Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Christmas like no other

         Two more days until Christmas. A young woman walks around Walmart, with no expression on her face. She's has a toy and a pretty dress in her cart. Arrived at the register, she realizez the money in her wallet are enough only for the toy. With a desperate sigh, she mumbles "I hate Christmas!". The lady at the cashier looks at her in amazement. "Isn't this supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year?" She's wondering quietly.
            It's Christmas Eve. In the local café, a middle aged lady is sipping a cup of tea. She's hoping in these 10 minutes, she can relax and calm down a second. She has to find a way to to tell her parents the kids don't want to stay at their house for Christmas. "How am I supposed to say "no" to their invitation when Christmas is a time when family stay together? They live alone and the kids are the only grandchildren...". She takes another sip of the hot tea. Dialing her parents' number, she takes a deep breath, and says "I hate this Christmas!". 
             It's Christmas morning. I am sitting in my favorite chair in the house, hot coffee in my hand. I'm looking at my husband talking with our family from Romania. We both miss a Christmas in Romanian style. In my mind, the two stories become vivid in my head. I feel guilty. I said "I hate this Christmas", too. I stop a tear, and I pray quietly: "God, forgive me. I don't want to ever forget the reason of Christmas again."
              This Holiday season was an unusual one for me. However, I've learned so many things throughout the last few weeks. I've realized no matter how different the celebration is, as long as you put your focus on Jesus, your Christmas will be perfect. I've discovered a new me, a renewed calling. I've stopped and cherished the whisper of God in my heart. So, yes, it was a different Christmas, but not an ugly Christmas. 

How was your Christmas? Did you learn something new?... 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

When you learn new things from unexpected experiences.

      "Please raise your right hand." (pause, while I do as asked) "Do you swear to say truth and only truth in this room?"

        "Yes!" The answer came automatically, while I was realizing this was the real deal. I was moments away from becoming a US citizen or not. I dodged the last thought, while focusing on answering the questions.

20 min later, I was already driving back home, with the biggest smile on my face: I am now a US citizen. The whole experience was such a great reminder for me of my true citizenship. My truest and most important identity, is my heavenly identity. I am a child of God. Just as any other country on the earth has their requirements to become a citizen, so has God. We become so suck into all "God is good. God is love. He forgives." that we forget god punishes the ones He loves. Or even worse, we I become so sucked in our schedules, dreams and ambitions, but we think "We're good, God! We're buddies.". This last 2 weeks were quite a battle for me. Untill this week, I wanted so bad to make a business with my cards. To have tons and tons of orders and all that stuff. I wanted it so bad, that I forgot the fun in it. I forgot my creativity doesn't stop with a sold or not sold card. I forgot to enjoy the process. I forgot that I can use my creativity to celebrate Jesus. It took 2 conversations with two dear friends and my naturalization interview to realize cards don't define me. I am way much more complex and valuable than some handmade cards. I'm not saying I'll never make cards again. I will, but I will not stop only at cards. I'll let my mind wander and do its "magic". 

And I'll do it all for Jesus!!! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Celebrate Christmas

          I love this time of the year. Carols, glowy nights next to the Christmas tree, decorations, time spent with loved ones, hot chocolate and cookies, warm socks and cozy sweaters. It’s all magical, while in the same time, everything can become chaotic and stressful. Gifts have to be bought, cards to be sent out, cookies to be baked, events to attend and on top of it, you want to stop and take in the moment, create memories. So, this year, I decided I will take it easy. I will stop and wonder at the snow falling (let’s hope we’ll get some pretty soon), I will stop and listen to loved ones, I will be patient and I will celebrateJesus. I will sing carols from the bottom of my heart, smile to strangers and I will be present wherever I am. I will tell people of the miracle of Christmas, and why this is truly the best time of the year. I will tell people of the angels singing, and shepherds rushing to see the King in a manger. I will speak of the star that led 3 wise men such a long way. I will stop. and awe in wonder of the miracle of Christmas. I will sing loud and clear that love has entered the world. I will drive around just to see beautiful lit houses, and spread joy around. I will celebrate Christmas with all I am, and with all I have.
          My wish for you this holiday season is to celebrate Christmas!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Some updates

         After I stopped a day to think of all my blessings, here I am stressing out "oh my God, totally forgot to think about a sale for black friday!!" or "Again this weekend will pass and I'll not have a chance to take pictures of the new products." And so on...

         I feel like a total idiot. It's not happy people that are thankful, it's the thankful people that are happy. I have to remind myself every minute to count my blessings, not dwell on my imperfections. 

         Today, I will celebrate!!! I'll celebrate the love I am spoiled with, my more than awesome husband, my first craftshow, and all the little steps I am taking. Because giant steps are scary. 

          While in the celebrating spirit, I'll share with you my newest reason to celebrate:
 my next craft show. It's bigger. It's scarier and deff not feeling ready for it. But I know it will be great!! So, if you are in Philadelphia area, on December 14th make sure you come and say hi! I would love to see you!!! 

So, what are some of your reasons to celebrate this month?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Taking in the Fall...

Fall was never on my favorite list. Not even on "I like" list. It was somewhere on my least pleasant list. Lately, however, things have started to change. I am bewitched by the light, the colors, the perfumes and even the rain! Also being forced to stay inside and snuggle is always a good plus! So here are some things I was thankful for this fall.

Perfect morning drives when God painted gold sun rises. 

Another (sad) trip to New York (JFK). Eddie's brother visited us this summer. I took this picture on our way back home after we dropped him off. 

My sister gave birth to the sweetest baby girl. It's my 18th time of being an aunt. Both baby and mom are just fine. 

I (finally) finished my project. I made an earrings holder and painted our plain white miror. It's a teal, burgundy, brown and gray love story in our bedroom. I love it! 

Veteran's Day was day off from my day job. But not from my dreams. I worked on some new ideas for my shop! But I can't say more yet...

Christmas smells, Christmas lights and Christmas carols!!! No, I don't want to skip Thanksgiving. But I can't help it. It's best way to relax after a terrible day.

In November, this bridge is like a gate to heaven. 

Did you notice a pattern here? Most of my pictures are taken in the car. My life is not too excited, unfortunately. Between full time job, family, church and my shop, there is no time left for walks and adventures, although I miss them so much!!! 

What have you been up to, lately?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Thoughts on my first craft show

I haven't talked a lot about my shop here. But for a while, I knew I wanted to make another step. So, I decided to go to a craft fair. I imagined on writing posts on my progress how I prepare for this new journey ahead of me, but didn't make it. I thought I had enough time, but I was mistaken. Now that is done, and I drink (another cup of caramel mocha) with the satisfaction of "I did it!", I figured I have no other excuse why not to share with you how it went.

The week before the fair was a real adventure. I won't be fooled again, I'll make sure I have enough time to prepare for the next one. The morning of the first day, I was as nervous as on our wedding day. It was no turning back. And I wanted so much to go hide under a rock! I'm glad Eddie didn't let me do it.

As we got there and started to set up my booth, I calmed down a little. I took a deep breath and decided to make the best out of it. There were way more vendors than I thought, and they were all so confident! But they were all so friendly and ready to help the others. I didn't think to bring a tent, and for those of you who leave in the area, Saturday was just a perfect sunny day. Nicole of CatWomanCrafts shared her tent with me. Of course, I learned my lesson the next day and brought a tent. But I was impressed by the camaraderie between the vendors.

As the people started to stroll by and look at my cards, I loved to see their reactions, on the birthday cards, on the Christmas tree card, or gifts for Jesus(soon to be available in the shop). Each comment from each person was a sweet reward for me. It is a great satisfaction to realize people do like and value your work. The work you pour your heart in.

Not only I learned a lot (about my display, what to bring, how to talk with customers), but I gathered some inspiration (my first customer is among those who inspired me). So, while I recoup from the weekend, and get ready for Niagra Falls this weekend, I'm looking for the next craft show to go to. I loved the experience and I'm ready for the next one. Bigger one. Also, keep an eye out for new items on the shop.

And I'll try to not disappear again...  

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hello September

It was a sunny, bright day of beginning of September. It was a loong day, in which nothing and everything made sense. A day I realized (again) this year's word is "paradox". Everything is a whirlwind and crazy, but that one moment of silence is worth so much. A year when I feel discouraged and want to give up every day, but an encouraging word from a friend or a remark of a total stranger makes me wonder if I really do want to quit. Those mere moments remind me that in the bottom of my heart I'm satisfy with what I do. That I'm going in the right direction, even if I feel overwhelmed because I want to do so many things. So I dust off my superwoman cap and I keep pressing on.

* I wrote this post on Friday night, but I wasn't feeling well and took a NyQuill. I guess I fell asleep half way through... I just found it now because I started writting on a new post...

Saturday, August 31, 2013

taking the leap of faith...


          While life lately has been worse then a roller coaster, I am happy to say I've felt an everlasting peace in my heart. It was so comforting through these endless nights and long days. Today, I feel like I don't have anything to say, but in the same time, my heart bursts with words that can't wait to be said. Words of encouragement, of hope, excitement and great news!.. 

          After some "grown up" thinking, I have decided to re-list some of my cards in my etsy shop. I've decided to give it one more try. A better try. I am scared to put myself out there, and I'm oscillating between the fear that no one will like my cards, and the fear that I don't have good enough SEO and people won't find my shop. It might sound stupid and silly, but that's on my heart... I woke up this morning and decided to be brutally honest on today's post, and here I am. I know the road is long, and there are so many things I need to improve (like shop's banner, photos, maybe even description of the items, polices & procedures, card making techniques, marketing strategies, more items listed), so I ask for your patience and support. In the same time, I'd love to hear your honest opinions. 

I'm thanking you in advance, and I'll give you a hint: this "je t'aime" heart is part of a new design I'm working on. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

"Solo" time. . .

          As the sun was invading our living room this Saturday, I decided that instead of having an extra half an hour of sleep, I'll spend some "solo time". This is a habit I created almost 10 years ago, when I met one of the sweetest girls on Earth, and she taught me the importance of taking time to be alone with God, to dive in His word, pray, stay still, listen to Him, observe Him in my life and all around me. She also confirmed the importance of keeping a journal, too(hence my gift of writing has improved over years - I have 4-5 journals from high school). Unfortunately, lately, I let things go out of control and kind of neglected those important "solo times". 

          But now, it was the perfect scene. A confused, scared girl coming before the almighty God in a quiet morning, while the rays of the sun were hugging me. As I was reading through Psalm 4, it was like God was whispering to my heart. I started writing in my dear journal. I poured it all in there. All my fears, my dreams, my questions. But above all, my prayer: "Lord, I want to be more like you. To be faithful to You, and only You.

Note: Laura, thank you for teaching me how great solo time is!

Today, I link up with Gail:

1-Minute Bible Love Notes

Friday, August 23, 2013

Celebrating August


        This month is full of meaning for me. There are quite a few (important) moments to celebrate. Looking back, I can only see God's hand making all things work for the better, just as He promised.   

          Five years ago, on August 9th, I landed with a heavy heart on JFK. I was in a country that everyone rushed to remind me I was going to call it my home. Forever (or at least till I die). And while my heart was longing to go back, my only prayer was "God, I trust You do the best of my life!". At times, the prayer was certain, then angry, other times even doubtful. But I have heard people saying to not trust your heart, so my only refuge was to rely on God

          Two years later, and too many hard moments to count after, on August 6th 2010, I left US to "go home"! For 6 months. To get married. It was an epic moment for me. I thought the trip from 2 years ago was rough. I guess my limit was not reached yet. Besides the fact that I was getting married, everything was not as I thought so. I've never admitted it until now. It got to the point that even getting married was hard(don't get me wrong, I don't regret it, in contrary I love my hubby and our life together). It was then when I started to understand why God says "Your home is in Heaven, live accordingly!". 

          Today, August 23rd, 2013 marks 6 years and 8 months since we started dating. Six years of growing together, getting to know each other, and loving each other. It was great, and sweet and bitter and tough but it is worth every minute. There are moments when we thrive, and times when we struggle, but  knowing that no matter what happens, at the end of the day, I go to bed next to the person who loves me the best beyond all of my imperfections, that's what I call awesomeness!

          In the spirit of celebration, I have decided to bring back some cards in my shop later tonight. So, keep an eye open on instagram and facebook, because I'll post when the cards will be available. 

Do you have any reasons to celebrate this month?...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Newly discovered washi love - one (or many) DIY idea(s)

This keeping the schedule thing is pretty hard when you have a husband like mine... We've been married for almost 3 years and we are still working on a balance between my schedule freak atitude and his oh so spontaneous ideas. 

I wanted to share with you last week how to do washi tape labels. I guess later is better than never, right? It's an easy idea of diy ( it takes literally 2 minutes to do it). All you need is a cleaned glass jar, some washi tape and a sharpie (can be a black one or coordinated). I used whatever I had in hand and it came out unexpectedly pretty. Your imagination is the limit. 

How to do it? Take 1 (2 or how many you'll need) strip(s) of washi tape, write whatever you need with the sharpie, stick it on your glass jar. That's it. Now comes the fun part: where will you use your creative labels? To make some cute happy mail for a pen pal? For labeling glasses at a party? For some pretty organizing storage? I want to see/hear all your pretty ideas!

 So you read my post and suddenly fell in love with washi tape, but it's late, none of the closest craft stores are opened and you really want to use it now. In that case, or any other case that might be, here's a tutorial how to make your own washi tape. Pretty sweet, isn't it?

Update:  My apologies for totally forgetting to mention here the crazy awesome digital washi tape from a vegas girl at heart that I used in my photo above. Yes, there are very talented people out there who make these available for us:


Friday, August 16, 2013

Mrs. Onion, the teacher

         One afternoon this week while I was cooking, I needed an onion. So I took the best looking onion from the pantry, peeled it and cut it in half. I was surprised to see that the onion was bad inside (this is the second time this happens when buying onions from this store). I felt how the blood rushed through my veins and almost went out of door to go complain about terrible products (that are advertised as "fresh from local farmers"). It was too late that day, but I was determined to use as much as I can out of that onion, so I peeled off the center that was all rotten. The moment I've seen whatever was left from the onion, was like a revelation. I felt like God had whispered in my ears: "That's how you used to be too, Vio." I was all cute and pretty outside, but on the inside, I was rotten and selfish, and had no patience, and full of envy and maybe even some pride. If someone would've seen me on the street, they'd thought what a great life I had, while I was so empty on the inside. Full, but empty. Only when I cleaned up and took all the bad out I've realized how empty I was. Only then I discovered God's grace and love can't fill up a dirty place. Only when I was honest with me I discovered all the crap I was hiding in my heart, my mind and my life. 

         And on that moment, in my little kitchen, I forgot about all my fury on that store for false advertisement, and thanked God for not letting me be an empty person. For giving me value. For naming me His child. And for using the most random times and ways to speak my language. It's like He makes sure we fully understand what He wants to tell us.

    What was that random thing this week that helped you see things in another perspective?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

On my heart

            As a teenager, I used to go to youth camps and youth conferences in Romania. In one of those camps I’ve met some of the  Jesus freak people. They were  not different than everybody else. Well, they were wearing jeans, converse shoes and t-shirts with verses on them, or the WWJD signs. They wore the FROG and WWJD bracelets. Not the style (have I ever mentioned I had a pretty weird fashion taste while being a teenager?) was what caught my attention, but their attitude. They were proud to be Christians. They would go out on the street and declare they follow Jesus. 

            Down deep in my heart, I wished I could have the guts to just be so bold, but being a pretty shy person didn't help at all. However, as a grown up, I start to encounter almost every day situations when people think of me as a freak, not necessarily because I walk around screaming my head off "I'm a Christian, I believe in Jesus!", but mostly because of my attitude, the decisions I make or my behavior. And I am reminded again and again that people will see if you follow Jesus. Not necessarily because of the way you dress, or because you only listen to christian music. But because your self-control is beyond their understanding, because when asked to work hard, you don't back down, because there is always a smile on your face and because you love everyone. And when asked why you do that (or why you don't want to go to that place) you can tell them you do it (or don't do it) because you love Jesus. Now, don't get me wrong, I haven't got everything mastered (I really need some help with self control) but I choose small things to remind me through the day "Vio, you still need to work on your patience!" or "Do you have great expectations from other? How about you start to be the change you want to see in the world?". I am not perfect, but even the tiniest decision I make everyday can bring praise to God. 

What helps you show Jesus to the people around you?

Let's keep in touch

Friday, July 19, 2013

this to that: a short and sweet DIY

Remember that post I wrote back in April about decorating on a budget? Well, here's a quick tutorial how I made those candles. Believe me when I say it's easy, quick and cheap(my favorite combination)! 
Now, I know the initial candle had the brown leaves stamped on it, on this tutorial I used a bicycle stamp, because I couldn't find any of my leaf stamps...:) 

You will need:
- dollar store jar candle in your fav scent (I saw them at Michaells, too);
- brown bag paper(I didn't try it, but I think tissue paper might do it as well);
- stamp and ink of your choice;
- ruller and a pen;
- a pair of scissors or a craft knife;
- glue stick or double sided scotch tape or glue gun would do it too;
- 1/8 in satin ribbon (I forgot to show it in the picture).
(Photo with all required items)

Peel off the sticker from the jar. If you have troubles doing that, using a hear gun or the hair dryer, heat the sticker - it will come off very easy. 

Cut 3x8.5in piece of paper. (I suggest to measure the height and width of candle before cutting your paper to make sure your piece of paper will be the desired height and long enough to "hug" the whole jar)    Tip: don't cut the paper too high, it can easily catch on fire when the candle is lit up (I've learned it the hard way)

Lay the just cut piece of paper on a smooth surface (your desk) and start stamping. Your imagination is the limit. I know the candles for that event were with fall leaves, on the tutorial I used a different stamp because I couldn't find my stamp leaves. :)

The next step is the trickiest. Roll the new designed paper around the candle and glue the ends together. 

Tie the ribbon around the candle and make a knot, or a cute bow, whatever you like most. I didn't have time so I made knots.

Voila!! You just made your first fancy candle! Now go make some more!!


Because lately I'm loving lace, I bought a small piece of lace (for $0.75) and re-made one of my candles. It turned out cuter than I expected! To make it, you' do the same steps as above, but you'd skip the stamping.(so it's faster to make!).

I hope you, my readers, have enjoyed this little tutorial! If you do make some, let me know! And if you want to take pictures, I'd be more than happy to see them on Facebook, Instagram or whatever you are using! Just leave a comment below with a link to your photo!

Let's keep in touch

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The time when three words changed my perspective

{photo by me}
        I have the feeling that my life turns into a whirlwind of moments, problems to be solved, food to be cooked, phones to be made and friends and family who wonder if you're actually ok because you fell off the face of the Earth. I'm not complaining, I'm just looking around for the lessons to be learned and for strength from God. Last week, my car broke. In the middle of the street. Downtown. At rush hour (7am). Smoke coming out of it and the whole drama. I'm not complaining, I just wanted to share with you what I have learned. In those two hours I spent waiting for my hubby to come with a tow truck to get the car, I realized people are not as selfish as I thought they are. Four people stopped to ask if they can help in any way, one lady offered me her umbrella (never seen her before) and a lady from my job, which I've never spoken to, stayed with me so I wouldn't be alone. It was refreshing to see how God uses all kind of people to take care of you. And then, my sister (from England) sent me a text "count your blessings". I cried. In Reading downtown, middle of the street. Since then, when I feel tears coming  in my eyes, I start counting my blessings. It puts everything in another perspective. It makes me realize how helpless I am on my own, and how awesome it is with God on my side. Funny story is that last fall, I made this little card for Thanksgiving. I wholeheartedly agreed with it, but only now I came to understand better the meaning of these three words.

What keeps you smiling when life's not easy?

Google reader is going away soon, but we can still keep in touch

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

                  We are shaped by people around us, either we realize it or not. One of the people who have a great influence in our lives are our dads. Now, to be honest, I've never had a close relationship with my father untill I got married and I started to understand some of my parents' decisions. Not that he's a terrible dad, but when I was a kid he was always working and when I was 13 they came to USA, hoping that in 6 months my sister and I will be reunited with them (because we were minors). Well, those 6 months became 6 years... But that's not what I want to talk about, I mentioned it to understand why I say my dad and I never had a close relationship. However, in the last 3 years, I've come to recognize his love, in the way he shows it. His hugs are protective, the way his voice fills with affection every time he says "I love you, Vio!", the happiness in his eyes when he looks at his children.  It's a process and I'm still learning to be closer to him, but that doesn't mean I love him less or admire him less. I secretly hope to be as patient as he is, strong and courageous and understanding.  I thank God because I have the chance to bond with my father and to get to know him.

   Happy Father's Day, Daddy!!! I love you!!

Google reader is going away soon, but we can still keep in touch

Saturday, June 8, 2013

10 things about me..

       This weekend, an old friend from Romania came to visit my sister, and of course I didn't mind an almost 2 hours drive to meet her and her husband. It was a sweet reunion, and the time spent together brought back so many memories. I realized how much I've changed in the past 5 years. In the same time, I thought that noting some things about me here will not only help me in couple of years to see the changes, but also you will get to know a little bit about me.

So, here we go... 10 things about me you didn't know:

- The only time I had long hair was for my wedding. Now I'm trying to let it grow again, but a glimpse of a great short haircut and makes me think twice;

- I make tons of To Do lists and plans, but I suck at keeping schedules (I planned this post for mid- May.  Enough said!)

- my first memory is being in the hospital with meningitis; 

- as a teenager, I said I would never wear skirts/dresses and any shoes with heels (including my wedding. Well, I wore the heels but once the church was over, I switched them with a pair of Chucks - much better!). Now, I'm learning that being feminine is actually a great skill to have it on your life's resume *wink*;
copyright Sandor Balint

- I'm a very shy person, even when I find a great blog it takes courage for me to leave a comment or get in touch with that person (weird, I know!)

- English is my second language. Yes, my dears, I have an accent that I am proud of. However, if you tell me I have an accent, the most likely reply you'll get is "what accent?";

- I love to read, it's just a challenge to find the time to. I'm curently reading Mere Christianity and Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Connan Doyle and the Bible(of course..);

- when I got married, I knew how to make only mashed potatoes... Now I'm pretty confident if I have someone for dinner;

- I would choose to watch Fast and Furious or Die Hard over a romantic movie;

- wearing make-up and getting my hair done are not my best skills, but I'm working on them.

Hope you are happy I shared some of me with you. I hope I didn't scare you away.

Google reader is going away soon, but we can still keep in touch

Monday, May 20, 2013

Five star life

photo via

        Lately, I’ve bought more stuff online than usually. At every purchase I was kindly asked to review my experience with the company. It’s not my favorite part of a transaction. And of course they asked. Everybody likes feedback (especially if it’s constructive). When you host a party, you can’t wait to hear the comments next day, can't you? That’s how you’ll know if it was a success or not.

         Which made me think of how would I rate my life? I started by asking myself: what are your priorities? Do you make things happen? (thanks, Lara Casey!!!) What are your values? Do you stay true to them? I realize I’m at an age when I want to do tons of things, thus I need to focus on what’s important. So, I made a list of priorities for myself to remind me what helps me having a 5 stars life. I stopped myself at 10 priorities. However, the first 3 are the most important. They will change over time, I’m sure. But for now, for the next 6 months, I know what brings value to my life. I’ll make decisions with that list in mind, and this way I’ll avoid spreading myself too thin trying to help everyone. Because being busy does not necessarily imply you actually have a life full of meaning.

What are the things that help you keep focused and motivated?

We can keep in touch:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

NYC through my sunglasses

{Wall St}

                  Back in February, I promised my friend Erika I will gather some pictures from all of my trips to NYC and write some impressions. I kept postponing, until recently when I read my first impression about NYC. So, here I am. Whenever I go to NYC, I have the same feelings as when I was the first time. So, today enjoy NYC through my sunglasses.

{random building}
{panoramic - right; Statue of Liberty - left}

{Ground Zero (this cute couple is my hubby and I - we were amazed) }
{view from Empire State Building}

{view from Empire State Building}

We can keep in touch:

Monday, April 8, 2013

Rear view mirror

I was speeding way too fast on the highway of life, looking only 2 feet in front of me, and more often looking in my rear view mirror to see if my past is still chasing me. It was a cold, foggy morning... when suddenly, a river of rays of sun shone right in front of me. Suddenly, it’s warm and fuzzy, and cozy and I can't stop a smile. That was the moment I realized the rear view mirror is stopping me from seeing the great things that are ahead of me.

This happened to me way too many mornings while driving to work. I get so caught up to look in the rear view mirror, that sometimes I don't even realize what gorgeous views I miss.

You know what? We do that in our everyday lives, too. We don't see the happiness of our kids because we're too worried about job related issues. We can’t see the happiness of a great relationship because we keep looking back scared of our past. We can't reach for hope when looking in rear view mirror.

God had taught me this year through my morning drives more than I could've imagined.

I linked up here:

Messy Marriage

We can keep in touch:

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Decorations on a budget

Not all the time you have the time, the money, the energy to do things as you imagined. This is my story, how I made everything work out with what I had in hand at the moment. Note: this article is pretty long, so grab a coffee and make yourself comfortable.

When our friend Cosmin came back from Romania with his brand new wife, Dana, our church wanted to throw a warm party to celebrate their new life together and introduce Dana in our community. We rented a ballroom at one of the local restaurants, and I volunteered to decorate it. Everything happened on such a short notice, I didn’t even have time to go see the place. So, with that in mind, I decided to go simple, warm and use as many things I had around the house. It was the beginning of October, so I went to dollar store and bought 20 scented candles (the ones that come in a jar). That was all the money I spent!!! (I was so proud of me!!!) 

I gathered everything else that I had around the house and could’ve been used for fall theme décor: brown packaging paper for candles (you’ll see in the pictures below how they looked after the makeover), olive satin ribbon, brown basket, a white luminary, tea battery candles, brown jute and a piece of ivory card stock (leftovers from Cosmin & Dana’s wedding invitations), leaf stamps, chocolate brown ink, two old vases turned into candles supports, and another vase with some cones and white Christmas lights in it.

So we (my hubby and I) get to the restaurant 30 minutes before everybody arrives. Eddie starts working on the sound system, I start decorating. There were 2 very long tables, one round table for Cosmin and Dana and another table right at the entrance. I placed the scented candles along those two long tables. (Sorry, I didn’t get a chance to take a picture before everyone arrived).

On the round table, I placed the white luminary with a tea battery candle in it, the old vases turned into candles supports, and some candles. It looked kind of empty, but I was lucky someone brought some flowers and they fit perfectly! 

I used the table at the entrance as “welcome table” and the “cards & gifts table”. I knew before there will be people who will give cards, so I used the ivory card stock to make a CARDS sign. I hanged it on the brown basket with the brown jute. Also, I scattered the left battery candles and one of the scented candle.

Then, I took a deep breath!!.. Phew!!! I was done! It was cute! (even though the lighting was terrible). We made new friends, had fun and most important thing, we celebrated them. their love. and new beginning.

What do you do to stay on the budget when decorating?

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