Weekly Reading Round-up: Yoga, Cuba, and Pop Tarts!

the best posts from my favorite blogs this week

I’m taking a break from DIY projects and home renovations to share some other goodies from around the web! Every Friday morning, come back here for a round-up of the things I’ve discovered online this week! From DIY building, home decor, parenting and recipe ideas, these blog posts are all the best of the best! I don’t want you to miss them.

There are a lot of blogs in the universe. Here’s how I keep track of my favorite ones, without needing some fancy app: Bookmarks! That’s right. I go so old-school. I have a Bookmarks Tab in my web browser that I’ve dubbed “blogs I love”. The I find a new blog that has content I like, I add their home page to the list. Then when I’m bored or have a spare five minutes, I like to pull up this tab and browse through each of these bloggers’ most recent posts. Here’s a screenshot of what my bookmarks look like. I have a lot of blogs saved, so this is just a sampling:


Now that you know the secret to my sauce, let’s get to it! Here are my favorite posts from the Blogosphere this week:

30 Days of Yoga

I absolutely love yoga but, much like everything else I love, when I became a wife, then a parent, and then a solo entrepreneur (all within five years!), I found myself turning away from it.

Schedules are hectic. Mornings are crazypants. Evenings are exhausting. Days are filled with too many tasks to list. With all of these new-found responsibilities, I just didn’t leave time for myself.

So when I saw Crystal at That Old Kitchen Table had participated in a 30 Days of Yoga Challenge, I thought to myself Hmmm.. Maybe this is the thing I need to turn it back into a habit.

I’ve been waking up at 5:00 every morning and committing 15 minutes of yoga and meditation to my mornings. Before I even guzzle my first gallon of coffee, I’m preparing my mind and body for the day that lies ahead.

I’ll admit, this isn’t easy. In the mornings, I really just want to drink my hot beverage and stare at a computer screen for a while. But I’m getting there. It’s not a hobby YET but maybe I can change that.

Here’s the full post for Crystal’s experience: 5 Things I Learned From 30 Days of Free Yoga Classes Online

DIY Painted Patio Umbrella

So I don’t actually own an outdoor umbrella. I never have. Cue the shock and panic, I know. I’ve always wanted one but I never invested the money in one because they all kind of looked like crap. Not at first, of course. Straight from the retailer, they’re all super cute and packed with potential for sunny days spent breezily relaxing in the shade, right? Sure.

But then how many times have you seen a pile of crap on a curb that your neighbors are throwing away? And how many times have you spotted a janky-looking patio umbrella right at the top of that pile? I always took this as a sign from the universe that patio umbrellas are a waste of good funds because they only last a season and then fall apart or fade.

And then inspiration struck in the form of a DIY tutorial from Heather at The Heathered Nest. Her solution? Paint it. Duh. It’s so obvious and yet somehow I’d never even thought of it.

So now I’m on the hunt for one of those neighbor’s trash piles so I can bring home a free umbrella and paint it back to beauty, just like Heather did.

Here’s her full tutorial: How to Paint an Outdoor Umbrella

How Design Can Influence Employees’ Productivity

Before I begin, please allow me to give a little background on my work life: I have been an entrepreneur, meaning that I rely entirely on my own ability to produce income, for less than a year. During that time, I’ve worked exclusively from home. The seven years prior to that, I was employed full-time by a large corporation that allowed me to work from home as well.

I did not love that job. I did not love the contribution I was making to society in that role. I did not feel valued. I did not make a substantial-enough salary to stay in that job long-term. Only I DID stay in that job long-term because I was allowed to work from home.

Working from home has been a saving grace for me. I am not a sitter. I’m antsy. I need to be able to move around in order to stay “in the zone”. While this may seem counterproductive, I assure you that the decade before I worked from home was far more taxing on my mental and physical health and resulted in much lower production than the seven years I worked from home.

In our modern society, I know a lot of people who sit in front of computers all day long. Whether they are answering calls from clients, analyzing data, or drafting code to build websites, they are all just sitting there. Some of them are allowed to do this work from the comforts of their living rooms or home offices. However, most are still required to schlep into an office every day where they are asked to sit still – and quiet – while being surrounded by cubicles and half-walls filled by other people in similar positions.

This, my friends, is bullshit. If a job can be managed at a desk and all outside communication is handled electronically (or with landline telephones), those people could be performing the same duties in their own homes. I have no tolerance for corporations that still require employees to gather in silence every single day and perform duties they could otherwise be tackling at a remote location.

Now, that said, here’s a piece from Amber Janae that guides employers to find ways to enhance their staff’s overall productivity through design. It’s thought-provoking and interesting. I think you’ll enjoy reading it and discovering that design is good for more than just pretty homes. Maybe forward it to your boss.

Is There A Correlation Between Design & Productivity?

Pop Tarts For Your Birthday (Yes, Please!)

My daughter’s birthday is coming up in a couple of months and we’re in full-on planning mode over here. This is the first year I feel like she really understands what a birthday is and I’m super excited to make it a big celebration of her!

My first idea: Well, it’s not mine. It’s actually Taylor’s idea from jojotastic but I’m happy to be stealing it as my first attempt at baking to kick off my daughter’s birthday weekend celebration!

Utlimate Funfetti Birthday Pop Tarts Recipe

My Dream Vacation Destination: Havana, Cuba

When Christine and I first met, it was around the timing of the Obama Administration’s decision to relieve the embargo on Cuba. I remember reading that news at my desk and then gleefully telling her that I wanted to go to Havana and being thrilled when she agreed it was a must-see for her as well. Back then, we weren’t married or even dating, but we were best friends and we did travel together. At the time, I was hoping she’d agree to use some of her coveted airline miles to help me get there. She didn’t and we didn’t go.

Now, ten years later, I’m still dying to see Havana but this time, we have a kid. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Having a young kid makes basically any task seem impossible. A trip to Target is a dreadful experience, so I can’t even imagine trying to get my rascal on a plane.

But then Em at La Casa, La Selva posted this amazing trip she made with her family to Cuba last Winter and now I’m all Yes, we can.

Is There A Correlatation Between Design & Productivity?

Is There A Correlatation Between Design & Productivity?

Exploring The Streets of Havana (With Kids)

Happy Reading!




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