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.


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:




Charge (my favorite!)



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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

For the Love – it’s time!





That phrase entered my vocabulary this spring thanks to Jen Hatmaker. I applied for and was chosen to be a part of her book launch team. (For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards releases Tuesday!!!) That team of 500 (including 4 brave men) has become a crazy, kooky, honest, safe, hilarious Facebook group.

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There’s something about a common language knowing you’ve all read the same book. The phrases “crotchless yoga pants”, “off the beam”, “crazy Christians”, and of course “for the love!” come up all the time. This group has bonded so much 200 of us are traveling to Buda, Texas in a couple of weeks for a launch party AT the Hatmaker home. I can’t go but I will be glued to Instagram for updates.

OK, back to the book. As soon as I read For the Love back in the spring, I couldn’t wait to share it with friends. Not share “because she NEEDS to read this” but share because “she would love this!”

Jen tackles parenting, schooling, Christian-ese, leggings as pants (stop!), social media in the 90’s, community, church, theology, dinner, and the list goes on. You might disagree with some of what she says or has said on her blog or online or in one of her books but I think it’s healthy to read books where you don’t agree 100% with the author. Jen Hatmaker is super duper smart and this book challenged me in new ways.

  • I don’t think I’ll ever go on a mission trip again with the same attitude.
  • I will be less judgmental (so not my job, y’all)
  • If I’m ever married, I will cling to her marriage chapter.
  • Ultimately, I will love Jesus and others more.

The memes are floating around Facebook and they are hilarious. Quotes pulled from FTL make me laugh still and I’m on my second (or third?) time through this book. Here are a few of my favorites:

“The only thing worse than this unattainable standard is the guilt that follows when perfection proves impossible.”


(on turning 40)

“So sure, your body and mind get whack, but I promise: You wouldn’t return to your twenties for all the unwrinkled skin on earth. You’ll like it here. You will love better, stand taller, laugh louder. You’ll pass out grace like candy. Real life will temper your arrogance and fear, and you will adore the next version of yourself. We all will.

But just in case, wear sunscreen every day, for the love.”


“Theology is either true everywhere or it isn’t true anywhere.”


“Cooking isn’t actually hard at all. It is the simple mechanism that nourished every generation in time.”


“Can’t we all simmer down a bit? Let the teachers teach, the parents parent, and the kids do the learning.”


“We are not promised a pain-free life but are given the tools to survive: God and people. It is enough.”


That’s enough for now. I lent my marked up copy away so those are from a quick glance. If you want to laugh, cry, nod your head, and be challenged, grab this book and grab a handful of girlfriends and read it together.


Oh, that top photo up there?  I’m just too lazy to take another and I do also love Melanie Shankle’s latest!

weekend shares

A while back I did a post that was a list of links to some of my favorite bloggers who post on Friday/Saturday/Sunday some favorites or thoughts or posts from the week.  They really are my favorite posts of the week and I save them in my feedly and read them last.  Always. After I share one of my favorites of the week, I’ll link to some of theirs below.

I shall never make “regular” rice krispy treats again. 

Last week I needed a dessert for an outdoor picnic and I plain refuse to turn my oven on in August.  My friend Aimee suggested these salted brown butter rice krispy treats.

Game-changer.  These are no more difficult than the original recipe except you need to be a little patient as the butter browns.  This would be a great kitchen lesson for kids.

 IMG_2414Trust me.  Make them.  The recipe calls for a square pan.  That’s what I used and ended up cutting in to narrow rectangles.  Aimee said she puts it in to a 9×13.  I’ll do that next time.

Now to this weekend’s links….

The Nester

Emily Freeman (whose fourth book releases this week!)

Shannan Martin (AKA Flower Patch Farm Girl)

AVK (My brain can’t process her regular writing but I adore her Friday posts.)

Julie Fagan

Shay Shull (this week wasn’t like her usual Fridays)

Kate Bryan (Small Things Blog, duh)

Melanie Shankle (AKA Big Mama)

Joy the Baker

Triangle Food Guy (for those in the NC Triangle area)

I know I’m forgetting someone but that’s a pretty big list. Grab your favorite beverage and enjoy!

a few thoughts and favorites and randoms

On this gray (grey?) and unseasonably-low-temperature day, it’s only appropriate I write a “randoms” post.

  1. Broccoli slaw is one of my favorite grocery “inventions”. I always make Paula Deen’s recipe and it’s just plain delicious. My friend Mikel suggested this version.



So, I forgot to add the cranberries, didn’t want to make a second grocery store shop for different dressing, and I don’t love cashews.  Even with my modifications (added the cranberries later), this was delicious and SO FAST! Make it, friends.

2. Sofa. My sofa is 11 years old and I’m itching for a new one that’s a little deeper and a little less RED. Saw this in PB Teen (man I love that store) and would love to see it in sofa-size.  I didn’t sit on it to see if it’s comfy, though.


3. Breakfast. If I had a personal chef, I would request eggs and bacon on a daily basis. I don’t and I don’t want to cook every morning so my go-to breakfast tends to be honey Greek yogurt, smashed up raw almonds, ginger, and a painful amount of berries.  But this time of year???  PEACHES!!!  I arrived home from 3 1/2 weeks out of town to a friend’s gift of peaches and tomatoes. I have so enjoyed both. This was the very end of my breakfast this morning.


4. Canada. I just returned from 10 days in the Canadian Rockies. Dear Canada, I love you.  What a stunning area of the country and quite possibly the nicest people I’ve ever encountered.  Anywhere. IMG_2343

View from a walk around a lake in Jasper.


Ice cream served out of a bus.  Yes, please.  It was delicious too! (Canmore)


My mom and I sort of got tired of the words “beautiful” and “stunning” and “amazing” and “only God”.  For real, the amazement doesn’t stop! This was the top of Sulphur Mountain in Banff. Those masculine mountains and faithful rainbow… ahhhh.


I was so proud of my mom! She knows I love to hike so she and her 3-year and 6-month old knees pressed on through some rough but beautiful hikes.

Happy weekend, friends!

make new friends but keep the old

57:58 minutes.  57:58 precious minutes.

I just hung up (tapped ‘end’) from a call with a dear friend with whom I haven’t spoken for a few months.

In the last week I’ve been privileged to….

  • walk around a lake with a friend
  • enjoy dinner with a friend and her almost 4 year old
  • linger over coffee with two friends with littles
  • hang out with a young couple over breakfast at a coffee shop I’ve been itching to visit for years but didn’t feel cool enough
  • sit for an evening with 28 women of several generations sharing about God’s faithfulness to them and honoring a friend of us all for her 32 years of ministry service
  • plop down in the living room of a friend who had just returned from 5 weeks in East Asia as her one year old deliriously scooted around us
  • savor my first SnoBalls with a dear friend and her three not-so-littles
  • visit with a young woman I had the privilege of coaching last summer before she headed overseas
  • verbally process with a treasured mentor for a few hours over breakfast
  • enjoy dinner and grown-up talk with a couple I’ve known for 32 years – we realized that was our first meal without any of their kids EVER
  • hang out with a friend I met when she was a college student and I was the grown up on a spring break trip to Eastern Europe in 2001 – I got to meet her one year old and celebrate that little girl’s new sibling on the way

I’m pretty sure I’m missing some other time but this just needed to be documented. Friendship is a treasure. I am not alone. He sees me and knows how I value treasured friendships. It’s humbling! God values community and I’m so thankful for a little downtime to enjoy these friends and this time in between some major travel.

This post is not to brag but to remember. Times of loneliness will come. I know they will probably smack me in the face this coming weekend as I  enter in to a ginormous conference.  BUT we build these little “towers of remembrance” to remember God’s faithfulness and that He doesn’t leave.  EVER!

NYC number three

Geralyn’s bucket list had the NYSE.

IMG_1268My bucket list had Good Morning America. Hi, my name is Kristin and I’m a Good Morning America-aholic. I’ve watched it since I was a little girl. Back to the Joan and David days. I really didn’t care who was ON the show the day we went, I just wanted to go.

IMG_1218The night before we hopped on an early train from Brooklyn, I watched The Bachelor finale in the hotel room. Don’t judge. Um, yeah, I watch that too and realized Bachelor Chris would be ON GMA when we were there. Good times to see Farmer Chris. I know this is all old news as he was voted off Dancing With the Stars this week. Keep up with your reality shows, Kristin.

IMG_1137I read details online about seeing the show live so we obeyed and walked up to the partition.   The PAs gave great instructions and somehow Geralyn and I got separated. In the midst of roses and security, I asked one of the PAs if I could meet Lara or Ginger or Amy. Y’all, really, I wanted to meet the GMA staff way more than I wanted to meet or see Chris and Whitney.


IMG_1221I was really surprised at how tiny the studios are. I mean, we were RIGHT outside where they were sitting. The perspective while watching is totally different. They are street level and go inside and out a bunch of times in those two hours.



I heartily obeyed the instructions to be lively and cheer and clap. That’s me in the purple sweatshirt and cream vest.

OK, photo blitz.













About this time, my phone started to buzz like crazy with friends telling me that I was on TV. TV! I totally forgot this was on live TV.

Bach went back inside (he was overwhelmed by my hug) and they turned the whole group of us around and they came back out with LARA! Days later my friend Ashley posted this on Instagram. Yep, that’s me on People.com.

IMG_1233Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 1.36.05 PM

Moving on to STILL wanting to meet some GMA people. People, c’mon. I found Geralyn again and parked myself right behind where Ginger comes out to do the weather at the top of the second hour. Then I did what any fangirl does, I tweeted her. She tweeted back.

IMG_1594 IMG_1238

 And was true to her word. Ginger is one of the nicest people I have ever met. My hands were shaking with excitement thus the blurry selfie, dangit.






Oh, yes, I want all fangirl being feet away from these smart women. Even if it was the backs of them. They scooted back inside really fast so I didn’t get to meet Amy or Lara.


Did you see the guy in the hat in the earlier pics? He is clearly a long-time mainstay on the GMA set. Diane Sawyer was a guest that day as well joined by Julie Andrews as they promoted the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music. Both were scooted out the side door and in to cars faster than you could say either of their names. We did see Diane pause to give hat-guy a huge hug. I kinda loved that.


But, for real, Geralyn is a true friend to get up super early, train in from Brooklyn to Manhattan, deal with my craziness for 90 minutes, and then turn around and train BACK to Brooklyn to start our work day by 9:30.

I’m ready to return to New York at any time. It’s a great city – understatement of the year?

a must return

I promised two more posts about our New York City trip in post #1.  Here’s the second.

Four years ago, my mom and I met at Newark Airport in New Jersey on our way to Ireland. Our departure gate was at the end of a concourse and had huge windows. I walked over to see the NYC skyline and lost my breath for a moment. It was 2011, almost 10 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but my first time in person seeing the Lower Manhattan skyline without the Twin Towers. The flood of emotions of that day returned. Where I was. Who was with me. The next few days glued to our TV. The hours of phone calls trying to reach family in D.C.


The new skyline featuring the Freedom Tower.

A visit to the memorial site and the museum were a must on our day in the city. It was 100% worth the wait in line and I will return someday.


It’s no surprise that this whole area of the city has been done well. The memorials, museum, and fountains honor the victims and their families well.


As we entered, a docent saw us wide-eyed staring at the bent massive steel beams. She gently asked us if wanted to hear from a few survivors. Once a day the museum hosts two survivors to share their stories. I’m so glad we took that 30 minutes to listen. One was a professor at Rutgers late for his subway ride over to New Jersey because he overslept after watching Monday Night Football the night before. He shared details of that Tuesday and the following months. He and his family still live in Lower Manhattan – an area of the city that has seen a massive influx of residents. The other survivor spoke to my heart. He works for the New York Sanitation Department.  He’s Operations. I am Operations and he spoke my language. Through tears he spoke of the next 9 months of clean up from Ground Zero to blocks away cleaning out bodegas and other buildings. Both of these men displayed the personal side of the thousands of lives affected on that one sunny morning. It was the perfect beginning to our hours at the museum.

The set up takes you from what was going on that day in the world to specifics in New York to personal stories. I’m still amazed at how well this was done. We were also struck by how many non-english speakers there were visiting the museum. People were there from all over the world. Never forget.

It felt a smidge disrespectful taking photos but everyone was so I joined in. They barely capture the feeling.


Looking down in to Foundation Hall.



Looking down from the top and up from the bottom of the Survivors’ Stairs


Excavation of the North Tower


This was the last beam removed from the site. It’s covered in photos and stories in memoriam.


Look closely.  This was a fire truck. Right beside this truck is a massive motor from one of the elevators. Items like these give perspective as to how massive the clean up was.


Excavation of the South Tower


If you are in New York, go. Simply, go. It’s humbling and emotional. You won’t regret it.

blogging, modeling, noshing, laughing

Last month I told you about my upcoming modeling gig.  Heehee, modeling gig. Me? Yes. My friend Molly put a call out on Facebook for “mature women” to be models in a fashion show for real women at the Southern Women’s Show.  (That’s a lot of “women”.) Because I kinda love a stage, I volunteered.


We started the weekend with a triFABB meet up and dress rehearsal. Molly worked ridiculously hard to gather shops to lend us clothes to wear, Mary Kay consultants to make our faces beautiful, and hair stylists to fancy up our hair. She was also our fearless and hilarious emcee.


Oh, how I love a SWAG (“stuff we all get”) bag.  The Southern Women’s Show bags were filled with samples from Belk cosmetic counters, THREE Nothing Bundt Cakes mini cakes, and all kinds of other goodies. That evening was catered by PDQ and Zoe’s – super yummy!


For the next three days we six “models” and Molly gathered to show women attending the show different ideas of things to wear for REAL WOMEN – tall, short, curvy, thin, young, seasoned – for date night, casual, church, girls’ night out, etc. We laughed and had a great time together.

Check out the photographs from the talented Emily of Em Grey Photography. Y’all, not only is she super nice, but she’s incredibly talented.

Meet up and dress rehearsal and first day

Second and third days well-highlighted


Here I am first thing on the first day. We were told to arrive with clean hair and no makeup. What a treat to leave the house like this! That rack behind me contains both outfits for the three of us in our modeling group. I still laugh to see the word ‘model’.


Here are my two outfits.  On the left is “little red dress”. The dress and cardi are from Peachy Keen Boutique in Cary. My jewelry both days was from the Noonday Collection. My casual look is from LuLaRoe. I’m now hooked on this modest clothing line.  All but the leggings (softest thing I’ve ever worn) are made in America. Those darling striped shoes are from The Root Collective.

Molly posted two recaps with lots o details and photos. Check them out here and here.

Moral of the story? While I’m not afraid of a stage, this was far out of my comfort zone.  During the fitting at the boutique, my self-esteem plummeted. 44 year old arms and legs and tummies just don’t work in cute, flirty dresses.  I tried on A LOT of dresses. While this red one is a lot shorter than I’d normally wear, it did make me feel pretty and it was comfortable. I’m pretty happy to sit nicely in my comfort zone but I am guilty of missing a lot of opportunities out of fear.  I’m so glad I said ‘yes’ to Molly’s call and I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

Oh, and I was able to give away two tickets to the show on that first blog post.  April won the tickets and wrote about it here.

breakfast cookies

I love breakfast.

I love cookies.

Sadly, I love a carb-packed big ol bowl of cereal for breakfast. To help start my day with more protein, I shifted to protein-packed smoothies last month since I’m too lazy to cook eggs in the morning. Well, starting the day with super sweet smoothies wasn’t my favorite. Then I pulled out one of my favorite books to find her famous breakfast cookie recipe!  Have you read Shauna Niequist’s Bread & Wine? It’s worth it.  For real.  Sweet stories laced with thoughtful recipes.

I’ll retype her recipe below giving full credit to Shauna.  She modified another friend’s recipe.  Of course, I modified hers a bit.

Here’s the original recipe for Breakfast Cookies from Bread & Wine. But for real, do yourself a favor and go buy the book.


3 large ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)

1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed just a little so it isn’t solid (or alternatively, olive oil)

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups rolled oats

2/3 cup almond meal

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

2/3 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup chocolate chips


In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork, then add in coconut oil and vanilla.

Add the oats, almond meal, salt, and baking powder, and stir until combined. Add the coconut, walnuts, and chocolate chips, and stir again.

Form the dough into 12 balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and flatten them a little bit. Bake at 350 degrees for 14-16 minutes


My alterations (of course):

  • I don’t love coconut oil so I did use olive oil.
  • The original recipe calls for cinnamon and I adore cinnamon so I added a lot.
  • I don’t keep almond meal on hand so I just ground raw almonds in the food processor in to a meal consistency.
  • I only had two bananas so I added some applesauce as a substitute.
  • Have you had Trader Joe’s chocolate chips?  They are delicious.  For this recipe I added the TJ’s chocolate chunks.  Chocolate for breakfast? Yes, please.


Here are my last three cookies.  I had these in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 9 days and they were just as good on the last morning as the first.  This recipe made more than a dozen cookies for me. And yes, I enjoy breakfast in my bed with coffee and Jesus.  Don’t judge.

Southern Women’s Show and a giveaway! (winner announced)

I just ran the numbers through random.org and April is the winner of the two tickets.  I’ll be in touch with details.






SWS 4C 30th

Those are words I’d use to describe the Southern Women’s Show. I’ve attended for year but this year I’ll be participating each day in a fashion show (I know, what?) with friends from our local blogger group TriFABB.

This year’s show features celebrity guest is bridal and fashion expert Randy Fenoli, star of the hit TLC show “Say Yes to the Dress!”  I so enjoy watching him on the show and his care for the brides over their entourage.

So, what are your plans the weekend of April 24-26th? Grab a girlfriend or sister or mom or daughter and head over to the NC State Fairgrounds for the 30th anniversary Southern Women’s Show.

The Southern Women’s Show is the premier weekend-long event for women in the Triangle community and attracts tens of thousands of guests each year. It features celebrity guests, shopping, and workshops on food, fashion, beauty, health and fitness, business, education, home, travel, and more. The 2015 show is sponsored by Chevrolet, Food Lion, Walgreens,WRAL-TV and The News & Observer. The event is organized by Southern Shows Inc., a Charlotte-based company that hosts seventeen shows annually, including the Women’s Show Series and the Southern Home & Garden Show Series. For more information or to purchase tickets, visitwww.SouthernShows.com/WRA.

Check out the Southern Women’s Show website for details and schedules of each day and to purchase your ticket online!  The show has generously given two tickets to me to give away to a reader.  All you have to do is comment below sharing who you would take along with you to the show.  I’ll use random number generator to pick a winner on Friday night (April 10th) at 9pm eastern.