My Favorite Resale Shops!

My family and I have worked hard this year to produce less day-to-day waste. We have eliminated all paper products from our kitchen and use significantly less plastic whenever we can. With sustainability a goal in mind, I was appalled to find out that Americans throw out something like 15 million tons of textiles a year, with most of that being clothing. While 100% of clothing is recyclable, only 15% of clothing is actually recycled. At the same time, Americans are buying an average of 60% new clothing every year. Simply put, we’re buying more but recycling less clothing than ever.

(Source: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/textile-recycling-facts-and-figures-2878122.)

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Family Vacation: Little Jerusalem State Park

Several months ago I saw a news story about a brand new state park opening in Kansas. It had these amazing chalk formations and great walking trails. I sent that article to my husband Dean and asked if we could go sometime. He replied yes and then we went about our regular business as usual.

Here’s the thing about me: I am always planning a million trips to a million different locations. I keep a running list on my phone of places I’d like to travel to one day. Sometimes it kills me that I’ve seen the Eiffel Tower, but I’ve never seen Mount Rushmore or been to Washington D.C. I am determined to see all of this beautiful country before I die!

When we lived in Texas, we had a state parks pass and we camped at least once a month. Now that we actually have campsites on our farm, any time I mention going camping my husband just tells us to set up our tent out back. We’ve done that and it is lovely… but there’s just something about a family camping trip and a change of scenery!

After mentioning the new park to Dean, Covid happened. Churches closed. Museums closed. Airlines closed. You know the rest… In August we had a lovely socially distanced dinner for Dean’s birthday. He admitted to me how much my imaginary vacation planning actually stresses him out. It stresses him out because he actually wants to give me all those trips, but again, Covid had just happened.

I replied, “We don’t have to get in an airplane, but I do want us to prioritize smaller family trips together. You know, places we can go in the car and create new once-in-a-lifetime memories. Little Jerusalem, for example.”

From that moment on, Dean took my suggestion and ran with it. He planned our whole trip! It was a out of my comfort zone to let go of the reins, but I am so glad I did! So, keep reading to get a run down of our recent family vacation to Kansas’ newest state park, Little Jerusalem!

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Why I’m Still Obsessed With The 90s!

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Whenever someone asks, “what kind of music do you like?” I used to give the old line, “oh you know, all kinds!”

Well that’s a total lie and I am here to admit the truth.

I pretty much exclusively listen to exactly two genres: 90s Boy Bands and Worship music.

In particular, my all time favorite boy band is Backstreet Boys. Or Backstreet Dads as I like to call them nowadays. I have seen them a total of three times so far: once in middle school in St. Louis, once in Las Vegas during their residency, and once just last year in Kansas City. I actually have plans to see them again here in Wichita in what is hopefully a post-covid 2021. I’ve also seen Britney Spears in Las Vegas during her residency and it was easily one of the best nights of my life!

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10 Life Lessons I Learned From “The Hills”

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Listen to Podcast Episode here!

If you are a girl in your early 30s like me, then you likely were at just the right age to watch “Laguna Beach” on MTV, which morphed into following Lauren Conrad on her coming of age journey to Los Angeles on “The Hills.” I used to watch the show on cable religiously. One time my sister heard me yelling at one of the main characters Heidi on screen and later asked me who this Heidi person was I hated so much. It was that real to me! Also, it’s no secret that Lauren Conrad is still a major inspiration to me. I recently re-watched “The Hills” on Hulu and wrote down all the life lessons that stuck with me and even some I didn’t pick up on when I was younger. I hope you enjoy reminiscing on this sweet time in T.V. history with me or that you pick up a few helpful tips to be successful in life!

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How To: Build Your Best Social Media Team Ever

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Listen to Podcast Episode here!

It has been a while since I have shared any marketing or entrepreneur advice, so this month I am sharing with you how to build your best social media team EVER! I have combined professional advice that I have given to three different organizations into one master plan for you. We will go over content planning as well as the main roles that I believe are important to a well run social media team. I have also put together a FREE Google Slides presentation for you here

First, I believe that with any good content plan it is best to focus on creating original content whenever possible. The main types of original content to focus on are articles, videos, and graphics. You might think this sounds incredibly difficult, but we really have some awesome tools right at our fingertips that can help make this task surprisingly easy. For articles, almost any website can handle a blog feed that you can use on a regular basis to connect with your followers. For videos, most of you have phones in your pocket right now that are capable of capturing and posting great video. For graphics, I highly suggest using Canva. Canva has templates and elements already in place for you to customize, download, and post!

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My Thoughts On Social Media & The Bible

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Listen to Podcast Episode here!

I have to admit that one of my least favorite sermon topics is when the speaker talks about how inherently evil social media is. Reasons typically cited are how much social media distracts us from “real life,” or the amount of negativity typically being posted. While those things can be true, I simply don’t believe social media to be as evil as it is portrayed. I have been on Facebook since 2006 and have worked in social media since 2013. Since that time, I have seen just as many positive stories and outcomes because of social media as negative. I believe that social media is simply a communication tool that can be used for good or bad, depending on the user. I’ve seen social media work wonders as far as giving people a sense of community and connection. But I’ve also seen social media lend it’s hand to making people feel divided and isolated. It’s all in how you are using it. What are your posts cultivating?

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Everyone Loves A Good Character Arc: Rachel vs. Monica

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This may come as no big surprise to you, but I am big fan of the tv show “Friends.” I remember waiting for and watching new episodes every Thursday night (back when weeknight tv show schedules were a big deal). When it was on Netflix, I watched all 10 seasons all the way through at least twice. I know it is the most basic millennial obsession, but it’s both entertaining and comforting to me (and a lot of other fans). My husband and I often talk about how if “Friends” were on television for the first time right now – instead of back in the 90s – that we don’t think it would be as widely accepted as it is. Certainly there are story lines, topics, catchphrases, and even whole characters that are problematic in our current society. That being said, I don’t like the show any less! I appreciate it for what it was and for the timeframe in society that it represents.

Today I want to share my thoughts on two of the main characters: Rachel Greene and Monica Gellar. We have a saying in my house that we use anytime we are watching a movie or a tv show and a main character has some sort of change of heart. One of us inevitably blurts out, “everyone loves a good character arc!” I am not exactly sure where it came from, but it’s true. It simply makes for a more entertaining story and a more endearing character when they go through some kind of transformation.

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Behind The Scenes Of My Former Life

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One day over a cup of coffee my new friend asked, “So do you think this town is a good place to own a business?”

I took a long pause as I thought back over the past few years. I had opened and had been operating a small digital marketing firm in “the biggest small town” in South Central Texas. It was fairly successful, but it had come with costs.

“On paper, I think this town has all the resources needed for a new business to be very successful. But in reality, it’s not exactly a fair playing field.” I replied.

“What do you mean?” my friend pursued.

At the time, I was still very much in the game and trying to play by all the rules. However, now having been out of the game a couple years; I am finally ready to share a few glimpses behind the scenes of my former life.

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Bible Study Review: Finding God Faithful by Kelly Minter

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Photo Credit: Sean Hayse

Every Wednesday for the past 8 weeks or so, a group of ladies from my church has been gathering to go through “Finding God Faithful: A Study On The Life Of Joseph” by Kelly Minter. I have to admit that when this study was first picked, I was not super excited to focus in on Joseph; a patriarch whose story I thought I was already very familiar with. However, I quickly learned there were so many subtle lessons packed away in Joseph’s life that I had previously missed. These lessons I’ve found are not only extremely helpful in my daily life, but more importantly have brought me closer to Jesus. I was absolutely overwhelmed at all the parallels between Joseph’s life and Jesus’ life. I had simply never noticed it before. My poor women’s group is probably so sick of hearing me nerd out about it, so I decided to write an extra blog post this month to share my notes with you!

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Our Late Dog Wesley: A Cautionary Tale

Okay friends, between Vegas and wine tastings, my last few posts have been fairly fun. I am afraid I have to bring us down a little this month, but I promise I am only sharing to help spare another family from heartbreak. If you aren’t one for sad stories, then I suggest you skip this post altogether or skip down to the pet health and safety tips.  Also, please note that I am not a veterinarian or animal medical professional. I am simply sharing what we learned in an effort to spare you some mistakes.

Back in 2017 before we moved to Kansas, we had our house on the market down in Texas. We had to do this crazy routine everytime we had a showing. We would load up the whole family, which at this time included 3 dogs, and go hang out in a park somewhere. We had a pretty solid offer on our house, but our real estate agent said it would still be a good idea to continue accepting showings. We had a request for an early morning showing on a Saturday, so we decided to visit Palmetto State Park. It was only an hour or so away and we had been there before, so it seemed perfect.

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