Even Broken Things Can Be Beautiful

Even broken things can be beautiful

The other day I was outside and the most beautiful butterfly kept flying near me. It fluttered around for quite a while before it finally landed close enough that I could get a good look at it. The vibrant blue and white nearly glowed against the deep navy of this little creature (the picture really doesn’t do it justice – it’s the butterfly from the image above); and for a moment, I almost didn’t realize that it had a broken wing. The break was small and at the bottom, impossible to notice while it was flying around… and it really got me thinking.

Much like this butterfly, if you pay attention to the people around you, you will notice that most of them keep people at arms length away so that no one has the chance to see the broken parts of their lives. Maybe they want to hide that they aren’t happy with their jobs, financial situation, weight, etc…  or maybe they want to hide that they aren’t happy with themselves as a whole. The bottom line is, it tends to be hard to let someone else see the parts of you that you don’t even want to acknowledge about yourself.

Maybe, you are the one that has been keeping everyone at arms length to hide your broken areas. If that is what you are doing, please please please take a break and “land” near someone. Someone you trust, someone you haven’t talked to in ages, or anyone that you think will listen; just let somebody take the time to see your beauty in its entirety, broken parts and all. The broken parts of us aren’t problems that are meant to be hidden away and never shown to the world. Honestly, it’s often our broken parts that make us stand out in the world and ends up shaping who we become.

I know every time that beautiful little butterfly comes to visit me, because I know what parts are broken… It’s still one of the most beautiful butterflies that I have ever seen, even with that chipped wing. Sometimes, your broken things are how you are able to connect (and even help) others. God always uses our broken things for so much more good than we could ever imagine. Instead of trying to hide what’s broken, use it to do good in the world and make your mark. Let them become your strengths instead of your weaknesses.

The truth is, we’re all a little broken… it’s what you do with that brokenness that counts.

Hey lovelies! I know that this post is a little short, but I know that there are people who needed to hear it, and some things don’t need to be over-complicated… If you read this and you feel like you have no one to “land next to”, please reach out to me; I will listen. Thank you for taking time to read and I hope that you enjoyed it, as always, God Bless and much love!

1 Peter 4:19- “So then let those who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator as they do good.”

If you enjoyed this post, check out my post on why I Choose Happiness

Why I Chose SiteGround Hosting

Why I Chose SiteGround

(This post contains affiliate links at no additional cost to you. All products are products that I use and would recommend to my friends and family. To see more on my affiliate policy, view my disclaimer)

 

Click HERE to see if SiteGround is right for you!

 

Hey everyone! I just wanted to spend a little bit of time talking about the main reasons that I chose SiteGround Hosting. Please keep in mind that even though I am going to be posting my affiliate link for SiteGround, I wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t love it and think that it was worth sharing with you guys. Without droning on, here is the list, enjoy!

 

 

  • Easy To Use- I found SiteGround while I was looking for self-hosting platforms. Basically, I didn’t know if I was really cut out for this “whole blogging thing”, but I knew that I wanted to set myself up for success. Success in the blogging world means monetization and outreach, which essentially means that you need a platform that will set you up for success when you have no clue what you are doing. While researching around, I kept seeing SiteGround pop up and figured it would be worth looking into and I’m glad I did. They had everything broken down in terms that I could understand (I’m not all that tech savvy, so having a start up plan really helped me figure out what I was doing). They made it so so easy for me to get started. They have three plans set up for starting up, growing, and “web geeks”. Of course, I went with the StartUp plan, and began my journey. Their 24/7 tech support was a life-saver when I was struggling to figure out this crazy web world on my own. Truthfully though, I didn’t need too much support because they walk you through everything while you are setting up.
  • Money Back Guarantee- One of the things that I really liked about SiteGround, was that they had a 30 day money back guarantee. That right there put my mind at ease in a major way. I had never done anything like this, and while I knew that I was feeling the call to blog, I didn’t know if I would be any good at it. The thought of being able to get my money back if this thing didn’t work out, made me feel a ton better. The thing is, I have loved SiteGround since the beginning and never thought about backing out once I got started.
  • Price- If you are like me, then you work hard for your money and the thought of spending it on something, like a blog, can seem scary at first. I remember pouring over tons of different platforms looking for one that had the best prices for the best plans. I remember jumping from site to site until I landed on SiteGround. They run special prices all of the time and the amount of stuff that you get is crazy. Like I said earlier, they have 3 tiers of plans; StartUp is “crafted for a great web start and suitable for 10,000 visits monthly”, GrowBig is “crafted for your web growth and suitable for 25,000 visits monthly”, and GoGeek is “crafted for real web geeks and suitable for 100,000 visits monthly”. The best thing about it, you can start with StartUp and switch to other plans as your blog grows. If you want to check out more on their prices and plans, click here to visit the SiteGround hosting website.

 

These are the three main reasons that I chose, and love, SiteGround. They have been an absolutely amazing company to work with, and I would highly recommend trying them out! Thank you for taking the time to read and, as always, God Bless!

 

Click HERE to see if SiteGround is right for you!

 

If you enjoyed this post, check out my post on 5 Things You Need To Know About Blogging or Why I Blog

I Choose Happiness

I choose happiness… in a world that chooses money.

I choose happiness… in a world that focuses on the negative.

I choose happiness… in a world that chooses material things over people.

I choose happiness… in a time that there seems to be little of it.

I choose happiness… in a world where it’s not part of the equation for success.

I choose happiness… even though others think it’s silly.

 

I choose happiness… because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much money I have, how much stuff I’ve bought, whether I’m successful in other people’s eyes, or what others think. When my life is said and done, I want to look back and know that I have done good works, and that I chose happiness over the things of this world. Something my grandma has always said (that used to drive me crazy) was that ‘only you can make you happy’. The thing is, the older I get, the more I believe it. Things are nice, but the ‘nice’ fades after a while; same with careers, cars, hobbies, etc… Pure happiness comes from your outlook on life.

Yes, it is much easier said than done to be happy in the face of every situation. I struggle with it greatly, more than I’d like to admit, but it’s true. I have seen people go through some of the toughest situations, and their positivity towards what was happening, and their trust of God,  just absolutely baffled me. It left me thinking “How can I feel bad for this person, when they don’t even feel bad for themselves?”. It completely changed the situation from something terrible, to part of the life that they felt joy to live.

I would say that there are only two things in your life that can provide you with pure happiness, yourself and God. Having a right relationship with God will fuel you with more joy than you could ever imagine… and when He sends you through a valley (I know, we don’t like it, but it’s part of His plan to shape us into who we are meant to be), your outlook on life and God’s plan for you will be what keeps you feeling joy until you are back on top of the mountain.

Lately, I have had a lot of people asking me what I want to do with the rest of my life, and if I’m being honest with you, I don’t know. I don’t feel like I have found my purpose for life yet, but I know that God will reveal it to me in time. So, even though I am feeling a bit lost right now (you know I have to be honest with y’all), I am going to keep telling people that I choose happiness. I don’t want to look back on my life and have all of these regrets because I chased the things of this world, so I will wait patiently until God tells me to move towards purpose and in the meantime, I will keep choosing to be happy.

 

Hey guys, I know that this wasn’t a long post, but I felt like I needed to write it. Truthfully, I needed to hear it myself right now, so I’m sure that there are others who need to hear it as well. It’s okay to struggle and feel lost, just hang on to choosing happiness and hang on to God. Psalm 30:5 says – For His anger lasts only a short time. But His favor is for life. Crying may last for a night, but joy comes with the new day.

Always remember that your happiness, your joy, comes in the morning and that the hardships of life won’t last… even when it feels like that’s all you’ve been having. Keep your head held high and your prayers sent higher. If you ever need to talk to someone, know that you can always talk to me. Thank y’all so much for reading and God bless!

 

If you enjoyed this post, you can visit some of my others by clicking on the titles below:

From Rock Bottom To Rock Solid (A Story Of Renewed Faith)

Everyone has, at some point in their life, heard the phrase “when you hit rock bottom, that’s when you start looking up”. I had heard it plenty, seen it plenty, and read it plenty… but it was really nothing more than a cliché inspirational phrase. I certainly never thought of it as a “faith phrase”. I had heard it said as a faith phrase, but I truly never saw a connection from the saying to my life. Until I hit my rock bottom.
Now, before I go any further, everyone’s rock bottom is different and yes, you can have more than one in your life, but this happened to be the roughest patch that I have personally been through.
My back went out, not a little, but a barely-able-to-move blowout. One day I was hurting, but functional, and the next I was unable to put my own shirt over my head. Even little things like sitting down/standing up were difficult at best. All I knew was that something was very wrong and I didn’t know to what extent. After a trip to the doctor and several days of rough and unexplained pain, they found that my spine was curved the opposite way and it was causing nerve and muscle pain/problems. After a few months of rehab split between a chiropractor and a physical therapist, I was feeling much better and finally functional again. The thing is, this was a very trying time for me, physically and mentally.
At that point in my life, my faith seemed to be at an all time low (even though I was in denial about it at that time) and my back going out was the icing on the cake of rocked faith. You see, at first diagnosis, they didn’t know if I’d ever be able to go back to my job (nail technician) again. That’s not a big deal for a lot of people, but those of you that know me, know that I trained to be a nail technician straight out of high school and my husband is in his senior year of college (yes, he works, very hard, but he has to go to part time during his school months). We make enough to live happily and have money for some of the things we want, but having one of us out of work for an extended length of time was not good and the thought of not being able to go back to the only field I’m really trained in was even worse.
We made it through (thank you God for help and for letting us have put back money). I was out of work for almost three months and had to baby step back in for a while after, but I was able to return to the career I had been building. So, I tell you guys all of this, not to get pity, but to prove that “when you hit rock bottom, that’s when you start looking up” is one of the truest phrases there is. During my time out, I spent a lot of time on the couch – on my phone. There wasn’t much else I could do (I could barely walk). One day I came across a video on Facebook of Pastor Michael Todd from Transformation Church. He was preaching a series called Relationship Goals, and after about a minute I was hooked. I proceeded to watch about 3 of the videos from that series (1 hour long each) and I was in tears by the end of every one. The next day I watched the remaining sermons from that series. The following day, I started another one of his series. This continued and is still going on now (his Grace Like A Flood series just ended and let me tell y’all, it was life changing). I had started to find faith like I had never had before. It was like everything around me changed and for the first time in years, I was getting in my Bible again and praying with my heart, not just my words.
In a time where I felt helpless, hopeless, scared of the future, and downright worthless, I realized that God was with me. I had help, hope, a future, and worth, through HIM! Y’all, I am just going to be real with you, I went from crying everyday from anger and sadness, to crying tears of joy! From that moment on, my faith had been renewed. Looking back, I needed that time out to reconnect with God. Now, I’m grateful for something I once thought was the worst point in my life.
Our God is so good, when I felt at my lowest, He put his hand down and was ready for the exact moment that I started looking up. I’m not perfect by any means, and I still have days that I struggle with frustration at not knowing His plans for me, but I haven’t doubted his love for me since. I make it a point to put God first and have him be the center of my life. I make it a point to trust His plans for me more than my own, and I don’t go a day without thanking him for everything that he has done for me.
If you are at rock bottom, whatever your rock bottom may be, please please please realize that God is still with you, all you need to do is start looking up.
Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

My Return

Hey everyone! I am so sorry that I have been away so long (medical and technical issues), but I am back! Today I just want to take a moment of your time to say hello, how much I’ve missed y’all, and that I’m so excited to see what will happen as we move forward with thelampandthelamb.com!

So, hello and boy have I missed you guys! It’s wild to think of how fulfilling my little blog has been… I know that it isn’t crazy big yet and there may only be a few people that see what I post, but knowing that it could touch one life gives me pure joy. I cannot thank God enough for having pushed me to blogging!

I know that this post won’t be very long, but I wanted to baby step back in after so much time away and I wanted to set up what my plans are for moving forward. Since I truly believe that my blog is part of my purpose, I am going to start treating it less like a job and more like a life plan.

While away, I have really had a re-birth and growth of faith that I have never expierenced before, and I definitely want it to reflect in my posts. I feel like God has big plans for this blog and I can’t wait to see where He takes it!

Thank y’ou for taking the time to read and there will be more coming soon (new schedule update and new posts). To make sure you don’t miss anything, make sure to subscribe and as always, y’all, much love and God bless!

5 Ways To Prepare For A Great Year

5 Ways To Prepare For A Great Year

Hey everyone! Today I want to talk to y’all about 5 ways to prepare for a great year. These are things that I do and things that the people in my life do to set themselves up for another wonderful year. I hope that you enjoy this list and keep on reading for 5 simple, and effective, ways to have a great year.

1) Set Goals

There are so many benefits to setting goals for yourself. The big thing is, these goals need to be healthy. Let me say this again so that you remember this THE GOALS THAT YOU SET NEED TO BE HEALTHY. Now, I’m not talking about setting goals about your health (which is completely okay to do, and a positive way to become healthy)… I’m talking about setting goals that are supportive, not destructive. This is absolutely essential in having a great year, because goals are motivators and motivation leads to action.

So, you’ve set goals and that’s a great start! Where do you go from there? Easy, put your goals on paper (or anything that you can write them down on). Don’t overlook this step, it’s important. Once you have your goals written down, display them somewhere that you will see them every single day. Please do this; it will serve as a reminder and a motivator for the days that you just don’t feel like doing anything. As you achieve your goals, mark them off (cross through them, put a check beside them, write yay). Watching yourself succeed will make you want to complete the next goal even more.

 2) Declutter

Okay y’all, this is something that is going to take a good bit of time, but it is going to be so worth it. I struggle with this, personally, but I have started 2018 by beginning to tackle some of my clutter and I’m already feeling better. Clutter doesn’t really seem like it’s a negative thing until you start getting rid of it. Trust me though, clearing out even the smallest bit of clutter seems to open up a space on a major level. Now only does the space around you feel cleaner, but it’s almost like it gives you more breathing room.

Here’s the catch, decluttering applies to more than just your home or office space. Declutter your home, your computer (get rid of files/photos/software that you don’t need/use), your office, and your friends list. That’s right, I said your friends list. So many of us are “friends” with people that are either not relevant in our lives, or people that are toxic for us to be around. You don’t need that type of clutter keeping you from developing new/healthier friendships. Starting the year off without clutter will leave you feeling refreshed and accomplished.

3) Focus On The Positive

This is pretty much a no-brainer, but I feel that it’s still worth talking about. Getting rid of negativity (at least the things within your control) will make a huge difference. Now, I’m not going to say that this is the easiest thing to do, because most of the time it isn’t. I can tell you the best ways to go about doing this though. Start with yourself first. Become a more positive person by changing your outlook on the world around you. Instead of criticizing people or being mad/upset when something small goes wrong, try to adopt the thought that everyone has something to offer the world (it’s not up to you to criticize them) and that if something goes wrong, it’s better to have it be something small than something big.

After you have adopted a (fairly) positive outlook on life, now you can begin making the world around you a little more positive. Spend time doing things for others to make their lives brighter. Pay for someone’s coffee that was in line behind you, donate clothes to a homeless shelter, spend time with a family member that doesn’t get to see you much. Little things make big differences and you can spread positivity so easily in your day to day life.

4) Set Yourself Up For Success

Here’s a biggie, setting yourself up for success is the key to having a great year. To set yourself up for success, you will need 3 things; Jesus, balance, and patience. You already know that to truly succeed in your life, you need help from God. Pray about everything. God has a plan for you and all you have to do is trust that plan.

Find balance in your life. I know that at times, it seems like balance is about the farthest thing from our reach, but if you work towards it, you can achieve it. Finding and having balance (even if it’s only a few minutes of balance in a crazy hectic day) is essential for getting yourself composed and focused. Getting a second burst of focus during the day will normally give you another wave of motivation. Like I said earlier, motivation leads to success.

Okay, you have your Jesus and you have your balance… why in the world do you need patience? Sit back and listen to this, PATIENCE PUTS THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE. That’s right, patience will change how you look at certain situations. When something goes wrong, the typical, knee jerk, reaction is to be upset. After all, big or small, something wrong is something wrong. That being said, a lot of times if you wait before reacting and really assess the situation, giving it a little bit of time to sink in, it’s not that bad. If it is very bad, patience gives you the ability to handle it better by allowing your reaction to be calculated to avoid further issues. Don’t overlook the importance of patience, it really does change a lot of things for the better.

 

5) Try New Things

While this might be a bit cliche, trying new things is a must for every year. I once heard someone say, “if you aren’t moving forward, you’re going backwards”. I know, you’re thinking “no you aren’t, you just aren’t moving”, but that’s the catch. If you aren’t moving forward in life, it will pass you by in a heartbeat. The world around us is ever changing and ever growing. To do nothing for any amount of time is to be going backwards as the world around you continues without waiting for you.

So, I’ll stress it to you again, try new things. They don’t have to be crazy, scary, or expensive. Just go somewhere new, try a new food (be careful if you have food allergies, of course), try on a piece of clothing that you would have never picked out for yourself before. Experiencing new things might lead you to a world of incredible things that you would have never known existed, otherwise.

 

Alright y’all, those are my thoughts on 5 ways to prepare for a great year. Of course, everyone is different and while these things work for me and a lot of people that I know, they may not work for you. Read through, find things that you would like to use in your year, and go be great! I have a feeling that this month is going to go by before I can share all the things that I’m wanting to with y’all, so keep your eye out for bonus posts just in case. I can’t wait to see y’all in my next post and as always, much love!

New Year – Same Me

New Year - Same Me

Hey y’all! So, if you read my last post, you’ll know that this post is about why I chose “New Year – Same Me” as my January 2018 monthly theme and what it means. Now, bear with me, as I’ve been struggling to put my thoughts on this into words. I think that this is partly because “New Year – Same Me” is a concept that I really want people to get behind and feel on the same level that I do, and partly because it’s hard to describe what it truly is without sounding redundant.

New Year – Same Me simply means that you spend the new year embracing (and learning to love) the person that you are instead of focusing on trying to be a different person all together. I understand that the “New Me” portion of “New Year – New Me” doesn’t mean that you are trying to be a different person, but think of the normal new year habits… For the first few weeks, most of us spend time working towards these new year goals and resolutions like they are all that matters. We spend so many hours and so much money on these goals that are typically formed (maybe) a month before. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am all about working towards being a better person.

Here’s the thing; I think that goals should be set realistically and without a certain aspect of “peer pressure” or “societal pressure”. Basically, set goals because you have something that you would like to achieve; don’t set them because someone (or a holiday) is telling you too. Another thing is that I believe people have this crazy notion that a new year means that everything bad that happened in the last year will be washed away. Well, as much as I hate to point it out… that’s not the case. The past year still happened, the good and the bad, it’s not just going to go away.

My point to all of this (this post, this theme, and the way that I’m feeling) is just to tell y’all to spend this new year embracing what has already been you this whole time. Take everything that happened in the past year (and the years before it) and learn from it. Take the time to sit down and go through what you liked, what you didn’t, what you felt you could have improved on, and what you want to do moving forward. This new year is a blessing. It’s another chance to do the things that you haven’t done yet.

Set goals, but do so in a healthy manner and apply realistic timing to your results. Heck, join in communities of people that are going after the same goal to help you keep on track. Being a better you isn’t a bad thing at all. In fact, you should always strive to be a better person than you were the day before. So, take this new year and use it to do fantastic things. Use it to learn how to love the you that you’ve always been and use it to improve the things that you aren’t happy with.

I hope that y’all enjoyed this post and I hope that your new year started off great! There will be more coming soon, so be sure to subscribe or check back in later. Below, I’ve listed just a few “New Year – Same Me” challenges to help get the new year rolling in the right direction. As always, much love!

 

New Year – Same Me Challenges:

 

  • Spend an evening with your family, without having your cell phone/tablet glued to your side. (Connect with them without letting social media and messaging get in the way)
  • Take some time to try new things. (Maybe you try a new restaurant that you’ve had your eye on, a new style that you’ve been thinking about testing, or even a new workout routine)
  • Spend some time on yourself. (Try to relax a little and don’t forget to take care of yourself)
  • Go for that promotion or apply to your dream job. (Learn to not keep yourself from moving forward because you’re scared of a “no”)
  • Make a list of goals that you would like to achieve and hang it up in a place where you will see it every day. (Be sure to set realistic goals and timelines and don’t give up!)

 

The Lamp & The Lamb – 2018 Plans

Hey everyone! I hope that your Holidays were great and that you are ready for the new year! Since this is my first post of 2018 (insert excited “woop” here), I have so much to share with you guys! So, if you have been following my blog, you will know that I’ve taken some time off recently… but don’t worry, I’m not leaving. I’ve just been getting things ready for the new year and getting myself organized so that I can provide better content and a reliable posting schedule. That’s not all though… there are some BIG changes coming to the blog this year. That’s right, I’m talking some really awesome stuff that I think y’all will like (can’t give away all my secrets yet), keep on reading for a sneak peak of what’s to come this year.

To kick off this new year, every month moving forward will have a theme. For January 2018, the theme is New Year – Same Me. I will be releasing a post about why I chose this theme and what it means very soon, but I can’t wait for you guys to see each month’s theme and how it shapes the content that I will be putting out this year. My hope is that these themes will also inspire you to make the most out of each month and maybe even give you some ideas of how to do so.

Next, I will be opening up a few posts for collaborations! This is something that is very new to me and I am beyond excited to explore this area of blogging. I feel like collaborating with other bloggers will not only give more information to whatever topic the post is on, but it will also bring in new perspectives. If you are interested in doing a collab with me, you can always reach out to me at my email, or pm me on my Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Don’t think that I’m done yet, along with monthly themes and the start of collaborations, I want to start engaging more feedback from y’all, my readers. I have been toying with the idea of incorporating videos or podcasts into my blog for a while now and I would love to know what you guys think of this idea. If you want me to do this or something like it, be sure to comment what you would like to see, or like this post.

These few things are just the start of the wonderful things that I’ve got planned for this year. I would love to tell you more, but I have certain things that I want to reveal as the year goes on and other things that are still in the brainstorming process. I hope that y’all are as excited for this new year as I am and I’ll see y’all in my next post. As always, much love!

Christmas Gifts To Get The Person Who “Has Everything”

This post contains affiliate links at no additional cost to you. I only recommend things that I do/would use/give to family and friends.

Hello all! Today I want to talk to you guys about something that time is ticking down on… That’s right, Christmas is coming. This week is going to be gone in the blink of an eye and Christmas is going to be here. Among other things, this means that if you don’t have gifts for everyone on your list, time is running out. If you’re racking your brain and coming up with nothing more than a card with money (which, I believe, is always a good gift) then worry no more. I’m going to give you the easiest  way to decide what to get for the person in your life who “has everything”.

These people are hard to buy for because they either have everything that they say they need/want, or they say that they don’t need/want anything. First you have to determine which type of person they are.

Person one is someone that goes out and buys everything as the year goes on and it’s near impossible to think of something that you could get them that they wouldn’t already have. These are the people that you have to kind of think in terms of “what wouldn’t they buy for themselves”. Now, this is probably not a long list, but if you think hard and long enough, you can come up with something that they may have never even thought of.

For the food-loving men in your life, that have it all,  you can get things like crates of exotic jerky (click HERE to view) and crates of BACON (click HERE to see the bacon sampler crate). I mean you really can’t go wrong with bacon and jerky! These crates come with an assortment of mouth watering jerkies/bacons and I am drooling just thinking about these. This is such a great gift for the guys in your life that gravitate towards meat more than anything else. This will let them try something new while allowing you to get them a gift that they most likely would never think to get for themselves.

For the women in your life that have everything, you can get something for pampering. That’s right, spa gift baskets! There are a couple of ways you can go about getting an awesome gift basket. You can get the “Premium Deluxe Bath and Body Gift Basket”, which contains 19 Lavender and Chamomile items! I’m going to put the list of what this comes with just because I am blown away by this basket… It has,

Stress Release Bubble Bath, Body Wash with Shea Butter, Hair Replenish Shampoo, Skin Loving Hand Cream, Skin Repairing Body Butter, Aromatherapy Bath Salts, Shea Butter Bath Caviar, 3 Fizzy Bath Bombs, Handmade Essential Oil Soap Bar, Lavender Chamomile Body Mist, Hand-poured Aromatherapy Candle, Wooden Reflexology Stick, Pumice & Brush Combo Stick, Spa Bath Mitts, Luxury Comfort Spa Slippers, Extra Long back scrubber loofah, Mesh Bath Pouf

I mean holy crap! This would be such an amazing gift for a special woman in your life! That being said, it is a bit on the high end for price, but it’s completely worth it (click HERE to see this crazy awesome basket). If you don’t want to spend quite this much on a present, you can always get the “I Think You’re Wonderful Gift Basket” that has 10 items. This basket is packed with HANDMADE and NATURAL products; yes please! I mean, this is just an awesome gift, hands down (click HERE to see this super cool basket).

Okay, I got slightly sidetracked with really cool gifts, but I’m back on point and ready to get to the next person. So, person two is the first person we see that doesn’t necessarily have a WANT for gifts. I would suggest asking them first, but a lot of times these people end up valuing EXPERIENCES over tangible gifts. This type of person is so easy to get for. I know, you are probably rolling your eyes at me right now, but I am so serious. Just take them somewhere that you know that they love or spend a day with them going to different stores that they enjoy. If you give them the gift of time and memories, you pretty much can’t go wrong.

The last type of person doesn’t WANT gifts for themselves; they want for others. Let me explain, they want you to take the money that you were planning to spend on them, and spend it on someone else instead. This type of person typically would rather you donate to a charity that they support or give a gift to a family/person in need  than get them a gift.

That’s the three type of people that are labeled “difficult” to shop for because they “have everything”. If you take anything away from this post, I hope that you have learned to think outside of the box with your gifts and if someone says “I don’t want anything”, instead of just dismissing their statement, talk to them about why they don’t want anything. I am a combination of the person who would rather have an experience, and the person that would rather see the money spent on a person/cause that needs it more. Now, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate tangible gifts on a major level as well. In my opinion, every gift and every type of gift is great because someone took their time, money, and energy to do something nice for you.

Finding gifts doesn’t have to be a hard process. Just let loose, have fun, and get gifts from your heart instead of your brain. As always, much love and Merry Christmas!

Liebster Award Nomination

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First, I want to give the biggest thank you that I possibly can to Annie Cole! Being a new blogger means that so many opportunities seem like they are so very far away. I was so sure that though I tried, an award nomination wouldn’t come for a long time (if at all). So, Annie, you have no idea how much this nomination means to me… thank you from the bottom of my heart!  I know that we haven’t known each other long, but I already love your blog and you are such a sweet person! Everyone that reads this should definitely go check out her blog at colescross.com , you will love it!

As for my favorite blog that isn’t my own…. That is such a difficult question to answer. I follow a ton of blogs that are incredible and they stretch across all niches with all types of people. I would have to say that my favorite blog, that isn’t my own, would have to be Fall For Maine (https://www.fallformaine.com). Tayla is, hands down, an amazing blogger and yes, she’s as nice in person (well, in messages) as she seems in her blogs. The content is wide-ranging and it’s enjoyable and helpful. I love being able to learn more about blogging (which her posts have helped me with a ton!) and then relaxing a bit with posts about home and health. Her personality shines through her posts and the whole site is inviting and kind. One thing is for sure, you will find yourself getting lost in her blog and enjoying every minute of it!

The Liebster Award has been going strong since 2011 and continues to grow every year. This is an award that is by bloggers, for bloggers. The goal is to discover new blogs and celebrate small blogs from all over. We all start somewhere and I am so happy to be a part of this award!

My Nominations: (Click the site names listed beside the nominees to access their sites)

 

 

Nominees, read on to the end of this post for your questions and click HERE to access the official rules and guidelines to fully enter to win the Liebster Award. This will take you to the site that is hosting the award and will allow you to see the things you need to do to solidify your nomination (read their post and look at their section on “What To Do If Nominated”). Also, a huge congratulations!

Ten Random Facts About Me:

  1. I have always wanted to be a writer (author, blogger, anything that would let me write for a living)
  2. I have also toyed around with the idea of delving into the world of motivational speaking (If you would like to see this happen on my page, let me know in the comments)
  3. I have a Silver Dapple Dachshund that is the cutest (She’s also one of the sweetest dogs that I’ve ever met)
  4. I love all things owl related (pictures, knick-knacks, paintings, salt and pepper shakers, etc…)
  5. I love it when people tell me that I have helped them (it makes me feel like I’m doing the right things in my life)
  6. I got married to my amazing husband at 19 years old (for all the people about to look horrified, no I wasn’t knocked up and I most certainly did not have a bad home life) (My family is the best ever – my side and his)
  7. I love fashion, but I am a bit fashion challenged (I try very hard to be fashionable, but I think that I struggle to put fashionable outfits together)
  8. I am a new lover of makeup (I have never worn it much until recently and now I can’t get enough of makeup tutorials and new products to try… my weakness is matte foundation, beautiful eye shadow palettes, and liquid lipsticks)
  9. I have a really bad shoe and sock addiction  (I love all kinds of shoes except for flats and I buy more socks than any one person could ever need)
  10. I LOVE coffee (The more coffee the better; all kinds are delicious but my favorites are between French Roast and Colombian Roast)

My Questions From Annie:

 

  • What made you start a blog? I feel like God was urging me to start a blog and I took a leap of faith and started on my crazy blogging journey. You can read my Why I Blog post by clicking here.
  • Where do you usually write your posts? I normally write my posts from the comfort of my couch, but I always carry a notebook with me just in case I need it while I’m out and about. Normally inspiration will hit from watching my husband and my puppy play, or from watching life happen around me. When the “creative juices” start flowing and I have to write them down wherever I am.
  • How do you come up with post ideas? Honestly, I don’t sit around and dream up my post ideas. I typically don’t have anything to post until the day before I’m supposed to (I know it seems horrible). The thing is, I have a lot that I want to talk about, but despite what I plan on writing all week, I normally end up getting a last minute idea that I feel the need to write and the need to post.
  • How long does it usually take you to hit publish on a post? Not too long, actually. I do all of my proofreading and editing in a Google Doc, create my graphic, and then transfer everything and do last minute things in my WordPress dashboard. (takes about 1-2 hours)
  • What do you look for on other blogs that makes you want to subscribe to them? I look for blogs that I can relate to. If there is a common ground and I enjoy their writing style, I’ll subscribe every time.
  • What do you notice first about a blog? The first thing that I notice about a blog is the layout and the color scheme. I’m a sucker for easy navigation, beautiful colors, and clean lines.
  • As a blogger, do you think pop ups on blogs are annoying? I think that pop ups get annoying when there are too many. A subscription pop up and maybe one or two add pop ups aren’t too many in my opinion.
  • What is your favorite social media? This is such a difficult question… My heart is torn between three because I get more interaction and views from Facebook and Pinterest, but I enjoy using Instagram because it lets me connect to my followers a little more.
  • Do you take your own pictures for your blog? Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. I want to move more into taking my own pictures, but (for the most part) lately I have been using pictures that I haven’t taken personally.
  • How did you earn your first dollar blogging? I actually haven’t earned any money from blogging yet. I am hoping to start more my monetization process soon, but whatever I promote on my blog will be things that I stand behind.
  • Which one of my posts is your favorite? My favorite post of yours is your How To Make A Cute Country Christmas Wreath post. I love all things DIY and all things Country Chic. Your instructions are easy to understand and I’m thinking about making on of these for next year. To see Annie’s Cute Country Christmas Wreath post, click here.

Questions For My Nominees:

 

  • What is your favorite thing about blogging?
  • What do you think sets you apart from other bloggers?
  • Do you have any pets? How many/ What kind?
  • Who is your inspiration in life?
  • If you could be a superhero, which superhero would you be?
  • Who is your blogging inspiration?
  • Coke or Pepsi?
  • Do you feel like you are happy with your blogging experience so far?
  • What is your biggest blogging goal for 2018?
  • What is your favorite kind of music?
  • If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?

 

 

Congratulations to all small blogs for putting yourself out there and letting the world hear what you have to say! Good luck on your crazy blogging journey!