How to Get Happy

Today I was going to post about how I’ve fallen into a mid-Fall slump. Don’t get me wrong- I love this time of year- but the recent election and my persistent acid reflux issues and the trivial pressures of the holiday have me somewhat deflated. I just feel so tired and drained by the end of the workday, and chores have gone by the wayside. I don’t know- I just feel very bleh right now.

Originally I was going to make a whole post out of it, but then I came up with a different idea. Instead of describing my mood, I’m going to share with you the ways I try to pull myself out of these ruts. Maybe these can help you, too!

Go get some coffee.
Right now my closest Starbucks is 35 minutes away, but sometimes I just need the road trip + coffee splurge to lift my mood. Sometimes just a quick trip to McDonald’s for an iced caramel coffee does the trick.

Wander around your favorite store(s).
After getting a warm holiday latte it never hurts to wander around Target or HomeGoods or World Market or Hobby Lobby.

Hang out at the library.
There are times I feel worse when I leave Target or Barnes & Noble with a $400 dent in my checkbook (let’s be real- we’ve all gone in to browse and walked out with enough to furnish a new apartment) so instead of shopping I go to the library.

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Clean the house.
Is that weird? Sometimes organizing and checking things off my to-do list is the only thing that makes me feel better. I love clean sheets and organized closets and an empty sink. When I get into ‘crazy clean mode’ K knows to leave the house and let me go nuts with some loud music and wine.

Get out of town & spend some time with your girls.
A few of my very best friends live +2 hours away so it’s easy for me to pack a bag and kiss K goodbye for the night. Whether we go out for drinks and dancing or hanging out on their couch with a movie, it’s the mini-getaway I need to rejuvenate my spirit.

Be alone.
I love my friends and I adore K, but I recharge in complete solitude. Reading a book, binge-ing on Netflix, or taking a nap is the only way to fix my super low moods.

Bath + Glass of Wine + Candles
I don’t think I need to explain this one.

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Listen to the Right Music For My Mood
Sometimes I need some heavy rock that keeps tempo with my boiling blood. Sometimes I need Disney tunes to belt out at the top of my lungs. Sometimes I want Frank Sinatra crooning at me through the speakers. It’s all a matter of picking the right playlist.

Buy Myself Something New
Nothing big or fancy: a snarky coffee mug, a new book, a half-priced purse from Marshalls. Something that I really want that makes me feel prettier or smarter or happier in that moment.

Go On A Walk or a Hike- Or Take the Dogs to the Dog Park
Seeing my dogs enjoying themselves in nature or playing chase with another large group of dogs always makes me smile. There’s something about watching another creature enjoy itself that makes me warm inside.

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I’ll snap out of my funk soon enough, but combining a few of these things always helps. This weekend I’m seeing my best friends and spending time at the wilderness rehab center, so I should definitely be in a happier mood for Turkey Day!

Tell me what you do to get happy!

My thoughts & love are with all my southeastern US blogger-friends right now. Stay safe, guys ❤︎
I’m praying they get the fires under control soon..

Also, Happy Birthday to my beautiful mother-in-law!

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A Weekend Recap & A Grateful Heart

Happy Monday! This week is going to be c.r.a.z.y. but so fun! I have my full-time job, two shifts at the part-time place, a Foo Fighters concert (WOO HOO!), a day off and a visit to my mom’s classroom to meet her new kids, a hair cut (byeee long hair!) and a cookout with friends! Whew! That’s a lot to think about!

Before I jump into the next 7 days of craziness let’s recap my fun-filled weekend!

Friday I took a trip to a nearby city and did some unsuccessful shopping (great start to the weekend, right?) and then came home to enjoy some pizza with the husband. Saturday was a little better. I walked the pups, got some chores done, and went to a gorgeous wedding in Ohio’s back-country with my momma.

The obligatory wedding selfie!
The obligatory wedding selfie! (Last time curling this mane?)

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The beautiful venue!

. . .

Mom & Me
Mom & Me

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The gorgeous bride!
The gorgeous bride!

. . .

The wedding started at 1 o’clock and ended by 5. I spent the evening watching the NASCAR race (because what else would I be doing?!).

. . .

Sunday was spent with my best friend and favorite baby at the local park! A wonderful way to end the weekend!

Elliot!
Elliot!

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Such an observant little baby!
Such an observant little lady!

. . .

So that sums up my weekend! Feeling so grateful and blessed this week! Bring on the insanity!

How was your weekend?

-Louise

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

What Happened When I Took A Week Off

A few months ago I put in a vacation request at my full-time job & at my part-time job for an entire week. The plan was to travel to a small resort just outside St. Louis, MO and spend the week with K, my parents, my brother & his gf, and my grandparents. My uncle lives in St. Louis so we’d be spending time with him, too. A week before the scheduled trip my husband told me that business was too good and he wouldn’t be able to take a week off. (K owns his own business.) I held out hope that we might be able to join my family halfway through the week, but K’s agenda just wouldn’t cooperate. He told me I could vacation without him, but I knew my absence would make for a miserable week for him and the pups. Last Sunday we waved goodbye as my family set off for Missouri… without us.

Last week I had a free week. No work, no part-time job, no family obligation. I am a Type-A planner so the idea of 7 days of “nothingness” freaked me out. I thought about going in to work. I thought about trying to figure out a way to join my family. I thought about filling my days with a strict schedule. But then I didn’t do any of that.

Lots of time for some adult coloring
Lots of time for some adult coloring

I slept in (even though I had intentions of doing early-morning hot yoga). I staying in athletic shorts all day. I didn’t touch the vacuum until Sunday and I let dishes pile up in the sink (for a few hours until I washed them…) I only did laundry when we ran out of clothes and I ignored my car that desperately needed cleaned-out. I completely ignored my blog and put aside all the other blogs I typically read. I only opened my IG app once or twice and I made 3 Facebook posts… two of them were just photos.

But I honestly feel like I got a lot done. I reorganized my craft room/office. I hung some photos and built some book shelves. I prepped some meals and make sure we had dinner and snacks all week. I went shopping and treated myself with coffee. I fed my parents’ (7) pets and spent some time relaxing on their back porch.

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I spent a morning in Amish Country with my mother-in-law and I took a trip to Columbus, Ohio with Enzo to visit friends. (More about our dog park adventure on Friday!) I took time to just lay in bed, relax on my couch, and sort through memories. For the first time in a long time, gave myself permission to do nothing.

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All worn out from our Columbus trip!

I’m back at work today and I feel incredibly refreshed. My family is home and safe, my house is clean and my laundry is done (thanks to some Sunday cleaning), and my husband is more caught up and feeling better about his work load.

I am so grateful for the past week. I’m so grateful to have the vacation time to spend doing nothing. I’m so grateful to start the week with a happy, refreshed heart.

Did you have a nice weekend? When is the last time you took the time to do nothing? Have you even been to Columbus Ohio? How about a dog park? I’ll see you on Friday for my puppy-park recap!

-Louise

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

Jamaica

I consider myself a polar bear-type person, but Ohio has officially beat me down and I am dreaming of warmer weather. More specifically, I keep having flashbacks to Jamaica, where K and I went on vacation last September.

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I need to be here again. Right now.

We were originally going to go on a cruise, but when our travel buddies found out they were expecting (a child) K and I decided we’d switch it up and find an all-inclusive resort. Thank to Travelocity Vacation Packages, I booked a 4 day trip to the Jewel Paradise Cove. Did I mention that K and I traveled to this resort- airfare, food, & alcohol included- for less than $1,500 TOTAL? Deal of a lifetime.

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Seriously, though. Shut up and take my money.

K and I didn’t really sleep the night before we left because he is a last minute packer (which means I have to pack his things at the last minute) and he needed to tie up all his business-loose-ends. We left for the airport super early so that we’d be able to get to Jamaica with as much time as possible to have fun.

So. Tired. (but still smiling!)
So. Tired. (But still smiling!)

I won’t go day-by-day, but we had some dinner that first night and then passed out for +14 HOURS. Hey, it’s called vacation for a reason, right?

We spent our days lounging on the beach and relaxing in the beautiful room. Our sleeping quarters were centrally located so we had the beach on one side, a yummy pizza/Italian food place on the other, and pools all over the place. There were 3 pools, free water activities, and +5 places to eat on site. And so. much. alcohol. Do you know how weird it is to get a meal or a drink and not have to pay?! It’s weird… (We did tip often, though.)

One evening we went to the fancy hibachi restaurant on-site. YUM!
One evening we went to the fancy hibachi restaurant on-site. YUM!

K likes to lay around and watch TV or sleep on vacation, but I am the person who hates wasting one minute of potential adventuring. (We had a little tiff about this while on the island, but I’ll get to that…) Because of my pushy nature, I got what I wanted and we signed up for two excursions. The first was included in our package: Climbing up Dunn’s River Falls!

James Bond scenes were filmed here!
James Bond scenes were filmed here!

Our second excursion was out-of-pocket and included zip-lining, a sky lift ride, and “bobsledding.” Honestly, zip-lining was the best part. It was AWESOME!

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I'm the little human flying through the jungle...
I’m the little human flying through the jungle…

 

The sky (ski) lift ride to Mystic Mountain
The sky (ski) lift ride to Mystic Mountain

It was a very, very good trip. Despite him not being much of a traveler, I love going places with K.

Oh yeah… our little fight…
Well, I was mostly mad because it was Day 3 and K just wanted to hang out in the room a bit and watch TV. I wanted to go play giant chess (which I don’t know how to play) or swing in a hammock or anything. Quite honestly, I wasn’t being fair since we’d already climbed a waterfall and zip-lined. Well, I got mad and shut myself in the bathroom and fell asleep on the (heated) floor. When I finally woke up an hour later, I discovered that the floor had burnt my thigh like a sunburn.

I am very, very careful to wear sunscreen and protect my skin (cancer runs in the family) so the only burn I came back  from Jamaica with was one I’d gotten from the floor. Yep. That’s usually how it goes for me, hahaha.

Another fun thing about traveling with K is that we make up nicknames and back-stories for almost everyone we meet. This is especially fun at a resort or on a cruise because you keep seeing them over and over!

Have you ever been to Jamaica? What are some of your favorite/crazy/wacky vacation stories? Have you ever burnt yourself on a heated floor?

-Louise