Friday, December 28, 2012

{HOPE} MY journey. And my NEW word.

HOPE. It's MY new word.
HOPE: Hold On & Pray Everyday.
Today is the day I have been putting off talking about.
Today is the day I am having major surgery.
Today is the day I find out if I have cancer or not.

If you pray, I am asking you to please PRAY for healing for me & STRENGTH to endure this unknown road I am about to travel. I ask for prayers for my family.

To update you, after my breast cancer scare a month ago, I had an appointment set up with my gyno for the next week, for an annual check-up (which had been 4 years since I'd been). At the end of the visit, she wanted some additional testing set up. I thought, "here we go again". Fast forward a week later & it ends with her calling me in to her office to get the results in person. {sigh}
She wanted to do surgery right away as I have "issues" that needed taken care of sooner than later & ended with a "oh, and based on the test results, you 'may' have cancer too".
So after today, the finality of 'no more children' will hit. It makes me sad. It ALL needs to go (unfortunately) to make sure they take care of 'all my issues'. Plus they will know when they get in there "if" I have cancer. If I do, I PRAY it is contained & they can just remove it & I can be done. That is my HOPE anyway.

My doctor has a Plan A . . . as well as a Plan B & C - just 'in case'. She will not know exactly what needs to be done & the extent of it, until she operates. The unknown sucks. The possibility of having cancer sucks. But what can I do.

I decided AFTER hearing this news to busy myself in my work & the holidays being spent with loved ones.  I have made the most of this last month spending time doing what I wanted. I have had good days & some bad days with all of the mixed emotions & 'what-ifs' but most have been GOOD!
I have FAITH that God is the great physician & he will heal me & if I have cancer, we will cross that bridge when they find out & hopefully they'll be able to get it all tomorrow . . . IF I do. We just don't know yet. Am I scared? Right now, no but I have been. I just know that God has a plan & His timing is never off - He is saving me from something - that is what I am holding on to. I am holding on to the fact that they will get it all if I do & that I will be fine. But you all PRAYING for me will help. =) I have been on the end of a miracle before & have witnessed MANY in my life, so I am praying for another.
I was on a mission to find a "word" that would get me through this. My word ended up being 'HOPE'. I then received the most beautiful journal from a dear friend in the mail & wouldn't you know it, it had the word 'HOPE' on the front. I am cherishing it & recording my thoughts - it has truly helped. It was a sign. I am all about 'signs' as I feel it is a way for us to focus without 'focusing' on the real issues in front of us.  After that I KNEW I NEEDED to find a necklace with the word as well. I received a recommendation & ended up with one from a company (the Rusted Chain) that "prays" over your jewelry before sending it to you, if you ask. I LOVED it - I knew this was another 'sign'. My favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11 & when I went to order the necklace, they had this verse listed as an example of what you could order & also had it pictured with the word 'HOPE'. It's the little things with me. I LOVE having found this piece & know it will all work out. I have my FAITH & I have HOPE.
I have HOPE in Him & that is what is getting me through this. I have HOPE in God. I trust in that & I have peace. He has a PLAN & although I may not like it right now & it is unknown, I will TRUST & have HOPE that His plan is perfect timing for me. ;)
I debated on whether to say anything on here but I have shared my personal with you before and I was floored at the feedback & love I received. Thank you again. Maybe it will give someone else HOPE as well with something they are going through. We all NEED to have HOPE at certain times in our lives. I do now.
I promise I will check in & let you know an update just as soon as I can - hoping to be back on here while I am recovering! ;) 
 Love to all of you & THANKS for the PRAYERS! xoxo ♥

"For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you & not harm you, plans to give you HOPE & a future!" ♥ Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, December 20, 2012

{Thirsty Thursday} Cocktail Shots with the B-day Girl


During the hustle & bustle of the holidays, we tend to overextend ourselves,
volunteer too much, overdo & never say no. However, every now and then, it's important
to take off our 'Mommy' hats and just relax.

Relax...haha! I know that's a foreign concept for some of us. 
Between kiddos, husbands, work, school, dinner, etsy shops, clients, holiday parties 
& life...many of us forget to stop and take a little time for ourselves.

But trust me...we ALL need to relax a little! And what better way to recharge the
batteries, rejuvenate our minds & revive our spirits than with some quality time
with our girlfriends or husbands...without the munchkins?!?

When I begin to feel overwhelmed, I love to get together with friends,
have a fun girl's night out or just a quiet night at home with my hubby. And a
good cocktail never hurts!

Today's Thirsty Thursday cocktail is a shot. One of my favorite local
bartenders introduced me to this shot a few weeks ago...and two was all
I could handle LOL
It actually has another name...but it's not very appropriate ,) So I renamed it & used
it as a Signature Cocktail at a Black & White Christmas Party last weekend.

It's very yummy...very strong...and tastes just like Dr. Pepper.

{The Black Dahlia}

Vodka (a good quality vodka)
Sweet & Sour
Sugar to rim the shot glasses (optional)

Fill a shaker with ice
Add equal parts of each alcohol
(2 ounces of each, for example)
Top with equal splashes of Sweet & Sour and Coca-Cola
Pour into sugar rimmed shot glasses...and ENJOY!

{Photos by Echoing Pixels}


{p.s.} this is Laura, interrupting this post to make sure you KNEW it was Cineca's Birthday TODAY! Go wish her a Happy Birthday! =)


Party Food/Drinks Contributor: Cineca Newburn

Cineca is a mommy, wife, lover of music and traveling, and a self-proclaimed food junkie. When not experimenting with new recipes, watching cooking shows, and building tent forts, she’s a busy wedding and event planner. 

You can follow Cineca
 website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

{EASY} No bake Holiday Desserts

Ho Ho Ho – howdie and all that holiday fun stuff!  It’s Melissa coming to you from my kitchen today where I have been baking up a storm for the “service” people in our lives (ie mailman, sanitation workers, UPS guy etc)… After a day of baking (and none of it stays in the house) the kids want something fun and sweet to satisfy the cravings from all the cookies they are smelling!    However, I am about at my limit for the day SO I just happen to have a few tricks up my sleeve that work in a pinch (and won’t break the bank)!

No Bake Desserts

The first one is an easy one using the Marshmallow/Chocolate/Cookies that I find in our local store (kinda like the Mallowmars that you might be familiar with)  I melted a green chocolate melt slightly in the microwave and inserted into the middle (our cookies have holes in the middle).  Added a few sprinkles while it was warm.  To make it more fun for them to eat, I covered a white lollipop stick with some festive Washi Tape and stuck ‘er on in!  Kids loved them!

My second idea fun and oh so good!  Using the Oreo Cakesters a few M&M’s and again the same covered stick I used in this example below. 

Pair them with some milk and great treat for Santa also!  

Ok gotta run and get my oven mitt ….cookies are ready!    Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!


Party Tips Contributor: Melissa Newell 

Melissa Newell has been planning and executing parties for over 20 years - parties have always been a passion of hers.

 Melissa’s motto is Go Big or Go Home! She celebrates with her children every chance they get - making each day a celebration of Life!

Creativity on a budget and the attention to the smallest of details is what she is known for. Her blog, My Party Passion, highlights all of the parties that she throws!

You can follow Melissa

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

{CRAFTY TIP TUESDAY} 5 minute Christmas tree decor

Hey everyone!! It’s me, Staci from lizard & ladybug.
Today I am sharing a quick 5 minute Christmas tree decor IDEA!

 Honestly, this whole project took about 5 minutes!

A trip to the dollar store inspired me (that happens a lot) to make these simple SIMPLE trees.

It almost seems silly to call this a ‘tutorial’..but here goes.
This is what I used.

Cone shaped form - $1
Curling ribbon $1
Metallic spray paint  - from my craft stash
Not pictured: glue dots

I sprayed the cones and let dry. 
This took all of ~1 min!
A glue dot held one end of the ribbon on the top of the cone. 
I loosely wrapped the ribbon around the cone until I got the look I wanted.

I used a glue dot to secure the other end of the ribbon to the cone.
The red one needed some buddies.

I love a super simple (and inexpensive) project, especially one that is shiny!!


Want to see MORE crafty ideas? Head on over to Staci’s blog post over at Lizard and Ladybug! While you are there, join her blog so you can see all of her amazing craft ideas that she creates!

Crafty Tips Contributor: Staci Golden

Here I am in a nutshell:
~ I'm a stay-at-home mom to the lizard & ladybug
~ I love to craft
~ I can not sew
~ I exercise to keep sane
~ I would like to eat Reese's all day
oh and my family has a tough time taking a serious picture ;)

You can follow Staci

Monday, December 17, 2012

{simply} PRAY

I have a daughter who is a 4th grader. She IS my only child.
I take her to school & pick her up every day. I am blessed to be able to do that.

On Friday, after hearing the news, I called the school to discuss the 'lock-down' procedure, the safety issues, etc. as I wanted to know what the protocol was at my daughter's school "just in case" . . . .and felt a little better. I then thought about how sad it is that my child even knows what a "lock-down" drill is - oh how incredibly sad times are now. I wanted to have a sense of peace about sending her back to school after the weekend instead of the feeling of never letting her out of my sight again!
Today was unsettling.
As I am sure was the feeling as many of you this morning . . . I had 'different eyes' dropping off my only child at her school this morning. 

As I pulled up to the school, I was looking at all the doors, watching the teachers standing out greeting the students, checking out how/ where the school is situated on the street . . . 
I waited even longer - an extra minute today, before pulling away so I could watch & make sure my daughter was through the doors of the school before pulling away . . . and it made me anxious. VERY anxious! 

I hugged her extra tight & said about 10 more 'I love yous' before I let her out of the car. And you know what? There is NOTHING we can do except TRUST & PRAY. Every day. 

We are helpless in this insane world against evil. We feel frozen with fear sometimes because we feel as there is NOTHING we can do to make our nerves just a little more settled. It makes our guts tied up with anxiety & our focus all over the place. We feel as though it is ALL out of our control. But we can do something. 

TRUST. We can trust that God is taking over when we can't be there to watch our children. We lay our fears at His feet & TRUST. We never stop praying or maybe for some of us we START praying. We TRUST that this is enough.

We CAN start by being kind to one another. As I sat my daughter down this weekend to 'explain' a version of what happened Friday before she headed back to school, this was one of my focuses with her. I explained that everyone can DO something to help all of those precious angels who are no longer with us. We can always treat people with KINDNESS - always & every day. We can take the time to say hello to people, stop & open a door for others or lend a helping hand to someone in need. We can stop being so 'busy' & take the time to think of others more. Sure we all should be doing this all the time but sometimes these small gestures are BIG gestures to others.

I also told her that we can PRAY for all those souls lost as well. We can PRAY for everyone to be nicer to each other. We can PRAY to take the time to invest in people & make sure they are OK. We can PRAY that people can get the help they need, when they need it.

This is what I told my 9 year old. My 4th grader. I was nervous discussing this with her, for fear that she would be scared to go to school this morning but she was fine. Mommy wasn't. But she did fine. Kids are resilient. Amazingly so. They just want to know that we are going to make their world ok and as safe as we can and then move on. And she did. As quick as I told her, asked if she had any questions, answered them . . . she was back to playing and laughing - just as she should be.
I PRAY for the parents this morning that wish they had the option of dropping off their kids & worrying. PRAY & TRUST in God. That is the ONLY way any of us are going to get though this. God bless all of our children this morning & keep them safe. Also pray for all the parents of the angels gone too soon. ♥

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

{DAY 12 - DEAL a DAY} 12 Days of Christmas Event

      It's the "12 Days of Christmas" event!

On the TWELFTH day of Christmas the gift fairy sent to ME . . .

I am offering CUSTOM SUBWAY ART for 1/2 price!
regular price is $25 - TODAY ONLY $12.50 (limited quantity available)

Crazy deal huh? Have one designed for your kids, nieces, nephews, a baby on the way. Or have one designed with your family's name in the middle & words to describe your family! 
These custom subway art prints will be designed as shown but you will be able to CUSTOMIZE the following: name, 2-3 colors & words. (no DESIGN changes on background or layout)
A digital file will be sent for you to print.

Check out my page: Eye Candy Event Details

{I will be offering this deal TODAY ONLY - at a LIMITED quantity - once they are gone, they're gone at this price! }


Let's get to REALLY know how I feel about Christmas-time, shall we? LOL

1. Pretend YOU are a kid again . . . what toy you asking Santa for?? 
I STILL to this day LOVE me some Barbies. My daughter has a TON of them & I'll be honest, some are MINE that I have bought so we can play together! ;)

2. Favorite Christmas song?  
Hands down is . . . . "O Holy Night"

3. If you were a reindeer - which one would you be? And WHY? 
Dasher as I can NEVER stay in the same place for very long and I am ALWAYS doing something!
4. What is ONE tradition you do EVERY year that makes the holiday SPECIAL for you? 
Watching the movie "Christmas Vacation" every year since it came out. Our family is a little obsessed with that movie - I even NOW have the infamous moose mugs from Clark's house that Eddie drank out of! lol
Also we have a birthday party for Jesus every year to remember what the season is really all about. Funny quick story: my daughter, about 2 years ago, asked if Jesus was actually gonna show up to his b-day party that year? Of course I explained the best I could but how cute is that? lol  

5. What does YOUR stocking look like?
White & furry with a black & white cheetah cuff.

6. Favorite Christmas treat?
My mom's FAMOUS buckeyes AND chocolate chip cookies - never tasted anything that could beat either of them - trying to get her to open a biz with them!
7. A Christmas Story or Christmas Vacation? 
we covered this - Christmas Vacation!!!!!!!
"It's Christmas & we're all in misery" - lol

8. When do you start decorating your house?
the day after Halloween - it is a production around here!

9. How many Christmas trees do you put up? What color scheme are they?
7 TREES!!!
  ~ 8ft HUGE tree in living room decorated in green, red and aqua
~ 5 ft. "girly tree" in dining room decorated in nothing but "girly ornaments" - purses, shoes, lipstick, etc.
~ 5 ft. Barbie tree in dining room - nothing but Barbie ornaments that have been given to me for over 20 years - that tree is probaby worth a small fortune!
~ 4 ft. tree that is my daughters that she decorates & puts all her ornaments on in our living room
~ a 4 ft. Ohio State Buckeyes tree in our "man cave" a.k.a. basement - that is done up in Buckeyes colors
~ a 3ft. tree in basement decorated in nothing but Nutcracker ornaments (hubs tree)
~ a 2ft. tree in Kitchenette that is decorated in Starbucks ornaments collected over the years

10. Are you on the naughty or nice list this year? 
 oh definitely the naughty, I mean NICE list - lol!


So are you ready to get this deal? 

Here is where you can click to purchase the deal in my shop & remember I am offering this discount TODAY ONLY - quantity limited!

Eye Candy Event Details DAILY DEAL
please purchase, then send me all the info to customize to
Did you miss a day of DEALS?
DAY 9 DAY 10 , or DAY 11 of this event, just click the link to see all the details & to catch ANY deal you may have missed!


 Don't forget to enter the "12 Days of Christmas" GIVEAWAY  
for your chance to WIN some great prizes from some AMAZING vendors!

Thanks for being here & I hope you have enjoyed all 12 DAYS & all the DEALS I had planned for you!  See you tomorrow when I will announce the WINNER of the GIVEAWAY! ;)