What I’m Loving: Fall 2014

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

I think these are my favorite kinds of posts because they function like my brain – jumping all over the place to share the things I’m loving right now! And I love reading “What I’m Loving” posts from others because they always share the best recommendations!

My very own Avengers

Avengers 2014 Captain America 2014 Iron Man 2014 Thor 2014

Taylor Swift, 1989

TS 1989

I don’t think I could have named a single Taylor Swift song before this album came along. It’s not that I didn’t like her. I just don’t listen to much country music. Then everybody and their dog was talking about “Shake It Off,” so I listened. It was fun. Those same people plus a bunch more started raving about the new album. And I caved. I. LOVE. IT. Get it on iTunes or Amazon or get the deluxe edition with a few extra songs at Target. Trust me.

Fleece-lined tights + leggings

I actually discovered these last year, but I’m ready to enjoy them all fall and winter this year. I love them for the warmth and greater structure they provide versus regular leggings. I managed to score some cute ones at our local Target before they sold out, but the fleece-lined leggings and tights were already pretty picked over! You can find them online all over the place, but get them before it gets too cold and they’re all sold out!

Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full by Gloria Furman

This book is going to get it’s own post when I finish it, but don’t wait. Start reading it now. It’s full of Gospel and truth and grace. I needed this exact book at this exact stage in my life as a mother and it is NOT a parenting book. More to come when I finish it very soon.

Matching Converse

Converse

My oldest son and I have matching Converse All-Stars right now. Well, his are a cooler color, but still. He thinks it is awesome that we have the same shoes which makes me love it even more. I love pairing them with different outfits in new ways – jeans, skirts, even dresses! And they are super comfy. The shoes are great, but I love this connection with my boy the most.

ABLEscarf_natural_floor-600x800

the ABLE scarf

You know of my love for fashionABLE and the brand new ABLE scarf tells their story of providing jobs and sustainable income for women. Those words on the scarf? That is their story, the story of what they are able to do because of the purchases you make through fashionABLE. I could not be more excited to wear this scarf and those words and spread the word for such a wonderful organization! When you follow this link, you’ll get 10% off your order! Use the code ABLE at checkout today {11/3/14} to get free shipping!

Since fall is my favorite season, I could probably do five more posts just like this one with more things I love, but I’ll stop there because I want to know…

What are you loving this fall?

 I linked up with Leigh Kramer’s What I’m Into linkup!

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Huggies + Target Subscription Service!

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central for Huggies and Target. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

I have my last kiddo in diapers right now. Do you hear the angels singing?! I do. And it’s a glorious thought that we will be done with diapers for good in six months at the most. This is one stage I will not be sad to see go!

But while we are still using diapers, we always get them at Target because, well, I love Target. And last week, I picked up some new diapers and wipes to try in my very favorite store!

Huggies Target

Huggies Snug & Dry Diapers with the SureFit design are meant to keep your little one leak-free for up to 12 hours! And the flexible waistband keeps the diaper in place even when your toddler is all over the place! Trust me on this one…

Huggies Jump Huggies Muscles Huggies Pushup

He really wanted to show me how he could do a pushup. Also, it is really hard to get an in-focus picture of a 2 1/2 year old who never. stops. moving. The end.

My little guy loves the Mickey Mouse + Friends design, and I love how not bulky the diaper is, even when wet!

Huggies Diaper

We’re both also loving the Huggies Natural Care Wipes. We stick to gentle or fragrance/dye-free items whenever possible, so the Natural Care Wipes are right in line with that we need! They are super soft and gentle, even when cleaning up the biggest of messes! Plus, the containers are super cute – that matters, right?!

We may be almost done with diapers, but we are definitely NOT almost done with wipes! I think I will keep a container of these baby wipes in the car for the rest of my life because they are so handy for every kind of mess, including the kind I make when eating. Yep, messy eater right here.

Now I have some sad related news: Remember how I told you last week we will be moving next summer? The town we are moving to does NOT have a Target. {cue sad violin music}

I’m totally not ready for this deprivation, but Target is launching a new subscription program for automatic shipments of diapers, wipes, formula and other household essentials! You just shop for the items you need, set up a schedule for delivery, and get big savings – 5% off + free shipping + an extra 5% off if you use your RedCard! You can change your subscription items and schedule at any time!

The nearest Target once we move will be an hour away, which isn’t too bad, but I could save the gas money and schedule for things like diapers, wipes, toilet paper, etc. to just show up at my house! I LOVE THAT!

Ok, after that bad news, I need to throw in one more piece of good news: I have a Huggies coupon for you to use at Target! Just click here to claim your Huggies coupon from TargetSaving money on necessities is always good news, right?!

Where are you in the diaper journey: just starting, right in the middle, or almost done like me?

Do you think you’ll use the subscription service from Target?

 

Check out more from Huggies on their website, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter!

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Janji Projects: Runners Crowdfunding Clean Water!

I just love when two of my passions collide!

Today, we’re talking about running and clothing companies who use your purchases to make a difference. Let me introduce you to Janji

Janji logo

The co-founders of Janji are runners with a desire to help bring safe drinking water to people all over the world. Runners and water are a natural combination, so Janji exists to do something with that connection. That “something” is running gear that makes a difference…

Through Janji’s high performance apparel, runners fund solutions and raise awareness for the global water crisis in a lasting and meaningful way. Rather than racing for a cause on just one day, Janji lets runners give back through their everyday training.

The Hubby and I each have a Janji shirt and we love them! We wear them all the time, even when not running!

Janji tee

Besides being awesome because it is green {my FAVORITE color}, this women’s Kenya Acacia running shirt provides one year of clean water for a person in Kenya through Water.org! The Hubby wears the men’s Janji logo short-sleeve running shirt, which provides one week of clean water for a family in the United States!

Janji has short and long-sleeve running tees, tanks, shorts, capris, and tights, all which benefit a clean water project somewhere in the world! And today, they are launching something new!

Janji Projects is a new crowdfunded giving platform which allows runners to preorder a design from a country and, if the design is 100% backed, supporters fully fund the construction of a water point that gives 350 people access to clean water for life.

The first Janji Project launches TODAY! It will be the Uganda Run for Another shirt. Made of a silky performance blend of polyester and rayon, the shirt takes inspiration from Ugandan basket weaving.

Janji Campaign.Shirt.W Janji men's shirt

The Project functions much like a KickStarter campaign and lasts a maximum of seven days. If the shirt is 100% funded, production for the design project begins immediately while parallel construction of the water point launches. The waterpoint will give 350 rural Ugandans access to clean water.

Janji campaign.banner.5

I just love everything about Janji Projects and I hope you will jump on board to pre-order your Uganda shirt today to get this first water point funded!

Which piece of Janji running gear is your favorite?

 

 

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Singing the Word of God!

I received this CD to review. I was not compensated in any way for this post, and all opinions are 100% my own!

My love for Seeds Family Worship goes on and on and on…

From the moment I first heard a Seeds Family Worship CD five years ago, I was hooked. Seven albums later, I have almost every song memorized and every album just gets better and better. I’m kind of partial to Seeds of Courage, that first album we ever owned, but The Word of God, the newest release from Seeds, has me totally smitten.

I guess I’m assuming you know about Seeds Family Worship, but for those of you who are just hearing about them, they are a music-based ministry that creates modern, relevant word-for-word Scripture songs for families!

The Hubby and I were both music majors and, to be honest, a lot of Christian music written for kids or families is just…annoying. There. I said it. This is NOT the case with Seeds. Seeds Family Worship music is catchy, well-written and produced, enjoyable for the WHOLE family, even picky music lovers! Even the albums we’ve had for five years still get played all the time.

Word of God CD Blog

The Word of God, also known as Volume 8, may have my favorite melodies and music out of all Seeds’ albums. I’m a HUGE fan of track #1 {the title track} based on Hebrews 4:12! “Your Life is Hidden” features Matthew West, who has made an appearance on past Seeds CDs. I super duper love the music and message of track #4, “Jesus Christ is Lord,” based on Philippians 2:9-11. “Genuine” is based on one of my favorite chapters of the Bible, Romans 12. And I love everything about the song “Act Like Men,” based on 1 Corinthians 16:13-14. I want to keep this one on repeat for my boys!

Whether you’re just hearing about Seeds today or you have Seeds albums already in your home, I just know you and your family will adore The Word of God!

And right now, you can get 15% off any Seeds Family Worship CDs in their store when you use the code homewiththeboys at checkout! Oh, did I mention that every CD you buy actually comes with TWO identical CDs? One for you and one for a friend! Another thing I just LOVE about Seeds!

Do you own any Seeds Family Worship albums? Favorite songs?

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Revelation Wellness {2 FREE Workouts + a VIP Giveaway!}

If you’re visiting from Crystal Stine’s gorgeous online space or you’re new here for any other reason today, welcome! So glad you’re here! You can read more about me and my boys here and have fun browsing the rest of the site for faith, family, fitness, and fashion! If you HAVEN’T been over to Crystal’s place, come on over to hear us chat about the ups and downs of getting healthy as woman and mom!

I received a review copy of this service. I was not compensated in any way for this post, and all opinions are 100% my own!

Y’all are so great. You’ve followed me on my running journey and some of you started running along with me {I wish it was in person, but I’ll settle for talking about it with you online!}. You’ve listened as I shared my experiences with Insanity and T25 and the 21 Day Fix and many of you have tried them for yourselves. I just loving having a community who cares about health and fitness!

And that’s what I couldn’t keep my latest healthy discovery a secret from you anymore. This find has been just the breath of fresh air my fitness routine needed as I was getting less motivated and stuck in an exercise rut.

Enter Alisa Keeton and Revelation Wellness.

Revelation Wellness has many pieces: an inspiring blog, YouTube videos, a monthly subscription fitness plan program {VIPtv}, fitness gear, instructor training, and more! I’ve tried everything except the instructor training {not yet!}, and I can honestly say I love it ALL.

I got started by searching Revelation Wellness videos on YouTube after a friend mentioned it somewhere on social media. The “Happy” workout was the first one I tried and the boys kept asking me to do it again! It was great cardio and made me smile, so I kept going back to it!

Declare Workout

Then I met Alisa at the Declare Conference in August. She was exactly like I thought she would be and even better: sold out for Jesus, passionate about helping people get healthy in healthy way, super spunky, and all around awesome! She led an early morning workout at the conference, and after that amazing workout and several wonderful chats, I was all in with Revelation Wellness.

I could tell you all about my love for all things Revelation Wellness, but today I’m going to focus on VIPtv, the monthly subscription service!

When you donate $10 {or more} a month to the ministry of Revelation Wellness, you become a member of VIPtv and get access to a private library of online, mobile device-accessible workout videos designed to meet you where you are, no matter what your fitness level may be! VIPtv includes every kind of workout: boot-camp, pilates, kickboxing, flexibility, low-impact body sculpting, dance fusion, high intensity training, chair workouts, circuit training, core and stability training, and so much more!

This is me after the medicine ball workout. I’m just a little sweaty…

New workouts are added to VIPtv every month, but VIPtv has even more! There are great training videos to get you started with proper posture and body positioning, as well as devotional-type Work-IN videos meant to keep your focus in the right place as you get healthy.

The very best part of VIPtv {and all of Revelation Wellness} is the focus on Jesus.

Every single workout feels like church to me in the very best way possible: worship, teaching, prayer, Scripture – OH SO GOOD. This is what sets VIPtv apart from every other workout I’ve ever tried and it has ruined me for just about anything else!

Revelation Wellness

So what are my favorite VIPtv workouts?

Cardio Move is TONS of fun and really gets my heart rate up! And I have a love-hate relationship with Yoga Fusion. I use it on Sundays as an “easy” day, but it is not truly easy! Yoga Fusion is great for stretching, but it pushes me in a low-impact kind of way.

Guess what?! I get to share those two workouts with you RIGHT HERE IN THIS POST! FOR FREE! I hope you love them as much as I do! If they don’t show up below for you, click here for Cardio Move and click here for Yoga Fusion!

Oh, and I’m giving away a ONE YEAR VIPtv SUBSCRIPTION!!! I am over-the-moon excited for one of you to win and experience this goodness for a whole year! Just enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I want to say a huge thank you to Alisa for following God’s call to lead us into HIS way for healthy living and for kicking my butt in the best way possible every time I work out “with” her!

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Crossing a Bridge

I’ve shared some, but not much, of our journey through medical school and residency. This little old blog actually started the same month The Hubby started medical school, back when Big J was a toddler and Little J was a newborn!

In some aspects, the past six years have FLOWN by, but I know that there were months, weeks, and even days that felt incredibly long and hard along the way. All in all, it has been challenging for all of us, but nearly as hard as I imagined it could be. For that, I am so very thankful.

And I’m here to share another reason for us to be thankful: last month, The Hubby signed a contract for an outpatient internal medicine clinic position to start when he finishes residency next summer! We took about three months to pray and really weigh all of our options and God led us clearly to this one. We are so very excited and grateful and all the emotions!

I feel like we are now on a bridge. Yes, we are physically still on one side of the bridge, living in the same house, same city, same everything, but in our hearts, we’ve stepped out on to this bridge that will take us to the next place He has for us. This one decision means so many things will change for us next summer – new town, new home, new job, new friends – and we are crossing a bridge over these next nine months to prepare ourselves and our boys for the other side.


On the Bridge

The town we will be moving to has this fabulous old pedestrian bridge. The Hubby and I stood on that bridge discussing the future the last time we visited before making our decision. The bridge felt significant to me, so I snapped a bunch of pictures, and when we got home, I discovered this quote…

Bridge Builder Long

“I will not tell you how long or short the way will be; only that it lies across a river. But do not fear that, for I am the great Bridge Builder.” ~spoken by Aslan in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

I can’t tell you right now if the next nine months will feel long or short. But change is going to happen and God is asking me to not be afraid of it – the house selling and house buying and saying goodbye to everything familiar. Change is the river we must cross, but He will build our bridge and will lead us across it.

Through this process, God has used so many water and river images to guide and calm me, so I’m not surprised this bridge is firmly imprinted on my mind. It’s actually a comfort now as I know we’ve taken the first step and the only way to go is forward!

Yes, change is unsettling, but we are so thrilled with the direction He is moving us. We’re crossing the bridge and looking forward to many new and wonderful things for our family!

 

What bridge are you crossing right now?

 

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Pen + Paper

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

As much as I love this online world – the writing, the connections, the inspiration – I’m still a pen + paper girl. I love to write – as in handwrite on paper. Beautiful journals and colorful pens make me smile. I enjoy writing in a real life planner. I love digital and I love paper. Yes, you can do both.

I’ve posted some pictures on Instagram from my morning quiet time and had people ask about the journals and pens I’m using, so why not write a post about it, right?!

Here are my current favorites in the pen + paper categories…

Pen + Paper Favorites

Paper

The Day Designer by Whitney English – I’m going to try to not be overdramatic, but this planner has CHANGED MY LIFE. I’m great at dreaming up big ideas and making long-term plans, but I get stuck in the day-to-day details. I need major help planning out my days and tackling to-do lists. The Day Designer has seriously revolutionized the way I think about my days and the efficiency with which I tackle all the different responsibilities in my life! I probably need to do a whole post on the Day Designer alone, but I just needed to tell you how much I adore it.

Prayer Journal by Val Marie Paper – Prayer is immensely important to me, but I have a hard time remembering all the prayer requests I want to pray. Val’s beautiful journal is laid out perfectly to jot down prayers for all the important people and areas in my life. I carry it with me in my purse at all times so I can pray or write down a prayer at a moment’s notice. I love that it is organized by month and includes sections for prayers for our world, nation, loved ones, friends, and personal requests, as well as Scriptures to pray and a place to record answered prayers!

Abide Journal by Naptime Diaries – Our Bible study went through this bible study/journal over the summer and we all just adored it. It is an invitation to rest in Him and Jessi included Scripture and devotions right alongside space to process your own needs to really abide in the Lord. If your life feels hurried, stressful, or disconnected, I highly recommend the Abide Journal to help bring you closer to Him.

She Reads Truth study packs – I want them all. There is just something about having a beautiful journal to write your Bible study notes in and She Reads Truth had done this SO well. The artwork is always gorgeous, the study sections for each day help me focus on the passage and write through my thoughts, and I can’t recommend them highly enough. I’m particularly excited about the Hospitality study starting October 27th!

Journals from DaySpring – I can’t even count how many DaySpring journals, but there are full ones all over my house. DaySpring has journals of all sizes and designs – literally something for everyone, including the guys! The All of Me journal is awesome for recording spiritual and physical health, and I always carry a spiral journal of some kind with me to take notes at church!

Anything Moleskine – I was late to the game on Moleskine, but I’m a full believer now. I’ve used the little ones to count my blessings or record exercise. I’ve used something a little bigger as a prayer journal or a doodle book. They just feel special, you know?! I even used one to make a “restaurant passport” book for The Hubby so we could remember all the great places to eat in our city and check them off as we go! We haven’t kept up on it so well, but it looks cute!

Pen

Pilot G2 Retractable Premium Gel Ink Roller Ball Pens – Great variety of colors, don’t bleed through the pages of any of the paper products listed above, and I love how smoothly they write!

Pilot FriXion Erasable Gel Pens – Oh my word. Where have these been all my lives?! Pens, available in many colors, that can be erased just with friction by using the rubber end of the pen! I use these ALL the time in my Day Designer in case I need to rearrange plans.

Sharpie Stainless Steel Fine Point Black Ink Pen – This pen feels amazing to hold in my hand and I love how it writes. And it looks super fancy, which is always fun! The Hubby also loves this pen. For the record, he had one first, so I’m just copying him.

Yes, I just wrote over 700 words about PENS AND PAPER. My love is deep, friends. And I hope you found some new loves to try!

What are your favorite pen + paper products?

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

What I Wore: Symbology

I received the top mentioned in this post for review. I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

Fair trade accessories have been a staple for me for a while and they are not too hard to find these days. But fair trade clothing was elusive to me until recently. And it was worth the wait because I am discovering some great pieces for my capsule wardrobe that also support the artists who made them in a fair way!

Before I show you my new favorite tunic, I need you to know something: I love elephants. Ok, now you are prepared for this awesome…

WIWW Elephantspaired with GAP mint skinny cords and wild copper Tieks 

This Kissing Elephants Tunic is from Symbology Clothing, a company who employs marginalized artisans, with a special focus on women, and preserves traditional artforms threatened by globalization.

WIWW Elephants 3

I love this top for so many reasons. First of all, the elephants. Of course. The length of the tunic is perfect to cover my rear end and the length of the sleeves can be adjusted with the button cuffs! The fabric is lightweight and super comfortable. And I love the cut of the neckline. This tunic could be dressed up for a date night or bundled up for fall frolicking with your kids!

WIWW Elephants 2

paired with comfy skinnies, burgundy combat boots,  fashionABLE scarf – and wind!

Symbology has SO many cute tops, dress, kimonos, skirts, and more! Through Sunday, October 19th, you can get 10% off your Symbology order with the code HOMEWITHSYMBOLOGY {all caps} at checkout!

Coupon_Symbology_101014

In case you were wondering, YES, I did wear the same top twice in the last week. That’s how much I love it. And I know you’ll love Symbology – the mission, the design, the prints – just as much as I do!

What are you loving from Symbology? A top? Dress? Skirt?

linking up with What I Wore Wednesday at The Pleated Poppy

 

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

What It Looks Like to Run Wild

I received the products mentioned in this post for review. I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

I might be a dreamer, but I also tend to play it safe. I worry about getting things “wrong” or stirring things up. I shy away from activities or dreams that might complicate my life. I go through seasons of pushing and challenging myself, only to fall back in to safe mode where things are more comfortable.

I’ve seen this cycle play out in my training as a runner. When I sign up for a race and have a goal in mind, I am willing to push myself and get a little crazy in the hopes of achieving the desired result. But once the race is over, I slip back to my comfort zone, sometimes even missing workout days and other days just barely making it through with very little effort.

I know this pattern in life and running is not God’s plan for me. The “safe” zone is not where my growth happens or where my faith becomes greater. This almost always happens in the messy places that make me a little uncomfortable. It happens when I do what God recently spoke to me:

Run wild, Erin.

Run Wild 1

He speaks to me a lot while I’m running and in running metaphors, but these words are more about my everyday living than my workouts. I first heard them in a song by For King and Country

There’s no time left to waste
Yeah, you can make your great escape
We’re made to RUN WILD

The song is from the album of the same name, Run Wild Live Free Love Strong, and all of it is moving me to a place of messy forward motion. I may not be the most tidy person at home, but I’ve tried to keep my journey with God nice and neat. This “tidy” faith is more frustrating than freeing. Taking on this call from God to run wild after Him is scary but full to the brim with freedom.

Run Wild 2

I’ve noticed that my tendency towards safety has kept me from encouraging wild faith and trust in God in my family. I use the words “careful” and “nice” a lot. My boys are naturally wild in their behavior, but I have done nothing to show them how God can use their wild spirits to change the world for Him.

Run Wild 4

I need the words RUN WILD before me every day as a reminder. I’ve started chasing some wild dreams and loosened my grip on the small, tidy faith I once held so tightly. Most days feel a little out my control, but I know I my life is completely in His hands. He made me to run wild. He made my guys to run wild. I’m moving out of the safe zone and running wildly with the purpose of changing this world to the glory of His name.

Run wild
Live free
Love strong
You and me

Those words I need in front of my face? There’s no better way to have them on display in my home than with the new Letterpress Blocks from DaySpring! The fun thing with these blocks is the the “Build Your Own Word” site where you can drag and drop letters and symbols before you decide what to buy! Seriously, I spent so much time playing with the mixing and matching of letters and fonts, as well as designing different words and phrases! The actual blocks work well sitting on a ledge or hanging on a wall – however you want to use them keep those important words in view!

Run Wild Giveaway

Thanks to my dear friends at DaySpring, I have a $50 coupon code to use towards a Letterpress Blocks order to giveaway today! Just leave a comment below by Friday, October 17th at 9 p.m. CST telling me the word or phrase you would make with the Letterpress Blocks!

What would your Letterpress Blocks word or phrase be?

 

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Fall Family Fun!

The past week has been full of all sorts of fall family fun – my favorite kind of fun! I recently wrote on the Tommy Nelson blog about simple fall break ideas – things to do locally when you can’t get away for long but want to enjoy some autumnal activities! Here’s what we’ve been up to as we enjoy the change in seasons…

First stop: the pumpkin patch!

Vala's 2014 001 Vala's 2014 002 Vala's 2014 003 Vala's 2014 004 Vala's 2014 005 Vala's 2014 006IMG_3873 Vala's 2014 007 Vala's 2014 008 Vala's 2014 009 Vala's 2014 010 Vala's 2014 011 Vala's 2014 012 Vala's 2014 013 Vala's 2014 014 Vala's 2014 015 Vala's 2014 016 Vala's 2014 017IMG_3886

And then the Monster Mash Fun Run/Walk to finish out our Miracle Marathon

IMG_3970 IMG_3971 FullSizeRender FullSizeRender (1)

It was super fun to meet up with blog reader and Miracle Marathon team member Erika, her boys, and her mom! We all enjoyed the activities, the walk, and each other’s company! We also met Curt Tomasevicz, former Husker football player and Olympic bobsledder! How fun that he let us hold his Olympic medals?!

Speaking of the Miracle Marathon, the miles have been logged, but it’s not too late to donate! I still have a ways to go to reach my $272 goal, but you can help me out and give until November 1st!

Don’t forget to check out my fall break ideas over at Tommy Nelson to make the most of my favorite season!

What kind of fall fun does your family enjoy?

 

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook