What's saving my life right now

Joining Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy to share the big and little things that are saving my life right now. Feel free to share your own list of lifesavers in the Comments! 

Photo:  Brigitte Tohm

1. Tulips.

I'll take tulips over roses, any day. I love that this time of year Trader Joe's tends to keep big bundles of tulips in stock, so I can indulge in my love of tulips without breaking the bank. A pitcher bursting with yellow tulips on the kitchen table is happiness incarnate. While they're around, I try to pick up a bundle every weekend when we do our shopping.

2. Podcasts.

I just got hooked on podcasts within the last year (shocking, I know!), but now I don't know how I lived without them. My go-to favorites are The Simple Show, hosted by Tsh Oxenreider, and What Should I Read Next, hosted by Anne Bogel. There are also some really great podcasts out there for kids. A fun sometimes-ritual my son and I do together is put on a podcast (we especially like Circle Round), get out paper, colored pencils, and markers, and make some art together as we listen.

3. Morning walks.

My morning walks by the water are like a reset button for my soul. I often listen to inspiring podcasts while I walk, but if I'm feeling really overwhelmed, I just walk in the silence. Also, since I spend much of my day staring at the screen of my laptop, gazing out across the bay is a very necessary break for my eyes. When about an hour is up, I take a detour past my favorite coffee shop to grab a mug of coffee on the way home. 

4. Good books.

As a supply side reader, I can't fall asleep without reading, so even when I'm in a bit of a reading slump, I still read at least one or two books each month. But lately? I can't get enough. My TBR is a mile long, and I fully (happily) blame the What Should I Read Next podcast (see #2 above) and the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club. I joined Anne Bogel's online book club community the last time it opened for new members, and I can't say enough good things about it. In December we read Peace Like a River and The Snow Child, and I still haven't stopped thinking about them. Good books are such a lifesaver always, but especially in winter when the skies are gray and all you want to do is curl up with a huge mug of hot tea.

5. The right vacuum attachment.

File this under boring but important, hah! We've had the same Miele vacuum for over 10 years, and it's still going strong. But until two years ago, we had never lived in a house with carpeting...so we had never bothered purchasing the (admittedly expensive) special vacuum attachment for carpeted floors. That's two years we have been struggling with the wrong attachment, forcing it over the carpeting like we're in some twisted homemaker version of CrossFit. The first time we tried the new attachment, I swear I heard angels sing.

What's saving my life right now | lauragaskill.com

6. My bullet journal.

I finally treated myself to a Leuchtturm bullet journal for the new year, and I've been taking it with me everywhere. I still keep a separate journal for morning pages, and I honestly wasn't sure if keeping a bullet journal would be all it's cracked up to be. But I've found that it's immensely helpful in keeping track of ongoing lists, especially: my TBR (to be read), reading log, seasonal meal ideas, book notes, and personal goals.

7. Book darts.

I've recently discovered the joy and usefulness of these little bookish accessories, and I now I find myself reaching for them all the time. They are ideal for keeping track of favorite quotes and passages, bookmarking frequently used pages in my bullet journal, and (temporarily) marking passages in library books. Next Christmas everyone's getting a tin in their stocking!

8. Our new doormat.

It's this crazy rainbow stripe version from Chilewich, and it makes me far happier every time I see it than I think it should. I probably would have gone for a neutral palette, but my seven year old son was with me, and he was strongly in favor of rainbow! And I'm so glad we went with it. 


9. Cat wipes.

Our cat Sushi has gotten a little bigger since I snapped the photo above, and he's made a bit of a reputation for himself as a troublemaker. He eats books! He literally ate my son's homework paper. (His teacher didn't believe him.) He's pretty much a homebody, but he does like to go out exploring first thing in the morning. Let's just say, we're not sure where he goes sometimes, but judging by the way he smells when he returns, I can say for sure: we don't want to know. 

I had no idea cat wipes were a thing, but we found these wipes at Petco, and they work like a charm: each one is like a damp towelette, and you just sort of pet (or vigorously scrub, depending on the stink factor) your cat's fur all over. It takes like 30 seconds, and our cat actually loves getting groomed with them. And afterward? No stink.