Category: Thoughts

2017 Recap and 2018 Goals

A year with a toddler feels both so short and so long at the same time.  I thought with the beginning of a new year, I’d take a trip down memory lane and recap our 2017.  I’d also like to share with you some goals I’ve made for 2018.  I’m hoping you can help hold me accountable!

We traveled to…

We celebrated…

My favorite posts to write were…

My goals for 2018…

Be more present by being on my phone less.  I downloaded a great app called Moment to help me track time spent on the phone each day.  I am setting a personal goal of less than 2.5 hours on the phone every day.  That seems like a lot of time, but y’all! – The average young adult spends five hours on their phone each day!

I’ve turned off a lot of notifications (something I’ve talked about before), and I’m trying to keep my phone out of my bedroom, since I often find myself scrolling the social feeds when I’m tired rather than reading or just going to sleep.  I used to use my phone as an alarm clock, but after this study came out, I ordered this vibrating alarm clock to use instead.  I’ve been using it for almost a month now and have been really happy with it!

Read more nonfiction.  I read a lot of books in 2017 and roughly a third of them were nonfiction.  I’d like to bring that ratio closer to 50:50 by alternating back and forth between fiction and nonfiction.  I have sooo many fiction books on my To-Be-Read shelf, but not as many nonfiction.  Please share your recommendations for educational, but still exciting, nonfiction reads!

Run another half marathon!  The last half marathon I ran was the Disney Princess Half the week I found out I was pregnant.  Strangely, I was sick all weekend except for during the race – morning sickness is so weird!  I miss the tired legs and sense of achievement I only feel after finishing a long run.  Chatham and I signed up for the Seaside Half Marathon, which is coming up on March 4.  This will be his first half marathon and my first since having a baby, and I couldn’t be more excited!

Get back in the swing of meal planning.  I used to be great about meal planning and even wrote a post about how I do it.  Over the last few months, with the holidays and with Carla May needing so much attention, meal planning has fallen by the wayside.  I always feel better about my day when I know what we are having for dinner, so I’d like to get back in the routine of planning and prepping our meals at the beginning of each week.

Keep coming up with new ideas for Hello Marilu.  Blogging has been such a fun creative outlet for me this year, and I wish I had started years ago!  Documenting our lives and sharing things I care about with you brings me so much joy.  I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone by shooting style posts, getting accepted into liketoknow.it, and sharing personal stories.  I have learned so much about blogging and so much about myself. Thank you for your support and encouragement!

Outfit Details: scrunchie (similar), pullover (same style different color), leather leggings, tennis shoes, baby romper, baby jacket (similar)

 

What would you like to see more of on the blog?  Books? Travel? How to’sRecipes? Style

This blog is about me but it would be nothing without YOU!

Looking forward to a wonderful 2018!

xoxo

How To Write Thank You Notes

With Christmas behind us, it is time once again to show our gratitude for all we’ve been given by writing and sending thank you notes.  To me, thank you notes are an important way to show gift-givers your appreciation and a great exercise to reflect on your personal gratitude as well.

Thank you notes don’t have to be long or extremely thought-out – just a simple three to five sentences to let the gift giver know that (1) you received the gift and (2) you are grateful!

Step 1: Keep Track of Gifts

During or right after every event (Christmas, birthday parties, birth of a baby, etc.),  keep a running list of gifts you have received and from who.

I try to make notes about things I might mention in my thank you notes, such as if someone made special effort to stop by and visit, or if they came to a party we hosted, or if they’ll be in town soon.

As soon as possible after the event (within one week is preferable), sit down with your thank you notes list and get to work!

Step 2: Gather Materials

thank you notes materialsAll you really need is paper and a pen, but pretty cards certainly make writing (and receiving) thank you notes a little more special.  My favorite thank you cards are from Emily McDowell Studios, Rifle Paper Co., and Target (of course!).  I am obsessed with Pilot Precise V5 pens and use them for EVERYTHING!

Step 3: Acknowledge Receipt of Gift

thank you notesYour first sentence is simple: “Thank you so much for ______!”

Step 4: Compliment Gift or Gift Giver

thank you notesThe next sentence should be a compliment about the gift or about the gift giver, or if you are feeling extra gracious, then both!

Step 5: Catch Up

thank you notesThis is where the note gets personal.  Use a sentence or two to catch up with the gift giver.  This is where my notes from Step 1 come in handy!

Step 6: Thank the Gift Giver Again

thank you notesEnd with another thank you: “Thank you, again!”  And then sign your name.  And send (ASAP!).

Have you gotten all your thank you notes written already?

Let me know in the comments below!

xoxo

How to Make New Year’s Resolutions You Will KEEP

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Note: This New Year’s Resolutions article appears in this month’s issue of The Beachcomber.

Around January 1st, many people feel motivated to get their life together –  to finally get in shape or get organized or save money.  Then a couple weeks into the new year, those well-meaning goals are forgotten and people continue living the same way they always have.

Back in 2013, I set a New Year’s Resolution to give up coffee for a year.  After 365 days without coffee, but with a newfound sense of self-discipline, that hot cup of Joe on New Years’ Day 2014 was a real treat.

Today I’d like to share with you a few tips and tricks to get a little more leverage out of your New Year’s Resolutions for 2018.

#1: Keep it Simple and Intentional

So many people plan to start exercising, eat healthier, quit smoking, get organized, read more, and save more money all at the same time.  My advice is to pick just one resolution that means the most to you and focus all your energies on that.

I chose to give up coffee because if I had to go without it for one reason or another, I was grumpy and miserable.  I didn’t like being dependent on a hot cup of caffeine to get me through the morning.  I made no other resolutions that year – going without coffee was enough of a change!

According to the American Psychological Association, willpower-depletion can cause the brain to function differently, leading to a loss in self-control.  In other words, the best way to set yourself up for failure is to have a list of resolutions a page long.  Keep it simple and intentional: pick one resolution, and make it one you care about.

#2: Be Specific

Your goal should have some kind of measurable quality to it.  It should be clear how and when this goal will be achieved. My coffee resolution was simple and specific: Don’t drink coffee.  If I made it through each day without a cup, I achieved my goal.  Other examples for common resolutions:

  • Rather than resolving to “eat healthier,” resolve to “eat vegetables with every meal.”
  • Rather than resolving to “save more money,” resolve to “put $200 in savings every month in 2018.”
  • Rather than resolving to “read more, ” resolve to “read twenty books in 2018.”
  • Rather than resolving to “start exercising,” resolve to “go on a thirty minute run three days a week every week in 2018.”

The key to setting yourself up for success is to be as specific as possible and to create clear points of achievement so you know when to pat yourself on the back.

#3: Make a Plan

I would guess that this is the area where most well-intended goals fall by the wayside.  Think about your resolution, and put together a plan of action for accomplishing it.

This step will look different depending on your goal, but here are a few examples:

  • If your goal is to improve your diet by eating vegetables with every meal, then set aside some time in your schedule each week to meal plan and prep.  Download a meal-tracking app like MyFitnessPal and keep up with your daily intake of vegetables.
  • If your goal is to save $200 each month, set up auto-transfers from your checking account to your savings account on the day you get your paycheck each month.  Or mark your calendar for the same day each month to make that transfer yourself. Think about ways to cut costs in your daily life to make this transfer possible.
  • If your goal is to read twenty books in 2018, set up a shelf in your home of books you’d like to read or make a list of books you’d like to check out from the library.  Think about all of the time you spend scrolling through Facebook or playing games on your phone: Where are you typically sitting when you are zoning out on the social media feeds?  Put a book nearby so that you’ll remember your goal and read instead.
  • If your goal is to exercise three days a week, pencil that time into your schedule.  Even better, pick a fitness class or a workout buddy to schedule in each week, so that you’ve got help holding yourself accountable.

#4: Reward Yourself

You may remember “chore charts” from raising your children or maybe from your childhood.  It’s time to bring back the concept for yourself – Don’t underestimate the power of a gold star!

Draw up a Goal Chart to keep on your refrigerator or in your planner, and give yourself a gold star every time you make a step toward achieving your goal (every book read, or workout done, or savings transfer, etc.).  The feeling of accomplishment you get from adding another sticker to your chart will remind you of your progress and keep you motivated to continue working toward your goal.

Extra Credit:  Read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.  Author Duhigg shares the science behind how much of our daily behavior is attributed to habits.  He shares science-based strategies for changing your habits and improving your life.

Good Luck!

Are you making any New Year’s Resolutions this year?  

Let me know in the comments below!

xoxo

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Giving Tuesday: Nonprofits Need Your Support!

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On Thanksgiving, we are grateful for all we have and enjoy the holiday with food, family, and festivity.  Then, all madness breaks loose as we give in to our consumerist natures, shopping and spending like crazy on Black Friday and Cyber Monday (the dollars don’t count if you’re “saving” right?!?).  Giving Tuesday is a perfect bookend, grounding us once again in what the holiday season should be all about: love, grace, gratitude, community, and charity.

Giving Tuesday is “a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.”  Giving Tuesday is a day to atone for our glut and greed and to spend our money and time where they make the most impact: our local charitable organizations doing important work in our communities.

Today, on Giving Tuesday, I encourage you to donate your time or dollars to a charitable organization that is near and dear to your heart, be it a church, a soup kitchen, or an animal rescue center.

Here are the charitable organizations that mean the most to me:

E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center

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The amazing team of educators and scientists at the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center promote conservation and environmental stewardship by educating thousands of children each year free of charge with a concentration on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) subjects.  The Biophilia Center utilizes their incredible campus and trails through Nokuse Plantation, a 54,000 acre nature preserve, as an outdoor classroom to enhance the experience of students, who may not otherwise have the opportunity to take a walk in the woods.  The Biophilia Center is also home to many rescued animals, including birds of prey, reptiles, skunks, and bobcats.  Beginning Summer 2019, the Biophilia experience will be open to out-of-area children as well, with the opening of Camp Longleaf, a nature-themed summer camp program!

Junior League of the Emerald Coast

giving tuesday junior leage of the emerald coastThe Junior League of the Emerald Coast is an incredible women’s service organization that focuses on developing women as trained volunteers and community leaders, as well as helping local children in need.  The Junior League partners with other charities benefiting children in the area to provide materials and trained volunteers.  The JLEC’s signature event is the Child Clothing Project, in which the League takes between 300 and 400 needy children shopping each year for a new set of clothes.  The excitement on the children’s faces as they receive sometimes the first new clothes of their life is truly magical.

Florida Wildlife Federation

giving tuesday florida wildlife federationThe Florida Wildlife Federation promotes conservation through education and political action, advocating for the protection of Florida’s wildlife and natural environment.  A recent campaign the FWF led was on educating the public about Florida’s threatened gopher tortoise species.  Many people toss gopher tortoises into the water, thinking they are helping them, but tortoises do not swim!  FWF has been producing educational signage and posting signs in natural habitats throughout the state of Florida to prevent any accidents.

 

American Lunch

giving tuesday American Lunch

American Lunch‘s fleet of food trucks, or mobile soup kitchens, provides healthy and hot meals to anyone in need of a free lunch in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Mobile, Athens, Knoxville, and, soon, Destin!  Read more about the good work being done by American Lunch volunteers here and here.

Are you donating your time or money for Giving Tuesday this year?  What are your  favorite charitable organizations?

Let me know in the comments below!

xoxo

giving tuesday marilu signature

BLACK FRIDAY Favorites: Best Sales of the Day

How was your Thanksgiving?  I tried a new recipe for sweet potato biscuits.  They were flaky, delicious, and so easy to make.

On this special edition of Friday Favorites, I am rounding up the best Black Friday sales from across the web below.  I’ll be heading out to Grand Boulevard today to look at all of the Christmas decorations and check out the Black Friday sales at my two favorite stores: The Zoo Gallery and Anthropologie

Ann Taylor – 50% off everything with code THANKFUL through 11/24.

Anthropologie – 30% off everything online and in store plus surprises and treats in local stores.

Asos — 20% off everything with code WIN20 through 11/28.

Baublebar – Up to 30% off.

Boden – 30% off and free shipping wiht code CY8H through 11/27.

Crate & Barrel – 15% off full-price items with code SAVE15 through 11/27.

Everlane – Money spent on Black Friday helps build an organic farm in Vietnam to feed their workers for free!

Garnet Hill – 25% off full-price items and free shipping through 11/28.

J.Crew — 40% off everything with code THANKU through 11/26.

Kate Spade – 30% off everything with code GIVEJOY through 11/26.

Loft – 40% off everything with code GIFTITUP through 11/24,

Lululemon– Select items discounted.

Macy’s — 20% off with code HURRY through 11/25.

Madewell — 25% off everything with code DONTSTRESS through 11/26.

Nike – 25% off sale items with code EPIC25 through 11/28.

Nordstrom – 20% off select sale items through 11/27.

Old Navy – 50% off select items.

Outdoor Voices– 20% discount with code STOCKUP through 11/27.

Pottery Barn – Up to 50% off and free shipping with code BLACKFRIDAY.

Saks – Up to 60% off through 11/24.

Sephora – Up to 50% off.

Shopbop – 75% off sale items and 30% off full-priced styles with code MORE17 through 11/27.

Show Me Your MuMu– 40% off select styles with code BLKFRIMU.

TopShop — Up to 50% off and free shipping through 11/27. 

West Elm– Up to 30% off and free shipping with code SAVEMORE.

Urban Outfitters — Buy one, get one 50% off through 11/24.

Zappos – Discounts on discounts on discounts.

Will you be shopping the Black Friday sales online or in person today?  Or are you saving your money for Small Business Saturday tomorrow? 

Let me know in the comments!

xoxo

Meal Planning with the Organic Vegetable Co-op

This week, I would like to share with you how to plan out your weekly meals with produce from an organic vegetable co-op bin.  I’ve mentioned before on the blog that we are members of the Emerald Coast Organic Co-op, an organic fruit and vegetable co-operative based at Cafe Organic in Fort Walton Beach, which allows us to purchase a bin of assorted fresh, organic groceries at a discount twice a month.  Because the co-operative orders seasonal produce for the entire group, we never know what fruits and vegetables we will get until we arrive to pick up our bin.  The variety of produce challenges me to try new recipes.  I had never cooked leeks, kohlrabi, beets, bok choy, or watercress before we joined the co-op, and now we have them all on a regular basis!

Meal Planning with Co-op Veggies

Meal planning based on the produce we get in our co-op bin is not unlike how vegetable gardeners or frequenters of farmer’s markets might meal plan.  Basically, you just center your recipes around the produce you have on hand.  I’ll take you through this week’s bin as an example.  We normally cook at home three or four nights a week and eat leftovers or eat out (usually at La Paz) the other nights.

Each bin is FULL of produce, more than my family can typically eat, so we actually split it with a friend – we take turns picking items from the list until all produce is accounted for.  From the bin this week, I picked lettuce, collard greens, sprouts, broccoli, corn, onions, potatoes, ginger, and garlic.

Meal #1

My husband likes to grill out steaks, ribs, or wings one night each week, so I always choose vegetables that will make good sides for that night.  This week, those sides will be oven roasted corn on the cob (I add salt and pepper to the foil packs in the linked recipe) and creamy mashed potatoes.

Meal #2

I usually try to do some type of chicken recipe as well, again centered around whatever veggies we receive.  This recipe for caramelized onion and garlic chicken looks delicious!  I’ll probably make my favorite crock-pot collard greens (I add red pepper flakes) as a side, along with some crusty French bread.

Meal #3

The third home-cooked meal of the week is either breakfast (bacon, eggs, and fruit), spaghetti (in which I throw any and all remaining vegetables into my favorite tomato sauce base) with steamed frozen peas on the side, or a crock-pot freezer meal that I’ve prepared in advance (I make 20 or so freezer meals every 3-4 months just to have on hand for easy suppers – possible future blog post to come on this!).

Extras

We will use the lettuce and sprouts in salads and sandwiches for lunches this week, and my sister picked the ginger to use in homemade juices.  We love the variety and quality of the organic produce we receive through the co-op, and the discount to what we’d pay in the store is nice, too!

Planning around seasonal veggies is something human beings have been doing for a long, long time, and I find that the extra effort of doing so is definitely worth it.  With high-quality vegetables, you can sautée, roast, or steam them with just butter, salt, and pepper, and you get an absolutely delicious flavor with very little work involved.  All that to say, I highly recommend participating in your local co-op or buying seasonal produce from your local farmer’s market and meal planning accordingly!

While I was sorting vegetables, this is what my little monkey was up to….

Anyway, some of my favorite sources for easy weeknight recipes are listed below.  Enjoy!

A Peek Inside My Bullet Journal

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I’ve talked about bullet journaling in the past and promised to do a more in-depth write-up of how I use the bullet journaling system in my life.  Well, here it is!  What I love about bullet journaling is that you can really adapt it to your needs.  There is a basic framework, but at it’s core, it is a blank notebook and a writing utensil that can be utilized however you best see fit.

If you’ve never heard of bullet journaling or have but aren’t really sure what it means, check out the below intro video from the inventor of the system.

Now, I’d like to share with you how I’ve adapted this system to meet my needs.  Rather than starting with a “Future Log” and list-style monthly layouts, I have printed actual calendars and washi-taped them into my journal.  I’m a very visual person, and it helps me to see the days and weeks laid out like a normal calendar.  I use pink ink for my blog content planning, red ink for Alabama Football games, green for things I might do, and black for most everything else.  I thought I was going to run a marathon and had written out a loose training plan for that in blue ink, but I have since changed my mind (still on my list of things I’d like to do, just not this year!).

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My daily pages are a bit different than the original system, as I like to plan things out by time and also have room for notes, habit tracking, meal planning, photos, and stickers.  My layout changes to fit my needs, but since Carla May was born, I’ve used the layout below.  The top left portion is my to-do list and the top-right portion is my habit-tracker and meal planner (yes, when Carla May was a colicky baby, I had to remind myself to shower!).  The bottom portion of the page is my hourly tracker, divided into columns.  In the first column I tracked both my and Carla May’s sleep – the blue hatch marks are Carla May’s sleep and the black hash marks are mine.  In the next column , I tracked nursing and pumping, and the final column is for appointments, notes, photos, or anything else that I might need to remember.  When Carla May was first born, I had another column tracking wet and dirty diapers, but once I knew she was normal, I quit tracking that.

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As you can see below, I also quit tracking nursing – April 2nd is actually the day I stopped tracking it altogether.  Carla May is a great eater and was gaining weight just fine, so I didn’t see the value in tracking that anymore.  I’ve actually just stopped tracking her sleep in the last few weeks, too, but recording it all was so helpful back when we were still working on sleep training.  On fussy days, it is such a relief to go back and look at how far we’ve come!

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Another thing that is great about bullet journaling is the ease of creating “collection” pages.  If you think of something you’d like to track or take note of, it is simple to open to the next blank page and start writing.  One of the collection pages I use the most is my book tracker.  On the lefthand side, you can see how I track the books I read, and on the righthand side is a printed out page showing the Modern Mrs. Darcy 2017 Reading Challenge, where I have selected books that I would love to read that fit into the categories that Anne Bogel provided on her bookworm blog.  What can I say? I love a good reading assignment!

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I have all kinds of collections pages throughout my notebook – packing lists, meeting notes, lists of blog posts ideas, and my personal favorite collection – books to buy whenever I am at an independent bookstore.  If I hear of a book I’m interested in, but don’t need to read immediately, I jot it down on my list rather than ordering it from Amazon.  The next time I’m at an independent bookstore, I purchase as many of these as I can find (or as many as I can afford, whichever comes first).

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I will typically draw in a month’s worth of daily pages at a time and separate each with washi tape along the edge of  the page.  Collections pages typically go on blank pages in between months.  The washi tape helps me locate collections as well as determine where months end and begin within my bullet journal.

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For you school supply junkies out there, here are the materials I use:

  • Leuchtturm 1917 A5 Dotted Notebook – This is the gold standard bullet journal notebook.  Any kind of notebook will do, but this one works perfectly with its numbered and dotted pages, index, two ribbon bookmarks, back pocket, and elastic close.  Every once in awhile, they go on sale on Massdrop, and I’ll usually stock up.
  • Pilot Precise V5 Retractable black pens – I just love these.  They write really smoothly and no ink bleeds through the page.  The rectractable version is nice because you can use only one hand to get started writing, whereas I need two to open a pen with a cap (the things you never think about before babies, right??).
  • Staedtler Fineliners – I mentioned these in my Friday Favorites post last week and I still love them for when I need to add color.
  • Moleskine Pocket sized Ruled Journal – I keep one of these tucked in my bullet journal at all times for my notes for work.  I often take work phonecalls from home or on the go, and it is nice to have all of those notes in one place rather than scattered amongst my personal notes.  When I finish one of these, I write the date on the front, stick it in my desk drawer, and pop a new one into my bullet journal.  I’m a big fan of these little notebooks in general and give them as gifts a lot – they make great stocking stuffers!
  • Stickers and Washi Tape – I usually keep my eyes peeled at Target for when stickers and washi tape are on sale and always do a quick cruise of the $1 section.  I have scored some great finds this way.  I had a giftcard to the Lara Casey Shop recently and purchased the Cultivate What Matters stickerbook pictured above and have been really happy with the design, colors, and quality of those stickers as well.

If this is something you are interested in, I recommend you check out Instagram for some great bullet journal inspiration – go down the bullet journal rabbit hole by searching #bulletjournal or #bujo.

Do you have a bullet journal?  Would you like to?  Did your methods of planning and organization change when you had kids (or got a dog)?  I’d love to hear about how you organize your life!  

xoxo

 

 

How to Prepare for an Intentional Summer

This weekend, my sister Mellie got into town.  She is living with me this summer and interning at Nokuse Plantation, where she is researching gopher tortoises. As soon as she arrived, we sat down with stickers and fun markers and pens and started brainstorming.  We put together a Summer Bucket List, with the goal of making this summer an intentional one.  I am so used to my usual routine that if I don’t change things up, the Summer season can easily pass me by… well, not this year!

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If you’re wondering what XL Shakes Shakes are, check out Shakes Destin’s website.  Their  frozen custard milkshakes are like no other.  They are so rich and creamy and decadent that you can just feel your thighs expanding (but soooo worth it).  We decided this would be a perfect end-of-summer treat.

After creating our bucket list, we were motivated to start checking things off immediately.  Our afternoon consisted of a yummy lunch with a friend at The Local Market, followed by a trip to the playground. Carla May loved the tire swing, and we enjoyed it, too!

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It was a hot hot HOT day, so we set up the splash pad in the backyard next and had a BLAST!  Carla May loves water, and I adore watching her splash around.  We got the splash pad for $20 on Amazon (I think the brand is Bonzai?), and I can already tell we are going to get our moneys-worth this summer.

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Another thing Carla May and I did this weekend was buy more flowers at Lowe’s.  We always have fun looking at all the plants, especially the succulents.  While she was napping, I replanted my flower beds with vinca and salvia.  I had unfortunately overwatered the last batch and killed most of them… Gardening is certainly a learning process, but I am determined to turn this brown thumb green!

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Have you ever created a Summer Bucket List?  What do you want to accomplish this summer?

Also, please share your gardening tips with me!

 

xoxo

Hello Marilu

A first post is a lot of pressure. It shouldn’t be, since no one is reading yet, except maybe my sister (Hi, Mellie!), but that doesn’t eliminate the tingly, nervous feeling in my gut as I anticipate pressing “Publish” for the very first time.

“Why another blog?” you may ask, “What makes you special?”  Well, dear reader (Hi again, Mellie!), this isn’t totally about you. With two needy beagles, a wonderful husband, a sweet 5-month-old baby girl, a full-time job, and a house to keep up, I spend most of my time taking care of others.  I would really like something I can do entirely for myself.  I am hoping this project will allow me to explore my thoughts, interests, and adventures and document the life and times of my growing family.  It’s an added bonus that I get to share all of that with you!

The last five months of being a mom have shown me how quickly time passes. I don’t want to forget all of these special moments I have experienced with my family. I always imagined I would be one of those moms who diligently kept a scrapbook of our photos, but seriously, who has time for that these days? (Unless you do, then I would love to see your scrapbook!). Hopefully, this space will serve as my digital scrapbook of sorts.

Why Hello Marilu?  “Hello Mary Lou” is an old country song that was sung to me by nearly every older gentleman I encountered growing up in rural Alabama. As a result of hearing this song all the time throughout childhood, “Hello Mary Lou” gets stuck in my head a lot! Come to find out, there are about 100 versions of this song out now, in multiple languages.  Hello Marilu is meaningful to me because it is a familiar phrase I have been hearing my entire life, but the proper spelling of my name makes it mine.

I don’t have a niche like most blogs. Hello Marilu will be about me, my family, my interests, and my adventures.  Some of the interests I might explore on this page are mom-ing, reading, running, cooking, gardening, traveling, volunteering, and memes.  Stay tuned, and thank you for reading!

 

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