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Five on Friday {September 30}

Hey y'all,

We have made it to Friday!! I do not have major plans this weekend which is nice since I need some rest after a busy week. My plans include cooking, laundry, cleaning my apartment, cheering on the Tar Heels and hanging out with a friends dog. As always, here is a list of my five favorite things this week.

one. Get Clean Tea. I have been feeling off this week after one to many indulgences this weekend so I have been sipping this tea everyday. It just helps me feel betterand with the warmer temperatures I have been making tea like crazy at work (10 am and 2pm tea time!)

two. the Library. This past Tuesday I swung by the library after bible study and it was great to just wander and grab books. Recently I have just been requesting books and making 5 minute or less stops at the library to grab the hold off the shelf and run out. It was nice to just be there. As a kid of a librarian libraries will always feel like a safe space.

three. Old Navy. Y'all, Old Navy has some of the cutest pieces right now and I am banning myself from going in store since I know I will want to buy all the things. This dress and tote are at the top of my list.
This top is currently under $25!

four. Running Shoes. It is time to replace my Brooks GTS 14 (I bought a pair on major clearance last Fall) and I would love to know y'alls favorite running shoes. I will go get measured again at Fleet Feet this weekend but I over-pronate and have narrow feet so my selection tends to be slim but it's fun to look at everyone's favorites.

five. Tone it Up 31 day challenge. I love TIU and this October they are having a 31 day fitness challenge. I'm excited to work hard and continue with some healthy habits I reformed.

Link up with April, Christina, and Natasha.

Any big plans for your weekend?

Best,
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Miscellany Monday {Arnold Palmer}

Hey y'all,
In honor of Arnold Palmer's passing last night I decided to change things up and post about one of my favorite summer treats. The Arnold Palmer. For those of you who do not know an Arnold Palmer is a mix of sweet tea and lemonade made famous by the golf legend, Arnold Palmer. It's the perfect pick me up in the summer and my Dad and I love making this recipe together. My mom is not much of a sweet tea person but you can always adjust the amount of sugar to accommodate tastes.

While I have never been a big golf fan (I love putt putt golfing though) my dad has always enjoyed the game and so I have spent many a Sunday afternoon watching the golf channel and understanding the difference between Bogeys and Birdies and the honor of the green jacket. Arnold Palmer is nicknamed the King and is one of the "Big Three" who helped make golf a popular sport in the television age. CNN wrote a great article here on Arnold's impact on the sport.
Ingredients

3 family-size tea bags (I prefer the Lipton Black Tea)
1 (12-ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Sliced lemons, for garnish

Directions

In a medium saucepan, bring 6 cups water to a boil. Add the tea bags, remove from the heat, and let steep for 20 minutes. Discard the tea bags. In a pitcher or serving bowl, combine the tea, lemonade concentrate, sugar, almond extract, and enough water to make 1 gallon. Stir. Garnish with sliced lemons, if desired.

Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen

Do you have a go to summer drink?
Are you a golf fan?
Best,
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Thyme for Thursday {Gluten Free & Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins}

Hey y'all,

In honor of the first day of Fall, I thought I would share a recipe I discovered and is now one of my favorite muffins ever. This recipe is so simple and most of the ingredients I bet you already have in your pantry. The best part is that this muffin mix is made entirely in the blender! No bowls are necessary and the prep time is as simple as pouring things into a blender and pressing start. Also, this recipe is free from gluten and dairy (just remember to check labels) so it's perfect for a whole host of people. I have made these muffins for my office and they were a hit.

Ingredients:
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 and 1/4 cup rolled oats(also called old fashioned oats)*
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips**

*check to make sure they are gluten free oats if that is a concern. I can tolerate gluten so I didn't check to see if they were certified gf.
**double check your labels to make sure they are dairy free. I love the enjoy life chocolate chips.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F and then grease or line a muffin tin for 12 muffins.
Starting with the wet ingredients first (pumpkin, maple syrup, eggs, etc.) layer everything except the chocolate chips into a blender or a food processor and blend for about 30 seconds, or until smooth.
Using a spoon, gently stir the chocolate chips into the batter. Pour the batter into the muffin tin, filling each about 3/4th of the way full. Bake in the oven for 22-25 minutes, until light golden brown.
Allow to to cool for at least 10 minutes before stuffing in your face.

*Recipe adapted from Making Thyme for Health

Do you have a go-to muffin mix?
Have you ever made blender muffins?

Best,
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What I'm Reading Wednesday {Devotional To-Read List}

Hey y'all,

I recently picked up a few different devotional books when Christian Book Distributors had their summer blowout sale. I have started to read two of them and thought I would share what I currently have on my to-read list in case you wanted to add them to your to-read list. Please also offer suggestions in the comment section. I am always looking for personal development and faith development books to read. 
The enemy wants us to feel rejected . . . left out, lonely, and less than. When we allow him to speak lies through our rejection, he pickpockets our purpose. Cripples our courage. Dismantles our dreams. And blinds us to the beauty of Christ’s powerful love.
With biblical depth, gut-honest vulnerability, and refreshing wit, Lysa helps readers:
Release the desire to fall apart or control the actions of others by embracing God-honoring ways to process their hurt.
Know exactly what to pray for the next ten days to steady their soul and restore their confidence.
Overcome the two core fears that feed our insecurities by understanding the secret of belonging.
Stop feeling left out and start believing that "set apart" does not mean "set aside."
End the cycle of perceived rejection by refusing to turn a small incident into a full blown issue.

Human beings were created to reflect the image of God--but only to a limited extent. Although we share important attributes with God (love, mercy, compassion, etc.), there are other qualities that only God possesses, such as unlimited power, knowledge, and authority. At the root of all sin is our rebellious desire to be like God in such ways--a desire that first manifested itself in the garden of Eden. In None Like Him, Jen Wilkin leads us on a journey to discover ten ways God is different from us--and why that's a good thing. In the process, she highlights the joy of seeing our limited selves in relation to a limitless God, and how such a realization frees us from striving to be more than we were created to be.
Written in Shauna’s warm and vulnerable style, this collection of essays focuses on the most important transformation in her life, and maybe yours too: leaving behind busyness and frantic living and rediscovering the person you were made to be. Present Over Perfect is a hand reaching out, pulling you free from the constant pressure to perform faster, push harder, and produce more, all while maintaining an exhausting image of perfection.
Shauna offers an honest account of what led her to begin this journey, and a compelling vision for an entirely new way to live: soaked in grace, rest, silence, simplicity, prayer, and connection with the people that matter most to us.
In these pages, you’ll be invited to consider the landscape of your own life, and what it might look like to leave behind the pressure to be perfect and begin the life-changing practice of simply being present, in the middle of the mess and the ordinariness of life.

Wild and Free is an anthem and an invitation in equal parts to find freedom from the cultural captivity that holds us back, and freedom to step into the wild and holy call of God in our lives. With fresh biblical insight tracing all the way back to Eve and a treasury of practical application, Jess and Hayley reveal how women today can walk in the true liberty we already have in Jesus.
Because you don’t have to be everything to everyone. You don’t have to try so hard to button it up and hold it together. And you certainly don’t have to quiet the voice that God gave you when he created you to sing. Wild and Free will help you shake off the lies of insecurity in your life, and step forward to maximize your God-given influence for his glory and the world’s good.

When Love Does, life gets interesting. Each day turns into a hilarious, whimsical, meaningful chance that makes faith simple and real. Each chapter is a story that forms a book, a life. And this is one life you don't want to miss.
Light and fun, unique and profound, the lessons drawn from Bob's life and attitude just might inspire you to be secretly incredible, too.

This one's for the lovers and the sufferers. For those whose hopes and dreams and love grew so large it broke their willing hearts. This one's for the busted ones who are ready to bust free, the ones ready to break molds, break chains, break measuring sticks, and break all this bad brokenness with an unlikely good brokenness.  You could be one of the Beloved who is broken --- and still lets yourself be loved.
You could be one of them, one who believes freedom can be found not only beyond the fear and pain, but actually  within it.
You could discover and trust this broken way --- the way to not be afraid of broken things.


What are your favorite faith based books?
Favorite personal development books?
 
Best,
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Miscellany Monday {Meals for Monday}

Hey y'all,

I am back from a quick 24 hour trip to my parent's house this weekend and also packed in watching Bridget Jone's Baby with a friend and hosting book club. With all of that going on, I spent Friday night prepping food for the week. I am going with simple salads for lunches at work, carrots+snap peas+hummus for snacks, shakes for breakfast and rotisserie chicken+quinoa+green beans for the nights I am home this week (really only two so lots of chicken is going in the freezer for later).

I love to plan out all of my meals and since I am a single girl I focus on one to two recipes for dinner and simple lunches. I am so ready for the Fall weather to begin and for me to bring out my crockpot ALL THE TIME. I have been pinning up a storm of lots of recipes I want to try in the crockpot this fall and I'm thinking I will share if they are pinstrocities or become weekly must haves. It's a bit harder for me to find recipes now that I am dairy free but a lot of the time I just look and see if I can omit things like cheese or swap things for alternatives.




*I need to perfect a Green Bean Casserole before Thanksgiving
 
Do you have go-to Fall recipes?
Favorite Crockpot recipe?
What's cooking this week? 
Best,
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Sunday Sayings {September 18th}

Hey y'all,

I hope you are having a restful Sunday. I am spending some time with family, hosting book club, watching Bridget Jone's diary and getting ready for the week. A little bit busier for me than a typical Sunday but I have been truly focusing on being intentional with reaching out to friends and growing those connections. My other focus has been on my health so I thought this quote was appropriate. Our society often praises those who are constantly busy but I had a heart change after reading the Best Yes and doing less with intention is so dear to me. 

What are you focusing on currently?
What are you struggling with?
Best,
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Five on Friday {Sept. 16}

Hey y'all,

We have made it to Friday. I don't know what has been going on but even when I have free time while I would like to write a blog post, I haven't been inspired to write and I want to keep this place filled with authentic writing. I have been writing down post ideas but nothing has stuck. However, I have a bit of a writing bug right now so let's crank out some posts. As always, I am linking up with some sweet women to share five things that I have loved over the past week and I'll include some links of items I have found while perusing the web that are "wishlist" kinds of items.

one. Max & Lily. My parent's cats have been staying with me over the last month while my parents took an RV out to California to visit my Mom's side of the family and drop off some furniture to my baby sister, Kate, who lives out in Texas. I have been loving lots of cat snuggles and fun playful moments but it's been a great reminder of why I am okay with being pet free for now.

two. Quiet Time-Audio Bible. I have recently began listening to my bible reading plan on my way into work. This has been a great time for hearing the Word and starts my day off in the right place. I highly recommend trying out listening to the Gospels on your commute.

three. iPhone6. Y'all, I am now with the new generations of iPhones. I purchased an iPhone 4s back in 2013 and finally upgraded this week when the iPhone6 drastically dropped in price with the release of the iPhone7s. I grabbed this Otterbox case as well.

four. Barre3. This past Sunday I woke up and went to the Raleigh studio of Barre3 for the 8:15 class. It was the perfect way to start off the morning and that class was so tough and I have been sore all week! I love making my Sundays a true day of rest with serving and attending my church on Saturday evenings. Sundays I even try to keep errand free. Just naps, yoga, workouts, cooking and spending time in the Word.

five. It's almost Fall! I am so ready for Fall now that we are halfway through September. The temperatures are starting to cool off a bit here in NC and I want to break out my crockpot for lots of recipes but I might have to wait a few more weeks. In the meantime I have been pinning up a storm on my recipe boards. At least Football is back. GO Heels!

Random Things I have discovered this week:
This gorgeous Suzani Quilt.
Como se Llama Tea Towels that bring whimsy to any kitchen.
Ellen+Michelle Obama in CVS is probably the best TV out there this week.
Hampton Creek Just Cookie Dough is dangerous (egg and dairy free)

What have you been loving this week?

Link up with April, Christina, and Natasha.

Best,
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