Monday, November 25, 2013

Paul Fredrick Holiday Travel Tips!

Friends! I am looking down at my desk calendar and I cannot believe the Holidays are finally here! It's so crazy how it sneaks up on you isn't it!? Are you ready?! Wait, am I? I don't know about you, but I always have a habit of planning at the very last minute when it comes to getting prepared for the holidays, it's a habit I desperately need to kick! 

Lucky for me and you, Paul Fredrick, a fine attire of Men's clothing including an array of suits, dress shirts, pants, sweaters, you name it for the sharp dressed men in our lives contacted me with some helpful hints on being prepared for the upcoming Holidays, travel-wise! While our family only "travels" down a few country roads to our Thanksgiving/Christmas destination, we do have family who usually travel a good ways to get to us! I can just imagine the panic of staring down into my suitcase without one thought of where to start when it comes to packing things just so.. and neatly at that! Paul Fredrick wants to share with us their helpful travel tips today, I hope you will make your way to their blog page HERE to get the inside scoop, I know I sure don't want to miss out on some great advise!

Paul Fredrick also wanted me to share some of my Holiday travel tips, but since we aren't the traveling kind of folks, I decided to prepare a list of Holiday tips for being prepared here at home, I may leave a few out and if I do share them with me please I just may need it! So here are my Holiday Tips guys!

1. Don't Stress. Easy for me to say right? Holidays have to be the absolute most stressful times of the year, even worse since the idea of Black Friday came along! I hate to ruin the holiday mood simmering in the jolly pot, but Holidays are very much different than a few years back that I can remember. They are glammed up to such extremes these days the sole desires of our hearts are in these material things we think we must possess/give to make the Holidays just perfect for example:

Although the Ham and Turkey are indeed pretty important pieces to serve on the dinner table, if we don't get to it first in line you can bet we are going to have a holiday throw down at the local grocery store! At least that's how it pretty much rolls down here in the South. Not only that, it's important for us to have the best looking Christmas Tree fashioned with yards of ribbon, tinsel for days, the best of the best gifts nestled beautifully underneath it's whimsical branches lite to the max- all the while we forget just what/who the Holidays are all about don't we?

I know it's hard guys, I can just see myself scrapping the shelf for that one last pack of frozen pie shells for that genius Pinterest inspired dessert I will most likely wait until the last minute to "whoop up" but don't forget the importance of that special time we need to spend with our families, friends, spouses, co-workers. Holidays bring instant joy, share that happiness with your folks, show them that they are the reason Holidays are joyful!

2. Write It Down. Another thing that can add stress I can imagine, is knowing exactly what will go down on the very day of our Holiday exstravaganzas! Do these sound familiar: Who all is coming to Thanksgiving/Christmas Dinner? Do I even have a head count? Someone has a baby that will need a high chair, am I right? Oh, I know what main course foods I generally cook, but what was that dessert I made last year that was the highlight of the sweets?? Did you think to write it down on paper? It's a good idea if you haven't friends! Not only will it help you to logically prepare for all your Holiday must haves, but making lists and making notes are great ways to keep a record for the next Thanksgiving/Christmas to come. Just a thought.

3. Enjoy. Notice what word resounds at the end of the word Enjoy. Joy. Make that word echo loudly in your hearts this Holiday Season. Don't worry about getting everything done, when all else fails, if the turkey comes out blackened, a koolaid faced kid ramshacks your dessert table, Lord forbid you got punched in the snout for snatching up the last can of cranberry slices, the company of family and friends are generally always there and if they aren't there are people out there who will make you at home to their traditions and such. Also, make it a point in your day to Give. Give love, give hope to those people we see who have nothing but the skin on their backs most importantly, give with ALL your heart, that's how it counts!

I want to thank Paul Fredrick for contacting me and allowing me to share their wonderful Holiday Travel Tips to you guys! I love sharing great ideas, so when opportunities like Paul Fredrick come along, it's a given that I must share with my readers! I do hope you will make your way down Paul Fredrick's lane, they just may have that hint you haven't thought of so far for your travels! Not to mention, they may just have that perfect suit or tie for Holiday party/get together you and your husband will be attending! So go ahead, check them out, you won't be sorry!

Have A Safe and Lovely Thanksgiving Guys!

Monday, November 11, 2013


Oh, I just adore Sundays. I look forward to them so much, I find rest in these day marks, I find so much rest in Jesus.

November blooms have been the sweetest yet. I have picked so many pickin's for my little medicine bottle flower vases and such that I have ran all out of prettys and have began asking my MIL for her November blooms, honest. I just can't get enough of this season, this season that I have escaped into bittersweet simplicity. The Lord is teaching me the meaning of true Eucharisteo: the greek word to mean, he gives thanks.

I will admit I gained this new food for thought from my newest page turner, Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts. It seeps conviction right into your soul with every page turned, her stories, the pain and scenario's that she bore, the questions she begged for reasoning from God.. they come right at home for me. I read through her stories so far and can't help but compare them to pains my loved ones have suffered as well in a sense, instances when I myself sought after God's reasonings in my everyday strif goings of life, and I am inspired as she is to write down my one thousand gifts from God down with pen and paper. The good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the complicatedness and the simpleness of this world and I am again reminded that darkness comes before light and good always prevails against evil. 

I am reminded that when I give thanks for even the microscopic, I make a place for God to grow within me.
Grow within me.

I never put into perspective all this time of thinking I knew God so well, that my very saving is associated with the gratitude I express to Him on a daily basis. And I just want to thump the side of my head for overthinking or should I say not thinking at all about the big picture?

Looking back, it's expressed numerous times in the bible of giving thanks, so why now am I coming to realization of this new word: Eucharisteo? It's because I underestimated His love for me, there I said it.

Our God is a just God, but He is also a very loving God and boy am I feeling His grace enfolding me nowadays. I am learning so much about that tongue winding word, the divine purpose behind giving thanks and I love to write down my Eucharisteo's everyday. I seek in finding my gifts whether it be #63. Tea stained boilers or #89. Warm greasy popcorn on fingertips or #94. Grandma B's giddyness, when I run out of new found gifts I sit and wait on more to come to mind, to heart. It's a beautiful thing naming and acknowledging to our maker the wonderful things/people that He brings to our lives on an every day basis. It takes the stinch out of the pains of this world and gives the mind something to give glory to rather than give grief or anger.

If you are struggling or dealing with some issues going on in your life, I encourage you to find refuge in this book. I promise, you will find peace and comfort, you will be able to more fully point out your blessings more than your problems after reading just a couple of chapters. Take out a pen and paper, and write down your gifts may they be big or small, even if your unsure if they are even a gift, I can bet they are.

I am thankful for the gift of this beautiful Monday and the heart of our veterans, what gifts can you give name to today?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Joy Filled Home.

I LOVE the month of November. It's filled with so much thankfulness, colors, traditions, family and love. Not to mention it's one of the most cozy-est months of the year! If you haven't already, I encourage you to join in on this months Instagram picture challenge brought to us by Nicole from Bloom and Michaela from MichaelanoelleDesigns. Every day we will post photos from our home each day expressing our thankfulness of this and that, I just know the Lord is going to bring so much conviction to our hearts about the blessings we overlook in our home on a daily basis. 

This morning, I posted this picture of my "favorite room" in our home. I can't verbally express what this room means to me. All I can do is list simple words that describe it: Love, Comfort, Jesus, Haven, Relaxation.

 It is the place where we step out of our shoes into each others arms on the sofa each night after a long day at work apart, it is a man movie with popcorn while I enjoy a nap in my husbands lap before bedtime, it is where I do my journaling, drift away from reality to Coldplay,  bible study with God, and where friends and family gather when they visit.

I love this room and the love that flows from it, the instant sigh of awe when we open the blinds to let the sunshine in on Sunday afternoons after church is so humbling. For us, it is home.

So.. do your heart a favor and jump in on this challenge! You can find more information HERE and don't forget to use the hashtag #joyfilledhomechallenge to all of your photos! 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Our 2nd Fall?!

Oh my goodness, where has the time gone? I am literally scratching my head looking back from our last first fall together and it seems like it was just a day ago! Bittersweet memories, take a walk down newlywed lane to our first fall season together HERE and our first halloween HERE.. I can't imagine any other fall comparing to that first one but oh how sweet this one has been so far. I think like wine, the seasons will just get sweeter and sweeter in time. I like to look back to those first seasons though, even while they were not so long ago. It's only been a year since we felt the sweet coolness of the change in weather together, but just as the leaves have changed yet again, so have our lives. Our home is changing every day it seems, our love for each other is stronger than ever and grows deeper every day that passes, we're building memories and preparing ourselves for the God willing seasons to come. 

After digging through some things in the attic, my mother in law remembered that she had a box full of fall decorations with my name on it! Talk about getting into the spirit of fall, this girl was on top of it after discovering leaves and tinsel galore! I was on a high, and I may or may not have gone a little overboard with the decorations, but the buzz I received from all the put up plastic goodies gave off such a homey feeling that I just had to keep going! So then I baked autumn cookies and whipped up a cup of hazelnut coffee. Fall was yet again at the smithies, no doubt.

I think I will like a child, have a fit when I have to take all of this cuteness down, but at the same time... I also found a couple of yummy looking christmas boxes in the attic that I'm sure I will fill their spots with as quick as I take them down! 

So how did I do thrifty pin sisters?
And how are you celebrating fall?!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

It's Just A Season.

Seems it has been almost well over a month since my last post, and that I'm not proud of, but life has been eh kind of sideways here lately. We have been in a season. You know what I'm talking about, we are all in seasons. Seasons of prosperity, seasons of loss, seasons of mixed emotions and so for.. but the good thing is, it is just a season. God is good and He always turns the table for good reachings. We have been dealing with some things here at home that have made us become on edge of our surroundings but we aren't going to let those things shake the happiness of our home we have built. Life isn't always pretty and that's a fact, it's just all part of it.

I wish I could unleash all of our daily doings/accomplishments unto this one very post because friends we have also been in a season of busyness! Life has been somewhat a blur here lately, the weekdays are awfully draining at times and the weekends seem to disappear as quick as a vapor. And not to mention I haven't slowed my travels down enough to get in a good write or two. The good Lord has been nudging me to write these days down and I just kept putting it off and placing other wants and needs before my heart.

So after a year of being married, I finally sat down and made our very first photo album for starts. It needed to be done. I couldn't imagine being married five years down the road let alone two with the first thought of starting a photo album. After finding that we had well over 400 pictures from JUST our first year of marriage, I was overwhelmed to say the least. I was stunned, but I was even more enlightened.

Words can do the heart good, but pictures are worth a thousand more over. Filling the pages of our 420 page album in order was not only physically exhausting, it was so so humbling to my heart. Seeing our lives transform in so many ways, seeing our home change through the pages, was so dawning for me.We started off sitting on an old futon cushion for a couch living on the fresh scent of marriage and now our home is so FULL.

 Life is dawning if we see it in that same sense too. And home here lately has been made new a definition of it's soleness. Home isn't the door I walk past and enter going and coming, it isn't the windows that lend my eyes sight to what is outside of these walls, nor is it the walls that give us comfort from the rain and heat of the day. Home is my husband. A door would only be a door, the walls of my surroundings would only be walls and the windows would only be eye sores without him. If his arms spouted out shutters I would happily nestle myself under his cover because he is all I need in this world second to the good Lord above.

I'm not sure where life will take us, I'm not even sure the ground our feet are planted in is permanet, I do know our love is right where it needs to be though. God is so good.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Ramblings: Oh Clever Title

This weekend has been jam packed with so much fun, I know the only time you guys hear from this ol gal anymore is after my weekend ramblings, but I'm trying to sneak back into the blogosphere little by little. I do love this little space of mine but it takes a little living to make a little writing so life does indeed come before blogging. 

For starts, we celebrated my MIL's 52nd birthday! She may pinch me after stating her age to you all, but believe me she ROCKS 52 beautifully! She is such a blessing to me, I never could have imagined I would have such a sweet caring mother in law, a gem she is, and has treated me like a daughter from day 1 with my relationship with Garrett and I look to her as a second mother in so many ways. We treated her to a birthday dinner and a cake in her honor, it was great, she loved it all.

With nothing but sunshine in the weekend forecast, it was time to finally get that back porch repainted! I have been so ready to get our little casa groomed for FALL, again oh my goodness! Where has the time gone already!?  It's hard to believe it will be a year soon since we celebrated our first fall together, I love reminisicing over this post HERE. We were just two little newlys just starting out then even though it wasn't very long ago at all. So much has changed since that sweet first season together. We repainted the door along with a few other rooms, we have filled our home with many things that have come along the way that express both of us just perfectly, we've celebrated birthdays and holidays, but most importantly we have grown so much since then, and every day since June 16th has been such a blessing

Mila stayed up until two o'clock in the morning watching me make my first fall wreath along with watching a little episode of Ghost Adventures while the husby retreated to playing his new drag racing game on my Iphone. He is addicted, but I must say he is pretty cute after a win, you would think he was really racing! I usually don't even try to conquer Pinterest projects because they usually have way too many What You Will Need's to them, but this was simple. Bath towels, a few buttons, a wreath, and killa hot glue gun skills, all of which I had! It turned out surprisingly good! 

I finally got to put my birthday present into use my dear MIL and Husby made for me! I love putting my love for flowers into a pot of dirt and cannot wait to watch my little babies grow!

It is well with my soul, I can't deny it.
Life has been so kind and I hope it has for you as well!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A DIY Project: Picnic In A Suitcase Wedding Gift

While I'm not usually the most craftiest gal around the block, marriage has somewhat made me jump on the "hey I can do that!" band wagon a few times here and there. I found this little project while googling suitcase projects in hope of finding something clever to do with a couple of old two dollar thrift finds I had found. To my surprise, I found/created two: one being a kitty bed for Mila and the other, a sweet wedding gift for a dear friend of mine who is going to be getting married to her best friend in October! I had to wait until I actually gave it to her of course, before I could share my How To's: with you guys so that I wouldn't let the cat out the bag or should I say suitcase? I was going to initially wait until her shower to give it to her, but since my sister in law was so sweet to take her engagement pictures today, I thought, why wait!? They were able to use it in their engagement pictures which seemed like the perfect idea! I had so much fun making this little project that I had to share! I hope you enjoy making it as much as this girl did! Feel free to Pin this little project to your pin boards by clicking the yellow pinterest hover symbol on each picture!

Picnic In A Suitcase Wedding Gift

Most of the articles for this projects were bought from a craft store, Hobby Lobby being my choice, you can find yours at any craft store I am sure! Get creative because there are so many fun ways to make this project your very own! **Notice that my picnic silverware is all plastic, (cups, plates, bowls, forks etc..) they will keep alot better than glass silverware in a suitcase being handled around/stored away until the perfect picnic day.  You can find most of these items at your local dollar store for a little of nothing!**

So Here's What You Will Need:

- An Old Suitcase
(You can find these for a little of nothing at thrift stores, 
although my grandma was sweet enough to give this one to me.)

- Spray Paint 
(Tape up the parts of your suitcase you don't want spray painted and 
give her a new look! It's amazing what a little color can do!)

-  1 Yard Of Fabric Your Choice
(You will want to rip out the original lining of your suitcase before you start getting all Martha Stewart here. Beware of the smell of yester years, trust me it will get better. I modpodged the fabric onto the inner/sides of the suitcase first, and then used a heavy duty staple gun to make everything nice and pretty around the edges. If your not used to using such equipment, you may be a little sore afterwards, words for the wise yet wimpy.)

-Mod Podge
( I had always heard about this stuff but never knew how awesome it was until now! It has to be the crafters dream dope in a bottle! If you need something stuck real good, this stuff sticks better than fresh boogers, no kidding!

- Staple Gun
(There is absolutely no sewing to be done in this little do it yourselfer! Not for me anyhow! I used
this heavy doer mostly for attaching things like the fabric neatly around the edges of the suitcase and velcro-ed ribbon attachments for holding the plates, cups, and other things.)

-Velcro Tabs
(I wanted her to be able to put these items back with ease so I immediately thought of Velcro! I stapled each tab to the back and front of the ribbon and the back of the suitcase if needed.)

-Ribbon Of Your Choice

-Plastic Silverware/Dishes
( Like I said, it's best to go plastic on this project. I found all of my items from my local dollar store.) You will need plates, two cups, straws, forks, spoons, bowls etc.. get creative, I'm sure I missed something you have thought of!)

- Fun Stuff
( This part is limitless to the things you can find! I not only wanted to incorporate just silverware for eating, rather I wanted to make it fun so I added things like the pair of pinwheels, confetti for decor, a burlap rose to maybe place in a vase as a center piece for such a romantic setting, and a letter to place on the front of the suitcase representing the couples soon to be last name.)

This has to be my favorite project I have ever made yet, and what made it even more fun was that I was able to give it to someone to enjoy! It is such a cute, fun and unique project that I know a sweet southern couple (like my friend) will love and have as a keepsake! 

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