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November Challenge: Early to Bed, Early to Rise

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Notes to Random Strangers

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Another of my carpe diem challenges was to write a note and give it to a random stranger. So I took little blank note cards and wrote “Have a great weekend! God loves you and you are important!” on them. I left them at tables for servers, gave them to patrons sitting around or eating alone, and I even left one at the hostess station when I left. It feels good to spread some good news to someone who might otherwise be hearing the negative voices of the world around us. Maybe they already knew the message on the card, maybe no one had ever told them. All I know is that I would feel great knowing someone took the time to share it with me so I shared it with them. I’m planning on expanding this a bit more. I will let you know how it goes!!

Give a Gift to a Random Stranger!!

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This is my birthday month and my family and I decided to go out to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory for my birthday. Even though my birthday is on the seventh, the sixth turned out to be more convenient for everyone and it also happens to be A LOT of other people’s birthday. For the carpe diem challenge I decided I’d like to give my waitress a gift for my birthday. So I put together a nice gift and packaged it all cute and slid a little note inside. The envelope read “To Someone Special” and the card read “Have a great week! God loves you and you are important!” Problem. We had a waiter and I had a girlie gift. No problem. Remember how I mentioned above that apparently the sixth is a busy day for birthdays?We heard the birthday song and saw many a candle blown out while we were at our table. So on the way out, I asked the gal behind me, “Is it your birthday?” When I got a yes, she got a present!! It warmed my heart to see the pleasant surprise in her face and the faces of her compani…

Carpe Diem Challenge One: Make Art Out of Nature

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Today Callie and I headed toward the Lake to make some art out of nature and while we were there we also noted the beautiful art of nature. Our personal art project was to make a flower out of a pine cone, some rocks, a stick, some leaves, and a few needly leafy things. Pictured top left is the result of our undertaking. It was fun looking around for and picking just the right leaves and such and I think it turned out quite nicely. 
Another result of our adventure was Callie got absolutely filthy by rolling around near the lake’s edge and, of course, had to have a bath as soon as we got home. Also included in today’s post are some of the other sights from our walk by the lake. It really is a beautiful time of year and the ducks, dogs, and joggers were out in abundance. I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoyed seizing the day and playing out in nature for a bit today. 

Carpe Diem!!!



August Challenge: Carpe Diem!!!

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I am so excited about this month’s challenge! This month I have enlisted the help of the Carpe Diem blog which lists great ideas to shake up each day. Some of those challenges I have geared up to “seize” throughout the weeks ahead and I’m excited as to how they will turn out! I’ll be posting them on facebook and here so we will be meeting here more often than usual this month to share experiences. Be a sport and try them with me too then let me know in the comments section or on facebook how they turned out for you!! See you tomorrow with my first report!! Carpe Diem!!!

Founding Father's Wrap Up!!

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Last month was great! I was able to learn a lot of cool quotes from our Founding Fathers! Each day a new quotation was posted on my facebook. Here they are for you in today’s roundup!






One day is worth two tomorrows; what I am to be, I am now becoming.-Benjamin Franklin
A people…who are possessed of the spirit of commerce, who see and who will pursue their advantages may achieve almost anything.-George Washington
Determine Never to be idle…It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.-Thomas Jefferson
Independence Forever.-John Adams
There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise about itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.-Alexander Hamilton
Conscience is the most sacred of all property.-James Madison
A little matter will move a party, but it must be something great that moves a nation.-Thomas Paine
By removing the Bible from schools we would be wasting so much time and money in punishing criminals and so little pains to prevent crime. Take the…

July Challange: Revisiting the Wisdom and Wit of Our Founding Fathers

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This month I am going old school. I’m talking colonial! My challenge this month is to discover and post quotes* from our Founding Fathers. I believe July is the perfect month for this since we celebrate Independence Day on the 4th.(Which is not only the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence but it’s also my favorite holiday!) So far I’ve seen great wisdom, character, and national pride as well as an intelligent sense of humor among out Nation’s Founders. I’m excited to learn more and share their wisdom and laughter with you. Here is how it will work. To the right of this posting there is a button that says “Follow Me on Facebook.” Click that button and follow me! I will post a new quote* each day on my facebook page. At the end of each week I will compile them and post them here on the blog. Follow along and let’s learn together! Do you have any favorite quotes? Are there any motivational sayings that you enjoy? Post them here in the comments section or on my fa…

June Journaling Wrap Up!!

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What a great month of exploration, inspiration, and discovery it has been! I must say that journaling has been my favorite challenges yet. In fact, I plan on continuing the process and have even added journaling to my daily checklist. Writing down your thoughts makes them concrete and helps keep your mind from being jumbled. It makes all your frustrations, things to do, and problems to solve look not so scary as words on a page. When you have everything right there in front of you then you can tackle the job of thinking of or even creating solutions. Writing your joys keeps them readily available to relive and enjoy all over again. My journal looks like a hodgepodge of deep thought, strategies, and just plain day to day stuff. Within its pages are important things and small things. There are funny comments between friends, quotes I read during the day, and even things as mundane as what I did that day. It’s also a comprehensive list of goals and dreams and a discovery of who I really …

June Challenge: Journaling!!

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June’s Challenge: Journaling Expected Benefits: Putting thoughts in writing make them more concrete. Concrete thoughts are reworkable. Changes to my thinking! Sweet Release! Expected Difficulties: Making time to do it. Making myself work those thoughts into concrete! Your Challenge! Journal!! As a part of my mind retraining, I’ve been reading a lot more blogs with encouraging positive messages. I’ve noticed the bloggers tend to be somewhere interesting while they are writing, have just finished being somewhere interesting, or are reposting a previous blog because they are on the way to somewhere interesting. Well, I am writing this blog at a picnic table outside my apartment looking at the lake. Lakes are calm and peaceful. They are in constant motion and filled with unseen critters yet their flow is steady. There is something relaxing about lakes. I find them to generate a little creativity too. They help you reflect on yourself just as well as your actual reflection in the water. This brings…

Sleeping on the Job!! April/May Catchup!!

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April/May Catchup!!

 So I was such a blogging slacker the last 2 months. I apologize but I did keep the challenges going! April I tried to get up earlier in the morning and that went really well. When I get up early I feel so much better, not only physically but about my day in general. I get things done early so I have a sense of accomplishment earlier in the day. This frees me to do fun stuff, like hang out with my pup!!

May’s challenge was a tremendous FAIL!! The plan was to beef up my exercise routine, however, due to sickness and then just laziness I did not even come close to meeting those challenge goals. I find this interesting considering April’s get up and go resulting in SEVERAL walks per day! Guess if I’d have gotten up as early in May as I did in April I could have kept the momentum going and accomplished both challenges in 2 months! Well, you and you learn! Guess, I’ll have to push myself to get up early again, instead of just pushing the alarm.

March's Connection Challenge!!

In today’s fast paced living we’ve replaced conversations and really relating to one another with quick texts, wall posts, and the occasional email. What I discovered in last month’s challenge of writing letters and skipping the facebook was that people still crave that personal attention and care of a real connection. With friendly letter writing such a rarity it meant more to people to receive a personal handwritten note because it meant someone took an extra bit of time to really focus on them and write encouraging words, pay postage, and walk to the mail box to drop it in rather than quickly sending an electronic message while waiting in line somewhere. With this realization I have decided that March’s Challenge will take this personal attention with friends and family a bit farther.

March’s ChallengeI’m going to be actually using my phone for what is was initially invented for—phone calls! I really want to connect with people not just quickly get to the point and pop off the line …

February "No Facebook" Challenge!!

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Wow, I’m late posting this one!!


February’s challenge is one I am so excited about! Twenty-nine days (yay, leap year!) of no facebook! How many of you are like me and check facebook every morning to see what’s going on in everyone’s lives? How many times a day do you check facebook? Post to facebook? Add pictures to facebook? With the addition of the smart phone in our lives we are ever more increasingly connected digitally yet at the same time we are so ever expanding the disconnect between our friends and family. If it doesn’t wind up on a “status” or “wall” or (heaven forbid!) our friends and family have neglected to even have a facebook page, we just don’t know what’s going on in each other’s lives or keep in touch whatsoever. What ever happened to good, old fashioned letter writing? Phone call? Meeting face to face?


February’s Challenge
No Facebook!
Write a letter or note to one person everyday this month and send it.


Expected Benefits
Less wasted time…on facebook
Better comm…

On the home stretch...

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I’m on the home stretch of this month’s challenge and may I just say this has been hard! I’m proud to say that for the most part I have stuck to my guns by eating all my meals at the dining table but I will admit to faltering a time or two. After weeks of doing so well and consciously preparing meals and eating at the table I was surprised to realize that one night for dinner I found myself munching on leftovers on the coffee table watching Netflix without even a thought! I just sat down and went to it and it was only after a few minutes that I discovered my blunder. I guess this goes to prove just how mindless we can be in our habits. I, once again, found myself last night in front of my computer eating an orange. Are you kidding me!?! So close!!! As for those dinner “dates” with the husband at our own dinner table, those have gotten more frequent. I’ve recently adopted a more vegan approach to my eating and have been trying to make new things that have gotten the man’s curiosity up…

Week 1 Under My Belt!!

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With Week 1 of this month’s challenge under my belt, I can honestly say it’s been a little eye opening and not everything has gone as I expected. I did keep to the challenge and ate only at the table sans Television, so I am proud that I kept to my goal, but I’m not so proud of the things I noticed! Like, some days I eat very little and some days I can’t seem to get enough. I was surprised on Thursday by just how many times I found myself at the table with snacks! Sheesh! Whereas today, I’ve had to stop and make myself eat a little something for lunch…around 3:30pm! I’ve also been keeping a journal of what I’m eating. It’s been easier to remember with the table eating I must admit and looking over the past week I can truly say I’m slow going back into the healthy eating routine I had been practicing before the holidays. All is not lost! The Challenge has just begun and I now can see the benefits of purposefully eating---the actual “act” of eating.


Now to the surprises. When I first …

Jan 2, 8am; Day 2: So far So good :-)

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Yesterday I tried something I saw on Pinterest, a website that I’m sure I’ll have to put on the abstain list at some point just to check my willpower. I was staying at my parents’ house for the weekend where the cupboards are often scarce so for breakfast Monday morning I had to be a little creative. Enter the Pinterest posting. I laid the toaster on its side and inserted my two slices of bread and on one slice I laid my cheese slice for a perfect and easy toasted cheese sandwich. However, while said sandwich was in toasting I heard “mother nature” calling and a pit stop toward breakfast was made. When I returned from the powder room the toaster was finished with its handy work but my sandwich was not in it. I proceeded to look down and there was my perfectly toasted sandwich…on the floor with a fluffy puppy standing over it. It seems that while I was away the toaster popped my sandwich out and force plus gravity took hold and down it went! Not to be discouraged I tried again, this t…

12 Months of Resolutions!!

Join me on my journey of 12 monthly challenges designed to benefit my health, relationships, and lifestyle! Each month throughout the year I will be abstaining from one habit or item while adding a new beneficial habit or item. Feel free to take the challenges with me and let me know about your progress!

January Challenge: Eat every meal at a dining table with no television or computer distractions.
Abstaining/Adding: I’m taking away the extra distractions especially television which can lead to mindless eating and adding the dinner table for all meals.

Expected Benefits · More deliberate food choices
· Less mindless eating because I will be aware of “eating”
· Less additional eating because I’ve got to eat at the table.
· More conversation with family and friends due to less outside distractions.

Expected Difficulties:· Getting others to turn off the TV.
· Eating while traveling.
· Meetings and events where “grazing” is encouraged.

The Rules:· All meals must be eaten at the dining table…