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Thoughts from November 2017

Thoughts from November 2017

I love the holiday time. There is something magical about having so many big holidays right after one another. I also love being about to see my family, especially now that I live almost 2,000 miles away. November was a very good month, even if it was stressful. Here’s the rundown.

Links You’ll Love

Vancouver, Victoria, and Port Angeles

My parents came to Washington for the week of Thanksgiving, which means I got to get out of the house! We did a really fun trip (which I’ll make a full post about later this month), which involved driving north to Vancouver, BC, then taking a ferry west to Victoria, BC, then a ferry south to Port Angeles, WA, and finally driving back to my home in Lacey, WA. A lot of steps I know, but it was unanimous that we all fell in love with Victoria, BC.

Seattle

Since it was my parents’ first time here, we also spent a day in Seattle. We went up the Space Needle (which I hadn’t done yet), explored Chihuly Glass Museum (an awesome experience), and visited a very busy black Friday at Pike’s Place Market.  It reminded me of how much I love this place I have chosen for myself and how much I want to spend some time walking around Seattle.

Almost Breaking Even

I’m probably going to break even a the end of December and I was pretty close this month. It’s really hard being so broke because there is no way to say that I’ve fallen on hard times. I chose to give up my full-time job and launch myself into the world of freelance work. I chose to be broke for a while. It’s very, very encouraging to see how close I am to having my bare minimum. I can actually make this dream work!! And you can too (though you should start to build clients while you are at your full-time job. Learn from my mistakes.)

I am so very thankful for my family this month. Seeing them and getting out for a while was just what I needed. Also, they bought whole, fresh crabs for Thanksgiving dinner and there are leftovers. I’m not sure if the love or the leftover food is better to me. I hope your December goes well, I’ll be checking in in the new year!

Thoughts from October 2017

Thoughts from October 2017

October has been a great month. It felt like fall came all at once to the Pacific Northwest. I’m trying to enjoy the last sunny days before the rain and clouds descend. Here are some of the things that happened this month.

Links I Love

You Can’t Freak Out About Stuff Like This: This sort of thinking changed my life for the better. There’s not enough time in the day to spend it being upset.

How to Add Social Media Icons to Your Gmail Signature: It’s important you get your social media and website links in front of as many eyes as you can.

1% Productivity Gains: The Ultimate Guide: I love Intelligent Change and recommend signing up for their newsletter to get more articles like this.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Virtual Assistant Business?: if you are interested in working at home, this article is a great place to start.

I Have More Clients

At the end of September I had two clients, now I have a few more! It’s really exciting to see my new business growing at a steady pace. Even though money is tight, I can see the end of the tunnel when I’ll have a sustainable business. I just have to keep my eyes on my goals.

Started Running Again

Back in 2015 and 2016, I ran 13 5ks in 14 months (finding a 5k in February in Wisconsin is really hard.) After I completed that goal, I slacked off big time in my running routine. I got back on the course this month! I live near several trails, so I have no end to places to run and I’m using the Runner’s World Training Journal to keep track of the new habit I’m developing (affiliate link.)

This was also a quiet month. I’ve been concentrating on my business, so I haven’t traveled anywhere very interesting. If you want to see into my life more, follow me on Instagram. This is especially good for cat pictures. How has your October been? Are you ready for the holiday season?

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5 Podcasts Perfect for Halloween

5 Podcasts Perfect for Halloween

Halloween is tomorrow! It’s the time everything spooky and creepy (and pumpkin spice?) comes out to play. I have some awesome podcasts to get you in the mood, ranging from the fairly benign to the downright creepy.

1. Stuff You Missed In History Class

Every October, the ladies of Stuff You Missed dig into Halloween-themed episodes. There haves been topics like “Was there a real Sweeney Todd?,” “The History of Halloween Candy,” and biographies on some of the most famous horror actors of the 20th century. They have an extensive backlog, so you won’t run short on historically-based Halloween episodes.

2. Thinking Sideways

Thinking Sideways is a trio of mystery enthusiasts that delve into the unknown. Each Halloween season, they go over their grisliest cases, which usually includes a lot of murder. A few of my favorites have been the Miyazawa Family Murders, The Murder of Martha Moxley, and The Lake Bodom Murders. If you like a good mystery and fantastic hosts, this podcast is for you.

3. Two Girls, One Ghost

If you ignore the weird title, this is one spooky podcast. Friends, Corinne and Sabrina, go through paranormal encounters on a theme, from listener emails, and their own pasts. They truly believe in the paranormal, which makes this podcast even creepier. I don’t really believe in the paranormal encounters, but I had to stop listening to this at night.

4. My Favorite Murder

This is hands down my favorite podcast. It has a lot of murder and a lot of laughs, which is perfect for anyone who gets creeped out by grisly murder. In each episode, the hosts talk about what is happening in their lives and cover two murders. I loved the episode about Ted Bundy (#61) and the Spiderman of Denver (#85). While this podcast can be an acquired taste, I would suggest checking it out if you are interested in true crime.

5. The Generation Why Podcast

This podcast that covers a lot of unsolved crime and is much more serious than the previous podcasts. They cover one mystery a week and discuss the possible theories behind it. There are a lot of murder mysteries in their backlog, including several episodes about the Zodiac Killer and other serial killers. Check them out if you like a well-researched mystery.

Have a Happy Halloween! I hope it’s as creepy as you want it to be! If you have any comments about these selections or want to tell me your favorite podcast, please comment!

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Thoughts from September 2017

Thoughts from September 2017

Another month has come and gone. It feels like I learn so much about myself and my business with each passing month. October marks two months since I moved to Washington. It’s still the best choice I could have made! I’m learning endurance both in my mind and in my body. My business continues to grow and I’ve been working on learning more and more about how to run it successfully. Overall, it’s been a great month.

Links I Love

Olympic Peninsula and Mowich Lake

I took two awesome trips this month. The first was to the Olympic Peninsula with a friend of mine. We got to see Lake Quinault, Gatton Creek Falls, the Pacific Ocean, Forks, and La Push. Which means I got to check off a few more things on my Olympic Peninsula Bucket List! I also went on a hike later in the month with the aunt and uncle of a friend of mine.  We hiked up from Mowich Lake, saw Mt. Rainier, walked down and around to Spray Falls. My heels got shredded, but it was so awesome!

Two Clients

I finally have a second client! It may seem strange that it’s taking me so long to get clients, but it’s really normal. There are many people I’m talking to about becoming clients, but it can take a while to actually make them clients. Which is understandable, we both need to make sure it’s a good fit and my skills match the task. I’m really excited to get started and continue growing my business.

Babysitting Axel

The final thing happening this month is starting my babysitting job. My friend needs a babysitter for her son, Axel, three days a week and I get to be the one he spends time with. It’s only for a few hours a week, but I’m so excited to have baby time and another form of steady income. Wish me luck!

This month has been very good. I’m looking forward to seeing what October has to offer. I know I’ll be going down to Portland for a day and my goal is to get two clients from the people I’m talking to at the moment. Hopefully, it will be as good as September!

How was your September? What good things happened to you? What does October have in store for you?

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Thoughts from August 2017

Thoughts from August 2017

I’m going to be starting a monthly post about the important things that have happened with me over the past month. Think of it as a love letter to all my readers. I’ll always include links I love, but the rest is up to what has happened that month and what you all want to read!

Links I Love

I went back through my Pocket saves for the month and give you the most interesting tidbits. Thanks to Modern Mrs. Darcy for the idea!

 

First Solo Washington Trip

That’s right! I went on my first trip completely alone while living in Washington. I had a road trip through Mt. Rainier National Park and I absolutely loved it, even if my feet did not (five miles of hiking on a road trip!) Look for the complete run down of the trip on Monday.

I love working from home!

I was pretty sure I was going to like working at home, but you can never be really sure until you do something. Well, after working from home for the last few weeks, the consensus is love! It’s really amazing to be able to set my own schedule and not have anyone looking over my shoulder. I know that every cent I earn is my own. It’s awesome! Now I need to beef up my client list, so I can have sustained success in this endeavor.

Furbishing My Apartment

Moving across the country on a budget means that I have to leave a lot of my larger furniture behind. I moved in with no couches, tv stand, or dining table. So I went to some thrift stores to buy what I needed. I stopped at a store called Value Village and found a small table that could serve as a tv stand. I can always fix it up later, but for now, it’ll work. Then I did something that is not usual for me. I bought two chairs from Goodwill. It made me pretty nervous, but they are in really good shape and only need a good cleaning. I’m going to rent a carpet cleaner from Home Depot to make them feel homier. I love the red color!

Celebrating My 25th Birthday

I am now a quarter of a century old. Yay! I worked for a few hours in the morning (and went outside to view the eclipse), then I went to my friend’s house to finish a Lord of the Rings marathon we started the night before. It was a really nice, low-key birthday and was perfect for the turbulent year I’ve had.

And this pretty much sums up my August. If you have any thoughts or questions, please let me know! I want to make this series something that we all can enjoy, so if you have any suggestions, please let me know.

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My 2017 Word of the Year: Phoenix

My 2017 Word of the Year: Phoenix

Starting in 2016, I decided to pick a word for the year that would encompass my overarching goal for what I wanted to achieve that year. Last year, it was tenacity, which was to remind me that my goals can only be achieved if I put the effort in. This year, choosing was a much more difficult task.

I ended last year in a state of turbulence. My to do list consisted of the bare necessities and my previous goals were far off of my mind.

I chose the word phoenix to encapsulate my hopes for the year to come. A phoenix is a mythical bird, when it gets old and frail, it literally bursts into flame to end its life. It is rescinded to ashes in a brilliant flash. But from those ashes, arises brand new life. The phoenix is reborn through that trial by fire. It regrows it’s beautiful feathers and regains its old strength. Then the cycle continues with each demolition resulting in a newly rebuild being.

My fire has already happened. I watched my future, all that I thought my life would be, burn around me. I sat in the ashes. I wallowed in the ashes. I thought I would never see the end of the ashes. In fact, in many ways, the ashes still cling to me. I recognize now, though, that from the ashes of that old life, a new life can be reborn.

That is why I want phoenix to be my word of the year. I want to be reminded that even though I have been through a trial, there can be life after it. I am able to rebuild and rework and reframe. There is no end to me because I am stronger than the flames around me and I will rise form the ashes they have left.

What word would best encapsulate your hopes for the upcoming year? It’s never too late to discover the right one. I don’t expect yours to be quite as profound as mine is, but I do expect it to push you in the right direction for this period in your life. Write in on your fridge or put it next to your mirror as you get ready in the morning (I put mine on my computer). Let it guide you towards an awesome 2017.

5 Podcasts I Love

5 Podcasts I Love

 

For the first time in the over three years, I ran out of podcast episodes. I was caught up on all my current podcasts and had no back log of old episodes to tide me over. It’s a scary place to be in: how was I going to clean my house or commute to work without something to listen to?

Here’s a list of five podcasts I love, so you don’t have to scroll through endless lists of podcasts to find good content.

stuff_you_missed_in_history_classStuff You Missed in History Class

If you haven’t guessed it, this is a history podcast and it’s put on by HowStuffWorks.com. The point of this podcast it to find events or people in history that the average person is not going to know much about (which is A LOT). The hosts, Holly and Tracy, pick really interesting topics and are just plain entertaining to listen to. The podcast was started way back in 2008, so there is a major back log of episodes for anyone, like me, who likes podcasts that have a lot of content. The episodes also come out twice a week, so there is a lot of content on both ends.

serialSerial

Serial is an AMAZING podcast. Sarah Koenig takes us through a single story week by week and lays out all the disparate details, whether they be crystal clear or more murky. There are currently two seasons of the show, both very different from each other, but connected in the fact no one knows what really happened in the cases she is studying. This is a good podcast for anyone who likes true crime or endings that aren’t quite satisfying. Serial is made in conjunction with This American Life, so the sound editing is amazing.

sawbonesSawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine

Dr. Sydnee McElroy (a real medical doctor) and her husband, Justin (not a medical doctor), explore all the weird (and sometimes just plain dumb) ways we’ve tried to fix people. This podcast hits a really good balance between historical fact and truly hilarious banter. I’ve learned a lot about how messed up medicine was before the 20th century. The McElroys are also really good at putting a personal touch into the podcast.

night-valeWelcome to Night Vale

This fictional podcast follows Cecil Palmer, a community radio host, as he reports on all the strange happenings in the town of Night Vale. There is a five-headed dragon, a glowing cloud that runs for school council (all hail), and a desert other-world in the forbidden dog park. The creators, Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, weave a complex and intriguing narrative that really keeps you on your toes. There have been a few times where I was sure I knew that the end of story arch was going to be and it turned out to be something completely different. This podcast is definitely an acquired taste, but once you get into the story, there is no turning back.

bhpThe British History Podcast

This final podcast is for the true history nerd. The host, Jamie Jeffers, takes us through British history from the Ice Age on. His focus is on the human experience, what was it like to live in Britain for both the kings and the common people. He gets pretty intense, debating whether different historical texts could be accurate and generally reminding everyone that our version of history is very dependent on the Victorians ideals of the perfect warrior past. Listen to this podcast if you’re ready to deeply delve into a storied history of the British isles.

Hopefully, one of these podcasts caught your eye and now you don’t have to go down the rabbit hole that is looking for a new podcast in iTunes. I finally settled on my next podcast (My Favorite Murder), which is definitely my new guilty pleasure.

What do you think of the podcasts here? What are a few of the podcasts you love?

 

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Why “Tenacity” Is My 2016 Word

Why “Tenacity” Is My 2016 Word

At the beginning of 2016, I was a tad aimless. I had a job, but it wasn’t as satisfying as I would have liked. I was doing fun things, but still feeling like I could find more fulfilling ways to spend my time. I was going through my first winter without being in school and it felt draining. I needed something to shift me back on track.

 

In my lifeGroup (basically a weekly bible study), we challenged ourselves to find a word that we hoped would encompass our next year. The goal was to bring ourselves closer to what God desired of our lives, to give ourselves the extra push we needed. My mind immediately began cycling. I wanted to take this challenge very seriously.

 

I looked at my life.  I saw my own drained resources; I saw my unhappiness about many of the aspects of my life. And I started to brain storm. What could make me feel better? Was there a specific area of life I needed bolstered? Was there something within myself that needed a change?

Then it came to me. What I needed at this point in my life was determination. I needed the will to see myself through this period of stagnation. I needed to do everything in my life with tenacity.
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Tenacity means to be very determined, to not be stopped. I want to propel myself forward with perseverance and resolution. And what better word is there to encompass that feeling?

 

So far, embracing this idea has lead me to reengage with my love of reading and explore career options that would better satisfy me. I’ve also realized how much I love to travel and experience new places. I’m continuing to embrace tenacity in all aspects in my life. This includes the areas that dissatisfy me. It’s made my year much better already and I’m excited to see where it will lead me next.

 

What word would best describe what you want out of the rest of your year? Do you need to learn patience, faith, rest, or determination? Are there events coming in your life that you need to “gear up for”? Spend some time thinking about what would be the best word to remind yourself of what you need right now.

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