Review: Latest Bedding’s Black Bear Lodge Quilt Set

Hey Friends, I’d love to share a fun little story with you! I should start by telling you how much I LOVE my bed. You know that feeling when you travel, how you long to be back in the comfort of your own bed? Well that’s exactly my point…my bed is my sanctuary.

Several weeks back while making my bed, I thought how frumpy my bedding looked…that since we’d had it nearly as long as our oldest son (the almost 21 year-old), because it was beginning to show its age, I should think about updating. And because of how the universe works for me lately, just a few days later I was asked to review one of Latest Bedding’s quilt sets. I was just heading out for another of my adventures when it shipped, so it arrived while I was exploring Arizona. You know, I love the outdoors, right? There was this great mountain in downtown Tempe that beckoned, so of course I had to check it out!

It was a whirlwind couple of weeks. I kept thinking, as great as it all was, I couldn’t wait to get back home to my own bed! Better yet, I knew there was a certain package that required my immediate attention. I couldn’t wait to see the Black Bear Lodge Quilt Set and Black Bear Lodge Pillow Pair Latest Bedding generously provided for my review. I should mention, they pre-selected this quilt set for me, but after exploring their site, I have to admit, it’s the very one I would have chosen for myself…I mean there goes the universe again right?!?

I admit, I was hesitant in ordering the full/queen size quilt, as I feared it wouldn’t be wide enough to adequately cover my queen mattress, but it was the perfect size! I also noticed the use of the word quilt in this case refers more to the fact that the fabric has lots of embellished stitching, but is not the thick, warm weight I was expecting. But as it turns out, that is a very good thing because I was sad to think I’d be replacing my favorite down comforter…I get to use both…win/win!

The pillow shams are a great weight for decor, the pillow pair is the perfect accent, and together, this well constructed set makes my room pop!

The minute I finished assembling the new ensemble, I stepped back knowing this bed set was so ME!!! Know how I knew? Because this weekend I was back out there again, embracing Mother Nature’s glory…

A quick trip to the beautiful woods of northern Minnesota had me breathing deep, receiving all those amazingly good vibes! Yeah, of course I hugged a tree or two haha!

As spectacular as it all was, I was right back to that familiar yearning…to get back home to the comfort of my favorite retreat. But this time, upon returning home, I couldn’t help smiling when I realized I have my favorite parts of nature’s beauty all right there…the wildlife, mountains, trees and those good vibes all right here…ahhhhh.

This set couldn’t have been more perfect than if I had picked it myself. But I know the Black Bear Lodge set isn’t for everyone. That’s why you should stop on over to the Latest Bedding’s website to look for yourself…there’s something there for everyone to create a comfortable refuge that is just so THEM!

 

 

 

52 Fridays…Breathe

Happy 52 Fridays, Friends! Have you been experiencing times lately where you are so stressed, when you stop to think, you aren’t even breathing? Well then, grab that journal and breathe! Take a few moments to relax, breathe deeply!

Consider those times you may find yourself holding back your breath in anxiety, frustration, disappointment, struggle. What would happen if, when you find yourself in those moments, you take a step back and breathe?

Is there a time or place you associate with peace? When I’m in one of the moments mentioned above, if I’m able to recognize it, I not only breathe, I try taking myself to one of those places. Here’s an image I go to regularly…

Jot some thoughts down in your journal regarding those moments you realize you’re holding your breath. When you find yourself there, take that breath. Where can you journey to in your heart, mind and soul? If you have a few places in mind, at the ready, you can escape nearly any situation, any time, Friends…give it a try! It really can be this simple to put your Best Foot Forward!

52 Fridays…What are You Afraid Of?

Another wonderful Friday has rolled around and it’s time to talk 52 Fridays again. So when you’ve found a few moments, treat yourself to a refreshing beverage, grab that journal and cozy in!

Are you fearful? If so, what is it that you fear? Do you feal like it’s logical? Rational? Can you pinpoint when this fear began? Or do you feel like it’s been with you forever? When do you notice it most profoundly? Does this fear even make sense to you?

As you may have noticed, I’ve been doing my darnedest to kick fear’s butt. But just yesterday I had an insightful reiki session that brought up past fear that is still holding me back. I’ve done a TON of crazy, thrill-seeker stuff in the past several years, so it’s not that kind of fear.

I will need to dive deeper, sit with it a while to determine what I’m still holding back…what’s holding me back. And when I’ve allowed those feels to pour out, I will step forth in faith with the other piece that spoke loudly in yesterday’s session and forgive myself.

Faith is an extraordianry tool I’m continuously working on implementing every which way in my life. So here’s the idea to consider on this 52 Fridays journaling journey of you…

Do you feel ready to break that fear into smaller pieces, to slowly move toward letting faith work away at them? It can be a scary process, I know! But in facing that fear, you will be amazed at what you find on the other side of it. One more way to put our Best Foot Forward.

Of Closure and Gratitude

It’s been well over a month since I traveled to Jacksonville to participate in the Donna Marathon Weekend’s half marathon. I’ve meant to blog about it for weeks, but I think it has taken me until now to understand its significance.

If you read this post a while back, you know this event has become far more important to me this year than when I participated in 2016. Though I walked it back then too, I was in the thick of my marathon and half marathon addiciton…I was seriously running out of control! The proof is in the bling I earned throughout that year…

Oh how I loved my running, it was an obsession that seemed to come out of nowhere…it was a total escape from life’s crazy, and the endorphins were a reward second to none. So much so, that when I found I needed that lumpectomy, I calmly rescheduled it so I could run a half marathon in California. And when I finally faced the music to have the lump removed, I was running another half only days post-op.

Yeah, that was a tough run for me. When I look back at this pic, I’m right back in that moment with the weight of all the feels. I know now, it was the running that kept my mind north of the worry and fear.

But, it’s also clear to me now, I was’t exactly running toward anything…I was running away from things. That girl had a LOT going on.

The running continued nearly every day until later that year when this dumb thing happened…

I awoke the meniscal beast, and though I eeked out another marathon and one more half that year, that was the end of that. Though the meniscus has quieted down, runner’s knee, osteoarthritis and my sports med doc have made it quite clear. I’m finished.

So there I was in Jacksonville, wondering what in the world I was doing. I picked up my race packet and enjoyed the expo with my friend Julie, because I kind of knew it might be my last.

Although we had walked plenty of training miles and planned to walk every last step of those 13.1 miles, I secretly feared my body wouldn’t be able to cut it.

So I gave my regards to Jeff Galloway one more time, just in case!

Before I left for Jacksonville, I checked in with my friends at OOFOS (my beloved recovery footwear company). Mind you, their footwear has supported my body throughout my injury and eased a TON of my pain since. It just so happens they have a Project Pink line…the same amazing comfort, but as part of their charitable giving effort, $10 from every Project Pink Collection shoe purchased goes to breast cancer research! Check out OOFOS’ fantastic Project Pink line here.

Well they generously sent me a pair for the occasion, so what else would I have worn to the pink carpet Expo?

Same amazing comfort/support, extraordinary cause near and dear to my heart! And I’ll just tell you right now, I couldn’t have recovered from this half later without them!

I was really rusty at setting out my flat Carla the night before. I barely remembered how and hoped I hadn’t forgotten anything important.

It had been well over a year since my last event, Friends. Past disappointment, the threat of pain…it was a crazy-loud loop running through my head I could not silence. Where did that even come from? I thought I was over all that. But there it was, and I barely slept that night.

I tried to reason with myself…I was only walking; but I was walking 13.1 miles on a bum knee. Ugh. Well, there was only one thing to do, so I put my best foot forward…just ask Elvis!

And the moment we crossed the start line, I remembered what I love about Donna’s event.

It’s not about the race or my pace. It’s about something so much bigger, and Julie and I were reminded of that with every neighborhood corner we turned…

Those homeowners embrace this race for the important cause it is. And to keep it light…

Though I felt I might lose my emotions multiple times along in gratitude for my own breast surgury scare results, these people kept reminding me to laugh and enjoy the journey.

 

My knee was getting angrier and angrier, and I hate to tell you how many times I thought about quitting. The emotion was raw as it became clearer and clearer with every mile, the race days I loved were drawing to a close. What if all the running was just a temporary vehicle to ease me through a tough time?

A deep, comforting feeling washed over me like the waves of Jax Beach…a gentle yet unmistakable clarity. What a gift to be there, to be able to take that winter walk with a great friend on a beautiful, sunny day in Florida. A day that’s not promised to any of us. A day I was grateful to be alive.

That medal is a symbol of closure I will treasure forever.

 

 

 

52 Fridays…Do You Have Plans?

I don’t know how, but it’s that time again, Friends. So welcome to the weekend! When you find a quiet moment for yourself, gather up that journal, pen and mug, then cozy into your thoughtful spot. Take a few deep breaths and let them go. You’ve made it through another week! Here are some thoughts to consider on this 52 Fridays…

Have all of your weeks begun to look the same? Do you find yourself going through the motions?When is the last time you took a break from your routine? Do you have any travel plans on the horizon…something to look forward to?

I just returned from some time off, a getaway with my husband. In fact, in the past couple years, I have found myself traveling somewhere new nearly every month. I crave new places, new experiences and adventures. Travel has become my passion, maybe even my addiction.

I’ve been bitten by the travel bug. HARD!

There was a time in my life when I never went anywhere. And although I love where I live and who I live with, I was missing something tremendous. I felt it ever so deeply, I just didn’t know at the time what it was.

Since becoming a frequent flyer, I’ve been bathed in that secret tonic. The creativity it provides is so incredibly refreshing!

Oops, I didn’t mean for this to become my journaling entry! I’ll stop now, but I hope this gets you thinking about what travel might do for you. If you’ve been experiencing a lull of enthusiasm, maybe it’s time you give yourself something to look forward to. Take some time to think about what that might look like for you and capture these thoughts in your journal!

#makeplans #goplaces

52 Fridays…Which Life Are You Living?

Happy Weekend, Friends! For those of you who are following along, it’s time for another 52 Fridays installment.

So when you find yourself a quiet moment, treat yourself to a soothing beverage, grab that journal, cozy up on the couch or your favorite chair and take some time to explore this thought…

Are you living the life you’ve imagined or the one you’ve settled for? Do you continue to forge ahead through life with dreams, aspirations and goals or are you stuck?

If stuck, is it time to turn things around? Can you remember the last time you thought about what your life could look like if you allowed yourself to dream?

It wasn’t until a few years ago I that I even allowed myself to dream. It took some time and getting used to, but once I began considering how I wanted my life to look and feel, only then was I able to create a roadmap toward that new life.

Give yourself permission to dream, and while you’re at it, DREAM BIG! Put those ideas to paper, consider how you can move forward to make these ideas reality rather than telling yourself you can’t. This will very likely become an ongoing conversation. It will take time and patience, but take that time to design your unique roadmap, to navigate the direction of your dreams…

Go confidently, Friends!

52 Fridays…How are You Moving?

What? Already Friday again? Well here we go, Friends; get out those journals, grab a beverage and ease into a comfy spot to consider this…

How are you moving through life? What’s the result…is it working for you? If so, how is it working? If not, are you willing to change up your motion, aiming for a different outcome?

52 Fridays…Expectancy

Grab those journals, Friends, it’s time for 52 Fridays. I’ve been exploring a little something today I’d like to share with you…

I’m sad to say I went through much of my adult life without any sort of goals, dreams, or aspirations. For the longest time I went through the motions; my expectations were not all that high. I was living out a play it safe/take no risks existence that had been ingrained in me longer than I can remember, but never recognized until recently. I’m so glad that throughout my weight loss journey, I spent some important time examining and mindfully recreating that part of me.

I’ve learned to look forward with hopeful expectancy, and that has made all the difference!

Take a look around your life…what are you expecting out of your experience? Do you move forth in an optimistic or pessimistic manner? How does this affect your everyday outcomes? Do you notice any correlations?

Allow yourself some time to turn these thoughts around in your mind, then allow your pen to put your observations to paper…let it flow, Friends; you may be surprised by what comes up. Don’t judge it, just notice.

52 Fridays…Who Lifts You Higher?

Friends, these Fridays seem to come faster every week! So, you know what time it is…

Take some time to get cozy this weekend with your journal and beverage. Take a few deep breaths and find your calm. Now think about those around you, your family and friends, and consider this…

Do they lift you? Do you lift them? Put some effort into taking a closer look at your relationships. Observe what you notice, then pause with gratitude for those you hold dear.

 

40 Bags in 40 Days

Friends, I completed the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge last year with great success. What is it, you may ask? Today marks the beginning of Lent, and in observance of those 40 days of preparation, I’m choosing to spend a few minutes each day from now until Easter filling a daily garbage or grocery bag with items from around the house…those things that sit, unused. Here’s my bag from today…

It was quick and simple to do, as I’d already set some things aside to donate before even considering that I ought to participate in this challenge once again. Today’s bag holds a sweatshirt, 3 dress shirts, a couple tshirts, a sweater, two workout tops, 2 sets of patio glasswear, a set of formal dining napkins, a toy I made a while back, a few books, a skein of yarn and a few unmentionable odds and ends.

Friends, I didn’t even scratch the surface! But I remember what great progress I made on last year’s clutter and know it will happen again. And that’s a very good thing, because we recently found out a family member will be moving in with us this summer while she completes her college internship throughout the next school year. This is the perfect opportunity for me to let it all go in preparation!

I intend to take this challenge a step further, just as I did last year. Upon filling a bag each day, I will then drive it to Goodwill on my way to my gym just down the street…see where I’m going with this…can you say ACCOUNTABILITY?!?

I remember noticing throughout last year’s challenge how things began to feel lighter, airier. And, what a great way to get a jump on spring cleaning because even though I just returned from Florida yesterday…I have cabin fever lol!

Friends, feel free to join me in this gradual purge of stuff; decluttering is quite cathartic! And one more way to put our Best Foot Forward. With 39 bags left to go, I’m off to get a jump on that next one!