Getting Personal #173: July Goals


Image Credit: Facebook

Hello, July! It’s hot and humid here in Virginia. Summer just started, and it’s already reaching the mid-90s during the day.

Here are my goals for the month of July:

  1. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo, July 2019.
  2. Catch up on maintenance / gas logs for both cars.
  3. Do another round of closet clean-out.
  4. See Spider-Man: Far From Home.
  5. Watch Stranger Things, Season 3.
  6. Finish cleaning the attached garage.
  7. Work on my office, making sure everything from the garage has a proper place.
  8. Read every night before bed.
  9. Celebrate the 4th!
  10. Spend quality time with family and friends.

What about you? Do you have any goals for the month of July?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #172: June Goals Recap

BeautyBeyondBones 2

Image Credit: Beauty Beyond Bones

June felt like a bit of a marathon. Oh well. It was a good month!

Here’s the link to my June Goals post:

  • Getting Personal #170: June Goals


Here we go!

  1. See Dark Phoenix. — Accomplished!
  2. Test out the “natural” weed killer recipe. — Accomplished!
  3. Plant mosquito-repelling plants in our front flower beds. — Did not accomplish.
  4. Work on tidying up both garages with Al. — Accomplished!
  5. Catch up on maintenance / gas logs for both cars. — Did not accomplish.
  6. Do another round of closet clean-out. — Did not accomplish.
  7. Decide what to work on for Camp NaNoWriMo July 2019. — Accomplished!
  8. Catch up on tags and participation blog posts. — Accomplished!
  9. Spend more time reading. — Did not accomplish.
  10. Spend more time with my journal. — Semi-Achieved.
  11. Find at least one new recipe to make. — Accomplished!

Al and I went to see Dark Phoenix the weekend it opened. It was pretty decent, but we both have similar opinions about the X-Men movie franchise. The cast was great!

The “natural” weed killer recipe is three ingredients: Vinegar, Epsom salt, and blue Dawn dishwashing detergent. It worked pretty well. We definitely have some stubborn weeds, though, so it may take multiple applications!

We made HUGE progress with both garages this month! I’m so excited. Al single-handedly worked on the detached garage, and we were able to park his Mustang in it last weekend! Happy dance. We took several hours yesterday to tackle the attached garage together, and it looks like a different space already. We still have some work to do, but we filled up my car with thrift store donations, and we have so much less stuff to deal with going forward. We’re hoping, by some time in July, to park one of the other cars in it!

I can’t believe it’s already time for Camp NaNoWriMo, July 2019! I really enjoy the structure of it, and I look forward to meeting everyone in my “cabin.”

I’m working diligently to write in my journal every day. I’m taking a page from my Gratitude Challenge blog posts and trying to capture my gratitude list daily.

The recipe I chose knocked it out of the park! I was looking for something different to make in our Crock-Pot, and I stumbled upon Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas. It’s only four ingredients, and it’s simply set it and forget it!

Did you have any goals for the month of June? Let me know!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #238: “Imagination Plantation: European Vacation”

I was nominated for this writing challenge by Kristian, the lovely author of Life Lessons Around The Dinner Table. Thanks, Kristian, for nominating me!

Here’s the link to Kristian’s post, where I was nominated:

The challenge, Imagination Plantation, was originally created by Nova, the amazing author of Nova’s Namaste 365 Online.

4 Simple Rules:

Write me a short paragraph about what’s happening in this image.

Create a pingback to this image.

Tag three bloggers.

Reuse this same image 🙂 Let’s see how many stories can come from the same one.

Kristin shivered as the plane landed. As she turned off her iPod and listened to the final announcements of the flight attendants, she felt her right hand being gently squeezed. It was comforting.

“K? Are you okay?”

She smiled, squeezing his hand back.

“Yeah. I think so. My stomach always drops when planes land.”

Brennan smiled, hardly believing they had just landed in Germany. Their first time overseas.

As Brennan stroked her hand, Kristin’s thoughts drifted toward the cities and towns they would be exploring for the next 10 days. She was always nervous during plane trips, but for some reason, she was incredibly nervous about this trip. It was odd – She hadn’t felt this nervous around Brennan since the very beginning of their Camp experience. That was years ago.

She started to relax as their Uber left the Munich airport and headed toward the German countryside. The weather was absolutely beautiful, very unseasonable for the middle of August.

Brennan noticed Kristin had drifted off, her head laying on his shoulder. He smiled as his lips grazed her forehead. He caught a glimpse of a sleepy smile.

He took in the sights. It was about a 30-mile drive from the airport. There were so many trees – Far more than he’d ever seen in Texas. The amount of foliage and nature was rivaling Camp in Maine, and that was hard to top. He was in awe the entire drive. There were rivers, bridges, cathedrals, and stunning architecture. It was almost overwhelming. He was a little sad Kristin was missing this, but he thought it better she sleep. They had the next 10 days to take in everything. Germany was just the beginning.

The Uber driver easily navigated the steep, gravel-lined hill toward their first stop. Brennan’s smile grew wider. He remembered how excited, positively giddy Kristin was when she’d found it on Airbnb. It looked like a castle in the photos. And, in real life, unfolding before Brennan’s eyes, it was true.

“Hey, Kristin … Sweetheart?”

She groaned slightly, yawned, and opened her eyes.

“Yes, Brennan? What is it?”

He kissed her forehead, and then brushed her lips.

“Welcome to your castle, darling. Let’s start our European vacation.”


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #171: “My Grandma, the PUBLISHED AUTHOR!!!” (Reblogged)

Full disclosure: This is not about my grandma!

I wanted to spread this exciting news!

I’ve been following Didi and her blog for quite a while. I remember her telling us about her amazing grandmother, who was in the process of writing a novel. Well, this week, her grandma’s dream became a reality! Check out Didi’s post, Doris’s book, and share away! I’m definitely buying it in the near future.

Congratulations, Doris!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Didi Oviatt

My Grandma published her western romance novel today! I couldn’t be any more thrilled! Not only to have a grandma of my very own, that’s a writer like me, but to have her step up and publish her work, is absolutely amazing! I’ve mentioned her project before, even wrote a bit ofdescription andreview as she pushed through the process of it all. Writing a novel is no small task, and she’s been working on it for quite some time. As a long time poet, she’s had the itch to write for years, and I am so proud of her. The book is a delight! The characters are phenomenal! Even in her 80s, my Grandma is a confident, beautiful, and extremely talented woman! SO GO READ THIS BOOK!


Terry is an independent woman who stems from a prominent family that founded Paradise. She’s humble yet fierce, and she…

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Tag #87: “3-2-1 Quote Me! – Happiness”


Image Credit: Thrive Global

Thanks for tagging me, Kristian!

Here’s the link to the post where I was tagged:

The Rules:

  • Thank the selector
  • Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day, “Happiness”
  • Select 3 bloggers to take part in ‘3-2-1 Quote Me!’

best short happy quotes | happy quotes positive | happy quotes funny | happy quotes positive good vibes | happy quotes about life | happy quotes inspirational | short happy quotes simple | short happy quotes | short happy quotes positive thoughts | short happy quotes smiles | short happy quotes for instagram | short happy quotes love | #happyquotes #happymotto #quotes

Image Credit: Pretty Wild World 

It was hard to pick just two quotes!

happy life quote mother teresa

Image Credit: Country Living

Tag – You’re It!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂


Tag #86: Traveling Blog Journal

I was tagged by the amazing, talented Kristian for this post. Thank you, Kristian! Check out her blog at Life Lessons Around The Dinner Table.

Here’s the link to Kristian’s post where I was tagged:

This post was created by Nova. Her blog is Nova’s Namaste 365 Online.

Here’s the link to the original post:

This is what Nova has asked:

“I would love to pass a blog post, as if a journal, around. For the person tagged, I’d like you to just introduce yourself and tell us from what STATE/COUNTRY you reside. I’d like you to write something interesting about where you live once you’ve identified that. Then you can add a couple of your own details, if you’d like.

Each person who is tagged, please tag someone at the end of your post, and create a pingback to this post

Most of all,

Have Fun! 💖💚🌼

Thank you!!”

This is me:

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, eyeglasses, stripes and closeup

One of my all-time favorite photos. This was taken by my husband, Al, on Christmas Day 2012.

Image may contain: Laura Beth Vardaro, smiling, closeup

This was taken after a fresh haircut in September 2016. I’m debating going back to this length.

Image may contain: Laura Beth Vardaro and Al Vardaro, people smiling

One of my favorite photos from our engagement shoot, July 2015. Credit: Stellar Exposures

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sitting

One of my favorites from our wedding day – November 14, 2015. Credit: Drew Brink

Image may contain: Laura Beth Vardaro and Al Vardaro, people smiling, people standing

Dancing at Nick and Savy’s wedding – October 14, 2017.

Image may contain: Al Vardaro and Laura Beth Vardaro, people smiling, dog, eyeglasses, beard and outdoor

The day we adopted our two furbabies – December 2, 2018. Al is holding Phineas and I’m holding Ferb. They are our goobers!

I love so many things.

God, and my relationship with Christ.

My parents, Jim and Karen.

My wonderful, amazing husband, Al.

My in-laws, Bruce and Debbie.

Our miniature pinschers, Phineas and Ferb.

So many family, friends, family friends, and church members.

Nature – Flowers, trees, dogs, cats, turtles, frogs, rainbows, sunshine, thunderstorms.

Where I Live – Virginia, U.S.A.

I currently live in Portsmouth, Virginia, in the United States. I’ve called the Hampton Roads area my home for the better part of 26 years. This is the southeastern part of the state. We are also known as the “Seven Cities” – Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Hampton, Newport News, and Suffolk.

I’ve only lived in five other cities in my whole life – New York City (Governors Island), Alexandria in Northern Virginia, Chesapeake (where my parents still have the same house they purchased in 1992), Farmville in central Virginia to attend Longwood University (2007-2011), and a small apartment in Newport News (2013-2014).

My corner of Virginia gets a “taste” of all four seasons every year, but every year is different. There are years where we’ve had blizzards and nearly a foot of snow, multiple hurricanes, and brief hints of spring and autumn. Hampton Roads is surrounded by water on two sides – The Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean – plus multiple swamps, rivers, and creeks. To get most places, you have to cross at least one bridge or use a tunnel. We are about 45 minutes from the northeastern North Carolina border.

I enjoy living here for many reasons. One of the best is the rich history we have. Jamestown, Portsmouth, and Williamsburg are all part of the early settlers and colonial eras. Yorktown became famous during the Revolutionary War. Norfolk and Portsmouth have significant shipyards. All five branches of the military have bases or installations here – Air Force (Langley), Army (Fort Eustis), Coast Guard (Portsmouth), Marines (MAGTF), and Navy (Craney Island, Naval Station Norfolk, Oceana). NASA Langley is located in Hampton, and it recently celebrated its 100th Anniversary. I could go on for days and days. It’s a pretty cool place to live!

Thanks for this awesome opportunity, Nova and Kristian!

I invite Jenna, who is the author of Bookmark Your Thoughts, to continue this journal!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #170: June Goals


Photo from Coral Gables, Florida. Found on Facebook.

I’ve been doing a double-take when I look at a calendar. It’s June. We’re basically halfway through 2019 now. It feels crazy!

Here are my goals for the month of June:

  1. See Dark Phoenix.
  2. Test out the “natural” weed killer recipe.
  3. Plant mosquito-repelling plants in our front flower beds.
  4. Work on tidying up both garages with Al.
  5. Catch up on maintenance / gas logs for both cars.
  6. Do another round of closet clean-out.
  7. Decide what to work on for Camp NaNoWriMo July 2019.
  8. Catch up on tags and participation blog posts.
  9. Spend more time reading.
  10. Spend more time with my journal.
  11. Find at least one new recipe to make.

Do you have any goals for the month of June? Let me know in the comments!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂