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OK, I'm going to get real with y'all... I use to think all these marriage builders, marriage makeovers, etc. were kinda cheesy. And if I thought that, then my man-of-very-few-words husband would definitely think it! So, we never did them. And- like any marriage- events, work, health problems, get in the way. One day you wake up, not as close to your spouse as you use to or want to be.  How do you fix it? Well, if you're me, and a Research Master, you research it until it's dead, and more dead, like never even a chance of it pulling a zombie to come back and get ya, type of research dead
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When I found The Dating Diva's website, my cheesy factor meter was tapping out. But- I wanted to feel that closeness with my Mr, so we gave a couple of things a shot. Like the 52 Dates photo album. And y'all, once you say- "Yes, it's cheesy, and yes, we have to do it, " it's pretty okay! The activities and dates we've tried put you in the mindset of focusing on each other, giving an opportunity for communication, and just let's you have fun with your spouse. When's the last time you had FUN? Silly, pointless, no to-do list kinda fun?  Yep, I thought so. It'd had been a while for us, too.
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Fast forward to today, where I found out that The Dating Divas have pulled together this Marriage Bundle..... can't you hear them? the angels... HALLLLEEELLLUUUJAH! Printables, marriage courses, ebooks, the works! And just a little tip, when The Dating Divas put out a product/bundle launch, they normally do cheapest first and as the days tick by, price goes up! They also are only offering this bundle for a few days, so GOOOOOOOO!
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How cool is this? So many things, all in one spot! Not to mention, one of my favorite blogger pals, Charlene, wrote something for this bundle! EK! So proud of her!

I'm not going to try to sell you on this, because that isn't what this blog is all about.  It's about being real, and truly wanting to share my life. Even all the stinky, cobweby parts. And it happens! Life happens! If you intentionally put your marriage & spouse first, then you're back on the right track, my friend.  This site has helped me & my Mr. connect better than we have in a year. 

If you give this a try, and I pray that you do, leave a comment below or email me, telling me how it goes!

Posts on this blog may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I might get a tiny percentage of the purchase price, but it doesn't cost you a thing. All opinions are my own.
A bundle SO big!

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52 Dates for Two

I don't know about y'all, but for us, the go-to date night is dinner and a movie. 99% of the time, that's what we do. It's a great thing we love movies! Even then, sometimes I crave a little bit of adventure. And since we have our beloved Ginny, and have to plan for her potty breaks, we need to keep the adventures local! Not to mention the time it takes to research places to see if they're date night worthy.

My dear friend Charlene, who blogs over at Enduring All Things introduced me to this site called The Dating Divas. Y'all, at first I was like, "Who's going to print out ALLLLLL that material?" or "No way is Chris going to go along with this. He will think it's too cheesy!"  


Yet, the more I looked into the site, the more things started to click. MAYBE he would go along with it to be supportive to something I wanted to do and MAYBE we would end up having a little fun in the process!  And then... I saw this.... 


In LOVE with this 52 Weekly Dates Night Ideas printable! There are 52 date night cards to plan dates for a whole year. #TheDatingDivas #WeeklyDateNight

I thought about it for a while, but decided to try it! I mean, it's only about $8 and what did I have to lose?  

With a chronic illness, you can't always plan things a week or even days ahead of time. That is our number one problem when it comes to date nights.   When I saw this photo (below) I thought, Sold! It has different categories of dates-  Free, Out on the town, inexpensive, quick and easy, at home. HELLLOOOOOO! Our number one problem solved! I can flip through & find what we need that day! If it's a bad pain day & it needs to be a fast date- I'll look for the Quick and Easy cards. Or, if I don't have extra energy to get date night ready, and go somewhere, I'll flip to the at home date cards. 
Weekly Dates Night Cards
I'm so happy that The Dating Divas makes it so simple for you! When they send the digital file, they include instructions and tips. They suggest that you put them in a photo album. While you're on the date, you can snap a photo of you guys & slip it into the slot next to the date card! How adorable is that???


Weekly Date Night ideas

So cute! We've done a couple of these and love it! What I love the most is that you can flip through with your Sweetie trying to find a good date night suggestion. Trying to decide which one to do is a sure fire way to get your mind out of work/school/chore mode and into date night mode! Which I love! 

One of my goals this year was to be more intentional with screen-less time with the Mr., so this makes it sooooo easy! And let's face it, if you can make things easier in life, then it's worth it! Especially since it's a budget friendly way to invest in your marriage. I'm starting to realize that if you're being idle in marriage, and not being intentional, then it's tough to grow closer. You may even grow further and further apart! Not what I want in the least little bit!

And for my friends, don't be surprised if you receive 52 Dates for Two as a gift!



Posts on this blog may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I might get a tiny percentage of the purchase price, but it doesn't cost you a thing. All opinions are my own.

52 Dates, Coming Right Up!

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Hiya! Here I am, trying to play catch-up with my blog posts that have been sitting in my drafts folder FOREVER! Ah well, Summer is always busier than these Midwest Winters! Let's just pretend that these aren't year(s) old drafts and carry on, shall we?

Last August- yes, I'm a terribly late blogger- we went to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon.  My Mr. had a work conference in Vegas, so I met him out there at the end and we played tourist!  This was my first time to the area, his second, I believe.

I didn't care for the gambling, hustling street vendors, or any of the craziness in Vegas. To me, it's one of the places where you should go once to experience all the hustle & bustle of it, just so you know what it's like.  But, I loved the Bellagio fountains and the sightseeing part of it.  What struck me was the support and love the city showed after the shootings. We went shortly after and it was a little spooky, but I don't think it slowed Vegas tourism down for long.

The Grand Canyon, on the other hand, was my jam! It's another place you need to go at least once. The majesty of it, the scope- so much more beyond what you can see in photos! I loved every second of it, even if my Mr. was fussing that I was getting too close to the edges.   Enjoy my favorite photos from the trip! I've spared you from the hundreds of photos and just picked my favorites!













Playing catch-up

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From Blogging for Books- Whisper  by Mark Batterson

Y'all- GO GET THIS BOOK!  I feel like there is still so much I need to learn about God. And a major thing I'm learning & working on is listening to Him. How do we listen? Is it audible? Is it through other people? Through the bible? There was so many questions and not enough answers for me. And then this book came along and blew me away! I loved how he backed it all up with scripture, but also with "Real world" things. It's hard to describe how much this book has changed how I listen to God, without getting into a long post, so do yourself a favor and go get this book!


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From Bethany House- Courageous Women of the Bible by LaTan Roland Murphy


 It is hard enough to be a woman in this day and age, but I can only imagine how difficult it would've been for the ladies of Jesus' time and earlier. This book helped me to visualize the time period and circumstances of the women of the bible, and how hard it was for them.  The courage they showed took major guts! Everyone would like to think that they would do the same if they were in the same situation and circumstances, but if it came down to it- I probably would have a hard time doing what these ladies did! This book is a good reminder of how courageous we must be to follow after Jesus. 


Lies Women Believe Study Guide, updated: And the Truth that Sets Them Free  -     By: Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

From Moody publishers- Lies Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets Them Free book and study guide by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

This book and study were just what I needed at the moment I needed them.  A great way to get yourself out of the lies from the enemy, to fight back, to show him we will not let him have strongholds in our minds! I only wish I would've read and went through the study earlier in life so I could've demolished the lies from the enemy sooner. I highly recommend this book and study for everyone at any time.


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The Finishing School by Val Worner

This is a book I purchased on my own & I love it! I did get behind in the book club that Val Marie Paper is putting on now, but it doesn't matter! The chapters are  pretty self-contained so I just jumped in where they were.  Val is a lady after my own bookworm heart. It's so great to know that someone else has issues with reading so many self-help/self-improvement books and doesn't know how to put all of the good tips into action! I bought the ebook but now I wish I would've bought the paperback so I could highlight that baby all up! What's even better is that she has the worksheets to the book for free on her website! HELLLOOO!! So amazing! 


I received most of these books free in exchange for my honest opinion.*
*Jessica is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.  This means that by clicking on & purchasing through the links provided, I get a small percentage of the sale at no cost to you!*


Winners!

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Hiya!! I'm soooooo excited because I'm finally able to release my Hawaiian Seascape paintings! Yay!!

Hawaii is the type of place that captures your heart & never turns loose. So, while I'm sitting here in Chi-beria, waiting on Spring, I decided to paint some of our favorite beaches in Hawaii.

8.5x11" Prints are available now in the shop, and the original acrylic paintings (most are 16x20") will be listed in the next few days.

Hope you enjoy them!














Seascape Release

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Happy Mardi Gras, Y'all! I hope you're celebrating wherever you are!



If you dare to try your hand at making Gumbo, click here for my recipe!

Laissez les bons temps rouler!!


Throw me something mister!

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This book couldn't have come at a better time! I'm currently fascinated by the whole tiny home /sell everything & travel around movement, and this book has so much travel in it that I can't get enough! Very descriptive scenes, showing how all events and days in your life mold and form who a person turns out to be. This was my first time reading Roger Thompson, but it won't be my last. 


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OK, it's safe to officially declare Francine Rivers my favorite Christian author! I was first introduced to her through her mega popular book, Redeeming Love, and was immediately hooked! Her character portraits are so detailed, you really feel like you get to know them personally. And this latest book- Masterpiece, is one that I've been looking forward to for a year. It did not disappoint! The characters were relatable, a few twists & turns, but, as always, her message that God loves you shines throughout the book.  I devoured this book in 4 days, and I am debating whether to do a re-read immediately or wait a few weeks! Please get your hands on this book asap! 

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Worry is something I do incredibly well. So when any book comes across, I gobble it up. I love how Dr. Neely not only helps you identify what is concern verses worry, but he tells you how to handle the worry situation. He also backs up everything he says with scripture, which is something that makes me feel at ease knowing that the author's beliefs line up with mine. Only God can provide you with that soul soothing peace, and Dr. Neely's book guides you through the steps to achieve that.

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It is my belief that if you are not actively working to improve your marriage, you will get stagnant and then start drifting away from your spouse. So, I try to find many books on the subject. What I love about this book is that you don't feel pressure and shame over your marriage not being absolutely perfect. We are human, we make mistakes, and the Savages convey a plan to improve your marriage while not being ashamed.  I would suggest this book for every married couple! 


From Baker Books- Called to Create by Jordan Raynor

This book was exactly what I needed, a good motivator! I had neglected my art for years, while trying to deal with being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. It takes over your whole life! But, while reading this book, I began to look at my art with fresh eyes. It's a gift from God, the ability to create something from nothing, and it didn't hit me until this book! I loved all of the different stories in here. It really gives you a lot of inspiration to get back to your gift! I would recommend it for all creatives out there.


* I received these books free in exchange for my honest opinion.*
*Jessica is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.  This means that by clicking on & purchasing through the links provided, I get a small percentage of the sale at no cost to you!*


What are you reading lately? I love a good book recommendation! Leave them below!
That Bookworm Life

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Hey Y'all! I know, you're wondering, "Who's this chick?" It's been way too long! This won't be a long update post, or empty promises about posting more. Honestly- I don't think about this blog daily. What it is is a little update on life & what I want to do with this blog from here on out.


This blog was my baby for so long! In the midst of life changes like buying our first home, becoming a foster home, having our first foster children here for 6 months until they moved on. More health setbacks. Tough realizations about how much our lives have changed from when we met to now dealing with my health issues stopping us from being who we were. Lots & lots of changes! This blog was shoved not only on the back burner, but in the back of the deepest closet, like basement closet that only sees the light of day once a year type of shoving! For that, I'm sorry! 

This blog was my outlet. My little space in the world to share what craft projects I was trying, what recipes I loved. I posted 5 times a week, and once all the other life things started piling on top of me, I couldn't keep up. Something had to give, and the blog was it.


So, what do I want this blog to be now? What will you see from here on out? Well, more of my life, more personal things. The Mr. and I are transitioning into & finally dealing with many things, and the blog will reflect that. Some of what you will see is:


  • Trying to become Vegan- more whole foods, plant based to see if it will help with my health issues. (Fibromyalgia, Endometriosis, Arthritis, Severe Migraines 8 times a month, etc.)

  • On that note, you'll see more about how we are coming to terms with the health issues. What's helping me at the moment, how we are trying to plan a more fulfilling life while dealing with the issues.

  • More crafting updates on my creative journey. How I try to carve out time to paint & draw more than I have been. Also, the journey from an idea of a product I want to offer in my shop, through creating it & finally posting it. 

  • I am toying with the idea of recording short YouTube videos, studio vlogs, painting time-lapses, tutorials, etc. I'm thinking that videos will be easier than long blog posts. What do you think?

  • More on my faith, how I have to cling to Jesus more and more to stay joyful during this life with health problems.

  • More book reviews, especially ones that really make me think or change things about my life.



Lots of new things going on in my life, and I still want to share it with you! I have accepted that I won't be able to post 5 times a week like before, but I still love the blogging community and want this space to continue!

What are you looking forward to the most? Comment below! 
And don't forget- I update the most on my Instagram, so don't forget to follow me there to see what I'm up to!
Well, well, well...

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