Monday, March 30, 2015

Music Monday: Sara Haze - "Mama"

This song randomly came up on my iTunes shuffle the other day and I was instantly reminded of how much I loved it.  I sent it to a few friends, demanding they listen to it.  More people should be listening to Sara Haze, to be honest.  Her voice is killer.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Reading Recap - March

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal of reading 70 books.  Within that total, I wanted to expand my reading horizons a little by including one memoir/biography, one classic, and one blog reader recommendation each month.  I'm providing a round-up of these reads at the close of each month.

This month's selections:


by Josh Lewin
I bought this book a long time ago, and it's just been sitting on my shelf waiting for me to read it. With baseball season revving up, I decided it was the perfect selection for this month.  When I fell in love with baseball -- specifically Rangers baseball -- Josh Lewin was behind the microphone.  He helped me fall in love with that team and the sport.  I was sad when he left the Rangers broadcast booth, and I sensed there was more to the story than was revealed in the media.  He definitely shows some bitterness toward upper management about the separation in this book. Fortunately, those bits are very short and minor. He's also very complimentary about many of the players and executives I have always admired (and even a few I wasn't so sure about).  When he revealed the anxiety and depression he battled, I was stunned.  I had no idea.  It just goes to show how little we know about people's lives.



by Nathaniel Hawthorne
I'm sure I should have read this one at some point in my years of schooling, but I don't think I ever did.  Like Jane Austen, this one was very wordy, but the story moved a lot more.  It was a very well-written story.  I can see why it's a classic, but I spent the whole time being angry at Hester for not sharing the name of the man who got her pregnant.  I don't care how much she loved him, why should she have to suffer being an outcast alone?  She didn't get in that situation alone.  Grrr. I guess books that evoke a reaction like that are good.


Blog Reader Rec

by Neil Gaiman
When I picked this up, it was thin, so I figured it'd be a quick, light read.  I was wrong.  This story turned so many corners, I had to take my time with it so I could follow.  It has some fantasy and mystery.  It was a really interesting read, and it actually left me wanting to finish the rest of the Harry Potter series (that's right, I've still only read the first four).  By the way, this was the first selection for a book club two friends and I just started.  There are just three of us right now, and we are going to take turns selecting the books and then meeting to discuss them. I hope we continue.  It was a lot of fun.


Bonus Reads

by Violet Duke

I read two other books in this Cactus Creek series last year. I have been anxiously awaiting more tales from this community I grew to love.  I was happy when Violet Duke promoted this book on Facebook and I immediately purchased it for my kindle and devoured in two sittings just a few weeks later.  I had been introduced briefly to Rylan and Quinn in past books and enjoyed learning more about them in this book. My love for the setting and characters outweighed the few typos and errors I found in the book.  As a self-published author, I know how hard it is to catch everything, so I'm a little more forgiving than most might be.

by Gina Sheridan
As an employee of a public library, I was excited to check out this book of anecdotes.  I related to many of the short snippets inside -- computer issues, patrons with odd questions, etc. -- but it wasn't as funny as I had hoped.  Sure, there was a chuckle here and there, and it made for some light reading before bed and during lunch (a nice break from the serious nature of insurance claims), but I guess I expected more.

by Martha Stout
This was the book that kept me company during my commutes and driving this month.  It's astounding to think that 25 percent of our population is made up of sociopaths.  Now, they're not all violent, and they aren't as easy to spot as you might think.  Until I listened to this, I had no idea how many I had encountered in my life.  Moreover, I didn't realize how many had victimized me.  I'm an easy target though. I'm an empath, which means I quickly and easily succumb to the emotions of others.  This is exactly what sociopaths use and count on.  This book gave me more clues for identifying sociopaths and advice for not falling victim to them again.

By: Cassia Leo
Orphan meets future musician while in foster care.  Romance, tension, and plenty of drama follow.  I consumed this set very quickly. (And, yeah, I'm only counting it as one book.)

My reading progress to date:

What have you been reading lately?

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Weekly Reads, Vol. 24

My favorite brewery is celebrating its second birthday today, so while I'm off drinking delicious beers with fun friends this afternoon, you should read these great posts from the past week.

Gabrielle at Gabrielle Bogan is doing one of my favorite things -- celebrating great women. This week, she spotlighted a few females who are living "life by design."

Jess at Chaotic & Collected wrote about making a huge change in her life -- quitting her job.  She began to recognize that even though she was earning a paycheck, she was losing a part of herself.  Her checklist points at the bottom of the post are especially poignant.

Sarah at Venus Trapped in Mars collected all the sports feels for the week.  I was vaguely aware of them from social media, but it was great seeing them all in one place.  Who says there's no crying in baseball, football, basketball, etc.? Oh, and she also had a hilariously spot-on write-up about the process for posting the perfect Instagram.

Erin at Two-Thirds Hazel talked about being a non-religious holiday lover. I could not agree more with her.  Especially this part -- "I'm pretty sure I can dunk a hard boiled egg into a cup of colored vinegar, make my boyfriend a 12 pack Beer Basket, and race Peeps down a creek in boats made out of recyclables (my family's oddball Easter tradition) without believing in God and still be just fine. I'm also pretty sure that this doesn't harm a single other person who participates in Lent and arrives bright and early to church in their Sunday best on Easter morning." (By the way, a Peeps boat race sounds amazing.)

Kristin at Iowa Girl Eats might just have the perfect solution(s) for curing chicken breast boredom.  So many recipes.  And I'm sure they're all delicious!

Happy Saturday!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Change of plans

Registration for the Dam to Dam Half-Marathon opened this past week.  The race is on May 30 and usually fills up in two weeks.  Obviously, there is little time for indecision.

I have been going back and forth on this race for the better part of the last month.  On one hand, I really wanted to take on the challenge of another half (perhaps the most popular in town).  On the other hand, I wasn't convinced it would really be best for me.  

Ultimately, I have decided not to run the Dam to Dam Half-Marathon in May.

Here are four reasons that factored into my decision:

ONE: I am terrified by the course.
There are a lot of hills.  And in key places.  I am not prepared for that in any sense of the word.

TWO:  I don't want to burnout on running again.
When I trained for my first half last year, I was so sick of running by the time the race came around that I didn't run again for almost a month.  I started running because I enjoyed it and it was a break from stress and worries.  I don't want to lose that effect.

THREE: I want more balance in my fitness routine.
When I was training, all I did was run.  Four times a week.  I didn't have time for the other things I needed -- strength and balance -- and the things I loved -- Zumba.  I also got a new bike last year that I didn't have much time to ride.  I want to change that this year.

FOUR:  I want more balance in my life in general.
I have a lot on my plate with one full-time job, two part-time jobs, and a committee on which I'm very active.  I also have some awesome friends with whom I like spending time.  And I'd like to get back to writing.  Half-marathon training takes a lot of time, and I don't feel like I have that time right now.

One tiny part of me is feeling like a failure for opting out of this race.  I'm a little disappointed that I'm not taking on a new challenge.  I remember how great it felt to complete my first half, and I wonder if I'll miss that feeling when I see my friends' posts after the race.

But another part of me is really relieved.  I feel like my spring is more wide open now.   I plan to keep doing races -- remember, I have a goal of completing ten this year -- but I'm going to stick to 10Ks and shorter for this year.  Maybe next year, I'll be ready for those hills.


Last week's workouts
Friday: Off
Saturday: Off
Sunday: BodyPump + 1 mile on the treadmill
Monday: 2 miles on the treadmill + abs
Tuesday: Kettlebell workout at home
Wednesday: 10-minutes on the treadmill + arms/back
Thursday: Off

I'm a cardio junkie, but I read recently that too much cardio actually makes you gain weight, so ... I'm trying to mix it up more.  It doesn't help my FitBit step goals, but I know I need more balance in my fitness routine.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Skills that skipped me

I have this image in my head of each person being created.  It's sort of like The Sims, where each individual is only allowed to have a few characteristics. It's been a while since I played (might fix that soon), but if I recall correctly, you can only give your Sim three characteristics from a list similar to the one below.


Look at that list?  How can you only assign a few?

I usually only choose the positive characteristics for my Sims. Unless I'm feeling like being destructive, then I'll make the person "dislikes children," "slob," and "neurotic."  Makes for some entertaining situations when they go out on the town.  The "never nude" and "technophobe" ones are fun too. Ha.

Anyhow ... sometimes I wonder how closely the game mimics the real human race. I mean, our creator could only give us a few strengths.  The rest ... well, you just have to learn to adapt.

Here are a list of the skills I did not receive during the assembly process:

:: Fashion sense and accessorizing.
I have no idea what looks good on me or how to put together a great outfit.  I have a few pieces that get comments (interestingly enough, they're both Goodwill finds), but on the whole, I wouldn't say I have a style.  I wear what's comfortable, and as long as it matches, I figure it's good.  And let's not even get started on scarves. I have no idea what to do with them.

::  Neatness.
I'm not gross.  I'm not unclean.  But I'm not the neatest person in the world.  I leave my mail on the kitchen counter for weeks sometimes, and very often my clean laundry isn't put away for days.  Oh, and I only make my bed when I change the sheets (once a week) or when I'm expecting company (which is not very often).

:: Flirting.
I have absolutely no idea how to show interest in someone I like.  None.  When I try to talk to them, I often have no idea what to say and end up feeling awkward and foolish. Honestly, I'm awkward enough in conversations with people (of both genders), so when you throw in the factor of attraction, I become a complete mess.

:: Grace.
I am so clumsy. I can trip over my own feet.  I broke a glass on my very first day at the brewery.  I have hit my head on cupboards in my apartment (where I've lived for two years, so I should know how low they are). Yesterday, I accidentally spilled an entire bottle of cranberry juice all over my desk and down the light grey cubicle walls. (By the way, it did wash out ... it just took 30 minutes of my day.)

There are plenty more things I'm bad at, but most of those can be learned.  I don't think any of the above can be taught.  You either have them or you don't.

What are some skills you're lacking?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

What I'm Loving Wednesday 3/25

I could not get the button to work, so go here to see this link-up.

I'm loving ...

... my new AppleTV.  Last week, I realized I never actually played my Nintendo Wii. I just used it for streaming.  I promptly sold the Wii and after some research for streaming devices, settled on the AppleTV. So far, I love it!

... that my cousin and his new wife had a lip sync battle during their wedding reception.  It was really fun to watch.

... that there will be a "Lip Sync Battle" show on TV.  It's one of my favorite things on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," and I'm looking forward to a whole show dedicated to it.

... that I've gotten back to morning workouts this week. I got off track a bit last week and it just messed with my routine and the way I feel.  Getting up at 5:30 a.m. isn't my favorite, but once I'm at the gym, I'm pretty locked in.

... the new Tyrone Wells album, "Roll With It."  It has been in solid rotation since I purchased it last week.  Every day, I fall in love with a different track.  It's SO GOOD. Here's a link to the title track.

... that I have Friday off from work.  I have not had a full day of freedom or downtime in quite a while.  It's time.  I have big plans for writing and binge watching some Netflix.

What are you loving this week?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Music Monday: Currently on repeat

Every now and then, I get completely obsessed with a few songs to the point where I just play them over and over and over for hours on my iPod. 

Here are my current musical infatuations:

I love Kacey's songwriting and her "I don't give a damn what you think of me" attitude.  And that's just what this song is all about.

Favorite lines: "Pouring salt in my sugar won't make yours any sweeter. Pissing in my yard won't make yours any greener." 

YES. So much yes.


Tyrone is one of my all-time favorites.  Whenever he releases a new album, it's an auto buy.  I've loved him from first listen and I fall in love a little more with each new release.   His voice is so distinct, full of emotion, and rich.  He has a few songs out there about heartbreak, but mostly, Tyrone's songs are happy and upbeat.  Like this one, my current favorite from "Roll With It." The beat is fast and I love the message. It's already on my running playlist.

Favorite lines: "We all want to feel human. We all need to be loved. Oh, love is in our veins. It's in our blood."


I heart Andy Grammer.  I'm sad I still haven't seen him live.  His latest album has kept me company during many work days and workouts.  This song, especially, has hit me hard because I think it suits me well.  For a self-described hopeless romantic, I have some huge walls around my heart.  I don't trust the intentions of anyone who even shows a shred of interest.  If I even recognize it.  I've actually gotten to the point where I no longer assume someone is flirting or "checking me out."  I figure they're just being nice/friendly. 

Favorite lines: "For someone to call me out when I start to run my mouth. Someone to talk me down of ledges that I have found. Someone to hold me close when I'm screaming to let go. Someone to make it past the guards of a cynical heart."


What songs do you have on repeat lately?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Weekly Reads, Vol. 23

Tamara at Lehman Laughter overheard her daughter say, "my legs are sooo fat."  It's a good reminder that we should be kinder to ourselves, especially when there are little ears and eyes around catching everything.

By now, you can safely assume you'll find a post from Nicole at A Life Less Bullshit in this round-up every week.  Her recent post asks us to question everything.  This line, in particular, struck me -- "What if you were to stop accepting and living by other people’s truths?" Hmmm.

Whitney at The Observant Turtle responded to an element of another blogger's post about the kind of guys she'd never date by pointing out that gamers are not all smelly recluses. I like this because instead of being outraged and offended by the original poster, she provided a solid argument that showed another side. 

Rena has once again blown my mind with a post called "Do the Thing."  This girl is a writer through and through, so I should not be surprised that her blog posts are so good.  And I'm not really.  I just ... every post lately makes me stop and think.  And now she has me wanting to do some of the things she lists at the end of her post. DO THE THING!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Leprechaun Chase 10K recap

This was only my second 10K ever and I hadn't run more than four miles at a time since December. Plus, I knew I was on a time crunch, as my family would be arriving 2.5 hours after the race started to pick me up for a wedding.  Needless to say, I was more than a little nervous.   Mostly, I wasn't sure I'd finish in time to be ready. I wasn't sure how "fast" I could be since I hadn't run that far in a long time.

But it was my first outdoor race of 2015, so there was no way I was going to miss it.  I picked up my packet at the Animal Rescue League on Friday.  Thankfully the pick-up area was away from the animals in need of homes or I might have come home with another cat.

The day of the race, I got up and went through the same routine I did on the day of my half.  I ate the same thing -- peanut butter toast with some Spark to wash it down -- and gave myself plenty of time to just relax before I headed downtown.

The race started and ended at Principal Park (home of the Iowa Cubs), which situated right on the river.  So it was pretty, but it was also only in the 30s, so the wind coming off the water was kind of chilly.  Surprisingly, I immediately found two girls I knew from work.  I talked and walked with them while we waited for the race to start.  I also ran into a guy who works at the brewery with me and another friend from college. 

At 10 a.m., the girls took off.  The guys had to wait five more minutes before they were let out of the chute.  I made it about a half-mile before the first guy passed me. I'm calling that a tiny victory.  The course was nice.  We ran down MLK Parkway, wound through Gray's Lake Park, and came back across the river.  It was brisk out, but once we got moving, I warmed up in a hurry.

Overall, I felt good during the whole run.  I could tell I wasn't used to running that much (or outdoors), but I kept moving and I maintained a pretty steady pace for all 6.2 miles.

While I'm not overly concerned with my speed, I like to set benchmark finish time goals for each race. Here were my goals for the race:
Good = 1:20:00-1:25:00
Great = 1:10:00-1:15:00
Awesome = 1:05:00-1:10:00

My time --  1:13:28


I'm really happy with my time. It's five minutes faster than the 10K I did last June, and I didn't really feel ready, so it's a win all the way around.

And I made it home in plenty of time for my family to pick me up for the wedding.  

I'm eagerly looking forward to my next race, which is a 5K, on April 11.


Last week's workouts
Friday: Off
Saturday: Leprechaun Chase 10K
Sunday: Off
Monday: Off
Tuesday: BodyPump + 1 mile on the treadmill
Wednesday: 2.5 miles on the treadmill
Thursday: Barre class (I'm so excited this included in my membership now ... and that it fits in my schedule)

I broke my rule of never missing Mondays, but I woke up late and then was exhausted by day's end after working in a building where it was a stifling 80ish degrees. I still think I had a good week of workouts though, so I'm not mad at myself.  But the week definitely felt "off" because I skipped that Monday workout. And I miss getting those morning sweats in.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Music Monday: Todd Carey - "Float Away"

Over the weekend, a bunch of my friends were at a music festival in South Carolina.  There was a great lineup, but I have to say if I could have been there just for this guy, it would have been worth it.  I haven't seen him live in more than four years, and that just makes me sad every time I think about it.  He is truly one of the nicest people I've ever met, and the way he relates to his fans is unrivaled by any other musician I've seen.  I love him and miss him dearly, but I'm very excited for all the good things that have happened for him.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Weekly Reads, Vol. 22

I love the way Helene at Helene in Between is tackling healthy habits -- trying one thing for seven days before deciding how to proceed.  This could be really great for me as I'm starting to think I need to take a break from dairy.  My skin seems so angry lately. The thought of giving up cheese for a long time is unsettling, but maybe I could try it for seven days and see how my skin reacts.

As I've mentioned last week, I'm out on online dating and really all dating.  But Simone at Skinny Dip pretty much nailed everything wrong with online dating photos these days.

What's this? Oh, just another gem from Nicole at A Life Less Bullshit.  This week, she's talking about her running journey and what it's meant to her.  Yes.  I'm not as fast as she is, but I totally get it.

When bloggers I enjoy pimp out other blogs, I pay attention. That's how I discovered this post on guilty pleasures from Kati Rose (thanks for the tip, Helene!).  I absolutely agree with Kati's stance, and I'm going to stop feeling guilty about what I like.

Stephanie at Not Entirely Perfect consistently has great posts.  I completely agree with her take on things that should have been taught in high school home ec.  Especially the budgeting one.  I wish I had learned more about finances before I became responsible for managing them.  I've had to learn everything the hard way.

As you might know, I have been a writer for as long as I can remember. I honestly thought I'd make a living out of it, but those dreams have changed.  And now I sometimes struggle with getting into a groove with writing. I'm hoping Nadine at East &'s tips will help me find my creative sweet spot.


By the way, I'm in the finals for the 2015 Best of Blog Awards over on My So-Called Chaos.  I'm flattered to be nominated (no, really) and I love that Angie does this every year.  If you feel so inclined, please go vote!

2015 My So-Called Chaos Best of Blog Awards


I don't know about you, but I have a busy weekend ahead.  After I publish this, I'm off to run a 10K.  I don't feel at all prepared for it, but I'm excited for my first outdoor race of the year. (I did a virtual 5K on the treadmill last month.) Then, I'll have about 40 minutes to get cleaned up before my family arrives to pick me up for a wedding a few hours away.  I'll get back tomorrow, then I have some Barley's Angels business to take care of (it involves beer though, so it'll be fine), and then I'm Skyping with my bestie in Texas.


I might need another weekend after this weekend.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Back to the iron

I did it. 

It's been roughly six months since the last time I made it to a BodyPump class.  But, at last, I got back there on Sunday. It was the perfect time -- I still got to sleep in a bit, but it didn't take all day -- and there were only about 10 people in the class.  It was nice not to be so crowded in there.  

Since it's been so long, I figured it was best if I went back to beginner weight. I'm glad I did.  That was still a challenge.  Sure, it's kind of discouraging to see how much of my strength and endurance I've lost, but ... who cares?  No one else in that class cared what I was lifting.  They were doing their own thing.  And starting over is better than not starting at all, right?

I was sore for a few days after the class. But it was that good kind of sore.  I realized I had missed that feeling, and I'm looking forward to keeping BodyPump in my schedule.

Honestly, I think it could become a nice Sunday routine.  Not this Sunday, because I'll be out of town, but ... other Sundays.  Yep. I could do it.


Last week's workouts
Friday: 10-minute treadmill warm-up + arms/shoulders
Saturday: Off (Although I helped a friend move, so I feel like that should count as a workout.)
Sunday: BodyPump
Monday: 3 miles on the treadmill
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: 1 mile on the treadmill + legs and core
Thursday: 2 mile run on the trails!!!

Yeah, this was kind of a crazy week.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Stuff & Things 3/12

Linking up with Kristin!

The other night, I went to an event where they announced the new season of Broadway shows coming to town.  There are some great ones in the list (pictured below).  But I'm really wrestling with whether or not to renew my season ticket.  I enjoy the theatre and the shows, but I have some other financial goals too (pay off debt, buy a house in the next year or so, etc.).  Hmm ...


I'm running a 10K on Saturday, and I do not feel prepared for it at all.  I haven't run more than four miles in one go since December.  Oh well.  I'm going to do it anyway!  Even though I don't feel prepared, I am looking forward to it. After a winter on the treadmill, I'm ready for an outdoor run.

The Big XII Men's Basketball Tournament began yesterday, but Iowa State plays their first game tonight.  I'm equal parts excited and nervous.  They started out the season really strong, but lately they've struggled.  I guess we'll see what they can put together for March Madness.


Last weekend was really busy -- birthday party Friday, helped a friend move Saturday, and family time on Sunday -- but I still found time to prepare meals for the week.  I'm pretty proud of myself.


I saw a commercial for "Pitch Perfect 2," and I cannot wait.  I'm slightly worried that the movie will not live up to the first one or the long wait.  But I'll definitely be going opening weekend.  And if you know much about my movie-going habits, that's a big deal.


Our temperatures have gotten into the 50s, 60s, and even some lower 70s this week.  It's been glorious!  Spring is almost here, and I love watching things slowly turn green again. It feels like new beginnings.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Rethinking the woman crush

If you use social media at all, you've probably seen the following hashtags:  #MCM and #WCW.  They stand for #ManCrushMonday and #WomanCrushWednesday.

I confess that I've participated in #MCM a few times because I love an excuse to share eye candy.  Surely no one minds when I share a photo of Jake Gyllenhaal, Liam Hemsworth, or Tony Lucca on Instagram, right?  (Yeah, those are the only three I've posted.)

I have yet to participate in #WCW.  And, trust me, I have my share of girl crushes.  I mean, I have a whole Pinterest board devoted to them.

Awesome women, right?

So what sparks a woman crush?  Well, I admire the women pictured above for their beauty and usually for their body of work or things they've spoken out about.  They're fearless and own who they are.

Wait a minute.

If I step back and take a look at some of the people in my life, it's easy to see there are plenty of beautiful, smart, and fearless women closer to home.

... The woman who had her heart ripped out and stomped on and within a month had found and bought her own house.

... The woman who stepped into a job some believed was beyond her qualifications - and yet she's kicking ass.

... The woman who isn't afraid to change her goals and priorities if something isn't working.

... The woman who ended a long-term relationship that wasn't working even though it was comfortable.

... The woman who not only accepts her quirks but owns them and is quite proud of them.

... The woman who will fiercely defend the people she loves.

... The woman who faced rejection after rejection because her dream meant that much to her.

These are all real people in my life.  None of them are perfect, but they all have qualities I admire.  And I am blessed to know them.

Surround yourself with people who are crushworthy.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

All my fears come down to one thing

When I was younger, I was afraid of the dark. I often left my bedside lamp on at night.  I eventually weaned myself down to a nightlight.  And, to be honest, whenever I've moved into a new place (which has been a lot in my adult life), I need a light on somewhere to sleep well for the first few nights.  This is probably why the bright parking lot lights that shine in my window don't really bother me.

Sometimes I wonder where our fears come from. Are they all learned? Or are some of them just innate? 

I mean, I know I'm afraid of driving next to semi trucks because of all the horrible wrecks I've seen on TV and in my many years as a news reporter.

And I know I'm afraid of dolls that look like toddlers because I watched the movie "Child's Play" when was nine and I've been scarred ever since.

I don't know where the initial fear of the dark came from, but I suppose it's continued because I've seen too many episodes of "Criminal Minds" and "Law & Order: SVU."

I'm afraid when I'm gone for long periods of time that I will find my home has been broken into because that has happened to me before. In 2004, I returned to my apartment after a 14-hour workday, I found my door ajar and my place ransacked.

With the exception of that last one, all of my fears are based on something I've seen in entertainment.  Perhaps I should stop watching some of those things.

Honestly, though, as I think about the above fears and other things that freak me out, I think it all comes down to one thing -- feeling out of control.

I can drive perfectly and I might still get in a wreck.  I can lock all my doors each night and take security precautions, but if someone wants to get in, they'll get in.  

Clearly, my fears are rooted in things I can't control, which is a lot of things.  This explains a lot about who I am and some of the choices I've made in life.

What is your biggest fear?

This post is part of link-up with other bloggers in a Facebook group, which has been very supportive and inspiring when it comes to blogging. If you're interested in joining, click here and request to be added.  In the meantime, check out some of the other posts:

Sarah Hartley
Gabrielle Bogan
Slice of Heaven
Chaotic and Collected
Sara Montana Says It's Me, Kelly

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