Favorite Finds (laughing planet edition)

"A good laugh is sunshine in the house.".
William Thackeray

It has been a landmark summer here in Oregon.

During our warm summer days and usually much cooler nights, we had TWO days of over ONE HUNDRED FIERY DEGREES. One hundred and ten to be exact. This in not Texas, y'all!

I happen to know that for many reasons. But now that my Kate and her family have moved to Texas, I know it when she sends me the weather forecast in my own state and it is hotter than hers. When I got my own forecast in a text, I told her the world must have gone upside down. In my best gut response from my beloved Baptist upbringing, I suggested it must be the end of the world as we know it.

Kate with her quick wit, told me,
"Jesus is returning and he's coming to Texas first because no one likes 110. Not even him. It was just too fiery hot in Oregon to start there."

I didn't realize how much I needed a good belly laugh until right that moment. That happens when you're a hurry-up, serious kind of girl in the throes of making hard decisions. If you have been reading awhile, then you know that ever since Mike's heart surgery and then toxic pneumonia three years ago, I have been trying to intentionally slow down and do the work of becoming wholehearted. I think laughter was the next ingredient becoming a wholehearted girl, and so began looking for funny.

On the first day of a mere 108 degrees, I was out in the heat trying to finding my next house to flip. On the second day when it reached 110 degrees, I got smarter and was enjoying my favorite pastime, browsing in the air conditioned aisles of my favorite thrift store. It was there behind the row of old crockpots and country blue goose pitchers, that I spotted the Gurgle Pot.

1.Gurgle Pot

I first learned about Gurgle Pots about 5 years ago from my dear friend Heidi, and soon to be mama-in-love to my Ryan.

Gurgle Pots are pitchers in the shape of a fish looking up into the sky while sitting on his tail. If that's not cute enough, they come in bright Fiesta Ware colors like aqua, all sorts of sizes and best of all, they actually do gurgle when you pour them out and again when you set them upright. They happily glug and kind of laugh while they work. They are the happiest thing filled with water and put on the dinner table.

If you like the thrill of the hunt, you can wait to stumble on one like I did. (It's fun that mine happened to be a white pitcher, but then to me, serendipity is part of the fun of thrifting.)

Or you can choose your favorite color and not wait FIVE YEARS for your own Gurgle Pot.

Happy laughing and pouring!

2.Farm Girl Paints a.k.a. Becky Strahl

A good laugh starts with a smile and these will light up your face and your arm.

I found Farm Girl Paints on Instagram @farmgirlpaints. Becky is the creative artisan behind these up-cycled leather bracelets with delightful sayings on them.

I'm pretty sure the leather used to be belts I actually wore in the hip-hugger 70's when I was a teenager. I remember wearing a pair of cherry red bell-bottoms with a wide leather belt and riding in a black Trans Am next to a boy named Rod. Of all those things, I am glad only the belts are back.

You can find Farm Girl Paints on Etsy.

Thanks to the 70's memories of wide leather belts, boys named Rod and black Trans Ams, I am now remembering Smokey and the Bandit. It seems I am not the only one.

3.Melanie Shankle a.k.a. Big Mama

Y'all, I am late to this party, but I have just discovered the writings of Melanie Shankle. Where have I been? Again, I asked Kate, and we decided under a rock.

I have a whole post coming out about being on the launch team for her new book, but I cannot wait to tell you about her, because it is true that laughter really is the best medicine, that and true-blue friendship.

Her latest book does not come out until October, but you can pre-order it and get it first with freebies. It is called The Church of the Small Things: the million little pieces that make up a life, and the title is just the beginning.

In the meantime, I ran to my local library and got caught up on all things Melanie. You can do that too or do some one-click shopping and have her books at your doorstep before you can say, "Where are my sweatpants?".

Antelope in the Living Room

Sparkly Green Earrings

Nobody's Cuter than You
(This one was my favorite!)

Each of Melanie's books are a slice of her life in marriage, in friendship and in mama-hood. Her stories are heart warming, woven with her faith and hilarious at just the right moment.

You can also find Melanie on her blog The Big Mama Blog.

Bonus: The Sweet Potato Queen

I cannot offer you my favorite funny finds without an old favorite, The Sweet Potato Queen books. These are southern to their core and consider yourself warned, they have some risqué bits. Plus, you may have a strange urge to run out and buy a pair of majorette boots and march in a parade.

Sweet Potato Queen's Book of Love

Sweet Potato Queen's Big Ass Cookbook and Financial Planner

Now go get some laugh lines around your twinkly eyes and enjoy the rest of summer!

Hint: Shhhhh! Some of these Favorite Finds are already being wrapped as Christmas gifts in my house. Before you think I'm crazy, we have a wedding about FOUR DAYS after Christmas. I am not wanting to cheapen or rush our celebration of Christmas, on the contrary, my heart is to be intentional, creative and simply meaningful. I will take all the help I can get with this, so send me your ideas that both deepen and simplify your Christmas celebration.

*Also some of these are affiliate links. Now we can both be ready for Christmas.