5 things I am hearting right now

I am in a season of massive clean-out. If I were pregnant, I’d call it full-on nesting mode, but nobody preggo here. Except for maybe my garage (recently purged of students’ hockey sticks stored for the summer and other detritus). My garage might be pregnant with possibility. Yikers. I’m also cleaning out my office at the university–more on this later.

Marie Kondo (Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up) told us to examine the joy that sparks from our possessions and I imagine like most folks, it’s a whole lotta junk. The following, however, are a few of the things that are sparking joy in my life. Some affiliate links may follow but this is in no way a paid post. Kendraspondence is merely a wannabe lifestyle blog, just waiting for Gwynnie’s goop level status.

1. The famously oh-so-buttery LulaRoe leggings. I was skeptical about the one-size-fits-all leggings since my stubby legs result in a BFF relation$hip with my tailor. Color me surprised when the LLR leggings my friend Kimberlea sent me fit perfectly with a delightful cuffing at the ankle. If you don’t have a LulaRoe consultant yet, consider joining my friend Kimberlea’s FB group. Shoot her an e-mail (lularoekimmy at gmail dot com) and she may add you. She does Pop-Up shops on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Thanks for the butter legs, Kimberlea!
Thanks for the butter legs, Kimberlea!

2. The First Five App. Lysa TerKeurst just wanted her kids to dig into the Bible first thing each morning. Her daughter, a new college student, told her mom what a difference her Bible study mentors made in encouraging her to spend the first five minutes of the day in the Word. TerKeurst was inspired to create this app that serves as both an alarm and a five minute-ish devotional on your phone. The devotionals are very focused and the app itself is aesthetically lovely as it is functional. Available on Apple/Android.

3. Pley.com – This service has saved summer. Parents, you know how Lego sets are uber spendy and the proprietary pieces are all very clever but half the fun is just putting it together for the first time? Pley.com lets your kids “test-drive” just about any awesome toy under the sun. Then you send it back and get another. The website reads, “It teaches children to share and conserve the planet by reducing the amount of toys that ends up in landfills.” Obviously we had the most noble of interests at the fore of our reasons for queueing up this subscription-based “service”¬†for the wee ones this summer and it has been a huge hit. Hat tip to Loverpants who was all over this biz.

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4. This recipe. It was just so stupid delicious. Even though it’s 104 degrees with 500% humidity right now. It’s worth turning on your oven.

Feta Sweet Potato Quiche

5. The Shalom in the City podcast with Osheta Moore. I met Osheta at a conference this past fall. Her heart for shalom–creating wholeness where there is something lacking/hurting–is sincere. The guests she interviews are chosen carefully and the questions she asks are erudite. I’ve learned about so many things anyone can do to bring shalom to his/her community. One takeaway has been that if you are a parent who cannot always serve as a room parent, you can offer to help with auxiliary tasks for your child’s classroom or for an under-resourced school. Examples include cutting out letters for a teacher’s bulletin board during your weekend free time, or offering to do any outside-the-normal-business-hours chore that a teacher needs for his/her class.

Shalom-Steps-6

And you? What are you loving lately?

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Crafternoon with findings from The Refindery

I have a penchant for trolling shops and other emporia that stock old timey estate sale things. Bureau drawer knobs and big slabs of slate. The things I could do with them! The junky things I can make using mod podge and dryer lint!

My personal kryptonite are planks of wood, though. I love a good solid piece of wood that cries out to me, Paint me! Gold leaf me! Take me home!

The Refindery
The Refindery

My virgin visit to Chattanooga’s The Refindery afforded me the ultimate souvenir. A wood plank that was…you might want to sit down for this and grab a paper bag in which to breathe…hand-carved. I know. It was like winning Powerball or giving birth to an heir to the throne and not having to tell the media right away. At least, that’s how I imagine it would feel. Finding your handcut wood and the salesperson at The Refindery saying, “How ’bout $12?”

Boom. Sale. Done and done.

She said it was probably a remnant from someone’s fireplace which was lovely to think about this being a literal part of someone’s hearth.

Here is what happened when I got home:

1. Sanded wood to clean off any excess crud.

The Refindery

2. Painted with acrylic paint and then covered bottom half with chalkboard paint.

The Refindery

3. Allowed to dry and posted some kendraspondence in chalk on my new fireplace fixture.

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I think it looks quite fetching and will definitely return to The Refindery for more woodchips from the Planet Krypton.

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That one time I got to rant on Fox Television

Thanks to Scott Moore at Fox 61 Chattanooga for the invitation to share my true feelings about school drop-off and pick-up. You may remember an extended version of this essay that appears here.

MyFOXChattanooga

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