Best Friend Friday #7 - Fall Faves

Posted on August 07, 2015 by Sarah Brown | 0 Comments

Fall and school will be here soon. Are you ready for the fresh start, or will you be mourning the passing of summer? I always see Fall as a way to regroup, start over, instill some new habits, and try some new things. For this edition of Best Friend Friday, if you were my best friend, and we were sharing a cup of tea on my dog-hair covered couch, I would want you to know about these cool things to help you start fresh this fall:

Life Lived Beautifully journal: If you are looking for a way to jumpstart your quiet time, Gretchen of Life Lived Beautifully has created an excellent Give Me Jesus journal to help you get your thoughts down when studying Scripture. If you just need a fresh Scripture start this fall, it’s a great way to be intentional. I use it and love it!

Daily Adoration: Sara Hagerty of Every Bitter Thing is Sweet puts out a monthly Adoration list, which is a Scripture verse each day to focus on a particular aspect of God’s character. If you’re feeling like you could use a does of Scripture in the middle of the day, when everything feels overwhelming, I’d recommend committing to a month of adoring God using these lists. It’s a great thing to do over lunch or right when you put kids down for naps.

Le Pens: Now, for something practical, using fun pens can surely make you feel good about starting fresh. I love these Le Pens - they write very smooth, and they also don’t bleed through paper…major win for the new year!

Book club: Want to tackle some more reading this fall? There are some great online book clubs out there that are fun to try out. I’d suggest checking out the one through Incourage, the Influence Network, or the Red Couch book club. Know of any other good online book clubs?

What helps you start fresh each fall? Are you ready for fall, or sad to see summer go?

Posted in Best Friend Friday

Best Friend Friday #6 - Nonfiction that Make You Laugh

Posted on July 24, 2015 by Sarah Brown | 0 Comments

In the last edition of Best Friend Friday, I talked about some wonderful, engaging non-fiction reads that I have really enjoyed in the past year. I had a few people ask me for some nonfiction, memoir-type books that are more fun, not so serious…there are so many!  Here are four great ones to get you started, if you’re looking for something really fun:

Food, A Love Story - a great book by a funny comedian. I found myself laughing out loud at this multiple times. I never knew so much talk about food could be so funny and just plain enjoyable.

As You Wish - If you love the Princess Bride, this is a real treat. The book is written by Westley, and he narrates the audio book as well (many of the characters from the movie also give short audio clips throughout the narration of the book, which is so fun!) It is a great look at how the movie was made, with some really interesting facts and humorous stories.

Yes Please - This is one of those that everyone seems to know about or read recently….I enjoyed it too. Pohler does an excellent job of being very humorous but also talking about some bigger life issues in a really uplifting way. I really enjoyed the audio book on this one as well.

Carry On Warrior - Also diving into some tough life issues, this book is a great mix of serious and comedy. I found myself understanding and nodding my head in agreement at many parts, while also laughing out loud numerous times too. Real good read, with the touch of humor you need.

What would you recommend as a fun nonfiction memoir-type read? Have you read any of these?

Posted in Best Friend Friday, Books, Summer

Best Friend Friday #5 - Engaging Nonfiction Reads

Posted on July 10, 2015 by Sarah Brown | 0 Comments

If you’ve followed along here for a while, or follow me on Instagram, you know that I read lots of books. I often get asked for book recommendations, but whenever I mention a nonfiction book, many people give me the “ewww” face and tell me they aren’t interested.

Some of my favorite reads from this past year have been nonfiction books, and if you haven’t read a nonfiction book in a while, summer is a great time to give it a try. Here are some of my favorites that are easy to read, suspenseful, and extremely interesting:

Being Mortal: So, if I told you this was a book about death and dying, would you still be interested? Hang with me - it’s very good…a real look into what it is like for the older generation who is facing things like nursing homes, hospice, and upcoming death. Written by a doctor, he questions decisions doctors make and how they talk to older patients in medicine today. Not morbid - instead, very eye-opening.

The Smartest Kids in the World: I think everyone knows that American students are not scoring as well as many other countries in the educational realm. A journalist looks into why this is, traveling to different places, as she learns about the top-scoring countries. She delves into how and why other countries do so much better than Americans. Fascinating look at our educational system!

Five Days at Memorial: Anyone who hangs out with me has heard me talk about this book in the past few months. I loved it! Detailing the horrific conditions in a New Orleans hospital after Katrina, and the decision some doctors made to euthanize patients, it read like a mystery novel to me. It’s a tad longer than some, but worth it.

Just Mercy: A lawyer who works to help those on death row, this book was shocking to me in so many ways. I learned so much about how our legal system works (or can fail to work) in death row incarcerations. It was also a wonderful book about compassion and what one man can do to help another. Really great read.

Have you read any good non-fiction books recently? What would you add to this list?

Posted in Best Friend Friday, Books, Summer

Best Friend Friday #4 - Starting Something New

Posted on February 13, 2015 by Sarah Brown | 0 Comments

It’s been a while since I have done a Best Friend Friday around here…so time for another. I’ve had a few people ask me recently about resources or ideas when starting your own company or starting a blog, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite books focusing on that topic.  So, if you were my best friend, and we were sharing a cup of tea on my dog-hair covered couch, I would want you to know about these great books:

Let’s All Be Brave: A wonderful book by a wonderful author, Annie Downs does a great job touching on how fear really holds so many of us back from doing what the we are passionate about.  I read her book this fall before officially starting Glowing Local, and it was extremely influential in pushing me to trust God! 

Start with WhyThis book by Simon Sinek was inspirational in so many ways when I read it a year ago. As a Christian in business, I want the Why of everything I do to be about Jesus. This book helps give you a great frame of mind for putting your Why into perspective - why are you doing what you are doing?

We are All Weird: Super short read from a favorite author Seth Godin, this book really narrows in on niche markets, and how you don’t have to be everything to everyone. As Godin says, there is a new “era of weirdness” these days, and in business, it can be great to embrace that.

Make It Happen: Just finished this excellent book by Lara Casey, and I keep going back to it over and over. We can chase money, self-glorification, others' perceptions, acceptance…or we can chase Jesus. A great read for anyone thinking about what’s important in business and work.

What great business books do you recommend, especially in regards to starting something new?

Posted in Best Friend Friday, Books, Goals

Best Friend Friday #3 - Organization for the New Year

Posted on December 19, 2014 by Sarah Brown | 0 Comments

In between Christmas and New Years, I always spend time getting myself organized for the new year. With balancing working at home, while taking care of a 3-year-old, I have to stay on the ball, or I don’t get anything accomplished. 

For this edition of Best Friend Friday, if you were my best friend, sitting on my dog-haired covered couch, and we were sharing a cup of tea, I’d want you to know about these great products to get organized in the New Year:

Live Life Beautifully Journal: I am most excited about using Gretchen’s new 52-week journal. I have used a prayer journal for a long time, but have never used a journal to really just look at my life. As she says on her website, “this journal has been intentionally designed to help you craft your mission statement, dream big, and plan ways to serve Jesus and remember what He has done throughout the year.” Yes please!

Lara Casey’s Powersheets: I just cannot wait to dig into these (mine arrived yesterday!). I see these as a way to make sure my year doesn’t go by without accomplishing the things that are important to me, while also focusing on Jesus. I have some big dreams and goals for 2015, and these powersheets are going to keep me on task. (I also cannot wait to get Lara’s new book Make It Happen in the mail!)

Simplified Planner: Went with this planner as I am a super simple girl, so this definitely appealed to me. I had been using a weekly calendar, and have switched to a daily one, as I need so much more space than my weekly is allowing for these days. (They are sold out on her website, but saw one at a store the other day, so check out some of her retailers in your area).

Book Journal: Because I read so many books each year, if I don’t take the time to write down my book-thoughts, I will forget too much from the book. This year, I am planning to keep a book journal, to record my favorite quotes, thoughts, and ideas from each book I read. I found this cool Moleskine Book Journal - anyone every used it? 

What organizational tools will you use in the new year?


Posted in Best Friend Friday, Goals, Organization

Best Friend Friday #2 - Organizations that Give Back

Posted on December 05, 2014 by Sarah Brown | 0 Comments

If you were my best friend, and we were sharing a cup of tea on my dog-haired covered couch, I’d want you to know about these awesome organizations that give part of their profits to those in need:

• Better Life Bags – I just love this company, and love the heart of Rebecca who started it. Better Life Bags employs people that otherwise would not have jobs, and also gives a portion of their profits to help local neighbors in need. I was lucky enough to take an Influence Network class with her last month (excellent!), and she also has a great newsletter for small business owners (check out the link on the sidebar of her blog).
• The Root Collective - some of my favorite new shoes, and a wonderful organization that has been blowing up on social media. They give 10% of their profits to support artisans in marginalized communities. And the coolest part?  At checkout, you get to choose which of three charity organizations you want your purchase to support.
• 31 Bits - an amazing company that creates a lot of beautiful jewelry, and some other really cool stuff too. I love the mission of 31 Bits: using fashion and design to empower people to rise above poverty.  How cool is that? Plus, their jewelry is just to die for!
• FashionABLE - I wear a LOT of their scarves in the winter, and get compliments on them all.the.time. FashionABLE works with women in Africa, helping to provide lasting opportunities and jobs, working to overcome poverty through sustainable business. 

    What organizations do you love that give back? 


    Posted in Best Friend Friday, Giving Back

    Best Friend Friday #1

    Posted on November 14, 2014 by Sarah Brown | 0 Comments

    One of my favorite things is learning what my friends enjoy….what books they read, what resources they use to grow in their relationship with the Lord, what activities they have found that can keep my preschooler entertained for the longest amount of time possible, what tips they have for removing black tar from my son’s bottom after an unfortunate incident in the garage this weekend….praise the Lord for friends (and Google).

    I want Glowing Local to be a place where you can find new and fun businesses run by Christian women. A place to find resources that (practically) shove you towards the Lord. A place to point out the good things going around online right now.

    So, to kick off, if you were my best friend, and we were sharing a cup of tea on my dog-hair covered couch, I would want you to know:

    1. Brooke McGlothlin of the MOB society (and author of one of my favorite books Praying for Boys) is encouraging families to have a heart of thanksLIVING this holiday season. As she says in her post, "how great would it be to not only GIVE thanks, but to LIVE thanks.” Follow along with her #thanksLIVING hashtag on her Instagram to see her daily prompts.
    2. Last week, I listened to the Influence Network’s podcast interviewing Gretchen of Life Lived Beautifully. She has some great suggestions on daily quiet times. I have used (and loved) her Give Me Jesus journal for a few months…can’t wait for her new products to hit her store later this month!
    3. I recently finished reading Not By Sight…great read! I usually fly through books, and this one had me reading slowly. I have returned to it recently, rereading applicable sections, as I’ve been studying through John.
    4. Speaking of studying John, have you read Women of the Word yet? If not, ORDER IT IMMEDIATELY. It was eye opening in how I now do my quiet times.
    Have any cool products, books, or companies we should check out?

    Posted in Best Friend Friday, Books