Some {of Our} Favorite Things

Do I have something fun for y’all today: $300 in fabulous goodies!
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With Christmas just over a month away, a group of us thought it would be fun to host a giveaway of some of our favorite things. Every little bit helps with the Christmas list, doesn’t it? I’m honored to be hosting this giveaway with these women. I love each of them and respect their voice in the blogging community. I hope you’ll take the chance to get to know them!

This giveaway is hosted by:

Jessica from The Mom Creative
Kristen from We are That Family
Kristen from Rage Against the Minivan
Lisa-Jo from Lisa-Jo Baker
Lisa from Lisa Leonard Designs
Maggie from Gussy Sews

Use the Rafflecopter below to win one of these six prizes:
    1. A Quinn infinity scarf from Krochet Kids. The scarf is handmade in Uganda. Krochet Kids creates sustainable economic development programs that support holistic growth of individuals and communities living in poverty.
    2. $50 gift certificate to Krafty Kash designs – jewelry with your favorite word featured from a vintage dictionary.
    3. $50 gift certificate to Lisa Leonard Designs, a company that creates hand-stamped jewelry and gifts
    4. $50 gift certificate to Gussy Sews, a handmade shop full of brightly colored ruffled and sassy accessories
    5. A beautiful scarf and leather wallet ($50 value) from fashionABLE, a non-profit organization supporting women in Africa
    6. $50 gift certificate to anything @ The Mercy Shop, a fair-trade marketplace for products (art, jewelry, inspiring accessories) made by residents at Mercy House Kenya

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Thursday everyone!


Lilla Rose {Giveaway}

UPDATE: Katheryn is the winner of this giveaway. Congratulations Katheryn!

We’ve talked about hair before.

I’m in the s-l-o-w process of letting mine grow out. My goal is pony tail length because I’m wanting to take my hair care to an all-new casual level.

My teenager has amazing hair. Proof:

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And she can recreate just about every hair braiding tutorial she’s ever seen. It’s a gift. Because I’m in charge of my 6 year old’s hair and I can do two things: one pony tail or two pony tails at the same time. I think that’s called gifted.

Lilla Rose, a new sponsor on my blog, sent my daughter a beautiful beaded hair band. She wears it several different ways. You can look that cute and cool when you’re a month shy of 14. She also dresses me now.

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There are all kinds of cute hair accessories, like the hair sticks, bobby pins and really cool flexi clips.

Today, Bokerah, Independent Lilla Rose Consultant is giving away a $50 gift certificate so your hair can dazzle. Check out their products and leave a comment with what you’d like to try.


The One Thing That Has Brought Our Family Together: {Review & Giveaway}

UPDATE: The winners of this giveaway are Mrs. R., Colleen B and Erin K.

I have two kids in junior high now, three in school.

And I feel like I owe all parents of kids age 10+up, a big fat apology.

Because. Y’all. We have spent years trying to parent intentionally, slowing down our lives, limiting extracurricular stuff. Then this season started and I’m looking at the calendar in shock. With just one after-school activity each and church stuff, it looks like it’s going to explode.

And I’m so thankful the ignorant, naive Kristen from years past, started one very important habit.

If there has been one thing that has strengthened our family and kept us together, around the table, around a chair, around each other, it’s reading together.

Not only have our kids fallen in love with reading (yes, they are the ones with flashlights under the sheets because they just need to finish the chapter, Mom), they have fallen in love with reading together.

We’ve gone on wild adventures and learned about different cultures together. Books have led us into deeper community with each other. They have urged us to ask hard questions, press into our struggles. They have been a catalyst to richer family life.

We read around the table after dinner regularly. We also read individually with each of our kids. We pat the space next to us and say, “Let’s read, together.”

And as my kids have grown, the books have grown with us. But no matter how old they are, they want to read.

I have to tell you about the latest one that has captured my family, all of us.

My husband reads to our first grader every. night. She loves it and looks disappointed when I step in to substitute. I love that they love this time together. She is reading on her own (you know the sweet first grade KIND OF READING THAT MAKES YOU WANT TO STICK A FORK IN YOUR EYEBALL), but there’s just something about reading a chapter book together that is special.

Plus, it’s a lot quicker.

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Begin, the first book in the Growly Series by Phil and Erin Ulrich started out as their book. It’s an epic adventure about a little bear named Growly and my daughter begs for another chapter every time they finish one. Last night they finished chapter 17. What’s funny is I can tell you every single thing that’s happened in the adventure so far and so can my son. We just couldn’t not listen! It’s wholesome family reading at it’s best and it’s also illustrated beautifully.

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The vivid descriptions make it easy to imagine exactly what’s happening in the story. It’s a great book to read to your 4-7 year old and children 8-11 would enjoy reading it on their own. We can’t wait to read what happens next to Growly! It’s sure to be adventurous.

The other night it was getting late and my hubby was busy with work, so I picked up where they left off. A few paragraphs in, my husband found us cuddled up reading and asked us what had happened so far. I handed over the book and smiled.

I’m not sure who loves Growly more! You can get your own copy here for $8.99

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The author Erin, who is also my blog designer and a sweet friend, sent us a copy to read together and today she’s giving away three copies. Hop over and check out the book and the amazing pictures and leave a comment here to be entered.

And please, make time in  your crazy busy lives to read together. You won’t ever regret the adventures it takes you on!


Your Grace Finds Me {Giveaway}

UPDATE:  Juli V., Amy B., and Teresa G. have been selected as the winners of this giveaway.

It was there in the 10th grade when I stood up for what was right.

It was there on the day when I had my first heartbreak in college.

It was there the day my best friend became my husband.

It was there when I spent years longing to become a mother.

It was there when I didn’t know what to do with a crying baby.

It was there when I was a lonely mom and a broken wife.

It was there when I dreamed a God-sized dream.

It was there through life and death, victory and pain: grace

Your grace finds me every step of the way.

I absolutely love Matt Redman’s new album: Your Grace Finds Me. It’s an anthem for me. God has been with me when others weren’t. His grace has been a faithful presence even when I haven’t been.

Matt Redman

His song Mercy is also a personal favorite on the new album. Listening to this beautiful worship CD is like a vehicle–It will drive you into the presence of God.

Today, I’m happy to give away 3 copies of the new album Your Grace Finds Me, which releases today.

 

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Click to read an update on the (in)Mercy Project and meet the faces behind Mercy House.


Showing Off Some Faith, Hope & Love {Giveaway}

UPDATE: Congratulations, Kim Mitchell, you are the winner of this giveaway.

The other day a friend of a friend came over. She was young and heading out of the country to do social work in the sex trafficking arena. We chatted and for a split second I sort of wanted to roll back the clock and live vicariously through her wide-eyed freedom and adventure.

As she started to leave, she said, “I’ve never had a place of my own or had a certain style, but when I do, I want it to look like yours. I think this is my style.”

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Oh, you mean colorful, inspiring hodgepodge? 

“I used to fill my home with stuff. A few years ago, I decided that it had to be meaningful and inspiring to stay,” I said as I pointed out the inspirational art, the pictures of Mercy House girls and babies, the colorful world maps and the missions statement over our fireplace.

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When people walk through my door, I pray my home offers them three things:

Faith-A reminder that God can do anything through anyone

Hope-He redeems our past and transforms our future

Love-I  want warm, infectious love for God and others to be felt

2013-09-13 01.22.59When Show Off Arts, my favorite inspirational art store asked if they could send these gorgeous canvases, I approved. This lovely trio are bright and colorful. They look amazing on my wall!2013-09-13 01.22.39Today, I’m giving away this beautiful set of three canvases. To be entered, please visit Show Off Arts and leave a comment here with your favorite piece.This giveaway ends Thursday.