I have been Bible Journaling for a little over a year and have recently started getting creative with different materials. I got to play with Gelatos at the workshop I hosted recently and had to buy some for myself. Gelatos allow you to create vibrant pages without the messiness of paint.
So what are Gelatos you ask? They look like a tube of chapstick and they go on the page creamy, like a cross between a crayon and paint. They are super easy to use and not messy at all. You can blend it with a sponge or brush to give a painted effect. Blend the Gelatos with water to achieve a water color effect. They are acid free and perfect to use on paper, canvas, wood, and fabric. It is perefct to use in Bible Journaling because you can still see the words underneath the color.
I used pink and purple Gelatos as a base for a recent page I created using printables from Pitter & Glinks First Love devotional.
Simply rub the stick across the page, covering as much space as you desire. I used a paper towel to blend the colors together so the change from pink to purple was seamless.
You can then use pens or stamps on top of the Gelatos. I used washi tape to attach a tip in card and glued in some of the printable words in between my lettering. I also used my alphabet stamps to add the word "King" to my page.
I also used some Valentine's themed ribbon to make a bookmark using a paperclip. You can read more about that process HERE.
Have you used Gelatos before? What is your favorite medium to use in Bible Journaling?
Read more with Mary here!
Marry Hunnicut, Real Girl's Realm
There’s something about a casual, white tee and some distressed jean shorts… It is the easiest and comfiest outfit for a casual Saturday around the town. This white crossover tee from Tobi is made out of the softest material ever, I am not even exaggerating. It also comes in three different colors! #winning (Tip: All new customers get 50% off their first purchase too!) Don’t even get me started on the rose gold Kate Spade sneakers. I feel like I rarely wear them because I am so scared of them getting messed up but they are the perfect pop of sparkle and are surprisingly comfortable.
So I promised you guys I would give you an update on our latest lifestyle choice: the keto diet. Honestly, I have enjoyed it! I know that sounds crazy because I normally DREAD eating healthy because I have a major sweet tooth but the keto diet keeps me feeling full all day. I have had fun finding all new recipes on Pinterest! Sunday night we made taco bowls which consisted of ground beef with homemade taco seasoning, pico de gallo, sour cream, avocado, and cheese. I have also loved drinking my bullet proof coffee in the mornings! Don’t get me wrong, I have my cheat meals… If ya’ll would like to know some of my favorite recipes, I would love to share. I hope everyone has a great week!
Read more with Jenna here!
For some reason I feel like I am always starting new things... But I kinda like life that way! Life is more fun when you have more things to look forward to! This past week I have started my own business named Olivia Design Co. I will be making many different types of necklaces and different accessories!
The double wrap druzy necklaces look like the one pictured above and they come in all different color druzy and leather! I can personalize them any way you want and they are $30! I love making them and I hope that y'all will love them as much as I do! Below I will attach some pictures of the different ones that I have made so far!
Be sure to follow my Instagram account @oliviadesignco and join my Facebook page Olivia Design Co.
Find more blogs by Madi here!
Making of Madi
Nothing makes an outfit pop quite like a good lip. Sometimes I have more trouble trying to choose a lip color than I do picking out my actual clothes! Just like a pair of shoes or the right glasses, your lipstick highlights features of your face and attire. It's really pretty fascinating when you sit down and think about it -- with the simple swipe of a wand, your face can go from colorless to colorful, and, my favorite part, make you feel like a total smoke show. Something about that final blot and pucker just makes me feel sassy!
BUT, a trip down lipstick lane can very quickly go so, so wrong. Have you ever picked up a great shade at the store only to put it on and find the ring of horror around your mouth 15 minutes later? You know what I'm talking about. The weird, nasty build-up of lipstick and -- I don't even know what it is, saliva? -- that forms that crusty ring around the inside of your lips. EW. I hate it. I hate it so much, and you never know if a certain lip product is going to bestow the ring of horror on you until you try it, which often amounts to a lot of wasted money, and THAT is something I would never want for my gals!
In an effort to save your budget and your pout, I have compiled my top five lip products for you all in the March edition of #FAVEFINDS. I'm not a hardcore matte girl or a gloss-only gal -- I pretty much like it all; however, some mattes are better than others, and so on. I also try to be price-conscious in the beauty department. You can blow some serious cash in a split second on makeup, and I need that money for shoes...and a college fund for my future children and other responsible things other than shoes, but mostly shoes. I hope my #FAVEFINDS leave you with happy lips. Pucker that pout and powder your nose -- we've got some shopping to do!
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipsticks
Favorite shade: Perla
Finish: a soft matte//definitely a firm set, but it isn't as drying and "cracky" as other mattes
Sold at: Ulta, Sephora, Stila Cosmetics
Favorite shade: There are so many to choose from I can't even decide! I tried Plum and First Love.
Finish: a SOLID stain, as in you can literally only remove it with the remover that comes in the kit, which is awesome for an all-day stay//stain overlay can be matte or glossy, but top coat needs to be re-applied a few times throughout the day (stain does not need re-application)
Sold at: individual sales representatives//I worked with Jessica Sisson, who can be reached via her LipSense Facebook page here.
L'Oreal Paris Infallible Pro Last 2-Step Lip Stain
Favorite shade: Neverending Nutmeg
Finish: stain leaves a sticky finish, but the clear sealing balm leaves a smooth, hydrating finish.
Sold at: grocery and drug stores everywhere!
Kylie Jenner Matte Liquid Lipstick
Favorite shade: Kristen
Finish: when KJ says matte, she means it, but the good news is once it dries, it is SET!
Sold at: kyliecosmetics.com
L'Oreal LA Palette
Favorite shade: number 4 from the left (they don't have names!)
Finish: two colors are matte finish, five colors are cream and the last is a highlighter
Sold at: grocery and drug stores everywhere!
Read more with Savannah here!
I love the idea of having a clean, minimalist home, especially since we're living in an apartment and are short on space. I have long been convinced that this will never be my reality though because I am so LAZY! I spend all of my time admiring other people's homes on Pinterest and Instagram instead of working to get my home to look that way. Being pregnant and having a toddler definitely doesn't help this problem, and most days I consider it a success if I get one chore done around the house (I know...pathetic!)
This past weekend, I decided I'd had enough and I dove head first into de-cluttering and organizing our space to make cleaning during the week simpler and less of a chore. I got my equally lazy (in the chores department) husband to help out and I was amazed what we accomplished in only a weekend! It's been a week now since the big de-clutter and not only has the house been clean every day, but meals have been made, dishes have been done, laundry has been put away and I have been SO MUCH HAPPIER. Getting rid of everything made a huge difference in the overall feel of our place. We have less dishes so it's less work to clean the kitchen, our closets aren't as full so putting clean laundry away is easier, our extra throw pillows and blankets are gone so making the bed is simpler. We've had all of our windows and doors open this week allowing more natural light and fresh air into our home which does amazing things for our spirits. The list goes on.
YOU GUYS. Anyone can follow these steps and make this their reality! I tailored this post towards people who naturally have a hard time getting motivated to clean (like hubby and I) so that even the least experienced can find success in de-cluttering. Now get up off the couch, turn off Netflix, and let's get going!!
Tips for Staying Motivated:
1. Pick the day in advance: Everyone involved in this process needs to be mentally prepared for the task. Seriously. We decided on a Saturday which is the day that we normally relax and just watch T.V., so we had to gear up for a day of hard work and mentally be in a productive and proactive mood.
2. Start small, then go big, then small again. We started out in the kitchen because our kitchen is tiny and there isn't a lot of stuff in there. We decided what we were going to get rid of, boxed it up, and moved it out of the apartment in probably an hour. This quick turnaround helped us stay motivated and not get overwhelmed right off the bat. The second place we went was the bedroom, which has kind of turned into the room where we store all of the junk we don't want people to see. This room took much longer because there was more to sort through and reorganize, but we already knew we could handle it because we had succeeded in the kitchen, so mentally we were able to push through and finish. After this huge project, we needed a break so we tackled the hutch in our living room which was mostly throwing away old papers and reorganizing a few drawers. This switching back and forth between big and small tasks helped us stay on track and not get exhausted to where we would just give up.
3. Take small breaks throughout the day. When we needed a break, we took one! We'd watch a 20 minute show on Netflix, take Reagan on a walk around the apartment complex, or run to the grocery store for donuts. Setting a time limit on these activities helped us stay on track, but taking the small breaks gave us a chance to rest and be even more motivated when we came back.
Tips for Deciding what to Toss/Keep:
1. Make three piles: Toss, Keep, and Maybe. Some articles I read about de-cluttering suggested making upwards of five or six different piles when trying to decide what to keep and what to toss. For me, that was too many piles to keep track of and honestly I don't even have the space for that. Instead, what worked for us was making a definitely toss pile, a definitely keep pile, and an I'm not sure pile. After we boxed up the toss items and put away the keep items, we went through our maybe piles together and talked each other through whether or not to keep it. This method was especially helpful in our closets because for some reason, clothes are the hardest things for both of us to toss. I've also found that when I explain to someone why I'm keeping an item that it either sounds ridiculous and I only realize it after saying it out loud, or the significance of the item really comes out and I realize how much I want to keep it.
2. Get rid of doubles: Especially in the kitchen! We had six rubber spatulas, four wooden spoons, and measuring cups for days. Keep one of everything and get rid of the rest! I know when I have multiples of an item, I really let the dirty dishes pile up because I can get a clean one out instead of cleaning the dirty one.
3. Toss all the sample/travel sized bottles. I don't know what it is about hotel shampoo and conditioner bottles, but I always grab tons of them while on vacation just to have them clutter up our medicine cabinet for years. Seriously, I never use them. I can't be the only one who does this, throw away all the free samples, travel sized shampoos, and random, expired things hiding in your medicine cabinets.
Tips for Organizing your New Space
1. Move the heavy furniture: Take advantage of this time when you're in the mood to move the big pieces of furniture to better fit your new space. For us, this meant moving our dresser drawers into our closets and moving our bed so it was now centered in the room. We also moved our dining table back into the center of the room after eliminating the boxes and strollers that were shoving it into the corner. Figure out beforehand how you want your rooms to look, so you have even more motivation to get rid of things and finish the tasks at hand--knowing you'll have your dream room at the end of it is an excellent motivator!
2. Accessibility: This is especially important in the kitchen and in the closets. Make sure you have ample space in your kitchen cupboards so putting clean dishes away is an easier task. We donated a box of dinner plates that have been sitting in our cupboard, untouched, for TWO YEARS. Since freeing up all that vertical cupboard space, we've actually started using our dishes
more often (instead of paper plates) and wash and put them away immediately because it isn't a struggle trying to shove one more plate in that tiny cupboard. The same idea goes for closets. We have shelving in our closets where we store t-shirts and workout clothes, but most of the time it's a balancing game seeing if we can’t throw one more shirt onto that unfolded pile way up in the closet. Since eliminating the items I no longer wear, it's so much easier to see what I have, fold up clean clothes, and store them according to how often I'll need to access them. Then when I need a specific shirt, I'm not ruffling through a massive pile of wrinkled clothes, I know exactly what I need and where it is!
3. Go with the flow: Arrange things in a way that makes sense and helps complete your tasks efficiently. In the kitchen, put your cooking utensils somewhere within arm’s reach of the stove, stack cutting boards by the knives and empty counter space, and keep all of your measuring cups/spoons together. Keep your cleaning supplies in a bucket or caddy with a handle and all the sponges, paper towels, and gloves that you need inside. Keep these by the vacuum and broom so you can grab everything at once instead of talking yourself out of a chore once one is finished. In the bathroom, keep your morning routine essentials close to the sink but hidden away so you don't see clutter first thing in the morning. Likewise, move the laundry basket out of the bedroom so dirty laundry isn't what you wake up to everyday. These small changes in where you keep items can make a huge difference!
I cannot reiterate enough how much happier and less stressed I've been this week. Not only has our place been clean but it's taken less energy and stress to keep it that way than ever before. Our bedroom used to be the room that I avoided at all costs because it was constantly piled with junk, but now it's my favorite room, and I love just hanging out in there during the day! As the ultimate lazy girl, cleaning was always something that I dreaded but by simply eliminating the excess in our home, my attitude has shifted from some huge task I have to accomplish to lots of small things I do as a part of my normal routine. I'm planning on repeating this process monthly just to make sure we don't revert back to the place we were before!
Let me know if you have struggled with similar mentalities and how you tackled them, or what tips have helped you live minimally in your home! I love hearing from you!
Read more with Casey here!
On February 2nd, 2016, my husband, Beau, and I attended a three-hour orientation at a child placing agency. It was the first of a total 28 hours required training in two weeks. Then we had web-based training and stacks of paperwork to submit. We had to be fingerprinted and get TB tests. We quickly became used to new people visiting our home and asking personal questions.
In April, we got a phone call. There was a two-year-old boy in need of a home – and he had a seven-year-old sister – currently in a separate home – who they would eventually like to place with him. It sounds silly, but I knew immediately that I loved them. Beau and I began praying for them at night. We didn’t even know their names yet, but before bed I would tell Beau that we needed to pray for our babies.
It turned out the boy, Kaden, had some medical issues. Beau and I had to complete some observation hours and change our certification from “basic” to “moderate” care. Luckily, that meant we got to visit Kaden and attend his doctor appointments. On May 27th, Kaden moved in with us.
Then we began visiting his sister, Delaney. We took her transition a little more slowly, since she was old enough to understand more of what was going on. On July 15th, Delaney moved in with us.
I remember being told we would have to foster for several months before adopting – and thinking it sounded like such a long time – but it flew by. On December 28th, we signed Adoptive Placement papers.
On February 23rd, we went to court, and a judge declared us a forever family – just over a year after Beau and I began our journey as foster-to-adopt parents. It was, without a doubt, the most difficult year of my life – but it was also the best. We learned so much. We met some incredible people. We saw God move. There are thousands of foster children in Texas alone. But now, there are two fewer kids in the foster care system.
The average length of a child’s stay in foster care is two years. My babies were in foster care for 865 days. You can find more information at www.beafosterparent.com or www.adoptuskids.org
Read more with Jessica here!
I recently quit my job of 16 years to take a part time job at my church. I have shared some of the backstory in previous posts, but I want to give you an update today. My hope is that I can inspire one of you to follow God's call on your life, even when it is scary. I felt stuck and unfulfilled in my job and had been praying for the last couple of years that God would show me where he wanted me. I knew I wanted to do something that allowed me to share my faith, and when my Pastor called several months ago with a proposal, I initially dismissed it, (because of the pay) but then I stopped to think that maybe this was my answered prayer. After much praying and crying and discussion and doubt and more praying, I decided I had to go for it! I have been at my new job for almost two months and I am settling in and loving it. I am not going to lie...the first couple of days were rough and full of self doubt, but everyone has been so encouraging that I got over it pretty quickly. We also have a preschool at my church and I love seeing all the little children every day and being able to witness to the families. I also get to witness people in the community who come in to use our Community Food Pantry. I have always been shy about sharing my testimony and talking to un-churched people about God, but it is starting to come more easily. I think this is further proof that this is my calling and where I need to be. I do not have all the answers, but I know God answers prayers. Just don't miss out on God's call by overlooking an opportunity.
Read more with Mary here!
Marry Hunnicut, Real Girl's Realm
Who loves Joanna and Chip Gaines! (Insert raised hand emoji)
If your obsession for Chip and Jo and Fixer Upper gets to extreme levels, I encourage you pay their amazing store a visit in the quant town of Waco, TX. Located an hour and a half from Dallas and Austin and two and a half hours from Houston the Magnolia Market store along with all of the other new additions will make any girls trip one for the books!
In this post you’ll see some of the amazing girls I get to call friends, we decided to make this trip for Kayla’s birthday! What better way to celebrate than with shopping, food, and sweet treats on a BEAUTIFUL Texas sunny day! While there we also snuck in some pictures for Jenna Marie Shelton Blog! Check out her amazing Blog at Jenna Marie Shelton Blog!
We all wore our adorable Texas Sweet Tees t-shirts! Go get yours here on the Texas Sweet Tees Website!
Find more stories and photoshoots by Gizeh here!
Gizeh Romero Photography
Spring is finally here and that means that it is finally time to bust out those little dresses you have been saving and flaunt them about, or at least that's what I have been doing! I cannot wait to share the details of my favorite spring outfit so far! Keep reading to check out what all this outfit and look is made of!
So as I was Christmas shopping for my mom, I naturally started looking though all of the sale items at Old Navy, and that is when I came across this amazing dress. The thing that first drew me towards it was of course the off the shoulder style and then the ruffle just topped it off! I bet you can't guess how much I paid for it... Well I am just going to tell you anyways because I was so excited! I only paid $9.00 for this amazing dress, you read that right ONLY $9.00!
I still can't believe that I got it for so cheap but I have some good news, the dress is still on sale at OldNavy.com, to find it just click on the underlined words. I regret to inform you its not at the steal I got it at but it is still a great price and a perfect dress for spring and summer!
Now for the shoes, I found these online a while back and surprisingly they are still on sale at Stein Mart! I know what you are thinking, and yes Stein Mart is where I got them. When I see a good deal I have to jump on it, it is in my blood! These shoes are super comfy and cute and they are my favorite color ever, GOLD!
These gladiator sandals come out to be right at $20.00 when you put them in your shopping cart online, to shop these shoes click on the underlined words!
This outfit is a perfect one for the transition from winter to spring and then from spring to summer! I can't wait to eat many more ice cream cones and go shopping more in my favorite outfit so far!
Find more blogs by Madi here!
Making of Madi
TEXAS SWEET TEES