Friday Favorites – Things That Bring Joy

Who’s ready for some uplifting news?  Here are some things that have been bringing me joy lately!

Enjoying The Popularity of Drive-In Movies and Movies in the Park

There’s something so whimsical and relaxing about watching a movie outdoors.  In South Carolina, we used to love going to The Big Mo!  We would pack an air mattress in the back of the truck and then kick back and enjoy the movie in comfort.  Many cities are hosting outdoor movies in their parks as well, so definitely check to see what’s being offered in your area.  Also, did you hear that Walmart is about to start hosting movies in their parking lots?  While we’re talking about Walmart, did you know you can get FREE grocery delivery using code FRESHCAR?  Such a blessing to save money and time.

Learning Herbal First-Aid

Thanks to a Google Local Guide perk, I got an offer for $5 off any Udemy course.    Honestly, I didn’t really know what Udemy was before getting the coupon, but once I started researching the classes they offered, I was astounded at the variety of subjects they had available.  I ended up signing up for one on Herbalism – First Aid Remedies.  So far, I’ve learned a lot about what herbs to keep on hand and some easy ways to make some of my own remedies.  Each lecture is only a few minutes long, so no long attention spans required!  Udemy has almost every topic imaginable, so if you’re looking for an inexpensive way to learn new skills, definitely a good resource.

Just a note about affiliate links on this page – if you click on one and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.


Blackberry Picking and Making Jam

My husband took me to a new park near us to pick some blackberries, then he used his grandmother’s recipe to make and can some jam.  It is so good!  We’re growing our own berries as well, so I’m excited for next year when they should start producing!

Discovering A New Healthy Snack

I discovered that nutritional yeast and a little salt on raw peppers tastes really good!  I generally use nutritional yeast as a topping for popcorn, but this is my new favorite way to enjoy its cheesy/nutty flavor.  The bonus is that it’s packed with B vitamins and also helps to promote healthy hair, skin, and nails.


Winning Two Fun Giveaways

Sometimes my friends make fun of me because I love to enter contests and sweepstakes, but this summer it seemed to pay off.

  • One was the Trail Finder Challenge put on by Piedmont Legacy Trails.  Thankfully we have been able to visit a ton of new trails and parks lately, so I entered by logging each North Carolina trail I visited in the month of June.  I ended up winning a gift card to Mast General Store which I can’t wait to use!
  • Splice Clothing had a giveaway on Instagram, and I was one of the winners!  I got to choose one item of clothing, and I chose the Dubai Reversible Long Sleeve Snap-Up Shirt.  I can’t wait until we head into cooler temperatures to wear this – it’s so comfortable.  Definitely check out this company – it is female-owned and they offer SO many reversible items that will help you pack light on your next journey.


Exploring New Parks

As I mentioned above, this has definitely been the summer of trails.  Local exploration has been the name of the game and has helped keep my mind off the fact that we can’t travel internationally.  Thankfully we are situated within easy driving distance of SC, TN, and VA, so we have enjoyed checking out new spots in those states.  A highlight for me was hiking to Carver’s Gap in TN.  Absolutely breathtaking, especially first thing in the morning, even though it was quite foggy!  While there, we were also able to tick off a bucket list item –  hiking to the highest spot on the Appalachian Trail!  If you’re into hiking and exploring state parks, follow along on our Instagram page Hiking The Southeast.

Finding a Natural Deodorant That Works

Over the past few years, I have tried probably 10-15 brands of natural deodorants with varying degrees of success but hadn’t found any that would keep me smelling fresh on days when I’m really working up a sweat by hiking or playing volleyball.  Last year, I even resorted to making my own because I have had such a hard time finding one that didn’t contain baking soda!

Thankfully, this month I happened upon a brand called Nuud, based in The Netherlands.  It doesn’t contain any aluminum, fragrances, alcohol, or baking soda.  The secret ingredient – micro silver!  It works by neutralizing bacteria with the micro silver, which prevents the odor.  Note – it does NOT keep you from sweating, which is a good thing.  Sweating helps your body detoxify, so you don’t want to block that mechanism.  They advertise that it works for up to 3-7 days.   I was highly skeptical, but I tested it out on a half-day incredibly strenuous hike, and I couldn’t believe I didn’t smell afterward.  It did actually last for at least 2 days, maybe even 3.  I’m a fan of the fact that they use compostable packaging as well.

Last but not least, check out this list of 13 promising COVID-19 treatments from Israel.  There is good news in the midst of all the chaos and turmoil and I hope we will all take some time to lift each other up and share some positive things in our lives.  Let me know how I can be praying for you this month.

What’s one thing that has brought you joy lately?  I’d love to hear your encouraging stories!

Thank for reading!



  1. I love that you are making the best of a horrible situation…we have to believe that we can get to a “new normal” that can work for us as we try to eradicate this horrible virus…and for me, it’s been a time to cook cook cook!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is certainly is amazing how just simple easy things can bring someone so much joy! I like your new snap up reversible shirt from Splice Clothing! Great you are getting out to explore more nature parks!!

    Liked by 1 person

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