sweet & savory potatoes


Here’s the recipe for the sweet potatoes I was telling you about on the show. They are SO good! Seriously. My whole family loves them. (of course, you have to like sweet potatoes!)

4 sweet potatoes
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cinammon
Sea Salt (to taste)
Black pepper (to taste)
2 tsp. coconut oil (olive oil would work too)

Cut sweet potatoes into cubes and set aside in large bowl with a lid. In separate bowl, combine onion powder, garlic powder, cinnamon, sea salt and black pepper. Melt coconut oil (or use olive oil). Pour over sweet potatoes. Sprinkle spice mixture. Put the lid on the bowl, and shake it, shake it, shake it baby!

Pour nicely coated potatoes on a baking pan, and cook for 30-35 minutes at 375. (no need to grease pan!)




I’ve needed a little inspiration to get training for my half marathon at the end of February. This gave it to me.

Favorite Thing #3: Cross Bracelets


These are my favorite bracelets right now! My friend Charlie from Rusty Crickett’s introduced me to ‘em! As you can see they come in all shapes, sizes, and colors! I have the turquoise and I wear it with everything. I went back and got the red with the turquoise the other night. My girlfriend, Kellie, has the gold one with clear stones. It’s adorable!! They’re very inexpensive so they make great gifts for the women in your bible study, home groups, or for your besties, etc.  And I’m telling ya ….you will LOVE them. And they’re great for stacking, too. Guys, this is a great “lil something extra” for your wife/girlfriend/mom/sister/niece. If you have any questions, you can call Charlie 941.745.3131. She has the cutest things, and the BEST ideas. And btw, I don’t get paid to say this. Promise! I just love her boutique. She has all price ranges, for all budgets, and they wrap everything up and make the presentation as fun as the gift. They’re 1st class all the way.

I’m gonna give away 3 bracelets at 10 a.m. this morning (December 5). Register by entering your name and email address in the comment section of this post. Name and email. That’s it! Hitch will randomly choose 3 winners, and we’ll post their names after 10 a.m. Yay!!

Merry Christmas!

cross bracelets with rhinestones


I have the turquoise & the red w/ turquoise. LOVE.

Favorite Thing #2: Christmas Classics!


Make it a Christmas movie night – or nights – with these Christmas Classics! Dim all the lights {except the tree}, grab the family, make some hot chocolate, and enjoy! Merry Christmas!

A Wonderful Life || Miracle on 34th Street || A Christmas Carol



Favorite Thing #1: WoodWick Fireside

Hey Friends!!

WoodWick Fireside

It’s that time….my annual “Carmen’s Favorite Things” is coming to a radio near you! ha!

I only have a minute here before I head to Abbey’s game (let’s hope I actually make it IN this time!) But….I wanted to post my 1st favorite thing for this year!!

I’ve talked about ‘em a bunch. Dave’s actually the one that introduced me. It’s the Fireside WoodWick candle. It really smells & sounds like a real fire. I’ve got one burning in my office right now!

We’re gonna be giving away quite a few in the morning, but I wanted YOU (those that visit my blog) to have a chance to win a few too!

Here’s how:

Enter your name and email address in the comment section of this post. Name & email address. That’s it. Tomorrow morning on the show, I’ll have Hitch randomly pick 3 winners. We’ll announce your name, and email you tomorrow if you win! You can register between NOW and 6 a.m. tomorrow, December 4.

Merry Christmas!

this ‘n that.


I hate mass communication. Really. I do. I think it’s impersonal and sterile. But it’s the best I’ve got!

THANK YOU for all your notes, emails, texts and tweets. Y’all are the SWEETEST, most THOUGHTFUL, LOVING community. EVER. Golly, do I love you so!

Here’s the short version:

Regarding being in the hospital: I’ve had 4 “episodes” over the last 2 months. It’s like a vice grip or industrial strength rubber band around my rib cage. The first time it happened, it woke me up out of a dead sleep at 3:30 in the morning. I actually talked about it that morning on the air, and the show became an on-air version of webmd.com.  ha!  When the episode happens, it’s debilitating pain that makes me nauseous/light headed and sweat like I’ve jumped in the pool. It happened again Monday night before Abbey’s basketball game. I couldn’t get outta the car in the parking lot. It starts like it’s heartburn, and continues. I texted Pete inside and told him to come help me. I seriously thought I was dying! He took me to the ER. They ruled out heart attack. That’s good!! (I knew it wasn’t my heart, btw). And pulmonary embolism. That’s good too! The Dr. said it could be my gallbladder, but I wasn’t tender in that area…and the pain subsides after 45 minutes-ish.  With gallbladder, it typically doesn’t subside, and usually happens after eating fatty foods. This wasn’t me.  I spent the night at the hospital and had an EKG, cat scan, x-rays, and countless viles of blood taken. All my levels look normal. No clots, etc. I’m actually very healthy! As a mater of fact – and you’ll laugh as hard as I did! – they said, “are you a runner? You have a runner’s heartbeat and your blood pressure looks athletic.” LOLOLOLOL! I said, “Look at me. Don’t I look like a runner?”  Yes, you can laugh with me. And we all know I’m a FAKE runner!

Anywho, I’m following up with a GI doc to rule out gallbladder, etc. It could also be acid reflux, gastritis etc. Who knows. Maybe it’ll land me on Dr. Oz!  Of course, the Doc said it could also be stress. I feel like I handle stress pretty well. But maybe I don’t.

As I’ve shared semi-openly, the last six months (on a personal level, not this crazy “episode” stuff) has been a season of leaning into Him, unlike I’ve done in several years. He has asked me the question: Do you believe Me? Do you believe the things you say you believe? I have had to answer honestly….”God, I believe. Help me with my unbelief.” I’m learning that I believe for others; but I don’t believe for myself or my family. Sitting where I sit, I get to see the “red bows”/the happy-ending stories. All the time! And sometimes I forget there’s a hard, long-suffering, but committed road that folks have traveled. Ron & Denver didn’t become friends one day, and write a book together the next. Renee’s daughter didn’t die one day, and she and Eric started doing DUI presentations together the next. Both were journeys. So, I’m journeying with God right now, walking the road with my mom, with my best friends Chris & Kellie and Chris’ cancer diagnosis, and with other close family members who are deeply wounded and need the hand of the Healer. My faith is being challenged. And that’s a good thing. A faith unchallenged is a faith unchanged.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. {Hebrews 11:1}

Southwest Tortilla Soup


3 can black bean
2 can corn (I like the yellow & white mixed; drained)
16 oz salsa (I like Pace Picante Mild)
16 oz chicken broth
Chicken (I get a rotisserie chicken and shred it)

Mix together in large pot or crock pot. I usually cook for at least an hour or more to get it good ‘n hot! Easy breezy and SO good!!

Serve with:
Corn Chips or Tortilla chips (I like the blue)
Sour Cream

Training Schedule Part 2. 2013


Hey Princesses! and a few Princes if the slipper fits!

Here’s the training schedule I’ve followed for the last 3 years. Feel free to use it. But, by all means, if there’s something that works better for you, USE IT!!

One other BIG detail to note: We’re gonna have the Princess Pasta Party on Saturday in Orlando, most likely at 4 p.m. We’re working with the venue right now. After meeting with Stacia at Abolition, AND having many listeners from Atlanta sign up, we decided it’d be more convenient to have everyone come to Orlando, and not have the party in Tampa on Friday. We’ll be efficient with our time, and make sure we finish up at a reasonable hour, so we can all get to bed!  You will receive details of the party the first part of January when fundraising is completed and received by Abolition.

Also, our Team Freedom Coordinator, Hitch, will be contacting each of you this week to let you know that we’ve received your intent to be a part of Team Freedom. So far, we have almost 50 folks on the team! YAY!  If you have a question, please email Hitch at princess@thejoyfm.com.

Presently, the Princess Half is 72% full with registration. Once registration is full at Disney, Team Freedom is full, as we have no control over the capacity for the Princess Half. So, if you’re really interested, keep an eye on the registration percentage on Disney’s website.

I’ll most likely hold a training run on the last Saturday of January. Stay tuned for details…

Alrighty, I think that’s all for now. I did 4 miles today. It was HARD. But it’s a start!

Here’s the schedule below. I know I still owe you a playlist too. I haven’t forgotten!

Princess Training Part 2 2013


girlfriends & nail polish.


Hey  y’all. It’s Sunday afternoon, and I just wanted to say “hey!” It’s been a while since I’ve been able to blog, and I’ve missed talking to you here. I’m hoping I’ve turned a corner and things will slow down a bit. I need them to!

I have random thoughts in my head right now, and none of them really go together. But I guess they do in my brain! haha!

I’ve had some downtime the last 24 hours. I literally didn’t get out of my pajamas yesterday! It was glorious. SERIOUSLY glorious! Pete & Abbey were in Charlotte at a wedding, and are on their way home now. With them being gone, I’ve had time to catch up on my bible study, read some email, start a new book, and – of course – watch football.

Whenever I have time to pause, like I have the last little bit, I always think about the relationships in my life, and if I’m loving well. As hectic as life is, I have very thick boundaries for family time.  This is the one place I’m pretty inflexible.

But I do struggle with girlfriend time. And I miss my girlfriends!  I have GREAT girlfriends. They bring such joy to my heart, and can make me belly laugh without even trying. It truly is a gift that I have friends I can call anytime, any place, about anything. They know everything. I can tell them how black my heart is. I can tell them about my deepest longings and desires. I can tell them about my struggles. I can tell them about what God is working out in me, as painful as it may be. They see the real me. They get me. They know me. And they celebrate my imperfect growth.  Even as recently as yesterday, I talked to two of them about having my feelings hurt over something stupid. They both gave me Godly, honest wisdom and after peeling back a few of the layers, I instantly felt better. Because I wear my emotions on my sleeve (a character trait I’ve always hated about myself, but am trying to learn to love), I can’t hide ANYTHING!  But God clearly made me this way for a reason. I feel so passionately about everything. And the lenses from which I look out, I expect others to care just as passionately. And the reality is they don’t. And that’s ok. My sisters helped me sort through what I was justified in feeling, and what I wasn’t. At one point, one teased: “Car, y’all talk in two different currencies, and what you’re feeling right now is the exchange rate difference.” LOLOL! Wow. I needed that perspective. She’s so great at cutting through the emotion, and seeing things for what they are. I’m actually still laughing at the analogy today. SO funny!  And SO true. My other girlfriend is in our industry and can identify with the range of emotions, and the one-way (real or imagined) relationships we sometimes feel we’ve been assigned. Like me, she wants everything and everybody to be authentic with no pretense. She’s very passionate too, and we both have a hard time with those who aren’t. But we reminded each other that at the end of the day, it’s all about His glory, and doing our jobs for Him, and not for human approval. {John 12:43}.

Do you have friends like this? Who can speak the truth in love to you? That you allow to get in your stuff? As we walk this road, we have to have friends in our life who hold us up, hold us accountable, and hold us in prayer. 

I wanna share one other quick thing. It really has nothing to do with what I’ve written about so far. Shocking, huh? The thread for me is that as I finished my study a bit ago, and Beth (Moore) ended today’s lesson with a story about one of her childhood girlfriends. Beth writes:

My best friend Dodie and I were inseparable from the sixth to the ninth grade. We shared a locker, clothes, secrets, burgers, and almost everything else in our young, limited lives, except boyfriends. That was a definite no-no. When we were in the seventh grade we took a vow with one another never – and I do mean never! – to let our toenails go unpolished, except to change colors. We agreed that such a gross oversight would render the offender a complete fashion failure. We reaffirmed our vow with countless shades of polish, talking a hundred miles an hour and fanning our toenails dry.

After dropping by to see me one day, Dodie was killed in a head-on collision. I heard sirens after hugging my twin friend’s neck but didn’t know until later that one of those ambulances had her in it. I’m not positive my heart ever completely healed…..

Beth goes on to write she visits Dodie’s grave often and when she does she steps out of her shoes, stands at the edge of the marker and says, “I’m keeping my promise. Are you?”  She attached this picture:

My childhood Dodie is Kim. Praise the Lord, I can kick off my shoes, and still have a conversation with her.  Though we never vowed polished toenails, we did promise to always be in each other’s lives. A promise we’ve kept. Thank you, Jesus, for girlfriends.

Welp, I told you my thoughts were random today. What are you thinking about this Sunday afternoon? Or here’s the better question …. who do you need to call today? Call them! And let them know how much you love them. And if you do decide to reach out to someone, will you tell me? I’d love to hear.

Picking up the phone to call Kim now.


a few notes about Team Freedom.

Hey Princesses!

I wanted to answer a few questions here. I’m starting to get similar questions, and this is the easiest and quickest way for me to answer them.

BUT first a personal note: I am SO stinkin’ happy so many of you want to run again!! And I’ve gotten no less than a dozen emails from our ATL princesses who want to come down and run! This makes me SO excited. We had 134 women on the team this past year. I think we’ll have over 200/300 this year. God is good!

Princess Pasta Party this past February!







Common questions:

1. How do I register?

Registration is a 2 step process, not including the fundraising. You can find out more and/or REGISTER HERE!

ATL friends, this is your link to REGISTER. (It’s the same page with 2 exceptions. 1) It takes you to 93.3 website. 2) It reinforces the run is at Disney, and not in the Atlanta area).

2. I’m coming from Port Charlotte, Gainesville, ATL, where should I stay?

For Saturday evening, everybody will DEFINITELY want to stay in Orlando. And IF at all possible, on Disney property. It’s an early early early, did I say EARLY morning start, and you’ll want to be as close to the start line as possible.

Princess Sarah, Princess Tiff, Princess Abbey, Princess Molly

3. Do I register with Disney as an individual or as a team?

Individual. While we are absolutely, positively a TEAM, our team is being formed through The JOY FM.

4. Can I sign up for the Disney Princess Half and not raise money?

Yes. But you’ll not be part of TEAM FREEDOM. Sorry to sound harsh, but the point of TEAM FREEDOM is to raise money to help fight human trafficking. Please feel no pressure to become part of TEAM FREEDOM. The first time I ran the Princess Half it was for my 40th. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with running with a bunch of girlfriends just for fun. I encourage it! However, the goal, purpose and mission of TEAM FREEDOM is to raise awareness and funding for rescue and restoration of human trafficking victims. (otherwise, I wouldn’t be running! haha!)

5. Where is the money specifically going?

Abolition International

6. The registration at Disney is full, but I still want to run.

This was a question from last year, but I anticipate it again this year. Sadly, this will have to be the answer and I am SO sorry! here it is: TEAM FREEDOM can only take registrations until Disney is full. The JOY FM is not sponsoring the actual run, so we have no authority over capacity at Disney. If you’re really interested in running with TEAM FREEDOM, definitely WATCH the “% full” at Disney.

7. When do I get my T-shirt?

At the Princess Pasta Party on February 23, 2013.

8. When do I get my tiara?

At the  Princess Pasta Party on February 23, 2013.

9. When do I get my goody bag?

At the Princess Pasta Party of February 23, 2013.

Princess Tiffany & Princess Natalie

10. Can I bring my family to the Princess Pasta Party?

Due to limited seating and budgeted funds for the dinner, each runner is allowed to bring ONE (1) guest.

11. Can I bring my daughter/son as my guest?

Yes! However, I would highly recommend bringing children 14 or older. Of course, this is at each parent’s discretion. Like last year, we will have a few women speak who’ve been rescued from prostitution and trafficking. The subject matter is very hard, and isn’t suited for younger children. I will say that the testimonies of the two women who spoke last year, were some of the most impactful, life-changing words I’ve ever experienced in my life. Most notable was Telisia’s. Her life verse is Proverbs 24:11. She said, “We can’t watch people being led off to their slaughter, and say we did not know.”

Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.  If you say, “But we knew nothing about this.” – Proverbs 24:11

12. Where will the Princess Pasta Party be?

TBD. I’ll need to watch participation numbers. We maxed out last year at our venue. I’m pretty positive we’ll need a bigger venue this year.

13. When will I get the details of the Princess Pasta Party?

When Abolition International receives your required fundraising requirements, they will notify The JOY FM. We will then send you an Evite with details of the Pasta Party. I most likely won’t design the Evite until after this first of the year. BUT, the Princess Pasta Party will be on Saturday afternoon, February 23, 2013 in the ORLANDO area.

14. Where the Princess Pasta Party be?

hahaha! I’m messing with y’all now! lol. Just got that question A LOT last year. It will be in the ORLANDO area, Saturday afternoon, February 23rd.

15. Is there a way I can connect with the other members on the Team?

YES! Once you’ve signed up for TEAM FREEDOM with us (The JOY FM), we’ll send you an invite to a closed group on Facebook. It’s been fun to watch this community grow and encourage one another this last year.

Princess Jacqueline

16. What’s on your playlist?

I will try and post that in the next few days.

17. I’m registered with Disney. And I’m registered for TEAM FREEDOM, but I won’t be able to make the Princess Pasta Party, how will I get my goodie bag, tiara & T-shirt?

When you RSVP “no” to the party in January, we’ll mail your goodie bag, tiara & T-shrit.

18. Is this event only for women? I want my husband/boyfriend/dad to run?

Sign up! Men can run this race if accompanied by a Princess (Disney’s rules; not mine). I think it’s AWESOME/HILARIOUS/FUNNY that I’m the only woman running on The JOY FM staff. So far, my co-workers who’ve registered to run with us are men. Jayar. Krispy. Fitz. Jake. Hitch. And I. LOVE. IT! They have a heart for this issue, and know that men play a vital role in abolishing human trafficking. I’m honored they’re choosing to stand with me in this cause. I work with some GREAT guys!

19. What is your training schedule? 

Working on it as soon as I’m done typing this blog. Will post with playlist!

20. I have an organization that is involved in human trafficking, I want to volunteer, or help sponsor something with TEAM FREEDOM, who do I contact?

Email princess@thejoyfm.com. I’ve assigned one our newest staff, Hitch, to help me with correspondence.

21. I have more questions that you didn’t answer.

Email princess@thejoyfm.com.

A quick note to the Princesses who ran last year: If you see someone comment on this blog post, to which you know the answer, would you help them with the answer please? THANK YOU!

And lastly, for YOU who are ALL IN with me, I love you SO SO much! It’s an honor to run with you.  Together, we’ll keep running for those who aren’t Free. To. Run….YET!

We ended up raising over $60,000.00!




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