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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hi friends! 
Well, after harassing my sweet friend Ashley on Twitter last week about how much I missed her fabulous vlog link-up The Girl Behind the Blog, she decided to do it! ;) So, this month's topic is about our favorite vacation story, and I'm excited to share mine with you all.



WOHH

Hugs!

Erin
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Darling friends!
If you follow me on Instagram, then you may have seen my announcement a few days ago about a little downloadable, eBook style devotional I'm releasing very soon called P.S. He Loves You. 
It's really less of a devotional and more of a collection of random letters from me to you all about how He loves us. My heart behind it is to remind my sisters of oh how much Jesus loves you and how your identity and life can be centered around Him. 

Keep your eyes open for more info, loves! I am wrapping editing up and design and it will be available soon. I so hope it will be a blessing and encouragement to some sisters who need a reminder of how precious, longed for, loved, and wanted you are. 

Until I share more, I'll be here if you need me - at my little pink desk, writing my heart out. 
If you have a heart to share the devotional or review it on your blog, email me :) erinjames@hotmail.com

LOVE to you and you and you.

XO

Erin
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Friday, January 24, 2014

I am by no means an artist, but played around with some mixed media this week. This verse has been on my heart. I dedicate it to YOU, my dear reader. Think about it this weekend. You are His. You are wanted. You are loved by the King of the Universe, the One who placed the stars in the sky and holds the earth in His hands. You belong to Him.

So go and walk it out. 

Love.

me
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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hey loves! 

I'm excited to share my newest sponsor with y'all. I know you girls love shopping and fashion, and so this is especially fun. I'm introducing... Shoptagr! Gals, this is such a fun website and you have to read all about it!

Have you been eyeing those beautiful black Jimmy Choo pumps all season, but wish you knew when they will go on sale in your size? Yep! I feel your pain. You never know when specific items you truly love and want go on sale in your preferred size and color. People usually get poorly targeted and unwanted deals delivered to their inbox every single day and a new Startup named Shoptagr.com which is launching soon have decided to change that! 
Patience pays in online shopping says Jonathan Friedman, CEO and Co-Founder of Shoptagr, but only if you are willing to spend a lot of time checking back and forth on the styles you want in your size and preferred color at the right price. Jonathan's fiancĂ© could spend hours doing this, which really inspired him and his team to create a solid solution. Shoptagr wants to change the way consumers shop online sending them helpful personalised sales alerts on items they actually want, right down to size and color. 
With Shoptagr's free tool, you browse your favorite online retailers like you normally do. Tag the styles you adore right down to size and color and they'll notify you only when the styles you covet go on sale. They are creating a sophisticated tool that empowers online shoppers like you and I to only “pull” the deals we truly want and shop on our own terms.




Wish to know when Shoptagr is launching to the public, so you'll never miss a sale again on items you truly want? Then you can sign up here: www.Shoptagr.comOnce you have signed up for their pre-launch, you’ll get a chance to get priority access plus earn up to $120 worth of gift cards to some of our favorite retailers they have partnered with, which include Net-A-Porter, TopShop, Asos and Amazon. All you need to do to is share your unique link with your friends and convince them to sign up. When your friends sign up through your unique link, you'll be able to see it live on your “friends bar”, which is pretty cool. (Please see more info here: http://blog.shoptagr.com/).
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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Oh my dear beautiful readers. 
Can I get something off my chest? K thanks. I miss you. This little internet space of mine has become one of the sweetest blessings of my life so far, because of the dear ones I've met through it - you. The connections made, emails exchanged, friends hugged at meet-ups, and prayers prayed. I've been blessed like woah through this thing called blogging and for that I am forever grateful. And so, I am sorry for being a bit MIA in the past months. I know I have been, and I wish it wasn't true. You're still here, and for that I'm thankful. Yet, I know full well that sharing friends and advertising business posts have outnumbered my real, raw, heart to heart writing posts. Honestly, it has partly been due to busy-ness, partly due to fear and partly because life in 2013 was brutal. Or rather, brutiful. And some of the things that touched my life were not things I could share openly here.... because, this is the Internet. And because some things are not my story to tell. Not mine to share. A few months ago, I also experienced some online hating from almost-anonymous sources. It's bound to happen, I get that. And we've all been touched by it in some way or form (sadly). I know that with any kind of online platform, bullies can come and try to tear down good things we strive to accomplish. Try as I might, though - it affected me and made me pull back a bit from sharing so much, so openly. My default is to wear my heart on my sleeve, anyway, so my online journal which I call this blog is just a natural extension of that. It is hard sometimes to be honest but it's also good. Being real is beautiful. Boundaries are important, too. There is power in real-ness, in sharing our messy, our story, our hearts like open books, through writing or music or art or in one on one coffee chats or on our blogs. I've found healing and hope countless times through perusing or diving deep into a blogger's writing, their story, their heart. And I know you have, too. That is why we love this little community. It's sweet. 

All of that to say (and cheers to you if you're still tracking after that stream of consciousness above), it is a new season. A new year. A new time. A new chapter and a new leaf turned. And I am back. 

I miss writing and sharing real stories and real life. And I miss reading your beautiful stories and beautiful lives on your blogs too. 

So, dear friends, I'm comin' back. I'm thankful for new seasons, healing, and His loving grace. You are all so so dear to my heart. And I'm thankful for the ebb and flow off life, the ups and the downs, too. For the good and the bad? They're all brushstrokes in the masterpiece He is painting called our lives. And it's good. 

Love. To you and you and you..

XO

Me.
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Friday, January 17, 2014

Hi loves! Ok, so I know I say it allll day long, but I just love and appreciate this beautiful blog community oh so much. The sisters I've met through blogs are truly some of the best women on planet earth. I truly believe that. And people I love getting to know through the internet, meeting up in person, and living for God together. This gal I get to introduce you to today is special to me. She's one of those people I wish lived in my town, because we would surely have many coffee dates and chats. She's a jewel and really a precious friend to have. Get to know her below, check out her inspiring new blog, and reach out and connect - she's truly sweet! 
Hey Y'all. 

   I'm Kaitlyn and I blog over at Fat 2 Fab Kaitlyn. I used to blog over at crazy life of Kaitlyn. God really spoke to me at the end of last year to make a whole new blog so here I am! :) I blog just about everything. From my weight loss, my long distance love life, my relationship with God, plus more. So I hope you stop on by. :).  
 1. I live on a city farm with my family. I have since I was 6.  I have goats, chickens, ducks, and a farm cat that is either half or one fourth bobcat. 

2.  I was a Christian all my life, but it wasn't until I was 22 that I became a Christ follower. 

3. I am working on getting into graduate school. I hope to go in fall 2014. 

4. I can't wait to go to Hawaii in December/January.  Even though I'm not a big beach person because of the sand. It is a sensory thing. 

5. My grandfather is one of my heroes. He will be 93 in February. He was a Methodist minister and he was in Selma in the 1960s. He stood up to a person in the KKK. I am proud to have his middle name as mine. He and my great grandfather were huge advocates for equality. 

This me and my sisters. 


Me and my sweet mentor/sister in Christ Tracie.
Me and my boyfriend. This was at lunch after I graduated from undergrad. 





Instagram: kcarlton89
Pinetrest: fat2fabkaitlyn 
Twitter: katiemac007 


Love, 

Kaitlyn 
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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

4 things that are making my tuesday happy:
1} favorite pink lipstick
2} carrie bradshaw curls
3} my girl t swift's music 
4} coffee coffee coffee! 

Also - for those interested advertising options are available below for the new year, see below! For those not interested, just move right along ;) 


XO!

Erin

*****


Thank you so much for interest in sponsoring Sweetness Itself blog! Since starting the blog and ministry at the end of 2011, it has grown significantly and I've just been amazed at the community of bloggers and readers I've come to have the privilege of connecting with. Now, friends, I want to connect you and introduce you to my other awesome readers and followers!
---> You can start TODAY! Or anytime you're ready.
---> Ads run for 30 days.
--->Don't have a button? No worries! I'll make one for you for free!

Current Stats:


As of 01/14/14

Total Reach: 8,750+
Pageviews last month: 13,500+
Google Friend Connect Followers: 1,180+
                 Twitter: 3,280+                
Instagram: 2,700+
Pinterest: 3,550+
Facebook: 820+ 
Bloglovin’: 500+

OPTIONS

Sweetest... 



---> The sweetest one of all! 

---> Extra Large Size! // 250x350 

---> Special FEATURE solo post 

---> Giveaway option!

---> Social Media shoutouts!

---> Have something special on your blog/shop this   
              month? We'll talk about fun ways I can
              support you (example: product reviews,                         giveaways, etc)




Sweetness...
           
           ---> Sweetness itself! (I had to. ;)  
           ---> Large size! 250x250
           ---> Special group feature (photo of your choice  and a fun question!) 
            ---> Giveaway option!
            ---> Social media shout-outs!        
              
             
Ad will run for 30 days.
5 available, 5 shown at a time.



Sweeter...

         ---> Very sweet deal! 
         ---> Medium size // 250x200 
         ---> Group giveaway option. One social media
                       shout-out!
         
Ad runs for 30 days. 8 available, 5 shown at a time.



Sweet... 

         ---> Who can resist somethin' this sweet? 
         ---> Small size // 250x150 

Ad runs for 30 days. 8 available, 4 shown at a time.





Just a spoonful of sugar...

        ---> Sugar for the price of a Starbucks LATTE!
        ---> Smaller size // 250x150 
        --->  Runs for 30 days. 
   


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Monday, January 13, 2014

I've been meaning to share with you all a few snapshots from my January 1st, spent at Malibu beach with my sweet family! You can't beat summertime weather on New Year's Day. I'm thankful.

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I recently had the super fun experience of driving the beautiful 2013 Kia Optima! Thanks to Drive STI! This car is a beauty. It is also a hybrid and I was so impressed by how great the gas mileage was. Plus, the car is luxury in every way!  I absolutely loved driving it. 

Features I loved about this gorgeous vehicle: 

  • Smart key / push to start 
  • Heated & Ventilated Front Seats
  • Heater Backseats 
  • Leather Trim 
  • 38 Combined MPG
  • SIRIUS/XM Radio
  • USB and auxiliary input jacks
  •  Panoramic Sunroof with Solar Shade (so fabulous!) 
  • Locking fuel-filter door
  • 17" Alloy Wheels 
  • Projector Beam Headlights 
I loved watching the eco dynamics as I drove! So interesting to see how the car 
Driving the 2013 Kia Optima Hybrid was such a fun experience. I highly recommend this car and so wish I could have it as my own! ;) It had the power of a sports car, the best gas mileage ever, and was totally luxury inside! 

Find out all about the Kia Optima and all other models at www.Kia.com 

Retail Price: $25,900

Check out my review video! 
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Saturday, January 11, 2014


Darling,

You are loved. 
You are treasured.
You are worth more than diamonds.

He wants you to bloom.
To fly.

To become all you can be.
He wants you to be happy. 
He wants you to be treated right.
He wants to heal you, restore you, redeem you, bless you.

You are a gem.
Don't listen to the lies they whisper. 


So go out there and shine.
Don't settle. 
Do not fear. 
You are enough.
And you are not too much. 

Your dreams are beautiful. Your passions mean something. 
Jump, fly, be fearless. 
You are beautiful. 

Get it, girl.

Mwahh. 
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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Hi beauties! 

Remember a few months ago when I told you about my sweet kindred spirits, the New Gen Twins, I met and their wonderful TV and radio program, New Generation? Some of you may have caught the interview live on the radio and streaming TV, but if you missed it, I just wanted to share the recording of it here! We filmed it back in October and I'm excited that it's now on video. We chat in a coffee date style interview all about faith, fashion, my heart for purity and waiting, my story and upcoming book. If you need a little encouragement today, I hope this inspires you. 

Thank you to my beautiful, dear friends Elena and Natalia Maranian for having me on your wonderful show! And friends, check out their ministry and website. These girls are the real deal! 
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Monday, January 6, 2014

I love sweater weather. As a sunny California girl, summer is my favorite. But cool breezes, sweaters, fireplaces and hot drinks can be lovely. This weekend the weather was a little cooler, so I just loved wearing this cozy native print sweater/wrap!


outfit stats // 

sweater: Forever 21 
Top: Forever 21 
Jeans: Forever 21 
Wedges: Kohl's 
(they were $60 but I got them on sale for ..$3! 
it was such a score.) 

My sweet friend Kristin recently sent me these beautiful handmade bracelets. She is the sweetest and makes the loveliest jewelry! 

Check out Kristin L's designs:

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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy 2014 dear friends! 

I have oh so much to share with you in this new year and this coming month, starting off with something fun I got to do in December. Thanks to Drive STI and Kia, I had the awesome opportunity to drive this beautiful 2014 Kia Soul! 

You guys, it was the most amazing car to drive. I fell in love. Car love. I am always honest with you, my readers, and I really thought this car was not only quality but so luxury. 
The 2014 Kia Soul has some wonderful features! 

Some of my favorites while driving it for a week are: 

  • Heat and ventilated seats 
  • Leather wrapped steering wheel
  • Electric power steering
  • USB and auxiliary input jacks (so easily charged my iPhone and played music!) 
  • Push button start w/ smart key
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Heated rear outboard back seats 
  • Heated power-folding mirrors
  • SIRIUS/XM radio
  • Bluetooth wireless technology 
  • Panoramic Sunroof w/ Power Sunshade 
  • Speaker Lights (They totally change color while the music plays. Perfect for a car dance party!) 
  • Privacy glass
My experience/thoughts: 

Like I said, the 2014 Kia Soul is so dreamy. Not only is it powerful and has an almost sports car feel to it while driving, it is really luxury. Reminded me of riding in a luxury beamer or Lexus! So nice. I loved driving it the week of Christmas, there was so much storage in the back for shopping bags. 

One of my favorite features was the panoramic sunroof. It was just huge and beautiful!

The steering wheel is totally equipped for safe driving because of it's built in hands-free phone, mounted audio and cruise control features. Very easy to program preferences too and hook up my iPhone.

Inside this vehicle is super roomy and very comfortable. I took my family Christmas shopping in the LA area and we went out one night to look at Christmas lights in the neighborhoods, and they all commented on how comfy the interior of the car was. They were immediate fans!

Honestly, the 2014 Kia Soul is my favorite Kia I've driven and reviewed. It's really fabulous in every way, I had a hard time letting it go on the day I returned it! I highly recommend it for families or singles who are looking for a safe, luxury, practical vehicle. It's amazing! 

** The retail price of this vehicle is $20,300.00

Thank you Drive STI and KIA for hooking me up with such a wonderful vehicle. I had a blast driving it! 



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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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year, beautiful friends! 

Just stopping by to let you know I am sooo thankful for you all and this community. And because I love our blog community so much, what better way to start off a new year but to share one of my sweet blog sisters! You are gonna love this girl. She's adorable, sweet, and loves Jesus. Her blog is one I am always inspired by and she just shines. Sisters, get to know the lovely Lauren of The Albrechts! I will be back tomorrow sharing some pictures of my beach trip today to celebrate the new year, but until then, enjoy getting to know this beauty and connect with her! 

Hello Sweetness Itself readers!! 

I'm Lauren and I blog over at The Albrechts Blog. One of the things that draws me to Erin the most is her sweet heart and desire to lead women in following Christ! The Lord has lit a similar fire under me to be honest about what it looks like to follow him. Sometimes it's hard, but it's always life-giving and fruitful, even when I can't see it at the time. I married my sweet husband Jacob in June of 2012 and we are embarking on a brand new adventure next month--we're moving from Tennessee to New England to pursue new ministry there! Since I write a lot about following Jesus, living life as newlyweds, and the silly things that happen here and there... you can expect to hear a lot about this adventure in a totally new culture of the US. I also took up running this year, which is always a struggle between love and hate. I'm learning to do things I never thought I could do and practicing endurance..and I won't lie, it's really hard for me. I love meeting new people, so shoot me an email or pop over and say hi!!

1 // I'm obsessed with Barq's root beer. It's my favorite treat, so I'll let myself have some occasionally. 

2 //  I grew up riding and competing horses! So fun... I only wish I had taken my horse with me to college!!

3 //  There is rarely a time of day that I'm not singing or humming to myself.

4 //  I'm learning graphic design and LOVE making cards, invitations, blog designs, etc! It's a newfound passion I'm excited to grow in.

5 // God really drew my heart into his through older women mentoring me, so he has made me very passionate about investing in younger women!
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