Cardigan Chic

Striving to Live a Life of Adventure, Excellence, and Faith.

Workday Start Up Routine

A couple of weeks ago I posted about my Morning Routine, and I have to say that its getting easier and easier with each passing week. So, last week I began incorporating a new Workday Start Up Routine into my day, and I have to say its been a GAME CHANGER!  

The purpose behind a Work Day Start Up Routine is to help me stay on top of key elements of my job, as well as set up my day to be productive as possible.   This routine is fairly short 30 minutes or so, but it truly helps me stay on top of my job. 

Here is my list in a nutshell: 

8:00 a.m. - Arrive to Work 15-30 minutes early 
I am a big believer that arriving to work (even 10 minutes) early can really set you up for a successful day.  Also, I believe to be a good steward of my job, that I must be at my desk and working by the official time the workday begins, not walking in at that time. (Pet Peeve of mine indeed.....LOL)

8:05 a.m. - Check emails, get back down to zero
Once I get to my office, I get settled and the first thing I do is address all emails that have come in since the day before.   I really try hard not to look at emails on nights and weekends, as I have learned over the years having that break from work actually revives me and makes me a stronger and more impactful employee.   Also, I am strict with myself to always keep my emails at zero.  That means as I go through emails, I will either decide to deal with the email right away or schedule a time in the day to address it. 

8:15 a.m. - Review most of our social media accounts 
The organization I work for has 4 Facebook pages, 4 Instagram pages, 4 Twitter Pages,a Pinterest Page, two YouTube channels, and a SnapChat channel. I am ultimately responsible for all our social media channels, even though I have a killer internal team who manages the posting and content.  So, I review all of our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and one of the two YouTube channels each morning.  I respond to messages, comments, reviews, and mentions.   This takes me about 10 minutes max, and really keeps me on top of what people are saying about our organization.  

8:25 a.m. - Check ticket sales on all upcoming shows 
At any given time, we have tickets on sale for 3 to 5 upcoming events at the same time.  Therefore, I review our ticket sales and make decisions on rather or not we need to push a certain show that day (via social, e-blast, personal emails, etc.) 

After reviewing the ticket sales, I review our marketing calendar that tells me what press releases, e-blasts, e-newsletters, or any communications we have planned to send out that day.  If something is scheduled for that day, I proofread it to ensure I approve all the copy, photos, etc. before its sent out.  We typically work 2-10 days in advance on all marketing and communication materials, so usually review everything in advance of the day we send.  But, I like to review one last time.   
8:30 a.m. Check Trip Advisor for reviews,  Review Web Analytics, and Track Google Ad Word Campaigns 
This task is fairly easy, as I review and reply to all Trip Advisor, Yelp and Google reviews, check to see how our website and blog are preforming for the week, and check and tweak our Google AdWord Campaigns.  
8:40 a.m. 
Finally, I am ready to address one of my three main projects for the day.  I try and tackle three main projects each day, and then take time to handle all the little tasks too.

Do you have a Work Startup Routine?  If so, I would love to hear about it.  If not, I would really recommend developing one.  And, soon I will share my Workday Shut Down Routine, which really helps the startup routine go smoothier and faster.  

Have a great week.  


Happy Valentine's Day Babe!

I think this 100x a day; however, I am not sure I say it out loud I often enough, but I am SOOOOO blessed, lucky,undeserving, fortunate, etc. to be married to my incredible husband, Matt. 
Our marriage just works, and it works well.  Of course, there are always things we are trying to improve and want to improve, but overall I am OVER THE MOON in LOVE with the boy I met 22 years ago.  He tells me everyday how much I mean to him, how much he loves me, how lucky he is to be husband, and those words just fill my heart with so much goodness and love. He shows his love through actions and lets me be me.  

He is an incredible man that is disciplined, loving, easy going, helpmate, encourager, listerner, etc.  And, I don't know how I got so lucky. 
I cherish everyday, and work extremely hard never to take what we have for granite.  
So on this Valentine's Day Week, I just wanted to celebrate the precious love we have!!

Love Ya Babe! 

LIfe Lately - Second 15 Days of 2018

January flew by, and once again the days passed by at warp speed.  However, even though those days went by fast, they were filled with some sweet memories.

Here are a few highlights:

 My boss and I trying to entertain ourselves while we waited for an event to begin!  
We are nuts!!

 FINALLY - I am starting to get back into early morning workouts.  

 When 3 of your favorite friends stop by your office, you have to stop and take a selfie! 

 Welcome Center Tour #1 Complete
Chelsea and I visited four welcome centers to bring goodies 
and give them updates on all things Bristol! 

 Looked who turned 8 weeks! 
I am so in love with this cutie!!  
Auntlife is the best life! 

All and all the last few weeks have been quiet, but they have been filled with so many good things. Looking forward to all this month has in store. 


February Goals

A new month equals a fresh start.  I am kicking off this month strong, and wanted to share my February goals.  January goals went well, and even though I also have a lot of habits I want to create, I still have some new goals I want to accomplish this month. 

Celebrate Valentine's Day in a Special Way
Go out of town for a weekend getaway
Celebrate Jamie's Birthday
Clean out Guest Bedroom and Home Office Closets
Finish Year in Review Project and Radio Website (Work)
Finish Best Year Ever Book
Read Dave Ramsey Book
Finish Karen Kingsbury Book
Go to Driving Range (if weather cooperates)

Have dinner with Parents
Attend Church
Food Budget Under $100
Connect with a Close Friend (phone, meal, etc.)
Workout 3 Days a Week
No social media for a day

Sleep 7+ Hours
Drink 100 ounces of water
Quiet Time/Prayer
Read Bible Chronologically
No Soda
No social media after 9pm 

Power Sheets from Cultivate What Matters

I will check back in at the end of the month to share my progress, and I will also share soon my #2 overall goal of the year.  My #1 goal is listed HERE.

Happy Monday Friends!


January Goals Recap

To help hold myself accountable to the goals I set each month, I wanted to check in and share my progress with my January Goals.  Some areas I made great strides, while others still need A LOT of work. But I am choosing Grace over Perfection, and plan to tackle more goals next month.

Monthly Goals

Go on 2 Date Nights with Matt  
This kind-of happened.  We did go out to dinner one night and to the movie another time.  (We need to work on this a little more.  LOL! 

Celebrate Mom's Birthday
We had a very low key birthday dinner at our house.  However, I always love spending time with my parents, so it was a very sweet night.

Spend time with my friend, Ryana before she goes back to Cambodia
I have LOVED spending time with Ry, and counting down the days until she is back in July.

Send Birthday Cards to my close friends who have January Birthdays
Yup, this didn't happen.

Try Cooking 3 New Recipes
This did happen.  One recipe was plum awful, the other two were delish.  I may share those recipes soon. 

Clean out and declutter Guest Bedroom
This project has started, and will be finished in February.

Order Dave Ramsey Book
Done - Will start reading this week!

Read one fiction book
Still working on this one.  About 1/3 done with a book.

Watch one digital marketing webinar
Done!  Finished the Flourish online conference this month. 

Make Valentine's Day Plans
Still working on this.  Kind of on the fence if I want to go out of town or stay in. 
Weekly Goals

Meal Plan and Prep

Cook four (4) dinners per week
2 for 4.  I did accomplish this two out of four weeks

Food Budget - Stick to $100 per week at grocery store
Ha!!!  This goal has a LONG way to go.
Walk around neighborhood (when the temp. gets above freezing)
WAAAY too cold.  This didn't happen.

Blog two times per week
I did blog 8 times this month, but did have one week that my scheduled blog post failed to post, so I guess I was 3 of 4.  LOL!

Take one day a week off from social media
I took a total of 2 days.  Need to keep working on this.  
Daily Goals 

Morning Quiet Time
So thankful I was able to get this back into my morning routine.

Walk 4K Steps per day

Bible Reading (I am reading through the bible chronologically this year.)
Haven't missed a day! 
Sleep 7+ hours per night
Still need A LOT of work!

New Morning Routine

I love routines.  I believe they help us establish rhythms in our lives that lead us to be more successful and more productive. And, that is why I decided that this month would be the time that I would evaluate several daily routines in my life and begin addressing reach area one at a time.  

The four routines I am looking at are:  

- Morning Routine 
- Work Start Up Routine
- Work Wind Down Routine
- Bedtime Routine  

For this post, I am going to focus on updating my Morning Routine.  Why?  Well lately I have found myself sliding back into old habits of sleeping in as long as I can, then rushing to get ready, running out the door and only arriving to work a couple of minutes before I needed to be there.  The problem is that with my bad habits I don't have time to do my morning bible study and devotion, workout, pack my lunch, or leave in time to make it to work 15-30 minutes early to get a good start to my day.   

So, I decided enough was enough.  I really want to be more productive in the mornings, and set myself up for success.   Below is a little snap shot into my goals for a great morning routine. 

4:45 a.m.  Alarm Goes Off, Get Up, Wash Face, Change into Workout Clothes, Grab Cold Water Bottle from Fridge, and head downstairs to workout. 

5:00 a.m.   Workout 

5:40 a.m.   Head upstairs, Grab Banana, and start bible study and devotion 

6:15 a.m.   Head to shower

6:30 a.m.  Dry Hair and Hot Rollers (Yes, I still use these)

6:45 a.m.  Makeup

7:00 a.m.  Get Dressed 

7:10 a.m.  Eat Breakfast and Finish Packing Lunch 

7:20 a.m.  Work (Listen to News and 1 Chapter of Business Audio Book on my Drive)

It seems simple.  An easy to follow checklist to make my morning very productive, and full of spiritual and health habits that will improve my life from the inside out.
What is your morning routine?  Would love to hear all about it.  


Cardigans - January Favs

Even though we are still in January, I can't help but start planning for Spring.  And, that also means looking around for a few new cardigans to add to my wardrobe.  I was so excited this past weekend when the Talbots' catalog arrived on my mailbox and it was full of some beautiful spring cardigans.

Below are a few of my favs:

I just love all the fun colors. To shop all of Talbots Cardigans, click HERE. And note, this is NOT a sponsored post. I just love Talbots clothes and hope to add these looks to my wardrobe this spring.


January's Books

(Source: theprojectbook, via kvtes)
Kicking off the new year means new books have been added to my reading collection for 2018.  This month I am tackling five new books and I am so eager to dig in.

1.  New Morning Mercies - Paul Tripp 
This book is one I have had my eye on for several years, and I finally decided this would be the year I would start incorporating it into my morning quiet time.  Its a daily devotional, that really digs deeps and challenges me (in a good way) to live more intentional for the Lord. I have heard so many stories about how this devotional has positively changed people lives, and I am so excited to finally get to read and experience this book.

I pre-ordered this book, and as part of a special deal, I was able to download the audio book to my phone for FREE, and that has been a GAME CHANGER.  I listen to this book on my way to and from work each day, and then work on the action tasks when I am at home at night and on weekends.  I am only six chapters in, and its already teaching me so much.  I am sure I will be sharing more about this book in the coming weeks. 

3.  Total Money Makeover - Dave Ramsey 
So, this one I am little timid to begin because I have BIG goals for our finances in 2018, and I know this guy can help us achieve those goals.  I plan to start this book the last week of the month and continue into February. 

I always love having a fiction book on my list, because it helps me escape from the world for a few minutes.  Her writing is so captivating, and I love the story about the Baxter Family.  And, of course, if there is a Karen Kingsbury book out that I haven't read, its on this list.

5. 100 Days to Real Food by Lisa Leake 
One of my major goals in 2018 is learning how to eat healthier, and that means clean eating.  I am slooowly reading through this book, and I have already learned so much.  My ultimate goal is that by the end of 2018 my entire diet is clean and full of healthy foods.  But, I am taking that one step at a time. 

Whats on your reading list for 2018?  Would love to hear all your recommendations.


LIfe Lately - First 15 Days of 2018

Life is in full swing in 2018.  Our schedules are back to normal as we try to balance work demands, spending more time with family and friends, and finding time to rest and just enjoy life.

After we returned home from Nashville, where we celebrated New Years, I took an extra day off work to clean the house, catch up on laundry, and run errands - you know all those must do things you don't want to put off.  

ScooterMan David helping me do laundry, and also avoiding Vinnie our self-cleaning Vacuum.
Finally, on January 3rd I headed back to work and the new year hit me with crazy deadlines, more work projects than I can count, and a lot of internal changes which caused a little anxiousness with all the changes, but is working out well so far.  

One exciting thing that happened the first week back to work was I was able to catch up with two of my besties from Leadership Kingsport for a New Years Lunch.  And, they surprised me and came to Bristol for lunch. We had the best time. 

The first weekend of the month led to a lot of rest and taking it easy. I spent time on Sunday, January 7th celebrating Mom's birthday with a small family lunch at our house, and it was so nice to spend time with just my mom and dad and catching up on life.

On Monday, we headed over to Jamie and Kristy's house to watch the National Championship game and spend time with Davis family.  We had a blast, especially spending time with this little one. 

My Sweet Mother-in-Law and Emmalyn
The rest of the week was filled with work, and trying not get sick.  It seems like everyone around me was sick, so I took lots of chewable gummies and prayed I would stay well.

This past weekend was quiet.  We worked around the house and got a few little projects taken care, but mostly we just rested.  We spent some time on Sunday at the Davis House and again cuddling this bundle of joy.  Can you tell our family is so in love with Miss Emmalyn.

Now onto this week.  I kicked off my workout routine this past weekend, and feeling great.  I am also beginning to really clean up my eating by getting rid of sodas and candy, and replacing it with drinking an insane amount of water each day.

Have a great week friends!


#1 Goal for 2018

In 2018, I have 10 major goals.  I know that is A LOT, but after a lot of thinking, praying, and planning I settled on 10 goals that if I can accomplish will really impact my life. 

The first goal (and the most important one) is to Be intentional in growing closer to the Lord. 

Over the past 15 years, my relationship the Lord has really grown and flourished; however, at the end of 2017 I felt like I was only going through the motions in my on again, off again quiet times with Jesus.   I couldn't find the words when I prayed, I didn't find the Bible engaging, and my spirit just felt FLAT.  

As I began to pray about how to grow closer to the Lord, I remembered a verse (James 4:8) that says, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."  So, I know if I take time and begin really getting intentional about being closer to the Lord that He will draw closer to me.  I truly desire to walk closer with the Lord, to be led by the Holy Spirit, and to to love others like He loves us. 

So, with my most important goal of 2018, Be intentional in growing closer to the Lord, I know I have to drill that down into smaller/mini-goals. Here are my three micro-goals to help me accomplish my overall goal.

Read the bible chronological order in 2018. 
Last year, one of my favorite social influencers and small business mavens, Lara Casey took on this goal and I loved watching her faith flourish throughout the entire year.  She inspired me to take on this goal in 2018.  So, for the past eight days I have started my day with the Bible App's Chronological reading plan and I am already feeling so connected with the Lord through His Word.  I also took Lara's advice and put the audio speed at 1.5x to help the narration keep my attention.  It took a day or so to get used to, but now its the perfect speed.  

Be disciplined in my morning quiet time. 
Waking up a little earlier each day to spend time in the Word.  My 2018 quiet routine involves:
Then on the way to work I listen to worship music and pray for the day ahead. 

Taking time to be intentional in starting my day with the Lord is already uplifting my soul so much, and I cannot wait to see the journey He takes me on this year. 
Attend church every week. 
Now this BIG mini-goal is going to be a little bit of a challenge, because Matt and I do not have a home church at this time.  And, throughout my life I have found myself in this same situation two time before, and each time the Lord has always richly blessed me with finding a church I can serve, be encouraged, and become friends with a lot of the members.  

These seasons in life where I was looking for a new church took place when I came home from college and when I moved to Knoxville after we got married.  And, both times the Lord placed me in a place where I could grow, serve, and flourish.  Now that we are living back in our home town, I am praying we find a church that is closer to our home so we can be more involved and meet new friends. I know the Lord will place us in the right church, I just know He will, and the only way to make that happen is to actually get up, go to a church, and visit different churches.  

Outside of my three micro goals, I also have a few mini-goals to help me grow closer to the Lord.   
  • Create a worship playlist (I will add songs to this list throughout the year.)
  • Be intentional in taking a true Sabbath day (resting and reflecting one day a week)
  • Become more neighborly (get to know my neighbors)
  • Do 2 to 4 (depending on length) in-depth bible studies this year, studying different books of the bible. 
  • Read 1 to 2 Faith Focused Books

I hope you enjoyed the breakdown of my number one goal for 2018.  I hope to share the other 9 goals and breakdowns on here throughout the year. 

Have a blessed week, 


January Goals

As we kick off a new year, I want to start sharing my monthly, weekly, and daily goals with you.  I hope this provides me accountability, as well as I want to share the things I am working towards each month.

I use Cultivate What Matter's Powersheets.  This is the second year I have used them, and they are amazing and life changing.  If you haven't heard of these, check out the video below to learn more.

As part of the prep work you do in Powersheets, you pick a word of the year.  In 2018, my word of the year is Disciple. I want to end the year with eating healthy and clean, working out on a regular basis,  sleeping 7-9 hours per night, have less debt, love my husband, family, and friends well throughout the year, become more adventurous, and grow my skills for my career. 

So, here are my goals for January:

  • Go on 2 Date Nights with Matt 
  • Celebrate Mom's Birthday
  • Spend time with my friend, Ryana before she goes back to Cambodia
  • Send Birthday Cards to my close friends who have January Birthdays
  • Try 3 New Healthy Recipes 
  • Clean out and declutter Guest Bedroom 
  • Order Dave Ramsey Book
  • Read one fiction book 
  • Watch one digital marketing webinar 
  • Make Valentine's Day Plans 
  • Meal Plan and Prep
  • Cook four (4) dinners per week
  • Food Budget - Stick to $100 per week at grocery store
  • Walk around neighborhood (when the temp. gets above freezing)
  • Blog two times per week 
  • Take one day and be off social media 
Daily Goals 
  • Morning Quiet Time 
  • Walk 4K Steps per day 
  • Bible Reading (I am reading through the bible chronologically this year.)
  • Sleep 7+ hours per night 
There you have it.  I will check back in at the end of the month with a recap of my goals. 

Snapshot of my January Tending List 

I would love to know if your goals for 2018.  Share in comments below. 

Happy Thursday! 


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Sweet Friends! WOW, 2017 went out with a bang.  The last few weeks have been filled with nonstop work, parties, and lots of fun.  I have thought several times over the past few weeks of hopping on this little space of the internet and writing a life update, but never really felt I had enough time to really catch you up.  So, I find myself, sitting down this morning (January 2), with an extra day off work, to share an update from the past weeks. 

Life is good.  Like, really good.  I don't say that to brag, or to make myself feel better, I say that because I worked throughout 2017 to really cultivate JOY in my life.  At the end of 2016, I felt like I was only going through the motions, and to be honest I wasn't really enjoying life very much.  I would look around and see so many friends achieving their dreams and really loving life, and I just couldn't figure out how to obtain that.  So, I sat out on a journey, to pursue JOY one step at a time.    

Over the year, I learned the following things about myself:
  • I like to be around people.  My close friends and family energize me and make life so much fun.  Making it a priority to catch up and spend time with friends and family is so good for my soul. 
  • Make good, honest decisions each day, and you can go to bed with peace of mind, which is priceless.  And, knowing each day that I worked as hard as I could was so rewarding. 
  • When you  mess up, apologize for anyone you hurt and move on.  We are not perfect, and sometimes we say or do things we are not proud of.  When that happened this year, I simply took a step back, picked up the phone, and worked it out with those that were involved.   This also brought on stronger friendships and work relationships.  
  • Spending time with my husband always grounds me and brings so much stability and balance to my life.  The Lord really knew what He was doing when He brought Matt and I together 21 1/2 years ago, and through it all, there is no one else I could imagine going through this life with, but him.  

So, after saying all that, I can honestly say that I left 2017 with a life full of happiness and joy.  And, before I share my word and focus for 2018, I thought I would share some pictures from the past few weeks. 

Our Leadership Kingsport Group is still going strong with our monthly lunches!  
Luv these friends! 

We are a shy group, to say the least.  LOL!

Traveled to Norfolk, Virginia with these two.  
So much fun and loved visiting a city I hadn't been to before. 

Driving up to White Top Mountain and cutting down our Christmas Tree. 
The tree that Jamie and Matt are looking at in the background is the one we picked!!

The decorated tree! 
We really enjoyed this tree, it was the perfect size. 

Celebrated my Birthday with a short getaway to the mountains.  
Lots of shopping and eating were involved.  

We made it back in time to welcome Miss Emmalyn Grace Davis to the world.  
We are all so in love with her. 

Matt and I love being an Aunt and Uncle to this bundle of joy!!

We couldn't be more proud of Jamie and Kristy.
Love all the new adventures ahead for our sweet family.

Becoming such good friends with these two has been one of the best memories from this year. 

Reunited and it felt so good. 
Spending time with these precious friends was so fun!! 

We spent a lot of time holding this precious one over the past three weeks!! 

Another highlight of the holidays was catching up with my bestie and her hubby.

New Year's Eve in Nashville!! 

Life has been full over the holidays.  We had an incredible Christmas and the week after Christmas was magical.   We headed to Nashville for New Year's Eve and had a blast.  

As we move into 2018, my word of the year is Discipline.  I plan to cultivate a disciplined lifestyle to help me build healthy habits with my health, spiritual life, financial decisions, etc.  Its doing to be an amazing year, and I cannot wait to see what all the Lord has in store.

Happy New Year Friends!!  
© Cardigan Chic

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