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Settling Into Summer: Featuring Peripeti Candles

Hi, friends! I don't know about you, but I can't believe it's already July! (I'm truly wondering where the first half of 2017 has gone...!) It's been a tough year so far for me in many ways, but God has been pouring out His grace and comfort and peace, as I press in and allow Him to heal and prune and prepare.

Given the hurt the first half of the year held, I've been settling into summer by slowing down and seeking rest and restoration in Him. I've been getting lost in good books and spending lots of time sitting outside writing and reading and praying.

I've also been adding little touches of summer to my home to stay inspired and create a welcoming and refreshing space. One of my favorite ways to do that is with colorful fresh flowers and clean, bright scents. It's amazing what a positive effect color and scent can have on you! :)

Lucky for me, my friend Kate creates the most amazing all-natural soy candles and boutique fragrances. Not only do I love her products and scents, but I also love the name of her shop and the inspiration behind it.

The name of Kate's boutique, Peripeti, means a turning point or point of change. And that name and idea couldn't be more meaningful to me than it is in this current season of life. I can feel God using the circumstances of the last few months to prune and prepare me for all He has ahead. And as painful as it's been, it's also exciting! There's a hopefulness in that, and I love that the name of Kate's boutique is something that evokes hope and possibility.

One of my all-time favorite scents she's created is called Silver Linings, and it features a unique blend of mood-boosting and stabilizing essential oils like lavender, lemon, and eucalyptus that evoke positive memories and hope. Kate developed it at a time in her life when circumstances felt overwhelming, and the scent she created acted as a bright ray of light. I'm currently enjoying it daily in one of her reed diffusers, and it always lifts my heart and reminds me to breathe, to take in the goodness of today, and to look forward to tomorrow with hope and trust.

I've also been loving her summer collection this year, and my favorite summer scents are currently her Vetiver + Lemon (which I'm burning as I write this post!) and Orchid + Orange. Both are such bright, fresh scents, and they honestly just smell like summer. :)

Her Nature's Shield is also the perfect insect-repellent (that actually smells good!) for those summer nights spent watching the sunset.

This has honestly been my favorite spot all summer, whether I'm enjoying my first cup of coffee and spending my morning with Jesus, or I'm watching the sunset with a sweet friend, talking about all the complexities of life and the great hope we have in Jesus.

It's definitely been a different sort of summer for me so far, but it's a rhythm I've needed, and I know that the slower pace is allowing God to do an even greater work in me, so I'm able to cultivate and grow good fruit for Him in the seasons ahead.

What about you? How have you been settling into your summer? I'd love to hear how you've been! :)

P.S. Be sure to visit Kate's website to learn more about her inspiring fragrances and maybe pick up a little something for yourself, or someone special, to add a fresh touch of inspiration to your home this summer!

Friendship, Faith, and Coffee Spoons (Plus a Giveaway {CLOSED}!)

I recently spent a morning having coffee and breakfast goodies with a friend. She brewed some delicious coffee in her french press, put on some worship music, and we shared stories of God's love and faithfulness in our lives.

It was such an inspiring morning and filled my heart with thankfulness.

It reminded me how important community is and the blessings that come from investing our hearts and time into building it. As I continue to learn to appreciate life where God has me, I am encouraged to see the community He surrounds me with — the friendships that bring so much to my life and also my faith.

I was excited to bring my new vintage hand-stamped spoons and jam and butter spreader from JessicaNDesigns, too.

When I chose the phrases for my spoons, I was reminded of my grandma, who passed away at this time last year. She lived each day with such faith and joy, and no matter what trials or sorrows one day held, she would look ahead to the next day with the assurance that God's mercies are new every morning.

My "anything is possible" spoon reminds me to keep living my inspired life of possibility for Jesus. It reminds me that nothing is impossible with God and that He is the ultimate hope and anchor that I cling to.

Surrounding myself with art and inspiration brings beauty and purpose to my days, and I know these coffee spoons will make me smile each day as I have my morning coffee.

Would you like to win a few of your own JessicaNDesigns goodies? Leave a comment on this post and let me know what phrase you'd like on a coffee spoon of your own. I'll be choosing one person as the winner of a $50 gift card to Jessica's shop!

You can also shop now and get 15% off your order by using this code: JNDplacetodwell15

I'll choose the winner of the giveaway at random Saturday, April 16. Good luck!! :)

Congratulations to Susan Lloyd! You're the winner of the JessicaNDesigns giveaway! :)

    

 

 

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Hello, 30! (A 1920s-Inspired Celebration)

foilwallwithlight cake2 I was blessed to spend Saturday celebrating with friends and family at an early 30th birthday party. It was quite the event! ;) We enjoyed lots of good food and plenty of delicious desserts (including a raspberry-filled cake with polka-dot candles!), great music,  much laughter, and maybe even a little dancing!

Everyone dressed up in their best twenties attire, too. I wore this dress from Ruche, my grandmother's pearls, and a glittery headband and flower hair piece. I also carried one of my favorite vintage clutches (metallic gold with a bow on the front) — an amazing garage sale find from my college days. My shoes were even dolled up for the occasion (I added gold glitter to the heels using gel medium).

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It meant so much to me to be surrounded by the people who mean the most to me, friends and family who share life with me and know where I've been and where I hope to go. People who know my heart and my dreams and who encourage me to be the best version of me that I can be.

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The decorations were amazing, too: beautiful flowers, polka dots, touches of glitter, and lots of sparkling votives. My friends did an amazing job capturing the glitter and glam of the twenties and creating the perfect party atmosphere.

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And the photo booth I dreamed up with my sister was an absolute blast. If you ask me, a party isn't a party without a little silliness — and a great deal of picture-taking. ;)

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(Ha! Outtake!!)

It was truly a special evening, and it was the perfect way to begin a new chapter and season of my life.  Here's to new chapters, seasons, and adventures! I can't wait to see what my 30th year holds.

P.S. In the next few weeks, I'll be sharing a recap of my 29 Things and sharing my new 30 Things list.

xo

Adventures in Homemade Lattes

I have yet to create the perfect homemade latte, but I've been trying both hot and iced versions. 432098_10101535078402604_75314647_n

I recently purchased a latte wand to froth my almond and coconut milk for coffees, and it's working fairly well. The creaminess of almond and coconut milk seems to be a good choice for non-dairy coffee drinks, although, I don't care for the fact that on occasion, there are particles in the milk (I guess from the processed almonds).

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I bought this dark chocolate sea salt caramel sauce to use in this iced latte recipe. This sauce is SO GOOD. You've got the richness of the dark chocolate and a hint of caramel saltiness. It didn't melt as well as I had hoped, but it still added a nice flavor to my coffee. I'll also be using it on frozen yogurt and coconut milk ice cream this summer for sure.

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Next up, I'd like to try this iced coffee, flavored with a bit of vanilla and brown sugar.

I also plan to make some homemade sweetened condensed coconut milk to try as a creamy, indulgent (and even semi-healthy!) latte sweetener. ;)

I think the next step of my coffee adventuring will be to find a better coffee pot (possibly a French Press) and try different grounds to settle on my favorite. I think my iced latte above would have been much better with a dark roast coffee (I used a hazelnut light roast).

What's your favorite coffee recipe? Do you make iced coffees in the summertime?

Catching Up

IMG_6114 Whew! After a hectic couple of weeks, I wanted to stop by to say hello and catch up a bit.

So, how's everyone been? Are you getting a taste of spring in your neck of the woods?

I've been...

  • Filling my home with bright, fresh flowers
  • Fighting a cold
  • Getting lost in a new book (The Aviator's Wife) If you're a historical fiction lover like I am, then definitely pick this one up!
  • Working through the new She Reads Truth plan on prayer
  • Getting excited to kick off my guest post series on dreams
  • Gearing up to finish the rest of my eBook

Oh, yeah, and I got bangs... :)

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Well, I'm going to sign off now and snuggle up with the book I just can't seem to put down.

Happy weekend, friends!

P.S. You may have noticed that I've been experimenting with new templates lately...Spring always makes me feel restless. I crave freshness and newness. So, you might continue to notice me tinkering around with things a bit over here until I settle on a look that feels right for this season.