Category Archives: Friday Finds and Favorites

Friday Finds and Favorites #67 Father’s Day 2017

Hello Friends!

It’s been a long hard week, but we have finally made it to Friday! *happy dance* I finally feel like I’m becoming adjusted to my new meds and am feeling excited after a really good session last night with my therapist. She is truly a God send! I can’t help, but feel proud of myself for learning to take better care of me. It’s been a tough couple of years, but I’ve learned so much and being kinder to myself is helping me to better serve those around me. <3

Father’s Day is a tough holiday for me. I won’t go into all that here because I’ve done so in the past. What I will say is that others need to be mindful that not everyone has a dad they are proud of for Father’s Day. Some people have lost their dads too soon or their dad may be distant. There are many factors to consider. (The same goes for Mother’s Day!) I’m very blessed to have a wonderful husband to celebrate on that day. I also feel honored to be treated as a daughter by my father-in-law and John’s step father. There is still a hole in my heart that cannot be filled, but I am grateful for the family God has given me.

We celebrated Father’s Day by going out to lunch at Firehouse Subs, followed by frozen yogurt, and a round of mini golf. It was so fun, but HOT! (I’m so NOT a summer person!)


  1. A reoccurring dream I have….I don’t really have reoccurring dreams. I have had dreams in the past that have freaked me out. These were dreams about people that I didn’t know and horrible things were happening. I often wonder if the people were real and if I was unable to help them. I know, it’s weird! My dreams are especially vivid now with the meds I’m on. This doesn’t help with sleep much. I’m having to learn which ones to take at specific time to help.
  2. Turn lemons into lemonade. This is a phrase that is used often and it makes me laugh now because acid is terrible for my bladder. Lemons and lemonade would feel like battery acid to me now. I guess my phrase now would be “Turn lemons into blueberries.” 😉
  3. Meal planning has been driving me crazy! BUT I’m learning a lot from Real Plans and am excited about finding new recipes to try and the convenience of the service mostly building my shopping list for me. 🙂 More on that later!
  4. Lately, I have been watching too much tv. I fall into this pattern when I’m feeling bad/feeling depressed. I really want to get back into reading more. Last night, I turned the tv off and read for about an hour before bed. It was nice!

Now it’s your turn, friends! Link up your favorite posts of the week below! Please feel free to comment with your answers to the Friendly Fill-in’s. I would love to hear from you. Grab a button! (Optional) Also don’t forget that we are still looking for ONE more co-host to join our team! If interested, be sure to contact one of the hosts!


Wishing everyone a safe and fun weekend! Stay cool! 😉

<3 Anna

Friday Finds and Favorites #66

Hello Friends!

Last weekend, we had a quick GA visit to celebrate Karson’s birthday. We arrived at the tail end of the party thanks to some very bad directions, but we made it! It was fun telling Karson that he had one more present to open. 😉

My TWO Year old nephew and his beautiful momma!

After the party festivities ended, we decided to take a trip to the lake for an afternoon of water fun!

My little fish. I’m proud of how well he did. He is much braver with water than he was last year.

Karson saw some people “burying” each other in the sand and he decided he wanted to try it too. 😉




















Mermaid Miya! <3

This week I have some really awesome episodes for my podcast play list. Be sure to check them out in the links below!

Podcast Play List

These four podcast episodes are all from the NEW season of Invisibilia. If you don’t currently listen to Invisibilia this is a great season to start. They are doing a new project this season and it’s unlike anything they’ve down before!

The first episode of the season is Emotions pt. 1, this episode will pull at your heart strings as it shares the story of a family who was in a car accident. The family loses their child and ends up being sued by the truck driver who was also involved in the incident.

Emotions pt. 2 shares the discovery of a new emotion and how a young woman learns about her emotions on a first date.

Reality pt. 1 This episode deals with perception. In the small town of Eagle’s Nest Township, some of the locals believe that black bears are gentle and even feed bears from their own mouths, while others are fearful. Should the locals be afraid or are they overreacting?

Reality pt. 2 In this episode, a man name Max creates an intriguing app that allows him to learn about local events from random locations. This experiment helps him to get out of his own bubble.

Friendly Fill-In’s

1)I challenge everyone to step out of your bubble this week. Shake up your routine and meet new people with interests different than your own. We can learn so much from one another.

2) I regret disposing of nothing. Maybe it’s because I’m on a minimalist/downsizing kick, but I only feel freer when I get rid of stuff.

3)I have a difficult time admitting when I need others to lean on. Usually, if I get quiet and begin isolating myself—I’m dealing with hard stuff and need others to step in. The problem is that I’m not brave enough to say that I need my friends in those times. I usually end up inadvertently pushing people away because I don’t want to be a burden. :/

4) If I were given a psychic power, I would like it to be more trusting of my own inner intuition as well. I’ve always felt sensitive to people and situations.

That’s all, folks! It’s your turn! Link up your favorite memories and finds this week. Grab a button (optional!) and check out the Friendly Fill-In’s Hop as well. Also don’t forget that we are looking for one more amazing co-host to join our team. ❤ Contact one of the hosts for more info!

Final Thought:
This weekend is Father’s Day. I’m looking forward to spending this day with my amazing husband who is a wonderful father to our son. I don’t have a father to celebrate and my great grandfather (who is the closest person I had to a father passed away August 1, 2012), this leaves me with a hurting heart for those of us who don’t have fathers to celebrate. I think things are a little easier because I have the joy and privilege of seeing my husband with our son, but my heart still longs for a Dad that cares. I will never know the love of being a daddy’s girl. All this to say that, I understand the pain of this day. Sometimes certain holidays can be a painful reminder of what we don’t have, but I hope that those like me can find a way to enjoy the day even if that means staying away from social media. Self care is so important. Maybe this year can be the year that you create a new tradition. ❤ ❤ ❤

Have a wonderful and safe weekend!
❤ Anna

Friday Finds and Favorites #65

Hello Friends!

Today, I’ll be sharing with you all some of my favorite shower/bath time products. I’ve recently become more minimalist and natural with my routine. I also wanted to mention that my appointment on Wednesday went well. (I’ll have a full update on that on next Wednesday. Stay tuned!)

Renpure Rosemary Mint cleansing conditioner is what I use on my hair. I no longer use regular shampoo and conditioner. I was so annoyed by my hair that I decided to take a risk and I’m so glad I did. So how does this work? You wet your hair in shower like normal and then you add 10-12 squirts of the conditioner. You can add a tiny bit of water to help it cover all of your hair. You then let it sit for 5 minutes and finally rinse. One more thing to note is that you should use this product 6 times and then shampoo regularly once. (This works for me because I have plenty of shampoo that I need to use up! ;)) And then start the cycle over again! I would recommend finding a good natural shampoo from a health store to keep things as natural as possible. I currently have one I need to use up as well as some commercial bottles. Once those are gone, I’ll replace them with natural shampoo.

Once upon a time I was obsessed with shower gels and then my dreams were crushed when I discovered that loofahs are crawling with bacteria and it could become crazy having to replace them so often. So I switched to bar soap and didn’t like it at all. You can imagine I was super happy when I found out that Dove had developed a foaming body wash. If I’m remembering correctly there is an original, aloe and cucumber, and sensitive skin. Due to my chronic pain, I chose sensitive skin to be on the safe side and I absolutely love it! It’s not quite a gel and not a bar soap…It’s the perfect compromise!

I use Dr. Bronner’s Lavender soap for my face. I love the scent and the fact that it keeps my face silky smooth. I bought some rose hip oil to use as moisturizer, but it’s hard to remember to use it because it must be refridgerated. I want to give it a go though because I’ve heard good things about it. My face gets scaly and dry and a good moisturizer would work wonders.

Podcast Play List

  1. The Healthy Moms Podcast, Minimalism with a Family to Decrease Stress and Clutter

This episode was so great! We are downsizing right now for this very reason and so this was like a much needed gift. It’s a wonderful discussion on how to get started and specifically includes one of the big hurdles…children! 😉

2. Code Switch, Talking Black-ish

On this episode of Code Switch, Gene and Shereen talk with the creator of Blackish, Kenya Barris and star, Yara Shahidi. It’s a sort of behind the scenes look of how they work through the creative process and happenings on the show. I was particularly interested in this episode because I had just recently started watching it. John and I are usually drawn to more dramatic shows, so we are trying to add more laughter to our lives. This show contains that, but also I heard that the episode on police brutality is very eye opening. (We haven’t reached that point yet.)

Friendly Fill-ins

1. A prop from a tv show or film I would like to own is Wow! Another tough, but good question. I’m a huge Audrey Hepburn fan so something from her would be amazing! I also love Julia Child, so something from her kitchen. If I were to go more modern, I would say something from the Grimm set or Pretty Little Liars. (They have amazing clothes! ;))

2.  My oldest friendship is Amanda B. we’ve been friends since elementary school. We don’t talk as often now, but still keep up with each other.

3. Whenever I have a bad flare, I grab my body pillow, heating pad, Deep Blue, plenty of water and get my tv on in my room to chill out. I also take my Smurf pills (blue pills;)) If I’m well enough, I’ll do a Pilates DVD specifically geared towards people with chronic pelvic pain.

4. The best thing anyone can learn is to love themselves. You may be the most compassionate person ever, but that can multiply once you accept yourself. <3


It’s now time to share your finds and favorites! Grab a button(optional) and be sure to link up your favorite posts from this week below! Also don’t forget that we are still looking for one more co-host to join our team. If you are interested, please email me!


Wishing you all a safe and wonderful weekend!

<3 Anna

Friday Finds and Favorites #64 June Goals and May Progress

Hello Friends!

I’m in the throes of a flare so it’s been difficult to sit at the computer and type out my thoughts. Sometimes I feel so frustrated at how much my life has changed since this diagnosis and how I truly didn’t appreciate my health until now. I’ve lost so much. I’m gaining a lot too though. I can’t deny that.

June is now upon us and a new month means a fresh start and new goals to tackle! But first, let’s recap May’s goals and progress!

So the first two goals I mentioned for this are still in progress because the husband finally got time to tackle his paper piles. This is a victory in and of itself!

The last goal was to make more time for reading and I’ve definitely done that. I’m watching only 1-2 hours of tv per day on Monday-Thursdays and the weekends I watch as much or as little as I like. This system is working well for me. 🙂

  1. Finish cleaning out downstairs room.
  2. Clean out closet.
  3. Begin working on lesson plans for next school year.
  4. Start meal prepping on Sundays again.

What are your goals for June?

Friendly Fill-in’s

  1. A law I would like to see passed This one is a toughie, because there are so many issues that I am passionate about. I definitely agree that there needs to be a mandatory registry for all animal abusers.
  2. My favorite card game is Capitalism or President. It’s an interesting game, but shows how the system usually benefits the person with the most power.
  3. With summer unofficially here I’m longing for autumn. It’s my favorite season. I don’t enjoy winter as much with my chronic pain, but it’s second on my list. As my GG always says, “You can put more clothes on, but there is only so much you can take off.” She cracks me up. 😀
  4. A favorite summer memory is going to a wedding in NC and then making an impromptu trip to Charleston, SC. It was so fun! I look forward to the day we can visit again!

That’s all for this weekend! Now it’s your turn! Link up your favorite posts of the week below! Remember to keep them family friendly and if you want, grab a button! (Optional) We are also still searching for our last host/hostess to join our team. Please pm one of us for more info! 



Wishing everyone a safe and wonderful weekend!

<3 Anna

Friday Finds and Favorites #63 Mother’s Day 2017 and More!

Hello Friends,

I know this post is a little late, but I just wanted to share that I had an awesome Mother’s Day. I’m blessed with a wonderful husband and little mister who spoils me every day. I love that we all work together (not always!) to make the best of life even in the hard times and boy, can they get hard!

Beautiful tulips from the boys! <3

I spent this Mother’s Day with the prayer team at church. It was my first Sunday and I’m excited to return this Sunday for my weekend to serve. (I serve every other Sunday.) It was such a beautiful service and time to learn more about the prayer team and the ladies I’ll be working with. One of the ladies gave me a beautiful “Best Yes” desk calendar and I’ve been enjoying reading through it each day.

After church, we had lunch at Applebee’s. I’m thankful that it wasn’t too crowded considering the holiday. We ended lunch with a tasty dessert and then headed home. I was very excited to get more flowers and herbs planted.

#BringBackTheBees                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   I really love this campaign Honey Nut Cheerios ran a few months back. They sent out tons of FREE seed packets to encourage others to help bring the bees back. I’m hoping our wildflowers will help with the cause. 🙂 (I don’t know why it’s spacing stuff out so much. :/)Anyway, I had so much to write for my capsule wardrobe post, (You can check it out HERE.) so I decided to share my Podcast Play List today. I guess I’ll do it this way to help prevent lengthy posts, though I make no promises. 😉 I also always fail to mention that the list for my play list is in no particular order.







 Podcast Play List

  1. God Centered Mom, Why Israel Matters to Moms

In this episode, Heather interviews Josh Ahrens, co-coordinator at  Israel Collective. They discuss the places they will be visiting on their trip to Israel, how his own mother impacted his walk with Christ, and the importance of Israel. This was truly an interesting episode because it discussed how this group works with Israelis and Palestinians. It doesn’t choose sides and it’s goal is to show love to everyone. I think they have a beautiful message worth sharing.

2. Code Switch, Changing Colors In Comics

I must admit that I’m a bit of a comic book nerd, so this episode immediately caught my eye. I’m super fascinated with how gender, race, sexual orientation, etc. impacts people’s every day lives. We are so programmed to believe that White America is the only America. America is (in fact) made up of immigrants. The diversity of this country is a beautiful thing that should be embraced and we should all be excited to learn from one another. There is so much we don’t know and understand and when we don’t challenge ourselves to think outside our own little boxes, we will never learn. We will become stagnant and overall, we will maintain our ignorance.

Okay, off my soap box now. This episode was very informative. I’ll be the first to admit as a female, comic book stores feel like an off-limits area for me. The typical comic book store is geared towards white males. So it was very refreshing to hear from people of different races and genders discussing how the comic world industry is for everyone and what they are doing to create access to other people of color.

3. God Centered Mom, Grounded Joy

In this episode, Heather interviews Ellie Holcomb. I was not familiar with her work until listening to this, so I was really happy to get the chance to learn about her and check out her music. They discuss: watching their parents worshipping God despite the storms in their lives, how she wrote songs for her current CD, Red Sea Road (beautiful song!), how they get quiet time in, scripture memorization, and much more!

4. Stuff You Missed in History Class,  A Brief History of Foreign Food in the US

This was a fun episode discussing how Mexican, Chinese, and Italian foods came to America. It was interesting hearing how we “Americanized” many dishes here. For example, the creamy buttery alfredo sauce we know and love is a far cry from Italian food.

5.  Code Switch, Beef Over Hunting

This was an interesting episode discussing the hunting of bison and how the Nez Perce hunting party and others who live in Montana don’t see eye to eye on hunting regulations. The regulations are different for the Nez Perce tribe and other hunters in Montana think that these are outdated regulations and that the tribe should have the same regulations as everyone else.

Friendly Fill ins

  1. My idea of roughing it is having to walk over a mile for a bathroom which is a no-go these days. I never wanted an RV until I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis. Now regular camping trips are just not fun for me anymore. I have back and bladder pain and it just makes things more difficult.
  2. I never get sick of talking about ….no idea. I’m not a big talker. So talking about anything at times can be exhausting. I have to be in the mood and it be a topic of conversation that I can get passionate about such as children’t rights, abuse victim’s rights, animal rights, etc.
  3. My youth has taught me that I’m still relatively young. I turn 31 in July. I wasted much of my teens and twenties with self loathing, doubt, and trying to fit in with people that weren’t true friends to begin with. I think we all do that though. I’m thankful that my 30’s has taught me to care less about what others think of me and to be more confident in my own skin.
  4. My “golden years” scare me more now than before. My hope is to get my health in check or find a cure for my chronic illnesses. I just feel like they complicate things and since I sometimes feel like I’m 60 at 30…I just wonder about my quality of life as I age.:/

So that’s all for this week! Link up below! Grab a button (optional)! Don’t forget to say hello to my other co-hosts, Camille and Claudia. (If you would be interested in joining our team, please contact one of us via email. Thanks!)  Lastly, don’t forget to enter my giveaway. Monday is the last day to enter. I’ll contact winner on Tuesday and publicly share on Wednesdays post. 🙂


 I hope everyone has a safe and fun long weekend!


<3 Anna


Friday Finds and Favorites #62 Mandisa CD Review and Giveaway!

Hello Friends!

 “Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

I was given the awesome honor of reviewing Mandisa’s Out Of The Dark cd pre-release. Super fun! I’ll be honest I was excited to review the cd, but I had no idea what I was in for. This cd blew me away. There was ugly crying.


Story Behind The Album:

Acoustic Video for “Unfinished”:

Purchase link: 

Mandisa wrote her song “Overcomer” in 2013 to encourage her close friend Kisha, who was battling breast cancer. Mandisa really believed and prayed that God was going to heal her, but when Kisha went to be with Jesus in 2014, Mandisa’s foundation was shaken in a way she never expected. She fell into a deep pit of depression for close to 3 years, shutting out her friends, family and the rest of the world. Mandisa believes if she had kept going down that road she was on, she would not be here today… but God stepped in and lifted her out of that pit by using her close friends to communicate their love for her and God’s love for her. This album is Mandisa’s way of letting her fans into her story – it’s called ‘Out Of The Dark’ because that is exactly where God lifted her out of! 

You can watch her talk openly about this on Good Morning America last week here:

Guys, I’ll never be able to give a review that will put into words my feelings on this cd. This is one of those cds that there is no bad song and every song is powerful. As you read in the description above, this cd is like Mandisa’s personal journal or diary. You can tell that every word is a cry from her own heart. If you are going through a rough season, this cd can be a beautiful anthem for your soul. As many of you know, I’ve been dealing with health concerns as well as deep dark anxiety and depression…This cd felt like Mandisa perfectly put my thoughts into words. It’s just so beautiful and full of motivational tunes as well as songs that will remind you of David crying out in the Psalms. Did I say it was beautiful?!

This cd has many upbeat numbers and Declan enjoyed dancing to them or car seat dancing in the car. 😉 So it’s definitely kid-friendly. There are guests on the cd which include: Kirk Franklin, TobyMac, Britt Nicole, and Jeremy Camp. I told you guys that it was tough for me to choose on this cd, but I have to shout out to the song “Bleed The Same.” There are two tracks on the cd for this one. The first track is Kirk Franklin passionately speaking. He talks about how we should be just as mortified when a policeman is killed in the line of duty as when a young black man is killed. “We all bleed the same,” We all have beautiful life stories that deserve to be told and heard. <3 Another song that I must spotlight is Back to Life. This song got me bawling. “I lay down my weakness. I take on Your strength. I lay down my defenses. I step into your victory. Shame and depression.  And all anxieties. They have no power over me. Addiction and strongholds. And every disease. They have no power over me.” *Grabs tissues* Also I have to say before I forget, that each song has scripture and I love that she included all of the lyrics for each song. 🙂

Okay, so who wants to go get this cd now?! Well, you can enter for an opportunity to win a copy of Out of the Dark. (It just released today!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

As always, I’ll finish this post with my Friendly Fill-in’s.

  1. I have googled many things, but I’ll be honest—It’s mostly health related. When Declan was younger (He is 4 now.) I would Google various things with development and whenever he got sick. I’ve grown out of that, thankfully. Now I’m mostly googling things for my chronic illnesses, recipes, crafting, and gardening tips. I also have a couple of tv shows that I’m ridiculously fascinated with and I’ll read a little more up on them occasionally. (I just looked up the keyboard shortcut for underline. 😉
  2. I have heard there are good deals on EBay also, but I just don’t have the time to bid and figure all that stuff out. I’m not against it. My husband’s step dad has come by some very nice finds. I’ll just stick to Amazon, thank you very much. 
  3. I think that I definitely don’t get enough sleep at night and that as I grow older the things that I can tolerate are much less. I want to stand with the brokenhearted. I know that there are so many things that need to change and these things can begin with a ripple effect. It’s just hard sometimes to even know where to begin!
  4. Sasha thinks that if the door is left open just wide enough it’s her free pass to run in or if it’s the front/back door run out. Whenever she makes her “escape” from the house she makes a dash for our storage building and hides under there. She will only come out for me and that’s if I bring treats. I do everything I can to prevent these escapes because it’s such a pain to have to try to coax her out. I’ve had to do this in the rain and once with snow on the ground. :/


Now it’s your turn! Be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win Mandisa’s latest cd Out Of The Darkness. The DEADLINE for this Giveaway is Monday, May 29. (Memorial Day) Grab a button (optional) and link up your favorite moments and finds of the week! 


We are looking for one more co-host to join our team. If you are interested, comment on my post, Camille’s, or Claudia’s. Thanks so much! 

Wishing you all a safe and wonderful weekend!

<3 Anna

Friday Finds and Favorites #61 D’s Reptile Koala Crate

Hello Friends!

It’s been a rough week with my health. I’ve spent many days curled up in bed (when able) with a heating pad. I’ve kept up with pilates to the best of my ability, but it’s not easy. Spring is very difficult for most ICers. I’ve read that there is a link between seasonal allergies and interstitial Cystitis and I completely believe and agree with that. (I feel that I’m living proof of that!)  I’m doing my best to balance rest and living. It’s so difficult when you want to be somewhere, but your body is telling you not to over do it.  #justkeepswimming

So let’s talk about something I love right now. D’s Nana (my mom) bought him a subscription to Koala Crate. If you have never heard of Koala Crate, it’s awesome! Each month you get a box with 3 projects to complete, as well as a magazine, and everything you need for each craft. D had a blast completing his and I believe if I hadn’t split it up, he would’ve tried to do it all in one day! This month’s theme was reptiles! So we were able to learn some new things about some of D’s favorite creatures.

Please note that this review is just for fun and I was NOT compensated in any way for it.

D’s first project was making this cute chameleon. It changes color when you touch it! It came with three bugs to try to knock over/catch with the chameleon’s tongue.

We had the best time making this stuffed snake!

Our last project was making this Turtle box. This one was especially awesome because we received velcro like material to put on the feet and head, so that you can make the turtle hide in his shell. So creative and educational!

My plan was to break this up more to show you the specific items, such as the magazine, but unfortunately, my phone had other plans. :/ Hopefully, I’ll be able to do a better break down next month with D’s second crate. This phone thing is crazy! First, D drops my best phone and destroys the screen in the Aldi parking lot, so I go back to using my pink phone that had already took a dive into a toilet. It lasted a few days before it’s time was up. So I’m now back to my super old 4 and the phone doesn’t want to charge. We are hoping that it’s just the charger. John’s co-worker gave us a charger to try yesterday, so here’s hoping it works! I’m so over phone issues.

Now on to the Friendly Fill-in’s for this week!

  1. My favorite cereal is G free granola from Aldi. They have three different kinds and are all under 10 grams in sugar. There’s cranberry, honey and almond, and apple. They are tasty and I don’t feel as bad as I would eating those packed full of sugar cereals. I use these during flares when the thought of food is just too much.
  2. My prom was a different experience each year. My sophomore year I was invited to prom by an upperclassman. It was a fun night, but ultimately was cut short because I had a very strict and narcissistic stepfather. He was very controlling and didn’t want other boys to give me attention. My junior year, I went solo with a few of my girl friends. It was a fun experience. I didn’t attend my senior year and I have no regrets about it. When I attended college, my now husband and I agreed that we wish we could attend prom together after having an amazing night at our college formal. <3
  3. The funniest thing about our cat Sasha is that she loves to look out the window and watch us when we are outside. She also enjoys watching the birds and has crashed into the window trying to catch them on more than one occasion.
  4. I cannot help getting commercial jingles in my head. Sometimes it can be annoying, but most of the time they are pretty catchy at least. :/

Our Sasha

Now it’s your turn! You can link up your favorites and awesome finds below! We have no rules, just keep it family friendly. This means you can share as many posts as you would like. 🙂 Also be sure to contact one of us, as we are still looking for one more blogger to join as co-host. Thanks so much! Be sure to grab a button below! (optional)




Wishing you all a safe and wonderful weekend!

<3 Anna

Friday Finds and Favorites #60 TN Travels

Hello Friends!

It’s time for another Friday Finds and Favorites! Can you believe this is BIG number 60 for us?! Crazy, I know! So today, I’m sharing pics from our Tennessee vacation, a new feature-my Podcast Play List, and Friday Fill-in another fun hop you can add your links. 😉

These are not in order, so I’m not going chronologically. This is from our day date. We went to the Blue Moose in Pigeon Forge.

D standing at the waterfall in front of Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo.

We stopped by this cozy and child-friendly coffee house in Cherokee, NC.

Our goodies from inside the coffee shop. (Surprise! This was actually in order.)

D loved the petting zoo.

This bear amazed me with how long his tongue is! It makes sense, for collecting honey and other food, but wow!

He looks like he has a swimsuit on or something. 😉


Beautiful, Brooklyn Naomi, I can’t believe she will be one in a few months!

We had an Easter egg hunt for all the cousins while staying at the cabin.

Karson collecting eggs with his parents. (Jess and Tyler)

It was another wonderful trip for the books! It was great enjoying the cabin again, the kids especially loved playing in the creek. I think they could’ve thrown rocks all day there and been perfectly content. We had wonderful food to stuff us and spoil us. 😉 We are already looking forward to next year. 😉


Podcast Play List

I mentioned recently, (on fb) that I wanted to share my daily podcasts with all of my followers, and then *LIGHTBULB* The blog would be the perfect platform to share my posts. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner! So I’ll get this kicked off by sharing 5 podcasts that really stuck with me this week. Please understand that I am behind on podcasts so the dates on these are old. My plan is to not share anything that no longer has relevance because of date especially!

1, 2, 3) Embedded, Police Videos: Charlotte, Flagstaff, and Cincinnati

The first podcast selection is three separate episodes of Embedded. Embedded is a podcast that takes stories from the news and goes deeper into the specifics on a variety of cases and stories.

Charlotte: This episode explores the case of Jonathan Ferrell, who was shot and killed by Police Officer, Wes “Kerrick” in Charlotte, NC. More specifically the episode highlights the fact that a key piece of evidence in cases like this one, are body cams. Perception is a big element with reviewing footage and this episode goes deeper.

Flagstaff: Robert “Bobby” Smith shot Police Officer Tyler Stewart and himself in Flagstaff, Arizona. This video footage is now used to discuss the dangers police officers face every day. BUT how does this effect the families involved?

Cincinnati: Police Officer Jesse Kidder encountered Micheal Wilcox in a suburb outside of Cincinnati. The details of what happened next are a source of discussion for many. This episode explores the incident and how watching police videos like this one has changed us as a society.

All three of these episodes shines a light on police related shooting in our country. They are all from varying perspectives. It was a very interesting and enlightening listen. I would definitely recommend!

4) Stuff You Missed in History Class, Mongolian Princess Khutulun

I’m always fascinated with fierce women in history, so it’s no surprise that this podcast episode made the list. This Mongolian Princess has a very interesting story and since most of her story is told by outsiders we can only speculate on what information is true.

5) God Centered Mom Podcast, Building the Family You Never Had

This episode is excellent for those who have come from a broken family and/or dysfunctional family. Mary DeMuth is the guest and her message is so encouraging. I don’t want to give too much away, but here is an awesome quote from the episode:

“Each of your kids will have their own story and re-story. To have joy today, you have to look realistically at today. Surrender where you are today. Surrender the outcomes to God today.”

So I hope you give these podcasts a whirl. Do you listen to podcasts? What are you listening to this week? When do you typically listen? I find listening during chores helps the chores to be less tedious. 😉

Hopefully, next week’s post won’t be so lengthy. I’m ending today’s post with my first ever Friendly Fill-in! I found out about this hop via Claudia (our newest co-host.) So I thought it would be fun to give it a try! 🙂

1.We do not have landline. The last time I had landline was back when I was in high school at my mom’s.

2. My most treasured piece of jewelry is my wedding ring and band. I was heartbroken when D lost my wedding band and so relieved that he found it several months later. I am now looking into those rubber rings to wear when going outdoors and I think it will be beneficial to John since he can’t wear his band due to allergies.

3. This year I have learned that I am stronger than I ever thought possible and what little strength I do have is made perfect in His strength. I got this!

4. I would like to finish organizing and decluttering my entire house by the end of the year. I’m so sick of stuff!

Bless you if you actually read all of this. 😉 Now it’s your turn! Grab a button below (optional!) and link up your Finds and Favorites. Also check out the Fill-in hop as well. It’s super fun! We are still looking for one more blogger to join our team. Will it be you? Contact one of the hosts for more info! <3



Wishing you all a safe and wonderful weekend!

<3 Anna

Friday Finds and Favorites #59 May Goals

Hello Friends!

We are finally back for another Friday Finds and Favorites! This week we are introducing a new co-host, Claudia Blanton, has joined our team and we are so thrilled to have her on board. We are still accepting one more blogger on our team. If you are interested, please contact one of the hosts. Thanks!

This week I’m sharing my progress with my March goals and sharing my goals for April.

1) Commit to working out at least 3-5 times a week.


I bought the new dawn pilates dvd that is specifically designed for people with pelvic pain and it was worth every penny. The dvd can be done in a variety of ways. You can choose from: warm up, perform entire workout, target only one section-arms, abs and back, and legs, perform full body integration, and perform rough day revitalizer. I’ve been doing the rough day revitalizer because my bladder has been angry lately and choosing an area of focus. Today, I’m focused on leg work.  I feel energized after each work out and I’ve noticed that my back pain has lessened. I’m so thankful for this dvd. It has given me my workout life back and stretching feels oh so good!

2) Get D signed up for Spring Soccer.


D is signed up for Spring Soccer and currently attending practices. He struggles to follow directions and continues to march to the beat of his own drummer. Gotta love my sour patch kid!. <3

D running in the opposite direction of ball.

3) Introduce Charis Blooms. 


My small business has made a few sales already and I’m really enjoying creating beautiful jewelry for beautiful people. If you are interested in learning more info on my current available pieces, check out my tab at the top of the page! Here are just a few:

Bloom Where You’re Planted Necklace available for $10 including the price of shipping!

This Curious Locket is available for $20 (includes shipping cost) and comes with 3 FREE diffuser pads.

This Slay leather bracelet can be yours for $20 (including shipping). You can add additional charms for .50 per charm.

1) Use some of the fun suggestions given to me by FB friends to brighten the rooms downstairs.

I asked via my personal page as well as the Bottom Line Mom Group. I was pleasantly surprised and thrilled with the many ideas you all gave me. I’ll share before and after pics once I’m closer to being finished.

2) Finish sorting and organizing our new filing system.\

This is something I started working on at the beginning of this month and the only reason I’m not finished is because life is busy and John and I being at the same place at once is not easy these days!

3) Make more time for reading.

This one shouldn’t be difficult, but sometimes I make it hard. I let distractions like social media or vegging out to tv take precedence over reading. It’s not something I’m proud of, but I hope to do better this month.

Now it’s your turn! What is your favorite memory or find of the week?




<3 Anna

Tale as Old as Time

Hello Friends!

I think I’ve finally figured out a good balance here. I’m going to try to update twice a week. Time has flown by this year and it’s just too much for once a week posting. One event that we have added to our schedule is our weekly Life group meeting. We meet with friends from church and eat good food and have time together to discuss God’s word and life in general. It’s a great evening in the middle of our week and D loves playing with his life group friends. It has been such a blessing! We are really missing the group right now because we have been away for a few weeks now. We had our TN trip earlier this month and then D had fifth disease for about a week and this week looks iffy as well. Sometimes you just don’t know what life is going to throw at you. I’m thankful to our group for their prayers and that I know I can lean on God in these questioning times.

One sweet family from out group agreed to watch D for us so that we could have date night back in March. It was such a wonderful evening and much needed break!

We went to the Twisted Oak for dinner and it was so delicious! The sweet potato hushpuppies are the bombdotcom! I also ordered their chicken and waffles because I can’t (not) order chicken and waffles. It was a good decision. 😉

Just a selfie before the movie starts. 😉

After our tasty filling meal, we headed over to the theater to wait for our movie to begin. We had tickets to see the new Beauty and the Beast movie. I’m sure many of you have watched it by now, but do yourself a favor and see it if you haven’t! I can’t wait to watch it again. I’ll even argue that I loved it more than the original. It was that wonderful. I will say that no one can beat Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Potts though Emma Thompson did do a lovely job.

How often do you have a date night? What do you normally do?

<3 Anna