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Friday Five 9/11/20

 Happy Friday!! Actually, not really happy. Rather, today will always be a solemn day of remembering a truly horrible day in our history- 9/11. 


There may be some of you reading who do not remember that fateful day or even weren't alive on 9/11/2001. I may have been young on that day but I will never forget the details. I was sitting in my 2nd grade classroom at Conrad Weiser West Elementary School. My teacher was Mrs. Arent and she was the sweetest woman. She was teaching us cursive writing when someone knocked on the door and motioned for her to come into the hallway for a moment. We were told to sit quietly and she walked out. A minute or so passed before she reentered and there were tears in her eyes. We asked her what was wrong and she just said it was nothing we needed to be concerned with and went back to teaching. I later found out the teachers had been instructed to keep the tragedy unfolding from the students because they thought we were too young to understand fully what was happening. When I left school that day, I noticed the flag was flying half mast and every adult looked so sad. My young brain knew something bad had happened but I wasn't sure what. I thought maybe our principal had died. On the bus ride home, the busdriver kept the radio off and it struck me as odd. When I finally made it home, my mom met me at the end of the driveway looking heartbroken. She told me that a tragedy had occurred in New York City, Virginia and Pennsylvania where terrorists had taken over planes and many people had died. I still didn't understand. She took me into the house and told me I was not allowed to turn on the TV that day... this made me mad because I watched Arthur EVERY day after school. As soon as my mom wasn't looking, I turned on the TV (I never was a very good listener). I just remember seeing a video of a plane flying into a building on every channel. I still didn't really understand but I knew it was something very very bad. 


I look back on those memories now with amazement... even at my precocious age, I knew the world was reeling from something horrible. Today, just shy of 2 decades past that terrible day, my heart still breaks for those who were lost, those who never got to say goodbye to someone they love and those who made unbelievably brave decisions knowing it would cost them their life. Visiting the 9/11 memorial in New York City and the Flight 93 site in Pennsylvania are two of the most moving experiences of my life and I suggest those visits to any American. May we never forget that day. 

On a lighter note, Fall has arrived for me and I have apple candles burning in every room. This year has been a weird one so it is nice to be able to have some normalcy with the changing of the season. I have been busy decorating the house, sewing Masks for Justice and getting our farm ready for our horses to come home next weekend. It is an exciting time!


1. Yoga Mat

The cubicle life has not been kind to my back and shoulders since I returned to the office in early August. In an effort to alleviate the pain and tension, I have started yoga back upi. My old Yoga mat got destroyed in the move so I splurged on a new one. I love it because it has plenty of cushion and does not slip at all. The price is very fair for the quality!

When I do yoga, I use free youtube video's from Yoga with Adrienne!


2. Live in Love by Lauren Akins

I am a huge country music fan and like the rest of the country music fans, I have admired Thomas Rhett and his wife Lauren for adorable love story. Her book was eye opening to some of the darker sides of fame and marriage as well as uplifting and encouraging. I was deeply moved by their adoption story. Adoption is close to my heart as my husband is adopted and we are seriously considering adoption as a way to grow our family someday. I highly suggest this as a lovely read!

Also, take a moment to check out the organization Lauren supports, Love + One. This organization supports orphans in Uganda and is truly remarkable. I bought a sweatshirt the day I finished the book to support this worthy cause as well as do my part to spread the word. 


3. The Perfect Fall Candle

$10 at Walmart and your house will smell like the perfect Autumn getaway. Seriously this candle is AMAZING. 


That is honestly all I have today. I hope everyone is safe and healthy wherever you are reading from. 

Masks For Justice Project

 Hello!

I am so excited to announce my newest project "Masks For Justice".

One good thing about the pandemic is that it has reaquainted me with my love of sewing. My grandmother taught me to sew when I was young but I ran out of time for it around high school and hadn't returned to it until the need for facemasks arose in March. I borrowed my grandmothers sewing machine, found some fabric and got down to business. It took some trial and error for me to get my skills back but after a bit, I was a regular mask making machine. I found that sewing was very theraputic for my anxious brain and loved doing something that was helping people in a crazy situation. All of the masks I made, I donated to friends, family and local health departments. But after 6 months of COVID life, I was itching to do something that would make a difference with my spare time at home. Pairing my love of sewing with my passion for legal justice led me to the idea of "Masks for Justice". 


I found cute "scales of justice" fabric and decided to sew masks that will support justice in the real world. A large portion of the proceeds from every one of these will be donated to a local legal entity- Advocates for Basic Legal Equality aka ABLE. ABLE is a non-profit regional law firm in Northwest Ohio that provides high quality legal assistance in civil matters to help eligible low-income individuals and groups in western Ohio achieve self-reliance, and equal justice and economic opportunity. The remaining portion that is not donated will go into the cost of materials to make the masks.




A few details: 

  • Masks will cost $10 and shipping will be $3. They will only ship within the USA. 
  • Pickup is available in Toledo, OH if you wish to save shipping costs
  • Masks are made of 2 layers of 100% cotton with adjustable ear loops
  • I do not guarantee perfection as I am only an amateur seamstress. However, I have been making my own facemasks since March and they have held up to daily use at my job
  • I am sewing these completely by myself so progress will not be super fast. I sew in spare time between my full time job, running our farm and working two side businesses
  • There will only be a limited quantity available so order quickly

 

If you would like to purchase one of my homemade masks, please fill out this form and purchasing details will be emailed to you. 

https://forms.gle/dMjRMsM6m2auFPuJ6

Friday Five 8/21/20

Happy Friday! 


Life has been hectic lately. We are still super busy whipping our new little farm into shape: we adopted 4 rescue kittens, we have 8 chickens, we are clearing and fencing a new area for horses, we completely redid our barn and we've been painting and decorating the house in between. On top of that, I started back working in the office full time at the beginning of August which changed up the rhythm as well. So needless to say, blogging has continued to be a backseat project along with many other things. 


I do not have much new to report outside of that. My life has been pretty boring but in the best possible way. We are loving our space and land. It has been so fulfilling to work hard on our property and see it transforming before our eyes. My soul is happier to finally be back in the country and back to my farm girl roots. 

The stalls we built by hand in our little barn! It was a lot of hard work but I am so proud of our efforts
View of deer right out of my kitchen window. I love being in the country!


Our new kitten Goose (yes that is a Top Gun reference)
Goose is very helpful in all farm things. He double checks all our measurements!



1. Community

Amazon.com: Watch Community Season 1 | Prime Video

I started watching this a few weeks back. I don't have time to watch much TV lately but I wanted something easy and fun I could watch while cooking dinner or folding laundry. I am enjoying it way more than I expected to. It's dumb humor, similar to The Office or Parks & Rec, but it's a perfect short episode that will leave you laughing. If I were still in law school, it would be something I would play while outlining. You can watch on Netflix!


2. New Favorite CC Cream

This was a recent addition to my daily routine and I am LOVING it. I previously used the IT Cosmetics full coverage CC cream but it was just too heavy for what I am wanting right now. This Supergoop CC Cream is light weight with just enough coverage to even my skin out, doesn't dry my skin out and holds up pretty well through the day even with my oily skin and having a mask on and off. It has a decent sunscreen level for when I am indoors and at work in my cube with no windows (I wear a high SPF when I will be outside all day or next to a window). 


3. Reading Lately

I have been burning through books lately. I usually have one audiobook going and one I am reading traditionally. Here are a few favorites I have read lately: 



4. Office Must's 
Most do not know this but I have a mild case of scoliosis. My back twists into a "C" and it makes sitting for long periods very hard on my shoulders and hips as I am never truly straight up and down due to the curvature. Working in the office and spending 8 hours a day at my desk has been rough on me these last few weeks. I have found a few tricks that help though. Specifically, two items that make a huge difference. 

This back rest helps to push me into a more upright sitting position and keeps my posture more correct which eases my neck and shoulder pain. 

This foot rest helps with my hips a ton. I like to have my chair higher so I can type easier (I have a very short torso) but then my legs end up hanging too much. This little foot rest brings my legs into proper position by bringing my feet up a few inches. 

I have been using this in my coffee every day since about February and the amount of hair growth I have is insane. I have baby hairs growing in like crazy which is awesome because I have naturally very thin hair and I am always worried about hair loss. I also notice generally clearer skin and my nails are stronger. It is so simple to add to my daily routine by just adding a scoop to my morning coffee. It has no flavor and blends right in. You can't go too wrong with this friends! Check it out for sure!

Friday Five 7/10/20

Hello hello!

It's been a hot minute. Late May and June were a whirlwind as we shopped for a new house, put our house on the market (it sold in 24 hours) and then packing and moving into our new house. Pretty much everything in my life except for work, moving and sleep has been on hold. Now that we are started week 3 in our new home and have it to a place where we are pretty comfortable, I am able to get back into some of my hobbies, blogging included.



Some exciting things that have happened lately:


  • We adopted some kitties from the local animal shelter. They are feral by birth so they aren't house cats- we got them to be outdoor/barn cats to help keep the rodent population down around our farm and to hopefully give these kitties a loving, safe home. Their names are MoMo, Maizy and Eve! They are still pretty shy of humans but we are doing everything we can to win them over. 
    MoMo

    Maizy

    My dog pretending he is a cat
    Eve



  • We got chickens! I don't care for birds at all but my husband wanted them so bad so I relented.. and they are pretty cute. Fresh eggs coming in about 14 weeks!

  • We have done some fun projects around the new house! Lots of painting and yard work. 

  • We hosted our immediate families for the 4th of July and had an outdoor, socially distanced BBQ. It was a lovely afternoon full of family and fun. 





1. Hamilton 
Hamilton | Disney+ Originals
Everyone knows about this but wow. It is truly a masterpiece. We watched it on July 4th and I have had the songs stuck in my head ever since. As a lifelong history and musical nerd, this was basically the perfect way for me to geek out equally over history and show tunes at the same time. It is streaming on Disney+ and you should all go watch it. Now I must go praise the lord that Lin-Manuel Miranda is on this earth.


2. Renovation Island 
The Truth About HGTV's Renovation Island - YouTube
So my hubs and I became slightly obsessed with this show since moving into our new house. The premise is that a family buys a run down resort in the Bahamas and renovates the entire thing. There are many setbacks and moments of drama but it is seriously entertaining and the location is gorgeous. We watch it religiously on Sunday nights. You can find it on HGTV.


3. Handheld Vacuum 

This is the best purchase I have made in YEARS. When we moved into our new house, we quickly realized the old owner had been filthy. The house needed a deep clean top to bottom. This little handheld vacuum has helped so much. I can carry it with me easily, it fits into small spaces, it has strong suction and holds it's charge longer than I expected. Because we have no carpet in the new house, I rarely have to pull out my big vacuum now. I just sweep the floors into piles and then vacuum up with my handheld. I can vacuum out drawers in the kitchen and under the baseboards with ease. It is a game-changer and everyone needs one!

4. The Perfect Summer Quilt 

Our new house has air conditioning in the bedrooms but we still don't like to sleep with a heavy comforter during the summer months. I have been on the hunt for a simple summer quilt that is soft, light and will hold up well. I found this one on Amazon and it's just perfect. It's light and airy and softer than most quilts. It was under $50 but the quality is excellent. I got plain white so I can bleach out puppy paw prints but they have other colors. Check it out!

5. A Mosaic of Wings by Kimberly Duffy

This is the most recent book I have read and it was just lovely! It follows a young women after her graduation from Cornell in the late 1800's. Nora is independent and not ready to conform to the expectations of her. Instead, she wants to pursue a career in entomology. She follows her dreams to a research expedition in India and learns a lot about herself, her future and relationships along the way.

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Historical Fiction and this was right in my wheelhouse. It beautifully wove a story full of vivid descriptions, deeply woven characters and of course, a love story (I am a sucker for a romance). While I deeply enjoyed this story, I will say it had a few moments in the book that were a little disjointed. Regardless, it is an excellent read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I received this book complimentary from Bethany House Fiction but all opinions are my own.

Have a great weekend!

Book Review: Between These Walls

Hey everyone! Quarantine has left me with lots of time to read. I recently read a fascinating book set in WW2. As many who follow me know, I always gravitate to WW2 books... I should venture out to other genres but I just can't seem to. I want to share this with all the other readers out there!

Between These Walls by [Michael  Newman]

The book Between There Walls by Michael Newman is a highly researched account of 3 families and an art curator during WW2 and in the years that followed the world worst war.

Here is the book description:

A novel of historical fiction that turns on two key events: the discovery of a beautiful blonde woman’s body in the back seat of a burnt out SS staff car during the last days of World War II, by US Army Medical Corps Colonel Samuel Singer, and the unsealing more than four decades later of a security-taped package from Germany, bearing a secret that changes the life of New York art curator Daniel Singer, the adopted son of Colonel Singer.

As Daniel learns more about the package’s contents, he unlocks the history of three families -- one American and two German – through tumultuous times, from the end of the First World War to the rise of Adolf Hitler, the Second World War, the Holocaust, and through to three Middle East wars. Along the way, he gets entangled in the web of the Mossad, Israel’s top secret spy agency and Naomi one of its beautiful operatives, and is ultimately faced with a life-altering choice – and the opportunity to right the most heinous of wrongs.

 I enjoyed this book because it gave more perspectives of the war experience than the usual WW2 book- it delves into the German war experience more as well as the American experience. It is mysterious and though provoking and keeps you furiously turning the pages so you can find out what happens next. I don't want to say much more because I don't want to give any spoilers to the story. What I will say is that is a riveting read and you should check it out!!