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SIMPLE INSPIRATION: Dreaming

April 15, 2014



Not everyone is made from the same mold.  Don't try to fit yourself to someone else's mold.  Instead make your life fit to you.  If you are a dreamer then be a dreamer.  Pair a dreamer with a doer and it can change the world.

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32 before 33 - A Goal List

April 9, 2014

Hey, Hey! It's my birthday!

Many bloggers do birthday lists of things that want to do before their next birthday.  My first reaction to this was "No way! 32 is too many."  Apparently this is just the challenge I need.  So here we go:

  1. Take a trip to Chicago.
  2. Hit 1000 followers on Simply In Bold.
  3. Become debt free except for my massive student loans.
  4. Build a solid set of stock photography.
  5. Camp under the stars with my husband. 
  6. See a firework show.
  7. Learn to make risotto. 
  8. Have 3-6 months worth of expenses in my savings.
  9. Catch a show at TPAC.
  10. Develop a wardrobe that helps me feel confident.
  11. Go on a day trip.
  12. Be a supportive wife by attending a comic convention with my husband.
  13. Develop healthy eating habits. (Ahem, limit my sugar intake.)
  14. Go bike riding.
  15. Archive my favorite photos from my childhood.
  16. Have a yard sale.
  17. Learn to screen print.
  18. Run a 5K, literally. (No walking!)
  19. Finally go to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.
  20. Back up my best/favorite photos to Flickr. (Get them off my old computers! Eek!)
  21. Read six non-fiction books.
  22. Be able to hold a conversation in Italian.
  23. Post daily to Instagram.
  24. Sell something I made.
  25. Learn to make Gordan Ramsey's signature Beef Wellington.
  26. Get a pedicure (I am 31 and have never had one. What?!?)
  27. Wear more dresses (so more than twice a year)
  28. Pick fruit from an orchard.
  29. Go to a Nashville Sounds game. 
  30. Buy a new camera lens.
  31. Go a full day without watching television.
  32. Live life boldly!!!

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SIMPLE INSPIRATION: Do!

April 7, 2014



Life can get away from us so easily.  Get up, go to work, come home, make dinner, do chores, go to bed, and repeat. We must be deliberate in how we spend our time.  Every day make time to do something you love even if it is only for 10 minutes.  It will keep you happy and in touch with who you are.

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SIMPLE INSPRIATION: Planning

March 31, 2014



I am a planner, a very detailed planner, but rarely do I ever follow my own plan. My Plan A always fails, but probably because my plans are way too strict with astronomical expectations.  For example, my fitness plan has me in the gym every Tuesday morning at 7:45am.  When I showed my plan to my husband, he chuckled under his breath then encouraged me to go for it.  He knows that I am not a morning person.  Why in the world did I think it would work?  Well, I thought that I could overcome my morning aversion because fitness is important.  I ended up feeling like a failure and giving up completely. Total overreaction, I know.  Lesson learned:  Know yourself then make a plan that supports you.

When Erin from Living In Yellow invited people to join her in the #1800MinuteChallenge, I thought I can totally get on board with this.  The concept is simple and completely doable. Complete 1800 Minutes of physical activity during April and May.  That's it.  I can do whatever I want, whenever I want.  Walk the dogs for 15 minutes one day and hike for two hours the next.  Whatever, it all counts toward the goal. It is much different from the rigid schedules I usually make and I like it.

Here are your hosts:

Erin from Living in Yellow  // Alissa from Alissa Circle,
Emily from The Freckled Fox // Alycia from Crowley Party

Here's what you need to know:

1. You will want to sign up to be a part of the challenge just so the hosts know who is joining in on the fun (and so that you have a chance to win the amazing grand prize at the end of the sixty days). You can register here.

2. Starting April 1st, you will be responsible for tracking your own progress. Don't worry, Erin's gotcha covered. After signing up for the challenge, you will receive a spreadsheet via email which will allow you to quickly track and total your minutes!

3. Throughout the challenge use #1800MinuteChallenge on Instagram or Twitter so that those of us also participating can follow along and cheer you on. Make sure to follow @livinginyellow, @alissamcircle, @thefreckledfox and @alyciagrayce for occasional workout ideas, their favorite playlists, and extra tips + tricks on how to get your 1800 minutes in!

4. At the end of the challenge (May 31st) those of you who have completed all 1800 minutes will email Erin your spreadsheet [livinginyellow@gmail.com]. On Monday, June 9th one winner will be drawn to receive the #1800MinuteChallenge grand prize. It's still a secret on what you will be receiving but don't worry, they will fill you in on the details as time goes on. Keep in mind that the best prize of all will be how great you feel and look at the end of the challenge. The prizes will just be the cherry on top ;)

Who else is in?

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Relationship Lessons From the Most Loving Cat Ever

March 27, 2014

Lessons from my cat

Hi, I am Shadow! I just want to tell you that I love my mommy so much.  She is the best. She is almost better than when I steal beef jerky or play fetch.  Every morning when I hear the alarm go off I start calling her through the bedroom door, but I don't understand why she won't let me crawl all over her pillow and run in circles while she sleeps.  As soon as that bedroom door opens (usually by Dad because Mom is not a morning person) then I dart over to the bed.  Sometimes Mom still has her eyes closed and ignores me, so I kiss her on the nose until she acknowledges me with a "Good Morning, Kitty".  Next, I like to paw at her arm until she lifts the sheet so I can crawl into bed too.  I lay right up next to her and always close enough to give her more kisses.  We lay in the bed for a long time until Dad complains and Mom gets up.  I follow her to the bathroom and sit on the counter while she gets ready for the day. I like to interrupt her by leaning and pawing at her until she picks me up. For that she gets more kisses.  What comes next is the worst.  She leaves for what must be a year.  When she finally gets home I am usually asleep, but as soon as I realize she is there then I jump up and demand her attention some more.  Well, gotta go knock things off the countertops. Bye!
   
Man, that bratty cat.  He is always demanding my attention.  Isn't being loved so terrible? No, seriously, he has taught me a lot about how to love.  So, here we go...

FOUR LESSONS OF LOVE MY CAT TAUGHT ME

LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY
No matter how grouchy I am in the morning, Shadow always comes back the next day.  He immediately forgives me for knocking him off the bed or shooing him away.  However, he expects the same from me.  I can pop him for knocking my drink off the table and he will be back in my lap five minutes later.  This is the most common lesson learned from pets and definitely worth it.

GIVE WHAT YOU WANT TO RECEIVE
When Rory and I were newlyweds, I used to get so upset that he wasn't giving me as much affection as he did before our marriage.  I would get mad and sulk (Because, you know, that makes a man want to be close and hug you, right?).  If only Shadow had been there to give me advice.  When Shadow wants my attention, he gives me attention.  He doesn't sulk and wait on me to come around.  He finds me and makes it happen.  Honesty moment:  I hate to admit it, but on a daily basis if you add it all up Shadow probably gets more attention than Rory.  Rory gets enough, so he doesn't mind.  This lesson isn't just for relationships, but it is also true for friendships.  All my life I have listened to "Friend A" complain that "Friend B" never calls her to talk or asks her out to lunch.  Funny thing is that "Friend B" has the same complaints.  If you want to talk to someone, just call them.  If you want to go to lunch with someone then just ask them.  Let's not overcomplicate things or be too sensitive... just sincerely give to others what you want to receive in return.

PLAY TOGETHER
Firstly, you are never too old to play and have toys.  Let's just get that out of the way. Shadow will be nine years old this year which is like 52 in human years and it hasn't slowed him down a bit.  He loves to sit on the back of his favorite comfy chair and grab people (and dogs) as they walk by.  Even after all these year it still makes me jump and laugh.  Shadow also loves to play fetch and attack mirrors.

This was supposed to be an Instagram video, but it had an error. I thought it was lost forever, but luckily Google auto-backed it up as a gif thus the weird play symbol in the middle. I am just glad I have it.  It took a really long time to catch him doing this.  As you can see once he looked at me in the mirror and realized I was watching then he stopped. 
Sometimes he will chase me through the house and lick me when he catches me.  He makes me laugh and he loves it.  Playing together definitely adds to the bond.

LISTEN EVEN IF YOU HAVE NO CLUE WHAT IS BEING SAID
Yes, I talk to my cat.  According to this site, cats can understand 25-35 words.  I think they know more than that, but don't let on the way that dogs do.  I am very consistent with words and intonation when I speak to my pets.  For example, I use "get down" when they are somewhere they are not allowed, "Out" to leave the room or area, "drop it" when they have something they shouldn't, etc.  Yes, cats can be trained and they do listen. Sometimes mine act like teenagers by back-talking and staling, but ultimately they do what I say.  Occasionally, the crazy cat lady in me comes out and I say more than commands.  I don't think I have ever "confided" in my cat (not judging if you do) but I do talk to him.  And, he actually listens.  I know that he doesn't have a clue what I am saying, but he turns his ears to me and sometimes will come nuzzle me.  Rory likes a lot of nerdy things that I just don't know anything about.  Over the years, I have learned more about comic books than I ever cared to know.  Regardless, I listen because comic books are something that he cares about.  Lately, I have been racking up bonus points by asking clarifying or follow up questions! Yes!

Do you have any lessons to add?  Most importantly, I want to see pictures of your kitty cat(s)!  I might just have to do a follow up post to share all the cuteness! Please leave your links below.

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