Friday Five: Favorite Things

Happy Weekend, beautiful friends! For this round of Friday Five, I’m sharing five new things that I am loving lately. Enjoy!

1. Steve’s Ice Cream

Now, I am partial to Steve’s ice cream because most of the important men in my life have Stephen in their name — my dad, my pop pop, my brother, and my uncle. But Steve isn’t just a great name, but now, it’s my favorite ice cream brand too! 

I stumbled upon this cute little pint at the grocery store last week and once I saw that it was vegan, I had to give it a shot. Y’all. THIS FLAVOR! It’s delicious. It tastes just like creme brûlée and it has taken every bone in my body to hold me back to just a few tablespoons per night. 

And with so few ingredients, and so many allergy-free options — how could you not love Steve? I can’t wait to give the other flavors a try! 

2. Group Texts 

Living far from all of your friends is HARD. But thank you, Steve Jobs, for keeping me connected with my favorite people! I’ve been so thankful for my recurring group texts lately – The Group Text, Matcha Girls, Englinellis, and Abby, Taylor, and Casey (we need a clever name guys) — thank you for loving me, filling me in on your daily lives, and making me laugh everyday! 

3. This Thomas Rhett song. 

Best of the summer, am I right? I love adding this song to my speed work playlists lately. So fun and catchy! 

4. Thai Food 

I’ve been eating pad thai like it’s my job lately. And the other night, we went on a date to a new Thai place. So many veggie + meat options = happy couple. We loved it! And chad ate out of a pineapple! 

5. Matthew 

I started rereading the gospel of Matthew this week. Jesus direct, clear teachings have served as humbling reminders to me of areas of my life where I have been falling short — especially when it comes to judging others. I am loving these truths this week and am thankful for a God of grace and change. 

I hope that you have a great 4th of July weekend! 


Giveaway with Mavi Bandz!

In both training and racing, my favorite accessory lately has been my Confetti headband from Mavi Bandz. I received my first just before the San Diego Rock N’ Roll 1/2 Marathon – and not only did it match with my newly released SGMG tank, but the band did not even THINK about moving for the entire 13.1 miles! Y’all, in all of my years of running, I have never found a headband that doesn’t require re-positioning 100 times throughout the course of a run – until Mavi Bandz. Since falling in love with my particular band (I hardly run without it, now!), I’ve fallen in love with the Mavi Bandz brand and story.

Mavi Bandz was launched in 2013 as the solution to one of the unsolved problems of the world. There wasn’t a headband on the market that stayed in place all day, didn’t give you a headache, and could fit every size head.

What started as a piece of ribbon and a sewing machine in a basement has grown tenfold since the first design was pieced together in 2011. Since then, Mavi Bandz has spent count less hours perfecting this revolutionary headband and creating hundreds of styles for their broad range of customers. Their goal is to offer our adjust able, non-slip headbands to everyone…coast to coast.

And friends – their solution really works! I have a huge head (yep, totally wear men’s XL hats), and have the toughest time finding headbands that can wrap around my noggin. With the adjustable strap on the back, the band stayed in place and my big-head insecurities flew out the window.

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The team at Mavi Bandz and I put our heads together (ok, ok, maybe a little pun intended 🙂 ) and decided to do a giveaway just for you, SGMG readers! Because the Confetti band compliments the SGMG tank colors so nicely, Mavi Bandz and I are giving away a Confetti band AND a SGMG tank of your choosing (a $40 value)!

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We’d love for you to enter the giveaway and brighten up your summer running with our fun, bright colors! To enter:

  1. follow both @mavibandz and @staygreatmygirl on Instagram 
  2. find and like the post on @staygreatmygirl and comment with just a few words about how running has impacted your life

That’s it! Easy, right? For bonus entries (but not required to win!), tag a running buddy in the comments. Every tag = 1 additional entry. 

Enter by Midnight PST on Thursday, 6/29.

Winner will be announced on Friday, 6/30!

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Thank you, Mavi Bandz, for partnering with me for this giveaway! To shop all of Mavi Bandz best selling styles, click here.

Thank you and good luck! 

Road to Revel: Week 2

"Run the mile you are in." — David Willey, marathoner:

Happy Monday! Did you do anything fun this weekend? Tell me about your adventures and let me live vicariously through them – I was sick in bed for the majority of this weekend. Something had been going around both of our offices, and inevitably, it took me out. Not something you want in week 2 of marathon training when you’re determined to start out on the right foot! But, that’s just real life…so let’s catch up. 🙂

Monday35 minute recovery swim and stretch

I am loving that swimming is a part of weekly training now. If you’re a runner, and brand new to the pool (like me!) I think you’ll love this article about swimming for recovery.

Tuesday 3 mile treadmill run + 3 mile hike on Cowles Mountain + 15 min. strength

I had late meetings on Tuesday night, so I got to play a bit before heading into work later that morning. My friend Ashley joined me for the hike and it was so fun – even if we heard rattlesnakes! We’re in the middle of a heat wave, and that’s the time they’re most visible and active on the trails. Yikes!

Cowles Mountain Hike (Most Popular Hike / the Highest Peak in San Diego).:

Wednesday6 mile run at the beach (5 miles @ 9:05 pace, 1 mile cool down with my dog), 30 minute walk @ lunch

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Thursday45 min. of elliptical and strength training

And then…that’s when it started to hit. I felt my throat getting scratchy at work and knew I was about to be down for the count. Nooooo!

Friday – called for a 6 mile run – MISSED

Sadly, I was super sick on Friday and had to muster up all of my energy to get through work. I had nothing in me for a run and felt like my body was telling me to rest. I went to bed at 7 p.m. How’s that for a wild Friday night?

So true. Even when I can't go as long or as far as I want.:
Yep. I was totally wallowing.

Saturday – called for a 3 mile run – MISSED

Watched Netflix and read books horizontally for about 16/24 hours. Womp, womp.

***Mugs are made to order and shipped via USPS First Class Mail. Please allow 2 weeks for production time and delivery.*** The best gifts are both personal and functional, and that’s why this novelty

Sunday  – 8 mile run – FINALLY!

I wasn’t feeling great, but a little bit better. I rallied for a morning date that Chad had planned for us, and tried to go for a run afterwards. It was a struggle, but I got it done! Happy to have those miles on my feet, even if they were hard-fought in between coughing fits. 🙂

Total Weekly Miles: 17…ouch.

But, that’s ok! Real life surprises us every now and then, and it’s inevitable that training won’t always go perfectly. Sometimes all we can do is be still and be patient through it. Now I’m just more determined to stay focused, disciplined, and healthy in the coming weeks.

I’m looking forward to getting healthy and having better success in Week 3. Have a wonderful week!

Distance Running: Loving Where You Are Today:

Have you hit any roadblocks in your training lately? Share in the comments!

Verse of the Week:

"You can make many plans, but, the Lord's purpose will prevail.":


Stay Great, my friends.


Road to Revel: Week 1


Well friends, today is the start of a new week and that means that week 1 of marathon training is OVER! Wahoo! I’m starting this “Road to Revel” series to track my training for my 2nd marathon (Revel Canyon City – November 2017) each week. These posts will keep you updated and will serve as a way to hold myself accountable to follow through on what I’ve committed to. I am doing 3 weeks of mileage base building and 20 weeks of a formal plan. Thank you so much for reading — and please, please, please, if you have any advice or training tips along the way, I welcome them and would be so appreciative!

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Monday – 35 Minute Swim


I finally bought some swim gear (not a bikini!) and swam laps for the first time EVER. Swimming is definitely not my strength but the benefits for runners are endless – so I am looking forward to learning something new and getting stronger at it as I go. I was actually really surprised at how much I enjoyed the time in the water!

Tuesday – 3 miles @ 8:51/mi + arm workout

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Wednesday – 5 miles @ 9:13/mi + resistance band workout



Thursday – 1 hour swim with BILL WALTON.

Back in the pool on Thursday, I was casually swimming laps, choking on water as I do, life as usual….until looked over and saw Bill Walton in the lane next to me. And we proceeded to be swim buddies for the rest of the workout. I know, I know, this literally sounds unbelievable but it’s the truth y’all. I’ve always known that he lives one town over from us but never knew that we were members at the same gym! I didn’t ask to take any pictures with him because he was just trying to workout and enjoy a quiet morning with all of the other mid-morning retirees in the pool. But he was super nice! He asked one of the young lifeguards, “how’s your basketball game coming along?” which was the most precious thing. Life is funny.


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Friday – 3 miles @ 9:00/mi, 2 miles @ 9:04/mi (treadmill) leg workout in between


Saturday – 3 mile run  @ 8:14/mi + 8 mile bike ride with Chad


I loved this run! I had negative splits (8:35, 8:13, 7:52) and enjoyed the peace and quiet first thing in the morning along the bay. Normally this area is crowded with tourists, other runners, and bikers, but it was so sweet to have it to myself! I hope I can sustain this pace on future runs. I’d love to be able to get to the point where 8:14/mi average is easy!

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Sunday – Long Run: 6 miles @ 9:25/mi

So hot and my legs felt like bricks – this run felt sluggish and HARD. But as my Dad always says, a slow run is better than no run.

Week 1 Total Mileage: 22

Other fun highlights and random happenings from the week:

  • Chad had to work on Saturday (it only happens once or twice a year, thankfully) and he was SO KIND to take care of Chase and clean all of the floors in our house before he left in the morning, while I enjoyed my run. Those were two less chores that I had to do. 🙂 I am so grateful for that man!
  • I started a new job at work (same company, different position!) this week and was showered with so much love and encouragement (and lots of plants!) as my desk moved down the hall and into a different department. I love the people that I work with.IMG_2342.jpg
  • With the crazy week at work (lots of training and a bit of a learning curve on this new team!), I really haven’t had the energy to do any fancy cooking or big-time meal prepping. This tempeh, brussels, and sweet potato fries combo was a favorite for dinner this week. The best part is that I can just swap out the tempeh for chicken on Chad’s plate and bam – you’ve got a happy veggie and a happy carnivore with minimal effort. And, yep, look closely – we totally used paper plates this week because sometimes you just don’t feel like doing dishes. That’s real life, y’all. And who can resist these pineapple cuties?


  • We Skyped with both of our dads for Father’s Day! Love them and am thankful that technology can keep us connected.
  • And last but certainly not least…a highlight of the week for me…my best friend, Mary Kathleen, ran a super fast 2nd marathon and looked cute in her Stay Great My Girl shirt doing it! So honored that she rocked Isaiah 40:31 at Grandma’s Marathon in Minnesota. Way to go, MKS!

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I hope you have a wonderful week ahead!

Are you training for anything right now?


Have you ever run a Revel series race before? What was your experience?

How did you celebrate Father’s Day?


Encouragement of the Week:

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God has been teaching me a lot about humility lately (and how I have a lotttt of room to grow in this area 🙂 _– I will be working on memorizing this verse this week! 


5 Books On My Summer Reading List

Hello, friends, and a big happy Thursday to you! Tomorrow is the weekend — we are SO close! Hang on a little bit longer. 🙂

One of my favorite things to do on weekends is to get lost in a good book. And there’s something about summertime that makes pleasure reading feel even more luxurious. Even though so many of us work full-time and have adult responsibilities, taking the time to indulge in a good book in the sunshine can make us feel like kids again. So, with the official start of summer being right around the corner, I’m excited to share some of my favorite books and some books that I hope to read this summer. I created this list with you, my sweet readers and friends, and your interests, in mind…and I hope that you’ll love them!

5 Books On My Summer Reading List

  1. The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines 

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If you don’t know Chip and Jo, then feel free to come stay at my house because you must be living under a rock. And if you do know Chip and Jo, but don’t like them, then we can’t be friends. Just kidding. 🙂 But seriously, y’all (totally getting in the Texas mood here), what’s not to love about these two? I read their book earlier this year and was so intrigued by the real, behind-the-scenes story about how their family started and what is now the household name of Magnolia came to be. This book had me both laughing and in tears, and I love how they humbly tell their story and boldly share their faith. I’m reading it again this summer because it’s just that good for my soul.

Read this book with a glass of sweet tea on some grass in your barefeet, and you’ll be hooked with their big hearts and southern charm. Get your copy of the Magnolia Story here.

2. 50/50 by Dean Karnazes 

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This is the second book I’ve read (well, am currently reading!) by super duper ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes and I love it! In 2006, Dean set out on an epic journey to run 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 consecutive days – and this book shares everything you’d want to know about such a crazy running adventure.

Dean also shares his tips for marathoners and anyone looking to build their endurance throughout the book. I started this book earlier this week with the start of my marathon training plan, and it has been so motivating! I hope you’ll find it inspirational throughout your next training cycle, too. Be inspired by 50/50 and buy the book here.

3. Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life by Shauna Niequist 

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I’m sure you’ve heard of Shauna Niequist’s latest best-seller, Present Over Perfect, but have you read her earlier books? I’m a big fan of Bittersweet and Bread & Wine, but I just picked up Cold Tangerines at a thrift store last week and am excited to dive into it after finishing 50/50. Reading Shauna’s memoirs feels exactly like grabbing coffee with a friend who knows you inside and out, who you can belly laugh and talk about the hard stuff with. I think you’ll love it! Add Cold Tangerines to your poolside reading list.

4. Finding Ultra by Rich Roll

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Rich Roll’s podcast is one of my favorites to listen to for all things running, endurance sports, and plant-based diets (I’m not 100% plant based yet but am trying to get a little better every day), and once I found out that he wrote a book – I had to add it to my summer reading list!

This book promises to be an inspiring story about how Rich overcame addiction and turned his life around at age 40. He went from being unhealthy and out of shape to one of the world’s fittest men. I can’t wait to read about his journey and I hope you will join me! I love the idea that it is never too late for anyone to start living a healthier, happier life. Pick up your copy of Finding Ultra here, and be sure to check out Rich’s podcast as well.

5. At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider 

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I listen to Shauna Niequist’s podcast (can you tell she’s one of my favorites?) and she recently had Tsh Oxenreider on her show. Tsh and her husband decided to pack up their family (three kids under 10!) and spent a year backpacking as a family all around the world. This book tells of their adventures and I can’t wait to read it and hopefully satisfy my wanderlusting heart. 🙂 This one would be so fun to do for a book club. Buy a copy and read along with me!

What books are on your reading list this summer? Have you read anything recently that you’d recommend? A girl can never have too many books on her list. 🙂

Sending much love and wishing you a happy summer with LOTS of free time to read poolside!



Disclaimer: Stay Great My Girl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. 


Weekend Recap: Bikes, Trails, and Island Time

Happy Monday! I hope that you had a great weekend and had lots of time to be active and enjoy the people you love.

After work on Friday, I rang in the weekend with a hike up to the top of Cowles Mountain –  the highest point in the city of San Diego. It’s 3 miles roundtrip with an elevation gain of almost 1,000 feet — making it the perfect workout for when you need a good, heart-pumping challenge but are short on time. The views from the top of Cowles are the best – a panoramic view of San Diego, the mountains, the oceans…you must check it out if you ever visit the area!


I wore the “Take the Trail Less Traveled” tank from the SGMG shop – which is a little ironic because Cowles Mountain is a super popular tourist spot and is most definitely NOT the trail less traveled…but that’s ok. 😉 Buy the tank here!



Chad must have ESP, because when I came home from the hike this ice cold strawberry kombucha from Plant Power was waiting for me. It was exactly what I wanted after a good sweat! He’s the best. ❤

We took Chase down to the dog park and ended up meeting up with our friends J + J and their brand new rescue pup, Pongo. We love him! He is so sweet and calm and couldn’t ask for a better family to love him forever! We all went out for an impromptu double date at Pieology. Do they have these in your area? Are they only a California thing? I like to describe it as Chipotle for pizza. AKA make your own pizza. I love it because they have so many veggie options, including vegan cheese that actually melts and resembles the real thing! We had a great time sitting outside and catching up on life.

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We woke up pretty early on Saturday morning to knock out some laundry and cleaning so that we could fully enjoy the rest of the day. It was drizzling and a little chilly (ok, it was like 60 degrees…but that’s COLD in CA!), but we still took a walk into town and Chad took me on a breakfast date.

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We tried Te Mana Cafe for the first time and LOVED it. It is an old craftsman-style home that the owners purchased twenty years ago and converted into a laid-back, Hawaiian themed restaurant…which was perfect for us, because ever since we booked our trip to Maui for the Fall, we are obsessed with all things Hawaii.

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We walked around OB some more, checked out some new shops that just opened up, and grabbed another cup of coffee at Azucar. Nothing beats a lazy Saturday morning walk. 

After our date, I squeezed in a quick workout on the treadmill and headed to a coworker’s baby shower (so fun!) and Chad played volleyball in La Jolla. When I came home in the evening, there were TWO bikes in our house! Yay! Chad had been searching for the perfect bikes for us and scored two really good deals. We have been wanting bikes for a long time and I can’t wait for the many adventures we’ll have with them together. 

Just one little part to replace and his bike is as good as new now! 🙂

And Chad’s uncle Dan stopped by! He was in town for a Navy SEAL graduation and it was a nice surprise to see him. 🙂

We spent Sunday doing Sunday things — grocery shopping, meal prepping, church, and the beach. A highlight was making my key lime pie tart bites again – this time with a walnut crust to make it GF 🙂 

I also joined my family’s group and Marco Polo and it is so much fun! What a clever way to stay in touch. I had a lot of fun figuring that out  and catching up with them last night. 

Today is the official start of my marathon training cycle and I am so excited! And honestly, I do forget so much of my first marathon! Anytime I’ve run 10+ miles lately, I’ve thought to myself “there’s no way I ran a marathon before. Was that me? Was that really this body?” I’m looking forward to building up that strength again for marathon #2. 🙂 Have anything fun going on this week? 

Verse of the week: 



Weekend Recap (and the San Diego RNR Half-Marathon!)

Hello, Monday and hello, new week!

Living The Life We Have Imagined:


Need some encouragement this morning? My friend Abby just launched a free devotional studying the book of Joshua! It only takes 5 minutes and is sure to brighten your day and draw you closer to God. Join me in reading it each morning.


Now onto this past weekend…it was wonderful!

I swear it was Friday like 5 minutes ago:


It all kicked off Friday morning with the launch of the new Stay Great My Girl shop! Have you checked it out yet? I was overwhelmed with the early orders and support from family, friends, and blog readers!

I was ahead on my hours at the office and was able to leave work early on Friday afternoon. I went downtown to the San Diego Rock N’ Roll Marathon/Half Expo. Normally, Chad and I go to expos together on Saturday, but I wanted to beat the crazy crowds as this race has around 35,000 people in and out of the convention center in two days!

The expo was a lot of fun, as they always are. I got to watch a live interview with Meb Keflezighi (San Diego’s hero), talk to other San Diego Track Club members, and grabbed lots of goodies/samples.


We slept in since no long run was on the agenda! First time in a long time – #praisehandsemoji. We had a leisurely breakfast and I set off for a 2 mile run/walk at the cliffs to shake out the cobwebs while Chad went to CrossFit. June Gloom is in full effect here in San Diego, but it was still beautiful.

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Obviously not my photo 🙂 but I wanted to show you why this is my favorite run spot…miles and miles of views like these!

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Walked over to tiki port afterwards for a special coffee treat before running errands and doing laundry all morning. It can’t be beach time and long runs always – real life duties still have to happen. 🙂

For dinner, we made meatloaf (for chad), tempeh (for me), salad, and pasta. Carbo-loading before the race! We tried this new pasta from Trader Joe’s and I love it.


I spent the rest of the night fulfilling orders from the SGMG shop (AKA trying to distract myself from pre-race jitters). I am humbled at the number of orders I received in the first weekend. Thank you, thank you!


The highly-anticipated, long-awaited, San Diego Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon!!!

While it was an amazing day and a great race to be a part of…it didn’t go as planned for me. My heart was broken that I let myself down and missed the goal I had been striving for by 4 minutes. I let negative thoughts get the best of me about halfway through and I started believing the lie that I wasn’t good enough or fast enough to finish in my goal time. And so, I let the negative thoughts win, I slowed down, and I finished in 2:04:33.

I cried at the finish but received wonderful advice from Chad, family, and friends. They reminded me of some much needed perspective that running is a gift.


As my friend Abby so eloquently put it, “We need to remember – we don’t just run to achieve or for time; we run because we love it, we run because of the joy it brings, we run because it’s an outlet and an encouragement and a freedom! And nothing can change that.”

That was all that I needed to hear to be brought back down to reality and to focus on what really matters. 🙂 Remember her wise words the next time you miss a goal! And then keep pushing forward and don’t give up on that goal. It will happen.

Chad is the best and has never missed one of my races! He wakes up super early (4am this time, with no grumbling!) and gets all around the course to see me at different spots. Whatever the results of the race are, meeting with him at the finish is always my favorite part.

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Other Favorite Moments of the Race:

  • Meeting a guy from Philly and doing an Eagles chant around mile 2
  • A mid-run fist bump from a guy who was also wearing Isaiah 40:31 on his shirt
  • Orange slices from neighborhood kids in North Park
  • A sign that said, “You better RUN…I had to move my car for this”, in one of the residential neighborhoods.
  • Running past Hariette Thompson, a 94-year old woman who set the world record yesterday as the oldest woman to complete a Half-Marathon
  • Seeing my coworker Colleen cheering on the sidewalk in Normal Heights
  • Seeing a firefighter running the full marathon in full gear (even his tank!)
  • The DJ/dance party tunnel at San Diego City College overpass


Celebratory Lunch Date: About halfway through the race I was dreaming of this amazing salad (that I probably get once a week!) from our local Cuban restaurant. We are regulars there and our “usual” tasted even better after 13.1 miles. 🙂

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The rest of the day was perfect. Even though it was gloomy, we took Chase on a long walk by the bay (pups need to get their miles in, too!). Leisurely walks with no plan and no time limit are my favorite thing to do with my guys. We wandered around the neighborhood and fantasized about living in one of the luxurious beach houses that were for sale.


We had church later at night and I volunteered in the babies’ room. They are so fun and snuggly! It was the perfect end to a Sunday full of favorite things. I am grateful for good days like these and don’t take them for granted when they come along. 🙂

Share Your Comments:

Did you run or race this weekend? Tell me about your experience!

How do you combat negative thoughts during a race?

What are you most looking forward to about the week ahead?

Thanks for reading. I am headed to the post office before work this morning to ship off the first batch of tanks to Austin TX, Waco TX (x2!), Mississippi, Wilmington, Bear, Newark, and Elkton. So fun!

If you’d like to receive your tanks in the next batch, order by Wednesday evening!

Wishing you a happy Monday and a joy-filled week.



Verse of the Week:

April Lock Screen – C. Brooke Ring - Free Scripture Lock Screen - Floral Wallpaper for iPhone - Free Bible Verse Lock Screen: