25 Pieces of Advice for my Younger Self

Getting older has never bothered me at all. In fact, I embrace it and enjoy each year older I get. Now that I have a son in high school (9th grade) and a daughter in middle school (6th grade), I’ve started thinking about all the things I wish I would have known then that I know now. Since I can’t go back in time, nor would I want to, what I can do is compile this list of 30 pieces of advice for my younger self and make sure I teach these things to my kids.

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advice for my younger self

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If you have kids, you know what it’s like to try and give them advice and have them basically (or literally) tell you that you don’t know what you are talking about. We can’t make them listen and take our advice. All we can do is continue to be open and honest with them and hope that someday they will remember the things we tell them and it will finally sink it. So, for that reason, I have compiled this list of 30 pieces of advice for my younger self that I would like my kids to know.

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  1. Be yourself. Know that who you are is enough. If someone doesn’t like you for who you are, then they are not worth your time.
  2. Set goals for yourself and work to achieve that goal. If it seems like you will never meet that goal, it’s OK to reevaluate and change your goals a bit.
  3. Don’t make up excuses. Own your mistakes; learn from your mistakes; and move on from your mistakes.
  4. Surround yourself with people that boost you up. Don’t be afraid to cut ties with those that cut you down.
  5. You are responsible for YOU. Choose to be happy.
  6. Be kind to others. Especially that person others don’t seem to be kind to. People may not remember all of the mean things said to them, but they will aways remember when someone was nice to them.
  7. You will ALWAYS learn more from listening than from talking. So listen more.
  8. Don’t let failure hold you back. Pick yourself back up and try again.
  9. Always be grateful. Be grateful for what you have; focus on the good; let go of the bad.
  10. Try really really hard not to be so gullible. It’s OK to trust, but you need to learn to verify things. You do not want to be known as a gossip that spreads lies.
  11. Step out of your comfort zone. Try new things. Be curious.
  12. Learn to forgive. You may not ever forget, but forgiveness is good for the heart.
  13. Stop thinking you’re fat. Eat healthy, get exercise and you will be just fine. The number on the scale and the number on the tags is just that…a number.
  14. Change is good. Embrace change. Don’t fear change.
  15. Pay attention in school. School is your job. Treat it like a job.
  16. Respect others. There is nothing worse than a disrespectful person.
  17. Respect yourself. If you want others to respect you, you need to respect YOU.
  18. Write things down in a panner for school. Trust me. Your brain may be capable of remembering your reading assignment now, but things won’t always be that way. Train yourself to write things down NOW!
  19. Friends will come and go. The one thing you will always have is your sibling(s). Remember that.
  20. It’s fun to have boyfriends and girlfriends, but those relationships don’t always last. Everything will be OK if and when they don’t last.
  21. Curfews are there for a reason. Follow it. Know that it is not easy for your parents to let you go out, especially at night, alone. Save them headaches and worry by coming home on time.
  22. Learn to take compliments and say thank you. Don’t feel like you need to cut yourself down because someone paid you a compliment. Just say thanks!
  23. When it comes time for college, pursue your interests. Don’t let anyone talk you out of it.
  24. Being “cool” is just a matter of opinion.
  25. Saying “no” is fine. Learn the word. Don’t let others pressure you into saying yes for something you don’t want to say yes to.

What are pieces of advice would you give your younger self? I’m curious. Leave me a comment and let me know. There are so many times I hear myself tell my own teenager things that I then sit back and think, “wow. I wish someone would have told me that when I was his age”. So as you can imagine, when I was writing this list of advice for my younger self, I did so with my own kids in mind. Everything on this list is something I have said to them or will say to them at some point.


Reading Bucket List

Less than a week ago, I had knee surgery. So…right now…I am sitting around with my knee propped up, watching WAY too much Netflix, Little House on the Prairiereading bucket list on the DVR (don’t judge), and reading. Reading is one of my favorite things to do. When I knew I was going to be having knee surgery, I decided to put together a reading bucket list.

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reading bucket list

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Like I said, reading is one of my favorite things to do. I like it so much, I started a book review blog called A Real Page Turner. Go check it out! I read a wide variety of genres. My favorites are mystery and suspense, thriller, young adult and true crime. I will read cheesy romance novels from time to time, but only when I need a brain cleanser from something totally creepy and scary I just read!

Reading Bucket List

Juror #3Juror #3Juror #3

James Patterson is my favorite author. I have been reading his books FOREVER. This particular book is about a black man in Mississippi that is being accused of murder. His lawyer is a total newbie that has never tried a criminal case. Will she get him off or will he get the death penalty?

Educated: A MemoirEducated: A MemoirEducated: A Memoir

Educated by Tara Westover is a memoir that was recommended to by a friend. It is about a girl that was kept out of school that made the decision to leave her family. She heads out into the world, attends Cambridge University and earns herself a PhD!

We Were Mothers: A NovelWe Were Mothers: A NovelWe Were Mothers: A Novel

This book was a FREE Amazon First Reads book. Typically I like the Amazon First Reads books. We Were Mothers by Katie Sise caught my attention because the description said this was a novel full of twists and dark secrets. Missing woman; unfaithful husband; I was definitely intrigued!

A Killer's Mind (Zoe Bentley Mystery)A Killer’s Mind (Zoe Bentley Mystery)A Killer's Mind (Zoe Bentley Mystery)

Serial killers, the FBI, missing people…that’s the type of books I like to read (and scare myself with). If it is part of a series, EVEN BETTER! A Killers Mind by Mike Omer is about a serial killer that embalms their victims and poses them as if they are still alive. Not only that, but the FBI agent on the case, starts receiving envelopes that reveals a connection to killings from her childhood!

To the Bridge: A True Story of Motherhood and MurderTo the Bridge: A True Story of Motherhood and MurderTo the Bridge: A True Story of Motherhood and Murder

This book may be a little difficult to read. It is a true story about a mom that dropped her kids off a bridge into the Willamette River. Miraculously, one child survived. Nancy Rommelmann embarks on a journey to discover what drives a mother to murder her own children.

Other Books Waiting to be Read

Other books on my Kindle Paperwhitereading bucket list are:

  • Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson
  • The Thinnest Air by Minka Kent
  • The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • A Shade of Vampire #64 by Bella Forrest

Matchmaking for Beginners: A NovelMatchmaking for Beginners: A NovelMatchmaking for Beginners: A NovelThe Thinnest AirThe Thinnest AirThe Thinnest AirThe Handmaid's TaleThe Handmaid’s TaleThe Handmaid's TaleA Shade of Vampire 64: A Camp of Savages (Volume 64)A Shade of Vampire 64: A Camp of Savages (Volume 64)A Shade of Vampire 64: A Camp of Savages (Volume 64)

Have you read any of these books? What’s on your reading bucket list?

Must Watch Fall TV Shows

Hi! My name is Leah and I am a TV addict and I totally blame my husband for my TV addiction! With him working out of town most weeks, once the kids go to bed, I have nothing else to do. Sure I could clean something. There’s always something to clean, but that’s not fun! So I feed my TV addiction and watch every show I can. My DVR gets a major workout every single night! So…what are the must watch fall tv shows?

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fall tv shows

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I love the fall. Not only does the weather get cooler, which means jeans, hoodies and boots, but all of my favorite TV shows, plus all the new shows, start. Shoot…a few family members and I love This is Us so much, we have a group chat going where we discuss each episode. If you happen to get behind on an episode, you could end up with close to 100 missed text messages!

 

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So what are the must see fall TV shows?

The shows I looked forward to returning most are:

  • This is Us
  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • Law & Order SVU
  • The Good Doctor

Those four shows are my favorite, by far. The writing for This is Us will amaze you. Just when you think you’ve figured things out, they throw something else in. That show gives you all the feels.

Other shows I look forward to that I totally recommend you check out are:

  • 9-1-1
  • The Resident
  • Station 19
  • Will & Grace

 

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As you can see, I really like doctor shows! 9-1-1 is an intense show. Not in a bad way. I really like it a lot, plus it has Peter Krause that plays Adam Braverman from Parenthood and I LOVED Parenthood.

New shows that are just coming out that I have on my DVR and am really enjoying are:

  • FBI
  • New Amsterdam
  • Manifest

The first episode of FBI was a bit boring to me, but I decided to stick it out. I am currently watching the second episode and I am beyond hooked. New Amsterdam is like This is Us…it gives you all the feels. It also makes you wish all doctors were like Dr. Max Goodwin!

Of course, that’s not all. My guilty pleasure TV (I probably shouldn’t share this) is reality TV. I think it drives my husband crazy to see all the reality TV saved on the DVR. My favorites are:

  • Married at First Sight
  • Jersey Shore: Family Vacation
  • Keeping Up with the Kardashians

I can’t help myself when it comes to reality TV. I especially like reality TV shows that are SO far from my life. It’s interesting to me how people can marry someone they don’t know. When it comes to Jersey Shore and the Kardashians…I honestly have no words. They are just entertaining to me.

If you are looking to binge watch something on Netflix, check out this post on my favorite, binge-worthy Netflix shows!

What are your must see fall TV shows?

Ugly Christmas Sweaters for Holiday Fun

My kids have been asking for ugly Christmas sweaters for quite awhile. One year, when we were getting together with family for the holidays, everyone wore their ugliest sweater. It was a lot of fun to see all the different sweaters. I knew that this year, whether we do the ugly sweaters or not, I wanted to make sure I got my kids an ugly Christmas sweater each!

*I received the following sweaters for the purpose of this review. All opinions are 100% my own. This post may contain affiliate links*

ugly christmas sweaters

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Ugly Christmas Sweaters for All

The sweaters at the Ugly Christmas sweater site are awesome! I had a really hard time choosing one for my kids. For my son, I opted to get him a Star Wars sweater. Personally, I don’t find the sweater to be very ugly. I kind of like it! However, when he opened it he yelled, “YES! Now I have an ugly Christmas sweater”!

ugly christmas sweaters

As you can tell, he is VERY happy to have this sweater. The site suggested to order a size up. Normally I would have ordered him an Adult S. This is an Adult M. It is slightly too big for him, but I think the Adult S would have been too small. So definitely keep that in mind when you are ordering.

My daughter is obsessed with Harry Potter. When I saw a Harry Potter sweater, I knew I had to get it for her! She can’t wait until it is cold enough for her to wear it. She will wear this sweater all the time…I just know it!

ugly christmas sweater

Like the Star Wars ugly Christmas sweater, you will want to order the Harry Potter sweater up one size. Bella is wearing an Adult L. As you can see, it is a little bit big, but one growth spurt and it won’t be big at all!

Definitely check the site out! You can even customize your own sweater! I can see my family coming up with some pretty interesting options for ugly sweaters! If you are wanting an ugly sweater this year, be sure to check the site out soon! You don’t want to run the risk the sweater you like getting sold out!


4 Differences Between Low- and High-Quality Boots

You know you want to buy a nice pair of boots, but you have no idea where to start. You may want to plunge in and buy the first stylish pair you see, but know that there is a lot more to a good pair of boots than first meets the eye. In order to find the right pair of high-quality boots for you, you need to know what characteristic define a good boot. Here are your four tips to help you find the perfect pair of boots that will benefit both your style and your feet!

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high-quality boots

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Stitching

high-quality boots

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Lower quality boots generally employ glued-in soles as opposed to the soles being stitched into the boot. This is because soles that are glues in are cheaper to manufacture, but come at the cost of wearing out more easily. A high-end pair of boots will be threaded, which holds ever feature of the sole together. The highest quality boots, such as Ariat Women’s Performance Vaquera Distressed Brown Western Boots, feature hand-nailed soles.

Grain

Between full grain and corrected grain leather, higher quality boots will typically be full grain leather. Full grain leather will have an unblemished texture that isn’t tampered with when manufacturing the boot. This type of leather ages remarkably well in the long-run, so if you want to guarantee quality leather for years to come, full grain is the right choice for you. Corrected grain leather is of cheaper quality and has been synthesized to give off the appearance of consistency. This doesn’t possess the natural quality of the full grain and won’t allow much freedom for your feet.

Lining

If you want the best boot for your buck, then you are going to want to look at the lining of the boots you’re interested in purchasing. High quality lining will use leather to accommodate the wearer’s feet. Treading on wet surfaces, or sweaty feet won’t hinder the leather lining. This keeps your feet cool and negates any feeling of dampness. Lower quality boots tend to favor rubber, fabric, or materials such as polyester as a lining. These materials don’t allow moisture to be absorbed, leading to quicker wear and tear.

Ability to Be Resoled

Resoleable boots have the capacity to last for decades, and can be easily resolved by either hand or machine. The multi-level process involves adding a buffer between the insole and outsole, thereby providing the boot with a protective layer. Lower quality boots won’t be able to be resoled, meaning you will need to completely replace them once the sole wears out. Look for boots specifically featuring the Goodyear Welt, which is regarded as the most durable way to construct a boot. This method utilizes a strip of leather or rubber around the perimeter of the boot’s sole, which is then lockstitched to the sole, the upper, and the insole.

When looking to select a fashionable pair of boots that embody all of the factors listed above, know that the most exceptional will be found in the best manufacturers in Western markets. Keep these tips in mind, and you are sure to find fashionable boots that spare no expense in quality.