Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Links

Happy Friday!  Some of my favorite posts from bloggers come on the weekends, when I can see what they're liking and learn about new blogs, or read an interesting article and have some food for thought.  I thought I'd share some of the links that caught my attention this week, and I hope you enjoy!

This is a lengthy post, but it has great information about organizing your digital photo files and various options on getting your pictures off your computer and into albums in a timely and easy manner.

The Handmade Home ::  Lessons Learned in Staying Put
On contentment, making changes in your home that suit your family and things they've learned along the way.

Averie Cooks ::  Soft M & M Chocolate Chip Cookies
Well these just look delightful.

Compassion Bloggers ganda Trip 2014
Compassion Bloggers :: 2014 Trip to Uganda
And finally, some of my favorite bloggers are heading to Uganda tomorrow with Compassion International.  We sponsor Juliet there, so I am especially excited to hear what they experience this next week.  You can read all the bloggers posts here, and sponsor a child here.  Their goal is for 400 children to be sponsored while they are blogging in Africa.  For $38 a month, you can make a huge difference in a child's and family's life.  I promise.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Photo Confessional

Y'all, I have a confession to make:  I have over 12,000 photos stored on my computer.  Yes, you read that right.

Thankfully, I back up with Carbonite automatically, any time my computer and internet are active (so, a lot), and I also have an external hard drive, but plugging it in often doesn't happen.

I really wanted to have a backup for photos only, so after a few recommendations, I purchased a thumb drive and have been backing up photos from 2007 up to now, this past week. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Weekend Meals to Recommend

Photos & Recipe Sources: Italian Tortellini Soup // Bruchetta Chicken 

In part of my 2013 book list, I read 168 Hours: You have more time than you think.  Basically, Vanderkam encourages readers to look at how they spend their time, and work to rearrange a few things so that it works better for them.  

Part of my "rearranging" for this year is cooking more involved meals on the weekends.  By the time I get home from work during the week, I'm generally beat, and the thought of making a meal and cleaning it up is just exhausting.  Adam is a huge help and does a lot of the grocery shopping and meal making, but I'd like to be more helpful in this area.

So, this week, we had a date night on Wednesday night, which resulted in a nice, relaxed hour-and-a-half dinner at Pei Wei, and then made two new meals, plus a few old standbys.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Yearly Goal Worksheets :: Free Printable

Just because we're eight days into January doesn't mean the window of opportunity to think through your year is over!

The past two years we've been married,  Adam and I sit down to talk about our goals, dreams and plans for the upcoming year.  It's not always at the first of January, but we do try to get around to talking about it sometime during this month.  It's been fun to go back and look to see what we wanted for the year we just closed.  I do try and "check in" about halfway through the year, but you may need to set your self a calendar reminder in order to do that--I sure do!

It's easiest for us to break it down into categories like this:
Spiritually  (this can be memorizing 1 scripture a month, completing a study, etc.)
Physically  (mine is working out 3x a week, Adam's is more intense, like completing a half Iron Man)
Financially (making a savings goal and a plan, and also giving a "stretch" goal)
Relationally (both in marriage and in friendships)

I've also added a second page with other categories that I like to use, like For the Home and Personal Goals.  For me, home goals include getting the laundry put away in a timely manner, get in bed at 10 p.m. on work nights, etc.  And for personal goals (which I guess could also be considered home goals), I want to make a point to back up our photos in a more reliable manner.

You can download the PDF version here.  I'd love to know if you do this or something similar.  I'm always looking for ideas!

Friday, January 3, 2014

2013 in Books

Today I'm linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy to share the books I read and recommend in 2013.  Shockingly, a grand total of 21.  I didn't set out to read that many on purpose, but I think it just goes to show how much I enjoy reading!  I read a few more, but I chose not to put them on the list because I didn't actually finish them.  I used to finish every book that I started, but then I realized I wasn't doing it for enjoyment, so I stopped.  I would highly recommend these books, so get after it!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Use Yelp!

One of the latest apps and websites I've been using is Yelp!  I know it's been around for a while, but I am always so pleasantly surprised by how helpful and accurate the reviews are, I wanted to pass it along.

I started using it when I was looking for a reasonably-priced tailor near our house.  I entered our zip code, narrowed down my search to "Tailor," and the site directed me to several choices.  I read the reviews, which were honest, practical and helpful, and decided to try Unique Tailor.  Their prices were great, and the service was quick and excellent.  I had pants hemmed in two days, just as the reviews mentioned.

I've used Yelp! for restaurant reviews, nearby shopping and even groceries.  When my friend Lyndsy and I visited Nashville, we decided to cook for our friend Katie while she taught school.  (She was eating Clif Bars and Dr. Pepper at lunch, and we wanted to help her out!)  So Lyndsy looked up nearby grocery stores, and found one with five stars.  We walked in, and I said, "Whoa.  This is a super nice store."  Lyndsy said she's never seen a grocery store get a five-star rating, so she knew it had to be good.  Yelp! did not disappoint!

Yelp! ratings are populated by customers' experiences, and I think it's great when people take the time to write a positive review.  (Of course, there are always negative ones thrown in, but hi, welcome to life.)

So the next time you're looking for a good review, check out Yelp!  It's available online, and also for iPhones and Android.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Rock Your Monday with the Delayed Start Button

I have to tell you: it's Monday morning, and I feel like I've accomplished so much. 

Who says that, right?? 

I read a tip somewhere recently about using the delayed start on your washing machine, so I tried it last night.  I put the clothes in right before bed, with soap (of course--but easy to forget sometimes!), and then set the delayed start for six hours later. 

Six hours was the longest it could be delayed, so that meant that I could expect our washer to start at about 4:30 a.m. 

When I got out of bed at 6:30 a.m., I thought, "Oh dear, I never heard the washer, I bet it didn't work."  Oh, but it did! 

I moved the wash to the dryer, and started it on its merry little way.  This means that all I need to do when I get home is fold it and put it away.  Half of the work is already done!  I didn't have to worry about starting the wash and then forgetting it, leaving it to sit all day or night without putting it in the dryer.  Hallelujah.

Our washer and dryer were Adam's before we got married, and he got them about five years ago.  So if you've purchased a washer within the last half of a decade or so, check to see if you have a button for "delayed start."  It might just rock your world and help you feel more accomplished on a Monday morning.

Happy Monday, y'all.