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Friday, February 26, 2010

Heart Sessions: Featuring Jen of With Grace & Lace

As some of you may recall, I kicked off a series last week {here} called Heart Sessions, which are a series of inspirational writings and stories from the heart that I have personally written as well as personal writings from my friend Jen over at With Grace & Lace.  Our desire is to step away from the day-to-day of life - if even for just a moment -  so we may encourage, uplift and inspire you as well as each other with matters of the heart...with grace and Truth, as always.  So, for today's Heart Sessions, I turn it over to Jen...               
 ~Nikki


Since this is my first time writing for “Heart Sessions” I am feeling a little unsure or insecure about how to approach it. I feel the need to begin with a bang or be funny or tell you about who I am or where I am coming from BUT that isn’t really what Heart Sessions is about at all. By sharing what the Lord has done & is doing in my life I’m sure you’ll be able to get a sense of those other things…but more importantly, it isn’t about how you perceive me, my {flawed} writing skills or my experiences but instead how it relates to you - how what the Lord has done relates to YOU! My hope in these writings is to follow in the example of John the Baptist. He was a man whose heart, passion and life were completely wrapped up in pointing people to Christ (the one who saves) and not to himself in all circumstances.

I love the ‘heart’ behind “Heart Sessions.” I love that Nikki’s vision was to have absolutely any type of person, with any beliefs & any history, feel welcome & comfortable enough to dive in here. Dive in to think and to process. Dive in to feel encouraged, blessed & spurred on. Dive in to go deeper, to seek and to ask questions. The vision resonates with me so much because I think that is what the Lord would do if he had a blog, too. I know that sounds silly, but seriously! Jesus hung out with every kind of person, from every kind of background and belief system. He didn’t make everyone feel “comfortable” necessarily, but he was always filled with love and Truth - inviting all to come & see who He is & what He’s about.

So I guess that is how I will conclude my very first “Heart Session.” Along with Nikki, I invite you to come and see.

“Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man's behalf!”
-Psalm 66:5

~Jen





Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bright, Chic & Lovely






Images via Coastal Living

There's something so cozy and wonderful about stepping inside a bright, colorful and most of all lovely room, and these Eastern seaboard homes designed by Tracey Rapisardi are no exception.  The chic designs and patterns are feminine and fun, and let's be honest, totally gorgeous.  After I had put together this post, it popped into my mind that my friend Erin over at the House of Turquoise must have done a post on Tracey's work at some point or another, so I did a little digging, and guess what?  I was right!  Sooooo, to see even more of Tracey's work, check out these posts by Erin over here and here.  I think I've added a few new images to the collection, so enjoy the eye candy, gang! 

Ciao!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

One Fabulous Picnic

When I first saw this image from Oh Happy Day! squeezed into an inspiration board over at Snippet and Ink, I just had to smile...and do a little more exploring behind its background...

No lie - this is an actual picnic event, not just a pretty photo shoot.  How cool is that?!  The pink hydrangeas in the buckets and those fabulous picnic baskets topped off by all of those luxurious, fluffy pillows are picnic heaven.  Wow!  To check out the "how" and "why" behind this gorgeous event as described by Jordan Ferney, head on over here.

Ciao!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Handmade Party Favors

I realize it's been ages ago (well, okay, more like a couple weeks) since I've posted some goodies by the crew over at Martha Stewart, so I thought I would browse around  for some new ideas (new to me) to share with all my lovely peeps over here.  As a disclaimer, I use this blog inadvertantly to archive all of the ideas I hope to actually put to good use some day.  Don't hold me to actually doing that, but I'm just sayin'.  Cool?  Cool.

Sooooooo...what I found was some very crafty, creative, and super fun handmade party favors to share with you all.  Oh, how I love party favors!  Seriously, as serious can get.  I get all happy and squirly and well, you get the point.  Who doesn't love coming home from a party with a special, little treat?  Party favors are the cherry on top of the party.  Regardless of whether or not you actually have a purpose for that favor, I'm sure that little kid inside of you still loves to receive them.  Am I right?  Well, gang, here are just a few of my favorites from Martha Stewart...


LOVE these little personalized lunch boxes.  How fun would this be for an outing with the kiddos?

Pie to go!  Pie in a pretty container to go!  Pie with a pretty label to go!  Oh, Martha, you're a genius!


I'm definitely going to give these little paper flowers with candy a try.  Super cute!


For those of you who don't mind your mug on a lollipop...


I hope you find a fun, new idea to add to your archives.  Have a wonderful day, gang!

Ciao!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Placecard of the Week: Mediterranean Summer

Wouldn't it be fun to have a Mediterranean-themed party?  Heck, wouldn't it be fun to be lounging on some beach in the Mediterranean about now?  I couldn't agree more.

This is what happens when I get camera happy...I start "staging" placecards.  Geesh!  With a pineapple just for kicks...

Now, I can't really take credit for naming this placecard.  You see, I bought this paper at Archiver's, and each sheet was printed with the label "Mediterranean Summer", so I kind of stole uh, borrowed the name from them, as they had already named the design quite fittingly.  I just added a few of my own touches here and there.

Anyhoo, I love the style of this placecard for so many reasons.  First of all, I think it would be great for a bridal shower or wedding, for that matter, as well as any other outdoor party, and it was easy to make.  (Okay, let's be honest here, all my placecards are easy to make.)  The other reason I love this style soooo much is because it reminds me of a dream of mine and the stud's to tour Italy and travel across the Mediterranean to the Greek Islands (Santorini).  We had planned all along taking this journey for our honeymoon, but we ended up in Australia for my husband's job, and admittedly, a pretty fabulous honeymoon.  Where is your dream destination?

Ciao!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Heart Sessions: Take 1

Happy Friday, gang! Welcome to a new series that I have had on the brain for quite some time...well, okay, to be honest, I've had it on my heart since starting my humble, little blog.  This is where my personal love of writing inspirational stories comes into play. 

Beyond the hand written word, these Heart Sessions, are an out-pouring of what's on my heart.   You see, I am a follower of Jesus Christ, and whether you call yourself a believer or don't believe in anything at all, whether you have been turned off by those in the name of "religion" who have hurt you by speaking one truth all the while living a life that defies that very truth, whether you're living and thriving, or whether you're lost and broken, my desire is that you will be inspired by these stories all the same, and that someday, you will be blown away with the incredible love, unfathomable mercy and grace and forgiveness that is awaiting you in the arms of the Lord.  These Heart Sessions, are my letters to you, my friends. 

I have no idea where I'm going with all this, but that's the beauty of creating your own blog and incorporating pieces of "you" into what you write.  If people choose to stop by and take it in, that's where the extra blessing comes in.  Initially, I was thinking of writing a new Heart Session every Friday, but I think I may just see where it takes me.  From time to time, I will have a guest feature from my beautiful, on the inside and out, blogging friend Jen over at With Grace and Lace, which I'm super excited about!

For today, I would just like to leave you with this video.  It's from my church here in Minnesota, and it's at a service that I attended last year.  As I sat in church next to my husband that Sunday watching each of these people walk out on stage merely holding up pieces of cardboard with their powerful testimonies summarized in just a few simple words, I was blown away.  They were bold, they were humble, and they were incredibly inspiring.  I cried and cried and cried some more as they continued to walk across the stage, all the while the worship team was playing David Crowder Band's "How He Loves" in the background.  It gave me goosebumps.  It still gives me goosebumps.  It's truly inspiring.

Be sure to turn up your volume, the words to the song playing in the background are so, so powerful.  At the end of the day, this is what it's all about...


Blessings,


The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.  Romans 10:8-10

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Glamorous Peacock Wedding Details

Clearly, I have a thing for peacocks.  Look up, now to your left, and now over to your right.  It's Peacock City around here!  I won't bore you with all of the many reasons why, but suffice it to say, I think the peacock is a stunning bird, brilliant in color, elegant in stature, and so-so stylish when transformed into the design world, and, of course, so much more.  For all of these reasons, I was totally pumped when I came across this glamorous peacock themed wedding over at Lolliblog.  Below are just a few of the details.  To see the rest of the wedding photos, head over here.  Check out that gorgeous bouquet made entirely from peacock feathers!  Have you ever seen anything like it?

Photos courtesy of Christine Chang Photography


I love, L.O.V.E., love these bridesmaid dresses...

Ciao!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Little Pink Pig Party

I first stumbled across this absolutely adorable Little Pink Pig Party designed by Photographer Wendi Schoffstall for her daughter Audrey's first birthday over at one of my new blog faves Candy and Cake, then I stumbled around some more to discover it was first showcased by Shannon on the The Creative Party Place.  Anyhoo, for those of you who don't follow some of these fun party blogs, I encourage you to stop over and check them out.  They display some *seriously* fantastic party ideas.

Now onto the party...

Check out these cute cupcake toppers....
For all the great details on how Wendi pulled this party together, head on over here.  Cool beans!

Ciao!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Arizona Dream Home

When I came across this Arizona Dream Home over at Apartment Therapy, I thought it was just too stylish to keep to myself...



Are you ready for the backyard, gang?

Seriously.  Is this home not entirely fabulous?  I'm not even a huge fan of modern design, but the black and white details of this home were pulled together brilliantly.  Did you notice all of the stunning chandeliers?  W.O.W.  Oh, and how about that nice little pop of color in the nursery?  Talk about an adorable change of pace! 

This real home was submitted to Apartment Therapy by readers Joanna and Dave, the owners of this gorgeous home.  According to their interview here, Joanna explains, "Our style: Modern Chic. The contrast of black and white mixed with the shimmer of glass, mirrors and crystals makes our home look clean and glamorous. I keep the interest in a monotone palette by playing with textures and adding a pop of color here and there."   No doubt!  All I can say is that I'm totally crazy about this home.

Pssssssssst....if you're loving those pillows in the pictures, stop on over to Joanna's Etsy shop for a little browse-a-roo.  Have a wonderful day!

Ciao! 

Monday, February 15, 2010

Placecard of the Week: My Valentine

So...I've been missing in action from blogland for a few days now as I've been out of town spending some quality time with my family, but I'm happy to be back and share my latest placecards with you this week.  I know, I know, Valentine's Day was yesterday and, therefore, is long gone as of today, but I hope you won't mind me still sneaking these little fellas in.  I think you just might like them.

My Valentine...

I was feeling particularly ambitious this week, so I even made my honey a homemade Valentine's Day card, and he actually loved it.  Score!
I have nothing to hide, folks....I'm one lucky girl!  So...here's the inside with a fun little embellishment I added.
Back to the placecards, I ran these babies through my sewing machine, and although, the pattern was seriously crooked (oops!), I think it added a playful touch.  I was going for the "handmade" old-school "Be My Valentine" kind of look, and all in all I think they turned out pretty fun.

Now, for the big day itself, to be honest, my husband and I usually just exchange cards and have a nice dinner at home together, which is perfection in my book.  We've just never made a huge deal out of Valentine's Day.  This year was no exception. 

We followed protocol and exchanged cards as soon as we woke up, he made me breakfast (gluten-free pancakes with homemade whipped cream and a homemade strawberry compote), we went rollerblading together at the "Rollerdome" (Metro Dome), and I had dinner in the works all day...pork roast - pan seared in olive oil, salt and pepper to hold in the juices, then slow cooked all day with onions, garlic, green peppers, jalapenos and carrots.  Then I whipped up some of my favorite homemade cheesy, garlic mashed potatoes - don't even ask what's in them (I'm trying unsuccessfully to give up dairy, by the way) and a side of sweet corn.  I have to admit, it all turned out pretty fantastic.  Yay for leftovers!  All that to say, it was really a wonderful day with my husband.  How do you celebrate Valentine's Day? 

Ciao!

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