Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thankful Thursday

As I was feeling overwhelmed these past couple weeks with the long list of "to-dos," I took a step back and breathed a sigh of thanksgiving. Whenever I feel like I need a break or new surroundings, I go outside. There I can take in fresh air and greet the sunshine of growth.

While I was reading The Happiness Project on my back patio, I came upon the quote, "It's easy to make the mistake of thinking that if you have something you love or there's something you want, you'll be happier with more." It struck me as being grateful for what you have. Even if you already have something you love, thinking that you need more of it, can loose it's admirability and value when you have great quantity. It becomes something you're used to rather than cherishable treasure.

I don't want to take even the "smallest things" for granted so as I pondered back upon these past few days, I wrote down a few things I am thankful for.

My supportive husband
He is the reason I am able to chase my dreams and do what I love. He is my rock, my best friend and my biggest cheerleader. He encourages me when I need it, even when I think I don't and he listens to my spiels even when they seem pointless.

Parenthood & Our Son 
Upon pediatrician recommendation, we have been seeing a speech educator for our 26 month old son due to "the lack of words he can communicate" but we have had some hard days these past few weeks. Temper tantrums were awful and it seemed like the teaching sessions weren't even worthwhile. I almost gave up. Yesterday though, there was noticable change. Little man was pointing to correct photos and following directions from the teacher much better than previous weeks. His speech is developing quicker and progress is being made. I know he will speak when his time comes. 
I'm not a mother who is pushing my child to fit a "perfect mold" or to be somebody else other than his curious, fearless and lively self. I just know that a lot of the tantrums come out of frustration from communication barriers. As first time parents, there is so much to learn and we are doing the best we can. It can be hard at times when the kicking and screaming carries on but I know with diligence and patience on our part, it will get better. I am completely thankful for a healthy son and his spirit as well as what he is teaching us.

Early Mornings
I have NEVER been a morning person. In fact, I hated the thought of even waking up before 8am. After feeling run down throughout the day and not feeling like I've accomplished much at all, I challenged myself. I figured if I could wake up before my son and start the day off with chores already getting done, a clean house (although it wouldn't stay clean) and orders getting filled, I'd feel much more productive. Turns out, not only do I feel more productive but I have more energy, we have more time to spend with one another (since chores are done, it's worry free relaxing outdoors for a bit with the babe) and my favorite thing about early mornings-I can do my devotion in peace and quiet without distractions. These mornings have brought more joy throughout my day than before and I am so thankful.

My "Job"
I don't like calling it a "job" since it seems to bring negative connotations but Love Sparkle Pretty allows me to help provide for my family, work from home and I ENJOY it. It truly is a calling that I am so thankful the Lord allowed me to answer.

Recently, I've had a friend in the hospital due to a horrible infection from a prior dentist visit. The whole side of her face swelled up, she had to visit the ER a few times, go into surgery, get a drain placed and removed and hooked up to IVs several times. This is not easy stuff. I am so grateful for her friendship and the several prayers that have poured in from so many. She is now on her way to recovery and feeling a lot better than before. Thank you Lord! 

Needs that are Met
As my husband and I were talking about paying off certain things-or trying to anyway, it's easy to be distracted by, "If only..." and "What if..." We talked about saving enough money to pay off school loans and our car and then realzing, "oh, I also have medical bills from my recent surgery" and so forth. That talk could quickly turn negative and for a moment it did. Rather than stewing on "If only we had enough money to just pay everything off right now," we gave thanks for our needs that are met, a roof over our heads, transportation, clothes on our back, shoes on our feet and food in our bellies. We also gave thanks for the mere fact that we at least have the income to even achieve paying off bills-even if they aren't paid off now, one day, they will be.

"A grateful heart will protect you from negative thinking."

I want to live a more full and present life rather than thinking "what if..." and dwelling on the future. My word this year is TRUST and I am practicing just that. Trusting that the Lord will open and close doors, take care of our needs and guide our lives according to his will.

What are you thankful for and what are some things you tend to unnoticably take for granted?

Use the code "SPARKLE20" for 20% off at As Darling Does-a sweet handmade shop of accessories for your little ones! Click Here to see the cutest bow ties, headbands and baby blankets!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My Heart. Giving Up Control.

My heart at the moment.

Since 2014 greeted the world, I had a feeling this year would be different. Not just for a short moment, but for a lasting season. I knew I'd have to make some tough decisions this year upon changes, I just didn't expect it so soon. It all started with a new line of crowns for a styled shoot, then I had some amazing opportunities with my brand to reach more people than I ever could on my own and after several other blessings in between, here I am trying to find time to breathe.

For the past few weeks, I have been working on several orders, answering countless emails, working with other talented creatives on shoots and events and trying to balance home life at the same time. I am so incredibly thankful for these open doors and the wonderful customers I have but I am eternally grateful for my husband who has helped me tremendously along the way. Without him, I'd be a wreck...and most likely, a quitter. This is undoubtably my passion in life but even the most inspired, fervent and creative person can become overwhelmed and in need of respite.

The other day, after listening to my spiel, my husband put his foot down and told me to get help already. I've talked about it before but because I am so scared to give anything up with my duties as a small business owner, I relented to reach out. This little business is in a way, like my baby. Although I have been offered several times by friends and family for their help, there's just something that holds me back out of fear of giving up some control. 

The next day, my husband came home and gave me a phone number. He said, "Call her. She is willing to help."  He said he started asking around at work for somebody willing to help me and was reffered to this girl. After getting a large order (80 bracelets) on top of the others that still needed to be filled, I decided it was the time to call her and I did.

Today, was the first day I received help because I finally reached out and was serious. Guess what? Because she came over and packed those bracelet sets for me, I was able to get another crown done, get another additional order out and have more free time to play in the mud with my son before he took his nap! Being a wife and a mother will come first to anything I take on but it sure can be difficult to balance priorities when you have such a love for the work you do to help provide for your family.

I am learning a lot along this journey. I now know that it's ok to ask for help and giving up control means gaining more moments worth remembering and embracing. Please forgive me if orders don't go out right away or if blog posts aren't regular or emails aren't responded to as quickly as hoped. I am only one person with many hats and right now, I am ok with giving up some of them. It's another lesson being learned.

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9

Use the code "SPARKLE20" for 20% off at As Darling Does-a sweet handmade shop of accessories for your little ones! Click Here to see the cutest bow ties, headbands and baby blankets!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Winter Woodland Fox Inspired Wedding {Styled Shoot}

A few months ago, I was contacted by Tara of Tara Shiloh Photography to collaborate on a fox-inspired styled photo shoot. After hearing about all of the ideas she had, I certainly had to be on board! It was such a unique vision that I wanted to share and help come to life.
I created a 'fox ears' headpiece using layers of black tulle hand sewn to wire and pretty wrist cuffs from left over tulle and vintage-inspired buttons.
With the setting in beautiful snow covered mountains and golden fox details, this shoot turned out amazing! 

See more of this beautiful shoot on Tara Shiloh's blog.
Fox Ears & Wrist Cuffs: Love Sparkle Pretty
Model's: Heidi Reeder & Sky
Stationary: Cricket Printing
Dress provided by Bridal Stylist: Hope Stanley

**Be sure to enter the latest Giveaway by As Darling Does, an adorable handmade shop of accessories for your little ones- bow ties, headbands, bibs and blankets! Get your entries in here!**

Monday, February 17, 2014

{GIVEAWAY} As Darling Does handmade bow ties featured on our little man

A couple weeks ago, I received some ADORABLE happy mail from Kristen of As Darling Does. She sent me the cutest bow ties for our little man and since then, he has worn one at least 5 days of the week. I get so many questions on where they are from and today, I am so excited to announce that one lucky winner will have the chance to WIN $25 from this sweet handmade shop!! Not only does Kristen create bow ties for little dudes (finally, accessories for boys) but As Darling Does is also filled with really cool bibs, adorable hair bows for the little ladies and super soft blankets to cuddle!

I love putting bug in his bow ties and he doesn't seem to mind either! I followed him around a couple days as he wandered in the backyard (his favorite). He is such a nature baby. It's amazing to see the curiosity overflow from his tiny self. I wish I could see the world like he does-as innocent, facinating and new through his eyes. There's so much love and life that abounds through him. I want to hang onto and cherish these moments. The days are long but the years are short.

Little man's leather moccasins: Chubby Toes

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Didn't win? That's OK! Use the code "SPARKLE20" for 20% off your purchase at As Darling Does-a sweet handmade shop of accessories for your little ones! Click Here to see the cutest bow ties, headbands and baby blankets!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Forget Me Nots {A Recently, Not-So-Recently Post}

I try to post regular "Recently Posts" to remind myself of all of the shenanigans that has happened lately. Unfortunately, I haven't taken the time to document these memories as well as I should have. So, this is a "Forget Me Not Post"-a compilation of several blessings, events and moments from the past month or so.

The husband and I had a date night, in. My father in law watched our son for us as we whipped up another recipe from our cook book we bought recently (remember the first recipe?). We listened to some Frank Sinatra and put our own spin on the ingredients since we didn't have "ziti" pasta, enough arugula and apparently the wrong ricotta cheese was purchased for this dish. As much fun as we had cooking this dinner, I'd love to say that this recipe turned out super delicious but because of our inaccuracy of ingredients, it definitely could have been better (we know for next time).

Nothing beats the time we spent together that night and I'd do it all over again...ingredient mishaps and all.

Mornings in the sunshine with my love bug have been a part of my favorite moments.

I have had the opportunity to have my work featured in my first print magazine. Per request, I shipped a whimsical floral crown from my shop to Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine. "The #1 monthly mag for chic moms-to-be and hot new mamas." I can't wait to see the April issue! Floral crowns are PERFECT for maternity shoots!

I have also had the absolutely amazing opportunity to work with Casey Wiegand. I have been following her blog for quite some time now. She has been such a great inspiration and beautiful role model as a mother and Godly woman. She is just beautiful inside and out!

I sent out a few floral crowns from the new line to her and her precious daughters and she blew me away with her kind words when she first opened her package, "I just had to say THANK YOU!!!!! Oh my heavens, I literally GASPED when I opened your gorgeous box today- AHH! WOW! Seriously WOW! We will get pics asap!...THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!! **squeals**"
See more of this post here. Casey's crown-Leigh. Apple's crown-Apple.

Such sweet moments of motherhood!
See more of this post here. Ainsleigh's crown-Ainsleigh. Apple's crown- Apple.

After my friend Tara and I attended Creative Tea Time a few weeks ago, we did something spontaneous on our way home. As we drove on the freeway, we looked to our left and saw a beautifully lit Ferris Wheel and without much hesitation, we got off the next exit (totally unaware of our location) and drove until we saw our destination. We got to see the city lights that night at the top of a giant wheel and it is a memory that will not soon be forgotten.

I was sent a couple handmade bow ties from As Darling Does and I fell in LOVE!! I am so excited to finally have some little boy accessories because they seem hard to come across. Our little man looks so handsome in his spiffy new pieces! I will be featuring this adorable shop with a giveaway so check back VERY soon.

I received some photos from another amazing and happy customer. I love seeing photos of special moments captured with handmade pieces from my craft studio. Thank you so much Hoi! I wish you the very best and a lifetime of happiness in your marriage. <3

Get the lace blusher veil in the shop here.

We went on a late night family trip to one of my favorite burger places-Tommy's! The nearest drive thru is now about 20 minutes away and with a sudden urge for a chili slathered cheeseburger, the husband didn't mind driving. It was a craving worth giving into and on the way back, we belched some good tunes as love bug danced his little heart out in the back seat.

The husband and I snuck out for a little double date night to go bowling with the in laws. I won half of a game and I will take that! ;)

A couple nights ago, I hosted a Valentine-themed girl's night with yummy food, singing in the kitchen (a game of love songs), mimosas, intimate topics and lots of chuckles. 
Thank you Dee Dee Motique for the darling wooden topper!!

The other morning, we woke up as a family and headed to the park for some fresh air. I didn't take any photos because I had put my phone away in attempt to be more "present." I feel like social media and the phone in general can be such a huge distraction throughout your day in this beautiful life given to us. I find myself turning off my phone ringer a lot more now and actually hiding it at times to diminish those unwanted disturbances. I want to make this more of a habit. It can be really hard for me because this is a huge part of work-responding to emails, updating and renewing sold listings, keeping up on social media, etc. but I want to enjoy even the smallest of moments throughout my day. I am making a conscious effort and that's where it starts. 

What do you think about the craze of social media and keeping up on notifications and emails? 

What have you been doing recently my friends?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Great Gatsby Inspired Tea Party

Two weeks ago, my best friend since Kindergarten celebrated her 25th birthday-Great Gatsby style. She wanted a tea party with a vintage feel and created just that. With a budget of less than a $100, she pulled off a beautiful and elegant affair with a splash of color and quaint details. 

Although I wasn't able to stay long, I took over the floral details and snapped away on my camera.
There were romantic quotes from the movie, The Great Gatsby nestled into the design which were my favorite part of the decor.

Since my mind was running a million miles an hour that day, I totally blanked on the fact that it was a "1920's tea party" and just brought my "flower garden tea party" attire. Whoops!

It was so good to see friends of mine since I was a little girl and catch up on the latest over delicious food-cauliflower soup with bacon crumbs-YUUUMM and herbal tea.

Here are some pretty details from the tea party.


Happy Birthday once again Crystal!! You are a beautiful woman-inside & out. The Lord has truly blessed you with some amazing gifts and I am so thankful to call you friend.