YOU GUYS I am the worst...

...blogger in the history of blogland. THE.WORST.

If this blog is any indication of my life the last three years, then it has been absolutely hectic. I mean my life was hectic before the last three years, but it's been on overdrive. I don't even know where to catch up because so.much has happened. So just whatever.

I turned 30 this month. I wanted to make a list of 30 things to do before I am 30. Or 30 books to read before I'm 30. Or have a cutesy post about being 30. But NONE of that happened. And I still turned 30.

And while I feel like listing all my failures, and things that I've wanted to do and haven't, I am determined to be positive. And be focused on what I HAVE done. Like raising babies and living life. I'm focusing on the good things. There is plenty of bad to go around. Good things like WE ARE FINALLY SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT. All the praise hands.

I am entering a season of rest in my life. Rest from the unnecessary fluff. In my self reflection of my 20s (what absolutely crazy years those were), I realized that I am way too quick to say YES to things.  And it keeps coming up in quiet times, and time with friends, and books/blogs I am reading. I feel like I am being smacked in the face with it from all directions. This truth that when I say yes to something, I am saying no to something else has been coming up over and over. We all only have 24 hours.

So by cutting away things (I don't have time for) and relationships (I don't have time for) and jobs (I don't have time for), I am hoping to find my balance. I have been intentional about keeping our days open and not overplanning. And I know life won't be calm with kids. Ever. Because #sickness and #life but there has got to be a way to not always go 100 mph.

In saying YES to so much, I lost focus and drive. I lost my perspective because I was so caught up with the daily things. It's like I'm running a marathon. And actually I have no idea how I feel entitled enough to compare something to running a marathon cause let's just be honest- I wouldn't survive a 5K. Or a mile. #justwhatever

I listened to a Periscope of someone I find highly motivational and she is resting this year. She says "no" to 95% of the opportunities that are brought before her and her business. And in saying NO, she has been able to say YES to what she wants to say yes to. Isn't that amazing to be resting and find balance in your everyday life? Also she shared that even after saying no to all.the.things. she is set financially to make more in her business this year than she ever has. What an inspiration!

So while it isn't the new year, or a new month, or a new anything, I am determined to focus on the things that make me happy. Creating things makes me happy. Spending time with my family makes me happy. Refinishing furniture makes me happy. Decorating and organizing makes me happy.  Loving on my babies at preschool makes me happy. Reading makes me happy. And blogging makes me happy! I miss this thing. I was shocked that I still actually had page views after being so flaky and taking so much time off. So thank you!

To begin my season of rest (and doing things that I want to do), I want to set 5 attainable goals that I can quantify. Catching up with laundry isn't likely. Deep cleaning the house never lasts. So here they are (in no particular order):
1. Paint our bathroom vanity and nightstands. This has been on my list FOREVER and I want to knock this project out and enjoy my work!
2. Decorate for fall. I love this season and I want it up ASAP. I also want to decorate for Christmas this year the first week of November so this will give me plenty of time to enjoy both seasons.
3. Meet my income goals for my shop. Without being too detailed my goal is to double what I currently put in.
4. READ! I love reading. I would love to read 2 books this month (1 fiction and 1 nonfiction). Curious what's on my wishlist? Go here. I am doing a book study on Uninvited so that one will definitely be read.
5. Blog once a week. There, I said it.

Deadline- October 1st.

Five Simple Ways to Read Books For Free (or nearly free).

One of my New Year Goals is to read one book a month. I felt like this was an attainable goal. Between you and me I wish I could read more. But you know #kids and #life and #runningasmallbusiness.

I am keeping up with the books that I've read and my wishlist on the Books {2016} tab up there ^. Feel free to take a gander and maybe collect some ideas for your next read.
With this goal, I needed to figure out a way to grab these books for super cheap. If the average price of a book is $10 and I want to read 12 of them, that's a pretty expensive goal. Because I'd much rather take $120 to Target or Ikea. #truth

Here are 5 ways that I read books for free or nearly free.

1. Buy books at local or chain retailers and re-sell on eBay. 
I did this with The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I purchased it at Target and there I got it 35% off the retail price. So it was around $12. I read it in a few days, decided it wasn't one I wanted to keep, and listed it on eBay. I looked for listings that had recently sold and priced accordingly. Even after shipping charges it cost me about $3 to read this book. For me it was worth it because the waiting list at the library was very long. This usually only works for books that are current and popular (hence the long waiting list at the library).

2. Create a wishlist and shop thrift stores. 
I keep a private wishlist on Amazon of books I want to read. They've either been recommend by friends, in a podcast, or books that I've randomly come across online. This online wishlist not only allows me to keep an eye on the price (and snag them if they drop super cheap), but it is also with me everywhere I go on my iPhone! Just in the last month I have found 2 books from my wishlist at the thrift store and I purchased them for pennies!
3. Library! Digital downloads are amazing. 
We all know you can get books from the library, but it hasn't been until recently that I have taken full advantage of their services. I love being able to hold/pickup books. But just these past few months I have started checking out digital downloads! They work the same way as regular holds, but are delivered directly to my kindle! Holla! Also I probably shouldn't share this secret, but if you put your kindle on airplane mode, they can't check the book back in. So if the due date comes and you haven't finished just keep it on AM and keep right on reading! Also on AM you don't get all the book ads on your lock screen. #yourewelcome

4. Borrow from a friend (duh!). 
So clearly this is the easiest. But I seriously hate borrowing books. I am a rough book abuser and just don't take good care (sorry if I've ever borrowed your book). In college my roommate let me borrow her book on Spring Break and I totally ruined it and bought her a new one when I got back. Sand, ocean water and pool water aren't very nice to books. ;)

5. Book swaps.
We have a local book swap every January and it is seriously the greatest thing ever. It's how I build my kid's library. They open drop off for like 2 days and you drop of x-number of books and they give you a ticket to come back on Saturday. However many books you bring is how many you can take home. The first year I took 3 to see how it all worked. This year I took like 30! So fun! I spent about an hour that morning going through a huge conference sized room of books that were organized just like a bookstore. But every book was FREE since I could take as many as I brought. I made a list of areas to hit and grabbed what I needed. So fun! This would also be fun if you had enough friends to pitch in and to host your own!

So there you have it! There is seriously no need to spend a fortune on books! I am trying to build my library with books I truly love and that spark joy, so if I finish a book and it wasn't a keeper, I will turn around and resell it. Also I spent so long in school (high school and college), and the classroom and reading was basically done for everyone else that it's been nice to explore what I actually like reading!
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