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NEWSLETTER LINKS

Letter No. 91 · October 25, 2018

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1. Having two African American boys has been one of the very best things in my life because it's caused me to open my eyes to injustice and the part I've played in it without even being aware. I'm so grateful for people talking about it in tangible ways and think everyone should listen to this podcast episode. I also added her book to my Amazon cart and know it's going to be wonderful! 

2. I just finished my half-marathon training (I did it, y'all!) and was desperate for my next workout plan; without one I totally fall of the bandwagon. I signed up for a three month subscription to this, which gives access to basically all their workout programs ever. I'm starting with this one, but doing it 3x week instead of for 21 days straight. 

3. I think reading biographies/stories about faithful men and women of the Lord is one of the very best things to feed our hearts & souls and I wrote a blog post with 12+ of my favorites. I hope you'll treat yourself to one (your local library may have some!) and carve out some time to read it.

4. I often link to posts about minimal closets/ capsule wardrobes/ ethical fashion because I know it's an area I'm weak in. This post, written by a DIY blogger I've followed for years, was extra fascinating to me. I'm equally impressed by how few clothes she has & concerned about the feeling of a jean jacket on bare arms in the winter. 

5. Robert & I are heading to NYC tomorrow for a quick getaway and I'm so excited, I'm about to burst. I've been multiple times so no need to do anything extra tourist-y but this (no surprise), this (hi, I'm Katie & I love history), this (like twelve times), and this around Central Park are some of the things on our list. 

 

Letter No. 90 · October 18, 2018

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1. I bought these shoes two years ago (in a stone color) and excitedly get them back out every Fall. They are seriously the most comfortable... I'm even going to bring them to walk the streets of NYC with me in a few weeks! Plus, slip-on, need I say more?

 

2. Best $5 I've spent in a long time. Color-coded, so easy to wash, can put them anywhere on the kitchen counter. Bonus: I put them under paper when my boys craft to contain mess. 

 

3. Every once in a while I mention one of my very favorite places to buy clothes because I just love it so much, especially as the seasons turn. I think there is great value in shopping second-hand when you can and I love that I can search for specific, favorite, brands instead of browsing through pages and pages of products I know I won't like. (Madewell, Athleta, Lou & Grey for me!) 

4. The other day someone asked me for teen girl book recommendations on self-worth and I had to, in turn, ask you all. I promised to post the list I made so here it is! There are some real winners in here. 

5. Pumpkin bread season is upon us and this is my go-to recipe! 

 

Letter No. 89 · October 11, 2018

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1. These adorable boys of mine brought home so many little illnesses last Fall/Winter and I found myself curled up on the couch more often than I wanted to be. I've heard good things about these and decided to order a bottle. I have no idea how someone decides how effective they actually are, but I'm willing to try them out at least once. 

2. I've had the hardest time finding sport's bras that I liked and after seeing a fashion blogger recommend these I decided it was worth a shot. I'm so glad I tried them! I like having a go-to and never having to think about the issue again. Sport's bras... check! 

3. Fall is finally here in Tennessee & we're excited to be outside with less mosquitos and sweat running down our backs. Brooks (age 4) has been asking about a kite so I bought this inexpensive one for us to play with for the next few months. I always think about kites as a Spring thing, but one blowing along with the leaves is so fun!  

4. It doesn't quite fit my personality that I'd love Halloween, but my mom made it a really fun holiday in our home and it's something I'm naturally falling into as well. This book is cute with a lesson-filled ending and we love reading it all month long. Brooks remembered it from last year and excitedly asked for it again this year, which is the sign of a good book yes?

5. But also, October 31st is Reformation Day-- the day we (in short summary) celebrate Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the door, which ultimately lead to all of us being able to read and study the Bible for ourselves. I'm just now starting to immerse myself in the church's history and this post is a great, simple read for why. Our family is reading bits of this children's book in October, and I'm looking forward to our boys growing up knowing more about the church's history than I did. It matters! 

Letter No. 88 · October 4, 2018

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1. I've always wanted to at least know how to make a basic loaf of bread for our family to eat on all week and just bought two of these pans (after lots of research) to try it out for the first time. I'm using this recipe-- we'll see how it goes! 

2. Our four year old has become really interested in good guys vs bad guys / superheroes (which I knew was coming thanks to this book-- recommend!) so I bought two of these books to start reading together. He is SO thrilled & I love being able to enjoy something he's excited about together. 

3. This is my very favorite drink in the Fall. I just pour some over almond milk and enjoy iced or heated depending on the Nashville weather ;) I get mine at Target or TJ Maxx of all places! 

4. Whitney is one of the most God-fearing women I know, and her post on miscarriage was beautiful and gospel-focused. I saved it to re-read down the road, either for myself or a friend in need. 

5. I've been looking for a map of the US for our playroom and finally found a neutral one. It looks well made and isn't too pricey. (Maybe I'll re-learn where all our states are in the process. Ha!)

Letter No. 87 · September 27, 2018

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1. I am 100% on board with investing in high quality shoes that will last seasons + won't hurt my feet and these beauties are my new pair for Fall/Winter. I was hesitant to jump on the clog train but they are seriously the type of shoe my closet has been needing for years. I've already worn them multiple times and can't believe how comfy they are! 

2. I'm a big fan of anything this author writes and just ordered her newest book! It's written by both she and her husband and is meant to be read as a couple, I think. Now to see if I can convince Robert to read with me... 

3. Robert sent me this list of verses from the dearest Beth Moore the other day and reading them over and over again has been sweet balm to my soul. 

4. The other night I was at dinner with some of my best girls and a few of them mentioned learning & singing a hymn as a family every night/week. This music, in particular, was recommended. I'd never heard of it before but I LOVE Getty music (we even did an art print based on their lyrics) so I'm sure I'll love this, too. 

5. I bought this book early Summer and have anxiously been waiting to buy bulbs & seeds for a flower garden come Spring. They finally released their first group of products and you better believe I have some anemone headed my way! Eee!

 

Letter No. 86 · September 20 , 2018

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1. I don't wear a ton of makeup, and want what I put on to stay on all day long. I've been using this inexpensive spray both before & after I put everything on and it's helped it stay put even on our still very warm days. 

2. I'm re-reading this book with a group of girls (hi girls!) and am getting totally different but just as wonderful things out of it the second time around. It is one of those books that has completely shaped the way I think about God, and I can't recommend it more. If you haven't read, I promise it will be an excellent use of $10 and a few hours. xx

3. A customer shared this video with me including a note about how she'd gifted a Dear Mushka necklace to the family at the time of the adoption. Oh, my heart! I'm not crying, you're crying. 

4. I've been trying to incorporate a little yoga/ stretching into my mornings to balance out my running and would love a great video recommendation from you all! Preferably no more than 15-20 minutes and available on youtube so I can pull one up quickly and do with the boys running around my feet. I've been using the ones below (click on the photo) but there may be better options?

5. Have I mentioned on here that I'm slowly cooking my way through this cookbook? It's been so good for me, as cooking doesn't come naturally, and I've loved every single thing we've made. Her recipes are approachable and family friends. Two thumbs up! (Sour Cream Enchiladas this week...)

 

Letter No. 85 · September 13 , 2018

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1. I don't read a ton of fiction, but if I hear enough about a book I'll add it to my list for something different. This book was a best seller last year so I picked it up, but I'm multiple chapters in and so far it's just a little depressing to me. Anyone read it and loved it? I imagine it gets better... 

2. This article is old, but I stumbled upon it again and it provided timely aid. I don't normally struggle with anxiety but gosh, fear over my children's lives is something different. This was helpful! 

3. We've been in our new house two months and I'm getting the itch to start painting a few walls beyond the basic white we began with & also hang some new art. We have a big wall above a couch and I'm loving this happy gallery of family photos! [Also about to paint part of our dining room this color. Eee!]

4. On Insta-stories, I asked you all for your favorite jean recommendations & then put together a big-ol blog post for you. Hooray!

5. It probably won't last, but temps are beginning to drop here in TN & it's feeling like soup weather! We made this the other night and it hit the spot. [Could be the cream cheese & heavy cream? Ha!]

 

Letter No. 84 · September 6 , 2018

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1. I read this book in about a day and completely fell in love with the writing style and story. Like most books turned movie, the Netflix version was sub-par to say the least. It's really hard to capture letters in a movie! But, ahem, if you're never going to read the book, watch the movie-- it's a sweet story!

2. I've been listening to this podcast while I run lately and have really enjoyed it! I'm not sure Rachel is where I'd recommend anyone get their spiritual advice, but she does have some better-yourself wisdom sprinkled around. I was particularly helped by this episode and have since jumped back on the protein-shake train. 

3. Speaking of... this is the protein powder I use [it's the least-chalky tasting one I've tried] and this is the PB powder I add. I also mix in a few tablespoons of chia & flax seed, a handful of spinach, and a banana. It isn't the best tasting thing in the world, but it does keep me pretty full until noon and that's worth it for me. Otherwise, I'm hangry scarfing down the first chips I can find. 

4. I'm training for my first half marathon-- running 9 miles on Saturday!-- and couldn't do it without these bottoms. Seriously. I'm not able to run in those cute little running shorts (hello chaffing), but I was so hot in long leggings. These aren't the prettiest things in the world, but they are exactly what I needed... and I have four pairs now.

5. I'm only two chapters into this book [I picked it up because so many of you recommended!] and absolutely love it. Beautiful language. Well written. Inspiring. Gospel-filled. Yes. 

 

Letter No. 83 · August 30, 2018

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1. I'm slowly reading my way through the Bible and continue to love the content The Bible Project puts out. Their intro videos to each book of the Bible are so helpful, and this one in particular, made me think. Worth a watch as we all walk through suffering. xx

2. Stefanie has been such a sweet encouragement to me as I've run Dear Mushka, I wanted to give her shop a shoutout today! I own two of her tea towels and this little boy romper is the cutest thing ever. I need one for my little man! 

3. Have you seen this movie on Netflix? I have to say... it's adorable. For maybe the first time ever, I watched a movie without reading the books (because real life, y'all) but I just learned that there are two more books so now I've got to read them ASAP. It was a sweet story, made me and Robert both laugh, and felt like real high school life without being raunchy. You know. 

4. I love doing this life with other women making Jesus-focused products, and it's an honor to share them with you when I come across them. I have this Gospel Alphabet set and think I'm going to start focusing on one letter a week to match my older son's preschool letter of the week. She's offering you all 15% off with code MUSHKA15 if you want to grab a set too. Hooray! 

5. Last, but absolutely not least, is this journal my dear friend Heidi just released. You guys, this thing is GOLD. If you've ever wanted to establish a better prayer life, a more fruitful time in the word, or a way to keep scripture at the front of your mind daily but you haven't known how... this journal has incredibly easy to follow (but thorough!) lessons on how to do those things and then the space to do them. I'm going to talk more about this on Instastories soon but I promise, it's a wonderful, wonderful product. So proud of you Heidi!! Do that Kingdom work, sister. xx

 

Letter No. 82 · August 23, 2018

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1. I am not a kitchen gadget person, but I LOVE this little thing. I use it to cut grapes, cherry tomatoes, etc really quickly and though it's obviously great for toddler meals, I also pull it out when I'm making a salad or putting grapes in chicken salad. It's under $10, easy to clean, saves me a lot of time. YES!

2. I just ordered this book and am hoping we can leave it at the table for some lunch time conversation & learning. Who knows how much my boys will remember, but I'd love to know the info, too! 

3. I'm almost done with this book and have loved it. It's not eloquently written, but I feel like I've gotten a front row seat to how Corrie was raised / the gospel-centered wisdom her parents used... and it's extra powerful since we know how her story turns out. [If you haven't read The Hiding Place YOU MUST!]

4. I only follow like 30 people on Instagram, and Ralphie made the cut so that says something. She's a mother + parenting coach of some kind and shares her wisdom on various topics through her IG stories weekly. You can go back and watch her Junk 1 and Junk 2 saved stories from last week-- they have already been really helpful in our household as I learn how to parent better.

5. We're slowly making our new house more and more like home, and I was recently inspired by this photo. I think we're going to add something like this to our dining room! 

 

Letter No. 81 · August 16, 2018

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1. A few months ago I asked for vacuum recommendations and finally decided to purchase this one. And y'all! I feel like such a mother, but I haven't stopped mentioning this thing to friends. It is 100% more effective than our little Roomba, takes two minutes or less to use, and my 18 mo old can push it. 5/5 stars! 

2. Ethical fashion is something I'm starting to research more and as usual, this article by Erin was helpful without being pushy or impossible. For my basics and child clothes, I think this is potentially the best fit for our family. For other women options, I'm trying to first just stop buying as much, and then shop second-hand or from a small family business (like this company!). Baby steps. 

3. We planted this right before we decided to move and I've been itching to get another one (or five) planted at our new house. I'm making a list, including a few apple trees, too. An orchard, how fun! 

4. I pulled up this recipe today because it's our birthday morning go-to and Brooks turns four on Saturday! I can't handle it. 

5. We decided to start watching all of these movies in order and are using this list as a helpful reference point. I had no idea that Batman and Thor weren't related ha! 

 

 

Letter No. 80 · August 9, 2018

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1. We have a Costco membership, but I don't always know what is actually a deal vs what is just convenient. This was a helpful list for me. [Lightbulbs... who knew!]

2. I finally gave in and tried these. They look straight out of the 80's but hey-o, no hair crease! Perfect for when I exercise mid-day. Hooray! [And just a few dollars, too.]

3. Last week FIVE people responded to my e-mail with a recommendation for this book. It was too good to not include it in this week's list-- I've read it and give my 5/5 review, too. Beautifully written, challenging, Jesus focused. 

4. Any one else feel like August is the time to buy a few new closet staples? That back-to-school shopping mood :) I'm going to sing this company's praises forever, I've benefitted so much from it. I just search brands I love (Loft, Lou & Grey, Athleta, etc) and enjoy the savings. I think this link gets you $10 off an order, too. Check!

5. I recently tried these drinks and have to say, they're better than La Croix. I think I grabbed mine at Costco, but here they are on Amazon too :) Perfect for these still-very-hot days. 

 

Letter No. 79 · August 2, 2018

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1. This author is one of my very favorites for little boy books (the illustrations + adventures are too cute) and I recently picked this one up for my 3 yr old. It's not "Christian" but the message is beautiful and my son can't stop staring at each page, they're so captivating. It's going on my to-gift list for baby showers, for sure. 

2. We are HUGE fans of sleep around here (black out curtains + sound machines for everrrr) and just bought this replacement sound machine after our last one finally bit the dust. I like that it isn't noticeable in a bedroom and cost less than $20. Check! 

3. I'm attending this conference with my MIL & SIL in a few weeks and am really excited! I've heard nothing but wonderful things about this company and am looking forward to a relaxing, gospel-filled time. If you're around Nashville, consider coming too! Tickets aren't much all :) 

4. What a beautiful brand & mission! You know I love this. We have one set of cards and I'm loving these below, too. 

5. One of you (hi!) sent me this podcast last week-- specifically the recent episodes about race bias-- and they were really interesting and helpful. I think every one of us with white skin needs to listen & learn and then do something with our privilege. With great power comes great responsibility, yes? 

Letter No. 78 · July 26, 2018

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1. We're big fans of sandwiches in the Summer, and it's hard to beat a really good Pimento Cheese one imo. This is a easy, favorite recipe! Pair with fruit & veggies and you're set. 

2. Art is absolutely my weakness, and Clare is one of my very favorite artists. I lost one of my prints of hers in the move [it's the only thing I lost, I think!] and I've got a replacement on my list :) 

3. I shopped the "Nordstrom Anniversary Event" for the first time this year, and snatched up these leggings after seeing the bazillion 5 star reviews [and being disappointed in the poor quality of the inexpensive ones I've purchased in the past.] The sale is still going on if you want to grab a pair, too! I've already worn mine once and agree with the rave reviews. 

4. We've been watching some of the "critically acclaimed" movies on Netflix, and watched this one the other night. Oh, my heart. I think everyone should see it. 

5. I haven't read any boy-specific parenting books yet, but plan to pick one up soon. For years, I've heard people talk about this one. On my list! 

 

Letter No. 77 · July 19, 2018

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1. Multiple months ago I linked to my favorite mascara and then it started flaking off throughout the day. Maybe it isn't a good warm weather one? So anyway, I grabbed this one at the recommendation of a few beauty bloggers and have been pleased!

2. When the weather makes it just too hot to play outside and the boys need some time apart from one another, I pull this out for our 3 [almost 4!] year old to do. It's challenging, but fun, and I like to watch his little mind work.

3. This a great book on all the spiritual disciplines [prayer, bible reading, meditating, etc] if you want to know more about them and don't have a clue where to start. I read it in college and am re-referencing it now! A great one to own and peruse when you need. 

4. A helpful article on real hospitality. I'm so challenged by the way she thinks and articulates truth, and I'm grateful for her influence!

5. You can see where my mind is :) Another indoor-kids-activity! But seriously, this is a great way to get your kids [and self!] moving to stories they know and love. We did Moana yesterday and watching our 18mo old try to be yoga Maui was adorable. I love that you can choose a video based on length/ energy level. And it's freeee!

Letter No. 76 · July 5, 2018

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1. We're headed to the beach soon and I'm bringing along these books to read. Have you read either? I've heard only the best things about Educated & am a long time fan of Jamie's podcast. Looking forward to both!

2. I bought this suit last year and it's been my absolute favorite. These are the first high-waisted bottoms I've tried on that don't look like a diaper. Ha! I also picked up this one and love it, too [But head's up, it isn't padded. Lame. I'm going to add in my own lining.]

3. My wide-brimmed beach hat. Check! Super cute & functional. 

4. Two go-to car activities for our 3 year old. Any other suggestions? We're also going to check out a "launch pad" from our library. And allll the snacks. 

5. Trying this out this year. It has a bazillion 5 star reviews & is like $5. I'd love to get some cute water pictures of the boys! 

Letter No. 75 · June 28, 2018

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1. I'm going back to old favorites this week because I continue to get questions about these items and I'm so happy to share! First up, my favorite favorite bra. I'm never going back! 

2. This is the commentary I've been using as I study the book of Isaiah, one chapter of the book a day. I often share quotes from it on IG because it's so beautifully written and helpful. I'm finally understanding a book that hasn't made a ton of sense in the past! 

3. This is the apple watch band I bought a year ago. It's held up surprisingly well for only costing like $10-- I literally wear it all day, every day except while I sleep! 

4. I put a scoop of this protein powder in my boy's smoothies every morning along with a banana, handful of spinach, handful of frozen berries, and milk. It immediately helped to fill their little bellies and has decreased how often they ask for snacks dramatically. Fan for life!

5. We take this probiotic every day and my husband, especially, has been really helped by it. Let tummy issues and all that :) 

Letter No. 74 · June 21, 2018

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1. We're moving into our new house in just a few weeks and I thought a fresh doormat was in order. This one is big, durable, and adorable! I think it will hold up better than some of our past ones from Target have. 

2. I signed up for my first half marathon and have been looking for a new pair of running shoes as I train. I bought & returned two pairs of Asics because neither seemed to fit right and am back to my roots- a good ol' pair of Nike Pegasus Zooms! I have yet to find a better fit for my foot. 

3. Most of y'all know I pray through a Psalm each day, and this reference to each one has been a beautiful addition to my morning time with the Lord. [I don't love the "a woman's guide to the psalms" part of the title, though-- the content would be great for anyone!]

4. My current read. Gah, it's sucked me in and is both eye-opening and beautifully written. The content isn't light, per se, but I think it would still be a great beach read if you're in need of one!

5. These are the best shorts I've ever owned, I think. My friend, Crystal, started this online women's boutique and has done a wonderful job curating pieces, but y'all-- these shorts she sells are above and beyond. I'd rave about them no matter where they were from. The length is perfect, the quality is superb, they look fancy but feel like pj shorts, they have an elastic waist, I could go on. Highly recommend! [I chose a M here if that helps you with fit.]

Letter No. 73 · June 17, 2018

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1. These shoes are exactly what I was looking for this summer. Slip on, rinse off, easy & durable. And SO comfy. High five, Crocs! 

 

2. A few "home helpers" we've been loving lately: These night lights that automatically come on when it's dark, the fact that my phone and child monitor cords aren't falling off my nightstand anymore, and broom hooks [which we should have purchased years ago].

         

3. Waiting for this bug spray to arrive- a zillion positive reviews and deet free. Let's see about this!

4. Obsessed with these storage bins. The rectangle ones are the PERFECT size for organizing pantry items and the XL ones are great for paper towels, toilet paper, etc. And the price is just right. We have white in our pantry and the dark grey in our random closets :)

5. Really grateful for this resource, which covers basically every topic that might come up. I'm currently listening to Piper's wisdom on women in the church and it's been so helpful & approachable. 

 

Letter No. 72 · June 7, 2018

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Articles: 

Summer Boredom Busters

One More Day Family Song

 

Letter No. 71 · May 31, 2018

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Articles: 

I Left Same Sex Romance For Love

Grilled Honey Chili Lime Cilantro Chicken

Grilled Peaches 

Corn & Zucchini Chowder

 

Past Favorites