Category Archives: Inspiration & Thoughts

We could all use a little encouragement every now and then!

Walk to Work

Running Shoes in the GrassI walked/ran to work today. Well, not to actually work…that would be gross. I decided at the last minute to squeeze an ad into the new Bayou Life Magazine and had to get outfits together for a photo shoot. (Look for Salt & Pepper in the April issue!)

I live about 2.5 miles from the store, so it wasn’t too bad of a trek. Besides, it’s a beautiful day and the perfect opportunity to get in some exercise. I ran about half of the way and walked the rest. (I didn’t want to be a total mess when I got there!)

Ouachita River from the Levee

Lea Joyner Bridge on Foot
Crossing the bridge on foot was a tad scary with those grates moving up and down as cars passed! Yikes!

This walk was one of the best ideas I’ve had in a long time. It was a chance to clear my head, a chance to admire the beauty and serenity of my surroundings. During this commute, I thought through some things for work, relaxed a tad, wrote this blog post (and the beginning of another one), and solved a few of the worlds problems, not to mention the actual exercise…multitasking at its finest!

Dandelions

Dandelion in the Wind
I tried to capture me blowing the dandelion into the wind. It was only somewhat successful.

Most importantly, this walk got me back to my happy place. A place where I feel good about life. A place where I am happy and content.

The weather man says tomorrow is going to be just as pretty here. So get out and enjoy it! It doesn’t matter what you do…just go outside and do something that makes you happy and soak up this wonderful sunshine!

Don’t Die!

“Many people die at 25, but aren’t buried until they’re 75.” – Benjamin Franklin

I think this quote is all about having purpose. When real life hits, it’s so easy to get bogged down by the mundane and literally die inside. I think this feeling is sort of inevitable. But what do you do about it when it happens?

I have a bad habit of “waiting” to do things that I want to do. Waiting until I have more time, more money, less “work” to do. Well here’s the deal with waiting…you’ll never have more time or money, and you’re always going to have a million other things you should be doing. My husband says you have to balance work with play. He opts to do a few things he has to do and then do something he wants to do. This theory has opened a whole new world for me. Lets face it…if I waited until all the baseboards were clean and fan blades dusted, I’d certainly never have time to do anything for myself.

So here’s my challenge to you: do several things that you have to do today, but make room for something you want to do as well. Play with your kids. Make a craft project. Read a book. No matter what it is, make time to do something to free your mind. Reward yourself for all the work you’ve done.

Even taking a few seconds to appreciate a flower as you walk by can severely improve your day. I’ve walked by this tree every day for weeks without really stopping to look at these flowers. Stop. It only takes a few seconds and can give you that breathe of fresh air that you need.

Stop & smell the flowers.
Stop & smell the flowers.

I think Mr. Franklin was really on to something with this statement. If you don’t make time for yourself and do things to keep you alive inside, you’ll end up dead at 25 and not be buried until you’re 75.

I have several projects up my sleeve that I want to do will do (including this blog). What are YOU going to do??

The Five Year Plan

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Does that question send a chill down your spine like it does mine? Once upon a time, I was quite the planner. I had every aspect of my life planned and figured out. (If I could only tell you how many times I’ve had to start from scratch with a new plan!) After plans A-G fell through, I finally gave up.

Finally, one day I realized that’s not how life goes. You don’t get to plan everything. For example, owning a business or getting married in 12 days weren’t included in any version of my life plan! But, if I had stuck to these plans, I would have missed some of the most exciting times of my life.

In short, what I’m saying is, throw that rule book out the window. Every single day is different than the last. Every single day, you get a chance to do something different or be someone new. Don’t pass it up! The best thing I ever did was tell the life plan of mine to hit the road. Where will I be in 5 years? I have absolutely no idea. And I love that idea better than any scheduled version on my life.

Keep in mind that I don’t think anyone should float through life aimlessly with no goals. However, sometimes we focus so much on the “plan” that we miss other opportunities and adventures.

My advice: embrace unidentified tomorrows. Let each new day control your destiny. Don’t be afraid to be a new person. Adapt to your surroundings and make the most of every situation. After all, this life will be over before you know it. Make sure that you can look back on your yesterdays and be happy with what you see.

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” -Anonymous

I’d love to hear about your plans. Leave a post with your thoughts!

Why did I get married??

Let me start by saying that I don’t want to be one of those people who over-post about how wonderful their spouse, baby, etc. are. So, if you’re one those people who might want to gag at my bragging (like I probably would), you might want to turn away now.

However, as I’m unwinding in my comfy bed, eating a brownie my husband just baked and brought to me, I realized there might be some solidity to my thoughts. I realized that someone might could benefit from hearing about my day. What started as a simple Facebook update, has turned in to a story about waiting for the “right” person.

A lot of pressure is put on girls, starting at a very young age, to find Prince Charming & get married. I went to college, worked a good job, and started my own business all before I was 23, but none of that amounted to anything because I wasn’t married yet. (Please be cautious with your comments so as to not to make a young girl feel slighted because she hasn’t tied the knot yet.) I came close to marrying the wrong person a couple of different times. Now, I thank my lucky stars that something inside of me stopped me each time.

How do you know who is “right” for you? Here’s how I know. Today, I had a particularly crummy afternoon. I got so bogged down by things going on around me, and I really let it get me down and discouraged. My new husband knew I wasn’t having the best day. I came home to dinner cooked and ready with the table set, awaiting my arrival. This in itself was a treat, because I probably would have broken down in the kitchen if I couldn’t find the right spatula. Then, he spent our entire dinner listening to me rant and rave about every tiny, minuscule thing that bothered me today. Next, we went for a walk around the neighborhood (my request), while I ranted some more. He listened, which was the most important thing I needed, but also provided such beneficial suggestions/comments. (He always says the best things.) How do I know I picked the right mate? Because my husband reassures me and builds me up when I’m down. Now, I’m chillin’ in my cozy bed, enjoying a brownie and milk that he cooked, recuperating from my trying day. (Reason number 7,462 I married him – he cooks!)

Moral of the story: it is so very important to pick someone who is a good balance for you. Life isn’t a fairy tale made up of exotic vacations and leisure activities. Life is days like today, where you come home exhausted, beaten down, and ready to give up on everything. That’s what the real world is. So, you need to pick someone who makes those days worthwhile. When picking someone you’re supposed to spend forever with, you need to pick someone who picks you up when your down. Someone who balances out your negatives. Someone who listens and helps you make tough decisions. Someone who fixes dinner and/or brownies when you just don’t have the strength. It’s like a seesaw…when you’re down, they bring you back up. When they’re down, you bring them back up. The roller coaster ride of life doesn’t end until you close your eyes for the last time. You have to pick someone based upon how you are as a couple during those times.

That being said, if you’re not dating someone who does this very thing for you. Get rid of them! Starting over isn’t nearly as scary if you think about eventually finding someone who can be the partner you really need.

I’m not writing this just to brag on my husband (although he deserves it). I’m writing this in hopes that someone may read it and realize they could do better. I’ve struggled many times over the years, not getting what I needed from a relationship. (And guilting myself for needing “too much.”) But that’s not the case. Girls, if you don’t have a guy that can turn a bad day around within seconds, then you don’t have the right guy. Just keep waiting. Do not settle for anything less than a man who takes your bad days away.

This post turned out to be quite a bit longer than I hoped, but I felt burdened to share my thoughts. This life is tough. Every day brings a new struggle. The purpose of marriage and relationships is to find someone who makes things more bearable. I am so very blessed to found such a good man. I thank God for him every single day. If you’re not quite there yet, don’t worry! Your time is coming. And one day you will sit back and be thankful for not settling for anything less than wonderful.

Post Marriage Plans

I’m going on a month and a half now of being married to the most wonderful man on the planet. I didn’t really expect much to change after getting married, but surprisingly things have. I’ve found myself becoming much more Suzy Homemaker-ish! Many of you don’t know this yet, but my new husband is going back to school. While taking care of his dad after the plane crash in the spring, he decided the he might really like that medical stuff. So now we, (I say we because it’s going to take the both of us!), are off to try out a nursing degree.

So what does this mean for our new little family? Two things. 1. We will be taking an income reduction because my sweet husband won’t be able to work as much. 2. Our costs are going to rise as he will be commuting 40 miles/day to school and we have to pay for his schooling this time around. (Too bad TOPS doesn’t give you a chance for a second degree!)

Long story short, I’ve been consumed with things that I can do to cut costs around the house without changing our lifestyle too much. I’ve seriously spent hours and hours on Pinterest looking at cool ideas. It’s like my new mission to make things more efficient around here!

So here’s what I have so far:
1. Canceling cable. I’ve seriously watched it maybe 3 times the last 6 months. What a waste! Plus, we have Netflix and Hulu+ to keep us entertained. (I just gotta figure out how to get Salt & Pepper’s big tv debut off the DVR first.)

2. Making my own laundry detergent. My BFF did this over the summer and she loved it. I found a pretty simple recipe for liquid detergent and it claims to cost just $6 for over 500 loads. Sign me up!!

3. Making my own cleaning supplies. I’ll be honest. I always thought this was so lame. However, it is proven that the chemicals in cleaner you buy are bad for you. Did you know that those companies have NO regulations on what they can put in their cleaners? Crazy! Plus, some of the cleaner recipes I’ve found, swear that they clean better than traditional cleaners. I’m certainly willing to try anything that means less scrubbing!

4. Now here’s the real shocker. I’m about to try freezer cooking. It’s gonna be tough for anyone who really knows me to not fall over dead after seeing this but, I’m just so intrigued by it! Basically, you make one big shopping trip a month, prepare a month worth of meals at once, and freeze them! The big plus with this idea is that we’re approaching the hubby and I’s busy seasons at work. Plus, he has schoolwork now, too. Having time/energy to cook an elaborate meal just isn’t going to happen. So I’m going to give this little notion a try. In addition to saving time & energy, you also save money by making just one trip to the store (less impulse buys) and by buying things in bulk.

All of these things are very unlike me. I can’t decide if I’m just intrigued by the simple living styles, or if this marriage thing has gone to my head. I’ve always been a pretty thrifty gal, but sure as heck never considered making my own soap! Either way, I’m gonna tackle a few of these ideas soon & I’ll let the 3 of you who read this first-ever-blog-post of mine know how it goes.

(In addition to these, I have a million other DIY projects up my sleeve, so I’m going to use this blog to keep track of my progress. Follow along if you’d like!)

Pamela P.