Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Recapping Soul Mate Reunion 2018

How is the week up already? Today my friend and soul mate headed home and we didn't even do half the things on our list!

We may have been overly ambitious. For instance, yesterday our plan was to go to Sheffield's Antique Mall, then hit all the little shops on the Collierville Town Square, and have lunch someplace darling.

That was until we stayed in Sheffield's for four and a half hours.

But it was so fun! We met another old friend (from our photo remake) there and we all adore picking up every beautiful dish and plate, laughing at things that you wonder why people ever purchased (like the Richard and Pat Nixon salt and pepper shakers), and imagining the homes some of the most beautiful objects came out of. And of course wondering if vintage gas masks would be good protection from this wicked flu season.

Much to our dismay, this entire week we did not find our way to one single bookstore. Who are we?  

We did however make it to both Muddy's locations. I guess that's who we are.

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Here's the complete list in absolutely no order whatsoever: 

Me and Mrs. Jones: Germantown and Overton Square
Maggie's Pharm
Movie: The Greatest Showman
Kendra Scott
Southern Vintage Antique Mall
Sheffield's Antique Mall

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Here's the food run down: 

Original Muddy's 
Muddy's Grind House
Sushi Jimmi
The Second Line
Owen Brennan's
IKEA Cafeteria

Evenings were spent sitting by the fire with the animals and occasionally the husband. Every moment was filled with all manner of fond memories of past adventures, silliness, and laughter.

How did we not take one single selfie?

No. Seriously HOW?

*gas mask photo by The Food Maven

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Now and Then Photo Shoot

I have a group of friends I've had for more than 20 years. But 18 years ago my husband decided to drive us all over to Hardy, Arkansas for a day of antique shopping.

Which is only our second favorite thing next to laughing. Not sure he realized that until about 2 hours into the 3 hour drive. At one point we stopped with, what I'm pretty sure was a disposable camera, and he snapped this photo.

Remember when taking someone's picture took like two seconds? We said "take our picture," he snapped a photo, and we all waited days to see what it looked like. We all have copies that we have kept for years.

This week while our far away friend, The Food Maven, has been in town getting this photo has been our one mission. Wouldn't it be fun, we said. My daughter agreed to do the honor of taking the remake in front of her front door which is remarkably similar to the one in the original photo. Another friend brought along a garland that was only long enough to hang on one side in our very best effort to make it look as close as possible. There was a good deal of wrestling the jingly garland and debating how to use it to the best effect.

Then it was time for the photo. Using the original photo, Bossy arranged us and told us what to do. Her favorite thing. Plus after 20 years she finally got to boss around all the moms from her childhood. #fullcircle

She took a couple of photos with her phone and let us see.

"No!" Someone said.

She tried again.




Now there was uncontrollable laughter and no end of confused neighbors walking dogs who were trying to puzzle together the scenario.

We suggested different angles, different effects, different people.

Finally there was at least one every one agreed was good enough and she texted them all to us so we could use the ones we wanted.

24 pictures.

Amid all the laughter and reminiscing there was one surreal moment standing on the front porch of my daughter's house while one of my friends held my grandson and the others oohed and aahed over him with my daughter in the background. A strange moment in time when there seemed only a second between the two pictures.

One second filled with graduations, moves, travels, retirement, weddings, babies...

So much had changed, but the way my sides hurt from laughing it also felt like nothing had.

Isn't time a funny thing?

Thursday, January 25, 2018

A Soul Mate Memphis To-Do List

My friend, the Food Maven has been here a couple of days and I made a little Memphis To-Do List for us. I should explain that she is a world class shopper, decorator, and bargain hunter so quite a bit of our activities include shopping. Generally at this point in life I dislike shopping and I'm keeping Kroger Click List and Amazon in business.

Why drive all over town looking for what you need? Why put on shoes? Or a bra?

Okay, too much information, but secretly, you know you are with me on this. 

But there are a few things I have needed for the house that I have been holding off on looking for until she arrived. Shopping with a friend is SO much better than shopping alone. Plus, she shares a love for all things vintage and cottage-y and speaks my same Pinterest language.

On Tuesday when she arrived we were both hungry and went straight from the airport to Owen Brennan's for a New Orleans style lunch. It's a pretty dark restaurant and besides having the waiter read the menu to us--you know how servers love that--FM had to take our bills up front to the window to be able to read them without her glasses.

Cue hysterical laughter. By us while all the people there for the express lunch for executives looked on in envy. Okay, maybe it was more annoyance that we were having cocktails and didn't have to go spend the rest of the afternoon at a desk.

Next up was a trip to Whole Foods for healthy goodies and snacks.

Followed by a trip to Muddy's for cupcakes.

What? It does so make sense.

Wednesday was all about IKEA. Afterwards we hit up Southern Vintage, a darling antique store in Bartlett, then a trip to Goodwill, because thrift shopping.


Today is Take Your Soul Mate to Work Day because I have the most amazing job with the best boss ever.

Here are some other things on our list of places to hit or miss while she's here:

Broad Avenue Arts District
Me & Mrs. Jones for a workshop 
Maggie's Pharm 
Overton Square
Burke's Book Store
Collierville Town Square
Sheffields Antique Mall

Tomorrow we have a fun photo remake planned with more dear friends.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Why I'm Posting More in 2018

Let me tell you why I decided to post so much more in 2018...

But first, my Soul Mate arrived yesterday for a week long visit! We'll be busy laughing ourselves silly, cooking, visiting with friends, and shopping so pray for my husband. There will be non. stop. talking. 

Instagram will be the place to go to find out where we are (Burke's Book Store, Novel, Pottery Barn Outlet, Maggie's Pharm and Me & Mrs. Jones are on our list) and who we are assaulting blessing with our random silliness. 

I had been feeling pretty bad about how sad I'd let the blog get and, honestly, how many times last year I just reposted something I'd previously posted, out of desperation. Then I came across Gretchen Rubin and her podcast. I'd seen her on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday a couple of years back but hadn't read her book, The Happiness Project.

And podcasts, y'all. How am I so late to this party? I have given up on the news (a topic for another day) and now have a list of podcasts I listen to at the gym or while driving.

Gretchen Rubin's podcast about Happiness is such a great thing to listen to while I'm stuck behind a garbage truck in 4 lanes of traffic on the way to work. Last week while she and her sister were discussing their 18 for 2018 (There's an idea if you are still resolution free) they mentioned "creating a consistent body of work."

I had been creating a body of work with the blog but I couldn't really use consistent as an adjective.

I came home and downloaded The Happiness Project to my Kindle. Let me just recommend this delightful book to you. Gretchen has done tons of research into what makes us happier and the book is her year long journey to make her own life happier. I'll be sharing more about her book in the next few posts because it's full of beneficial ideas.

Reading more this year is on my list too.

At some point while reading I came to the realization that writing my blog made me really happy and I hadn't been doing it much lately.

So here we are. The goal for the year is 3 X per week for a minimum of 150 posts in 2018. The most posts I've ever written before was 100 posts in 2014 when I apparently had a lot to say. Most years fall well below that with the average being 81. I think 150 is a stretch without being unrealistic or burdensome like trying to write every day.

 I'm not interesting enough for every day unless I add sports and obituaries.  I'm just hoping I'm interesting enough for 3 days a week. Have something you'd like to know more about or a question? Let's hear it!

Monday, January 22, 2018

2018 Goal: Writing More

Starting today I'm going to be posting to this blog several times a week. It's been sorely neglected over the past few months while I started a new job, got through the holidays, got to know my grandson, and focused on Instagram.

But I miss writing.

Plus it's a bad sign when people ask what the "pen" in Pen and Hive is for. 

If you have been around here for ages then you'll know that for 5 years I had a joint blog with a far away friend where we discussed super serious subjects in a number of categories. When I now think that I posted every Wednesday for 5 years I am astonished! But there is something powerful in being accountable. There was something that made me sit down and write even though often I felt I had nothing to say. Knowing someone is going to sit down to see what you have written is powerful motivation.

Good news! From now on that person is you! You're welcome. 

Being without a partner has made it hard for me to stick to any kind of blogging schedule.

I also tend to wait until I have something that I feel is big or interesting to share. But I notice that what I like to read is often about people's every day lives. Who doesn't like to know that somebody else has tumbleweeds of dog hair wafting across the kitchen floor?

Don't you feel better already? 

I like to look like I know what I'm doing. Does anyone else suffer from this problem? I spend tons of time researching the information I share to make sure I'm not leading anyone astray about the important stuff, but perhaps a few lighter catching up posts about what's going on wouldn't kill me.

Spoiler alert: I don't have all the answers. But I do have a lot of information and as my husband likes to say "a powerful need to instruct." Instruct? Share. Help. Inform. Those sound so much better. 

So for 2018 I'm going to be posting regularly. As in a lot. My goal is 3 times a week. I toyed with the idea of daily but while I'd be willing to do it, would you be willing to read it?

You can watch for new posts on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. 

 You gotta love that I'm doing this when everyone is talking about how blogging is dying. 

In the next post I'll share about how I got here. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

It's Not To Late to Resolve Great Things for This Year

It's still January and if you haven't made formal resolutions it's not too late to use a new year as a fresh start or to jump start better habits.  I'm not, by nature, a goal driven person so I have had to find several ways to increase my productivity during Resolution Season. Here are a few tricks I'm using for 2018.

Let's start with this. I'm not giving anything up. Lent is right around the corner if you want to do that. The new year needs to start on a softer note. It's cold and everyone's cranky about going back to school and work. Is this really the best time of year to try to get your family to give up carbs?

Resolutions: Okay, y'all. I struggle with this. I am tracking my fitness this year using the Plum Paper Planner Fitness Pages in their planner. My husband and I joined our local rec center mainly so I can find a yoga class and he can use the weight room. If you know how cheap I am you'll see that spending the money on this will pretty much guarantee I'll make it to class. So is fitness my resolution? Maybe. In the end I still love directions and intentions more than resolutions.

Choosing a word for the year: I do like this and it's a much more fluid option. Last year my word was creativity and it really did inspire a burst in creative thinking and activities all year. The word for 2018 is nourish. While I'm focusing on specifically nourishing my body with good food, plenty of water, and exercise, I can also nourish my mind with good books and podcasts. I can nourish my relationships. I can continue to nourish my creativity. I could even think of cleaning and organizing the house as nourishing my home.

One New Thing: My all time favorite thing to choose for the new year. Last year I chose two things, knitting and hand lettering. I ended the year by knitting my son a scarf for Christmas and if you've been keeping up on Instagram you've seen plenty of hand lettering projects. Then I decided to learn to make soap in the fall as a response to a need my boss had. I'm still working on perfecting that so I'll probably say this year is making soap, but a goal for the year is also to make beeswax candles if the bees have a good year.

 I have always wanted to learn Morse Code. I know. Weird, right? But what if I'm ever held hostage or taken prisoner? Won't I want to be able to tap out a message with my tin cup on the wall? But Morse Code might be for another year.

I feel like the new thing for this year should be to focus on video. Maybe even Facebook Live. I might make the goal of putting out a video a week. Oh my that sounds scary and extreme. Would it be annoying? Do people really care if my bees swarm or I'm organizing my cabinets?

Choosing a Color: Have you heard of this one? I got this idea from Gretchen Rubin the author of The Happiness Project. In one of her podcasts she talked about choosing a color for the year and then noticing it all year long. When you see your color it creates a little moment of mindfulness in your day. Easy Peasy. My color is yellow, of course. It's a little reminder out in the world to notice, breathe, and appreciate. Those would all be great words of the year! Also if you can't figure out why you seem unable to stick with goals check out Gretchen's book, The Four Tendencies.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering. ” — Yoda

Choosing a phrase, Bible verse, or quote: This can be anything that inspires, reminds, challenges or comforts you. You can pick a quote from your favorite author, book, or movie. Something from a sacred text. Or the two fonts of all wisdom, Star Wars and Steel Magnolias.

Bonus Round!  

Journal: When you don't know what else to do-write. Get it all out of your head and onto paper or a computer screen so you can clear up some thinking space.  Remember how calm I was at my daughter's wedding? It was because I had processed all the emotions through writing first. Like in this Dispatch from Wedding Central in 2011.

So there ya go! January wants to be your friend, I promise. Look at the bare trees outlined and think of possibilities.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Let's Talk Resolutions


Here we are in a brand new year. Have you made a resolution? Or picked a color for the year? Or a word, a phrase, or a new habit. This is the time for fresh beginnings. Out with the old and in with the new and all that. 

Having trouble getting motivated because you despise, hate, and loathe winter? Read How to Cope with January. 

There are so many popular ways to use the clean new calendar to break old habits or start new ones. And let's face it, if we had formed any new habits during the past year a lot of us break them during the holidays.

Because, hey:  It's the holidays, Silly and we'll do all those healthy, organized, frugal things right after we sweep up the confetti.

Am I the only one saying these things?

If you need a little motivation or a jump start to get you going here is a series I wrote a couple of years ago. It's 30 posts so if you start today there's one for every day of this month.

You Sustainable: A Guide to Small Improvements for a Better Life

I'm actually re-reading it myself because, just like you, it's hard to stay on track and sometimes we need reminders. Like you know, not to eat cake for breakfast and binge watch Southern Charm instead of scooping the cat litter and going to yoga.

I constantly have to look for ways to stay motivated, especially in winter.

I would have made such a great bear.  

Lots of the things I am sharing with you are actually ways I trick myself into doing the things I know I should do and actually want to do. Just not as much as drinking spiked cocoa and checking Pinterest on my phone. 

Last year I did something that I just made up but turned out being super effective. I gave goals to the months. January was cleaning out.  February was fixing and making repairs. March was tying up loose ends. Then it sort of fell apart because every month after that was just beekeeping and gardening. For some of us the seasons dictate much of what we focus on.

Fix It February: What Got Done 

Still, you could pick a month for reconnecting, reading, learning a new skill. Or pick a month of no buying, no drinking, or no complaining. Let's all work on that last one, shall we?

Read here about how I learn to do one new thing every year. This is a habit I highly recommend!

Why I Learn to Do One New Thing Every Year 


But do something.

I often hear people say they don't make resolutions because it's ridiculous or they don't keep them anyway. But you get closer by creating an intention than by just giving up before you start. Let perfection go and work on progress. Progress is always a good idea.

I love that quote that says "No matter how slow you go you are lapping everybody on the couch."

How about making START your resolution?

Then make your intention every day to move forward. Even a little. Where would you be if you did that for a whole year?

There is one thing I have learned in the past few years that I only wish I had known sooner in my life.

The Universe responds to action. 

Why didn't anyone tell me this? 

Action. Not hoping or planning or dreaming. No matter how thorough your plans or noble your dreams are. And hoping things change is just kind of a lame way of doing nothing.

Doing is the key.

So starting is the most important thing to do right now. You don't have to plan out your whole year. But start taking actions today that will take you in the direction you want to go. Then do the next thing and the next and so on.

Let's show 2018 we are bringing it! 

We might be bringing it a little at a time but that's okay.