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Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving weekend, friends :) I hope you all had a beautiful, blessed day full of family, good food, and football! Mine was a perfect day with my sweet little family. This year was tough, and for a number of reasons, I am more acutely aware than I've ever been of how precious life and family and another year is. Thankful..... and I am thankful, too, for all of YOU. My dear readers. I pray for you everyday. Sending hugs and lattes! XO - Erin
perfect ending to the day - sleepover with Sister! 

"Praise the Lord!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,
for His steadfast love endures forever!" 
Psalm 106:1
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Monday, November 25, 2013

I have something to make your Monday a little bit happier, my friend! 
Not only am I introducing you to an amazing friend you need to meet in this blog/shop online community, but she also has a giveaway for you! Get to know Sarah from Plumb Worn Out and then, enter the fab giveaway below! Hugs to you all this holiday week :) XO - Erin 

Hello!  My name is Sarah, and I'm the Southern girl with a vintage heart behind Plumb Worn Out...a little online boutique filled with handmade and vintage goodness!  From bows and jewelry made with vintage and re-purposed pieces, to carefully selected vintage goods, to craft supplies and kits to help kick-start your own creativity, my shop is filled with things that are different from what you might find on a trip to the mall.  To me, it's about providing the best items possible, while celebrating the past and making every day life just a little prettier.  :)
I first started my business in 2009, originally with the intent of doing freelance floral design.  But, through a series of life changes and learning experiences that God led me through, it gradually grew and became what it is today.  I let my shop reflect the things that I personally value- creativity, quality, tradition, family, and old-fashioned Southern hospitality.    
1: I've lived in the same rural Virginia town since birth.
2: I'm addicted to waffle fries from Chik-fil-a.
3: I tend to hoard three things: lip gloss, post-it notes, and washi tape.
4: Whenever I'm feeling stressed out, I like to wonder around Barnes and Noble with a cup of coffee for a quick break.
5: I'm obsessed with celebrating...pretty much anything!  If it gives me an excuse to break out some confetti or get a greeting card, I'm willing to celebrate it.  :)

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Here Comes The Sun by Colbie Caillat on Grooveshark

  Tonight I'm putting my 26th year in a box and kissing it goodbye. I didn't expect this last year to be so hard and full of heartache, but I'm thankful for all the lessons, the good things, and for how I know Him better because of it all. I'm more than excited to open the door to a new year tomorrow and hopefully a new season. Hope. May you, too, believe for new seasons and fresh hope. For, His mercies are new every morning.... and every year. 

Goodbye, 26. Hello, 27! 


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So happy you're here to join me and the wonderful Amy for our November link-up, 
Thankful Thursday.
 Let's share some of the things we're thankful for! 
Link up below, and make sure to follow our blogs and grab the button :)

{thankful thursdays}

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I recently had the amazing opportunity to review and test drive the brand new, beautiful 2014 Kia Sorento EX AWD, thanks to the amazing people over at Drive STI! You guys, I can't say enough about how much I love this vehicle. It's fabulous, functional, and luxurious! 
The 2014 Kia Sorento has some amazing features! Some of my favorites: 
  • 3.3L V6 Engine
  • 6-Speed Automatic Transmission w/Sportmatic
  • EPA-estimated mileage city / highway: 18 / 24
  • Navigation system with 8" Display & Back-Up Warning System 
  • Infinity Surround System 
  • Panoramic Roof with Power Sunshade
  • Blind Spot Detection
  • Heated/Ventilated Driver and Passenger Seats (my favorite feature!) 
  • Keyless Entry
  • Bluetooth Wireless Technology
  • Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control
  • Push-Button Start and Smart Key
  • Privacy Glass
  • and so much more! 
My Experience & Thoughts: 
I honestly fell in love with this car. I would purchase it if I could! It is simply wonderful and just as luxury as you could want, while retaining SUV practicality and safety! 
This Sorento I test drove is such a lovely color: Wave Blue, which was perfect for the road trip we took it on out to the beach here in California! More on that to come (I may or may not be starting a California road trip series with my mom.. stay tuned :)
I loved the heated and ventilated seats - perfect for the capricious autumn weather where I live! The sound system, blue tooth, and navigational system were top of the line and worked wonderfully. One of my favorite features is the trunk - there is SO much room, compartments, and it opens at the touch of a button on your Smart Key.

My #1 favorite feature, though, was the GORGEOUS sun roof. It is panoramic and is the entire length of the car! 

The steering wheel is awesome - it has steering-wheel mounted audio, hands-free phone, and cruise control buttons so you can stay safer on the road while navigating. 

The retail price of this vehicle is: $31,700.00
If you want to see a semi-ridiculous video of me reviewing and showing the car, check it out: 

Disclaimer: I received the product in this post for free to review, but my opinions shared are always 100% honest and my own. 
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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

3 little things for you to know today, dear reader. And a word from my sponsor, Ryan Gosling at the end. (OK, no he's not really my sponsor. But a girl can dream. Dude, wouldn't that be something? I think I'd win some kinda blogger award if he bought an ad on my sidebar! ;) 

I spent an evening this last weekend painting watercolor. I'm by no means an artist, but I love the creativity of putting paint to paper and making something pretty - or messy - either way, it's fun and theraputic :) I mixed some of my messy art with graphic design just for fun, and I hope you're encouraged by it: 

And, take it away Ryan - 

(from pinterest - thanks to my friend Lauricia for sending me this :)

Awww, OK - if you say so.....!!!!!! 

And with that - have a beautiful Tuesday :)


XO, Erin
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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hi dear friends!

So happy you're here to join me and the wonderful Amy for our November link-up, Thankful Thursday. Let's share some of the things we're thankful for! Link up below, and make sure to follow our blogs and grab the button :)
{thankful thursdays}

As I've prayed for and watched with an aching heart the devastation in the Philippines, I've become even more grateful for what I have. Not even the big things. But little things we take for granted. Like water. Food. A bed. Which, we don't usually list on our thankful lists, but they're actually the big things, after all.

I'm thankful tonight for simple things, that are actually huge blessings. 

one // clean water to drink.
two // shoes to wear.
three // creativity & inspiration.
four // my sweet sister.
five // wintery candles to burn.

What are you thankful for?
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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

This very thought has been stirring in my heart the last few days. 
For alot of reasons, prompted by more than a few things.

I think we as women in general feel this pressure strongly. The pressure to be "okay" all the time. And not just "okay" but perfect. And even, fabulous. As a Christian woman, I feel that pressure sometimes even more acutely. If you're a Christian, perhaps you feel it too. 
Every woman that walks and breathes the air on this earth feels the pressure to be perfect. Physically, emotionally, mentally... you name it.

Through subliminal and not-so-subliminal messages that scream at us through all kinds of media all day every day, every woman is told we must be perfect to be loved. 
Physically, we must look perfect. Airburshed images of unrealistic ideals are the rude examples that are forced onto us, our little girls, our culture and the men in our lives - of how we must look in order to be acceptable, to be beautiful

To always be up, happy, peppy, and OK. To be emotionally sound. 
To not cry or be depressed or sad. 

As Christian women, we sometimes feel like it's not OK to not be OK. 
Like somehow it's wrong, it's not Godly, it's not Proverbs 31 wife material to be not OK.
Like we feel it's not OK to admit - 

I'm depressed.
I feel hopeless.
I am hurt.
I feel alone.
I don't know where the Lord is in this.
And even...
I feel angry. 

I wish we could just realize that it's OK to not be OK. That it's OK to admit - "Yes, I am a hot mess today. And maybe tomorrow too." And to really love each other through it. To realize that we (and our sisters and brothers around us) are all walking through heartaches others cannot see, and things others do not know. I often remind myself - I don't know what's going on behind closed doors in that person's life. I wish we would love first, instead of judge. 

I wish we could walk up to each other and say,

 "Hey! How are you?

And instead of just blurting out a fake,

"Great thanks!" 

We could actually be OK with hearing and saying,

"Honestly, today I am not OK." 

And be OK with that. 
I'm sick of the fake-ness all around me. The fake smiles and fake words. 
Let's be real, sisters. 

We are real women. Real girls. 

And we need to start owning that. Even if it makes us different from the world, even if we feel silly or not enough, or ugly or flawed. Because real life is not airbrushed. And if we're honest about it, sometimes real life isn't pretty at all.

Darling friend, I want you to know that you are real. And it's OK to be real. When you feel OK and when you don't. Because..... 

You are not a plastic Barbie doll. You are a real, flesh and blood woman.

You are not too much.

You are always enough.

No matter what you do. No matter what you don't do.

You are beautiful on the inside and the out, because God made you and He said it was good.

Your worth does not lie in how you look. So forget about that acne, sagging skin, frizzy hair, bags under your eyes, or if you feel "fat." You are precious. You are worth more than gold.
And your body does not determine that worth.


You are more than your pant size.

You are more than your real hair color.

You are more than the wrinkles on your skin and the flaws you hate about your body when you look at yourself naked in the mirror before you take a shower. 

You are worth more than what men say about you. Even the dearest men in your life. 
Jesus calls you His. He is enough.

You are a diamond. 

You are oh so loved. You really are.

And you are real. Be real. Be you. Don't be fake. And if you're not OK? You can tell me. Cause sometimes, I'm not OK either. And that's alright.

Love you. 


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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sharing some fun, inspiring links I'm loving lately!

1 // Perfect for the holidays: Pumpkin Spice Smoothie and Latte recipes  ( 

2 // I want to throw a hot chocolate party like this one. ( 

3 // Every woman needs to be aware of these self-defense tips. (

4 // A fabulous giveaway with a great cause. ( 

5 //  Chocolate-Brandy Soaked Apple Strudel. ( 

6 // Looking for a good eBook? Check out The Unfurling. ( 

7 // I need this baseball cap in my life. ( 

8 // Thoughts on turning 26 by my friend Erin. ( 

9 // Good advice for guys on taking your lady out to dinner. ( 

What are you loving, friend? Share your current favorite links in the comments below! 


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Sunday, November 10, 2013

A word for you to start your week. From my upcoming book The Darling Diaries... 

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Hi beautiful friends! 

Thanksgiving is coming (can you believe it?) and my sweet friend Amy invited me to join her in hosting a link-up for you all to join us in focusing on thankfulness. I started #ThankfulSweetness last year and it's been such a sweet practice and reminder to be grateful for the many things God gives. But I've slacked off on it lately and I'm excited to jump back in again along with Amy and you all! Every Thursday in November, we'll have this link up available and we encourage y'all to join in, share your hearts and what you are thankful for. I love this precious community and am so excited to thank the Lord for what we have.

Join us in listing 5 or more things you are thankful for. This week, I'm thankful for...

Make sure to follow both of our blogs (visit Amy here) and grab our button below :) 
(You can add the hashtag #thankfulthursday or my hashtag #ThankfulSweetness if you'd like, too, as we do!) 

{thankful thursdays}

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Darling friend.....

There is something you need to know.
There is someone who loves you oh so much.
Without condition.
Always. Forever. No matter what you do. At your best and at your worst.

He loves you when you're tired.
He loves you when you're strong.
He loves you when you're weak.
He loves you when you're desperate.
He loves you when you're sweet.
He loves you when you're scared.
He loves you when you forget Him.
He loves you when you go down to the depths.
He loves you when you're happy.

He loves you in your darkest memory.
He loves you when the boy walks away.
He loves you when the world adores you.
He loves you when they hate you.
He loves you when you're serving at church.
He loves you when you're drunk.
He loves you when you're crying. 
He loves you when the skies are blue.

Darling, He loves you. 

He loves you.

He loves you.

So talk to Him today.

PS- friends, I'm sorry for being a bit MIA around here ;) I'm working a ton to get my book finished and ready to publish by December 1. Thanks for your prayers as I work on it :) Hugs! 
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