Periscope Review

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This week I embraced Periscope, a new(er) phone application that allows users to live broadcast from wherever they are in the country. Cool, eh? Read more about Periscope.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I didn’t really think it was that cool at first. I didn’t really understood how the app worked, so I played around with the app a little. I randomly decided to view a person cruising in South Texas who was live broadcasting. He totally called me out when I joined the broadcast. Scared the pants off me. I didn’t know whether to leave the broadcast or completely remove the app. After deciding to stay in the broadcast, we communicated through text. I was totally freaked out.

When I finally got past the fact of being totally freaked out, I thought how cool of a tool this could be potentially: for news outlets and clients at work. My next thought: what about using Periscope on the farm? That’s right, taking people directly to the farm to show them what farmers really do.

Then today, I learned farmers are already taking advantage of Periscope. From the comforts of my own home, I visited a barn full of sheep and barn cats in Ohio: live. It was unreal to me that I could visit a complete stranger’s home immediately. It’s a different feeling than watching a YouTube video,  Vimeo or Vine: the viewer is actually there.

I’m confident this will be a game-changer for the farm to table movement and food discussions. I’m excited to see how this app continues to evolve for agriculture.

What about you? Have you tried Periscope? I’d love to get your thoughts!

Ode to Gabby

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We lost a good friend yesterday. Our trusty farm dog Gabby had to be put down. My dad was with her at the vet when it happened. She was sick and in lots of pain. We are all heart-broken.

I’ve been going through photos of this great pup tonight.  We have some great memories on the farm. One of the best was of our walks last year checking crops. She always walked right along side with me (or my dad-behind her in the photo).

When we weren’t walking, we were riding in the Gator. She was my trust gator companion, always up for a ride to Grandad’s or the field.

We always had a good time exploring the farm. I’ll never forget Gabby. A dog like that is hard to forget and she will always have a place in my heart.

29 Gifts Challenge-The First Week

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The first week of the 29 gifts challenge has come and gone. What have I learned this week? I’m not very intentional in my giving. I like to do things for others each day, but I don’t really think about it and how much a gift of time, money or work could really help out. Reading 29 Gifts has provided gentle reminder of the importance it is to be intentional of gifts. Check out some of the experiences from the first week:

Tuesday, December 4- This was the first day my prayer group started the 29 gifts. Gave thanks to God for the day, the people in my life and an opportunity to explore some new opportunities. I’ve been trying to say thanks to him for all of the blessings in my life multiple times each day, and placing my trust in him along with his plans for my life. Wait-hold the phone…is it right to count my thanks to God as a gift, since he’s the one that’s in charge of it all? Yes, I think devoting time to Him is just as important as giving yourself to help someone else. From experience, it’s a MUST for a good life balance.

Wednesday, December 5- Called my sister to catch up about life and my new nephew. Growing up, she and I used to be super close though there’s quite an age gap between us. While I’ve always loved my sister dearly, I’m sorry to say that we haven’t been good about chatting since I graduated high school. However, we are getting better about calling, confiding and visiting each other lately. Today was one of those days.

Thursday, December 6- Money is tight for me right now, and I’m anal about having to drive my vehicle more than needed. It’s such a selfish and embarassing thing to admit this struggle, but sometimes it just bugs me when I have to drive somewhere extra and I didn’t HAVE to. Prayers that I will overcome this struggle. There is a bigger picture to this as the friend is such a dear and is always giving to me. Today, my gift is my gasoline to meet a friend.

Friday, December 7- Time is the gift of the day today. I chatted with a friend from college who is living in my area. He’s having a difficult time adjusting and having a good work/life/faith balance. I can totally relate. I’ve been there and some days I have the same struggles. It’s much harder to meet folks after college, and the friends that we do have from college are 1. Either still in college or 2. Live far away from us, so far in fact, that we don’t ever get to see each other. Plus when you get home from a hard day at work, it’s so hard to make another phone call or shoot an e-mail. I invited him to church, and am saying some prayers for this friend. Please say some prayers for him, too.

Saturday, December 8- Today’s the day-the big game! Mizzou is playing Auburn and I’m baking some goodies to take to the Labelle’s house where I’ll watch the big game. I forget how happy  and carefree it feels to bake-check out my Tiger colored masterpieces. Hopefully, they will serve as a good luck charm for the big game today and we get a W-I-N.

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Sunday, December 9- We didn’t win the game yesterday-so bummed. Mizzou will still  get to play in a bowl game, which is exciting, but we don’t know which one. Will find out later tonight, I’m sure. Gave a phone call to Mom and took time to register for my church’s women’s retreat. A good friend of mine from core group and I are going to room together, plus have coffee later this week. Blessed to have a good group in STL.

After church, we loaded up donated toys for the Kingdom House’s annual Christmas Shop. The Christmas Shop helps low income families in the St. Louis area to provide Christmas gifts to their children and family members. A large group helped bag up the items and take them to the location-it didn’t take too long. They are looking for volunteers for the Christmas Shop later this week, I might just try and see how I can help out.

Monday, December  10- Volunteered myself for some time at the Christmas Shop on Wednesday. One of the gifts and blessings I’ve received from above is the desire and ability to want to help people on site and in person, so I hope that all will go well. Plus it just feels right. It would be neat to start volunteering on a more permanent basis, but I’ve never pursued it. We will see how Wednesday goes.

Starting a new giving week tomorrow. I want to be a little more intentional in my giving moving forward, and try to give more than once each day. Gasoline is the gift given today, and support in helping a friend develop a cover letter for a job. Prayers for friends in the job search, and safe travels in the week ahead.

That concludes the first week of giving through the 29 Gifts project. Stay tuned for the next week update coming to you very soon.

An Introduction to 29 Gifts

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Where did the year go? It doesn’t seem like it should be the end of 2013…Happy Holidays! I hope this post finds you well.

Today I started reading a new book. It’s called 29 Gifts: How to a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life.The book gives insight to the life of Cami Walker, a 30 something with Multiple Sclerosis (M.S). Struggles with her diagnosis and complications of her M.S. starts to affect Walker’s relationships and outlook on life. A close friend of Walker suggests she start focusing on others instead of her sickness as a way of healing, challenging Walker to give to others. Walker accepts the challenge, and the book reflects each day of Walker’s first month of gift giving-the good and bad, struggles and triumphs…etc.

This book challenges the reader to give 29 gifts as well. That’s one gift given each day for 29 days. The gift can be large or small, monetary or time…etc. The catch? If you forget to give one day, you start over with day one. I’m not really sure if I’m a fan of this catch, but we’ll see how the month goes.

I started this challenge today, hoping to end the year strong by giving more to others. If my calculations are correct-math isn’t my strong suit, so please bear with me-starting this challenge today puts the 31st of December at day 29. That means I will have just finished the challenge  before 2014.

I will be documenting these gift giving opportunites on this blog site. This will be done daily or in one weekly post-haven’t really decided yet. The ultimate goal (once I’ve successfully completed the first month of giving) is to apply the 29 gift concept each month moving forward so that you give gifts each day to help others. It sounds like a great opportunity, and I’m getting excited about what the next month has in store.

Hoot, Hoot

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As promised in my Oh Baby! blog post, I want to show you the baby shower gift that I put together.

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I’m pretty proud of it. The onesie and receiving blanket cupcakes are my favorite (especially because those blankets are chevron patterned-I LOVE chevron). The idea was from Pinterest. They were really easy to make.

Also in the basket you’ll notice several books, baby lotion, hair bows, an owl stroller ball and a teething ring. I tried to get the best teething ring for this baby, but honestly, the Sophie Giraffe that everyone talks about was way too expensive for this girl. I substituted for it’s cousin-a giraffe teether with handles.  I think the baby will survive.

What you don’t see is that there are diapers, wipes and a few other special things hidden in that basket. Altogether, a really practical gift that was done on a budget.

If I had to go back and do it again, I would put together a sport bundle-with onesies, pacifiers, blankets and diapers all branded with sport’s teams. Very fitting, because this baby’s mama is a huge Chiefs, Royals and Mizzou fan, and I bet the kid will be, too.

Have you put together any cute baby shower gifts lately? If so, I’d love to hear about it, just comment below.

Last Day of Summer

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In celebration of the last day of summer, I wanted to share one of my favorite photos. I love it for three reasons:

1. The colors-so bright and happy, it makes me feel great inside. Plus it made my deck one of my favorite spots this summer.

2.  My dad made that bench. He used to build things before he got sick, and he had finally had enough energy last winter to make three benches: one for myself, one for my mom and another for sister for Christmas. I painted mine bright blue.

3.  The pink and purple flowered plant was a housewarming gift from a family friend, and the daisy is from home. Believe it or not, I actually kept them both alive all summer. That’s an accomplishment in itself for me.

On a side note, I had to get rid of the flowers this week and move the bench inside. Cooler weather is on the way, and Fall is finally here. I can’t wait! Maybe I’ll find some fun Fall decor to replace?  Happy last day of summer!

Oh Baby!

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This weekend, I explored all of the baby stores in the area and then some. I had no idea how tough it would be to find the gift I needed for a baby shower. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s easy to follow a registry. But when this baby is going to be your niece or nephew a little creativity and gumption goes a long way.

I pinned baby gift ideas on Pinterest, but quickly found that sometimes it’s much easier to pin ideas than to implement.  Here are a few ideas I started with:

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Baby Basket 1

Duck Jar

Unfortunately, the bag in the first photo was discontinued from Thirty-One. My sister doesn’t have the fancy camera to really utilize the second gift, and the third is cute, but a little too simple. Instead, I put together a bundle of random goodies from Target to Babies ‘R’ Us to Hobby Lobby. It sure was tiring, but this girl is very excited about it. Because the gift is a surprise-no posting. However, it’s a mix of things the kid is sure to love.

Want to see what I did choose? Stay tuned for a baby shower post in a few weeks and find out.