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I wish I could explain what the last three weeks have been like.
I should be able to. I’m a writer for goodness sakes. But only simple words come to mind. Busy. Numb. Motivated. Drained.
I miss my doggie. And sometimes I feel ridiculous. In my previous line of work, I witnessed the most heart-wrenching losses. Unfathomable pain. And here I am still tearing up when I wake up in the morning and realize he’s not there. Am I crazy? (Maybe don’t answer that)
Gus was the first thing I truly took care of as my own. He was never cruel to me. Or disappointing. And on my darkest days, the days when I dealt with breath-stealing anxiety, he could always make me smile. I always had a little bit more to give my Gussy, even when I had nothing to give myself.
So, I’m managing. Even if I’m ridiculous or crazy. He was mine, and I loved him, and now he’s gone.
A few good things are in the works as well. I finished my second book! I mean, what?! Holy hell, I’ve written two books! My first book is still out there chugging along, never tiring. But we’re also going to have another book in play in the next few months. I really love the story, and as always, I’m hopeful and fighting. Writing is what I love, so I’ll keep going, keep moving forward.
Besides writing, I’ve distracted myself with books and TV. Is anyone else watching (or finished) season two of The Handmaid’s Tale? Dear God. I’m almost done, but I have to take breaks because my hearttttt! It’s too painful, too powerful to binge sometimes. What are you watching these days? What should I watch next?
It’s been a while since I’ve done a roundup of some of my favorite things, so without further ado, here we go!
Favorite Printing Service: Printiki
In the week after we put Gus down, I realized his presence was so large in our house I never needed to display pictures of him. I have close to 1,000 photos of him on my phone, though, and I needed a way to get some of them into print. I want to remember the big lug! I found Prinitiki through Instagram, and I LOVED the ease of using their website. They have a lot of different options for printing photos: retro (with a neat little border), regular prints, photo books, canvas, posters, AND different templates for a photo wall (think pictures printed for your wall to make the shape of a heart, a Christmas tree, or even a unicorn!).
I easily uploaded photos of Gus, chose my preferred style, and clicked purchase. They came pretty quick in the mail, and I love the final outcome!
I’d definitely recommend Printiki for any of your picture needs. AND, I can even offer a little help! Use this code for free shipping and fall in love with Printiki: 8ACMD45Q
Favorite Planner (for now-ha!): Emily Ley
I went for it, planner people! I got my first ever Emily Ley Simplified Planner, and she’s so pretty! I chose the Weekly version because I don’t have daily meetings or hourly commitments. But if you do, choose the Daily option. Emily’s entire goal with her planners is to simplify your life, which I very much appreciate. The beginning few pages have little prompts to work through on how you want this next year of your life to go. How can you plan your week, month, year to focus on what matters while not killing yourself completing the to-dos? The colors are fun and bright, the paper thick and good quality, and I love the size.
Do you have an Emily Ley? What planner are you loving right now?
Also, with new planners comes new pens. And these are my absolute favorites! Fun colors, smooth writing. AH! What could be better?
Favorite Book: Rainy Day Friends by Jill Shalvis
Five years ago, I discovered romance novels. Or more importantly, I discovered Jill Shalvis and fell in love with her witty writing and irresistible characters. Since then, I’ve read every one of her books. She recently branched into the women’s fiction genre (the genre I write in), and I ate up those pages as well. She has the unique ability to draw you into a story and not let you go until well after you’re finished. Her stories are fun and light, and they always put a smile on my face.
Rainy Day Friends is no exception. It tells the story of Lainey Jacobs, a woman mourning the death of her husband, only to discover she wasn’t his only wife. The realization rocks her to her core, and she’s now determined to hold people at arm’s length. How can she trust anyone else when she can’t trust herself to make good decisions? Enter a new job, a crazy, albeit loving family, and a handsome Air Force veteran. Lainey might start letting people in, but what happens when hidden secrets come to light?
If you’re looking for a great story, a fun read, and a little romance, pick up Rainy Day Friends. And let me know if you fall in love with Jill Shalvis like I did.
What are you reading this summer? Any recommendations?
Favorite Easy Recipe: Paleo Grilled Chicken Kabobs
Courtesy of Jay’s Baking Me Crazy
This recipe is super easy, light, and delicious! On days I am especially lazy, I don’t even cut the chicken breasts into chunks. I simply marinate and grill ‘em up. Yum, yum. Pair it with a light beer or glass of white wine, this dinner makes for a perfect summer meal.
Favorite Song: Babe by Sugarland feat. Taylor Swift
I love all things country music and Taylor Swift. So, when Sugarland made a comeback and released their new song, I instantly turned it up. Plus, this music video is all sorts of fun! Hope you enjoy!
Me dancing in my car to this song:
What song or album are you loving these days?
There you have it! Some of my favorite things brightening some of my not so favorite days. Thanks to everyone who reached out to me after we lost Gussy. Your words and love mean more than you know!
Until next time,