1. Sweet Tea Candle – My sister-in-law gave me this earlier this year, and it’s my fave. I think it’s more of a Spring/Summer Candle. btw, Here’s a link to a local listener who sales them a bit cheaper:
  2. Silicone Mats – Was iffy on whether I would like these or not. I LOVE THEM. Use them every single time I roast veggies or cook anything in the oven now. The clean up is amazing!
  3. Bibol Salad Bowl – Bought this bowl at a boutique earlier this Summer, and I’m obsessed with it (is that what the young kids say now?). I use it for salads, veggies, and other things. It’s a bit pricey, but depending on your budget, you won’t be disappointed.
  4. Silk Pillow Case – I’ll be honest… I never got the silk pillow case thing. I thought my head would slip right off the pillow. Well, let’s just say I get it now! Never going back! Thank you, Cathy, for this perfect present for my 50th this past year. I’m a believer.
  5. Apple HomePod – No description needed! These HomePods are THE BEST! I have one in my kitchen. And one in my office. “Hey Siri, play The JOY FM!” Linked below!
  6. Glass Christmas Trees – In my opinion, THESE are the find of the year! Love, love, love these trees!! Don’t walk. RUN to Target. Hope you can find them, tho. They were close to selling out!
  7. Charcuterie Board – This really should’ve been on my Classics. You’ve heard me talk about charcuteries for about 5 years now. Every home needs one. My favorite is sold out but I’ve linked two more!
  8. Dolly Coffee Mug – Just further evidence my people know me! Jules got this for me for my birthday! I’ve officially changed the Jolene lyrics to caffeine, caffeine, caffeine in my head.
  9. Patriot Coffee – Hands down my new fave coffee. My girlfriend Tammi picked it up at the grocery in May when she was visiting. I’ve never looked back. Specifically the Peru La Florida bean.
  10. White Matte Vase – West Elm. It’s called the Short Stack and it’s currently on sale. I’ve used this vase all year long. I love fresh cut flowers. To me, they just instantly elevate and brighten a room. And yes, girl, I just do grocery store flowers.
  11. Christmas Tree Platter – Crate & Barrel. Every woman loves a holiday serving platter, but rarely gets one for herself. This is a great gift! Linked below!
  12. Code Names – We’re a game family. Welp, better said… a “certain game” family. Trivia Pursuit? Forget about it! Monopoly? No thank you! But, Code Names…hands down my favorite game! So fun!
  13. Christmas Tree Plates – Crate & Barrel. Your girl loves her some dishes. And I’m over the moon for these. As a matter of fact, these will be on my holiday table this year! Linked below!
  14. Christmas Tree Mugs – Crate & Barrel. A very minimalist design, and must makes me think about the mountains. As a matter of fact, I’m sipping out of it right now, as I’m typing this. Love these mugs! Linked below!


Hey Y’all,

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving! It’s going to be a bit of a different Thanksgiving for us this year. It’ll be just the five of us. I normally host lots of family, but you can barely make your way though the front door right now. We’ve been doing some home renovations since August. We thought we’d be done in September, but here we are. My house is a wreck! Seriously. We’re walking on concrete. There’s no flooring, stuff is everywhere. I literally have ottomans turned upside down on my dining room table. And my dining room table is pushed up against a wall.

So… this year, I will be setting the table outside on the back lanai (patio for those that don’t live in Florida). The weather looks like it’s going to be perfect, and I am grateful!

A few notes:

  1. As I always say… setting a table says “This occasion is special.” “I put thought into this day.”
  2. Setting a table is NOT as hard as it may look.
  3. I always buy things that I can use again and again!
  4. A charger is a MUST for any holiday or special event table. Chargers automatically and instantly elevate the table. I got mine at World Market several years ago and use them all the time.
  5. I love a white plate. It’s classic, clean and goes with anything.

And lastly.. Admittedly, this isn’t my best place setting….and VERY obviously the table isn’t fully set (because I can’t get to my table!) but… come back for a a more luxe look at Christmas!

Since I’m so late with this, I did everything on Amazon for quick delivery!

-Chargers: I got my at World Market. You could get some at Hobby Lobby, Target or Wal Mart.
Here’s an Amazon option Here.

-Plates: Here.

-Gold silverware: Here.

-Black napkins: Here.

-Water Goblets. Here.

-Wheat: Here.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!



Before you read any further…. I am NOT about diet culture. Admittedly, I have fallen victim (and even advanced) a diet mentality for many, many years. BUT, all that changed in 2016 when I started my (serious) journey to health.

My whole life I have struggled with energy. (And weight too. But, again, not wanting to focus on weight in this post because it’s not about only that for me anymore. Praise the Lord!)

Back to energy… I honestly thought I was just one of the unlucky ones who was born with low energy. My husband ran circles around me most of our married life. I was always so envious of how much energy he had. I was the one that would get 8-9 hours sleep, wake up tired, and would then count the hours until I could take a nap. I’ve struggled with iron deficiencies my whole life, and I always just blamed everything on my anemia. I always rallied when I needed to with the girls or my job, but when I could, I would crash, and crash pretty hard.


In 2019, my girlfriend, Jodi told be about FASTer Way to Fat Loss. I signed up in August and half-heartedly did Amanda’s program. True to my personality, I told on myself on-air one morning, and the next thing you know, Amanda was calling the station (from New York!) to “lovingly encourage” and hold me accountable. Turned out, Amanda lived in our listening area, and folks let her know I was talking about FWTFL. I invited her to the station in December, and that’s when my journey took the BIGGEST turn. We were sitting in my office, and she told me I needed to go see her Functional Medicine Doctor. She told me I needed a full panel of bloodwork to see what was really going on. She gave me Alex’s number, and I made an appointment immediately.

You all have heard me talk about Alex for over a YEAR now! I canNOT say enough about Alex. I remember sitting in her office for my second appointment when she was going over my bloodwork for the first time. EVERYTHING finally made sense! The anemia. The Hashimoto’s (of which I am now in remission). The vitamin D deficiency. The iodine deficiency (I hate salt). And the list goes on. I remember Alex saying, “Carmen, this is not your fault! You have these things, as well as hormonal things going on that even if you did everything perfectly, your body simply is not going to let go of this weight.” I distinctly remember both Amanda and Alex saying, “Weight is a symptom, not the root cause.” Alex said, “Let’s get your insides healed, and the weight will come off.” Y’all, for the first time in my life, I had HOPE! I sat and cried in her office.


Amanda Tress led me to Alex, and for that I will ALWAYS be grateful! They were both an answer to prayer.

So as I sit here several years later, I am down 20 pounds from the first time I met Amanda. But more than that, I have ENERGY like I’ve never had before in my life! I don’t feel bone tired. I don’t have to have afternoon coffee (although, I do simply because I have an emotional relationship with coffee!). I love FASTer Way to Fat Loss. I love Amanda’s workouts! I love leg day! (Get it, Haven & Le!) I love the Intermittent Fasting. I find it to be so easy, and can’t imagine eating all day like I used to. I love the carb-cycling. It all makes sense to me. I have been part of the FASTer Way family for over 2 years now!

AND… there have been a few more significant folks in my journey…

My friend Temple! For me personally, I am carb sensitive. I truly cannot eat as many carbs as lots of folks do/can. And when I do eat carbs, it’s sweet potatoes or whole food and natural carbs. Temple is a Dietician who has helped me see where I could tweak my nutrition even more. She’s very much in line with Amanda and Alex and pushes back on “conventional wisdom!” She’s simply fantastic. We’ve walked similar roads in that she too had to become her own biggest advocate when everything she was taught to do wasn’t working. As a matter of fact, back in the summer, I gained a quick 10 pounds, and it was Temple and Alex who helped me figure out I was estrogen dominant and how something hormonally had shifted in my body. Alex prescribed me high dosages of broccoli (yes, broccoli! in a capsule!) and some additional iron infusions, and it legit fell off within a month.

And lastly, there’s Jen Smiley with Wake Up & Read the Labels. Haley introduced me to her account in August. She has been a wealth of knowledge when it comes to inflammatory foods, oils, gums in our food, preservatives, etc. I’ve taken clean eating to a whole ’nother level…sustainable clean eating! I’ve cut out stevia, soy, and a bunch of other stuff. Jen often says, “If you don’t recognize what’s on the label, there’s a good chance your body won’t either.”

Why am I telling you all this?

Because I want you to have HOPE too!! I didn’t for the longest time, and I would give anything to go back to my 20s and 30s and search for the answers that I now have. I get HUNDREDS of DMs, emails and messages from sisters in our listening family that are desperate for these same answers. I truly wish I could walk with each of you, every step of the way! BUT, I hope what I’ve shared here will help point you in the right direction. Don’t settle. Don’t accept feeling badly. There is a REASON why you feel the way you do! Do something today that your future self will thank you for! And lastly… don’t fall for another quick fix that promises results but can’t deliver.

Here are some helpful links:

BTW, for those interested in FWTFL, Amanda’s last 6 week round of the year started yesterday. You can still join for a couple more days. Here’s a link she’s given us for $50 off. (the link is www.fasterwaytofatloss.com/#carmen).

Wel’ll also do a JOY FM round in January!


Connect with Temple here.











Follow Jen here.