Oct 31, 2014

Finding Beauty Friday, The Simple One

Happy Friday and Happy Halloween! Today, I co-host Finding Beauty Friday with the lovely Aimee from This Darling Day!
Finding Beauty Link Up | This Darling Day

Link up with us, and share your lovely photographs!

These lovely flowers spoke to me. Such simplicity and beauty. We can only aspire to de-clutter our lives and just be and stop the glorification of busy!

I hope you all have a fun and safe weekend! 

Oct 29, 2014

Get your reviews here!

Ok, so as part of me learning my limits, I know that posting 5 days a week was extreme dedication. It's becoming harder and harder for me to do 5 posts a week, so what do you say about 3 posts a week? Sounds like a good compromise, right?

So today, I'm going to catch up on all my reviews in one post! I had a couple of books to review, as well as an Influenster box. Honestly, it was a happy mail month! * I have received the following products for complimentary testing purposes in all review materials*

  Let's get this bowl rolling, shall we?

First up to the plate is from Blogging For Books. (You REALLY need to check this company out, they're awesome!)

The book I chose is The Skinnytaste Cookbook by Gina Homolka. This book weighs about 5 pounds, no kidding! It feels like one of the cookbooks that are passed down from your Grandma and will still be in good shape to pass down to someone else. The recipes are super easy to follow, and use basic ingredients. No searching the speciality stores for hard to find ingredients. And the best part is, all of the recipes are low fat/low calorie, and healthy for you! They all have the nutritional information on the bottoms of the pages! I love this book!

Next book is from Tyndale Publishers. Again, really good company to review books.

The book I chose is Awakening to God by Gerard Long. This book might be little, but it is powerful. Part of the back cover summary says, "Do you find it hard to believe that God wants to use you to do something extraordinary? Are you struggling to figure out your purpose?" Yes, yes and yes! Gerard Long speaks to me, through this book, like very few have. It really hits home in points in my life and forces you to deem yourself worthy of God's plans. If you had doubt before that you could not be "Fishers of Men" this book banishes them with every word. You won't regret reading this one.

And finally, I received the Vidal Sassoon Vox Box from Influenster.
This came with-
Personally, I like Vidal Sassoon. No, they are not a brand I normally buy because I am trying to go more green and get natural ingredient soaps and shampoos. But, I do love the quality of the items. The shampoo and conditioner made my hair feel extra silky, and I love the heat protecting spray for the days I blow dry and curl my hair. Who couldn't use a little extra protection, and especially with the winter months coming up? I know, for a fact, that I will use every drop of this heat protecting!

What product review companies do you use? Comment below!
Oct 27, 2014

Grateful Heart Monday

Happy Monday! Folks, I come off of a couple of really nasty weeks where, I'm not even going to sugar coat this, my life was tossed up and I had coming from everywhere, what felt like-  monkey at the zoo flinging poop more often than I'd like to admit. I didn't even open my bible and do any sort of study since being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, or dealing with monkey poop,  I was headed down the rabbit hole, and my name isn't even Alice.

THANKFULLY, I cracked open my bible last night and dived in for a good 2 hours before bed. I awoke this morning to a room full of a pink sunrise and a new appreciation on life. I will not let this diagnosis be the end all of my happiness, nor will I let monkey poop spoil my days. These days are not guaranteed, and folks will not have that power over them.   I know that I can't do it alone, but now that I am passed the anger stage, as my physc. major friend explained to me via Skype, now I can finally have some breathing room and wash all the monkey poop off me. :) (Grossed ya out, didn't I? But, you know it's true, monkeys do that.)

OK, on to the post! This is my first time linking up with Emily for Grateful Heart Monday where you just start out the week being grateful for the things in your life. Simple enough, and I think it's awesome to just pause and say, thank you.

Ember Grey: Grateful Heart

Here we go, in no particular order:

+ Coffee, yes, this will be on my list every week, bank on it.

+ My friends and family that know me well enough to know what a huge blow I've been dealing with, and that I haven't been myself, and that they care enough to show me (and Chris, because this changes his life too) love and support. It truly means the world to me, and shows me who's really in our corner.

+ My bloggie friends! You guys are the reason I drag my sleepy self to the computer and type out this stuff! You are all awesome, and I cherish our friendships more than you know.

+My Ginny, her love for her humans is immeasurable, and God knew, without a doubt, which dog we needed to adopt.

+Joann's Fabric store having so many coupons and sales that I've built my fabric stash to probably last until I'm 50... or through the Winter... maybe...

+ This lovely pink study bible. I know a bible is a bible, but when it's also cute and pretty, and the texture is so soft, it just puts that extra little kick in my step!

+The Prayerful Bloggers group... I will admit, I've been slacking here too. And that's unacceptable! I'm so thankful for these ladies and really love our group. I don't care if we have 500 or 5 group members, it's not about the numbers, it's about the realness and the authentic folks we have that make it so special to me.

+ My hubs who is the strongest man I know, (aside from my Dad).  The Mr. has had heaps of monkey poop thrown at him too, and still manages to talk me off the ledges and calm me down. He is my one true love, and the other soul God put on this Earth for me, and if there was any doubt, he's proven himself time and time again, over the last few weeks. He is my most prized possession, relationship, most prized anything... and I'm eternally grateful for him.

Whew, that got deep for a second!

So tell me, what are YOU most grateful for today?
Oct 24, 2014

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday, folks! We've made it through another week! Although, I'm not ready for the weeks to pass and Winter to come, but such is life!

Today, I link up with the incredibly talented Aimee from This Darling Day for Finding Beauty! Link up with us if you have captured beauty in your photos this week!

Finding Beauty Link UP

This photo was taken while I was on top of an Appalachian Mountain with my Bestie last week. We *not so boldly drove up past signs and found this amazing overlook. It was freezing, she was in high wedges and a skirt, but we carefully made our way down-hill to the outdoor classroom porch thing they had set up to snap some photos. The rest will be next week, but I just had to share this one with you. And the scripture is a huge reminder to me that no matter what is thrown at us (monkey throwing poo at the zoo style is how I feel lately) God is with me and I should always stand firm.

Hope you guys have an easy Friday! Any big weekend plans? Comment below!
Oct 22, 2014

Sometimes, I forget how small our problems are to the Great I Am. He does it all, why do I continue to think I can handle everything on my own? He IS the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.  My days should be like the sun, rising with him and setting with him, no excuses, no exceptions. Nothing in this world is more important to my faith than Him. And yet, as I continually screw up by not putting Him first in my list of priorities, He is my savior and my redeemer, He will continue to forgive me. Draw close to me, my Lord, as I desperately need to draw closer to you.
Oct 21, 2014

Meet Daisy!

Displaying Daisy_Aaron_E_051.JPG

Meet Daisy from Simply Relished! She wanted to share some long distance relationship tips with you today. Stop by and leave her some love here and on her blog, Simply Relished! 

Long-distance relationships are hard.

 It is so easy to feel frustrated, misunderstood, and generally disconnected. So what makes a long-distance relationship worthwhile? Should you stay in it? Should you go your separate ways? Before I continue, I should note that I am not familiar with everyone's circumstances and am not presenting a diagnosis or prescription. Bad things can proceed from what appears good, and good things can proceed from what appears bad.

  So this is not so much of a "how-to" as it is a "how we"-- how we made it. It is part of the story of how my husband and I survived (and thrived) through four years of dating long distance: years of great joy and great pain, but mostly joy. If you are considering going the distance, here are some good reasons to give it a try.

  1. You have a relationship trajectory. This does not necessarily mean that you have agreed to get married, but you do have an idea of where the relationship is going. You know why you are with this person. You both desire the same things in your lives and in your relationship. You've got a shared direction.

  2. You can thrive without them. This does not mean that you won't miss this person, sometimes deeply and painfully. It also does not mean that your life isn't greatly benefited by their presence. But you do know that you can grow in the ways you want to grow, succeed in your work and play, and genuinely experience joy, even when the other person is not around. You can build friendships without him or her. You can enjoy community without him or her. You see yourself content even when you miss him or her. This will help you survive the distance in a healthy way.

  3. You're not interested in other fish. Some people land their finest and forever love in their first relationship. This was true of my husband. Others would like to date more than one person before settling down. I'm not talking about unfaithfulness; just the stage of being genuinely unsure. If this is not a nagging doubt in your mind-- even in the deepest recesses-- then long-distance is on the table. But if you want to meet more people and be open to the possibility of seeing others (one at a time, of course), then a long-distance relationship will stand in your way, and breaking up later will be painful.

  4. You are disciplined and have good daily habits. This is a tough one but an important one. We are created to be in close physical proximity to those we love, but long-distance relationships require a certain type of attentiveness that normal relationships do not. With regular daily rhythms and the ability to stick to a schedule, you can commit to chatting with this person on a regular basis. You can make time for them and listen to their needs and experiences. And, most importantly, you can keep those habits that make you who you are-- so that when they see you again, they'll still recognize and know you.

  5. You are practiced at conflict-resolution. Conflict is inevitable in long-distance relationships (and relationships in general). Miscommunications happen, as do surprises. One of my biggest struggles during long distance was that we were unable to share close friends. For some time I felt misunderstood and unknown by his community. These are natural and painful aspects of the long-distance season. But being able to healthily and gently resolve conflict can help rebuild that trust and closeness. "I'm sorry" and "I forgive you" are words you can become accustomed to saying. And as time goes by, your conflict-resolution skills will improve for the better.

 My husband and I spent the year before our wedding in the same neighborhood. What a huge relief it was! Still, in so many ways I remain grateful to this day that we were apart for those years. We learned so much. Many people have asked me how I knew that he was the one I wanted to marry. While I would love to tell that story some other time, I'll share this piece by Olive Chan on how to know whether you've found the man (or woman) to marry. Now that I am married, I know that I couldn't agree with her more!
Oct 20, 2014

Weekly Wishes, the one with the freak out

Ah, Monday, you always seem to put a damper on things. This week has been pretty stressful in trying to get everything washed and put away from my trip last week. I have so many gorgeous photos to share with you of the Appalachian Mountains, but they will have to wait until I have the energy to edit them.

 Part of my "New Fibro life" is following doctors orders. And those orders are to limit myself. I can no longer do the OCD type housework, work on crafts for the Etsy store, blog weeks out, AND get to all the emails and walking the dog, and all of the other little stuff that comes up, in one day. The Dr.'s orders are to remain stress free during a flare up, (haha, what does that even mean) and limit myself, to really listen to my body and know when I am pushing myself too far. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do. And my body lies to me! It's saying, oh yeah, we have enough energy to vacuum and change the bed sheets, but after doing those things, I'm down for the count. The nerve! (haha see what I did there?)

Anyway, enough griping, lets get to this week's wishes.

I'm so happy Melyssa from The Nectar Collective came up with this link up! It's a great way to list your to-do list online, and hold yourself accountable!

The Nectar Collective

1. Finish crocheting my scarf and blanket. I have been working on this Bobble blanket for about 8 months now. I just pick it up for about an hour while watching TV at night, and it feels like it's never going to be finished! I made it too long, thinking I'd have to share it with Ginny, and it could be long enough to fit on a bed... yeah, way too long for a throw blanket! So, I'm hoping to finish it this week so I can scratch that off the list. Plus, while visiting my BFF last week, I started a bobble scarf in the softest yarn. I want to finish that fast because it's starting to get chilly here!

2. Clean out To-Sew basket.  I still have things to sew for folks and things to patch up for us that need to be done ASAP, as well as a couple more Elsa capes that need to get out of my house because I am so over sewing these things! 

3. Enjoy a couple more long walks with Ginny. Winter is coming, and I want us to enjoy the time we have left before being cooped up in the house for the Winter. 

4. Get through the MRI without freaking out. Facts are, I'm very claustrophobic, and I have a spine MRI on Thursday. Yeah, recipe for disaster, folks. The doctor did give me something to relax me, but I know the moment they start moving me into that coffin like tube, I'm going to freak. I'll be reciting prayers like nobody's business, rain-man style. 

How about you? Any big wishes on your to-do list this week? Comment below!
Oct 15, 2014

Quotes, you say?

  Helene in Between came up with a Blogtober idea where you blog everyday in the month of October... yeah, I haven't done that. BUT, I'm enjoying the last morning of my BFF vacay waiting for the sun to come out so we can go outside and play with my camera! These Appalachian Mountains are absolutely stunning, and I want the best sun when we take photos. SO, until that happens, we are messing around, having laughs at her somewhat street (ghetto) dog, and doing bloggie things over coffee.

  Back to the Blogtober, I did like today's prompt, Favorite quote and why, so I'm going to do that one today! 

My favorite quote is this:

 The why is this: 

  Ever since learning about Queen Elizabeth in school, I am utterly fascinated with her. Here comes this girl, with the whole world against her, including her immediate family, and she conquers all against the odds. How awesome is that? She is the epitome of a strong woman to me. How much strength did she have to have to 1. be a woman in her time period and 2. lead and make a kingdom successful? She's beyond amazing. So, when I came across this quote from her, I knew it was to be my favorite for all the obvious reasons. I often joke that who knows what I would've become if my body would keep up with my wants. Well, I sort of know, I would've went into the military and wouldn't have stopped climbing that ladder until I am at the top. I also joke when we watch some secret spy movie that I could have been that, or that, or something else where I'm a tough cookie.

  But, God had other plans for me, and I'm okay with that. I can have the body of a weak and feeble woman, because I know, deep down, that I, too, have the heart and stomach of a king. 

Helene in Between Blogtober
Oct 14, 2014

Cajun food? In Illinois?

You don't see much of this up North, so when we found this restaurant, I was thrilled! It's a cute little restaurant in downtown Naperville. As soon as I walked in, I instantly felt at home!

During one of the snail mail swaps, I was paired with Caitlin from Fierce, Fabulous, and Fit and she graciously sent me a gift certificate for this restaurant, we were thrilled!

The decor was lovely, all sorts of hot sauces on the walls, and the artwork on the opposite wall was amazing! I loved seeing folky paintings of my home state.

Then, the gumbo came. Ok, so I'm a Cajun, and I've eaten gumbo practically since birth, so I know that my pallet is going to be picky. And you ask any Cajun for their gumbo recipe, it's going to be pretty much the same. But they will all taste different. It's a phenomenon I can't explain, but it happens. Anyway, their gumbo was a bit... congealed? Is the word I'm looking for. I think there was too much flour in it, but it wasn't bad. The Mr. thought it was just okay also. Now, I'm sure, if you haven't been eating gumbo for ahem number of years, you would love it. And I'm sure this restaurant has other things that are delicious, but for this Cajun girl, I'd rather spend 4 hours making my own gumbo. Can I get an Amen?!

So, being that it was my only connection to home, we tried it again a couple of months later. This time, things were better. I had the shrimp enchiladas and the Mr. had the shrimp etoufee.  Now, again, I'm picky but I did try his, and it was the same thing! Too much flour or something to make it look congealed again. It was good, don't get me wrong, but I don't know. Maybe my Mama's recipes spoiled me, but it just wasn't the same.

I think it's a fabulous restaurant, but I also think I was too excited to have "real Cajun food" that I didn't have to cook, and got my hopes up too high. Ah well, such is life, right?
Oct 10, 2014

Finding Beauty Friday, the one where I leave

Happy Friday! I'm so excited that it's the weekend! As you read this, I will be at my BFF's house! I'm overjoyed to spend much needed time with her, and to see all of the rolling mountains and enjoy the Apple Festivals around her town! This little getaway trip couldn't have come at a better time. I know I spoke earlier this week about life throwing me a wicked curve ball.  That curve ball is Fibromyalgia. I've been fighting muscle pain for months now, and it was finally diagnosed earlier this week. Since then, I've had my Rheumatologist, Primary Care Physician, and a Physiatrist working on a treatment/pain  management plan. It's a bunch of craziness going on, but God knew this trip would be a saving grace for me! And, I had this planned already, otherwise I probably would've talked myself out of this trip. In my opinion, a getaway with my BFF and lots of giggles could be exactly what the doctors order!

The plan was, to write enough scheduled posts to cover the time I was away. I had enough to cover this week, but then I said, ah well, I can miss a couple of days. I know you guys won't mind!

I will be checking my email a couple times a day, so if you need, I'll be around. I should be back next week, and I'll have tons of beautiful apple orchard and Appalachian mountain photos to share with you!

As always, I join Aimee from This Darling Day  for Find Beauty Friday. Link up with us and share your photography skills!

This Darling Day
Oct 9, 2014

DIY Whipped Coconut Lotion

As I said yesterday, I loveeeee bath salt soaks! The problem with this is, the dry skin afterwards. I have been attempting to really look into product ingredients, and have been appalled at some of the chemicals I'd been putting on my body!

So, I researched on google and Pinterest natural lotions. Of course they were pricey, all the best things are, so I changed the research to find recipes.

I found that coconut oil is the best for your skin. Yes, I know it's a food product. But, after living in Hawaii and learning that the Hawaiians used the coconut oil in their hair and skin, I figured it was legit! I mean, if something can tame their hair and skin after being in salt water and the sea mist, then it would work for me!

The thing was, it wasn't really a recipe, it's just basically smearing the stuff on you. I didn't really want it in oil form, so I decided to whip it for about 30 minutes to make it a lotion of sorts. I used 1/2 cup of oil.

I also wanted to incorporate essential oils into it, because why not?  So I threw in about 3 drops of each while it was mixing. Y'all, this is soooooo amazing! It does stay oily for a while on your skin if you put too much. And although it looks like a solid, as soon as it hits your skin, it turns to oil, so remember a little goes a long way!

Basically, you just put how much you want in there, mix it at medium speed for like 30 minutes. You can do it as long as you want, but I found adding the oils make it more oily texture, and I wanted whipped. Again, finding the cheap little jars at IKEA was perfect for this and if you wanted to give some as gifts!

I hope you guys at least give this a try. And, if you find you don't like it, try using the coconut oil instead of vegetable oil in your cooking, it's delicious!

Oct 8, 2014

Making Stress Away Essential Oil Bath Salts

Y'all, I love a good soak. Nothing calms me, de-stresses me, or makes my muscles feel better than relaxing in the tub with a good book, (ahem or Nexflix streaming Gilmore Girls 24/7).

So, wanting to take it further than just bubbles, I wanted something that was good for me.  After checking out Pinterest, and all of the crunchy mama's blogs, I knew that a bath salt/ foam bath was exactly what I needed! I'd heard a couple mention the Aura Cacia brand, so I took off to the local Whole Foods looking for them, purchased them, used them that night, and  I fell in love with the product, but not the $2 each price tag. Since I have a ton of oils, I went out and purchased the Epsom salt to make my own!

Here's the recipe for the bath salt/foam bath:

2 cups Epsom Salt
1/2 cup sea salt
1 cup baking soda
15-20 drops of essential oils
1-2 drops food coloring(optional)

Now, I wanted a nice stress relieving bath, so I searched for the oils that said they were for stress relief. I added my own recipe into the salt mixture:

10 drops of lavender oil
5 drops of eucalyptus oil
5 drops rosemary oil
5 drops tea tree oil

Directions: Put all salts & powders in large bowl, mix up. Add essential oils and food coloring into bowl, mix thoroughly, and enjoy!

I LOVE this recipe! I've probably made it 3 times and use it up within a week. The easiest part is, you can store it in anything! I found the small jars at IKEA for super cheap, but I find they are better for giving the foam bath away rather than keeping for yourself. So I store mine in a Ziploc gallon bag. That way, I can make a ton & it will last me!

This is an inexpensive product also. Yes, you will have to spend $5-$10 or higher on your essential oils, depending on the brand and where you buy them. And the Epsom salt is between $5-$10 also. But once you have them, the only thing you will have to repurchase is the salts. The oils will last a long while. AND, it's definitely cheaper than buying it premade.

Plus, they make great gifts! Just make sure the recipient isn't allergic to any of the oils first!

However, this salt, so it will dry out your skin. I had to find a healthy alternative to lotion if I wanted to use this more than once a month. So, stay tuned tomorrow for my recipe for that!

Do use any sort of bubble bath/ bath salts to destress? Comment below!
Oct 7, 2014

Things that get you unfollowed quick, fast and in a hurry.

 I love bloglovin', like- BIG LOVE. It's this website where you can "Follow" some one's blog, and everyday that they post, it will show up on your news feed! You can catch up on all your favorite blogger pals without having to click (and remember) every one's web address! Sounds like heaven right? Nope, not quite. There are things that make it a little too easy for you to follow someone.  Everyone uses their Bloglovin' in giveaways and I end up with almost 500 blogs that I'm following on Bloglovin'... that's just nuts!

So, this weekend, I've went in and created a couple different groups and sorted everyone in them. Did you know you could do this? It's super easy! You mouse over your photo, and click "Edit blogs you follow". I then created groups, and went down the list and filed everyone in! My groups are, Prayerful Bloggers, Daily Reads, Favorites, then left the Unsorted ones. This makes it sooooo much easier to keep up with your favorites! (you know you have favorites, too, don't kid yourself)

Now, as I'm going through the unsorted blogs,  I see quite a few blogs I don't remember off the top of my head. I click on their site, to you know, give them a fighting chance. My blog sorting was like Hunger Games style competition, and I had an itchy trigger...errrr.. mouse finger. There also may or may not have been Eye of the Tiger playing loudly in my head.  Anyway, there were quite a few trends I noticed that just grinds my gears and folks were quickly "Unfollowed" when the red flag would go up. This is what I call red flags:

  • Your name is NO WHERE on your blog. I'm sorry, but if it's not on your little bio blurb under your photo on the main page, that's a half red flag. And if I take the time to click on your "About Me" section, and your name STILL isn't on there, unfollow! I'm not going to want to leave comments and/or email you and not know your name.
  • If you don't have an email action button, OR if your email isn't on your "Contact" section of your blog... unfollow. I hate to find a really great blog, and want to email them, and I can't find an email! And FYI, the more I have to search for your email address, the less I actually want to email you. Make it easy for folks to get ahold to you! 
  • If you only post once every 3 months... unfollow. I understand everyone gets busy. Life seems to be going at 100mph for us all, and sometimes we just need a break, I feel ya on that. At the very least, leave your readers a post saying so! Don't just drop off the face of the earth, leaving your readers to wonder if you will ever come back to your blog!
  • Your blog becomes ALLLLL about one certain thing, it could be your kid, your pets, your job, I guess if there isn't any variety... unfollow. 
  • If you are a Negative Nancy on every.single.post... unfollow.
  • When your blog has so much ads, (company ads, not fellow blogger ads) that I can barely focus on your actual post... unfollow. I know people want to make money off of the ads, but if it's too cluttered then I won't even go to your blog much less click on the ads so you can get paid.
  • When your blog becomes nothing but a billboard, (When every post is trying to sell me something because companies want to use your blog as advertising)... unfollow.
  • Every post is either a giveaway or the posts that are shallow and only published so you can get more clicks, followers, views and pins on Pinterest... unfollow.
And that's about it! That's enough pet peeves, right? I know that sometimes, we get caught up in picking the right font for our blog, or posting the right pictures, and can forget the whole reason we started blogs in the first place. But, at the very least, put your name and email accessible for those that want to contact you!

Now, how's your day going? 

Oct 6, 2014

Grace upon Grace, The one where it's hard

Y'all, I adore this link up! Check out what Jordyn has to say about it, from her blog She Who Fears, " I may be biased but Grace Upon Grace is my fave linkup out of all of the linkups in the land, and since it's that time again, I am really just excited about today. If you haven't been here before, Grace Upon Grace is a linkup that takes place every other Monday where us bloggers come together and share the ways that God is doing big things in our lives. The small community of grateful women that it has created encourages me every single day and I would love for you to be a part this week!" 

She Who Fears || Grace Upon Grace

Wow, Monday already! Where is the year going? I feel like it's zooming by and I am no where near ready for another Winter! Ah well, such is life right?

Friends, I have to admit, this past week has been pretty tough to find God's Grace Points. Some weeks,  I can feel grace like rain, others, like this past week, I get into a funk and it's hard! That's when I stick my nose in my bible more and for longer, hoping to feel some peace. OK, enough rambling, here we go...

+One: My Prayerful Bloggers group. These ladies have welcomed me in and have renewed my spirit when the torch was passed to me. I am so incredibly thankful to each and every one of them. Our group may not be the biggest, but I'd rather a smaller group of dedicated ladies that you know is there for you than a large group where our members get lost in the shuffle.

+Two:  Along the same lines, my faithful readers. Blogging is a tricky business. And I've noticed the more I post about faith, the less views I get. You know what? That's okay! God is using me and this blog to touch people's lives, so if it requires me to have less views per month, I am truly okay with it. I didn't start this blog for the popularity contest, I started it to share things with people, and my faith is a huge part of me, so you can accept or move along. Either way, I know that God guides me, and I'm at peace.

+Three:  I know I said my Mr. last week, but I just can't get over how much God knew I'd need him now. Life has thrown me yet another wicked curve ball and, when I feel like I'm standing in the middle of the street like a scared deer in the headlights look, my Mr. scoops me up and reassures me that we are going to deal with things, and things will be fine. 

+Four: The internet. I don't care if Al Gore claims he invented it, I'm just really thankful for it. It allows me to do tons of research, so I can put my mind at ease about things. It allows me to connect with fabulous ladies who I never would've met otherwise and then it allows us to grow in Christ and build these amazing friendships. Simply amazing!

And there you have it. Like I mentioned in point three, there's a curve ball in play. So if I don't answer an email or comment right away, please bear with me as I learn to deal with it.  
Oct 4, 2014

Sponsor Shout Outs!

Hey y'all! Happy Saturday! I hope you all are out doing something fantastic this weekend! But, just in case you are stuck in the house for whatever reason, I wanted to give you something to read. But not just anything, I want to introduce you to my lovely sponsors! 

Their question, this month was: Are you for Pumpkin flavored everything or against pumpkin flavored everything?

Meet Charlene!

Hi, I'm Charlene and I blog at From Bisons to Buckeyes. I'm a follower of Christ, watcher of SciFi, reader of fantasy, singer of show tunes, and lover of my husband! I started this blog to keep in touch with family when the husband and I moved 500+ miles away from everyone and everything we knew for him to start grad school at The Ohio State University. Since then it has turned into so much more. I blog about our life, our love, and our faith.


QUESTION: I am totally FOR pumpkin scented everything. Maybe not flavored though. I love the scent of pumpkin and I like any kind of drink with pumpkin in it, but I am really not a big fan of pumpkin pie or souffle. I would rather have apple or something.

Meet Bree!

 Bree is your average single and sarcastic thirty-something book loving, cardigan wearing, recovering perfectionist, who loves Jesus.  But before she arrived at those pretty little adjectives, she was a broken, insecure and unhappy little lady.  Through her faith and passion for writing, she has found a place where she can openly share the stories of her bumps and bruises; the "beauty marks" life has provided along the way, and at the same time encourage women in their own journeys.  Bree blogs at The Imperfect Vessel where she strives to empower women to look beyond their own imperfections and come to recognize their fullest potential in Christ.  Be sure to visit The Imperfect Vessel, where brokenness is made beautiful!

Question: Fall is my favorite season.  The boots, the scarves, the cozy blankets and pumpkin.flavored.EVERYTHING!  I've even shared some pumpkin-loving posts on the blog!

Meet Teresa!

Hey y'all!  I am Teresa and I blog over at Crafty Wife.  I'm a
twenty-something southern gal loves a great book and a hot cup of coffee.
I am obsessed with Jesus, my husband, Disney
(http://www.craftywife.com/category/disney-world), photography
(http://www.craftywife.com/category/photography-2), travel, creating
(http://www.craftywife.com/category/craft-projects), and sweet tea.
Crafty Wife is a creative lifestyle blog where I share my love of all
things handmade and beautiful.  Join me on my journey to creative bliss!

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Question: Personally, I'd ask for apple flavored anything over pumpkin any day.
Whenever I think of Fall I think of apples!

Meet Gennie!
I'm a Biomedical Sciences Researcher (specifically studying the Musculoskeletal System currently) with a background in biochemistry and molecular biology. I recently moved to Utah with my husband (we were married last January), the love of my life, for his job opportunity, from Springfield, Missouri.  We both love to travel, spend time outdoors, hike/bike, and are excited to go skiing soon! We have a dog and a cat that we just adore and love spending time as a family. I have been through many medical issues and am constantly battling chronic pain, but I'm a lover of life and try not to let that stop me from enjoying each day! I blog at New Home, New Name, New Adventure (newhomenewnamenewadventure.blogspot.com) and post about our new home, travels, marriage, recipes, DIY projects, and my struggle with chronic pain/health circumstances. My blog is my way of connecting with others in similar positions and reaching out to support others! I've absolutely loved getting to know other bloggers and am constantly amazed by the ladies I meet!

I'm definitely for pumpkin-flavored everything and have been experimenting with many pumpkin recipes!

Meet Nicole!
Hi! I'm Nicole, and I blog over at Mercantile519! I talk about my knitting, review delicious beers, and I have a weekly series called Mondays Are For Gratitude that I love sharing with everyone. When I'm not just knitting, I can usually be found knitting while on Reddit, watching knitting podcasts while knitting, trying new beers and knitting, or hanging out with my friends and knitting.


I like some pumpkin flavoured stuff, but not all of it. I'm trying to convince my boyfriend that we need to brew a pumpkin beer, but he's not buying it.

Meet Ashley!
Hey y'all! My name is Ashley and I blog over at That Southern Mama. I am a wife, mama to a toddler cooler than me, and about to pop out my second. My life is messy and 100% entertaining, just check out my blog and see for yourself! 

Question: Are you for Pumpkin flavored everything or against pumpkin flavored everything? 
I am a lover of all things pumpkin! If it claims to smell or taste like pumpkin, you bet your rear end I am getting it! 

Stop by and show these ladies some love! 
Oct 3, 2014

Finding Beauty Friday, The One With The Crooked Trees

Happy Friday! I'm so happy you are stopping by my little space! Today, I link up with the gorgeous Aimee from This Darling Day for Finding Beauty Friday.

This Darling Day

This week has been chaotic. More on that later, but one of the things that centered me this week, was nature. The season feels like it changed fast this year. It felt like in a day or two, the leaves turned colors and they started raining down.

This photo looked great as it was, but I played with the saturation and the leaves became almost see-through, which left the Halloween looking, crooked branches. I thought it was fitting since it is October!

I will be back Monday with a couple of updates about things, but, until then, enjoy every day, my friends!

What are your weekend plans? Besides raking leaves? Comment below!

Oct 2, 2014

Sharing Scripture, Vol. 2

Hey you! Thanks for joining me! Today is Sharing Scripture day! This link up is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I love seeing how all of you creative little beings display your favorite scriptures!

Here's the low down:
  • This will be on the first Thursday of every month, for now. I know a few ladies said they get overwhelmed with weekly link-ups, so once a month should work great for everyone! 
  • You are to follow your host, me (for right now, there aren't any co-hosts), on Bloglovin'.
  • You are to link specifically to the blog post about scripture. If you link just to your blog, your link will be deleted.
  • Spread the love! Comment on the person who linked up before you, at least! You can comment on how many ever blogs you'd like, but let's play nice and leave encouragement on the person in front of you.
  • IF you are sharing something that you've created to sell, please do not link up to your Etsy page. Feature your items on your blog, then link up that specific blog post. We want to hear what inspired you to make something! 
  • Lastly, put the "Sharing Scripture" link up button somewhere in your blog post so others will learn of this cool little link up and join us! The link up will stay open for 7 days, so plenty of time to link up if you're running a little late!   This one is so important, ladies. I want to promote you, but I also want to get the word out about this cool little link up! So, I hate to say it, but your post may be deleted if you're not putting the link up button on your post, somewhere, anywhere, it just needs to be there! Thanks for understanding. 
That's it! Now, let's get started Sharing Scripture! 

The Artsy Cajun Sharing Scripture
Oct 1, 2014

Currently... October Edition

It's officially October!!! Time for a Currently post... 

Making: Tons of things! I have a basket specifically for to do projects, and I wanna empty that baby out! Wish me luck!  
Cooking: I've been experimenting with different recipes and really trying to clean up our diet. I know that in the Winter, we won't be as active due to it being freeeeezing outside, so hopefully we can keep our weight in check with our diet. If you have delicious and healthy recipes, send 'em my way! 
Clicking: Blogs after emails after comments.... I absolutely  LOVEE the Prayerful Blogger group an while I realize it's a whole other blog to do, which doubles the work, I really am thrilled about leading this group! 
Drinking: Peach Tranquility tea from Teavana... yummy stuff! 
Reading: A Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I'm only in the first chapter, but it's lovely so far! 
Wanting: To have my blog(s) posts scheduled to publish for the rest of the year! I'm still determined to make this happen so I am free to enjoy the holidays! I know most people go on a blog-cation and stop blogging throughout the holidays, but I don't want to leave you guys for that long! 
Playing: BANGO! Or Bingo, if you say it normally. I don't know why, but the Bingo app I downloaded is lots of fun right now. (Still playing this!)
Wishing: My puppy wouldn't be such a mean girl when we are on walks! She looks so cute until you come close, then she's likely to bite your face off, maybe not your face, but she definitely isn't happy you're around her human! 
Enjoying: Not having cable TV! I know it may sound foreign to some, but it's really nice to break the chains to the TVs and all the Tivo-ed shows! I'm getting lots done! <~ still enjoying this. It requires effort to turn on Netflix and watch something, and I seem to be finding tons of other things to get done besides setting up something to watch!
Waiting: For the holidays so I can love on all my family! 
Liking: Gmail! I have 5 email accounts, and I'm combining ALL of them to one inbox until I slowly transfer things over to one email! TALL ORDER! It will take a while to accomplish, but it will be oh so worth it in the end! 
Wondering: How long it will take to build/remodel our container home! EKK! 
Loving: The cool weather! But hating the bees flying around my windows when I want to have them open! 
Needing: A new body! But, I will settle for some quality time with those I love. 
Smelling: LAVENDERRRR! All day, every day. 
Wearing: Yoga pants, and a comfy shirt. 
Following:  All of my new bloggie friends! I absolutely LOVE the Prayerful Bloggers group of ladies! 
Noticing: How people either love pumpkin flavored things, or hate them. I can't seem to find anyone who's in the middle about it!  
Watching: The letters fill the screen as I type. On TV, or Netflix, I'm anxiously awaiting Oct. 1st, when all 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls will be on! SOO excited for that!
Obsessing over: My lavender essential oil and my sparkly pink slippers.
Shopping for: Nothing really. 
Learning: I am determined to clear my schedule and get started on the first class towards my Theology Degree! 
Wasting time on: Bingo Blitz, but it's at night, when I'm unwinding from the day. It's the simple things, folks. 
Praying for: My Doctor to figure out what's zapping my energy and making me feel pain all the time! 
Working on: Clearing out my Etsy Shop so I can make new beauties for the Holidays! Go visit and see if something catches your eye!  
Looking forward to: Getting my schedule organized so I can possibly start classes to be a Yoga teacher! I don't know if I will be able to do it, but I'm gonna give her all she's got, Cappin'! 

And now you are all caught up on me! What are y'all up to? Comment below!