Perfect Fireside Candle + Essential Oil Blend

candle

There is something magical about the change of the seasons. Just on the hind legs of summer, it appears God has ushered in the autumn season. Brilliant colored leaves start to fall on the earth and the cool wind whips your face.

That smell of campfires in the distance pervade your senses. You want to bottle that scent and bring the campfire indoors with you. Plaid shirt and riding boots, you can be an adventurer in your own home to the flicker of a candle.

Check out Parachute’s blended collection of natural scented candles. Seriously, if you like the idea of writing in peace with the glow of the candle in the background, their candle collection draws inspiration from the outdoors.

The fire is the main comfort of the camp, whether in summer or winter, and is about as ample at one season as at another.  It is as well for cheerfulness as for warmth and dryness. – Henry David Thoreau

For only $24 (and $12 for the travel tin) you can bring the scents of warm amber, vetiver and musk to your home. Whether entertaining or just making the house smell like an outdoor experience for your family, others are sure to enjoy this autumn smell.

Vetiver is a very grounding and calming essential oil. It is said to support those recovering from trauma or dealing with stress, and may aide in sleep.

Moms – this is also an oil that is used for ADHD children! Light this little soy beauty up after school to calm the little ones down.

It’s the season to sit by a warm campfire, so bring the bonfire inside with this beautiful candle and skip the bug bites.

Thinking about presents for ladies and loved ones? Parachute also sells bed linens and will donate one life-saving bed net for every Venice sleep-set sold.

Check out Parachute online. You will like their clean, crisp designs.

www.parachutehome.com

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Turning 30 – The Trials, Truths and Hopeful Joys

icecreamToday, I am 30. I know a woman has been taught never to reveal her age (maybe that is a southern concept – or a universal one, I don’t know). But today – I embrace this number with open arms.

This number does define me.

That’s probably not what you expected to hear. In fact, it joyously tells me that I have lived life thus far– succeeded in many things; yet fallen down and learned the hard way in others.

I have worn pride like a badge at times only to realize this bitter emblem does not incite accolades; but, it enlists true upset. I have learned the power in embracing humility and pure wonderment – for this life is not our own. It’s truly centered on loving God and others. A simple concept to fully adopt and one that I still struggle to grasp as the world keeps feverishly spinning.

In a superficial sense, you learn high heels are not that cute if they are hurting your feet and thicker heels or wedges might be a better option – or flats for that matter.

You understand that you don’t have to dress perfectly every single day of the week and that no-makeup weekends are kind of a life saver.

You realize your worth is not found in your appearance, it’s buried in your heart.

You appreciate the value of a well cooked healthy meal and its ability to free you from packing on the pounds. It becomes clear that exercise is not just for the vain – but actually needed for a healthy lifestyle.

Handwritten thank you notes touch your heart more than before because you understand that person’s time and attention was poured into penning that ink scribed letter to you.

Clubs with loud music and the chaotic dating scene is trivial. The desire for a movie or documentary, glass of champagne and dinner at home with a loved one is the best notion imagined.

This milestone date has taught me about myself. It’s opened my eyes to listen and read the words inscribed on my soul and not in the instruction manuals of busy, top-tier climb-the-ladder lives.

It has made me realize my limitations and what is best is sometimes not what I selfishly desire. It has made me cling to God. The older I get the more I look to Him because I realize how fleeting life truly is and just how much I need the help of the one that designed me!

As the years pass, you see your sweet girlfriends give birth to new life. They become mamas to teeny hands and feet. Bodies once lined with cross-strap designer purses, their flesh temples now hold a baby firmly in place and dear to their hearts.

You see people you love and admire age. Their feet shuffle instead of sprint and those luscious strands of hair turn shades of gray and white. Your attend your grandmother’s funeral and think of banana splits out by the marigold lined pool – when life appeared to be so carefree. But, it wasn’t you see, in age you learn life goes on.

This is the cycle, and it is more beneficial to embrace it then stand motionless in fear of pain and uncertainty – because you are going to feel it. It’s unavoidable. You are given years on this soil to love, listen and breathe in the light of your maker.

Life isn’t about the things you mark off the bucket list; but, it’s about the difference you’ve made.

This is the truth that has hit me as this new decade hones in and that number befalls me. Looking back at twenty-something me, I wish I could have told her these truths, and tried to tell this star-searching girl not to rush the process; but, to live and breathe in the beauty of Christ – because he does make all things beautiful in his time.

I am proud to say I am thirty today. I am excited about the years to come.

Though, there have been heartaches, setbacks and disappointments, there have also been delights, tears of joy and fulfillment. It is my prayer that as each year passes, God’s wisdom will wash over my life in waves that make me stand in awe of his splendor and learn more truths of his goodness – because it’s endless.

Cheers to those thirty-years-old today! Keep living, loving and giving.

DIY New Years Eve Party Ideas

Welp, it’s a new year y’all. 2015 is here, can you believe it? I can’t. Seems like this year has flown by like the speed of light. Wasn’t I just making my last year’s resolutions?

At any rate, lots of people throw parties on NYE. However, with the holidays, it kind of sneaks up on you! Here are some cute, simple ideas to bring a little sparkle and shine to your party this year with minimal effort. These easy ideas take no time at all and look oh-so-stylish.

NYE Party Hats

DIY-Holiday-Party-Hats

Who does not like to dress up on NYE? Well, with these cute little party hats, everyone can look festive as they watch the ball drop in Times Square. Click here for instructions on how to make these party hats.

Fortune Cookie Champagne Glasses

fortune cookie

Need a little garnish on the tops of those pretty champagne glasses? Look no further than a simple fortune cookie. Not only does it look chic, your guests can read their fortunes for the new year at the stroke of midnight.

Glitter Champagne Bottles

glitter bottle

All you need is spray glue and glitter for this sparkly idea. Spray your bottles a day before the party and then set them out for everyone to enjoy the pretty exterior and bubbly interior. Click here for sparkle instructions.

Glitter Photo Booth

PHOTO BOOTH

Everyone loves to take pictures. After all, this is the selfie generation. Well, how fun to have a cute, glitter backdrop to a DIY photo booth! Take pictures with your NYE date or best friends. This is so simple to put together. Just follow these instructions.

What Should You Wear on Thanksgiving Day?

My family usually dresses casually on Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving is really a holiday built in for family time, food and football. However, being casual on Turkey Day does not mean you have an excuse to look like a slob – you can be comfy and cute.

Put a couple of outfits together to get some turkey inspiration from – one is more casual and one is fancier. Hopefully, these little sets will inspire some fashionistas to forsake the jeans and sweatshirt look and dress it up a bit this holiday season. (Oh, and all outfit pieces are under $50)

Split-hem V-neck Md-long Loose Jumper ($33) is from BlackFive.com – it is the perfect cold weather sweater with a charming v-neck.

Doublju Womens Slim Fit Winter Warm Thick Fleece Lined Leggings Pants ($7.99) are listed on Amazon.com; but sure you can find black thick leggings a lot of places online.

rsvp Paris Women’s Boots ($32) these are faux leather but loaded with style. They have soft synthetic lining and a lightly cushioned footbed.

Vintage 1960’s Brown Macrame shoulder bag purse, Retro Boho ($19) is vintage and listed on Etsy – hurry this gem won’t last long. Major sweet and unique.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Saw Tooth Enamel Disc Studs Earring ($48) these are a bit pricier but they are Marc Jacobs. Hello beautiful earrings.

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm – Comfort Clear ($13) boasting a uniquely hydrating and nourishing formula, the Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Comfort Clear works to moisturize the lips whilst providing a subtle hint of color.

Fraas Leopard Infinity Scarf ($33) these are the best scarves – easy to fix around the neck and leopard adds a bit of fun.

Skater Dress with Long Sleeve ($40) perfect for indoor cold weather parties. You won’t have to wear a jacket or shrug to stay warm with this gorgeous dress.

Alice and Olivia by Pretty Polly Semi Sheer Argyle Tights ($48) these are fun and add flair to the fancy outfit. You can find them cheaper at Target, I assure you.

Kenneth Cole Unlisted Once In A File Women’s Dress Zip Boots ($35) this platform ankle boot features a smooth polyurethane upper. Keep it trendy with the almond toe silhouette.

LAUREN by Ralph Lauren Il Pellicano 31mm Etched Metal Clickit Hoop Earrings ($25) Silver or gold-tone hoop earrings. Etched detail.

Charlotte Russe Rubber Boyfriend Watch & Bracelets – 5 Pack ($23) This stylish set has a little bit of everything, with a linked, rubber watch band that teams with a silver and gold face, and sleek golden bracelets.

DivaDesigns Women’s Light Thin Autumn Leaves and Pumpkin Infinity Scarf ($7.99) a great find on Amazon, it is cute to add a festive hint of pop to your outfit.

Bath & Body Works C.O. Bigelow Assorted Mentha Lip Tint Gloss Shimmer ($15) these shimmer sticks will leave your lips feeling great and add shine.

Starbucks Drive Thru Blessing

starbucks blessingThere are so many things we take for granted in this life. It is so easy to overlook the simple, everyday blessings and focus on that glaring storm cloud ahead. But, focusing on that gloomy sky can steal those precious moments of sweet praise.

Aren’t our lives made up of tiny little blessings and moments anyway? It is right to praise God for the centimeters, as well as, the inches of glory he sheds over our lives.

I have been putting off sharing a story that really blessed my life recently – because it was a small daily occurrence that we so often push off. My blessing took place at a drive thru window.

It was just a typical Saturday morning – and a typical drive through window at Starbucks. My coffee maker coffee was not cutting it. (Sorry Trader Joe’s). Starbucks has that bold taste that will really put some pep in your step. And, I needed that this chilly morning.

So, I ordered my usual – Grande dark roast coffee with cream. Nothing fancy, just the strong stuff. Expecting the normal process to pull out the debit card and pay for my little warm cup of joy, the cashier told me, ‘you’re coffee has been paid for by the car ahead of you.’

My heart stood still. I hear about this on the radio ‘The Drive Thru Difference’ but it has never happened to me. You would have thought that car ahead of me paid for a four course meal at a fancy hotel – this gesture affected me so deeply.

I went about the whole day so thankful for life and humanity. And, to tell you the truth, am still affected by this small gesture. This unique blessing also made me think and mediate on the gravity of what Christ did for us. He paid for us. He took care of the tab with his blood and infinite forgiveness. He said, ‘your life has been paid for in full.’ Chills.

If you think about this week – bless someone, even if it is buying their $2 cup of coffee. It makes a difference, just look at me. I was affected immensely by a Starbucks drive thru blessing.

Elephant Election Parade: Celebrate with Items Less Than $50

cookie jar

This ceramic cookie jar breaks the $50 limit – but really just by $1. You can purchase it here for $51.75. What a cutie!

The day is finally here – Election Day. If you work in politics, you will know what I mean when I say – whew, it’s over. Many, many people have been working tirelessly to make America bigger and better than ever. So, loud hand clap for that blood, sweat and tears. It always amazes me to see hardworking Americans come out of the woodwork to cheer on their chosen candidate.

Well, it is not a secret (have not kept it a secret on my blog that I vote red). At any rate – this is a celebratory/hopeful blog post – donning elephant accessories. Not only are they fashionable but highly appropriate this election cycle.

elephants

See the set of items on Polyvore here. This link will give you the websites where you can purchase these elephant items.

And everything on this list is $50 or less – hip, hip, hooray. Check out these cool items. Maybe a cute Christmas present for a loved one – or political junkie in your life?

I don’t know about you but I am sporting my elephant gold necklace today  (found in Eastern Market) and drinking coffee from my Jonathan Adler mug right now.

Thumbprintz ‘Having a Ball II’ Elephant Graphic Print Tote ($25): Charm everyone you encounter when you’re carrying this Thumbprintz tote. This sweet tote features an elephant design and is made from polyester for durability and long-lived beauty for toting around your essentials.

Fornash Elephant Earring ($28): Enamel elephant stud earrings. We love our exotic elephants! Our Elephant Earrings are adorable studs with plenty of intricate detail. Available in black and white. 3/4″ diameter Stud earring Surgical steel posts.

Corciova Soft Animal Elephant Printed Infinity Loop Scarf ($12): Shop the latest styles of Corciova® Soft Animal Elephant Printed Infinity Loop Scarf (Pink) at Amazon Women’s Clothing Store. Free Shipping+ Free Return on eligible item.

Chantecaille Fun Elephant Cheek Shade ($38): Chantecaille’s first refillable single compact. A soft apricot with a slight shimmer that offers the most subtly convincing blush of color-Micro-particle technology produces an ultra-light, ultra-fine powder-Goes on matte, blends smoothly, and adheres beautifully. – Goes on matte, blends smoothly, and adheres beautifully-Embossed with a limited-edition baby elephant to help raise funds and awareness for the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

BeanSack Classic Heavy-duty Twill / Elephants Print Bean Bag Chair ($43): Comfortable and durable,this Bean. Sack classic bean bag chair has a heavy-duty,black twill cover that decorated with white elephants. Filled with long-lasting polystyrene beans,this casual bean bag is the perfect spot for relaxation.

Habitat Topsy Elephant Pattern Cushion ($19): Buy Habitat Topsy Elephant Pattern Cushion – Yellow at Argos.co.uk, visit Argos.co.uk to shop online for Cushions.

Elephant Bookends in Turquoise ($45): These beautiful turquoise Buddhist-influenced Elephant Bookends are a unique and rich addition to your bookcase or mantel. In Buddhism, the elephant is seen as a source of strength, steadfastness, and responsibility. Adorn and inspire your room with these symbolic stoneware masterpieces.

Zents Elephant Door Light ($18): Illuminate dark spaces with our motion censored LED Elephant Door Light. Perfect for lighting up those dark rooms, or used as a key stand. Lights up for approximately 20 seconds and automatically shuts off. Great gift idea. Elephant Door Light. Blue. LED Light. Magnetic.

Closing note: If you think about it, send up prayers for this country today. The leaders we choose make a huge difference to this nation, her people and overall well-being.

 

5 Simple Modest Halloween Outfits for Women

Let’s face it, we live in a society where being a girl is sexualized so much so that it’s hard to find just a plain old cute festive Halloween costume. Costumes that leave little to the imagination line the shelves of seasonal shops and (I don’t know about you) but I would just feel so uncomfortable wearing anything that raunchy out.

So, wanted to provide the ladies out there (who feel the same way as me) with some cute DIY options for Halloween this year! You don’t have to be risqué to look super cute. Value your body and treat it as a temple; but, by all means have fun and dress up on October 31st. Hope y’all like these cute suggestions.

1. Olaf or Frosty The Snowman

Okay – so the hit movie ‘Frozen’ has many characters to choose from; but we all know that Olaf, the cute little snowman, has stolen America’s heart. How easy is this outfit? Purchase a white tutu and wear a white T-shirt (complete with felt buttons), red scarf, sparkly party top-hat and warm black tights! Adorable, affordable and appropriate!

snowman

2. A Christmas Present

Get into the Christmas spirit early by dressing up as a present! This is so, so simple and fun to make. So wear a black turtle neck and black A-line skirt. Buy one of those mondo packs of holidays bows and either hot glue them to your skirts or just stick them on with the self-adhesive tape on the back of the ribbons. Add a tinsle belt and a bow in your hair of course!

present

3. Disney Princess

This idea is so easy and cute. Buy a Disney Princess apron and wear it for Halloween. There are so many to choose from online (that are super cheap and won’t break the bank). As you can see, this one below is Cinderella. Simply strap on your apron of choice over black pants and a black top – you are ready to go! You can also make the aprons yourself if you are a crafty maven!

 cinerella

4. Living Fruit

Have a yellow dress and sunglasses? Well, then you can dress up like a Pineapple for Halloween. How cute is this outfit? And the little leaf headband – so simple to make. Just use a toilet paper roll and green construction paper! Here are some simple instructions on how to do just that!

pinapple

5. Whimsical Deer

So this little outfit is easy – as pie! You have a few brown articles of clothing ie: skirt, pants, sweatshirt or blouse – you are good-to-go! Just layer brown on brown, make a cute little cotton ball tail and fasten some cute horns on your head. There you go. You can even add whimsical face paint for extra pizazz! Check out these cute antler/headband ideas!

deer

Fall Décor Idea – Chalk Wine Bottle Vases

Just wanted to share with y’all a fun little weekend project. Today is the first day of autumn. You should start thinking about harvest décor for your home.

This little craft is super fast and easy to make. It will add a little cute factor – without the gore of Halloween decorations.

BOO

You will need: three wine bottles, chalk paint, chalk and flowers of your choice!

Make sure you take off the wine bottle labels. Just hold the bottle under a steady stream of hot water and tags peels off easily. I used a little dish scrub brush to scrap the paper off and get rid of the stickiness.

Dry the bottles with a towel. I painted the bottles out on my apartment balcony and used a paper grocery sack under the bottles (as not to get paint on the concrete).

Simply paint the bottles using a paint brush. You will probably want to coat the bottles with 2 layers of paint. The bottles dry super fast. So, I would let the first coat of paint sit for about 25 minutes and then paint another layer over it.

You will want your bottles to set overnight – for ultimate chalkboardness. Use some chalk to write a creative slogan on your bottles. I used the phrase ‘Boo.’ It is cute, simple and not too long. You could add one more bottle to your décor and spell our ‘Fall.’

Then place your flowers in the wine bottle (with water of course).

One Week of Flats – And I Lived To Tell About It

shoes

Shoes from: Nine West, Steve Madden, Target, Shoe Carnival and Sperry

Well, one major problem about being a working woman is dressing up for work. I used to absolutely love it. I don’t know if it’s me getting older or the fact that it takes so much effort, and I have so much to do (nobody’s got time for that!). Haha.

At any rate, I challenged myself this week to dress up – but wear flat shoes instead of those ouchy high heel beauties.

Let me tell you, this was a good challenge for myself. Being a little lady, around 5’ 4” tall, I really like having that extra height the heel gives you. However, after running around on them all day (press conferences, concrete floors…etc) they can really take their toll on your back, feet and just overall weary feeling.

So I did – picked out 5 pairs of cute flats in my closet (they literally get no wear and tear at all) and wore them with choice outfits all week. And my feet feel fantastically rejuvenated. Here are some benefits that I deducted from my little experiment this week.

Flats are practical.

In my job, I run around a lot. Press conferences, media hits. These are all punctual things – and if you are running a tad late – it is full on sprint time. Um – heels were not designed for running. I have darted down the hallways in heels, not fun and not good. So, flats are so practical if you are on your feet during the day.

Flats excel in inclement weather.

Do you live in a place that has testy weather? If you do, flats are a better choice. Like really, try walking down the sidewalk in a big city while it’s pouring down rain or hailing a cab in heels while balancing an umbrella. Not my idea of a grand old time.

Flats preserve your health.

I don’t want to have back problems. Do you? I am not saying high heels are bad all the time – but don’t wear them every day. Flats will give your body a rest from the unnatural state of standing in those spiky heels. A report in The Daily Mirror notes, ‘Heels cause problems because they force your foot forward, altering the angle of your body so your weight isn’t evenly distributed over the spine, which can trigger pain from your knees all the way up to your back,”

Flats can be super cute.

Okay – so, I have thought for a long time that flats are ugly. I love, love high heels. The designs are cute and they just look so feminine. But, flats can be darling. You can get girly ones with bows (no, you are not too old for that) preppy ones with little buckles or edgy ones with zippers – etc. You can find a flat to suit your fashion taste.

Live a little and take the flat challenge (this week or next!) It is worth it. Really. It is.

Let’s Roll – Remembering 9/11

Let’s Roll. Words spoken from a citizen hero on an airplane of death. Reading this statement this morning gave me chills. Driving into the nation’s capitol and reflecting on the sacrifices made on my behalf – on your behalf is truly humbling.

911-cross-girders

The Washington Monument stands solid in the skyline of the city. The image of the Pentagon passes through my car window prism. It was in flames that fateful day. Men and women were taking their last breaths inside the fiery walls of that stone structure; lifeless bodies were stretched out on the green lawn.

Devastation and grief. Unimaginable sadness.

I hear the names of the victims being read – it goes on for hours. Innocent people. Lost. Smiling faces, filled with laughter – gone. In the blink of an eye. In the fall of our buildings. Their lives were snuffed out too soon. However, their legacy lives on.

With every wind filled ripple of the bold red, white and blue flag – we remember. We reflect on the strength of this nation. United we stand, lest we ever forget these brave patriots that gave all that day.

We cling tightly to their friends and loved ones. We must care for them. Tragedy is unwarranted. It is unimaginable. But, we, as a nation can still love through the pain. We can care through the hardship and bitter anguish.

We can lift our patriotism up to the heavens – and believe, trust. Let us never forget the pain of that fateful day – but walk boldly toward a more secure future.

God Bless America.