Monday, December 31, 2012

so long, 2012

I think it's in some unwritten blogger's code that a year in review is a must. Just kidding, but I really do enjoy looking back on the previous year to see where we've been, remember what I've shared, and look forward to a new beginning! Here are some my memorable & favorite posts of 2012. 

I celebrated the New Year in Seattle. 
I shared 5 things I've learned about running a handmade business here.
I started the New Year with much inspiration on the blog, kicking off with this delicious cocktail.
& I also found my favorite thrift find of all time

I started doing more consistent outfit posts, kicking off with this number. This was one of my favorites. This one too
I busted out the sewing machine to make this clutch

With friends visiting & several out of the ordinary warm spring days to take advantage of, we took a hike or two.
I celebrated my 25th birthday.
I shared a tour of our home.
Had a baking fail that turned out to be yummy & pretty anyways. 
I accidentally dressed like Mrs. Arnold from the Wonder Years.
I had fun participating in a sewing challenge.

Phew! March was busy!

Teamed up with another local blogger for a fun DIY project.
I went to Texas.
I took a step back from my shop.
Sewed up a peplum tank.
Answered your questions.

I "perfected" a comfort food staple.

I sewed up five custom bridesmaid dresses
I shared my heart
Became obsessed with making spring rolls.
Found some ways to beat the heat. Here // Here // Here

Spent some time at the cabin.
Took neopolitan ice cream to a whole new level.
Made my favorite meal over & over.
Shared some thoughts on blogging.
Became obsessed with all things lemon.
Hosted a party to celebrate the 4th of July.

I pondered change.
I prepared my wardrobe for the fall
Combined my two favorite things: Ice Cream & Coffee

Got bangs & celebrated 4 years with the hubby.
Braved pumpkin spice marshmallows
Confessed to being Martha.

Layered up for cold weather.
Celebrated a three year blogiversary!
Shared my mom's tortilla soup recipe with you.

Made some macarons.

Hosted a Christmas Cookie Exchange Party with a hot chocolate bar
I had the honor of being Blowfish Shoes' "It Girl"
Made more macarons.


What a full year it's been. I'm so thankful for the ups & downs that 2012 has had. I'm incredibly grateful for being able to document it here on the blog. I'm blown away that you all have stuck by my side and read along, encouraged, chimed in, and shared. I'm humbled by the grace & goodness that God has shown me and cannot wait to see what the next year holds ((especially welcoming Baby Davis into the world!))!

 Thanks for being a part of Oh, Sweet Joy!
Here's to 2013!


Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas to You & Yours

We are on the road, finishing up the last leg of the trip to Texas today. I'm taking the week off of blogging to celebrate Christmas & the birth of our Savior, savor time with family and to dwell on the lavish grace that has been bestowed on me. God is so good, y'all, but I'm especially thankful to have been able to feel that goodness so much this year.

Here's to hoping that your holiday week, whatever you are celebrating, is full of:
yummy food
abundant joy
time with loved ones
a great present (or two!)
time spent counting your blessings
one last hoorah of Christmas music
& Jesus

I also sincerely hope that you can kick your feet up and RELAX this week. Soak all those sweet moments up.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
James 1:17


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Last Minute Gift Making Ideas

I searched the archives to find some quick & easy last minute gifts for you to make if you need a  few more gifts under the tree for friends & family. Enjoy and happy gift making!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

All I Want For Christmas GIVEAWAY!

Christmas is days away and  a group of us lady bloggers wanted to get together to bless our readers in two ways. #1 - we want to give away a HUNK of stuff, stuff at the top of our own lists for Christmas to one of our readers. and #2 - introduce our readers to some of our favorite bloggers - the ones we truly love to read and interact with. 

Maybe you know all these ladies and maybe you don't! Either way, we've set up a super simple giveaway where you can go below and "like" these ladies facebook pages for up to SEVEN entries to win the big old lot of goodies below! 

Check out all the gifts + then head down to the giveaway entry where you can automatically like all the facebook pages, without ever leaving the giveaway! We'll announce a winner on the 26th, but in all seriousness - everyone wins when you are getting to know all these great blogging ladies. Merry Christmas! 

Ashlee from Growing Up a Thomas is giving away this Bobbi Brown lip + eye palette. Here's what she has to say about it: 

I love makeup and I really, really love Bobbi Brown makeup. When I was 14 and my parents finally let me wear it (like just blush and mascara) my grandma took me to get my makeup done at the Bobbi Brown counter. Such a cool grandma, right? From that day on I was hooked! I have tried other (read: less expensive) brands before but the quality can't be beat. It never fails that there is always Bobbi Brown makeup on my Christmas list! Mostly because it is a bit pricey and so I ask for whatever I am out of as a gift. Plus, she always puts together the cutest little sets that are perfect for holiday gift giving - which is why I bought one to give to one of you!

Beth Anne from Okay BA is giving away a french press, a bag of Starbucks coffee, and a really precious little mug! Here's why: 

In the mornings when the sun is still hazy, I sneak downstairs & brew a cup of coffee. The fresh grounds pull me back to being a little girl & my mother's morning cup & then to college lecture halls & cold winter mornings & the last bit of night, when my husband has a cup before bed. It is a comfort to me, a balm to my soul, & something I wish to share with all of my friends.

Diana from Hormonal Imbalances is giving away these super, super cute leg warmers! Ahhh.

I just bought new boots and fell in love with these. I adore just looking at them, and can't wait to see them on someone!

Jessi from Naptime Diaries is giving away these gold earrings from Lisa Leonard. She says: 

These earrings have been on my list since the second I saw them! I think they're funky, classic, casual, and dressy all at once. They seem like the perfect addition to any outfit - year round - to make you feel just that much more put together. 

Kacia over at Coconut Robot is adding in a $50 Anthropologie Gift Card!

I'm awful at gift lists.  Just awful!  I'm not someone that has a running list of items I'd like in my head, so gift cards speak my love language.  I especially love finding unique items at Anthropologie--and gift cards give me the ability to splurge a little bit on them!

Kim from Oh Sweet Joy bought one of you this amazing ring for NSPottery! She says:

I'm a firm believer that accessories make or break any outfit. Whether it's a pop of color on your hand or a neutral statement necklace, adding just a little extra detail can make the biggest difference in how "put together" you feel.  I love my NS Pottery pieces and wanted to share the love with y'all. Enjoy & Merry Christmas!

Finally, Raechel from Finding Our Feet is giving away these amazing polka dot gloves from Madewell. 

I'm a sucker for polka dots. And warm hands. 
And, well, using my iPhone with warm hands and polka dots. 

Alright ladies - get to entering! 
We are so excited to give one of 
you this massive package of gifts!
Merry, merry Christmas! 


Sponsor Highlight + Giveaway ((Featuring the Ernestine Edna Blog))

What's a week on Oh, Sweet Joy! without a little sponsor highlight & giveaway?!


Meet the gal behind the blog, Ernestine Edna. 

I've been blogging for several years now, but due to my flea sized attention span, it was hard to stick with one blog.  A few years ago I decided to create an "alter ego" of sorts, and polled my friends to find out the names of their favorite aunts.  I selected the two names I thought sounded perfect together...and Ernestine Edna was born...full grown and ready to write about a lot of things like:

Parenting my kids FaithWalker (daughter age 16) and Deckman (son age 10)
Being a wife to my awesome husband, Mr. Bacon
Working full time in Public Safety at a small midwestern college
Living with depression
Following Jesus
And random things like tattoos, friendship, blogging and handmade

I do a lot of giveaways and because I love to support small businesses, handmade shops, and non-profits I purchase the items for giveaways myself!

I love sponsoring blogs too...I feel like it's a little way I can support someone's effort to express themselves.  For me, it's not so much about the numbers, but encouraging people who love to write to continue writing, to continue living out their dreams!  It helps me get to know other bloggers better too, to see a "different" side of them, as business people!  I've loved supporting Kim these past three months!  Such a wonderful, intelligent and eloquent woman!  What a blessing to know her!


Another wonderfully talented artist I'm getting to know through blogging and the interwebs is Lindsay from Pen and Paint.  Her talent just amazes me...I've purchased so many items from her for gifts and I'm proud to offer you one of her latest creations "Comparison is the thief of Joy".  It is a beautiful reminder of how important it is to be live our own lives, fully and thankfully.  I'm also including a $10 Starbucks card because, well, I love Starbucks! 

Ernestine has some big plans ahead for 2013...won't you join us as we spread some joy??



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Cookie Exchange Party

Is there anything better than gathering with sweet girlfriends for a sugar overload? Nope. 

A few weekends ago, I hosted a Christmas Cookie Exchange Party - complete with a hot chocolate bar and perhaps some cider spiked with dutch caramel vodka. It's nights like these that I really miss some occasional booze. ;)

Everyone brought 2 dozen cookies and you could pick which 2 dozen you left with and/or ate. The only rule was no sugar cookies and no chocolate chip cookies. I may or may not have had more than a couple of the andes mint chocolate cookies ((for the baby, of course))Guests put their recipe in front of the cookies they brought and you could copy the recipes you wanted. 

It was super laid back and festive, I loved spending time with friends over Christmas music and celebrating Johnny Manziel's Heisman win  the holidays. We had everything from french macarons to snowball cookies, classic Christmas flavors to gourmet family recipes, baklava to divinity. SO MUCH GOODNESS!

Have you ever been to a cookie exchange? What's your go-to recipe?


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

((Body Image + Pregnancy))

((you get this instead of an outfit post today. couldn't keep what was on my heart stuck in there! it felt good to type it all out & process it. I'm sure I'm not the first to post this type of message, but I'm sharing my thoughts with you sweet ,sweet readers, hoping it will simply encourage.))

As someone who has struggled with body image for years and years, often not thinking I'm small enough, toned enough, not put-together-enough etc, being pregnant has kind of turned my world upside  down

It was easy to embrace  at the beginning, as all I'd have to do was unbutton the top button of my pants, at most.  I was still giddy about being pregnant in the first place, so I just had to remind myself that it was for the baby. All my tops still fit and my jeans fit everywhere else but the waist. But the more my body has changed over the past 23 weeks, the more I see this insecurity blow up in my face...the insecurity of not being good enough, thin enough, pretty enough. Even at the beginning, when I was quite sick and losing weight, rather than gaining it, I still felt out of control and like I needed to hit the gym if I was able to keep down some crackers and ginger ale ((which I never did. ha)). 

Maybe it was the hormones, maybe it was the fact I was nauseous 24/7, maybe it was my broken out face, maybe it was the fact that I couldn't stomach ANYthing...but I just didn't feel pretty. I mean, Where the BLANK was that glow everyone talked about? 

And why don't I look/feel like this?

What I've realized is that I worship myself. That's gross to admit, but I'm serious. It's like I've made myself my own little god that I have to please by working out, eating the right things, wearing the best clothes, working out again if I ate too much or had more than one Dr. Pepper. Now, since I've been pregnant, I'm able to rationalize it and eat whenever I'm hungry and not feel guilty about it. But that doesn't change the fact that I'm growing ((at an incredibly fast rate)) and I'm having a VERY hard time with it. Chase has to stop me daily from using words like "bus" and "huge." 

I didn't realize using those words in reference to myself was offensive until someone close to me ((unintentionally)) used a similar word in reference to my belly and if Chase hadn't been there to recover and speak truth immediately, it would have crushed me.  

Because I worship myself. I worship what others think of me. I worship my appearance.

It has to stop. Self-destructive talk, non-acceptance of my growing belly, throwing tantrums every morning because nothing in my closet fits properly, wondering if people see the weight I've gained in my face,

My call to action to those of us with the same struggles:
1. There are so many women who can't get pregnant and would do ANYTHING to have a growing belly ((and waist-line, and thighs, get what I'm saying?)) if that meant they got to carry a child of their own. Count your blessings.
We need to be more thankful.
2.  You have been fearfully and wonderfully made by a Creator that not only made every detail about you, but made every detail about your unique pregnancy. You are beautiful and are growing a miracle. Who cares if your skinnies don't fit? 
We need to have more grace with ourselves & with our changing bodies.
3.  Go exercise. Don't over-do it, start training for a half-marathon or all of a sudden pick up kickboxing, but go for a walk and be as active as you can. Chances are, it will help.
We need to take action & do something, rather than moping.
4. Tell yourself that you're beautiful and accepted. Ask your husband to tell you that when you need it, if he isn't already. And when he tells you? Believe it. 
We need to dwell on truth and not on lies. Our husbands think we're beautiful. 
5.  Buy clothes that fit you. I've decided that every month, I'm going to buy something that fits me RIGHT THEN. This month? It was splitting a pair of way too expensive designer maternity jeans with my mom. I know the value of good denim and I also know the value of feeling GOOD in what I'm wearing, so I felt it was worth it. I'm not saying I deserve nice & new things, far from it actually, but if I can feel good in what I'm wearing, I'm much more likely to have more grace with myself and my body.
We need to be nice to ourselves. 
6.  Pray. God wants to carry our burdens. Tell him you don't feel beautiful. Be honest with Him. Confess of making yourself an idol & ask Him to allow you to feel confident in HIM and beautiful in HIM, not in and of yourself...because you? You're always going to disappoint yourself if you're anything like me. So are those skinny jeans. Those have a tendency to disappoint often ;)
We need to give our insecurities to the Lord. 
We need to draw near to God and His truth. Daily.

Join me?

This is not a plea for encouragement & compliments in the comment section. I'm trying to encourage you in what I'm s l o w l y learning. I hope you needed to hear it as much as I needed to process & type it out.