Enduring All Things: January 2016

Friday, January 29, 2016

Priceless Powwows with Pearson & Guys Behind the Blog

Happy Friday everybody! We made it! I've thought it was a day later than it really was all week. On Tuesday I woke up thinking about what I needed to do to get ready for church that night thinking it was Wednesday. Then on Thursday I woke up so excited thinking it was Friday. Realizing I was wrong was the worst. But now it actually is Friday! Finally! I have a crazy busy weekend ahead of me though, but I'm excited.

So I thought I'd celebrate Friday with some Priceless Powwows with Pearson and some Guys Behind the Blog questions. Lets get started!

Priceless Powwows with Pearson:

Disclaimer: I ran all these by Pearson and he approved of me including them here. Also, he's been really stressed and a bit sleep deprived lately. Enjoy!

Scene: He was driving and I was in the front seat. He didn't go when the light turned green.
Pearson: Sorry. Sometimes my brain stops working. Well, it doesn't stop working, it's just thinking about something else.
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Scene: He's about to use my Chapstick Total Hydration which is not packaged like a normal Chapstick tube.The cap covers more of the tube and the part you twist is larger than normal. Also we were sitting in a parking lot in the dark about to go into a place of business.
Pearson: This isn't Chapstick! It's lipstick!
Me: No, it's Chapstick. Hold it in the light. It says Chapstick.
Pearson: But Chapstick isn't packaged like this. Lipstick is.
Me: But look. It's clear. It's not lipstick.
Pearson: Some lipstick is clear though, right? Like "nude" lipstick.
Me: No. Nude is a color. It's the color of skin. Chapstick is clear. There's a big difference.
(Maybe I should give him some nude lipstick next time)
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Pearson: Why do I have an alarm set on my phone for 6 AM on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and then a separate one set for Wednesday at 6 AM?
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Scene: Pearson has his own prescription safety glasses to use in the wet lab. (Not the laser lab. Those are tented goggles that go over his glasses). The other night, I was busy when he got home so I didn't quite greet him at the door like usual (sad, I know) and I didn't notice anything different. A little while later...
Pearson: Oh my goodness! I'm wearing my safety glasses!
Me: You are! Where are your glasses?
Pearson: On my desk at work. I can see because these are prescription so I didn't even notice I was wearing them. I wore them to get Subway tonight too...
(He had to wear them all night and on the way to work the next day. Lesson learned.)
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Scene: I recently created a capsule wardrobe for winter. For some reason, Pearson has called my "capsule" wardrobe a "pill" wardrobe. Twice. This conversation happened after the second time he did this...
Me: I don't even understand why you associate those two words. I mean, I know they are associated, but to me, the word "capsule" means anything small and encased. Not just pills. The two words are not identical in my head.
Pearson: You know like medicines always say on the side of the bottle "take two capsules before eating the bed."
(He was trying to say "before eating" and "before going to bed" at the same time. It was late at night and I couldn't stop laughing.)
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Pearson: Did I ever tell you about the time my parents told me not to say "shoot" because it sounds like a bad word?
Me: I don't think so. But that's not really a big deal. My parents said that too.
Pearson: Wait, really?
Me: Well, yeah. I mean it's a euphemism for the bad word.
Pearson: It is? I just though it was because I talked too fast!
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Scene: Pearson was getting ready to leave for work in the morning. He couldn't find the jeans he had taken off the night before earlier that morning (around 3 AM) when he got home from work.
Me: Did you just say "Where are my jeans?"
Pearson: Yeah
Me: Aren't you wearing them?
Pearson: Aww man! Today is going to be a long day...
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Guys Behind the Blog:

This month is all about what our guys are currently doing. Pearson is currently...
  • Watching: X-files
  • Reading: Nothing. Well, lots of scientific papers, I guess.
  • Listening to: Alter Bridge
  • Dreaming of: Science (Seriously every morning he says he dreamed about his work. It's consuming him)
  • Eating: Unhealthy food
  • Learning: Science. I could give like a highly technical answer but...
  • Wishing: That I was done with grad school.
  • Obsessed with: Dragon Age: Inquisition (it's a video game for the non-gamers out there)
  • Loving: My wife (Aww good answer!)
  • Planning: Experiments (Said through laughter)

So what do you think of his answers? Do you ever have any funny conversations with your hubby?
Thanks for reading!

Linking up with Betsy and Laura Jean for Guys Behind the Blog.
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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thankful Thursday Party - January 2016 (link up)

Yesterday, I walked into our bedroom and immediately became overwhelmed with gratitude because our bed is a queen size with two pillows. For two people to sleep in. That means I get to share a bed with my husband. For some reason it just hit me while I was standing there staring at our bed. I have a wonderful husband who I get to spend the rest of my life with. I am so thankful for him.
If any of you don't know, my husband is in school right now at The Ohio State University working toward his PhD. It's not easy. There are a lot of late nights. A few over night stays. And lots of stress. He's wanted to quit numerous times. But he never has. I'm thankful for that.

I'm thankful that even though his life is so tough right now, he still cares about me. He asks how my day was, truly wanting to know. He asks how I slept every morning when I wake up. He asks if I need him to pick anything up on his way home. He apologizes when he's late and feels bad for working all the time.

I am thankful I have a husband who wants to work on our marriage. He places our marriage at the top of his priorities. We took a couple checkup last week (more about that coming to the blog in a couple weeks) and learned a lot about our relationship. I am thankful that I have a husband who was so eager to take the test and to want to work on areas where we were lacking.


I don't know what came over me yesterday as I stood in front of our bed. Or what made me write this sappy post. Maybe it's because the month of love is coming up. Or maybe it's because National Spouses Day was this week. Or maybe it's just because I love my husband and this is my blog and I can be sappy if I want to. So feel free to not read my sappy posts. Or to read them and be jealous. Or to read them and be thankful for your own spouse. Or just read them and be happy for us. Or whatever.

What are you thankful for this month? Be sure to link up below!
Thanks for reading!

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Popular Quotes About Marriage That Bother Me (And What I'd Like to Replace Them With)

Hey guys. So sorry I've been on the struggle bus lately with getting blog content up. I don't really know what the problem is but I've just been super busy and not motivated to blog. Anyway, that will change next week and all through February thanks to the #LoveBlog prompts! Yay! I'm sure Brita would love to have you link up (and I certainly would on the days I'm co-hosting) so start thinking about what you can write for each of the days and join us!

So I didn't want to leave you on this Wednesday without a post about marriage because I promised at the beginning of the year that I would try to blog about marriage on Wednesdays. So I've come up with sort of a fun little post for today...
Quote: "Yes, Dear"
Why it bothers me: There's nothing wrong with saying "Yes, Dear" when you agree or maybe when it's more important to you to not start a fight. But the connotation behind this phrase is that the wife is always right and the sooner the husband realized and accepts that, the better. No! I am not always right. I know that. I am human. I am imperfect. Oftentimes my husband has a great idea or his opinion on a subject is so much better than mine. He shouldn't have to say "Yes, Dear" to everything I say just because it's expected in our marriage.
Replace it with: "I understand what you're saying, but can you listen to my side too?"

Quote: "Happy Wife, Happy Life"
Why it bothers me: Yes, I think this is true. If you have a happy wife, it will be easier to live a happy life (as opposed to being married to a grump or something). But it's not all about the wife. The husband's happiness is important too!
Replace it with: "Focus on making each other happy and you will be happy too!"

Quote: "Marriage is a three-ring circus: Engagement ring, wedding ring, and suffering"
Why it bothers me: Ugh. These types of sayings are why people go into marriage assuming it will fail. And to whoever said this: There's no way your entire marriage is complete suffering. If it is, you should do something about that! Fix it!
Replace it with: "Marriage is a three-ring circus: Engagement ring, wedding ring, and enduring"

Quote: "Marriage is a relationship in which one person is always right, and the other is the husband."
Why it bothers me: See the first one.
Replace it with: "Marriage is a relationship in which two different people compromise when they disagree"

Quote: Mr. Right, Mrs. Always Right
Why it bothers me: See the first one again.
Replace it with: Mr. Right-for-me, Mrs. Right-for-me

So what do you think? Do you agree with me that these quotes need to go? What would you add to my list?
Thanks for reading!
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Monday, January 25, 2016

Book Review: Life is Beautiful {Giveaway}

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Life is Beautiful by Sarah M. Johnson

Life is Beautiful: How a Lost Girl Became a True, Confident Child of God takes you on a full journey of trauma, loss, and finally resilience. While on a mission’s trip in Guatemala, a small Cessna Caravan’s engine blows while carrying fourteen passengers. Unfortunately, the Cessna crashes in a remote village, leaving eleven of the fourteen passengers dead. One passenger, Sarah, shares her story in “Life is Beautiful”, about the deaths of her father and brother; her mother’s extreme physical and emotional injuries, and Sarah’s self-discovery to accept this new life. -Goodreads
I thought this book was very well written. It sucked me in and I kept wanting more. I also kept forgetting that it was a true story (that's a good thing for me. I love Fiction). When I would remember that I was reading the true story of Sarah's life, my heart would break all over again. Sarah's memoir is more than just the story of her crash. It covers her father's drug addiction and how he overcomes it with little to no help, her aunt's death due to uterine cancer, and her own struggle with alcohol and depression (I didn't really spoil anything. All of this is revealed the back cover).

Sarah's story is a story of redemption. She was already heading down a path to destruction and experiencing such a tragedy threw a wrench in her life that sent her down that path faster. Eventually, she starts going to therapy and with the help of her therapist/mentor she starts to slowly turn her life around. It's not until she truly turns her life to God that she can heal and learn to live with the grief of her loss.

I cried. A lot. I learned a lot about how different people cope with loss differently. My heart broke for Sarah over and over again. Why should a 19 year old have to bare this weight all on her own? I got mad at Sarah as I read about how she kept going back to that destructive life. And I rejoiced with her when she took the small steps to turn her life around.

I highly recommend this book to anybody but especially to anybody who has lost loved ones. You'll learn the importance of learning to live with the loss (but not forgetting it) and how Sarah does that. It's a very inspiring story about how, even after the most tragic of losses, life is beautiful.

As you can see from the excerpt above, the full title of this book is Life is Beautiful: How a Lost Child Became a True, Confident Child of God. Honestly, I was expecting there to be a lot more content in the book about God and Christianity. Sarah did find God. And she attends church and has a relationship with Him. But there were a few things she said about God that I didn't agree with religiously. And, for me, God is my whole life and that's what I was expecting from this. I guess what I'm trying to say is I wanted to read more about how Sarah's doing after the healing process. How she's living her Christian life now. But that's just my preference.

  • Have you read Life is Beautiful? What did you think?
  • Have you suffered a terrible tragedy? Are you struggling to move on with your life after loss? This book is for you!
  • Be sure to enter the giveaway below for a free copy of the kindle version!
  • Or go ahead and purchase your copy here (affiliate link).

Thanks for reading!

About the Author of Life is Beautiful:

Sarah M. Johnson is currently a graduate student seeking her Marriage and Family Therapy degree. She will graduate in 2015. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work. After graduating, she plans to open up a private practice office and guide those who are seeking their own self-discoveries of love and happiness. 
Sarah believes that adversity is a gateway for change, and that through the difficult times of sorrow, loss, depression, anxiety, relationship issues, trauma, disease, or other mental illness, we can use this adversity to self-explore and change for the better. We must not run away from the adversity, but face it, heal, and use this particular adversity as a learning lesson. 
We all have the capacity to be happy and love ourselves; but we must utilize all necessary support systems, medical professionals, mental health professionals, Religious affiliations, (and many more that I am not mentioning) to help us find the Power Within. The Power Within helps us to accept our adversity and create necessary change for a life of love and happiness. 
To learn more, go to http://lifeisbeautifulbook.com/. Connect with Sarah on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Giveaway time!

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Friday, January 22, 2016

5 On Friday - Star Wars & an Expired License

Happy Friday, lovely readers! You guys, I have had a fantastic week! Wanna hear about it? (Also, sorry this post is up so late today. I spent last night watching Gilmore Girls instead of writing. Actually, I'm not sorry).

ONE || First of all, over the weekend, Pearson and I watched all 6 Star Wars movies! It was so much fun. I haven't watched them in forever. We watched The Force Awakens THREE TIMES in the theater in December so it was great to watch the others. Anyway, we watched them in "machete order"... four, five, one, two, three, six. You start with the first ones created. Then after you get the "big reveal" you go back and watch the prequels to see why Anakin turned in to Vader. Then you get the big finish with episode six.


TWO || On Sunday, I found out my drivers license expired on my birthday. Oops. The BMV stayed open late on Tuesday so I went and got my license renewed. I'm driving legally again. Also, I lied about my weight... The guy asked me if it changed and I said no. But I plan on being that weight again soon so it's fine, right? Also, I really like my picture this time!

THREE || I completed the 100 Things Challenge this week. In fact, I got rid of 150 things! It started when I created a capsule wardrobe for winter, but it turned into so much more. I actually have some bare cabinets now. I discovered we still had some stuff in our medicine cabinet that expired in 2012!!

FOUR || I took the clothes and accessories that I purged from my closet to Goodwill last night. It felt good to get them out of the house. Also, I did a little shopping while I was there. Have you ever examined their kitchen section? They actually have a pretty awesome selection of dishes! I got a couple items I'm really excited about!


FIVE || It has been so cold here lately! I spend my days wrapped in blankets sitting at my computer. And when I have to take Pip for a walk, I bundle up so much: wool socks, furry snow boots, fleece-lined leggings, jogger sweatpants, looser water-proof sweatpants, a tank top, a long sleeve t-shirt, a sweatshirt, my wool coat, a beanie, a scarf wrapped around my nose and mouth, the hood from my coat, and gloves. (I'll add a picture to this post when I can get a good one). Can I just say though, that I am SO GLAD we didn't get the blizzard that came through a lot of the country last night and today! Amen!

So that was my week. Pretty exciting for me. How has your week been?
Thanks for reading!
THE GOOD LIFE BLOG   Bright on a Budget
Linking up with 5 On Friday, Oh Hey Friday, and High Five for Friday.

P.S. The Thankful Thursday Party will be back next week! Write about what you're thankful for and link up on Thursday the 28th for the first Thankful Thursday of 2016!
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Thursday, January 21, 2016

100 Things Challenge

A few months ago, Jessa wrote a blog post about a 100 Things Challenge and I was intrigued. A little while later, Lisa wrote a similar post about a minimalist challenge (she wrote about it again when she finished the challenge).

I really liked the idea of getting rid of 100 (or any specific number of) things because I was starting to feel like we just had too much stuff. So when I got rid of a lot of clothes and accessories when creating my capsule wardrobe, I thought now would be a great time to try the challenge!

So, I put it on my blogging editorial calendar for today and basically forgot about it until I posted about my capsule wardrobe on Tuesday. So for the past two days I've been cleaning out drawers and cabinets like crazy and I got all the way to 150 items! I'm pretty proud of myself!

Here's my list! 

(I condensed some of the items because I'm sure you don't want to read 150 individual list items of each specific expired medication in our medicine cabinet)

Wardrobe:

  • 1 - 24. clothing items
This duffel is full of clothing and accessories that I'm taking to Goodwill today. The bag itself counts as an accessory (below).

Accessories:

  • 25 - 73. Accessories (Jewelry, belts, scarves, bags)

Electronics

  • 74. Broken book light
  • 75. Marauder’s map phone case (old phone)
  • 76. Plain black phone case (old phone)
  • 77. Plain white phone case (old phone)
  • 78. Purple phone case (old phone)
  • 79. Pink and white phone case (old phone)
  • 80. Old iPod speakers
  • 81. Old iPod charger
  • 82. Old AT&T flip phone (yes I still had it)
  • 83. Old AT&T flip phone charger
  • 84. My Galaxy S3
  • 85. Pearson’s Galaxy S3
  • 86. My TV from college

Beauty

  • 87. Old Mary Kay foot scrub
  • 88 - 93. Old shampoo/soap/lotion from hotels
  • 94. Hand held mirror with broken handle
  • 95 - 97. Expired tooth floss (I get them from the dentist and never use them)
  • 98. Old self tan lotion
  • 99 - 100. Old Bath & Body works lotion
  • 101. Old liquid makeup
  • 102. Old BB Cream
  • 103 - 104. Old eye shadow
  • 105. Old loose powder
  • 106. Old lip gloss

Medicine

  • 107 - 122. Expired vitamins, medicines, ear/eye drops, and ointments

Kitchen

  • 123-143. old cups and water bottles (pictured below)

Other

  • 144. Old homemade cork coasters that I modpodged pictures onto
  • 145. Empty Mickey Mouse journal I never used (I gave it away)
  • 146.  The owner's manual from our Corola we got rid of 2 years ago
  • 147. The license plate from that car
  • 148. “Gotta Run…” Car magnet left from that car (neither of us run)
  • 149. Old CD case from that car (who uses CDs anymore?)
  • 150. Broken picture frame

Have you ever done a minimalist challenge? How did you do?



P.S. I recently created an Amazon Store full of all my favorite blogging tools, books, music, beauty products, nerdy products, and more! Check it out here!
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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

5 Things to Talk About on Date Night

Over the past two weeks, I talked about why you might be struggling to find time for your spouse and why it's important to find that time. Today I want to talk about what to do with that time.

When you're married and you spend a lot of time with one person, sometimes you run out of things to say. I hope this hasn't happened to you, but it very well could. Especially if one of you works from home and nothing exciting ever happens. Luckily for me, my husband has lots of adventures (good and bad) every day. But what about when you want to talk about more than just your day?
Here are some fun, light-hearted suggestions to get the conversation flowing on your next date night!

  • Go through your Facebook profiles and reminisce

Pearson and I did this the other day and it was so much fun. I don't remember why it even started. I suppose we were looking for something specific, but it was fun to look back on our dating days and say "remember that time when..." Instead of looking at each of your profiles, you could also look at just your "friendship." And be sure to check out your "memories" section daily anyway!

  • Go through a collection of questions

There are tons of lists of questions out there to ask while on a date. I personally really like this one by Amy because she breaks them into sections for dinner; appetizer, main course, dessert. I also created a list last year because my word of the year was learn and I wanted to learn about Pearson.

  • Have a regular marriage check in

Or as Amberly calls it, Companion Inventory. Set up a regular time (weekly, monthly etc) to sit down and asses your marriage. Talk about the good things going on in you marriage. How you've appreciated certain things and how each of you are loving each other well. But also talk about the bad things. Make suggestions to each other of how you can better feel loved. And - here's the kicker - be open to your spouse's suggestions! Don't get defensive. Don't take it personally. Just use it as constructive criticism and do better next time.

  • Pick a seasonal topic and talk about the past and future 

Around your birthdays, talk about your favorite gifts you ever received. Or on certain holidays, talk about your best memories of those holidays growing up. In the summer, talk about why you love summer so much or memories of summers past. Or even hopes for summers in the future. The possibilities are endless.

  • Talk about dreams of your future

Do you remember back when you were dating and you talked about your future together all the time. We sure did! We talked about our future dream house. Our kids. Where we would live. What kind of traveling we wanted to do. It was so fun! We've stopped doing that so much now. I don't know why. Maybe some of the magic is gone because we are married and are living our "Happily Ever After" but there's still so much we dream about for our future. Why don't we dream it together?

These are just some fun suggestions to get the conversation started. What do you like to talk about on date night?

Thanks for reading!

Linking up with Wedded WednesdayWifey WednesdayCoffee & ConversationGrowing in Grace, and Intentional at Home.

P.S. I recently created an Amazon Store full of all my favorite blogging tools, books, music, beauty products, nerdy products, and more! Check it out here!
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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

How I Created a Capsule Wardrobe for Winter

Back in December, I finally bit the bullet and started making progress on something I've been wanting to do for a long time... Create a capsule wardrobe!

If you don't know what a capsule wardrobe is, let me try to explain it... 


A capsule wardrobe consists of a small number of versatile clothing items to be used for an entire season. The idea is that with fewer items to choose from, you can be more creative and get more out of your closet than if you have a closet full of clothes you never wear.
That was my problem. Through this process, I found out that I have almost 400 items in my wardrobe. 400. Granted, this includes shoes, outerwear, lounge/pajamas, workout attire and accessories. But still.

I'm proud to say that after creating my winter capsule, I got rid of/am getting rid of 45 items... Okay, maybe I'm not so proud. But I also put 75 items away to save for another season. I'll deal with them later and probably get rid of a lot of them as well.

My winter capsule has 35 items in it including shoes and outerwear. This capsule will last me at least through February. Depending on the weather, I may keep this capsule for an extra month. Once spring gets here though, I'll create a spring capsule with some roll overs from my winter one and some items from storage.

What my capsule doesn't include is lounge/pajamas, workout clothing, special occasion (fancy dresses, my Georgia jersey), bathing suites, any kind of under clothing (camisoles, tights), and accessories. I've cut down on a lot of these things. Especially accessories. But I still have way too many. I'll keep working on it.


So here's what I did to create my Winter Capsule Wardrobe...


First of all, I read a bunch of blog posts about capsule wardrobes. I really liked Caroline's blog, Un-fancy! Her entire blog is focused on her capsule wardrobes. Here's a post she wrote about tips for building one!

I used Caroline's free capsule wardrobe planner.

I filled out the lifestyle section but not really as a pie chart like she suggests. I measured out my week counting each day and each night as separate units so a week had 14 units. Then I had 4 clothing categories to assign to those units: Pajamas/workout/lounge, Really Casual, Nicer Casual, and Dressy.

For example, on Sunday during the day I'll wear a dressy outfit to church but then at night I'll wear nicer casual. On a Friday during the day I'll wear lounge while I work from home, but at night I'll wear nicer casual or dressy for date night. I wear pajamas/workout/lounge on most week days but sometimes I'll go somewhere at night and wear casual. I think you get the picture.
I also had to consider that I will be going to Georgia to work for a week in the office at least once in a season. So I took all this into consideration and decided that my wardrobe break down should look something like this:
  • Pajamas/Lounge/Work out = 45% (but not counted in capsule)
  • Casual = 20% (37% w/o number 1)
  • Nicer Casual = 15% (27% w/o number 1)
  • Dressy = 20% (36% w/o number 1)
Since I'm not counting pajamas/lounge/workout clothes in my capsule, I recalculated the percentages without that category. That's what's in parentheses above. After creating my capsule, here's what my breakdown actually looks like:
  • Pajamas/ Work out = 0%
  • Casual = 34%
  • Nicer Casual= 36%
  • Dressy = 30%
That's not too bad I suppose.

After going through all that and deciding what kind of wardrobe my lifestyle requires, I created a list of all my clothes. I did this while I was in Georgia for work. Because I was out of town, I couldn't look in my closet to see what I had. This was good because anything I couldn't remember, didn't make it into my capsule. If I didn't remember I had it, it probably wasn't that important to me and therefore didn't need to be included.

After I created that list, I moves things around and came up with 35 items to include in my capsule. Here it is if you're interested.

As I said before, I kept a separate list of lounge wear, pajamas, work out clothes, and accessories because it's not supposed to be counted in the capsule but I have way too much. And I wear it a lot because I work from home. Seeing it all listed out helps me realize that I need to purge that stuff, but I'm having the hardest time! Most of my t-shirts are from fun events and things I don't want to get rid of. And I'm not even talking about all the social club t-shirts from college that are stuffed in the top shelf of our closet.
Anyway, I think winter is a little harder than maybe summer because cardigans and outerwear have to go over something else which counts as two (or more) items. Also, I love sweaters and it's really hard to only keep a few in my closet. And I hate counting outerwear toward my capsule. But I gave myself 5 extra slots this season for outerwear.

Sorry if this post seems sort of all over the place, I kept thinking of more things to say about my experience. I'm loving my capsule so far and I just feel so much better having all the things that I never wore out of my closet.
Have you ever created a capsule wardrobe? How was your experience?
Thanks for reading!

P.S. I recently created an Amazon Store full of all my favorite blogging tools, books, music, beauty products, nerdy products, and more! Check it out here!
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Monday, January 18, 2016

Focus on What You Stand For

You know something? I am so tired of people, particularly Christians, focusing a lot of time and energy on bashing and banning lifestyles they don't agree with. It's all I see these days. Frankly, it's pretty much all I've ever seen. And I think it's time to change.

Please can we focus more on what we stand for and less on what we stand against? I'm willing to wager that we could reach people better that way. Nobody wants to hear that they're wrong. And I can guarantee you if you if that's the first thing you say to someone and it's all you focus on, you will turn them off right away.

There's a reason people hate Christians. It's because they believe Christians hated them first. That's not the case. At least it's not the case for real Christians. Christians who are truly following after Christ love everyone. We're commanded to love our neighbor. Yes our gay, drunkard, sexually active, abortion having neighbors. And yes, part of loving them is gently letting them know that we believe their lifestyle is wrong (and why we believe it's wrong - that's a big part). But that has to be done in a loving way. And it shouldn't be the one and only thing we focus on.

For example, instead of defunding planned parenthood because we're against abortion, what if we created resources and education for women in those situations because we're for life, love, and support of fellow humans? We could encourage women considering abortion and show them that there are other options.

Instead of picketing weddings and refusing marriage licenses because we're against homosexuality, what if we we welcomed these people into our bible studies and explained why we believe what we do because we're for love and compassion and bringing all people to know Christ?

Instead of talking about what we shouldn't wear using a dress code, list of rules, and body shaming, what if we made the modesty conversation about the things we should wear. Things like humility (1 Peter 5:5-6), strength and dignity (Proverbs 31:25), and the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).

Again, I understand that there are some situations where we need to teach what we're against or what we don't agree with. But that shouldn't be the focus. If we focus on the positive, I really believe we will be much more approachable and see better results.
What do you think? Have you seen this problem? Do you think we could do better?
Thanks for reading!

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Friday, January 15, 2016

The 5 Love Languages {Giveaway}

If you've been reading my blog for a while, it's no secret that I really love The 5 Love Languages (affiliate link)! I think Gary Chapman is sort of a genius and I love his concept of love languages because people are different and the speak love in different ways. I used to think that everybody thought of love the way I did; spending quality time with me is the only way to tell me you love me and gifts are stupid. But that's not the case!

In fact, my own husband values physical touch much more than I do. So I need to remember that and know that when he holds my hand, he's telling me he loves me. Even if we haven't spent much quality time together lately. And I need to remember that quality time doesn't mean that much to him but if I link my arm in his when we walk around the mall, he will feel loved.

I think it's great that Gary Chapman discovered this and has written several books and created a quiz to help couples discover their primary love languages and learn to speak each others'. I think this is key to staying happy in a relationship. Here is another quiz that is interactive and up to date.

I write about the 5 Love Languages very often! I even have a label for my blog posts.
I wrote a very lengthy post when I first read the book.
And, last January I wrote a series about ways to love your spouse based on each of the languages.
But today I have a special treat for you! I've teamed up with Miranda from Drops of Learning and some other awesome bloggers to give away a copy of The 5 Love Languages (affiliate link) AND a $50 gift card! Be sure to enter below for your chance to win! The giveaway will be open till February 5th!

Have you ever taken the Love Languages quiz or read the book? What's your primary love language?
Thanks for reading and don't forget to enter the giveaway below!

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Valentine's Day Giveaway 1/14 to 2/5
Since Valentine's Day is the holiday of love, what better book to giveaway than one which will increase the love and understanding in our homes?

In addition to the book, one lucky winner will also get a $50 gift card just in time to take their special someone to a nice dinner or get them a sweet gift. The winner will get to choose either an Amazon gift card, or to receive the money through PayPal, whichever fits your situation best.

Even if you are single, who doesn't need an extra $50? You can treat yourself this Valentine's Day, and give the book to your favorite couple.

Miranda at Drops of Learning will be choosing a winner and notifying them on February 6. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Now onto the fun. Good luck!

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Book Review: Oasis by Dima Zales

I recieved this product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Oasis by Dima Zales. (pre-order here)
A couple months ago, I received an email asking me to review Dima Zale's new book before it came out. The email stated that it was the next big thing in the Futuristic Dystopia genre and that if I liked The Hunger Games and Divergent, I would like Oasis. Well, I did like The Hunger Games and Divergent. And I was psyched to read a book that wasn't even out yet!

So I jumped on the chance even though I had a lot of other books on my list that I wanted to finish before the end of the year. I just knew I would love Oasis and boy was I right! I couldn't put it down. I read it in 3 days. Granted that was while on Christmas vacation when I didn't have to go to work and I wasn't blogging all the time. But still.

Of all the dystopic books I've read, I have always liked the simplicity of The Giver and I love how Oasis reminded me of that. First of all, the main character was a boy. Or rather a 23 year old Youth. Also, there was not really a lot of love and distractions. One thing that frustrated me was the fact that there was one particular character that reminded me A LOT of a certain character in The Giver, but they turned out not to be as similar as I thought they would be when we were first introduced.

Another thing I loved about Oasis is that there was a lot of technology and artificial intelligence which really appealed to me because I am a computer programmer. I loved reading about all the AI and how technology had advanced because that's the stuff I'm interested in.

Also, there was a major plot twist at the end. I thought it was heading in one direction and it went completely in another. With that being said, there was quite a cliffhanger ending and I can't wait to read the next one!

Be sure to pre-order Oasis here. I highly recommend it and I think you'll really enjoy it!

Have you read any good books lately? Do you enjoy the Futuristic Dystopia genre?
Thanks for reading!
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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Why it's Important to Find Time for Your Spouse

Last week, I blogged about 5 Reasons you Struggle to find Time for your Spouse. Today, I want to talk about why it's important to find time for your spouse because I think it's one of the most important and helpful things you can do for your marriage. And people let it slip through the cracks so often because we're so busy and our minds are on other things! So, I give you 5 reasons why finding time for your spouse is important!

  • It gives you a chance to reconnect

Do you ever feel like you haven't seen your husband in days and you have no idea what's new with him? I have. Or maybe you realize you haven't told him something big that happened several days or even weeks ago! That's happened to me! Pearson works a lot so things slip through the cracks. But that's one reason why it's important to find time to reconnect. I hate feeling disconnected from him.

  • It helps you learn about each other

My word of the year for 2015 was LEARN. I focused that word a lot on my marriage because there is always something new to learn either about your spouse, yourself, or your relationship. People change. Life situations change. New things happen every day. I am constantly learning more about what Pearson likes and doesn't like and I learn how he reacts to different situations daily. It's kind of a game. But again, if you don't take the time to learn about each other, you miss so much!

  • It helps you to feel loved

I don't know about you guys, but I like to know I'm important to my husband. Quality Time is definitely my number one love language and if it's been a while since we had some quality time together, my love tank starts to feel empty. I can't say for sure, but I'm willing to bet that even if Quality Time isn't very high on your list, you can still start to feel unloved if you're not getting it. It's all about priority and nobody wants to feel like they're not a priority to their spouse.

  • It helps you grow in your marriage

Just like how it's important to always be learning about your spouse, it's also important to always be growing in your marriage. Life happens and things change and if your marriage isn't growing and changing along the way, you'll be tempted to leave it behind. But how can you grow together in your marriage if you don't ever spend any time together? If that's the case, you'll most likely be growing in different directions.

  • It insures that you don't wake up next to a stranger one day

You know those couples who say "I just woke up one day and realized I didn't know him anymore." That's always so sad to me because I think it could have been avoided. I want my marriage to last forever, but more than that, I want to feel love for my husband forever. I want us to be best friends forever. The only way to do that is to spend time together and put each other first! I'm sure you've experienced growing apart from a friend. Not because you fought or purposely "broke up" for any reason but just because you stopped spending time together and drifted apart. Don't let that happen to your marriage!

  • And one last little nugget of truth for today... 

Time is the only thing that we all have the same amount of. Think about it. We all make different salaries. We all have different talents. But God gave us all 24 hours in the day. How my husband spends that time matters more to me then how much money he spends on me or how well he plans a romantic night out or frankly, anything else!
Have you felt disconnected from your spouse? How do you make sure to spend time with your spouse? What more would you add to my list?
Thanks for reading!

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Birthday Weekend Recap via Instagram + 2 Instagram Announcements!

Hey guys! I'm sure a lot of you know Friday was my birthday! It was a great birthday and I had a wonderful weekend so I thought I'd recap it here in case you were interested. I've never done one of these recaps via Instagram but I've seen other's do it and wanted to try. Also, stay tuned at the bottom of this post for, not one, but two announcements about Instagram! Get excited!

Birthday Weekend Recap:

So I started off the weekend by working on Friday, but I did post a #FridayIntroductions picture with some fun facts about me.


It rained all day Friday and I had no desire to go out. I just wanted to stay home and read while curled up next to the fire.
But I turned on some music and got pretty pumped as I was getting ready.

A photo posted by Charlene Maugeri (@charlenemaugeri) on

Pearson and I went to The Cheesecake Factory which has become sort of a tradition for my birthday. Cheesecake is my favorite kind of dessert and I love their burgers. The prices and the wait times make this a special occasion place for us and what better occasion than my birthday, right?


We walked around Barnes & Noble and a couple other places in the mall after dinner before heading home and watching The Mindy Project all night.

On Saturday we finally took down our Christmas decorations... We decided a couple years ago to wait till after my birthday and it stuck.


Saturday night we went to see The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged. A friend who was in The Music Man with me was in it and it was awesome! If you've never seen this show, I highly recommend it! I've seen it on DVD but this was my first time seeing it live. We were all in stitches! If you're in the Columbus area, you have one more weekend to see Madlab's production! Here are the details. Trust me, you won't want to miss it!
Sunday started out as a normal Sunday, but we got an inch or so of snow and for some reason that caused the power in our church building to go out. I went to a baby shower in the afternoon and as everyone at the shower were members of our church, we all found out together that they couldn't get the power back on and that evening service was cancelled.


So when I got home from the shower, Pearson and I had a relaxing evening at home consisting of Netflix and our latest reads!

All in all, it was a pretty great weekend! Now on to the announcements...

Introducing #MyMarriageEndures

You guys I am so excited for this! As you could probably guess, Instagram is my favorite social media tool. And as you should also know, I re-branded my blog at the beginning of this year and I want to focus on building a marriage that endures everything. So why not bring that to Instagram?

I've created the hashtag #MyMarriageEndures for anybody to use on any marriage related Instagram posts (especially posts about working on your marriage or getting over obstacles etc.)! One of the reasons I love Instagram so much is because of the community that hashtags can create. I will be checking out the hashtag often and I'll certainly like and comment and I might even repost my favorites! Let's celebrate building a marriage that endures anything together!

Also Introducing #LoveBlog

Here's something else I'm really excited for: Brita of BelleBrita.com and I will be hosting the #LoveBlog Instagram challenge in February. Download the picture above and post on Instagram throughout the month using these prompts. Be sure to follow both of us on Instagram and us the hashtag #LoveBlog on all your posts for a chance be be featured on one of our blogs! 

Along with the Instagram challenge, Brita is hosting a blog challenge in February in which she will blog everyday in February based on these prompts (some of the prompts are slightly different between Instagram and Blogging). Each prompt will be a link up on her blog and I will be co-hosting some of the days along with a lot of other great bloggers! So head over to Brita's introductory post for more information and I hope you'll join us on both Instagram and your blog!

So I hope you had as good a weekend as I did and I'll see you on Instagram!

Thanks for reading!
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Monday, January 11, 2016

6 Scriptures to Turn to When You Feel Anxious

Raise you hand if you've every struggled with anxiety. *Raises hand* I sure have. I worry about packing enough for trips. I worry about cleaning my house for company. I worry about knowing the right things to say and staying on everyone's good side. I worry about getting everything done before my head hits the pillow. And after head hits the pillow, I get anxious about what tomorrow will bring.

But God tells us that's senseless worrying. He says to look to Him and that He will take care of everything. Now I'm not saying we should sit back, do nothing, and expect God to take care of everything without us even lifting a finger. But we shouldn't be trying to do it all on our own either.

I've compiled a list of verses that I like to turn to when I start to feel that anxiety kicking in and I thought I'd share them here in case any of my readers could benefit from them as well!
Psalm 27:13-14
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!
   Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
   wait for the Lord!
Jeremiah 29:11-14
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
Philippians 4 (especially verses 4-7, 8-9, and 11-13. Or just the entire chapter)


Matthew 6:25-34
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
1 Peter 5:7
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.
Did I miss anything? What are some verses you turn to when you're feeling anxious?
Thanks for reading!

Linking up with Meetup Monday, Merry Monday, Tuesday Talk, Titus 2 Tuesday, Living Proverbs 31, Coffee & Conversations, and Growing in Grace.
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