What we have here is a failure to communicate, on my end. I have beaucoup things going on, and they all seem to collide this weekend! The best thing is celebrating the Mr.'s birthday! Ekk! And then my Europe tour BFF, Kate from Australia will be arriving early next week to spend time with us! I'm soooooooooo excited for her to get here! So, we have to turn my office into a nice and cozy guest room for her.

I pinky promise to get back to blogging ASAP within the next week because I love blogging and I love you guys! Plus, I have to complete my 31 day blogging challenge, so yeah! Busy bee over here, living life, and I wouldn't have any other way, except to blog :)

What are you guys up to?


So...

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Day 2: 20 Facts about me. This one was kinda hard. I mean, I knew the major ones about myself, but after #5, I had to get my Mr. to help.




1. I'm Cajun, something that, as I move around the world, I realize this is a unique heritage and I love it dearly.

2. I'm a Christian. I grew up Catholic, and after yearning for more, I've started going to a non-denominational church. I enjoy getting a little more bible study in my life. And now, I'm going to school to get my Theology degree and I couldn't be happier!

3. I am odd, quirky, eccentric, as pretty much all artists are. BUT, I have a heart as big as Texas, so please don't call me weird!

4.  My toes must have a nice pedi at all times, but I rarely put polish on my fingers, it always seems to chip like 1 hour after drying! Anyone else had this problem?

5. I feel weird talking about myself all the time, but I have a blog...it makes no sense! I'm working on letting more of my personal life into the posts, just for ya!

6. Some say I have a dry sense of humor. I'm not sure if I agree with that! I am an odd ball, and what I find funny, some may not. Example: Will Ferrell cracks me up to no end! And once my "Giggle box" gets opened, I will laugh until I cry and can't breathe. Then, I will break out my inhaler because I will be having an asthma attack. After the attack is gone, I will commence laughing about the attack.

7. Saying this loudly and proudly, I LOVE BOOKS! Call me a nerd, call me a geek, call me a dork... I don't even care! I love books, and my favorites are Pride and Prejudice, Gone with the Wind, and all other Jane Austen books. :)

8.  You could say I'm a girlie girl. I love makeup and skin care products, pink, glitter, lace; all things girlie!

9. You could also say I'm a tomboy. I love shooting guns, sloshing around in my rubber boots, hunting, fishing, and camping!

10. I love the ocean. Always have, and living in Hawaii for those few years solidified that love. I'm torn between living by the ocean, in the future, or in the woods.

Half way there folks, hang in there!

11. I was a professional photographer at one point in time. Sadly, I don't practice that craft nearly enough. (Hey, if you're ever in Illinois, and want your picture taken, let me know! I'd love to practice on folks!) One of my goals for 2015 is to practice and share my photography more on here!

12. Cooking & baking is my jam! Love to experiment with new recipes. My gumbo is also the jam, period.

13. I also love sewing. My great grandmother taught me and I have been sewing my little heart out ever since. Recently, I just bought my first embroidery machine and boyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy is that thang fun! I can't wait to embroider everything and sell all things embroidered!

14. My Mr.'s nickname for me is "Hummingbird" because, in his words, "Both for how you fly from obsession to obsession and how pretty you are." He's so cute, and so right. I do jump in excitedly when I find something new to fixate on. 

15.  I don't like curse words. I don't like hearing others say them, or saying them myself. But, when I'm angry, they slip out from time to time. According to my Mr., when I am that angry, me saying curse words is the least of your worries. (He's really telling you guys all my secrets here!)

16. Battlestar Galactica and Gilmore Girls are my absolute favorite shows! 

17.  I've had many failed relationships. It was tough, and I clung to my faith to get me through. Which, once I allowed God to lead me (and that was tough for my Type A personality) he lead me to Hawaii to meet my soul mate- my Mr! 

18. I have battled Stage 4 Endometriosis for 21 years of my life, finally diagnosed at age 18. It caused me to have a hysterectomy, and we will have to adopt to have children. I was also just diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and all of this causes us to deal with lots of doctors and appointments and surgeries and medicine. It also causes us to turn down a lot of plans with others even though I would love nothing better than to go out and enjoy our friends and family. When I talk about these things, I wish not for your pity, but prayers for strength for me and my Mr. to deal with the hand I was dealt. God has his reasons for all of this, and I accept that. But, if I had a healthy body, I would probably rule the world, not even kidding! 

19. Pajamas = lounge wear you sleep in, or put on after your nightly shower. Lounge wear = lounge wear you wear during the day. These technically could be the same articles of clothing, but have different names if worn different times. The Mr. doesn't get this, but it's legit. 

20. I have always had a bad case of wanderlust and I'm so thankful God sent me my Mr., who also has a case of the wanderlust. This is a blessing and a curse as we talk about travel and where we will eventually end up and retire. Except we can't decide on a place and will, most likely, get a tiny house and travel from state to state, seeing everything we possibly can.

DONE! I hope you enjoyed getting to know me a little better. Tell me a fact about you! Comment below.


Did you ever want to know?

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Time for some book reviews!  * I received both books complimentary in exchange for my honest review.

This first book is from Bloggingforbooks.org. They are a great company! The books are always delivered really fast, and they have an amazing selection to choose from.

OK, so this book is Faith Shift by Kathy Escobar.


Back cover:

Hope for spiritual refugees, church burnouts, and freedom seekers. 

After years of participating in a comfortable faith tradition, many find themselves in a spiritual wilderness, feeling disillusioned with church, longing for more freedom and less religion in their lives.

If that describes you, you’re in good company. Countless men and women are in the middle of a shifting faith—and aren't sure where to turn.  

What if you discovered that losing beliefs doesn't mean you have to lose your faith? 
  
Pastor, friend, and spiritual director Kathy Escobar has journeyed with many who have experienced significant shifts in the faith they once considered unchangeable. Through their stories and her own, Kathy has discovered that growth and change are natural parts of life in our relationship with God.

Filled with honest stories and practical insights, Faith Shift gives language to what many experience as their faith evolves. With an inviting blend of vulnerability and hope, it addresses the losses that come with spiritual shifts and offers tangible practices for rebuilding a free and authentic faith after it unravels.   
What feels like an ending can become a new beginning.  

Includes personal reflection and group discussion questions at the end of each chapter.


My opinion:
  This book rocked my core! Since leaving Catholicism, I've struggled with the guilt of leaving, and with "finding my place" in a church or a specific religion. I felt like she was writing this book specifically for me. Breaking away from one religion and trying to forge another one. She offers a sort of "roadmap" to those transitioning in their faith.  I highly suggest this book for anyone who may find themselves in transition. 


Next Book-

The second book under review is From Tablet to Table by Leonard Sweet. It's from Tyndale Blog Network



Back Cover:

What if the Bible were seen less as a tablet of ink than as a table of food? "From Tablet to Table" invites readers to explore the importance of The Table in biblical theology, and what it might mean for us to bring back the table to our homes, our churches, and our neighborhoods. The table pictures the grace of God's provision for all aspects of our lives, a place of safe gathering, of finding identity in shared stories, of imparting food and faith, of playing host and finding satisfaction as a guest. Sweet explores how our failure to understand and appreciate "the most sacred item of furniture in every home" has created such a deficit in our fast-food, take-what-you-like-smorgasbord, together-but-separate society.

My Opinion: 

The author was great at story telling and at times, I felt as if his style of writing could have easily been a dinner table discussion.  His values presented in the book are solid foundations that we all could use a little more of in our lives. I would be happy to suggest this book to all ages, especially those who are just starting out on their own, or those trying to establish a community in a new location.  It definitely inspires me to reach out and expand and redevelop my own community! 


There you have it! I hope you guys give these books a try if you are in that particular stage in your life.

Do you have a favorite, go-to book for a faith transition or for building a community? Please comment with them below! I need to expand in these areas and would love all recommendations! 

Having a Faith Shift? Build a Community?

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I decided to up my blogging game and do the 31 Day Blogging Challenge with Erica from Looking to the Stars:



We start today, with #1. Introduction and recent photo.

The Mr. and I out shopping and strolling this past weekend, even through the snow!


Well, hi! Hopefully most of you have checked out my "About" page, and already know a little something about me. If you haven't, or if you have, let me give you a refresher.

 I'm Jessy! I'm a Cajun girl from South Louisiana who finally got her act together in life, and  followed her dreams only to landed in Hawaii, living 2 blocks from the beautiful North Shore beaches with her brother as a roommate. My Mr. was a friend of my brothers, and after a couple of months of hanging out, we started dating! Fast forwarding through 4 years:

  •  we got married
  • the Mr. was honorably discharged from the Army (after deciding 9 years was enough for him) 
  • we traveled through Europe- 17 countries in 38 days 
  • had extended visits with both sets of parents
  •  he landed an awesome job in Illinois where we have been for the last 2 years, battling the cold and trying to have as much fun as possible in our lives! 
Our latest mission is Operation Camp-A-Lot, (yes, I like to name things like this) and we've purchased this tent,
 and are currently trying to buy and organize things needed to camp. We've come up with a couple of places to try camping first, you know- get the whole setting up/what we need/tearing down thing down pat, because our ultimate goal this Summer is: to camp near Niagara Falls! I can't wait to share details of that with y'all! 

I LOVE love love this idea that Erica has come up with! Hopefully, it will allow y'all to get to know me better.

What are some questions you've always had for me? Comment below!
So it begins...

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Well, well, well... lookie who we have here... me! I have been MIA and I am sorry about that! This past couple of weeks have been nothing short of torture for me due to the Fibromyalgia ickiness. It's crappy, and I don't like one minute of it, but short of a miracle, this is the way it's going to be.

And when it gets really funky like this, I just mope around, trying to find a comfortable position, chair, temperature, clothes... yes, clothes. When it's a bad pain day, even a regular cotton t shirt bugs me and feels so scratchy. Thankfully, every now and then, I can find the silky type t shirts at Target and they just make my day! So comfortable!

ANYWAY, getting off track here. (You know you get sucked in, too, when you hear that magical word, Target. )  I've been MIA, now you know why, and I will try to do better. Capeesh? Good.

Now, I thought, what better way to turn a bad day, week, month, around than to be grateful and count my blessings. That's exactly what I'm going to do!


Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey


+ YouTube- Not only do I love it to waste time, but as I'm getting to know my snazzy new embroidery machine, it's so much easier to learn tips and tricks (or how to run the thang properly) off of videos than in the manual.

+ Color Pencils- I'm so grateful for these things. You guys don't even know how long I've been on the hunt for a good highlighter for my bible. My problem was, they all bleed through the pages even if they "Claimed" not to! I finally just realized I don't need to be all fancy, color pencils work fine. They may night shine as bright, but they get the job done.

+ You guys are probably tired of hearing this, but I'm so grateful for my life planner. This thing is my second brain and makes me feel like I have my stuff together, even when I really don't! :)

+ Hashbrown-GinnySnuggles If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that Ginny girl has her own hashtag- #GinnySnuggles. IF you don't follow me on Instagram, you are missing out and you should probably go follow me now! Click here to right your wrong. When I'm feeling extra puny, I swear Ginny has a 6th sense about it because she wants to have hardcore love fests. (Love fests = jumping up in my lap, whether I want her to or not, and forcing her snuggles and kisses on me, just FYI) And a few of our love fests have been documented on Instagram. Also, the stink eyes that this doggie gives me is nothing short of Diva status, and I also document those... because a diva has to have her paparazzi, right?

+ And this week, aside from the normal God, The Mr., Family & Friends that I'm always uber grateful for, my main man this week is my laptop tray. This thing is awesome and lets me hold whatever I want on my lap comfortably! Most of the time it's my laptop, mouse pad and mouse. But sometimes, it's more comfortable for me to be in the recliner, and I put my bible, journal, planner- it just becomes my "Command Center." The Mr. makes fun of said Command Center, but hey, it's comfy! I haven't been able to find a link for you guys, well, aside from being an UK site, but you'll get the picture- (here to the UK site)

Isn't this thing the best? 




That's all folks! What are you grateful for this week? I'd love to know!
The one where I'm still alive.

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Making: Ear warmers and scarves that can be MONOGRAMMED! SO excited to finally have a embroidery machine! Go check out the items here  
Cooking: Nothing at the moment. It may be soup for dinner tonight. Yep, I'm that motivated.   
Clicking: All of the sweet emails and comments y'all left me during the holidays! I promise to get back to you as soon as I sort through them all.  
Drinking: Coffee, yo. (Every month I think this will change, but it never does!)
Reading: Faith Shift by Kathy Escobar, check out this Winter Reading List Linkup I made and join us!  The next one is January 19th, so plenty of time to schedule a blog post.
Wanting: More things to embroider! This is quickly becoming an addiction, but the good kind. 
Playing: Nothing at the moment. Lately, I've been desiring more quiet than noise. 
Wishing: For warmer weather! It's supposed to feel like -20 to -30 degrees here with the wind chill. I'm talking frostbite in mere minutes! This is crazy, I do not like this and it's hard not to count down the days until we move away from Chiberia. 

Enjoying: My essential oil diffuser. When I'm cooped up in the house for days because it's so cold out, I love to put in the sweet orange essential oil. It's like an instant happy for me.  
Waiting: For my Australian friend Kate to get here! She's road tripping across the lower US now, and will be visiting us in February! I'm so excited! Kate and I met on our Europe trip, and were pretty much inseparable during the trip. We've kept in touch through letters and Skype and I'm so excited to get to hang out with her in person!  
Liking:  How pretty the snow is when I'm looking at it from my warm home. :)
Wondering: If I can set up our new tent inside to check it out. I may not have enough space, but I'm going to try. I CANNOT wait until it's warm enough for us to take off camping every other weekend! EKK!
Loving: I love seeing every one's word of the year or resolutions. Such hope flying around the world right now. Keep it up!
Needing: More embroidery things.
Smelling: Sweet orange
Wearing: Lounge wear, It's pretty much a staple.
Following:  All of my new bloggie friends. I absolutely LOVE the Prayerful Bloggers group of ladies.
Noticing: My pedi looks atrocious and I need to fix that pronto!  
Watching: I've started watching Bones on Netflix. It's pretty good.  
Obsessing over: Camping stuff. If you follow me on Pinterest, you'd see all the camping pins, sorry about that. 
Shopping for: Camping gear... see above
Learning: I am determined to organize my schedule and get started on the first class towards my Theology Degree.
Wasting time on: Pinterest. haha vicious circle 
Praying for: All of my friends, the prayer requests that were submitted, and a new pain management doctor since mine is moving :( 
Working on: Organizing Etsy Shop
Looking forward to: warm weather   

What are YOU currently up to? Choose one or a couple and comment below! And please tell me how to survive the coldest Winter! I'm just not made for this! 
Currently... The Chiberia Edition

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I link up with Amberly and friends for Marriage & Relationship goals! Last month, (see it here) I focused on trying not to snap and lash out at the Mr. during stressful situations. I'm happy to say that it worked! When I was in the middle of the chaos, I remembered my goals and just stepped back from the situation. Taking a breather helped me refocus and figure out the problem before getting angry! Yay!
This month, I'm choosing to work on simplifying us. If you read my resolution blog post here, you know that my words for 2015 is "Simplify Everything" so that's exactly what I intend to do!  Do we have to have a date night every week that involves dinner and a movie? Not really. It's wonderful and nice, but at the end of the month, it can add up in cost!
 In order to simplify the time we spend, and our finances, I'm hoping to just be in each other's presence, just enjoy the company! I remember when we first started dating, we would lie on the beach and just talk for hours. Nothing to do but watch the waves come in and chat. I miss those simple days! So, to carry this out, I'm going to attempt to just be, and this is how:
  • Experiment in the kitchen with new recipes.
  • Have board game nights with snacks and PJ's.
  • Long walks with Ginny. Conversation always seems to flow when you're busy doing something.
  • Make a list of our top 5 favorite movies and watch them together!
Sounds like simple activities that provides the perfect atmosphere to just enjoy each other, right?  

What are some of your favorite things to do with your love? Comment below! And if you want, do a blog post and link up with us!  
Marriage & Relationship Goals


New to the Marriage & Relationship Goals Link-up? Goals help our relationships grow stronger and get better with time as well as help us to continue moving forward and avoid the "ruts" of life. This link-up was created in hopes of inspiring your relationship with your significant other no matter your chapter in life and love. We would love for you to join us in making the things we do in our relationships intentional. If you would like more information, click here.




The one with the simple things.

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There are some great deals over at my Etsy Shop-  Click here to go.

As we speak, I'm having my very first embroidery machine delivered! I am beyond thrilled that I could do this! I started by business with only $200 two years ago, and I am so thankful that it has grown into what it is today!

What does this mean for you? It means I've lowered prices on most of the items in the shop! I'm trying to clear out the inventory of things I will not restock. Once the new embroidery machine gets set up, the goal is to focus mainly on embroidery items as well as a couple items I just enjoy making.

So, head over to the shop today and pick out something for yourself, or bless someone with an unexpected gift before the item you like sells out!
Travel Multicolor Infinity Scarf, Only store to offer these!
Travel Multicolor Scarf
Yoga Fabric Therapeutic  Lavender Eye Pillow, Yoga Eye Pillow, Relaxation Mask, Insomnia Buster
Yoga Lavender Eye Pillow
LSU Purple and Gold Ear Warmer, Ready to Ship!
LSU Ear Warmer

Dictionary Infinity Scarf with Mint Green Stripe, Only store to offer these!
Mint Dictionary Scarf


Great Deals going fast!

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The first Friday of the new year! How exciting! How are you spending yours?

I will be at home resting! The crud is still residing in my body, so it's going to be a low key weekend. I may convince the Mr. to let me out of the house to go to the movies! I'm really wanting to see Into the Woods! I can arm myself with kleenex and cough drops, and be fine, don't you think?

So today, I wanted to share one of my favorite photos with you! I'm sure this won't be the last time you see this photo, in some way or another.


Please join us on Aimee's site- This Darling Day and link up your beautiful moments! 

Finding Beauty Link Up | This Darling Day
Finding Beauty Friday, The first Friday of the new year!

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Happy New Year! 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 scripture is just screaming to me right now:





We are now accepting co-hosts for this! Please leave a comment saying you want to co-host below, and I'll send an email over to you about it! EKK! So excited about this!

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. 5- The one with the newness

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