Sunday, November 24, 2013


I am so disappointed I never finished out my 31 Days series. Life got busy and I never got a chance to get back to it. I have been busy finishing stuff around the house, cleaning out stuff we don't need anymore, and trying to make things look pretty around here.

At this time of year I always have so many things I could share here, but never seem to get the time to do so. So this year I am going to try.

I'll start with a quick recap from Halloween:

Batgirl and Ariel.

Mummy tealight holder.  


Here in Texas we have enjoyed the most beautiful Fall this year. We have been here for 12 years, and I think this is the most perfect Fall I have ever seen. The weather has been so perfect - mild for a long time. Usually we go from 100+ degrees, to maybe one week of 70's (if we are lucky), then straight to the 40's, and ice! But we have been so blessed this year with perfect weather and enough time to soak it all in.

And the trees this year have been so spectacular! We always hear how beautiful the autumn colors are up north - ours usually go from green, to orange/yellow for a couple of days, then straight to drab brown. But this year we got to experience the full beauty of Autumn colors - reds, yellows, orange - all so vibrant under the bright blue skies of Texas.

Early Fall - beautiful blue skies and perfect weather.

Spectacular Autumn foliage - this tree just shinned so bright - breathtaking!

So I took the time to prepare my house for this beautiful season.

Antlers seem to be the big thing this Fall season.

So in love with these beautiful Fall flowers.

Side table with Fall colors and the bible from my Mum.

Mantle - antlers are always big around here!

Sideboard decorated with pumpkins and pinecones.

Look at these beautiful Sunflowers!! GGGGorgeous!!!

Pumpkin wooden bowl - inspired by Jeanne Oliver's Home For The Holidays e-course (SO awesome).

Added a blackboard to the kitchen - I get the top half, the girls get the lower half :)

I have so much more to clean out of this house (it is ridiculous!!). I really want to get it all done so I can relax and fully enjoy this holiday season. Next weekend I want to get all my Christmas stuff down from the attic, so we can start on our Advent calendar/tree. The girls loved doing this last year, so we are really looking forward to it again.

Trying hard to install the true meaning of Christmas without the emphasis being on us, and what we get for Christmas. So far we have put together three shoeboxes for the Operation Christmas Child campaign. We completed one shoebox online, and the other two shoeboxes we did together. We stuffed those shoeboxes so full of love and goodness and our love of Christ - I hope the boxes manage to hold up for their long journey. Trying to explain the process (why we are doing this) to the girls without crying was difficult. They love the idea that they get to make another child so happy this Christmas...and that is what it is all about, right?

Operation Christmas Child - hope our boxes make it intact. They were packed TIGHT!

Well, I have so much more to do...and more to share, but that is all for today otherwise I could go on for hours. Tomorrow I will share our fun family Thanksgiving get-together (we do this the weekend before Thanksgiving, each year) - it is so much fun (although this year it was also FREEZING cold!!).

Until tomorrow...

Thankful for my family, and sweet friends.

Thankful for my warm house, and nutritious meals.

Thankful for the opportunity to live this life to the fullest,

...and to share His love.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

31 Days to a Happier Life - Day 24

Today is our 15th Wedding Anniversary!

And our 21st year together.

Through hard times, and the struggles...

Through fun adventures, and hopeful endeavours...

Through heartbreak, and promises fulfilled...

Through strong faith and a steadfast commitment...

                  ...we have endured and continue to grow together.

I pray we always listen.

I pray we always talk.

I pray we always consider the bigger picture, before ourselves.

I love this quote he sent me awhile back...seems perfect for us. So, today we celebrate.

{this is from his email}:

made me think of us…

“I’m going to tell you something really subverse. Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it… It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, and risking everything for. And if you don’t risk everything, you risk even more.”

- Erica Jong

Today is also my late mother-in-law's birthday - we miss her so much! The girls were really young when she passed, but still remember her. We strengthen their memory of her by talking about her often, retelling stories, looking at photos, so she is never far from our thoughts. She is still a strong thread in the daily weave of our lives. And her name lives on in my youngest daughter.

So today, Nana, we celebrate your birthday too. xxxooo


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

31 Days to a Happier Life - Day 23

One half of the room is organized and pretty!

Other half to go.

I can feel my anxiety level go down and can breathe a little better!

Still more to go - will post pics when I'm done.


Here are a few sneak peeks :)

31 Days to a Happier Life - Day 22

Having a hard time catching up. Trying to work on implementing some of  my post items in our life.

Today, I'm tackling this!! UGGHHHH......

I have realized that this mess is taking a lot of time away from my family, especially from the girls. It has become my excuse each day NOT to do other activities:

    "No, we can't go to the Pumpkin Patch today because I need to clean my office."

    "No, we can't make the craft today, because I need to clean up my desk."

Well, enough is enough! It is going to be hard, but I HAVE TO DO IT!

So, today and tomorrow, this mess will be conquered!!

And that will make us all happy!

Monday, October 21, 2013

31 Days to a Happier Life - Day 21

Looking good.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. True. But it also feels good to look good. Getting out of my sweatpants and into jeans and a nice shirt makes me feel like I have made a little extra effort to look nicer. Not just for me, but for my husband, for my kids, for anyone else who sees me. So, most days I will try to make a little effort to look nice (at some point in the day - hehehe).

There are lots of people who do the What-I-Wore-Wednesday blog posts. Some work, some stay at home, some are casual, some beautifully fashionable. One that I really like (because it is more my style) is The Pleated Poppy' s What I Wore. Another one (more stylish and exclusively just fashion-related) is Rachel Parcell's Pink Peonies. Both worth checking out.

I think it helps to have some inspiration to look to when you want to dress. I know the last thing on my mind is what I'm going to wear tomorrow. After dinner, and getting the kids in bed, and tiding up, and 5 minutes to myself, I pretty exhausted. So having a little inspiration always helps.

Any time I see an outfit I like, or reminds me of something I could pull together from my own wardrobe, I save it. Check out my pinterest boards for different season fashion - Autumn, Winter, Spring, Summer. Lots of fun outfits to draw inspiration from. And it has really helped me pick up my game in the fashion department.

You don't have to spend a fortune on your wardrobe. Find things that fit your budget and lifestyle. Add items when you can. A new scarf can do wonders to any outfit, and are not that expensive. TJ Maxx, Ross, Marshalls, Target are all good options too. Don't be afraid to mix and match items from new and old. Cool vintage pieces from secondhand store or ebay will really show your personality.

But most of all have fun!

Some of my What-I-Wore...

31 Days to a Happier Life - Day 20

Being pretty. Part 2.

In the last post we discussed being pretty on the inside, and how that radiates outwards to make you beautiful on the outside. An all important issue, especially these days when confidence in our kids is hitting an all time low. All kids need to be made to feel special, and loved, and beautiful. Think about their strong points and highlight them regularly. My youngest is so sweet and says the sweetest, kindest things to me that make me feel so loved. So I tell her she is the sweetest kid in the world. My oldest is a great helper, and such a good kid. So I tell her she is my best helper ever, and is such a good example to her little sister. It makes them so happy to hear such things, and makes them want to do it more.

It is important to highlight each others good features. To talk about them. Compliment them. Reinforce them, often. It makes the recipient feel good about themselves. Makes them feel confident in who they are, and makes them feel loved.

It is often the one thing that goes overlooked. Think about it in these terms - What is my husband good at? What is his best personality feature? This week, I'm going to think about him, write down a list of good things about him, and pick out a few to compliment him on. It will make him feel good, loved and thought about, and it will bring my focus back to someone I love. 

Then, the next week, it could be your sister, or your Mom, or your best friend. I think it would be fun to pick one person each week to focus on, do something special for (maybe write them a sweet note, or send a little gift, or call to tell them you really appreciate their...?? whatever).

Spread the beauty.

Spread the love.

31 Days to a Happier Life - Day 19

Being pretty.

Being pretty is more than how we look, it is also how we look at the world, and at other people. If we show grace, and kindness, and manners, then it doesn't matter if our hair is messy or our clothes don't match. It is the beauty of what is on the inside that will shine out and light up our world.

Life is not a popularity contest, or a beauty contest. God loves us all the same.

I always tell my girls that they are beautiful, but being beautiful on the inside is way more important than being beautiful on the outside. They are "beautiful on the inside" when they show kindness, and are understanding and compassionate. This beauty isn't gene-based, it is being-raised-right-based. Anyone, anywhere, at anytime can show this kind of beauty. You don't need the right jeans, or shoes, or makeup, just the right attitude.

When the girls go somewhere to play I always remind them to look for the kids no one is playing with and invite them to play with you. Sometimes other people are shy, just like you, so they will need an extra hand to help them feel included and loved.

Being pretty on the inside makes me a lot happier than focusing on being pretty on the outside. People with a welcoming smile, a kind gentle manner are always the type of person I look up to.

I hope I raise two sweet, kind, curtiuos girls, who will be accepting of everyone, hopefully be leading by example. As a shy person, I find it really hard to break out of my shell, but for them I try extra hard.

When my youngest tells me I'm so much prettier without makeup, I know I'm on the right track :)