Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year! 20 % off!

Hope everyone had a beautiful Christmas! We have been on vacation and I will be posting pictures soon. 

In the meantime, my entire Etsy shop is on sale- 20% off- now through January 2nd! 
Just enter coupon code HAPPY2012 at check out. 

I went to some fabulous antique and vintage jewelry stores in New York and Asheville, and will soon have some new one of a kind reconstructed pieces in my shop! 

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Branson Trip- The National Institute of Marriage...and Elenowen!

Earlier this month, we headed to Branson, Missouri for an intimate gathering at 
The National Institute of Marriage. Five years ago, Jeff and I were in the middle of what was about to be a very bitter divorce when we decided to make one last effort to try to save our marriage by attending an intensive at NIM. We had heard about the success rate, and although we were not feeling very hopeful, we thought we'd give it one last try. In 6 years, we had been through 5 different marriage counselors. The last one (a Christian counselor) actually "fired" us when she told us there was nothing else she could do and told me it was "okay" to get divorced- I had tried everything. I filed soon after that and the ugly process began. We had already invested several thousands of dollars when Jeff heard about NIM and asked me if I would go. I said no several times, before finally agreeing to it.

We attended a 4-day group intensive (5 couples) and it was life-changing. We left Branson filled with hope and equipped with new communication tools that literally transformed our relationship. We called off the attorneys and worked hard to implement what we had learned. Our relationship was healing, and we were falling madly in love with each other again. We vowed not to keep it a "secret," so we told everyone about NIM and even started hosting classes with NIM videos at our church. We sponsored and mentored several couples to go and shared our testimony at several events. 

A few years later, Jeff was offered a spot on the board, and about a year after that took the spot as chairman of the board when the current leader, Jack Herschend, retired from the duty. Jack (Herschend Family Entertainment- Silver Dollar City, Dollywood, etc.) is truly one of the loveliest people you will ever meet- and this dinner was to honor him.

After several people (including us) spoke we were given a private concert by one of my favorite duos, Elenowen. We thought that their music and lyrics would be so fitting to a marriage ministry; raw honesty about the challenges they face yet still filled with hope. Josh and Nicole were amazing and so nice, too! We heard some of our favorite songs from "Pulling Back the Veil," plus their new single 
No Such Thing as Time and several new songs that have not been released yet. They even treated us with their version of "Falling Slowly" which is the song they performed for their blind audition on NBC's The Voice.

Here is the new video for No Such Thing as Time... I love all the images of their sweet life together. Makes you believe in love!

More highlights from our weekend: Branson Landing and The Christmas lights at Silver Dollar City...

Photo: Branson Tourism Center

There's a frog on our balcony! 
Our view from the main house at NIM- a place where miracles are born.

Monday, December 19, 2011


There's still time to order for Christmas! Place your order in my Etsy shop today (December 19) and I will upgrade your shipping to USPS Priority Mail with no additional charge! No coupon code needed!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

West Elm Event

Whew! I haven't posted anything in 2 weeks, but so much has been happening! Here are some photos from the West Elm/Etsy Handmade Holiday Workshop that took place on December 1st. Better late than never! It was a great event and we donated a Christmas tree complete with handmade ornaments to a local charity. The West Elm crew was wonderful, I met a lot of great people and hung out with some  fellow Etsians (see below- click on their name to check out their Etsy shops)

Next week, I will write more about a couple of weekend trips-
one to Branson, Missouri and my 50th birthday in New York City!

West Elm Orlando

My table! I loved using West Elm pieces for my display!

 Decorating Christmas ornaments

The Christmas tree for Great Oaks Village 

Tanya from Indo Bay

Gina from Nina Mantra
Vanessa from Marina at Makina

Monday, November 28, 2011

Handmade Holiday Workshop

I am absolutely thrilled and honored to have been chosen to participate in 
The Handmade Holiday Workshop
 sponsored by west elm and Etsy this Thursday night! 

37 west elm stores around the country will participate on December 1st in a workshop to create handmade ornaments for a Christmas tree that will be donated to a local charity. 
There will also be a mini-market of local Etsy sellers selling their handmade goods.
 Check the list here to see if your local west elm is participating!

If you are in the central Florida area, come see us at the Millenia west elm where we will be decorating a beautiful Christmas tree for the local charity, Great Oaks Village, a residential foster care group home for abused and neglected children ages 6-18. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Black Friday-Cyber Monday Sale!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Black Friday-Cyber Monday Sale
Please enjoy15% off my entire Etsy shop with coupon code BLACKFRIDAY15
and Free International Shipping now through November 28th

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Very She & Him Christmas

Over the weekend we started listening to Christmas music. In addition to our old favorites, I couldn't wait to download this new album by She & Him!

Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward perform 12 holiday classics on
A Very She & Him Christmas. Here's a glimpse...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Secret 20% Off Coupon! The Pre-Black Friday Sale

Next weekend is the busiest shopping weekend of the year and I will be offering a 15% discount in my Etsy shop. However, this weekend is my Pre-Black Friday Sale! Blog followers and readers can take 20% off my entire shop with the code PREBLACKFRIDAY20. Just enter the code at checkout to receive your discount. Offer good Nov.18-20.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pre-Wedding Photos that I Love!

Saw these wedding photos on Pinterest by Josh Elliott Photography. They capture the moment so beautifully, they bring tears to my eyes every time I look at them! The couple wanted to pray together, but stick to the tradition of not seeing each other before the wedding. 

Photos by Josh Elliott

Every photograph of their special day is amazing. No words are needed. The photography unveils their a beautiful story image by image. Grab a kleenex and go here to look!
 I especially love the groom's reaction when he sees his bride for the first time! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Today Was a Fairy Tale...

Well actually, Friday was a fairytale. It was the most absolutely magnificent, perfect day. 


It all started with Tristan's 10th birthday present- tickets to see Taylor Swift in Jacksonville! We got there around 2:00 and went around the back near the busses, hoping to meet her and the band. The band is known to come out and meet the fans, so we thought we'd try our luck. Tristan also made T-Crazy friendship bracelets for Taylor and the band, so we hoped to get them to the right person for delivery. 

Here we are waiting outside, courtesy of We also got our picture taken for Taylor's facebook page! There were about 40-50 fans outside and we all got our pictures taken. They haven't posted any as of yet, but we hope to make it on the page! Taylor's photographer also handed out guitar picks to everyone in the crowd.

One of Taylor's roadies walked out and handed Tristan a guitar pick and kept on walking. This later happened again, by a different guy. Both times, they just walked straight up to us, gave her a pick, nodded their head and kept on walking. I'm not sure why they singled her out of the crowd, but we are glad they did. Maybe it's because she is just so darn cute. That's what I think! After that, I started calling her a "pick magnet."

Daniel Sadownick, percussionist and congo drummer for Taylor's band, came out to say hi to everyone. He was so nice and took about 45 minutes talking to fans and taking pictures with them. We asked him if he would deliver the gifts, and he happily obliged!

Here is a picture of Tristan's bracelets, all personalized for the band and tied up with a bow.

Here is the bracelet she made for Taylor, so cute! She has definitely mastered the art of making friendship bracelets. She even made all the bracelets for the girls with removable clasps.
(You can order one just like it here in her Etsy shop- T-Crazy)

  Earlier we tweeted Grant Mickelson and asked if he would come out and say hi, and he tweeted us back! After Daniel left, Grant walked out about 10 minutes later. He was so kind to everyone, talking, taking pictures, and signing autographs. He never seemed rushed, and like Daniel was so friendly and genuine. Taylor certainly surrounds herself with awesome people! While getting her picture taken with Grant, Tristan realized he was actually wearing her gift- tied around his necklace! So excited! To be sure, we asked him if he just got that bracelet that was tied around his neck. He confirmed that Daniel just gave it to him, and even modeled it for us!

He told Tristan that he loved it and that it was made with his favorite colors!

Waiting for the show to begin. We had floor seats, they were way in the back by the sound stage, but they were still great seats. As soon as the show started, we began singing and dancing and having a great time. During the 7th song, Better Than Revenge, a nice lady walked up to our row and asked if we would like to do something really special with Taylor. Of course we said yes! We followed her around to the sound stage where she took us inside the gates. She had Tristan stand up on a platform and I stood next to her. We watched the rest of the song, so excited to see what was going to happen next. We had seen her once before on this tour, and knew that she sits on a beautiful white tree and plays guitar on a small, rotating stage that sits inside the sound stage gates. We hoped it would have something to do with that! The nice lady started bringing in other kids, about 10-12 kids altogether and a few parents. 

Here is Tristan standing on the platform! We were then all positioned around the tree, single file, and she gave us the rules- no pushing, shoving or touching the stage. Everyone happily gave her their solemn vow!

This is how close we were to the sound board! During the song Speak Now, as the band and the dancers staged a mock wedding- Taylor left the main stage and headed back to the sound stage area, high-fiving as many fans as she can along the way. She climbs the stairs and sits on a little perch by the tree, and starts playing the first of three songs; Fearless (on the ukelele), Last Kiss, and You Belong With Me. Tristan is learning to play guitar, and actually just learned that one, so it was exciting to watch Taylor play it right in front of us! Unreal!

It was amazing! We had front row seats for three intimate, acoustic versions of her songs. We couldn't believe it! She was so beautiful with her perfect porcelain skin and was genuinely humbled by the applause of 12,000 people. When she finished the third song, she climbed down the stairs and started hugging everyone in the circle. Tristan was so excited, she was finally going to get a hug from Taylor! (We saw her before during her Fearless tour where she literally hugged fans for at least 30 minutes and she just missed a hug by one person!) Tristan was next in line to get a hug when her security guard quickly turned her to the gate door to head back out to the main stage. It happened again! Tristan was just inches away from a hug! We couldn't believe that she missed it by one person- again! But, with a night like this, there was no complaining! No way, we were way too happy just to be there! If all that wasn't enough, they allowed us to stay in the fenced in area for the remainder of the night! Unbelievable! Tristan went back to the platform where she had a great view of the main stage. We met Taylor's dad, who was so sweet and talked to us for quite a while. He even gave Tristan a handful of- guess what- more guitar picks! He handed out cold water to everyone and later invited us to come up even closer, where he was standing. We sang and danced and truly had the best night we could have ever imagined.  During the last song, Love Story, Taylor climbs into a little balcony and flies around the arena, smiling and waving and getting a good, long look at her fans who have made her such a success. She flew right over the top of us and we jumped up and down and waved, right along with her dad, who shouted,
"Hi, honey!" It was the cutest thing ever!

At the end of the evening, the confetti exploded in the air. What fun! What a view!

When we finally got to our car, it was 11:11 pm on 11-11-11. I definitely think 11 is our new lucky number! Thank you Taylor, for the best 10th birthday a little girl could have!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New Elenowen Music!

Brand new music from one of my favorite husband-wife duos, Elenowen, came out today and it's free on Brite Revolution! All you have to do is sign up! If you like to discover new music, you will love Brite Revolution. Artists are handpicked and the music downloads are free; all in effort for the artists to build a fan base. The website also features exclusive videos, interviews, and live performances. If you like a particular artist, Brite Revolution will find artists with a similar style for you. When I can find the time to browse, I love to explore this website and find some new favorites. Check it out!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Best Halloween Costume Award Goes To...

This has got to be the most adorable baby Halloween costume I have ever seen! One of my favorite art/fashion/design bloggers, Kelli Murray, recently posted pictures of the "cave baby" costume she made her sweet baby girl. She even made costumes for her whole "cave" family! Check out the headband, it is soooo cute!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Jewelry Giveaway!

This week I am sponsoring a jewelry giveaway with Jen from the fabulous blog, The Look 4 Less. Jen has this amazing talent for finding the cutest celebrity looks and designer clothes and then hunts down their budget friendly look-alikes. I absolutely love her blog and am thrilled to partner with her! Visit her blog and check out the giveaway for rules on how to win this Love Letters Bracelet.

Here is a peek at Jen's magic:


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Birth Announcement Video

No, it's not for me! 
I found this cute video the other day, I have to say it is the cutest birth announcement I have ever seen!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pumpkin Muffins

Yesterday morning we woke up to 60-degree weather here in sunny Florida. The high was only around 83. Fall has arrived! At least for this week, anyway! Next week we will probably be back up to 90. Not your "real" autumn temperatures, but we take what we can get here and enjoy it while we can!

It was a perfect day to make one of my favorite fall treats, Pumpkin Muffins.
Here is the recipe- enjoy!

Pumpkin Muffins

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup fat-free milk
1 can pumpkin puree
2 eggs

*Topping (optional)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
-Combine all of the dry ingredients and sift into a large mixing bowl.
-In another large mixing bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients.
-Using a wooden spoon or spatula, carefully stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Do not over mix!
-Fill muffin tins with paper muffin cups and fill to the top of cup with muffin batter.
-*If you would like a topping on your muffin, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle a little over the top of each muffin before baking.
-Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. (moist crumb is okay)
-Let cool 5 minutes before removing from pan.
-Makes 18 regular sized muffins!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Blog Coupon!

Free International Shipping this weekend in my Etsy and Big Cartel shops!
Use coupon code FREESHIP2 at checkout! Offer expires October 2, 2011.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New Music Tuesday

My girls and I are huge Switchfoot fans and have been waiting a long time for the release of the new album, Vice Verses. We've seen them perform live several times, most recently at Rock the Universe in Orlando. This morning I purchased the deluxe edition which also contains 12 live "bonus tracks." There's no way I can pick a favorite- they're all great. You can read what Vice Verses means to each member of the band and watch more Switchfoot here.

Friday, September 23, 2011


I recently opened a new online shop on Wedzu. If you are getting married or know someone who is, Wedzu is similar to Etsy, but for weddings! You can find everything you need from handmade accessories, jewelry, apparel, bath & beauty, calligraphy, decorations, and party favors for the reception all from independent designers.
Check it out here!


A Novel Amore

Paper Stories

Red Doll by Tatyana Merenyuk