So 2021 came. It didn't conquer. Or did it? It was a blur for me both personally and professionally. I am looking forward to 2022, and what better way to kick off the new year than with FAVORITES!?!?
Favorites are alway fun and they are never right or wrong. They are subject to opinion and they require zero effort to consume. So sit back, relax, and scroll along ?
Here are my January 2022 Favorites:
The Organize 365 Podcast:
Lisa Woodruff is the owner and founder of Organize 365, a company that helps women get their homes and papers organized for good. She created a Sunday Basket, 100 Day Home Organization Program, and binders for finance, medical, a child with special needs, your home, you name it. I plan to dedicate an entire blog post to her programs, but if any of this interests you at all, I have linked her website below. I am a Certified Paper Organizer and Sunday Basket Organizer with Organize 365, and I can 100% vouch for her systems! Her podcast can be found anywhere you listen to podcasts. ?
The Morning Show on Apple TV:
First of all, the actors: Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Anniston, Steve Carell, Billy Crudup, Marcia Gay Harden- just to name a few. The topics are timely (pandemic, Me Too movement) and show all sides of the issues. The show is definitely inappropriate for children, so you'll have to watch this once the kids are in bed, but I have not been able to stop mid-episode. I often had to force myself to stop and get in the bed! I love the realistic view of "power" and how we really are all the same regardless of the money, fame, and title. We all crave love and connection.
HappilyAHousewife on YouTube:
This year marks 10 years that Samantha (Sam) has been vlogging on YouTube. She has 3 kids similar in age to mine. She started as a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) and is now back in the workforce. She is a baseball mama, likes to cook, likes to plan, and is VERY down-to-earth. When I "quit" work in 2014 and slowed down to just 2 days a week, I had no idea how to be a "housewife." Since I like to research, I typed "how to be a housewife" into Google and Sam popped up! I don't always have time to watch every video, but if I ever want a recipe or planning idea or I just need to know I'm not alone in this mom life, she always cheers me up. She is very REAL, and that's what I love the most! I have linked her channel below.
Side note: I "went back to work" full-time in 2016 when my youngest started pre-K. I loved that 2 years when I worked part-time when they were 2-4. Let me know if you'd like an entire post about working versus staying home. ❤️
My leggings from Amazon:
Soft, not too loose or too tight, phone pocket, high waist / don't fold over or slide down, wash well. 3 pair under $40! Several color choices.
Need I say more?
The Marco Polo App:
I may do an entire post on the free version of Marco Polo versus the paid one, but get the free one TODAY! It's like text in the fact that you watch the video when you have time and respond when you have time. What I love is that your facial expressions, tone of voice, and appearance (weird but true) all come through. So if you're having a rough day emotionally, your friends and family can SEE that compared to a text that looks the same whether you are high on life or down in the trenches. You can also rewatch or pause a "marco" if you need clarity or get interrupted. I LOVE this app and I cannot say enough good things about it! It has revolutionized communication for me since I can safely marco on my commute (phone on dash) and between patients. With a spouse working opposite shifts, it has been HUGE for our marriage. It has even helped with my brother and sister-in-law living in China on a 13-hour time difference!
My quiet time in the morning:
Coffee, blanket, my chair, my heating pad, and QUIET. I journal, I pray, I follow my friend's scripture writing plan (linked below), I type these blog posts to you, I plan, I think, I listen to a book or podcast or YouTube video, I research, and I am uninterrupted. Am I an 80-year-old living in a 45-year-old's body? Maybe. With my autoimmune disease, some days I feel that way ?, but I cherish this time alone. It is mine, and there is something to be said for that.
My new straightener:
This was a Christmas 2021 gift, and I love it! I have just enough curl to be annoying, so I straighten my hair 90% of the time. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw my story showing that it lasted through errands on a rainy day and a full day of housework! I also have a post on IG about my "curly" hair that is worth a read... you know - how we all try to change what God gave us. ☀️
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah:
I hate having a movie or book ending spoiled by a friend, so I will just say this book is GREAT. I love historical dramas (this one is set during the Dust Bowl extreme draught in the 1930s) and the characters are lovely, raw, and transparent. I don't want to say too much, but read the summary if this peaks your interest at all. The narrator is Julia Whelan and she is amazing. I'm sure the paper copy is just as good or better.
Homemade Chex Mix courtesy of my husband:
No explanation needed! Salty & delicious. Thank God he only makes it at the holidays.
Honing the new skill of asking for what I need:
My therapist told me a secret. My husband, my friends, my coworkers, and my family cannot read my mind. I had never really though about that. Sometimes as adults, we assume all other adults know "what to do" or "what we need." They do not. If we calmly and safely ask for what we need and our people cannot or choose not to meet those needs, then that is another issue. It is not fair, however, to stay hurt or angry at a loved one if we never made our needs known. This blew my mind. So simple. So true. SUCH a game-changer. Sit on it and see if it speaks to you.
*** If I have linked any products from Amazon, I am an Amazon affiliate. If you choose to purchase via my link, I will receive a small commission but your cost will be the same. I can use that commission to buy more reading glasses so I can see my laptop to keep blogging. ✍️***