Friday Favorites: May 2017

Something to try: Healthy Farm Girl Deodorant

I am continually on a quest or find natural health and beauty products that work. Something I’ve always been trying, but failing to find something that works? Natural deodorant.

Your average deodorant has dangerous chemicals and there is nothing good that can come from antiperspirant. After trying a salt stick (messy and fairly ineffective even after a month) and Tom’s (had a mystery ingredient I was allergic to—nothing like a rash in your pits!) I had all but given up on my search.

And then a lovely blogger friend of mine introduced a deodorant line in her natural beauty product store.

This stuff is amazing! I’ve worked out, danced at concerts, ran the streets of Grand Rapids to make a meeting on time and have smelled great all the while. I highly recommend this product. Even after 24 hours of travel on vacation, I still smelled fresh. (-ish, because let’s face it, plane grime is a real thing.)

My scent is wildflower, but I can’t wait to lemon grass vanilla. There are also some more masculine scents for the bros out there!

Order yours here!

Something to drink:Adagio Tea

The lovely folks from Adagio Teas gave me an opportunity to write about their great teas and products. I have been in tea-drinker heaven! I have greatly enjoyed the quality of their teas and the passion they have poured into telling people about their product.

Check out their line of teas! They even have fandom teas for all my nerd friends out there.

Something to read: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

My dear friend Kelsey and I made reading lists for 2017 based off the Modern Mrs. Darcy 2017 challenge this January. One of the categories on my list was A Book from a Genre I Usually Avoid. For me, that is sci-fi. (Don’t hate me!)
It’s no secret that I get the same buzz off a Penny & Sparrow album that I do off a great novel. On their latest release Let A Lover Drown You is the song “Gold”. The song was inspired by the novel Red Rising by Pierce Brown. I had fallen in love with the song and was intrigued to read the story behind it.
It’s a kind of complicated plot to synthesize, (not to read—enthralling to read) but basically Darrow, a red, discovers—at the expense of everything he holds dear—that his life as a pioneering miner under the surface of Mars is instead slavery to a higher cast, the golds. To bring retribution to the death of his wife, Darrow is disguised as a gold to infiltrate their system and bring it down from the inside. I could NOT put this book down. Loved being surprised and thoroughly sucked in by a genre I’ve neglected.

Something to watch: This. PLEASE!

Working in social and digital media day in and day out, I see a lot of people doing it right. I see a lot of people doing it wrong.

Basically, if you’re on Snapchat or Insta, feel free to have your videos vertical. If you’re anywhere else, PLEASE! For the love of all things holy, make sure you’re filming horizontally. I die a little any time I see a vertical video on a non-vertical platform.

Also, this video is just plain hilarious.

Something to listen to: Addendum

Penny and Sparrow and Corey Kliganon released an EP together last week and it’s wonderful. They combine two of their songs into one new one and the result is fabulous, adding a layer to the original songs while maintaining something wholly original.
It’s available on Noisetrade and the proceeds go to Music and Memory.
Download here!

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Friday Favorites: April 2017

I’m excited to be bringing back Friday Favorites! I’m excited to share some sites, products, and worthwhile diversions I think you’ll enjoy.

Something to try: The Skimm

With everything happening in the news in the past year, I found myself getting sucked in and more of my time getting sucked up. And it was soul-sucking.

I needed to set a boundary, but I still wanted to be informed.

Enter The Skimm.

The Skimm is an email that arrives in my inbox every weekday morning. It’s basically SparkNotes for the news. I get all the highlights with links for further reading. I’m able to keep up with the major events in the world, but I don’t have to let it eat up my day.

My favorite Skimm is Friday because they include some great book recommendations.

Subscribe and try it for yourself here!

Something to follow: Grit and Virtue

A friend showed me a killer Instagram account a couple months ago and I have come to love not just Grit and Virtue’s Instagram, but all of their content!

Written to empower young professional women, I have resonated with so much of their articles. If you want a great preview, I recommend you read this or this.

Something to read: Grace is Greater

On my 30-before-30 list, I wrote that I wanted to have a deeper understanding of grace. God’s funny because the next book to cross my desk was Kyle Idleman’s latest, Grace is Greater.

As a follow up to his book Not A Fan, Idleman wanted a chance to explore grace is a way he didn’t get to in the first book. He pulls no punches and his words bring God’s grace into vivid realization.

I found the book to be deeply encouraging and the freedom I found in thinking on it’s themes was so needed.

Pick up your copy here.

Something to watch: Jane the Virgin

While we were both going through Gilmore Girls withdrawl, a coworker recommended Jane the Virgin as a new drug of choice.

The show is a satirical telenovela featuring Jane, a devout catholic young woman who’s grandmother guilted her into maintaining her virginity until marriage. Due to a doctor’s mishap during what was supposed to be a pap smear, Jane finds herself artificially inseminated with her bosses baby…and it only gets crazier from there.

The writing is witty, the acting is spectacular, and the clothes are really fun. Jane the Virgin has become a wonderful guilty pleasure and is the perfect show to start if you’ve found yourself in a rut. The first two seasons are on Netflix!

Something to listen to: Georgica Pond

I had the pleasure of getting to see Johnnyswim live last month. It was a great show and, yes, they are that beautiful in person.

Their sophomore album Georgica Pond released last year. The songs are simultaneously rough and smooth in it’s blend of R&B and Americana. Listening to it this winter has been a burst of summer. If you’re looking for something fresh for your playlist, Georgica Pond is the way to go.

Friday Favorites: April 2016

April Favorites

Something to try: Austin, TX

Earlier this month, a co-worker and I got to go to Austin for a conference. The conference was great, but we also loved getting to explore the city at night. So many quirky shops and great food trucks (food trucks!!!!), I was pretty much in heaven.
I’m looking forward to a girls weekend trip there soon.

Austin at dusk. I snapped this photo while racing across Congress Bridge to avoid watching the bat colony below fly out. I failed. Bats are gross.
Austin at dusk. I snapped this photo while racing across Congress Bridge to avoid watching the bat colony below fly out. I failed. Bats are gross. The capital in the distance is cool though!

Something to click: MOCKINGBIRD

This online magazine has been great source for thoughtful and intelligent discussion. I’ve been really impressed by the diverse voices and great writers that make up the content here. These folks tackle philosophy, current events, literature, Netflix…ya know, the important things.
Check out some of my favorites over the past few weeks here, here, here, and here.

Something to read: SURPRISED BY OXFORD

In my quarter-life crisising, I’ve been playing with the idea of starting a masters. Most of that was inspired by this wonderful memoir. Carolyn Weber recounts her first year of grad school at Oxford University—where she just so happened to encounter Christ. Equal parts thoughtful, funny, and just downright smart, I could not put this book down. And am still trying to figure out if I could get into Oxford…on someone else’s dime. (Or quid, as it were.)

Something to watch:Upstairs Neighbors

If you’re living in a small apartment with loud neighbors, this is what is happening. Glad YouTube could solve the mystery for you.

Something to listen to: LORD HURON

This was one of the best concerts I’ve been to. Saw them in October and am still geeking over it.
I’ve been hearing their music everywhere as of late and they are on the roster for all the major festivals this year, and yet so many people I know have not heard of them.
The band’s front man is telling a multi-medium story through not only the music, but music videos and even a comic book. Such brilliant artistry and just plain great music.

Friday Favorites: March 2016

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So I am aware that today is April, but like a fool (see what I did there), I totally forgot to publish this last Friday…And you can’t post a Friday Favorites post on any other day. That’d be weird.

So March was reading month and I took advantage of it to take some books off my reading list and add some to it. Here is the fruit of that labor:

1. A Prayer Journal—Flannery O’Connor

Flannery is way out of my league, but if you want a mentor on the written word through the written word, she’s the way to go.
For Christmas, my sister had picked up my subtle* hint that I wanted a copy of the short story master’s prayer journal and I’m so thankful she did.
O’Connor shows beautiful vulnerability and insecurities that are easily echoed by so many writers. I read this in one sitting and loved it.
*By subtle, I mean I sent an email with accompanying Amazon links. I’m smooth like that.

2. Me Before You—Jojo Moyes

I am not a romance fan, but I love a good love story…and a candy read in the airport. I’m headed to Austin in a few days and wanted something simple and fun for the travel. I started this a couple days ago and think this will really fit the travel bill.
I would also like to say that I am bringing along a favorite literary journal to save face among the Austin hipster set…

3. Restless—Jennie Allen

I bought this book a while back to read with a friend for two reasons: 1.) The title said it all when it came to what we were feeling in our opposite life stages and 2.) The internal design is really great*.
…But then we got too busy between her two kids and my unpredictable work life to actually read the book together. I dusted it off earlier this month and have appreciated what I’ve gleaned so far.
*Maybe you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but you can judge it by the internal design. And who are we kidding—you can totally judge a book by its cover!

4. The Dark Sea of Darkness—Andrew Peterson

The title says it all.
…And if the title doesn’t say it all, here’s a little more: This is the first book in the Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson (who is also a musician). It’s a fabulous children’s series and a modern classic. It features quirky creatures and great dialogue and a completely original world. And who doesn’t need a good middle-grade read?…as a mid-twenty something…don’t judge. You know this is the one recommendation on this list that interests you the most.

5. On Beauty—Zadie Smith

I’m attending the Festival of Faith and Writing later this month at Calvin College*. Zadie Smith is one of the key note speakers. I found this book at a fantastic bookshop in Battle Creek a couple weekends ago and am hoping to polish off this novel before the conference. It’s a little more arty than I tend toward, but I’ve often felt that way about books I’ve picked up at the festival and they’ve always ended up being some of my favorites.
*No, I don’t get a pay raise for mentioning them…that’d be nice though…I think the blog might take an unfortunate tangent for a while…

What books have pulled you through the month of March? Any recommendations I should keep an eye out for? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

Friday Favorites: February 2016

unsplash_525f012329589_1I’ve accumulated a year full of awesome favorites and I’m so excited to unroll them with you over the next year. So here’s how Friday Favorites are going to work from here on out:

Each month I will be highlighting something to try, something to click, something to read, something to watch, and something to listen to.

Now, without further ado, I give you:

February 2016

Something to try: Less screen time

The year is still young and new starts are always encouraged. Here’s what I’m encouraging you to try this month. For one hour each week for the next month, I want to challenge you to turn off your phone.
Seriously.
Turn it off. Leave it in your purse. In another room. Just. Walk. Away.
And go have a conversation with someone. Like a real person. Or read a book. Like with physical pages and a binding.
Really, just do something without a screen. Except maybe microwaving. Microwaving usually leads to the heating of things like doughnuts. Yes. Turn off your phone and heat up a doughnut.

Something to click: Rifle Paper Co.

Looking for a great calendar or stationary?
Rifle Paper Co. has such adorably designed products. Seriously, I can’t get over their stuff.

https://riflepaperco.com/shop/calendars/2016-alice-in-wonderland-calendar/
A page from their 2016 Alice in Wonderland calendar

Something to read: Arts & Entertainments—Christopher Beha

ArtsEntertainment-pb-cI heard Christopher Beha speak at the Festival of Faith and Writing in 2014. He is an extremely thoughtful writer who may just be our generations answer to Flannery O’Conner.
Arts & Entertainments starts as a realistic fiction novel revolving around failed actor Eddie Hartley, who is now a high school drama teacher. Eddie and his wife struggle to have a child. To afford fertility treatments on a high school teacher salary, Eddie sells a sex tape of him and ex-girlfriend-turned-hollywood-starlet.
The fall out is an incredible satirical ride that ends up holding a mirror to the reader’s world. By the end, it feels like a dystopian novel in the best way possible.
Unnerving and unputdownable. (It’s a word.)

Something to watch: Suits

The great Suits mid-season cliffhanger is about to be relieved!!!!
In the meantime, share a great moment with Donna and Harvey.

Something to listen to: Penny and Sparrow

This is by far the one I’m most excited to share this month. This duo opened for Drew Holcomb and I kind of liked them more than the act I payed to see. Beautiful lyrics, great composition, and fantastic stage presence. Seriously. These guys are hilarious…despite what their heavy lyrics would lead you to believe.

Anything by them is worth a listen. So rich. So good.

Friday Favorites: September

Why hello there!

Thank you all for your grace in my absence from the interwebs on Monday. I started a new job that has been going well so far. My brain is pretty tired after learning so many names and the ways of a new company, but I am so thankful for this opportunity.


So I promised Friday favorites for the month and Friday favorites you shall have! Here are my top five material loves over the past month. Check ’em out and I hope you enjoy!


1. Daily Monday Planner


The calendar on my ipod is great, but I always remember things better when I physically write them down. Solution? A great planner, of course. Vera Bradley had a good design I used for a while, but they changed their design and my needs in a planner I now different than they were when I was in college.


A friend pinned a link to a planner website and I fell instantly in love. Daily Monday produces a great product. It’s a fill-in planner so you can start the dates whenever you would like. I use the month calendar for my appointment schedule and then the weekly calendar for my to-do list that I keep running for all my freelance projects. I am loving it so far and would highly recommend this design! 


2. Postmodern Jukebox

 I love old music. Really, I love music in general. While procrastinating with the help of YouTube, I came across something that was way too cool!

Postmodern Jukebox takes the latest pop songs and re-imagines them in vintage style.  Some of my favorite covers are a 1920’s version of ‘Fancy,’ a 60’s cover of Ellie Goulding’s ‘Burn,’ and a vintage soul cover of ‘All of Me’. There’s a lot more and it’s a great selection of creative covers.

3. Love and Respect Now

There’s just something really fun about talking about relationships. I love talking male-female dynamics, dating, singleness, boundaries, pretty much anything surrounding love and marriage and the ups and downs of the two.

A friends passed along a link to Love and Respect NOW, a ministry focusing on the concepts of the popular marriage book Love and Respect in the context of the lives of adults ages 18-35. They have a

blog as well as a regularly updated youtube channel I would highly recommend checking out. I’ve appreciated her persective on being single well, what it really means to ‘guard your heart,’ and what is this thing called ‘respect’ and why are guys so crazy about it? Truly great things coming from this ministry.

I now have a major woman crush on Joy Eggerichs. Seriously, this woman is great with blending truth, wisdom, and humor. She and some wonderful guest bloggers tackle the issues and questions coming from today’s singles, dating folks, and young married folks.

Also, I fantasize about going to coffee with Joy… that’s not creepy right?… don’t answer that.

4. Divergent review from Film Fisher

Growing up in a Christian home, a lot of the movies I was watched were first reviewed by my folks on PluggedIn from Focus on the Family. And after the site would denounce the movie, usually I still watched it. The site really just counted the ‘sins’ in the movie not taking in context or purpose of such things in the film.

Anyway, Film Fisher takes the same concept with a much more intelligent approach. Their review of Divergent was brilliant. Really, you need to read it. So great! He touches on some great concerns surrounding the post-apocalyptic kick everyone seems to be on. Also, the writers has some great man-beard action going on.



5. Chaider

It’s chai. With cider. Nuf. Said.

But seriously, this is really good and if you’re in the West Michigan area, you have to hoof it over to Clique Coffee Bar and try theirs out. So good!

Friday Favorites: July

This month we’re back to a classic Friday Favorites post. I’ve been saving up some random loves that I am quite excited to share. Here’s some random favorites for you to check out and see if you might enjoy!

1. This Disney Short
This video was so lovely. ‘The Duet’ wordlessly tells a beautifully simple love story in a matter of minutes. Definitely worth taking the time to watch.

2. This Owl Mug

Last week I bought a mug on a doughnut run for work. It was an adorable owl mug that I figured would be nice to use the small stock of tea bags I had on my shelf in the office. It’s odd, but having the mug there and the ability to have tea during breaks really helps me keep my sanity at work. I have added this to the list just to suggest that a small little happy in your day goes a long way. What’s a small thing that helps you step out of your complaints and reminds you that life is gift?

3. This Engagement Shoot… fur real though…

See what I did there? If not, well, just take this in for a minute.
I am a sucker for odd pins on Pinterest. Those pins that seem so illogical. Like why? Just why? A friend and I stumbled upon this one and found it so charming and just plain odd, I had to share it with you guys. I present the bear-head engagement photo shoot. This is a really thing. It’s whimsical and features wonderful photography. The couple is also wearing bear heads. This is a thing, people!

4. This Web Series
The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy is one of my new favorite things on the internet. For any fans of the Lizzie Bennett Diaries, I would highly recommend this. This adorable series is a re-telling of J.M. Berries Peter Pan set in modern day Ohio. It’s so precious. I really can’t get over how adorable the actress who plays Wendy is. This is a very fun way to kill four to seven minutes of your life at a time. Check it out!

5. This Band
I’m not a rap fan.
That said, a friend introduced me to Movits!, a Swedish hip-hop group. It’s like Mumford & Son’s rapping to jazz. And it’s a lot of fun. Check out this playlist. I hope you enjoy it!

March Favorites: March’s Reading Month

So it’s not Friday… and this is the fourth week in March, not the third. But here is March’s Friday Favorites post! (Better late than never right? Besides, I was on a roll with the Mexico post cards!)

I remember in elementary school always loving March. March is National Reading Month! In school, we always got more reading time, and would be read-aloud to more often, and got prizes for reading books through the month. It was heaven for little book-worm me!

Fast forward to this month, and this has been a sad reading month. My favorite bookstore closed.*sniffle* I was stuck in an airport with a rather disappointing novel–the only novel I brought with me! *sob* I missed some of my favorite writing people at the Jot conference held a couple weeks ago. *wail*

So to bring this pity party to an end, I complied a small list of books I hope to read in the very near future. Here’s the list!

What I’m Looking Forward to Reading in the Coming Weeks:

1. American God’s–Neil Gaiman
Gaiman is just brilliant. Can we all agree to that? I actually started this one last week and am pretty hooked. It’s a little odd and not for the kiddos, but I am enjoying the read.

2.Sense and Sensibility–Joanna Trollope
I love retellings. I love Jane Austen. Anybody there with me? The Jane Austen Project is an attempt for fairly popular authors to tackle a modern re-telling of each of Austen’s works. This was the first one out there and I’m pretty excited to get my hands on it!

3.Adam and Eve After the Pill– Mary Eberstadt
This one is a non-fiction book recommended by a mentor after talking about the current state of sexual deviance. It sounds interesting.

4.The Brother’s K–David James Duncan
A friend told me that this book was one of her favorites. She said she had never cried so much or laughed so hard at the hands of a novel.

5.The Sentinels of Andersonville–Tracy Groot
Tracy is a wonderful writer who is gifted in historical fiction. Her latest novel focuses on the Andersonville prison during the Civil War. I am itching to get to this one.

What’s on the top of your to-read list right now? Let me know in the comments!

Last Minute Gift Idea: December Favorites

Many many moons ago, I decided I was going to have lists of five favorites every month and that only happened once. I was going to call it “Friday Favorites” and every Friday rolled around with no dice*. Well, if you’re looking for last minute gifts for the bohemian in your life, here are five ideas that may help you finish up your shopping!

1. Ipsy Glambag 
Do you have a make-up junkie in your life? Ipsy is a great site for make-up tips and tricks as well as product recommendations and deals. I recently subscribed to the Ipsy Glambag and have fallen in love. For $10 a month, you can subscribe for you or a loved one to get name brand, full size beauty products sent to your door. I have recently come into the possession of some great products not to mention a fabulous little make up bag. If you subscribe, be sure to add me as a referral! I’m on their site as LexFromBohemia.

2. Frozen
My love language is not gifts. Don’t get me wrong, presents are nice, but they don’t make me feel any more or less loved. My love language is time spent. One of my favorite ways to spend time is dinner and a movie… and maybe coffee afterward. This month, I had the pleasure of going to see Frozen with a couple friends. Disney has done it again. On a scale of Princess and the Frog to Tangled, it is definitely on the Tangled side of the princess spectrum. It’s a wonderful story about sisterhood that really makes me wish I could watch it with my own sister! Buy movie tickets for your loved one and spend a night on the town!

3. Decomposition Books
Looking for a gift for the writer in your life? Look no further! I love a new notebook!… Maybe a little too much since I have more empty than filled, but still love a good notebook. Decomposition books are made out of recycled materials and have great vintage designs on both the inner and outer covers. I bring mine whenever I plan to write but won’t have my laptop. It’s been a creativity saver for sure.

4. Jane Austen Novel’s
Unless you haven’t realized, Jane Austen is one of my writing heroes. Actually, if God wasn’t writing my life, I would hope Jane Austen was. I love reading Jane Austen around Christmas. There’s just something about reading about regency life in front of the Christmas tree that just feels right. This year, I’m reading Persuasion. Canterbury Classics has a beautiful leather bound copy any Jane Austen fan would love to own.

5. Black Pumps
I have a shoe addiction. And I love getting wardrobe staples as gifts. H&M has some wonderful classic pumps that have easily become my favorite shoes. Any shoe-loving lady will love these simple, timeless pumps. Comfortable and stylish. I have worn mine with cocktail dresses, dress paints, and jeans. Pretty much any chance I get to wear them, I do.

I hope this helps for the preppy bohemians in your life you have yet to buy for.
Merry Christmas! I hope you are blessed by this season!
xo,
        –Lex

*You see what I did there?