Currently, The Answer to Nearly Everything is Ice Cream

Finish the Sentence Friday is on a July 4th week hiatus but I'm here raring to go with my own stuff. And most of it's about ice cream, of course, and summer

Finish the Sentence Friday is on a July 4th week hiatus, but I’m here raring to go with my own stuff.

Did you find it to be a slow week? Historically, this is a slow week for blogging and influencing, right up there with Christmas week, but I think it’s even more so now! Maybe it’s the heat wave or the beach vacations. When I was a kid, we’d go to Myrtle Beach, SC or Ocean City, MD for two weeks right after July 4th. Now our own vacations are coming up, (more on that later) but this week was about salmon on the grill and water fights at summer camp. And the search for ice cream sundaes.

And unicorn pancakes.

So it’s time for a rundown post. It’s time for a recap, a catchup, a hello, a goodbye, and even a fun summer meme that I hope you’ll join me in filling out. The heat wave is mostly over and it’s time to cool off and chill out. Maybe read a book.

Speaking of which.. Currently, I’m..

Reading: “The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah. I was on hold for this book at the library forEVER! I’m so excited! Of course it was due back there yesterday and I’m only halfway through the book, but it’s worth the ten cents a day. The book takes place way, way out there in Alaska and is so far beyond my expectations. There are MOOSE, although not always friendly.

Planning: Scarlet’s Harry Potter birthday cake, and if I got her enough presents. The dates for our trip to Cape Cod (later than usual), my birthday week, our family weekend in a cabin in Maine for work (and fun), as well as if I want to travel beyond those trips. Also, the kids’ camp schedule, two camp lunches, and putting something FUN on my to-do list for today.

And planning to finally find out what kind of puppy Astro is!

Wearing: As seen in the first photo too, a really great hat.

Stressing: Just run of the mill stomachache stuff. Is the world dying? Will there be a second Civil War? Why does the puppy eat underwear? Will Des keep sitting out during camp swim time? Should I go to bed earlier? Am I dehydrated? If I have another baby, will my kids happily be ten years apart? Will I survive? Am I dying? Is that a freckle or is it cancer? Typical.

Wishing: That all of Scarlet’s birthday wishes come true. That all of my birthday wishes come true. And that I’ll renew my expired passport and actually put a stamp on the next one. For the peace, happiness, and health of everyone I know.

Feeling: A little distant, a little wistful, a little overwhelmed, a little underwhelmed.

Listening: I cannot stop. I just cannot stop listening to this:

Eating: Peanut butter cup ice cream. Only when writing this, and probably not when publishing this in the morning!

Loving: Morning birdsong, the way Astro sleeps on top of me like a blanket, seeing a movie in a big cushy seat next to Scarlet, waking up from nightmares to see that I haven’t lost everything, or even something, and work/life balance.

Hoping: That anxiety goes away, the world stops boiling in a heat wave, there’s not a second Civil War, that people will be smarter, that my puppy will stop chewing the carpet, and that we’ll get a series of low humidity, 75 degree days!

And I hope you’ll read my summer questionnaire, and answer one of the questions in the comments!

1 – Will you go on a summer vacation this year? Yes! Definitely to Cape Cod and Maine – those are already planned. I’d also really love to do a trip to Moosehead Lake with a cabin, a rented zoom lens and boots that go up to my waist.

2 – Do nothing but relax, or pack it all in vacation? The balance of both, whether in one trip or taking one trip just to relax, and another trip to do everything totally crazy and adventurous and booked in advance. I can’t choose one.

3 – What month do you like to vacation? Honestly? January through March and July through September. I can’t understand going to Florida right now, unless you plan to go in the colder weather too. I want relief wherever I go. Other than that, I’d like to vacation every month of the year! Warm places in winter, and cold, northern places in summer. Relief places.

4 – Cruise: YES or NO? I don’t know if this question means if I have gone on a cruise or not, or if I think they’re cool or not? I’m going with a NO for both. I’ve never been on one and I NEVER want to go on one. Cassidy feels the same about this one thing. It makes me feel claustrophobic and queasy thinking about it. Trapped with all those people and no escape? Nope.

5 – Favorite holiday tradition? For July 4th? We only have one. Fireworks! And our dogs don’t mind them, so that’s a win.

6 – Most memorable vacation? I mean, aren’t they all? Maybe it was my first trip to California, which was also the second time I ever laid eyes on Cassidy. His entire world came to life out of the words of his emails. There was our honeymoon in Alaska, of course, and all of the gloom and doom and magic. All of the beach vacations I had as a kid combined.

7 – Pack light or pack it all? I think I have a good balance, but when in doubt, pack more bikinis and sundresses.

8 – Hotel, condo, or house? There’s no wrong answer here! I like a two-story condo with a spiral staircase!

9 – Favorite thing(s) to eat on vacation? Well it pains me to say that I am NOT a lobster and corn on the cob girl. I do love fresh fruit, ice cream, clam chowder, and beach house lunches. You know the type. When you get back from the beach, ravenous, and you don’t even care that your sand-covered hands are making lunches that consist of cold cut sandwiches, with or without the bread, pickles, sliced peaches, and lots of potato chips. Beach house cookies too.

10 – Warm or cold destinations? Oops, I sort of answered that. In the summer, I like to go to Cape Cod beaches, Maine, or Alaska type places. In the winter, please please give me warm beaches and theme parks and palm trees, and I’m good.

Tell me one of your answers to these questions!

5 Essential Items an Ambitious Blogger Needs

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

Are you an ambitious blogger? Do you have these five items at your desk and/or in your life? Pixelbook is the first laptop with the Google Assistant built in2 and it's a must for #blogging life. #ad #pixelbook

When I first got a new computer for working at home, I never dreamed I’d have the career I have today.

Here’s the thing. I’m a Blogger/Influencer. If you had told me five years ago that this would be the case, I would NEVER have believed you. Sometimes, often, I still have to pinch myself. I love this world I have cultivated which combines my journalism background with my photography background, and then with other marketable hats I wear. I’m a mama of two. I’m a pet owner. I am skilled at Social Media Marketing. I have growing followings on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and others. And I track total and unique page views on analytics. I measure engagements and algorithms.

I think about tones, hashtags, html coding, screenshots, and enough details to make your head spin.

Are you an ambitious blogger? Do you have these five items at your desk and/or in your life? Pixelbook is the first laptop with the Google Assistant built in2 and it's a must for #blogging life. #ad #pixelbook

Although, I don’t do this alone at all. In terms of other people, there are designers, assistants, clients, supporters, mentors, contractors, agencies, and an endless number of people who help and inspire. In terms of items, well there are some things a girl can’t live without for the blogging life. It keeps me running! Here are 5 essential items for my blogging!

1 – Hard copy planners, journals, notebooks, etc. While I do keep a lot of information on my phone and computer, I need to hand write for inspiration. I have so many notebooks for different things – blog post ideas, stories, goals, details, etc.

2 – Real office supplies. Well of course! It’s a real job! There is more paperwork to this job than I ever imagined. On a normal week, I’ll use a stapler, paper clips, pens and pencils, tape, and at least access to scanner/printers/copy machines.

Storage options are also crucial!

3 – Cute and/or inspiring decor. You need our place to feel ALIVE. Cassidy has an office job and has photos of the kids and science fiction and fantasy movie stuff. I have a plaque that says, “I’m Kind of a Big Deal.” It makes me smile. I also have pretty art from the kids, a few photos, and a lot of knick-knacks that make me feel good without cluttering my space.

4 – Water. And lots of it. It’s so easy to dehydrate when you work for yourself and work through hours and meals. To make it more exciting, I like to add cucumbers and mint, or berries to my water. It’s the refreshing kick I need all day.

5 – An amazing laptop. And I’m writing today because right now, there’s an offer on the high performance Google Pixelbook to save $100 from 3/25 – 4/7. This is not to be missed! You can find out more right here, right now.

Have you considered upgrading to the Google Pixelbook? This new high performance Chromebook and the Pixelbook Pen – the smart, responsive stylus – are both designed to enhance the way you work and play. This is the first laptop with the Google Assistant built in, so you’ll be able to get more done faster and smarter. You’ll love the ultra-thin design and its collection of apps. I love that it’s beautifully versatile and adapts to my blogging lifestyle. That’s what it’s all about for me.

Not to mention, The Pixelbook is powered by Chrome OS, so you’ll always have the latest security and software features! It’s so easy to access the Google Assistant. There’s a dedicated key on the keyboard, or you can use the “Ok Google” wake word you’re already familiar with, and you can access it with the Pixelbook Pen. You simply hold the button, and then tap the Pixelbook’s screen to get help from Google Assistant. Pixelbook is also Google’s thinnest laptop ever at just 10.3mm!

The lightweight aluminum construction enhances portability and the 360° touchscreen and versatile 4-in-1 design will seamlessly adjust to whatever you’re doing. Sketch. Edit photos. Stay productive with GSuite apps that Drive automatically backs up to your device. Enjoy on or offline access to movies and TV shows with apps like Google play Movies and YouTube Red. Lastly, Pixelbook starts up in under ten seconds, stays fast, and has a fast-charging, all-day battery that gives you up to ten hours of go from a single charge! Here are some important things to remember:

1 – Pixelbook Pen is sold as a separate accessory, subject to availability.
2 – Requires internet connection.
3 – Auto-updates and auto-backup require an internet connection.
4 – Intel and Intel Core are trademarks of the Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries..
5 – 500 most recently opened and 500 most recently shared with you. Accessible offline through Drive when enabled in Drive settings.
6 – Battery performance is based on a mix of standby, web browsing and other use. Charging time requires a battery to be at least 5% charged, the device to be inactive, and use of included charger. Actual results may vary.
7 – Battery performance is based on a mix of standby, web browsing and other use.

And don’t forget that you can save $100 on your Pixelbook right here.

What’s an item you can’t live without for your blogging life?