Simple Fall Brunch

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Food is such a part of my story, that I love sharing it with others.

I remember the meal my husband cooked for me during my “year of vegetarian” when we met, dated, got engaged, and got married – he cooked the meal before he asked me to marry him.

There are food stories I have that bring a smile to my face and ones that bring me to tears – either because they bring sadness or deep hurt.

Weight has always been a part of my story as I have been heavy most of my life.  I wasn’t even the skinny ballerina during my one year of ballet in Kindergarten, and I probably had a plus size tutu for clogging in 4th grade.  I loved clogging.  And I still remember some of the steps.  And it still is a part of my story.  I remember specific life events and the weight I was when those events happened.  I’ve lost weight and gained weight so many times I’ve lost count.

But today, I got to share my love of food with new friends.  Being in the creative industry gives us a common ground, being mamas is another line of commonality, but today, we also got to enjoy loving food together.  And I enjoyed putting it all together.

One of my favorite things to do is be in the kitchen together with friends.  So, today, I still had to put this quiche together (go run by leeks and make this tonight for dinner).  And my friend jumped right in and helped.  We talked, photographed food, and made food together.  Food is one of the only things in life that every human has in common.  We all have food.

So, food is a wonderful joiner.  Hopefully.  Today, we joined over conversation about our motherhood journeys, food, creative business, weddings, travel, and community.

Having some friends over for brunch should not be hard.  And we through in a toddler too!  I just picked a few things to make – a quiche, fruit and cheese tray, and cookies.  I made the cookies yesterday.  The board is super easy with just some fresh fruit, cheese, and little danishes from the Publix bakery.

The quiche was made during the preparation this morning and my friend helped.  Don’t be afraid of help.  Allow friends (and family, including littles) to join you in the kitchen.  And y’all, even though I know how to make a crust, I always use Pillsbury rolled doughs.  So easy and yummy.

And the cookies, I just made them yesterday as I was home and the recipe said they would be better the next day.  Reading recipes is super important.  And I didn’t have dirty dishes from baking this morning.

And here’s a little hint: my floor hadn’t been swept, but for the most part my home was picked up.  Two things: having people over regularly keeps your home clean.  And if you pick up a little every day and have a husband and kids that help – it makes cleaning easier.  And you know what, your friends shouldn’t care if your home is super clean or not.  But, I think it is good stewardship of your home to keep it tidy.

The Fall – perfect time to bring people in, hear their stories, share yours, enjoy good food, and live life with other people.  And Hannah Anderson, who launched a new book yesterday, also wrote a piece today in CT about doing community with broken people (hint: we are all broken).  Go read it!

 

Big Trucks

posted in: Books | 4

Ever since my boys were little, they have loved mighty machines.  There was a show called Might Machines on Netflix for years that we watched constantly.  Always singing the songs.

My older boys favorite word before he could really talk was “boowah” – for bulldozer.

Tommy Nelson sent me a great book called Big Trucks, about these mighty machine friends.  It is a touch and feel book so it is helpful when teaching toddlers about tactile and touch and feel things.

I love the touch and feel aspect of this book, but also the encouragement between the main characters and the fact that they work together..

As soon as the box came to our porch, we opened it up, and have read it several times already. And now the younger is showing the older all about the touch and feel parts.

Great book for toddler (boys, especially)

Do you want to read this with your toddler – You can win one.  What was the first fun thing your child would say?

Thanks Tommy Nelson.  All opinions are my own.

Something Blue Feature on Southeastern Bride

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It never gets old having your work featured on a national bridal magazine.  And let me tell you, its not because it is my work.  It is because a team of amazing creative vendors: women, men, singles, married, mamas, creatives…all hustling doing their thing – came together to do this!

Here are some of my favorites from the Something Blue styled shoot that happened a few weeks ago out at Pine Knoll Farms about 20 minutes away…out in the beautiful country, near where two of my friends grew up, long before I moved here.

 

 

 

Katherine Beasley Photography – check out her new logo too – I helped with it

Riner and Co planning

Honeycomb Florals

Hey Honey Cake

Dolce Darlin Macarons

Pastry Shells Cookies

Pine Knoll Farms location

House of the Bride Dress

And so many more.

 

September Podcast Favorites

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September…it was a month of trying out some new podcasts, but for the most part I came back to the tried and faithful ones.

October is now here, but before we get too far into Fall, I wanted to share with you my favorite listens from the past 30 days.

Collaborate.  This one was a tough listen for me.  I’m all for collaborating.  I think it hurts though (yes, I’m 41 and rejection still hurts, blame it on my Enneagram 3w4 heart) when others reject your ideas for collaboration.  But, we move on.

Russ Moore on Cultivated.  So, these two people are in my top 5 right now.  So, when they team up for a podcast, that’s gotta be a winner, right?  So good. And no matter the topic either of these men speak on – just listen to it – you’ll get something from it.

Sarah and Sally and Tolkien.  So this one got me reading The Hobbit.  For the first time. I’m enjoying it.  We’ll see how long it takes me to finish though.

Shame. TGC putting out a talk from Mary Willson on shame.  Can I tell you how good this is?  Just go listen to it.  Probably my favorite this month.

Health and Leadership.  Really, health for anyone…he brings up a lot of good points.  And I would say this whether the host was a friend or not!

Autumn is Here.  Another one by Sally.  Good reminders as we head into a new season.

And if you head on over to Sarah’s podcast,  you can get a free download designed by me!

 

High King of Heaven (review)

posted in: Books | 0

Edited books are fun. Here’s why. You get so many different perspectives in one book.  Usually the authors are coming from one point of view or worldview.

This book, edited by John MacArthur, such a scholar and pastor for decades, is all about the Kingship of Jesus.  Covers many topics and all grounded in Scripture.  Not just tagging a Scripture, but grounding their conclusions in the Word of God.

Since you do have so many personalities in the writing, I found some of the book to be haughty in its language, tone, and how it applied the Word.  But, other parts I felt were winsome and engaging.

If you need a book to help you through maybe a time of the liturgical calendar year, to focus on King Jesus, this would be a helpful one.  And it would make you think and get to know your own way you can be winsome and engaging with the authority of Jesus.

Thanks to Moody Publishers for sending me this book to review.  All opinions are my own.

August Podcast Roundup

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AUGUST PODCAST ROUNDUP

Now that school has started back I have more time to listen to podcasts in the car while I’m driving around town or working on art projects at home – or just cleaning or cooking dinner.

So, here are a list of my favorites this month.  Some are new, some are older.  But, I hope you listen to them and are encouraged like I was.  And if you have any podcasts that you’ve loved (specific episodes, please tell me about them!

The Turquoise Table.  Not one of her’s in particular but her tagline “gather small, love deep”.  I love that.  I love having a few people at a time at our table.  Not only because we don’t have a huge table but more importantly because I love being about to talk with people.  And if you have lots of people over at once you get a bunch of short conversations instead of deep meaningful ones.

Sally Clarkson – quite a few this month:  This one on cultivating creativity in your children was probably my favorite one all month.  Such a good reminder of grace and the gospel in this one.  And you will wanna check out her latest one’s with Sarah (her daughter) on Book Girl.

I’ve been to many women’s conferences.  I wish every woman, whether a speaker or not, would listen to this one from Christy Wright.

Mamas or teachers of little ones will love this podcast for early readers.

Bret Lott shares on creativity and writing and being a Christian in the secular world.  

Amber Tysl joins my friend Sarah to talk about hospitality and thrifting.  I really wish I could sit down with Amber – who is a mama, photographer, thrifter, DIYer, and loves hospitality. I think we could be friends.

This Isaiah 61 episode of The Summit Church’s Praying the Bible – spot on!

 

 

 

Homespun

posted in: Books, Uncategorized | 0

Partnering with Audra Jennings to bring you a review of Homespun.

I’ve really liked some Amish fiction over the years, probably ever since college when I toured the Indiana Amish country during a friend’s wedding.  Simplicity and faith and order and quiet.  Those were pretty intriguing to a 20 year old.

Homespun is a book filled with hospitality, family, friendship, community, faith, and a host of other topics.  All written by women who are in the Amish or Mennonite communities.  These are not fiction, which I love.

I really felt like I was sitting down with many of these authors and having coffee or swinging on a porch swing in the Autumn air.  Just chatting, hearing their hearts – and much of their heart is the same things that find their root in my heart.

If you love memoir type books or biographical essays – I think you’ll really enjoy this book.

 

Dinner for Dinos

posted in: Books | 7

Meal times at our house aren’t where I want them – but nor are they are bad as they once were.

AD

I remember when our older was little, we’d spend every night sweeping up the crumbs on the floor thinking this season would last forever.  Then we had a second little boy.  So, the season stretched on.

But, then you know what, they learn how to eat.  Now, we seldom have to sweep the floor, though my husband is gracious and sweeps our eating area!

Now, we don’t have to deal with messes all the time, but instead we are teaching our boys how to have conversation at the table, no burping at the table, not to try to be silly and make the other one laugh at the table, how to sit and wait for everyone to finish or not start until every one sits down, not to bring toys to the table.

Instead, we want our table to be a life-giving spot. A spot to talk, enjoy good food, talk about our days, share life together.  We’ll get there.  Its not where I want it to be – but we can take steps every meal to get there, right?

Do you have any tips on how to make meal times

better with young school age kids?

Tommy Nelson sent me this book about dinosaurs and dinner.  Yes, I thought it was a perfect book for our family because sometimes we have dinosaurs at the dinner table with us.  In this book the author talks about shopping for food, the health benefits of certain foods, eating foods you may not like, setting the table, eating everything and not burping, and enjoying the food.

So, if your kids love dinosaurs and you want a book about how to eat at the dinner table – then this book is for you.  You can win a copy of this book for yourself.  Just tell me

What is your child’s favorite meal? 

What meal will they gobble up and ask for seconds and want every meal?

Finding Gobi (giveaway)

posted in: Books | 1

(AD : I was given this book by Tommy Nelson in exchange for an honest review of the book and this giveaway is also sponsored by them.)

We are big dog lovers in our house – until they get up to us.

I grew up with such a fear of dogs.  My brother had a dog when we were little.  Smurty was his name (I think).  He died of heart worms.  My brother loved dogs, and still does as he has several rescue dogs.

I was bitten by a family’s dog in middle school and remember being terrified of walking home from the school bus because there were pitbulls in the neighbors yard.  I just walked or ran as quickly as I could.

My husband loves dogs . He had a beagle growing up called Cagney – like the 80s tv show.

Our boys love dogs.  But, they love them until they get up close to them and see how big or how loud they are.  Even if the dog is cute and friendly they don’t want anything to do with them unless they are at least 10 feet away.

We aren’t planning on getting a dog anytime soon, even though we have the perfect backyard for it.  We don’t have the time or money for the vet bills and another mouth to feed.  We won’t be having any family pictures with little fur babies in it.  I’m a boy mom, not a fur mom.  I think they are adorable, but for someone else.

Unless, you can offer me a cat.  Yes, that’s right, I’m a cat person.  A cat is introverted and content to curl up on the sofa.  That’s me. But, my mister and one of our boys is allergic – so that won’t be happening either.

So, how do I get my boys to love dogs – I read them dog stories.  Our boys have stuffed dogs that they have named and carry with them everywhere.  And that’s as good as its going to get for a while.

Finding Gobi is a little tale about friendship, companionship through the rough times in life, and faithfulness.  These are all traits that I’d love to see our boys develop as they get older.  Persevering and faithfulness are two character traits that our world sees greatly lacking in men.

If you’d like a chance to get a copy of this board book about a dog named Gobi for your son or daughter, a great read aloud for little ones, just comment with what your ideal pet would be?

Thanks Tommy Nelson!

Favorite Summer Read-Alouds

posted in: Books, Kids r Readers 2 | 0

Now that school has begun for both of my boys, I have more time to blog.

I thought I’d start by telling you some of our favorite read aloud books this summer. I started with longer books (like Farmer Boy and Trumpet of the Swan, but my younger one wasn’t into it).  So, we will try again later.

But, picture books still rule in our home.

Little Wolf’s First Howling This is a good reason to have friends who love to read.  I was recommended this book by two of my friends who have girls.  My boys died laughing at this.  We had so much fun reading it together!

The Circus Ship I heard about this book on a podcast that Sarah MacKenzie was being interviewed on. We totally enjoyed it – and we adults love the tale too.

When the Cows Got Loose This was a fun story with bright colors.

Dino-Racing What a perfect story combination for my boys: dinosaurs and race cars

Motor Goose My boys still love mighty machines, so this was a great one to read one afternoon.

Muncha Muncha Muncha – You gotta have ways to make your kids eat more vegetables, right?

At bedtime, we took turns reading a little bit of Farmer Boy, Where the Sidewalk Ends, and Frog and Toad

What did you read this summer with your kids?

This time last year: I gave you a review of my favorite book I read in 2017.

Two years ago I gave you some tips on how to survive Mondays – but really this applies to every day of the week!

Three Years Ago: I talk about farmers markets and cookbooks