Friday, September 13, 2019

Currently Reading: An Unwelcome Suitor by Ashtyn Newbold

I've been really good at sharing books on Instagram lately but I also want to get back into sharing them regularly on my blog, too! Last week I got the opportunity to read an advanced copy of Ashtyn Newbold's latest book called An Unwelcome Suitor. It's book #4 in a multi-author series called Entangled Inheritance, a set of stand-alone regency era romance novels. Totally up my alley!

*I received this book free from the author and this did not affect my opinion in any way.*

Also, I know this girl on the cover in real life so that's cool! haha

Here's the Goodreads synopsis of An Unwelcome Suitor:

After losing her parents, Elizabeth Watts and her two sisters are taken under the care of their great-aunt, who has promised them her estate upon her death. From a young age, however, Elizabeth has learned not to expect to keep things that can be taken away. An unforeseen change in the will reveals that Elizabeth and her sisters may have the estate, but only if the eldest weds Dr. Luke Pembroke, their great-aunt’s beloved physician, who needs the estate just as desperately as they do.

Knowing her sister to be in love with another, Elizabeth is appalled when she begins courting Dr. Pembroke, intent to sacrifice her own happiness. Nothing if not determined, Elizabeth makes plans to sabotage the courtship. With her schemes underway, she quickly learns that her sister’s suitor is nothing if not clever—nothing except, perhaps, handsome, kind, and infuriatingly charming. When the feelings between them become impossible to ignore, Elizabeth discovers that love has a scheme all its own, and it might just be the most determined of all.

One of my favorite things about Ashtyn Newbold as an author (and I feel like I've said this in every review of her books) is that her characters have a sense of humor. I laugh out loud while reading every one of her books and this new novel was no different! You can't help but fall in love with the characters in An Unwelcome Suitor and root for their happiness even after just the first chapter. I have a few more of her novels on my Kindle that I'm reading as we speak and I'll share those with y'all as soon as I'm finished. If you want a feel-good, heart-warming, leave-you-with-a-smile book to read this fall, read An Unwelcome Suitor!

What are you currently reading?

xoxo, Chelan

Thursday, September 5, 2019

3 Reasons Why Memory Keeping Matters

"It does not matter how or where you share your story. What matters is that you document it." - Mandy @ Turquoise Avenue

Tired of me talking about memory keeping yet? I don't care. Because I truly think memory keeping is so important! So today I'm sharing 3 reasons WHY I think documenting life matters!

1. Memory Keeping Fosters Gratitude. 

How many times have you been told throughout your life that if you're having a hard day you should make a list of all the things you have to be thankful for? I know I've been directed to do that many times at church, school, on social media, etc. because it refocuses your mind to what's important. Gratitude journals are HUGE right now and it makes sense. We go through a lot of crap in this life and it can be really, really discouraging. One of the best things we can do in those tough times is thinking about our blessings. Memory keeping allows us to see those blessings through photos and our own written words and that helps us feel gratitude for our lives. It also offers encouragement to know that we can get through hard things because we've done it in the past and we can do it again.

Couple smiling in front of Newport, RI mansions
Oh so grateful!

2. Documenting Life Brings About Connection. 

One of my favorite things about memory keeping is that I share my love of it with my Nana. And so many times in my life I've sat in her home, combing through her albums learning about my family and chatting about the special memories we've created together. Documenting our lives connects us to our loved ones that are on this earth now, those who have lived before us, and those who will live long after we are gone. We learn from the lessons our ancestors have shared with us whether it's through written words that have survived time or stories that have been passed on vocally throughout our families. 

Becky Proudfit shares her thoughts about this in the podcast called Cultivate a Good Life episode #33: Why Documenting Matters. She said: 
I believe that life is about connections... I want my daughter to look at journals I had and know when she's having a really crappy day as a mom and her kids have, like, thrown up all over her, I want her to remember that she's not alone. I want her to remember that motherhood is hard and it's a journey. And I want her to feel my love whether or not I'm there. I want her to feel that connection with me and who I am whether or not I am physically present with her at that moment. I don't want any of my kids or anyone to feel alone in the circumstances they're in. And the way to not feel alone is to be open and vulnerable and is to connect. And you can't physically connect with every single person in the world so documenting is a way to open your soul and to create something that can connect even if you're not there. 
This entire episode is what inspired this very blog post and it fuels my documenting fire every time I listen to it so y'all should give it a listen! It's so inspiring!

Photo album on a coffee table

3. Recording Memories Helps Us Live Our Lives More Intentionally. 

"Live the story you want to tell." I've heard this saying several times and never quite understood how to live the story I want to tell until Becky Higgins shared the most beautiful post about it the other day and it really clicked! Here's a snippet of her post:

Our oldest is a junior in high school. Every time I think about Porter leaving the nest in 2 years, I get weepy. I try so hard to be intentional with our time together, while also not smothering him and giving him the space to be his own person as well.  
I want to be able to tell stories of the ways I have prioritized my role as a mother and my relationship with each of my children. Case in point: I get to tell the story of how I picked up Porter from high school every single day that it was possible (when he wasn’t staying after for practice) before he got his drivers license ... because I knew those days were numbered and I wanted that daily one-on-one time with him to connect. I’ll never regret that. 
Every Monday, Porter has early release. He and a friend come to our house after school and before swim practice. A couple weeks ago they requested grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch and said that mine are the very best (flattery is always a good strategy with me 😂). As I was making the sandwiches, I suggested to the kids that we just make this a Monday tradition and that I will always be delighted to make them grilled cheese sandwiches. 
And so it is. An established routine. A new tradition. And easy way to connect. An expression of my love. And ... a story I not only *want* to tell ... but I GET to tell. 💛 .

Isn't that inspiring?! Click HERE to read the full post. While we don't have control over what happens to us in our lives we do have control over how we react to the experiences that come our way and how we spend our time. Documenting our daily lives encourages us to live life more intentionally so we can live the story we want to tell!

Girl smiling in front of Newport mansion
Memory keeping brings me SO MUCH JOY and I want to inspire other people to start and continue documenting their lives. That is something that I want to be a part of my story so here I am sharing & living intentionally - living the story I want to tell!

Here's to being grateful, creating connection, and living life with more intention! It totally matters! What are you doing to record your life today?

Need help knowing where to start? Check out this post where I share some tips on an easy documenting method you can do in only 15 minutes per week!

xoxo, Chelan

P.S. Liked this post? Feel free to pin any of the images for later and to share with others!

Photo album on a table with text overlay "3 Reasons Why Memory Keeping Matters"

Monday, September 2, 2019

Girls Weekend in Charleston, South Carolina

South Carolina was my favorite rotation that Parker did! We FINALLY had space to ourselves and it was the cutest condo! The views were incredible. We didn't have to eat fast food for every meal. Charleston is the most darling city! We were a 10-minute walk from the beach. The weather was beautiful. We loved the ward we went to that month. And we had SO MANY FUN VISITORS! I've realized that I feel very, very loved when people make an effort to come to spend time with Parker and me.

The video to accompany this post was one of the videos that I was most excited to make because it's all about my girls weekend with my best friends. I shared a little bit about how we reconnected along with some photos from that trip here but I'm pumped to finally have the video done so I can do a recap post of our time together in Charleston!

Saturday, August 31, 2019

New England Bucket List

When we found out we were headed to Boston for residency, we knew that we didn't want New England to be our 'forever home' as it's so far from family. So since we are planning on being here temporarily (in the grand scheme of things) we knew we wanted to create a "New England Bucket List" so we can see and do everything in the area before we move again in the distant future. I thought it would be fun to share our bucket list with you in case y'all ever find yourself out this way and need recommendations of what to do and see and where to eat!

Lighthouse on the beach in Martha's VineyardGirl walking the streets of downtown Boston

New England Bucket List: 

+ indicates that we've done the item. 
- means we have yet to check the item off the list. 

+ Do a day trip to Maine