What’s Working

Every now and then, I like to take note of what’s working in my life. It’s so easy to to throw your hands up in the air and say, “Nothing. Nothing is working and nothing is going well.” But let’s not be melodramatic. Something has to be working. A quick little “what’s working” list can do wonders to rearrange your attitude. Here’s what’s working particularly well for me these days:

Meal Planning. It takes some effort at the beginning of the week, but it makes the rest of the week so much less frantic and keeps my grocery bill much lower than not having a plan. Click the link to read my 8 tips for meal planning!

Eyebrow threading. Have you heard of it? My brows never look as great as they do in the days following getting them threaded. I never try to boss around the person doing the threading, and they always makes my brows look awesome. It stings a bit, but lasts longer than waxing and you get a better shape.

Less instagram. I uninstalled good ole IG for three weeks in January. And you know what? I didn’t miss it as much as I thought I would. After the three weeks were up, I reinstalled it, proceeded to un-follow a bunch of people, and attempted to limit my scrolling time. I’m mostly successful and feel like I’m better off for it. This article is pretty compelling.

Paring down my wardrobe. I’ve been trying to focus on quality over quantity, purchasing fewer pieces I adore. This has been a months long process, but it continues to be rewarding. Want to try it? Check out Reading My Tea Leaves and her series on growing a minimalist wardrobe.

On the topic of fewer, better clothing items: actual winter footwear. I live in Michigan, and until this winter, I’ve irrationally continued to wear flats, even when there was snow on the ground. If you’ve ever seen snow or can imagine what snow is like, you know this is idiotic. This year, I decided not to be a crazy person and actually dress for the weather. And so, I can’t get enough of my smart wool socks and my Keen boots. My feet stay warm and dry and I stay happy.

iScanner app. My boss suggested this one, and I was pretty skeptical. Turns out it’s fabulous and works so great! I use it to scan receipts for expense reports, but it will work for any documents you want to scan with your phone. The auto crop feature it my favorite, and it makes it so easy to share documents straight from your phone!

Fair Trade Coffee. This year, Aldi started carrying Peruvian and Honduran fair trade whole bean coffees. We can’t get enough of the Honduran, and love the low, Aldi price.

What’s been working for you recently?

In case you’re interested…5 tips for surviving winter and what we’re eating: winter edition.

Saturday Small Talk

Happy Saturday, folks! What are you up to? We’re off to Grand Rapids for an early Thanksgiving celebration with one side of my family, and then to Kalamazoo for my Oma’s birthday on Sunday. It’ll be a great weekend full of family time!

Unrelated to it being the weekend: I’m on the hunt for a moisturizer that won’t make my sensitive, acne-prone skin break out. Send me your recommendations! Points for it being budget friendly and available at a drugstore.

Lake of the Clouds

Here’s some links for your Saturday morning browsing:

I made these black bean enchiladas last week, and they were total winners.

I loved these 5 things a mom learned when her kiddo started at a Montessori nursery school.

Two new, worthy-of-your-inbox newsletters to sign up for: Coffee+Crumbs and The Orange Slate.

Fall recipes galore!

How not to break the bank when you have a baby.

Our bathroom is completely devoid of storage. I love this ladder idea–though might DIY a less rustic looking one, add baskets for towels, toilet paper, and tissues. What do you think?

Enjoy your day!

Lately–A Life Update!

It’s been awhile since I’ve visited this sweet space, and you know what? I’ve missed it! I’ve missed documenting my favorite recipes and travels and life happenings in this little corner of the internet. So, I’m back. Here’s to new beginnings!

Pictured Rocks

The last year in a nutshell

September, 2015–We’re going to have a baby! Due May 22, 2016. We’re so excited!

September, 2015–The same week I found out I was pregnant, I opened a business! Because why not to do two hard things all in one year-grow a baby and a business simultaneously. Lake Notes Music Studio offers piano, guitar, and ukulele lessons to the greater Cadillac, MI, area. If you’re around, check us out!

The rest of the fall—I spent the first few months of pregnancy feeling generally exhausted and queasy, but didn’t have it toooo bad, all things considered. We first saw our sweet nugget on an ultrasound in November and had such a great time telling friends we were expecting!

Christmas Card Pregnancy Announcement

We decided not to find out the baby’s gender at our 20 week ultrasound, so I spent the winter and spring growing rounder and rounder and wondering if we would welcome a son or a daughter in May (but being pretty convinced I was carrying a boy).

Maternity Photo

And in late May, we oh-so-happily welcomed sweet Julia into our family! A baby girl! I couldn’t believe it.

Baby photo

Summer, 2016— In just her few months, Julia has been canoeing, camping, on several weekend trips, tubing down a river, to two Great Lakes… She’s our adventure baby and we’re so grateful we get to be her parents!

porcupine mountains

As of this month, Julia is 5 months old. Her skills include being adorable, babbling, avoiding naps, and sprouting teeth. Some of these skills are more charming than others. As you can imagine.

dsc_1293

September, 2016–We bought a house! I’ll do another post giving you a tour, but in the meantime, here’s our little slice of northern lower Michigan paradise. We’re on a little river, tucked away in the woods, and we love it so.

new house

Photo credit to Bob (@bobs_the_word)

In short, it’s good to be back, folks! Get ready for some recipes I’ve been loving lately, home improvement projects, some budgeting tips, and recaps of our latest adventures.


If you’re interested…the most delicious apple crisp and one pot fall comfort food.

Saturday Small Talk

Welcome to your (hopefully) long weekend! Any fun plans? We are going to hang out and take it easy. We might head north to pick up the last of the piano studio furnishings. Then again, we might not. I know I want to soak up all of the sunshine northern Michigan has left for me.

I want to try my hand at grilled pizza this weekend.

Gorgeous photos of the inside of musical instruments.

Go into business for yourself, working from home: a list of 101 creative ideas to get you started.

“How was school today?” 25 others ways to ask your kids about their day.

Preschoolers need to play.

Financial advice based on your age. Are you on track?

Bill Bryson’s book A Walk in the Woods is officially a movie. I want to see it!

Now that the kiddos are back in school, four lunch ideas, with commentary from a 5 year old.

Dogs in a photobooth. Made me want to run to my humane society and adopt a puppy.

Labor Day is the unofficial start of fall, FYI. Here are 60 recipes to get you started.

Enjoy your weekend, friends!

Saturday Small Talk

Confession: my weeks are full of good, life-giving things, but the weekends are where it’s at! We’re celebrating a wedding this weekend, and it promises to be a good time with dear friends. I see lots of food, merry-making, and outdoor time in the next 24 hours. Bring it on!

The internet is so fun. Here’s what I bookmarked this week:

Travel habits we all need to adopt.

The math behind VanGogh’s “Starry Night.”

Making art is the trendy way to meditate.

Are the kids back to school in your world? Here are some dinner ideas.

Maybe being successful doesn’t require you to work 24/7.

Is being content all it’s cracked up to be?

 

So much of our lives are spent around people our own age. Is this doing us a disservice?

I love the look of these ear cuffs!

Emily recommended Penelope Trunk to me. I love her blunt, no-nonsense style! Check out her Blueprint to a Woman’s Life. It made me laugh. And cry. And shake my head. And mostly…not sure what to think.

Does making your bed in the morning make your happier? It just might…

Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday Small Talk

What are you up to this fine, August Saturday? We started our day canning tomatoes, have a cookout planned for later, and might even squeeze in a campfire. All in all–a perfect summer weekend!

In case you missed it….I made the most delicious and unhealthy cookie dough dip.

You may drink as much coffee as you like.

Single tasking is the new multitasking. Make sure you watch this video–it’s hilarious.

Frozen hot chocolate….mmm, good!

If you’re bored, go for a hike.

Being sarcastic is good for you!

Story tellers unite! Arranging your life into a narrative is good for your brain.

Rescue your photos from digital oblivion. Join the #preserveproject!

I want to try this DIY face cleanser.

A simple phrase will  help you live a happier life.

Enjoy your weekend!