Archive for the ‘Happiness Project 2019’ Category

Today marks the last day of the year. As I reflect on 2019, I am amazed at all that I accomplished and experienced throughout this year. I turned 50 years old, celebrated my youngest son graduating from high school and starting college, and took the stage for the very first time in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Every month was spent with family and friends who I cherish dearly. Every month was filled with adventures and opportunities to step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself. Every month was committed to improving my health, my home, and my acting career.

19 for 2019 List Update

  • Yesterday, I completed #7 Donate blood. Next year, I plan to donate blood on a regular basis. I can give blood every eight weeks which puts me at donating again at the end of February.
  • This morning, I completed #8 Read one book a month for self-improvement. This Booksmonth I read Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott. This book was recommended by Gretchen Rubin. I’m an instructional coach, not a boss; however, some of the advice that Scott gives can be used in my position. The book is broken into two parts: A New Management Philosophy and Tools and Techniques. It is basically a guidebook on how to mix praise and criticism in a way that produces better results and helps employees achieve. It is also about building strong relationships between bosses and employees. Kim Scott also cohosts the Radical Candor podcast with Russ Laraway. It is “a show about how not to hate the boss you have…or be the boss you hate.” There are currently 23 episodes. I actually listened to the podcast before reading the book. Interesting stuff!

I completed 11 items on my 19 for 2019 list. My list this year was a little more ambitious than my list last year; however, I am happy with the items that I completed, as well as the ones I almost completed. Below are the 3 items that I almost completed on my 19 for 2019 list.

  • #4 Lost 19 pounds. As of today, I lost 13.5 pounds. Even though I did not hit my target weight, I am still proud of myself. I didn’t get serious about shedding weight until September 2nd. I’ve cut my sugar consumption drastically, and I eat less processed food. And, I did not gain any of my weight back over the holidays.
  • #9 Purge stuff in house one room/closet at a time. This goal was too broad and ambitious to complete in one year. I should have chosen specific rooms to declutter. Instead, I decluttered and remodeled rooms. I now have a scrapbook room. My utility room is almost complete. I need to order cabinets for my laundry hampers, a decorative laundry sign, and fill in two spaces between our new cabinets and the wall with wood. My office has been repainted and crown moulding installed. I just need to furnish it to make it cozy. Also, one of my bathrooms was repainted and new accessories were purchased for it.
  •  #12 Complete Andrew’s Ireland scrapbook. I’ve done a great deal on Andrew’s scrapbook; however, I just did not have enough time to get it completely finished. One of my scrapbooking goals is to set aside a specific amount of time per month to scrapbook. Hopefully, Shelly and I can scrapbook more often in the new year. When we scrapbook together, I get more accomplished. At the beginning of December, we scrapbooked a few hours each day for three days in a row, and I finished quite a few layouts.

Stella aka NovaThere are only a few hours left of 2019. It started off on a happy note and ended on a bittersweet one. Today, Andrew and I took the sweet female pup that wandered into our lives last Monday to Northshore Humane Society. Everyone at the facility was very nice; however, it was hard to let her go because I got attached to her. They named her Nova. I contacted Briana later this afternoon to check on her and was told that she was doing awesome. She was picked up by her foster shortly after we dropped her off. While I miss her, I know this is the best decision for my family and for her. Please pray that she finds her forever home very soon. In closing, dear reader, enjoy the rest of 2019. Tomorrow begins a new decade and a wonderful new year of possibilities. Happiness!

“When Radical Candor is encouraged and supported by the boss, communication flows, resentments that have festered come to the surface and get resolved, and people begin to love not just their work but whom they work with and where they work. When people love their job, the whole team is more successful. The resulting happiness is the success beyond success.”  ~ Kim Scott, Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity

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Today is the last day of November, and it happens to be the Saturday before I have to return to my day job. It has been a lovely week off, and I’ve enjoyed my down time; however, it’s time to get back in the saddle and accomplish a few loose ends before 2019 comes to an end.

I can scratch #18 Participate in NaNoWriMo in November off my 19 for 2019 list. This item will definitely be put back on my 20 for 2020 list, and I am determined to be much more successful next year. Frankly, I did not give myself enough time to prep. I did start a horror novel, but I only wrote 1,505 words of the 50,000 word goal. And, I only wrote for three days out of the entire month. My stats show that if I continue writing each day at this pace, my novel will be done by July 27th. HA! I will not abandon the idea of writing a novel. Although, it has been placed on the back burner to simmer for a bit.

This leaves me with ten items left on my 19 for 2019 list. There are three items that I will definitely NOT accomplish before the end of this year. I am not physically ready to run a 5K; there is no money in the family budget to visit my Aunt Carolyn in Utah; and sadly, I’m nowhere near paying off one of my credit cards. That’s okay! I still think all three items are worth accomplishing, yet they too will have to be placed on the back burner to simmer for a bit.


Fat Flush Soup made with leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

I am currently working on three items that I feel very strongly that I will complete by the end of the year. As for my weight loss goal, I am down another 1/2 pound which puts me at a total loss of 12.5 pounds since September 2nd. I have 6.5 more pounds to lose by the end of 2019 to reach my goal of 19 pounds. This Monday, I will start another round of The Clean 20 to knock out the remaining weight. Tomorrow, I will get back to scrapbooking, so I can complete Andrew’s Ireland scrapbook. Shelly and I are planning to scrapbook together for the next couple of days. Finally, I am successfully reading one book a month for self-improvement. This month I read Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle. It is a terrific little book with a great deal of wisdom about being present and how stillness can bring about inner peace.

As for the remaining four items on my list, there is a possibility they could be accomplished; however, I am not holding my breath that all four will be completed. As long as I’m not anemic, I should be able to donate blood. If I buckle down, I could organize my master bedroom closet. Organizing my photographs/mementos and purging stuff in the house one room/closet at a time is realistically going to take more than a month to complete. We have been purging stuff in the house throughout the year with our remodeling projects; it is just an extremely slow process since my hubby is doing the remodeling. It’s tough since he only has the weekends, and there is the occasional weekend, he just wants to take a break and have some fun.

So, there you have it, dear reader. The remainder of my 2019 is going to be focused on tackling a few tasks that will add fulfillment to my life. This does not mean that the remaining month will be all work and no play. I have plenty of special events already sprinkled throughout the month, and in three short weeks, I’ll be on vacation again. Happiness!

“The moment you enter the Now with your attention, you realize that life is sacred. There is a sacredness to everything you perceive when you are present. The more you live in the Now, the more you sense the simple yet profound joy of Being and the sacredness of all life.” ~ Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks

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PutnamcountyspellingbeealbumcoverI DID IT! Two weeks ago, I auditioned for my first musical at The New Octavians, a local community theatre in Hammond. The show that I auditioned for is called The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and it will be directed by Rachael Knaps. It is a musical comedy centered on a fictional spelling bee held at a middle school where six oddball teens will compete, and three unconventional adults will run the show. Well (drum roll), my name made its way on the cast list. I was offered a role, and I accepted it! I will be playing Mitch Mahoney, who happens to be an ex-con assigned to the spelling bee to fulfill a community service requirement. HA! I’m SUPER excited about getting cast and cannot thank my voice coach Laura enough for all of her help preparing me for the audition. We worked intensively together for two weeks preparing me to belt out “The Kite” and the hard work paid off. Go, me! The performances will be in November.

In addition to coming clean about what I have been doing with my singing and acting, I’ve also been reading about eating clean. #8 Read one book a month for self-improvement. This month I read The Clean 20 by Ian K. Smith, M.D. I learned about Dr. Ian K. Smith and his approach to eating clean and intermittent fasting on Molly Kimball’s podcast Fueled: Wellness + Nutrition. I liked what he had to say, so I decided to check out his new book Clean & Lean and discovered the book he wrote previously, The Clean 20, that focuses on 20 clean foods that are incorporated in a complete 20-day clean-eating program. The program includes menus, recipes, exercise suggestions, motivation, and the benefits of eating these clean foods. Therefore, I am starting the program on Monday (Labor Day). It will require food prep and planning, as well as following “The Clean 20 Rules” of which there are fourteen. Some will be easy to follow (dairy is good, no alcohol, canned and frozen are permitted), and others will be much harder (no added sugar, no soda, no frying, careful with condiments). Along with reading the book, I joined Smith’s Facebook group Cleaner Get Leaner. The group was created as a companion to his Clean & Lean book; however, since I will eventually be reading that book in the near future, I decided the extra motivation and encouragement could be beneficial. I’ll keep you posted on my progress with the clean eating program.

In Other News:

I dropped my gym membership. I thought going to the gym at least once per week this year (#5) on my 19 for 2019 list would be easy, but it has not. I went ONE time in July and walked on the treadmill. Since Andrew can exercise at the Rec Sports & Wellness Student Activity Center at SLU and I’m not going to the gym regularly, I decided to save some money and cancel our membership.

It’s Labor Day weekend, dear reader, and for many of you that means an extra day off from your job. I hope you will be able to enjoy the additional downtime. Happiness!

“Sometimes it’s easy to forget about the essence of life — joy. We get so bogged down in the process of “doing” that we forget about the state of “being” and how important it is to enjoy where we are and not always look to where we want to be.” ~ Ian K. Smith, M.D.

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“Stay true to yourself, yet always be open to learn. Work hard, and never give up on your dreams, even when nobody else believes they can come true but you. These are not clichés but real tools you need no matter what you do in life to stay focused on your path.” ~ Phillip Sweet

Dream Big

Back in the summer of 2016, I read the book 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam. She included an exercise in her book that Caroline Ceniza-Levine uses in her workshops to help people to try and figure out “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The exercise is to create a “List of 100 Dreams” where you list 100 activities that you would like to experience throughout your lifetime. According to Ceniza-Levine, this is exercising the “passion muscle” (Vanderkam 42). You may discover after trying some of these activities that they are not quite right for how you want to live your life. And, that’s awesome! You can now use your time pursuing something else that is more worthwhile for you.

As a (mixed-style) multipotentialite questioner, this exercise was right up my alley. I have many interests, and I want to pursue creative endeavors. I separated my list into three categories like Laura Vanderkam: career, travel, and personal/family. I enjoyed creating my List of 100 Dreams which was #19 on my 19 for 2019. Take a look, dear reader (Kat’s List of 100 Dreams)!


In Other News:

#8 Read one book a month for self-improvement. This month I read Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose the Guilt, Work Smarter, and Thrive by Jessica N. Turner. I admit several times this past school year I felt stretched too thin. I purchased this book to get some fresh perspective on how to handle these seasons of busyness that can get overwhelming. Turner had some good suggestions on setting achievable goals, making self-care a priority, and developing solutions on managing your home. I admit that I did not take the time to complete all the exercises after each chapter which are devoted to different areas of your life. However, I did read through the questions and reflected on the ones that seemed more relatable to me and my circumstances. Self-care is definitely an area of my life that needs the most improvement. I feel that other areas in my life will benefit from self-care getting necessary attention.

Well, dear reader, another month has passed. Tomorrow begins a brand new month with new possibilities and opportunities. Dial into your passions and dream big. Happiness!

“Once you stop trying to be someone you are not and doing things that don’t align with your desires and/or your responsibilities, you are better able to thrive in your life.” ~ Jessica N. Turner



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This year the summer solstice fell on Friday, June 21st. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and the beginning of the summer season.  With that being said, Gretchen Rubin and her sister Liz Craft recommended the following “try this at home” on their most recent episode of Happier with Gretchen Rubin: Celebrate the summer (or winter) solstice by revisiting your one-word theme. My theme for this year is COMMIT. Since the year is almost half over, I thought, why not do a little self-reflection and see how I’m doing.

When I chose the word COMMIT, I thought it would light a fire that would ignite and spread throughout all the different areas of my life. Nah, that has not happened.  While I am not earning high marks in every area, I am earning gold stars in a few of them. I am slowly, but steadily, making strides in my house with purging/organizing the stuff that is in it. My hubby and I are making improvements (painting, making repairs, and buying a new bed). Now that I have a new scrapbook room, I am making the effort to carve out time to organize photos/mementos and to finally finish Andrew’s Ireland scrapbook by the end of the year. I have been taking classes to exercise my acting muscle and have signed up for private coaching sessions. And, I am reading at least one book per month on self-improvement.

Scrapbook -Ireland

The STA group in front of the Springfort Hall hotel that they stayed in on their first night in Ireland, and the group exploring the scenic route known as The Ring of Kerry. 

Where am I falling short? Health and wellness. Self-care. I am not referring to avoiding the doctor or skipping annual exams. I am referring to the day-to-day self-care that could improve my life dramatically. I have not been able to commit to daily exercise or a healthy diet (eating clean). Why? Not sure. Since the beginning of the year, I have started and stopped a million times (hyperbole). Three items on my 19 for 2019 list are connected to this area in my life: #4 Lose 19 pounds.; #5 Go to the gym at least once per week.; and #6 Run a 5K. Meh! Unfortunately, I have not made any strides towards accomplishing those goals.

With regards to my 19 for 2019 list, I have accomplished one ongoing item.

#8 Read one book a month for self-improvement. This month I read The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide by Jenna Fischer. Since I was taking auditioning classes with Lance Nichols this month, I thought it would be beneficial to read it. It was an excellent choice. Jenna Fischer is well-known for her role as Pam on The Office. She tells her story about the struggles of becoming an actor with honesty and humor while providing sound advice for beginning actors. How I wish this book had been written years ago when I first started this acting journey! Knowing myself though, I probably would have quit the minute I finished the book. HA! All kidding aside, I consider it a user-friendly reference guide for aspiring actors that I plan to utilize throughout my acting career (no matter how short-lived it may be).

Although I am not accomplishing everything I want or need to accomplish at this moment, I am not going to feel defeated or give up, dear readers. Life is too short, especially at 50 years old. With a bit more self-reflection, I hope to figure out what is obstructing me from moving forward with my health and wellness goals, so I can eliminate it. Have you struggled with any of your goals and figured out how to achieve them? Let me know if you have and how you triumphed. Happiness!

“The truth is: Being an artist is hard. Writing is hard. Acting is hard. Directing is hard. Making music is hard. I know your relatives at home think, How hard can it be? It’s just playing pretend, but it’s hard. Most of the time it will feel like you are pushing a boulder up a mountain. But if you keep going, the muscle that moves you forward will get stronger. You learn to press on even when you don’t want to.” ~ Jenna Fischer, The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide 


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Alas, dear reader, the 5th month of the year is in the bag. I’m looking forward to the next two months of the summer. I have scheduled a few routine doctors’ appointments. June promises to be engaging with an acting workshop on the first four Saturdays of the month, a local play, a concert in NOLA, and my annual scrapbook convention. In between all the social activities, I plan to spend time with friends and family, exercise, read, and knock out some of the items on my 19 for 2019 list. I’m blessed!

Speaking of my 19 for 2019 list, I have crossed off a couple of items.

#3 Get a colonoscopy. During spring break, I had my first colonoscopy. Four polyps were discovered, removed, and sent off for testing. My test results came back negative; however, my doctor wants me to get another colonoscopy in three years. Surprisingly, except for the SUPREP that I had to drink, the procedure was not bad at all. Next time, I will ask for a different prep because the SUPREP was disgusting, and I vomited the second dose. I strongly encourage everyone who turns 50 (unless you have family history that requires it earlier) to have this procedure done. My friend’s husband put it off until he was 59 and only did it because his father was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. His results came back cancerous and part of his colon had to be removed.

#14 Buy a new bed for master bedroom. Over the Memorial Day Weekend, Rooms To Go had a sale on beds, so my hubby and I took advantage of the sale and bought a new bed. Technically, we bought two beds. We purchased a Serta iComfort king with an adjustable base. However, with the recommendation of my BFF Shelly, we opted for each of us to have our own adjustable base to fit our own level of comfort. Therefore, our king bed is really two Twin X beds pushed together. And, no, neither one of us has fallen into the crack where the two beds meet. We still need to buy a headboard/footboard since our previous bed was a queen.

#8 Read one book a month for self-improvement. This month I read Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done by Laura Vanderkam. As most of you know, I struggle with time management; therefore, any chance I get to pick up some good advice on this topic, I’m game. Vanderkam is all about tracking time Off the Clockwhich is extremely beneficial when you want to see how you are REALLY spending your time. We all (myself included) like to say we are busy; however, that is a story we like to tell even to ourselves. I found her “three versions of the self” interesting. She describes each version: “The anticipating self is wondering about, planning, and worrying about the future. The experiencing self is in the here and now. The remembering self thinks back to the past” (Vanderkam, 70). The anticipating self sets our intentions or goals while the remembering self reflects on the fruits of our labor. Our experiencing self follows through or falls through with plans, intentions, or goals depending on the circumstances or feelings in the present moment. My experiencing self gets in my way of taking action on a regular basis. It is pals with FEAR and PROCRASTINATION which has robbed me from realizing a few goals or pursuing a couple of dreams. This is my year to COMMIT, so in order to take more action and waste less time, I need to commit to listening less to my experiencing self, plan the task/event, and execute.

I have always loved the idea of a clean slate; the end of one month and the first day of the next month make me giddy with anticipation. I have many wonderful events planned in June, so I hope my experiencing self is up for some enjoyment and cuts ties with fear and procrastination. In addition, I need to commit to saying “I’m busy” or “I’m tired” less which will make my remembering self happier. Happiness!

“Whether I do anything today or not, eventually I will be on the other side of the next twenty-four hours. It can be filled with “nothing” (in this case, meaningless somethings), or it can be filled with something more intriguing.” ~ Laura Vanderkam, Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done 



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Scrapbook Room

Thankfully, Andrew has successfully graduated from STA. School is officially out for the summer. And, I have happily moved into my new scrapbook room. Yee-haw! This means that I can cross off #11 (Clear out front bedroom and make it my scrapbook room.) on my 19 for 2019 list. I must thank my hubby who painted my room; my hubby and Daddy who installed the crown moulding; and my BFF Shelly who helped me decide on where everything should go and helped me hang Andrew’s art on the walls. I now have sufficient space for me to scrapbook on a regular basis AND for my friends to scrapbook with me. Happiness!

“Blessed are the children of scrapbookers, for they shall inherit the scrapbooks.    ~ Scrapbook.com

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Empty RoomNo, I am not referring to my nest which is my temporary status at home this week while my hubby and I are on vacation. (Andrew is in Europe with STA.) I am referring to the spare room in my house that will soon become my scrapbook room. It is officially empty of stuff and is in the process of being rejuvenated. Today, the ceiling was repainted. Tomorrow (fingers crossed), the walls will be repainted. Instead of the off-white color which we painted the entire house when we built it 20 years ago, I chose Blue Shock to beautify my space. Crown moulding was purchased over the weekend, and my Daddy is coming over this Friday to help Barry install it. The air vent needs to be replaced, and I’m considering a new light fixture. Once the baseboards, trim, and crown moulding are spruced up, I can move in all my scrapbook supplies. The timing could not be better since I’ll be settling in my new creative digs around the outset of summer break.

Some other tasks that I will be attending to this week include bringing Comet aka Tooty (my dog) to the vet to get his teeth cleaned, addressing Andrew’s graduation announcements and enclosing senior pictures, and getting my first colonoscopy. Of the three items that I will be crossing off my to-do list, I can bet you can guess which will be my least favorite to complete.

In Other News:

Since The Walking Dead is on hiatus until the fall and the fifth season of Fear the Walking Dead does not start until the beginning of June, I started watching a new television series called A Discovery of Witches based on the historical-fantasy novel by Deborah Harkness. The story centers around Diana Bishop who is a professor visiting the University of Oxford for research purposes. She also happens to be a witch although she has chosen not to practice witchcraft or associate with other witches. Through her research, she accidently discovers an extremely well sought-after book which has her crossing paths with dangerous creatures including the handsome and charming vampire Matthew Clairmont. I like an alluring mystery with intriguingly magical creatures, so I’m hooked.

As for my 19 for 2019 list, I completed:

#8 Read one book a month for self-improvement. For April, I chose Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis. I borrowed a copy of this book from my BFF Shelly who had not actually finished reading it (not her cup of tea). I was curious about it because while I knew nothing about Rachel Hollis or her writing, she was making quite an impression on many people in the social media arena. Mixed reviews, really. Some love it while others hate it. I wouldn’t say I hated it, and I appreciated her candidness about her life; however, it isn’t my favorite self-improvement book either. Honestly, I wanted to like it more than I did. The one nugget I took away from 213 pages of text is summed up in one paragraph which appears on page 212 and that I’ve included as my quote at the end of this post. I can see her appeal and believe she has motivated many, but for me I’ve heard her message before just not as preachy. Finally, I listened to the podcast episode (11/28/18: Girl, Wash Your Face) of By the Book where Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer spent two weeks implementing some of Hollis’s advice for approaching life by not buying into the lies we tell ourselves. It was interesting to hear their perspectives, especially Kristen’s. I found myself agreeing with her assessment in a number of areas.

Today, dear reader, was such a beautiful day on so many levels. It also happens to be Earth Day. There is a great deal to be thankful for concerning our planet. It provides many wonderful gifts for our lives. It is up to us to protect our Earth not just today but every day. Happiness!

“You have the ability to change your life. You always had the power, Dorothy. You just have to stop waiting for someone else to do it for you. There is no easy way out of this; there is no life hack. Just you and your God-given strength and how much you desire change.” ~ Rachel Hollis



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I am writing to you today, dear reader, from my favorite hot spot Books-A-Million. Sometime last night, my Wi-Fi router decided to conk out for good. Therefore, since it is Sunday and our internet provider is closed today, my household will have no internet service until tomorrow afternoon. And, that is if our provider has the items we need (router and modem) in stock, and I can figure out how to put everything together and activate my new router and modem. Aah, the joys of modern technology!

Today marks the end of March and the end of the first quarter of the year. What a whirlwind of a month! Slowly, but surely, I am clearing out the front bedroom. The closet has been cleared, cleaned, and the baseboards inside it finally painted. As soon as the room is cleared and cleaned, it will be repainted and a ceiling fan and crown moulding will be installed. It would be nice if I could complete this project by the end of April. I’m itching to get some scrapbooking done prior to my annual convention in June.

SophieAndrew is officially registered to attend Southeastern in the fall. Over the Mardi Gras break, he applied for housing and just this week selected a roommate. Thankfully, Dane is a friend from high school and someone he has known since Pre-K. Andrew also applied and was accepted to the Honors Program and scheduled his orientation for June. In four and a half months, my baby will be officially moving into his dorm and starting his college career.

March ushered in Daylight Savings Time and was a month of birthdays for some important individuals in my life, including my hubby, some awesome friends (two turned 50…Jeff and Georgia), and Sophie (our German Shepherd). She turned 11 years old on the 27th. For being an old lady, she is still a beauty.

In Other News:

Since our evenings now have more daylight, I have been walking almost every evening with my BFF Shelly. Sometimes, her hubby walks with us. If we cannot coordinate our schedules, then I walk by myself and listen to the latest episode of the podcast Levar Burton Reads. Yesterday, I listened to an excellent short story called “Jackalope Wives” by Ursula Vernon and read by Levar Burton.

As for my 19 for 2019 list, I completed:

#16 Take a voice-over class. At the beginning of the month, I attended a voice-over class with Marc Preston. It was an introduction to voice-over with a ton of good information. I am interested in studying with Marc during the summer.

#8 Read one book a month for self-improvement. For March, I chose Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter & Organize to Make More Room for Happiness by Gretchen Rubin. I am a fan of Rubin’s writing and her new book did not disappoint. It is a terrific little book chock full of advice on how to declutter your home, office, etc. and create a happier environment. The suggestions that Rubin gives are practical and easy to follow. Before I even finished the book, I had already started implementing some of her tips. For example, “follow the one-minute rule” is one of my favorites. If you can do a task in less than a minute, then do it at once instead of delaying it. This book, along with Marie  Kondō’s book, has gotten me even more excited about decluttering.

In two months, it will be summer break and a chance to catch my breath before helping Andrew get ready for college. However, the next two months are going to be busy for both Andrew and me. In the midst of all the excitement, dear reader, I will continue my quest to create outer order in my home so that I may achieve inner calm in my life. Happiness!

“Once outer order emerges, take the opportunity to enjoy it, to experience the ease, space, and growth that come from inner calm. Revel in it! Take time to pause and feel happy.” ~ Gretchen Rubin



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Tomorrow wraps up the second month of the new year. For being a short month, my family and I packed it with plenty of experiences. While the month was eventful, and we had many memorable moments (Fleetwood Mac, KISS, Mrs. Carol & Mr. Mike’s Wedding, BETA State, Literary Rally, BUNCO), I am ready for a break. And, that break begins this Friday. Yee-haw!

Fleetwood Mac

My number one goal during the break is to declutter one room in my house. This room is located at the front of my house and was once used for exercise but now looks like a storage unit. It is a combination of everyone’s stuff. I plan to take everything out of the room and its closet. I want to clean the room, paint it, and finally add crown moulding. Afterwards, I want to use this room for scrapbooking. I acknowledge that this project will take a few weeks to accomplish, but if I can clear everything out of the room this next week, it will be a terrific start.

Of course, I will not spend the entire week decluttering. I am attending a Voice-Over Workshop on Saturday. My friend Kathryn and I plan to record ourselves singing “Edelweiss” together. I have an appointment to see my accountant to get my taxes filed. And, later in the week, we plan to celebrate my hubby’s upcoming birthday.

In Other News:

Tomorrow evening, Andrew and I will attend SLU’s Scholars Showcase. He was invited because he was awarded a Priority Scholarship from Southeastern. Earlier in the month, I was supposed to attend a Housing Event, but it was cancelled because so many students in the area were either at BETA State or at a soccer tournament. Unfortunately, it was not rescheduled. We will be applying for housing during next week’s break.

As for my 19 for 2019 list, I completed:

#2 Get eyebrows waxed. I’m having a new headshot taken soon, so my eyebrows needed a bit of tidying.

#8 Read one book a month for self-improvement. For February, I chose the life-changing magic of tidying up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing by Marie Kondō. I enjoyed it and gained a few helpful tips; however, I do not see myself following the KonMari Method. And, I guarantee the guys in my house will not follow it. The premise is to declutter your home by categories starting with clothing. You hold each item that you own and ask yourself if it sparks joy. If it does, the item stays. If it does not, it goes, either in the trash or to a donation center of your choice. I am open to trying to tidy by category after I declutter my future scrapbooking room. I also want to try her folding technique for clothing stored in dresser drawers. In addition to her book, Marie Kondō has a television show on Netflix where she helps people declutter their homes using the KonMari Method. I find her fascinating, so I watched the first episode and plan on watching the rest of the series in the near future. Finally, I listened to the podcast episode (06/07/17: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up) of By the Book where Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer spent two weeks implementing the KonMari Method. It was interesting and pretty funny to hear their experiences of decluttering using Kondō’s method.

I’ll keep you posted on my decluttering project, dear reader. I have committed this year to getting my house in order, and my hope is it will carry over into other areas of my life that need attention. Happiness!

“The best way to find out what we really need is to get rid of what we don’t.”         ~ Marie Kondō

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In Dianes Kitchen

Recipes showing step by step directions with pictures and a printable recipe card.

Conversations on finding and loving who I am

Let's have an open conversation about life.


Beauty and lifestyle Blog

Edge of Humanity Magazine

An Independent Non-Discriminatory Platform With No Religious, Political, Financial, or Social Affiliations


Creative personal growth toward better health and happiness

Health Matters

Healthy Living

The Kat Files

Finding Adventure in Everyday Life

Never Alone

Empowering Oneself

DeHarts Web Solutions

Effective Websites Focused on Results

Get On With It

Writing and drawings about work, family and the stuff in-between


Doing the best that I can, at writing, running and living

Daniel J Bockman

Businessman, Author and Speaker

Li. A. Wake

Author and Screenwriter



This West London Life

Attempting to live a better story ... and scrapbooking it.