My Favorite Things
The little things that go a long way to enhance my quality of life
Note: Some of the links to my favorite things are affiliate links. By purchasing the product through my link you help to support the podcast. It does not change the price you pay.
Deseret Bookshelf Plus
I attend a neighborhood book club. Our selection for the month at the beginning of the year was "The Orphan Keeper" by Camron Wright, which had a hold list at the library a mile long. Because I had a deadline to read the book, I didn't want to wait. I saw that Deseret Bookshelf Plus had a free 30-day trial of their subscription program, which includes unlimited audiobooks. I signed up for the free trial, listened to my book for book club, and then, wanting to get my "money's worth," listened to several more books before the 30 days' end. I loved it so much I gladly decided to continue the service and pay the monthly subscription fee. Well played Deseret Book, well played. Some of my recent favorites include "The Infinite Atonement" by Tad Callister, "Weakness is Not Sin" by Wendy Ulrich, and "Planted" by Patrick Q Mason.
Click here to begin your free trial
Click here to begin your free trial
My favorite YouTube workout! High-energy dance cardio that lifts my mood every time. I love that I can break a serious sweat while dancing. And it's completely free. Thank you YouTube
I first heard about the "Five Minute Journal" from Hal Elrod's book The Miracle Morning, although at the time I didn't think much of it. When I was in the midst of my most recent bout of post-partum depression, I felt I needed to take up the practice of keeping a gratitude journal, so I went to the app store to find a simple digital journal that I could fill out while nursing my baby each morning. I discovered that the company that makes the Five Minute Journal had recently released an app version and it was extremely highly rated. I paid the $4.99 and haven't looked back since. This simple practice has literally changed my life. It is so much more than a gratitude journal; it is also a way to reflect and prioritize each day. In the words of the company itself:
The Five Minute Journal is your secret weapon to focus on the good in your life, become more mindful, and live with intention. With a simple structured format based on positive psychology research, you will start and end each day with gratitude. Side effects may include: increased happiness, better relationships, and becoming more optimistic. You’ve been warned.
The journal is available in traditional book form, or as an app for Apple and Android devices. I personally LOVE the app.
I rarely listen to the radio in the car anymore for several reasons:
1. I love podcasts and audiobooks.
2. Whenever I do turn the radio on, I can't stand what I hear. I'm not sure if current music is really that awful or if I'm just getting old. Probably a little of both.
3. When my kids are with me--which is often-- we listen to "The 50 Best Silly Songs of All Time" CD that I made the mistake of buying from the $5 bin at Wal-Mart several years ago. They love it; I try to remind myself that this phase won't last forever and pretty soon they are going to start asking for the Top 40 Pop Music station that I'm getting too old to stand.
When I do need some music in the car to help me chill me out or re-center, my go-to has become K-Love, a radio station that plays Christian-centered music 24 hours a day with no commercials. Really. And it's my understanding that you can find a station pretty much anywhere in the US, or perhaps even the world. Go to www.klove.com to find your local station or listen online.
My husband and I are huge fans of Dave Ramsey. The principles he teaches helped us achieve financial goals like paying off student loans and buying a home. The one aspect of Dave's advice that we have struggled with the most (us, along with 97% of the world population) is budgeting. We had no problem plugging our money into a program at the beginning of the month, giving each dollar an assignment, and moving forward with the best of intentions that we would be able to practice perfect self discipline and that nothing unexpected would ever happen. Yeah right! We never, not one.single.time, stayed within the budget we allotted ourselves by the end of the month. And it got exponentially harder after we started having children. Until we came across YNAB. This is seriously the best and most effective budgeting software in the history of the world. And we've tried everything...Microsoft Money, Excel, Mint, etc. The first month we used YNAB we actually had money left over in the bank at the end of the month. Seriously! And the best part is it doesn't feel restrictive or limiting. If you are a nerd like me, it is actually kind of fun. I won't get in to the mechanics of how it works because their website has very helpful explanations and tutorials so click here and check it out. You'll thank me later.