Happy New Year to you! I hope you have fabulous plans and have a SAFE night! Remember- Call a cab if you are in doubt about driving so you can enjoy many more New Years!

Wow! What a year, eh? Lots of changes and life lessons happened for me this year. This was one of the best years of my life, and I can not wait to see what 2014 has in store for me!

For 2014, I don't want to make resolutions. I find they add so much more stress and they NEVER stick! So, earlier this year, I've decided to try to go as green as we can. Eat more organically, use fewer chemicals in the home, that sort of thing, so I'll carry it over to the new year!

 Have you guys noticed the blogosphere picking words for the year? I have. And the idea is awesome! To carry a word through to the new year is genius!  I guess my word is going to be                        
                                                                  RELAX

Relaxing is hard for me. I have to literally put myself in timeout like a 5 year old to relax. And this year, we are going to have to deal with a couple of surgeries, where I will have no choice but to take it easy. So I should start the year out forcing myself to relax right? Right!




What are your plans/resolutions/word of the year? Tell me everything! And be safe out there!
Happy New Year!

7

Time for Weekly Wishes with Melyssa over at The Nectar Collective.  I thought today would be an awesome opportunity for me to organize my thoughts and goals for the week!



1. Get the new camera strap designs sewed and listed! I currently offer the camera strap covers, which offers more padding for the strap that comes with the camera (at my Etsy store here) But my strap often gets twisted around and so I came up with a new strap design that is awesome! I can't wait to show you guys!

2. Scour Craigslist for a solid wood dresser at a decent price. You would be surprised how much pure junk is on Craigslist! I am sick of buying particle board bookshelves and dressers and they fall apart! So the hunt is on for a solid wood dresser that I can hide all of my craft supplies in. I almost look like a hoarder here because no matter how much I straighten up, craft supplies look like a bunch of junk piled up on the shelf!

 


3. Dwindle said craft supplies to what I actually use, and sell the rest on the Etsy store.  I don't need most of this, and will probably never use it, so my goal is to bundle up the surplus and sell it. It will eliminate most of the clutter... hopefully!

4. Read the two library books I have checked out.  I know it sounds like a no-brainer, but lately it seems impossible for me to sit still! I feel like I somehow got behind in chores and work things and now feel the need to complete everything right away! Ironically, my library books are about relaxing and enjoying the moment you are in! Ha!

5. (Yes, I'm going to keep putting it on here until they are done) FINISH THE QUILTS! I HAVE to finish these quilts as soon as possible! I feel like they are sitting here mocking me! I will never again put the stress of quilting 6 quilts in 2 months again! Well, actually we are working on the 3rd month now, but you get the idea!
 


The Nectar Collective


There you have it! What are some of your Weekly Wishes? Comment below!

Weekly Wishes

4

Good Monday Morning! Well wishes for all of you who are getting back to work after the Christmas break. For me, I'm getting back into the swing of things as far as the shop goes. And all while dealing with my first real winter... which the Mr. says it's a really cold one. Isn't that Murphy's Law? The coldest winter in years and it's my first one! Well, just take a look at this temp-

 
ZERO DEGREESSSSSSSS
 
Yep, 0 degrees. Ahhhhhhh!
 
Ok, rant over, on to happy things! I hosted a giveaway for my little blog reaching 10,000 hits, read about it here ! I know most blogs get this a day, but I'm so proud of it! I didn't think anyone but family would read it!
 
Drumroll-

And the winners are...

results powered by Random.org
1. Entry #112Jen
2. Entry #107Amanda T.
3. Entry #49Brittany
4. Entry #54Yoshi J.
 
Congratulations, Ladies! And a big thank you to everyone who participated. Each and every comment, email and interaction means so much to me! You ladies really brighten my day!
 
 
 
 
Did you win the giveaway?

4

Happy Sunday! I hope many of you are resting and rejoicing in a little gospel this morning! Today, I am blaring the KLove station (you can listen online, how cool is that?!) and decided to undertake a massive project- rearranging the spare/office/craft room! I need organization like I need air and this room is suffocating me!
 But! I wanted to remind you guys to enter the 10000 hit giveaway here, 14 hours left and only 65 entries, your chances at the Vera Bradley clutch is looking pretty good! I also wanted to take a break and do something fun, a Sunday Social! This is my first time participating, so here we go! 



Sunday Social


1) What is the best New Year's Eve you've ever had? 
Wow, New Year's Eve are normally me fighting to stay awake! I guess the best one would have to be 2012, on Oahu, when we were amazed how much fireworks everyone pops! It's like NOTHING I've ever experienced on the mainland. There was so much smoke from the fireworks you couldn't see 10 feet in front of you!

2) Are you doing anything for NYE this year? If so, what?
Well, we are trying to get together with the Mr.'s friends and all agree on something, but so far it's still uncoordinated.

3) Name a book we should all read come January.
Honestly, since moving back to the mainland, I haven't had a chance to read consistently, or even really finish a book. But I have a few on my list, like the Divergent book, Gone Girl, and the Hunger Games series!


4) What are your New Year's resolutions? 
I try not to make may resolutions, because then it puts the stress of accomplishing them on me. And I get stressed, and stay stressed, until something is completed by me bulldozing my way through! The Mr. is on my case lately about learning to relax. In fact, just yesterday he made me sit in the living room without any TV, iPad, phone, nothing was on. After about 10 minutes, y'all... I actually started fidgeting like a ADHD 5 year old! I have to learn to relax!!!!!
 
And that was the Sunday Social! Tell me about your New Year's resolutions!
Sunday Social

8




Happy Aloha Friday folks! Fun way to start your weekend! I'm so excited to do this Confessions of a Blogger, and thank you, Brittany for tagging me! OK... Confession time.....

1. When did you first start blogging and why?

My first blog post was April 2013, I just bought the domain name and really didn't start blogging regularly until August 2013. The reason why I started is because Facebook was changing so much all the time, I really wanted to (and still do) cancel it so I control my own privacy settings while still keeping in contact with people. And we had just moved from Hawaii, got out of the Army, and had been on a trip to Europe, so I had to have a way to share that!

2. Have you had any past online presence?

Not really, except for Facebook.

3. When did you become serious about your blog?

August 2013, I had hundreds, if not a thousand awesome photos that we had taken on our trip and they were burning a hole in my pocket! I still have yet to dive in and post them all, and I can't wait to share them! 

4. What was your first blog post?

My first blog post was this basically saying I have a blog & posts are coming soon!

5. What have been your biggest challenges blogging?

My biggest challenge is finding the time to sit and write out the blogs. I get the ideas and have to hurry to write them down, then I take the photos. But it seems harder to get to the computer and actually edit photos and write the post than think of post topics! My mind is not that organized, so if I don't hurry and use it, it's gone! 

6. What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?

The blogging community! I get to meet some of the most interesting people, and they are all over the world from blogging!

7. What is the most discouraging thing about blogging?

Most discouraging thing is when you take the time to put together a giveaway, or join in a blog hosting spot, and people don't follow the rules, as in they don't follow your blog or twitter- EVEN when they get prizes for doing so! But then they still add their button to the blog hop. So pretty much it's like they are getting free advertising for their blog and they don't follow the rules so you get cheated out of followers! But then again, if they are THAT type of people, then I'm not sure I want them to be followers/potential friends anyway!

8. What is your lasting inspiration or motivation?
 
This verse has always been prominent in my life, showing up in my heart when I needed it the most.   
 

 

9. What is your blogging dirty little secret?

Ha! That I try my hardest to write a couple of posts ahead so I can have "days off" from blogging! If that even qualifies as a secret!

10. What is your current goal as a blogger?

I went into this without goals, mainly just to show everyone how I do craft projects, or share photos of our travels with family and friends in one place. Sending 50 emails gets boring after a while! But, a few months into this blogging journey, my goal now is to really connect with my readers and share my knowledge of crafts & art, and to really inspire people- even if it's inspiring them to do a craft project!

11. Have you learned or become passionate about anything through blogging that caught you by surprise? 

I've learned that blogging takes A LOT of time! Hats off to the bloggers that post more than once a day and the ones that have been blogging for years. You guys are rock stars!


Thanks Brittany  for tagging me. Be sure to go to her blog to read her answers!

 
I can't really tag everyone because I know some have participated in this already, or are on vacation still, so leave a comment if you'd like me to tag you!
 
Can't wait to read your answers!
 
Confessions of a Blogger

6

Good Morning! I know today will be a slow moving, sloth-like day for most of us! We may have indulged in a little too much holiday food, be jet lagged, trying to deal with new presents and finding their place in our homes. But, all of this just means we had an awesome Christmas with family and friends right? RIGHT!

SO, to cheer you guys up EVEN more... I have my very first giveaway today for this little space o' mine reaching 10,000 hits! I know, I know, 10,000 hits may not seem like a lot to some bloggers. But, for me, I never thought anyone but family would read this space! The fact that I made over a thousand boggled my mind, so 10,000 is astonishing!

 And for that, my dear sweet readers, I'm going to give away stuff in an effort to thank you guys for reading and taking the time to comment and connect with me. Each and every single comment is very appreciated and really brightens my day, y'all rock! So let me share my gratitude!

 We will have 4 winners-

1st place - is the Vera Bradley Clutch in Lemon Parfait pattern. I have one of these and it's awesome! Perfect for holding all of your things and still being small! This is my go-to date night purse!

2nd place-  The "Island Girl" jewelry set! The necklace is one of my beach bubbles (you can purchase similar ones here), Full of Hawaiian shells and sea glass, and the puka shell earrings with small silver plumeria charms! It'll put you in a Mai Tai kinda mood!

3rd place- A blue and red cherry blossom camera strap cover! This fits over all DLSR camera straps, and adds comfort and a bit of style!

4th place- One month free "Cher" ad space on my blog! This will include a guest post!

All great prizes so hurry and enter now!






a Rafflecopter giveaway
10,000 views giveaway!

5

Merry Christmas to my dear, sweet friends!  Today is the day we celebrate our Lord and Savior's birth and I can't express enough, how much my heart is filled with love and joy! I wish each and every one of you can feel this! It's thrilling! I can't help but be happy and practically giddy today and wanted to share with you the sweetest song to express a little of this giddiness with you!

I'd like to share a little prayer for you guys... Lord, please fill my dear friends reading this with the spirit today. Let them feel your love for them today and all days. Savior, please guide them and their loved ones today and keep them safe during their travels, and keep your spirit of love and forgiveness around them all today as they may meet up with travel problems, family problems, or any little thing the enemy can try to derail them off of your path. Today of all days, Lord, bless them and keep them! In the name of our sweet Jesus, AMEN!

Merry Christmas!


MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!

0


Hey, y'all! Merry Christmas Eve! I know most of us will be, to quote my beloved Grandma, "Running around like chickens with their heads cut off" disgusting, I know, but it's probably how most of us look today! Let us keep in our hearts the true meaning of Christmas. And it doesn't hurt to pray for a little sanity today!
Also, since it's Tuesday, so you know what that means! Blog Hop day! I absolutely ADORE these blog hops because it allows you to meet bloggers (who are still active) and you don't have to search for hours, they're all right here! Tiffany over at The Dwelling Tree knows what she's doing about the whole blog hop thing!

Welcome to the Let's Be Friends Blog Hop!

A blog hop is a set time frame for current or aspiring bloggers to find new blogs and quality content. It is a great way to make new friends and find inspiration! It is also a fabulous way to promote your own blog and posts.

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the 45th Let's Be Friends Blog Hop!

Join us every Tuesday at 7 am (MST). This blog hop focuses on content. I love the idea of blog hopping, but I love the idea of reading posts and quality content on new blogs I've never been to even more. Instead of simply linking up your blog button, you are now able to link up your favorite post you recently wrote. Have a delicious recipe to share, DIY tutorial, or heartfelt post? Share it with us! All hosts and co-hosts put up some unique and fun content from the past week. Make sure to check them out. P.S.- you may still link up your blog button and blog name, but it is encouraged to link up your favorite post instead. You will get more page views and interest if you do so! Some of the most successful blog hops I have participated in focus on content rather than just exchanging follows. You never know who will become a loyal follower or pin that delicious new recipe you posted!

The BEST part of this blog hop? Each week there will be a WINNER! That's right, each week we will choose one lucky blog to feature from the previous week's hop. This hop receives thousands of page views every week, so your blog will have the chance to be center stage for free. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.

The last exciting change is that the co-host spots will now be available to all sponsors of All My Happy Endings or The Dwelling Tree. If you are interested in co-hosting the blog hop, email Tiffany or Mandi about sponsorship opportunities and how to co-host the weekly hop!

Let's Be Friend's Blog Hop Guidelines
1. Link up your favorite post from your week.
2. Follow your hosts and co-hosts.
3. Grab the button and post it on your blog so we can share the love.
4. Visit 3 other blogs and follow them along!
5. Tweet about this blog hop, using #letsbefriends
6. Pin the button on Pinterest so we can spread the news! 

 photo BlogHopButtonFinal_zps99116d5e.png


***Once a week, one blog will be chosen to be the featured blogger from the previous blog hop. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.

Meet your hosts:

The Dwelling Tree: Blog, Bloglovin'

All My Happy Endings: Blog, Bloglovin'
  
and your co-hosts:

I am Mrs. K: Blog
Southern Beauty Guide: Blog
Artsy Cajun: Blog

***This weeks featured post from last week's hop:




I came across Kate's blog- Green Fashionista, last week! I was so happy to find her blog. She has a plethora of amazing information and is a bargain shopper. Her blog is beautiful and fun. 

Well, I love Target. I also love learning how to save more money. I have heard about the cartwheel app, but she goes into more detail on the bonus savings with that and the Target debit card. It is worth a read and is a great reminder on how to save even more when shopping at Target. And I can use any savings after the holidays are over. Sheesh! 

Keep posting awesome content! You make it so fun for me to read all your posts! 

*Remember YOU can be next weeks winner! :)



Let's Be Friends Blog Hop

0

The Nectar Collective
Good Morning! I hope everyone is having a nice relaxing morning, drinking their coffee or tea, just decompressing before the next couple of crazy days!

Today is weekly wishes day! I love this idea that I can post my weekly wishes or goals, and be held accountable for them!  I link up with Melyssa and here we go!

Last week:

1. Clean house! I need to do a deep cleaning PRONTO so the little daily messes aren't so bad! The whole home was cleaned top to bottom, and sadly, I still have a few messes left from yesterday. I suddenly forget and honestly don't really care, about cleaning when the Mr. has the day off! Anyone else experience this phenomenon? :)

2. Finish wrapping Christmas presents. I finally have all of those bad boys wrapped and waiting under the tree! This is a good feeling!

3. I promised quilts to my side of the niece and nephews this year, and there is no way they will be done by Christmas, but maybe the end of January. I need to make sure this happens! Ladies and gents, I have 2 of the nephew's quilts done, one of the nieces quilt tops done, and cutting more squares for the rest! It's about half done, I'd say. I can't wait to see their faces when they get them! I think I can, I think I can

4. Clean my fish tank. WHOOO-HOO! This is done! It's so gross, we're having an algae problem and it gets gunky, friends. I honestly don't know how these fish are still alive! Nothing is working, and I just keep trucking on in the battle against algae!

5. Have as much holiday fun and holiday dates as possible! I feel like this time of year is so magical, maybe it's because I love twinkle lights and glitter! I may, or may not, be trying to decide if an "adult" household can keep glittered items year round! We went for a stroll Downtown to see the lights, and they blare music, sometimes you will even see someone singing or playing the guitar! Magical! We're just trying to step back, relax from the holiday business, and enjoy this time of year!

And since it is the most wonderful time of the year, I will not put any new wishes or goals on myself other than to enjoy this week! That's all folks! What are some of your wishes for the week?




Weekly Wishes

1

Never The Same Spice Twice

Yes, 3 posts today! What can I say? I'm a sucker for link ups! And especially since this one is super fun and involves the mister!

I LOVE this link up! As girls, we ramble on and on about ourselves, which is fine since it's our blog! But, I often look at the guys in the photos and wonder what do they think about the blogs their girl writes? What are they like? Here's an awesome way to find out! You ask your guys these questions, and then link up with everyone else to see other's responses! Pretty snazzy, eh?

On to the questions:

1.What is your favorite cereal?
 Honey Nut Cheerios
(this man could eat cereal day in and day out!)


2.Pancakes or waffles?
 Waffles
(Ok, ok, enough with the hints, I will buy a waffle maker tomorrow!)

3. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
 Seeing the lights and being with family.
(Agreed)

4. Finish the sentence.... All I want for Christmas is...
 To have a wonderful time with all of my loved ones.
(Heart flutter, he's so sweet!)

5. What was your best moment of 2013?
 Taking the trip of a lifetime to Europe!
(Agreed times infinity! We made memories to last not only 2013, but our lifetime!)

And there you have it!  My man-of-few-words!



Boys Behind The Blog

1

 
I know, I just gave you my Find Beauty Friday post, but I thought I'd share another one today since it is Friday and I'm in a writing mood, or sharing photo mood. Either way, double whammy post!

I'm linking up with Darci over at The Good Life Blog for my Five on Friday! Here we go...


1. We strolled to Downtown Naperville to return our library books and go to the cutest little paper store, Paper Source on Sunday and decided to stay to watch the Christmas lights come on. It didn't take long since it's almost pitch black at 5pm now.

2. A really blotchy selfie. Next week, my mission will be making settings on my phone and camera easier to use when the Mr. takes the photos!

3.Working on a Secret Santa gift, needless to say, they a are huge Game of Thrones fan. I think this will be a big surprise!

4. I've finally found my favorite tea here in Illinois! I've been searching everywhere for this stuff and Costco didn't even carry it! I'm one happy girl!

5. We went to Drury Lane Theater in Oak Brook for the Mr.'s company Christmas party. It was gorgeous all decked out with Christmas trees and the chandeliers, y'all.... the Mr. killed my dreams and said the chandelier wouldn't fit in my purse or our apartment..... dream crusher!




And that's our week at a glance! What do you guys think... every girl needs a chandelier right?



Five on Friday

2

Happy Friday y'all! I hope it goes fast and you guys are getting into the Christmas spirit!

We saw a Groupon for The Morton Arboretum, where you can interact with lights. I'll post our experience on it's own, but it is a pretty cool experience! One of my favorite Christmas traditions is getting in the car with a cup of hot chocolate, and riding around to see the "twinkle lights". The Arboretum did not disappoint in the twinkle lights department!






What's your favorite holiday tradition? Comment below!
Twinkle Lights

5

  Continuing on of our European Tour, we leave Berlin bright and early on day 5 and head off to Dresden.  Dresden was a stop over for us, as the coach driver is legally required to take breaks in-between driving for long hours. This city was restored after being almost completely destroyed during the second world war. We were in such awe of the architecture, honestly, the whole trip we were in awe all the architecture! It's so uniquely rich in history that we were beyond amazed! You definitely can't find things like this in Louisiana!
   Trip Advisor was an awesome tool I used throughout the whole trip. Every night, I'd check the itinerary to see where we were going the next day, and screen shot the webpage so we could pull it up without internet, like when we're getting off the bus to site-see. This was the easiest way for me so I didn't have to find somewhere to print, or write a bunch of things down. HUGE TIP- Unless you pay mega bucks to have your cell plan changed to a European one, you can put it in Airplane Mode. While you can't call or text, you still can use the camera and if you are somewhere that offers free Wi-Fi, that also works. So we would take photos of our itinerary and maps of the places we were going so we wouldn't get lost! Anyway, thought I'd share that because it helps TONS! So, for Dresden I pulled up Dresden attractions and we tried to get to see all of them during the stop-over.  
  It was still pretty cold at this time, mid February, so the fountains and such weren't operational, but they were still beautiful. After a semi-quick run through the city and snapping pictures, we found a cute little corner café where some of the other tour members were camped out hiding from the cold! Our leisurely lunch was about 2 hours long, we had great topics of discussion, and really got to know our tour mates. I think this is the café where I had the best minestrone soup, I think it was minestrone, maybe some other soup- but it was amazing in taste and it warmed me!
  Once everyone was all loaded back up on the coach, (there are always late folks, and the tour leader makes a rule that late folks have to get on the coach microphone and sing for everyone) we were on the road again and by night, we were in Prague! I have to admit, I was incredibly excited for Prague. One of my cousins teaches English in China, and his favorite vacation spot is Prague... now I see why!
  And because it's so gorgeous, Prague needs it's own blog post! It's in the works, but for now, enjoy the photos of Dresden!
 
 
 

 


 








 







 
 
 

Europe Tour, Day 5, Dresden

3

While you read this, I am taking the day off to spend with my love and my sick Ginny girl. I'll be back tomorrow with a glimpse of my skin care routine!


As I get older and travel more, I realize how very special and unique Cajuns are! I'm proud to be a Cajun! Although my Husband doesn't understand the greatness and humor in most Cajun jokes and stories, I wanted to share this in hopes it lets everyone see our culture a little more. And disclaimer- as fabulous as the Duck show is, it's not "Cajun", more like just country folks! I hope you guys enjoy!




Hope everyone is having a great and stress free holiday season so far!

 
Night before a Cajun Christmas

1

Welcome to the Let's Be Friends Blog Hop!


A blog hop is a set time frame for current or aspiring bloggers to find new blogs and quality content. It is a great way to make new friends and find inspiration! It is also a fabulous way to promote your own blog and posts.

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the 44th Let's Be Friends Blog Hop!

Join us every Tuesday at 7am (MST). This blog hop focuses on content. I love the idea of blog hopping, but I love the idea of reading posts and quality content on new blogs I've never been to even more. Instead of simply linking up your blog button, you are now able to link up your favorite post you recently wrote. Have a delicious recipe to share, DIY tutorial, or heartfelt post? Share it with us! All hosts and co-hosts put up some unique and fun content from the past week. Make sure to check them out. P.S.- you may still link up your blog button and blog name, but it is encouraged to link up your favorite post instead. You will get more page views and interest if you do so! Some of the most successful blog hops I have participate in focus on content rather than just exchanging follows. You never know who will become a loyal follower or pin that delicious new recipe you posted!

The BEST part of this blog hop? Each week there will be a WINNER! That's right, each week we will choose one lucky blog to feature from the previous week's hop. This hop receives thousands of page views every week, so your blog will have the chance to be center stage for free. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.

The last exciting change is that the co-host spots will now be available to all sponsors of All My Happy Endings or The Dwelling Tree. If you are interested in co-hosting the blog hop, email Tiffany or Mandi about sponsorship opportunities and how to co-host the weekly hop!

Let's Be Friend's Blog Hop Guidelines
1. Link up your favorite post from your week.
2. Follow your hosts and co-hosts.
3. Grab the button and post it on your blog so we can share the love.
4. Visit 3 other blogs and follow them along!
5. Tweet about this blog hop, using #letsbefriends
6. Pin the button on pinterest so we can spread the news! 

 photo BlogHopButtonFinal_zps99116d5e.png
 

***Once a week, one blog will be chosen to be the featured blogger from the previous blog hop. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.

Meet your hosts:

The Dwelling Tree: Blog, Bloglovin'

All My Happy Endings: Blog, Bloglovin'
  
and your co-hosts:

Southern Beauty Guide: Blog
I am Mrs. K: Blog
Artsy Cajun: Blog
Simple Moments Stick: Blog

Back Home Again: Blog


***This weeks featured post from last week's hop:





I loved this post by lovely Lena at Root and Blossom. Her blog design is seriously gorgeous, and she is an amazing blogger. She  has fabulous DIY and recipe posts, such as oven roasted garlic Parmesan green beans and Reese's Cupcakes. She also writes many heartfelt posts about faith and family. Go follow her, already! :)

Anyways, this post rocks because I learned something new! I have always wanted to add a hyperlink signature to blog comments, and I often forget to do so! Well, she reminded me about this and taught me how in her short tutorial. See: 


Go read her post to find out how to leave that as your signature instead of having to write out your URL every time you leave a comment (which looks more tacky!). 

Keep posting awesome content! You make it so fun for me to read all your posts! 

*Remember YOU can be next weeks winner! :)

Let's be Friends Blog Hop!

1





Did you guys see the breaking news yesterday about antibacterial soaps NOT doing what they advertise?!?!? THEY DON'T WORK!!!???  My whole world was shaken! I have an incredibly wimpy immune system and get sick within hours of being exposed. So to say I rely on these products to keep me healthy is an understatement... or was an understatement! I just don't know what company to trust anymore!

 And that got me thinking about the other products I use and their claims of a germ free home. I mean, do they honestly work!? How can I trust them? All day I researched and aside from using straight up bleach on every thing- including me, then the answer is- I can't trust the products! Why am I exposing myself to all of toxic chemicals when they don't do anything they claim? Why can't I use organic or all natural products to do the same job AND I won't potentially get cancer from the chemicals? What's a girl to do?????

 Things are a changin' round here, folks! I'm in the process of researching the most organic or natural soap products that I can clean with, and use for myself. I've promised the Husband that when the new year comes, I will head back to the doctors to get a grip on my aliments, (more on those later) and eat so much healthier. So, I'm thinking I'll change the soap and cleaners by the new year as well. Sounds like a great idea right? I think so!

My front runners, right now, are Dr. Brommer's, Burt's Bees, and Seventh Generation. I'm thinking I can take care of everything with these products!

What do y'all think about the news and what do you use for products? I'd love to hear suggestions!
Things are a changin' round here

5



Good Monday morning! I come to you post cookie coma, linking up with Melyssa and bringing you my weekly wishes! Yesterday, we spent all day with some of Husband's family baking batch after batch of cookies. OH boy, this holiday is going to be a good one! The next couple of weeks are even more hectic than I want to admit, so the weekly wishes are going to hold me accountable! Here we go...

1. Clean house! I need to do a deep cleaning PRONTO so the little daily messes aren't so bad!

2. Finish wrapping Christmas presents.

3. I promised quilts to my side of the niece and nephews this year, and there is no way they will be done by Christmas, but maybe the end of January. I need to make sure this happens!

4. Clean my fish tank.

5. Have as much holiday fun and holiday dates as possible! I feel like this time of year is so magical, maybe it's because I love twinkle lights and glitter! I may, or may not, be trying to decide if an "adult" household can keep glittered items year round!

That's all folks! What are some of your wishes for the week?


The Nectar Collective
Weekly Wishes

3

Happy Friday! Today I am linking up with Aimee for Find Beauty Friday!

This Friday, as I am experiencing my first real winter with temps in the negatives to 20 degrees for the highs, I'm dreaming about our travels earlier this year, and the warmer weather!

Today, I share with you a piece of Ireland. We stayed in Killarney, you may remember the Killarney National Park as one of the scenes from the movie, P.S. I love you, where they meet at first.
They also had the most beautiful Catholic church in the town, which is where I share the beauty with you, on this Friday morning! Warning, I made this photo as big as I could! Enjoy!

 
Hope you guys have a great weekend!
Find Beauty Friday

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I just woke up from sleeping 12 hours, TWELVE! This never happens people! I get back spasms pretty much every hour and they will wake me up, cause me to get hot, then I have to find the comfortable spot with half sheet, half quilt covering me, and then get back to sleep. It's a process! And I normally sleep 7 hours. BUT TWELVE! I'm so happy, I woke up thanking the Lord above something fierce for this gift of sleep! That being said, I have to tackle household cleaning today, finish a few orders, wrap a few gifts, and then try to be proactive on upcoming projects and blog posts! I think I can, I think I can!

Today's blog post is a fun one! I love Christmas and the birth of my Savior, Jesus, which is the reason for the season, but it's still fun to do a list of Holiday questions! Here goes!

 

25 Questions: Holiday Style


  • Eggnog or hot chocolate?
EGGNOG! My Grandmother, God rest her soul, made the most incredible eggnog from scratch. She would also add quite a bit of whiskey, which kept you warm she said. People would come to her house just for the eggnog! I was lucky enough to watch her many times and write down the recipe!
  • Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
"Santa" a.k.a. ME, wraps them and puts them under the tree. We don't have kids to hide them from, but it's hard for me not to spill the beans, so the faster their wrapped and under there, the less tempted I am at revealing them before Christmas!

  • Colored lights on tree/house or white?
White lights are my favorite, but I do like the bright purple colored ones! I feel like they just came out with that color- right?
  • Do you hang mistletoe?
I never have! I probably should!
  • When do you hang your decorations up?
This year, I hung them up super early so we could enjoy them more! I don't believe in the whole waiting until after Thanksgiving because that's not even a month! And I want to and would rather celebrate Jesus' birthday longer than separating it from Thanksgiving. (I'm part Cherokee)
  • What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
We don't really have/haven't made any traditions as far as Christmas holiday food yet. Thanksgiving's menu is pretty traditional.
  • Favorite holiday memory as a child?
Traveling from Atlanta to Louisiana so we could be with all of our family is my favorite memory.
  • What is on your Christmas wish list?
Mainly my favorite candle, Circle E Candle, in Peace scent! LOVEEE ITTT
  • Do you open a gifts on Christmas Eve?
Nope not usually.
  • How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
Same as anyone does, ornaments, bows, no ribbon. This year the colors are an ice blue, red and a few green ornaments.
  • Snow? Love it or dread it?
I would've said love it being that I never really had snow longer than a day every other year. But, now that I live here, I'm starting to turn to the dark side and say..... dread!
  • Real tree or fake tree?
Mine is a fake white one. I would love a real one, but too much mess, fire hazards, smallish apartment.
  • Do you remember your favorite gift?
Hmm I can’t think of one particular favorite, Christmas is about so much more than gifts and I really dislike the fact that I have to get more gifts on Christmas than on people's actual birthday! You could make me something out of pipe cleaners and I'd be just as touched as if it were diamonds!
  • What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you?
Celebrating the birth of my Lord and Savior with family! How incredibly blessed are we that God gave his only son for us to have everlasting life?
  • What is your favorite holiday dessert?
EGGNOG!
  • What is your favorite tradition?
As I mentioned before, we haven't really made our own traditions yet, but we will!
  • What tops your tree?
I have a big red glittery bow on there now. I haven't found the perfect angel.
  • Do you prefer giving or receiving?
GIVING! I love making people happy!
  • What is your favorite Christmas song?
Oh Holy Night, it makes me tear up every.single.time.
  • Candy canes, yuck or yum?
Yummm
  • Favorite Christmas movie?
Umm, The Grinch! The cartoon one. I've loved it since I was a child!
  • What do you leave for Santa?
Nothing!
  • Do you have a Christmas morning tradition?
Not yet. I want to make one with Chris now.
  • Do you prefer to shop on-line or at the mall?
Online! Or mall if it's before Thanksgiving!
  • Christmas letter or Christmas card?
Christmas card. Although the more I get from others are picture ones. So I guess I'll jump on the bandwagon next year and send out picture cards!

What are your favorite things? Comment below! Especially comment if you are going to do the holiday questions so I can go read yours!


25 Holiday Questions, you know you want to answer these too!

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Many of you already know, I visited my family in Louisiana for Thanksgiving. I had a great time and it was much needed. I feel like Cajun people are just so different than anyone else. For instance, you drive down any 2 lane road and everyone automatically waves at each other. It's sort of protocol. Everywhere else I have lived, not just Illinois, people in the other car will look at you like you are crazy if you wave at them! Maybe it's just different and I shouldn't think to much into it, so I won't. Sufficed to say, every once in a while I need my Cajun batteries recharged, so I pack a bag and head to La.

This trip was laid back with tons of delicious Cajun food I can't get anywhere else, so I did enjoy myself! I also didn't take as many pictures as I would've liked, but I'll share a few with you!

The sound of really loud Oinking woke me up one morning. Since it is the country, you never know when the neighbor's pigs will break out and eat the pecans out of your yard.



 
 



Needless to say, we couldn't finish our cupcakes due to a sugar coma.


 
Taking crazy photos with your Goddaughter is mandatory these days.




If you are ever in Louisiana, and around the Opelousas area, stop in and get some boudin from Ray's. I CRAVE this stuff & my Mom and Brother spoiled me this trip- they had it waiting on me in the truck when I got off the plane! YUM!
 
Seeing your hyperactive nephew shy and not saying a word because you came to eat Thanksgiving lunch (if you want to call that slop a "lunch") with him at his school is priceless!



I hope you guys enjoyed family and friends for Thanksgiving. Now on to Christmas! Is everyone ready- presents wrapped & halls decked?
Recapping

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