{friday mixing bowl} spring and other things in the air!

Happy Friday, friends! After a week of winter and another of summer (??), spring is finally in the air here. Here’s what we’ve been up to.

My very first box of author copies arrived yesterday! It was surreal and way more emotional than I thought it would be to: 1)  hold a book in my hand and 2) open it to see words I spent years writing and rewriting. Wow. Just wow. So this is With No Reservations, a clean contemporary romance about food and healing. I don’t have its section up on my Books page yet, but you can read more about it (and pre-order, if you’d like) on Amazon or mark it To-Read on Goodreads. Eeeeee!

Speaking of food, I’ve been watching a lot of the Great British Bake-Off on Netflix and told a friend that I was almost as proud of making this as I was for having my kids. A little exaggeration there? Maybe. It’s the Deep Dish Chocolate Cream Pie from Tastemade, and it has a delicious amount of espresso in the filling, coffee lovers. Like the pie version of a Jamocha Shake.

I’ve been working on a three-book proposal and a client editing project this month, but I’m excited to get back to work on my new website and a brand new manuscript of my own next month <3

From emergency appendix surgeries to computer glitches to back-to-back-to-back-to-back illnesses in my house, it seems like it’s been two steps forward, ten steps back with my March goals. But I’m still here, working hard, trying to be diligent about rest, and incredibly grateful to get to do what I love. The Lord is faithful and generous. I’m so grateful for how much He loves me through you all! So please remind me of that next month when I’m in the thick of training for my 5K race on April 29. *Cringe*

While we’re on the subject of friendship and loving well, I’m so excited about this book! Lisa-Jo Baker is my internet BFF whose words always make me feel like I’m sitting across from the older sister I never had with warm cups of tea between us. Every woman needs the wise insight of someone who’s gone before them, and Lisa-Jo has a lot to share about friendship, mean-girl-PTSD, and more in Never Unfriended. If you pre-order before April 4, you can enter your purchasing details on the book’s website and get a bunch of goodies 🙂 I’ll be including it in an upcoming post about my Spring TBR pile. So many good ones releasing soon!

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source: CrunchyCreamySweet.com

  • My son’s second birthday is next week, and I’m making these Birthday Cake Mix Cookies from Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet for our little family party! Aren’t they so cheerful?
  • One of my biggest priorities this year is to deepen my study of Scripture. (Okay, if we’re honest, to start really studying Scripture.) But look at this new Bible from one of my favorite Bible study resources, She Reads Truth! It’s beautiful, has a ton of features like timelines/reading plans, and is designed to make the Bible easier to navigate, which is great for people like me who know the vitality of diving into the Word but need a little help in the discipline department. I’m going to make this (one of) my book release present(s) to myself 🙂
  • Self-protection can cost us our heart: SO much wisdom in this article from the International House of Prayer about Keeping an Open Heart When Relationships Fail.
  • Making this Crispy Parmesan Chicken with Lemon Pasta for dinner tonight. It’s so springy and delicious with a side of asparagus or peas! The Recipe Critic has some great meal ideas.
  • Everyone’s favorite Lin-Manuel Miranda created a playlist for writer’s block, which The Nerdist wrote about here. Can’t wait to check it out, and I know it will prevent so much *headdesking* from creatives everywhere 🙂

< around the web >

So grateful for and blown away by all the love for our little novella collection. Getting Nick and Chelsea’s story into the world has been such a fun and humbling experience. We have been featured/reviewed on:

Teresa Tysinger | Amanda Everett’s Spring Break Reads | Faithfully Bookish’s First Line Friday | Alexis Goring’s God is Love Blog | Fantastic Fiction | Book, Line, and Sinker | Bibliophile Reviews | The Robin’s Nest

Is it spring where you live yet? What are you cooking and reading this weekend?

{friday mixing bowl} the most wonderful time of the year

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Happy weekend, you guys! It’s been a minute since I did one of these, so I have lots of goodies to share. I’m in a fantastic mood because I had a wonderful date with my son yesterday, fall is coming, and my book due out in May officially has a title. Yay! It feels like a real book! I love it and can’t wait to share it soon. Here’s what else has been going on around here:

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The 2016 ACFW was a whirlwind! I’m still processing it but plan to post a recap of what I learned soon. The most important thing you need to know: I got to spend time with my sisters, including celebrating Jaime’s 40th birthday with literally the best meal of our lives. I loved seeing them and getting the chance to pitch my books, connect and reconnect with my writerly people, and learn lots!

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I made Boyfriend Bait Cookies from the I Heart Naptime cookbook. Picture a chocolate chip cookie loaded with M&Ms, ground oats and blitzed milk chocolate. So delicious! You must make them for the people you love immediately!

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Two things happened this past Saturday. First, we were awakened by a pretty sizeable earthquake here in Oklahoma, which was memorialized by the National Weather Service accordingly. Oh, Mylanta…

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Here are my kids comforting each other right after it happened. It was the strongest and longest one I’ve ever felt!

Second, college football made a dramatic return! The most wonderful time of the year! My team celebrated by going into double overtime, winning on this play. I literally have. no. chill. about college football!

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I am, on the other hand, trying to add a little chill to my morning routine. Prepping the necessary things the night before and getting in the right mindset to start the day before the kids wake up is a huge game-changer! In an ideal world, I could get work and some exercise in without having to scramble to school on time, but baby steps!

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My planning woes seem to be solved. I have found a bullet journaling system that I absolutely adore. It helps me track cleaning, selah, and workouts in a way that works and is much less…disheartening for an unpredictable schedule than other layouts. Thanks to my new bullet journal crush, The Bullet Journal Addict! I have been geeking out over her gorgeous layouts!

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source :: The Recipe Critic

source :: The Recipe Critic

<< in case you missed it >>

What’s on deck for you this weekend? I will break from the editing cave to go on a belated birthday date with my husband tonight and watch some college football this weekend.

Do you follow college football, or are you more of a books and Netflix kind of person? I think I’m both 🙂

{friday mixing bowl} making space, three mentions of cookies, and the horizon

Friday Mixing Bowl (1)

Everyone take a deep breath! It’s Friday, your doozy of a week is almost over, and hopefully you have a three-day weekend coming up. Can I get an amen? 🙂 Here’s what’s in my mixing bowl this week…

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I just saw a t-shirt that said, “I bake so I don’t punch anyone in the throat.” While my baking needs aren’t that intense, it’s my daughter’s love language. We love baking together almost as much as we love surprising people with random cookies on their doorstep. I will include my tried and true recipe in the links below!

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I got my first editorial letter back this week (unless you count the first revision request) and experienced first-edit paralysis, which, according to seasoned author friends, is a very normal and real thing. But then I sat my booty in my chair, started typing, and sent ideas back to my editor with nary a moment of overthinking, so that was nice. (And new!) As you can see in the picture, I also switched out my plotting board and put up the first few Post-It Notes for my new project. Love this fun milestone! I will continue to brainstorm and write new scenes during my edits. Working both sides of my brain at the same time seems to be good for both kinds of work. Go figure.

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Okay, Oklahoma. We’ve had some glorious sunsets this summer. It’s kind of nice that, even in the middle of a suburbia parking lot, God finds a way to show off. Even when I’m rushing inside the grocery store with 12 minutes left before their cluck & chuck $2.99 meat sale ends, God can take my breath away and remind me to stop and really see.

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After looking for the perfect kimono since last summer, I got this one from LaRue Chic Boutique and can’t wait for it to come in the mail! It takes me forever to make a clothing decision, which is why I rarely get new clothes. It was long overdue 🙂

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source: Bakerella.com

  • As promised, this is the chocolate chip cookie recipe I have been using for years and years. I like to make it with Kerrygold Irish butter and mini-semisweet chocolate chips. It. is. perfect. Bakerella never fails, y’all. Make it this week and give half to someone who could use a smile (it makes 3 dozen).
  • I discovered Christa Black Gifford on a podcast and love everything she writes, including the worship songs I never knew she wrote like “One Thing Remains.” Her recent article on worship  really resonated with me: Why am I ONLY singing about God on the outside of me, around me, pouring over me—instead of the reality of Him living inside of me? Why am I asking God to set me on fire….when my heart is a FIREBOMB of the Holy Spirit that I can never put out? Check it out, friends!
  • Adding some of these novels from Modern Mrs. Darcy’s list to my TBR pile: 9 books you should have read in high school that are totally worth reading now. Some of them, however, I cannot and will not endure a second time. No names mentioned to protect the innocent 🙂
  • Last but not least, my sister Brett Tubbs shared an invitation to step out of the hustle for a second, find your space, and be inspired to stay the course. Love her work and everything she’s learning inspires me so much.

<< in case you missed it >>

Why I'd Love

  • I started a series about why I’d pick age 30 over who I was at 20 any time, starting with the friendships. Can’t wait to continue this series next week!
  • It’s a new month! I’ll be sharing my July goals + how I won and fell short with my June goals soon!
  • Keep an eye out on The Writer’s Alley for my list of recommended writing podcasts! It goes live on Tuesday.

That’s it — a short representation of my special crazy this week! Have a happy long weekend celebrating our great nation.

(Unless you’re international, in which case, just make sure to celebrate for no good reason <3 )