Friday Favorites #14

Hi Friends! How are you doing this week? Good I hope although many I know right now including me- are not doing so great. For one reason or another, everyone seems to be struggling right now and I feel so heavy for all of us. Whether you know it or not, I am with you and I love and care about you. This weekend should be nice never the less because it’s our anniversary on September 19th. It’s been 12 years which means I have had this blog for 11 years- if you have been around for any length of time, let me know down below and celebrate with me. Life has hit me hard this past week with some family emergencies but; I got myself into text counseling and I’m sharing some great links this week to heighten our serotonin levels, right? Okay here we go.

Favorite Videos

When you follow someone for this long and you still support them and love them- it’s Q&A time!

Basically it’s gonna be a best friend reunion!


Favorite Posts

30 ways to find Happy in September

How to wake up right away and not sleep in!

Love your perfectly imperfect lived in home

Favorite Pictures

Be sure to check out for all your customization and ios wallpaper/widget needs! Her IG is private but I’m including her here.

Favorite Products

I fell In love with these new mirrored phone cases I was waiting for..

Shackets of your dreams!

Eevee really needed a bigger puzzle bowl– so I just ordered this one for her

I hope everyone has a GREAT weekend! Check out my instagram here too @noraspaulding

10 Fall Scented Products I Love

*I’m a rep for Scentsy and doTerra because I love and use their products, I do make a small commission from these sales.*

The autumn season is almost here and I know we all love our PSLs and color changing leaves, sweaters and boots-all things we associate with this time of year. I have a few favorite products that remind me of fall and cozy feels. So I will be sharing some of those common items below.

Soap: Harvest Hand Soap Bundle

Candle: Blueberry Maple Pancakes by Bath and Body Works

Multi purpose spray: Clean and Hand Soap Bundle -multipurpose spray, dish soap and hand soap (two scents)

Essential Oils: On Guard, Cedarwood, Cinnamon Bark, Copaiba, Hygge Cozy Blend (out October 1st), Breathe products, Herbal lipbalm

Drink: this Peppermint Mocha creamer by CoffeeMate in coffee is my fave. Or I know y’all and your PSL’s. I’m not a fan but if you are; we can still be friends!

Food: Fall Comfort Recipes– go here to follow me and check out this fall themed board.

Room Spray: Febreeze Air Freshener in Spiced Apple

Lotion: Sweater Weather body lotion another one of my favorite scents in candles, body sprays and more!

Body Scrub: Scentsy Body Scrubs – I have a jar from last year that is Butter Pecan, unavailable now but I would totally choose the Bright Cider Life one or the Appleberry one. Two of my favorite scent lines in everything is Luna and Cozy Cardigan so those are really nice too.

Treats: check out this search result from ‘seasonal desserts’ on Pinterest; everything from pumpkin baked goods, to apple pie to gingerbread pies, cakes, and loaves… and truffles, brownies and cheesecakes. I’m not a lover of pumpkin anything but get me a lava cake or a truffle of chocolate or MAPLE anything and you have me hooked!

Well that’s about all I have for you today! Share your favorite scents and fall products down below and thanks again for hanging out!

And if you like this type of blog post to check out my Friday Favorites collection here

and grab the Blog Better Checklist by signing up for the free newsletter returning later THIS FALL!

Don’t forget PIN me! 🙂

Friday Favorites #13

Hi my lovelies! I hope your September is off to a great start. Can we REALLY believe that it’s already quarter 3 almost 4? I mean whoa, where did 2021 go?!?! My year was very anticlimactic but it seems like it was more of the same CO-19 business and through phases of closures and openings again. It was a mind-fuck for me and it caused me to stay in way too much (despite being vaccinated). This week we did a lot of sleeping; we threw ourselves off any regular sleep-wake cycle, so I was haggard. I think I’ll be okay- just gotta do a reset routine and balance myself out. Having a broken toe has been kind of blows, my mobility is impacted and I can’t function normally. So I’m in a season of patience and rest I guess.

I’m so happy that fall is almost here and that the few plans we have including the turf in our yard in almost ready to start. I’m going to be so relieved to not deal with that grass/maintenance stuff anymore. What are you looking forward to this month? Share in the comments below! If you missed the post from Monday go check it out here-it was a great guest post #childfreebychoice

[contact me by email if interested in guest posting: I’d love to feature you here and talk about topics to share here]

Here is a collection of my favorite things lately; please leave yours down below-links allowed, let’s share some goodies with each other!

Favorite Videos

When you were younger did you ever play this game? My guess is YES! And if you were as into it as me, then you should watch these videos

Need some quick, easy, peasy dump and go recipes? I just found some I’m saving to my meal plan list

Moving vlogs are my favorite! Especially when it’s a beautiful new renovation (and Tara Michelle) 🙂

Favorite Posts

10 work from home tips to help you stay present and productive 

7  simple habits that will improve your life

5 habits to help you be more organized and put together

Favorite Pictures

Your life belongs to you quote

The Happy Planner Disney Princess line

 5 day home refresh challenge by Clean Mama

Favorite Products

My Favorite Candy!! (I’ve had way too much of it lately 😋)

To Go cup coozies-leopard, sublimation insulators

My facial steamer lately has been so NICE for self care


Sign up to get on my newsletter and grab your Blog Better checklist-coming back soon-TBA!

PIN ME! SHARE please and thank you~

An Option I Didn’t Know I Had

By Steve Lutz 

I never thought being child free was a choice. I just assumed that I’d eventually become a father, do the best I could, love my kid, and suppress any resentment that may bubble up. That was until I met my wife. 

Growing up as a boy in the 80’s, society wasn’t too concerned about whether or not I had children. They were far more concerned with selling me action figures, sugar-based breakfast cereal, and the promise that the latest technology would bring me the happiness and peace my life was so sorely missing. Since I had to discover the pessimistic cynicism I now wear like a badge, I ate it all up like a bowl of Smurf Berry Crunch on a Saturday morning. They didn’t care if I would eventually be a parent or not, and If I was, they didn’t care what kind of parent I was, so long as I passed along that healthy consumerism I was taught so well. 

As time went on, I found myself awkwardly (and often unsuccessfully) spending more time with girls and women. Simultaneously, the public school system was doing some stumbling of their own. Tasked with educating about our bodies and ourselves, without being too graphic, too vague, too religious, too secular, and most of all, not too pro-sex. The message seemed to be : “Sex? Bad. But inevitable. 

AIDS? bad, but most likely inevitable. 

Periods? vague but bad. Also inevitable. 

Masturbation? Bad, but ultimately harmless, THOUGH YOU MUST NEVER DO IT FOR IT SHALL BRING UPON THE MIGHTY SHAME OF YOUR ANCESTORS!!! Wet Dreams? Probable. 

While I proved the latter points of knowledge to be completely false, the rest seemed muddy and confusing to me. When I found myself in a serious long term relationship, it was first clunky, excited passion with caution thrown to the wind. As weeks turned to months into years, the prospect of a life together began to grow. Moving in together, sharing things, the prospect of a future. Naturally, questions arose. One that frequently came up is when we were going to have kids. 

When? Yeah, at the time it was just kinda assumed it was a “when” situation, not an “if” situation. We talked about having kids in the distantish future as assumed agreement to a discussion we never had. Honestly, I wasn’t upset by it. I just figure that’s what one does. You fall in love, move in, get a real job, have a kid or two, raise them, retire, die. I didn’t think about what I thought about. I just tried to imagine myself as a cool dad, driving them around in an old Volvo, teaching them to appreciate black licorice and They Might Be Giants. The concept of choice hadn’t even entered my mind. 

As most good relationships in your 20’s do, this one ended. It was sad, but not surprising. Things had run their course, and I think we were both the better for it. From there, I found myself

in and out of relationships of varying seriousness, mostly learning more about myself, and what I wanted out of life. Then I met Laura. 

Laura and Steve

Laura and I fell in love fast and it stuck. We moved in together after 7 months and never looked back. As we cohabitated, she taught me a very valuable lesson that probably should have already known: You can just live the life you want. You don’t have to live up to someone else’s expectations. You can find your own happiness, and that’s all you have to do. I remember being in a grocery store with Laura, and a loud, screaming child was going berserk, throwing items from the shopping cart they were sitting in, while a harried mother tried her best, offering ineffective bargaining tools to calm their progeny down. “I’m never having kids’ ‘, Laura retorted, with a sense of relief. 

This blew my mind. Though I knew the concept in the abstract, I really never thought people could just opt to not have kids. This was the most liberating thing I had ever heard in my life. Here I was, spending my life with the person I love the most, with a job that provided me with financial comfort and not too much dread. My days were filled with shopping, going out for drinks, plenty of naps, reading books, and staring at screens. It was the perfect balance between being a happy 6 year old and a content 76 year old. That’s all I ever wanted. 

Laura was resolute in never having children. That was completely fine by me, as I was discovering that my ambivalence in being a parent was more of trying to please others than to ask myself what I really wanted. Which was to have a life with Laura, a cat, and nobody else. It was a simple choice. 

For other people, however, our decision wasn’t so open and shut. When the topic arose, we would happily declare our childless future, and would always be faced with “oh, you’ll change your mind”, or “but you would make such good parents!”. It’s weird for people to try to convince you to do something that doesn’t benefit them, that you don’t want to do. If I stood on a soap box and shouted “I do not want to be a professional balloon animal artist”, I feel most people wouldn’t try to change my mind. 

As annoying as the reactions we received as a couple were, what Laura experienced individually were far worse. People just could not believe that she, a healthy woman, wouldn’t want to wreck her body for 9 months to have an onus for the rest of her life. They all believed there was an emotional time bomb inside of Laura’s brain, about to explode and make her baby crazy. They would not believe her when she said otherwise. 

We enjoy our freedom. We give our love to each other and our spoiled cat, Milo. I have a life better than I could have ever imagined, and there is nothing missing. If you desire to procreate, more power to you, I guess. It’s just not for us. 

There’s nothing inherently wrong with children, they’re just not my kind of people. To be fair, most people are my kind of people. But kids have no filter, no need to please others. They just are who they are until they’re told otherwise. I respect that. I’m jealous of that. I just don’t want to spend any time with that. 

Kids also feel the need to constantly be entertained. I get it, so do I, but they’re just so bad at appreciating humor. When something tickles them, they just want to hear the same thing over again and again. They just run the joke into the ground, until the semblance of comedy is nowhere to be seen. 

Have you heard how loud kids are? They’re always screaming at something. As a bookish introvert, that wears on me quickly. When my parents picked me up on my first day of kindergarten, my primary review of the day was that the kids, my peers, were too loud. 

Okay, so I guess for me, there are several things inherently wrong with children. But more than anything I like being able to do or not do whatever I want whenever I choose. It may seem selfish, but I just think it’s realistic and honest. 

Steve Lutz is an improviser, writer, and podcaster. He can be heard weekly co hosting the 138th Simpsons Podcast.

Hi! I'm Nora

I’m a stay-at-home wife & dog-mom. I began this blog ten years ago,  I couldn’t ignore that I felt a calling to help people find comfort, a sense of belonging or a place of community whenever they really needed it. » Read more about me here on my About page!

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