Choosing to Live More Intentionally

Hey there!

I wanted to sit down with you today and talk about that little Intentional Living button in the menu bar. If you noticed a few weeks ago, Moonshine In A Teacup (MIAT) got a new layout, and this little button appeared. Up until now, that category has been empty. I want to share with you why that spot appeared, what it means, and why I’m choosing to live more intentionally.

Intentionally Definition Moonshine In A Teacup

The next section here is very real. I am going to be upfront and open with you about my life behind the curated blog posts, and my decision to start trying to live more intentionally. I decided a long time ago if something I’ve experienced could benefit someone else, I would share it. But I haven’t done a good job of that here.

I love MIAT. It’s a fun way to chronicle what I’ve been up to and share it with all of you.  That being said, I’ve had a hard time sometimes fitting it into my busy life, and that makes me sad.  I look on Pinterest and compare my blog and my home to the perfect snapshots of other people’s lives on social media. I think, “Why am I doing this? It’ll never look as good.” Or worse, I think, “I don’t want friends to come into my house because it’s not perfect.” I’m jealous of adventures other go on because I don’t have the time or funds to go globe-trotting. I go out shopping and grab whatever fits and I like in the moment, or because it’s on sale, and it sits unworn in my closet. Or I wear the same outfit with it every time because only a few things match. I stress and obsess about being sure everything is done; everything is perfect. That I am perfect. Food and I have the worst relationship, and every time I eat something that isn’t a salad, I feel it’s the worst failure or a justifiable reward for something that’s happened. I have a hard time letting go of anger.

All of these things are the reason that little “Intentional Living” button appeared. I’ve never been one for New Year Resolutions. See above. I don’t do failure well, and whoever succeeds with those?

However, in January I started to think about my life. I know I mentioned it a bit in posts about the wedding, but last year was rough. There were some wonderful spots! The wedding, our honeymoon, time with friends, but I spent a lot of time trying desperately to claw my way out of the depressed, anxious place I was in. I took on too many large projects I truly couldn’t handle. There were health issues in the family. We bought a new house, work stress – then I was promoted to a new team that met me with a lot of resistance, the wedding, not being able to work on our house because I was working on the wedding. It was all just too much, and I couldn’t handle it. I gained 20 pounds and had to buy a new wedding dress. For three months, my anxiety level was so high that I had chest pain and sometimes heart palpitations. (Yupp, that’s a thing.)

I could never do a minimalistic life, but I can live an Intentional Life. This is what I’m working towards and it’s hard. It’s very hard. If I’m upset, emotions are emotions. What I can do is intentionally make an effort to not to let that impact those around me. I can choose to flip the situation and intentionally find something good in it. I can intentionally plan my wardrobe and purchases so they make a cohesive look, and I have the money to pay for better quality items that will last and serve me. I can intentionally schedule my day so I have time to work on the projects that I love.

Live Intentionally Moonshine In A Teacup

This blog and sharing with you guys is one of the things I love. Thank you for listening and sharing in this adventure with me. I hope you enjoy the new topics and posts coming, and I promise to be more open with you.

Let me know what questions you have or topics you want to hear about. Ask me anything, I’ll answer.

Feel Small When You Stand Beside the Ocean

“With age comes wisdom and with innocence youth, so listen, my friend, to the cautions of the young and the wise.”

If you hear the same advice from more than one older person or from the mouth of a child, it may just be something you should listen to.

I recall when I had just started to stretch my ears, and my parents hadn’t noticed yet (Sorry, Mama!), a girl at camp, who was maybe 15, had stretched hers out so large that only surgery could reverse it; she said that she regretted her decision. I thought about that, getting life lessons from a child, and immediately took out my gauges.

There was an older lady at the nail salon the other day who was sharing stories about her life as a young adult in Paris, and she said to me, “That’s one of the best and worst things about getting old; you look back at the things you could’ve done but didn’t and think, “Man – I could have done some stuff, and the reasons I didn’t weren’t good enough to not have done them.”

As I was driving to work last Friday, I heard women on a morning talk show talking about how stressful it is to purchase a swimsuit. I recall my first bikini, and the sheer panic and up-talking it took for me to step out in it. I had spent years of sweltering summers in jeans because I hated the scars on my legs and my stretch marks.

Me at age 18, in my first bikini at 176 lbs

The expectation of perfection is everywhere. We are constantly bombarded by imagery of what we should be. The sizes of our jeans are tiny and fluctuate from designer to designer. It’s difficult to find a two-piece above a size medium. Regardless of size, we’re subjected to judgement. We are either too skinny or too fat. In a room full of women, we are constantly discussing, analyzing, and apologizing. I don’t recall the last time I wasn’t on a diet; the last time I ate a giant cheeseburger without feeling guilty or apologizing; the last time I didn’t barter with myself for a cookie, or the last time I wasn’t hyper aware of exactly how many calories were in my meal.

I’ve been 180 lbs. and 150 lbs. I’ve been called hefty and athletic. I’ve baked cakes and pies and worked out at the gym 5 days a week. I’ve taken diet pills and starved myself. I’ve eaten low carb, counted calories, used artificial sweeteners, done cardio and lifted weights, and I’ve seen countless other women in my life do the same.

To quote the song, “Time takes its toll on a body; makes a young girl’s brown hair turn grey.” My skin will wrinkle and my hair will grey, and my body will change – it’s supposed to. We trade in youth for experience and years of life. That is exactly how it should be. We’ve forgotten how to celebrate age, and we idolize youth and perfection.

This is our struggle, a society of judgement.


When packing for the beach this year, I needed a new swimsuit. I’d gained a bit of weight back, and my instinct was to grab my one-piece and shield myself from being the girl who should’ve known better on the beach – and then I rejected that thought. I’ve struggled with body image; some days I’m content and some days I’m embarrassed, but the fact is I work out several times a week. I eat more vegetables, whole grains, and balanced meals than I ever have, and I have nothing to be ashamed of. I may not be a Victoria’s Secret model, but I am in the best shape of my life.


I try to dress professionally at work and pretty modestly at home. I keep my hemlines reasonable and my tops decently cut. There’s a quote attributed to several famous women which says, “A dress should be tight enough to show that you’re a woman but loose enough to show that you’re a lady,” which I tend to follow. Sometimes though, I just want to cut loose and wear whatever ridiculous trends are happening in the world. I figured, I’m on vacation, why not? I grabbed a crop top, high waisted shorts, and a bikini and said, “My body is acceptable just as it is” and headed off to the beach.

You know what? I wasn’t the thinnest or thickest girl there, and I had a blast.

We all need to tune in to the positive and accept what we are at the moment. Society judges us; we don’t need to also judge ourselves.




Presidential Election

“Whose garden was this, did it have flowers? I’ve seen pictures of flowers, and I’d love to have smelled one.”

That is a lyric from Tom Paxton’s “Whose Garden Was This.” I feel his sentiment about the general destruction and ill care of nature, but also in a broader sense.

I listen to NPR in my car on the commute to work, and lately the airwaves are focused on one thing: the Presidential election.

While listening to the speakers, a comment caught my ear and has stuck with me. “This race will be toxic.” The nominees are vicious, hurling rude insults, and the result will be that many Americans will simply throw up their hands in disgust and not vote.

A toxic race. I’ve lived through toxic relationships, and I know the havoc they can wreak. They undermine confidence and cripple. They result in anxiety and fatigue; they belittle, intimidate and confine. If we found out that our child was in a relationship with someone who behaved in this way, we would be outraged; we would want to shield and protect them.  We wouldn’t want this for our daughters, and we shouldn’t want this for our country.

Our nation’s leader is to do just that – lead. He or she is the figure head of our country, the Commander- in-Chief, our guide as we navigate this increasingly complicated and frightening world. The President is responsible for the protection of our people, to mind our best interests, promote equality, and increase our prosperity. Should not our leaders also lead by example?

I understand human nature; I work in customer service. I have been on the receiving end of threats, cursing, blustering, anger, frustration, and tantrums. At the end of each of these experiences, I shake my head and say the same thing, “In what world do people believe that this is acceptable behavior?”

If I would have ever reacted in this manner with my mother in ear shot not only would she have washed my mouth out with soap, she would make me call back and apologize. I’ve received the above treatment in one conversation from a grandmother, her daughter, and her granddaughter – in that case I know where the behavior was learned.

It seems that all I see and hear these days is vulgarity, hate, and filth. We allow and promote this behavior for a cheap thrill and a tabloid sale.

People are saying that some voters are disgusted by their options. If this is our accepted environment, what else could we expect when it comes time to look for a new leader?

A toxic race?  Toxicity doesn’t fade once you slap a label on it; you need a hazmat suit and special care instructions. We’re courting our candidates and from where I’m sitting 4 toxic years is a long-term relationship with a political situation that I’m not willing to commit to just yet.