Monday, April 30, 2012

Mother's Day Gift Guide!

Mother's Day is just around the corner!
If you havent found the perfect gift to give your Momma, or maybe need to drop some hints to The Hubs,
I've put together a sweet Mother's Day gift guide to help!
All of these items are GORGEOUS, and would make an amazing gift for any mom. ♥
I know that I personally would love to have any of them! ;)
SO enjoy the gift guide, and be sure to SPOIL your momma (or yourself) this Mother's Day.
You know all us Mommas totally deserve it!

Happy Shopping!!
Much Love & Hugs,

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A3 Sisters Feature And Giveaway

Happy Sunday everyone, hope you had a wonderful week. :)
Well it certainly has been a while since my last giveaway!
So I am excited to feature one wonderful sponsors today, 
because she has several pretties to give to one lucky winner!!
Lets welcome Alison from A3 Sisters.
  My name is Alison Benson, I'm a 20 something year-old college student, who still doesn't know what to do with her life.  I'll be graduating May 13 with my BS in Art and a psych minor.  A few weeks after that I'll hopefully be giving birth to my husband and I's first child, a daughter, Ryley Rose, due May 31st.  I met my husband in high school, dated 6 years, married in Sept. of 2009.  We purchased a house shortly after that in which my mother-in-law lives with us...Sounds awful, and yes sometimes it can be, but we needed a little help with things, as did she, so we're managing.  So, as of right now I'm currently juggling school, marriage, a mother-in-law, a soon to be daughter, and my little store online.  It's hectic, but everything has been worth it so far.  Yes, there are plenty of ups and downs family oriented and self-inflicted, but we all get through those things to make us stronger.  
Come say hello to me on Facebook here, and dont forget to check out my etsy shop A3 Sisters.
Right now (because I will be on maternity leave soon) you can get 40% OFF your purchase with code "CLEANOUT40".

Isn't she gorgeous!? :) And so generous!
Today Ali is giving away these gorgeous goodies from her shop:
 You DEF wanna win, right!?
She has such cute accessories. ♥

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Blog-erview with Polly from This Enchanted Pixie

Its Wednesday and time again for another Blog-erview!!!
Lets welcome Polly from This Enchanted Pixie to Agape Love Designs!!
If you are new here, find out about the Blog-erview Series, 
as well as a list of previous blog-erviews {here}!
Tell us a little about yourself and Your blog (and shop):
I live in North Wales, UK, amongst the hills and valleys with my love and our three daughters. I'm a stay at home mama and we are also a home schooling family. I started blogging at This Enchanted Pixie just over two years ago to record the little moments of our lives, I discovered my great love for blogging and it has all grown from there. I also have a shop, where I sell my handmade, bohemian jewellery, which is inspired by my love of nature.
How did you first get involved with blogging?
I was active on a forum, and after hearing a few of the other mamas discussing their blogs I thought I'd give it a try too... at first I only posted sporadically but then the bug hit and now I blog daily.
Has blogging played a role in the start of or development of your shop? If so, how? If not, tell us how your shop came about.
Very much. I have always created, but never sold my creations. After showing a few of them in various blog posts, and receiving positive feedback, I decided to open a shop and try selling my designs.
How do you come up with material/content for your blog each day, What inspires you?
I'm inspired by my daily life. I like to blog about our daily life, about the crafting I do both by myself and with my girls, if we've baked something delicious I'll share the recipe on my blog. I also like to keep my blog as an inspiring place. I'm currently running a 'happiness is....' series, where two bloggers tell us about what happiness is to them each week. 
What has been the most challenging moment in being a blogger?
Keeping my blog a positive place when I was going through a bout of depression last summer. I didn't want to blog all the time about how rubbish I was feeling... and some days just even blogging felt like too much - keeping going and not giving up was challenging but I'm so glad that I persevered!
Name some of the bloggers whom you look up to and why?
Some of my favourite bloggers are:
Deer Little Fawn   - Beth is a lovely friend and her blog is always full of beautiful things;
Laughing with Broken Eyes- Amber is a beautiful lady, who is very honest and posts the most inspiring poetry and
 Tales of a Tumbleweed- Beca's blog is a very inspiring place to have a nose. She inspires me to pursue my dreams and never give up
If someone was interested in blogging, what would be a few things you would suggest?
Don't blog because you think you should, or because you want free things, or to be popular.
Blog because you want to - because you want to share your life for others to see. 
Be true to yourself - write about what you know/love - people can tell if you are honest.
Be friendly - talk to bloggers you like, make friends and just enjoy blogging!
Share lots of photos - people like something visual to look at
Customise your blog design to fit you.
What Social Networks are you on?
You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest!
What networking do you do, that you feel helps your blog and/or shop the most?
Twitter. I've made some amazing friends through twitter, and I love being able to chat with people who read my blog. There is an amazing community on there and they have really helped me build my blog and shop.
What goals do you have, if any, for your blog/shop right now and in the future?
Blog goals are to keep on blogging! I'd like to grow my blog some more, as well as adding more fun diys and recipes.
Shop Goals - this past year has been fantastic, I want to see my little shop grow, to add some new lines, to venture into wholesale possibly and to take my creations to some craft fairs!
What has been the best thing about blogging so far, feel free to share any exciting triumphs or milestones you have had or reached! :)
The amazing ladies that I have met along the way and the support that they have shown me. Sometimes I step out of my comfort zone and post some confessional posts like this one and this one - the support that I received blew me away!
Is there anything you know now that you wish you knew before you started blogging?
To make sure photos are as large as will fit on your design - I cringe when I look back at my first posts!!!
Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?
I hope you've enjoyed reading a little about me! I'd love for you to stop by my blog and say hi :) 

Polly, it was so nice to "meet" you and get to know more about you!
I LOVE your wonderful answer to the question on suggestions for someone starting a blog.
So true, so good! Thanks for your interview!

Much Love & Hugs,

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Full But Not Satisfied

 A couple weeks ago I was struggling in my weight loss journey with this feeling of being full but not satisfied. Its made me realize how much of a food lover I really was. See, in order to lose all the weight I need to lose, I needed to make a HUGE change in my diet. So I have cut out so many things that I absolutely LOVE to chow down on. Things like bread and pasta, cheese, salt, sugary foods and candy.


At first I thought I would never be able to do it, I thought I was gonna starve or something dramatic like that. Surprisingly, though, Ive been doing pretty great, I can eat a good healthy meal that is the right portion, which is WAY less than I used to eat, and I feel full. But the problem was, that I wasn't feeling satisfied.  Even though I was full, I still wanted to eat more! I wasn't hungry, I just felt like eating. Wow, such a "fat person" thing to admit.

Of course I didn't GIVE IN... All my hard work, exercise and such would be a waste, just to satisfy my mindless eating problem! I felt good to keep that self control, but at the same time I felt really bummed out too. I feel so silly just admitting this all. I just cant believe how bummed out I was that I wasn't allowing myself to pig out! I actually got really sad, and I felt totally pathetic. Then while I was sitting there feeling sorry for myself, a thought came to me, I wondered if there was anything in the bible about this.

Here are some verses I found interesting:

Matthew 4:4 

"...Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."

(I actually created a painting of that verse for my dinning room, I see it every day! *palm to face*) 

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

Psalm 34:8

"Taste and see that the LORD is good;
   blessed is the one who takes refuge in him"

Psalm 145:15-17

"The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time.
 You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.  The LORD is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does."

Wow, those verses really struck me!
I cant believe how much I had been looking to food to satisfy me.
I always knew that God was the only one who could completely satisfy us, but I didn't realize I was actually replacing Him with food until now. Its not like I was the type of person who ate to make myself feel better when I was sad, or ate to make "pain" go away or anything like that. But obviously I had a problem, I LOVED eating, and sometimes I felt couldn't get enough. Even if I was full I just wanted to eat, I just wanted to feel satisfied. What a mess, its no wonder I got so big.

After finding these verses I sat and prayed. I prayed that I would allow GOD to fill me up.
I prayed that I would stop trying to make food more than what it should be. I prayed that He would help me through out this journey, and that I would remember to look to Him more. I confessed that even though I thought I was leaning on Him, I was really struggling to take the lead. And then I just gave it all up to God. Because I cant do this on my own. I NEED His power, strength, and nourishment.

Then I sat and thought some more... I thought about how much I desire God to use me to bring others closer to Him or to know Him (like through my blog). However, Ive got to remember to also continue to grow closer to Him. That I too need nourishment through prayer, the Word and more time spent with Him. Because I do hunger and thirst {for Him} and I need to remember to allow Him to fill me up so that I can be both full and satisfied.

Now that it has been a couple weeks since then I am feeling so much better about this whole food situation. And I am excited to say that today, 7 weeks and 2 days into this whole weight loss journey I have lost a total of 27 pounds! I still have a long way to go but I'm starting to see progress. I will try to do an outfit post soon to "show off" my progress... In case you were interested to see it yourself. ;)
And as always, thank you all so much for being apart of this journey with me, the encouragement, and prayers mean the world to me. Being able to get all this out in the open is a tremendous help to me also. And I hope that I am also helping and inspiring others too who may be feeling similar.

Much Love & Hugs,

Friday, April 20, 2012

Two Year Portraits| Isabella Sneak Peek | Red Bluff Photography

My sweet niece Isabella recently had her 2nd birthday! 
Of course Aunty Ria got to take her 2 year portraits.
I also made her headband and that crazy tutu she is wearing. ♥
 Can you believe the difference a YEAR can make!
The first picture is from her one year portraits...
She is one lucky little girl to get SO MUCH hair in one year!
 As you may have guessed, her theme was Dora Princess.
Colors Pink, Purple & Yellow. I actually think those colors look great together.
 Sweet Little Princess.
The headband and tutu look darling on her, and Im not just saying that because I made them!
Dont you agree? ♥
 I just love her!

I also got to design her invites too.

Happy Birthday Bella!!
Love Aunty Ria♥

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Treasury Trade Off Linky Party #14

Welcome to week 14 of Treasury Trade Off!!
 Thank you so much for playing along today!
I am really wanting to GROW TTO, SO would you help me out by sharing 
this post on your facebook page so that others can join in??
The more participants we get, the more exposure you and your shop/listings will get!

Thanks so much!!

Before we get onto the new theme and link up, here are a few great treasuries from last weeks link up!
If you are new to Treasury Trade Off, here is the idea:
Each week I will post a new theme. I will have a list of items/listings from my shop
(and maybe my sponsors shops) that go with that weeks theme.
All who participate in this will have to create a treasury using one MY listings that I have provided.
In return you will leave a comment telling me you are participating with a link to item(s) from YOUR shop
that go with this weeks theme, and I will create a treasury (or two) including listings from those who participate.
Once you have created your treasury, come back here and link it up to the linky party for me & others to check out.
I will share some treasuries on my facebook page as well as feature a couple of my favs in next weeks Treasury Trade Off post.
If we all comment on, click links in and share treasuries on our fb pages from a couple others then we all get more exposure!

Here The Rules if you want to participate:
This weeks theme is: {MOTHERS DAY}!
Link up anything that would be a perfect gift for your mom, or for any momma you know!
 1.) Leave a comment with a link to your facebook fan page letting me know you will participate,
in the same comment leave a few links from your own shop listings that go with this weeks theme.
Please make sure to leave a clickable Link to your listing(s) here is how:

2.)  Create a Treasury which features only one of my items listed below:
Feel free to also check out the comment section & use any of the listings other participants have shared!
But your treasury MUST include one of MY items listed below to participate.
3.) Come Back here & link up the treasury you have created to the linky party!

4.) Check out the other treasuries, leave comments on at least two others
and click at least two listing from each treasury you check out.

5.) Share one or two of your favorite treasuries from the linky party on your FB fan page.
It would be awesome if you tagged the creator in the link as well!

Some extra helpful info:
~When creating a treasury please do NOT include your own items in your treasury.
Etsy will not feature a treasury if you are featuring your own items!
They encourage you to share the love and help promote others. So please keep that in mind.

~When creating a treasury, please try your best to make it cohesive and to use up ALL 16 listing spaces! 

~It would be really great if you could leave a link to this post in the description of your treasury...
to help encourage other etsians to participate in this treasury trade off! :)

You have until Sunday at Midnight to link up the treasury you have created!

Grab a button:

Treasury Trade Off Linky Party At Agape Love Designs


Much Love & Hugs,

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Blog-erview with Mandy from Life Songs of a Busy Mom

Its Wednesday and time again for another Blog-erview!!!
Lets welcome Mandy from Life Songs of a Busy Mom to Agape Love Designs!!
If you are new here, find out about the Blog-erview Series, 
as well as a list of previous blog-erviews {here}!
Tell us a little about yourself and Your blog and shop

Hello everyone! My name is Mandy and I'm 29 years old. I'm married to an amazing man of God, and I'm the mother to a beautiful little girl who I homeschool and handsome twin boys. Back in April of 2008 I started making and selling hair accessories, wipe cases and other items for babies/toddlers/little girls. This brought about Luxe Babies.  I now make and sell Luxe Babies hair accessories for a local boutique called Bella Grace.
 On January 13, 2012 I stared an Etsy shop called Luxey Leg Candy where I make lace accented leg warmers and knee socks for teens/women. I love the updated version of leg warmers, especially when worn with boots, and last month, after seeing all the socks with heels on the runways, I added a pretty lace knee sock that can be worn with heels.

What made you decide to get involved with blogging?
I decided to start Life Songs Of A Busy Mom so I could share my life, thoughts, ideas, products and recipes with others. I am a true believer that no craft, recipe, DIY project, or great product should be kept to yourself. It's much more fun when we all share ideas and help one another out...especially as mothers. I also love to connect with other moms and hear their ideas. Thus, the blog was born.

Has blogging played a role in the start of or development of your shop? If so, how? If not, tell us how your shop came about.
Blogging certainly helps with the advertisement of my shops and it also lets my customers see that, just like them, I'm a busy mom too. I'm a one woman show when it comes to my shop, and I think people appreciate buying a handcrafted item that they know was made with care and love.

How do you come up with material/content for your blog each day, What inspires you?
Oh Boy...well, I really just blog about what I did each day. What crafts I did with the kids, what I taught Grace in homeschool, what I made for dinner that night...pretty much my everyday activities that are probably very similar to most stay-at-home moms.  My kids are a huge inspiration for the blog.

Name some of the bloggers whom you look up to and why?
I follow so many mommy bloggers, it's hard to name my favorites, but I love blogs where I can find fun and educational activities for my kids and I also love fashion blogs (even though my closet will most likely never contain any of the outfits/shoes/handbags/jewelry I drool over lol). I also like to follow Christian bloggers since I am a born again Christian and LOVE my Lord and Savoir!

What Social Networks are you on?

What networking do you do, that you feel helps your blog and/or shop the most?
Facebook has been huge for both my shops and the blog. I love doing giveaways with other shops/sites and that has brought a bunch of new traffic to my shops/blog.

What goals do you have, if any, for your blog/shop right now and in the future?
My Goals for my shops/blog is for them to continue to be blessed. My prayer is that what I do, I do it for the glory of my Lord and that He will be pleased with my endeavors.  My prayer is that He will open doors that no man shut and that my readers and customers will see Jesus through me.

What has been the best thing about blogging so far?
I love hearing from readers! It truly makes my day when someone thanks me for what I do. I love to help others and if I can help even just one person, then it makes it all worthwhile.

Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?
Yes! Come on over to Life Songs Of A Busy Mom  and follow me. Like my fb page! Make comments! And above all...thank you and I appreciate you all!

 Thank you SO much for your wonderful interview Mandy!
I love the goals you wrote, it too is one of my goals that people see Jesus shine through me,
my blog here and my shop!

To all my sweet readers, I do hope you will head on over to check out Mandy's blog and shops!
She is truly wonderful. ♥

Much Love & Hugs,

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sweet Simple Metal Bow Necklace Tutorial

I've been seeing these sweet little wire metal bows everywhere now, 
and I have always thought they were just adorable!
So I sat down to see if I could create my own little version.
I really thought it turned out just darling, soo I'm sharing the tutorial with you! ♥
~Flat nose pliers (with wire cutter)
~Lobster Clasp & Jump Rings
~Thick metal wire
 (I found this cute colored wire at Walmart craft section)
~Round Nose Pliers *Not Pictured/Optional
Step One: Roll out a length of wire (DO NOT CUT)
Step Two: Make a loop
Step Three: Make another loop around (same as tying your shoe)
Step Four: Take the length of wire thats still attached to the rest of the roll
and wrap it TWICE around the center of the two loops.
 Step Five: This is what your bow should look like so far.
Step Six: NOW cut the wire, with the flat nose pliers.
Step Seven: *optional* Use round nose pliers to curl up the dangling wire.
Step Eight: Use your flat nose pliers to open your jump ring and attach your bow to the chain.
 Depending on the length you cut your chain, you may or may not need the lobster clasp. 
I usually cut mine at 18 inches, which if you do that length you will need to add the lobster clasp,
But if you cut it longer (say 22 in) you wont need to add a clasp, you can just pull the necklace over your head!

Here is what it looks like on:
Simple and Sweet!
I'm loving it.
What do you think??

Much Love & Hugs,

Sponsor an "In Post" Ad!
For more info Click {here}

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Green Sapphire Smokey Eye Tutorial

 I LOVE makeup. I probably have way TOO much makeup already (especially eye shadows).
Yet when I am at the store, I am always drawn to the makeup aisle, like a moth to a flame.
All the pretty colors, all the different palettes, designs, shapes, and sparkles!
It seems I cant get enough. 
Though usually I try to restrain myself, I couldnt help but purchase this new
eyeshadow set from Rimmel London, called Green Sapphire.
I admire the look of the dark, dreamy black smokey eye.
But I dont think I can pull off BLACK as well with my Green Hazel eyes.
 So I am really drawn to green, brown, & purple-ish colors when it comes to eye shadows, 
because I believe those colors look the best on my eye.

I also love the dimensional look of several different hues of the same color blended on the eye.
I believe it really makes the eyes POP when done right.
Which is why I am totally diggin' this color palette... 
It makes for a gorgeous and dramatic smokey eye, that works with my eye color.
 This is what I used.
Eye Shadow Magnet (from bare minerals)
Black Eye Liner
And an angled/narrow shadow brush.
Ive labeled the shadow colors so you know the order in which I used them.
 And here is a quick photo tutorial guide to how I created the Green Sapphire Smokey Eye Look!

Much Love & Hugs,

Sponsor an "In Post" Ad!
For more info Click {here}

Friday, April 13, 2012

Newborn Portraits| Merinna Sneak Peek | Red Bluff Photography

This sweet little angel is Merinna!
11 days old.
 She was so good, and calm like this through the whole shoot..
Up until her momma had to put a dress on her at the end of the session!
 Sweet little ring of hers.
Holding daddy's hand.
 Hands & feet.
 Doesn't she just have the most perfect lips!? ♥
 In Daddy's arms!
 I had to share one of these!!!
Yeah she was not happy about the outfit change!
 This is the custom announcement I created for her.
The theme is "Kitty Cats Chasing Butterflies"
Isnt it sweet?

 Which were your favorites??

Much Love & Hugs,

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