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4 Ways To Plan for a Successful Summer Break

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Happy summer!

I trust most everyone in the county is out for the summer? For those outside of the county, when does your summer begin?

If you're subscribed to This Side of Perfect (thank you!), you've might have noticed that TSOP has gone through a few changes. It's been a process. I've been playing around with colors and format for the past month or so.

I think I've finally settled on a theme. I like it. I hope you do, too. I hope it is gentle, but pleasing to the eye. I hope that as I slowly add elements to the blog, you're able to find what you're looking for. And if you ever have any questions or comments, please feel free to comment below or (if you prefer) email me. I'll get back to you promptly.

Obviously, updating my blog isn't the only way I've been planning my summer break. I've actually created a list. I'd like to share with you six ways you can plan for summer.

1. Rest
As women, we are used to being on the go. If we're no…

Marie Kondo: The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up - But Is It Life Changing?

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Five years ago, Marie Kondo published a book called, The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up. It seemed as if all of my friends were picking it up and reading it, so naturally, I followed suit. And then, I was really excited to learn that Netflix had picked up her series and it seems like Marie is making a second go around. In fact, Baby Girl and I were at Books-a-Million Saturday and the what should smack us in the face as soon as we walked in but a display of Kondo's book. (She actually has two, but for the purpose of this post, I will refer to her first.)
So, is it really all that it's cracked up to be? You don't have to search very far to see bloggers talking about it. Vloggers and YouTube stars are talking about it. (Word on the street, now is the choice time to do some thrift shopping at GW's or Savlos - Good Will and Salvation Army, respectively). 
In a word, it has completely changed how I think about my belongings. Is my house tidy and kept up? No. As I look arou…

Guess Who's Back (Back Again - Tell a Friend!)

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Hello, friends. Long time no type, eh? I know. I know.

It seems like at the start of every year, I spend the first couple of blog posts apologizing for not writing more frequently. (Assuming that 34 readers I have are still reading, that is. You are all still out there, aren't you?) For real, please comment below so I know the comment feature is working. Even if it's just a "Hey! Happy Monday!"

So, yes. Let me begin by apologizing for not being consistent in my writing. I really have no excuse. Not really. I could say life kind of got in the way (it did). I could say that I was too busy (I was busy, but not *too* busy). Now, friends, if I were being completely honest (and I always am), I wasn't putting priority on my writing.

And there it is. The ugly truth.

And I could whine and moan about how life is just too hard and it's too hard to write, but that wouldn't be entirely truthful. Sure, life *can* be unfair and yes, it is hard to write. But it's ha…

Organizing in 2019: Freedom Filer Review

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If you've found this blog post, it means one of two things:

1. I invited you here via some form of social media.
2. I used the right tags and Google led you here.

Either way, thank you for taking the time to click over and read what I have to say.

While I haven't let you into my life completely on this blog in the past, this year that will change. This year, I commit to being honest and unapologetic for who I am. And it's time you all knew who I am.

I am a very disorganized person. No, no. It's true. I've had make shift systems in place for years that have fallen by the way side. On occasion, a few have stuck. For example, I have a laundry schedule that is pretty solid. When I use it, that is. As I type this, I've had "fold and put away laundry" on my to do list for ... well, almost all of Christmas break.

Another system that I used was a clip system for my bills. I'd clip together all of my current bills and then once they were paid, "file&…

Flashback Wednesdays: You've Come Along Way, Baby - Part III

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This is the third installment of my homeless series that I wrote several years for the holiday season. It's not the holidays - YET. But you know it will be here soon. ABC Family has their 31 Days of Halloween and then Hallmark will begin their Christmas movies on November 1st. It's coming guys and it seems like it gets earlier every year.

So, without further ado - Part III.

Okay, by now, you're probably thinking - what were you thinking? Why didn't you get help? Why didn't you ask your family for help?

First, if you've ever received help from the community, know this: getting help around the holidays is really hard. That's why I encourage anyone who gives, to give especially well during the holidays - your efforts will not go unnoticed.

Second, and it's only now that I can vocalize this - I was really messed up as a young adult. I was never one for drugs or heavy alcohol use (alcohol doesn't agree me...and I don't care for it much, either). I w…

Flashback Wednesday: You've Come a Long Way, Baby Part II

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(To read Part I of this story, click here)
The second part of my story is a bit hazy. I'll share what I remember. It will be fragmented, to be sure, but there are just some things you just cannot forget no matter how hard you might try.

Do you know what it feels like to drive in a car and not have a destination? It's not like joy-riding when you're a teenager and you're cruising, using your freedom and your wheels as a chance to escape school and home. Because you see as a footloose and fancy-free teenager, after you're done joy-riding, you have a home to go home to. When you have no home, you have no real destination and no real place to go home to.

This is how it felt for us after we left Denny's. I had some money (although not a lot) that I had brought down to FL with me. When The Man Beast left a month, previous, I had applied for a job at the local CVS down the street. I worked developing film and although I was a 'single mom', juggling work and a …

Flash Back Wednesday: You've Come a Long Way, Baby

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In an effort to get back to writing regularly (whether or not you read this - but I'm happy if you do!), I figured I would re-publish a few older posts that seemed to really engage my readers.

I will start with a series I wrote several years ago about how far The Man Beast and I had come as a couple and a family.

Without further ado:

One Christmas, we were homeless.

It was eighteen years ago. The Boy had just turned two. My world as I knew it had just fallen apart. My folks had divorced after six years. My mom moved away and there wasn't much going for us in VA. The Man Beast and I had been together for two years and while we were deeply in love, we were still babies trying to live in a grown-up world.

It all started out innocently enough. A shut-off notice here. A burned engine there. Eviction notices bounced us from apartment to apartment. Eventually, we lived in extended stay hotels. We learned that the Salvation Army had a program for families. They provided a furnished a…