Thursday, March 25, 2021

Product Review: Cute Little Velvet Office Chair

 I love this little chair.  

A couple of months ago, I realized that my aching back was taking over my life.  I couldn't sleep, I couldn't work out like I used to, and the thing was - as far as I knew, I hadn't suffered any actual injury.  There was no fall, or anything that would have warned me that the pain was coming.  It just came, and despite doing all of the right therapy moves and occasionally having better days, I kept ending up right back where I started - in bed, with headaches and the feeling that my body was betraying me.  

I eventually realized that my pain was not the result of any sudden trauma, but was actually the accumulation of lots of little mistreatments.  I had gotten lazy with my posture, my computer setup, and even with the furniture I was using.  It was time for a change!

The place I spend the most time sitting is at my desk, so I started there.  First, a desk that fit my computer screens and my height.  Second, an actual desk chair that was made for someone my size.  After scouring the internet for something that would fit my body, my office and my budget, I still hadn't found what I was looking for.  Then, I got an offer to try out this cute little gem!  Not only did it check all of my must-have" boxes, but it actually is adorable - which as you know if you've ever looked for an office chair, is not really common!  

Now, this chair isn't advertised as "ergonomic" or as a back pain cure or anything like that.  But, it fits my body, it's got enough padding to be comfortable, it tilts forward so that the pressure is off the back of my legs and my hips and back are better aligned, and it's height adjustable, so I can get in just the right position.  Ever since starting to use it, I have felt much more aligned, and that's a huge win for me. 

If you are in the market for a new, stylish, comfortable and budget-friendly office chair, this might be the one for you!

Tufted Upholstered Swivel Computer Desk Chair

Springtime in 2021


Monday, November 9, 2020

Product Review: Full-Length Wall Mirror

Today, I want to share a product with you that I think you will love!

I know, if you are like me, you don't put a lot of time into choosing a hanging mirror for your wall - as long as I can see myself and make sure my outfit won't embarrass me, I've been satisfied (or so I thought).  As a result, the one I had was too small and not the best quality.

So, when I got the opportunity to try out this Full-Length Mirror from, I though, "why not?"

The shipping was quick, and I have to say, I was incredibly impressed with the packaging.  It was a large mirror-shaped cardboard container, of course... but inside was a hard crate encasing the mirror, providing it complete protection from shipping mishaps.  Needless to say, the mirror was in perfect condition when it arrived.  

The first thing I noticed after unpacking the mirror was the weight of it.  It is a hanging mirror, but is actually substantial enough to be a leaning mirror, which is how I currently use it.  It's multiple layers thick and has a nice frame around it - mine frame is a nice gold.  

The second thing I noticed was the size - it's such a great size for me!  I can see my entire outfit without needing to constantly shift like I had to with my previous mirror.  

The last thing that impressed me was the quality.  It's obvious they took the time to make this right - there is no bowing or distortion in the mirror - it's a true reflection.  I love it!

If you are looking for a new mirror that shows you in your best light (at a good price), this one is for you!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Happy National Coffee Day! A Quick Guide to Ordering Your Perfect Cup

A Cortado from Hillside Farmacy in Austin, Texas 
Happy National Coffee Day!

  After years of being a tea drinker, my children (and their terrible sleep habits) finally forced me into a lifestyle of coffee consumption.  Now, I actually look forward to my yummy hot cup of bittersweet in the morning!  It's like a little hug in a mug to start my day.

I like all different styles of coffee... it really just depends on the day (and time).  But, with all of the choices, how does a sleep-deprived momma know what to get?  I'll be honest, it has taken me years to really get a good handle on the ins and outs of coffee.  You don't need to go through all that!  So, in honor of today's gloriously caffeinated holiday, here is a quick guide to ordering a beverage that is just right for you.

Quick Guide to Ordering Coffee Beverages:

Espresso vs. Coffee:  What's the difference?  
Essentially, espresso is a type of coffee that has a dramatically different brewing process than your typical American drip coffee.   According to everyone's favorite behemoth coffee chain, Starbucks, "espresso is brewed by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee under extremely high pressure. This results in a highly concentrated shot of coffee with a caramelly sweetness and a distinctive crema (layer of foam) on top. While it looks simple, pulling a quality shot requires considerable skill and practice."
A Guide to Common Espresso-Based Beverages
In order from most milk to least milk:
Latte - 5:1 ratio milk to espresso
Cafe au Lait - warm, steamed milk with coffee instead of espresso
Cafe Noisette - 2:1 espresso and steamed milk
Cappuccino - 1:1:1 espresso, steamed milk and foam
Cafe Mocha - traditionally 2:2:1 espresso, chocolate and steamed milk
Cortado - an espresso cut with a small amount of warm milk. 
Macchiato* - espresso with a dot of foam
Americano - 1:2 espresso and water (no milk)

*If your favorite coffee shop is Starbucks, and you want to order a true Macchiato, order an "Espresso Macchiato."  The "Caramel Macchiatos" on their menu involves lots of milk and sugar and are probably incredibly delicious, but don't really resemble a traditional Macchiato.

Want to Know More About Styles of Brewing Your Perfect Cup?

Here's a handy guide from Creature Coffee, a local favorite from Austin, Texas, on the different styles of brewing - complete with instructions and tips!  

Need More Coffee??? 

Monday, September 21, 2020

What Hasn't Changed

 We are living in times that seem alien to us - we can't go the places we used to go or see all the people we used to see.  Sometimes it seems like we have been transplanted to a different reality.  But really, more in our lives has remained unchanged than we realize.  Here are a few examples in a lovely poem by Typewriter Rodeo

You are still you and although things may seem tough right now, we'll see an end to it.  So stay safe and keep moving forward!

Saturday, August 15, 2020

It's National Relaxation Day! *Massage Chair Review*

 Hello Lovelies!  

In honor of National Relaxation Day, I wanted to share a review for a product that I recently received from Costway!  If you aren't familiar, this company sells low-priced home products, and they have a huge selection to choose from.  I was excited to receive this complimentary chair from them so that I could provide a review for you all! 

Massage Single Recliner Chair - Gaming Style

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wednesday Wisdom: Happy 'Back to the Future' Day!!

Taken out of context, this quote is an AWESOME concept to apply to your own life!  You don't need to stay on the paved roads!  Make your own path!  Or just soar above the crowds with wings of your own making!  Life is about exploring and discovering... not following the same path as millions before you.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Super Blood Moon

What an awesome experience!  My family and I had been looking forward to seeing the Super Blood Moon/Lunar Eclipse for the last few weeks.  And although we weren't able to head to the county for a really great view, we still had a great time seeing the eclipse from our home in the city, streetlights and all.

Fortunately, our camera did a wonderful job of picking up the hauntingly beautiful dusky red of the Blood Moon.  This is my favorite picture of the night, captured just after the moon was in total eclipse:

The Super Blood Moon, Sept. 27, 2015.
Did you know that last night's full moon was also called the Harvest Moon?  This term applies to the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox (aka first day of Fall). 

Back to the term "Blood Moon."  This actually seems to be a pretty recent term as applied to total lunar eclipses.  It's easy to see why it's caught on - it's a compelling name, easy to remember, and it describes the reddish hue of the eclipsed moon in a descriptive way.   However, historically, the name "Blood Moon" has more often been used to describe the Hunter's Moon, which is the first full moon after the Harvest Moon.  Theoretically, the Hunter's Moon tends to look more dusky-hued near the horizon than other full moons, therefore earning a descriptive name. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Monday Motivation - Are You Having a Hard Day?

There are days in which everything seems to be conspiring to overwhelm us.  A step back in our finances.  Kids who just WON'T cooperate.  A frustrating day at work.  A fender-bender on the way to the grocery store.  An oven that decided to stop heating just as you were putting in the dinner you had spent an hour putting together.

These days are hard.  I know, I've had a lot of them lately.  These days seem to sit on top of you, and threaten to suffocate.  The pile of problems and annoyances start to feel much larger and heavier than the sum of its parts.

How do we overcome days like this and keep moving toward our goals?  Sometimes, it helps to hear the story of someone who has overcome much, much more. 

I was so inspired by this story about 64-year-old Ruby Chaucer.  I can't imagine the hardships and pain she must push through every day in order to pursue her dream.  It puts into perspective all of the little problems that have made me feel so bogged down.  I have been trying to work and grow while fighting with appliances, kids, and angry drivers.  She has been trying to work and grow while fighting for her life.

"What she cared about was school. She took tests for her classes online from her hospital bed. She wrote essays on a cramped little desk at home. She did her homework while her hair was falling out, and she did her homework when her kidneys were shutting down.

Sometimes, she would cry. But she never let anyone see.

She did it for herself. But she also did it for her son, Brian, who died in 2010, when he was 35. She said Brian worried about her when he was alive, worried about whether she’d be able to take care of herself.

Brian is her guardian angel, she says. By returning to school, she’s shown him that he doesn’t have to worry anymore.

'I just want him to know that his mama’s happy and she’s goin’ on with her life,' she says."

You can read the entire story from the Dallas Morning News here.  

Friday, August 21, 2015

Awe-Inspiring Photography

Occasionally, I love to share things I have found on the internet that I think are especially inspiring.  Today, I had to share these National Geographic Award-winning photographs -  the almost unbelievable natural beauty is awe-inspiring and soul-touching.

These photos are from this year's "2015 Traveler Photo Contest," and were judged among the overall winners.

Check out the artists' website links below the photos for more breathtaking photography.
All rights reserved by original artist.
All rights reserved by original artist.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Wednesday Wisdom - Today is More Important Than Yesterday

It's the truth!

The more time, energy and emotion we spend thinking about YESTERDAY, the less we can devote to making TODAY what we want.

Whenever you feel yourself being drawn into the past and reliving its mistakes, repeat this mantra: 
Put all of your energy into TODAY, and you might just be amazed at what TOMORROW brings you!! 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday Motivation - When I Stand Before God at the End of My Life

This is truly one of my all-time favorite quotes.  It speaks directly to my soul...

We are always hearing the message that, to be "successful," we need to choose just one thing to focus on.

 For years, I struggled with this, because I have always had so many interests, and loved doing so many different things.  Trying to narrow focus and deny some of my talents was taking a huge, painful toll on my soul - as if I were starving parts of it in order to force-feed other parts more.

I finally decided that, for me, it's ok to not pour everything into one pursuit or just one talent.  Maybe success doesn't have to look the same for everyone.

We are all given different, unique gifts, and we are given them for a reason.  

Instead of fighting it, we should strive to use every bit of talent we have been given.  When we nurture our whole soul, only then are we able to be the beautiful creation we were meant to be.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday Motivation - Bring Your Sunshine Today!

...and create your own sunny, happy day!!!

You have a beautiful, radiant inner light that is just waiting to burst forth and light up your day.  So set it free, and make today brilliant!

Copyright J. Penner 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Everyday Beauty

After a late night in the office/studio, I needed a visual pick-me-up!  So, I took a look at some of the plant and flower pictures I had taken while on a walk with my favorite boys this morning.  I love that I don't even have to leave my street to see gorgeous bursts of color and inspiring spots of nature.  This was one of my favorites from today - I hope you enjoy it, too!

Red Bird of Paradise

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Wednesday Wisdom - Keep Away from People Who Try to Belittle Your Ambitions

Today's words of wisdom may or may not have come from Mark Twain.  It might be safer to say they were inspired by him.  In any case, they are very powerful words, and a great reminder that we each must be our own shining lights, instead of relying on the affirmation of others to illuminate our strengths and talents!  Check out this quote for another take on this topic...

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Everyday Beauty

Sometimes, all we need is a glimpse of nature to brighten our day.   I took this picture on a walk in my neighborhood on a particularly frustrating day... but as I looked through the zoomed-in view of my camera, and saw all of the beauty surrounding me, it helped put things in perspective.  We can look around us and think we see.  But, if we don't believe we have seen anything worthwhile, it's time to look again.  Change perspective.  Focus attention.  We just might be amazed.


Green is one of my favorite colors.  It reminds me of the outdoors and the calming influence of mother nature.  For me, the vibrant green in this picture is simultaneously soothing and stimulating.  I also love this picture because of the pop of pink and orange of the Lantana flowers that seems to radiate happiness!  I hope you enjoy it, too! 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Wednesday Wisdom: Never Allow a Person to Tell You No Who Doesn't Have the Power to Say Yes


On one hand, this quote reminds me a lot of dealing with a particularly frustrating customer service department.  The front-line folks generally have very little power to solve problems, they just listen to your complaint, apologize, and then do nothing.  Don't ever take that as your answer!  Speak to as many people as it takes until you have reached someone who can actually help. 

On the other hand, and in a more big-picture sense, this quote can really make you think about who actually has power over your dreams and goals. 


Often, there are people around us that make our dreams seem like impossibilities.  


Have you ever allowed another person's negativity to affect your motivation?  Did they tell you that your dream was too big, that your goal was too hard to reach?  Did they go out of their way to remind you of all of the insurmountable (to them) obstacles you would face?  Here's the thing - no matter who that person was - parent, boss, spouse, friend - they don't have the power to make that dream come true for you.  So, don't let them tell you no.  

The one person in the world that has ultimate control over your dreams is... you guessed it, YOU.  Remind yourself of that daily, and keep a silent, reassuring YES always in your heart.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Monday Motivation - Never Give Up!

I hope this week fills you with the burning determination to chase your one most desired goal over, around or through all obstacles!   ~ Jaelyn

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