Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Summer Fun Recap

With the school year beginning it is time to check in on our summer fun list and squeeze in the last few items before Labor Day and we begin looking towards Autumn! Here's what we were able to do and what didn't quite get done this year.

Gardening & Landscaping

My kitchen counters are full of fresh produce! This week's to do is freezing some for soups and casseroles.

Summer Cooking

Zucchini noodles were a hit!

Meals Outside

Between scorching humid days and dreary damp ones it's been a little rough on the outdoor eating. We haven't enjoyed a meal outside at home, but a few cookouts and parties with family and friends have checked this item off the list.

Daily Walks

They haven't happened daily, but we have enjoyed some family strolls!


We missed out on the festivals this year. The days we could go were not ideal for Baby. Next year!

Zoo Trips

Yay for the zoo! We need to squeeze in a few more trips before the end of zoo season.

Pool & Lake Visits 

I still need to buy a new swimsuit for baby and I. He outgrew the one I bought him before he even wore it! Some pool visits are a top priority before they close up.


Baby sleeps through fireworks! I think he'll love them next year. :)

What's left on your list?

Link up time!

Waltzing In Beauty

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Book Lovers

Today is National Book Lovers' Day! 
And in honor of such a day it only seems right to share some books I love. So if I were stranded on an island and there was a miraculous suitcase of books that washed on shore with me, these are the gems I'd hope to find:

A Tale of Two Cities

If you know the first and last lines and haven't yet please take time to read the middle.

Anne of Green Gables Series

The first time I ever cried reading a book  was at the end of this series. All of the characters are simply wonderful.

Crime and Punishment

This book is fascinating. The danger of putting yourself on a pedestal above God is perfectly depicted. This book reminds me of poor Saul in the Old Testament.

Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son

If you are looking for a deeper Theological read, this is it. This book completely changed the way I read the Bible. 

Introduction to Christianity

Pope Benedict XVII is amazing! The Introduction to this book is noteworthy itself.

Jane Eyre

Dear reader, this is the source of that greeting for me. 

Little Women

I loved the film adaptations, but for some reason I couldn't get far in the book until I was an adult. I think the depth escaped me. Oddly enough, my favorite parts are those that didn't always make it into the films.

Love and Responsibility

If you enjoy philosophy, this book is right up your alley. The concepts in it are fundamental.


This is my favorite Austen novel. The interior life of the characters is well developed and comes through in their actions.  

The Divine Comedy

It's not doctrine nor is it always theologically accurate and placing people you don't like in hell in a book that centuries later all people will really know about them is which circle of hell they're in is pretty brilliant revenge and unchristian to say the least, but the insights within are amazing. 

The Scarlet Letter

I know a lot of people were forced to read this and hate it, but what I took away from it in High School was something of beauty. The contrast of light and darkness in words is a work of art.

The Little Catechism of the Cure of Ars

I love quotes and this is simply a collection of quotes from this amazing preacher. They are simple and beautiful. I think the section on prayer is my favorite part. 

The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings

If you haven't noticed a theme, I have a thing for truth being shared through fiction...oh wait, that's what good literature does ;) 

The Jewish Study Bible

The commentary in this Bible is amazing. I think this might be the book I'd save from a fire which is ironic, because with my multiple moves in the past few years I seem to have misplaced mine. 

Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner

These books give me all the warm-fuzzies. I don't know how many times I've been through them. My mom read them to us and then I read them on my own multiple times and I have already started reading them out loud to my boys. The wisdom of a bear of very little brain is humbling.

Dear reader, what books do you love?

Link up time!

Waltzing In Beauty

  Please remember your lovely posts will be shared on our thirteen blogs and we would love it if you would return the favor and link back to us (you can grab the button above).  By linking back you'll have the opportunity to be featured in our feature posts and Pinterest board here

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Confessions: With Grit & Grace - August

Okay, I am going to call myself out. This is a place of community and support and it only works when you're honest with yourself and others. And in July, dear reader, I was dishonest with you. I shared my goals, when in reality I was working on another goal all together. One that I was too scared to share with you and really admit to myself. But first you need a little background...

In July, my husband and I decided that it was time for me to leave my full time job of 8 years and stay at home with our little boy. We had always said that a long term goal of ours  was for me to be able to stay at home with our children, but we had planned for that to happen further down the road. Well, then you have that baby and see those beautiful blue eyes and you start to ask yourself questions like: "Are we doing the right thing?" "Will I regret missing this time?" "Is this stress worth the extra income?" And then you get to the big question, "We want this some day, why can't that day be today?"
I am all for being practical and being financially free is a top priority of ours, so our discussion included the budget. I had already signed up to be an Arbonne Independent Consultant for fun and to get a discount on the products and felt that just maybe this opportunity came into our lives at just the right time. So we decided my little side hobby, wasn't going to be a hobby at all, but we were going to go all in and grow this business to replace my full time income. 

Now back to my July goals. At the end of my first month in Arbonne I had qualified for promoting to the first level of management (eek!) and could, with grit and grace, promote to District Manager by the end of July. It scared me. Even though I wanted it and I knew it was possible, I was too scared to put it out there, because what if I failed? But I forgot another key thing, what if I succeeded? What if I had others outside my inner circle cheering me on and celebrating beside me when I accomplished it? And isn't that the reason we started this link-up?

Friends, I will be honest with you. Will you be honest with me?

July Goals Recap:

What I shared with you:  
- 30 Day Healthy Living Program with Arbonne
- Create a new family budget
- Thank you cards for baby gifts
- Say Serenity Prayer each day 

What I should have shared with you: 
- Promote to District Manager with Arbonne 

What I did: 
- Promote to District Manager with Arbonne! Woo hoo!

August Goals:

- Enter into qualification for Area Manager with Arbonne
- Box up outgrown baby clothes :'(
- Clean up and place our garage sale furniture finds
- End of summer party
- Say Serenity Prayer each day

Please join us on the first Wednesday of each month at 7:00 a.m. EST to share your goals and progress for the week, month, or year. We are all about building a positive community; please remember to read, comment, and share the posts of others – and let them know you found them at With Grit & Grace!

Callie of Through Clouded Glass | Christina of Waltzing in Beauty

Just a reminder…
  • All forms of goal posts are welcome. They can be for a specific area in your life, or your general goals for the day, week, month, or year. We love to hear updates on your progress, too.
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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Electronic Reads

I love to learn. Even after spending almost 23 consecutive years as a student, I can say I am not tired of it. Often I find myself yearning to be in a situation to soak up the wisdom of a knowledgeable professor in their field. Adjusting to the ways of post-degree learning was a bit of a challenge. Suddenly the time to learn isn't scheduled for you and the primary requirement for your days. It is the thing on the back burner fighting to make it to the table before the lights go out. My dear friends, the challenge is real, but I am finding it is worth the effort.

Now that I am a mother, I am particularly interested in the knowledge of other moms. I want to know how they do motherhood and what they think of this unique vocation. I think that is part of the draw of blogs, but there is a new way to learn from other moms: the e-book and e-course! No need to squeeze a book in your purse, it's on your phone! This is particularly handy when you are stuck under a sleeping baby and you are striving to curb your social media addiction (not that I am speaking from experience, ahem).

Today I wanted to share with you some e-books/e-courses that I am working through or are next on my list. 

This post contains affiliate links.

by Sarah of Sarah E. Frazer

A brief five day study delving into Romans 5:1-5
My Theology loving nerd heart is so excited to pick this one up.

Driving home from an appointment last night, I had a "I don't know what else to do" moment and Ruthie's book popped into my head. I am ashamed to say when she first launched her book I didn't think I would be needing it so soon.

by Elizabeth of This Little Home of Mine

This just launched yesterday! Although we aren't quite preschool ready in my house,  I always love to be prepared and I can implement ideas with my nieces and nephews.

 by Natalie of At Home with Natalie

I am slowly working my way through implementing all the great tips Natalie has to offer. 
One thing to love about this course is it truly is a do at your own pace course!

Personal note: Natalie is my cousin (yes, she's just as sweet in real life) and this is an affiliate link.

As a new mom this is so helpful! I skimmed through it and now I'm soaking it all in. I love how real Keri is about motherhood.

Note: This is an affiliate link.

Have any e-book/e-courses you love and think I should pick up?  Let me know in the comments!

Link up time!

Waltzing In Beauty

Home Tour Tuesday - What our House Really Looks Like
by Lindsay of Lindsay's Sweet World
  Please remember your lovely posts will be shared on our thirteen blogs and we would love it if you would return the favor and link back to us (you can grab the button above).  By linking back you'll have the opportunity to be featured in our feature posts and Pinterest board here

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