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I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.

3 Feb

notes from the blue bike :: blog tour

This post is part of the Blue Bike Blog Tour, which I’m
thrilled to be part of. To learn more and join us, head here.

As part of the Notes From a Blue Bike blog tour, we’ve been asked to write about what it looks like to live slower, simpler, or with more intention. I have to be honest, as a currently single mom of four girls I struggle with this quest daily.

I have a friend who innocently suggested I find more margin {or white space} in my days. When first hearing her, I admit, I was pretty defensive at the statement, thinking … “Um, that’s easy to say when there are TWO of you managing the house and kids.” I know every situation is different, but I promise you … know matter how little you think your spouse does … when they’re suddenly gone, you realize how very much they actually did do.

Never-the-less, her statement has haunted me last few months.

Margin? White space? How?

With four girls and no one to help, it seems I’m running from crisis to crisis. At an appointment with one, while another calls from school sick, while I need to meet another at her appointment … this was my last Friday morning. And while the situations vary, it seems this is my most everyday.

Then there’s the age old statement, “You don’t have to do it all.” Or, “The dishes can wait.” Or when I post a silly note on Facebook and get the comment, “That’s what you have four kids for.” {meaning they can take care of the task I’ve posted about.}

Trust me … I’m no martyr! I definitely don’t try to do it all. I know my limits. And when the dishes can wait, they wait … or the kids take care of them. When I need to call it a day, I wrap it up and call it a day … after all, there’s only so much we can do in day. And when you’re struggling with MS, there comes a point in the day when you literally can’t do anymore.

I long to live intentionally! Heck, it was even my “one word” a couple of years ago! I long for a simpler time … like the times we were able to take a four week sabbatical to paradise!

So when Tsh’s book came along and I heard these words from her — “If slowing down meant a richer life, it would require our family’s attention, energy, and collaborative effort” — she grabbed my attention in a big way.

And while I admit, I don’t have it all figured out yet, I can admit I’m being called to lead my girls in a life of intentionality. The busy, crazy, and crises will still surround us … I may not always be able to create margin, but I’m learning it’s what I do with the margin that’ll make a difference in my life and the lives of my girls.

And so … whether you’re looking to create margin, slow down, live intentionally, or just create adventure with your family, Tsh’s Notes From a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World is worth every minute you take to read it!

{if you’re reading via email or rss feed, please click here to see the following video}

This book is about LIVING LIFE instead of life living us. ~ Tsh

Notes From a Blue Bike is written by Tsh Oxenreider, founder and main voice of The Art of Simple. It doesn’t always feel like it, but we DO have the freedom to creatively change the everyday little things in our lives so that our path better aligns with our values and passions. Grab your copy here.


Posted in gift idea, intentional, resources, review


11 Nov

bundle of the week :: christian parenting

Bundle #46: Christian Parenting

This week’s bundle includes encouragement for the weary mom, practical parenting tips and devotions to help you focus your heart even from the trenches of parenthood.

Get all five of these ebooks at a discount of more than 70% off:

Parenting from the Overflow by Teri Lynne Underwood
In Parenting from the Overflow, Teri Lynne offers a biblically-based framework for living in the abundance God has for each of us…and modeling that life for our children.Rather than focusing on tips and techniques, she explores how our lives can overflow with qualities such as love, patience, grace, and courage — all rooted in God’s work in us, not our efforts or abilities. This is a practical and encouraging ebook, filled with honest stories from her own journey of learning to lean into God so the overflow of Him pours onto those around her.

Devotions, Advice & Renewal for When Motherhood Feels Too Hard by Kelly Crawford
Motherhood is hard. That’s a fact. It’s labor-intensive, requiring the extraordinary courage and sacrifice of women who know much of their labor will not receive earthly accolades. Mothers are the “wind beneath the wings” of the next generation. If a group of people needs encouragement and help, it’s the mothers of our day! Kelly’s Devotions, Advice & Renewal for When Motherhood Feels Too Hard is a book you will want to read over and over, written in small snippets for daily renewal. It is refreshing and inspiring, casting a vision for motherhood you may have never known and offering practical “survival tips” for the overwhelmed mom.

The Heart of Simplicity by various authors
Today’s typical lifestyle is marked by busyness, consumerism, and stress. We, as women, often complain that there’s not enough time to “do it all.” Do we suffer from a lack of time? No. We suffer from a lack of eternal perspective. How we invest our time on earth will impact eternity in a million ways. In The Heart of Simplicity, more than a dozen Christian women share their experience simplifying their lives from the inside out to build homemaking foundations focused on Christ. When we are faithful to focus on what is truly essential in our homemaking, we can build an eternal legacy…one simple day at a time.

Refuel Your Inner SuperMom by Rosann Cunningham
Refuel Your Inner SuperMom offers practical advice and encouragement for the mom who strives to do and be her best but who, due to the often overwhelming chaos of life, has simply lost her focus, her motivation and her groove. Take the journey with Rosann as she shares the depths of her heart and her own failures in motherhood, marriage and life, while taking positive, intentionally focused steps to getting her SuperMom groove back. This isn’t your average “How to Become SuperMom” book; it’s written and designed in a way that allows it to be more of a journey of self-discovery and intentionally focused lifestyle change — for the better. And all for the glory of God.

The Family Table by Arabah Joy
The Family Table is a beautifully designed ebook packed with over 50 ideas, activities, games, and recipes to spark intimacy, connection, laughter, service, hospitality, and making memories as a family. Arabah gives you a sneak peek into what other families are doing to revolutionize their time around the family table as well as the tools you need to approach your mealtimes intentionally as well.

The Christian Parenting bundle is only available through 8am EST on Monday, 11/18. Get yours today!


Posted in parenting, resources


5 Nov

bundle of the week :: celebrating christmas

Bundle #45: Celebrating Christmas

This week’s bundle offers a collection of ebooks to help you celebrate a simple Christmas with traditional activities, homemade gifts, healthy recipes and a devotional for the advent season. Save more than 75% as you rediscover and focus on the true meaning of Christmas!

Pioneering Today: A Homemade Christmas by Melissa K Norris
In Pioneering Today: A Homemade Christmas, Melissa offers inspiration for getting back to the true meaning of Christmas, tips for homemade baked goods when you’re stretched for time, tutorials for homemade, affordable gifts people will use and like, and ideas for giving the gift of yourself to your loved ones with special planned activities. With over 36 recipes, homemade gift and decor ideas, she shows you how to experience a simple Christmas with the joy it was meant to have.

Holiday Mixes: Gifts in a Jar by Kristy Howard
Are you looking for thoughtful yet inexpensive gift ideas? Holiday Quick Mixes & Gifts in a Jar includes 19 of Kristy’s favorite healthy, frugal and simple Christmas gift recipes, such as Candy Cane Cocoa, Snickerdoodle Cookies Mix, Winter Morning Mocha and Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup Mix. Discover the fun of gifts in a jar to give as individual gifts or add to your Christmas goodie baskets this year!

Festive Traditions: A Real Food Guide to the Holidays by Jill Marks
Festive Traditions is a wonderful collection of 31 real food holiday favorites that are perfect for all of your holiday activities — from Christmas morning brunch to caroling with the kids. You’ll find appetizers (perfect to pass at a party), main dishes, drinks, and even desserts with plenty of gluten- and allergen-free options for those on special diets. With Festive Traditions, you can enjoy your holidays without the junk!

When God Draws Near by Teri Lynn Underwood
In When God Draws Near, Teri Lynn offers 28 advent devotions to share the story of God’s plan for redemption from Genesis through Revelation. This devotional isn’t simply the Christmas story found in Luke. It’s a journey to grasp the wonder when God draws near, to know the fullness of the story of redemption. This story didn’t begin on Christmas Eve in a manger in Bethlehem and didn’t end with the Magi’s visit, and Teri Lynne starts at the beginning of the story in Eden and walks you through to the end of this story…eternity with Christ.

Christmas Celebrations: Advent, Christmas & Epiphany by Kerry Beck
Discover the origins of Christmas traditions like the Yuletide Log, Christmas cards, stockings and more in Kerry’s Christmas Celebrations. With ideas for celebrating Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, including a devotional calendar with Bible reading schedule, traditional Christmas carols, activities for the Twelve Days of Christmas and more, this ebook is packed full of ideas for a meaningful, traditional Christmas celebration!

The Celebrating Christmas bundle is only available through 8am EST on Monday, 11/11. Get yours today!


Posted in resources


28 Oct

what love is all about :: a concert & a giveaway!

If y’all like parties, music, photos, and giveaways … this post is for you!!

You see … my friend Reeve has released her very first CD {I have no doubt there’ll be a second, a third, and so-on!} and I hosted a little backyard shindig to celebrate!

Before we get to some giveaway goodness, let me share a plethora of photos from an amazing evening!

I’m in LOVE with the art on this CD cover!!

{photo courtesy of Megan Britt Photography}

When I heard Reeve was available for house concerts, I wanted to host one so badly! I love to entertain, but wasn’t sure how I’d fit everyone inside for a concert. After thinking about it for while, I decided on a backyard concert!

With the help of another friend, Melissa from Relish Design Company, this little shindig turned out exactly how I’d envisioned!!

The trampoline even looks all dressed up and ready to party!! And personally, I think every backyard should look like this 24/7/365!!

Every girl loves a good swag bag! Well … at least I do! I found some fun little bags on my new favorite site, and along with some amazing donations, I started collecting a few fun finds to put in it!

Can I take a moment to tell you about these amazingly, delicious cupcakes?! Salted, caramel, vanilla and Reeses chocolate cupcakes! Worth every calorie-filled bite my friends!

I served hot apple cider, and put my Keurig machine out for decaf coffee. Then I pulled some of my favorite mugs from my cupboard and put them in a vintage drawer {courtesy of Melissa!}.

Do you love that big brown-handled box, bowl thingy with the pumpkins?? I found it at an antique store in Charleston a few weeks ago and knew it’d be perfect! Any thoughts on what it’s called though?

A hay bale repurposed as an ottoman {slash} coffee table.

Delicious candied apples!

Oh you know … if you instagram. And hey! if you do instagram, check out the hashtag #whatloveisallaboutrecord

Set up for an amazing acoustical evening!

Photobooth background!

Having fun with props!

{photo courtesy of Megan Britt Photography}

When the sun went down, Megan captured some amazingly beautiful photographs!! I’m so thankful for these shots!

Donations for the concert given by:
- Dana from Happy Little Lovelies / necklaces
- Tosco Music Party / stickers & ticket and CD giveaway
- Coobs Guitars / handmade pen giveaway
- Therese Bartholomew / book and DVD giveaway
- The New Familiars / CD giveaway
- Megan Britt / photography
- Reeve Coobs / poster and ticket giveaway
- Kate of Studio K / notebook and card
- Three Angels Bakery / cupcakes and giveaway
- Treatz / candied apples and popcorn
- Button Bird Designs / pins

It was an amazing, magical night.

Reeve’s voice is nothing short of angelic! We had the honor of our own private “Reeve Coobs Unplugged” concert. Complete with stories behind her lyrics and a glimpse into the world of an amazing artist.

My neighbor caught me a couple days later and asked about the musician I had in our backyard. They’d had some friends over that same night and were listening to music on their back porch {I heard it and was actually worried it might interfere with our concert}. He said they heard Reeve start singing and immediately turned their music down, mesmerized by her songs!

Trust me friends … What Love is All About is a CD you’ll want in your library! And probably your friend’s music library too … and hello, gifting season is right around the corner!

Here’s the scoop:

  • What Love is All About, by Reeve Coobs, releases November 1st at The Neighborhood Theater in Charlotte, NC.
  • It releases online on November 4th.
  • And it’s available for preorder until Oct. 30th.

BUT … you can win your very own copy right here, right now!! Reeve’s been hosting 31 days of giveaways on her blog and today that giveaway is happening right here!

Giveaway details:

{what}
One winner will receive a copy of What Love is All About by Reeve Coobs

{how}
~ leave a comment {any ol’ comment}
~ tweet the giveaway {but come back & leave a comment}
~ facebook the giveaway {but come back & leave a comment}
~ instagram the giveaway {but come back & leave a comment}

{when}
Now through Wednesday, October 30 – midnight {est}

Trust me when I say this is a giveaway you don’t want to miss!!


Posted in friends, giveaway, party, resources


21 Oct

bundle of the week :: real food for winter

Bundle #43: Real Food for Winter

As the cold months approach, we’ve put together a bundle packed full of seasonal, real food recipes to help your family stay healthy, nourished and satisfied this winter! This collection includes more than 175 recipes at almost 80% off their retail price from bloggers who are known for their delicious and nourishing real food recipes.

Get all 5 of these ebooks this week only:

Nourishing Menu Plans on a Budget by Diana Bauman
In Nourishing Menu Plans on a Budget, Diana shares more than 20 meals plus recipes for homemade stock, salad dressings and desserts to help make cooking real food simple for your family. She’s also included a menu plan and shopping lists to help you save money in the process. Planning ahead is the key to serving healthy, nourishing meals, and this ebook offers you a month off from meal planning with recipes your family is sure to love.

Soups, Chilis & Stews: From My Table to Yours from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures
While soups are simple to make, they are bursting with complex flavors and offer a deliciously simple and nutritious meal for your family. Unfortunately, most canned soups are full of preservatives and sodium, but in Soups, Chilis & Stews, Lynn shows you how to cook healthier versions at home just as easily. These recipes are hearty and filling, easy to freeze and perfect for winter evenings!

Simple Food {For Winter} by Shannon Stonger
Simple Food {For Winter} is a seasonal cookbook that emphasize real food and sustainable living with 30 grain-free recipes. Shannon also shows you how to make grain-free biscuits that are tender on the inside and crisp on the outside, identify and prepare the foods that your body needs most during the winter, use the squash, turnips, kale, lacto-fermented and dehydrated vegetables that are the backbone of winter vegetables, get the most out of your beans through soaking and sprouting, and much, much more.

Wholesome Comfort by Kate Tietje
Comfort food is perfect in the snowy winter — warm, creamy, and satisfying. In Wholesome Comfort, Kate offers more than 40 tried-and-true, down-home comfort food recipes made with only real food ingredients. This cookbook offers recipes that will make you feel as good as they looks and taste, with no guilt or after-effects: Food that nourishes while it comforts. Food that’s reminiscent of perfect family favorites…and will become new family favorites.

Steeped: Simple Nourishing Teas and Treats by Katherine Stanley
Discover the simple pleasure of curling up with a cup of hot tea on a cold winter day or sharing tea with friends and family through Katherine’s Steeped: Simple Nourishing Teas and Treats. With more than 50 recipes for scones, breads, ice creams, teas, sandwiches and salads plus an introduction to tea essentials, this ebook will help you view tea time in a whole new way!

The Real Food for Winter bundle is only available through 8am EST on Monday, 10/28. Get yours today!


Posted in resources