Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Favorites

Graphic Credit:
Welcome to another addition of Friday Favorites! And since it is the last Friday of the month, I am also linking up with Crystal Stine at 

What I am reading:

Complete opposites but both oh so good. I love "The Unveiled Wife" and I will be reviewing it next week. And "Dark Places" makes me think that Gillian Flynn needs therapy- lots and lots of therapy.

What I'm Watching:

I have not actually watched "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" all the way through but will this weekend. "Box Trolls" has been almost on repeat since we bought it.

What I'm Wearing:

I ordered this necklace and set of earrings from One Beautiful Life ( I met Dawn at Allume. She is an amazing woman. She started her shop and every month she donates money to a different charity all from the jewelry she sales.

What I'm listening to:

I am in love with this song. It gets stuck in my head and I really don't mind!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Big Boy Beds and New Furniture

We bought Miles and Josh bunk beds this past weekend. The hope was that Miles would FINALLY sleep in his room and in his bed instead of ours. Well he made it 2 nights and then decided that he didn't like his bed anymore. Little does he know that he has no option in this. 

John worked really hard last Saturday night putting the bunk beds together after I finally got their room cleared out (and in the process broke one of their bookshelves). The beds look great and I bought one of those 9 cube organizers and some fabric cubes to replace their bookcase. I like it so much I want to go get a couple of more for my living room. The pictures are out of order and I couldn't figure out how to fix it, sorry!
Right before he went to sleep. He loved it the first night. 
Doesn't this thing look great. I love it. 
We bought the beds at Walmart and they are sturdy. So we got a great product at a great price. 
Heading home to sleep in his bed for the first time. He really was excited. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Fringe Friday and Friday Favorites Rolled Into One

Graphic Credit:
This week has been all about Fringe Hours for me. After a week that was so packed full last week that I didn't even get a chance to pick up a book, I needed to find those fringe hours somewhere. And though not ideal, having a migraine Sunday through Monday and needing to leave work because of it Monday became the best thing for me in capturing some "me" time even if it was used to blog and sleep.

What I'm Reading:

Well- Thanks to last week I am still reading "Home Behind The Sun" as far as books go. And I am keeping it with me so that I can read at work and when I do Tennis pick-up.
 But my favorite thing to read is on Mondays. On Mondays, my friend Mel shares a chapter of her would-be book at her blog A Barefoot Life. First let me tell you that I laugh and I cry and I love this series. Second- I would buy this book in a heartbeat. Third- Mel is my real life friend and I love her dearly.

What I'm Watching:

The kids have me hooked on The Flash and Arrow. We try not to miss them. And on Thursdays I watch The Vampire Diaries. Apparently as far as TV goes, I am a pre-teen or teenager.
(And I read on commercials)

I did watch Gone Girl last week. I must say that the movie was a bit more disturbing than the book.

What I'm Wearing:

This week has definitely been a wear scrubs all week to work. I love that I get an option in wearing scrubs or wearing business casual clothes. But on Friday the 13th, I wore my Preemptive Love shirt that has the quote "Love First Ask Questions Later" on it.

What I'm Listening To:
I downloaded Bethel Music's new album and I love it. But I am also enjoying Taylor Swift's new album. Pretty much, most mornings are a one person dance party in my truck driving to work and then on the way home I listen to praise and worship music to wind down from the work day. Some people might think that I need to reverse that but they would not be Activity Directors who recognize that the dance party heading in is important to set the energetic tone needed for the day.

Oh and one more thing that I am loving right now. I HAVE A NEW "NEPHEW"!!!!! My best friend had a new baby boy last week and as soon as John has a Saturday off, we are hopping in my truck and taking off to see him for the day. I can't wait.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

"Fringe Hours" is RELEASED!

It's FINALLY here!!!! Today is the day that "The Fringe Hours" releases! I have loved this book and all the lessons that I gained from it. Jessica Turner from The Mom Creative is an amazing writer. 

Fringe hours are those minutes that we tend to waste while waiting in line at the doctors office or sitting in our cars for car pick up (or even traffic). The goal is to find those hours in your day and make them time for you. If you are like me and love to read then always keep a book in your bag. The Nook and Kindle apps are great for this too because then you have books on your phone. If you like to write notes to friends on actual notecards then keep some in your purse and while you are waiting in line somewhere or waiting on your food to come out at a restaurant write a note. Back when I first started getting sick with those fun kidney stones, I had a ton of thank you notes to write for work. One afternoon I decided to go to the doctor. During my 2 hour wait I wrote all my thank you and finished reading this book.

My copy of this book is highlighted big time. There are several quotes that I want to easily be able to go back too. Like this one:
“We would never stand for someone talking to a family member the way we internally talk to
ourselves. Rather than beating ourselves up for the things we don't get done perfectly, we need to
recognize the ways in which we serve our families, friends, and co-workers and to acknowledge the
things that we accomplish in a given day.”(pg 45)

See this book is not only about learning to regain time for ourselves, it's also about balancing our lives as wives, mothers, and friends. It's about loving ourselves and giving ourselves grace when we need too. This book is about learning how to like yourself again. (Although, I don't think that Jessica actually had that part in mind when she wrote this book.)

I am so excited that this book is now available to EVERYONE. And I get to tell you that it's also the FINAL (sadly) book selection for the BLOOM Book Club at (in)Courage. 
If you want to find out more about how to join the book club then click HERE

And if you want more information about the book or Jessica Turner then head over to The Mom Creative or The Fringe Hours page on Baker Publishing.

**I received this book as a member of "The Fringe Hours" Launch Team.**

Monday, February 16, 2015

What's Cooking- A "Dashing Dish" Cookbook

I love cookbooks. I don't really like to cook but I love recipes and trying new things when I am in the mood. A few years ago I stumbled across a blog called Dashing Dish and started using several of her recipes. Every recipe I have tried has been wonderful! Well this past December, Katie Farrell, released a cookbook. And I have had it on my wishlist since she announced it. 

Icon Media asked if I would like to review her cookbook and I said yes quickly. Each recipe is healthy and promotes clean, healthy eating. And each recipe is fairly simple. Which means that even I can make them. The pictures are scrumptious and really determined which recipes I tried first. (Even though none of mine turned out looking like hers.) 

An immediate favorite was the mini mexican pizzas. The are simple and they are a instant it. 

I am currently meal planning for the next 2 weeks and making my grocery list. A lot of my planned meals will be coming from this book. I am especially excited about baking ahead several of her muffins (I've made them before and love them) and the protein snacks. It will make breakfast so much easier since our bus is coming later in the mornings and the kids don't make it to school in time to eat breakfast. And since I have noticed that eating breakfast keeps my snacking during the day down it will be a positive for me too. These recipes also make clean eating fun and I don't get arguments from anyone in my house about it. 

If you love cookbooks, love to cook, or want to try clean eating without getting overwhelmed then I highly recommend this book. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Fringe Friday

This week has been packed. I had a major fundraiser at work, a party, cupcakes to bake, and multiple other irons in the fire. So fringe hours haven't really been a thing this week. But this weekend, I will be making them. I plan on finishing a book I have been reading, blogging, and cleaning house. Grabbing fringe hours sometimes gets really hard. But the importance doesn't go away. You have to make time for you. And that means finding the time. If you are me that means reading ever chance I get. For a friend that means walking everyday. What have you been doing this week in your fringe hours? Consider linking up with The Mom Creative today at 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Friday Favorites

Graphic Credit:

So my friend Crystal does Friday Favorites. And I really like it so I am borrowing the idea (and the graphic).

What I'm reading and loving:

I actually just started this book yesterday and I am really enjoying it so far.

What I'm watching:

Well- I'm not really watching anything this week. We haven't really even turned on the T.V.. We did FINALLY get all 3 "Santa Claus" movies that we ordered back in December. So we may watch that this weekend.

What I'm Wearing:
I received my first Stitch Fix last Friday. I really like it. I am sending 3 things back but keeping 2.

I am keeping the turquoise and the black top. I liked the pants but they were too long. Which is unusual for me. The necklace in the first picture is nice and I really liked it but I just felt it was too much money. And the cardigan in the last- well- it was a little too small in the sleeves and it was $78. The seams were already coming apart and the pattern didn't match up on the sides and I felt like for the price it needed too. So I would say that my first fix was a success and I will definitely be doing it again. And I found a company that does the same thing for men and I will be trying it for John. 

What I'm listening too:

I am loving Taylor Swift's newest album. The boys and I will have dance parties in the truck when we go places and it makes cleaning so much more fun. 

SO that is what I am loving this week. What about you? 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I've Jumped On the Epantry Bandwagon

I have always been a little questionable of subscription services for things like cleaning supplies. I have my tried and true supplies that I always buy and just go from there. BUT then Sarah Mae started her 31 Days to Clean Challenge and offered a promo code for getting started with Epantry. So I signed up. (Let's be honest here- the FREE floor cleaner and $10 off my order is really why I signed up. That and knowing I could cancel if I wanted to.) I signed up through the link and it brought up a list of suggested items. I removed some and kept some and then submitted my order.

One week later my order was waiting for me on my porch. I opened it up and fell in love with the smell! Everything in the box smells amazing and not at all like cleaner. I chose the Method products from the website because I knew that I could do a cost comparison if I wanted to. For the purpose of this post I went to and looked up everything that I bought from Epantry. The prices were the same so neither place won in that category. Method cleaners run around the same price as other cleaners that I buy but they smell so much better. I have already used most of my order this morning and they clean wonderfully.

This is everything in my order. And since I was in bed with kidney stones when I opened the box it's not the best picture. 
This biggest thing that has put me on the Epantry bandwagon is that I don't have to go anywhere to order the products. They come to me about once a month and I don't have to use gas or extra time to get them. I am actually spending less by using Epantry too. Shipping is only $2 and for me to go to any store from my house to get cleaning supplies is at least $5 or more. And if you join the VIP program you don't even pay shipping! It's $39.99 a year and you get free products and special discounts.

If you want to find out more about Epantry and sign up you can click here. By using this link I get a $10 credit on my future orders and believe me that will be at least once a month. So you would be helping me and yourself by using this code!

Monday, February 2, 2015

"Home is Where My People Are" {a review}

You know, having spoken with Sophie Hudson in person, listening to her speak, reading her blog and her first book- we could totally be friends if we had time and were in the same circles. I loved her first book "A Little Salty To Cut The Sweet" and her new book has me in love too.

Telling the journey of a childhood faith meeting a delicate balance of growing up or moving away, Sophie doesn't shy away from telling you her struggles. In a comedic tone that is perfectly matched seriousness that the subject matter needs and  makes you want to keep reading long after the lights should have been turned off at night- Hudson proves that anyone can overcome the hurdles of growing up and questioning the faith of their childhood. My favorite part of the entire book goes a little something like this:

"Maybe things would have gone more smoothly for Moses and the Israelites if they'd had access to the Google. Maybe they would have made it to Canaan in record time if they'd only had an app to help them navigate the wilderness. But they actually had something even better, and so do we: a soverieign, steady Compass. The Lord guides us along every step of our journey. 
His timing is perfect. 
He doesn't waste a bit of our wandering. 
And his faithfulness teaches a truth we can take with us no matter where we go:
Tis grace that brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home." 

Sophie Hudson will continue to be one of those authors who I will follow until she decides to not write anymore. I hope that it is far, far into the future. She is real. She is funny. And she is following her "calling" from God. 

**I received this book from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.**

"Rasmus and the Vagabond" -{a review}

Astrid Lindgren wrote one of my favorite children's books- "Pippi Longstocking". So when FlyBy Promotions sent me an email asking to review another one of her books I quickly said yes. 

Rasmus lives in an orphanage where only curly haired girls are adopted. Determined to find a family of his own, Rasmus runs away one night. He quickly meets Paradise Oscar, a vagabond, on the road. Rasmus learns to be a vagabond and what a family can be while on the road with Paradise Oscar. 

Oh how I enjoyed reading this book! It took me back to my childhood. I handed it over to my 8 year old when I was done and he devoured this book in 2 days. (Which for him is a huge thing!) I am going to start reading it with my 4 year old next week and my 10 year old now wants his turn too. 

The fact that I have a son who struggles with reading and that he loved this book means the world to me. Our whole family loved Pippi and now it looks like we will all love Rasmus too!

**I was given a copy of this book for review and giveaway by FlyBy Promotions. All opinions are my own.**