Category Archives: Musings

What I Got for Christmas (Normal People Version)

Today we’re going to talk about what I got for Christmas (including an item I am being paid to check out!). I saw years ago; a bunch of people would do every holiday like birthdays and Christmas “What I got” videos. And they were these items that were very fancy.  Like here is the Chanel bag I got and the $200 perfume I got. That is not my life or even close to my life. A couple of rules. We work on a budget for Christmas and things for the house are not gifts for my husband or myself, except for my KitchenAid mixer. I got that one year, and I was very, very excited about that. We do small holidays in this household, we just do. And it’s more about being thoughtful, and we buy things throughout the year and just give it to people we don’t save up everything for holidays. So that said, my family loves me dearly, do not pick on me, them, or anyone else. In my household, we prefer to focus on being thoughtful and buying things throughout the year rather than saving everything for the holidays.

One of the most thoughtful gifts I received this year was a framed picture of me and my daughter from our graduation with our associate degrees. My daughter went out of her way to get a bunch of pictures printed and framed this one, so we would have it to remember this special moment. I haven’t decided where to hang it yet, but I love it and am so grateful for this thoughtful gift. She also gave me a super cute pack of Water Colored themed Happy Planner stickers for my planner (she knows me so well).

Another item I was excited to receive this year was a pair of slippers. I’ve been wearing a pair of old slippers that my 17-year-old son outgrew, but they’re so worn out that the plastic around the edges keeps breaking off in the carpet. I wanted a new pair of slippers to wear while working at my desk and to keep my feet warm and cozy at home. I was thrilled when my son bought me a pair of Jessica Simpson slides – they’re comfy, warm, squishy, and perfect for walking around the house.

One of the gifts I received this year was something that Responsival approached me about, Flat Socks. These no-show socks are perfect for wearing with shoes that don’t have a lot of coverage, like loafers or Converse sneakers. I was approached by the agency and was intrigued by the concept, so I agreed to try out a few pairs for myself and both my girls!

I have to say, I’m really glad I did! Flat Socks are incredibly comfortable and stay in place all day. They have a silicone grip on the bottom that prevents them from sliding down, and the fabric is super soft and breathable. They are more than just no-show socks but more liner socks. Because they are flat they are going to be great in my new Anthony Veer flats I got recently!

My poor husband and I both struggle in shopping for each other every year. Occasionally we know the perfect thing but that is not the norm. He did a great job this year. I received a Black Orchid hair diffuser that I have been looking at ever since I went curly/wavy.

He also got the best stickers for my planner! The first pack is the most adorable set of science stickers. They are the best with corny science sayings and even a rainbow Einstein. He also got me 2 packs of great art stickers with a heavy emphasis on the works of one of my personal favorites, Van Gogh. All these stickers are the kind that would be great on laptops and such but let’s be honest, they are going right in the planner.

Overall, I was happy with the gifts I received this year. They were all practical and thoughtful, and they will definitely get a lot of use in my daily life. I’m grateful to my family for being so considerate and for always finding ways to make the holidays special and meaningful.

I think that’s what the holidays are all about – showing love and appreciation for the people in our lives and finding ways to make them happy. It’s not about how much money we spend or how extravagant the gifts are. It’s about the thought and care that goes into choosing something that will be meaningful and appreciated. And in my opinion, that’s what makes the holidays truly special.

(Thanks to Responsival for sponsoring this post! All opinions and thoughts are mine own.)

Are you Barking at the Moon?

Life is hard. I am just going to say it. And if you have been keeping up with me lately, you know that it has been extra crazy busy and a bit complicated for me (nothing bad just different). I needed a break and to laugh, I just needed it. And when I need a good laugh I read an extra special columnist who is absolutely hilarious and happens to be a friend of mine, Tracy Beckerman. Especially when she has a new book out called Barking at the Moon!

This book was sweet, entertaining, and made me laugh out loud. Ok, now you want to know about it, right? This is a sweet telling of a family getting their first dog from the viewpoint of the mom of the house. We go through all the ups and downs, surgeries, house training, doggy dieting, and even getting more pets. But mostly it is about Riley the dog;).

But the fact of this book is written from the viewpoint of mom, who actually happens to be Tracy, is what makes this book so wonderful. She reminds all of us who had a dog as a child that we really had no idea the work and chaos that go into every pet acquisition. And she tells it hilariously! If you have ever read Erma Bombeck, you will wonder why she wasn’t as funny as Tracy is;). (And if you haven’t read Erma Bombeck, you should) Tracy is able to capture all the chaos with all the joy and love that is found in both family and pet life.

Through this book, you won’t only get to know the adorable Riley but also all the characters of the Beckerman household from her husband all the way to the fish! You will feel like you are sitting with your funniest girlfriend (or the kind of person you wish you had a girlfriend) as she regales you with stories from her daily life. Stories that you probably wouldn’t have handled with as much levity as she seems to now (I doubt they were as funny to her then). Like when they had to take their new puppy they were trying to housebreak, along with their fairly young children, to a hotel while the power companies tries to bring your neighborhood back from the powerless olden days.

Seriously, this is a must-read for everyone. It is even on a Kindle Sale over on Amazon right now. And after you read this one, get all of Tracy’s books. You won’t regret it!

A note to my youngest daughter, Nerdpud. Yes, I loved this book. Yes, I wish I could be Tracy when I grow up. No, we are not getting a dog. You are just Barking at the Moon;). But I love you;).

And see how cute they are;)?

My First Time Doing a Week-Long Vlog!

Last week I decided to try vlogging! What do you think? Should I do this again? Should I be including something else in my vlogs? I enjoyed it and hopefully, I would get better at how I shoot too;).

Items I unboxed: Star Passage Sleepy Tie The Bridge to Sharktooth Island EcoLips Candy Cane Lip Balm Charlie and the Half Marathon

February 2021 Planner Layout

Planning doesn’t have to be complicated! Check out how I plan in my Frankenplanned Big Happy Planner for the beginning of the month of February.

Here is how I laid out my month of February. I do a very basic skeleton to start with and then further decorate as the month goes on! I used a lot of Lexington Flair:​​ & Joyful Planner:​ stickers in this layout!

Rejected Word of the Year for 2019


Why do we all have to pick a word of the year? I mean, I do get it but I always struggle with it. I understand that a word of the year helps to focus you but I am not that focused. I have numerous goals and have a hard time tying it together. So I put forth another introspective exercise. Let’s come up with a word we are rejecting in 2019!


This whole idea of rejecting a word came to me while I was listening to Francesca Battistelli’s Breakup Song in the shower. (Please tell me that I am not the only person who does great thinking in the shower?) This song has really been speaking to me lately. It is all about kicking fear out of your life. Then it hit me, if I were to “break up” with fear how would that play out in my life. That gave me my word to reject.

Fear seems to stop me from doing a variety of things in all aspects of my life. Be it blogging, freelance, or just changing my life. I am afraid to write anything having to do with my views or opinions for fear of being attacked or being taken wrong. I am afraid to invest time into projects out of fear that my efforts return void. I don’t put myself out there in friendships for fear of being hurt again.

The Bible is very clear about the place of fear in a Christian’s life. In Romans 8:15 it is clearly laid out. “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (ESV) So why do we allow fear to creep into our lives like a thief to steal our joy, our goals, our callings?  But no more!

So a question is, why not go with Courage as my word of the year? It is the opposite of fear, right? Yes, but… I feel like when you pick a word of the year it is there to motivate you. I don’t want to do things because they are courageous. I have no interesting in taking risks, per se. No bungy jumping or zip lining for me. No need to perform in front of people. I am ok in my relatively safe life.  I just don’t want fear to prevent me from doing anything like reaching for my goals I have my eye on. 

Fear, you are rejected from my heart, mind, and vocabulary for 2019!

What is your rejected word of 2019?

In Christ Alone: Worship Wednesday


This week at church we sang “In Christ Alone” and I love this song. It is that constant reminder that Christ is where it all is. All my hopes, dreams, security, and faith should lie in Christ alone. Christ conquered death and there is no power on earth that can exceed his. So I went to find a video version of the song.

I came upon Christina Grimmie’s version on Youtube and I just started crying. For those of you who don’t know she was a singer who became popular on Youtube. She was killed last year after a concert and was only 22. It hit me that as I am hearing this song she is currently understanding it at a level I can not comprehend.

As Christians I think it is safe to say that we all think about Christ saving us and being in his presence. But I am honest, I can’t fully comprehend it and I am sure that when we are with him we will understand it more fully. I find that intimidating. The unknown of death is kind of just that. I know that I will be with Christ but I have know idea what that really means other than total peace and a joy that exceeds all understanding. The idea of it makes me cry, good cry but cry nonetheless.

I look forward to the day when there will be no more worry and no more questions and we will see Christ face to face. But I know that even while I am here on earth that nothing can separate me from the love of Christ and his sacrifice for me.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen: Worship Wednesday

I know that most don’t view Christmas music as worship music but I do! Think about it, the Son of God is born and you are called to worship. What more is there than that? “To free all those who trusted Him”

And my verse for today is a classic. I remember each one of my kids learning this in Awana. They don’t teach it to children because it is an easy verse but because it is intrinsic to our faith! Romans 5:8 reminds us that God didn’t wait for us to be fixed. He sent Jesus to die for us while we were sinners and through that we come to Him!