two new favorites

Y’all tell me you like these ‘favorites’ posts.  In fact, they are some of my favorites of bloggers I follow!  These two favorites (have I overused that word yet?) come from other bloggers’ recommendations.  AKA, reading blogs makes me spend money but I also save money learning about great deals!

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Before Christmas Myquillyn posted about The Bouqs. I had every intention or placing an order but didn’t.  THEN a few weeks ago Emily posted about The Bouqs! After seeing Emily’s post a friend came to mind I thought might enjoy some flowers delivered to her door.  I mean, who doesn’t love that?!?!?

Exploring their site was a joy.  It is clean and simple and they carry some of the most beautiful flowers I’ve ever seen. These aren’t your typical carnations with ferns.

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These two photos are from the friend I sent my order to.  Aren’t they gorgeous? I haven’t seen these colors before.  Sigh, maybe I’ll send some to myself? I’m a firm believer in having fresh flowers around at all times.  Thank you, Trader Joe’s.

If you use this link (or the ones above) you’ll get $10 off your first order!  And they’ll give me a little referral credit as well.  I didn’t post about this until I was sure of their quality – though Emily and Myquillyn’s recommendations are pretty dern reliable.

Now on to a totally unrelated favorite.  Makeup brush cleaner.  Yep.

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Last week in Kate’s monthly favorites video she mentioned a Japonesque brush cleaner. I clicked on her link, read reviews, and went on with my day.  Later in the week I was placing a Sephora order online – because free shipping plus 8% ebates on items I always use!  8%!!! I looked for that magical brush cleaner and didn’t even see the brand.  Duh, Kate said it came from Ulta.  I digress. In my inability to locate it, the Sephora brand popped up in the search. Of course it did.  I got the small travel size (yeah, because I clean my makeup brushes when I travel?) because the regular wasn’t in stock.  Y’all, I love this magical little brick of whatever it is.  I’ve used purity cleaner for years on my brushes and it doesn’t hold a candle.  My brushes are like new and the stuff that came out was pretty gross.  So much pigment.

Please share any new favorites you have!

hey, it works!

My friend Ansley pinned this miracle cleaner on Pinterest.

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After gutting my shower area in my master bathroom a couple of years ago, I have battled to keep that thing clean. I tried every cleaner on the “recommended list” and then went off list.  I have tried non-toxic, very toxic, bleach, vinegar mixtures, Norwex paste and/or cloths, and more.  Nothing would remove the soap scum.  NOTHING.

Until this concoction! The floor of my shower hasn’t been this squeaky (literally) clean since the day it was installed.

Disclaimer: this did absolutely nothing for the little sneaky mold spots in the grout.  Anyone else hate those? I’ve resorted to q-tip soaked bleach trying to make those go away.  I squeegee and wipe down my shower every day.  They still appear and grow.  Anyone have a special trick for those monsters?

pretty women

As I flipped channels (how 1970’s do I sound, “flipped”?) while cooking dinner last night, I stumbled upon Pretty Woman. Oh, the memories flooded in. 26 years later and that movie is still a favorite.

Now, to share a few rambly thoughts that hit me while watching in 2016.  Nothing deep or theological here, my friends.  Just thoughts.

Rescue the beauty

“Rescue the beauty” was a concept Staci Eldredge wrote about a decade ago. I didn’t agree with much of her writing but this concept has stuck. I can’t speak for all women BUT I daresay there isn’t a woman alive who I think most women resonate with this concept. We long to have someone defend us, pursue us, stick up for us.

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This scene made me think of that concept. Now, I’m not a scantily clad prostitute shopping Rodeo Drive, but I have experienced the hurt of rejection. Hasn’t everyone? Most women my age can quote this scene and the one following: “big mistake, huge!” Edward heard of her plight the day before and marched in to set things straight without thought to his reputation. Sigh.

Long discussions with the guys of H4

All four years of college, a group of us hung out.  By our sophomore year, some of the guys moved off campus to an apartment – unit H4. Around that same time, we girls watched Pretty Woman on repeat.  Well, repeat after rewinding the VHS tape. We had many long discussions over this movie.  How could girls who were walking with Jesus watch a movie about a prostitute???  How could we enjoy it? We did and we did.

I’m thankful that they cared about what went in to our eyes and minds but for the love.  Off to read the book of Hosea in the bible and Pygmalion (you know, the basis for all our favorite RomComs).

“She rescued him right back”

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Gah! Edward conquers his fear of heights, climbs the fire escape, and rescues his beauty! Vivian finished the fairytale by rescuing him right back.  Who doesn’t love this scene? “What’s yo dream?!?”

Rambly thoughts over.

wiww #168

So, I never posted a WIWW in the entire year of 2015.  Hm. I’m posting this week simply because I have a few things I love and want to share with you.

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If you are new to WIWW, it’s a link up with Lindsey from The Pleated Poppy. It used to be a link up of women who needed motivation to get out of their comfies on a daily basis.  Now it is just fun to share ideas!

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I took that photo up there to send to my LuLaRoe consultant to let her know I adore my new leggings.  I will direct you to Lauren for days if you are interested in the softest clothes ever.  BUT what I want to share from this picture are my flats from The Root Collective.  I had forgotten how incredibly comfortable leather-soled shoes are.  Most of my flats are from Target and they are completely fine but these are so much more comfortable and I know they’ll last for year.  They also have a story of ethically-made products.  My friend Molly wrote about it here.

The super generous folks at The Root Collective have offered a 10% discount to you!  Use this link to head over and browse the products and read their story.  Otto just might make your next pair of shoes!

I first learned of both of these companies at our fashion show last April.

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Jeans and oxford:  Madewell

Sweater: Zara

Loafers – Target

all at least a year ago

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Teal Aran sweater:  a gift from my mom from a little town in Ireland

Shirt: LuLaRoe Randy (you can’t see the fun floral sleeves in this baseball-style top)

Orange cords: NYDJ from Nordstrom Rack

Booties: Lucky Brand – y’all, these are my third pair of Lucky shoes and they are REALLY comfortable. You can find them on sale and at Nordstrom Rack.

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Poncho: Sample House in Dallas – finally cold enough to wear!

Booties: same as above but worn the way you are supposed to wear them – doesn’t work so well with those orange cords

Flippy outty hair: how God made me – just sign me up for Mary Tyler Moore or That Girl

21

For almost 21 years C was my church home. It was safe. It was easy. It was filled with people who love Jesus and want others to love Him too. There was community.

Last summer the Lord led me to leave that safe haven. That place I jumped out of bed on a Sunday morning to go.

It’s been hard. So much harder than I ever expected. I live in an area with an abundance of solid churches. I have visited many. I could choose any.

I just got home from the church I thought would be my church home. I sat alone. Again. Why is it so hard?  I wanted to slip out during a song when nobody was paying attention.

Confession. For years I’ve been incredibly judgmental of believers who aren’t connected to a local church. Those who sit home and listen to sermon podcasts or live streamed. Y’all, it’s so tempting. So so tempting. When there is nobody to miss you, why bother?

Why bother? Because we have been commanded to join together worshipping as a community (Hebrews 10 and more). I have experienced this. I miss it. When I lived in Orlando, I had the most dear small group. That was 11-14 years ago. We went through some really hard hard things together. We served together. Together. That’s the key word. Oh, how I miss “together”.

I’ve confessed my judgment and asked for forgiveness. I now have compassion for others. Maybe the Lord has had me in this place to develop that compassion. I don’t know.

What I do know is I miss being missed. When I first realized that it get really selfish. Then I rested in that need. It’s ok.

I haven’t journaled on this blog in a long time. Thanks for listening.

things I learned in October

Emily does a great post and link up at the end of each month about the things she learned that month.  I get to the end of each month and can’t remember what I learned the day before.  This month, I kept a list on my phone.  Duh. Here goes….

I hate putting wet dishes in the cabinet.

I’m too cheap to run the “heated dry” cycle on my dishwasher so I wait until it’s done and just leave it open to air dry for a few hours.  You can do that in a house with no kids or pets.  BUT sometimes I don’t catch some standing water on a bowl or mug and then it gets put away.  Grody.  Makes me cringe.

Listen to the Nordstrom lady

The summer Anniversary Sale at Nordstrom is pretty ridiculous.  The sell fall merchandise at super low prices. It’s mentally hard to shop for fall/winter when it’s 101 degrees outside.  This year I went in with a small list and, per Nordstrom amazing customer service, I had a helper.  I didn’t have an appointment but did quickly grab a sales associate to help me find what I was looking for an not be distracted by items not on my list.  Well, she did add one thing.  These pants.

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(gratuitous fall mum pic taken after an early morning trip to the Starbucks drive through when I realized just how much I love these pants)

Meet the Nordstrom brand “Lazy Morning” Lounge Pants.  She praised their wonderfulness so I added them to my bag because they were cheaper than Old Navy PJ pants at that point.  I figured if I hated them come fall I could just return them.  Well, these feel like a woven flannel but are really a knit ALMOST sweat pant feel but like a knit flannel.  I can’t explain but I just love them.

My body doesn’t work like it used to

Um, no duh, Kristin.  I was good until about age 43. Then things just stopped working so well.  Lord-willing I have a lot of years ahead of me but it’s frustrating to feel like I can exercise vigorously but then my body injures itself doing things as simple as walking.  Not cool.  Thanks, Eve.

Gel mani

For a wedding last month, I splurged and got a gel manicure.  Manicures tend to last about 2.3 days on me and then they are toast. I wash my hands A LOT. So, to transition in to fall, I got a second gel manicure.  Y’all, my budget can NOT support this habit.  I purposely avoided eating out a few times to justify this splurge.  To make matters emotionally worse, I finally found a nail place I love.  She’s an independent business and a single mom.  Her space is spotless and she’s so kind. I never realized that having my nails painted would make me feel pretty.  It does.

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This is 3 1/2 weeks in to this manicure!  Sure, there’s weird grow out but the polish part looks like I just walked out of the salon.

Because I’ve been asked a lot, I’ll share here.  The color is OPI’s You Don’t Know Jacques.  Quite possibly the perfect fall neutral.  Thanks to Kate for recommending.

Oh, and that’s PDub’s newest cookbook back there; not some delicious tomato soup I was enjoying.

I’m totally affected by sounds around me

While driving home after an evening with girlfriends, I was so annoyed by the talk radio in my car. I switched to the country station and Florida Georgia Line was yelling at me (I’m so not a fan of their odd voices).  So, I scanned and found our local classical music station and added it to my presets within minutes.

I tend to yell back at talk radio. I get mad when rap/yelling/non-country country music is played on the country stations.  So, my car has been filled with relaxing melodies of late.  I have realized I lean more toward pieces that are heavy woodwind/brass and not a ton of strings.  That must be the former-flute player in me. Also, I took a Bach and Handel class in college and I’ve recognized a few of their pieces!  All that time in the music library paid off!

(last one) I love day-old iced coffee

My really intelligent grandfather was one of the most frugal humans I’ve ever met. Frugal in the best way. He wasn’t cheap. He loved his Cadillacs and good cigars. Frugal. A morning omelet always contained leftovers from the previous night’s dinner.  Soup at lunch was always some concoction of whatever was in the refrigerator.  Undrunk coffee was always left on the counter to cool and then iced coffee later that day or the next.  I do that too and really enjoy it!

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Your turn.  What did you learn in October?  Click over to Emily’s link up to read what she and others learned.  It’s always fun to read.

 

podcasts and some thoughts

I really enjoy podcasts and my subscriptions vary. I get hooked and then move on and then come back. In my daily life, I don’t have time for podcasts but I love them on road trips. Time FLIES.

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Screenshot of my current subscriptions.

I have no clue how to link to iTunes to send you directly to these but here are the names:

The Lively Show

At Home with Sally

The Simple Show

America’s Test Kitchen

Gravy

Serial

Yeah, so random!

 

Indulge me for a few and please hear my heart and not judgment. GPS has made me stupid. I have an amazing sense of direction and like to get my bearings the moment I arrive in a new place. But dang Waze has made me stupid and I take long routes for no reason.

Don’t be a stupid listener. Or reader. Podcasts and books are not scripture. The bible is scripture. You have to be grounded in the Word and theology as you listen to people’s words. I love reading authors and listening to podcasts of people with whom I don’t fully agree. SHOCK! It forces me to think. It forces me to be firm in my convictions. It challenges me to have educated conversations with others. A lot of Universalism is sneaking in to podcasts and books of speakers and authors I greatly respect. You have to be alert. Some of my favorites have had tinges of Universalism lately. Not cool and kind of scary.

I listen to a lot of young women who are stellar. They are walking with Jesus. But they are also very young. Last November a speaker/theologian/writer I greatly respect mentioned to me she’s a little concerned about so many young women tossed in to the current Christian woman limelight without a ton of life experience and theological grounding. Her words have stuck with me and I’ve been more aware. Also, pray for them and their marriages.

Just this week on a road trip, a podcast I love was playing. The guest of the podcaster mentioned the book The Valley of Vision. The podcaster had never heard of it. This is a classic piece of literature for any believer. It reminded me that she’s young and learning and growing. Just like the rest of us.

So, thanks for following my little digression. Be alert, my dear friends.

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That brings me back to Sally’s podcast. Y’all, she’s lived life. She’s dear. I’m not a mom. Oh, how I’d love to be. Her whole podcast isn’t entirely about mothering but a lot is. She speaks truth. She speaks scripture. She points me to Christ.

This was a very choppy post.  Thanks for sticking with me.

Do you have any favorite podcasts to share?

peanut butter pie

When one of your favorite bloggers announces she’s closing her blog and starting a new one and most of her recipes will disappear you go on a crazy dash to make files out of each recipe and save forever.  Whew.

I love Kendra’s new blog/site The Lazy Genius.  But I’m really glad I snagged her recipes.  She does have some on her new site.

So, let me share her Stupid Easy Peanut Butter Pie.  Y’all, make it.  Eat it.  Devour it.

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This is a picture of one of the recipes I snagged from Kendra’s site.  So, that photo in there of the pie is hers and not mine.  Also, all those words are hers and not mine…. lest anyone think I’m remotely that funny.

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Start (I used the salted caramel from Trader Joe’s)

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And, finish.

I just had a memory flash and went hunting. Back in 2010 I submitted a recipe to Kendra’s former blog.  Like, two blogs ago. Here’s my post that linked to it but I reposted the recipe because, well, I didn’t post the recipe for my all time favorite cookies on my own site!

juice, glorious juice!

(name that musical)

It seems each day a new cleanse pops up online. I love using apple cider vinegar with the mother on a daily basis but sometimes I forget. Like, for 4 months. I was away from home and living out of suitcases for over three months this summer and just felt grody. Like, totally, grody to the max.

I was able to exercise but not like I like.

I was sort of able to eat well but like I like. (AKA, relatively healthy so I can splurge on treats. I don’t do “forbidden foods” very well.”)

Oh, and I gained 11 lbs. That’s fun. The further I venture in to my 40’s the harder it is to get weight off. Y’all, it is rough!

My hands were swollen (my daily indicator of how I’m eating) and everything was tight.

So, I saved my pennies and embarked on a 3-day juice cleanse last week. Dr. Oz’s voice rings in my head when I say that. Back when he was just a cardiologist (“just”) and had guest appearances on Oprah, he mentioned that cleanses are unnecessary because our bodies naturally cleanse themselves. God (he didn’t say God) gave us livers for a reason.

STILL, I needed a kickstart and knew I liked the juices of a local company that sells cold-pressed juices.

Last year I was able to try a one-day cleanse from Humdinger Juice here in Raleigh. I knew I liked all of their juices except Lift. Lift has beets and I don’t like the taste of dirt. Many love this one but not I.

I picked up my 18 juices on Tuesday night and embarked on my three days of juice on Wednesday morning.

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Their rule of thumb is to “start with green and end with white.” How you order the in between is up to you. You drink a juice every hours.

This was my order:

Balance

Glow

Balance

Charge (my favorite!)

Glow

Calm

Here are my random observations. I didn’t do a daily diary or anything but just from memory.

  • These taste really good and are all organic and fresh. They expire within a few days and do not freeze well. Fresh, y’all.
  • I was never hungry.
  • I really missed chewing. I’m a full-on texture eater. I like my ice cream to have crunch. I hate shrimp because I feel the segments. I don’t like mushrooms because of the texture. I did have raw almonds for mid-morning snacks. That helped a little.

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  • I did have wicked headaches the first few days but that makes total sense. The only caffeine I usually drink is one cup of coffee in the morning so it wasn’t that but probably toxins and sugar screaming to get out of my body.
  • I probably broke a rule by having some veggies each night. Again, the chewing thing. I sautéed zucchini in lemon pepper one night and cut up tomatoes and cucumbers the other two nights. So, still no dairy or gluten or caffeine but fresh veggies.
  • I slept SO WELL. That Calm is delicious.

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  • I did have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night every night.
  • I wasn’t running to the bathroom all the time as I feared.
  • It’s not recommended but I did maintain my regular exercise routine and was fine.
  • The swelling in my hands went away. I’m not gluten intolerant but I do know it makes me swell.

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  • The dairy snot went away. You don’t have that? Be glad.
  • I lost 6 pounds. I didn’t go in to it wanting to lose weight but it’s for sure a bonus. I’m sure a lot of that is water weight. I mean, drinking your food for three days can’t help but result in lost weight, duh.
  • I was afraid to eat my first meal but everything was fine.

So, overall I’m glad I did it. If I had unlimited funds, this is something I’d do every month or so. I love supporting small, local businesses and I love the story behind Humdinger.

Back in March I did a no gluten, sugar, caffeine, dairy thing and was pretty miserable. I was allergic to the protein shakes so that wasn’t fun. In that journey, I REALLY missed the dairy. In this 3-day cleanse, I didn’t really miss the dairy, caffeine, or gluten at all. I just missed dang chewing!

I’d love to hear your experiences with cleanses or shakes or whatever. There are so many out there.

**All opinions are mine. I spent my own money on the cleanse. I was not compensated for this review.