We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Strong and of Good Courage

That title is so not how I feel. Another trial has made itself known. My human heart just wants to scream "Isn't it enough already??". But I know, I don't feel, I KNOW that the Lord has always brought us through. And He will again. It might not be in the way I would like it. The rescue from this new fear/pain/anxiety may not be all sunshine and roses. But I know that it will come because God's Word promises that He will not leave me desolate. I have nothing else, Lord. Only You. And You are more than enough. Please grant me peace and the courage to walk ahead trusting You.

Joshua 1:9 "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage ; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."

Friday, February 25, 2011

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Canvas People is offering an amazing deal right now! You MUST click on this link to get the deal, though.
Check out the prices to turn your favorite photo into a professional canvas. Here's the info straight from their website:


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Stylish Blogger Award

Thank you to Wendy @ Learning Through the Heartbreak of Loss for this fabulous award! If you haven't visited her blog yet, I'd encourage you to. It's very thoughtful and heartfelt. The encouragement she finds in God's Word always blesses my heart and I know it will bless yours too.

Here are the rules that go along with winning this award:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 7 recently discovered great bloggers. or less. up to you.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

  1. I love my Lord and my family.
  2. Beautiful things are the bane of my existence :) I MUST make or buy them.
  3. My parents are a huge inspiration and encouragement to me.
  4. Acknowledgment and encouragement from my hubby about my commitment to our family makes me feel more loved than anything else ever could.
  5. Now in my 7th month of pregnancy, I'm craving way too many pop tarts and s'mores.
  6. I'm addicted to bargain/clearance/thrift shopping.
  7. I am particularly fond of making my opinion known....um, working on that.
I've decided to share the love and hand out the Stylish Blogger Award to these beautiful bloggers whom I frequently stalk read.

1. Adventures of a Wannabe Cheapskate

2. Chocolate Covered Chaos
3. Raznoggle

Sunday, February 20, 2011

New Etsy Arrivals

A sneak peak at a few new items in my etsy shop all created by yours truly:

Flirty Jasmine Rosette Headband

Sweet & Sassy Jasmine Rosette Headband

Cloudy Skies Rosette Headband

Spring Fling Pua Necklace

Stony River Embellished Frame

Visit my store ToaSamoa on Etsy to see more handcrafted items.

I just had to say a very quick hurrah before signing off. Today I've had 5 sales and I'm currently working on filling 2 more orders! God is good!

God Always Provides

So, tomorrow is the start of Baby Boy's birthday week. We have one special gift or activity planned for every day leading up to his birthday. Relatives have been amazing sending boxes and boxes of goodies for our little boy and even sending along little things for our new little one coming in April! So we're pretty much set on the gifts for our birthday boy thanks to our wonderful family.

If you don't know this yet, Hubby works retail and earns a commission, which can be a tricky tricky business. Selling at a large furniture store is hard work! Especially now when the economy leaves more and more people opting to buy used furniture instead of new (ahem, like us!). It goes without saying that some weeks the pickings are slim. But the Lord always makes sure we have enough. Always. Well, our God has just proved again that He cares, even about the little things. We have enough groceries to get to the next paycheck, but the big finale for Birthday Week is to have a picnic at a park & playground. It's more frugal to make the picnic food, but even making it will be a bit of a stretch this week. I know lots of people have it harder than this, I'm not complaining, simply giving you background for the blessing I'm about to share.

It will only be the three of us so we decided on a simple menu of:
Deviled eggs
Wahoo Sandwiches (already have the ingredients)
Cupcakes (from scratch, always have the ingredients)
Ice Cream
With lots of crystal light and juice (got these in the cupboards too)

So we figured out our budget and were elated to see that we could make Birthday Week and the actual birthday happen! But only if I used some coupons to get a few free items to get us through this week so we could afford the extra and pay our bills (pesky bills).

A few weeks ago, we received store coupons for Dillons where we have a free customer rewards card. I decided to go to the store and use the free coupons. Imagine my surprise when I actually got in the store and took a look at the coupons we had for free items.

Free Cheerios! Baby Boy eats these every day either for breakfast or a snack.
Free potato chips for the picnic!
A dozen free eggs for our yummy picnic side dish.
And free ice cream for the picnic! You can't say God doesn't care about the little things.

These few items are a HUGE blessing to us this week! It may seem silly to some, but I'm overwhelmed with the way the Lord provides. It always happens. Week by week in this terrible economy, we don't have the means and sometimes are a bit anxious. But when we give it over to the Lord, He always provides in big financial ways and in small yummier ways :)

I Chronicles 16:8 "Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people."

Monday, February 14, 2011

==== Giveaway Winner =====

Happy Valentine's Day, Beauties! The Scentual Samoa Giveaway winner has been chosen.
Using random.org, the number generated was comment #4!!

Congratulations, Ida from Parents Reinvented! You will be contacted today to get particulars so your goodies can be shipped.

Thanks to those who entered the giveaway and thanks again to those noble people who emailed me with suggestions and deferred from entering.

Seems like the most popular item was the Bit of the Islands Wreath and the most popular suggestions for products were homemade bath products, mother of pearl jewelry and more island decor! I was surprised by the suggestions, but very happy for the support :)

Be sure to check out my shop: ToaSamoa, as new items have been added and I have more fun stuff to add in the coming weeks. I'm just swimming in inspiration because of all you beautiful people! Hoping this etsy shop is the start of something good for my little family.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Garden Stepping Stone Turned Trivet

Take one cute garden stepping stone. They real kind. The heavy kind. Not plaster or plastic.

Add a square of felt to the back...

And Voila: A pretty and useful trivet to place hot meals on without damaging your dining table.

Call it what you will, trivet, hot plate, pot holder..... I still think it's cute enough to leave on the table without looking like you forgot your trivet there after the last dinner :)
I don't have any trivets or hot plates, so this fills a need. Also, our living space is pretty small so I can't really store trivets. 
When I saw this stepping stone, inspiration flashed and my problem was solved: Useful trivet that is pretty enough to be stored in plain sight. Happy Lord's Day, Beautiful people :)

Today's the last day to enter my giveaway for some island skin care! Winner to be announced tomorrow on the Day of Luv!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Michaels FREE Valentines Card Making Party for Kids

Parents in the Joplin area, Michaels craft store is hosting a FREE Valentine card making party for 3 year olds and up! Bring the kids, play with all the pretty Michaels card supplies and take home a free card for each child. They get to decorate it themselves, which should be tons of fun!

Michaels in Joplin, MO
1:00-3:00PM Sunday Feb 13, 2011

Click here for more details.

To find a Michaels store in your area go to Michaels.com, click on Locate a store, then click on Store events.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Homemade Way To Keep Cut Flowers Looking Great

Check out this helpful article with great tips to help make your Valentine's cut flowers last!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Etsy Shop Celebration and Giveaway!

Hey, Beauties! If you love homemade pretties, take a quick peek at my ToaSamoa Etsy Shop. You can click the previous link or head over to the sidebar and navigate to my Etsy from there. I've just started it up but will constantly be adding new things to it. Inventory will always be changing too, so please add me to your favorites on Etsy.com and don't forget to let me know you stopped by!

Each person who leaves a comment here telling me the specific name of their favorite item in my (sparse-for-now) shop AND what other things they'd be interested in seeing will be entered into a giveaway! One comment for your fave item and one comment for what you'd like to see in my shop in the future. Bam! Possibly 2 giveaway entries per person!
I am looking forward to suggestions, as this is brand new for me, so thanks in advance, you beautiful people!

The prize:  Luscious handmade soaps and a selection of other chemical free beauty products from my favorite little soap shop in the Pacific: Scentual Samoa.

Giveaway ends Sunday Feb 13,2010 and winner will be chosen on Valentine's Day by random generator.

Friday, February 4, 2011

FREE Flavor Friday Coffee Mate

You can win a coupon for a FREE bottle of Coffee Mate! Here it is directly from their site:
We're giving away 100,000 coupons for a FREE bottle of COFFEE-MATE to try any of our delicious flavors. Request your coupon here or on Facebook starting at 9am PST on February 4th.
Taste one of our newest flavors:
  • Caramel Macchiato
  • White Chocolate Caramel Latte
  • CafĂ© Latte
Click here to be taken to the site and claim your coupon for a FREE bottle of coffee sprucing goodness. And yes, since it starts in less than 2 hours, I am stalking the site. Gotta have it for my java!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Spa Night Beauty Tip: Beautifully Curled Lashes

I am a huge fan of curling lashes before applying mascara. I think it really pulls the eye upward, making you look more awake and definitely shows off your lashes better.

I use a normal lash curler, like the one pictured above. Nothing fancy. You can find it for a couple dollars at WalMart, Target, or Walgreens. Whatever mass merchandise retailer you shop at, really. The problem is, people don't know how to use one to the best effect.

There are several ways to get those va-va-voom lashes. You just have to give 'em a go and figure out which one's right for you.

Method 1: Swipe, Curl, Swipe
- Put a light coat of mascara on.
-Immediately curl your lashes. Don't let the mascara dry. 10 is the golden number for lashes. Hold lashes in curler for 10 seconds before releasing.
-Add last coat(s) of mascara for pretty flirty lashes.

Method 2: Curl and Swipe
-Curl clean lashes. Remember 10 seconds at least!
-Apply your usual coats of mascara for a more subtle, but defined lash line.

Method 3: Heat it Up, Baby! (My all time favorite)
-With your blow dryer on low heat, give your lash curler a 10 second warm up. No more. You don't want to burn your eyes! I still test it with my fingers before applying it to my lashes, just in case.
-Curl lashes with the warm curler for 10 seconds.
-Immediately apply your usual coats of mascara for a very defined and come hither look. No falsies required.

I've used this trick successfully on so many unsuspecting people: girls going to prom, college gals going to a formal event, my sis on her wedding day... Ha! And you know what? It works.
The heating method can make a cheaper mascara go from blah to gorgeous! I use it mostly for date nights but whenever I have some extra time while getting ready and am feeling a little sassy, I heat it on up.

If you try any of these, let me know which worked best for you.
Have a lash luscious Spa Night, Beauties!

14 FREE Songs for Valentine's from Amazon

Get your 14 Free Valentine's songs from Amazon. Click the link and 'purchase' all 14 at once! They're totally free. Enjoy some good old love songs for you and your sweetie.

The list includes:
God Gave Me You
Let Me In Again
It's Your Love
You and I
When You Love Somebody

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 12

Day 12: A photo of something I love.
Being pregnant.
Me and Baby Boy 2008
Me and Little Man 2011

Ok, before you think I'm crazy and will have 20+ kids, let me clarify. Building a family with my beautiful Hubby is something that is full of hope and happiness for me. We wouldn't be the first to choose to have a huge bunch of kids, but you know what? I'll take however many the Lord will bless us with!

I had very definite ideas of how many kids I wanted, but after a miscarriage, the accident, and then trying for so long for this latest pregnancy, I will never judge the number of another person's offspring again. Children are a precious, irreplaceable gift from the Lord and I will be amazingly grateful if we end up having only these 2 here on earth or if we're blessed with 5 (or more)! It's up to the Lord. All I'm going to do is love them and teach them to love God above anything else.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What's For Dinner?

Appetizer: Homemade egg rolls
Main event: Honey mustard roasted chicken (my dad's secret basting sauce) and potatoes au gratin (using my SIL's delicious recipe).

Mmm.. eggrolls.
sweet and tangy chicken

Creamy cheesy potatoes
Finger lickin good :) LOL

Our cutie seemed to enjoy it too...

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 11

Day 11: A photo of something I hate.
Being COLD!

I love the convenience of living in the States. Everything moves on time and so much more efficiently here, but when it comes to cold weather, I'm a wimpy island girl through and through. Seriously, if my nose even gets a whiff of cold air I start sneezing and sniffling like I've got a 2 week cold. I look miserable and people think I'm on my death bed, but I tell them "Nope, my nose is just a wimp in the cold."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 10

Day 10: Photo of the person I do the most messed up things with.
Since this is my blog and I want it to remain encouraging, I'm changing this to the people I've done the most memorable things with: My siblings.
The five of us at my sister's wedding 2005

Sibs and spouses and kiddos. 2007
Memories that make me smile:
-Swinging on vines hanging from the mango trees (until they break, that is. Ssshh, you know who you are, I won't tell!)
-Snowball fight in below zero weather
-Stopping for gas station coffee and thoroughly defiling our cuppa joe with almost every flavoring available on the counter
-Driving around a parking lot for almost 2 hours singing songs at the top of our lungs and talking story while we laugh ourselves silly. Yes, people did stare, but some of them begged to take a turn around the lot with us ;)
-Spring break. Ha!
-Sneaking into a garage near midnight and filling the car with balloons and writing birthday wishes all over the windows for a special birthday girl
-Tim Tam SLAM! 'Nuff said :D
-Hanging out at Rubbles until they closed
-Sitting on pillboxes near the ocean and talking until sunrise
-Surprise birthday parties and Harry Connick, Jr.
-Cross country road trips for no reason
These are only a few out of a lifetime of moments with my siblings and I look forward to making many more memories in the future. I love each and every one of you, my crazy, wonderful, beautiful siblings!

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