This Week’s Miscellany: Vol. 87

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Summer is officially here in Florida. Breezy morning and sunny, sweaty afternoons. I adore the windows open days before the “shut the front door! You’re letting all the air conditioning out!” days arrive (which will be any minute now). We made fresh mint ice cream from mint from our herb garden this week to celebrate and it was SO GOOD:

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Book Love:

Jen Fulwiler’s memoir, Something Other Than God finally arrived in my mailbox this week. I tried to read it the afternoon it arrived, but it’s hard to make a quadruple recipe of Shepherd’s Pie, watch three kids, and read. I finally got started yesterday and I’m already more than halfway through. I’ll give a longer review after I finish, but y’all….it’s wonderful. So wonderful. I knew Jen was a good writer from following her blog but…I really wasn’t prepared for how much I would love this book. My plan for the day is to post this, read Jen’s book, and ignore all the housework.

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Your Fashion Advice:

Wow! Y’all really stepped up when I asked for some wardrobe advice! If you missed it, I tried out Stitch Fix this week when I couldn’t decide what I wanted to keep, Daniel suggested that I ask my readers to help me. And it was SO MUCH FUN. Here’s what I heard from most of you: Keep #1, the blue shirt and #5, the dress. #4 is nice but send it back if it’s not in the budget. And that’s exactly what I did.

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Blue shirt! Blue shirt!

There were some strong votes for Shirt #4 and I did like it. But I decided I could only afford my two favorites, so I sent it back. A minority pointed out that they didn’t like the color or cut of the dress. I LOVE the dress, so I bought it anyway (and I wore it to the park yesterday and DIDN’T SWEAT AT ALL which is miraculous for May in Florida). But for those of you who thought it washed me out or was a bit too boxy in shape, I’m gonna pair it with a bright blue cardigan and belt it with a thick brown belt for when I want to look nice and not just survive Florida summer. It was really fun to hear all of your thoughts! There were some strong opinions! I loved it. If any of you try out Stitch Fix, you’ll have to let me know how you like it!

This is one of those posts that I just can’t reply to all 100 amazing comments (100?! Whoa!) without running out of time to write a new post for today! So, a couple of FAQs: Some of you wanted to know how to get the blue shirt. It’s by by Renee C. and I can’t remember the exact name for the style but I know it included “Tucker splitback” so I hope that helps! And my jeans are just plain ol’ Old Navy skinnies. The Sweetheart style.

The Quotable Benjamin (5 years):

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Things I love about this: LOTR audiobook box as hat, gloves for May in Florida, the hole in the sock.

I have discovered the secret to parenting a five-year-old boy. Just provide said child with a new giant box of LEGOs every morning. There may be minor interruptions to your day when child asks you to help with a step here and there. But mostly, you can read Something Other Than God by Jen Fulwiler all day long.

Now, if only I could AFFORD to live by my newly acquired secret plan! I saved up for a couple of months to get Benjamin this Star Wars LEGO set.

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He played with it FOR 9 HOURS STRAIGHT. King of Snacks could barely even stop building to eat breakfast and lunch. In his words, “I’ve been so good today. Ya know…I think it’s because I’ve been so busy building LEGOs that I didn’t even have TIME to be bad!

Me: “Do you need help with your LEGOs?
Benjamin: “No. I just want you to be in here. I wouldn’t call myself the person who likes being alone.”

I wouldn’t call you that either, son. Oh, most extroverted of extroverts.

Oh, remember when we buried our Alleluia rock? Well….we may have forgotten exactly where we buried it.

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Is it just me? Or is he suddenly huge and all grown up? I’m telling you, five is a super cool age.

The Quotable Lucy (2 years):

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I love this old soul.

Daniel: “Lucy, sit down in your chair and finish your oatmeal.”
Lucy: *puts on Darth Vader mask* “I’m not Lucy. I’m Darth Vader.

 A Little Change at Carrots:

This week I took a little leap of faith and left my publishing network. What’s a publishing network, you ask? Many bloggers join them to generate a little bit of advertising revenue. The publishing network manages ads that you place on your blog. The problem with this, for me, is that although I could opt out of categories that I was morally against (I could say that I didn’t want any ads featuring birth control, for instance) I wasn’t crazy about advertising products that I didn’t buy myself or wouldn’t be excited to share with my readers. So there’s no longer a “Blogher” sponsored ad at the top of the site. Instead, there’s an ad for a book I can’t WAIT to read and is on it’s way to my mailbox. And an ad for Stitch Fix, a service I use and love. Ad revenue is kind of a must since this blog is part of what makes it possible to stay home with my kids and homeschool. But I want any ads you see here to be products I’m excited to share. If you think your business would be a good fit for Carrots, shoot me an email at to find out more about working with me.


Janeites, here’s the Motherhood and Jane Austen Mansfield Park wrap-up chat I did with the lovely ladies of Gidget Goes Home, The Quirky Bookworm, and Melissa Camara Wilkins. It was really fun to get to interact with the comments from y’all during the live chat and you know I always love to have a chance to talk about my beloved Fanny Price.

Surprise! You’re Gonna Be a Dad! LOL Goodluck!: Daniel Bearman Stewart

The Best Swimwear for Every Body: Janet Sahm for Verily Magazine (OK, so I LOVE Verily. I was so sad when they stopped making a print version of their magazine. And one of the things I love the most is that they never photoshop their models. Real women.)

I am Catholic Pt. 1, Sex and Other Things (But Mostly Sex): The Fike Life

Banana Egg Pancakes (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free): SortaCrunchy (I wanna try these!)

 Last Minute Mother’s Day?

And JUST IN CASE you need a last minute Mother’s Day Gift, today and tomorrow (May 10th and 11th) you can use the discount code MOTHERSDAY at checkout to get our ebook version of Feast! Real Food, Reflections, and Simple Living for the Christian Year for $3.99 (50% off!).

And if someone you love is struggling with infertility or has lost a child (during pregnancy or after birth), remember to pray for her this weekend and let her know you’re thinking about her.

Lots of love,


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  1. says

    Thanks for the link to the Little Oratory book! I plan on getting it! And your kids are too cute! Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

  2. says

    Hi, Haley! Thanks for much for the reminder to pray, this weekend especially, for those longing to be mothers. Good, good reminder.
    Also – AMEN SISTER to your FOOL-PROOF plan for occupying boys. You totally nailed that one. Every day my husband and I are trying to figure out ways to afford new Legos 🙂 (How come you can NEVER find them at yard sales??) If my oldest had some new Legos, the rest of us could go on vacation for a few days and he would never know 😉 Plus, they’re the one plastic toy I can handle in copious amounts all over the floor because, you know, “engineering and creativity.”
    I’m also looking forward to reading The Little Oratory (I think my prayer group has chosen it for our next read/discussion!)
    Thanks for a fun TWM to read while my husband is putting the kids to bed. I should go help him…
    Happy Mother’s Day to you!

    • Haley says

      I know! I really wish LEGOs were more affordable. I even tried out this rental service once (like Netflix for LEGO) but it took so long to get the next set that we could have just bought a new one to keep, so I ended our subscription after a month. Sigh. I guess we’ll just try to save up 😉

  3. says

    For Mother’s Day, my five-year-old gave me a small painted box he made at preschool, decorated with bits of colored rock and shell. I barely had time to exclaim over it when he whisked it away, took it to his room, and returned with it full of Lego people. (I was thinking of using it for earrings, but maybe not.)

    So yes … we’re pretty into Legos around these parts, too. 🙂

    • Haley says

      Too cute! One of my favorite things is when Benjamin tells me about how he’s going to get me all the LEGOs in the world when he grows up and has a job. It hasn’t crossed him mind that it might not be as exciting to me as it is to him, but it’s so sweet!

  4. says

    Just wanted to say kudos to you for leaving BlogHer. It seems like so much blogging these days has become about making a quick buck–not that there’s anything wrong with generating revenue, but, as you said, who wants to advertise products you yourself don’t want or need?

    This shows a lot of integrity, Haley, and it’s just one of the many reasons I love your blog. Keep fighting the good fight! 🙂

  5. Jaime says

    Something Other Than God is fabulous!!!!!!!! I couldn’t put it down. Cover to cover from 8:30 pm to 2:30 am (still paying for that today)! So glad I stumbled upon it on your site and now follow Conversion Diary in addition to your blog. I feel like I finally found some Mom bloggers I relate to on some levels. I’m a Catholic convert, Mom, general surgeon, kinda crunchy, ultimate frisbee playing, bread baking, book reading type who doesn’t always know where she fits. Looking forward to your future posts!

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