August 31, 2011

12 in 12: Book #8

Wow! August is already over, can you seriously believe it?! My August book was a great read. I was really excited to read this one, I'd heard a lot of great things about it. I love reading and hearing people's stories, their testimonies and about their lives.

Candace Cameron Bure rose to fame on the hit t.v. show Full House. I'm not ashamed to say that I really loved DJ Tanner growing up. {they just don't make t.v. like that anymore} Today she's a wife, mother and actress. Her book chronicles her life's story, he struggle with bulimia and food addiction and how her faith in Jesus Christ help her overcome.

More than just a book about food addiction Candace shares her personal testimony and practical advice for letting God be the center of your life, letting him fill the voids that food or any other thing in your life that may hold a bigger place than God.

What I really loved about this book was how practical it is. She offers scriptural backing to her advice, practical tips for keeping life biblically on track, and even recipes straight from her kitchen to yours. She offers sound biblical advice for shaping not only your physical appearance, but also your spiritual life with the Lord.

It motivated me to start making some changes in my own life in some specific areas, as well as gave me the accountability to do so. I truly recommend this book, I even have a few ladies in mind that I think would benefit greatly from hearing her story.

Now, I'm off to go watch Make It Or Break It!

(***** my rating)

August 29, 2011

Blog Roll Monday: Virginia Living

Blog Roll Monday is a weekly feature where I high light one of the blogs on my reading list and tell you why I love them, and why you should too! For a complete list of all the blogs I heart, click here.


Hello Friends, it's Monday!!! Are you excited, or probably tired like me?!? Here's something that will perk you up today........

Meet Alicia! She's blogs over at Virginia Living.  We went to college together, we were in the Mass Communications program you know before I changed my major and lost 2 semesters of credits. Ya, that one.

I'm not bitter, I digress.

She's a wife to one, and Mommy to two handsome boys. See aren't they cute?!!

I love keeping in touch with friends via their blogs, especially when they live so far away it's a great way to feel apart of their worlds. Alicia chronicles her life with "her boys", work adventures {she's a fab producer} and some of my fave posts she writes are these weekly Awkward & Awesome posts! They always give me a good laugh and a smile when I need one!

Grab some coffee, and read up!

Happy Monday!

August 27, 2011

he sat next to me

I woke up early for my 8 am flight with my little one, it was the first time I've flown alone with her since she was three months old. I knew this time would be a little different. When we flew back in July Orion was with me and we shared the load of our active toddler. {i still have a hard time thinking of her that way, she's still my baby.}

To say the least I was nervous about traveling with her this time. I strategically packed as minimal as I could, knowing that I was going to have a carry on, diaper bag and stroller with me this time. In my mind I was reviewing how it was all going to go down at security check point.

We breezed through security, got there in plenty of time, a sweet man behind me helped me put all my stuff on the counter. While everyone behind me was patient as I took out everything liquid, and removed two sets of shoes and everything else you have to do in the airports these days.

One of the perks about flying with children, is pre boarding. Ava and I boarded our first 3 hour flight, we got to our seats and she was instantly fascinated with the window shade and looking outside and pulling it down then back up again.

A sweet family of four sat in the rows behind us, with their kiddos who'd never flown before. They sat there, while the rest of the plane boarded explaining to their kids who had a million questions about flying and why this and why that. It was cute, and I kinda chuckled to myself thinking that will be us one day explaining to Ava once she can fully understand flying one day.

Then he sat next to me.

A man, with black thick rimmed glasses looking all trendy in his skinny jeans and hat. We didn't say hello. He sat, I payed attention to Ava.

Completely wrapped up in keeping Ava occupied with snacks, toys and singing.

After a while, I heard the grunting, huffing and puffing from the guy sitting next to me. The kids behind us still asking questions to their parents. Being kids, they weren't yelling. Just lots of chatter between the family.

Then it became clear, this guy did not like kids. Ava was singing, and playing with her musical toys when an annoyed grunt came from him, then the eye rolling started. It was no more about the family behind me, it was about my kid too!

Then Ava touched him.

I thought the world was going to end right there. He let out a dramatic huff and eye roll and gave me a death glare as he tried to move farther away from us. I quickly apologized and said I was sorry she touched him.

He was fuming. I was hugging the side of the air plane wall as much as I could to keep Ava and her arms away from him.

More eye rolls ensued. More dramatic huffing and puffing was displayed. The more he reacted, the more I started to feel insecure about my parenting skills. I could feel my Momma bear instincts rising up wanting to keep my child clear of this person.

He didn't like kids. He wasn't fond of us, he wasn't fond of the family behind us either.

I was thinking of all the things I could have said to this man. How I could have defended myself, or the family behind me. It took everything inside me to keep quiet and not let my anger or hurt take over the thoughts that would come out of my mouth.

Instead I choose to smile. I choose to take care of my daughter in the best possible way I knew how in a small air plane, during a three and a half hour flight. I choose to keep my cool in front of my daughter, and reflect the Love of Christ to this man regardless of his actions to us or other people.

I started rocking Ava back and forth in my seat, while whispering sweet songs into her ear. After a while I felt her body weight fall into my arms as she fell into a slumber. I felt my worries melt away in those moments.

There were so many things I could have snapped back to this man. But, none of them would have mattered.

But, sitting there with my daughter listening to her breathe and holding her was more important than anything else in those moments.

I learned some valuable lessons during that flight about people and myself. I realized, that in most cases you're not going to be able to ever control people's thoughts or opinions about yourself. I learned that I need to be confident in who I am as a parent.

Parenting can be so hard sometimes, and it's not only other parents that are willing to judge your parenting but also complete strangers and you just need to be confident, do your thing and let the rest go and focus on your children.

You won't change them. It's ok if you don't. Focusing on your kids is what is more important and worth your time. I learned that I will never again let someone else make me feel insecure about my parenting or my child.

Ava is amazing. She's happy and healthy. She's a kid, they squirm, they squeal, they yell and throw cheerios on the floor. They smile, laugh and play too.

It's ok.

None of this makes them bad children, or you a bad parent.

So the next time you're in public with your child and worried about what people are thinking, remember that you are great, everything you're feeling and going through is normal. You are an amazing parent, your kids love you and life goes forward.

August 26, 2011

Friday Frills: Random Frills


Happy Friday Everyone! It's been a while since we had a Friday Frills post around here, and after Wednesday's post I thought we'd better have some fun here today! Today, I have a lot of random frills running through my head that more than likely have to do with pop culture, beauty and being superficial.

Here we go......

Did you know that there's nothing on t.v. during the summer except for The Bachelor and shows I don't watch? Hubby and I became obsessed with watching this show this summer, in just a matter of weeks thanks to Netflix we finished all 5 Seasons. I didn't want it to end, it truly is a wonderful show! It has an amazing message and the characters are so real. I love how Coach Taylor and his wife's relationship and marriage is played out on this show! Thanks Julie for making me totally addicted to this show. Riggins you stress me out, and remind me of just about every boy I went to high school with. If you don't know what I'm talking about you need to watch this show.
Source: via Andrea on Pinterest

And then, I also love this show all summer. Thank you White Collar for keeping me company all summer.
Source: via Andrea on Pinterest

I finally perfected these curls, for the longest time I couldn't get the coordination of the curling iron and ways all over the place burning myself. I know, I know.... it's the little things people.

Call me crazy {OK, just kidding don't call me that} but I'm just starting to plan Ava's 2nd Birthday party. It may have something to do with this, and include turquoise and zebra print! Just sayin'.......

And lastly, I hope your day is a little something like this:

Happy Friday!

August 24, 2011

Noble Character

These thoughts have been swirling in my head for a really long time. I've tried to write this post more than once, each time hitting the backspace button over and over again. Trying to find just the right words to express what's in my heart. Hoping it would be received in the most positive, encouraging way.

The Internet world is no different than real life in the sense that once you put something out there, you'd better be ready for it to be read, looked at, analyzed, judged perhaps maybe? Good or bad. Right or wrong. There's been a lot of negativity swirling around blog land, a lot that I don't love. Judgemental behavior. Character assassinations. To much information shared.

It's turned me off to a lot of things on Twitter, blogs, Facebook, etc. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Internet. We're slightly bonded at the hip. When I was in junior high and the Internet was just becoming "big" you had to take a class at the school library during class time on "how to use the Internet properly." Once you passed the class you were then issued your "Internet drivers licence." You think, I'm joking...I am not!

If you didn't pass you weren't allowed to use the Internet during your library times at school. They took that stuff seriously round those parts in rural Iowa. Sometimes, I think we all need a little lesson in how we should and shouldn't use the Internet in our daily lives. You see, I view the Internet as merely a tool. A tool I want to use in the most positive way.

I want to blog with integrity. With purpose and intention.

I've seen a lot of blog posts titled "getting real" and "how real am I on my blog?" While I appreciate peoples honesty and realness as much as the next I also want to encourage realness along with modesty. I try my best to be as real as I can be on my blog, but there are things that I am never going to talk about or share here on my blog.

I started this blog as a way to record our lives, and share them with our family living so far away. I want to remember the good times in our life, write them down, cherish them and have them as memories. I love looking back on our blog and seeing what we were up to, how Ava has grown, our challenges and triumphs. This is a positive space for our family, for my readers. I always want this space to be a space of encouragement, faith and love.

For these reasons you're never going to hear about a nasty fight Orion and I had, although they do happen. It is my desire to always honor and uphold our relationship. To praise him in public, and always take care of our relationship in private.

Her husband has full confidence in her, and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good not harm all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:11

You're never going to hear me rant and rave about family issues, friend fights or issues, I'm probably never going to publicly bash someone here either. It's not Biblical or right. It's not what my character is.

My strong faith is what drives me, sustains me and gives me strength. I've been through a lot in my short life and I want to use this space as a place to encourage others, keep a memory for our family, and have some fun a long the way. In all ways honoring the Lord. Honoring the Lord through this blog, through what I write, and put out there for all to see.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30

I'm not perfect by any means. Nor will I claim to be, I am human my flesh takes over sometimes. I'm still working on so many things in life. I believe there is freedom in transparency, and power in your testimony. They have the ability to help others, and bring comfort and encouragement to others in a time of need.

I also believe there's purpose and health in having boundaries in our lives. So even though there's a lot put out there on the Internet daily, I choose to have boundaries in my life for my Husband, daughter, family and friends. To keep some things personal and scared because I care about those around me. I choose to work out my issues in the privacy of my home, face to face with those it includes. Using this space for the positive. For the good.

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think on these things.
Philippians 4:8

I encourage you today to think about this verse, and how you can bring lovely, admirable, noble things to the thoughts, images and stories you tell online, in public and in private.

Thinking about others before yourself, considering the less fortunate, thinking about the words that come from your mouth. Are they bringing life to those you speak them to? Or type them to?

I challenge myself today, and you to live a life worthy of noble character. To strive for better always, in a world that tells us otherwise.

Those things are lasting. Those are things that leave an impression on people. Those are things of love.

August 22, 2011

Late Night Baking

I love to cook, have I told you how much I equally love to bake? It's true, I do! And, every now and then I get into these moods where I bake late at night. Which probably isn't good for our sleep schedule, and certainly not good for our waist line as I usually end of "taste testing" my creations way past a reasonable hour.

Which usually turns into my Hubby making a late night 10 pm run to go pick up powered sugar, because I didn't have enough. Whoops! He's the the best though.

Last night was one of these occasions. So when I got off my weekly Skype date with my Momma I sat around for about 15 minutes debating about baking these cookies, with a gentle push from my over eager to eat these creations Hubby I decided to start baking.

I saw these cookies a few weeks ago on Pinterest {how much do you love that site} they looked so moist and good I knew they were my next baking try. They are called Brown Butter Crinkles with brown butter frosting!

And, I'm so glad I did! They were delish. I didn't do anything different than what the recipe called for, here's a little picture for your drooling pleasure:

you can get the full scoop on how to make these here!

They made two dozen, I brought some to work. Since you know Hubby and I don't need to eat them all.

Side note, Ava saw these this morning and instantly she started grabbing for one and whinning like crazy for one! So we gave her a bite this morning at breakfast, they that turned into two bites! I hope she's not bouncing off the walls today at daycare from a sugar rush!!

Do you love to bake too? What's your fave thing to make? Link up your faves in the comments below!

Happy Baking!

Blog Roll Monday: The Possessionista

Blog Roll Monday is a weekly feature where I high light one of the blogs on my reading list and tell you why I love them, and why you should too! For a complete list of all the blogs I heart, click here.


Happy Monday Everyone! Did you all enjoy your weekend?

Do you ever watch a t.v. show, or pull out a magazine and drool over the clothing and accessories of the celebs wearing them?

Yup, thought so! Do you then try and figure out where said clothing came from and how you can get your hands on them too?!!?

Yup, thought so too!

Meet Dana! She's the Possessionista and she can tell you where to find the fashion of your fave celebs and how you can get them too!

I have my sister in law to thank for this reading obsession, Thanks Jess!

Each week she answers reader questions about where to find the items you covet most from your fave celebs. Gives a run down of Bachelorette fashion, and some of your other fave t.v. shows. Plus, she's got some pretty sweet interviews with your fave fashionistas as well!

If you love fashion, you'll love this blog!

And, probably become a addicted too!

You're welcome!


Happy Monday! 

August 20, 2011

Watch Me Grow: 16 Months

Not much has changed with Ava since our last monthly update, but there were a few things that I wanted to write down and document about her progress. She's the most amazing little thing, we just love her so much.

Crazy thing is that her little feet are growing like crazy since last month she's now needing a new size shoe. So we've been shoe shopping, and putting away all the size 3 and 4 shoes.

She's become quite the little dare devil lately. She's been pushing her little dinosaur walker/rider over to tables and standing on it so she can reach what's on the table or counter. She'll also stand on it and clap her hands. Adorable.


Another thing that she's been talking  A LOT! It's so fun to hear her say new words, and attempt new ones. Here's a little list of words on any given day you might hear her say;

mine (this is a big one, she says it about everything)
let's go


So that's our little re cap on our girl! Tomorrow, she's finally getting dedicated at church. We're so excited. And just a few days after that she'll turn 17 months. Time is going by to fast for this Momma. By December comes she'll be 20 months old, and then just four short months after that she'll be turning two! Ahhh, I can't think about it.

I just need time to slow down a bit, I don't want her to get bigger or older.

Mmmkay?!! You hear that, Ava?

Mommy says stop growing!

August 19, 2011

Blog Mixer Event with Down East Basics

This past Monday evening I was invited to a blog mixer party at Down East Basics! I was excited because I've heard a lot about Down East online from other fellow bloggers, I've looked at their website a ton and been so impressed with their amazing clothes.

It's an easy going, comfortable style. I would describe it as Anthopologie inspired but very affordable, it is also one of the most modest clothing lines I've seen. Everything is really beautiful.


Since the mall is right in my back yard I knew it wouldn't take long to get there, but I wanted to arrive a little early. To my surprise I was the first one there, which was nice because I got to scope out the entire store before anyone else got there. I was specifically looking for this top and I had great luck because they only had a couple left in my size, and I decided to snatch it up in light pink!


Down East is currently running a few sales; 25% off all sweaters and tops! Plus buy 1 get 1 half off all denim! Plus, they also have really a great clearance rack too! 


The store was soon taken over by some of the most awesome Arizona bloggers! It was really fun to meet some ladies that I haven't met before, and meet up with some bloggers that I've already connected with. I love these little events for a chance to meet new people, and review some amazing clothing!


One of the things that I love about Down East is their attention to detail! All the girly details! Their stores  are full of ruffles, frills, lots of girly touches like amazing accessories and great fabrics. One of things I noticed was that every single item I picked up was so soft, I felt like I could be so comfortable in anything from their store. 


Accessories, accessories and more! They are amazing and super affordable starting at $3.99! Crazy, amazing right?!!?


Visit any DownEast Basics store in the Phoenix metro area from 8/29-9/12 & enter to win a fall fashion makeover! 1 lucky winner receives $250 shopping spree + DownEast will donate $250 to a local school of winner’s choice!

I had a really great evening, I want to say a BIG thank you to Kathy the PR Director for Down East for inviting me, Lisa and her entire staff at Down East Basics Arrowhead Towne Center! I had such a great time shopping and hanging out with everyone. 

{photo credit: Destiny Alfonso}

Great friends I've been able to meet through blogging! I laugh so hard and have such a great time when the three of us are together. Thanks ladies, for a great evening! 

August 17, 2011

Pretty on Pinterest #2

Happy Wednesday Friends! I love mid-week, it means the work week is almost over, the weekend is coming, and getting to be home with Ava. And those things friends, make me very happy!

I've been "pinning" a lot of food ideas lately on Pinterest. I've decided that I need to start challenging myself to put some of these pinned ideas to use. Trying out 1 of the recipes that I've pinned each week. There's so much good stuff, and I love to cook and try out new foods.

Here's some of the ideas that I think will make it to my stove top soon;


with this:

And we're big fans of salmon in our home;

Are you drooling yet?! Hungry now? I'll let you know how my cooking adventures go, if they are hits I'll post the recipes here on the bloggy blog.

Still haven't joined Pinterest yet? I still have a few invites left, I promised you'll be hooked, inspired and thank me later!!!


August 15, 2011

Blog Roll Monday: Deliciously Organized

Blog Roll Monday is a weekly feature where I high light one of the blogs on my reading list and tell you why I love them, and why you should too! To see a complete list of all the blogs I heart, click here.


Happy Monday Everyone!

I recently found this blog a couple weeks ago, I'm instantly attracted to pretty pictures, organized spaces, and inspiring ideas. This blog is all that and more! Carlee is the cute author behind this blog, recently engaged, planning her wedding and sharing her thoughts on design, organization, food and more! I had to go back and read older posts, because of coarse I needed the back story on this girl and I couldn't stop looking at all her pretty pictures.

Originally from the West Coast, she's spent the last year on the East Coast finishing school. Her pictures from Boston make me wanna go back. Her organizational ideas make me excited to organize the parts of our home that aren't yet! Isn't that what a good blog should be?


Plus, I'm pretty sure every girl on my Christmas list is going to get one of these this year. Stop on over to her blog today, sit, stay a while and say;


Tell her I sent ya! Happy Monday friends!

August 12, 2011

{Into the Weekend}

Last week we had lots of friends in town for our denominations General Council Conference. One of the great things about ministry is all the events and conferences through out the year that allow you to catch up with friends who are so scattered around the U.S. We aren't always able to go to everything these days, but we were fortunate that this years General Council was held in Phoenix!

Orion and I took Tuesday and headed to the conference. Where we met up with my BFF & College Roommate Sara and her husband. They live in Wisconsin and so it was so nice to see them, I haven't seen her for about a year.


Orion and I also visited the North Central Alumni booth, where he and Ava got their picture taken with the Ram! Ava was fascinated, can't you tell?!!

Later that evening we met up with our friend Dave, who Pastors in Minnesota. He was in our wedding, and we also haven't seen him since we moved to Arizona. It was a lot of fun catching up, and seeing him. Next time Dave, bring that beautiful wife and kiddos!


The rest of the week we spent hanging out with Sara and her family. I spent all day Friday with them. They also have family living here now, so I'm looking forward (hoping) they come visit more often!

On a complete side note, the beginning of this month marked two years that Orion and I have been living in Arizona now! Two years, doesn't seem like a long time and I can honestly say that it's gone by so fast!  Orion completed his first class of his Graduate program this week, congrats Hubby! We're so proud of you, 143!

As we head into the weekend, I'm excited because Orion is coming home early today! Can you say MommaNeedsABreak?!!  We're taking Ava to a kids festival tomorrow at the local Christian book store where they are showing the new Veggies Tales movie!

Don't forget, if you have a question for me leave it in the comment section below or email me andreaworley[at]live[dot]com

Happy Weekending Everyone!

August 11, 2011

You Ask, I'll Answer.........

I know when ever I start reading blogs, and falling in love with the writers and women behind these blogs I scour and search to find out what I can about these ladies! I love catching a glimpse into people's every day lives, what they love, what they don't and what they are passionate about!

I thought it would be fun to answer some of your questions you may have for me on the blog here. Ask anything you want and I'll answer (unless I feel it's an inappropriate question, then I won't answer that) your questions here on the blog!

I think this might be a great way to hear from all your readers that don't normally comment, and a great way for me to get to know all you new readers out there! If you have a personal question that you want to ask but don't want to have answered on the blog you can email me at andreaworley[at]live[dot]com and I'll email you back.

OK, don't leave me hanging people! That would be so lame if no one had any questions.

Leave your questions in the comments below......................

August 10, 2011

{DIY} Map it Out

If there's one thing I regret about decorating our first home, it's that I didn't inject enough of ourselves into the style of our home. Looking back now, I realized in a lot of cases while decorating our first home that I filled spaces just because they needed to be filled. There wasn't a whole lot of rhyme or reason to the pieces I picked all the time. Not in every room, but most of them.

Since our first home, I've made a really conscious effort to make decor and design choices that reflect our personalities and I hope that when people walk into our home it really says something about us as a family.

My next little project was a small one, but I think it's something really sweet and personal to us as a family. We have this little drawer on our media cabinet, it's small and I love it because it hides and conceals every last gaming control and remote. It's fantastic.

Couple days ago I decided I wanted to add a little something special to the drawer, like a little surprise when you opened it. Here's what I cam up with.


I had an old Atlas lying around that's about 13 years old. I decided that I'd use the map of Minnesota to line the shelf drawer inside. Armed with my mod podge and a brush I got to work. 

Here's the drawer before:


I ripped out the map and measured it to make sure it would fit, then I coated the back side with the mod podge and placed it inside the drawer. Smoothing it out, and adding a few more extra coats. I had to cut the map into two pieces to fit into the drawer. But, that's ok because the part I really want to show was the city of Minneapolis. 

Minneapolis is where we went to school, we met there, and fell in love in the city of Minneapolis. It's a very special city to us, we lived there for so many years before moving to Arizona. Some of our best dates and moments happened in that city. We got engaged there. 


Here's what it looked like after I finished placing both sides of the map down with modge podge. 


And for the final touch, I drew a heart around the city. Now, when we open the drawer and slide the remotes to the side you can see a little heart peaking through. So special to us! 


What personal touches have you added to you home lately? 

August 8, 2011

Blog Roll Monday: Happy Home Fairy

Blog Roll Monday is a weekly feature where I high light one of the blogs on my reading list and tell you why I love them, and why you should too! To see a complete list of all the blogs I heart, click here.


Hello Monday, it's nice to see you!! We're back!

Today's blog feature is from one of the sweetest Moms I've met online named Julie! She blogs over at the Happy Home Fairy! Meet Julie Everyone!

Helping Moms build Happy Homes

Isn't that awesome! Julie's goal is to provide Moms all over resources for their homes. Her blog is chalk full of ideas for children, cooking, activities for families, date nights and more! Her site is also filled with tons of FREE printables for you to use. Her blog is also filled with tons of ideas for holidays too like Christmas, Easter & Valentine's Day!

Her blog has become an invaluable resource to me as a new Mom trying to find creative things to do with my little one and create the best home life possible. I promise you'll get lost in her site for hours soaking up all her good ideas.

Jump on over today and check out her blog!

August 5, 2011

{Sponsor Love} Layla Grace + Back to School Discount

You all know just how much I love Layla Grace! I'm excited to announce to you a back to school special their rolling out just for you!

Use code: BACK4FALL for 10% off!!

Ready or not back to school season is upon us! We were inspired by the adorable selection of stylish and personalized back to school items featured on the Layla Grayce web site!

For the little ones in your life who may be venturing to school for the very first time this fall, the Skip Hop Zoo Toddler Backpack is the perfect companion for that special first day! This adorable backpack is sized for ages 2-5 and comes in a wide variety of animal friends. The easy to clean lining and write-on name tag inside the pack also make it a favorite among moms.

The Personalized Messenger Bags in Hot Pink and the Personalized Messenger Bags in Blue are also sure to be a hit in classrooms this fall! Designed to hold art and school supplies, a zippered enclosure features 10 pockets for pencils or markers, while two inside slip pockets and a back zippered pocket give plenty of room for notebooks, lunch money and other accessories. You can personalize the bag with a name and the bag includes 12 Crayola colored pencils and a 9"x12" Crayola Doodle Pad for FREE!

I also found the perfect desk if your student needs a dreamy place to point and click! The Stanley Young America My Haven Computer Desk comes in 20 brilliant color options and its distinctive cottage styling features guarantee a perfect fit for all design tastes. The desk features 1 drop front drawer, 3 utility drawers for school supplies and you can add the coordinating hutch for even more organization and flexibility. Best of all, this item ships for FREE!

I also really like the Dwell Studio Brag Book in Owl. This modern take on the old-school brag book is a stylish way to show off your little one's creations. This coated cotton canvas brag book has 4" x 6" photo pockets, holds up to 24 pictures and is a total bargain at only $22.

I'm also very excited to offer an exclusive discount that can't be found anywhere else. Save 10% off all back to school items during the month of August with code BACK4FALL. Enjoy!

Happy Friday & Happy Shopping!!

ps- don't forget to check below for other coupon codes and discounts from our sponsors!

August 3, 2011

Creative Estates Conference 2012

This past Spring I attended  the Creative Estates Conference, you can read more about that here.  The truth is I almost didn't attend, but after I got there the first day I was so overwhelmed and inspired in such a good way that it was so worth the money and putting my daughter in daycare for the day. Us Mommas and ladies need some time away from the daily grind, to refresh, regroup and re charge I'm so glad I carved out the time to go to this conference.

What did I learn? So much, I probably could go on an on about it all day long. But, I have to thank Creative Estates, Shey and the team for inspiring me and giving me that extra push {whether they know it or not} to take my blog to the next level.

Since then, my blog has grown. I've gotten new readers, and gotten some pretty amazing opportunities thrown my way which wouldn't have been possible {i know} had I not attended and had the confidence to take my blog to the next level. I'm truly thankful for the amazing ladies I got to meet and rub shoulders with, and for the new friendships that were formed.

I remember sitting there thinking there were so many people that I'd love to have there with me, to hear and learn as well. One of those people I was thinking about was my Sister in Law, Jessie. I was thinking about all the fun we'd have together and how much I thought she'd get from attending the conference as well.

As it turns out, Shey and Creative Estates is giving away two free tickets to attend next years retreat here in Arizona. I thought, yes!!! Yes, I need to enter and hope and pray that I win. If I win, I will be bringing my Sister in Law, Jessie.

We will craft. We will dream. We will meet amazing ladies who love the same things. And we will have fun!

Then Shey announces that Little Miss Momma herself will be attending and hosting a crafting work shop!
SHUT UP! I love Little Miss Momma {in a, I admire her so much, not a stalker kinda way}.

See, the truth is I really wanna win this for my Sister in Law. She loves Little Miss Momma too, and the two of them share a common thread between them and I'd really love for them to meet.

I want my Sister in Law to meet a woman that inspires her. I want her to be encouraged by another creative woman and believe in the possibility of her dreams.

If you haven't already signed up to attend this creative weekend, or want to know more about Creative Estates, click here.

Here's to hoping {WE} win!!

Design Inspiration & Ideas: Master Bedroom

I mentioned before that we're re doing our master bedroom. It's a slow process, which we're fine with as we budget and save for the things we need for this space. It probably won't really be complete till we move into a more permanent living space {ie: stop renting and buy} but we're a few months away from seeing that dream become a reality again.

In the meantime we're making a list of things to do, tackling smaller projects and saving our pennies. That way when we do finally move we'll be able to just tackle the "big" projects and have a complete room. Well, that's the plan in my head anyway.

So far we've gotten new night stands, and refinished some lamps for our space. Here's a list of a few more things we want to accomplish in this space:
  • paint the walls
  • do a stencil effect on one wall
  • buy new curtains
  • new lighting fixture
  • buy a giant mirror to hang above the dresser
  • add some artwork above the bed
  • gallery wall of wedding pictures, artwork and other personal pictures
  • buy a new bed
Last year I stalked this bedding at Target till it went on 75% off clearance and snagged it for $24.99! It looks more greenish in the picture online, but it's really yellow and bright. It was our jumping off point for this room.

I've been collecting some inspiration photos over at Pinterest. Here's a few of what we're thinking for the space:

For the stencil accent wall, I really love this from KFD Designs

I love this lighting fixture that I found on, I think it's just the right amount of drama and glamour the room needs.

I want to do some sort empty frame arrangement above our bed, it may or may not be to much we'll have to see but I just love this.

And, lastly on the list is a new bed. Our current bed has been moved and put back together so many times a new one if for sure in order. Here's what I'm dreaming up:

Source: via Andrea on Pinterest

Or this,

Source: via Andrea on Pinterest

We have a lot of work to do, and a lot of fun things ahead. It's so fun to see it all come together. I really want this to be a retreat for us. It's time for a grown up master bedroom.

August 1, 2011

Blog Roll Monday: Leading and Loving It

Blog Roll Monday is a weekly feature where I high light one of the blogs on my reading list and tell you why I love them! To see a full list of all the blog I heart, click here.

Happy Monday Friends!

Another Monday is upon us, and a I have a chance to introduce you to one of the blogs I really love. Today's blog I can't get enough of is Leading and Loving It. I can't even remember exactly how I found this blog, but I am sure glad I did. I started reading this blog last summer and it's become a great source of encouragement to me during these last two years in ministry.

This blog is geared towards Pastors wives and women in ministry, and even if you aren't in ministry or a Pastor's wife I really think you'll get a lot from this blog as well. At the heart of it is encouragement for women!

Here's a little bit from Lori on their website:
Leading and Loving It is a community that connects, encourages, and supports pastors’ wives and women in ministry.

I think the “typical Pastor’s Wife” is dead. You know, that woman who had it all together, never seemed to struggle, played the piano, attended every event, and met everyone’s expectations … although she could have had some help with her wardrobe.
I’ve heard, read and said “I’m not the typical pastor’s wife” so many times, I’ve started to wonder if she really ever existed at all … or if she really only existed in people’s minds and expectations.
We spend mass amounts of time, energy, emotion, and effort comparing ourselves to a myth. And the problem is … I fall short. My attention turns to my shortcomings and failings instead of staying focused on God and who He created me to be.
But the truth is, God knew exactly what He was doing … exactly who He was calling. He knows my shortcomings and my struggles, and He has extended His call to leadership and ministry anyway.
Maybe “typical” isn’t what I thought … maybe there is a new typical. Maybe I’m typical. The more I talk to Pastors’ Wives and Women in Ministry, the more I realize how alike we are.
Regardless of: Age. Location. Denomination. Church Style. Church Size. I’ve noticed that we all seem to have the same questions. The same struggles. The same difficulties.
I’m going to embrace the knowledge that maybe I am typical … a woman wanting to know Jesus, support my husband, love my children, care for our church, wrestle with my own shortcomings, grow in love and grace, keep my head up during the tough times, acknowledge that I won’t be all things to all people, be available to fellow-strugglers, and embrace who God made me to be.
I am not prefect. But I may well be typical … and that is fine by me.

Lori and her team of amazing pastor's wives from around the country weekly bring you exciting topics and resources through their blog. One of my fave series they did was the Just One virtual conference, this online conference was the biggest encouragement to me during a season in our lives of ministry. You can go here and watch the series online. I promise you that you'll be encouraged as well.

I also joined one of their "Virtual Community" groups last summer as well. The ladies I meet with online once a month have gone from strangers to dear friends. Although we've never met in person I have learned so much from them, and the community we've built as a group is something I treasure. I feel really blessed to be apart of a group of women who I can talk to and share with. Go here to find out more info on how you can become apart of one of these groups, or lead your own.

If you're needing some encouragement today, or want to hear from Godly women who have Godly advice and counsel I invite you to take a look today at their blog, and jump into one of most supportive online communities!

Happy Monday!


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