In an effort to consolidate the 5,395 blogs I maintain, I’m moving my blogging efforts under one umbrella: Cheap Ways To …. I started that blog in ’06 to promote my book, Cheap Ways to Tie the Knot. Now that I have revised & updated it to sell as an eBook, I’m going to attempt to build my personal brand around that moniker.

Here’s where you’ll find the personal posts on my new blog: http://www.cheapways2.com/cara/. Please take a minute to subscribe to my newsletter feed for updates.

Much love!

Photo by Tec Petaja

I think art inspires art; that’s why I’ve filled my house with music that inspires my cooking and paintings and photographs that inspire my music, and vice versa. It’s all connected for me. I couldn’t just commit to do one thing. I want more. -Jessie Baylin

cheap ways to tie the knot

Five years ago Relevant Book published my book, Cheap Ways to Tie the Knot. I’ve recently updated the book and made it available as an ebook through Amazon. For the bride looking to plan her dream day on a budget, this book has everything she needs. Buy it or recommend it to a friend today!

Friends who already have copies, would you be so kind as to leave a review on the product page so others will know what a great find it is? Thanks!

Jon Acuff (@jonacuff), the guy behind Stuff Christians Like, and a new marketing golden boy at Dave Ramey’s Lampo Group, will be signing copies of his new book, Quitter, tomorrow at Books-A-Million in Sanford.

I first started following Jon on his hilarious blog, Stuff Christians Like, and bought copies of the book that came out of that for many of my friends. When I reached out to introduce myself to Jon (I work with his equally hilarious and talented cousin Josh Acuff), he reminded me that we spoke when he proposed a book to Relevant when I was the acquisitions editor there. We passed on the book. Ouch.

But Jon’s not the kind of guy to let that get him down. He’s obviously gone on to much bigger & better things, including fundraising to build two orphanages in Vietnam. His new book, Quitter, is about bridging the gap between your day job and your dream job. I’ve only read the first chapter (available as a free download here) and I can’t wait to read the rest.

So join me tomorrow in saying hello to Jon and picking up a copy of his new book. Let me know if you’re coming out! (Did I mention he’s giving away $500 at the signing? Booyah!) Reply or DM me at @caranicoledavis

Here’s the trailer for his book:

Here are few tunes that currently get my feet moving. What are some of your favorite songs to workout to?

“What Do You Know”
Two Door Cinema Club

“Sea Lion Woman”
Feist

“Good Girl”
Chrisette Michele

“Alright”
John Legend

“Armistice”
Mute Math

“Rock That Body”
Black Eyed Peas

“This Corrosion”
Diane Birch

“Everything Will Be Alright”
Matt Wertz

“Melody”
Kate Earl

“Little Lion Man”
Mumford & Sons

This is Brady.

brady banks

Brady was my best friend and neighbor when I was a kid. We used to climb trees together.

I once got a tick from one of those adventures. It burrowed itself into the back of my head and was there for weeks before I told my mom about it. After an ER trip & surgery to remove said tick, I was on my way with a congratulatory Barbie doll. It was the makeup kind and totally awesome.

One of my most vivid memories of Brady was the morning he offered to carry a Lego pyramid I made for a school project onto the bus for me. The paper grocery bag that it was in slipped from his hand and the pyramid did not fare so well. Still, he was a gentlemen for offering to carry it. (My mom remembers him a little differently … she says he pushed me off the porch one time.)

Brady’s older brother Brandon was my first piano teacher. I took lessons from him in their home across the street, then came home to practice on my Casio keyboard. A couple of years later Mom bought me an upright and I began lessons in earnest from the Joanie Clark Music Studio. Joanie had a studio adjacent to her home and I grew up alongside one of her daughters, Kristin. I took piano there and performed songs like “Wind Beneath My Wings” at piano recitals until I went to college.

Brady and I didn’t keep in touch after his family moved away, and it’s only been a few months ago that I learned he was active in Nashville’s local government. I’m not surprised. He’s always been a personable, smart guy who puts others before himself (or as mom would say, “pushes others before himself”).

In all seriousness, I am proud to have known him.

What surprised me most about when we re-connected was who his wife is – Kristin! I learned that they didn’t meet each other until they were each at college (him at Mercer, then Harvard, her at Duke). Both are from amazing Nashville families and they seem perfect for each other. She is now a minister at a United Methodist church. I think it’s so weird that two people I knew growing up (who didn’t know each other at the time) found each other and are now working to make Nashville a better place together.

Since I no longer live in Nashville I can’t help Brady and his team knock on doors, but I can support them in other ways. If you’re in Nashville, get this guy on your radar. He’s running for Metro Council – District 4 in August. Check out his site and if you like what you see, lend your support.

*Cue patriotic music*

The following shows are ones that I know I’d love. Based on friends and reviews, they are right up my alley. Now that I work from home and have a kid, sitting down to watch a TV show (either on TV or on the computer) seems like a luxury. I feel like there are better ways I should spend my time … and yet, these are calling out to me in the still of the night: “Waaaatch meeee….. you’lll loooove me and laaaauugh still your siiiides hurt ….” (I’m not sure why they call out to me like ghosts, but I just go with it.)

A few random thoughts:

  • “Friday Night Lights” is the only non-comedy. I like to laugh. If I’m going to watch a series or a movie, it better be good if it’s not funny. Conversely, it can be bad and funny and I’ll still watch it. I like to laugh.
  • I’ve never thought to consider which network is pumping out the shows I would most like, but apparently NBC’s the big winner here.
  • I have seen a handful of 30 Rocks and Parks & Recreations and enjoyed them (“30 Rock” especially) but it’s just committing to watch them all that’s the hard part.
  • In the case of some shows like “Mad Men” or “Lost,” you feel like it’s just too late to watch if you’re not watching from the beginning with the rest of the world. Part of the fun is interacting with your friends as they follow the show as well. (Then again, I don’t regret a minute of watching “Arrested Development” even after it was no longer on air.)

What show do you really want to watch or follow but haven’t?

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