The Big Boo Cast, Episode 79


I think it was last summer when Melanie and I first talked about Last Chance U. We both binge-watched season one of the Netflix series, and in addition to discussing it on the podcast, there were several times when we talked on the phone about it because we were so fascinated by a certain player or could not believe how someone reacted. Then, in episode 78 I mentioned that I’d watched season 2 and found it just as magical as season 1 (however – and I’m not sure if I mentioned this – the language is terrible).


Anyway. All that to say: you can imagine our delight when Brittany Wagner, the academic counselor on LCU, agreed to be our special guest on episode 79.


So, in this episode, Melanie and I talk to Brittany about football and clothes and beauty products. (I should mention that I make a critical error and identify Mississippi State’s season where they were ranked #1 as the 2015 season…but it was 2014…so I beg a thousand pardons.) We also hear about some of the players she’ll be watching play D-1 this fall – and how her new career adventure got started (it’s such a neat story). After Melanie and I finish our conversation with Brittany, we launch into a discussion about music, what we’re cooking, and a whole host of unrelated items.

In other words: business as usual.

You can click here to listen. Or here. You can even listen right here on the blog.

You can also listen on Stitcher.

Or, as always, you can subscribe on iTunes if you’re feeling particularly fancy. We’d be honored if you’d leave us a review.

And if you’re on the Facebook, well, we are, too.

Here’s where you can get more info on the stuff / products / places we mention:

Brittany Wagner

Last Chance U on Netflix

Last Chance UGQ article from 2014

Ronald Ollie (spoiler if you haven’t watched the show yet)

Dakota Allen (spoiler if you haven’t watched the show yet)

2013 Egg Bowl (the beginning of my irrational maternal affection for Dak Prescott)

The Red Cat Coffee House

10K Pencils (Brittany’s new company)

Frozen (and here’s a post I wrote about some of the reasons I loved it so much)

Teddie Organics Rose Hip Oil (I’ve started using it since we recorded this podcast, and I AM A CONVERT)

Allure Beauty Box

Bare Minerals

Too-Faced Better than Sex mascara

Hummingbird Farms lavender body oil

Cool Sculpting

Nichole Nordeman’s Every Mile Mattered

Yum Yum Sauce

Rita Springer’s “Defender”

All in All playlist (and here on Apple Music)

The Popcast – “More Nos of Weddings”


– Melanie’s new book – Church of the Small Things

– Sophie’s new journaling devotional – All in All

– Melanie on Twitter and Instagram

– Sophie on Twitter and Instagram

Enjoy, y’all!

Please Accept This Party Favor

From time to time – usually when I am certain that I cannot effectively manage even one more second of deadline-related stress – my friends like to remind me that for the first five or six years of this here blog, I vowed and declared that I would NEVER write a book. I didn’t know what I would write about, not to mention that I couldn’t fathom that I’d ever finish writing a book. I mean, I don’t want to put too fine a point on it, but if you looked at my track record in college and in grad school and in just about every home improvement project I have ever undertaken, I’m a solid 87 percenter. I’ll get an idea, I’ll do some research, I’ll get going, and I’ll work hard – but somewhere close to the finish line, I will lose all interest. WHY DID THIS EVER SEEM LIKE A GOOD IDEA? THIS IS A RIDICULOUS PROCESS. I WONDER IF ANYTHING IS HAPPENING ON TWITTER?

That is why I can say with full confidence that it is only by the grace of God that I have not only started writing four books but, lo, I have actually finished them as well. That whole “finishing” thing is a pretty critical part of books, you know, actually making it to press, and I’m telling you: IT’S A WONDER. If I’d been left to my old habits, the new book would have stopped around page 172 with a handwritten note at the bottom to inform the reader that I was so sorry I was unable to make it to the end but unfortunately had gotten super sidetracked by season three of Chef’s Table on Netflix.

So all that to say: a finished product feels a little bit like an Ephesians 3:20 moment to me.

Today is the official release of book #4, a devotional book for young women called All in All: Loving God Wherever You Are. My hope and prayer is that this book – which has 100 days of devotions, Scripture readings, and journaling prompts – will help cultivate the discipline of spending time with the Lord and digging into His Word every single day. I really wanted this book to be a companion, something that will travel with the people who read it as they move from one stage to another in their lives. It was challenging to write, but in that neat way the Lord works, it was also very healing. I did most of the writing in the first eight months after my mama died, and at a time in my life when I was feeling sort of inward and quiet, writing the devotions gave me a place to process some of that grief and to remember God’s faithfulness. I’m forever thankful for that.

Last night I was trying to think of a way that I could say “thank you” in even the tiniest way to the folks who have helped get the word out or pre-ordered or ordered or thought about ordering or read this book, and after a good bit of pondering, my 80s roots set up shop right here smack-dab in the middle of 2017:


And y’all, I totally did. I got on the Spotify and, in the spirit of having written a devotional book, I made a quiet time playlist – something that might help you ease into your morning, or offer a little bit of comfort as background music when you read or pray, or make your commute a little more bearable when you’re trying not to give way to road rage, or help you to worship in the middle of the day when your to-do list is endless and you really want a nap. You could also share it with your girls for when they’re feeling nervous about the first day of school or packing up their clothes to head back to college (yes, I’m over-explaining, so maybe I should just wrap it up and say that THERE ARE MANY POTENTIAL USES). All of these songs mean a whole bunch to me (even the one that I just heard for the first time yesterday and then listened to about 17 times before sundown), and there are several that qualify as what I like to call “pointing songs” (I get so wound up when I hear them that I have to point in a lot of different directions).

(Perhaps I just overshared.)

So. I hope y’all enjoy All in All, and I hope you enjoy the playlist. You can also listen here.

If you’re an Apple Music person, here’s a link for you, too.

Happy Release Day, y’all!

The Big Boo Cast, Episode 78


Well, this super-sized podcast was a mighty memorable moment for Melanie and me. Because much to our delight, legendary football coach Jackie Sherrill and his super-talented daughter, Bonnie Bishop, join us at the beginning of this episode. Specifically, they share some of the challenges they faced in terms of forming a relationship after Coach Sherrill married Bonnie’s mom. Now they’re extremely close, and they’re doing speaking events about motivation and relationships – and how when it comes to life, it’s more than Xs and Os. Mel and I had the best time talking with them about football and parenting and football and also football. And seriously – it was such a treat to be able to soak up their stories and their wisdom. You’re going to love spending some time with them and laughing with them.

After our conversation with Coach Sherrill and Bonnie, Melanie and I jump into our regular brand of nonsense: her dog Piper’s recent bout with intestinal distress, our current Netflix favorites, my reaction to Dunkirk, and Melanie’s new favorite skin care product.

Hope y’all enjoy it!

You can click here to listen. Or here. You can even listen right here on the blog.

You can also listen on Stitcher.

Or, as always, you can subscribe on iTunes if you’re feeling particularly fancy. We’d be honored if you’d leave us a review.

And if you’re on the Facebook, well, we are, too.

Here’s where you can get more info on the stuff / products / places we mention:

Jackie Sherrill

Bonnie Bishop

– Coach Sherrill on Twitter

– Bonnie on Twitter and Instagram

Bonnie’s website

Bonnie’s latest album

– Bonnie’s “Ain’t Who I Was” (there’s a little language :-) – but my goodness this is a phenomenal song)

(And a quick BigBoo PSA: if you’re drawn to the music Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, etc., then Bonnie Bishop’s music will be right up your alley.)

Last Chance U – Season 2

Jane the Virgin

Pentel Sign Pen (Sophie’s forever favorite)

Organic Rose Hip Oil – (By the way, this article popped up in my Twitter feed this morning, and it sheds even more light on why Melanie has embraced this product.)


Hummingbird Farms Lavender Body Oil No. 6 (this stuff is a WONDER)

All in All, Sophie’s new devotional journal for young women

Grateful for y’all!

Perhaps These Will Distract You From The Heat

I’ll tell you what. This summer has flown by faster than any other. Maybe it’s because we kicked it off with a trip to Kenya and have crammed in all sorts of stuff since we’ve been home (including the flu, which was no fun, but it flat dominated a full week of summertime). Regardless, I can’t believe we’re a more than halfway through July. SOMEBODY MAKE IT SLOW DOWN.

I mentioned this on the last podcast, but week before last Alex stayed with my daddy (and Martha! he stayed with Martha a couple of nights, too!) while David and I went to New York City on a 20th anniversary trip. It was DELIGHTFUL. We saw some shows and walked a whole bunch and even though we took a couple of subways headed in the wrong direction, we ultimately managed to get everywhere we needed or wanted to be. We had the best time.

In the (almost) two weeks since we got home from NYC, I’ve thought a little bit about my favorites from the trip (9/11 Memorial Museum, Dear Evan Hansen, walking the High Line, hummus from Dizengoff) – which sort of morphed into thinking about some other new favorites that I’ve discovered this summer.

This seems like an excellent time to list those things in no particular order of importance.

Please do enjoy.

Brooks Revel

I didn’t really plan it, but I’ve been walking a lot more this year. I love me some Brooks running shoes (even though I don’t actually, you know, RUN), and after wearing Brooks Ghosts for the last three-ish years, I decided to try the new Brooks Revel when I bought some new shoes about a month ago. I LOVE THEM. They’re lighter than the Ghost, they have a wide toe box (which is such a plus for me), and they’re supportive without being stiff. This was the main shoe I wore when we were in New York, and it was a dream for walking on streets and sidewalks…but I have to say that I like it just as much for walking on the treadmill / doing various gym-related things. The colors are super fun, too, and while I know it’s a superficial thing, SHOE COLORS MATTER TO ME.

Hummingbird Farms Lavender Body Oil

I know that Melanie and I have mentioned how much we love the Hummingbird Farms lavender lotion about 932 times. It’s so good. This summer, though, I’ve been using the lavender body oil because – GET READY – it comes in a spray bottle and this is infinitely, INFINITELY better than having to pour it into your hands. Last year I had this crazy rash on my legs that would not go away – went to the dermatologist three or four different times, had tests done, etc. – and while everything is fine now, I have to be really careful about what I put on my skin – so I am SUPER picky about my lotions and oils and salves. This body oil is fantastic, and I haven’t had a single flare-up since I started using it.

Purely Elizabeth granola


And I am picky about my granola, people.

I first bought Purely Elizabeth at Fresh Market, but I’m going to order one of the Amazon three-packs. The grain-free banana nut is FANTASTIC, as is the blueberry. There aren’t any oats in this granola, and while I thought that might be weird, NO. It is not. It is delicious.


Yes. I know. Some of you have been recommending Broadchurch forever. And for who knows what reason, I finally started watching it last week. Within 4.7 seconds I was hooked, and I watched the first two seasons in what can only be described as an embarrassingly short amount of time. It was a lot to process, y’all, and I had the weirdest Broadchurch-y dreams for a couple of nights. Yesterday I started watching season 3, and I don’t know how I’m going to move forward knowing that I have to wait a whole week in between episodes. This show – especially season 1 – is crazy compelling, and it’s about so much more than the case the detectives are trying to solve. The acting is so good that you forget you’re watching people play characters; the story completely wraps you up and pulls you in. If you liked Sherlock, I think you’ll enjoy Broadchurch, too.

Feetures! Elite Max Cushion running socks

I have been a Thorlo socks loyalist for several years, but my friend Marion really likes Feetures, so I decided to try them. I’m a fan. They’re thin but have great cushion (disclaimer: I think socks are just as important as shoes when it comes to walking or running or participating in the athletic pursuit of your choosing), and the backs don’t slide down when you walk. I love Thorlos because they’re so cushion-y, but it’s been nice to have a more lightweight sock option. Yay for the Feetures.

CeCe Winans’ Let Them Fall in Love

OKAY. Let’s cut to the chase: you need this album. It is JOYFUL, it is inspiring, and it is TRUE. It’s also a total throwback (just TRY to listen to “Hey Devil!” without busting a move right there in your car or your office or wherever). There’s a song called “Lowly” that will make you want to talk back to it, and be warned that when you listen to “Marvelous,” you may have to stop right where you are and just TAKE IT IN FOR A MINUTE. This is a truly great gospel album – brilliantly written, brilliantly produced, and CeCe Winans’ vocals knock it right on out of the park.

Hope y’all are having the best week!

The Big Boo Cast, Episode 77


In this episode we talk about our summertime travel, the life-changing hummus I recently enjoyed, our current struggles with our hair, and our lack of business vision or insight or skill. Melanie also states her very strong feelings about being on a boat in the middle of a large body of water (suffice it to say that a cruise is nowhere in her future) and relays a tale about a very aggressive seagull.

We also talk about potential road trip destinations for next year, recap the summer movies we’ve seen (here’s a hint: I have only seen two), run through a few other entertainment highlights from the last month or so, and break down our feelings about the Instastory.

So there’s some variety, I guess.

You can click here to listen. Or here. You can even listen right here on the blog.

You can also listen on Stitcher.

Or, as always, you can subscribe on iTunes if you’re feeling particularly fancy. We’d be honored if you’d leave us a review.

And if you’re on the Facebook, well, we are, too.

Here’s where you can get more info on the stuff / products / places we mention:

Sophie’s Kenya trip with Compassion (link to recap podcast with Jamie Ivey)

Dear Evan Hansen

Dizengoff in Chelsea Market

L’Oreal root cover

Magnolia Market

purses at Magnolia Market

Opal ice maker

Chadillac’s Backyard Water Park

Lake Tejas

The Marlboro Man Sandwich from Pioneer Woman

– Melanie’s new book: Church of the Small Things

– Sophie’s new book: All in All (a journaling devotional for young women)

Jenny from the Block

For Forever (from the Dear Evan Hansen cast recording

Perhaps Jet Lag Would Have Been Preferable

The first night Alex and I were home from Kenya, I slept for 12 hours and woke up feeling like a champion. Granted, I had a case of the sniffles that I chalked up to too much time on airplanes, but I unpacked suitcases, washed clothes, and basically spent most of Saturday patting myself on the back for re-acclimating like a boss.


You may be picking up on the fact that I felt like I’d figured out a lot of travel-related things.

But then there was Sunday.

Because on Sunday, you see, I woke up feeling decidedly less chipper. I wasn’t tired, really, but I just felt off. We went to church and lunch, but over the course of the morning I bet I said, “I don’t think I feel so great” about 78 times. When we got home, I put on pajamas, stretched out on the guest room bed, and stayed right there for the next 12 hours.

Monday morning I started running fever and wondered how it was possible for every part of my body to hurt at the same time. This trend continued until I finally realized that Tylenol was clearly not going to cure whatever was ailing me, so I dragged myself to the doctor and found out that I had the flu.


Long story endless, I spent the rest of the week taking my Tamiflu and laying across the aforementioned guest room bed and watching more HGTV programming than I have seen in several years. By Friday I was feeling better – I did crazy things like 1) sitting up in a chair and 2) answering emails – and by Saturday I was running actual errands in actual public places. Even still, it was probably Tuesday of this past week before I felt like a 100% version of myself, so I think it’s safe to say that the flu did a number on me.

I also think it’s safe to say that I’ll be getting a flu shot later this year.

ANYWAY, I still owe y’all Alex’s Kenya post, so be on the lookout for that. And since it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve checked in via the blog, here are a few things I want to be sure to mention.

– If you ever find yourself in Birmingham, you need to go to Slice and order yourself a Soul Pie. I am such a fan. I mean, I would never say that a pizza could change your life or anything like that, but this particular pizza could vastly improve the quality of your day. There’s no red sauce (which is such a plus as far as I’m concerned); instead there is Conecuh sausage and field peas and turnip greens and bacon and cheese – and the combo is all manner of yummy (there’s even a gluten-free crust option if you so desire). I also highly recommend the cheese plate. Amen.

– My friend (and editor) Heather posted this video on Facebook, and it is FASCINATING. My word at the creativity. I’ve listened to Ben Folds for a long time, and this confirms my suspicion that he is in fact a genius.

All in All, my devotional book for teenage girls (and college-aged girls, too), releases on August 1st, and I think it is SO. PURTY.

A post shared by Sophie Hudson (@boomama205) on

The reason the book is called a “journaling devotional” is because there are 100 days of daily devotions – and each day’s devotion is followed by Scripture reading, a few questions for pondering / answering / responding, and a place to write out prayers and praises.

It’s all very fancy and interactive.

I promise I grinned when I typed that.

You probably won’t be surprised that this afternoon I spent a considerable amount of time thinking about what kind of pen I’d like to use if I were writing in the actual book. You’d better believe that when I get my first copy, I’m going to test out several different pen options and make a conclusive decision about which one works best on the book’s pages.


And last thing: if you’d like to take a look at the format of All in All, you can download a sample (it’s Day 10, to be specific) and PERUSE AWAY.

I am so excited about this book, y’all, so stay tuned for more news and info.

Hope you have a wonderful week!