Keep Showing Up, the Results Will Come with Time

Keep Showing Up, the Results Will Come with Time

I ran into a friend from my hometown who has recently moved near to where I live. We hadn’t talked very many times, but the times we had were always memorable, sometimes powerful. Even without having stayed well in touch in over a year, we still seemed to know the other was going through her share of struggle.

With the help of social media, I’d learned early this year that this friend was diagnosed with difficult medical conditions and was undergoing treatment. She seemed to know that my lifestyle was taking a toll on me as well. We got to talking about life and our experiences only to realize how similar they are.

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Wildflower Walk in East Tennessee | Spring / Summer

Wildflower Walk in East Tennessee | Spring / Summer

This morning, I awoke in the moody dawn light to a strong rain pounding on our metal roof.

I’d gratefully awaited this rain that wasn’t expected until next week, and new the morning would be especially lovely. I was not disappointed, and it was as if in the few minutes before the rain tapered off and I dressed to run outside that new flowers sprouted in my impromptu ‘garden.’

Read one for a detailed exploration of my unruly wild natives patch!

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Book Review: All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

Book Review: All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

At the recommendation of a friend, I gave All The Birds in the Sky a read - and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Written by trans author Charlie Jane and published in the fast-growing speculative-fiction genre, this sci-fi/fantasy mash-up gave me plenty of think about and many moments to enjoy. However, I'm completely honest in my review and share my reasons for opinion in this post. 

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Story Review: Monkey King, Faerie Queen by Zen Cho

Story Review: Monkey King, Faerie Queen by Zen Cho

Riding on another stellar recommendation from Didi, Monkey King, Faeire Queen by Zen Cho opened up another small pocket of the literary scene I'd long-forgotten from my childhood: Speculative Fiction. My story review is short and sweet but comprehensive, highlighting the important themes, narrative elements, and historical ties this story seamlessly interweaves. 

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Dreamweaver, Tea Recipe by a Hobby Herbalist

Dreamweaver, Tea Recipe by a Hobby Herbalist

Dreamweaver

A tea crafted by ratio, scalable to any recipe size.

Dreamweaver is a floral, heavy tea that assists the Sandman in weighing you down for deep, restful sleep. Comprised of a collection of herbs, leaves, and flowers with varying properties, the primary effect of this brew is a smooth and seamless dream experience.

As someone who struggles with sleep, I find that there is not one cause but a slew of factors that can be remedied with herbs. A few common sleep disrupters:

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Winter 10 x 10 Capsule Wardrobe Challenge

Winter 10 x 10 Capsule Wardrobe Challenge

Created by Lee Vosburgh and co-hosted by Caroline Joy, both of respective insta-fame for their curated wardrobes and crisp photos, this ‘challenge’ invites participants to curate an experimental capsule for just ten days. This season’s challenge start’s January 19, 2018 - I simply started early so I could choose my pieces and photograph them for the project. I implore you to give this a try if you’ve ever been curious about capsule wardrobes! 

Read on for my reflections on this season's 10 x 10 capsule challenge. 

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Accepting Mistakes with Grace

Accepting Mistakes with Grace

Words don't always come out the way I intend and this has consequences. In this post, I share my experience of dealing with these consequences in a situation I never expected to encounter. Sometimes, we make mistakes. We make messes we can't clean up. And, we have to move on with grace. 

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Grace: A Visual Moodboard for Inspiration

Grace: A Visual Moodboard for Inspiration

As I begin this exploration of grace, I made two collections of my current understanding and perspective of grace. Words first, then images. I invite you to create one or both of these collections in relationship to your own year’s theme. Visit them often, seek opportunities to exemplify them in your daily life. Get to know your theme and form a relationship with it, make it your own. Make it yourself. Read on to see and experience the origin of my journey with grace. 

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What's Up in 2018: Goals, intentions, and transparency

It’s tempting to let my goals live quietly in the solitude of my journal, with only my eyes to see and judge them. This holiday/planning season has been by far my most productive. I churned out blog posts ahead of time, got most of my Christmas presents bought and wrapped more than a week before the holiday (but not all of them), and outlined a variety of planning activities from my experience than anyone can implement for a killer new year.

Read on for my full 2018 goals list + a little remix of what a yearlong goal really means.

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100 Days of Grace

100 Days of Grace

For the first 100 days of 2018, I will pursue grace in all forms, explore its origins and exemplifications, and learn to embody it in my daily life. I have chosen the first seven of fourteen ways in which I will do this, and as I discover more about grace itself, the next seven will emerge. 

Read on for details on the 100 Days of... project, how to participate, and what I'll be doing for the first 100 days of 2018.

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With Your Theme as Your Guide, Prepare for 2018

A peek into my "set it and forget it" lifestyle.

This may be the first time I admit this but here we go: I'm a sporadic creative. If I don't set myself up for success, I will inevitably fail. Some mornings I wake up completely unable to make decisions, comprehensively organize projects, or manage communications. On these mornings I make mistakes. I miss deadlines. Calls that were supposed to take place get missed and apology emails go out after I've already let someone down. 

Read on for activities you can implement in your own life to "set and forget" the actions to take to bring make your 2018 priorities your reality! 

 
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2018 Holiday Bucket List

2018 Holiday Bucket List

In the clarity of the present, I’ve created a 2018 Holiday Bucket List so when September and October of the upcoming year start sliding rapidly by, I have a bold reminder of my commitment to making the most of the holiday season. 

Read on for my list of 12 Holiday Bucket List traditions I'd like to bring with me into the new year. 

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Coming Into My Own as a Writer

Coming Into My Own as a Writer

If you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up at six years old, I would have told you straight: a writer. I'd already written plenty of short stories, including an illustrated children's book about my cat that was published in spiralbound and distributed to local children's libraries. At twelve, I established my pen-name: A. G. Stephens, who would someday author a slew of Young Adult fantasy and dystopian novels akin to Harry Potter and Scott Westerfield's Uglies series. 

Read on to learn about my journey to becoming a writer and what's up next. 

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The Girls of the Atomic City & My Obsession with Oak Ridge

The Girls of the Atomic City & My Obsession with Oak Ridge

Have you heard of Oak Ridge? 

If you haven't, here's the short version: During WWII, the US Government needed a place to establish a secure production colony for enriched uranium that would go into what would become the Atomic Bomb. Oak Ridge was created and its purpose was a secret to almost every single soul (of the many, many thousands) that lived there until the first bomb was announced and dropped. Oak Ridge is known as "The Secret City". 

Read on for my complete review of Girls of the Atomic City by Denise Kiernan and to learn more about the mysterious establishment of Oak Ridge. 

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Experiments in Time (and Self) Management

Experiments in Time (and Self) Management

In my own perceived self-importance, I thought, "How superficial can you be, to just get high checking things off and never be done with anything?" I never claimed this was a nice thought! 

Since I started using my Ink + Volt to-do list daily, I've seen a change in that. Without a "job" with a set schedule of clock in-clock out, how many hours I spend working each day is essentially up to me - which can be a positive or detrimental fact. I found that laying out what I needed to (and expected myself to) do each day was helpful creating my days and sharing expectations with others. These line items were typically informed by project plans (bus, business, education), commitments (chores, appointments, self-care), and begrudgingly: stuff that just popped up and seemed urgent. 

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Morning Tea Rituals

Morning Tea Rituals

Wake up, breathe deep, prepare tea. 

Start with what type of tea to start your day. You can choose caffeine to get started straight away or start lighter with a white, oolong, or herbal to ease in. If none of those are your cup of tea, hot water with freshly squeezed lemon juice is the Ayurvedic morning tonic for the ages. 

My favorite morning tea: Dan Cong Honey Orchid

It needn't be perfect, simply warm.

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Skoolie Living: We Made it to Tennessee!

Our 1989 Blue Bird All-American made the trip like a champ

Last week, we packed everything we owned from our 800 square foot house into a 260 square foot interior bus space, with two three pet crates, a mattress, and even though space for a camping chair/passenger seat. 

TRIP DETAILS:

  • 700 miles
  • 18.5 hours (with multiple stops + a nap)
  • Approximately 18 miles per gallon (!!)
  • 4 pets, 2 people
  • Absolutely zero issues on the drive

Check out the video below, compiled from the @stpeteskoolie Instagram Story, to see the full journey from St Petersburg, FL to Oak Ridge, TN.