5 favorites

Here are a few of my favorite things these days:

okra1~ Roasted okra — I can’t get enough of this. I wash the pods, snip off the caps, and make sure they’re thoroughly dry. Then I toss them in coconut oil and season with salt and pepper. I roast them around 400 degrees until they’re nice and brown, tossing them around occasionally as they cook. So yummy and perfect for whole30 (I’m back on the wagon this month.)

~ My magnifying mirror — My mom gave me this years ago, but it’s only in this past year of aging eyes that I’ve come to rely on it every single day. I didn’t realize how dependent I’d become until I traveled to Chattanooga for a week recently and didn’t think to bring it along. Big mistake. I had a hard time seeing to put on eyeliner or make sure my eyebrows were tidy. When I finally got home, I had to do some serious deforestation there. I think this one is like mine, but it’s marked as currently unavailable.

~ Savannah Bee Company Earl Grey Lip Balm — I use this every night before bed, and I can’t go to sleep without it.

~ What Should I Read Next? podcastI’ve mentioned this one recently, but it is my favorite podcast these days. I’m listening my way through the archives  on my commute. My wishlist continues to grow…

~ Paris: The Novel by Edward Rutherford — my favorite fiction so far this year.

Do you have any favorites you’d like to share?

life-changing books

Last night I tossed out a question on Twitter & Facebook:

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I’ve received some responses and added some books to my Amazon wishlist, and there has even been some related discussion among Facebook friends. I’ve been laid up with another nasty headache today (the third one in a couple of weeks), so instead of reading, I’ve been thinking about books that have stuck with me, challenged my thinking, and shaped my beliefs.

I fell in love with books as a young girl, and the likes of the Nancy Drew series, Charlotte’s Web, The Boxcar Children, and Anne of Green Gables were some of my first loves. I constantly had a book in my hand, on the bathroom vanity propped open with a brush while I blow-dried my hair, or on the floor beside my bed underneath my nightlight, with me peering down at it, reading late into the night. So I’d credit those titles with changing my life.

Kim mentioned The Well-Trained Mind, and I definitely agree with that. It challenged me, changing and shaping my philosophy of education while giving me tools to put that philosophy into practice. I’d put Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning in that category, too.

The Pleasures of God, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, Spiritual Depression, and Peacemaking Women are some of the books that I consider influential on my faith. They’re marked up and I revisit them from time to time.

Thomas Sowell’s A Conflict of Visions explains so much about why there is polarization in politics. It’s not an easy read, but I think about it often. He’s brilliant.

Island of the World is the best novel I’ve ever read, and it’s a story that will never leave me.

On a lighter note, the Southern Living Cookbook has been a go-to reference in my home, and several of the dishes are family favorites.

So what books have changed your life?




90 minutes

010414If you’ve hung around my blog long enough, you’ve heard me mention that I’m a fan of Dennis Prager, and I often listen to his podcasts on my commute. Recently, he asked the audience to call in and share their 90 minutes of happiness. He limited it what gave you joy to do alone. As always, his audience provided some interesting and varied responses.

Because I listen via podcast, I never get to call in, but if I had the opportunity, I’d have several things to share. Any of these scenarios would bring me joy:

~ Settled in at a coffee shop, preferably on a rainy day, with my laptop and a good book.

~ Poolside at a nice resort, in the shade of an umbrella, with a stack of magazines and a good beach read, beverage service, and plenty of sunscreen.

~ Propped up in my bed on a weekend morning, coffee or tea on the nightstand, my laptop, Bible, a Moleskin journal, Sharpies, and a pencil.

~ Curled up on my sofa, watching an Auburn football game with a bowl of popcorn on my lap.

What about you? What’s your 90 minutes of happiness? Remember — it’s alone time.


random thoughts

​~ Song lyrics with bad grammar are as cringe-worthy as nails on a chalkboard to me.

It’s just another reason why it always comes back to you and I…” That “I” makes me wince every single time.

~ In my opinion, a Prius is not so much a car as it is a device on which to display Obama and/or Hillary bumper stickers. Apparently I’m not alone. (Ha!)

lacroix~ LaCroix Cerise Limon is my favorite beverage these days.

~ A quick glance at the headlines these days is all I need to cry out for Jesus to return. This world is seriously messed up.

~ The phrase “Sell crazy somewhere else. We’re all stocked up here,” comes to mind.

~ I need a new series to binge-watch on Netflix. I just finished Damages. Any suggestions?

~ My sweet husband sent flowers to me at work today:


~ The trains are out of control in Thomasville. It’s especially wonderful when they come to a complete stop on a major road right at 5 pm when I’m trying to get home.


It’s been a week, folks. And, yes, I know it’s only Thursday.


favorite books of 2014

It was a slim reading year for me, but I still managed to find some good ones. It was a year of mostly non-fiction, so I’d like to read more fiction in 2015. Here are my favorites in 2014, in no particular order:


Walking With God Through Pain and Suffering – Timothy Keller
Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book About a (Really) Big Problem– Kevin DeYoung
Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered – Austin Kleon
A Loving Life in a World of Broken Relationships – Paul E. Miller
The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God – Timothy Keller


11/22/63 – Stephen King
The Gun Seller – Hugh Laurie
Sycamore Row – John Grisham

What were your favorites in 2014? Please share!

Happy reading!