Ten Things I Learned In August {Linkup}

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One of my favorite bloggers has started a fun and lighthearted monthly linkup I adore – where we all share lessons learned – from the profound to the perfunctory.

{This post is also a companion post to Leigh’s ‘What I’m Into’ Linkup}

1.  I feel like Emily Freeman and I are most likely music kindred-spirits.

Emily (yes, the same one sponsoring this monthly linkup) has posted about the music she enjoys from time to time on her blog.  (I especially loved her post about using music to inspire writing). She wrote a post this month sharing new music and artists she loves, and I adored every single suggestion!  If you’re an acoustic-sound kind of music fan, you will too.   Head on over to her post.)

2.  Though visiting NYC in August usually means gazillion degrees of heat & sweaty subway rides , I discovered this month it can also be breezy and grace-filled and healing.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved my short trip to NYC this month.    From the get-go,  I expected it to be hot and just plain yucky, as August can be one of the worst months to be in New York.  I was beyond elated and happy when God gave me the gift of rain and cool breezes for my visit. Those moments when a short getaway fills you up in the best possible ways – well yes, that.

3. Reading is not only a writing education to me, it can be and has been healing balm.

I wrote about feeling like reading saved my life this summer on the blog this past month.  Being in a place without a lot of community, I’ve turned to the written word to learn more about writing, get wrapped up in captivating stories and inspire and motivate my own circumstances.  While I usually do that every month, I’ve done way more of this than usual, and the process has been so cathartic.

4. The Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad is a glorious invention and a life saver during a hot workout.

My Godmother introduced me to this cooling towel when I was walking around all day in New York.  Simply wet it down once, then enjoy its coolness without having to re-apply moisture.  When I’m working out and feeling like I’m going to melt into a puddle of goo, this towel keeps me cool and sane.  You can find it at any sports store usually or on Amazon.

5. The Rose Reading Room in the New York Public Library and The Cathedral St. John of the Divine are now two of my favorite sacred places in the world.

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During my aforementioned trip to NYC, I took in the glory that is the Cathedral St. John of the Divine with two of my favorite people in the world.  I also spent a lovely few hours in the solitude of the most beautiful library reading room I’ve ever entered.  I encountered the divine in those moments, and can’t wait to go back for more inspiration.

6. I have finally begun to relax and adjust into my limbo city-hopping state.

My husband and I have been doing the limbo-dance between locations for his job for over 8 months past the time we expected.  Always a slow learner, I’m finally relaxing into this state of affairs, and seeing the blessings and gifts that are coming with it.

7. Trader Joes makes the best water flavor packets with natural ingredients that I’ve ever tasted. (You’re welcome.)

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Every time I walk into my favorite foodie grocery store, I seem to find another product that surprises me with its goodness.  My diet being in full swing mood this summer, I’ve been looking for a drink alternative to just plain water, without wandering into the realm of tea, sugary fruit juice or (God forbid) soda.  These flavor packets do use cane sugar, but only 3 grams per serving. (3 grams for 16 oz. of liquid–each packet is 2 servings).   They also use stevia, are made from natural ingredients and have only 16 calories a packet.  Usually flavor packets with these positive ingredient stats taste like cardboard or castor oil to me, but these are delicious.  They truly taste like good lemonade.  I haven’t had the pomegranate or lemon tea flavors, but I hear they’re delish too.  Win/win for all!

8. My Fitness Pal is my new favorite food journal app.

I first downloaded this app about 3 or 4 years ago, when it was in its beginning incarnations.  I found it difficult to use, and quickly lost interest.  The past few years I’ve found a need for the Weight Watchers apps, but with their monthly fee feeling a bit steep, I tried the app all my friends were raving about once again and I am happy to report its now fantastic, and so user friendly!  (They really stepped up their updates, and I think its popularity helps too).  I love that most of my Trader Joe’s food items are already entered with correct data, and its user-friendly to enter my own homemade recipes.  Along with counting calories, it also tracks, carbs, fats, sugars, and sodium, along with all of my exercise.  At the end of the day, it will tell me how much I’ll weigh in 5 weeks with that day’s stats.  Sorry Weight Watchers, but we’re breaking up.  Use this app for awhile, and you will too.

9. I have discovered a dairy free DELICIOUS vanilla coffee creamer – make plans to switch immediately.

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I am one of those zany people that coffee-drinking-purists shake their heads at – I love coffee, but only when it has so much crap in it (like cream, sugar or flavored syrup), it almost tastes like a coffee flavored dessert.  My best friend recently told me about a coffee creamer that uses coconut milk, and its yummy! I prefer the vanilla flavor because its quite sweet.  If I use Trader Joe’s cold coffee concentrate with water and serving of this creamer, its appeases my sweet tooth and I don’t need any added sugar.  If you don’t like your coffee sweet, you can ignore my advice.  Otherwise, consider your morning made. 

10.  I have realized during this ‘summer of reading’ that I may actually want to write a book someday.  Lord help me.

This last lesson learned strikes a bit of fear, but also excitement into my heart.  For years, I’ve joked that I need to write a book, but never took myself seriously. (I think my exact words were “I’m always looking for a book on the shelf that isn’t there because I haven’t written it yet.”)  After I started blogging, I was convinced I really didn’t need to write a book, because after all, I was just an actor-singer and a blogger.   This summer of reading and discovery have awakened little glimmers of thought (which I think and hope are from God and not just my finite mind) that perhaps I do need to follow the wonderland trail into the world of book writing.  It may not (and most likely won’t) happen for years.  It may just be an e-book.  But I’m finally gathering the courage to put it out there amongst the millions of other online bloggers with the same dream. (Which of course makes it feel even harder.  But I like a good challenge).  If I put words and a voice to a dream, it gives me more courage in my pursuit to follow through, and that’s an important, scary-beautiful thing to learn.

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What wondrous things have you learned this month?

5 comments on “Ten Things I Learned In August {Linkup}

  1. This is a fabulous list, Sarah. I’m ordering those cooling towels as Christmas gifts right now!! And the TJ’s drink additives – cool. Happy to hear that My Fitness has upped their game – I found it tough when I tried it. Maybe I’ll try again. Thank you!!

    1. So glad you liked the list Diana! The cooling towel is wonderful – I almost can’t work out without it now! 🙂 Blessings to you!

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