Happy Friday, my friends! Friday is my absolute favorite day of the week. This week I’m especially giddy because there are a lot of exciting things going on. We just booked a trip to the beach for this summer with our friends Cassie and Nic and I can’t wait. Also, I started a new job this week! I’ve been keeping it quiet and being kind of vague about it because I wasn’t sure whether I would leave my old job yet, and actually I technically had three jobs there for a while, but I think I’m going to settle into a routine of working 1-2 days per week at the new place and filling in only occasionally at one of my old jobs (a psychiatric outpatient program for adults), but if I change my mind my old boss has been really great about letting me know that I can come back anytime (that job was conducting in-home assessments for kids and teens coming into a counseling program. So many jobs!). What’s exciting is that the new job is in a field I’ve been wanting to get into for a while: medical social work. It’s completely different from anything I’ve done before and I have a lot to learn, but I think it’s going to be really rewarding. Plus I get to wear scrubs!

In other news, I’ve recently become addicted to books written by author John Green. In the last week I’ve read The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, and last night I started reading An Abundance of Katherines. The Fault in Our Stars is the best so far. They’re written for teenagers but I still love them, maybe because the protagonists are all very bright and not very popular and since I was firmly ensconced in the Gifted clique as a teen I find them quite relatable. The only downside is that the books are sort of depressing. I get really attached to the characters and then when something sad happens I feel it and when the book ends I miss them.

As if I wasn’t feeling nostalgic enough after reading all these books that took me right back to high school, yesterday I took Jack on a walk around LSU’s campus to kill some time between picking him up from the babysitter’s and meeting Nick back home for dinner. I was a freshman at LSU exactly ten years ago and every time I visit campus I’m astounded by how much has changed and how much remains the same. I feel like the same could be said for me! I’m the same person as I was ten years ago and yet parts of me are vastly different (exhibit A: I have a child). LSU is really such a beautiful place and I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to spend so much time there. It was definitely a defining period in my life.

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Have a great weekend, y’all!

I’m really excited to share this giveaway with y’all! Sprigs Jewelry and Accessories is my newest sponsor and is generously offering to give one of you an item of your choosing from her shop. Ashley has a huge selection of cute jewelry, so you’re sure to find something that you or someone you know would like. The birthstone bracelet, for example, would make such a great gift for Mother’s Day.

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Anna Birthstone Bracelet

And how gorgeous are these statement earrings for date night? She has a ton of dangly earrings to choose from. I think that one of my ear piercings has closed from lack of use but these earrings tempt me to coax it open again.

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Brooke Earrings

Ashley has over 100 items to choose from and they are all adorable. If you don’t win the giveaway (or don’t want to wait to find out), you can use code LIVINGWELL10 to get 10% off through Mother’s Day, May 11.

You’ve got a couple of options for entering the giveaway: you can like Sprigs’s facebook page, comment here on what you would pick from Sprigs’s Etsy shop, like Living Well on the Cheap’s facebook page, or do all three for three chances to win! Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below (If you’re reading in your email or reader you may need to click over to the site). The giveaway will end at midnight on April 30th, so you’ve got through the end of the month to enter. Ashley is not set up to do international shipping so this giveaway is open only to US residents.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This beautiful oak tree shades the entirety of our tiny front yard.

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I did absolutely nothing to edit these photos (aside from resizing them). I took the one above while lying on my back on the front walk and pointing my camera directly overhead. Jack and I spend a lot of time out here when the weather’s nice. It’s shady and cool and between the fence and the tree it feels cozy despite the fact that it’s in the middle of a small city on a street that sees a lot of through traffic.

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Spring is really the most beautiful time of year in Louisiana. In a month it will be sticky and hot outside and we’ll barely be able to tolerate it even in the shade, but April is perfection. I wish it could be like this for always. It’s magical.

This is one of my favorite quotes.

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There have been lots of changes in my life lately. I’m taking on some new things professionally and it is really exciting to try something new after five years as a social worker. It feels like I’m fresh out of school again (in a good way). But change is not always easy for me and there have been some growing pains. It’s scary to take a leap sometimes. The thing that keeps me going as a social worker is the motivation to help people–that’s what’s most important. Even if you’re not in a helping profession, you can make an effort to be the change. Be nice to strangers whether in the grocery store or on the internet. Treat others the way that you would like to be treated. Recycle. And when you have a chance to do good, do it.