves it. 

Writing– Projects, presentations, blog posts and Instagram captions. I started an outline for my book. It was painful. Since I’m currently on a week long break from school, I am hoping to get caught up on the outline so I can set word count goals and really get working on this book. 

Other– The project I was going to announce has been announced AND LAUNCHED! I started a podcast called Hasta la Pasta where I will talk about all sorts of fun things. It will be an extension to my blog. The first episode is live now! You can listen on the website or on Spotify right now. (I’m waiting on approval for Apple & Google Play) 

Finding Happiness

One of the most common things I say is that you can’t allow one bad second, minute, hour, two hours decide the rest of the 24. I started thinking this when I would wake up feeling rushed and like I couldn’t get out the door in time. Regardless of feeling rushed in the morning, I shouldn’t allow that hour it took me to get ready to decide that the other 23 hours are going to be rushed and crazy. That’s like setting the day up for failure. I didn’t want that kind of commitment to a bad day. 

By the time you read this, it will be yesterday, but I’m going to tell you about my day and how I worked out finding happiness despite the bad moments. I even found happy parts in the bad moment. Today was grand.

This morning started off awesome, we got up, got ready, took my dog to his grooming appointment, you know typical adulting stuff. We got doughnuts and got some stuff we needed for the house. This year I am home schooling Little Man for preschool since he starts Kindergarten next year so we got some stuff to get that ready. We start Monday! We also made a trip to Ikea to work out Little Man’s school desk (and found the cutest one and he loves it). Side note, I would just like to point out I went to Ikea and I was in and out in less than an hour. I don’t think I’ve ever done that. I’m giving myself ten points for that. 

Later, we were driving to go look at a model house. I hit a curb and completely killed my tire and had to pull off onto a side street where builders were currently working on the houses. This put both my husband and I in a grumpy mood because we were both frustrated that it happened. It’s not like anybody enjoys having to change a tire, in the heat, when you were in the middle of something. I highly doubt that someone would want that to happen to them. 

So, we off on this side street, blocking part of it, standing outside while my husband is working on putting on the little donut I had in my trunk. One of the construction workers came over with a car jack, that was better than mine and helped us change my tire. Faith in humanity restored. There are still nice and good people out there. Which is a nice reminder when there is so much awfulness going on in the news.

This one thing could have ruined our whole day. In the past, something like this might have even caused a fight because we were both so frustrated. While we weren’t frustrated at each other, and just the situation, in the past, we wouldn’t have recognized that and just taken it out on each other. Let’s be thankful for growth right now because even though we were frustrated, we didn’t take it out on each other. We went and checked out the model after we got the donut on. We weren’t impressed. It was a long shot anyway, hubby doesn’t like townhouses but since I do, he was open to checking some new ones out so see if he could get behind it. He can’t. I couldn’t get behind those either, to be honest. 

After, we headed over to the tire place to get a new tire. Instead of being grumpy that this whole thing was throwing off my day ( we were supposed to continue the adulting journey and go grocery shopping) I was grateful that we changed our budget and financial habits years ago so we had savings and I was able to go in and get my tire fixed without worrying about how we were going to get the money. Changing my tire was going to take a few hours, the tire shop was busy. So we walked over to the shopping center next door, got a snack, and walked around the store. We even ran into some friends and got to talk to them for a bit. Then my car was fixed earlier than the quoted time and we came home and had pizza for dinner. I got to work on a couple projects I’ve been meaning to work on and my brother and Little Man watched a movie together. 

Despite the hit to my savings and the time lost, it was still a very good day. While we were walking around the store, we got to have great conversations with each other and with our friends. Sometimes, it is really nice to run into someone at the store. I could have let ruining my tire be the end of the day and everything after it sucks. You know? It’s so easy to get into a “everything sucks” when something bad, frustrating or irritating happens. Especially when it comes at the end of a difficult week (like we had, a lot of emotions ran through my house). I choose to be happy today.

I believe happiness is a choice. I’m also a half glass full kind of girl. I bleed optimism. However, it isn’t a super hard choice to decide that something is going to ruin everything else. It is hard to act out, that is definitely a learned discipline. The choice to decide that one bad thing cannot rule out the other good is simple. I mean, if you had $1,000 would you be upset if you lost $10 of it? Would it ruin your whole day? That is why you shouldn’t allow a bad hour define the other 24. Finding happiness is pretty simple, you just have to look for it.