Favorite Friday: Leave-In Conditioner

Favorite Friday Logo

Thanks to my Birchbox subscription, I found a new favorite item!

With naturally curly hair, I can’t brush my hair out when it’s dry. Unless I want to look like a lion. But I do like to brush it out right after I wash and condition it before it air drys. Naturally curly hair means hair prone to tangles.

When I got this sample-size leave-in conditioner in my box, I immediately loved the smell of it. Then I tried it and loved how it detangles my hair.

I fell in love with Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle (that’s a long name) and bought the full-size of the product! I’ve been using it ever since and love it.



This product conditions your hair, as well as shields your hair from heat and sun-damage. Plus, it detangles.

Here’s the description of the product on Birchbox’s website:

“This paraben- and sulfate-free detangler seals the cuticles (the microscopic scales that compose the outermost layer of each strand of hair). It also smooths and moisturizes, thereby minimizing frizz, while safeguarding color and adding shine. Lastly, it provides protection against UV rays and heat. Happily, it accomplishes all this through a weightless, non-greasy formula that leaves behind an airy floral scent.”

Yep, that about sums it up!

What I Gained from Allume

I recently got back from my first blogging conference. Allume is … well, I’ll let them tell you because their words are much better than mine. Here is the Allume mission:

The Allume conference exists to offer a gathering place for kindred spirits to connect, learn, grow, and be refreshed so they can persevere in being a people who bring hope to the world through the social media medium. We want to reflect His Light in all our spheres of influence. Our goal is to go beyond the surface into intentional blogging and real life living, all to the glory of God. Allume is a one-of-a-kind conference that seeks to engage women by teaching blogging techniques and social media skill while also urging and encouraging women to live fully integrated lives with their faith and family.

That is such a perfect description. If anyone who had a hand in planning or running this year’s Allume is reading this, let me just say ya’ll completed your mission.

Here’s what I gained from Allume …

What I Gained from Allume 2


I knew, for whatever reason, that Allume would be good for my heart. I hoped to learn a little more about blogging and how to do what I’m doing better. I hoped to meet some awesome women and connect with others from around the country who are also running their little corners of the web — people who get it, people who know how much work goes into it, people who struggle with letting the numbers be discouraging. People like me. People who want to write and tell stories.

Allume Nametag

Allume was all of that — I met those people like me. I learned about how to do what I’m doing better. And my heart — well, it’s full. And so was my suitcase!

At Allume, you are given a big bag full of goodies as a welcome. Then throughout the weekend we were given more and more and more goodies. Seriously, this is all the stuff I came home with that I didn’t take with me. Thank you so much Allume people and sponsors!

Goodies from Allume Swag Bag

For each meal, we got to listen to speakers. Not just any speakers, but awesome people who love Jesus and seriously had something to say. I really enjoyed hearing from authors Sophie Hudson, Leeana Tankersley and Shauna Niequist, as well as Logan Wolfram (who was running the show). When we weren’t eating or being given free goodies, we were being given lessons and words during our sessions. I loved hearing about how to be a trailblazer from Annie F. Downs. I’m in the middle of her book, “Let’s All be Brave” right now, and did I mention I got to meet her? Here we are all BFF and what not :)

Annie Downs

Emily Freeman taught me how to write like a hostess, and Jessica Turner taught me how to better use affiliate links on my blog. I loved those sessions!

Then there was the gathering, where we got to go meet the folks who run one of the sponsor companies and hear more about them. I chose She Reads Truth because as ya’ll know from my previous posts, I love that ministry! Women reading the Word of God every day — that’s their mission. I got to meet Amanda Bible Williams (Editorial Director) and Raechel Myers (CEO and co-founder) — don’t let their titles intimate you, these are the kinds of women you can just hang out with! I wish I had gotten a photo with them! I also won a giveaway from She Reads Truth and I was able to get a study pack for one of their study plans. (More on that later)

Oh, and we also got to worship together every day. There’s nothing more refreshing than standing in a room full of people praising God. I loved listening to Judah and the Lion, Alisha Gordon (wish she had sung more!), and Karyn Williams.

Lastly (except not really because I have more posts to come about Allume), we had an afternoon tea party one day. It was so cute sitting down to tea and cookies. But the really cool part was the designs on the cookie. Sunshine! Just look how beautiful these cookies are! I wish I could bake some myself and somehow become a gifted artist to paint sun rays on the icing and then package them all up and send them to each of you. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? And what a way to brighten your day. I’m going to need a whole lot of sugar and flour!

Sunshine Cookies

Stay tuned for more posts inspired by my time at Allume!

House to Home: Guest Bedroom

House to Home

It has been SO LONG since I wrote a House to Home post. Too long. But we finally have another room completed! Our guest bedroom!

Before Bedroom

Guest Bedroom After

Guest Bed

Here is our game shelf. I love playing board games and wish we got to play them more often.

Game Shelf

Here’s our book/storage shelf in the middle of the room. At the bottom of this post, I give you a sneak peek into what’s in those storage bins.

Storage Shelf

Yes, we have a Spongebob stuffed animal. It was a random silly gift from my dad. (family joke)

Above that shelf, I have some wall art. I just used frames and scrapbook paper to make this display.

Wall Art

I love the quote in the middle frame!


I think this is one of my favorite parts of the room. I stained this crate last summer and use it to hold all our extra blankets.

Blanket Crate

Speaking of stained crates, I made this nightstand out of crates too. See how to make your own here. (Sorry some of these photos are fuzzy. I never have and never will claim to be a photographer.)

New Nightstand

Bonus: Here’s a sneak peek into our storage bins!

Sneak peek

We have two bins dedicated to toys. Teddy bears, squirt guns, a princess tiara — all the toy items we’ve collected over the years. We keep them for when our nieces and nephews visit and for our future children. Then I have a box full of craft supplies — my favorite box! The last box is just a mix of random stuff like my college diploma, a video game box and a PT belt.

Check out all the rooms in our home here.

Currently {Vol. 7}

Currently 7

Here’s what I’ve been up to currently

Thinking about: ALLUME. As you are reading this, I’m on my way to a Christian blogger conference called Allume in South Carolina. I am so excited to learn and grow as a blogger, as well as meet other bloggers and make friends. Since I’m writing this a couple days before I leave, I’m thinking about what to bring, what to wear, what to pack, how to get there, where I’ll park, who I’ll meet, what I’ll learn, … a ton of stuff. There are a few nerves, but for the most part I’m so excited that I get this opportunity and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me.

Shouldn’t we feel that about every day? Excited for the opportunity to live one more day for Him, looking forward to seeing what God has in store for us. Hmm sounds right to me.

Praying about: Travis’ eye to heal. He had surgery this week on one of his eyes, so I’m praying for healing and recovery and rest. And since I’ll be gone at my conference, praying that he can take care of himself while I’m gone. I’m also praying that God directs us to the right church for us to call home. We thought we had found it, but alas, it isn’t the one for us. I’m very disappointed and so ready to have a community we can fellowship with.

Listening to: My new favorite song right now is Florida Georgia Line’s song “Dirt.” My favorite lines are, “Makes you wanna build a 10 percent down, white picket fence house on this dirt. You know you came from it, and some day you’ll return to it.” Watch the music video here. It makes me think of my home (where I grew up) and how I hope to move back there someday to raise my family.

Reading: I’m reading “Let’s All be Brave” by Annie F. Downs right now, along with a group of awesome women who I’ve never even met. We are in a book study called The Intentional Filling. Ya’ll should check it out when the next book study starts up! I’m loving this book! Annie has such a great way of writing, like you are just sitting with her talking.

Watching: Chicago Fire is my favorite show ever. And now Chicago PD is right behind it!

Eating: I made Travis’ favorite treat this week to help him recover from his eye surgery. I can’t say I wasn’t happy to make it! Cookie dough pizza — get the recipe here and thank me later.

Working on: This week I went to the Seafood Festival in Richmond Hill. It’s a pretty big deal — like tens of thousands of people come to this event! I did a story about it for the newspaper. It was really cool because Travis and I got in for free, with free up-close parking. We got to go in the VIP tent and eat free food. And I got to interview a couple guys from the headliner band — Blues Traveler! I felt really important, which was nice because I was kind of hating my job that day. So this event made up for it and made me feel good again.

What have you been up to currently?

Check out other Currently posts over at Joyful Life. Or take a look at my past Currently posts here.

DIY Crate Nightstand

(This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting my blog.)

I’ve been waiting and waiting for us to finish our guest bedroom. Everything was done, except there was no nightstand. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money for such a small piece of furniture that wouldn’t be used all that often anyway.

Finally, I decided just to make my own! I think it turned out great!

DIY Crate Nightstand


Here’s what I used:

  • Two wooden crates (I got mine from Michael’s, but you can also get some on Amazon)
  • Wood stain
  • A paintbrush
  • Gorilla Glue


First, I stained both crates with a dark brown to match the other wood furniture in the room. You can do it any stain tone you want, or even paint it a bright color!


Once both crates are stained and have thoroughly dried, stack them on top of each other so all the edges match up. I decided which should go on top based on which one had the best looking top. Some of stain streaked a little, so I used that side in a spot that wouldn’t be seen.


Once they are stacked the way you want, unstack them and lightly rub a damp paper towel over the top of the bottom box.


Then add your wood glue or Gorilla glue. You don’t have to use too much because it will expand.


Then stack your crates again. You want to clamp them together for about an hour to make sure the glue dries. I just stacked a bunch of books inside.


After an hour, your new nightstand is done! You can use it as a bookshelf, stage it with cute decorations, or add small boxes for storage. For now, we just put our lamp, alarm clock and a candle on top, and we put a few books on the bottom shelf.

Crate Nightstand

I love how it matches the crate we use to hold extra blankets!

Blanket Crate

Find out what else is in my guest bedroom here.