Sunday, January 5, 2020

How You Can Embrace Life, Learning...and Hygge?


My WORD for 2020 is Embrace!
What is YOUR word?

What word is going to help bring 2020 into focus for you? To give you a new way of looking at your life and adventures?

For me, it was an easy choice! I have been trying to enjoy life a little more. And, recently,  I came across the word ~ EMBRACE ~ and it just captured my outlook on life so well!

So, my WORD for 2020 is going to be ♡~ EMBRACE ~♡!!!!  In 2020, my goal is EMBRACE LIFE ~ LEARNING ~ EACH MOMENT!!!

How Can You Embrace Life More!


One of the best ways to start incorporating this into your life, is by surrounding yourself with what makes you happy as much as possible. Not necessarily the "I can't stop smiling" happy, as much as the "just feeling content deep in your soul" happy.

Myquillyn Smith, blogger (https://thenester.com/) and author of Cozy Minimalist Home: More Style, Less Stuff discovered this as she was trying to find the right style for her small house. 



Cozy Minimalist Home: More Style,
Less Stuff
 
by Myquillyn Smith

And that is when she learned all about...Hygge!

What in the World is Hygge?

According to the Danish website (visitdenmark.com), Hygge (pronounced "hoo-gah") is a Danish word. "In essence, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. 

How Does this Fit in With Embracing Life?

According to Smith in her book, "Hygge is all about creating a cozy, safe, warm and inviting atmosphere. It's about finding contentment and joy in the simple things like sitting by a fire playing a board game."

"Hygge is not a look or a style; it's an intention. The goal of hygge is cozy togetherness, get-through-it-ness, comfort, and knowing you are not alone."
And she is absolutely correct! If you have created a home where you feel ~ 'just feeling content deep in your soul' happy ~ THEN, you are already:

  • Embracing Life
  • Embracing Each Moment


What Are You Waiting For?

Get a fresh start in 2020! No resolutions to worry about. Only one word...YOUR word! What will be YOUR word that brings 2020 in focus for your moments, your dreams, your life?

Now, as for me, I will stop writing, and go create a feeling of "Hygge" in my front room!


♡  Embrace Life!
♡  Embrace Learning!
♡  Embrace Each Moment!


Source:
  • Cozy Minimalist Home: More Style, Less Stuff by Myquillyn Smith (p. 27).

Sunday, December 1, 2019

7th Blogversary ~ 7 Years of Inspiring Dreamchasers Everywhere!

Source: Canva


What is a Blogversary, you ask? 🤔🤔🤔

In the blogging world,  a BLOGVERSARY is: The anniversary date of your first blog post; when you began your blog.

But, It Means SO MUCH MORE to me!


  • First time of putting my writing out for the public to see.
  • It meant I was ready to start following my dreams.
  • AND, most importantly...I could encourage YOU in FOLLOWING YOUR DREAMS! 
  • I get to Inspire Dreamchasers all over the World!

Honesty is the best Policy

I actually have a very small confession to make. I was so busy for the last couple of months, I missed catching this auspicious day until now.

My 1st blog post was published on October 9th, 2012. I had decided that I would like to start taking risks and trying new things. I was up for the new adventures!

My 1st Post

   "As I was trying to brainstorm a brilliant name for my blog, I will admit that I resorted to consulting a few of my best friends: Merriam and Webster. They both agreed that the words "fledgling" and "endeavors" were completely on the mark.  Fledgling generally means new or inexperienced.  That covers it all!  The endeavors are new and I am completely inexperienced!  But that's what will make everything fun and interesting; most likely, finding the most difficult, crazy way of gaining the experience.
     In all of my future endeavors, I urge you to join me.  According to the definitions, it means to strive or attempt (verb) or an activity directed toward a goal (noun).
     In all my fledgling endeavors, I plan on following my heart.  I hope that you will do the same.  Who knows, the "activity" may not produce the results you wanted, but you are still aiming for a goal: following your heart!"

What Does This Mean for You?


When you are thinking of taking those baby steps toward your own fledgling endeavors, you crave encouragement and inspiration more than anything else.

Become A Dreamchaser! I got your back! As I have taken on learning how to social media over the last few years, you can see that I have your back in all kinds of ways!

In addition to following the blog, check out Fledgling Endeavors on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for encouraging DreamChaser Spotlights, inspirational quotes, and my own wacky, quirky attempts at my own new endeavors!

Encourage Others! The more that you interact, follow, share and comment...the more you encourage others! Lead your friends to a good, nurturing environment for them to follow their hearts, also! Follow & Invite them to follow, too!


Fledgling Endeavors FB page


Follow me as @dbooklover on Twitter!



Follow along on the Fledgling Endeavors
Instagram

🌠 ARE YOU GOING TO BE A DREAMCHASER?  🌠

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Writers' Wednesday ~ Creating Captivating Characters

(Source: Shutterstock.com)

What is the #1 "bookhook" that keeps your you reading page after page📖? Makes the story come alive for you? Makes it UNPUTDOWNABLE?

Source: Wikimedia Commons,
 Dutch Painter Gerard Dou   

Is it the storyline?

The setting?

While these are important components to any great story, they are nothing without the characters that inhabit your imaginary world.
A fantastic plot falls flat if you are not invested in the main character. You have to care what happens to him until the last page. And, hopefully, will linger in the mind of the reader for a long time afterward.

How do you create such captivating characters?


  1. Create a "backstory" for your main character.
  2. Learn more about human behavior and psychology.
  3. Imagine how your character would act in given situations.


Creating a Backstory for your Main Character:

Years ago, several women and I formed a writing group at the library where I worked at the time. This was one of the writing exercises that my cohort gave us one evening. 

She explained afterwards that most likely your reader will not read most of the backstory you create. It is like you are creating a full-fledged person who will think, act, talk, make decisions, and just live life based on the background you give them.

This is how we humans live our real lives. So, no matter what fictional world you create around this character, they will most likely behave a certain way because of what is contained in their backstory.

One of the best templates I have discovered for creating backstory can be found at How to Create a Character Profile: the Ultimate Guide. It is very thorough, and will make you think. But, by the end, you should know your character better than you know yourself! Lol


Learn more about human behavior and psychology:


A good friend of mine, Sandy James (sandyjames.com), is an award-winning author and a high school psychology teacher. In a writers' workshop with my past writing group, she has said that her psychology background has helped her tremendously with character development.

The more she understood human behavior, the more she could get into the minds of her characters. She had a better understanding of how they might react to any situation, and how others might react to them.



Imagine how your character would act in given situations:

If you have created a fairly thorough backstory for you character, and have a good understanding of psychology and human behavior, you are ready for the last step.

You know how children like to play the "What If" game? For example, they will constantly think about what would happen if two superheroes used their superpowers on each other, who would win, etc. Come to think of it, I have seen the guys on "Big Bang Theory" do this!! Lol

Same concept! Try to imagine how your character would act in any situation that you can imagine. You have been in his world while creating him, now it is time to put him in your fictional world and storyline.

By following these steps, you already know how he will act, and the story will just flow from your fingers!

Happy writing!!!!    📑🖊📑🖊📑🖊📑🖊

Monday, November 25, 2019

Monday's Musings ~ Pledging to Take Care of Me

As we begin this holiday season 🦃🎄, what is the number one question on your mind?

I am guessing for most of you it falls somewhere between "Did I get everything I need at the store for my Thanksgiving dinner?" and "Did I remember to add (insert name here) to my Christmas list?


~ But this is truly the question you should be asking...


#1 Question to Ask Yourself This Holiday Season


  • Am I taking care of myself? 


Are you? And I don't mean this in the flossing, eating your spinach, and jogging around the block kind of way! Although physically taking care of yourself is important, that is not the point of this post.



Taking the Pledge to Take Time for Me!

So, stop what you are doing right now. I mean it! 

Now, say with me, "I am taking time for me right now". 

That's it! You got it! Now louder! Say it to yourself, to your family, our friends! Whoever needs to hear it! As long as you keep saying it to yourself!

So, take the pledge along with me!


"I, (your name), promise to take time for myself today!"


To spread the word, please share this post on FB, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest! As you share it, type your pledge into your post! 

And don't forget to add the #taketimeformepledge hashtag!

I would love to see this spread like wildfire! We all need to take at least a little time for ourselves! It is the best present 🎁 you could ever give yourself! 💟💟💟

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Small House Sunday~ Instant Pots, Air Fryers & Ovens?


Designing your small or tiny house is most likely the hardest step you will encounter in the building process. Trying to figure out the exact layout of your home and which items will be included (or excluded) can often seem like a dance of one step forward/two steps back.

And the one area that you will probably feel this the most is in the kitchen! Making decisions on which appliances to include is harder than you would think!

My mission today is to help make that decision a little easier. So that you can get on with enjoying life in your new home!

5 Factors to Consider in Choosing Cooking Appliances


  1. Cooking preferences (frying, baking, grilling, etc.)
  2. Amount of Cooking
  3. Space Limitations
  4. Frequency of Use
  5. Versatility of Appliance
Recently, I have been trying to decide which appliances to include in my own small home. I have it narrowed down to an air fryer, an Instant Pot and a good, old-fashioned oven.

So, using the factors above, let's go through the decision-making process. And, you can help me make the right choice for me and my hubby.

Cooking Preferences

The hubby and I like to cook a variety of foods that need to prepared in different ways, however we tend to do more stovetop-cooking (Ex., chili, mashed potatoes, etc.), slow-roasting and baking deserts. 


Amount of Cooking

On most occasions, it is just the two of us. Four days out of the week, we work different schedules and will normally be eating at separate times and places. So, the amount of food being fixed at one time is very minimal.


Space Limitations

We are in the process of converting a 14 x 40 Amish-built shed into a home. Our space limitations are not as narrow as if we were living in a tiny house, but we do still need to be careful in our decision.


Frequency of Use

As we started downsizing from a large 2,000 square foot home, we had several kitchen items that rarely were used. We got rid of may things as we moved. We only want what we will use!


Versatility of Appliance

With limited space in our small home, each item earns it spot with its versatility. 

Our Personal Comparisons of Instant Pots, Air Fryers, and Ovens

Image Source: Walmart.com
Versatility is where I will begin with my personal comparisons. Instant Pots generally have 7 to 10 functions which makes them a top choice for us. 

It also is much, much smaller than an oven would be. So, it takes less space, very versatile, and covers many of our cooking preferences. 

So far, it is looking like an Instant Pot would be used quite frequently at our house!


Image Source: Walmart.com
My son has an air fryer, and has been encouraging us to get one for some time now.  According to him (and several cookbooks I have found), they also rate quite high on the versatility scale, it looks like. 

I had assumed that they were mainly for a healthier way of fixing fried foods. I have understood from many air fryer users, that this is only a small portion of their usefulness. Other tasty treats from air fryers include cookies, cakes, homemade chips and hardboiled eggs.

Again, also much smaller than an oven. It does not heat up the whole kitchen, as an oven would do. Yet, it does many of the same things that an oven would do.


Image Source: Shutterstock.com
I have always gotten a lot of use out of my ovens in the past. They are still one of the most versatile items in the kitchen. They do still meet some of the factors to consider.

However, the more I have looked into this topic, the more I am leaning towards the air fryer and Instant Pot for our home.  If these two smaller appliances are versatile enough to cover almost every function of the oven, but take up less space ~ that is a wonderful start

The oven is a large item, takes up a large space, heats up the whole kitchen (only beneficial in winter! Lol), and uses a LOT of energy. 


And the Final Decision Is...

For us, personally, I think we will be having an oven for sale very soon! Christmas is right around the corner, and I will be adding an air fryer and Instant Pot to my list for Santa! 🎁🎁🎁


What Do You Think?

As I talked to many people, looked through some of the newer air fryers & Instant Pots cookbooks, and read many articles, it became clear that I could only decide what was right for me.

There is no clean-cut answer for everyone. It is a choice you have to make for yourself and your family's needs. However, I hope my appliance dilemma has helped you in making your tiny or small kitchen work best for you! 

Let me know what you think!

Sunday, November 3, 2019

5 Easy Blogging Tips for Keeping It Real!

Thinking Back

I want you to think back to the last time you had to write a story, a research paper, anything along those lines.

Go ahead and remember how you approached the project...Did you zoom right through it? Procrastinate, then write at warp speed?

If you had to come up with your own topic, did that step alone take forever?


And...ding, ding ding! We have a winner! That is SO me!!! 👈😕✋😕

Overthinking everything, writer's block, you name it! You will notice that it has been a little while since my last post.

The researcher in me can't just look at 1 or 2 sources for ideas to improve her blog. No, she has to check out about 4-5 books, ask people in her FB blogging groups for advice, etc.

When you look to so many places for advice, your head starts swimming! Use professional photos, write shorter posts, use numbers in your title, more this, less that... aaahhhh!!!!

It's like the blogger's equivalent of this golfer's swing! LOL

Golfer trying to take everyone's
advice on his swing.
(Source: rockbottomgolf.com)

It took me a little while to decide to quiet all the additional voices, and just concentrate on listening to my inner voice. I chose to start this blog in the first place to be able to write publicly, and to provide encouragement for anyone following their dreams.

I cannot provide you with encouragement, if I am being my own worst critic, correct?

So, in the spirit of what the Fledgling Endeavors blog is all about, I am providing a few blogging tips of my own!

Disclaimer: I am not a blogging expert, by any means! But, after blogging for 7 years (this blog) and keeping a 2nd family history blog active for 2 1/2 years, I have a few tips that may be just the thing you need to hear!

Diane's Blogging Tips (Follow at your own peril!)

  • Be Yourself! You have a voice all your own that someone needs to hear.
  • Small Steps are Fine. You write one post at a time, and can build from that. Ten years ago or so, I started following a fairly new blog called The Pioneer Woman.  And, look at her now! 
  • Do What You Can, with What You Have. I have an older Samsung phone & take most of my photos with that, or  I use the free stock photo websites. I use the free Blogger hosting site for the blog itself.
  • Just Keep Posting! The internet is filled with blogs that have been abandoned less than a year old. Even if it is just short posts, just keep posting. This is what I need to work on the most. So that will be my blogging goal for the new year: to just keep posting more often!
  • Check In With Your Readers! Stay true to yourself, but keep in mind what your readers would like to see more of, also. If they keep reading, they will keep following you...and bring in more followers. They started following you for a reason, so remember to listen to them!

Now, Readers (yes, You!!)...I am following my own advice. I would like to hear from all of you! You can tell me what you like about this blog, what you would like to see more of, etc. I will take it all to heart, even as I continue to be the me you like to read! Lol

All kinds of ways to talk to me: 💬💭💬

  • Comment at the end of the post! Blogger has changed some things recently, and I am not sure all comments are getting through. If you are having trouble with comments, please use one of the other ways to get a hold of me. If there are issues, I want to be able to fix them for you! So, please let me know!
  • Email Me using the Contact Form on the right side of your screen.
  • Share the posts you like by using the Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest icons at the end of each post.
  • Follow FLEDGLING ENDEAVORS on my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages, and leave comments on those posts.
Can't wait to hear from you soon! 😀😀😀

Friday, September 27, 2019

Blessings of Long-Lasting Friendships

Friends, Tribe, BFF's,..A friend by any other name!

No matter what you call them, the people that have been there for you for a lifetime are one of life's best blessings.

But, before we go any further, let's define some of these terms. It helps to make sure we all see things from the same perspective.

Definitions

  • Merriam-Webster defines the word "blessing" as "something that provides happiness or does good for a person"
  • Urban Dictionary defines "tribe" as "A group of friends that would do anything for each other, at just about any time. Friends that have been together for a decade or a day, but are loyal, loving, honest, and fun-loving. The Tribe consists of people that you expect to grow old together with."

My Story

When I was about 10 years old, a little girl named Vicki became my best friend. And, at around the same time, I flipped to the back of a Tiger Beat magazine and discovered you could send away for a pen pal. That is how I met Amy.

In middle school, I expanded my best friend base to include Susan and Doneta, and then Wendy once I reached high school.

These seemingly small decisions have blessed my life in so many ways over the years! These ladies have provided happiness, laughter, comfort and love just when I needed it for over four decades.

As Urban Dictionary defines it, we are most definitely a "tribe"! We would do anything for each other. We have seen each other through weddings, births, deaths, divorces and so much more.

Class Reunion Insights

But, this past weekend, I discovered there was so much more to our friendships than meets the eye. It was class reunion night, and  these women friends (and some of our guy friends, too) met for dinner before heading over to the reunion.

We laughed, we hugged, we talked...we had a ball!
In between bites, we surprised each other with little insights that left the others with their jaws hanging open. I mentioned that I enjoyed being Doneta's friend partly, I think, because she was her own person. She didn't care what others thought, and I wished I could be more like her.

The other ladies were shocked, because that was not the person I was in school. I was always concerned about what others thought of me!

Doneta, on the other hand, valued our friendship more than I realized, for the opposite reason. To her, I was the voice of reason and kept her actions reined in more than I knew.

Who would have ever guessed that I was the voice of reason!! LOL

...And this leads me to the whole reason for this post...and that is to fill you in on the 5 Biggest Blessings for you and your tribe.

5 Biggest Blessings for You & Your Tribe

1.  Support, whenever you need it. No matter the time or distance!

2.  Insights about you that you'd never even imagine. These friends
     know you better than you know yourself.

3. Unflinching honesty. They only want what's best for you, and will
    be honest with you for your own benefit.

4. A shorthand that only you and your friends will understand. The
    kind where you can just give each other "the look", and a whole
    conversation just happened.

5. And, most importantly, to trust each other so thoroughly that you
    can just be yourself.

        ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡

It is my hope that you have friends like this! A tribe of friends that provides you with all of these blessings, and so much more!!