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Links + Loves // MAY

Whipped up a little post of some fun things I've loved around the internet and a few things you should probably go buy. 

LISTEN TO: The Glorious in the Mundane (by Christy Nockels) + God Centered Mom Podcast.
These are two of my favorite Podcasts right now—linked are 2 great episodes to listen to while you tackle those dishes + pile of laundry.

LAUGH AT: Church Hunters
This made me laugh/cry and also embarrassed some of those actual phrases have come out of my mouth (insert monkey covering eyes emoji)

You are Free by Rebekah Lyons(1.99 on the Kindle today)
The Undoing of St. Silvanus by Beth Moore (Her first novel) Totally not what I expected, but I'm liking it. Listened to this podcast about the process of her writing it—made me love her even more and immediately download it to my kindle.
Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham (listened on audible in her voice) Love love loved.

The C Word
Geeking out on documentaries lately because there's nothing good on TV. Super informative about what causes cancer, how to stay healthy, and all that stuff that makes you want to drink kale juice all day long.
Chef's Table:
This series goes into the creativity and brilliant mind of famous chefs—and I'm loving it. Jeremy was completely bored, but I am too with all his Life Below Zero and Alaska shows. Marriage takes sacrifice.

PRINT: I’m obsessed with this quote by Jill Briscoe.
Her talk at the IF Gathering about brought me to my knees—how God's using each one of us, right where we are for His glory. (insert praise hands emoji!) Here’s a little snippet of her talk and the link to the free print.

PONS: I've found the actual perfect shoe of all time (shown at top). Comfortable. Doesn't rub my heels. My toe nails don't have to be painted. My friends are tired of me talking about them so much—but I can't stop—they're the perfect Spring shoe I tell you. (I have the one on the far right in "sand")
The Yummiest GARDENIA Candle:
Candles get a line item in our budget.  I've been on the look out for the Gardenia Fig candle by Capri Blue for weeks and to my dismay and confusion, it has been discontinued. I'll give you a million dollars if you have one stashed away. This one came in close second + is 100% beeswax so it feels worth the $ (cheapest price from Houzz).
+ These must-haves from Whoa, Wait Walmart:  Here (in black stripe) and Here (in black)

FOLLOW: 2 new fun follows for ya
@bevcooks: hysterical + some of the yummiest recipes (her Instagram stories make me laugh snort)
@thelazygenius: like her blog a lot, and think we'd be friends in real life.

more about that Instant Pot
A lot of you were very confused + curious about this mysterious appliance after this post. Here is a great infomercial that you will accidentally not be able to stop watching. (here’s a link to The Instant Pot I have, but any pressure cooker will do)

COOK: Healthy Egg Rolls
Actually not as hard as I thought (this was my first time) but still feel I deserve a tiny medal for this labor of love crowd-pleaser of a meal. Also, the only thing making these *healthier* than regular egg rolls is the coconut oil ;)

LISTEN: Seeds Family Worship + The Rizers
Because my kids (and I) are memorizing scripture without realizing it. I cannot get THIS ONE out of my head. The songs are a little annoying, but catchy as heck. (Both on Spotify)

LISTEN: Your new back porch playlist

our little life on the reg
and this one only took 12 bribes and 3 spankings 

(pic of PONS from Instagram)

9 Things Making My Life Easier

Whether its saving us time, money or our sanity—when I find a life hack, I feel like I've struck GOLD. Here are a few of our favorites right now. 

Ikea Step Stool:
This is not just any stool. This stool has now given my kids no excuse to do just about anything. Chairs slide and aren’t always tall enough and step stool are too low—this one is perfect. We have one in the bathroom + kitchen (you can order it online for $29 including shipping.)

Instant Pot:
I was skeptical as well, but this little magic pot has blown me away. I am terrible at waiting till the last minute to cook, so this baby was made for me. There's definitely a learning curve figuring out how to use it, but worth all the google + youtube "how-to" searches.  (Here's the link for my IP, but any electric pressure cooker will do.)

All the Bars:
Since getting pregnant with John, my kids have eaten a Clif/Grab-The-Gold/Lara bar 5 out of 7 mornings a week. Yes, I know making a legit breakfast is not hard—but I have been drinking my coffee for an extra 3 minutes each morning thanks to these "you can get your own breakfast" bars. Mama’s, free yourself up. Let them eat bars. (okay, and maybe some fruit)

Sheet Pan Meals:
Why am I just now learning about this?? And Why am I just now realizing there is a button on my oven that says ROAST. Throw all the things on a cookie sheet and roast it for about 15 minutes-ish and you are DONE. You’ll get the hang of cutting those veggies so they cook evenly, but this will change your life. This post breaks it down really well with some fun combos OR here's a Pinterest search for lots of recipes.

The Ticket system:
I’m not one for giving parenting advice, but THIS.IS.WORKING. My friend told me how its works so well with her kids, and out of desperation for a new way to discipline—we jumped on the ticket train. My kid are actually putting their shoes on when I tell them to, and I like them more than I have in a long time. In short—each child gets 3-5 tickets (we do 4) per day. A ticket is pulled throughout the day if not obeying. If all tickets pulled, they're in their room there rest of the day (or go to bed early). Here's another description, point #9

Kroger Pepperoni + Salami Packs:
I was so excited to discover these in the luncheable section at Kroger.  Nitrate free, hormone + antibiotic free—and my kids devour them. They go on sale often (down to 99 cents) so stock pile and freeze 'em.

Steam Mop: 
This new friend has given me hope for shiny floors again. The dried juice, play-doh, yogurt, weird smudges, and unidentified yuckiness on our floors are gone. (and our bathroom floors actually CAN look clean.) Again, why am I just now learning about this? (I have the Shark Genius)

Egg in a Hole:
I know this is not a new trick (and makes me sound super lazy), but when I DO want to eat an actual breakfast—this is usually how it happens. Set oven on 375, cut hole in bread, crack egg in hole, throw in oven (don't wait until its preheated), set timer for 10 minutes, walk away and assist all the needs of the tiny humans until the oven beeps and you remember you do get to eat breakfast today. Genius Mom move.

Coconut oil spray:
This has got to be one of the best, most helpful health-nut hacks in a while. Spray it on the pans, on the veggies, or anywhere you'd spray that Pam. (here's a link to buy) Also, I have my eye on this melt-your-butter into spray gadget I saw on Shark Tank—but I can’t quite justify $129. But maybe I can?!

Please tell me some of your finds + tips for making your life easier. 
I feel like it's our civic duty to share our genius moves, right? 

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Where God Meets Me {the playlist we have on repeat}

For years, whenever I've been in a funk, discouraged, or stuck in my head believing lies— God has continually used music—full of truth—to meet me where I am and redirect my heart.

It's funny, there have been times my heels have been dug in hard, and there's nothing in me that want's to trust the Lord or look to Him— and its like wa-baam. I hear a song, truth is sung over me—and I straight up can't avoid His kind, gentle draw back to Himself.  It happens all. the. time.

I re-remember The Gospel I've forgotten, and that Jesus is near and is good. 

EVEN if it doesn't always seem like it in that moment—somehow when I hear truth, I start believing truth—and slowly start trusting Jesus in whatever junk I'm in.

Worship take my eyes of me and puts them on Jesus—and it changes everything. 

So when the walls of our house feel like they're caving in, I'm getting stuck in my head over something, and the kids (and I) are getting bratty—we crank that music on, truth is sung over us, and I swear our home is different. 

So below, I wanted to share some of my favorites with you. The songs that my family are probably sick of me playing—but songs The Lord has so met me in lately.

I hope they are so encouraging to you where you are!