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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Spring is in the Air ...Well, maybe if you don't live in the Midwest ~ it's still FREEZING here! Anyhoo, check out these AWESOME porch ideas, you might decide you need to try out something new on our own porch!

In the South, deep porches with lofty ceilings provide cooling shade to the home. With their screened enclosures, they also serve as outdoor rooms — like this one in Charleston, S.C., fitted with cushioned rockers and even a coffee table with a potted orchid. The ceiling is painted in traditional Haint Blue, a shade thought to repel wasps (or, for the superstitious, "haints"—ghosts or lost spirits).

Looking for days when we had slower lifestyles? Check out this porch that looks like it could harken back to the days before cell phones and internet! It has all the right pieces ~ an Original Charleston Bed Swing lined with comfy pillows, retro 1950s metal patio chairs, a chevron-patterned indoor-outdoor rug and lime-green garden seats. Take me back!!!

In this cottage, the old-style shutters can be opened and closed for privacy and shelter from the weather. Imagine settling down on the cushy porch swing for an afternoon nap with the ceiling fan to keep you cool. Heaven!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

DIY Projects You Need to Try This Easter and Spring

Brighten things ups with a few whimsical, super-easy projects. It’s that time of year again—tulips are blooming, daffodils are peeking out of the earth, and blossoms are just starting to bud on tree branches. Spring is approaching and it’s time for an update indoors and out. Try adding a little spring color to everything from your front door to your table with these super easy projects that often require only a few supplies. What’s a more fun way to ring in spring than with a crafty new project? A few must-try spring DIY projects.

The perfect centerpiece for Mother’s Day or for spring parties. The cabbage is unexpected, but so easy. Instructions here.


This colorful arrangement is the spring equivalent of a springtime cornucopia, relying on both flowers and produce for its beauty. Instructions here.

Friday, March 23, 2018

When God Smiles 😊

“They did not conquer by their own strength and skill, but by your mighty power and because you smiled upon them and favored them.” Psalm 44:3


Do you need supernatural strength to conquer something in your life? Maybe you need strength at your job, to overcome an addiction, or to deal with a difficult person in your life ~ no matter what you may be facing, God has supernatural strength for you in every situation you face! It’s interesting that this verse says they conquered “because God smiled upon them and favored them.” When God smiles on you, He is empowering you, He is giving you strength. Did you know that simply calling on God causes Him to smile? It pleases Him when you come to Him. When you surrender yourself to Him, that’s when you receive His favor and strength.

I know some days are harder than other to believe in yourself and that you are worthy of His smile BUT you have to know that God loves to show Himself strong on your behalf no matter where you are. Turn to Him, call on Him and surrender every area of your life to Him. Let Him fill you with His joy and supernatural strength to overcome in every area of your life!

Father, thank You for smiling on me today. Show me Your favor so I can walk in Your strength today. Thank You for equipping me with everything I need to live as an overcomer. I bless You and honor You in everything I do in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Green Food?!?!? Yep for the young and old, from breakfast to dinner and drinks to desserts, get in the spirit and make all your meals green this St. Patrick's Day.

Shamrock Macarons ~ You better believe there's Bailey's chocolate ganache in these sandwich cookies.

PESTO VEGGIE PIZZA ~ When I was thinking about what my family likes to eat and what I like to cook, the answer was pizza! 

PIRATE PUNCH ~ The nice tang to this punch, crowned by foamy topping makes it a very refreshing drink. Children love it! 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Festive DIY St. Patrick's Day Decorations for Your Home or to Give as Gifts



Ireland in a JarWhat better way to celebrate the holiday than with a St. Patrick's Day craft that honors Ireland itself? Recreate the country's serene landscape with a Mason jar terrariumcomplete with moss, gravel, and tiny felt sheep!



Scrabble Piece Mantle Decor ~ If you have some leftover Scrabble pieces lying around, put them to good use by making this framed piece of art.


St. Patrick's Day Centerpiece With Green JarsThe hue makes them festive enough for St. Patrick's Day, but these jars are so pretty you'll want to leave them out all spring!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Girl this Matilda Jane line is To Die For!!! Camp MJC has blown me away with everything in it ... the next release date is March 1 and let me tell you ~ swim and beach and dresses, Oh My!

Take a moment today to stop and smell the flowers ... and check out this sweet sneak! New mommy-and-me matches, New sweet styles around every corner ~ Get Ready to Make a Splash!  All of this sweetness arrives in just a few days, March 1st! Let's book your March trunk show now!! Click here to shop and/or contact me at kariteel@matildajaneclothing.com to book your show or to simply help you with questions and/or ordering. #matildajane #CampMJC #matildajane2018


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Run girl run ~ You are a champion!

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne." Hebrews 12:1-2

Are you a champion? Maybe you are a runner and maybe you're not BUT  you can run a good race! Picture it, as you move in your champion stance, make sure your form is directed perfectly on the Lord.  Keep your body tall with your eyes fixed on Him. Stay relaxed knowing that He has the perfect pace and path for you to run. You need to stay warmed up and ready for the race by reading the word and staying in constant prayer. As you get ready to start the run, listen for the One that will tell you when to go. Trust that He will tell you to move in His perfect timing, when to go, BUT don't over jump your start.
As you run, let Him lead you in this race. Take His hand and run in step with Him at His pace. As your feet set down in new places, know that He is by your side. When you are feeling tired, He will fuel up, so you don't get worn. When you hit speed bumps, He will help you stride over them with confidence ~ they may slow you down, but He will give you the endurance to keep on running. When you are feeling heavy, He will carry you.
He understands all your aches and pains during the race, He has suffered too. But He has provided everything you need. He is your fuel, the air you need, the water you drink, the food that sustains you ~ He will keep you going. With Jesus by your side, you can't fail. Run this race with endurance and with the prize in mind because your reward is waiting for you. Don't get distracted by the things of this world, keep your eyes on the Lord. Run with Him. The two of you have places to go, people to save, and people to free. Trust that His path may be different than yours, but He promises it's for your good. Run, girl, run ~ you are a champion!

Thank you Lord for encouraging my heart. You are good and faithful. I choose to run the race you've set before me. Help me to stay at your pace, not too far behind you or too far ahead of you. Help me Lord to keep running no matter how tired I get. Help me to keep on receiving your fuel of grace. Help me to keep my eyes stayed on you until I finish my course. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Valentine's Day Cards with Candy/Food Ideas ~ Creative labels turn everyday treats into Valentine's Day delights perfect for sharing at school or work....you can make these charming little gifts by packaging treats with homemade tags.

These cute little "love bugs" are impossible to resist -- add a pair of googly eyes and pipe cleaner antennae to a stick of gum and adhere the creatures to a heart shape to make a fun Valentine's Day gift.

There's a reason they call fruit "nature's candy," and sweet, mouth-watering pears are no exception. Punch a hole through a printed label, and use decorative string or ribbon to attach to the stem of the fruit.

Any treat can be made sweeter with a fun label. The key is clever wordplay, letting the food inspire a witty saying. Use your computer to make labels, and print them on cardstock. Start with our free patterns available at the end of each slide.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Valentine's Ideas You'll Love ~ Whatever Valentine's Day ideas you're searching for this February 14 from homemade Valentine's Day cards to cute-as-can-be cupcakes or maybe a gift for your valentine, this post has some of the best Valentine's Day ideas in one heartfelt spot!

Valentine's Day Dessert Bar ~ Here's a fun idea for Valentine's Day: have a decadent dessert buffet. How excited would your family be if you gave them this after dinner! Set it up by stacking a white table with festive sweets like cupcakes and fruit punch. Pink and red paper fans add the finishing touch. 
NOTE: You may have a hard time convincing them to eat asparagus this night if they see this  spread before dinner ... I'd go with pizza then the dessert buffet =)


Valentines Day Mystery Message ~ This holiday is just as fun for the kids. Make it a family affair and cut hearts from white paper and write notes to the kids with a white crayon. On Valentine's Day, give your kids a heart and a palette of water colors. A few swipes of paint reveals your sweet sentiment.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Get ready for Valentine's Day with these cute mantel and/or shelf displays. There is always at least 1 area of your home that can use a holiday pick me up, right?!?!

thestoriesofa2z.com decorated her Valentine's Day mantel with her love of tea in mind. She created the heart tags and the heart on the white plate using a die-cutting tool; she painted the tags by hand to give them texture. She cut the Shakespearean quote ("Love comforteth like the sunshine after the rain") using her die-cutting tool and glued the letters to black cardstock. She taped the finished piece to a mirror with a wrought-iron frame. The flowering branches were made by attaching faux greenery to sticks using crafting wire and adding pink tissue-paper blossoms.

When decorating her mantel for Valentine's Day, craftberrybush.blogspot.com wanted to recreate the romance of a French cottage. She made the heart wreath by gluing painted hearts cut from dictionary pages onto a cardboard wreath. The roses on the mantel were made from dyed coffee filters wrapped around florist's wire. For a romantic touch, she made candles a main feature of her mantel, displaying tall cream-color candles in recycled glass jars filled with faux snow.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Matilda Jane Spring 2018 Launch ~ Feb 1st ~ Check it out and book a web show ~ Great Jane perks and a perfect way to get free clothing! Click the photo to go directly to the website for ordering.

Let's get decked out for Spring in Matilda Janes new line!  What's not to L O V E ~ email me with questions, order or hosting a web show, I'd love for you to get free money to spend and 1/2 price items!  


Friday, January 26, 2018

I'm so excited ~ I have finally {after 10 years} become a Trunk Keeper with Matilda Jane!

The title says it all!!!!  After wearing Matilda Jane for the last 10 years I finally had the opportunity to become a Trunk Keeper.  I am beyond thrilled as my daughter and I have worn this line since 2007 and I have never received anything that I didn't LOVE!
If you have never heard of Matilda Jane it is a high-end boutique brand specializing in baby girls, girls, tween girls, and women fashion clothing. Over the past few years, MJ has expanded into home as well, which receives equal love from us! {see my daughters bedding below}
You may wonder what took me so long to join the company especially if I bought everything they released for 10 years and well, that is a great question?!?!  I actually tried to join the company about 6-7 years ago but there was a hiring freeze on Trunk Keepers ~ this was probably a blessing in disguise {you know He works in ways we will never see or understand}.  If I had joined when I wanted to, I would never have made a dime because I would have spent everything I earned and then some, I am sure of it!  Now that my daughter is almost out of the tween line, we are enjoying the womens together, along with the accessories and home lines ~ there is still so much love to be had beyond the littles lines and I think this speaks volumes about MJ ~ I am still jumping on board even though we no longer have a need of purchasing all that sweet little girl love. 

So with all of that said, please click the Shop Matilda Jane with Me  Matilda Jane logo at the top right of this page to go to the Matilda Jane website and check it out if you've never done so before.  If you want to order, book a show, ask a question or are simply looking for a Trunk Keeper please feel free to email me at kariteel@matildajaneclothing.com and I will be in touch ASAP.  Happy Shopping ~ the new line releases Feb 1!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Are you running on empty? Well stop and fill up!

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." Matthew 5:6


Sometimes (especially for mommas) it’s easy to get wrapped up in taking care of the people around us ~ we find that we’re always giving, taking care of kids, preparing dinner for family and sometimes not our own, working overtime at the office, or helping that friend who is struggling. And that’s all good but if we're not careful, we will end up feeling rundown and empty. That’s why we have to take time every day to get filled back up. Our first priority should be taking care of our self and above all, make time to get into the presence of God. Throughout scripture, we see that when we are in God’s presence, there is fullness of joy, fullness of peace, and fullness of victory. In His presence, we are refreshed, renewed and restored and that’s why it’s so important to take time every day to spend time with Him.  We have to be diligent to have quiet time with Him so He can fill us back up.
Everyday make it a habit to take time to get alone with God and just say, “God, I love You today. Thank You for my life, for my family, for the opportunities You’ve given me. Lord, I know every good thing comes from You.” When we live like that, with your heart connected to His, we will be refreshed,renewed, restored and filled up for the journey of life ahead!
"Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for filling me with Your strength. Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, so that I can be righteous in You. I hunger for Your truth and seek You first. Draw me to You and keep me close to You always in Jesus’ name. Amen."

Monday, January 8, 2018

Be Who God Created You to Be

"God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’" Job 37:5-6

What would it look like for you to admit today what you are and are not made for? God says to the snow, "Fall on the earth." That’s it, just do one thing, fall. Then He says to the rain shower, "Be a mighty downpour." Essentially, He’s saying just do the thing I’ve actually created you to do ~ you are rain, so rain. You’re snow, so snow. Do your thing. Do the thing you love to do, what you’ve been created to do. I love the simplicity of that, the tremendous weight it takes off my shoulders. God’s asking me to be the thing He’s already created me to be.

So many of us twist ourselves up in knots trying desperately to be something we're not or someone else ~ trying to fulfill some endless list of qualities and capabilities that we think will make us feel loved, wanted, safe or happy. In reality, that’s an exhausting way to live ... I know because I’ve done it and some days still struggle with it!

We’ve gotten wrapped up in what someone else wanted us to be, what we thought would keep us happy and safe and gain us approval. I’m finding there’s tremendous value in traveling back to our essential selves, the loves and skills and passions God planted inside us long ago. When I look at my life, I see the passions and dreams I’ve carried through my whole life being wife, being a mom, being a teacher, even things as simple as being creative, loving food, travel, reading, golf,etc. These are things I’ve always loved, and they continue to bring me great joy and fulfillment ... these are the desires, passions and dreams that God put right into my heart.

We often fight who God created us to be by creating layers of expectation and pressure that are unattainable. We live in a culture that tries to define what it means to be a woman, what it means to be a success, what it means to live a valuable life, instead be who He created you to be and do what He created you to do! The snow is only meant, created and commanded to fall. The rain only meant, created and commanded to pour down. You were only meant, created and commanded to be who you are!

Dear Heavenly Father, today, please give me the courage to live the life You’ve called me to with the same contentedness and confidence as the falling snow or the pouring rain. Please help me to walk away from roles and expectations that other people have for me, and to live in peace with the exact way You created me! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.