Enduring All Things: September 2018

Friday, September 28, 2018

What I've been Reading, Watching, and Listening To {September 2018}

Hey Guys! September is almost over and that means it's almost my favorite month of the year! EEEK! I cannot wait for all things Fall and Halloween to really kick off. But anyway, more about that on Monday when I share my monthly goals for October. For now, let's just talk about what I read, watched, and listened to in September, shall we?

Oh and by the way, I wrote these reviews as I read, watched, and listened to them and actually finished this post before it was supposed to go live. Unlike the last two months!

Books:

Simple Joys: Discovering Wonder in the Every Day by Candace Payne - 5/5 stars

Well Chewbacca Mom is at it again with her new beautiful book, Simple Joys: Discovering Wonder in the Everyday. First of all, this is a beautiful and colorful gift book full of incredible artwork from Candace herself. I'm keeping it on my coffee table to both brighten up my living room and provide some wisdom whenever I need a pick-me-up.

In each chapter if Simple Joys, you get a little glimpse into Candace's very relatable life. But it's not only that. She gives little snippets of advice for prospecting joy and questions to ponder all along the way. I both cried and laughed out loud in the first chapter.

One of the insights from the book that really stood out to me was the fact that you need to share when you're in the storm. Invite others in and look for the simple joys in the people who love you. Your joy-filled life depends on how you respond to storms.

Some other fun ones are to not take yourself too seriously, and that joy is valuable but use it or lose it!

Lessons From Madame Chic: The Top 20 Things I Learned While Living in Paris by Jennifer L. Scott - 5/5 stars

I got a couple of Jennifer's books from the library after my bestie Jessy of The Artsy Cajun suggested them. Jessy and I are accountability partners who talk every Friday about life and one thing we're both trying to be better at is live more simply and intentionally. We've both recently created capsule wardrobes and are trying to cut back to a more minimalist lifestyle. Anyway, Jessy discovered Jennifer's books, blog, and YouTube channel and introduced me. I'm obsessed!

So, this book is all about things Jennifer learned while living in Paris with a host family, "Famille Chic," as a foreign exchange student in college. I am intrigued by the cultural differences and the lessons to be learned by these Chic French people. I must admit, I was not happy when I saw the first chapter was called "Snacking Is So Not Chic." I'm trying to eat intuitively and a big part of that is to honor your hunger and eat whenever you're hungry. But I didn't hate the chapter. Jennifer was simply sharing what she observed in Paris and how it differed from how she was raised in California. It was so interesting! Plus the very next chapter is called "Deprive Yourself Not" and talked about how "Famille Chic" only ate the highest quality and most decadent and rich foods.

I absolutely tore through this book. I always tend to do that with non-fiction gold like this. I especially loved Jennifer's emphasis on looking put together every day. No you don't need to wear makeup everyday, but I believe in the whole "look good, feel good, do good" fenomenon and so does Jennifer. Besides she's all about "le no makeup look"

I also tweaked my capsule wardrobe a ton while reading this book. Jennifer has a wardrobe consisting of 10 core items and I would love to get to that! But her "living well" mentality is on a broader scale than just clothes. The French live simply but live well with good quality products so not only did I continuously get rid of clutter while reading the book, I kept a running list of new products I want and things I want to upgrade. This book was so enlightening.

Anne of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery - 5/5 stars

I liked this book even better than Anne of Green Gables, and that's saying a lot! I think it's because I can identify with Anne more myself now that she's a little older. And that makes me even more excited for the other books in the series! I do think I will take a little break from Anne though because I want to read something spooky in October.

My Favorite Blog Posts/Articles from the Month:

TV Shows:

Twin Peaks - 4/5 stars

Ok so I reviewed Twin Peaks last month but that was before we finished both seasons of the original that came on in the 90s. If it had ended about half-way through season two, I would have kept my 5/5 star rating. The show peaked in the middle of season two and it seemed like a great ending with a tad bit of a cliff hanger. Then it just got super weird and silly. Nothing seemed to go together and I now understand why it didn't get renewed.

Riverdale season 1- 4/5 stars

Ok so take Riverdale for what it is; a teen drama. But it's intriguing and addicting and somewhat of a guilty pleasure. It's based on the Archie Comics and I love the format. Jug-head, the writer, narrates the beginning and end of each episode.

Want to know something interesting? Twin Peaks and Riverdale have a LOT of similarities.

  • They're both based in a small town in Northern US
  • They both deal with smuggling drugs over the Canadian border
  • They both starts with the murder of a well known teen in the town
  • The kids play sleuth
  • Everyone seems to be connected to each other and they murder somehow
  • There's a diner where everyone hangs out
  • Even the last name, Cooper is present in both!

Movies:

Steel Magnolias - 5/5 stars (possible spoilers - thought I tried not to)

I had watched the play and I knew the story. I knew the ending. And I still cried like a little baby. Sally Fields's performance was to die for. I would stop crying long enough to dry my eyes then she would do something else and I'd lose it again. She deserved all the awards for that movie and she wasn't even nominated for an Oscar! Anyway, watch it. It might be my new favorite movie!

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - 4/5 stars

We watched this the other night because we randomly saw it on Netflix and I mentioned to Pearson that I had never seen it before. It was as hilarious as expected and I was not disappointed. I laughed out loud several times.

YouTube:

Yoga with Adriene

I've loved Adriene's yoga videos. I love how she's funny and you can select a practice to do based on how you're feeling that day.

The Daily Connoisseur

This is the YouTube channel of Jennifer L. Scott who wrote Lessons from Madame Chic that I reviewed at the beginning of this post. Anyway, she's pretty brilliant and I have devoured her channel.

Breaking History

My girl Chelsea of The New WifeStyle's husband started this new TV show and it's pretty amazing. They break world records while bringing attention to big issues effecting our communities.

Podcasts:

Therapy Thoughts

You guys know I love Tiffany from Mindful Counseling. Or at least you know that if you follow me on Instagram. Anyway, her podcast is brilliant and I've been listening to it and learning all kinds of great mental health and mindfulness gems!

Our Disney Adventures Podcast

My friend Ali of Our Happily Ever After and her mom Kristin of Disney the Magic is Real created this podcast! You would never know this was their first podcast. The excitement and energy is contagious and it's obvious how much they both love Disney. I'm super excited for this show!

Music:

Emily Scott Robinson

I found Emily through Brita who I think is her sorority sister. Not only does Emily's music fit the bill of folk/acoustic/alt country that I love so much, her songwriting is phenomenal. Every song just strikes a cord with me and I love it all!

What have you been reading, watching, and listening to lately? Have any recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!

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Friday, September 21, 2018

3 Ways to be Intentional With Your Marriage

Hey Guys! This month is turning out to be the month of guest posts! I've got another good one for you today. I feel like Amanda took these words right out of my head. If you're not doing these three things already, you need to! Your marriage will benefit so much. Also, she's a fellow PNW-er and Disney lover so we need to be like BFFs or something. Oh and she's gearing up for her first launch on Monday so go give her some love after you read this post!

Take it away, Amanda!

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It can be all too easy to let the days slip away and accidentally put your marriage on the back burner. I don’t think that anyone ever intentionally does it, and yet it happens so often. We get wrapped up in children, projects, work, etc. because they scream the loudest for our attention, or have deadlines. It’s especially easy for my husband and I to slip away from being intentional about our marriage because both of us are introverts and need time to decompress each day alone. When one of us says they need some alone time, the other one has no problem agreeing and finding something else to do.

Not too long ago, my husband and I got to a point where our marriage had been on the back burner for far too long and we were having connectivity issues because of it. Lots of miscommunications, and fights which led to wanting to spend even more time alone. It’s crazy how that works, right? We end up driven away from wanting to do what is most needed to help fix things. Which is where the idea of being intentional with your marriage comes in. Even when things are hard and you don’t feel like putting that effort in? Put it in. Here are just a few ways that my husband and I be sure to be intentional with our marriage so we can avoid getting to that point.

Scheduled Date Nights

Sure, it seems unromantic, but when we are having weekly date nights, our chemistry meter is so much higher. For a long time, we would attempt to have a date night during the weekends, but inevitably something would come up or we would be just too plain worn out after a long week to bother. So we picked a weeknight instead! Every single Tuesday (unless my husband is on duty), we have a date night. Here are our rules for our intentional date night:
  1. Date night can mean going out, or staying in. Especially for parents, going out for date night every single week and paying a babysitter can be expensive. But you can have a perfectly good night at home! Put the kids to bed a little early and get creative with what you do!
  2. We get dressed up for each other. We live in the PNW so sweats and yoga pants are the norm. However, we want to make sure we take the time to make date night special. So, even if we’re just having an at home date night, no sweats allowed.
  3. We have to actually spend quality time together. Date night is not a night where we can sit on the couch and cuddle and watch TV. As much as we love those things, we don’t really connect then.

Weekly Family Meetings

Every Sunday night, we sit down and discuss the upcoming week. That way, we are able to get on the same page about what’s going on, what our schedules look like, and what we expect from the other. This has helped us drastically when it comes to miscommunications. By talking out expectations and needs at the beginning of the week, we’re able to better serve each other. Here are a few of the questions we go through during our family meetings.
  1. What do our schedules look like this week?
  2. How are we going to split chores up this week?
  3. What expectations do we have for each other?
  4. What are we worried/stressed/upset about?
  5. When will we have date night and quality time together?

Setting Boundary Lines

This one is especially important for those with busy schedules. My husband works a ton of hours since he’s in the Navy, and I’m a preschool teacher who is also running an online business. Things can get pretty crazy between our two schedules! So, as you’ll see in question number five, we set boundary lines. Basically, this just means we set aside time specifically for being with each other and doing something together. Unlike date night, this can absolutely mean just cuddling on the couch. However, this time is not moveable. A friend asks us to hang out? Sorry, going to have to be another time. This came about because we were having issues lining up our schedules and then not being intentional with that time where they were lined up. So this forces us to make sure we get good quality time in!

Being intentional with your marriage isn’t hard, it just takes a little proactivity. And sure, it may not be the most romantic thing to plan all of this out, but it truly does increase the connection level between spouses, which could increase spontaneity! A long term marriage or relationship cannot survive off of spontaneity, or waiting until you “feel like” doing something for/with your spouse, alone. You’ve got to be intentional and make plans. What do you do to be intentional with your marriage? Leave a comment below!

Author Bio: Amanda Warfield, of https://amandawarfield.com, is a preschool teacher who got fed up with telling herself, “tomorrow is another day” as she got into bed each night because she felt so overwhelmed with what she hadn’t been able to accomplish each day. When she discovered minimalism, her life was transformed and she wants to help other women feel the same peace. Her goal is to use her passion for teaching and her passions for minimalism, organization, and productivity to help every wife and mom spend less time on their to-do lists and more time doing what they love with who they love! You can also find her here:

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Pinterest || Book Club on FB
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Friday, September 7, 2018

How To Rekindle Romance In Your Long-Term Relationship

I have another great guest post for you today. I love everything about this post and agree with all the points Clara makes! Some of these points I've actually blogged about myself. It's always a good time for a few reminders.

So without further adieu, here are some great ways to rekindle romance in your long-term relationship!

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Research with American couples suggests that there is a negative effect of marital duration on happiness. In other words, couples slowly become more dissatisfied over time. Only 35% of those married for ten years say that they feel intense love for their spouse.

Such research appears to support the cliché that ardent love and romance tends to die in long-term relationships. On the other hand, some couples do keep the flame alive. So, how do they do it?
Here are a few ideas:

1. Try something completely different and slightly scary: 

When you try something new and exciting, your body releases dopamine and oxytocin, two “feel-good” hormones that promote bonding. Family therapist Gary Brown advises that thrilling activities will strengthen your attachment.

If you aren’t sure where to start, put an “Ideas Jar” in your bedroom. When you get an idea for a new activity, put it in the jar. You or your partner can then pick one out at random when you have a couple of spare hours.

2. Take up new solo hobbies if you don’t already have your own interests: 

Spending too much time together can drain the romance and excitement from your relationship.

Make sure you have your own space, your own friends, and your own hobbies. Independence and confidence are attractive qualities. Read a few love yourself quotes every day if you need a self-esteem boost.

3. Take a trip down memory lane:

Revisiting old hangouts and listening to music you associate with the early days of your relationship can trigger nostalgic feelings. Reliving your most romantic moments can rekindle the spark and remind you why you fell in love.

4. Schedule a regular date night:

In the first phase of your relationship, you probably put time alone together at the top of your priority list. Unfortunately, when you started to build a life together, romantic evenings may have started slipping to the bottom.

Make a point of setting aside one evening a week to spend as a couple. This is particularly important if you have children. Parents often get stuck in their new role of “mom” or “dad.” Remember that you are still partners and lovers above all else.

5. Learn how to give a massage:

Intimate touch is both relaxing and romantic, and a massage is a wonderful way to show how much you care. If you want to give your partner a really luxurious experience, use some warming massage oil. Turn it into a special evening with the additional of soothing background music and scented candles.

6. Get to know your partner a little better:

Intimacy is the foundation of all good relationships. You may assume that you know everything about your partner, but they might surprise you. Use a couples’ app like Kindu to discover more about their tastes, preferences, and even wildest fantasies!

7. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude:

Remind yourself of all the things your partner does for you, and why they make you happy. Write them a letter expressing your admiration, or simply make a point of telling them why they are so awesome. When you make a point of admiring your partner, they are likely to do the same in return.

8. Take a few minutes to check in every morning or evening:

Don’t let yourself get so busy that you start detaching from your partner. Show that you are truly present in your relationship by setting aside all distractions and checking in. Ask them whether they would like you to run any errands.

It’s inevitable that your love for one another will change in time, but you can still enjoy plenty of romance. Make a game of keeping the spark alive, and you can look forward to many fun-filled years together.

Author Bio:

Clara Masters
Clara is an entrepreneur and content marketer. In a former life, as a corporate business executive, she relied on yoga, reflexology and other alternative practices to fight stress, anxiety and find balance. At Massageaholic.com she’s on a mission to bring massage therapy closer to those who want to live a balanced, healthy life, connecting body, mind and spirit. You can follow her on Facebook and Pinterest.
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Sweater Weather Couple’s Activities

Summer is coming to a close and the first subtle signs of fall are making themselves known, from the changing of leaves to the first pumpkin spice flavored beverage, it is a very exciting time of year! Fall is a season of change and new beginnings and with the changes taking place all around us, it also means new opportunities to spend time with your partner and make cherished memories. Get out your sweaters and flannels and let’s look at a few ways couples can make the most out of the fall season.
Related: I Love Fall
Related: Fall Date Ideas

Summer is coming to a close and the first subtle signs of fall are making themselves known, from the changing of leaves to the first pumpkin spice flavored beverage, it is a very exciting time of year! Fall is a season of change and new beginnings and with the changes taking place all around us, it also means new opportunities to spend time with your partner and make cherished memories. Get out your sweaters and flannels and let’s look at a few ways couples can make the most out of the fall season.

The Great Outdoors

Fall is the perfect time where the weather is cooling down enough that being outside is a bit more bearable. Basking in the majesty of creation around us in nature is a great way to bond with your significant other. Go on a romantic walk with your spouse in a local park or nature trail and have front row seats for the changing leaves and all of the beautiful colors that set the stage for a beautiful couple’s excursion. After the sun sets, enjoy a crisp, clear outing under the beautiful night sky, stargazing and looking at constellations together.
Summer is coming to a close and the first subtle signs of fall are making themselves known, from the changing of leaves to the first pumpkin spice flavored beverage, it is a very exciting time of year! Fall is a season of change and new beginnings and with the changes taking place all around us, it also means new opportunities to spend time with your partner and make cherished memories. Get out your sweaters and flannels and let’s look at a few ways couples can make the most out of the fall season.

Frugal Romance

Dates don’t have to be costly. Instead of going out to a pricey restaurant and the movie theater, save money by staying in and making it a dinner and movie date night at home. Cooking together can be a fun couple’s activity and make it a real special occasion where you treat yourself to something you both really enjoy. Afterwards, cuddle up on the couch while sharing dessert and enjoy a wholesome Christian movie whether it’s an inspiring drama, a clean romantic comedy, or even a classic Hollywood movie from a bygone era of romance on film. And if you want to make it a late date night, get in your PJs and break out some fun board games for friendly competition that only gets more fun, silly, and competitive as you get sleepier.
Summer is coming to a close and the first subtle signs of fall are making themselves known, from the changing of leaves to the first pumpkin spice flavored beverage, it is a very exciting time of year! Fall is a season of change and new beginnings and with the changes taking place all around us, it also means new opportunities to spend time with your partner and make cherished memories. Get out your sweaters and flannels and let’s look at a few ways couples can make the most out of the fall season.

Exercise

When you are trying to get into the habit of exercising, whether it’s getting back into a routine or setting a new personal exercise goal, nothing is more motivating than having another person alongside you to keep each other on track. When working out with the person you love, it is even better as you push each other as you reach for your goals together! Fall is the perfect time to go for walks or jogs in the crisp autumn air, by riding bikes through a park with all of the beautiful changing leaves or even finding a nice spot to do some outdoor yoga are a great way to enjoy time together this fall. And it’s go ahead and treat yourself to a post-Church brunch date on a Sunday once in a while as a reward for your hard work together!
Summer is coming to a close and the first subtle signs of fall are making themselves known, from the changing of leaves to the first pumpkin spice flavored beverage, it is a very exciting time of year! Fall is a season of change and new beginnings and with the changes taking place all around us, it also means new opportunities to spend time with your partner and make cherished memories. Get out your sweaters and flannels and let’s look at a few ways couples can make the most out of the fall season.

Fall Classics

Perhaps the most important couple activities to take part in are the classic fall staples that many look forward to every year! Most of these activities are fun outdoor visits like going apple picking at a local orchard, visiting a cider mill, picking pumpkins, or getting lost in a corn maze. If you are staying indoors, there are more fun couple cooking ideas like baking a pie or making caramel apples for this festive time of year. If you are sports fans, making snacks and watching football together this season is a great activity to look forward to and is fun to invite your other couple’s friends over for as well.

These are but a few great ways to enjoy the upcoming autumn season.

What are some ways that you look forward to spending sweater weather time with the one you love?
Thanks for reading!
*This post was inspired by PureFlix.com.

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Monday, September 3, 2018

Monthly Goals for September {2018}

Happy Labor Day!! Confession: I'm writing this on Tuesday, September 4th. The day after Labor Day. And I'm back-dating it for the first week day of the month so it will be like all my other goals posts. I also haven't written August's "Reading/Watching/Listening" post. And when I do, I will back-date that one for the last week day in August. I did the same for July's "Reading/Watching/Listening."

My name is Charlene and I have a problem with procrastination. And holding myself accountable. If nobody else is really counting on me to get something done, it often doesn't get done. Or I at least don't meet the deadline.

My name is Charlene and I also have a type-A personality and everything has to be organized and in place. Therefore, I back-date posts so they show up on the correct day.

How's that for some confessions? Haha and now for more confessions, let's talk goals!

How I did in August:

Spiritual:

Physical:

  • Eat intuitively.
  • Walk/run a trail somewhere at least three times per week.

Mental:

Marriage:

Blog:

  • Promote The Dating Divas' "Marriage Bundle" (Which I contributed to)
  • Implement the 10 Day Marriage Challenge I've been planning.

Home:

  • Put up curtains
  • Get the picture for our one still blank wall printed and hung up
  • Cook dinner at home 5 times per week
  • Buy new living room furniture!!!
So I sorta, kinda, did about half of my goals. Meh. I have a feeling this month will be better because it's almost fall and I'm always more motivated in Autumn!

Resetting in September:

Spiritual:

  • Work through this month's lesson and bible reading plan on the SHE Refined program.
  • Pray for Pearson everyday using the Prayer Schedule from Anchored Women's Marriage Builder Collection that was included in the Marriage Bundle

Physical:

Mental:

Marriage:

Blog:

  • Implement the 10 Day Marriage Challenge I've been planning.
  • Post 2 blog posts per week

Home:

  • Put up curtains
  • Get the picture for our one still blank wall printed and hung up
  • Re-arrange my gallery wall above my desk
  • Cook dinner at home 5 times per week
I think this goals are doable and I'm excited to get back into more of a routine this month as summer winds down.

Do you set monthly goals? Share your link in the comments or just tell me a few of your goals! Let's support each other!
Thanks for reading!

Follow me on social media:
Posts on this blog may contain affiliate links. 
If you click on a link and make a purchase, I might get a little money. 
All opinions are my own.
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