I'm not sure where the backlash started for resolutions, but I'm not liking it! Why shouldn't you make goals/resolutions/focus words for a new year? Why shouldn't you admit where your weaknesses are for the year before and make plans to strengthen them?

This year, whatever you call it: goals, resolutions, whatever... make some! Think about your year, and what you want to work on, and do it! What's holding you back?

My word for 2014 was "Relax" and I tried my hardest to learn to just relax. I believe I did a pretty good job, although the Mr. would say I didn't relax enough!
I seemed to respond best when I focus on a word for the year rather than a list of resolutions, so I decided to continue the tradition this year. I even have my word(s) of the year personalized on my beloved Erin Condren planner so it's always in eye sight...




2015 words of the year are: "Simplify Everything" sounds great right?

sim·pli·fy
ˈsimpləˌfī/
verb
  1. make (something) simpler or easier to do or understand.

eve·ry·thing
ˈevrēˌTHiNG/
pronoun
  1. 1.
    all things; all the things of a group or class.
    "he taught me everything I know"
    synonyms:each item, each thing, every single thing, the lot, the whole lot; More
  2. 2.
    the current situation; life in general.
    "how's everything?"

This is going to apply to all aspects of my life, my blogging life, crafting life, business, even down to my "stuff" that clutters my home. EVERYTHING is getting overhauled and simplified! I can't wait to share this journey with you over the next year. Details on how these words will direct me to make my life less cluttered, less stressful, and over all fan-freaking-tastic! 


What's your resolutions/goals/word(s) of 2015? Share below! And don't forget to join my linkup for Sharing Scripture tomorrow! A place to show off your hand letteringtypography, or photoshoppin' skills! 
New Year's Resolutions/Goals/Words of the year

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Well hello there! I know it's Monday, and that stinks! The Mondays after a holiday break are just the WORST! This particular Monday, I am dealing with a fresh case of the cruds, which is no fun at all! The official worst! So, let's recap our Christmas break and relive fun times!

This Christmas, we made the brave decision to drive to my parents house, yes, you heard me right, DRIVE, all 1000 miles with a doggie that gets car sick, myself who's body is against her, and a Mr. who doesn't seem alive before 11am. Yeah, this was either going to go two ways- bad or really bad!

The Mr. takes his morning sleeping time seriously!


Poor puppy is so out of it, she uses the car basket for a pillow...

We made it in 15 hours or so, drunk Ginny was drooling or snotting all over her pillows and blankets in the back, the Jeep is less than fuel efficient, so it was a lot of stops at sketchy gas stations, and I was doing everything in my power to NOT catch every truck driver germ in the world. There may or may not have been acrobatics to avoid touching surfaces.

Look at that drool!

Once at my parents, we had glorious plans of venturing out to New Orleans for sightseeing and going to my favorite beignet place- Cafe du Monde. We were going to shoot guns, slosh around in our rubber boots, let Ginny run wild over acres and acres of nothing, and just have a down home Christmas... umm... yeah, not so much.

After the trip, the next day I was dead. I just lounged around and did nothing all day. We chatted with my folks and my Mama cooked for us, which, let's face it, Mama meals are the best when you're not feeling well! I was in incredible pain, but didn't even have the energy to get up and try to distract myself, so I wallowed. After that, it was helping with things they needed to do, organizing and such. I still had a couple of totes to go through from when I poured all my belongings into them before jetting off to live in Hawaii. We also made a couple of wreaths, which made Mama happy!


We talked, ate, talked more, ate more, talked more... this pretty much continued until it was time to get out and do things! We went to Noel Acadian au Village in Lafayette, La. This is one of my favorite sights. The church there is absolutely stunning, and when they light it up with hundreds of lights, it's breathtaking. I make it a priority to go whenever I'm down there for Christmas.



Blue dog decorated house.
An original Blue Dog from George Rodrigue. 




Christmas carols being played made the magic even greater.



The next big event is when my sister and all my niece and nephews come over. It's a house full of noise and craziness, and I love it! I stir them up and we have a ball! But, while Dad was prepping food for gumbo, he decides he doesn't need to use a cutting board to cut frozen chicken, and does it over the sink with his hands, and... you guessed it... sliced the pad of a finger nearly off! It looked like a horror scene and he was just going to throw a band aid on it & keep on trucking! I convinced him to go to the ER when the bleeding was really bad, which he insisted he didn't need. When the Doctor said it would've kept on bleeding until after Christmas (her words exactly) I did a little "I told ya so" dance and they stitched him up as best they could and wrapped it. I tell ya, it's not a holiday unless someone goes to the ER!
He insisted on driving, this man is a mess!

Niece and Ginny just hanging out.


We had lots of giggles and cuddles from the nephews, as well as the nephew-doggie! Andy is my brother's service dog, and when he was allowed to cuddle, that's all he wanted to do, regardless if there was room for both of us in the recliner!


Ginny also had a blast being off her leash for the first time. She listened pretty well, but when she ventured too close to the pond, which, most likely has an alligator in it, she didn't listen fast enough for my liking!


That night, we bundled up and ventured outside to pop fireworks. My reaction time was too slow to catch most of the pops, but I did manage to get this one of the Mr. and it's pretty cool!



It was a great time. And thankfully we made it there and back in one piece. I don't know if we'll ever drive again, but it was an experience, that's for sure! I did capture some gorgeous views, although all of these were taken with my phone, it still gives you an idea.





Now, I'm still unpacking and organizing, despite waking up with the crud this morning. When it rains, it pours folks. Good thing I can swim! (Just keep swimming... oh come on, you know you were thinking it, too!)

Christmas Recap, Y'all

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I'm very excited to be teaming up with these awesome ladies for a giveaway. As the New Year approaches we realized what a blessing it would be to help others on their faith walk/journey with Jesus! What better way way to start out the new year than to be focused on Him?! We have all teamed up and have some fabulous prizes, including a new journaling bible, devotionals, gift cards, and more. Instead of having one winner, we thought it would be more fun to have three! The fabulous prizes will be:

  1st Winner - $75 Value
  • Journaling Bible
  • Blessings for a Woman's Heart Devotional
  • Max Lucado Calendar
  • Jesus Today Book
  • Scripture Cards
2nd Winner - $45 Value
  • 2 CD's
  • Starbucks Gift Card
  • Notepad
  • Women's Devotional
3rd Winner - $25 Value
  • Itunes Gift Card
  • Journal
  • Scarf
It's A New Year Giveaway

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We hope you all are celebrating the reason for the season- Jesus! 

Safe travels!

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So, I had amazing plans to post at least three times a week over this holiday season. I said to myself, "Self, you can't leave your friends hanging! They need to read!" But, I seem to be having trouble with even three times a week. Yesterday, the doctor upped my Lyrica from 75mg to 225mg and folks, I feel like I'm in space, all slow moving and quite disconnected. On top of that, I am to start injections in my back to help control pain, and that's scary! The Dr. assured me that this will help, but it's just a scary thought- getting shots in your back! I don't like these things, not one bit. Plain and simple, Fibromyalgia is this ugly, life succubus, and right now, it's winning.

This is the plan- I will get use to this higher dosage in a couple of weeks, and hopefully get back to a regular posting schedule. If I get a break from the foggy brain, I will post, but don't count on it!

And, since it is the holidays, I hope you all will be out, make wonderful memories with family and friends, and not have to be on the computer as much, so I don't feel quite as bad! Have a blessed Holiday season, my friends!
The low down

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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

A photo posted by @theartsycajun on

Week before last, my wishes were:

3. Learn to juggle a new schedule. I love plans, lists, schedules, and when anything gets messed up, I completely freak out... OK, maybe not completelyfreak out, but it's bothersome. Now that I have to recognize what tires me out, what stresses me out, how I feel every.second.of.the.day, it makes me focus on the pain and I now have to juggle things around because I don't know how I will feel in the mornings vs. the afternoons. It's so hard dealing with this Fibro. that I just want to scream and cry most days. So, learning to juggle a schedule and my to-do list based on how I feel is pretty crappy, I don't like it, but if I want to be able to get anything accomplished, it's a necessary evil.  I am happy to say, I've mostly found a new schedule! Yay for that!



4. Do & post new crafts!  It's been a while since I shared any crafts with you guys, and I miss doing crafts for fun and sharing them! It's time to do more for you! Plus, crafts are a huge stress relief for me, so it's perfect! Be on the look out for that!  Yeah, this is probably not going to happen until after the holidays. Sorry folks, but it's crunch time for more important things. I will say that I'm writing lists of ideas! So watch for those in the new year!


A photo posted by @theartsycajun on
5.  Find time for reading. Blogging and my bible study have been pushed down this list. I know, I know.... that can't happen! So, I will work on the new schedule, and if I have to literally write down "Reading from 6pm-7pm" then I will do just that! I also want to focus on my photography more, but that can wait, my bible study and fun reading is more important!   Reading time has slowly creeped in the planner! I am so excited about this! I know for the next few weeks, I will be working hard to fill orders and get things organized for Christmas, but I also know that after I get the work done, it's nothing but family, great food, good times and there will be a lot of unplugging from technology. Don't worry, I will do the occasional Instagramming, but I plan on taking full advantage of this time.


You know what, friends? I'm not adding anything onto this list! Nope, not gonna do it! Putting one big, fat zero on this one! If you saw my Sharing Scripture post last week, you'll know that I'm trying my hardest to focus on the important things and not so much having everything perfect. It's a new time in my life, and having the perfectly, OCD standard of things and of a clean house isn't going to afford me the time and energy I want to do the making memory type of things. So, out the window they go! 

How are you handling the Holiday stress? 

Weekly Wishes, The one with the big, fat zero!

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Happy Friday! I hope you all are having fabulous weeks, or at least a great weekend planned! This weekend, I plan on wrapping all Christmas presents and having them ready to go! Trust me, this will be a big fat check mark in my planner for that one! Other than that, just have a pretty relaxed weekend with the Mr.

OH! and I'm so excited to start my She Reads Truth Advent study! I've never purchased one of their plans due to them being a little pricey, but I decided this was a Christmas present to myself, and why not? If it brings me closer to Jesus during His season, I'm all for it!

So today, I join Aimee from This Darling Day for Finding Beauty Friday, join us! Link up something you've captured that you find beautiful.
Finding Beauty Link Up | This Darling Day

These little berries on a branch were so simple and beautiful that I just had to take their picture!



Have a great weekend! Anyone reading anything good lately? Don't forget to link up with me for the Winter Reading List
Finding Beauty Friday, The one with the simple berries

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It's time for Sharing Scripture! The once a month link up to share all of your hand lettering projects, typography and photo shopping skills showing off your favorite scriptures!

This bit of scripture has never rang more true to me than right now:



 Starting next month, I will be having a co-host join me. If you'd like to be a co-host, please shoot me an email!

Please check out all the rules, and play nice to follow them.
Here's the low down:
  • This will be on the first Thursday of every month, for now. The Linkup stays open for a month, so fit your blog post into your own schedule, and then link back here!
  • 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, but most importantly, 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. 
The Artsy Cajun Sharing Scripture


That's it! Now, let's get started Sharing Scripture! 


Sharing Scripture, Vol. 4

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Continuing our Europe Trip from 2013, 
Check out the previous adventures below: 

Expat Explore- Ultimate Europe Coach Tour

And, if you want to learn how I did all of this only using ONE pack here... 



 We left bright and early from Barcelona headed to Avignon. Since it was a long drive day, we had a stop over in Pont du Gard, a gorgeous and stunning sight. I also stopped into their souvenir shop and picked up some lovely French milled soaps!

We loaded back up and headed on to Avignon. The city was beautiful, all of the walls and the greatest sight there- the old Papal Palace! Our walking tour was brisk but, as always, chock full of information. Like how corrupt families back then tried to buy the papal seat. After dinner, (nothing special) we had free time. I believe we stayed in either this or this Ibis hotel. I have to say, all of the Ibis hotels were clean, nice, and had comfortable beds. I definitely recommend finding one if you are hesitant about accommodations overseas.

Expat Explore had this to say, "

Day 19: Visit Avignon

Adios, Barcelona! You have been wonderful! Heading back into France, continue through the French countryside, and get up close and personal, with a 2000 year old Roman Built aqua duct, at Pont du Gard. Walking along it, you will notice that there are no nails, cement or mortar holding the arches together. The Pont du Gard has been an attraction for centuries, primarily based on its immaculate three tiered construction, which carried over 44 million gallons of water a day to the local townships. A very important historical site, UNESCO have included it in their heritage listing - and rightly so. Your final stop of the day will be in Avignon - also known affectionately as ‘The City of Popes’. It is an amazingly preserved, fortified city commune with a long history, stunning architecture and religious significance. Another UNESCO Heritage Site and you will see many more during your tour. Enjoy an orientation walking tour of Avignon, which will show you the Papal Palace as well as other significant structures, and after dinner, your evening is free to explore as you wish.
Breakfast, dinner. Overnight accommodation."

Now, time for my favorite part of these posts, sharing our photos! 

Pont Du Gard:









And now, Avignon: 

 






Hope you've enjoyed this! Stay tuned for Day 20, where we head to Geneva and then Switzerland!
European Tour, Day 19, Barcelona to Avignon

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Making: Quilts upon quilts, pictures to come after Christmas since these are presents.  
Cooking: Dirty Rice, baking lots of chicken and going to attempt to make my favorite yeast rolls but using wheat flour. 
Clicking: The post black Friday sales, not many out there, but hopefully I can get a jump on next year's Christmas! 
Drinking: Coffee, yo.
Reading: Flight of the Sparrow, check out this Winter Reading List Linkup I made and join us!  
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! (Still working hard at this one!)
Playing: T-Swift's new album! I'm late in the game, but I love this girl!
Wishing: For warmer weather, but no such luck. My wishes have no power.  
Enjoying: These new fleece lined leggings I purchased! I'll admit, in my house, when no one is over, leggings ARE pants. 
Waiting: For warmer weather! Since it's just beginning of the Chiberia season, I have a long wait. 
Liking: All of this Christmas cheer I'm seeing everywhere! Put those decorations up ANY time you want!  
Wondering: How to get all blog posts and items scratched off my to-do list... 
Loving: The Artic white hot chocolate my Mom sent me! That stuff is sooooo delicious! 
Needing: A new sweater for Ginny. The one she has is fleece, and poor girl gets shocked all the time! 
Smelling: LAVENDERRRR! All day, every day. 
Wearing:  Leggins for pants, and an oversized t-shirt... yep, it's a comfy day today. 
Following:  All of my new bloggie friends! I absolutely LOVE the Prayerful Bloggers group of ladies! 
Noticing: Ginny is one lazy puppy! She is awake maybe 4 hours of the day!  
Watching: Finishing the show Chuck on Netflix. It's a pretty awesome show! I totally should've been a spy in a previous life! 
Obsessing over: That hot chocolate, it's that good!
Shopping for: Little stocking stuffers for next year.  
Learning: I am determined to clear my schedule and get started on the first class towards my Theology Degree! (Yep, that has been pushed back until the first of the year when things slow down)
Wasting time on: Trying to clear out my emails. It's a never ending process, and why do I need my inbox to zero anyway? 
Praying for: My Doctor to figure out what's zapping my energy and making me feel pain all the time! (Well, it's Fibromyalgia and we are working on my treatment plan!)
Working on: Stocking my Etsy Shop and letting folks know when things will be back in stock after the holidays! 
Looking forward to: All of the love and fun holiday times that are coming! Also, I broke down and ordered the She Reads Truth Advent study and I simply cannot wait to dive into that study!  It's so easy to forget the "Reason for the Season" with so much to do, but hopefully, with this study, I will be able to submerse myself in the reason, and go into the new year with better bible study habits!  

What are YOU currently up to? Choose one or a couple and comment below! 
Currently... The snowflake edition

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