Thursday, May 1, 2014

I Have An Etsy Shop!

That's right! I opened an etsy shop! You might remember that Maggie & I had an online store for a while, but we decided to close it. For a while now, I've been thinking/praying about opening one again, and decided to go for it! I've been having fun with it, and hope you like what you see too!

You may notice that I've added a few things to my blog that are shop related. There's the "E" button in my social media icons that'll take you to my shop. There's also a new tab up above called "Why 'Bliss'?" that explains why I chose Bliss for the name. Be sure to go read that!

If you're on FB, go like Bliss Boutique to be entered in a giveaway! If you share Bliss Boutique on FB you'll receive another entry!

While you're at it you might as well like It's A Wonderful Life on FB too! :)

To make it are the links:

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

365 Days of Thanks // Week 17

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4.23.14 - Friendships that pick back up where you left off. 
4.24.24 - A fun time watching B's first tball game. 
4.25.14 - Fresh air. 
4.26.14 - A successful wedding shopping day!
4.27.14 - Music 
4.28.14 - God's faithfulness

What are you thankful for?

"Remember his marvellous works that he hath done;..."  Psalm 105:5a

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Frumpy to Feminine // Denim Skirt

{I love a good rainy day! It reminds me of living on Whidbey Island!}

Everyone has articles of clothing that they would consider 'staples' in their wardrobe. Mine would definitely have to be a denim skirt. They are so versatile; they can be dressed up or down. 

Modest and classy denim skirts can be hard to come by. When I find one that I like, it's worth it to me to fork out the money for the price tag that goes with it. I'm still on the lookout for a non-frumpy long denim skirt...those seem harder to find.

Shirt: Old Navy // Skirt: Chadwicks // Scarf: Target // Shoes: Rocket Dog {} // Earrings: Melissa Rae Murphey Designs

Monday, April 28, 2014

365 Days of Thanks // Week 16

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4.16.14 - The special bond found in a sister
4.17.14 - Natural allergy medicine
4.18.14 - The opportunities being single has allowed
4.19.14 - Maggie's surprise was pulled off! Click HERE to read about it!
4.20.14 - Christ is RISEN!!
4.21.14 - Indoor plumbing
4.22.14 - Rain

What are you thankful for?

"I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works."  Psalm 9:1

Monday, April 21, 2014

Frumpy to Feminine // Navy & Nude

I've decided to add a new feature to my blog -- outfit posts. Here are my thoughts...

Yes, there are plenty of others out there posting pictures of their outfits, but it's not always my style. We are all so unique and have different senses of style. I enjoy getting ideas from others, and so I thought maybe posting some of my outfits could inspire you! 

I also hope to not only encourage you to dress modestly, but femininely! Some of the outfits I see that are labeled 'modest' are kind of frumpy to me. Dressing modestly can be a challenge sometimes, but it doesn't mean you have to be frumpy. Let's throw out the potato sacks and wear clothes that are flattering and feminine! God specifically designed you to be a beautiful woman -- be proud of that! With so much gender confusion these days, I hope there's never any question by the way I dress, act, and present myself that I'm a lady!  

I'm going to warn you, the pictures are probably going to be a little awkward until I get the hang of it. Haha! I decided to go ahead and throw in some out-takes just to keep it real. It was awkward enough trying to figure out how to pose, so why not add the others. :) 

This is what I wore for Resurrection Sunday. A classic pencil skirt is one of my go to Sunday staples, and at the suggestion of a friend I bought a navy blue one recently which I love! I especially love the look of nude pumps with a navy skirt. I knew immediately that I wanted to pair the two of them together, and I love the result. 

With spring here and summer quickly approaching, I wanted to give my cardigans a break and start wearing warm weather friendly tops. I stepped outside of my 'box' and purchased a few tops that look more polished when tucked in, and am liking the look and feel of sophistication it brings.

Top: Liz Claiborne {JcPenny's} // Skirt: Liz Claiborne {JcPenny's} // Shoes: Madden Girl {} // Earrings: Forever 21

With my trusty photographer ;) 

Love it or hate it, hopefully you at least got a good laugh!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

365 Days of Thanks // Week 15

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4.9.14 - Signs of spring everywhere!
4.10.14 - My brother and sister
4.11.14 - Financial help for dr bill was accepted and balance is ZERO! Praise the Lord!
4.12.14 - B got to go on visitation with us, and his excitement inviting people to church
4.13.14 - The church buying Greg Howlett's Piano DVD course
4.14.14 - Picnic weather
4.15.14 - Christ dying on the cross for MY sins!

What are you thankful for?

"Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people."  1 Chronicles 16:8

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Determining God's Will

You hear of a need. Your heart goes out to it and you want to help. But wait, is it just your emotions talking? Or is it the Holy Spirit prompting you? Sometimes as women, since we are such emotional creatures, it can be hard to decipher between our emotions and the leading of the Holy Spirit. 

This is where I have found myself for the past month or so. We support a missionary that has a ministry to the blind. For a week in May they hold a camp and need 'guides' to help the campers get around. In one of their prayer letters they shared the need for more guides this year. I began to pray for them that the Lord would provide, while also praying that the Lord would show me if it was something that He wanted me to be involved in and that if it was His will He would work out all the details. For weeks it was on my heart and I didn't have a clear answer. Was the Lord keeping it on my heart because He wanted me to do it, or because He wanted me to keep praying for them? I finally decided that since I didn't feel strongly about it, I would just forget about it.  

Then for several days through my Bible reading the term 'blind' kept popping up. If it was just once I would have thought it only a coincidence, but it was MULTIPLE times! It seemed as if maybe the Lord was saying, "I don't want you to forget about this!" So I decided to e-mail the camp director and find out if they even needed guides anymore. My e-mail was very vague (haha!) because at that point I still wasn't 100% sure about it. I simply let him know we were praying for their ministry and inquired if they had a good group of campers and guides signed up for camp, and also if there were any specific needs we could pray for. The next morning I received a reply back thanking me for our prayers and asking prayer for one matter - they still needed one lady guide! I don't think it could have been any more clear as to what my answer from the Lord was! 

But then there was the matter of finances. My week would be paid for by the camp, but I didn't have the money or time to come up with the money for a plane ticket. As I had been praying about it, I told the Lord if He wanted me to go He was going to have to provide the way.

I shared with my parents all that had transpired (I hadn't shared anything with them up until this point), and they agreed that it definitely seemed like the Lord was in this. My dad and I then shared the need with my pastor, and of course he was very excited at the opportunity to help our missionary and told me not to worry about the money. I left with instructions to find out all of the details and then he would talk to the men in the church about paying for my ticket, because it would be a missions trip of sort out of our church. Praise the Lord!

I e-mailed the missionary back letting him know I was willing to come, and after filling out an application we spoke on the phone discussing more details about what being a guide entails. It was towards the end of the conversation he proceeded to tell me that not only were they paying for my week at camp, but they were also going to pay for my airfare! Praise the Lord again!!

It's been neat to see God unfold His plan for all of this. I went from not being sure about it, to seeing door after door open up confirming it was indeed His will for me to go! 

In one month I'll be on my way to the state of Texas! I know it's going to be a great experience, and am looking forward to seeing what God's going to do!

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Last Days of Winter

A few highlights from the past couple months...

Youth Conference

Broom hockey at the conference

I had fun planning decorations for our Valentines Banquet!

Valentines tulips from my parents ;)

Spending some time outside in the winter sunshine


Birthday cupcakes with the kids

Birthday manicure...have you ever tried shellac? It lasts for 2 weeks!

We had a great group out for girls' Bible study!

I've had a couple of custom orders lately, and am excited to get back into crocheting again!

Celebrated B & J's birthdays

As much fun as we had during winter, I'm glad those days are behind us and we're now enjoying beautiful spring weather! 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

365 Days of Thanks // Week 14

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4.2.14 - New cousins!
4.3.14 - Pizza
4.4.14 - Four new girls at Bible Study!!
4.5.14 - Computers
4.6.14 - A great start to our Missions Conference
4.7.14 - Clear direction as to God's will concerning a certain matter (click here for post!)
4.8.14 - Sweet fellowship with visiting preachers and their families

What are you thankful for?

"O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people."
Psalm 105:1

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Hair Update [April]

April: 22 1/2 inches

Here we are a couple months later. I tried to make the pictures as close as possible so we could get a good idea of how much my hair has grown. I got a tiny trim a few weeks ago, but it still looks like it has grown a little bit - it's hard to know for sure. I think the biggest difference is in my layers! I decided to start measuring it to help determine it's growth better. It's getting so long! I'm looking forward to cutting it and having it go towards a good cause!

Click HERE for the post on my decision to donate my hair

Monday, April 7, 2014

365 Days of Thanks // Week 13

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3.26.14 - For the desk I was given
3.27.14 - The opportunity to invest in the kids lives during their formative years
3.28.14 - The opportunity to go to SPARK (ladies conference)
3.29.14 - A fun time with the ladies from church
3.30.14 - My Sunday School class
3.31.14 - A fun time surprising Kim for her birthday
4.1.14 - New shoes

What are you thankful for?

"I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people. "
Psalm 35:18

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

365 Days of Thanks // Weeks 11,12

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3.12.14 - Sunshine!
3.13.14 - A fun party day with the kids celebrating B & J's birthdays
3.14.14 - The opportunity to earn some extra money
3.15.14 - Family day
3.16.14 - Messages that aren't 'sugar-coated'
3.17.14 - Josh getting home from Africa safefly
3.18.14 - Tastebuds-so I can enjoy all of the various flavors food has to offer :)
3.19.14 - Answered prayer today!
3.20.14 - Spring!
3.21.14 - Fresh fruit and vegetables
3.22.14 - That we were able to go to Casey & Lauren's wedding
3.23.14 - A message that served as a good reminder that Hell is real and people are going there if we don't reach them with the Gospel
3.24.14 - A weekend spend with Josh & Liz!
3.25.14 - The opportunity to work from home

What are you thankful for?

"Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name."
I Chronicles 29:13

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

365 Days of Thanks // Weeks 9,10

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2.26.14 - An encouraging message on faith-filled, persistent prayer.
2.27.14 - Hugs and snuggles from the kids. 
2.28.14 - Another year of life and a great 26th year!
3.1.14 - My wonderful family and friends who made me feel so special today! 
3.2.14 - A living God!
3.3.14 -  My Etsy gift card
3.4.14 - Heating pads - perfect for aches and pains, or even to warm you up. 
3.5.14 - Pinterest - great place for inspiration 
3.6.14 - The simplicity of a cardboard box to bring hours of entertainment for the kids! 
3.7.14 - SIX girls at Bible study! Biggest group yet! 
3.8.14 - Grandmas who taught me how to crochet. 
3.9.14 - Vehicles
3.10.14 - Good, clean entertainment found in "I Love Lucy" :)
3.11.14 - Our monthly ladies Bible Fellowship

What are you thankful for?

"I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O LORD; for it is good."
Psalm 54:6

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

365 Days of Thanks // Weeks 6,7,8

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**Obviously I'm a little behind posting these. I haven't been feeling well for the past several weeks and have been lacking motivation to post, but I have been continuing to reflect daily on what I'm thankful for even though it's taken longer to get it on the blog. Here's an update to catch us up!**

2.5.14 - A fireplace to heat things up on a cold night. 
2.6.14 - Saving money by switching to a different phone plan!
2.7.14 - In-home washer and dryer. 
2.8.14 - That God knows what my future holds, and it's better than I could ever plan for myself. 
2.9.14 - Receiving Benjamin Everson's new CD as a gift. 
2.10.14 - A supportive family. 
2.11.14 - The time we had with Jonathan - it was Maggie's last day watching him.
2.12.14 - Being able to go to church and for everyone who rallied together to help me decorate for the Valentines Banquet. 
2.13.14 - That God loves me and never fails, even though I fail Him all the time. 
2.14.14 - Modern medicine. 
2.15.14 - Massage chairs. 
2.16.14 - The missions house at church that we're able to spend Sunday afternoons in since we live 30 minutes away. 
2.17.14 - For feeling pretty good most of the day!
2.18.14 - Mom and Maggie's safety traveling. 
2.19.14 - A message on faith - just what I needed!
2.20.14 - Answered prayer - even when the outcome isn't what I expected. 
2.21.14 - Sticker books that hold the kids' attention for a while. :)
2.22.14 - Days of rest. 
2.23.14 - Naps. 
2.24.14 - Easy Mondays. 
2.25.14 - Increased energy

What are you thankful for?

"I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people."
Psalm 35:18

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

365 Days of Thanks || Week 5

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1.29.14 - Time spent playing in the snow and making a snowman with the kids. 
1.30.14 - The beauty of snow...I love watching it snow!
1.31.14 - A flexible job. 
2.1.14 - The opportunity to go with the teens on their weekend youth rally, and that one of them got saved!
2.2.14 - For my brother and the godly man he has become. {Happy Birthday!!}
2.3.14 - Audio Bible...a great way to get in some Bible time when sick. 
2.4.14 - A dad that has always been faithful to work hard and provide for our family. 

What are you thankful for?

"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;"
I Timothy 2:1

Thursday, January 30, 2014

To Chop or Not To Chop

I tend to go through 'hair phases'. I had short hair for quite a while, and then I decided to grow it out. There have been a couple of times that I went short again, but I didn't like the cut and could help but feel like I looked 16 so I grew it out again. It's a vicious cycle. Haha! Currently my hair is at the longest I think it's ever been and I see all these adorable cuts and want to try short hair again, but I'm scared I won't like it, not to mention it's taken quite a bit of time to get it this long.

But then I became inspired by a post I saw on Instagram. I've decided to continue to grow my hair out and then sometime next year I'm going to chop it off -- I'm going to donate it! What better reason to cut it off, than to give it to an organization that makes wigs for cancer patients. And...if I hate it, I can rest assured that it went for a good cause!

I thought it would be fun to kind of update my hair growth progress until I donate it. So here's how long it is now, and I'll probably update every few months or so. I'll also be researching organizations and deciding/praying about which one I want to give to.

Have you ever donated your hair?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

365 Days of Thanks || Week 4

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1.22.14 - An encouraging sermon - challenging me to make sure I'm giving my best to the Lord!
1.23.14 - Skype/Google Hangout
1.24.14 - Reconnecting with a former student. She was in the kindergarten class that I subbed in before I started teaching on my own. I feel old! lol
1.25.14 - The opportunity to teach piano lessons.
1.26.14 - One of our teen girls came to church after being away for 1 1/2 years! Praise the Lord!
1.27.14 - My God provides for all of my needs!
1.28.14 - Peace that passes all understanding!

What are you thankful for?

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 
Colossians 3:15

Thursday, January 23, 2014

365 Days of Thanks || Week 3

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1.15.14 - Cows...because they give milk, and milk makes ice cream! :)
1.16.14 - My wonderful, loving parents. They're the best!
1.17.14 - The weekends
1.18.14 - Nail polish. Such a small thing can instantly make you feel girly. 
1.19.14 - The great church the Lord has us in
1.20.14 - That our Pastor's wife is improving from her pneumonia, and hasn't needed to be transferred to a bigger hospital. (Update: she was able to go home!)
1.21.14 - A God that we can trust! He'll never leave us or forsake us! (Heb 13:5)

What are you thankful for?

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 
Psalm 100:4

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Different World

I grew up in a Christian home where the Bible was read and consulted for life's problems. We went to church on Sundays and Wednesdays and any other special times the doors were open. I attended youth group and the many fellowships, camps, conferences, and missions trips that were offered. I will forever be grateful for the life the Lord blessed me with. 

Before you think I lived a perfect life, I'll be the first to tell you it wasn't. I had my share of mess ups despite my 'sheltered' upbringing. I made decisions and acted in ways I wish I had done differently, but praise God for His mercy and forgiveness during those times!

As I look back at the way I was brought up, my heart is burdened. It's burdened for the youth in our church that aren't getting the same upbringing I did. You see, with the exception of a few occasional appearances, none of their parents come to church. They're being taught the Bible for a couple of hours a week at church and bombarded with worldly influences for the rest of it. They don't have someone in their home to say, 'let's pray about this matter you're struggling with' or 'what does the Bible have to say about this?' They're the only ones getting up for church in the morning while everyone else sleeps in. Instead of being encouraged to attend all youth activities, I imagine it's more like 'Well, if that's the way you want to spend your weekend, go ahead.'

In the past year, the Lord has really been showing me how important it is to invest in our youth - particularly our girls, since I can't really invest in the guys as a single woman. :) They need someone they can look up to for an example of how to live a godly life as a young woman, and that it's a good thing to be a feminine woman in this increasingly gender-confused world. They need someone who can pray with them and share Scriptures with them about things they are struggling with. They need someone to encourage them and cheer them on to do what's right when everyone else around them says, 'Give in to the temptations. God isn't worth your time.' They need someone to show them just how special they are and how much God loves them and how He wants to be a part of their lives.

I pray I can be that someone in their lives. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

365 Days of Thanks || Week 2

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1.8.14 - We got snow! It's not much, but it's snow!! (It melted a few days
1.9.14 - For all those years of piano lessons - even if I didn't like it at the time
1.10.14 - Good health. Though there's times I may not be feeling well, it could always be worse.
1.11.14 - My KitchenAid mixer
1.12.14 - Lunch out with one of the teen girls
1.13.14 - Even though I'd love snow, I'm thankful for the warmer weather we had today making it possible for the kids to play outside for a while.
1.14.14 - That my mom (and Mrs. D. through HomeEc) took the time to teach me how to cook. 

What are you thankful for?

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:
Psalm 92:1

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

365 Days of Thanks || Week 1

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1.1.14 - A day spent with friends
1.2.14 - One on one time with Braxton
1.3.14 - Three girls came to our monthly tween/teen girl Bible study
1.4.14 - This challenge - it has made me reflect more throughout the day of the things I'm thankful for
1.5.14 - One of my Sunday School girls felt like she could talk to me about something she's been struggling with
1.6.14 - The opportunity to watch and invest in the lives of these two precious children 
1.7.14 - The experience and knowledge I gained working as a church secretary for 5 years that I'm now able to use in my new church

What are you thankful for?

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
1 Chronicles 16:34

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A Few Things Christmas Related...

I made my very first burlap wreath! I love it so much!

We had an ugly sweater Christmas party ;)

In our Christmas jammies...haha!

Christmas Day!

Tessa & I have been having fun playing piano duets together recently. Here's one that we played in December.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Challenge: 365 days of thanks

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Welcome to 2014! I can't believe it's here! This year I want to purpose to be more thankful. I want to reflect on every day and find something to be thankful for. There's going to be good days and not so good days, but there's always something to be thankful for!

So my challenge to myself is to post weekly what I've been thankful for in that past week. At the end of the year I'll have 52 posts and 365 things I'm thankful for (that I've written at least!).

You can join in too! If you have a blog and write a post about it, leave a link to your post in the comments. If you don't have a blog (or don't want to do a post), you can put what you're thankful for in the comments! I'd love to hear what you're thankful for!

Here's to a year of thanks! Happy New Year!

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
I Thessalonians 5:18
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