Archives for February 2013

Five Current Favorites

Here are several things that I’ve been meaning to talk about – all in one convenient little post. Isn’t that oh-so-handy?

1. Benefit Erase Paste

Right before Christmas I saw about three or four people mention this product online. I made a mental note to try it, but then I got sidetracked by trying to watch all the Parenthood episodes in record time.

A few days ago I finally bought the Erase Paste, and y’all, it is epic. At least it is for a fair-skinned somebody like me. It brightens that troublesome area underneath my eyes better than any concealer I’ve ever used. I haven’t had any trouble with smudges or creasing, but I do wear loose powder on top of my concealer because I don’t like for my make-up to look “dewy” (after all, I’m Southern, so if I look “dewy” that generally means that I am burning slap up in the middle of August).

2. David Crowder Band’s Give Us Rest

I know. I KNOW. I’m a year late to this particular music party. And when the album was released a year ago, I knew that it was brilliant and memorable and whathaveyou, but it never really caught on with me, probably because I was way too busy being obsessed with the last album by The Fray.

But now? BUT NOW? I cannot quit listening. This album is absolutely beautiful, and it is such a gorgeous account of a life of faith: belief and doubt and struggle and surrender and despair and joy and hope and Hope.

3. These crackers

Seriously. They make all the other crackers so jealous. Because THEY’RE THE BEST ONES.

4. Capri Blue Volcano Candle

I don’t like super-flowery fragrances, so I tend to gravitate toward stuff that is a little more herb-y or citrus-y. This candle falls in that latter category – and in the most mild, lovely, unobtrusive way.

5. This soup recipe

I made this soup last night, and at first I thought, I don’t know – it could be a little weird. But it was and is so delicious. We had the leftovers tonight. It’s totally hearty (LO, EVEN MY HUSBAND AGREED) but not too heavy or creamy. I will definitely make it again. And you don’t even need a crockpot – I made it on the stove in 20 minutes.


(Yes, I know that the whole “Fancy” thing is random.)

(But I was thinking about the Reba McEntire song, and it seemed like the right thing to do.)

(It was my one chance. And I didn’t want to let you down.)

Winners Winners Fried Chicken Dinners

Well, I drew for the five winners…

…and then I felt like there needed to be more winners because, well, did you see all those comments?

So I drew for three more winners.

See? I really am slightly codependent. But it really is one of those books that you want all of your girlfriends to read so that you can talk about it and quote your favorite lines and tell your own versions of similar stories.

And truth be told, I probably would’ve done a drawing for three more copies if I weren’t afraid that Tyndale (Melanie’s publisher) (mine, too) would put me on giveaway lockdown for the rest of my earthly days.

(They really wouldn’t do that.)

(But I didn’t want to push my luck.)

Here are our winners.

657 – Sharon Edge
514 – kaki
512 – Beth
203 – Tonya
158 – Cherry
68 – Aubrey Williams
405 – Kathie
496 – Leslie Mertz

I’ll be sending y’all an email very shortly, so keep an eye on your inbox.

Thanks so much, everybody, for making today such a fun bloggy day. And if you didn’t win, you certainly don’t have to miss the Sparkly fun; you can order a copy from Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, LifeWay, or any of your favorite online or local retailers.

You may have picked up on the fact that I highly recommend it.

Five By Five: A Sparkly Green Earrings Giveaway

SparklyGreenEarings4 from Big Mama on Vimeo.

So this morning I was thinking about what a big week it is for Melanie and her book and everyone who’s going to get to read her book because it is hilarious. And touching. And fantastic.

And then I decided that I have some sort of codependent enthusiasm disorder that causes me to be over-the-top excited about something going on with a friend – to the point that other people might be tempted to ask me to HUSH IT, POR FAVOR.

Regardless, I am so proud of my sweet friend, and since I am in fact beside myself that her book releases this Friday, I thought it would be fun to do a little impromptu giveaway. I haven’t even told Melanie that I’m going to do this, primarily because she would try to talk me out of it.


So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m giving away five copies of Melanie’s book, Sparkly Green Earrings: Catching the Light at Every Turn – but you only have until 5 o’clock central time on Tuesday to enter the giveaway. A little after 5 o’clock I’ll draw for five winners, and I’ll notify them by email ASAP. And if you’ve already ordered a copy of the book, feel free to enter and then give away your prize if you win. I’ll even have it shipped to someone else if you want. Just please make sure that your email address is accurate when you leave your comment since that’s the way that I’ll contact the winners.

So. If you’d like to enter, just leave a comment with your answer to this question: what’s your favorite song right now?

(I have no idea why I picked that question.)

(But let’s just run with it.)

Remember – you have to enter the giveaway by 5 o’clock central. PM, of course. Because if you think I’m going to wake up at 5 in the morning to moderate giveaway comments, then perhaps I should introduce myself.

Can’t wait to see who wins!

(Well, really you’re all winners.)

(At least that’s what pageant emcees say.)

(And you know what? I believe ’em.)

This giveaway is now closed. Winners will be notified shortly!

An Alternative To Watching The Super Bowl

All righty. The Super Bowl is on, and since we rarely watch the NFL in our house, I’m not really involved in the game. I mean, I want for the guys who played for Mississippi State to do well, and I’m glad that they’re having successful pro careers, but truth be told I’m pretty much just counting down the minutes until it’s time for Downton Abbey.

(By the way, I’m typing this post while wearing my pajamas and sitting on my circa-1965 gold sofa with a blanket wrapped around my legs. So it strikes me as somewhat fitting that I’m biding my time for my “story” to come on PBS. Maybe I can find a couple of re-runs of Barnaby Jones to watch in the meantime.)

(WHICH REMINDS ME: last weekend I was flipping channels when I ran across an episode of Charlie’s Angels. It was from the Kelly / Sabrina / Kris years. And I have to say that the plot wasn’t quite as riveting as it was when I was in elementary school and stayed up to watch Charlie’s Angels re-runs on WGN.)

(Also, they obviously weren’t anticipating a day when viewers would be able to pause their DVRs and clearly see that HEY, THAT STUNT DRIVER REALLY ISN’T KELLY NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT.)

(I was also troubled by how frequently the angels wound up in car chases with shady men who were driving large Ford sedans.)


We had really nice weekend, which was a welcome shift from All The Emotion of our week (and I cannot thank you enough for all of your sweet comments about Ally…I couldn’t get over how many of you also had to say good-bye to animals last week, so I hope you had better weekends, too). Friday night I went with my friend Leslie to hear Kelly Minter teach at a women’s conference in here in Birmingham, and it was so, so good. We went back for the second session Saturday morning, and then I came home so that my people and I could spend the rest of the day together.

After lunch we went to look at washing machines since our house is apparently in the throes of a mid-life crisis (it recently turned 40) and is demanding ALL NEW EVERYTHING. I’m almost scared to recount everything that has had to be replaced in the last year for fear that the dishwasher will read this over my shoulder and decide OKAY! I’M DONE!, so suffice it to say that our washing machine is the most recent home appliance casualty. We can’t really complain, though, because we’ve had our current washing machine for fifteen years, and D has rescued it from certain peril at least twice. So it was time. And the new one gets delivered tomorrow, oh hallelujah.

Saturday I also found out that my friend Elise’s son led his soccer team to the 6A State Championship in Mississippi, and y’all, it has tickled me to no end. His team won 3-0, and I’ll have you know that G scored all three of those goals – WITH HEADERS, NO LESS. I am so proud of him (and of all of Elise’s boys – they are hard-working and funny and handsome and funny and respectful and did I mention that they are really funny?).

OH! OH! Saturday afternoon we went to LifeWay after we looked at washing machines, and MELANIE’S. BOOK. WAS. THERE. In an actual bookstore. I jumped a little and then I took a picture and then I checked on it one more time before we left. Just to see if it needed anything. Like maybe a light snack or a bottle of water.

Make no mistake. I was annoyingly excited.

Saturday night I watched three or maybe even four episodes of Chef Wanted on Food Network. It is FASCINATING. I even got a little teary-eyed at the end of the episodes when someone would walk away with a real-live job, and clearly the first part of this sentence is a strong indicator that I may still be registering on the high end of the emotional sensitivity scale.

After church and Chuy’s and a trip to the grocery store that I could not avoid, I spent most of this afternoon in the kitchen while the boy and one of his friends played outside when they weren’t running back inside for a glass of water or a piece of candy or a different sword or two sheets of paper or grocery bags. It was gorgeous here today, and they had a blast. I made potato skins (in the spirit of the game that I’m not watching) and salad for dinner, and while the potato skins were absolutely delicious – seriously. SO tasty. – they were definitely not a make-in-a-hurry meal. They were more like a make-over-the-course-of-four-hours meal. But they were such a hit that I will probably make them again.

Okay. Now it is time for the Downton. So I’m going to stop talking / writing now. And yes, I realize that this was probably the most boring post in the history of ever, but it was a low-key weekend.

My very favorite kind.