Browsing Category


Books/ Spiritual/ Sponsored

7 Ways To Journal & Why I Write VS Type


I am just coming out of a quiet season, one in which I have been extra reflective and purposeful in sorting out all that is going on in my heart and head.  It has been a profitable time, a time of growth.

The joy of journaling has played a large role in this growth as I have used it to reflect on all this life brings, the good and the bad.

There are many reasons why I journal, here are just a few:



~it shows glimpses of this precious thing called life, and captures moments while emotions are still fresh, real and pure.

~it helps me to put onto paper thoughts and emotions that can clutter my brain and make my perspective cloudy, which brings clarity. It keeps my brain sharp, helps me to retain information better, and the practice of writing makes me a better writer.

~it is a safe place.  A place for inner words that are not ready to be introduced into the world yet.

~depending on the type of journal, it is also a place to leave a legacy and capture thoughts and words to share with generations to come

~it can record a journey.  Where was I one year ago today? What were my thoughts & desires? How have I changed?

~A journal can create a place to look back and remember more hopeful times in the bad times. It also records hardships that have already been walked through and overcome, which in reading can bring hope.

Journals & diaries can be workshops for the soul, laboratories where we an investigate and examine our lives, our secrets, hurts, resentments, memories & joys.

Journals are records for the heart and mind.  They chart the joys and sorrows of our daily lives, and, like a road map, they can direct us back to our hearts.

Journals are testaments of our lives that we live as fully and consciously as we can.

-Roseann Lloyd – Journey Notes


If journaling intimidates you or just feels too big, know that it does not have to be an everyday thing.  It also can be many words or just one word.  There are so many ways to journal and types of journals.  The key is to just write.

1. Fill in the blanks

I love these types of journals.  I love having a question to stimulate my writing.  I have  given these types of journals as gifts to my mom and my grandmother, asking them to fill them out and give them back to me.  They then become treasures.

2. Art journals

My youngest girl Avery started an art journal.  She has the gift of drawing, painting, and taking bits of paper memorabilia and making it into beauty. She is pretty proud of her creation. Gel pens like the Uni-Ball® 307™ Gel Pens found at Office Depot are perfect for these types of journals, as they roll beautifully onto all types of paper– even glossy paper– skip-free and no smudge! They come in a variety of vibrant colors.


3. Thankful journals

There has been very few other practices I have done in my life that are as profitable as journaling my thankfulness.  I started doing it with my 1,000 gifts series here on the blog, but this year I started journaling my thanks by hand, in a daily planner type journal. There is something beautiful that takes place when I sit with my thankful journal and pen & gain perspective of all the wonderfulness that happens, even on the most murky of days.

4. Inspirational journals

It is quite a practice to take quotes from inspirational type books or from scripture and apply it to oneself.  Writing the inspirational quote or verse down then making it personal is something I enjoy doing. I will either substitute my name where applicable or ask, “What does this say about me?” “How do I apply this to my life?” and then journal it.

5. Nature journal

Go out in nature and journal what you see, hear, smell. Even just simply listing it creates a beautiful journal. You could also take photos and make a nature photo journal.

6. Calendar Journal

My great-grandmother kept a calendar journal.  As her granddaughter, it was so precious to read through what everyday life was like through her calendar journals.  She would jot down who she visited, what appointments were made, and what she did on certain days.  Little daily glimpses of her life, which turned into a great big snapshot of my sweet grandparents and their life together for their grandchildren to enjoy.

7. Classic Journal

This is the type of journaling I do most often.  Anything goes.  Some days I write pages, some days just a paragraph. My classic journal is lined and contains lists, thoughts, reflections, verses of songs I want to remember & things I am learning. I make it a point to have no rules for myself, as there is no perfect way of journaling.

As you can see, there are so many different ways to express your emotions on paper…so explore them all!




I am a big fan of Moleskine journals.  They are well made, classic, I like that they look uniform on a shelf and will last for years to come.  They come ruled, squared or plain. I prefer ruled as without it, my handwriting tends to slant down to the right.



To me, the pen is just as important as the journal. I am a bit picky when it comes to the pens I use.  They must feel right in my hand and allow me to write without thinking about the tool that I am using, which means it must flow freely & smoothly.  I need a pen that inspires me to write. I have found just that in the uni-ball® AIR™ Rollerball Pen which can be found at Office Depot. It writes so smooth and at every angle. It gives a perfect fluid writing experience and the ink shows up nice and bold.  It is elegant and sophisticated, and features exclusive uni Super Ink for three-way protection against water, fading and fraud.


~Coffee or Tea

Ok, ok, not a necessity for everyone, but it sure is for me.  There is nothing like sitting down with a warm cup, my journal & my favorite pen to clear my head and help me to just exhale.



I’m sure you would have guessed that I am a nostalgic person, especially with the name of my blog being New Nostalgia.  There is something so nostalgic about handwriting.  I have cards with my great- grandmothers beautiful, loopy cursive writing that I have saved, not because of the card itself but because of how priceless it became once she wrote in the card by hand.

As a blogger, I do my share of typing.  I even write a series to my girls called “Leaving a Legacy” which too, is quite nostalgic. But, I love that despite all my typing, they will also have plenty of journals with my handwriting in them.  It makes it so much more personal. Think about it… would you rather have a typed list of things your mother or father were thankful for or would you like to see it in their own handwriting?

I also keep a recipe box with handwritten recipes, with key family recipes in it that are also hand written.  I have hand written recipes from aunts, friends, my mom and grandma.  I just love seeing all the different handwriting from those I love!

One last point, handwriting is something helps you retain what you are writing and can be quite therapeutic.  Handwriting is the result of a singular movement of the body, typing is not.  It takes movement, thought, fluidity, & pen to paper.

Ahhh…pen to paper.  Even typing that makes me feel nostalgic & makes me crave a cup of tea!


What about you?

Do you journal? Do you keep an online journal or a written journal? Do you still keep a handwritten recipe box? Do you like taking notes by typing or writing?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Uni Ball. The opinions and text are all mine.

5 Minute Fridays/ Books/ Uncategorized

To Write The Mind Alive

 SEND- proprioceptive-method-writing

Five minutes to write on the word: SEND.
Write–don’t edit–just 5 minutes to be in the moment.



Send thoughts upward than inward.  Zero in.

Simply scribe them.Easier said than done, it takes such honesty.

Even if not meant for anyone else, what if someone stumbles upon them?

It is quite a courageous venture, this one I’m about to go on.

To write the mind alive.

I wonder if these 5 minute Fridays have given me a glimpse of what it might be like. Five minutes goes by like a blink and one has no choice but to just write their immediate thoughts.

Writing the mind alive…what’s the word? Proprioceptive Writing? Yes.

It is a whole new world of real.  I have always thought I wrote real, but here before me is another level.

I am eager to send my exact thoughts to paper. Eager to explore and see where it might lead.

It will be different to pen them onto paper, instead of typing and pushing send.

Would you like to come on this adventure with me? Yes? Grab an unlined journal, a candle, a bit of Baroque & a copy of this.




VOTIVO Red currant. My ‘by-far’ favorite candle that my Mommy always gifts to me. You will love it!

Click here to buy.


Happy to be linking up to 5 Minute Friday.

Books/ Sponsored

She Makes Hats + Book Giveaway!

My name is Robyn, and I make hats. I make hats on repeat, at least one hat-in-progress always on my knitting needles, piles of finished hats on our desk, our dining room table, and in bins waiting to be donated. Almost every hat I make is given away to someone in need, with the remaining few given to friends and family. It’s a compulsion, some might even say an obsession – I simply keep knitting.

I started knitting hats in earnest back in 2009. Newly married and looking for a new challenge, I decided to knit 100 hats for 100 people in one year, using 100 different patterns. That project, completed on September 1, 2010, changed my life.

Since 2010, I’ve made close to 700 more hats, working slowly but surely towards my goal to make 10,000 hats in my lifetime!

I started blogging at She Makes Hats around the same time I began the One Hundred Hats project. What started as a way to keep track of the hats I was making has blossomed into a website dedicated to not only sharing the hats I’m making, but also a space to encourage folks to knit more hats and give them away. I share hat patterns, charities that accept finished hats, and share some of the tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way.

People often ask me, why hats? The short answer is hats are simple — they take just one skein of yarn, can be carried with you wherever you go, and don’t need any special measurements.

Most people’s heads fall under one of three or four sizes (baby, child, smaller adult, larger adult) so you can be fairly certain the hat you’ve made will fit one of these four sizes of person depending on the number of stitches on your needle.

Hats can do quite a bit to keep a person warm. Little babies have a hard time regulating their temperature, so a hat can mean the difference between health and sickness. For folks living on the street, a hat can help stave off sickness in the coldest of temperatures. Naval ships run cold so a hat can help keep soldiers warm while on and off duty. For folks dealing with a wide variety of illnesses, a hat can not only help keep them warm through treatments, but can be a reminder that they are still seen and valued as more than their diagnosis.

I’m excited to share my first book, She Makes Hats with the New Nostalgia community! A short collection of stories, She Makes Hats tells the longer version of how I became a knitter, then a hat
knitter, then a wife and mother. I share some of my favorite hat-making stories with the hope that I can encourage more folks to cast on a hat they plan to give away!

To celebrate my book, I’m giving away two copies to New Nostalgia readers, with a bunch of ways to enter to win!

If you would rather not wait and want to purchase my book now, buy She Makes Hats here on Amazon, in print or Kindle form.

Books/ Spiritual/ Sponsored

Peace in the Pressure Cooker + A Book Giveaway

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned: struck down, but not destroyed.” 
2 Corinthians 4:7-8

I have been waiting and waiting to share this amazing book with all of you!  I can’t think of a better time than Christmas to give you all the gift of knowing this beautiful woman’s story. Boy, do I wish I could give one of her books to each and everyone of YOU!  But since I cannot, I decided to celebrate this Christmas season of giving by having a book giveaway.

I am giving away 5 copies of Peace in the Pressure Cooker to five wonderful readers.  If you would rather not wait to read Patti’s story, then order her book right here, right now! 

I watched the powerful video below of Patti talking about her life story a few months ago.  I had the honor of being one of the first to watch it, while it was still in the editing phase.  Even then, I knew that what I had seen and heard from Patti would be life-changing for me.  I finished watching the video with tears streaming down my face and chills covering my body.  I became very passionate about sharing her story, and even felt frustrated that I had to wait until the book came out and the video was done! 

There is so much that struck me about watching and hearing Patti’s story. It is very rare to see someone who has overcome the challenges Patti has, yet still see joy and peace in their life. Peace & joy just flow from Patti.  Patti has shown me exactly what it looks like to love our God with a giddy love (she even gives a giddy giggle in the video a couple times, so watch for is my favorite!) It is a  passionate, intimate and trusting love.  She also showed me what it looked like to just hold on, as she grasped tight, pushed back, and found peace despite the extreme pressures life brought..

Some of the pressures that Patti has overcome?
 ~physical and sexual abuse
 ~breast cancer
~ living with a chronic pain and a brain injury from an auto accident 
~depression and homelessness. 

Yes, she has had her share of life’s pressures, but what peace she has found in the midst of them.

When I finally got my hands on her book, Finding Peace in the Pressure Cooker, the timing was perfect.  If you have been following along, you know that since mid-October I have been going through breast cancer reconstruction surgery.  It was a much longer process than we thought it would be, with many, many complications.  Reading Patti’s book truly helped get me through it all, and reminded me to keep giving my concerns and burdens to God.  I found myself highlighting  many pages as I read.  

Here are some of her words that really touched me:

That’s Mom; she was never going to change. But something changed inside me. I had gained new ground by standing up to her, and I was healed of the emotional injury that day in church. I was never going to let her bully me again. She tried, but I stood my ground for the next eight years.”
Then the Lord spoke to my heart telling me to make a choice: I could either carry the offense of my Mom’s actions or carry the burden of her lost soul. The choice was mine to make. What was it going to be?  I felt a strong burden for Mom’s soul.”
“…if I carried fear, resentment, and malice—then these emotions would keep me from sensing his presence.”
“What have I told you that you can do with all your burdens?” I answered him, “You said I can give all my burdens to you.” God promises he will not just walk with us when we are burdened, but that he would also take our burdens upon himself. Isn’t he amazing? I love him so. I was instantly released of the heaviness in my heart, and peace took its place.”

Patti writes with an honesty that I could relate to.  She is authentic and vulnerable.  I kept finding myself nodding my head at the book in my hands…I could so identify with her feelings.  Her honesty was very refreshing.  

Here are some examples:

         “Angry people frightened me.” 
         “Personal criticism made me defensive.”
         “My life was shaped by the demands of the people around me, and I lost all sense of my own      identity.”
         “I confused love with pity by protecting the addicted or depressed people in my life, rescuing them from their problems.”
          “I felt responsible for the damaged people in my life and tried hard to help them change their behavior or attitudes.” 
          “I trusted the addicted or depressed person’s promises, even if he or she had broken countless promises before.”
          “I had unhealthy boundaries and couldn’t say no without feeling guilty.”
          “I avoided pain by working, spending, serving, and clowning around—anything to not feel.”
 Can you relate to any of these things?  I know I could…most ALL of them. Patti tells us how she overcame and found peace.  

I will end this with some of my favorite words from Patti:

What drives me to sit before women? I love to get eye to eye with them so they can see into my heart.  I share the pressures of life, not to pick a scab, not to trigger anything, but just to show them that I understand pressures of life–prolonged, consistent pressures that can crush you–but because of what we have in God, because of the empowering of His word & His promises, we can push back from the inside out.   

Maybe our surroundings won’t change, but we change.  This is the God I serve. He changes the conditions inside my heart.  He didn’t take me out of anything, He kept me in everything. I’ve been hit by cancer, I’ve been hit by cars, I’ve been tied in chairs, I’ve had my nose torn open–but I’m NOT going to be quiet about my God.  The world has done alot to us, but my God has taken it back by His design.  You CAN have peace in this pressure cooker world.

Join the Giveaway!

Get to know Patti Davis:

~Follow Peace In The Pressure Cooker On Facebook

Don’t forget to watch the video above! 

Books/ Cancer Journey/ HEALTH

Panic, What-Ifs & Self Pity — a Health Update


I felt it last night and this morning, a type of panic starting to rise up within me.  Worrying replacing peace, “what-ifs?” swirling, self-pity in place of thankfulness.

The shot in my stomach to cut off all hormones is showing its power in the intensity of hot flashes throughout the night and this morning..  What I used to call a ‘hormone’ headache has been throbbing all night, its name changed to ‘no hormone’ headache.  My right reconstruction site joins my head in the throbbing, a pink, inflamed & burning reminder that I may be in for more surgery that would remove the progress and the shape of feminine.  Progress that was bought with a lot of pain and many dollars earned by my hard working husband. All the while a bottle of meds sit calling to me, their purpose is to sweep up any leftover hormones.  I am scared of these tiny white pills. I was supposed to start them a week ago. Can I handle their side effects on top of everything else?  I’m already the mom who has been spending most of my day in bed, sleeping for hours in the afternoon so I can enjoy my family or an outing in the evening.

I can see my girls are pretty over it all.  Disappointed when I can’t take them somewhere, and numb to the familiar answer of “Mom doesn’t feel well.” I hear my door creak open mid afternoon and then shut again,  I wonder what little one needed and feel sad that she sees the familiar lump of mom asleep in the afternoon.  I think of how my Todd is handling most of the parenting, and wish that I could handle more, emotionally and physically.

I feel overwhelmed with all there is to do.  Pumpkins need put away and replaced with reds and greens.  The house filling up with evidence that the kids have been home on fall break. Gifts need bought and wrapped.  Groceries need bought. Meals need planned. December paid posts need written, my contribution to our family budget.

One doctor calls wanting to scan my ovaries, this week. Another doctor’s office calls reminding me to come in for my second stomach shot. Yet another doctor calls wondering about my pain level and wants to see me Tuesday.  He reminds me that if all goes well and no infection we need to make a surgery exchange appointment by the end of the year.

I feel it rising, the feeling of overwhelmed.

But then…this.

{The Greatest Gift – Ann Voskamp}

I scroll through my Facebook feed and find an angel, Ann Voskamp.  I remember it is December 1st, day one of advent.  For a moment it becomes just another thing I need to do, but then, I click play and listen.  Her voice so soothing.  Her words go straight to my core an loosens the ball of worries.  Truth words that have the power to change my thoughts. I release pending despair and take breath of fresh air.

I am reminded that GOD HOLDS IT ALL.
I am reminded why I have hope.
I find my determination
I find my perspective.

I resolve to ride out this December advent season, upside down.  Like her sweet tree, hanging all upside down in the video.  Perfectly imperfect, looking to the only One who is perfect. My hope -giver, my life- giver, my story- maker.

I will count the gifts…there are always so many, even in seasons of hard.
I will remember to trust Him with my story.
I will be ok with the imperfect, and remember what it took for me to find this hope…

…a perfect babe born, so that the imperfect could truly LIVE.

I will remember that this baby, the star of this advent season, would one day save me.  Has saved me.

I will find my hope.

{Click here to buy The Greatest Gift}
{Click here for week one}

Books/ Cancer Journey/ HEALTH/ Love/ Spiritual

Suffering & A Health Update

Because of my faith, I long to suffer well.  Suffering well does not mean denying pain, for to suffer well means to suffer real.  Pain in this world is a reality, but I believe in a God who has come to overcome this world.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

After a week of physical pain & suffering, those words mean so much more.  Thanks to all your prayers and a very good God, I did feel peace in suffering.  I had a few real moments, what I call “shaking my fists” type moments, but God gets that and hears my cries in those fist shaking times. Those moments happened when I tried to go back onto Tamoxifen (a hormone drug I take for cancer) and when I learned I would need a second surgery due to a defective expander.  Despite these times of struggle, I truly was overcome by the peace and even joy that I have felt the last week.  
That is what God does.  He gives purpose to pain.  I want you to meet someone who I know who has been through so much pain in her lifetime, yet claims God’s purpose in her pain.

“Sexually, mentally, and physically abused, stage 3 breast cancer, homeless, divorced and a single mom are only a few of the challenges that Patti has faced.” Watch this incredible story.

How amazing is she?  Do you want more of Patti?

Order her book, Peace In The Pressure Cooker  –> here.
Follow her on Facebook here.
Visit her website here.

Her story is so inspirational.  She spurs me on to suffer well.  She is such a beautiful example to me and I am so grateful to know about Patti and her story!


I am doing great, my last surgery went really well and 2 days later I’m only taking Tylenol for pain.  I am slow and sore, but what a huge change from the first surgery.  Those nasty little red tubes were removed and also my left drain.  What a relief!

Books/ Healthy Eating/ How-Tos/ RECIPES

19 Favorite Food Rules For Healthy Eating

Cover for Michael Pollan's book: "Food Rules"

by Micheal Pollan
I am a fan of Micheal Pollan. 
He was the first one that I have read who was able to take the incredibly complicated question of
 “What Should I Eat?”
 and answer:
“Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

“Eat food and avoid edible food like substances.”
 I read his first book, In Defense Of Food, a year ago and just really jived with it.   I was so happy to see that he came out with a short, easy to read, manual that expands on the answer. 
Each page gives a simple tip on what to eat.  I read the book in 30 minutes and loved it.

New Nostalgia yellow logo "Rules for Healthy Eating"


Here are some of my most favorite rules from the book:
#2 Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.
(for example–neon colored tubes of flavored gel called Go-GURT!)
#3 Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry
(ethoxylated diglycerides??)
#4 Avoid food products that contain high-fructose corn syrup
(it is a reliable marker for a food product that has been highly processed)
#5 Avoid foods that have some form of sugar (or sweetener) listed among the top three ingredients.
(exception to this rule, are “special occasion” foods–see Rule 60)
#6 Avoid food products that contain more than five ingredients.
(another sign that it is a highly processed food)
#7 Avoid food products with the word “lite” or the terms “low-fat” or “non-fat” in their names.
( Refined carbs can make you fat.  Sugar makes you fat.  Many low-fat or no-fat products boost the sugar and salt to make up for the flavor lost when removing fat)
#10 Avoid foods that are pretending to be something they are not.
(imitation butter-aka-margarine-is the classic example.  Artificial sweeteners..)
#11 Eat only foods that will eventually rot.
(real food is alive food…therefore it should eventually die)
#12 Eat foods made from ingredients that you can picture in their raw state or growing in nature.
(read ingredients on a package of Twinkies or Pringles and imagine what those look like raw or where they grow…ya can’t!)
#19 If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.
#22 Eat mostly plants, especially leaves
(antioxidants, fiber, omega- 3 fatty acids, energy dense!)
#23 Treat meat as flavoring or special occasion food.
(become a “flexitarian”–someone who eats meat only a couple times a week)
#25 Eat your colors!
(colors from nature are full of polyphenols, flavonioids, carotenoid, which all fight disease!)
#34 Sweeten and salt your food yourself.
(you will find you are consuming a fraction as much sugar and salt as you otherwise would–example oatmeal–buy plain not flavored, sweetened or colored!)
#36 Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk.
( that one.  It’s kind of a “duh”)
#37 “The whiter the bread, the sooner you will be dead”
(I expand on that here)
#39 Eat all the junk food you want, as long as you cook it yourself.
(if you made all the french fries you ate, you would eat them much less often!  Too much work!)
#57 Don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does
(Gas stations have become processed corn station.  Ethanol outside and high-fructose corn syrup inside!)
#60 Treat treats as treats.
(special occasion food is great as long as every day is not a special occasion.  Save them for weekends or for true special occasions!)
Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
by Micheal Pollan