Friday, September 2, 2016

5 Things I'm Lovin'

I've been writing about and pondering a lot of heavy topics as of late so it's high time I switch gears and do something a little bit more light-hearted so I thought I'd throw together a post on 5 Things I'm Loving right now. I don't know about you all, but I certainly don't get out much and so always really appreciate it when someone else does the hard work to discover what's awesome and then shares it with me. Whether it's a new favorite new book, podcast or musician - I don't really care! - it's just fun to learn from those around me. Also, this was a really good exercise for me to take a hot second to stop and think about and list 5 Things That I'm Loving right now. Maybe you would benefit from the same? I would love to hear YOUR top 5 things - feel free to list them in the comments so we can all benefit.

1) First off, I'll start with this Bible study entitled Seamless by Angie Smith. I've been going through the study with two other women this summer and, let me tell you, it has been SO rich for me. The past few years, I've experienced a long spiritual dry spell and it has been so refreshing to dive back into the word and have it come alive again for me. I've begun setting my alarm and getting up early just to beat the kids awake so I can read my Bible and do the study. This, my friends, has never happened to me before. We went on a family vacation this summer with my parents and my siblings and I was put to shame when I would wake up in the morning and walk out to the great room to find both my parents and my sister pouring over their Bibles and doing their devotions. Meanwhile, there I was iPhone in hand, being all like "Hey guys! I'll just be over here on Pinterest or something." It was humbling.

But back to this study, it does an amazing job stringing together the Bible in it's entirety and maps out the stories in a chronological timeline of events. I had no idea how many books of the Bible overlap with each other and how many discuss a different angle of the same story. Above all else though, I love how the author makes all the the stories personal and applicable to us today. There have been mornings when I have found myself completely overcome and moved by how alive and active the Bible for me in the here and now. This is definitely a study one could do over and over again and glean new information each time. I'm hoping I can convince by husband to go through it with me next!

2) If the first thing I'm loving didn't grab your attention, surely this second one will. In case the words on the computer screen pictured above are too tiny for you to read, let me spell them out for you in bold: the podcast that I'm currently LOVING is called Sexy Marriage Radio. In case the name alone doesn't reel you in, let me give you list of the titles of some of their recent episodes just to whet your whistle:

Orgasm is a Poor Litmus Test for Great Sex
When Sex is Painful
Sexual Courage
Doing the Best You Can
Keeping a Marital High
Sex Hacks

HELLO!!!! I thought I lost some of you there. I'm willing to bet money this was not what you expected to find on my top 5 loves right now. But there you have it - the unabashed truth. This podcast is hosted by Dr Cory Allan and Shannon Ethridge - both counselors and individuals and lovers of Jesus who are passionate about developing healthy sexuality. They self-describe their podcast as "straightforward, honest conversations about what goes on behind closed doors in your marriage." They are absolutely not ashamed to talk openly about anything and everything and do so from a Christian perspective. I've heard their podcast described as a pro-marriage and sex positive resource (and I couldn't agree more!) Their tagline is always that "the best sex happens in the marriage bed" and it is so refreshing to hear Christians talking about the often-forbidden and hidden yet ever-so-important topic of sex.

Depending on your background, this podcast may at first blow you out of the water (with my conservative upbringing, my jaw probably would have been on the floor had I not done a little reading on the topic on my own prior to listening to the podcast). But don't let that stop you! I believe deeply that there are so many conversations on the topic of sex that are not taking place in the Christian community that need to. This podcast and all it stands for begins to scratch the surface of what was previously not talked about as the hosts enter into subjects that we just aren't hearing enough about. For the listeners, there is sweet relief in knowing "it isn't just me" who encounters hurdles with sex in marriage. Go ahead and give it a whirl.  

3) On that note, let's make a smooth and not-at-all-awkward transition to talking about hair, the subject of my third favorite love right now!! Have you all heard of dry shampoo?? I swear it was created as God's gift to mothers. IT HAS BEEN MY LIFESAVER over the past two years (ever since I discovered it) and has helped me wean down the number of times I wash hair (would that be wet shampoo?) each week. I used to think it was disgusting when people did not wash their hair every day....that is, until I had kids. And until my hair dresser informed me that washing my hair is one of the worst things I could do for it. Insert dry shampoo and now I can go 2-3 days between shampoos which is such a time saver!

My personal favorite is Suave's Dry Shampoo. Target carries it for $2.89 a can (I promise I'm not getting paid to tell you this) which is a STEAL in my opinion for anything hair-related. There are a lot of other uppity brands out there that will cost you somewhere in the double digits but this one was recommended to me by an actual hairdresser who has tried them all and still says this cheap one is the best. On my non-shampoo days, I just spray a couple light squirts at my roots, rub it in to blend, and then style. Be sure to shake it well before you spray as it will sometimes come out super white if you don't. Never fear if one day you forget and suddenly you look as gray as your grandma. A vigorous rub down of the product into your hair takes care of that problem. Dry shampoo also works great as a texturizer. Sometimes, when I plan to curl my hair, I spray the dry shampoo down towards my ends before curling and it helps hold the curls longer!

PS - I say this product is God's gift to moms. Well. I think it might be his gift to dads too. The stuff used to be MINE.....until I caught my husband in the bathroom using it one morning. I thought I had going through the cans faster than usual.... I mean. The guy has GREAT hair and the ladies comment on it at work all the time. And now you know his secret. ;) Dry shampoo adds great texture, y'all, and makes the grown women swoon.

4) FANNY PACKS!!!!! Don't even try to pretend you aren't just a bit jealous! I thought about leading with this love but, well, I wasn't sure you'd still be with me if I did...

My mom bought me one of these puppies to carry my keys in when I first started running way back when. I tried to wear it but I just couldn't shake the flashbacks to my 9th grade year when I actually was seen (AND PHOTOGRAPHED!) at Disneyland wearing a fanny pack BECAUSE I THOUGHT IT WAS COOL. I was still recovering from a bad case of homeschool-style back then. Shudder. Instead of sporting my running fanny, (sorry, Mom - your gift was so well intended but came 5 years too early for my ego), I birthed me some children, bought a jogging stroller and threw all my keys and phones and children into said stroller and called myself good to go. It wasn't until half a decade later, when I was training for my marathon and no longer pushing kids around in a stroller, that I realized I needed something to hold all my energy and gear. So I went out and bought myself a running fanny!! On purpose!!! And get this - I LOVE IT. In fact, I've been banned from running for the past few weeks while I'm letting my hamstring heal, and I'm still wearing the fanny. Just to go on walks! Even better, I've discovered that it is absolutely my best friend when it comes to doing chores. All I have to do is strap that puppy on and throw on my headphones and I can have my hands free to do the dishes, sweep the floor, fold the laundry, or clean the bathroom all while listening guess it: Sexy Marriage Radio! WIN! (Don't knock it 'til you've tried it, People).

Oh, and I got this Nike one from Ross for only like 12 bucks but you can find them online or at any sporting goods store (I technically it's called a running belt or waistpack, FYI if you are trying to search for one, but fanny is so much more fun to say). It looks really big in the picture above (photo credit Emma!) but that's only because I have my phone in there. It's made of super stretchy material and expands and shrinks based on what you try and squeeze in it. When I ran my marathon, it fit my phone, and all my energy beans and chews for the entire race. But if you don't happen to be running a marathon, it shrinks down to about 1-inch in width, so small that I have been actually known to forget I was wearing it and rock it all day (true story!) 

5) Those of you who know me well know that there is no way I can list 5 loves without one of them being edible. My fifth love that I will share with is my very favorite coffee drink: tall, iced, 2% coconut latte. (Coffee peeps, did I list that in order? I'm always so self-conscious about my coffee ordering!) This has been my go-to for 2 summers and counting. I've tried to venture out and try something new but nothing else hits the spot quite like this does. It's simply the greatest!!

What are you loving right now? I'd love to hear! Share in the comments, please.


  1. I like your list! I have a question about your Bible study book. Did your group of friends buy the CDs that go with the study guides? From the reviewd I've read it sounds like it is a required purchase in order to make the study guide work. Is that true, and is it pricey? (This is Joe, not Robin)

    1. We did not buy the CDs/DVDS and the study has been incredibly rich without them. (I ordered my book off Amazon). Fair warning: some of the pages of the book are pink which some would take as an indication there is a slight bent toward female readership. The author can be slightly over the top at points but I think the content is still awesome enough that guys could get past that. You can feel free to take a peek at it today if you want!

  2. I like your list! I have a question about your Bible study book. Did your group of friends buy the CDs that go with the study guides? From the reviewd I've read it sounds like it is a required purchase in order to make the study guide work. Is that true, and is it pricey? (This is Joe, not Robin)

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