We Rise by Lifting Others | Inspiring Friends

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(image from brit.co)

This quote speaks to me so much. Without a doubt, the most important things in my life are in the people that are in it. This last year has been one of the hardest in my adult life and it has also reminded me so much of the absolutely amazing and inspiring friendships I am so lucky to have. True friendships support you and challenge you and push you to be your very best self.

Today I wanted to talk about some of my entrepreneur friends. I am not only grateful for these women but I am so inspired by them in their professional ventures…

Kristy at Kristy Dooley Photography:

My friend and co-worker Kristy not only rocks family and newborn sessions but in the last year she started regularly shooting high school senior portrait sessions and is amazing at it! Like I asked her if she could re-take mine just because she is so amazing at capturing the senior’s genuine smiles, style, and personalities. I think mine would not look quite the same though, LOL. But really, she is one of those people who comes up with an idea and totally goes for it and I have learned so much from her.

She runs a successful business partly because of her amazing business brain that helps her work smarter not harder. I am someone who tends to be very disorganized with paperwork and accounting and her systems have taught me so much.

There is nothing Kristy can’t figure out and we spend a lot of time learning how to do something tricky on our computers by watching YouTube videos. Kristy is always expanding her knowledge and skills by taking workshops and classes that allow her to learn about something new while also building upon her talent as an amazing photographer. She is also a wonderful example of someone who juggles a lot but always has “time” to take a walk in the sun or catch up over a cup of tea…a true “Juliet“. <3

Kari of Happy Go Lucky Travel:

My friend Kari who is a programmer by day and vegan baker extraordinaire by night has recently decided to start a new venture sharing about her love and expertise with travel planning. When Kari decides she is doing something she does it 100% and as someone who likes to do a lot of things but not always very well, I am so in awe of this!

Not only does she have a family and a full-time job doing things on a computer that look like a completely foreign language, but she also loves painting, drawing and teaching herself how to play the banjo while watching Avett Brothers videos.  She is one of the most self-motivated people I have ever met. Last year she made a commitment to walk up Mt. Philo every day on her lunch break and you better believe she has done it. In addition to doing all these things, she is an amazingly supportive friend who helps me talk through lots of things even if she totally hates talking on the phone a million times a day.

Elisa at Corduroy & Pine Interiors:

My friend Elisa juggles a young family of three and a local interior design business. Anytime I call Elisa she is like “hold on a sec, I just need to set down my paintbrush”. She has amazing style and I love that she is able to factor in aesthetically pleasing designs that are also family friendly.

Elisa is one of the kindest people I know and she is always up for an adventure even if it is just to the grocery store. She was my nightstand of the week guest poster last week if you would like to learn more about her and see her book recommendations and her freshly painted bedroom wall. 😉


Who is inspiring you this week? I would love to hear! <3

What’s On Your Nightstand? |Book Recommendations & More | Elisa

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Hello & Checking In:

Good morning and happy Friday! The kids don’t have school today because of parent-teacher conferences and we are expecting a larger March snow storm today and tomorrow. I have lived in Vermont almost my entire life and I still get surprised when we have snow in late March and early April…I am not sure why! Once we have that sneak peek of spring weather it is easy to forget that it doesn’t come that easily around these parts. 😉

This week’s book friend on The Nightstand Series:

Today I am so excited to introduce you to my friend, Elisa! Her oldest and my youngest are in the same kindergarten classroom this year. It is always fun to have mom friends that have kids in the same situation as you so you can discuss boring details that only they truly understand. We often text each other because we forget something or feel like we dropped the ball and it is always nice to know you are not alone!

Elisa is so sweet and is always up for an outdoor adventure with or without the kids. She loves coffee as much as I do and is always up for a 4:45pm cocktail and then popping by the grocery store on our way home at 7pm..we know how to have fun and get things done!

Elisa has amazing taste and is the co-owner of a local interior design company, Corduroy + Pine Interiors. She always has a new project underway at her own house and it made me laugh out loud to find out that she painted her bedroom wall just for the photos for this series…I think she was going to do it anyway but there is nothing like a little time sensitive motivation! I hope you enjoy learning more about Elisa today!

Introduction:

Hey, it’s Elisa! I also live in Vermont with my husband and three kiddos – two boys (6 and 4) and a girl (almost 3). I was mostly a SAHM for the past 6 years but recently started an interior design company with a good friend. I still stay home with my two youngest a couple days a week. As a family, we love to get outside whether for a walk/hike, playing at a playground or exploring a new place. I love coffee and red wine. I prefer to drink them out of the home, but also enjoy curling up on the couch with a cup of coffee or glass of wine. These days, I probably read food blogs more than I do books. I’m always on a search for a good new recipe for myself (vegetarian) or something the kids will actually eat.

I go through phases with reading. I’m currently in a rut (a year-long rut), but hoping the books on my nightstand pull me out of it. Before moving to Vermont in 2011, I lived in DC and started a book club with my grad school friends, after graduating of course. This was the turning point for me in regards to reading as an adult. I started with one book a month and soon found myself reading 3-4 books a month. Then we moved to Vermont, bought a house, had a baby and reading just wasn’t a priority, sleep was. Ha! About three years after moving here, I organized another book club with some friends and we went strong for 2+ years, but then life happens. So here I am looking at my nightstand and feeling excited and hopeful.

Currently reading:

Truth be told, the books in the picture only represent half of the books on my nightstand, but they’re representative of all the books. I’m currently between two books, Becoming by Michelle Obama and Oh Crap! Potty Training. We’re getting ready to finally get my youngest out of diapers and probably a little late to the game. I bought this book when we were in the midst of training our middle child because it was not going as easily as it did with our first, particularly at night. It’s been our parenting philosophy that if we’re getting rid of diapers, then we’re getting rid of diapers which means no pull-ups. This was fine for our first, but our second was more difficult and I needed more advice on how to train for night time and this book helped so much. I’m currently re-reading sections as we get ready to train our youngest.

I love a good memoir and have so much love and respect for our former First Lady so when her book came out, I added it to my Christmas list. I ended up getting it for my birthday in early January. My husband says he ordered the large print by accident, but I’m wondering if he’s trying to tell me something. I did just turn 39, hmm… I’m loving it so far, I just wish I made more time to read it. Like a few other guest bloggers wrote, I don’t make nighttime reading a priority. By the time the kids get to bed and I finish all my other chores or work I wasn’t able to get to, I’m exhausted and/or just want to watch a show with my husband.

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain and The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin, I’m borrowing from Genevieve. She recommended these books to help me get back into reading. They both sound really fascinating. I love historical fiction novels, so I think I’m really going to enjoy The Aviator’s Wife.

The last book in the stack is The Opposite of Spoiled by Ron Lieber. I bought this about a year ago and sadly haven’t really started it, but feel strongly about this topic. As our kids get older, we want them to truly understand the value of a dollar, the importance of saving, and family value of ours, giving back. When I bought this book, I also bought each kid a give, save and spend coin bank. Maybe this will be the year I read the book. As anyone else read this? I haven’t heard any personal recommendations about this, instead, I’m trusting the reviewers on Amazon.

What’s on my Kindle?

What’s a Kindle? Kidding. But seriously, I haven’t read a book on a Kindle or other electronic device, and not sure when I will. I really enjoy holding a book, and also try to limit my screen time.

What are you currently listening to?

Like books, I go through phases with podcasts and the only audiobooks I’ve listened to are from the Magic Treehouse collection – do these count? I’m not sure I was a good pick for this blog series, ha. I’m an NPR junkie. I love to listen to it in the car when not with the kids. I’ve recently started listening to the podcast, Brave Little State, by VPR and really enjoy learning more about our state.

What else is on your nightstand?

What you see or what is really there? In the picture, you’ll see a decorative box that hides my peppermint lip balm from Beautycounter, a dollar because you never know when the tooth fairy might need to show up and some random pieces of jewelry. Also pictured is our not-so-stylish landline phone for when the school calls to cancel or when a family member needs to get ahold of me. The real reason the phone is there is that I’m a paranoid person. When my husband travels, I like the security of having a landline phone close by. Not pictured – my Fitbit charger, cell phone charger, dust bunnies, and a random sock or other articles of clothing.

My nightstand is actually a cedar chest that my grandfather had built for my grandmother as a wedding gift. It’s not the most functional nightstand since there’s no drawer and I have to remove everything off the top when I want to access the storage compartment, but it’s perfect for the spot and an heirloom.

Thanks for inviting me to write for the series, Genevieve and for the motivation to finally paint my bedroom.


Thank you so much for sharing, Elisa! <3

Wednesday Randomness | Reflections & Mantras of 2018

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I am not a big New Year goal setter or resolution maker but I am big into reflecting on things. I think we can learn so much from what we go through and often the hardest situations can teach us the biggest and best lessons.

This year was a hard one and one that pushed me in ways I never expected. Mantras are a newer thing for me but something that have helped me so much in times where there was a lot of sadness and unknown. I struggle in times of transition and times when things are out of my control. Having mantra has helped ground me and have been great reminders when my worries and thoughts feel really heavy.  I love Pinterest for inspiration for this stuff and that is where I found all of these…


Some things I have learned in 2018…

I would rather make mistakes than not put myself out there at all. I am not a perfectionist but I certainly struggle with worrying about what other people think of me and what I am doing. Letting go of this is a work in progress but staying true to myself and knowing that that is enough has been very powerful. When you make mistakes it means you are out there doing something. Some of my biggest “failures” and challenges have lead me to some of the most wonderful things in my life.

I have tried to let go of negativity. Putting my energy towards the people and things that are positive has helped create more of that. It sounds simple but you really can choose where your energy goes. It doesn’t mean that hard things won’t happen, but you do have control over how you react and move forward. I have SO many positive people and things in my life and focusing on these has really been a game changer.

As a people pleaser, not overthinking things does not come easily for me. I wish I didn’t care so much but I do. Sometimes when I overthink things I get so stuck in the “what ifs” that I don’t do anything at all…which was one of the reasons it took me so long to start this blog. I was thinking so much about it when I just needed to start! It is really freeing to just make a decision and move forward. If things don’t work out, you make another decision and you move forward again. I am a planner by nature and its hard for me to take things step by step but it makes such a huge difference.

You make time for what you want to fit in and everyone has different priorities for this. I can do a lot of things, but I can’t do everything. I have worked on feeling in control about what I choose to prioritize and not getting stuck in what I don’t. This has also helped me when I see someone else doing something and wonder how they fit it in. We all make choices about how we spend our time. Again, this has been such a empowering mindset and lets me feel like I have authority over my days and weeks instead of them controlling me.

Looking back really helps me realize how much we learn and grow every single day. I don’t know what 2019 will bring but I do know that when you know better you do better. I want to appreciate the wonderful people around me. I want to recognize the good because there really is so much. I want people to feel heard, when they are happy or excited and also when they are scared or worried. I want to say yes to the things that really matter to me and say NO to things that don’t feel good. I want to keep sharing about the things I love, and I also want to be honest about the things that are challenging. Life is so much better when we are all in this together. <3