Books To Read During This Coronavirus Lockdown – Or Anytime Really

It’s March 19th and, according to my Goodreads account, I’ve read 18 books so far this year.

Of course, a couple of those books are reads that I started at the end of 2019, but that still counts as a 2020 read if I finished it this year.

I’ve really stepped up my reading since giving up social media for Lent. It’s amazing how much time I’ve found to read actual books when I’m not reading long-winded Instagram captions all day. And with so many things being shut down in Ohio to prevent the Coronavirus from spreading, I am home on my couch more than ever. Perfect reading time! I still love a good audiobook, but I’ve sat down to read some actual books and digital books too!

Here’s the list so far:

Continue reading “Books To Read During This Coronavirus Lockdown – Or Anytime Really”

It’s A Great Nursery, Charlie Brown

Amanda Estep Photography

One of the rooms, I was excited to decorate was my son’s nursery. I loved the idea of having a cute little space just for him. What I quickly realized is that the space is for my husband and I too. We do a lot of diaper changes, feeding, reading, and rocking him to sleep in that room.

After much debate, we chose the Charlie Brown/Snoopy/Peanuts Gang theme because both of us love the characters and we thought it was refreshingly baby-appropriate. One of our favorite holiday activities includes watching Charlie Brown holiday movies. We can’t wait until our son is big enough to recognize the characters on TV.

When we embarked on this project, to our surprise, Charlie Brown stuff is hard to find! I’m guessing it would’ve been easier around the time The Peanuts Movie was in theaters. Right now, procuring decor for the nursery has become somewhat of a game to us and whenever we DO find something, we buy it because we feel it’s a rare occurrence.

Between things we’ve found and gifts others have purchased for us, I think we’ve got almost everything we need for the nursery.

Check it out!   Continue reading “It’s A Great Nursery, Charlie Brown”


We Are Not Like Them Review

Started reading it while IN the bookstore, so I had to buy it.

I hated the movie Shawshank Redemption.

I feel that I should tell you that up-front so you know where I’m coming from as I review “We Are Not Like Them”.

I hated Shawshank Redemption because the guy goes to jail for a crime he didn’t commit. It happened in the first few minutes but I couldn’t let it go. And everything after was ruined by the fact that he should have never been in prison in the first place.

That’s how I feel about this book. According to the blurb, it’s about “two women, one Black named Riley and one white named Jen, whose friendship is indelibly altered by a tragic event—a powerful and poignant exploration of race in America today and its devastating impact on ordinary lives.”

That tragic event is that Jen’s police officer husband shoots and kills an innocent Black teenager as he walks home from school. (A fatal case of mistaken identity, utter stupidity, blatant racism and complete and total disregard for human life).

Ya’ll, it happened on page one and I couldn’t let it go.

Continue reading “We Are Not Like Them Review”

Shop Small Spotlight: Tru Man Brand

If it’s been a while since your last shopping fix, how about some retail therapy with fabulous local brands? I’ve been trying to watch my spending especially during these uncertain times but if I am going to treat myself, I prefer to shop small online. I like that I can support local and buy great items without even getting out of bed! I especially appreciate local brands that have an active Instagram account that allows me to personally connect with these phenomenal “mompreneurs.”

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How To Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

For many of us, the past few months have had us rethinking our finances in a big way. Perhaps for the first time, we’re paying attention to what we’re spending, how much we’re making and our overall financial picture.

At a time when it is a blessing to even see a paycheck every two weeks, I want to talk about how we can set ourselves up now to still have money if we were ever forced to miss a payday.

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Bedside Baptist: Worship Songs To Get Me Through The COVID-19 Crazy

“This is not isolation. It’s consecration.”

– Pastor Steven Furtick, When God Says Stop

I am a church girl. I was raised in church. I graduated from a high school that was part of my church. I went to a Bible college that was a part of my church. I met my husband at church. I am raising my son in church. If you’re looking for me on a Sunday morning, more than likely, I am at church. Even when I’m home washing dishes, I am probably listening to a church sermon.

So, even though, all of these “Coronavirus shutdowns” include church, nothing is stopping me from having church in my living room. (In fact, isn’t it ah-MAZE-ing that we can have church in our living rooms? Nearly any worship leader and any pastor in America can be streamed LIVE right to you sitting on your couch in your sweats, one hand holding your phone with the Bible app open and the other hand deep in a box of Teddy Grahams. What a time to be alive!)

I feel as though I have rediscovered YouTube in the past few weeks while being “stuck” at home. There are countless, fantastic, uplifting, worship songs on Youtube. Here are just a few of my favorites that I’ve been listening to on repeat.

Let’s have church!

Continue reading “Bedside Baptist: Worship Songs To Get Me Through The COVID-19 Crazy”

Five Ways To Get Into A Running Habit in 2020

Photo by Rosemary Ketchum on Pexels.com

Last year, after years of procrastination, I decided to get into a running habit in 2019.

I started on December 28, 2018 unable to run a half mile, but by the time of this writing in November 2019, I’ve run two four milers, a 10K, a 15K, a half-marathon, and my first-ever full marathon.

Here’s how I did it and how you can too!

Continue reading “Five Ways To Get Into A Running Habit in 2020”

Moms And Tots Pickerington

As Alexander is getting older, I’ve been looking for activities in a more organized setting such as storytime or Tinkergarten as opposed to just running around a trampoline park or the playground (although I do appreciate those energy-draining activities as well).

With this in mind, I was really excited to check out “Moms & Tots in Pickerington” – a free playgroup for moms and their pre-schoolers! One of the women in my running group started “Moms & Tots” at Pickerington Baptist Church. We went to our first meetup last week and will definitely be back.

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Game Plan: Taking Your Toddler to an Ohio State Football Game

Photo of Joe, Alissa and Alexander at an OSU football game.
Joe & Alexander’s first OSU football game Labor Day Weekend 2019!

I grew up less than 15 minutes away from Ohio Stadium, yet before this Fall, I had only been to ONE Ohio State football game. As a kid, my dad took me to plenty of Spring games. Those are always in April around my birthday, but an actual game? Nope.

Continue reading “Game Plan: Taking Your Toddler to an Ohio State Football Game”

Alexander’s Birthday Breakfast

When Alexander’s first birthday party ended, I said I wasn’t having anymore birthday parties!

It’s not that we didn’t have fun, it’s that planning your child’s birthday party can be SOOOOOO much work!

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How To Make Mom Friends

Photo by Adrienn on Pexels.com

As a new mom, it can seem tough to make friends with other moms. This is especially true if none of your friends have kids or if you’ve recently moved to a new city. You may go to story times or to the park or to other places where moms gather and and feel like everyone knows everyone except you. (If you’re not going to these places, and you desire to have friends, these are good places to start!)

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Our Squats and Tots Experience

Recently, I finished a six-week “Squats and Tots” class and, frankly, the concept is genius and I’m floored there aren’t a million other classes just like it.

Squats and Tots is a 30-minute group, play-based fitness class for parents/caregivers AND their kids. It’s the brainchild of FindWhereYouFit.com founder Lindsay Goodman.

The class takes place at Picadilly playcafe in Bexley or Jewish Community Center.

What makes it so great is that I’m able to get in a good workout *with* my kid as opposed to *in spite of* my kid.

Continue reading “Our Squats and Tots Experience”

Five Creative Must-Have Products for Babies

IMG_2254The other day, one of my friends posted on facebook asking for product recommendations for new moms. I posted several items there and it gave me a great idea for this blogpost.

Motherhood is a funny thing in that when you’re pregnant and go to the store to check out baby stuff (R.I.P. Babies R Us), you feel overwhelmed and feel like you don’t know WHAT to get. Then, as time goes on, after you buy too much of one thing and not enough of another thing, one day, you realize that it wasn’t as hard as you thought.

Of course there are the essentials: diapers, wipes, bottles, pacifiers and a Boppy pillow. But there are also the non-essentials that in hindsight, I couldn’t live without! Continue reading “Five Creative Must-Have Products for Babies”