Starting Fresh in September

Last week I wrote about how September is my favorite month and holds so much meaning for me. This month signifies a new start, the beginning of a new birth year for me, and reflection over the last year. September is about starting fresh.

Today I’m going to encourage you in some ways that you can also have a fresh start this month. What do you love most about this month??

Personal Health

Start a new workout plan. Be better at healthy meal planning and prepping. Go to bed earlier. Drink more water.

Relationships with Family and Friends

Put the phone down more. Be intentional about spending time with others. Have people over and look for ways to gather others. Send more texts or messages to friends and family to let them know you’re thinking of them. Look for ways to serve those you love.

Work Life

Get to work early. Focus on work tasks and really give it your all. Facilitate a positive work culture and environment. Clean and organize your work space.

Spiritual Health

Make a point to spend time with God each day. Spend your commute in prayer and as you go about the day. Be open for opportunities to share the love and compassion of Christ. Begin a new Bible study plan.

Home

Bring out the fall candles and decorations. Make a point to keep the house clean and cozy. Put away your summer clothes and bring out all the fall wear. Declutter. Finish a project you’ve already started.

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My Summer Reads

For as long as I can remember, summer has always been associated with reading. When I was a little kid, my siblings and I would all do the summer reading program at our local library–and sometimes we would even try to race each other as to who would finish the quickest. The librarian must have thought that we were some of the most well-read children with how competitive we would be, haha! (What the library didn’t know, though, was that sometimes we read a bunch of kids board books and books that were honestly too easy for us to read–oopsies)

This summer, there are a few books that I really want to read and, like always, I’m going to try my best to have these read by the end of summer.

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Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

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This novel is set in London during 1939–1942. It was inspired by the letters written between the author’s grandparents during World War II. This novel focuses around the stories of three characters and it is written “with dazzling prose, sharp English wit, and compassion…a powerful portrait of war’s effects on those who fight and those left behind” (People, Book of the Week).

Living Well Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life by Ruth Soukup

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 After going through the home-buying process, this book is especially appealing to me! I’m excited to learn more about life, organizing, finances, etc., from a Biblical perspective.

Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good For You and Avoid Those That Aren’t By Henry Cloud and John Townsend

2dadd0e5-7e5f-4ad5-9339-dc9d1b73dc39I heard about this book a couple of years ago and really wanted to read it. Based on the title, I think that this is a really important lesson to learn when it comes to relationships in your personal life, social life, and work life. This book will help to identify those who aren’t relationally trustworthy and also those who are relationally safe.

At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe by Tsh Oxenreider

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This book seems to be right up my alley. A book about adventure, traveling, and making it meaningful? Yes please!!

What are you reading this summer? Do you have any recommendations for my fall reading list?

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Happy 2nd Blogiversary: My Biggest Takeaways

HAPPY 2ND BLOGIVERSARY!

Today is a reason to celebrate! Two years ago, on this day, I started this blog and it’s been such a fun journey! I am so glad that I started this blog and for what it has become! To celebrate today, I’m going to share with you some of my biggest takeaways from this past year and some of my favorite posts that I wrote. I’m going to celebrate with cake today and I invite you to do the same!

Do what you love!

On days when blogging can seem overwhelming, remember why you wanted to start blogging and don’t get lost in the rest. Remember your passion. And have fun!

Pray for growth and opportunity!

I think that God has given me the desire to blog and so I’m praying that He will continue to use me in whatever way that looks like. It’s been amazing to be a part of some conversations that have been the result of blog posts and the people I’ve been able to reconnect with. I’ve also been given some amazing opportunities to write about and I’m praying that there will be more to come.

Quality over quantity!

I have learned that I would rather post higher quality content rather than sub-par content–just to post a certain number of posts. This year I want to work on producing higher and higher quality content.

There is no perfect way to blog!

Your blog is your blog! Don’t compare yourself to others and enjoy your own creative process. Easier said than done sometimes, but remember that you have a unique platform to express your heart.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and to ask for help!

I have found that a lot of bloggers are so helpful when it comes to answering questions and giving advice. You will never learn new things if you don’t ask questions or seek out others to learn from.

Go to workshops and listen to podcasts!

What a fun way to learn! There are so many good podcasts out there that can help bloggers learn new information and tips. If you are a blogger or writer interested in going to a conference–I highly, HIGHLY recommend that you go to Declare 2018!


My top 7 from 2017:

  1. Awkward Much–this was a funny post to write! Here’s a little peek inside my everyday life and a little dose of transparency.
  2. Master Packing List for Carry-On Luggage–I have used this PDF so many times!
  3. Maine Travel Guide–this was a favorite because it meant I got to see my bestie!
  4. Living with Celiac Disease–a little bit of information about Celiac and what it’s like for those who live with it.
  5. Snapshots of 26–this was so fun to look back on my 26th year of life!
  6. Declare Conference Haul–this was also such a fun post because I got to talk about Declare!
  7. Ways to Style: Fall Outfits–I was really happy with how this post turned out because it was the first one shot on my Canon.

A HUGE thank you to my family, friends, and bogging buddies who have been with me every step of the way! Thank you for supporting me and encouraging me on the days when I didn’t feel like blogging was important. Thank you for always giving me inspiration and for asking me to write about things. Thank you for telling me to keep going. Y’all, it’s meant the world to me and I’m so excited for year 3 of Love from Amy! I love you all so much!

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Stocking Stuffer Gift Ideas

Only 20 more shopping days until Christmas! If you’re done shopping–way to go! If you aren’t done yet–remain calm and have no fear! Over the last few years, my family has changed the way we exchange gifts and, to be honest, it’s actually taken a lot of the stress away. However, I always like stocking stuffer gifts and the process of filling the stockings. If you are doing stocking stuffer gifts this year, I have a list of gift ideas in case you need some inspiration. I also have a blog post coming out on Friday with alternatives for gift-giving, so make sure to read that one.

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For Kids

-Socks (I think silly socks or fun patterned socks are way better)
-Books
-Subscription services (ie. Highlights magazine)
-Chapstick
-Gloves
-Lego
-Hot Wheels
-Games
-On-the-go cups
-Fun patterned Band-Aids
-Rubber duck
-Milk straws (you can find these on Amazon but they are straws with flavor pods inside and they turn milk into different flavors)
-Silly drinking straws
-Gift cards
-Candy

For Her

-Essential oil blends
-Candles
-Tea
-Coffee
-Socks
-Nail polish
-Subscriptions (i.e. Birchbox, magazine, etc)
-Jewelry
-Wallet
-Hand cream
-Mug
-Chocolate
-Gift Cards

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For Him

-Pen
-Graphic print t-shirt
-Shaving kit
-Beard oil
-Movie
-Coffee
-Yeti (or similar insulated coffee mug)
-Socks
-Gloves
-Gift cards
-Beef jerky
-Candy
-Watch

For Friends

-Passport cover
-Sunglasses
-Coffee mugs
-Coffee
-Novelty print socks
-Gift cards
-Candles
-Snacks
-Photo gifts

Basically, I don’t think you can go wrong with getting anyone socks, haha! These are the main things that I think would be great to gift as stocking stuffers. I hope this list was helpful to you if you are trying to figure out stocking stuffer gift ideas! If I am forgetting any ideas that you like, make sure to comment below what they are. I hope you are having great December and that you’re enjoying the Christmas spirit!

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For the Thankful Heart

Happy Thanksgiving week my friends! Today I am sharing some scripture with you and giving thanks to the Lord for the blessings in my life. God is so good and it’s my prayer that you know that and Him. I am thankful for each of you who read these posts and support my blog. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Psalm 107:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.

I am thankful for my parents–their love for each other, their love for God, and how they love their children. I am thankful for my sisters and my brother–they truly are my best friends and we love each other so much. I am thankful for my brothers-in-law–they are each different but they hold very special/specific places in our family and have been supportive in so many ways. I am thankful for my nephews and nieces–they have completely changed my life and have taught me so much about love. I am thankful for my extended family and opportunities to re-connect with cousins–they are some of the most special people in my life and I am so glad they are family.

Psalm 30: 4 Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints, and give thanks to His holy name.

I am thankful for my friends. I am thankful for the ones who live far away and how wonderful it is to pick up right where we left off. It’s really hard to be so far from some friends–but I am thankful for times to be together. I am thankful for my local friends and how they are a part of every day life. I am thankful for friends to laugh with, cry with, pray with, celebrate with, travel with, and simply go through life with.

Psalm 1:9 I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.

I am thankful for the small moments when I feel God’s presence. I am thankful for the big moments when God reminds me that He’s in control. I am thankful for the ways this year that God worked in my life and my family’s life. I am thankful that God never leaves me alone. I am thankful that God is so much more powerful and loving than I can ever fathom. I am thankful that God wants to know me.

Psalm 86:12 I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify Your name forever.

I am thankful for technology and the abilities we have to work, create, and communicate through the internet and devices. I am thankful that technology connects us to people who live far away. I am thankful for work and the skills God has given me. I am thankful that God has called me to my specific field and that He sustains and directs me through my career.

Psalm 118:28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to You; You are my God; I will extol You.

I am thankful for food. I am thankful for the ability to travel. I am thankful for Celiac Disease research. I am thankful for days that I can sleep in. I am thankful for safety. I am thankful for design and art. I am thankful for memories.

Psalm 136:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.

What are you thankful for?

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