If you can’t do something forever…

… that’s not a good reason to not do it now.

Seems obvious, right? So why am I making a blog post about it?

Because I caught myself in a weird thought process the other day, here’s how it went:

“Should I really try that new thing/start that new project/learn more about that idea? Maybe not because I will only be able to sustain it/do it/keep doing it for a few months/a year/5 years/ 20 years, but then what?”

So in case you’re not clear, I was thinking about not doing something because I wouldn’t be able to do it until I died.

This means I should give up on walking, working, earning a certain income, watching TV shows that might end before I die, and all current forms of social media because everyone knows they’ll change every 5 years.

This is stupid.

From now on, if I want to try/start/do something I’m moving forward, even if my 35, 45, and 65 year old self won’t be able to continue doing it.

Hope you’ll join me.

Apps and Services I Love: Canva.com

Note: As usual, no one’s paying me for this post, I just really like this service and have decided to share it with you. YOU’RE WELCOME!

Here’s a very common problem for me:

I like making internet and digital things.
Internet and digital things require images and design items.
I’m so not a designer and I take all my photos with my smartphone.

I know I’m not the only one. Have you ever tried to just put some basic text on a photo and make it look pretty? It’s really hard, and I’m pretty sure most of the people who do it well have a degree in graphic design and extensive Photoshop experience.  But that is not me, my friends.

So I was intrigued when I started hearing about canva.com. They said it was easy and free and made for non-designers to make all kinds of digital design image items.

And it is.

It’s drag and drop, easy to find the features you want to use, and they have tutorials to help you get started. Amazing!

The only thing I don’t like about Canva is that it only works on certain browsers, and that does not include Internet Explorer, which seems a bit snobby to me. It does work very nicely on Google Chrome, but that means I can’t really do anything on my tablet. Hopefully they’ll make a change sometime soon.

The best way to learn it (besides their tutorials) is to check it out and browse around. And if you’re curious if it can really create good work- here’s a sampling of some items I’ve made using only Canva’s free features and my own photos.

Canva design
Clockwise from upper left: If you hadn’t noticed, I made a slight change to my blog header using Canva. Last month I posted a quote from the movie Divergent and made it pretty. A recipe document I made to go along with a gift for my friend Keri’s bridal shower. A photo collage I made in just a minute for a project I’m working on for my friend who is a GYROTONIC trainer.

dancer collage
One of my favorite things about Canva is their photo grids- just pick one and drag and drop your own photos and it resizes them to fit the grid instantly. Super useful for when I need a quick collage of dance shots to send with my resume for potential teaching jobs.
Is GYROTONIC right for you
And of course, putting text over images could not be easier!

Have you tried Canva?

Are you wallowing or relishing?

It’s funny to me (in a strange, interesting way, not in an actually funny way) that the words wallow and relish have similar definitions.

Definition of wallow: to spend time experiencing or enjoying something without making any effort to change your situation, feelings, etc.

Definition of relish: enjoyment of or delight in something

Both mention enjoying something. But let’s be honest, they have opposite connotations.

You wallow in your despair.

You relish the beautiful day.

She wallows in a breakup by eating lots of ice cream.

She relishes the freedom she has now that she’s broken up with that horrible person.

I wallow in my disappointment of not getting the job.

I relish the time I have to devote to my craft.

It’s the difference between enjoying misery and delighting in the wonderful

So are you enjoying being miserable? Or are you finding the wonderful and loving those moments?

Both have their moments where they are appropriate. We certainly sometimes have to do this, but also don’t want to be this guy.

But are you spending most of your time wallowing or relishing?

Friday Finds 4/11/14

Oh my goodness, a French bulldog that doesn’t want to sleep! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hey there friends who read my internet stuff. This week was good but busy, but you don’t care, you want links!

These parents are doing just terrible things to their kids (SARCASM!) Like for example this mom:
“I went to my teen’s choir concert and clapped”

Turns out I CAN love foxes more than I already do.

If you get house envy you won’t be able to resist this photo round up of unusual homes. Number 12 satisfies the tiny minimalist that lives inside me.

Really hoping Apple doesn’t take this company over, so anyone with a smartphone can take advantage of a charger that would take your battery from 0% to 100% in under a minute. Don’t get too excited though, it’s probably not coming out for at least 2 more years.

Speaking of smartphones, I currently use a Nokia Lumia, as my phone but also as my only camera, so I love this series: “Around the World in 80 Lumias,” especially this entry from Spain.

Have you ever tried to find Momo?

Have you seen this website that tells you about all those random holidays? Well, it says that tomorrow (my birthday) is “look up at the sky day.” But when I searched it to confirm, it turns out that day is actually April 14th, according to this site (and ps, they are saying that today is “Love Your Pet Day,” which for me is everyday, but whatever). And that April 12 is actually “walk on your wild side day.” So I really don’t know what to believe any more. But in honor of my 28th (eek?), look up at the sky or get wild. Whatever.

Anything else interesting on the internet this week?

Kendra Scott necklace


As you know, I just write this stuff, no one’s paying me. I should change that…

If you read this blog at all you know I like a good statement necklace. But other than statement necklaces, long pendants, and my favorite gifted necklace… I don’t really wear many necklaces, and certainly not shorter ones.

I think because I can’t help but remember those unfortunate chokers I used to wear in middle school.

But then my sister and brother-in-law (The Guns’ brother and his wife) got me the necklace pictured above (quick question: can I use that photo on the left as my new headshot?), and now I wear it ALL THE TIME. I would have never picked it out because it seems like a length that wouldn’t work for me, but it’s actually pretty perfect. It’s a mint green/turquoise stone on a gold chain,  and caged in decorative gold setting. You can wear it the way I am in this photo, or you can turn it around and it’s just the mint green stone without the gold stripes.

I love it so much, and I wear it all the time, with my favorite layering technique, with t-shirts, with tops that have an interesting neckline. It really works with anything. And I can’t find it online anymore (sadface) but it’s made by Kendra Scott, who of course also does the super cool color bar, where you can design your own jewelry online.

So big thanks to bro and sis-in law, for my new favorite necklace!

What do you think? Do you love it as much as me?

Askers vs. non-Askers

There are 2 kinds of blog posts: posts that divide people into 2 types, and posts that don’t do that. This is the former.

There are 2 types of people in this world: askers and non-askers.

Those people who aren’t afraid to ask the waiter at the chain restaurant for something that’s not on the menu. And those people who would never even think to ask.

People who have no problem asking for an exception, even when the rules strictly state that there are none (exceptions, that is), and people who read the rules so carefully that they don’t have to ask about any of the rules and would never consider doing anything that could be perceived as asking for an exception.

Someone who will ask a barely an acquaintance for coffee or a favor, and someone who would only do so with an invitation.

That person who thinks “might as well ask!” and that person who thinks “I don’t want to offend or burden them by asking.”

People who are constantly asking “how can I help you?” and mean it, and people who will only help when asked.

Those that ask for extra stuff in order to be of service, and those that depend (and require others to depend) on the minimum.

Someone who asks for more, and someone who is happy with what they have.

That person who asks a million questions, and the person who tries to figure it out on their own.

Neither of these ways is exclusively right or wrong. Just know that you probably fall into one of the categories more often than not.

What are you missing by asking or not asking?

Which one are you?

Do you Roku?

Note: As usual no one is paying me to write this. I just really like it so I write about it for FREE!
Do you know what Roku is (besides the awesome name of our next pet)? It’s a little box that turns your TV into a way better TV.

We have a digital antenna that we use because we were like “pay for cable? we spent 3 and a half years only being able to watch CNN, ESPN, Fox News, and 10 movies repeatedly… we’ll live without cable.” And then my dad had a Roku box laying around and was all “I don’t use it any more, want it?” and we were like “What?”

And then our world was opened.

You know those smart TVs that can connect to the internet and let you watch stuff off your Hulu, Netflix and other internet TV subscriptions? That cost a million dollars? Pay 50-100 dollars for a Roku box (or you can get it as a stick now. They’re flexible) and get pretty much the same thing. You plug it in and then you change the input on your TV and you can pick some Roku channels to watch. Some are free, but then if you have Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu Plus (or if your family will give you their passwords…) you can watch it all on your TV, which in case you hadn’t noticed is bigger than your computer screen.

So I love Roku.

It makes it really easy for The Guns to watch old episodes of Seinfeld and The Office and new episodes of Comedians in Cars with Coffee. He also watches documentaries. Because he’s smart you guys.

I have used it to binge-watch Awkward. which should not be a show that teens watch, but I find it hilarious. If we need background noise I’ll use TuneIn to find a decent radio station or just turn on an episode of Parks and Recreation. And it’s very comforting to know that I’ll never have to think “there’s nothing on!”

It’s also very scary. Because now I can watch all the TV. This is dangerous. I might not get anything done ever. Except Roku.


9 Things that made me cry this week

things that made me cry
I cry a lot now.

And it’s not because I’m pregnant. 

Because I am NOT PREGNANT.

I cry because things overwhelm me. Good things. Bad things. All the things.

Here are some things that have made me cry in the last week (approximately)

  1. This giraffe saying goodbye to its dying zookeeper. YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT.

  2. The yellow umbrella scene in the finale of How I Met Your Mother “Isn’t it funny how sometimes you just find things?” NO IT’S INCREDIBLY MOVING AND GUT WRENCHING. NOT FUNNY AT ALL.

  3. Singing along with “Let It Go” on the radio I GET IT, I’VE LET IT ALL GO!

  4. Looking back at photos from my friend’s wedding last month. Oh the feelings.

  5. Thinking about when Kelly Clarkson won American Idol and how much her life has changed since then (not an exaggeration, I really love, to the point of crying, seeing people achieve their dreams. Season finales of reality shows, awards season, graduations, and weddings are a rough time for me)

  6. Re-watching (for probably the 100th time) the fan-flipping-tastic Neil Patrick Harris in the opening number to the 2013 Tony Awards, and marveling at the impact and possibilities of amazing live theater performers. (not an exaggeration)

  7. The beautiful dancing at the spring show of my alma mater.

  8. Seeing Bravo watch out the window as I drove away from the house one morning for work. And knowing that when I get home he’ll ignore me completely.

  9. The fact that I got a speeding ticket from a ROBOT! (ok, one of those intersection camera sensor things… aka ROBOTS ARE TAKING OVER) For TURNING RIGHT ON RED!

Have you cried lately? what makes you cry?

Advice to Brides–Premarital Counseling

Premarital counseling
This photo is why you need premarital counseling…

I’m about five years removed from my time of being engaged, so I can look back with clarity now. There are a few things I would go back and change (conversations I would approach differently, time I would have spent differently, details I would have worried less about, details I would have worried more about, etc.), but the one thing I would NEVER change is the fact that we did premarital counseling.

Many of my successfully married friends would also tell you to do just regular old marital counseling, but to be honest we haven’t so I can’t speak to that. But premarital counseling? For the love of all things good, do it.

A lot of people probably have a negative reaction to premarital counseling because you don’t want to pay to talk to a stranger about your relationship, but it doesn’t have to be like that.

Here’s what our premarital counseling looked like: we met weekly for 4 months with a couple from our church (who had been trained for this sort of informal counseling) and went through a book that was really just  a way to guide our conversations. It was so helpful to have a set time each week that The Guns and I would sit down with a more experienced couple and go through the things that are not fun to bring up in conversation. Like chores, plans for visiting in-laws, how we’ll handle conflict, money, kids, debt, free time, vacations, and the list goes on and on. These meetings, even though we sometimes had to talk about not fun stuff, were honestly the best part of our week!

You think you’ll talk about that stuff while you’re engaged, but honestly you’re more likely to talk about what excursions you want to do on your honeymoon or that annoying distant family member that you must invite.

There’s a lot of formats for premarital counseling if you’re still not sure. You can try a conference near you, heading to your church and meeting with a pastor or minister, finding a family counselor, or even just finding a couple that’s been married and asking them (they will be flattered that you asked!). However you do it, just make it happen. As much as it’s important to plan a beautiful wedding, it’s also insanely important to plan a beautiful marriage.

Are you married or engaged? Did you or do you plan to go to premarital counseling?