Day 4 :: Lyrics

on October 4, 2013 in 31 Ways To Speak Love, TOP 5 FRIDAY with 26 comments by

31 waysI cannot think of a finer writing style than songwriting.


What a songwriter says in 35 lines it takes me 35 paragraphs and you are surely bored at the end of my rant and you’re teary by the end of the song.

It’s incredible.

I never appreciated lyrics much until I moved to Nashville. I watch as my songwriter friends slave over a sentence and rework a few lines and the final product could just take your breath away.

Talk about making your words matter!

So next time you LOVE a song, don’t just think about the performer. Think about the WRITER. That’s the person who deserves the first standing ovation when your heart is moved.

. . . . .

On Fridays, I like to do a little list – we call it TOP 5 FRIDAY.

So today I want to list my top 5 favorite lyrics … that come to mind right now. Because you and I both know that as soon as I hit publish I am going to think of eight more that I wish I could add.


1. Taylor Swift // Everything Has Changed

“All I know is we said, ‘Hello.’ So dust off your highest hopes.”

Seriously. UGH. That’s such a great use of words and the idea of your highest hopes. Beautiful word picture.


2. Joy Williams // Golden Thread

“Just wanna know while everything’s unraveling. I’m hanging on, just hanging by a golden thread.”

I love the sense of hope in a hard time in this line. You just know that a golden thread is worth holding on to.


3. Lady Antebellum // Goodbye Town

“I can’t erase the memories. And I can’t burn the whole place down.”

Genius. When you think of where a heartbreak happened, you know those are the two options. If I stay in this town, I will always remember where the memories occurred. Such a beautiful way to talk about a harsh reality.


4. Meredith Andrews // Pieces

“You are completely known. You are completely loved. This is where you belong.”

I literally can’t hear Meredith sing this line without tearing up. Truth will do that to a person. [But really. EVERY line in this song. EVERY ONE.]


5. Mumford & Sons // After The Storm 

“With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.”

I want this to be me.



So those are my five! What’s your favorite lyric? Write a blog post about it or tweet it or share it below in the comments!

Everyone who comments below is entered to win an autographed copy of Speak Love, the Speak Love Revolution journal, and a brand new CD (that hasn’t even released yet!) from one of my very favorite singer/songwriters, Reeve Coobs.

. . . . .

A few other things:

Because I am a LOVER OF MUSIC, we have built two Spotify playlists for you based on my two books, Perfectly Unique and Speak Love!

Perfectly Unique Spotify Playlist

Speak Love Spotify Playlist

Also, use the code 31WAYS at the AnnieBlogs store to receive free shipping all month long!

. . . . .

So remember to leave your comment below to be entered to win today’s prize pack! 

TOP 5 FRIDAY: So Long Summer Songs

on August 30, 2013 in Sounds good to me., TOP 5 FRIDAY with 8 comments by

TOP 5 FRIDAY is when we each list five of our favorite things, depending on the topic. Feel free to join in via the comments or by posting on your own blog and linking back here. Play along. It’s Friday.

. . . . .

I’m back to work, sitting on planes and sitting at airports and sitting at my dining room table, which means we’ve got a lot of tunes running through my brain. And with this being the last weekend of summer, I’m guessing you could use some new music. I’m not trying to be bossy, but I’m going to tell you not only WHAT you need, but WHEN you need it.

Here are the records that are on repeat right now. Might I suggest you get-chu-some?

. . . . .

WertzI don’t want to exaggerate or make promises that I can’t keep, but if you are looking for a fun send-me-into-fall album, this is it.

Heatwave by Matt Wertz is the brand new throw back that you are absolutely going to want to play with your windows down on a back road Saturday afternoon. This is your heading out of town album, your let’s-send-summer-out-with-a-bang soundtrack.

. . . . .

EllieSweetness Ellie Holcomb. You know her. We like to spend a lot of time together in cars driving to events and she sings and I speak and we have the absolute best of times.

Her new EP,With You Now, is an absolutely beautiful piece of art that you can spend a mere $6 on and it will truly bless you. Wake up early on Saturday, watch the sunrise, and let Ellie sing about your Creator while you watch His creation.

[I’m not kidding. It is really a gift of an EP.]

. . . . .

BenThere just isn’t a voice like Ben Rector’s. Nope, not a one. It is one of the most unique and strong and pleasant things you will ever hear.

It has been a BLAST to watch The Walking in Between do so well, shoot up the charts, and get download one bazillion time. Well deserved, I say. This album is calming yet fun, loud and quiet, serious and smooth. It is just what you want when you’re cooking dinner or grilling out.

. . . . .

Glory RevealedI know, I know. This is such an oldie. BUT SUCH A GOODIE. I’m a big fan of anyone who will put scripture to song, and this is the album is still go back to over and over again.

Glory Revealed is one of the best. If you’re looking for a sitting-by-the-lake album that the whole family will love, this is it.

. . . . .
JohnnyswimPlease. You know Johnnyswim right? You must.

So, here’s what I’m thinking. You’ve had a great weekend, you’re not sunburned just a little crispy and you are realizing it is Sunday night and you don’t have to go to work tomorrow.

Put Heart Beats by Johnnyswim on as you pour a glass of wine or a warm cup of coffee. This is your night ender, the one you’ll remember when you think back on the weekend.

. . . . .

My plan for waving summer goodbye for the next four days?

Watching Georgia football of course because THE DAWGS ARE BACK AND THIS IS OUR YEAR. Playing at the lake. Prepping for a buncha speaking opportunities I have next week [I’ll tell you about it after the weekend]. And just having a great time. Because, you know, I love fun.

. . . . .


What are you listening to that I need to be hearing?

What are your weekend plans?

TOP 5 FRIDAY: Dine fine in Nashville.

on June 14, 2013 in Nash-livin', That's delish., TOP 5 FRIDAY with 7 comments by

TOP 5 FRIDAY is when we each list five of our favorite things, depending on the topic. Feel free to join in via the comments or by posting on your own blog and linking back here. Play along. It’s Friday.

. . . . .

Two posts that continue to be super popular here are my recommendations for brunch in Nashville and lunch in Nashville. [Which, I went to update them and realized that actually, that’s still exactly where I’d tell you to go eat.]

But lately, our finer dining options have expanded greatly and whoa are we grateful.

Now, when I say “fine dining,” I mean, “a little nicer than the chicken nachos at Edley’s.” Today I’m listing some of my favorite celebratory dinner spots – I’m talking birthdays, graduations, parents in town, or a great date.

Okay? Okay. If you want your normal buddies-heading-to-dinner spot, any of these lunch places would be perfect.

So if you are headed to Nash anytime soon, or if you live here and are looking for a nicer place to eat this weekend, take my word for it: any of these meals will bless you.

In no particular order, here are my current five favorite fancy dinner restaurants.

. . . . .


What type of food? : Rustic Italian

Level of love : Really high. Like, every birthday for the last three years high.

Why? : There is not a thing on the menu that tastes less than incredible. The menu changes often, based on the season, but it is all amazing.

Reservations : Make them at least the week of.

Dress : Nice jeans or somewhere around that. No need for a dress unless you wanna, but don’t show up in tennis shoes.

Don’t miss : the kale salad, the gnoche, belly ham pizza

. . . . .


What type of food? : Southern farm to table

Level of love : Growing every time I visit.

Why? : I’ve been here for dinner and for brunch multiple times and I haven’t had a meal misfire yet. They have bragging rights to not even having a can opener in the kitchen, everything is that fresh and handmade. You can’t go wrong with any of their chicken dishes, but if you are braver, go for one of their original and interesting dishes, like fried rabbit, grouper, or hanger steak.

Reservations : I mean, if there is more than four of y’all, yes. But on Friday and Saturday nights without a reservation, you might get turned away.

Dress : Anything is fine really, the staff wears plaid shirts and jeans. But probably not a tshirt and shorts.

Don’t miss : the deviled eggs [three different flavors that change every day]

. . . . .


What type of food? : Sushi / Japanese

Level of love : I mean, if I’m wanting fancy sushi, this is IT.

Why? : Fun ambiance, delicious and fresh fish for sushi, and tons of yummy options for non-sushi eaters. Also, if the weather is nice, sit outside upstairs- it has a beautiful view of Nashville.

Reservations : Not always, but I would recommend it. Can’t hurt. And if you want sushi, you’ll be sad not to be eating here.

Dress : This place can get kinda trendy, so dress how you want [nice jeans, etc] and just make the choice not to feel insecure that you aren’t in a tight black dress with ridiculous heels. You’re happier, I promise.

Don’t miss : The Bomb, Crispy Rice / Spicy Tuna… it has watermelon pop rocks. Seriously.

. . . . .


What type of food? : Super fancy Southern

Level of love : I have only been once, it just opened in May, but it was pretty amazing.

Why? : The historic home is beautiful, and the food was BEYOND. I mean, it was one of those meals that is absolutely unforgettable. We tried a few appetizers and main courses and everything, from the asparagus to the steak to the fried chicken skins to pig tails [no joke] to salmon, was so delicious I felt emotional.

[I’m actually going to tell you all about it next week… so hang on for pics of our meal.]

Reservations : Absolutely and weeks in advance.

Dress : Just nicer than average. Don’t show up after a workout or in a tank top.

Don’t miss : dessert. We had the buttermilk pie and it was a moment. Phew.

. . . . .


What type of food? : Steakhouse

Level of love : Well, it’s serious. Serious love.

Why? : Maybe the best steak in town, certainly the best sides in town. Owned by the same group that also has Virago, you can expect similar ambiance, stellar service, and incredible food.

Reservations : Yes.

Dress : Again, like Virago, people get trendy and club-like here sometimes, it’s weird. But you just wear your pretties and let them do whatever they want to do with their lives.

Don’t miss : macaroni and cheese, the view from the bar, A STEAK.

. . . . .

A few friends are insisting I also give you some honorable mentions…. so you could also check out Watermark, Miel, or Rolf and Daughters. I haven’t eaten at these places enough to Top 5 them, but I’m sure they are great. Because my friends say so.

. . . . .


Have any great recommendations for dinner in Nashville? Or have thoughts on these places? Share, friends!

TOP 5 FRIDAY: Summer Reading List 2013

on June 7, 2013 in I heart books., TOP 5 FRIDAY with 20 comments by

TOP 5 FRIDAY is when we each list five of our favorite things, depending on the topic. Feel free to join in via the comments or by posting on your own blog and linking back here. Play along. It’s Friday.

. . . . .

I love reading. You know this. But I REALLY love reading in the summer. I had a goal early in this 2013 of reading 33 books this year and while it still may happen, I forgot to factor in that I was writing two books as well and that is taking a lot out of me. So I’m going slower than I planned.

My next manuscript is due on July 1, so I’m looking forward to turning that puppy in and reading like crazy in July and August before Speak Love releases.

I’ve spent some time perusing the internet for summer reading lists and popped by Parnassus, my favorite local bookstore, excitedly planning my summer reading.

I’m excited to buzz through these five books [and hopefully a few more] this summer.

. . . . .

LotteryLOTTERY by Patricia Wood

My friend Beth gave me this book to read and says I won’t be able to put it down. I tried to start last night but fell asleep with the book in my hand on page one. So. We’ll try again tonight.



dressesGIRLS IN WHITE DRESSES by Jennifer Close

I don’t know anything about this book except it is on a handful of summer reading lists that I saw. I liked the summaries I have read and it looks good. Have you read it? What do you think?



rogersTHE SIMPLE FAITH OF MR. ROGERS by Amy Hollingsworth

After posting an Afternoon Distraction featuring Mr. Rogers, a friendly reader – also named Beth actually – told me I should read this book. And I looked it up and it sounds super great. The old I get, the more I respect Mr. Rogers. So I think this could be a really fun read.



adasADA’S RULES by Alice Randall

I saw this book on the “local authors” table at Parnassus and it caught my eye. After I read the back, I thought this would be really fun to read and then I could email her and say, “ALICE, I LIVE IN NASHVILLE TOO AND I WRITE BOOKS LET’S BE FRIENDS!” because that’s kinda how our city works.



imaginaryMEMOIRS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND by Matthew Dicks

Okay, seriously. This book sounds SO interesting to read! I don’t exactly remember having an imaginary friend, but I’m sure I did at some point. The idea of reading a book from the imaginary friend’s perspective seems really unique.



. . . . .

So those are the books that I’m planning to start with, but like I said, if I’m gonna get to 33 books in my 33rd year on Earth, I’m really going to have to pick up my reading pace for the back half of the year.


What books are you planning on reading this summer? What would you recommend to read this summer?

TOP 5 FRIDAY: Funny Books

on April 19, 2013 in I heart books., TOP 5 FRIDAY with 3 comments by

TOP 5 FRIDAY is when we each list five of our favorite things, depending on the topic. Feel free to join in via the comments or by posting on your own blog and linking back here. Play along. It’s Friday.

. . . . .

In a week laden with heaviness, I just wanted to share a few books that have kept me in stitches over the last few years. Maybe that’s just what your weekend needs? Some time in the sun, a large glass of lemonade, and a hilarious escape from normal life for a bit.

In random order [except Tina Fey is by far the funniest], here are some of my favorite funny books!

tina is funny like whoa

1. Bossypants by Tina Fey

If you haven’t read this Tiny Fey autobiography, please please do it now. The Kindle version is super cheap – like 99¢ – so that’s awesome. This book will have you absolutely LOLing. Really. I’ve read it multiple times and I laugh again and again.

. . . . .

Ashley. Hilarious.

2.What a Girl Wants by Kristin Billerbeck

When I think about Christian fiction novels that I have read, the Ashley Stockingdale series are the ones that I found to be absolutely hilarious. She’s not one of those characters who does dumb stuff and then spends the whole book getting out of messes [I do not think those books are funny personally]. She just plain has a funny life. And compared to other books of this genre, she definitely is the cleanest while still being knock-you-0ver hilarious. [Y’all know I’m kinda prude-ish in my entertainment, so I prefer cleaner comedy. It’s my life. I’m okay with it. 🙂]

. . . . .

Bryan is funny.

3. Actually, Clams Are Miserable by Bryan Allain

Bryan is hysterical and this book is a super easy read just for funsies. I think it is a great gift for men and, dare I say, a great book to stick in your guest bathroom. [Gross, Downs. Gross.] I read this book on a plane and LOLed in front of God and the stewardesses and everybody. I like it.

. . . . .

Oh Mel. You did it.

4. Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle

This is the funniest read of the bunch that also has the most heart. I love Melanie’s writing and this book is just so much of a good thing. I cracked up and cried in the same chapter multiple times. It’s incredible. And perfectly humorous.

. . . . .

I wanna be friends with you, Mindy.

5. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

I read this book before The Mindy Project started showing on television, and now I want to read it again because that show? It’s funny. The book is great too. She’s just an incredible writer and tells stories so well. I have rarely laughed as hard reading as I did with this one.

. . . . .

I know. I know. I left off a ton of amazingly hilarious reads. I asked people on twitter yesterday what their favorite funny read was, so if you trust people who reply on twitter, check out the list they composed.


What’s the funniest book you’ve ever read?  

TOP 5 FRIDAY: PCOS Resources

on April 5, 2013 in PCOS, TOP 5 FRIDAY with 18 comments by

Forgive my absence this week, friends. I have had a crazy couple of days – major bumps and shifts with some of my college students at church and I’m a little under the weather.

I can’t exactly figure out what is wrong with me, but I know that my body is going through aheckuvalot of changes right now as I’m working hard to treat PCOS as a real disease and change many of my eating and lifestyle habits. So it kinda feels like my body is saying, “Hey, for 2 months we were down with that, BUT GIVE A BODY SOME CHEESE, LADY, OR WE’RE GONNA FLU YOU UNTIL YOU DO.”

You know, toxins leaving your systems probably shouldn’t feel like just another Friday, so I’m grateful that my body is coming more in alignment with how God made me to be, even if it brings on the shivers and the sweats and a bit o’ the weak stomach.


But really. I am. Sorta. I miss cheese and ice cream, but I’m also soooo grateful that I don’t feel sluggish and I’m seeing my body adjust to taking in the foods it can handle well instead of having to fight the disease AND the bad junk I was feeding it. [Sorry, bod. My bad.] I’m praying, every day, that my body would heal itself, from the inside out, as God always intended.

[I’ve gone totes granola hippy. Can you tell?]

I thought I’d share the top 5 resources that I’ve found helpful the last two months as I’ve stepped into this new lifestyle. And that’s what it is- not a diet, not denying myself, but choosing the right things for MY body to help it do all the things it was meant to do.

[Also. Let it be said I do not agree with EVERY SINGLE THING each of these people say. Ok… continue on…]

1. PCOS Websites

  • PCOS Diva : Cheesy name. Totally great website. LOTS of info and recipes.
  • PCOS Diet Support : I love this British gal. She has tons of great info.

2. Documentaries

Call me a granola dork, but I’ve been watching food documentaries a lot of nights lately. Here are my top three favs:

  • Hungry for a Change : I’ve watched this one multiple times. Talks about body, mind, and soul. LOVE.
  • Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead : Fascinating. My body does not need juicing as much as it needs the fiber from smoothies, but I love what you learn from this one.
  • FoodMatters : This one takes some thinking- not as entertaining, more factual. But still very interesting.

3. Blogs

  • Detoxinista : LOTS of great recipes. I have a lot of weirdo restrictions due to PCOS and migraine [no dairy, no dark chocolate, no pork, no red wine, low carb, low sugar, no caffeine] but most of her recipes still work for me.
  • Undressed Skeleton : She’s inspiring and bubbly. I’ve tried a few of her recipes and they’ve been good!

4. Pinterest

I have my PCOS board for things I learn and my That’s Delish board for recipes I want to try, but I’m also enjoying searching PCOS and searching vegan [since I can add meat to any of that but it leaves out the stuff I don’t want].

5. My people

I cried to my mom this week because I am eating nothing that I used to love and my body isn’t doing the things it is supposed to do. [Ladies, read between the lines. Guys, don’t.] And my friends are so totally fine with me being the pickiest eater on God’s green Earth. And my intern loves it because he gets to try new snacks every day at work. My small group? They probably miss cheese and butter. Sorry, gals. It’s a process and I’m grateful for slow healing and really REALLY grateful for people walking right beside me.

. . . . .


Any good websites for recipes? Or blogs? Or food/nutrition documentaries that I should watch? [Or, do you have any PCOS questions I can try to answer?]

TOP 5 FRIDAY: Easter gifts for teen girls!

on March 22, 2013 in Gal Stuff, TOP 5 FRIDAY with 2 comments by

Last week, I got to spend the night at my parents’ house on the way to a retreat in Georgia. As I packed my car up and headed out, a wrapped bag awaited me on the table by the front door.

My Easter gift.

I love that my mom still gets us little treats on Easter. No, it wasn’t a basket full of Cadbury creme eggs, though if I was on death row, I’d be pounding those things.

This year, I got a new book and a worship CD. Less than $20 and I am STOKED about both.

Looking to ship a little gifty-poo to your college gal or want to give the bunny some tips for the Easter basket for Sunday morning?

Here are FIVE EASTER GIFT IDEAS for the teen-ish girl in your life!


[To be cost effective, I just did two products in each basket, but obviously feel free to mix and match. I’m not the boss of you or your Eater baskets.] [And if you go ahead and order today, I think everything should be to you easily before next weekend!]

Basket #1 : for your growing girl

Basket #2 : for your sweet encourager

Basket #3 : for your college gal

Basket #4 : for your fashionista

Basket #5 : for your girl of grace

And of course, toss in some candy, such as, might I recommend, a Cadbury Creme egg or six. Hope this little list helps you get all your eggs in order before next Sunday!

. . . . .


Have recommendations for teen girl Easter gifts? Share!!

TOP 5 FRIDAY: Wanna Reads

on January 11, 2013 in I heart books., TOP 5 FRIDAY with 32 comments by

I’m not a resolution type of gal. I’ve been through approximately 32 new years and I have yet to ever keep my New Year’s Resolutions.

I started failing at resolutions in the 2nd grade. So, as you can see, my issues are deep and long-lasting.

But I have a plan this year that I feel pretty good about.

In celebration of my 33rd year on Earth, I want to read 33 books in 2013. I’ve started a pinboard to keep focus. One down [almost] and 32 to go.

I’ve got a few books waiting in the queue and I can’t wait to read them. So in no particular order, here are my TOP 5 books I’m looking forward to reading in the next few months!

1. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey… this is thanks to Jenna, whom I think is pretty much pure adorable. She wrote about it this week and I immediately emailed it to our book club like PLEASE ADD THIS IN 2013!

2. Leading with a Limp by Dan Allender… last summer, I got to go to Knoxville and visit The Walk, the college ministry at Sevier Heights. Before we left that night, Tim Miller gave us each a copy of this book and pretty much anyone who leads a monster college ministry and hands me a leadership book? Yeah, I’m gonna read it.

3. Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle… This cover alone will make you want to read the book. I can’t wait to dive into Melanie’s first foray into book writing. She’s so so good on her blog, I’m sure the book will be even better. [This book doesn’t actually release until the first week of February, but you can order it now and be surprised when it shows up at your door in a few weeks!]

4. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente… I read about this children’s novel in a magazine and I just knew I couldn’t resist it. I’m neck-deep writing non-fiction right now, so I love fairytale novels that are just fun reading. This one is waiting patiently for me at my local library’s hold shelf. I’ll be making a stop there today to nab it.

5. My One Word by Mike Ashcraft & Rachel Olsen… well, I know I already said I’m not a resolution kind of gal, but my friend Rusty swears by this book, so it’s sitting on the arm of my comfy chair waiting on me to crack it open. I’m gonna. I promise, Rusty.

. . . . .


What books are you looking forward to reading in 2013?

31 Days of Jokes :: 32 Posts + 45 Jokes

on November 1, 2012 in 31 Days of Jokes, TOP 5 FRIDAY with 1 comment by

Why 31 Days of Jokes?

Day 1 : Accessorize

Day 2 : Aging Swimmers

Day 3 : Pappy

Day 4 : Spicy

Day 5 : Top 5 Friday – your jokes!

Day 6 : Good one, man.

Day 7 : Delayed

Day 8 : Kernel

Day 9 : I have an equestrian.

Day 10 : Burn

Day 11 : Collegiate

Day 12 : Top 5 Friday – your jokes!

Day 13 : All over the news.

Day 14 : Snap and Crackle

Day 15 : Hip

Day 16 : Weigh In

Day 17 : Bert

Day 18 : Will Smith

Day 19 : Top 5 Friday- your jokes!

Day 20 : Close one.

Day 21 : It’s your birthday

Day 22 : The joke’s on me.

Day 23 : Snoozle.

Day 24 : On the line.

Day 25 : Speak French.

Day 26 : Boyz.

Day 27 : Gators

Day 28 : Palm Sunday

Day 29 : French feet

Day 30 : Nice to meat you.

Day 31 : The best for last.

TOP 5 FRIDAY: Day 12 – your jokes!

on October 12, 2012 in 31 Days of Jokes, TOP 5 FRIDAY with 8 comments by

TOP 5 FRIDAY is when we each list five of our favorite things, depending on the topic. Feel free to join in via the comments or by posting on your own blog and linking back here. Play along. It’s Friday.

. . . . .

Here we go again! Another Friday, another set of five jokes straight from you jokers. I’m so glad y’all are enjoying this 31 day series. I am too! A laugh a day keeps something away… not sure what, but something.

. . . . .

So these two muffins are sitting in the oven, and someone comes by and turns the oven on.

Then one muffin says “Man, it’s sure getting hot in here.”

The other muffin turns and says, “Whoa! A talking muffin!”

[Thank you, Elias! You are a funny man.]

. . . . .

How do you find Ronald McDonald on a nude beach?

He is the one with the seasame seed buns!

[I laughed, Lauren H. Well done.]

. . . . .

Did you hear about the dyslexic atheist?

He didn’t believe there was a dog.

[Oh, Beth. Well played.]

. . . . .

What is Mozarts favorite breakfast food?


[Thanks, Lauren!]

. . . . .

How do you know it’s been raining cats and dogs?

You step in a poodle.

[Thanks, Bethany!]

. . . . .


You can share your favorite joke in the comments or email it to me and we’ll compile another list for next Friday!

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