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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Bondbons (chocolate covered treats) Giveaway!

     Today we have a giveaway from a small business owned by Courtney Bond.  The business is called Bondbons (how cute is that?). Courtney not only teaches high school English, she also sells gourmet cake balls and chocolate treats out of her home.  She has sweetly agreed to give away 12 treats to one hungry reader! 

     The winner may choose between her main flavors: oreo, minty oreo, red velvet, peanut butter, or strawberry (cake). You can choose all the same flavor or a mixture.  (I'm dying to try minty oreo)!  Bondbons also specializes in gourmet cake balls, Oreo balls, chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate covered oreos and more. If you're interested in ordering (um, who ISN'T interested in ordering)?  The best way to reach Courtney is through her Facebook page.  She's announcing her new flavor for May. Go find out what it is!  We'll wait here! :)  

Photos Courtesy of Courtney Bond 


      One of my goals, as a blogger, is to emphasize the importance of adult friendships. I'm thrilled that Courtney is not only a fellow small business owner, but also one of my best friends. Courtney and I met in college and have been Besties ever since! Every summer, she comes to Ohio, and we make a trip to The Gap Outlet & Don Pablo's. Shopping & Mexican food... she “gets” me. Courtney is featured on the blog in this post

     I love that Courtney hosts regular giveaways, features a new flavor every month, and has even used some of her proceeds to help others who are ministering around the world.

I'm so proud of how she's grown her business in such a short time.

     After a miserably cold winter and the loss of two family dogs in just one week, imagine my surprise when a tin of Bondbons showed up at my door! They were so delicious, and I look forward to working with Courtney in the future! 

Here are the ways you can enter! 

A winner will be randomly chosen on Monday with details to follow via winner's email! 

     And as I wrap this I am with Courtney & two of our besties at our College Homecoming. Courtney is the tiny, adorable person on the far right.  ;) 

* I do not know if I am supposed to tell you this or not, but I was not compensated in any way for hosting this giveaway.  I just got the pleasure of talking to Court. on the phone while we planned this little shindig.  No currency exchanged hands...FYI in case you're the type of person who worries about these things. ;)  

Love and I wish I could win, 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Post Haste, or the opposite

Sometimes, I go to put things on Facebook or Instagram, and I'm like, "Wait. I have a blog!"

     Right now, I am in the middle of a Community Group with several women I met through The Influence Network.  It is strange and exciting and ridiculous to love these people I LITERALLY JUST MET, but I feel it nonetheless.

     We are reading the book of Hosea, and the first sentence I wrote down was, "The hardest prayer on the entire planet is, 'Your will be done.'"

     Because basically, God says to Hosea, "Look, I need you to do me a solid and live a pretty ridiculously stinky life because I'm kind of trying to prove a point right now."  (Hosea marries a woman who is unfaithful, and God asks him to name his children horrible things like, "No Mercy.")

It's sad.  But it's for a greater good, and I guess Hosea gets that.

     If my interpretation is wrong, please elaborate/feel free to correct me.  Today has been a weird day.  I ran into Tim at Home Depot today (how weird is it to RUN INTO family members when you are out in public.  Fun/weird, right?)

Me: What do you have?
Tim: It's a big magnet.
Me: What do you need a big magnet for?
Tim: (non-plussed) pick up metal things.

So. It has been that kind of day.

All this to say, feel free to gently correct me.

     Right now, I'm in a season where I do a lot of crying in the car.  You guys.  It's ok.  I'm not depressed.  Everything is fine.  I do not tell you this so that you will feel sorry for me.  It's fine. Really.

     I'm just realizing that sometimes things just take a long time.  They just take a long time.  It is all about, what The Old Timer's call, "Kingdom Living."

Your will be done. 

Commence the crying in the car.  See what I mean?

     One example.  I started The Couch to 5k app on my phone, and I love it.  It's hard.  I had to skip a week because, Hi. Shin splints and allergies.  I could not breathe, guys.  I COULD NOT BREATHE.

     But then the rain came today and washed this entire pollen-covered world clean, and tonight, I had to start on Day 3 Week 3 again even though I should really be in the middle of like, Week 5.

     And at night I come home and I intentionally do not cook the frozen peas because I know I will need to put those ice cold bags on my legs.  On my aching knees.  On my shins.  It's hard.

But it's for a greater good.

And tonight, I kept saying to myself, "Holly. You are not breathing. You have to breathe."

While I ran, I watched the news.  There are boats sinking and planes falling straight out of the sky.

And I think about my sister's kids.

     Tonight, I put my nephew's name on my contact case in permanent marker so I could remember to pray for him (specifically) at night before I go to bed.

     My sister.  She's the mom of a newborn.  She worries.

     And I think about how, when Lucy (3) doesn't want to do something she says, "Um. How 'bout later?"  And I think about how I CANNOT think about how much I love them when I am running because I start to cry my stupid head off and then I can't breathe.
     And I think about how there is a mom sitting cross legged on the airport floor waiting for her once- three- year old who is never coming home. Not even "how 'bout later."

And  I do not know why these things happen.

I do not know.

     But I do know that when I get too distracted by the questions, I also get short-sighted and forget that the Most Important Prayer is, "Your will be done.

(((I'm not saying that planes fall out of the sky and boats sink because "it is The Lord's will.")))


     Tim Keller says, "Our bad things can be used for 'good.'  Our 'good' things can never be taken away from us, and the best is yet to come."  

     Sometimes, maybe life is just hard and you cry in the car or in Hosea's case, you have to make hard choices, and it stinks and then you get to go to heaven.

In a perfect world,  I am articulate enough to get my point across.  Lord, help us all.

Right now, all I really know is that when I click that little workout app and that divinely-inspired voice says, "Ding, ding, ding...start running."

I start running.

I was in no mood to post a "sweat-covered-gym-selfie."  Please accept this blurry photo of my dogs cuddling as payment.

Love and sometimes, it's hard to hit "publish."

Friday, April 25, 2014

Youse Guys & Some Exclamation Points

     Just wanted Youse Guys to know I've updated The About Me & About This Blog sections if you're interested in learning more about all that.  Things are happening!

I wish I lived in the part of the country where you could ACTUALLY use the phrase "Youse Guys."

Let's try to make it work, shall we?

    Every year, I take a trip to Starbucks & Lowe's to get a treat and pick out some flowers for the front yard.  I think tomorrow's the day. Impatiens! Geraniums!  It's a dream come true!

Spring is upon us! I can tell because of the sneezing!  My nose won't let me forget!

I hope you have a beautiful weekend!

Love and Zyrtec knocks me out.  It's amazing and confusing all at once.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Fun, Helpful & Good

My friends! Happy Saturday to you!

     I wanted to tell you that choosing a blog name proved to be way harder than I thought.  You would not believe all the fantastic names that I came up with...

that were already taken.

     One of my ideas was the phrase, "fun, helpful, and good," but eventually decided against it.

However, I liked the idea well enough to turn it into a mini-series of sorts here on the blog.

Every so often, I'd like to share some sites that I'm finding "fun, helpful, and good," in the areas of my own faith, marriage, friendship & home.

SHARE THE WEALTH, am I right?  Here are some links for you!

Faith >>> Meg Romeo has quickly become one of my favorite people on the internet.  As an aspiring runner, I love how she ties her own running routine to her faith.  Always sweet. Always encouraging.  Her post titled "empty from the enemy" really resonated with me.

Marriage >>> I highly recommend Sheila Wray Gregoire's site, (To Love, Honor, and Vacuum).  I love the relevant topics she covers, and I also love that she discusses sex (within marriage) in an appropriate, honest, and dignified way.  There is NO  WAY I could ever do that, and I give her credit for pulling it off!  She covers a lot of questions people have but may be too embarrassed to ask, and I never feel awkward reading her posts.  Now, if you need me, I'll be over here blushing like crazy, trying to act like a mature adult, and praying my dad doesn't read this post in which I mention the word "sex."  Look away, Daddy! Look away!  

Friendship >>>  I recently discovered the website, .  While I'm still navigating and learning about the site, I did find it encouraging that there's a website dedicated to helping people learn how to built more meaningful adult friendships.  Here's a quick passage from their "About" page.

     Lifeboat is a movement of people rediscovering great friendships. We’re not a social network or app. We’re not about grand solutions or complex schemes. We’re about simple things that work. We’re exploring the uncharted art and science of friendships — academic research, philosophy, expert advice and our own heads and hearts—for a better path forward.
The video is pretty cute, too. 

It all sounds good to me! 

Home >>> I have been really enjoying Lauren Brimley's Instagram account @eating_whole.
She also has a blog you can check out here. Sometimes, I look up clean recipes, and it's all...

"Wing of bat...Eye of newt..."


     However, this is not the case with Lauren! I love that she uses ingredients that are easily found at the store and also DELICIOUS.  Avocados, sweet potatoes, brown rice, etc.  I made her chicken nugget recipe, and Tim said it was "FANTASTIC!"

This week, I am making her honey wheat bread  recipe.  If you are looking for clean / yummy / easy recipes, Lauren is your girl!

     I hope you have a great weekend! I'm making one last pot of vegetable soup to carry us through the rest of our drizzly, spring days (it snowed last Tuesday)!

Love and I added spinach and I'm kind of scared, but Tim says it smells good,

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


My Friends!  I am so glad you're here!

Today is the first day of my blog's re-launch, and I'm so incredibly excited!

First, some information for my history nerds ....

     I started blogging in college (circa 2002) using Xanga (can you believe it?). At the beginning of 2008, I switched to the blogger platform, and "" was born.  In the middle of 2013, I re-branded to The Young Museum.  In 2013, I got involved with The Influence Network and attended The Conference in September.

     The Conference blew my mind, you guys.  I realized my space, voice, and overall "brand" could be used as a ministry, of sorts, and my current blog wasn't scratching that itch.

Six months...fifty-eight emails...four hundred and thirty two prayers later...and this blog was born.

     And now, for those of you that like a good (short) story...

     The year 2013 was brutal.  We have a tiny hallway that connects our bathroom and two other bedrooms.  I used to come home from work, sit on the floor, and cry to Tim in that hallway while he showered.

     I started thinking about how badly I wanted a life that inspired "cartwheels down the hall" instead of crying, and...let me tell you...The Lord did not disappoint, cause things are now on the up & up. ;)

With that being said, I'm so glad you're here.

When I started dreaming about a re-brand, I wrote a list of prayers / desires /wishes for the blog and the words to come.

The one that stood out the most...that would become my "Manifesto!" was this...

I wanted The Lord to use this space to help women strengthen their faith, marriages, friendships and homes. 

So... here we are.  With busy hands & an open heart. 

Curious.  Anxious.  Excited.  

My best to you.

Love & I'm so glad you exist,