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8 Discoveries I Made in 2021



I'm a writer, author, and online educator who loves helping others build intentional lives through the power of habit and meaningful routines.







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001. Pizza Fridays

Pizza Friday is a tradition I’ve wanted to start for a long time, and in the Fall of 2021, we finally just pulled the trigger. Every Friday, we order pizza and pick a movie to watch. Right now, it’s just Lane and me because Novi’s too young and doesn’t yet watch movies from start to finish, but it’s a tradition I want to establish by the time she is ready for it. We’ve opted to order in most nights, but there have been a few nights where we’ve ventured into homemade pizza. The main thing is that we have a long week of cooking meals and doing all-the-things that it’s nice to order from somewhere, kick up our feet, and enjoy a flick together. Lane and I both look forward to the tradition all week long.

Some of my favorite films we’ve watched so far include:

  1. The Prestige

  2. The Departed

  3. Don’t Breathe

002. Groove

I can’t gush enough over this app and how it has changed my life. During the summer, I was distracted and all over the place. I reached a point in my work where I felt utterly isolated and needed to figure out how to get inspired again.

I discovered Groove when I was researching apps that offered virtual co-working. It’s a global community of creatives reaching their goals through the power of accountability, focus, and encouragement.

Here’s how it works: Each “Groove” is 50-minutes long. A small group of 2-4 people gathers to work and keep one another accountable. You pick something you want to focus on for that 50 minutes, and boom- you instantly have others worldwide cheer you on and support you along the way. It’s the perfect app for beating distractions while cultivating authentic relationships with people around the globe.

I ended up “Grooving” for over 12,000 minutes in 2021! That’s nearly 200 hours since starting my Groove Journey in August!

Whether you work for yourself (like me), you’re a busy college student needing to cram for exams, or you have a lot of goals but want to carve out more time to accomplish them, Groove might be that golden ticket for amplifying your productivity.

Groove is in beta mode (and totally free). I’d love to see you in a Groove sometime soon!

003. Acorns

2021 was a big year for making bold money moves. I’ve always wanted to invest, but I’ll be honest- I had no clue where to start. Joining Acorns made it easy for me to begin investing simply and saving money for the future.

If you’re a little intimidated by the idea of investing, I recommend starting with Acorns. You literally invest spare change… You don’t have to be a mega-millionaire to start getting smart with your money.

In 2021, we started a College Fund for Novalee and a second retirement fund while investing money regularly into exchange-traded funds.

I long believed the myth that I had to have $X in the bank before investing, but now I wish I had started sooner. Even if it’s just $5 a month, your investments add up and help sculpt a future for you and your loved ones.

004. Aspiration

Speaking of money matters, 2021 was also when we switched our savings to a high-yield savings account (another term I knew nothing about until this past year).

A high-yield savings account is a type of savings account that typically pays 20 to 25 times the national average of a standard savings account.

I love Aspiration because they’re focused on making the world better through finance. Unlike the Big Banks, Aspiration doesn’t deposit to fund oil pipelines or turn your fees into campaign contributions to the politicians that work against you. They donate 10% of every dollar to charities helping struggling Americans build better lives.

Join Aspiration with this link and get $50 cash into your account.

005. Unplugged hours

Unplugging my phone was a biggie for me in 2021, and I plan to write about it more in 2022. On my birthday (May 31), I felt God nudge me and say, “I want you to turn it off this year.” He was asking me to unplug my phone and power it down. I’ve worked hard to limit my screentime over the years, but this was a bold ask, and I was down for the challenge.

I’ve made it my mission to be unplugged for 1,000 hours, and I’ve just hit the 500-hour mark. I can’t even begin to express the joy and peace of this simple decision.

Is it easy to turn off the phone? No, not on most days. I’ve learned how my phone can be the ultimate tool for distraction when I don’t want to face things or just want to check out my life. By committing to turn off the phone (no fancy app needed), I am experiencing the actual fruit of being present with my family and friends. I’ve stopped comparing myself unnecessarily to others, and I’ve become even more disciplined with my time!

006. Photography

On unplugged hours, the biggest hurdle between me and a powered-down phone was my camera. I didn’t want to miss moments with Novalee. I wanted to document those first steps, and deep belly laughs. But every time I would use the camera app on my phone, I would inevitably scroll to social media.

Two months into my unplugged journey, I invested in a camera. The keyword is INVESTED. I would not purchase this camera if I didn’t intend to use it often. It’s not cheap.

I chose the Canon Powershot G7x because it didn’t require me to be a professional photographer, but it also takes excellent photos. This camera is perfect for videos, and that’s one of my goals since purchasing it: to make more home movies.

Since buying it, this little cam has given me so much joy over the last six months. I love snapping photos to send to the family and printing photos for albums. I’m so excited to keep documenting while remaining present to what’s right in front of me.

007. Mootsh

One of my goals for 2022 is to create a photo album. That goal starts with Mootsh.

I had so many photos sitting idly on my phone and camera, and I needed a way to get them off the screen and into a tangible format we could enjoy offline.

Mootsh is a monthly photo print membership, dedicated to helping you document and collect your best memories consistently.

I discovered Mootsh and instantly obsessed over the beautiful photo quality, the gorgeous packaging, and the seamless ordering process. I swoon when the paper sleeve shows up with my photos inside– the perfect way to organize pictures classically, even if you’re cramped for time. Best of all, the membership is completely affordable at $16 a month for a selection of high-quality prints.

I reached out to the incredible team at Mootsh, and they graciously provided a discount code for my readers! You can apply code HANNAHXMOOTSH at checkout for $10 off your first month of membership.

008. Toniesbox


This. Toy. Rocks.

I originally read about the Toniebox from a blogger I loved, and I decided to buy it for Novalee for Christmas. I don’t think I could have ever anticipated how deeply in love she would be with this toy.

Tonies is an audio player (praise hands for no screens!!!) that keeps her occupied for hours. I love watching her play all around the living room while she picks and chooses soundtracks and stories to float through the background. She frequently stops to dance and interact with the Toniesbox, making my mama’s heart sing.

Novalee is currently 21 months old and having a blast with this box. They specify it’s for 3+, but I think the younger babes understand the concept and enjoy it!

I’d love to hear from you:

In moving my blog to a newer platform, I sadly had to let go of the thousands of comments and conversations that came from readers over the last 10+ years. This grieves me deeply but I know there will new conversations, fresh words of wisdom, and opportunities to create close community once again. I’d love to hear from you in the comments section. I’ll be reading + replying on a regular basis.


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Hi, I'm Hannah

I love writing about all things faith, mental health, discipline + and motherhood. Let's be penpals!


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