No Filter Friday

So the last few weeks huh? Lots of stuff going on in America, amiright?

If I am honest, I have had my own stuff going on too…travels, sickness, and the like. Topping it off, I had a great little giveaway last Friday that apparently went awry while I was away from technology for a few days. Not sure if it was issues from my iPad posting or what, but the comments never got loaded so I couldn’t do the giveaway.

So comment below and I’ll pick from those to win a NEEDTOBREATHE copy of Hard Love. 

While I am finally pulling out of the mire of the last few weeks of life in my section of the world, I am finding I need to shake off the dust on the bottom of my sandals. It’s collected and caked up, making me feel gritty and worn rather than how I desired to feel.

Maybe it’s that Thanksgiving is just next week, or that the Christmas season always brings joy, or that I am jamming out to the Hamilton mixtape as I write today…but the dust has to come off. This joy I desire isn’t something I can conjure, I have to trust. I have to choose it. I have to see it in One and not in others or things. Those fade, those don’t last. He does.

So even though there’s no filter on this Friday, and no one’s really been using one for a while now when it comes to airing things in the world, I think I want to unfilter my joy, my choice to shake the dust off and dig back in to the One who is the source of it all.

How are you choosing to see joy in life these days? How are you spreading the joy of the One in Whom all joy is found?

Lovin’ It, the Summer Edition

Every little bit I like to share what I am absolutely loving on. As random and weird as I am, you can bet it’s always a bit interesting around these parts. So below is a little rundown of some things I simply cannot stop loving on. So it’s summer, what’s good for summer loving? Check out below.

Music

Maren Morris
Y’all, seriously. I am a bit late on the bandwagon with this one around Nashville as I have seen my peeps here sharing her for a bit. My word it’s so good. She’s country, which I know is so not my style. But let me just say, I cannot stop listening to her. Especially this song.

For King and Country
I know I have talked about my love for them before, but I seriously cannot stop listening to Run Wild, Live Free, Love Strong from start to finish. I have used it to write to quite a bit, and this is me in song form, a simple glimpse into my mind:

Mudcrutch
Most people don’t know that my favorite band is Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (after NEEDTOBREATHE, obviously). I have long been a Tom Petty fan and his Southern rock sound found in his side project Mudcrutch, which was his original band in the 70’s. They have a new album out called 2, and I have it in heavy rotation, all the way through. That’s the mark of a really good album, that it’s a story from start to finish. Go grab it, or stream it your favorite streaming service. I’m curating some Spotify lists these days so find me and follow along!

Movies & Television

Superhero Movie Goodness
I love a good superhero film. Frankly, I love a bad one too. I am a dork and I freely embrace that when it comes to these big action films with caped crusaders, and villains alike. Captain America: Civil War? LOVED IT. X-Men: Apocalypse? So cannot wait to see it. Did I clap at the Doctor Strange preview? Yes I did. I will geek out at Suicide Squad. Honestly we could probably scratch out Superhero up there and put Action instead. I love a good action movie, especially in the summer. Jason Bourne? Yep, because MATT DAMON y’all. Independence Day twenty years later? Why of course I will see you. This is where my girlfriends get off the bus and leave me be. Don’t get me wrong. I love a rom-com (sobbed at Me Before You screening), but I want fight scenes, big explosions and hopefully some chase scenes with sharp objects involved.

Crime Shows
I confessed some time ago that I have a penchant for crime shows. Some Saturday nights in college you could find me watching Cops. I think part of me wanted to be a cop or FBI agent growing up (I wrote to the FBI at age 8 asking for info on the academy, such a nerd). Nancy Drew was my sister in crime-fighting in my elementary school days. Harriet the Spy was my Halloween costume of choice one year. So it’s fitting that I now cannot stop watching crime-related shows. I part ways at Law & Order, I have never watched it and don’t really ever care to do so. But this summer’s biggest binge? Southern Justice. It’s Cops, in my hometown. I kid you not y’all. It’s on NatGeo channel, and my neighbor growing up has been on there (she was the officer), as well as some guys I went to high school with. It’s insane to see the places I know, roads and sites, and people that I am familiar with on national tv. It’ll give you a good laugh, and a little insight to my App-a-LATCH-an upbringing. If you missed Quantico this season, I encourage you to binge it. That’s my other good summer suggestion because y’all, so good. (It has nothing to do with the guy named Ryan in the least). Not a cop show, but Zoo is also my other summer suggestion. Being a big fan of James Patterson (hi crime novels), this show is fantastically wonderful and back for a second run this summer.

Misc. Stuff

I had an M thing going, and I couldn’t stop y’all.

Food from the Garden
So I started an urban garden this year. I have a couple of herbs going nutso (basil and oregano for daaaays) as well as some tomatoes and peppers starting to pop up. But more than anything I am loving all the stuff from the gardens whether my own or a farmers at the market. Avocados are beginning to be an obsession, along with foil-wrapped corn on the cob with just a splash of EVOO and garlic powder. Grilling peaches for ice cream? YES MA’AM! Fresh strawberries and blackberries with a simple syrup, absolutely. Even last night I whipped up a fun, and mildly decadent, banana pudding to take to a work picnic. No Nilla wafers here, this ain’t yo momma’s pudding we’re talking about. Food from a garden beckons creativity and not treating it like you do in the winter, but giving it life just as it sustains you. It’s nice to get the creative juices flowing again in the kitchen (pun intended).

Workout clothes
I am obsessed with my Danskin workout crops. And the fun shirts that make me want to work out, to run, to get up at 4:30 to get my butt to POUND class. (except this week cause migraine) They were a reward for weight loss and muscle tone, and now I want more…but I have said it’ll only happen when I hit another marker, so I go workout for a couple of hours at the end of the work day when I just don’t really wanna. It’s better than feeling like a lump sitting on your couch though y’all. Get some fun workout clothes, or shoes even, to inspire a healthy attitude.

Park-aholic
From theme parks to state parks and national parks, I cannot quit you if you have a park in your name. Dollywood-YES! I have had a season pass for years, years. I hit up Mammoth Cave National Park already, and have a couple of other parks on the list this summer. Also, Holiday World. It’s a thing, and I will be there for my birthday. I cannot wait y’all. Can-not wait.


So what are you loving on right now? What’s something fun you are doing, reading, listening to or watching? What’s a favorite summer activity?

I’m Loving It

It’s Saturday and here in Nashville the sun is shining and it’s supposed to warm up….why not share some things I am loving right now? You know, other than a good run outside. Cause last weekend I got in seven miles and it was glorious!

POUND

It sounds ridiculous but I love a fitness class. Mondays never looked so good than ending the day doing this. It’s fun, it’s a workout (yes, I hurt after) but I look forward to it. ABC News did a story on it and it provides insight on the class, and how it is more than a trend. New release music along with weighted sticks and fast cardio.

Judah and the Lion

This new release from Judah and the Lion, Folk Hop N Roll, is outstanding and completely different. It was released yesterday and I cannot stop listening to it. All day I had it in my ears and I think you should too. I jammed it while I ran, lifted and worked on travel itineraries. Don’t miss this album and the absolute gold that it is. All the way through.

DNCE’S Cake by the Ocean

Speaking of fun music, this song y’all. It’s one of the routines from POUND class and I just cannot stop listening to this song. When I looked up the band, I was shocked to see another Jonas brother behind a song I really like. They are super sneaky like that (also, get Nick’s album because yes). I love some pop music, always have and probably will when I am 80 if it gets me tapping my fingers.

Audiobooks

I was looking for something new to read as my current options were getting a bit worn. I thought I’d try some memoirs from female comedians I enjoy but instead of reading I got the audio books. With about 90 minutes of commuting each day, and running/working out several times a week I have loved listening to them! I have tried leadership books on audio and hated them, but comedic memoirs, yes! I loved Mindy Kaling’s book far more than Amy Poehler’s…I just kept expecting more from Poehler and it never got there. Mindy though, I feel like she and I are friends now in some common ideas.

Stepping Out

Right now I am stepping out of my comfort zone on some things and I am loving it. I am exploring some different ways to write, how to explore creativity and not accepting less than producing content. I am also seeking how to widen my net of community. It’s scary and full of possible rejection, but instead of having a negative perspective on it I am choosing positive turns on it. So I encourage you to go beyond the norm for yourself, find a challenge and pursue it, no matter what criticisms come.

 

Crazy Fun

Life has been what I would call crazy fun over the last two months. I prayed and 11923214_10103299607187635_5614688240623052797_njourneyed through a really difficult season this summer and I truly believe God is showing me what joy and contentment look like when I leave it to Him.

So with that I wanted to share some absolute fun things popping up.

First off let’s talk new fall television. Here’s the rub yall, I enjoy television. I find good quality stuff and I will find utter garbage to watch. I run the spectrum and I am quite okay with that. You should be too. Unless you have an addiction issue then seek help, seriously. A couple of new shows that have debuted this last week I am digging, since frankly Fox allowed Mindy Project to jump to Hulu (sorry, I’m just going to have catch up later) I was side-eyeing Scream Queens. But this is a mix of fun, campy and terrifying all rolled into one. There’s a ton of pop culture references that may have you in need of a pop-up video version.

The Player and Quantico were my gambles, pun intended for that Vegas set betting premise former show. I’m digging them both because they bring something different to the story of an hour long drama that I enjoy. It’s not the played out plot lines. Quantico also feeds my 8 year old self who wrote to the FBI for information about the academy. (Little known fact about me) strong female lead abounds in this show with her own issues but a sassy swagger. (We need more sassy swagger in our female leads)
Here’s the shows I’m aching to return: iZombie, Sleepy Hollow and Blue Bloods. (B2 returned on Friday and this was a summer addition after I watched all five season thanks to my neighborhood library!) My dad and I discuss Sleepy Hollow’s historical references  cause we are nerds like that. Plus who doesn’t love a British man with scruff and longer hair stuck in a 18th century outfit? IZombie is one that no one I know watches and I cling to the fact that it’s my Veronica Mars for this time of life. Throw in another smart female lead and you have a winner peeps.

Speaking of television and my love for all things cop shows, download this week’s PopCast podcast where I land on both TeamKnox and TeamJamie for a bit in relation to my rabid fascination with all things police detectives television shows.

While I do watch some serious TV, I am still chugging away at my book goal for the year. I’m a little behind and I blame binge watching B2 and cultivating friendships. Anyways I will be reviewing a book right here on the blog pretty regularly moving forward, and will be giving a copy away with some of them. Stay tuned on that in the coming weeks. Currently I am diving into Desiring God by John Piper.

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In the last few weeks I kayaked six miles with some coworkers up the French Broad in North Carolina. Pretty spectacular day of getting to know people I work with and enjoying God’s creation. I highly recommend an excursion, especially in North Carolina if you get the chance.

Many of you know the foodie that I am. Well after doing reviews in several places I decided to launch it all on one hosting site. If you haven’t yet, check out the Dining Out Solo blog. It’s been fun going to try out new places each week and write up my thoughts on the experience and food. I’ll be taking it on the road next weekend which should be a blast!

11951151_10103329799422155_365463124412319475_nSo that’s just a glimpse of the crazy fun of the last couple of months….including multiple county fair visits with some great gals and checking out some new movies, seeing Kelly Clarkson live (eep!) and watching an NFL training camp practice (Titans, meh!). Seriously, life is truly great right now!

What crazy fun are you getting into as fall is upon us?