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15 Things I’m Loving Right Now (And You Might Too)

God and family top every love list ever written.

With that as my starting point, I thought it might be fun to share fifteen random things I’m currently lovin’. If you decide to do something similar on your site, tag me so I can enjoy yours in return.

(Some are affiliate links which simply means I may receive a small compensation but it doesn’t add anything to your cost.)

Now, let’s get started!

 

1.

How We Love Study / Discover Your Love Style, Enhance Your Marriage by Milan & Kay Yerkovich. Brian and I are working through the book/workbook. We appreciate how the authors point out that marriages don’t actually begin at the altar but rather, in our childhood. It’s biblically-based and doesn’t bash parents (because what parent hasn’t made mistakes?). It does, however, open up communication and foster understanding.

2.

The Creative Pauses Facebook Group. As an extension of the Creative Pauses from The Tiny House on the Hill community, this group offers a place to converse, encourage, and inspire. It’s a space to pause, catch your breath, and be filled with biblical truth through fun and meaningful ways. We’d love for you to join us!

3.

Thymes Pine Needle Frasier Fir candle. This crisp scent of cedar drifts through our home year-round. Its fragrance so bright I can almost hear branches breaking every time I breathe in. Sweet mercy, where’s my flame lighter?

4.

The Tiny House on the Hill. The last time I wrote a similar post, the tiny house was but a dream. In 2019, it became a reality thanks to an awesome husband and one and a half year’s worth of weekends. Now, it’s used for writing, reading, Zoom meetings, and so much more. What a blessing!

5.

Travel with God Journal. I wrote about it here and mentioned it in a recent interview because God continues to awaken me to His work and ways through it.

6.

The Blue Ridge Mountains Christians Writers Conference. Seeing friends I’ve not seen since 2019, sipping coffee in The Clouds, spiffing up my skills, and worshipping day and night. What’s there not to love?

7.

My “Rain…Coffee…Books” sweatshirt. Because, well, that pretty much sums it up right there.

8.

Les Miserables/An Engaging Visual Journal by Victor Hugo. It was a gift ⏤ and what a gift! Lovely illustrations pepper the pages, bringing this classic to life.

9.

Proverbs. The old adage may be, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” but I say, “A Proverb a day keeps poor choices at bay.”

10.

Starbucks Iced Matcha Latte. This green powder cranks up the brainpower without the jitters.

11.

Treadmill. Brian’s doctor recently reminded us that to move is to live so we set aside our space concerns and ordered an inexpensive but get-it-done treadmill. It sits as pretty as you please in our den but it can fold in half and be rolled into the hallway when needed.

12.

“Ooly” Color Write Fountain Pens. This pack of pens is pure delight! The colors are beautiful, vivid, and the ink flows across the page like glass. The best part? I purchased them at my favorite shop in Black Mountain, NC. See #13.

13.

Sassafrass on Sutton. This is my favorite gift/book shop, hands down. This hundred + year-old store sits in the downtown area and holds a floor of books, literary goodies, and items I’ve not seen elsewhere.

14.

Zinc gummies. The blackberry-ish flavor tastes almost like dessert. Yumilicious + strong immunity = score!

15.

Eucalyptus shower spray. This spray had me at the first spritz. Immediately, I transported back to the “eucalyptus room” in a ladies spa where my friends and I used to sit on tiny-sized ocean blue tiles inside a large glass room filled with billows of fragrant steam. Come to think of it, maybe it’s the mingling of eucalyptus and memories that make this shower spray such a delight.

 

So, what’s something you’re lovin’ these days? 

 

The Beauty of Venturing Out to Unfamiliar Places This Fall

by Cathy Baker

Last week, we made our way up to the highlands of NC to Blowing Rock. Its downtown area is much like a village with charming boutiques and dangerously delicious ice cream shoppes lining the streets.

One of the loveliest perks in venturing out to new towns is meeting people you would never meet otherwise, like Sheri Furman, owner of Take Heart.

Sheri, along with her staff, go out of their way to make you feel right at home in their cozy cottage-like setting. Purple-planked walls, Scripture quotes on pillows, wooden canvases, etc. As the young ladies lovingly wrapped my purchases in lilac colored tissue paper, one of them smiled and shared how they’d also tucked in a bag of fresh lilac for my birthday. Yes, this is my kind of place.

Not just because of the boutique itself, which is lovely…

 

 

 or the white-planked floors and funky chandeliers…
but because of Sheri and the two young assistants who turned a simple walk-through of a store into a delightful experience. As we were leaving, one of the girls asked if we wanted her to take our picture on the bench outside their door. Although the exposure to sun worked against us, it’s still a picture we’ll treasure as it caught a moment in time that will always remind me the beauty of venturing to unfamiliar places.
Thank you, Sheri and staff! {Instagram: takeheart_nc}
Take a moment to consider an unfamiliar place, town, store, setting that you could visit this Fall. Stay alert to the blessings you discover along the way. I’d love to hear about your adventure!
 

Take Heart
1009 Main Street
Blowing Rock, NC 28605

 

The Fragrance of Love: An A-mazing Tiny House

Tiny House

Yes, I LOVE Tiny Houses!  I’m especially drawn to those on the whimsy side, much like the one featured below.

 

Look closely. You may just spot Hansel and Gretel nibbling on the roof.

 

These A-mazing (pun intended) chalets were built in the ’70’s as a vacation rental community in Blowing Rock, NC. Today, they’re sold to private owners.

My guess is that these tiny house houses are propped on the side of ski slope. Can you imagine skiing all day and then coming back to sip hot cocoa by a mod fireplace in this special space? I can’t help but wonder if orange shag carpet might have been involved.

Blowing Rock, NC has a rich history of skiing. Appalachian Ski Mountain began in 1968. It was the first ski area in NW North Carolina and the second oldest in the state.

As a teenager, I drove to the mountain with friends but hunkered down in the ski lodge while they made their way down the mountain. Hey, somebody has to hold down the fort.

A whimsy A-frame at its best

I love how these tiny houses were lined up one-by-one like petit fours on a silver platter waiting to be enjoyed.

 

After all, nothing says cozy like a tiny community.

 

This introvert’s dream tiny house, however, is propped in the middle of nowhere, surrounded only by mountain air and the sound of a stream all astir.

 

A line of A-frame tiny houses in Blowing Rock NC
How about you? Could you see yourself in one of these A-frames? If not, where would your dream second house be located? 
 “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
– William Morris

 

Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Mini-Getaway



by Cathy Baker 

{ Day 20 } 

When’s the last time you packed an overnight bag, loaded up your car and escaped for a mini-getaway?

Chimney Rock, NC

Brian and I did just that this past weekend as we wound our way up the mountains to celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary (which is actually today!) Our first couple of days were spent walking the bustling streets of Hendersonville and Chimney Rock, sipping down handcrafted coffee, and scoping out new antique stores. 

We also stopped by Justus Orchard, where we were greeted with a waft of winesap apples and all the fixins. Let’s just say two freshly fried turnovers and a dozen warm apple cider doughnuts (a first for us!) hitched a ride on our way back to Saluda that afternoon. Unfortunately, I have a feeling they’ll continue to hitch a ride with me for weeks to come.

(For those visiting the NC area: Dozens of orchards are scattered throughout Henderson County but Justus Orchard is a fun experience for the entire family. Children can ride in mini-trains pulled by tractors through the orchards, pet the Alpacas, and go in search of the perfect pumpkin.)

On Saturday, however, things shifted to a slower pace. Brian went to a record show for most of the day while I snuggled beneath the rafters of the side porch that hug the Blackberry Cottage. You know, nothing settles the soul quite like watching crisp winds invite the leaves to dance and seeing many accept, bowing gracefully to its direction. 

There, surrounded only by God’s handiwork, 
His voice found no competition.

 
Staying in Step with the Spirit: Whether it’s a few hours or a day, when we intentionally shift life into a slower gear via new surroundings we are breathing life into both our senses and our souls, enabling us to hear the Spirit’s whispers more clearly. 

Heavenly Father, thank You for those times when we can exhale busyness, noise, soul clutter and all other things clamoring for our attention. Help us to catch every quiet moment, hour, or day for Your glory. 



 
“Not all those who wander are lost.” 

 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

#Write31Days past posts:

{ Day 1 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Our Senses
{ Day 2 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Less Clutter 
{ Day 3 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Healthy Relationships 
{ Day 4 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via God’s Creation
{ Sunday }
{ Day 6 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Specific Prayer 
{ Day 7 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs
{ Day 8 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Soul Search (with guest Ginger Harrington)
{ Day 9 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Vulnerability 
{ Day 10 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via God’s Creation, Wk. 2
{ Day 11 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Moonlit Sunroof
{ Sunday }
{ Day 13 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Wild Goose Chase 

{ Day 15 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Paper Bookmark
{ Day 16 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Fresh Start
{ Day 17 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Spontaneous Service
{ Day 18 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via God’s Creation, Wk. 3
{ Sunday } 

Inviting the Greatest Friend of All to the Party

In this cabin sitting atop a steep mountain in the Saluda mountains, gas logs roared, laughter erupted, prayers arose, tears trickled, hot spiced cider simmered, and creativity stirred during long writing sessions. 

I was reminded that:

  • God is sovereign. Things didn’t turn out exactly as we’d planned, but we bowed the knee, embraced His plan, and left the mountain with inexplicable peace.
  • While we may not know what’s going on in the heart of another, God does—and He provides. As His eyes, arms, lips, and legs we simply need to stay attuned to how He wants to use our whole being to love on others. 
  • One can get a lot of writing done on a screened-in porch, sitting on a puffy chaise lounge with a furry blanket and a hot cup of cider.
  • Nature provides some of God’s greatest ideas and highest praise. Care to join for me for a walk outside today? 
  • Some of the best gifts come via techies. Someone in the group surprised us by compiling weekend photos and making a video. The background music? “You’ve Got A Friend in Me”, by Randy Newman. Classic.
  • Never shout “Hey, Buck!” when someone has just taken a big sip of Coke. (Sorry, I know you had to be there, but this will be worth it to the spewer in the group.)
  • The steepest driveways climbs in life can provide God’s most glorious moments. 

Have you considered planning a mini-getaway with friends? Dollars and distance can make for a nice weekend, but it’s only when we invite the greatest Friend of all that it becomes an unforgettable one.

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