Honeymoon {iPhone Dump}

So here’s the thing with trips that are just the two of you and include all-inclusive eating, drinking, lounging, beaching, snorkeling, and sleeeeeeeping: you end up with lots of gorgeous photos of palm trees, water, food, and each other. And of course, you and your other LOVE this because these photos = memories.

BUT as far as everyone else goes, they probably skim through them and think, “looks pretty // where is that? // I need a vacation,” and then go about their merry way.

For that reason, I’m providing below a brief but thorough gallery of photos from our recent one-year-belated honeymoon trip to Jamaica. It WAS gorgeous, you WILL be jealous, and yes, you DO need a vacation – so go to Negril! We stayed at the incredible Couples Swept Away resort, and it was more than I could have imagined. Next time, I’m staying at least 10 days. You think I’m kidding. I am not.

So here you have it: all the palm trees and water and selfies you could ever want…

 

Brunch {Because Mimosas}

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(You can get this amazing sweatshirt over here on Etsy)

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Okay okay, I don’t ONLY love brunch for the mimosas. I love brunch because WHO DOESN’T?? I also love hosting things, as you may know, so I recently said to myself, “Meghan, you should host a brunch.” So I invited a few lady friends over, made breakfast casserole, and set a pretty table.

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But THEN I got so wrapped up in chatting with the ladies I didn’t really take any food or chit chat photos – Sorry!! Alas, I hope this provides you with a little bit of brunch-set-up inspiration. I set the bar up as well, and I promise, OJ and champagne did make an appearance…bar1

On Listening to Christian Radio

Even the strongest Christians among my friends give me a funny look when I mention that one of my go-to radio stations is the local Christian station. Maybe it’s because the Christian music many of us grew up to was simply hymns (which are lovely but maybe not what you want to turn up during your morning commute), or maybe it’s because as “Christian Pop” started becoming a thing, many of the new releases were AWFULLY cheesy. Like, terribly so.

There are really two reasons I listen to Christian radio:

Music. I have to say that sure, sometimes the songs are a tad cheesy, of course. But many of them are uplifting, energizing, calming, and/or refreshing. There’s a little bit of everything, just like with pretty much any other radio station. If I’m tired and crabby, I hear the song I need. If I’m happy and excited, I hear the song I need. If I need hope, I hear it. If I need praising, I hear it. If I need calm, I hear it. Many, many days, God uses that radio to get to me.

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Talk. When I lived in Nashville, I had a 45-minute commute each morning, and I religiously (see what I did there) listened to The Wally Show on Way FM. Here in Columbus, during my 5-minute commute, I listen to Mary in the Morning on The River. Now, if I had kids, hands down I would have these stations on – you never have to worry about crass or inappropriate chatter. But honestly, even riding solo, do I really want my day to start out with all that crap that’s out there? Not especially. Listening to the banter of these voices lifts me up, makes me laugh, and reminds me that we are all on this journey together. I MUCH prefer to start my day off on that note. Plus, I still get news, weather, traffic, and all that practical stuff we’ve gotta have.

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So much so, that some mornings, I workout to these radio stations. I still use the Way FM app to listen to the Wally Show while I get ready for work. Hearing music with the message “you got this – life is good – you’re not alone” is a heck of a lot more energizing than most the music out there right now. Not that I don’t love that other music sometimes (I do), but I really believe that what we fill our heads with affects other areas of our life too.

Phew, well this got a little longer than I planned! Really, I just want to encourage you to try branching out a little today, whether you need a little pick-me-up or you’re feeling pretty dang good about life, just listen to something different, and maybe you’ll discover a little something new about God and yourself!

Caprese Salad

Any big plans this weekend? End of summer cookouts, perhaps? Or good ol’ fashioned potlucks?

Let me give you the easiest, peasiest dish ever for you to bring to your next gathering: Caprese Salad. It is EXACTLY as it sounds, and everyone will truly love it.

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You need just a few simple ingredients:

  • Mozzarella
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic vinegar

Now don’t hate me…but I’m not giving your “real amounts” here. Sorry if that is a problem…but basically, you need equal parts of cheese and tomatoes. Dice your cheese and half your tomatoes – you should have a pretty even ration of the two. Next, roll several basil leaves together and chiffonade your basil to get these nice pretty little strips. Mix this all together with about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, and a generous drizzle of balsamic. Mix it all up with a little salt and pepper and let it sit in the fridge a little while. Give it a taste, and if you don’t get enough tang from the balsamic, mix in a little more.

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So this is my quasi-recipe of the day…I made it in a bit of a hurry so didn’t measure anything out – sorry!! But truly, enjoy these last weekends of summer, and make some yummy, fresh foods!

Super Hero Cake Balls

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They always look completely homemade, by hand, but I just love making them. And recently, my friend Annie asked if I could make some cake balls for her son Carter’s Superhero themed 4th birthday party. My response? Of course! Always!

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I had such a fun time making these. Cake and icing from scratch is the key – when you use store-bought, ESPECIALLY canned icing, they are just WAY too sweet. I mean, don’t get me wrong: these little buggers are as sweet and rich as you can get. But when you use canned icing, it’s just over-the-top-not-even-tasty sweet. And really, whipping up some icing is not the most time consuming part of this process, by any means.

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I lucked out finding a few little extra touches, like these cute star candles and those sugar letters to spell out his name. The colors were red, blue, yellow, and green, but I pretty much only added green via the cupcake wrappers, letters, and one of the candles. It was more of an accent anyway!

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Fun, right?? Annie also had someone make a layered super hero cake and both were a great success. My cake balls may look handmade, but they taste AMAZEballs (see what I did there).

Happy Thursday!

Thad Cockrell {Rosalyn}

So it would appear that I posted about this song four years ago, after attending an amazing night in the round at The Bluebird, and it has recently popped back into my head.

I was obsessed with this song (and artist) the minute I heard it. It’s beautiful, and unexpected. I’ve listened to more of Thad Cockrell’s music since then, and read a bit about him, finding that his goal is “to put the hurt back in country music.” Love that. He’s a solid Christian guy (love that) who doesn’t write every single song about God (love that) but is strong in his convictions (love that). Basically, love him, love you guys, and I love this song, so I’m passing it on to you (again). Enjoy it!

Extreme Weight Loss Commercial Break Workout

Last Tuesday, as I watched Extreme Weight Loss in my hotel room, I literally sat with my stop watch to time the length of commercials and doing workouts during them to come up with the workout below. I mean, let’s be real – you can use this watching ANY show, but if you finish the whole thing, I promise you’ll feel a little extra good at the end of the night!

Also, while I was working on this little project, I saw that Heidi Powell posted about jogging in place during every commercial. We were totally on the same wavelength!

Each commercial break, do the exercises listed (either two or three), and whenever a new commercial starts, switch. You’ll see that the first two commercial segments say “two commercials per workout” because I noticed that those two sets have many shorter commercials, and later in the show, the individual ads get longer. You won’t end up doing everything for exactly the same time, but it gets you moving and strengthening! So here you go: EWL Commercial Break Workout, no equipment needed.

EWL Commercial Workout

To sum it up in a more copy and paste friendly way, here you go:

Commercial 1 (3:15) – Jogging Cardio

  • Alternate High Knees and Butt Kicks (two commercials per exercise)

Commercial 2 (3:15) – Quads and Core

  • Alternate Wall Sits and Plank (two commercials per exercise)

Commercial 3 (2:30) – Legs and Upper Body

  • Alternate squats and pushups (one commercial per exercise)

Commercial 4 (3:45) – Calves, triceps, and core

  • calf raises, Tri dips, & plank (one commercial per exercise)

Commercial 5 (3:30) – Legs and cardio

  • lunges and jumping jacks (one commercial per exercise)

Commercial 6 (3:15) – Quads and Core

  • Alternate Wall Sits and Plank (one commercials per exercise)

Commercial 7 (3:30) – Legs and Upper Body

  • Alternate squats and pushups (one commercial per exercise)

Commercial 8 (3:30) – Calves, triceps, and core

  • calf raises, Tri dips, & plank (second time hold plank til end of commercials if you can)

Commercial 9 (4:15) – Legs and Core

  • lunges, squat jump, v-sit (one commercial per exercise)

Commercial 10 (3:45) Jogging Cardio

  • Alternate High Knees and Butt Kicks (one commercial per exercise)