Make More Margin: FREE Productivity eBook from Ultimate Bundles!

As a professional-grade procrastinator, I’m always on the lookout for anything that will help me get the most done with the least amount of effort!

Ultimate Bundles has a productivity bundle coming out towards the end of the month and are offering a free eBook over the next few days as a prelaunch special!

Make More Margin offers 75 productivity tips that should help you free up an hour or two every week! Who couldn’t use an extra hour or two?

You’ll learn what time-saving tips successful bloggers use to free up time  (I like the Pomodoro Method), and their favorite productivity tools or services (I’m a big fan of Trello).

You’ll also hear about hobbies or self-care habits that can be incorporated into your busy schedule (happy to see so many people include reading on their list!), and how they use those small pockets of free time that pop up throughout the day (more reading!).

Found the question of “what would you say to someone who feels guilty taking time for themselves, especially when there’s so much to do” interesting. I think that this is one where it’s easier to give advice than to actually take it.

Was interesting seeing what everyone had to share, and I even picked up a couple of new tips to try!

The free ebook is only available until February 11th, 2019, so be sure to download your copy today!

Taking the plunge: Joining Dare To Conquer

I had a plan.

I had it all figured out.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men….

I’ve been blogging off and on for over nine years, but I was ready to kick things up a notch. I wanted to move from hobby blogger to the pros.

So I started signing up for free email courses. Joined mailing lists and Facebook groups. I even bought a couple of blogging bundles (the Genius Bloggers Toolkit).

My original plan was to finish working through the Genius Bloggers Toolkit before buying any other courses. I have both the 2017 and the 2018 kits, so there’s plenty of material to work through.

As an easily distracted, professional-level procrastinator, I’d say I wasn’t even halfway done with the 2017 kit, much less the 2018 one.

Don’t judge me.
Continue reading “Taking the plunge: Joining Dare To Conquer”

Sips by Tea Subscription Box – December 2018

One of my Facebook friends mentioned that she has a subscription box for teas. I love tea! I love subscription boxes! I wanted to learn more.
Turns out there’s a subscription box called Sips by that will send you new teas to sample every month.
Color me intrigued!
Sips by

Who are they?

Sips by™ is an Austin-based startup founded by a small group of tea lovers who want discovering tea to be fun, personalized, and affordable. Through our monthly tea subscription box, we’ll inspire you to explore the big wide world of tea. From loose leaf tea to teabags, herbal tea to caffeinated tea, we’re your one-stop online tea shop. (source)

What do you get?

Sips by Boxes typically contain 4 tea placements. The contents of each Sips by Box will vary from month to month showcasing different tea types, brands, and flavors according to your profile, your product reviews, and other feedback you choose to provide to us. (source)

How do they know what I’ll like?

You take a quiz when you first join so they can get an idea on what kinds of tea you prefer. Then, with every box, you rate the teas so they can further personalize your selections each month.

My December box:

Was pleasantly surprised by my first box!
December Sips by subscription box
Thrive by Organic India


Green Tea, Ashwagandha, Krishna Tulsi, Rama Tulsi, Vana Tulsi, Lemongrass, Organic Lemon Flavor (all organic) 

Tulsi, or Holy Basil, is a sacred plant in India and is known as “The Queen of the Herbs” for its restorative and spiritual properties. This blend helps with energy levels, mood and stress.

Caffeine level – low

Thrive tea by Organic India
I’m not a big fan of green tea in general, but the low caffeine level does mean I can drink it at night without worrying about it keeping me up. A mild, inoffensive, slightly fruity flavor.

Organic Assam Black Tea Bag by Mana Organics

Organic Assam Black Tea from Chota Tingrai, a family-run tea estate in India

Brisk, bold, and pure, this single-estate black tea is excellent for waking you up in the morning or replacing your afternoon cup of coffee.

Caffeine level – high

Since I’m not a morning person, I need all the caffeine I can get to get me up and running in the morning! This tasted like regular black tea to me, nothing unique or special.


Tea Ifri by Sayra

Green Tea, Rose Hip, Goji Berries, Cranberry, Red Currant, Natural Flavor 

This delicate blend of red berries and green tea is inspired by the warrior goddess Ifri – in North Africa, she was long deemed to be the defender of merchants.

Caffeine level – low

I usually don’t care for green tea but this one was different. Since it was low caffeine, I was able to drink it at night before bed. A nice, mild flavor.


Apple Cinnamon by Zest Tea

South Indian Black Tea, Cinnamon Chips, Apple Pieces, Cinnamon & Apple Flavors, Natural Caffeine

Zest is the tea industry’s answer to a coffee-level cuppa. This one tastes like delicious apple pie in a cup!

Caffeine level – coffee-level

apple cinnamon tea by Zest Tea

This one was my favorite! There were actual bits of apple in the mesh tea bag! Gave me that much needed jolt of caffeine in the morning, with an awesome hint of apple.

Are you a tea lover? Ever try Sips by? Have any favorite teas you can recommend? I love discovering new teas so very happy to have found the Sips by subscription box!

Shy Shiloh: The Yearly Vet Visit

Tales of a Shy Dog: The Yearly Vet Visit
Took Shiloh to the vet for her yearly check-up today. 
She trotted out of the house just fine, but came to a screeching halt when she saw the car. Tried to coax her into the car, but no dice. 
Here we go….
Lifted her into the car. 
Drove to the vet.
Lifted her out of the car. 
Tried to coax her into the building. 
Carried her into the building. 
She trembled like a leaf as we waited. Thankfully there was no one else waiting as Shiloh is extra skittish around strangers.
Slid her from the waiting room into the exam room (she plops down and refuses to move so thank goodness for tile floors). 
Slid her from the exam room to the scale. She now weighs 61 lbs. She was a scrawny 43 lbs when we adopted her 2 years ago, so yay! 
She walked back into the exam room on her own. Straight to the door, ready to leave. Sorry girl, not yet.
Waited in the office for the vet, then tried to coax her out from under the table (Shiloh, not the vet). 
Slid her out from under the table for her exam. 
Shout out to our awesome vet for understanding and getting down on the floor with Shiloh for the exam! 
Shiloh was really good while they took blood, examined her, and gave her her booster shots. 
Once done, she trotted out of the exam room, said hello to a kitten in the waiting room, then pulled my husband out to the car and jumped into it like a champ.
Curled up on her pillow for the drive home and once home, only hid in the closet to decompress for a few minutes. 
Believe it or not, this was a big improvement over last year’s visit! I’m so proud of my fearful little girl! Exhausted and sore, but proud.

Previous Tales:

Review: Stone & Beam 3 Piece Striped Cotton Towel Set

This post may contain affiliate links. That means that if you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. There is no extra cost to you.

There was no product description available when I requested these from Amazon Vine for review, but I’m always on the look-out for nice towels so decided to take a chance.

These are listed as striped cotton towels in charcoal, but they’re actually white towels with charcoal stripe accents along the bottom. There are three towels in the set: a bath towel, a hand towel, and a wash cloth. They came nicely packaged, ready for gift giving.

Stone & Beam 3 Piece Striped Cotton Towel Set in Charcoal
gift ready!
These are not as plush as I’d hoped, but they weren’t too thin either. I guess you’d consider them medium thick? The bath towel is a good size and has a sewn-in hook for hanging, which is a nice touch.
The towels came through the first two washes fine but be aware that you’re supposed to wash them on cold with no chlorine bleach, fabric softener, or dryer sheets. They also recommend you wash them separately from dark colors. These towels are a bit of a diva!
Sadly, my fears about white towels came true and the wash cloth and hand towel were soon stained. The hand towel looks okay, but is a little dingy. The wash cloth is stained and without using bleach, I doubt I’ll be able to get it back to its original whiteness.
Aside from the stains, there were no other issues. Not as plush or thick as I’d hoped, but they’re a good, everyday towel.

Postcards 3-23-18

from Kelly
A colorful postcard from my penpal Kelly

A lovely card from my pal Sienna, all the way from the Philippines!
A postcard of Idaho Springs from my new pal Corynn from Idaho!