Reading More When Life Gets Busy

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

This post is actually inspired by a post written a few weeks ago by Helene at Helene In Between who inspired me with her new approach to reading. It wasn't until after reading her post that I realized that I really do have time to read when I feel like I am too busy.

In high school, I was your average book worm. It wasn't uncommon for me to read two books a week if they were interesting enough. I loved it, and so did my closest friends. We were always recommending books and racing through the latest series together. I read in between classes mostly and even sometimes at home when the book was really capturing. Any free moment that I had during the day, I grabbed a book.

Something changed, however, when I got to college. I think it had something to do with being able to have my phone in between college classes that made me move away from grabbing for the nearest book. I take a full load classes, work part-time, blog, and cook and clean at home. My life looks a little differently than it did when I was in high school, and I have had a hard time keeping up with my reading.

Lately, though, I have read more than I have in the passed year combined. Most of this can be contributed to Audible. Some will argue that it isn't the same to listen to a book as it is to read one, but sometimes, that's all I have time for. I have started listening to audio books when I am cleaning, cooking, and working out (combined, this adds up to many hours per week). Since starting this new habit, I have been able to read more than ever before. I downloaded the Audible app onto my iPhone so it is right there whenever I need it.

I have also been utilizing my Kindle app on my phone. I can easily get it out and read a few pages when I have a minute or two to spare. Using these methods has helped make it possible for me to read while I am also doing more productive things like sweeping, mopping, breaking a sweat at the gym, or even cooking up a warm meal for my husband. I am so thankful to be able to escape reality a little bit without actually neglecting my very real responsibilities. I love reading, and I love that I am getting back to it.

Currently, I am reading Reshaping It All by Candace Cameron Bure which you can buy on Amazon for your Kindle for only $0.99! You can also try Audible for free for one month. I you are having a hard time fitting books in your life, it might be time to try something new. Let me know if this is something you do, or have tried! What do you think about it?


10 Camping Essentials

Monday, September 14, 2015

Camping has become a pretty regular occurrence in our lives these days. It is not uncommon for us to pack up the van and hit the road for the weekend in search of rock climbing adventures and memories. Let me also say that we do not go "glamping" by any means. It is a miracle if I can even convince Gabe to let me drag along a small cooler with ice packed with hot dogs and cold water. Most of the time, I am limited to dehydrated packages of rice and oatmeal for food.

That being said, camping and I have a love/hate relationship. I love getting away from town for a quick weekend. I love waking up early to a misty view of pine trees and bluffs. I love the idea of "roughing it", but it is not all photo worthy and completely enjoyable like your favorite PNW Instagrammers make it out to be. 

Last weekend, we met some friends, my brother-in-law, and his fiance in NW Arkansas for a long weekend spent basking in nature. Most of the trip did not go as anticipated. Most of our time was spent sweating like pigs in the humid southern heat, and the rest of the time was spent swatting at bugs who insisted on carrying us away from our campsite. Needless to say, camping has its obstacles, so I am always sure to bring a few little "happies" for myself to comfort me through the painful parts. 

1. My Camera. I mean what is a camping trip without a few hipster photos for your IG feed? Having a camera with me tends to open my eyes to all of the hidden beauties along the way. It gives me a little something to pass the time when needed, and I get to document our adventures.

2. All natural cleansing wipes. I forgot this for my last trip, but stole one from my sister-in-law, and I can promise I will never forget them again. Getting a chance to wipe off all of the dirt, grime, and bug spray at the end of the day was pretty close to luxurious. Try these or these

3. YL Stress Away essential oil roll-on bottle. I love the Stress Away blend at home, but it is even better in the woods! I normally roll it on in the morning for a fresh start to the day again at night to promote a good night's rest.

4. Melatonin is next on my list of relaxing camping essentials. Sometimes sleeping in a tent with a rock in your back can be challenging to say the least, so I always make sure to pack Melatonin to help get me to sleep.

5. A Hammock is always nice to have on a camping trip. I am personally not a fan of sleeping all night in a hammock, but they are great to have for midday relaxing.

6. Camping chairs are my new favorite accessories! They are light weight, easy to set up, and perfect to pack in your backpack.

7. A book always makes its way into my bag. In between rock climbing and hiking when we are resting at the campsite, it is always nice to have a book nearby.

8. Headbands are perfect for us girls with wild camping hair. I love to be able to pull up my hair and slip a headband on when I am outside. They are perfect when there are no mirrors around.

9. Pullovers are a must have during fall camping. Most of the time, I only need it in the mornings, but they are nice to have just in case. There is nothing worse that being stuck outside without layers.

10. There was one trip that my husband claimed that the throw blanket that I packed saved his life on a cold winter night. While I am sure he was exaggerating a bit, I have always packed one since then just to be on the safe side.

Having these little comforts makes me so much more willing to go camping whenever Gabe wants, but of course Gabe packs the real essentials. He always takes care of all of our sleeping bags, tents, and cooking gear which gives me a little more freedom and time to pack my little "happies". Next time you go camping, make sure you make room for a few little "essentials" that will make your stay in the wilderness even more enjoyable!


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