Tuesday, January 27, 2015

links i love

This site compiles all the photos on Instagram that are tagged with the hashtag wsnc. So cool! Locals should definitely check out the gorgeous photos taken in our City of the Arts.


Eagerly awaiting this completed development.



It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Fleet Feet Sports. I started my first training program there in January 2012 and it has changed my life. I have continued training with Fleet Feet for three years and I've made more successful changes as a result of my affiliation with this store than anything else. Plus, the friendships I've made and the confidence I've gained from becoming a runner are pretty amazing. I never would have thought I could do the things I've done with Fleet Feet.

If you're curious about running a 5K or some other distance, I want to encourage you to check out the training programs offered by Fleet Feet. Now through February 13th you can use this coupon to take $20 off any winter training program. The support and accountability that group fitness provides cannot be matched.

Friday, January 23, 2015

by the numbers

January 2015 (so far) by the numbers

  • 71.3 miles run (7% of 2015 goal complete)
  • 1 race completed (no PR, but a nice 3 hours by myself)
  • 3 books read (Overrated, Landline, and Andrew's Brain... fabulous, pretty good, and just OK)
  • 89 days of school left (WAY too many)
  • 1 movie watched (American Sniper... loved it)
  • 1 third grade project completed (multiplication board game... why didn't you guys tell me that HAG projects were no joke?!)
  • 1 preschool spirit week completed (including homemade superhero and NC State costumes)
  • 12174892 consignment sale items to tag before tomorrow

What's a number that has meaning for you this month? What are you looking forward to and how many days until it gets here?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Meg's Miles [plus giveaway winner]

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway for Overrated. Congratulations to Angela who was selected as the winner! She'll receive a copy of the book from Family Christian soon.


This morning I had the privilege of running 8.7 miles for Meg Menzies with my Fleet Feet training group. Afterward I got to come home and smile at my kids who were glued to their Minecraft games, but somewhere in Virginia there's a husband and three kids whose wife/mom won't come home from her run today.

I feel so blessed.

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

this week in pictures {4 word caption game}

Christmas again times four.

Baby got meds. What?!

Timing "the camel's" pee.

Book With No Pictures.

Christmas presents strike again.

4.5 miles with #runningpartner

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

what i'm loving Wednesday

Are these not the most adorable little girl shoes you've ever seen?! I'm loving Livie and Luca shoes. Perhaps Jane will have to get some for her birthday.


These new Stand 'N Stuff Soft Tacos from Old El Paso. My family didn't think they were any different than regular taco shells, but I thought they made the actual eating easier and besides, Julianna filled hers with SALAD so I'll certainly keep buying them!


I read Eugene Cho's book Overrated and it was FABULOUS. I hope you read my post yesterday because I'm giving away a copy to one lucky reader, but YES. It's a good one!



I know this is old news, but I am still loving Chick-fil-A's Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshake. It's the perfect blend of cool and creamy and it's not so minty that my kids refuse it. Yum!


The Big Eat is going on in WSNC again this January and February. Every Tuesday for the next couple of months you can eat at a slew of local restaurants and get delicious menu items at half price. We ate dinner at Bibs last week with all of my family and it was yum-o! Check out the website linked above and see what is included each week.


This has quickly become my go-to salad dressing. It's Harris Teeter Organics' Miso Ginger Dressing and it's fabulous!


Is there anything that you've come to love lately that I should know about? Please leave me some comment love!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

do you own a pair of TOMS? [Overrated + giveaway]

As always, the views expressed in this post are entirely my own. I was not compensated for this post other than a $10 appreciation certificate; I was also provided a copy of the book to review and one to giveaway.

Do you donate to charities that you later find out didn't really use your money in the best way that they could have? My mom constantly complains that if you donate to the Salvation Army (or to the Veteran's Affairs or some other such organization that I honestly can't remember) then they'll just spend your donation on mailings asking for future donations. Were you one of the many that read Three Cups of Tea and then later found out most of it was a lie?

Do you own a pair of TOMS? You know TOMS, the shoe company with a One For One philosophy that gives a pair for every pair sold? You might think twice before putting them on your feet next time if you take some time to read Eugene Cho's book Overrated. It's not that owning TOMS are bad (I even have some) or that the author has an anti-TOMS agenda (he even has some), just that his book makes you question all of those "good things" that you do and wonder really how good they actually are.

The road is paved with good intentions; am I right?

But what should we do about the good intentions that we have? Pastor Cho analyzes the answer to this question in his book Overrated.

Let me pause here to say that I find it completely ironic that Family Christian sent me and a few other bloggers Eugene Cho's Overrated to read and review when those of us who do this sort of thing are the ones who potentially stand to be convicted the most. Maybe that's God's sense of humor peeking through?

Cho describes us as the generation who is more in love with the idea of changing the world than actually changing the world. Because we count "likes" and tweet 140 characters and send our shoes to Africa so we can snap a picture of it and go on short-term mission trips to dig wells without really pausing to stop and give it thought... without praying, listening and discerning... His message is that we may be less effective, less powerful, less influential, less instrumental than we think.

So how can we be more effective? By the end of the book Cho tells us what he thinks the answer really is.


I was completely challenged by this book.

I was completely inspired by this book.

I will change my thinking as a result of this book.

I want to actually do something, not just think that I'm doing something.

I want my walking to be my preaching.

I want to fascinate, not force people toward the gospel, especially my children.

I want to do a significant thing to change the world and I want that thing to be how I live my life.

"It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching." St. Francis of Assisi

This is one that I'd love for everyone to receive a copy of and read it and think about. It truly is an inspiring book that will make you question your motives and will encourage you to change your typical behaviors. 

Thanks to Family Christian, I can give one copy away. I'll choose one reader on Friday to receive a copy of Eugene Cho's Overrated. For multiple chances to enter, use the widget below.

  Overrated Giveaway

Also, I did want to mention that Family Christian has a great sale going on right now. Lots of good music for just $5!

Friday, January 9, 2015

then and now {+ giveaway winner}

January 2015

January 2014

January 2012

January 2011

January 2010

January 2008

January 2007

And the giveaway winner from the Truth, Dare or Double Dare post is Destiny Price. Congratulations! Destiny, please shoot me an email with your mailing address and we'll get the gift certificate to you.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

spa day!

One of Julianna's favorite Christmas gifts was this Spa Day kit. We were all sick over Christmas break but once Jules got to feeling better it was a great activity for us to do together that didn't require a ton of energy.

Most of the items we made required ingredients we already had around the house like flour, salt, food coloring, aloe vera, etc.

She had so much fun making lip gloss, glitter body shine, and bath bombs.

We could have gotten a bunch of recipes for these things off of Pinterest but it was nice to have the kit because it came with the little pots to put our finished products in.

A lovely gift for an even lovelier girl!

Don't forget to check out Monday's post if you missed it.

What's been a hit at your house since Christmas?

Monday, January 5, 2015

if you have a tween girl you'll want to read this

As always, the views expressed in this post are entirely my own. I was not compensated for this post; I was provided a copy of the book to review.

For the last three weeks Julianna and I have been reading Truth, Dare or Double Dare: Another Year of Dynamic Devotions for Girls every night before bed.  The book is recommended for girls ages 8 - 12 and I think it's perfect for Julianna. She'll be 9 in March and she has no trouble with this level of reading and questioning.

I've started devotionals with her a couple of times in the past that we haven't stuck with and I figured that might be the case with this one as well, but I've given her the option of reading this together some nights or not and she always says, "It doesn't matter, Mom. Whatever." The thing is, when I respond, "Well, what does that mean? Do you want to read it or not?" she always actually comes back and says "Yes." I think she appreciates the brief discussion that the book prompts and I do think she enjoys it.

For three weeks we've done the Monday through Friday reading which includes a Biblical Truth, a Dare, and a Double Dare. The Truth is a a simple statement or Bible truth. The Dare is usually a story, anecdote, or lesson followed by a challenge that's appropriate for tweens. Finally, the Double Dare is one or two challenging questions and something to think about. This part is the hardest for my daughter to do. The Double Dare really makes her think of how she can apply the truth of the lesson to her life. For example, the one we read last night was "What do you use as an excuse to not follow God?" This was after we read a couple of paragraphs about Helen Keller and her relentless faith.

On the weekends the entry in the devotional is a bit longer than the weeknight entries but there is only one for the whole weekend. This works great for us because honestly, sometimes we just get behind and need that extra day to catch up. There's also a spot for journaling if that's something you want to use. Apparently there's a version of this book for boys that I'd like to check out so that Josh and I can read it together in a couple of years.

Ann-Margret Hovsepian's Truth, Dare or Double Dare devotional is a good one. It would make a great gift for the tween girl in your life. In fact, I'm going to make it a goal to continue reading the devotions with Julianna for the rest of 2015 since there's enough devotions for the whole year.

If you've made it all the way to the end of this post, I've got a goodie for one of you to win! Family Christian would like to send one lucky reader a $10 gift certificate in case you'd like your own copy of this book. Use the rafflecopter below for several easy ways to enter. I'll choose a winner on Friday.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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