10 on Tuesday {Books on my To-Read List-Non-Fiction}

Hey y'all,

I don't know about you but when I walk around a book store or even the library I tend to bee line towards fiction books. While I love a good non-fiction memoir or Christian book, I don't tend to put them at the top of my to-read list so here are ten books that I want to read from the other side of the book store.

Eat Cake. Be Brave. Melissa Radke.

Eat Cake. Be Brave.Even though millions of people seem to like watching my videos bemoaning the trials of parenting, marriage, French braiding, faith, and living life as an anti-aging female, you may still be wondering who let me write a book. I mean, books are written by people who have been interviewed by Gayle King and say things like, "You see, Gayle, I was having a root canal and I literally died in the chair. I saw heaven. Also, when I came back to earth I could speak Mandarin."
Yeah, that didn't happen to me. No Mandarin. Though I have been known to break out in song! (My voice was once described as a "ray of light in a dark world" . . . but I think my dad was being a little dramatic.) Although if Gayle King were to ever ask me I would tell her: "I wrote this book between taking my kids to the local pool and picking out flip-flops at Old Navy, and the only metaphysical moment I experienced came right after I looked directly into one of those mirrors with 10x magnification." 
I wrote this book because when I turned 41 I made a decision to be brave. To live brave -bolder and freer. You see, I thought our lives were supposed to change when we turned 40...but mine didn't. Yet every piece of it changed when I turned 41; when I set out to prove that it wasn't too late for me, that careless words wouldn't stunt me and rejection would not stop me. And maybe, just maybe, it will take you reading about the journey I took to finding my sense of self-worth in order for you to rightfully believe in yours. This book is about how all the years of my life led up to the one that changed it. So, cut a big slice and raise a fork...
Here's to bravery. 
Here's to courage. 
Here's to cake. 
(And not the crappy kind, like carrot.) 

Imperfect Courage: Live a Lift of Purpose by Leaving Comfort and Going Scared. Jessica Honegger.

Imperfect Courage: Live a Life of Purpose by Leaving Comfort and Going ScaredIn 2015, Inc. magazine recognized Noonday Collection as one of the fastest-growing companies in America. But years earlier, as Jessica Honegger stood at a pawn-shop counter in Austin, Texas, and handed over her grandmother's gold jewelry, her goal was much more personal: to fund the adoption of her Rwandan son, Jack, by selling artisan-made jewelry.
This first step launched an unexpected side-hustle that would grow into Noonday Collection. Jessica embarked on this new journey and teamed up with her first artisan partner, Jalia, a Ugandan jewelry maker. She saw the meaningful impact Noonday brought to Jalia's community and knew it was the right move.
Fear crept into Jessica's heart as she realized her success, or failure, meant the same for Jalia. But refusing to let fear hinder her goals, Jessica found the necessary (if imperfect) courage she needed along the way--the courage to leave comfort and embrace a life of risk and impact.

I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life. Anne Bogel.

I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading LifeI'd Rather Be Reading is the perfect literary companion for everyone who feels that way. In this collection of charming and relatable reflections on the reading life, beloved blogger and author Anne Bogel leads readers to remember the book that first hooked them, the place where they first fell in love with reading, and all of the moments afterward that helped make them the reader they are today. Known as a reading tastemaker through her popular podcast What Should I Read Next?, Bogel invites book lovers into a community of like-minded people to discover new ways to approach literature, learn fascinating new things about books and publishing, and reflect on the role reading plays in their lives.

In His Image: 10 Ways God Calls Us to Reflect His Character.  Jen Wilkin.

Sometimes we ask What is God’s will for my life? when we should really be asking Who should I be? The Bible has an answer: Be like the very image of God.
By exploring ten characteristics of who God is―holy, loving, just, good, merciful, gracious, faithful, patient, truthful, and wise―this book helps us understand who God intends for us to be. Through Christ, the perfect reflection of the image of God, we will discover how God’s own attributes impact how we live, leading to freedom and purpose as we follow his will and are conformed to his image.

Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life. Jenna Bush Hager & Barbara Pierce Bush.

Born into a political dynasty, Jenna and Barbara Bush grew up in the public eye. As small children, they watched their grandfather become president; just twelve years later they stood by their father's side when he took the same oath. They spent their college years watched over by Secret Service agents and became fodder for the tabloids, with teenage mistakes making national headlines. 

But the tabloids didn't tell the whole story. In SISTERS FIRST, Jenna and Barbara take readers on a revealing, thoughtful, and deeply personal tour behind the scenes of their lives, as they share stories about their family, their unexpected adventures, their loves and losses, and the sisterly bond that means everything to them.

Whiskey in a Teacup. Reese Witherspoon.

Reese Witherspoon’s grandmother Dorothea always said that a combination of beauty and strength made southern women “whiskey in a teacup.” We may be delicate and ornamental on the outside, she said, but inside we’re strong and fiery.
Reese’s southern heritage informs her whole life, and she loves sharing the joys of southern living with practically everyone she meets. She takes the South wherever she goes with bluegrass, big holiday parties, and plenty of Dorothea’s fried chicken. It’s reflected in how she entertains, decorates her home, and makes holidays special for her kids—not to mention how she talks, dances, and does her hair (in these pages, you will learn Reese’s fail-proof, only slightly insane hot-roller technique). Reese loves sharing Dorothea’s most delicious recipes as well as her favorite southern traditions, from midnight barn parties to backyard bridal showers, magical Christmas mornings to rollicking honky-tonks.

Everybody Always. Bob Goff.

In his entertaining and inspiring follow-up to the New York Times bestselling phenomenon Love Does, Bob Goff takes readers on a journey into the secret of living without fear, constraint, or worry. The path toward the liberated existence we all long for is found in a truth as simple to say as it is hard to do: love people, even the difficult ones, without distinction and without limits.
Driven by Bob’s trademark storytelling, Everybody, Always reveals the lessons Bob learned--often the hard way--about what it means to love without inhibition, insecurity, or restriction. From finding the right friends to discovering the upside of failure, Everybody, Always points the way to embodying love by doing the unexpected, the intimidating, the seemingly impossible. Whether losing his shoes while skydiving solo or befriending a Ugandan witch doctor, Bob steps into life with a no-limits embrace of others that is as infectious as it is extraordinarily ordinary. Everybody, Always reveals how we can do the same.

Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I've Loved. Kate Bowler.

Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved by [Bowler, Kate]Kate Bowler is a professor at Duke Divinity School with a modest Christian upbringing, but she specializes in the study of the prosperity gospel, a creed that sees fortune as a blessing from God and misfortune as a mark of God’s disapproval. At thirty-five, everything in her life seems to point toward “blessing.” She is thriving in her job, married to her high school sweetheart, and loves life with her newborn son.
Then she is diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer.
The prospect of her own mortality forces Kate to realize that she has been tacitly subscribing to the prosperity gospel, living with the conviction that she can control the shape of her life with “a surge of determination.” Even as this type of Christianity celebrates the American can-do spirit, it implies that if you “can’t do” and succumb to illness or misfortune, you are a failure. Kate is very sick, and no amount of positive thinking will shrink her tumors. What does it mean to die, she wonders, in a society that insists everything happens for a reason? Kate is stripped of this certainty only to discover that without it, life is hard but beautiful in a way it never has been before.

Educated: A Memoir. Tara Westover.

Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills” bag. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged metal in her father’s junkyard.
Her father distrusted the medical establishment, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when an older brother became violent.
When another brother got himself into college and came back with news of the world beyond the mountain, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. She taught herself enough mathematics, grammar, and science to take the ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University. There, she studied psychology, politics, philosophy, and history, learning for the first time about pivotal world events like the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Looking for Lovely. Annie F. Downs.

“I want you to take every step of your life with excitement for where you are headed. And I want you to feel beautiful and confident as you do.”
But how? When the enemy whispers lies that you are not smart enough, pretty enough, or rich enough? Or you are too dumb, too loud, too quiet, too thin, too fat, too much or not enough? What if you don’t have what it takes to be who you really want to be?
In Looking for Lovely, Annie F. Downs shares personal stories, biblical truth, and examples of how others have courageously walked the path God paved for their lives by remembering all God had done, loving what was right in front of them, and seeing God in the everyday—whether that be nature, friends, or the face they see in the mirror.

Do you have any non-fiction on your to-read list?

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Weekend Recap

Hey y'all,

What I had planned to be a quiet easy going weekend ended up pretty filled with lots of fun and very little housework which I am sure I will regret later this week when I am cleaning dishes and doing laundry late at night. Here's what my weekend looked like:


Friday was a pretty busy work day but I was able to get out around 4:30pm and head to Chapel Hill for Barre3 Chapel Hill's first birthday. The 5:45pm class was a team teach between two of my favorite instructors and was a tough class set to diva's music (think Taylor Swift, Rhianna, Pink, Janet Jackson, etc.). After class there was a celebration with wine and snacks.
 With Dana, the owner of B3CH
 Some of my barre3 buddies with Brooke and Rachel.

Following class, Maryscott and I went to Panera to catch up over dinner.
I made it home around 9:30pm and watched some tv when my friend texted that she had an extra ticket to the Carolina game the next morning if I wanted to join. I of course said yes as I love football and cheering on the Tar Heels.


With the game now on my schedule, I canceled my morning Barre3 class and decided to have a slow morning. I worked on my grocery list, had my quiet time, finished up some questions for my Exodus and BSF studies and enjoyed some cat cuddles.

I got ready for the game and headed to my friend's house around 11am. We got to the game around 10 mins into the first quarter but had a blast hanging out and watching UNC get a win!

Right after the game, I headed to church to help teach in my Pre-K class. This week we restarted back at the beginning of the bible so the kids had fun creating things in playdough just like the Lord created the world.

The rest of my night was filled with checking on my friend's cat, a late night WholeFoods run for the hotbar for dinner at 8:30pm and reading in bed.


Sunday began with quiet time, dishes, and then getting ready for church. I met up with my friend Leigh for the 9am service and the lesson on Psalm 23 was amazing. Here's the link to the replay. One thing I took away was the reminder that life is not sustainable on the mountain tops but rather we grow spiritual fruit in the valleys.

After church, I ran to Aldi and Harris Teeter for groceries, came home to watch the Hallmark movie I recorded from the night before, Truly, Madly, Sweetly, then took a nap.
 Max napped a lot on Sunday as well.

Post-nap time it was time for Barre3 with Brooke. Following barre, I went home, finished making taco soup for the week and some pumpkin muffins since it is officially Fall now!

What was your favorite part of this weekend?

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Five on Friday {September 14}

Hey y'all,

It has been an interesting week here in NC preparing for Hurricane Florence. Last weekend I went down to see my parents and began to help them prepare as their town was hit by Matthew a few years ago and were without power for days. They are now riding out the storm.

Obviously all my plans this week were turned upside down with this storm. Workout classes, bible study, small group, and a fun shopping outing at the Flourish Market were all canceled and I am planning on staying hunkered down through Sunday unless the forecast changes. I am even working from home today to ride out the storm.

one. After Party Sale.

Obviously this week was the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale and I was at an appointment in the morning so I didn't end up getting on until lunchtime. I grabbed two Elsa tops that will be perfect for work and play.

two. New Haircut.

While I was in my hometown this weekend I saw my hairdresser and did a major chop. It had been over a year since I have done a big chop to my hair due to attending some weddings earlier this year.
Ignore the redness on my face as I got my brows waxes as well.

three. Hurricane Prep

I went ahead and grabbed a few snacks in case of a power outage. Things like wheat thins so I could eat all my cheese in my fridge, grapes, granola bars bananas, salad kits, and I cooked a frozen pizza since I don't mind eating cold pizza. I already had bread, peanut butter, and jelly.

I also have all my devices charged, water for 3+ days, a car filled with gas and plenty of books to read by candle light.
My stack of books from the library.

Also, I loved these graphics from my local library, Wake County Public Library.
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Image may contain: text

four. Lisi Lerch.

During her Labor Day sale, I picked up three pairs of earrings from Lisi Lerch that I had been eyeing for a while. I grabbed the ginger earrings in goldizzy gameday in Carolina blue, and Bobbi in silver.

five. Bible Studies.

Last week I talked about getting ready for the Exodus study at my church on Thursdays and Mondays joining in a group at Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). Now that I have attended a night of each (Exodus was canceled last night due to the storm), I am so glad I decided to dedicate my evenings to these groups. I have enjoyed my table group at Exodus and my group at BSF is a great mix of people from across the Triangle. Now it's time to finish lesson 1 of BSF and begin week 2 of Exodus.

Link up with April, Christina, and Natasha.  
Also linking up with Tif, Becky, and Katie.
And Erika, Narci, and Andrea

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It's Fall y'all

Hey y'all,

With Hurricane Florence hitting NC today, my week has been filled with preparations and finishing up some projects at work as a deadline looms Friday.I am luckily about 2 hours inland and we are only expecting high winds, lots of rain, and some flooding so I am sticking it out but I hope all my coastal friends have evacuated and are safe! My parent's town was hit by Matthew two years ago and they were without power for 5 days so I'm praying since then that enough changes have been made that they can weather Florence.

Anyway, I did still want to join in on Shay and Erika's How we do it Wednesdays as yesterday's topic was all about Fall! Here's what I think of when I think of Fall here in the Triangle.
My mom's apple pie
Cranberry woods candles
Walks at Lake Lynn
Apple Cider donuts

Carolina Football Games

Corn Mazes
Leaves Changing Color
Children in Halloween costumes
Fires for s'mores

North Carolina State Fair
Hot Chocolate
Autumn Harvest movies on Hallmark
Riding Boots
Pumpkin muffins
Puffer Vests
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Green bean casserole
Halloween candy
Vacations (I'm off to California in October)
Halloween movies

And if I was in my hometown during October I would go to the Trail of Terror that our local Fire Station puts on as a Fundraiser. It is a spooky walk and lots of fun!

Now can it feel like Fall here in NC?

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Currently {September}

Hey y'all,

I am linking up with Anne from in residence for her monthly Currently post. Today I'm sharing what I'm starting, buying, reading, and recording. Let's get started on this Friday eve that feels like a hump day.

starting: two new bible studies. Today marks the first night for the Jen Wilkin study on Exodus at my church. We are doing part 1 in the Fall and part 2 in the Spring. For 11 weeks, I will be gathering with other women across our campus to discuss and fellowship. Monday starts my first week at BSF. I have looked into Bible Study Fellowship in the past and have never had the time to devote 30 weeks for the intensive study. This year's study "People of the Promised Land" is all about the Old Testament and learning about the Lord's plan and provision for His people. Yes, that is a lot of studying the Word but I function better in intensive Word studies with structure so I am excited to have some busy weeks but learn so much about the Lord's provision. 
Image result for jen wilkin exodus
buying: From Amazon yesterday, I grabbed a laptop sleeve for my work laptop, an HDMI cord for watching B3 online classes on my TV, and invisibobble hair ties. I also pre-ordered Annie F. Down's new book Remembering God.
Next week during the Lilly After Party Sale I will be at the dentist so I doubt I will grab an Elsa or any other items.

sharing: One of my goals this month is to share my apartment decor now that I am all settled in and just have to find dining chairs.
Dining room in progress
reading: I just started Rich People Problems (Crazy Rich Asians #3) and next up will be This is Me by Chrissy Metz of This is Us.

recording: the only thing on my DirectTV Now DVR is DCC Making the Team. I love this show and it is a fun watch every week. It also doesn't hurt that my Big, Shannon, from Phi Beta Chi also watches as we text weekly about the show. I did just finish watching Younger and the newest Great British Baking Show season on Netflix.
Image result for dcc making the team

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What I'm Reading Wednesday {August Reads}

Hey y'all,

As usual, it is another month, so I need to share my reads from August. Since August was a crazy busy month of moving, unpacking, and car shopping I really only finished one book. Don't worry, I have already finished two this weekend that count towards September so that post will be a bit longer. 

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

All Your Perfects
Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.

I have enjoyed a lot of Colleen Hoover novels in the past. They are quick reads but tend to deal with heartbreaking issues through relationships. This novel deals with Quinn and Graham's fight through infertility. I thought the emotions were raw and it was a great story about connection and the pain of hope.

What are you reading?

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Labor Day Weekend By The Numbers

Hey y'all,

I hope you had a wonderful long weekend. Here's what I accomplished over the weekend by numbers:

one day off.
two books finished.
three Barre3 classes
one new recipe made
one trip to Trader Joe's
seven episodes of the Great British Baking Show on Netflix.
two loads of laundry
eight kids in my Pre-K class at church
one meal out
fourteen chips with queso
three cups of hot tea
35,684 steps (Friday-Monday) since I'm in a StepBet
one gallon of sweet tea made
two trips to the library (one was a drive through to drop off books)
two two hour naps
seven photos of Max cat
one trip to Target
one bag of trash to the bin
three pairs of earrings ordered from Lisi Lerch
one friend over
four curtains hung
twenty-five necklaces hung up (I hung my necklace holder on Saturday)
one stop at Staples for fun supplies for BSF this Fall

What was your weekend like?


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TBB Asks {September}

Hey y'all,

I am enjoying a lazy Labor Day weekend. I purposely kept the weekend pretty free of plans and I have enjoyed lots of naps, reading, Barre3 classes, and grocery shopping. Today is the day to link up with the Blended Blog to discuss all things cozy for the Blended Blog asks. Here we go:

1. Slippers: YES or NO?
Yes! I love a good pair of slippers. I have two pairs from Minnetonka and just got this pair from Birdies.

2. What is your favorite Blanket?
For the last month it has been either my t-shirt blanket or this blanket from Nordstrom I got from the Anniversary sale.
Max approves

3. Thin or Thick Pillow?
Both. I have a thin pillow I got at the age of 2 that I put on top of a traditional pillow that is thicker.

4. Favorite Warm Beverage?

5. Robe: YES or NO?
Yes. I love to put on a robe for a bit but it's not a daily hing. I love this one for getting ready in the morning and I have a fuzzy one from Victoria's Secret for after a long bath.

6. Favorite Comfort Snack Food(s)?
Macaroni and cheese.

7. Movies or TV Series Binge?
I love a TV Series Binge since it lasts so much longer. I do love going to the theater or watching a movie here or there but I am currently excited that the Great British Baking Show has new episodes on Netflix!

8. Actual PJ’s or Leggings? 
PJs. I love the pj sets from Victoria's Secret and the pj pants from Old Navy with a tank top or comfort colors t-shirt. The Lake pjs are on my list though.

9. Do you cozy up on the couch or a chair?
On the couch.

10. Hoodie, T-shirt or Sweater?
Pullover or my barefoot dreams cardigans.

What do you love for cozy nights in?

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