My Book

Choosing Joy by Dan Lord

by Hallie @ Moxie Wife on June 20, 2012

Hey, hey, hey! Look what just popped up on Amazon…


What is joy? Ask ten different people and you’ll get ten different answers.

Yet if you asked:

  • a man who grew up fatherless and destitute in the slums of Atlanta
  • a young widow who decided to bring a neglected garden back to life in spite of agonizing physical pain and a deeply wounded spirit
  • or author Dan Lord himself, ex-frontman for a popular indie rock band

each would point to the one source of their joy: Jesus.

They made the choice for joy, against all odds, and so can you, though the obstacles might seem insurmountable. Worry and anxiety, pain and suffering, the daily grind–all these and more can block your path. When faced with such challenges, is it possible to get past the barriers, let go, and experience God’s joy?

When you look around, you might wonder-although joy is a fruit of the Spirit, it doesn’t seem to be hanging visibly from many Christian boughs. Choosing Joy aims to change that-and change your life in the process-as it helps you discover the key to this most attractive but seemingly elusive gift.

Choosing Joy, will help you overcome the obstacles and focus your heart, mind and strength on God so that you can receive the happiness and peace that the world cannot give.


Dan Lord…now where have I heard that name before? ;)

Yup, that’s my husband’s book! On Amazon! Of course, it won’t start shipping until September but there’t just something so exciting about it finally being available for pre-order!

Speaking of that husband o’ mine, he is the new Managing Editor of Catholic Exchange! If you haven’t checked them out recently, you should wander over there and take a peek. They recently redesigned their site and are in the process of taking CE in a very exciting new direction.

Congratulations, sweetie! I love you!



Off to Chicago!

by Hallie @ Moxie Wife on May 29, 2012

I’m heading to Chicago (thanks to my generous publisher, Our Sunday Visitor) for the Religious Booksellers Trade Exhibit tomorrow morning. In addition to meeting many members of the OSV team for the first time, I’m very excited to be finally meeting my friend, Amy Welborn, in person.

Will any of you be in attendance? If so, let me know! I’d love to say hello!

As always, prayers for a safe, smooth day of travel are appreciated! Thanks, loves!



(If you’d like to follow along, I’ll be documenting my trip right over here.)


Pre-Gaming by Grace Patton

by Hallie @ Moxie Wife on April 23, 2012

As I mentioned in last Friday’s Quick Takes, I don’t know what I’ve been doing with my life, but I only recently discovered Grace of Camp Patton. I stumbled upon her site after someone told me that she’d written a hilarious blog post about pre-gaming before reading Style, Sex, and Substance. It was love at first sight. I am so smitten with her, in fact, that I twisted her arm into writing another post on pre-gaming for my own blog! She very sweetly agreed. Here, for your reading pleasure, is the awesome result… (Thank you, gorgeous Grace!)


Hopefully I’m not the only one that partook in healthy amounts of pre-gaming in college. But if it is the sad case that I am, let me preface by giving you Urban Dictionary’s definition of pre-gaming:

n. To drink before going to a party. Often pre-gaming happens at the house and involves taking shots.

Let me trust walk you through my beverage suggestions individually tailored to each chapter that I strongly recommend you prepare and enjoy before reading Style, Sex, and Substance . . . (Or was it let me trust walk you through my strong drink recipes individually tailored to each chapter that I recommend?)


Chapter One: How I Fell Out of My Minivan and Found Myself
by Jennifer Fulwiler

Recommendation: Get the party started with a totally morning appropriate Mimosa. I’ll leave ratios up to you, but I enjoy the easy to remember 1 part champagne:1 part OJ and one sprig of fresh mint that I’m sure you have handy in your carefully tended garden of herbs. Not to be consumed before driving — even if it is an innocuous minivan.

Chapter Two: Style: Balance, Beauty, and You
by Hallie Lord

Recommendation: Keep things classy with glass of sweet and trendy Muscato. Wine snobs will argue that this is no more a real glass of wine than White Zin is a restaurant worthy adult beverage but that doesn’t stop me from favoring it above all fancy wine. Also, my brother-in-law (9th grade) informs me that this is, “what all the rappers drink these days.” to which I happily say, “cheers.”

Chapter Three: God and Godiva
By Karen Edmisten

Recommendation: Chocolate wine. Two perfect genres marrying and living happily ever after. The end.

Chapter Four: Sex, Passion, and Purity
by Elizabeth Duffy

Recommendation: Exotic Sangria. Go all out. Scour Pinterest for a good recipe involving tequila, brown sugar, and if you health nuts must: fruit.

Chapter Five: Single and Seeking God’s Plan
by Anna Mitchell

Recommendation: Margarita gone wild. Mix equal parts water, limeade concentrate, tequila, and sprite with one bottle of Corona.

Chapter Six: What Works For You?
by Rebecca Ryskind Teti

Recommendation: Another white wine I enjoy, but that true connoisseurs might grave roll over, is Riesling. Why not take class it up and make a Riesling slushie or three to share: Riesling, strawberry vodka, Sprite, strawberries, and ice. Blend, drink, and enjoy.

Chapter Seven: Fruitful Friendship
by Rachel Balducci

Recommendation: My favorite girly drink recipe courtesy of my brilliant sister-in-law: equal parts gin, triple sec, and lemon juice topped with champagne. Be thirsty and careful. These are equal parts delicious and potent.

Chapter Eight: We Said Yes
by Danielle Bean

Recommendation: One drink my husband and I can agree on is the classic Margarita. Frozen, rocked, shaken, or salted. Your call.

Chapter Nine: Receiving, Creating, and Letting Go: Motherhood in Body and Soul
by Simcha Fisher

Recommendation: Bailey’s Irish Cream in your iced or hot coffee. Suitable for any occasion, but especially perfect for a particularly treacherous Monday morning.

Chapter Ten: Plugging in and Embracing Discipleship in the Twenty-First Century
by Barbara R. Nicolosi

Recommendation: A tame and tasty nightcap. To ease the end of the book pain, mix three parts club soda with two parts Port and a splash of lemon juice to make a Port Spritzer.


Enjoy the book, enjoy the drinks, and remember to follow the sage advice of Saint Thomas Aquinas, “Drink to the point of hilarity.”

Many thanks to Hallie for having me! It was an absolute pleasure.


Real Men Read "Style, Sex, and Substance"

by Hallie @ Moxie Wife on April 11, 2012

(I told you I was going to be running Gosling twice. Don’t even pretend you’re not tickled pink.)


About a week ago a guy left a review of “Style, Sex, and Substance” on Amazon. Here’s what he wrote:


I recently read Style, Sex and Substance, a book featuring short essays about…style, sex and substance from ten Catholic women. The contributors will be familiar to anyone familiar with the Catholic blogosphere and include the likes of Hallie Lord, Jennifer Fulwiler, Simcha Fisher, Daniel Bean and Barbara Nicolosi. There essays confront important issues like how to approach sex (yes, with your spouse), what it means to be a Catholic woman in the world today and how to engage the culture we live in. For those who picture Catholics as having a bunker mentality, they will be surprised Without giving anything away, these essays do not encourage the exclusive use of the missionary position, treating the house like a cloistered convent or engaging the culture by throwing rosaries at passers by. No, these women are frank, honest, modern and deeply committed to the teachings of the Church. They are each in their own way models for the Catholic women of today. Not that they set themselves up as perfect. In fact, they are perfectly clear about how hard it is to find a balance in life and that doing so with five kids throwing their shows at each other in the minivan is even harder.

And yeah, I’m a guy and still enjoyed the book. For the most part, all of the advice in it would apply just as for men if you swap out the word “husband” and replace it with “wife.”

And that brings me to my last point. The guys who write books for Catholic men could take a hint or two from these ladies. Don’t be afraid to be funny for one. Yeah, it’s cool to use the imagery of knighthood and battle, call us to imitation of St. Joseph and all that. Heck I’m a particular sucker for the knighthood imagery but it only goes so far. Make a good joke! About family life and the kids. Yes, you can just wind up complaining and that isn’t a good thing but it doesn’t mean we need to hide the fact that living out the Church’s teaching is a pain in the neck sometimes. And for crying out loud, not every guy on the planet thinks sports is the most important thing in life after God and family. I may rank it in the top ten but it’s near the bottom of that list.

In any case, no matter if you are a man or woman you should get this book. Even if you aren’t Catholic, but are curious about what real Catholic women think about how real life and faith intertwine, you should get this book.


I love that. I love that this oh-so brilliant man could see what I at first missed: Style, Sex, and Substance is an equal opportunity book. Of course she is! (Very, very) pink, yes, but passionately against any and all forms of discrimination. She thinks all of her readers are the cat’s pajamas regardless of gender! So, dear sweet men, there’s no need to feel ashamed because you find yourself strangely drawn to her feminine coloring! She understands and would never judge you.

But hey, listen: If you want to pull out the brown paper bag and create a book cover, that’s totally cool. No one here is going to be offended. I even went ahead and found instructions for you in case your memories from high school are a little murky!

Happy reading! And don’t forget, real men read Style, Sex, and Substance



Best birthday present EVER.

by Hallie @ Moxie Wife on April 3, 2012

(Thank you, sweet Annie!)

I originally planned to use Ryan in a post I have scheduled to run next week called Real Men Read “Style, Sex, and Substance“ but I just couldn’t wait. So, we’ll all get to experience the Gosling goodness twice! You don’t mind, do you? Of course you don’t.

(Updated to add: The reports are true, Real Men Read “Style, Sex, and Substance”.)


"Style, Sex, and Substance" in YOUR words…

by Hallie @ Moxie Wife on March 30, 2012

I wanted to take a minute to thank all of the sweet people who have taken the time to review Style, Sex, and Substance – and also to share the reviews with any of you who haven’t yet read the book but might be interested in hearing the thoughts of those who have. (There are also some fantastic reviews on the book’s Amazon page.) So, thank you, sweet reviewers! It’s been such a treat to read your thoughts on the book!


In the Heart of My Home

Sometimes Martha Always Mary

Through My “I”s

S’aint Easy

Creative Minority Report

Martin Family Moments

Reflections of a Paralytic

The Little House that Grew

Life Happens When

As Cozy as Spring

Amongst Lovely Things

Transitus Tiber

Barefoot and Sometimes Pregnant

Laura’s Little Blessings

Leave it to Lynsey


A Shower of Roses

Hope Echoes

Bonnie @ Ignitum Today

(If you’ve reviewed Style, Sex, and Substance and I’ve neglected to add your link, just let me know! My apologies!)


What do the Pope and the Dos Equis Man have in common?

by Hallie @ Moxie Wife on March 29, 2012

So, no word from Ms. Bonnie Hunt yet. My good friend, Brandondid stumble upon these images, though:



Word on the street is that Ryan Gosling is about to weigh-in, as well. Y’all! It’s like it’s my birthday! Oooh, actually…next Tuesday is my birthday! That must be what’s holding up @BonnieHunt_real! She’s saving her picture (because she know’s it’s going to be my favorite) for my big day! That is so sweet of her.


(Also? Could the customer images for Style, Sex, and Substance be any more awesome??? I think not. Again, I say: you guys rock!)

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