Coming clean.

Fact: I was a horrible student.

I am a BIG procrastinator. When I don’t want to face something unpleasant, I will put it off until the last possible second. Inevitably, this leads to me becoming one big ball of STRESS and freaking out to get it done. In college, I would wait until the night before to write a term paper, drinking cup after cup of coffee and watching the sun rise, rushing to the professor’s office by the last possible turn-in time. The problem? I’d get a good grade. So the cycle perpetuated itself.

I’ve been a major slacker here in Blogland, too. And the Type A side of me has been feeling bad about it. Remember that little Photo-a-Day Challenge I’ve been participating in for a few months? After my back-to-back trips, I got so far behind on the list for August that I had sort of resigned to giving up and starting over in September. FAIL.

Oh, and my Life List? I was on a roll there for awhile, crossing things off and patting myself on the back for my motivation. Now I feel like the list is sitting there, getting dusty, ignored. Maybe it’s the knowledge that I gave a long period of time to achieve those goals that’s making me take my time. Or maybe I’m lazy. FAIL.

But you know what? The word “FAIL” doesn’t really work on this blog.

The Usual Bliss is about finding happiness in all things, every part of life. Being content with whatever is happening around me. Keeping a healthy, positive perspective- even when things aren’t ideal.

Remembering that totally motivated me, you guys. Isn’t the blogosphere cool like that?!

I decided to pick up where I left off on the Photo-a-Day Challenge, and post photos I like that match the prompt. Sure, it might not follow the ‘daily’ part of the challenge, but it will be fun to choose the photos and share them. And today begins another month, with a new list! Check out September’s list here (and after this weekend, check back for my version of August’s photos).

Then I looked over my Life List. I have achieved more than I thought lately. I’ve been happily keeping up with my “one new recipe a week” commitment- as well as Meatless Monday.


On our trip to California, we hit the Outside Lands Music Festival– so that’s # 67. Check! That night, we saw Beck, the Foo Fighters, and my beloved Neil Young play live, so that checks off a few letters of the alphabet for #99.


We just had the best group camping trip ever, trailers included- #63 CHECK!


I’ve been reading away, adding books to my completed list (#79). I just picked up some new books- YAY! Reaching my goal of 20 is not going to take long!


And my favorite… during our landscaping extravaganza, brought home a lovely tree from the nursery. We designated this tree as “our” tree, the one we’ll remember from the year we got married to watch grow over the years. I don’t know what kind of tree it is, but it’s droopy in a good way and has beautiful rose-colored blossoms in springtime. We planted it at the edge of the grassy part of our yard so we could picnic under it and see it from our living room. Pretty little thing. #54- CHECK.


There are so many fun things ahead in the next couple of months. I want to enjoy all of it, laughing as I go, remembering that every day is a gift, stay

Have a blissful weekend!


  1. I’m jealous of your joy the baker book! I just love her! I agree with you on lists and procrastination though. Checklists and challenges are what YOU make of it. And life does always manage to weasel in and get in the way. So picking up and starting again is all you can do!

  2. I am in the same boat as you for the photo-a-day challenge…..have yet to decide whether I should take on September or not. I did start doing a Weekly Photo Challenge, perhaps that is more up my occasional blogging alley! Good on you for rearranging those fails into thumbs ups!!!

    1. Oh and question: what are those delicious looking muffins? Are these one of your creations? They look amazing!!

      1. Found it, thanks! FYI it’s really nice that your search bar actually works, so many don’t! We’ve been on a huge muffin baking kick: zucchini, carrot, and pumpkin! Apple is definitely next on the list, thanks again!

  3. I was a horrible student in that way too! My propensity to procrastinate gets me down, too. Such a hard habit to break. But it is good to review what we are accomplishing. Go, you, for re-inspiring yourself (and your readers in the process).

  4. I too am a major procrastinator. The first step is admitting you have a problem – right? It should be easy from here 😉 -Rene

  5. FAIL totally works. There are no successes without failure. “I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” ~ Thomas Edison ( In my house, failure IS an option! And half the fun. So don’t sweat the small stuff.

    Procrastination? Pft. You ain’t got nothin’ on me. I thrive on the last minute stressful push into making something just happen, and then going, why didn’t I do that LAST week? All the time, Amber. Take it in stride. Nothing’s so important that you lose sight of the joy of the little things.

    Meatless Mondays? We’re doing meatless weeks now. We’ve eaten no bacon or steak for nearly two years, but just ditched the rest: poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy.

      1. It’s been a challenge…but we’re no longer “missing” it. I just made the yummiest spaghetti dish with loads of garlic, lemon slices, wine, veggie broth, basil, and parsley – and a soy-based cheese and nutritional yeast which “gooed” it up a bit. It was DIVINE!! Kids ate it all.

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