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NEWSLETTER LINKS

Letter No. 135 · September 12, 2019

1. I recently bought a larger water tumbler because I had a feeling I'd drink more water in the day if I had to fill it up less, and I was right. I grabbed the matte black color (so pretty!) and am so glad I invested in myself this way. It also keeps my water cold for a long time!

2. This is a great app to help with memorizing scripture. What if we all trained our hands to go here instead of social media at every pause in our day? 

3. I think seasonal bunting can make a room feel instantly warm and welcoming, & I adore this for Fall. It shipped immediately, was super reasonably priced, and handmade with love. 

4. I can't stop thinking about this blog post. "I wish we loved the strength it takes for a woman to become a wife and a mother. We marvel at her physical strength when she births a child. But we forget what invisible strength she shows when she lays down her life for her home every day after that..."

5. Just added this to our watch list. Free on Amazon Prime! "Follow along as Joey, Nora, Violet, Gus, & Twitch learn about faith, God, and the Bible through the amazing things found in nature."

Letter No. 134 · August 29, 2019

1. Okay, these are the coolest. My boys refuse to keep night lights in the wall (such a fun toy), but then I can't find them when we need them. These replace your outlet covers and have a built in LED light. We now have them in the boys rooms and in the hallway for middle of the night bathroom breaks. Good find, Robert.  

2. I'm very subtly hopping on the animal print train with these mules. The print is adorably muted and I actually think I'll slip these on all year long!

3. Nothing thrills our boys more than pajamas, and they are already so excited about Halloween. I could't resist these (available in all family sizes) and know they're going to be so pumped. I'll probably let them wear them starting Sept 1 because why not? (I know ghosts aren't every family's thing, that's okay! It's just silly fun around here.)

4. I did myself a big favor and replaced all the boys mismatched socks with this 20 pack. My two year old and five year old can wear the same size (barely, but still) and it feels like a huge time and stress savor. 

5. Currently reading and loving. I've been studying the soul lately (what exactly is it and what do all the verses referencing it mean?) so this is right on track. I'm sure there are deeper and more advanced books on the the soul, but this one is a great entry point. 

 

Letter No. 133 · August 22, 2019

1. I broke my no-shopping-until-the-next-season rule for this dress because I loved it so much. The color and fabric are perfect, and it's actually a little heavy which makes it ideal for Tennessee Falls. I wore to church on Sunday and 

2. In case you need an awesome gift for a 5(ish) year old, this has been the biggest winner for my guy's birthday. We actually ended up with two (long story), and my 2 year old has loved it as well. They haven't stopped playing with them for days. 

3. I'd heard various reviews of this novel, but finally picked it up and loved it. I even re-read the last few chapters after I finished because I just wasn't ready for it to be over. Wonderful ending! 

4. These are our bunk beds that people always ask about. I'll show you them in my home tour videos on Instagram stories today!

5. We made these last week and I'm still thinking about them. Definitely the best muffins I've ever made (and I took lots of the sugar out!) A perfect recipe for end of Summer. 

 

Letter No. 132 · August 15, 2019

1. I recently had to replace our fabric kitchen barstools after one last oatmeal spill (#RIP), so I grabbed these instead. Wipeable, comfortable. Check!

2. I've been spritzing this into my damp hair before I blow dry it and it's really helped keep any frizz down. Plus, it smells dreamy. 

3. We're officially a composting family. This little guy sits on our kitchen counter and is now the boy's responsibility to take to the outdoor composter (which is not linked because Robert has never hated putting something together so much. He made me give it a 1 star review. Ha!) But this little guy is so cute and contains smell 100%.

4. I also had to replace our bedroom floor mirror this week after it came crashing to the ground. (This is why you should not procrastinate attaching to the wall). I'll need one soon for DM try-ons so I grabbed this one real quick!

5. I'll show you around more of our house this week on Instagram stories-- here's the beautiful artist who painted the art in our living room. Love that she's local!

Letter No. 131 · August 8, 2019

1. My friend, Scarlet, wrote another book and I'm loving it even though its technically for teen girls. I've literally loled multiple times and never tire of hearing that my identity is in Christ. I want to buy one for all the 12-18 year olds I know and love! 

2. We have this map in the playroom and get asked about it every time I share a photo. It's a little pricey, but is amazing quality (leather!) and makes such an impact in a room. Plus, it's helping us all learn geography and pray for peoples of all nations. 

3. Y'all know I love a good all-day lip color but this is my new go to for everyday. It's like a tinted chapstick, with pigment that stays on longer. I mean, what could be better? Dreamy. (I have nude pink, it's perfect).

4. I just ordered lots of flower bulbs from here and am so excited! They're so much prettier than ones available at stores like Home Depot, and produced a beautiful crop last Spring. 

5. On the menu this week. Yum, and lots of veggies! 

 

Letter No. 130 · August 1, 2019

1. Have you seen this movie trailer? Two of my very favorites coming together. I can't wait!

2. I just found this on youtube and it's bringing back so many memories! Who else watched/listened to this growing up?? You better believe my boys will watch soon. 

3. The first part of this podcast episode, especially, was a must-listen for any multi-race adoptive or foster family. Helpful!

4. Robert and I can't stop talking about this movie we watched on Netflix the other week. It's so good! Hilarious with such a touching ending. I wanted to immediately re-watch. (Head's up, it's rated R)

5. In case you're in the market, these are our favorite baby swaddles EVER. We just moved Cru from The Snoo to his crib and he's so much happier, go figure. 

 

Letter No. 129 · July 25, 2019

1. One of you recommended this music to me the other week and I've been playing it nonstop on Spotify. Straight scripture put to (adult ha!) music. So beautiful. 

2. A helpful article for people with mental illness + the rest of us as we love those who are walking this road. 

3. I work out 5-6 days a week so I finally grabbed another pair of exercise shorts. I love these! The length is perfect (not too short), the pocket is helpful if I run, and the color makes me so happy. Lots of additional colors to choose from, too :)

 

4. Have you played this? 100% more fun than the board game version and can be played with two people. A fun way to connect with your spouse after you put the kids to bed and just $7. CHECK!

5. The only thing I grabbed in the Nordstrom anniversary event, and they were out of my typical size so I might even be returning these. Ha! But we are constantly outside in the mud/rain (#boys), so they were worth a shot. I love a good Chelsea boot style. 

Letter No. 128 · July 18, 2019

1. We're about to paint our house's exterior and this blog post was really helpful for me as I chose a color. We're going with a warmer white and grey shutters, she's going to look so cute! 

2. I picked up a few strands of these for our outdoor patio (LED!) and can't wait to get them strung up when the painting is finished. Don't you think twinkle lights add such beautiful ambiance?

3. Our littlest guy's baby laughs finally caught on camera. These brothers love one another so well (usually). 

4. The best Summer time dip-- it's really filling and has lots of veggies. (Eat with chips, of course ha!)

5. This is one of my favorite theology resources and I thought this was a helpful interview on a topic that can be a little (or a lot) confusing. Worth the read! 

Letter No. 127 · July 11, 2019

1. I'm not an app person, but this one has been SO helpful as we learn all the plants growing on our property (and also wonder what's growing on others' land). Really fun!

2. I shared a photo of my boys eating dinner on the beach and so many of you wanted to know where their lunch boxes were from. We've had these for years and love them so much. They get used every week, even when they aren't in school, and have held up really well. 

 

3. Our family loves pimento cheese in the Summer. Here's our favorite recipe! (Have I shared this before? It's always on my mind haha)

4. A prayer I scribbled down and have been praying daily. So simple and powerful. 

5. This hair tool is amazing! I'm not good at doing my hair, but I've been using this after a shower or after swimming and it dries + smooths + volumizes so quickly. Worth every penny. 

 

Letter No. 126 · June 27, 2019

1. We're headed to the beach on Saturday so I have vacation on the brain. Here's my very cute beach hat ;) But it's functional and folds up so I don't have to worry about it smashing in the car or as I carry down three children and a zillion toys. Win!

2. My beach read! I requested this from the library right as Cru was born and then giggled because there was no way I was going to have time to read it. Maybe this week is the week? 

3. Robert and I always listen to a book to and from the beach so I picked this up on audio, too. 

4. Our current Netflix show. It's fascinating and has me itching to cook something I don't have a clue how to cook. Ha!

5. Speaking of cooking... my birthday is Sunday and I'm going to make myself this cake to celebrate. It's my favorite ever (hold the nuts, add all the ice cream).

Letter No. 125 · June 20, 2019

1. Okay this (in chocolate, duh) + pretzels has bene on repeat in our house this Summer. So so good. We get it at Aldi but almost every store has a version. 

2. This was a Christmas gift a few years ago, but we've been using it so much lately. My 4 year old can handle it with ease, and we've loved being able to take pictures with friends and send them off with a souvenir from the day. Can't wait to bring to the beach! 

3. This is the very best way to cook corn on the cob (in my opinion). So easy, sweet, and wonderful for a big group. 

4. I made this for Father's Day and it turned our perfectly! Going in the "favorites" file for sure. 

5. This Instagram account has been eye-opening and really helpful. Turns out the processed food I ate growing up is very different than what is available today! 

Letter No. 124 · June 13, 2019

1. A simple and helpful list of next steps as a parent. Going to summarize this on a post-it as a reminder. 

2. I'll be honest, I'm really surprised this is from Lowe's. It's even more beautiful in person! I think my kitchen needs it. 

3. I bought this for the beach, but we've already used it multiple times this summer to take to the playground or a friends house. What a genius design! 

4. This sweet book has helped my son feel more brave in the water, but- even better- it features someone who isn't white. Parents of both white and non-white children, this is a beautiful Summer book to show your child that the world is made up of all sorts of colors!

5. This is the app I use to schedule al of my Instagram posts. It's easy to use and free! 

Letter No. 123 · June 6, 2019

1. I recently snapped a photo of this book and you all wanted more info so here it is. It's the perfect companion to this one, and is packed with practical and helpful information. I've loved it and will reference frequently! (PS: Here's our garden update)

2. Does anyone have a waffle maker and/or recipe they love? We have a really cheap maker and it doesn't get the waffles anywhere near perfectly brown. We also can't find a recipe with much favor to it. Would love your suggestions!

3. I long to be someone who remembers and celebrates her people's birthdays, but I never think about them until the day of (and then it's too late to get something in the mail). I just ordered this and can't wait to get it filled out! 

4. The one Summer toy we've purchased, and the boys love it. Apparently riding their bikes through bubbles is incredible? (I just mix a tiny splash of this with water- lasts forever!)

5. We've been in our house almost a year and I'm itching to paint a few walls. This color is at the top of my list (and proof that you should always sample a color on your actual walls. This color reads so different in our home!)

Letter No. 122 · May 30, 2019

1. This week I'm rounding up the few Summer clothing items I purchased over Memorial Day weekend. (Here's how I capsule wardrobe!) Last year I found the perfect tank and picked up two more. The arm holes aren't too big, yay! 

2. I wanted one beautiful dress for Summer and fell in love with this one. This boutique has a zillion options, you're sure to find something you adore. (But careful following them on IG, they release new products so often, you'll over-buy!)

3. Okay, I love love love this romper. It's perfect in every way! I've worn it with a tank and tee underneath and could also wear a long sleeve shirt in the Fall. YES. 

4. I wanted one new bathing suit and you all suggested so many good ones. I ended up grabbing one from this store, but Kortni Jeane, Lands End, and Jessica Rey were also highly recommended if you need one, too. 

5. I also grabbed a beach kimono/ poncho to wear over my suit (instead of an oversized tee) like a real adult. Ha!

*I can't get the correct photo to load but clicking below will take you to the one I purchased. 

Letter No. 121 · May 23, 2019

1. The most lovely book about bringing flowers indoors with writing that managed to get to my heart + made me giggle all at once. The author use to be a journalist (turned farmer's wife) and I loved every bit of this. 

2. Every time I share a picture that shows my son's pacifier in it I get questions so here you go. So many color options, we love them! (With this of course)

 

3. A wonderful aid to your time with God! I particularly love this one because it's neutral, but I'll walk through three different brand's versions on Instagram stories (@dearmushka) this week.

4. I've been using these for the last few weeks and kind of love them. My favorite part is how well the polish sticks to the nails and how I can paint them before I put them on. Beautiful polish every time! Also, $2.50/ for a full set. Check! (I'll show you how I put them on on Friday's Instagram Stories...)

5. I couldn't resist this adorable sign. Something about typography completes every little space, and I love that this spins! 

Letter No. 120 · May 16, 2019

1. I've needed some healthy recipes lately and this has been my new go-to blog. I've been really impressed with everything I've made! 

2. Okay y'all, I did it, I rented one of these. I'll share about how it's going on my Instagram stories Friday! 

3. My favorite Summer nail color forever and ever. If you haven't tried this one, I think you'll love it! (With this on top for fast drying color of course!)

4. I'm a sucker for beautiful stoneware and this collection is so good. It looks straight out of Anthropologie. Well done!

5. If you're a Bachelor fan like me, this podcast episode was such a fun look behind the scenes from one of my favorites. He's a believer and I loved hearing his take on the show. 

Letter No. 118 · May 2, 2019

1. A Mother's Day gift guide broken down by love language. Genius. What a happy surprise to find Dear Mushka listed here! 

2. If you're wondering how we chose our boys names, I wrote about it over on this account. Click the last few posts! 

3. Robert and I watched this the other night and it provoked some good conversation. I much prefer watching her to reading her books :)

(Warning: She likes a good cuss word)

4. Speaking of watching, I just saw that this is available for free on Amazon Prime. It was my absolute favorite movie growing up! I can't wait to watch again. "Ain't cha never gonna wanna don't cha have to go to the bathroom? That sort of thing."

5. I showed a video of my boys on this over the weekend and got so many questions. It's SUPER fun! I love that so many kids can use it at once, and my boys happily swing for an hour. 

Letter No. 117 · April 25, 2019

1. I bought this little tool to help me space and plant seeds for the garden. It worked really well and saved a lot of time, I'm sure. 

 

2. I don't buy many props for Dear Mushka, but I couldn't resist this. Jewelry + mail is kind of our deal, and it was too cute! Prepare to see it in photos soon :0

3. My friend had this hanging in her house and I loved it. We pray this verse over our boys regularly, and I love how the art medium adds a different texture to any room.

 

4. I'm talking about this article with my discipleship group this week. I think it's so important, in a digit age that thinks we can do it apart from a church "building" and body.

5. What adoption sanctification has looked like in my life. 

Letter No. 116 · April 18, 2019

Current Favorites: [CLICK PHOTOS FOR DIRECT LINKS]

1. You guys know I love a good Christian biography and this one is my current read. Gosh, so inspiring and challenging! 

2. I'm listening to this list all weekend long as my heart begins to celebrate Easter. How very, very deep the Father's love for us.

3. We thought we were going to be in Texas, adopting our third son, for two weeks so I came prepared with this entertainment. I never got around to beginning it so-- one day soon! (My older boys, 2 & 4, have learned they're allowed to look but not touch the pieces). 

4. I couldn't resist this book- the illustrations are adorable and the story is encouraging. It made me want to include my boys in my gardening and give them their own little plot to plant.

5. To make this week. Or, you know, when Cru is old enough to hold himself. Ha!

 

Letter No. 115 · April 11, 2019

Current Favorites: [CLICK PHOTOS FOR DIRECT LINKS]

1. We busted these out yesterday and the boys are so thrilled. We do one a day until Easter, but if you don't have a set, grab them now and just do a few every day to catch up OR do them all on Easter day! They're a wonderful, interactive way to make the story come alive for children. 

2. If you're looking for a meaningful "recipe" for Easter day, this one is always a winner with kids. (Though to be fair, they don't taste very good ha)

3. This is changing the way I tend my garden and I'll be honest, my knees are really grateful. That's one less chore I have to spend extra time doing!

4. After using an exfoliating face wash for so long, I finally listened to people wiser than myself and switched to a gentle cleanser that I love love love. Game changer. I can't believe I waited so long to do this! 

 

5. If you're curious, I put this on after I wash and it's excellent, too. (Look at all those reviews!!)  One day, I'll share my face routine; I've walked years of adult acne and am finally finding a routine I feel good about! 

Letter No. 114 · April 4, 2019

Current Favorites: [CLICK PHOTOS FOR DIRECT LINKS]

1. Worth every penny in my opinion. We borrowed one from a friend for child no.2 and immediately bought our own for this third child. It makes transitioning and travel so easy!

2. We're constantly adding books to our shelves that feature African Americans; this one was just added (and is being gifted soon!)

 

3. An honest article from one mother's perspective on what to do when your children encounter another child with special needs/ physical disabilities. We've experienced this and it was helpful!

4. When one of your favorite ministries + Christian leaders write a book, you immediately pre-order it and pray over them during their launch. Cheering you on, girls! I know this is going to be so so good. 

 

5. This is a slightly outdated roundup, but it still led me to some really great comfortable shoe options for Summer. I'm all about those white soles this season! 

Letter No. 113 · March 28, 2019

Current Favorites: [CLICK PHOTOS FOR DIRECT LINKS]

1. Our happy news, in case you didn't see! At the time of this e-mail, we have exactly one week, Lord willing, until we meet our littlest love and we are THRILLED. If you feel led to donate, we still have envelopes left to adopt. Every bit adds up! 

2. We don't need much for this third child, but I couldn't resist a darling newborn bundle. Choosing a color was basically impossible, though! 

3. Okay, I also bought some tiny pants. H&M (with a little Target & Old Navy thrown in) is my go-to for our boy's clothes. They hold up so well and fit perfectly. 

4. The other day I got my first skin tag under my arm and it was really irritating me. I'd heard about using this to remove it and no joke, two days in it just fell off! (This article lists a fancy way- I just dabbed a little on a paper towel, stuck it under there for ten minutes, and that was that!)

5. I loved the movie Anastasia as a child and remember thinking it was all true. After seeing the play this last weekend (beautifully done!) I decided to look up some truths. Fascinating! 

Letter No. 112 · March 21, 2019

Current Favorites: [CLICK PHOTOS FOR DIRECT LINKS]

1. With Spring right around the corner, I'm making a list of trees and plants I'd like to add to our property. This is my go-to site. Last Fall, I grabbed peach & apple trees; I'm about to add a few arborvitae and maybe some more hydrangea plants, too! 

2. This week we took a little family trip and enjoyed playing in our hotel's indoor pool. This bathing suit is the one I grabbed to bring with me and is still a favorite- flattering, comfortable, affordable. 

3. Speaking of our family trip, here one of the places we went. Really, really cool! Worth the four hour drive. 

4. I've read through the Old Testament multiple times, but still get a little lost occasionally. I picked up this book at the recommendation of a friend and have already been helped just a few pages in!

5. Merrick is one of the few bloggers I still follow. She's technically a fashion blogger, but I'm always drawn to her motherhood topics. I loved this post and already reserved some of these at the library for us to begin!

Letter No. 111 · March 14, 2019

Current Favorites: [CLICK PHOTOS FOR DIRECT LINKS]

1. I don't often link to things like this, but for some reason I was in a giggly mood and most of these got me good. Ahh, motherhood. #bendtheknee

(this links to a Facebook series of pictures, I think the link will work okay?)

2. I have never been a consistent journaler; I'd always get too caught up in how my handwriting looked or how silly I sounded years later. Embarrassing truth. But Gretchen's post was encouraging; I may try to get into a better habit this year. (I do write all over my Bible though, I suppose that's a way of journaling). 

3. Our living room has stumped me since we moved in. I love how breezy it feels, but it definitely needs some added warmth. I ordered these curtains (hooray for finding some at least 96" long!), we'll see how they look once hung :) 

4. As we build up to Easter, it is so vital that we consider the weight of the cross. This a a great short-devotion book to stir your affections for Jesus in this season. I'm reading one chapter before bed. 

5. This is another great short devotion book. Nancy Guthrie took writings on the cross from many theologians, pastors, writers, etc and combined them here. I read this one last year!

 

Letter No. 110 · March 7, 2019

Current Favorites: [CLICK PHOTOS FOR DIRECT LINKS]

1. I'm attempting a cut flower garden this year, using wisdom from this beautiful + helpful book and seeds from the same shop. I have no idea how it'll turn out, but I'm excited to get my seeds started this week!

 2. I've been looking for a bra like this for years, and am so excited to have found this one. Padding in my sport's bras drives me nuts and since I work out in my living room or on the street running alone 99% of the time, I don't really need it. This bra is supportive, in a great material, cute colors, no padding. Check! 

3. I've sung Instacart's praises before, but I shared about it on Instagram the other day and got so many messages/questions regarding it and Aldi groceries. I'll talk more about it on my Instagram stories on Friday, but for now... I love it so much. Dare I call it life-changing? 

4. These feel like a funny thing to mention, but I just bought my third pack (in ten years) so I thought they were worth including. We use them in the kitchen all week long and then I do a hot bleach load of laundry on the weekend. They're absorbent and inexpensive. 

5. Preparing my closet for Spring by looking back at my style board on Pinterest. Collecting images is one of my favorite ways to really figure out which clothes I need to keep/ adjust. I'll talk more about how I "capsule wardrobe" next week! 

Letter No. 109 · February 28, 2019

Current Favorites: [CLICK PHOTOS FOR DIRECT LINKS]

1. A much needed article for this mother who struggles with anger. Thank you for writing it, Emily! 

2. I can't stop looking at this and praising God for how beautifully different (and still so similar) we all are. Imago Dei. 

3. I'm not super "crunchy" but there is no doubt in my mind that mainstream deodorant is horrible for our bodies. After trying a few options, I've landed on this paraben and aluminum free option and really like it! 

4. I wear this lip color on my Instagram stories pretty frequently and always get asked about it. It stays on all day and smells like shea butter! I like the color "poet."

 

5. I remember feeling so frustrated when my first son was little and Sunday morning church felt so hard. This was a helpful read! 

 

Letter No. 108 · February 21, 2019

Current Favorites: [CLICK PHOTOS FOR DIRECT LINKS]

1. God has used the enneagram in so many ways in my life, and I'm grateful for it! But this short podcast episode helps paint it in the light of Christ, too. Worth a listen! 

2. I'm not a hat person, but I grabbed this one for our Dear Mushka photo shoot on Saturday and am actually really impressed. It looks more expensive than it is and cinches inside to fit your head perfectly. I think this might be my introduction into wearing hats out and about! 

3. As we prepare to bring home our third child, there is currently only one thing on my "wishlist" and it's only if we have a girl. But I can't handle how cute these are!  

4. On my list to make this week. Anyone else a big fan of the tart + sweet mix? It's my favorite! 

5. I was going to write a blog post like this, and then realized it had already been done for me. My thoughts, exactly! Definitely worth a read if you're reading the Bible chronologically, too. 

Letter No. 107 · February 14, 2019

Current Favorites: [CLICK PHOTOS FOR DIRECT LINKS]

1. I made this soup last week and immediately put it back on the menu, it was so good. We all ate seconds (which is saying something for my four year old). 

2. Last week, I gave a tour of our boy's bedrooms (you can see them on my "home tour" Instagram highlight) and mentioned a few Ikea products we love. We don't have an Ikea in middle Tennessee, but their shipping is super reasonable!  

 

 

3. I don't mean to be recipe heavy, but here's another one I used for a Galentine's Day party. I specifically loved the idea of freeze dried fruit... you could use that for all sorts of recipes! 

4. I recently stumbled across this fantastic book list featuring children of color and plan to add many of these to our shelves. Whether you have a darker skinned child or not, I urge you to show your kids books that feature all races and skin tones! 

5. We're 1/4 of the way through our adoption fundraiser. Would you consider adopting one of our envelopes? Your one time donation adds up and makes a world of a difference as we tackle the expenses of an adoption (and it's completely tax deductible)! Thank you x a million. 

 

Letter No. 106 · February 7, 2019

Current Favorites: [CLICK PHOTOS FOR DIRECT LINKS]

1. Do you guys use these? I think they're technically for your eyebrows, but I use them for the peach fuzz on my face (I'm giggling at this). They're like a dollar a piece and work wonders. 

2. This feels like a funny thing to love this week, but we just moved our boys into different beds and added one of these to my oldest son's mattress. They're amazing, y'all. Zero children's fluid of any kind (for the love) gets through, and we actually added one to our own bed to prevent dust mites and sweat from messing up our mattress. Worth having! 

3. We adore this book, but only ever read it in the Target aisle. Ha! I finally purchased a copy for my oldest son for Valentine's Day, alongside a dinner of tacos. He's going to feel so loved :) 

4. A few of you asked which envelopes we're using for our adoption fundraiser-- it's these! They're adorable, I think I may get another pack and have them to tuck little surprise notes in for all my men. Nothing like a happy green envelope waiting on your bed to make you smile! 

5. I put a (faux) plant in one of our boys bedrooms and placed the pot in this adorable basket. It adds such a sweet touch of whimsy and makes me smile every time I walk into his room. He, on the other hand, couldn't care less. #boys

 

Letter No. 105 · January 31, 2019

Current Favorites: [CLICK PHOTOS FOR DIRECT LINKS]

1. I've been using this company for the last 8+ years to make a "family yearbook" and am always so pleased. I quickly upload all our photos from the year, put them in a really simple layout, type a "highlights from the year" front page, and print. It takes an hour or two, and I have our whole year there for everyone to look at. The boys really love them! 

2. My guilty pleasure this week. A spoonful of this at night A++

3. One of my current reads as I learn more & begin to practice fasting. It's excellent, highly recommend. 

4. Another current read. I love how practical & full of examples it is. They recommend reading a chapter and putting it into practice before moving on; one chapter in and I have already seen a difference! All the high five emojis. 

5. My goal has been to find a company or two for all of my makeup needs, and I found a great one for all things eyes. The mascara, eyeliner, and eye brightener are amazing, I'll never go back! I'll put the products on in my stories on Friday, come watch if you're interested :) 

6. I forgot to link the "10 Ways We are Planting Gospel Seeds" blog post. Whoops! Here it is! 

 

Letter No. 104 · January 24, 2019

Current Favorites: [CLICK PHOTOS FOR DIRECT LINKS]

1. This probably sounds silly, but I like to have a new candle burning as I begin designing each new DM line and I picked up this scent as I put together Spring for Dear Mushka. It's my first Hearth & Hand Candle and I'm really pleased with how well it fills a room. 

2. I finally bought a pair of blue light blocking glasses for the days when I spend hours in front of a computer. These are under $20, have a ton of 5 star reviews, and make me feel like the real nerd I am. 

3. One of my goals for January was to get in a good morning-devotion habit with the boys. We're starting with this book and have really enjoyed reading it each morning, praying a short prayer than matches what we just learned about, and singing a hymn together. The words are a little over my 4 year old's head, but it's good practice for me to put things into simple language and he still loves it. 

4. We bought a pack of these after putting together a new dresser that refused to give up its gross scent inside the drawers. Nothing around the house works (baking soda, essential oils, etc) but one of these in each drawer and it's good as new! I'm sold and am going to put one near the litter box, in the boy's bathroom, etc. 

 

5. I read this book in a weekend as prep for teaching a group of girls and I definitely recommend it. It answered my own questions and also prepared me to answer someone else's when the time comes. Quick easy read with huge benefits. Very well done. 

 

Letter No. 103 · January 17, 2019

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1. These were some of the very first cookies I made from scratch and I've been using this recipe at least once a year ever since. The pomegranates make them the perfect Winter treat, I can't get enough! (And the dough is just as good straight out of the fridge if you're that kind of person...me.)

2. My dear friend, Scarlet, wrote a book and it is hilarious, honest, and Gospel-focused. Fear is not something I thought I regularly struggled with, but this book not only brought out some of my fears (like what if God calls me to be a missionary in Africa or takes my children!); it also had me doing battle with them through the name of Jesus & His words right as I was reading. And... the cover is adorable. 

3. I bought this devotion a year ago but am just now picking it up and the timing couldn't be better. I'm reading one chapter/devo a night and it's the sweetest addition to my morning reading through the Old Testament. I'm underlining basically the whole book so prepare to read some quotes :)

4. After searching for just the right pillow to make our bed up like the adults we are, I finally found this one. The shop sells a zillion sizes and it looks like they can customize fabrics/sizes as you need, too. It's been a long time (high school) since I had a bedroom I loved and I'm having fun making this one that space for us. 

5. One-two months out of the year, we do this meal delivery service and it's a life-saver when I'm really in a funk. We have boxes coming the next few weeks & then we'll probably do another one when lewis baby no.3 comes! I'm grateful I can start and stop them whenever I want, we aren't wrangled into anything long-term. (I think this link gets you $40 off your first box if you want to try it, but I'm really just sharing because it's something I'm genuinely loving this week.)

 

Letter No. 102 · January 10, 2019

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1. I went to NYC with a friend over the weekend and knew it was going to be cold & rainy. I packed these boots, not totally sure how comfortable they'd be walking all around the city, and they were perfect. I've worn them all Winter long for the past three Winters here in TN, and am happy to know that they're comfortable to walk long distances in, too.

2. I'm about to finish up the last Harry Potter book and am moving on to this non-fiction read. God has been teaching me so much about what it means for people to be made "in his image" and I think this will fit right along. 

3. These CDs have been singing straight to my soul since we purchased them a few weeks ago. They're intended for children, but I'm memorizing so much scripture right along with them. Such a good way to support a goal to know God's words more permanently. xx

 

4. This is my friend I went to NYC with-- it was a business trip to buy more clothes for her online clothing store. The process is nuts (picture the worlds biggest room with thousands of vendors for you to meet, clothes to feel/try on, etc) but it pays off because the things she chose are SO GOOD. I can't wait! In the meantime, this sweater is available now and I love it. The back! 

5. Y'all know I love the enneagram, and this Instagram series my friend Beth is going through this week is a really helpful dynamic of the enneagram that people often leave out. I can't wait for her to get to the 9!

 

Letter No. 101 · January 3, 2019

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1. After years of considering buying a juicer (and then reading all about this), I finally purchased one. Y'all, we've been juicing everything! And my boys love carrot + ginger juice it turns out.  

2. In case you missed it, this is the Bible reading plan I'm following this year. It's not too late to join in if you want to! 

3. I hadn't read these books in probably ten years, and decided to bust them back out over the Christmas holiday. Five down, two more to go!

 

4. Another winning recipe to keep around...

5. This was the most practical gift I was given for Christmas. All the ways you can use it crack me up. I'll just be setting it on the table so I can Instagram story hands free, thank you. 

 

 

Letter No. 99 · December 20, 2018

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1. I just scooped these up for that person in my family who literally has everything; I think she's going to love them! (PS: I found these on Uncommon Goods, but did a little research and found the maker's actual shop. I always love going directly to the source if I can!)

2. We made these the other morning and they turned out really well! Could be a great Christmas morning recipe if you need one-- I made them the day before and just popped them in the oven the next morning. 

3. Well y'all, I'm officially a gets-her-groceries-delivered kind of gal :) When I saw that delivery was just $99 for the whole year and they go to all my stores (Aldi, Kroger, Costco!) I couldn't say no. I'll save that $99 not impulse buying, I'm sure of it. Ha! 

4. When I got a new phone, I decided to try out this case... and I really love it. I frequently carry my phone (and child and water and...) around the house, and this really does make it easier. The one negative is that my phone doesn't slide in my pocket as easily, but I hardly ever need it to now that I can just slip it on my finger. 

5. I bought six more of these bins the other day because I love them so much- we keep all the boys toys, art supplies, etc in them which makes it really easy to see what's inside but also stay organized. And they're really inexpensive! (You usually have to buy them in store, but it's easier to see all the sizes that way anyway.)

 

Letter No. 98 · December 13, 2018

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1. I have never been good at keeping a written journal, but I wonder if this sort of prompted format would work well? I used to blog regularly and love being able to look back on little details of our days-- maybe this would be a great (and quick) substitute? 

 

2. I recorded a podcast episode with April McKinney the other week, which was a real treat. She's interviewed some of my favorite people (Katie Davis! Ellie Holcomb!) and I loved getting to talk all about Christmas together. Take a listen if you'd like! 

 

3. One of my friends made this for a get together the other evening and it was so good. It would make the perfect, easy holiday appetizer!

 

4. Speaking of recipes, I just tried out our new Instant Pot for the first time and really enjoyed our first two meals! (I'd like to eat this first one every day of my life...) Thank you for all your suggestions on Instagram, I've got quite a list to work through. 

 

5. If you haven't heard this song, you must listen now. We went to his Christmas concert last night and hearing thousands of voices sing it together was so powerful. Encore! 

 

Letter No. 97 · December 6, 2018

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1. I'm finally getting around to decorating our bedroom and bought these two prints to hang next to our beds. (His & hers, of course). I love that I can print them any size I need. 

 

2. This podcast episode is definitely worth a listen; the guest is so passionate about scripture, and also created a 20-30 minute daily plan to help walk others through reading the Bible in a year (and understand it!!) I know this is going to bless so many. Listen now and prepare for January 1 :) 

3. I'm a huge fan of everything this company does, and this journal is nothing short of wonderful. It's a fantastic resource to help you not only get in the word, but also help focus your mind so the words can sink into your heart, and I can't recommend it enough. Bonus: Use code GMJDM10 for 10% your order. (Thanks for the generous code, Gretchen!) 

4. I'm extremely selective about who I follow on Instagram, and this account is a new favorite of mine. She's wise, motivating, and also helpful for me as I decide the kind of content I want to share on my own IG account. More discipleship! 

5. I grabbed this book for the boys and love it so much (like every other one in this series). Beautiful, gospel-filled! It would make a great Christmas gift, I think. 

 

Letter No. 96 · November 29, 2018

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1. I've been thinking about my goals for next year, and I'd love one of them to be writing an encouraging letter to someone and popping it in the mail every week. When I stumbled across these postcards, I knew I had to snatch them up. I think the prompts will help make this goal a reality! 

2. I've been looking for the perfect way to write out a memory verse in our dining room for us to discuss at the table each morning, and was so excited to find this. I can't stand the way chalkboards sound and a white board felt too sterile, but paper and a marker? Yep. 

3. I talk about this book in my advent blog post, but the more I've snuck some peeks, the more excited I am. I think it's going to be the perfect reading plan for me and a great (and doable) setup for our family. I can't wait! If you want to join in, Amazon Prime a copy today-- advent starts on Sunday :)

4. I never know what to get my Dad for Christmas, but this idea will be completely up his alley. And really, it's a gift for me and my family-- what a treat to be able to have his stories and wisdom saved like this. 

5. I don't like to spend much on festive jammies for our boys but always loved getting a new pair every December-- these are really soft and cozy, and only $10ish. Check! 

 

Letter No. 95 · November 22, 2018

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1. Every year I use Black Friday to grab a pair of these (or something similar) for each of my boys. They're almost always 50% off and get used at least a few times even in our TN weather.

 

2. I have no idea how well this works, but my neck muscles really want to find out. If it goes on sale, I may not be able to pass it up. Can I call it a business expense if my neck hurts from working on the computer? :) 

3. If you don't already, check here before you shop online this weekend. Many big-name companies (Old Navy, Madewell, Ulta, Etsy, Dicks, etccccc) will have a cash back deal just by clicking on this site first. Last year I (seriously!) got a check in the mail for like $97 after Black Friday shopping. It's amazing! 

4. There is the cutest black jumpsuit releasing here on Black Friday that I think I need to have. It'll be the perfect thing to wear to our Christmas concert, party, and into New Year! 

5. We try to gift just one or two items to our boys for Christmas, but I couldn't resist this to go with the play kitchen they're getting. My littlest guy, especially, is going to love it. 

 

Letter No. 94 · November 15, 2018

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1. I've never liked "fine" art, but I recently discovered this artist and wouldn't mind hanging one of his pieces in our home. I can't find prices anywhere online so I'm going to go on and guess he's ever so slightly out of my budget ;) Do you have an artist you love?

2. I've talked a little about my morning smoothie before, but here it is in blog post form for those of you who want a quick reference. It has absolutely changed my energy level and cravings, and I'm never going back.  

3. One of you responded to my e-mail last week loving Elisabeth Elliot's radio, and I thought it was a perfect thing to share. I used to listen and have gotten out of the habit but goodness, what wisdom and truth she has to pass along to us! 

4. I made this for a baby shower last weekend and it was seriously so good. My boys couldn't stop requesting more either. Yum!

5. Weeks ago, I shared a video that'd gone viral of a little girl being told she was going to be adopted. I just got an update that Ellen and Mark Wahlberg (from this movie I can't wait to see) had them on her show. What a gift! I'm praying it ignites hearts all around the world to become foster parents. (The mother, Paige, is wearing a Dear Mushka necklace in the interview. Can I say "as seen on Ellen" now? Ha!)

 

Letter No. 93 · November 8, 2018

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1. Rifle Paper Co has been a long-time favorite of mine and this particular collaboration is really fun! We haven't purchased any rugs for DeeDee the house... now might be a great time ;)

2. I shared this photo here and multiple people asked where my dress was from... here! I think I'll be able to wear it to my (few and far between) fancy occasions, and also to church. 

3. I've been drinking one of these everyday lately as a sweet afternoon "treat" while I work + the boys nap. I think it's maybe whitening my teeth, too? Like when people coconut oil pull? (Or maybe it's all in my head, ha!)

4. I'm writing lessons for a girl's discipleship group I lead every week (time consuming, so so worth it!) and taught on fasting last week. It's not something I grew up doing much of and was so grateful for this resource's teaching on the discipline. The whole book is a gem, I recommend for sure. 

5. I love when intentionality meets festive, and this idea felt like a winner for my boys (4 &1). I couldn't imagine it holding their attention for a whole month, but we're going to start soon, talking about how/why we give thanks to God for everything and what that looks like in our daily lives. 

 

Letter No. 92 · November 1, 2018

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1. November 1st is traditionally All Saint's Day, a day to honor all Christian saints-- especially those who don't have a day of their own. I used to think it was just a Catholic thing, but I now see such beauty in spending the day (especially as we enter into the month of Thanksgiving) remembering men and women of faith who have come before us. Today, I think we're going to talk about this verse & say a version of this prayer together. 

2. Making this recipe this week. It feels like Autumn and is pretty healthy. Check!  

3. I finally started this after hearing a fifth person say it was, hands down, their favorite recent read. It's a little different that what I normally pick up, but I'm loving it so far!

 

4. As promised, here's a blog post detailing how we spent our weekend in NYC! I hope it helps those of you traveling there soon (or those of you who are just in love with the city like I am ;) ) 

5. Speaking of New York, here's the one thing I purchased for our trip. It was just the right size to hold a water bottle, an umbrella, & the souvenirs I picked up each day without feeling bulky or annoying. 

 

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

Current Favorites: [CLICK PHOTOS FOR DIRECT LINKS]

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

Current Favorites: [CLICK PHOTOS FOR DIRECT LINKS]

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

Current Favorites, Beach Edition: [CLICK PHOTOS FOR DIRECT LINKS]

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

Current Favorites, Beach Edition: [CLICK PHOTOS FOR DIRECT LINKS]

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

Current Favorites: [CLICK PHOTOS FOR DIRECT LINKS]

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

Current Favorites: [CLICK PHOTOS FOR DIRECT LINKS]

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

Current Favorites: [Click Photos]

Articles: 

Summer Boredom Busters

One More Day Family Song

 

Letter No. 71 · May 31, 2018

Current Favorites: [Click Photos}

             

Articles: 

I Left Same Sex Romance For Love

Grilled Honey Chili Lime Cilantro Chicken

Grilled Peaches 

Corn & Zucchini Chowder

 

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