What I See

Favorite Things Friday: Podcasts

I have been loving podcasts lately. First it was The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey (still is of course) and The Runner’s World Show, but I’ve branched out over the past few months and been introduced to or discovered a few other solid favorites. I always learn something new and love that I can do other things while listening like exercise, fold laundry, or cook. Try these out and let me know what you think! Then, tell me which podcasts you’re loving!

  • In Journeywomen, University of Arkansas alumna (love that) Hunter Beless chats with mentors about “gracefully navigating the seasons and challenges we face on our journeys to glorify God.” I feel like Hunter is one of the best podcast hosts around. Her humility and desire to glorify God burst through every episode. It’s like she is soaking up the guest’s every word right alongside the listener. Each guest also shares her 3 simple joys at the end, and that’s always fun.

  • How I Built This with Guy Raz from NPR tells the stories behind some of the world’s most well-known companies with interviews from the founders themselves. Some of my favorite episodes so far have been with the founders of Starbucks, Five Guys, and TOMS. I want to listen to the ones on Airbnb and Southwest Airlines next.

  • Glorious in the Mundane  is hosted by singer/songwriter Christy Nockels, and every episode is so heartfelt. Don’t you love the theme “glorious in the mundane?” It’s what I want to uncover in every one of my days, no matter my circumstance or season. Sometimes Christy shares what’s on her heart around this theme and other times she interviews a guest. Sometimes she shares her music…and it’s beautiful!

  • That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs is such a lovable podcast. Annie says the first thing she thinks when she wakes up in the morning is, “What will be fun today?” I love that. On the podcast, she shares her favorite things and interviews her friends about everything from their fave books and restaurants to their stories of salvation. By the end an episode, you will feel like Annie’s friend and also care a little bit more about having fun.

  • The Purposeful Home Podcast is great for those in the thick of motherhood (or on the cusp like me) or even just in the middle of busy adult life. Hosts Allie and Kelsey give practical tips on managing time and a home and do a really good job of reminding us of how intention is the name of the game – not perfection or comparison.

Happy almost weekend! My project this weekend is to go through the last of our unpacked boxes, which have conveniently been hiding out in Baby B’s room. It’s time to start getting our girly’s room ready! You can bet I’ll be multitasking by listening to a podcast or two. Don’t forget to comment with your favorite podcasts!

xoxo,

Sar

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What I Learn

What I’ve Been Reading Lately

It’s been fun rediscovering a love for reading these past few months. I told you already about my beloved new library card, and it still makes me so excited. If you’re in a reading slump or on the hunt for some fresh options, dive into one of these five:


She Reads Truth: Holding Tight to Permanent in a World That’s Passing Away
Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams

I read this book after hearing one of the authors on my favorite podcast. Myers and Williams share their stories in alternating chapters and weave them together beautifully by showing that even though our circumstances are all very different and constantly changing, there is ultimately “One Hero and one Story” that does not change. This was a life-shaping read for me. Also, I was 7 weeks pregnant and bawled a whole lot.

Whether you are on a mountain or in a valley in your life right now, this book is for you. I’m not usually a repeat reader but I want to read this again soon.


The Magnolia Story
Chip and Joanna Gaines

Be still my heart. I wouldn’t call myself a die-hard “Fixer Upper” fan, mostly because I don’t have a TV, but I’ve walked my fair share of miles on the treadmill in the gym just so I could catch Chip and Joanna work their magic in Waco.

After reading their story, I have so much respect and love for the Gaines family. Their faith and philosophy on family and home life is sweet and inspiring. If you read this, you may feel less sad about the end of “Fixer Upper.” Maybe.  I hear that the audible version of this book with Chip and Jo narrating is really wonderful.  


Harry Potter
J. K. Rowling

I didn’t start the Harry Potter series until I was a junior in high school, soon before the 7th and final book was published. I loved them then and now. It doesn’t matter if you’re 10 or 100; the series is full of whimsy, suspense, and fun! So far I’ve re-read the first five and am taking a break to read more adult-y books. Oh, I will return.


Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes
Shauna Niequist

At the risk of sounding bossy, READ THIS BOOK if you’re at all interested in food, hospitality, or friendship. I love how each tiny chapter tells a meaningful story from Niequist’s life, and most are followed by a recipe. This read came at the perfect time. I’m so interested in hospitality and want to make every recipe in the book. So far I’ve made Blueberry Crisp, Breakfast Quinoa, Green Well Salad, and White Chicken Chili.

I also adored Niequist’s book Present Over Perfect, another memoir-style that deeply challenged me on what’s important in life and how being less busy can help us “accomplish” more.


Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting
Pamela Druckerman

This was an interesting read. The author compares American and French parenting when it comes to things like meals, child care, crying babies, and bending – or not bending – to a child’s every whim. It’s not a “how-to” book on parenting but provides a glimpse into Druckerman’s experience of French culture, which I appreciated.

The downside: I felt like she made sweeping generalizations about both cultures. (French people simply don’t snack between meals? French babies sleep through the night earlier than American babies? French children aren’t picky eaters?) I took those with a grain of salt. The book as a whole provided some techniques to chew on, and I liked her quirky writing. Two out of five stars.

Now I’m reading Steadfast Love by Lauren Chandler and Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey and enjoying them both so far. What are you currently reading? Comment below. I’d love to hear!

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What I Make

Fall Bucket List

 

Happy first day of fall! Here in Texas, the weather isn’t what one would call “crisp” yet, but I have this hope that East Texas fall will be closer to Arkansas fall than Houston fall. Like, I’m hoping some leaves will change and it won’t be humid and 85 in November. And I hope I get a chance to wear my flannel shirt while the bump still fits inside.

Anyway.

A deep desire of mine is to make the most of every moment in every season of the year and season of life. Don’t we all want that?

One way I make this more manageable is by writing down my hopes and “to-do’s” – a bucket list if you will. I’m ticking items off my 30 by 30 bucket list, and it’s been really fun.

When I finish an item on the list below, I’ll color in the leaf beside that item. I encourage you to make your own list as a way to savor the season. Here’s to a fall 2017 marked by joy and purpose!

  1. Attend a fall festival
  2. Hike at Tyler State Park
  3. Try out 5 new chili/soup recipes
  4. Bake something yummy and deliver to my neighbors
  5. Make an Oktoberfest themed dinner
  6. Get good at the side braid
  7. Bake scones
  8. Attend a football game
  9. Build a gratitude list
  10. DIY Halloween costume
  11. Knit something
  12. Picnic in the park
  13. Host a chili night
  14. Volunteer in my community
  15. DIY fall garland
  16. Visit the farmers market
  17. At-home movie night
  18. Make a fall wreath
  19. Take a family photo
  20. Make something S’mores themed
  21. Write a short story
  22. Make a crock pot air freshener like this

What’s on your fall bucket list??

xoxo,

Sar

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What I Make

7 Days of {Easy + Scrumptious} Dinners

There are so many awesome food blogs out there containing tons of free recipes. Really we never have to buy cookbooks ever again, but perhaps we will to support Baptist churches or chefs we love or because we love real books with pages to dog ear and splash a bit of lemon juice on. I have a shelf full of cookbooks I love, but when it comes to planning dinner lately, I keep coming back to a few easy dinner recipes I stumbled upon online.

Here are seven of my favorite tried and true online dinners. For recipes, click the photo above each description. Put these on your fall rotation and enjoy!

 

Photo from jennysteffens.blogspot.com

Dinner 1: The Best Tomato Soup + The Best Grilled Cheese – Everyday Occasions

Alex and I have been on a tomato soup + grilled cheese kick for months now. It’s just the best combo. The soup is the best with fresh basil, though I have made it sans basil and with dried basil. And really any grilled cheese will do, but this one has THREE different kinds of cheese. I dare say you could serve this to guests.

 

Photo from wholesomeyum.com

Dinner 2: Healthy Taco Salad – Wholesome Yum

This salad is easy and so satisfying. It hits the spot if you’re craving Mexican food without being too heavy. Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely a time for tacos and rice.

 

Photo from southernliving.com

3. Eggs Simmered in Tomato Sauce – Southern Living

This dish is basically crushed tomatoes with seasonings, and then you poach eggs right in the sauce and top with cheese and herbs – delicious, simple and budget friendly! Serve with pita or naan.

 

Photo from wellplated.com

4. Healthy Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potatoes – Well Plated

First things first. Have you every made potatoes in a Crock Pot? GENIUS. This recipe doesn’t call for that, but what I do is place the sweet potatoes right on top of the meat in the Crock Pot. I made this dinner often in Houston on Tuesday nights last winter and spring when Alex and I ran with our track group. We’d come home late and so hungry to to this no-fuss, tangy, filling meal.

 

 

Photo from cafedelites.com

5. Slow Cooker Creamy Tortellini Soup – Cafe Delites

I usually shop at Aldi, which consistently carries (very inexpensive!) tortellini. It’s SO good in this soup. I usually use two cans of evaporated milk instead of three and it’s still plenty soup-y. You’ll love this.

 

Photo from therecipecritic.com

6. Baked Parmesan Garlic Herb Salmon in Foil – The Recipe Critic

Don’t you need more salmon in your life? This recipe has loads of flavor and is ready in less than 30 minutes. Roast an assortment of veggies – like cherry tomatoes, carrots, and asparagus tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper – on another pan while the salmon cooks. It’s so good!

 

Photo from gimmesomeoven.com

7. Chicken Pot Pie Soup – Gimme Some Oven

I don’t think this list can have too many soups. I’m convinced Ali of Gimme Some Oven is the smartest person alive. EVERYTHING I make from her blog is incredibly delicious, healthy, and totally doable. When you click on the recipe above, you’ll also find a recipe for Coconut Oil Biscuits. They are perfect with this soup. Her Crispy Slow Cooker Carnitas and Baked Chicken Breasts are also favorite recipes of mine.

xoxo,

Sar

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