Category Archives: Friday Finds and Favorites

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.

MANDISA OUT OF THE DARK CD

Story Behind The Album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Df27myDpm1c

Acoustic Video for “Unfinished”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQFpXcvFI0A

Purchase link: http://smarturl.it/OutOfTheDark.all?IQid=flyby 

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: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/mandisa-opens-overcoming-depression-47020463

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. 😉

Gorgeous!

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.

Check!

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.

Check!

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. 

Check!

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

The Luck of the Irish!

Hello Friends!

I’m still working out the kinks of only blogging once a week, but I’m feeling happier with my decision. It has freed me up to do so many projects and I feel more eager to post here each week. This is a feeling that hasn’t been with me for a very long time! It’s good to enjoy blogging again. 🙂

This week I have a nice hodge podge of things to check out and lovely memories. Enjoy! <3

The Abide app is a lovely treasure shared with me by one of the wonderful ladies in my life group from church. I’m so thankful that God has answered our prayers in finding a life group that our whole family loves so much and enjoys attending each Wednesday night. It has been such a blessing in our lives. The abide app is an awesome collection of meditations with scripture that is so comforting and great for any time. You can choose to do longer more in depth sessions or you could do one that is only a minute or three. This is one major perk!

We recently met up with my father in law, step mother in law, and grandmother in law for an early dinner. We managed to get a few pics while making new memories too. 😉

Pure Declan

Blowing bubbles with Mama Doris.

We also had a lovely St. Patrick’s Day! We had our traditional St. Patrick’s Day breakfast of bacon, hashbrowns, and I made green eggs with naturally made food coloring from baby spinach leaves. Boom! #mommywin D watched Minnie’s Rainbow from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and loved leprechaun Pete. 😉

I’m festive in one of my outfits from my capsule wardrobe! <3

We decided D’s leprechaun got in a fight. 😉

Lastly, I have to recommend This is Us, because it’s amazing and they are currently on break before Season 2. It’s the perfect time to catch up or get started if you’ve been living under a rock. 😉

Well, that’s all for this week! Comment below with your favorite find or memory of the week. 

<3 Anna

Introducing Charis Blooms!

Hello Friends!

I hope you all had a great week! It’s been a pretty long one here. The weather has been pretty intense! We have had crazy storms, freeze warnings, and extreme temps. It’s hard to know how to dress Declan each day because we never know what the weather will do. It’s March, so I’m ready for the weather to decide to stick with spring. Here’s hoping that it will level out soon.

Sale is pending on this beauty!

Today, I wanted to introduce my blog to my newest project, Charis Blooms! I’ve mentioned here before, but I guess this is my official intro post. 😉 I am currently making diffuser necklaces, pendants, and teething necklaces. You can stay up to date with what is available in the shop via my new shop account on IG.

This necklace has been sold, but I’m working on a similar piece this weekend.

On March 2, we celebrated Dr Seuss’ birthday and  National Read Across America Day. Literacy is so important and can change the course of a person’s life. I’m so glad that so many people see the importance of encouraging a love of reading early on.

D made a fox from Fox in Socks.

 

D and I worked on the art project above and read some of our favorite Dr. Seuss books. D’s favorite Dr. Seuss book is The Cat in the Hat. What is yours? 🙂

D’s fantastic fox <3

We also watched the Lorax and later that day I updated D’s book baskets. Book baskets are exactly what they sound like.

I added several spring titles and books that are relevant to issues Declan is dealing with right now, such as remembering not to whine, being kind to others, being afraid of storms, etc. We currently have a book basket set up in his room and one set up in our living room. I’m hoping to set up a few more very soon!

Hope your weekend is super sweet! Be safe out there and be sure to take some time to appreciate all the little things. 🙂

<3 Anna

We’re Seeing Stars!

Hello Friends!

Signs of Spring!

It’s hard to believe that it is March and yet the weather here feels like April! I hope everyone did well with their goals for February. (I’ll be sharing about my capsule wardrobe later on in this post!) Next up! Pictures from the Astronomy Day or BOBfest at our local Science Center. 🙂

We began our day at the Astronomy Day event. This included lectures, presentations, and (thankfully!) a family room of astronomy related activities for kids. (I look forward to checking out lectures and presentations with D when he is older.) Declan loved playing with the rockets and astronauts pictured above. This day was perfect for him because he is very interested in the solar system. Thanks to Little Einsteins, he knows the order of the planets and sings a super cute song while sharing this info with others. <3

Space man!

Another awesome perk of the day was receiving three FREE tickets to the Science Center. This was really nice since we hadn’t been since last year and there was a new exhibit on nocturnal animals there through June.

Heart Attack alert!

So funny story with this guy. I was waiting around to get a picture of him on my phone and John kept telling me, “He is too busy swimming around. He doesn’t want attention from us.” Just after he said this, this guy jumps up and splashes me and John. I scream—thinking it’s a sound only audible to dogs, but alas, one of the staff there comes up and checks on us. We all had a good laugh about it after realizing that I wasn’t going to die. 😉

We are friends now. He let me pet him. <3

After the Science Center, we headed to the theatre to see The Lego Batman Movie. It was pretty funny, but a bit long. If you have squirmy kids, I advise waiting this one out and seeing it at home. We definitely need to add this one to our collection though!

Declan’s Constellation

We recently checked out the new(ish) park in downtown Hickory. Here are a few pics from that day:

D loved making music there!

Monkey!

This spinny thing was his favorite.

 

Remember last month when I told you guys that I would be cleaning out my closet?! Well, I did!

BEFORE

I began by emptying out my closet and dresser drawers. I went through everything! This is why it took me so long to get to where I am now.

AFTER

I can now close drawers and pick out outfits in a matter of minutes. I’m still working on a list of all of my items and have a few things that I need to add to my wardrobe. I probably have fewer pairs of shoes than most women. :/ I’m thinking 3 and 1 doesn’t fit. So that’s definitely a problem. (I want to have 4-5.) So you’re probably wondering, What is a capsule wardrobe? It’s pretty simple! You can make your own rules, but it’s all about wearing only what you love and keeping your wardrobe fresh with looks that are timeless. It’s your job to decide what you love. This is very popular with minimalists because they already see the importance of living with less in the pursuit of truly having more. It’s a lovely idea and I’m thrilled to be pursuing it now. I’ll update you all again soon! <3

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

This one is huge for me because I’ve only been doing stretches for years now due to so much pain. Thankfully, some of that pain is more manageable and I believe that I’m ready to create a workout program that works for me. Prayers and good thoughts are always appreciated! <3

2) Get Declan signed up for Spring Soccer.

Tis the season! Soccer season that is! 😉 We have decided to check out the rec. department this year and see how that goes! I’ll have plenty of pics to share soon!

3) Introducing Charis Blooms! My new Etsy store going live!

I put up the announcement on Wednesday, but wanted to share here that one of the other changes of the blog is that now you’ll be able to purchase lovely diffuser necklaces to diffuse your favorite oils on the go and fashionable teething necklaces for you and your little teether! 😉 Stay tuned next week and via my social media platforms for more info!

Whew…That was a lot of information! Hopefully, soon I’ll master this only blogging once a week thing without reaching nearly 800 in word count. :/

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend! Be safe out there!

<3 Anna

Hearts, Hugs, and Hedgies!

Hello Friends!

We recently had that holiday, you know the one, the one that induces a few feelings/reactions…dread, nausea, excitement, love, etc. St. Valentine’s Day, whether you love it or hate it; It comes each year without fail. We here in the Leviner household are not HUGE on Valentine’s Day. I think our celebrating has gotten less and less each passing year. I’m not one of those anti-valentine’s people, but you also won’t see me making a Valentine’s wreath. (God, bless you beautiful and talented people who do that!) So our Valentine’s Day was very low key and we were actually able to go on a date, thanks to Nana! <3

These two had a blast! (Ps. I try to keep pants on this child…agh!)

Nana also came bearing a gift. (When does she not?! ;))

During this time, John and I were both on an antibiotic for a sinus infection which stuck around for two weeks. Yuck! So our date was brief and we did not get pictures. We had dinner at O’Charley’s and then headed to Barne and Nobles so I could pick up a copy of Hidden Figures. We then decided to head home because we were both feeling lousy. Fun times! BUT it’s life and I love doing life with John Leviner. <3 We had a great visit with my mom and Aunt Brandi and enjoyed having them here with us. We look forward to seeing them again in April for our big trip to TN!

hedgehog love

On Valentine’s Day, John surprised me with a beautiful card. I picked out a beautiful outfit from Lularoe along with an extra dress. I’m kinda burnt out on all these sell party things, but I must admit that the leggings do feel like butter and are so comfy! It’s nice to feel cute and be comfortable, especially with bladder and other regular pains! John got a few collections of Calvin and Hobbes at Barnes and Noble and that made him one happy fellow. 😉 Later that day, I read D Hedgehugswhich is quite possibly the cutest book ever! I’m obsessed with hedgies and D loves them now as well. <3 We had our annual steak dinner with garlic parmesan fries, brussel sprouts with bacon, and butterscotch mug cakes for dessert. I was initially going to make butterscotch bars, but our stove decided that it was done heating things up on the bottom burner. (Gee, thanks stove. You shouldn’t have. You really shouldn’t have.) John and I ended the night with This is Us. John held me while I ugly cried over Randall’s last scene. The End.

How was your Valentine’s Day? What are your feelings towards the holiday?

<3 Anna

I’m still here!

Hello Friends!

It feels like since I made the decision to blog once a week that I haven’t blogged at all. This is mostly due to a sinus infection that stuck around for two weeks. Yuck! I’m happy to say that I’m on my last days of my antibiotic and doing better. I think some of my pain now is due to the early pollen count. Thank you allergies! :/ Anyway, it’s good to be back and I have plenty of things to share!

Last month, I visited my friend, Whit for a weekend in Atlanta! It was so fun! My first night there we ordered Chinese for dinner. (If you are fighting a cold, I highly suggest ordering some wonton soup. It’s perfect for the sore throat and pained sinuses!) We watched SNL skits and Pineapple Express because that movie is ridiculous!

The next morning,  we visited the Etowah Indian Mounds and had quite a climb up to this view!

It was hella cold though. We were all bundled up with hoods and hats. What the mess? This is Georgia, people!

Donkeys eat pine cones?!

On our walk back from the mounds, we saw two donkeys beyond a fence of a nearby farmer. We (of course!) had to stop to see if they were tame and chat with them. 😉

After the mounds, we learned about a nearby Science Center and decided to check it out. We headed there and stopped by an awesome Greek Cafe on our way.  If you are ever in Cartersville, definitely check out Cartersville Cafe! It’s conveniently located right next to the Tellus Science Musuem. 🙂

This exhibit had a Tim Burton vibe, maybe that’s where he gets his inspiration…?

That evening we went to see Hidden Figures. I’m pretty sure most of you have heard about this book/movie. All I can say is that I can’t remember the last time I went to the theater and had zero regrets about paying for a movie ticket. It’s worth so much more than that. This is a piece of history that does not get the attention it deserves. What these women did is so important for science, our country, and this world. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to see it and I recommend everyone go out and see it now if you haven’t already! 😉

The next day, I met back up with my guys and we celebrated my niece, Miya’s fourth birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. It was fun playing games and spending time with our GA family.

Birthday girl!

John vs. The Raging Ape

After the party, we joined my mom, Aunt Brandi, Aunt Jessica, Uncle Ty-Ty, and Karson for a late lunch at Cheddars. After Cheddars, we visited with the Smith family and celebrated Levi turning 1. All our babies are growing up! I’m so thankful for family and good friends. It’s never long enough! <3

I’ve read 3 books for the Read Harder Challenge.

(Below you can click on the categories and see which books I read for each one!)

Read a book about sports.

Read an all-ages comic.

Read a superhero comic with a female lead.

I’m currently reading The Girls and Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix for read a debut novel and read a fantasy novel. I’m well on my way to completing this challenge! 😉

The other goals I had last month made a slight shift due to unforeseen circumstances. So my one and only goal this month will be to complete sorting and donating my clothes for my capsule wardrobe. (More on that later!)

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Be safe out there! Share book recommendations and any other comments below!

<3 Anna