Category: Lifestyle

  • Things I’m Digging – April 2022

    It’s hard to believe that it is May as I’m typing this. The year is flying by. April was a great month for music. Here are a few things I was into in April

    Crooked Tree – Molly Tuttle


    This album was on heavy repeat all month. It’s all the things I love – good lyrics, folk/Americana music style. This is a great album to check out!

    People say I'm different and my way of life seems strange
    I took the road less traveled, twists and turns along the way
    But like the crooked tree, 
    I'm growing stronger day by day as the clouds roll by
    A river never wonders why it flows around the bend
    A mountain doesn't question how it rose up from the land
    So who am I to wish I wasn't just the way I am? Who am I?



    An album that was too long in the waiting but well worth the wait. JOHNNYSWIM is one of those bands that I can listen to over and over. I had this album on repeat for the first week and in heavy rotation since then. All the songs are just perfect. One of my favorite songs is “Desmond’s Song” – yes, it is named after Lost’s tv character Desmond and even has elements from the TV show throughout the whole song. The first time I heard it I got goosebumps.

    Beautiful dream, lost in a moment
    Woke up too soon to find you're gone
    I would've stayed right there forever
    Had I known
    Tell me you're here, not just in moments
    Tell me you'll find me in the light
    I'll give you my hand, my always
    Find your way back to my life

    Fringe –

    This was a show I watched from episode one. It’s the perfect sci-fi show with parallel universes, time travel, strange creatures, and more. A lot of people thought it was a modern-day X-file and while there are elements of the strange and bizarre Fringe took all that a step further and created multiple universes, alien invasions, and has a mad (but lovable) scientist behind the F.B.I special division. Fringe ended in 2013 and I had been wanting to do a rewatch. This winter I decided was a perfect time! I loved this show, even more, the second time around – no waiting week to week or several months between episodes. I caught a lot more themes through the show and nods to other sci-fi shows. If you are looking for a great watch check this show out. Warning it can be a little gross at times.

    I watched it on HBO Max. 

    DegThai –

    Thai street food is right up the road from me. I’ve had the Pad Thai with chicken several times this month. If you are in the Nashville area this place it amazing. I also have a little love affair with their Thai Green Tea.

  • Books I’ve read in 2022 (so far)

    It’s already April. Spring is here, and as we get ready for longer days of spending time outside, I wanted to update my reading list for 2022 so far. This winter was full of a few really good reads.

    This winter, I read more novels than I’ve read in a while. It’s been a good break for my brain and a trend that I want to continue. I’ve never been a big novel reader. I’ve read the Harry Potter Series and many young adult popular series. I grew up reading Stephen King, but my jam has always been books that pushed me to change my thinking, productivity, Christian living, etc. But, I’ve learned that giving my brain a break helps me soak up what I’ve been reading and gives me room to allow the ideas to form in my brain.

    Currently Reading

    This is a book that I’ve been reading for awhile now. It’s an amazing book but I find myself only reading small sections at a time so I can soak it in. It has already helped me reshape the way I approach some daily habits and tasks. I’m about 1/2 way through this and would highly recommend it.

    Ripple Effect

    2022 Books I’ve Read So Far

    Shadow & Light – Tsh Oxenreider

    This was my advent book, so it’s technically a 2021 & 2022 book, but I finished it at the end of the Advent season in 2022. Nevertheless, it’s an excellent guide for the advent season and one I would recommend for your next advent season.

    Shadow & Light

    On Beauty and Faith – Alabaster Co

    Alabaster creates beautiful Bibles, but I am drawn to their articles and books on faith, art, and spirituality. They have a great small collection going, and this one was a great addition. Each chapter covers an aspect of beauty like art, mystery, justice, etc. They offer a refreshing perspective on beauty and faith.


    East (book 1) and West (book 2)- Edith Pattou

    This two-book series follows Rose, a wander in a family of homebodies. A daring adventure with a bear, a magical castle, dwarfs, all while figuring out who you really are. Yes, it’s a young adult book, but I found it a magical escape.

    East and West

    The Midnight Library – Matt Haig

    I was unsure about this, but I kept seeing it everywhere, and I’m glad I read it. As I read this book, I felt like I was watching a movie. The imagery is spectacular. I found Nora to be a very relatable character. The situation she finds herself in is one that many can relate to. This book does deal with suicide and depression but is a strong read.

    Midnight Library

    The Last Thing He Told Me – Laura Dave

    Mystery, intrigue, multiple lives, and more. This book has it all. This book reads more like a movie script. I found the story compelling, and it makes me want not to put it down. I would have liked to see a few plot lines developed more, but this is a read I would recommend.

    the last thing he told me

    Peace Is a Practice – Morgan Harper Nichols

    Nichols is great. I get her daily emails and follow her on Instagram. I’ve read her poetry books and loved them, and while I did like this book – I did not love it. It seemed a bit long. I found myself skimming over large sections of this book. I’m guessing this was just the case of it was not the right time for me to read this book.

    Peace is a Practice

    The Genius of Jesus – Erwin Raphael McManus

    McManus is one of those authors that I read everything he puts out. Some of my favorite books have come from him, but to be honest, this was not my favorite. There were some good nuggets in this book, but I struggled to get through it. The reviews are stellar, so I’m guessing this was just the case that it was not the right time for me to read this book.

    The Genius of Jesus
  • Brevitē- My new Everyday Carry Bag


    First of all, let me say that I’m a camera bag addict. I have tried almost all the major camera bags on the market. I have purchased a lot of them. I currently have five bags sitting in my office closet (I’m selling a lot of them). I have tried messenger bags, slings, backpacks, and fashion bags – all of them. I have had bags from ONA, Peak Design, Lowepro, ThinkTank, Tenba, etc. I have tried hundreds of bags over the years.

    For the last several years, I’ve been using the Peak Design slings, and they are great bags, but I started finding them lacking for my everyday carry (EDC). I had to carry my bigger headphones, water bottle, lunch bag, and phone in my hands, and then I started dropping stuff. So I went on a search for a better bag. I had the Peak Design 20L backpack, which is excellent for trips, but I did not want to carry it all day – every day. So I took to Google and Youtube. I ordered a few backpacks and returned them because they were not quite right. Then I came across Brevitē on Instagram. The bag looks like a backpack I would have carried in junior high—nothing fancy but stylish in a minimal way. I started watching videos on the bag and decided to order one. These bags sell out often, so if I wanted the black version, I would have to wait four weeks, and I wanted one sooner than that. So I went with the Royal Blue version. The moment I opened the package, I could tell this was my bag. It’s just the right size and weight. It’s not awkward or too heavy, even loaded with my camera, laptop, earphones, water bottle, and other various things.

    Below is a list of what I like and don’t like about it. This bag is an excellent purchase for someone looking for an EDC to carry gear or who heads out on weekend adventures.


    • I wish the straps were a bit more padded. They are not uncomfortable, but I’ve gotten used to the cushy Peak Design straps.
    • Colors – they have loads of colors to choose from, but I’m not crazy about a lot of them. I like the blue I got but wish they had a dark purple or more stock of the black. I wanted the yellow but was afraid it would get dirty quickly.
    • Smaller pockets – it has big front organizational pockets, but I wish it had a few smaller compartments for things like SD cards, batteries, and AirTag.
    • It would be nice if the laptop compartment had a small sleeve for an iPad.


    • Plenty of room for camera gear. I don’t carry a ton of camera gear every day. So this bag has ample space for adding a lot more equipment than I even own.
    • Has ample storage for things like earphones, notebooks, pens, masks, and personal items.
    • Four compartments in the front storage and big open pockets means you can keep your stuff organized in your bag.
    • Easy camera access – this is a big one. There is a side pocket, so you can quickly grab your camera out of your bag without taking it off. Easy Camera access is a must-have for me.
    • Passport/wallet area – a small pocket is tucked into your back so you can keep your passport or wallet extra safe.
    • Grab Handle – having a top grab handle is a must for a quick grab and go.
    • Luggage strap is excellent for when I start traveling again.
    • Stands up – It’s funny that I did not think much about something until I started setting my bag down, and it stayed up. I’m not ever fumbling to pick this thing up since it’s always upright.
    • Water bottle holder – I have a water bottle with me every day, so having a dedicated spot is fantastic. I loved the Peak Design sling, but there was no place to stick a water bottle.
    • Minimal – this bag does not scream camera bag. It looks like a regular everyday bag, so it does not scream I’m loaded with expensive gear.
  • Five Things I’m Digging – January 2022

    2022 got off with a cold bang in Middle Tennessee. We got more snow than I ever remember getting in my lifetime. The snow and cold have allowed for several days at home to relax, read, catch up on tv, and organize my life. It was a great way to start the year.

    Here are a few things that have kept me occupied this month:

    1. The Lumineers ‘Brightside’ album

    The Lumineers are one of those bands that just put out consistently good music. I added this one to my library the day it came out, and it’s been on repeat ever since.

    Listen on Apple Music.

    2. Creative Pep Talk with Andy J. Pizza

    I took a Skillshare class with Andy J. Pizza last year and have followed him ever since. Andy is funny and sincere. The Creative Pep talk is a great listen on my morning drive; I’ve been listening to an episode every week. Andy’s illustration style is also excellent – like a blast of happiness for my eyes.


    3. Queens of Mystery on Acorn TV

    The second season of Queens of Mystery is a fun, light-hearted British murder mystery. D.S. Matilda Stone wants to do her job as a cop, but her three murder-mystery writing aunts keep trying to help Matalita solve her cases and also protect her from her own mother’s disappearance. A fun little whodunit show.

    Watch on Acorn TV

    4. Elementor WordPress Builder

    There are many ways to build WordPress sites, but one of the most popular is using web builders. There are several big players, DIVI, Elementor, WpBackery, etc. I’ve used DIVI for many years, so this January, I decided to try something different. I bought a pro license and rebuilt my site using Elementor. I’m still learning Elementor but enjoying trying something different. If you are looking to build your WordPress site, I recommend looking into Elementor.

    Find Out More:

    5. Brevitē Jumper Camera Bag

    breitē jumper

    I have a weakness for camera bags, but I think I’ve found one of my favorite bags yet—the Brevitē Jumper. I needed a backpack for my everyday carry (EDC). I had my camera bag, lunch bag, water bottle, over-ear earphones, phone, and a few other randoms when heading into work. I kept dropping things as I was walking in. I was getting so frustrated, so I decided I needed a backpack instead of my small camera sling for my EDC. I ordered the Royal Blue (I wanted black, but they were out of stock) and have been a happy camper ever since. This backpack is not huge or heavy but holds everything I need in a stylish package. I can throw everything in this bag and have one bag for all my EDC.

    Check out Brevitē

    Is there anything that caught your attention in January? I would love to check it out.