Friday, August 31, 2012

{the best part of life}

You make known to me the path of life; 
you will fill me with joy in your presence, 
with eternal pleasures at your right hand. 
 -Psalm 16:11

I've walked this path for many years. It is on the college campus where I work. It winds through a beautiful backdrop of old trees and criss-crossing sidewalks. Along the path, there is an large tree swing made out of weathered wood planks, freshly painted white adirondack chairs for students to sit and study, and squirrels scurrying around searching for their next meal.

I especially love walking through the shadows stenciled onto the pavement by the dancing leaves. 

The path I use to deliver mail or visit the bookstore, now has a whole new meaning. I walk along it, sometimes taking shortcuts through the grass to the next piece of concrete, until I get to the other side of campus, where my boys are attending preschool. 

I feel blessed to have them so close to me during the day. 

This vast plot of God's creation being the only thing that separates us.

And for the opportunity to slow down after a long work day,
to appreciate the beauty of nature,
and anticipate the treasures that are waiting for me at the end of my journey.

Eternal pleasures indeed.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

{Nectresse Natural No Calorie Sweetener}

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of NECTRESSE™Sweetener for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

For those of you that know me, you know that I have a HUGE sweet tooth. So I was super excited when I was given the opportunity to try out NECTRESSE™Sweetener, a new all natural no calorie sweetener.

Nectresse product family.jpg

Nectresse is the only 100% natural sweetener made from fruit. They combined monk fruit extract with other natural sweeteners to provide the sweet taste of sugar without all the calories.

 It is 150 times sweeter than sugar and can be used in cooking and baking to add natural, low calorie sweetness to your favorite beverages and foods.

When my sample arrived, the first thing I tried it out in was my coffee...

I am an almost daily coffee drinker, and I have to add creamer and some sort of sweetener or I just can't bare to drink it. I like the Nectresse so much in my coffee that I have been is the perfect amount of sweetness and doesn't taste at all artificial.

Next, I used it in a fruit and yogurt smoothy for my boys. They love smoothies and we usually include some honey for added sweetness.

I don't have an exact recipe, but I usually include about a 1/2 cup of OJ, 1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt, a handful of frozen strawberries, and a banana. I used about 1/2 of a packet of Nectresse in the smoothy instead of the usual honey and it was the perfect amount of sweetness. The boys loved it!

There is a familiar celebrity face who also loves NECTRESSE™Sweetener, Lisa Ling! Lisa is the NECTRESSE™ Sweetener spokesperson. Due to a family history of diabetes she has always been cautious about her sugar intake and relied on no calorie sweeteners to satisfy her sweet tooth – but she hasn’t liked any as much as NECTRESSE™! Check out her video testimonial here:

Would you like to try out Nectresse? Head on over here: FREE sample of NECTRESSE™Sweetener to sign up for a free sample!

Visit Sponsor's Site

{playing dress up}

Happy Wednesday friends!

I hope everyone is having a good week so far! I'm excited for a long weekend...taking Friday off and Monday is a holiday! MUCH needed! :)

Here are my outfits from the past week...linking up with Lindsey as usual...

pleated poppy

Kohl's top, earrings & flats // Sears skirt // Etsy ring
Thrifted top // Old Navy skirt // Kohl's sandals // F21 necklace refashioned by me

Kohl's top & earrings // Sears skirt // Target sandals & ring
maurices top & earrings // Kohl's capris // Target sandals

Hope you are having a great week!

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

{necklace refashion}

You all, I'm obsessed with jewelry making now.

And not even my current jewelry collection is safe.

I've had an inexpensive turquoise beaded necklace from Forever 21 for a few years now. While I loved the color and the design, I wasn't in love with the length. It was super short. So the other day I had a light bulb moment and pulled out my jewelry making tools and a few simple findings and beads to turn it into a new piece that would be much more wearable. 

Here is the necklace before...

And a neck shot to give you a better idea of how short the necklace was...

First, I removed the chain with my jewelry making tools, and added a set of three white beads to either side...

and then finished it off with a new chain so the necklace would hang much longer...

I am in love with how it turned out...and I know it will be getting A LOT more wear time now than it ever had before.

Have your refashioned or re-purposed any of your jewelry? I would love to see your projects!

Linking up with...

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{Eclectic & Colorful Laundry Room with World Market}

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group but all opinions are my own. 

Who wouldn't want to go on a World Market shopping spree?

I took a virtual shopping trip to decorate our laundry room and found some eclectic and colorful decor and accessories...

Aren't these fabric covered Venetian-print letters beautiful and fun? I love the idea of placing a whimsical word on the wall above our washer and dryer, and at $6.39 on sale each, they make super affordable wall art. 
  1. Letter "S"
  2. Letter "C"
  3. Letter "R"
  4. Letter "U"
  5. Letter "B"
To give the room function and comfort, I picked out a colorful group of decor and accessories to coordinate with the bold colors in the letters...

  1. Aqua Floor Tile Indoor/Outdoor Rug
  2. Yellow Punched Metal Pendant
  3. Ryan Wall Storage Unit
  4. Spinach Green Madison Baskets
  5. Industrial Metal Shelf
The rug is a classic pattern, but I love how the turquoise gives it a modern twist. The pendant light and baskets bring in bold pops of color. And I can imagine getting a lot of organizational use out of the wire wall organizer and the industrial bookcase.

It was so much fun putting together this space, and World Market has something else fun in store for you!  Head on over to their Facebook page to enter to win their Gourmet Getaway Sweepstakes!

*Grand Prize package includes:
  • A trip for two to to Santa Fe, New Mexico (this is a 5 day Trip for 2 to Santa Fe which includes airfare and hotel)
  • Hands on Southwestern Cooking class with Master Chef
  • Personally signed glossy cookbook
  • Multi-course dinner at the acclaimed Geronimo
  • Southwestern Foodie Tour with a cultural kick
  • A $1,000 World Market gift card 
** There will also be 3 runner up prize winners that will each receive a $500 World Market gift card! 
**The Gourmet Getaway Sweepstakes runs from August 18, 2012 until September 21, 2012. 
**If you share the sweepstakes with 5 of your friends (via FB share or email) you can receive 5 additional bonus entries. This is part of the registration process when entering. Users can also enter daily for more chances to win.
Visit World Market online!

Do you shop at World Market? Have you decorated a room in your home with their fun and eclectic accessories? I would love to hear about it!

Linking up with...

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