I’m doing the 75 Soft Challenge

Yes, I’m making a lifestyle change based on a TikTok video I saw. This is like peak 2021, but I’m okay with it.

What is the 75 Soft Challenge?

It developed as a response to the viral 75 Hard Challenge that is, in my opinion, unsustainable and unhealthy. Some of the rules include following a diet like Keto or Whole30, working out for an hour and a half every day, and no alcohol or cheat meals or you start over at Day One.

75 Soft is a gentler approach that encourages attainable lifestyle change while still setting guidelines for that change. I don’t know who started it, and I take no credit for it, but here are MY 75 Soft Challenge rules.

Do these four things every day for 75 days:

  1. Eat mindfully, whatever that means to you
  2. Work out for 45 minutes
  3. Drink 1 gallon of water
  4. Read 10 pages of any book (audiobooks or podcasts count, too)

The 75 Soft Challenge is NOT a weight-loss program. To me, it’s about living with intention and making choices that are good for my mind and body. So let’s unpack these “rules” a bit.

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Not to be dramatic, but working from home changed my life

I will remember March 17th, 2020 for the rest of my life. It’s one of those rare memories that sticks in your brain in such vivid detail. I can see the florescent lights and glittery green St. Patrick’s Day decorations throughout our corner of the office building, I can hear the click-clacking of 20 or so keyboards from around the room, and I can smell the cold cup of coffee with hazelnut creamer sitting at my desk.

On March 17th, 2020 my supervisors walked through our department and had us all shut our phones off to go into a meeting. As we all ended our calls and ceased our furious typing, the office fell silent for the first time in weeks. We gathered in the cafeteria where we were told to space out six feet apart from each other. I looked left and right at my gal pals, and thought how weird it is to be standing, far apart from each other, and in the cafeteria of all places when meetings used to be held in the small conference room where we would huddle together around the table and whisper snide comments to each other and try not to laugh.

“We have made the decision that our department will work from home for the time being,” my manager said. “IT will be coming around tomorrow to help box up your monitors and all of your equipment.”

That week we said “goodbye” and “see you soon” to our co-workers, to our office family. We weren’t supposed to, but we hugged each other. We thought we may be gone only a few weeks or a few months.

Ten months later my company had a new standup desk and chair delivered to my home. We aren’t going back. In just a few days it will be one year since I started working from home full time.

There was definitely an adjustment period at first, and I still have bittersweet moments, but it has been a blessing. Like I said– not to be dramatic, but working from home has changed my life. Here’s how.

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Getting my first tattoo

I’ve wanted to get a tattoo for a long time, but I never thought I’d have the courage to actually do it. My parents don’t really approve of tattoos, the pain of actually getting a tattoo seemed like too much to bear, and I’m terrible at making decisions. That’s not to say that I make bad decisions- just that it takes me a while to decide on anything. One time I spent about an hour walking around TJ Maxx with two different purses in my cart because I couldn’t decide which one I wanted– how could I EVER decide on all the details of a tattoo?

But I did. After months of research (thank you, Pinterest!) and thought, I took a leap of faith and got my first tattoo last week. A small baby evergreen tree. 

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Real Life Advice for Young Adults Who Want Their First Puppy

My husband and I both grew up with dogs in our families. My family adopted Sampson, our love-able mutt, when I was about seven years old and he was a faithful companion through my childhood and teenage years. Dan’s parents kept a steady stream of playful labs in the family- first Misty and Charlie, then Scooby and Shaggy, and now Roxy and Rambo. Having both grown up with dogs, we figured we’d be experts when it was time to buy one of our own. Well let me tell you– there is a big difference between being a dog “sibling” and being a dog mom. It’s a lot of responsibility, but it’s so worth it. I’ve learned a lot in the six months since we brought Kingsley home, so keep reading for some of the most important advice I want to give you before bringing your first puppy home.

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The Wife of a Traveling Businessman

“You realize that if I end up taking this job it’s going to involve a lot of travel, right?” Dan turned his head to look at me before turning his eyes back to the road. “Like, a lot of travel. At least one or two weeks out of every month.”

My careful reply came a few seconds later: “Yes, I get that. And I don’t love it. But I want to make sure you’re doing something you love.”

Dan was a few months away from graduating with his Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering, and it was time to make a decision about his job offers. Basically, the options came down to:

1- Sit at a desk all day every day and do math (or whatever it is that Electrical Engineers do), or

2- Sit at a desk and do math all day for a week or two and then spend the next week traveling and doing the hands-on work to put that math into action. Knowing and loving Dan like I do, option number two was obviously the best choice for him.

Fast-forward about six months, and I’m dropping Dan off at the airport for his first business trip. He had to go to Orlando for the week (ironically, we were just there for our honeymoon two weeks before), and as I pulled the car up to drop-off area I couldn’t stop the tears rolling down my cheeks. He gave me a hug and a kiss goodbye, and then he’s off. The tears eventually stopped somewhere along the drive back home, and I kept myself as busy as I could that week to keep my mind off the fact that Dan wasn’t there.

In retrospect, that week of Dan’s first business trip was the longest time we’d ever spent apart. We started dating when we were sixteen, and even when we were at separate colleges we didn’t go more than a few days without seeing each other. That explains why being separated that first time was so hard. And I use the word “hard” with caution. I know that compared to women whose husbands are off fighting for our country overseas, my husband going on business trips for a week or two at a time is nothing. But I can only speak to my own experience, not theirs.

Here are some things that have helped me stay sane when my husband is out of town on business.

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The “I want to thrive but real life keeps getting in the way” Support Group

I was texting one of my friends the other day, and the conversation went something like this:

“I read a few chapters of Girl Wash Your Face this morning and it totally started my day off on the right foot.”

“Good!! I’m downloading some podcasts right now because my life needs them.”

“I hear ya. That’s why I finally sat down to read this morning.”


“I feel like we need a ‘I want to thrive but real life keeps getting in the way’ support group lol.”

We’re both a “personal development” kick lately. At least, we’re trying. Personal development, growth, pursuit of joy, thriving- whatever you want to call it, the bottom line is we’re actively trying to “live our best lives.” And I think we’re not the only ones, which is why I’m writing this post. So if you can relate to any of those terms above, listen up, this is your support group pep talk.

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What is The Bowers Burrow?

A burrow, according to Dictionary.com, is a place of retreat; shelter or refuge.

The Bowers Burrow is basically the same, but we also have waffles.

I strive to create warm spaces where my people feel welcome to come as they are, messy bun and all, and just do life together. Places where we can share what’s on our hearts, catch up, complain about the little things, swap ideas, and ultimately, build each other up.

And that’s what I want this blog to be: our cozy corner of the internet where we can retreat for a little while and share life together.

So here’s a bit about me and what to expect from this blog.



I married my high school sweetheart, Dan, about a year and a half ago. He is steady, fun, and incredibly kind. He is my home. I love every part of our life together, even the messy “real life” parts. We’ve been together for over eight years, and there is no one I would rather have by my side through it all.


We have two fur babies, Belle and Kingsley. I rescued Belle about 3 years ago, and she is the light of my life. Kingsley is a “giant” German Shepherd and he’s turning 4 months old in a few days. And yes, Dan and I are so nerdy that we named our dog after one of our favorite Harry Potter characters.


We bought our first house about 6 months ago. We’ve been doing lots of projects around the house to put our personal touch on this place as well as some much-needed upgrades. We started remodeling the kitchen in October and it is so close to being done! So expect to hear more about that in future posts 🙂


I love to bake, read, write, crochet, and create. I’ll share all of my favorite recipes, books, and crafts with you guys on here.


Even though I’m a 65-year-old woman at heart, I still love a little adventure. Hiking, kayaking, camping, and traveling. Dan really brings out this side of me, otherwise I’d probably be content to sit home with Belle most of the time. I’m also working on getting in better physical shape, and I think living an active lifestyle is a big part of that.

Writing helps me live a life of intention, and that’s honestly a main reason I’m starting this blog. To encourage myself to be present in everyday moments, to try to new things, to live up to my potential, and to say what’s on my mind.  If you know me from my old blog, thanks for sticking around.

So let’s do life together. 

Come on over, I’ll put the coffee on.