Sharing through the Sadness

Sharing through the Sadness

Today, my friend Jenna is going to be sharing with you about her blogging journey.  Jenna and I went to OBU together, but besides living down the hall from one another, we weren’t really good friends.  However, now that we both blog, we have followed each other’s journeys.  Jenna is sharing her blogging story, and I love that she is sharing the good and the hurt.
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Hello there! I am Jenna from Choosing Joy and I am so excited that Brittney is allowing me to share a little bit of my story on her little corner of the internet today!

So I guess I will start with a little bit about me. I am a 27 year old Pediatric RN recently turned stay at home mom from Bentonville, Arkansas. I am married to my Junior High Sweetheart, Bryan, and we have two little boys, Hudson (who is just shy of 4) and Rhett (17 months). I’ve been blogging since I found out that I was pregnant with Hudson (almost FIVE years ago) and it started as a journal to share pictures with friends and family who didn’t live close, over the years it has grown quite a bit and has evolved to be more than just a journal.
I blog a lot about my kids and my obsession with cloth diapering and I’ve recently started Weight Watchers and have been blogging about weight loss and my journey to get fit and be healthy. I have lost 12 lbs of my goal of 64 lbs so far and I am so proud and excited about my progress. Brittney has really encouraged me with her weight loss story. My workout of choice is running but I’ve also started PiYo in the past few weeks and it is hardcore! But I blog about some serious stuff too…
Which leads me to last December when my Mother-in-law, Janet (who was blogging here about her journey), ultimately won her battle with Ovarian Cancer at 51 years old when she joined Jesus in His throne room but left her loved ones here on Earth. Way before I fell in love with her son, Janet was a mentor to me. She was way more than a Mother-in-law, but basically my second mother. I have taken her death (along with my whole family) pretty hard. So since losing her, my blog has become a place where I talk about how our family is coping with our loss. It has been a very hard six months for our family but I have found so much support through the blogging community. 

I am blessed beyond measure by God’s goodness and grace in my life. My one hope through blogging is that I can inspire someone like I have been inspired by so many others. Since losing Janet, joy has been a choice that I have had to make many days. Sure I still feel sad and miss her. I hate thinking about living life without her, especially for my little boys, but the Bible promises us that “sorrow will last for a moment, but joy comes in the morning”. Thanks so much to Brittney for letting me share a little bit about who I am and I would love to have you hop over to my blog and join me on my journey of choosing joy!

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Thanks for sharing your story, Jenna!  Go check out her blog Choosing Joy.


What’s in my bag? {Southern Girl Blog Hop}

Today is the Southern Girl Blog Hop!  I’m posting over at  The Fancy Little Things, and Kati from Along for the Ryde is here today!  Kati and I were casual friends in college…but since college we have become good friends through Twitter and blogging! She is the cutest thing…and she has the cutest spunky little boy, Ryder! I’m so excited to share my corner of the web with her today!  Here is Kati…
Hey guys! I’m Kati & I blog over at along for the ryde… I blog about life with my little man, new products I discover, sometimes recipes I try here and there and every once and a while I’ll get crafty, but mainly just life! I love the blogging community & can’t believe I’ve been apart of it for four years now! Thanks for letting me steal your internet space today Brittney! 😉
I am so happy to be partaking in another Southern Girls Blog Hop!  This is our third month and I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every month, and reading all the girls different posts!  If you want to join us in the coming months, shoot Abby an e mail at abby{dot}turner7824{at}gmail{dot}com and she’ll fix you up!
Today we’re talking about “What’s in MY bag?!”  It doesn’t matter what type of bag…just any bag!  I thought I would share a few of my favorite make up items that I have just recently added to my make up bag!  Some are old products that I’m just discovering, and just want you to know about their yummy goodness!  All products don’t work out the same for everybody, but these are what have worked for me!

1. I asked for this for Christmas, and am so thankful that Santa pulled through!  I’ve always been on the lookout for a good concealer, and there are good ones out there…but this one is just GREAT!  No other words!  I’ll never go back to using anything else!  I provided y’all with a all natural picture from this morning, with ERASE paste on one one side, and not the other.  You tell me this stuff isn’t amaze-balls!  😉  Found here.
2.  I got my mom a bag of these for her stocking for Christmas, but had never tried them for myself.  She was so excited when she got them and said they were her favorite…and I had no idea!  I bought some one day at Walgreens when they were 3 for $3 because they are usually $2.99 for ONE!  They are literally so smooth and moisturizing and seem to stay on your lips for a long time!  I now have one in my make up bag, backpack and purse!  You won’t find me with out one!  Found here
3.  I recently started highlighting and contouring with my makeup.  I used concealer for my highlighter for a while, and then I discovered this more white highlighter at Target in their e.l.f. section and really happened to like it.  I wish I could buy it without the concealer on the other end…because it’s not my favorite, but I love it for all of $3!  It’s just light enough to highlight the pie pieces under my eyes!  😉 Go getcha some!  Found here.
4.  I’ve always loved this stuff…since high school actually.  I like to put it on over my NIVEA.  It’s the perfect tint and sheen and seems to last a good while.  Even though it’s no fun when the wind blows your hair into it on a windy day.  Boo.  You can buy it at B&BW or also found here.
5.  I’ve always wanted to try these out, but never wanted to pay $15 dollars for one at Walgreens, seemed a BIT redic for a sponge!  Luckily, I finally saw them one day at TJ!  So happy…and the $4.99 price tag made me even happier!  I used it for my foundation for a while, and it seemed to soak more of it up than it actually spread it around smoothly on my face.  Now I use it when blending in my highlighter {from above} and it does just the trick!  Found here.
Hope you’ve enjoyed a little sneak peak inside my make up bag!  Happy Sunday friends!  


Southern Girl Blog Swap: DIY Love {Guest Post}


I’m linking up with Charmed Bliss for the Southern Girl Swap Blog Hop!
 
Be sure and leave a comment below!  There is a giveawat involved!
 
Today’s guest blog is from Leslyn. She went to OBU with me. She and I weren’t super close at school…but I always admired her AMAZING voice!  This girl is CRAZY talented.  Her blog is super cute…so be sure you hop on over and visit her blog!
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Hello friends!

My name is Leslyn, and I blog over at Leslyn’s Lovely Life! I went to college with Brittney, and I am so excited to post on her blog today!

So the idea for today is to discuss anything DIY. Well, it’s everyone’s lucky day, because I LOVE DIY stuff. Unfortunately, with the holidays and traveling, I haven’t had the opportunity to put together an awesome tutorial myself (more like I haven’t had time to take pictures of some recent projects… oops). So instead, I am putting a little compilation of some of my FAVORITE DIY things I’ve found on Pinterest! 🙂

Farmhouse table tutorial

{Source} A DIY farmhouse table. Yup. I am totally doing this.

This website will suck you in...so addicting!! A whole website of furniture redos

{Source} The hubs and I are wanting to buy a house, which means we’re wanting new furniture. Well, obviously, ain’t nobody got enough money to buy all new furniture for extra rooms that we’ve never had. So, we’re going to be professional refurbishers (is that a word?).

Puff Quilt Tutorial for Beginners. How to make a Puff Quilt.

{Source} This puffer quilt. Um, hello perfect baby shower gift (but that baby better be SUPER special if you’re gonna take the time to put this together… Just sayin’)

Bumpy Crochet Blanket

{Source} While this tutorial is technically for a blanket, I would TOTALLY make an infinity scarf with this pattern. How cute is this?!

Winter Wreath

{Source} This wreath is SO pretty. And it doesn’t seem like it’s too hard to make.

I hope that one of these tutorials inspires you to do something fun and creative!

I would love for you to stop by, say hi, become my friends, etc. 🙂

xoxo
Les
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Thanks so much for the post Leslyn!  Be sure and leave us a comment below to enter the giveaway!  Thanks for reading!

I’m guest posting over at Big Pitt Stop– swing by there and leave a comment for another chance to win!


Southern Swap Blog Hop: Advent

I am joining up with several sweet southern bloggers for the Southern Swap Blog Hop with Charmed Bliss!
 There is a giveaway that goes along with the Blog Hop that you can enter!  Here are the rules for the giveaway! Just leave a comment (and then visit some of the other blogs and leave a comment…you can enter on all 9 blogs!).  You can win, and then Keisha (my guest poster) and me can win too!  The prize is a Starbucks gift card, cup, and coffee!  Win, win, win!
 So, today I am hosting Keisha from Big Pitt Stop. Keisha and I go way back. 🙂  She worked at Ouachita when I was a student there.  She is awesomely talented and crafty (she helped us make some costumes when I was a Tiger Tunes hostess).  She is also an inspiration as a cancer survivor and she dedicates her life to raising money and helping others.  Love this lady! So here is Keisha with some thoughts on Advent!
The last couple years I’ve been really intrigued by the concept of Advent and the many different ways people have made it part of their holiday tradition.
Growing up, we didn’t really do an intentional Advent celebration.  I remember years of focus on the 4 Sundays leading between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I don’t know that we actually lit the 4 pink candles.  We for sure didn’t have the little Christmas shaped things with drawers that pull out and have little trinkets in them.  Of course our days were filled with doing things like looking at lights, making hot chocolate, practicing for a church play, making cookies, wrapping presents, etc. (my mom celebrates Christmas big…we are Texan after all…and we do things BIG).  But, I don’t know that any of it was specifically intentional. (hold on to that word)  
2 years ago, a friend of mine and I had a conversation about Advent.  Our focus quickly shifted to “reading” and preparing our hearts for the season ahead.  I think she is the one who really dropped this “idea” or “concept” of Advent in my mind.  She grew up in a home where they read scripture, verses, and devotionals daily through the holiday season.  Her mom was intentional about making sure the focus was right during the holiday.   
A quick Google search provides these top 5 sites on the topic of Advent:
The second or third week of December last year through the magic of social media, I found myself landing at the Advent Conspiracy.  I was extra curious because of this ongoing wrestling with the concept of advent.  And to see it paired with the word “conspiracy”, I was struck by the juxtaposition of these 2 atypical words.  For me, advent (as I had become to be exposed it) was a light an airy concept of preparing the heart for the holiday season. So, seeing that married with the word conspiracy that typically carries a negative connotation of intentional deceit, I was curious to see if someone was pushing a political agenda or a pragmatic attack on the church.   So, I clicked through on the link.  
Instead, my heart, mind, thoughts, and ideas all converged into one magical, life-altering moment.  Do it…watch this video, and then keep reading…
Did you see it?  Did you get it? Watch it again….
Now, since I’m a “guest” today, I’m going to spare my soap box moment that my readers over at Big Pitt Stop encounter.  But, that doesn’t mean I’m going to leave you with out a punch line.
WHAT IF WE DID MORE WITH WHAT WE HAD?
That was my challenge to myself this year.  I’m not pushing an agenda or trying to make you feel bad (giving presents is my favorite thing I do all year…I like to consider myself a pretty good gift giver) but I am challenging you to think. 
I recently moved and as a single, 30 year old woman, I found myself stressing if I would really be able to fit all of my “things” into a 26 foot truck to drive across the state of Arkansas.  Once I moved my 4 bedroom home with a full basement into a 2 bedroom duplex, I quickly realized that there were a lot of “things” I was using to fill voids in my life.  So, I’ve again challenged myself to the idea of
·    Spending less
·    Giving more
·    Worshiping fully
·    Loving all
Advent is a new tradition in my life.  It’s the way my heart celebrates Christmas.  It’s the reason I get excited when this and this arrive in my mailbox.
So, today, on the second day of December let me challenge you to this.  Be intentional.  Spend time with those you love.  Give more. More time. More gifts. More intention.  Above all, be a blessing.
~~Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.  Ephesians 3:20 ~~
Thank you Keisha!  A great reminder to make Christmas more about CHRIST. I’m guest posting over at All Things Girl today!  Check it out! Thanks for reading!