Saturday Small Talk

What are you up to this fine weekend? Things are low key around there, and that’s pretty great. We didn’t end up at the beach last Saturday (thanks, Michigan weather), and today doesn’t look too promising either. One of these days, I WILL get my beach day. This is my last weekend before a triathlon, so I’m sneaking in one last long workout before I take it easy next week. I’m getting excited!

In case you miss it this week…Spicy Greek Yogurt Dip and 4 tips for eating on your road trip.

6 ideas to update your rental without ticking off your landlord.

Brilliant ideas for organizing your garage (basement, storage closet, etc…)

If you’ve seen Jurassic World, you were probably wondering what I was: how the heck did she run in those heels!? Science weighs in with an answer.

There’s some ricotta cheese in my fridge. I might turn it into ricotta ice cream with balsamic strawberries.

Dave Ramsey recommends these books for businesspeople and entrepreneurs.

Ridiculously helpful airline/flying tips.

Speaking of, did you hear about the 6 year old who left his stuffed tiger at the airport?

I want to try this easy DIY eucalyptus spray.

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Pie. Yum.

Enjoy your day!

Book Review: Savor

Shauna Niequist’s latest book, Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are, is a must-own. Departing from the short stories and essays in her memoirs Cold Tangerines, Bittersweet, and Bread and Wine, Niequist offers readers a book with a scripture and meditation for each day of the year.

??????????????????????My first reaction: Savor is beautiful. The cover is linen bound, and the pages are just the right weight. I adore the navy and maroon color scheme, and the hand lettering by Lindsay Letters is to die for.

And the content. The content! If you (like me) are somewhat of a fan-girl for Shauna Niequist’s previous books, you’ll recognize some of her stories and ideas from those books mixed in with the new content. Each day’s devotion has a short scripture verse, and then a bite-sized meditation, followed by a prompt for thought, journal writing, or prayer in response to what you read. Mixed in with the devotions are 21 recipes of her favorites–I can’t wait to try some of them!

She states the premise for this devotional so beautifully in her introduction:

“Let’s clear away space together, trusting that what we’ll find in even small moments of prayer and silence will transform us. When I begin the day in prayer, I find that it’s easier to continue that way. When I begin the day with God’s word, with silence, with a grounding sense of his love for me, then I find it’s easier to bring those things with me throughout the day…So let’s begin together. Let’s savor this day, the beauty of the world God made, the richness of family and friendship, the good gifts of creativity and work. All the things that populate our days are worth savoring.” ~Shauna Niequist

I’ve been reading Savor more mornings than not these last couple of weeks, and I’ve enjoyed the tone it sets for my day. If you are looking for a daily reminder to ground yourself in the things that matter, and to savor the fleeting everyday we are all gifted with, you will not regret picking up a copy of Savor.

If you’re interested….my review of Bread and Wine (also by Shauna Niequist) and Scary Close (Donald Miller)

Disclosure statement: I received this free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: Scary Close

Donald Miller’s newest memoir, Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy, shares his journey toward becoming more genuine, honest, and invested in his relationships. Using the story of his courtship with his wife, Don shares his journey of growth from emotional dysfunction to health.

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When I first read a description of Scary Close, my first thought was, “This won’t apply to me.”  I don’t consider myself a person who struggles with relationships. I have deep friendships, I’m grateful for my marriage, and I’m close with my family.  I’ve read Boundaries, and spent some hard, challenging years putting on my big-girl-pants and fighting for healthy relationships. I was pretty sure I had emotional intimacy all wrapped up and tied with a pretty bow. Done and done. Good job, me!

Reading Scary Close showed me I’m not quite there yet. And that’s OK. Don says, “I suppose that’s the point of this book. There’s truth in the idea we’re never going to be perfect in love, but we can get close. And the closer we get, the healthier we will be.” I don’t want to waste my life impressing a bunch of people, at the expense of sacrificing connection with the ones that matter. When it’s all said and done, I want to live a grateful life, be genuine, and love my people well.

Whether or not you struggle with relationships, I recommend this book wholeheartedly. Don’s writing style is easy to read and his stories are engaging. You’ll walk away from this book with a new-found appreciation for the healthy relationships in your life, and a challenge to show up and do the hard work of becoming a mature, emotionally whole person–not just for you, but for your family, your spouse, your friends, and your children. Everyone benefits from being surrounded by healthy relationships.

Disclosure statement: I received this free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday Small Talk

Yay Saturday! After days and days and days of cloudy, rainy weather, the sun is shining again in the northland. I’m thrilled. It’s amazing what just seeing the sun does to elevate your mood.

Mom, baby sisters, and I are in the Upper Peninsula this weekend. Mom is running a half marathon, I’m doing the 10K, and Naomi plans to do the 5K. Abby just had knee surgery, so she’s going to be our cheerleader extraordinaire. Wish me luck–I’m hoping to PR.

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The internet, as always, has offered a wealth of random and interesting reads the last couple of weeks. Enjoy!

After swearing I would never get an e-reader, I got a kindle, and I really like it. Apparently, though, reading a real book is still better for your brain than reading a screen.

Gilmore Girls is on Netflix! I don’t have Netflix, but if I did, I’d be stoked. Ever wonder, “Where are they now?

Iowa Girl Eats shared 20 of her favorite fall recipes. Brown Eyed Baker listed 14 of her favorite pumpkin recipes.

Want some inspiration to get out of the house? Here are 50 fun, cheap date ideas for fall. Take your boyfriend, spouse, friend, and/or dog, and make something happen!

Michael Hyatt writes about the 7 benefits of keeping a daily journal. I firmly believe in journaling, but definitely do not do so daily. I might have to give it a try!

From Kevin DeYoung: What We Won’t Regret. If you’re looking for a convicting read by this author, check out Crazy Busy. It’s well worth the $10 price tag (or the $7 kindle price, if you don’t care about your brain).

Enjoy your weekend, friends!