Saturday, March 29, 2014

Faithful Friday: The Hardest Thing

It is another Faithful Friday on a Saturday.  I think I have a couple of those I have written because Friday it seems is always busy, but a wonderful kind of busy :)

I especially like to share things that mean something to me about trusting the Lord.  It makes me so joyful to think about trusting God and improving my trust in Him.  I found this, though, and I think that this says it best when it comes to how we tend to treat God when it comes to trust, which I think is sometimes the single hardest thing to do, to fully let go and let God.  We find it hard to give Him our trust and leave our lives completely in His hands.  We want proof of His goodness or Him working in our lives, while God instead asks us to trust Him first.  And isn't that what trust truly is?... to not need to be shown, but to believe that we will be shown in time.
I may have even shared this exact verse before and how I feel about it.  Writing many Faithful Fridays, I don't remember exactly what I have shared... but I know that, nonetheless, this is something we can benefit from in our walk of faith.  To be reminded of how vital it is to trust God no matter what is such a meaningful thing.  And it isn't like we purposely tell ourselves that we don't want to trust God or that we refuse to... it just seems to be in our nature to be afraid of putting our confidence in what we may not see.  But with God, we do see!  We see everything we need to see to trust Him in the simple fact that we know He is there and that we see He is working in our lives as we speak.

This is important to me and I feel blessed to be reminded of this scripture, because I know that no matter how I try to direct my own life, if I don't trust Him then I will never experience the life He meant for me and come to know Him better.  I know this is something I can always improve on.  It doesn't matter how much I want to trust God- it matters how much I do.  How awakening to think that only through trusting God can we truly know Him as well, not the other way around.


Y'all have a wonderful weekend!

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Faithful Fridays are hosted by sweet Joy on her lovely blog, Doodlebug.  Visit her here to read her amazing posts.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pink & Blue Hydrangea Wreath for Spring!

Happy Thursday!!  How exciting it is almost Friday again.   I think Thursdays are good days especially for the reason that the next day is Friday.

Today I wanted to share something I put together recently for Spring.

Here is our finished wreath!  Hydrangeas are one of the trademark flowers of the South. They are so beautiful and inspired me.
I had more time to make one this season and got to relax and sit down and put it together piece by piece.  It took a little bit of time, but it was worth the joy of making it and seeing it turn out bright and Springy.  I think it's neat to get a picture in your mind of what kind of wreath or garland or decoration might look nice and then create it.  I love getting to do that, and this is probably my favorite wreath I have made so far.

The basis for the wreath is the plain robin-egg blue (what a sweet color!) twig wreath that I used last year.  I just removed the things from last year and put the wreath to use again as a blank canvas for this year!  I enjoyed getting to do a more detailed decoration this year with it.

Everything I used...

-robin-egg color wreath
-canvas & glitter wide ribbon
-silk hydrangea flowers
-hot glue gun
-decorative butterfly

This wreath was very inexpensive to make and imagine all the beautiful variations of flowers you could use.   Altogether, it cost around twelve dollars, including the plain wreath from last year.  Much better (and much more fun!) than going out and buying one for four or five times that :)
The glitter ribbon was a last minute find that I fell in love with!  I stood there trying to decide between three plain burlap ribbons that were slightly different and suddenly I bent down to look again at the ribbon selection and saw the glitter ribbon and made my decision in about one second, haha.

It was very simple to make also... For the flowers, I pulled clusters of two or 3 flowers off one at a time and hot glued them to make larger clusters, eventually forming the 3 sections of pink then blue then pink.  To add some green, I coupled a few sets of leaves and glued them underneath. Then I took my little butterfly and glued it on.  For the bow, I made a simple bow with 4 pieces of ribbon and glued it together alone then onto the wreath.

I had so much fun making this, as I always do when I get to make a seasonal decoration, but especially something for the front door.  I feel like it's exciting to have one little space to decorate that will welcome others and say something about your home right there on the door and you get to sort of design it.

What is your door decor like for Spring?  What type of flowers would you use if you made a wreath?


Happy almost Friday to you!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Faithful Friday: Praying for Others!

When I think of all the things I love so much about prayer and that I am thankful for about the power and gift of prayer, one of my most favorite that I cherish is praying for others.  My heart feels so full and more connected to my family members and friends I pray for, as well as even people I pray for in general that I have never met.  How beautiful it is to lift someone up in prayer, whether it is for their health, their walk in faith, or for whatever they may be facing.  Praying for ourselves is more than welcomed by God and we can know that He even asks us to throw our burdens upon him (Psalms 55:22), but praying for others not only lifts them up in prayer but also shows the compassion and caring qualities of our hearts.
Appreciating praying for others has been on my mind a lot lately.  I savor the times in prayer that I take time to think of anyone I know or don't know whom I can be praying for- those going hungry, being abused or hurt, who are sick, losing loved ones, going through heartache of any kind, struggling with their faith, or feeling discouraged.  Right now, I have been praying hard for someone in my family who is going through treatment for cancer.  She is on my heart and mind everyday and in my prayers.

It is amazing to me that even though I don't get to see her right now or many of the others I mention in prayer, I can show them love through my prayers.  The power of prayer is incredible.  I believe in miracles because of prayer and that God is always listening.  No matter how lost you feel or how hopeless thing may seem, also take heart that others may be lifting you up in prayer this very moment!

I hope you are having a blessed day!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Faithful Fridays are hosted by Joy on her lovely and inspiring blog, Doodlebug.  You can visit her or even link your own Faithful Friday post, here.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy Spring!


Spring is just a season that gives so much joy.  I get excited for every season,
but when I think about it, Spring is different because although the other seasons are 
cheery for me Spring is the brightest and just makes you feel so much joy when you look around!

Everything that IS spring is so lovely and beautiful and God's beautiful colors just show
themselves everywhere this time of year, from flowers to the beautiful animals and butterflies.
What a season to be truly thankful for as we look around us.
There is so much about it to enjoy outside and as we relax among all of the flowers and beauty. 

Spring is undoubtedly the most glorious season of the South.
Which is probably why I get so excited and write a lot about it every year and
sound in love with it each year- I can't contain my love for it :)
Everything is so bright and shines and is so cheery.  Every region seems to have their
best season.  I think that the Fall season in the North and Northeast is so amazing,
 the winter scenes of the West are breathtaking, and down South Spring is our most
amazing time of year.
The weather is perfect, the trees are starting to bloom, the wildflowers are
popping up in carpets everywhere (I've been seeing so many lately!), the gardens are
alive with color, the grass is brilliant green, the breezes are soft.

It's the perfect time to dream, surrounded by Azaleas and Gardenias and Hydrangeas,
lying in a hammock under a shade-tree with some sweet tea or lemonade.

...Or be awed by the wildflowers.  Everyone has different types of wildflowers where
they are, which I think is so neat because all of the Spring scenes across each state are different.
Here, we have fields of the most magnificent blues and purples and reds and oranges 
more than anything.
I've been here all my life and I will never become numb to how overwhelmingly 
amazing it is to stand in a field like this and stare out at miles of this view.

.          .          .

Always exciting also is Spring decorating.
We've added a few Springy touches around the house.
I like to decorate our mantel and fireplace area most of all because there is a lot
of room to put pretty things that dress it up for the season. 
With the help of some eggs I collect, some of my Mama's things like her lovely lace
runner, old books and gardening books, pretty silk Hydrangeas and other flowers,
 a lovely old watering can she painted, and more, we made an evening of it the other
 day and pulled things out to decorate and add some Spring joy.

I love decorating with such bright things and colors.  Flowers are so delightful to
decorate with.  And I love the bunnies, too.  In my room, I keep some eggs with 
bunnies on them on my shelf, as well as these sweet bunnies a wonderful friend sent me last year.
Whether in my room or out and around the house, all these things
make my heart smile each time I walk by and simply get me more in the mood for
the new season.  As if I needed help with that, hehe.

I'm so excited it is Spring.
The only thing I'm looking forward to as much as the beauty of Spring
being here is the fresh fruits and desserts I can't wait for... carrot cake, anyone? :)

I hope you have a wonderful Spring season!
Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Welcome Break

Whenever I get some time away from the everyday pace, it is such a blessing!
Just to have a little bit of a different routine and get to rest and relax and take a break.
I am so thankful to have gotten to do that this past week because it was 
Spring Break here.

What a wonderful week!  I can honestly say that I am more than content and so 
excited to just watch mysteries and classics or read and craft and bake and just be 
with my family at home on these breaks than be anywhere else.  
It is the best time of resting up and enjoying the simple things that busy life seems to 
crowd out sometimes.
This past week was a reminder to me of how much I am blessed by times like this.
While I was home for the most part, I also got the chance to get out a little bit with my family and see some fun things.  

One day, we took a day-trip down to one of the biggest zoos in our state.
It was an amazing zoo.  I have such a love for and interest in God's beautiful creations
 and I love getting to see them so close.  These are just a few of the photos I took 
that I thought I'd share, some of my favorite animals we got to see.
The flamingos were one of my favorite things to see.  I saw some in Dallas a couple
 of years ago and they are so neat.  
They are kind of funny too, the way they stand on one leg when they
eat sometimes, and they seemed to have different personalities.  They were interesting
 to watch.    Their habitat was beautiful at this zoo, too, with a little sanctuary of 
pools and a waterfall.

This is probably my favorite photo because my inner mermaid comes out
 when I see that gorgeous water with all of the fish, haha!  
This was at the hippo tank.  Although the fish sort of stole the show, haha, the hippos
 are what I was trying to photograph.  They were being shy, though, and wouldn't turn
 around.  We even walked back through an hour after on our way out and they were
still in the same position.

The Kangaroo sanctuary looked very relaxing and was full of Roos just and 
laying out, soakin' up the sun.  This one was closest to me.  To his right, there
was a group of more resting under a tree as well.

For the first part of the break, before the zoo and relaxing at home, we went to the
 coast for a few days.  
It was really windy so we ended up staying inside most of the time.
One of the evenings, though, we went fishing for a couple of hours in the neatest place:
the dock of an old abandoned restaurant on the bay.
It was so neat because we were the only ones there and it was so quiet and nice, just
hearing the water lapping at the dock and many pelicans flying from deck to deck.
They got so close and even tried to eat our fish.

Right beside the restaurant was this neat old, seemingly abandoned fishing boat,
all rusted and old.  It was a lot bigger than it looks here, and I stood there taking
 photos of it because I'm always a little fascinated by things left behind or that just look
 like they have an interesting history.  
I guessed that the boat was abandoned with the restaurant.

One of my favorite and most relaxing days was spent gardening and starting
our Spring plants and vegetables that we're trying this year.
Some of the rows having seeds and some have plants that were started earlier that we transplanted.
My Daddy took care of the lawn out back and then us girls went back and set up
our garden bed, enjoying the freshly cut yard, which added to the satisfaction and beauty of putting in our Spring garden.
Gardening is special to me, because I've watched my Mama and my Grandma
garden all through my childhood.  And there's no prettier and more lovely time to
be out workin' on planting in the South than in the beginnings of Spring 
when the air feels so good!

I'm excited for when our flowers start blooming.  Until then, we get to look out and see
our pretty garden "jewelry" as I like to call it, haha.
The cute frog makes me smile and the bright pink polka dot pin-wheel adds some brightness.
Pinwheels of different colors are in other places throughout the yard and look
so pretty when the breeze blows through them and they spin.

This was such a welcome and wonderful break!

I hope you had a wonderful week and that you are having a blessed
one so far this week!


Friday, March 14, 2014

Faithful Friday: In Need of Grace

This spoke to my heart because anything God sends my way to open my eyes to something is a gift.  In this case, it reminds me of how wrong I am when I sometimes find myself feeling overly confident in handling my problems, as if I could do it without God, whether doing so mindfully or not.  On the other hand, some even insist that they don't need God in their lives at all.  But, the beautiful truth is that we ALL need God.  We are all in need of His help, reminders, love, and most of all His grace.
What an amazing thought... if we are alive right now, we need God's grace.  So, no one in the world is exempt from that!   How blessed we are, then, to have the privilege of knowing that being broken brings us into the loving comfort of God and His grace.
I have been away from writing for over a week and missed sharing something last Friday because I was on the coast for the start of Spring Break, so it is a blessing to be sharing something today :)
Hope y'all have a wonderful, joyful weekend!
.          .          .
Faithful Fridays are hosted by my friend Joy on her sweet blog, Doodlebug.  You can visit her, here!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My Cupcake Apron Made With Love!

Hope you are having a beautiful week!
It has been nice and cold here this week and I had the blessing of staying home
 yesterday and getting to relax because we had an ice day!
Just when Spring felt like it was settling in.  But I'll take these chilly days.  
I'm sure when it's Summer, I'll be wishing I had these days back.  So, I'm savoring them.
It was the perfect day to stay home and bake and get cozy under a blanket while
listening to the wind and rain outside.  Speaking of baking...
This is a special sewing project that I finished a couple  of weeks ago and wanted to share,
but I hadn't had the chance to get pictures of it then.
My new apron!

My inspiration for this apron started when I found this sweet cupcake fabric
on clearance from the holidays at Hobby Lobby (of course, hehe).
It was such a good deal and I thought, what better fabric could there be to
make an apron!
Isn't it fun?!

Other than the cupcake fabric, for the most part I used all scraps of fabric and
trim we already had to make this apron. 
And best of all, it was so easy because I didn't use a pattern.
I was in one of those moods where I wanted to try something free and different,
so I just got one of our aprons and laid it down on the fabric and cut the skirt
part of the apron from my new fabric, using the apron as a guide.
Then I cut out the bodice part of the apron by measuring it with my measuring tape
 to match and sewed it on. 
 It was a lot of eye-balling and seeing what would work and just using things we had
 left over in our sewing box.  It was so much fun piecing things together.
One of my favorite parts is the eyelet trim I sewed along the bottom.
I was so excited to find an old piece that was just the right size and loved
the pretty touch it gave.

Once I had finished sewing my apron, I realized that I wanted to do something
decorative to the top.  It was a week from then until I was going to be able to go and pick
out something for it, and I had planned to buy some buttons, but when we went I couldn't
find any that I loved.  I picked some out, but at the last minute put them back.
I started thinking about other things I could put there instead of buttons, and I started
picturing putting my monogram because I love how monograms dress things up.
When I looked for sew-on or iron-on letters, I couldn't find anything
 but plain black ones.  It wasn't until the next time we went to the craft store
 that it hit me that I could embroider it myself! 
So I did, and it was my first try but I just went for it and had fun seeing the letters
 form in that pretty red color as I went. 
It isn't perfect,  but I am happy with how it turned out.
Most of all I love that I can keep this forever and remember it as my
first ever embroidery project- and pass it on someday, as well :)

And here it is on me.
Seeing it come together was so much fun.  I loved sewing my little apron!
The bright colors make me smile and I love that even though it does have a little
bit of a wintery feel (perfect for baking season!) in the cupcake fabric, it will
be great to wear anytime of year since the bright blue and yellow kind of balance it out.

Altogether, I used:
-cupcakes fabric
-scrap fabric in blue for the waist tie
-soft matching blue ribbon for the neck tie
-scrap fabric in yellow left over from a dress I
made into a tunic
-scrap white eyelet trim
-red embroidery floss

One last thing I love about my apron is that I can easily fold down the top part
behind the 'skirt' if I want to and wear it as a skirt apron instead, with the blue sash/tie
around my waist.  It feels a little bit old fashioned like that too :)

That's my apron!  I hope to make more.
It's neat to make an apron, because not only do you know that
it's one thing that will definitely get some use, but you can add so many fun, pretty
touches to it.

.          .         .

Aside from sharing my sewing project, I also wanted to say how thankful
I am for each and every one of you in honor of March 2nd this past weekend
marking 2 years I have been blogging!
I can't believe it has already been that long.
When I started writing Blessings n' Sweet Tea, I don't think I could
ever have known how much I would enjoy it.
Never would I have guessed that it would allow me to meet all of you
who have been so kind and sweet, either!
I am so thankful for that when I look back on the past 2 years
I have been writing here.
I have had the true blessing of reading your kinds words, reading your
blogs, being inspired by you, and making new friends, all
of which has given an added loveliness and joy to life.
And meanwhile, I've had the chance to connect with you in sharing
parts of my home and my joys and experiences.

Thank you for your loving hearts and kindness.  It has been so wonderful
to get to know you sweet girls and ladies! 
I am amazed at and thankful for that part of
 these past couple of years.

Blogging, writing, and sharing photos has been a blessing
and SO much fun and I have loved everything about this adventure so far :)

Have a wonderful day!

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