Five Favorites (vol. 13)

by Hallie @ Moxie Wife on May 21, 2013

Five Favorites, hosted at


Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life

strange gods

I just finished Strange Gods by the always smart and often sassy Elizabeth Scalia (AKA: The Anchoress) and was blown away by its goodness. Some spiritual works offer delicious food for thought but aren’t necessarily fun to read, and some are amusing but aren’t terribly edifying, but Elizabeth manages to gift us with both in her new book.

Her words entertained me, challenged me, and left me wanting to email her and insist that she give me a sneak peek of her next work (which she’d better be working on!). I already knew that Elizabeth was incredibly wise and a phenomenal writer but it can be hard to transition from writing short articles to penning full-length books. She nailed it, though. This book is a triumph and a must-read. I am better for having read it, which is the test of a truly good book, don’t you think?



pink typewriter

In the year since Style, Sex, and Substance was released I’ve received several lovely offers to write another book from editors that I would love to work with and publishers I admire. Although I was seriously tempted (and do hope to create another book one day soon) the man upstairs made it abundantly clear that it wasn’t quite the right time. Instead I’ve spent the last year simply getting ready for sweet Charlie, enjoying my husband, spending quality time our kids, and settling into our new home. No regrets.

Last week I was invited to contribute a chapter to a new book that is in the works, though, and that feels just right. I don’t think I realized just how much I’ve missed writing. It makes me surprisingly happy to think about spending time this summer penning something new.


Curl Easy Pro Brush

victory rolls

I’m so hopeless as a doer of hair. I don’t think my little girls have ever sported so much as a braid. Which is heartbreakingly sad because I so love cute hair-dos!

I finally mastered the sock bun late last year (after much trial and toil) but Victory Rolls (my absolute fave) have remained elusive.

Until recently!

In my quest to master those cute as pie rolls I consulted with Ms. Pinterest who led me to this post over on the Bobbi Pin blog which recommended using the Curl Easy Pro Brush. Since it was only $6 I went ahead and ordered it but didn’t dare hope. Much to my surprise it actually worked! It may look like a torture device (see link above), and I may be all thumbs, but together we make magic.



photo (23)

My pride has taken a hit (just look at them), but I have a new lease on life thanks to my Vibrams. Up until my third child was born I could easily pull off three miles during the week and six miles on the weekend. After Sophia was born, though, I just could never quite work back up to more than a run/walk and repeat. For some reason (let’s not speculate), I would always end up with knee and hip pain within days of starting to train.

Jen has been singing the praises of Vibrams for over a year now so despite my husband referring to them as monkey shoes and my daughter calling them bunny shoes, I bit the bullet and bought a pair.

Life. Changing.

No aches, no pain, I can run farther than I have in a long time, and with more ease. I know. It’s a hard sell. Need more convincing? I highly recommend reading Born to Run (such a great book). It gives more detail on why so many people are finding Vibrams to be such a Godsend.


The 5K Runner App


So many people rave about the Couch to 5K program but I could never get into it because I just couldn’t imagine messing with a stopwatch (or even just keeping an eye on my watch) while I tried to coax my body out of couch mode and into 5K mode. When I heard there was an app (many, actually) I decided to give it a whirl.

I can now join the chorus of people singing “C25K is the best 5K Training Program EVER!!!” I love it.

There are a bunch of apps to choose from and I had no idea which one was best so I just chose one that had a lot of positive reviews. There aren’t any bells and whistles really, just an encouraging voice that interrupts my music to tell me to “start running” and “slow down to a walk.” Oh, and badges! I get badges for being a good little runner. I never would have imagined that a virtual badge that tells me that I have a “Lion’s Heart” could delight me so but there you go.






P.S. If you missed my Father’s Day giveaway post you can find it right here! It will be open through Sunday. :)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Cate May 21, 2013 at 10:18 pm

Ha! I have the exact same pair/color of Vibrams! Love them, though I haven’t been running in them recently. (I’ve found my faithful old Mizunos are best for fleeing from the zombie hordes– aside: Zombies, Run! is a fantastic running app, too! I hear they’ve even got a 5k training version!) I’ve never seen a brush like that, but considering the massive amounts of hairspray and consternation that is usually entailed in my victory rolls, I’m definitely going to pick one of those up! Thanks for the tip!
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Sharon May 21, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Are you sure about those shoes? I am so skeptical.

Micaela @ California to Korea May 21, 2013 at 11:53 pm

I just got a pair of Altra Zero Drop shoes and they are the same! Life changing!! I was running full “barefoot” with Merells (Vibram soles) but since I *only* have concrete to run on, it was killing my shins. With the AZDs I can choose a slightly cushier insole but with the same wide toe box and zero change between sole and toe height. And when I run on better terrain, I just takeout the insert and have a barefoot style again.

Twins on the 5K Runner!!!

And I can’t believe I just geeked out on shoes and running?! I don’t even know myself anymore.
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Dwija {House Unseen} May 22, 2013 at 7:00 am

The snazzy hairdos of snazziness are making want to grow my hair back out! Tell it to stop being a frizzy ball of ridiculousness, will you? I think it’ll listen to you.

Sara May 22, 2013 at 7:42 am

I love my Vibrams! I don’t run in them, just a lot of walking, but they are so good for my back and my feet! I haven’t seen your funky high-top version before, though. I’ll have to look them up.
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Colleen Martin May 22, 2013 at 7:49 am

I don’t think I can get on the Vibrams train yet…I just love my Brooks too much! But good for you on the running, I love to exercise and I will be your biggest cheerleader!
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Anabelle hazard May 22, 2013 at 7:54 am

I love that you put writing another book on hold for your family and was drooling over your thrift shop finds last week. Can’t say the same bout thr running shoes sorry ;)

Jamie Jo May 22, 2013 at 8:26 am

I have never seen those Vibrams before, I’m interested, my feet are always hurting! Great job working out!! Going to have to check out those shoes…or slipper toe thingy’s.
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entropy May 22, 2013 at 8:42 am

Want to see pics of the victory-rolled hair! So classy.

Molly May 22, 2013 at 9:35 am

As one who likes to create period accurate hairstyles (from the 40s especially), I absolutely adore the Bobby Pin Blog. I also highly recommend her book Vintage Hairstyling book. Can’t say enough good things about it.

Rakhi @ The Pitter Patter Diaries May 22, 2013 at 10:43 am

Hmmm, I am still not sold on ye olde running…’tis still the walking for me. As for the writing, do you have any tips on staying focused (or finding a focus)? I’ve been trying to write up my conversion story at the prompting of my husband (and Holy Spirit), but continue to feel like I don’t really have that much material.
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Katie May 22, 2013 at 12:17 pm

I could only get up to about 9 miles in vibrams before I started to have lots of back problems because of them I wear Kinvaras or Newtons now and LOVE them!! I have an older pair of Vibrams that they do not even make anymore and they were cute (well, as cute as vibrams can get).
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Christy May 22, 2013 at 1:22 pm

So excited for your writing again Hallie! And I’m in awe of your running skills…how long will it take me to try that again?!?
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Kris May 22, 2013 at 2:27 pm

LOVE C25K! Love. I’ve done it many a time to get back in running shape after babies, or just general slacking. Good for you for getting back out there so soon! I’ll have to check out those Vibrams.

Amelia May 22, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Oooo…writing. I love writing too…and I’ve never so much as penned anything longer than article or paper, but I still love writing. I also love that you turned down the book for your family. There is plenty of time for writing later. My mother has written 7 books that are published…all except her first one were written/published after her children were at least teenagers.
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Juliana B May 22, 2013 at 5:34 pm

I’ll have to check out the Victory Roll tutorial! The one I’ve been using was posted on Midnight Maniac a long time ago. The rolls don’t stand up as much, but they are easy to do and maintain whilst running after little ones! (After all, it’s not like I have a vintage paparazzi following me around for pin up shoots every day…oh wait…)

Thanks for giving me another linky, btw! I just had another baby, and I still do Quick takes on my other blog, but this little list has been the perfect midweek linky for my little bit o’ this and that blog. :)

Katie May 22, 2013 at 9:14 pm

I love my couch to 5K app … but week #5 is a beast, run for 20 minutes! Oh, Friday afternoon is going to be rough!
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Anne May 22, 2013 at 10:06 pm

I have a pair of barefoot shoes w/ vibram soles but they are Merrels and are cute :) They look more like regular running shoes…I wear them allllll the time

kristin loboda May 23, 2013 at 8:09 am

great 5 fav’s! I will have to check out those shoes!

Kathi May 23, 2013 at 8:17 am

Welcome to barefooting! I wear vivo (Merrell) all day or I choose a zero grade sandal during the summer. Target has cute sandals this year. When I wear a pump, it’s only for a few hours now. I stretch my feet daily to prevent possible plantar and achilies pain. The vivo can take me on trails and through raging creeks. They keep my feet warm in the cold winters too. Vivo offers the foot glove, running shoes and shows for daily wear. Their shoes aren’t high fashion style, but I occasionally have a doctor ask me about them. I guess my current pair appeals to the croc wearing medical community! I’ve planned to purchase something less croc like next time….

Lisa May 23, 2013 at 11:33 am

I loved the book Born to Run — he convinced me even I could run a half marathon! I have changed my running form and that has helped. But I have to say, I can’t do the barefoot/neutral shoe. I ran in kinvaras for awhile (not quite as minimal as vibrams but almost there) and got some major IT band pain (that continued into my race, I basically had to drag myself across the finish line). Then I switched to Brooks Pure Cadence and I LOVED them, my feet felt like they could run forever! But then I got some major hip/sciatic nerve pain that only went away after I took time off and switched to a shoe with more stability. Also — I’m sure you’re doing this already, per Born to Run — make sure you gradually switch to them. Too fast sets you up for injury. My husband (who is a natural born runner) got stress fractures in his shins and my aunt tore up a bunch of ligaments in her foot from putting too many miles too quickly on the barefoot shoe.

During my runs lately (of only 2-3 miles) I’m thinking I’m never going to make it to that fall half marathon. We have killer hills surrounding our house, so it’s uphill on the way home, no matter which way you go. But then a few hours later I’m chomping at the bit to try again

Mandi @ Messy Wife, Blessed Life May 28, 2013 at 3:39 pm

How did you first get into writing, Hallie? Maybe that’s the topic for an entire post! (Or maybe you’ve already written one that I’ve missed?) I would love to write write someday, as in not just blog but write real articles or book chapters or maybe one day even a whole book! I’d love to know how to get started in that direction.

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