Happy Mothers Day Meghan Markle

Yes, I am one of the weird Americans completely enamored by the royal family. So, of course, the new royal baby has peaked my interest!
One week ago today the royal family welcomed the seventh in line for the throne, meaning that the Duchess of Sussex celebrated her first mothers day yesterday!  Welcome to motherhood Meghan!

www.express.co.uk/news/royal/1116203/royal-baby-meghan-markle-prince-harry-queen-elizabeth-monarch-king

 

My obsession with the royal family started for me when I was young. Princess Diana died on my 12th birthday, August 31st 1997, she was just 36. I remember watching the news coverage for days, the funeral, and a growing fascination with who Diana was evolved.  Diana’s work and character were inspiring.  She was beautiful on the inside and out. I was hooked on the royal family from then on.  I followed the media surrounding her life and death alike for years and then just as any little girl would do I dreamt of the idea of marrying one of her sons, “Princess Kyleen Kelly.” It has a sweet ring to it doesn’t it?  Of course, I lost my final chance when Meghan stepped up to take the most eligible bachelor off the market just a few short years ago. Dang it Meghan!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/324329610635722870/

 

A top my life time bucket list items is to be in attendance at a royal wedding. Okay, so maybe I wont get an invite to the church, but I am good with being miles down the street waving with an amazing head piece on. I’ve got time, Prince George is only 5 years old.

(I told you I was a weird American)
Okay, okay I digress… Meghan Markle is a mommy!

Buckingham Palace

The Duke and Duchess, in true royal fashion, made us wait a few days before revealing the new little guys name.  Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

Dominic Lipinski/Pool via AP

 

Are they not the cutest?!
When it comes to naming their children, the royals have a tendency to reuse family favorites, however I knew based on the Meghan and Harry’s anything but “customary” relationship they would consider a “not so royal” name.
 I love naming babies! Before Archie’s name was released…I named him. Seriously I did! I literally picked the name Harrison, and I have witnesses if you doubt me in any way. I now have yet another connection to the royal family! 😉
My initial thought, however was that this little lad was going to be a lass and if that was the case I was set on the names;
Grace- Princess Grace was a commoner who married into royalty, fitting isn’t it?
Diana- need I say more?
Marcella- something different
Frances- Princess Diana’s mothers name

 

And now, for the boy names;
Harrison- “Harry”
Charlie- spin off of Charles
Frances- Princess Diana’s mothers name
James- classic
Adrian- something different
Henry- Prince Harry, was born Henry Charles Albert David
Spencer- Princess Diana’s maiden name
Winston- after some research this was the aristocratic Spencer family- a group of which Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill
Arthur- Prince Williams middle name, after all he will be King someday

Dominic Lipinski/Pool via AP

Archie came as a bit of a shock to me of course, and as you can see it didn’t make my list, but it makes perfect sense! Prince Charles wanted to name Prince William, Arthur, but Diana wasn’t as fond of that for a first name and thus Prince William received Arthur as a second name.  Prince Louis, also received Arthur as his middle name.  Archie, can be a used as a nickname for Arthur. A classic, yet modern spin on a royal name!
So lets break down this little guys name together,
Archie- “to be brave, bold”
Harrison- “little Henry” or “little Harry”
Mountbatten-Windsor- used to signify male descendants of the Queen without royal styles or titles.
Meghan and Harry chose not to use courtesy titles, so instead of Earl of Dumbarton, he will simply be “Master Archie”  (insert heart emoji)
Someone please tell me I am not the only one completely in awe over this new little royal bundle and his parents!

 

Meghan and Harry recently created their own Instagram account, so we can expect to watch this little guy grow, and yes you better believe I follow all things royal!

Dominic Lipinski – WPA Pool/Getty Images

what do you think of the royals name?
roots & wings,
Kyleen
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first i drink the coffee… then i do the things

Sheboygan’s Top Coffee Shops

If you are anything like me coffee is a must first thing in the morning. I am a bit spoiled and don’t apologize when I say that most mornings my husband brings me my coffee in bed.  Now there are a few times in which this is unacceptable. Those are the days when he leaves for work before 5 AM… well now to think of it that is the only time this is unacceptable. I know, I know, I’m a lucky lady, and I am, don’t get me wrong, but truth be told he has just known me long enough to know who I am first thing in the morning. He really just doesn’t want to be punched in the throat to start his day. 😉

Based on the introductory paragraph, you may have put together the fact that I am not a morning person, and well if you didn’t, it’s okay I will slow down a bit for you to catch up.

 

 

 

I love the idea of being up with the sunrise. I love watching the day begin in bright colors as the sun comes up for the day.  I am also probably, my most productive self first thing in the morning. I love the feeling of starting the day fresh with it’s endless possibilities ahead… I just need some coffee to get me going.

On the most brutal of mornings, (Monday- Friday), I love the feel and nostalgia a great cup of coffee can provoke, and lets face it coffee shop coffee just tastes better.  Coffee houses have a way to  to inflict rest & relaxation on me. They encourage solitude and time to connect with God without the distractions of home.   They motivate me to play a board game, to read a new book, enhance my creative side, and enjoy the simplicity of the sounds that arise from behind the counter as the baristas work to perfect that cup of steaming hot goodness.

If you are ever in Sheboygan (and trust me you should be, I love our little Midwest town) these area coffee shops are a must see! Not only is the coffee wonderful but the atmospheres are inspiring.

1. The Green House

My all time favorite.  It is technically located in Kohler (Sheboygan county), so I had to think about whether or not I was going to include this one, but then I thought what the heck it’s my blog so dang it I did! This place honestly speaks to my soul. I think that it may have been designed entirely for me. The rich history of Kohler is something to write home about in and of itself.  There is something about but the deep colors, live plants and the feeling of being in Europe that make my heart flutter a bit. All of this, of course, makes sense when you consider the heritage of this quaint beauty.

The Green House was literally dismantled from the north of England and transported back to Kohler. They then rebuilt this solarium piece by piece.

The snow falling outside as you look through the stained glass is mesmerizing and makes for a perfect place to play a board game, read a book or enjoy a conversation with a friend.

The menu does not disappoint. They boast a selection of sweet treats including European pastries, deli sandwiches, warm teas, homemade ice cream and of course espresso drinks to warm you.

 

 

2. Paradigm

Paradigm comes in a close 2nd and technically 1st in Sheboygan.

When you enter this locally owned and operated coffee shop you immediately become enveloped in its quirky atmosphere.  The feel of Bohemia is in its mismatched furniture pieces and old world signage.

The bikes hanging as wall décor pays perfect homage to the not-for-profit bicycle recycling program housed in the basement. Gifting those in need a wonderful way to propel themselves through the streets of this beautiful city.

The almost floor to ceiling black framed windows open to the down town, let in the sights and sounds of a wonderful Wisconsin summer.

The food here though!

The Food at paradigm is not comparable to any other coffee shop in town. Hands down some of my favorite vegetarian/vegan food. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu but some definite must tries include;

Hello Bello Portabello: roasted peppers and onions, smoked provolone, and horseradish sauce on a ciabatta.

BBQ Jack: barbecued jackfruit, garlic mayo, bbq sauce, and black pepper slaw on a ciabatta.

Oh! and any of those freshly baked treats from the glass case on your right that taunt you as you order.

Entertainment is in no short supply here either. Sprinkled throughout random stops for coffee is a guitarist, a poetry reading or a local singer/songwriter up on stage.

For a more formal listing of who takes the stage next, check out the live music & upcoming events page https://www.paradigmvenue.com/

I would be completely amiss if I didn’t mention the tattoo shop that overlooks all of this!  Honestly where else can you go to get a cup o’ joe and a tat all in the same place? Maybe Paradigm is #1 after all!

Check out Chicory Root tattoo studio. Kayla, the owner of Chicory Root, has a soft hand as she uses beautiful muted earth tones to create art. She is a beautiful human being on the inside and out, and while you are there ask her about the Chicory Root. 🙂

 

3. Glas

I’m Irish…need I say more?

“Glas” literally translates to ‘green’ in Gaelic. The green coffee house not only reflects a strong Irish legacy it also speaks to their commitment to protecting our environment. In fact, bike riders receive a 10% discount. The earth appreciates your contribution to clean air and so does Glas!

The loose leaf teas and breakfast burritos on this menu are my favorite!

Enjoy 2-stories of light and airy breathable space overlooking the Sheboygan river.

Not only is there an indoor fireplace to warm up to there is an outdoor fire pit to boot! Perfect for our long, long, long, long, long Wisconsin winters.

 

 

4. Z spot

Last but not least!

Z spot gives you a warm-moody, Mexican-industrial feel with eclectic touches and neon lights! I don’t even know if all of that can be in the same sentence?

They house a wide selection of coffee drinks, sandwiches and homemade soups. They even feature bottled beer and wines, with monthly wine tasting, AND they have a drive thru! How great is that?! Now to be fair I don’t think you can get your beer and wine through the drive thru, but if that changes in the near future… come back and give credit where credit is due. Just sayin’.

Z spot offers a forever changing display of art work from local artists as well. A win win! An art gallery topped off with a little espresso or wine depending on the time of day of course. Oh, who am I trying to fool?! Hey-no judgement here.

There you have it folks.  Sheboygan’s Top 4 Coffee Shops.

 

roots & wings.

 

Have you been?  Which is your favorite?

 

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clearing clutter, chaos, & consumption

white space.

 

 

 

 

 

white space is often referred to as negative space. in graphic design and literature it is the portion of a page left unmarked allowing for margin. the absence of visual and non visual elements.

in the beginning of this year, i found myself questioning where in my own life i created this margin?

 

“White Space is where the world and all distraction falls away. Where the voice of the Divine can be heard. Where the Truth of who you are is found. Where miracles happen.”

― valerie rickel

 

disclosure: i am in the beginning phases of calling myself a minimalist, and do not by any definition of the word feel that i will someday live with all my belongings in a backpack. i am simply a woman seeking to clear the clutter, chaos and consumption.

 

okay now that we got that out of the way…i must also say, minimizing hasn’t even always been a concept i thought was for me. in fact, i used to pride myself as a thrift store junky and guaranteed to have you beat on the most finds. even if i knew i didn’t have a place for it at the moment i bought it, i knew one day i might “need” it.

 

 

i went through a major life change in the summer of 2016 and shopping ended up being my means of coping. i found myself shopping and thrifting so frequently that my shoes no longer fit on my already custom made shelves, and my closet doors no longer shut. my house became harder to clean and keep organized and i found it overwhelming.

i began feeling utter chaos. the pressures of stuff, a full calendar, and mismanaged debt. the things around me where closing in on me and the jammed packed closets created more stress and frustration than joy in my life. my mind felt the same. overwhelmed and full of disorder.

in the beginning of this year my life had yet another plot twist.  it began to feel so overwhelming i actually couldn’t stand the thought of purchasing another item, and needed to rid myself of the heaviness of the possessions i already had (luckily for me, i have a husband who supports, almost, all of my crazy ideas and rampages.)

i never had a big “ah-ha!” moment, beginning in january i literally just lacked desire to head to the store to consume more “stuff.” i desired clarity, space, and simplicity in all areas of my life, and for the first time actually felt okay with it.

 

 

so this is how my journey in minimizing began. loads of items plagued our home and i began clearing the clutter one item at a time. i started with my closets (yes, this is plural), ventured on to my kitchen utensils and pantry, then my basement and bathroom. i sold things, donated things and threw out the garbage.

i realized i had less of a connection then i thought i did to the physical possessions in my home. less desire to keep things for the “some day” that never actually comes.

we think we need  things because we’ve been told we needed them by society. the impact of this journey on my family, has been extremely rewarding to watch. our children are growing up in the most materialistic generation to date. what are we teaching them about the value of stuff over self? i didn’t want to send that same message in what was supposed to be their sanctuary.

 

 

i started immersing myself in the concept.  i was curious how others achieved their goals in minimizing and simplifying. i looked at and listened to TED talks, blogs, books and pinterest. i embarked on this journey of simplifying, desiring to be more and more aware of where else in my life white space needed to be created.

i learned quickly that my version of minimizing may look very different than the next person, however the general concept is the same for all of us.  we are able to find joy in what we have and it introduces us to a slower pace in life.

i also quickly learned that i have a lot of drawers! drawers in our tv stand, drawers in the kitchen, drawers in the bathroom, drawers in drawers. WHY are so many drawers necessary?

my closet may never only have 33 items. okay, well lets be honest, it NEVER will because i LOVE shoes way too much, but i have begun eliminating anything in my closet i have not worn or doesn’t make me feel second to none.

focus on the things that make you the happiest, feel the prettiest and calm the soul.

 

 

i’m not going to lie minimizing is a scary adventure. at times i thought, but what if?  what if i would wear that again? what if i would need that citrus juicer i found buried in the back of my pantry? what if i could use that for something else in the future? or better yet what if my 10 year old daughter would need something like this when she moves off to college? the letter from 3 years ago my bank sent out about some sort of promotional event was an easier decision to toss, or was it? what if i needed that as a fire starter?

i mean really… isnt that how we think sometimes? somebody help me out and tell me this isn’t only me.

 

when you get something new you should ask yourself: is this adding value to my life?

 

 

besides the obvious physical clutter in the closets and on the shoe racks, i began digging even deeper into the process of cleaning out my mind.

1 Corinthians 14:33 says “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.”
he desires peace for our lives… we should too. i began allowing quiet time for myself. free from distraction to truly listen. listen to him. listen to the birds. listen to myself. i started diving into the things that make me happiest. i read more. i search out the things that are weighing heaviest on my mind and attempt to categorize and clear out.

i allow myself to be creative.

you will go out of your comfort zone on this journey, but i really believe that personal growth will come out of this. the first time we do something, ask a question or pose an idea the answer can be really scary and uncomfortable. but going outside of our comfort zone is exactly what God wants for us. it is okay to go out of your comfort zone, and best of all is the more we do it the easier it becomes!

 

 

we are spending money faster than they we earning it, in effort to buy happiness. there IS way more to life than bills, money, and work.

finances are another area in life that we can quickly allow to consume our peace and clarity. when we began this adventure we had 2 netflix accounts, (and didn’t even realize it) amazon prime, and cable and our family rarely watched any of it. we found we were spending hundreds of dollars on cable… for what? okay the real answer to this was because of HGTV, football, and the blackhawks (go hawks!)

we paid hundreds of dollars to watch 3 TV channels once or twice a week at most.

again another difficult decision because if you read my bio, football, hockey and all things HGTV are well…a part of what makes me, me.  but, we decided as a family that getting rid cable, and of course the second netflix account, was going to go to free up both time and money. budgeting and monitoring your cash flow both in and out allows you to quickly see what you value, and sometimes the truth of this is ugly. try minimizing your living expenses to allow white space in your finances as well.

 

 

fill your bucket with this thought if nothing else. are you feeling overwhelmed and under the pressures of stuff, a busy schedule, debt? what could your world look like with less stuff, with one more blank calendar page, a little more margin? a world with a  little more white?

begin with clearing the physical mess and distraction of the things around you. the impact it has on your mental state is sure to carry over. simplifying isn’t just about stuff, but your mind and wallet as well, and the fact that cleaning takes less time isn’t so bad either!  😉

oh!  and best of all, minimizing is helping me to prepare for life abroad and living in a tiny house… both of which are on my bucket list! it truly opens up opportunity. opportunity for more travel. more time. more money. more flexibility. more freedom.

 

 

Minimalism is about seeking a life that is good for yourself and the people around you.

“Love people and use things, because the opposite never works”

 

ruthless.

this word resonated with me so heavily as I studied minimizing. ruthless, what a powerful word. what if we all became just a little bit more ruthless in the white space of our lives?

 

 

ruthlessly remove the clutter that pollutes your senses.

where in your life do you leave white space? a blank page? margin? how can you create a life of openness, freshness, and peace?

 

 

my drop in the bucket top ted talks on the world of minimizing blog coming soon.
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a bookshelf without bookends

if you’ve read my bucket list for 2018 post you may have noticed that reading made the list! 

how does reading make ones bucket list you might ask?  i thought you might… so let me explain.  reading used to be something i did to make it through a nursing course, and at best i skimmed the pages of a 2,846 page text book. i never felt like i had a chance to read for pleasure nor did i want to after the 342nd book on how to save your life. 

the issue was that although i absolutely loved the thrill and feat of finding a new book, i didn’t take the time to read the purchases i made. even after my nursing classes, which if i’m honest with ya’ll i was a nurse for 8 years before going back to school for another 2 years so what happened in between? well this… i found myself forever busy and distracted with life, just as the majority of us do.

yet, reading has always intrigued me. i believe reading is much like travel. you learn, grow, and create a world for yourself that otherwise would be left untapped.

so, in 2018, as i work to simplify and slow down my world, i’ve actually learned to pick up a book, and imagine for pleasure and not out of necessity. so that’s it… that’s how reading made the 2018 bucket list!

 

“reading forces you to be quiet in a world that no longer makes place for that.”

john green

 

first and foremost, i honestly love book shopping! barnes & nobel is like Christmas morning after santa came.

oh! & the romantic thought of quant little book shops with floor to ceiling glass windows, cozy nooks, coffee cups & quietness warms my heart.

i found this quote ironically fitting for the year 2018, and it somehow makes me a little more “okay” with the idea of no international travels this year. a direct reflection of the power of words!

 

"Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are." #edquote #teacher #ELA

 

so here goes it!  completed titles back on the book shelf:

my drop in the bucket review: milk and honey is a #1 new york times bestseller.  rupi kaur uses poetry as she shares about her life’s experiences.  this book is a riveting account of abuse, love, loss and violence.

as the author tells of her journey,  she takes you to her very darkest moments and your heart hurts as you know that the story she speaks of, although maybe not exactly your story, it allows you to pull something from your life that is ironically similar, whether it be in pain, heartache, vulnerability or simply her humbled expression of truth that most people in life never find the courage to share.

she has an elusive way of telling about her heartache, and finds a subtle sweetness in them. her perspective is one in which I think we all could learn from.

 

 

my drop in the bucket review: this hits home on so many levels as i work everyday walking people through a similar journey of facing life and death.

when we are directly faced with our own mortality something within our core shifts.

the wisdom and courage that one has in the most vulnerable places in life, is something i hope i never take for granted as i sit across from people in an exam room and they allow me to be a part of this.

at the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, paul kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer.

when breath becomes air is an unforgettable reflection on the challenge of facing death.  paul became  doctor, patient and a brilliant writer within moments.

i don’t know that i can say it any better than this…

“I guarantee that finishing this book and then forgetting about it is simply not an option. . . . Part of this book’s tremendous impact comes from the obvious fact that its author was such a brilliant polymath. And part comes from the way he conveys what happened to him—passionately working and striving, deferring gratification, waiting to live, learning to die—so well.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

life is short- what legacy will you leave behind?

 

 

my drop in the bucket review:  dr. henry cloud shows that the best performers draw on the vital resource of personal and professional relationships.  these relationships can be used to propel us forward and assist in pushing us past our own limits.

popular wisdom suggests that we should not allow others to have power over us, but the reality is that they do, for better or for worse. dr. cloud shows you how to get more for yourself by drawing on the strength and expertise of others. being vulnerable, moldable and willing to learn.

we don’t have a choice whether or not others have power in your life, but you can choose what kinds of relationships you want and who those people are.

each person has special and unique qualities, however not all people are meant to be your “corner 4” people. those people who contribute the most into your life. we will encounter people from all 4 corners, the option is up to us however to choose the power they have in our lives. a great challenge for you to look into the relationships into your life and evaluate the power of the other.

 

i just began reading the book uninvited after winning it as a raffle prize at a fundraising event for friends traveling to india to serve. (i won fair & square i promise… come on people! this was for the work of the Lord, i wouldn’t lie!)

my drop in the bucket review: on it’s way!

 

together my hubby & i are nearing completion of this journey.  this has been a fun way for us to connect as a couple and enjoy a good lol funny read! one of us reads aloud until the other ultimately falls asleep since we always seem to pick this up right before bed. this of course means, we probably should have been done with this book about 4.3 months ago, however there is a lot of re-reading that happens to catch up where we left off prior to falling asleep. don’t mistake that for a boring title, however, because this book has enough sarcasm & adventure to entertain for hours!

my drop in the bucket review: on it’s way!

and then we will be entertained by this…because chris has always wanted to visit australia and we so enjoyed the sarcastic and adventurous way bill bryson tells his stories.  we will dive into this book is on audible.

i must admit, as a part of my old soul there is nothing like holding a good book in your hands, flipping through the pages and smelling the fresh new book smell, but when i do take advantage of modern technology audible & kindle are must haves!

have you tried audible?

 

here are the books that currently are sitting on the bookshelf waiting to be read.

click the amazon link in the margin above to order your next adventure 

           

              

                    

                 Minimalism: More of Less by [Latham, James]

help me add to my bookshelf.  what are you currently reading?

“reading can seriously damage your ignorance.”

 

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ipsy

lotions, eye liner, and mascara oh my!

who doesn’t want a little Christmas every month? every month miss A and i eagerly anticipate the arrival of this little pink package.

about one year ago i was turned on to ipsy and haven’t been disappointed. $10.00 a month gets me a variety of prime cosmetics. 5 to be exact. plus a super cute glam bag.

ipsy is great for travelers. whether it be at the airport or a weekend get a way with the family it provides small compact options of all things beauty.

you have the option of carrying elite product in less than 3 ounces and never need to worry about it not clearing airport security.  🙂

I love carrying the product in my purse as well. you never know when you need a quick reapply of mascara and lip gloss.

…oh…and my gym bag. 🙂  isn’t this one perfect for the gym?

i love options! each month i have the ability to try products without purchasing in bulk and potentially being frustrated with my choice. I love the ability to sample the products prior to spending a penny more.

subscribe to ipsy here.

personalize your subscription. pick your skin color. your favorite products. and color. and wants!

then review your products and change up your requests as you wish.

give a review of the products and earn points. points that equal more product for you… free!

glam bags make wonderful gifts as well. in a pinch for a cute gift idea for a friend, your mama, or your mama’s friend? put together a glam bag of products.

 

the next subscription package i would love to try is globein.  each artisan box is filled with at least $70 in value and includes 4-5 handmade items by artists from around the world. every product has a story! what could be better than that for a wanderlust at heart?

do you subscribe to something? if so i’d love to hear about it!

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