Seven Things:

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  • This TIME link will tell you what your name would be in 2020 based the ranking of your current name the year you were born. It gives you the names for a lot of other years. So fun!
  • Guess what was more visited than the movie theaters in America this year? The library! Don’t believe me? Check out this article.
  • This cranberry walnut bread is the lowest effort bread I’ve made and it tastes SO GOOD. No kneading required.
  • You know how the US life expectancy has been on a downward swing between cancer and drug overdoses? Well some good news, this year, it went up according to this article by CNN!
  • I just bought these minimalist horse prints from Target. They remind me of Picasso’s famous line drawings. I needed more horse art… clearly.
  • I’ve made this pork dishfor dinner multiple times and I love it. It gives us a break from chicken, which is my normal go to.
  • This inspirational video will put your life and struggles into perspective while moving you deeply.

Trying to delete depression as it forms:

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Oh boy, another post about mental health, after a few months without them I’m back! Mental health is so important and with all that has been going on in my life lately, mine got a little rattled. As I said to my husband “I’m in a funk”, only, I knew what that funk felt like. It felt like the beginnings of something much worse, something that I needed to act on as soon as possible. My warning signs were clear. It was time to shape up my mental health, here’s how I’m approaching that:

Talking about it: Whether you do it with a therapist or with a trusted friend or family member, talking about your mental health is important. It not only makes you feel less alone but it also helps you untwist your feelings. The same way journaling is good for discovering what is really the root cause, talking helps you get to the bottom of your feelings. As I spoke about “my funk” I figured out some of the key things that were causing me to sink. It was important information!

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My husband met and married me while I was sick: Finding love while chronically ill

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Photo by: Sarah Warden Photography

A few months ago my husband looked at me and said “I really don’t know who healthy Anna is.” And he wasn’t wrong. He met me when I was really sick with Lyme Disease, and I was still fighting it when we got married. I still am fighting it in a lot of ways, I’m still on medication. I’m still trying to get my “normal” back, but most of my life has fallen back in place. I’m blessed. I know a lot of people don’t get this far with Lyme, but something about that line hit me hard, he didn’t know who I was healthy.

We all are different when we’re sick, even if we have the same loves and personality deep down. It gets distorted by pain, our hobbies get dismissed because we’re not able to do them. We struggle to be ourselves when we’re ill. There’s no way to sugar coat it. I was a lot grumpier when I was at my sickest and definitely a lot weaker and less enthusiastic.

But still, I got the love of my life while coming out of this terrible illness. Someone fell in love with me when I was my grumpy unable self. That’s a testament to our love story for sure but it’s also more than that.

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Quick and simple ways to save money on groceries:

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I’m a newbie at couponing, mainly because it’s changed a lot from my youth to me moving out on my own. It’s no longer all about the Sunday paper. It’s not longer hoarding little paper scraps (unless they come on the end of a mile long CVS receipt). It’s almost all digital, and thank God for that. But collecting coupons never seems fast and easy. There are thousands of ways to find them. They take a long time to gather together.

So what have I found to be the answer?

Having a few sources for coupons: I find that if you only have two or three apps it saves you not only money but time. Sure you might miss a few deals, but a lot of the deals are the same app to app, also I’m not sure the 50 cents off is worth losing ten minutes of my day. I’ve found the most useful apps for me have been the acutal grocery store app, whether it be Lowes Food or Food Lion. They have deals that you can load to your “MVP” card. No fumbling with barcodes on your phone. No holding up the line. Just a simple phone number and swipe and your out of there.

Another app I love? Fetch Rewards. It has a ton of brands on its app and you get points every time you buy one of them! It’s easy to use, all you have to do is scan your receipt and it gives you points. The points take a while to add up, but once you get enough you can turn them into giftcards for a ton of popular stores (like Walmart, Target, and Amazon) in $5, $10, and $25 amounts. I have a code if you create an account that will help me get more points, but whether you use it or not, I think you should download the app. My code is EFMVE

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High horses: Lets talk about pride

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I did a post on gluttony a while back about how it often felt like the forgotten sin. I still think that, but I’m starting to think there might be one even more overlooked..

Pride.

Pride comes in a lot of forms, but the one I mainly want to talk about is the view of moral superiority. It’s rampant and we’re all guilty of it at sometimes, but I feel like it’s taking over the internet by storm.

People can talk about Instagram and envy till the cows come home, but I want to talk about people shaming others, blasting others, and pushing themselves up by pushing others down. It’s a school yard trick that’s gotten a much bigger audience with social media. It’s the constant “Actually you’re wrong and I can tell you why, because I’m right” not about one topic or two topics, but every topic all the time. Our views are firm, unmoving, and only the people who agree with us are worth listening too.

And for the record, I’m not just talking about politics. I’m talking about everything from people arguing the best way to feed a baby to the best way to teach a English class. Our views are viewed as the supreme in all subjects, and we’re willing to fight to the death about it. It’s not necessarily a new cultural shift, but it’s something we need to talk about because it’s starting to seep into every aspect of our lives.

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Create beyond your skill set

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Someone recently came to me for help on an quick design project. I realized while I was helping them with it how much I loved it. I loved that someone had this great big idea that I never would have thought of and instead of dismissing it because they didn’t have the skill set to make it they got help so that it could be created.

Our ideas often overshot our skill set, and that is an amazing thing for multiple reasons, it gives us room to grow and it gives us room to collaborate.

My friend came to me with a collaboration and together we were able to make it a thing. She had no interest in the process just the finished product, which is fine, because the finished product was amazing and important. Sometimes that’s about as much skin as we want in the game, we just want to see the idea realized. I had as much fun making it as she did creating it and in the end we could both be proud of something, but there is also something to say about creating something yourself that you don’t have the skills for yet.

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Your inner voice is telling you more about your mental health than you know.

I’ve been stressed lately. We’ve had a queue of bad events coursing through my family lately, everything from ill health to work problems. December and January¬† were busy, but we’re starting to see the light (maybe, hopefully?).

I knew that the stress was bothering me, like it would anyone, but I thought it ended there. I was keeping up with everything, handling what needed to be handled. It was going as well as it could.

Then that little voice in the back of my head started nagging me again, and I mean that in the rudest of ways. When I’m over-stressed, run down, anxious, or depressed my mind doesn’t stop with the negativity and it starts directing it at me.

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