Things I'm Loving
by Jen Hatmaker on October 9th, 2013

The power of suggestion is a mighty force in my life. I hear someone mention a movie they loved, and it is downloaded twelve minutes later. Natalie Grant posted a necklace that benefits human trafficking efforts on Friday; I’m wearing it today. Please do not mention a rare disease in my presence, because I will begin manifesting symptoms immediately. I read a recipe for a fancy egg salad sandwich last week, closed my laptop, and drove straight to the store for the ingredients.
If you love something (or have contracted something), I figure I will too.
In the spirit of positive peer pressure, I wanted to share a few things I’m TOTALLY LOVING with you. And if you need to have/hire/read/cook them immediately, that tells me you are a person of fine discernment. Certainly not overly influenced or easily impressionable. Certainly not. (For the record, these are not sponsored posts. I don’t even actually know what that means. I just love the following things all by myself in my own life.)

Okay, so if you’ve been around me longer than four minutes, this is not a new declaration. But I said this was about things I’m currently loving, and I’m currently still loving Noonday. Founded by my friend Jessica Honegger, Noonday employs vulnerable women in nine countries, and they make just GORGEOUS jewelry and accessories. I’m not talking about some janky burlap slapped together with twine. This is truly beautiful, artisanal work combining local craftsmanship with designer savvy and making us look awesome. ALL THE WHILE providing sustainable employment for vulnerable women, allowing them to parent and succeed and thrive.
You've seen that striped purse in approximately all of my latest pictures.

Were it not for Noonday, I would have no jewelry. Jessica taught me to stack an inordinate amount of bracelets and/or necklaces on top of each other without fear. She never wears less than 48 accessories at once and she is fabulous. (Did I mention Noonday also provides meaningful employment to American women? Becoming a Noonday Ambassador is like the best job in history.)

“Freeway” by People of the Second Chance (POTSC)
Lots of books and studies land in our mailbox to take a peek at. The sheer volume sometimes makes them all blend together like zebras in a pack. (I say this as a writer who cannot even remember the titles of her own books.) But one recently grabbed my attention with its design and then my respect with its content. It is "Freeway" by POTSC and if you don’t know about this movement, shelve this blog immediately and go read about it. ------------ Hi. You’re back. This is a Bible study of sorts, although extremely creative and unconventional. Give me a non-cheesy study or give me death. I just like everything about Freeway.

If you do this study with a small group, you’re going to have to leave all the bullcrap behind. It digs, it presses. You’re going to have to deal with some serious stuff. These people are OBSESSED with our freedom. If you need to be set free personally, relationally, spiritually, emotionally, physically…this study is a wonderful road map.
Merry Maids
Remember how I clogged up your feed with dramatic posts about selling our house this summer? And how keeping it show ready with all five kids home was turning me into an unstable lunatic? Well. Enter the best email ever from Sandra with Merry Maids: “Jen, we love your blog. How about we send a team to your house once a week until your house sells? We’d love to just do this for you.” Now picture a grown woman squealing and dancing and twirling and kissing babies. That was me. These amazing women whipped my sad, sorry house into such shape, you cannot even imagine. They cleaned behind every single piece of furniture, and I actually feared for their lives. It appeared as if we were living in a hovel as squatters, and Merry Maids made it all go away. They even brought treats for Lady Bird and fussed over her like she was the Queen of England.
Look at our toilet paper. What is this, the Waldorf Astoria?

Our house shined. The girls were so dear. They were actually merry. Not a corner went unscrubbed ever. Merry Maids for the win. If you need someone to reclaim your house from the filthy people who are conspiring to trash it, these are your people. It will look like no one even lives there. For like three whole hours until your kids come home from school.
Balsamic Reduction
So this needs its own category. First off, this is my flavor profile: vinegars, mustards, pickle products. The end. Every dish needs a bit of tang. There are no exceptions. I don’t remember who taught me to pour three cups of balsamic vinegar into a saucepan and reduce it by half into a syrup, but that person deserves to be put into my will. I make this weekly and keep it in a little syrup pitcher in the fridge that my friend Susie Davis gave me after we hosted a party together and I said I liked it and I found it in my car later that night. But back to the balsamic reduction. I put this on everything. Drizzle it over cottage cheese, ice cream, chicken, eggs, salad, potatoes, rice, salmon, soup. It makes everything instantly special. I think of things to pour it on in between meals.
Story Company
Oh my. Do I love these people. Story Company has a similar vision to Noonday: employing local artisans in fourteen countries and giving them access to the global market. They place a heavy emphasis on Fair Trade, insisting on fair working environments and adhering to the Fair Trade Federation Standards. Many of their partners go above and beyond that for their artisans, embracing rehabilitation, restoration, counseling, life skills and spiritual support. And the products are sooooo preeeeeety.

In addition to beautiful crafted jewelry and accessories, Story Company also sells gorgeous pottery and pillows and home stuff. Each item comes creatively packaged with the artisan’s picture and story attached. You cannot possibly find a better teacher or hostess gift. Every time I wear my chevron necklace, strangers ask me where I found it. And then I begin proselytizing.
My Friends’ Books
Some people clamp down when surrounded by people in their own profession who are amazing. Everyone is better than me and blah blah blah wah wah wah nonsense. I feel the exact opposite. I have so many writer friends who – plain and simply – rule literature. I feel like a giddy schoolgirl who hit the jackpot with all these smart, witty, incredibly gifted friends who are so awesome at what they do. And I have their numbers in my cell phone. (Except for one friend who refuses to join our generation and won’t get a phone, even though I offered to pay for it just so I could text her at will. I’m looking at you, Sarah Bessey.)
In alphabetical order, here are fresh new books my friends have just written that I love. In unique ways, these authors are all making this world better and kinder and braver. (So many other friends have written stellar works too…these are just the ones I’ve recently read that are hot off the presses or just about to hit the ground!)

“Restless” by Jennie Allen
“Jesus Feminist” by Sarah Bessey
“Undaunted” by Christine Caine
“Flesh” by Hugh Halter
“Overextended and Loving Most of It” by Lisa Harper
“Transformed” by Caesar Kalinowski
“Audrey Bunny” by Angie Smith (for kids)
“The Greatest Gift” by Ann Voskamp
“When We Were on Fire” by Addie Zierman

This is a diverse offering, folks. But if you only read the same types of authors with the same kind of thinking, it is time to be stretched. I can absolutely vouch for the character and integrity of every single one of these authors. Some of the best people I know. Like I said, jackpot.
The Civil Wars Pandora Station

Surely I do not even need to explain this.
Please reconcile. Please come back. Please make more music. We will do anything you ask.

So there you have it. Good things, good books, good people, good service, good food. Here’s hoping to peek in on you in a couple of weeks sitting in your clean house thanks to Merry Maids, drinking coffee out of your Story Company mug, wearing your Noonday alpaca scarf with any of the above books in your hands, listening to the Civil Wars on Pandora. It will be a good day and you’ll think, “My gosh. Remind me to thank that Jen Hatmaker.”
You’re welcome.

What are you loving lately? Add some good suggestions to the mix. Be sure to link it up so we can find it!

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Michelle - October 9th, 2013 at 10:54 AM
Thank you so much for sharing these! LOVE these things as well! Since you love Noonday and Story Company so much ( I do too!!) I would recommend taking a look at Imagine Goods! :) Thanks so much for your heart.
Marijoy - October 9th, 2013 at 4:07 PM
I just found you on Instagram and you are on my list! I'm so in love with the flouncy skirts. {I'm a Noonday Ambassador and I think they pair well together. ;)}
Michelle - October 13th, 2013 at 8:23 PM
Marijoy!! I love Noonday and think some of the Imagine Goods items do fit beautifully with Noonday!! Thanks for finding us on Instagram! :) I love connecting with other groups doing great things to partner with/support the vulnerable! - January 6th, 2015 at 3:39 AM
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Heather Wehrheim - October 9th, 2013 at 10:56 AM
It's like Oprah's favorite things only a million times better!!!!! Thank you for being the only non cheesy women's Christian writer I have found. You have redeemed my faith in women's Bible study and made me feel less like a freak.
Nancy - October 9th, 2013 at 10:56 AM
I loved The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. She did all the research; I get all the benefit. It's like having a really smart friend who's read every book and study on a subject and just shares it all with you.
Melissa - October 9th, 2013 at 10:58 AM
Since babies are my season right now, I'm loving Aden Anais muslin blankets. I love everything of theirs that I've touched--muslin swaddles, the Issie security blankets, the sleep sacks.... I recommend the swaddles in place of every single flannel, waffle, or other single-layer receiving blanket EVER for new babies. They're feather light but perfectly warm. Always. (Yes, I use them, too.)
Jennifer M - October 9th, 2013 at 10:54 PM
We love AA blankets too!!! A life saver with my youngest who has sensory issues, they are the only ones she will sleep with!
Ashley - October 9th, 2013 at 10:58 AM
I am love with New Hope Initiative. Such an amazing organization and their is similar to Noonday. The directors just visited our church. Our Chirstmas gifts will now all be gifts that give back. Thanks for more ideas to add to the list!
Kristine - October 9th, 2013 at 10:58 AM
Thanks, Jen :) Just turned on the Pandora station to listen to while working and downloaded "Overextended" for my weekend reading! And I'm wearing my Open Arms skirt and just might order another one bc I love it more than anything I own :)
Kristine - October 9th, 2013 at 12:21 PM
Other than the fact we have the same name, this could have been my post! I seriously questioned, for a split second, if I had already posted and maybe just forgot, since I do have some strange sleep habits. :) I just shouldn't be surprised finding like-minded/acting women on Jen's page. OH, and even though I'm a Noonday Collection Ambassador {here in ATX, ahem, ya know, if anyone's interested} I just jumped all over The Story Company and ordered a necklace on sale before all the Hatmaker fans out there swamped their site! It seems I don't have enough world changing jewelry taking over my bedroom yet!
Lisa - October 9th, 2013 at 10:59 AM
I am soooo with you on The Civil Wars. You think if enough of us beg and plead, we could get them back together? Thanks for the other shopping tips; great to keep in mind with Christmas coming. I love to shop for a cause. (A suggestion for you and your readers - check out Made By Survivors.)
Megan M. - October 9th, 2013 at 10:59 AM
OMG yes! The Civil Wars! I can't watch their newest videos without crying. I love them so much. Don't take this the wrong way, but I'm glad that you are just as distraught as I am over their recent separation.
Kristine Gentry - October 9th, 2013 at 11:00 AM
I love that you listed some wonderful fair trade companies! Another great one is Trades of Hope. It is a direct sales model with an online store so you can shop online and/or host a party and earn hostess rewards while spreading the word about fair trade and having fun. Truly a party with a purpose and shopping with a purpose! Their products are beautiful and continually changing. I'm wearing to of my favorite's today (journey bracelet and nina necklace).
Lindsey - October 9th, 2013 at 11:00 AM
Can I share another company with you? Market Colors! It's so similar to Noonday and Story Company! It was founded by a girl I know from church! She's wonderful, the company is wonderful, the products are wonderful!

I hope you love it and tell everyone! :) (I get nothing from this...I just love them and it seems like something you would love too!(
Pam - November 7th, 2013 at 9:49 AM
Thank you for sharing! I checked them out and love them! I'm always on the lookout for free trade organizations for my Christmas wish list instead of asking for stuff from stores but I am passionate about supporting and spreading the news about the ones that not only help better the artisans but also honor The Lord!! Not easy to find :)
Logan - October 9th, 2013 at 11:00 AM
Agree....with all of the above! Except for the free maid thing. I have to pay mine...and she doesn't put golden stickers on my toilet paper. I'm probably going to have to discuss that with her now thanks to this! Love you friend!
Laura - October 9th, 2013 at 11:02 AM
Girlfriend. Civil Wars new album.
You're welcome.
jennifer - October 9th, 2013 at 11:23 AM
Yes, they are back together and their new stuff is better than ever!
Kat - October 9th, 2013 at 3:07 PM
yep. GREAT second album!
Jules - October 9th, 2013 at 9:39 PM
No, they're still not talking-- the album was pretty much done when they split, and the new video is pit together from stuff shot in Paris a couple of years ago :(
Erica - October 9th, 2013 at 11:03 AM
I believe you just solved my "what to get everyone for Christmas" dilemma. Thanks dollface!
Jacqueline - October 9th, 2013 at 11:03 AM
Jen, I love ya, but Merry Maids doesn't pay those lovely ladies a living wage. Have you read Nickel and Dimed? You would LOVE it. Like 7, but on steroids. Seriously. She takes on the jobs and tries to live... and well, not to be a spoiler, but can't. Read more here:
Kristen - October 9th, 2013 at 8:54 PM
I just read that entire article. Very interesting, as someone who uses a cleaning person, I think there are ways to help solve some of it. I've become friends with mine. She lives near me, she's just like me, but cleans on the side for extra money and a schedule that works with her childrens schooling. I feel like she is paid well, though I know she isn't the breadwinner for her family. But I'm not overly picky and am just thankful to have her. But very good (and detailed) article!
josie - October 9th, 2013 at 11:06 AM
my wishlist is now abundant!
Laura Carmichael - October 9th, 2013 at 11:08 AM
On the same lines as Noonday and Story Company is a local company run by a couple called The Mighty River Project
Gorgeous baskets, textiles, and jewelry from Uganda.
Thanks for sharing your favorite things!
Raina - October 9th, 2013 at 11:08 AM
Thanks for the recommendations! I just wish I could afford Merry Maids. :-) By the way, I was hoping you'd give info on the Natalie Grant necklace? Or was that a hypothetical example? (Looked on her website, but couldn't find anything.)
Leigh - October 9th, 2013 at 11:10 AM
Loving me some Jamberry Nails! No chipping, no drying time, no toxic chemicals. Done in 20 minutes at home, using your hair dryer. If none of the 300 designs work for you, you can even design your own!
B J - October 9th, 2013 at 11:10 AM
Jen, you can buy the balsamic that is already reduced! It is in the grocery store right next to the other balsamic bottles (regular grocery stores, you don't have to go to the crunchy, vegan, organic, everything is better for you but costs a fortune kind) It is in a little plastic squirt bottle that fits conveniently in your cabinet, fridge, purse, pocket, whatever. It's a game changer!
Heather13 - October 9th, 2013 at 11:10 AM
The ApParent Project in Haiti!!! They have amazing artisans products and all for a great cause! Empowerment!
Sonia - October 9th, 2013 at 11:11 AM
I just bought a Christmas present from Noonday. Love these sites! Thanks for sharing:)
Gretchen - October 9th, 2013 at 11:15 AM
Wow, I am new to you, new to your blog - but am ready to "sit and chat" for hours. Feeling like I have discovered a kindred spirit.
Amy - October 9th, 2013 at 11:16 AM
Great...there goes my book budget for the month! I think the last time you shared a website, I ended up with a green and gold scarf, which is totally awesome for Baylor Football games. No power of suggestion going on here!!!

Tonya - October 9th, 2013 at 11:20 AM
What brand/kind of balsamic is your go to?
Candace - October 9th, 2013 at 11:20 AM
Check out Back to Africa and Heart of the Bride. They are awesome jewelry similar to Noonday and run by some awesome people. Love it all! (Heading off to turn on civil wars...)
Jackie - October 9th, 2013 at 11:21 AM
Satellite republic coffee. They are buildings children's homes in Africa by selling some amazing coffee and our sweet friend Anna's 1:17 cookies. The orange cream ones are my favorite.
Christi Anna Coats - October 9th, 2013 at 11:23 AM
What about coffee? If you're still drinking Charbux, please try some decently roasted coffee from my brother at (I've given you a link that explains why more directly traded coffee is even BETTER THAN FAIR TRADE.) For every 5,000 pounds of coffee they sell, they send a cow to Africa. GET COFFEE, GIVE COWS. Do you give milk with your coffee?
Danielle - October 9th, 2013 at 11:23 AM
I spend far too much time thinking of the Civil Wars and the rift that has upended my music collection.
Sara Beth Rainey - October 9th, 2013 at 11:25 AM
I live right down the road from John Paul White and our kids are in scouts together... how neat! Definitely checking out Freeway!
Jill Wolffe - October 9th, 2013 at 11:28 AM
As I was reading this The Civil Wars started playing from my Spotify play list! Love them, love them, love them!
Carrie Hays - October 9th, 2013 at 11:50 AM
Can't wait to try some of these things! Jen I love a company called Fashion Able. They work to create sustainable jobs for women in Ethiopia who have been exploited. They make the most beautiful handmade scarves. My favorite is the Etanesh Striped scarf! They also include a note and picture from the lady who made the scarf explaining what your purchase has helped her be able to do! Carrie
Rachel - October 9th, 2013 at 11:32 AM
thank you for sharing all the goodies. Will check them out. First thing: Balsamic syrup. Oh yeah-right up my alley and we are doing a major clean-up of eating in our house. Not easy! Blessings, Jen.

Lori - October 9th, 2013 at 11:34 AM
Civil Wars. Word.
Christi - October 9th, 2013 at 11:38 AM
I knew I loved you already and then you said, "Civil Wars." We are sisters.
Katie - October 9th, 2013 at 11:47 AM
I too L O V E the civil wars pandora station. I frequent between that and Bethany Dillion's station.

A Must for Good Music:

All proceeds go back into the upcoming volumes or missions. Great people, great music, singing God's words to us.
Chelsey - October 9th, 2013 at 11:51 AM
Jen - is Greg Boyd's "Benefit of the Doubt" one of the books that showed up in your mailbox?? I think it would really resonate with a lot of your people, and was a game changer for me (daughter of a Baptist pastor who had a Rachel Held Evans style 13 year freak out with doubt).
I so hope you have a chance to read it - the blessing needs to be passed on, and I don't have such a broad platform from which to shout it out.

Thanks for all you do!!
Annie - October 9th, 2013 at 11:53 AM
A young friend (and former Sunday school student) of mine has started a ministry to kids in several countries, meeting physical needs for each of the 5 senses and sharing the love of Christ.
Alysa - October 9th, 2013 at 11:58 AM
Loving all the things! I added the Story Company to the Companies with a Conscience Pinterest board (Noonday is already all over it, my fave). Here's the link -
Kim - October 17th, 2013 at 6:22 PM
Totally following this board.
Dennis - October 9th, 2013 at 12:02 PM
"When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad..." :^)

mike foster - October 9th, 2013 at 12:03 PM
thanks jen for your incredible kindness and nice things you said about "Freeway" rock! and i love the Civil Wars too...they are incredible! are you! peace...mike.
Norma-Ree - October 9th, 2013 at 12:14 PM
Wait a minute!!! My Bible study group is approaching POSSESSIONS this week and you are dangling all these lovely things in front of my eyes???? Help, oh dear!
Nancy C - October 9th, 2013 at 12:17 PM
Everyone in my house is loving this easy recipe and would probably like it once a week: Get an even number of the smallest red potatoes you can find, say 10. Wash them and while they're still wet, shake them in a ziploc bag with a packet of ranch dressing mix powder stuff. Wrap each in half a slice (thus the even number) of bacon, lock it with a toothpick and load it onto a sprayed-foil-lined pan. Bake at 400 for 45 min and watch your family fall out of their chairs.
Katie - October 9th, 2013 at 12:26 PM
Can I shamelessly promote my Etsy shop?
Soon, all sales will go towards the supports of adoption (ours and then any and everyone else's!) and I just can't believe God is growing my little ol' shop like He is

Thanks for this post, Jen. It was fun! And Noonday... I'm so glad they got a big shout-out here :)
Suzanne M - October 10th, 2013 at 2:40 PM
Katie, I enjoyed your shop! Great pieces; loved the mini dot glass bracelets. Hoping to order something for a friend for Christmas.
carly - October 9th, 2013 at 12:38 PM
Please do a recommendation list at least twice a year to keep moms with Littles in the loop! I have no time to research good books, music, recipes, and Bible studies, so you are a life saver. Time to start on my Christmas list!!
Tammy - October 9th, 2013 at 1:05 PM
I so agree! I would never know about anything good if other people didn't keep me informed :-)
Brittney - October 9th, 2013 at 3:12 PM
Yes!!!! Please do a "Most Loved" blog a couple times a year, like suggested above. I am out of the loop and rely on y'all :)
Kari - October 9th, 2013 at 12:41 PM
Thanks for the list, Jen! So many wonderful things to try... Some new, some old, but all wonderful. :)

I am the volunteer manager at an awesome ministry here in the Chicago area... Re:new Project. We employ local refugee women, teach them sewing skills (and so many others things too), and then sell them at our store. Most of the material is donated, so we are repurposing / reusing as well! Not only that, but everything (especially the bags) are super cute! Check it out!
Erin - October 9th, 2013 at 5:11 PM
I live in Oswego and can't wait to come check out the shop. I'm hoping to swing by on Monday! I love the tweed bags!
Colleen - October 10th, 2013 at 7:44 AM
I have a re:new purse that I love!
Hannah - October 9th, 2013 at 12:55 PM
We need a monthly "What Jen Loves" post. The end.
Lesley - October 10th, 2013 at 8:34 PM
Agreed!! ^^^^ :-)
Cherissa - October 9th, 2013 at 12:58 PM
Greatness! Thanks Jen.
Also check out Feed My Starving Children great for kids to get involved as well. Went
to packaging event at our church and life changing :)
Jamie - October 9th, 2013 at 1:05 PM
Sak Saum is a ministry dedicated to the rescue, restoration, transformation and rehabilitation of vulnerable and exploited women and men. The products these men and women create are amazing. By supporting this ministry, you helping set people free! Jen, and fans of Jen - I think it's your style!! Check it out:
Sherry Macy - October 9th, 2013 at 1:06 PM
A ministry to decrease the mortality rate in infants who live in the colonias outside Juarez, MX. Of the many worthy ministries, this one remains close to my heart:
Shannon - October 9th, 2013 at 1:09 PM
oh fine. I bought the book and am on the way to the store to see if, by the grace of God, they are carrying balsamic vinegar. (Pray, we are in rural Haiti so balsamic vinegar is a stretch but here is hoping!). You may have changed my life today;)
Olivia Arnold - October 9th, 2013 at 1:11 PM
Thank you and I love you. I just finished Preemptive Love by Jeremy Courtney, need I say how amazing this man is? I recognized a lot of this stuff from Idea Camp and I feel like I got to kind of meet you there even though it was just your husband, who is amazing as well. I'm stoked to read something written by Jennie Allen and I cannot wait for the IF Gathering!! Are you going? Feel free to be my best friend, I just live up the road :D
Lori H - October 9th, 2013 at 1:14 PM
I am so glad to hear that someone else is vulnerable to suggestion! My husband tells me that I am a marketer's dream :) But it's not so much regular ads as suggestions from someone I trust. Thanks for all the ideas! Feel free to do more favorites posts whenever!
Melissa - October 9th, 2013 at 1:15 PM
Just so you know, you can buy balsamic glaze ALREADY MADE from Trader Joe's

Katie - October 9th, 2013 at 1:18 PM
Best Music from the Midwest....

Search iTunes Store for:
Darin Kaihoi "Love Will Set You Free" & "Weak Heart Revival"
Daniel Brunz and the Tin Man Revival Band "Formation"
Bora York "Dreaming Free"
Rebekah Antoine "Not Perfect"
The Psalms Project "Volume 1, Psalms 1-10"
Fly Away Sparrow "Space and Material" & "What a World"

AKH - October 9th, 2013 at 1:20 PM
Dude, one time I had an interview with Merry Maids for an office manager job. Things went really well with the guy and then this girl made me take a test, even though the girl said it doesn%u2019t matter because I am not going to be cleaning houses. So I really didn%u2019t read and answer the questions properly. Then I didn%u2019t get the job. I found out, my results were %u201CMost likely to steal%u201D.
Joni - October 9th, 2013 at 1:27 PM
Just got chills! Minutes ago, I was looking at necklaces here..
Didn't purchase any, but now I am going to. I am taking this as a nudge from the Lawd!! :) He is good!!
By the way, I not only manifest symptoms of rare diseases, I also manifest skeeter bites...I totally got attacked by bed last night...after my husband told me how bad the mosquitos were on the field during games at their contenders meeting...hours earlier. Lol Pray for me! :)
SJ - October 9th, 2013 at 1:28 PM
love, love, love this list! Also love that I follow many of the people you have mentioned on their blogs - so you know - feel like I am a bit connected with the big old happening world out there, outside my 3 littles! Can I add another bible study/devotional to the list that is not like your regular fill in the blanks bible study but one you come away from feeling you actually know the bible book better, inside out and where it fits in? Study books from Awesome. Now to do my bible study, with coffee from a new story book mug, with my house being cleaned by merry maids? That would be a winner :)
kate - October 9th, 2013 at 1:32 PM

free civil wars download
m. - October 9th, 2013 at 1:33 PM
can i just say that reading this made my day. it was the best study break...made me laugh and just generally improved my outlook on life. thank you!!
[email protected] My World Runs - October 9th, 2013 at 1:34 PM
Well, you win. I just bookmarked the Bible study and Merry Maids. Thanks! :-)
Suzanne - October 9th, 2013 at 1:37 PM
Loved this list! I met you in Bham at Dawson and gave you the Be Still leather cuff bracelet....I hope you are enjoying it :)!! An awesome non-profit my sister started in Wheaton, IL called RE:NEW You can shop online. They teach refugee women to sew and minister to them and they are very, very talented!!
Lauren Linton - October 9th, 2013 at 1:39 PM
Hi Jen, I doubt you meant it that way but your comment

"I%u2019m not talking about some janky burlap slapped together with twine."

might be interpreted as a reference to this ongoing project for Ethiopian charities,, which focuses on the upcycling of burlap, and shoot, probably some twine too!, to support good works in Ethiopia. A lot of hard working talented mamas use their immense skills making these pieces for sale. If you did not mean to reference this fine project, would you mind considering an edit to the comment above? Those of us working in the "Sweet Shop", as we call it, sure would appreciate it!
Megan at SortaCrunchy - October 9th, 2013 at 2:13 PM
CIVIL WARS. Please please please do reconcile. For the good of the planet, Joy and John Paul. For the sake of humanity. Please.

This list is as fabuloso as you are, my dear!
Brooke Barker - October 9th, 2013 at 2:27 PM
I totally used this on my FB events for my upcoming Noonday Trunk shows! I can't wait to meet you on my birthday at the MOPS convention! Oh please say you will have time to have a picture:)
Alakate - October 9th, 2013 at 2:38 PM
Great stuff. Will follow up. Just yesterday my husband and I were hungry for egg salad. So, of course, I am looking for the "fancy" egg salad recipe link! Blessings!
Denise - October 9th, 2013 at 2:52 PM
LOVE Civil Wars...I knew you would too! I saw you in Paradise - you signed my 3 book of yours I purchased. You were fabulous and action provoking and I am SO grateful we are sisters in Christ! You ROCK!!
Kimberlee - October 9th, 2013 at 3:04 PM
Balsamic reduction has changed my eating too.
Try it on pizza.
You're welcome.
Drew Dotson - October 9th, 2013 at 3:22 PM
Such wonderful things to love! I work with Trades of Hope a company similar to Noonday. We work with ministries around the world who are bringing women OUT of the sex trade, poverty and addiction and bringing them in to a community of hope. These women make Fair Trade handcrafts that are gorgeous and each item is a story of hope and redemption!! Maybe Trades of Hope can become something you love too!

Donna - October 9th, 2013 at 3:27 PM
Love your blog but I want to know about the necklace Natalie Grant mentioned that helps stop human trafficking. :-) (I've looked on her website and facebook and came up empty.)
Sarah - October 9th, 2013 at 3:28 PM
Cutest fashion and accessories and they always donate 3% of your purchase to charity!!!!
Crystal - October 9th, 2013 at 3:48 PM
Best 2 books I've read in the last month were 7 by Jen Hatmaker and Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist. I scanned everyone else's comments and couldn't believe no one had mentioned Bread & Wine. I highly recommend it!
Erica Patrick - October 9th, 2013 at 4:49 PM
How do I follow this blog as an RSS feed? No RSS feeds are detected on the blog page that I can tell.
Jamie - October 9th, 2013 at 4:53 PM
We could totally be besties! Loving so many if these and any wait to stimulate someone's economy with my retail therapy. Thanks for being real and sharing!!
Susana F - October 9th, 2013 at 4:56 PM
OAK Lifestyle is an Austin give-back company with backpacks, messenger bags, and cool Austin T-shirts. All purchases give back a backpack to a child in need.
And it's my sister's awesome company. OAK= ordinary acts of kindness.
Heidi - October 9th, 2013 at 7:33 PM
Amen to the Civil Wars! I'll be sure to check out your other suggestions too. Looks like some great things there! My suggestion for you is the check out The Avett Brothers new album, The Magpie and the Dandelion. It's not out until Tuesday, but I believe until the end of today, there's a free "First Listen" on NPR. Some really beautiful, soulful songs! Here's the link for anyone interested.
Sara Beth - October 9th, 2013 at 7:36 PM
The best coffee mug ever - proceeds support orphan/widow ministry, 127 Worldwide!!
shellie - October 9th, 2013 at 7:58 PM
So, about the balsamic reduction. Wrap asparagus with prosciutto and pan sear. Then drizzle that business with said reduction. You're welcome for this healthy meat candy recipe =)
Jill P - October 9th, 2013 at 8:18 PM
Is there a way to subscribe to your blog...via email?
Flower Patch Farmgirl - October 9th, 2013 at 8:37 PM
Thing one: Robert said he hates church and meeting new people. We told him about community, blah blah blah. He points to us and says, "Community. There. Can't I just do a Bible study with you guys?" I mean, yes, you can. But where on earth can we find a Bible study for a 19 year old newbie Jesus follower fresh out of prison with his pants hanging roughly 2 inches below his bum? Could this be IT, Jen Hatmaker?

Thing two: A shameless and non-gratuitous quote from my blog, circa June 2010, "Have we ever discussed my adoration for tangy, sour, pungent, acidic foods? It's legendary."

If I could, I would send you some pickled beets, because I now believe you might be the one person on the planet who understands.

I love the way you support your people. It turns out we don't have to divvy up all the stellar words and books and share them! There's enough to go around!

Last: My friend is going to meet Father Boyle tomorrow in Wichita and I'm in sackcloth and ashes because Indiana isn't near Wichita.


Haley - October 9th, 2013 at 8:45 PM
I love when bloggers share things they like (actually like and not getting-paid-for-or-free-products kind of like). Just went to Store Company and bought a couple things.
cindy - October 10th, 2013 at 9:40 AM
Speaking of gifted writers - a dear friend just published her book, Cracking Up - A Postpartum Faith Crisis, I may not live in a teeny tiny house with 4 children (including unexpected twins), but Kimberlee draws you in with humor, wit and grace. She finds the way out of PPD and shares her family and faith along the way.
Ilda Chapa - October 10th, 2013 at 9:43 AM
Thanks for sharing some of your favorite things!!!! I'm turning on my Pandora now:)
Kathryn - October 10th, 2013 at 9:58 AM
Love Civil Wars Pandora Station!! I am so glad I saw them when they came to the Paramount before it all fell apart. Their breakup is a constant source of angst and anxiety, I mean why can't they work it out!
Brooke - October 10th, 2013 at 10:33 AM
I just love this! After a rough night, I knew I could check in to your blog and immediately have a smile on my face! And I love reading about things other people love. Guilty of being easily influenced as well. Its a special gift, right?!
Since we will be putting our house (in The Woodlands, TX) on the market this weekend (and moving not too far from you...New Braunfels area, we think), I will be giving Merry Maids a call. House cleaning while mothering, working full time, and having a husband who is already working his new job in San Antonio during the week? Ain't nobody got time for that!!!
Also, AMEN about the Civil Wars. Their split has broken my heart (along with Matthew's death on Downton Abbey, which I'm still recovering from). They are hands down AMAZING. Yes, please make up!!! I'll pay for counseling!!
Kim - October 10th, 2013 at 11:19 AM
Is there a trick to making the balsamic glaze other than putting it in the pot and boiling it? And how long does it take?
Courtney - October 10th, 2013 at 2:30 PM
I officially have 6 new tabs open in my browser thanks to post. Time to check out ALL THE THINGS!
DonnaD - October 10th, 2013 at 5:42 PM
Better than Oprah's Favorite Things show!
Kim M in PA - October 10th, 2013 at 9:57 PM
Dearest Jen - I would love for you to love Timbali Crafts. On the order of Noonday, TC products (purses, aprons, placemats, table runners, throw pillow covers, ornaments) are sewn by about 110 amazing women in Swaziland, Africa. These women are volunteer cooks at their local care points (feeding stations) for orphans and vulnerable children. Adventures in Mission - specifically Julie Anderson in Swaziland and Marcia Borg in the US - administers this program and minsters to the women. For many, their Timbali income is the only money brought in for their families. "Timbali" means flower in Siswati and is the word used in the translation of Matthew 6 - "Consider the lilies/timbali of the field...." I hope you'll check out their website at BTW - my husband, Jay, enjoyed talking with you at Sentralized! He was the one with the gray/blonde beard! :)
Pam - October 11th, 2013 at 8:02 PM
It's official: We are soul mates. I have been reading your blog for years. I've heard you speak on several occasions, the most recent one was in Grapevine, TX and I sat directly behind you on the second pew. But your correct use of the word "janky" in this post has sealed it for me. I have used that word since 1995 and my husband has argued that it simply isn't a word. Thank you for settling it for us and winning my heart just a little more. I didn't think it was possible.
Our Vintage Life - October 11th, 2013 at 9:40 PM
How kind of you to share such wonderful "stuff" with us. As I sit here looking at the dust on my floors, the Merry Maids referral might be the best of all!
ali - October 12th, 2013 at 2:52 AM
check out karama gifts! beautiful scarves, jewelry, bags, and gifts- all from africa! make one purchase, learn the story of the person who made your item, and share dignity with a new friend in tanzania. {}

carrie - October 14th, 2013 at 7:18 AM
I don't know how to link stuff BUT I stalk/view the appropriate amount of times, Jamie the Very Worst Missionary's Instagram/blog and scored a studded wrap watch from SaukSam which also is run by a former victim of human trafficking. Stalking and doing good..the two balance out.
Gwendolyn - October 14th, 2013 at 3:48 PM
Jen, thanks for the list. I do love a good balsamic glaze. I find myself daydreaming about ways to eat it.
Laura P - October 14th, 2013 at 8:28 PM
If you like the Civil Wars, check our Aaron & Amanda Konzelman! They have a few songs on iTunes now and are making an album right now! Plus they are local to you--Austin area, but their roots are in Waco! Oh, and I love Matilda Jane clothing! Funky, unique, comfy and modest girls clothing! They do lots of great mission work too-including doing a sewing workshop for the Noonday girls!
Alexa - October 15th, 2013 at 3:07 PM
I can't believe all the gorgeous things on the Noonday website. I have definitely been missing out, but at least I've found them now! I was getting tired of having the same jewelry as everyone else- not anymore with those unique pieces. I know where I'm doing my Christmas shopping!
M.E.M. - October 17th, 2013 at 9:33 PM
So, I took your advice to heart, checked out People of the Second Chance, and got the Freeway book. Received it in the mail today and I now have a dilemma. Apparently, this book (1) is supposed to be done with a group, and (2) has videos to accompany it. I would like to give this book a shot, but I do not go to church. I can't step foot into a church without experiencing loads of anxiety and shame. I honestly don't trust many Christians, but I still think Jesus has something to offer me. Is there anyone out there who is doing this study and would be willing to include a cynical, non-church going, terrified of christians, longing for something more gal in their group?
Karen - October 19th, 2013 at 6:56 PM
a long time ago you mentioned a group that made VERY cute knit fold down skirts that cost about $50. I can't find the post where you mentioned it....

Any one know????
Kristine Gentry - October 22nd, 2013 at 11:13 AM
Open Arms?
Tammy - October 21st, 2013 at 10:24 AM
A dear friend of mine has written a fiction book about an adoption story that actually took place in our church. The book is out on pre-order right now. She did an amazing job!! I have read a ton of Christian fiction and this is one of the best I have read! Check it the book is called Loving.
Also, I LOVE the companies you suggested. Can't wait to do some Christmas shopping. I am a direct seller, for the company Thirty-One Gifts and that is something I LOVE. So if you are looking for some fun home organization products, or purses, bags & accessories check out my website as ;)
Caren - October 21st, 2013 at 11:33 AM
I love how blogs just open your world by showing you the light of bigger, better, deeper paths to God, wholeness, fun, inspiration and purpose. some days I feel like I am drowning in a sea of domestic chores, dull to-do's, demands of family life, sadness on the state of the world and feeling like I don't measure up. Your blog in its honesty, genuiness and inspiration, is like finding a home, where I fit in, where I am reminded of the goodness of life, and find kindred spirits! Hope this makes sense, I am on some strong cold medicine!
I have started a small business called C's Potential, I restore furniture and items destined for the dumpster. I love seeing what can happen, and am hoping one day to expand and draw in people who need someone to see their potential. I love that you are sharing these businesses with us!
Melanie C. - October 22nd, 2013 at 12:08 PM
With Christmas around the corner, I am loving The Christmas Angel books. It's similar in concept to Elf on the Shelf, but with a good deed every day to do with your kids. It teaches them kindness and love for others and has Jesus and love for others at heart. I would love to see you review this book - so amazing!
Jess K - October 31st, 2013 at 10:38 AM
I am loving Better Life Bags ( A Detroit based small business that employs local immigrant women and their bags are super cute and great quality.
Cat - November 8th, 2013 at 11:35 PM
Oh my....I am OBSESSED with The Civil Wars and love them ( but of course I love Jesus too!). Glad to know I'm not the only one who appreciates their genius.
Kate - November 21st, 2013 at 7:52 AM
Oh my goodness, I CANNOT stop listening to The Civil Wars Pandora station. Thank you for sharing some of your favorite things!
Kelly L - March 26th, 2014 at 7:34 PM is a great social enterprise that gives 100% of sales back to the Walter Hoving Home - a residential program for women recovering from life shattering addictions. The ladies in residence in the home design, sew and sell bags made out of repurposed materials to help pay the cost of the program.

Walter Hoving Home is an affiliate of the Teen Challenge program and is located in Garrison, NY - Pasedena, CA - and Las Vegas, NV.

Check us out at and

Bonnie Bosch - September 3rd, 2014 at 6:43 PM
Hi Jen,
I have enjoyed your show and watching your hous become a home. Have also enjoyed getting a glimpse of you and your sweet family. On one of your shows you wore what looked like a wide leather bracelet with a silver heart attached. Could you share where it can be purchased? Love your look even in the midst of a messy reno! Bonnie
corine - October 21st, 2014 at 6:51 PM
Hi Ms. Fashion Plate Thing. You posted a bag that caught my eye and I am in need of now. Maybe some of your readers will remember it. Searched and didn't find the post. Could you or anyone please post info on this computer/travel bag you wrote about briefly. BTW, loved meeting you and hearing your heart in Dallas at Go Girl. Thank you so much.
Julie Boyer - January 21st, 2015 at 11:52 PM
Trades of Hope is great too. Fair trade and helping women out of poverty.
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