My New Blog & Changes...

I started a new blog...

After my last post, the wheels in my head started turning. And turning. I've spent a LOT of time cleaning up this site, and archiving old posts. I've been trying to figure out which direction to take this blog.

I mean, it's been eight years of blogging!

Time to change things up, I think.

Long story short, I decided to devote Mrs. Southern Bride to only my book reviews, and other media related fun. In the mean time I've been busy blogging over at my new site!! Joshuas Girl is an extention of my "social media" nicknames. It'll be the place to keep up with some of our personal life, house projects, and photography. Same 'ol me, just a fresh, more organized slate.

http://www.joshuasgirl.com/

Hope you follow along!

Purging & Pruning My Life


Every single year, I go through "spring cleaning" mode. Nothing is safe. I re-evaluate everything, and anything, and typically haul off a LOT of stuff. Sometimes, we have a yard sale, sometimes we just donate. 

However, I've recently read a pretty neat book called, "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up", and I found her approach intriguing. I feel like a lot of the ideas are sound, and could be easily implemented, yet at the same time not quite right for a family with a little ones running around. Her main point, of focusing on "groups" of items rather than rooms seems to be the biggest thing for me. I should also note, I do NOT believe in any of the "speak to things" hype. Not happening. Otherwise, the rest of her tips were pretty cool.

Slowly, but surely, I've gone through my great big collection of books. I figured it was time to "let go" of books that I don't plan to ever read again. Instead, I'd like to keep classics, my favorites, and a healthy collection of children's books. Otherwise, my nook is the perfect way to keep book clutter at bay (if there is such a thing). 

Another area that I've purged is social media. I completely ditched Facebook. I didn't intend too when I initially deactivated, but once I unplugged I realized how much negativity took a back seat in my life. I really feel like FB has become a icky combination of MySpace, and a gossip war zone. On the other hand, I don't want to becompletely obsolete from social media, so I'm opting for Instagram, and Twitter. 

Even my blog got a deep, deep cleaning. I removed everything from my side bar. I plan to slowly add items back as I see fit. I just wanted to start with a blank canvas. I even felt the need to re-evaluate everythig that I blog about. As much as I love to blog about books, I think I'm going to start limiting the amount that I take on review wise. I'm starting to feel like everything is becoming repetitive in that department. 

Lastly, it's time to go through my clothes. My post-baby body is just NOT the same, and some outfits will probably remain hanging forever. I also need a good update...I tend to wear the same things over and over again. I'd also like to add a splash of color here and there.

Do you have a yearly purge?

Copycat Starbucks Banana Bread Recipe


My husband and I have a weekly Starbucks date almost every weekend. His favorite treats are the Pumpkin Loaf, and the Banana Bread. Typically, I'm not a huge Banana Bread fan, but when he ordered it a few weeks ago, I fell in love with it.

We had some bananas that needed to be used up last week, so I thought I'd try to re-create the taste. It turned out really tasty, and it was so easy to make! The best part about this recipe is that it's not sickenly sweet like some. Just right. ;)

Easy Banana Bread

1 3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour (I used a mix of bread flour & whole wheat*)
1 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
2 Eggs
2 Medium Bananas (Mashed)
1/2 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts

In a large bowl, stir together dry ingreiets until well incorporated. Add wet ingredients, and stir until mixture thickens. Add nuts.

Bake in 9x5 Bread Loaf and bake at 325 for 1 1/2 hours. The top will be golden, and spongy to the top when finished.

*I like using whole wheat in baking as it adds a lot of texture and flavor!

Linking Up: Sundays At Home

Alaska!



A few years ago, my husband and I took a cruise with our family to Alaska. It was such an adventure, and I fell in love with its rugged beauty. It reminds me of Arkansas, but on steroids!

Because of that trip, I've been infatuated with all things Alaska related, including books. Needless to say, I struck gold when I heard about the "Alaskan Courage" series by Danni Pettrey. Every single book in the series has kept my attention, sparked an even further love for the state, and inspired me through the simple intertwining of faith.

Last week, I finished the final book in the series. In some ways, I feel like I'm leaving new friends behind! In other ways, I'm excited to read more of Pettrey's books as her new series comes out in the future.

The last book gave us more insight into the life of Reef. Out of the McKenna siblings, I found his character the hardest to understand until this book. We see bits and pieces of why Reef kept God at bay for so long, and why he chose to live a worldly lifestyle. Yet, through a series of events, Reef finds faith, and forgiveness from those he loves most. 

Filled with fast paced action, it's sure to please anyone with penchant for adventure! I give it a hearty five stars (and then some)!!!

Many thanks to Bethany House for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Winter Thankfuls


Winter has been a bit clingy this year. We've had ice storms, snow, and rain every week for about 6 weeks. Maybe longer, it's starting to get fuzzy. It's been nice to spend more time at home, but I confess I'm starting to ache for a little sunshine and green. Gotta work on my thankfuls to keep my attitude in check...

I'm super thankful for my french press.
I'm super thankful for great reads. I am SO behind on reviews!
I'm super thankful for winning some sweet treats, and books. A millions thanks to Bluerose!
I'm super thankful for Netflix. Frazier & Gilmore Girls for me.
I'm also super thankful for a handsome hunk, and cutie pie baby girl. They've kept me feeling all warm and gooey despite the lingering chill in the air. Ya know? ;)

What are you thankful for today?