Easy Valentine DIY {free printable}

Brightening someone's day is always so much fun--watching the smile come across their eyes...seeing the joy of their mouth as it spreads wide in a smile.  See, there's not very many things that are better in life than changing a bad day or an okay day into the best day all week.

And what a better time to do that than around Valentine's Day?

Here are a few ideas that I love.


For a quick and super easy tutorial of how to paint feed sack towel visit Make and Takes.  (Here's the link.)  I'm telling you...super easy.

Who doesn't love chocolate   Seriously, I know of one
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Interesting...










I came across a few links that I found incredibly interesting.  I think you will too.  Hope you enjoy.

+ Today is the 25th anniversary of  the Phantom of the Opera.  Congratulations to Andrew Lloyd Webber and the many performers, directors, and front house people who have built this show into a phenomena.

+ As a single woman who's never been pregnant, I've wondered what child birth feels like.  Apparently, I'm not the only one.  Here's a video a two Danish men who underwent a labor symbolization.  Wow is all I can say.

Wheatgrass, eh?  Well, it may not be the most yummy drink, but it's good for you.

+ I don't know about you, but I have several friends with the flu.  How insanely adorable are these get well cards from The Indigo Bunting?!

+ I'm a sucker for office supplies.  What if they could all match?  They can if you use poppin.com.
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Blogging Values


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Let Us No Grow Weary


Pregnancy is an experience that can be described as both enjoyable and utterly disgusting.   Mind you, I don't know this from experience.  I've never been pregnant.  But I've had many friends that have been blessed with the responsibility of child birth.

I've heard it many times...the excitement in her voice when she tells me she's expecting.  I've heard hours worth of discussion on how being pregnant is the best feeling in the world.

I've also seen and heard the misery as that ever looming due date draws close.  I've heard about the heart burn, the miserable discomfort, the sleepless nights, the restroom stops, the phantom contractions, the waiting.  Oh, the waiting.  Waiting on the dream to come.

And, I've been there at the bedsides of life when my friends have lost their sweet gifts.  The lives they looked forward to holding and loving in the real world slips from their hands.  I've lived their agony with them and done my best to carry them through.  My heart still breaks now as I think of those God inspired lives lost from their mothers' arms until eternity's peace brings them back again.

I've never been pregnant with a child.  I've never had that privilege.   In same ways that gift seems almost illusive.  But I have been pregnant with a dream.  In my mind this invisible pregnancy is just as real.  The joy is real.  The pain is every so real.

I've felt the agony of that dream being ripped from my soul.  I've laid on floors with my heart bare before God.  I waited up for hours in the night.  I've
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Insta-Weekend


It's been something of a busy, but oh so rewarding weekend.

+ Friday was filled with a day of travel.  I went to Paris.  Ok, not really, but kinda.  (Read more  about the Paris trip here.)  But I can say positively, for certain that I will be going to Paris for real in September 2013.  I'm incredibly excited about this news.

Pam & Jim King spoke at the event.  (You may remember Pam from her guest post here.)  This event raised over $25,000 in cash and pledges for kids camps in Europe and for missionaries going to the field.

+ Saturday was filled with my kids.  (Read more about my kids here.)  They're not really my kids, but I love them very much.  This weekend was our annual Weekend Worship Workshop with the youth team.  We had so much fun!  I had so much fun!

+ Sunday was church, obviously, and the conclusion of the Weekend Worship Workshop.  God's presence showed up in a marked way this morning.  I'm so thankful when the Holy Spirit works in and through God's people to see lives changed, healed, and transformed.

That was my weekend in a nutshell.  Here are a few more pictures from the Pink N Pretty N Paris event.  Oh, what fun we had!










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Paris Is Always a Good Idea





Tonight I'm going to Paris.

Ok. not literally, but I'm going to Paris just the same.  (In the near future I will be going to Paris, but more on that later.)

Tonight I'll be attending an event with another 1,200 ladies.  This is a fundraising event to raise money for kids camps in Europe.  It is going to be a ton of fun!

As I've been preparing, I'm finding French theme things everywhere so I'd thought I share some.

I hope you enjoy and I hope to have you back in the days to come.  More pictures are forthcoming.

Betty In Paris from Olive Us on Vimeo




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Dreams Are a Curious Thing


Dreams are a curious thing.

These gifts...these visions...these hopes have the ability to push us forward, moving us from on place to the next.  I'm sure you've heard the phrase "living on a dream."

Still, these same aberrations can paralyze us with fear.  They have an immobilizing effect.  Stand still too long and you'll find that you've taken root in the very place you planned never to live.

Or perhaps, sometimes you might find yourself in a deep night...unable to see the stars for the clouds...living in doubt fearing that the next step is your last.  Only calamity could lie ahead.

Yes, dreams are a very curious thing.

I'm what some people call a dreamer.  I have dreams--big dreams--dreams that could never happen on their own.  But for all my dreaming, I'm not a planner and far too often I find myself planted, unable to move, looking for little stars of hope, just paralyzed.

I think more than anything it's the fear that does me in.  Fear that God's dreams in my heart won't come true.  Fear that I've made it up.  Fear that I'm living a lie.  My fear that I will fail and fail miserably.

But that all is of the past.

God's word is insistently clear.  God's perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18).  So why am I afraid?  Why do I fear?  I know that "He who began a good work in [me] will be faithful to complete it" (Philippians 1:6).  His Word is light to my path.  He guides me in all things, even my dreams, and He orders my steps as I dwell in His Word (Psalm 37:23).

I've started making my plans, ever so small.  It seems these small shifts are just enough movement to shake me from my slumber and to help move me forward.  It all starts with one small step...doing what I can do and believe that God will do the rest.

I challenge you with this.  Dream big and plan small.  Start today.  Never let fear be the cause for delay.

Linking up today with Holly Garth for the 21 Days to Change Your Life Challenge.  I encourage you to read this ebook.  It's really challenging me.


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Also linking up here:
Upward Not Inward: Into the Word Wednesdays
Rethinking My Thinking: This Really Got Me
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January Sponsor Darlings + Giveaway



We've got a rockin' giveaway for you so make sure to click over and fill out the rafflecopter widget.  It's worth it!




a Rafflecopter giveaway
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5 Tips to Build Great Relationships


Life is difficult.

But what's worse than living through a hard part in life?  

Living through it alone.

The older I get the more I'm finding that life can be very difficult, but the beauty of it all is God did not create us to be alone.  He created us to live in community, first, with Him, and then with the world around us.

I'll be the first to admit, starting a friendship is hard.  Opening up is hard.  Finding like minded people who are in the same place as you is hard, but there is power in community.

We know this is God's plan for His children--to be in community with other like minded people.  There's strength in numbers.  There's hope in knowing we're not facing the enemy or the world alone.  Peter wrote this, "Stay alert!
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Saturday's Song Link Up



Join


for


***

Saturday's Song is a Blog Hop where bloggers who love Christian music share the music that God uses to speak to them! So, turn on your radio, Pandora, Jango, or pop in your favorite CD, and get your post ready for next week's Link Up!!

This goal of this Blog Hop is to broaden your view of Christian music using a different theme/challenge each week.

If you are a blogger who loves Christian
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January Must List


There are several things on this list that I'm saving my Christmas money to purchase...specifically #6.  I can't
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Up Close & Personal with Megan of Moms Surviving Kids

Up Close & Personal is a blog series where you will be introduced to bloggers that I trust and value.  I hope that you enjoy getting to know Megan.  Be sure to stop by her blog.


Hello! My name is Megan Githens and I blog over at Moms Surviving Kids! I have been lucky enough to work with Danette in the bloggy world recently. She has been amazing at helping me find avenues to grow my blog and I am grateful! Here is my Up Close and Personal Profile!

I started my blog just this past November, I wanted to find a way to share my thoughts on Motherhood and raising kids and surviving it all. I blog about real life from the viewpoints of a mom, a counselor and a
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Almost Friday Blog Hop

and now it's time for...
"Almost Friday" Thursday Blog Hop!

 
=====

Almost Friday Thursday BlogHop
1. add the Almost Friday Thursday Blog Hop button to site or blog post.
2. "like" or follow the host and all of these lovely co-hosts on facebook and/or follow them of GFC!*
3. link up your blog, blog post, giveaway down below and make new friends! go visit old friends! follow!
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Bedsides


So much of my life leads me to bedsides.

It's a funny thing these places.  Sobering and joyful...full of life and full of life's final rest.

At the bedside there's rejoicing as a new bundle of joy enters life with tears and hope that tomorrow will be brighter.  At bedsides there's the beauty
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DIY Valentine's Day Heart Garland


Today I'm so excited to share with you a DIY that I've been working of for a year.  No, the project isn't a year long extensive project.  It's just that I didn't finish any part of it to this year.

One of my favorite things about the holidays is decorating and making an blank space new with fresh elements.  Since Valentine's Day is the next decorating friendly holiday I decided to get a head start and finish this project that I started last year.

Here's what you need:
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Saturday's Songs Link Up

We have been growing by leaps and bounds.  Thank you for linking up and sharing this link up!


Join


for


***

Saturday's Song is a Blog Hop where bloggers who love Christian music share the music that God uses to speak to them! So, turn on your radio, Pandora, Jango, or pop in your favorite CD, and get your post ready for next week's Link Up!!

This goal of this
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Up Close and Personal with Heather Lawless

I'm so excited to introduce you to a new series starting today.  Up Close and Personal is a chance for me to introduce you some of my blog friends.  I really think that you're going to enjoy this series.

(You may remember a few other of my blog friends: Brit, Lauren, and Jennifer.)

I know that I'm always looking for new bloggers to follow and connect with.  If I am surely some of you may be too.  The bloggers that I introduce you to in this series are trust ladies.  I value the content of their blogs and find them to be uplifting and encouraging individuals.

The plan is to have a blogger to introduce to you every Thursday so make sure you come back every week.


I was first introduced to Heather through my sister, Dalayna.  Heather hosted a giveaway on her blog.  I started exploring the Lawless Life and realized that Heather and I have a lot in common.   

She loves Jesus.  She loves her family.  She believes in life.  She believes that women have the power to create the world they want to live it.  Oh, and she loves to shop. 

Make sure to stop by her blog.  And if you're looking for Thirty-One products she's got them!


So without further ado, I give you Heather from the Lawless Life.


Happy New Year little love bugs!

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The Desktop

In the new year, I'd say that most people (especially ladies) plan how they are going to clean and organize there life.  Is that just me or is it true?

Anyway, I'm one of those ladies.

I started out my new year organizing my desk.  Unfortunately for me my home office is in by bedroom.  It's a necessity.


While I'm fairly happy with the results I do wish that I could create more room to house all my creativity.  Obviously, that's impossible.

I've collected a few looks for you to view.  Hopefully they will help you as
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Come Link Up for the Almost Friday Blog Hop

and now it's time for...
"Almost Friday" Thursday Blog Hop!

 
=====

Almost Friday Thursday BlogHop
1. add the Almost Friday Thursday Blog Hop button to site or blog post.
2. "like" or follow the host and all of these lovely co-hosts on facebook and/or follow them of GFC!*
3. link up your blog, blog post, giveaway down below and make new friends! go visit old friends! follow! comment! spread the love!

4. and have fun! why? because it's almost Friday!

*also, to make sure things are fair, blogs who do not "like" and/or follow the host and all the co-host will be removed.

your host:


meet this week's simply awesome GUEST co-host!
want to be a guest co-host? click here!


 

and now meet the ever so lovely the regular crew:






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30 Before 30 in the New Year

This year I celebrate my 30th year.  (Read about my 29th year here. It was the beginning of my blogging adventure.)  There are quite a few things that I've accomplished in these 30 years.  Some I'm quite proud over.  Others...not so much.  But there's a few things that I want to do before I turn 30.

God told Habukkuk to write the vision and make it plain which is a lot out of context here; however, there is some good in making plans and writing them down.  You have to do it.

I've decided to save the bigger things for my 35 list (more on that later), but for now these will do.

+ Join a Gym
+ Take a college course
+ Visit an exhibit at the Philbrook Museum
+ Take a cooking class
+ Lose 20 pounds (The irony, I know.)
+ Attend a musical
+ No diet coke (Awwww! What am I doing?)
+ Take a weekend trip to Fort Smith, Arkansas
+ Read a book a week (Check out this Pinterest board.)
+ Write at least 1 hand written note to a friend every week
+ Have a high school reunion dinner
+ Visit my sister, Destiny, in Oklahoma City
+ Eat at the Rusty Crane
+ Attend a class at the gym once a week (Zumba here we come!)
+ Visit my alma mater at least once
+ Call my grandparents (both sets) at least once a week
+ Eat at Elote Cafe and Catering
+ Save at least $500
+ Try Gluten free (Let's see what that does to me.)
+ Buy something from Saks Fifth Avenue
+ Eat at Lola's
+ Do one Pinterest project every week
+ Get up at 6am or earlier every morning except Saturdays
+ Go to the Tulsa Ballet
+ Drink 8 glasses of water everyday
+ Eat out only twice a week
+ Pay off one credit card
+ Read every magazine I subscribe to
+ Hook up my wireless printer
+ Always have fresh flowers in my surroundings

That's it...My 30 before 30.  They're all seemingly small, but I only have a few months to do them.

Gotta go now.  I have to finish all of the diet coke in my house before midnight!

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