A Few Of My Favorite Things {January}

Hello friends!

I hope the first month of 2017 has been full of joy and blessings for each one of you. Today I’m sharing some of the things I’ve been loving in January!

Things I Did

World Mandate

This past weekend my mom, sister and I road-tripped up to Waco for a conference called World Mandate. It was a refreshing, restorative weekend filled with raw, intentional worship and truth-packed messages. Eleven cities hosted satellite locations and live footage from the Waco location was streamed worldwide. This year was the largest World Mandate yet, and I know that it will only continue to grow. The multi-city approach to World Mandate is a great picture and reminder that the Great Commission is not a call to one church, city or group of believers, but the call is for all of Jesus followers-people like you and me.

During worship I was hit with a fresh wave of realization of the radical grace and love that God has shown me. I was surrounded by thousands of Jesus loving people who literally were jumping for joy during worship and the only thing I could think of was grace. What amazing grace Jesus Christ displayed when He saved my filthy soul. It can only be grace that I know Him and His love. My heart breaks for those who have never been shown this grace or refuse to recognize its presence. How beautiful that God relentlessly offers His grace to us when we do not deserve it, seek it, or even appreciate it despite the fact that all of us have already been saved by it.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face and the things of Earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.

These are some of my favorite quotes from this weekend’s speakers…

  • Jesus should be our addiction, not our addition. Francis Chan
  • If our eyes are on the sacrifice, we will get fearful and discouraged, but if our eyes are on Jesus we can do anything and He is with us in it. Tracy Evans
  • Compassion is not neutral. Compassion produces action. Clarence Hill
  • We’re not the light of the world because of our faith or a statement, but because of the way we reflect Jesus. Jimmy Seibert

Edible Things

RX Bars

All natural, raw, whole food protein bars that taste amazing!? I’ll take 10! These bars are a bit pricey, but if you’re in a pinch and need a quick, healthy snack it’s not too painful of a purchase. This is the type of snack I save for emergencies only! I have found the best price at Trader Joe’s, where they are $1.99. Out of the three flavors my TJ’s carries, my favorite is Chocolate Sea Salt. Another perk about these is the streamlined branding that graces every bar. It’s clear, informative and to the point!

Coconut Oil Lattes

When I first heard of this homemade coffee drink, I wasn’t convinced that it was as good as everyone claimed. Oil + Black Coffee + Unsweetened Milk did not add up to a yummy latte in my mind. Finally, I took a chance and tried it. WOW. In an instant I went from a coffee snob craving a sugar filled Starbucks to a budding barista with a blender. By adding coconut oil, you add a rich creaminess as well as energy and immune boosting nutrients. The crash often associated with coffee doesn’t always have to do with the caffeine as much as you may have thought. Instead, it has everything to do with the crazy amount of SUGAR we put in our coffee.

To make my “magic lattes” I add about a half tablespoon of organic coconut oil, about 1/4 cup of unsweetened almond or coconut milk  to a cup of black coffee and blend until frothy. The end result is a foamy, rich, delicious cuppa joe. I hope this trick saves you some starbucks and gives you a healthier way to jumpstart your day!

Pistachios

The only thing I can say about these is I’m obsessed. Actually, I think every member of my family is. Thankfully they’re great for bone health, stabilizing cholesterol, and are packed with B-vitamins. So even if the meticulous peeling makes me feel a but like the infamous Ice Age squirrel, pistachios have been a great healthy snack to reach for.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 presetThings To Read

Present Over Perfect

Shauna Niequist’s most recent publication, Present over Perfect is a grace filled invitation to embrace the abundant life Christ came to give us. Her urgent yet elegant words beckon readers to exchange constant busyness for the paradoxically fuller yet emptier life. When you take time to clear your schedule and just be, there is freedom. Jesus didn’t come so we could spend our days frazzled and exhausted, He came so that we no longer have to strive after perfection or seek the approval of others. She expands upon the idea that less really is more. This book is about reveling in God’s goodness and beauty, resting, leading a meaningful life and filling up our days with life-giving things.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 presetThe Magnolia Story

Fixer Upper has taken America {and the world} by storm. Chip and Joanna Gaines captivate their audience with their charming farmhouse aesthetic, doting relationship, adorable kids and the unbelievable house transformations they unveil. Though it may seem that the Fixer Upper craze happened overnight, the Gaines’ have gone through many seasons of struggle and failure before reaching this point. The Magnolia Story recounts the events that have brought Chip + Jo to this space in the spotlight. This is a story of placing your dreams in God’s hands and trusting Him to take them farther than your imagination can fathom. When shows like this become popular, viewers often wonder, “Are they the real deal?” Although I haven’t personally met the sweet Wacoan couple, I have heard them share their testimony and know a few of their employees who confirm that the Gaines’ really are authentic. Jesus said that people would know His disciples by their love. Every single episode quietly has this principle woven throughout it. I love that viewers, even if they are oblivious to it, are drawn to the spirit of Jesus within them.

Tech Things

That Sounds Fun

Bubbly host Annie F. Downs uses her podcast to introduce her wonderful friends to the world. From Ann Voskamp to Jeremy Cowart to Shauna Niequist, Annie sure has a lot of fun friends to share with her audience. I love the blend of entertaining banter and insightful discussion that every episode contains. This podcast always sounds fun to me!

Up + Vanished

On a bit of a different note, this podcast has been a favorite as well. I’ve always loved a good mystery; Boxcar Children and Nancy Drew frequented my reading material throughout my childhood. In this mystery, Payne Lindsey sets out to shed light on the eleven year old cold case dealing with the disappearance of Georgia native, Tara Grinstead. He takes listeners along as he interviews old suspects, discovers where law enforcement went wrong, and attempts to figure out what happened to this young girl. I was fascinated by the riveting storyline from the minute I began listening.

Ben Rector everything

I’ve become a huge fan of Ben Rector’s singer-songwriter-pop type music. I adore songs that have stories written into them! Some of my favorites are “Men That Drive Me Places,” “Crazy,” 30,000 Feet,” and “Brand New.”

Antioch College Worship When You Call

This album was birthed out of a vision to see a new generation of people obey the Lord’s calling with reckless abandon. I can sense the Spirit led nature of this music. Every song is a beckoning into life’s most beautiful adventure; a life with Jesus. I can only imagine what songs will resonate throughout Heaven, but these seem to be the best earthly equivalent. Plus, proceeds from every iTunes purchase benefits the work that Engage the Crisis teams are doing across Europe.

Pretty Things

Jack Black’s Lip Balm

I don’t know about y’all but my lips tend to get extremely chapped in the winter months. Even though it doesn’t get horribly cold down here in Texas, I still find myself needing a deeply moisturizing lip balm. I received this one for Christmas and have been using it consistently over the last month! The lemon flavor smells divine and makes my lips soft, hydrated and happy!

Tarte Highlighter Palette

In early December I was excited to find out about Tarte’s huge Black Friday sale. I had been wanting to try out this all natural makeup brand for a while, but wanted to wait for a good deal. I picked up this Glow-to-Go palette for $8 {instead of $23!} It contains three products: a natural matte bronzer, a golden highlighter and a pearl highlighter. Each shade blends out beautifully and together they are very versatile. My favorite of the bunch is “burst.” I use this kit both for face makeup and very natural eyeshadow looks. As a bonus, this palette smells amazing because it is infused with vanilla and coconut!

Things To Wear

Selling Secondhand

This month I began selling some items I no longer wear on Vinted. This company has a goal of making secondhand a first choice. As I’ve shared on here before, I love buying secondhand clothes, now I love selling them too! Since beginning my Vinted “shop,” I’ve had fun to photographing, describing, posting and shipping my items for others to give them a new life. Take a peek at the items I’m selling here.


What have you been loving this month? I’d love to hear! Happy February friends!

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