Find Beauty Friday is a great way to share your pictures from the week which displays something beautiful! It's never to late to link up with Aimee from Dear Harper Blog!


Dear Harper

Today, I find incredible beauty in my newly decorated mantle. I am a sea lover, and with the polar vortex bothering us yet again, I couldn't help but wish for sun kissed, salty air days! I will post a home tour of my living room next week, so stay tuned for that! Until then, enjoy!



How's your weekend shaping up? PLEASE tell me, at least one of my dear readers and friends are enjoying salty sea air this weekend!
Find Beauty Friday

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Continuing with my Sponsor Shout Outs, meet Alyssa from Two-Thirds Scarlett! This gal's wit is awesome! I love that she never fails to have a GIF for every post! Check her out & don't forget to head over to her blog after for some belly laughs!




Hi!  My name is Alyssa and I'm 26 (but don't feel a day over 19).  As you might have guessed from the blog name, I'm a southern girl and I can't imagine home being any place but Alabama (Roll Tide).  I'm married to Chris and we have two cats, Gus and Dixie.  I started blogging lightly when my husband was stationed at Camp Lejeune in the Marine Corps because, honestly,  there was nothing much else to do.  I'm SO glad I started.  I've really enjoyed blogging and "meeting" other bloggers.  I guess my blog is what you would call a "lifestyle blog" where I blog about basically anything that's on my mind.  You'll find some humor, personal stories, celebrity and fashion talk, and a few tales of my domestic failures (and some successes).  Every Tuesday I host a link up that celebrates all things random called Ten on Tuesday.  It would make my day if you would join in!

Some of my favorite things are cats (obviously), Dunkin Donuts, Imagine Dragons, horror novels, gold, Disney and pajamas.  Buy me pajamas and I'll love you forever.  Hope to talk to you soon!
Sponsor Shout Out- Meet Alyssa!

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Time for Boys Behind The Blog link up with Mal Smiles! 


Boys Behind The Blog


I love this linkup because I think it's only natural to want to know a little more about the men in a blogger's life!

The Boys Behind the Blog #9 QUESTIONS:

1. If you could live anywhere, where would you live?  "Some place WARMER" ( I second that)



2. Sand or snow? "Sand!" (All in favor)


3. What Winter Olympic sport would you rock at? "Ummm, none? I suck at anything with snow or ice, so that pretty much rules it all out." He did catch onto ice skating pretty quickly!



4. You're cooking a romantic dinner- what is your go-to dish? "Ha! Cooking? Spaghetti =)"  My Mr. has mastered very few dishes, but his spaghetti is pretty good! 




5. Fill in the blank: This year, I gave (your wife/girlfriend/fiance's name) a ____________________ for Valentine's Day?  "Silver ring she really wanted, and roses."  Y'all, I am FOREVER banging my diamond against things as I clean, cook, and work. I was terrified to knock it off and loose it! Or worse, take it off and forget where I put it!  So I asked for a simple band that I can wear at home and not be afraid to get work done!  He's the best! 



Ha! Don't you just love his toga outfit? This was taken with our tour group, in Rome during a toga night. Once I added my shimmery scarf around his head for a crown, the others played along! Gotta love my Mr.! 

Boys Behind The Blog #9

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  Today starts a new series I want to do with my swap sponsors. Many bloggers will not do much in the way of advertising for you, whether it be social media love, or a guest post unless you pay. And some are not cheap! This is why I do mainly free swap ads. The idea of the same money going around and around the blogosphere doesn't make sense to me! When did money become the deciding factor to share the cool ladies you meet with your readers? And sponsorship is a odd thing. You want to sponsor people you like, and who you'd be proud to have your button on their wall. Other bloggers may be too negative all the time, or too outspoken about things that are against your beliefs. It's a tricky thing. And I know that to some, sponsoring a blog is a big deal and one not to be chosen lightly. To others, well, they just want as much exposure as possible and will slap their button on every blog that will let them. Luckily, I have connected with a few truly great gals and I am thrilled to host them! I wanted to go beyond just having their button on my sidebar. I want to introduce these gals to you so you can see how amazing they are! And since I am horrible at Twitter, I wanted to introduce you to them in their own post!

Today I introduce Charlene. This lady is a go-getter if I've ever met one! Her posts are always thoughtful and sweet, and she never disappoints in a good read!




*This is a guest post written by Charlene @ From Bisons to Buckeyes

I have always loved journals. Growing up I bought journal after journal and almost never filled them up. As I got older, I started writing in them more and would make myself fill one before I would buy a new one. I would write about my experiences and how I was feeling at times. I would record fun events and even text messages that made my day. Sometime I would write down my prayers and I certainly kept lists of people to pray for.

Lately though, I haven't kept a personal journal. I have a spiritual journal where I record prayer requests and take notes at church, and I have a blog. BUT I got a new journal in my Carabox and I love it! I have been journaling my thoughts, prayers, and... blog posts?

Yes I have been writing blog posts in my journal. And I don't mean ideas for blog posts, I mean full posts that I will pretty much type into blogger word-for-word later. Let me just tell you, I think I have unlocked a huge blogging secret!

When I am blogging on my computer, I am connected to the internet so I get distracted. I sit down to blog, but I check my email first. Then I head on over to Bloglovin' just to see if anyone has posted anything new. By the time I have answered my emails and caught up on my reading, I don't have much time to blog. Once I start writing, I feel the need to check all my social media every time there is a pause in my typing. Does anyone else have this problem?
So I've started writing first drafts of blog posts in my journal. No distractions. Just pen and paper. And I can do it anywhere! On a plane, train, or automobile. By the pool (when it gets warmer, of course). Laying in bed when I can't sleep. The options are unlimited!

I have been so much more productive since discovering this secret and I just had to share it in case anyone else could benefit from it.

What are some tips you guys have found help with staying focused while writing/blogging?
Blog // Twitter // Instagram // Facebook
Author of: From Bisons to Buckeyes and Beyond



Sponsor Shout Out- Meet Charlene!

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Good Monday Morning! Isn't this day just glorious? I have to say, the cold weather is back and we may have a little bit of snow coming down today, but after Thursday's toasty 51 degrees, and the rain it has melted most of the snow down! It's actually manageable!

Today I link up with The Nectar Collective for Weekly Wishes. This is an opportunity to share your wishes, goals, and or dreams with everyone. For me, it's a way to hold me accountable to get things done and off my to do list!


The Nectar Collective

So here goes:

1. Mail off packages to family and friends!  I have about 3 packages that I just need to gather everything and send off. It's just difficult while you're waiting on other items! Don't get me wrong, I love the flat rate boxes from the USPS, but at $16 a pop, I want to cram as much stuff as I can into it!

2. Make ocean themed decor. I've come to the conclusion that I need beachy themed items around me to be happy. If I can't live by the ocean, then I want to at least pretend! So, I have tons of sea glass that I collected over the three years we lived on Oahu, and I just don't want it sitting there in a box. Sounds good right? Right!

3. Finish online photography class. I signed up for an online photography class a few months ago through Groupon. I managed to get half way finished before getting too busy with all the doctor's appointments and testing. Now, I feel there is a light at the end of the tunnel with all of that and I can wrap up all the loose ends... like this class! I definitely think that everyone needs a refresher course on how to use their camera every once in a while, and while it's on Groupon for half price, it's the perfect opportunity!

And that's all folks! I'm sticking to just 3 this week, and planning on spending the rest of my time studying my Beth Moore book- Breaking Free. The way I do it is this, bright and early I make my coffee, grab my book, and study a chapter. I may do a little journaling and bible study on my own after that. Then, I break out my precious Blue Baby and spend time doing yoga and contemplating what I just learned.


Isn't that a gorgeous mat? It is AH-mazing!  Get yours here.


What's your big wishes for this week?


Weekly Wishes

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Find beauty Friday link up with Aimee from Dear Harper Blog! Add your picture to show everyday beauty to her link up!

Today, my Find Beauty Friday is one of my latest designs for my Etsy store (click here), this eye pillow/mask is awesome! The French lavender is so strong that I have to keep mine in a ziploc bag when I don't need it! Plus the bag helps keep it smelling so strong! 



The fabric is such a beautiful delicate flowers that it almost makes you calm just from looking at it! 

I know I plan to use my eye pillow for lots of relaxation time this weekend!  How about you? 
Find Beauty Friday

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This is my second time participating in the Cara Box hosted by Wifessionals, and I'm so glad I joined in!

This time, you were matched up with your partners by location. And it just so happens my two gals were super close! It was fun!

The awesomely cool lady I sent a box to was Danielle, who blogs over at Allusional. Danielle really puts a lot of effort into each and every one of her posts and it's just so much fun to read her blog! She also has her doggie who looks like he could be my doggies cousin! No kidding...  It was so great to get to know her over the last few months and I can't wait to continue being blogging buddies! Check out her Cara Box Reveal of what I sent to her here.


Now, my other partner, Cait, she blogs over at Fierce fabulous and fit. She actually lives in the same town! How amazing is that? Cait knew EXACTLY what to get me, and all while she gave birth to her incredibly adorable baby girl! I mean, is there nothing this lady can't do? Check it out!




Let me further explain the magnitude of my Cara Box. FIRST, there is the envelope that says Heaven on Seven. This is a CAJUN restaurant! She is so thoughtful that she went out of her way to get a gift certificate for this restaurant! All while almost having her baby! See why she's so awesome? OK, next, is the Ghirardelli hot cocoa, this stuff was like heaven in my mouth on a single digit temperature day! She knew I was struggling a bit with this being my first winter EVER and knew this would make it tolerable! It did the job!  And, the biggest surprise of all.... this Spartina 449 travel jewelry case! Believe it or not, I am not so organized with my jewelry when I travel. My precious babbles normally get shoved into a Ziploc at the last minute and then crammed into whatever bag is closer. NOT ANY MORE! Now I can treat my jewelry the way it needs to be treated! And, I mean, how cute is the pattern? SO me! She really outdid herself and I'm so grateful to Cait!

I know there is another Cara Box coming up soon, so if you want to participate, please visit the Wifessionals link above and sign up! It's great fun!
Cara Box Reveal!

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Good Morning, friends! Today I want to share a little about peace. Not the world peace kind, but inner peace. It is such a fickle thing that, while I can't speak for everyone, for me, it is near impossible to get that feeling and keep it all day. Am I right, or is it really just me?

 I'm studying the Beth Moore book, Breaking Free, and in chapter 6, she speaks about experiencing God's peace. By the way, if you need a good, hearty devotional book- this is the one! She's striking cords with me left and right.

So, back to the chapter. She quotes Isa. 48:18, "If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea."  And she goes on to explain that a river and a peaceful life doesn't have to be like a pond, a boring stagnant pond, your life will be like a river, white water rafting type of river. It's a really good point she makes! Who wants to be stagnant? I don't! But, I do want the peace to be with me always, and not with me for brief periods of the day.  And how do we achieve this peace? By following his commands. Sounds simple enough right?



 Wrong! My word for the year is "Relax". I really think that with all of the technology and things going on in our daily lives, that it's so easy to become desensitized about things that shouldn't be in front of us, and that makes it hard to follow commands or to relax. To unplug from things makes it easier, and I have contemplated hard about deleting Facebook and twitter. It's just this constant barrage of things, good or bad, that just makes you feel something. It could be happy that a friend from high school just got engaged, but it's not like you actually have had a conversation with this person since high school. It's unnecessary junk clogging up your brain when you could be relaxing and just focusing on you, your family and close friends (and your blog)

Just this week, on Facebook (a post about social media will be published next week) a person from my home town had posted a video of teenage girls fighting. I think this is a hacker job, like they clicked on another video and because they did, their account was compromised and the hackers posted other videos without their knowledge. But, they had to click on a video first in order for this to happen. And all of the videos are smutty, a girl with a rather large derriere, a teen girl fight, or some other smutty thing.  I was in shock! In my mind, no way would this person every do such a thing, but there was the proof, right before my eyes! I remember, during my childhood, my mother would watch the soap operas and when the actors would kiss, we would have to turn our head and cover our eyes. Now, children see much more than a kiss and they don't seem to be bothered by it! My question is... if we are a society that is so desensitized to various things, how will we be able to follow the commands of our Lord? How will we hear the Holy Spirit talk to us A.K.A. our conscious, and know right from wrong? And how will we ever experience the peace like a river, and well-being waves of the sea? 


Peace

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Hey Y'all! I am happy to update you on what's happening in my world. Ginny has been responding well to the antibiotics, and her lump has gone down a great deal! She has a checkup in an hour, but I'm sure her Vet will be happy at the progress as well! She's truly a happy puppy and I'm so very thankful God brought her into our home and our hearts.  

Secondly, I may or may not have returned the awful heart monitor a few days early. Honestly, I couldn't stand that thing on me one more second! If the Cardiologist doesn't have everything he needs, too bad! :) It's so freeing without a lanyard with a bulky transmitter around your neck and wires going everywhere! I think the majority of the testing is behind me. Now, it is just getting the results back and a treatment plan. But I remain hopeful!

PLUS- it's almost 40 degrees here today! HEAT WAVEEEE! The snow and icicles are melting (not fast enough for me) and I can't wait until Ginny and I can take our daily long walks and get fresh air! There is nothing like the feeling of being outside breathing in the air, or at the very least, opening all of your windows at home and feeling the breeze come through your home. I am beyond cooped up, can't you tell? 

And let me tell you about our Sunday. Husband found great tickets for Chicago's Theater Week, for a show called Into The Woods. It was at the Mercury Theater, which was small, but still nice! This show was the very first show the Mr. saw as a young child, and he remembered being fascinated. So we had to see it! 

Before the show, we met up with The Mr.'s brother and his adorable girlfriend for sushi. It was pretty good! We all admitted that we could probably eat our weight in sushi, and certainly tried that day! After saying our good-byes, we walked another two blocks to the Mercury Theater. 

The show was so good! It's not your fancy costume, flashy show. It was low key, the actors wore their own clothes and just hats and robes for props. I believe it was the group, The Hypocrites.  Some actors had to play multiple parts, but that added to the cuteness! I would recommend it to all ages! 

After getting home, I looked it up and I was so excited to learn that they are filming in Hollywood with a release date of this year! The girl off of pitch perfect- Anna, and Mr. Johnny Deep with a lot of other A-listers are playing in it. I can't wait! 
I did manage to snap a few camera photos, although they are grainy, it'll still give you an idea of the area. 







I should be back to blogging regularly by next week, and I just want to take a moment to thank everyone for their kind comments and emails to check in on me. It really means more than you know. You think when you start a blog that it's you against the world, but you really become accepted into the blogging community and form friendships that mean a lot! So thank you! 

What's your first musical or play, or your favorite?
Sushi and Into The Woods

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Hi my loves! I know I have been a bit MIA lately. I know, I can be a slacker... sometimes! Currently I am pretty busy with my Etsy store, (if you haven't checked it out, go see the newly designed items, like the lavender eye mask!)  and getting other things straight in my life so I can focus and be more organized!  I tend to take on too many projects at once, and they get worked on, little by little, so nothing ever really gets finished! Not to mention the added stress that you have to finish this for this person, that for that person, design this, sew that, it's just a mess, my friends!

So this week, I've been working on tying up those loose ends. And I know I've kind of hinted at doctors appointments and tests. Normally, I don't particularly like blabbing all my personal things on here. I love sharing with you guys, but I've always believed less is more! Especially with me! But, I wanted to let you know what has been going on, and why I've been MIA on here, and why it may take so long for a comment response from me.

Basically, all we know at this point is that I have high cholesterol (I was immediately put on Lipitor) , and my Echo Stress Test came back normal (meaning no blockage/plaque build up in the arteries feeding the heart) which is AMAZING news! However, the cardiologist thinks it could possibly be Coronary Artery Disease. I know, it sounds pretty far fetched for someone at my age, and even the Dr. said that. But, with it being in my family history, my high cholesterol (something else my family "gifted" me with)  and having had a total hysterectomy 5 years ago, it is possible. With all that, I have about 3 weeks of wearing a heart monitor, with only a week left- I'm getting antsy to take this thing off for good and get those results. After that, we will find out what his official diagnosis is.

On top of my health dilemmas, Ginny had a lump on her side that we have taken her to the vet for numerous times over the last couple of months. Finally, it changed form- more lumpy, and they could get a good biopsy of it. It's a bacterial infection! this whole time! It was difficult because it was large, and it seemed under the fat and not movable. I thought the worst, of course, and just new she had some sort of tumor on an organ. So yesterday, we took her in to have surgery. They put her under, lanced and cleaned it out. Poor baby was so sad looking! Currently, she's in her bed, enjoying a few hours of the Cone of Shame off so she can rest. She's even wanted to play! From this point, they did another culture, and we will get the results next week. She's on antibiotics and her vet is hopeful this will take care of everything.




It's been a hectic couple of weeks! And I just need to give credit to The Mr. for being so loving and supportive throughout the last couple of months. He's my light and my rock!

Anyway, that is what's been keeping me from posting. I hope you guys don't mind!


How's your week been going? I hope everyone is enjoying their snow days! But seriously, I'm ready for the snow to be gone, and greenery to come back!
Currently

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Ah, Prague. You stole our hearts!


From Expat Explore website: Free day to explore the amazing capital city of the Czech Republic. Enjoy the many old buildings with beautiful murals on them, and the many other sights including the Old Town Square and the Astronomical clock


This place was pure magic, my friends. We hiked what felt like a million stairs to get to Prague Castle and oh my, if I had to choose some historical site to live in, it would be this castle! This castle is said to be one of the largest castle complex in the world, and it's still functional to the government there! They think it was built around 880!  The silver baroque tomb inside the cathedral is said to contain St. John of Nepomuk. 

 I gravitate towards architecture and churches, and this city did not disappoint in any aspect!  Some of the buildings dates back to the 9th century! It's mind blowing! And, I had a tip from my Dad, to actually touch, to lay hands on everything I could. Just to know that I touched something so old and full of history quickly became a trip theme. There were a few touch and go moments when we weren't actually allowed to touch something... 

I'll warn you now, there are around 30 pictures, and they are all amazing. So full of detail!  I hope you guys enjoy!



































I think if we were to live in Europe, it would be between Prague and Paris. Not bad choices either way, huh?

What's one place you have visited that you simply cannot get out of your mind? Comment below!


































Prague, the thief of hearts

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