I love this picture.  Apples are one of my favorite fruits and as I've been told, "An apple a day keeps the doctor at day."

Today I'm guest posting for Jessica at The Lily White English Rose.  Check the post out and check Jessica out too.  It's a pretty sweet diy craft.


Have Dress--Will Travel

Did your grandparents ever watch that show Have Gun--Will Travel?  Mine did, and believe me, I've sat through many a western show.

So maybe I'm not a gun fighter, but I enjoy a good party and I'm not afraid to travel to go to one especially if it's a formal one.  I've always been a fan of gold.  And I'm not certain that there's another color on earth that says celebration nearly as much as gold.

I've put together a look that I would wear to a formal holiday party.  Truthfully, it's on the pricey side, but beautiful just the same.

Have Dress--Will Travel
it's a Holiday Formal Party



It's ok to take the long road

It's ok to take the long road.
     to ride the bike
     to take the long walk

In a world that always pushing us to do things fast--to get the job done--it's ok to take the long road.
     to slow down and inhale the beauty
     to rest from the caos
     to relax in the awkward moments
     to breathe in life

To really live life & absorb it all.
     to take it all in

To just...

Life is not a destination.  Life is a journey.  Long.  Hard.  Painful.  Fun.  But all worth it.  In encourage you, slow down and love life.  All of it.



this has been a week--end of the week round up

Hello, hello.

So much has happened this week--some good, some bad--but all happening just the same.   Truthfully, it's the end of my weekend and I'm tired.

Today I got the opportunity to judge OCDA All-State first round tryouts.  I have to say, it was so ironic being the person sitting behind the partition listening to the students sing their hearts out (or in some cases brains out).

As I sat there looking at the blank screen (intended to help the judges keep some form of amenity)  I realized that it was only a few (ok...12) years ago when I was standing behind that screen absolutely freaking out.

Isn't interesting how life does that to us?  We look at situations or tasks that scare us only to realize years down the road that those situations and tasks have helped shape our life into what it is.  If given our own choice we probably would have never challenged ourselves to do that scary thing, but some teacher or parent told us that hard work pays off.  Now go practice.

Maybe that was just my house...

In other news, here's few links that left me challenged or inspired or both.

     *I loved this video and yes, I cried.  I think you will enjoy it too.  LINK

     *I'm always looking to make something new.  I can't wait to try this out from Little Mudpies.                It's super easy and a great present.

     *Have you been introduced to Three Little Birds?  Well, you should stop by their etsy shop and purchase some of their great products.  I love this headpiece.  I think they'd be great for fall pictures.  What do you think?

     *My little sister, Dalayna from Pointing Up is one of my heros.  I love her even when she drives me crazy.  (You may have seen her in our weekly vlog series Sister Talk.)  Well, next week she hosting a link up called Not Quite There.  I love this because there are several of us bloggers that aren't married (yet) and/or don't have kids (yet).  You can read more about this link up here.

     *Last, but never least, it Reader Appreciate month and I want to invite you to enter the Reader Appreciate Giveaway.  I'm giving away two copies of the book Blog Inc. by Joy Cho.  I have found this book to be inspirational and I have no doubt that you would to.  Don't forget to enter here.

We'll see you in the html.

Thank You Readers

Dear Readers,

Thank you for taking time to read and comment on posts on this blog.  If you have read very many posts then you've probably realized that one of my life long goals is to use my blog to inspire people to change their world.

I can only hope and pray that through this outlet you have felt inspired and empowered.  Truly, we all have the power to change the world.  We just have to do something.  We have to move.  We have research.  We have to act.

Thank you for your support.  I so appreciate the comments here on the blog, on twitter, on Google +, and on Facebook.  I'm just like most women.  I have doubts.  I wonder if when I post something that I find to be pointed if it will offend people.  (Truly, that is never the end plan.)  But your comments and shares really lead me to believe that what I'm writing is resonating--that it makes sense to someone else besides me.

Thank you for supporting this blog with your sponsorships.  That truly helps me.

To say thank you in a more tangible way I'm hosting a giveaway.  To celebrate you I am giving away two copies on Blog Inc.

As most blog readers tend to be bloggers themselves I have no doubt that you will benefit from this book.  Blog Inc. by Joy Deangdeelert Cho (you can read more from Joy here) is one of the most challenging and resourceful books I've read.  I believe that it will help inspire you in your quest to be a better blogger and to use your blogging to change your part of the world.

Thank you again, readers.  I appreciate you.

Thankfully yours,


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sponsor Us in November

It's time to plan for November and we have some great things planned.  We'd love to have you be apart of them too!

Are you interested in sponsoring us?  Well, we'd love it if you would and to say thank you we want to offer you a special discount.  Just use the promo code THANKFUL at check out and receive 30% off your ad purchase.

We look forward to the endless possibilities of partnering with you.  Oh, and here's a link to our sponsor page.

Your truly,


Color Inspiration: Jewel Tones

I never get tired of these rich colors.  Let their richness inspire you.
 from left to right:

from left to right

If you're looking for more inspiration check out these pinterest  boards.

Insta-Weekend...just a day late

Normally, on Mondays are reserved for Sister Talk and maybe we'll still get one to you before the day is over.  However, Dalayna is a little under the weather.  

Have no fear.  We shall be back soon.  In the meantime here's a look at this weekend.  It was a good one!

This past weekend I celebrated one of my friend's birthdays by going to Beaver Lake in Arkansas.  I only got to stay one night, but I had so much fun.  And I think my friend did too.

There were so many dear by the cabin we stayed in and it was right on the lake!  Totally beautiful.  We went to the War Eagle craft show which was so amazing.  I found several interesting booths.  To find out more about the War Eagle Craft Show check out this link.

Church was on Sunday.  I love my church so much.  I have the amazing privilege to serve some of the most giving, supportive, and loving people on the planet.  You can read more about my church here & here.

To check out more pictures on Instagram follow me here.

Be the Change

I've been contemplating writing this post for quite sometime.  In some ways, this is an easy post to write.  In others, it's very complicated.  I know that this post is hard.  I prefer to be uplifting.  This post might offend some people, but just know I wouldn't write it if I didn't absolutely believe what I'm sharing.

When I look at the state of this world and at our country I have never been more convinced that we are on the road of destruction.

I don't have to tell you.  You know it too.

You see the lost hope in people's eyes.
You're experiencing the pinch in the purse.
You face fear walking down the street.
You're scared that your children will be taken advantage of with nothing you can do.
You listen to the political rhetoric of both sides and know that's not the answer.

You walk down the same streets I do.
I have something to tell you.  The solution is not in the government.  The solution is not to just find a job or just pay off a credit card or just get the kids into private school.  The solution is not in a religious leader or even in a church.

The solution is Christ.

Yes, the country is in a bad place...
Yes, things are tight...
Yes, there is violence in the world...
Yes, all hope seems to be lost...

But not in Christ.

All hope is not lost in Christ.

We as individuals and as a nation have to turn back to Christ.  We have to remember His love for us.  We have to respond to others with the same compassion that He has for us.  We have to be moved, as individuals, to do the right thing to see justice restored.

The truth is to do that is a messy undertaking.

Journey with me there for a moment...
      A world where we help out our neighbor who just lost their job...
      A world where we start a fundraiser to raise money for the teacher who just found out she has                                            
      A world where we plant the garden and weed it and water it...
      A world where we take personal responsibility for our mistakes...

      A world where we do the work...
          We help others
          We reach out
          We do something about it.

Even if we did all these things there is still this element of lostness in our world.  It can't be fixed by any movement by humanity of it's own.  It can only be fixed by returning to a foundation of the Word of God and the pursuit of God's presence.

Recently, I was contemplating this truth when I realized that Christian culture has isolated these two principles when in reality they go hand in hand.  As a whole, we've isolated discipleship or the pursuit of the knowledge of God's Word, but neglected the power of God's presence.   But at the same time, we drop everything running to the feel-good, bless-me-Jesus, emotional overload of fast, loud, and long music but often neglect the study of God's Word.

Please understand me.  In real life I'm a worship pastor.  This is what I do for a living and love it, I might add.  What I hate about music and this kind of 'worship' is that it only lasts for those 20-25 minutes on Sunday morning.  You get your four to five songs that are perfectly performed, but they lack the power of God in them.

We've forgotten that worship is a lifestyle.  Worship is the marriage of our emotions, our thoughts, and our actions into one intently--a life, sold out for Christ, sacrificing all for the advancement of the kingdom of God.

I am entirely aware that this is long.  Bare with me just a bit longer.

One of my favorite books of the Bible is James.  I think I love James so much because he had a unique understand of Christ and He's teachings.  James is rumored to be written by James the Just, a half-brother of Christ.  Growing up with Jesus would have brought a different understand to the nature of Christ Himself.  He would have walked with Jesus through many of life hard times like the death of James' father and Jesus' step father.  They would have together worked in the family business.  They would have learned in the synagogue together.

Early in James's life we know that he wasn't so keen of Jesus's deity.  In fact, he didn't believe at all.  But somewhere in his life, he had an encounter with the presence of God revealing the truth of Christ's identity.   Maybe it was after the resurrection, but whenever it was, James believed.  So when we read the book of James, we are getting this an incredible perspective into who Christ is and what He's about.

In James 1:27 he writes this, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this; to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."  Through the book, James continues to urge the church to not just stay in the four walls of the church building, but to live a life of worship everywhere they went.

We have that same mandiate too.  Is it hard?  Well, it's not easy.  Living for Christ is not easy.  Here's why...
But, it's worth it.

It's so worth it.
I promise.

It's worth it.

It's possible to change the world.
It's possible to make the world a brighter place.
It's possible that our world can be healed,
     that the economic devastating can be reversed,
     that our world can be better


But, it's only when we get to it...

When we choose to change it.
Start a revolution.  Be the Change.


October Must List



Divine Design + Freebie

This morning I was doing my devotions when I came across one of my favorite verse in the Bible.  Chances are it's one of yours too.  It's usually that verse people quote at you when you feel lost and maybe even abandoned by God.  I'm sure you've read it on graduation cards.  I know you've heard in many sermons.

image created by Danette Dillon
available for personal use only

If you read the context of that verse you'll find that there is trouble all around the Jews.

Here's a few of the things they were facing.

  • Their country was literally divided in two and it had been for sometime.
  • Over half of both of their countries, Judah and Isearl, were in exile.
  • When they were taken into exile, the infrastructure was destroyed including their beloved temple in Jerusalem.
  • They refused to listen to the voice of God choosing, rather, to listen to false prophets who feed them lies.

That sounds like a pretty dark place to me.
                    It was a dark place of their own making.

But here's were the promise of God comes in. 

This verse is actually included in a letter written to Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon where the people of God were in captivity.  It's basically a warning to Nebuchadnezzar that soon his day would be over.  His rule would have no effect of God's people.  The people of God were in trouble.  They where in exile.  But for long.  God had a good plan...a plan to prosper them and not to harm them.  A plan to give them a hope and a future.

They messed up.  I mean, really messed up.  Bad.  They hadn't obeyed the commands of God.  They had turned their backs on God and on His prophets.  But despite all of the terrible things they did, God, their Father, was with them.  He knew them.  He loved them.  And He would restore them.

God's ultimate plan is always one of restoration.  He always has a good plan for you.  

Does that mean that you won't have to live in some messes sometimes especially ones we create?  Absolutely not.  Just like the Jews, we create our own problems by not living in God's boundaries.  Yet at the same time, just like His people, He always has a plan to get us out of our prosper us and now to harm us.

God sees you.  He knows you.  He will restore you.

I know I've created several messes in my own life some of which I'm still living in now.  But I know God is my restorer.  He's my healer.  He's my best friend.  He's my love.  I know He is divinely working all of my messes for my good.

I'm sure it wasn't in His original plan but He's working it into His divine design.  

The end is better than the beginning and it's much better than now.  It's all in His divine design.



Here's How I'd Style That

I love jeans.  Especially trouser jeans.  I wear them casual.  I dress them up and wear them fancy. I just love a good pair.  There's just one problem.  Even though I'm quite tall for a woman, they always seem to require a good pair of heels.  Usually a good pair of heels takes my 5'9" frame to about 6' making me taller than every man in my office.

But I love those trouser jeans, so I wear them.

I think we all have them...those pieces in our closet that just require something a little more.  That could be a necklace with a dress or a bracelet with turtleneck, but the outfit just needs it. 

Here's a picture of a simple ensemble that I literally throw together on

Here's How I'd Style That

Truthfully, there's a lot that I like about this outfit.  For one, the sweater is loose and casual, and it still looks like it's going to be warm.  I like the color of the purse.  I like the color and style of the shoes.  I'd only be about 5' 11" in those and taller than 3 guys in the office.  Without doubt we can all agree.  There's something missing.

And then enters Outfit Additions!

So, let's take this cute, but plain outfit and upstyle it's casual appeal by adding accessories.


Adding a few simple jewelry items like this necklace and these bracelets (or arm candy) will completely change your outfit.  For more style posts you can check out these posts here, here, and here.

Exciting news:  I just found out that Outfit Additions is having a special.  Use the promo code DAYS25 and receive 25% off of your purchase.  Wow!  The promotion ends this Friday so make sure you get on it.  I'm going to be shopping soon.

Sister Talk

Well, it's that time again.  Time to start another work week.  Time to get back to the trenches.  Time for Sister Talk.  I hope that you enjoy this vlog.  We love recording it. :)


Meet the Lovely Ladies of the Sidebar + a Giveaway

There is one thing that I love about being a blogger.  I love the connect that it brings to this great big, crazy world.  Today, I have the honor of introducing you to the lovely ladies of my sidebar.

These ladies aren't just bloggers, but they're people just like you and me.  Some are mothers.  Others aren't.  Some are married.  Some aren't.  Some love crafts and reading and decorating.  Some just like to share their lives.  One thing is true about all of them though.  They are all women trying to make it in this crazy world--just like me and you.

Please, take a few minutes and head over to their blogs.  Check out their posts.  Make a new friend.

Samara from the Secret Life of Samara

Samara has been told that she thinks too much.  But what's wrong with that?  She finds so much joy in life and now she wants to share that with you.

Brit from These Happy Times

Brit is quickly becoming one of my favorite people in the whole world.  She's a mommy and a wife and she's absolutely in love with Jesus.  And she has a majorly cute shop.  Check it out here.

Kristin from Tales From the Nook

Kristin is a self proclaimed techie and believe me it's true.  She started a journey to change her life by changing up her diet.  She's started living the Paleo way.  I can personally attest to the difficulty living a new life style, but she's making it.  Check her out.  And because she's a techie she would also be a great virtual assistant.  She can help take your blog or business to the next level.

Kim from Singledou[b]t

Kim is an artist, a writer, a photographer, a knitter...a true creator.  She may be one of the bravest ladies I know.  After all, she did move to New York City by herself.  Head over to her blog and read some of her delicious recipes.  

Lauren at Fizz and Frosting

Lauren and I are new friends, but there's one thing I know all ready.  She is a great dresser.  She's got taste.  I love seeing pictures of her three puppies.  

Bea of Daily Living in Geneva

Bea is another new friend.  She openly admits that she wants to be a fashionista and she is on her way!  Stop by and see the products she loves and wears.

Brooke from the Intentional Momma

She's a professional turned momma and a wonderful one at that.  I love reading about the crafts that she plans for her little one and you will too.

These wonderful ladies have put together a very rad giveaway.  (Yes, I'm a little surprised that I wrote rad too, but it seemed to work.)  Make sure to enter and spread the word!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Inside Weather Crafting

Hello, hello.

I wanted to share a craft that I finished today.  It's so simple and quite fun.

I have yet to find one person who doesn't love fall, but there is one thing about fall and winter that drives people indoors--the cold, wet wind.

The wind won't stop the beautiful colors as the magically appear, but it can drive us to our books, warm blankets, and fireplaces.

Naturally, we must have a way to mark our place in our books.  Hence the creation of this bookmark.

Here's what you need:

A is for Autumn (and Anxiety)

Hi, I'm Brooke from The Intentional Momma blog. I want to thank Danette for having me! She is such an encouragement to me, and I'm thankful for her!

As an educator with a toddler at home, I am constantly dreaming up new activities, and today I am sharing my newest educational freebie--my A is for Autumn Color-and-Trace preschool pack! Featuring apples, ants, and acorns in autumn colors, your little ones can practice tracing, counting, coloring, and matching with this super simple printable mini-workbook.

As for me, the A-word that I find myself facing so much as an adult is the word anxiety. I find myself worrying so often! A verse that I must constantly reflect upon is one you probably know. But I'll leave you with this one other printable, also in autumn colors, in hopes that it might be an encouragement to you if you tend to be a worrier like me!


Be the Change You Wish to See

Recently, my sister, Dalayna from Pointing Up, had a guest post that moved me to tears.  It moved me to action.  I read Marie's post and literally could not stop crying.  I decided I had to do something to help her on her mission.

One of my main reasons for blogging is to encourage my readers to share love--to show love, to be love--in a world that is often loveless.   We all know the ever quoted and often over used quote Gandhi said to his people and the world.  "Be the change you wish to see in the world."  But to be the change, we have to act.

Joining with Marie last night, I donated $10 to her campaign.  I write that not as an accolade  but as proof.  I believe in this cause so much that I'm going to act, even a small bit, to bring change.  If we all work together, we can make a difference.

As you read this post, I encourage you, think about what you can do to change this problem and others that you are confronted with everyday.

One person, standing alone, is a great thing.  It speaks of her courage.  Her valor   Her compassion.  Her heart.  But, a group of people, unified, undivided, unwavering, determined won't be devoured by the world and dreams and plans of a few powerful men.  No, that undoubted crowd is a force to reckon with...a force that shifts culture to bring lasting reform and change.

All My Love for All My Days,


Hi! I'm Marie from Listening Rather Then Speaking!

So I wanted to write a blog that would reach hundreds thousands millions about the need to give back. As many of you know September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Cancer is something that hits my heart in a very sensitive way.

Baby's Feet By Theprodiqy
When I was in high school, I would volunteer at a hospital. It was an experience that I figured would be a give and take relationship. I would have volunteer hours on my college applications and they would have someone who could help out. I NEVER expected things to turn out to be a give-give-give-give situation. I volunteered on the children’s floor of the hospital. I would play with the little kids and feed the babies. I loved seeing their bright beautiful faces smiling and happy.

One day, I was following my “normal route”, I came across a room that had a baby that I never met nor seen. I was one of the volunteers the kids loved, because I knew all their names. He was crying, my heart melted. I slowly approached the crib and his little brown eyes, just looked at me. His name was J. for privacy reasons, I can’t talk about patients. I picked J up and he gave out a laugh. It was love at first sight. A nurse came by the room holding a bottle; I guess she walked away to make him one. The nurse handed me the bottle and said “I think you have things under-control, I’ll be back in a few”. J finished his bottle, just in time. It was time for me to head home. I placed him in his crib, and he began to cry again. I looked at his chart and it said he had not had any visitors for days! I wondered why. I picked him up again; the feeling of confusion and heartbreak entered my body. I wonder how someone could not want to see this beautiful baby’s face or just hold him. The nurse walked back into the room and grabbed him from my hands. She knew something was wrong, she looked over and said “Cancer”.

Baby Sam By Reskiy 
I made my way to the door and didn’t look back. That night, all I could think about was that little boy and how his family left him there to die. I wanted to just take him home with me and make the best out of the time he had left. I went back to the hospital the next day, J was gone. I had a blank look on my face, the nurse told me that he was down stairs getting testing done and that she would bring him to me. She told me that I would have to complete my chores and do them all with grade A effort. Within the first half hour of my shift, the nurse brought J to me. He looked so happy and gave me the same laugh. I asked the nurse; how long he had to live. She replied less the a month, if not a little less. I asked her where the family was, she told me that they said their goodbyes a long time ago. I cried.

I made a promise to myself and to J that we would make the best out of the time, he had left. I would go to the hospital early and on my days off just to see his face.

Baby Details By Juliephotography
Once my volunteer hours where up at the hospital  they told that I could no longer be allowed in J's room and I would have to receive permission for his family. I knew that this was goodbye. I agreed with the hospital and said my goodbyes. I knew that J would fight the battle for the both of us.

The updates that I would get from my school regarding J, turned into no updates at all. I figured it was time to just remember his adorable face and move on. I knew that he fought his battle with all the strength he could.

I recently thought alot about J, I thought about making a call to the hospital.

"To reach the children's floor press 6, 
Hi this is nurse xxx,  can I  help you?"

I talked to the nurse for about 15 minutes; she knew exactly what baby I was talking about and she shared the information that she could. She told me that J had beat the cancer;; he beat the cancer. He is now 3-4 years old, and is living with a foster family who is going thru the adoption process now. I cried. It was nice to know that J had beat his fight. It was nice to know that my prayers have been answer and that little boy will be okay. 

Cancer is extremely close to my heart, not only because of this baby, but because of how selfish i was.
I wanted nothing more then to have a clear well written application to college, and then this event happened. 

Baby By Pictureguy
I made the choice to give everything and any time I have to children and the fight to help them. This is the reason why if you check out my blog (click here) I have been begging people to donate to my fight to cure childhood illness and disease. I want to make a large donation on behalf of the followers/givers. Its a simple process ; you buy a box of coffee, we make the donation.   

As of right now we are shooting to give between 40% of all proceeds to the
hospitals. We are looking to give these proceeds to the children's wing of
hospitals. We have two hospitals in mind right now, but have not made a clear
choice due to the fact that they are both so close to my partners and my
heart. Both hospitals that where chosen
are known worldwide
.  We are making this
donation for children in general at this time. We want there to be a cure for all illness and disease that children get/can get. We want a brighter future for their today and their tomorrow. At this time, we would like to try and raise $5,000 dollars. Once we reach $5000 dollars, we would like to go even further and raise more. 

I know that most people have a ton of bills to pay for and
have a things to take care, but Im begging and praying. I'm asking people to
save the lives of our future. Who knows maybe, we have another Elvis, or Maryrlin Moore among us. Or we have a child among us that will create the
cure for cancer. We don't know what the future holds, but lets try and make it
brighter for these kids.

Baby Born By Katie490
I have created little perks that people can receive,

Buy one box- i will send you a personal thank you
Buy 2-4 boxes- i will announce your name on my blog. And
send you a personal thank you letter/card.
Buy 5-9 boxes - i will announce your name on my blog plus
run ad, send you a thank you, and a surprise!
Buy 10 boxes- a huge surprise!

I have set up donation perks as well that people can

$5-25 dollars - i will send you a personal thank you
$26-100- I will announce your name on my blog. And send you
a personal thank you letter/card.
$100+ - I will announce your name on my blog plus run your
ad, send you a thank you and a surprise!

These are just some of the little perks that I have set up
to say thank you to everyone!

There is a high need for people to give back, and to spread the news about giving back. This is my way of trying to spread the news and helping people at the same time. I ask that you just take the time to give a moment of your day and really look at your loved ones. Now take other moment to imagine your life without them. It hurts like a million knives stabbing you over and over again. Doesn't it? Now if you could relax yourself and do one more thing for me? Please. Imagine the millions of families who need your help who don't know how to ask for help or begging for your help. 

I thank you for taking the time out to read this post, and I'm sorry for any tears that I have cause.
May your thoughts and prayers be answered today, tomorrow, and everyday. 

UPDATE as of 10/09.

We currently sold over 5 boxes on behalf of the cause. I am extremely excited because of this!

contact me for information. i would be happy to answer any of your questions at any time of the day!

847-800-0971. or

the campaign has not been set up yet. but i can link you to the donation center (click above donate bar)
please i am begging for your help!


Sister Talk

Busy, busy we two are, but here is a little snippet of what has been going on around here.


Currently reading...

“It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.” 
~Oscar Wilde

I like this quote very much because it's so true.  What you put in your mind is what will come out of your mouth, out of you mind, and out in your actions.  As part of my own person reformation, I'm working on ingesting a few books.  They are all worth check out and reading.


I Just Had to...

Jackson had a little bit of a photo shoot this week.  His auntie, Dalayna from Pointing Up, got a new camera.  She had to have a muse so obviously she chose the cutest, fur baby nephew around.

Here ya go!

Playing with Light

Jackson says, "I actually hate posing.  When will this end?"

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