Hello, Spiriteds! Hoooowwwwww aaaarrrrreeee yooouuu? When was the last time I even wrote a Side Notes? [Checks calendar…December 2020] So much has happened this year for us, and for you, too, I’m sure! I want to hear all about what you’ve been up to. Leave a comment below and share!
Also, grab a favorite beverage (we’ve been sipping Homemade Pineapple Iced Tea) and pull up a chair. Let’s catch up!
After laying low for a year, we traveled to Arkansas for a quick family vacation. We visited Eureka Springs and enjoyed the sights and sounds of the Crescent Hotel (which is reportedly haunted, though we didn’t see any ghosts ourselves), St. Elizabeth Chapel, and Thorncrown Chapel. The grounds of all three locations are sights unto themselves and well worth the drive.
We meandered through the Crescent Hotel lobby and down a few hallways. Mind your elbows in the gift shop. There are some delicate treasures in there. And don’t worry, our firstborn knocked on a door she thought was to a utility closet. Instead of summoning the spirits, she found an actual hotel room. No word on whether it was occupied. We sincerely hope no one was trying desperately to catch up on some ZZZZZZZ.
We also visited Yellow Rock Trail in Devil’s Den. The firstborn made it all the way to the top while I stayed with the second born, whose legs were done for. Then the adults traded, and I snuck to the top on my own while K-Hubs and our friend took the girls back to the bottom. If you’re a nature buff (if our family wasn’t before the pandemic, we are now!), then you’d love Yellow Rock. Lots of options for short treks, long treks, and nature, nature, and more nature.
We also drove around the town square in Bentonville but failed to take a single picture. So I guess one has to ask whether it really happened? It did. But K-Hubs and I did something differently on our trip this time. We unplugged from technology so much so that we barely took any photos. Instead of taking photos to capture moments, those same moments got underneath our skin and stayed there. It was the relaxing trip we didn’t know we needed.
Closer to home, we’ve planted a robust herb garden (soon I’ll have a mint tea recipe ready to go!) and managed a day at the lake with family we hadn’t seen in two whole years. That feels like good livin’ right there.
I had every intention this summer of concocting delicious recipes for the blog (paleo pizza and paleo ice cream, anyone?), but it straight up didn’t happen. Instead I started working behind the scenes on some of our family’s favorite recipes, perfecting them even further. You’ll be seeing those updates throughout the fall and next year.
Our first recipe update is our Gluten-Free Italian Pasta Salad. You’ll notice, too, a different backdrop. Although we haven’t updated the blog this summer, we’ve been working fervently behind-the-scenes on expanding the look and feel of our virtual home. We are glad you’ve stopped by and hope you’ll keep your eyes open for more updates and additions coming your way.
Perhaps the biggest career surprise to happen this year is that a few classroom decor pieces I designed on the side for the girls when school closed last year took off when I uploaded the designs to Teachers Pay Teachers. From that launch came more classroom decor ideas. And now Spirited Learning is an actual thing. You’ll hear about it on the blog throughout the year, along with our travels and recipes.
I may not be teaching in a physical classroom anymore as either a college instructor, continuing education instructor, or teacher associate. But it is rewarding to draw on those experiences and create content for other teachers. For someone who always had one foot in the office and one in the classroom, Spirited Learning is the next right step in my teaching/entrepreneur journey, and I’m excited to share it with you.
If you’re curious about what we have in store (literally) so far, please visit Spirited Learning and see for yourself! And if you happen to be on TpT, log in to your account and follow our store for updates on new products and sales. You’ll see previews of our bundled products as well as our popular Farmhouse and Florals decor collections.
WHAT ABOUT THAT PHOTOGRAPHY EBOOK?
If there is one project that got completely overhauled, it’s the photography ebook I’ve been working on since last year. Pandemics and virtual learning aside, I’ve been reworking several brand elements and purchased new lenses. That meant the ebook needed to evolve, too.
The final product will be more streamlined, easier to follow, and more inclusive of what goes into creating a delicious, mouthwatering food photo. So the ebook is still in the works. Stay tuned, and thanks, as always, for your patience.
Thats enough about us. Do tell. How has 2021 treated you? Do you have littles returning to school? Maybe graduating to a new level of learning? Several of our friends have seniors in high school and college, and while those children aren’t my own, good golly, my heart had all the feels. How is your heart feeling about all the changes on the horizon?
K-Hubs, the girls, and I are wishing you a safe, fulfilling fall. We’re glad you’re here. ❤️